Friday, October 3, 2014

Paav : Indian Dinner Roll


One of the things I missed the most living in USA is Paav, the typical indian bread made of maida or all purpose flour. Some of the best food, Paav Bhaji, Vada Paav, Dabeli etc etc need it. Usually we use burger buns instead of Paav. Surprisingly it never occurred to me that I should look it up and try my hand at it. Once again i think its the fear that it might be difficult to recreate the recipe, or that I don't know the secrets of the bakers in India..Recently I joined a group on FB where Indian women from out of India are connected, they share recipes, cookign tips, home remedies and many more things. On this group, I found paav recipes that motivated me to make it.

I followed recipe from vaah re vaah recipe youtube video link: Paav video Vaah re Vaah
I would recommend watching this video as well..makes the job very easy :)
I did halve the quantity, so here is the list of ingredients I used:

  1. 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tbsp sugar
  3. 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  4. 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 3 1/2 tsp Butter

Method:

  • dissolve sugar and yeast in water.
  • add salt to flour, slowly add water and begin kneading the flour as you would usually knead the dough for rotis.
  • The dough formed will be very soft.
  • add melted butter and knead some more. 
  • let the dough rest for an hour or two till it forms double the quantity.
  • Punch the dough and let the air out.
  • apply some butter on the baking sheet sprinkle some flour.
  • make rolls from the dough and place in a baking sheet.
  • Place the dough such that the rolls mildly touch each other.
  • Let the rolls rise for 30 mins
  • Pre heat the oven to 375 deg F
  • now just apply a layer of milk on the rolls with a brush or tissue dipped in milk. This is to get a shine to the bread. You may use egg as well.
  • Bake the Paav to 15-20 min until browned nicely at the top.
  • apply some butter at the top of paav once you take it out of oven. this helps to keep them soft and adds some moisture..
  • Take it off the baking sheet and let it cool.
In Pics: Sorry I do know have the pic of dough pre rise. But you can imagine how much it has risen since I made this dough only of 3 and 3/4 cup flour.




Enjoy the authentic Indian paav in your favourite dish :)

Barbecue Mushroom Pizza

I love trying out different types of Pizza recipe, I am just bored now of the regular tomato sauce pizza base..
By far my 2 most favourite pizza recipes are Barbecue Mushroom Pizza and the Greek Pizza. For this pizza I looked up barbecued chicken pizza recipe and substituted mushroom for chicken.

This barbecue mushroom pizza recipe tastes just like my favourite Smokin Joes Pizza. Tried to look up the exact name but they don't have it on the menu anymore :(
Bigger reason to be able to make it at home and savor the flavours of my dental school days.

This is time I decided to make the crust at home too. The recipe i used it from Perfect Pizza Crust post of Dinner a love story blog..The only difference is the amount of water and that I used a lot of whole wheat flour.

For the crust:

  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 n 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  3. 2 n 1/2 tsp yeast
  4. 3/4 tsp salt
  5. 3/4 tsp sugar
  6. 2 cups water

Method:

  • take all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, begin gathering the flour adding water in small quantities so that the flour forms a stiff ball...knead it for 1-2 minutes
  • let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, till it doubles in volume
  • punch out the air and divide the dough into two halves.
  • If you need to freeze the dough you can put it in the freezer now after putting it in a plastic bag or a cling film.
  • If making Pizza, roll out the dough in the thickness you like, i prefer thin crust pizza so i rolled it quite thin, stretched it some after putting it in my cookie sheet.
  • I have a cookie sheet with holes, and I feel this works better if you like a crisp crust.

For the topping:

  1. 1  8 oz pack of mushrooms
  2. 1/2 onion
  3. 1 tomato
  4. 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  5. 1/3 + 2 tbsp your favourite barbecue sauce (mine is Sweet Baby Ray)
  6. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  7. Mozzarella Cheese
  8. Cilantro
  9. salt
  10. pepper
  11. olive oil  
Method:

  • Preheat the oven on 400 deg F
  • oil the cookie sheet
  • Marinate chopped mushrooms in 2 tbsp barbecue sauce, along with some salt pepper, add very little salt as the sauce contains some salt too!
  • spread 1/3 cup barbecue sauce on the rolled pizza crust, you can add less of it (1/4cup) depending on how much you like the barbecue sauce taste..I love it so I add more
  • sprinkle chopped garlic and cheddar cheese, over it chopped onions and tomatoes and cilantro, then top it off with Mozzarella cheese (once again with the cheeses, you can add as per your wish, i love cheese but keep it to a lower side as I don't want to make the pizza unhealthy)
  • Bake it in the oven for 15-20 min, lift and check the bottom of crust to see if it has cooked enough..







Enjoy this awesome pizza!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lasaniya bataka (spicy garlic potato) n moong dal (split green gram) khichdi

Lasaniya bataka literally translates to garlic potatoes... Some introduction about this dish, it is a kathiawadi dish. So this dish is from a region called kathiawad in northern part gujrat. as the name suggests it has a lot of garlic and spice...it has a some thick gravy which makes it a great combination with khichdi or plain rice and chaas (buttermilk: drink made by blending yogurt with water and adding some cumin powder and salt)...you can reduce the spicy quotient of it by reducing the chilly powder content...but this is supposed to be a spicy dish..

Ingredients:

  1. 3-4 medium sized potatoes chopped 
  2. 6-7 large cloves of garlic
  3. 3 tsp cumin coriander powder
  4. 2 n 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
  5. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1/2 + 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  7. pinch of asafoetida (hing) (optional)
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  9. 3-4 curry leaves (optional)
  10. oil to sauté
  11. salt to taste
Method:

  • blanch the chopped potatoes by immersing them in boiling water for 10- 12 min.
  • crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle, add the dry spice powders to it and beat with the pestle so that the dry spices and garlic get beaten to form a dry spice mix (sort of like the chutney)..you can use a chopper too to make this garlic-spice powder blend..but people say the it tastes better when crushed in mortar and pestle.
  • in a heavy bottomed pan, take some oil (now this is a tricky step too, more the oil you take tastier it becomes..you can take from 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup or even little more than that..yea...i know this is a big variation!!! but the person i learnt this from took a crazy amount of oil and made the gravy with oil!!!! it was tasty no doubt but i could never take that much or even half of it..so i end up adding water to the potatoes till they are completely cooked and some more to make some gravy)
  • Anyways so take some oil in a pan, and add mustard seeds to it, once they sputter, add cumin seeds, when the cumin turn brown (this will take only few seconds) add the curry leaves, and the garlic spice mix...if you have taken minimal quantity of oil then add some water do it forms a thick paste and stir it..once you get the roasted aroma from garlic and spices add the potatoes, salt and some water (as the potatoes are only semi cooked when blanched...you will need to keep adding more water till the potatoes have cooked completely.)

thats it...your delicious potato sabji is ready to eat with roti, paratha or khichdi..in kathiawad they eat it with khichdi..plain moong dal khichdi tastes super awesome with this prep!

Quick recipe for moong dal khichdi
Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup white rice
  2. 1/4 cup green moong dal (split green gram)
  3. pinch of turmeric
  4. water
  5. salt to taste
Method:

  • wash the rice and moong dal with plain water..
  • this needs to be cooked in pressure cooker..add water to the rice-dal mix such that when you immerse your finger (any finger) the water touches the 2nd line of your finger...
  • add salt and turmeric and close the cooker..cook for 20-30 min or 2-3 whistles..

I am sorry i do not have the cup measure but this is how we cook..and this is how my mother taught me and it works! :)
Indian folks might think it is too much water, but this much water is needed to make the khichdi the way they make it in gujrat! it is very soupy...so if you like a firmer version put little less water...half the distance between the first and 2nd line on your finger...
you would need less water if you soak the rice and dal before...i almost never do..so this much water is needed for the instant khichdi..
you may add ghee or clarified butter to the khichdi while cooking and/or while serving...tastes delicious

Enjoy this easy meal of lasaniya bataka and khichdi with chaas!!!
Happy cooking

Pad thai noodles and veg thai soup

Am back to blogging after a long long time...so sorry that this post might not be written in a super awesome way, but these recipe absolutely are....so don't focus on the writing this time...its going to take me a while to get used to pen things in an interesting way...but i do want to write more, and while i haven't been blogging i have been saving a lot of recipes i have been wanting to share.

this is my second pad thai recipe...the difference in this recipe is that I am going to tell you pad thai sauce recipe...well that sounds pompous...am not really making a sauce from scratch, just mixing some sauce to make the pad thai sauce. If you are lover of chinese/ thai food you would have most of these sauces at home, so you can spare from buying one more "pad thai noodle sauce"
I also tried making thai beg soup from scratch, and this is indeed an awesome soup...super tasty and excellent addition to any noodle or rice dish.

Pad Thai Noodle:
for the sauce:
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 3 tsp chilly sauce (i used sriracha)
  3. 3 tsp soy sauce
  4. 3 tsp honey
  5. 2 tsp vinegar/lime juice
  6. 1 tsp sweet and sour sauce
  7. 2 tbsp peanut butter
for the noodles:
  1. 1/2 packet thai noodles
  2. 1/2 onion chopped lengthwise
  3. 1/2 bell pepper chopped lengthwise
  4. 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  5. 1 tbsp ginger paste
  6. 5-6 mushrooms 
  7. 1/2 packet tofu (optional)
  8. 4-5 florets broccoli
  9. oil to sauté
  10. salt to taste
Method:
  1. in a bowl mix all the sauces together
  2. in a wok saute onion, after a min or so add ginger and garlic paste
  3. then add bell pepper and salt
  4. once bell peppers are tender add mushrooms, broccoli and tofu..
  5. make the noodles as per instructions on the packet
  6. once the veggies are semi-cooked add the sauce mix and let it simmer for a min.
  7. add the noodles and toss everything well together.
You can mix and match veggies as per what you have in your home, you can add snap peas, beans etc. you can also use the asian veggie mix that is routinely available in the grocery store..you can add 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar to the sauce mix if you like it sweeter..


Now, lets begin with the soup..this is a super easy soup that needs the same veggies as the pad thai noodles, thats why i like to make it together :) also the other good part about this soup is that the spices used are indian so we have them in our kitchen all the time :) :)

Ingredients for the soup:
  1. 1/2 onion chopped lengthwise
  2. 1/2 bell pepper chopped lengthwise
  3. 4-5 mushrooms
  4. 4-5 florets broccoli
  5. 1 tbsp ginger paste
  6. 1 tbsp garlic paster
  7. 6-7 cups vegetable stock/ water
  8. 1 can coconut milk (500 ml)
  9. 1/2 packet tofu (optional)
  10. salt to taste
  11. oil to sauté 
  12. cilantro to garnish
spices/ flavouring for the soup:
  1. 2 tsp soy sauce
  2. 1tbsp peanut butter
  3. 1/2+1/4 chilly powder
  4. 1/4 turmeric powder
  5. 1 tsp cumin coriander powder
  6. 1 tsp sweet and sour sauce
  7. 1 tsp vinegar/lime juice
Method:
  • Saute onion, garlic and ginger..
  • Add bell-pepper, mushrooms and broccoli..
  • once you they cook for a minute or two add the vegetable stock and coconut milk
  • add all the spices, simmer for 5-10 minutes, you can bring to to boil before taking it off the flame.
  • garnish with cilantro.
  • add the lime juice once you take it off the flame

Notes: if you feel the soup is too creamy you can add 1 cup of water or vegetable stock..you may add little sugar (1-2 tsp) if you like..you can add more or less chilly powder per taste..the amount in the recipe doesn't make the soup spicy at all...if you are adding cumin-coriander powder separately, then add 1/4 of cumin and 3/4 coriander powder..you may add tofu to the soup as well.

The best part of this recipe is you can make this simultaneously as you make the noodles, and its all out together real quick..

Enjoy your thai dinner :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

chocolate turtle cookies

last month my sister went back home, I had been contemplating on what to send to India for my family...my mom had asked for some of my baked goodies, and I thought why don't I make something for my entire family...it would be special and I have always longed to share what I make in USA with folks back in India. So then began a quest of what to send, should I send something I have made a few times and am expert in, or something new....should I make a cake or banana bread or some cupcakes...after a lot of thinking, I was like, lets try to make a cookie as that would be easy to make in bulk and easy to pack...of course I wanted to make something fancy as this was the first time my entire family was going to actually sample something I had baked...After some research I found this awesome chocolate turtle recipe on Sally's Baking addiction...it looked like something out of a fancy candy store....I decided to halve the recipe as I was a little nervous, I had never made cookies from scratch and my one try at making from cookie dough had failed miserably...Also, I wanted try making it eggless, so I substituted egg with water- corn starch solution..I found egg substitutes for different types of baked goods on "Chef in you".....this recipe doesn't double, I tried doing it and the dough turned out to be very messy....I refrigerated it for couple of hours, before baking.....the cookies turned out to be great so no worries on that front...just that they did spread a lot even after refrigeration and the dough was sticky and difficult to handle...I just told myself it would have been easier and quicker to knead the dough twice to make twice the number of cookies instead of doubling up the ingredients.


Ingredients: (makes 8- 10 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1tbsp corn starch+2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chip cookies
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Method:
  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, set aside.
  • Beat the softened butter for a minute until it is creamy
  • add sugar and mix it
  • add the water corn- starch solution and mix it..
  • add the dry ingredients mixture and knead it like a dough...the mixture is extremely easy to knead, just like you knead the dough for chapatis..the dough is soft and pliant and doesn't stick to the bowl or fingers....add chocolate chips into the dough while kneading it...
  • chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour
  • make small balls of dough and roll in the walnuts...press the walnuts in if they don't stick to the dough
  • preheat the oven at 350 deg F...place the cookie dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper..bake for 8 to 10 min
  • the cookies will seem not cooked but they are, remove them in time so they are soft and fudgy..
  • ENJOY!!!!
The cookies turned out AWESOME and everyone back home was super impressed..Mission accomplished :D