Bread Fritters (with eggs!)

Hello People!

This recipe, although has a sophisticated name, is just your ordinary Indian “bhajiya,” that we so love. I took this recipe from my late mother-in-law, who used to make the awesomest bread bhajiya. So here goes.

For the coating –

Bengal gram flour (Besan) – 1 cup; carom (ajwain) seeds – 1/2tsp; refined flour (maida) – 2 tsps; semolina (rava) – 2 tsps; a pinch each of turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala; egg – 1 beaten; water – as required; salt – to taste.

Bread slices – each cut into four equal parts.

Cooking oil – for deep frying

Mix the bengal gram flour, refined flour, semolina, spices and salt in a bowl. Slowly add beaten egg into the mix, at the same time continuously mixing with a spoon. Make a batter, which is not too runny, nor too thick, just about done to properly coat the bread pieces. You can add water, if required, to get the desired consistency.

Now dip each piece of bread into the batter, coat it uniformly and drop it into hot oil. Deep fry till golden brown. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

The egg makes the fritters very light, exceedingly delicious and super crisp.

Go on, try it out!

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Potato-Cabbage Rolls

Hello Friends!

This recipe was shared with me by my friend, Bharat Pawar, who also happens to be the Production Chief at my gelateria and is an avid foodie himself.

For the filling –

Potatoes – 3 medium (boiled, peeled, mashed); Green herbs (mint, basil, coriander – finely chopped); green chillies – 2 small, finely chopped; cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon; juice of a quarter lemon; salt to taste; cooking oil – 1 teaspoon; pinch of asafoetida.

Heat the cooking oil in a kadhai. Add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add a pinch of asafoetida. Switch off the flame. Add mashed potatoes, herbs, green chillies, lemon juice and salt. Mix all the ingredients with hand. Keep it aside.

For the coating –

Tender cabbage leaves (whole); refined wheat flour (maida) – 4 tablespoon; cornflour – 2 teaspoon; rawa (semolina) – 3 teaspoon; red chilli powder – 1 pinch; coriander powder – 1 pinch, salt to taste; soda bi-carb – 1 pinch, water

Cooking oil for deep frying

Rolls –

Take a tender cabbage leaf. Shear the thick mid-vein. Place it on a plate. Take a small amount of the mashed potato filling. Make a roundel or an oblong of the mix with the hand and place it in the middle of the cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf to entirely cover the mix. Make such rolls using all the filling and keep the rolls aside.

Mix the other ingredients for the coating and slowly add water while continuously mixing it. Add just enough water to make a smooth, slightly thick batter.

Dip the rolls in the batter and slowly slide them in a kadhai with hot oil. Fry the rolls till they turn golden brown. Remove them and place them on a plate with kitchen tissue to remove excess oil. Cut them in 3-4 pieces and serve hot with chutney or ketchup.  Enjoy!

Tips – You can increase the complexity of the filling by adding sauteed, finely chopped onions to it, or deep-fried paneer (cottage cheese) pieces. You can also use besan (Bengal gram flour) to make the coating.

 

Scrambled cheese on toast

Hello Friends!

Let’s try something with cheese this time.

I am part of the very fortunate generation that saw the introduction of another delicious food item (just like Nestle’s MAGGI) – the processed cheese (by AMUL). Just like MAGGI, it wasn’t really appreciated at first. Some found its taste reprehensible. Slowly, but surely, it found acceptance and now we love cheese, although I doubt if the majority of Indians know that there are over a 100 different cheeses made and enjoyed the world over. A few years back, AMUL introduced the Mozarella variety of cheeses to be used on pizzas. Apart from the processed cheese (made of Cheddar), mozarella and Cottage cheese (paneer), we don’t really know about other cheeses, and frankly we don’t care.

To make scrambled cheese, you will require –

Cheese (processed, any brand) – 100 gms (grated), finely chopped onions – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped tomato – 1 medium, cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon, fresh green herbs – mint, coriander, basil; green chilly – 1 (finely chopped), ginger-garlic paste – 1/2 teaspoon, oil – 2 teaspoons, salt to taste.

In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds. When they start crackling, add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry it for about 30 seconds. Add chopped onions and fry till they turn golden-brown. Add chopped tomato and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped green chilly and the herbs. Add the grated cheese and mix well with a wooden laddle till the cheese melts and all the ingredients are mixed properly. Add salt and mix. (The processed cheese is already salty, so refrain from adding too much salt.).

In the meantime, toast the bread slices and butter them. Keep them ready. Once the scrambled cheese is done, scoop up some and spread it on the toasted bread slice and serve hot.

Note: Do not switch off the heat, even after the cheese is done. You need to keep it in the molten state till you apply it on all the toasts.)

Enjoy!

MAGGI Basket Chaat

Hello Friends!

This recipe is not easy. But its not too difficult also. It needs some skill in making the baskets. Here’s how you do it.

For the baskets –

Cook MAGGI without the masala mix. The cooked noodles should not be very dry. It should have some moisture in them. Take a metal sieve or “chhanni” (with which we filter tea). This will act as a mould. Take some cooked MAGGI and place it inside the chhanni to make a course basket. Heat cooking oil in  a kadhai. Place the chhanni in the hot oil. The MAGGI will begin to fry. Once it is fried golden-brown, remove the chhanni from the oil and turn it upside down to remove the basket gently. Make as many baskets as you can with the cooked noodles. Keep them on a tissue paper to remove excess oil.

For the filling –

Take a cup of fresh curds. Beat it lightly to turn it into a smooth consistency. Boil mixed veggies, like carrots, potatoes, beans. Finely chop onions and tomatoes. Mix these in to the curd. Add the masala mix, salt and half a teaspoon of ground sugar. Also add chopped coriander, mint and basil leaves to it. Mix well.

Fill the curd-veggies mix in the baskets. Garnish by sprinkling a pinch of red chilly powder or chaat masala. Enjoy!!  

More Variations with MAGGI

Hello Friends!

In the last post, we saw how a simple “tadka” can spice up your instant noodles experience. In this post, let me tell you how I convert a mundane dinner into a MAGGI-ficent treat!

I usually come home at around 11 p.m. So when I check into the kitchen, sometimes I see rice and daal on the menu. I do not hate the fare, but I want to really enjoy my dinner, so what do I do? Out comes MAGGI from the kitchen drawer. 

2. Daal-bhaat waali MAGGI

Cut the packet of MAGGI. Remove the masala mix pack. Crush the noodles inside the packet.

In a kadhai, heat two teaspoons of oil. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, green slit chilly and a few curry leaves. Add the coarsely crushed noodles into it and roast till they turn light brown. Add water and masala mix and cook till they are half done. Now add to this two cups of the daal and one cup of cooked rice. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sambar masala, if you have it, or garam masala. Mix well and let it simmer till the water evaporates. (This quantity can be changed according to one’s taste.)

Garnish with finely chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and basil leaves. Oh! and the dollop of butter, if you like! Enjoy!

I usually add anything to MAGGI to make a delicious treat. Everyone might not enjoy these variations, but as the tagline of this blog goes, these are unconventional recipes. So if you are the enterprising type, try them.

I add Upama, Poha to MAGGI. It tastes wonderful. I also add scrambled eggs to MAGGI. 

If you let your imagination soar, you can also think of novel ways to make MAGGI more interesting.

Happy Eating! 

The “Maggi Generation” – Variations to instant noodles

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Hello Friends!

One of my friends mentioned in her blog recently that we were the “Maggi generation” (I am talking about people born around 1980). Nestle had introduced a novel food called Instant Noodles under the brand name MAGGI. It was a new thing in India and Nestle had to really struggle to make Maggi popular. They used to distribute free packets of Maggi to schoolchildren in major cities (my wife was one such recipient!). We gradually became used to its unique taste and started loving it. It was our “go-to” food. Today, the scenario is very different. You have tens of brands selling instant noodles. But Maggi remains special. In fact, its name has become synonymous with all instant noodles (just like the Xerox machine!).

I have never liked the bland taste of Maggi. I mean, when you cook it the way it is mentioned on the pack. So from a very young age, I have been experimenting with the basic recipe.

I am going to share some interesting tweeks that I do to Maggi.

1. Maggi with Indian “tadka”

The simplest recipe to make Maggi more palatable is to temper it with the quintessential “tadka.” How do you do it? Well, its pretty elementary.

Before you begin, cut a pack of Maggi noodles, remove the noodle slab and the Masala Mix pack. What remains in the pack are broken noodles. Remove them and keep them aside.

In a pan, take a teaspoon of cooking oil. When it is hot, add a few mustard seeds. Once they start crackling, add a pinch of cumin seeds and asafoetida. You can also add a slit green chilly and 4-5 curry leaves. 

To this, add the broken noodle pieces and roast lightly on low flame. When the noodle pieces turn brown, add the required amount of water (as mentioned on the pack), add the noodle block and the masala mix and cook till done.

Garnish it with a few basil (tulsi) leaves and add a dollop of butter. Enjoy!!