Popular Recipes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Sweet Treats"-Ricotta- Kaju-Pista Rolls

For few years now, one of my Diwali favorites has been "Ricotta cheese Kesar-malai pedhas". This year I was trying to make variety of sweets from the same recipe( I made pedhas,kaju-pista rolls from same base recipe). I modified the 'Pedha' recipe a bit and viola! we have Kaju-Pista rolls. Actually Kaju-Pista rolls will be made a lot differently, but the texture issue with sugar syrup and cashew powder is a little daunting for me at times. So I decided to go the easier route....

For Pedhas:
425 gms Whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 cup Carnation milk powder
3/4th cup sugar
1/4th cup milk
1tsp ghee
1/4th tsp cardamom powder (Elaichi)
1 pinch saffron (kesar)
Pista and almond chips for decoration
Silver leaf/ foil for decoration

For Kaju-Pista Rolls:
1/2 cup Raw Cashew powder
1/4th cup Raw pista powder
few drops of green food coloring

1) In a non stick kadhai/skillet, melt 1tsp ghee. On medium to low flame add the ricotta cheese. Stir for about 15 mins. First the cheese will melt and then start getting thick again. This is similar to Khoya/ Khava.
Ricotta can burn easily. So, use non stick skillet and keep the flame low/medium!

2) When it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai, add milk (mixed with saffron/ kesar), sugar and milk powder. Stir all together. Cook till it starts leaving the sides of the kadhai. This will take about 15 mins or so. The mixture will become thin first and then thick.

3) Add the cardamom powder. Mix well. Take off the gas.

4) Let it cool.
5) To 1 part of the pedha mixture,add 1 part Cashew powder.Mix well.To the other part add pista powder and green food coloring.

6) Roll out the Kaju mixture into rectangle on wax paper.Apply butter to the paper.

7) On top of that, place the Pista mixture log and roll out with a buttered rolling pin.

8) Make a 'log' by folding from both sides.It should look like green cylinder covered by white layer.

9) Decorate with Silver leaf or pista pieces.

10) Cut horizontally into 1-1 and 1/2 inch pieces.

11) Store in refrigerator.

These will surely make your Diwali 'extra' special!!

"Appetizers"-Spicy Phyllo Kachoris

With new baby 'A' and preschooler 'E' on hand, you can imagine how 'superfull' my hands are right now! Since Diwali is always special....I couldn't resist making some simple recipes. I did not try out some thing drastically different but gave some old tried recipes a twist and made some new ones!
This one is a fusion of 'Bakarvadi' and 'Kachori'.Since, I was sure I wouldn't have time to make the dough for either, I used these super versatile Phyllo cups( I am in love with  these cups! You can use them to fill so many different things) and they are ready in no time!

2 pks of mini Phyllo cups( pre baked, 15 cups in each pack)

For the filling:
1/2 cup dry grated coconut/ coconut powder
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/4cup Thin sev
1tsp Goda masala (maharashtrian curry powder)
1/2tsp garam masala
1/2tsp tamarind extract ( or use tamarind jaggery chutney-- heat jaggery in little water till thick paste,add tamarind extract)
1tsp sugar/jaggery (you can add more)

1/2tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want)
1/2 tsp Cumin-coriander powder
salt to taste

1) Dry roast the sesame seeds till very light brown.
2) To the same pan, add the dry coconut powder.Roast till golden brown.
3)Take off the heat and and then add spices, sugar, salt, tamarind,jaggery,sev.Mix well.This filling should be spicy and sweet-tangy.
4) Heat the phyllo cups on a baking sheet at 350F for 3-4 mins for extra crispness.Let them cool.
5) Fill with above coconut filling and top with extra sev.Serve immediately.

Enjoy the spicy 'bakarwadi style' filling in crisp Phyllo cups!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

On a Blogging Break...

I am going on a blogging break...

Since many of you enquired, why I haven't been posting on the blog lately...I would like to share this with you...the arrival of our daughter 'Ayana' ...


Hope to start blogging soon and sharing with you all :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Sweet Treats"- Moong daal sheera/ Halwa

There are certain foods, which are not your favorites, or you have had them only a few times...but their taste is unique and makes you crave them at times!!! 'Moong Dal sheera' is one such dish for me. I have had it may be just 5-6 times at the most... in some weddings in India or other special occasions.I don't remember my mom making it that much....
But couple months ago....when the 'pregnancy' cravings kicked in....I just wanted to eat that!!!
It is considered a 'healthy' breakfast because it is entirely made up of Moong daal ..so has lot's of protein.....and if you 'ignore' the Butter/ghee or sugar that goes in there.....it is a pretty good breakfast!!
To tell you the truth....'Pure Ghee(Clarified butter)' was never considered 'Unhealthy' at our homes in India....it was supposed to be 'nourishing' and 'had many benefits'....in my mom's words....

1 cup Moong daal
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Milk
1 cup water (or use milk....to make it richer)
3/4th cup Ghee/ Clarified butter
1/2tsp Cardamom powder
Saffron-few sticks
Almonds-few sliced

1) Soak dal for 3-5 hrs
2) Grind it well with minimum water to make fine paste
3) Mix water and milk and boil them.
4) Heat the ghee in non stick pan.Add the daal paste and roast till it becomes golden.
5) Then add the milk+water and let it cook for 2-3 mins
6) Add the sugar , mix well and cook for another 5-7 mins and stir in between.
7) Add cardamom, saffron, raisins, almonds, cashews etc.
8) Serve warm.You can 'mold' it in different shapes for better presentation.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Sweet Treats"- Biscotti with Oats and Nuts

I love baking goodies at home.Especially Biscottis, Scones etc which we can have with our afternoon tea. Baking at home gives me the satisfaction....that I know what's exactly going in there and how much of it...I can cater the recipe to myself..make it less sweet, use less butter, add ingredients that my family likes etc etc .....
Now, I made up this recipe of Biscotti with Oats...not because 'Oats' is my families favorite...but to make them eat some oats!!! I like oats and have it for breakfast daily...but 'M' and 'E' are not oat fans at all...
These Biscottis have 'oats' and 'nuts' and are (may be) a little better for you than the ones with only 'all purpose' flour. And they tasted soooo good....crunchy, nuttier with perfect sweetness.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (quick cooking oats)
1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
3 large eggs
½ cup chopped roasted walnuts and almonds
4tbsp butter+1 tsp butter
2tbsp Cool whip topping
2tsp baking powder
2 pinches salt

1) Coarsely grind the oatmeal. Add 1 tsp butter and roast in microwave for 2 – 3 mins.
2) Beat 3 large eggs. Add softened (room temperature) butter and cool whip topping. Whip all together.
3) Add the all purpose flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, chopped nuts, salt etc and make into dough.
4) Pre heat oven to 350 F
5) Roll the dough into two ‘logs’ on a greased baking sheet.
6) Bake on greased baking sheet for 20-25 mins , until lightly brown.

7) Cool the logs for 15-20 mins.
8) Slice the logs horizontally, to make ‘Biscottis’.

9) Bake the Biscottis again at 350F for 15-20 mins until crisp.
Enjoy the crunchy, nutty Biscottis with your tea or coffee..

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Everyday cooking"- Mix Daal Dhokla/ Idli (Steamed rice and lentil cakes)

Do you crave the things your mom made back at home when you visited the last??? I was exactly experiencing the same....Mummy had made this dhokla during my last India trip.I had liked it so much and felt the taste lingering on my tongue, as I remembered it.....
This preparation  can be 'had' as 'Dhoklas' or made into 'Idlis' ..as per the preference.I like to have it as an appetizer or a side dish , with 'mustard-sesame' tadaka on top!
This dhokla tastes different than the traditional idlis(made withrice and  urad daal alone), is 'tangy' due to fermentation, has more protein, and can be made 'Spicy' according to taste.

1 measure of Rice
1/2 measure of Urad daal
1/2 measure of Chana daal
1/2 measure of Moong daal
1/4 measure yogurt
2tsp green chili-garlic paste( add more to make spicy dhokla)
2tbsp oil
1tsp Baking soda
2tsp mustard seeds
2tsp sesame seeds
1/4tsp asafoetida/hing
few curry leaves
Fresh green cilantro for garnishing

1) Soak the rice, and the daals overnight in water.
2) Next day, grind the rice and daals into smooth-coarse batter
3) Mix the yogurt and keep in warm place for 6-8 hrs until it ferments and rises up.
4) When you are ready to steam the 'Dhokla/Idli', oil a flat bottom vessel/ idli plates.
5) Boil water in the 'Staeming vessel'( I use pressure cooker without the 'pressure' for steaming the dhokla'.)
6) When the water comes to a boil....mix 1 tbsp oil with 1tsp baking soda and whisk.Add this mixture to the fermented batter.The mixture will become fluffier.Add the chili -garlic paste to the batter.Mix.
7) Pour immediately into the oiled pan and steam on medium flame for 20 mins or so.
8) Let it cool for 15 mins
9) For Tadaka: Heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hing, curry leaves.Pour on top of the dhokla.

10) Cut into wedges like pizza or square or diamond shapes. Garnish with Cilantro.
11) Can be served 'as is' or with 'Cilantro chutney, ketchup or mint chutney.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"For Little Tummies" - Sandwiches with 'Walnut-Cilantro Chutney' and Veggies

At 'E's pre-school, parents take turn to provide daily snack. This time I made these sandwiches for his class.I was sure kids would love these...as I know 'E' can eat these for breakfast.... everyday!!!
In India, these sandwiches would be made mostly with 'Coconut-Cilantro' chutney or 'Mint- Cilantro' chutney..and of course ...much spicier. I decided to swap the coconut in the 'Coconut-Cilantro" chutney with walnuts..to make it extra rich in protein and provide some additional nutrition. The 'Walnut-Cilantro' chutney tastes delicious and nutty and could be used as a 'spread' for many other sandwiches, or as 'Dips' for different snacks.

For the chutney

1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup cilantro
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic
1/2-1 green chili (add more for spicier chutney)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp lemon juice ( to retain green color of the chutney)

For The Sandwiches:
Sliced bread of your choice
Veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers etc thinly sliced
Butter/margarine/Mayo for spread
Grated cheese (if you like)

1) Grind together all the ingredients for the chutney into a smooth paste.
2) Cut off the edges of the sliced bread.
3) Spread butter on one slice.On top, spread a teaspoon of the Walnut chutney.
4) Place the veggies, grated cheese on top.

5) To another slice, apply some ketchup and place this slice on top of the veggies.
6) Cut into squares or triangles or rectangles.Serve at room temperature.

1) Add mint to the chutney for additional taste
2) Other veggies like onions,green peppers, lettuce etc could be added.
3) A veggie patty or chicken patty can be added to the sandwich to make a 'burger'

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Appetizers"- Paneer Chili Fry/ Paneer Fish Pickle

Paneer Fish Pickle:
Let me clarify the name first....
This dish is actually vegetarian and has no fish whatsoever.The name comes from M's and my college time favorite restaurant in Pune..called 'Savera' on FC college road. They had this dish on menu and called it "Paneer Fish Pickle"....still don't know why. Paneer Chili fry seems to be a more apt name for the dish though!
 M and I used to sneak out there sometimes for lunch and this one was our favorite. It was spicy, tangy ...more like a 'Chinese' dish and served with guess what......Naan!! Now that's fusion of both Indian and Chinese cuisines!

2 cups cubed Paneer
1 Onion thinly sliced vertically
1 Capsicum thinly sliced vertically
2-3 Green chilies sliced vertically(Add more for spicier taste)
2tsp ginger garlic paste
2tbsp Corn starch
1tbsp Soy sauce
1tsp ketchup
2tsp Sweet and sour sauce/ Sweet chili sauce
1/2tsp black pepper
Cilantro for garnishing
Oil for frying

1) Mix together corn starch with little water.Add 1/4th tsp of the black pepper and some salt to make a smooth thick paste.
2) Rub the Paneer cubes with half the ginger-garlic paste
3) Dip the cubes in the corn starch mixture and deep fry till golden brown.Drain well on paper towel.Keep aside.
4) Heat 1tsp oil in a non stick pan.On high flame add the ginger garlic paste, onions, capsicum, chilies etc and stir fry a minute or two. The veggies should remain crisp.
5) Add the fried paneer cubes, soy sauce, ketchup,sweet sour sauce,black pepper,salt if needed and mix.
The dish should taste Spicy-Sour-Sweet. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
6) Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped green cilantro.
7) Serve hot as appetizers or with naan/roti etc.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Sweet Treats"- Eggless Scones with Dark Chocolate and Nuts

"Scones" are sort of a quick bread....with crumbly texture ....can be sweet /savory....and can be made with various flavors and additions like cranberries, chocolate chips, poppy seeds ,lemon, chives, cheese, rosemary etc. They are mostly a 'breakfast food' and had with Jam, jelly, fruits etc.But.....
 I like scones with my afternoon tea!!! I think they go very well with the 'Indian style tea'.
The other day, my friend 'A', who is vegetarian asked me about baking 'eggless cakes'. Now, I usually do not bake 'Eggless'....but last week I wanted to bake... and had no eggs.So, I thought of giving eggless scones a try.I read through number of recipes and came up with this one, with all the flavors I like and ingredients I had on hand. The scones came out really well and did not feel 'eggless' or 'compromised' in any way at all.

2 cups All purpose flour

3/4 to 1 cup sugar (use less for less sweet scones)
½ cup Roasted Almond+ Walnut (powdered coarse)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3cup dark chocolate chips/ chopped dark chocolate
6 tbsp Cold unsalted butter
1 and ½ cup + 2 tsp whipped topping (Cool whip frozen whipped topping) or Use whipping cream
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1tsp Vanilla extract

1) Pre heat the oven to 325F

2) Grind together roasted almonds and walnuts to make coarse powder

3) Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, powdered nuts, sliced almonds

4) Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Mix together with both hands into the flour. Rub the butter onto the flour to make ‘coarse’ mixture. Small pieces of butter will still remain.

5) Add the whipped topping (keep 2tsp aside for brushing later), vanilla, chocolate and combine everything together. Do not overmix. The mixture should still look ‘Coarse’ and hold together only when pressed between both hands.

6) Take 2 hand fulls of the mixture, press to make a flat ball (For detailed instructions-http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2010/01/sweet-treats-scones-with-dark-chocolate.html)

7) Roll the ball on a flat surface to about 1-2 inches thick.

8) Cut into wedges like a pizza with sharp knife and place on buttered cookie sheet

9) Brush the scones with cream/whipped topping.

10) Bake at 325F for about 20-25 mins. The bottom of the scones should turn slight golden, but the top remains cream colored.

11) Serve as breakfast, snack with tea/ coffee, jam, marmalade, fruits etc.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"Appetizers"-Oven Baked Jalapeno Poppers

I love Jalapeno Poppers!!! The first time, I had them was here in the USA.We were newly married and 'M' took me to this really fancy restaurant....oops I don't remember the restaurants name...thanks to my memory!
So,since then I became a big fan of Jalapeno poppers and eventually learned the recipe and made them myself.
Few months ago, we tried the Jalapeno poppers from 'Chilies'.....and weren't so happy because they came from the freezer and we could smell the 'freezer aroma'. So this time, I did not take any chances and made the Poppers at home....

This recipe....is for 'Oven baked' Poppers, but can easily be used to make the 'fried' kind....if you don't want to sacrifice the outer crunch from frying!
12 Jalapenos
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic finely minced
1tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg (beaten)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Oil for drizzle
black pepper

1) Slit the jalapenos length wise and de seed them completely.Wear gloves if you are sensitive.The jalapenos for this recipe should be mildly 'hot'.Of course you wouldn't know that until you give them a taste!

2) Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, cilantro,chili powder, salt, pepper to make the 'filling'. With a small spoon or a piping bag fill the de seeded jalapenos with the filling and press them shut.Or if you like the poppers 'super stuffed'...stuff in some extra filling!

3) Make a assembly -line of flour, egg and bread crumbs.Dip the poppers in flour first, then egg and then bread crumbs to completely coat them.

4) Place them on a greased baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 mins.
5) Pre heat the oven to 350F . Drizzle the poppers with oil to help give 'brown' color and some crunch after baking.Bake for about 15-20 mins or so or until lightly browned.
Note: Some cheese may ooze out if baked longer or at high temperature.

If  Frying= Heat oil in saucepan. Fry the coated chilled poppers 1-2 at a time till golden brown

6) Serve warm either just by themselves or with Ketchup/ marinara sauce.....enjoy the spice from the jalapenos, the tangyness from the cheese and the crunch from the coating! Yumm Yumm yumm!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Aroma from a Guest Kitchen"- (Guest Name:Narendra Vaidya)-Sweet corn and Roasted Poblano soup in a Bread Bowl with chopped Scallions and Chipotle lime sour cream

Today's Guest: Narendra Vaidya
Naren and I studied in the same college in Pune,India.But the weird part is, even being in the same college, we did not know each other then.Then after about 10 years, we get in touch with each other due to....GUESS WHAT??
It has been great reconnecting with Naren and sharing and learning new recipes from him!
Recipe Naren Shared:
Sweet corn and Roasted Poblano soup in a Bread Bowl with chopped Scallions and Chipotle lime sour cream

Here is the recipe in his own words:
I was always a huge fan of the sweet corn soup we get in India. A few days back I came home from work and felt like eating a soup. Just made up this recipe by myself,(my fiancee was away in Boston) so I was not worried even if it turned out bad, I was the only one eating it anyway. So here it goes...

2 poblano peppers , roasted, deseeded and diced
1-1/2 bag of corn kernel, store brand works just fine.
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 th cup half and half
about 1-1/2 cups of milk
2 tablespoon oil
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 medium onion diced
chopped scallions
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 table spoon lemon juice
About a 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or buy dried chipotle (smoked jalapenos) and run them through a blender
Bread boule/bowl ( find them in the bakery section of the store) - if you are lucky you might find flavored ones, like rosemary-garlic or Parmesan
Salt and black pepper according to taste

1) Heat oil in a pot and add ginger and garlic to it

2) Let it cook for a while then throw in the onions

3) In the meantime, roast the poblano peppers in a pan with little bit of oil

4) After the onions are translucent add the corn, water and the vegetable broth

5) Let it cook for a few minutes, in the mean time deseed the peppers and dice them

6) Add the poblano peppers,half and half and milk

7) Bring the soup to a boil, after 2-3 minutes turn off the heat, boil for a bit longer if a thicker consistency is desired

8) Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree this mixture

9) Move it back to the pot, turn on the heat to a low setting to keep it warm

10) Add salt and black pepper, keep in mind that the broth has salt in it so taste before you add anymore salt

11) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

12) Carve out bread bowls out of the bread boules using a bread knife (sounds funny when you say it out loud....)

13) Stick these bread bowls in the oven with the carved out pieces of bread for about 8 minutes, depends on the kind of oven though, if you have a fairly new oven it might need less time.

14) The bowls should be warm and a bit crispy/crunchy on the outside

15) In the meantime, while the bread is warming, instead of flipping aimlessly through TV channels, chops some scallions for garnish

16) Also, mix the sour cream, chipotle powder, lemon juice and lemon zest into a smooth paste (a fork works well for this)

17) To serve, ladle the soup in the bread bowls, garnish with chopped scallions and a few dollops of the chipotle-lemon sour cream


Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Sweet Treats"- Mango Basbousa (Egyptian semolina cakes soaked in sugar syrup)

22nd April is M's Birthday. Every year I bake him a birthday cake...almost for as long as we have known each other as friends and then as husband and wife. Even last year, when I was in India, before I left for the trip...I had baked and frozen a birthday cake for him.This year it was different though.Because of the pregnancy nausea and aversion towards cakes and pastries I couldn't bake him the 'normal' birthday cake....
I baked him one of his favorite desserts....which happen to resemble 'Cake' (more like Egg less Rava Cake made in India) It is called 'Basbousa'. I usually bake this one 'plain' or with vanilla, but this time I made it 'extra' special by adding 'Mango' and of course...tons of love :)

For the Cake:
1 and 1/4 cup Semolina/Rava
1/4 cup All Purpose flour
1/2 cup Yogurt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2tbsp powdered  sugar (add more if not sweet enough,after adding Mango)
1 and 1/2 cup Kesar/ Alphonso Mango puree (I used the the 'Swad' canned one)
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Almonds for garnishing

For the Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2tsp lemon juice
1/2tsp Cardamom powder
Boil water,sugar,lemon juice,together for 10-15 mins.Keep aside

1) Mix together melted butter,semolina,yogurt,Mango puree,all purpose flour.Keep aside for 1/2 hour
2) Add sugar,baking soda,baking powder,salt,lemon juice and mix together into smooth batter(Consistency like cake batter) Add little water if necessary.
3) Garnish with sliced almonds and bake at 350F for 40-45 mins.
4) Pour warm syrup over hot cake evenly.Let soak for 15-20 mins.Cut into classic 'diamond' shapes of Basbousa or into wedges like a pie.

5) Enjoy hot/warm/cold!
6) You can also bake them in aluminum cup liners in muffin pans...to make individual servings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Appetizers"- Sabudana vada/ Fried Sago+potato balls

100th Post on the blog!
I cannot believe it, this will be my 100th post on the blog! From September 2009 to April 2010, it has been a fabulous experience so far. Hope you all enjoy it, as much as I do putting it together!

Sabudana Vada
One more Maharashtrian favorite, and ofcourse mine too!!! Sabudana/Sago vadas are made mainly during 'Religious fasting' in Maharashtra (similar to the Sago Khichadi).... but Come On.....who needs an occassion to savor such a yummy dish???
Not me atleast!!!
Sago vadas are famous as 'Religious' food, are famous on the fast food stalls and cafeterias everywhere.

I have a little story/ experience about the vadas ....

When I was about 16 years old, my mom prepared the 'dough' for the vadas and then went to work.She asked me to just  fry them and eat whenever I wanted. I was very 'carefull cook' then, but don't know, how it happened.....the sago in the vadas spluttered in the hot oil and few drops of hot oil came straight on my neck....I had few burn marks on my neck.I was sooooooo scared :(
After that, my mom did not make the vadas for quite a while and needless to say..I wasn't allowed near hot oil anymore!
I have made the vadas countless times after that but....and nothing happened...but just a warning.....move away from the pan when frying these....

1/2 cup Sago
1 big boiled potato peeled and mashed
3-4 green chillies or 1tsp Chili powder
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/4cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Peanut powder/ ground up peanuts
Oil for frying

For Cilantro Chutney:
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/4cup fresh coconut
1/4tsp cumin seeds
1/4tsp ginger paste
2-3 green chilies
sugar to taste
Few drops of lemon juice to preserve the green color of the chutney.
Finely grind all the above into smooth paste.Sqeeze few drops of lemon, mix. Store in refrigerator.

1) Wash sago thrice in cold water.Drain. Add enough water to cover the sago and let it soak overnight or atleast 5 hours.The sago should fluff up.
2) Mix together soaked sago, mashed boiled potato, peanut powder, finely chopped green chilies, cumin, salt and form into a dough.Make small balls and slightly flatten them with squeeze in the hand.

3) Deep fry in hot oil, over medium heat, till golden brown and crispy on the outside.
4) Serve hot along with cilantro chutney or yogurt.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Appetizers"- Bakarwadi...Chitale Bandhu isstyle!

Nothing says more 'Puneri' (localite from Pune,Maharashtra,India) than a fan of 'Chitale Bandhu Bakarwadi'!
Chitale is this famous sweet mart in Pune.They have amazing desserts and maharashtrian snacks is countless varieties. When you visit their shop, you almost should spare a good 1/2 hour, because you might find a big queue ahead of you! They are particularly famous for 'Bakarwadi', which are kind of spicy,tangy, crispy rolls.
Since these days all my cravings go straight back to home...I was craving these wadis like crazy, the other day.But here in Ithaca, there isn't a way to get the wadis till you travel 3-4 hrs  to Subzi Mandi in New Jersey. As it is rightly said, "Necessity is the mother of Invention".....I set out to ...well not to invent ....but give it a try myself and make the Bakarwadis at home!! They were 'semi- succesfull', but they surely did satisfy my craving for few days as I was munching on these crispy wadis!!

For the Filling:

1/2 cup dry roasted grated coconut
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/4cup Thin sev
1tsp Goda masala (maharashtrian curry powder)
1/2tsp garam masala
1/2tsp tamarind extract ( or use tamarind-jaggery chutney)
1tsp sugar (you can add more)
1/2tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want)

For the outer roll:
1cup All purpose flour
1tbsp gram flour
1/2tsp ajwain/owa seeds
1-2tsp oil
Oil for frying

1) Mix together all the ingredients of the filling and keep separately. It looks kind of coarse and dry.
2) Make a 'hard' dough with all purpose flour,gram flour, salt, oil and water.
3) Roll the dough into a 'chapati'.
4) Spread the coconut filling in thin layer over the chapati

5) Roll the chapati tightly into a roll and seal the edges with little water.

6) Cut the roll horizontally

7) Deep fry the rolls gently, without much 'agitation', on low to medium heat,till golden brown.
8) Drain welland store in airtight container.
Bite into these spicy, tangy, crispy rolls along with your cup of hot tea!

Problems I faced when making Bakarwadis: The semi succesfull attempt
1) Loose rolls
Solution: Roll the chapati as tightly as possible to get perfect wadis
2) Filling came out in oil
Solution: My mom suggested using some thick sugar syrup in the filling to help make it stick in the chapati.
another option isto make thick tamarind jaggery chutney and spread it on the chapati, before spreading the filling.
3) Rolls opening up when frying
Solution: Don't cut the rolls all the way through.Fry 5-6 wadis stuck together in oil and then separate them once out of the oil.

The next time I try these....they should surely be a winner!