Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grilled Onion Potato Open Toast

BM # 44 Week 4 Day 3

Day 3 and we have yet another bread related recipe. By now you guys know that my son is an excellent cook, though he cooks rarely. He only cooks his favorite food, which when done tastes so so good. These grilled onion and Potato are an awesome combo and a specialty with him. This time I made them, as he was not around. A very simple dish but very very satisfying . I used boiled potatoes to make a quick roast, whereas my son always uses raw potatoes.Okay let me tell you how to go about.


Boiled Potatoes / raw potatoes
Onions
Fresh basil
Garlic cloves
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Chilly flakes
Olive oil.
Cut rounds from potatoes and onions.
You could leave the skin on.
Place them on the baking tray.
Throw in the garlic cloves .
Sprinkle the spices lavishly.
Drizzle olive oil.
Bake them at 180 deg
Throw in the fresh basil just when these are about to be done.
Bake  till nice and crisp.
It took me just 10 minutes as I used my mini oven which has a grill. So please check in between and if you want you could flip these ones for even cooking.
Apply pesto butter on a bread toast .
Serve on this toasted No Knead Bread  or along with toasted bread.




The taste of the crisp crunchy onions is absolutely mind blowing, the roasted garlic along with the basil leaves and potatoes, is a combo which is truly one to die for.
Though I started with bread recipe under Tame the Yeast theme ,which was meant to be breakfast, I landed up making this into a Sunday Night dinner, with Pesto Butter and Grilled Onion and Potato .

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Pesto Butter

BM # 44 Week 4 Day 2

The theme Tame the Yeast demanded us to either make two breads and an accompaniment or one bread and two bread related recipes. So after making one bread I decided to make related recipes. The minute we use the word bread we immediately think of butter. Yes, that is what I have made for Day 2. It is Pesto Chilly Butter.

While making Pesto for Pizza Wontons, I made extra Pesto, and to this same pesto I added finely chopped Piri Piri. There is no recipe and you could add or minus the ingredients according to your personal taste.

What I used is
100 gms butter
2 tsp Pesto
2-4 finely chopped Piri Piri.

Take 100g of butter out of the fridge for an hour to soften. Flavor is key, so use good-quality semi-salted or unsalted butter. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until it is soft and creamy, then beat in the pesto and piri piri
.
Tip the flavored butter onto a square of cling film, roll it around the butter to form a sausage shape, then twist the ends to seal. The butter is now ready to be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer.

The No Knead loaf had an amazing taste and after toasting the bread I applied a nice layer of this butter...oh it tasted awesome. This was a simple bread and butter, but satisfying the taste buds and wanting more and more.

We'll we cannot stop at just bread and butter, the dinner has to be something beyond this , so tune in tomorrow and check how I shall serve this bread.



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Sunday, August 24, 2014

No Knead Bread Loaf

BM # 44 Week 4 Day 1

We enter the last week of this marathon and for this week I have picked the theme Tame the Yeast. This is a new theme for our marathon to remove those phobias with yeast and baking. Here we will be baking a tried and tested bread from a blogger friend.we shall be given the recipe with step by step pics , In fact we shall be given two recipes. We can bake both or choose one.For day two and day 3 we have to do bread related recipes. So officially this is my first bread loaf even though I have baked some other breads and used yeast , I felt I was doing a good bread after ages. 

This is a no knead bread. Simple , quite simple, perfect for beginners. The recipe is by Varada who is an expert baker and you shall find some world class baking recipes in her Bread section. Thanks Varada for such a wonderful recipe. While our discussion was on for this theme I was quiet, as I was nervous and decided not to take this theme, but Valli , she kind of took her stick and said ..you got to.. And I had no choice. LoL... Valli ! And thanks I seriously would not have tried but for that encouragement.

Coming to the recipe...and yes this is copied and pasted as Varada gave, I did not want to miss any of her notes and so I am not writing myself.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 cups + 1 tbsp. ice cold water
3 tbsp. oil

You can mix the flour at night and keep it overnight if your kitchen is cool or you are baking in winter. On hot humid days it would be best to mix the dough in the morning. 

( I mixed the dough in the morning)
(Mine was done in 4 hours on a very hot and a humid day. )



Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add all the other dry ingredients. Pour the water and oil.

Whisk until all the ingredients are mixed together. Do not knead. Pour a few drops of oil on your palm and spread over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and keep aside.

Lightly spread oil on a 10 x 5 loaf pan. When the dough has risen to twice its original volume you are ready for the next step.

Stir the dough together gently.

No fold it over itself a few times. You start on one side, push your hand under the dough and pull up the dough all the way to fold over the top.
( I put the dough on the counter and worked with both hands, as the dough was very soft)

Now fold the dough in half, lift it out of the mixing bowl and place it in the loaf pan seam side down.

Smooth out and even out the top with oiled hands. Using a sharp knife cut the top of the dough three times to score. Sprinkle half a tablespoon of whole wheat flour over the top. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it sit for a couple hours until the dough rises a quarter of an inch over the side of the pan. Preheat oven to 375 F during the last 15 minutes of the rise.

Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for about 50-60 minutes. If the top browns too fast tent it with foil. Let the loaf sit in the pan on the counter for 10 minutes.

Take it out of the pan and place it out on a cooling rack.



Do not slice until it has cooled.



I have to admit that the bread came out really nice and spongy. A little dense, but not heavy. For tomorrow you shall see an accompaniment that I made for this bread, so guys tune in tomorrow for a special recipe.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grape Porcupine

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 3

Today is the third and final day and I have to post one more post under healthy desserts for kids. Fruits if presented to kids in a special way they would never say no. So I decided to make this porcupine with pear and grapes. It looks great and is healthy too. Kids would love to pick up these grapes from sticks without any mess. This porcupine was created by my DIL and we all had fun picking the sticks just like kids.


What you need
Grapes
Pear
Two cloves
Some tooth picks

How to go about
Choose a shape which is a perfect pear , else you need to shape it a bit.
Rub it with lemon juice, to avoid discoloration.
Thread the grapes and arrange them on the pear.
Make sure the pointed side of the tooth pick is up.
Fix the eyes with cloves.



Enjoy !!

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mango Custard

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 1

Kids are very fond of desserts or sweets and moms are always in quest of giving them some healthy desserts.So For this week I have chosen healthy desserts for kids. For today it is Mango custard. Mangoes are full of iron and incorporating fruit with milk is even more nutritious. I topped the custard with bananas, which are full of calcium.A wee bit of chocolate adds a special attraction and kids would happily finish the bowl.
I had no kids to serve this dessert but my hubby happily enjoyed it.



Custard
1tbsp corn flour
250 ml milk
250 ml mango purée
Sugar ( optional )

Garnish
Bananas
Chocolate sauce


Boil the milk.
 Add sugar if you want to.
Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tb sp cold milk.
Slowly add it to the boiling milk, let this become thick.
Remove from fire.
Let cool.
Add the mango puree.
Mix well and pour into serving cups.
Just before serving add chopped bananas and drizzle some chocolate sauce.

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Oats Kheer

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 2


Kheers are so versatile and they give proper nutrition too to the kids. Some kids just do not like to drink milk , and one has to find  ways and means to incorporate milk in their diet .Kheer is one of the best ways to do that. Today I have made Oats kheer, which is my second days post under the theme healthy desserts for kids.

We always have some Indian sweets at home,so I have to use these somehow. I use these for kulfis and kheers. The Gulab Jamun Kulfi is a hit in the family. One can omit sugar when adding the Mithai to the kheer, but of course if one does not have mithai you can always use sugar.



Oats kheer
1/4 cup oats
1 lt milk
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 pieces kaju Katli
Sugar as required
Few strands saffron
Dry roast the oats.
First add 1/2 cup milk and let the oats cook.
If these do not cook then add more milk and cook further.
Add all the milk and let simmer.
Add cardamom, saffron and the kaju Katli.
This will make the kheer thick.
You could add sugar instead of the mithai also.
Remove from fire when it reaches the desired consistency.
Garnish with pistachios.



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Friday, August 15, 2014

Bhakharwadi - Maharashtra Special for Indian Cooking Challenge



Bhakharwadi is a Maharashtrian snack which is very popular. Normally this is relished with tea or carried along on long journeys. I have always been fond of this, but never thought of making it myself. With Valli giving this snack for Our cooking challenge, I was happy that I had a chance to try. Life forever seems to be busy and one has the habit of postponing things for the last minute. This is what happened with me too. Well actually I cant say last minute, because I tried the snack three days before the challenge. Unfortunately the Bhakharwadis were a big flop. They got glued to the steamer and in my attempt to remove they were disintegrated. The stuffing was delicious, I fried a few very carefully and they got over within minutes.

I was quite dejected and kept thinking what went wrong..
The next morning I decided to re do. This time I added some sugar and lemon juice and a few extra spices. Everytime I have had this snack it has always had the sweet and tangy taste.I made sure to press the rolls while rolling so that all the stuffing would stick.I did not steam , and just cut up the roll into 1/2'' pieces. and prayed they would not fall apart.

When I removed the first Bhakharwadi I could not wait, I just popped it in my mouth. It was hot and i loved it. It looked so beautiful. A lovely spiral with the specs of poppy seeds, which looked like some designer treat.

I placed these spirals on the breakfast table and was amazed , everyone loved them. I could only smile, wondering did I need to get dejected,No not at all. We cant be perfect always, and one does learn from mistakes right?



Dough
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup gram flour
3 tsp red chilli powder
¾ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Mix the ingredients under dough and make a semi soft dough with water.
Keep aside.

Stuffing
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp dry desiccated coconut
½ tbsp coriander powder
½ tbsp cumin powder
½ tbsp garam masala
2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ tsp ginger, finely chopped
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp sugar, powdered
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch salt
Dry roast all the ingredients under stuffing, except sugar and lemon.
Place them in a spice grinder and give it a quick pulse.
Add sugar and lemon juice.
Check for spices at this stage, it should be spicy, salty, sweet as well as tangy.


Assembling
Divide the dough into three equal balls.
Roll them to a disc.
Apply water on the disc.
Spread the stuffing on this disc.
Now start rolling from front, keep pressing in between so that the spice sticks to the disc.
Seal the edges with lemon juice..Similarly make other rolls.
Cut these into ½’’ pieces.
Deep fry on medium flame till crisp and golden.



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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Makai na Dhokla / Steamed Corn Cakes

BM # 43 Week 2 Day3

Come monsoon and you start spotting lot of corn every where. This corn is really tempting and I love to cook with it. So for the last day in this Dhokla series I have made Corn Dhoklas. These are very flavorful, a little sweet and a little spicy.These are as good as any instant snack and taste very very Gujju. When I say very Gujju I mean it has an equal balance of sugar and lemon. The Gujjus would say barabar gadapan khattas..perfect balance!!


1 cup maize flour (makai ka atta) 
1/2 cup sour curds 
1 sweet corn , grated
2 tsp ginger- green chilli paste 
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing) 
2 tsp sugar 
1 tsp lemon juice 
1 tsp Eno's fruit salt
2 tsp oil 
Salt to taste

Garnish
Chopped coriander

For tempering 
Oil
1 mustard seeds (rai) 
1 sesame seeds (til)
A pinch asafoetida (hing) 

Combine the maize flour and sour curds with 1/2 cup of warm water in a bowl.
 Mix well to make a smooth batter. Keep aside for at least 30 minutes.
Add the sweet corn, ginger-green chilli paste, asafoetida, sugar, lemon juice, oil and mix well.
Add the fruit salt, mix gently and pour the batter into a greased thali. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida and frying until the seeds crackle.
 Pour the tempering over the prepared dhokla.
Garnish with the chopped coriander. Cut into pieces and serve hot.



Here are some other Dhoklas that I made...

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Chola Methi na Dhokla / Steamed Lentil Cakes

BM # 43  Week 2  Day 2

I wonder how many of you have heard of Chola Daal ?These are split black eye beans, creamy white in color and have a black mark on their inner curve. This is a daal that looks very much like urad daal but slightly bigger. Gujarati homes use this daal for making Dhoklas and Dahi wadas. I remember eating these Dhoklas years back in a jain friends house. Ever since I have been wanting to make them, but some how land up making the Peela Dhoklas, which were my MIL'S speciality.With Valli announcing the Dhokla theme or this BM I got a chance to try these.

These dhoklas are really nutritious as they are full of greens Simple to make these definitely need pre planning. The daal needs to be soaked for 3-4 hours, methi needs to be finely chopped , but all that done it is very simple and the taste is really amazing. 


250 gms Chola daal
100 gms fenugreek, picked , washed and finely chopped
paste of 2-4 green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 Cup curd
1 sachet ENO
Salt to taste
Wash the daal a couple of times and soak it for 3-4 hours.
Grind to a paste, along with salt and curd.
Mix the chilly ginger paste.
Place a steamer , and once the water starts boiling place a greased plate in it.
Mix in the methi leaves and ENO.
Pour ladle fuls of batter and stem till a skewer comes out clean.
When done remove and cut into pieces.
Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds.
Temper .


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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sooji na Dhokla / Steamed Semolina Cakes

BM # 43   Week 2   Day 1

We are in the second week of this marathon and for this week I have chosen to cook Dhoklas. Dhoklas are very popular in Gujarat and one gets to see a lot of variety. These are low cal and recommended by the dieticians, provided they are made at home. If you buy from stores they are full of oil.For Day1 its Sooji Dhoklas. These are my personal favorite and really vey quick to prepare. Normally I do not add chutney, but these are sandwiched with a spicy chutney. I wish the color of the chutney was deeper, but this was again a new chutney so I wanted to try this.Any way here is how I made them.


Sooji Dhoklas
2 cups semolina
1 tsp green chilly paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 cup beaten curd
Salt to taste
1 sachet ENO

Mix curd , ginger, green chilli and salt to semolina.
Add salt.
Adding water bring it to a thicker than dosa consistency.
Heat a steamer.
Add the ENO sachet.
Whisk very well and pour about 2 laddle fuls in the greased thali and place it to steam.
this should be done in 5-7 minutes.
apply a layer of chutney.
Pour another two ladles of this batter.
This should spread on the chutney layer.
cover and steam.
This time you can steam for a little longer.
All the same insert a tooth pick and if it comes out clean it is done.

Chutney
2-3 green chillies
1/4 cup fafada or some besan farsaan
Few leaves mint
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
Few tsps curd
Blend all in a mixer to a smooth paste.

Tempering
Oil
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves
Heat oil.
Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
 Drizzle over the dhoklas.


If you do not want to make chutney, you could simply steam once using more batter. I sometimes temper these with mustard and finely chopped garlic and add loads of chopped coriander. Since it is monsoon, we do not get very good coriander leaves so I have not used.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pizza Pinwheels

BM # 43 Week 1 Day 3

Pinwheels look so pretty. They are so versatile and one has so many options for these.One can try savoury and sweet versions both. Bake or non baked , I love these little bites. With the pizza theme I decided to try pizza pinwheels.I tried these twice.the first time I made these I used grated cheese and put a layer of olive inside.

Unfortunately the bread that day was rather crumbly and I was not very happy with the texture. The taste was amazing and everyone loved them.Since I was not happy with the texture I made these again, the very next day.This time the bread was perfect and rolled very well , I put in a cheese slice and rolled it up. After baking the cheese popped out from a few places and that is the time I realised that grated cheese was better. These pizza pinwheels will be made again, but for now I do not have the energy to try them the third time. The taste of the second version  was equally good.
 





These are the Day 1 Pinwheels with crumbled texture.


And some more Pinwheels
Strawberry Grape Pinwheels
Olive and Capsicum Pinwheels
Fruit Cream Pinwheel Sandwich

Some more Pizza Variations
Pizza Cups
Pesto Pizza Wontons
Pizza Toastie
No Grain Pizza
Jasuben Pizza
Nawabi Pizza
Pizza Pull Apart Bread

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Pizza Pesto Wontons

BM # 43 Week 1 Day 2

While making the pizza cups for Day 1 , I made extra dough so I could make these wontons for Day 2. I am a great fan of pesto and my love for it began in Japan some eight years back. I remember my daughter baking a pizza with pesto sauce and cheese, absolutely no tomato. I loved its aroma and at that point of time had no idea if this basil would be available in India. So my dear daughter made pesto and packed some basil too for me to carry to India. I came and that very day made a basil pizza for my son. It's been eight years now and now I laugh at myself for getting basil from Japan. It is so readily available at my local vegetable vendor.

My love for Basil has not died and so I made Almond pesto as the stuffing for these wontons. My son sweetly made some Chilly Garlic oil, which tastes awesome with any pizza or pizza bite.




Almond Pesto
1/2 cup basil leaves
Handful almonds
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 green chilly
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste.
Blend to a paste, make sure it is not very runny.

Preparing the wontons
Cut circles from the dough.
Place the pesto in the centre.
Place some grated cheese on top.
Using both your hands, bring the sides to the centre to form the wonton shape.
The moisture from pesto will take care of sealing it, so no need to apply water.
Place them on a tray and bake till crisp.
 

Chilly Garlic Oil
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil.
Let it smoke.
Switch off the gas.
Throw in crushed red chilly.
Add finely chopped garlic.
Add pinch of salt.
Cover and let the flavours infuse.
Once cool store in a bottle.



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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pizza Cups

BM #43 Week 1 Day 1




They say Pizzas are kids favourite food..I totally disagree , even the grown ups love it , just that they don't admit . We want to eat healthy so we say no to Pizza, but actual truth is that most of us are fond of it. Well at least I am. When Valli announced the pizza theme I loved it and immediately took it up. I made the purée that very day. So one job done. The very next day I planned to make at least two posts but my son decided to make pizzas for dinner. He makes awesome pizzas, makes the purée himself which is one of the best .So my plans fizzled out, for once I thought I could still make at least one from that list, but gave up.


The purée went into the deep freeze since my son made the puree his style. After two days I decided to make the mini pizza cups...you call them cups or bites but let me tell you that these simple cute bitings got over in a jiffy and everyone loved them for the simple reason that they were so , so mini. I love basil and adding a tiny leaf of basil to these cups gave the cups a wonderful flavour.

Dough
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup APF
Pinch salt
2 tsp oil
Mix and bind to a semi soft dough.

Basil leaves

Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll out into a big disc.
Cut circles with a cookie cutter.
Place these in a mini muffin mould.
Apply purée.
Sprinkle cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes at 150 deg or till the crust is done.
I removed these half way through and placed the basil leaf.
Beware these are very addictive and kids can finish a dozen in a go.
 


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