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Posts Tagged ‘appetizer’

Aloo Chaat is a popular Indian snack food.

Have you ever sped through reading an email without really catching all the details? Skimming by emails doesn’t always work and I did that this week.

It was an email with the details for a friend’s Hallowe’en party tonight. I missed the part about “don’t forget to bring a devilishly delicious appetizer”! Every good party needs good food so how could I have missed that very important detail?

Realizing I couldn’t show up empty handed with the lame excuse I didn’t read the email properly, this morning I did a last minute Google search on “Hallowe’en appetizers.” Of course lots of good stuff came up—witches’ cheese straw fingers, blood-shot olive eyeballs and icky intestines

These appetizers take time, thought, extraordinary props and even some level of skill. Send me inspiration!

In high school drama class I acted in Shakespeare’s MacBeth as one of the three witches. Recalling my lines from the play, I tried drawing inspiration for something devlish yet delicious.

“Double, double toil and trouble,
fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.*

“Hell-broth boil”, yes! Soups are easy to prepare and don’t require too much finessing, right? Wrong, not an appetizer so back to the drawing board.

I decided I’ll go with a popular Indian snack food served by street vendors in major cities all over India, known as Chaat, a Hindi term for a ‘small tasting’ of a savoury snack. There are many ways to prepare Chaat, but I’m going the ‘easy’ route making Aloo Chaat (aloo means potatoes).

Chaat - Hallowe'en style!

Aloo Chaat is made by layering potatoes, chick peas, different chutneys, onions, cilantro topped with lentil noodles (Sev).

Rather than serving this in a bowl I’m going to create a graveyard scene. Certainly not the classic preparation of this dish, but it’s a fun one!
================================================================================================================================
Hallowe’en ‘Graveyard’ Aloo Chaat

Ingredients:
1 cup chick peas, cooked
3 large potatoes, peeled (I like to use Russets)
1 tsp. salt
½ onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Garam Masala
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Curry Masala
1 pkg. Sev (fried lentil noodles)
¼ cup tamarind chutney
¼ cup cilantro and mint chutney
¼ cup yogurt, stirred
1 tsp. chilli powder

Method: In a pot, boil potatoes with salt until fully cooked. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together oil and Arvinda’s Curry Masala. Toss in chick peas and coat well. Set aside.

In a black plate, spread out sev so that it is at least 1” deep.

Cut cooled potatoes into shapes of tombstones. You may make inscriptions if you have a steady hand. Set potato tombstones into the sev layer. Sprinkle with Arvinda’s Garam Masala.

Just before serving, sprinkle in chick peas, onions and cilantro. Drizzle layers of tamarind chutney, cilantro and mint chutney and yogurt. Dust with chilli powder.
================================================================================================================================
Not too bad for a last-ditch effort? Now all I need is a costume!

Have a spooky weekend!


A teaspoon of: Airborne Toxic Event. Listening to: Sometime Around Midnight.

*(Shakespeare, William. MacBeth, Act 4, Scene 1).

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Still looking for some inspiration for a special Valentine’s meal today? Look no further. Indian spices can add both warming qualities and lots of flavour to a beautifully pleasing Valentine’s menu.

Indian cuisine is known to be aphrodisical in nature, namely because of the vast array of spices we use, each having euphoric-inducing qualities. These spices include ginger, cardamom, cloves and chilies that awaken the senses and excite the mind, body and spirit.

Here are a few easy recipes posted on Food Network Canada’s website using Arvinda’s Chai Masala and Arvinda’s Garam Masala, both containing these powerful and sensuous spices.



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Indian-Style Hummus

At this time of year we’re in full swing festive mode. It’s getting busy and with all the holiday soirees and get togethers, we let down our guards and embrace the festivities with good food, sharing and of course a few extra indulgences. I myself have already started!

When I’m planning to attend a dinner party or event where there will be a plethora of delicious treats, I prefer to keep my preceding snacks and meals moderate and healthy so I can enjoy new foods and tastes at the party. This is what the holidays are all about, isn’t it!?

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samosa5
Samosas are one of India’s most loved appetizers and is probably the most known out of the immense variety of Indian snack foods available in the world.

Always a triangular shape, samosa filling ingredients and pastry type can vary greatly depending on which part of India you are in. With that in mind, the recipe below is not your typical samosa. Baked not fried, this recipe uses a simple and easy phyllo so you don’t have to fuss too much with the pastry — making it easy yet impressive for holiday entertaining season!

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