Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Samosa


This snack is loved by one and all in India. Infact its become very popular abroad too. Though the method of preparing and the ingredients used in samosa is not the best choice for health conscious people, the mere mention of the name "Samosa" makes everyone's mouth water. Its so easy to make and yet tasty (though its a bit time consuming) ......I had prepared for our friends who came to our house an evening with their 3 and 5 year old kids. Both the kids loved it. Especially the yougest one who always used to fuss about her food. I was so happy to see that she was actually enjoying my samosa:) ....and so did the others.
Enough with my story,....let me share it with you too....

Ingredients:
----------------
For the dough:

Flour ( All purpose flour, or Maida flour, or Wheat flour)
Salt: a little
Water
Oil for frying

For the filling:

Mashed potatoes - 2 or 3 potatoes
Finely chopped onions: 2 cups
Green peas: 1 cup
Finely chopped green beans: 1 cup
Finely chopped carrots: 1 cup
Minced garlic and ginger (you may use ginger garlic paste too): 1/4 th cup
Finely chopped tomatoes (can use tomato sauce also): 1/2 cup
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 2 tsp
Minced green chilli: 1 tbsp
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
Pepper powder (optional): 1 tsp
Garam masala powder (optional): 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves chopped: 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt

Method:
----------




  1. Make the dough using the ingredients for dough just like making the chappathi dough.


  2. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place it in a vessel. This helps the dough to not lose moisture.


  3. Make the filling ( it is similar to preparing any dry potato curry) with less or no water by using the above ingredients.


  4. Let the filling mixture cool.


  5. Meanwhile using some dough, make a thin round (say 5'' diameter)


  6. Cut it in half. Place some water along the diameter of each half.


  7. Place some filling in each half and fold the sides of the dough to form a covered cone. Makes two samosas for each roll of dough.


  8. Heat oil for deep frying. Fry the samosas in oil. Make sure not to fry the samosas on high fire as they might turn oily and soggy.


  9. Place the fried ones in a napkin to absorb the excess oil.


  10. Serve along with mint chutney or tomato sauce or tamarind chutney.




Kozhukkatta - a sweet dish


When I was little, dad, mom, me and my brother used to visit the Shiva temple in Ernakulam every Sunday evening. It wouldn't strike me about kozhukatta, until I reached the place where god Ganapathi resides in the same temple. Then my whole concentration while praying would be about kozhukkatta:-) ....This sweet is a typical kerala sweet (I am not sure if they are prepared in other parts of India as well), which is mostly prepared as an offering to Lord Ganapathi as it is his favorite sweet apart from modhak...........and so is mine :-). Whenever I think about kozhukkatta, I remember the taste of the soft white rice balls filled with coconut-jaggery mix....mmm....I feel like preparing some now itself. Though it did not come perfect (especially the dough), the first time I made it, I got to know how to prepare it well the next time. My husband had never eaten this sweet for ages and was very glad that I made this for him. Again I owe thanks to my mom from whom I learned to make it. She used to prepare it specially for me, as I liked this sweet a lot:-) ....Let me share my favorite sweet with you too.

Ingredients:
----------------
To make the dough:

Rice Flour: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Salt: a pinch
Oil: 1 tablespoon


For the filling:
----------------
Grated coconut: 2 cups
*Coarsely powdered jaggery: 2 cups

*You may increase or decrease the amount of jaggery according to your taste


Method:
--------------

Lets prepare the filling first as we don't want the dough to cool if it were to be prepared first.

Filling:


  1. Add a little water (just enough to make a solution of water and jaggery) to the powdered jaggery and keep it on low fire, and stir for sometime.

  2. When the jaggery completely dissolves in the water, add the grated coconut. Mix it uniformly for a minute. Take it off from fire.

  3. Allow it to cool.

Dough:



  1. Add a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of oil to 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil in a kadai.

  2. When water starts boiling, add the rice flour , and continuously stir until a smooth dough is formed. Make sure no lumps are formed while stirring. The dough should have the consistency similar to chapatti dough. Take off the fire once the desired consistency is attained.

  3. Spread some oil in the palm of both of your hands. This makes it easy to make balls out of the dough.

  4. Make small balls (lemon sized) using the dough.

  5. Make a depression in each ball (just enough to fill the coconut - jaggery mix), and stuff a small amount of filling in the depression. Make sure to not fill the depression completely with the mixture. Leave some room so that the depression can be closed after it is stuffed.

  6. **After stuffing the filling like this in each ball, place the balls on a idli stand and steam in the cooker (do not place the whistle on the cooker) until the steam coming from the cooker becomes free flowing (say an additional 2 to 3 minutes after the steam starts coming out of the vent of the cooker).

  7. Turn off the fire. Wait for a minute before taking out the cooker lid.

  8. Take out the idli stand and let it cool. Cooling is important as it prevents the kozhukkatta from breaking.

  9. And remember to offer some to Lord Ganapathi first before eating it yourself :)


**You can steam it in any vessel similar to cooker. If you do not have an idli stand, fill the cooker with some water as you would do to make idlis. Place another vessel with a little water (just a 1/4 th cup) in the cooker and cover this vessel with a plate which also fits in the cooker. Arrange the kozhukkatta balls on the plate. Cover the cooker with the lid follow the same instructions above to make kozhukkatta. This method of cooking is similar to what a double boiler does.

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