I prefer the larger penne because you can get more cheese inside it. Rigatoni is my favourite for this recipe if you can get it. Manicotti and Canneloni are much larger but those can be made to work as well.

But for kids or as a passed appetiser with cocktails you may want to use smaller penne.

You can also add a fresh basil pesto to the cheese when you stuff it. There are many combinations you can think up. This is a casual fun snack that kids have fun with.

Serves 6-8 as an appetiser

1.5 cups medium or large Rigatoni, Penne

For stuffing stir together

1 cup finely chopped mozzarella drained of all water if using fresh buffalo mozzarella (more if using larger penne), grated or shredded

2-3 tbspns heavy cream

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian basil

Batter 1


1/2 cup maida or all purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup hot water from the boiled pasta

salt to taste

Batter 2

1 egg whisked

1 cup good quality breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt about 1/4 teaspoon

For dipping sauce combine

1-1/5 cups spicy bottled arrabbiata sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian basil leaves

Oil for frying


Set a pot of water with a little slat to boil on a high flame. When it begins to bubble add your penne and cook 6 minutes or until cooked al dente. Do not over cook it. You cannot stuff pasta that is too soft. You need it slightly firm. It will cook more when fried.

Cook the pasta by draining until running water. Let it drain and dry.

Combine ingredients for batter one. Stuff pasta with the grated cheese as generously. Lightly dip in batter and fry in 2 inches of hot oil until golden.

For batter 2 dip the stuffed pasta light in egg then roll in breadcrumbs and fry in 2 inches of hot oil until golden.

Drain and serve warm with spicy pasta sauce.

Karwar style Clam Fritters or Tisri Wade

Karwar style Clam Croquettes

Karwar style Clam Croquettes



Small, Black Hard-Shelled Clam Fritters

Makes 17-20 fritters

These are so unusual you have to try this recipe at least once. Ideal bar food. It’s New Orleans meets India. I serve these wadé as finger food without a sauce, just a squeeze of lime to highlight the flavour of the clams. Around 2½-3 kg of small clams will give you about 1 packed cup of clam meat.

Use a non stick frying pan as these fritters are delicate and should not stick to the bottom of the pan.


1 cup freshly shelled and washed, raw clams or tisri

1 tsp rice flour

1½ tbsp very finely chopped red or white onions

½ tsp salt or to taste

¼ cup fine semolina or rava/sooji

Vegetable oil for frying

Spice paste

½ cup finely grated fresh; or frozen, defrosted, unsweetened coconut

2 tsp Karwari sambhar powder or methkoot or use a commercial sambhar powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper powder or red chilli powder

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp tamarind paste


Squeeze out all the liquid from the clams. Squeeze them several times. The liquid can be added to a fish curry or a seafood stock. Cover and reserve drained clams in a sieve.

Grind the spice paste ingredients to a coarse consistency without any water or oil in a food processor.

Stir in the clams with the rice flour and pulse just once to incorporate the clams and spices. Do not grind to a paste. The clams must not be whole but they must not be blitzed to a mush either.

Remove and transfer to a bowl.

Mix in the onions and salt to form a loose dough.

Put the semolina on a plate.

Make small balls, about ¾” wide of the clam mix between your palms and pat each ball in the semolina. Flatten slightly between your palms, till the dough keeps its shape and holds together. Arrange on a plate.

Pour 1” of oil into a non-stick frying pan and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, fry the clam fritters till golden and crisp on all sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve warm with a crisp, dry, white wine, beer or limbo pani.

Gobi ke Pakore- Cauliflower Fritters

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter



1/2 kg cauliflower head cuts into small florets with stem about 1.25 to 1.5 inches in length and 1 inch wide

Juice half a lime

1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or cilantro leaves

2 green chillies very finely chopped


1/2 cup chick pea flour or besan

2 tablespoons rice flour

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt


Heat a large saucepan of water on a high flame. When it reaches a boil immerse the cauliflower florets in the boiling water. Let sit 2 minutes, then drain completely.

Wash the cauliflower in cool running water and drain completely.

Combine the lime juice, coriander leaves, green chillies, turmeric, garlic ginger paste and salt. Toss well to coat all the florets. and let sit covered 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the batter. Using a tablespoon add the flours and spices to the cauliflower 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir well. Allow the flours to absorb the liquid in the florets. Keep adding flour until it clings to the cauliflower. Add water if required a tablespoon at a time.

Do not create a wet runny batter. You want the pakoras to be crispy. The more water you add the more oily and soft the fritter will be. Stop adding the flour once you have a thick sticky, clumpy batter. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Heat 2.5 inches of oil in a small kadai or wok on high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking reduce flame to medium. Fry one pakora until golden brown. Drain and taste for doneness and salt.

Adjust salt in batter if required.

Repeat with remaining fritters. Serve warm with ketchup or a chutney of your choice.

Urad, Moong, Toor Dal Vadi: Mixed Lentil Fritters

Dal Vadi

Dal Vadi


1/4 cup - channa dal

1cup - moong dal

1/4 cup - urad Dal

1/4 cup - Toor dal

1/2 teaspoon - Coriander seeds

Half inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled

1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

1 dried Kashmiri chilli stalk removed

1/2 cup coriander leaves

2-3 1 inch long Indian Green chillies or to taste

8 fresh green curry leaves, chopped


1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Pinch asafetida

Salt to taste

Vegetable Oil for deep frying


Wash lentils and soak them separately in bowls of tap water overnight.

Drain lentils, wash again, drain completely. From the toor dal reserve two tablespoons of whole lentils. Grind all and the remaining to a coarse paste. Add water carefully. You want a thick batter almost like a soft dough that can be molded into balls. These are more dense than medu vadas and will take longer to fry.

Make a smooth paste of coriander seeds, coconut, ginger and red chilli to a smooth paste and stir into the lentil puree.

Stir in chopped coriander leaves and chopped curry leaves.

Heat oil in a small tempering spoon or skillet on high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 60 seconds. Ad asafetida and switch off the flame. Cool and pour over the lentil batter. Stir well.

Taste for salt.

Make small 2 inch size balls from the thick dough. Flatten them and lay them on a tray. Keep covered with a dry cloth.

Heat 2 inches of oil in small wok or kadai on high heat.

When oil is hot but not smoking lower flame to medium.

Drop one fritter in the oil and cook until golden. Taste for salt and doneness. Adjust.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coconut chutney.