Aaloo Tikkis – Creamy Potatoes Deep Fried

Aaloo Tikkis – Makes 12 Tikkis“Aaloo Tikkis” are a versatile and delicious appetizer that you can serve at any time – as an afternoon snack with tea, as an after school snack for kids or, as with a bowl of piping hot lentils and rice. First, potatoes are boiled, peeled and mashed to make a smooth, creamy mixture. Then it’s seasoned with cumin seeds, fresh cilantro, green chillies, and bread is added as a binder so that, when they are deep fried they hold their shape and are crispy on the outside and taste creamy on the inside. I like to serve these tikkis with home made green chutney or tomato ketchup. Hope you enjoy it! Ingredients: 2 medium sized . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Sai-Bhaji Tikkis

I love making these tikkis as a healthy afternoon snack or appetizer with drinks. These tikkis or vegetable patties are made with left over Sai Bhaji. Sai bhaji is a delicious vegetable made with spinach, dill, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and lentil. I dry the sai bhaji mixture by cooking it on medium flame in a saucepan or flat griddle. Then, add a pinch a garam masala powder and bread for binding. Make round patties and shallow fry. Serve hot and enjoy! Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups sai bhaji 6 slices bread, soaked in water and squeezed tightly to remove the water 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder 2- 3 tablespoons oil salt to taste Method: Heat the sai bhaji in a saucepan . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Cream Cheese Puffs

Easy-to-prepare and delicious, cream cheese puff rolls are the star of my first (and still a work-in-progress) Video Blog. These rolls have that “melt-in-the-mouth” feeling that make them a favorite at parties. Hope you enjoy them! Ingredients: 1 box Pillsbury Crescent roll 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon red chilly powder 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro Method: In a bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic powder, red chilly powder and cilantro . Keep aside. Cut out a wax paper or parchment paper, open the crescent roll, split it into 2 halves and join the perforated lines together and apply the cream cheese liberally on one side. Roll this and close both ends. Roll . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Minced Chicken Patties “Kheema Patties”

Stuff these appetizing patties with ground chicken (or any other minced meat of your choice) into a potato ball. In Mumbai, we typically used either ground chicken or goat meat. I made a round of seventeen patties all of which were polished off by my husband and 6-year old over the course of the weekend. Preparation is simple if a little time-consuming. Cook the potatoes and ground meat separately along with some mild spices. Stuff the cooked meat into a mashed potato ball and deep fry. Make sure the the potato coating is well-sealed to ensure the patty stays whole while you fry them. Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup of your choice and enjoy! Ingredients: For the ground . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Fried Shrimp

My dear friend Nandini shared this recipe with me during my recent visit to Mumbai. We enjoyed it so much that I am sure it will soon top the list of appetizers I serve my friends here in the United States! The simple preparation starts with marinating the shrimp overnight in lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chilly powder, coarsely ground pepper and kosher salt. The batter is prepared using egg, cornflower and a little water. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – just a perfect combination for fried shrimp! Ingredients: Marinade: 18 – 20 medium sized shrimp 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or lime juice 1 clove garlic, paste (I use a microplane zester) 1/2 teaspoon . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Vegetarian Soya Shami Kebabs

Traditionally, a “shami” kebab is a small fried patty made of cooked, minced goat or lamb. The version featured here is the vegetarian version made using soya granules. My mother in law who is vegetarian insisted that I try one. They are healthy as well as delicious – soya granules, rice, carrots, scallions, egg, bread crumbs, fresh herbs like mint and cilantro. For a pure vegetarian experience you can add extra bread crumbs and skip the egg altogether. This recipe has been adapted from famous Indian author, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook. The one important step when using soya granules is that is has to be boiled properly because soya has a peculiar smell which you can get rid . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Savory Coeur A Creme

Savory Coeur A La Creme -Recipe by Ina Garten. Serves 8 to 10. In French, “coeur a la creme” means “cream-filled heart” or “heart with cream”. This is a classic dessert made with cream cheese, cream, sugar and lemon zest and set in a mold with holes and served with fruit sauce. I decided to try the savory appetizer version which is served with “Major Grey” mango chutney. It tastes light and refreshing with just a hint of lemon. The mango chutney further enhances the flavors of this great appetizer (served here with whole wheat crackers). I think coeur a la creme is a creative alternative to the usual cheese platter. Ingredients 12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature 1 . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Paneer Rolls

Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) rolls consist of a scrumptious filling of paneer cooked with caramelized onions, tomatoes and tandoori masala. The bright red color comes from the tomato paste and tandoori masala. Rolled in a tortilla or “chappati” (traditional Indian flour bread) topped with chopped onions. From time-to-time I’ll add homemade green chutney for a more traditional flavor! I have put the paneer filling in “Kawan” chappati which is a Malaysian brand that you can find in the frozen section of the Indian grocery store. If using these, do not defrost them. Heat on a pre heated pan until cooked. You can also use flour tortillas which work great because of their softness. You need Paneer and "Rajah" tandoori masala . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Vegetarian Frankies

“Frankies” are another popular Indian street snack first introduced in Mumbai many, many years ago. It is similar to a “kati” roll and comprises egg-washed flat bread, chutney, spices, onions and any kind of meat and/or a mix of veggies. The “Frankie” is a great way to get a healthy serving of protein, carbs and vegetables all in one convenient, kid-friendly roll or snack wrap! I prefer Missoni tortillas or Malaysian “Kawan” brand rotis which are easily available at any Indian grocery store. You could also make Indian bread at home, but let me be honest, I am just too lazy to roll out “chappatis”. If you like, you can also skip the egg wash for the pure vegetarian experience. . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Turkey Kebabs (Rolls or Sliders)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought of posting my favorite turkey kebab recipe. A staple at our house and made at least once a week, what’s really nice about these kebabs is that they can be made ahead of time and frozen for a quick, tasty snack during the week. Served with home-made green chutney, they are the perfect choice for a more filling appetizer for parties. My mother-in-law first tried these delicious kebabs at a friend’s place and was struck by the simplicity of the recipe. You can also wrap 2 or 3 kebabs in a soft tortilla, add a mixture of green chutney and yogurt and a few chopped onions (optional) and serve for dinner. You . . . CLICK TO READ MORE