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Wonton Wrapper Samosa

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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’

Method

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

 

Method

 

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.

 

The Quintessential Sundal ~ Double Beans Sundal Recipe

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Double Beans Sundal

Double Beans Sundal

My friend Siri and I met on monday for a bloggers meet in Hyderabad. While the talk we attended per se was not much to talk about, it was a chance for us to meet many bloggers we had been reading or following but had never met, and for the two of us to meet after ages. We proceeded to have coffee and then went out for lunch. Severely missing the other conspirator Pree. Over some yummy chilli cheese toast and a pub lunch, we gossiped, checked out the other people at the pub, gossiped some more and shared notes on what has been happening in our lives.

In the middle of all the ideas for the blog and whooping my behind for not blogging regularly (really, I never learn!) I told her  I would be posting a recipe for Sundal. The must have during navratri, especially in homes which display the Indian style tableau of dolls called Bommalakoluvu /Gollu. Rolling her eyes, Siri asks me “but why Sundal? Isn’t it just boiled beans with a tempering and coconut?” I laughed and said “yes… but you can easily screw that up too!”

In my defence,  I did think the double beans sundal was better than most sundals. Purely because double beans is one of my favourite beans, I love its texture and it lends itself beautifully to any recipe.

this recipe needs a little of pre work in soaking dried beans for atleast 4-5 hours. Once pressure cooked, there is nothing really to do except temper it.

Double Beans Sundal (Serves 2)

Double Beans        1 cup dried beans, soaked for 5-6 hours and pressure cooked for 2 whistles, water drained

Ghee                       1 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds     1 teaspoon

Hing                        a pinch

Dried Red Chilli    1, broken into two pieces

Salt to taste

Grated Fresh Coconut ¼ cup

Curry Leaves        10

Drain the water off the boiled beans and set aside.

In a kadai, heat the ghee, add the mustard and splutter, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and hing and turn off the heat. Add the grated coconut and toss.

Add the boiled beans to this, add salt and mix gently. Serve when still warm.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Sweet Potato Pattice ~ Faraali Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

The Escapades household is quite fond of sweet potatoes and prefers them curried, in baked wedges or as part of a medley. The most popular way to eat them in my part of the world, is boiled or charred over coals. Sweet Potatoes are rich in Vitamins B6, D, C and iron and magnesium. Which translated in normal people’s language means it is good for your brains, bones & muscles. No more reasons needed to eat it. The plus side is that it is very tasty and easy to prepare, lending itself to any kind of preparation. Sweet potatoes can be used to replace regular potatoes in almost any recipe.

Sweet Potatoes are used a lot in India during ritualistic fasting when people are meant to be on a restrictive diet. This is one of the ‘allowed’ foods. I think purely because of its nutritive benefits, it was put on the permissive list. These patties are also called “Farali Pattice” loosely translated, means fasting pattice, which means it is allowed on the fasting menu.

Whether you are observing a fast for religious reasons, wanting a robust make ahead snack for a party or need something to carry on a trip, these patties fit right in. The quantities can be easily scaled up.

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice (Makes 8)

Sweet Potatoes                  4, washed & boiled(substitute with regular poatoes)

Green Chilli                        1, finely chopped or crushed coarsely

Arrow Root Flour              2 tablespoons ~substitute with water chestnut flour (singhada ka atta) or buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta)

(use regular maida / wheat flour if you are not using this as fasting food)

Amchur Powder                ½ teaspoon

Lemon Juice                      1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder                   ½ teaspoon

Cashew Nuts                     10-12, roasted and chopped

Raisins                               10-12, washed

Rock Salt                           According to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • Skin the potatoes and mash them well. Add all the ingredients and divide into 6-8 equal parts.
  • Roll each portion between your palms and flatten to make a patty.
  • Dust lightly with a little buck wheat flour / arrow root flour or water chestnut flour.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan, when ready, add the patties, with a little space between each one and fry on medium heat till crisp and golden, flip and repeat on the other side.
  • Serve hot

{Vegan MoFo 2013} ~ Semia/ Vermicelli Pulav Recipe

Vermicelli Pulav

Vermicelli Pulav

I am attempting something very brave this month, cooking and posting Vegan recipes all this month for the Vegan Month of Food where bloggers around the world will post vegan recipes all this month. Wish me luck dear readers as I do not fare very well with rules and schedules. the only other time I attempted to do something like this was when I joined Nupur in the blogging marathon. I was very rewarded although it was exhausting to post daily.

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So to begin this marathon, I am posting a simple yet filling Indian breakfast / all day recipe of Semia Pulav. Semia is vermicelli which is extensively used in Indian cooking to make sweet and savoury preparations. On one occasion when Siri who is also doing this marathon visited me at home, I asked if she would have something to eat (it was past lunch time) and she said yes. I offered to make this Semia Pulav about 10 times. She must have thought that is the only dish I know how to make! She finally said “looks like you are determined to make me eat this, so yeah make it!”

Anyway, onto the recipe which is fairly simple. I like to add a dash of ready-made masala for a nice spice kick and lots of vegetables. A lot of people do not like to eat Vermicelli because it tends to have a sticky pasty consistency once cooked. This is due to the starch content in it. One way to combat this is to add a precise amount of water to cook it. Another way is to dry roast the vermicelli till golden to prevent it from turning mushy. I take the easy route out and buy pre roasted vermicelli. What? that’s 10 minutes off your active cooking time when you plan to make this!

Vermicelli Pulav Recipe

(time taken – 20 minutes, Serves – 2)

Vermicelli / Semia                   1 cup, pre roasted preferred, else dry roast in a medium hot pan, stirring gently till golden

Vegetables of Choice              1 cup (I used red capsicum, peas, carrot and carrot)

Onion                                        1 medium, sliced fine

Vegetable Oil                           1 tablespoon

Salt                                             to taste

Green Chilli                              1, slit

Fresh Ginger                           ½ inch piece, grated

Curry Leaves                           a few

Mustard Seeds                       1 teaspoon

Ready Masala Powder    1 teaspoon (I used Everest Pav Bhaji Masala, can substitute with ½ teaspoon garam masala + ½ teaspoon coriander powder)

Hot Water                                11/2 cups

Method

In a medium pan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard. Add the curry leaves and green chilli along with the onions and fry till translucent, add the grated ginger, the chopped vegetables and half the salt.

Fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the pav bhaji masala (or garam masala) and fry for half a minute.

Now add the hot water and taste for salt, adjust with the remaining, when the water comes to a boil, slowly add the vermicelli and stir till the water is above the vermicelli. Cover with a loose lid and cook for 5-6 minutes or till the water has been absorbed, but it is still moist.

Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving with some raitha and pickle.

Dosa Spring Roll

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Dosa Spring Roll

Dosa Spring Roll

A few weeks ago, I was browsing for recipes that use Dosa batter and found Dosa Spring Rolls. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to giving food a Chinese makeover. For too many “items” including Chaat have gotten a Chinese makeover with disastrous results (according to me). I prefer mixing wheat or oat flour into leftover dosa batter and making dosas, or making appams with chopped vegetables and seasoning. The spring rolls looked easy enough to make and I am not one of those people who will talk without trying out something at least once. I had to try it. The fact that it made it to the blog means it got a thumbs up, for variety and ease of preparation.

I saw this on Nag’s blog and from what I see a lot of people have made and liked it. So if you are looking for a way to glam up your dosa, add vegetables and sneak them into the diets of unsuspecting or fussy eaters in your family, or just a nice light dinner option, make this.

Dosa Spring Roll

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Dosa Batter                             2 cups

Oil                                            2 teaspoons

Cabbage                                  ½ Cup, shredded fine

Green Capsicum                     ½ cup, cut into juliennes

Carrot                                      1, chopped fine

Onion                                       1 medium, sliced finely

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ginger Garlic paste                  ½ teaspoon (optional)

On a hot pan, add ½ teaspoon of oil and add the ginger garlic paste (if using) and sauté for a minute.

Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté on medium heat till the cabbage is just wilting. The vegetables should be crisp and retain their colour. Remove from the heat.

On a dosa pan, add one ladle of batter and spread as thin as possible to make a 6 inch dosa. Drizzle oil and fry till golden brown.

In the centre add 2 tablespoons of sautéed vegetables and roll like a spring roll. Remove onto a plate, cut using a sharp knife into 2-3 pieces.

Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Serve hot with sauce or chutney

Mangalore Style Potato Sukke

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Potato Sukke

Mangalore Style Potatoes with freshly ground masala

I made this for the weekly recipes I write for Hans India. It turned out fabulous even if I say so myself! I took inspiration from my dear namesake’s recipe. Who by the way, visited me last month from Singapore, baby A and husband in tow. We spent the whole day together, talking, shopping, talking, eating, talking and shopping some more! What can I say, apart from the fact that we share the same name, we apparently have a deep abiding love for our voices. After we were done with all the talking and other stuff in between, we headed to my place, to be joined by her child and our respective spouses for a lovely evening that ended too quickly at roughly 3 a.m. These are the things blogging has given me…friends…for life.

Here is the recipe. Make it on a day when you are bored of plain fried potatoes. The coconut and red chillies really jazz it up. Tastes best with hot rice and dal or rasam.

Potato Sukke (serves 2-3)

Sukke is a semi dry preparation made with freshly roasted masalas.

Potatoes                                              6 medium, boiled, peeled and cubed

For the Sukke Masala

Freshly Scraped Coconut            ¼ cup

Dry Red Chillies                               3-4

Tamarind Paste                                1 tablespoon

Whole Coriander Seeds                 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds                              ¼ teaspoon

Turmeric                                             ¼ teaspoon

For the tempering

Oil                                                          1 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds                                  1 teaspoon

Curry Leaves                                     a few

Asafetida                                             a pinch

Dry roast the fenugreek and coriander seeds in a pan. Grind them along with the coconut, red chillies, turmeric, tamarind paste and a little bit of water to a smooth paste.

  • Add the masala to the boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes and mix to coat them like a marinade

In a pan, heat the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, curry leaves, add the asafetid.

Add the potato mixture to this and a little water if needed. Cook this covered, stirring a couple of times for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook a few more minutes till it is almost dry. Serve hot with rice and sambhar, dal or rasam.

Accompaniment Suggestions

Pepper Rasam

Tomato Dal

Dosakaya Pappu (Lemon Cucumber Dal)

Sambhar

Festive Fare ~ Balushahi (Badusha)

Balushahi

Balushahi

Wishing all my readers a Happy Diwali. May the festival bring you Laughter and joy and may you always be surrounded with family and friends and bask in their love. Celebrate in whatever way you choose, stay safe!

I thought I wouldn’t post any more sweets or savouries. Frankly, my blog has never seen so much activity! but yesterday I did a trial run of Balushahi’s at my MIL’s house and everyone was unanimous with the verdict ~ very good for a first attempt. Not one to be smug with that, I wanted a “very good”. So this morning, after my morning routine, I made a second set. Even if i say so myself, these were almost perfect! Its an easy and forgiving recipe. The only thing to remember is that you do not over mix / overknead the dough and fry the dumplings very slowly on medium heat.

If you know how to make Pooris, this is easier… just make small balls of the dough and deep fry.

I have been fascinated with recipe videos on youtube. I can watch them all day and night. I especially love the ones in Urdu by Shirin Anwar. The format of the programs have changed over the years. She’s now become the elder sister/ aunt and counsellor leaning a lot on prayer (She prays for ages before each program), and her dishes may not be what I may ever make, I cant explain why i watch her videos! I also like the ones by Manjula’s Kitchen from where I got the recipe for Balushahi.

balushahi

balushahi

Balushahi (Makes 12)

Time Taken: 1 hr including resting the dough for 30 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 cup Maida

1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 cup Ghee

1/4 cup Plain Yogurt/ Dahi (make sure it is not sour)

For the Sugar Syrup

1 Cup Sugar

1/3 cup water

4 Green Cardamom’s crushed and remove the peels

A few sprigs of saffron (optional)

1 tablespoon unsalted Pistachios (cut into slivers)

Oil to deep fry

Method:

Mix the maida with the baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the Ghee and rub it in with your fingers lightly till it resembled wet sand. Add the yogurt and mix into a shaggy dough. Do not over-knead the dough. It needs to be shaggy and light to make crisp Balushahis. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar together. when it has melted add the powdered elaichi and saffron strings. Skim off the scum if any and turn off the heat when it has reached one thread consistency.

Remove the cover from the bowl containing the dough and lightly bring everything together. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. make sure the pieces are no larger than 11/2 inch in diameter. It will expand slightly while frying.

Roll into a circle between your palms, press down slightly and make a dent in the middle with your thumb like a thumbprint jam cookie.

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a clean vessel (use a kadai) and test with a small pinch of dough for the right heat. the dough should rise very slowly up and not brown quickly.

The Balushahis have to be fried to a deep golden brown on low-medium heat. If the oil is too hot, they will become overcooked outside and remain undercooked on the inside. Fry about 6 per batch, turning them over gently once or twice to make sure they are evenly fried.

Drain on absobent paper for a minute and while still fairly warm, drench them in the sugar syrup for 5 minutes. Remove them from the sugar syrup and lay them out on a plate. garnish with slivered almonds/ pistachios while still sticky. Store them in an airtight box once they are cooled completely.

Note: The most difficult part for me has been to believe that the shaggy mess of the dough will actually come together after resting to form pillow soft balushahis. I made mine really small and bite sizes and ended up with 16 pieces to a cup of maida.

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