Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Themed Picnic- Menu for an Indian Picnic: "In the Magazine" Exclusive

In this semester's magazine, we put a twist on the classic picnic, offering menus for meals skewed Italian, Asian, Jewish, British, and Indian! Here we give step-by-step instructions for an Indian picnic that's sure to impress. Don't forget to join us on Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 pm at 3627 Locust Walk to celebrate the launch!

THE MENU:
aloo tikki (pan-fried potato cakes) with tangy date chutney
spicy masala chicken kebabs
corn salad with coconut and cilantro
mango lassi


THE RECIPES: Aloo Tikki and Corn Salad

Aloo Tikki
Serves 8-10

For potato cakes:
8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
4 1/2 teaspoons chaat masala (optional)
Fresh mint paste (recipe below)
Salt to taste

For mint paste:
20-30 mint leaves
3 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
3-4 green chiles (or less, according to taste)
1-inch piece of ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a large pot filled half to three-quarters full with water, boil the potatoes until cooked through. Remove the potatoes from the water and set aside. Once they're cool to the touch, mash the potatoes with a fork or masher, then place them in a large bowl.

Place the mint, coriander, green chiles, ginger, and lemon juice in a blender with a few spoonfuls of water. Sprinkle in the chaat masala and blend into a fine paste. Scoop the paste into the bowl with the mashed potatoes. Season with salt; mix thoroughly. Using an ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into 1 or 2-inch balls and flatten them in the palm of your hand.

Place a shallow frying pan over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is warm, place two or three of the tikkis in the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Serve warm with date chutney.

Date–Tamarind Chutney
Makes 2 cups

14-15 pitted dates
2 green chiles
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried roasted cumin
1 teaspoon dried roasted coriander

Soak the dates and green chiles in the water overnight. Once soaked, pour the entire mixture into a blender and add the garlic, tamarind pulp, and salt. Blend until smooth (it should become thick and liquidy in nature). Stir in the cumin and coriander.
Note: 1 1/4 cups of raisins can be substituted for the dates in this recipe.


Corn Salad with Coconut and Cilantro
Serves 4

1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Pinch of asafetida
3 green chiles, chopped
1 curry leaf (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 large onion
3 ears corn, kernels removed and cobs discarded
1/2 cup fresh (unsweetened) coconut, or dried coconut that has been rehydrated by soaking in warm water for a few minutes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/4 lemon)
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish (we like our cilantro, so I used 1/2 cup, but you can add as much or as little as you like)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Once it's hot, add the mustard seeds and asafoetida, then the green chilies and and curry leaves, and, finally, the turmeric and cayenne.
Add the onions to the oil and spices; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the coconut, reducing the heat to "low" as you do so, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Once the corn has cooked, add the lemon juice and salt. Garnish with cilantro. (Serve as is, or continue with the instructions to make corn "pockets.")
To make the pockets, begin by preheating the oven to 400. Lay a sheet of puff pastry out onto a lightly floured cutting board. Depending on what size pocket you'd like, cut the sheet into either 3 or 4 even squares. Roll out the edges of each square very gently (just so the dough is worked out a bit), then place a spoonful of the corn usal in the center of it. Bring two opposing corners of a square together and pinch together the edges to make a triangle. Seal the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining squares (and the rest of the puff pastry sheets). Bake for 25 minutes, flipping each individual pocket over after about 12 minutes. Serve as is, or with a squirt or sriracha sauce on the side.

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