There is just something about rain that makes us feel hungry. Not only hungry, but craving for spicy snacks, preferably hot and, if possible, fried. This is the season to enjoy assorted pakora and a perennial favorite. Unfortunately, doctors and nutritionists scared us enough about trans fats clogging arteries to give us long-term feelings of guilt. Somehow, “baked samosas” or “air fried pakora” don’t satisfy the cravings and we’re left to our own devices to celebrate the heavy rain that keeps us indoors.
After enlightened, Buddha, we chose to walk the middle path. We try to keep our snacks hot, preferably hot, but we’re substituting stir-fry for deep-frying and also mixing steamed flavors with hot dips to lighten the portion size considerably.
Two of our favorites nowadays are the spicy tortilla rolls and the rikuach (closely related to arbi ke patode) that are steamed, then grilled in the skillet and served with a semi-hot peri vinaigrette/sauce or an unusual kasundi on a bed of homemade tomato sauce. We strongly urge you to try the duo out in this monsoon.
We have many friends who crave sweets, not relish, as soon as the rainy clouds begin to gather. Homemade Malbua is what makes it drool. Few have memories of anares – rice flour cakes hulled with sesame seeds. Doesn’t mean we forgot them. Barkha ritu runs over four months (chaturmas) and there is plenty of time to refresh our knowledge of the delicacies – sweet as well as savory.
Hummus tortilla wrap
Tortilla bread 4
(Ready / readily available)
Chickpeas (soaked overnight, or at least an hour in hot water) 1/2 cup
Onion (small) 1
Tomato (medium) 1
Coriander (fresh leaves) 1 tablespoon (or to taste)
Chili flakes 1 tsp
Black pepper (freshly ground) 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder (optional) 1/2 tsp
Chipotle sauce 1 teaspoon (or to taste)
sweet chili sauce 1 tsp
1-2 . green pepper
salt to taste
- Pressure cook chickpeas for 35-40 minutes over medium-low heat. Mash half of the chickpeas with the back of the ladle.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the sample. Cut into thin discs or dice. Finely chop the hot pepper.
- Take a sprig of coriander and chop it coarsely. Peel and dice the onion into small cubes or chop finely.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except for the tortillas. Mix well.
- Heat the tortillas one at a time on a belt on both sides. Distribute on a plate and cover generously with the prepared filling. Roll into a roll. Spread a thin layer of oil on a non-stick frying pan.
- Gently grill the rolls over a medium heat. Secure individual coils in aluminum foil.
- Enjoy hot with a cup of steamed tea or coffee.
Tablets with Peri-Peri Sauce
Colocasia (arby) leaves 6-8
Gram flour 1/2 cup
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
1/2 teaspoon red pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Amchur powder (optional) 1 tsp
Peri Peri sauce 1 tablespoon
Casundi 1 tablespoon
salt to taste
- Prepare a thick paste by mixing chickpea flour with enough water and adding powdered spices and salt.
- Spread the papers on a tray. Now distribute the mixture evenly on the individual sheets.
- Lay another sheet of paper on top of this sheet and smear it with a large amount of the mixture.
- Roll the leaves into a tube and secure them with string.
- Repeat the process until the leaves and dough are used. Arbi rolls are cooked through a sieve for 12-15 minutes. Leave this to cool. Cut these into 1/2-inch-thick discs.
- Coat a nonstick frying pan with a thin layer of oil and fry the discs in batches, turning gently once.
- Wrap it in peri-peri sauce and kasundi and serve. You can substitute peri peri with chili sauce and casundi with any mustard sauce.
- You can use fresh tomato sauce laced with ginger and garlic paste to create a hotbed of traditional patuda beauty in a new avatar!
- If you don’t have arbey leaves, you can replace them with 10-12 large spinach leaves.