Aaloo ki kachori

Aaloo ki kachori

Aaloo ki kachori reminds me very delicious food platter used to be prepared by my mother. Whenever at my parent’s house my maternal uncles used to visit us, my mother used to prepare proper UP (Uttar Pradesh) style food. There will be poori, dry potatoes veggie (which used to look like pickle because of extra oil and extra spices) one curry, curd with sugar or boondi ka raita and Aaloo ki kachori….. and sweets- that my uncles always used to bring, so mother never bothered to prepare.

This whole food served in steel thali (big size plate with edges) used to look so delicious that I always used to think that uncle’s visit should be more often ūüėč.

Among this whole platter my favorite used to be ‘aaloo ki kachori’. I have never tasted such wonderful kachori in any restaurant till now.

Aaloo ki kachori

Before marriage I had never attempted to prepare them independently. Actually I never dared to do, because I didn’t want to go through a disastrous attempt. But after marriage as we all do many experiments with food in kitchen, I too tried kachori. Taste was very good but a few of them tore and potato filling came out during frying.

Slowly over the years I continued making them and proudly can say that now I can fry every single kachori in perfect shape!!!!!!

Mother’s recipes and tips are always perfect despite the fact that they used to prepare everything with their guess work!!

For a few more snacks recipes you can check this link also… Snacks

Ingredients:

For preparing dough….

Wheat flour 2+1/2 cups
Salt 3/4 tsp
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Oil 2 +1/2 tbsp
Rava 1+1/2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1 cup +1/4 cup

Potato masala :

Boiled Potatoes
Dry mango powder, garam masala, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, chopped green chillies, finely chopped green coriander leaves(optional) and grated ginger(optional).

Oil, to fry

Tips :

  1.   We have to knead slightly loose dough than our regular chapati dough. Loose dough will be easy to roll with stuffed potato mix.
  2.    If you are feeling that the quantity of water is making dough very loose, then you can reduce some amount of water.
  3. Adding rava adds extra crunch to kachori¬† but if you don’t have, comfortably leave it.
  4.    Make sure that coriander leaves have no water in them, otherwise potato mix will be soggy and it will make rolling difficult. Also, mix will seep out while rolling and frying.
  5.   After boiling, keep potatoes in a strainer for some time so that all water drains out. Soggy boiled potatoes are not good for filling.
  6.   Do not prepare potato mixture 2-3 hours in advance. Salt in mixture will turn it soggy.
  7.   If you are preparing kachori first time, fry one kachori at a time, gain confidence and slowly you can do 2-3 at a time.

Process:

Take wheat flour, salt, carom seeds, rava in a broad pan to prepare the dough. Add oil and mix everything together.

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Now start adding water to knead and prepare slightly loose dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep it aside.

dough for kachori is ready

Peel and mash potatoes and add all spices as per your taste along with chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and grated ginger. Mix everything together and potato mix is ready.

aaloo masala is ready for kachori

Start heating oil in a deep pan. During the time oil is getting hot we can start the preparation of filling and rolling kachori.

Take some amount of dough and prepare it like a smooth ball between your palms and roll it little bit with the help of rolling pin . If dough is sticky, use oil to grease your palms and at rolling surface.

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Now add small amount of potato mix on the slightly rolled dough.

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From the edges start collecting the dough with your fingers, bring it at the center, close it and pat it down lightly.

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If required, again grease rolling surfer with oil and very gently roll stuffed dough carefully and evenly from all sides. Evenly rolled kachori will puff up nicely. Be careful that potato mix should not come out while rolling.

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By now oil is hot enough for frying. Make sure that oil is not very hot¬† otherwise kachori will remain raw from inside. You can check the right temperature of oil by putting a tiny piece of dough in it. If it sinks in the bottom of the pan, oil is not hot enough to fry. If dough becomes brown immediately after adding into the oil , it’s too hot. With experience you will learn!!

Now gently slip kachori from the side of the pan and fry it by turning upside down gently a couple of times till it becomes brown and crisp.

deep fry aaloo ki kachori

aaloo ki kachori is ready!

Sometimes while frying kachori might open up and stuffing can seep out. It happens if you have rolled kachori very thin or it is overstuffed with potato mixture. Don’t panic, take out that damaged kachori and all that stuffing which is floating on oil with laddle and continue frying the rest of the kachoris.

Serve hot kachoris with your choice of chutney, sauce or dips!!

aaloo ki kachori

 

aaloo ki kachori

aaloo ki kachori

 

 

Pyaaz ke pakode(crispy onion bhajji)

Pyaaj ke karare pakode
(crispy onion bhajji)

I have a very interesting story regarding how I learned to prepare these crispy onion bhajji!!! In North India “bhajji” word is not used. You prepare bhajji with potatoes, onion, green chillies or cauliflower…. the word is “pakoda.”

After my marriage I came to Chennai and here I got introduced to the word bhajji. After 10 months staying in Chennai we went to Jamaica. There was an Indian restaurant named Akbar. As an appetizer onion bhajji used to be served. It used to be less oily, and unlike onion pakode, crispy fried slices of onion wrapped with less flour used to be served. We used to enjoy them thoroughly and I always wondered how do they manage to use such less flour and have every slice separate without getting stuck with each other. I tried to replicate at home but failed miserably.

Three years later when when we were settled down in Bangalore, Manish and I were watching Sanjeev Kapoor’s show on TV and there he was cooking the same onion bhajji!!! We both jumped with joy to see the whole process and next weekend this onion bhajji was part of our breakfast!!!!
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Ingredients :
Onions
Oil for frying
Gram flour
salt

Process :
Peel onions and wash them nicely. Chop them vertically in long stripes.
You really need to chop a lot of onions here so take help from your family members…
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Add salt as per your taste in these chopped onion and mix nicely. Now let these salted onions rest for 20-30 minutes.

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During this resting period salt will melt and onions will be wet.

Now start sprinkling gram flour (besan) 1 tbsp at a time on these wet salty onion. We are not going to add water here, so use that much gram flour only which gets mixed with wet onions.

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Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the onion and besan mix. As there is less flour wrapped around onions, bhajjis wouldn’t absorb much oil during frying.

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Serve hot onion bhajji with your choice of chutney or sauce!!!

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Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergine

Stuffed brinjals/eggplant/aubergine is one of those dishes from brinjal which is loved by all those members of your family who do not like this vegetable a lot. To make family members eat brinjals is a very difficult task. So stuff them with onions, their choice of spices, or roasted gram flour. Personally I love vegetables in stuffed form a lot. Stuffed form  just add on glamour in simple veggies! Try lady finger, bitter gourd, tinda or even tomatoes or chilies- all these vegetables tastes fantastic in stuffed form. Slowly I will be posting recipes for all these vegetables with stuffing in the blog. But till then you can check this recipe   Stuffed Chilies(Bharva Hari Mirch)

These stuffed eggplant can be served with plain paratha, roti or side dish for rice. This dish will enhance the flavor of your meal!!!
(Pardon the picture quality of ready stuffed brinjals, had guests in the house and I was feeling awkward to take pictures at the right frame.

Ingredients :

Small size brinjals
Oil
Spices : coriander powder, red chilli powder,turmeric powder  salt, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), garam masala, dry mango powder (amchoor), grinded fennel seeds(kuti hui sauf)

Process :

Wash and dry brinjals.

small size brinjals

Now collect all spices in a bowl and add one or two tsp oil in it and mix everything together.

masala for stuffed brinjals

Cut brinjal horizontally and vertically – But make sure not to cut all the way, that is from end-to-end.

cut brinjals horizontally and vertically

Fill in little quantity of spices mix in the gaps – both horizontally and vertically.

stuff brinjals horizontally and vertically

Heat one non stick or heavy bottomed  pan and pour 4-5 spoons of oil in it. Place all spices filled brinjals in it.

cook stuffed brinjals in a non stick pan

Reduce the heat to sim, cover the pan and let them cook on sim flame

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Keep on turning  brinjals upside down for even cooking till they become tender from all sides.

cook stuffed brinjals evenly from all sides

Serve with roti, nan, plain paratha or rice!

stuffed brinjals are ready!

stuffed brinjals are ready to be served!

 
Mangodi ki sabzi

Mangodi ki subzi

Mangodi ki sabzi is a part of traditional Rajasthani and Gujrati cuisine. Rajasthan and some parts of Gujrat state have desert areas where rain is scarce. Getting seasonal fruits and vegetables used to be a big problem. Now because of transportation, you will get all kinds of fruits and veggies in the off-season also. But a few years back during summer getting a variety of vegetables was a major problem.  So people used to have some alternate options. Mangodi ki subzi is one of them.

Mangodi is prepared mostly from yellow moong daal and white urad daal . Daal is washed and soaked overnight and in the morning would be grinded in a thick paste consistency along with hing (asafoetida) and red chili powder. Then a very neat and big size of plastic sheet will be spread on the terrace or any open area of the house where direct sunlight reaches.¬† Ladies of the house along with their neighboring friends will start preparing mangodis on the plastic sheet. The process is exactly like the way we prepare pakoda in our hands before putting it in the oil. Here,¬† very small size of mangodis (like marbles) are prepared with the tip of fingers. It’s a tedious task because mangodis are made for whole year. That’s why friend’s will help collectively everyday at someone’s house amidst gossiping and chatting while preparing mangodi. Actually, the term for preparing mangodi is called “mangodi todna”.

I had experienced the same at my mother’s house.¬† In the evening mangodis will be covered with a dry cloth and in the morning cloth will be removed to let them dry in sun heat nicely. After 4-5 days, mangodis will be nicely dried up and they will be now stored in the kitchen boxes for whole year so that whenever there is a problem of vegetables, mangodis will be handy to use.

Come, let’s prepare this traditional Rajasthani/Gujrati sabzi of mangodi……

Ingredients :

Mangodi                 1/3 cup

Potatoes (medium size) 2

Oil                       3 tbsp

Mix of cumin and small  mustard seeds    1/2 tsp

Asafoetida                             a pinch

Salt                       according to the taste

Coriander powder         1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder            1/2 tsp

Red chili powder              1/4 tsp

Prepare a paste of one big tomato, one small onion (can be omitted) ginger and green chilies and garlic (optional).

Water                     1+1/2 cup

Green Coriander leaves for garnishing

Process:

Mangodi is a complete dry ingredient, so when we cook it, it puffs up nicely. That’s why whole mangodi is not used – they are broken into small pieces by keeping them in a zip-lock bag or clean kitchen towel and crushed slightly with a rolling pin. Take care that we don’t have to turn them into powder form; they should still be in small pieces.

Heat one tbsp oil in cooker and add broken mangodis and shallow fry them on sim heat till they become light brown.

Take them out and keep them separately.

Again heat remaining oil in cooker and crackle mustard and cumin seeds with asafoetida. Add onion, tomato, ginger-garlic and chili paste (I omitted onion and garlic) and sauté it for 5 minutes.

Prepare gravy for mangodi ki sabzi

Add coriander, turmeric and chili powder and sauté till it starts leaving the oil.

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Add water and mangodi in the cooker. Add salt.

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Let it boil for five minutes on medium heat and in between peel, wash and cut potatoes into small pieces and add in the cooker.

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If you feel water is less, add some more and close the lid of the cooker. On medium heat let it cook for 5-7 minutes and switch off the gas.

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When the steam from the cooker cools down completely, open the lid and transfer sabzi in a serving bowl.

Mangodi ki sabzi

Garnish it with finely chopped green coriander leaves and serve with hot rotis/phulkas.

Mangodi ki sabji is ready!

 

Plain Baati (traditional Rajasthani food)

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Plain Baati or saada baati falls into the category of traditional Rajasthani food. It can be cooked very easily without much prior preparation. You just need three or six bricks to make your Choolha (stove), if you don’t have permanent one. Bring some dry uple (made from cow dung) for fire, little salt, wheat flour, water and one vessel to knead the dough. That’s it……..

This is the way migrants from Rajasthan cook baati when there is no rain in their village and they are searching for work in different cities, and  eating it with raw onion.
But now this traditional food has taken place in restaurants and hotels with many different types of varieties.

And of course, now you get a separate baati oven in the market.

Here we will be preparing simple wheat flour baati with ajwain (carom seeds) flavour, but not in baati oven, because I don’t have one. I baked baati in my microwave on convection mode and Manish and Apoorva loved them.

INGREDIENTS :

Wheat flour 1+1/2 cup
Salt 3/4 tsp
Desi ghee (melted) 3 tbsp
Ajwain (carom seeds) 1tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp

Water     to knead the dough (at room temperature) as per requirement

Melted desi ghee 1 cup

Method :

Take wheat flour, salt, ghee, ajwain and baking powder in a bowl and mix everything. Take a mix of half milk and half water, but it is optional. You can make do with just water.

Prepare dough by mixing everything .

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Dough should be harder than chappati dough…but softer than poori dough. Prepare equal size of balls from this dough and press them slightly ¬†between your palms. And with your finger tip gently press in between (as you can see in the pic, impression on baati).

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You can bake them on gas oven as well as in microwave on convection mode.
If you are doing on gas oven, keep changing their posotions at regular intervals (by turning upside down).

Initially keep the flame on full for 4-5 minutes…so that baatis will puff up a little, then put the flame on medium or sim….so that baatis are nicely roasted from inside too.
Once they are done….keep ready melted ghee in a big bowl and put all hot baatis in that.

You can leave baatis as it is or after 5/7 minutes take them out and serve when they are hot.

For microwave convection mode, give a brush up with ghee. Preheat oven on 200 degrees. Bake for almost 40 /45 minutes or until baatis start becoming light brown in colour. Change the position of baati in between and again give a brush up with ghee and continue baking. Once they are done, follow the same process of dipping them in melted ghee and serve hot with any daal of your choice.

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Don’t blame me if you finish two or three baatis without daal itself because they look so inviting dipped in hot desi ghee!