The monsoon season has finally arrived in India bringing with it cool winds,the aroma of rain and water to quench our thirsty minds and souls.We revel in the gentle drizzles and rejoice in pouring rains which drive out the ever hated scenarios and memories of gripping heat and trickling perspiration from our parched minds.We start looking for cosy armchairs,hot soups,wonderful smelling breads and cups of tea,coffee and cocoa to celebrate the season of greenery.Out come our jars and canisters of oil and we start whipping out deep fried snacks and finger foods to eagerly waiting family members who were put on diets of salads and cold foods all summer.
This was the theme of Shhhhh Secretly Cooking Challenge for the month of June.As it was the month of Ramadan,deep fried snacks was the choice as there would be an atmosphere of festivity coupled with the rainy season starting almost everywhere in the country.I normally abstain from deep fried snacks but as I have a foodie better half demanding them and saying it was an injustice to keep a man on such a long time diet I thought of a deep fried innovation which would be light on the tummy and at the same time delicious as well.
Logo of the Challenge…….
I was partnered with Priya Satheesh who blogs at :
Priya gave me Mushrooms and Paneer and I hit upon this idea!Thanks Priya for inspiring me to try out something new..:)
Mushrooms are not liked by everyone and for those who want a substitute,I would suggest trying out this filling inside bread (like bread rolls) or making a samosa dough and making paneer samosas.You can even fill this in puff pastry and bake to make paneer puffs,however its a joy to take up a lollipop with the help of the toothpick and bite into one followed by a cup of hot,strong tea on a rainy evening!
As they say – Rains have become scanty in India so make the best out of what we get!
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Makes : 15 Lollipops
15 big button mushrooms (stems removed to resemble hollow “caps” or small cups)
1 litre water
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)
2 – 3 tbsp water
Oil to deep fry
For the filling :
150 gms paneer – grated
1 onion – finely chopped
1 green chilli – minced
1 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp coriander-mint chutney (hari chutney)
Prepare the filling :
Heat oil on medium heat and sauté Onion till translucent then add green chilli.Fry for 2 – 3 minutes and add the paneer.Sauté for 5 minutes and take off heat.Let it come to room temperature and in the meantime prepare the mushrooms.
Blanch the mushrooms :
Heat water with 1 tsp salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.Add the mushroom caps and let them blanch for 2 – 3 minutes.Drain and wash with cool water to stop the caps from cooking further.
Mix flour and water in a bowl and add the remaining 1 tsp salt.Whisk well.The batter should be thick enough to coat the mushrooms.
Add the coriander-mint chutney to the cooled filling and mix well.
Make the Lollipops :
Heat oil in a pan.Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tsp filling and insert a toothpick in the middle.Hold the toothpick and swirl it gently in the flour batter.Arrange the Lollipops in the hot oil.The oil should be deep enough for each Lollipop to be submerged completely.
Fry on medium heat till golden brown and crisp.Take them out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper.Serve hot with tomato ketchup or a dip of your choice!
Served with Mexican Potato Wedges for a complete calorie filled tea time snack special…