Mint Pakoda

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There is a nice cool breeze blowing now in Bangalore and it sometimes results in a mild fog in the morning. When you step out of the house you rub your hands together for the little warmth that it gives you. You want all meals to be piping hot and you know you shouldn’t leave clothes out overnight because it will get wet in the morning with all the dew. Hot tea is welcome at all times and if it is with some crunchy pakoda then you feel total bliss. So this is for the Bangalore weather!

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Only when you have the need to finish off an ingredient soon do you realize that there are recipes you have never tried. I have had bhajiyas and pakodas from a variety of ingredients but somehow missed the mint leaf. So this theme and the large bunch of mint led me to the discovery of mint pakoda. It is very similar to the onion pakoda, not bhaji made in the ‘Bhavan’ restaurants of Chennai but the thin crispy pakodas made in Mumbai. Chennai onion bhaji is dicing the onions horizontally and deep frying them in chickpea flour similar to potato and raw banana fritters. But the pakoda version is thinly dicing onions and separating them completely and then mixing them with minimal chickpea flour, just enough to coat it and then adding very little water and deep frying them which ensures the very crispy version. I followed the same method for the mint leaves and it turned out quite good. So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Fresh mint leaves                                  from 15 stalks

Chickpea flour / Besan                         2-3 tbsp

Ajwain                                                        1/4 tsp

Red chilly powder                                   1/2 – 1 tsp

Oil for deep frying

Water

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Wash the mint leaves thoroughly
  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • In a medium bowl, take the mint leaves, chickpea flour, ajwain, chilly powder and salt and mix well
  • Add water little by little to bring all the ingredients together
  • Ensure that the chickpea flour coats all the mint leaves fully
  • Once the oil is hot, take a spoonful of the mint mixture and gently drop into the oil
  • Fry till the pakodas turn golden brown and then take it off the oil
  • Repeat till the entire mixture is similarly deep fried
  • Serve hot with ketchup or any chutney of your choice
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – One ingredient Three Dishes.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

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Waffles

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Some dishes you love because they are nutritious and others because they are comfort food. But my primary reason to start liking a waffle was that it looks so pretty. Such cute little squares inside a slightly larger one and can be doused in honey or smeared with any preserve of your choice. Sigh!!!

It was one of my first picks in a buffet breakfast and i fell in love with it more when the daughter ate it without a fuss. Who would throw a tantrum against waffles? But I was resigned to eating it only when I travel because I couldn’t justify, even to my most impulsive side, that buying a waffle iron made sense for the twice a month waffle affair. Yes, the frequency would be low because the husband doesn’t like it. Like that surprises anyone anymore! So the sighing continued until one fine day, I discovered a small silicon waffle mould on Amazon and life began to look up again. The only flip side is that the waffle grooves appear only on the lower side but the upper side is plain. This has no impact on the taste and is a perfect middle ground between having no waffles at all and buying a waffle iron. Now the daughter and I enjoy baked waffles every now and then thanks to this very easy recipe. Do try this –

Recipe adapted from here

Makes 12 small waffles

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour               1 cup

Sugar                                     1 tbsp

Baking powder                   1 tsp

Baking soda                         1/2 tsp

Egg                                          1

Milk                                        3/4 cup

Oil                                            2 tbsp

Vanilla essence                    1 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 220 C
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl
  • In another bowl, mix the egg, vanilla, oil and milk
  • Pour the egg mixture on the flour mix and combine well till no large lumps are visible
  • Pour the waffle batter in the mould till it is 3/4th full and place it in the oven
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Take out of the oven and serve with any of honey, preserves or jams
  • Enjoy a blissful breakfast!

P.S. You can use this recipe to make a pancake too. Just add 2 tbsp of milk to the batter and have fluffy pancakes.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


Aloo Gobhi

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Some dishes are very fancy in method and name while others are simple and pure bliss. I never did quite imagine I would be in raptures about the very traditional, very classic and as old as earth dish, aloo gobhi. Plain old potatoes and cauliflower, if made right, can make you float in the air with the feeling of all is going to be right in your life. Isn’t that strange about food? Some meals comfort you and make you a little more optimistic and charged up to fight the world again. This is totally that kind of meal.

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We have Chef Venkatesh Bhat to thank again. I am simply in love with his recipes which are simple yet heavenly to taste and pick me up when I am feeling low. The daughter’s song of the month is ‘Raindrops and Roses’ from the movie, Sound of Music. So when ‘the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am feeling sad’ I simply remember Venkatesh Bhat’s recipes and then I don’t feel sooooo bad. This is turning into a fan mail rather than a recipe post. So without any more ‘jollu’ I shall embark on the recipe. You can watch all his recipes on hotstar.com under the show title of Samayal Samayal in Vijay TV. Only thing is you need to understand some basic Tamil to get it. So here goes –

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Potatoes, large                  2

Cauliflower, medium      1

Onions, medium              2

Green chillies, slit           2

Cumin seeds                      1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste          1 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes, medium         2

Turmeric powder             A pinch

Red chilly powder           1/4 – 1/2 tsp

Garam masala                  1/2 tsp

Cumin powder                  1/4 tsp

Kasoori methi                   2 tbsp

Water

Salt

Oil for deep frying

Ginger juellines to garnish
WHAT TO DO

  • Par boil the potatoes and set aside. 
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them. I usually steam the cauliflower florets in an idli plate for 5-7 minutes
  • Peel and dice the potatoes into medium sized cubes
  • Heat oil in a deep pan for frying
  • Once the oil is hot, drop the potatoes and cauliflower florets and flash fry till there is a crisp coating on the two vegetables. If this step is not done the final dish will be in a mashed consistency like a filling for samosa. If you need the potatoes and cauliflower to retain their shape and form, then this flash frying is essential.
  • Take them out of the oil and set aside
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and slit green chillies
  • Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the onions and fry till they turn golden brown
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till it turns golden to dark brown
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, cumin powder and mix well
  • Fry for 2 minutes and then add 1/2 cup water and salt and cover to cook
  • Soak the kasoori methi in water for 3-4 minutes
  • The water in the pan should have almost evaporated by now. Add the potatoes and the cauliflower and toss well
  • Squeeze dry the kasoori methi and add to the pan
  • Garnish with ginger juellines
  • Serve warm with hot rotis or phulkas
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Make a meal.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Rajma Paratha

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Every cloud has a silver lining and this paratha is my silver lining to the disastrous attempt of a croquette that I tried. I was excited after seeing the recipe for Kidney beans croquettes on Venkatesh Bhat’s show. It is a recipe for a rajma and potato tikki filled with dried figs. Sounds tempting? I bought the rajma and went about the entire process diligently. It was all good till we suddenly decided to eat out that day and the next leaving me no time nor neccesity to make these croquettes. Feeling sorry for myself, I dumped the mixture in the fridge and forgot about it for a day or so.

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Lately, the daughter has taken to deciding the daily menus which is good but her choices only revolve around pancakes, curd rice and roti. So when she asked for a paratha I had a brain wave. I packed the rajma mixture into whole wheat flour and called it Rajma Paratha. What say? So here goes –

Makes 8-9 Parathas

WHAT WE NEED

 Rajma / kidney beans               100 gms

Onions, medium size                   3

Green chillies                                 2

Fresh coriander                            10-12 stalks

Potatoes, medium                        2

Coriander powder                         3/4 tsp

Jeera / Cumin powder                  1/4 tsp

Garam masala                                1/2 tsp

Bread slices                                     2

Wheat flour                                      2 cups

Water

Ghee / clarified butter to make parathas 

Salt
WHAT TO DO  

  • Soak the kidney beans in water for half hour and drain the water.
  • Thoroughly wash the potatoes
  • Pressure cook it for 10-12 whistles in 2 cups water along with the potatoes and set aside for 20 minutes
  • Finely chop the onions and coriander.
  • Slit the green chillies vertically, deseed and finely chop them
  • Run the bread slices in a blender to get bread crumbs
  • Mix the wheat flour with requisite water and salt to make a soft dough for the parathas and set aside
  • Take out the kidney beans and potatoes from the cooker, drain the water and mash them thoroughly to ensure no lumps are left
  • Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt
  • Add the onions, green chillies and fresh coriander and mix well to form a dough
  • Add the bread crumbs and mix well
  • Divide the mixture into 8-9 parts
  • Divide the wheat dough into 8-9 parts and use your hands to form smooth dough balls without any cracks
  • Take one of the dough balls and roll it out like a roti 
  • Place the kidney bean mixture in the centre of the roti and fold in the roti from the outside to form a tight large ball of dough. 
  • Roll out the stuffed dough into a medium sized paratha
  • Heat a tava and place the paratha on it. Cook it on both sides till it has golden brown spots on either side. It should take around 3-4 minutes
  • Take it off the heat and add little ghee on top and spread it on the entire paratha
  • Repeat the process for the other dough balls as well
  • Serve hot with any raita and pickle of your choice
  • Enjoy it on a cold winter day!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathonunder the theme – Make a Meal.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Tava Pulao

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This dish is another one which has been on my to-do list forever now.  I saw this one on Venkatesh Bhat’s show and  it looked so simple and yum. 

It is a perfect example of an easy dish which is tasty as well as nutritious with all the veggies in it. Pair it with a simple raita and you are set for dinner. 

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Basmati rice            1 cup

Onion, large            1

Carrot, medium     1

French beans           6-8

Capsicum                 1

Peas, boiled              1/4 cup

Unsalted butter      100 gms

Ginger garlic paste  1 tsp

Turmeric powder      A pinch

Green chillies            2

Pav bhaji masala       2-3 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes in water
  • Drain and cook the rice in 2 cups water in a large pan till it is almost done
  • Strain the water and mix a tsp of oil to the rice and set aside
  • Chop the onion, carrot, beans and capsicum finely.
  • Heat the butter in a pan and add the onion and sauté for a minute on medium high
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes
  • Add the chopped carrot, beans and capsicum and toss well
  • Add turmeric and peas and mix
  • Slit the green chillies vertically and add to the pan
  • Add the pav bhaji masala and salt and mix well
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Add the rice and mix well 
  • Turn off the heat and serve with any raita of your choice
  • Enjoy!

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This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Make a meal.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Burger Buns

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I have been planning to make burgers from scratch forever now. Finally I achieved this grand ambition last month when we had the Burger theme for the Blogging Marathon. Smart girl that I am, I immediately saved up the burger bun recipe for Bake-a-thon. So here it is.

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Recipe from here.

Makes 4 buns

WHAT WE NEED

Lukewarm water                          1/4 – 1/2 cup

Butter, room temp                       1 tbsp

Egg, small                                       1

All purpose flour                          1  3/4 cup

Sugar                                                2 tbsp

Salt                                                    3/4 tsp

Instant yeast                                  1 1/2 tsp

Melted butter                                 2 tbsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl to form a dough
  • Set aside in a greased bowl for an hour or till the dough doubles in bulk
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 parts
  • Roll each part into a round bun and place them on a greased baking tray
  • Set aside for an hour or till the buns appear puffy
  • Preheat the oven to 190 C
  • Brush the buns with half of the melted butter
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes till the top of the buns are golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and brush with the balance melted butter
  • Cool the buns on a wire rack
  • Enjoy with a patty of your choice!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


Banana Honey Muffins

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Life is full of wonderful little surprises. One such is this banana honey muffin I made. I needed to have muffins for my continental breakfast spread I made for the Thali theme last month. I was in a tearing hurry because I need to finish cooking and clicking by 10 in the morning else the sun is gone and my pictures look worse than ever. I did not even have any fruit to whip a muffin with and so I searched for a simple vanilla muffin. One thing led to another till I came across this recipe which had honey in it. I have been wanting to bake with honey for a while and so I picked it. Then I remembered I had a couple of small sad looking bananas which my daughter refused to eat and the husband wanted to throw away. But the baker in me would allow no such thing and they also found their way happily into this muffin batter.

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To cut a long story short, these are very easily made and turn out soft and delicious. So do try them when you are at the mercy of your sweet tooth. The recipe can easily be doubled. Actually, I have halved all ingredients except for the egg. Here goes –

Adapted from here

Makes 8 mini muffins

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                              1 cup

Sugar, white or brown                    1/4 cup

Baking powder                                  1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                                        1/4 tsp

Egg                                                         1

Milk                                                       1/2 cup

Bananas, small overripe                 2

Honey                                                   2 tbsp

Oil                                                          2 tbsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the dry ingredients, ie flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
  • Mix all the wet ingredients i.e. oil, egg, honey and milk in another bowl
  • Mash the bananas thoroughly and add to the wet ingredients
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients till they are completely mixed
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Line a mini muffin tray with muffin cups or grease the muffin tray well
  • Fill the muffin cups to three fourths full
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for 5 minutes
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


Eier Kichel

 

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So I bought another cookbook. Yes. Despite having access to millions of recipes online, despite having bookmarked countless recipes from my co-bloggers, despite having cookbooks from which I have tried only a handful of recipes, I bought another one. In my defense…..well, I have no defense.

I bought ‘The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook’. Aren’t you a little tempted? Accept it. I have been browsing it and lovingly touching the pictures of some of the yummiest looking bakes. My first attempt is Eier Kichel, which has been described as ‘Jewish cookies made with egg’. It is usually a sweet type cookie but I was in the mood for savory and all enthusiastic to experiment. So I made a savory version of this cookie. Also my cookies are smaller in comparison because I wanted to have them over a longer period of time. Here goes –

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Adapted from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

Makes 16-18 cookies

WHAT WE NEED

Eggs, large                              3

Canola oil                                1 tbsp plus extra for brushing

Salt                                            1 tsp

Sugar                                        1/2 tsp

Baking powder                      1/2 tsp

All purpose flour                  150 gms (1 cup plus 3 tbsp)

WHAT TO DO

  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl till frothy
  • Add salt, sugar, oil and baking powder and mix well
  • Add 130 gms of flour to the egg mixture in two additions. Ensure the first addition is fully mixed in before adding the second one
  • The dough will be sticky but check if the dough pulls away slightly from the sides of the bowl.
  • If not, add 1 tbsp flour at a time and mix well till it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes
  • Cover it with a plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 260C and line the baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Divide the dough into 16 parts. Take one piece at a time and keep the balance covered in the plastic wrap
  • Press the dough ball on a lightly floured surface with your hands. Take the ends and pull it to the middle and pinch into each other. Repeat the process three times
  • Press the dough into a flat circle slightly smaller the size of your palm and transfer it to the baking sheet
  • Repeat the procedure for all the other dough balls
  • Reduce the temperature to 205C and bake for 6 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for about 6-7 minutes till the cookies bubble and turn slightly brown
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
  • These cookies will crisp as they cool
  • Store in an air tight container for 4-5 days
  • Enjoy them as is or with toppings of your choice.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


Bread Rolls

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It is December which means it is Baking Time. I am super late in starting this year’s Bake-a-thon but it is my favorite event since it involves baking. It also gives me a legitimate excuse to hover around the oven peeking nervously and crossing fingers in the hope that the bread rises, the cake is baked through and there are no wet spots in the muffin. Ah Life!

I want to begin this year’s Bake-a-thon with one of my favorite dishes, the bread roll or dinner roll. The toughest thing about these rolls are keeping your hands off them once they are baked. I visited Mumbai in November after almost two years and took these for my brother who is one person who loves anything I make. It was soft and chewy that you had to grab the next one and the next.

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This is a must try of I may say so myself. It is simple and easy and enhances your meal (and your waistline)! So here goes –

Adapted from here.

Makes 15 rolls

WHAT WE NEED

Warm milk                                240 ml

Instant dry yeast                        20 gms

Sugar                                              25 gms

Salt                                                  8 gms

Salted butter                               40 gms

Egg                                                   1

All purpose flour                         325 gms

Melted butter                                 8-10 gms

WHAT TO DO

  • In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, yeast, salt, butter and the egg
  • Add approximately 300 gms of flour and mix well with either stand / hand mixer on low speed or your hands
  • Once all the ingredients come together, add the balance flour and mix on medium speed till the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl
  • The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Additional flour can be added to reach the desired consistency but don’t add too much else the rolls will not turn out soft
  • Keep the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a wet towel for 90 minutes
  • Take out and punch the dough and divide it into 15 parts
  • Grease a baking tray and place the rolls equidistant from each other and let rise for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for around 12 minutes till the top of the rolls are medium brown in colour
  • Take out the rolls and brush them with melted butter
  • Serve warm or cool. These rolls can be stored for 3-4 days in plastic bags at room temperature
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016