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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Khaliat Nahal (Honeycomb buns/ Beehive Buns)

I loved these beehive like looking buns....Well I loved the taste tooo....I even went ahead and used the savoury version without filling for a grand Pav Bhaji breakfast this morning....





I was happy my buns came out fine....Since my oven is a small one I had only a small honey comb shaped Khalait Nahal .....Well like how Aparna's blog says Khaliat Nahal means bee hive in arabic as suggested by its appearance.They are baked close to each other in a round pan where they form a honeycomb like pattern.They are usually made sweet with slightly sweetened dough filled with cream cheese.After they are baked they are covered with sugar syrup/ glaze which is typical of many Middle eastern confectionery.



This bread is served for Iftar and its shape lends itself to be torn apart easily to serve oneself.Though they are made sweet usually they can also be made with savoury fillings without glaze....
This recipe makes 18 small buns or you can halve the recipe and make 9-10 buns in a6''or7'' round pan.



Source:My diverse kitchen

Ingredients

Milk-1 cup lukewarm

Instant yeast-11/2 tsp

Sugar-1 tsp

All purpose flour-2 1/2 cups

Sugar-3 tbsp(for sweet bread)

Salt-3/4-1 tsp (for savoury bread)1/4 tsp(sweet bread)

Butter-40 gms

Milk-2 tbsp

White sesame seeds-2 tbsp

For filling

1 cup of filling (approximately) of your choice, either sweet or savoury

Savoury - cream cheese OR crumbled feta cheese OR crumbled paneer/ cottage cheese

Sweet - cream cheese (traditional filling), or any other filing of your choice like chocolate,   dried fruit like dates, apricots or raisins, chopped nuts, chopped fruit , sweetened coconut filling, etc.  

Sugar syrup/glaze

Sugar-3/4 cup

Water-1 cup

Saffron-one pinch

Honey-1 tbsp

Lemon-1 tsp

Method


Make sure your melted butter has cooled down a bit before using it. Put 2 cups of the flour, salt,sugar (if making the sweet bread only) and melted butter in the bowl of your processor. Run a couple of times to mix well.

Combine the milk, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and keep for 5 minutes. Add this to the processor bowl and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough which is not sticky. Add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as you /need to get this consistency of bread dough. 


Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat completely with the oil. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, for about an hour.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface. You won’t really need to flour it as the dough is quite manageable as it is. Cut it into 2 halves. With your palms, roll out each half a “rope”  about 9” long. Cut each rope into 1” pieces so you have a total of 18 pieces.


Take each piece and flatten it out a little and place half a teaspoon of filling in the centre. Pull up the sides and wrap the dough around the filling, pinching it closed at the top. Smoothen it into around ball. Place this in a well-greased round 9” cake tin. Repeat with the remaining 17 pieces and the filling. Arrange the filled balls of dough in concentric circles, filling the base of the cake tin.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 to 40 minutes. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle the sesame seeds over this. Don’t use the sesame seeds for sweet bread, only for the savoury one. Bake the buns at 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes, until they’re done and a nice golden brown on top.
Let them cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then on a wire rack.

If you’re making the sweet version, make the sugar syrup/ glaze during the first rise of the dough. For this put the sugar, water and saffron in a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it starts thickening a bit. Take it off the heat and add the honey and the lime/ lemon juice. Mix well and let it cool. Keep aside till needed

When the sweet buns come out of the oven, pour the syrup all over the top of the Honeycomb”.  The bread should be hot and the syrup/ glaze should be cool. If you want your Honeycomb Buns to be less sweet, just brush the syrup/ glaze over the top.Let it sit for a while for the syrup/ glaze to set a bit. Serve them warm with tea/ coffee.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pots De Creme

 I saw  a flurry of posts for Pots de crème this summer….I loved the creamy creamy look these little pots of joy carried…So I made a mental note that I will be making them..





My sonny Aniket now goes to play school .So I get enough time to explore my cooking fantasies ….One such afternoon I made pots de crème . They came out really well...When he came back from school I promptly gave him some….he had his bowlful...full....scraped clean..






But more than him my mom  loved her bowl of Pots de crème…..my mother is very frank when it comes to my cooking which is why I always ask her for her unbiased opinion….and this time I loved to hear it from her…..she commented ‘’Could u make me more?''









Ingredients

Egg-1(50 gms)
Egg yolk-2(35 gms each) room temperature
Granulated sugar-50 gms/1/4 cup
Vanilla extract-½ tsp
Salt a pinch
Heavy cream /heavy whipping cream (30-40 butter fat content)- 120 ml/1/2 cup
Milk-1/2 cup
Cooking chocholate-60 gms
Instant coffee/expresso powder-1/2 tsp(optional)


Method

Beat eggs,yolks,sugar,vanilla extract,salt till light and fluffy for 1-2 minutes.
In a saucepan add cream,milk,chocholate,coffee powder .Heat and stir with a spatula .Let it simmer  till it bubbles  around edges ,at medium heat.
Gradually add the hot cream milk mix to egg mix while whisking it constantly so that eggs do not curdle.
Pour the mix into a saucepan again and heat it till in low heat stirring constant (less than a minute- so that mix  bakes faster).
Drain the mix and pour into ceramic bowls or ramekins.
Put them into a tray  and pour boiling water in the tray halfway up  sides of tray.(water bath).
Cover with aluminium foil with holes.
Put in the oven 30-40 min at 150 C till  set but they are  wobbly.
Take them out of water bath and cover them with plastic wrap after they cool for 1 hr.Chill overnight or for minimum 6hrs.(You can chill it for 5 days maximum) .
Serve cold. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peas and Carrot Rice

This is  an easy PEASy recipe .A tasty quick fix .Something you could  make when you  don’t want to go through the long process of making a biriyani but u still w ant to be enamoured by the  delight of flavoured rice .Just boil the peas and chop the carrots add the garam masala and spices and there you are ready with some flavoured colourful good looking rice.





Well I had frozen peas in my freezer and I wanted to make something with it. So I decided to welcome Aniket with the carrot peas rice when he came back from playschool. Aniket loves carrots so he would eat the carrots first when I fed him his afternoon meal .Then he meticulously picked out the peas and ate it,last came the rice.....




As for me what more do I want…..flavoured  rice with a favourite salad….yummy lunch isn’t  it? I loved it…..





Ingredients

Basmathi-1 ½ cups
Water-21/2 cups
Onions-1 sliced long
Carrots-2 chopped into cubes
Peas-1/2 cup
Green chilli-1
Star anise - 1 
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch long stick  
Bay leaf - 1 
Peppercorns - 1/4 spoon (Optional) 
Cumin seeds - 1/4 spoon 
Fennel seeds - 1/4 spoon 
Salt - As per taste 
Ghee /Dalda- 4 to 5 spoons 


Method


Par boil the chopped carrots.
Boil water and add frozen peas .Cook till peas is soft.
Soak rice for 15 minutes and wash well(3 times)
Take dalda or ghee/clarified butter and sauté fennel seeds, cumin seeds ,peppercorns, bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon sticks.
Add onions sliced. Saute till translucent.
Add greenchilli, peas and carrot chopped.
Add rice and fry.
Add water and close lid of pressure cooker without weight.
Cook in high flame till steam comes
Lower flame and cook for a minute or two
Switch off gas,put on weight  and allow to cool for 10 minutes
Use a fork to mix the rice after opening the pressure cooker.

Serve hot.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Malai Kulfi......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The best Kulfi I ever tasted was from the little Kulfi shop outside my college. One Kulfi or may be two to beat the heat did wonders….As soon as we would get out of the college we would walk up to the already overcrowded shop for The Kulfi of the day. When we would be waiting for our bus we would still be gulping down the kulfis.



One day we bunked a boring lecture for a surprise kulfi party…..a feast of 2 or 3 kulfis per person….ummm sweet memories…..Sometimes we would sit in college garden chit chatting…our mouths constantly chattering only taking a break to bite the melting kulfi in our hands….. Whatever the occasion whether it my friend topping the class, or a birthday or the college day we would certainly treat ourselves with a Kulfi……



When I first made kulfi at home it was a big mess….the kulfi dint hold its shape and watered down soon…So I used some cornflour the next time they were made and my kulfis came out just fine…..


Ingredients

Boiled milk-11/2 cups
Milk powder-1 cup
Saffron-few strands
Cornflour-11/2 tbsp
Sugar-4 tbsp or more
Cardamom-a pinch
Amul cream-11/2 cup
Almonds-1 cup

Method

Take cornflour and dilute it with water (3 tbsp or more)and keep aside.
Heat  milk. When bubbles come in the sides add milk powder, saffron strands, sugar cardamom. Mix.
Add corn flour and boil milk mixture.
Once milk boils and bubbles up switch off gas and whisk. While mixture is still hot add cream and stir . Add badam also and stir.
Cool to room temperature and pour in moulds. Refrigerate for 7-8 hours or overnight.
Insert ice-cream sticks or toothpicks  and  gently tap the  kulfi moulds on a plate, after 5 minutes of taking the moulds out of the refrigerator. You can also use a knife to detach the kulfi from its mould.
Serve cold.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Clafoutis


I got some plums from the fruit shop just like that. Actually I thought Aniket my son would love them. But they turned out to be slightly sour, maybe not ripe as yet. He actually loved the big juicy plums we used to get him when we visited London last year. So I waited with patience …till they ripened. When they finally did my son Aniket dint like them all that much. I would carefully remove the seed and give him a plateful of plums…..he would eat one  then squish the rest of them into a pulpy mass of fruit sauce…..A two year old toddlers easy  messy tip  to make plum sauce ?Hump….I would go crazy….not to mention about the cleaning up……


So I decided to put my plums to good use….I had seen the recipe for Gary Rhodes Cherry Clafoutis…


Why not substitute the cherry for plums? A few minutes on the net revealed there were innumerable recipes for plum clafoutis too….So my plums went into the baking dish and the batter was ready in minutes .I then spread the batter over my sugar coated plums and send them to bake in my oven and soon I was ready with a batch of warm plum scented clafoutis…
This time Aniket changed his stance. I had put him to sleep just before I started making the clafoutis and he got up just in time to see The bowl of yummy dessert I had baked for him in such a short time….I topped up the bowl with a generous scoop of vanilla whipped cream…. he was quite pleased with the dessert….he asked for more…. I took a large spoonful of the lovely dessert loaded with the sweetness  of plums and the  richness of cream for him once again… this time un accompanied by his usual squish squash session.



So what is a clafouti?  It is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter… quotes the Wikipedia …Well something in between a cake and custard as I would put it.  
          


      When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called    a flaugnarde.                                                                                                                              Variations  are red cherries, plums,prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries.  The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm …………You can serve it with crème fraiche or even vanilla ice-cream. I served my clafouti with a big dollop of vanilla whipped cream… and I must say it was bowl full of absolute delight.



 Ingredients
 For the Clafoutis
Eggs- 2
Caster  sugar-75 gms plus extra for dusting and coating plums
Double cream or crème fraiche-100 ml
Milk-100 ml
Butter -1 tbsp plus extra for greasing
Granulated sugar-1 tbsp
Plums deseeded-15 nos

For Vanilla whipped cream
Double cream-150 ml
Castor sugar-25 gm
Vanilla essence- A little

Method

For  Clafoutis
Deseed the plums.In a non-stick pan take 1 tbsp of butter and let it melt.
When the butter bubbles add the plums and cook until the plums are softened and coated with butter for about 2 minutes.
Spread one tablespoon of granulated sugar (or more) over the plums and cook until sugar turns into a syrup and coats the plums.
Whisk the eggs and sugar. Sift in the flour and whisk well.
Stir in the milk and cream and leave to rest for 10 minutes
Butter a baking dish and sprinkle with sugar to coat. Scatter the cherries in the dish and pour the batter over it.
Preheat oven to 180C/350 F/Gas 4.Bake for 20-25 minutes till batter is firm to touch and knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. If the centre is soft bake for 5 minutes more
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
For Vanilla whipped cream
Whisk together the cream, sugar and vanilla essence to soft peaks for the vanilla whipped cream


Serve the clafoutis warm with a large dollop of vanilla whipped cream.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Corn and Capsicum Kebabs

I love anything fried…I indulge myself in tikkis and kebabs and eat 3-4 in one go….recklessly…





I am always in search of new recipes for kebabs/tikkis and make sure I make them if I find one….The corn and capsicum tikkis was one experiment among many……
So one more starter to the list…..well a nice one too….capsicum and corn go well together by colour and by taste…the sweetness of corn kernels supplemented by spice of green chillies make the dish a good appetizer.


Well I shallow  fried the kebabs but you can fry them too….which can be kind of risky as the kebabs may break away while frying….here is the recipe for those lovely looking kebabs…



Ingredients

Corn kernels-2 cups
Salt to taste(2 tsp)
Capsicum-4 tbsp chopped into small pieces
Green chilli-3 chopped
Rice flour/corn flour-2 tbsp. or more

Method

Coarsely grind corn kernels
Add salt, capsicum, green chilli, flour and mix.
Make into balls and fry or shallow fry.

Note

You may add red chilli powder and coriander leaves to above