Nadur Monji( Lotus Root Fritters)

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We( Me and my Husband) have Pottery class one day of the week in the evening. That’s when I need to make a quick snack to grab before running off to class. Generally, we stick to something like a salad/chaat. Yesterday I decided to try a new recipe from a Kashmiri cookbook- “Kashmiri Kitchen” by Purnima Kachru. I have tried so many recipes from this book and have fallen in love with Kashmiri cuisine.

Nadru Monji, as I discovered later through the internet is Street Food in Kashmir. We do not get fresh Lotus stem at our local Indian Grocery, so I pick up some every time we visit the Grocery in Long Island. They are also readily available at Asian Supermarkets.

This is the first time I made this recipe. My Husband thought is tasted very similar to  South Indian Chakkuli:) I don’t agree, but we both agree it tasted wonderful. Nadru on its own is slightly sweet and very starchy. Almost like a Potato, but much more crunchy. I personally think the chips made from Nadru taste much better than Potato chips. It’s a matter of personal taste.

The Flour I used for the batter is rice flour. The recipe called for All Purpose flour. I read that both flours are interchangeable for frying. Though I have nothing against All purpose flour, Rice flour cooks slightly faster and is gluten free. I also found a couple of recipes online that recommended Rice flour for this particular recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Lotus stem- 250 gms, Thoroughly washed and chopped into long fingers about 3 inches in length.
  2. Flour- Rice flour or All Purpose 1/4 cup
  3. Soda bicarb- a pinch
  4. Red chili powder- To taste
  5. Salt- to taste
  6. Oil for Frying
  7. Black cumin seeds or Kalonji- 1/4 Tsp( Optional)
  8. Asafetida- I added a pinch

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In a big bowl mix together the flour, salt, red chili powder, asafetida, cumin, and add enough water to make a batter of dropping consistency. If the batter is too runny, it will not stick to the Lotus roots, if it’s too thick, you will not get the flavor of the nadru.

Fry in hot oil till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with a mint chutney or date chutney.

 

Roasted Green Tomato- Basil Soup


Many times I feel like I have hit a dead end with blogging. I don’t feel motivated enough to write a post. Once in a while the clouds clear and I feel I must force myself to at least document what new discoveries I discovered, just for myself.

Today is one such day. Hope there will be many more days like these.

We( my husband and I) decided to try a week of soup for dinner. Everyday a new Soup. Last week it was a week of Salads. I must say that was fun. Our New Years resolution has been to stay healthy. This was a start.

So I found some lovely unripe green tomatoes at my local Indian grocery store. I found a recipe for a Roasted Green Tomato soup in Food and Wine magazine.

Turns out that I like The tartness of the green tomatoes much better than the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes in soup. It’s a nice mild tartness that goes perfectly well with the heavenly Basil flavor.

Here is the original recipe from Food and Wine magazine.

I used the original ingredients and recipe. Okay, I skipped the garlic, substituted olive oil for butter and did not have thyme, but it still tasted absolutely delightful.

I served it with some homemade Foccacia bread, as I did not have sourdough.


INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ripe green tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter(skipped)

1 yellow onion, about 1 cup, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 vegetable stock

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

To Make-

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

In an eight-quart stockpot over medium heat, add the onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the onions have slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. When soup comes to a full boil, toss in the fresh basil leaves and wilt over medium heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, ensuring that the basil leaves are entirely pureed into soup. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with warm bread



Bettada Nellikayi( Amla) Chutney

It’s that time of the year when Amlas are in season. I had never seen such beautiful, huge fruit while growing up in Bangalore.  Nowadays with the Ayurveda fad catching on here, every street corner has carts with these fruit. 

I picked up a bottle of Thokku from the famous Subbamma Store in Gandhi Bazaar. ‘Terrible’ is a kind word to use for what it was. 

It’s ridiculously easy to make a Chutney out of Amla. The chutney can be mixed with hot rice and ghee and eaten. Or it can be used to make a good Chitranna. 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Amla- 5 big ones, grated
  2. Byadgi chilies- about 8
  3. Methi seeds- 1 Tsp
  4. Turmeric powder- 1/2 Tsp
  5. Asafetida- 1/4 Tsp
  6. Oil- 2 Tsp
  7. Salt to taste

METHOD:

Grate the Amla and keep aside. Sauté the chilies and methi seeds without oil, till the methi seed start changing color. Remove from heat and keep aside. 

Take oil in the same pan. Add the asafetida. Add the grated Amla and sauté till it starts changing color. Add the turmeric powder and sauté for a couple of minute more. Add salt. 

Grind all the sautéed ingredients together without water. Check for seasoning and adjust salt if needed. 


To make Chitranna: 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Amla chutney- as needed
  2. Cooked rice- 2 cups
  3. Oil-2 TBSP
  4. Peanuts- optional 
  5. Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  6. Mustard seeds- 1/2 Tsp
  7. Channa Dal- 1 Tsp
  8. Urad Dal- 1 Tsp
  9. Asafetida- a pinch
  10. Fresh grated coconut- 2 TBSP
  11. Salt if needed

Fry the peanuts in the oil till crisp and remove from the oil. Make a tempering of the mustard seeds, dals, asafetida and curry leaves in the same oil. Add the Amla chutney. Mix well with the oil. Add the rice and mix well. 

Add the peanuts and coconut.