Homemade salted caramel

Who wouldn’t love this buttery, sweet, slightly salted sauce over the sweet treats like ice cream and brownies, but our obsession with salted caramel started when we were experimenting with popcorn snacks!  We mixed a bit of home made salted caramel sauce with some pop corn, put them in the oven for a couple of minutes and had the best ever salted caramel popcorn!

It completely elevates the flavour and is oh so delicious. The best part of making this delicious sauce at home is that you can adjust the salt content to your taste and then store the rest of the sauce to pour over some ice cream or top a slice of dry cake with it. We baked a classic cheesecake (coming soon on the blog!) and topped the basic cheesecake with some caramel sauce and it did wonders to the cheesecake! 😀

A few important notes before you read the recipe:

  1. The flame has to be on “low” throughout the process until the end (where you change it from low to medium) for less than a minute to give a final boil before pouring it to the jar.
  2. Please do not taste the salted caramel or touch it while it is cooking because you will end up burning your tongue and fingers!
  3. Please also beware of the splash back from the saucepan because it can come directly to your face and the boiling sugar can cause a burn.
  4. The step where you add the cream to the sauce is where the sauce will go completely crazy and it can splash and be harmful.

This recipe comes with a video 🙂 you can check out the video here on our youtube channel. Do not forget to subscribe 🙂

We poured this sauce over some cheesecake which is coming next on the blog 😀

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Homemade salted caramel sauce

By Sheenam and Muskaan November-1-2017

The best ever homemade salted caramel. So easy and so buttery – the perfect sauce to pour over your ice creams and dry cakes.

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins

Yield: 1 1/2 cup of caramel sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream (we used amul cream)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or less if you are using salted butter)

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan add the granulated sugar and let this melt on low flame. Let this melt on its own and do not whisk. After one/two minutes, you will notice that the sugar is starting to melt. This is when you start whisking and in a few more seconds the sugar will be completely melted.
  2. Once the sugar is melted, add the melted butter to the sugar.
  3. Mix it/ whisk it well and add the cream. You will notice the sauce to bubble up immediately (be very careful here- as the sugar might splash on you and you can burn yourself!)
  4. Once the ingredients have mixed well, cook the sauce for a few seconds on medium flame and add the salt.
  5. Transfer it to a jar and let this cool before putting it in the refrigerator.

Whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins

These whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins are super healthy, chunky and so delicious! Imagine all the good things in the form of these gorgeous muffins, minus the extra fat? These skinny muffins are inspired by the superb blog of Krista and were the yummiest muffins I have ever had!

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You can serve them as breakfast options with tea or coffee – because they are super easy to make (did I mention that they are also one-bowl muffins?) and have the goodness of bananas, whole wheat, walnuts and the sweetness comes from the honey (instead of sugar)

I used total three bananas, but you can also add an extra one, in case you want the muffins to be extra chewy. Also, I replaced coconut oil with regular (sunflower) oil and also added some walnuts to the batter – no reason, I just love them! 😀

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Give these muffins a try and let me know if you like them 🙂

Whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins

By Sheenam and Muskaan October-21-2017

Edited on 24.10.2017

Healthy breakfast muffins with banana, honey, walnuts and chocolate chips

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins

Yield: 11-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt (dahi)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Mash the bananas using a fork. Add vanilla essence, oil, yoghurt, honey, egg and mix well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
  3. To the banana mixture, add the dry ingredients: wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and incorporate the mixture.
  4. Add the chopped walnuts and mix everything well.
  5. Line the muffin tins with cupcake liners and add the batter to each of them 3/4th of the way full.
  6. Top with chocolate chips and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degree celsius.

 

Homemade gnocchi

I was a never a fan of gnocchi because the thought of eggs and potato never appealed to me. I remember eating them at a restaurant in Delhi and hated it! But then later, many years later – I travelled to Berlin where I lived there for a month (to attend a language course) and there in supermarket, it was my first ever encounter with frozen raviolis and frozen gnocchi’s. I gave them a try again, because I knew how I would like them to be – simply tossed in some butter and parmesan instead of tossing potato and egg pasta in a sauce. And thats how I got obsessed with them. I ate them every three days and also bought them back to India (Yes, most of my shopping was grocery shopping!)

Anyway coming to this recipe – I never thought I would ever make gnocchi at home, but considering that there are no frozen packages available in Delhi, I had no other option, but to try them.

Reason number two why I am trying this, is because of a cook book that I have and its all about Potatoes! This recipe is inspired and adapted by the cookbook but not completely followed. Also, when you make this, please keep in mind, you will end up with a LOT of gnocchi’s. At least for five to six people.

So you start by making a dough of potatoes, one egg and lotttssss of flour. Just keep adding more and more flour (depending on how your potatoes were boiled) if they were too waxy, you will have to add more flour. Mine were unfortunately very waxy potatoes and I ended up adding a lot of flour to tighten the dough. While making the gnocchi’s I also spilled some aataa (whole wheat flour) on the slab while I was shaping them.The first step would be to grate the boiled potatoes and add one egg to the potatoes. Incorporate the mixture and add flour to it to make a dough.

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You need to make sure that all the moisture from the dough is gone. The dough will be very sticky, so keep adding flour to make a tough dough. Now divide the dough into four parts and take one part of it, divide it further in two parts and start making the long ribbons. Shaping the gnocchi is another task – time consuming, but obviously worth it! You simply make long rolls of the dough and cut them into tiny pieces which should be rolled on the back of the fork like this:

Here is the step by step recipe for the gnocchi:

Homemade gnocchi 

By Sheenam and Muskaan October-15-2017

Golden homemade gnocchi tossed in butter and pepper

Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 60 mins

Ingredients

  • 300-350 grams or three medium boiled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups of flour and more for dusting
  • Fresh black peppercorns (crushed)
  • Salt
  • Chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp butter (for gnocchi for 2 people)
  • Water to boil the gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Parmesan shavings for serving

Instructions:

  1. Grate the boiled potatoes.
  2. Make a hole in the centre and add one egg to the potatoes. Incorporate the mixture.
  3. Start adding flour – add one cup first and bring everything together.
  4. Keep adding more flour until a dough is formed.
  5. Divide the dough in 4 parts and take the first part to make long ribbons by rolling them on the slab.
  6. Cut with a knife to make tiny squares.
  7. Rub some flour on the fork and roll the gnocchi square on the back of the flour to shape them (as shown in the post)
  8. Place the gnocchi on a plate which is also sprinkled with some flour and boil some water in a pot.
  9. Add the gnocchi to boiling water and cook until they are light and floating on the surface.
  10. Take them out and let them stay on a plate for 2-4 minutes until they have dried up a little bit.
  11. Heat butter in a pan and add the gnocchi, chilli flakes, grated parmesan, salt and cushed pepper. Pan fry the gnocchi in butter, put some parmesan shavings and serve when the gnocchi is golden brown in color.

Ricotta and spinach puffs

If you guys follow me on Instagram & snapchat, you would have learned by now, that puff pastry is one of my favourite things to work with. I do make regular pastry at home and also made some gorgeous Apple hand pies but making the flaky puff pastry with the buttery layers is still another project for me that I have to work on! I have made a lot of recipes with frozen puff pastries which were usually imported but since over the past 1 year, it has become something which is readily available at all good grocery stores and it is not even heavy on the pocket. I always buy my pack of puff pastry from Modern bazar and the price for 300 grams is between 100-120 rupees. I found them really affordable considering how buttery the pastry is and it always turns out so sooo good! Just brush them with some egg for that extra golden glaze.

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These spinach puffs are the easiest to make. I have always loved the combination of spinach and ricotta and landed on a wonderful recipe by Noreen from Picture the recipe and her recipe was what inspired me to make these! Thanks Noreen 🙂

You start by thawing the puff pastry and preparing the filling. I mixed together some cooked spinach and ricotta, seasoned it well and spread it over the puff pastries and then covered them with another layer of pastry before I brushed some egg wash on it followed by sprinkling of some generous sesame seeds.

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Here is the full recipe for you guys

Ricotta and spinach puffs
Golden flaky puffs with spinach and ricotta

Prep time: 10Cook time: 25

Total time: 3

Ingredients
  • 250 grams spinach
  • 1 tbsp oil or butter to cook the spinach
  • 300 grams or one pack of puff pastry
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg and 1 tsp water for the egg wash
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cut spinach leaves and cook them until all the water is evaporated. Add the oil or butter and cook the spinach further. Add the crushed garlic and continue cooking. The spinach leaves should reduce to less than half of the quantity.
  2. While the spinach is cooking –  celsius and thaw the puff pastry once it is out of the refrigerator. Cut this into four parts (length wise)
  3. Prepare the cheese mixture by mixing together ricotta with salt and pepper.
  4. Once the spinach is cooked, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Let the spinach cool for about 5 minutes before you add to the ricotta mixture.
  5. Mix it well and spread it on the pastry sheet and cover it with another sheet. Press the sides hard using a fork and brush the egg wash on it followed by sprinkling of some sesame seeds.
  6. Bake in the oven by placing them on baking sheet (which is lined with butter paper)  at 180 degree celsius for 25 minutes or until they are puffed up completely and turn golden in colour.

Apple hand pies

These gorgeous golden brown apple pies were gone in 10 minutes when they were made! Served warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, they will serve as the perfect dessert option! These pies are really like huge giant raviolis with a generous stuffing of apples, cinnamon, lemon and sugar.

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The pastry is so simple to make and its really impossible to explain the beautiful smell in my kitchen when I opened the oven for a while (to turn the baking tray) while these were baking. The gorgeous smell of flour and butter – need I say more? In addition to the standard pastry recipe of mixing flour and butter, I also added three teaspoons of sour cream which totally changed the game somehow!

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These pies turned out to be one of the crispiest and they were so buttery. I drizzled these apple pies with some caramel sauce and not only did they look divine, but definitely tasted so good. Give them a try and check them for yourselves :))

Mini apple hand pies
Super buttery mini apple pies drizzled with caramel sauce

Prep time: 30Cook time: 15

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 plus 3/4 cup or 130 grams flour plus 2 tsp flour for sprinkling on kitchen slab (for pastry)
  • 1 cup or 45-50 grams butter (in cubes)
  • 3 tsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup apples (very fine cubes)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 spoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg for brushing the pies
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling

Instructions:

  1. Mix together flour and butter and crumble the cold butter cubes with the flour until a bread-crumb like consistency is prepared. It should be very grainy.
  2. Add the baking powder and mix it well with flour and butter. Add the sour cream and combine everything well to make the dough.
  3. Bring it together and place the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. In the meanwhile prepare the filling by dicing the apples to very fine cubes and adding lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon to it.
  5. Preheat the oven before you start making the pies.
  6. On a flat surface or kitchen slab, sprinkle the extra flour and roll out the pastry into a rectangle shape.
  7. Make small circles (using a glass or cookie cutter) equivalent to giant ravioli or any size of your choice. You should be able to make at least 14 circles.
  8. Add the pie filling and cover it with another circle. Design it as you like and now whisk the egg and brush it over the pies for that gorgeous golden crust.
  9. Place them on the baking tray lined with butter paper and let this bake for at least 10-15 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius or until they are golden brown.

AHP 6

Parmesan potato wedges

Who doesn’t love fries? I haven’t come across a single person who will not relish a crispy golden french fry! The only thing better than fries is parmesan fries and what makes this recipe even better is that you can have your favourite snack in its healthier version. These gorgeous golden potato wedges are baked in the oven and all you have to do is mix the potato wedges with some seasoning and cheese and it goes in the oven for 30 minutes to be cooked to perfection.

Keeping the skin on is such a big advantage in this recipe as you will really notice the difference in the chips! They are super crispy from the outside and soft from the inside. Give this easy recipe a try for yourself 🙂

Parmesan potato wedges
Baked potato wedges covered with parmesan

Prep time: 10Cook time: 30

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius and line a baking tray with foil paper/ parchment paper with one tbsp olive oil brushed on it.
  2. Wash and cut the large potatoes into wedges and mix them together with 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the grated parmesan cheese and mix well.
  3. Place them on the hot baking tray skin side down and let them bake until golden brown and crisp. Serve with choice of dip.

Sabudana Vada

Navratras will make you witness two kinds of people in this country: there are people who fast and then there are people who feast. Ideally you are allowed to consume all possible fruits and navratri special rice and roti during this fast but these nine days of navratri give you more than enough chances to indulge all kinds of super delicious dishes from kuttu ki roti, kuttu k pakode, sabudana khichdi and my favourite being these gorgeous golden brown sabudana vadas! I totally love these and so does everyone in my family. This kind of special fried food is made mostly on the last two days specially if all of us have fasted in the first seven days where we mainly consume fruits and milk with one major meal in the evening.

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Sabudana vadas are made using mashed potatoes and sabudana or tapioca seeds that have been soaked overnight. If you are making these as a part of your “fasting” meal, the salt needs to be replaced with the navratri sendha namak and the rest remains the same.

Here is the detailed recipe:

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Sabudana Vada
Golden fried crispy potato vadas with sabudana/ tapioca seeds

Prep time: 25Cook time: 20

Total time: Yield: 22-26 pieces of vadas

Ingredients
  • 3 cups or 450 grams boiled mashed potatoes
  • 3 cups or 500 grams tapioca seeds/ sabudana soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
  • oil for deep frying
  • plus 4 tbsp oil for making the vadas

Instructions:

  1. Mix together mashed potatoes, tapioca seeds/ sabudana and crushed peanuts.
  2. Add salt, red chilli powder and coriander.
  3. Rub some oil on the palms and make small vadas and let this remain at room temperature for about 10 minutes before deep-frying them.
  4. Take them out of the oil once they are cooked. After 5 minutes, fry them again on the highest flame for one-two minutes until they are very crispy. Serve with chutney or your choice of dip.

 

Fried ravioli with homemade tomato sauce

You type in tomato sauce and you will come across a thousand different recipes in the internet. I myself have at least 6-7 variations of tomato sauce and don’t know which one shall I name as the classic one. There is a version with garlic, without garlic. With onions, without onions. With Italian seasoning and then also my favourite version being roasted together with some red peppers. All of these are coming soon on the blog, while I try to take perfect pictures of them.

This tomato sauce is basically eat-with-everything sauce which serves as the perfect pasta sauce when tossed with some spaghetti or spread over a slice of bread and then grilled with mozzarella and veggies of your choice or in this case as the dipping sauce for some fried ravioli. This tomato sauce is made of cherry tomatoes, butter, garlic and balsamic vinegar. This was the first time I used balsamic vinegar in a recipe that is not a salad and I was surprised with the change of flavour. It tasted so so goooood!

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Coming to the fried raviolis, I have never had toasted or fried ravioli in my life but recently while watching the movie: The Vow, I got so fascinated when the lead character: Paige mentioned that the last thing she remembers before everything goes blank is ordering toasted ravioli at a restaurant. Now this might sound super weird, but trust me when I say this: a real foodie can have weirdest of craving even while watching movies or scenes that involve food. Yes, that is how crazy I am about food. I have also read so much about this dish being served at Olive Garden and other famous Italian restaurants.

Anyway, coming back to the recipe, I was more than happy I could try this with a pack of frozen ravioli I discovered I have in my freezer since over a month now! I used the one with mushrooms as the stuffing. You can pick any filling of your choice. The raviolis are imported and are available at sugar n spice stores (Le Marche) in Defence Colony or Foodhall stores in Delhi. The method of frying usually required the first dip in eggs but I chose curd before dipping them in bread crumbs.

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Here is the detailed recipe:

Fried ravioli with homemade tomato sauce
Crispy fried ravioli with the ultimate tomato garlic sauce
Ingredients
For fried raviolis:
  • 100 grams frozen raviolis (I used mushroom filling)
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • bread crumbs of 2 bread slices (roughly 60 grams)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)
  • oil for deep frying

For the tomato sauce:

  • 250 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 spoons balsamic vinegar
Instructions:
1. Thaw the raviolis until they become soft. If they are too thick, you might also want to boil them.
2. In a pan, add all the tomatoes (without any oil or butter) and let them roast on medium-high flame until they start having black spots. Do this for about 5-6 minutes tossing them constantly and add half of the butter to it. Turn off the flame and add the garlic.
3. Let this cook without any flame until it sizzles and the garlic is cooked. Now turn on the flame and add the rest of the butter and tomato puree to it.
4. Let this cook and smash the tomatoes to make a paste like consistency. Smash them completely and add balsamic vinegar and let everything cook on low flame for about 5-8 minutes or until the sauce is completely cooked and ready. 
5. For the raviolis: Heat the oil and make separate bowls for curd and bread crumbs.
6. Dip the raviolis in curd and then cover them completely with bread crumbs and deep fry until golden brown. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and serve them with tomato sauce.
Details

Prep time: 10Cook time: 20

Total time: Yield: 14-18 pieces of ravioli

 

Crunchy homemade granola

On a recipe blog, which promises to be full of creamy, high-calorie soul satisfying delicacies, it is very unlikely to find a healthy recipe. But when healthy is tasty, then why not?

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I have never been a health freak but every now and then I try to initiate a bit of clean eating and healthy alternatives in my diet, considering that I eat out so much and when I eat at home, I always end up cooking something sinful (which mostly includes cheese, cream, butter or my favourite vegetable: potatoes!)

I started experimenting a lot with oatmeal, specially with overnight oats because they are super handy and have become my favourite go-to meal to take to work at least thrice a week. They are super easy and so moist and delicious and I cannot wait to write a post about that soon.

Coming to this recipe => Granola: I was amazed to read online about the easy recipes to make your own granola at home. You can have them parfait style with yoghurt (plain or flavoured) and top them with your choice of fruit. Most of the recipes that I was inspired from were very purely vegan, which means they involved a lot of almonds and they used coconut oil. This recipe is not vegan and I have used honey and unsalted butter in it.

It is really very easy and the end product is so so crunchy and of course healthy. The only challenge in this recipe is to be in the kitchen during the entire cooking process (which is only 15 minutes by the way!). Yes I do trust my cooking skills but I preferred staying in the kitchen having my eye on the oven while the oats were in the oven because it takes just an extra minute for the delicious crunchy granola to get burned. I have tried this recipe three times now (before publishing it) and ruined it the very first time when I left the granola in the oven for an extra one minute.

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This recipe makes 150 grams of granola and since I am the only one eating it, I make a fresh batch every week experimenting with nuts, dried fruits, replacing honey with different syrups and so on. This is a very basic recipe made of old fashioned oats, nuts, honey, vanilla and unsalted butter.

Here is the detailed recipe:

Homemade crunchy granola
Easy crunchy homemade vanilla flavoured granola with nuts and honey
Ingredients
  • 100 grams (or 1 and 1/4 cup) old fashioned oats
  • 40 grams or 3/4 cup crushed mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds and cashews)
  • 30 grams unsalted butter (in cubes)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • dash of vanilla essence
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius and line a baking tray with foil paper.
2. Mix together nuts and oats and put it on the baking try for dry roasting them for 4 to 5 minutes.
3. While the oats are in the oven, mix together melted butter, honey and vanilla essence.
4. Take the oats out of the oven, mix them a bit and pour the honey mixture over it and mix again. This goes in the oven again for 3 (maximum 4) minutes. 
5. Take this out of the oven and mix again. Now let it cool for 15 minutes at room temperature and later serve with yoghurt and fruits.
Details

Prep time: 5Cook time: 10

Total time: Yield: 150 grams

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Sesame toasts

Sesame toast is one appetiser that existed for me only in and around my family because I had never seen it on a menu card at any of the restaurants but I always loved them when my mom made it. This continues to be a hit even today when she makes it and you just cannot have enough of these gorgeous golden toasts covered with a generous layer of spicy potato mixture and coated with sesame seeds.

This recipe definitely requires effort and is also deep fried, so if you are on a diet, please look away >-<

You start by covering the bread slices generously with a potato mixture, which you can customise according to your taste. then you cut these breads into small disc like circles and cover them with sesame seeds. The tiny discs need to be dipped in cornflour slurry before immediately deep frying until golden brown.

Here is the step-by-step recipe:

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Sesame Toasts
Gorgeous golden toasts covered with a generous layer of spicy potato mixture and coated with sesame seeds
Ingredients
  • 3 Bread Slices
  • 100-120 grams Boiled potatoes
  • 1 Cup Sesame Seeds
  • to taste Salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dry mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1 Cup Cornflour
  • for making the slurry Water
  • for deep frying Oil
Instructions
1. Grate the boiled potatoes and add all spices to it.
2. Heat the oil for deep frying and spread the potato mixture evenly on the bread slices and cut them into small discs (one bread should make 4 discs). You can also cut them in squares or triangles.
3. Cover the slices completely (potato side) with sesame seeds.
4. Prepare the slurry by making a thin paste of cornflour and water to the dip the bread slices in. Once the oil has heated. Take the discs one by one and dip them in the slurry and immediately in the hot oil for deep frying. Serve
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 pieces