Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tandoori Momo

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the north-eastern states of Indian subcontinent. This state is mainly inhabited by tribal people and thus features a rich tribal gastronomy. The most interesting aspect about the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh is that unlike other states in India, the tribal people here avoid the use of oil and other packed spices. Also the cuisine here is nutritious and healthy as they make extensive use of herbs and fresh indigenous spices. The cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh clearly defines the rich culture and simple lifestyle of people. Some traditional Arunachal dishes are 
  • Zan is the staple dish of the Monpa tribes. It is usually made of millet flour, and is served with vegetables or meat, to which fermented cheese, soya bean or herbs are added.
  • Gyapa khazi is a type of pulao made of rice, fermented cheese, small dried fish or shrimp, chilies, ginger and other spices.
  • Momo is made by stuffing chopped vegetables or minced pork and onions into dough and then steaming the dumpling in a steamer or deep frying.
  • Thukpa is a soup filled with noodles, minced meat and vegetables, also known as der thuk.
  • Khura is a pancake, often taken with tea.




Ok, so why I am describing cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh, one of the north-eastern states of Indian subcontinent ?
The reason behind this is recently I have been added to a group named as Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge by Mayuri di. As the name of the group says, it is totally a secret challenge. In details, there is a theme decided each month. Members are grouped as pair. Each member has to prepare a dish according to the theme using the two secret ingredients given by the paired member. Finally that dish is posted at the end of the month. And yes, if the dish is ready before time then any one picture of the dish can be posted in the Facebook group for guessing the secret ingredients used in that dish which in result, creates some curiosity and fun among rest members of the group. So for October month challenge the theme was 'Arunachal Pradesh Cuisine' and for this theme my partner was Amrita Iyer who is an amazing blogger. She gave me two secret ingredients as yogurt and cabbage. Using these two secret ingredients I have prepared momo but with a twist as tandoori momo. 



 Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge


Momo is believed to be of Tibetan origin and basically a type of steamed dumpling with some stuffing. A simple dough made from flour, salt and water is generally preferred to make the outer covering of momo. Traditionally, momo is stuffed with minced meat, but over the past several years, this stuffing has become more elaborate. Momo is prepared with a variety combination of minced or ground meat, vegetables, paneer etc. these days. The dough is rolled into small flat circular shapes. The stuffing is then enclosed in the circular shapes to give different shapes of momos. Finally those dumplings are steamed or deep fried and served with hot dipping sauce like garlic chutney.




In this post, I have given a twist to the steamed momo. Just coat the momos with a tandoori marination and cook under heat like in oven to get that charred appearance. If you are a tandoori food lover like me, then I can guarantee that you will simply fall in love with this tandoori momo. These momos are a bit spicy ones as compared to other momos. These also go very well as party appetizers. The tandoori momos can be made easily and a perfect dish for all momo lovers. These lip-smacking momos are crispy and not fried, hot and really tasty.  Here I have prepared the momo only with vegetables, that means a vegetarian version of momo. So below is the details method of preparation of this tandoori twisted classic Tibetan steamed dumpling aka tandoori momo.




Preparation Time : 20 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins

Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Dough
All purpose flour
1 cup
Salt
As needed
Water
As needed
Stuffing
Cabbage (finely chopped)
1 cup
Carrot (finely chopped)
¼ cup
Onion (medium)
 1 no.
Garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 tbsp
Sugar
¼ tsp
Soy sauce
1 tsp
Pepper powder
½ tsp
Salt
As needed
Oil
1 tbsp
Marination
Hung curd
½ cup
Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp
Tandoori masala
1 tbsp
Red chili powder
2 tsp
Garam masala
1 tsp
Salt
As needed


Method :
  1. In a mixing bowl, take all purpose flour, salt and then add water little by little.
  2. Knead and make a smooth pliable dough. Keep aside covered.
  3. Next heat oil in a pan on high flame, then saute finely chopped onion, garlic.
  4. Add chopped cabbage, carrot, sugar and saute again for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Then add salt, pepper powder, soy sauce and toss well. 
  6. Cook for 1 minute more and then switch off the flame. 
  7. Keep aside the stuffing to cool down completely.
  8. Now make very small, but even size balls from the dough.
  9. Take one ball, roll into a thin circle of about 3 inches.
  10. Put 1 tsp of the stuffing in the center, fold the edges of the circle in a pleated manner to give any desired momo shape.
  11. Similarly prepare dumplings from rest dough balls.
  12. Arrange all the dumplings having space in between on a greased steamer plate and steam for 5 minutes.
  13. Take out from the steamer and keep aside.
  14. In another mixing bowl, take all the ingredients listed under marination. Mix well to a smooth paste.
  15. Brush each momo with this marination and keep aside on a plate for 30-35 minutes.
  16. Now heat a non stick pan, then grease with butter.
  17. Pan fry all the marinated momos from both the sides or until charred look appear.
  18. Finally arrange these delicious tandoori momos in a serving platter, sprinkle lime juice a little and garnish with shredded green and purple cabbage. Serve hot with garlic chutney or mint chutney !



Notes :

  • Since these tandoori momos are being cooked in 2 steps (steamed and then grilled), so do not steam more than 5 minutes.
  • Make the outer covering as thin as possible.
  • While making the dough, 2 tsp oil can also be added to make the dough more soft.
  • Any other vegetables like french beans, spring onion etc can be used too.
  • These tandoori momos can be grilled as well. Just take a greased baking tray, arrange all the marinated momos having space in between and then grill the momos at 200 deg C until charred.

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Papdi Chaat with Sofrito (Spanish Tomato Sauce)




Papdi chaat or papri chaat is a popular street food of the Indian subcontinent. Mainly this chaat is more popular in the northern part of India as compared to rest part. Papdi chaat is basically prepared using crisp fried flat puris (about 2-3 inch size) known as papdi or papri along with chopped boiled potatoes, boiled chick peas, curd / yogurt, green and tamarind chutney, finally topped with chaat masala and sev. This chaat has mix flavors of sweet, sour, tangy as well as spicy. You can either use the papdi bought from market or the homemade ones.





These days a lot of variations of the papdi chat are available. Again today is Monday !! The theme for 116th Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as 'Fusion Fiesta', that means any Indian dish with any particular International twist or vice versa. So I have come up with a Spanish touch to one of the Indian tongue tickling sweet, sour and spicy chaat - papdi chaat. That Spanish touch is Sofrito which is a basic tomato sauce that forms the base of many traditional Spanish dishes.



Sofrito is very easy to make. This sauce is an aromatic puree of tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic. Any food processor or blender can be used to get the desired texture of the sauce. Once blended, sofrito is ready to use. This sauce can be used immediately or freeze for future use. Use of sofrito is totally versatile one. This may be used at the start of a dish that means the first thing into the cooking pot or as a topping for any grilled dish. 





Here in this papdi chaat, I have used this Spanish tomato sauce, Sofrito. Instead of blending to a puree, I have chopped all the ingredients finely and then these are sauteed on slow flame. After some time, everything incorporate well and become a mushy texture. When the sauce cools completely, then the boiled chopped potatoes are just tossed with this sofrito and placed over the papdis along with rest ingredients of the chaat. 






This fusion papdi chaat can be a perfect party appetizer. Just prepare all chutneys, arrange curd, papdi and other ingredients in advance. Keep each of them in separate serving bowl. Allow your guests to assemble the chat depending upon their choice. So lets go in details.




Preparation Time : 40 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins 


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Sofrito
Ripe tomato
4-5 no.
Green pepper
1 no.
Red pepper
1 no.
Onion
1 no.
Garlic clove
2 no.
Paprika
¾ tsp
Olive oil
2 ½ tbsp
Papdi Chaat
Papdi
11-12 no.
Boiled potato (medium)
1 no.
Curd / yogurt
¾ cup
Red chili powder
¼ tsp
Chaat masala
1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder
½ tsp
Green chili
1 no.
Green chutney
As needed
Tamarind chutney
As needed
Sev
As needed
Black salt
As needed
Coriander leaf
as needed
Pomegranate seed
For garnishing


Method :
  • Sofrito (Spanish Tomato Sauce) :

  1. Finely chop tomato, red and green pepper, onion and garlic. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over low-medium flame. Then saute chopped onions until transparent. 
  3. Next add chopped green and red pepper and continue to saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add finely chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute. 
  5. Then add chopped tomatoes and paprika. Mix everything well. Cook for 10-15 minutes or till all the juice released from tomatoes and a mushy texture formed.
  6. Switch off the flame and keep sofrito aside to cool completely.
  • Assemble Papdi Chaat :
  1. When the sofrito cools down completely, then take out 6 tsp and freeze rest sofrito to use later.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix 6 tsp sofrito with chopped boiled potatoes. Keep aside.
  3. Take a serving platter and arrange the papdis.
  4. Top it up with mixture of sofrito and chopped boiled potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle some black salt, chaat masala and red chili powder.
  6. Next top with yogurt / curd, then green chutney, tamarind chutney.
  7. Sprinkle again some chaat masala, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder.
  8. Finally sprinkle sev on top, chopped coriander leaves and green chilies.
  9. Garnish with some pomegranate seeds and serve this fusion papdi chaat immediately !



Notes :

  • Red chili powder can be avoided for sprinkling or can be adjusted depending upon the spiciness desire.
  • Chickpeas can also be added to the papdi chaat. Just boil chickpeas with a little salt and then add along with boiled potatoes in the chaat.
  • Instead of mixing with potatoes, sofrito can be just topped over the potatoes after placing the chopped potatoes over the papdi.
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Friday, 27 October 2017

Instant Rava Dosa

Dosa is a crispy, savory crepe from southern part of Indian subcontinent. This is prepared from a fermented batter made from rice and lentil (black gram). Basically the batter is spread over a hot pan / tawa to make thin crepes. Then the crepes are cooked till crispy and brown in color. These are full of protein and carbohydrate. Dosa is one of the popular south Indian breakfast. There are many varieties of dosa found across India as well. Each one has its own flavors. Among all varieties of dosa, rava dosa is an instant version of dosa which is very easy and quick to make. This dosa batter does not require any soaking, grinding or fermentation like the normal traditional dosa batter. So you can easily make crispy dosa with rava in no time for breakfast.





Basically the main ingredients of the rava dosa are rice flour, all purpose flour and semolina or rava or sooji. So the name of the dosa is according to one of its main ingredient, rava or semolina. The batter can be made with water / thin buttermilk. If you are in a hurry and don't have time to soak the batter for 15 minutes, then always prefer to use thin buttermilk instead of water. The batter should be very thin as of running consistency. Crispiness of dosa depends upon the consistency of the batter. So thinner the batter, crispier the dosa. Also the temperature plays a vital role for making the crisp dosa. Though it will take time, still always prefer to cook the dosa on medium flame.



    Rava dosa batter has to be poured on the pan or tawa from certain height (3-4 inch height over the pan). This pouring method helps in the netted texture of the dosa. Here I have added finely chopped onions which can be omitted too. This type of dosa is one of the easiest recipes which is more delicious and enjoyable by all age groups. So what's next ? Lets go in details method of preparation of this instant rava dosa or instant onion rava dosa.





    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Rava / semolina / sooji
    ½ cup
    Rice flour
    ½ cup
    All purpose flour / maida
    ¼ cup
    Onion (medium)
    1 no.
    Green chili
    1 no.
    Ginger
    ¼ inch
    Cumin seed
    ½ tsp
    Coriander leave
    As needed
    Salt
    As needed
    Water
    As needed
    Oil
    As needed

    Method :
    1. In a mixing bowl, take sooji / rava / semolina, maida, rice flour and salt. Mix well.
    2. Next add water and again mix well using a hand whisk till no lumps in the batter. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
    3. Then add finely chopped green chilies, finely chopped onion, grated ginger, cumin seeds, finely chopped coriander leaves.
    4. Again give a quick stir. The batter should be very thin as of running consistency. Otherwise, add some more water to adjust the batter consistency.
    5. Now heat a non-stick dosa pan on high flame.
    6. When the pan is hot enough, then first stir the batter in mixing bowl, take a ladle full of batter, pour here and there from about 3-4 inch height over the pan. Do not spread the batter like normal dosa batter.
    7. Sprinkle ½-1 tsp of oil on top of the dosa and cook on medium flame till it turns golden.
    8. No need to flip and cook the other side.
    9. Switch off the flame and serve these crisp rava dosa hot immediately as it is or with accompaniment as sambar or any preferable chutney like tomato-mint chutney, coconut chutney etc !




    Notes :

    • The batter should be very thin as of running consistency. 
    • Each time just before making the dosa, stir the batter very well in the mixing bowl and then only take ladle full of batter from it.
    • Crispiness of dosa depends upon the consistency of the batter. So thinner the batter, crispier the dosa.
    • Also the batter tends to get thick, so add water as well as salt to the batter for the needful consistency.
    • The pan or tawa should be hot enough while pouring the batter over it.
    • Prefer to use non-stick pan to make this rava dosa, so that no oil greasing is needed. But if you are using the cast iron tawa, then before pouring the batter first grease the tawa with oil well.
    • Always cook this rava dosa on medium flame instead of high flame.

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    This Instant Rava Dosa is contributed for 35 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Instant Dish'.

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    Monday, 23 October 2017

    Kofta Yakhni Pulao

    The land of origin for Awadhi cuisine is Lucknow, the city of Nawabs and the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. The dishes and cooking style of this city is inspired and influenced by the Mughals. The Nawabs of Awadh were used to certain type of diet which includes a variety of grains, dry fruits, vegetables as well as meat. This style of cooking was further polished by the Nawabs by adding exotic flavors of saffron and other Indian spices. Thus the cuisine includes both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes prepared with exotic spices, herbs and garnished with dry fruits. Basically the Awadhi cuisine marks the beginning of the modern era of Indian cooking. 





    We often mistaken that Mughlai cuisine and Awadhi cuisine are same. But that is not true, Awadhi cuisine has been influenced by Mughlai cooking style. Still both cuisines have some major differences. This cuisine also bears similarities to the cuisines of Hyderabad. The dum style of cooking or the cooking over low heat which has become popular and the signature of Lucknow cuisine was invented by the chefs and cooks of Awadh. The Awadhi cuisine consists of elaborate dishes like kormas, roomali roti, biryanis, kebab, lachha paratha, keema and many more. 





    Yakhni pulao is one of the authentic recipe from one of the royal cuisines of India, Awadhi Cuisine. Yakhni pulao is famous in north India as well as other countries like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan where yakhni pulao is cooked in different style with many aromatic spices. The main difference between a biryani and yakhni pulao is that yakhni pulao is basically made by cooking the meat with aromatic spices in water till the meat is tender, then adding the rice in the meat broth along with meat which is then sealed and cooked over low heat till it is done. But in biryani, the rice is boiled or parboiled separately in spiced water and then layered with meat curry or marinade, depending on the type of biryani being cooked, which is then sealed and cooked over low heat till it's done. Yakhni pulao is not spicy like biryani, but very fragrant and delicious to eat.





    The term 'yakhni' or 'akhni' is a Turko-Arabic word which means 'savory stock / broth of meat and vegetables with ghee'. Yogurt is the ingredient which is the key to bring all the flavors together and give the yakhni pulao an unique flavor. Now-a-days some variations are being used as the yogurt is replaced by tomatoes, different variety of oil also is used instead of ghee for health conscious. While preparing the yakhni / stock / broth, all the spices are kept inside a muslin cloth or cheese cloth and then the edges of the cloth tie into a knot. This potli is known as bouquet garni and this bouquet garni is simply dropped into the cooking pot to give the pulao an aromatic flavor. This pulao is often served with a cooling raita. 





    This time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team have decided a theme as 'Awadhi Cuisine'. So I have opted the yakhni pulao for contribution. This yakhni pulao is a vegetarian version of the authentic one. Instead of simply adding the semi-cooked vegetables which are drained out from the yakhni / stock to cook with rice, some koftas are prepared using them. Here I have used a variety of vegetables to make kofta, but it totally depends upon choice. Some grated paneer can also be used while preparing the koftas. The koftas are deep fried here, but can be shallow fried or cooked in appe pan or can be baked too to reduce the calorie intake. These soft and crispy koftas are then mixed with rice when the rice is about 85-90 % cooked. Whole process is cooked over low heat. This kofta yakhni pulao is turned out really well and burst with flavorful and rich aromas. Lets go in details.


    Preparation Time : 20 mins | Soaking Time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 50 mins


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Yakhni
    Vegetables (roughly chopped)
    (potato, carrot, peas, cauliflower)
    1 & ½ cup
    Ginger
    1 inch
    Garlic clove
    5-6 no.
    Cinnamon stick (medium)
    1 piece
    Bay leaf
    1 piece
    Black pepper
    Few
    Green cardamom
    3-4 no.
    Water
    4 & ¼ cup
    Salt
    As needed
    Kofta
    Onion (medium)
    1 no.
    Green chili
    2 no.
    Corn flour
    4 tsp
    Garam masala
    ¼ tsp
    Cumin powder
    ¼ tsp
    Coriander powder
    ¼ tsp
    Coriander leaves
    Few
    Salt
    As needed
    Oil
    For deep frying
    Yakhni Pulao
    Basmati rice
    1 cup
    Onion (medium)
    1 no.
    Green cardamom
    2 no.
    Cinnamon
    1 inch
    Black cardamom
    1 no.
    Bay leaf
    1 piece
    Black pepper
    3-4 no.
    Clove
    2-3 no.
    Yogurt
    ¼ cup
    Cashew
    8-10 no.
    Onion slice (caramelized)
    Few
    Ghee
    2 tbsp
    Salt
    As needed


    Method :
    1. Wash and soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Place an approximately 10-12 inch size muslin cloth on a plate. 
    3. Put all the ingredients listed under bouquet garni in the muslin cloth. 
    4. Gather up the edges and tie tightly with a piece of string, so that all the spices are securely kept inside. Keep aside this bouquet garni. 
    5. Next in a pan add all the roughly chopped vegetables, ginger, garlic cloves, water, salt along with the bouquet garni.
    6. Turn on heat and cook till the vegetables are cooked almost.
    7. Then turn off the heat and remove the bouquet garni first.
    8. Strain the yakhni / stock / broth through a strainer. Keep aside.
    9. In a mixing bowl, take the cooked vegetables (except ginger and garlic cloves) and roughly mash all.
    10. Add finely chopped onions, cumin powder, garam masala, coriander powder, finely chopped few coriander leaves, corn flour and salt. Mix everything well.
    11. Divide the mixture into equal portions, shape them into lemon sized balls.
    12. Deep fry the koftas in hot oil till brown and crisp on all the sides. Drain onto absorbent paper and keep aside.
    13. Now heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
    14. Roast the cashews until golden brown and crisp on medium heat. Drain the roasted cashews and keep aside.
    15. Next in the same pan saute bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, black peppers till a nice aroma comes out.
    16. Add thinly sliced onion and saute till the onions start to change color as browned.
    17. Next add the soaked and drained rice and mix well gently.
    18. Then add 2 & ¼ cup yakhni or stock or broth, yogurt (whisk very well before adding) and salt. Mix everything gently.
    19. Cook on medium heat till the whole mixture comes to a boil. Then simmer, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.
    20. After 15 minutes add the koftas to the pulao, then again cover and cook for further 5-10 minutes by placing the pan on a hot tawa or frying pan over low heat.
    21. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
    22. Transfer this kofta yakhni pulao to a serving platter. 
    23. Garnish with roasted cashews, some caramelized onions and serve as it is or with simple curd or any raita or curry of choice !




    Notes :

    • Always cook the koftas over medium to high heat, otherwise the koftas will absorb more oil and will become soggy.
    • If the kofta balls are not getting formed easily from the mixture, then add 1-2 tsp more corn flour to the mixture.
    • After taking 2 & ¼ cup yakhni for pulao, if still some yakhni / stock is left then store in refrigerator and can be used in any soup or curry.
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