Saturday, May 19, 2012

Marble Paneer Pakodas (Cottage Cheese Fritters)

One of the sad aspects of living abroad, in my case in California instead of somewhere in India is missing out on all the grand food that is served during festivals, weddings and other family functions. If I lived in India, say Bangalore or Delhi or Mumbai, I would have no excuse to make for not being present for maternal uncle’s daughter’s marriage or paternal aunt’s grandson’s annaprasan (First rice ceremony). Even if SH was unable to make it due to work or any other constraints, I would be expected to make my appearances and no excuse accepted.
But, we are far away in foreign shores and our participation in the familial joys is through long and regular phone calls and video chats. Often on the phone our way of participation is discussing the elaborate menus and in what great details we can talk about food. My Mother in law would say, “Uncle X was adamant to keep 3 appetizers but Uncle Y intervened and made it one veg and one non veg, so that they could include expresso coffee along with three kinds of soda”. But what did Aunt Z have to say because it was her son's ceremony? Hmmm.. well!!!
My participation in the conversation is also on these line, “I want to be there so that I can go shopping and dress up and well eat”.
During one such lengthy and very detailed discussion about a wedding in the family and the quintessential talk over the wedding menu my mother in law mentioned about these specific paneer pakodas (cottage cheese fritters). As she kept describing her bite size experience, my mind kept making a note that I want to have those pakodas. But how could I have those paneer pakodas? The wedding is long over and the caterers are gone. I will just have to listen to these food stories and be content. It has been a long time since this conversation and I am not content, because those fritters stayed planted in my brains. And finally, this week I decided to give a try to these paneer pakodas with a twist.
 Here you can see three kinds of pakoras - paneer fry, paneer pakoras on top left and the darker Marble paneer pakoras, served with Tamarind Chutney. 
So here is my own recipe for the Marble Paneer Pakodas (Cottage cheese fritters)
2 heaps of Tbsp Besan (Chana dal flour)
½ tsp Baking soda
Pinch of salt,
Pinch of chilli powder
Tamarind chutney
Oil to fry
Mix the dry ingredients – Besan, Baking soda, salt, red chili powder.
Gradually pour water and keep mixing the ingredients. Note the mixture is not watery but on a thicker side so that it sticks to the sides of the cheese pieces. Let this mixture stand for a while.
Heat oil in a pan or wok and in the meantime, cute the paneer (cottage cheese) into thin one inch cubes/ rectangles. Take two pieces of paneer, Dip one slice of paneer in tamarind chutney and make a sandwich with the other slice. Now dip this slice into the besan batter and put it in the hot oil pan to fry. Let it fry till it is golden on all sides. Fry it to the consistency you like.
This is so yum… hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I did.
Happy cooking!! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good to be Back

Feels great to be back on the blogging block.
I have been contemplating this move for so long that its ridiculous, but non the less made the move and here I am. After 3 yrs of a very long sabbatical I am back. Life has taken new turns during these past 36 months -some mundane, some beautiful and some sad ones and all memorable.
First the happy notes - I have a 10 month old, beautiful bonny boy who makes me feel like I am the most loved  and 24 hrs on demand and well loved person on this earth. Every time I look at him I am guaranteed a beautiful bright  toothless currently, 3 teeth smile.
Well, more about Champ, me and my world in following post.
I cant wait to keep this thing going and super hot.
Leaving you guys with a wonderful image to look at.
 One of the Bouquets we recieved when Champ was born.

Love to all.