Archive for November, 2006

Jammy Buns

I have been intending to try out this particular recipe for a long time. Lack of time is a major factor that has constrained me from doing so. When Nandita announced Baking for Breakfast’ as the theme for WBB#7 I decided to finally make it.Thanks Nandita for that .Baking is one culinary activity I plan to take up regularly. I am still at the trial stage. That is I still try my baked recipes on others! Thanks to food blogging and events like this I can hone my baking skill! I found this recipe in a lovely book ‘Baking- Simple cookery’, a collection of recipes by a team of experts. (No names on the book)  jb41.JPG

 I had most of the ingredients – Wheat flour and Cranberries were the ingredients that tempted me to try out this recipe! And I found it to be very simple for a novice baker like me.

Delicious and crispy Jammy Buns for WBB #7 hosted by the versatile Nandita.  jb2.jpg 

For 12 Jammy buns

175 g Plain flour (2 cups)

175 g Wheat flour(2 cups)

2 tsp baking powder

150 g butter

125 g caster sugar

50 g dried cranberries(I used orange flavoured)

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp milk

4-5 tbsp mixed fruit jam 

The original recipe used golden caster sugar and raspberry jam. I have used white sugar and mixed fruit jam instead.  Preheat oven to 190 oC/ 375oF 10 minutes before baking. Lightly oil a baking sheet.Sift the flours along with the baking powder into a bowl.Cut the butter into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flours untill it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.Stir in the sugar and cranberries.Stir in the beaten egg and milk.Mix to form a firm dough. Divide the mixture into 12 and roll into balls.Place the dough balls on the baking tray, leaving enough space for expansion. Press the thumb into the centre of each ball making a small hollow. Spoon a little jam in each hollow. Pinch lightly to seal the tops. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. 

Jammy Buns were delicious and turned out to be good for a first attempt. You have to excuse a little rocky shape for my crisp buns since my little one helped me do it. He was down with a severe bout of Dysentry and I had to entertain him!!

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November 29, 2006 at 9:51 pm 7 comments

Beetroot Cabbage curry

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. The glamorous red colour is very tempting and so is its sweet taste. I add some pieces of beetroot wherever a little glamour is required to any dish! Like when I make tomato soup I add a few pieces of beetroot -The result is a wonderful red colored tomato soup, which  will give all the synthetic colours a run for their money.

On a different note, I even made beetroot water for my son to celebrate this years Holi-his first Holi. A Natural and healthy way to enjoy the festival of colours!

Indira has blogged about this unusual recipe with beetroot :Cabbage, Beetroot and Redbeans Curry . I love most of Indira’s recipes for they are unusual, at the same time very simple and nutritious.

I liked this recipe for two reasons ;One-The recipe includes cabbage too. I was bored of making the same old curries with cabbage and two-My husband is not very fond of  beetroot by itself . But he loved this curry .Thanks Indira for that.

 

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I have almost followed the original recipe with a few changes. I have used usual white cabbage instead of the purple/red cabbage that Indira used and brown Chana /gram (Harbara) instead of Red beans.

The result was a delicious ‘ruby red’-as Indira says and a nutritious curry.

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November 27, 2006 at 10:02 am 1 comment

Pav Bhaji

I am back after an extended weekend in ‘Amchi Mumbai’ (Our Mumbai) for my little niece’s first birthday. Mumbai- the city that never sleeps. Even at 12 in the night you feel as if it is Prime time! People getting back home from work (yes that’s true), some going for a stroll, partying crowd ,the roadside vendors selling all types of typical ‘Mumbaiya’ food. From Chinese Hakka noodles to Bhakri-Pithla/Zunka you get it all. Pav Bhaji is one of the most popular fast foods typical to Mumbai and you find ‘Pav Bhaji ki Gaadi’ (Hand cart) anywhere on the streets of Mumbai. Cheap and filling Pav Bhaji can be eaten for Breakfast, lunch dinner- anything. It is almost impossible to resist the aroma coming from these ‘Gaadis’ or eateries serving Pav bhaji and the distinct ‘tak tak’ sound the Pav Bhaji masher makes with the Tava is just melodious. 

Pav Bhaji as the name suggests is a combination of Pav – bread and bhaji – a potato based mixed vegetable curry. The key ingredient for the mouthwatering flavour of this dish is a blend of about 13-14 spices-the Pav bhaji masala. There are a lot of variations of the original recipe…Amul Pav Bhaji (Garnished with Amul butter), Sada Pav bhaji (without butter), Jain Pav bhaji (without onion and garlic), Khada Pav bhaji (without mashing the vegetables)etc… The Bhaji is made on a big flat tava (griddle) and a masher is used instead of a ladle to stir it. If you don’t have this tava at home a wide mouth pan works just fine.

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Literally a fast food Pav bhaji is very fast and easy to prepare and very filling. Addition of vegetables takes care of the nutrition aspect of this dish. So when you make it at home add vegetables of your choice (mostly the so called ‘English vegetables’ like carrots, cauliflower, peas etc.) to boost its nutritive value.  For Pav Bhaji you need: Serves 4

6-7 potatoes- boiled, peeled and mashed (no lumps, mash them finely)

1 cup cauliflower florets boiled and finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped and boiled carrots

½ cup fresh green peas boiled and mashed

½ cup capsicum (green bell pepper) finely chopped

4-5 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped

4 onions finely chopped

1 tsp garlic paste

¼ cup fresh green coriander finely chopped

1tsp cumene seeds

2 tsp Pav Bhaji masala

1 tsp Red Chilli powder (The one which is hot and red like Bedgi mirch)

2 tsp oil

2 tsp salted butter like Amul –for the tadka

2 tsp butter for garnishing (optional)

Salt as per Taste

1 lemon cut into pieces for garnishing.

8-10 Pav ( soft Buns) 

Heat oil and butter on the tava or a pan. Add the cumene seeds.Add the garlic paste. Fry for ½ a minute. Add ½ of the chopped onions. Keep the remaining half for garnishing.Fry onions nicely till golden brown. Add the finely chopped tomatoes. Fry nicely stirring with the masher (you can use a round spoon too) till all the moisture evaporates and the tomatoes are properly cooked. The mixture starts leaving oil on the side. At this point add the Pav Bhaji masala and the Red chilli powder. (Pav Bhaji is usually spicy…so adjust the proportion of red chilli powder to your taste)Fry for one minute and then add the potatoes and all the vegetables except capsicum. Mash and stir the mixture nicely.Once the mixture is homogenous, add the finely chopped Capsicum. Add salt.Cook till the capsicum becomes little tender. Don’t overcook it, it should be crunchy. Add  about 1 cup water to the Bhaji. Let it boil for a few minutes. Once it boils nicely remove from the tava and serve.Slit the Pav horizontally like you would for a burger and apply butter on both sides. On the same tava, which you made Pav bhaji roast the buns for a few minutes. 

Top the bhaji with  1-2 spoons of butter  and serve with hot Pav , chopped onions, chopped green coriander and a piece of lime.  pb2.jpg

November 22, 2006 at 1:53 pm 4 comments

Ridge Gourd (Dodka) Peel chutney

When I was in school we used to have these competitions ‘Best out of Waste’. All the discarded material would be put to use like paper scraps , small pieces of cloth..even the shells of coconuts!I would feel really proud making beautiful articles from that scrap.              

I get a similar feeling making Ridge Gourd Peel chutney . Whenever I make Ridge Gourd curry I put the skins to use, instead of discarding them. I usually end up eating the chutney more than the curry!

So next time don’t discard these nutritive peels, instead make this crunchy, delicious chutney.

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      Peeled and Roasted Ridge Gourd Skin

Peeled skin of 5-6 Ridge gourds

1 tbsp Seasme seeds roasted

1 tsp dry Red chilli powder

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp cumene seeds

1 tsp oil

Salt as per taste. 

Take about 5-6 young and fresh Ridge gourds. Just scrape the skin of the Ridge gourds. Don’t remove it completely. Dry roast the peels till the moisture evaporates or microwave for 1 ½ minutes. Cool and coarsely grind it in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumene seeds. Add the sesame seeds and then add the crushed Ridge gourd peels. Add the Red chilli powder and fry for 1 minute. Switch off the gas and add salt and sugar. Stir nicely. Cool and serve with Rotis. You can eat this crunchy chutney as it is without any accompaniments! 

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Ridge Gourd Peel chutney and Ridge Gourd Curry

November 14, 2006 at 11:13 am 5 comments

Shrikhand Vadi (Youghurt Barfi)

Work has been keeping me very busy lately and I am not able to blog as frequently as I would have liked to L. But it can’t keep me totally away!!

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Ok this recipe for Shrikhand Vadi is really special. I have learnt it from my Best Friend S’s mom. Kaku (aunty in marathi) as I call her is one of the kindest persons I have ever known.This recipe for Shrikhand Vadi is very special because every time(for many many years now) she makes these Vadis ,she makes it a point to make a portion of it, without Cardmom specially for me!(I don’t like cardamom). Usually I don’t bother making them coz whenever I feel like eating them I have to just call….and the next day I get them ready made –without cardamom!Shrikhand is a sweet made from hung curds (yoghurt) and sugar, usually served with puris. This vadi also uses hung curds and sugar hence the name Shrikhand Vadi (that’s my logic )I wanted to share this sweet and sour and utterly delicious yet so simple….Shrikhand Vadi with all of you. So here’s my first attempt for Shrikhand Vadi.  

 For Shrikhand Vadi you need:

1 cup Chakka/hung curds (yoghurt), a little sour curd-tastes better

1 cup sugar ¼ cup powdered sugar

¼ tsp Cardamom powder (optional!)

Ghee for greasing the plate. 

To make Chakka at home: Tie the curd (a little sour curd) in a muslin cloth. Keep it slanting on a plate and put some weight on it so that the water is removed. This might take 5-6 hours. We also get readymade Chakka. That’s fine too. I had some leftover curd so I made it at home. 

            Grease a small plate or a flat pan with ghee and keep aside.In a hot pan mix 1 cup Chakka and 1 cup sugar. Mix nicely and keep stirring till the water has almost evaporated. I am following the recipe exactly as per kaku’s instructions. At this point she asked me to drop a little mixture in cold water and see if it has come to the consistency of a Vadi (barfi). Not yet. Cook for some more time. Once the mixture is almost dry remove from fire. Stir nicely for a few more minutes and now add the ¼ cup powder sugar and the Cardamom. Stir nicely and pour the mixture into the greased plate. Flatten and even out the surface with a spatula…actually your hand works the best. Take care that you don’t burn your hand. Mark the flattened mixture with diamond shaped pieces. Let is cool down nicely. This may take 1-2 hours.

            Sweet and sour and simple delicious Shrikhand Barfi is ready. Not bad at all for a first attempt! All it lacks is kaku’s love!Thanks kaku for this wonderful recipe.

November 8, 2006 at 10:53 am 5 comments

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                                  Naughty little boy

November 5, 2006 at 10:36 am 4 comments

Masoor Dal Curry (Red Lentil Curry)

I like to include different dals like Toovar,Moong, Masoor.. sometimes even Urad alternately in my day-today meals. One of my favourite dals is Masoor dal (Red lentils). This beautiful looking orange red dal is commonly used in North Indian cuisine. You can make out masoor dal being cooked in any household. It gives out a typical rich aroma..unique only to Masoor dal. This dal is easier to cook than the other dals. Soak it for ½ an hour and it gets cooked within 10-15 minutes.Masoor dal cooked in combination with tomatoes increases its flavour and is absolutely irresistible. 

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My Lunch yesterday- Masoor Dal curry, Stuffed Gilka with Rotis

For Masoor dal curry you need:

1 cup Masoor dal soaked in water for ½ an hour

1 medium size onion chopped

2 small red tomatoes chopped

½ tsp cumene powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp red Chilli powder

½ tsp cumene seeds

1 tsp Ghee /butter

1 tsp oil

Salt as per taste 

 In a pan heat the oil and butter. Add the cumene seeds and then the onion and fry till translucent. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Add the masalas- cumene, coriander, chilli powder and fry for ½ a minute.Add the soaked Masoor dal along with the water. Cover and cook till the Dal is done. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the dal to be cooked.Adjust the required consistency of the  by adding or evaporating the water.

Masoor dal curry can be eaten with hot Rotis or hot steaming plain rice or Jeera rice(Cumene fried rice).I love to eat it as it is like a soup, with a spoonful of butter/ghee in it.  

November 2, 2006 at 10:46 pm 4 comments


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