Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cottage Cheese Pie for Eggless Baker's Group

We have a pie for this month's challenge. Gayathri gave us a recipe where the crust had eggs and the stuffing had meat.The challenge was to make it eggless and meat less.I have baked pies long back and somehow have not been very happy with them, so I was kind of lost when I had to meet the challenge.The group friends were kind enough to help me. There were lot of fillings to choose from but finally I decided to make a cottage cheese pie. I think paneer is one of the best substitutes for meat.

The pie came out really good, the crust was very crisp .The stuffing was a blend of Indian and western , since the spices were totally Indian and the cheese gave it that western taste.Overall the pie came out fantastic, and I have got back my confidence on them.The next time I bake one I am sure it will a easy and even better one.Thanks Gayathri, I am so glad you have got back my confidence, a lovely challenge.

Pie Crust 
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, chilled and diced
¼ cup ice water
Combine flour and salt.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Handle the dough as little as possible, overworking will make it tough.
Cover with a cling film and place in the frig for 30 minutes.
This allows the flour to absorb all of the liquid, and makes the dough more elastic.
Dust a clean, dry surface with flour,remove and unwrap the dough from the refrigerator.
Split the dough in half, place one half back in the fridge for future use.
Flatten only one of the dough slightly with your hands and dust the dough lightly with flour before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin.
Start rolling at the center of the dough and work outwards. Working quickly roll the dough into a circle ¼-inch thick or smaller.
The dough round should be two to four inches wider in diameter than the pie pan.
Carefully pick it up and place it into the pie plate so the center point of dough is in the center of the pan.
Without stretching the dough, press the pastry into the pan with your fingertips. (PUT DOUGH ASIDE FOR LATTICE)
Use kitchen shears to trim the dough to about a half-inch overhang. Save the scraps.
Loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 mins before baking.
Place a baking sheet on a lower oven rack and preheat the oven to 220 C. Pierce the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent air pockets from forming.
Line the crust with a foil.
Fill the foil with dried beans. Make sure they are distributed all across the bottom and partly up the sides of the foil-lined crust.
The weights ensure that the crust holds its shape during baking and does not slump in the pan .
Put the pie plate on the preheated baking sheet and reduce the oven temp to 200 C. , this should take about 10- 12 minutes.
Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to turn golden .
Remove the pie pan from the oven.
Lift up the edges of the foil and set the beans aside.
Return the pie to the oven.
Save the beans for the next time you bake a pie, or discard them as they are no good to eat once they have been baked.
Bake the crust until the bottom is just beginning to color about 6 to 8 mins.

1 cup cottage cheese, grated
1 /2 cup cheese, grated
1 cup red and green bell peppers, diced
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1 /2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
5-6 fenugreek seed
1 /2 tsp onion seeds
pinch asafoetida powder
1 /2 cup onion, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
Salt to taste
3/4 cup curd
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 
Fresh coriander leaves
Mix the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida in a small bowl.
Heat the oil and add the seed mixture. When they crackle, add the onion and garlic ,saute till it turns translucent.
Add the paneer, turmeric, kitchen king masala ,chilly powder and stir for some time.
Add the curd, sprinkle the plain flour and mix well.
Add the coriander leaves and salt and bring to a boil.
Take the pan off the flame and let it cool down to a warm consistency.
Add half the cheese.
Set aside to fill in pie.

Filling and Baking the Pie
Take the pie out of the oven when golden.
Fill in the prepared mixture.
Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese.
Make lattice pattern with the remaining dough.
Place the pie back in the oven at 175 C and cook till cheese melts to a golden brown on top.
Remove the pie from the oven.
Let it cool for 5 mins, cut and serve.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Macroli / Macaroni

Macroli..yes you read right, it is Macroli and not macaroni.Well this is how the Sindh'is pronounce macaroni.I know you guys are smiling. Macaroni is loved by Sindhi family's and two generations back they perhaps did not know the right pronunciation so it became Macroli. Ofcourse now all call it macaroni. Okay whatever the name might be , two decades back this Italian pasta was the most common one.  I remember my aunt making these macrolis in tomato purée with Indian spices and it tasted absolutely delicious. I also remember correcting her on her pronunciation, she would try a few times , but soon give up and we as kids would laugh it out.

1 cup macaroni, boiled with salt
6 tomatoes, blended to a purée
1 green chilly, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Heat oil.
Add cumin seeds.let crackle.
Add green chilly.
Add tomato purée.
Cook till there is no moisture.
Add dry spices and salt.
Add macaroni, mix well.
Add about 1/2 cup water and cook for one or two boils.
There should be very little gravy.

I cooked these as a part of Sindhi meal , where I cooked Cheeran wara Meha and Mattar Phoolpatasha. This goes for Weekend Cooking where Valli and Champa join me.

These have a very pleasant flavor and are relished by all.The spices are basic but yet a bowl of these gets over in minutes .I also like to eat these with a simple butter toast for breakfast.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Choori for Satya Narayan Prasad

BM # 30   Week 4   Day 3

Kutti or Choori is a sweet that is generally made as a prasad for Satyanarayan pooja in Sindhi families. My Gujarati friends make sheera as prasad.I really do not know much about these poojas, as mom never did and even my MIL does not do these poojas. We are more into meditation but my husband is one religious person who must visit the temple daily, do poojas too.The Satyanarayan pooja is done at the hotel with a pandit coming in. I know that it is a very popular pooja which is done every month on the full moon day.The prasad is made at home. the prasad consists of Kutti or Choori as some call it. The wheat flour  is roasted in ghee and then sugar is added. Along with the prasad Panchaamrit is made and of course some sweets and fruits are offered to God.

.Previously when people were not as health conscious, this choori was made regularly in Sindhi homes, but now it is restricted to the prasad only. If making otherwise peanuts are not added instead one can add almonds or other dry fruits, but the authentic one it is just ghee, flour and sugar.

1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup ghee
1/2 cup sugar
8-10 raw peanuts( optional )
In a heavy bottomed pan add ghee.
Immediately add the flour.
Roast the flour on very slow flame stirring continuously.
Roast till the flour lends out a wonderful aroma and turns golden.
Add sugar and remove from fire immediately.
The sugar will dissolve a little , but not completely.
When eating you will get that sugar crunch in the mouth.
The peanuts are added to the Kutti, when it is half done.
These can be roasted separately and added .

This recipe requires patience, please make sure that you are roasting the flour throughout on very slow fire.
One can add cardamom powder and nuts to make it rich , but the authentic recipe does not have any of these.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cheeran wara Meha / Apple Gourd Sindhi Style

BM # 30 Week 4 Day 2

Apple gourd or Tinda is a summer vegetable , belonging to the bottle gourd family.It is a light vegetable which is generally preffered by the older generation.The younger generation do not have a taste for these.They are hooked on to the fast food. Somehow I have always liked this vegetable and enjoy it in different forms. Meha like you know is the Sindhi name for this veggie, Cheer are the criss cross indents on them.These are made so that the gourd cooks through and through.This is one of the simplest, lightest versions of this veggie. 

I have cooked these with a combo of Mattar Phoolpatasha and Macroli under the regional theme of this marathon. Both these dishes too are cooked in Sindhi style.I shall be posting their recipes soon , perhaps for weekend cooking, where Valli and Champa join me every Monday. 

Coming back to Meha
250 gms apple gourd / Tinda / meha
Salt to taste
Pinch turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp dry mango powder
Peel the gourds and cut them into two.
Heat about 2 tsp oil and add the gourds.
Sauté for a minute or two.
Add salt and turmeric powder.Mix well.
Cover and cook with water on the lid till they are tender.
Stir in between.
When they are fully cooked add the dry spices and cook on slow fire for 2-3 minutes.
Sauté on full flame for a few minutes .

Sindhi Fulko

These gourds used to be deep fried till tender and after frying the spices were added and simmered for a few minutes.the taste of the fried gourds is wonderful but ...well if only the word But would not matter.

There are a few more Sindhi versions of this veggie , shall post them soon.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Maakhani Daal

BM #30   Week 4   Day 1

We are in the final week of BM # 30 and I have opted for my native recipes.So for the coming two days it is Sindhi Cuisine.There is such a long list of these recipes that I actually could not decide what to post.I went with the flow, whatever was cooked in routine has been blogged. For today we have a simple daal, which sounds fancy, but no it is one quick daal with no fuss no frills!!

This daal was generally served with pooris for breakfast, but now we serve it with chapatis for lunch.This is perfect for the kids or babies or for the oldies.Yes you have to minus the spice garnish.Ghee or oil can be adjusted to one's taste and habits.Well I sometimes don't add any ghee tempering, yet am happy with the taste.

1 cup yellow moong daal
Salt to taste
Pinch turmeric powder

Red chilly powder
Black pepper
Dry mango powder
Roasted cumin seed powder
Coriander powder
Garam masala

2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seed
Pinch asafoetida

Wash and soak the daal for at least an hour.
Put about 2 cups water to boil.
Add the soaked daal, salt and turmeric powder.
Cook on full flame, you will observe froth on top.
Simmer the gas, remove the froth.
Cook on slow fire till the daal is well cooked.
Blend the daal with a wooden ladle , to make it smooth.
The consistency of the daal should be thick.
Adjust by adding water.
Remove the daal in the serving bowl.
Sprinkle all the spices mentioned under garnish.
Among these spices mango powder is a must.
Heat ghee , add cumin seed and asafoetida and temper the daal.
Serve with chapati.

This is one of the simplest daals which can be prepared by anyone.
The key to the taste of the daal lies in a few points which enhance the taste.

Soaking the daal.
Spices used for garnish, be lavish, you will like them.
Tempering with ghee...that is if you like the flavor of ghee else you can use oil.
You could also top the daal with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander and green chillies.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Coorgi Roti / Rice Roti

Recently when I made chauli dhokli, I used wheat flour dumplings in the veggie. Since the veggie had wheat flour I did not want to serve it with regular chapatis, so I served these with Coorgi rotis. These are made from cooked rice, which is blended and the kneaded with rice flour.If the puree is soft, you may need more flour to get the perfect dough to roll..These are normally made with just a little salt, but I added some green chilly and coriander leaves, which made them little spicier.

1 cup cooked boiled rice
1¼ cups rice flour (this can vary )
Fresh green coriander leaves
2 green chilly, finely chopped
Puree the cooked rice in a blender.
Add salt, coriander and green chillies.
Add rice flour and knead into a dough.
Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Pinch out balls and roll into chapatis.
Cook on a griddle .
You could smear ghee on them or can fry these on the griddle itself, making these into parathas.

These are off for weekend Cooking where Valli and Champa join me every Monday.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Chauli Dhokli / Long Beans with Dumplings

BM # 31  Week 3   Day 3

Chauli is a veggie which is very popular in Gujju homes.They are also called long beans. Dhoklis are dumplings, these are like mini discs and are usually made with a combination of flours, the usual combination is wheat and chick pea flour, but I generally  use just wheat flour and they turn out very soft.

Actually we do not like to eat any chapati with this curry as it already has wheat flour dumplings, but I served this curry with Coorgi roti which is made of rice.
This is the last post under the theme dumplings for this week.

250 gms Chauli
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch asafoetida
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

1/4 cup wheat flour
Pinch carom seeds
Pinch turmeric
Pinch red chilly powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
Mix oil, spices in the flour and bind a semi soft dough

Heat oil.
Add mustard and cumin seeds.
Add asafoetida.
Add Chauli and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the dry spices and salt.
Add 2-3 cups water.
Let boil for a few minutes.
Roll the prepared dough into a very thin log.
Pinch tiny balls from the log and press lightly with fingers.
Put these mini dhoklis in the boiling curry.
Let cook for 10-15 minutes or till the vegetable is tender.
The curry has little gravy, which is on the thicker side.
The dhoklis make the curry thick, how ever if it gets too dry add little water.

Gujju's add a pinch of sugar to the curry, but  since I do not like sugar or jaggary I omitted it.If you like it feel free to use it. The Coorgi Rotis will be up on the blog soon.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Moongphali ke Dahiwade / Peanut Dumplings in Curd Sauce

BM # 30   Week 3   Day 2

Moongphali ke Dahiwade is a dish which I learnt from a cookery show at TV. I quite liked the idea of these dahiwadas. I like the flavor of peanuts so was sure that they should taste quite good. The recipe is simple , but it was a job removing the skin from these raw peanuts., if I have to make these again, I would get the ones without skin.These have been cooked for the second day of this BM under the theme Dumplings.

1 cup peanuts, soaked overnight
4 green chillies + 1" piece ginger, made into a paste
4 tbsp gram flour
Peel the peanuts and grind them with as little water as possible.
Add the ginger paste and gram flour.
Add salt and fry these like mini pakoras.
Cool and then soak into water.
Squeeze out and pour beaten curd.
Sprinkle chaat masala, red chilly pwd.
Serve chilled.

The dahi wadas turned out super soft.There was a mixed reaction on these from the family.Either they liked them a lot or they did not .. As for me I preferred the fried version to the curd version.The curd version could be improved by adding date and tamarind chutney and garnishings.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pakoran ji Kadhi

BM # 30   Week 3   Day 1

Since the last marathon I am trying to concentrate on Sindhi cooking. In every theme that I choose I try to find at least one suitable Sindhi recipe. For this week under dumplings I have made this curry which is long forgotten in Sindhi homes. Even in our family we hardly make this, may be once in a year.The curry is simple and very quick to prepare but since it is with fried  pakoras  it is not made, though   I must admit fried stuff is delicious and so is this curry.

Pakoras are simmered in a simple tomato gravy and garnished lavishly with farsaan sev and tempered with mustard seeds.so it is basically besan ( gram flour) all the way..no wonder the curry tastes wonderful.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
Few mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Pinch cooking soda
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1 cup gram flour
Add all the ingredients to the gram flour .
 Mix well with hand.
Gradually add water and bind to a semi soft batter.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Drop spoon full of this batter to the hot oil and fry the pakoras to a golden color.
Remove on a kitchen towel.
Let cool.
Add 1/2 cup water to the bowl in which batter has been made , swirl the water all around , so as to clean the bowl .we shall use this for the gravy.

6-8 tomatoes
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch garam masala
2 green chillies
Heat oil and add puréed tomatoes,
Sauté well and add all the spices.
Add the water that we have saved from the pakora batter, along with some more water to get the desired consistency of the gravy.
The gravy should be thin and watery .
Check the spices.
Add the pakoras and boil once.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Sprinkle farsaan sev lavishly.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves.
Temper with asafoetida and mustard seeds.

Notes on kadhi

The taste of the kadhi depends on your pakoras, so make sure you fry one pakora and check the taste.Do not miss out on any of the ingredients.
The gravy is initially thin, but the pakoras will absorb it so by the time the dish goes to the table, the gravy will be perfect consistency.
Always put the pakoras before serving and make sure to boil them.
The sev should not be spicy, it will kill the taste of the pakoras.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Kuzhalappam from Kerala for Indian Cooking Challenge

This time for a change Valli announced the Indian Cooking Challenge quite early, but some how I just could not work on it.I was leaving for Delhi and I knew I would be back on the 15th itself and it is very unlike me to work on a post at the last minute.So In spite of all the hassles I worked on this recipe , which is a specialty from Kerala.

The basic recipe is something like the Gujarati khicyu.(the recipe is in my drafts, waiting for the right time to post) , where the rice flour is cooked in water.Anyway adding onions, garlic surely added lot of flavor to the snack.I chose Swapna's recipe, though I first choose Shn's place.I was doubtful about cooking in coconut milk.

I was happy till the rolling part came, I would wrap the roll around my finger , it worked perfect, the minute I added to oil for frying, the roll would flip open!! I could not understand where I had gone wrong.I then rolled the complete disc and made simple rolls , fried them and the result was pretty good.They tasted awesome, a taste that was very very pleasing and where one would want to eat more and more.The only draw back was mine were a little oily.I have never had these so I really do not know how they should be, but I surely loved the taste.

1cup rice flour
1 medium onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 cloves, garlic
1 cup coconut, grated
Salt to taste
1 tsp black sesame seeds (I used white sesame)
Oil for deep frying
Grind onion, cumin seeds, garlic, and coconut to a fine paste.
Mix this ground mixture with salt and little less than  1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.
In a heavy bottom pan roast the rice flour .
When the rice flour becomes very hot add the above boiled water-coconut mixture and mix very well until steam rises.
Remove from heat and add sesame seeds and knead well to make smooth dough. ( If needed add boiled water little by little to make a smooth dough).
Form small balls with the dough and press between cling film or waxed paper with a flat heavy pan.
These shouldn’t be too thick or too thin.

copied and pasted...

Roll each circle around an oiled thin pipe piece or handle of a wooden spoon or on Kappala thandu (papaya stem) or vazha thandu (banana leaf stem), if available. Press the overlapping edges together and slip off from the pipe. Continue this till the dough is finished.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the rolls in batches in hot oil until crisp and light brown in colour.
Drain on paper towels. Cool and store in air tight containers.

I rolled them into mini rolls and fried, though I have copied and pasted the original recipe after the pressing of dough, for giving you guys the authentic recipe.

I am linking this to Weekend Cooking also where Valli and Champa join me every Monday!!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Bread Jam Pudding

BM # 30   Week 2   Day 3

Third and the last day of the second week.Today it is a dessert that I picked up from a TV show.The dessert is quick and simple and delicious.The kids will love it for its colors and simple taste.The bread and jam sandwich is layered with a flavored custard and yet again layered with fruits. I used tinned pineapple and vanilla custard.

1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
Mix all the ingredients and cook till the custard gets thick and creamy.

4 slices bread
2-3 tbsp mixed fruit jam
1/4 cup soaking syrup
1/2 cup pineapple tit bits
Cherries for garnish

Apply jam to the bread and make two sandwiches.
Cut into pieces  to arrange in the dish or serving glass.
Sprinkle soaking syrup..I used the syrup from the pineapple tin.
Pour custard on top of the jam sandwich.

Layer with pineapple tit bits.
Pour more custard.
Garnish with pineapple and cherries.
Serve chilled.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Falooda Pudding

BM # 30   Week 2   Day 2

Kulfi Falooda is a very popular Indian dessert, but at times in summers one always feels that the kulfi might not set or if getting from outside it might melt.This is a dessert which is very very close to kulfi falooda.It is just that due to its gelling content one can make out, but the taste is just the same.I can assure you , you will love its taste .Very quick to make and low on calories, it is a total treat.

Kids will love the vermicilli and the mom's will be happy as it will not melt and drip.Nuts are of course optional, if the kids do not like you could minus them.

500 ml milk
4 gms agar agar
Sugar to taste / condensed milk
Pinch cardamom pwd
1 cup falooda
Boil milk, add agar agar.
Let the agar agar melt.
Add cardamom powder and sugar.
Boil once again.
Prepare the glasses by pouring 1 tbsp of rose syrup in each glass.
Put a tbsp of falooda on this.
Pour the prepared pudding.
Sprinkle nuts.
Chill and serve.
You can substitute sugar with condensed milk to make it more rich.

This is a dessert that I first had at a friend's place and was carried away by it's simple beauty .The Rose syrup merges with the falooda and imparts a aromatic taste, which is very soothing in summers.The mild shading in the dessert looks very pretty and makes it a true party dessert.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chaat Bites

BM # 30   Week 2   Day 1

For the second week of this marathon, I shall be making kid friendly recipes, finger food or food served in individual servings.The individual serving concept has recently developed and even though at times it gets little tedious, I just love it.It look neat and classy.

For the first day I have chosen to make a bread Chaat When I was young my aunt used to make bread chaat. Basically she would use the left over bread, fry it and top it with all chaat ingredients.I have used the same concept.I fried the bread and topped with all chaat ingredients.Check out to know how I made it.

Fried bread pieces..I cut them into small round circles.
Boiled potato
Hung curd
Chaat masala
Fine farsaan sev
Coriander leaves

Fry the bread pieces to a golden.
Cut cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes into even sized slices.
Sprinkle salt and chaat masala.
Add salt to the hung curd.
Now place a piece of bread, top it with hung curd.
Place it in the center , do not spread.
Place a slice of tomato on the curd.
Now add a tsp of green chutney, covering that with a boiled potato slice.
Put a tsp of Date chutney on the potato slice and cover it with the cucumber slice.
Spread some garlic chutney on this and insert a tooth pick.This will hold all the veggies in the chaat.
Sprinkle the fine sev.
Garnish with coriander.

Now you must make sure that the slices cut from the veggies should be of the same size as of fried bread.
I have used hung curd, so it does not make the bread soggy right away.
while putting hung curd and chutney, put drops in the center.
As soon as you insert the tooth pick to secure them, they will spread automatically.

The taste is a fusion of  dahi papadi chaat and sev poori.
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