The scene is familiar – a rainy evening, a steaming cup of masala tea or coffee and the company of friends or family. But there is something missing – what’s that? A plate of freshly fried pakoras or bhajiyas to accompany it all. The monsoons have become synonymous with our deep yearning for salt and spice to brighten up the palate.
Bored of the usual monsoon food combinations? Here’s my unique take on some classic monsoon foods. Try them and tell me what you think!
- Cake rusk, home-made with hot masala jaggery tea
Rusk is a well-loved teatime staple. Why not elevate it to another level? Take day-old cake slices and dry them slowly in an oven to transform them into crisp rusks which you can savour with your evening cuppa of masala tea with yet another twist – with jaggery!
2. Bhutta or corn cobs with a twist
Everyone has a memory with roasted corn-on-the-cob or bhutta – eaten with great gusto with a smacking of salt, red chilli powder and lemon juice huddled under an umbrella in the pouring rain. Here’s how to put a dazzling spin on it, transforming it into an ultimate rainy-day indulgence.
Cover buttered corn cobs with a mixture of grated cheese and finely chopped green chillies. Bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, at 180 degrees Celsius and serve hot topped with crushed Cheeselings.
3. Cherry clafoutis
Monsoons are when stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and cherries are in season. Make the most of this with a simple yet delicious French dessert called Clafoutis, traditionally made with cherries.
Try this recipe by Jamie Oliver to make cherry clafoutis at home – we love it!
4. Pakora frittata
Frittatas are Italian egg preparations made with a variety of vegetable and meat fillings and finished baked in an oven. For a desi take on this classic, use leftover pakoras or bhajiyas. Toss them in a mixture of whipped eggs and spices along with a generous ladle of milk. Bake in the oven till set and golden. Let your creativity run wild – plenty of cheese, Szechuan sauce or green chutney or chilli sauce will also do the trick!
Indian cuisine has dozens of monsoon-specific foods – herbal teas, tonics, coffees and some well-loved savoury preparations. What are your favourite ones? Tell me in the comments below!