Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Tangy Potato Nests

Busy weekday calls for simple dinners at my home. So i keep my dinners light and easy to cook types. So did this make you think that the dinners in my house are boring??? No way!! That can never be the case coz my husband and i crave to eat something good once we are back home from work, to assuage our office traumas! :P :P 

So even though the dinner is simple and easy, there has to be variety when it comes to taste. Hubby dear is extremely difficult to please when it comes to food. For past two days he had been telling me to prepare some chaat at home and i kept declining the offer thinking, it requires so much of preparation. Just when i was thinking over his chaat proposal and looking for something less extensive and elaborated for a weekday, i was struck with this recipe of potato nests. Trust me, initially it was just a random thought and further contemplation made me draft the complete recipe. 

Yesterday, i decided to surprise my darling hubby with a stylish new twist to the traditional chaat. Oh yes! I am the innovation queen and for me its a big NO NO to follow a recipe as it is. A twist is my signature style to any dish. So before hubby was back home, i began with the preparation. Easy peasy steps and easily available ingredients made my tasks a cakewalk!

20 minutes of kitchen work and all was set and served :) My Mr.Tripathi entered the home sniffing around, enjoying the aromas and looked happy conjecturing that wifey had made something special for him. He knows me too well! Mr. Husband was right! His eyes gleamed at the site of the pretty little nests that were waiting to get devoured. First bite and his eyes said it all. He looked spell bound and later confessed that he overate BIG TIME!! :) No wonder, he always blames me for his cute little bloated tummy :P Nevertheless, for me that growing belly is a sign of happiness and contentment!

So here's how you make a contemporary chaat or a tangy starter!


For the Dough

1 cup flour (Maida)
2 tsp carrom seeds (Ajwain)
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)
Warm water for kneading 
Salt as per taste

For the Potato Stuffing

4 big boiled potatoes (broken into small pieces by hand. Do not use knife here as the potatoes should have a rough broken look. You may choose to use a knife if needed)
2 tsp red chilli flakes (Kuti lal mirch)
2 tsp nigella seeds (kilonji)
1 tbsp roasted coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya)
3 tsp Fennel seeds (saunf)
3 small green chillies (finely chopped)
sprig of coriander leaves
4-5 tbsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp Oil for tempering 
Salt as per taste

Green Chutney
1 cup Coriander leaves
2 or 3 (If you like it to be spicier, you may add more) Green chillies
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 small peeled onion
Salt to taste
Juice of 2 lemon (or adjust as per your taste)

Sonth (Tamarind Chutney)
2 cup tamarind pulp (soak dried tamarind overnight in water and then mash it next day and pass the fluid through a seive to get the pulp)
2 tbsp roasted cumin seeds powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 cup sugar or as required - adjust as per your taste
rock salt or black salt as required
1/4 cup kishmish
Handful of ginger cut into julienne

Steps to follow:-

For the Dough

Combine all the ingredients and knead it to a stiff dough. Once done, let it rest for 15-20 mins while you prepare the stuffing.

For the Potato Stuffing

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Throw in asafoetida, green chillies and saute for 1 min
3. In a mortar and pestle, roughly pound the roasted coriander seeds and fennel seed 

NOTE: Do not make a powder. Just roughly ground them

4.  Now add nigella seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds and red chilli flakes.
3.  Let the spice splutter for a while and then add broken potatoes and saute them on medium-high flame.

NOTE: Since the potatoes need to be crisp and browned well, hence the medium-high flame recommended. Ensure, while the flame is high, you continuously toss the mixture else all will burn. 

6. Add salt and chaat masala 

NOTE: The mixture needs to be tangy, so you may increase or decrease the chaat masala according to the sourness required by you. 

7. Keep tossing on medium-high flame until the potatoes look crispy and well browned.
8. Once potato mixture is ready, sprinkle chopped coriander and transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool

Green Chutney
Blend all the ingredients mentioned for green chutney and squeeze in the lemon juice once all has blended well. 

Sonth or Tamarind Chutney
1. Place a wok on the gas stove and let it warm up.
2. Pour in the tamarind pulp in the wok and let it come to a boil.
3. Bring down the flame to medium and now add roasted cumin seeds powder, sugar, ginger julienne, red chilli powder and kishmish and salt as per taste.

NOTE: The tamarind pulp will reduce in quantity so add the spices accordingly

4. Stir continuously and would observe the mixture would start to thicken
5. When cooled, store the saunth chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container. refrigerate and serve the sonth chutney whenever required with chaat or snacks. 

Final assembling of potato nests

1. Make small balls of the dough and roll them into thin chapatis. (You don't have to cook them on a tava/griddle)
2. With the moulds open surface facing you, place the rolled chapatis onto the mould
3. Use your fingers to press the rolled chapati on the mould letting it take the shape of the utensil.
4. Press it hard and ensure there is no air passage anywhere.
5. Trim the excess dough from the rim of the moulds.
6. Prick the dough (stuck to the muffin mould) with a toothpick or fork everywhere
7. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the nests in the oil.

NOTE: When you are deep frying, you have to add the muffin mould( which has the dough stuck to it still) into the oil. 

9. Once the top surface of the nest is cooked, flip the mould and it will automatically leave the dough and you can fish it out of the oil then.
10. Now fry the nests in the oil just like mathris with flame switching between medium and high.
11. One the nests are light brown in color, take them out of the oil and transfer to a kitchen towel.
12. Make the nests from the remaining dough following the above steps and let the nests cool for sometime before final assembly.
13. Arrange the nests on a platter and add potato mixture till the level of rim.
14. Put some green chutney and sonth on top and serve.

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