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Showing posts with label party side dish vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label party side dish vegetarian. Show all posts

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vegetable Manchurian

Vegetable Manchurian happened to be one of my favorites dishes during the college years. I could have it for evening snacks, then again for dinner and if there was still some leftover ( quite miraculously !! ), it would go into the making of my breakfast the next day. Such was my fascination with this delicious Chinese recipe that there was seldom a week when I did not have it. But as they say 'Too much of a good thing is bad'. I lost my appetite for this yummy dish soon after and it was years before I went anywhere near it. I distinctly remember avoiding it at wedding banquets and office parties where it happened to be one of the popular starters for the vegetarian crowd.

But when I came across it recently while browsing for popular Indo-Chinese recipes. Memories came flooding back and I could not resist trying it out at home. While the ones served at restaurants are good, I just wanted to relive the fun that I used to have when making it with my Mom. And btw, it also happens to be one of my brother's favorite. Here this one is for you Bro. Happy Raksha Bandhan !!!!!!!!

Read on for the easy recipe -

Preparation Time - 45-55 mins

Ingredients -

For the balls -

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
2/3 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped capsicum
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions (i used both the white and green portions)
1/2 cup finely chopped french beans
2-3 green finely chopped chilis
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1/3 tsp chilli powder ( skip this if the green chilis are hot ..mine had very less heat )
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the sauce -

3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 finely chopped green chilis
3 tsp soya sauce
3-4 tsp vinegar
2 tsp chili sauce
2 tsp tomato ketchup
1 1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sugar
2 pinch garam masala ( only if you like the Punjabi-fied version )
salt to taste
3 tsp vegetable oil ( if you have sesame oil, use it )
2 tsp spring onion greens for garnishing

Preparation - Take all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt and keep aside for 1 hour. After 1 hour, all the veggies would have left water. Thoroughly squeeze out this excess water.

Add all purpose flour ( 2 1/2 tbsp at first ), cornflour, red chili powder and more salt (if required) to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together. Try to form the balls (use a tablespoon as the measure to get balls of uniform size). If they seem crumbly, then add more all purpose flour.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Once it reaches the right temperature, place one ball as a test first. [If it does not rise quickly to the surface, the oil is cold and the balls will absorb too much oil. If it turns dark too soon, the oil is overheated. If it starts to break, then it needs more binding agent.]

Once the first ball turns out fine, then add 4-5 of the balls at a time. Do not crowd the vessel as it will cause the oil temperature to plummet . Fry on medium flame till golden brown.

Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process for the remaining vegetable balls.

Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a separate wok. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and green chillis. Fry on medium high, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add soya sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar and chili sauce to the wok along with the sugar and fry for 1 minute.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 cup cold water. Add to the wok. Adjust salt. Keep stirring till the sauce thickens.

Add the fried vegetable balls to the wok and toss to coat them evenly. Sprinkle garam masala if using. Turn up the heat for 2 mins. Remove from the flame leaving behind a little gravy (do not worry, it will get absorbed).

Note - Add more water and increase the quantity of sauces used if you need more gravy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Kashmiri Dum Aloo is a very popular dish that is among the first options for a vegetarian side dish. A spicy semi-dry curry with a distinct reddish orange color (due to the presence of the Kashmiri red chillis), it goes well with almost every Indian bread and even the rice/pulao varieties.

Quite different from the 'Alu dum' that is popular in Odisha, I had to refer to Tarla Dalal's cookbook for an authentic version of it. Of course, I tweaked it a little to suit my requirement but without compromising on its authenticity. Read on for this super easy version:

Preparation Time - 35 mins

Ingredients -

  • 15-16 Baby potatoes
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dry)
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • freshly chopped coriander

For making gravy -

  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (fully ripened)
  • 1 medium sized onion (optional)
  • 3-4 garlic flakes
  • 1 inch long ginger
  • 2-3 dry red chillis
  • 2 tbsp broken cashews
  • 2/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic.

Cooking - Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients mentioned for the gravy. Boil for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool down and then transfer to a blender. Make a smooth paste out of it.

Cook the potatoes for 1-2 whistles in a pressure cooker. Allow steam to escape before opening lid. Peel the potatoes.Prick them with a fork and keep aside.

Heat the oil + butter in a wok. Add the peeled and pricked potatoes and fry till light brown. Remove and keep aside.

In the same wok, add green cardamoms and fry for 30 seconds. Then add the masala paste along with chili powder and cook for 7-8 minutes till it starts getting thick.

Rub the kasuri methi between your hand to warm it and then add to the wok. Cook for 2-3 minutes. The gravy is almost done by this time.

Add the milk and honey. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from wok.

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot roti/naan/kulcha.

Note - Add some fresh cream instead of milk for a richer texture.

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