Walnut Jaggery Mess

One of the most easiest and the most reliable recipes. It is just melting the jaggery to a liquid and mixing in the walnuts. The walnuts get a sweet coating and they taste amazing. A recipe is not really needed for this. You can just go by instinct if you wish to. The jaggery can be melted by using some oil or ghee. It can also be melted without any fat added or with just a tiny amount of water.

The quantity of jaggery in the recipe below is just enough to cover the walnuts. More jaggery can be added to make it more sweet or to shape brittle bars.

Walnut Jaggery Mess Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • Walnuts: 1 cup
  • Jaggery (powdered/ pieces): 3/4th  cup
  • Oil/Ghee: 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Heat the fat (oil/butter/ghee) in a thick pan and add the jaggery to it
  • Melt the jaggery on low heat. Keep stirring
  • Grease a plate with oil so that the hot jaggery mix can be placed on it
  • Once the jaggery melts completely add the walnut pieces and mix so that the walnuts get an even coating of the jaggery
  • Turn off the heat and immediately transfer the contents of the pan to the greased plate
  • Press the hot walnut-jaggery mix and break into pieces once it cools down

Alternate Options:

  • The jaggery can be melted without the oil/ghee. A very small amount of water can be added to melt the jaggery
  • The amount of jaggery can be increased to give the walnuts a good coating and to increase the sweetness
  • Brittle bars can be made with jaggery and walnuts

Masala Sticks

Dynamite sticks of flavor

An experiment that turned out into a really good snack. An absolute flavor bomb. I had something called methi sticks once and it was terrible. There was a little flavor but the ingredients used were of really bad quality. The smell of stale oil killed it. So I wanted to try something like those fried sticks but with some quality ingredients. Of course, a little improvisation and some messing around led to these Masala Sticks.

The ingredients are very universal. A flour base with some freshly crushed spices. Almost all the ingredients can be substituted with what is locally available and there are a few options listed at the end of the post. The highlight of this snack is the flavor and that comes from the freshly crushed spices. The pre-packed spice powders can also be used but don’t have the same punch.

This is an easy one. Deep fried & delicious.

Masala Sticks Recipe

Ingredients

  • Refined Flour: 1 cup
  • Clarified butter / Ghee / melted butter: 2 tbsp
  • Crushed Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Crushed Black Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi powder: 2 tsp
  • Baking soda: 1/4 tsp
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil: 2 tsp + for deep frying

Preparation

  • Take the flour in a large bowl and add the ghee or melted butter
  • Heat 2 tsp of oil & pour over the flour. Once the oil cools down, start mixing
  • When pressed, the flour should come together. A brittle ball. If not, add some more ghee and keep mixing
  • Add the spices (cumin, pepper, kasuri methi), baking soda and salt. Mix well
  • By adding small amounts of water, mix all the ingredients to form a firm dough. Set aside for about 30 mins

Cooking

  • Take a small portion of the dough and using a rolling pin, flatten it into a rectangle
  • Now fold the rectangle at the center & then again to get layers
  • Flatten it again and then cut out long strips. Keep the strips aside
  • Repeat the same with the rest of dough
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying
  • Once the oil is hot, reduce down the heat and fry the dough strips in batches
  • Keep the heat at medium and ensure that the sticks are fried evenly on both the sides
  • Once done, remove the sticks from the oil & place them on a absorbent paper
  • Start munching

Substitute ingredients

The flour, fat and the spices can be easily substituted with other ingredients. Here are a few alternatives.

  • Ghee: Butter / Vegan Butter / vegetable shortening
  • Pepper: Red chili powder / chili flakes
  • Flour: Whole wheat flour / Millet flour (with some wheat flour) / Chick pea flour (gluten-free)

 

Sev Recipe

I almost went to buy sev again, which I always do, then comes the thought: ” why not make it at home, instead of buying”. Did just that and I was surprised how easy it is to make and how well they turned out. Sev is like a staple snack. A topping on lots of other Indian snacks and toasts and it is just great for munching. The best part about making Sev at home is that the flavor and spices can be completely customized.

Gram flour fried vermicelli is made of basic Indian ingredients. There are lots of variations in terms of color and flavor, based on the ingredients used. Gram flour or chickpea flour is a great source of protein, fiber and iron and the best part is that it is gluten free.  The recipe mentioned below is a base recipe. The other alternatives are also mentioned at the end. Here are the basics:

Mix: All the ingredients with gram flour as the base. Pour 2tbsp of hot oil over it. Add water to make a stiff dough.

Load & Fry: Take a portion of the dough and load the press. Once the oil is hot, operate the press to release the dough noodles. Flip & remove from hot oil.

Another traditional deep fried snack it the Murukku (recipe link). Do check it out.

Sieve the chickpea flour

Mix all the ingredients

Get the press ready

Get the dough ready

Load & Fry

Sev it

Sev Recipe

Kitchen tools: Deep fry pan || Chakli Press

Ingredients:

  • Gram Flour / Besan: 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
  • Aesofotida: 1/4 tsp
  • Carom seeds / Ajwain: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil: 2 tbsp + for deep frying

Preparation:

  • Sieve the gram flour into a large bowl
  • Add all the remaining dry ingredients and give it a mix
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil and pour it over the dry flour mix
  • Keep adding small amounts of water and knead the flour. The dough needs to be slightly stiff
  • Once the kneading is done, let the dough rest for about 15 mins

Deep fry:

  • Heat oil in a wok for deep frying
  • Take the press to make the sev and the cast of your choice. Grease the inside portion with cooking oil
  • Once the oil is hot, take a small portion of the dough and load the press
  • As you turn/apply pressure the dough will fall out as thin noodles
  • Fry on medium heat. Quickly flip and remove the sev from the oil

Alternatives:

  • To get different flavors you can try adding either some garlic paste or lime juice while kneading the dough
  • Pepper powder can be used instead of red chili powder
  • To get some color use some spinach juice for green or tomato juice/puree for red

Note:

  • Fry the sev on low heat. Being thin they tend to burn very fast

Dimer Devil

I love the name. When there is devil in the name then it has to be interesting. Eggxactly. There is egg in the center, egg on the outside and it is deep fried. Deep fried is a synonym for delicious. What more can you ask for?

Trying new things in the kitchen is always fun ( I meant cooking, only taking about cooking here). New cuisine is uncharted territory. But when the food turns out to be amazing then it is pure joy. I got this idea from a Devil, I mean a super creative person and an expert at making these. So I took up the challenge of cooking and getting a nod of approval from the expert. After some research, prep and cooking, I gave the devils for evaluation. The result: a nod of approval from the devil (ahem..foodie). Yes !!!

It looks a bit like scotch eggs but Dimer Devil is not the same thing. A deep fried snack that is crispy, tasty and can be bar food, needs some prep time. On the other hand the prep can be done in advance and kept in the fridge and the frying can be done right before serving. These devils can be made very desi with all Indian spices. The other alternative that I found interesting was to use some herbs like oregano and other dried herbs in a spiced breadcrumb. Even a little cheese in the potato outer makes things interesting. Shallow frying and baking are good & healthier substitutes for deep frying.

It is not that difficult to make these devils. You can check out the highlights and go with your cooking instincts. Of course, the detailed recipe is mentioned below. The three main things that need to be done.

Cook: Get the mashed potatoes ready with all the flavor and spices, the potatoes give all the taste. Boil the eggs

Prep: Half boiled egg with mashed potato at the base and the all around it. Devils in the making !!!

Dip & Fry: Dip in egg, roll in bread crumbs and deep fry.

If you have boiled eggs and if you can buy mashed potatoes and bread crumbs then you can move faster. If you are starting from scratch like me, then start doing a few things simultaneously to save time. The outer potato cover takes the maximum time.

From the time the potatoes go into the cooker, cook and cool down: Boil the eggs, get the bread crumbs ready, chop the onion, ginger and coriander.

Once the potatoes are cooked and peeled, it time to get in some flavor. Wok on the stove. Heat the oil and add some mustard seeds. Fry the onions. Add the ginger, turmeric, chili powder and coriander leaves. Add the mashed potatoes. Mix well. Add some garam masala powder & salt and mix.

Dimer Devil Recipe:

All you would need is a pressure cooker, a pan/wok and maybe a blender, along with the kitchen basics. But if you are building a kitchen or want some more stuff then you can go for these too (affiliate link):

Pan, Pressure Cooker, Masher , Egg Boiler

Ingredients (for 6 devils):

  • Eggs: 3 (2 for boiled eggs + 1 for the outer cover)
  • Potatoes: 2 medium sized
  • Bread: 3-4 slices
  • Onion: 1 medium
  • Flour/maida: 2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp + for deep frying
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch piece (optional)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt

Preparation:

  • Pressure cook the potatoes. Two whistle count
  • Chop the onion, ginger and coriander leaves
  • Boil two eggs. remove the shell and cut in halves
  • Run the bread slices in the blender and make the bread crumbs

Method:

  • Peel and mash the cooked potatoes
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle add the ginger and onion
  • Turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander leaves, all in
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mix well
  • Add garam masala powder and salt. Mix and allow the mixture to cool
  • Scoop out some mashed potato and flatten it on your palm. Place a half of a boiled egg, facing down on the mashed potato. Use some more mashed potato to cover the rest and shape the devils
  • Prepare the devils
  • Beat the egg with some pepper and salt. Either make a batter by adding the flour or just use the egg for dipping.
  • Heat oil in a wok/pan for deep frying
  • Dip the devils in the egg or egg batter, roll in the bread crumbs and deep fry on medium heat
  • Keeping the heat at medium, turn the devils so they are evenly cooked
  • Once cooked on both sides, remove from the pan and drain the excess oil
  • Serve with sauce or some onion & coriander garnish

Some alternates:

  • Instead of garam masala some herbs like dry oregano or a mix of dried herbs can be used
  • Seasoning the bread crumbs with herbs, lemon zest and pepper is a great idea
  • Pepper powder of course can be used in place or chili powder
  • Shallow frying instead of deep frying or baking with a generous hit of cooking spray
  • Lime juice can be added to the potatoes to cut some of the heaviness

Bread Pakora

Bread Pakoda

Bread Pakoda

Bread pakora or Bread Bajjis are probably the easiest snack that can be made. The bread slices are dipped in a batter made of gram flour and  deep fried. The minimum preparation time makes this an ideal go to emergency snack.

Bread Pakoda Batter

 Mix all the ingredients and water to make a loose batter

Bread Slices

Cut the bread slice into desired shape.

Bread Pakoda dip

Dip the bread slices in the batter before deep frying

Bread pakoda fry

Deep fry the batter dipped bread slices.

Bread Pakoda2

Drain on absorbent paper

Recipe…

Ribbon Pakoda

Ribbon Pakoda

Ribbon pakodas are thin, deep fried, spicy and crispy snack. The shape of the crispy pakoda is due to the tiny plate used in the press. The ribbon shape makes the pakodas crispy and crunchy. An ideal tea time snack which can be stored for a few days in an air tight container.

Plate

The plate used in the press for the ribbon pakodas. The dough is pressed out of this plate and the cuts on the plate shape the dough into ribbons.

Press

The press shapes the pakodas by pushing the dough out through the plate.

Ribbon_Mix

The dry ingredients are mixed to form

Ribbon_Dough

The dough is formed by adding butter and some water

the press 2

Load the dough into the press

Ribbon_Fry

Pressure is applied on the press over hot oil to deep fry the pakodas

Ribbon_Pakoda2

Click for the recipe…

Maddur Vada

I have been traveling to the city of Bangalore since I was a kid along with mom and the food from Karnataka is quite special to me.  A lot has changed in the city over the years but the local food is still supreme. Maddur vada is one the many veggie snacks to gorge on. I got a chance to visit the city of origin, Madduru in Karnataka and had the authentic vadas. Even now mom bringing a s pack when ever travels to Bangalore.

Making the vada is really simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. To me, it is almost instant vada as the prep time is quite less compared to making other vadas. Maddur Vadas do pull in a lot of oil, so it is a little lighter than most other deep fried snacks. So the three main steps after the prep is:

MIX: Shape: Fry

Mix the flours and then all the other ingredients. Some hot oil is poured on the flour while mixing

Shape the vadas into discs. Banana leaf or a plastic film comes really handy while shaping the vadas

Deep fry in hot oil

Refined flour or maida is used to bind the vadas. I have tried using gram flour or besan as a substitute and the taste is still the same. Moisture is the key to consistency. If you mix and let the ingredients sit then there will be some moisture from the onions, curry leaves and green chillis that will seep into the vada mix. So add very small quantities of water so that you can make a tight batter and shape the vadas. If you are going to mix all the ingredients and fry the vadas at a later time, then don’t add water and let it sit. Check the consistency before frying and add little water, if needed.

Maddur vada ingredients 1

Rice flour, semolina and plain flour

Maddur vada ingredients 2

Chopped onions and green chilies

Maddur vada ingredients 3

With chopped curry leaves

Maddur vada shaping

Shaping the vadas on plastic sheet

20140125_185925Maddur vada ifry

Deep frying the vadas

The Vada recipe

Grilled Brown Bread Carrot Sandwich

Grilled Carrot Sandwich

My mom used to make these delicious grilled sandwiches with had stuffing made of grated carrots inside it. The stuffing is made by frying grated carrot with onions, mustard seeds, green chilies and mint leaves. Use butter or cheese on the bread slices and place the stuffing in between. We had this old sandwich toaster, which opened up into a long L-shape. We could load one sandwich at a time and place it directly on the flame. You always had to be careful and attentive so that it never got burnt. As it wasn’t non-stick we had to use oil or butter to prevent the sandwich from sticking to the grill. The taste was amazing the slightly burnt bread with the smell of melting butter on it.

I am making the same sandwich on a some what fancier grill. I am using brown bread as the taste of brown bread goes well with the carrot stuffing.Although it is a non-stick grill surface I am still going to apply some butter on the outer side of the sandwich also so that I get the taste of the butter and the slightly burnt color on the sandwich. Applying butter between the slices gives a rich taste. Cheese(spread or slices or pieces) or mayo or sandwich spreads can also be used.

Grilled Carrot Ing

 The ingredients: onions, mint leaves, chilies and grated carrot

Grated carrotFinely grate the carrots so that they cook easily and take in the mint and mustard seeds flavor

Grilled Carrot Stuffing1Fry the onions, chillies and mint leaves

Grilled Carrot Stuffing 2Add in the carrots and cook

GrillStuff the sandwiches and apply butter on the outer side to get the smell and taste of melting butter

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Namak Para

Namak Para

Instead of shopping for snacks this weekend, I decided to make some weekend snack. This time I decided to make Namak para, a crispy and crunchy team time snack. The ingredients are easily available and all you have to do is knead a stiff dough. Roll out flat chappati like circles and cut out small biscuits.

Namak Para Ingredients 1

Mix all the ingredients together

Namak Para Ingredients 2

Add hot oil

Namak Para dough

Knead a stiff dough

Namak Para flat

Roll out flat rounds with a rolling pin

Namak Para cut 1

Make vertical cuts with a knife

Namak Para cuts 2

Make diagonal cuts

Namak Para biscuits

Take out the biscuits

Namak Para fry

Fry in hot oil

Namak Para

Drain on an absorbent paper

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