Tag Archives: snack

Ponsa Muddo


These cakes are usually steamed in teak leaves, which impart a unique fragrance and reddish color to the cake. In the absence of teak leaves here, I have used banana leaves but would surely use teak leaves whenever I can get some and re-post the pictures. Canned jackfruit has been used in this recipe.

Ponsache Patoleo – Jackfruit cakes steamed in banana leaves (Pelakai da ghatti in Tulu)

Ponsa Muddo

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Average
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  • 2 cups Jackfruit, chopped
  • 2 cups  white rice (or rice rava)
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • Jaggery 1/4 cup, or as required (may be omitted if jackfruit is extra sweet)
  • Salt to taste.
  • 8 Teak leaves (or 5 to 6 banana leaves cut into  medium sized pieces)
  1. Wash and soak rice for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Grind along with jackfruit, coconut and jaggery to a very thick paste using very little water. Add salt.
  3. If using rice rava, soak for 15 minutes. Grind the jackfruit, coconut, jaggery to a paste and mix  with the rava.
  4. Place 2 ladles (or more depending on the size of the leaf) and fold into  a packet and place in steamer, seam side down and steam for 30 minutes.  Cooking time would vary according to size and thickness of the jackfruit cake.
  5. Remove and cut into pieces, if cakes are large.
  6. Serve for breakfast or as tea-time snack.  Also goes well with curries on festival menus.

Brinjal Pakoras


Brinjal Pakoras

Brinjals or aubergines or eggplants as they are called are a very versatile vegetable and a universal favorite, available roundthe year. They are delicious fried as pakoras, bhajias, stuffed with mince or green chutney masala (these recipes are in the book Mai’s recipes). The brinjal bharta and brinjal pickle are famous and so is the turkish recipe Imam Bayildi

Ingredients

  • 6 medium brinjals (or two large)
  • 1 ½ cups besan (gram flour)
  • ¼ tsp. soda bircarb (optional)
  • 1 tsp. carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp. amchur (dry mango powder) or pomegranate seeds powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Oil for shallow frying

Method

  1. Slice the medium brinjals horizontally.  If large cut into round slices.
  2. Mix the gram flour, soda bicarb, ajwain, chilli powder, amchur, salt to taste and make a batter with 1 cup water.
  3. Add some more water if batter is too thick. 
  4. Batter should coat the brinjals without dripping. 
  5. At the same time the coating should not be too thick. 
  6. Shallow fry to golden brown on both sides in hot oil. 
  7. Serve hot with ketchup, mint sauce, chilli garlic sauce or any sauce of your choice. 
  8. Make into sandwiches with bread or pita bread or rolled into a chapati for breakfast, packed lunch or a snack.

Cooking with Taro


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Taro (Colacasia) Plants

Taro croms (root) is also known as Arbi, Ghuiya, Colacasia root. The leaves are called colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves. The root, stems and leaves are edible but should not be consumed raw as it containes toxic substances which are neutralised by cooking.

Taro is a tropical plant and consumption of both its root and leaves have many benefits namely, reduces infammation, controls cholestrol, boosts immunity amongst other benefits.

Available in abundance during the monsoons in India. It is also grown in African, Oceanic, Pacific and South Asian countries throughout the year. It is easily available in Indian, East Asian and Latin American Markets around the world and comes in various sizes from small to medium to large. When choosing Taro croms, pick those that seem heavy for their size, are firm and the hairy skin looks somewhat moist.

Taro Roots or Arbi can be prepared into various tasty snacks and vegetables, a few of which are mentioned below. Apply some oil on your hands when handling Arbi or wear gloves as it leaves a sticky liquid.

  1. Arbi Kofta with mint yogurt dip
  2. Arbi Makhani
  3. Arbi fry
  4. Arbi Tuk

Taro or Colacasia leaves – also known as Colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves, have an abundance of benefits and are most commonly used in the traditional mangalorean Pathrode and the famous gujarati snack Pathra (Alu Vadi). The stems of the leaves are also used in cooking and we usually make a curry by adding some legumes, etc.

  1. Alu Vadi
  2. Pathrode
  3. Alun stem with Alsande Curry
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Alu Vadi
107 Pathrade
Pathrode
Alun Stem with Alasande (Red Kidney beans) and Ambade curry

It is beneficial to eat local and seasonal produce. Not only is it cheaper but also fresh as it is grown in local farms and the supply does not require transportation over days and weeks to long distances therefore the produce reaches markets quicker thereby preserving its nutritional value. Besides the nutrients lost due to contamination from pesticides etc. is eliminated as most local produce is grown organically. Any seasonal produce is naturally good as it supports the body’s nutritional requirements. Buying local produce also supports the local farmer.

Read my post on Cooking with Spinach for recipes using spinach.

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Urad Dal Vadi


Urad Dal Vadis

A crispy and delicious hot snack to provide some warmth on a wet rainy day or cold weather or simply when relaxing at home wth a nice hot cup of tea or coffee!

To get crisp and crunchy edges, make sure the batter is thick and dry. Batter should not be of dropping consistency. You can achieve this by heating gradually in the microwave after grinding the dals, till you get the right consistency. Mix and then add the rest of the ingredients. When frying take a teaspoon of batter and slide with another spoon into the oil. Avoid making balls with your hand as that would give you smooth edges, you want uneven edges for these vadis to add to the crispiness and crunchiness!!

Urad Dal Vadi

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups urad dal
  • ½ cup yellow moog dal
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2” pc ginger
  • 2 medium onions
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt or to taste
  • A pinch asafoetida (optional)

Method

  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. 
  2. Grind with green chillies and ginger to a coarse thick paste. Remove. 
  3. If the paste is not thick enough put in the microwave for a minute or two to dry it up a little. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate some air into the batter and combine the mixture. 
  5. Heat oil to smoking, reduce flame and put a tsp full of the batter and fry in batches on medium low till golden brown and crisp. 
  6. Remove and serve hot with a green chutney, coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Urad Dal Vadi

Other snacks to try: Saudana Vada, Medu Vada, Vada Pav

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Tuna Fish Cutlets


Tuna Fish Cutlets

Canned Tuna Fish cutlets

I owe my gratitude to our dear family friend Anita Martins for this easy and simply delightful recipe. Would never have know the ‘mayonnaise’ trick that really takes the taste to another level. Yes, absolutely, you add some mayonnaise to the tuna mix!!

This recipe is a hit at our home and made almost on a weekly basis as it is one of my childrens’ favorite. Even though they hardly eat fish, except for shrimp, they are game anyday for Tuna cutlets provided the tuna is out of a can! Moreover, since it is so quick and simple it is a go to recipe if short on time or out of options on what side dish to make. Goes very well with Dal or Moghe Sar, Vegetable curry, Kuwalo Bafad, etc.

I prefer using the “White Meat Tuna in Sunflower Oil” and also add the oil to the mixture. This really adds to the taste and texture of the cutlets. Although making the cutlets would be a little difficult to handle due to the wet mixture, but once you roll in the semolina it becomes easier to shape.

Fry the cutlets as soon as the mixture is ready otherwise the onions may begin leaving moisture and as the mixture already has the fish oil it will tend to become too wet to handle. If there is a gap between preparation and frying, just put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix just before frying. Also making the cutlets and keeping them aside before frying will tend to break them. Just roll the ball of mixture in semolina and keep aside and form the cutlets when you are ready to place on the frying pan.

Tuna Fish Cutlets

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tins tuna fish (160 gms, each in sunflower oil)
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste (or 1″ pc. ginger chopped fine) (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp. black pepper powder (use white peper instead, if available)
  • Small bunch fresh coriander (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Rava (Semolina) to coat the cutlets
  • Oil for shallow frying

Method

  1. Empty the contents of the fish tins in a bowl alongwith its oil. Don’t be tempted to discard the oil as it adds to the flavor.
  2. Chop the onions, chillies, ginger & coriander leaves finely and add to the fish.
  3. Add the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala & pepper powder and salt.  Mix everything well. 
  4. Heat a frying pan on medium low and add 4 tbsp. oil.
  5. Take a portion of the mixture the size of a lemon and roll in semolina.
  6. Form the balls into cutlets on the palms of your hand and gently place on the frying pan and shallow fry on medium low till crisp and brown on both sides.

P.S.: The mixture will be quite wet but when rolled in the semolina will be easier to handle and will set when frying.  Do not put too much oil, just fry in enough oil on medium low.  The cutlets may break if fried in too much oil.

Try my other cutlet recipes, Sprout Cutlet Rolls, Spicy Fish Cutlets, Hara Bara Kabab, Zucchini & Quinoa Patties

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Hara Bara Kabab


Hara Bara Kabab

Boil potatoes, peel and grate.  Boil the peas and mash coarsely.  Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.

Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves.  Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt.  Add cornflour for binding. 

Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil till for 3 to 4 minutes.

Hara Bara Kabab

  • Servings: 10 -12 Patties
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 medium potatoes
  • 1”  ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp.  chaat masala
  • 1 cup green peas, boiled
  • 1 cup spinach, blanched & chopped finely
  • 4 green chillies
  • Small bunch coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Cornflour
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. Boil potatoes, peel and grate. 
  2. Boil the peas and mash coarsely. 
  3. Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.
  4. You may use frozen whole leaf spinach and follow above step.
  5. Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves. 
  6. Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt. 
  7. Add cornflour for binding. 
  8. Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil on medium flame, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs


I have been making Foccacia over and over since few years but I don’t know why it did not occur to me to post it sooner. My family just loves this bread and more than half of it gets gobbled up no sooner it comes out of the oven while still warm and crisp.

Top it with chopped olives, roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, caramalized onions, etc. Foccacia is best eaten alone as a snack, but you can use it for sandwiches or pair it with dips for a delicious appetizer.

Here are the step-by-step pictures and method.

Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.  Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours. Alternatively, if you wish to bake the same day, leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate the seasoning. 

Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of olive oil in the centre of each. Divide the dough into two pieces and place each on the pan. 

Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan. 

Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F.  With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs

  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Italian seasoning, as mentioned below
  • Flaky sea salt

Italian seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Mix all the above together and keep to infuse until required. I have used dried herbs, use fresh if available. Secondly, you may omit one or the other as per availability, but increase the quantity propotionately so the bread is well seasoned. You may also use chopped olives.

Method

  1. Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated. 
  3. Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can also keep to rise for two hours, if you plan on making it the same day.
  4. After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate well. 
  5. Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of oil oil in the centre of each.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces and place one on each pan. 
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F. 
  9. With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, use more oil if required and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Vada Pav


Click here for Laadi Pav recipe

Vada Pav is considered as the quintessential Indian Burger, made famous on the streets of Mumbai and in recent times Vada Pav chains have been launched under the brand Jumboking, Goli Vada Pav, etc. as the vegetarian equivalent to the likes of Burger King, McDonalds, etc.

This simple burger serves as a breakfast & snack to millions of people each day and being reasonably priced, even lunch and dinner to the thousands of poor people and immigrant labor that make Mumbai their home in search of economic sustenance.

However, for us it is always the street Vada Pav that is our go to breakfast the morning we land in Mumbai. Our red-eye flight to Mumbai usually arrives in the wee hours of the morning and after the airport formalities, as we make our way to Malad, in the cool morning breeze and deserted streets at the crack of dawn, when Mumbaites are barely waking up from their slumber, only a very few vada pav vendors would be open to serve those hurriedly heading to catch their train/bus for their morning shift and grab a quick ‘vada pav breakfast’ and chai! We stop at one of these stalls to pick-up a couple of vada pavs each (because one is never enough!), bottled water and milk for our first breakfast upon arrival.

The contentment of sinking our teeth into the warm vada pav, our first in months, satisfies our craving and annuls the ordeal of the preceding travel bringing pleasure, gratification and warmth to our hungry bellys.

With the ongoing COVID-19 Lockdown as our travel to Mumbai seems uncertain and distant, thought why not create our nostalgic experience right where we are!

So you too, go ahead try it and why not make it as your next Sunday brunch rounding it off with some Kulfi or Falooda for a satisfying meal. Making the Vada Pav from scratch including making the green and garlic chutney, baking the Pav (the dough was made the previous day and the pav kept for proving) took me two hours. But, you can plan and prepare the previous day. Gather all your ingredients on the Saturday, make the pav and keep for proving, make the green chutney, garlic chutney, and the potato balls, and refrigerate. Next morning bake the pavs, heat the oil in the kadhai, make the besan batter, fry the batata vadas, assemble and enjoy this delicious treat. Trust me, you will give your favorite Vadapavwalla down the street a run for his money!

Vada Pav

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Batata Vada – Ingredients

4 large potatoes

½ tsp coriander,  roasted and crushed

¼ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp. turmeric

Pinch of asafoetida (optional)

½ tsp. cumin

½ tsp chilli powder

2 sprigs curry leaves

1 tbsp. oil

4 tbsp. green chutney * (recipe below)

Boil the potatoes, peel and chop. Heat a pan, add the oil and heat, then add mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida & curry leaves and switch off flame.  Immediately add the crushed coriander, cumin powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and the boiled potatoes.  When mixture is cool add *4 tbsp. of the green chutney and mix well and mash the potatoes roughly while mixing.  Make 15 to 20 balls of the potato mixture.

Vada Pav Besan Batter

Besan (gram/chick pea flour) Batter – Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gram flour (besan)

1/2 cup water

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. chilli powder

¼ tsp. turmeric

1 tbsp. hot oil (from the oil you will heat to fry the vadas)

Oil as required for deep frying

Heat oil in a kadhai.

Mix the besan with the salt, turmeric, chilli powder.  Remove 1 to 2 tbsp. of the hot oil and add to the besan batter.  The hot oil lends a certain flakiness to the batter.  Add the water and whisk to a smooth paste thick enough to coat the vada. Add a tablespoon of water if the batter is too thick but make sure its not runny.

Add a drop of batter to test the oil, which should immediately rise to the surface and turn golden brown.

Dip the potato balls in the batter to coat fully and drop gently in the hot oil and deep fry for 5 minutes to golden brown and crisp.  Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Vada Pav Green Chutney

*Green chutney – Ingredients 

1 small bunch coriander leaves

1 bunch mint leaves

5 green chillies

1 tsp. salt

Juice of 2 lemons

½ tsp. sugar

½ cup water

Blend the above (without the water) till smooth.  *Add 4 tbsp. of this paste to the potato mixture. Add the 1/2 cup water to the remaining chutney, mix and reserve.

Vada Pav Garlic Chutney

Garlic Chutney – Ingredients

¼ cup garlic

1 tbsp. peanuts

½ cup dry coconut grated or dessicated coconut

1 tbsp. sesame seeds

3 tbsp. Kashmiri chilli powder

Salt to taste

Dry roast the garlic, peanuts, coconut & sesame seeds each separately, till light brown.  When cool grind in a dry grinder with the chilli powder and salt to a coarse powder.  Cool and store in an airtight jar.

To assemble:

Take a pav and slit horizontally keeping the end intact.  Apply the green chutney on the base of the pav, top with garlic chutney, place the vada in the centre of the pav and serve hot.

Click here for Laadi Pav recipe

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