Rainy day snacking: Easy to make snacks for the approaching monsoon season

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Rains and pakoras go hand-in-hand in India.

By Reya Mehrotra

Recent rain in many parts of the country gave us a preview of the monsoons. Here we bring to you some snacks that can be easily made at home to chomp on during those rainy evenings.

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Pakoras
Rains and pakoras go hand-in-hand in India. Whenever it pours, an Indian family’s go-to snack is pakoras and tea. They are deep-fried and can be made in a dozen different ways. The most common ones are chilli, potato, brinjal, onion, bottlegourd and cauliflower pakoras. They are best served hot with chutneys or ketchup.

Spring rolls
Spring rolls are said to have originated in China where they were usually made by filling chopped vegetables in a thin cylindrical pastry. Since they were consumed during the spring festival in China, they got the name spring rolls. The popular Asian dish comes with at least a dozen different fillings and makes for a perfect evening snack. You can make it at home with vegetables or chicken wrapped in thin sheets of wheat flour. It can either be deep-fried or baked. The filling can vary from Chinese to mixed vegetables, chicken or meat. For vegetables, fill a decent mix of carrots, onion, cabbage, bean sprouts and so on.

French fries
French fries are everyone’s favourite snack and are easy to prepare at home. While they are easily available in restaurants, freshly prepared fries at home are a healthier option. They can either be baked or deep-fried. A pinch of salt, pepper and chilli flakes can add a spicy twist to the fries. Sliced capsicum, onions, bell pepper, etc, can be added while baking.

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Caffeine kick
A hot cup of ginger or cardamom tea is officially the beverage of the rainy season. Sipping a hot cup of tea with family members, watching the pouring rain is every Indian’s comfort. If a coffee lover, sip hot mocha, black coffee, latte or cappuccino. One can also go for the quarantine coffee, dalgona, which became popular in 2020. A hot beverage also gives one some warm comfort during the cool rainy days.

Samosas
A favourite Indian snack, samosa, accompanied with a hot cup of tea, makes for a perfect evening snack in many Indian households. One can either go for homemade potato-filled samosa made with all-purpose flour or try its newer variants like Chinese samosa, keema samosa, pasta samosa, cauliflower samosa and many more. For a healthy twist, one can bake the samosas instead of deep frying.

Fruit chaat
With immunity being the priority at this hour, there can be no healthier snack than fruit chaat. Try and include as many seasonal fruits as you can in your snack for the rainy evening. To add more flavour, try sprinkling a pinch of pepper or chaat masala. Popular fruits include peach, litchi, plum, jamun, pear, pomegranate, bananas and so on. Fruits are best had on empty stomach either in the morning or evening.

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Bread pakora
A popular Indian snack, bread pakoras are made in every Indian household. Triangular bread slices are dipped in spicy gram flour batter and deep-fried. They can even include fillings of paneer or potato. Bread pakoras make for a fulfilling evening snack coupled with masala tea or ginger tea and are usually savoured during the monsoons or winters. To make them a bit healthier, try using brown or wheat bread and tofu or paneer as filling. Fry in mustard oil.

Dal vada
Dal vada is popular, crunchy and crispy snack made with chana dal. It is also called masala vada. It’s a popular street food in south India. For a spicy flavour, onions, spices and herbs are added. To prepare it, chana dal is soaked in water for two hours and then ground into a paste. Once done, herbs and spices are added. They are best served hot with tomato chutney, coriander-mint chutney, ketchup or coconut chutney.

Batata vada
The popular vegetarian fast food from Maharashtra is best consumed hot and fresh, and is a delight during rains. To make batata vada, mashed potato is coated with chickpea flour and coriander, and deep-fried. It is then served with chutney and fried green chillies. It is a popular street food in Maharashtra. Though not a very healthy snack, batata vada can be savoured once in a while. In the southern part of the country, it is called aloo bonda.

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