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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Roasted Aam Panna ( Aka Smoked Mango Nectar )

Beginning with the day the first blossoms were spotted on the mango trees to the day when the last fruit of the season was plucked ( or brought down by the rains ), a period of sheer madness would descend on the household. The mornings would begin with a round of close inspection wherein each and every branch was inspected for the tiny fruits ( amba chaana ) that emerged slowly amidst the masses of sweet smelling flowers. Multiple sighs would follow each tiny fruit that was found lying on the ground. And since a lot of then actually dropped off, one can easily imagine the plight of the poor family member who did the inspection and broke the news to the others.

An agonizing period of waiting followed till the tiny mangoes turned somewhat bigger and plumper. Not they hadn't ripened. But one could still savour them raw in the form of many chutneys, an occasional pickle or the most awaited combination with some salt and red chili powder. Such simple bliss. Sadly, it would easily turn into sheer agony when one went overboard with the mangoes or the red chili powder. And when such occurrences turned frequent, the elders would take turns ensuring that we did not venture too close to the mango trees.

But the elders were not the only ones who kept the kids in check. Tradition demanded that the first fruit be offered to Lord Krishna on Dola Purnima ( Holi ). And a rather strict grandmother ensured that the mischievous kids fell in line with that diktat of hers. The stories concocted by her would seem dubious in hindsight but at a young age, they instilled enough fear in mind to quell any lingering notions of mischief.

However, once the curfew on the green mangoes got lifted, they would lose their charm all too rapidly. Everyone looked forward to relishing the sweet flesh of the ripe yellow ones. And most of the ripening would be done at home. Once the mangoes reached a certain size and took on a particular hue, they would be plucked carefully and tucked into a dark corner within the house to ripen in the safety of those bamboo baskets. Apparently, homo sapiens are not the only species who enjoy this delicious fruit. Other species ( and your neighbors too ) can also take a shine to this rather yummy fruit . Hence, the extra protection, though painful at times, is always recommended.

But everything is forgotten once the mangoes start to ripen and fill the house/garden with their excruciatingly sweet smell. Suddenly mangoes are a part of every meal. For mango lovers like me, this period of sheer bliss is nothing less than an annual honeymoon. And a guaranteed one too. This is often followed by a period of abstinence (thanks to the overdose of mangoes) which is quickly replaced by renewed enthusiasm as the mango seasons draws to an end. And finally one says goodbye to the mango with a heavy heart. Sigh !!

But worry not. This is just the start of the mango season and the recipe that I am sharing is one made from the green mangoes. 'Aam Panna' or the green mango drink is sheer delight on the senses. It is a traditional summer cooler which is a great way to beat the heat without resorting to bottled drinks with loads of added chemicals. While panna is usually made from boiled mango pulp, I have roasted the green mangoes to infuse the flesh with a smokey flavor. Also, I have used jaggery instead of sugar which makes it all the more healthy.

Read on for this refreshing recipe -




















Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 green mango
  • 3 tsp jaggery or as per taste
  • 2 pinch black salt
  • a pinch of table salt ( recommended for the sour mangoes )
  • 2 pinch pepper powder
  • a pinch of cardamom 
Preparation - Wash and dry the mango. Roast it on the gas burner on a low to medium flame till the skin is 60 to 70 percent blackened.

Remove and cover with a steel bowl. Keep aside till it cools down. Peel the burnt skin and chop the flesh.

Transfer the flesh to a blender jar along with the remaining ingredients, 2 cups water and a few ice cubes. Blend together.

Serve immediately. Else keep it chilled and serve within a day or two.


















Note - The color of the panna will vary according to the sweetener used. Sugar will give it a pale yellow color while jaggery will give it golden brown to richer brown tones.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Oria Arna ( Odisha Special )

With rice being the staple grain of Odisha, there many kinds of 'Khichidi' that one can find in this state. Unlike the Southern states which have rice varieties that include veggies and a whole lot of spices, the Odia folks simply cannot do without their dal. The running joke in the community is that even if one serves a guest with half a dozen gravy dishes along with rice, they would still berate the fact that the host forgot to serve dal. The only exception to this 'till dal does us apart' rule is the 'pakhala' , a watery rice dish that is served mostly during summers. This dish dispenses the need to pair it with anything that remotely resembles a gravy. As for the others, no exceptions can be made. Never ever.

One such little known but nevertheless delicious rice variety is the 'Oria Arna', an offering at the famous Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneshwar. A simple rice and lentil preparation with a seasoning of ginger, bay leaf and asafoetida in desi ghee, it is sheer delight on the taste buds. Apart from the 'no onion no garlic' days, I also like to cook this dish on the days when I am feeling lazy and want an easy one pot meal.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 cup arwa rice ( jeera rice)
  • 1 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 2-3 tsp desi ghee
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2 pinch asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp chopped cashews
  • 4 tsp raisins
  • 4-5 tsp finely chopped coconut pieces
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Wash the lentil and rice together. Strain and mix in the turmeric. Air dry on a flat surface for 2 hours.

Crush the ginger and keep aside.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp ghee in a deep vessel. Add the cashews and raisins. Fry for 5-6 seconds and remove.

Add the bay leaf to the ghee. Once it releases fragrance, add the rice and dal to the same vessel. Stir fry for 3-4 mins till the ghee coats each and every grain.

Add 4 cups water, crushed ginger, sugar and salt. Also, add the finely chopped coconut.

Cook till done.

Heat the remaining ghee in a tempering pan. Add the asafoetida and allow it to crackle. Pour this tempering over the rice. Mix in the fried cashews and raisins.

Serve warm.




















Note - I personally like to have it with some fried papad and occasionally some thick yogurt too.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Citrusy Coconut Pasta ( Vegan Pasta Recipe )

IMP - This is an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on oriyarasoi.com. 

The twain shall meet ! And how !!

Well, my latest experiment of fusing South Indian flavors with the Italian staple aka pasta only reinforces my faith that cross-cultural marriages are not just stimulating but fraught with numerous possibilities. For example, I have always been a big fan of light summery pasta sauces that just about tickle the taste buds without ever dominating the natural taste of the pasta. And the citrus coconut combination is just that.

Keeping it vegan, I omitted the cream and instead opted for freshly squeezed coconut milk. The slight notes of garlic and curry leaf add subtle character to this sauce while the coconut milk infuses it with sweet overtones. But the best part is the uplifting citrus notes that make it the perfect pasta dish for the oppressive Indian summers.

But given that some people are not too fond of coconut, I have tested this recipe by substituting a spot of cream instead of the fresh coconut milk. And it works just as fine. Just remember to go easy on the cream as we do not want to add up on the calories.

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 cup chifferi rigate / penne
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 garlic flakes (minced)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Bring 5 cups water to boil in a large saucepan. Once it gets to bubbling, add salt and then when it gets to a rolling boil, throw in the pasta. It will take about 15 mins to cook to an al-dente stage.

Once the paste is done, save a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest using a colander. Give a good shake to the colander to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the minced garlic and fry till golden. Add the orange juice and lemon juice along with the honey. Cook on low flame till it thickens.

Remove from the flame. Add the coconut milk and stir it in for 1-2 mins.

Throw in the cooked pasta along with the curry leaves and chili flakes. Add about 2-3 tsp of the pasta water as it helps the sauce to stick to the pasta. Put it back on the burner and cook for 1 minute.

Remove and allow to cool down.

















Serve at room temperature.




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dahi Gujjiya ( Wishing Everyone a very Happy Holi )

Whether it be the slightly watery 'dahi bara' served with onions, green chilis and black salt in Odisha or the more decadent version slathered in thick yogurt and drizzled with a 'teekhi' and a 'meethi' chutney in the Northern parts of the country, 'Dahi Vada' or 'Dahi Bhallas' are a favorite with most people in India. I have even encountered a version in Hyderabad where the dip the Vada in a sweetened yogurt and top it with loads of grated carrot. Not a bite of chili in this one if one overlooks the occasional peppercorn that might make it's way into one's mouth.

But one of the best that I have ever had was served at a family function by an very enterprising caterer in Bhubaneshwar. They had a yummy stuffing of bell peppers which were stuffed with a samosa masala in turn. Everything was cooked and seasoned to perfection. While I have had a chance to sample stuffed dahi vadas on other occasions, nothing even comes close to it.

Talking of stuffed dahi vadas, which are a relatively new invention, I came across the 'Dahi Gujjiya' a few days back. It is a traditional recipe, no less, that is specially prepared for Holi. The stuffing consists of ginger, raisins, green chilis and coriander but one can also add nuts and coconut pieces to it. As one bites into it, the heat from the ginger and the green chilis forms a wonderful contrast with sweetness of the raisins, the coconut bits and the nuts. My husband loved it and so did I. And it can also be enjoyed on 'no onion no garlic days' . But it is not something i would recommend serving to kids.

One of those must try recipes. Read on for the steps -

















Preparation Time - 45-50 mins

Ingredients -

For the batter -
  • 1 1/2 cup split urad dal
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch baking powder
  • oil for deep frying

For the stuffing -
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup coconut slices
  • 2-3 tsp melon seeds/ charoli / cashews ( i skipped this )
  • 2 tsp chopped green chilis
  • 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 3-4 tsp ginger juliennes

For the 'meethi chutney' -
  • 2 lemon sized tamarind balls
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or pepper powder
  • salt to taste


For the 'Teekhi chutney' -
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 4-5 greens chilis
  • 2-3 garlic flakes (optional)
  • salt to taste

Final assembly -
  • 2 cups thick curd (preferably chilled)
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves 
  • thin sev (optional)
  • chili powder (optional)



Preparation - Wash and soak the urad dal overnight.

Grind into a fine paste using as little water as possible. Consider it ready when it stops sticking to one's wet finger.

Keep aside for 2-3 hours.

Add salt and baking powder. Beat it till it turns light ad fluffy.

Take all the ingredients mentioned under 'For stuffing' in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and mix together.

For the chutneys -

Grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'Teehki chutney'. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Keep aside.

For the meethi chutney, soak the tamarind in  1 1/2 cup hot water to obtain its pulp. Discard the solids. Take the pulp, jaggery, salt, asafoetida and pepper in a saucepan. Boil till it reduces to 2/3 rd.
Keep aside till it cools down.


Cooking - Heat sufficient oil for deep frying.

Take a thick plastic sheet or banana leaf. Spread a little oil over the surface.

Put a dollop of the batter on the sheet. Wet fingers and pat gently to make a thick circle. Place a tsp of the stuffing in the center and fold the sheet/leaf to form a semi circle.

Gently coax the gujjiya to leave one side of the sheet and then remove from the other side as well. Slide it into the hot oil. This is best done with wet fingers . Fry on both sides till golden brown. Remove from the wok and dip it in sparingly salted water.

Final Assembly - 

Gently squeeze the gujjiyas out of the water . Place it in a bowl.

Beat the curd with some salt and pour it over the gujjiyas. Drizzle with 'teekhi' and 'meethi' chutney. Finally garnish with coriander leaves, chili powder and sev .

Serve immediately.















Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thandai Rasmalai ( Holi Special Recipe )

Spring is here. And it is mating season in the animal world. Nothing sinister about it. Just a matter of probability given that the survival chances are maximized by the ambient weather and food. availability. Now is it is possible that some relic of this animal instinct has been overlooked during the evolutionary process and has stealthily made it's way into the human DNA ? Well, the probabilities look high given that most cultures do make a song and dance about the arrival of spring.

Holi, the Hindu festival which falls in the month of March, is first and foremost an announcement of the harbinger of spring. While there are many myths surrounding this festival, most of us believe it to be a show of love between Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. No wonder, this carnival of colors allows for the free mixing on both genders. A fact that has been re-iterated by Bollywood, time and again. 

One of the most special drinks associated with this festival is the 'Thandai', a refreshing concoction of rose petals, various nuts and spices steeped in milk. While it is guaranteed to perk up sagging spirits after hours of playing in the sun, for those looking for a different kind of high, a bit of 'bhaang' or cannabis can do the trick. But what does not come as a surprise is that most of the ingredients in it are loaded with aphrodisiac properties. Trust the humans to elevate (and of course mask) the mating ritual ( uhh!! We are civilized chimps, aren't we ?) to a summit hitherto unexplored by other species. 

But moving on from one basic instinct to another, let us explore the possibilities of consuming this 'passion enhancer' magic potion in other ways. Not a tough call given that milk is the major component of this drink. So, it can be easily used in any milk based dessert. Here I have chosen it to be the fluid component of a very refreshing 'Rasmalai'. Thinner than it's regular counterpart but infused with the mellow notes of rose, fennel, pepper, cardamom, saffron and other nuts, this one is a winner. Serve it to your guests on Holi and watch the pics go viral.

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients -

For the Thandai -


  • 1 litre whole milk ( use skimmed if you want to reduce calories )
  • 16-18 nos almonds
  • 10-12 nos cashews
  • 7-8 pistachios
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (khuskhus)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp watermelon seeds (magaj)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4-5 green cardamons
  • 1 tsp peppercorns ( reduce by half for kids )
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 1 tbsp rose water/essence (use fresh petals if you find some, the dark pink ones are best)
  • 1 cup sugar


For the rasmalai - 


  • 1 litres whole milk
  • 3-4 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp maida /all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar 

For the Thandai :


Preparation - Soak the almonds, cashews, pistachios, poppy seeds and watermelon seeds together. (Remove the almond skin once it is soaked)

Dry roast the peppercorns, fennel and cardamom till it gives off a fragrance.

Cooking - Bring the milk to boil in a thick bottomed vessel. Let it simmer till it reduces to 2/3rd of the original volume and then switch off flame.

Add the sugar and saffron strands to the still hot milk. Mix gently so that the sugar dissolves.Allow to cool.

Transfer the roasted spices to a grinder and buzz till they are powdered. Add all the soaked nuts and grind everything till you get a very fine paste. Add a little water to thin the consistency if it is getting too difficult to grind. Add this paste along with rose essence to the milk and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Use a cloth to strain and transfer the milk into another vessel (an earthen pot would be ideal but do not worry if you cant find one).

For the Rasmalai Balls :

Preparation - Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan. Do not let it boil for more than 4-5 mins.

Dilute the vinegar with equal amount of water and add to the milk. This should be sufficient to separate the paneer from the green colored water. However if the water still looks milky, add some some water-vinegar mix. Once all the paneer is separated, add a few ice cubes and 2-3 cup water to the saucepan. This prevents the paneer from cooking further.

Strain all the paneer and wash it under running water to remove any traces of vinegar. Gather it in a piece of cheesecloth/muslin and hang for 20-30 mins to remove excess water.

Transfer to a plate. Knead it with the heel of your palms for 10 mins to get a uniform mixture. Add the maida at this stage and knead for another 5-6 mins.

Divide into 25-30 lumps and shape each into a smooth ball with no visible cracks on the surface.

Add the 2 cups sugar along with 5 cups water to a pressure cooker. Let it boil for 5 mins before adding the paneer balls. Close the lid and cook for 25-30 mins. Remove from the flame and allow to cool down to room temperature.

Putting it together -

Gently squeeze the paneer balls to remove excess sugar water. Then drop them into the thandai. Refrigerate (at least for 2 hours) till you serve it.



















Garnish with saffron, pistachios and rose petals while serving.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy Women's Day





















In the run up to International Women's Day on 8th March, my FB wall is awash with messages pertaining to the day. Reading through some of them and ignoring the majority, I can fairly conclude that it means different things to different people. Some want gifts, other want to be pampered on the day (and secretly, even throughout the year), a few crave for recognition while others could just be as happy with a few words of love. Honestly, just like Valentine's day , I have always had mixed feelings about this day. Well, on any other day, I would just have let the sleeping dogs lie.

But in the age of social media, it becomes important to be heard and seen. Even more when one is a blogger. So, here is my two penny worth opinion on what each woman want's/deserve's on the day. Putting it down succinctly, it would be the 3 R's - Respect, Recognition and Reaffirmation .

Respect - Each women deserves respect for what she is and not what people around her want to become. It is easy to conjure up a fictional person in one's mind, imbibe them with hand picked qualities and fall in love with them. But alas, it does not work that way. We are born with certain traits and others are the cumulative effect of a couple of decades of living and learning. Nothing, that can be changed overnight. Love never comes with a rider that says "Conditions Apply".

For the ladies, it is important to be the good daughter/wife/daughter-in-law/mother/boss. But, even more then the collective roles and responsibilities, it is important to be an individual. To do the things that one loves to do. To have the dreams and ambitions that propel one to push one's limits. To wake to every morning with renewed enthusiasm. Not just because you have to. After all, life is about living and not just following a timetable.

Recognition - 'Thank you' is among the first words that is taught to kids. "Say thank you when someone gives you a chocolate". "Say thank you when your friend shares his/her toys with you". But sadly, nobody uses it when it comes to a woman who has a hundred tasks on her hands and goes about doing her job silently throughout the day. Often 24 X 7.

It is easy to crib that one has not taken a day off from office in that 3-4 months. But spare a thought a homemaker or stay-at-home Mom who have never known what it means to have a day off. On top of that, she is labelled as "socially unproductive" by some pseudo-feminists. Somebody please educate these misguided women that they cannot use jargon just for the sake of it.

The other kind of recognition that I must mention is being recognized as a part of the family. Most married women end up feeling like strangers in their marital homes. And it must be a widespread phenomenon is it has even been mentioned by one of my favorite Indie authors. Mrs Funnybones aka Twinkle Khanna has reflected upon it in her book and while I do agree that celebs sometimes espouse ridiculous causes, I have come across too many such instances to dismiss it as hogwash. "So, when does a women stop being a stranger and becomes a part of the family ?", one might ask. Unfortunately, that happens at a very later stage in a woman's life. Often when the inlaws have become too feeble or have departed for their heavenly abode. And believe me, it is not pretty waiting for someone to die on you.

Reaffirmation - It does not matter that one has uttered those three words a thousand times. Saying it another time is not going to kill anybody. But lack of communication is a sure shot way of burying a perfectly good relationship. Given the daily grind, most folks are totally worn out by the time they reach home. And whatever dredges of energy that one might still retain are sapped up by the social media sites. Often leaving one with no time to interact with loved ones.

Hence, the need to prioritize communication with one's partner. And since actions speak louder than words, what better way to reaffirm your feelings than to take on a shared task. Cooking a meal, doing the dishes, giving a bath to the toddler (or pet), helping the kid's with their homework, planning a small party or a vacation, or even cleaning up the house can all be therapeutic when done without any grudges and can pave the way for opening up those clogged communication lines. Do not forget to throw in some TLC for added effect. It always works.

To sum it up, Women's day is not just about rhetoric. It is about acknowledging and bringing a positive change in the lives of those women whom we love and respect.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Creamy Spinach Granita with Sticky Potato Chips

IMP - This i an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on Oriyarasoi. 

Ok...The main course is done and dusted ( Pan Seared Spinach and Potato Cigars in case you have forgotten about it ). Now it's time  to magically transform the same set of ingredients into something delectably sweet and asking for minimal effort. Should I try to bake some muffins ? Pie ? Mousse ? Naah. Has been done to death.

Since it is already summer in most parts of the country and the temperatures are soaring, I am going to go something chilled. So, why not make it a granita loaded with the goodness of Popeye's superfood ! Let's go one step further and make it a creamy one. Done. And I am gonna make it super easy and quick ( just in terms of the preparation time, not the freezing time. I don't fancy the liquid nitrogen stuff ).

Click here to READ more about the amazing benefits of this superfood aka 'Spinach' !!!

Back to the recipe. Read on -








Preparation Time - 3 hours 15 mins ( With 3 hours being the standby time)

Ingredients -

For the granita -


  • 1/2 cup spinach puree ( just blanch, strain and puree with 2-3 tsp water )
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp sour cream ( add a little more if you like it creamier or reduce it if cal conscious )
  • 4 tsp brown sugar ( adjust as per taste )
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 pinch chili flakes for seasoning


For the Sticky Potato fries -


  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp water 
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tsp brown sugar


Preparation - Blanch the spinach. Throw into the mixer jar. Whizz till smooth. Throw in some water, sour cream and brown sugar. Buzz it again till mixed thoroughly.

Pour it into a large cake tray (use a freezer safe one) such that it makes a layer about 4-5 cm thick. Nothing more. Mind you.

Pop it into the freezer. Take out after 30 mins and scrape the sides and along the length using a fork. Pop it back into the fridge and repeat the process every 30 mins for the next 3-4 hours. The creamy spinach granita is ready. Now sprinkle the chili flakes over it and mix in.

(Absolutely no cheating else you end up with a solid frozen mass or small chunks of ice instead of a slurry of ice particles. Once it is ready, it can be served anytime between immediately and the next 12 hours. After that, the ice just starts to stick together. )

For the sticky fries, let prepare some sticky sauce. Mix sour cream, water, brown sugar, salt and olive oil in a saucepan. Boil on low heat it it bubbles and foams up. Keep aside till cool.

Peel and slice the potato into a bowl containing salt water. Strain and throw the slices into boiling water. Let it cook for 2 mins. Remove and dry on kitchen towel. Brush lightly with oil and spread on a baking tray. Bake at 400 F for 15 mins max. Remove from oven and let it cool for half an hour.

Drizzle the sauce on the potato chips ( or just toss the chips along with the sauce) and serve alongside the Creamy Spinach Granita.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pan-seared Spinach and Potato Cigars ( with a Sour cream dip )

IMP - This i an original recipe created by the blogger and has been published for the first time on Oriyarasoi. 


Six ingredients in common. One main course. One dessert. No omitting any ingredient for either course. On top of that it has to make the cut. Gourmet. Nothing less for the esteemed judges. Sounds like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation, doesn't it ? Well, it is part of a cooking contest that I am participating in. Looks tough but then what fun is a contest that does not challenge your limits. Well, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. For one, I am gonna treat this as some much needed motivation for blogging regularly.

So, here is the main course dish that I decided to create. The mashed potato uses just a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of salt and a bit of chili flakes. It is rolled in spinach leaves and seared on a pan which has been sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with chili flakes. End result ? Melt in the mouth cigars that have a beautiful burnt aroma of chili and spinach. I served this with a drizzle of sour cream seasoned with brown sugar and salt. Frugal. Elementary. And yet orgasmic.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

For the cigars -


  • 2 medium sized mashed potatoes
  • 10 spinach leaves (look for ones that are little big in size)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • salt to taste


For the dip -


  • 3 tsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation -  Take the sour cream in a bowl. Add the brown sugar and salt. Beat till dissolved and a little fluffy.

Cooking - Bake/boil the potatoes. Allow then to cool down.

Peel them and mash roughly. Pass the mashed potatoes through a steel sieve into another bowl. Repeat this procedure twice to get satin smooth texture.

Add 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp chili flakes to the mashed potato. Mix well.

Wash the spinach leaves and remove the stems. Dip them in boiling one for 1-2 seconds and remove immediately into a bowl of cold water. Dry the blanched leaves on paper towels.

Take a teaspoon of the mashed potato and place it in the middle of a spinach leaf. Roll it into a cigar. Roll another 1-2 spinach leaves around it to give it volume. 

Heat the remaining olive oil on a pan. Sprinkle the chili flakes on the pan. Place the cigars on the smoking hot pan and cook them on high for 1-2 mins or till they are seared to a brown on all sides.

Remove and place on the serving tray. Drizzle the sour cream dip over each cigar.

Serve immediately.


















Note - Make sour cream at home. Take any heavy cream / whipping cream you have. Add some vinegar to it. Beat with a whisk till fluffy. And voila, you never need to buy sour cream again.

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