Let’s lighten up and make this blog a little more fun for the next couple of weeks. Every now and then I mention the importance of food and how its being well prepared is the cornerstone of civilized lifestyle.
This restaurant my Mum opened in Mumbai deserves some of her signature dishes and I am hoping that will come to pass. But let me start off with three of her very yummy dishes. I know I cannot quite market her two precious ingredients which are lashings of love and the equivalent of a gardener’s green thumb in the kitchen…for these people culinary magic just happens.
Sometimes, and anyone who is a gourmet or foodie will agree, it is the simple stuff that has to be elevated to a high level to underscore the difference between a good cook and a genius. My Mom has always been a whizz with street foods and it is this category that is the true test for innovation and imagination, not to mention the treat for the taste buds.
Which is why I am going to start with the humble staple of the city of Mumbai, a simple yet provocative dish that has become a symbol of the metro.
The vada pao hits the spot so here goes.
Ingredients and Method:-
Fry most gently white Urad (split white gram) dal in a little oil in pan. When it turns pink add
Mustard seeds, asafoetida (hing) curry leaves, green chillies,chopped garlic and mix together on a low heat. Make sure you add turmeric (haldi powder) ensuring you put it last.
Now take the boiled and mashed potatoes and create a smooth mix which you then make small balls of this filling and keep aside.
Shift attention to making the batter for the pakoras or dumplings.
Heap of gram flour depending on the size of the serving.
Salt to taste and a pinch of soda and turmeric powder.
Add water to make the pakoda batter and coat the filling with this batter. Then fry the Vadas.
Cut the bread rolls or pao into two, apply some butter as liberally as you like. Now, comes the difference. Place garlic and red chili paste on the pao and also some green mint chutney. When the vada is drenched in these spices roast it on both sides on a hot plate (tava) and serve.
Give it a shot. It’s scrumptious.
Here is another street dish that can wow any table.
The Kachori is another bestseller.
Take flour 1 kg,oil or ghee 200 grams, salt to taste and 20 grams baking soda.
Knead this into a semi stiff dough and roll kachoris
For the filling you need ½ Kg Farsan,20 grams eating soda, salt, red chili powder,coriander, some garam masala(Indian spice) and 50 gms oil.
Now mash this filling.
Remember, if you are using Moong dal filling soak the dal for 4 hours.
Grind it coarsely and saute in oil with ½ t of gram flour so that the dal does not stick to the pan.
Then add all the other ingredients and put the filling into the kachoris.
Now, gently fry on slow flame.
You cannot get enough of them.