Friday, 24 July 2015

Moong Dal Samosa (Green gram samosa)

Samosa like most of the people know it, is one of the most famous street food in Mumbai. Crispy outer pastry with a potato/vegetable or minced meat filling, these savory triangular fried snack is perfect with a cup of chai. Just like Vada pav and chaat, this fried snack is a must have street food in Mumbai. They come in huge varieties. The most common one is the vegetarian samosa which has potato and peas filling with various spices, served with ketchup or green chutney. On the other hand you can also find chicken samosa, keema samosa and many other variations. I have made the regular samosas before but somehow i am absolutely in love with this particular recipe.



Today i will be sharing a recipe passed on to me by my sister in law. One of a kind and very delicious, this samosa has a filling of green gram or moong dal and potato. 

Ingredients:
(Makes around 20 medium sized samosas)
You can double the amount of ingredients to make more samosas

For the super crispy outer coating you will need:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1 tsp of Kalonji seeds/Nigella Sativa seeds/black seeds
2 tbsp of oil 
Water 
Salt to taste

For the stuffing: 
3/4 cup of green moong (soaked for atleast 6 hrs)
2 medium sized boiled potatoes chopped
1 1/2 tsp of garlic paste
11/2 tsp of ginger paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
About 1 to 11/2 tbsp of whole coriander seeds coarsely crushed
1/2 tsp dry red chili coarsely crushed
1 tsp of dry mango powder (amchur powder) or chaat masala
Finely chopped green chilies (optional)
Finely chopped green onions/spring onions
Chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
Salt to taste 
1 tbsp of oil
More oil for deep frying 

Feel free to add more chilies or less as per your preference. 

Preparation:

1) Soak the green gram/Moong dal for atleast 6-8 hrs. If you are short of time soak them in warm water for 4 hrs. 

2) In a deep bowl add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, kalonji seeds, oil and salt. Mix everything well. Now start making a dough by adding little water at a time. Do not add too much water at one go. Keep on adding water until you you are able to make a soft dough. Remember the dough should not be too soft or too hard. Cover the dough with a wet cloth or a cling wrap and set it aside for 15-20mins. 

3) While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Now you can either use the soaked moon dal directly or you can parcook it and proceed with adding the rest of the fillings. Because the dal will eventually get cooked while deep frying. I parcooked the dal this time. 

4) In a pan heat about 1 tbsp oil. Add the ginger garlic paste, crushed coriander seeds, red chilli flakes, turmeric pwd, cumin pwd, amchur pwd or chaat masala and the parcooked moong dal/green gram. Saute for few 1 -2 mins. Add the boiled potatoes, salt to taste (do not add too much salt if you are adding chaat masala instead of amchur pwd) and mix thoroughly. Close the pan and let it cook for 5 mins. Lastly add the chopped green onion, cilantro and green chilies (optional).  Set this mixture aside to cool down. 



5) Make small balls (the size of a table tennis ball) of the dough and start rolling it out with a rolling pin into a round shape just like a roti. I rolled them into a thin roti. Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the dough. 

6) Heat a skillet or a pan. Slight roast the rotis on both the sides. Don't roast them too much. They shouldn't have brown specs on them. This additional step helps make the samosas super crispy. 



7) Once all the rotis are roasted and cooled, cut them in the middle to get two equal halves (pictured above). Start making a cone of the halves (refer the pictures below). Make a paste of all purpose flour and water. Use this paste to stick and secure the cone. 



8) Start to fill the cone with the stuffing. Add as much as you can but do not overfill. Else you will not be able to seal the ends and the edges. Once the cone is filled, apply the all purpose flour paste inside the ends and seal it. 



9) Repeat this procedure with the rest of the cones. 

10) Heat enough oil on a medium flame in a pan to deep fry the samosas. Please note that the oil should not be too hot or else the samosas will burn the moment they are put inside the pan. 

11) Fry the samosas for few minutes until both the sides are nice golden brown in color. Prepare a dish with paper towels. Remove the samosas, and place them on the plate. The paper towels will help drain any excess oil. And thats it you are done. 



Serve piping hot samosas with your favorite green chutney or ketchup. 

Enjoy and happy cooking. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Cilantro or Coriander Rice / Pulav

On days when i just don't feel like cooking an elaborate meal, simple rice recipes come to the rescue. Cilantro rice or coriander rice is one such simple and delicious rice recipe that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. There are few variations to this simple rice dish. You can completely skip the spices & veggies or use the spices and make it like we make a normal pulav. Since i love using spices in most of dishes i make, i did the same with this and also added few leftover veggies from my fridge. Served with a simple raita (yogurt with cucumber, tomatoes and chillies), this dish is simple, light and delicious. 





Ingredients:
(Serves 2)
1 cup of good quality basmati rice (you can also use regular rice)
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds/shah jeera /jeera 
2 pods of cardamom
1 black cardamom
1 bay leaf
1 inch inch of cinnamon stick
2 - 3 cloves
4 -5 peppercorns
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 cup of chopped cauliflower (washed and drained)
1 medium sized onion thinly sliced
1 1/2 - 2 cups of water 

For the cilantro paste 
2 -3 garlic 
About 1/2 inch of ginger 
1-2 small green chillies (adjust as per your liking)
1 cup tightly packed cilantro (coriander) washed & drained

1) In a blender/mixer blend garlic, ginger chillies and cilantro to make a fine paste. Try to use as little water as possible for making the paste. Keep this aside.



2) Wash the basmati rice in cold water 2- 3 times and soak it in water for 15 - 20 mins.

2) In a non stick pan/saucepan or kadai add oil. When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds/shah jeera and let it splutter. Add the rest of the spices and cook them for few mins until it gives out a nice aroma.

3) Next, add the thinly sliced onions. Cook the onions till they are a little towards golden brown. Now add the chopped veggies and the cilantro paste. Saute for few mins.


4) Drain of the water from the basmati rice and add it to the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Add water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and let it cook in a low to medium flame for 15 - 20mins.



5) Cook until all the water is absorbed by the rice. Fluff the rice with fork and check for doneness. 


Drizzle a little ghee or clarified butter on top and serve hot with pickles/achar or raita. 




Note: You can use vegetables of your choice like green pepper/capsicum, green peas, french beans or potatoes. Also increase or decrease the spices as per your choice. This recipe is somewhere between mild to medium spicy. 

If you are going to soak the rice for 15 - 20 mins you will only need around 1 1/2 cups of water. And if not add 2 cups of water. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Homemade Eggless Chocolate Ice cream

This is the first time ever that i have attempted making an ice cream at home and that too without an ice cream maker. I only went ahead with it as i had some leftover heavy cream and somehow i could not think of making anything else. Also this is an eggless recipe. I do eat eggs its just that i was feeling extra adventurous to try something new. With no ice cream maker at home i just didnt want to mix stuff and freeze it. I really wanted the end product to be as smooth as store bought ice cream. 

And so, i searched and searched the internet and zeroed down on the ice bath method. This method basically replicates the mechanism of an ice cream maker. The basic idea of this method is to breakdown the ice crystals that are formed when you freeze the mixture. Although the end product was not very smooth but it definitely was very very close. And the recipe is something i came up with. It is indeed a keeper. 

As far the picture goes you might be thinking why just one scoop of ice cream rather than 2 or 3? Yaaaa soooo there is a reason behind that. The ice cream came out so good that me & hubby gobbled down almost the entire bowl. Finally when i thought about clicking some pictures only one scoop was left. :D. This is a small recipe so please double the ingredients if you want to make a good size batch.




Ingredients:
1/4 cup of granulated sugar 
2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tsp of strong brewed coffee ( i used store bought coffee concentrate by trader joes). This is optional but highly recommended as the coffee brings out the flavor of chocolate and makes it more chocolaty. If you don't have one then go ahead and use 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead.
1/4 cup of chocolate chips melted and cooled at room temperature. 

Method:

1) Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, cool it and keep it aside.

2) In a separate saucepan add the sugar, milk, heavy whipping cream and cocoa powder. Mix it and switch off the gas once it starts to boil. At this point the sugar will be melted and the cocoa powder will be nicely combined with the milk. (Please refer the pictures below).



4) Pour a little of the hot milk mixture onto the melted chocolate and combine. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture with the rest of the hot milk mixture. Cover the saucepan with a cling wrap (so that it doesn't form a skin) and let it cool down at room temperature.

5) Once cooled, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30- 45 mins.

6) Remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator. Prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes in a big bowl.  You should be able to fit the small bowl (which has the ice cream mixture) in the big bowl such that the ice cubes completely surrounds the small bowl (Please refer the pictures below). 

7) Now with a hand mixer beat the mixture on high speed for 5 - 10 mins. Cover it with cling wrap and keep it in the freezer along with the ice bath for 1 hr. (You can also use a whisk but you may have to whisk it for at least 15 mins....that will be a good workout for your arms. :P)

8) After an hour remove and repeat the same procedure. Beat the mixture on high speed for 10 mins. 
I repeated this procedure 3 times within an interval of 45 mins to 1 hour. 



9) Now when you beat the mixture for the third and the last time, the consistency will be like a soft serve.



10) Finally cover it again with the cling wrap and freeze it (no ice bath needed at the end) overnight or until it is set. Serve chilled with you favorite toppings.