Aalu Toast

Aalu Toast

Aalu toast is a fantastic lip smacking street food you can eat only in Hyderabad or so I thought until a friend from Jaipur shared this similar recipe. Aalu toast originally is triangle shaped bread topped with potato mix, deep fried and then served as a chat with various chutneys and lots of sev. This one is more of a bite sized DIY chat version. There is no match for the aalu toast you can get at couple of places in Hyderabad but this comes closest if you want to make it at home. Thank you Kshamta for reminding me of this delicious street food 🙂

You can use any bread you like. White, wholewheat, or multi-grain. I tried white and multigrain breads and both tasted fine. To make the chat healthier you can even toast the bread instead of frying it. The idea is to have a crisp and crunchy base. How you do is totally up to you. The fried one tastes better of course.

aalu toast

This is one of the best DIY snacks. You can prepare the chutneys, potato mash, and bread n advance and just let the guests decide on how sweet or spicy they want their chat. Since the chutneys and potato can make the bread soggy, this chat is best enjoyed immediately after it is topped with potato and chutneys.

Aalu Toast

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1 potato boiled and mashed
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp chat masala
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2-3 tbsp thick yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp mint chutney
  • 2-3 tbsp sweet chutney
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup thin sev
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry the bread

Recipe

Cut the bread into bite sized pieces in desired shapes. I used cookie cutters to cut the bread into bite sized circles and squares.

Heat oil in a deep pan/kadhai and fry the bread till it is crisp and brown. Drain in on paper towel to remove excess oil. Keep aside. You can even toast the bread in oven if you want to make it healthier.

To the potato mash, add red chilli powder, cumin powder, and chat masala. Mix well and check for salt. Add salt if required.

Just before serving, put approximately 1 tsp potato masala on a piece of bread; top it with mint chutney, sweet chutney, yogurt, onions, and sev. Serve immediately.

Manchurian Pav

Manchurian Pav

Manchurian Pav or Manchuria Pav as it is known in Hyderabad is a street food from Hyderabad. It is a twist to Pav Bhaji and what a yummy twist! I love it. Despite the fat. That is why I decided to try making it at home so that I can make it healthier. I am yet to find a city (with exception to Mumbai) where you can get yummy food 24×7. Street food in Hyderabad is amazing. The city is dotted with tons of stalls selling roadside snacks. One such place is a juice/pan shop called Mayur. I don’t know if this dish is available elsewhere but I love it at this place.  I always prepare extra bhaji and freeze it for the days I am too tired to cook. It comes in handy for quick snacks like this one.

This snack should be cooked on high heat throughout. Idea is not to let the capsicum lose it’s crunch or not to overcook the onions. It should be cooked but still crunchy.  You can cook it in butter if you like but using oil or even olive oil does not alter the taste a lot.

This dish gets soggy very fast. You need to make it just before eating. You can prepare the ingredients in advance and cook it just before eating/serving. This is a perfect snack with evening tea or for that 5 pm hunger. You can enjoy this Indian fast food with hot tea or finish it off with a glass of chilled juice.

Manchurian Pav

Ingredients

  • 2 Pavs/burger buns cut into 8 pieces each
  • 4-5 tbsp bhaji
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small green chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp capsicum chopped
  • 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 tbsp sev
  • salt to taste

Recipe

Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai.  Add ginger, garlic, and green chillies and cook for a minute. Add onions and cook for a minute or till the onions are translucent. Add capsicum and cook for 30-45 seconds. Add pav bhaji masala, garam masala, bhaji, and salt. Mix well. Add the pav pieces and mix well. Transfer to the serving dish and top it with sev and chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan (Brinjal Curry)

Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan (Brinjal Curry)

Brinjal curry or Baghare Baigan as known in Hyderabad is a local delicacy. Brinjals are cooked in sour and spicy gravy made of sesame seeds, groundnut seeds, tamarind paste and coconut. There are lot of variants of this recipe but this particular one is my mom’s recipe. Though I don’t like brinjals but this is one of my favourite gravies. This tastes best when eaten with hot rice.

Choose brinjals that are small and round. Make two slits in the brinjals for them to absorb the gravy well. Since I do not like brinjals, I have substituted brinjals with tomatoes or capsicum on many occasions and I loved those variants too. You can also try using fresh green chillies (non-spicy ones) instead of brinjals.

The gravy is the key to this recipe. Groundnut and sesame seeds are used a lot in Hyderabadi cuisine. It is important to roast the ingredients separately and on low flame. You can substitute the jaggery with sugar if jaggery is not available. People also add poppy seeds to this gravy. I love the combination of sambhar, rice, and this gravy. This curry tastes best with hot rice. You can also serve this with parathas.

Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan (Brinjal Curry)

Ingredients

  • 5 brinjals (small ones work best)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic grated
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste

For the Masala

  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (I used the dry desiccated coconut)
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 ½ tsp jaggery
  • 4 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • Little oil to fry the onions

Recipe For the Masala Dry roast the coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts separately on low flame. Fry the onions till brownish using little oil. Combine all the ingredients for masala and grind them to a smooth paste. Add little water if required. Keep the masala aside. For the Curry Make two slits in the Brinjals. Do not cut them completely but just a deep cut like a plus sign. Heat oil in a kadhai or non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter add ginger and garlic. Sauté for 10-15 seconds. Add the Brinjals and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the masala paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and one cup water. Mix well and cook on slow flame till the Brinjals are cooked and oil floats on top. Keep mixing in between. Serve with hot rice and sambhar or with plain parathas.

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada

Dahi vada or Dahi bhalla is an Indian chaat. It is a deep fried lentil dumpling, soaked in thick yogurt and topped with garnishes like sweet chutney, chilli powder, cumin powder, and coriander. Dahi vadas are not as difficult to make as they look. Lentil dumplings are fried and soaked in salted water and then in thick yogurt and garnished just before eating. The secret to light and fluffy dahi vadas is to beat the batter in circular motion for 3-4 four minutes just before making the vadas.

In some parts of India, especially in Delhi and Gujarat, the yogurt used for soaking the vadas is sweetened. I prefer the unsweetened yogurt and like to add the sweet chutney as a topping. There are different versions of dahi vada around the country and this is my family recipe. It might appear bit different from the other recipes you find on Internet. My mom prefers to add some spices like chilli powder and some cumin powder to the yogurt in which the dahi vadas are soaked.

In Hyderabad, during the month of Ramzan, you can find roadside stalls selling dahi vadas in the evenings when people break the fast. I have blurred memories of  the vendors shouting funny slogans to attract people to their dahi vada stalls. These vendor sell dahi vadas with different toppings. Red chilli powder, cumin powder, and sweet chutney are common toppings for dahi vada. People even add chaat masala, grated coconut, sev, mint chutney, and pomegranate as toppings.

Dahi vada tastes best when it’s chilled. This is a fixed side dish at my place for the Diwali dinner. It can be served as a snack or as a side dish with meals.

Dahi Vada

Ingredients

Makes 15 dahi vadas

  • 2/3 cup urad dal soaked for 5-6 hours
  • 3 cups yogurt beaten
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 tsp black salt
  • ¼ cup tamarind chutney
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Oil for frying

Recipe

Drain water from the soaked urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste using as little water as possible. Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl. You can add a pinch or two of soda at this stage if you wish. But this is optional.

Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai. Wet your palms. Drop around a tablespoon full of the dal paste and shape it round. Carefully slide the vada into hot oil. Do this for rest of the vadas. Fry on medium flame till the vadas are golden brown. Another option is to use a wet table spoon and carefully drop vadas into the hot oil. Remember to dip the spoon in water before taking the paste for each vada.

Put the vadas on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Take around 1 ½ to 2 cups of water in a bowl. Add around two tsp of salt and mix. Now add the fried vadas to this water and let them soak for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the yogurt with salt, and little red chilli powder. Squeeze out the vada from salt water after 30-40 minutes. Dip the vadas in the beaten yogurt and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes if you like the dahi vada chilled.

Just before serving take the vadas in serving dish. Top it with little more yogurt. Garnish with pinch of black salt, cumin powder, and red chilli powder. You can adjust the garnish as per taste and quantity of the vadas. Add tamarind chutney and chopped coriander.

Ragda Patties (Aalu Tikki Chaat)

Ragda Patties (Aalu Tikki Chaat)

Ragda patties is a famous street food from India. Potato patties are topped with boiled green peas, onions, tomatoes, spices and sweet and spicy chutneys to make this mouth-watering street food (Chat). This dish has variations according to regions and this recipe is of the ragda patties (called cutlet or ragda katlis) you can find on the streets of Hyderabad. Boiled green peas tempered with basic spices is called ragda. You can also use dry white peas for the ragda if you wish.

Potato patty known as aloo patty or cutlet is made with boiled potatoes and very few spices. Some people add fillings to these patties. Common stuffing for patties includes finely chopped carrots and French beans or roasted gram flour with spices. I have not used any stuffing in the recipe here. I like to play around with the toppings more than the stuffing.

Tricky part for people who do not cook often is the topping as per taste instruction. But this really has no other way. Some people like their chat sweet, some like it spicy. So you really need to experiment with this one. I like my cutlet with yogurt and lots of sev. I enjoy my cutlet piping hot with chilled yogurt on top.

Normally, this dish is served in layers of patty, ragda, and the toppings. If you want to eat it the hyderabadi way, Crumble the patty on a hot griddle, add some ragda and little panipuri water. Give it a nice mash or mix. Add the spices and chutneys for topping and mash again. Now take it in a plate and top it with yogurt, coriander, and sev. This is hyderabadi ragda katlis for you. Enjoy!

Ragda Patties (Aalu Tikki Chaat)

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the Ragda

  • 1 cup dried green peas (hara batana) soaked overnight
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ¼  tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee/oil for shallow frying

For the Patties

  • 4 potatoes boiled, peeled, and mashed
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 2 tsp ginger and green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Toppings/Garnish

  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1-2 tsp black salt
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp chopped coriander
  • 7-8 tbsp nylon sev
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 7-8 tbsp tamarind chutney
  • 7-8 tbsp mint chutney
  • 10-12 tbsp fresh yogurt beaten with some salt

Recipe

For The Ragda

Pressure cook the peas with little salt and 2 ½ cups of water for 5-6 whistles.  Heat oil in a kadhai. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add turmeric and asafoetida and the boiled peas. Add around one cup of water and mix well. Mash the peas a little with the back of a spoon. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or till the ragda thickens and keep aside.

For the Patties

Combine the ingredients for patties and divide the mixture into eight portions. Shape each portion into flat round disc.  Heat a thick griddle. Put ¼ tsp ghee and place a patty. Smear some more ghee on top of the patty and turn it over after a minute. Move it to the side of the griddle. Follow the same procedure for all the patties. Keep turning the patties every 1-2 minutes till they turn brown on both sides. Keep aside.

To Serve

Place two patties in a bowl or a deep plate. Add close to 1/4th of the ragda, 2 tbsp yogurt, 2 tsp onions, 2 tsp tomatoes, few pinches each of red chilli powder, cumin powder, and black salt. Add the tamarind chutney and mint chutney as per taste. Top it with chopped coriander and nylon sev and serve.

Panipuri

Panipuri

Panipuri for me is the best food on earth. It is a Crisp semolina puri filled with green chana and sour and spicy water. It is a very popular chat (type of snacks in India) in India and you can find it in any region you go. Every state has its own version of panipuri. It’s Golgappa in Delhi, Puchka in Calcutta and Gupchup in Hyderabad. I have eaten panipuri at various places but Gupchup wins it hands down for me. Not that I don’t like golgappa or puchka, but nothing can match the hot chana and cold water filled gupchup you get in Hyderabad.

Making the puri for panipuri at home can get little tricky. You need to roll out the dough thin and keep in moist always. But if you are living outside India and don’t get the puris readily available, it is worth the effort.

To make the puris fluffy, press the puri with back of a slotted spoon till it puffs up. Make sure the oil is hot and you fry them on a medium flame. You can even make flavoured puri by adding ¼ tsp of your choice of dried herbs.

Coming back to gupchup, the hot green peas filling is what sets it apart from other versions of panipuri. It is a very simple filling of boiled green peas cooked in very basic tempering. There are other fillings too like potato and Bengal gram (kala chana), sprouts, boondi, onions etc. If you like your panipuri sweet apart from the sour and spicy taste, you can add little sweet tamarind chutney along with the filling.

Panipuri is a comfort food for me and my sister. We can eat it anytime of the day. There are lot of famous street side vendors in Hyderabad where you can try this chat. If you are health conscious and don’t have a very strong immune system to eat roadside food, try this homemade panipuri.

Panipuri

Ingredients

For Puri (makes 25 puris)

  • ¼ cup maida
  • ¼ cup semolina
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For Water

  • ½ cup tightly packed mint
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh coriander
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups tamarind water
  • 2 cups water

For Filling

  • ¼ cup dried peas soaked for 6-7 hours
  • 1tsp oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric
  • Salt to taste

Filling 2

  • 2 potatoes
  • ¼ cup Bengal gram (black chana) soaked for 6-7 hours
  • ½ tsp chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

For Puri

Combine the ingredients for puri with little water and make a firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep it aside for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes, knead the dough again and divide into two rolls. Roll out each portion into thin circle and cut small (approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches) round puris using a cookie cutter or a sharp round cap.

Heat enough oil to fry the puris and fry few puris at a time, till they are crispy and brown on both sides.

Store the puris in airtight container.

For Water

Grind mint, coriander, and green chilli to a smooth paste. In a jug or vessel, combine this paste with all the other ingredients for water and mix well. Taste for salt at this time and adjust salt as per taste. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

For Filling 1

Pressure cook the soaked peas with salt for 3-4 whistles or till the peas are very soft and mushy. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add the cooked peas and turmeric. Check for salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.

For Filling 2

Pressure cook the potatoes with little salt for 3 whistles or till soft and mushy. Peel and keep them aside.

Pressure cook the Bengal gram (black chana) with salt for 4-5 whistles or till they are soft. Mix together, the potatoes, chana, and green chilli paste. Check for salt and add more if required. Keep the filling aside.

For serving

Punch/crack a hole in the puri. Add the filling of your choice (appx 1 tsp in a puri). Fill it with the prepared water and eat it right away.

Mirchi ka Salan (Green Chillies Curry)

Mirchi ka Salan (Green Chillies Curry)

Hyderabadi food is synonymous with Biryani and the perfect match for any Hyderabadi biryani is the mirchi ka salan (Salan means curry in urdu).  This is not a very spicy curry as the name suggests. It is a mix of spicy, sour, and nutty flavors.

Picking up the right chillies is the first important part. Make sure to pick the non-spicy or the less spicy chillis for this curry. You can choose the chillies that you get for mirchi bhajjis or the Bhavnagri chillies.

Second part ofcourse is the gravy. Make sure you roast the ground nuts, sesame and coconut powder on a low to medium flame.

You can serve this curry with biryani, pulav, or even hot parathas. My mother makes this dish without onion garlic hence you will see these ingredients in the optional list.

Mirchi ka Salan (Green Chillies Curry)

Ingredients

  • 4 Long green chillies
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¼ cup tamarind pulp
  • 2 inches ginger piece grated
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seed
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste

For Salan Paste

  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp roasted coconut powder
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Optional ingredients to the salan paste list

  • 1 onion cut into thin slices and deep fried
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp roasted khus khus soaked in water for 30 minutes

Recipe

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Deep fry green chillies. Keep the chillies aside and save the oil in which the chillies were fried.

Finely grind together all the ingredients for salan paste.

Reheat 2 tbsp oil that was used for frying chillies. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them pop. Add ginger and sauté for few seconds.

Add the salan paste and saute it for few minutes till the fat separates. Ensure that the paste does not stick to the pan. Pour around 2tbsp of water at regular intervals.

Now add the tamarind pulp, water, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, dhaniya powder, and garam masala. Stir for 3-5 minutes until the gravy is of sauce consistency.

Add the fried chillies to the hot gravy. Let the gravy come to a boil. Remove and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with biryani, pulav, or paratha.

 

*Check the Tips and Links section for a Hindi to English translation of the ingredients.