Spinach and potato fritters


Palak aloo Bhajias are some of the most delicious fritters from India. Indian fritters are made with chickpea flour which , to me , has a warm nutty flavor. You can find this flour in Indian markets or a store like Whole Foods. Either way they are too good to pass up. For a little added spice add in 1/4 tsp or more of cayenne pepper , optional , ofcourse.

8 oz fresh spinch leaves , chopped

1 cup grated potato

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 cup chickpea flour

Salt and pepper , to taste

Sunflower oil for deep -frying

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl , add enough water to make a thick batter.

Heat the oil in a large , heavy frying pan and drop in a tablespoon of mixture. Cook , turning , until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while you make the rest.

Continue to fry the fritters in batches until the batter is used up , and serve hot.

Ratnagiri garlic pepper crab


This simple to prepare crab dish is serve simply and elegantly in crab shells. Ratnagiri , a little distance from Mumbai , is lush with coconut trees and seafood. Buy your crabs cooked to save the bother of cleaning fresh ones.

Monisha bharadwaj

4 freshly cooked crabs , shells set aside

2 tbs sunflower oil

1/4 tsp mustard seed

1 medium onion, finely chopped

5 curry leaves

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1 tbs dry coconut

salt and freshly ground pepper

Finely chopped cilantro (optional)

Lettuce leaves

Remove all the crabmeat from the shells and pincers, taking care to extract any tiny bits of shell. Mix together the white and brown meats . Throughly rinse the shells and let drain.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the onion and stir until translucent.

Add the curry leaves and garlic paste. Stir.

Add the coconut and crabmeat and stir lightly until heated through. Season to taste.

Pile the mixture into the cleaned crab shells , garnish with some chopped cilantro if you like, and serve warm on a bed of lettuce.

Shrimp in green herbs


Shrimps are universally loved in India. There are several varieties , which , I was surprised to see when I went to the wharf with my cousin Suzy , who lives in Mumbai. These shrimp , or prawns , as they are called are so fresh and succulent. Some of them are 6 to 8 inches long!!! The green sauce is called Hara Masala and is my husband’s favorite. Use bread or naan to soak up the sauce.

MASALA

1 bunch cilantro

2 fresh green chilis

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

Salt to taste

 

2 tbs sunflower oil

1/2 tsp cumin seed

1 1/4 lbs jumbo shrimp ,shelled and deveined

Salt to taste

Put ingredients for masala in a blender , puree till smooth.

Heat oil in a wok and tip in cumin seeds

Add green masala and fry 1 -2 minutes.

Add shrimp and salt. Reduce heat and cook until shrimp are done, adding a little water if necessary. The sauce should be thick and smooth . Serve immediately.

Nargisi Kofta, eggs encased in lamb


Originally this recipe came from Mughal  Empire in India. It is a must have in our household and was part of my Mother’s buffet at high teas or more casual dinners. This is typically made with lean ground lamb , spices , lentils and ,ofcourse , eggs. These are really a spicy Scotch egg only far more flavorful. Serve it with green chutney or ketchup.

Monisha bharadwaj

1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb

2 tsps ginger and garlic paste

2 tsp garam masala

3 tbs yellow gram lentils

salt , to taste

1 tsp chili powder

1 large egg , beaten

4 eggs , hard boiled and peeled

Oil for deep frying

Place the ground lamb , ginger garlic paste , garam masala , lentils , salt and chili in a pan . Add 2/3 cup water and cook until the meat and lentils are done, adding more water if necessary. Let all the water dry up. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Grind the mixture in a blender until fairly smooth. Stir in the beaten egg.

Completely coat each boiled egg with this mixture.

Heat the oil and , once it’s hot enough , gently lower in each coated egg.

Fry until golden , then remove using a slotted spoon. Cut each fried egg kofta in half with a sharp knife, then serve hot with ketchup.