Strawberry, Thyme and Caramel Brioche Sticky Buns

Strawberry Still

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

Is it Thursday already???? Some times I cannot believe how the days go by. My little monkey a.k.a my son 🙂 is also growing up so fast. Let me tell you why I say that. My little boy has a cold and till yesterday what comes so easily to us, was the hardest thing for him. What is that one thing that we often do when we have a cold? we blow our nose! But my little 2 year had no clue how to blow his nose. All he would do is a “kaaaarrkkkkkkkk” sound into a tissue if I ask him blow his nose. Yesterday some how, I asked him to do the same and guess what?? it worked!!! He actually blew his nose!! Now I know you are thinking OMG what is this woman talking about! So here is something, parenting is such a roller coaster, that every single minute you learn and you grow. You do not have to be a parent to a human, it could be a cute little pup or cat or any animal you want to appreciate what i am saying. When they are tiny they are so fragile that once they start showing signs of growing up, every step calls for a celebration. At least I do. Your child is a celebration of your life. The joys I have found as a mum are unparalleled and can never be forgotten.

Now coming back to this recipe. It was actually a test recipe but given that I made quite a few yesterday and only 4 remain, I think it would be apt to share the recipe with you all. So I asked my dear husband to buy some fresh thyme for a dinner I was making and he got this huge packet of thyme so needless to say, you might see a lot of “Thyme” based recipes coming your way 🙂

Strawberries and thyme are a match made in heaven. So if you wanna make a fun snack with fresh strawberry jam or even store bought organic jam then this is just the one. When I was a little girl my mum would always make me have a jam sandwich and a tall glass of milk on the table just before I went out to play. This recipe reminds me so much of those days.

The bread is not just any bread. It is the most fluffiest, softest, tastiest bread ever. Because of the addition of butter and eggs this bread is just delicious just by itself too. The little thyme adds a certain mystical, lemony smell and taste. Winter mornings with a cup of tea and these buns are the perfect breakfast in bed option too.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 5 tbsp
  3. Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  5. Milk – 2/3 cup (warm)
  6. Water – 1/3 cup
  7. Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)
  8. Butter – 105 gms (softened and at room temp)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl combine milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside till frothy and bubbly
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and butter. With the hook attachment mix till a bread crumb consistency is achieved
  3. Then add the eggs and mix well
  4. Next add the yeast mixture and milk in a steady stream with the mixer on low
  5. Once you are done, add the salt and let the dough mix for 10 – 12 mins on medium speed
  6. Mean while oil a glass bowl with 1/2 tsp of oilve oil and set aside
  7. Now you will notice that the dough is quite wet but that’s ok, continue mixing till the dough is nice and elastic
  8. Finally tip the elastic dough into the prepared bowl
  9. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place till the dough doubles in size ( 1 – 3 hrs)
  10. During that time. Lets assemble the ingredients for the filling

Ingredients :-

  1. Strawberry Jam – 2 cups ( depends on how thin you roll out the dough)
  2. Fresh Thyme – 4 tbsp
  3. Caramel – 3 tbsp ( or as required)
  4. Egg – 1 (whisked well)
  5. Butter for greasing

Instructions  :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 200 C and grease a cupcake tray with butter. Set aside
  2. Flour your work counter with flour and dump the flour into the counter. Make sure to deflate the dough in the bowl first
  3. Slowly knead for 1 min till it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal halves
  4. Then using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle 40 cm x 20 cm
  5. The using a pastry brush, evenly spread the jam over the rolled out dough ( if it very thick pop it into the microwave for 30 sec)
  6. Once you are done with the strawberry layer, sprinkle the thyme leaves
  7. Then drizzle the caramel over it
  8. Now slowly starting from the longer side roll inwards. Flour your hands, if you find the dough is sticky
  9. Once you have a nice long roll, cut into equal circles. I used a thread for this. Slip a thread under the log, come around it from both side, make a tiny knot just once and pull tight through
  10. As you make the circles place it in the prepared cupcake tray
  11. Once you are done with all of the dough in the same manner, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tops of the rolls, with the eggs wash
  12. Pop into the oven for 30 Mins or till golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack
  13. Allow to cool till warm to touch, then pop them out of the cupcake molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
  14. Serve with hot milk or tea

Parsley, roasted garlic and Lime Garlic Knots

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? As the weather changes and the cold sets in, I find myself pulling out my blankets, fuzzy socks and jackets out. So in anticipation of soup season, I also have a feeling we will have a lot of bread making in the house too. Did i mention I ruined my oven? Yes, so while I was getting the house ready for Diwali, last month, I cleaned the oven and when I turned it back on, the whole house lost power!!! Yeah I managed to destroy my favorite kitchen apparatus and I havent gotten around to getting the company guys to come take a look at it either (talk about being lazy) :-).

So this time I made my bread in the “convection” mode of my microwave oven and to my pleaseant surprise in really does work! how awesome is that. Now did I mention that this recipe also incorporates, whole wheat? Yes, sir it does!! So I added equal amounts of bread flour and whole wheat flour to make these babies so that they are not all that unhealthy and make a perfectly wholesome meal when paired with a big bowl of healthy soup.

Do you guys love the small bread baskets that they serve in Italian restaurants? With the flavoured butter? I am a sucker for them. While my husband refuses to have it cause he says its a distraction from the main food. I say I love it all.. hahaha..

Ingredients :-

 

  1. Bread Flour / Maida – 1 + 1/4 cup
  2. Whole Wheat Flour / Atta – 1 + 1/4 cup
  3. Sugar – 1 tbsp
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Oil – 2 tbsp
  6. Yeast – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 1 cup (warm)
  8. Garlic – 9 cloves
  9. Lime – 1
  10. Parsley – 1/4 cup (chopped fine)
  11. Butter – 50 gms (at room temperature)

 

 

 

Instructions :-

    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar, water and yeast. Set aside to rest for 10 mins. In 10 minutes it should have become nice and frothy
    2. Into the same bowl, add the flour, salt and oil
    3. With the hook attachment on, turn on the mixer to a medium speed for 7 – 10 mins
    4. It will form a nice sticky dough
    5. Grease a big glass bowl and tip the dough mixture into the bowl
    6. Let it rest for 2 hours or till the dough has doubled in size
    7. Meanwhile, drizzle a little oil over the garlic cloves and put them into an oven at 200 C for 15 min or till they are golden and almost black on the outside. Once they have cooled down, with the back of your spoon, press them to form a nice paste
    8. Now take a bowl and add the melted butter, zest the lime, chopped parsley and garlic paste. Season with salt and mix well and set aside
    9. Peheat your oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with baking paper
    10. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip the dough onto a floured surface.
    11. Slowly knead the dough for 2 mins
    12. Then make a large ball and cut it into 2. Then cut them into 5 each. You should have around 10
    13. Slowly roll out the dough into long rolls
    14. Then just like you tie a shoe lace, tie the knot with the rolled out dough
    15. Once you have made the knot, place on the prepared baking tray. Do the same with the remaining dough
    16. Dip a pastry brush in some olive oil and brush the tops of the knots lightly
    17. Place the tray in the pre heat oven and bake for 15 – 20 mins or till lightly golden on the top
    18. During this time, melt the butter mixture in a microwave
    19. As soon as the knots are ready take them out of the oven and dip them into the melted butter
    20. Use a mitten while you dip the knots as they will really hot!!
    21. After dipping them, place them back on the tray
    22. Just before you serve them, brush again with the flavored butter!!

 

 

 

 

Matar Kachori – Spiced green peas stuffed into flaky deep fried dough

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? it’s been so long right? I am not sure where I have to begin but let me tell you, the feeling you get when you make something for the blog and then the thrill of taking photos, oh I missed that!

It’s been a busy few weeks, it all started with my son spilling water over the mac book and leaving me handicapped for a  week. LOL. We were on the breakfast table going on about our normal everyday morning routine and suddenly all you remember is he was playing peek-a-boo and wuussshhh !! there was water all over the key pad. You know I have this routine where I wake up early just to make sure I can have a nice cup of green tea all alone and maybe blog too. But that day, both my son and the husband decided to wake up earlier than usual and everything went downhill from there!!

Anyways after paying  a hefty sum at the apple store they returned the mac to us, with a new key pad and all. Thank god. It was during that week that we took a quick trip, just the husband and me and oh how I have missed being a girl! You know what I mean, after we got married, and the house  and the baby, I haven’t had the time to think about anything else! I am sure if you are a mother too, you would understand. For a few days, I woke up whenever I wanted, I did not have to worry about making food or dealing with clutter or anything! just a few days and trust me all that it does it REJUVENATES YOU!!

Anyway after we got back, it was a week full of rains and Bengaluru was cloudy all the time! The true ‘Bangalore’ that I “oh-so longed for” during the sweltering heat the last couple of weeks. So that is when I decided it would be nice to make HOT HOT Kachoris! Now before you say that these are unhealthy cause they are deep fried, here is something you should know. I never make deep fried stuff at home and when I do, I make sure it’s not just for the three people here, I SHARE! 😛 So that means I always make a very small batch of these and I always make sure I share.

These Kachoris are flaky and crispy on the outside, and stuffed with spices and peas on the inside. There are many variations of the Kachori. You can fill them with onions, potatoes, different types of Dals ( lentils) etc. This is the basic version that incorporates greek peas, spices and I added caramelised onions (cause I love the taste of caramelised onions with flaky dough)! Traditionally served with a sweet tamarind chutney and a mint and coriander chutney these deep fried crispy Kachori’s are best enjoyed with your evening tea. (I usually serve it with coffee but you get the idea right!)

Also make sure you finish them right away or at least store them in air tight containers, but for the best experience, serve them just as you take them out of the oil!

 

Ingredients for the pastry :-

  1. Maida/ Flour – 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat Flour – 1 cup
  3. Salt – 1.4 tsp
  4. Baking Powder – 1.2 tsp
  5. Water – 1/2 cup ( or just enough to make a nice tight dough)
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp

 

Instructions for the pastry :-

  1. In a large bowl, add all the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and give it a good mix with a whisk
  2. Then add the oil and mix with your hand till the flour resembles bread crumbs
  3. Now slowly add water, a little at a time to make a nice tight dough ( water may also increase or decrease depending on how fresh your flour is)
  4. Try not to over work the dough ( like you would do when you make bread) This will ensure that you have a nice flaky crust
  5. Once the dough comes together to form a nice ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest ( 10- 15 mins)
  6. Mean while you can get ready with the filling

 

Ingredients for the filling :

  1. Green peas – 250 gms ( I used the frozen kind but any would do)
  2. Onions – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  3. Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Asafoetida –  one pinch
  5. Ginger – 1 tsp ( paste)
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  9. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Raw Mango Powder/ Amchur Powder – 1 tsp ( heap)
  11. Jeera/ Cumin – 1 tsp
  12. Sauf / Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  13. Salt – 1 tsp  (or according to taste)

 

Instructions:-

  1. In a non stick pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and Asafoetida. As soon as they begin to sizzle add the onions and fry till golden brown
  2. Then add ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala power, coriander powder and give it a good mix
  3. Next add the green peas.Stir well to ensure that the green peas are coated well with the spice mix
  4. Lastly add the fennel seeds and salt
  5. Cook till there is no water and the  mixture is dry
  6. Set aside to cool down
  7. Now if you want you could use the back of a spoon to mash up the peas so its is easier in the next step but I usually leave it like that so you get to bite into the green peas

 

Final assembling and frying the Kachoris :-

  1. Now take your dough that has been resting for so long. Divide it into 6 – 7 equal halves and roll into small balls
  2. Slowly roll out each of these balls into small coins (around 10 – 15 cms in diameter)
  3. Then using a spoon, add the cooled green peas mix to the centre of the rolled out coin
  4. Now slowly, bring the ends of the coin together to make a nice dumpling. ( the same technique you would use to make momos or stuffed parathas)
  5. Make sure you get all the ends together and there is not what your stuff will spill out
  6. Now place the dumpling back on your counter and slowly press down to flatten in out into small discs
  7. Again you wanna be very gentle with it so you do not have the stuffing tearing through the dough
  8. Once you have done this will all the balls, you are ready to fry them
  9. Pour enough oil into a deep dish to ensure that the dish is covered at least 70 %
  10. Turn the flame on to medium high. These kachoris are not fried on high heat, so make sure the flame is at medium high
  11. Now slowly add the flattened discs maybe 2 or three at a time ( do not over clutter or you will bring the temperature of the oil down and then it will take longer to cook and they might not puff up as required)
  12. Fry the kachoris till they are nice and golden brown and then set on a kitchen paper to absorb all the oil
  13. You kachoris are ready! Serve right away with sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint and coriander chutney

 

The Infinity Burger – Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Burger with Caramelised Pineapples and Home made Chilli Mayo

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? This the weekend and I have so much lined up to do. Starting with cleaning the fridge! lol. But before I get to the “Work” we have scheduled a little fun time with the baby boy too. I had decided to sleep in today but as usual, my son wakes up early only on the weekend! I think babies have a way of sensing when it is the weekend and how to make sure our day circles around their needs and desires. So Cute.

Have you tried the Chinese 5 spices mix?? Its insane!!! Its just everything I love about spices. Its got heat, aroma, sweetness! its got everything. Its like the Chinese Garam Masala 😛 I love this spice mix and its so so easy to make. The ingredients are always readily available in any Indian Kitchen and its super easy to make. Dry roasting the spices first makes sure to bring out the maximum flavour from them. You could always buy the spice mix at any local market but why would you when it is soo easy to make at home and tastes 100 times better! The 5 spices are – cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds and pepper corns. Make sure to dry roast them till you get this wonderful aroma of the spices (take care not to burn them). Also when you powder them make sure your blender is absolutely dry!! I mean no moisture at all. This way they spices can be stored in an air tight container and used for later too.

This burger is absolutely the best thing to have on a Friday night with a glass of any alcohol you like. It pairs really well with Vodka (:p). Like most burgers I haven’t used cheese or any type of sauce in the burger but I did make a creamy chilli mayo to go along with the burger. I do not like sloppy burgers so I did not add the mayo to the burger but we dipped the potato wedges into the mayo and had it along with the burgers. Oh it was heaven!!!  I have used chicken breasts and marinated them overnight, but even 3 hours should also work. To make the best burgers you have to use the freshest ingredients (be it the meat, the bread and the veggies). So make sure you take a trip to your local market and get fresh produce for the burger. I make sure I don’t store meat, I find it tastes different and it absorbs less of the marinade if it’s old meat( by old i mean – left in the freezer for a few days).

PS: – My husband named it the Infinity Burger. Lol.

Ingredients for the 5 spice powder – 

  1. Cinnamon  – 3 large sticks   or 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  2. Cloves – 1 tbsp
  3. Star Anise – 5 large
  4. Fenne Seeds – 1 tbsp
  5. Pepper Corns  – 1 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a large heavy bottom pan
  2. When the pan is hot add all the spices and dry fry till they start to emit a wonderful aroma
  3. Make sure to stir constantly and fry on low flame
  4. Now transfer the spices into a grinder and grind to fine dust
  5. Store in a dry air tight container

Ingredients for the Chicken :-

  1. Chinese 5 spice powder – 2 tbsp
  2. Chicken Breast – 6 ( large)
  3. Soya Sauce – 3 tbsp
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar – 3 tbsp
  5. Ginger – 1 tbsp
  6. Garlic – 1 tbsp
  7. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp ( or according to taste)
  8. Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp
  9. Oil – 2 tbsp
  10. Lime Juice – juice of one lime
  11. Oil – 3 – tbsp –  for frying the chicken
  12. Pineapple Slices – 12

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly using a mortar and pestle grind the ginger and garlic to from a nice paste
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinade (expect the chicken pieces)
  3. It should form a nice thick paste. Add 1 tbsp of water if required to bring it to a nice thick saucy consistency
  4. Then add the chicken breast and coat the breast properly with the marinade
  5. Cover and set in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight
  6. When you are ready to fry the chicken, heat oil in a frying pan
  7. Then add the chicken pieces two at a time. Cook with the cover on for the first 10 mins on medium flame
  8. Then take off the cover and crank up the heat – this will give you that charred dark brown caramelisation on the chicken
  9. Set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil
  10. In the same pan when the pan is hot, add the pineapple slices and fry on high. This gives the pineapple a nice caramelised exterior and it gets coated with the spices left in the pan ( Yuuummmmm!!!)

To Assemble the burger – 

Ingredients :-

  1. Burger Bread  – 3
  2. Lettuce leaves – 12
  3. Red Onions Slices – 2 large onions sliced
  4. Pineapple slices – 2 for each burger (more if you like)
  5. Chilli Mayo – as required

Instructions :-

  1. Cut the burger bun into two halves
  2. Then place lettuce on the bottom half
  3. Then add 3 onions slices
  4. Then add two of the fried chicken breasts
  5. Add another layer of lettuce
  6. Then the caramelised pineapple
  7. And finally the top half of the burger bun
  8. Serve right away with a side of chilli mayo and some potatoes wedge!!

 

Enjoy!!!!!!

 

Bell Pepper and Sausage Rolls – Sausage rolls my way :)

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

So guess what!! I finally baked bread today! It feels like ages since I baked some bread. In fact I have no intention of baking today. I wanted to make a simple paneer dish for dinner and post it on the blog but my son decided to sleep for a few hours during the day, which gave me some time to write this post. Keeping in mind the requests of many followers on Instagram and the blog, to take photographs of the procedure of making the bread too, I have take a few shots of that as well. I know its not the prettiest but I am getting there.

Now before I get to the recipe, I want to share a very fond memory that I have with sausage rolls. When I was around 6, my mum had just gone back to work and she would always be back home before I got back from school. But every time I came back home, I was sure there would be a special treat at home. Some time it would be these Sausage Rolls. Very often  Amma would make them at home, but some times she would buy them from my favourite bakery “Hot Breads”. I still remember the distinct blue and white lines under the logo and that smell of fresh baked bread! Ohh!! My Amma would also make bread at home. In fact last week she gave me a cake book that I remember reading when I was very small. Most of my birthday cakes where inspired from photos in that book. These memories are close to my heart. My mum is the best baker ever! In fact her oven broke down a few months ago, but that doesn’t stop her from baking at all. She can make the most fluffiest sponge cake even on an iron skillet!! haaa!

Ok so back to the recipe. Now this is my take on the famous sausage roll. I know that the original sausage roll does not have bell peppers but I wanted to give it my own twist and an excuse to add some vegetables in there 🙂 So here it is.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Bread Flour – 3 cups + 3 tbsp
  2. Sugar – 2 tsp
  3. Active Bakers Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Milk – 1 cup
  5. Butter – 50 gms (melted and cooled)
  6. Eggs – 2 + 1 for the egg wash
  7. Salt – 1 tsp
  8. Olive oil – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine half the four, sugar and yeast. Give it a good mix
  2. Now add butter and two eggs and with a fork combine them
  3. Next turn on your mixer on low and slowly add the milk
  4. Finally add rest of the flour and crack up the speed to medium
  5. Run the mixer for 5 mins
  6. Finally add the salt and mix for another 3 mins
  7. Grease a glass bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with a warm cloth and keep the bowl in a warm place to rise.
  8. Let the dough  sit for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size

Ingredients for the filling:-

  1. Red Bell pepper – 1 – chopped to squares
  2. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 – chopped to squares
  3. Garlic – 5 ( chopped fine )
  4. Oregano – 1 tsp
  5. Thyme – 1 tsp
  6. Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
  7. Pepper – 1 tsp
  8. Fresh Parsley – 1/2 cup
  9. Salt according to taste
  10. Chicken Sausages – 6
  11. Oil – 3 tbsp

Instructions for the Filling :-

  1. Heat oil in a pan
  2. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and fry for a min on medium
  3. Then add the sausages and fry for 5 mins ( just to start the cooking process)
  4. Then add the Oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper and salt
  5. Give it a good mix and then add the peppers
  6. Cover and cook for 3 mins and turn off the flame
  7. Let the filling cool before you use it in the next step
  8. Use the parsley just as it is, fresh over  the top of the cooked filling

 

Assembling the roll :-

  1. Once the dough in doubles in size, punch it down with your fist
  2. Then empty the dough onto a flour dusted surface
  3. Roll the dough out to the shape of a log. Then using a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, divide the dough into 6 equal halves.
  4. The roll out each individual pieces into 15 cm x 25 cm square pieces, leaving enough space in the centre for the filling (at least 6 cms)
  5. Slash 5 -6 lines on each side of the rolled out piece (as shown in the photos)
  6. Then add the filling into the centre of the rolled out dough. Make sure to sprinkle the fresh parsley over the filing
  7. Then start from the top. Tuck the top most piece of dough on top of the filling, then alternatively cover on over the  other ( as shown in the photos). I start with the right, lift the pieces of dough from the right and over lap the filling and pull gently towards the centre and then towards the left. Then take the piece of the left and gently place over filling in the centre and then over to the right. After you do two of them it will become easier. Make sure to press the ends of the dough at the end or else they come out a little wonky when you bake them ( like some in the photos 😛 )
  8. After you have done all of them, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with baking paper
  9. Cover and let it sit for 20 mins
  10. During this time, pre heat your oven to 200 C
  11. Crack the last egg and beat it well
  12. Then using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. This is what will give it that wonderful golden colour
  13. Pop the baking tray into the oven and bake for 30 mins or until you the see the tops turn nice and golden brown
  14. Once they are done baking, pull them out of the oven and let them cool in the baking tray for 10 mins
  15. Then move them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely
  16. If you wanna store them, wrap them in cotton cloth and then put them in an air tight container in the fridge

 

Serve these babies with ketchup or mayo or just like that!!

Whole wheat Pav and Bhaji – Indian Street food

 

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? This week has been a week full of Indian food and I am in love with how my home smells like whole spices. It’s like you walked into a typical Kerala Restaurant that serves “Meen Curry” and “Kappa”. That reminds me, I need to buy some fish, this Malayali has been living for way too long without fish.

So I peeped into my fridge yesterday and it looked like some one else lived in my house for a week! NO really! I have no idea how I landed with half a head of cauliflower, 3 carrots and a few beans at the bottom of my vegetable tray. So obviously that wasn’t enough to make one separate dish with, then I decided to make a ‘kichidi’. Simply add some rice, dal and chop up all of the remaining vegetables in the fridge and put it all into a pressure cooker, give it 4 whistles and there it is! But then I had to remind my self that no one in my house was ill so why put the entire family through the horror of eating what resembles what my infant son would have had a few months ago?? So thats when I realised we could also add a few more vegetables and turn this into something everybody loves. Pav Bhaji. I am quite sure that this dish was invented by some one who wanted to clean their fridge out too! :p

Now the “Pav” part, that is the fun part. Cause its about making and baking the bread. I mean what is more relaxing than kneading dough, playing peek-a-boo with my son when the dough rises and that smell, ahh, that smell of sweet yeast when it bakes! yay!! So many people have a love affair with Indian spices, but for me, my best friend’s in my kitchen are “Yeast” and “Butter” These two ingredients make magic.

Now let me give you the definition of Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is the ultimate balanced meal. Bread = good, tomatoes = good, potatoes = good, all the other vegetables = good, butter = excellent , spices = oh yeah!!

So this my friend is what I considered healthy street food.  You do need to buy the Masala from the shop. You can make it your self too, but no I do not know the recipe to that and I am not going to bother making it. Cause every shop has it! Like I just had to go to the shop that sells loose cigarettes and tic tacs and even they have it 😛 So do try it out and let me know how it goes. Btw people are going to tell you how you can add beetroots and raw bananas and al that, I say, try it like this and the next time go ahead and add your additions! Hey the world is your oyster!! And yeah I made my Pav with whole wheat flour just cause I think its healthier.

 

How to make ze  “Pav” / Bread

Ingredients :- 

  1. Whole Wheat Four – 2 cups
  2. Yeast – 2 tsp
  3. Milk – 1 cup ( warm)
  4. Water – 3 tbsp (warm)
  5. Sugar – 3 tsp
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp
  7. Salt – 1tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a cup add the water and sugar. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast and set aside to foam
  2. While the yeast is feeding on the sugar, pour the flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and fix the dough hook
  3. In another cup, add the milk and oil and give it a nice stir
  4. Now once you see the yeast has foamed well turn your mixer on and slowly add the yeast + water mixture
  5. Then add the milk + oil mixture and crank the speed up to medium and let the dough mix till it form a nice sticky ball
  6. While that happens, grease a nice big glass bowl and set aside
  7. Once the dough is ready, plop it onto a flour dusted counter and knead with your hand for 5 mins
  8. Then drop the dough into your greased glass bowl and set to rest
  9. You want the dough to double in volume and this could take 1 – 2 hours depending on how hot or cold your room is
  10. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down wards to release the air and then roll out the dough into a nice long log. Then cut the log into 9 equal parts ( 9 coins)
  11. Prepare your baking tin with oil or butter and set aside
  12. Now roll these 9 coins into balls and set against each other as shown in the photos. Leave space between the balls cause they are going to sit for another 20 – 30 mins for a second rise
  13. Once you have all your balls roll out and into the pan, cover the pan with a warm wet towel and let it set in a warm place
  14. Pre heat your oven to 200C
  15. After 30 mins you will see that the balls have risen again. Take off the cloth and brush the top of the balls and sides of the pan with oil ( you could use butter too)
  16. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 30 – 40 mins or till you see the top of the pav/ bread become nice and golden brown
  17. When you tap the bread it will sound like a hard knock but that’s just the crust.
  18. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool
  19. Then take them out of the tray and cut into 9 pieces. Your Pav is ready!

 

How to make the “Bhaji”

Ingredients:  –

  1. Potatoes – 200 gms (cleaned, skinned and chopped)
  2. Cauliflower – 300 gms (cleaned and chopped to medium flowerets)
  3. Carrots – 200 gms (cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces)
  4. Peas – 100 gms (I used the frozen kind)
  5. Capsicum – 200 gms
  6. Beans – 200 gms
  7. Onions – 300 gms (chopped fine)
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 heap tbsp
  9. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Tomatoes – 250 gms (chopped fine)
  11. Coriander Leaves – ½ cup (chopped fine)
  12. Salt – to taste
  13. Pav Bhaji Masala – 3 tbsp
  14. Chili Powder – 2 tbsp (according to taste)
  15. Water – 3 -4 cups (depending on the vessel)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly you wanna make sure that all your vegetables are of the same size, so that way they take the same time to cook
  2. In your pressure cooker add potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, capsicum and beans. Pour as much water as required to soak the vegetables. Add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 3 whistels. If you do not have a cooker, just boil the vegetables till they are nicely cooked and mash-able
  3. While that happens, in a large kadai, heat oil and when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions as soon as the cumin seeds begin to pop
  4. Fry the onions till they are pink, then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  5. Next add the chopped tomatoes to the onion garlic mix and fry for a minute. Then add the chilli powder and the pav bhaji masala and fry till you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture
  6. By this time your vegetables should be ready. Take them off the stove and mash the vegetable with a potato masher or the back of a nice big spoon. I like to bite little bits of potato and peas so I do not mash it all the way
  7. Now add the mashed vegetable to the tomato onions fry in the kadai and give it a nice mix

Saffron, Rose and Pistachio Bread – My Indian Holiday Wreath Bread

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

2015 has come to an end and 2016 has begun. I wish you and your families a wonderful and happy new year.

Looking back, 2015 was a blur of events and I can not believe how quickly the year has changed our lives. From becoming a mother to moving back home to seeing my son crawling and learning to walk. It seems like everything happened really fast. So many changes, so many ups and downs, so many lessons learned and so many new ventures. Starting the blog was one of the main highlights of 2015 and I can not express how happy I am to have started this wonderful journey. Thank you for all your support, encouragement and mostly for inspiring me!  I hope you would continue to do the same this new year as well.

This is going to be the first post of the year 2016 and I wanted to incorporate the bygone holiday theme one more time with an Indian edge. So here is my Saffron, Rose and Pistachio Wreath bread. This bread is inspired by my favourite flavours Rose, Pistachio and Saffron. Saffron give the bread its depth, the Rose jam sandwiched between the  layer gives the bread a wonderful sweetness with an intense Rose flavour and the Pistachios give it a nice crunch!

Once again here’s to wishing you a wonderful and full filled 2016! Eat lots, have fun and be healthy 🙂

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Povitica … Swirly chocolate goodness….

 

 

 

 

My Dear Wonderful Readers!

Here’s a secret!!..If there is some thing I love more than ‘baking cake’, it is ‘making bread’. The reason i used the term “Making” and not “Baking” is cause, I think, bread-making is art! Bread is like a little pill you take when you want to think. Bread-making is like meditation, only your eyes are open and you might have to put your elbow into it to make it better. Some times when my husband has a rough day at work, I give him the bread dough to go crazy on, and trust me the bread some how rises better and has better texture! haha.. When my little peach is also having a bad tantrum day, I find putting him to sleep and making bread is like having a glass of wine mid day. So I have been in search of a different kind of bread recipe for a while now and I came across this one. ‘Povitica’, This is one amazingly sweet, nutty, chocolatey bread roll.

When I first decided to make this bread, I was sure that it was like the Babka or the pesto roll but as I went over and over the recipe I realised that this bread need much more tender loving care (TLC) Maybe I will call it the TLC Bread.

It does seem like a quite a long process and half way through you might want to ‘not make it’, but just push your self and go all the way cause you have GOT TO TRY IT! We have been on a no refined sugar diet for a few weeks now, but I made an exception and used some of it in this recipe. The plan was to gift it to a friend but now maybe I will keep half of it and then “think” about giving the other half to some one else. Yes, it is really  that good. But remember this is not a croissant or pastry. This is bread with chocolate.

This bread is essentially a Croatian dessert bread. Originally made on festivals and holidays this bread gains its popularity from the sweetness of sugar and chocolate mixed with finely ground nuts, rolled into thinly rolled sweet bread dough.  Nowadays these breads are made in various flavours using fruits and fruit preserves. The traditional recipe uses walnuts in the roll, but I used equal portions of almonds and pistachio in mine. Do give this bread a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

The original recipe calls for wall nuts in the filling, but I decided to make mine with almonds and pistachio. Also the drizzle can be make with just plain sugar, butter and egg but I used chocolate cause I loooooovve chocolate!

Ingredients :-

For the Dough :-

  1. Bread Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 10tsp
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Milk – 2/3 cup
  5. Yeast – 3 tsp
  6. Egg – 1
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl of your stand mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast and salt
  2. In another bowl combine egg, vanilla extract and milk. Give it a light beating
  3. With the speed turned on low, give the dry ingredients a gentle mix
  4. Now crank the speed up to medium and slowly add in the wet ingredients
  5. Slowly pour in the wet mixture into the dry in a steady stream ( I took around a min and a half)
  6. After pouring out all the wet ingredients, let mixture run for 7 – 8 mins on medium to give it a nice kneed. Once you see the mixture coming together to form a ball, add the salt
  7. When the dough is in the mixer, lightly grease a glass bowl with some olive oil and set aside
  8. After 8 mins tip the dough into the glass bowl. Do not try to handle it with your hand cause is is way too sticky
  9. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for an hour or till the dough is twice its original size
  10. While the dough is resting proceed to making the filling

Ingredients for the Filling 

  1. Almonds – 1/2 Cup
  2. Pistachio – 1/2 Cup
  3. Unsweetened Coco Powder – 3 tbsp
  4. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  5. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  6. Butter – 1/2 cup
  7. Milk – 4 tbsp (more if required while using filling)
  8. Egg – 1 yolk ( do not discard the white)

Instructions :-

  1. In a sauce pan add butter and milk. Heat till the butter melts
  2. Mean while powder the almonds and pistachio to a fine mud like consistency
  3. Then take the milk and butter mixture off the heat and add the almond and pistachio mix
  4. Finally add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine all ingredients
  5. Set aside to cool down

Assembling the bread

  1. Once the bread has risen well, spread a clean sheet over your work table ( I used my dining table and I used a lightly printed sheet to help me figure out how think I rolled out the dough)
  2. Now flour the surface of the bedsheets and slowly roll out the dough in a rectangular shape
  3. Roll out the dough as thin as your can. You should be able to see the sheet behind the dough. The thiner the rolled out dough, the more circles you will find in the final bread. The more, the prettier!
  4. After rolling it out, slowly spoon the chocolate nut mixture that was made earlier
  5. You might find that the mixture has  thickened, just add a tsp of milk and whisk well
  6. While spreading the filling, take care not to tear the dough. This part is a little tricky, but once you start spreading the mixture you will get a feel of how much pressure you really need to put on the dough
  7. Once you have finished spreading the mixture, slowly flour your hands and roll the dough inwards from the longer side of the rectangle. This will give you a nice long chocolate roll
  8. Slowly pinch the sides of the dough to make is stick
  9. Liberally grease your bread pan handset besides the chocolate roll
  10. Now gentle lift one end of the roll and slowly set it within the pan and when you get to the end of the pan, turn it back to for a U and place over the chocolate roll in the pan. Do this till the entire roll is inside the pan
  11. Cover the bread pan with cling wrap and set in a warm place for another hour or till it rises to its double again
  12. Pre heat your oven to 180 C and using a pastry brush, coat the dough with the egg white
  13. Once the dough is ready, pop it into the oven for 15 mins
  14. Then reduce the temperature to 150 C and bake for 45 – 50 mins
  15. Once done, set aside to cool on a wire rack
  16. Drizzle some chocolate sauce over the top and you are all set serve

Beetroot Falafel with a “Ragda” Curry / Zero Oil

 

 

 

 

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When we got back from our holiday, we came back to the reality that we haven’t been eating healthy. Now ‘health’ is a very subjective word, cause what is ‘healthy’ for you may or may not be ‘healthy’ for me. A young child like my baby boy needs his daily dose of high calorie food, starch, carbs and proteins. Older people such as Mr R and I , do not need the same kind of food. So keeping that in mind, we decided to go easy over the week. We decided to reduce fried food, reduce oil and alter the type of oil we use in cooking and reduce the about of gluten we eat. That basically translates to no more fast food from the place down the road and no more pizza night! But it has also helped me dig deep within to find healthier ways to make every day food taste just as good. Trust me, some food can be made the same and you do not need ghee or cream or maida to make them taste good. So I think I will start a new tab on my blog and call it “My husband’s lunch box” and I will post all my recipes that I create for him that involve no oil or less oil and less or no sugar. Do let me know if you think that is a good idea :).

Ok now this recipe is inspired by the famous “Ragda Patties” of Mumbai. When in Mumbai we have had it so many times and I just love it! But the original dish is made with an “Aloo Tikki”- a potato cutlet fried in oil and then served along with “Pav” – bread. I decided to change the recipe a little as I did not want the oil both in the patty and in the curry. Also I used beetroot instead of potato as they are healthier.

Before using it in the recipe, I boiled the beetroot in a pressure cooker ( gave it 4 whistles) and drained the water out. The water was then used to make my baby boy’s rice. Another change we made in our diet was switching to organic red rice. Red rice does take a little longer to cook, so my mum suggested to soak it over night, and yes it made a big difference. I will write up post about how and why you should try red rice! Personally I love it’s taste too!

Ok so on to the recipe.

Baked Beetroot Falafel

Ingredients :-

  1. Beetroot – 3 medium size ( cleaned, skin removed, cut into halves, boiled for 4 whistles)
  2. Corriander  seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Parsley Leaves – 1 tbsp ( chopped)
  6. Coriander Leaves – 1 tsp ( chopped)
  7. Onions – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  8. Whole Wheat flour – 2 – 3 tbsp ( depends on how soft the beetroot is)
  9. Salt – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a bowl drop the boiled beet roots and mash till nice and soft ( like play doh)
  3. Then add all the other ingredients except the Whole wheat flour
  4. Make sure to mix all the content of the bowl well to ensure the spices have mixed well and evenly along with the beets
  5. Finally sprinkle the whole wheat flour into the bowl a little at a time. The flour should help you form one big ball of the beetroot and masala
  6. Slowly roll out small bite size balls of the beetroot and place on the baking tray ( as in pic)
  7. Once your are done rolling them all out pop them into the oven and bake till nice and golden
  8. As there is no oil you will have the watch and listen. Once they begin to sizzle let them stay for another  5 – 10 mins and then take them out
  9. This should take between 15- 25 mins ( depends on how thick you roll out the balls)
  10. Finally let them cool off before storing in an air tight container

While the falafel is baking we can make our ” Ragda ” / White Pea Curry

Ingredients :-

  1. White Peas – 1 cup ( soaked over night)
  2. Onions – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Tomato – 1/2 cup (chopped_
  4. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  5. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a pinch
  8. Salt  – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. In a pressure cooker, add drained white peas , water, turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt
  2. Close the lid and let the peas cook for about 4 whistles. Some times it might take longer
  3. Heat a non stick pot / kadai and add onions. Saute till nice and pink. Then add ginger- garlic paste and asafoetida
  4. Once the mixture has fried and the raw smell had subsided add tomatoes and chilli powder
  5. Finally add the cooked white peas with the water and let the mixture cook for 10 mins
  6. Stir the bubbling mixture occasionally
  7. Your curry is ready

To Assemble –

Ingredients :-

  1. Onions – 1 cup chopped
  2. Tomato – 1 cup chopped
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 cup chopped
  4. Mint Chutney – as required
  5. Sev – optional
  6. Pav – optional

Serve as in photos 🙂

Enjoy !!!

Whole wheat waffles with caramel poached apples and nuts

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When I go to bed every night I think about what I can make the next day for my husbands lunch, my babies three meals and may be some thing sweet. So last night I decided I would make whole wheat waffles  and use a fruit of the season. So apples were the way to go. This recipe is so easy and it will keep you full all the way till lunch time.

Ingredients :-

  1. Wheat Flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
  2. Salt – 1/ tsp
  3. Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  4. Oil – 1/2 cup
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Milk – 1 cup + 1 tbsp
  7. Palm Jaggery – 1tbsp + 2 tbsp ( use sugar, brown sugar alternatively )
  8. Butter – 1 tbsp
  9. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp + 1 tsp ( for the caramel)
  10. Apples – 2 ( cleaned, cored and sliced)
  11. Cream – 1 tsp ( Or 2 tbsp of curd)
  12. Cinnamon Powder – 1/4 tsp
  13. Nutmeg Powder – 1/4 tsp
  14. Star Anise – 1
  15. Walnuts – 5 – 6

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat your waffle iron
  2. In a bowl mix flour + 1 tbsp palm jaggery + salt + baking powder + cinnamon powder + nutmeg powder and set aside
  3. In another bowl, mix oil + milk + 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk egg into the milk mixture and whisk well
  4. Now slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix! If there are lumps its ok. Add 1tbsp of milk if too thick
  5. Pour batter into the hot waffle iron and let them cook till nice a golden
  6. Mean while, in a pan add the rest of the jaggery and butter. Let it come to the simmer and add the cream. Then switch off the flame and add the start anise and vanilla extract
  7. Now add the cut apples into the caramel and let it cook in the hot caramel ( when the gas is off) This makes the apples soft on the out and nice and crunchy on the inside
  8. Once the waffles are ready pour the caramel apples on the waffles and top it off with walnuts! Enjoy!!

Tips:-

  1. All ingredients should be at room temperature
  2. Use good quality flour ( fresh )
  3. Use apples that are hard and not too sweet
  4. You can substitute jaggery with sugar, honey, agave etc
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