Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Capsicum Paneer Roti Sandwich/Desi Style Quesadillas

Sandwiches are life-saving breakfast menu. Someday's i have everything ready the previous night, even i plan what to make for the next day. But someday's are worst, i will be totally blank and will be standing still thinking what to make, while the clock runs in great speed that particular day.
Today was one such good day,adding to that, i woke-up late, blame the winter on-set!!  By the time i entered the kitchen,  it was already 6 and my kiddo has to leave in another 30 minutes. Thank god, for i got some capsicums cleaned and cut roughly the previous week , quickly made these sandwiches with methi roti and packed his box. yet to know the result, but to my taste-buds it was awesome. Aroma of methi along with capsicum paneer makes a wonderful, filling meal for all the senses.
I made fresh dough for the sandwiches, you can even make it with leftover roti's or even with bread.

Ingredients
For the Dough
1 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves/Kasuri methi
1/2 cup warm water
a pinch red chili powder
a pinch of turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp oil

Filling 
1 Medium-sized Capsicum, thinly sliced (or) 1 Cup Chopped capsicum
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of Crumbled paneer
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp pav bhaji masala
little less than the usual salt (we will be using cheese in the sandwich)

For Sandwiches
Tomato sauce/Ketchup for spreading
cheese slices
Method
  • Heat oil in pan, when it is hot, add chopped garlic and saute. When they turn brown,add chopped capsicum and saute for a minute or two.
  • Next add red chili powder, pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix well. Let it cook for 2 more minutes for the rawness of the masala to escape and the spices to blend well with the veggies. 
  • Do not add water or cook the veggies more than 2/3 minutes. The idea is to blend the spices with capsicums, while keeping their crunch.
  • Next add crumbled paneer, mix well and take it off the stove after 2 minutes. Let it cool.
Method
  • Take Flour in a wide bowl. Add Kasuri methi, haldi,red chili powder and salt. Mix well to combine
  • Add enough water and knead to make a soft dough. At the end add oil, knead well. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting make the stuffing and keep it ready.
  • Divide the dough into equal sized balls. With the above given measurements you might get approximately 6 balls.
  • Roll the dough into not so thick or thin circles. Heat a tava/pan, Cook the roti's on the tava until you see brown speckles on both sides. Keep it covered until use.
To Make the sandwich (2 methods)
  • I make the sandwich directly on the tava. While cooking the second roti,  after cooking one side, flip the roti, reduce the flame to simmer, spread the ketchup and filling on the cooked side of the roti, place the cheese and close it with another cooked roti. Apply butter on top and carefully flip it, to toast the other side.
  • Please remember to keep the flame LOW while making the sandwich directly on the Tava. You can even make sandwich using a single roti, folding it into half.
  • If you are not confident enough to make it directly on the tave, then make the roti's first, assemble the sandwich separately and then toast it again to make the sandwich, whichever way is convenient to you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Hand pies

Today's recipe is from my drafts. These cute hand pies i made during navrathri, when there was loads of apples around, i made them after making Apple chocolate smoothie. The recipe is inspired from The Blonde Buckeye. I first saw them in Foodgawker's gallery and totally loved the shape of it. I have just replaced the sour cream in the recipe with hung curd and used 50-50 Whole wheat flour and All purpose flour.
I found these hand pies easy to serve than the regular pies. I actually prepared the entire dough into pies and baked 4 at a time, freezing the rest. They come in quite handy when you have  a guest or when you crave for something sweet. These are good to be packed for lunchboxes too, as they are small and handy to pick and eat.

Ingredients (makes a dozen)
For Crust
2 tbsp hung curd
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
4 tbsp Ice Water
1.5 cups Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 cup very cold Unsalted Butter, cut in ½” cubes
2 tbsp of milk for brushing the top 
For Filling
4 tsp Lemon Juice, divided
2 cups Granny Smith Apples
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Method
For Filling
  • Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Peel, core & chop apples into ½” cubes. Toss the chopped apples into the bowl with the lemon juice to keep from browning as you cut them.
  • Add sugar, 2 more teaspoons lemon juice and cinnamon to the apples, mix well. Let the fruit mixture sit in the fridge, until use.

For Crust
  • To prepare hung curd, take about 1/4cup of yogurt and put in a sieve. i used my tea-strainer. Keep it on top of glass/tumbler, so it can drain the whey out. I kept in the fridge for an hour for it to drain.
  • Whisk together hung curd, lemon juice and ice water in a bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add in cold butter cubes & work them into the flour using a pastry cutter, i didn't have one, so i used my hands to incorporate it.
  • When the flour resemble bread crumbs. Add in sour cream mixture and start to mix it in. Once it starts to clump together, form a solid ball out of the pieces. 
  • Divide the dough in 2 disks and wrap each one separately in plastic wrap. Don't work the dough too much to avoid the butter getting warm. Refrigerate the dough packs for 1-2 hours.
To make the pies:
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Once the dough has been chilled, using one pack at a time (leaving the rest in the refrigerator) roll the dough out onto a clean, generously floured work surface. Roll the dough out until about ⅛” thick.
  • Using a large cookie cutter, cut shapes from the dough & place them on the baking tray. Once a batch of 4 or 5 is done, store it in the refrigerator until you’re done with the remainder of the dough.
  • Once all the shapes are cut, place a large spoonful of apple filling onto half of the shapes (leave about a ½” border without filling). Brush the edges with little milk and place another dough shape on top of the filling, stretching the edges to meet one another. Crimp the edges with a fork until sealed. Brush the tops with more milk & cut tiny slits in the tops to vent. Top each pie with a little sprinkle castor sugar.
  • Bake pies for about 20-25 minutes (or until the filling is bubbly and the crust starts to turn golden). Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10-20 minutes before handling. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • I made about a dozen pies from the above mentioned measurements.  I made these hand pies for a week. Made the filling one day, the dough the next day. Dough and the filling was in the fridge for about 2 days. Cut out the pies and shaped them and baked about 4 pies a day for the next 3 days. 
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Whole Wheat Savory Kugelhopf - We Knead to Bake#7

We Knead to bake, an bread baking group, kick-started by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. We are going to complete one year and it means we have learnt to bake 12 new breads this year!!! Wohooo!! that is some achievement, that too for someone who had a bad relationship with yeast!!!! :) It was all in the past now, yeast is like my good friend now, we can get along anytime for a cup of tea/coffee!!! ;)
Kugelhopf is a yeasted sweet cake well known in the Alsace region of France, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and variations of this are also found in some countries of Eastern Europe. There are many stories surrounding this bread, it will be reaaly long posst!!! The most commonly told story about the Kugelhopf is that Marie Antoinette (the same lady of the “let them eat cake” fame!) brought it from her home country Austria, to France upon her marriage to King Louis XVI. 
Since it is a yeasted cake, the Kugelhopf has a dense bread-like texture and is made from a somewhat enriched dough like brioche but is not as rich. It is considered similar to a coffee cake that might be eaten for or with breakfast, or could be part of an afternoon snack with coffee.
Aparna chose to bake the lesser known version of the Kugelhopf its savoury Alsatian version called the Kugelhopf aux Lardons. “Lardons” is the French word for bacon, and this version is typically made with onions, ham/ bacon, walnuts and herbs. I made the vegetarian version of the Kugelhopf  using carrots, corn and tomatoes along with cheddar cheese. Feel free to use any combination of veggies and don't forget the cheese!!!!

Ingredients
1.5 Cups of Whole Wheat flour + 1/4 Cup extra (for dusting and kneading)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
50gm butter, at room temperature
1/4 Cup + 2 tbsp milk
1/4 Cup Yogurt (replacing 1 egg)
1/2 tsp oil
Stuffing (Savory Ingredients)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 tbsp corn, i used frozen
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 cup of Cheddar cheese, chopped into cubes
2 tbsp of melon seeds

Method
  • Take  flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Then add butter, a little at a time, mix well.
  • Add the warm milk, yogurt and knead to a soft and sticky dough. Knead some more, adding flour(from the extra 1/4 up), a little at a time and just enough till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not be tempted to add more flour than absolutely necessary.
  • Your dough will be very soft, elastic and just short of sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until double in volume. This can take from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 
  • In the meanwhile, heat 1/2 a tsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion, tomatoes and the spice powders, saute till the rawness disappears. Next add chopped carrots and corn mix well to combine with the added spices. Let it sit on the stove for 5-8 minutes. Remove and keep aside. 
  • Grease an 6” kugelhopf mould or bundt pan well especially around the centre (or whatever pan/ tin you plan to use). I used a 6"bundt pan. Place some melon seeds in the bottom of the mould/pan. 
  • Once the dough has risen, deflate it. Then flatten the dough out and spread the stuffing over the surface, fold the dough over and then knead it. This will ensure a more uniform incorporation of the “filling”. The dough will be a bit sticky, so use a scraper to help you with the kneading. Do not add more flour!
  • Roll the dough into a longish log, long enough to fit into the mould comfortably. Lift the “log” of dough and place it in the mould in a circular fashion and pinch the two ends together to close the “circle” of dough. Cover and let the dough rise for about an hour or so, until it reaches the edge/ rim of the mould.
  • Bake the Kugelhopf at 200C (400F) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when it is tapped.
  • Unmould the Kugelhopf and let it cool on a rack. Slice and serve . Makes a perfect Brunch or Lunch with a hearty salad and warm soup.
  • We enjoyed it as such as a snack and i packed some for my hubby breakfast too and kuttu's lunchbox. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Carrot Dosa - Breakfast Recipe

Cooking from Cookbook challenge, an event by +Srivalli Jetti, that happens during the weekends of every month, where we cook a dish from cookbooks , magazines, or recipes noted from mom, aunts, next door neighbor, etc.  The main reason many of us do this challenge is to dust the cookbooks we collected during a period of time, giving us a chance to at-least look into it.
So this week too, i picked  a dosa recipe from Mallika Badrinath's Tiffen Varieties. Dosa being my kiddo's favorite and this is an easy recipe since, it doesn't require any fermentation. It is a Grind n Pour dosa type. Weekend mornings are lazy mornings, when rest of the family is snoring, i will be twisting and turning thinking about what to make for breakfast. i consider these grind and pour dosa's as my blessing on such days.
Ingredients
1 cup raw rice
1/4 cup Parboiled rice
3/4 cup grated carrots
5 nos red chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium-sized onion
a small gooseberry-sized tamarind
Salt to taste (1 tsp)
Method
  • Soak both rice together for 2-3 hours. Grind it along with rest of ingredients to a fine batter.
  • The batter should be of pouring consistency. Dilute the batter with water if necessary. I used around a cup of water to grind and added another 1/2 cup of water.
  • Heat a tava, pour a laddle of batter in the center of the pan, do not spread much. Dot the edges with gingely oil/ghee. Flip and cook the other side. Serve it hot with Chutney/sambhar.
Notes
  • The Dosa can also be poured like rava dosa. Pour from the farther end of  the pan and end it the center. I made it both the ways, it came out good. 
  • Tamarind adds nice tangi-ness to the dosa, it balances the sweetness of the carrots, so do not miss it.
How to prepare you dosa pan/tava for dosa's.
I use a normal Cast iron tava for both my dosa and roti. So, sometimes after making roti's, my pan will not co-operate for making dosa.
So, such times, i use a cut onion and little oil to prep my pan. Heat the pan. Pour 1/2 tsp oil on to the pan, rub it well with onion, then try pouring the dosa. The dosa will come easily without sticking to the pan.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pataqueta - Traditional Bread from Valencia

For this month's Baking Partner's challenge Marissa of Thermofan, suggested Pataqueta, a traditional bread from Valencia, Spain. It was an amazing experience, making this bread. The origin of these crescent shaped bread dates back to seventeenth century. The inhabitants of Valencia's Orchard used to bake this bread for their important festival. 
This bread has no fat at all, no oil/butter is used in the bread making process and it has to be baked by steaming. Not our idly steaming, Baking by introducing steam in the oven. I have a small microwave convection oven with a turntable, with no racks. So, i was a bit hesistant to try, but then Swathi Iyer was so encouraging and Marrisa was so kind to help us with all our silly doubts. Thoroughly enjoyed making them and was proud to bake such a traditional bread.
Ingredients
For the ferment
100 ml water
50gms(or) 1/3 Cup all purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Bread dough
1.5 Cups of All purpose flour
1.5 cups of Whole Wheat flour
200 ml tepid(slightly warm) water
1 & 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
all the ferment
a little flour for dusting the work surface and the bread.

Method
For the Ferment
Stir the yeast into the water in your mixing bowl, then add the flour and sugar and mix well. Cover with plastic film. Put into the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours.
I used my Tupperware box to make the ferment.
Bread dough
  • I removed the ferment from the fridge after 36 hours. On the day of making the bread, remove the ferment and leave it on the kitchen counter for 2 hours or more to get to room temperature. (see notes)
  • After 2 hours. Keeping the ferment in its bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except the salt, and mix together with your scraper/hands. i used my hands to make the dough.
  • When everything starts to come together into dough, turn it out onto your work surface (don’t flour it first).
  • Start to work the dough for about 10 minutes, then add the salt and continue kneading until smooth and elastic. Keep the dough in a well oiled bowl and let it raise in a warm place until doubled in size. It took about an hour.
  • After the first raise, take the dough out, punch down to release the air. Weigh the dough using a kitchen scale. My dough weighed around 2lbs/900 gms. Divide dough into 150 g pieces and then form the dough into small balls.
  • Place the balls on  a baking tray, make a slit at the centre of the ball and pull apart the sides from outside to form a crescent shape. Make a slit on top of the balls too.
  • Cover them again with a kitchen cloth dusted with flour. Leave to rest until them double in size, for about 1 hour.
  • The bread has to be baked with steam in a regular oven. Place a wire rack and a round pan under the wire-rack inside the oven and preheat it to 200C/400F. In the meanwhile boil 2 cups of water and keep it ready.
  • Once the oven reaches the temperature and beeps, open the oven door, pour the boiling water into the pan kept under the wire-rack, place the bread tray on top of the rack and close the door. 
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. My bread was done by 30 minutes. My oven could bake only 2 pataquetas at the same time, so i baked it in 3 batches. i kept the rest of raising pataquetas, in the fridge and took it out at the time of baking.

Notes
  • I made the ferment on saturday 7:00 pm and removed from the fridge on Monday morning 10:00am. When i first removed, the ferment wasn't bubbly, but rested it and found little tear here and there and still had that yeasty smell. So, i proceeded with the process and got a beautiful bread.
  • The first bake i baked for 35 minutes, the crust become a bit hard. so, the second and third batch i baked it for only for 30 minutes and got a perfect crust. The crust will be a bit crunchy with a soft and fluffy inside.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wheat flour Appam/Instant Sweet Appam for Kaarthigai Deepam

I decided not to make anything special for Kaarthigai this year. First reason, i though we overdid for this Diwali and secondly there was a bad news in my cousin's family, just the previous day. So, i was totally in sad mood. 
But as the day progressed, amma called and asked what i made, when i told her that i m not making anything, she literally scolded me, with kids at home , you should celebrate festivals, and made me to go and make this appam. 
I know, they will get vanished the moment i bring it out to the dining table, so i hid some 10 appams for my clicks. And today, when i was clicking, my lil fella smelt that i m shooting something tasty, so he came running, climbed up the bed and started nibbling from the plate, it was so cute and natural and made me proud for making something he likes.
Ingredients (Makes 2 dozen appams)
1 cup Wheat flour
1 tbsp of Rice flour
1 banana
1/2 cup jaggery,
1 cup water + 1/4 cup extra
2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut/desiccated coconut
a pinch of baking soda
3-4 pods of cardamom, crushed
ghee/oil for pan frying
Method
  • Dissolve jaggery in a cup of water and melt it on a stove top. When the syrup boils, switch it off, strain the syrup for impurities. The strained syrup measured 3/4 Cup. 
  • In a big bowl, take both flours, add banana, coconut and baking powder. Mix it with your hands. Crush the banana well and mix it with the flours. Now add the strained syrup and mix it well with a spoon. I required another 1/4 cup of water to get the batter to a pouring consistency.
  • Heat a paniyaram pan/abelskiver pan, pour a drop of ghee in all the holes. Pour a spoon of batter into the holes, let it cook, flip it using a fork and cook the other side too. Keep the flame low and cook. 
  • Remove it to a kitchen towel and repeat the process with the remaining batter. 
  • Serve Warm. Makes a good after-school snack for kids.


Notes
  • I used a non-stick paniyaram/abelskiver pan to make the appams. That makes a huge difference in the ghee/oil we use for making.
  • I added a drop of ghee in the holes everytime i make paniyaram, that was the total amount of ghee used to cook. if you prefer add another drop of ghee/oil on top of the paniyaram or after flipping it the other side. 
  • Keep the flame simmer, that is the mantra for getting evenly cooked and good looking appams. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ragi Moong dal Murukku/Ragi Payatham Paruppu Murukku/Ragi Chakli

After trying my hand with Moong flour murukku/chakli, i wanted to make it traditionally using cooked dal. Same time, i saw +Priya Suresh posting variety of snacks using millets. So taking inspiration from there, i tried this ragi flour and moong dal murukku. It came out super crispy and a perfect diwali treat for my friends too.
This murukku i made especially for my lil fella Bala. He loved the moong flour murukku, but found it a bit difficult to hold the swirly snack, he prefered broken pieces than a whole muruku. So, i made these thool muruku/broken murukku for him to enjoy. He was so after the muruku dabba/box, it vanished in a week. The elder one was a bit hesitant to try these, since he thought they were burnt muruku!!! :( Had to explain a lot to make him try,though he liked the taste, he preferred the white murukku for the obvious reason.
Ingredients
1 Cup Ragi flour
1/2 cup Rice flour
3/4 Cup cooked moong dal
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp hing
1 Cup of warm water
Oil for Deep Frying the Murukku
Method
  • Pressure Cook a Cup of Moong dal with 1.5 Cups of water until soft. It should be really soft. This cooked moong dal is going to give moisture to the murukku so, make it really soft.
  • Once the pressure releases, Take the given measurement separately in a large bowl, add ragi flour and rice flour, salt, white sesamed seeds, butter and hing.
  • Mix well to resemble a coarse mixture. Now add Warm water little by little and make a soft dough.
  • Heat oil in a wide kadai/pan for deep frying. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Take one part of the dough.  Knead well  and put it in the murukku/chakkli press. I used the 3 - holed mould. You can even use single star mould.
  • Press the dough into the hot oil making small swirls.Turn the murukku using a slotted spoon after a minute. When the sizzle seizes, take it out using slotted spoon, and drain on a kitchen towel. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. 
  • When the murukku/Chakkli cooled completely,  transfer it to an air-tight container. 
Sending this to ONLY Diwali Treats, happening +Nivedhanams Sowmya , an event by +Pari VasishtFoodabulous Fest - Celebrate November month, happening @ Simply Tadka.

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