Feb 29, 2012

Rava Bhakri

            भाकरी ..Hearing the word Bhakri reminds us of rice, jowar or bajra roti. Aren’t you surprised hearing about rava bhakri!!!

                 It’s a Konkani bhakri recipe which I make often when in a mood to make something different and quick for lunch.Its simple to make with the flavors of rava, freshly grated coconut, spicy green chilly bits and crunch of onion, all combined to make quick meal in itself

Ingredients:
·         2 cups rava (semolina)
·         2 tbsp rice flour
·         ½ cup coconut
·         3 green chilies
·         1 tsp salt
·         2 tbsp sugar
·         1 medium onion (chopped)
·         ½ cup coriander (chopped)
·         Water( as required)

Method:
·         In a large bowl mix rava with rice flour. Rice flour acts as a binding agent.
·         Add freshly grated coconut. You cant use frozen coconut as the freshly grated coconut will give coconut milk when its mixed to make the bhakri.
·         Finely chop green chillies and add in bowl along with salt, sugar, chopped onion & coriander. The onion shouldn’t b finely chopped, it should be medium sized such that you should be able to taste the sweetish steamed onion in the bhakri.
·         Mix all the dry ingredients with your hands.
·         Add water tablespoon by tablespoon, till you can form a large ball of dough. You will need 3-4 tablespoons, not more.
·         Allow the dough to rest for 5-10 mins
·         Make 4 equal balls of dough
·         Put the frying pan (tava) on high heat
·         Once the tava is hot add 1 tbsp oil

·         Place a ball of dough on the oil and gently start flattening the dough to form disk with the help of your finger. If the fingers start sticking to dough, dip your fingers in water and continue forming the bhakri. If you find making bhakri directly on tava difficult. You can form the bhakri on oiled banana leaf/ plastic bag (milk bags) or silicon mats and then transfer the bhakri onto the oiled tava.
·         Let it cook on one side. Flip. Pour a thin stream of oil along the edges of bhakri with spoon & let it cook.
·         Repeat with the rest 3 balls of dough
·      

   Serve with spoonful of homemade लोणी  (butter) &  लोणचं  ( mango pickle)


Feb 28, 2012

Pasta in creamy cheese sauce




Neil wants to eat what we eat, so nowadays we all sit together for all meals. Yesterday I served him his favorite pasta in creamy sauce. He will pick each pasta with his fork, drop it on his bib, pick with his fingers and enjoy it.
This pasta recipe is creamy with subtle flavoring of Italian herbs. I have used durum wheat semolina pasta which has high protein. i would love to use whole wheat when neil gets all his 20 teeth and he can chew his food properly.
                                                               Ingredients
  • ½ tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp crumbled paneer
  • ½ cup pasta (durum wheat semolina pasta)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cheese slice
  • 1 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • 1tsp pepper
  • salt ( to taste)


 Method:
  • Boil ½ cup pasta with 2 cups water till the pasta is soft but still retains its shape. Once cooked, drain pasta in colander. I used fusili pasta, as sauce tends to sit in grooves and easier to feed.You can use any type of pasta or even mix of all types.
  • In a non stick pan, add ½ tbsp olive oil and add crumbled paneer and sauté for a minute
  • Add milk, cheese slice, mixed herbs, pepper and salt, cook for 2 mins till cheese melts and its nice sauce.
  • Add pasta and further cook till the sauce is infused in the pasta. That’s for another 2-3 mins
  • Serve with kiddie (non sharp) fork in attractive bowl.
  • Enjoy trying to feed the kids showing them animals, birds, songs.. One song which works nowadays with Neil is “ jalebi bai”



Feb 27, 2012

Daliya Khichadi

Dalia khichadi is nutritious, tasty and quick to make dish for toddlers. It has minor amounts of spices and flavours which will get your child used to adult food.


Dalia is whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and hence is cooked quickly. It is excellent for digestion and can be given to the babies above one year.

Nutrition facts:-
Compared to unenriched white rice,dalia has more fiber and protein and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals.
1 cup of dry dalia contains approximately:
  • Energy: 2003 kJ (479 kcal)
  • Dietary fiber: 25.6 g
  • Protein: 17.21 g
  • Carbohydrate: 69 g whereof 0.8 g sugars
  • Fat: 1.86 g whereof 0.2 g saturated fat
  • Potassium: 574 mg
  • Iron: 3.44 mg
Courtesy: wikipedia

 Ingredients:-
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 tsp rai
  • ¾ cup vegetables
  • 1 tbsp dhania pwd
  • 1tsp chilli pwd
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 cup dalia( bulgur wheat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water

Method:-
  • Roast dalia in a pan with some ghee till colour turns brown and it smells aromatic. Remove from the pan and transfer it to bowl
  • In the cooker heal oil, add asafetida, rai & jeera.
  • Once rai & jeera splutters, add vegetables( carrots & potatoes) ,dhania pwd, chilli pwd & salt and roast for a min
  • Add roasted dalia and water.
  • Cover the cooker and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles ( about 5-7 mins)
  • Switch off the gas and let the khichadi cook in the steam. Once the pressure is released, serve the khichadi with tup (ghee)
The khichadi is little watery as its easier for kids to swallow. Whenever I tell Neil to chew when he eats, he first swallows the food and then chew his empty mouth. I really don’t know what to do, as I look defeated and he smiles chewing his empty mouth. Please feel free to give me tips to making your child chew food.
Also Neil gets tired of eating chewable food after some time, so the next bowl of khichadi has to be coarsely mashed with stick blender.
You can choose the consistency as per your child’s liking. Also I have used carrots & potatoes this time,but you can use onions, peas, cauliflower or other veggies what you want to use.

Feb 25, 2012

Masala paneer wheels


Today is Saturday. My mind associates weekends with getting up late in morning, making & eating good food and visiting new places and pataoing my hubby to let me shop…

I wanted to make something special. Opened my fridge and saw had nice ripe tomatoes, capsicum and fresh paneer. I wanted to bake something in the oven and decided to make bread with the stuff  in my pantry.









Ingredients
A)    For the Dough
·         1 cup warm water
·         1 tsp sugar
·         1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
·         1 tsp salt
·         2 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
.         1 tbsp kasoori methi  
.         3 cups all purpose flour (maida) 



B)    For the stuffing
·         1 tbsp oil
·         1 tsp jeera
·         Pinch of asafetida
·         1 large onion ( chopped)
·         ½ cup capsicum (chopped)
·         ½ cup tomatoes (chopped)
·         1 cup paneer
·         ½ tsp turmeric
·         1 tsp garam masala
·         1 tsp amchur
·         1 tbsp dhania pwd
·         2 tsp red chilly pwd
·         Salt ( to taste)

Method :

1.      In a mixing bowl, combine Warm Water, Yeast and Sugar. Water should be warm and not hot, as it might kill the yeast. So just microwave water for 30 secs. Sugar is added as food for yeast to grow on. After adding yeast in sugar water mix, we need to wait for 5- 10 mins till the top becomes frothy, as this indicates the yeast has been proofed.
2.      In the same mixing bowl, combine above mixture with All-Purpose Flour,kasoori methi, 2 tbsp oil and salt and knead into dough for 4 to 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Apply 1 tbsp oil on the surface of dough and cover the dough with wet towel and let it rest in warm place for about an hour till the dough rises to double.
3.      In the meantime, prepare your ingredients for stuffing, chopping all the vegetables & paneer.
4.      Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Once the oil is hot, add jeera & asafetida.
5.      Now add onion, capsicum & tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 mins. Then add paneer and all the spices & salt and mix for more 2 mins. Cool the stuffing which is ready. There is no need to cook all the vegetables completely. We just need to half cook vegetables and sauté paneer for 2 mins, as it will be baked in oven later on.

6.      Now after 1 hour is done and our dough is nice fluffed up, you can remove all your frustrations by punching the dough.. हवा निकाल दो &^#$%^* की ;)
7.      Wanna feel more happy, take a big fat बेलन (rolling pin) and roll the dough out into rectangle. I didn’t need any extra flour for rolling, but you could use some if desired.
 8.  Spread the stuffing evenly on the rolled out dough, all the way to edges & start rolling the dough tightly into a log.

 9.   Take sharp knife & cut the log into 8 equal pieces.
10.  Grease the baking dish (Mine is 11’’x11”) & place the wheels. Cover with a wet cloth & and wait for another 1 hour for them to rise. 




In that one hour we had ice candies, which felt so nice in warm afternoon with no current in our house. Neil took both the ice candies and licks them saying “गाआर ”


11.  Now 1 hour is almost done and I am worried my wheels are gonna raise but I cant bake them ( no current) and I start praying. But I guess God himself couldn't wait to try these spicy wheels so he listens to my prayers and after 1 hour 5 mins, current comes…

12.  With a big smile on my face I rush to my kitchen and preheat the oven to 200 C and bake the wheels for 20 mins till the top is light brown.

Cant wait to remove them from oven.. Once out, applied some butter on the top and had them with Maggi hot & sweet tomato sauce..








For the non veg version:
Add boneless chicken cut into small cubes and cook the chicken completely on the stove top and add to onion,capsicum,tomato mixture

Enjoy the weekend…..

Feb 24, 2012

Methi Malai Paneer



Methi Malai paneer is gravy cooked with paneer floating in a rich creamy sauce, flavored with methi. It can be made really quick and never fails to impress your guests. I often make it as my hubby loves methi. So here is the recipe which is nutritious, simple and tasty

Ingredients:
2 tbsp oil
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp jeera
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
½ inch ginger
2 tbsp cashew
4 green chilies
3 cups chopped methi
1 cup cubed paneer
½ cup cream
½ cup water
1 tbsp sugar
Salt (to taste)
2 tbsp kasoori methi


Method:
  • Heat oil and ghee in a non-stick or regular pan and add a pinch of asafoetida followed by jeera
  • Add fresh methi leaves and saute until it shrinks.
  • In meantime, grind onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies and cashews in fine paste in mixer
  • Once the methi leaves shrink , add the above aste and sauté for another 3-4 mins till the raw smell of onion goes.
  • Add sugar and salt. I like my methi malai paneer to be mildly sweet with the after note of green chilly.
  • Add cream and let it cook for 2 minutes ( I have lots of cream leftover, as I store cream layer after boiling milk. You could also substitute milk if you don’t want to use cream and increase cashew to 3-4 tbsp, this maintain the rich taste)
  •  Add paneer and water and sprinkle crushed kasoori methi on the top and let it simmer for another 5 mins
  • Serve hot with roti or parathas.

Feb 20, 2012

Cashew Coffee Cake

कुछ मीठा हो जाये?
Lets start with something sweet.
               So today's recipe is cashew coffee cake. It is an amazing crusty cake with hint of coffee and richness of cashews and with a tad bitterness of demerara sugar.
        This cakes leaves you wanting for more.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4th cup  Butter
  • 3/4th cup  Demerara sugar (Brown sugar)
  • 3                Eggs
  • 3 tsp          Instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 cup   Flour
  • 2 tsp          Baking powder
  • 1 cup         Broken cashew
  • Some cake greasing mix 
I greased my christmas tree pan with greasing mix. Now this greasing mix is awesome. I found it on Youtube and it worked really good. 
Cake greasing mix:
     I added 1 cup vegetable shortening (dalda) + 1 cup flour(maida) + 1/2 cup oil and mixed it well. 

I later found that I had more cake batter left, so greased few small cake pans and enjoyed mini cakes
Method:
  • I kept the oven for preheating at 180 degrees.
  • Now I added butter and brown sugar and creamed it really well with hand mixer till it was fluffy and smooth. I used unsalted butter which was at room temperature
  • If you don't have access use अपना वाला Amul butter. सब चलता है. This is cooking not a science  experiment.
  • You can substitute regular sugar for brown sugar. However, I recommend brown sugar, as it gives a characteristic taste.
  • Then I added eggs one by one, beating well after each addition and finally added coffee.
  • Now we need to stop using hand mixer and  start adding flour and baking powder and  mixing with rubber spatula.
  • Now its time to add the cashews (You could also roast them a bit with ghee, they will add more flavor)
The mix smells really "coffelicious" and tempting :)  I added it to greased cake pans and realized that I have much more butter left. So greased more two mini pans. Yippee more two cakes, the cakes were so delicious we finished eating them as soon as they were out of the oven, we couldn't even wait to click their pictures.

  • Baked the cakes at 180 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Kept them to cool on rack then decorated with sprinkles and the last thing I did was
  • (((((Ate them)))))

My son Neil loved the sprinkles. Just after the pictures were clicked most of the sprinkles disappeared...courtesy Neil.