Monday, April 26, 2010

Idly Manchurian

Ever since I tasted Idly Manchurian at a restaurant here in Bellevue WA, I wanted to make it at home. It was something new for me. I had never had Idly Manchurian in India. Idlis are cut into small bite size pieces and deep fried. The outer crust becomes crunchy, and the center remains soft and fluffy.

I had some leftover idly batter, so I thought of making Idly Manchurian with it. Since this was just a trial version, I used 6-7 idlis. Also, instead of frying them, I baked them. It turned out very close to the restaurant style minus the red color. My husband complemented by asking why I don’t make it often.

Here is the recipe for making idly Manchurian.

Idly pieces:
6-7 idlis, cut into bite size pieces,
1 Teaspoon Corn Starch,
Cooking Spray As required
2 Teaspoon Oil,
1 Small Onion, Finley Chopped (I used a medium shallot),
2 Cloves Garlic, Finley Chopped,
Ginger (Approx 1 Inch Size Piece), Finley Chopped,
1 Green Chili, Finley Chopped (Change the quantity per your taste preference),
Salt per Taste,
3 Tablespoon Ketchup,
1 Tablespoon Vinegar,
1 Teaspoon Corn Starch, Dissolved in ¾ Cups Water,
2 Teaspoon Tomato Paste, Optional (Gives Good Taste),

2 Teaspoon Spring Onion Greens, Chopped

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the idly pieces with cooking spray (I have cooking oil spray), and sprinkle corn starch over the idly pieces, tossing them once to coat all sides. Spread them on a baking tray, preferably metal, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the sides turn golden brown, turning them once half way through.

While the idlis are getting cooked, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a frying pan or Kadai. When it gets hot, add salt, chopped onion, garlic, and chili pieces. When the onions turn translucent, add the tomato ketchup, tomato paste, and chopped ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once making sure that the onion pieces get coated well. Now add the soy sauce, vinegar and the corn starch mixture. Cook until the gravy thickens. Now add the idli pieces and carefully mix to coat the idly pieces with the gravy. Garnish with the spring onion greens and serve hot.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Vegetarian Frankie (Bombay Version)

I am working on a framed art work since past few weeks, so I haven’t had a chance to blog. Any additional time I get, I utilize it towards completing the art work. An Indian village scene is drawn on a piece of cloth. The cloth is glued to a cardboard, for support. I am using different colored sand, sola wood (very soft wood used for art work) and ceramic clay to make this art piece. I will upload a picture when I am done with it.

Anyways, even though I hadn’t had a chance to blog, I did cook many tasty dishes in past few weeks, which I am sure you will enjoy.

Last week I was missing the food I had in Bombay, when I was there in December, so I decided to make Frankie. Veg. Frankie is a Bambaiya version of veggie wraps. It is made with a very tangy and spicy potato, and peas mixture. I used to enjoy eating veg frankie near my college. The very first thing I at when I reached Bombay was veg frankie:) If you haven’t had Frankie before, try this recipe. Trust me you will want to eat it every single day:)

Here is the recipe for making Frankie

For the Dough:
1 Cup Plain Flour (Maida)
Salt to Taste,
Luke Warm Water as Needed,
Oil to Shallow Fry,

For the Potato Mixture (patties):
2 Medium Potatoes, Boiled
½ Cup Green Peas, Boiled (or Frozen)
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder,
1 Teaspoon Chili Ginger Paste,
Salt to Taste,
1 Teaspoon Amchur Powder,
1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala (or to taste if you want to make it less tangy),
½ Cup Bread Crumbs,
Oil to Shallow Fry,
Amul White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (optional)

For the Tangy Onion Mixture:
1 Small Onion, Finley Chopped,
½ Teaspoon Oil,
½ Teaspoon Chili Powder,
1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala,

For the Spicy and Tangy Water
¼ Cup Water,
½ Teaspoon Chili Powder,
½ Teaspoon Amchur Powder (or chaat masala),
Salt to taste,


For the Dough:
Combine the flour and salt together. Add a little water at a time to form soft dough. Cover and set aside.

Potato Mixture:
While the dough is resting combine the potatoes and peas and mash well. Add all the ingredients required to make potato patties, except the oil and the bread crumbs. Set aside.

Tangy Onion Mixture:
Combine all ingredients to make the onion mixture and set aside. You can adjust the quantity of chili powder and chat masala to your taste.

Spicy and Tangy Water:
Combine all ingredients and set aside. You can adjust the quantity of chili powder and chat masala to your taste.

Make small balls out of the potato mixture. Flatten it by slightly pressing it in between your palms. Now press it from two sides so that it forms oblong shape.. Do the same with the rest of the potato balls.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add some oil. Spread the breadcrumbs in a flat plate. Coat both sides of the patties with the bread crumbs and shallow fry on the skillet, until both sides are golden brown. The patties should not be very crispy.

Now make small balls out of the dough. Roll them out to a 6-7 inch diameter thin circle. The chaat walas in Bombay actually deep fry these flour tortillas, but I shallow fry them at home:). So if you wish, you can deep fry the flour tortillas and proceed to the assembling process.

If you want to shallow fry the tortillas follow the process below.

Heat a skillet or a not stick pan on medium low heat. Spread a few drops of oil on the skillet. Now place a flour tortilla and cook until the underside just starts to cook (about a minute). Now flip it and apply the tangy water on the top surface.

Now put the Potato patty in the center of the tortilla. If you are adding cheese, add it now.

Sprinkle the onion mixture over the cheese.

Let it cook at medium low heat for ½ a minute then fold the side edges over onto the potato filling. Carefully flip over and cook for another ½ minute. If you wish, you can spread some oil around the edges of the roll.

Take off the heat and serve as is or with Ketchup.

A Variation (Szechuan Frankie….A new Trend in Bombay):
This time when I went to India, I found that they were selling Szechuan Frankie at street corners. This was something new for me. I had always had the regular veggie Frankie.
Szechuan Frankie, as the name suggests, has Szechuan sauce in addition to all the above ingredients.

To make Szechuan sauce, soak 3 dried red chilies in 1/8th cup water for 20 minutes. Then add 1 Teaspoon ginger garlic paste, salt to taste, 2 Teaspoon soy sauce, and ½ Teaspoon Corn Starch. Grind to a fine paste. Heat on medium low heat until the sauce starts to thicken.

While making Frankies, spread this sauce just before spreading the tangy water on the flour tortilla. Serve hot.

My personal preference is to have a regular frankie, but my husband loves szechuan frankie. So try both of them and see which one you like better:)

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Alu Paratha

Alu paratha is a type of paratha stuffed with spicy boiled potato filling. It can be had with hot tea, or cold yogurt/raita or with chutney or ketchup. Alu paratha is one of my favourite parathas. I can easily gulp down 4-5 at a time:)

Here is the recipe for making alu paratha
3 Medium Potatoes, Boiled
3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Water, As Required To Knead the Flour
1 Teaspoon Chili Ginger Paster or To Taste,
Salt To Taste,
1 Teaspoon Amchur Powder, or Chat masala or 1 Teaspoon Anardana (Pomegranate Seeds),
1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil,
Ghee as required

Add the oil and salt to the flour and mix well. Add water to flour and knead to make smooth dough. Set aside.
Mash the potatoes, add the chili ginger paste, salt and amchur powder. Mix well. Set aside.

To make paratha, take a ping pong ball size portion of the dough and roll it out to make a 3-4 inch diameter disc. Put 2 teaspoon of the potato mixture in the center of the disc.

Seal the edges over the potato mixture as shown in the picture above. Lightly press the ball and sprinkle with some flour. Lightly roll it out to a 6 inch diameter disc.

Heat a flat tawa (griddle). Place the paratha on the tawa and cook on modeate heat for 1-2 minute. Flip the partha and cook on medium low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the underside is gloden brown. Apply 1/2 teaspoon (or more per your taste) ghee on the top surface and flip it again. The paratha will start to swell and look like an inflated balloon. Apply some ghee on the top surface and let it cook for 1-2 minutes or until the underside is golden brown.

Serve with your choice of side. Usually alu paratha is eaten in breakfast with Chai. But I think it also goes very well with Indian pickle, ketchup, green chutney or raita. Try different combination each time, and you will be surprised how different it tastes each timeJ. I usually have it with green chutney or cold raita.

Thank you for visiting Food Garden and Fun. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.