Garlic Karasev

After spending a little more than 30 years in Mumbai, when I was born and brought up, we moved to our new home – Australia. Nothing gives me greater joy than calling Australia home. But every once in a while, I go through phases where I miss Indian food. We cook a lot of Indian food at home. But what I was missing was the easily available street food that Mumbai is famous for – it’s Chat and idli/vada/dosas. Another thing I tend to miss is the Indian Mithai (sweets) and farsaan (savoury munchies). The Indian stores here stock them, but they’re usually not as fresh as they should be, or as tasty. You also end up spending a fair bit on them. I decided it was time that I learnt to make the things I love, myself. To my surprise, I found that a lot of these recipes are fairly easy. With a little research online, I am now well on my way to making a lot of these goodies myself. Today I’m making some Garlic Karasev.

I tried my hand at an easy version of the Gulab Jamun which you can check out here. I was so stoked with the results, I knew I couldn’t stop there. So the very next day, I decided to try out something savoury. I found this recipe through Pinterest and at the same time I tried out a recipe for Methi Mathri. The Methi Mathri flopped, but I think I know what possible caused that to fail. But this Garlic Karasev, was spot on. I love garlic and that garlicky flavour came through beautifully. I stuck to the ingredient list in the original recipe, but made a few modifications to the process. This made the process easier with no impact on the resulting flavour or texture. I was very pleased with the results. It is hard to stop snacking on this garlic karasev with your afternoon cup of tea. This recipe is an absolute keeper. It yields a fairly big batch within a short time too.

Garlic Karasev
Adapted from: The Chef and Her Kitchen

2 1/2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
1 cup rice flour
2 tsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp red chilli powder
3 large cloves of garlic, finely grated
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp approx.)
Oil, for deep frying

Heat oil in a wok for deep frying. While the oil is heating, prepare the dough.

In a large mixing bowl, place the besan, rice flour, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well.

Add the grated garlic and mix to distribute evenly.

Add the melted ghee next. Again mix well.

Gradually add a little water and knead to a dough. The dough shouldn’t be too tight or too soft. It will be a little sticky, which is fine.

Divide the dough into 2-3 portions. I had 3 portions, one was in the chakli press.

For this recipe, you need to use the form with slightly larger holes. You may have one with 3 larger holes or multiple ones. I’ve indicated the one I used.

By now, the oil should have heated. Insert the form you are using first. Add the dough. Then simply turn the handle on the top while moving your arm slightly to form a little circular nest directly in the hot oil. Don’t overlap the dough too much or it wont fry well. Turn the heat to medium.

When it starts to turn a light golden brown, carefully turn over with a slotted spoon.

When it has cooked on both sides to a golden brown colour, take it off the heat using a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

Continue the process with the rest of the dough.

Once it has cooled completely, you can break it up gently into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

You’ve got yourself a couple of weeks worth of munchies. And the best part is, you know exactly what is in it, no artificial flavouring or preservatives. That makes me very happy.

So go ahead, try this recipe and let me know what you think of it.

Chaklis – Savoury Indian rice crakers

For quite a few months now, I’ve been yearning for some good Chaklis (Savoury Indian rice crackers). I have made them at home in Bombay using my late Mother-in-law’s recipe and they are fantastic. I bought a couple of different packets from the Indian grocery stores here in Sydney, but it just never hits the spot. So why am I not making them here? I didn’t have this – 

I know for those of you who haven’t seen this before, it must look like something straight out of an alien space craft but just wait till you see what you can do with it. This is what it looks like on the inside – 
In some ways it is similar to a spritz cookie press. You slide in a plate from the assortment on the right into the barrel. For this recipe I used the one with the single star shaped perforation. Place your dough in the barrel and top it with the spiral press. All you do it rotate the lever on the top and that lowers the press and presses out the dough through the perforation. If that doesn’t make sense yet, don’t worry, it will shortly.
My dear blogging friend Manu of Manu’s Menu had posted some recipes featuring this press. So I asked her where she got her’s from and she very kindly directed me to the shops in Harris Park. So last weekend that’s where we went and finally bought one. I’ve hunted for this press for so long here and am so thrilled that I now have one. No more buying those unsatisfying packets of cruchy, but still hard like stone chaklis from the store for me. 
The very next morning, we set out making a batch of chaklis. The dough comes together quick and easy and makes a decent sized batch. Stored in an airtight container should give us something to much on for atleast a week with a cup of afternoon tea. And that thought makes me very happy indeed.
Chaklis

3 cup rice flour (fine)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ghee
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp. red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Oil for deep frying
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and rub the ghee into the flour till everything is well mixed.
Gradually add little water to knead to a dough.
Heat the oil. Test with a tiny pea sized piece of dough. When added to the oil, it should rise to the surface quickly. If it browns really fast, the oil is too hot and needs to be cooled a little. If it settles to the bottom, the oil is not hot enough and needs to be heated a little more. 
The oil temperature is important, if its too hot, the chaklis will brown but stay raw on the inside and if the oil is not hot enough, it tends to absorb a lot of oil and wont have the right texture.
Take portions of dough and add to the chakli press.
Shape the chaklis on some baking paper.
That’s my wonderful husband cranking out the chaklis while I fry them, just incase you were wondering if that was my hand ๐Ÿ˜‰
Carefully using a flat spatula, life the chaklis off the paper and place into the oil. Let it cook on medium flame till golden brown. Drain on some absorbent kitchen paper.
When it has cooled completely, store in an air tight container.
Enjoy!!!

SRC: Sriracha Peanuts

This month I had the pleasure of being assigned, Mellissa’s blog, A Fit and Spicy Life. That’s one thing I really love about the Secret Recipe Club, each month you are introduced to a blog you are not necessarily familiar with. I had so much fun looking through Mellissa’s blog. If you are a dog lover like me, you have got to go over and check out the doggie cuteness on her blog. And yeah, while you’re there stay a little longer and check out her recipes. There’s something for everyone.

There were two recipes that I was very eager to try. Strangely enough, they were very similar recipes – both munchies. I’ve been surrounded by sweet food. If you go to a supermarket here, you’re bombarded by sweet stuff – cakes, cookies, pies, pastries and so much more. But it is practically impossible to find good savoury treats that are slightly on the spicier side. So when I saw these recipes for Spiced Pumpkin seeds and these Sriracha Peanuts, I was sold. So by now, you’ve figured that I chose to make the Sriracha Peanuts and I’m so very glad I did. These were super easy to make and they are so addictive, I had to put them in a container and tuck them away before I finished the whole lot. I made a few minute changes to the spice mix, but that’s only because the blend called for in the original recipe, is not available in my part of the world. But the resulting peanuts are crunchy and tasty and I’m sure I’ll be making many more variants, now that I’ve figured how to add a spicy glaze to nuts. Thanks Mellissa for the inspiration.

Sriracha Peanuts


2 cups salted peanuts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp Smokey barbecue sauce
1 tsp Cajun spice blend
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 180ยบC.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non stick spray.

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir to make sure all the peanuts are well coated with the sauces and spices.

Pour the nuts onto the lined baking sheet and spread so that they form an even single layer of nuts.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes till they’re toasted. Carefully stir them through once at about the 10 minute mark.

Let the nuts cools completely.

You could either pack these up in an airtight container and nibble on it over the next few days, or serve them right up. If you put a bowl of these nuts in front of company, trust me, you will need to make a double batch and might still not have any left over.

Namakpare … Savory fried crackers

I can’t tell you how glad I am to report that I can finally make a good batch of Namakpare. What is Namakpare? These little gems are delicious, savory deep fried crackers. This Indian treat is found on every Indian festival platter (like a cookie platter). In my household, we never made this at Christmas, but I’ve always enjoyed them and have always wanted to be able to make some at home.

I made some a while ago, and while they tasted right, the texture wasn’t. They were not crunchy. You see they are meant to be crunchy and that’s what makes them so addictive. I was a little disappointed with this version and that was the end of it.

Anyway, I forgot about them for a little while and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I came across a recipe a couple of days ago when I was looking around online. I decided I had to try them out. I was missing Indian flavours and I figured, this would be a good opportunity to try out another recipe.

This recipe simply involves making a tight dough, roll out into a disc, cut into diamonds, deep fry, cool down and … Enjoy! The ingredients required are also very basic ones. There is a good chance you will have all you need in your pantry. This recipe took me back home in a bite. The crackers taste fantastic, they are crunchy and so very yummy. Once completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container. Enjoy them with a nice hot cup of tea.

Namakpare
Recipe from: Cooks Joy


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Salt, to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
Water, as needed
Oil, for deep frying

Mix both flours, salt and cumin seeds.

Add ghee and rub it into the flour.

Using water slowly and gradually, knead into a tight dough. (You want the dough smooth but NOT soft.)

Cover and let the dough rest for an hour.

When you are ready to proceed, preheat oil for deep frying.

Divide the dough into 4 portions.

Working with one portion at a time (keep the rest covered so that it doesn’t dry out), roll out to a disc about 1/8 inch thick.

Cut into diamond shapes. In India, they have a really cool cutter with multiple blades that makes the process much quicker. But if you don’t have one, use a knife like I did. I forgot to take a picture of this step ๐Ÿ™

Pictured above is a different dough (the one for methi namakpare …. recipe coming up soon), but the process is exactly the same.

You can always re-roll the scraps and cut them out.

Carefully place the cut pieces in the hot oil. I usually place the cut pieces in my slotted spoon and place the spoon in the oil and gently tip the pieces in. I find that’s the only way I can keep from burning my hands.

Fry over a medium low heat. (This low frying ensures they cook through and get crispy later.)

When they are a nice golden brown, drain and set on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

When completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

Note: 
Because you’ve used ghee while kneading the dough, you wont need to sprinkle flour to roll it out, the dough will not be sticky.

Fry it over a medium heat. Frying it over high heat will just brown the outside while the inside will still be doughy and won’t crisp up.

Corn Flakes Chivda – Savory Corn Flakes Snack Mix

Update: Here’s a slightly better picture of the same recipe ๐Ÿ™‚




For those of you who’ve never heard of this, you must be thinking I’ve lost it. Most of us associate corn flakes with a morning breakfast cereal thats a little on the sweeter side. Today, I’m going to introduce you to a snack mix made of corn flakes, which is savory, crunchy, healthy and really tasty. As a matter of fact this is my husband’s  favorite munchy. I’m convinced that given the chance he’ll snack on this every day. I enjoy this from time to time, but in the past the thought of making this myself has always been intimidating. After a fair amount of online research, I decided to try it out. I saw a few recipes that had elements I liked as well as stuff I really didn’t care for. What I’m listing below is a combination of a few, mostly inspired by a store-bought variety that I quite like. This is so easy, I think it take about 15 minutes to make and you can store it in an air-tight container and nibble on it over the next few days, if it doesn’t get wolfed down sooner.

Corn Flakes Chivda


2 cups cornflakes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 green chillies, slit (optional)
6-8 curry leaves
20 raisins
20 cashewnuts
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup roasted chana dal (dalia)
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut chips (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 – 1 tsp red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp superfine sugar (You can also use granulated sugar, powdered)

Heat the oil in a large pan.

Add the mustard seeds and let it sputter.

Add the green chillies and curry leaves and let them fry off till they are nice and crisp. Be careful not to burn them.

Then add the peanuts. If you’re using raw peanuts, let them fry off on a medium flame till they are lightly browned and cooked. If you’re using roasted peanuts, this won’t take as long.

Add the roasted chana dal and cashew seeds and saute for a minute or so.

Next, add the raisins and let them fry for about half a minute.

Add the salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and stir well.

Add the corn flakes and toss well making sure that the corn flakes are well coated with the spice mix.

Take it off the fire.

When it has cooled a little but is still warm, sprinkle the sugar over it and toss gently but thoroughly.

Let it cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Please note – Snacks like this should be tweaked to your liking. Feel free to play around with the dry fruits and nuts added as well as the spice, sugar and salt levels. After you make this once, you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like to do the next time.

Have fun with this recipe.

This recipe is linked to –
What’s On The Menu Wednesday
What’s Cooking Thurdays
Real Food Wednesday

Diwali Delicacies @ Spicy Treats and Priya’s Versatile Recipes