After a lot of searching, high and low, I found a recipe, that I tweaked to try and replicate the flavors I so vividly remember. Since I cook for just my husband and I, this recipe is scaled down. I also just use my favorite veggies from that day – okra (bhindi) and potatoes (aloo). I found that these are also some of the easy ones to work with. I don’t make this recipe very often, because the veggies start off by getting deep fried and are then tossed with a spice mix (tava masala), and the deep frying tips this to the slightly indulgent side.
The spice mix, or my version of the tava masala is hot a very hot mix. The spices used are warm and flavorful. The chaat masala is an integral part of this recipe. If you haven’t tried it before, it is a blend of a few spices like cumin, pepper and a few others with some powdered mango. So it has a unique flavor profile, you get a slight hit of salt, tang from the mango and delicious flavor from the blend of other spices. You can easily find this at any Indian grocery store. (This chaat masala also works well with other chaat recipes you find on my blog.)
So try this easy stir fry recipe. This is best enjoyed served hot with some chapatis, rotis, naan or other flatbread of your choice. It would also work well as a side dish to some hearty Dal & Rice.
Tava Style Aloo Bhindi
3 medium potatoes
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 – 1 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder (or any other mild chilly powder)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chaat masala
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp oil, plus oil for deep frying
Place a pan with the oil for deep frying on medium high heat.
Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into evenly sized fries / chips.
Wash the okra and pat dry. Chop the stalks off the okra and discard. Try and use okra that is similar in size, if not, cut them down to about the same size as the potato pieces.
By now, the oil should be hot. Carefully, and in batches, add the potatoes to the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the oil will froth over and spill.
Deep fry the potatoes on medium heat till they’ve cooked through. Drain using a slotted spoon and set aside on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.
Deep fry the okra on medium heat till they have start getting a little darker in color and have started crisping up.
Drain using a slotted spoon and set aside on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil, like you did the potatoes.
Take the oil for deep frying off the heat.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan on medium heat. When the oil is warm, NOT hot, add in the turmeric powder first and then add the rest of the spice powders.
Stir that through for about 20-30 seconds or till the spices get aromatic.
Add the okra to the pan and toss well. Lastly add the potatoes and toss to coat the veggies with the spices evenly.
Check for seasoning and add salt, to taste. Toss well.
You can watch the video recipe here –
If you haven’t had potato chops before, you really should. These little beauties are served up in lots of Goan homes, not just in Goa, but around the world. They are a must at any party or family gathering, in my house at least. I have posted this recipe before, but that was years ago. The recipe is still the same one. I’ve just got some new pictures and I’ve made a little video to show you how I make these potato chops. They are pretty simple to make, but if you’re a visual learner like me, the video will help make the process simpler. So go on over and have a look. Let me know if you have any questions at all. The step by step recipe is just below.
1/2 a recipe of Beef Mince (Beef mince video recipe here – https://youtu.be/RhSfsw2EC1U ) (You can substitute mutton mince, if you don’t eat beef)
4-5 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp cumin powder
A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Bread crumbs / Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Make half a portion of beef mince and keep aside. This should come down to room temperature before you proceed with this recipe.
Boil the potatoes only when you are ready to make the chops you need to work when the potatoes are still warm. Cold potatoes make handling difficult.
Peel and mash the potatoes well. Make sure there are no lumps. Add salt to taste, cumin powder, turmeric powder and coriander leaves and using your hands mix well to ensure all the spices and herbs are evenly distributed. Feel free to adjust the quantities of the spices and herbs used to suit your taste.
Take a portion of the mashed potato, the size of a tennis ball, roll into a ball and flatten to form a thick disc on the palm of your hand. Place a spoon of the mince in the center and bring the sides of the potato disc up and over the filling to cover it well. Make sure that no mince is sticking out. If you feel the need to add more potato to it, feel free to do so. The mashed potato merges well. Shape it to form a patty and keep aside. Continue till you’ve used up all the mashed potato.
Crack an egg in a shallow bowl, wide enough to fit the chops. Beat well to incorporate the white and the yolk.
Pour some bread crumbs onto a plate and keep it ready. I have a little assembly line going for this, starting with the chops at one end, followed by the bowl with the beaten egg, the bread crumbs and a plate lined with some absorbent kitchen paper at the other end.
Heat some oil in a pan.
Briefly dip a chop in the egg and turn over, making sure it coats the chop well.
Dredge it through the bread crumbs making sure the potato chop is well coated. This is what will give it a good crunch.
Carefully place in the pan with the heated oil and shallow fry till it takes on a nice golden brown color. Turn and let the other side fry as well till it gets golden brown.
Carefully take it off the pan and repeat till you’ve used up the rest of the potato mix.
NOTE: You don’t need to fry these one at a time, place as many as your pan can accommodate, making sure theres a little space between them to help you turn these over.
Here’s what it looks like on the inside –
So to ease back into the flow of things, this will be a quick post. The recipe also is a quick one, super simple to make. Infact, you can barely even call it a recipe, but the results are so very good, I will go ahead and post it here to share with you. If you haven’t tried out sweet potato fries yet, trust me, you really should. Even my beloved husband, who doesn’t care much for the sweet potato (he calls it a sweet mush / baby food), loved it and actually requests for these fries every once in a while.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. You could peel the potatoes, but I leave the skin on. Just give it a good wash and scrub and you are good to go. Also, size of the fries will make a difference. The thicker you cut it, the longer it will take to cook. The thicker sized fries will still be soft and fluffy. If you are like me and love a little crunch in your life, cut the fries thin. It cooks quicker and caramelises a little and is super delicious, not to mention perfectly crunchy.
This fries are a much more healthy version that the regular potato fries and are great either as a snack or as a side to a big roast dinner or holiday meal too.
Sweet Potato Fries
1 large sweet potato, washed
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
A drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut the sweet potato into fries.
Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking tray.
Place the sweet potato, salt and pepper on the tray and toss to make sure everything is well coated. You can add a little more olive oil if needed.
Arrange the potato pieces in a single layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the pieces once at the halfway mark.
Keep an eye on your oven from time to time. It may not need as long in your oven. Also this time will depend on the size of the pieces. So keep an eye on it the first time you make this.
When it is done to your liking, take it out of the oven.
Serve hot and enjoy!
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Yippie no.1- its SRC reveal day
Yippie no.2 – I only just realised that this post will be no.301
I can’t believe that I have 300 blog posts done so far. I still remember back when I was contemplating starting this blog, I was concerned I’d run out of things to say. Well, thanks to every single one of you, 300 posts and over four and a half years later (Yikes!!!) I still have a lot more to say and things to share. Thank you for your ongoing support and love, its what keeps me going. I’ve meet so many wonderful people online and have learned so much, I’m eager to see where we go from here and hope you will continue to share this journey with me 🙂
This months SRC assignment took me to Sarah’s blog, Things I Make (for Dinner). Sarah is from Ontario, Canada and loves cooking, travel, baking and trying new things. I do too. We have another thing in common – we both enjoy a good nap …. good to know (I thought I was the only one).
Sarah and her husband J enjoy comfort food just like my husband and I do, so when I saw her recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes I knew I found the recipe I wanted to try. Choosing just this one recipe wasn’t easy. I can’t wait to try her Buffalo Chicken Wontons, Chicken Taco Calzones and every single sandwich she has listed on her site; there are some super yummy options.
Back to the Twice Baked Potatoes. Its just what the name suggests – potatoes that are baked twice and has a few special add-ins to make everything taste even more incredible. It has a little back, a little spring onions and a little cheese in the mix, and honestly, how can you go wrong with an ingredient list like that. I knew I was onto a delicious recipe and I wasn’t wrong. I love potatoes in any form, but I haven’t tried potatoes in this form before. They look adorable and would make a lovely addition to a family meal table alongside a nice Sunday roast.
Twice Baked Potaoes
2 potatoes, washed and baked (skin-on)
2 rashers of bacon
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp oil
Salt, to taste
Bake the potatoes whole and skin on till done. (I usually wrap the potatoes in foil and bake them when I’ve got the oven on for anything else as well)
Heat the oil and fry the bacon till it has lightly browned.
Add the spring onions and cook till the onions have softened.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh, keeping the skin and a little layer of potato under it intact.
Add the scooped out flesh to a bowl and put in the bacon and onion mix. Add the sour cream and cheese and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed.
Carefully spoon the mix back into the potato halves.
Place the stuffed potatoes under the broiler to lightly brown off.
Anyway, things got better from there. We spent Sunday with family at my brother-in-law’s place. The guys had a blast. They played carrom after years and played for quite a few hours, while I spent time with my sister-in-law and neices (you remember them – Faith & Shania – from my second post). After a delightful morning and lunch with them, we headed home.
I was exhausted but I still wanted to make something for dinner that night.At first, I wanted to make some Moussaka. I’ve made that a couple of times before, and my husband and I simply love it. Then I started having second thoughts as the recipe calls for a lot of frying and with the temperatures and humidity levels being sky-high in Mumbai at the moment, I didn’t think I could endure all that frying. So as I was sifting through my collection of recipes, I stumbled upon a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that I’d bookmarked some time ago and decided to give it a go. The original recipe calls for lamb mince but since I only had beef mince in the house, I made the switch. Well some folks say that Shepherd’s Pie is strictly made using lamb mince and if you do happen u switch the meat like I did, then what you’ve made is some Cottage Pie. Either way, I must say, this recipe did not disappoint. I used the recipe found in Nita Mehta’s – The Best of Mutton. All you do is make some mashed potato and a simple mince. Place the mince in a baking dish and smear the mashed potato over to make a nice layer. Bake @ 170ºC for about 20 minutes. In less than an hour, we sat down to a hearty, warm and scrumptious dinner. This, served with a lovely fresh salad, is really yummy.
Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.
Note to Self: Next time, get pictures before wolfing down delicious food. 🙂