April 21, 2018

Rabdi | How to make Rabdi

Rabdi or reduced milk sauce is one of my weakness that I can rarely resist. Although I do pass on the bowl frequently, I must dig into atleast 1 tsp of the thick milky deliciousness that tastes great by itself or as a topping to Jalebi, Malpua, Kulfi, Gulab Jamoon or most deep fried / Frozen Indian sweets.

Rabdi is usually sold in the olden street food galli (or smaller bylines) dotting across India. There are 3 things needed for a great Rabdi - high quality (organic) milk, Lots of love, Lots of patience.  And of course Sugar.

Time is they key to making a good Rabdi, although I have seen and made quick Rabdis with more bread slices (yes!! it works so well :)) and with Condensed milk (not really my preferred way!)

So, this Rabdi - part of the Street Food series- comes to you after a lot of Elbow Grease  (and its worth every minute if you are a Rabdi lover like me :p) Lets get to the recipe.


Prep time : 10 mins, Cooking time : 30-40 mins ; Makes : approx 300-400 ml of Rabdi

Ingredients:

  • Full fat Cream Milk - 1.25 litres
  • Powdered Sugar - approx 350 gms (I love it mildly sweet) - adjust to taste - Measure after powdering
  • Saffron strands - a generous pinch
  • Malai or heavy cream  - 2 TBSP

Method:

  1. Simmer milk till it halves (keep stirring on medium-low flame). Scrape down the cream / malai that forms on the sides.
  2. Once it halves or even turns to 1/3, add the powdered sugar and keep stirring till it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Don’t leave the stove unattended at any point. 
  4. Switch off the stove and stir in the malai. Don’t stir. 
  5. Once cool, blend in the saffron strands and malai slowly into the rabid
  6. Serve warm or chilled as is or topped on any Indian Sweet like Jalebi, Malpua, Malai Kulfi, Gulab Jamoon etc.

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April 19, 2018

Papdi Corn Chaat | Easy Street food recipes

Today's post is ultra simple but very close to my heart. It was made many months ago exclusively by both my kids. With the elder one taking the lead, and younger helping out it sure warmed our hearts to be served this impromptu by the kids. Needless to say, its more of a memory than a recipe and I sure didn't want to miss up this opportunity of presenting this in the street food series .

Papdi are small, thin wafer like discs (made mostly of all purpose or wholewheat or a combo) and deep fried / baked and can be used as canapés with various toppings. It also forms a base for Sev Puri one of the most sought after chaats at home. The toppings used here are corn with a tangy tamarind sauce. but any other toppings like cheese , chillies, crushed sev,, sautéed chickpea, bell peppers etc can be used.

Need more Chaat recipes ? Check these out while we make today's dish...
Assemble and served in under 10 minutes. Make your own and serve with love :)

Prep time - 10 mins, Cooking time - 10 mins, serves - 2

papdis (store bought or homemade) - 10-12
Dates - tamarind chutney - 1 TBSP
Boiled Sweet corn / american corn - as required
Boiled n mashed potato - 1 medium
Chaat masala - 1/2 tsp
Sev - to top
Chopped Tomatoes - 1/4 cup
chopped onions - 1 tbsp (optional)



Method:
Mix all the ingredients except papdi. place mixture on Papdi and serve. 

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April 18, 2018

Oats Chaat | Party Food Ideas

After all the deep frying which was necessary for som street foods, I felt that moderation and getting back to healthy food was the key. As far as possible , I have avoided refined products on this blog and oats happen to top the list of healthy foods that we would want to consume almost everyday . As a recommended soluble dietary fibre especially for diabetics, it’s versatile, but somehow I can’t bring myself to eating sweet oats (in either porridge or overnight soaked form).

Although I do sneak it into upma or dosa or Adai or cutlets , I felt this grain offered so much more . I had bookmarked Harini’s Oats chaat the day she posted it and this was one of the first few dishes I clicked for this street marathon. I had made it earlier, but couldn't click as the light was very low.  So made it again especially for this BM. 
Both me and mom had this for 2 servings each, and we BOTH loved it. Thank you Harini, for such a guilt free, yet healthy chaat 


Other recipes with Oats which you might like







As with most chaats, this is entirely customisable. I wanted to add a protein to this chaat (as I had this as a snack by itself) so added cooked and crumbled rajma (kidney beans)

One can make this completely vegan by skipping the yoghurt or adding nut-yoghurt.
I had access to gluten free oats so used it, else any variety of quick cooking oats will do. 

Prep time -10 Mins; no cook

Serves - 2

Ingredients:

Oats - 1/4 cup
Cooked chickpeas or rajma or any other protein - 1/8 cup (optional but recommended)
Whisked yoghurt - 4 tbsp
Boiled potato - 1 medium (I added sautéed sweet potato)

Toppings (customise to your taste and preference)

Chopped onion, grated carrots, finely diced cucumbers, Deseeded and diced tomatoes, pomegranate pearls, sev or boondi
Chaat masala
Red chilli powder
Black salt





Method

Dry roast oats till warm. Transfer to a serving plate. Add the potato, crumbled rajma or garbanzo, grated carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and mix well
Top with rest of the toppings , customised according to your preference and serve immediately.


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April 17, 2018

Nachos with Salsa | Mexican Street Food

Coming back to Mexican favourites, we have nachos with salsa today from the street food repertoire. This dish is an eternal favourite with my kids - be it at theatres, on long drives or while even watching television. I had baked tortilla chips and baked Nachos earlier, but this time gave in to the deep fried indulgence. Enjoyed best with sour cream and salsa, this is one quick dish that’s any party’s favourite :) 

PS: My elder one helped me style and took the clicks too :-)

Adapted from Tarla Dalal’s recipe

I didn’t change much except adding Kashmiri chilli powder and cheese powder into the dough itself ... that gave its characteristic colour and punch and the kids loved it a lot.
As I was deep frying, I only made a small batch. But you can easily double or even quadruple if feeding a crowd. For those keen, the history of Nachos can be seen here


Personally I preferred the baked version but with kids it’s always deep fry which score extra brownie points. So, lets get cracking to make this yummy delight.

Prep time : 15 mins, standing time : 10 mins, Frying + assembly time - 15 mins

Ingredients for the dough:
  • Makai ka atta / coarse maize flour / Cholam maavu - 1/4 cup
  • Wholewheat flour - 1/8 cup
  • All purpose flour-  1/8 cup + as required for rollng
  • salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tsp (to knead) + 1 cup (to deep fry)
  • cheese powder - 1/8 cup (vegans can skip this)
  • Kashmiri chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed pepper - 1/8 tsp
  • sugar - a pinch
  • crushed carrom seeds - 1/8 tsp (optional)


method:
  • In a large bowl, add the flours, red chilli powder, black pepper, cheese, sugar, salt, mix. Make a well / indentation, add the oil and rub into the flours. Slowly, add warm water as needed and make a semi stiff dough. Cover and keep for 15 mins.
  • Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan.
  • Pinch out small roundels, and roll into a thinnish 7-8 inch circle dusting with flour as needed.
  • Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into small sectors. Place gently in a plate and dust a little flour and keep covered.
  • Repeat for entire dough,
  • Deep fry the pieces in moderately hot oil till golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels.


To assemble:
  • Place the nachos in a oven proof /micro plate. Spread cheese and bake slightly till the cheese melts. 

OR

  • serve the nachos as is with sour cream and salsa on the side. We love it either way:-)



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April 16, 2018

Mango Mastani | Pune's favourite street food

We are in the thick of summer here, and this cooler whipped with delicious mango flavours is the perfect way to beat the heat. Apparently having its origins from Pune (and therefore named presumptuously after the great Maratha warrior Bajirao's wife Mastani), this is a super yummy dessert for those humid days.

Very simple to make and tastes best with Alphonso (Ratnagiri) mangoes, this is a party pleaser for sure. Lets see how to make and assemble this super cool and delicious cooler.

Prep time : 15 mins, No cook, Serves : 2

Ingredients:
Mango Pieces (chilled) - 1.5 cups + 3 tsp
Chilled milk - 2 cups
Vanilla / Mango Ice Cream - 2 scoops
Garnish - pinch of saffron + Chopped Dry fruits - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 TBSP (skip if the mangoes are sweet enough)

Method:
Blend the mango chunks with the chilled milk (leaving aside 3 tsp for garnish) + sugar (if using).
Line two chilled serving bowls / glasses with the rest of the mango pieces , top with the mango milkshake (from above step). Add dry fruits, garnish as required. Top with ice cream and more candied fruit / nuts as required.
Serve immediately.



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April 14, 2018

Lucknowi Veg Biryani | Gluten Free Biryani

Browsed. Cooked. Clicked. Posted - thus came about this totally delicious Lucknowi biryani.

I had already scheduled a post for alphabet L but wasn’t happy about the post - something kept nagging , I can’t really put my finger on it. 

So just yesterday late evening at home after work, was leisurely browsing and one thing led to another and I landed on this yummy biryani recipe from Smitha's blog.






Having been to that city a couple of times, I have noticed that biryanis n kebabs complete the street food picture :) of course as mentioned in my Galouti kebab, most dishes are meat based which are now getting popular being converted to veg/vegan versions.

This is a pure veg biryani. Of course the original recipe included ghee which I have completely omitted without any lack of taste. 

As am posting this on the day of the post and not before, there’s a linkback to the original recipe as I followed it 100% except to omit ghee and top it with fried onions and dried rose petals. Thank you, Smita ! We loved the simple, earthy flavours and the proportions were exact. 

This can be vegan if you sub the milk and the yoghurt with vegan substitutes.


So am simply linking it back to the original, where you may find all ingredients n methods.
Of course the picture tutorial will do full justice to the steps .

Served this biryani was with a topping of birista (fried onions) and dehydrated rose petals , and a side of veg raita and salad 

Serves : 3~4 generously with 2 cups of cooked basmati rice + 1 cup of cooked vegetable.



So far on the Explore the Flavours Mega Marathon featuring street food, we have seen on this blog :


Day 1 Amiri Khaman (Gujarat)
Day 2 Badam Makha (Kolkata)
Day 3 Churros (Mexican)
Day 4 Dabeli / Dahi Aloo Chaat (Gujarat)
Day 5 Esquites (Mexican)
Day 6 Fruit Kulfi (Kolkata)
HOLIDAY
Day 7 Galouti Kebab (Lucknow)
Day 8 Hyderabadi Mirchi Bajji
Day 9 Idly Chilly
Day 10 Jalebi (with Poha) - Indori special
Day 11 Khara bhath


Some more Biryani  and One Pot Meal options:



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April 13, 2018

Kharabhath from Karnataka

Out of all the bookmarks made and clicked for alphabet K (I had 3-4 choices) I picked this Kharabhath today for its way too long since I posted my fav food from bangalore. Technically it may not qualify for a hand cart street food, but it’s a staple at the millions of Darshini’s (self-help eateries) that dot Bangalore and mysore too.

I have adapted from what I have eaten and remembered of Veena stores, in Malleswaram (Bangalore). Almost just a hole in the wall eatery, which doesn’t even feature a menu card, and the popularity from its patrons is so high that this place just makes very few dishes and they all get sold out within 1-2 hours. I chose two dishes from this store’s repertoire and post one today. The other one will follow soon .


Khara bhath means spicy pudding and this is what differentiates it from rava Upma or rava kichadi or other similar looking semolina puddings is the liberal use of vangibhath powder in this recipe.


You may also use any vegetables of your choice or even make this onion free . But tomato is definitely used here to provide a tangy offset to the otherwise spicy upma. This is so good to go on it’s own without any accomplishments but some people prefer plain coconut chutney . We just had this for our snack one day and amma was also very happy with the authentic taste!


Prep time - 15 Mins ; cook time - 15 Mins ; serves - 3~4



Ingredients


  • Semolina - 1.5 cups
  • Oil - 3 Tbsp
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Green chillies - 2 (slit lengthwise)
  • Vegetables - 1 cup (I used carrots, beans, bell pepper, green peas)
  • Onions - 1 medium (optional)
  • Ripe Tomatoes - 2 medium (finely diced)
  • Vangibhath powder - 3 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1/2 Tbsp
  • Tempering - mustard seeds, hing, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves
  • Garnish - chopped coriander leaves


Method:
  1. Cook beans, carrots, peas, potatoes in 2.5 cups of hot water with a pinch of salt till al dente . Drain the water and keep aside. Retain the water as well.
  2. Meanwhile , In a pan, heat 2 TBSP oil, splutter mustard seeds and urad dal, hing, curry leaves and chillies. Once the dal turns slightly brown add the rava / semolina and roast for 3-4 Mins on low flame till a nice aroma comes out. Roasting well ensures the upma isn’t sticky. Transfer to a plate , let cool.
  3. In the same pan, add the remaining oil, add turmeric, fry onions till translucent. Add bell peppers and fry them. Now add the tomatoes and sauté till they are nicely cooked and mushy. Add vangibhath and jaggery at this stage and let the masala cost all the veggies at this stage.
  4. Add the par boiled vegetables and the reserved water and let it come to a rolling boil.
  5. Add salt and the roasted semolina / rava to this hot boiling mixture in the pan, and mix well to prevent it from being lumpy.
  6. Cover and cook for 6-7 Mins on low-medium flame.
  7. Finish with chopped coriander and serve kharabhath hot with coffee or tea :)

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April 12, 2018

Jalebi | How to make Instant Jalebi

Somewhere on top of my to-do list was Jalebi . Having tasted it at many North Indian weddings / functions, I am amazed how similar yet different it is from its South Indian cousin Jaangri. They look similar yet are taste and ingredient-wise miles apart.

Given my reluctance to deep fry , this was one of the few dishes that were deep fried (trust me, I even looked up google to see if someone had “baked or pan fried” these !! Lol )


I was quite taken in by chef Vaman’s video of almost instant jalebi without any commercial additives like Rankat / hydro yet tasting like the halwaai/ sweet meat shop’s owner’s secret recipe :)


And what’s more , I quickly made Indori poha for our evening snack and the jalebi- poha combo took me right back to indore / Bhopal days where this street food is relished almost everyday like our idli dosa !


The texture was bang on however the shapes gave up on me, as I was using a squeezee bottle. I will work on the shapes next time , till then do check out this recipe and the secret ingredient that gives it fluffiness yet makes it crispy.


Notes - I was very sceptical so tried with a very small

Quantity n ended up with exactly 8 jalebis. You could easily double or triple this recipe .

Prep time - 15 Mins , cook time - 30 Mins ; makes -8 medium sized jalebis


Ingredients

Sugar syrup-
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of Kesari essence / orange food colour
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon juice

Jalebi -

  • Maida / all purpose flour - 2/3 cup
  • Urad dal flour - ground fine and sieved throughly - 2 tbsp (this is our secret ingredient so don’t skip it !)
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Oil - to deep fry

Method

Make a 1 string consistency syrup with the sugar n water. Ensure the sugar stays warm , add a pinch of lemon juice to prevent crystallisation. Keep aside

Mix maida, urad dal flours wel. Add ghee and rub into the flour mixture till

It resembles breadcrumbs / shortcrust pastry. Now add the soda and little water (about 1/2 cup in 2 tbsp batches) and best wel till you get a thick yet dropping batter . Mix well further to get a idli batter kind of consistency but don’t add too much water (it’s the key here else you can’t squeeze the jalebis)

Pour this batter into the bottle or a piping bag . Squeeze into moderately hot oil in medium flame, into spiral shapes. Let it fry to light golden brown

On both sides ( as flat frying pan works best here !)
Immediately dip the hot jalebis into the warm syrup. Let it soak for a good 2-3 Mins. Remove to a wire rack so the excess syrup can drip to a clean plate below.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Can be also served with vanilla ice cream or Rabdi :) we *LOVED* it warm with a bowl of Indori poha on the side !


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April 11, 2018

Idly Chilli

Idli chilli or chilly idly is a popular street food found across restaurants and handcarts in and around Tamilnadu. The dish is so popular that I have seen restaurant menus in delhi and the north featuring this dish. There’s another dish called idli 65 (which again is based on chicken 65, that’s similar to idli chilly :) that recipe for another day !

A twist of the usual idli takes it to another level . One may fry the cut day-old idlis (or cold idlis) to make this, but I have used my baked idli recipe to lower the calories. Either way it’s a winner and do let me know how you liked it





Similar dishes -

More Manchurian options:

Baked Gobi Manchurian
Idli Manchurian

Low cal Veg Manchurian (no deep-fry)

More Indo Chinese Dishes:



Prep time -10 Mins ; cook time - 8 Mins ; Serves -2


Ingredients



  • Baked idly- 2 portions (mini Idlis work even better)
  • Minced ginger n garlic -1 tsp
  • Chopped green chillies - 1 (or to taste)
  • Oil - 2 tablespoon
  • Soya sauce, tomato sauce, chilli sauce -all to taste
  • Salt - if required only
  • Bell pepper / capsicum + onions- both cut into squares - 1/2 cup together.
  • Chopped spring onion - for garnish
Method


  1. In a wok, heat oil till smoking hot. Add onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Sauté till onions turn pink, now add peppers, sauces and sauté till sauce covers all the veggies. 
  2. Now add fried OR baked idli pieces and sauté wel for 2-3 Mins.
  3. Top with chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

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