Much of my food choices and preferences are influenced by what I liked and disliked as a child, though as a grown up, now I love certain foods which I detested earlier, but I find myself craving for stuff I had sampled as a child and liked, it attaches a certain sentimental value to the whole cooking process.We were a bunch of happy, hungry kids and there was never a dull moment in the house, there was this certain sense of security that you can have only as a child, that your parents are there to take care of everything :).Now when I think back of any place as home it is of that house in Dehradun, with a large mango tree and a lush bougainvillea canopy in the verandah, and that time when we were careless kids and would dance with gay abandon.It is in this same house that my love for food was born and some of my best childhood memories center around Black forest cake (my mom made on her wedding anniversary ) with a very messed up cream piping and a fallen souffle...
Mexican Tacos was a two letter food word we read in the books, as kids we were really excited that mom, who was taking cookery lessons at that time had learned how to make these and would be trying them out, they turned out so good and we gorged on them, so the memory stayed and today after years I made them from what I remembered, for my new family, another place another time so far away yet so near my childhood ...
Ready made taco shells are yet to hit the Indian market so I made mine from a scratch, once you get all the ingredients ready these tacos are really easy to just assemble and serve, in fact guests can also just do it themselves, to make these you need-
- for the taco shells-1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour (makki ka atta, this is not the fine white cornflour but a pale yellow coarser flour)
- salt to taste
- Oil-1 tbsp
- Refined oil for deep frying
- for the bean filling- 1 cup cooked kidney beans (rajma) or baked beans
- Cottage cheese/ cheddar- grated according to liking
- for the salsa-Spring/green onions- 1/2 cup
- Tomato- desseded and chopped- 1 large
- Green chilli- desseded and chopped- 1
- Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
- Shredded cabbage- 1/2 cup
- for taco seasoning-Mix together 1 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp ground cumin pwdr, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp chilli flakes, salt and black pepper in a bowl and keep aside.
To make shells- Combine the flours, oil and salt and knead into a pliable dough, heat oil in a kadhai on medium heat.Roll out small balls of dough, if the edges are jagged, cut out with a katori or a small plate into a perfect round, fold into half or a semicircle and lower into oil, with the help of a slotted spoon keep the ends slightly open to stuff in the filling ...don't worry once you make 1 or 2 you will get the hang of it.Fry all the shells like this, drain and keep aside.If you are using leftover cooked rajma, dry them out completely, same with baked beans and keep them warm.Combine all the ingredients for salsa.To assemble-Take a crisp taco shell, layer gently with dried beans, then cheese then salsa, ending with more cheese, lastly sprinkle taco seasoning, as little or as much as you like and enjoy, serve immediately as they lose their crispiness on keeping.Guests can assemble their own shells as per their liking, these can me made 2-3 hours ahead of time and asembled at a minute's notice.I know that the real deal is different but I made them keeping my family's tastes in mind, believe me they turned out superb and everyone simply loved them!In fact now I know why they are Mexico's favorite street food!
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