Corn Pakora

Preparation time – 15 mins

Cooking time – 20 mins

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Corn Pakora or Corn Vada is an ideal snack when you are in mood for some crispy and crunchy hot fritters. These yummy pakoras go well with your evening cup of chai. These pakoras can be made with regular corn or sweet corn….. I prefer sweet corn as it is tastier !!

Ingredients:

Sweet corn – 1 cup

Ginger – 1/2 inch

Green chilli – 1 or 2

Jeera powder – 1 tsp

Ajwain – 1/2 tsp

Rice flour – 1 tbsp

Corn flour – 1 tbsp

Onion – 1 (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Oil – for deep frying

Method:

1. Boil the sweet corn kernels till they are soft. If you are using frozen corn, defrost in a microwave.

2. Next grind the corn along with ginger, chillies and jeera powder into a coarse paste.

3. Transfer this paste into a mixing bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well to form a thick batter.

4. Make lemon size balls and flatten into patties between your palms.

5. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Slowly drop the patties and fry on medium flame till both sides turn golden brown.

6. Sprinkle some chaat masala and serve hot with tomato ketchup or green chutney.

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Veg Minestrone Soup

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Monsoons are here, and nothing is as good as a bowl of steaming hot soup on a rainy day. I love soups and can have them any time of the day. If you have the right vegetables and few spices in hand, you can never go wrong in making delicious soups. Minestrone soup has been my favorite from the time I first tasted it at a fancy Italian restaurant. Though it needs some prior preparation, no soup is as healthy, nutritious and filling as this. Serve with few slices of garlic bread on the side and it can be as filling as a wholesome meal!

Ingredients:

Boiled vegetables – 1 bowl (Potato, Carrot , Cauliflower, Sweet corn) vary veggies as per taste
Capsicum – 1/2
Boiled kidney beans – 1/2 cup
Macaroni pasta – 2 tbsp
Tomatoes – 2
Tomato ketchup – 2 tbsp
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Oregano – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Chilli flakes – as per taste

Method:

1. Soak kidney beans overnight. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles till they turn soft.  (Alternatively, use canned beans)
2. Chop all vegetables into small cubes. In a saucepan, boil potato, carrot, cauliflower and sweet corn in 4 -5 cups of water till they turn soft. Drain the water into a bowl which can be used as vegetable stock for making the soup.
3.  Cook the macaroni pasta till it turns soft and set aside.
4. Boil 2 whole tomatoes for 2 mins and puree them in a mixer. (Alternatively use store bought tomato puree)
5. In a pan, heat olive oil. Add basil leaves, finely chopped capsicum and fry for 1 minute. Next add the tomato puree and cook for 2 mins.
6. Now add the boiled vegetables, boiled beans and vegetable stock.
7. Next add tomato ketchup, salt, pepper and oregano and mix well. Add the cooked macaroni pasta and let the soup boil for 5 mins.
8. Sprinkle chilli flakes and serve hot!

 

Sabudana Vada/ Sago Pakora

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Sabudana Vada or Sago Pakora is a crispy crunchy tea-time snack which is also made during fasting days. I remember the first time I tasted it, it was in a relative’s house-warming function. It was so addictive, that I ended up stuffing myself with about a dozen of them. If made right, it is so light and crispy that it will just melt in your mouth !!

Yield: makes around 15 vadas

Ingredients:

Sabudana/ Sago pearls – 1 cup

Potato – 2 No’s (medium sized)

Peanuts – 2 tbsp

Green chilli – 3 No’s (finely chopped)

Ginger – 1/2 inch (grated)

Coriander – 2 sprigs (finely chopped)

Jeera seeds- 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Dry Mango powder ( Amchur powder) – 1 tsp  (can be substituted with 1 tsp lemon juice)

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1  tsp (vary as per taste)

Oil – for deep frying

Method:

1. Wash and soak sago pearls in water for minimum 4-5 hours or over night. They would puff up and become soft.  Drain and squeeze out excess water from the soaked sago.

(Tip: soaking time may differ based on the type of sago used)

2. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are not too watery, else they might make the vadas  soggy.

3. In a pan, roast the peanuts till they slightly turn brown. Coarsely crush them using a mortar and pestle . Keep the texture coarse and not too powdery as they add a great crunch to the vadas.

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4. Now mix all the ingredients together. There is no need of adding any extra water as the moisture  in sago and potatoes helps in binding the ingredients together.

5. Make equal lemon-sized balls and shape them into flat round patties. If required, use oil or rice flour  to prevent the mix from sticking on the hands.

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6. Heat oil in a wide pan for deep frying. Make sure the heat is on medium high. Drop 2-3 patties at a time and fry till both sides turn golden brown. Transfer onto a paper towel for absorbing excess oil.

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8. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or green chutney!

Cooking Tip: The temperature of the oil is the key to making crispy vadas. Make sure the heat is medium high. If the heat is low, the vadas absorb a lot of oil and they become soggy.

Aratikaya Masala Chips / Raw Banana Masala Chips

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

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Being a South Indian, I love papads, vadiyams, or any kind of chips with my week-end lunch. There’s nothing like munching on some crispy chips along with dal, sambar and rasam. When in the mood for some deep fried chips, why not go with banana chips instead of the dangerous potato chips 😉 !!

Ingredients:

Raw Banana – 1

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Chilli powder – as per taste

Oil – for deep frying

Method:

1. Peel the raw banana and slice into thin rings. I prefer using a slicer for this to get thin uniform slices.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Make sure the oil is at least 1 1/2 inch deep in the pan.

3. Once the oil is hot, slowly drop the banana slices (in batches). Using a slotted ladle keep turning them around and fry on both sides till they turn golden brown.  Remove and place the fried chips on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

4. Once all the chips are fried, sprinkle salt, turmeric, chilli powder and gently toss for uniform mixing.

5. Serve on the side with sambar, dal or just mix with plain rice and enjoy!

6. You can store these chips for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.

 

Barley Mung Bean Soup

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

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Loaded with the goodness of mung sprouts, barley and vegetables, this nutritious soup will surely satisfy your evening cravings on a rainy day. This is an experimental recipe which is a mix of misal (Maharastrian dish) and the traditional bean soup. This is a very good dinner option for weight watchers, as the rich Indian flavors will keep your taste buds alive and make you wanna eat it every day 🙂

Yield: Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients: 

To be pressure cooked:

Sprouted mung beans – 1 cup

Barley – 1/2 cup

Green Peas – 2 Tbsp

Vegetables:

Onion – 1/2 (finely chopped)

Tomato – 2 No’s (finely chopped)

Carrot – 1 No (chopped thin 1 inch pieces)

Baby Corn – 3 No’s (chopped thin and long)

Capsicum – 1/2 (chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Spice powders:

Jeera powder – 1 tsp

Dhania powder – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1  tsp (vary spice level as per taste)

Chana Masala powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 Tbsp (vary as per taste)

Seasoning:

Oil – 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera seeds – 1/2 tsp

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Method:

1. Pressure cook sprouted mung beans, barley and green peas for 2 whistles. Do not add excess water as it will make the beans mushy.

2. Chop all the vegetables into small cubes and  set aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and jeera seeds. Once it starts sputtering, add onion and fry till it turns slightly brown. Next add ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn soft.

4. Now add carrot, capsicum and baby corn. Mix salt and turmeric and cook under cover for 10 mins.

5. Once the vegetables become soft, transfer the pressure cooked items and mix well.

6. Add all the spice powders. Adjust the spice levels as per your taste.

7. The soup should not be too watery or too thick. Add water as required and cook for 10 mins.

8. Squeeze lemon juice, garnish with coriander and serve with Pav/ bread on the side.

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Crispy Baby Corn Manchurian (Dry)

 

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Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Babycorn, a cereal grain taken from maize is high-fibre produce packed with nutrition. Babycorn has been my cooking obsession of late for its rich exotic flavor which makes any simple preparation very special!!

Here’s a simple Manchurian recipe that would make a good evening snack or a starter. I have used corn flour to add crispiness to the baby corn.

Ingredients:

Baby Corn – 10 No’s (sliced length wise)

Onion – ½ small size (sliced into cubes)

Capsicum – 1 small size (sliced into cubes)

Ginger – 1 inch (finely chopped)

Garlic – 1 clove (finely chopped)

Corn flour – 3 tbsp

Tomato ketchup – 2 tbsp

Chilli Sauce – 1 tsp (optional)

Pepper powder – ½ tsp

Green chilli – 2 No’s (finely chopped)

Salt – as needed

Oil – For deep frying

Method

1. Boil water with 1 tsp salt in a vessel. Add the sliced baby corn pieces and boil for 5 mins.

2. Transfer the baby corn onto a plate for drying.

3. Once it cools, sprinkle corn flour and mix well so that all the baby corn pieces are coated with a thin layer of flour.

4. Now, deep fry the flour-coated baby corn in a pan skillet/kadai. Once they turn slightly golden, transfer on the plate and let it cool.

5. Sprinkle another layer of corn flour and mix.

6. Again deep fry the baby corn till they turn into golden brown.

7. Remove and place on a plate with paper napkins to absorb excess oil.

8. In another kadai/skillet add 1 tsp of oil. Add ginger, garlic, chilli and fry for a minute. Next add onion, capsicum and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add pepper powder and tomato ketchup, chilli sauce (optional) a pinch of salt and mix.

9. Add the fried baby corn and mix well. Serve hot !!

 

Cooking Tips:

1. Corn flour gives a nice crispiness to the baby corn. Make sure the baby corn pieces are not very hot before sprinkling corn flour. If sprinkled when very hot, the baby corn becomes sticky.

Crispy Fried Arbi (Crispy Fried Chama Dumpa)

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Arbi (Hindi) or Chama dumpa (Telugu) or Samagadde (Kannada) or Colocasia (English) is a stem vegetable. Though it looks dry and unexciting from outside, if cooked skillfully, Arbi can be very delicious. Here’s a simple recipe with Arbi which can be served as a Starter or a Side dish with rice.

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Ingredients:

Arbi – 15-20 No’s

Masala Powder:

Salt – 1 tsp

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Jeera powder – ½ tsp

Dhania powder – ½ tsp

Chat masala – 1 tsp

Aamchoor/Mango powder – 1/2 tsp

Curry Powder – 1 tsp (optional)

Oil – for frying

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Method:

1. Wash the Arbi 2-3 times with water and boil in a pressure cooker for 1-2 whistles so that they become slightly soft. Alternatively, boil in a microwave for 10-15 mins.

2. Remove the peel and set aside. Do not squeeze too hard; else they would become very mushy. If the vegetables are very big, slice them into smaller pieces.

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3. Heat 1-2 cups of oil in a skillet/pan. Once the oil is hot, slowly drop Arbi pieces and deep fry till they turn golden brown on all sides. Remove and place on a plate covered with paper towels for draining out excess oil. Fry in batches with 6-7 pieces at a time.

4. Transfer the fried Arbi into a bowl, add all the masala powders and mix well.

5. Serve hot as a starter with ketchup or mint chutney. This dish can also be served as a dry curry with rice.