Aloo tiki

Aloo tiki or potato cutlet is a North Indian snack made of boiled potatoes and various spices. “Aloo” means potato, and the word “tikki” means a small cutlet or croquette. It is found in almost every chaat shop or stall in Delhi, as well as, in other parts of India. It is served hot along with, tamarind and coriander-mint chutney (sauce), known as Hari (green) chutney. I decided I need to learn how to make these after my best friend had a craving for them over the weekend and asked my mom to make us some. They are fairly simple to make and very filling. They are excellent to serve as an afternoon snack with tea or with drinks as an appetizer. Next time we have a craving, we won’t need to run home for them…yum!

  • 3 medium size potatoes
  • 1 small onion- finely chopped or a half of a medium
  • 1 green chili- finely chopped (remove seeds when chopping to minimize heat if you are worried about spice level)
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. fennel powder (I didn’t have any so I left out, you won’t die if it isn’t in there)
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. dry ginger powder (I also added garlic powder in place of the fennel, mainly because I can’t eat most food without some sort of garlicky goodness)
  • ½ tsp. chaat masala powder (MDG is my fav brand, but there are tons of kinds out there & easy to find)
  • 2 tbsp. flour or corn starch (you cant skip this, it helps bind them and give them a crust, they will fall apart without it)
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves chopped (AKA cilantro. If you don’t like the flavor of cilantro, fresh parsley works as well)
  • oil for pan or shallow frying (vegetable is best since olive oil has a stronger flavor)
  • salt (I also added a pinch of black pepper)

Boil the peeled potatoes and after they are cooled a bit, using a grater to grate them. You can even use a potato masher instead of grating to save time. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape each portion into a round, flat tikki. (Pack them tightly so they don’t fall apart in the pan) Heat a non-stick pan on a medium to high flame and cook each tikki, using oil generously: think shallow fry, till both sides are golden brown. (you will be tempted to mess with them but let each side firm up & get browned, flip gently). Drain on an absorbent paper towel to catch any excess oil and serve hot. This is the Indian version of our latkes. It tastes like nostalgia/home.

Happy Eating, XO.

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Iguana NYC – Ole!

A little while back a few friends and I went to see the Flamenco Ballet Festival that comes to NYC every year. (If you live in the area and haven’t seen it yet, you MUST get tix next year!) To keep with the Latin theme of the night I booked us reservations at a place nearby called Iguana, “the most spectacular Mexican Restaurant in New York”! Let me tell you, it really is.

I was skeptical of the place because it’s in a pretty touristy area. However when we first set foot in the restaurant I was 1. in awe of the size of it (it’s  massive for NYC) and 2. the ambiance (hellloooo Spain). We got there before the bar and dinner rush so we had time to soak it all in. We started off with their signature tequilas – if you’re in to margaritas, you’ll feel like you hit the jackpot at this place. They have an entire page in the menu dedicated to margarita flavors, and the back of it is a complete list of their tequilas. Since we were going to the show right after we had to keep ourselves under control (i.e. no tequila flight tastings) but we did each have a delicious margarita – grapefruit, skinny Iguana, and kiwi.

True to form, we also started off with their guacamole. They made it fresh right in front of us, and it was some of the best guac I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my taste buds) we filled up on the stuff. Because after that, we decided to keep to tapas and each ordered small plates to share.

I ordered the coconut shrimp that was fried and lightly brushed with honey. The shrimp were massive and felt like a meal in and of themselves. The mix of the sweet and salty was a perfect compliment to my margarita. Next up was the calamari (side note: my husband is so not in to latin food so he played it safe with the calamari, but even he admitted how tasty it all was). Lastly, we ordered something a little more hearty, empanadas, and they were melt in your mouth.

Aside from the delicious food and spot on ambiance, the staff was friendly without being overbearing and, yes, even the bathrooms were pretty amazing. (Guys, they had authentic hand painted Spanish sinks. For real!) If you couldn’t tell already, I highly recommend this place. It really is the most spectacular Mexican Restaurant in New York!

Iguana NYC

Happy Eating, XO.

Tea Party with the Easter Bunny

So if you are actually more of a grown up than me and maybe wanna swap out these recipes for a bridal or baby shower vs. a make-believe Easter bunny tea party, feel free to. I mean that is OBVIOUSLY not what they are intended for and are strictly meant for large hat, gloves, and pearl wearing occasions such as Easter Sunday. However, I will not judge you for using them for adult events in which Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are served in place of tea & crumpets. Not that I have any clue what a crumpet is nor will I be showing any of you how to make one. Luckily, a lot of the essentials for this tea party you already have in your arsenal of recipes. Look back at the truffled crostini and the deviled eggs as a good place to start.Then build upon the fine tea party foods by adding the two finger sandwich recipes below:
  • 2 tbsp. butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced in rounds (word on the street is radishes are a great replacement ,but kids find it spicy so I left it as cucumbers, but a thought if you want to do half & half).
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of bread cut into the same sized rounds as the cucumber (I used a brioche)
Mash together the salt, pepper, chives, & butter. Spread a thin later on the bread and place the cucumber slice on top. Smear the other bread before finishing the sandwiches. Serves enough for you, the Easter Bunny, a doll, and Mr. Teddy Bear. (or 4 adults if again, that’s something you are into, hanging with adults or real people for that matter).
  • 2 tbsp. whipped cream cheese (or crème fraise)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill
  • smoked salmon
  • 6 slices of bread cut into squares (I used a pumpernickel since it was darker than the brioche)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of bread cut into the same sized rounds as the cucumber

*same methodology to “construct” as above.

Finally, offer an assortment of teas. Not just hot, think iced tea as well! Fruit infused or even good old Arnold Palmers. Lastly, some store bought cookies would be a good way to finish off with something sweet. Enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon with your dolls & the Easter bunny or bridesmaids, whatever you see fit.
Happy Easter & Happy Eating, XO.

Homemade Dill Dressing

Ever since Sonia posted the flies and swims recipe, I’ve had cravings for dill. Weird, I know. I’ve never given dill a second thought (why would I?). But it was so refreshing, I want it in all the recipes! So it got me thinking, how hard could it be to make a dill dressing? I got a little “epicurious” and found a simple recipe for it, but my own spin on it is below. It’s the perfect compliment to our kale and quinoa salad (recipe coming soon!).

*Makes about 2 cups of dressing.

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise (please don’t use Miracle Whip. I usually love the stuff but it def doesn’t work for this. Trust me, I tried it with the first batch.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Whisk the mayo, sour cream, and heavy cream first, then blend in the rest of the ingredients. I stored mine in a cute mason jar so it will last a little longer. And who doesn’t love mason jars these days?!

Happy Eating, XO.

Pear Salad

So all my lamenting about it feeling more like fall & winter than Spring finally paid off! This was the first time we had nice weather and it lasted all weekend long! I mean we had to turn on the AC that’s how nice it was! Having said that, its time to eat lighter and more spring like now. So below is my quick and easy salad. I served it with the are you too chicken last night. Yum-o!

  • 2 Bartlett pears (fairly ripe)
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion (Vidalia works, but so does a Spanish onion)
  • 1 bag of the Sorrento Salad Mix from Trader Joes (it just has arugula, baby spinach, and lettuce in it. I also throw in a fist full of shredded raddicho just because I had some in the fridge and I like the purple color).
  • 1 cup of sesame sticks (photo below & also bought from Trader Joes-sorry that’s where I grocery shop, but I will say most stores will have them in nuts & snacks aisle, look near trail mixes)
  • 1/4 cup of champagne pear vinaigrette with gorgonzola from Trader Joe’s (I know homemade dressing is better, but I was hung over so I did a short cut, big deal, its yummy nonetheless).
  • Optional is to add some crumbled gorgonzola on the top but I was trying to keep it light so I left out, the vinaigrette is creamy and silky enough you shouldn’t miss the added cheese.

Slice the pears in long, Julienne strips. Do the same for the onions and toss with the sesame sticks, salad packet and dressing. Serve immediately and a good tip is to make sure the pears and onions are cold from the fridge when serving, I don’t know what it is about a cold salad on a warm afternoon! Oh and the peppery arugula coupled with the sweet pear and the sharp onion and crunchy sesame sticks is the perfect combo of different taste bud pleasers we try to achieve in all of our sultry salads 🙂

photo

Happy Eating, XO.