Aloo Lachha Namkeen (Potato Trail Mix)

Aloo Lachha Namkeen or aloo lachha is a spicy savory snack (trail mix) made with deep fried potatoes, nuts and spices. It is super popular snack in northern India. Aloo lachha is amazing paired with chai and a perfect snack to make for Diwali.

What is Aloo Lachha?

Lachha literally translates to something coil shaped or with a series of loops and it is a term often used in indian cuisine to describe the textures and looks of food like lachha paratha, onion lachha etc.

Spicy savory snacks often called namkeen are so popular in India and they are prepared using variety of flours, lentils, chickpeas., nuts etc.

Aloo or potato lachha is unique since its made with grated potatoes and is gluten free and vegan. This snack was popularized by Haldirams, a big confectioner in northern India. Their aloo lachha is really delicious, their lachha looks like matchstick potatoes coated in spices. However, please note that am not writing a copy cat haldirams recipe. I have no clue about their recipe. This is how make lachha namkeen at home and its quite delicious and addictive 🙂

How to make Aloo Lachha?

Aloo Lachha an easy snack to make with easily available potatoes, some nuts and spices. Since I don’t have any special potato cutter, I use the good old mix grater to grate the potatoes and make lachha. Use the largest side of the grater to grate the potatoes or you can hand cut them into match sticks. These are not fries. These potatoes resemble match sticks or small twigs after grating.

Here is a short video to give you an idea of how to make aloo lachha:-

Few Tips and Tricks to keep in mind when making aloo laccha:-

  • Avoid using too starchy potatoes like russet potatoes. For laccha, I like using yellow or gold potatoes since they are waxy, not too starchy and crisp up quite well.
  • Soak the grated potatoes in salted water for a little bit to remove starches and then deep fry.
  • You decide how brown you like the potatoes, I keep them golden brown.
  • While deep frying keep in mind to keep the heat constant and on medium high. Else the potatoes will get soggy and won’t cook evenly.
  • Do not over crowd the oil when frying, fry in small batches. You will still see that the potatoes will stick to each other, mainly because they are grated and form a coil shaped ring at the end.Dont worry its all good, once cooled, we are going to break it up and use up.
  • You can add any kind of nuts that you like. Roasted almonds and coconut chips taste amazing as well.
  • The masala I use in my recipe is the same as I use when making Kaju Masala. See the recipe here.

FAQs

Can I air fry the potatoes?

I tried. But the texture & taste- it’s not the same. Due to thin grated potato they were dry and tasteless.Little burnt too. Maybe if you hand cut them in match sticks, you can air fry them but I haven’t tried that method.

How to store Aloo Lachha?

Let the aloo lachha cool down completely. To make sure that its completely cooled, let it sit for 3 hours or so, uncovered on the kitchen counter. Then you can store it in air tight container for 2-3 weeks.

What do I do with the leftover oil after frying?

You can use it to deep fry pakoras, pooris or nuts, anything savory. Please don’t use it to make curries/for cooking.

Can I use sweet potatoes?

Yes you can , however, don’t swap the potatoes completely for sweet ones. However you can use a mix of sweet and regular potatoes for a sweetish bite. Aloo lachha is spicy savory snack o sweet potatoes don’t fit too well in my opinion.

Variations

To the spice blend, add some garlic or chipotle pepper powder to change the flavor profile. You can mix it with just salt and black pepper for a farali/falahari/fasting snack.

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Aloo Lachha

Aloo lachha Namkeen is a spicy & savory snack (trail mix) made with deep fried potatoes, nuts and spices. It is super popular snack in northern India. Amazing paired with chai.
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews
  • 3 dried chilies
  • 7-8 curry leaves

Masala (Makes extra, use it o chaat/spiced nuts etc)

  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp extra hot red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1 tsp kala namak (black salt)
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix all the ground spices. Keep ready.
  • Peel the potatoes. Grate the potatoes using thick side of the box grater. Rinse the potatoes 2-3 times to get rid of excess starch.
  • Soak the potatoes in water mixed with salt & turmeric for 30 minutes. This removes more starch.
  • Drain and spread the grated potatoes on a cloth/kitchen towel. Pat them dry completely.
  • Set oil for deep frying on stove to heat up. Dont use a lot of oil (2-3 inches oil is enough) and use a deep pot/kadai for deep frying.
  • Add the potatoes to a wide plate/large bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss with the potatoes lightly.
  • Deep fry the potatoes on medium hight heat in small batches in hot oil until golden and crisp.. Drain on a paper towel.
  • Let the fried potatoes completely cool down.
  • In the same oil fry peanuts and cashews (if using raw), curry leaves and dried red chilli.
  • Add on top of potatoes. Sprinkle 2 tbsp masala or more/less as you like. Gently mix everything together without squeezing till everything coated well.
  • Store in a air tight container for 2-3 weeks.

Masala Chai Tres Leches

Tres Leches Cake is a latin milk soaked sponge cake with a soft and moist crumb. The cake is soaked in three kinds of milk (tres- three, leche- milk) and thats how it gets its name. The sponge itself is airy and it absorbs the milk sauce to form a luscious, dense and rich cake. This masala chai tres leche tastes like a cup of sweet milky indian chai aka tea – it’s indulgent, soft and has a wonderful taste of milky tea and spices in every bite.

Saying that my family loves tres leches cake is an understatement. I mean they adore it!! There are very few cake flavors that we all agree upon at once and this is definitely the one. For Diwali this year, I wanted to make a cake inspired by indian flavors and that is how this idea was born.

What is Masala Chai Tresh Leches Cake?

A light and airy chai spiced sponge soaked in a tea infused 3 milk concoction which is covered in dulce de leche whipped cream. Dreamy right?

Check out these other Masala Chai Recipes :-

Masala Chai Ice cream

DIY Masala Chai Concentrate

Chai Mug Cake

Chai Spiced Shortbread Sandwiches with Dulce De Leche Filling

This Masala Chai Tres Leches Cake is

  • eggless
  • airy and moist
  • tastes like milky sweet chai (doodh patti (milky indian tea), see this video I made earlier this year)
  • super easy to make
  • perfect for festivals

There are quite a few steps to this recipe but nothing is too complicated. The four essential steps to making this cake are –

  1. Grinding the chai masala(spice blend) (always grind fresh masala)
  2. Baking the sponge
  3. Soaking it in tea infused milk sauce
  4. Topping it with the dulce de leche whipped cream.

Masala Chai Tres Leche Ingredients

The recipe needs every simple basic ingredients from you pantry and refrigerator. You will need flour, leavening agents, sugar and yogurt for the cake. Other than that you will need 3 kinds of milk products- evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream to make the soaking milk. You will need heavy cream and dulce de leche to make the frosting.

Lets look at the components of Masala Chai Tres Leches Cake one by one :

  1. Chai Masala : – Chai Masala is a spice blend which is used to flavor indian tea. Every home has its own recipe but essentially the spices are cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Some families like using fennel in their chai masala as well. Chai masala is one of the most fragrant blends out of indian kitchens. Find my chai masala recipe here
  2. Chai Masala Spiced Sponge:- This is an eggless sponge made with flour, whole milk and full fat yogurt. It is flavored with fresh made chai masala (see recipe). This is a light, airy sponge which happens to be egg free and butter free.
  3. Three Milk (Leche) – This is one of the most important component of any leche cake. It is a blend of 3 kinds of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heaavy cream. For this recipe, I infuse the evaporated milk with orange pekoe black tea to get that authentic chai flavor. A little bit of chai masala goes in as well for deep flavor.
  4. Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream :- You can use plain whipped cream, this cake will still taste awesome. However, I loved the combination of dulce de leche and chai spices in this cookie recipe I developed last year during the holidays and thats the reason I flavored the whipped cream this way.

A few tips and tricks to be kept in mind when you make this cake :-

Cake Batter : – The cake batter is made in one bowl.It is one of the most easy cakes to bake. Fold the batter with a spatula  just until it is well incorporated then stop. Keep in mind to not overmix the batter. You can bake the cake in a round pan, however I like square or rectangular casserole pans since its easier to carry or serve from.

Sweetness :- The cake is not too sweet on its own, the main sweetness of this cake comes from the milk concoction.

Dairy : – The cake uses a lot of dairy products like many kinds of milk and yogurt. Always choose whole milk and full fat yogurt for this recipe.

Make Ahead :- You can bake and soak the cake on one day and then next day just make the whipped cream and slather it on top. The cake needs to soak for at least 12 hours for best flavor.

Serving Suggestions :- Reserve a bit of the soaking milk and serve it with the cake slices. Cake with extra milk is truly heavenly.

Variations : – You can bake this cake batter into 12 cupcakes and bake for about 18 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes, poke and individually soak them in milk. Then you can pipe the whipped cream just like you would decorate cupcakes.

How to store :- Once you have soaked the cake, you can store it unfrosted for 1 week in the refrigerator. After frosting the cake, serve it with 2-3 days. Additionally, you can freeze the unsoaked sponge for unto two months. Thaw the cake and then soak and frost it.

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Masala Chai Tres Leches

This eggless masala chai tres leche tastes like a cup of sweet milky indian chai aka tea – it's indulgent, soft and has a wonderful taste of spices in every bite. So perfect for festivals and celebrations.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian, Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

For the Chai Masala (makes 1/4 cup masala, we won't use the whole thing)

  • 1 tbsp  ground green cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ground dried ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 4-5 black peppercorns, fine ground

For the Sponge Cake

  • 3/4 cup whole milk thick yogurt (not too tart or watery), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk,at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp chai masala (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the Chai Infused Milk (This will make extra for serving)

  • 4-5 orange pekoe black tea bags
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 14 oz condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp chai masala (recipe below)

For the dulce de leche Whipped Cream

  • 1.5 cup heavy whipped cream , super cold
  • 2-3 tbsp dulce de leche
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

Grind the Chai Masala

  • Add all the spices to a bowl. Mix well. Chai Masala is ready for baking.

Make the Chai Infused 3 Milk Mixture

  • Warm up the evaporated milk. Add the tea bags and let infuse for 10-12 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags nicely to get all the flavor and the milk they absorb.
  • In a large jug or measuring cup with spout, mix the tea infused evaporated milk with condensed milk and heavy cream. Add 1/2 tsp of chai masala and combine. Reserve 3/4 cup for serving. Keep ready.

Bake the Sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C. Brush a 7 by 11 rectangular pan/ 8 or 9 inch square pan with 1 tbsp oil. See notes.
  • in a large bowl, add the yogurt, milk sugar and oil. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until smooth and combined, the sugar should completely dissolve. Add 1 teaspoon of chai masala and mix well.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder in two batches over the yogurt. After each batch, gently fold using a spatula until just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake in the middle rack for 28-32 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine was done at about 31 minutes. Pull the cake out and let cool for 7-8 minutes.
  • Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Cover the cake with cling wrap and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or preferably overnight so the cake can soak up all the milk and flavors.

Make the dulce de leche Whipped Cream

    Assemble the cake

    • Remove the chilled soaked cake. Add a generous amount of whipped cream to the cake and using a spatula spread it out as evenly on the top part as possible. Sprinkle with silvered pistachios, rose petals, edible gold etc or decorate as you wish.
    • Serve sliced with the reserved milk mixture. Store the leftovers refrigerated.

    Notes

    1. The thickness of the sponge will vary depending on the size of cake pan you use. 

    Khoya Matar

    This rich and delicous north indian curry is made with matar (fresh peas) and khoya(milk solids). Its creamy without using any milk or heavy cream, the curry gets its richness from sweet and milky khoya/mawa. This curry is perfect to serve for festive or dinners or when you are in a mood to eat restaurant like curries at home.

    In northern India, khoya is popularly used to make mithai(sweets) and it makes its way into a lot of savory dishes as well. This khoya matar recipe is very simple to make and uses onion-tomato masala base which is perfumed with sweet smelling spices like cardamom and cinnamon and gets its richness from khoya.

    This curry is one of the most loved old family recipes which was cooked once or twice a year during the autumn or winter months with seasonal fresh peas. I am told that this was my grandfather’s favorite.

    Check out my other pea recipes like Matar Paneer and Sukha Matar Aloo.

    I have talked about my love for mawa/khoya so many times. It is one of my favorite ingredient. Before the festive season begins, I like to make a big batch and store it. Below is a video showing how I make khoya at home. However you can always use store bought. Make sure to use a good quality khoya, the main flavor of this dish comes from the sweet milkiness of the khoya, since no cream or milk is used.

    How to Make Khoya Matar?

    The dish starts with preparation of masala base. The masala base for the curry uses browned onion paste, which lends so much flavor and robustness to the dish. If you do not want to make browned onions at home, you can simply buy browned onions from store and grind them with a little water to make a paste. Once you make the onion paste, this curry is super simple and quick to make with regular spices, tomatoes and yogurt. Once the masala is done,add peas and khoya and simmer for a few minutes til khoya melts down and forms a thick sauce. Finish with pinch of kasuri methi and garam masala.

    Serve this rich and hearty curry with naan, pooris,spinach roti, roti or paratha and raita(yogurt). You can also serve it with steamed rice or cumin rice.

    Few Tips & Tricks to keep in mind when you are making Khoya Matar:-

    1. Peas:- You can use frozen peas in this recipe. Frozen peas that you get in stores are already blanched so you can skip that step in the recipe. Thaw the frozen peas and use them. I use fresh shelled peas that’s why I blanch them.
    2. Brown Onion Paste :- Browned onions are super easy to make and you can make them a day or two ahead. Simply slice the onions and fry them in oil on medium heat. Drain and cool down. Then you can grind them with 1-2 tbsp water if needed. I often avoid using store bought onions because I find them a bit smelly, however if you love a brand, go ahead and use store bought.
    3. Prepare Ahead :- You can make the masala base of the curry in advance and store refrigerated for 2 days. The masala base freezes very well for a month. When you want to make the curry, add the peas and khoya then.
    4. Khoya :- As I already mentioned, I used homemade khoya. Choose good quality khoya– which means with good fat content and sweet if you are using store bought. Khoya is the main taste in this recipe so make sure you use the best kind available.
    5. Variations :- Use this same recipe to make Khoya Matar Paneer or Khoya Matar Makhana(foxnuts). Simply add fried chunks of paneer and roasted makhana.
    6. Cooking Oil Versus Ghee :- When I make this dish for a celebrations or festivals, I like to cook it in ghee. Else you can cook it in any neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
    7. Consistency:- The ideal consistency of khoya matar is on a thicker side however its not dry.
    8. Spice Level :- Khoya matar has a mellow rich taste. The curry gets its sweetness from peas and khoya. Imagine it as a fragrant spicy curry that not hot. A perfect example of the fact that spicy doesn’t mean hot 🙂
    9. Leftovers :- Make this dish in the quantity that you would be able to finish same day. The leftovers don’t reheat well and the taste of curry changes.
    10. Using Nut Powders :- If you want, you can use 1-2 tbsp of super fine ground nuts like almonds or cashews to the masala. They do taste awesome however I feel the dish gets too heavy so I don’t 🙂
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    Khoya Matar

    A rich and delicous north indian curry made with matar (fresh peas) and khoya(milk solids). Its creamy without using any milk or heavy cream. Best served with naan, roti or cumin rice.
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients

    • 2.5 cup 9about 300 g) fresh or frozen peas
    • 1 large onion, sliced (don't slice too thin or too thick)
    • Oil for frying the onions
    • 2 tbsp thick plain yogurt (not too tart)
    • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
    • 2 tbsp ghee
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 inch cinnamon
    • 5 green cardamom
    • 2 cloves
    • 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste (simply pound 3 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger shoot in a mortar using a pestle)
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
    • 3-4 medium tomatoes (roughly chopped and pureed, about 3/4 cup puree)
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • 1.5 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup khoya
    • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed fine between palms
    • 1.5 tsp garam masala
    • 1 drop Kewra essence, optional
    • Ginger julines and chopped cilantro to garnish

    Instructions

    • If using frozen peas, make sure they are thawed overnight. If you are using fresh peas, blanch them in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
    • Heat oil on medium heat in a heavy bottom pot. Once oil is hot, add the sliced onions. Cook onions till they brown evenly. Strain the onions from the oil using a slotted spoon.You can reserve the oil used for frying the onions and use it in curries.
    • Add the onions to a small blender jar along with yogurt and kashmiri red chili powder. Blitz to make a smooth paste. Set aside
    • Warm up ghee in a cooking pot. Add the whole spices and crackle for 30 seconds.Next, add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds or so till you smell a nice aroma. Add the powdered spices next, add 1 tbsp water and sauté spices in oil for a minute.
    • Then add the tomato puree, sugar and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes till you see oil seperating on the sides.
    • Stiring continously, next add the yogurt onion paste and now and cook again on medium heat till oil starts separating on sides.
    • Add blanched(or thawed) peas now and mix so that the peas are nicely coated in masala. At this point you can add few extra ginger juliennes as well. Sauté the peas with masala on low medium heat for 2-3 minutes so that they are warmed through.
    • Add the 1/3- 1/2 cup water next and mix everything. Let cook for 2-3 minutes till you see that the water is slowly bubbling. Add the crumbled khoya now. You will see that within a few minutes the khoya will melt and the sauce will appear to be milky. Keep the stove on low. Don't let come to a boil.
    • Let the curry simmer for 5 minutes on low heat till you see all the khoya has melted and its now part of the sauce. Switch off the stove and mix in the kasuri methi and garam masala. Add kewra if using.
    • Mix gently and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and ginger juliennes.

    Notes

    • Peas:- You can use frozen peas in this recipe. Frozen peas that you get in stores are already blanched so you can skip that step in the recipe. Thaw the frozen peas and use them. I use fresh shelled peas that’s why I blanch them.
    • Brown Onion Paste :- Browned onions are super easy to make and you can make them a day or two ahead. Simply slice the onions and fry them in oil on medium heat. Drain and cool down. Then you can grind them with 1-2 tbsp water if needed. I often avoid using store bought onions because I find them a bit smelly, however if you love a brand, go ahead and use store bought.
    • Prepare Ahead :- You can make the masala base of the curry in advance and store refrigerated for 2 days. The masala base freezes very well for a month. When you want to make the curry, add the peas and khoya then.
    • Khoya :- As I already mentioned, I used homemade khoya. Choose good quality khoya– which means with good fat content and sweet if you are using store bought. Khoya is the main taste in this recipe so make sure you use the best kind available.
    • Variations :- Use this same recipe to make Khoya Matar Paneer or Khoya Matar Makhana(foxnuts). Simply add fried chunks of paneer and roasted makhana.
    • Cooking Oil Versus Ghee :- When I make this dish for a celebrations or festivals, I like to cook it in ghee. Else you can cook it in any neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
    • Consistency:- The ideal consistency of khoya matar is on a thicker side however its not dry.
    • Spice Level :- Khoya matar has a mellow rich taste. The curry gets its sweetness from peas and khoya. Imagine it as a fragrant spicy curry that not hot. A perfect example of the fact that spicy doesn’t mean hot 🙂
    • Leftovers :- Make this dish in the quantity that you would be able to finish same day. The leftovers don’t reheat well and the taste of curry changes.
    • Using Nut Powders :- If you want, you can use 1-2 tbsp of super fine ground nuts like almonds or cashews to the masala. They do taste awesome however I feel the dish gets too heavy so I don’t 🙂

    Samosa Tart (Tarte Au Soleil)

    An indian twist to the French appetizer, “tart au soleil” Puff pastry sheets stuffed with traditional samosa filling. Buttery, spicy and easy, this tart is a great appetizer idea for easy entertaining.

    If you are looking for an easy show stopper appetizer to make for your Diwali party, consider this sun shaped samosa tart. It can be assembled ahead and baked when you like.

    Samosas are hugely popular and though I am all about traditional cooking but trust me having such recipes up one’s sleeve are also essential to save time when you are playing host and have a ton of things to do. Forget about spending hours to make a show stopper appetizer! I made these samosa pinwheels two years back and really puff pastry encasing traditional samosa filling is such an amazing way to imitate taste of authentic samosa closely, without the deep frying. However, this tart is in no way low in calories, but its super easy and delish!

    WHAT IS A TARTE AU SOLEIL?

    Tarte au Soleil is a fun french appetizer made with a savory filling and puff pastry.Two puff pastries are stuffed with a savory filling (samosa filling here),sealed, sliced in thin triangles to imitate the sun rays which are then twisted to create a roundish tart that after baking resembles the sun. Hence this tart is sometimes also called “sun tart”. Serve it as savory center piece with a bowl of green chutney and sev. This tart tastes amazing warm as well as at room temperature. All you need is store bought puff pastry dough. The samosa filling is can be made ahead as well.

    Samosa Filling

    Traditional samosa filling is made with boiled potatoes and peas. For taste and texture, I use two a mix of kinds of potatoes – russet & yellow or gold potatoes available in US stores. See recipe for quantities. To keep the soul of the samosa, I made authentic samosa filling spiced with spices like coriander, cumin, hing and amchoor (dry mango powder). Ginger and chaat masala add a unique flavor and tang to the filling. You can add some chopped nuts to the filling like cashews as well. Don’t miss the chopped green chilies & cilantro, they aren’t optional!

    How to Make the Samosa Tarte Au Soleil?

    Step 1:– Roll out thawed puff pastry to remove the seams at the folds. At all times make sure that the pastry is chilled. Start working with the first pastry sheet while the second one keeps refrigerated. Place the sheet on the parchment paper and work on it. Also choose a flat cookie sheet preferably to bake the tart than a rounded cake pan, its easier to pull out that way.

    Step 2:- Once the puff pastry sheet is rolled out, choose a 10 or 12 inch dinner place and cut all along using a sharp knife. You will be left with a circle once you remove the trimmed edges.

    Step 3:- Spread cold(very important!!) samosa filling evenly on the sheet leaving about 1 inch from the edges. The samosa filling should not be too chunky and don’t stuff too much else the tart will be soggy. You can smoothen out the filling using a spatula. Return to fridge while you start working on the second puff pastry sheet.

    Step 4:- Using the same dinner plate you used for the first sheet, cut out a circle from the second puff pastry sheet. Brush some water on the edges that we left out on the first sheet and place the second sheet to sandwich the samosa filling. Seal the edges by pressing down lightly so that both the sheets stick together.

    Step 5: – Place a juice glass in the center. Press slightly to form a circular impression but not all the way through. Now starting outwards from the edge of centre circle, cut 4 quarters to begin with. This will help you keep the rays of equal size. Next half each quarter and proceed to half those halves.

    Step 6:- Once the rays have been sliced, carefully lift the rays (you can use a spatula) and twist the rays inwards bringing the end part to flatten on the parchment. Once all the rays have been twisted, use a fork and crimp the flat end part.

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    Step 7:- Brush the tart with melted butter (this will help in golden baking) and sprinkle some cumin seeds in the center. Bake away!

    Few important tips and tricks to keep in mind when you make this tart:-

    1. I am sure you have heard this many times but at all times keep the pastry chilled. It should be pliable once thawed but should not feel sticky between your fingers.
    2. You can make the samosa filling a day ahead. Make it and store it refrigerated. If you are making it the same day, you have to make sure that the filling is cold when you make the tart. Warm or hot filling will melt the butter in the puff pastry sheet.
    3. Dont keep the samosa filling chunky. We have to twist this tart and too chunky potatoes will rip the pastry. Crumble your potatoes a little smaller than you normally would. However do not mash or grate the potatoes.
    4. You can assemble this tart up to 1 day in advance. Don’t freeze, keep it refrigerated and bake 40-45 minutes prior to serving.
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    Samosa Tart (Tarte Au Soleil)

    A fun indian-= french fusion appetizer. Puff pastry layers stuffed with traditional samosa filling. Buttery, spicy and easy, this tart is a great appetizer idea for effortless entertaining. 
    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine French, Indian
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Servings 10 inch tart

    Ingredients

    For the Samosa Filling

    • 4 boiled potatoes I use a mix of russet & gold potatoes (1 large russet and 3 medium gold)
    • 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
    • 2 tbsp cooking oil
    • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
    • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
    • 2-3 thai bird green chilies, adjust to taste
    • 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
    • 1 tsp hot red chili powder, adjust to taste
    • 1 tsp chaat masala
    • 1/2 tsp anardana (dried pomegranate sedds, if you cannot find, simply skip)
    • 1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
    • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
    • 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
    • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro

    For the Samosa Tart

    • 2 puff pastry sheets (thawed overnight and kept cold)
    • 1-2 tbsp cold water
    • Butter for brushing

    Instructions

    Step 1 :- Make the Samosa Filling

    • Peel the boiled potatoes and using your hands, crumble them into small pieces, don’t mash or grate them. Set aside.
    • In a medium pan, add the cooking oil and heat it up on medium low. Temper the oil with cumin, hing and coriander seeds, saute for 20 seconds, do not let the spices burn. Add the chopped ginger and green chillies and saute for about 10-15 seconds taking care not to burn anything. Take the pan off the stove if needed.
    • Add peas, return to the stove and and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook the peas for 1-2 minutes if using frozen, cook for 4-7 minutes if using fresh until the peas are soft. You might need to cover the pan in case of fresh peas.
    • Add the red chili powder next and saute. Add the potatoes to the pan and mix with everything else. Reduce the heat to low and saute on low heat for 3-5 minutes until the potatoes are warmed through and nicely combined with spices and herbs but do not turn brown.
    • Switch off the stove. Immediately mix in rest of the ingredients – chaat masalaanardana, amchoor, roasted cumin powder. Mix, taste and adjust the salt. Mix the cilantro. Samosa filling is ready. Transfer to a bowl or let the filling completely cool down in the pan. You can make the filling a day ahead as well.

    Step 2:- Assemble & Bake the Tart

    • Line a large cookie baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Roll out thawed puff pastry to remove the seams at the folds. At all times make sure that the pastry is chilled. Place on parchment paper and start working with the first pastry sheet while the second one keeps refrigerated.
    • Once the puff pastry sheet is rolled out, choose a 10 or 12 inch dinner place and cut all along using a sharp knife. You will be left with a circle once you remove the trimmed edges. 
    • Spread the cold samosa filling evenly on the sheet leaving about 1 inch from the edges. You can smoothen out the filling using a spatula. Return to fridge while you start working on the second puff pastry sheet. 
    • Using the same dinner plate you used for the first sheet, cut out a circle from the second puff pastry sheet. Brush some water on the edges that we left out on the first sheet and place the second sheet to sandwich the samosa filling. Seal the edges by pressing down lightly.
    • Place a juice glass in the center. Press slightly to form a circular impression but not all the way through. Now starting outwards from the edge of centre circle, cut 4 quarters to begin with. This will help you keep the rays of equal size. Next half each quarter and proceed to half those halves. You should have 16 rays.
    • Once the rays have been sliced, carefully lift the rays (you can use a spatula) and twist the rays inwards bringing the end part to flatten on the parchment. Once all the rays have been twisted, use a fork and crimp the flat end part.
    • Generoulsly Brush the tart with melted butter (this will help in golden baking) and sprinkle some cumin seeds in the center. Chill for 20 minutes.You can store the assembled tart for upto 1 day.
    • Preheat oven to 400. Bake the tart for 23-26 minutes until goldebn brown. Once baked, let stand for 10 minutes and serve with chutney.

    Bedmi Poori

    Bedmi Poori is a popular street side breakfast in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. A coarse urad dal (lentil) paste is kneaded with whole wheat flour along with spices, rolled and deep fried. Bedmi Poori are served with aloo ki sabzi(spicy potato curry) and khatta meetha kaddu (sweet & sour pumpkin).

    Bedmi pooris make for a perfect weekend breakfast and are great for festivals and celebrations. Poori is puffy deep fried flatbread popular all across India. You can check out my recipe of poori here. Poori dough is usually made with just flour, however addition of coarse lentil paste to the dough makes bedmi pooris unique and so delicious!

    If you happen to visit streets of Old Delhi, you will see every other stall selling bedmi poori – sabzi. Street side pooris are one of the most delicious things. The aroma of spices and lentils filling up the air whenpooris deep fry is simply irrestible and it hard to cross by without sampling a bite. Other than Old Delhi, I loved having these on our trip to Agra at food stalls outside Taj Mahal as well as in narrow lanes of Mathura.

    What kind of lentils can be used?

    Traditionally, urad lentils are used to make bedmi poori. However, you can use yellow mung lentils as well as chana dal (bengal gram lentils). A variety of whole spices like fennel, nigella and cumin are added to the dough along with ginger, green chili paste and lots of hing(asafetida). Urad lentils in the dough make the pooris taste so amazing but at the same time because since they are protein rich and heavu lentil variety, they can sometimes lead to bloating. Thats why adding all the spices(particularly the fennel, hing & ginger) makes them easily digestible as well as super flavorful. It is amazing how these traditional recipes have been developed keeping real nourishment to the body in mind.

    How is Bedmi Poori made?

    Making bedmi poori is similar to making pooris. The difference is only in the ingredients of the dough. You make a tight (but not dry) spiced lentil and whole wheat flour dough, rest it (super important) and then roll it into 4 or 5 inch discs and deep fry. Watch this video to get an idea of how these pooris are made.

    How to serve Bedmi Poori?

    As I already mentioned, bedmi pooris are served with a spicy potato curry and pumpkin curry. But really you can serve them with dum aloo or paneer curry or any curry you like. I love them with a cup of chai just on their own. Served with chai they remind me of childhood train trips. You can also serve raita(yogurt) and pickle with these pooris.

    Important Tips and Tricks to keep in mind when making bedmi pooris:-

    1. Always soak the lentils in water. This helps in even grinding as well as better taste of the lentils. However, do not soak the lentils for more than 4-6 hours. This is a little tip of my mom – who says that this way the pooris don’t absorb a lot of oil. I swear by it 🙂
    2. Don’t go overboard on spices or chilies. Spices make these pooris really tasty, however, these pooris should primarily taste of urad lentils.
    3. When you make the dough, add water slowly and make a stiff dough for pooris.
    4. You can add a little bit of semolina to the dough for added crispness. I sometimes do it too.
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    Bedmi Poori

    Lentil and whole wheat flour pooris (puffed flatbread). A popular street food from Delhi & Uttar Pradesh. These pooris are traditionally served with spicy potato curry and sweet & sour pumpkin.
    Course Breakfast, Side Dish
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 12 pooris

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup split & skinned urad dal
    • 2.5 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
    • 2 inch fresh ginger, roughly chopped
    • 2 thai bird green chillies
    • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
    • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
    • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp hing
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 3 tbsp oil (while kneading the dough)
    • Oil for frying

    Instructions

    • Wash the urad lentils 2-3 times. Soak for 6 hours.
    • Once soaked, drain the water completely.
    • Add lentils to a grinder/blender along with ginger, green chilies, cumin, fennel, nigella, red chili powder and hing. Grind the dal to a coarse paste. If needed, add as little water as possible (1-2 tbsp).
    • In a large bowl, add flour, ground lentils and salt. Mix everything with hands. Add oil and mix as well.
    • Start adding little water and knead into a firm stiff dough. I used about 1/3 cup water. Add water slowly while kneading. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes to make as smooth as possible. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and rest for 20 minutes.
    • Pinch equal portions form the dough depending on how large/small or thin/thick you want to make pooris. Roll the portions into smooth balls
    • In a kadai/wide pot, set oil on a medium high stove to heat up.
    • Without using any dry flour, roll the balls into to a 3-4 inch circle. You can use little bit of oil while rolling if needed.
    • Slide the rolled poori into the hot oil and deep fry till slightly browned from both the sides. Gently press the pooris while frying so that they puff up. Drain them on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat till all pooris are fried up. Serve.

    Notes

    • Always soak the lentils in water. This helps in even grinding as well as better taste of the lentils. However, do not soak the lentils for more than 4-6 hours. This is a little tip of my mom – who says that this way the pooris don’t absorb a lot of oil. I swear by it 🙂
    • Don’t go overboard on spices  or chili. Spices make these pooris really tasty, however, these pooris should primarily taste of urad lentils.
    • When you make the dough, add water slowly and make a stiff dough for pooris.
    • You can add a little bit of semolina to the dough for added crispness. I sometimes do it too.

    Phirni Brûlée

    Phirni is classic indian ground rice pudding made with basmati rice, milk, sugar, nuts and flavored with cardamom or saffron or rose water. Perfect for festive celebrations or as a delicious sweet finish to a dinner, its a quick and easy desserts with basic pantry ingredients. In my recipe I added a little twist taking inspiration from classic french brûlée and served it with a crackly sugar top.

    What is Phirni/Firni?

    Phirni is a creamy pudding made with ground basmati rice. The ground rice is slow cooked with milk till everything achieves a velvety consistency, it is sweetened and then is typically set and served in shallow earthen pots and is best eaten chilled. Setting in earthen pots imparts it a nice earth aroma which is so unique and only adds to its taste.

    How is Phirni Different from Kheer?

    Both kheer and phirni are milk based rice pudding, however the difference is that in phirni, rice is ground and then cooked with milk versus kheer in which rice is cooked as it is, without grinding in milk.

    What is Creme Brûlée?

    Creme Brûlée is an elegant french custard dessert made with eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. The chilled, set creamy custards are sprinkled with sugar and is then torched with the kitchen torch so that the sugar is caramelized crispy. And served right away.

    Why Phirni Brûlée?

    The idea for this fusion was playing in my mind for long and the textural contrast of creamy rice pudding with a crackly sugar top is just mind blowing. The phirni is cooked in the traditional way, its slow cooked and eggless and can be eaten and served on its own! However, I wanted to add a touch of fusion so I went ahead and bruleed it! My husband is a huge fan of creme boulle and this dessert was such a huge with him.

    Lavender Flavored :- I have been loving the flavor of lavender scented desserts lately so I perfumed this phirni with little crushed dried lavender. Don’t worry the scent is just lovely, not soapy at all. Lavender is just amazing in milky desserts and it is such an underrated flavor in indian cuisine. I tried it in peda a while back! Start with this lavender malai peda recipe 🙂 However you can always flavor the phirni the traditional way with ground cardamom, rosewater or saffron!

    Coming back to brûlée, you simple need a culinary grade torch which can be bought for around $10 off amazon. Alternatively, as I read on internet broiler can also be used to caramelize the sugar, however I cannot vouch for it since I haven’t tried.

    Few things to be kept in mind when you make phirni :-

    1. You can choose a fragrant rice – short grain goind bhog/kalijeera or jasmine rice work wonderfully besides basmati rice. Wash and air dry the rice for a few hours before grinding it.
    2. Keep the phirni towards mildly sweeter side since the brûlée sugar will balance the sweetness. However, if you are not making the brûlée, add 6 tbsp of sugar to sweeten the phirni.
    3. Since the rice is ground, I feel phirni cooks much faster than kheer, you have to however keep on stirring it more often, so that the ground rice dosent get lumpy.
    4. Always chill the phirni to bring out the right texture and taste. Ideally, I would make the phirni a day ahead and brûlée it right before serving. Please do not brûlée warm phirni.
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    Phirni Brûlée

    Classic Indian ground rice pudding with a fusion twist of bruleed sugar layer.
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Servings 4

    Equipment

    • A heavy pot, culinary torch

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup basmati rice
    • 3 cup whole milk
    • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp dried lavender flowers (crushed between palms) , or use cardamom or saffron or rose water
    • 4 tbsp raw sugar/demera sugar

    Instructions

    • Wash rice 3-4 times under running water. Drain and then spread the rice on paper towel or kicthen towel to air dry for a few hours.
    • Once the rice is dry, add to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Don't make a very fine or a very coarse powder.
    • Set milk to boil and reduce on low medium heat.
    • Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and let the milk reduce for 15 minutes or so.
    • Next, while continuously whisking add the ground rice to the milk. Keep whisking for 2-3 minutes else lumps will form.
    • Let the milk simmer and rice cook in the milk. You will need to stir the phirni often while it cooks for even cooking and to make sure that no lumps are formed.
    • In about 20 minutes you, you will see the milk will thicken and become almost custard like since the rice has cooked out. At this point add the granulated sugar. Cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sugar is dissolved. Switch off the stove and mix in the lavender (or the flavor that you are using).
    • While still warm, divide the phirni into your serving bowls. Let sit undisturbed until completely cooled down and then chill in the fridge for atleast 6 hours. You can serve the phirni just like this or with some nuts.
    • To Brûlée (Just before serving):- Spread 3/4 to 1 tbsp of raw sugar over the set chilled phirni. Using a culinary torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy slightly burnt sugar top. Wait for 5 minutes for the sugar to harden before serving.

    Notes

    • You can choose a fragrant rice – short grain goind bhog/kalijeera or jasmine rice work wonderfully besides basmati rice. Wash and air dry the rice for a few hours before grinding it.
    • Keep the phirni towards mildly sweeter side since the brûlée sugar will balance the sweetness. However, if you are not making the brûlée, add 6 tbsp of sugar to sweeten the phirni.
    • Since the rice is ground, I feel phirni cooks much faster than kheer, you have to however keep on stirring it more often, so that the ground rice dosent get lumpy.
    • Always chill the phirni to bring out the right texture and taste. Ideally, I would make the phirni a day ahead and brûlée it right before serving. Please do not brûlée warm phirni.

    Methi Naan (Instant No Yeast Naan)

    Pillowy no yeast instant naan with the flavor of fresh methi (fenugreek leaves) and garlic in every bite. This Instant naan recipe does not use any yeast or eggs and it gets ready in about 30-40 minutes. The naan are cooked on stove top and they are soft and absolutely delicious.

    Naan is one of the most popular bread from the indian subcontinent and it is basically leavened dough which is rolled and cooked in high heat of the tandoor (clay ovens). However, there is a way to get the same taste at home without using tandoor. The best part about the naan is its charred on top puffy pockets and this recipe will get you both those things without using any tandoor.

    My mom always made stove top naan or tandoori rotis to go along with dal makhani. She would use yogurt to knead the dough and served straight off the stove, those charred soft naan were one of the best things in the world. I have shared my tandoori roti method here in this post and this naan recipe is quite similar in terms of cooking process but of course the dough is different from tandoori roti.

    What is Methi (Fresh Fenugreek Leaves)?

    Methi or fresh fenugreek leaves are a very popular winter greens in india and they are used in a ton of curries – both vegetarian and non vegetarian throughout the year. The taste of methi is pleasantly bitter sweet and when it is in season, super aromatic varieties of methi leaves are dried and preserved and they are used to flavor a lot of north indian curries.

    I love the flavor of methi as the winter is approaching, its one of my favorite greens and here I added fresh chopped methi to the naan dough. To augment the taste of fresh methi, I also added some kasuri methi which makes these naan super flavorful. Last year on Diwali, I shared these garlic methi pooris and the combination of methi and garlic is just mind blowing in everything! Pair these naan with the rich festive savory dishes the you will make this season. Or if you ask me, just with a dab or ghee, these are so good on their own!

    How to make Methi Naan?

    1. The dough of the naan uses basic ingredients like flour, yogurt, baking soda, oil etc. All you need to do is add chopped methi and knead a firm dough. If you do not want to use methi, simply skip it and use the same recipe to make regular instant naan on stove top.
    2. Once the dough is ready, resting the dough is one of the most important part of the process to let the yogurt and baking soda do their magic towards attaining that soft chewy texture of the naan.
    3. Once the dough has rested, simply roll out the dough into oval or tear shaped bread and cook it on stove top, no oven is needed.

    Here’s a visual guide to making these naan :-

    Few Important tips to keep in mind when you make these naan :-

    1. Dough :- The dough uses very basic ingredients from your pantry. If you want you can make this dough a few hours(3-4) ahead and store it refrigerated. Whenever you want to serve, roll the naan and serve! However do not make it a day ahead or more than 6 hours ahead, trust me the taste changes and they will taste of soda!
    2. Methi – Fresh fenugreek leaves are easily available during fall & winter months in indian stores as well as in farmer markets. Get the freshest methi you can find. Clean the methi – which basically involves separating the leaves from the stems. Wash, dry and finely chop the leaves and add to the dough. An important thing to keep in mind is to chop the methi leaves using a knife only. Do not use choppers or food processor to chop methi since it sometimes becomes watery or is unevenly chopped. Another important thing to keep in mind is that when you are making the dough, remember that the methi leaves will release a little bit of water while resting due to salt in the dough. So keep in mind to make a firm dough to begin with.If the dough is too soft and pliable in the beginning, then it will be a sticky mess after resting.
    3. Rolling the Naan :- Use the naan as you would roll your rotis. Traditionally naan are tear drop or curvy triangle shaped but trust me don’t worry too much about it – a simple oval or round shape will work as well. It should taste good, that all matters if you ask me 🙂
    4. Naan Toppings :- You can keep them plain but really the combination of methi and chopped garlic is mind-blowing! A lot of toppings are possible and you can choose what you like. Use sesame seeds, black poppy seeds, nigella seeds, chopped cilantro, chili flakes or chopped onions and green chilies for fun flavors.

    Do check out other methi flatbread recipes from the blog like garlic methi pooris and methi ke parathe(flatbreads).

    Pair these naan with these curries :-

    Khoya Paneer Kali Mirch

    Navratan Korma

    Dal Makhani

    Matar Paneer

    Dum Aloo

    Dahi Vaale Dum Aloo

    Chicken Korma

    Paneer Lababdar

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    Methi Naan (Instant No Yeast Method)

    Instant methi flavored naan which needs no eggs or yeast and is cooked on stovetop. No oven or tandoor needed. These are fragrant with methi, soft and delicious!
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 6 to 8 naan

    Ingredients

    • 2 cup All purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed chopped methi leaves (from 1 bunch methi (about 60 g leaves)) , see notes
    • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fernugreek leaves, crushed fine between palms)
    • 1/2 cup plain thick, whole yogurt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 2-6 tbsp room temperature water, as needed
    • 2 tbsp chopped garlic

    Instructions

    • Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl.
    • Add yogurt, oil, kasuri methi & methi leaves and first knead without water to mix together the yogurt and oil with the flour. The flour will absorb the moisture of yogurt and slowly methi will start realeasing its moisture as well. Mix for about 2 minutes like this to incorporate the flavors.
    • Slowly start adding water a little at a time and beginkneading the dough. Keep kneading the dough and make a soft yet firm dough. I used exactly 1/4 cup of water. You may need less or more depending on absorption quality of your flour and also on the water content of yogurt that you use. Keep in mind that the dough should not be squishy else after resting it will become very sticky since the methi leaves will release bit of their water due to salt in the dough.
    • Once kneaded, cover with a damp cloth or paper towel and let the dough rest for atleast 25 minutes. If the temperature is cold, rest the dough for attest 1.5 hours. During warm weather 25-30 minutes will be more than enough.
    • Heat up a heavy, 12 inch cast iron griddle on medium high heat.
    • Once the dough has rested, divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll the portions into smooth balls. You can make the naan a bit smaller or less thick as well and go for 8 portions instead. Keep the portions covered while you start rolling them one by one.
    • Lightly dust your rolling surface. Using a rolling pin,gently roll out each portion into 1/4 inch thickness. Don't press too hard while rolling else the naan won't puff up. If you feel that the dough is getting a bit sticky, use dry flour to roll easily.
    • Brush a little water on top of the naan and press down chopped garlic so that they stick. Flip the naan and brush a little water all over the bottom side of the naan, this helps the naan in sticking to the pan.
    • To cook on Flame Stove top :- Place the naan, non garlic side side on the hot tawa. Wait for about 5-7 seconds and then cover the naan with a lid. In about 30-40 seconds the naan will start puffing up due to formation of air pockets. Uncover, lift the tawa and flip it so that the garlic side of the naan is directly exposed to the flame. You can move the tawa a bit so as to make sure that the full naan is exposed to the flame. In about 6-8 seconds the naan will start getting charred all over. Once nicely browned all over, its ready. Use a spatula to lift the naan from the tawa and brush it with melted ghee or butter. Serve warm. Enjoy!
    • To cook on Electric Stove top :- Place the naan, non garlic side side on the hot tawa. Wait for about 5-7 seconds and then cover the naan with a lid. In about 30-40 seconds the naan will start puffing up due to formation of air pockets. Uncover, and using a spatula, flip the naan to cook on the others side. Cook for 8 seconds or so for a nice char. Once nicely browned all over, its ready. Use a spatula to lift the naan from the tawa and brush it with melted ghee or butter. Serve warm. Enjoy!

    Notes

    1. Clean, wash and air dry methi before chopping. 

    Kolkata Egg Roll

    Egg rolls, also know as frankie or wrap are a popular treat from streets of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Flaky flatbreads (parathas) that are rolled from a dough made of flour and shortening and cooked on a heavy tawa(griddle), then beaten eggs are spread on the flatbread. These are then stuffed with ketchup, a fresh salad made of onions, cucumber & cilantro, green chilies and sprinkled with chaat masala. These rolls are sold at every other street vendor and they are delicious, satisfying and have numerous varieties from fish to mutton to chicken stuffed ones.

    I can eat these egg rolls everyday, they are so delicious!. In fact these make for an amazing breakfast. My love affair with Calcutta Egg rolls started much before I married into a Bengali family. Delhi is a culturally diverse city and during Durga Pujo you would find a lot of pandals springing up like wild mushrooms all the walled city. The evenings of navami were reserved for Durga Puja pandal hopping. There used to be a big pandal near our house and we used to walk our way there to attend the evening aarti and sample the food from the stalls.

    Most of it is a fading memory because its been close to 13-14 years since I went to a pujo pandal but as I write this,I vividly remember the aroma of egg rolls and fried pomfrets that filled the air as well as the vibe.

    Making these egg rolls is very simple. Probably the only time consuming part is making the paratha. However, if you don’t want to do that, you can very easily take a shortcut and buy flatbreads from store. Use something which is unleavened, not too thick or thin (don’t use a tortilla though :))

    Here is a visual look at how to assemble the egg rolls.

    A few things to be kept in mind when you make egg rolls :-

    • Make the dough for the parathas ahead and always always rest it for atleast 30 minutes. You can make the parathas ahead as well, cook them ever so slightly, don’t brown too much, cool them down and stash them one on top of other with a parchment/wax paper in between. Refrigerate for 2 days and freeze for up to two months. If you want to freeze, layer the parathas in a single layer on a plate or sheet and freeze for 3 hours.Once frozen, store them together in a zip loc bag.
    • One egg per roll is more than enough. If you will addd too much egg, it will remain raw while your paratha will become soggy. I like to individually crack and beat an egg for each roll while I make them.
    • Salad :- The traditional salad is onions + cucumbers +green chillies + cilantro tossed with some black salt. However you can add tomato or green pepper as well, it tastes quite good, especially the peppers.
    • Sauces :- Traditionally ketchup is added. However, at my in-laws I saw them using ketchup mixed with red chili sauce (Ching’s brand :)) and it tastes good. I sometimes add little sriracha as well.
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    Kolkata Egg Roll

    Popular Calcutta style egg rolls made with flakey crisped parathas topped with beaten egg and stuffed with fresh salad and sauce. These make for an amazing take along, finger food.
    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Servings 6 rolls

    Ingredients

    For the Parathas (Flatbread)

    • 2 cup all purpose flour/maida
    • 3 tbsp cooking oil
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • Water to knead the dough

    For the Egg Rolls

    • 6 large eggs
    • Salt
    • 1 small cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
    • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
    • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
    • chopped green chilies, to taste
    • 1/2 tsp black salt
    • 3 tbsp ketchup
    • 2 tbsp Red chili sauce or sriracha
    • Chaat Masala, to taste
    • 6 tbsp Oil, to cook the rolls

    Instructions

    Prepare the dough for paratha

    • In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt and oil. Mix with hands. When the flour can be held in a lump when you squeeze it between your palms, its ready for adding water.
    • Slowly add water and knead the dough well. It should be soft and pliable and not sticky at all. It took me little over 1/2 cup water to knead the dough. Once the dough starts coming together in a ball, moisten your hands with 1 tsp oil and knead for 2 minutes to form a smooth ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, you can make the salad (recipe below).

    Make the Salad & Sauce

    • In a bowl, mix onions, cucumbers, cilantro, green chili along with black salt and salt. Toss well and keep ready.
    • In a small bowl, mix the ketchup and chili sauce (or sriracha). Mix and keep ready.

    Make the Egg rolls

    • Take one egg, crack it in a bowl, add salt and using a fork beat the egg lightly.
    • Once rested, divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a round smooth ball.
    • Roll each portion into a 6 to 7 inch diameter circular flatbread. Don't make very thin or very thick flatbreads. Thin parathas will not take the weight of egg and tear away, thick ones won't crisp and remain undercooked
    • Heat a tawa or heavy pan on medium heat. Once hot, lower the flame.
    • Place the rolled paratha on the tawa and lightly cook for a minute. Flip and cook for 30 seconds on the second side. Lift and place the paratha on a plate nearby.
    • Now, add one tablespoon of oil and pour the egg mixture on oil. Let the egg semi cook for a minute.
    • Place the semi cooked paratha on top of semi cooked egg and press down slightly. The paratha will stick to the egg. Let cook for another minute till the egg is completely cooked. Flip using a spatula and brown the paratha on the other side, you can crisp it as you like.

    Stuffing the Rolls

    • Place the egg paratha on a plate and on the egg side, slather a little sauce, then add little salad that we made earlier. Sprinkle the chaat masala and roll it up. You can wrap in parchment or secure with a tooth pick. Repeat for all the parathas. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    • Make the dough for the parathas ahead and always always rest it for atleast 30 minutes. You can make the parathas a day ahead as well, cook them ever so slightly, don’t brown too much, cool them down and stash them one on top of other with a parchment/wax paper in between. Refrigerate for 2 days and freeze for up to two months. If you want to freeze, layer the parathas in a single layer on a plate or sheet and freeze for 3 hours.Once frozen, store them together in a zip loc bag.
    • One egg per roll is more than enough. If you will addd too much egg, it will remain raw while your paratha will over crisp. I like to individually crack and beat an egg for each roll while I make them.
    • Salad :- The traditional salad is onions + cucumbers +green chillies + cilantro tossed with some black salt. However you can add tomato or pepper as well, it tastes quite good, especially the pepper.
    • Sauces :- Traditionally ketchup is added. However, at my in-laws I saw them using ketchup mixed with red chili sauce (Ching’s brand :)) and it tastes good. I sometimes add little sriracha as well.

    Pineapple Peda

    Five ingredient soft and fruity peda made with fresh pineapple, mawa, sugar, milk and ghee. You can flavor it with cardamom or saffron even vanilla,becasue why not! This soft & melt in the mouth peda is super easy to make and is perfect for fasting days or for festive occasions.

    Peda is a very popular indian mithai which is traditionally made by simmering milk for hours so that the milk solids remain which are then sweetened with sugar or condensed milk, flavored and rolled into flat discs. Texturewise, peas are quite soft and little crumbly.

    Making traditional milk peda takes a long time and effort.However, in our homes, we can make peda much easily using mawa or milk powder. I have shared quite a few peda recipes in the past (scroll to the bottom of the post to check them out). The flavors of this peda were playing in my mind for quite a bit and I am so glad that after a couple trials, this recipe came out perfect.

    I shared a reel on making mawa at home last week on my Instagram page. You can check it out here. I used the same mawa to make these peda and viola so easy it was! You can easily use store bought mawa as well, just make sure to use a good quality one because the fat content of mawa plays an important role in how soft and fudgy the pedas will turn out. This recipe is perfect for Navratri fasting. It is grain free and uses milk and fresh fruit both of which are allowed during fasting.

    How to make pineapple peda?

    First begin by selecting a ripe pineapple. Over ripe pineapple will work great as well since it will automatically bring down the sugar in your recipe. Blend the pineapple to a fine(but not super fine) sort of fine crushed fruit, it should not be a puree. There should be not big chunks but it should not be like baby food either. Cook down the pineapple till it resembles a paste and then mix the paste with cooked mawa, sugar, ghee and milk. Let cool down and roll into peda and decorate as you wish.

    Pineapple Peda

    Few tips to keep in mind :-

    1. Bring mawa to room temperature before using it. Sometimes when we add cold mawa to the hot pan, it melts unevenly and tiny pieces remain.
    2. Don’t use very firm or unripe pineapple. I usually buy a pineapple and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 2-3 days and depending on the temperature of where you live, it will ripen and its skin will turn yellow. When you smell the pineapple you will be able to tell that its ripe.
    3. Work on the peda mix on low heat. This is super important else the peda mix will turn brown in no time. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook down the peda mix.
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    Pineapple Peda

    Five ingredient soft and fruity peda made with fresh pineapple, mawa, sugar, milk and ghee. You can flavor it with cardamom. This melt in the mouth peda is super easy to make and is perfect for fasting days or for festive occasions. 
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Servings 18 pedas

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup very ripe pineapple, crushed (not too coarse or too smooth)
    • 1-2 tbsp ghee, divided, as needed
    • 340 g mawa, grated
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tbsp whole milk, room temperature
    • 10 strands saffrons, ground with pinch of sugar

    Instructions

    • Set a non stick wide pan on the stove on low medium heat. Add the crushed pineapple and start cooking it with regular stirring. Initially you will see a lot of bubbles(those are pineapple juices) but keep cooking and after about 5-8 minutes you will that its turning into a thickish paste and the bubbles are much less. Don't dry the paste too much, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    • In the same pan, on low heat add 1 tbsp ghee to begin with. Once it melts add the grated mawa. Cook the mawa, it becomes soft pretty quickly in about 2-3 minutes, so keep a close eye.
    • Once the mawa melts, add the sugar and milk to the pan and mix everything. Immediately you will see that the mawa mixture becomes a slurry. Keep cooking it with regular stirring.Keep the stove on low to medium. In about 10 minutes you will see that the mixture will start thickening up.
    • Once it will start thickening up, it will start clumping around the spoon and you will see it glistening. At this point add the pineapple paste and mix up well with the mawa. Also add the saffron.
    • Keep cooking for another2-4 minutes until you will be able to fold the mixture over itself. It will not be runny, rather like loose cement/concrete. Don't dry too much, it will be much thicker once it cool down.
    • Transfer to a bowl and cool down completely. Once cooled, if needed, oil your palms with ghee and pinch small portions of the mawa mix and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball to give it the peda shape. Decorate as you wish.
      If you feel that the mixture is too soft, refrigerate it for 1-2 hours and the roll it.
    • Store pedas refrigerated for 3-4 days. Enjoy!

    Notes

    • Bring mawa to room temperature before using it. Sometimes when we add cold mawa to the hot pan, it melts unevenly and tiny pieces remain.
    • Don’t use very firm or unripe pineapple. I usually buy a pineapple and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 2-3 days and depending on the temperature of where you live, it will ripen and its skin will turn yellow. When you smell the pineapple you will be able to tell that its ripe.
    • Work on the peda mix on low heat. This is super important else the peda mix will turn brown in no time. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook down the peda mix.

    Chicken 65

    Chicken 65 is a spicy appetizer belonging to the south indian cuisine. Boneless chicken is marinated in spices, yogurt, ginger and garlic, then fried to crispy perfection and then quickly tossed with curry leaves and chilies before serving. Its spicy, tangy and super delicious!

    Having spent over four years of his student life in IIT Madras, my husband is a huge fan of south indian flavors. When we got married, I rarely knew anything about the cuisine except idlis, dosa or sambar vada which are really popular in the Delhi street food scene. However, slowly over the years I have learnt a lot of dishes that he likes and this Chicken 65 happens to be one of them.Not just him, my 8 year old has taken a liking to spicy foods in the past few years and she loves this one as well.

    What is Chicken 65?

    There are many theories behind how the dish got its name and really I won’t get into all that. Down south, from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala, different regions make their own variations. Essentially, Chicken 65 is fiery deep fried chicken with the saltiness & the chewy crispiness that one mostly associates with fried chicken. The flavors packed in this appetizer range from curry leaves, ginger, garlic, kashmiri chili powder to thai bird chillies- few of those ingredients which always always make a happy indian recipe 🙂

    How I make Chicken 65?

    I start by marinating boneless chicken thigh pieces in spices and yogurt for a few hours. Once marinated I add rice flour and corn starch and the immediately deep fry it.Yes, this dish happens to be gluten free friendly. Once deep fried, immediately toss the chicken with curry leaves garlic and green chilies and serve. Really its that easy and a perfect snack or appetizer for any time or occasion.

    Few things to keep in mind when you make Chicken 65 :-

    • Always use dark chicken meat for this recipe. Don’t use chicken breast.
    • You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using paneer, soya chunks or mushrooms . Just marinate for 30-40 minutes in that case.
    • Rice flour adds a lot of crunch and tastes good instead of just using cornstarch.
    • Don’t add very sour or too watery yogurt else the marinade will be runny and you will have to add a lot of rice + corn flour, this takes away the actual taste of the chicken in the dish and its tastes of flour.
    • While frying, don’t add a large quantity of oil since you cannot re use the oil. It gets flavored with spices by the end of deep frying chicken and you simply have to discard it.
    Print

    Chicken 65

    South indian appetizer made with spice and yogurt marinated deep fried chicken tossed in curry leaves and garlic.
    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine Indian
    Prep Time 2 hours
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
    Servings 4

    Ingredients

    For Marinating Chicken

    • 1.1 lb (500g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1.5 tsp kashmiri chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp extra hot red chili powder, adjust to taste
    • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    • 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste
    • 3 tbsp plain thick yogurt
    • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
    • Oil for deep frying
    • 2 tbsp fine rice flour, unsweetened
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour

    For Sauteing

    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
    • 3 thai green chilies, slit in half
    • 1.5 tbsp chopped garlic
    • 12-15 curry leaves
    • 1 tsp sriracha (or Ching's red sauce), optional
    • 1/2 tsp vinegar
    • Lemon slices, sliced onions, cilantro to serve

    Instructions

    Marinate the Chicken

    • Add chicken to a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, chili powders, yogurt and turmeric. Mix well to coat. Cover and marinate for atleast 3 hours.
    • Set the oil for frying to heat up on medium stove.
    • Mix the rice flour and cornstarch with the marinated chicken. Use your hands to mix and coat all the chicken. The chicken should look dryish after coating.
    • Check the oil by dropping a tiny piece of chicken. It should come uo sizzling. If so, the temperature of oil is right. Deep fry the chicken in small batches on medium high heat. Don't over crowd else the chicken will be chewy. Fry all the chicken in batches and drain on a paper towel.

    Stir frying

    • Heat up oil in a wok on high heat. Crackle the mustard seeds. Add the garlic, curry leaves and green chilies next. Saute for about 30 seconds on high heat till leaves crisp up a bit.
    • Next add the sriracha. Saute for 10 seconds. Add the fried chicken, add vinegar and toss everything for couple minutes so that the fried chicken is coated nicely. Serve right away with lemons and sliced onions!

    Notes

    • Always use dark chicken meat for this recipe. Don’t use chicken breast.
    • You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using paneer, soya chunks or mushrooms . Just marinate for 30-40 minutes in that case. In step 1, substitute with paneer in batons, button mushrooms, tofu or soaked soya chunks. 
    • Rice flour adds a lot of crunch and tastes good instead of just using cornstarch.
    • Don’t add very sour or too watery yogurt else the marinade will be runny and you will have to add a lot of rice + corn flour, this takes away the actual taste of the dish.
    • While frying, don’t add a large quantity of oil since you cannot re use the oil. It gets flavored with spices by the end of deep frying chicken and you simply have to discard it.