One of the perks of growing up in a multicultural home is the cuisine, Indian food was a staple in my home and so were all the lovely snacks, little nibbles and bites that would appear when my parents entertained. I remember my mother making these from time to time, maybe with some leftover dough from something else she was cooking, tossing in some cumin, a quick fry and you had these lovely little nibbles to snack on.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently, about the foods that left an impression with me while growing up, it’s funny how sometimes it’s the little things that pop up and stir the urge to get back to the kitchen and try your hand at something long not done. It was after a recent trip through the International aisle at my local grocery store that this popped back into my head. I am really impressed these days, about how it’s much more common to find foods or ingredients that once I had to search for in little specialty shops, at my local grocery store. A good sign I think, our palates are changing and we embrace the exotic and different much more readily then ever before!
What caught my eye, were the lovely Indian “nibbles”, many of which used to appear in my home from time to time as I grew up, it instantly brought a smile to my face and a desire to buy and devour them all! This is a super easy recipe for savoury Indian cumin bites, does not require that many ingredients and all of them are readily available at your local grocery stores.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 2-3 tsp of whole cumin seeds or to taste
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Water to form stiff dough
- Oil for frying
- Add all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, once you add the oil, rub it into the flour with your hands until you get a mealy like texture.
- Slowly add a little water at a time until your mixture comes together and you have a firm dough.
- Wrap in plastic and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Once rested, divide the dough into roughly three equal segments.
- Roll each segment of dough out as thinly as possible, cut into strips or diamond shapes, a pizza cutter works well for this.
- Save the scraps and cook them as well.
- Heat some vegetable oil till it reaches the appropriate stage for frying, you can test this out by dropping a piece of dough in, if it begins to sizzle immediately and rise to the surface, its hot enough, keep a close eye on the temperature while frying. I fry mine to a golden brown, which usually takes just a few minutes, turn them as they cook so they brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain on some paper towels.
I love to eat these hot or cold, but hot and freshly fried is awesome! They are delicious eaten as is or accompanied with a dipping sauce, some of my favourites are tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney or a Thai chili garlic sauce. I love President’s Choice Memories of Thailand fiery chili pepper sauce and is what I used to dip these nibbles into. This sauce lends itself well to both Thai cuisine and Indian, it’s a sweet spicy garlic sauce and I always have some on hand.
If you’re looking to try something new that has a touch of spice, try these savoury cumin bites, they’re super easy and don”t require you to have many unusual spices on hand.