Friday 26 February 2010

Event Reminder

Thank you everyone for the entries for Think Spice: Think Amchoor event.

And for those of you who are still contemplating on sending an entry, Hurry up! You have only 4 more days to go!

Monday 22 February 2010

Instant Bhelpuri (Bhel)

Bhelpuri is a mixture or medley of puffed rice, Sev and/or Farsan, garnished with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, fresh coriander and accompanied by two different chutneys, one sweet & tangy, the other spicy.

The title might seem odd, after all Bhel is supposed to be instant, so what's so special about this one? Although Bhel is assembled instantly, there is a lot of preparation that goes into the making of it. The most significant being the two Chutneys – Tamarind chutney and Coriander chutney.

Has it ever happened to you that you badly want to have Bhel but don't have the chutneys ready with you and either don't have the ingredients for the chutney or don't have the time to make them? This is really a very difficult situation if you ask me. But of course provided you are living outside India, because if you are in India a Chaat wala is never far away when the craving strikes or even other wise!

In that sense this recipe for making Bhel is as instant and simple as it can get. I don't remember where I seen this one, but I have been making Bhel in this manner whenever we feel like  having it at the spur of a moment.

Instant Bhelpuri

Picture 0261

Serves 2

4 cups Puffed rice (Murmura)

2-3 tblsp finely chopped onion + 1tblsp
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh Coriander + 1 tblsp
3-4 tblsp Farsan (Optional)
1-2 tblsp roasted peanuts
Thin Sev (as much as required!)

To be combined together:
2 tsp Amchoor (Dry Mango Powder)
1/2-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/4-1/2 tsp Black Salt

1/2-1 tsp Sugar
Salt (to taste)

Combine all the spices together along with 2-3 tblsp of water to make a runny paste and keep aside.

In a large mixing bowl take the puffed rice and add the above prepared spice paste and combine well to mix. Add the rest of the ingredients reserving some for garnish.

To serve, spoon out the prepared Bhel mixture on to a plate, top it with some chopped onion, coriander and lots of Sev, dig in!

Heres a closer look!

Picture 034

My Notes: The quantities mentioned above can be easily altered according to one’s taste. I would recommend keeping the qty of Amchoor intact, though. It is the main ingredient that gives the Bhel its taste here. For some more spice add finely chopped green chillies.

The Bhelpuri will be my contribution to this month’s Think Spice: Think Amchoor.  You have 7 more days to send in your entries for the event!

Monday 15 February 2010

Khasta Kachori (Moong Dal Kachori)

I am back from the India trip and although it has been quite some time, I still have to get back to the normal routine. I blame the jetlag wholly for this, me being extra sensitive when it comes to that. So I have been having afternoon naps and in spite of that feeling drowsy by 6 in the evening, of course I am also wide awake at 3 in the morning!

This month’s ICC had me really excited, its almost as if there is some sort of telepathy going on here. I was planning to make Kachori when I got back from India and here it is, the dish of the month! Only I would have liked a little more time to settle down before I tried to cook anything new. So this one has been a last minute thing, made today and posted today – thats a first for this blog :)


I chose the Moong Dal filling and halved the recipe.

Khasta Kachori (Moong Dal Kachori)

Picture 179

Makes about 8

For the dough

1 cup Maida (All purpose flour)
1 pinch Salt
1.5-2 tblsp Ghee
Cold water (to knead the dough)

For the filling

1/4 Cup Yellow Moong Dal
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
3-4 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Green Chilli – Ginger paste
1/2 Tsp Fennel Seed (Saunf) Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1/4-1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/2-1 tsp Amchoor (Dry Mango Powder)
1 tsp Oil


Mix the plain flour and salt. Add the Ghee and mix between your palms to get a bread crumb like mixture.
Add water enough to knead into a soft dough. Knead well and cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for about half an hour.

Soak the Moong Dal in enough water for at least 1-2 hours. Drain and then grind into a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the Cumin seeds and when they begin to sizzle add the hing and the curry leaves.

Add the Dal paste and fry for sometime till the Dal is no more sticking to the pan. Add all the remaining ingredients and continue to cook the Dal.

Once the Dal is cooked, the mixture completely dry and you can smell the Masalas, switch off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Heat Oil in a deep pan for frying. Once hot, reduce the flame to low.

Divide the dough into 8 portions.  Take one portion and flatten it out either by pressing with your fingers or by lightly rolling it out.

Take a spoonful of the Moong Dal Mixture and place in the centre of this rolled out dough. Cover the mixture with the dough from all the sides. Lightly flatten the kachori taking care to avoid the mixture from oozing out. This can be done between your palms or by lightly pressing the Kachori on a smooth surface.

Continue with the remaining dough. Once you have the Kachoris assembled, drop 3-4 of them at a time in the hot oil. Fry on medium-low flame, turning them in between till both the sides have browned nicely. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel.

Serve warm or let them cool completely and then store them in an air tight container. Ideally served with Tamarind Chutney and Coriander Chutney.

Picture 202

My Notes: This was a huge success just like all my other ICC experiences. Thanks a lot Medha for the wonderful recipe. The crust was light and flaky, the filling was delicious and the end result was exactly what we wanted along with hot tea, on a cold evening such as today’s!

On a different note, the deadline for Think Spice: Think Amchoor is fast approaching. Please send in your entries soon!