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Classic snack recipes for this monsoon

Like most Mumbaikars, for home chef Priya Chavan, rain-soaked evenings have meant frying up “garma-garam” bhajiyas. Chavan runs Priya’s Kitchen (@priyas_kitchen8), a home delivery kitchen in Kandivali with her daughter, Preeti. The mother of three recalls that these monsoon-inspired snacks were among the few meals all her kids would enjoy together. “We have a big terrace where all of us would spend most of our family time. Earlier, the kids would play in the rain and fight over bhajiyas, and now we all sit and chit-chat about life, but baarish, bhajiya and chai on the terrace still continue,” she tells us.

Bread pakoda

>> 4 bread slices 
>> Pinch of cooking soda
>> 2-3 medium size potatoes
>> 100 gms besan
>> Pinch of turmeric
>> Salt
>> Oil for frying

For kharada masala: 
>> 3 green chillies
>> 5 to 6 garlic cloves
>> 1/2-inch ginger 
>> Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing for tempering 

Boil potatoes with salt; peel, smash and set aside. Grind green chillies, garlic cloves and ginger coarsely to make kharada. In a tempering kadhai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Throw in urad dal and let it brown slightly before adding cumin seeds, curry leaves and hing. Slide in the kharada mix and sauté well, adding salt and turmeric. This is the kharada masala used in vada pav, too. Add kharada as per the desired spice level to the potato mixture. Layer this stuffing into triangular bread slices, and make a sandwich. Make a batter of besan, chopped coriander, turmeric, salt and a pinch of soda; it should have pancake batter-like consistency. Heat oil in a kadhai; once it’s very hot, reduce the flame. Dip the kharada sandwiches into the besan mixture, coat well, and gently slide in the heated oil. Once puffed up from both sides with a little change in colour, remove from oil. Cut into halves and serve hot.

Special kanda bhajiya

>> 3 big onions
>> 200 gms besan
>> Chopped green chillies
>> Chopped coriander leaves
>> Salt to taste
>> Pinch of turmeric
>> Pinch of cooking soda 
>> Oil for frying

Chop onions into medium-sized cubes. Add chopped coriander, green chillies, turmeric, salt and cooking soda, and mix well. Now, add besan and water. The batter should not flow, it has to be thick. Heat oil in a kadhai; once it’s very hot, reduce the flame. Wait for a few seconds and then ladle the batter and drop into the oil. Make big bhajiyas and fry them till they are half done. Remove from the oil. Now, break the bhajiyas into smaller portions and fry again till they are fully cooked and turn brown. Remove from oil and rest on a tissue paper before serving hot.


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