- Very healthy recipes from the kitchen to the table in minutes

 I have been documenting some recipes that I have been preparing from time to time thinking some day I would blog about it when I find som...

Spicy Masala Bun

 I have been documenting some recipes that I have been preparing from time to time thinking some day I would blog about it when I find some time. One such thing was the masala bun. I have been looking at this recipe from The Singing chef's blog for some months and at last I found some occasion to make it. A great recipe to try if you are in a mood to bake. The first time I followed as per the recipe and once I figured out the consistency of the dough I have been playing around with the dough's taste and filling. The best combination that my family enjoyed was the one with the potato and onion stuffing. Thank you Raaga for this bun recipe.



Gadgets:

Baking Tray
Bowls
Measuring cups and Spoons
Oven
Wok


Ingredients:

For Bun:

All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Whole Wheat Flour or Regular Atta - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Yeast - 1 whole packet
Hot water - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp plus extra for prep the dough
Jalapeno - a few

For Potato Filling:

Boiled Potato - 4
Red Onions - 1 1/2
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch
Green Chilli - 1
Asasoetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro - 3 tbsp



Ingredients:

1. For preparing wet ingredients add salt, sugar and hot water in a bowl and mix for the salt and sugar to dissolve. Add milk to bring the liquid to warm temp and then add yeast and allow to sit until they foam and then add oil.

3. For dry ingredients add flour, chilli powder and cilantro and mix them well. Add the liquid mix and mix to form a dough. Make a ball and then apply 1 tsp of oil to coat the dough and allow it to rest anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough has to double.

4. For the filling heat the oil in a wok. Add asafoetida, green chillis, garlic, onion and salt and cook until the onions are well done. Then add turmeric, potato and cilantro and mix well and cook it for 4 minutes and remove from flame and allow to cool a little before making the buns.

5. Set the oven to 400 degrees and when the dough is ready take a little over a golf ball size dough and pat it. Place the prepared stuffing 1 1/2 tbsp in the center and cover up the filling with the dough. Place it on a baking tray and add jalapenos on top and bake for 14 -15 minutes.

5. When the bun is done brush them a little with ghee or melted butter to give it a gloss and serve them hot with any chutney.

9 Comments:

I have never baked a pie before. I always known someday I would break the unknown resistance to baking pies. It was my husbands birthday a...

Banana Pie or Banaoffe Pie

I have never baked a pie before. I always known someday I would break the unknown resistance to baking pies. It was my husbands birthday a few days ago and I wanted to make something special for him. Looking through all the baking books I was having a hard time making up my mind as to what to bake. In the end I gave the book(Home Baking by Parragon Publishing) my friend Dhanu had gifted me and asked him to pick out something that he would like to try. He picked the Banaoffe Pie for its simplicity. So I set out to do something I have never prepared before. I did make a lot of changes to the recipe from the book as I had to make do with ingredients I had at home.


Gadgets:

Spring foam pan- 9 inches
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring spoon
Tin Opener
Saucepan or rice cooker with plenty of water
Food Processor
Microwave safe cup


Ingredients:

Banana - 8 ripe but firm to touch
Fat Free Condensed Milk - 1 tin
Dark Chocolate - 1/4 cups melted for drizzling
Graham Crackers - 18 full crackers
Butter - 6 tbsp
Almonds - 1/2 cup
Lemon or Orange juice - 1 tsp


Preparation:

1. Place the tin of condensed milk immersed in a sauce pan or rice cooker full of water and cook it on low for 2 hours. When that is done remove, open and allow it to cool.

2. In the meantime powder the almonds and the graham crackers into a coarse mixture and add melted butter in the microwave and add that to this mixture.

3. Coat the spring form pan with some butter and then add this mixture to it and distribute to form the pie base /crust and place it in the oven at for 12 minutes, remove and allow to cool.

4. Cut the banana into thin slices coat them with some lemon or range juice and place it in the baked pie crust. Spoon in the cooled condensed milk over the banana and continue to layer. In the end add some melted chocolate and allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

4. Cut an serve then with some whipped cream. Delicioso!!!






8 Comments:

The last two months I have not been very prompt in posting on " This book Makes Me Cook", but I have always been thinking of pos...

A Tea Party, Plum Cake And Books That Made Me Cook

The last two months I have not been very prompt in posting on " This book Makes Me Cook", but I have always been thinking of posting about it. In Oct I wanted to post on "Naughtiest Girl In School" and wanted to bake a cake as that was what really tempted me when I read the book. In November we needed to post on " Alice In Wonderland" and I got around to baking the cake. I thought it would be appropriate to blog on both the books in one post and make up for the belated posting. On top of it all I wanted to also send this into Aparna's My Diverse Kitchen's birthday celebration.

Elizabeth a fascinating little girl is the main character in Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl In School. Her strong will and compassion to help others turns her into a very loveable girl. In Chapter 1 and 3 there is a mention of a current cake. In India during Christmas time at most bakeries they sell plum cake. Its a cake that is made of currants, raisins, dry fruits and fruit mix. While I was reading the book the mention of currants cake made me want to bake a plum cake. This is a recipe that I have been perfecting to taste like the ones that you find in India and I think at last I come close to it. Below is a clipping from the book.

Lines From Chapter 1


Elizabeth's things were packed and ready. She had a neat brown trunk, with "E. Allen" painted on it in black. She had a tuck-box too, with a big currant cake inside, a box of chocolate, a tin of toffee, a jam sandwich, and a tin of shortbread.
"You will have to share these things with the others," said Miss Scott, as she packed the things neatly inside.
Lines From Chapter 3

A bell rang loudly, and the girls looked cheerful, "Good! Tea!" said Ruth. "Come on. Wash first, all of you, and do your hairs. Yours looks awful, Elizabeth." Elizabeth did not like her dark curls being called "awful." She went up to her bedroom and did her hair neatly, and washed her hands. She was very hungry, and thought with pleasure of her currant cake and jam sandwich.
Elizabeth put out her sandwich and her currant cake and took her place too. Grace was said and then the boys and girls began to chatter quietly.Suddenly Nora banged on the table. She was at the head of it. Everyone at her table stopped speaking."I nearly forgot to say something," said Nora.
"Elizabeth Allen does not wish to share her things with anyone, so don't ask her for a piece of her cake, will you? She wants it all herself." "All right!" said the other children, and they stared at Elizabeth in surprise. Elizabeth went on eating her bread and butter. Next to her was Ruth, opening a large pot of shrimp-paste that smelt simply delicious. She passed it round the table-but did not offer Elizabeth any.
She cut her currant cake. It looked quite nice. She suddenly felt that she really couldn't eat it all by her self, she must offer it to the others too. She didn't mind being thought naughty, but being thought mean was different.
Alice In Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge is about a girl who falls into the a rabbit hole and then it is a real adventure. In that story Alice attends a tea party. My original idea was to have a tea party with tea pots, mini cakes and sandwiches with signs that said "Eat Me" and "Drink Me" instead I had a hot cup of tea with a slice of plum cake. Though I am posting it way past the posting date I wanted to still share this recipe.


Gadgets:
Baking pan -9 inches
Mixing Bowl
Spatula
Hand held Mixer
Measuring cups, spoons and scale
Saucepan
Sieve

Ingredients:
All Purpose Four - 250 gms
Sugar for Cake - 250 gms
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp
Fruit Cake Mix - 1/4 cup
Raisins and currants - 1/3 cup
Butter - 250 gms
Eggs - 1 whole at room temp and liquid egg white for 3 eggs
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 ts
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Clove Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashew Nuts pieces - 1/4 cup
Caramel Sauce - use 80% of the liquid
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Butter - 1 tsp


Preparation:
1. Heat the sauce pan and add the sugar. Add some water and allow the sugar to melt and change into a dark amber color and thickens.
2. Remove the saucepan from the stove and very carefully add 1 cup of water(watch out there will be a lot of smoke and splattering of caramel) and put it back on the stove to melt again.
3. When the liquid is completely melted the liquid starts to boil remove from flame and allow this liquid to cool.
4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and start to make the cake after the caramel has cooled.
5. Add sugar and butter and blend well using a hand mixer. Add eggs, vanilla and mix well. Add the caramel sauce and mix well.
6. Using a sieve mix the baking powder and APF. Take a 1/4 cup of this mix and coat the dry fruits, fruit mix and nuts so that they get distributed evenly and not settle to the bottom of the cake.
7. Add the flour and the flour coated fruit mix a little at a time and mix with the liquid mix.
8.Transfer to a baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until it passes the tooth pick test.
____________________________________________________________________
The other "This Book Makes Me Cook" blogger's:
Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen - Orange Marmalade Cake
Harini of Tongue Ticklers - Vegan Cheesecake Brownies
Sweatha of Experiments, Emotions, Experiences with Food - Chocolate Pudding Cake
Siri of Siri's Corner - Veggie Finger Sanwiches
Rachel of Tangerine's Kitchen - Sandwiches For My Mad Tea Party


8 Comments:

In every Indian store around the country you will find Chakli, which is the most sought after savory snack. It is spicy, crunchy, savory a...

Chakali / Mullu Murukku

In every Indian store around the country you will find Chakli, which is the most sought after savory snack. It is spicy, crunchy, savory and tastes perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee on any given afternoon. The traditional mullu murruku is a mix of rice flour and udad flour, but chakili is just rice flour and a spices deep fried. I did not follow any recipe, I just went with the flow and made them yesterday. Thought it would be perfect to snack on the whole of next week when my family meets. Its really easy and I was done in 15 minutes from start to finish.



Gadgets:

Wok
The mold to make the chakili
The press to make the chakili
Bowl
Tin to store


Ingredients:

Rice flour - 2 cups
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (for spice)
Paprika powder - 1 tsp (for flavor)
Butter - 3 tbsp
Salt
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Water
Oil for deep frying





Preparation:

1. Preheat oil on medium high. The oil is ready when you drop a piece of a dough in oil and it raises swiftly to the top.

2. Add all the dry mixture into a bowl.Add butter and mix it well into the flour.

3. Add water 1/4 cup at a time and mix well to form a dough that is wet but not sticky.

4. Put this into the press with the star shaped mold and press it over the oil that has been preheated.

5. Deep fry to golden brown. Remove and allow to drain over a paper towel to remove excess oil. When it cools store in an air tight container.


4 Comments:

Channa Masala Or Chole has always been one of my favorite side dishes. There are a zillion ways to make it and I think every family or hou...

Channa Masala Or Chole

Channa Masala Or Chole has always been one of my favorite side dishes. There are a zillion ways to make it and I think every family or household must have their own recipe. Sometimes when I taste chole I always think about one of two places where I have tasted some memorable ones. Some like it with potatoes, with lot of gravy, with very little gravy, made with different types of channa or garbanzo beans. To me what I really enjoyed as a kid was bread Chole from Richie Rich restaurant. Its the flavour and taste that is so embedded in my head and I always want to recreate that in my kitchen. So I must have tried a lot of recipes and at last come across the one that my sisters friend Sandhya from Detroit had given her. The closest to the RR chole for me. But then my sister told me that she adds the channa masala while cooking the beans and this added a very nice taste to the recipe.So there I Incorporated that into the recipe as well. The end product is a chole /channa masala that I totally enjoyed for dinner with some Tandoori Roti. I like this recipe for its taste and simplicity. So give it a try and let me know for all those who are ready to venture into making another version of channa masala.



Gadgets:

Pressure Cooker
Bowl
Wok
Spatula
Blender
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring Cups and Spoons


Ingredients:

Channa/Garbonzo Beans - soaked in water over night 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 4 Roma ( more than the onion)
Cilantro - 1/2 bunch
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Green Chilli - 1 ( seeds removed)
Turmeric - 2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Channa Masala - 3 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Pepprika - 1 tsp
Salt
Pepper 4 or 5 whole
Bay leaves - 1
Cinnamon - 1 inch sticks 2
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Potato - 1 boiled (optional)
Sugar - 1/4 tsp




Preparation:


1. Place the soaked Channa/beans in a bowl add some water, salt, 1/2 tsp of channa masala and turmeric powder. Add some water inside the pressure cooker and then place this bowl and pressure cook for 4 whistles on medium heat.

2. Heat the wok add oil 2 tsp and add onion then garlic, ginger and cook. When the onions are well cooked add tomatoes and cook until they are well done. Cool this mix and add fresh cilantro bfore blending them into a paste or sauce.

3. Heat the remaining oil. Add bay leaves, pepper and cinnamon. Allow them to get roasted for a few seconds and then add green chillis and the paste.Cook them on medium heat for 5 minutes.

4. Remove the beans from the pressure cooker and add them to the sauce. Add all the powders , potato (optional) and cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium head.

5.Garnish with cilantro and serve it with some hot naan, roti, batura or bread.




7 Comments:

The Santa Ana winds were blowing yesterday and it was so hot to be out doors. I decided to stay home and catch up on things. With lunch to...

Spicy Broccoli Paratha - An Experiment

The Santa Ana winds were blowing yesterday and it was so hot to be out doors. I decided to stay home and catch up on things. With lunch to prepare I was thinking of what to serve. Ever since I had aloo paratha at the Indian Diwali Mela in San Diego last week I was thinking of making some soon. But then when I opened the fridge I saw this huge bag of broccoli looking at me and so I decided to experiment with them to make a paratha. On mentioning it to my husband he told me that it would not taste good as the veggie has an after taste, but he was ready to try. I followed the ground rules for making the paratha and what turned out was a very delicious spicy paratha that made me want to blog about. If you are wondering if it was that good I invite you to try them and believe me it might be your favorite soon. Since the parata was very spicy serving them with store bought Greek yogurt and sweet pickle was so perfect.




Gadgets:

Bowls
Grater or food processor
Towel or salad spinner
Wok
Griddle
Spatula
Measuring spoons and cups
Cutting Board
Rolling pin
Knife
Cover

Ingredients:

For dough:



Whole wheat flour/atta - 3 cups plus extra for rolling paratha
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp plus 1 tsp for coating the dough
Water - 1 cup plus 1/4 if required.
Ghee - a few tbsps for the paratha

For Filling:



Broccoli - 4 cups shredded
Salt
Ginger - 2 tsp grated
Garlic - 3 cloves
Red Onion - 1/4 thinly sliced
Jalapeno - 1/2 deseeded
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cilantro - 1/2 bunch washed and finely chopped


Preparation:



1. The flour salt and mix well. Add oil and mix well and then the water. Either using your hands or using the food processor work the dough into a ball.Apply some oil, cover and put the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.

2. Heat the wok with some oil.Add garlic, ginger, onions and green chilli and cook it well. Either using the grater or food processor grate the broccoli that are pre washed and all water is removed using the salad spinner.

3. Add this grated broccoli to the wok and cook well. Add the powders and cilantro and allow it to cool before making the parata.

4. Taking a little over a golf ball size dough roll it out the dough into a circle in such a way that the center has more dough and the outer area are thin.

5. Place a ladle full of the cooled broccoli mix in the center and gather the corners of the dough to the center so as to cover the mix inside.

6. Flatten it with your palm and remove all air bubbles that might have been trapped with the poke of a knife reseal it and roll out the paratha.

7. Heat the griddle to med high and cook the parata on both side by adding some ghee.

8. Serve them hot with some thick yogurt, sweet it spicy pickle and lassi.



6 Comments:

Ven pogal is south version of kichidi. They serve it at all weddings for breakfast and also made as prasadham during pooja times. The trut...

Ven Pongal

Ven pogal is south version of kichidi. They serve it at all weddings for breakfast and also made as prasadham during pooja times. The truth is I never liked ven pongal until Dec of 1998. I was visiting my sister that Christmas and she had 2 other families there. It was a task to decide on what to prepare for lunch, breakfast or dinner. My sisters mother in law Mrs. Viswanathan was the main chef there and decided on ven pongal for the day because most of them liked it. But she did not know that I was not a big fan of it. I decided to avoid her that morning with concern that she would ask me to taste the pongal. But then the inevitable happened. It was lunch time and I was thinking of having some snacks and escape from the kitchen. I thought no one would notice as there were so many people there. To my luck my sisters mother in law saw me and she asked me to have lunch. Since I usually enjoy all the food she prepares she could not understand why I was not interested in having the pongal. I decided to tell her the truth. She suggested that I give it a try and out of respect I agreed. Well! I was  since then I have made it so many times.

Little did I know that my amma did not like ven pongal like me. When she visited me I told her I will make ven pongal and guess what she kept giving me other options. With a knowing smile I asked her if she disliked ven pongal and she said yes. I told her my story and asked her to try it and she was ready to taste it and became a convert like me.

So if there is anyone out there who does like ven pongal please give it a try and let me know if this recipe converted you.



Gadgets:

Pressure cooker
Wok
Spatula
Grater
Measuring cups and spoons
Bowl

Ingredients:

Rice (long grain, basmati or any other kind) - 1/2 cup
Moong Dhal - 1/2 cup lightly roasted
Milk - 1/2 cup (skip this if vegan)
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Pepper (whole) - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Water - 4 1/2 cup
Cashew nut- 1/4 cup cut into smaller pieces
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few


Preparation:


1. Measure rice and dal into a bowl and wash it well.

3. Place the rice and dal  in the pressure cooker after adding some salt, 4 cups of water and milk and cook it on medium heat for 3 whistles.

4. Open the pressure cooker and using a potato smasher mix the rice well.

5. Heat the wok add the oil and ghee. When it warms up add cashews and whole peppers. The pepper will pop so please cover it with a lid and then add the cumin seeds and let it roast a little. Add ginger  and curry leaves. Give it a mix and add 1/2 cup water.

5. Add to rice and mix well.. Taste for salt and serve it hot with a dab of ghee and coconut chutney and some tomato sambar.


3 Comments:

A tradition in our house for Diwali is making ribbon pakoda. Though I am not too fond of  frying or standing in front of the oil forev...

Crunchy Ribbon Pokoda



A tradition in our house for Diwali is making ribbon pakoda. Though I am not too fond of  frying or standing in front of the oil forever, I still have the zest to prepare ribbon every year. To make these you need to have the press that allows the dough to make strands of ribbons to be deep fried in oil. This year I made it again and documented it. There are many versions to making this and this is my version. What I liked about it was the oil in the wok did not reduce at all.




Gadgets:

Heavy bottom pan or a wok
Spatula
The press to make ribbons
Mixing Bowl
Measuring cups and spoons


Ingredients:

Rice Flour - 1 cup
Besan Flour - 2 cups
Butter - 2 tbsps
Salt
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida mixed in water (I used the solid piece of asafoetida and soaked in 2 cups of water)
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Oil for deep frying



Preparation:

1. Add rice and besan flour with salt, chili powder and turmeric in a bowl.

2. Add room temperature butter and mix it well and for making the rest of the dough add the asafoetida water little by little and make into a dough that is not sticky.

3. Heat the oil on medium high and add a tbsp of the heated oil to the dough and mix well. Add a little bit of the dough into the heated oil and when it raises up fast the oil is ready for frying ribbons.

4. Add the dough into the press and make ribbons and fry in the oil.

5. Fry until golden brown and crunchy. Transfer into a paper towel for any oil to drain off.

6. Store in a air tight container.

6 Comments:

I have been thinking of posting this recipe but never got down to it. I always make this spicy mixture for Deepavali. Mixture is a blend ...

Healthy Spicy Corn Flakes Mixture

I have been thinking of posting this recipe but never got down to it. I always make this spicy mixture for Deepavali. Mixture is a blend of nuts, deep fried beaten rice or poha, small sticks of deep fried besan flour, chips, crunchy murukku, roasted channa dhal, deep fried corn flakes etc because its so cruncy salty, spicy and just the perfect munch with a cup of tea or coffee. My version is however is a little different. I had no intention of deep frying and came up with my own version that is healthy. I used toasted corn flakes that we get in the store and substituted that for the deep fried version, rice crispes instead of deep fried poha, roasted peanuts and cashews instead of the deep fried ones. Took me a few minutes to mix it all up and season it with some oil once the puff pastry was baked. There was no change in taste or flavor and I could eat it guilt free. Next time you are in the mood for some mixture try this and you would never regret.




Gadgets:

Huge bowl
Wok
Spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
Blender
Cutting Bard
Baking Tray
Knife

Ingredients:

Corn flakes - 4 cups
Rice Crispes - 3 cup
Peanuts - 3 cups roasted with skin
Potato chips baked - 1 cup cut into small pieces
Puff pastry sheets 1/4th sheet
Ribbon pakoda - 1 cup (optional)
Cashew Nuts - 2 cups roasted
Curry leaves - 1 cup
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp ( add more for spice)
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Sugar - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

Preparation:



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cut the puffed pastry into small squares. Bake them until they get crunchy. Mix baked mini puffed pieces, corn flakes, crispes, ribbon pakoda, chops and nuts in a large bowl.

2. Heat the oil in the wok and add asafoetida, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and curry leaves and when the curry leaves get crunchy remove and allow it to cool.

3. Powder this mix in the blender and add to the mixture bowl.

4. Toss well and add the pepper. Adjust the spice and salt as per your taste.

5. The mixture tastes better the next day.


8 Comments:

Baking has been my passion and for all these months I have been thinking of becoming a Daring Baker and this time I finally made it. This...

A Pizza From A Daring Baker


Baking has been my passion and for all these months I have been thinking of becoming a Daring Baker and this time I finally made it. This month DB was supposed to be hosted by three friends Sher of What Did You Eat, Glenna of A Fridge Full Of Food and Rosa's Yummy Yums. But 9 days before Sher died she had mentioned her desire to choose pizza for the DB October Challenge. Since Glenna quit being a DB for personal reasons Rosa had to host the event and she picked pizza as per Sher's wishes. Making pizza can be simple to some but the challenge was to make a pizza and try tossing it like a pro. In the past I have always made the pizza dough with a food processor and made a straight forward pizza by rolling it out. This time I had to do something different to prove that I am indeed a DB and I followed the recipe from “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart as per the rules of the challenge and made the dough last night.Never have I made the dough using cold water but I was excited to try a new version. Made 3 portions of pizza dough for 3 of us and personalized it to each of our requirements.


~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~

Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting



DAY ONE

Method:

1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


Or

2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

DAY TWO

8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

Or

8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

Or

10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.


11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

Or

11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

Or

12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

Or

13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.


14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.


For dinner I made pizza. As per the recipe I removed it form the fridge 2 hrs before making the pizza.




For the toppings I used Egg plant slices, paneer (Indian Cheese) , Cheese,Garlic oil, Onions, Chilli Powder, marinara sauce and Salt on Pizza uno.

My daughter's pizza was one with her favorite toppings of pesto sauce, olives, broccoli, paneer and cheese.



The third one is left for use for later.

My observation regarding the dough is that it came out soft but there was no gluten formed. The dough tore easily hence I had a touch time trying to toss , I tried 3 - 4 times and decided to just roll it out. When I baked the pizza it was very crunchy and not chewy. It was a thin crust pizza that baked well evenly and cooked the pizza dough and melted the cheese well. I liked both the pizza's but I was disappointed that I did not create the chewy texture that I prefer.




10 Comments:

Its time for us to make sweets to celebrate. Deepavali is a time when I am amazed at the energy I have to prepare sweets and savories. I u...

Low Fat Milk Cake/ Sweet for Diwali

Its time for us to make sweets to celebrate. Deepavali is a time when I am amazed at the energy I have to prepare sweets and savories. I usually ask my husband and daughter to decide on what they would like for me to prepare. My daughter picked milk sweet or cake and so I had to come up with something apart from kalakand that I had already posted. I must say the sweet turned out very well and was very simple to prepare. Usually milk sweets have a lot of butter and high fat milk, that is where mine varies. I used low fat ricotta cheese, very little butter and lactose free milk powder. Took me about 12-15 minutes to prepare. For those of you who are looking for an economical sweet to prepare this is one for sure.


Gadgets:
Heavy bottom vessel/Wok
Spatula
Measuring spoons and Cups
Knife
Prepared tray
Wax paper

Ingredients:

Low fat ricotta cheese - 15 oz
Sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Coffee-mate(lactose free) - 1 cup
Cardamon - 2 pods
Rava/ Cream of Wheat - 3 tbsp
Cashew nut or almond powder - 1/2 cup (substitute 1/4 extra rava and 1/4 milk powder for nut free cake)



Preparation:

1. Place the wok on medium heat and add 2 tbsp of butter and allow it to melt.

2. Add ricotta cheese and rava and mix well and cook it for 6 minutes.

3. Add sugar and cook for 5 minutes.Then add nuts and milk powder and be careful to mix them so as to not allow the lumps to form.

4. Add cardamon powder and 2 tsp of ghee and mix until it thickens.

5. Layer the prepared tray with wax paper and pour the cake mix into it and level it.

6. Allow it to cool and put it in the fridge to allow the cake to set and then cut into squares.





6 Comments:

Yes I know most of you love this dip. I do too and love to order it whenever I see this on the menu. I make this when I want something done ...

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yes I know most of you love this dip. I do too and love to order it whenever I see this on the menu. I make this when I want something done in 10 minutes. Its that simple and very yummy. This was the dip I made for football this week. The dip was good but Chargers were not.They lost again and I felt very sad. The dip is an adaptation from Alton Brown's recipe and is very delicious. Please do try it and give me a feed back. I used non-fat to low fat cheeses so that I do not feel so guilty to indulge.





Gadgets:

Microwave safe bowl

Measuring bowl and spoon

Saucepan

Ingredients:

Cream cheese - 3/4 cup (Low fat)

Sour Cream - 1/2 cup (non-fat)

Mexican blend cheese from Costco - 1/4 cup

Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup

Frozen Spinach - 1 cup

Frozen Artichoke hearts - 1 cup

Garlic powder - 1/3 tsp

Salt

Pepper freshly grated

Water - 1/2 cup



Preparation:


1. Using the microwave or the sauce pan cook the spinach, artichoke hearts with water until soft about 5 minutes.

2. Heat cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for a minute.

3. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients.

4. Remove the excess water from the spinach and artichoke and mix well to break down the artichoke.

5. Mix with the cheese and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute and serve it warm with some chips or bread of your choice.

NOTE: If you have a very salty chips reduce the amount of salt in the dip else it can be very salty to taste.


5 Comments:

At last I was able to take photos of the dal makhani that I prepared over the weekend. This is the most common side dish that you can find...

Spicy Dal Makhani

At last I was able to take photos of the dal makhani that I prepared over the weekend. This is the most common side dish that you can find in any Indian restaurant especially if they serve you the combo meal. There are many recipes out there to prepare this side dish. This is my version adapted from a restaurants recipe that I came across a few years ago and I have modified it and perfected to suite my taste. The dal makhani that I make is always spicy because I feel that the dal absorbs the spice after it is prepared and the spice is evenly distributed.I always make a lot more than I need because I find that it can be used as a replacement to beans in regular burrito. Please refer to the recipe posted here. So this weekend combo meal at my place, roasted spicy potatoes, chapathi and dal makhani.



Gadgets:

Pressure Cooker/ Ipot
Bowls
Cutting board
Knife
Heavy bottom vessel/Wok
Spatula


Ingredients:

Whole black udad dhal/ Whole thoor dhal with skin/lentils - 2 cups
Kidney beans/ rajma - 2 tbsp
Chann Dhal - 2 tbsp
Red Onions - 6 chopped finely
Tomato - 4 roma
Ginger - 1 inch grated fresh
Garlic - 4 cloves finely chopped
Green Chillis - 2 to 3 (to reduce spice remove seeds)
Shah Jeera - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Dal Makhini Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Kathuri Methi - 1 tbsp crushed
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Water
Butter - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
fresh cream - 1/4 cup (optional)



Preparation:

1. Soak the lentils and kidney beans over night with plenty of water.

2. Add them in a pressure pan along with channa dal with a little salt and pressure cook to 3 whistles.

3. Heat the pan with 1 tbsp butter allow it to melt and add 2 tbsp oil. Add in the shah jeera and cover for it would splatter a little.

4. Add onions, garlic, ginger, green chilis and salt and cook them well. Add turmeric, salt, dal makhini masala and tomatoes, cook well until they incorporate about 7-8 minutes.

5. When the lentils are done add it to the above mix and cook well.

7. Add kasthuri methi and mix well. Add fresh cream, cilantro and serve it hot with chapathi.

If using an Ipot: Follow step 1. Heat the Ipot on saute mode. Add oil, shah jeera, chilis, onion, garlic,ginger and tomatoes and saute for a few minute (2 mins). Add the udad and channa dal, rajma, salt, soaked water, dal makhini masala , kasturi methi, turmeric. Mix, cover and cook it on manual mode for minutes. On natural release give a mix, add cilantro, butter and cream if u wish. Give a stir and serve it hot.

9 Comments:

Last weekend we were trying to get over our mild cold and wanted to have some soup. I opened one of my Vegetarian cook books and looked at...

Spicy Corn Bell Pepper Soup

Last weekend we were trying to get over our mild cold and wanted to have some soup. I opened one of my Vegetarian cook books and looked at this recipe with corn and bell pepper. I liked it for its simplicity and so adapted its method to prepare this soup . I tried it out and I must say it was very comforting, tasty and had a good flavor. I made almost 2 and 1/2 quarts and it was all gone in 30 minutes. If you like cilantro this one is a winner. One thing though, I think its important to use frozen corn instead of fresh because its important not to have a lot of husk remains in the soup. My entry to No Croutons Required :Soup for this month.




Gadgets:


Heavy bottom pan

Cutting Board

Knife

Measuring cups and spoons

Blender


Ingredients:


Oil - 1 tbsp

Butter - 1 tbsp

Red Onion - 1

Red Bell Pepper - 1

Roma Tomato - 1

Frozen Corn - 2 cups

Cilantro - 1 bunch (use the whole bunch)

Green Chilli - 1 ( remove seeds

Salt

All purpose flour or Rice flour - 1 tbsp

Vegetable Broth - 2 -3 cups

Fresh Cream or whole milk - 1/2 cup





Preparation:


1. Heat the pan with oil and butter. Add chopped onions, red bell pepper, tomato, green chillis, corn, cilantro( with the stem) and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until they are cooked.


2. Add all purpose flour and mix well and cook for a few minutes and remove from heat.


3. Add the vegetable broth and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.


4. Cool and blend them into a puree. Pour it back into the pan and add fresh cream and cook on low to heat it up.


5. Serve it hot with any bread or sandwich.I served with lavash roll ups.


8 Comments:

 Today for lunch I made mutter paneer.  This recipe is easy to prepare, very flavorful and tasty. I served it with store bought flat bread...

Healthy Mutter Paneer Made Easy

 Today for lunch I made mutter paneer.  This recipe is easy to prepare, very flavorful and tasty. I served it with store bought flat bread, rice and raita for lunch. My entry to MM:Sensational sides hosted by Ruth's Kitchen Experiments who is helping Meeta this month. I made a few changes to the recipe my friend gave me many years ago. This is the only recipe I have used to make mutter paneer.




Gadgets:

Heavy bottom pan
Cutting Board
Knife
Blender
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Spatula

Ingredients:

Paneer - 1 pound ( Fry for a few minutes if needed)
Tomato - 4 cubed
Red Onion - 2 finely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Peas - 2 cups frozen
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaves -2
Butter - 2 tbsp)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Kasthuri Methi - 1 tbsp crushed
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 3 Tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 pinch
Cilantro- 1 tbsp chopped
Water -2 cups





Preparation:

1. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the heavy bottom pan and fry the onions and tomatoes together for 5 minutes. Grind into a paste.

2. Add  2 Tbsps of  oil and add the raw spices and  add the onion tomato paste, ginger and garlic paste mix well and add the powders, salt ,water and peas. Mix well cover and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Microwave the frozen peas for 5 minutes add to the tomato onion gravy.

4. Add paneer, sugar and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add butter and cover and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add Cilantro for garnish.


5 Comments:

Have you ever had Marie biscuit or any other cracker types sitting in your shelf for a while? Yeah! I have always had rolls of them at ho...

Eggless Cookie/Biscuit Crumble Refridgerator Cake: No Bake Cake

Have you ever had Marie biscuit or any other cracker types sitting in your shelf for a while? Yeah! I have always had rolls of them at home and sometimes I let them get soft and stale. This time I found a good use for it and converted them into something very tasty, crumbly and crunchy. This no bake cake takes 5 minutes to make but longer to set. I liked to eat it as soon as it is prepared because it is warm. However, I  had to allow for it to settle down to be cut into a cake.




Gadgets:

Wok
Spatula
Prepared Square Tray
Measuring cups and Spoons
Wax Paper


Ingredients:



Butter - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Cocoa Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Walnuts - 1 cup chopped
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Marie biscuit - 25 or crumbled cookie, biscuit, cracker - 2 cups


Preparation:

1. Crumble the marie biscuit or any other kinds that you might have with your hands into small pieces or put the biscuits in a ziploc bag and ask your kids to break them with a rolling pin.

2. In the wok ad butter and sugar and melt. When it melts add cocoa, vanilla, biscuit and walnuts.


3. Pour this mix into a prepared tray and spread it out with a flat. Cut with a knife and put it in the fridge to set for 6 hours and it is pure heaven.

4. Serve it with ice cream, with tea or coffee. A pure treat.

12 Comments:

The first time I tasted something like this was when Natalie, our friend came home for dinner and brought us some appetizer . I fell in lo...

Cream Cheese Stuffed Cherry Tomato - A Finger Food



The first time I tasted something like this was when Natalie, our friend came home for dinner and brought us some appetizer. I fell in love with it and have made it a zillion times. I have modified the recipe a little and substituted different nuts in this and it still tastes amazing. All you need to is to find cherry tomato that are fresh. If you get the bigger one in that variety you can get more cream into and as we know the more the better. I know the holidays are around the corner and I wanted to post it so that you can all prepare this and enjoy with family and friends. My entry to WYF: Party Food hosted by Simple Indian Food.




Gadgets:


Cutting Board

Knife

Tea spoon

Bowl

Table Spoon

Paper Towel

Measuring Cup


Ingredients:


Cherry Tomato - 15

Low fat Cream Cheese - 1/4 cup

Low fat Sour Cream - 2 tsp

Chives/ spring onions/Shallots - 2 tsp

Walnuts/ slivered almonds - chopped 2 tbsp

Pulp form the Tomatoes - 1 tbsp


Preparation:



1. Cut the top of the tomato and using a knife and back of a tsp remove the seeds and pulp from the tomato.


2. Place it face down on a paper towel and allow the juices to drain.


3. Mix the rest of the ingredients fill the holes of the tomato and cover with the piece of the top that was cut and serve. Can be kept in the fridge and served later too.




9 Comments: