The festive season calls for celebrations, spending time with your loved ones, and, most importantly, indulging in lip-smacking dishes. However, when we use the word ‘treats’ the first thing that comes to our mind is unhealthy. The celebratory vibe of the season leaves us with a tendency to overindulge in foods that are high in salt, saturated fats and sugar and that is not really healthy. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on delicious feasts altogether. Chef Kunal Kapoor believes that every meal can be made heart-healthy with small changes. "Using multi-source cooking oils helps achieve the right balance of fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA to maintain heart health as they are healthier type of fats," he says. This festive season, he brings you his favourite dishes, from his kitchen to yours!
Samak Ki Tikki (main image)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 cup samak rice
1 cup potato, boiled and mashed
3 tbsp coarsely powdered peanuts
1 tbsp chopped raisins
2 tsp chopped green chillies
1½ tsp grated ginger
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tsp dry mango powder
4 tbsp oil
1½ tsp salt
- Wash the rice well and keep it aside.
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pressure cooker and then add cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add the green chillies, ginger and salt. Stir and add washed rice and one-and-a-half cups of water.
- Cook in the pressure cooker over medium flame for two whistles, when cooker cools down completely, take out the contents in a bowl, mash with a spoon and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Mix it with potato and the other ingredients and make uniform round patties of this mixture.
- Grease a flat non-stick pan with oil and shallow fry the patties on medium flame until they become golden and crisp. Flip them to cook on both sides and then serve hot with the chutney of your choice.
Paneer Mysore Bonda
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
An extremely popular snack from the South India, made with plain flour and known for its round ball-shaped soft texture. It is served with the combination of spicy chutney with a strong coffee or masala chai.
80 gm grated paneer
4 boiled potatoes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 inch ginger
½ tsp garam masala
1 chopped onion
2 chopped green chillies
¼ tsp asafoetida
3 tbsp coriander
2 tsp turmeric powder
½ cup water
3 tbsp (45ml) cooking oil
1 cup besan
2 tsp jeera powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
- Combine the besan, jeera powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt in a wide bowl. Add water gradually, and whisk it into a batter and keep a smooth thick consistency, whisk it well and keep aside
- Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Stir in the onions and saute until they are soft and light golden in colour.
- Add the ginger, green chillies, asafoetida, turmeric and salt and cook for another minute.
- Allow the potato mixture to cool down, stir in the coriander leaves and divide it into eight equal portions. Shape them into round balls and keep them aside.
- Preheat the paniyaram pan and add a few drops of oil into each cavity.
- Dip and coat each of the potato balls in the besan batter and gradually let it into a cavity of the pan. Repeat the process with the rest of the bondas. Cover the pan and allow the bondas to cook for a couple of minutes until it turns golden brown. Once it is cooked, uncover, flip the bondas to cook on the other side and then remove them from the pan.
- Serve it hot along with a chutney of your choice
Vegetable chop is one of the special delicacies during Durga Puja. It is a no onion no garlic recipe and is hence one of the highly demanding snack recipes during these days. Made with your homemade bhaja masala, it is a unique cutlet/croquette recipe that was modified in Bengali kitchens during the British Raj.
For Vegetable Chop
1 cup grated beetroot
1 tsp chopped green chillies
½ tsp panch phoran masala (optional)
1 tsp sugar
1 cup grated carrot
1 tsp ginger pase
2 tbsp crushed roasted peanut
2 cup potatoes, boiled and mashed
4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp oil
For The Bhaja Masala
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp dry red chilli
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
½ tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cardamom powder
For The Coating
1 tbsp cornflour
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil
- For the bhaja masala place a pan on the stove on a low flame and add the jeera, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and dry red chilli. Dry roast the spices over a medium flame for a few minutes until they get aromatic. Let it cool, and grind the mix to a powder. Your bhaja masala is ready.
- For the filling of the chops, heat two tablespoons of the oil in another pan, add panch phoran mix and let it crackle. Add the ginger paste and chopped green chillies into the pan and saute on a low flame for two minutes. Add the grated beetroot and cook on medium flame for three minutes. Add the grated carrots, salt, cover the pan and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes until the vegetables are well cooked. Add in the mashed potates and mix evenly. Saute on a medium flame for another two minutes and add the bhaja masala and sugar. Cook it on low flame for a minute and turn off the heat. Add the chopped coriander leaves, crushed roasted peanuts into the vegetable chop mixture and mix it properly. Transfer the mixture on to a plate and allow it to cool down.
- For the coating of chops mix the cornflour and water in a bowl and prepare a batter of medium consistency.
- For the vegetable chop preparation, take a small portion of the filling and make cylindrical-shaped rolls.
- Dip the chops in the conflour batter and roll them in breadcrumbs so that they get evenly coated. Keep the coated chops in refrigerator for one hour to set the coating.
- Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the chops for around four minutes, rolling them on all sides until they turn golden brown and crispy. Serve hot with a chutney of your choice.
Sago Vermicelli Kheer
This is an easy and quick payasam that can be made in 20 minutes.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 min
70 gm sabudana, soaked
30 gm vermicelli
1 tsp ghee
500 gm ghee
50 gm sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder (optional)
Pistachio slivers for garnishing
Saffron strands for garnishing
- Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the vermicelli in it until it is golden brown.
- In another pan boil water and cook the roasted vermercelli in it until it is translucent and soft. This will take about five to six minutes.
- Heat the milk on a medium-low flame in a large pot.
- Drain the boiled vermicelli and add it to the milk, stirring continuously. Once the vermecelli is cooked through, add the soaked sabudana to the milk. Continue stirring.
- When the milk starts to thicken and turns creamy, add the sugar.
- You can add cardamom powder at this point.
- Garnish with pistachio and saffron strands and serve.
Photographs courtesy Chef Kunal Kapur
Also read: This Navratri Try Your Hand At These Flavour-Packed Recipes