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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Walnut-Fig Honey Wheat Loaf

Another variation to the humble loaf. Walnut and figs are match made in heaven.
Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour - 2 cup
All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
Water - ¾ cup, Luke warm
Milk - ½ cup, Luke warm
Vegetable oil - ¼ cup
Dried active yeast - 2 tsp
Honey - ½ cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Walnuts - 80 gms, chopped
Figs - 80 gms, chopped
Semolina to sprinkle on baking tray
 
Method:
In a bowl, add milk and water, honey and yeast in it. Leave the yeast mixture for around 15 mins. Whisk in the oil, add salt. Take flour in a large bowl, form a well in the middle, add the yeast mixture little by little, keep mixing the flour with the help of a fork. Dust a flat surface with flour and knead the dough thoroughly on the surface to activate the gluten. Do this for around 4-5 minutes. Leave the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth for 2 - 3 hours (depending on the weather; yeast requires warm and humid surrounding conditions to do its thing and rise the dough).
 
Your dough would have now doubled (or even more) in size. Dust a flat surface and knock out all the air from the risen dough. Incorporate the walnuts and figs and shape the dough into the desired shape. Leave the dough to rise for around 2 more hours. Take a baking tray and sprinkle some semolina. Gently transfer the risen loaf into the baking tray. Pre-heat the oven @ 180º C. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes.
Once done, take it off the oven, brush some oil on the top to avoid a hard crust. Transfer the loaf onto a wire rack for cooling. This bread needs no accompaniments, but my personal favorite is peanut butter (gives it a nice nutty flavour).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuffed Bread

Another exciting bread recipe from your favourite home cook and friend. My parents who had visited us recently were pleasantly surprised with my newly acquired bread making skills.
Hope you would definately enjoy this recipe - Spicy, peppery filling with chicken, mushroom and onion stuffed in braided buttery bread is a match made in heaven :)
Ingredients:
Bread-
All purpose flour (Maida) - 3 cups
Water - ¾ cup, Luke warm
Milk - ½ cup, Luke warm
Butter - 100 gms, melted, cooled to room temperature
Dried active yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 ½ tsp
Salt - 1 ¾ tsp
Egg - 1 small, beaten with 1 tbsp water (egg wash)

Filling-
Onion - 2 large, finely sliced
Pepper - 3-4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - ¾ tsp
Curry leaves - 3 strings, chopped
Chicken - 200 gms (breast or boneless thigh) , cut into thin slices
Button mushroom - 200 gms, sliced
Lemon - 1 medium sized, squeezed
Oil - ¼ cup
Jeera - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup, chopped
Garlic - 10-12 cloves, ground
Garlic - 2", ground
Salt to taste

Method:
In a bowl, mix milk, water and butter, dissolve the sugar, salt and yeast in it. Leave the yeast mixture for around 15 minutes. Take flour in a large bowl, form a well in the middle, add the yeast mixture little by little, keep mixing the flour with the help of a fork. You can also use a hand blender with kneading attachment. If you feel the mixture is quite loose, cover it with a damp towel and leave it for couple of minutes before you start working on it again. Dust a flat surface with flour and knead the dough thoroughly on the surface to activate the gluten. Do this for around 4-5 minutes. Leave the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth for 3 - 4 hours (depending on the weather; yeast requires warm and humid surrounding conditions to do its thing and rise the dough).

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Now add the mushroom, saute for a while. Let it sweat out all the water, add 1 tsp black pepper and salt. Saute till all the water has been evaporated. Now sprinkle some ½ of the lemon juice. Take it off the flame and let it cool down completely. Once cooled, spread it on a cutting board and roughly chop the mushroom.
Marinate chicken in the rest of the lemon juice and some salt for around 30 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the marinated chicken, saute and cook till just done. Switch off the flame. Once cooled, spread it on a cutting board and roughly chop.

In a shallow pan, heat the rest of the oil, splutter some jeera, add in the sliced onions. Saute till translucent and just about to turn brown. Throw in the ginger and garlic paste, saute till it gives off the raw flavour. Now add the curry leaves, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add coriander powder, garam masala and rest of the pepper powder, mix for a minute. Add mushroom and chicken. Adjust the seasoning, cook for another 5 minutes. Switch off and let it completely cool down.

Your dough would have now doubled (or even more) in size. Dust a flat surface and knock out all the air from the risen dough, knead it couple of times. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each of the dough balls into rectangular shape roughly sized 8" by 12" and about 1 to 1.5 cm thick. Leaving around 3" in the middle (3" by 12" for laying the filling), make inclined cuts to form 1" finger strips on either sides. Now place equal amount of filling in the both the dough batches, sprinkle the chopped coriander over the filling. Fold the top and the bottom edges of the dough on top of the filling. Now fold the finger strips laying it over the filling to form braid like structure. Place it over a baking tray and let it proof for around 1 to 2 hours.
Now brush the egg wash gently (do not apply pressure, they are very delicate at this point). Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Bake the bread @ 180ºC for around 35 minutes. Once done, take it off the oven, brush some oil on the top to avoid a hard crust. Take the bread out of the tray and on to a wire rack for cooling.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mutton Chettinad

Chettinad style recipes originates from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu. Its one of the most aromatic curries from South India and is a culmination of variety of ground spices. It has the most distinct flavour among all the Indian curries one would have tasted. Yesterday I tried out the recipe with mutton. My preparation turned out to be quite delightful with the home crowd :).
It has a bit of sweetness coming in from the onions with a light tangy flavour from tomatoes. Though the recipe has a whole gang of spices in it, every bite seems to brings an unique flavour experience. The best accompaniment to this dish would be steamed rice, but it goes well with dosas as well.

Ingredients:
Mutton - 750 gms, cut into medium chunks, boneless preferred but not necessary
Ginger - 2"
Garlic - 10-12, medium sized, if large cloves 5-6 should do just fine
Onion - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Tomato - 3 medium sized, finely chopped
Curry leaves - 1 string
Shallots (small onions) - 110 gms, peeled
Cinnamon - 2"
Cloves - 4
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Black stone flower - 1 tbsp, Its a kind of fungus (look for it in google images)
Marathi moggu - 3, i don't have the English name (look for it in google images)
Star anise - 2
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp + cup
Coriander leaves (optional) - cup, roughly chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
To prepare the marinade, grind all the ingredients into a coarse paste except onion, tomato, curry leaves and oil. Add mutton to the paste, mix thoroughly, add salt and keep it aside for around an hour.

In a pressure cooker, heat 3 tbsp of oil, add the mutton and keep stirring for a minute. Put the lid on and pressure cook till one whistle on high flame and two on medium flame till just done (no need to add water).

In a pan, heat cup of oil, throw in the curry leaves and chopped onion. Add some salt and cook till onions are translucent. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are pulpy. Add the mutton from the pressure cooker, mix thoroughly. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes (I'm assuming there is some water in the cooked mutton or else add ½ cup) with lid on. Adjust the seasoning, simmer and cook for another 10 minutes with the lid off. Optionally you can garnish with coriander leaves.

Mutton chettinad is ready. Enjoy this unique recipe with your loved ones and don't forget to write in your feedback and comments.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Classic White Bread

Simple and easy to do recipe for a perfect sandwich bread. The aroma coming out of the hot oven baking your bread is simply intoxicating and I just love it. Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I loved baking it
Ingredients:
All purpose flour (Maida) - 3 cups
Water - 1 cup, luke warm
Milk - ½ cup, luke warm
Oil - ¼ cup
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 ½ tsp
Salt - 2 tsp

Method:
In a bowl, add milk and water, dissolve the sugar and yeast in it. Leave the yeast mixture for around 10 mins. Whisk in the oil, add salt. Take flour in a large bowl, form a well in the middle, add the yeast mixture little by little, keep mixing the flour with the help of a fork. You can also use a hand blender with kneading attachment. If you feel the mixture is quite loose, cover it with a damp towel and leave it for couple of minutes before you start working on it again. Dust a flat surface with flour and knead the dough thoroughly on the surface to activate the gluten. Do this for around 4-5 minutes. Leave the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth for 3 - 4 hours (depending on the weather; yeast requires warm and humid surrounding conditions to do its thing and rise the dough). Your dough would have now doubled (or even more) in size. Dust a flast surface and knock out all the air from the risen dough, knead it couple of times and then get it into the desired shape. Lightly grease the bread tin. Place the dough into the tin. Cover the tray with cling wrap and leave it to further rise for around 2 hours. The dough would have nicely risen by now.
Pre-heat the oven @ 180º C. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes. Once done, take it off the oven, brush some oil on the top to avoid a hard crust. Take the bread out of the tin and on to a wire rack for cooling.
You can make your favorite sandwich or simply settle down with jam/peanut butter/nutella.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche with baby Potatoes

Another classic French recipe from the Smoking Tava, Quiche is an open faced pastry-crust (shortcrust pastry) filled with savory custard and meat or vegetable filling. In this recipe I have used Spinach, mushroom and baby potatoes but you can go wild with your imagination and make your own filling. This is my first attempt and I'm quite impressed with the outcome.
Ingredients:
Shortcrust pastry-
All purpose flour (Maida) - 200 gms
Butter - 100 gms, chilled, cut into cubes
Egg - 1 medium sized, beaten
Pinch of salt

Filling-
Baby potatoes - 4-5, peeled and boiled until just done
Button mushroom - 150 gms, sliced
Spinach - 200 gms, large leaves with stalks removed.
Eggs - 4 medium sized
Double cream - 250 ml
Dried chives - 1 tsp
Chilly powder or Cayenne pepper - ½ tsp
Black pepper powder - 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder - a pinch
Parmesan cheese - 25 gms, grated
Olive oil (cooking) - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - from ½ lemon
Salt to taste

Method:
For the shortcrust pastry, add flour, butter and salt into a food processor and run it briefly. Add half of the egg and run it again. Add more egg, just enough to make the mixture moist and to bring it together. On a flat work surface, make a ball out of the mixture and then flatten it until its around 1 cm thick. Wrap it in a cling film and place it in the refrigerator for around 30 mins. Pre-heat oven to 180º C. The pastry needs to be blind baked first before we can add in the filling. Line a 9 inch tart tin with the pastry and then with a layer of foil or butter paper. Fill with baking beans or dry pulses/rice (so that the edges of the pastry are held together and does not fall in). Bake in the oven for about 20 mins or till the pastry is just dry. Take out the foil/butter paper, brush the inside of the pastry with the leftover egg. Place it back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Once done take it out and let it cool.

Now prep the filling - Put spinach leaves in boiling water, just as the leaves turn slightly dark and still green, take it off and immediately put in cold water. Squeez excess water and shred the spinach leaves into small bits using your hands.
Heat a pan, add olive oil. Now add the mushrooms, let it sweat out all the water, add ¼ of the black pepper and salt. Saute till all the water has been evaporated. Now sprinkle some lemon juice. Take it off the flame and let it cool down completely.
In a bowl, beat 4 eggs, add cream, chilly powder, black pepper, dried chives, parmesan cheese, nutmeg. Nicely blend the mixture. Add spinach to the cream mixture. Slice the boiled potatoes around ½ cm thick. Spread the potato slices on the pastry almost covering the bottom. Evenly spread the mushroom. Now spoon in the creamy spinach mixture until the pastry is about 95% filled (the mixture may rise further because of the eggs). Bake in the oven @ 180º C for about 40 minutes until its golden brown and is just set in the center. Remove from the oven, allow it cool for around 10 minutes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pav Bhaji - Indian Street Food

I have lived in Mumbai for almost 23 years of my life and like any other Mumbaikar am a total sucker for Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Ussal Pav, Dhabeli, and Pav Bhaji. I have had tried several recipes for making pav (bread, also known as laadi paav) bhaji (healthy vegetable mash with aromatic spices), but none of them have come this close to match the flavours and aroma of a busy Mumbai street "Pav Bhaji Thelawala" (hawker selling Pav Bhaji on a cart, typically outside railway stations, parks or right on the beach). I have done some improvisation here to make the recipe as authentic and flavourful as possible. Hope you like the recipe as much as I loved cooking.
Ingredients:
Tomato - 800 gms, chopped
Coriander leaves - ½ cup, chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Kashmiri chilly powder - 2 ½ tsp
Green chilly - 4-5, roughly chopped
Potato - 300 gms, boiled, peeled and roughly mashed
Green peas - ½ cup, if frozen, thaw. If dried peas, soak overnight to re-hydrate
Capsicum - 2 medium sized, de-seeded and roughly cut
Cauliflower - 200 gms, grated
Kasuri methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) - 1 tbsp, crushed on palm of your hands
Pav bhaji masala - 1 tbsp
Butter - 175 gms
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Asafoetida powder (Hing) - ¼ tsp
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Lemon juice - from 1 medium sized
Salt to taste
Lemon for garnishing
Water for cooking vegetable
Laadi pav
Butter for toasting pav

Method:
Heat a large pan, throw in tomatoes, potato, green peas, capsicum, green chillies and cauliflower. Add 1 tsp of kashmiri chilly powder, 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, ¼ of the butter. Add little water to cook the veggies on a medium heat. With the help of a masher, keep mashing the vegetables. You can add some water if the mixture gets too dry.
Once the vegetables in the mash are almost unrecognizable, add ½ tbsp of pav bhaji masala, salt to taste and ½ of the chopped coriander leaves. Mix thoroughly, continue to mash them. Once the mixture is totally mashed, lower the heat.
Heat the remaining butter in a pan, lower the flame, add ¾ of the chopped onion, 1 ½ tsp of kashmiri chilly powder, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, ½ tbsp of pav bhaji masala, kasuri methi, asafoetida, ¾ of the remaining chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice. Though I have avoided adding color, you can add red food color to the mixture (bhaji on the street shops add color to get the definitive red bhaji). Saute for few seconds and then add this mixture to the vegetable mash. Cook the mash for a minute or two and we are done.
Now, lets assemble. Slit open the batch of 4-5 paav from the middle, in a hot pan, add a butter, pinch of pav bhaji masala, sprinkle a little coriander leaves. Place the pav over the butter mixture and toast them lightly on both sides.
Garnish bhaji with remaining chopped onion and coriander, serve with the toasted buttery pav and a wedge of lemon.
Enjoy the mouthwatering pav bhaji. Please leave your comments, they inspire me to carry on.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tortilla Wrap

Tortilla wrap with fresh tomato salsa and a mouth watering shredded chicken filling is to die for. My first attempt at making the whole recipe ground up was an absolute winner and my family loved it. I have made the tortilla myself cause I like to keep it very rustic and if you are adventurous too go ahead and give it a try. But if you are unsure you can always get the machine made tortilla (very monotonous) available in stores.
Ingredients:
Tortilla-
Corn (Maize) flour - 1 ½ cup
All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 ¼ cup
Oil - 4 tbsp
Warm water
Salt to taste

Salsa-
Cucumber - 1 small, peeled and diced
Tomato - 2, de-seeded and diced
Green Chilly - 1, de-seeded and finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped
Lemon juice - from ½ a lemon
Salt to taste

Filling-
Chicken breast - 300 gms, cut into strips of
Red bell pepper - 1, roughly cut into small pieces
Onion - 1 large, sliced
Garlic - 5 medium sized cloves, pounded
Black pepper powder - 1 ½ tsp
Balsamic vinegar - 1 tbsp
Sugar - a pinch
Oil - 4 tbsp (I used olive oil here)
Salt to taste

Garnish-
Cheese
Jalapenos - 4 to 5, chopped

Method:
Salsa-
Mix all the ingredients except salt. You can add the salt just before you assemble the wraps (Salt will make the veggies shed out its water content and will make your tortilla soggy).

Tortilla-
In a bowl, nicely mix corn and the all purpose flour. Add the oil and salt to taste. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Keep it aside for 5 minutes. Make balls out of the dough and then roll it into tortillas of around 9 inches dia. On a hot pan, cook for about a minute on each sides (one thing to take care of is to make sure the tortillas are not over cooked, they tend to become hard). This batch will fetch you 5-6 tortillas.

Filling-
Add salt and pepper powder to the chicken pieces and let it stay for about 5 minutes or so. Heat oil in a pan, put the chicken. Cook till the chicken is tender. Leave the oil in the pan, take out the chicken. With a knife and fork, roughly shred the chicken pieces. Meanwhile, in the same oil that we cooked the chicken, thrown in the onion. Saute till they turn translucent. Add garlic, cook till the garlic gives off its aroma. Add sugar and salt. Add the bell pepper and saute for about 2 minutes. Now add balsamic vinegar and the shredded chicken. Cook for another minute or so and switch off the heat.
Now to assemble, take the tortilla (re-heat the tortilla on a pan if you feel the tortillas are cold) and spoon in a bit of salsa and the shredded chicken filling as in the picture above. Garnish with some jalapenos and grated cheese on top. Wrap the tortilla and heat on a hot griddle on both sides for cheese to melt and create the fusion of flavours.

Do post your comments and requests.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Popcorn Prawns

Weekends are here, enjoy your movie with a bowl of popcorn prawns and ice tea. Thought of having a twist to the popcorn prawns by covering it with coconut instead of the usual bread crumbs. The result turned out to be too good to resist. The light sweetness and crunchiness of coconut is pure bliss and I would suggest everyone to try out this very simple recipe.

Ingredients:
For the marinade-
Prawns (Medium) - 500 gms, de-veined, cut to 2 cm chunks
Lemon juice - from 1 medium sized lemon
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup, finely chopped
Red chilly powder - ¾ tsp
Salt to taste

For frying-
Egg - 1, beaten, add ¼ tsp of salt to this
Dried coconut - ½ medium sized coconut, grated
Cornflour for patting the prawn chunks
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Mix in a bowl, lemon juice, coriander leaves, chilly powder, salt. To this add prawns, mix and leave it for 15-20 minutes.

Coat the prawn chunks in the corn flour, pat it to remove any extra corn flour. Dip into the egg and coat it with grated coconut. Deep fry on medium flame for around a minute till they are golden brown. Do not over cook the prawns else they become rubbery.

Enjoy popcorn prawns. Try out and let me know how it turned out for you.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pudina Paratha


Ingredients:Wheat flour - 2 cups
Chickpea flour (besan) - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup, chopped
Mint leaves - ½ cup, chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water
Ghee


Method:In a bowl, mix wheat and chickpea flour. Add oil, salt, mint and coriander leaves. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Make balls out of the dough and then roll it to form chapatis around 15 cm diameter. Cook on a hot tava, drizzle some ghee, and cook until both sides are well done.

Mutton Rogan Josh

Here's another mutton recipe inspired from the Kashmiri delicacy Mutton Rogan Josh. There are quite a lot of variations from the original recipe. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients:
Mutton - 500 gms
Oil - 4 tbsp
Onion - 400 gms, finely sliced
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Black cardamon - 2
Bay leaf - 1
Kashmiri chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Fennel powder - ½ tbsp, lightly roast the fennel seeds before grinding
Dry ginger powder - ¾ tbsp
Curd - 250 ml, beaten
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Water
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat oil in a pan, add all the dry whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaf). Add sliced onion. Saute till onions are browned (take care not to burn the onion). Now add ginger and garlic paste, saute for a minute or so. Add the mutton, saute for 2 minutes on high flame. Add water just enough to cover the mutton, add salt. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes on medium flame or until the mutton is cooked. Top up with water if you feel water has evaporated during the cooking process. Now, in a small bowl, dissolve the chilly in some water and add to the mutton, mix thoroughly. Now add fennel and ginger powder, mix thoroughly. To this add curd, adjust the seasoning. Cook for another 5 minutes or till the sauce thickens. At this point, add the ghee and switch off the heat.

Enjoy mutton rogan josh with rice or naan.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kulfi

Summer is around and catching up pretty strong here in Bangalore. What best way to beat the heat than with cold kulfi that is delicious and refreshing. Here I present to you my variation of the kulfi.

Ingredients:
Kulfi -
Milk - 4 cups
Badam - 2 for garnishing
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Instant coffee - ¾ tsp

Coffee-Toffee Sauce -
Butter - 2 tbsp
Sugar - ½ cup
Fresh cream - ¼ cup
Salt - ⅛ tsp
Instant coffee - ½ tsp
Water - 3 tbsp

Method:
Boil milk in a thick bottom pan. On a medium flame cook the milk until it thickens (should take around 45 to 50 minutes). Keep stirring during the process. Once the milk is reduced to roughly ½ the quantity, add coffee, sugar and mix well. Switch off and let it cool. Once cooled pour it into a 4 inch square kulfi mould and put it in the freezer for about 6 to 8 hours.

For the coffee-toffee sauce, heat a thick bottom pan, melt the butter. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. To this add water and let the sugar melt (remember to lower the heat and don't let the sugar caramelize). Once the sugar has melted, add salt and stir in the cream and mix nicely with a balloon whisk. Now add the coffee and let it boil for about a minute. Switch off and cool down the sauce.

Cut thick slices of the kulfi and arrange them on a serving place, pour generous amount of the sauce. Sprinkle some shavings of badam. Enjoy delicious coffee infused kulfi with coffee-toffee sauce (Had a tough time plating, with the kulfi melting pretty fast in the heat).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken Tikka


Ingredients:
Chicken breasts - 350 gms, cut into bite sized cubes
Lemon - 1
Hung curd - ¼ cup
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamon - 5
Shahi jeera - ½ tsp
Nutmeg - of whole nutmeg
Wooden skewers soaked in water
Melted butter

Method:
Prick the chicken pieces with a fork. Squeeze lemon over the chicken and mix thoroughly. Leave it for about 5 minutes. Dry roast and grind cinnamon, cardamon, shahi jeera and nutmeg. In a bowl, add curd, garlic, ginger, oil, red chilly powder, ground masala. To this, add chicken, cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven @ 200º C. Arrange the marinated chicken cube on the skewers, brush some butter on top and pop it into the oven. Cook for 25 minutes @ 200º C. After every 10 minutes, flip the skewers so that the other side of the chicken is cooked as well, brush butter on top before putting it back into the oven.

Once done, allow to cool and squeeze some lemon over top. Enjoy the succulent tikkas with onion rings.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicken Stuffed Bun


Ingredients:
Bun -
All purpose flour - 4 cups
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Water - ¾ cups, luke warm
Milk - 1 cup, luke warm
Sunflower oil  - ¼  cup
Sugar - 1 ½  tsp
Salt - 1 ½  tsp

Chicken stuffing -
Onion - 3 medium, sliced
Minced chicken - 250 gms
Curry leaves - 1 tbsp, roughly chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - ¾ tsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp, chopped
Chicken masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric - ½  tsp
Red chilly powder - ½  tsp
Pepper powder - 2 ½  tsp, freshly ground
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to  taste

Method:
In small bowl, add water, sugar milk and yeast. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minute. Add salt and oil to the mixture. Take flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and knead the dough thoroughly to incorporate some air into it. Place it back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Keep it aside in a warm place (around 30º C) for about an hour and half.

Meanwhile, lets get on to making the stuffing. Heat a pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion, ginger and curry leaves. Saute till onion turns translucent. To this, add all the dry masala (coriander powder, garam masala, chicken masala, turmeric, chilly powder) along with 1 ½ tsp of pepper powder. Saute for around a minute or two. Now add the minced chicken, blend all the onion masala into the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken is done. Add the remaining 1 tsp of pepper powder, mix thoroughly. Take it off the heat and let is cool down completely.

By now the dough would have doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top, and knead the dough to push the air out (this process is called knocking back the dough). Now divide the dough into 9-10 balls of about 90 gms each. Flatten each ball to form a disc of about 3-4 inch. Place the chicken stuffing in the middle, fold the edges together to seal the stuffing. shape it back into a ball and place on a greased baking tray (Remember to leave some space between the buns, they would further rise while proofing). Once all the buns are stuffed, keep it aside in a warm place for around 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200º C. Bake the buns @ 200º C for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the baking is finished, brush some butter over the buns. Place them back into the oven and continue the baking. Once done, allows the buns to cool.

You could replace the chicken with the stuffing of your choice. I suggest paneer would be a great choice for the vegetarians. Enjoy. Please don't forget to give me your feedback.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vegetarian Pizza

I have always wanted to try making pizza ground up, never had the confidence to attempt the dough and the sauce. Also, I don't believe you can make good pizzas with the ready to bake pizza-base available in stores. But now, having tried couple of bread recipes and pasta sauces I was pretty confident on the outcome.

On a Saturday evening I set out to prepare a vegetarian version, began making the dough, got the desired consistency, and the sauce came out well. I had some regained confidence in me. Baked the pizza, and voilà what a wonderful recipe it turned out to be.

So easy to make, I have decided not to order restaurant pizzas any more. I am sure after you try out the recipe you would more than agree with me :).
Ingredients:
Pizza base-
All purpose flour (Maida) - 4 cups, plus extra for dusting
Water - 2 cups, Luke warm
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 2 ¼ tsp
Butter - ½ cup, melted & cooled to room temperature

Tomato sauce-
Red ripe tomatoes - 700 gms
Onion - 1, small sized, finely chopped
Garlic - 3, large cloves
Chilly flakes - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Dried oregano - 1 tsp
Dried basil - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Toppings [You can add your own toppings]-
Paneer/Goat cheese/Tofu - 200 gms, cut into small bite sized chunks
American corn - ½ cup
Green capsicum (bell pepper) - 2, medium sized
Onion - 1 large, thick sliced
Mozzarella cheese - 200 gms
Black pitted olives - 10 to 12, medium sliced
Green Chilly - 2, finely sliced

Method:
In small bowl, add water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Take flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture. If the dough gets too gooey, let it stand for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and knead the dough thoroughly for about 5 minutes. This will help to incorporate some air into the dough and also activate the gluten.  Place it back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Keep it aside in a warm place (around 30º C) for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lets get on to making the sauce. Cut the tomatoes into half, remove most of the seeds using your fingers. Then cut them into quarters. Heat the oil in a pan, add onion, saute till translucent. Add garlic and the chilly flakes. Saute till the garlic gives off its aroma. Add tomatoes and cook on a high flame till the sauce thickens. With the help of a wooden spoon mash the tomato as much as possible. Add salt, basil and oregano. Cook for another 10 minutes. Switch off the heat, let it cool. Roughly blend the sauce in a blender/food processor. Keep it aside.
Preheat the oven @ 220º C. Keep the toppings within reach. By now the dough would have doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top, and knead the dough to push the air out (this process is called knocking back the dough). Divide the dough into two equal portions. I like my pizza crust thick, but in case you like a thin crust, you can make three out of this batch. If you want do not want to utilize the entire dough now, you could wrap it up in a cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator for later.
Roll each portion of the dough into a 9 inch sized disc, place it on to a meshed pizza tray. If you don't have space int he oven to bake all the pizza at once, you may place the rest of the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Spread the tomato sauce on the base, cover the base with mozzarella cheese and add the toppings. Pop it into the oven @ 220º C for 20 minutes or until done (preferably in the middle rack, that way it would cook from the bottom as well).
Enjoy delicious pizza straight out of the oven.

Walnut Brownie

A pack of walnut has been lying around for couple of weeks now. Well, what better way to make use of it than bake brownies. Years back I had prepared the egg less version which was too good, so wasn't sure how this would turn out. Well, it turned out quite well and dense in the middle just the way I wanted it to be. I am sure you'll like it as well.

Ingredients:
Walnut - 150 gms
Eggs - 3, at room temperature
Sugar - 200 gms, powdered
Salt - ½ tsp
Baking powder - ½ tsp
Dark chocolate bar - 200 gms
All purpose flour (Maida) - ½ cup
Sunflower oil - ½ cup
Vanilla essence - 1 ¼ tsp
Cocoa powder - ¼ cup
Butter for greasing baking tray

Method:
Preheat oven to 180º C. Grease and line a 9 inch square cake tin with butter paper. In a baking tray, spread the walnuts and roast it in the preheated over for around 5 minutes. Once done, cool it and chop it to small pieces.

Melt dark chocolate in a bowl using double boiler and keep it aside. In a bowl, start beating the eggs one by one. To this, add sugar, oil, vanilla essence, salt. Beat till pale and creamy. Now add this mixture slowly into the melted chocolate, keep beating on a medium speed until thoroughly mixed.

Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the chocolate and egg mixture, fold it nice and slowly until its blended completely. Now fold in the walnuts and pour the mixture into the baking tin. Tap the baking tin on the counter top to remove any bubbles trapped in the mixture. Put it in the oven @ 180º C and bake for 35 minutes or until done.

Hope you enjoy the brownies. Please don't forget to leave your valuable comments.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicken Lollipop


Ingredients:
For the marinade -
Chicken Lollipops - 15
Lemon Juice - 1 ½ tbsp
Black pepper powder - ½ tsp, freshly ground
Salt to taste

For frying -
Bread crumbs - ½ cup
Egg - 1 large sized, beaten
Corn flour - 1 tbsp plus extra for coating the lollipops
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Mix all the ingredients for marination and keep aside for an hour.

In a bowl, add cornflour, salt and egg, mix well. Coat the lollipops one by one in corn flour, pat it to remove any extra corn flour. Dip into the egg mixture and coat it with bread crumb. Deep fry on high flame for ½ a minute and then on a medium flame fry till golden brown and done.

Enjoy the lollipops with my oriental dipping sauce.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Butter Chicken

World renowned Indian curry, next to ofcourse the infamous Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken is enjoyed with plain or buttered Naan. Succulent chicken breast strips cooked in  rich, creamy buttery tomato and onion sauce is an absolute winner on taste, my family just loved it. Hope you like the recipe..Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
Chicken breast - 500 gms, cut into ¾" strips
Red chilly powder - 2 ½ tsp
Corriander powder - 2 tsp
Kasuri methi (Fenugreek leaves) - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 25 gms
Sugar - ½ tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Tomato - 600 gms, chopped
Fresh cream - 100 ml
Ginger garlic paste - 4 tsp
Onion - 2 medium, finely sliced
Butter - 70 gms
Water -  3 cups
Oil - 5 tbsp
Corriander leaves - ¼  cup, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Take chicken in a bowl, add 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp corriander powder, 2 tsp ginger garlic paste and salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands, massaging the spices into the chicken pieces. Heat oil in a pan (shallow fry pan), when its smoking hot, add chicken saute for around 2 mintues. Just sear the chicken to ensure all the moisture is trapped within. Drain and keep the chicken aside (we'll the need the juices that will ooze out of the fried chicken).

In the same pan, fry onion, add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp corriander powder, 1 ½ tsp red chilly powder. Add 1 ½ cup of water, cashew nuts, bring to a boil. To this, add tomato, kasuri methi (crushed to powder using your palm). Cover and cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy. Switch of heat and let it cool slightly before blending into a smooth sauce in a food processor/mixer (make sure to cool it sufficiently well, else it may explode out of your food processor because of all the steam generated).

Heat the pan again, on a high flame, melt the butter, add all juices that would have oozed out of the fried chicken. Add the blended sauce, 1 ½ cup water, salt, bring to a boil. I have avoided using food colours here. But, you can add red colour at this point to make it restaurant like. Add sugar, chicken. Simmer, cover and cook for around 5 mintues or till the chicken is done. Now add cream, garam masala, switch off after a minute or two. Garnish with corriander leaves.

Enjoy with Naan or steamed rice.

Naan - Indian Bread

I just love bread. The aroma of freshly baked bread is simply intoxicating. Baking good bread depends completely on getting the right proportions of flour and fluids and I would urge you to use standard measuring utensils while following these recipes (and not rely on the tea and table spoons available in your kitchen). In this recipe I present to you "Naan" or "Naan Bread" (for the rest of the world), one of the very easy to make Indian breads and definitely a high scorer on consistency, flavour and aroma.

Ingredients:
All purpose flour (Maida) - 4 cups
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Water - ¾ cup, Luke warm
Milk - ¾ cup, Luke warm
Sunflower Oil - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 ¼ tsp
Salt - 2 ¼ tsp
White Til (Sesame seeds) / Kalonji (Nigella)
Butter

Method:
In small bowl, add milk, water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Let it stand for a minute. Take flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture. Mix it thoroughly. Its alright if the dough is gooey at this moment. Because gooey dough will guarantee a very soft Naan. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep aside for around 30 minutes.

Apply oil to your palm before handling the dough. Divide into 7-8 dough balls and place them in a large plate. Cover it with a wet cloth and let is stand for 30 more minutes.

Flatten the dough balls on a counter-top, elongate on one side to get the signature Naan shape, sprinkle some sesame seeds or kalonji, and place them on a baking tray. Pre-heat the oven on grill mode for around 10 minutes. Place the tray on the top most rack, close to the grill. Bake for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Rub butter on both sides.

I bet these beautiful Naan needs no accompaniment and can be had without a curry. Hope you liked the recipe, leave a comment, tell me how it turned out for you.