Bhelpuri

This much-loved Mumbai snack is especially popular at beachside food stalls.

Ingredients:

3 cups puffed rice
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
2 potatoes
1 onion
1 tomato (large)
Half a bunch of coriander leaves
2 green chilies
Tamarind chutney (as per taste)
Mint chutney (as per taste)
One handful of papdi (savory biscuits; available at Indian grocery shops)
1 cup sev (gram flour-based snack; available at Indian grocery shops)

Directions:

Boil the potatoes, then peel and dice them into very small cubes. Finely chop the onion, tomato, coriander and chilies. Coarsely smash the papdi.

In a big bowl, mix the puffed rice, peanuts, potato, onion, tomato, coriander and chilies. Mix in (to personal taste) the tamarind and mint chutneys. Garnish the mixture with the sev and crushed papdi.

Servings: Serves two

Pistachio Kulfi

Cool, velvety kulfi (firm-textured Indian-style ice cream) is just the antidote for Mumbai’s hot, steamy weather. It’s available in a variety of flavors, with pistachio being the pick of the luscious bunch.

Ingredients:

13.5 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons ground (skinless) almonds
3 tablespoons ground rice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup crushed (skinned & unsalted) pistachio nuts

Directions:

On a medium flame, heat the evaporated milk until it boils. Remove from flame and toss in the ground cardamom.

In a bowl, mix the ground almonds and rice into the warm milk, constantly stirring until it becomes a paste. Add it, along with the sugar and cream, to the evaporated milk. Simmer for 15 minutes, continuously stirring. Let the concoction slightly cool, then add the vanilla essence. Gently mix in half of the crushed pistachio nuts.

Cool until the mixture reaches room temperature, then cover it with clear plastic wrap (tip: ensure the plastic wrap makes contact with the mixture’s surface to prevent it forming a layer of skin). Once the mixture has completely cooled, pour it into separate molds or a large rectangular tin. Place it in the freezer for a minimum of five hours.

Approximately 90 minutes to two hours (less time usually needed if in small individual molds) ahead of serving, shift the kulfi from the freezer to the refrigerator (for softening). Garnish with the remaining pistachio nuts.

Servings: Serves four

Spicy Prawns

With Mumbai fringing the Arabian Sea it’s no surprise that deep-sea delights abound. Here’s a delightfully easy-to-prepare prawn dish that’s popular in both home and restaurant kitchens.

Ingredients:

Oil (for frying)
1 pound of prawns
4 green chilies
2 onions
Small bunch of spring onions (use green tops)
Handful of coriander leaves
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 large tomatoes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
Salt (to taste)

Directions:

Thoroughly clean the prawns. In a pan, heat the oil and toss in the chopped onions and finely sliced chilies, frying until golden brown. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, chopped spring onions, and coriander leaves. Fry for several minutes.

Toss in the diced tomatoes, followed by the prawns and fry until cooked. Sprinkle in the chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt and cook for another five minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Servings: Serves two

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