Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bhel puri - Yes you too can make it at home

Chaat and Mumbai are almost synonyms. Almost every street here has not one, but several vendors who, once the sun goes down, set up their make shift chaat counters on the roadside. The way they throw a few things together, mix it up and serve it with ease is nothing short of an art that they have perfected. With so many options available, I prefer to have my quota of chaat at the nearest chaat shop but this time, I tried my hand at making it at home. While it is quite easy to put together once you are done with all the chopping and dicing, I think that the experience of standing amidst a crowd of fellow chaat lovers, watching the magic unfold as the flavours are blended together by practiced hands, is something that gives your chaat a certain character that cannot be replicated at home.

What you need:
Puffed rice/murmura
Onion - chopped fine
Tomato - chopped fine
Cilantro/corriander - chopped fine
Green chutney
Tamarind chutney
Chaat masala
Peanuts toasted in a little oil
Sev - for garnishing

I have not mentioned quantities in the above recipe, firstly because I didn't measure each ingredient separately and secondly because the recipe is very forgiving and you can add as much of each ingredient as you would like. So, if you want your bhel to be spicy, add more green chutney to it, whereas if you want it to be sweet and tangy, add more tamarind chutney to it. Keep tasting and adding or subtracting ingredients as per your wish. You could also add boiled, cubed potatoes, or raw mangoes if you would like to.
Take the puffed rice (which is the main ingredient) in a large mixing bowl. Add in all the other ingredients in the order listed. Mix well. Top with sev and serve immediately.

This post is part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme After school snacks. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37
It also goes to Sowmya who is hosting Valli's Kids Delight -after school snacks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The best whole wheat garlic bread recipe ever

For someone who hadn't tasted garlic before marriage, I sure have come a long way. This is one thing that is still not bought at my parents'. I, though, have developed a taste for the pungent bulb in certain dishes. Garlic bread is a favourite in our household and we are partial to the one served at Dominos. I tried recreating that at home using this recipe as the base and then tweaking it to suit my taste. I have made this using only whole wheat, no maida/APF at all.

What you need : (Recipe source : Veg Nation)
Whole wheat flour : 1 cup + 1/2 cup (The original recipe uses APF)
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 7 cloves - peeled and ground/crushed coarsely
Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Water - Start with 1/2 a cup and then add more if needed. I used a little over 3/4 cups.
Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
Grated cheddar - 2 tbsp

Add instant yeast sugar, salt, 1 tbsp of olive oil and lukewarm water to 1 cup of the flour. Knead gently till the mixture just comes together. Cover and set aside until it doubles in volume. Once it doubles, punch the dough down, add the remaining flour and ground garlic and knead again to a smooth dough. Cover and let it rise until double again.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle. Spread the grated cheese over it and then fold the circle in half over itself to make a semi-circle. Seal the edges by pressing well. Spread the remaining oil on top of the dough and sprinkle seasoning over it.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm.

This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jeera biscuits - savoury cumin flavoured cookies

The local trains of Mumbai are a world of their own.  Getting into the local train every morning is an exercise in dexterity and street smartness. Not only do you have to make sure you are properly positioned on the platform to make your entry into the exact compartment that you want to get into easy and quick, but you also have to deal with people who elbow their way through the crowd, walking into the thick of things and then standing right in the middle of all the seats. All quirks of humanity unfold along those railway tracks, in a compartment where humans are packed like sardines. Some smell like sardines too, but then, you learn to ignore and move away. The quirkiness of some of the regulars is enough to merit a post of its own. So I'll leave that for another post and move on to the subject of this post - salt biscuits that taste great with tea or on their own. Spiced with cumin, ajwain and methi, carrying these with you will also give you something to look forward to in case you get stuck next to someone who thinks that deodorant is an insult in a foreign language. You might elicit strange looks, though, if you keep opening your dabba and smelling these, but then, who cares?

What you need:
Whole wheat flour - 1cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Cumin seeds/jeera - 1 tsp
Ajwain/omam/carraway seeds - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp
Ghee/clarified butter - 1 tbsp
Curd - 3-4 tbsp

Take the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ghee in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your finger tips until the mixture is crumbly. Add cumin, ajwain and kasuri methi. Add curd, starting with 1 tbsp and then adding as needed, and knead to a smooth dough. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 10-12 minutes until the bottom starts to brown.
These cookies will be a little soft when you take them out, but become crisp as they cool down.
Store in an air tight container once completely cool.
This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37

Monday, February 10, 2014

Colourful cupcakes

Ever since I first saw a rainbow cake, it has fascinated me. I love not only the vivid array of bright colours in the cake, but also the name itself. I recently tried making these at home with the few colours I had on hand and in cupcake form.
What you need: (Recipe source :Seduce your tastebuds)
All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Thick curd - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
 Oil - 1/2 cup
Food colour - a few drops of each colour you wish to use

In a bowl, whisk the curd and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the baking powder and baking soda to this. When the mixture starts to bubble, add oil and vanilla essence. Mix well. Stir in the flour little by little, mixing well after each addition.
Divide into as many parts as the colours you intend to use. I used pink, green and then a mixture of red and green together which gave me a dark olive-green-ish colour. I also kept one part of the batter plain. Mix the colour into the batter until well mixed.
Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners. Pour half a spoon of each coloured batter into the liners, one on top of the other. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly. It will settle into beautiful coloured patterns by itself.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme Kids' Delight - Oven baked snacks.
Enjoy plain or with some whipped cream piped on top of it.

This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37