Shital's-Kitchen: December 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pani Puri

Yum Yum Yum! As soon as I think of Pani Puri my mouth starts watering!

Puri is a crisp puffed wafer and Pani means water. Pani Puri is a street food of India in which puffed puri is filled with spicy potato filling dipped in sweet  and tangy tamarind chutney and spicy mint flavored water. It just melts in your mouth! :)

In Mumbai we call Pani Puri whereas, in Delhi it is called Golgappa, Bengali's call it Poochka. But, the concept remains the same :)

Pani Puri is best enjoyed when there is someone filling individual puris and serving right in your bowl. Like a bhaiyaji (that's what a street food vendor is called in Mumbai) would do.

Since it was Saturday yesterday, Shu and I decided to make these crisp, fresh Puris (puffed wafers) at home. :)

With 2 cups of semolina/ rava/ fine sooji and 1/4 cup wheat flour and little more than 3/4 cup of water make a soft dough.

Knead the dough well for 5-7 minutes. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Take a portion of the dough. Roll it into 1/2 inch diameter string. Cut into 1/4 inch pieces. Press each piece in between your palms.

Here is Shu rolling out each pressed dough into 1 1/2 inch thin puris (wafers)

Puris need to be thin.

Deep fry in hot oil so that they puff up soon. toss them on both sides and fry for about a minute or two.

Crisp puris ready to be stored in air tight container.

For Pani: Spicy mint water to dip the puris.
1 cup of fresh mint leaves. Clean and wash the leaves well.

Add 1 tsp. of cumin seeds/jeera, 1 tsp caraway seeds/ajwain, 3-4 green chillies. 1/4 inch ginger, salt, lime juice. Grind with some water to form smooth paste.

Add mint paste to 4 cups of chilled water. Add 1 tbsp rock salt/sanchar, 2 tbsp. dry mango powder/amchur, and lime juice. Taste a spoon full of pani for salt, lime juice, spice. Add more if needed!
Let the water rest and chill in the refrigerator, while the ingredients mix and mature for an hour.

A twist to regular mint water is using grapes and black berries. This is also going to be sweet and tangy and loved by kids.

Blend some grapes and blackberries with pinch of cumin seeds. Add 1 tsp. rock salt and dry mango powder. Strain well and use the berry juice with regular spicy mint water for a creative twist :)

For the potato filling:
2 boiled. pealed, chopped potatoes and 1 cup boiled moong.
Add salt, chat masala, cumin powder, red chilli powder. Mix well.

Potato filling ready!

So we are ready to have yummy, spicy, tangy pani puri. 

Puffed crisp puris, Green mint water, purple berry juice, brown tangy sweet tamarind chutney, spicy potato filling.

Serve puris , pani and potato filling.

Click here of the recipe of date and tamarind sweet chutney.

I like to add sweet and tangy tamarind chutney to the pani.
You could also add berry water for kids instead of regular mint water :)

Flat puri and thin sev for sev puri and dehi batata sev puri.

Gently break the top of the Puri/ puffed wafer, fill 1 tsp. potato filling.
Dip into sweet, tangy, spicy water and pop the puri in your mouth :)
After having enough pani puri, how could you not end with some masala puri? This reminds me of street food again. At the end we used to ask for a masala puri from the bhaiyaji (pani puri vendor)

Crack the puri, add potato filling, sprinkle some chat masala! :)
Pop it in your mouth!
Have a Chatpati, Fun filled New year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kanda Bhaji/Onion Fritters

Yesterday, 25th December, Christmas celebration, had a great day with friends! Went out for lunch buffet at Arka restaurant. Then went to our friend's place for movie and some delicious bhajiyas.

Rain, comedy family movie, hot chai, bhajiyas and great friends are a perfect recipe for holiday fun!

So my friend, Paranaaz and I made these delicious crisp onion fritters along with lemongrass and mint Chai tea (made by her). The tea was amazing and super refreshing.

Later, we spent some time at the Downtown San Jose Christmas in the Park while her kids had great time on the rides!

Kanda in Gujarati and Marathi means onions. Born and brought by Maharashtra (Western part of India) both our families love Kanda Bhajis. This is one of the popular street foods in Maharashtra. Similar to onion rings, these are sliced onions coated with gram flour and spices and deep fried till they turn golden brown.

Thinly slice 1 large onion.

Chop green chillies.

Add some salt. (Parinaaz, I like black polish on you!)

Add a pinch of turmeric, 1 tsp. red chilli powder, chopped cilantro.

Mix the ingredients well and let the onions rest for 8-10 minutes while they sweat out moisture.

Add around 1/2 cup of besan/chick pea flour/gram flour and 1/2 cup  rice flour to coat the onions well.

Pick little onion mixture with your fingers and gently drop it in hot oil for frying.

 These are irregular shaped fritters with onion in every bite. Fry on medium heat till they are crisp and golden brown.

Remove on paper towel to blot excess oil.

Fry remaining fritters.

Enjoy hot Kanda Bhaji with hot Indian Chai Tea!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Falooda Drink

So finally after making making Falooda noodles at home yesterday, today is the time for falooda drink and Kulfi with falooda! :)
Check homemade Falooda Sev recipe.

Hhow much I miss Diwali and Chopda Poojan in Mumbai, when we used to have Badshah Falooda at Crawford market after Diwali Poojan at my cousins shop!

Falooda drink is made with milk, rose syrup, delicate noodles made from cornstarch, basil seeds and ice cream. Nuts are optional and added in Badshahi falooda for added richness to this drink. A rich, sweet dessert surely to be liked by all.

I always knew Takmaria are Tulsi/Basil seeds. But, today it was the first time Shu and I dissected Basil/Tulsi flowers called Manjar in Gajarati and found tiny black seeds. We were so happy!! Of course I used Takmaria from the packet I bought from Indian store.

1Here is the picture of Tukmaria/Basil seeds.  

Soak 1/2 tbsp. in 1/2 cup of plain water. The seeds swell and turn in slimy, translucent small balls.

Get 3 tbsp of rose syrup, 2 tbsp falooda sev (noodles), soaked takmaria seeds, ice cream (of your choice) and milk. I like to use tall glass for this drink. Fill half way with chilled milk.

Gently add falooda noodles and let them settle at the bottom of the glass.
Gently pour 3 tbsp of rose syrup. Being denser than milk it settles at the bottom. Do not mix the syrup with the milk. You should be able to see colorful layers.
Add soaked takmaria/basil seeds. They will float over milk.
Add soaked takmaria/basil seeds. They will float over milk.
Add a scoop of ice cream of your choice. Vanilla, malai kulfi, rose!

Insert a long spoon and a straw or Straw spoons :) and serve chilled!
Gently stir rose syrup with milk. Sip sweet rose milk with fine noodles at the bottom with the straw and have some chilled floating ice cream with the spoon :)

Enjoy Chilled Falooda Drink!!

Sabudana Wada with Peanut Dip

It is raining heavily today again and it reminds me of hot spicy wada pav or bhajia! But, since it is Ekadashi and Shu has been asking me to make Sabudana wadas since morning, I made these for late lunch. Shu loves Sabudana wada as it reminds him of his hostel mess (dorm cafe). According to him, Sabudana wada was one of the very few foods the cook could prepare was edible and delicious :)

If you do not know what Ekadashi is, I explained it in my earlier recipe of sabudana khichdi.

Sabudana wada are deep fried crisp balls or nuggets made of sago pearls and mashed potatoes. Sago pearls puff and swell when soaked in water. When fried, they turn golden brown and crisp.

Soak 1 cup of Sabudana/ Sago pearls with 1 cup water for 2-3 hours.

Lightly fluff soaked sabudana with fork. They are soft and delicate.

Boil 2 medium size boiled potatoes, peal and mash them. Amount of potatoes can be varied. You could add just 1 potato or even more if you are the one who loves more potatoes like my mom would do :)

To fluffed sabudana, add mashed potatoes,  chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves, 1 tsp. whole jeera, chopped green chillies, salt and lemon juice. You could also roasted and coarsely ground peanut (peanut powder) But, that is optional if you like peanuts. I add 2 tbsp. of peanut powder :)

Mix the ingredients well to form a soft dough. 
Take a taste test :) Add some salt and lime juice if needed.
(I would lick my fingers after mixing all the ingredients. What could be better than salty, lemony mashed potatoes stuck on your fingers!)

Take a spoon full of mixture in your palm, make a tight ball and press them in between your palms to make a flat cookie or puri.

Heat the oil for deep frying.
Meanwhile prepare Peanut chutney dip by mixing a cup of roasted and crushed peanut powder with yogurt and salt.

Deep fry flattened wadas in hot oil.

At first, they will sink to the bottom. But, will float as they lighten and turn golden brown.
They will puff up and form hollow space inside, being crisp from outside.

Let excess oil blot on paper towel.

Serve hot will Peanut Chutney Dip or Green Chutney.
Enjoy the rains and hot crispy 
Sabudana Wada with Peanut chutney!