Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable cutlet is a popular south Indian snack made with boiled vegetables and spices. This is a slightly different version of the vegetable cutlets you get at the south Indian restaurants. It is a deep fried snack but I shallow fry it on a non stick pan to make it less oily. You can have it as an appetizer or a tea time snack.

These cutlets can be prepared ahead of time and fried just before eating. You can freeze them and use them when required. The pungent and spicy taste of fennel seeds, garlic, and green chillies is the USP of these cutlets.

Vegetable Cutlet

If you find the cutlets dough watery, you can add ¼ cup of bread crumbs. This will soak the water and also add texture and flavor to the cutlets. I used the Japanese panko bread crumbs. You can use any bread crumbs. You can also use semolina (rava) to coat the cutlets. It adds crunch to the cutlets. You can deep or shallow fry these cutlets depending on your taste.

These cutlets should be served hot with fresh salad and tomato ketchup. Vegetable cutlets also go well with hot tea.

Vegetable Cutlet

Ingredients

Makes 16 cutlets

  • 3 potatoes chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 8-10 beans chopped
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup gram flour (besan)
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of coriander (approximately ½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • ½ cup water
  • cups of bread crumbs or rava to coat the cutlets
  • oil to fry the cutlets

Recipe

Grind the green chillies, garlic, coriander and fennel seeds to a paste and keep aside.

Pressure cook the potatoes, carrots, beans and green peas till they are soft. Once cooled, squeeze out all the water and mash the vegetables. Put the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add the gram flour, rice flour, bread crumbs, ground paste, and salt. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning at this stage. Roll into sixteen oval cutlets.

Make a thin watery paste of all purpose flour and water. Dip the cutlet in this water and roll it in rava or bread crumbs. Refrigerate the rolled cutlets for an hour. Deep fry in hot oil or shallow fry on a non stick pan using little oil. Serve hot.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

This is one of my oldest and best experiments so far. Right from my college days, this was (and still is) my go to dish whenever there was turai or brinjal for lunch at home. White or whole wheat bread filled with vegetables filling flavored with pav bhaji masala makes these sandwiches a complete and quick meal without any guilt. My siblings and I have always relished these quick and flavorful sandwiches.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

You can add finely chopped garlic along with onions if you like. You can also add vegetables like beans or sweetcorn. Do not overcook the veggies or they will lose the crunch. Cheese is optional. You can add a slice of cheese to the filling just before you grill it. I use olive oil to grill the sandwiches, you can use butter too. I grill my sandwiches on a tava; Sandwich maker should give the same results too.

You can prepare the filling in advance and grill the sandwiches just before eating. I pack these sandwiches for lunch sometimes and they taste good but I would still prefer them fresh and hot.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

Ingredients

Makes 10-12 sandwiches (depending on the size of the bread)

  • ½ cup onions
  • 1 cup carrot
  • ½ cup capsicum
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 20-22 slices of bread
  • Butter/olive oil as required

Recipe

Heat oil in a kadhai or non stick pan. Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes till they are translucent. Add capsicum and sauté for a minute. Add carrot and green peas and sauté for another minute. Add pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes mixing in between. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool slightly. Fill between two slices of bread and grill on tava or a sandwich maker using butter or olive oil. You can add cheese slice to the sandwich before grilling. Serve hot with ketchup.

Raw Mango Rice (Kairi Ke Chawal)

Raw Mango Rice

Raw mango rice is the summer version of tamarind rice or lemon rice. Cooked rice is mixed with a paste made of raw mango, urad dal, chana dal and ground nuts.

Summers in Hyderabad can get super hot and my mom’s way to avoid getting into the kitchen is to cook dishes that can be made ahead and need very less time in kitchen before serving them. One of such dishes is the raw mango rice. It can not only be prepared ahead but is also good to beat the heat.

Tadka_mangoRice

You can replace groundnuts with cashew nuts if you like. Some people also add heeng and grated coconut to the tadka. Green chilli is the only source of spice in this dish. You can add more or less green chillies based on taste and the spice level of the chillies you are using.

Chatan

The quantity of raw mango depends on the sourness of the mangoes. Mix few table spoons of mixture at a time and keep tasting while mixing to get the desired taste.

You can prepare the mango paste in advance and store it in fridge for six to eight weeks. This is an excellent dish to transform leftover rice to a tangy treat.

Kairi ke Chawal

Ingredients

serves 2-3

  • 1.5 cup cooked rice
  • 4-5 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 2 tbsp groundnut
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup grated raw mango
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and green chillies. Saute and add urad dal and chana dal. Sauté and cook for 1 min or till the dals are lightly browned. Add ground nuts and dried red chillies. Cook for one more minute. Make sure the dals or groundnuts are not burned. Add the grated raw mango, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for two minutes mixing in between. Switch off the gas and mix and let the mixture cool for 2-3 minutes. Mix few tablespoons of raw mango mixture at a time in the cooked rice until you get the desired tanginess. You can store any leftover mixture in the fridge for 1-2 months.

Fruit Shrikhand (Fruit Yogurt)

Fruit Shrikhand

Shrikhand is an Indian dessert made with hung yogurt, sugar, dry fruits, and cardamom powder. This is a fruity version of the traditional homemade Shrikhand. This is one of the desserts we had as kids (there were no pastries or doughnuts). We mostly had homemade desserts like these which we would help our grandmother prepare for us. My oldest memory of making Shrikhand is helping my grandmother whisk the yogurt as a 7-8 year old and waiting for her to divide it for us in bowls so that we can take our share and relish it in the summer heat.

Hung yogurt is basically the creamy thick yogurt you get when you drain out all the water from yogurt. You can use a muslin or cheese cloth and hand the yogurt on your kitchen tap or any other clean place for 4-6 hours. Since I wanted a very thick and creamy yogurt for this recipe, I left it over night. You can also use the Greek yogurt.

Fruit Yogurt

You can add any fruit of your choice. For me berries work the best and so does Mango. You can decide to leave the seeds or fruit bits in the Shrikhand or just pass the fruit puree through a fine sieve for a rich creamy shrikhand. Remember to chill it for 4-5 hours before serving. You can serve it with fresh fruits and drizzle it with the remaining fruit puree or make it a mini pickup dessert by piping it in mini tart shells. I made chocolate tart shells and piped the shrikhand using icing tips. However you serve it, this summer dessert is sure to please your taste buds with tangy fruits and health yogurt.

Fruit Shrikhand

Ingredients

Serves 5-6

  • 1 ½ cup Hung Yogurt*
  • Icing sugar to taste

Fruit puree

  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup mango pulp
  • Icing sugar to taste

Recipe

For the Strawberry Puree

Wash and chop the strawberries. Put them in a nonstick pan. Add a table spoon of sugar. You can add or reduce the quantity of sugar based on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Once the strawberries are soft, mash them using the back of a spoon or spatula. Make sure to scrape the edges while cooking. Cook for 1-2 minutes or till the puree comes to boil. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Pass this through a fine sieve for a smooth and shiny fruit puree or just leave it as it is if you like bits of fruit in your Shrikhand.

For the Blueberry Puree

Follow the same procedure as the strawberry puree. Make sure to pass this puree through sieve or you will have the fruit peels in your Shrikhand.

For Mango Puree

Depending on the thickness of the mango juice, you can just pass it through a sieve and use it or if it is too runny cook it for few minutes to make it thicker and then use it. As with other fruits, add sugar based on the natural sweetness of the fruit.

For Shrikhand

Whip the yogurt using a whisk or an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy (approximately 2-3 minutes should be good). Divide the yogurt in three bowls. Add the fruit puree of your choice to each bowl. Add 2 table spoon of puree at a time and whisk well. Add more or less puree depending on taste and consistency requirements. I used approximate 2-3 tbsp of puree for half cup of hung yogurt.  Add icing sugar as per taste. Mix well and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. You can serve it with fresh fruits, fresh cream, or a drizzle of fruit puree on top. You can even fill the Shrikhand in plain tarts or chocolate tarts.

*To make hung yogurt, put fresh yogurt in a muslin or cheese cloth, tie the ends and hang it to your kitchen tap over night. Once all the water I drained out, transfer the thick yogurt to a bowl and chill.

Ras No Fajeto (Mango Kadhi)

Ras No Fajeto

Fajeto or ras to fajeto as it is addressed is a mango flavored Gujarati kadhi. Yogurt whisked with mango pulp and gram flour is tempered with spices like cinnamon, ginger powder, cloves etc and served with hot puris. Mango season in Gujarati homes means mangoes for lunch breakfast and dinner and may be in between for snacks too. When I first heard of this dish, I was very skeptical ( I hate sweet flavors in main course, especially with rice) but the taste won me over. Mango kadhi might not sound appetizing if you are not a mango lover but if you like Gujarati food, this dish is worth a try.

The richer the aroma of mangoes, the flavorful fajeto you will have. Ratnagiri or alphonso are the best choices for this kadhi.if you want to add more flavor you can replace the water in buttermilk with the water from mangoes (from peels and stone). You can adjust the sugar in this dish depending on the sweetness of mango pulp and as per taste. You can even replace sugar with jaggery. For the pulp, I would recommend a thick and strained pulp.

The dry spices especially ginger powder (saunth) complements the mango flavor very well. Try not leaving that out if you are short of ingredients. You can use oil instead of ghee for the tempering. Some people roast and powder the cinnamon, cloves, and dry ginger, but I like the taste with whole spices (I can take them out once I have the desired flavor).

While fajeto can be eaten with rice too, I love it with hot puris.

Mango Kadhi

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 5 cup butter milk (1/2cup yogurt+1 cup water)
  • 1/2 tbsb gram flour (besan) besan
  • 1/4 cup mango pulp
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp mustard and cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 piece of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder (saunth)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated

Recipe

Combine the ingredients for fajeta in a bowl and whisk well. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep aside.

Heat ghee in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the curry leaves, dry red chilli, green chilli, cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder, and grated ginger. Sauté for 5-10 seconds. Add the yogurt mix and continue stirring till the mixture comes to a boil. You can do this on high flame too. Once the fajeta comes to boil, reduce the flame and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with puri or rice.

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.

Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma is a very popular south Indian curry. Assorted vegetables are cooked in gravy made with coconut, tomato, onions, and spices. This versatile curry can be served with poori as breakfast, with paratha or rice as lunch/dinner.  I don’t know if the place still exists, but there used to be a small south Indian restaurant called Rau’s near my dad’s shop; I have tasted one of the best kurmas there apart from in my mom’s kitchen ofcourse. There are different variations of this curry. This recipe is my mom’s version of the kurma.

The spices for kurma gravy differ from region to region. I like the flavor of poppy seeds in this curry but unfortunately, poppy seeds are not available in Singapore. Another change you can make is to replace fresh coconut with thick coconut milk to make the gravy creamier. If you want thicker gravy, reduce the amount of water from 2/3 cups to ½ cup. I keep the gravy little runny as I like to eat this curry with plain rice too.

I don’t know the reason but most of the restaurants have the veggies cut in diamond shape for kurma. I usually avoid cauliflower in this curry but if you like cauliflower, do add it. It adds to the flavor of the curry. Some restaurants add mushrooms too. I stick to the veggies I like.

Vegetable Kurma tastes best with hot puris and rava dosa. You can also have it with plain rice, biryani, parathas, or naan.

Vegetable Kurma

Ingredients

Serves 3-4

  • 1 carrot diced
  • 5-6 green beans chopped
  • 1 potato cubed
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup thick yogurt
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For Gravy (To be ground to fine paste)

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 red chillies
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 2-3 pieces (appx 2 tbsp) coconut
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus) (optional)

Recipe

Grind all the ingredients for gravy to a smooth paste. If required, you can even pass the paste through a sieve to get a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add curry leaves. Once the leaves pop, add the gravy paste and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the fat separates. Keep mixing every few seconds. Add the turmeric, garam masala, vegetables, salt, and water. Mix well. Close the lid and cook for 2 whistles. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and let the curry cool down for few minutes. Add the thick yogurt and mix well. Serve hot with puri or rice.