Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pizza Toastie

BM # 34   Week 4   Day 3

As a kid I always had a evening snack and most of the time it was street food, but if I had to eat something at home it would normally be a grilled toast.And now I realize that when my niece comes back from school, she too loves to eat a similar toast. Naturally there has to be a variation in these too.So one of the evenings I tried a pizza toast.the pizza base was slightly dry so I made it into a grilled pizza Toastie.

The Toastie tasted just like pizza but a lot more crisper.I could say that it was crisp like Jasu Ben Pizza, but the basic taste was like a good Pizza Hut pizza.

My post under Evening snacks for day 3

What you need...
Pizza base
Pizza purée
Onions, chopped
Cut the pizza base into two.
Apply butter on both the pieces.
Apply a generous layer of the pizza sauce on one piece.
Sprinkle onions,olives and cheese.
Sprinkle oregano and chilly flakes.
Apply sauce on the second piece also.
Cover like a sandwich.
Apply butter.
Grill till crisp and golden.
Cut. Into pieces and serve.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Paani Poori with Ragda

BM # 34 Week 4 Day 2
This time while I was in Delhi my cousin showed me a packet of ready to fry pooris..yes these are ready to fry Golgappa pooris. I was actually amazed and could not believe that something like this could be possible.I picked up that half used packet and got it here and decided to fry these pooris and serve them with ragda. After fring these pooris puffed up really well and were crisp like the store bought ones. on eating the poori by itself I could feel that a little rice flour had been added to it.I was not sure if they would taste as good after adding the accompaniments.I was to serve these with ragda.Now what is ragda..ragdas are white peas which are cooked with spices and used as a filling with in the pooris, these pooris are then dipped in spicy water . Coming to the taste of pooris, they tasted just like the regular pooris that we eat, and now I plan to keep a packet handy at home.

For today's evening snack we have paani poori with ragda.This tastes awesome in winters when the pooris are filled with piping hot ragda and then with spicy water. I must tell you that after the vendor gives you the poori he gives some chopped onion on the side, this is then filled in the poori. I normally do not make this at home , love to eat it outside as somehow how ever hard I try I just do not get the water that spicy.but all you paani poori lovers if you have not had this combo of paani poori you guys have to try it , it is truly mind blowing. Since I am a paani poori fan I have some more versions, do check them ...if you too are fond of this amazing street food.

I am not happy with the ragda pics but I shall redo them soon.

Ready packet or make them at home or store bought

Chopped onion

Spicy water for Poori's
Large bunch mint
Bunch coriander
4-5 green chillies
Juice of a lemon
Black salt
Mix all into a fine paste .
Add water to get the right consistency.
This spicy water is normally made from a special mint..the mint is from Rajasthan and called Udaipur ka Pudina. The flavor and aroma of this mint is absolutely fantastic. The green chillies used for this are the small dark green ones, which are very spicy.The spice is one's individual choice, but make sure to add lemon and salt to the mint before making a paste, else the color will be dark green.

100 gms white peas / vatana
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
12 tsp red chilly powder
Green chilly paste..for making it spicy( optional )
Salt to taste
Soak the peas for 3-4 hours.
Boil for 1 whistle with salt and turmeric.
Depending on the quality of peas they might or might not get cooked in one whistle. In case they do not cook simmer for a while till they are nice and soft.
Add the red chilly powder and coriander leaves.
The consistency has to be thick.
Normally the vendors have a big flat pan in which they keep these peas and a small gas stove to keep it hot.
The green chillies are used for spicing up the peas.

Serving Style
Tap the poori with your index finger, thus making a hole.
Add the piping hot ragdas.
Dip in the spicy water, filling the poori with it.
Add a little finely chopped onion.
Serve immediately.

If you like a little sweet in your paani poori add 1/4 tsp of sweet chutney before dipping the poori in water.

This is a combination of hot ragdas with chilled water and crunchy onions. At times the ragdas are so hot that I literally burn my mouth , but it sure is a treat.During our BM # 25 celebrations , we all ventured on these and I still remember everybody relishing these.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Green Daal Idli

BM # 34  Week 4 Day 1

If you have a early lunch you get hunger pangs in the evening, I almost avoid eating these evening snacks but it is on holidays or Sundays when the family is together that you want to indulge into these .This week I will be cooking some evening snacks and for the firat day it is green daal idli.

The green daal or the split green gram is one of the lightest daals. This is the daal that we use for making Daal wadas or lentil fritters.The daalwada 's are very popular street food of Gujarat and available at every nook and corner.Since it is a fried snack I use the same batter and steam it to form idlis or dhoklas. These taste nearly like the daalwadas ..only the crunch is missing.I love to serve this with the popular Gujarati Methia Masala.

1 cup split green gram
3-4 green chillies roughly chopped and pounded
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1 sachet ENO
(in winters I use crushed fresh green garlic )
A good bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
Salt to taste.
Soak the daal for 2-4 hours.
Wash the daal and discard half the husk.
Grind coarsely .
Add all the ingredients.
Beat well.
Add ENO, mix well.
Pour the batter into idli moulds or thali and steam for 10 minutes or till done.
Serve with Methi Masala
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Pathiri Chatri from Kerala for Indian Cooking Challenge

The Indian Cooking Challenges are something that I always look forward to. At times I know my family will not relish the dish but yet I do not like to miss these challenges.It is a good chance to learn the traditional dishes of our country. I know the basic taste of the family, but all the same If it is a sweet version I make a small portion.

This month we have a sweet Pathiri Chatri. This is a tradidtonal dish from Kerela and Anita has done an awesome job of it. Pathiri are thinly rolled chapatis, lightly cooked on a griddle.This recipe reminded me of enchiladas, where we make corn rotis and then dip them in a sauce, fill with a stuffing and pour sauce to moisten .This is a similar recipe, we have the same chapatis, flour is different, both are dipped in sauce, both are filled with a stuffing and finally a sauce is poured in both...and not to forget they both are baked ,one is a savory version the other is a sweet version.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup warm water
1 tbs vegetable oil / ghee

Half tin condensed milk
1 tsp ghee
7 tbsp grated coconut
3 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp cashew nuts
3 tbsp almonds
3 tbsp pistachios
4 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp cardamom powder
To coat and pour
1 tetra pack coconut milk
5 tbsp mix of cardamom powder and powdered sugar
Add ghee/ oil to the flour and knead into a dough like that of chappati. Keep it covered for half an hour.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.Using a roller pin, roll it out into paper-thin chapatis/round flat bread .
I used my baking dish as template and cut these chapatis into rectangles, but circular ones are as good.
Heat a griddle and cook the chapatis lightly on a tawa. Keep them aside.
Note:You can vary the size of the chapati depending on the size of the pathiri chatri or the vessel in which you are baking it.

Heat a pan
Add ghee and saute raisins, cashew nuts, poppy seeds, almonds and pistachios
Sauté grated coconut along with cardamom powder until they start to change the colour .
Mix the above with half a tin of condensed milk and keep aside. Taste to check the level of sweetness. Add more condensed milk if required.

For the coating and the assembling.
Add cardamom powder and powdered sugar to the coconut milk and keep aside.
Take a baking tray, or a deep skillet and spread a little oil or ghee / clarified butter all around.
Dip the chapati in the coconut mixture and place it in the greased dish as the first layer.
Using a spoon sprinkle the stuffing on it.
Dip the second chapati in the coconut milk mixture, coat well and place it on top of the filling.
Repeat the stuffing and make similar layers till all the chapatis and stuffing is over, the top layer will not have any stuffing.
Pour the left over coconut mix,all around the dish so that Chatti Pathiri is moist.
Garnish with nuts.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until the top of pathiri turns golden.

Alternately you can  cook it on a stove top in a non stick deep skillet or deep pan. All you have to do is to place it at a very low flame and flip it carefully to cook on the other side.

The flipping becomes a bit easy when the lowest layer of flat bread/pathiri is a little hard. When both the sides have cooked well,  slide it out of the pan into the serving plate.

This is a sweet that we all loved..yes in spite of it being sweet every one ate it and loved it.I know that I will be making it very often specially in winters when I look for desserts full of dry fruits.This one will surely be a party hit too..serving it with Ice cream will make it a real cool combo.I wish I had ice cream in my frig..Ah...never mind will make it again and serve it.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indian Stuffed Parathas...A Tribute to Tarla Dala ji

"Celebrated chef and cookbook author Tarla Dalal (77) passed away at her south Mumbai residence, reportedly following a cardiac arrest. She is survived by three children, and a legacy of over 100 cookbooks and thousands of recipes.''

This was the news that was more than headlines ...I was completely shocked. I knew she was aging but with some people you feel they will be there for ever. Somehow when I actually started cooking I always referred her books, I guess I have almost all her cookbooks. It was and still is a passion to buy all her books. I have made full use of her books and her recipes never ever fail.The recipe format is always simple and easy to follow.She wrote more than 100 cook books and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.

 India's first masterchef, she made her way to people's hearts by hosting cookery shows. This was the first time when I actually saw her live.I must say this was such a homely show..no airs no frills..simple homely language and lot of fun. Her books have even been translated in many languages.Following today's trend she even wrote health books.

When she launched her magazine Cooking and More , the readers were so happy, because it was actually cooking and much more...there were ideas for table settings, flower arrangements , cooking tips and every thing associated with food.

Tarla Dalal became a trusted brand herself and ran India's largest food website www.tarladalal.com. Not only that, she also came out with her own brand of ready-to-cook mixes, known as Tarla Dalal mixes which are such a boon . I specially like her eggless cake mixes.

As a small tribute to her, we a group of bloggers at Blogging Marathon are posting her recipes today. I have made a variety of Parathas from her cook book ParathasI have made some minor changes to suit our family tastes. 

God Bless her soul

Parathas have always been a whole some meal and we always have a variety of them at the table.Today I am sharing stuffed parathas. The basic dough for all parathas is same . it is the stuffing that is different. I have added moderate spices, you could adjust them to your taste.

The basic paratha dough
2 cups wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Combine the wheat flour, salt , oil with enough water and knead into a soft and smooth dough.
Keep aside under a wet muslin for 30 minutes.

Onion Parathas

1 cup onions, finely chopped
2 green chilly, finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
Few mint leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
Mix salt with onions and leave for 10 minutes.
Mix well and squeeze out the excess water .
Add chillies, coriander and mint and mix well.

Paneer Parathas
1 cup grated paneer
2 green chilly, finely chopped
Coriander leaves, chopped
Mint leaves, chopped (optional )
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch garam masala
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients and prepare a stuffing.

Chaawal ka Paratha
1 cup rice, cooked
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp dry mango powder
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves ( optional )
Onion ( optional )
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients very well and mash the rice lightly.

Papad ke Parathe
3-4 roasted papads
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Coriander leaves
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt.
Crush the roasted papads with hands.they should be well crushed.
Add all the ingredients and mix well.

Stuffing a paratha
Pinch out a small ball from the dough.
Roll out into a circle.
Place some stuffing in the centre of the circle.
Bring together all sides in the centre and seal tightly.
Dust with dry flour.
Roll out again to the desired thickness.
Cook on a hot gridle, using little oil, until both sides are golden brown.

Make sure there is no moisture in the stuffing.
After rolling into the first circle, sprinkle some dry flour and then place the stuffing, sprinkle some dry flour again on top of the stuffing, this shall absorb any unseen moisture too, thus helping in better rolling.

Parathas taste best if they are cooked in pure ghee.
For a lighter version of Parathas, cook them completely, do not use any oil or ghee, once cooked remove from fire and apply ghee or butter.

Serve them with a variety of pickles, chutneys. curd and papads else enjoy them as it is.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trifle with Mango Panna cotta

BM # 34   Week 2   Day 3

It is fun to experiment and specially with desserts.while the mangoes were in full swing, I tried this trifle. I had some chocolate cake and I was icing a cake, so was left with some fresh whipped cream.I know that cake and cream go hand in hand and is one of the perfect combos but I wanted to try some thing with Mango.The Panna cotta rage in the blogosphere was going on and living upto those spirits I made a mango Panna cotta.I assembled the three and a trifle was made.

The trifle turned out absolutely delicious, and each and every layer complimented each other.the cake and cream, the Pannacotta and cream...the cake and Pannacotta...it was difficult to make out as to which combination was the best.

My post under the theme Mango for day 3

What you need.
chocolate cake
Whipped cream
Mango Pannacotta
Mint leaves
Silver balls
Edible shimmer

How to go about
Put a layer of chocolate cake.
Spoon in some of the whipped cream
Place there prepared Panna cotta in the center.
With a star nozzle pipe out cream and fill in the sides of the bowl.

Mango Pannacotta
2 cups whipped cream
8 gms agar agar strands
1/2 cup hot water
3 ripe mangoes
1/2 cup sugar

Dissolve the agar agar in 1/2 cup water.
Blend the mangoes to a purée.
Place the whipped cream on low heat and as soon as it is about to boil add the mango purée .cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the dissolved agar agar water.
Mix well and remove from fire.
Pour into desired moulds.
This shall take a few hours to set.

Make sure the agar has completely dissolved, you can sieve it if you feel there are traces of some undissolved agar agar.
If the agar agar does not dissolve in the given amount of water, you can always add some more, it will not make much difference.
At the end we need a dissolved agar agar solution to set the dessert.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Mango Daliya Pudding

BM # 34 Week 2 Day 2

For the second day I have chosen to cook a kheer with mango.This kheer was a very spontaneous one.While making daliya or porridge for breakfast I saved some of it and decided to make a kheer with it. I knew a simple kheer with just daliya and milk would not be relished, as it is family is always avoiding sweets.Mango is a weak point with everyone so added it to the kheer and made just three cups.

The same day  my daughter's in laws visited us and I served this to them , they loved it but could not make out that I had used daliya, there were different  interpretations and I kept smiling. I had one cup saved to click, which was shared between hubby and son. My son instantly guessed that I had used daliya but hubby could not ,though he gave 10/10 for taste, texture, color and nutrition.So here is a keeper recipe....

500 ml milk
1/2 cup cooked daliya ( bha' et )
1 cup mango purée
1 cup chopped mango
Sugar to taste
Assorted nuts for garnish
Boil milk and let it simmer on slow fire till reduced to half.
Add the cooked daliya and sugar , cook for a minute or two.
Remove from fire.let cool.
Add mango pulp and mix well.
Pour into serving cups.
Top with chopped mango and drizzle some nuts.
Serve chilled.
This dessert can be served with a combination of ice cream or cream to make it more rich.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Aam ki Launji

BM # 34   Week 2   Day 1

Mango is one of my favorite fruits, whether it is raw or ripe I simply love it.Today for the first day of this edition in week 2 I have picked a Rajasthani relish. Aam ki launji is a sweet and sour relish with wonderful flavors.This is served as a side with meals and has a shelf life of at least 4-5 days, provided it is stored in frig.

I had posted this for the Rajasthani Thali that I had prepared during one of the BM 's .Somehow I did not get a chance to post all the recipes of the Thali, any way here is the launji which you guys might have to wait for the right season .This is a relish which surely will please all.

1 cup raw mango, cubed
1tb sp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1-2 whole dry chilly
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Pinch asafoetida
Pinch turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tb sp jaggery / sugar ( this can vary according to the quality of raw mango)
Add ghee to a pan, it should not be very hot.
Add cumin, fenugreek seeds,fennel seeds,nigella seeds and asafoetida.
Add whole red chillies.
Immediately add 1/2 cup water.
Add the mango pieces , and spices.
Let cook till the mango is nearly done.
Add jaggery.
Let it dissolve , cook for 2-3 minutes.

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