Archive for the ‘Snack’ Category

Guacamole

Posted: February 25, 2013 by incidentalcooksuman in Snack
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Guacamole

I remember having guacamole for the first time in some restaurant and to be honest I didn’t like it much. It was recent that I started making guacamole for hubby’s evening snack and fell in love with this dip. That doesn’t mean I love avocados.  I just like avocados in guacamole and that too made my way with lots of fresh grated garlic and lime juice.

There are lots of different ways to make guacamole. I make my guacamole with, ‘ The secret ingredient’ , yep you guessed it,  garlic. In my opinion, its one of the simple and delicious recipe – although you can feel free to experiment with other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Thai green chilli, seeded, ribbed, and finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

 Method:

  • Split the avocados and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash with a fork or back of spoon lightly. Leave some chunks of avocados here and there.
  • Stir in the onion, cilantro,  chopped chillies, lime juice, salt, and gently stir all together.  Adjust seasoning to your taste.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped red onions.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Guacamole

My Notes:

I usually prepare guacamole and store in fridge prior to serving. Don’t toss out the avocado pits, instead toss them back into the finished guacamole and hide in center. They will help to keep your guacamole from turning brown.

Use ripen avocado for guacamole. Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe. For speeding ripening process, place the fruit in brown paper bag in a cool, dark place.

How to get fruit/pulp out of Avocado skin?

Take a sharp knife and cut all the way around the avocado (the long way).  Gently twist it and it will come apart into two pieces. On the half part (without a pit) – use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. Use a sharp knife to tap into the pit lightly, twist it and it will come right out of the avocado. Then you can scoop out the flesh from the other half.

Advertisements
Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

We ate this delicious dish of chhole at my sister-in-law’s place , when we were visiting home early this year. Obviously, I asked her for the recipe. It was a simple recipe, using our usual ingredients – garlic, ginger and some indian spices all cooked together with chhole. She served this pindi channa with hot pooris, all puffed up and straight out from the kadai along with fresh homemade dahi(yogurt) and punjabi mango pickle -a typical punjabi breakfast.

I always admire her cooking skills. She loves cooking and make flavorful and delicious dishes in matter of minutes. Whenever she is around, I don’t worry about food or making dishes. She takes care of everything so smoothly and deliciously.

Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Ingredients:

For boiling chickpeas:

  • 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 tea bag
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • salt to taste

For tadka:

  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chill, defined and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp  chhole masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak dried chick peas overnight in enough water to cover the legumes.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse it once or twice. Add enough water to cover it by an inch and add all the spices along with the tea bag. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles or cook in a salted water until the chick peas is soft and tender.
  • Once done, drain all the water from chana and discard the whole spices and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaves and let it get brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Add rest of the spices and cook for 3-4 minutes without burning the masala.
  • Add the boiled chickpeas and stir well so that everything is evenly coated with masala. Let it cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chopped onions. Serve along with poori, paratha or just as a snack, in either way it’s delicious!
Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Dabeli Paav/Pao

Dabeli Paav/Pao

To be honest I have never tasted dabeli back home. First time I have tried this delicious snack at my friend’s house last year in christmas. Then, I found dabeli masala at Indian grocery store and got an excuse to try this at home.

Dabeli is a Gujarati word which literally means pressed, and Pav/Pao is an hindi term for dinner rolls. It’s a street food commonly found in Mumbai. A mix of spicy, tart potato filling pressed in between a butter-toasted bun which is smeared with tamarind-date chutney and chilli-garlic chutney and topped with spicy roasted peanuts, grapes, sev and coriander leaves. The crunchiness of the spicy peanuts, the unexpected burst of sweet and tart grapes and the heat from the chilli-garlic chutney,all delicious in one bite…You’ll definitely have a hard time eating just one or two. It is an incredibly delicious and addictive snack, and on top of it, this one is little bit healthy too!! Because I have made the buns at home with whole wheat flour/atta. Will post the recipe soon for the same.

Don’t get intimated by the long list and process, it just mix, garnish and serve, provided you keep everything ready in advance. Most of the ingredients are easily available at any indian grocery store. Even you can find chilli-garlic chutney and tamarind-date chutney in the freezer aisle. But me being me, made everything at home except the sev and growing up the vegetable..:)

Spicy and tangy potato filling!!!

Spicy and tangy potato filling!!!

Ingredients:

For the potato filling:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp dabeli masala
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/4 cup grapes, cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, you can taste and adjust accordingly
  • salt to taste

For the chilli- garlic chutney

  • 3 red dried chilies, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then remove the seeds(microwave it for 1 minute on high and then keep it aside)
  • 7-8 garlic pods
  • 2 shallots/pearl onions, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of sugar

Grind all the above ingredients in a blender to a smooth paste, add little water for consistency. Keep this aside.

For Tamarind-Date Chutney

  • 1/2 cup dried ripe tamarind, soak in 1 1/2 cups of hot water
  • 12 fresh large dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
Chilli-Garlic Chutney and Tamarind-date Chutney!!!

Chilli-Garlic Chutney and Tamarind-date Chutney!!!

Method:

  • Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of hot water and microwave it for 30 seconds – 1 minutes and set aside.
  • Once cool, squeeze the tamarind with your fingers to extract all the pulp, discard the fibre and seeds. Add the thick tamarind liquid to the dates and puree this mixture to a fine paste using a blender adding little water if needed.
  • Strain through a sieve and pour this tamarind-date paste into the sauce pan and add brown sugar, red chill powder, cumin powder, dry ginger powder and salt to taste and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chutney thickens little bit.
  • Let it cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use when needed.

For serving dabeli Pao/Pav

  • 6 pav or dinner rolls, sliced and lightly roasted in butter
  • 1/2 cup masala peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fine sev
  • 1/2 cup green grapes, cut in halves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • garlic chutney as required
  •  tamarind dates chutney as required

Method:

  • Boil the potatoes in pressure cooker, peel and mash them. To the mashed potatoes add dabeli masala, lemon juice and salt to taste and mix everything well. Keep this aside.
  • Heat a pan with oil, add cumin seeds and let it get brown. Then add chopped onions, asfetodia and sauté until it turns light brown in color. Add the above potato mixture to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning.
  • Transfer the potato filling on a serving platter, garnish with chopped coriander leaves, chopped red onions, green grapes, masala peanuts. Potato stuffing is ready.

For assembling:

  • Cut the bun in halves.Lightly toast the buns facing the white side down with a little butter or oil.
  • Then, spread chill-garlic chutney on one side of bun and tamarind-date chutney on the other side of the bun.
  • Cut a slice from potato filling and place it on top of chilli-garlic chutney on the bun.
  • Sprinkle some chopped onions, peanuts, grapes, coriander leaves and sev on top. 
  • Top it with the other half of the bun and serve!
  • Follow the same steps to assemble the rest of the buns. 
Ready to eat Dabeli Paav...

Ready to eat Dabeli Paav…

After my homemade granola success, I was in a mood to try my hands on some chewy, nutritious granola bars. I often want a breakfast that’s healthy and filling. But these are not just for breakfast or for a brunch , I enjoyed many of these bars with a cup of tea for my evening snack. These granola bars are perfect treat to take along when going for a bike riding or for a long walk. No doubt this is delicious and healthy treat to devour without even feeling guilty.

Hubby and I are OBSESSED like, a box a week obsessed with Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars.  So, I wanted to have a homemade alternative. Again, like homemade granola this recipe is so easy to make. Plus you can customize it according to your liking. And homemade is the best way, right? So, go ahead and try this tasty, healthy treat for yourself…

Ingredients:

Recipe Adapted from: http://www.joyfulabode.com/

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2  cup honey
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of cinnamon

Method:

  • Start with 1/2 cup of almonds, walnuts and old-fashioned oats and dump everything into a food processor and process the ingredients until they are coarsely ground. Be careful not to powdered the ingredients, we need small bite sizes pieces which make the bars more dense and help them stick together.
  • Roughly chop the remaining nuts, then mix all these with the above mixture.
  • Add remaining old-fashioned oats, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, honey, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour over nut mixture and stir well.
  • Transfer the granola mixture to a greased 9 by 9-inch baking dish lined with plastic wrap (cling foil) hanging to the sides and press firmly to evenly fill. Gently press the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola. Let the granola mixture set in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 to 3 hours minimum, or a day before cutting into squares(or desired shapes).
  • Wrap individual granola bars in cling foil and store in refrigerator. Have this for breakfast with a glass of smoothie or as a snack. Enjoy!

Pani Poori…the name itself is enough for me to start craving some. It is THE MOST famous street food of India..Every Indian has grown up on this savoury fast food and everyone has their own favorite Pani poori wala. There are many variations of pani poori and they are the named according to their stuffing like  dahi poori, ragda poori, sev poori, batata poori and the list goes on. Poori is nothing but a crunchy-round-crispy shell which is filled with stuffing and then dip in the tangy-sweet-spicy pani(Water).

I remember going in group of friends or family to eat this. And at the pani poori wala you will see groups of women or men savouring this snack. I am always amazed to see how the pani poori wala’s serve this I mean they will ask each one of us the preference like the spice level, the stuffing and rest of the things and you will stand next to each other and he will start serving. Even when he is serving to two or three groups, he will remember the preference and always keep count of poori’s and within minutes he will say do you want me to start the second round. And you would wonder, did he get the count right.

Pani Poori

Pani Poori

It’s always fun to eat this snack and having pani poori can totally refresh your mood. Hanging out with friends or family and gulping down pani poori one after the other is the joyful moment.  This is so addictive, you just cannot have enough of it.

Some people likes potato as the major stuffing ingredient, some sprouts, some boiled chick peas and some go for boiled white peas. I personally likes the potato and sprout stuffing as I feel that it tastes better than anything else. So choose the stuffing to your liking and enjoy…!!

Pani Poori

Ingredients:

Poori:

  • 1/4 cup Semolina
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Pani:

  • Green chutney
  • Tamarind Date chutney
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt( kala Namak)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 1/4 cup boondi (optional)

For Green chutney:

  •  2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger, outer skin removed

For Tamarind Date chutney:

  • 1 cup tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup light brown sugar( adjust according to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Stuffing:

  • 1 cup sprouts green moong
  • 1 large potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds powder

Pani Poori

Method:

Making Poori:

  • Mix semolina, all-purpose flour and salt. By adding water slowly, knead well to make a soft dough. Cover the dough with clean wet kitchen towel for about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into fifty marble-sized balls and roll each ball into a disk about 2 inch in diameter. Place each disk on a damp cloth and cover with another damp cloth soon after rolling. Repeat to complete the rest of the balls.
  • Heat oil in a deep skillet. Once the oil is heated enough, check by dropping a pinch of dough in it and it should come on the surface without getting browned.
  • Deep fry these disks, slightly pressing them  with a spoon, until they puff up and are golden brown.
  • When the first disk puff up, add another and again help it to puff up, like this you can add 5-6 poori’s at a time. Deep fry both the sides.
  • Place the puffed poori’s on a paper towel so that excess oil is absorbed.Repeat to complete the rest.
  • Cool the poori’s down to room temperature. Keep aside.
  • If you making poori’s  a day or two ahead, it might not feel crunchy after few days…so just preheat the oven to 400 deg and keep the poori’s on a cookie sheet in a single layer for 6-7 minutes at the max. 

For Green chutney:

  • Grind the mint, ginger & green chillies into a paste using a blender. Keep it aside.

For tamarind chuntey:

  • Add dates to the tamarind pulp and place them in a saucepan. Also add the brown sugar, red chilli powder, salt, 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Blend this mixture in a blender and add more water to loosen the consistency. On top add roasted cumin seeds powder and mix everything well.
  • Meanwhile, boil the chick peas till they are soft enough and allow it to cool.
  • I have used the sprouts raw. I just love that way.
  • Cook the potatoes and mash them by adding a pinch of salt, red chilli powder and roasted cumin seeds powder.

Making Pani:

  • Take 4 cups of water. Add two 3 tablespoons of green chutney and 3 tablespoon of tamarind date chutney. Now taste a spoonful of this water because this is when you would be balancing the saltiness and the tanginess of the herb & spice water.
  • Add salt gradually, until it suits to your taste. Also, add 1/2 teaspoon of black salt(kala namak), 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala and cumin powder. Keep tasting the water and add salt according to your taste.
  • Add lemon juice to the water, until you reach the desired tartness.
  • Since the tartness and the saltines vary according to personal choices, you will have to add these little by little and taste  often.
  • Pour into a juice bottle and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  • Strain using a sieve just before serving. This helps get rid of any spice residues which are not needed now.
  • In the end add boondi to the water and start serving!

How to Serve:

  • Make a small hole in the center of each puri by gently pressing your thumb at the center.
  • Add a small quantity of the mashed potatoes which forms the stuffing, sprouts, 2-3 chickpeas,little tamarind chutney.
  • Dip each puri in pani until it is full and gulp down.
...ready to gulp  it down!!

...ready to gulp it down!!

Nan Khatai Part II

Posted: May 18, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Baking, Indian Food, Snack
Tags: , , , , ,

Yep you read it correctly, I am posting another recipe for Nan Khatai. Last year when we were visiting home, hubby’s cousin got a big box of biscuit which was so soft, light yellow color, eggless, buttery and sprinkle with pistachios and almond flakes on top. Both of us were addicted to that cookies until we finish it off completely from the box. We were planning to carry couple of boxes of that while returning back. But we didn’t get time to visit the store which was in some other city. That cookies were so good that whenever we talk about any cookies the first and only taste we used to imagine was of it.

Hence we googled the recipe for some best nan khatai biscuits. The previous Nan khatai recipe was the result for that but still I was not satisfied with the taste which we had with that biscuit. So, again the search began and i think we came very close to the taste which we were visualizing. Hubby was saying after tasting one biscuit..ahh that is it..but he said the same thing when he tasted the biscuits from the Part I recipe too.. 🙂

Nan Khatai

Nan Khatai

Ingredients:

  •  1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup semolina
  •  1/2 cup gram flour
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1/4 cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

For topping:

  •  1 tablespoon sliced almond
  •  1 tablespoon sliced pistachio
  •  1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Nan Khatai

Nan Khatai

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix the ingredients under topping and keep it aside for later use.
  • Sift flour, semolina, gram flour, cardamom powder and baking soda  in a medium bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Line two baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the dry ingredients and  knead them together to make smooth  and soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into about 20 equal parts and make them into balls.
  • Flatten balls between the palms of your hands to form small rounds about 1″ (inch) in thickness. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • With your thumb finger make a little depression in the centre of each cookie and place the pistachio and cardamom mixture in it.Lightly press the mixture in dough.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.
  • Bake one sheet at a time for perfectly baked biscuits.
  • Store biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea!
Nan Khatai

Nan Khatai

Recipe Adapted from: Manjula’s kitchen

I think every one is familiar with samosa, one of the most loved and enjoyed snack of every Indian. Chaat is a street food very popular in India, there are different types of chaat. Basically chaat is a plate of savoury snack which has a base of some fried dough top with chutney and some other ingredients and masala. The common ingredients in the chaat is yogurt, tamarind chutney, green chutney, chaat masala, red chilli powder, kala namak, red chilli powder and some greens to garnish the plate. Chaat is something you can’t say no to, the name itself makes you crave for it.

Last week when we were dinning out in one of the indian restaurant, hubby ordered samosa chaat as an appetizer and it was not as good as it should be. Hence without any second thought I made this and the verdict was amazingly delicious. You can decide just looking at the pics how amazing it was!

Samosa (Click here for the recipe)

Chhole Masala Gravy ( Click here for the recipe)

Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

To serve:

  • 6 samosas
  • Chhole Masala Gravy
  • Tamarind date chutney
  • Mint chutney
  • Chaat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt/kala namak
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup yogurt and salt beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine sev
  • Dried cranberries for garnishing
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Method:

  • Take a serving plate, place two samosa on it, mash or poke the same lightly.
  • Pour a ladle full of chhole masala on top of samosa. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and onions on top.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of mint chutney and sweet tamarind date chutney and yogurt on top of this.
  • Sprinkle black salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala.
  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves, cilantro leaves, dried cranberries and sev.
  • Serve hot!
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat