Monday, August 13, 2012

Bread Pakoras

Its been a very hot summer this year and almost everyday I have been trying to make something chilly like smoothies & lemonade as thirst quenchers. With extreme heat, we have been avoiding outdoors mostly this summer. I try making a few new snacks whenever I have some time in the afternoon and I now look forward to making them everyday since they don't require a lot of thought and could be pretty satisfying for a mini meal. I try to keep it healthy as much as possible like Yogurt parfait, Fruit medley, Fruit muffins etc.

Today, for a change I tried a hot and savory snack - Bread Pakoras. This is a great snack when you have those few extra slices of bread that you don't want to waste. And a  great tea-time snack too!

For the Batter
  • Gram Flour (Besan) - 1 cup
  • Rice flour - 2 tbsp
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda - a pinch
  • Salt - as required
 For the Stuffing
  • Bread Slices - 6 (White or Wheat, medium size)
  • Potatoes - 1 large
  • Chopped vegetables - 1/2 cup (Peas, Carrots, French beans - mixed)
  • Ginger - 1 tsp (finely chopped)
  • G.Chillies - 2 (finely chopped)
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander leaves - a hand full (finely chopped)
  • Salt - as required
  • Green chutney (Optional) - 1 tbsp (store bought is fine)
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Boil the potatoes, peel and mash them. Set aside.
  • Boil all other vegetables together, drain and save the water, mash the vegetables slightly with a laddle.
  • Add the mashed potatoes to the vegetables and mix well.
  • Now add salt, ginger, g.chillies, cumin seeds and corriander leaves and mix well to make a thick stuffing.
  • Make 6 medium sized balls out of this mixture and arrange it on a plate.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • Prepare the batter by mixing all ingredients given under batter along with some water. The batter needs to be a little watery and not thick.
  • Transfer the cooked water from the vegetables in a wide bowl.
  • Take a bread, cut off the crusts and quickly dip the slice in the vegetable water. The slice should be fully wet, but not over soaked.
  • Place the wet slice flat on your palm, use the other palm and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Spread the green chutney on the bread and then place a vegetable ball on the slice. Cover it with the slice and seal the top. To make it easy, I usually use a round shaped cookie cutter and cut the wet slice to a round slice - this is easy to cover and seal the stuffing. If not, you can still make it with square slices and remove the excess bread left at the top while sealing.
  • Dip it in the batter and deep fry it in oil under medium heat until golden brown.
  • Repeat it with all other slices and drain the excess oil in a paper towel.
Serve hot with sweet chutney and hot tea!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Karuvadu Fry (Dry-Fish fried with onions and mild spices)

Here is an authentic south indian recipe for sea food lovers. Dry-fish (Karuvadu) is a common seafood delicacy in most non-vegetarian families in south. Mom used to make it occasionally but I almost forgot this recipe after I moved to the US. The main reason being that I don't find dry-fish in stores here and another reason is that I can't replicate the taste like mom's dish whatsoever. I lost interest in this dish altogether for the last few years. My parents have visited us this summer and after a long time I enjoyed it thoroughly when mom made this dish. It indeed brought back my old passion back and I'm now motivated to make this dish often. She adds lots of onions and slow-roasts the dry fish with mild spices and turns out to be a very flavorful dish. 


Dry-fish (Any kind, Sear fish preferred) - 1 lb
Pearl Onions - 20 nos (chopped fine). You can substitue with 1 cup of finely chopped red onions, but definitely pearl onions add taste to this dish.
Red onion - 1 medium (chopped fine)
Green chillies - 4
Chilli powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp (adjust to your taste)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few

  • Soak the dry-fish in hot water for at least 5 mins.
  • Heat some extra oil in a wide pan (A cast iron vessel is preferred).
  • Add onions and green chillies and fry until onions start changing color.
  • Add the dry-fish, chilli powder, turmeric and fry well. Don't add salt now as the dry-fish already has salt.
  • Add 3 tbsp water and cover for 10 mins. Once the dry-fish becomes soft, check for salt. By this time dry-fish would have released it salt content. If needed, add a bit more salt.
  • Raise the heat, and roast it well by continously stir-frying gently until the water completely evaporates and the oil starts to release. At this stage, the onions are fully roasted. This will take at least 10 mins.
  • Add curry leaves and stir-fry slowly for another 2 -3 mins.
Awesome Karuvadu fry is ready! Enjoy with any kind of rice dish. Best combo is rasam rice and yogurt rice.