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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bird's Nest - A Potato Based Yummy Snack

Bird's nest has been an all time favourite with every one in my family since as long as I can remember.



Ingredients:
Potatoes -1/2 Kg boiled and mashed
fresh green peas - 1 cup
onions - 2 large ones finely chopped
green chillies - 4 (or to taste) very finely chopped or ground to a fine paste
corriander leaves - 1 cup finely chopped
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For Tempering:
oil - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
urad dal - 1 tsp

For Binding and Coating:
maida or cornflour - 2 tbsp, mixed thoroughly in about 150 - 175 ml of water (a little less than one cup)
vermicilli - 1 cup, broken into small pieces
bread crumbs - 1 cup

Method:
  1. Drop green peas in 3 cups of boiling water. Put a lid on the container to keep the heat in. Remove from fire and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Put oil in a kadai. Temper with mustard and urad dal. When the urad dal turns red, add the onions and the green chilli paste and saute until the onions turn translucent. Drizzle a little more oil if required. 
  3. Add the potatoes, chopped corriander and salt. Drain the peas and add to the mixture. Cool.
  4. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, shape them like eggs as shown in the image, dip them in the cornflour solution and roll them in bread crumbs and then in vermicilli.
  5. Deep fry till golden brown. 
  6. The oil should be hot. But not smoking hot. If it is too hot, the outside browns too quickly. You won't get the lovely golden brown. Naturally, it tells on the taste. If the oil is not hot enough, the bird's nest breaks when you handle it after you drop it into the oil.
  7. Don't turn it immediately after you drop it into the oil. You'll break it.
Tips:
  • Your bird's nest will come out nice and crisp, if you keep it in the fridge (after rolling it in bread crumbs and vermicilli) for at least half an hour and then fry.
  • Check the flour mixture.  The flour has a tendency to settle at the bottom of vessel. If it has, mix well before dipping the potato mixture.
  • For the bread crumbs, fresh bread torn into small pieces and passed through the blender works very well. Make sure the bread you use is not sweet or flavoured bread. It alters the taste of the bird's nest.