Shami Kebab

‘Shami Kebab’ is a small patty composed of minced or ground meat mixed with Bengal gram lentils and spices. It is a very popular snack in India and features regularly in Pakistani and Afghan cuisine. In India it is generally prepared with mutton. However one can use any kind of meat like beef, chicken or lamb. Since mutton is unavailable at my current place, I used lamb mince to prepare these kebabs. They act as delicious starters to impress guests. 🙂

Shami Kabab

Shami Kebab

Ingredients for 12 pieces :

  1. Meat mince – 250 gm.
  2. Bengal gram or chana dal (soaked for 1 hr.) – 50 gm.
  3. Potato (medium size, cut into halves) – ½
  4. Onion (small, cut into large cubes) – ½
  5. Ginger-garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  6. Cumin seed – ¼ tbspoon
  7. Dry red chilli – 3 to 4
  8. Whole gamar masala (Cinnamon stick – 1″, Clove – 3, Black cardamom – 1/green cardamom – 3 pods)
  9. Black pepper corn – 6-8
  10. Salt – ¼ tbspoon
  11. Chopped onion (medium size) – ½
  12. Chopped fresh coriander leaves – 2-3 tbspoon
  13. Chopped green chilli – 1
  14. Egg – 1
  15. Water – 1¼ cup
  16. Cooking oil to fry the kebabs

Procedure :

Take the ingredients from 1 – 10 & 15 in a large pot, mix well and put over gas on medium flame. As water starts boiling, cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low-medium. Let it cook for 30-35 minutes, stir occasionally so that it doesn’t get brunt from the bottom . When the lentils get cooked and all of water evaporated, put the gas off. Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Now discard whole spices and dry red chillies from the mixture and grind it to a coarse paste.

Add ingredients 11, 12 & 13 to this meat paste and mix well. At this point the mixture remains little soft. Leave the mixture for 30 minutes and you will get the binding consistency.

Then wet your hand with little water and start making ‘Kebabs’ i.e. flat round shaped balls out of the paste. The size of them will depend completely up to you. I made 12 medium size kebabs, you can make larger or even smaller than that.

Making the Kababs

Making the Kebabs

Beat egg in a bowl and dip the kebabs into it.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame and shallow fry the kebabs from both sides evenly until brown.

Serve hot with salad and tomato sauce.

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Note :

  1. Make sure all of water evaporates from the meat mixture, otherwise your paste will be too soft and you won’t be able to make kebabs out of that mixture.
  2. I throw out the whole spices from the mixture before making the paste. However it is not mandatory and you can keep them with the mixture, if you like.
  3. You can store the kebabs into the refrigerator for one or two days and then fry while needed after defrosting. Keep the kebabs in layers separated by a plastic sheet in an air tight container.

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Herb Muffins with Smoked Cheese

I already shared with you the recipe of Spicy Chicken Muffins which I liked a lot. Since then I got enthusiastic about savoury muffins and started looking for them. Suddenly I came across an interesting recipe in my baking book as they told the story of a muffin with herbs and cheese in it. The recipe is very simple and quick to make. If you don’t dislike the flavour of herbs, this muffins will not disappoint you.

Herb Muffin with Smoked cheese

Herb Muffin with Smoked cheese

Ingredients to serve 12 :

  1. Sunflower oil or groundnut oil (for oiling) – 1 tbspoon
  2. Plain flour – 280 gm.
  3. Baking powder – 2 teaspoon
  4. Bicarbonate of soda – ½ teaspoon
  5. Smoked hard cheese (grated) – 25 gm.
  6. Fresh parsley (finely chopped) – 50 gm.
  7. Egg (large, lightly beaten) – 1
  8. Thick strained plain yogurt – 300 ml. (I used Greek style yogurt)
  9. Butter (melted) – 4 tbspoon

Procedure :

Oil your muffin tin with sunflower oil, or line it with muffin paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the smoked cheese and the parsley and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, lightly mix the egg, yogurt and melted butter together. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and then gently stir together until just combined. Do not overstir the batter – it is fine for it to be little lumpy.

Flour & Yogurt mixture

Flour & Yogurt mixture

Muffin batter

Muffin batter

Divide the muffin batter evenly between the cups in the muffin tin or the paper liners (they should be about 2/3 full).

Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C or 400ºF for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.

Before baking

Before baking

After baking

After baking

Remove the muffins form the oven and serve warm, or place them on a wire rack to cool.

Muffin is ready to be served

Muffin is ready to be served

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.

 

 

Prawn Cutlet

Prawn cutlet is the new addition to my cutlet or crockett family. Never have I thought that cutlets can be made of prawns. I wondered, prawns, how big they are, could not make cutlet. Then I learn the trick that one should spread the flesh like its two wings to give it a cutlet shape. Of course, you need the big sized tiger prawns for that.

Prawn cutlet is quite heavy as a snack with thick coated envelopes and thoroughly enjoyable with a sip of tea. Try it out.

Delicious Prawn Cutlet

Delicious Prawn Cutlet

Ingredients for 2 pieces :

  1. Tiger prawn – 2
  2. Onion (small) – ½
  3. Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves
  4. Ginger – less than ½” piece
  5. Green chilli – 2
  6. Coriander leaf paste – 1 tbspoon heap
  7. Tomato sauce – 1 tbspoon
  8. Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
  9. Mustard oil – 1 tbspoon
  10. Egg – 2
  11. Breadcrumbs to coat
  12. Flour – 1½ tbspoon
  13. Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
  14. Chilli oil – 1 tbspoon
  15. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Cooking oil for deep frying

Procedure :

Remove the shell and head of the prawns, keeping the tail intact. Devein and clean them properly. While deveining, make a deep slit along the center of the prawn and then flat it to give a triangular shape. Hammer the flattened prawns lightly with knife so that the ingredients can go well into it while marination.

Tiger prawns

Tiger prawns

After sliting & spreading the prawns

After sliting & spreading the prawns

Now make a smooth paste with onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. In a small bowl mix the prepared paste with coriander leaf paste, tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard oil, ½ teaspoon sugar and salt.  Now spread this mixture on the open surface of the prawn and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

After that, spread breadcrumbs on a plate and place the prawns with their bare surface on it. Now coat both the surfaces well with breadcrumbs. Press them by hand on flat work surface to give cutlet like shape. Use a knife to make the cutlets even, through the edges.  Beat a single egg in a bowl and dip the coated prawn into it and again cover with bread crumbs.

Prawns covered with spicy mixture

Prawns covered with spicy mixture

After the bread crumbs coating

After the bread crumbs coating

Now make a batter with flour, baking powder, chilli oil, remaining sugar, salt and water (as needed). The batter should not be too thick or thin.

Heat sufficient amount of oil for deep frying the cutlets over medium flame.

Now dip the cutlets into the prepared batter and fry as soon as the oil gets moderately hot. Take them out as they turn crispy and golden brown.

Serve them hot with tomato sauce or mustard sauce (kasundi) and salad.

Prawn cutlet is ready to be served

Prawn cutlet is ready to be served

Note :

  1. For making chilli oil, heat 1 tbspoon of oil over medium flame. Add 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes or 2 dry red chillies into it. After 2-3 minutes put the gas off, pour the oil in a bowl and let the chillies infuse into it for at least 1 hour. The longer you leave, the hotter oil will be.
  2. You can also add Mint leaf paste in the mixture for marination. I am not a big fan of mint flavour, so I skipped that.
  3. You can also skip the batter and fry only bread crumbs coated cutlet.
  4. The oil should be moderately hot while frying the cutlets otherwise the batter envelope will burn and the prawn inside will remain uncooked.

 

 

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.

 

Fish Roll

Rolls, the wrapped rotis/parathas with meat mince, egg and even vegetables mingled with ketchup are known to be quick tasty snacks. However, when the stuffing gets substituted by fish, things get a new high. Interestingly, here the wrapping is also made of fish, sliced thin. I adopted this recipe from a well known snack corner in Kolkata. However unlike them, instead of Bhetki fish, I had to use the ‘Kabeljou’, a local sea fish as a poor substitute. It was indeed lip smacking to have the fish roll dipping in mustard sauce with a bite of salad. Enjoy 🙂

Delicious Fish Roll

Delicious Fish Roll

Ingredients for 3 – 4 pieces :

  1. Fish fillet – 300 gm.
  2. Onion (large) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  5. Chopped tomato – ½
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2
  7. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 to 3 tbspoon heaped
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  13. Egg – 1
  14. Flour – 3 tbspoon
  15. Breadcrumbs
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Cut 3 or 4 thin, square/rectangular slices from the fish fillet. Marinate the slices with lemon juice, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder and salt.

Roughly chop the remaining fish.

Finely chop the onion. Make a smooth paste of ginger and garlic.

Beat the egg in a bowl by adding pinch of salt and the remaining pepper powder. Add the flour and make a lump free batter followed by adding a bit of water. The batter should neither be very thick nor be very thin.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Shallow fry the chopped fish into it, adding a bit of salt. With the help of a spatula break the pieces into smaller fragments. Don’t fry it for a long time, our intention is only to cook the fish, not making a hard fry. Now transfer the fish into a bowl and keep it aside.

In the same pan heat 2 tbspoon of oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and again fry till the onion turns brown. Now add chopped tomato, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, fry till the tomato gets softened. Then add the fried fish and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Put the gas off, add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and give it a good stir. The end product should be a spicy,mushy fish mixture.

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Now add 1 or 2 tbspoon of breadcrumbs to the fish mixture to bind it and then divide the mixture into 3 or 4 equal parts.

Now make long shaped balls from each part and wrap it with a thin slice of fish.

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Now coat each wrapped fish ball first with breadcrumbs, then with the prepared batter and finally with the breadcrumbs.

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the fish rolls on moderate flame till golden brown in colour.

transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot with salad.

Fish rolls are ready to be served

Fish rolls are ready to be served

 

 

 

Cheese Straws

Crispy, crunchy cheese straws are very common snacks to have with drinks as well as with a hot cup of coffee here in Europe. They are readily available in each and every super markets here.

After making Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets I had some extra Cheddar cheese left in my refrigerator. Since then I was little worried about how to utilise it as it could be no longer edible if I leave it for a long time. Again started searching for a simple recipe in my baking book and ended up with this simplest one. Hope you will like it. Enjoy 🙂

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Ingredients for 17 pieces :

  1. Self raising flour – 115 gm. + extra for dusting
  2. Curry powder – 1 teaspoon
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. Butter – 65 gm. + extra for greasing
  5. Grated cheddar cheese – 65 gm.
  6. Egg, beaten – 2
  7. Poppy and cumin seeds for sprinkling

Procedure :

Sift the flour, salt and curry powder into a bowl.

Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the cheese and one egg and mix to form a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease two baking sheets with butter.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 5 mm. (¼ inch) thick and 15 x 17 cm. (6 x 6.7 inch) rectangle.

Cut into 15 x 1 cm. (6 x ½ inch) strips. Twist the strips slightly along its length and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Cutting the dough into strips

Cutting the dough into strips

Brush the straws with the remaining egg and sprinkle half with poppy seeds and half with cumin seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven, 200ºC / 400ºF, for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to wire racks to cool.

After baking

After baking

Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or a glass of beer . 😉

Note :

  1. If you are using plain flour, then adda ½ teaspoon of baking powder into it.
  2. You can lengthen or shorten the size of the straw according to your preference. Just roll out the dough to 5 mm. (¼ inch) thick.

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.

 

 

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.

Chicken Cutlet

“Chop & Cutlets” are famous in Kolkata with its history dating back to many decades. These traditional evening snacks are usually served to the guests along with the sweets. Nowadays although various fast foods have come up in the market, Cutlets remain to be as popular as they used to be.

Cutlets are made in different way in different cuisines. The Indian version of meat cutlet is to fry, either cooked or uncooked, spiced meat covered with a batter or bread crumbs.

Here, I am sharing with you the recipe of Chicken cutlet in Kolkata style. This recipe is followed by a famous snacks corner in Kolkata. It is a very simple and less ingredient recipe. I am very lucky to get hold of this one in youtube and thus I can enjoy it sitting far away from Kolkata. It is a very small attempt to miss my city a bit less. 🙂

Chicken cutlet

Chicken cutlet

Ingredients for 2 pieces :

  1. Raw chicken keema/Chicken mince – 100 gms.
  2. Ginger paste – ½ teaspoon
  3. Garlic paste – ½ teaspoon
  4. Finely chopped onion – 1 tbspoon
  5. Chopped green chilli – 1 or 2
  6. Black pepper powder  – ½ teaspoon
  7. Tomato Sauce – ½ tbspoon
  8. Sugar – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Pinch of Ajinomot or MSG (optional)
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Mustard oil – 1 tbspoon
  12. Egg – 1
  13. Bread crumbs
  14. Cooking oil for deep-frying.

Procedure :

Mix the chicken keema with the above ingredients except egg, bread crumbs and cooking oil. Keep the mixture in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Beat the egg with salt and a pinch of pepper powder.

Now divide the chicken mixture into two parts and give them a flat round shape. Coat each ball with bread crumbs and then dip into the beaten egg. Again coat them with the bread crumbs.

Coating the chicken balls with bread crumbs and egg

Coating the chicken balls with bread crumbs and egg

Now on flat work surface press them by hand to give the cutlet shape. Use a knife to make the cutlet even through the edges.

Perfect cutlet shape :)

Perfect cutlet shape 🙂

Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan and deep fry the chicken cutlets into it. Transfer them on a paper towel to soak the excess oil. Serve with salad and sauce.

Chicken cutlets ready to serve :)

Chicken cutlets ready to serve 🙂

Note :

  1. If you find it difficult to make a cutlet shape, give them just a flat round shape.
  2. If your chicken mixture is too soft to bind, add 1 tbspoon of corn flour into it.
  3. You can also refrigerate the cutlets for 30 minutes before frying, so that it can set properly and does not break while frying.

Spicy Chicken Muffins

Muffins are essentially regarded as a sweet form of small cakes, originated in America. The word “muffin” used to bring into my mind, either the images of dark brown chocolate muffins or those with vanilla flavour, lighter in colour. However, I discovered recently from the cookbooks that muffins can be savoury too and to my delight, small bits of chopped chicken can be imparted into!!! So, here I present the new recipe called “chicken muffins”, which is a departure from the usual muffin recipe and a sheer delight for all the non-vegetarian snack lovers.

Spicy chicken muffins

Spicy chicken muffins

Ingredients to serve 12 :

  1. Sunflower oil – 125 ml + extra for oiling
  2. Chopped onion – 2
  3. Chopped spring onion – 3
  4. Small fresh red chilli (seeded and finely chopped) – 1
  5. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs (chopped into small pieces) – 3
  6. Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  7. Self-raising flour – 300 gm.
  8. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  9. Large egg – 2
  10. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  11. Grated lemon rind – 1 tbspoon
  12. Soured cream – 125 ml.
  13. Plain yogurt – 125 ml.
  14. Salt and pepper

Procedure :

Oil muffin tin with sunflower oil.

Heat a little of the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the onions, spring onions and chilli. Cook over low heat stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift out the onions and chilli and set aside.

Heat a little more of the remaining oil in the frying pan, add the chicken, paprika and little bit of salt and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle over salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then stir in the remaining oil and the lemon juice and rind. Pour in the soured cream and the yogurt and mix together.

Liquid, dry and fried mixtures

Liquid, dry and fried mixtures

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, then gently stir in the onions, spring onions, chilli and chicken. Do not over stir the batter, it is fine for it to be a little lumpy.

Final batter

Final batter

Divide the batter evenly between the cups in the muffin tin (they should reach the top), then transfer to a preheated oven, 190°C / 375°F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until risen and golden. Remove the muffins from the oven and serve warm.

Just baked chicken muffins

Just baked chicken muffins

Note :

  1. If you are using plain flour instead of self-raising flour then add ½ teaspoon of baking soda into the dry ingredient mixture.

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.

Fish batter fry

“Fish batter fry” is a celebrated fried dish back home, often served as starter to the guests in occasions and parties. Its recipe is not very demanding, with the only important requisite of a good quality fish. In Bengal, we generally use “Bhetki fish” fillets to prepare the batter fry, which is a very tasty, soft and mouth melting fish, perfect for this recipe. I owe this recipe to my mother-in-law.

In Europe though “Bhetki” is not available, there are other fishes which can substitute it very well, for example the Cod fish or Pangasius. There is a small open or fresh market in a 5 minutes walking distance from my current house in Utrecht which holds 4-5 big fish shops with a variety of fishes. These shops are always full of customers which reminds me about the fish market in my home town Kolkata. Every weekend me with my husband go there and buy fish from those crowded shops, usually have to wait long in the queue. Interestingly those shops do not only sell raw fishes but also the fried fish known as “bak vis” in Dutch, which is pretty similar to our fish batter fry. This fried fish comes with different delicious sauces too.

Here I tried the recipe with “Pangasius” fish which comes out really well. The recipe follows below.

Yummy fish batter fry :)

Yummy fish batter fry 🙂

Ingredients for 4 fries :

  1. Pangasius fish fillet cut into 4 pieces
  2. Ginger & garlic juice – 2 tbspoon
  3. Onion juice – 1 tbspoon
  4. Lemon juice – ½ tbspoon
  5. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Flour – 2 – 2½ tbspoon
  7. Baking soda/powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Butter – 1 tbspoon
  9. Egg – 1
  10. Milk – 2 tbspoon
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Marinate the pieces of fish with salt, pepper powder, onion, ginger, garlic and lemon juice for at least half an hour.

Marinated Pangasius fillet

Marinated Pangasius fillet

For preparing the batter, mix flour, a bit of salt, baking soda and butter very well. Beat the egg with milk and add to the flour mixture. Make a lump free batter, add more milk if needed.

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Dip the marinated pieces of fish into the batter and deep fry in oil.

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Note :

  1. Fish fillets should not be very thick.
  2. Batter should not be very thick or very thin.
  3. The oil should be moderately hot while frying the fish otherwise the batter envelope will burn and the fish inside will remain uncooked.

 

 

Egg Devil or “Dimer chop”

Fried snacks although very oily and for that reason not very healthy, are still very lucrative to us. Often I had to prepare such dishes on my husband’s demand as he just adores them. To be very honest I also like them a lot and I am pretty sure many of you have a soft corner for these as well. Generally in Kolkata we have it from the old good restaurants or road side snack shops. But once when I visited one of my good friends Rumeli’s house in Kolkata, I got a chance to taste homemade egg devils and believe me it was fabulous. It was so good that it still acts as an inspiration for me to make such egg devils at my own kitchen. Today I am sharing with you my friend’s recipe of the egg devil which is quite simple. It is also a must for those who are vegetarian, still very much fond of egg. Though egg devils are best made with “mutton keema”, I am sure you love this recipe too. I have no clue why it is traditionally called egg ‘devil’ since there is not a single devil thing about it. Each bite is a pleasure.

Egg Devil

Egg Devil

Ingredients for 4 pieces :

  1. Egg – 2
  2. Boiled potato (medium size) – 3
  3. Finely chopped onion (medium size) – 1
  4. Chopped tomato (medium size) – ½
  5. Chopped green chilli – 1
  6. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  7. Garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  8. Plain yogurt – 1 tbspoon
  9. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  10. Chili powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Garam Masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Flour / Corn flour – 1 tbspoon
  14. Bread crumbs
  15. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Boil the eggs and cut into two halves.

Mash the boiled potatoes and add salt into it.

Heat 1 tbspoon oil in a frying pan, add garlic paste and fry till the garlic is just beginning to colour. Add onion into it and fry, also add ginger paste when the onion becomes translucent. Add tomato, green chili, salt, turmeric powder & chilli powder when the onion is light brown. Fry the mixture till oil comes out from it and gives a paste like texture. Then add the yogurt and garam masala powder to it and mix very well to retain its paste like feature. Now add the mashed potatoes into it and mix well so that the flavour of each ingredient in the mixture spreads into the potato. Add salt, if necessary. Remember that we need a spicy potato mixture with binding consistency, so don’t fry the potato mixture for a longer time. Still if you find the potato mixture lacking desired consistency, you can add some bread crumbs to it. The potato mixture and eggs will look like this.

Potato mixture & eggs cut into halves

Spicy potato mixture & eggs cut into halves

Now divide the potato mixture in four equal parts and make 4 balls out of it. Then make a big hole in each ball and stuff with one half of an egg. In other words cover each half egg with potato mixture. The product will look like this.

Egg stuffed potato balls

Egg stuffed potato balls

Now make a batter with the flour/corn flour and water. Add a little bit of salt in the batter. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Start coating each egg stuffed potato ball first with bread crumbs, then batter and finally again with bread crumbs.

Coating process

Coating process

Repeat the process and finish coating all 4 balls.

Egg devils before frying

Egg devils before frying

Now deep fry them in sufficient amount of oil and transfer on paper towel to soak the excess oil. Here is the final product.

Egg devils ready to eat

Egg devils ready to eat

Note :

  • You can make egg devils with whole egg instead of half if you like.
  • The oil should be very hot during the frying process otherwise the devils will break and potato will come out from it.
  • You can use egg in the batter instead of water.
  • To make “garam masala powder” in home see “Useful Supplementary” tab.

Chicken Lollipop

Chicken lollipop is a very tempting appetizer. This is the latest dish I tried at home and like to share with you. It is a very simple recipe. Now you can also be a good party host by serving this in your Sunday Snack’s Party.

Chicken Lollipop

Chicken Lollipop

Ingredients for 10 pieces :

  1. Raw Chicken Wings – 5 pieces
  2. Ginger & Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
  3. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  4. Soya Sauce – ½ tbspoon
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Flour – 2 tbspoon
  7. Cornflour – 2 tbspoon
  8. Red Chilli powder – ½ tbspoon
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Oil for deep frying
  11. Aluminium foil to garnish

Procedure :

It is good if you get the raw chicken  lollipops from the market otherwise you have to cut the chicken wings into raw chicken lollipops. You will get 2 lollipops from a single wing. At the end of this recipe I have attached a video link where you can see how the chicken wings are cut into the lollipops.

Now marinate the raw chicken lollipops with salt, ginger-garlic paste, soya sauce and half of the black pepper powder for at least 20 mins. Then beat the egg in a bowl, add flour, cornflour, little bit of salt, chilli powder and the remaining black pepper powder. Mix it very well, add little amount of water to make a thick batter. The batter shouldn’t contain any lumps. You can use more egg if you don’t want to use water. You can also add red food colour to the batter, if you want, to get a nice colour of the chicken lollipops. As it is not good for health, I skip using the food colour. Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan, so that you can deep fry the chicken. Dip the marinated lollipops into the batter, coat it nicely and then deep fry them into the hot oil until they become golden brown. For garnishing wrap the bone sticks of the lollipop with aluminium foil. Serve it with salad.