Sev Usal

Sev Usal

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups dried green peas
  • 3 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced (reserve half for serving)
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 cup thin sev (crispy chickpea flour noodles), for serving
  • ½ cup tamarind-date chutney, for serving
  • ½ cup cilantro chutney, for serving
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Pick through peas to remove any impurities and soak them in 3 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove excess water to keep just enough water to cover peas. Cook in a medium sized Dutch oven or soup pot with cover until peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Can also be cooked in a pressure cooker according to manufacture direction and then transferred to a Dutch oven or soup pot.
  3. Uncover, add mint sprigs, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, salt and sugar. Let it simmer while you prepare vaghar (hot oil with spices).
  4. In a small heavy bottomed pot, heat oil until simmers. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds. Add half of chopped onion, garam masala, and chili powder and sauté them until onion is light golden brown. Pour over simmering peas (usal). Stir the peas to blend spices. Let peas simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add lemon juice and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If usal is too thick add some water. Remove mint sprigs. Garnish with cilantro.
  5. To serve: Pour hot usal in a soup bowl, spread about ¼ cup of sev on top. Top with tamarind-date chutney and cilantro chutney. Garnish with about teaspoon of chopped red onion. Can be served as an appetizer or lunch.

 

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Bataka Vada

Bataka Vada

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Serves: 8

Spicy Mashed Potato Fritters
Ingredients
  • 3 medium to large russet or Idaho potatoes
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 3 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Batter:
  • 1 ½ cups chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • Water as needed
Canola or Vegetable oil for frying
Directions
  1. Combine chickpea flour, spices and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Make a batter (slightly thinner than pancake batter) with water. Let it stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Cut potatoes in half and boil them with skin until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Peel potatoes while they are still warm. Immediately mash potatoes with a ricer or masher in a large mixing bowl. Season mashed potatoes with salt, sugar, lemon juice, dry spices, chilies, ginger and cilantro. Mix everything well. Foam into 24 to 25 golf ball sized balls by hand or with a small ice cream scoop.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil until ready for frying. Dip potato balls (bataka vada) one by one into batter, covering the entire surface. Let the excess batter drip, drop it in hot oil and fry it until light golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. You can fry 6 to 7 bataka vada at a time depending on the size of frying pan. Serve warm with cilantro chutney or ketchup or tamarind chutney. Can be served as an appetizer or horsd'oeuvres.

 

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