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.

 

Dahi(Hung Yogurt) Kababs

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For people who eat Meat, they say that Awadhi and Lucknowi cuisine is heavenly. The most recognized on the Awadhi cuisine is their melt in the mouth Kababs. The most famous of the meat kababs is the ‘Galouti Kabab’, which they say was invented by the royal Chefs for the Nawab who had lost all his teeth and could not chew.

I am not sure what the story is behind the invention of the ‘Dahi Kabab’, but whoever thought of it first is a pure genius.

There are videos and recipes online that I have tried. I failed several times before I succeeded. I still don’t stuff the kababs,like in the Youtube video by Chef Rakesh Sethi, but that has not affected the taste in any way. I don’t have surgical gloves handy at home either to try.

To make these yummy vegetarian kababs, you will first need to hang yogurt in a cheesecloth for about 2 hours, the more water the yogurt loses, the better. The other option would be to hang 2 small containers of Fage 2% Greek yogurt in a cheesecloth for an hour. I prefer homemade yogurt, from 2% milk, because it tastes better. To make 1 cup of hung yogurt, you will need about 2.5-3 cups of yogurt.

Ingredients for about 8 Kababs:

  1. Hung yogurt- 1 Cup
  2. Roasted gram powder( Hurigadale in kannada)- 2 Tbsp
  3. salt to taste
  4. Red chili powder- 1/2 Tsp or to taste
  5. Clove powder- 1/8 Tsp
  6. Nutmeg powder- 1/8 Tsp
  7. Green cardamom powder- from 1 cardamom
  8. Cumin powder- 1/2 Tsp
  9. Garam masala Powder- 1/2 Tsp
  10. Coriander leaves- 1 Tbsp, fine chopped
  11. Onions( Optional)- 2 Tbsp, very fine chopped
  12. Walnuts- 4, broken into smaller pieces
  13. Raisins- 10-15
  14. All purpose flour( Maida)- for Dipping the Kababs
  15. Ghee or oil for Shallow frying

Method:

Take the yogurt in a bowl and mix all the other ingredients. Its very difficult to shape the kababs if there is any water in the yogurt, so it’s good to strain the yogurt well.

After mixing the ingredients, oil your palms and shape the mixture into patties of about 2.5 inch diameter and 0.5 inch thickness. If it’s becoming difficult to do, add some more of the gram powder to thicken the mixture. Too much gram powder will alter the taste of the Kababs, so it has to be used with caution.

After shaping the Kababs, dip them in All purpose flour on all sides, before shallow frying.

Shallow fry the Kababs on a low flame with Ghee or oil, till they are golden brown. Serve with Mint-Coriander Chutney.

 

 

Moong Dal Chaat

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It’s been raining alot here in Connecticut. We have been celebrating the rains with Monsoon delicacies at home. This is a simple Chaat to try if you have some store bought fried Moong Dal at home.

Ingredients-  

  1. Fried Moong Dal- 1 cup
  2. Roasted peanuts- a handful
  3. Onions- 1/2 Fine chopped
  4. Seeded tomatoes- 1 Fine chopped
  5. Carrots- 1, peeled and grated
  6. Coriander leaves- 1 TBSP, chopped
  7. Chaat Masala- 1/2 Tsp
  8. Red Chili powder- 1/4 Tsp( Optional)
  9. Salt-to taste
  10. Lemon Juice- 1 Tsp

Method- 

Mix all the vegetables, salt, chili powder and lemon juice. Add the Moong Dal and peanuts. Stir and serve immediately.