It’s finally raining in Kolkata, but the relief could be short-lived. So, make the most of the blissful weather by indulging in some cult brishti essentials, i.e., pakodas, telebhajas and boras.
Come monsoon, we get serious about our fritters and this year, we have sorted some offbeat recipes that make for the best monsoon munchies! Read on.
Paat pata’r bora with kucho chingri filling
Paat pata are jute leaves. To make this particular fried delicacy you need to wash paat pata and keep them aside to air dry. Next comes the kucho chingri (shrimps). Clean the prawns and marinate them with salt, a pinch of turmeric powder and crushed black peppers and grind them into a smooth paste. Drizzle some mustard oil in the frying pan and add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves and tomatoes (try to go in this order, giving each ingredient some time to change colour).
Once the spice base is ready, add the prawn paste and cook. Add seasonings with a dash of lime and set aside to cool. In a frying pan, pour enough oil to shallow fry the fritters. Keep thick besan batter ready with a pinch of salt and kalo jeera. On a flat surface, make a bed of paat leaves, three-four on the base. Add a thin layer of filling and cover with another bed of leaves, palm-wrapping them to tighten the package. Carefully dip in batter and deep fry till golden brown. Tastes best with kasundi.
Aloo-cheese sando pakoda
Who said sandos can’t be pakodas? Slice peeled potatoes into slightly thicker sizes and marinate with salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder and set aside. Take cheese slices and cut them smaller than the potato rounds. Make a quick and thick batter of cornflower/besan/maida with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
This recipe needs a thorough deep fry. Pour oil in the frying pan and it heats up, take two pieces of potatoes and add the cheese piece between them. Dip them in the batter and fry till brown. Don’t forget a side of mayo, hung yoghurt dip or good ol’ ketchup.
Pro tip: Go for skinny cuts for the potatoes because they need to be cooked thoroughly.
Kancha aam diye aloor chop (but with a twist)
We’ll never say no to aamer chop. But, how about adding a twist? Boil potatoes and make the filling with bhaja masala, salt and red chilli powder. Add chopped onions, green chilli, grated aam aada or mango ginger, coriander leaves and mint leaves and mash well with the boiled potatoes into a soft and fibrous dough. Add grated raw mango for the yummy tanginess and keep it aside. Now, take a ripe mango (preferably not too soggy) and cut it into cubes.
Make a thick batter of besan along with a pinch of seasonings and kalo jeera. Make balls of the mashed potatoes and make a small hole at the centre, adding one paaka aam cube per chop and cover the mango cube. Dip in batter and deep fry. Serve piping hot with tomato salsa.
Pro tip: Set the tanginess as per taste preference.
Mutton keema kebabs with kancha aam filling
Mutton and mangoes? Oh, boy! This one is a really easy recipe that leaves a heavenly aftertaste and can double up as party appetisers. Soak the dal overnight and grind into a smooth paste with a pinch of salt and one green chilli the next day. For the filling, take minced mutton (you can also take chicken, pork or beef keema) and marinate with salt, honey, turmeric and red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, soaked dal paste and lime juice.
Grate a raw mango and add a little bit of salt, a drizzle of honey and crushed black pepper. Air dry and squeeze well to take out excess water. Take a dollop of keema, make a pocket in the centre and add a pinch full of grated mango. Cover and make each kebab the size of galoutis and shallow fry in a mix of ghee and white oil. Don’t forget to serve with a quick mint and coriander chutney.
The exoticness of cashews and the crunchiness of a pakoda — it’s an unbeatable combination. For this recipe, you need unsalted cashews. Dry roast them and set them aside. Take a deep bowl and add rice flour, besan, ginger-garlic paste (in a 2:1 ratio), chopped green chillies, fennel seeds, salt and sugar. Add mint and coriander leaves and make a thin batter. Add the cashews and deep fry till crispy and golden brown. Serve with a dip of your choice.
Pro tip: Add a spoonful of hot oil while whisking the batter for a lump-free mix.
Egg dhoka pakoda
This one is dimer dhoka’s versatile cousin and should be paired with a khichdi. Whisk eggs with salt, black pepper, chopped onions and green chillies and a little sugar. Grease a deep bowl with butter or mustard oil and pour the batter, steaming it for approximately 15 minutes (occasionally check in with a toothpick). Cool it and de-mould it on a flat surface. Cut into blocks or diamond shapes. Take flour and add a pinch of salt. Coat the chunks in flour and deep fry. Make a quick kancha aam bata to go with the pakodas and serve them straight out of the kadai.
Pathar mangsher chorbi’r bora with grated cheese
What makes the indulgent chorbir bora even more sinful? Why, cheese, of course! Take mutton fat and add chopped onions, grated ginger, crushed and chopped garlic, green chillies, coriander leaves, thinly chopped dry red chillies, lime juice, salt, a pinch of sugar and mix well. Add grated cheese and maida or besan and mix well. Dry coat with maida or besan and deep fry. Serve with kasundi and sliced onions, dipped in lime juice.
Achari chilli pakoda with keema filling and….
Have achari chillies at home? Deseed them, wash them and pat them dry. Now, for the filling, take minced meat (or grated paneer if you want a vegetarian option) and cook with onion-ginger-garlic paste, salt, sugar, and black pepper and set aside.
Add chopped onions, green chillies and crushed mint leaves and the star of the show — the kancha aamer kashundi. Now that your filling is ready, fill the achari chillies and coat them in thick besan batter to deep fry and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.