Find the perfect tea time snack to go with your monsoon cuppa

“You can have it for lunch with your basic monsoon khichudi; you may have it in the night with puffed rice [and a dash of mustard oil]; or, you may simply munch on it like a snack with a cup of tea when you watch the rains.” Like any Bengali price her salt, meals advisor Iti Misra can not cease gushing at the point out of beguni.

The batter-fried eggplant fritter is a regional favorite, and — as Iti factors out — as well-liked in house kitchens as it’s in streetside shacks. The eggplant most well-liked is the giant, purple selection, however past that the necessities for this deal with are few. It is one in every of the beloved trio that Bengalis name tele bhaja (actually that means fried in oil), alongside with alu chop (potato cutlet) and piyaji (onion pakora). “Just don’t confuse it with begun bhaja,” she warns.


  • Ingredients
  • 1 giant eggplant (ideally the purple selection)
  • four tbsps besan (Bengal gram flour)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • half of teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Salt and chilli powder to style
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Method
  • Slice the eggplant size sensible into ¼” thick slices and sprinkle a little bit of salt. On the eggplant slices and put aside. In the meantime combine the gram flour, oil, salt, chilli powder and poppy seeds in a bowl. Add sufficient very chilly water to make a batter of the consistency of thick cream. Heat about 3” of oil in a karhai. Pat the eggplant slices dry on a kitchen roll. Dip every slice in the batter and deep fry a number of items at a time. The eggplant must be a golden brown in color. This will take two to 2.5 minutes. Drain extra oil on paper towels. Sprinkle with black salt or chaat masala.
  • Recipe by meals advisor Iti Misra

The West coast has its personal share of monsoon nibbles. Mumbai-based Chef Aditi Kamat waxes eloquent about kothimbir vadi, that elaborately ready Puneri deal with of gram flower, coriander leaves and spices that some merely steam and others take a step additional, into the frying pan.

She readily confirms that it’s synonymous with the rains, and provides, “In Maharashtrian households, like in Gujarati ones, there’s all the time a component of farsan when getting ready a standard platter. We often have kothimbir vadi, or turaichi vadi, or aru vadi. The best that may be made at house is the kothimbir vadi. Especially for upvas meals, that is most well-liked as it may be pre-made and saved.”

Radhica Muthappa, who runs Bengaluru-based Curly Sue Pork with her husband, Uttam, grew up in Munnar on a plantation and the rains meant one factor: it was time to whip out the sandwich maker. “It was usually a scrambled egg and cheese sandwich. When pulled pork was made at home, we would add that into the sandwich. That was the treat,” she laughs.

A dish she began making after marriage and shifting to Bengaluru was basale soppu fritter. “That is a standard Kannadiga dish that fries out actually crisp. It’s pretty difficult to make as a result of the soppu is leathery and it has numerous moisture. So, you’ve to wash it and pat it actually dry, dip it in the batter and fry it. You want to be somewhat cautious when getting ready it. It’s not rocket science however it does have a process.”

Basale soppu bhajji

  • Ingredients
  • 50 grams gram flour or besan
  • half of teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • half of teaspoon purple chilli powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • half of teaspoon salt
  • Method
  • Wash and completely dry basale leaves. This step is essential, as the leaves are thick and filled with moisture and except utterly dried will end in oil splattering whereas deep-frying. Make a batter of the above components with somewhat water, such that whenever you dip a leaf in it, it ought to coat it. Enjoy with some coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.
  • Recipe by Radhica Muthappa of Curly Sue Pork

For Chef Regi Mathew, culinary director and co-owner of Kappa Chakka Kandhari, the monsoon is synonymous with bananas. “During the monsoon, numerous bananas would ripen collectively and plenty of could be getting wasted. So, our moms would sun-dry these bananas and retailer it. And throughout the monsoon, there’s nothing to do at house so in the evenings, we’d take these bananas, lower them into small items, add some coconut and paani (recent toddy boiled for a number of hours until it achieves a honey-like consistency). When we didn’t have paani, we’d add honey. Our moms would deliver it in a giant vessel and serve it in small katoris to everyone.”

Stating that the pazham nanachathu offers one which “warm, cosy feeling”, he provides, “Every time it rains, I always think to myself that this is what is missing in the evenings.”

Another dish he associates with tea time throughout the monsoon is unnakkai.Unnakkai is steamed banana that’s stuffed with a coconut and jaggery combine, made into small pods after which deep-fried,” he says.

Here are a number of recipes to check out:

Kothimbir Vadi


¼ cup peanuts, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon garlic, 2 inexperienced chillies or 2 teaspoons inexperienced chillies, 1 to 2 tbsps water for grinding, 2 cups finely chopped coriander leaves, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon purple chilli powder or cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon coriander powder (floor coriander), ½ teaspoon cumin powder (floor cumin), 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – non-compulsory, 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, 1 cup besan (gram flour or chickpea flour), ½ teaspoon sugar – non-compulsory, salt as required, ½ cup water for batter, 1 to 1.5 cups water for steaming, Three tbsps oil for frying


Heat a tawa or pan and preserve the flame to a low or medium. Add ¼ cup peanuts. Stir at intervals and roast until the peanuts turn into crunchy. The peanuts’ pores and skin may also have some brown-black spots on them. Transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool. Rub the peanuts in your palms. This will take away the flaky pores and skin. Now, put the peanuts in a small grinder jar. Grind to a rough powder. Remove and preserve apart. In the identical small grinder, add 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon garlic and a couple of inexperienced chillies (or 2 teaspoons inexperienced chillies). Add 1 to 2 tbsps water and grind to a easy paste. Keep apart. Alternatively, you may even crush the garlic, ginger and inexperienced chillies in a mortar-pestle. Rinse coriander leaves very properly. Drain the additional water and finely chop them. For the batter, take the coriander leaves in a mixing bowl, add the ginger+garlic+inexperienced chilli paste. Now add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon purple chilli powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder and 1 pinch of hing (non-compulsory). Next, add the coarsely floor peanut powder and 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds. Add 1 cup besan (gram flour). Now add ½ teaspoon sugar (non-compulsory) and salt as required. Mix every little thing properly. Now add ½ cup water in components and blend properly to make a thick batter. To steam, grease a pan with some oil. Add the batter. Bring to boil 1 to 1.5 cups water in one other pan. Lower the flame and holding the pan (through which the batter is there) with tongs, preserve it inside the pan with water. Cover with a lid and steam on a low to medium flame. Once performed, test with a toothpick: it ought to come out clear. When the kothimbir combination is cooled, gently place the total layer on a plate. With a butter knife, loosen the edges and invert the pan on the plate. Tap the pan and unmold the layer. Now lower in sq. or diamond-shaped slices.

To pan fry, warmth three tablespoons oil in a tawa or pan. Place the steamed kothimbir vadi and pan fry on medium flame. When the base is golden, flip and fry the different facet. Flip a few occasions extra and fry until the sides are crisp and golden. Place the pan fried kothimbir vadi on kitchen paper towels for additional oil to be absorbed. Serve sizzling or heat with chutney or sauce of your alternative.

Recipe by Chef Aditi Kamat



2 Nendram bananas (medium ripe), 1 cup grated coconut, 1 tbsp ghee, half of tsp cardamom powder, 12 break up cashews, 12 raisins, 1 half of tbsp sugar, oil to fry


Steam the banana, take away the pores and skin, mash properly and preserve apart. Heat ghee in a frying pan and sauté the cashewnuts and raisins alongside with the grated coconut. Add sugar and cardamom powder to the pan and blend properly and take away from fireplace. Apply a contact of ghee on each palms. Divide the mashed bananas into about seven to eight even-sized balls. Press the centre of every ball somewhat with the assist of your thumb and stuff the combination rigorously inside. Make it right into a spindle form. Heat the oil in a kadai and deep-fry the unnakkai to a golden yellow color. Serve sizzling.

Recipe by Chef Regi Mathew, culinary director and co-owner of Kappa Chakka Kandhari

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