Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tacos with vegetable salsa & baked beans

I, didi, jiju and mishthi were sitting in a local restaurant in pune which serves delicious Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Pohey and other Maharashtrian breakfast delicacies. We were eating Misal pav which is I guess is mine and jiju's all time favorite. I love the concept of the spicy sprout curry with sev, onion, green chilli and lemon. The pav compliments it wonderfully. The curry was a little sweeter than the ones I usually eat. But nonetheless it tasted beautiful. I asked my jiju that what would he like to have in dinner. He said "Tacos". Thus my wonderful journey with tacos began.

I looked for a recipe to make taco shells because it seemed very much impossible to get them from anywhere nearby. Also I am a crazy person when it comes to preparing dishes and preparing the items used in them from scratch. I screwed up the first batch of taco shells. Knowing me and obviously as a reader of this post you can obviously guess what would have happened next. I made another batch :). The flour and corn flour both were finished at home so I ran to the market to get some more. The onion prices are over and above the skies so I just bought half a kilogram. Lets save some money on onions!! :) Here is the recipe to tacos. They were delicious. Everyone at home ate wholesomely and we kept the extra ones safely in an air tight box for later use.

Vegetarian Tacos with fresh vegetable salsa, baked beans and sauces
Serves Four

For Taco Shells:
1. 1 1/2 cup corn flour (Makai ka Atta)
2. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
3. 2 tsp Olive oil
4. Luke Warm Water
5. 1 tsp salt

For Baked beans:
1. Olive oil (For frying)
2. Onion
3. 200 g red kidney beans (soak them for about 3-4 hrs so that you can boil them easily)
4. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
5. Lime Juice
6. Black Pepper
7. Salt to taste 

For Vegetable Salsa:
1. 3 fully ripe tomatoes
2. Spring Onion
3. 1 Red Onion
4. Cucumber
5. Green Capsicum (You can also use red or yellow, I had green so I used green)
6. 1 Cubanelle Pepper
7. Zucchini
8. Green Chilli 
9. Coriander
10. 1/2 cup Boiled corn kernels
11. Lime Juice
12. Black pepper
13. Salt to taste

For red sauce:
1. Tomato pulp and seeds (from the ones you used in the salsa)
2. 1 red tomato
3. few coriander leaves
4. few fresh mint leaves or a pinch of dry mint powder
4. Black pepper
5. Salt to taste

For green chili sauce:
1. Coriander leaves
2. 2 green chilli
3. 1/4rth green capsicum (It was a big capsicum)
4. cucumber pulp (from the ones you used in the salsa)
5. 1/4rth cucumber
6. lime juice
7. Salt to taste

I will take you through the recipe in an order which I think is the most intelligent way. I may not have followed the same order the first time I prepared the dish but when I will prepare the same dish again, I will follow the same route. I am assuming here that your gas stove is a 2 burner stove. Even if there are more, it truly depends on your multi tasking skills that how many of them you can use together. 

First put the kidney beans in a pressure cooker with some water and salt for boiling. In another cooker/boiler put the corn with some salt and water for boiling. Now lets make the taco shells. 

In a bowl put both the types of flour & salt and mix properly. Add the oil and mix it well with the flour. Now slowly start adding water to the flour mixture and prepare the dough. When you have a nice soft consistent dough, make around 8 equal size balls from the dough. Clean the kitchen slab properly and dust with some flour and start rolling out the balls with a rolling pin. Meanwhile your corn would be done and you can use this burner to deep fry the taco shells. Put a wok (kadhayi) and put enough amount of oil in it for deep frying. Roll out the tacos in round shapes of about 5 inch diameter. Prick the taco shells using a fork in order to avoid them from puffing up. 

Now deep fry the shells on a medium flame while turning both sides. You need to cook them till they are cooked properly and take them out before they start browning. While taking them out fold one side on another across the central line (diameter) or basically make them into a U shape. Place them on a paper towel so that the extra oil is soaked up.

Chop an onion finely and fry it in a pan with some olive oil. When the onion becomes translucent add the kidney beans (after removing excess water). Fry for 2 minutes and add some salt, black pepper, cumin powder and a few drops of lime juice. Add enough lime juice so that it cuts out on the sweetness of the beans a bit but not a lot as it may overpower the taste. You can add lemon zest instead of lime juice.

For vegetable salsa, fine chop all the vegetables and mix together in a bowl. Remember to take out all seeds from vegetables such as cucumber and tomato while making the salsa. Add corn kernels, coriander leaves, lime juice, salt and black pepper. 

For the red and green sauce, fine blend all the ingredients together respectively for both the sauces.

To compose the taco together, take a taco shell and put some salsa in it. Now add some fried beans and again add some vegetable salsa on the top of that. Please warm up the beans before putting them in the taco shell. This is the only hot component of the dish. Now add some red and green chutney. Add the green chutney carefully as it will be a little spicy. Serve hot.

You can add the green capsicum a little less as it has a very strong flavor and it may overpower the flavor of other vegetables in salsa (My sister said so). You can also add a bit of the red chutney to the beans while frying them. So when you put this hot mixture in the taco the beans and the sauce both are hot and definitely the texture would be a little different from the one where you add them separately.

I hope you enjoy the tacos. I prepared them and then served to my family. You can also keep all the components as is on the dinner table and everyone can prepare their own tacos as per their taste.

Still learning to take pictures so please bear with  me till the time the pictures does not clearly show what I intend to put across using words. There is lesser quantities in the pictures here (as compared to what I have mentioned) because they finished fast. ;)

Have fun :)

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