Stuffed Tomato Tikki (cutlet)

20170601_134242The versatile potato, loved by one and all over the world. It is rare to find a person who does not like potato. From french fries to roast baby potatoes sprinkled with italian herbs or the baked potato oozing with melted cheese and herbs in the western part of the world, to the poshto aaloo in Bengal , aaloo parathas of Punjab or the Pao wada which is nothing but a ball of spiced potato dunked in a golden chickpea batter and fried. The favourite street food of maharashtra. This humble root is comfort food.

As a young bride I soon learnt that sunday brunch at my new home, every week without fail  was khichdi and potato sabji , always accompanied with fried papad. and a bowl of yogurt. Potato is used as the base for many indian snacks, like samosas, tikki, chaats, as a filler in dosas etc. But the tikki is a favourite in any sindhi household,  it was a must on sundays in our home in Pune. my mother prepared the tikki in the most basic manner, boiled the potaoes, peeled mashed and added some dry spices and bread to bind the potato, shaped and of course deep fried the tikkis , served them with bread slices and chutney… the famous sindhi tikki dabroti. This snack was served during the interval of sunday movies run on doordarshan. The good old days.

Tikkis are also a popular chaat item sold as ragda pattice, which is a heart shaped potato cutlet, pan fried till crisp, and served with a tangy chickpea gravy and accompanied by slices of onion marinated in lime juice, a tamarind sauce and fresh green chutney.. oh so delicious. the recipe I will share with you today is a fusion version of the tikki, tiny cherry tomatoes hollowed out, filled with a green paneer filling and engulfed with potato, breaded and deep fried till crisp,its tasty as well as easy on the eyes.. do try it out.

Stuffed tomato tikki

Ingredients for the potato covering

1 kg boiled, peeled and grated potato

3 slices grated bread

Red chilli powder to taste, about 1 tsp should be enough

1 tsp caraway seeds. ( shah jeeri)

Salt to taste

Method for potato covering..

Mix everything together and divide into 15 balls and keep aside.

We also need 15 cherry tomatoes, preferably oval in shape, cut off the top and reserve it. now scoop out the pulp with a tiny teaspoon and use this pulp to make the filling. keep the tomatoes upside down to drain any liquid remaining.

Ingredients for tomato stuffing

Tomato pulp from cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup corriander leaves

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 green chillie

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cummin seeds

A little turmeric powder and salt to taste

1/2 cup grated paneer..( cottage cheese)

Method..

Grind together corriander leaves, garlic and green chillie.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add cummin seeds and green paste.. also add corriander powder, salt, and turmeric.

Mix well and add grated paneer.. shut the flame.

Assembling..

Fill the paneer mixture into the cherry tomatoes and cover with top of tomato.

Take a ball of potato mixture in your hand and hollow it out to form a bowl.Put the stuffed tomato into the bowl in and upright position and gently cover the whole tomato , pressing to make it tight.

Dip each tikki into a medium thick  batter made with flour and water and roll in fine breadcrumbs. Keep refrigerated until needed.

To serve, deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Cut into two pieces and serve.

 

 

The sindhi beeh(lotus stem) pakora

The Sindhi kitchen revisited!  Sindhi food is rather simple to make , in the sense that basically onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies is what would be required to start cooking and dish, we normally don’t have complex pastes made of various spices and the usage of cream or nuts is kept to the minimum while cooking. All the recipes handed down in my family are very simple and sometimes I myself get surprised when the food turns out to be delicious in its simplicity. Growing up in Pune , where most of my mom’s family used to live, we frequently visited my mami kala’s home, which was the headquaters of the mohinani family, many  beautiful memories are attached to the nanaron( nani’s home) at kanyashala road.. those lazy afternoons where all the aunties and cousins gathered  for scrumptious lunches arranged by my aunt, the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen where the cooks (bhaiyas) literally cooked up a feast, everyone just laughing and  talking,memories of that bygone era are beautiful .Those were the days when the only way to have a group chat was to meet..:) and of course the admin was aunty kala. The snacks were  more often than not fried, but no one cared, we just enjoyed the delicious food and company.

Today I would like to share a recipe of beehyan ja pakora  with you , which is not commonly served nowadays. This snack is quite simple to make and is my mothers recipe, making use of lotus stem or beeh as we call it in sindhi. My amma(paternal grandmom) was fond of this snack and would ask my mom to make it. This vegetable was served on special occasions   at home, especially when some  important guests were invited for lunch and dinner. Mom always cooked it in a rich onion gravy, topped with raw onion slices and a squirt of lime and some sev sprinkled over the curry, and served it with bread buns or pao, to make it easier to dunk into the delicious gravy.  Lotus stem on its own is a rather bland vegetable , but it blends and adapts the taste of any spice that it is cooked with.

Lotus stem is easily available here in Jakarta because a lot of chinese people also use it for cooking. In Pune it was a seasonal vegetable, because i remember the man who used to bring lotus stem and  pabharees( seeds of the lotus plant) all the way from Pimpri a small satellite town of pune. Nowadays it is more easily available throughout the year.  In those days I was not really too fond of the vegetable but have grown to rather like it. so here is the recipe, do try it and enjoy it.

Bheeyan ja pakora

Ingredients for the besan batter(chick pea flour)

1 cup besan ( chick pea flour)20161109_123703

1 tsp each cumin seeds/ ajwain(thymol seeds)

1 tsp red chillie powder

salt to taste.

1/8 th tsp of soda bi carb

Method..

Make a smooth batter of all above ingredients by adding cold water, make sure the batter is smooth and of dropping consistency. keep aside for half hour.

Ingredients for the beeh wada

I beeh stem about 25 cms long, peeled , cut into thick circles and boiled till tender.

1 tsp each ginger/ garlic/ green chilie paste

finely chopped corriander leaves

1 boiled and peeled potato

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp amchoor powder

1 tsp shah jeeri

salt to taste

Method

Take a big bowl and roughly crush the boiled potato and the boiled beeh(lotus stem) , the beeh(lotus stem) and the potato should be chunky,  add all the dry spices, salt  and the ginger, garlic and green chilie paste and the corriander leaves

Make small balls and keep aside

Heat a wok half filled with cooking oil.

Now, dip the lotus stem balls in the besan batter( chick pea) and slide gently into the hot oil.. fry the balls until just light golden in colour, remove and keep aside.

When you want to serve the snack,  press each ball gently between your two palms until flattened and cracked.. now deep fry the flat wadas till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with cold mint chutney.

 

 

 

 

The sugar rush

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Something about the addiction to sugar; everyone has heard of the saying, girls are made up of sugar and spice and everything nice, this is also true in the case of so many desserts! We have desserts with oodles of sugar laced with so many spices like cinnamon, cardamom , saffron, cloves to name a few. Be it Indian desserts like our kheers, payaasams, kulfis or the baklavas of the middle east, the apple or pumpkin pies of the west….. some spice is always added to balance out the flavours. How many of us have followed our noses to the tempting aromas coming from bakeries and given in to the temptation to a piece of St. cinnamon? I confess that I have, because I have a sweet tooth which is rather well known…

Sweets are something which we grew up on, since my full family had a sweet tooth. Winters in pune were cold.. and to fortify us during the chills, mom always served sweet breakfasts, proper sindhi sweets.. on most sundays during winter we always got a plate full of mithyun seyun( sweet vermecilli or sevaiyaan.. and every mouthful was a burst of flavours, cardamon being the most prominent…and to balance the sweetness , this dish was always accompanied by small cubed fried potatoes sprinkled with chillie powder and salt..sindhi cuisine has many rich sweets to offer like lapi, malpura, mitho lolo etc… here i share my moms version of the mithyuoon seyun and tariyal patata…

INGREDIENTS

200 gms roasted fine vermicilli 170 gms sugar

1/2 cup ghee

1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts like almonds, pistas, chironji..

1 tsp cardamon powder

METHOD Heat ghee in a nonstick pan, and add vermicilli and nuts , saute till aromatic, when vermicilli turns golden brown add enough hot water to cover the seyuoon, cover and cook for a few minutes. add sugar and cardamom powder..cover once more and cook on a low flame till water dries up..shut the flame and leave covered for abt 5 mins.. serve hot sprinkled with sliced almonds and pistas…accompanied with tariyal (fried)potatoes sprinkled with salt and chillie powder.