This is the second month of Cooking from Cookbooks Challenge. For week 1, I chose this Aloo Besan Sev or Aloo Bhujia from Ismail Merchants Passionate Meals. I know, of all the recipes he has, I chose this one. This book has some wonderful non-veg recipes that I am yet to try. Actually, I bought this book only 3-4 weeks ago on Amazon. I have seen his cook books on the book store shelves and also borrowed books from the library long time ago. However, I never got around to cooking any of the recipes from his books. When I saw this book on sale, I couldn’t resist. It was less than a dollar and how could I resist such a bargain!
This book has many non-veg recipes but could not try any yet. When I prepare a dish, I want to taste it too, before putting it up on the blog. On weekends, it is usually biryani and on weekdays, I don’t eat meat or seafood twice a week. And on the rest of the days, I could not try any new non-veg recipes from this book. As I was browsing through the books and my recipes folder, I saw this recipe and wanted to try. This is the first time I have come across an aloo sev recipe that I can remember of and I am glad I tried it. Both Mr.U & I liked the sev.
Coincidently, this happens to be my Diwali snack. I also made palakova or something of that sort couple of days ago. Well, I am not going to post that recipe though! Preparation of palakova is another story but to keep it brief, I bought a slow cooker recently. Since palakova needs to be cooked on low flame for a long time, I came up with this brilliant idea of preparing it in the slow cooker and went into action right away! The milk simmered in slow cooker for almost 12 hours and it did not reduce even to ¾th of the original quantity. I finally gave up, transferred the milk to a pan and cooked it on the stovetop. So this is not a recipe I would want to share here although it was edible. In fact, Mr.U liked it a lot. What is not to like, it is nothing but a thicker version of condensed milk! So this year, I made a sweet and a savory snack for Diwali.
Coming to today’s recipe, sev is a deep fried crispy thin vermicelli or noodles snack. Sev is prepared with by pressing dough in a gadget called sev press. I followed the recipe as give, adjusting the seasoning to my taste. I made the sev on Friday. I fried the sev until golden brown for a crunchier sev and later realized I had over fried. Yesterday morning I made it again, as the preparation is very easy. This time I deep fried until light golden brown and was perfect. The only time consuming part of the preparation is boiling and cooling the potatoes. Rest of the preparation was done in less than half hour.
Here is the color photo of the above picture. This is the sev I made the first day.
Boiling Time: 30 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Frying Time: 20 – 25 minutes (depending on the size of the deep frying pan)
Yields: 3 – 4 cups
- 1 lb. or 3 medium-large Potatoes (I used Red)
- 1 cup Besan ~ Gram Flour ~ Chickpeas Flour
- ½ – 1 tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste & check notes below. I used 1 tsp.)
- ½ – 1 tsp. Salt (Adjust to taste. I used 1 tsp.)
- Pinch of Ajwain ~ Carom Seeds crushed (can use ¼ tsp. Asafoetida)
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash the potatoes and boil them for 30 minutes or until boiled. I diced the potatoes before boiling to speed up the boiling. Once the potatoes are boiled, let cool and peel them.
- In a big bowl, mash the potatoes.
- Take oil in a deep skillet or a pan for deep frying and heat it.
- Add chili powder, salt and crushed ajwain (or asafetida) to mashed potatoes and mix well. Add gram flour and mix well to make dough or a batter. The batter will be more like a dough, little thinner than the chapatti dough. If required add some water. Check note below.
- Add 1 – 2 tsp. oil, make 3-4 balls and place one ball in the sev press. I made 3 balls and each ball fit perfectly in my sev press. I used a small pan for deep frying and I had to fry the sev in 2 batches before refilling the press again. For the listed recipe, I had to fry the sev in 6 batches, refilling the sev press twice.
- Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium high and press the sev over the oil to fill the skillet. Fry the sev for 2 ½ – 3 minutes or until light golden brown, turning the sev 2-3 times. The sev may feel soft but will become crunchy once cooled.
- Remove the sev from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Prepare the second batch by repeating the previous step.
- Re-fill the sev press and repeat steps 6 & 7 until all the balls are pressed into sev and deep fried.
- Let sev cool completely and store in an airtight container.
- The first time I made the sev, add ¼ cup water to the dough. It was a little sticky and I was afraid I might have made the dough too loose. But it worked fine. However, the second day I did not add any water and this dough was much easier to handle.
- Do not over fry the sev. The sev might feel soft but will become crunchy when completely cooled.
- Nov 4, 2013 – I used 1 tsp. chili powder and the first two days I felt the spice level was perfect but since yesterday, for some strange reason, I found the sev a bit spicy. That is strange! I would suggest using less than 1 tsp of chili powder.
Food pictures in black & white have a dramatic effect and it has been a while since I participated in Black & Whie Wednesday. I am sending the above picture to Black & White Wednesday # 104 hosted by Simona, an event started by Susan and organized by Cinzia