What you will find in this post?
- Recipe for potato-vermicilli cutlet – a bird’s nest
- Steps on how to make the cutlet look like a bird’s nest
It has been a mixture of all season in one day in California today. The morning started off with a gentle breeze and there was a sprinkle of rainfall. As the clock turned 3:00 PM, I see beautiful sunshine. I look at the weather app in my iphone and it shows 72F for tomorrow. April showers and May flowers right! The smell of fresh flowers, bird’s songs and colorful produce at the farmers market. That’s the season I love.
Busy weeks kicked off with pop-ups in San Francisco. Since then, we have hosted few meals via Feastly and one with Charles Chocolates at Florida Street for passionate group of foodies who loved South Indian flavors. Last week, I cooked a birthday meal for a girl from New York. She lived in India briefly and fell in love with the cuisine. She flew in with her boy friend from New York to San Francisco for the weekend. Her friend in SF contacted me to do a special menu for the night. We decided to go with a gluten free menu. Since it was the day after Prince’s death, I wanted to add a dash of purple to the meal. The dinner was served in a beautiful home in San Francisco. We talked about food, recipes, stories, significance and history of South India. As they finished last spoon of the purple dessert, I could see the happiness in their eyes. Food for sure makes people happy.
Spices and Aroma emerged as a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco in 2015 and one thing that I have learned in the last few months is that food is eaten by eyes first. Plating is key and I give extra time and details while plating my food.
Today’s recipe is about creating a bird’s nest from our traditional vegetable cutlet. This is a cute snack to munch on. My kids are always excited to see it on their plate. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I plate with boy choy cooked with garlic and some purple carrot sticks.
Tips to make the nest:
- Make sure there is no extra water in the boiled potato. The best way to achieve it is to peel the boiled potatoes and leave them over a tissue tissue and let is air dry until you get the other ingredients ready
- Once dried, mash it with hands and roll it into a dough. Add breadcrumbs, mix and roll them into small balls
- Keep vermicilli (semiya) in a plate. Make just 2 or 3 nest at a time and fry it right away. When it dries, the vermicilli falls down so dab the nest with the all purpose flour-water mixture and gently press the vermicilli to retain the nest’s shape.
- Once fried, give a little pressure in the centre to create a nest look. Fill that with cooked peas.
Potato Vermicilli Cutlet – A Bird’s Nest
For peas filling:
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 green chilly, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 cups green peas
- 1/2 cup paneer, crumbled or grated
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
For outer layer:
- 3 boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoon garam masala
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups vermicilli (semiya)
Oil to fry
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour mixed with water or eggs
For the peas filling:
- Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Once hot, add fennel seeds, green chilly and ginger. Saute for a minute.
- Add onions and let it brown, about 15 minutes on medium heat
- Add green peas and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Switch off the flame and add paneer, garam masala and salt.
For the outer layer:
- Peel the boiled potatoes and place it over a kitchen tissue or cotton towel or cotton veshti to air dry, about 15-20 minutes. Mash and set aside.
- Mix breadcrumbs, chili powder, garam masala, cilantro and salt and roll into a dough. It should look like roti or pizza dough.
- Pinch a small amount and roll into a large ball. Press it flat in your palm. Add a teaspoon or so of the filling. Seal them back in to a ball. Press it gently to form a thick patty.
- Dip the patty in egg or all purpose flour-water mixture and then immediately roll it over the vermicilli. Set aside.
For bird’s nest:
- Heat oil to 375F.
- Fry the nest and serve hot with ketchup or mint chutney.