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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Papad Bhel Chat

Papadam, pronounced as poppadum; also known as Papad in Northern India or and Pappadum in the rest of South India; (spellings vary) is a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from Black Gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat. Flours made from other sources such as Lentils, Chickpeas, Rice or Potatoes, can be used. Papadams are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips and condiments In certain parts of India, papadums which have been dried but not precooked are used in curries and vegetable dishes.
Papad is often associated with the Empowerment in India. Many individual and organized businesses run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks.
I like Masala papad which is often served as an appetizer at many Indian Restaurants, which is basically roasted or fried papad sprinkled with chopped onions, cilantro, tomatoes with lime juice and chat masala.
Usually papad comes in pack of 10-12 in different sizes and spices, you can find them at local Indian grocers.
You can either roast it on open fire or microwave for 1 min or deep fry it to serve it with meal or as an appetizer as  described above.
I had some fried papad left over from a recent dinner party, and yesterday afternoon I had a craving for  a spicy snack.  I had heard about papad  bhel before, but had never tried it or attempted to make it before.
I had all the right ingredients this time in my pantry so I thought I will give it a try and must say it absolutely satisfied my palate with craving for spicy snack.  Here is how I made it.


* 2 cups of roasted or fried papadam broken in to small pieces

* 2 cups of Bhel Sev

* 3/4 cup of Dalia (I roasted them lightly in a pan)

* 1/3 cup of Roasted salted peanuts

* 2 cups of blend of chopped red onions, green onions,  tomatoes. cilantro and one green chili

* Fresh lime juice from 2 limes

* 1 tbsp of Cayenne pepper powder

* 1 tsp of black salt (sonchar)

* 2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika

* 1 tbsp of cumin powder

* 2 table spoon of olive oil or any vegetable cooking oil

* 1/2 cup of corn flakes I used Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with sliced with sliced almonds

* Salt to taste


* Sprinkle all the dry spices and salt on papadam pieces in a bowl.

* Add peanuts, Dalia, Corn flakes, Sev and oil and toss everything gently with wooden spoon

* Pour the mix in serving bowl, when ready to serve, add lime juice and the chopped onions/tomatoes/cilantro/chili mix.

* Garnish with some more Sev and cilantro if desire and serve with desired soft drinks or cocktails.
*Serve immediately to enjoy the crunch and avoid sogginess :) 

Yummy !!

 Enjoy :)

Source of Papadam info and image:

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rice Seasoned with Cilantro Chutney (Cilantro Pesto)

Coriander chutney or Cilantro Pesto goes well with all Indian North Indian and South Indian Snacks, all kinds of Chaat, Papadum or chapati. It is suitable for refrigeration and freezes fairly well. It pairs extremely well with meat and many vegetarian preparations and is commonly served as a condiment with a wide variety of dishes in Indian cuisine. It is an item that is prepared in almost each and every Indian household and kitchen with many variations.

When plain rice is seasoned with this pesto, taste of the rice is out of this world and can be served as side dish with Indian or Mexican meals.

First make the plain white Basmati or any long grain rice following recipe on this blog on following link.

You can make the white rice in rice cooker if you wish.
Make sure once rice is cooked separate the grains by gently  tossing in with little butter or olive oil with wooden spatula .

Set is aside and let it cool.

Now make the Pesto or Chutney following this recipe.

Ingredients for Chutney:

* 2 bunch of coriander leaves and stems (cilantro)

* 2-4 green chillies/Jalapenos (you may cut down or add depending on desired heat)

* 1 small onion

* 1/2" piece of ginger peeled (optional)

* 1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)

* salt to taste

* juice of 1 large fresh lime

* 2 tbls spoon of plain yogurt or sour cream

* Salt to taste

* 1 teaspoon of ground cumin powder (optional)


* Wash the coriander/cilantro leaves with stems.

* In a food processor finely grind garlic, ginger, onion, chillies and optional items if adding those.

* Add Cilantro, yogurt, salt, sugar, cumin powder and lime juice and grind everything together.

* Blend to a fine paste to desired consistency, I like mine ground to really fine paste.

Once cooked rice is cool, follow these steps:

* Take two cups of plain cooked Rice in a serving bowl
* Add 1/4 cup or desired amount of pesto/chutney to the rice.
* Gently toss with silicone or wooden spatula until rice is evenly and generously coated with
pesto and has nice green color.
Serve at room temp with desired meals.

May want to make this in small batches just enough for desired serving sizes as it will loose it color and fresh flavor or cilantro if you warm it up or reheat it.

Coriander chutney description source:

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kesari Seviyan/Vermicelli Halwa with Pineapple and Nuts

In English, the Italian loanword "Vermicelli" is used to indicate different sorts of long pasta shapes from different parts of the world but mostly from South or East Asia. The dish in the original language are variously known as seviyan in Urdu and Hindi, shemai in Bengali, sev in Gujrati shavige in Kannada sevalu or semiya in Telagu and semiya in Tamil and Malayalam. The noodles are used in a number of dishes including a variation of Kheer, a sweet dessert similar to rice pudding,  Vermicelli are also used in many parts of India to make a popular dish called sweet Kesari Sevia Halwa and also savory Upma  To prepare it, dry oil-roasted vermicelli are boiled with a choice of vegetables with spices.

This is the recipe is for Halwa, will post the Sevia/Kheer pudding recipe separately some other time.

This recipe yields 8 generous servings.
* Sevia/Vermicelli – 1 pack (16 oz)
* Ghee/Clarified Butter – 1/2 cup
* Sugar – 1.5 cup
* Water –2.5 cups
* Saffron – few strands
* Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
* Chopped Pistachios  2 tbsp
* Broken Cashews halves- 1-2 tbsp

* Sliced Almonds – 2 tbsp
* 1 can of crushed pineapple with some of its juice

* Roast nuts in a pan and keep them aside.
* Heat a pan on medium heat and pour in the Ghee.
* Add in the Sevia/Vermicille
* Cook with stirring constantly till it releases an aroma and has a  light-golden color.
* Boil water in the microwave

* Add water and sugar and mix in well in to Seviyan.
* Lower the heat
* Add crushed pineapple
* Add in the Saffron and cover the pan and let it cook for few min
* Keep stirring in between and cook until ghee start to come out and vermicelli start receding the pan
* Lastly, add in the Cardamom Powder, mix well, add roasted nuts, and allow it to stand for a couple of minutes.
* Serve hot!

* Sometimes my mom used to add Jaggery instead of sugar which comes out very good too. * You may add half Jaggery and half sugar.
* You may also add golden raisin to this as well, I didn't this time.
* Seviyan pack can be bought from local Indian grocers.  They come in long strands, if you desire you may break them up, but I like to cook them as they come.

Enjoy :)

Description of Vermicelli source:
Recipe adapted by Surekha from her mom's recipe.
Photographs by Surekha
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