Sometimes, the constant pitter-patter can get gloomy. Chef Rashmi Patkar’s pick-me-up for the season is kobichi vadi. “Also known as kobiche bhanole, it is made of cabbage. It’s one of my favourite snacks during the monsoons. It’s also healthy and goes well with any kind of chutney or sauce,” says the owner of the delivery service The Dabbawali.
Yield: 15 to 20 cubes
1 cup cabbage (grated or finely chopped)
1 big onion (finely chopped)
1-1/2 cups besan
2 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
2 tsp ginger garlic and green chilli paste
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Take the finely chopped cabbage in a large plate. Add all the other ingredients, except water, one by one, and mix well. Now, add water to get a thick idli batter-like consistency; adjust the besan and water accordingly if required. Cover and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Spread out the batter in a greased plate and steam it for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the width of the plate. Keep checking if it’s cooked by inserting a knife or a toothpick. Once done, allow it to cool. Cut it into cubes, and either shallow fry or deep fry on both sides till it’s crisp and golden. Serve as a starter or snack.
For chef Soumitra Velkar, drippy days call for fried delicacies, and thus, his instant response when we ask him about monsoon snacks is pangoji. Velkar, who hails from a Pathare Prabhu household, shares that pangojis are prawn fritters which are a favourite within the community. “These fritters go perfectly with a steaming cup of adrak chai on a dark, rainy evening after a cozy siesta,”
Yield: 7 to 8
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup small prawns or karandi, or large prawns (chopped)
1 small unpeeled, raw potato (grated)
1/2 tsp methi seeds (toasted on a tawa and crushed)
1/2 tsp jeera (toasted and crushed)
6 to 8 peppercorns (toasted and crushed)
1 green chilli (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, adding a little water to make a dropping consistency batter. Leave this in the refrigerator overnight and take it out only when you are ready to fry them. Fry spoonfuls of the battered prawns in hot oil on a medium flame; the fritters tend to absorb a lot of oil if it isn’t heated enough. Fry them for around five to seven minutes, and then drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. They ought to be golden, crunchy on the outside, and well-cooked and spongy all the way to the centre. Serve hot with some chutney or ketchup.
Come rain or shine, chef and food stylist Aparna Surte, founder of gourmet catering service Peckish, is always trying to tweak regular recipes to make them lighter on the carbs. “For those who do not have the option of consuming deep-fried items, there is no such thing as an ideal monsoon snack,” she laments. Her go-to snack for a rainy day is appe, which in Maharashtrian households is made by steaming batter using a mould or a special pan called appe patra. “These savoury low-carb egg appe or appams or paniyarams are my version of the dish, using unflavoured whey protein powder,” she says, adding that it’s a quick and healthy fix on such days.
Yield: 12 small appes
1 scoop or 30 gm unflavoured whey Note: You can substitute it with 1/2 cup of dosa batter or even use corn flour.
2 medium eggs (for those who don’t eat eggs, you can make rava appe with 1/2 cup rava, curd and a pinch of baking soda)
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp tomato (chopped)
1 tbsp onion (chopped)
1 tbsp coriander (chopped)
1 small chilli (chopped)
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp dhania and jeera powder
Salt to taste
Ghee to grease the
Whisk together all the ingredients to form a slightly thick batter. Heat the appe pan on medium heat and grease each mould with a little ghee. Carefully spoon the appe batter into each mould, taking care to not fill up to the brim. After a few minutes, check the middle of the appe to see if it’s cooked, and start turning each of them over. Once golden brown on both sides, remove the appes from the pan and serve them hot.
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