Sunday, August 15, 2010
Let me begin this post by wishing all my Indian readers A VERY HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. I started the day by explaining to my eight year old (who has lived in UK since he was 2 ) why this day is celebrated in India as Independence Day and how we used to go to school very early in the morning to hoist our tri-colour. Explaining it to him also made me remember things about our history that I had not thought about for a long time, and that was good. We fnished our mother-son talk by me reading to him part of the book Great Freedom Fighters of India in the Amar Chitra Katha Series.We read about Lokmanya Tilak and although he listened to it like any other story I enjoyed answering all his questions . It's a great series by Amar Chitra Katha which makes everything so enjoyable for a young children to read understand, rather than just read about history only from a textbook. I definitely recommend it.
Secondly I would like to say a big Thank-You to each and everyone of my reader who has visited by blog regularly inspite of my very irregular and sometimes none at all posting. You readers have been so good , not only visiting my blog but also dedicating posts to me and giving me credit for inspiring you to cook and think about cooking in a different light. Gosh thanks a ton for all that love and appreciation. It has also motivated me to take that effort again to start posting again.
So here's what I have today. It's the summer holidays going on currently in England and as I work in a school I too get to enjoy 6 weeks of summer holidays. I have recently come back from my holiday in Italy and now is the time to catch up with everything pending like deep cleaning the house, cooking something different other that the daily fare, spending time with my son watching DVDs together and going out for a Pizza with him and of course catching up with friends and a bit of entertaining.
Last week I had a friend over for lunch and I made these veg spring rolls which we all loved. Vegetarian because at present we are not eating any non-vegetarian food as it is the month of Shrawan which is a auspicious month in the Hindu calender. And although I am not a very staunchly religious person I do like to follow certain practices only because they teach you self control. Particularly in the west where restaurant menus are so dominated by chicken , pork and beef . (Although I draw the line at chicken and fish and would never ever dream of eating pork or beef. ) So no non-veg food for a month at least and for 4 months (the entire Chaturmaas till after Diwali) if I can manage it. Not so difficult is it? And the one ingredient I love and always rely on to make my veg dishes perk up is Paneer.:)) Yes gorgeous , delicious, creamy full fat paneer. It never let's me down. That's what I used here too.
So what you need for 16 to 18 spring rolls is:
Ready made store-bought spring roll wrappers (available in Indian or Chinese grocery stores) OR Sheets of Filo Pastry (available in all big food stores)
Note: If you do get the special spring roll wrapper they are already in the correct square shape and size, so that one wrapper makes one roll, but if you are using filo then you will need to cut out the sheets into approx 5" X 5" squares. Also remember to keep the pastry or wrappers covered with a damp tea towel as they dry out very easily.
For the filling:
1 cup each of finely chopped or grated of the following veggies
carrots, beans, spring onions, cabbage ,coriander
1 cup of frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 cup of green peas
1 cup finely diced paneer,
1 cup boiled noodles (optional)
1/2 cup finely diced chestnut mushrooms (optional)
1 red chilly finely diced
1 tblspn chinese soy sauce
1 tblspn sweet chilly sauce
1 tblspn chinese five spice
1 tspn hot chilly powder
1 tspn of garlic paste, 1 tspn of ginger paste
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Heat 3 to 4 tblspns of oil in a wide pan or wok
Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry on low heat for few minutes
Add all the other veggies and mushrooms and stir them all frequently
Add the five spice, chilly powder, salt soy suace and sweet chilly and cover and cook until vegetables are cooked but still have a bite in them.
Lastly add the boiled noodles and paneer, give it all a good stir ,
Give it a taste and adjust all the seasoning according to your taste
Let this filling cool completely before you start making the rolls
Making the rolls:
Lay out a wrapper on dry surface with one corner towards you. Place a large tblspnful of filling near the corner .
Now roll that corner over the filling twice. Next fold inwards the the two side corners so your roll will be closed from the sides. Roll up the rest of the wrapper up to the corner away from you . Apply a bit of water to this corner so that it sticks firmly to the roll.
Do all the rolls in the same way. make these in advance at least a few hours before you want to fry them, so that they have a chance to seal well.
Fry in hot oil and drain over kitchen papers
Serve with sweet chilly sauce, schezuan sauce or any othet sauce of your choice.
Make loads of these if you are entertaining as it is very likely that they will be the star attraction particularly when your friend know that you made them at home:))