Saturday, April 28, 2012

Prawn Money bags inspired by #Dimsumdiscovery with Chef Nilesh of Trikaya restaurant, Versova.

 
Dimsum often confused with Momo’s in India, are quite different. Moms tend to be more rustic, while Dimsums are more refined. But I am not known to dwell ont such things when faced with a plate of either of these with their comforting combinations of textures and flavours; soft starchy dough and savoury moist fillings of vegetable/seafood/ meat is one of my to go meals. Nothing appeals to me more than an array of flow of these bite-sized morsels which is why I have considered Yum Cha (Cantonese for the late-morning meal in which Chinese tea and dim sum are consumed in large quantities) to be the ultimate holiday comfort meal ever since I tried it in Singapore when I was at 13. Yum Cha is a must do no when I travel, especially to Melbourne. Unfortunately I have never found an equivalent in Mumbai. 

The thought of preparing dim sum from scratch even doing yum cha at home often occurred to me but the hugeness of the task usually quelled any further though. But when Trikaya restaurant at Versova (yes the same one of Pune fame) offered to have their chef, Chef Nilesh Limaye teach me and a group of my friends the intricacies of Dimdum makingt, I grabbed it. So our little gaggle of camera wielding food bloggers and writers all assembled at Trikaya yesterday to indulge in a foodie version of a Play Doh session! It was a total riot! We learned how to make the dough, roll it out, stuff it with assorted fillings and then sat down to a meal of some of Trikaya’s signature dishes. 

The afternoon was even more special for me because I took my 10 year old son Dimsum loving son, Aman, along. And I am so glad I did because he learnt everything perfectly, and made some really great Dim sums. And now, all that slicing, chopping, wrapping, steaming and frying do not feel as monumental. Once the marketing was done, including a side trip to Nature’s Basket where I was thrilled to find frozen Gyoza sheets and Spring Roll wrappers we had a fun family DimSum making session! Happily, not all dim sum needs to be made with the same level of artfulness – especially when one is in charge, oneself! While Dim sum at restaurants requires finesse, homemade dumplings are relatively forgiving and can be made without any tricky techniques. After all at its heart, yum cha embodies generosity, simplicity and healthfulness and eternal Dim Sum classics are easier to replicate than you think, and make a great way of bringing the family together. 

Brew a pot of Chinese tea, collect your family together, and get your hands dirty with a little Foodie Play Doh!  "Dim sum," does after all, translate to "touch the heart" that’s what all food is really about. Besides the Prawn Money bags I have illustrated above here are recipes from Chef Nilesh Limaye of Trikaya restaurant to get you started. 

 

Chef Nilesh
Salonee - came prepared!
Buch of happy foodies!
Mixing the dough.
We enlisted muscle power!
rollers
Make little round balls of ready dough.
Rolling out skin
making the Dimsum - eded up with a fat calzone!
Putting our Dimsum in to cook!
The fabulous kitchen team!
What should have been and what was!




Vegetable Kothe
Time : 30 minute ; makes 15 pieces
For the stuffing:
200 g mixed vegetables (Carrot, cabbage, beans, onion)
10 g celery, chopped fine
10 g spring onion, sliced fine
10 g garlic chopped fine
10 ml oil
Salt, pepper Soya sauce and toasted Sesame oil to taste
For the skin:
200 g Rice flour
100 g starch
Hot water

Method:
Combine the chopped mixed vegetables with garlic, celery and spring onion. Add salt, pepper, soya sauce and toasted sesame oil to taste and mix well
For the skin:
Combine rice flour and starch together in a bowl. Boil the water and add this hot water to the bowl at regular intervals, bringing the dough together. Knead to a smooth, soft consistency and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Roll thinly into even 5” discs. Place the vegetable stuffing in the centre and close the sides with a pattern pressing the edges between the index and the middle finger to make a dumpling in a shape of your choice.Repeat for the remaining stuffing and dough.When done steam on a double boiler or a steamer for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the red chili sauce, soy dressing. 
 
For the Sauces:
To make the Red chili sauce: blend a few tomatoes, red chili paste and garlic together to a smooth paste. Add salt, white pepper powder and dash of vinegar to balance out flavours to taste.
To make Soy dressing: Combine dark soy, Light soy, chopped mint, sugar, a dash of Mirin and whisk well together to blend. Adjust flavours to taste and serve.
Prawns Shao mai
For the stuffing:
200 g shrimp mince
10 g celery, chopped fine
10 g spring onion, sliced fine
10 g garlic chopped fine
10 ml oil
Salt, pepper Soya sauce and toasted Sesame oil to taste

For the skin:
15 nos fresh wanton skins

Method:
Mix the shrimp mince with the celery, garlic and spring onion. Add few drops of oil and the seasonings. Reserve. To make the Shao mai: Place the shrimp stuffing in the centre and close the sides with a pattern pressing the edges between the index and the middle finger. Make a dumpling into a shape of your choice (like the purses in my illustrations for example. Prepare similar for the remaining stuffing and skins. Steam on a double boiler or a steamer for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the red chili sauce, soy dressing.



3 comments:

Karishma Pais said...

How I wish, I was still based in Bombay, Sigh!

the entire expeience looks like so much fun & I'm totally loving your foodles series, I make sure I check it out before I go to sleep daily, even though I hardly spend any time online these days

bellybytes said...

Thanks for sharing these great recipes. I always wondered how the cover of these dimusums is so translucent. It seems almost like making our "Modaks"

Fatima said...

Hi I wanted to know what starch you have used and how difficult was it to roll out the dough? Do we have to put oil to roll out dough or flour? looks awesome!