Archive for the ‘Chaat’ Category

Paneer Tikka

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and it is a very versatile ingredient and is used in making gravies, rice dishes, wraps, indo-chinese recipes like Chili Paneer and kebabs to even desserts like rasgulla.

Paneer tikka is a quick and easy snack/starter course and just the look of grilled vegetables with paneer and spices on a skewer will tempt anyone.

Paneer – 12 cubes (Not fried paneer, but fresh paneer)
Red onion- one small size
Cherry tomatoes- 8 each or roma tomatoes- 2
Mushrooms (optional)- 8
Peppers(any color)-1

For the marinade:
Thick yogurt- 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 1/2 tsp

Other ingredients:
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to season
Skewers- 4
Lemon juice- 1 tsp


In a bowl,whisk the yogurt well and add salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder, ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder.

Chop the paneer into 1″ cubes. Add the paneer cubes to the bowl with marinade and toss well to coat. Cover with a wrap and let it sit inside the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also make the marinade in the morning and store it in the fridge and make the tikkas in the evening.

Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes so that they will not burn in the oven/grill.

Chop red onions into 1″ chunks. If using cherry tomato, use it as a whole tomato to insert into the skewer. Chop zucchini, peppers into 1″ chunks. Use mushrooms as whole mushrooms if the size is small.

Pre heat oven to 400 F.

Heat oil in a pan and place the paneer cubes soaked in the marinade in the pan. Do not pour the marinade into the pan, just use the cubes.

Once the paneer is toasted to a golden brown color on both sides, remove them from the pan.

In a skewer, insert a chunk of onion, a tomato, mushroom, pepper, the toasted paneer cubes and repeat in any order till the skewer is filled. Repeat for other skewers. Brush the vegetables with some oil.

Arrange the skewers in a baking tray and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. While the tikkas are hot, season with salt and pepper and squeeze some lemon juice on top.

Serve hot.

Alternatively you can also grill the skewers. You can also stuff the grilled vegetables and panner inside a pita bread or use it as a wrap with chappatis.

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Kothu Parotta (Layered Bread chunks tossed with Vegetables)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Parathas/Parottas are layered Indian bread made with wheat flour or a combination of wheat and maida (all purpose flour). When I was in University, as soon as the clock hits 5 pm, the shops on both sides of the streets leading to the way from the University to the town(small shops also called as dhabas) will start making mouth watering dishes like Kormas, Parathas, Dosas, Chole Batura along with some chaat like pani poori, bhel poori and so on.

One of those recipes with parathas that can be served as a main meal or for tea is Kothu Parotta ( which means parotta pieces stir fried and tossed with sauces and vegetables and sometimes with egg). Kothu in tamil means either beating or punching, but for this recipe it indicates butchering! In the 1990’s this dish was served only in small restaurants as it was quite rustic, but now you can find this in the menu in most of the South Indian restaurants.

I have been wanting to try this recipe at home for a long time and I saw it at Rak’s Kitchen only a few days ago and made it the very same weekend. Needless to say, her recipes and her clicks are amazing! Thanks Raks, I changed a few ingredients and we had it as a mini dinner on a Sunday :)

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Frozen Parathas- 3 numbers
Onions(red)- Medium size- 1
Green chilies- 2
Green pepper- 1
Garlic- 2 cloves
Salt- to taste
Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
Maggi Chili Masala Sauce- 2 tbsp
Cilantro- to garnish
Grated Carrots- 2 tbsp
Lemon Juice- 1 tsp
Canola oil- 1 tbsp


I sometimes buy and stock frozen parathas and usually there will be a lonely paratha left in the pack that we have to use but it will not be enough for two people. This recipe is also useful in turning left over rotis/parathas to a totally new dish! You can also use toasted bread slices or even idlis.

Toast the parathas in a frying pan till it turns golden brown on both sides. Remove from stove and let it cool. Then chop it into bite size pieces with a knife.

Chop onions and peppers into chunks (almost the same bite size pieces as the bread). Finely chop the garlic and green chilies. Slice the tomato into long thin slices(Julienne).

Heat canola oil in a frying pan or a Wok. Drop in the chopped garlic and toss for a minute. Quickly add the onions, green chilies, peppers and salt and toss them well. Let them sizzle and cook in the high heat. Add red chili powder, maggi chili sauce and chopped tomato and stir fry once. Add the chopped parathas and toss well for the sauce to coat well on veggies as well as the parathas. If you want to add egg, add it before adding parathas and scramble them.

Transfer the parathas to a serving bowl. Garnish with grated carrots, cilantro and lemon juice. Serve hot with cucumber raitha or as such.

I am sending this Kothu Parotta to Nupur’s Blog Bites- Copy Cat Edition.

This kothu parotta is also going to COL- Left over Delicacies event at Spicy Lounge.

Deepa at Foodlyrics posts a recipe from a guest blogger every wednesday and today she has graciously given her space to my recipe, you can check out how you can participate in the event as well as my recipe here.

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Stuffed Vegetable Buns (Eggless Savory Stuffed Buns)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Iyengar Bakery is very famous bakery in South India(esp Karnataka and Tamilnadu) and one can see atleast a Bangalore Bakery or Iyengar Bakery in every block. The quality of baked goods from this bakery is just amazing. Even now, N and I talk about the days when we could buy a masala bun or egg puffs for less than 10 rupees and walk from school/bus stop munching the buns/breads/biscuits.

One of the famous recipes from this bakery was potato buns and I saw this recipe from here. Immediately I wanted to try it and I baked a dozen buns last weekend. And we vanished them in a jiffy!

Stuffed vegetable Buns:

For the buns (Makes 6 or 8 buns)

All purpose flour- 2 cups (I used 200 ml measuring glass)
Dry yeast- 2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Melted slightly warm butter( not room temperature butter)- 4 tbsp
Milk- 1/4 cup
Water- as needed to knead
Olive oil- 2 tsp
Butter- 1 tbsp- to brush while baking

For the stuffing:

Olive oil- 1 tsp
Potato- 2 large
Carrots- 2
Onions- chopped- 1/4 cup
Green chilies- 2- finely chopped
Chopped ginger and garlic- 1 tsp each
Paprika (red chili powder)- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro- a handful- finely chopped
Lemon juice- just a dash

To make the buns:

In a wide bowl, add about 1/4 cup of warm water. Dissolve the yeast,sugar and salt, slightly whisk it to mix well. Add the flour little by little and get a crumbly texture. Then add melted butter, start kneading slowly, then add the milk, knead well to incorporate and then add water as per requirement and knead well to a thick dough.

It should not be sticky, but thick and firm. Coat well with oil on all sides.

Just pre heat the oven to 300 F and switch off(do not wait till it heats up, just pre heat for a few minutes). Cover the dough and keep it inside the oven for dough to double for 1-2 hours.

While the dough is rising,prepare the stuffing.

Wash and peel the skin of potatoes and carrots. Grate them in a cheese grater. Heat oil in a pan, add onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies. Stir fry well.

Add salt to sweat the onions, then add grated potatoes and carrots. Stir fry well, add red chili powder, stir fry well, add very little amount of water for the veggies to cook. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, add lemon juice. Let it cool. Divide it into equal parts.

By this time,the dough would have doubled. Just sprinkle a teaspoon of flour on top if it, punch it down, divide it into equal parts, roll each part in to a ball, coat again with olive oil, cover and keep in a warm place for 10 mins to rise.

Now take one part of the dough, slightly flatten it, keep the filling inside and cover it from all sides, pinch them to close. Keep the pinched side down on a baking tray, brush with butter. Repeat for other buns. Again, let it sit in a warm place (with filling inside) for 30 mins to double in size again.

Now pre heat the oven to 375F . Bake these buns at 375 for 15-20 minutes or till the top is golden brown. Keep watching the color, it can get burnt. You can smell the aroma of buns with all the butter and filling when it is done.

The buns would have joined together(because of the rise and baking), gently separate each bun, let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Serve with any spicy chutney or ketchup and enjoy with a hot cuppa tea!

I am sending this stuffed vegetable buns to Bread Baking Day.

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Moong Dal Kachori For Indian Cooking Challenge

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Srivalli’s Cooking Challenge this month was Kachori. All I can say is Yummy Choice. I have had kachoris at chaat shops but never made them at home so it was truly a challenge.

Srivalli has obtained this recipe from Medhaa and her Aunty with some tips from Tarla Dalal cookbooks. Srivalli provided a detailed method to make not one, but three types of Kachoris, one out of Moong Dal, one with Peas and the other with Onions. I chose the Moong Dal Kachori.

Instructions According to Medhaa and Srivalli:

Resting Time for the Dough is approximately 1/2 hr – 1 hr
Frying time for the Kachoris – 20 mins for each batch
Soaking Time for the Filling is around 1 hour
Cooking Time for the Filling is around 15 mins
Yields – 15

For the Dough

Ingredients Needed:

All Purpose Flour- 2 cups
Olive oil – 1/4 cup ,
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Water for kneading


Slowly mix the flour and salt. Add water and oil till it is crumbly in texture and then knead well. Cover with a wet cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. The dough has to be kept covered at all times, else it will become dry. Dough has to be kneaded well to get the correct consistency.

Ingredients for Moong Dal Kachori (Makes 15-20 kachoris)

Split Moong Dal (yellow) – 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – a pinch
Green Chilli – Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Sauf / Fennel seeds powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Amchur powder- 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


The dal has to be soaked in water before making kachoris. The soaking time has to be one hour- four hours but not more than that.

Just before making the kachoris, drain the water and grind the dal coarsely like rava.

Heat oil in a pan add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the seeds sizzle add the ginger-chili paste and ground dal(thick paste).

Reduce the flame and keep stirring for 5-7 minutes so that the dal won’t stick to the pan.

Keep stir frying till the dal turns slight brown in color. At this stage add all masala powders, salt and cook for 1-2 minutes till all the flavors mingle. Let it cool. The filling has to be dry without any water as it can splutter when cooking in oil. ( Instead of adding red chili powder, I added more garam masala powder).

Dust the rolling pin with some flour and spread the dough thick like a roti. I used a stainless steel cup (katori) to make small rounds in the roti to use as the base cups for kachori.

Once the small rounds are made, fill them with the moong dal filling and make them into desired shapes. I made them into small modaks and the usual patties shape.

Heat oil on medium low. Wait for the oil to get hot and slowly place the kachoris in the oil. Fry the Kachoris on a uniform heat till both sides are golden brown in color.

Drain the kachoris on a paper towel. Serve hot with coriander-tamarind chutneys.

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