RSS Feed

Category Archives: hyderabadi

Wonton Wrapper Samosa

Posted on
Wonton Wrapper Samosa

Wonton Wrapper Samosa

I’ve had wonton wrappers sitting in my freezer since err….I can’t really remember. Actually I buy a lot of stuff at the grocery store which I don’t really needand when I am in the act of buying it, I have visions that include dreamy, beautiful and totally stunning plating of the end product. What happens in reality is that they languish in the deep recesses of my fridge, freezer or pantry cupboard and after a few months, depending on their state, they get used in something totally ordinary or they get trashed.

A packet of wonton wrappers was one such item I picked up imagining great parties being thrown around wontons and spring rolls. But like a blot on my conscience, every time I opened the freezer, the pack of wrappers would guilt trip me! This weekend, I made samosas with them. I usually do not deep fry at home, I am terrified of filling a kadai with oil and God knows I don’t need to eat anything deep fried. But I felt those wrappers had patiently waited to come out of the freezer for so long that they did deserve their own kadai of hot oil.

I was doing an Iftar food coloumn for Hans India, the paper I write for and wanted to include a recipe for samosas which are one of the most popular Iftar foods (in Hyderabad). These wonton wrappers make samosa making a breeze, if you have a dry leftover sabzi or even some chicken or mutton keema, it can be shredded and used as a stuffing. The wrappers make for a terrifically crunchy outer covering which is my favourite part. In fact the outer covering is very much like the Hyderabadi Chota Samosa. For those of us who have eaten and relished onion filled Chota samosa, being able to replicate the taste and texture of them in a home kitchen is a big score!

Wonton Wrapper Samosa

Wonton Wrapper Samosa

Wonton Wrapper Samosa (Makes 20)

20 wonton wrappers (easily available in the frozen food section of a supermarket)

1 cup filling of choice –

(I used a dry Aloo filling for half and a chicken mince filling for the other half. The recipe for chicken mince filling is mentioned below)

oil to deep fry

1 tablespoon flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water to make a ‘glue’


Spread the wonton wrapper on a flat surface covered with a kitchen towel.

Fold one corner of it over the rest of the wrapper to form a triangle, fold over again to form a pocket. Here’s a helpful video on samosa folding.

Spoon in 1 tablespoon of filling into the pocket, cover the loose flap and seal with the glue, set aside. Repeat with all the wrappers.

Heat the oil in a kadai drop the samosa into the oil carefully, fry till golden, turning over to cook all sides. Use a spoon to remove the golden samosas, place onto tissue paper to drain and serve when still hot.

Chicken Mince for Samosa Filling

250 grams Chicken mince

1 medium onion finely sliced

1-2 green chillies chopped finely

¼ cup fresh coriander leaves

½ teaspoon ginger and garlic paste

¼ teaspoon cumin powder

2 tablespoons oil

salt and pepper to taste




Heat oil in a pan, wash the mince and set aside.

Add the onions and green chillies to the hot oil and saute till they are just turning golden brown. Add the ginger garlic and saute for a minute.

Add the Chicken mince and saute till the colour changes to opaque.

Add the salt, pepper, cumin and coriander leaves, mix well, cover and cook on a low flame for 10-12 minutes or till the mince is turning a light shade of brown. Turn off and cool.


Eating with the Seasons ~ Custard Apple Icecream {No Cooking}

Posted on
Sitaphal Ice-cream

Sitaphal Ice-cream

One of the only fruits that I love but frustrates me is Sitaphal or Custard Apple. So much jaw work and while the fruit is tasty, the ones with a lot of seeds can leave you with a sore mouth! The season lasts just a few weeks and all over Hyderabad one can see vendors selling piles of this fruit.

While I love eating fruit fresh as they are, I am trying to use them in more ways that just bite into them. Any Hyderabadi worth his pride will tell you about the fabulously hand churned ice-cream that is made at a place called Famous Ice-creams. They use seasonal and fresh fruit in the ice-cream that is of soft serve consistency. Sitaphal Ice-cream is available only when it is in season, and it one of their most popular flavours.

Since I figured out an easy way to remove the seeds from the custard apple, this was the ice-cream I wanted to make. Removing the seeds has been my most excited accomplishment this past week! Earlier this used to be done by hand. However there is an easy way to do this if you have a blender.

Sitaphal (Custard Apple) Ice-cream (makes 4 medium servings)

Custard Apple Pulp                          2 cups with seeds, processed to remove the seeds, else use 1 cup seedless pulp

Condensed Milk                                  ½ cup

Cream                                                   1 cup (use low fat)

Milk                                                       1/4 cup

Vodka                                                   1 teaspoon (optional, helps reduce crystallisation)

Put the custard apple pulp and the milk into a blender and pulse for 1-2 second intervals a couple of times. Ensure you do not pulse for more than a second at a time.

Transfer the pulsed custard apple pulp to a soup strainer/ large sieve placed on a vessel and with the back of a rounded spoon, mix crush it in a circular movement to push the pulp through the sieve. In a while, the seeds will separate, scoop them out and discard. Use the pulp that remains.

Add the cream, condensed milk and seedless pulp and vodka (if using) to the same blender and whiz for 1-2 minutes till fully incorporated.

Remove into a container with a lid (preferably metal for faster freezing) place in the freezer and allow to set for 3-4 hours.

Remove the container from the freezer, with a fork, stir up the ice cream and freeze again for 2 hours. Repeat the stirring at least twice, this is to break up any icicles. This gives you a creamy texture.

When you are ready to serve, scoop into a bowl and serve with a mint leaf garnish. This is a soft serve ice-cream.

Sprouted Red Lentils – Masoor ki Dal

Posted on

I love lentils in most forms. I keep buying them at the grocery store, and because we are so partial towards the ubiquitous tur dal, i often end up with red lentils or whole moong dal which i need to use in a hurry. I used sprouted whole red lentils or masoor ki dal in this one. Something about the delicate pink lentils and the fact that they cook easily and can blend into any kind of preparation makes me partial to them. Hyderabadis are generally partial towards these form of lentils and our khichdi is mostly made using masoor rather than moong dal like everyone else.

This is a dry dal and is best paired with hot rotis or parathas. It can substitute for a dry vegetable on a hurried weeknight. i used sprouted lentils to up the nutrition factor, this is optional. Its also a one pot preparation and is made completely in a pressure cooker. Use a heavy bottomed pan with a fitting lid if you dont have a pressure cooker.

Sprouted Red Lentils – Masoor ki Dal

1 cup red lentils, soaked in water for 1 hr, drained and left to sprout (about 6 hrs) alternatively, just soak the lentils for a couple of hours, drain and use.

1 medium sized onion, chopped

1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 green chilli, split lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

a pinch of asafetida / hing

a few curry leaves

salt to taste

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeera)

heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds, once they splutter, add the curry leaves, onions, green chilli and saute for a minute. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute till the raw smell disappears. add the turmeric, asafetida, coriander powder, red chilli powder and saute for a minute. Add the washed, soaked and sprouted lentils, the chopped tomatoes and salt to taste. add the 2 cups of water and cook on pressure for 3 whistles. (if not using a pressure cooker, cover and cook till the lentils are soft but not mushy). once the pressure is released open the pan, stir and check the seasoning. Adjust if needed and cook without the lid till the water dries up completely. Serve hot with rotis or parathas.

Happy Birthday with ‘Sugarfree’ Kheer ~ Kaddu ka Kheer (Bottlegourd) Recipe

Dear Amma,

you turn a year older today. We wanted to celebrate in style, but you will have to make do with the presence of your children and grandchild minus the exciting vacation unlike the last big celebration. it doesnt take away one bit from what you are. We give thanks for what you have taught us especially about being dignified in the face of the worst kicks life gives you and carrying on, so that life itself relents and smiles on you. You still are my hero. Although sometimes i find you quite a nag, i remind myself I’d better be careful of what I accuse you of, since I cant escape my genes and am turning out to be more and more like you! I wish for you health and happiness and much more laughter than you can handle! There, take that and deal with it… so what if you cant go on a vacation this year, am sure our surprise appearance last night has more than made up for it!

To celebrate, here’s a beautifully creamy yet healthier route to a hyderabadi classic Kaddu ka kheer

Kaddu ka kheer

Makes 5 servings, Time taken: 30 mins

1/2 litre plus 1 cup milk ( i used 3% fat)

2 cups grated bottlegourd (lauki in the north but in hyd we call it kaddu)

1/4 cup raw basmati rice

2/3 cup sugar substitute ( i used sugarfree brand) or sugar

1/2 a teaspoon grated nutmeg, divided (or use elaichi if you dont like nutmeg)

a few slices of almonds for the garnish

wash the rice and set aside. in a pressure cooker, add the rice, grated bottlegourd, 1/2 litre milk and cook for 2 whistles or till the rice is cooked. when the pressure releases, open the lid and mash lightly with the back of a ladle. add the sugar substitute or sugar and the remaining milk and cook on a low flame till the mixture begins to thicken. taste for sweetness and adjust. I dont like overpoweringly sweet kheer, so this is low on sweetness. simmer till the back of a ladle is coated thickly. add the nutmeg and sitr. turn off the heat. let it cool. Serve chilled with a sprinkling of nutmeg and a fel slices of almonds

Vegetarian Shikampuri Kebab Recipe ~ with Soy Nuggets ~ Almost the real thing!

Posted on

K and I spent a delightful evening in the company of my cousins who we were meeting with after what seemed like ages…I will have to admit publicly that I have just met one of the most well behaved 4 year old boys. There can’t be many…I can vouch for that…and an adorable 7 month old, who made me realise that gums can be as pain inflicting as teeth… i had my fingers chewed on, drooled on and then a sweet dimpled smile that makes you want to repeat the whole process….

Anyway, where was I? Yes the cousins….I wasn’t sure of what extend the invite to dinner, and with K driving me up the wall with his meal choices, I settled on Cheater’s Dahi Vada, Baked Potato wedges, Fake meat Shikampuri Kebabs and some ridiculously red mixed fruit drink!

On to the kebabs…. As always, I am going to pass a disclaimer…. these arent claiming to be authentic Hyderabadi Shikampuris. They can’t since they aren’t even meat. Also since i am really lazy, I didn’t stuff them with the chopped onion and coriander mix. What is pretty authentic is the flavour and the texture of the cutlets.

A nice moment was, when halfway through one of them, K exclaimed “Is this not mutton? Then what is it? Oh God, I was thinking you made it with real meat” Needless to say, I was very pleased!

Onto the recipe

Shikampuri Kebabs with Soy Nuggets

Ingredients (Makes 20 3 inch kebabs)

100 gms of soy nuggets about 3 cups

1/2 cup bengal gram / channa dal

2 green chillies

2 pieces of 1 inch cinnamon sticks

2 green cardamoms cloves

3 whole cloves

5-6 whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon red chilly powder

Soak the soy nuggets in 4-5 cups of hot water and leave it for about 10 minutes till they are rehydrated. Squeeze out all the water, run it under cold water and rinse. Squeeze out all the water again. Put the rehydrated nuggets, channa dal, green chillies, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, pepper and red chilli powder in a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles till the dal is cooked.

Once the pressure has released, drain out the water, add the following to the pan and cook through till the whole mixture is dry.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion sliced

salt to taste

Cool the mixture completely and use the mixer to pulse it with very little water. it should be really thick and pasty like a dough. I used my Ultra wet grinder to do this. I found this much easier than the regular mixer because you really need to add water to get the pulsing to work.

Take out the mixture into a wide vessel and add the following

1 1/2  teaspoons ginger garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 cup bread crumbs

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup chopped coriander and mint leaves

mix it all together with a wooden spoon or your hands. Portion into 20 small ping pong balls, roll into a ball and flatten between your palms. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non stick or cast iron frying pan. When hot, place the kebabs around the pan, leaving space to wield a slotted spoon. Fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes, till they get a slightly deeper than golden colour. flip over and fry on the other side as well.

Serve hot or warm with onion rings, tomato slices, lemon wedges and mint chutney or tomato sauce.

Recipe for an Easy Hyderabadi Khichadi

Posted on

This is one of my favourite emergency meal options. Like biryani, khichdi is a universal dish with so many personalised recipes, that no one can be called authentic. I’ve grown up on the hyderabadi khichdi which uses red lentils or masoor ki dal and is spiced with whole garam masala and liberal amounts of ginger garlic paste. I love the gooey gujarati version with liberal doses of ghee and cumin seeds in the seasoning. I also like the cross between a pulav and a khichdi which i make with whatever vegetables i have on hand, sometimes with rice and mostly these days with broken wheat. All said and done, Khichdi is a very forgiving preparation that allows a lot of bandwidth for experimentation. The only constants being the use of rice and lentils. Here is my version of the famous hyderabadi khichdi. There is a saying in Hyderabad “ khichdi ke chaar yaar, khatta, kheema, papad, achar!!” which translates to, khichdi has four buddies, khatta- a tangy gravy preparation made mostly of tomatoes and tamarind, kheema – a dry lamb mince sauté, papad and achar – pickle.

I usually serve mine with a kadhi or a tangy gravy egg curry.

Hyderabadi Khichadi (makes 3 servings )

1 cup long grained rice such as sona masuri

1/3 cup shelled moong dal (green gram) or shelled masoor ki dal (red lentils)

2 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion sliced fine

1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste

2 slit green chillies

2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 2 small pieces cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 small bayleaf

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Salt to taste

2 ½ cups water

Wash the dal and rice together and soak in water atleast 15 minutes.

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil, add the whole spices and sauté for half a minute. Add the sliced onion and green chillies and sauté till the onions turn golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry well, so that it doesn’t stick or burn. Add the salt, turmeric, drain the rice and add to the pan. Saute while making sure that the grains of rice do not break. Add the water and bring it to a boil. You can close the lid and allow it to cook for 2 whistles before turning it off (which i prefer) or simmer it in the same dish without the lid, till the water dries up. Serve hot with mango pickle, kadhi and papad.

Quick Cooking ~ Egg Curry Recipe with Readymade Masala Paste

Posted on

I’m not a big fan of processed food and prefer cooking with fresh ingredients. I do use products such as readymade coconut milk, because its plain convenient. Readymade curry powders and dry masalas too were a hot favourite till i learnt to make my own and now when i do use them, its because they have been received as gifts. With cooking pastes, i cannot get over the characteristic smell they all seem to have which i think is the result of the ingredients meant to increase its shelf life. So everything that is made with it, no matter the other ingredients, continues to smell just like the masala packet did. I tend to avoid this, preferring to make my own onion, tomato, ginger garlic preserve with a few aromatics.

Having said all of that, when magi bhuna masala came highly recommended, i wasn’t too convinced. I did pick up both versions of it (they have one for curries and one for dal) recently to try it out.  i admit it did come in mighty handy in an emergency. However i had to add almost ½ a cup of coconut milk and fresh coriander and curry leaves to mask the smell of the masala. This masala is purely for convenience, for those times when you need to serve dinner from scratch in 15 minutes.

Quick Cooking ~ Egg curry with Readymade Masala Paste

3 fresh eggs/ 3 hard boiled eggs

1 packet of Maggi bhuna masala or 3 tablespoons of any other readymade tomato onion curry paste

½ cup tomato puree (i used homemade tomato puree, puree from a carton/ can with ½ teaspoon of sugar to cut the tartness can be used)

½ cup thick coconut milk (i used dabur hommade)

1 heaped tablespoons kerala egg roast masala (or substitute with 1 teaspoon regular garam masala, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder)

1 teaspoon dhania / coriander powder

1 teaspoon red chilli powder or 1 green chilly chopped

¼ cup water

Salt to taste

2-3 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped

7-8 curry leaves

If using fresh eggs, put them to boil in a pan, simmering for about 5-6 minutes on medium heat once it has come to a boil. In another pan, add the readymade masala paste, tomato puree and water and heat through. Add the powdered masalas and salt and cook about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, coriander leaves, curry leaves and simmer till the consistency is like a thick sauce. Turn off the flame. Shell the boiled eggs, slice into two and add to the gravy. Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice. I served mine with Khichdi. Will post the recipe soon.

%d bloggers like this: