Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

formerly Ladles and High Heels


Indo-French Fries, You Beauties

We Desis have a way of Indianizing every dish we can get our hands on. When we forget to weave that magic on a certain recipe, the rest of the world goes ahead and does it for us. I mean, Maggi Masala Noodles is a national snack of sorts back home and I have a friend who knows to make only one kind of pasta: the Marinara Masala Spaghetti, as I have dubbed it. While I do appreciate the eclectic flavor a multi-cuisine dish can radiate and get a kick out of reading about condiments and spices common to cuisines world over, I am a prude when it comes to my kitchen. Indo-Chinese is as far as I’ve ever gone since I am familiar with it. So when I made these fries this afternoon, I felt like I was standing at the pinnacle of my multi-cuisine creativity while in reality, all I did was add delicious Indian spices to basic French Fries.
french fries2

But in my defense, desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve been hitting my books with a vengeance for, my exams are looming over me next week. When my academic adviser told me that combining Finance and Accounts in a term (note, not a semester but its evil condensed form), I knew I should have listened to her. Oh well, my bad. Studying this hard has left me with no motivation to cook, leave alone dress it up and click pretty pictures. So late last night, I remembered that two years of trying to perfect the non-fried French fries has yielded great results and I could play on that. Hence, my Indian fries were born today. One thing though: they are yummy. You might need to make double the batch. After half an hour of trying to get a few perfect shots, I realized that my fries had gone cold. That did not stop me from thanking god K was not home to steal from my plate and gobbling it all up while watching Cupcake Wars. What? A girl can take a break from balancing accounts, ya know!

Indo-French Fries

Three medium-sized Idaho or Russet potatoes (Yukon, I find, is wasted here)

One tsp salt

One tsp each cumin and coriander powder

One pinch red pepper flakes

One tsp Chat Masala (for the more daring people, I suggest Garam Masala)

Two Tbsp canola oil

Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) Peel and cut potatoes length-wise into thick wedges. Pat the wedges down with paper towel or a kitchen cloth to dab out all the moisture. Transfer it to a bowl and add the salt and oil. There are two methods you can choose from now. You can either add the spices to this or save it up to add on after the fries are done. If you use Garam Masala, which has a pretty strong flavor, I suggest you add it before baking. Chat Masala is always tastier when garnished in the end.

Make sure all the potato wedges are evenly coated with oil and spices. Lightly grease a baking sheet with PAM. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing once, 20 minutes into baking. The fries will end up golden and crispy on the outside and soft and done on the inside. When done, transfer to a bowl and mix in the spices. You could finish it off with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

Eat it with mint-cilantro chutney, spicy chat dip from the Pakoda post or as one of my friends on Facebook has suggested, onion Chutney.
french fries




Good-bye, Food!

This has got to be the stupidest post I’ve ever written but it is inevitable. I haven’t cooked anything interesting since my last post. I am not motivated and food turns me off. It’s a phase. And you probably guessed the reason too.

I’ve been struggling to keep up with the idea of food and cooking. It is especially painful when you live away from family, with a man who would do anything in this world for me but cook. Let’s not blame him because even if he did cook, I would not want to eat it. Aversion to things I love eating has been following me around.

I crave Indian food, especially that are not all that nutritious for you like Dahi Puri, Kashmiri Naan and things there is no way in hell I can find in remote Alabama. So, I totally cannot wait to get to India in December. Once there, my mommies will cook for me, I will go out to eat with friends and family and feel loved. Until then, I have to trudge through coursework, housework and make sure I stay sane.

No, don’t feel bad for me. This will keep my endurance in check.

I was talking to K today about the sad state my blog is falling into and he suggested I dig into my folders to find food that haven’t posted about. I did. And it turned up some badly composed pictures. But desperation has left me with no choice and I hate picture-less posts.

so this here is Bhel Puri, a more popular cousin of Dahi Puri that I crave. I made this in March and I refused to make it again because it made me miss home more.

This is Knolkol/Kolrabi Kootu and Curried cauliflower. This Alabama is a strange place. We have a multi-ethnic store which stocks a traditional Indian vegetable like Knolkol but hardly sells eggplant. This Kootu is made of coconut, cumin and Thai chili. If you do find Knolkol in your store, I need to warn you though. Select smaller, tender ones because it is a very fibrous root. It takes extensive peeling and cooking to make this tuber edible. But its taste is unparalleled and this is why I go through all that trouble. Grind the coconut, cumin and Thai chili together with a little water.

Cook the Knolkol until tender. Discard excess water, mix in the paste and salt. Let it boil for a few minutes until you get a semi-solid consistency. Optional addition is soaked Bengal Gram Dal. Two Tbsps soaked overnight (or in hot water for 10 minutes). Add to the cooked Knolkol with the paste. Tada!

So this space is probably going to be done with originals. I will keep it alive with things I eat outside, things my mommies cook up for me and general India posting (sans the Slumdog Millionairesque pics). Who wouldn’t like that!