Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Batata Vada / Indian Potato fritters / Aloo Bonda / Vada Pav

Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda

Thanks to the unpredictable  English weather, every now and then I feel  the need to eat something  nice, to be precise a rainy day is just a reason to dig into steamy hot Batata vadas and some Chai.
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda

Do I really have to tell you how good it is or what it is,  all I am going to say is you have to try this desi burger it is one of my favorites and I bet it will be yours too 

Makes: 8 vadas
For the potato filling:
3 big potatoes
3-4 Curry leaves
1 Green Chilly
2 Cloves Garlic
A small piece of ginger
1 tbsp. of chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp cumin/ jeera  seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds/ rai
½ tsp Asafetida/ Hing
1 tbsp. of oil
1 tsp turmeric powder/ haldi
Juice of half a Lemon

Salt to taste
For the batter:
1 cup Gram flour
1 tsp oil
1 tsp Chilly powder
½ tsp turmeric
Water as needed.
½ tsp bi carbonate of soda.

Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying.
To serve:
Bread slices/rolls.

Step 1: Prep the potatoes
Pressure cook  un peeled potatoes with water  for 3 whistles , allow the pressure to settle, drain  .
Or use a pot of boiling water to boil the potatoes until  tender and cooked.
Peel the potatoes.  Roughly chop the potatoes into big pieces
Further chop into small chunks

Step 2. Make the filling
Mince the ginger, garlic and green chilly  together with a mortar and pestle  or chop finely
In a small pan, heat a tbsp. of oil, add the mustard and cumin seeds allow spluttering.  Add Asafetida/ hing, chopped Curry leaves and ginger garlic chilly mince . Stir in the coarsely  chopped potatoes, coriander, turmeric and salt to taste. 
Tempering the potatoes

 Mash slightly with the back of a spoon ( you still want texture) and mix well, turn the heat off.
roughly mash with the back of the spoon
Add lemon Juice and Mix
Add lemon juice

Once cooled, divide the filling into 8 portions and roll them  up into round vadas.
Batata Vada

Step 3. Batter
Heat  oil for deep frying ( medium to high heat or 165 deg c)
Take a bowl; add in all the batter ingredients except the water. Make a small well and all water little by little until a lump free thick batter (it should be just enough thick too coat the potatoes)

Add a drop of batter into the oil, if it floats up instantly your oil is ready.
Dip the  potato rolls/vadas  into the batter, covering it evenly with thick coating. Removing excess on the side of the bowl. 
coat the vadas

 Drop it into the oil and fry for about for a min or until a golden brown crust.
Follow the same for the remaining, drain on paper towel.

Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda

 Serve Hot,
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Sorry I couldn't  wait :p
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda
Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Chick pea, Rocket and cous cous salad with Lemon dressing

Chick pea and cous cous salad  with Lemon dressing
Chick pea and cous cous salad  with Lemon dressing

A super easy super tasty cous cous salad with chickpeas, rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes and a lovely lemon and olive oil dressing.
So I was organizing my kitchen cupboard ( I always manage to have more stuff than I need) along with planning a menu for the week in my mind, and guess what I found  Cous cous and I jumped with joy. Hurray, Lunch sorted!
Chick pea and cous cous salad  with Lemon dressing
Chick pea and cous cous salad  with Lemon dressing
Cous cous is great as a salad or a side dish with a tagine or a curry. Some people don’t like cous cous because its flavor less.  I somehow find this is the most interesting part as I can add my choice of flavors to it.  

 And the good news is you can make it in ahead, store it in the fridge and it gets better and better.  Believe me it is delicious, fresh and healthy (all that you need in the Summer)
Indian at heart I couldn’t resist adding cumin seeds to this dish the other ingredients I am sure are lying around your kitchen.
Cumin seeds

First heat a tsp. of oil ( I use sunflower oil, use any flavorless oil) add a tsp of cumin seeds allow to sizzle throw in the chickpeas, season with salt and pepper and stir for a min. Transfer to a bowl, keep aside.

cover and keep aside
Use the same sauce pan (should have traces of cumin seeds and oil) and bring a cup of water to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Once the water comes to a boil remove from heat, add the couscous cover the pan with a cling film and leave aside.

Key to cooking perfect couscous  for salads is  1:1 1 cup water and 1 cup cous cous, this works for me although you could add 1and 1/2 cup of water as the pack says  I somehow don’t like mushy cous cous.

In a mixing bowl, zest a lemon, add red chilly, coriander. To it add juice of a lemon (see tip) and a tbsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix toss in the cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, chickpeas.
for the lemon dressing

Lemon dressingToss all the ingredients

Remove the cling film and use a fork to fluff up the grains of couscous, add the couscous to the bowl with salad and dressing. Toss it   and its ready. Eat it warm or chilled

Fluff with a fork

Cover it with a cling film and store in fridge, I am just going to crumble some feta cheese and add some cucumber before serving.


For the salad:
1 cup cous cous
1 cup water
1 tsp. sunflower or any flavor less oil.
1 tsp. cumin seeds.
½ cup or 130g drained and rinsed chick peas.
½ cup cherry tomatoes halved.
1 cup or more rocket leaves (or your choice of salad leaves)
For the Dressing:
1 lemon (zest and juice)
½ tsp chopped red chilly (optional)
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp. Olive oil.
Salt and Black pepper to taste.
To serve (optional)
Feta cheese
Chopped cucumber (seeds removed)


  1. In a sauce pan, heat a tsp of oil and add cumin seeds allow to sizzle. Add chick peas and season with salt and pepper. Stir for a min. Transfer to a bowl and leave aside. 
  2. To the same pan, add a cup of water season the water with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the uncooked cous cous, cover the pan with a cling film and leave aside. 
  3. For the dressing add lemon zest, chopped chilly, coriander and juice of a lemon. Mix and season with salt and pepper generously. Add a table spoon of olive oil and mix. 
  4.  Remove the cling film and use a fork to fluff up the grains of couscous. 
  5.  Toss the warm cous cous, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, rocket leaves with the dressing.
  6. Serve it warm or chilled, you can also add the crumbled feta cheese and cucumbers before serving.

1.       You could use your choice of veggies and salad leaves.
2.       Cucumber can be added along with other ingredients (just remove seeds of the cucumber).
3.       You can skip the cumin seeds step.
4.       Cook the cous cous with a veg stock cube to add more flavor if serving as a side to a curry/stew/tagine.
5. To squeeze maximum juice of lemon, bring the lemon to room tempt and roll it with your palms or simply wash it with hot water  and use a sieve ( to prevent the pips falling in )