Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Dairy

KURKURI BHINDI CHAAT / कुरकुरी भिन्डी चाट (Crispy Okra Snack – Indian Street Food)

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North Indian street food and the variety it offers are amazing. There are many variants but most chaats are yogurt based that have a generous drizzle of Tamarind Chutney and Green Chutney and a sprinkle of many wonderful spices such as roasted ground cumin powder, rock salt, Chaat Masala or spice mix. It is always lip smacking good and making a choice between the many chaats can be sometimes quite a task! The chaat may be hot or cold / room temperature. Dahi Bhalla chaat for instance is served either at room temperature or cold and same is the case with the Spinach Fritters Chaat. Whereas the Aloo Tikki Chaat (Potato Patties) is served hot straight off the skillet and ditto with the Samosa Chaat. I visit Delhi twice a year to meet family and friends i.e. once in summer and once at the onset of winters. And during my summer visit it is always the dahi bhalla chaat that I choose and during the winter visits it is the piping hot aloo tikka chaat or crispy potato chaat (try the one that is sold at kiosk at Barakhamba road, right outside IDBI Bank and not towards HDFC Bank).

However, there is nothing as Bhindi Chaat that is served at any chaat corner. It is me taking a step further on from bhindi raita and turning it into chaat. Feel free to leave out chutneys and serve the crispy fried okra with spiced up yogurt for bhindi raita. And in case you do not want to have it even as raita, then simply serve the crispy fried okra as a side dish along with rice and lentils. It will taste good…but not as good as a chaat would. I prefer making the tamarind chutney from scratch since it is so much better than the store brought ones and it does not take much time to make either.

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Bhindi is not liked by many because it releases slime when it is cooked. Therefore one needs to either make a quick stir fry or ‘cure’ it with something citrus such as lemon juice, dry mango powder or tomatoes when making a curry dish. But for this dish, the okra is thinly sliced and then marinated with spices and coated with the gluten free chick pea flour before being fried, which turns out to be a sure shot way of killing all that slimy stuff and the result is crispy and delicious okra fritters.

For Okra Fritters

300 grams  approx. – Okra / Bhindi / Ladies Finger (Buy tender okra for this and avoid thick mature ones.)

1 tsp (scant)  salt

1 tsp Red Chili flakes

1/4 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp roasted Cumin Powder

1½ tsp Coriander Powder

¼ C Besan (chick pea flour) + Rice Flour (take the ¼ measuring cup and fill half the cup with chickpea flour and the rest with rice flour)

Oil to fry

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To serve:

1 Cups Yogurt (whipped lightly)

Roasted Cumin Powder for sprinkle, optional

Red Chili Powder to sprinkle, optional

Chaat Masala to sprinkle, optional

Tamarind Chutney to drizzle

Green Chutney to drizzle

Wash and drain the okra. Pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Chop off the top and bottom of the okra and chop the okra into thin slices vertically. (do not slice too thin else the okra slices will burn easily while frying)

In a small bowl, mix together all the spices – salt, roasted cumin powder, coriander powder, chili flakes, mango powder and turmeric.

Sprinkle the spices all over okra and massage well with your hands so as to ensure that all the slices are well coated with the spice mix. Set aside for 5 – 7 minutes.

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Keep the oil to heat in frying pan or wok. Meanwhile prep the okra.

Arrange / layer the okra on a plate. Mix together the flours and using a sieve, sprinkle/ dust the flour mix over the okra (basically dredge the okra). Gently using your finger tips mix it into the okra so that all the okra slices are well coated.

Fry the okra pieces (in batches) till they turn golden brown in color (ensure that you keep stirring them often to prevent the okra from burning). It took me approximately 5 minutes time. (the time will depend on how thick or thin you have sliced the okra)

Remove the okra from the oil on to an absorbent paper or kitchen towel. Allow it to cool.

Arrange okra on individual serving plates. Drizzle yogurt over the okra and then some tamarind chutney and green chutney. Sprinkle spices if required. Serve immediately else the okra will go soft, sitting in yogurt.

Serves: 2 – 3

Note: Try to slice the okra in even size. This will help the okra to cook evenly and in the same time.

Note: In case you intend to serve the crispy okra as an appetizer or snack (i.e. without yogurt or as a chaat), sprinkle it with some Chaat Masala.

Note: Remove as much of seeds as you can from the okra while slicing them.

Note: Adjust the amount of yogurt as per taste.

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Try these Indian street foods too:

Sundal (Sautéed Bengal Grams) – gluten free

Thonga Jhaal Muri (Spiced up Savoury Puffed Rice) – gluten free

Achaari Paneer Tikka Roll (Pickled Cottage Cheese Roll) – gluten free

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again

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CLASSIC SNOW BALL PUDDING (Floating Island Pudding)

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, though I firmly believe this is only partially true but that’s another story. As a newly-wed, I was certainly living by this adage. To please impress my husband with a different unique dish (he has grown up on typical Indian cuisine) and to flaunt my cooking skills (whatever few I had at that point of time) I wanted to present to him a dish that would floor him! 


This dish had caught my fancy when Mum had first cooked it. It looked so spectacular and tasted so yummy that I zeroed in on this dish to carry out my mission. When I told Mum about my intent and requested her for the recipe, I could hear an amused tone in her voice over the phone. This was one of the two non-Indian desserts that Mum used to dish out for us; the other being the crème caramel.
 
Despite my first attempt, this dessert did come out well. But after that first attempt, I never made it againno, not because my husband didn’t like it but because post that attempt, the demands of juggling an 8 to 7 job and domesticity seized most of my time. And, more over once the mission was accomplished I never had the motivation to make it again.
Thanks to blogging, when I started compiling a list of Mom’s recipes, I realized that this was one recipe that I had not made ever since. And, what better way to have a reminiscence of those beautiful moments when I first made it J
Here is what you will need for this old-fashioned pudding:
 
5 egg whites
½ litre (plus 1 cup +/- coz it will reduce while poaching) milk
2-3 tbsp custard powder (vanilla flavour)
1 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)

Pour the milk in a container and allow it to come to a boil.
While the milk is boiling whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
When the milk gets boiled, add sugar to the milk.
Stir to dissolve the sugar and sieve it in a wide container
Keep the container on the fire and let the milk simmer on very low heat.
Now, with the help of a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop the stiff peaks of egg and gently put them on to the simmering milk and poach them.
Once done, remove them on a moist plate and keep them in the refrigerator to set.
Finish the whole meringue (stiff egg white) in this manner.
Remove the milk from the heat.


The quantity of milk would have reduced. Add more milk to bring the amount back to half a litre.
Take half a cup of milk (cold or at room temperature) and add the custard powder to it. 
Mix well and add to the milk and again put the milk container on fire.
Let it gently simmer on fire while continuously stirring it.
Once the custard is cooked, remove from the heat and let it cool. Keep giving it a stir now and then to avoid the formation of a creamy crust on its top.
Once cool, refrigerate it and then serve it topped with the meringue. 
 
Note: The original recipe had the yolks being gradually added to milk on a low simmer to make the custard but I failed to recall whether I was supposed to use all the egg yolks or not. Playing safe I used custard powder instead. 
Note: I added a little more than a cup of milk more coz it reduce substantially while I was poaching the meringue.
Note: This pudding can be served with a drizzle of caramel on top but I preferred a sprinkle of cooled and crushed caramel since that also added some texture. 


Serves – 6


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