Saturday, May 28, 2016

Purple Potato Patties | Potato Cutlets


The summer is here and so is Memorial Day weekend. With this weekend and the warm weather settling in, barbeque will soon become a family favorite activity. While there are multiple ingredients like paneer, potatoes, grilled cheese and everyone's fav s'mores to grill, this potato patty is a great picnic recipe. 



Potato cutlets or patties is a commonly made Indian dish. Sometimes served with white peas as Ragda Patties, sometimes with chole as chole tikki and sometimes with just bread slices. This recipe is similar to the traditional tikki recipe, just that it is made from purple potatoes instead of white and I added smoked paprika (my new favorite) instead of red chilli powder for that bbq kick to the patties! If you do not have either, just replace with the conventional ingredients. 

Btw, I made these patties in my kitchen instead of the grill. To make these I used Uvistar's patty press that they sent me recently. The press comes in a size that is perfect for all standard hamburger buns. Made from aluminium, this non stick press is perfect for all patties like potato, beans, quinoa or even meat. The press can be directly placed on the gas or grill, and the press yields equal sized patties for all your barbeque patties. What is best about this press? It is the ribbed base and top that gives patties just like the ones at the restaurants! I loved this press. Order yours here



If you intend to make these patties on your next summer trip, it is rather simple. Just mix all the ingredients except cornstarch and take the mixture with you. Just blend in the cornstarch when ready to make and using the press directly on the grill and make your family these fresh and yummy patties! 



Ingredients

For three big patties
Purple Potatoes 2 medium
Cilantro a handful
Smoked Paprika 2 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 
Salt, Sugar
Corn starch 1-2 tbsp
Cooking spray/ Oil



Method

Pressure cook the potatoes till soft. Cool, peel and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients except cooking spray/ oil. Adjust the quantity of corn starch depending on how wet the potatoes are. Make a mixture that is dry and dough like.

Spray the patty press with cooking spray and place it directly on the gas or grill. Add the potato mixture to the pan, spread it evenly and press down. Grease the top of the patty with oil or spray and cover with the patty press top. 

Let the patty get a crunchy base and cook well before removing it from the press. 

To serve, transfer the patty onto a plate, serve with tomato ketchup, mustard sauce or any sauce of your choice. These cutlets taste great even with some spicy cilantro chutney. I added a few onion rings too.




*The post contains affiliate links. I was sent one or more products complimentary in exchange of my honest review.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Peach Iced Tea


This summer India seems to be all set to make new record in temperature. The mercury has hit 123 F already and there are still a few weeks until the rain starts. In the scorching heat, anything that can cool the body and soul is inviting. Iced tea fits the bill perfectly! 



Whenever you think of Iced Tea, lemon seems to be the first flavor that comes to mind. However, Iced Tea can be made in many other combinations, and peach is my favorite! Then again, mint seems to be an essential ingredient of all iced teas and it is rightly so. The leaves impart a beautiful flavor to the tea. 

Recently, a startup of two people called Collect Teables sent me a few samples of their Mint flavored tea bags (called ShakeSpearmint Tea) and the Earl Grey tea bags (called Agatha ChisTea) for review purposes. While the teas taste great when made in the conventional way, I decided to use the mint tea to make a cooling iced tea. The result was perfect! The tea has the right color and strength to be used cold or hot. I steeped it for a few minutes to get the flavors and was super satisfied! The mint tea has dried mint particles in the bag which gives the tea the perfect taste and minty flavor without overpowering the drink. And not to mention, the tea bags come with really chic covers that look great even when placed in a platter on the table! I totally LOVED using these teas and can't wait to try their new flavors soon!



Until then, try this easy Iced Tea recipe. All you need is a couple of tea bags, peach apricot syrup, mint leaves and loads of ice. If you cannot lay your hands on a minty tea bag, just muddle a few mint leaves and add to the tea concentrate. That gives the required flavor in the tea. If you do not like or have peach apricot, use any flavored syrup of your choice. Also, if you prefer a sweeter version, add some sugar too. The recipe is perfect for two glasses.



Ingredients

Peach/ Apricot syrup 1 tbsp
Tea bags 2 ( I used ShakeSpearmint Tea)
Mint Leaves 
A slice of Apricot



Method

Heat 1/2 cup water. Add two tea bags and let the flavors steep for 5-6 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard. Let the water cool.

In a mixing jar, add the peach apricot syrup, mint leaves, tea water and some ice cubes. Mix everything well. 

In the serving glass, add ice at the bottom. Pour the iced tea and garnish with a slice of apricot and mint leaves. Serve. 





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kothu Parotta | Chilli Parotta

Kothu Parotta (literally, minced parotta) is a delicacy popular in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The parotta is essentially a mix of minced parotta with various ingredients like vegetables, meats, tomato sauce or eggs. The ingredients are thrown on a hot cast-iron griddle lubricated with oil. These are minced and mixed by repeated pounding using a heavy iron spatula, the sound of which can be heard for a long distance. It is served with onion raita and tea.




Kothu Muttai Parotta is a very famous roadside food available only in small roadside food shops. They may be available in restaurants but are usually considered better in street food shops. It is very popular in Tamil Nadu, and is also available in other parts of India and in Sri Lanka, where it is known as Kothu Roti.




A relatively simple recipe to whip up for breakfast or even dinner, the only difficult part is to make the malabar parotta. This parotta has multiple layers, all held together by oil. But if you are in a rush, just grab ready made parotta, mince them and you can serve the dish in under 15 minutes! I have made a vegetarian version of the kothu, using onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices. You can add meats or eggs if you like too.




Ingredients

Flaky Malabar parotta 3-4
Onion 1 medium
Tomato 1 medium
Green bell pepper 1 medium
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic 2-3 cloves
Green chilli 1 
Curry leaves 2-3
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric, red chilli powder
Salt
Coconut 1 inch piece
Oil 1 tbsp
Cilantro to garnish




Method

Roast the Malabar parotta on a tava till it is cooked on both sides. Remove from the tava and make small bits from it. Set aside. 

Mince the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Finely dice onion and pepper. Puree the tomato. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, once they splutter add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once they splutter too, add the curry leaves, ginger, chilli and garlic. 

Saute till the raw flavor goes. Then add onion and pepper. Let them cook for a couple of minutes. Then, add the tomato puree, turmeric and red chilli powder. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Add the chopped parpotta pieces, salt and mix well. Use two spatulas or a potato masher and mix and mash the entire mixture together. Once the flavors combine and everything comes together, turn down the flame and add grated coconut and top with cilantro. Serve with hot Chai as a snack. 





Sending this recipe to Sonal's collective on Semi Homemade dishes. Do check out her blog for lots of inspiration on how to cook in minutes using some store bought ingredients.

Aam Panna | Tangy Green Mango Cooler

Aam panna (Chhichha in Punjabi) is an Indian summer drink renowned for its heat-resistant properties. It is made from green mangoes and is consumed as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. Green mango is a rich source of pectin, which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone. Unripe mango is sour in taste because of the presence of oxalic, citric and malic acids.



Aam panna, which is prepared using raw mangoes, sugar and an assortment of spices, quenches thirst and prevents the excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron during summer due to excessive sweating. The drink is mainly consumed in North India where it is hotter and drier than on the coast.

This drink takes me back to my childhood. My brother and me used to enjoy  lot all summers with mangoes, both ripe and raw. We had a couple of mango trees near our house. On summer afternoons, we would get raw mangoes from the tree and take them home. Then our grandmother would make fresh aam panna from the mangoes to enjoy during the hot afternoons. The freshness in the panna was very different from the one that you get in store bought mangoes. 



After those childhood days, this drink was probably lost somewhere while growing up. This summer I saw a ton of raw mangoes at the Indian store and the farmers' market and wanted to make the drink again. I bought two huge mangoes thinking I would make panna and green chutney. But I was so greedy, that I made panna out of both the mangoes. I am so glad I did, because we loved the flavor and any less quantity would mean I would have to make it again. 



Such a simple drink but tastes amazing and is healthy too. To serve, I froze the mason jars for about ten minutes before pouring out the drink in it. Also, I lined the jars with lime juice and a sweet salty mixture of sugar, salt and powdered cumin. These are just frills and the drink tastes pretty much the same even without all this! I have seen variations like using jaggery instead of sugar and roasting the mangoes before using them. I shall try those soon, until then, here is the basic aam panna, full of flavor and good health!



Ingredients

Raw Mangoes 2-3
Sugar 1 1/2 cup
Green Cardamom 4-5 pods
Saffron few strands (optional)

To Serve
Rock Salt, Salt, Sugar and Cumin Powder
Mint/Basil leaves
Some lemon juice



Method

Wash and pressure cook the mangoes for 3-4 whistles or 12-15 minutes. Cool and remove the mangoes. The skin would easily peel now. If not, pressure cook for some more time.

Peel the mangoes and add to a blender. Also add the sugar (adjust quantity based on how sour the mangoes are). Also add the cardamom seeds and saffron (if using). Blend to a smooth puree. Store in an airtight jar.
To prepare, add the puree along with rock salt, salt and freshly ground cumin powder to a pitcher. Mix well, add water and ice cubes. Blend well using an immersion blender or ladle.

To serve, line the bottle or glass with lemon juice first, then with a mixture of Rock Salt, Salt, Sugar and Cumin Powder. Pour the prepared aam panna and add a couple of mint/ basil leaves. Serve chilled.







Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A-Z dishes across Indian (Recap of Journey through the Cuisines)

The month long Mega Marathon of Journey through the Cuisines has come to an end. Such a wonderful month it was, filled with 26 recipes from all around the world! While some of my blogger pals explored a single cuisine all month, few of us chose a new cuisine each week. 

This was my first Marathon with these bloggers who are much senior to me in the blogging world. I had a few letters very very easy because I had about 230 recipes on my blog. I completely see how difficult it would be when you have over 1000 recipes and most of the dishes that fit the theme would already be on your blog! I had a few letters like X and H that felt difficult. But finally I managed it all, and in time. 



Here is a quick recap of the Marathon I had:

Week 1: Gujarati Cuisine

First Marathon and week 1. The combination felt intimidating, especially because it needed eight recipes, while the remaining were just six. To make things a little easy till I am used to the pattern, I chose a cuisine I was most comfortable with. Being a Gujarati, I know how to make a lot of dishes. Plus, my mom was my best guide, continuously coming up with options to cook from letters A through H.  














Gudpapdi | Sukhdi





Week 2: Maharashtrian Cuisine

After eight Gujarati dishes, I planned to make Maharashtrian dishes in the next week. While I was extremely sure of the dishes from letters I and K, I was super dicey about L and N. Finally, it all fell into place with recipes from the state that are very popular across the country. 













Week 3: Punjabi Cuisine

When one thinks of Punjabi cuisine, Paneer is probably the first thing that strikes and then it is Sarson Ka Saag. Exactly the reason why I chose Punjab for this week, it has P and S both! With that and Rajma set, I only had to worry about three dishes, and Onion, Quinoa and Tava made my job pretty simple!














Week 4: Tamil Nadu Cuisine

With the journey across West and North done in the last three weeks, I chose Tamil Nadu as my state for the last stretch of the Marathon. Fairly comfortable with the dishes I made, I also learnt a lot about how easily we mix dishes from the Southern states without knowing the origin. A very enriching experience it was to read and learn about the southern state.




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