From June to September, the Indian subcontinent experiences the blessed monsoon showers. For a country that's largely dependent on agriculture for its economic growth, the monsoon is a much-awaited season.
Since the month of June and the onset of monsoon is also when most of the schools around the country go on their annual summer break (except in south), it is the time families plan most of their get-togethers and soirees as well.
If we had to name one dish as the most popular one of these gatherings, it would be deep-fried pakoras! Pakoras are essentially vegetable fritters served with green mint and coriander chutney.
However, with the world becoming more and more health-conscious by the minute, the allure of deep-fried pakoras tends to be limited to the family's elders. We may indulge in it once in a season and then try to avoid this sinful dish, primarily due to health and diet restrictions.
If you're wondering what healthy yet uber delicious dish to serve at your next gathering, you needn’t worry. As always, we’ve got you covered! We’ve drawn up a list of lip-smacking non-fried snacks and dishes that all age groups are sure to love, guiltfree.
A dumpling originating from Tibet and Nepal that has swept over the subcontinent's taste buds, momos are one of North India's most loved street foods. But we promise that they taste better when made at home and eaten piping hot! Executing them well, we promise, is a direct ticket to admiration central. Here's what you need to make them:
For the dough:
1 ½ cup of maida (flour)
½ teaspoon of salt
water for kneading
1 tablespoon of oil (plus more for greasing)
For the stuffing:
3 teaspoons of oil
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 inch of ginger (finely chopped)
2 green chillies (finely chopped)
4 tablespoons of spring onions
1 cup of grated carrot
2 cups of cabbage (finely chopped)
½ teaspoon of crushed pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
1. To make the dough combine the maida, salt and oil with water. Knead the dough until the batter stops sticking to your hands. Once ready, set the prepared dough aside.
2. To prepare the stuffing, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, ginger and chilli for a few minutes. Once fragrant, add in the spring onions and sauté them too.
3. Once they're soft, add in the carrots and cabbage and stir fry them
4. After a minute, add the salt and pepper.
5. Pinch a small ball sized dough and roll it into a thin circle. (You can use a cutter if you have one).
6. Scoop a teaspoon of stuffing onto the rolled circle and form your favourite momo shape by pinching the ends open together.
7. Make 12 pieces for the first batch.
8. Start the steamer and let the water come to a boil. Grease the tray on which you will place the momos, and place 6 momos on each tray.
9. Close the steamer's lid for 5 minutes and then check if the momos are done.
Serve hot with your favourite red chilli-garlic paste.
Note that this is a street-style vegetable dumpling; should you want to serve up different flavours, you can easily do so. Just keep the consistency of the stuffing in mind; anything too runny and the dumpling may burst. Anything to stodgy may not taste good. We have also tried making water chestnut and corn dumplings in this fashion, which turned out delicious!
You can also follow the recipe to make pan-fried momos, but instead of a steamer, use a non-stick pan and its lid to shallow fry and steam the momos simultaneously.
2. Buckwheat Handvo
This healthy twist on the popular Gujarati dish will become a tea-time favourite in your homes! Traditionally prepared with fermented moong dal, Handvo is a soft savoy cake made in a single pot that is served with mint chutney. Here's what you need to make this buckwheat Handvo:
1 cup of buckwheat
1 cup of curd
1 cup shredded raw potato
1 tablespoon of ginger (grated)
3 green chillies (finely chopped)
¼ cup of coriander (finely chopped)
salt to taste
2 teaspoons of oil
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds
½ teaspoon of asafoetida (Hing)
1. In a bowl, mix the buckwheat and curd. Cover and keep aside for an hour.
2. After an hour, add the potatoes, ginger, green chillies, coriander and salt and mix them well. Cover and set aside again.
3. Prepare the tempering by heating oil in a small non-stick flat pan and then add the cumin and mustard seeds to it. Once they crackle, add the asafoetida and saute for a few more seconds.
4. Pour the curd batter onto the non-stick pan and spread it evenly. Cover it and allow it to cook for 8 minutes or till the base turns golden brown.
5. Gently flip the side of the handvo to allow it to cook on the next side for another few minutes and turn off the heat.
That’s it…Your handvo is ready to serve and relish!
These uber delicious recipes are a must-try. But should you still miss the classic pakoras with your evening chai, you can also make baked pakoras instead of the classic deep-fried ones… believe us, they taste just as good!
Hope you enjoy making these treats at home. Bon Apetite!