I thought today was a good day to prepare and freeze some Momos. Piyush and I are planning on visiting my family this weekend, and I wanted to take some easy—and healthy—food along. My family lives in a tiny town where there really aren’t many options for food. There are even less options for good food (unless mom is cookin’ something up). Piyush is going to be writing some software for my dad to use in his business—and plans to have it completed by Sunday, so he won’t really have a lot of time to devote to eating. I’m not sure if my family of (very) picky eaters will jump at the chance to try my steamed momos, but it’s worth a try.
I made the momos a little smaller this time, and ended up with a lot of leftover dough. I think next time I make them I will make double the filling and keep the amount of dough the same. (If you’re wondering what the heck a momo is, check out this post. It will enlighten you. I promise).
While making the filling for the momos I ended up with about a half cup of extra mashed potato. I decided I was going to make Piyush a special snack to eat when he came home from the office. The momos are an amazing treat by themselves, but those are for the weekend. Instead, I decided to make Piyush something I know he loves….Aloo Tikki!
“Aloo” means potato and “Tikki” means a small cutlet, patty or croquette. Aloo Tikki is basically just a patty made out of mashed potatoes and spices. It’s so easy to make, and so tasty. There are about a million recipes for this delicious little snack. Some recipes I read called for the use of a pressure cooker and some involved incredible amounts of prep time. I, personally, believe that something so simple should also be simple to prepare.
Because I was making the momos, I had the mashed potatoes made. I also had grated some carrots, diced some onions, and crushed some ginger. All I had to do was mix everything together…toss in some spices…and fry ‘em up in a pan. I can’t say there is really a recipe—with an exact ratio of ingredients. Instead it’s kind of like…a little of this, and a little of that all tossed together and the results are a delicious party in your mouth.
I think the key to making a good aloo tikki is simply just tasting as you go. You could really throw anything in these patties: peas, cauliflower, fresh chiles…whatever you have! As for the potato, you’ll want to have enough to bind everything together. I also throw in a little bit of panko bread crumbs for some extra binding power. I hate it when the tikkis break apart when you’re cooking them!
As for the spices…salt, pepper, garam masala, coriander leaves (cilantro) and chile powder are all that I used. You could substitute panch phoron (Bengali 5-spice mix) for the garam masala…and that would be awesome! Just make sure to taste everything as you go along.
After you have everything mixed together really well, roll the mixture into balls—a little over a tablespoon will do. Then, roll the balls in flour (not too much), flatten into patties and heat up your oil! I don’t use much oil at all, just a little bit to coat the bottom of the pan (don’t use a non-stick pan!). Once the oil is heated, put the tikkis in the pan and let them cook until both sides are nicely browned. Serve the delicious aloo tikkis with both tamarind chutney and green (coriander/mint) chutney.
Dinner tonight will also be quite simple. Leftovers!
Dal Makhani ---Lentils in a creamy tomato gravy. I use 1/4 c. half and half and 2 cups of yogurt to replicate what you'd typically get at an Indian restaurant. To help achieve that creamy look I blend everything together before I add the main ingredient (lentils) ...This is before the cooking.
Delicious! After 4 hours of cooking... This is not a quick and easy dish to make.
Yesterday was Holi, the Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Colors, so I made Piyush a few different curries. I made Dal Makhani (or at least my version of it). I’ll post this recipe sometime soon…it’s long and kind of complicated, although it really shouldn’t be! It involved a lot of spices:
This wasn't even close to all the spices I used...this was only for one part of the gravy.
This dish took over 5 hours from start to finish, actually. Not all of the time was active cooking—but still. It took a long time!
I have also been craving more vegetables lately, meat just hasn’t sounded appetizing. Therefore I also made a curry that was a cross between Butter Paneer and Muttar Paneer. I made a really easy gravy (curry) and added in some mushrooms, peas and paneer.
Paneer is a fresh, Indian cheese made with milk. It reminds me a lot of tofu. You could use tofu in place of paneer, if you’d like. The dish will have pretty much the same flavor. Before I add paneer to a dish I fry it up in about 2 tsp. of oil and a tsp. of garam masala.
I just think it tastes better that way.
Have a happy weekend, everyone!!!!