Shital's-Kitchen

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mushroom Tikka

My friends came over.. they wanted to see my Tandoor and try some food made in it. Now that I have gotten enough practice of using it well, I was more confident to invite them over and show off my Tnadoor skills. They all came, all excited and with their signature dish to share. I was in charge on only few of the Tandoori items. It was a feast... paneer makhni, signature karela, masala rice, yummy kheer and icecream. OMG it was a blast. We sat in my backyard, under the shade of my Avocado tree and enjoyed all the delicious food while I bragged about our homemade DIY Tandoor. :)

My friends are my guinea pigs. :) There are so many recipes that I try out for the first time, and only after it is approved by the panel of judges (my friends) that it lands up as a post on my blog. Some of the recipes are still to be typed and published. This one was a hit...an instant hit... It was all gone before I could click a picture. Luckily I had my friends send few pictures that they took and wow they are so brilliantly captured, that I am pleased and thrilled to say that I have wonderful friends and will be glad to host them again :)

While I have grilled mushrooms a lot with paneer tikka, and we love it...this time it was a new marinade and grilling over charcoal heat of my Tandoor. Thanks to SV for sending me the picture that I have used as a cover photo. Brilliant isn't it? This marinate for mushrooms is mint flavored...yogurt and mint with mushrooms is a delicious combination and super easy to make too.

Ingredients
10-15 button mushroom.
1/2 cup mint leaves
1-2 green chillies
1/4 inch ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cup hung plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt

Thinly sliced onion rings or onion spirals so serve mushroom tikka.
  • In a blender blend mint leaves, green chilies, ginger, salt, cumin seeds with little water.
  • Add the mint paste to hung yogurt and mix well.
  • Clean wipe mushrooms and remove the stalk. 
  • Mix mushrooms well into the marinade. If left for a long time, mushrooms will sweat moisture and that is all right.
  • Use a 2 prong skewers and gently insert mushrooms in it. One prong skewer is not very easy to turn to cook mushrooms well. as mushrooms shrink, they can break from the skewer and fall off. 2 prong skewers hold mushrooms well and can cook well on all sides.
  • Grill mushrooms over charcoal heat or in the oven. If placing in an oven, put skewers on a high pan so that mushrooms do not touch the bottom of the pan. If they touch the bottom of the pan, they can get soggy. Heat the oven to 500F temperature and grill mushrooms till done and golden brown. You might need to flip it too. 
  • When done, place on a bed of sliced or spiral onions.
  • Also, sprinkle a bit with chaat masala. and then serve. 

In a blender blend mint leaves, green chilies, ginger, salt, cumin seeds with little water.
Add the mint paste to hung yogurt and mix well.


Clean wipe mushrooms and remove the stalk. 
Mix mushrooms well into the marinade.


Two prong skewers for Mushroom tikka. 

Use a 2 prong skewers and gently insert mushrooms in it. One prong skewer is not very easy to turn to cook mushrooms well. as mushrooms shrink, they can break from the skewer and fall off. 2 prong skewers hold mushrooms well and can cook well on all sides.


Grill mushrooms over chacoal heat and flip it when it gets slight color.



http://amzn.to/2ufbdS0

http://amzn.to/2ufbdS0

http://amzn.to/2ufbdS0

 When done, place on a bed of sliced or spiral onions.



Let's get grilling!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ajwain Pakora Chaat

There are few plants and shrubs that do not need much care. They are easy to grow and with proper water and sunlight they would grow like a weed. I am sure everyone knows how easy it is grow and propagate mint plant/herb. The same is true for Ajwain plant (A tropical.Indian herb similar to thyme). They grow fast like weeds and can propagate easily. From a small little stem that I had ordered online from an Indian plant website last year, I now have a big plant growing in my backyard. I cut and propagate the stem cuttings at various spots in my yard and also in pots to gift my friends. Ajwain plant leaves have a strong fragrance and keeps pests and bugs away. Low to partial sunlight is just perfect for them so the spot where no other summer plants would grow is perfect for my ajwain plant. They adapt themselves well in the conditions they are put in.

Growing up, I have seen ajwain plant at home. With so many medicinal properties that it carries, this is a plant that is seen in most Indian houses. Ajwain plant mainly aids in digestion and releaves from cold and cough...herbal remedies. My parents always said that ajwain pakoras are delicious too, but I don't remember tasting it ever. And now that I have the this beautiful huge plant growing, I had to make Ajwain leaf Bhajias.

Few months back my friend, SM invited us over for chai party (Indian tea party), and she made yummychaat with palak/spinach leaves. Oh I can't say enough how yummy it was. Some gossip and some chaat...perfect recipe for Indian girl friends meet right?? :) HAHA!!! So while I loved the palak pakora chaat that she made...I tried it with Ajwain Leaf Pakoras when I had few of my friends over for Summer Gola Party. Chilling in the backyard with chilled gola and chatpaty chaat is just delicious. And to add to that my friend made some yummy Plum Panna (fresh plum drink) from her backyard produce.

Ajwain pakora chaat is a delicious dish that is easy to prep and serve. It is fun to lay out the chaat ingredients in your fancy platters and let yours guests make their chaat while you can sit and chit-chat with them. It is a perfect party or a girls meet food!

Ingredients (serves 4)
To make pakoras:
15-20 broad Ajwain leaves
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 cup rice flour
1+1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. red chili powder
Water to make the dough,
Oil for frying

To assemble the chaat
Spicy cilantro chutney
Date and tamarind chutney
1 Cup plain yogurt (beaten with a pinch of salt)
1  cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas (soaked and boiled)
Chopped cilantro
Sev for garnishing

To make pakoras:
  • Wash, clean and dry freshly harvested ajwain leaves
  • Mix flour, salt, and spices together. Add around 3/4 to 1 cup water to make a smooth batter.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan.
  • Dip each ajwain leaf in the batter and deep fry in hot oil. Flip it till it is lightly golden on both sides.
  • Remove on a paper towel to absorb excess oil
  • Lay all in a serving plate. 

To assemble chaat:
  • Place 2-3 ajwain pakoras in the serving plate.
  • Top with some boiled chickpeas, onions, tomatoes.
  • Add some beaten yogurt and chutneys to suit your palate (or let your guests self serve themselves)
  • Garnish with crisp sev and chopped cilantro.

Here is my Ajwain plant.
Beautiful broad leaves to make a perfect base for chaat.


Look at the Thela or Indian Cart full of Ajwain Leaves! :)

Wash, clean and dry freshly harvested ajwain leaves
Mix flour, salt, and spices together. Add around 3/4 to 1 cup water to make a smooth batter.


Heat oil in a deep pan.
Dip each ajwain leaf in the batter and deep fry in hot oil. Flip it till it is lightly golden on both sides.



Remove on a paper towel to absorb excess oil
Lay all in a serving plate.




Place 2-3 ajwain pakoras in the serving plate.
Top with some boiled chickpeas, onions, tomatoes.

Add some beaten yogurt and chutneys to suit your palate (or let your guests self serve themselves)
Garnish with crisp sev and chopped cilantro.







Enjoy this delicious Chaat!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sesame Fingers with Schezwan Sauce

When you invite friends over you want everything to fall correctly and taste right!! Some recipe are not only easy to prep but super tasty, and they can wow your guests. This is one of those recipes that can never go wrong. 

Although this is one of the appetizers that I make for indo-chinese parties, it can surely fit into your potluck or finger food or cocktail party or for fun ladies party too. These finger like appetizers are made of veggies and a rolled in sesame seeds for flavor and texture. In this recipe I have used white as well as black sesame seeds, but you could use any. I feel black sesame seeds provide extra nutty flavor and texture to this appetizer. Use veggies of your choice...you can select veggies and the quantity too. There is no fixed ratio of veggies in here.

Ingredients (to make 15-20 fingers)
3 cups minced veggies of your choice (cabbage, beans, carrots, onion, spring greens)
2-3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1+1/2 tsp. salt
2. tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 cup maida (all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 -1/2 cup sesame seeds (black or white or both)
Oil for frying
  • Roughly chop veggies and put them in a food processor. Add ginger and garlic too and mince all the veggies.
  • Remove in a bowl.
  • Add salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well and leave veggies aside for 10 minutes to sweat and release moisture. 
  • Add all purpose flour and rice flour to make soft dough. You can use less or more flour depending on the moisture content in the veggies.
  • Shape as fingers and roll in sesame seeds.
  • Deep fry each finger on medium heat till it is golden brown and nicely done.
  • Remove on a paper towel.
  • Serve with schezwan sauce.

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:

Veggies


Roughly chop veggies and put them in a food processor. Add ginger and garlic too and mince all the veggies.


Remove in a bowl.
Add salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well and leave veggies aside for 10 minutes to sweat and release moisture.


Add all purpose flour and rice flour to make soft dough. You can use less or more flour depending on the moisture content in the veggies.



Shape as fingers and roll in sesame seeds.


Deep fry each finger on medium heat till it is golden brown and nicely done.


http://shitals-kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/schezwan-sauce.html



Enjoy!!!