Crispy Spring Rolls with Sweet Chilli Dip

There’s something so comforting about crunchy spring rolls filled with veggies and a sweet chilli dip to go with it. It’s delicious as appetizers or party finger food. The filling for these dainty spring rolls are quite easy to prepare. And the dipping sauce just takes a few minutes too.

You can use any vegetables that you have and also add some bean sprouts too. Just make sure everything is shredded and chopped finely.

I must mention here about Indo-Chinese cooking. If you visit a Chinese restaurant in India, you will be surprised at the amount of spices and chillies used. It is very different from the original Chinese cuisine. I have prepared the filling in the same manner.

You can also bake the spring rolls for a healthier option. This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

¼ cup rice vermicelli noodles

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely

2 tsp fresh garlic, chopped finely

2 spring onions, chopped finely

50 gms carrots, shredded finely

50 gms purple cabbage, shredded finely

25 gms spinach, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely

1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped finely

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp chilli sauce

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp black pepper powder

Salt to taste

20-24 spring roll wrappers, each 5 inch square

2 tbsp flour

Vegetable oil

Dipping sauce

4 tbsp sugar

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

Instructions

First make the dipping sauce. Place the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly until it forms a light syrup. Stir in the chillies and leave to cool thoroughly.

Soak the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse and drain well. Using scissors, snip the noodles into short lengths.

Mix the flour with enough water to make a thick paste.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and add the garlic, ginger and spring onions. Stir-fry for 15 seconds and add the carrots and cabbage. Sautè for another 2-3 minutes and add the spinach, mint, coriander, soy sauce, chilli sauce, salt, pepper and noodles and sautè for another minute. Add the cornflour and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Place a spring roll wrapper on the work surface and place a tablespoon of filling in the centre. Fold over the wrapper to encase the filling completely. Fold in each side, then roll up tightly. Brush the end with the flour paste to seal the edges. Repeat until all the filling has been used.

Half fill a wok with oil and heat. Deep fry the spring rolls in batches until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with the sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Fried Cream Cheese Balls

I had some cream cheese sitting in my fridge and I wanted to do something savoury with them. These tasty cheese balls are the result. They’re quite easy and hardly take any time at all to prepare.

I liked the cheese in the centre. It gives it an extra cheesy flavour and they were a real hit with my family and friends. It’s quite moreish and a good appetizer for an informal get together.IMG-20200226-WA0007-01

This recipe makes around 15 balls.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

11/4 cups cream cheese

½ cup paneer, grated

1 tbsp lime juice

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together, except the cheddar cheese and shape into balls. Flatten the centre and place the cheese in the centre. Pinch the ends together and reshape the balls.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small wok or skillet and fry the balls in batches (4-5 at a time), until they are golden brown. Serve hot with chilli sauce or mayonnaise.

Sago Fritters

These sago fritters disappear fast. Crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, they are great as appetizers or a tea time snack.

These fritters are called vadas in India and they are made for special occasions and during festival times. It is made as an offering to the deity along with other sweets and fruits. There are many types of vadas and India being such a diverse culture, each region boasts of their own type of vadas. And there is no one recipe for each type of vada. The same thing may be made differently in each home.

It’s better to use the whole lentil for this vada but the split lentils can also be used.

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The most important thing is to grind the dal with only a few tablespoons of water. The mixture has to be thick. It’s also very important to make the fritters immediately after grinding the dal. It can be eaten plain or served with coconut chutney.

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This recipe makes around 40 fritters approximately.

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PREP: 2 hours COOK TIME: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 11/2 cups whole black gram lentils (urad dal)
  • ½ cup sago
  • 2-3 green chillies, minced
  • ¼ cup curry leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander. Chopped finely
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Wash and soak the lentils for two hours. Wash and soak the sago for one hour.

Drain the lentils and grind with only about 2 tablespoons of water into a thick paste. Add salt and set aside.

Drain the sago and set aside.

Add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and coriander to the ground mixture and mix gently. Add the sago and mix well.

Heat the vegetable oil until it is very hot. Drop a little of the mixture into the oil to check if it starts to cook and change colour. Make small balls of the dough with wet hands and drop them gently into the oil a few at a time. When they turn golden brown, flip them over and cook on the other side as well. Drain on absorbent paper and repeat until all the mixture has been used up. Serve hot.