Bhakarwadi/Tangy Swirls

After preparing so many different sweets this Diwali, preparation of a savory item was the need of the festival ;). This too had to be different from regular yet one of our favorite. Having stayed in Pune for around 5 years, bhakarwadi has become one of our favorites. Our family members back home really relish Chitale’s bhakarwadi.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

For the stuffing :

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • sugar as per taste ( I used approx. 1 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango (aamchur) powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • salt as per taste

For the dough :

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp hot oil
  • water as required for kneading
  • 4 tsp oil for greasing
  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • oil for deep-frying

Method:

  1. In bowl, mix well all-purpose flour, gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
  2. Then add the hot oil and crumble.
  3. Add water as required and knead into a tight dough.
  4. Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 mins by covering under a damp cloth.
  5. Grind all the ingredients of the stuffing in a mixie  to a coarse powder.
  6. Divide the dough into medium-sized dough balls. (With the given measurements, I could get 4 dough balls).
  7. Roll one of the balls into a thin disc. Apply a thin-film of oil on it.
  8. Spread a layer of coarse stuffing on top of it leaving a little space at the edges.
  9. Now tightly roll the disc into a pipe and seal the ends by turning the edge inwards.
  10. Now cut the roll into slices of about 1 cm thickness.img_20161027_203757
  11. Flatten each slice a little with your finger.
  12. Repeat the procedure for rest of the dough balls.
  13. Deep fry all the slices till golden brown.
  14. Drain on a kitchen towel.
  15. Store in an air tight container.

 

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Shankarpali/Diamond shaped sweet/Sakkar paara

Shankarpali – a diamond-shaped sweet made out of flour which is prepared during festivals almost in all states along the west coast of India. It can also be had as a snack with tea.

This recipe was passed to me by my cousin co-sister which was passed to her by her mother in law. My hubby likes the shankarpali made from this recipe a lot.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar ( I used granulated sugar so used 1 cup plus 6 tsp more)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (liquified)
  • salt as per taste

Method :

  1. Mix the all-purpose flour, ghee and salt well.
  2. Then add the powdered sugar and mix well again.
  3. Knead into a soft dough by adding very little water. Very minimal water will be required for kneading as the sugar will melt and this will be almost enough to knead the dough.
  4. Allow the dough to rest at least for 2 hours.
  5. Then pound the dough a little for around 5 mins.
  6. Take big balls of the dough and roll into a thick disc. (thickness should be between 1/8-1/4 inch)
  7. Cut into diamond-shaped pieces of the disc. (First cut half-inch thick strips of the disc and then cut diagonal strips to obtain diamond shape)
  8. Heat oil in pan on medium flame.
  9. Once hot enough, reduce the flame to low and deep fry the diamond-shaped pieces of dough on low flame only, till slight light brown.

 

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Cajun potatoes

Cajun potato is one of the veg starters served in one of the well-known chain outlet in India the barbecue nation. It is one of the most liked dish by many customers.

My husband had never tasted it and I made an attempt to prepare it so that it tasted very close to the one served at barbecue nation.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • around 300-400 gms baby potatoes (approx. 12 potatoes)
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp Cajun spice mix
  • few sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped
  • oil for deep-frying
  • water

Method :

  1. Boil the potatoes in pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles. While boiling add little salt to the water in the pressure cooker.
  2. Once the pressure is released, drain the water. Press the potatoes slightly between your palms so that they are smashed a little.
  3. Arrange them on a plate.
  4. Make a thick batter of all-purpose flour and cornflour. It should not be too watery. Drizzle this over the potatoes.
  5. Deep fry these potatoes till slightly brown and crispy. Drain them on a paper towel.
  6. Meanwhile, in another bowl mix onion, mayo, cream, Cajun spice mix and red chilli powder. Check the taste. I was not required to add any salt as the cajun spice mix was a bit salty already.
  7. Place the deep-fried potatoes in a serving dish and drizzle the Cajun dressing over it.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.

 

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Banana Blossom Vada

Just like any child I don’t have much affection for vegetables. And if they happen to be some unusual one’s I will just run away.

One day we were invited at a friend’s place for dinner. It was vegetarian dinner as our friend’s family was celebrating some festival. Our friend’s wife served us some deep-fried vada. They tasted just awesome. When I asked her what they were made of, she mentioned “banana blossom”. I was like dumbstruck. Can this vegetable taste so good? My mother always made a dry version vegetable recipe of it, served with rice.

I was really surprised and happy too. However, I didn’t know how to clean the banana blossom. Now as my mom is here with me and the blossom was available at the grocery store, I decided to make these vada.

The base recipe was shared by my friend to which I have made few changes. I will share how to clean banana blossom sooner.

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup banana blossom, cleaned and chopped
  • 3/4 cup bengal gram ( Channa dal)
  • 2 tbsp black gram (urad dal)
  • 2 tsp rice
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder ( Indian curry powder)
  • dash of asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • Coriander and curry leaves, chopped
  • Oil for frying

Method :

  1. Soak the dals and rice overnight.(I usually prefer soaking them overnight but if you want to prepare them quickly then they need to be soaked at least for 3 hours.)
  2. Drain the water from the above and grind them coarsely along with cumin seeds without adding any water.
  3. Remove them in a bowl.
  4. Now drain water from the chopped banana blossom and grind this too without any water. (The water in the soaked banana blossom and the dals is enough for grinding).
  5. Remove the above in the same bowl as ground dals. Add rest of the ingredients except oil and mix well.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan for deep-frying. Grease your palm with water and make medium-sized vada or patties.
  7. Fry them in hot oil till golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Saanjori/Sweet Semolina dessert stuffed tortilla

As I had mentioned in the Puranpoli recipe that I would be soon posting another stuffed tortilla recipe. So here I have come up with Saanjori – ‘Saanjo or Saano‘ means dessert made from slightly butter roasted semolina (most commonly known as Sheera or Sooji Halwa) stuffed into ‘Puri’ – tortilla or mini tortilla.

So here goes the recipe!

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

For the Semolina dessert/Sheera :

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 big banana or 2 elaichi bananas/small bananas (Optional)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ghee (melted butter)
  • few strands of saffron (optional)

For the covering :

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5-6 tbsp ghee (melted butter)

Method :

  1. Mix the ingredients for the covering and knead into a soft dough using water as required. Cover and keep aside the dough.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat ghee. Add the semolina and fry for few minutes. Do not allow the semolina to turn brown.
  3. Add the saffron and mix well.IMG_20160727_103819
  4. Add the hot water to the semolina. Close the lid and let it cook.
  5. Once the water is a little evaporated but not completely dry, mash the banana and add to the softened semolina.
  6. Then add sugar and salt. Mix well and check the taste.
  7. When almost about to dry, add the cardamom powder and turn off the gas.
  8. The sheera stuffing is now ready. Allow it to cool.IMG_20160727_104620
  9. Take a golf ball size amount of dough and roll into a small disc.IMG_20160727_170319
  10. Take a small ball of sheera and put it in the middle of the dough disc.IMG_20160727_170418
  11. Cover the sheera ball joining the edges of the dough disc which will turn again into a ball.IMG_20160727_171935
  12. Roll this ball again into a disc.IMG_20160727_172049
  13. Fry on hot griddle applying ghee on either sides.IMG_20160727_171913
  14. Repeat for rest of the dough and sheera.IMG_20160727_172020

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Cheesy Spinach bites

Mondays are usually vegetarian at our place. But just like kids, I don’t like vegetables much. At the same time, I am very petite and want to put on weight. My mum told me that eating cheese can increase weight. So thought I should include cheese in my diet. However, eating too much of cheese is also unhealthy.

So thought lets add something healthy to unhealthy and prepare some snacks. Here is the recipe for cheesy spinach bites

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • flour for coating
  • cornflour batter for coating (batter needs to be of dropping consistency)
  • breadcrumbs

Method :

  1. Heat water in a vessel. Once it boils, add the spinach into it. It will get cooked and you will achieve blanched spinach. Drain the blanched spinach.
  2. In another vessel, add cream cheese, blanched spinach, mozzarella, pepper powder, ginger garlic paste, chilli flakes and salt as per taste. Mix well and form a thick batter.IMG_20160718_121311-COLLAGE
  3. Take a plate and place a cling wrap on it. Spread the batter in square shape such that it is around 1/2 inch thick (It should like a slab). Wrap the slab in the cling wrap and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the slab from the cling wrap and cut into bite size squares.
  5. Take each square roll in the flour, then dip in the cornflour batter and coat with breadcrumbs. Roll the bite size square again in the cornflour batter and coat again in bread crumbs. Repeat for all other pieces.
  6. Heat an appe pan (the one I used to make Cheese Bread Oats pops) with 1-2 drops of oil in each hole.
  7. Put one piece in each hole and fry on all sides till brown.
  8. Cheesy Spinach bites are ready. Serve them hot with spicy ketchup.

 

Note : 1) Instead of cornflour batter, you can use beaten egg as well. 2) While frying, there is a tendency that the cheese might ooze out in spite of double coating. But that’s acceptable for me at least 😉

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Chicken salad mayonnaise roll

Just like prawn rissois, chicken roll has been my favorite since childhood. I think it was one of the first bakery items my parents had given me to taste along with cupcakes. Pasteralia chicken roll was my favorite then and had set the standard for my taste buds. As years passed by different pastry shops emerged and they invented many more varieties of chicken rolls like chicken tikka roll, cafreal roll, etc and the initial chicken salad mayonnaise roll faded away.

Few years back while I was in Pune seeking my career, my husband introduced me to a cafe named Skips which served various breakfast platters. One of them was the chicken roll platter, after eating which I felt nostalgic. I was always under the impression that chicken roll was a western dish. However, I never found any roll  here in US take would again make me feel nostalgic.

Here I shall share my recipe in an attempt to prepare the same Chicken salad mayonnaise roll with Indian touch.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 200 gms of boneless chicken pieces
  • One big leaf of cabbage or lettuce
  • 4 small bread roll buns
  • butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/8 medium-sized capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 medium-sized carrot, cut lengthwise and fine
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cabbage, shredded finely
  • few sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder

Method:

  1. Boil chicken breast pieces with italian herbs, pepper powder and salt. (Take enough water for boiling and boil till water is reduced to bare minimum. This will cook the chicken and make it soft.)
  2. Shred the boiled chicken.IMG_20160716_154058
  3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onion and ginger garlic paste till onion become transparent and paste turns little brown.
  4. To it add carrot, capsicum, and cabbage and saute well.
  5. Once cooked, add red chilli and green chilli sauce and mix well.
  6. Now add the shredded chicken pieces. Then add salt and pepper powder as per taste.(Remember that you had already put some while boiling chicken, so add accordingly.)
  7. Check the taste and add seasoning if required. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Allow the filling to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, make slits into the bread bun rolls and apply butter to the inner sides of the rolls.
  10. Take a piece of cabbage or lettuce leaf and spread it inside the roll.
  11. In the filling, add mayonnaise (as much as required) and mix.IMG_20160716_181417
  12. Take 1-2 spoonful of the filling and stuff inside the bun roll either above or below the leaf. Enjoy!!

Note: Some like the veggies to remain crunchy so while you saute the veggies leave them half cooked.

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