June 01, 2017

Welcome the monsoons with some masala chai, bhajjis and more, with Marcelle Symss.

Masala Chai
Masala Chai

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Masala Chai – the drink of the season! One of the greatest joys in life is listening to the rhythmic tattoo of the rain as the petrichor wafts in, with an invigorating cup of masala chai in hand.

What you need:

  1. Cloves - 4
  2. Cardamom Pods - 2
  3. Cinnamon Stick – 1
  4. Water – 3 cups
  5. Ginger - 1⁄4 tsp ground
  6. Black Pepper - 1⁄8 tsp fresh ground
  7. Milk - 1⁄2cup
  8. Sugar – 2 tbsp
  9. Black Tea – 2tbsp

What you do:

  1. Crush the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon.
  2. Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water, ginger and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the tea.
  6. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
  7. Stir the chai, then strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.
Onion Bajji
Onion Baji

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Onion Bhaji – A monsoon staple, these deep-fried gram flour fritters with chopped onions are best served with ketchup/pudina chutney and hot masala chai.

What you need:

  1. Gram flour (besan) - 1/4 cup
  2. Onions – 2, thinly sliced
  3. Rice powder - 1 tbsp
  4. Green chillies - 2 cup finely chopped
  5. Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp finely chopped
  6. Ginger - 1 tsp grated
  7. Cumin - 1 tsp
  8. Red chili powder - ¼ tsp
  9. Baking soda – a pinch
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Oil for deep frying

What you do:

  1. Mix gram flour, rice powder, cumin, red chili powder, salt, baking soda and 2 tsp oil in a bowl.
  2. Start adding water to the mix to make the batter. The batter should be at the right consistency for frying and not be too watery.
  3. Add the chopped onions, green chili, coriander leaves and grated ginger to the batter.
  4. Heat oil on medium flame.
  5. Check the temperature of the oil by dropping a bit of batter into it. If it comes up the oil is now ready for frying.
  6. Drop the batter into the oil in circular pakora shapes (use a spoon if not comfortable by hand) and fry till golden brown. Fry only a few at a time. 
  7. Serve hot.

Pro-Tip: Replace the chopped onions with chopped fenugreek leaves to make Methi Bhaji, with de-seeded while chillies to make Chilli Bhaji or with thinly sliced potatoes for Potato Bhaji. Non-vegetarians can try adding a hard-boiled egg for Egg Pakodas.

VADA
Masala Vada

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Masala Vada – spice up your evenings with this tasty snack. What you need:

  1. Chick peas - 1/2 cup
  2. Soya bean - 1/2 cup
  3. Green chillies - to taste
  4. Onions – 2, chopped
  5. Ginger - 2 tbsp, grated
  6. Salt - to taste
  7. Refined oil

What you do:

  1. Soak soybeans overnight and chick peas for two hours.
  2. Drain excess water and grind the beans, along with green chillies into a coarse batter.
  3. Add chopped onions, grated ginger, and salt to the batter and mix well.
  4. Make circular shapes of the batter (approximately two tbsp for each vada) and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown.
  5. Serve hot.
Paneer
Paneer Sandwich

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Paneer Sandwich – if you have had enough of the fried stuff, try this cottage cheese sandwich as a snack.

What you need:

  1. Bread - 1 loaf
  2. Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) - 1/2 cup grated
  3. Tomato - 1 medium sized
  4. Onion - 1 medium sized
  5. Green Chillies - 2
  6. Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Butter as required

What you do:

  1. Chop onion, chillies and tomato finely into small pieces.
  2. Mix this with the grated paneer, salt and red chilli powder, and keep aside.
  3. Butter two slices of bread and add the paneer mixture to one side. Cover with the second slice.
  4. Put this in sandwich toaster until the bread turns crispy and brown.
  5. Serve hot with ketchup

  For more such scrumptious DIY recipes, check out our food and drink category.