HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012 !!!
There's so much pressure on enjoying New Year's Eve, making strict resolutions to better our lives in the brand new year ahead when there are so many resolutions to be made! Over flutes of Champagne I make some resolutions and it ends up that I forget all about it the next day. I don't know about you, but that happens to me very often...LOL
What is your New Year Resolution this year?
It is easy to outsmart the ending of last year and bring in 2012 by forgetting resolutions...so lets loosen up and forget resolutions for now. I am still recovering from bronchitis after my overseas trip so this New Years Eve and 2012 was best celebrated right here at home, watching the ball drop at Time Square and bubbly working well with lighter bites for R and I, my couch, and a cozy pair of warm socks. A few dips, veggies, crusty bruschetta, salsa and samosas later, I made myself a Blissini.....
Samosas...Ahhh the word just brings so much joy to Indians! Samosas can be large or small bundles of stuffed pastry filled with either potatoes and peas or ground meat of any kind, accompanied by the classic Indian cream tea. An icon for comfort food in India along with Urad Dal vadas and Besan Veggie Pakoras... Yummm
Dinner is usually served a bit late in India, so an evening snack is most welcome, washed down with a cup of fresh brewed hot tea. Although in the West, it is the norm to skip the afternoon snack and go straight for an early dinner, we can always find time to sit back and enjoy these delicious pastries on holidays and weekends. Samosas will never take back stage, so they make their appearances on weekends with a cup of tea.
Why did I call them Bohri Samosas? Bohras are people from Yemen who later moved to India or Pakistan and moved their cuisine with them. The food has Mughlai, Arabic and Middle Eastern influences and some have taken an Indian twist too. Today's dish was adapted from what's called 'kheema na samosa' or mince meat samosas by the Bohras. My vegetarian Samosas are made of Soya Granules and veggies stuffed inside the phyllo pastry. Then baked to a golden brown triangle encasing the savory, flavorful meat substitute mixture with a layered crispy blanket of flaky pastry. How hard is that? You can hear the crunch as you take a bite into the pastry and bite into the beautiful interior. A burst of flavor, texture and spiciness of the stuffing embedded inside wakes up your tastebuds.
The ingredient today is a Soy derivative introduced in India several years ago. Nutrela Protein Soya Granules by Ruchi is a product widely used to make many meatless meat dishes in households across India. A high source of protein for vegetarians, it can be purchased in cartons as chunks or granules that closely resemble the Grapenuts cereal found in most US supermarkets.
My mother makes cutlets, kheema and kababs from soy granules and the burgers turn out equally good. I prefer to use Nutrela Granules over ground meat since it has about 52% of protein content, no fat and is loaded with Calcium and I am a huge fan of this product.. I soaked the dry granules in a pan of hot water for 30 minutes and then squeezed out all the water from them. The granules were ready for a quick saute absorbing all the flavors I incorporated into them, and tossing them with mashed sweet potatoes and green peas, now they were pretty much ready to be stuffed.
What you would need to make these tasty packets:
Sweet Potatoes-1 cut up, cooked
Green Peas-1/2 cup
Garam Masala- 11/2 tspns
Jeera/cumin seeds./fennel seeds- 1 tspn
Onion-1 large chopped fine
Soy Granules- 1 cup
ginger -garlic paste- 1/2 tspn
Sheets of Phyllo Pastry as needed. About 12
Keep these covered with a wet towel so that they do not dry out.
Oil for sauteing
Salt and red chili powder as needed
How to make them:
1. Soak the soya granules in hot water for about 1/2 hour. Squeeze out all the water and drain.
2. Saute the onions in oil after adding the jeera and fennel mixture. When the onions turn light brown add the
soya granules, green peas and the garam masala. Add ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chilli and mix well
4. Now remove the sheets of Phyllo gently one by one and apply the melted butter with a brush.
5. Place the next sheet over the first one and brush more melted butter.
6. Repeat for about 3-4 layers and cut them with kitchen shears lengthwise into two or three strips.
7. If you have three strips you will have mini samosas and two will form bigger ones. I have a mixed batch.
8. Place a large spoonful of mixture on to one end of one strip of pastry. Fold over to cover and form a triangle.
9. Fold over into a cone from one end of each strip until the stuffing is completely encased inside the pastry.
10. Heat the oven to about 350 degrees F and bake the little bundles until the shell is a deep brown color.
11. Serve with mint chutney or ketchup
Blissini is a pumped up Mimosa with the addition of Pomegranate Juice, and as an Ode to my Space I am celebrating the new year with this Drink. Reminds me of all the rosy sunsets enjoyed the past year and many more joyous ones in the future:)
1 cup Sparkling Wine
1 cup Orange Juice
1 cup Pomegranate Juice
Lime slices for garnish
Method: Combine all three liquids in a shaker, pour into Champagne glasses, garnish with mint or lime slices and serve.