Spicy, Tasty and Tangy Monsoon Recipes

monsoon recipes

Overpowering Clouds, Thunderstorm, Splashes of water, and the subtle darkness outside, roads covered in puddles of water, young couples smitten by love walking hand in hand, innocent moments, and the pitter patter of the raindrops on my window. Everything around gets a good wash from pollution, freshness is in the air. I love rainy season, especially the monsoon in Pune. Monsoon is monsoon wherever you are. I guess everybody like me drool for hot & spicy Bhajiye / pakodas accompained by a sip of masala chai. Monsoon is a season when you want to satisfy your tongue with some tangy & chat pati recipes.

With the Monsoon comes those Street Food stalls serving pipping hot fried crispy treats, steaming hot & spicy foods and popular hot beverages like Masala Chai and coffee. These comfort foods give you that warm feeling inside and make any rainy day perfect. Here I’ve listed some of my favorite monsoon recipes to satisfy your tastebuds. Enjoy these recipes and do share with all of us if you have a new recipe. In my next post I’ll include your recipe.

Bread Pakora (Pakoda) (Bhajia) Recipe

Ingredients:
– 4 slices of firm white bread
– 1 cup gram flour (besan)
– 1 tablespoon rice flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– Pinch of asafetida (hing)
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
– 2 finely chopped green chilies
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (green coriander)
– 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
– Oil to fry

Method:
1. Remove the crust from all sides of the bread.
2. Slice the bread lengthwise into 3 equal parts.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together: Gram flour (besan), rice flour, asafetida, cumin seeds, and salt. Rice flour adds to the crispness.
4. Add the water slowly to make a smooth batter. (Batter should be the consistency of pancake batter or dosa batter)
5. Next, add the green chilies and cilantro. Mix well.
6. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
7. Frying pan should have at least 11/2 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one drop of batter in the oil. The batter should come up but not change color right away.
8. Dip the bread slices in the batter one at a time and slowly drop into the frying pan.
9. Fry the pakoras in small batches. The pakoras will take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook.
10. Turn them occasionally. Fry the pakoras until both sides are golden-brown.
11. Repeat this process. The crispy, delicious pakoras are ready to serve.

Onion Pakoda

Ingredients :
– Big Onion-4 (sliced)
– Gram flour (Besan)-1 1/2 cup
– Roasted Rice Flour-2tbsp
– Kashmiri Chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
– Asafetida powder-1/4 tsp
– Salt- to taste
– Water- as required

Method:
In a bowl add gram flour, chilly powder, salt, asafetida powder, rice flour and enough water to make a fine batter. Heat oil in a kadai. Add the onion slices and mix well in the batter. The onion should be coated with the batter. Now pour the coated onion in small small part in to the hot oil. Deep fry them. Remove from the oil and drain. Serve the hot pakoda with chutney or tomato sauce.

Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri Recipe: (serves two)
3 cups puffed rice (available at Indian stores)
A handful of roasted and salted peanuts
2 potatoes boiled, peeled and chopped into tiny cubes
1 large onion chopped fine
1 large tomato chopped fine
Half a bunch of coriander chopped fine
2 green chillies chopped fine
Tamarind chutney to taste
Mint-coriander chutney to taste
A handful of coarsely crushed papdi (savoury biscuits made from flour)
1 cup sev (vermicelli-like snack made from gram flour and available at Indian stores)

Method:
– Mix the puffed rice, peanuts, potato, onion, tomato, coriander and green chillies together in a large bowl.
– Add the tamarind chutney and mint-coriander chutney according to your own taste preferences (that’s the beauty of bhelpuri!), mix well, garnish with plenty of sev and papdi. Serve and eat immediately.

Papdi Chaat

Ingredients:
250 gms all-purpose flour
4 tbsps ghee
1 tsp onion seeds
Salt to taste
Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil to deep fry
5 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and chopped into tiny pieces
1 cup chickpeas, boiled and mashed coarsely (sprinkle with salt to taste)
2 red (Spanish) onions chopped very fine
2 large tomatoes chopped very fine
2 cups fine sev (gram flour vermicilli)
2 tsps red chilli powder
3 tsps powdered black rock salt
2 tbsps cumin seeds, gently roasted and powdered
Fresh finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish
2 cups fresh yoghurt whisked till smooth and chilled
1 cup Tamarind Chutney (see recipe below)
1 cup Mint-Corainder Chutney (see recipe below)
2″ circular cookie cutter

Method:
– Mix the flour, ghee, onion seeds and salt to taste and mix well. Add just a little water at a time and knead to get a firm, smooth dough. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
– After the dough has rested, divide it into equal-sized balls. Roll between your palms till smooth.
– Lightly flour a clean rolling surface and press one ball flat. Roll out into a circle (1/4″ thick) using a rolling pin. Now use the circular cookie cutter to cut smaller circles out on the large circle. Remove extra dough from sides of smaller circles. Keep on a lightly floured tray or plate for later frying (they will become the Papdis). Repeat till all the dough is used up.
– Heat oil for deep frying, in a deep pan on a medium flame. When hot, add the Papdis a few at a time and fry till crisp and pale golden.
– Drain and keep on paper towels. Repeat till all Papdis are made. They can be stored for a few weeks if kept in an airtight container.
– To serve, first set up all ingredients – Papdis, toppings and chutneys – within easy reach. dip 5-6 Papdis (per person) in yoghurt and remove. Arrange on a plate.
– Put a little potato, chickpeas, onion and tomato on each Papdi. When all are done in this way, drizzle a teaspoonful each of Tamarind and Mint-Corainder Chutney on each Papdi.
– Sprinkle a handful of sev all over the Papdis in the plate. Now sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder and black rock salt and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve as soon as possible or the Papdis will get soggy.

Mix Veg Pakoda

Ingredients:
– chickpea/ gram flour
– water (my ratio of flour: water is something like 1/2 cup flour to 1 1/2 cup water – very thin batter, basically it’s just a thin coating for fritters)
– garam masala
– hot chillies powder
– salt and pepper
– cumin powder
– assorted vegetables:
– potatoes, slice thinly
– cauliflower, cut to bite size florets
– onions, slice

Method:
– Heat oil in pot.
– Mix flour, water, garam masala, salt, pepper, hot chillies powder, cumin. Whisk.
– For cauliflowers, dip it to batter, give it a quick shake (to let excessive batter drips) and drop it carefully to hot oil.
– For the mix: Mix the vegetables in separate bowl. It can be done two ways: Either mix in the batter to vegetables. Spoon a spoonful of it and drop to hot oil. Or, I use slotted spoon, scoop dry vegetable mix, dip to batter, lift and let excess batter drips off through spoon. Then gently drop fritter to hot oil. Fry until golden.

Paneer Pakoda

Ingredients:
1. Besan – 200 gms (Gram/Chickpea Flour)
2. Red Chili Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
3. Salt – as per taste (don’t take too much)
4. Green Chillies – 2-3 (finely chopped)(optional)
5. Paneer Cubes (Cottage Cheese)
6. Oil to deep fry
7. Water

Method:
1. Mix Besan(Gram Flour) with around 2-3 cups of water in a bowl, to form a liquid paste. Then add Red Chili Powder, Salt (To taste) and chopped Green Chillies to it and mix well. The Consistency of the mix should be slightly liquid.
2. Now take Paneerand cut them in shapes similar to French Fries or Chips or Cubes.
3. Now Heat some oil in a pan to deep fry.
4. When the oil is heated up, then dip the paneer pieces in the mix and deep fry till light brown. (Remember do not over cook)
5. Then remove excess oil by putting them in a plate over tissue paper.

Misal Pav

Ingredients:
– 100 gms Dry White Peas
– 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
– 1-1/2 tbsp Oil
– 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
– 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
– 1 tsp Garlic Paste
– 1/2 tsp Green chili Paste
– 2 tbsp Thick Tamarind Juice
– 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
– 1/4 cup Coriander Leaves
– 1/4 tsp Yellow Chili Powder
– 1/2 tsp Chat Masala
– 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
– Salt to taste

Garnishing:
– 2 cups Mixture of Gathias, Papri, Peanuts
– 3/4 cup Onion (chopped)
– 2 Green Chilies (chopped)
– 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves
– 1 cup Salty Curd (beaten)

Method:

– Cook peas in a pressure cooker, with very little water, salt and turmeric.
– Heat oil and put mustard seeds into it. Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste. Fry for a minute and then add cooked peas and tamarind juice. Cook it uncovered on a low flame for 2 min.
– Add garam masala and coriander leaves. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.
– Sprinkle the mixture of gathia, papri, peanut, dal, etc. Add onion, green chilies and coriander leaves.
– Sprinkle yellow chilli powder, chat masala and squeeze lemon juice all over the cooked peas.
– Finally, top with a little curd and serve immediately.