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Monday, October 20, 2014

Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao is commonly known as a street vegetarian rice dish in Mumbai .However ,its influence has reached throughout the world with many variations. This dish is cooked in a tawa or a flat griddle(usually used to make a variety of  dosa, chapati ,etc ) along the street of Mumbai. A special spice known as pav bhaji spice is used to add  flavour to the dish .A variety of vegetables ,such as diced potatoes, peas, capsicum and tomatoes are used to enhance the flavour which tantalize anyone's tastebud!!
Instead of serving plain Briyani ,why not Tawa Pulao !! Rich with veges with a bundle of flavours just bursting away in one's mouth :-) This is my version of this wonderful dish which I prepare at times at home .The dish will go well with Mutton Curry and a simple salad with mayonnaise or yogurt !!

400 gms potatoes (I used washed red potatoes), diced and boiled
150gms green capsicum (diced)
350gms red tomatoes(chopped)
200gms onions (sliced thinly)
30gms green chillies(chopped,deseed ,if preffered)
20gms ginger (pounded)
20gms garlic(pounded)
3 tbsp spice powder (or more, refer below for the recipe)
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste

For Rice 
400gms basmati rice 
700ml water
2 screwpine leaves/pandan leaves(knotted)

For Rice :
Soak rice for 15mins and drain. In a rice cooker , mix in rice,water and pandan leaves.Cook until done. Leave the rice to cool fully before using .

Method : 
In a flat griddle or tawa , heat  about 2 tbsp butter (use butter and not ghee). Once the butter melts, add in sliced onions, stir until slightly soft, then add in ginger garlic paste. Stir until well combined. Then add in capsicum and cook further for 2 mins. Add in chopped tomatoes ,red chillies ,  and half of the coriander leaves and cook until the tomatoes turn mussy and well blended with the rest of the ingredients.
Mix in masala powder and salt to taste and give a stir. Throw in boiled potatoes and combine well.If the spices are too dry, you can add a bit of water. Finally add in rice and peas. Close fire . Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Adjust seasoning .Sprinkle with the left over coriander leaves before serving .

Spice Powder


    11/2  tbsp coriander seeds
·         1 tbsp cumin seeds
·         2 1/2  tbsp paprika powder
·         1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
·         1 tsp dried mango powder/amchoor
·         2 pods cardamom seeds removed
·         6 cloves
·         1"piece of cinnamon
·         2 star anise
·         1 tsp fennel seeds
·      11/2  tsp dry ginger powder
·         ½  tbsp garam masala powder (I used homemade)
·         1/4 tsp asafetida

·         Heat a flat pan on medium heat. Gently roast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds,star anise, cloves,cardamom and cinnamon till they begin to release their aroma. Close fire. Add in paprika powder,turmeric powder and mix.Leave to cool.
·         Grind all the ingredients - including the, asafetida, dry ginger powder,garam masala powder - together in a dry coffee grinder, till a fine powder is formed. Store in an air-tight container for upto 4 weeks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Diwali Snacks

Kuih Siput/Snail Cookies

More of a snack rather than a cookie, Kuih Siput has been an old recipe which has been prepared in many houses during festivals. This snack is 
crunchy, savoury and spicy which makes it something to munch with a hot cup of tea and can be very addictive !  It comes in varied recipes ,as some like to add dried prawns or dried anchovies!! The snack is said of Malay origin and got its name as it comes in the shape  of a snail !!

300 grams of flour
100 grams butter( melted)
1 egg (beaten lightly)
1 tsp icing sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbsp or more fresh milk

2 dried chillies -or more 
1 tsp  cumin  seeds 
6-8 curry leaves (discard the stems)

Dry roast the spices and make it into a fine paste in a mixer with a bit of  water.

Chill the melted butter before using. Mix  flour ,spices ,melted butter,salt ,sugar and beaten egg. Mix nicely . Sprinkle milk and make the flour mixture into a dough.Leave to rest for 10mins .

Use the kuih siput mould(REFER IMAGE)  and take a bit of dough, flatten on the mould and roll ,to get a snail shape kuih.
You can use a fork to make the snail effect but it wouldn’t be as perfect as using the mould. Do until the dough finishes. If you find the dough hard to handle at one point of time, just sprinkle some milk to make it pliable .
Heat enough oil, deep fry until light golden brown. In between when you fry there will be bubbles, do not worry as it comes because of the butter in the dough. Keep stirring and check as it turns  light golden brown.Dish out. The kuih will turn crisp as it cools down . If you are doing this kuih for the first time, do in small batches first .Leave it to cool and taste .If it is is crispy ,then it means its done. Then you will have a rough idea on when to dish out the kuihs .This recipe gives you a soft and crispy snail  kuih.

Note: You can add dried prawns in this kuih. Soak in hot water. Drain and grind it in the mixer with the roasted spices.

Spicy Spring Rolls

Another snack which seems to have taken its place among the many snacks is the fried spring rolls which has been cut diagonally and coated in many variation of ingredients, some with sugar and nestum , some in sambal variation. I have created it to cater the indian community for Diwali by generously coating the rolls with roasted spices.

1 packet Spring rolls
(40 sheets )

Gum (to seal the edges of the spring roll)
2 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp water or more

Take a spring roll, half  it and seal with some gum.
Roll from one end up to another end and seal it with flour gum.
Do the same to all the spring rolls. The end result will look like a mini cylinder !

Cut diagonally each spring roll .Deep fry in medium heat in 5 to 6 parts.
When you put in the cut spring rolls ,do not stir , it will come from its shape as the rolls are fragile. Stir ,only after a minute, by then the rolls will be stiff. Fry until it turns golden brown. Dish out on a kitchen paper .Do the same until all the cut rolls finishes.

4 dried red chillies(break into a few parts)
3 sprigs curry leaves (discard the stem)
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafetida/hing powder
11/2  tsp icing sugar
Salt to taste

Dry roast dried chillies, curry leaves, cumin seeds, hing powder.

Pound in a pestle and mortar until it becomes into powder form.Combine  in icing sugar and salt and mix into the fried spring rolls, Adjust the seasoning accordingly  .Toss well until all the ingredients are well coated. Leave to cool before storing in air tight container.

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