Best of Nirali Magazine


esi food, as delicious as it is, simply wasn’t designed with the comfort of the South Asian woman in mind. Let’s face it—our grandmothers and their grandmothers before them sweated over hot fires, cried over chopped onions and stirred over … well, they just stirred. Over. And over and over and over again, just to achieve the savory goodness of spicy curries or the sweet smoothness of ras malai.

But just because our foremothers spent hours in the kitchen doesn’t mean you have to. Nirali has modernized three traditional snacks without sacrificing traditional taste. So the next time your parents decide to drop by, dazzle them with a spread that will leave them wondering whether you have a hidden auntie cooking in your kitchen.


Simple Samosas, Tortilla Style

Your grocery store’s Mexican food aisle is the key to this version of everyone’s beloved snack.

Meat Filling
1 lb ground beef
1 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp minced ginger
½ tsp cumin

1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 green chiles, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or mint

1 packet (of 10) 8-inch flour tortillas

3 Tbsp all purpose flour

Oil for deep frying

Mix ground round and water in saucepan over high heat. Add onions, salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, ginger and cumin. When water comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking meat (covered) on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until all water has evaporated. Sautee ground round on high heat for five minutes, stirring continuously. When the meat is dry and lightly browned, remove from heat. Mix cooked meat with green onions, green chiles and fresh cilantro or mint. Cover and heat on low heat for 1 minute to bring out the aroma, if desired.

Vegetable Filling
5 medium potatoes, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots,
boiled and drained
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground red pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 green chiles, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or mint

Boil potato cubes in water for about 5 minutes. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together.

Samosa preparation:
In a bowl, mix flour with a little bit of water to create a gluey paste.

To make the samosas, place one 8-inch flour tortilla in a toaster-oven for five seconds, allowing the two sides of the tortilla to separate. Next, using a pizza cutter, cut the tortilla in half. Then separate the two sides of the tortilla. From one tortilla, you will have four pieces to make four samosas. Take one end of the tortilla piece and fold the corner so that forms a little triangle. Fold the triangle two more times, fill with meat or vegetable mixture, fold over again and seal with gluey paste. Make all 40 before you fry them.

Heat oil over high heat for deep frying. When the oil starts smoking, reduce to medium heat. Fry samosas until golden brown. Drain over paper towels. Serve hot with any chutney or even ketchup. Makes 40 samosas.


Make-It-In-Minutes Microwave Barfi

This recipe is so easy, you can make it in your sleep!

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/8 c Carnation powdered milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp crushed cardamom, if desired
Food coloring, if desired

Mix first four ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes. Stir ingredients. Microwave for another 1 ½ minutes.

Add food coloring to mixture if you desire. Grease a 7-inch x 5-inch pan. Spread mixture into pan. Refrigerate for two to three hours. Cut barfi into bars. Garnish with chopped pistachios, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Nilu Quraeshi


Mango Lassi You’ll Love

A frothy new take on the traditional thirst quencher, this drink doubles as an exotic dessert.

3 c yogurt
1 c milk
1 c mango pulp (available at Indian and Pakistani grocers)
½ c ice
½ c sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender until thick. Garnish with mint, if desired. n

Ismat Sarah Mangla loves to relax with a glass of lassi.
Published on September 1, 2004.
Photography: Nakasha Ahmad
Comments are closed.
  1. May 5, 2008, 11:26 am andrea

    hi, i’m making the barfi, just wanted to make sure that it is 2 cups and one eights of carnation powdered milk….please answere a.s.a.p. thanks….love your magazine…….