Summer vacation is about to end and Qya has successfully managed to empty his brain of the "A,B,C's", "1,2,3's" and everything else he learnt in the past year. With Ben 10, followed by Tom & Jerry, followed by Oggy and the Cockroaches, followed by numerous other aliens and creepy crawlies that walk and talk and jump and do the unimaginable, who had time for something as mundane as "A B C"? To save my home from being blown up, I sent him to "summer camp" during the vacation. I am not entirely sure what Qya did there, but seeing that he was very happy about it, I believe he was unleashed on the school grounds with his friends and allowed to perform gymnastics and somersaults, and perhaps allowed to fly around in an iron man suit (since that's what he tries to do at home). In all fairness, the summer vacation was also a period of learning and discovery - of a different kind - which were the best hiding places in the house? How hard could you throw a ball at the window without actually breaking it? How loudly could you screech without hurting your throat and the entire world's hearing ability? What was the easiest way to make Mama go mad?
The older kids, I hear, fared better and even revised some of the topics they learnt at school. For eg, the principles of physics were used to gauge the force and angle with which a particular ball must be hit to make it go for a six; Maths was used to accurately split the pizza bill among friends, the money for which was probably flicked from daddy's pocket; Biology was researched to make sure that a kiss wouldn't get anyone into serious trouble; "Munni ki Jawani" was compared favorably with The Solitary Reaper.
The new school year is about to start and the little brains that are almost blissfully empty are about to be put to maximum use once more. And parents are willing to go to any length to make sure their kids perform well. Let us start off by making sure they are well fed, shall we? So I have this recipe that kids are going to enjoy as an after school snack or during their study breaks.
You will need:
1 1/2 cup cooked fish such as mackerel or tuna
3 green chilis, finely chopped + 2 tsp finely chopped ginger + 2 tsp finely chopped garlic + 1 sprig curry leaves + 1 tsp pepper powder + salt, to taste + 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 slices white bread
Water, as required
3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cup mashed potato)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tsp chaat masala (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 egg whites
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoon oil + oil to deep fry
You can use fresh or tinned fish. If using fresh fish, cook it along with chopped green chilies ginger, garlic, curry leaves, pepper powder, salt and turmeric powder till all moisture has evaporated. If using tinned fish, drain all liquid and cook along with other ingredients till mixture is dry.
In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute onion with salt till golden brown. Remove from oil.
Dip the bread slices in water so that they get soaked well. Remove from water and wring out water.
Mix soaked bread, mashed potato, sauteed onions, chaat masala, lemon juice and coriander leaves well. Mix in the cooked fish. Adjust seasoning. Divide into 35 - 40 equal portions and roll into balls.
Lightly beat egg whites with a fork. Dip each ball into egg white, and then roll in bread crumbs. Heat oil in a small wok over medium flame. Deep fry the fish balls in batches till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.
The fish balls can be frozen and fried when required. There is no need to thaw the balls before frying.
You can substitute fish with shredded chicken.