Bataka Vada

Bataka Vada

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Cook time: 

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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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My Spain Trip

Flower arrangement on La Rambla, Barcelona
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Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

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Cook time: 

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Serves: 8

Gulab Jamun (donuts soaked in sugar syrup) in made with milk fudge, known as mava, in India. Replacing it with ricotta cheese and milk powder gives same flavor and texture.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ cup milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour or corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening for frying
Syrup:
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3-4 threads of saffron
  • 3 whole cardamom pods
Directions
  1. Make Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a large sauce pan. Bring to boil on a medium high heat. Open cardamom pods slightly. Turn heat to low; add saffron and cardamom pods to syrup. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. While syrup is cooking, first combine milk powder, flour, arrowroot flour (or corn starch) and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Add ricotta, one tablespoon of yogurt and with your hands knead into soft dough. If mixture is too dry add one more tablespoon of yogurt. To avoid dough sticking to hands, spread butter or ghee on your hands.
  3. Divide the dough into 30 or so equal portions and form into balls (gulab jamun). Keep it cover with a kitchen towel.
  4. Heat oil or shortening in a frying pan on medium-high heat until hot enough for frying. Reduce heat to medium. Fry 6 to 7 gulab jamun at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain excess oil on paper towel and immediately drop them into sugar syrup. Repeat process for rest of gulab jamun. Let gulab jamun soak in sugar syrup for at least 3 hours before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature as a sweet or a snack.

 

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Cornmeal Bao

I made Corn Meal Bao with grilled tofu instead of turkey. To make grilled tofu, first drain the liquid of the extra firm tofu by putting it between two baking sheets covered with paper towels and weighing it down with cans or a heavy pan. Then cut into 1/2 inch slices. Combine 2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a small mixing bowl. Brush tofu slices with sauce. Grill tofu on a grill pan until golden brown and edges are crispy. Slice tofu into thin strips and use in place of turkey.

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