Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Batate Chakkuli (Potato Chakli)

Batate Chakkuli is another recent try in my kitchen. Few months back I tried making this and somehow it didn't turn out as I wanted. Hence tried again with cutting down the potato amount. This time it turned out perfect. I adapted the recipe from a cook book written by Jaya V Shenoy.



Chakli/Chakkuli is one of our favorite snack. I enjoy making it at home just like my mother. I don't remember buying it from the stores atleast once. I always believe homemade chaklis(or any other snack for that matter) taste great. They are fresh and you know what went into it and which oil is used to fry them. It takes a little effort to make them but its worth at the end. Do try making this version and I hope you enjoy it. 

Ingredients:
  • All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 1/2 cups
  • Potato, small sized - 1 (yields about 1/2 cup)
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Black(or white) Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
  • Melted butter - 1 tsp
  • Water - As required (I used 3/4 cup)
  • Salt - To taste
  • Oil - For deep frying

Procedure:

Take the flour (maida) in a cotton cloth and tie it tightly so that it is closed from all sides.


Now steam the mixture of flour (in cloth) for 15 minutes.


Once done allow it to cool for few minutes. It looks like this after steaming.


Once the flour is warm, it becomes easy to handle. Start breaking the lumps using your hand (because once it cools down completely, it hardens and hence more effort is required to break the lumps). 
Once done, steam cook the potato (I cooked mine in a microwave) and peel it. Then grate it using a grater.


Then sieve it in a large mixing bowl to get a lump free flour.


Now add in the grated potato, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, red chilli powder, salt and melted butter.


Mix it well and add water little at a time to get a non sticky, soft dough.


Keep the oil for heating on a medium-high. Now take the chakli making press. I used the mould plate having one hole.


Now divide the dough into two parts. Keep one part of the mixture closed (to avoid drying) and the other part in the mould. Now start rotating it in clockwise direction and make small/big chakli (the free end of the chakli should be sealed. Otherwise there are chances of  it opening up).


You can make chaklis on a parchment paper or banana leaf (as required for one batch. Don't make too much of them in advance. It will dry and fall apart while frying). I made 4-5 per batch (I made mini chaklis with half of the dough)
Then transfer it to hot oil carefully. 


Fry them evenly on both sides, until they turn light brown (another indication of the end point is the bubbles stop forming). Take it out and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
Batate Chakkuli is ready!!



Allow them to cool then, store it in an air tight container.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mexican Black Bean Burger

Black Beans is one of my favorite beans and I like to try different recipes using it. I have already shared many recipes using black beans. This recipe is one of my favorite one. Few years back I bumped into this recipe. I tried making it and it did turn awesome. Then I didn't make it for a long time. Few months back I tried making it again. This time I baked fresh burger buns too. I made few variations to the original recipe and also used Kerrygold Swiss cheese to top it. Trust me it was one of the best Mexican dishes I ever made. 



Do try making it and let me know how it turned out for you!

Ingredients:
  • Burger buns, medium sized - 6
  • Guacamole 
  • Onion, medium sized - 1
  • Cheese Slices - As desired
For Burger:
  • Cooked Black Beans - 1 1/4 cup
  • Cooked rice, packed - 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped - 1/2 cup
  • Onion, medium sized - 1/2
  • Garlic cloves - 2-3
  • Jalapeno, chopped - 1 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - To taste

Procedure:

For Preparing Burgers:
Rice: Cook the rice and set it aside. Leftover plain rice works great too.
Beans: Cook the black beans in a pressure cooker or in a pot until its soft and not mushy. Then drain the liquid in which it was cooking. If using canned beans then, rinse it thoroughly. I always cook a large batch of black beans in a pressure cooker and then freeze it. When required I thaw it and use. This way I always have cooked beans on hand.
Lightly mash the beans using fork or masher and set it aside.



Now chop the onions and mince the garlic pods.
In a small pan, heat olive oil. Once hot, add in the chopped onions. Fry until it turns translucent. 



Then add in the minced garlic and finely chopped jalapeño. Fry for a minute or until the raw smell of garlic goes away. Then add in the cumin powder, coriander powder, oregano and salt. Fry for few seconds and turn off the heat.



Now add this to the mashed black beans along with cooked rice, chopped cilantro.



Mix well until everything comes together. Give it a taste and add salt or any other spice powder, if desired.



Now divide the mixture into six equal portion and form balls and flatten them into small discs (which would fit on your burger bun).



Then take an onion and slice them into thin discs (for grilling).
Now heat a grill pan. Once hot, add some oil over the pan. Then place onion discs on one side and burgers on the other side as shown below. Sprinkle pepper powder and salt on onion slices.



Once the onion slices and burgers have got nice grill marks, flip them on the other side. Place cheese slices on the burgers, so that it gets a chance to melt slightly. Once done, transfer them on a plate and continue with the rest of them. Also cut the burger bun into half and then grill the buns too.



For Assembling:

Prepare the guacamole and set it aside.

Place the bottom part of the burger bun on a plate. I forgot to grill this bun as I was in a hurry to take pictures. I made the buns at home. Trust me it indeed makes a lot of difference. I will post the recipe sometime soon.



Then spread guacamole on it or you can just place some avocado slices.



Then place the burger.



Then top it off with grilled onion slices. You can also place additional toppings like tomato slices, lettuce, sour cream or any desired topping of your choice. Then place the top part of the bun and enjoy! 



Mexican Black Bean Burger is ready!



Serve it immediately. Above measurement makes six medium sized burgers and can serve three people.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lentil Tacos

Being a Vegetarian, its very hard to get many options in a Mexican restaurant. We often end up eating fajitas. Hence I try making various different Mexican dishes at home. Most of the dishes have made us quite happy. Lentil Tacos was one of the dishes which I came across few months ago. I was very happy to find this recipe. It turned out very tasty and filling. The lentils are cooked in a mildly spiced broth. It is then served on a corn or flour tortilla with desired toppings.Do give this a try and let me know how it turned out for you.



Ingredients:
  • Olive Oil - 2 tsp
  • Onion(medium sized), finely chopped - 1
  • Garlic pods, minced - 2-3
  • Cayenne pepper powder - To taste
  • Roasted Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Brown Lentils, rinsed - 1 cup
  • Water or Stock - 2 1/2 cups
  • Cilantro, chopped - 2 Tbsp
  • Salt - To taste
  • Corn or Flour Tortillas, small sized - 8- 10
  • Toppings* - Guacamole, Pica de gallo, chopped tomato, chopped onion, cilantro, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa.
*Add toppings of your choice. I topped mine with Guacamole, shredded cheese, chopped tomato, onion and cilantro.



Procedure:

Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Once hot, add in the chopped onions until it starts to develop slight brown color. 



Then add in the minced garlic and sauté it for half a minute. Then add in the spices (cayenne, cumin and oregano), salt.



Fry for few seconds. Then add in the rinsed lentils.



Mix well and finally add water or stock. Check for seasoning and add any, if required.



Then close the lid and cook it for 25- 30 minutes or until the lentils soften (the water should be almost absorbed by now). Once it is cooked, slightly mash with the wooden spoon. Then turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro. The lentil mixture is ready.



Before assembling, warm the tortillas in a microwave oven or on stove top (I made fresh corn tortillas). Prepare guacamole (if using). Then chop the toppings like onion, tomato, cilantro. Once everything is done, start assembling.
Place a warm tortilla on a plate.



Then place 2-3 Tbsp of lentil mixture. 



Finally add toppings of your choice. Repeat with other tortillas. 
Lentil Tacos are ready!



Serve immediately. Above measurement serves three people.

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