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Monday, April 30, 2018

A - Z Indian Street Foods ~ Z for Zafrani - Pista - Badam Kulfi / Saffron -Pistachio - Almond Kulfi

I am on my last post of this 'street food' journey and thought of ending it on a sweet note. Hence here is zafrani kulfi aka saffron kulfi for the alphabet 'Z'. Kulfi, a frozen dessert based on dairy is believed to have been originated in India during the Mughal empire during 16th century. Kulfi sometimes loosely dubbed as the Indian ice cream, is more creamier and denser compared to ice cream and melts slower. Kulfi is prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavored milk on slow flame, until the volume is reduced by half. The condensed milk is then frozen in moulds. I had bookmarked Vaishali's recipe a while ago that happens to be of a quicker version which came handy when I set to prepare it yesterday night. It uses condensed milk and corn starch and there is no need to keep boiling and stirring longer. It is super flavorful and a treat for one and all.

Ingredients: (Yield 4 kulfis)
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp. corn starch
A big pinch of saffron strands
1 - 2 tbsp. chopped pistachios & almonds
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
Few drops of kevda essence

* Combine corn starch and a tbsp. or two of water and make a smooth paste and keep it aside.
* Heat whole milk and condensed milk in a thick sauce pan, preferably a non stick pan. Bring the milk to a boil on low flame stirring often. Taste and add sugar if needed.
* Add saffron strands to a small cup and pour a tbsp. of boiling milk mixture. Stir and keep aside.
* Add the corn starch paste to the boiling milk and keep stirring. The mixture may stick to the bottom. Keep stirring and continue to boil the mixture for about 5 minutes.
* Turn off the stove and add the saffron strands' mixture to it. Let the milk mixture cool down completely.
* Add the chopped nuts, cardamom and kevda essence and mix well.
* Pour the mixture equally in 4 kulfi moulds / Popsicle moulds / kulhars / small steel or paper cups. Popsicle sticks can be inserted if preferred. Freeze overnight or longer until it sets firm.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A - Z Indian Street Foods ~ Y for Yam Tikki / Yuca Cutlet

I didn't think much about this letter as I was somehow fixated between choosing a recipe starting with either yellow or yam. And finally it was yuca that gave me the idea of tikkis. Yuca when cooked to a mushy stage tends to become kinda sticky and so, I added a potato as well to the mixture and added a little extra corn starch than usual. The mashed tubers came to about 2.5 cups and gave me around 14 tikkis which were yummy. Serve them with either chutney or use it as a part of a chaat. Mine were served with cilantro chutney and some went into ragda pattice.

Ingredients for tikkis: (Yield about 12 tikkis)
1 medium sized yuca 
1 big sized potato
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. amchur powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder 
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
Salt to taste
3 - 4 tbsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
3 tbsp. oil to shallow fry

1. Peel and cut the yuca into big chunks. Cook in a sauce pan adding enough water on stove top until it is almost mushy. (I used a microwave.) Drain the cooked yuca pieces and let them cool. 
2. Peel and cut the potatoes into big chunks. Cook in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles or on stove top until they are done. If using a microwave, cube the potatoes to quicken the cooking process. Drain the cooked potatoes and let them cool. 
3. Mash the vegetables and add to a mixing bowl. Add the spice powders, salt, corn starch and cilantro in a bowl. Mix well and divide the mixture into 12 portions. Roll each one into a ball and flatten it a bit to form a patty.
4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil on preferably a non stick pan on medium flame. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and place the tikki in the hot oil. Place as many tikkis as the pan can hold without overcrowding.
5. Cook until the bottom side of the tikki turns golden brown. Flip them using a spatula and cook until the other side turns golden brown too. Transfer them onto a plate covered with paper towel.
6. Repeat the steps with the remaining mixture.
7. Serve them warm with green or sweet chutney.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A - Z Indian Street Foods ~ X For 'X'tremely Easy Fruit Chaat / Fruit Salad

Vendors selling fruits in the neighborhoods or street corners is a common feature in Indian cities and towns. Fruits sold with a sprinkle of salt or salt and red chili powder / black pepper powder is a common sight in southern regions. One can see cucumber slices sold with a sprinkling of salt and red chili powder near bus stations where as I used to eat pineapple slices sold with salt and pepper in Bangalore during my college days though now they have another version, pineapple masala. 

There are also versions where a melange of spice powders are used to flavor the fruit pieces in other regions called a fruit chaat / fruit salad. A fruit chaat happens to be the easiest of the chaats that one could assemble if one is not talking about the Delhi version. Delhi fruit chaat uses tubers as well. We are talking about the other version today where only fruits are used and are sprinkled with spice powders to make it more flavorful. 

It is quite an easy recipe and I chose to go with an adjective for my alphabet 'X' today. The variety of fruits used in this chaat are obviously the local ones that are available abundantly. They are the typical tropical fruits like pineapple, papaya, mango, banana, orange, pomegranate, grapes, apple and others. However one can feel free to go with any seasonal and available fruits. Also I have given the list of spices below that are commonly used for a fruit chaat. However one can use only the spice powders they prefer or can with the combo they prefer. I prefer only chili powder while my husband prefers chili powder and black salt.  

Use refrigerated fruit or chill them for few minutes if using fruits at room temperature. This colorful and refreshing chaat is a welcome treat on a sunny day or serve it as a healthy snack in between meals.

Ingredients: (3 servings)
3 cups of mixed fruits (I used banana, grapes, green and red apple, orange, pear, pineapple and strawberries.)
Salt to taste (optional)
1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
(And use all or any of the spices below you prefer. The quantities can be increased or decreased as per taste.)
1/2 tsp. black salt 
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. chaat masala
1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder

* Peel the banana and slice them into discs. Grapes can be halved or used as whole. Strawberries are hulled and sliced. Pineapple, apple, pears, mango are cubed. Orange slices are halved.
* Combine mixed fruits in a bowl. Add salt, black pepper powder
* If using lemon juice, add that as well. Toss the fruits a few times to coat them with the spices used.
* Divide them into 3 serving bowls and serve.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

Friday, April 27, 2018

A - Z Indian Street Foods ~ W for White Dhokla / Safed Dhokla / Khatta Dhokla

White dhokla aka safed dhokla, khatta dhokla and idada is a classic snack recipe from the state of Gujarat. It is not an instant version like the yellow one that is prepared with chickpea flour. Instead these healthy and nutritious dhoklas are prepared with a ground and fermented batter of rice, black gram, yogurt and spices. These steamed rice-lentil cakes are quite light and airy and make a great gluten free breakfast or snack. 

These can be prepared with black gram and rice used in a proportion of 1:2 or 1:3. Or if you are used to making idli batter, feel free to use it. Any rice will do here. As the title indicates, khatta dhoklas means sour dhoklas and they are sourer and spicier than idlis. Thanks to the use of sour yogurt / lemon juice and spices to the batter. In short, these are like the spongy south Indian idlis with a twist. We have recently become fans of these white dhoklas. 
1 to 1.5 cup rice (I used idli rice)
1/2 cup urad dal / skinned, split black gram
1/4 cup sour yogurt
Salt to taste
1.5 tsp. grated ginger / ginger paste
1.5 tsp. green chili paste
1 tsp. oil
1 tsp. lemon juice (Use only if needed.)
1 Eno's fruit salt packet / 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Crushed pepper corns / red chili powder
* Rinse and soak rice and urad dal together for about 3 hours. Drain and grind into a thick, smooth batter adding yogurt. Add water if needed. The batter should resemble the idli batter.
* Transfer the batter to a container big enough to hold it in when raised during fermentation. Add salt to the batter and mix well. Cover the container and leave it to ferment in a warm place overnight. (If you live in warmer places, about 6 hours should be enough for fermentation. If you live in colder places, leaving the batter covered in a lighted oven would help.)
* Check the batter in the morning to see if the fermented batter is sour enough. If not, add the lemon juice and stir. (This step is optional.)
* Heat a dhokla maker / steamer or pressure cooker with water. (It should cover 1 inch of base of the container.)
* Grease a dhokla container or a wide container with 1 inch depth that can fit into the steamer. (Or a container with more depth can be used which will hold more batter and gives the height to dhoklas.)
(I used half of the batter and used a 8 inch diameter container with 2 inch depth.)
* When the water at the base of the dhokla maker / steamer / pressure cooker is boiling, add oil, ginger paste and chili paste to the batter and mix well. Finally add eno's salt and quickly stir. Pour the batter into the greased container up to 1/2 and sprinkle ground black pepper and/or chili powder uniformly. Cover the steamer with the lid. Don't put the valve on the lid if using pressure cooker. 

* Steam on low flame until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean. 
* Turn off the stove and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Gently run a spoon around the perimeter of the cooked dhokla and demould if needed. Cut into diamonds or squares. 
* Serve with green chutney or any spicy chutney.

1. One may use container with one inch depth and fill it with half the batter. It may take around 10 - 15 minutes to steam. 
I used 2 containers with 8 inch diameter and 2 inch depth which gave me tall dhoklas, for this amount of batter. It took me around 20 minutes to steam on low flame. 
2. Idli batter can be used to make these dhoklas. I used idli batter and added lemon juice to make it sour.
3. Ginger and chili paste can be directly added while grinding.
3. Skip pepper and chili powder topping and instead, one can do a garnish with spluttering mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves in hot oil and pout it over dhokla and finely top it with minced cilantro.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87