Monday, November 12, 2012

Going Green with Palak Sev (Spinach Sev)

Once you realize how easy it is to make Sev, you are bound to go crazy! This year we decided to try out Spinach Sev for Diwali. Initially, I was a little worried that the dough would not retain it's lush green color post frying. But they did retain their color and how! 

I needed these sev to be spicy as they had to perfectly compliment the sweet ladoos that are made for Diwali. So I added some ginger and green chillies to the batter too. All in all, these turned out very interesting. 

Your chakli press has 2 discs for making sev. Thicker sev and thinner sev, as shown below. Just remember that if you are using the thinner sev disc, try and avoid whole spices as it is difficult to press the sev out of the chakli press and the spices get clogged inside the contraption.

Now let's get started.

Level: Easy
Serves: 8 - 10 people

2 cups chickpea flour
10 tblsp rice flour
2 cups packed palak/spinach
2 inch ginger, finely chopped
8 green chillies, finely chopped
5 tblsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 tblsp red chilly powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tblsp carom seeds/ajwain, coarsely crushed
1 tblsp cumin seeds/jeera, coarsely crushed
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Salt to taste (I used 2 tsp)
2 tsp clarified butter (ghee) / oil (I used oil)
Warm Water as required
Oil for deep frying
Thin sev disc

Step 1 - Heat 5 to 6 cups of water. When it comes to a boil, dunk in the the spinach and boil it for 1 min. Take them out and immediately wash it with cold water. This process retains the green color of spinach.

Step 2 - In a mixer bowl, blend the spinach, ginger, green chillies and cilantro to a fine paste. Strain this mixture and keep aside.

Step 3 - Take a flat large pan and fill it with an inch of oil. Start heating it on medium high heat.

Step 4 - In a large bowl, measure out the chickpea flour, rice flour, red chilly powder, black pepper powder, crushed carom seeds, crushed cumin seeds, asafoetida and salt. Mix it with a spoon or with your hand till everything is incorporated well.

Step 5 - Add in the clarified butter or oil and mix the ingredients well. It should have a crumbly texture, which indicates that you have mixed all ingredients well with the grease. 

Step 6 - Now slowly add in the spinach puree from Step 2 and start kneading it into a dough, similar to a chapati dough. Use a little warm water if you have to. The final dough should be of a soft texture. Check for salt. If you need to add more salt, don't just sprinkle it into the dough. Mix the salt in a tsp of water, heat the water in the microwave for a few seconds. Mix till the salt dissolves well. Add to the dough and knead well again.

Step 7- Spray the interiors and the rod of the chakli press with some oil spray or just smear some oil with your hand to make sure the dough comes out well and does not stick to the surface.

Step 8 - Divide the dough into 2 parts, mould it into a cylindrical shape and push the dough into the chakli press. Close the contraption in place. The remaining dough needs to be oiled and covered well. We dont want the dough to form scales on the top while it rests.

Step 9 - Let us check the oil now. By now it should be perfectly hot. Take out a pinch of dough from our resting dough and add it to the oil. It should immediately come up and start sizzling. This indicates the oil is ready. Now take the chakli press and start rotating the rod till it starts squeezing the dough out. Holding the press above the hot oil, quickly squeeze out the dough. Keep moving your hand around so the pan is full of sev.

Step 10 - Let the sev fry for 5 - 10 seconds. With the help of tongs, turn the sev over carefully. Fry for another 10 - 12 seconds. Remove off the pan and place on a tissue lined tray. Start next batch. Make sure you do not brown the sev too much.

Step 11 - When the sev has cooled down, just slightly crush them down with the palms of your hand on the tray, so they break down. You can crush them as small or as long as you like them. Store them in an air tight container and gobble away.

Hope you enjoy munching on these.

For more Diwali recipes, don't forget to check out the Diwali Faraal tab on your right.

Make sure you are careful when you push down the sev into the hot oil. You dont want the chakli press to fall into the hot oil and splash oil all over you. To avoid this, before you start frying, make sure your hands or the chakli press is not oily.

Use a flat pan to fry these, so you can fry a large batch at one time.

When the dough touches the oil, there will be a lot of bubbles. Slowly the bubbles will start disappearing. This is the indication of the sev being cooked. Don't wait too long for the sev to change color here. They might end up burning.

When I was frying the sev, I did not pile them a lot as my pan was very flat. Due to this my cooking time was just a few seconds. If you have a deeper pan, and can pile your sev together into a heap, don't forget to  increase your frying time.