Sunday, September 21, 2014

Corn and Olive Pizza (from the scratch)

My son Aniket goes head over heels over a pizza…he is totally fida(love struck) with the various varities that are available…..What to say even I am a partner in the crime…no not crime….…partner in pizza mania would be apt.I am always ready to give in to his temptations when it come to a pizza….



I would occassionaly take home delivery from Dominos or drop in at pizza hut….My hunt through the net landed me in innumerable recipes and options to make THE PIZZA from the base…So when I got my microwave I was determined to make it.




The results were extremely satisfying….i could almost….very well recreate the pizza I got from outside….Well I was elated that the net was overflowing with different recipes for the base or the topping….there were so many different kids of bases you could recreate in your own home…so many different recipes for toppings….You could even beat A Pizza HUT


Aniket loved my pizza….and I am determined to explore different pizza toppings in my coming posts…this time it is the corn and olive with cheese topping inspired by gourmet pizza from Dominos…

Ingredients

Pizza Base

 All purpose flour-2 cups
Bread flour- 1 cup(or substitute with all purpose flour)
Rapid active dry yeast/instant yeast-1 envelope or21/4tsp
Warm water/milk(110F)-1 cup(or half cup water and milk each)
Baking powder-1tsp
Olive oil-1/4 cup
Sugar-11/2 tsp
Salt-1 tsp

Tomato sauce (for 1 pizza)

Crushed tomato puree- of 1 tomato
Butter-1-1/2 tbsp(optional)
Italian seasoning-1/2 tsp or Oregano-1/4 tsp , Basil-1/8 tsp ,Thyme-1/8 tsp
Crushed pepper-1/8 tsp
Garlic powder/garlic pods-1/8 tsp or 1 pod
Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
Olive oil-1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Topping for(1 pizza)

Onion-1/2 big onion cut into rings
Tomato-1 medium tomatocut into rings
Fresh corn kernels-1/2 cup
Green capsicum thinly sliced-1/2 medium sliced into long strips or short strips
Black olives-1/2 cup
Mozzarella cheese-1/2 cup
Salt to taste

Method

Pizza Base

Take water (1/2 cup) and milk (1/2 cup) and mix. Warm the mixture in a microwave
Add instant yeast,sugar and salt and  mix.Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Take flour and add baking powder,olive oil.
Mix well and add yeast mixture little by little and knead well.You may sprinkle little water if you may require so.
Transfer to well oiled bowl, cover with a lid and set aside for 2 hrs.
After 2 hours take out the doubled dough in and knead it. Flour your working surface and transfer the dough onto the surface. Flatten it into a round with a rolling pin into a thin round or thick round depending on the type of crust you want.
Poke a few holes into the dough using fork to prevent the dough from rising from the centre.
Transfer to greased tray.
Preheat (toast option) oven to 210 C (I preheated the oven to 200 C) for 10 min and bake for12-15 minutes till base is golden brown.

Pizza sauce

Grind tomato.
Take crushed tomato in a thick bottomed non-stick pan.
Add olive oil,garlic pod  crushed,red chilli powder,butter and salt.Heat till butter melts..
Add pepper and seasoning.

Assembling

Grate mozzarella cheese.
Lay the topping after spreading sauce. First tomatoes,onions,corn,capsicum and then olives. Sprinkle cheese.Bake at 180 C for  5 min
Bake till cheese melts or turns golden brown. You can turn on grill option if you like your topping grilled.

Notes

Some recipes add 1 pod garlic crushed instead of garlic powder.
For a thin crust pizza, roll out the pizza dough as thin as possible, about ¼ - ½ inch thick.
Fold in the sides after you have flattened the dough.
You can add olive oil to toppings and keep aside for 1/2 hour before use.
You can use around sharp edged steel plate to give shape to pizza.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Rasmalai –A long post with lots of photos


I am a big big fan of this’’ Out of the world sweet’’….I just lov it….need a clue? Its from The State of Bengal in India...yes you guessed it right….Rasmalai….this soft spongy yellow coloured sweet  soaked in thickened milk is one of my favourite desserts….in fact I can have it any time….at night one or morning four ….







Well I thought making the Rasmalai was a tough tough job…. Especially, at home.



But blogging  introduced me to homemade rasmalai……and my joy knew no bounds….Now I will be making them at home…..???




Well I’ve soaked this post with lots of photos….I know….and the recipe is slightly long….but easy…..well I wanted to include all that I know and read about….



To mention about my notion of rasmalai making being a tough job…It was a plesant surprise to me that I was wrong…It a damn easy recipe….Wanna try?









From: ECurry.com

For the Malai balls


Ingredients

Milk-1 ltr
Lime juice/ vinegar-11/2-2 tsp(diluted with water)
Sugar-1 cup or more
Water-2-21/2 cups or more
All porpose flour to sprinkle(optional)
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Notes
Dust the work surface with some all purpose flour to make kneading and rolling easier on you.
When milk curdles and whey seperates add ice cubes and switch off flame to get soft paneer
If the rasgullas/rasmalai gets stiff and not spongy or puffy.. it may be due to the fact that while the whey separated milk solids harden due to too much acid (vinegar/lime juice) or the split milk solids and whey stayed together for too long after they were split or they were cooked for too long
The syrup should be thin and light. As soon as you see the sugar has dissolved and water has come to a roaring boil, add your first set of the Rasgullas to cook. When the first set is done and you see that the syrup has thickened or reduced in volume, add more water and a little bit of sugar and allow it to come to a roaring boil again before you add another batch of the Rasgullas.
If you are using a pressure cooker only one whistle is required to cook the ras gullas
If using a pot with the lid it will take 12-16 minutes without opening the lid and releasing the steam once during the process.
Remove a batch of rasgullas after they are cooked with some syrup enough to immerse them fully and let them soak .Alternatively some people add it to a bowl of warm water.
You can add a pinch of baking powder to the chenna while kneading.
Best curdling agent is fermented whey.
Rasgullas should not be let to change from white colour to creamy white while cooking for too long.It should change colour while soaking in syrup
Use palm to knead.
Cook in batches as they are soft during initial minutes of cooking. If crowded they will collide and break away
If you leave chenna in open air it will crust and harden and when cooked pevent sugar syrup from going in
Roll 1st set of balls.While they are cooking roll the next set of balls
Some put sugar balls into each chenna ball at the centre and roll it into balls
Some add yellow colour to chenna while kneading.
Method
Pour milk into a heavy bottomed vessel.
When it comes to roaring boil, add lime juice/vinegar little at a time and lower heat.Stir the milk while adding lemon juice/vinegar
When the milk curdles and whey separates stop stirring and switch off the gas.
Remove the pot from the stove and allow the curdled milk to sit for about 8-12 minutes. Do not stir
Place a cheesecloth /cotton cloth on strainer and strain the curdled mixture
Put it under cold running water and give a quick wash.
Wrap and tie the cheese cloth and hang  it up to let it drain for-15-30 minutes(I used my paneer only in the evening when I made it in the morning so I wrapped it in a wet cloth and covered  it in a vessel with a lid till I used it.)
Wring out any extra moisture and let it stay hung again for 2 hrs .It should not have any more whey dripping out but should be soft and moist after 2 hrs.
Remove the chenna and knead with the heal of the palm for 15 minutes or more (I did for 10 minutes) till fat comes out of the chenna and it is not sticky.Knead parts of it away from you towards the outer edge of the board you are using and bringing it back to you and repeating the back and forth motion
Roll it until it has a really smooth surface with no cracks. They should be smooth without holes or lines going across them.
Add sugar to water and let it dissolve completely When it comes to roaring boil add chenna balls.The level of the liquid should be just high enough that the balls completely submerge.
Cover and cook. The balls will puff up in about  10 – 15 minutes. You may uncover and release the steam only once during the cooking process. Do not move around the balls as they are cooking.(mine got done in 5 minutes in high).Some people cook in high some in medium or initially 5 minutes high then medium when cooking with lid closed.
An easy test to see if they are done is to remove one and drop it in a cup of cold water. If it floats, it needs to be further cooked. When they are done the texture should be spongy and should bounce back when held down with the back of a spoon or a finger.
After a couple of sets, the sugar syrup will thicken; add some hot water and some sugar to replenish and bring it back to the original consistency.
For Rasgullas
After all batches are done .Simmer the sugar water mixture .After it thickens little switch off. Pour cold water. Add flavouring-cardamom powder/essence. Add the rasgullas back in. Refrigerate and serve cold.Garnish with nuts while serving.

For the ‘’Ras’’ in Rasmalai (for 8 nos)

Ingredients

Milk-500 ml
Sugar-1/8 cup
Condensed milk-3 tbsp
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp
Nuts(pista,badam)
Saffron-3-4 strands

Method

Take a heavy bottomed vessel and grease with ghee.Add milk and condensed milk.Bring to boil.Then reduce to medium flame.
Mix saffron in 2 tbsp milk and add.Also add sugar.
Keep stirring till milk is thick and reduced to half.
Add cardamom powder and nuts.Add Rasgullas and cook for 5 minutes in medium and take off flame

Refrigerate for future or serve warm.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dum Vegetable Biriyani


My search for the perfect  ultimate vegetable biriyani recipe will never end….But today I pounced on a good good recipe….the moment I saw it I was elated….Being a pure vegetarian my search for a biriyani was totally restricted to a purely vegetarian recipes. I was on the top of the world that I finally found out a near to perfect recipe for a chicken biriyani-a dum version that I could easily convert to an authentic Only Veg version.
But I was under doubt if the recipe for non-veg would work for veg also…But I decided to substitute and go ahead…



Biriyani is said to have been invented in the kitchen of Mughal emperors and means` `fried ‘’or ``roasted’’ in Persian. The spices and condiments used in biryani may include, but are not limited to, ghee, nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bayleaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron.For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat—beef, chicken, goat, lamb, fish or shrimp. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or raita, korma, a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal), boiled egg and salad.



The difference between biryani and pulao is that while pulao may be made by cooking the items together, biryani denotes a dish where the rice (plain or fried) is cooked separately from the thick sauce (a greatly reduced curry of meat or vegetables). The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavours of flavoured rice (which is cooked separate with spices) and intensely flavoured sauce and meat or vegetables. This separation is partly of necessity: the proportion of meat/vegetables to the rice is high enough to make biryani a one-dish meal, and the cooking time of each of the main ingredients is significantly different from each other. In a properly made biryani, the final dish is dry or minimally moist, with the individual rice grains separate, as opposed to a risotto, where the rice is of a creamy consistency. However, many biryani recipes call for the rice to be cooked for three-quarters of the usual time, followed by layering with the meat/vegetable base, and then a final slow-steaming until fully done: this approach allows the flavours to blend somewhat. (Source Wikipedia)

Well my fears were totally baseless because the recipe turned out fine…when I opened the dum seal of the vessel I cooked biriyani in I was envigoured by the intense aroma of the wonder full spices that went into the biriyani. It tasted just as fine. Here‘s the recipe for u-:

Ingredients
Vegetables (1/2 kg) which includes
Carrot-3 medium sized chopped
Potatoes-2 medium sized chopped
French beans-4
Cauliflower florets-1 cup
Tomato-1 medium sized to grind
Other Ingredients
Tomato-I medium to grind
Green chilli-4-6(I used4)
Onion-3 or2 big
Ginger garlic paste-3/4 tsp
Scallions-4to5(I used4)
Coriander leaves-a handful
Mint leaves-a handful
Lemon juice-of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Curd-1/4 cup
Garam masala-1/2 tbsp
Dalda-1/2 cup
Ghee /clarified butter-2 tbsp (first) +3tbsp (second time)
Rice-350 gm
Turmeric powder-1/8 tsp
Saffron- few strands
Kewra essence-2 tsp(optional)
Cashewnuts -6
Almond-4
Milk/coconut milk-1/4 cup or more

Spices (a handful) include-:
Karupatta-11/2 -2
Grambu-3-5
Elakka-3or4
Thakollam-1or 2
Fennel seeds-1/2 tbsp(some use cumin or caraway instead)
For Garnish
Cashew-handful
Kismis-handful
Coriander leaves-little
Mint leaves-little
Pineapple chopped-1 /2 cup
Fried onion- handful

Method
For Masala layer-:
Pressure cook the vegetables other than tomato (1 or 2 whistles)
Make  separate pastes of  following-:
Tomato
Onion
Scallion
Green chilli

Take Dalda / vanspathi. and melt in a thick bottomed vessel
Add garlic and ginger paste or chopped, green chilli paste, scallions paste, tomato paste, curd, onion paste, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Also add coriander leaves and mint leaves. Stir for 20-30 minutes till colour changes and oil separates
Add boiled vegetables
Add tomato cut into pieces, coriander and mint leaves
Add lime juice (if using) and mix
For Rice layer
Take 6 cups of water.
Add spices and salt and let water bubble
Then add rice and cook till 75percent cooked. Drain water.
Layering
Layer the masala at the bottom of the vessel and the rice on the top.
Sprinkle kwela essence
Soak saffron in little milk.Grind badam (4) and cashew nuts(6). Mix it to milk/coconut milk and pour over layered rice
Pour¼ cup of melted vanaspathi and ghee mix over the layered rice.
Sprinkle kismis,cashewnuts,fried onion,pineapples chopped,coriander and mint leaves
Dum cook with maida seal for 20-30 minutes till maida seal hardens
Remove seal and use a fork to mix the layers so that the masala coats the rice
Serve hot with a raita and korma.
Notes
Changes made from the actual recipe-Actual recipe- Garlic-3, ginger-5, coriander-1 sprig, pudina-2 sprig



Actual recipe with Mutton

Mutton -1 kg

Green chilli-12

Ginger-10

shallots-10

Onion-6

Tomato-1

Curd-1/2 cup

Lemon-1

Garam Masala-1 tbsp

Coriander Leaves-4 sprigs

Mint leaves-4 sprigs

Dalda-1 cup

Ghee-4 tbsp

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp

Jeera-1 tbsp

Cashew-100 gms

Kismis-50 gms

Garlic-6

Pineapple-150 gm


Cinnamon-3

Cloves-6

Cardamom-6

Star anise-3



Method

Chop onion,ginger,garlic,shallots,coriander leaves,mint leaves,tomatoes. Take ghee and dalda

 in a frying pan.Add chopped vegetables. Saute well.Add garam masala,turmeric powder.Add mutton and curd.Mix well

Cook rice with jeera and spices till half done.Spread on top of sauted vegetables and mutton.

Fry cashewnuts and kismis in ghee and fry some onions till golden brown.Spread on top of rice with mint leaves,coriander leaves and pineapple slices

Cook rice and masala mix in dum using aluminium foil or maida dough













Thursday, January 16, 2014

Butter Naan

 Made Naans at home today…they came out well. Soft, warm and homemade. By the way it’s a really easy recipe….And you don’t need a tandoor …. you can make it on your stove top…..











 Aniket(my sonny) would’ nt even let me take proper snaps as he wanted to eat more…He pointed to the Naans sitting on the table and made a sorry face…So I first made sure his lil tummy was filled with this dinner delight. Aniket , loved it. So did Appu his friend…..Both the kiddos chomped away the naans without the usual storytelling and coaxing, usually a prerequisite to even eat a morsel….These days kids are choosy about what they like and what they don’t…unlike our times…..they want change and mothers like me have to constantly strive to live up to their expetations…




Naan is basically made with yeast leavened dough cooked in a tandoor served hot brushed with butter….Naan is a word that originated from Iran where it is used as an everyday name  for bread.I have used both wheat flour and all purpose flour in the recipe….
I garnished My naans with sesame seeds and fresh chopped coriander leaves. You can use onion seeds/kalonji seeds/Nigella seeds .This may be added while kneading the dough or at the end while garnishing the Naans…..                                                                                                                                                            



Ingredients

All purpose flour-2 cups
Wheat flour-2 cups
Warm milk-1 cup or more
Sugar-2 tsp
Instant yeast/Active dry yeast-2tsp
Salt-2 tsp
Oil-2tbsp
Yogurt-3 tbsp
Baking soda-3/4 tsp
Garnish
Butter for brushing
Nigella seeds/Sesame seeds
Coriander leaves
Method 
Mix sugar ,milk,yeast.Stir and keep aside to rise. Cover the vessel with a lid.
In a bowl take wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt.Seive and mix.
Add yeast mixture , oil and yogurt to dough. Knead with hand or a food processor till dough is smooth, pliable and elastic. You may use more milk if required.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl .Cover with a lid. Allow to rise to double in size for about 1 hour.
When dough doubles after 1 hour punch it back and knead for 2-3 minutes
Allow to rise again to double in size in a covered vessel.
Divide into balls and roll out  balls into oval  or tear shape which is not too thin.
Sprinkle nigella seeds, sesame seeds and chopped coriander. Use rolling pin to press them onto  the dough
Take a non-stick pan and heat it till hot.It is important that the pan is really hot otherwise the naan will stick to the pan.
Lift the naan and apply water with your palm on the side that is not garnished with seeds and coriander leaves .
Place the  wet side down on pan. Allow Naan to puff  up in places .Now use kitchen tongs to place the garnished side directly over the flame and allow it to be cooked uniformly all over.. Allow it to puff up. Make sure they donot get burnt or charred by using the tongs to move it over the flame rather than holding it to cook a particular area for a long time.


Butter the naans and serve hot with any curry of your choice.