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Monsoon delight

  • Tips & Tricks
Nov 14, 2016
Monsoon delight

Entertaining at home gets easier with these easy recipes and handy tips

There’s nothing like a plate of hot pakodas and tikkis in this balmy weather. Having said that, we have to admit season after season of MasterChef Australia has spoilt us. For one, we want our ingredients – fresh, food –flavourful, and most importantly, we want it to look good. If you, like us, have trouble plating Indian food, then look no further. We got our favourite food blogger and stylist to share with us recipes that will make grey afternoons so much better. And to mention, tips to up your serving game. Did we say, she offers healthy alternatives too?


Aloo Tuk



  • 10 nos potatoes, small sized
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve



  1. Clean, peel and par boil the potatoes in salt water. This will take 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  3. Once the potatoes are par boiled, drain the water. Transfer these potatoes into a baking tray.
  4. Add oil or butter and toss the potatoes well. The potatoes should be well coated with oil. Bake it in the oven for 1/2 hour.
  5. Remove it from the oven. Using a potatoes masher, press each potato lightly so it flattens and opens up a little. Add all the spices and salt to it, give it a gentle toss and bake again for 1/2 hour or till the potatoes are golden brown and crisp. Flip  them once in between. Season it again if required.
  6.  Squeeze lemon juice over it and serve hot with mint chutney and masala chai.


Beetroot Tikkis



  • 2 nos beetroots, small sized, grated
  • 1 boiled potato, small sized, mashed
  • 1 slice brown bread
  • 2 tbsp roasted semolina
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 no green chilli
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Few mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup – Refined oil


For the Dip:

  • 1/4cup hung curd
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of chopped mint



  1. Squeeze the juice out of the beetroots and soak the bread in that juice.
  2. Except semolina mix all the ingredients including the soaked bread, kneading them well. Make big lemon size balls and flatten it to form tikkis. Roll the tikkis in roasted semolina and coat them well. Repeat this with the remaining mixture. Freeze the tikkis for 1/2 an hour. 
  3. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a fry pan. When the oil is hot add the tikkis to it. Let it brown for a couple of minutes. Turn it carefully using a spatula. Let the other side crisp up as well. Add oil if required. Remove the tikkis onto kitchen towels and let it soak the excess oil.
  4.  Mix all the ingredients of the dip and serve it with hot tikkis.



Apple Chips



  • 1 granny smith or Washington apple
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper or red chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil



  1. Preheat the oven to 100°c. Line the baking tray with baking paper and oil it.
  2. Slice the apples thinly and very importantly uniformly. Pat the apple slices dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Lay the apple slices on the baking paper. Brush it with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper or red chilly powder. Bake it for 1/2 an hour. Turn it over and bake for another half hour or till they are brown.
  4. Make sure you store it in an airtight container as it tends to soften really soon.


Serving Tips

  • Start with a mood you want to create.
  • Choose the crockery you want to serve in. Copper or brass plates will give a traditional or rustic feel whereas chopping boards spell casual.
  • You can serve the pakodas or bhajjias in paper cones, it adds an element of fun. Use pages of old books that you no longer have use for to create a vintage, nostalgic feel.
  • Contrasting, unexpected cutlery, for example in brass or gold finish will add a hint of glam to your servings.
  • You can bring out your vintage, silver trays and line them with kraft butter paper before you place your bhajjias or aloo tuks on it. They play a dual role of absorbing the oil and of protecting your plateware.
  • Garnish it with coriander or mint stalks, instead of chopping them as this gives it a fresher look.
  • Place lemon wedges in-between to add colour.
  • Serve chutneys or dips that are contrasting to the colour of the main dish.
  • And last but not the least, serve it with complementing drinks.
Aloo Tuk
Aloo Tuk perfectly complements this balmy weather.
Beetroot tikkis
Beetroot tikkis may be uncommon but that’s no reason to not try this at home.
apple chips
These apple chips taste as good as they sound.
Fried food for rainy weather
Fried food is great company with this weather.
Blogger and food stylist Madhuri Aggarwal
Blogger and food stylist Madhuri Aggarwal.

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