Paneer er Chop (Cottage Cheese Croquettes/ Cutlets)

Croquettes are referred to as fried snacks coated with breadcrumbs. The stuffing can be made of either vegetables, cheese, fish or meat. These kind of snacks are pretty popular among Bengalis and we usually call them ‘chop’ or ‘cutlets’. You will find a few cutlet recipes in my earlier posts, which are given here.

In the current recipe, I have chosen paneer or the Indian Cottage Cheese  as the stuffing since it is extremely popular among vegetarians. I love the soft, crumbly texture of paneer in my mouth with each bite. Icing on the top is the flavour of coriander leaves in the stuffing, symbolizing the onset of winter. Without using variety of spices, the garam masala solely creates the magic.

While one has to be careful while frying the croquettes which is the only tricky part, however, with a few handful ingredients a tasty snack will be ready within minutes.

Paneer er Chop (Cottage Chheese Croquettes/ Cutlets)

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Methi Mathri

Mathri is the famous Rajasthani namkeen aka savoury snack, I came to know about while staying here in Delhi. In fact it is hugely popular in northern India and served at marriages and pujas. It has some basic similarities with Nimkee, the quintessential bengali namkeen.

Here I prepared a special kind of ‘mathri’ having some additional ingredients like methi (fenugreek leaves) and various spices. Produced in heaps, mathri can be best enjoyed with tea or served with pickle. Don’t mind if it is a bit oily since the taste is simply unbeatable and the extra oil surely can be soaked out with a tissue underneath.

Methi Mathri

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Dahi Vada

After a long sabbatical of almost three months, I again find my calling here to share with you a well known snack “Dahi Vada”. Originated sometimes during the 12th century, in the present day Karnataka, as Dahi Vada kept on making fans all over India, it can hardly be called a South Indian Snack. Found in every corner of India these days, Dahi Vada plays a multi-purpose role, from being a filler to starter and from a party dish to a road-side delight. I am also in sheer love with this fried dumpling of lentils dunked in yogurt with a topping of bhujia. An absolute pleasure sharing this recipe.

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada

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Savoury Curried Bites

I just love to have cheeses without looking at my weight meter 😛 . While returning from Europe I brought a large chunk of Cheddar cheese which I bought from cheese factory in Netherlands. I utilize the cheese in many a dishes, one of my favourites among those is the ‘savoury curried bites’. These are basically savoury biscuits with richness of cheese and flavoured with spices. It highly satisfies ones need for tasty teatime snacks.

Savoury Curried Bites

Savoury Curried Bites

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Mung daler bhaja puli

Mung Daler Bhaja Puli is a special preparation for Makar Sankranti or Poush Parbon, as celebrated in Bengal. Last year also I posted few recipes on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, such as Sedhyo Pithe, Dudh Puli, Patishapta, however this year quite late I am. But that does not bar me from sharing this tempting recipe. Bhaja (means fried) puli is also a departure from my previous recipes as it is not only sweet but savoury as well. That’s why it could be served as snacks with surprise of sweetness inside. Each bite of fried mung dal cover and sweet coconut filling brings in a heavenly feeling.

Mung Daler Bhaja Puli

Mung Daler Bhaja Puli

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Alur Chop or Potato Frites

Alur chop is perhaps the most quintessential street-side snack in Kolkata. Perhaps the most common as well, among all the Pakoras or “Chop”s as known in Bangla, it can’t be separated from Bengali identity. However, being so common and available at every other snack vendors, it is taken granted and hardly anyone feels the urge to prepare at home. I felt the urge dearly; since being away from Kolkata for so many years now, missing the good old Alur chop is quite obvious. The recipe comes here, though a bit late, as I have been preparing it for quite some time now. It is time to rekindle the love again.

Alur Chop or Potato Frites

Alur Chop or Potato Frites

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Soya Nugget Kebab

Quite in the same line of Shami Kebab, which I have shared with you earlier, here I present a completely vegetarian counterpart, made of Soya nuggets and can proudly be called Soya Nugget Kebab. I have always felt that Soya nugget is a perfect foil for meat and can give the latter a run for its money, if prepared rich with generous amount of spices. Then I thought as the word ‘Kebab’ always sounds meaty, why not give it a vegetarian version with the good old soya nuggets? The result is as delightful as ever and serves as a great appetizer, snacks or whatever you like to call it. Kebab is not any longer the monopoly of flesh eaters 🙂

Soya Nugget Kebabs

Soya Nugget Kebabs

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Vegetable Upma/Nonta Suji

It has always been our priority to start a day with healthy breakfast. At the same time, these days, leading fast lives, we can’t afford to go for a lengthy recipe. Although our taste bud always look for something different from regular bread and butter. Vegetable Upma, a savoury dish mainly with semolina and few vegetables, would be a great option for a healthy yet tasty breakfast. Althoug a South Indian delicacy, it is quite similar to our daily food and we Bengalis often call it “Nonta Suji”, ‘nonta’ means savoury and ‘suji’ stands for semolina. My mother used to make it often for breakfast and even for lunch during my school days. The present recipe is very simple and pretty similar to the usual upma recipe. So have it and stay healthy 🙂

Vegetable Upma or Nonta Suji

Vegetable Upma or Nonta Suji

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Aloo Tikki

Aloo Tikki is a very popular, easy to make tea time snack. Basically it is nothing but a fried spicy potato ball given a flat kebab like shape. You can come up with the Aloo tikki literary in no time with ingredients that are generally available at our kitchen. It proves that the best snacks do not always demand whole of your time and energy, but a little bit of creativity.

Aloo Tikki

Aloo Tikki

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Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

I am very fond of stuffed foods and often keep experimenting on them. They can be served well as  quick handy snacks and even as appetizer before settling into the main dishes. Earlier I shared with you one such recipe of Stuffed Mushrooms. Now It is the turn for stuffed tomatoes. I have so far found some Greek recipes where tomatoes get stuffed with meat minces. Here instead I give it a complete vegetarian treatment and fill the tomatoes with mushrooms, corns and cheese. Hope you will like it.

Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

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Chilli Cheese Nuggets

Chilli cheese nuggets used to be my favourite snack while I was living in Germany. There it was readily available in supermarkets to be baked into oven. Here in Netherlands, though one can find different croquettes with cheese, meat or vegetables, chilli cheese nuggets seem to be missing. So to reinstate the taste of melting cheese in my mouth with crispy fried breadcrumb coating, I thought to give it a try at home.

Selection of proper cheese for this recipe was a challenge at the beginning. Netherlands is a heaven for cheese lovers and one is amused to find the vast collection of cheeses here. Initially I tried this recipe with good quality cheeses but without much success. Finally I succeeded with “processed cheese”. The emulsifying salts, present in processed cheese, results in a product that melts without separating when cooked. However for natural cheeses (especially cheddar and mozzarella), they tend to separate into a lumpy, molten protein gel & liquid fat combination with prolonged heating, which is not desirable for this recipe. Rest of the process was rather simple and easy to be followed. You can enjoy this mouth-watering snack with a hot cup of tea/coffee.

Chilli cheese nugget

Chilli cheese nugget

Ingredients for 60 pieces. :

  1. Processed cheese slices – 400 gm.
  2. Big chilli or Jalapeno – 3
  3. Egg – 3
  4. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  5. Paprika – ½ teaspoon
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Breadcrumbs to coat
  8. Oil for deep-frying

Procedure :

Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop them.

Chopping the chillies

Chopping the chillies

Roughly chop the cheese slices and transfer to a heat proof bowl or steel pan. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and heat until melted completely to liquid, stir occasionally.

Cheese slices

Cheese slices

Liquid cheese

Liquid cheese

Remove it from the heat and stir in the chopped chillies.

Now line the bottom and sides of a square/rectangular shape plastic box with cling film and transfer the liquid cheese mixture into it, smooth the top.

Mixing chopped chili with liquid cheese

Mixing chopped chillies with liquid cheese

Cheese mixture ready to go into the refrigerator

Cheese mixture, ready to go into the refrigerator

Chill it in the refrigerator for 3 hours to form a cheese block.

Now cut the cheese block into cubes of your desired size.

Beat eggs in a bowl, mix salt, pepper and paprika.

Cheese block

Cheese block

Cheese block cut into cubes

Cheese block cut into cubes

Dip cheese cubes in egg mixture and then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat the process once more and chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.

Nuggets are ready tor fry

Nuggets are ready to fry

Heat sufficient oil over medium-high heat and deep fry the nuggets.

Transfer to a paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot.

Hot chilli cheese nuggets are ready to be served

Hot chilli cheese nuggets are ready to be served

Note :

  1. Chilli cheese nuggets can’t be baked in oven. In that case cheese will melt fast while the outer coating will remain uncooked. But you can shallow fry the nuggets uniformly instead of deep-frying.
  2. You can shallow fry the nuggets and refrigerate them in an air tight container or plastic bag for a long. Take them out from the refrigerator  and bake in the oven when needed.
  3. If you want to make the dish completely vegetarian then make a flour/cornflour batter instead of egg.

Aubergine & Pesto Tartlets

I love to try different recipes for evening snacks. Generally, you cant afford to experiment much over  lunch and dinner all the time. So I put most of my experimental skills at test on either preparing evening snacks or on baking.

Today I am sharing another recipe from my cute baking book, which is a bit different still appropriate to have in the evening.

Here in Europe, I discovered the “Puff pastry sheet” which is quite amazing in its multipurpose utility to make a large variety of savoury as well as sweet dishes. It is readily available in the freezer section of all the super markets although one can prepare at home too. If not exactly the “Puff pastry sheet”, still something similar is used to make the layered coating  of veg & non-veg patties in India as well. Although I often prepare these patties with the pastry sheets, the current recipe tells the story of an experimentation with pesto sauce, aubergine and cheese. The food is light, munch and tasty and perfect to impress your guests.

Aubergine & Pesto tartlet

Aubergine & Pesto tartlet

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Ready-made puff pastry sheet – 85 gm.
  2. Aubergines/Bringels (trimmed and thinly sliced) – 8 slices
  3. Olive oil – 2 tbspoon
  4. Mozzarella cheese (sliced) – 1 (150 gm.)
  5. Pesto – 2 tbspoon
  6. Egg yolk – 1
  7. Salt & Crushed black pepper

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

Procedure :

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into either circles or rectangles, then place on baking sheets. (I used two 12 cm. square sheets and roll them out to12 x 15 cm. rectangles.)

Brush the aubergine slices with 1 tbspoon of olive oil and cook briefly in a non-stick frying pan. Then arrange the slices neatly overlapping on each dough base, leaving a 2.5 cm./1 inch margin along the edges. Lay the mozzarella slices over the aubergine slices and spoon over the pesto. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the edges of the dough with egg yolk.

Ready to go into the oven

Ready to go into the oven

Bake in a preheated oven, 190ºC/375ºF, for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Note :

  1. If you don’t find any ready-made puff pastry sheet, then you can also prepare it at home. There are a number of videos in you tube for this recipe. Follow any one of them.
  2. I have used ready-made Pesto available in market. You can also prepare it at home. Follow Pesto recipe under “Useful Supplementary” tab.
  3. Any cheese instead of mozzarella would be fine.
  4. To make the dish completely vegetarian skip egg wash and use milk instead.

 

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms, although often undermined by skeptics as a poor vegetarian substitute, in actual can be used in multiple culinary dishes as supplementary and even as main curry ingredient. Mushrooms can readily be made into tasty snacks as well almost in no time. When I run out of ideas on evening snacks, handy mushrooms often fill the void. This recipe talks about one of the grilled mushroom appetizers where the big hollow mushroom belly is stuffed with bread minces. Hope you will like it and add this recipe to your cooking repertoire.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients for 9 pieces :

  1. Button mushrooms – 9
  2. Bread Slice -1
  3. Finely grated garlic – 2 cloves
  4. Grated Parmesan cheese – 3 to 4 tbspoon
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Crushed black pepper – 1 teaspoon
  7. Chopped parsley leaf – 3 tbspoon
  8. Olive oil

Procedure :

Wash the mushrooms with lukewarm water and then remove their stems. Don’t throw away the stems, they are completely edible and they will be used for stuffing.

Now with a small spoon scrape off the side & the inside of the mushrooms and make a pocket or hole for stuffing.

Collect the fragments of mushrooms, after making the pocket, and chop finely along with the stem of it.

Remove the brown border of the bread slice and make fresh breadcrumbs from it in a blender. (You can chop the bread with a sharp knife also.)

Now mix well chopped mushrooms, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, chopped parsley, grated garlic, crushed pepper, 2 tbspoon of olive oil and pinch of salt to make the filling.

Now line the baking tray with an aluminum foil and grease with olive oil. Also lightly grease the mushrooms with olive oil.

Now start filling the mushroom pockets with the prepared filling.

Stuffing the mushrooms

Stuffing the mushrooms

At the end drizzle some olive oil at their top.

Mushrooms are ready to go into the oven

Mushrooms are ready to go into the oven

Now bake it in a preheated oven at 200ºC/400ºF for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns brown.

End product

End product

Serve hot.

Enjoy. 🙂

Note :

  1. Don’t add much salt in the filling as it contains cheese which is a salty ingredient.
  2. If you don’t found Parmesan cheese then use any good quality cheese.
  3. You can also use coriander leaves instead of parsley.

 

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada or Stuffed Chilli Fry

Don’t get afraid going by the name of ‘Mirchi Vada’ as in reality it is not that hot which you can’t manage. Mirchi Vada in fact is quite a popular snack in Rajasthan and across South India. The jumbo sized chillies used for this snack are lot milder than the usual small green chillies and almost taste like capsicums.

Here, although I have often come across the big chillies in market specially in Turkish and Moroccan shops, I never gave it a thought to experiment with them. However, once when one of my friends talked about the fry she makes out of the big chillies, it suddenly brought the image of ‘Mirchi Vada’ to my mind. Since the chillies are quite long in shape, I thought that it would be a nice idea to stuff them before frying.  Although, I knew that the stuffed mirchi vada is made in Rajasthan, still had no clue about the filling. Youtube again came to the rescue and I found this nice recipe which I happily share with you.

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Ingredients for 4 pieces :

  1. Big chillies  – 4
  2. Boiled potato – 2
  3. Chopped Coriander leaves – 2  heaped tbspoon
  4. Chopped green chilli – 1 or 2
  5. Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Pinch of Asafoetida
  8. Chat masala – ½ teaspoon
  9. Fennel seed – 1 tbspoon
  10. Besan or Chickpeas flour – 5 to 6 tbspoon
  11. Pinch of baking soda (optional)
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil for deep frying

Procedure :

Dry roast the fennel seeds on a tawa and then roll it with a rolling pin on a flat worked surface to make half dust of it.

Mash the boiled potato fine and mix with roasted fennel, chopped green chillies, coriander leaves, coriander powder, red chilli powder (½ teaspoon), chat masala, asafoetida and salt. Keep this spicy potato mixture aside.

Now take the besan in a big bowl. Add pinch of salt, baking soda and the remaining red chilli powder into it before mixing them well. Now add little amount of water at a time and make a thick and lump free batter. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the big chillies and make a slit in the chillies with a sharp knife. Remove its seeds carefully with the help of a small spoon.

Now fill each chilli tightly with the spicy potato mixture.

Stuffed chillies

Stuffed chillies

Dip the stuffed chillies into the batter and deep fry in sufficient amount of oil over low heat.

Transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Mirch vada is ready to be served

Mirch vada is ready to be served

 Enjoy the “mirchi vada” with green chutnye and a cup of tea 🙂

Note :

  1. Fry the chillies on low heat otherwise the chillies will no be cooked.
  2. While making the batter, add water little at a time otherwise it will be difficult for you to make a lump free batter.

Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets

Cakes and pastries come into my mind first whenever I think about baking whereas my small cute book of baking provides me recipes with a range a savoury items as well apart from sweet ones.

In Europe, particularly in Netherlands, you will be flooded with a variety of cheeses among which Gouda and Edam are most popular. The use of cheese in a dish enhances its richness and taste. In fact none of Italian dishes are imaginable without cheese.

The present recipe of savoury tartlets is pretty much interesting for the cheese sauce filling. Here the cheese sauce is made of Cheddar cheese, a particular form of cheese originated from a small town called Cheddar, in Somerset, UK. With a single bite in the tartlets, a miniature form of tarts, one can feel the melted warm cheese with a taste of sourness coming from the tiny cherry tomatoes.

Cherry tomato and poppy seeds tartlets

Cherry tomato and poppy seeds tartlets

Ingredients to serve 12 :

For pastry :

  1. Plain flour – 200 gm.
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. Cold butter, cut into pieces – 100 gm.
  4. Poppy seed – 2 teaspoon
  5. Cold water

For filling :

  1. Cherry tomato – 24
  2. Olive oil – 1 tbspoon
  3. Unsalted butter – 2 tbspoon
  4. Plain flour – 2 tbspoon
  5. Milk – 250 ml.
  6. Mature Cheddar cheese – 50 gm.
  7. Cream cheese – 100 gm.
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. Fresh basil leaves to garnish

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

Procedure :

Lightly grease a 7.5 cm/3 inch muffin tin (6 or 12 cups).

Sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also do it by hand without using any food precessor.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the poppy seeds and just enough cold water to bring the dough together.

Now divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them out, on a floured work surface, into 12 cm./4½ inch diameter circles. [Alternatively cut the dough in half. Roll out the first piece and cut out six 9 cm/3½ inch circles. Roll out each circles to a 12 cm./4½ inch diameter. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.] I follow the first procedure.

Now press these circles into the muffin cups.

Muffin tin filled with pastry dough

Muffin tin filled with pastry dough

Put a piece of baking paper in each cup and fill with dried beans. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake blind for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC, then remove the paper and beans.

Put the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 5 minutes.

Cherry tomatoes are ready to go into the oven

Cherry tomatoes are ready to go into the oven

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring, and cook for further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheeses until well combined.

Put 2 tomatoes in each tart case and spoon in the cheese sauce, then put back into the oven for 15 minutes.

Just taken out from the oven

Just taken out from the oven

Remove from the oven and top each tartlet with basil leaf.

Yummy tartlets are reday to be served. 🙂

 Note :

  1. If you don’t find Cheddar cheese then use any similar type of cheese which melts fast.

 

 

Radhaballavi with Cholar dal – My first Guest Post for ãhãram

I got a wonderful opportunity to do my first guest post for my loving blogger friend Aruna of ãhãram. During the course of blog writing we came to know each other and become very good friends. She has a versatile blog full of recipes from different parts of the world. You should visit her blog to look for those at aahaaram.wordpress.com.

Thank you very much Aruna for introducing my blog to a new group of foodies.

Aruna has a special connection to Bengalis and passion for Bengali foods. When I post the recipe of Karaisutir Kochuri or Peas Puri she expressed her fondness for it. Over the chat she got to know about Radhaballavi from me and asked me to share its recipe in form of a guest post for her blog.

Now few words about “Radhaballavi”. This sweet named dish is nothing but puris filled with urad dal stuffing. It goes very well with Cholar dal or Chana dal and Alur Dom.  Aloo Matar Paneer, which is my recent post, can be a good match as well. In Kolkata, people on their way back from daily bazar in the morning, often flock infront of sweet shops to have a quick Radhaballavi while others pack them to home for a good breakfast. Some of these sweet shops are selling Radhabalavi for many years and well known to keep up the traditional custom  and taste.

If you are bored of having usual puris, radhaballavi can be a welcome change.

Radhaballavi with Cholar dal

Radhaballavi with Cholar dal

Ingredients for 7 – 8 Radhaballavi :

For Stuffing :

  1. Skinless urad dal – ½ cup
  2. Green chilli – 1 or 2
  3. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Black cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
  5. Fennel seed – ½ teaspoon
  6. Asafoetida or hing (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  7. Pinch of turmeric powder
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon

For dough :

  1. Plain flour – 1 cup
  2. Sugar – ½ teaspoon
  3. Asafoetida or hing (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. Oil – 1 tbspoon
  6. Lukewarm water

Ingredients for Cholar dal or Chana dal :

  1. Chana Dal or Cholar dal – 2/3 cup
  2. Chopped tomato (medium) – ½
  3. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Small pieces of coconut – 2 – 3 tbspoon
  5. Lengthwise sliced green chilli – 2
  6. Cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
  7. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon stick – ½ inch, Clove – 2, Cardamom – 2)
  8. Bay leaf – 1
  9. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  10. Salt & sugar to taste
  11. Cooking oil – 1tbspoon

    Ingredients for Cholar dal/Chana dal

    Ingredients for Cholar dal/Chana dal

Procedure :

Making of Filling/Stuffing for the puris :

 Wash and soak the urad dal for few hours in water. Then drain the water and grind the dal by adding salt and green chillies. Add little water if needed, the paste should not be watery.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add black cumin seeds, let it splutter and then add the urad dal paste and turmeric powder. Fry the dal until it’s raw flavour goes away.

Now transfer the fried dal in a bowl and mix with ginger paste, asafoetida and fennel seeds using hand. Now your filling is done, let it cool down at room temperature .

Making of Dough :

Shift flour, salt, sugar, asafoetida and oil in a big bowl and mix them very well. Add lukewarm water, little at a time, to combine all the ingredients. Knead the dough very well to give it a semi-soft texture. Leave the dough for at least 30 minutes in an air tight container.

Making of Radhaballavi/Puri :

Divide the dough into 7 or 8 equal parts and round them between your palms. Radhaballavi is bigger in size than puri, so make the balls a bit bigger than puri balls.

Flatten each ball evenly by your fingers to make a hole in the ball, put 1 tbpoon of the spicy urad dal stuffing, close it from all sides and again roll them between your palms.

Stuffing with the urad dal mixture

Stuffing with the urad dal mixture

Now roll the stuffed balls, by a rolling pin, on an oily work surface to make a circular shape, slightly bigger than that of puris.

Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the puris in it. I don’t like my puris to be brown in colour, so I don’t fry them for too long. You can fry the puris according to your preference.

Radhaballavi is ready to serve

Radhaballavi is ready to be served

Making of Cholar dal/Chana dal :

Wash the chana dal and pressure cook it, adding water, upto 3 to 4 whistles. Do not throw away the water soon after boiling the dal.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium flame. Add whole garam masala, cumin seeds and bay leaf, saute them for a while and then add the coconut pieces. Fry the coconut till light brown in colour and then add ginger paste, chopped tomato, green chillies, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till tomato gets softened and raw flavour of ginger goes away. Now add the boiled chana dal with water, season with sugar and salt (if needed), also add extra water if needed. Now let it boil for few minutes so that the dal gets the flavour of other ingredients. Put the gas off as the dal thickens to your desired consistency. It should not have a very thin gravy.

Cholar dal or Chana dal

Cholar dal or Chana dal

Now serve the Radhaballavi with Cholar dal and enjoy. 🙂

Note :

  1. While frying the urad dal paste, don’t fry it for too long, otherwise it will get hard.
  2. The oil should be moderately hot when you are going to fry the puris. If your oil temperature is low, your puri will not rise well. On the other hand, if the oil temperature is too high, your puris may get burnt.
  3. While boiling the chana dal make sure it does not get mushy. It should be cooked still holds it’s structure well.
  4. If you are using solid asafoetida/hing instead of powder, then use a pinch of it as it is more stronger than the powdered one.

Singara or Samosa

Samosa is the globally recognised quintessential Indian snack, bearing the symbol of tradition for many years. What sets it apart is the triangular shape, quite an artistic expression for any fried snack. Its sheer popularity across the length and breadth of sub-continent placed it way ahead of its competitors. Samosa wears a different name in Bengal, and known as Singara, equally popular as anywhere else.

Although samosa shape requires a bit of effort to be folded in the right way, I tried to be as lucid as I could over this recipe. Samosa filling can not be necessarily of potatoes and vegetables and you can be creative in your own way and even can use meat. Enjoy…..

Singara or Samosa with sauce

Singara or Samosa with sauce

Ingredients for 6 pieces :

For dough :

  1. Plain flour – ½ cup
  2. Ajwain – ½ teaspoon
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. Oil – 1 tbspoon
  5. Lukewarm water

For filling :

  1. Boiled potato – 2
  2. Small pieces of cauliflower – ½ cup
  3. Green peas – ¼ cup
  4. Chopped green chilli – 1 – 2
  5. Panch phoron – ½ teaspoon
  6. Roasted peanut – 10 – 12
  7. Pinch of turmeric
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil – 2 tbspoon

Extra oil for deep-frying the samosa

Procedure :

Shift together the flour, ajwain, salt and oil in a large bowl and mix them very well. Add lukewarm water, little at a time, to make the dough. The dough should not be very soft or too hard, it should rather be semi-soft. Keep it aside in an air tight container for minimum 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile lets prepare the filling.

Sprinkle some salt over boiled potato and roughly mash with a fork. There is no need to mash them very finely.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add “panch phoron”, saute it for a while, then add the cauliflower, salt and turmeric powder and fry them till get cooked.

Add green peas, green chillies and pea nuts, fry for another couple of minutes.

After that add the mashed potato and mix very well. Check for salt and add if it is needed. Fry the mixture for few minutes. Now your feeling is ready to stuff the samosa.

Now divide your dough into 3 equal parts and make balls out of them.

Now roll each ball in an elliptical shape on an oily surface. The size of the ellipse will be bigger than puri but slightly smaller than chapati. Cut the ellipse from the middle with a sharp knife.

Apply water by your finger on the straight line of the half ellipse and pull back the edges, seal them up. Now you will have a cone. Fill this cone with the spicy potato mixture.

Making of Samosa

Making of Samosa

Now make the backbone of the samosa so that it can stand on its back. Again apply water around the circle of the cone. Now pull back and fold the dough a bit, just opposite to the joining line of the cone and then join it to the counter side to seal the samosa. In this way prepare all your six samosas.

Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the samosa.

Serve hot with chatni or tomato sauce.

Hot Samosas are ready to serve :)

Hot Samosas are ready to serve 🙂

Note :

  1. The oil should not be very hot while frying the samosa. Samosa will take few minutes to be completely cooked  from inside. So don’t do it in hurry.
  2. ‘Panch phoron’ is a mixture of five spices – fenugreek seed, black cumin seed, cumin seed, radhuni and fennel seeds in equal parts. Sometimes black mustard seeds are used instead of radhuni.

Karaisutir Kochuri or Peas Puri

Nothing beats the idea of  starting the lazy Sunday morning with a breakfast of puris or luchi with Dum Aloo (spicy potato curry). However, puris can be of different kind and known as kachori, bhatura , nun etc. Among all, Peas Puri is my favourtie.

Since fresh peas used to be available only in winter months in India, Peas Puri was more of a winter delicacy. I still relish the memory of my mother preparing this while waiting seemed too long for me. My expertise in the whole process, however was limited to peeling off the peas back then. Now it is indeed a bit arduous to prepare all by myself, but the end result is worthy. Here goes the recipe of peas puri which you will not be tired of trying again and again.

Karaisutir Kochuri/Peas Puri with Aloor dum

Karaisutir Kochuri/Peas Puri with Aloor dum

Ingredients for 20 pieces of puri :

For stuffing :

  1. Green peas – 1½ cup
  2. Ginger – ½ inch piece
  3. Green chillies – 2
  4. Asafoetida powder (Hing) – ½ teaspoon
  5. Cumin powder – ½ teaspoon
  6. Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Salt & sugar to taste
  9. Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon

For dough :

  1. Plain flour – 2½ cup
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. Lukewarm Water – 2/3 cup (approx.)
  4. Oil – 2 tbspoon

Extra oil for frying the puris.

Procedure :

To prepare the dough, take the flour in a large bowl and mix it well with salt and oil. Now add water little at a time and make a soft dough, knead the dough very well. It should not be very soft like “roti” dough, rather should be little firm like a puri dough. Keep it aside in an air tight container for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile grind the peas with ginger, green chillies, salt and sugar in a mixer grinder and make a coarse paste.

Coarse paste of Peas

Coarse paste of Peas

Heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add asafoetida into the hot oil and then the paste of peas. Stir the mixture well, gradually add all the spices and cook until the raw flavour of peas goes away and the mixture attains the texture to be used as a stuffing. Now let the mixture cool.

Stuffing is ready

Stuffing is ready

Now divide the dough into 20 equal size balls and roll them between your palms. Flatten each ball evenly by your fingers to make a hole in the ball, put 1 teaspoon full of the peas stuffing, close it from all sides and again roll them between your palms.

Stuffing process

Stuffing process

Now coat each ball with little amount of flour and roll them in a size of puri with a rolling-pin on work surface. Don’t give much pressure while rolling the stuffed balls as the stuffing may come out from the dough. Dust the flour off very well from the surface of puris before frying.

Now heat sufficient amount of oil for deep-frying and fry the puris in it. I don’t like my puris to be brown in colour, so I don’t fry them for too long. You can fry the puris according to your preference. All of my puris turned out absolutely round shaped as appear in the picture, so I was very happy and amused too. 🙂

Frying the stuffed puris in oil

Frying the stuffed puris in oil

Now you are ready to serve the mouthwatering peas puris. I like to eat it without any side dish to relish the flavour the peas, but you can serve it with “dum aloo” or “aloor dum” (for the recipe look into my post Dum Aloo ).

Peas puris are ready to serve

Peas puris are ready to serve 🙂

Note :

  1. You can roll the puris with oil instead of flour if you find it not too difficult for you. Most of the time I have trouble as stuffing comes out from the dough while rolling with oil.
  2. If you are using solid asafoetida instead of powder, then add a pinch of it while grinding the green peas.
  3. Try to use fresh green peas.

Vegetable Chop or Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable chop or cutlet can be a great starter for your vegetarian guests as well as for you as a tea time snack. We, Bengalis generally have it with puffed rice or “muri”. In fact we have many such kind of snacks that acts as a counterpart to puffed rice.

In West Bengal it is readily available in many snacks shops, no one needs to prepare at home indeed. But here in Europe though various ready-made snacks are available, sadly we do not find much of our Indian snacks.

I remember as a child that my mother tried it a few times at home, but somehow the cutlets  used to disintegrate while frying. That’s why I had an initial fear that same will repeat with me and indeed it happened quite a few times.  But after trying it out for several times, I am quite confident now of preparing it, so share the recipe with you with few handy tips.

Vegetable chop/cutlet

Vegetable chop/cutlet

Ingredients for 5 pieces :

  1. Boiled & mashed potato – 2 (big size)
  2. Grated carrot – ½ (medium size)
  3. Finely grated beet – ½ (medium size)
  4. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbspoon
  5. Chopped green chilli – 1 or 2
  6. Roasted cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  7. Roasted coriander powder – ½ tbspoon
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Roasted pea nuts – 1 tbspoon
  10. Plain flour/corn flour – 1½ tbspoon
  11. Breadcrumbs to coat
  12. Cooking oil
Ingredients

Ingredients

Procedure :

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over low – medium heat. Add grated carrot, beet and little bit of salt to it, fry until they are cooked.

Now in a large bowl mix the mashed potato, fried carrot & beet, coriander leaves, green chillies, pea nuts, roasted cumin & coriander powder and salt according to your taste. Divide the mixture in 5 equal parts and give them a shape as shown below.

5 vegetable balls

5 vegetable balls

Now make a batter (neither very thick nor very thin) with flour/corn flour and water. Add a pinch of salt in the batter. Coat each vegetable ball first with breadcrumbs, then batter and at last again with the breadcrumbs.

Vegetable balls are ready to go into the oil

Vegetable balls are ready to go into the oil

Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan and deep fry the vegetable balls. Take them out on a paper towel.

Vegetable chop or cutlet

Vegetable chop or cutlet

Now enjoy it with puffed rice and tea as an evening snacks. 🙂

Puffed rice with delicious vegetable chop

Puffed rice with delicious vegetable chop

 Note :

  1. As I said in my earlier post that while making this type of snacks make sure that the oil is very hot during the frying process otherwise the cutlets will break and potato mixture will come out from it.
  2. Potato mixture should not be very soft. If you find it soft, add some breadcrumbs into it to get the binding consistency.
  3. Use sufficient amount of oil while frying the cutlets so that they can completely dip into the oil.
  4. You can give the cutlets any shape according to your preference.