Monday, October 27, 2014

Dahi wada

2 posts in 2 days .... your probably wondering if thats even possible. I know I am. But I am going to find the time to catch up with my posts from now on. So, thank you for sticking around and being so patient. You will find more regular posts here from now on, compared to the last couple of months. I have been cooking and baking a whole lot, I just haven't had the time to share it with you. But fingers crossed, thats going to change.

Okay, so yesterday, I shared with you a treat that I've only recently learned to make, the humble cruchy vadas or deep friend lentil fritters. We enjoyed these so much, I decided to try and use these in another popular Indian treat, the Dahi wada. (Dahi-meaning yogurt and wada - fritters). Essentially, Dahi wadas are little fritters dunked in some seasoned yogurt with a little flavoring to take it to that next level of yum. 

I know that the dahi wada purists will frown on my method, but it works for me and it is really delicious. Delicious enough to have converted an aunt of mine who was visiting. She never has dahi wadas when it is up for grabs at parties, buffets or at Indian restaurants because of a couple of unpleasant experiences she's had previously. She claimed that these looked fantastic and she couldn't go past it without trying some and turns out she loved it. I even gave her some to take home and enjoy later. 

What I did was, made up one batch of the the lentil fritters. We had half of it with some chutney and I used the other half to make these dahi wadas. 

This is not an exact recipe, but some guidelines. You need to tweak it to suit your liking. Its a little sweet, a little savory and a little tangy all at the same time.

In this instance, I used some store bought freeze dried coriander since I could not get my hands on any fresh coriander. But use fresh if you can. I'm happy to have found this little treasure pot. I keep one at hand for times when I can't find the fresh stuff.  



Another time saver is this bottled Date and Tamarind Chutney, found at any Indian store in Sydney. Again, I'd prefer to use a home made variant, which is tastier and has better consistency, but if you're in a pinch, this will work fine. If you'd like to make your own little jar at home, you can find the recipe here - Tamarind and Date Chutney.




Now on to the Dahi wada. Here's what the end result will look like - delish!



Dahi Wada

Deep-fried lentil fritters
A bowl of hot water
1 tub of Greek yogurt
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Red Chilly powder, to taste
Cumin powder, to taste
Tamarind Date Chutney, to drizzle over, to taste
Fresh coriander chopped/ freeze dried coriander, to garnish
Mint Chutney (Not used here, but can be used, if desired, to taste)

Take hot water in a large bowl.

Dunk the warm wadas in the water and keep it submerged in the water for a little while (1/2 a minute or so) till it has absorbed a fair bit of water. 

Place the soaked wada between the palms of both hands and press firmly to drain all the water out. (We do this to get rid of any excess oil as well as to make the wada more absorbent - that way it takes in more flavor of the yogurt.) Continue with the rest of the fritters. Place in the serving dish or platter in a single layer.

In a large bow, beat the yogurt. Add salt to taste and some sugar. It should lightly sweeten the yogurt but not make it too sweet. Add a splash of water and whisk the yogurt. You need to add the water gradually till you get a thick pouring consistency. (Somewhat like a pouring custard consistency.) In all, you need enough yogurt to cover the fritters completely and generously.

Pour this yogurt over the fritters till you have covered them well. 

Sprinkle some red chilly powder, cumin powder and drizzle some Tamarind Date Chutney and Mint Chutney (not used here but can be added if desired) over. 

Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped coriander.

Refrigerate for a little while, atleast half an hour to let the flavors build and then serve chilled.

This makes a nice refreshing snack for a warm summers day, or if you are like me, its perfect any day of the year.    

Enjoy!


NOTE: This is NOT a sponsored post. I haven't been approached or compensated by Gourmet Garden or Pattu or any stores that stock them. These are just products that I happen to be using at the moment and work well for me.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Deep-fried Lentil Fritters

After what seems like forever, I'm back in the blogosphere. And I just have to share this little treat with you. It is a South-Indian delight. We've been missing the readily available street food in Mumbai an awful lot lately, so I've decided that instead of whining about it, I was just going to have to put my big girl pants on and learn how to make it myself.

So off I went, to scour the internet for recipes easy enough for a beginner in South Indian food to get right. You might wonder what I'm on about. You see I love South Indian treats, but a lot of them call for the perfect ratio of ingredients, overnight fermentation and consistency of the batter, to name a few pressure points you might come across in a recipe. I wanted something that wouldn't take as long. After a little looking, I found a recipe for Deep-fried lentil fritters. It requires a little planning in advance, since the lentils have to soak for a while (you could make the Chutney and the prep the other ingredients in the meanwhile), but other than that its fairly simple to prepare. The fritters turned out fantastic. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and they packed some lovely flavor. I should tell you at this point, that the first time I made these fritters, the batter was a little thinner than it should have been. The resulting fritters were tasty but absorbed a little oil while they were being fried. I knew at once that I needed to make some changes. When I made these a second time and watched the water content closely. The batter was a lot thicker than the previous time. 

And since then I've made these a couple of times and they hit the spot every single time. So until I learn to make a few more Indian street food delights, I will make these bite sized treats everytime the we're hit with the craving for some South Indian food.

I've used a bit of chillies with the seeds since we like our food with a little bite. But you can either cut down on the chillies or leave them out completely. Serve this hot with some Coconut Chutney on a wet / cold day or any other day really coupled with a piping hot cuppa tea and you're in for a real treat. 

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you how to use these fritters to make another yummy snack. 



Deep-fried Lentil Fritters
Recipe from: Cooking is Easy

1 cup Urad Dal, black lentils (skinned and split)
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. freshly crushed black pepper
1 sprig curry leaves, roughly torn or chopped
2 tbsp rice flour
Salt, to taste
Oil, for deep frying

Wash the dal a couple of times in water and drain.

Soak the dal in water for 20 minutes.

Drain the water. Rinse the dal through with fresh water again and drain.

Grind the dal with a tiny bit of water to a smooth paste. Remember, to not add too much water. You don't want a thin runny batter.

In a bowl, mix the paste, salt and rice flour. Add the onions, chillies, pepper and curry leaves and stir through, to mix the ingredients evenly.




Heat the oil in a wok to deep fry.

When the oil is hot, ladle the batter carefully into the oil one tablespoonful at a time and keep the oil on a medium heat. Fry the fritters till golden brown.



Drain the fritters onto some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. 

Enjoy hot with some Coconut Chutney and a hot cuppa tea.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

SRC: Strawberry Oat Smoothie

This month for my SRC reveal, I was assigned Leslie's blog, La Cocina de Leslie. If you haven't visited her blog yet, let me ask to go over right now and check it out. Don't worry, this post will still be here when you get back. I was amazed at the collection of delicious recipes on her blog. I found myself drooling at all the Mexican fare on her blog. I can't wait to try a few of them out. The way things worked for me was there were a few things at play - work is super busy at the moment, that coupled with the usual chores at home, I haven't have the time to stop and breathe. At the same time, the weather has warmed up quite a bit at the moment. We seem to have jumped from winter to summer in about a week. I would've liked a longer Spring. But this means we have lots of delicious berries to work with. I needed something yummy and quick to make. So when I saw Leslie's post on Strawberry Oat Smoothies, I knew I had to try it.

Usually my husband is the one who whips up the smoothies in our house. I have also consciously started taking some juice or a homemade smoothie to work over the last couple of weeks. Its been a nice change and has helped me lay off the coffee and give me a burst of energy that I need. I just made a couple of changes to the recipe for this smoothie like leaving out the cinnamon and I also cut down the honey to half. You could adjust the sweetness to your liking. I would like to try it soon with the cinnamon and see how that turns out. Let me tell you a little about this smoothie. Even though it didnt have any cream, yogurt, ice cream or avocado, it turned out nice and creamy and that was a pleasant surprise. I reckon I have the oats to thank for that. They also give the smoothie good substance and a glass of this great stuff will keep you going for a while. I have a punnet of blueberries that I will use to make another batch of these smoothies. Thanks Leslie for introducing me to a great new twist on the smoothie. :)




Strawberry Oat Smoothie
(Makes 2)

1 1/2 cup cold milk
12-15 strawberries
4 tbsp. dry oats
2 tbsp. honey

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree till smooth.

Pour out into a glass and enjoy!!!