For most for us Indians, the perfect and comforting food during cold weathers or rainy season is a very popular and comforting Indian snack, Pakoda or Pakodi. Best enjoyed over a hot cup of tea, the cripsy and spicy Pakodi makes tea time something special, almost like a bonding time between family and friends.
onion pakoda

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups besan (gram dal flour)
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 4-5 green chillis, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 spring onions (optional)
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • few sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of baking soda
  • oil for deep frying

Method

  • Combine both the flours with salt, soda, green chillis, curry leaves and onions. Add the melted ghee and mix well with fingers. Combine well till u have a crumbly texture.
ulli_pakodi_batter

  • Add few tablespoons of water and mix well that it forms a hard batter. Don’t add too much water.

  • Heat enough oil in a deep frying pan. It should be piping hot. Use your fingers to drop the batter in the oil to form small fritters. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry till they turn golden brown. Use a ladle to keep turning the fritters so that it cooks on all sides.

  • Once they turn golden brown, remove them on to absorbent paper. Store in air tight containers and serve as evening snacks over a hot cup of masala chai (spiced tea).
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rasmalai 

Ingredients

  • Powder milk 1 cup
  • All purpose flour 1 tbsp leveled
  • Egg 1
  • Baking powder 1 tsp
  • Clarified butter 1 tbsp
  • For Rabri:
  • Fresh milk 1 kg
  • Sugar 5 tbsp
  • White cardamoms 2 – 3
  • Pistachios 1 tbsp (sliced)

Method

  1. Mix egg, baking powder, and butter all together and form into a dough.
  2. Rub it very well.
  3. Make 12 balls and slightly flatten it.
For Rabri:
  1. Boil milk, sugar, white cardamoms and pistachios till it gets slightly thick.
  2. Then add your rasmalai to it.
  3. Cover and simmer on low flame for about 5 – 8 minutes or until they swell.
  4. Then remove, cool and transfer into a serving platter.
Chill and serve.
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This wonderfully crispy snack does not need any introduction coz of its popularity not only in India but throughout the whole world. It is rightly called as the KING  of  Indian  street  food...!!
This spicy stuffed pastries are very easy to prepare at home & makes an irresistible combo with tomato ketchup or with  Mint,  Coriander chutney.
samosa1

Ingredients:

For Outer layer:
  • All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
  • Wheat flour - 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
  • Ajwain / carom seeds - ½ tsp
  • Baking pwd - ¼ tsp
  • Ghee - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
For Stuffing:
  • Onions sliced - ½ cup
  • Poha / pressed rice - ½ cup
  • Red chilly pwd - ½ to ¾ tsp
  • Cumin pwd - ¼ tsp
  • Coriander pwd - ¼ tsp
  • Chaat masala pwd - ¼ tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Oil to fry
  • Salt to taste

Method:

To prepare outer crispy layer:
  • Take All Pupose flour & wheat flour in a mixing bowl.
  • To it add cumin , ajwain seeds, baking pwd & salt.
samosa2
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Add ghee & oil combine well.
  • Add little water at a time and knead to nice smooth dough.
  • Now soft dough is ready.
samosa3
  • Cover it with a damp cloth & allow to rest at least for 15 to 20 mins.
To prepare inner stuffing:
  • Take finely sliced onions in a cup.
  • Add poha to it. ( poha absorbs all the moisture let out by onion, while frying & enhances the taste )
  • Add red chilly pwd, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, salt & chaat masala pwd. ( also you can add finely chopped green chilly & coriander leaves ) 
  • Add lemon juice to it & mix all the contents.
  • No need to cook the onions for stuffing, on frying the onions gets cooked & turns soft.
samosa4
  • Inner stuffing is ready.
To prepare Samosas:
  • Unwrap the soft dough. Sprinkle little wheat flour and knead again for a minute.
  • Make it to small balls.
  • Dust it with wheat flour & roll it to flat disc.
samosa5
  • Apply some oil or ghee & flour over the surface.
  • Fold it to half , again apply oil & flour.
  • Fold it to make triangle.
  • Now roll the triangle to flat disc shape by dusting with flour.
  • This process helps to get layers in samosa.
  • Now cut it two equal halves.
samosa6
    Take one cut & make a folding like this.
samosa7
    Make a triangle by bringing the other end together.
samosa8
    Now it comes to a triangular shape.
    Seal the edges of the pastry with maida & water paste.
    Inside the cone fill the onion – poha stuffing.
samosa9
    Close it with thin part first.
    Apply maida paste and seal it with the thicker part of the cone.
    Repeat the same procedure for the rest of samosas.
    Heat oil & deep fry the samosas in low medium heat.
    Flip to the other side & fry to golden and crisp.
samosa10
    Drain the excess oil on tissue paper.
    Serve hot with tomato ketchup or Coriander chutney.
    Yummy homemade Onion Samosas are ready to taste.!
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Stuffed karela makes a great side dish to any meal. Karelas have many health benefits including  a home remedy for diabetes.

karela

Ingredients:

For the Marinate:
  • 4 bitter melon (karela)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds powder (saunf)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon mango powder (amchoor)
For Cooking Step:
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Also need some thread to wrap the filled karelas before cooking.

Method:

Preparing the Kerala
  1. Wash karelas thoroughly and using a knife, scrape the skin. Set the scrapes aside.
  2. Make a slit in the karelas length wise and remove the seeds.
  3. Add karelas and the skin scrapings to a bowl. Mix and sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Let it marinate for at least an hour.
  4. Squeeze the karelas to remove all the marinade. Wash karelas twice with hot water and then squeeze out all the water.
  5. Separate the scrapings from the whole karelas.
Preparing the Filling:
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida to the oil. After the cumin seeds crack, add the karela scrapings and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add gram flour (besan) and stir-fry for another minute.
  4. Add all the remaining dry spices: coriander powder, fennel powder, turmeric, chili
  5. powder, and mango powder. Sauté for a minute and then turn off the heat.
  6.  
  7. Stuff the split karelas with this spice mixture (there should be some spice mix remaining, which will be used later). Tie the karelas with a thread so that the stuffing does not come out while cooking.
Cooking the Stuffed karelas:
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Spread the stuffed karelas in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the karelas over to the uncooked side and cook for about 1 minute. Repeat until all four sides of the karelas are cooked.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining spice mixture over the karelas. Cover the pan and let it cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove the lid to see if the karelas are tender. Gently turn them over a few more times, making sure they are covered with the spice mixture.
  5. Stuffed karela can be served hot or cold and can be refrigerated up to a week.
Variations
For a slightly sweeter taste add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cooked spice filling, prior to stuffing the karela.
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okra fry

Ingredients:

· 1/2 lb okra (bhindi)
· 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
· Pinch of asafetida (hing)
· 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
· 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
· 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
· 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
· 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
· 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
· 1 tablespoon gram flour (besan) (optional)
· 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow bell pepper
· 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

Method:

1. Wash the okra and pat dry. Make sure to completely dry the okra as wet okra will be sticky when cutting.
2. Cut off the both ends of the okra, and slice lengthwise in halves. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Test the heat by adding one cummin seed to the oil; if seed crack right away oil is ready.
4. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida (hing). When the cumin seeds crack, add the okra.
5. Stir for a minute and reduce the heat to medium.
6. Cover the okra for two to three minutes.
7. Remove the cover and add the coriander powder, red cayenne pepper and turmeric.
8. Next add gram flour (besan) and continue to stir-fry until the okra is tender. Add the salt, mango powder and bell peppers, cook for another minute. Salt is added last to avoid the okra becoming lacy.
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