Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vegetable Paneer Samosa

                  Samosa is one of the most common and popular snacks in India. They are found everywhere, from small road side stalls to 5-star restaurants. Samosa is the savory comfort food at its best, that goes well on all days, be it a rainy day to a chilly winter evening.
                  Samosas are essentially deep-fried triangular flour pastries stuffed with potatoes. The stuffing can be anything, though traditionally spiced mashed potatoes and peas are used.
                I tried a slightly different version of it, since didn't feel having a whole of potatoes. Also, instead of using the commonly used refined flour, I opted for the whole wheat flour.
                  So here is my recipe, to satisfy that craving with lesser amount of guilt.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Refined flour (Maida)
  • 4 tsp Oil
  • 1 cup grated Paneer
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed Green Peas
  • 1/2 cup boiled and mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Bell Peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger-Chilies paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Dry Mango powder (Amchur powder)
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala ( A mixture of spices)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Sieve both the flours and mix them
  • Add 2 tsp Oil, salt and water to make a smooth semi-soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep it aside
  • Now, heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add Cumin seeds to it.
  • Once the seeds starts to crackle, add the ginger-chili paste, onions, bell peppers and saute it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add salt and mix it well.
  • Now add the green peas, potatoes, mango powder and garam masala and mix it well.
  • Let it cook for another couple of minutes. Make sure to stir it continuously.
  • Then add cilantro and mix it well and take it off the heat.
  • Now, take the grated paneer in a big bowl. Add the hot mixture and mix it well
  • Now, to make Samosa knead the dough properly and divide into smaller portions.
  • Roll out each portion into a disc. It should be of medium thickness
  • Divide the rolled disc into half. Take each half and shape it into a cone. 
  • Take about 1.5 spoon of mixture and stuff the cone. 

  • Damp the edges of cone with water and seal it properly.

  • Repeat the process with remaining dough
  • Now slide each of these samosas in a pre-heated oil and fry it till they are golden brown.
  • As a healthier alternative, can also bake them for 25 minutes at 400 F in a preheated oven. Make sure to turn them every 10 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite chutney and/or ketchup

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Watermelon Mango Cooler

                     Summer is almost here, and so its time for something cooler like ice creams, smoothies etc. Last week, I went to Costco, and stumbled upon some amazing mangoes. The first thought I got seeing that was mango milkshake. I did make some over the weekend and loved it.
                   This morning, I saw the remaining ones on my counter, and a tropical drink came to mind. Luckily I had watermelon and strawberries at hand. So I decided to make a watermelon - mango cooler.
 So here is a refreshing summer drink for all. I hope you all enjoy it.

  • 2 cups Watermelon
  • 2 cups Mango
  • 1 cup Strawberry
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • Ice - optional
  • Sugar/Sweetener if needed
  • Peel the watermelon, remove all the seeds and cut the flesh in cubes
  • Peel and chop the mangoes in  small cubes
  • Wash strawberries properly and chop them in halves
  • Place all the fruits in a blender
  • Add orange juice.
  • Add ice to it. It is optional. I generally prefer it have it without ice.
  • Similarly, add sugar or sweetener if needed. Again, I prefer it without sugar.
  • Blend until it is smooth.

  • Pour in a glass and serve at once. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sooji (Semolina) Halva

          I am not a big fan of sweets, unlike my husband. I only like a couple of traditional Indian sweets and occasionally, I get a craving for them. Sooji or Semolina Halva is one of them. It is usually made during festivals or religious functions and I absolutely love it when my mom makes it.
        Today was one of those days when I was craving it. And despite having never made it before, I gave it a try. The end result was not as good as what my mom makes, but was decent enough for me. And for my husband, my food critic, he liked it.
       Halva is a sweet/dessert popular across Asia and Europe. There are various varieties of it differing slightly in the cooking method, though the basic ingredients are more or less similar with some variations. Here is my take on the Semolina Halva.

  • 1 cup Semolina (Suji/Rava)
  • 2 cup Milk
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
  • 1 tsp Cardamom (Elaichi) powder
  • 1/4 cup Almond Slivers 
  • 7-8 Saffron threads
  •  Heat the clarified butter (Ghee) in a pan.
  • Add the semolina to it and roast till it is light brown/ Make sure you are cooking on medium heat. Cooking on high heat may burn it
  • Now add the sugar and saffron and mix it well.
  • Then slowly add the milk and stir it continuously, till the sugar melts and it attains a semi-liquid Halva like consistency. About 3-4 minutes
  • At this point add the cardamom powder. It is optional but I like the flavor
  • Mix it well and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with almond slivers and serve hot