Archive for the 'Snacks' Category


Break ke baad hazir hai Pav Bhaji ke saat !!!


Finally!!!! I’m back with everyone’s favorite street food.

Famous street food everyone crave for, I still remember those  sundays jam packed beach road with crazy crowds and lined up chaat wala’s with their mobile carts with all those delicious hot and steaming pav’s, bhaji, chaats and all different kinds of Bajji’s. Pav/Pavv/Pao Bhaji is a fabulous dish prepared with wholesome vegetables and spices  traditionally serve with pav (bread).  There are lots of different ways to prepare bhaji. Here is my version.


3 medium potatoes ( peeled and diced)
2 carrots ( peeled and diced)
1/2 cup fresh/frozen peas)
1 cup grated cauliflower
1 capsicum (green pepper) finely chopped
1 large onion finely chopped ( reserve some onions for garnish)
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1-2 tbsp pav bhaji masala ( Everest or MTR)
Salt to taste
1-2 tbsp veg oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter for garnish
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Lemon wedges/ juice of 1 lemon

Pav buns ( readily available in Indian stores or use dinner rolls)


Pressure cook potatoes, carrots and peas. Cook and mash. Heat oil in a deep skillet add onions, ginger garlic paste and saute’ until the onions turn soft and translucent. Add grated cauliflower , capsicum and  cook until soft. Now add pav bhaji masala saute for a minute, add chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy, stir in mashed veggies add salt, little water ( around 1/4th cup). mix well. cover the lid and cook on medium low flame for 8-10 mins. Adjust the taste( add masala or salt if needed) and consistency .  Stir in  chopped coriander leaves and butter (reserve some for garnish for serving) turn off the heat.

Heat tava grease it with  butter or ghee (clarified butter),  slice/slit  half horizontally  . Place the buns open and face down on the pan, and cook till golden and crisp. Flip and repeat on other side.

Serve Pav and Bhaji with lemon wedges and raw onions. Enjoy anytime any day!!.


Roasted chestnuts


Traders Joe’s is one of my favorite place to shop. I was there this week for my regular stuff when I came across fresh and earthy colored Italian chestnuts. I was so tempted and bought a box. I have heard a lot about roasted chestnuts, so I decided to go with it as it was really simple to make and thought it would make a prefect entry for Jai & Bee’s click event. It was the first time I ever tasted chestnuts they were absolutely delicious. A roasted chestnut tastes sweet and creamy, tender inside and has a wonderful aroma; nothing could be more prefect than a warm nutty snack on a cold winter evening.

To roast the chestnuts, pre heat the oven to 400 F
Cut an X mark into one side of each nut with a sharp, pointy knife to allow the steam escape caused while roasting and place them single layered on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast them for 15-20 minutes, the skin will pop open like a flower and the inside (nut) will be pale golden color.

Cool down, peel off the skins and enjoy.

Our verdict for chestnuts, yummy!!!.. as Suganya said they tasted more like jackfruit seeds. So what am I going with the remaining ones, may be curry just planning to replace jackfruit seeds to chestnuts and roast few again.

Make sure to make a X mark or else the nuts will explode. Sprinkle some sea salt on roasted nuts if you like.


Gobi Manchurian

dsc03345.jpgCauliflower Fritters in spicy sweet and sour sauce
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite. Playing around with traditional and non tradition ingredients is really fun. I love Indo-Chinese dishes, it’s really easy to cook and tastes simply superb spiced up with Indian seasonings and Chinese cooking style. Gobi Manchurian falls into this category. A delicious blend of Indo- Chinese cooking, which has been Indianized by local folks to satisfy the taste buds of desi’s who crave for something spicy which serves as an appetizer and also a side dish. These kinds of dishes are found only in Indian restaurants.


To make cauliflower fritters
1 small Cauliflower (Gobi)
1 cup Maida (All purpose flour)
1/3 rd cup Corn Flour
salt to taste
Red chilli powder (according to taste)
water to make batter
2 cups oil for deep frying

For sauce
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 green chilles finely chopped
2 tbsp Sweet & Sour Ketchup (Maggie or knoor)
1/2 tbsp green chilli sauce (optional)
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1/4 tsp Ajinamoto (MSG) (optional)
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp sugar
3 green onions/spring onions (finely chopped both white and green)
1 tbsp corn flour (mixed in little cold water)


To make Cauliflower Fritters
Pluck the florets from the Cauliflower and cut them into bite size pieces.
Take a blow and mix all the dry ingredients (maida, corn flour, salt and chilli powder) slowly add water to make a batter for cauliflower fitters (similar to bajji batter).
Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai , dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter completely and fry them until light brown, remove and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
To prepare Sauce
Heat, 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok, add chopped garlic, ginger, spring onions (white) and green chillies and fry them until they start to turn brown. Add the remaining ingredients listed below sauce except for corn flour mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the corn flour and mix well (without lumps). Add fried cauliflower fitters and mix well.
Garnish it with reserved spring onions.

Serve the gobi manchurian hot with your choice of meal. I made it wet to go along with fried rice.

For dry version
Skip adding corn flour and add capsicum and onions for crunch.


Notes and Tips

Depending upon how hot you like it, you can add/reduce the pieces of green chillies and white pepper. Adjust the amount of ginger and garlic according to your taste, Depending on how dry/wet you like your manchurian, you need to reduce/add the ketchup, Soy sauce and cornflour mix. For a little kick you can add 1 tsp of ginger green chilli paste to the batter before adding cauliflower .


Sabudana Vada (sago patties)


As a South Indian, I only knew that sabudana is used to make pappadams (saggu vadiyalu) and deserts (payasam / kheer). My mother-in-law introduced me to this first. She is a great cook. When she told me that she is going to make vadas with sago I was little unsure about the taste but I was curious at the same time to see and try these vadas. To my surprise they were absolutely delicious.

Sabudana vada is a popular and traditional snack from Maharashtra, India. Sabudana is widely used ingredient in North western part of India, kichidi and vada are most common dishes made during fasting time. It is very easy to make with very little preparation. Here it’s getting cold & chilli in the evenings and what more could be better than hot and crispy fried snack and garam chai( hot tea).

In general,sago vadas are little heavy when compared to other fried snacks. To keep it on the lighter side I modified it to suit our taste and tummy.


1 medium potato boiled, peeled and mashed
1 cup sabudana (sago)
Water (to soak sabudana)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
3-4 green chillies (finely chopped)
1 tbsp ginger (finely chopped/minced)
Curry leaves ( tear or finely chopped)
2 tbsp corn flour/ rice flour
Vegetable/canola/sunflower oil (to fry around 2 cups)


Soak the sabudana (sago) in water 3-4 hours. It will puff up and become translucent. Drain excess water and mix the sabudana with all he other ingredients and form a dough (more like a chunky paste) except oil. Add salt to taste. Divide the sago mixture into equal-sized balls and flatten slightly to form patties. Heat oil in a pan/kadai and fry the patties until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with favorite chutney/ ketchup and garam chai( hot tea).


Notes and Tips

Do not add water to mix as it contains moistures and adding extra water will make it thin and will be difficult to fry. You can shallow fry instead of deep frying. If you are shallow frying, instead of mixing flour, use the flour to coat the vada’s(like breadcrumbs) also instead of medium potato use large potato. You can even soak sago overnight.

For more about sago check out wiki


Orange Carnberry Scones-Eggless


An English scone resembles a cake but is little more firm than a cake. It has a firm crust and is flaky inside. A perfect snack with evening tea, Scones are very similar to the American biscuit. Common ingredients used are flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, milk (or buttermilk or yogurt or heavy cream), and eggs.

I picked up this combination of oranges and cranberries from a food network show. They were using these in preparing biscotti. I thought this would be a great combination for any bread related recipe and experimented with scones. dsc03907.jpg


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ tsp egg replacer
(Mix the egg replacer in 2 tbsp of warm water)dsc03909.jpg
½ -3/4th cup milk (approx.)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh orange zest
2 tbsp cranberries (dried)


Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir indsc03911.jpg the egg/egg replacer mixture. Add orange zest, juice and dries cranberries. Gradually add the milk until a thick dough is formed. (It may take more or less than 3/4 cup). Turn out the mixture onto a surface dusted with flour and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to 3/4″ thickness and cut into rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter. Gather the trimmings and lightly knead, roll, and cut them as well. Place the rounds about 1″ apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little milk. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm. To store, cool them down to the room temperature and store them in an air tight container. They would last for a week.

Notes and tips

You can use egg instead of egg replacer. You can also use 2% milk or butter milk instead of whole milk. Add little extra sugar (around 1 tbsp or according to your taste).This recipe makes 12 to 16 scones, depending on the size you make. You can even eat for breakfast. The best part is these scones are eggless. If you are using egg replacer, stir the milk slowly and little at a time to get the desired consistency. Other wise the dough will become runny.

As orange is AFAM for this month, I thought this will make a perfect entry created by Mahi and organized by lovely Sharmi.

I used Eger-G Egg Replacer, I bought it from Whole food market and its also available in local GNC stores. Lakshmi told me about this. Thanks Lakshmi!!!


Hara Bhara Bhel

H for Hara dhaniya Pattadsc04001.JPG

Hara dhaniya patta (in hindi), known as coriander leaves or cilantro. This is one of my favorite snack when ever we visit Chat House (Sunnyvale, CA). Spicy hari (green) chutney with murmur and sev mixture with roasted peanuts, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and topped with sweet chutney makes this a real item number. Yesterday it was cold outside and wanted to eat something spicy but not in a mood to spend time in front of stove. I was looking around in the pantry to come up with something instant (not in mood for noodles also) and suddenly I saw murmur and this recipe popped into my mind. It’s been longtime since I made this, but I still remember the taste of delicious bhel.
This is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables


For Bhel
2 cups Murmur (muri)
½ cup sev mixture
1/4th cup peanuts (roast in ½ tsp oil till golden brown)
1 small red onion (chopped)
1/4th cup cucumbers (scoop the seeds and dice into bite size)
2 small tomatoes (de-seed and dice into bite size)

For Hari Chutney
Grind all the below ingredients into a smooth paste. Do not add water. Sugar will stop the chutney turning into brown color.

1 bunch coriander leaves (clean and remove stems)
2-3 green chillies
1inch ginger
1 tbsp curd
1 tsp sugar
1-1 ½ tsp chat masala (I use bambino)
Juice of ½ lime
Salt to taste

For Garnish
Sweet chutney/ ketchup, sev, thinly sliced cucumber pieces as showed in the picture and chopped coriander leaves.


In a large blow mix all the bhel ingredients. Now add the hari chutney and toss together. Take a serving plate, place desired amount of bhel, drizzle little sweet chutney / ketchup and garnish with sev and coriander leaves, decorate the plate with cucumber pieces as shown in the picture.

Serve immediately. You don’t even need a spoon as you can scoop the mixture with cucumber pieces.

Notes and Tips.

You can add raw mango pieces to jazz it up. If you are allergic to peanuts substitute with roasted cashewnuts or just leave the nuts. Just use your imagination, mix and match the veggies and enjoy with a hot cup of “T”. Use thick sev mixture, and for garnish you can use thin sev.



chttn.jpgIts festival time and back at home in India this time the house will be busy with guests. Tea and snacks are the general entertainment almost every evening. Jantikalu is one of the most common snack made at  home. Chekkalu are another common snack made during festival and holiday season. There are different varities, and each family has their own recipe. This simple snack is made with rice flour. Channa daal (senaga pappu) can be added for extra crunch. Those are called pappu chekkalu. Some add additional ingredients like ginger, garlic, curry leaves, sesame seeds and onions. I knew this recipe but perfected it recently when one of my friends mother-in-law visited us and gave me few additional tips.


2 cups Rice flour
4 Tbsp Channa dal ( Soak in water for 1-2 hrs) (optional)
Salt to taste
6-8 Green chillies (ground to paste)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp butter
Water to make dough (1/4th-1/2 cup)
Oil for frying


Bring water to boil and add cumin seeds, chilli paste, salt and turn the heat to low. Slowly add flour to the water while mixing well. Add butter and mix again. Make sure that there are no lumps. The dough should be like samosa dough. Now shift the dough on to clean surface, adjsut the seasoning if needed and knead well. 


Make the dough into small balls (25 cents size), I use ziplock bag (cut on 2 sides and opened it like a book) to flatten the dough. Now place the dough in the middle and gently press falt. I use a steel glass to press it. A roller can be used too. Heat oil in a deep kadai. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully peel the dough and slowly drop it in oil and fry till golden brown. Transfer on to paper to absorb excess oil . 


Notes and Tips 

To keep the chekkalu flat, while frying press them with back of the spoon or the easy way is to prick the dough with fork few times before frying. If you are adding channa daal then add them along with water and cook. If you are adding crushed onions and gralic then use cold water to mix the dough. Add 1/4th cup water and mix as onions contain moisture. Too much water will make the dough soft. If you are adding sesame seeds then add them at the end along with butter. Always add cold butter to the dough. Cold butter makes the dough flakey and crispy.