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Nacho toppings with a twist

Nachos have been a delicious gift to the world by the Mexicans. This yummy snack is made by baking or frying the corn tortillas. Initially, leftover tortillas were sun-dried and used as a snack or appetiser. Over the years, they have transformed themselves to suit various palates from all the corners of the world. 

Originally, the toppings consisted of only cheese and jalapenos, as they were readily available. But with globalisation, even food saw many new avatars. Nachos today can be served with toppings of one’s own liking and choice. Few of them are mentioned below for inspiration.  

Recipes for Vegetarian Toppings 

Desi Style Chickpea Nachos

Cook time: 15 mins + 10 mins bake time  

Serve: 4 per 

Type: Snack 

Ingredients: 

To grind:  

Green Cardamom: 1  

Black Cardamom: 1 

Clove: ½ tsp 

Cinnamon: 1 inch stick 

Cumin: 1 tsp 

Pepper: ½ tsp 

Caraway seeds: 1 tsp 

Coriander seeds: 1 tsp 

Pomegranate seeds: 1 tsp 

Dates (chopped): ¼ cup 

 

For chickpeas:  

Pre-cooked chickpeas: 2 cups (drained with no liquid) 

Chana Masala: 1tbsp 

Red chilli powder: ½ tsp 

Amchur powder: 1 tsp 

Onion: 1 small (finely chopped) 

Ginger grated: ½ tsp 

Rock salt: to taste 

 

For Nachos: 

Hung curd: ½ cup 

Mozzarella cheese: ½ cup 

Green chutney: 2 tbsp 

Nachos: 2 x 60grm packs (plain or salted) 

 

Method: 

  1. Take a pan and dry roast all the ingredients, other than the dates, that are supposed to be ground. Roast them on a slow flame. Once a nice aroma is released, transfer them in a mixer jar and grind the masala into a fine powder. You will only need 2 tbsp of the masala for the recipe. Store the rest. Grind the dates separately into a fine paste. Add a few drops of water, if needed. 
  2. Take another pan and add a couple of tsp of oil. Add the onion and fry them well. Take a small bowl and add the spice powders (chana masala, red chilli powder, and amchur powder.) Add just enough water to cover the spice powder. Once the onion turns golden brown add the spice liquid mix. Fry this well. Once oil separates, add in the pre-cooked chickpea. Season well and toss in the grated ginger. Now finish off the chana with the ground masala and the dates paste. Mash up the chana lightly.   
  3. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Take a shallow bowl/tray. Arrange the nachos at the bottom layer. Top it up with the prepared tangy and sweet chana. Take a bowl and mix in the green chutney and hung curd. Spread the mixture well on the chana. This forms the third layer. Finally, place a nice spread of mozzarella cheese. Bake this in a hot oven for 7-10 mins. Enjoy these stringy desi style nachos.  

(Tips: You can top it up with onion and tomato kachumbari.) 

 

Tandoori Paneer Nachos  

Cook time: 10 mins + 7 mins baking time + marination time 

Serve: 4 per 

Type: Snack 

Ingredients: 

Paneer: 400g (cut in small cubes) 

Hung curd: 1 cup 

Ginger garlic paste: 1 tbsp 

Tikka Masala: 2 tbsp 

Kashmiri Chill powder: 1 tsp 

Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp 

Onion: 1 (cut in cubes) 

Capsicum: 2 medium (cubed) 

Salt: to taste 

Nachos3 x 60grm packs 

Amul cheese spread, tikka flavoured: 2 tbsp 

Mozzarella cheese1-1 ½ cup  

 

Method: 

  1. In a bowl marinate paneer cubes, capsicum and onion in hung curd, tikka masala, ginger garlic paste, red chilli and lemon juice. It is recommended to marinate overnight.  
  2. Once well marinated, take a flat girdle and add a tbsp of butter and place the paneer cubes individually till a nice smoky aroma is released. Take it off and let it cool. Now individually cook the vegetables in the same way. Do not throw away the marination of hung curd.  
  3. Take a pan and add a tbsp of butter. When the butter is warm, add in the hung curd marination. Cook it on slow flame till oil separates. Take it out in a bowl and mix in the cheese spread. Adjust seasoning if required.  
  4. For the nachos, layer a shallow dish or tray with the tikka masala flavoured nachos. On top of this first layer, spread the paneer and vegetable layer. Liberally throw in dollops of the marination and cheese spread mixture. Top it up with mozzarella cheese.  
  5. Bake this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 7-10 mins till the cheese melts.  
  6. Serve warm. 

 

Orange, White And Green

Cook time: 7 mins + 7 mins baking 

Serve: 4 per 

Type: Snack 

Ingredients: 

Broccoli (cut in small florets): 2 cups 

Sweet corn: ½ cup 

Garlic: 3-4 cloves (finely chopped)  

Salt and pepper: to taste 

Lime juice: 2 tbsp 

Nachos: 2 x 60grm packs 

Cheddar cheese: 1- 1 ½ cups 

 

Method: 

  1. Take a pan and warm up some butterThrow in the garlic, broccoli and the corn. Adjust seasoning. Cook them well. Finally add in some lime juice and let it cool. 
  2. To make the nacho, arrange the orange(y) triangles on the bottommost layer. Cover this well with broccoli and corn. Spread the cheddar liberally and bake. The oven should be hot at 220 degrees and the nachos can be baked for 5-7 mins. 
  3. Serve warm. 

 

Recipes for Non-Vegetarian Toppings 

Chicken Keema Nachos

Cook time: 20 mins + 10 mins baking  

Serve: 10 per 

Type: Snack 

Ingredients: 

Chicken keema: 500 grams 

Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp 

Barbeque sauce: ¼ cup 

Turmeric powder: ½ tsp 

Onion: 3 medium (thinly sliced) 

Tomato puree: ½ cup 

Garam masala: 1 tsp 

Kasoori Methi: ½ tsp 

Salt: to taste 

Curd: ½ cup 

Nachos: 2 x 60 grams pack 

Mozzarella cheese: 1-1 ½ cups 

 

Method: 

  1. Take a pan and add a couple of spoons of ghee. Fry in the sliced onion. When the onion turns golden brown, add in the ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree, turmeric powder and barbeque sauce. Stir well till the oil separates.  
  2. Mix in the keema and adjust the seasoning. Add in the garam masala and kasoori methi and toss well. Finish off with the curd. 
  3. Arrange the nachos in the bottom of a tray. Cover the nachos with the chicken keema. Sprinkle the gorgeous mozzarella as the final layer.  
  4. Bake the yummy nachos for 7-10 mins in a hot oven of 200 degrees. And enjoy when still warm.  

 

Salami Nachos  

Cook time: 5 mins+ 7 mins baking  

Serve: 4 per 

Type: Snack 

Ingredients: 

Pork salami: 200 gm 

Onion: 1 (finely chopped) 

Sauté sauce: 3 tbsp 

Nachos: 2 x 60grms packs 

 

For the salsa:  

Onion: 2 (finely chopped) 

Tomato: 2 large (deseeded and finely chopped) 

Sweet corn: ½ cup 

Coriander: a small bunch (finely chopped) 

Green chilli: 1 (finely chopped)  

Lemon juice: 1 tbsp 

Salt and pepper: to taste 

Cheddar cheese: 1 – 1 ½ cups 

 

Method: 

  1. Take a bowl to prepare the salsa. Mix up the onions, tomatoes and corn. Dress them well with lemon juice, green chillies and coriander leaves. Enhance the taste with the seasoning.  
  2. Take another bowl and toss in the sautéed sauce along with onion and pork salami. 
  3. To assemble, lay the salami over the nachos. Generously sprinkle the salsa and the cheddar cheese. Bake them for 7 mins in hot oven at 200 degrees. Serve warm.   

Nachos are a hot favourite of the present generation. But even the older generation can enjoy this delectable snack with subtle variations. The classic beans and avocado nachos can either be reformed with these options. There’s a platter full of choices. Have it warm and while still crisp. Bon Appetite!! 

 

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