Crispy Corn and Onions | Indian Chaat

From Indonesia through South East Asia to Myanmar, and across to India, sweet corn is served with crispy onions. The corn is prepared in various ways, including milky creamy corn (a firm favourite) and corn that is steamed then deep fried.

With wonderfully tender corn from the local shops, we made this Indian street food style snack, tangy and spicy. It is easy to make, but the corn kernels needs to be blanched, boiled or steamed beforehand, to soften their outer skin so that they don’t pop while frying. Otherwise you will have a messy kitchen, a scared cook, and a bowl of popped corn (if you can find them after flying around the kitchen as they explode).

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn Chaat, and Poha Chaat.

Browse all of our Chaat dishes and our Sweet Corn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sweet Corn Chaat

Sweet corn season is here and the corns are tender and juicy. We made Sweet Corn Soup, and had some kernels left over, so it was a perfect time for a chaat as an afternoon snack.  This type of chaat is like an Indian version of Salsa.

In this recipe we roast the kernels in butter until they are browned or blackened, which intensifies their flavour.

This is a great dish to eat warm as the corn is buttery and beautiful. If you need to make it beforehand, bring it to room temperature before using.

This recipe is a great vehicle for using the vegetables that you have at hand, and that can be grated, shredded or chopped. Cucumber can be added, for example, and grated beetroot. I used the greens of spring onions as they were to hand and I love their taste, but you can also use the white stems.  Radish is good too, shredded, but it has quite a bite so just use a little. Cubes of boiled potato is a great addition.

Similar recipes include Crispy Corn and Onion Chaat, Channa Chaat, Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Poha Chaat.

Browse all of our Chaat dishes and our Sweet Corn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Potato Bhaji

I love the book Tiffin by Srinivas. It is a terrific read with lots of lovely food-related stories. The recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. It is a book I highly recommend. I have cooked a few dishes from the book and all are exceptional.

Today’s recipe is Potato Bhaaji, a warm spicy potato dish. It can be served as a snack, entree (starter) or side dish. It is perfect with dosai.

Similar recipes include Potato Poha, Green Tomato Bhaji, and Okra Bhaji.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes and all of our Potato dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Poha with Crispy Potatoes | Batata Poha

Another recipe from my cooking sessions in India, scribbled almost illegibly as I tried to keep up with the dishes appearing in front of me. It is a simple Poha dish with potatoes. It’s also a common dish, probably because it is so very delicious and relatively cheap to make. Eaten primarily as a snack with coffee or chai, it is dish for the monsoon season – excellent in rainy weather.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Sweetcorn ChaatKanda Poha and Lemon Poha.

You can browse all of our Poha recipes and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our Early Winter collection of recipes.

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Beetroot Vadai

These are wonderful vadai that incorporate beetroot, and are a specialty of Chetinand (an area of Tamil Nadu). They make delicious snacks,  but can also be served as an accompaniment to a meal.

Like all of India’s deep fried snacks, these are healthy-ish, meaning that they are made from wonderful, fresh and balanced ingredients, yet are deep fried. Of course, eat in moderation. If you can.

Vada are interesting food items – a compact way to get lentils, vegetables and spices into the diet. They are eaten  with a meal or as a snack during the day, grabbed from a walla on the street, or packed into tiffins to take to work or on long trips. Perfect balls of healthy ingredients that are always at hand.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, Coriander Vada, and Medu Vadai.

Browse all of our Vada recipes, our Beetroot dishes, all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Achari Gobhi | Cauliflower Cooked with Pickling Spices

Achari means pickling, and achari dishes are made with the same spices that are generally used for pickling vegetables. Using mustard oil gives the cauliflower great colour and favour – grab an Indian Mustard oil at your Indian grocer, or your Supermarket might carry an Australian one. Similar to most achari dishes, amchur is used to give a delicious tang to the dish.

This is a simple sabzi dish to prepare when you feel like eating a chatpata snack.

Are you looking for other Cauliflower dishes? Try South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Similar recipes include Achari Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes, all Subzis, and all of our Achari dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply browse our Mid Winter dishes.

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Potato Fry | Potatoes with Cumin and Mustard Seeds

Sometimes there are bits and pieces of a vegetable left over, not enough to make something substantial, but too much to discard. This dish is perfect for those bits of potato. Just cube them and fry them in ghee and spices. They are delicious as a snack or a side dish, and it is a quick, no fuss dish.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi, Poha with Potatoes, Aloo Gobi, Potato Subzi, Okra Fry, and Cabbage Fry.

Browse all of our Potato dishes and our Vegetable Fry recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Winter recipes.

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Broad Bean Burgers/Patties

Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.

We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.

The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.

We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.

And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).

The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (this recipe is from Plenty). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, and Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Palak Bhajiya | Spinach Fritters

Spinach and other greens are some of the easiest things to grow in the garden, so we always have them in abundance. One easy way (and delicious way) to use them is to make this great Indian snack, generally eaten during the Monsoon season. Spinach leaves are coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. So put on your rainy weather gear, pick the palak, and make this bhajiya with lots of friends and lots of laughter. In the UK Bhajiya is called Bhajji (confusingly), and this practice is spreading. We could just call them Pakoda and be done with it.

Similar recipes include Herb and Walnut Fritters, Pakora – Vegetable Fritters, and Onion Rings.

Please, browse all of our Pakora/ Bhajji, and all of our Snacks. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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The Huge Vine Leaf Pakora | Angoor Patta Pakora

Fresh grape vine leaves are a rarity, unless you have a vine in your yard, or are surrounded by vineyards, or live in an Italian neighbourhood. If you can, grab some fresh ones (more than you need and freeze the rest). We have quite a number of recipes for them. If you can’t find them locally, you can purchase them preserved in water, salt and citric acid. They are available at most gourmet stores or Greek groceries.

In this recipe, the leaves are blanched, drained, finely shredded and folded into a spiced chickpea flour batter. The mixture is then poured into a sauté pan and shallow-fried into a large round cake that is golden brown, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is like making one pakora from the batter. You could of course, make individual pakoras the usual way.

This recipe is adapted from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, a beautiful book full of Vedic cooking.

Similar recipes include Sizzling Rice Squares, Eggplant and Kale Pakora, Malabar Spinach Pakora, and Crispy Battered Onion Rings.

Browse all of our Vine Leaf recipes and all of our Pakoras. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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