Friday, October 3, 2008

Appetisers/Party Foods- Vegetable Puff, Mexican stuffed Italian peppers and Batata vada

by Priyanka posted at 9:38 PM 18 comments

I had a lot of left over veggies from the past couple of weeks in my fridge and pantry. And in an effort to clean up the fridge, i decided to try out something new this time around. I love any kind of hot food. I prefer freshly cooked snacks like dhokla, handvo, poha as opposed to chivda, chakli or any of the dry snacks. I know i am kind of spoiled and have high demands/nakhras (or so P likes to remind me). However when i usually get back from my internships in the evening- tired, drained and hungry, all i have awaiting me at home are the dry store bought snacks. As a result, last weekend since i had the time, the ingredients and the energy, i decided to cook up some hot foods which could serve as snacks for me after a long day's work.

Vegetable Puffs are a favorite of mine. The memories take me back to those school days when my dad used to give us 50 paisa or a rupee on that rare occassions to get something from the school canteen (like veg puffs or sandwiches or rings) or to get the dry amlas, mangos, from the corner stallwala. Batata vadas need no introduction. I used the same stuffing mixture in the batata vadas as for the puff. Usually when i make batata vadas, i do not add onions or temper the potato mixture and that is the way i prefer it. A couple of weeks ago i made veg enchiladas in tomatillo sauce (recipe coming soon). However i was left with more than half a can of black beans, some left over hot tomato salsa, sour cream and some mexican cheese. Add some Italian frying peppers languishing in the fridge to the mix and lo and behold- you have your stuffed peppers.

Vegetable puffs (makes 12 puffs)

6 medium boiled potatoes
1 medium onion-finely chopped
3 green chilies
1/2 inch piece ginger
1 clove garlic
1/3 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp coriander-chopped
2 tsp lime juice
salt to taste
sugar to taste
4 puff pastry sheets- 1 box has 6 sheets ( i had some left overs from the last time when i made Umm Ali)

For tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4th tsp turmeric
1/4th tsp chili powder

1. Put the chilies, garlic and ginger in a blender, add as little water as possible and make a fine paste of it.
2. Heat peel the boiled potatoes and mash them.
3. Add half of the chili-garlic paste, salt, sugar, and the rest of the ingredients except the onions and the tempering, and mix well and set aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and when they splutter, add the turmeric and chili powder and the onions. Saute till the onions turn tender and add in the remaining chili-ginger-garlic paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes and add the mashed potato mixture.
5. Let the puff pastry sheets thaw out for 40 minutes, till they become soft. Cut into 12 equal squares.
6. Stuff 1-2 tsp of the potato mix and fold to form a triangle. Press firmly at the ends to seal the pastry sheet.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put in the stuffed puffs to bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven the time might vary. Keep checking frequently till they are golden brown, puffed up and crispy. (You will have a lot of left over potato stuffing- use it to make alu parathas, batata vada or use it to stuff the italian peppers and make bhaajis out of it.
8. Serve hot.

Batata vada

(left over) Potato stuffing mixture as per the above recipe

4 tbsp besan/gram flour mixture
1/3 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/4th tsp turmeric
1 tsp hot oil

Oil for frying

1. Use the same potato stuffing as per the above recipe or leave out the onions and the tempering and use that stuffing.
2. Make small balls out of it and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a wok for frying.
4. Mix the besan with the rest of the ingredients . Add as little water as possible to make a thick paste. Dip the potato balls in it one by one and slowly release these balls into the hot oil. Fry till golden brown, remove and serve with ketchup/green chutney.

Variation: Make Vada Pavs with leftover Batata vadas

1. Make some garlic chutney by putting garlic and crushed red chilies through a blender and green chutney with coriander, garlic, green chilies and ginger.
2. Heat some Amul butter in a pan, add the garlic-red chili chutney and smother some Hero or water rolls in the butter -chutney mixture (this will mellow the strong taste of garlic without affecting the flavor).
3. Apply some green chutney on the other side of the bun, stuff the hot batata vadas and serve.

Mexican Beans stuffed Italian peppers

4 Italian frying peppers
1 small can black beans
1 cup hot tomato salsa
4 tbsp cream cheese
8 tbsp shredded mexican cheese
2 tsp olive oil

1. Cut the italian peppers into half. Remove the stem, core and remove the seeds and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil, add the tomato salsa and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the black beans and cook for 5-8 minutes.
3. Stuff this mixture equally into the halved italian peppers, top it off with some cream cheese and mexican cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the peppers looks wrinkled and tender and the cheese turns golden brown.
4. Serve with sour cream and ketchup.

Comments 18 comments
sra said...

These stuffed peppers are a great idea - I mean, I know of stuffed capsicum but I never thought of these, great!

Meeta said...

This is an awesome spread!

Sangeeth said...

wow! my tummy is full reading ur post! all my fav though i have not tasted the mexican recipe :)Thanks for sharing!

Sig said...

Wow, what a spread Priyanka... I'd love to have fresh hot snacks when I get back from work everyday... But it is store bought stuff for me too...

Yasmeen said...

Great ideas of leftovers! Lajawaab indeed:)

Usha said...

Wow what a fantastic spread,everything looks delicious and mouthwatering :)

Uma said...

what a delicious spread! Everything looks so mouth-watering.

Shreya said...

hi Priyanka, you have a fantastic spread in this post, that too with the leftover veggies! Amazing thinking:-)

LG said...

Woow..what a feast with all those yummy snacks. Thanks for dropping by my blog. You have a lovely space here..

Richa said...

loved, loved, loved the stuffed peppers, will be trying it sooooon! i like black beans a lot :) btw, nice to see ur profile pic, Priyanka!

anudivya said...

Puff pastry sheets are such a life saver, isn't it?
Nice efficient spread...

Laavanya said...

What an array of tempting snacks.. I'm particularly drawn to the stuffed mexican peppers.

G.Pavani said...

priyanka,really they tempting me to eat right now..

Happy vijayadasami

Miri said...

Considering you are making all these yourself to satisfy your 'nakhras', you can hardly be called pampered!!! Its not as if you are troubling someone else...Great lip smacking stuff!

Anil P said...

The colours have come out very well, an indication of how they must taste.

You must miss the fragrance of bata wada wafting from railway stalls on the platform :)

Lovely blog you have here.

Vaishali said...

What a delicious spread, Priyanka, everything looks gorgeous.

Vibaas said...

Priyanka, all the snacks look too tempting. Stuffed peppers are new to me and i can't wait to try it.

G.Pavani said...

thank u dear for ur lovely comments,bombay rava is oridanry rava only nothing special..

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