Having friends over to celebrate Holi and wondering what to prepare..Well, worry not..I am here to your rescue. Check out some appetizers from my Indian Kitchen to make your Holi 2014 party a great success.
1. Onion Bhaji (Bhajiyas)
I remember craving these Pyaz/Pyajj Ke Pakore after playing with water balloons during Holi morning. These onion pakoras (Onion fritters) are quick, easy and quite flavorful and here’s how you can make them:
Ingredients and Method:
3/4 cup Besan (chickpea flour)
1 tbsp Rice Flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)
1/4 tsp Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
1/2 cup water (to make Batter)
Oil to fry the Bhajiyas
1/2 large onion chopped or 1 small onion
1. Chop up the onion in thin slices and cut in half. Set aside.
2. Mix all the ingredients to form a smooth batter. Add in the onions.
3. Heat Oil in Kadhai and add small portion of onions clad in batter in the oil.
4. Fry until golden brown. Place bhajis (Pakoras) on paper towel to drain the excess oil.
5. Serve with Chutney of your choice.
2. Matri (Namak Pare)
I like to enjoy Namak Pare/Matri with my cup of chai not just during Holi but throughout the year. Ofcourse, these are fried so you can only eat so much. Namak Paare (also called Matri, Matar, Katar, Nimki, Shankarpali Namakpara in different regions of India) can be easily made at home with few ingredients. This is a salty Indian snack and goes well with Tea/Coffee, perfect to serve at parties and for late night snacking.
All Purpose Flour
Ajwain Seeds/ Carom Seeds
Oil for deep frying
The process for making namakpare is very simple.
1. You need to make stiff dough by combining flour, salt, carom seeds, 2 tbsp oil and water.
2. Let the dough stand for 10 mins.
3. Roll out the dough.
4. Cut in desired shape and deep fry
5. Serve warm and you can store this Indian snack in an airtight container for days.
A few days ago I had store bought Bhakarwadi’s at a friend’s house and it reminded me how much I miss my favourite aunt’s homemade Bhakarwadi’s. She specially made them during the spring season when we all cousins got together to play Holi. Give them a try this Holi.
For The Dough
1 Cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
1 Cup All Purpose flour (Maida)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Turmeric (Haldi)
1/2 Tsp Ajwain Seeds (Carom Seeds)
To Be Mixed Together For The Stuffing
1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera) , 1 tsp Coriander Seeds (Dhania), 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf), 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds (Til), 1 tsp Poppy seeds, 4-5 curry leaves (I used dried ones), 1 tsp Dried Ginger Powder (Sund/Soond), 1/2 tsp Red Chilli pwd, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala, Salt (to taste) and 1 tsp Sugar
1/2 cup Plain Shredded Coconut
Oil for deep frying and 1 tbsp Lemon juice
4. Aloo Bonda
Oh the joy of eating fresh Aloo Bonda’s (Spiced Potato Balls) from street stalls. Unhealthy but so yum. Prepare them at home for your Holi party to spice things up.
Ingredients: (Makes 30-40 balls)
4-5 medium size potatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger-garlic
3 stalks of cilantro leaves (coriander leaves) chopped
1 small green chilli (optional- can make bonda’s extremely spicy)
2 tsp Mango Powder (Amchur)
1/2 tsp Red chilli pwd
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper pwd
1 cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
1/2 cup Rice Flour
Pinch of garam masala and mango pwd
Oil for deep frying
1. Boil, peel and mash potatoes
2. Add all the spices and mix everything thoroughly and make small golf size balls.
3. Prepare the batter by gradually adding water. Batter shouldn’t be too thick or runny.
4. Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry until golden brown (should only be 3-4 mins). You can fry several balls at a time.
5. Serve with your favourite sauce and enjoy!
5. Veg cutlets
If you are thinking why oh why so many Indian snacks are deep fried then give yourself a little break and enjoy these tasty veg cutlets which are made using variety of vegetables and are pan-fried so that you can indulge guilt free.
Recipe Video here: Veg Cutlets Recipe
6. Spinach Cheese Bites:
Though not so traditional these baked Spinach and Cheese Bites can be a showstopper at your next party. These perfect little bites are great finger food.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ajwain
1/4 tsp baking pwd
3 tbsp veg. oil
1/4 cup water
1 bunch chopped spinach
3-4 garlic cloves
Salt and spices of your choice
(we used garam masala, red chilli pwd and mango pwd)
1/2 cup grated cheese (Mozzarella)
Oil for cooking
1. Add 2 tbsp oil in wok and fry onions and garlic.
2. Add spinach and cook.
3. Add spices and mix well.
4. Let cool down and then add grated cheese.
5. Prepare dough by mixing all pastry ingredients.
6. Let dough stand for 30 mins.
7. Roll out the dough. Flatten it out with rolling pin. Cut in small pieces.
8. Fill with the stuffing.
9. Bake at 400 F for 10-12 mins.
10. Serve with your fav chutney.
7. Tandoori Tofu
With more and more Indian people trying fusion foods, these Tofu bites will charm your guests as well. Simply prepare this flavorful Tofu dish by marinating it in some aromatic Indian spices and then baking it in the oven or grilling them on a skillet. This Tandoori Tofu Recipe is great for potlucks or your next get together. We have used Green Bell peppers with Tofu but you can also use other vegetables of your choice like Mushrooms, Onions, Tomatoes etc.
8. Paneer Pakora
I am sure you have tried Paneer Pakora at some point in your life. So, you know I am right when I say you can never go wrong with Paneer Pakodas at any party.
Video Recipe: Paneer Pakora
One of the most popular and traditional Indian snacks is Samosas and their is so much you can do witht hem. You can fill them up with variety of different filling. Bake them, fry them, make them veg or non-veg, big or small..all in all you can satisfy bunch of hungry people with some tasty Samosas which can be prepared at home or can even by store- bought. Here are two great Samosa recipes for you to try:
Baked Spinach Samosa recipe
Mini Samosas using Pastry shells
I hope that you’ll try some of these recipes for your next get together with friends and family. Wishing you all a very Happy Holi 2014 from all of us here at Eat East Indian.