Spinach wrap (friendship) chaat rolls

I have always felt that the best relationship in the world is the one that we keep with our closest friends. In fact in my opinion the foundation of any strong relationship is friendship…I mean when it comes to even parents, after a time they become more of a friend than your mom or dad, probably a spouse was a friend first, even in an arranged marriage scenario the relationship that started with friendship first has the most chances of surviving. I value my friends tremendously. I have friends who have been with me from the early youth to my present middle age!! More than a couple of decades! They personify comfort to me. They are a point of reference to my childhood, holders of my youthful secrets, the only place to share my sob stories with the knowledge that I would be understood and not judged, the most appreciative ones who saw my “talents” and applauded my little successes. Today I am taking this opportunity to thank each one of you ( you know who you are! :D) for being my bosom friends.

The reason I just can’t stop thinking and feeling grateful about friendship is that last week my best friend celebrated her birthday.  Thinking of her takes me back to those happy carefree days of our teenage years.  We have been through happiness, love, doubt, fight, stress, pain, regrets all the ups and downs of any great relationship which makes it stronger and fuller. Thinking of her takes me to the memory lanes of my childhood, which is so so dear to me. She has been my BFF since the high school. She was my partner in everything that we did those days. Well come to think of it even today actually. Our lives on different continents,  in fact the other side of the globe to each other did not affect our friendship adversely, in fact deepened it.Any one who are lucky enough to have grown old with the same set of friends would understand the feeling I am sharing here! It was her birthday and each year the only way we wish each other is through the social network. This new year I resolved to resume blogging to  pen down my very own recipes and the inspired ones. On that day I came up with this very healthy dish which I dedicated to her. This friend of mine is the most health conscious , environment conscious person that I know of. She tries to keep everything natural that goes in or on her:) that means right from her food to her toiletries!! She actually quite painstakingly ensures that she and her family are eating right, exercising and taking care of the planet in their own ways for which I really admire her.

I love cooking (in case you didn’t figure that one out already :P) and so does she. Like a lot of us here (I guess) usually that is the way I show my feelings to my loved ones. So creation of this dish is my way of wishing her all the love and happiness in the world on her birthday.

I named it Spinach wrap (friendship) chaat rolls.

This one’s for you Mo, hope you like it and have fun making it….

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Ingredients

  • 6-7 long fully grown spinach leaves.

  • 2 cups of sprouted green chana ( green chickpeas )

  • 1 half of a ripe Avocado.

  • 1 teaspoon of chaat masala.

  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce. ( or home-made sweet tamarind chutney)

  • 2 green chillies.

  •  Finely chopped few sprigs of cilantro or coriander leaves.

  • A pinch of black salt.

  • Salt to taste.

  • 1-2 tablespoon of oil to shallow fry the rolls.

  • 1 large cucumber

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

  • 1/3rd teaspoon of chilli powder.

Procedure

  1. Since the leaves are large use a wide-mouthed pot or saucepan to boil water. Fill the saucepan to about three inches of water. Add some salt and allow it to boil over high heat.

  2. Clean the spinach leaves thoroughly under running tap water

  3. Once the water starts to boil add the leaves one at a time. Keep them inside for 30 to 40 seconds before switching off the heat. Wait for around another 20 seconds. They will change color to dark green.

  4.  Remove the leaves one by one. At this point they are very delicate to handle. I preferred to allow them hang around the edges of the sauce pan rather than spreading them on the paper towel. Like this…

IMG_0165

For the Filling:

  1. The green chick peas were soaked in water overnight. Then washed them and kept them wrapped in a moist muslin cloth for sprouting. I kept them in natural light for two days to sprout. One may use the sprouter kit or any other method to sprout the pulses.

  2. Boil them in a pressure cooker in two cups of water with a little salt.

  3.  Once cooked, keep them to cool down in order to grind them in a mixer.

    (Note: You need to cool any cooked ingredient before grinding, because otherwise if you pulse when hot, the stuff bursts out of the mixer and can turn into one nasty sight!)

  4. Both the processes i.e. boiling of the chick peas and the cooking of the spinach can be done simultaneously in order to save time. Strain the chickpeas in a colander.

  5. In a food processor or a grinder, grind the chickpeas along with salt, green chillies and the avocado to a smooth paste using just enough water. The paste needs to be tight and not runny.

  6. Take it out in a bowl and add the tamarind sauce/chutney. I used the ready-made sauce that you see in the above picture. At this point if you have green chutney, add a teaspoon of that as well.

  7. Then goes in the chaat masala,  the black salt and finely chopped cilantro.

Your filling is now ready!

 For Wrapping

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Place the cool leaf on a flat surface with the base towards you. Use one heap full of a tablespoon of the filling and roll in your palms to form an oblong shape. Place the filling at the bottom of the leaf.

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Tuck in the sides and fold, while working your way up, folding till the tip. Once you reach the tip use a bit of the filling to seal the roll.

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Shallow fry the rolls in one teaspoon of oil on a hot skillet.

While they are being cooked slice the cucumber and marinate the pieces in apple cider vinegar and a pinch of chilli powder.

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Serve them cold on a bed of cucumbers and enjoy with your loved ones.

 I had tried something like this with large cabbage leaves with a filling of mashed potatoes and herbs, dipped in besan (chick pea powder) paste and deep-fried. It was the great chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe of cabbage rolls.

This one was inspired by the recipe shared by my fellow blogger “My meals are on wheels”

https://beatcancer2010.wordpress.com/?s=collard+roll

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Frosted chocolate sandesh…..

I always look forward to “newness”  because that brings with it an anticipation of an unknown change…..could be a good change or a great change! yes according to me change is never bad because it expands your experience which helps you to grow eventually…..This is one of the two reasons why I like the ” new year” time…every year brings in new experiences, new people who may become very important to you, new achievements etc… and the other reason is, for us as a family the first two months of the year are sprinkled with meaningful celebratory days like birthdays  anniversaries etc. The Last couple of days were such happy and eventful ones. There were two birthdays on two consecutive days.

Now I have been thinking of using chocolate in our very own bong sandesh from the time I have had one of these in Kolkata, so on the occasion of my birthday I felt like trying out one of my favorite mishties ( bong sweets). I made the sandesh and then tried out chocolate frosting on some of them! If  you are the kinds ( like I am) who uses chocolate to celebrate a victory or to share joy or to ease the gloom of a bad day, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed by these melt in the mouth frosted beauties !!!

So here goes…

addtext_com frosted sandesh

CHOCOLATE SANDESH

Ingredients ( for sandesh)

  • 400g of freshly prepared cottage cheese or paneer

  • 1 cup* of confectionary sugar

  • 1/4 cup of  finely  ground blanched almonds.

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

  • 1/2 cup of  unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoon of condensed milk. I used Milkmaid.

For the frosting I have followed the recipe in the following link…works beautifully!

http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-milk-chocolate-frosting-for-brownies-286575

Procedure:

  1. Mix all the ingredients one after another in a bowl with a ladle.

  2. In a blender blend the mixture pulsing it enough for it to become a smooth paste.

  3. Heat a thick bottomed vessel and pour the mixture.

  4. Keep stirring continuously for about five minutes. At this time the sandesh mixture should be leaving the pot as you fold in. Allow it to cool enough for handling.

I used my mom’s moulds that she gifted me sometime back…but one may make any shape using your bare hands.

       5. For the frosted sandesh make small balls of sandesh and simply dip them in previously prepared chocolate frostings one at a time.

       6. Refrigerate them for thirty mins before you devour them 😀

       * The cup used here is a regular tea cup.

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