Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alu Chops and Dal & Palak Pakodas for Ramadan Iftar

My flat mate's mom is visiting us for few days in this holy season of Ramadan and its such a pleasure to have her here. Everyday she and my flatmate's sister fast and in the evening we together prepare iftar within the limits of my kitchen equipment. I may have never got to learn so much about Ramadan by reading but spending time with them at home has been really nice and my chance of observing this beautiful culture so closely. The meal consists of  dates, fresh - fruits, radish salad, brown gram gravy, dal and palak pakodas (lentil and spinach fritters), alu chops (potato patty), soaked chana dal ( split yellow gram) spiced with chili, salt, pepper and lemon juice, a fried savoury snack made of poha (flattened rice), cashews, peanuts and and thirst quencher water with goodness of Tang :)

The iftar

Alu Chops and Dal & Palak Pakodas 
Alu Chops (Potato Patty)

Recipe by my Aunty Mrs. Fahima Bano

6 boiled potatoes peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger (this makes all the difference)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
  • Mix all the ingredients together and make small balls out of these
  • In a heavy bottom flat pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Flatten each potato ball between your palms and place two of these at a time in the hot oil and fry on low flame
  • When these beauties turn golden from one side turn them and let the other side also fry
  • Once done, enjoy these with ketchup or coriander chutney or just plain
Dal & Palak Pakodas ( Lentil & Spinach Fritters)

3/4 cup masoor dal
1/4 cup chana dal (split yellow dal)
2 cups finally chopped spinach or palak
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/4 cup grated radish
2 finely chopped green chilies
2 chopped onions
1 medium-sized chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

  • Soak masoor dal and chana dal overnight and grind them together in a food processor to get a thick batter. Add 1 tablespoon of water if you face difficulty grinding these into a batter. Do not add a lot of water as vegetables we add will have water in them
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix the batter properly
  • Heat oil in a pan and test the salt by frying one small teaspoon of the batter and see if the pakodas have salt to your liking. Add some more salt if required
  • Now you are all set to fry your crispy pakodas

These snacks were really quick to make if you do the preparations and keep the batter ready before hand. The batter can be stored for 1 day if refrigerated and can be used after bringing it to room temperature.

Once the meal is ready we laid down the food on the table and sat down together to start the iftar and break the fast with dates followed by rest of the meal. It was a weekend and I tried to do my little contribution by having evening chai with them after the iftar and the best part being that I get to eat the iftar too :). With this I wish all of you who are fasting and not fasting like me but enjoying this festival - A very happy Ramadan :)

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