Explore the flavours of Mexico

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Mexican dishes are fast to prepare and flavorful too. Here are a few recipes for pepper-chilli loving Indians, who relish the fiery hot cuisine

Chilli tacos
 
Crisp fried puris stuffed with a mixture of shredded lettuce and baked beans.

Ingredients: Taco shells - 8, fresh mint leaves - a few sprigs, baked beans in tomato sauce - 1 cup, low fat cheese, grated - ½ cup, spring onions, chopped - 2, green chillies, seeded and chopped - 2, chilli sauce - 2 teaspoons, lemon juice - 2 tablespoons, black pepper powder - ½ teaspoon, iceberg lettuce, shredded - ½ bunch, cheddar cheese, grated - ½ cup, cherry tomatoes, quartered - 8, salt to taste

Method: Chop half the mint leaves keeping aside the rest for garnish. Warm the taco shells in a preheated oven for a few minutes. In a bowl, take the baked beans and add grated low fat cheese, spring onions, green chillies, chilli sauce, lemon juice and mint leaves. Add salt and pepper powder, mix lightly. Fill the taco shells till about three fourth with shredded lettuce and spoon baked beans mixture on top of the shredded lettuce leaves evenly. Top the shells with grated cheddar cheese, quartered cherry tomatoes and a sprig of mint.
Serve immediately.

Enchiladas
 
Ingredients: Corn tortillas - 6, mozzarella cheese as required

For filling: Olive oil - 1 tbsp, onion, sliced - 1, garlic, chopped - 4 cloves, green capsicum, chopped - 1, baked beans - ¾ cup, red chilli flakes - ½ tsp, mixed herbs - ½ tsp, cottage cheese (paneer), crumbled - 1 cup
For sauce: Olive oil - 1 tbsp, garlic, chopped - 6 cloves, tomatoes - 3, sugar - 1 tsp, red chilli flakes - 1 tsp, oregano - 1 tsp, mozzarella cheese, grated - ¼ cup

Method: Heat oil in a pan. Add onions, garlic and capsicum and saute. Add baked beans, chilli flakes and herbs. Cook till almost dry. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. To make the sauce, saute garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. Add pureed tomatoes, sugar, chilli flakes, oregano and ½ the mozzarella cheese and cook till the mixture reaches a sauce consistency. Place tortillas on the top, spread the filling in the centre and top with paneer. Roll and place them in a baking dish. Drizzle the tomato sauce over. Grate mozzarella cheese on top. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake till the cheese melts. Serve hot.

A Mexican dip made up of fresh cream, yogurt and lemon juice.

Ingredients:
Fresh cream - 1 cup, lemon juice - 2 tablespoons, hung yogurt - ¼ cup, salt to taste

Method: Beat the cream until thick. Add the lemon juice and hung yogurt and mix well. Season with salt, mix well and serve.

Jacket potatoes with Mexican sweet corn relish

Ingredients: Potato - 8 medium, sweet corn niblets - ½ cup, red capsicum, seeded and chopped - ¼ large, cucumber, finely chopped - ¼ medium, red chilli powder - a pinch, lemon juice - 1 tsp, butter, melted - 1 tbsp, sour cream - 3 tbsp, lemon rind - a pinch, salt to taste, black pepper powder to taste
Method: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Scrub the potatoes and prick them with a fork. Bake potatoes for about an hour or until just tender. Set aside to cool. Halve them and scoop out the centers leaving a half centimeter wall. Boil the sweet corn for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain thoroughly and roughly crush in a food processor. Mix sweet corn with all the remaining ingredients. Add lemon rind to the sour cream. Stuff the potato halves with the corn mixture. Top it with half a tsp of sour cream mixture. Serve hot.

Mexican chaat
 
Ingredients:
 
Tortilla chips, crushed - 25-30, yogurt, whisked - 1 cup, American corn kernels, boiled - 1 cup, potatoes, boiled and chopped - 2, onion , chopped - 1, tomato, chopped - 1, jalapeno, chopped - 1, green chutney - 2-3 tbsp, sweet date and tamarind chutney - 3-4 tbsp, salt to taste, fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 1 tbsp

Method: Keep yogurt in the refrigerator to chill. In a large bowl combine crushed corn chips (keeping aside some for garnish) with other ingredients. Add chilled yogurt and mix well using a spoon. Transfer this mixture onto a platter, drizzle the remaining green chutney and date and tamarind chutney on top and serve garnished with crushed corn chips and coriander leaves.

Mexican rice
 
Ingredients: Rice, soaked and drained - 1½ cups, olive oil - 2 tbsp, red capsicum, 1 inch pieces - 1, whole dry red chillies - 3, tomatoes, 1 inch pieces - 2, garlic - 6 cloves, onion, sliced - 1, vegetable stock - 2½ cups, salt to taste, carrots, thickly grated - 2

Method: Heat one tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add capsicum, chillies, tomatoes and garlic and saute on high heat till slightly charred. Cool and grind to a smooth paste. Heat the remaining olive oil in another pan, add onion and saute till light golden. Add rice and saute. Add the ground paste, vegetable stock and salt and mix. Add carrots and mix. Cook till done. Serve hot.

Chicken fajita
 
Ingredients: Tortillas - 4, chicken breasts, cut into thin strips - 2, olive oil - 2 tbsp, onions, halved and sliced horizontally - 2 medium, green capsicums, sliced - 2 medium, soy sauce - 2 tsp, dried red chillies - 1, black peppercorns - 4-6, brown sugar - 1 tsp, cheese, grated - ¼ cup, jalapeno, sliced - 2, salt to taste

Method: Heat oil in a pan. Add onions, garlic and capsicum and saute for a minute. Add chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, crushed red chillies and crushed peppercorn. Add salt, brown sugar and a little water and cook till the chicken is done. Heat a sizzler plate and put the chicken on it. Take a tortilla, place the mixture in the centre, sprinkle grated cheese and jalapeno pepper slices. Roll and serve immediately. -Times of India

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