Category Archives: deep fried
When I was about 6 years old, I once remember asking my mother for fried rice. It must have around 1975, the first time I heard about new dishes such as Falafel (which my dad, fresh from a 2 month posting to Kuwait, pronounced as 'Filafil' ) and Fried rice. Amma's repertoire of recipes at the time was restricted to traditional South Indian dishes with the odd Punjabi choley & Alu Mutter thrown in.
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I’m actually breaking into song as I write this up. Albeit in my head, Frank Sinatra is crooning his timeless classic.. My Way..
Jan 1st 2012, Siri Pulipaka , the author of cookingwithsiri.com was just winding up her own daily blog ( of everyday events) and was encouraging others to experiment with similar projects. On a pure whim, I got myself a blogger page, with nary a thought about how I was to complete 366 dishes. It was never my intention to add recipes for classic day to day fare, just links if a particular dish was made using a recipe from other sites.
But, just as a new mother forgets everything about the intensity of her labor pain after seeing her infants face, I cannot recall anything hard or negative about this annual project. In fact, the support I received from everyone of you simply increased my motivation to kick back any lethargy and support every dish I could with recipes. The effort has paid off in terms of a repository of recipes that I hope to fine tune for future use. Thank you for making me go the extra mile.
My penultimate dish is a classic snack, the Samosa. Although this is a firm favorite in every corner of India, It may be safe to say that it is definitely a recipe from North India. (Yes, there are umpteen variations, but, the classic version is what I preferred to make for the family today)
Samosas with a Potato & Green Pea filling:
For the Casing:
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 – 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Bishops weed (Ajwain)
Water as required
Sift the flour, salt and ajwain together, add the butter and rub the flour between your finger tips. Work in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. drizzle in the oil and just enough water to bring in the mixture together into a dough, Knead lightly and cover with a wet tea towel until you’re ready to make the samosa casings.
For the Filling:
2 large Idaho potatoes, boiled and mashed
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed and boiled
1/2 teaspoon Dry mango powder (aamchur)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 thai chiles finely minced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
6 green chilies with stems, slit lengthwise
Oil for deep frying
Combine the potatoes, peas, the chile powder, salt and the aamchur. Heat the oil in a small skillet. When it just begins to smoke add teh cumin and the coarsely crushed coriander. When the cumin seeds split, add the garam masala. Allow the spice blend to bloom before adding it to the potatoes. Mix to evenly disperse the spices. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust for seasoning. Make 12 ping pong ball sized portions from the filling.
Divide the dough into 6 balls. Using four as required, roll out the dough into a 6 inch circle. Using a Pizza cutter divide the rolled out dough into two semi circles.. Fold each semi circle and press down on the edges to make a ‘cone. Place a portion of the filling and seal the open edges firmly to make little pyramid. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Heat 1/2 L of oil in a cast iron wok. When the oil begins to shimmer on the surface, place 2 samosas at a time into the oil. Cook on medium heat until the the samosas are golden brown. Remove the samosas using a spider skimmer onto absorbent kitchen towels. Once the samosas have been fried, add the slit green chiles to fry up in the residual heat. remove and sprinkle the chiles with a dash of sea salt. Serve the samosas hot with a choice of spicy green cilantro mint chutney and sweet & sour tamarind chutney. Pair with a cup of piping hot Masala Chai.
The flip side of festive days such as thanksgiving is this terrible sense of withdrawal symptoms that invariably strikes after the festivities are over.. Once the cleaning is done, the nice plates are put away and the last wine cork is located in the far corners of the kitchen counter & tossed out, a feeling of ‘now what do I do?’ sets in and no dish that the head conjures is ever good enough to beat. and no recipe that has been tried, tested & waiting to be posted seems to fit the bill (Take home message: Its not worth making & banking good recipes way too ahead of time)
When that happens I regress back to comfort foods that I know I’ll regret stuffing my face with.. This time around it was deep fried ‘Bhajia’, and a large mug of Masala Chai… at 10.00 am in the morning (doing this ought to rank with hitting the booze at 9.00 am, in terms of socio-culinary blasphemy), but it was delicious while it lasted. Weight watchers just got relegated to the back burner!
I had this gorgeous delicata squash left over from the previous dish that I had incorporated it into, and just could not bring my self to see it languish on the kitchen counter.
Coupled with half a bunch of Kale left over from thanksgiving, came up this sinful indulgence. I opted to use chipotle chile powder to incorporate a smoky flavor that complements the sweetness of the Delicata. Feel free to have fun with your own choice of spice blends such as Garam Masala or pav bhaji masala.
The coating of Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, that are made by drying out only the centres of the bread) also adds a crunchy texture to the otherwise smooth batter covered squash (experimented with both versions with & without bread crumbs, , the one with the Panko won hands down!)
1/2 a delicata squash (seeds & stringy membrane removed),
2 cups shredded Kale
For the Batter:
2/3 cup Chickpea Flour (Besan)
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 – 1 tsp Chipotle chile powder (adjust as per your taste)
Salt to taste
~ 1 cup Seltzer water.
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 cup Canola Oil for deep frying.
Slice the Delicata squash using the thin setting of a mandolin (~ 2 mm thickness)
Remove the thick central vein of the Kale leaves & cut into a fine shred.
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpea & rice flour, the spices, salt and baking powder & mix well to evenly disperse the ingredients. Add just enough Seltzer to make a thick batter that coats well to the surface of the squash.
When the oil gets sufficiently hot, dip 2-3 rings of squash into the batter evenly coating the surface.
Transfer the battered rings to the plate containing the bread crumbs and coat evenly on both sides. Drop gently into the hot oil & fry till both sides are golden brown. Remove onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towls to absorb the extra oil. Repeat until the squash is used up.
Add the shredded kale into the batter.
Mix to ensure that all the remaining batter coats onto the kale leaves. Drop spoonfuls of the battered kale into hot oil & fry till the Kale gets crunchy. Remove onto kitchen towels.