Entree

Vegetable Momo: Steamed Dumplings!

Momo_CoverOkay, we agree.. that was one long break that we took! But you have to believe us when we say… our recipe was ready but the weather was not setting the mood for us to pen the blog post down! The scorching heat of Singapore and then the Sumatra haze deterred us from sharing this delectable Momo dumplings recipe that taste doubly sumptuous during monsoon and winter seasons! But now that the Rain Gods have been kind ( in fact it been raining with hail in few parts of Singapore! ), we are ready to finally bring for you the not-to-miss recipe for this season, shared with us all the way from London, by fellow foodie and very dear Ms. Priya Jain. 

PriyaMomo is a type of dumpling native to Nepal but has a Tibetan influence. It is very similar to dim-sums for its simple and subtle taste but the spicy chutney that traditionally accompanies this Nepalese delight , is what sets it apart! Personally speaking, even the thought of Momo dumplings is enough to bring out the flavors on our palette and best reminisces of Delhi Winters. Be it the favorite momo wale bhaiya at the SDA market, or the van at the Tansen Road, momo  dumpling will easily be our favorite Delhi street food after the famous North-Indian chaat!

But, if you are stuck in a place where you do not get traditional momo dumplings or do not get the vegetarian version or both ( like in my case!).. don’t fret no more! Ms. Priya Jain has shared with us this quick and simple recipe that she learnt from her mother-in -law. She tried it to make delicate and beautifully crafted steamed vegetable momo dumplings. She even gave us simple tips and tricks to make them at home without using the traditional momo basket/steamer.

So here’s what she shared:

Momo wrappers:

The dough for the wrappers is made using simple ingredients:

1 cup Plain Flour

1 tsp Oil

Water to knead into “firm” dough. ( Please note it the dough should not be too soft)

Cover the dough and put aside  until you prepare the filling.

Vegetable Momo

The Filling:

Since we are making vegetarian dumplings here, we are using nutritious vegetables and meat substitutes.  Those who wish to try non-veg version can replace the  ingredients of the filling as per their liking. There is no hard and fast rule for the filling-  you can be inventive and surprise your guests!

Here’s what we used, Ingredients:
Grated vegetables like carrot , cabbage, onions
Nutrela small granules (soya nuggets – substitute for chicken) – soaked in warm water, drained and tightly squeezed
Grated cottage cheese (optional)
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt and Garam Masala- To taste
Directions:
Take oil  and sauté all the vegetables for 5-7 mins . Add some garam masala and salt to taste.
Next, add paneer and soya nuggets then sauté it  further for 5 min
Transfer the mixture in a plate an let it cool.
Tasty Tip!
For spicy , schezuan version of momo dumplings:  You may sauté the vegetable mixture ( as above)  in soya sauce , chili sauce and vinegar. Make sure you adjust your salt and spice accordingly.

Momo

Assembling the Momo dumplings:

Now comes the most creative part of the whole make-at-home-momo experience i.e. assembling them!

Here’s a step by step process for the same:

1. Give the resting dough a final knead  and make small spherical dough balls.

2. Dust the work surface with dry flour and roll out the balls into small circles ( around 3 inches ) using  a rolling pin. ( Press the circular edge gently using fingers,this ensures that the middle of the wrapper is slightly thicker than the edges, so when shaped , the  momo dumplings come out evenly in thickness and texture)

3. Take the circular wrapper, put one spoon of filling in the center and hold all edges together towards the center covering the filling, making the pleats and twist the pleats to ensure that the filling is sealed in.

4.  Till you steam the dumplings, please ensure that the resting dough, rolled momo wrappers or shaped momo dumpling are resting on floured surface covered with a bowl. ( This is to make sure they do not stick to the surface or each other, and don’t become too dry)

Momo

Dips and Sauces:

Since basic Momo dumplings have a bland taste ( and we still love them a lot!), the dip accompanying it adds the required zing!   The quintessential momo dip is the red sauce with loads of chili and garlic like a schezuan paste. But, recently we have seen momo stalls even serving creamy mayonnaise along with momos for those who don’t want to go on the spicy route.

Ms. Priya has been very kind to share with us two interesting dips that go along with her steamed momo recipe! – Red & Green. She shared the basic ingredients and recommends us to adjust the quantity and  flavors as per our taste.

1. The Red Chutney  Momo Dip

Ingredients: Dry Red Chilis, Tomatoes, Garlic, some oil and salt to taste.
Directions: Take oil in a pan over medium heat. Put Red Chili and Garlic and saute them till they start releasing the flavors and fragrance. Now, add roughly chopped  tomatoes and salt. Let it simmer till the tomatoes start leaving oil on the sides.
Cool the mixture and grind it into thick paste and the chutney is done.
 2. The Green Chutney
Ingredients:  Green chilis, Ginger , Garlic, Mint Leaves, Coriander Leaves , Lemon, Raw Mango,  Cumin (jeera) powder and salt to taste.
Directions: Add everything except the lemon in a mixer and grind into a paste. Squeeze lemon on the top and serve fresh.
Both of these chutneys have fresh aroma but unique tastes that make them a great accompaniment to the otherwise bland  momo dumplings!

 

Steaming the dumplings:

The last step before you get to enjoy these delicious vegetable delight is- Steaming them!

Traditionally momo dumplings are steamed in the momo baskets but due to their small size , they have been replaced by large stacked aluminium steamers for commercial purposes!

The idea is to steam the dumplings  in a  double boiler arrangement. Take  large and deep pan and fill it with water up-till about 2 inches from the base and let the water boil.  The other container/plate on which dumplings need to be arranged should have holes/slits for the steam to reach the momo.  This pan is then made to rest over the boiling water in a way that it doesn’t come in contact with the water (using a stand/ring). The entire double boiler arrangement should  ideally be covered  to ensure  that the steam gets trapped  inside to cook the momo dumplings well.

Ms. Priya used her interesting traditional bamboo basket and put it inside the big container for steaming. She also gave us few easily available steamer substitutes:

For main container –  Idli Steamer  ( generally available in Indian Kitchens), Pressure cooker without the whistle, Rice cooker or any deep pan with heavy lid that loosely traps the steam can be used.

To replace momo stand – Any flat plate with small holes ( generally used in the kitchen to cover food), flat based Sieve or Channi ( it has holes and basic round ones can fit into most of the containers) should work well.

Directions: Irrespective of what you use, the basic steps ( as depicted in the pic below) shall remain the same.  Prepare momo plate well by greasing it with oil so the dumplings do not stick to the surface. Arrange the dumplings at a little distance from each other. Cover and let it Steam for about 10-15 mins. Enjoy  the momo dumplings hot and steaming with delicious chutneys!

Momo

 

Hope this gives you a good idea about how to make this delectable delights in your kitchen.  The process might sound a li’l long drawn but when you do these steps parallely it can really be made in a jiffy( prepare chutney in advance,  let the filling cook alongside while you knead the dough, put water to boil in the steamer when you are shaping the dumplings). Believe us,  in the end, they are really worth it!

So, it is time you  give those deep fried pakodas, a break; on the next drizzly day enjoy these delicate steamed momo dumplings that would tantalize your taste buds and comfort your soul!

Momo

We again thank Ms. Priya and her MIL  for sharing such an interesting recipe and wonderful pictures with us. We look forward to such entries where not only the guests and their recipes but also the pictures help us in weaving the stories! 

Enjoy the monsoon season and keep sharing!

Cheers,

Team 156Hungerlane

Categories: Entree, Sauces | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Holi Special – Ram Laddoo

156hungerlane_Ram Ladoo_Recipe

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Ravioli – Stuffed Pasta

Ravioli_Header

Well, finally comes the post that I had been longing to write for our blog – The quintessential spinach and cheese ravioli without eggs. Ravioli is Italian stuffed pasta which is made by pressing interesting fillings between the thin pasta dough layers, creating a pillow like casing! The fluffy delicate pasta pillows can be served along with any kind of pasta sauce or can even be sauteed in just butter & herbs!
I clearly remember tasting Ravioli for the first time at the famous The Big Chill Cafe at New Delhi, India. Spinach Ravioli in creamy Parmesan Sauce is item 121 on Big Chill’s endless menu! The restaurant has a number associated with every dish.  People, like me, who are a regular there, just order by the number associated with their favorite dish. Believe me, I really look forward to go there in a large group to be able to taste something other than what I always order, as I can’t do without having my 121(or 124) and 196! 🙂
The idea of stuffing the pasta really intrigued me and I tried this recipe thrice, two times with just a handful of dough to be sure that it doesn’t give a raw or chewy pasta taste but once I was convinced, I cooked it as a complete meal!

The Pasta Dough

Pasta  dough traditionally is made using eggs but we tried the eggless version and it tasted just as right. The taste of the final product really depends on kind of  olive oil and cheese you use. The more authentic Italian they are, the better your Ravioli would come out.

Ingredients:  
Dough
White flour 1 cup
Semolina ( very fine) 1 tbsp (optional, it helps in binding the dough better)
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Pinch of salt
Luke Warm Water- To knead
 
Method:
1. Mix flour, semolina and salt in a  large mixing bowl, making a well in the center. [The semolina we used was more fine than granulated sugar]
2. Add oil in the well and slowly keep adding water while mixing it using a fork, incorporating only a little flour mixture at a time so it mixes smoothly and evenly. Patience pays here, the more patient you are in this step the better the dough will turn out.
3. Once it gets a little stiff dough consistency, continue kneading by hand for about 10 minutes. You may grease your hand a little to avoid dough sticking to it.
4. Let it stand for a 25-30 mins covered with a wet towel.
5. Knead the dough couple times until it is smooth and just a little sticky.

The Filling

Ingredients:
Raw Spinach leaves – 200 grams  Filling_Ravioli
Garlic – one fat clove (minced)
Pine Nuts or Walnuts- handful (chopped)
Butter – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Ricotta Cheese – 50 gms ( you may use Cream cheese if you do not find Ricotta,  it should be softened at room temperature) 
Pepper and Nutmeg Powder – a pinch each ( seasoning)
 
Method:
1. Put water to boil in a deep pan, add spinach leaves. Boil for 2-3 mins, strain. Finely chop the boiled spinach, once it cools down.
2.In a saute pan, add butter, garlic, nuts and let them lightly roast.  Add chopped spinach , salt and let the water evaporate. Turn off the heat and let it cool down. 
3. In a mixing bowl, add the cooled mixture from Step 2 along with Cheese (softened at room temperature) and fold in lightly. Add Pepper and Nutmeg Powder to season the filling and refrigerate till you roll out the pasta dough. ( at least 15 mins)
 
Stuffing the Ravioli

Here comes the most interesting (and the trickiest) part.  Traditionally, thin pasta sheets are rolled out using the pasta machine that ensures that the sheets are evenly thin and smooth. But, at 156, Hungerlane, we aim to create recipes with commonly available tools. 🙂 So, the good ol’ rolling pin ( belan) comes in handy.  You just need a large plain surface to roll long pasta sheets to save yourself from the trouble of rolling the dough individually for every Ravioli you make.

Directions:
1. I dusted some flour on my clean table top and started rolling the dough as thin as possible. You may divide the dough into smaller portions to manage the space.
2.Cut long and broad strips of dough using knife, you may use ruler if you wish to be very precise ( Frankly, I am not that patient!)
3. Put small portions of filling roughly 3 inches apart near one edge of the rectangular sheet.  Fold the other end of the rectangular sheet over and firmly press using your fingers to shape the pasta crescents. You may brush milk to seal the edges and cut the pillows.

RollnStuff

Being a hopeless romantic, I used my heart-shaped cookie cutter to make heart-shaped Ravioli. This makes for a romantic valentines day or anniversary meal.  Dust the Ravioli with Flour as they rest so they don’t stick to the platter or  with each other.
4.  Put Ravioli in salted boiling water for less a minute and a half and strain ( Note:  The fresh pasta takes very less time to cook than the dry pasta so ensure that you do not over-boil your ravioli. Also, this step should be done right before you wish to serve the Ravioli) 

HeartRavioliBoilRavioli

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Serving Suggestion: You may either saute’ the ravioli in butter and herbs ( sage , oregano etc.) and serve them as it is  or choose your favorite pasta sauce to accompany it. I generally like the cream cheese sauce, but this time I used the Arabiatta sauce. Tomatoes , garlic, fresh basil and onions tossed in olive oil,  and ground into a thick paste ! Add salt, pepper and your seasonings, to make this easy breezy pasta sauce. 
Serve, the Ravioli hot. The crunch from the nuts would be a great surprise when you bite into the delicate ravioli pillows with cream and spinach gently melting in your mouth! 🙂 

Ravioli_Hungerlane

 The Spinach and Cheese is one of the most yet delicious filling in any savory Ravioli.  You can just sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on  the top of your Ravioli and serve it piping hot!
SideView_Ravioli
 Well, my post to the savory Ravioli ends here, I really hope you like it.  But, along with this post, we would like to introduce our first guest blogger Nitya who is not only an avid foodie and a brilliant cook but also a very dear friend.  Nitya wrote to us with a little sweet variation to the traditional Ravioli Recipe. We have not tried it as yet, but the recipe sounds brilliant!  She gave her pear ravioli pockets a very unconventional and cute shape ( I call it pear shape! :)) . So, here goes Nitya’s Recipe:
Nitya_hungerlane_1
  We would really like to Thank Nitya to take out time and write to us!  In a way, she completed this post by giving a sweet variation to our otherwise savory Ravioli post! 
 
We really hope this encourages other foodies to share back with us! 
 
Keep cooking, eating and sharing!
Cheers,
 
Rashi
 
 
Categories: Eggless, Entree, Italian, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Restaurant Review: Chilli Fagara, Hong Kong

Hello Fellow Foodies, hope delicious  festive food is keeping you contended and warm in this winter season.  We too have been travelling and gorging on sumptuous delicacies from around the world. On a recent trip to Hong Kong,  we had lunch at Chilli Fagara– a Szechuan place that had been repeatedly recommended to us by friends and family members as if it was another tourist destination! When so many unrelated people vouch for the same place, you should definitely not miss it. Being an avid foodie, I had instantly added it to my HK places -to-visit- and eat list!

Why the name Chilli Fagara?

chilli fagara

Fagara , as the restaurant points out is a kind of  Szechwan pepper that is so hot that it not just burns but causes numbness.  The menu is broadly constituted into three culinary levels of  heat-  TangMa, and La .

Tang is the mildest and in their dictionary a neutral level spice which is just enough to set things off!
Ma represents burning and is next in line to put your tongue on fire..
La is numbing ,  it numbs your senses while bringing tears in your eyes and making your nose leak! 😛

Getting There:

Chilli Fagara is perfectly located in the SoHo (South of Hollywood Road) district of Hong Kong on the Graham Street.  The Graham Street extends from Queens Road , cuts through the Hollywood Road and ends on the Staunton Street. Chilli Fagara is towards the Staunton Street end of the Graham Street slope. As we walked up to the Graham street we crossed Hong Kong’s oldest continuously operating street market. The street is narrow but it does have stalls on either sides that sells fresh food like seafood, vegetables, meats.  As we “climbed” up, we did question the possibility of any restaurant on that street but soon we crossed an exotic patisserie, which was good enough to get hopes back! The street names were properly marked and that helped us in finding the place. We had to literally run to be able to get to the place before it shut down post lunch hours.(Timings: Open everyday from 11:30 am to 2:30pm and 5pm to 11pm). We called up in advance so they accommodated us even after 2:30 pm and let us place our last order by 3pm.

Getting there_Hungerlane

Hong Kong , being high density , tight squeeze city has relatively smaller units. It had been tough for us to find addresses in Hong Kong since the units have very small entrances that make it easier for you to skip numbers! But, this place had glaring hot orange-colored flame designs on its entrance ( aptly encapsulating the theme of Chilli Fagara) that can not easily go unnoticed. So, we were there… Finally!

hungelane_address

The Ambiance

As soon as we entered this place, we were a little taken aback by its size,  it appeared too small and cramped for a ‘Michelin star restaurant’.  We were lucky that the place was nearly empty (only 5 other people other than us) otherwise I am sure it could get a lot louder and chaotic. The ambiance was dim-lit, cozy and was done up with dark wooden furniture.   The bamboo sticks on the ceiling just added to it oriental feel while the chilies and peppers hanging from the walls endorsed the name and the theme of the place. The moment we were seated,  the red napkins were laid out on the table along with chopsticks and dark ceramic bowls.

chillifarg_ambience_hungerlane

The Menu 

Thanks to our Indian faces, as soon as we got comfortable, we were asked if we were vegetarians! We were pleasantly surprised to know that there was a separate green menu for vegetarians. The prices were higher than usual with every dish costing over 130 HKD ( INR 1000 approx) and soups within 70-100 HKD (INR 500-750). We were also reminded that we just have limited time to order (considering we reached a li’l after 2:30pm :(). We initially ordered for Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup!  We were satisfied by the quantity since we ordered 1X2 portion. The soup bowls came with cute wooden soup spoons that made every sip and  nibble truly Chinese. 

hotnsour_hungerlane_chillifagara

The soup was hot and delicious, but it was only after the few sips that we felt its real heat (spice). Soon, we required those red paper napkins, to wipe our flowing noses. Both , me and Ashim took pleasures in noticing each other’s reactions while enjoying every sip! The after taste was nothing but a burning sensation on our palette, something we were craving for months. The soup was thick and filling.  Next, we ordered a Veg Sichuan Rice. The quantity was a little disappointing for the price.

Rice_hungerlane_chillifagara

Needless to say, that the rice was spicy. It had chunks of red chilies that hits your palette in every bite. Soon, we had to request for water because we had our tongues on FIRE!  The experience was truly HOT AND SPICY, something that we both really needed not only because we both relish overtly Spicy Oriental food but also this is something we do not really get to enjoy in Singapore. We were even told that gloves are provided with the food , eaten by hands so that the spice does not directly come in contact with skin. Being part of our first Anniversary trip, this experience came just at the right time!  If you are  ready to shelve HKD 500-600 (INR 4000) for a meal for two ( without drinks), we would recommend this place to all the foodies who love spicy food and otherwise. Make sure you take out time to visit this place whenever you are in Hong Kong next! Visit: http://www.chillifagara.com/ for details on non-veg food.

There are many websites that vouch for this place. We could capture the picture of just a few of the many endorsements they had.

certificates_hungerlane

Hope this post tantalized your oriental loving taste buds. If not immediately fly to Hong Kong, it at least made you book a table at the local oriental diner or order a spicy bento box. From our end, we would soon try to assuage your hot and spicy appetite with the spicy Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup ( recipe to follow soon)!

 Till then,

Keep yourself warm and binge on good food!

Take Care

Rashi

Categories: Entree, Lifestyle, Mains, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Soup Series 4: Broccoli Almond Soup

So we are already past mid-November. While people in many parts of the world like Europe and US , are already chilled to the bone and have kick-started their Christmas preparations, in Northern India we are just welcoming the winter season after wrapping up Diwali celebrations!  For the next couple of months more than half of the world would wake up to misty mornings, feel the chill in the air and  might experience haziness from fog all day long! Ahh.. the sweet smell of winters, being stuck in hot and humid weather of Singapore, I can trade anything to experience that winter glory!

Winters are very special to me, for reasons more than one! Some of them being:

– You get to completely change your wardrobe, from summer cottons to thick winter clothing( rather, layers of clothing)

– Grand festivities happen during this time.. Diwali, Christmas, New Year.. In fact, it’s  also the wedding season in India!  O Balle- Balle!  (that reminds me even my anniversary is around the corner! << switch-Thinking what gift to ask for….errr  Switch back>> )

– You eat as much as you want and can hide it under your pullover! 😉 You lose count of number of cups of Hot Chocolate, Tea, Coffee or Soups you gulp down just to keep yourself warm!

We can’t really teach you how to make tea and coffees here( either you are already an expert or have a favorite coffee chain that you are loyal to) , but we sure can get you more of simple soup quickies that would keep you warm in this winter season!

So we hope that with our Broccoli Almond Soup recipe, your quest to try a quick, diet , nutrition and health entree takes a brief halt!

Broccoli is known as miracle food! Apart from being rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C, it is known to contain potent anti- cancer properties. Eating Broccoli in raw form is a growing practice but in this recipe we would boil Broccoli Florets and its stalks! Yes,  we use the soft broccoli stalks too!

Almonds are one of the most nutritious of all nuts. They are low in saturated fats and are  full of many vital nutrients!

Broccoli+ Almond= Good Health & Happy Heart! 

Apart from these obvious ingredients, here’s what more you would need:

Onion and Potatoes give  this soup a little sweet mellow taste,  Milk gives the creamy texture while garlic acts a seasoning ! Celery, if available, can also be used to flavor this soup.  One stalk of celery may be chopped and added while boiling the broccoli stems.

Once you have all that you need, here is a quick recipe that needs to be followed:

If you like your soup little flowy, you can increase the quantity of milk/water or even skip adding the corn starch.

Serve it hot in a soup bowl or coffee mugs!Generously top with roasted almond shavings.. the crunch of almonds compliments the creamy texture of the soup! 

We hope you enjoy this Health Recipe.. Happy Winters!

Stay Warm! 🙂

Rashi

Categories: Entree | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Diwali Special Diya Mathri

It is winter, the festival of Diwali is around the corner and every house on every street is lit with colorful lights. This is also the time when we get a chance to be with our family, exchange gifts and indulge in all kinds of sweets and fried food 🙂

Thinking of fried food, one food item that is staple in almost all north Indian families is MATHRI. They are made in almost every Indian family and each Grandma can give you a variation to the innocent Mathri. You have Methi Mathri, Mithi Mathri, Masala Mathri, Lasan Mathri and so on. The list is endless.

We at 156 hungerlane don’t mean to change the traditional grandma recipe but have given it our twist to make your Diwali extra special. Treat your guests with our Diya Mathri. Not only do they look nice and are extremely delicious, they are also easy to make and can be made in advance and stored. So when uninvited guests pop up in your house to exchange Diwali greetings, you don’t have to frantically go to the closest shop to get some fast food items. Our Diya Mathris could be served in no time at all!

 Here are the ingredients for the recipe and all that you need to do:

Here is all you need to do!

Mix the flour, semolina, salt, cracked pepper and baking powder in a bowl. Add the ghee and rub between your palms until it takes the form of breadcrumbs. Add the curd with water and and form a pliable but firm dough using this liquid. Cover with the damp cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into small balls and roll out all the balls. Roll out each ball until it is 2 mm thin. Now using a fork, make small holes to allow the air to escape while frying. cut this circle in half.

Now take one semi circle and seal the base. Pinch one end of the base togther with the other end to form the mouth of the diya. Lift the cone upside down and press in the centre to form the diya.

Fry the shaped diya mathris in a batch over moderate heat. Serve them with any chutney of your choice or Achar (Pickle). In my case, I served it with my mom-on-law’s onion garlic tomoato chutney with a spring of coriender playing the role of a green flame.

Happy Diwali Everyone!

Cheers,

Nupur

Categories: Entree, Indian | 2 Comments

Soup Series 3: Roasted Pumpkin Soup with one tsp oil

Happy Halloween to all our dear foodies! It is great to witness so much enthusiasm about Halloween in people here. From spooky costume parties to horror movie screenings, the whole place is buzzing. Walk into any store and you’d see zombie masks, witchy hats and Jack-o-lanterns made of carved pumpkins! Did we just say pumpkins? Of course we did!  But did you ever wonder what can you do with the scooped out pulp from the pumpkin as you carve out your Jack-o-lanterns? Well, take our word, roast it and make a yummy nutritious soup!  Pumpkin has many health benefits. Its a low calorie food which is rich in vitamins and minerals.  So a soup sounds good, right? Apart from Pumpkin, here’s what all you will need:

 Try to have bite sized pieces of pumpkin or chunky pulp , so it gets evenly roasted.  The pepper and salt can be adjusted to taste.  The use of potato helps in making the soup thick and hence we do not require cornflour to get to the right consistency. 

You may adjust the thickness of the soup to your liking using milk or water. If you want in any spicier, add little red chili towards the end.  Squeeze in a small lemon if you want the soup to be a little tangy.  Nutmeg powder gives the soup its required aroma while leaving its unique flavor.

If you do not want pure gravy,  you may choose to add some grated coconut to give body to your soup. It makes you chew on to the soup with every bite! 

The recipe just uses 1 tsp oil and is full of health benefits due to all the fresh ingredients used. It can be made in a jiffy once the you have the ingredients ready.

Serve piping hot and savor it!

Halloween, is said to be the line between the fall and winter. Since it brings out this fall vegetable called Pumpkin,  its benefits should be best reaped in the approaching winter season. Soups are the best accompaniment to the cold winter evenings.. I am sure many of us would agree!  So what are you waiting for?..  Go out and try this recipe!

Hope you enjoy tasting it!

Cheers!

Categories: Entree | 5 Comments

Soup Series 2: Pea & Pesto Soup

Festivities are just settling in. This is that time of the year when fun and celebrations are all around us and office takes a back burner. How I wish we could have this season at least 3 times a year 🙂

For most holidays in the season, there are set dishes that have almost become synonymous to that festival. For eg: there is Jalebi for Dussehra, Turkey for Thanksgiving, Sweets for Diwali and Rum Cake for Christmas. There is one festival however, that is most challenging for me in the kitchen. It is Halloween – festival of the DEAD. The one thing we are all reminded of when we think of Halloween is Pumpkins. But I would rather carve them and use them as decoration :P.

So for your Halloween party this year, I thought I should share a tried and tested soup recipe that you could serve as an Entre at your party. You must be thinking – But why soup? Well, 2 reasons –

 It is quick, easy to make and would leave you more time to spend with your friends rather than behind the burner and

 It is almost dirty green in color, enough to scare your friends; only to tantalize their taste buds later when they muster to courage to take a sip 🙂

So here is the next addition to our Soup Series – Pea and Pesto Soup.

Follow these simple steps and you will have a finger licking soup in no time!

 Try this soup and treat your family and friends to a spooky surprise 🙂

Happy Days!

Cheers,

Nupur

Categories: Entree | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Falafel with Hummus

Every new post on 156, Hungerlane has a story behind it that helps us create and conceptualize of what we talk about here. New cuisines or dishes that we tried somewhere. Some we liked a lot, some a little (Foodies really can’t dislike food :)), some enough to inspire us and try it for ourselves. Tried, over and over again until we felt ready for it to be  posted here! So with this recipe, we wish to give our Italian menu a break…  Introducing a middle eastern platter, often quoted as Lebanese platter served in multi-cuisine restaurants- Falafel with Hummus served with warm Pita bread. We are also including the recipe for Green Tahini sauce that we really loved and couldn’t help sharing!

Seriously, I don’t remember where did I first have Hummus with Pita or Falafel! If  I really rack my brains, earliest I can recall having it in the weekend brunch menu at “Not Just Jazz by the Bay, Pune “,  six years back!  They used to serve Hummus Dip with Lavash ( kinda crisp pita bread). Since then, I have been having it at many places – generally as a part of Lebanese or Mezze Platter.  My friend, (now a better friend & husband) Ashim, used to gorge on hummus and often bought a fresh hummus jar from Defence Bakery along with Lavash!

Post wedding, hubby dearest’s love for the dip and the sudden discovery of fresh pita pockets at a local bakery here in Singapore gave me the motivation to try my very own version of Lebanese platter!

I have tried this recipe many times and now feel ready to share on Hungerlane! So here is a step by step recipe!

FALAFEL

The beans need to be soaked for over 6-8 hours and drained. They are added in the food processor just like this to get a coarse mixture for crackling falafel balls.

Falafels should be fried only when they are about to be served. The hot, crispy falafels with cold salad in pita pockets is a combination worth dying for! But what about the dips and sauces?

As promised, here are two dips that would accompany falafels in our lebanese platter- Hummus and Green Tahini!

DIPS and SAUCES

Note, Hummus uses boiled chickpeas instead of just soaked. Make sure you give the soaked chickpeas 8-9 whistles so they are soft to give us a puree consistency for Hummus. Sesame seeds are an important ingredient that makes both the dips creamy and adds a little oil of its own. Cumin seeds are best used little roasted; fresh and juicy lemon works the best! Here’s how we should proceed:

ASSEMBLING into a PLATTER

Get Pita pockets from your local bakery, its a round bread like a pizza base but once its cut in between it opens up into a pocket. If you cannot find Pita pockets,  go for wraps. Falafel in wraps also taste just as delicious. You can even opt to serve just Falafels as an entree with hummus and salad. Its a good variation to the Hara Bhara kababs we have in Indian Starter menu.

You may choose to go with the salad of your choice:  Fresh Cubed Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Thin long sliced- Lettuce, Broccoli pockets (steamed) , Cabbage.. be creative! Some people even love to  add boiled red beans and boiled chickpeas.

Once you have decided on your salad and have it along with you, here’s all that you need to do:

1. Warm Pita pockets in microwave for 30 secs or you can bake it a little in your oven (care, they should not get crisp!) 

2. Cut them into half, open a pocket and spread generous amount of hummus spread.

3. Fill it with salad and 2-3 fresh fried falafel ( or as much it can take or you want it to take :))

4. Top it with green Tahini sauce, and serve it in a platter. You may wrap the pita pockets in soft tissues to make it easy to pick up. 

5. Make sure you serve extra Hummus and Tahini.  You never have enough of them. I create a depression in my hummus blob, fill it with olive oil and sprinkle chilli powder, I even serve a slice of fresh lime for the ones who like it more tangy.

Make sure the pita bread is fresh and so is the salad. If kept for too long, this dish can be a little dry on the palette. You can opt to be a little generous with the olive oil ( drizzle it on Pita too, if need be).  Serve it Hot and Fresh.

We hope you would try and love this recipe. It’s something that does not expect you to be standing in front of the gas stove for long! Boiling chickpeas for Hummus and frying falafel are only two activities that would make you turn on the flame! We hope you try this recipe and put your food processor into good use.It even helps us take a break from the monotonous menu!

Restaurant we like:

There are many restaurants that serve Falafel as a part of their menu. But here in Singapore , we found a place in the plush bay level of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The restaurant touts of good health and rightly so, does complete justice to its name.

PITA PAN- Pocket full of Health

It not only enjoys exclusivity of being only place serving  just middle eastern menu in Singapore but also a vegetarian place to top that! ( something  that’s not too common on this part of the world). Needless to say, we are a regular there.  I can’t stop myself from bragging about this place  but I guess this post is becoming too long !  So would save the review for later, till then we might try the whole menu! Still, giving you  a sneak peak of the place , clicked on one of our visits from mobile. You don’t want to miss it on your next visit to Singapore.

We will come with more on this place and may be recipes of other dishes they serve like Shakshuka sometime soon! 🙂

Till then, we hope you  keep cooking and sharing!

Burp!!

Rashi 

Categories: Breads, Entree, Mains, Restaurant Reviews, Sauces | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soup Series I: Soup with half tsp oil

We hear that it has been raining in most parts of India including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Here in Singapore we are experiencing rains almost every alternate day! Hot cuppa coffee, tea or chocolate is always a great accompaniment when you are  enjoying the drizzle against your glass window.  But the closest change to these sweet beverages could be a Soup!……….and if the soup is healthy, gets cooked in a jiffy, just by using ingredients readily available in your kitchen..then you can consider having it anytime, any day!

So, here is hungerlane’s first health recipe in the Soup Series that we hope to bring for you sporadically.

Hope you enjoy this lip smacking recipe!
 
Few tips: 
1. Herbs like rosemary, oregano along with boiled macaroni could be an interesting variation!
2.  Store left over bread crumbs, if any, in an air tight container in refrigerator to avoid them getting soggy in this humid weather.
 
Categories: Entree | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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