- Cockburn's Special Reserve Port Wine
- Snickers Almond Bar
- 1 FAT,well rounded, Potato
- Malvani Masala
- Wheat Flour
- Cooking Oil
If you thought the wine and chocolate were for some exotic garnishing then you were mistaken. They are just for starters, to get you into the swing of things. Pour yourself a generous serving of this silky smooth port wine. The thing about Cockburn's (besides its obtuse name), is that you don't need any extra efforts to swallow it. Just let it rest on your tongue, it will slither under its own silken weight and slide down your throat in an elegant swirling arc, without you having to exercise your throat muscles. Wait for about 15 mins for the wine to make it's way into your blood stream. The time may wary depending upon how thick your blood is or how cheap the wine is. For me, it takes just 7 minutes flat, to get that funny light headed feeling. The emphasis here is to become comfortably numb as opposed to being soddenly drunk, coz very soon we will be dealing with a sharp knife and hot oil, so we would need steady hands & feet.
You would need a chunky fat potato. Unlike batata bhajjiya's which are thinly sliced, Kaap's come in thick slices. If you cut them too thin, in all likelihood they would get burnt while shallow frying. I do opt for thinner cuts, sometimes, just for the sake of variation.
Rinse the slices under water and get the excess water off. The idea here is to just get their surface wet. Transfer them to a wide plate, before doing that rinse the plate with water as well. Sprinkle some salt on both sides, & rub the the slices over the salt ensuring that it spreads evenly.
Now comes the mother of all ingredients of Malvani cuisine - "Malvani Masala". A dozen or more spices are blended with 2 varieties of dried red chillies (Kaashmiri & Bedki) to make this masala. Thanks to my mum, I get to use home made masala, else I wouldn't know where to buy it in market.
Sprinkle the masala onto the slices. Turn them over, and sprinkle on both sides.
If you have got the water content just right on the plate & on the slices, you won't face any problem in spreading the masala layer evenly . If you have too much of water, you would end up with watery mess and the masala won't stick to the surface. It takes few attempts to get a hang of the right combination of dampness.
Next comes the wheat flour. Dab the slices with flour on both sides. You can use corn flour if you prefer crispy Kaap's.
Put a frying pan with little bit of oil. Remember, we are not going to deep fry, this is a shallow fried dish. Wait for the oil to get warm. You can hover your palm over the pan. Once you feel the warmth emanating from the pan reaching your hand, you are ready to transfer the flour dusted slices onto the frying pan.
Let them fry for few minutes, before flipping them over. If you are a seasoned pro, you would know when to switch off the gas. If you are bit new to cooking, you can poke the slices with a fork or knife. If it goes in smoothly it means the slices are well n truly done.
Transfer them onto a plate covered with double layered kitchen towels & observe a golden halo appearing around each slice. The paper not only helps in soaking any excess oil, it also helps in draining any underlying sense of guilt over eating unhealthy oily food.
Kaap's goes famously well with rice and daal or you can eat it on its own like a snack. Before tucking in, I usually close my eyes and utter a silent prayer to myself - ## No Woman, No Cry ##
ps : In case you can't lay your hands on Malvani Masala, you can try a more generic variation of this recipe listed here on Mumbai-Masala dot Com . I doubt if it would taste half as good without Malavani Masala (but I maybe biased here).