This post is going to be short and sweet. Sweet as my friend Asha, whose cookbook I am introducing today via this post. I’ve said this over and again, every time I am asked about the joys of being a food blogger, its the people that I get to meet through my blog is what actually brings real joy to me. I have been lucky to be doing this for a while and feel truly blessed to have made friends along the way. Some really talented, beautiful souls and Asha is one such fellow food blogger who I can proudly call a friend now. And that talented, beautiful friend has just released her first cookbook and I couldn’t be more proud.
Just like many of us Asha grew up in a typical middle class Indian family where her mom’s and grandmothers cooking directed her through her formative period in life. Carrying the values of her family and heritage she grew up, found her soulmate and built her home in the US where she is raising a beautiful family of four. And while doing that she wrote Masala & Meatballs a cookbook packed with surprising recipes that are bursting with flavor, masterful photography and heartfelt stories of growing up in India and then raising a family in the United States.
I have been cooking with her cookbook for weeks now so I can tell you, there hasn’t been a single recipe that has disappointed me and I have cooked quite a few. Sharing one such recipe with you today. Chickpea- Roasted Garlic Fries. Being inspired by a few Indian recipes and the use of chickpea flour in the cuisine making a lot of the dishes vegan and gluten free, Asha created these chickpea polenta fries. These are surprisingly so simple and easy to make and boy, do they taste good! I might have inhaled more than a few while just cooking and shooting with them so an announcement in public serve- double the quantity if you are making for a family of four because you will end up eating half of it before the kids even know!
Asha has graciously offered to giveaway a free copy of her cookbook Masala & Meatballs to one lucky Indian Simmer reader. All you have to do is drop a message in the comment section below and let us know why you’d like the cookbook. You can have extra chances to win your copy is you follow Indian Simmer on Instagram and/or Facebook. Feel free to leave a comment there too!
We will announce a lucky winner on the Valentine’s day. Entries open till Feb. 13th 11:59pm. Giveaway open to the residents of USA and Canada.
1 cup (240g) Greek-style yogurt
1 1/2 cups (355ml) water
1 cup (120g) chickpea flour
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup (35g) grated Pecorino Romano
1 head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed and mashed
1/2 cup (8g) cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp mango powder
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
In a medium sized bowl, combine the yogurt, water, chickpea flour, sugar, turmeric, black pepper and salt. Whisk the mixture to make a smooth batter without any lumps. Check for seasoning.
Add the yogurt- chickpea mixture to a large, heavy- bottomed nonstick pan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick and has the consistency of soft dough. Quickly add the Pecorino, mashed roasted garlic, cilantro, toasted ground cumin and mango powder. Mix well. Remove from the heat and transfer to an 8-inch (20-cm) greased baking pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Put the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to set well.
Once the chickpea mixture is set, cut it into desired-sized squares. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chickpea squares in batches and sear over medium heat until the crust is crispy on all sides. Serve with the sauce.