Archive for the Snacks Category

Methi Balls

Posted in Snacks, Uncategorized, Vegetarian on December 19, 2012 by ninasnosh

Hello again….

Life has become a little hectic so I haven’t managed to blog for a while.

If you’ve been reading my blog you may remember that I’ve said it’s almost impossible for me to get my hands on fresh fenugreek in Australia. So, after been told many times how easy it was to grow it I though I would give it a go – and it was unbelievably easy.

I planted enough seeds (I can’t remember the weight) to cover the soil in 4 foil oven trays ( I poked a few holes in trays to allow water to go through). Each seed turns into about 4 leaves so there were a lot of seeds. I covered the seeds with a thin layer of soil and in 10-14 days my methi was ready for eating. I watered regularly and when it came to picking I just pulled them out, shook the soil of and snipped the root ends off.

I was left with roughly 500g of fresh methi leaves once I had taken the root ends off.

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So here is what I made out of this crop.

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Ingredients

  • about half a kilo of methi washed and chopped
  • 1-2 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil for mixture
  • about 3 tbsp of gram flour
  • about 3 tbsp of rice flour
  • 2 tbsp oil for cooking

Method:

  1. Wash, dry and chop the methi finely (fig 2)
  2. Place the methi, all the spices and sugar into a large mixing bowl
  3. Mix the spices through using your hand
  4. Next add the oil and mix through
  5. Now gradually add the gram flour and rice rice flour – only add enough until the mixture comes together so you may not need the above quantities (fig 3)
  6. Taste the mixture for spice and seasoning – adjust to your taste
  7. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan – keep on a low heat
  8. Using a desert sized spoon carefully spoon dollops of the mixture into the frying pan
  9. Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes before turning
  10. Once you have turned cook for further 5 minutes with the lid on
  11. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the methi is nice and brown – you want the outside to be crispy and the inside cooked but soft

fig 1. fresh methi

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fig 2. chopped methi

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fig 3. mixture

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fig 4. cooking the methi balls

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Indian Chips ……

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by ninasnosh

There are not that many people out there who don’t like chips so if you like spicy food these have got to be a winner.

 Ingredients

Method
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized chips then soak in cold water
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (preferably one that has a lid)
3. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid
4. Once the seeds have popped remove the pan from the heat
5. Now add the hing and allow it to sizzle for a few seconds before you add the rest of the spices
6. Mix the spices all together to form a paste in the oil – return to a medium heat
7. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan – make sure the pan is hot but not too hot that the potatoes burn
8. Carefully mix the potatoes so that the spicy paste covers them
9. Cook the potatoes on a medium heat turning every few minutes so they are cooking evenly – keep the lid off for about 10 minutes
10. Cook with the lid half on for about 10 minutes – do not completely cover as you don’t want them to go soggy
11. You want the chips to be nicely brown and cooked through before you serve…
I only use as little oil as I can get away with – as you can see from the picture my chips were not oily. By soaking them in water, making sure the oil was hot enough when cooking and cooking with the lid partially off I ensured they were both cooked and crispy.

Easy and filling snack or meal: Poha

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by ninasnosh

Poha are dehusked flattened rice. They are very popular in India as they are easy to use and transform into a delicious dish. This is a good snack to take out if you are on your travels and can keep for a few days in the fridge. You can buy a bag of Poha at any good Indian grocery store and they normally come in 500g bags.

I made the above dish recently when we were busy packing and needed some comfort food to keep us going. 

Ingredients

Feeds 3 for a meal or more for a light snack

For the Vaghar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil (sunflower or canola)
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
and the rest….
  • 200g of Poha
  • 2 large potatoes: peeled and cubed (1.5cm)
  • 1 tsp of fresh masala (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 1/2 tsp of ground coriander and cumin (1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt ( alter to taste)
  • Hot water from kettle

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan or saucepan
  2. Once oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid – once they have popped remove pan from the heat
  3. Add the hing
  4. Return the pan to a medium heat – add the potatoes and spices, mixing so the potatoes are covered (see fig 1)
  5. Now you need to add water so there is actually some liquid in the dish
  6. Add about a cup of hot water so the  potatoes are nearly covered (see fig 2)
  7. While the potatoes are cooking put the Poha in a colander
  8. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat so that they are cooked through  – add more water if required (the liquid consistency will be needed later)
  9. When the potatoes are nearly ready rinse the Poha with cold water – just run the cold water tap and rinse them in the colander
  10. Then add the Poha to the potatoes mix through and cook on a low heat – they will absorb all of the water
  11. Add more water if required – the Poha should disappear into the dish
  12. Cook the dish for a few more minutes
You can eat this on it own, I made a thin dahl to go with it…….
fig 1. potatoes

fig 2. potatoes with water

fig 3. poha

Quick snack to impress the unexpected guest….

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by ninasnosh

As I’ve learnt more about food I’ve generally avoided anything that is ready made and processed. This however, is quite a find and definitely worth having in your pantry. My mum makes them from scratch, something I will eventually do but it’s quite cumbersome so will have to wait until I am a little more settled. In the mean time I say,  ‘go with the tin’.

‘Patra’ are a vegetarian snack very popular in the Gujarat region of India. They are made up of Colocasia leaves which are rolled up with gram flour and spices. The method of making them from scratch involves preparing the leaves, making the paste, rolling them, steam cooking and then pan frying.

The tinned version can be found in all good Indian shops.

Ingredients

  • 1 x tin  Patra
  • 2 tbsp oil (sunflower or canola)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, so it is hot but not too hot that the patra burn when they are placed in
  2. While the oil is heating remove the Patra from the tin and slice into about 1-1.5 cm thick circles
  3. Once oil is hot add the sesame seeds and sliced patra
  4. Cook the patra for about 2-3 minutes on each side so that they are nice and golden in colour
  5. Place them on a plate (including the crunchy bits) and serve while they are still hot

I promise you they won’t last long. I cooked these up on our weekend away when the Brain family popped round to our cabin for a quick visit and then again for Scott and I when we were packing and didn’t have time for dinner.

Tin of Patra

Sliced Patra

Cooking

Vegetable Roti

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by ninasnosh

We’ve had a very busy month and I have been less than attentive to my children’s eating habits! Realising I had been dishing out a lot of pasta (homemade sauce of course) and fish fingers  – I decided to make some vegetable roti as a heathy snack.

These are a wonderful snack and you can pack them full of almost any vegetable you have lying around. You make a spicy or a non-spicy version so they are perfect for kids. If I ever feel like my kids aren’t eating enough veg I roll out a few of these and they are eaten faster than I can cook them. They are also great to take on a picnic or if you want something tasty to pack when you are going on a long journey.

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of Atta (chappati/roti flour) – you can buy this in the supermarket
  • extra bowl of Atta for dusting
  • 1 medium potato cooked in the microwave – skinned and chopped up roughly
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas – cooked
  • 1 carrot chopped up and cooked
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander ( 2 parts coriander to 1 part cumin)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fresh masala (optional – only if you want the spicy version)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional – only if you want the spicy version)
  • small bowl of oil and teaspoon for cooking
  • boil some water in the kettle

Method

  1. Cook the potato in the microwave, skin and chop up roughly
  2. Boil the peas and carrots
  3. I didn’t do this because I was being lazy but I would generally advise roughly chopping the peas and carrots in a chopper/blender once they are cooked
  4. Heat a heavy based frying pan/tawa on a low heat
  5. In a large bowl add the Atta and oil – rub the oil through the Atta using your finger tips
  6. Next add the rest of the ingredients to the Atta – vegetables, seeds and spices
  7. Using your hands bind the mixture together to form a dough
  8. The liquid from the vegetables should be enough to bind it together but you may need to add some boiled/hot water to help you bind it together
  9. The dough should be soft, smoothish and not dry
  10. Divide the dough into 3/4 golf ball sized balls
  11. When ready to roll out the roti – roll the ball in your hand to smooth and squeeze it between your 2 palms to flatten
  12. Coat each side in atta to help when you roll
  13. On a lightly floured work surface or rolling board gently roll the roti – using a narrow rolling pin if possible
  14. The roti should be round and about 5mm thick  – but don’t worry this will come with practice and as long as it’s even it’s a good start

To cook

  1. Place the rolled out roti on to  the heated pan
  2. Turn heat up slightly
  3. Cook on the first  side for about 7 seconds
  4. Flip over to cook on the other side 10-12 seconds
  5. While it’s cooking on the second side dip a teaspoon in the bowl of oil and rub it on to the roti
  6. After 10-12 seconds turn it over and rub the other side with oil
  7. Cook for a further 10 seconds – turn over cook for a couple of more seconds and remove from the pan
  8. The roti should be nicely toasted and not oily – adjust cooking time if needed
  9. The roti is now ready to eat

I roll and cook at the same time. If this your first time making anything like this it would probably be a good idea to roll a few (or all) then cook.

Remember you can use other vegetables – sweeet potato (pre-cook), broccoli (pre-cook), spinach, methi, etc