Monday, September 29, 2008

Potato and Coconut Singara Logs

This is a recipe from my favorite Indian cookbook: Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuni Devi.
It is the best Indian vegetarian book I have ever come across and these have been a favorite in our house for almost 20 years. My BF keeps kosher so in the early days he gave me this cookbook as a way to explore non-meat cooking. This is one of many Indian dishes that goes great with the Peach Chutney recipe I wrote about yesterday (scroll down and also see teh cooking demo for it.)

These are time consuming but well worth it - make a big batch and freeze half - always a hit at a cocktail party or as part of an Indian dinner.

In a large mixing bowl combine: 1 ½ cups Flour, ½ t salt, 1/8 t baking powder. Slowly incorporate the 3 T melted ghee or butter and combine until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add a few tablespoons of ice water until the dough holds its shape and can be kneaded. On a clean surface knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth and very pliable, return dough back to bowl, cover with oil and let rest for 30-60 minutes. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic. Conversely this can be done in a food processor.

Cut 2 ½ c potatoes (peeled or not) into ¼” dice. Heat 2 ½ -3 inches of oil in a sauté pan until the temperature reaches 365F. Add half the diced potatoes and fry for about 5 minutes until they become buff tan but not brown. Remove, drain and repeat. When done set aside on a towel to remove as much oil as possible.

Place 2 T of ghee or oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot but not smoking add 1-¼ t cumin seeds, 1/3 t yellow asafetida powder (also known as hing) and fry until the seeds have darkened a few shades and give off an aroma. Stir in the potatoes, ½ c peas, cooked (optional I'd only use peas if they were in season) 2/3 C shredded unsweetened coconut, 2 to 3 hot chilies, seeded and minced (keeping the seeds in makes it hotter), ½ inch piece ginger minced, 1 t Turmeric, ¼ t cayenne, 1 ½ t salt, 1 ¼ t garam masala, and combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook the potato mixture for approx. 10 minutes. The potatoes should be soft and the mixture “dry".

Remove from the heat add 1 T Lemon Juice, 1 t sugar, 2 T chopped fresh coriander and mash. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Knead the dough again briefly then divide it into 2 pieces, roll each into a rope approx. 8” long and cut each rope into 8 pieces (16 pieces) roll each piece into a ball and place on a plate when completed place a damn cloth over the dough balls. Collect the items you will need to assemble the logs: a sharp knife, a bowl of water, dusting flour and a rolling pin. Take one ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a thin rectangle about 6 x 4”, you can accomplish this by making a piece bigger and then trimming it with your knife. Dip your fingers in the water and dampen along the rim of the pastry, 1” away from the end of the pastry add a log shaped piece if filling, roll, press firmly to seal, place on a cookie sheet and with the tines of a fork crimp the ends of each log, repeat. Keeping the logs under moist towel as you work.

Heat the oil in your deep fryer or what ever you are using until it reaches 355F. Fry in small batches until the logs are golden brown and flaky.

Serve with Peach Chutney.

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