Appetizers/Snacks

Goat cheese stuffed dates

This appetizer is for sure one of the easiest and crowd pleaser among all. The moment I saw this recipe in one of the food magazine, I thought this is for sure a must try recipe and made it the same evening. Everyone just loved it, infact no one was able to guess the filling inside the dates.

 Ingredients:

Pitted dates- 10

Goat cheese- 4 0z pack

Bread crumbs– 2 tbsp

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slit the pitted date lengthwise and fill it with ½ tsp of goat cheese pressing the sides.

Take the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate and dip the slit side of the dates with breadcrumbs, coating it as a top layer.

Place the dates in the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, (depending on your oven). Dates should be soft when done, cool the dates for 5 minutes before serving! Enjoy.

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Appetizers/Snacks

Tandoori Paneer Tikka

I love weekends, not for the fact that I can relax and enjoy but also get my hands dirty in the kitchen trying new dishes. Paneer tikka was always on my mind, but I used to just push it to next weekend menu as I had to marinate the paneer. This time I was sure I had time to marinate and did it.

Well the thing I tweaked in this procedure was to use oven instead of a grill. Grill works the best but you don’t have to compromise with the taste when you use oven either!

Ingredients: makes for 4 people

Paneer- 16 pieces (cut into 2 inch cubes)

Bell pepper (red, yellow, green) – ½ of each (cut into 1 inch pieces)

Onion- ½ cut into 1 inch pieces

Black pepper powder- ½ tsp

Wooden or metal skewers (If using wooden skewers, dip them in cold water for half an hour to avoid burning of the skewers)

Oil

For marinating:

Thick yogurt – 1 cup

Cumin podwer-1 tsp

Coriander powder- 1 tsp

Red chilli powder- 1 tsp

Garam masala- ½ tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Salt- as per your taste

For garnishing:

Garam masala, red chilli powder, lemon juice

Preparation:

In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed above for marinating. Add Paneer cubes and marinate for 5-6 hours (can marinate overnight for better results).  Take skewers, grease it with oil. Arrange bell peppers, onions and paneer in the fashion you like.

Sprinkle black pepper powder and oil and roast it in the oven for 15 minutes at 300ᵒF. Now turn the skewers upside down and roast for 15 more minutes. Make sure that paneer or the vegetables don’t get burnt.  Sprinkle garam masala, red chilli powder and lemon juice before serving.


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Appetizers/Snacks

Goli Bajji

 

Goli bajji also called as mangalore bajji or baje,  a delightful evening snack which is very famous in Dakshina kannada. It is very simple to prepare and requires less ingredients. Goli bajji reminds me of Malleshwaram CTR hotel. They make the tastiest goli bajji’s I have ever eaten, next comes my mother-in-law with whom, I learnt this recipe.  The only main technique to get crunchy, fluffy bajjis is mixing all purpose flour or maida with sour curd/yogurt.

Ingredients:

All purpose flour/maida- 1 cup

Sour yogurt/curds- 1/2 cup

Green chillies- 2-3 chopped

Thinly sliced, small cut coconut pieces- 2 tsp (optional)

Curry leaves– few

Cumin seeds– 1/2 tsp

Sugar- A pinch

Salt- To taste

Oil- For frying

Preparation:

Mix all the above listed ingredients in a bowl until the batter is really smooth. Mix well for at least 5 minutes. Allow the batter to ferment for 2-3 hours. If you do not wish to wait for 2-3 hours, you can use cooking soda too.  If using so, mix the batter with 1/2 tsp soda and rest the batter for half an hour. The consistency of the batter should not be very thick, it should be of dropping consistency.

Heat Oil in a frying pan. Wet your hand in water, so that the batter do not stick to your palm. Make small dumplings and drop them in oil and fry it in medium low flame.  Bajjis will be ready when they turn golden brown. Serve the bajji’s with coconut chutney which is the ultimate combination according to me :).

Note:  Keep yogurt/curds in room temperature for 1-2 days to make it really sour.

We can also make bajjis, just by mixing maida, curds and salt.

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Appetizers/Snacks

Guacamole

Guacamole is a avocado based dip which goes well with tortilla chips. I was first introduced to guacamole when I was in California.  It really has a unique flavor and taste and once you have tasted you get addicted to it. Avocado itself  has a very good nutritional value, it is rich in mono saturated fats, potassium, vitamin B, E and K. Its very simple, quick and a healthy recipe.  All in all its a great snack to munch with chips anytime of the day.

Ingredients:

Ripe avocados- 2

Tomatoes–  1

Onion–  1

Cilantro– 1/2 cup

Jalapeños– 2 to 3

Garlic cloves- 3 to 4

Lemon -1

Oregano powder- 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Finley chop tomatoes, onions, cilantro and keep aside. Mince garlic cloves and jalapeños. Mash the avocados coarsely.  Add all the chopped ingredients, lemon juice, oregano and salt. Mix well and serve with tortilla chips.

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Appetizers/Snacks

Ambode

Ambode is a fried snack prepared for all festivals in Karnataka. It can be prepared with many ingredients like mint leaves, onions, groundnuts/peanuts, moong dal and so on, but the main ingredient is channa dal (split yellow peas). I prepared it with mint leaves this time.

During festivals they prepare this and also add it into the beLesaaru and serve it with rice, it’s a favorite of many!

Ingredients:

Channa dal- 1 cup

Fresh coconut- 1/4 cup

Mint leaves- 1 small bunch

Rice flour- 1 tbsp

Curry leaves- 5 to 6

Green chillies/ jalapeño – 6 to 7( or according to your spice level)

Asafetida – ¼ tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – for frying

Preparation:

Soak channa dal for 2 hours. Chop mint leaves, green chillies and curry leaves.

Grind all the above ingredients (except oil, salt, rice flour and asafetida) with soaked channa dal coarsely without adding water. Add salt, asafetida and mix well. Take a big lemon size mixture in your hand and make small patties out of it.

Deep fry the patties on medium low flame for 6-7 minutes each side or until golden brown. Enjoy the hot crispy ambodes!

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Appetizers/Snacks

Gobi Manchurian

This is a favorite appetizer in restaurants in Bengaluru/Mysuru. I always ordered it whenever I went to a restaurant and wanted to try it at home. Fortunately, it turned out great! There is a very interesting  history about this dish in this blog. Everyone in my family loves this dish and they are ready to eat it anytime of the day.

Ingredients:

Medium size cauliflower-1

Medium size onion-1

Capsicum/Bell pepper-1/2

Spring onions-a small bunch

Coriander/ Cilantro- 5 to 6 strands

Garlic cloves- 6

Ginger-Small piece

Green chillies/ jalapenos- 5 (medium hot)

All purpose flour/ Maida- 9 Tbsp

Rice flour-3 Tbsp

Corn Flour-2 Tbsp

Red chilli powder- According to spice level

Salt –to taste

Tomato Ketchup -1/2 cup

Soy Sauce-1-2 tsp

Sugar-A pinch

Oil for frying

Preparation

Cut the base of the cauliflower and separate the florets.  Soak them in warm salt water for 10 minutes in order to remove dirt and germs. Dry the florets.

Chop onions finely, cut spring onions and capsicum/ bell pepper lengthwise. Mince garlic cloves, ginger, green chillies/ jalapenos and coriander/cilantro and keep aside.

Mix all the flours, red chilli powder and salt with water and make a thin batter. Thin batter makes the Manchurian crispier. If you prefer soft and dry Manchurian, make thicker batter.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Dip the dried florets into the batter and fry them till they turn golden brown.  Fry them on medium heat. High heat will fasten the process of frying but florets will not get cooked properly from inside and Manchurian will become soft quickly. Keep them aside while you prepare the sauce.

Sauce

Heat 2-3 Tbsp of oil in a pan.  Add minced garlic cloves, ginger, and green chilies/jalapenos. Sauté for a minute and add chopped onions. Cook till they turn translucent. Now add capsicum/bell pepper and spring onions. They do not have to be cooked long (they have to be crispy). Add salt (according to taste), tomato ketchup and soy sauce and mix well. Finally toss the fried florets with the sauce for a minute, garnish with cilantro/coriander and serve HOT!!!

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Appetizers/Snacks

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Italian bruschettas are one of my favorite appetizers. I make this often at home. They are a perfect appetizer for an Italian dinner. I learnt making this from a recipe on the internet. I customized the recipe to my own taste. My whole family enjoyed this a lot.

Ingredients:

Roma tomato- 1 finely chopped

Onions- 1 finely chopped

Fresh basil-2 Tbsp finely chopped

Garlic- 3 to 4 cloves minced

Mozzarella cheese- 8oz  finely grated

Extra virgin olive oil- 2 to 3 Tbsp

Salt and pepper- to taste

1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the bread diagonally into ½ inch thick slices.

Place the bread slices on the cookie sheet and rub garlic cloves on each slice and drizzle top side of the bread with olive oil using pastry brush.

Add chopped tomatoes, onions and mozzarella cheese evenly on each slice, sprinkle salt and pepper and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Place the tray on the top rack of the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until all the cheese melts and bread becomes crispy.

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