crab cakes
Posted on November 24, 2016 by

November – Bengali Crab & Cod Cakes

As we head into the festive season, I’m sharing my recipe for Bengali crab and cod cakes. This is a great little snack, and an ideal dish for a party, it can be useful to use up all the trimmings, if you had a big party. The crab cakes are slightly unusual in its use of raisins, but I have several good memories of having these as a child, this was our neighbour’s way of getting us to like fish as children!

Ingredients

  • 300g cod fillet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 200ml water
  • 200g white crab meat

For the spice mix

For crumbing

For the fish cakes

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large beetroot, boiled and chopped in 1cm dices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon raisins

Method:

Clean the cod fillet, remove the skin and cut into 4-5 even-sized pieces. Place them on a pan and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Add salt and turmeric and lightly poach on medium heat with the lid on, for about 5-6 minutes, till the fish pieces are cooked. Remove and pat them dry on a kitchen paper. Gently flake them using a fork and set aside. Reserve the liquid and reduce to get a concentrate.

To make the spice mix, roast all the ingredients and blend them together to a powder in a food processor.

To make the fish cakes, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the bay leaves and cumin seeds and when they release their flavour, add the onion and sauté till they become golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic pastes followed by the turmeric and chilli powder and crab meat, sauté for a minute. Now add the fish, ginger, green chillies and the mashed beetroot and stir gently to mix them with the spices. Add the reserved cooking liquid. Sprinkle the spice mix powder, add the raisins and coriander and mix well. Remove and leave to cool.

Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into balls. Dust them with the flour, dip in the beaten eggs and roll them in the breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Flatten slightly and deep fry in a deep-fat fryer or a deep saucepan for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve straight away.

Serve with salad and mustard mayonnaise.

Cinnamon 0015-min
Posted on October 31, 2016 by

October – Stuffed Parathas

October’s dish of the month features the recipe for kheema stuffed parathas, a popular Punjabi breakfast. Dip the bread into yoghurt or pickle or scoop up butter with it. Traditionally it’s always freshly churned home made butter but regular salted butter will do just fine. As made by Vivek on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen – catch up on the show here!

Discover our new breakfast menu at Cinnamon Soho where you will find these parathas, among many other flavours and more..

Makes 10

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 400g chapatti flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 25ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter

For lamb mince filling:

Pomegranate Raita:

  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin, roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped, fresh coriander leaves

Method:

Mix together the flour, carom seeds, salt, oil and 225ml water to make a smooth dough. Cover and rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make filling.

Heat the oil in a pan to smoking point and add the whole spices, followed by the cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add the onions and cook on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste, salt, the ground spices, chopped ginger, green chillies and stir for 2-3 minutes to cook out the spices.

Now add the minced lamb and cook until dry and liquid has evaporated.

Add the grated boiled potato and cook for a minute stirring to mix thoroughly. Adjust the seasoning and sprinkle with the chopped coriander, green chillies and the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and let the mince filling cool down completely. Pick and discard the whole spices, then divide the stuffing into 10 equal portions and roll into balls. Use to fill the paratha.

Take a ball of dough, make an indent and keep pressing and rotating the dough in your hand to make the cavity slightly larger than the size of the ball of stuffing. The edges of the cavity of dough should be slightly thinner than the rest of it. Sit the ball of filling in the cavity and bring together the edges to cover the stuffing from all sides. Do not leave any cracks or the filling will come out while rolling the parathas.

Lightly dust with flour, gently flatten then roll out into a 20cm in diameter disc.

Place a rolled paratha in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, preferably iron, over a medium-low heat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip over and repeat on the other side.  As it cooks, roll out the next paratha. When both sides become dry and start to colour, brush with a little ghee to get even colouring. Remove from the heat and keep on a foil-lined plate. Keep the pile of parathas warm by loosely wrapping in foil.

To make the raita, cut the pomegranate into two halves and remove the seeds by gently tapping with a rolling pin or back of a heavy knife. Reserve a few grains of pomegranate for garnishing.

Combine all the ingredients except the coriander leaves and mix well. Transfer the raita into bowls, sprinkle the coriander on top and refrigerate until use.

Serve the parathas with the pomegranate raita.  Alternatively, they can also be served with cold salted butter.

 

Yellow Lentils_9980
Posted on September 9, 2016 by

September – Yellow Lentils

At The Cinnamon Club this month we are delighted to be paying a tribute to Roald Dahl. 2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – the world’s number one storyteller, and so we have a special Dahl Menu running all month! Find out more here.

I’m sharing with you India’s every day dahl, compared to black lentils, which is more for special occasions and tends to be cooked in restaurants rather than home.

In most households the lentils would be served quite thin and watery, simply boiled and tempered with spices. The process of adding spices crackling in hot fat to cooked dahl is commonly known as tadka, hence the name of the dish.

The flavours and spices vary from region to region. In Rajasthan, they would simply use asafoetida, cumin and chilli, in the Punjab garlic, onion and tomatoes are added, while in southern India it’s common to see lentils tempered with curry leaves, chillies and mustard seeds. The options and flavour combinations are endless.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 100g / ½ cup masoor dahl (red lentils), washed
  • 100g / ½ moong dahl (split yellow mung beans), washed
  • 1.2 litres water
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 whole dried red chillies
  • Pinch of asafoetida (heeng)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tomato, medium sized, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, scraped and chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • Juice from ½ lemon

Method

Wash the lentils in running cold water, and then drain well. Put them in a pan with the water, turmeric and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-40 minutes, until they are so thoroughly disintegrated that you cannot tell the different lentils apart. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan; add the whole red chillies, asafoetida, and cumin seeds and allow then to crackle, add the garlic wait and for it to turn golden brown, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat.

Add the red chilli powder, sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomato and cook for 5-6 minutes over moderate heat and throw in ginger, green chillies coriander leaves and pour the mix over the lentils. Adjust the seasoning and finish with lemon juice.

Tip: In some parts of the country, as many as 5 different types of lentils are used. You could use as many different types as you could find, just make sure that most of them have their husk removed as otherwise it changes the colour of the final dish.

67-min
Posted on September 1, 2016 by

August – Game Cooked in an Indian Wok

August’s dish of the month is in celebration of the game season. On the Glorious Twelfth, the first grouse of the shooting season was brought to London in the fastest mode possible; in a Porsche Macan Turbo, and served for lunch at The Cinnamon Club! Check out our feature in the London Evening Standard.

Kadhai ka shikar or game cooked in an Indian wok- Shikar is a Hindi term for hunted meat, and this kadhai-style preparation is a quick and easy way to enjoy whatever you may be able to lay your hands upon. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 grouse, breasts deboned
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf/cinnamon leaf
  • 2 medium sized onions, ½  finely chopped & ½ cut into strips 1cm ( ½ inch) thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm (1 inch) fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tomatoes, 2 puréed and 1 deseeded and cut into strips 1cm (½  inch) thick
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime

Spice mix

Method

Skin the birds, and then cut the breasts off the bone. You won’t need the legs but you could keep them to use for another dish. Cut the breasts into strips about 1cm ( ½ inch) thick and set aside.

To make the spice mix, roast all the ingredients in a dry frying pan, over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes and then pound them to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan, add the whole spices and bay leaves and let them crackle. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until golden. Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and sauté for a minute.

Stir in the chilli powder, ground coriander and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the puréed tomatoes and continue cooking until they are reduced by half. Add the meat and sauté over a high heat for 2 minutes to sear it quickly. Add the onion strips, reduce the heat, stir in the spice mix, salt and sugar and cook for another minute or so. Add the tomato strips and mix well. Sprinkle in the fresh coriander, squeeze in the lime juice and remove from the heat.

Serve with paratha or a light salad.

Shrimp Kichri-min
Posted on July 11, 2016 by

July – Shrimp Kichri

July’s dish of the month features the recipe for shrimp kichri, a great brunch dish and as made by Vivek on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen – catch up on the show here!

I remember my Dad used to say a true Bengali can’t have a single meal without fish or something fishy! Kichri was something that was made every Saturday for lunch and even more of a fixture if it happened to be a rainy or even overcast day. Different versions would include a vegetarian version with peas, cauliflower, carrots etc., a plain version to be enjoyed with rich spicy mutton curry, and this dried shrimp version when there wasn’t enough fish to feed the entire family!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz split yellow mung beans, washed
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints fish stock or water
  • pinch ground turmeric
  • 75g/2¾oz ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2½cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 100g/3½oz shrimps (or small prawns), peeled
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
  • 1 tsp dry shrimp paste
  • 150g/5½oz basmati rice, cooked and cooled
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 lemon, juice only

Method

Put the mung beans in a saucepan with the fish stock and turmeric. Bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are cooked and falling apart (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 60g/2¼oz ghee in a heavy-based pan and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onions and gently fry until golden-brown. Add the ginger, chillies and salt and fry for 1 minute.

Add the shrimps and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mung beans and bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes and shrimp paste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then fold in the rice. Mix carefully, mixing the rice just enough to heat through without breaking.

Finish with the remaining ghee, sprinkle with lemon juice and coriander. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

fishy 1help me-000014-min
Posted on July 11, 2016 by

June – Baked Whole Fish

As demonstrated to the crowds by Vivek at this year’s Taste of London festival in Regent’s Park, for June’s dish of the month we’re sharing a simple yet effective barbecue dish, perfect for entertaining or an impressive family lunch. You could easily wrap the fish in foil and cook over a barbecue, but baking in the oven is possibly the simplest method. Sea bream is used here, but you can also use sea bass, pomfret, snapper or mackerel – anything you like really. The spice crust has quite a kick to it. Depending upon how coarsely you’ve pounded the spices, you end up with an interesting texture which beautifully highlights the delicate texture of moist fish.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 whole sea bream, 350-400g each, gutted, cleaned, fins and tails trimmed
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp clarified butter, to baste lemon wedges, to serve

For the stuffing (optional)

  • 2 lime leaves, torn into 2-3 pieces
  • 100g boiled basmati rice (30g uncooked weight)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp sugar

For the spice crust

Method

Using a sharp knife, slash the fish two or three times on each side and rub in the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and lemon juice. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/ gas mark 6.

Mix together the stuffing ingredients and divide equally between the fish, spooning it into the belly (you may omit the stuffing if you wish).

To make the spice crust, coarsely pound all the dry ingredients together using a pestle and mortar, then mix together with the garlic, ginger, coriander and oil. Apply the spice crust to both sides of the fish to form an even coating.

Place the fish on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes. If the fish starts to colour too quickly, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 after 6-8 minutes and carefully turn the fish over for even cooking. Baste with clarified butter halfway through the cooking time. If you think the spice crust is in danger of burning, cover the fish with foil. To check the fish is cooked, insert the tip of a sharp knife or a wooden skewer through the thickest part of the fish; if the juices run clear and the tip feels warm to the lips then the fish is cooked.

Serve the fish with a simple salad, accompanied by lemon wedges.

Roast Rack of Lamb with Saffron Sauce_8823-min
Posted on May 9, 2016 by

May – Roast Rack of Lamb with Saffron Sauce

Welcoming Spring lamb this month! We are excited to be introducing Sunday dining at The Cinnamon Club, where the best of British Spring lamb features prominently. Found out more here!

Now for May’s recipe of the month, don’t let the picture and cheffy flourishes with sauce put you off; my recipe for roast rack of lamb with saffron sauce is a very simple, yet impressive dish to wow your guests with at a dinner party. You can make the sauce and marinate the meat ahead of time, leaving you just to roast, rest, slice and serve! 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 x 8-bone racks of lamb, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • A pince of sugar

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 500ml chicken stock or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • A small pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • 15g cold butter

Method

If the racks of lamb haven’t already been prepared, trim off the skin and most of the fat, leaving just a thin layer of fat on the meat. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade, rub them over the lamb and set aside for 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, heat the oil to smoking point in a large saucepan and add the cloves, cardamom pods and the bay leaves. When they crackle, add the tomatoes, garlic, onion and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the tomatoes and onions are softened. Add the red chilli powder and stock and simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have completely broken down and the onion is very soft. Puree the sauce in a blender or food processor, then strain it through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Bring the sauce back to the boil, then simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add the salt, sugar, and garam masala, then sprinkle in the saffron and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Just before serving stir in the cream and finally finish the sauce by stirring in the cold butter. Do not let the sauce boil after adding the butter or it will separate and become thin. Set aside and keep hot.

To cook the lamb, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan on a high heat. Add the lamb racks and sear for 2-3 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer them to a roasting tray and place in an oven preheated to 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6 and roast for up to 15 minutes, depending on how well done you like your meat. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.

Divide the sauce between 4 serving plates, place the lamb on top and serve immediately with stir-fried greens.

Stir-Fried Shrimps with Red Chard_9957-min
Posted on April 12, 2016 by

April – Stir Fried Shrimps with Red Chard

Spring has truly sprung this month, and we’re embracing this with a splash of seasonal colour & flavours with our vibrant spring dishes at our restaurants. Find out more here!

Today, I’m sharing with you my recipe for Stir-Fried Shrimps with Red Chard – a very simple yet effective starter, and I particularly like the way the umami-rich prawn flavour is intensified by the dried shrimp paste. It’s a clever piece of traditional cooking, and the addition of red chard at the end adds a fresh touch. 

Serves 6 as a starter, 10 for canapes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1kg raw deveined and peeled shrimps or tiny prawns
  • 300g red-veined chard leaves, washed and drained
  • Juice of ½ lemon

For the Bengali shrimp paste

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 green cardamom pod
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50g tiny peeled shrimps, thawed if frozen, and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 15 mins and drained
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tap ground turmeric
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 1 green chilli, slit lengthways
  • ½ tsp Bengali Garam Masala
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Method

For the Bengali shrimp paste, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom pod and cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger and garlic paste, salt and sugar and continue cooking. When the onion is translucent add the fresh and dried shrimps and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and the chilli powder, ground cumin and turmeric and cook until the tomatoes become soft and oil starts to float on the side.

Add the coconut milk and the green chilli and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Bengali garam masala and the lemon juice. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender or food processor and blend. Leave to cool, cover, then store in a refrigerator until ready for use.

To finish the dish, heat the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan or wok until very hot. Add the shrimps and stir-fry for a minute or so. When they turn pink, stir in the Bengali shrimp paste, then correct seasoning, if necessary. Finally, throw in the red chard leaves and continue stirring just until they wilt. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve immediately in bowls as a starter, or spear them with cocktail sticks and pass around as a snack with drinks.

Old Delhi-Style Butter Chicken
Posted on March 30, 2016 by

March – Old Delhi-Style Butter Chicken

In honour of James Martin’s final Saturday Kitchen Live appearance, March’s recipe has to be his all-time favourite – Old Delhi-Style Butter Chicken! Without doubt butter chicken has to be India’s favourite dish when eating out. I must have asked hundreds of people to name the one dish they always order when they go out and Butter Chicken has featured in every response! As for me personally, this is the best dish ever – it has sugar and spice, kick and texture, creamy unctiousness and bite, all at the same time.

2x 750g free-range young chicken (poussin), skinned and each cut in half along the backbone (alternatively use 800g boned chicken thighs cut into two)

For the marinade

120g Greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons Ginger & Garlic paste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Juice of 1 lemon

3 teaspoons red chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garam masala

For the sauce

1kg tomatoes

125 ml water

5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled, half crushed and half finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled

4 green cardamom pods

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon red chilli powder

80g butter, diced

2 green chillies, slit lengthways

75ml single cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between your fingertips

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 tablespoon sugar

Method

First, prepare the chicken.  Make small cuts all over the chicken pieces with a sharp knife to help the marinade penetrate.

To prepare the marinade – mix together the yoghurt with all the other ingredients for the marinade in a deep bowl.  Smear the cut chicken with the marinade, cover and set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Cook the chicken in an oven preheated to 220C/Gas Mark 7 for 13-15 minutes. You may need to turn the pieces after 8-10 minutes or so to ensure they colour evenly on both sides. Cut the cooked chicken into smaller pieces as per your preference.  The chicken should not be completely cooked at this point as it will be simmered for a few more minutes in the sauce. Strain off the juices through a fine sieve and set aside.

For the sauce, slice the tomatoes in half and place in a pan with the water, crushed ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf and simmer until the tomatoes have completely disintegrated. Now blend this tomato broth with a hand-held blender and pass it through a sieve to obtain a smooth puree. Return to a clean pan, add the chilli powder and simmer for 12-15 minutes. It should slowly begin to thicken. When the sauce turns glossy, add the chicken pieces and the reserved roasting juices. Then add a cup of water and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the water is absorbed and the sauce returns to its original glossy consistency.

Slowly whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time, and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is beginning to acquire a glaze. Add the chopped ginger, green chillies and cream and simmer for a minute or two longer, taking care that the sauce does not split. Stir in the salt, crushed fenugreek leaves and garam masala, then check the seasoning and add the sugar. Serve with naan bread or pilau rice.

cc pancake-min
Posted on February 4, 2016 by

February – Uttapam – South Indian rice pancake with spiced potatoes

Uttapam – South Indian rice pancake with spiced potatoes

In celebration of Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday this month, how about trying uttapam? A firm favourite of mine, that can be enjoyed anytime of the day but are excellent for breakfast. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

For rice pancake

  • 50g split white urad dal
  • 150g basmati or dosa rice (parboiled rice is available in most speciality ingredient stores)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the topping

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

For spiced potatoes

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp roasted chana dal
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 potatoes, boiled and grated
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

1. Soak the rice and the dal for at least for 6 hours. Blend it in a food processor to a fine paste, adding water, and leave overnight for fermentation in a warm place roughly 40°C.

2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add the chana dal and curry leaves and when it splutters, add the onion and sauté till soft. Now add the turmeric, chillies and the ginger and sauté for a minute. Add salt and the grated potatoes and mix well.

3. To make the pancakes, add salt to the batter and mix well. Keep a well seasoned pan or a nonstick pan on medium heat, smear a little oil and pour a small ladleful of batter and spread it with the ladle into a thick circular pancake about 4” in diameter. This may take some practice to do as it can be tricky for novices but gets easier with practice. Sprinkle all the chopped vegetables on top. When bubbles start appearing on the surface of the pancake and the edges start settling in, turn it over with a flat ladle and press it lightly to flatten it evenly. Cook for a minute and remove. Both the sides should be crisp and light brown in colour. Serve with a green coconut chutney and sambhar.

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