Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mawa Gujjiya | Indian Sweet Hand Pies ( Step by Step Pics)

Diwali is right around the corner and in most of the homes,the preparations must have started too.The zeal,the lighting and the ambience creates a unique feel in this festive season.The halwaiis,sweet shops,fire work shops,gift shops,apparel stores may be having good business during this time in India..Though we don't celebrate Diwali but love admiring the festive feel of Diwali.I miss the Diwali's that we had at many places in North India as kids.I was always scared of pataka(fire crackers) but the lighter ones like chakra crackers,flower pots ones were the most liked ones.Every year dad ensured to buy the chakra and flower pot crackers just to keep us happy and didn't make us feel odd one out in the community.And dad's friends,my school friends always visited us with packs of sweets or homemade sweets.We(me and my sis) used to choose the best ones as soon as they leave and finish them off,he he.The other sweets lesser in demand were often left out in refrigerator for days and were the last ones to get over.Diwali time invariably was a big pile of sweet boxes in the refrigerator.Winding through the memories of Diwali,I do miss all those days now esp the delicious sweets.

Mawa gujjiya was one of the sweets among the gifted ones from my friends especially during Holi time.I am not a sweet tooth and so gujjiya,burfis were my childhood favorites unlike gulab jamun,rasagullas,jalebis that dripped sugar. My love for gujjiyas made my mom try these from homemade mawa and we loved it very much. But now,when I asked her the recipe she remembers the ingredients but the actual measures were forgotten.Then,I looked online for the filling measures and found one which almost fitted to the same like mom made.I never got a chance to have these again in these many years(esp after marriage).When I made the home made mawa at home,I thought to give these a try.And that was a good decision,all loved it especially my little who has a big sweet tooth has demanded to make it again soon.Mawa gujjiyas are sweet pies filled with reduced milk(mawa),sugar,dry fruits,nuts and semolina.The filling itself makes me drool,loved every bit of it.Mawa gujjiyas are also known as'chandrakala' in some places like Bangalore and these fried gujjiyas are dipped in a sugar syrup and garnished with sliced almonds and served as chandrakala.Though Gujjiyas are popular during Holi but I thought Diwali may also be a good option to post.I used a mix of wheat and all purpose flour(maida) but originally only maida is used.Also there are many variations in the filling for gujjiyas too.Some make the coconut stuffed gujjiya thats already in my space,some do the mawa filling alone and I did a mix of both as I remember this taste most.Do try if you like gujjiyas and enjoy !!

Preparation time~ 30 mins
Cooking time~ 30 mins
Serves ~15-17 gujjiyas
for cover
all purpose flour(maida) 1 cup
wheat flour 1/2 cup
salt to taste
ghee 1tbsp

for filling
unsweetened mawa(khoya) 200gms(1 cup)
semolina/sooji/rava fine 3-4tbsp
cashew nuts 1tbsp
almonds 1tbsp
walnuts 1tbsp
raisins 1tbsp
dates 5
apricot 3
cardamom powder/elaichi powder 1/2 tsp
powdered sugar 1/2 cup(I used 1/3 cup)
ghee 1tsp

  • Chop the nuts and dry fruits in small pieces,keep aside.
  • Dry roast the sooji/rava in a pan on medium flame by stirring for 2-3 mins.Keep aside in a plate.
  • In a bowl,add the all purpose flour(maida),wheat flour,salt ,ghee and mix well.Add in water and make a stiff dough like we do in chapathi dough.Leave aside covered for 20 mins and in the mean time make the filling.

  • Heat ghee in a pan and add the crumbled mawa on low heat.Keep stirring and add in powdered sugar.The mawa starts to melt down and combines well with the sugar.If you plan to leave out semolina or sooji then dry up the mawa mixture else leave moisture slightly and switch off flame.

  • Add the cardamom powder,semolina,dry fruits and nuts.Give a quick mix to combine,leave to cool(The filling may turn hard slightly as semolina absorbs moisture but not to worry as they are fried the filling returns back to moist and delicious).
  • After 20 mins,make equal sized 15-16 balls.Keep covered.Dust the rolling surface with flour and using a rolling pin,roll out the ball in a disc of 3" diameter(don't make discs very thin).Add a tbsp of prepared  filling in the center and cover the ends to form semi circle.If it doesn't stick together,add a drop of water to wet the sides and then stick.Using a fork,press the sides or crimp the edges to form a decoration.I had a hand pie mould and so made in that and some with forks.Crimping the edges gives a neat clean look but the edges take longer time to cook though(see pics for better understanding).

  • Place the prepared one on a plate and keep covered else it may dry up.After making 5-6 of them,heat up oil in a wok/kadai and keep on medium flame.Start sliding the prepared gujjiyas in,once the oil is hot.Flip and turn the gujjiyas to evenly brown all sides,drain with a slotted spoon to layers of paper towel(I fried a batch more browner than the first batch,browning totally depends on how you like it).Repeat the same step until you finish preparing all the gujjiyas.
  • Fry all the gujjiyas,drain on paper towels and serve or store in air tight containers.

* Don't use icing sugar for powdered sugar as it has corn starch.I powdered the granulated sugar in the blender jar.
* You can use your desired dry fruits nad nuts or as per availability.
* Adding sooji /semolina is optional.Adding gives a nice texture to the filling and increases the filling quantity slightly.
* The sealing of the gujjiyas is very important and make sure the filling doesn't creep out.Use a drop of water on the edges to ensure proper sealing.
* Don't overfill the gujjiyas else it may break open when frying.
*The dough shouldn't be rolled out very thin and also make sure to get the sides thinner than the inner circle else the sides may take longer to cook.
* If you plan to make large batches and store for days,then its better to use all purpose flour alone as it tends to be crispy longer but if you wish to make a small batch as I did then adding wheat flour is fine.
* If you want to dip these in sugar syrup after frying like we do for chandrakala,then boil a cup of sugar with 1/4 cup water in a pan and wait till it reaches one string consistency.Drop the fried gujjiyas in sugar syrup directly like we do for badusha.And then garnish with sliced almonds.
* The filling recipe is adapted from here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Homemade Mawa (Khoya) | Mawa from Whole Milk (Step by Step Pics)

Mawa is used in making many sweets like burfi,gulab jamun,carrot halwa,peda,gujjiya,kalakand and many others.Mawa(Khoya) from scratch is not an easy task as it requires time and a good arm exercise.Also,the end result is very less; no wonder the price of sweets from sweet shops is always on the higher side.Paying high is not a big deal for an original sweet but these days most sweet shops have short cuts and adulterated means especially during festive seasons when the demand is high by which they don't deliver the original tastes and flavors(which we once enjoyed as kids).Few months back,I saw a video that showed people in north India making ten liters of milk from just half a liter of original milk.The best part of these kind of  milk is that lactometer also shows it as grade one milk,that means its hard to distinguish the original versus duplicate.Can you imagine how they make the milk??I was so shocked to see that and that's what is packed in packets.They make the milk using shampoos,oil ,detergents and so on.These practices go up especially during festive times when the demand is too high.Sad is the affair there,hope things take better turns and our kids get healthy food may that be vegetables,fruits,animal meat or diary products.

Coming back to the post,this recipe is a keeper and all it needs is an extra time and just one ingredient-whole milk.Mawa(Khoya) had been in my make list since very long and I wished to try the traditional way of making from whole milk(scratch).These days there are many short cuts to make mawa.You can use evaporated milk or milk powder or add condensed milk to milk powder or with heavy cream and so on.However,I definitely wanted to try the recipe from scratch just to know the correct texture and taste so that I could co relate this knowledge next time if I try out with any of the short cut methods.Stay tuned for the recipe coming up with homemade mawa !

Preparation time~ 5 mins
Cooking time~ 45 mins 
Serves 200gms
whole milk or full fat milk 1 liter or 5 cups

  • Bring the milk to a boil on low heat in a heavy bottomed pan (I used my non stick pan) so that the milk doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the milk is boiled,keep stirring the milk every two -three mins scraping all sides and bottom so that the milk doesn't get burnt at the bottom of the pan.
  • Continue to do this step until the milk on low medium flame(don't increase the flame as it may get burnt at the bottom)until its reduced in half.There after,continous stirring,scraping the sides is required(a good biceps exercise,he he and don't leave unattended even for a second )

  • Scrape the bottom and sides and constant stirring  in the last few mins so that milk is thickened.When you see a slight moisture left out and the mawa comes together,you can put off the flame(it thickens on cooling to remove the last moisture left out).
  • On cooling,refrigerate the mawa or prepare your favorite burfi,peda,carrot halwa,gujjiya or laddus with fresh homemade mawa.The color was creamish in color,mild natural sweetness when reduced from milky white and gives a cup(200gms) of mawa for 1 liter of milk.

* I have adapted the recipe from here.
* I have used organic whole milk but you can use as available.Use only full fat milk else the mawa may not be good and much lesser from fat free and reduced fat milk.
* You can add condensed milk to the mawa to get sweetened mawa.The granular form mawa can be sued to make laddus and kalakand(check out avocado kalakand made from  paneer).
* If your mawa has some moisture left out,that's the way its used for making gulab jamun and carrot halwa.
* If the mawa is thick and can be shaped like a dough,you can use for making burfi,laddus and gujjiya(check out gujjiya with coconut stuffing without mawa).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Makai Palak Curry | Spinach Corn Masala | Chapathi Curry

Spinach(Palak) is a versatile veggie that can be used as chopped,pureed or raw.However,let me confess that I was the last one to have the pureed version of spinach as a kid and as well as a grown up(esp as a hostler).In our mess invariably when palak saag was made,I would definitely skip meal or atleast this curry.They prepared the curry in an entirely different way too which didn't tickle my taste buds and that must be another good reason for hating the spinach puree.But as time passed,my tastes changed considerably or I became matured enough to understood the concept of adding greens to meals.I started experimenting with the pureed gravy and to name a few like palak paneer, aloo palak, palak chicken (don't forget to check out in case you missed) of the similar kind in the past which were a hit at home.Now,kids love the oureed version too and this curry is yet another kids friendly recipe as the corn(makai) adds a mild sweet flavor along with spinach puree,yogurt and spices.It serves perfect to serve with chapathis and hardly has any elaborate cooking,makes a quick fix curry for rotis.Try it out and enjoy !!!

Preparation time~15 minutes
Cooking time~10 mins 
Serves~5 adults

spinach 1 large bunch
corn kernels 1/2 cup(fresh or frozen)
onion 1 medium sized chopped fine
ginger garlic paste or finely chopped 2tsp
red chilli powder/milagu podi 3/4 tsp
coriander powder/malli podi 1tsp
cumin powder/jeeraka podi 1/2 tsp
amchur powder/dry mango powder 1/2 tsp
yogurt/curd 2tbsp
kasoori methi /dry methi leaves 1tsp
oil 1tbsp
salt to taste

  • Wash and chop the spinach leaves.Heat water in  a pan and add the water to the spinach to blanch them.Immediately drain water and add to blender.Blend to a smooth paste in a blender.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste/finely chopped.Saute until raw smell disappears.
  • Add in chopped onion and saute.Saute until translucent.Then add the spice powders on low flame,saute and then add the thawed corn kernels.Saute the corn kernels until slightly cooked.
  • Add the spinach puree and cook for a minute.Add in salt and beaten yogurt,mix well.Switch off flame.
  • Serve hot with chapathis.

* You may have to cook fresh corn kernels slightly longer than the thawed kernels.
* Don't cover the pan after you add spinach puree else you lose the bright green color.Also,don't cook the puree for long.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Veluthulli Achar | Garlic Pickle

Garlic (veluthulli) is an age-old medicine which now has scientific reasons.They are a wonderful seasoning that adds taste, aroma and nutrition to food.Garlic helps improve iron metabolism in the body.Garlic contains a compound called 'allicin' that imparts the strong smell and is beneficial to improve immunity (helps fight against flu and common cold) and cardiovascular health.They help to expand the blood vessels and thereby keep blood pressure in check and reduces cholesterol levels.Garlic is incredibly nutritious, low in calories and rich in viatmin Cand manganese.They also contain antioxidants that are proven to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.Allicin the sulfur compound in garlic helps to fight heavy metal toxicity like lead.There are even reports that it increases estrogen levels in females, but not scientifically proved yet. However, I admit that making a pickle out of garlic may not be healthy and beneficial, but still may do some good.This is a true blend of spice, sour and a mild sweet tinge pickle.The making is real simple.Don't forget to try it out and lemme know how it turned out !!

For more pickle recipes, click here.

Preparation time~15 minutes
Cooking time~10 minutes
Serves a small jar of pickle
garlic /velluthulli 50 cloves (4 pods)
kashmiri chilli powder 2 tbsp
hot chilli powder 1/2tbsp
red chilly powder 1tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
fenugreek powder/uluva podi 1/3tsp
asafoetida/kayam podi 1/2tsp
salt as per needed
vinegar 2tbsp /lemon juice 3tbsp
gingelly oil 4tbsp
jaggery 1/2 tsp grated (optional)
curry leaves a sprig/thandu

  • Peel the skin of the garlic and wash the cloves.Wipe them dry on paper towel and keep ready.
  • Heat a pan with gingelly oil.Splutter mustard seeds when hot. Add in the sprig of curry leaves.

  • Add the garlic cloves and sauté for 3-4 mins continuously till it starts to soften.Reduce the flame to low and add in chilly powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
  • Switch off flame and add the vinegar/lemon juice.Finally, add in grated jaggery and give a quick mix.
  • Cool and preserve in airtight containers.You can start using the pickle immediately, but I personally love the flavours after 4-5 days as the garlic softens, blends nicely with the masala.
  • Enjoy with your favourite Indian staples/parathas.
* You can even steam cook the garlic pods before making pickle. In that case, add the pods to the steamer plate and steam cook for 5-7 minutes.In that case, there is no need to sauté for 4-5 minutes.
* I have added lemon juice as we love the flavours better.If you tend to preserve longer, then use vinegar to increase shelf life.
* If you are using the Indian type of garlic, then increase pods.This is the large size garlic cloves that we get here.
* Adding jaggery is optional, it adds a nice flavour though.

Wishing all a Happy Dusshera too !!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cheese Corn Balls (Less Oil) | Appetizers

All of a sudden the temperatures have dropped over the weekends and we were under freeze watch.I wasn't prepared to accept winter so fast as winter makes a gloomy feel.Do you like winters?? I definitely don't except I love watching snow flurries through the window and its a pleasure to see the lawn dressed in white.Snow days are still far but getting prepared is something crucial both mentally and physically.The temperatures dropping down is definitely not meant for people who don't like to be tied up at home esp kids.Fried foods esp the snacks are in demand at home or a bowl of soup atleast to warm up.However,clicking pics takes a back seat as there are more of cloudy or 'no sun' days.Appetizers or starters are an important part of menu for pot lucks,birthday parties or get togethers.I think all age groups love appetizers may that be kids or adults.At home,we all love too and sometimes these can be served as just snacks too.However all Indian appetizers are mostly deep fried in oil and so we tend to avoid appetizers in the menu.For this recipe,I made use of my paniyaram non stick pan that hardly takes up any oil.They turned out to be crispy and delicious.You can always deep fry if you are running out of time as paniyaram pan takes time to cook and then flip.Try these out and enjoy !!

Check out all appetizer recipes from this space here.

Preparation time~20 mins
Cooking time~25 mins
Serves~ 20-22 balls

sweet corn 1 cup
grated mozarella cheese 1/2 cup
potato 1 medium sized
bread crumbs 1/4 cup
corn starch 1tbsp
oregano 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1tsp
cilantro chopped 2tbsp
salt to taste

to coat
bread crumbs 1/2 cup
maida/all purpose flour 1/2 cup
water to make thick paste

oil to fry

  • Wash and boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker for three whistles or until cooked with a little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.Peel off skin and mash the potatoes very well until the mixture looks soft.
  • I used frozen corn and so didn't cook the corn,thawed and used.If using fresh corn,then steam cook for 5 mins until its soft.Reserve 1/3 cup of corn and add the remaining 2/3 in the blender,pulse twice just to get a coarse paste(helps to bind).Add to a bowl with the reserved corn(make sure the corn has very less moisture in it,drain any water present).
  • In the same bowl,add the cheese,oregano,pepper powder,salt and bread crumbs(1/4 cup or more if you have more moisture left).Finally add softly mashed potatoes and corn starch.Mix well and form soft balls of gooseberry size.
  • In another bowl,mix the maida and water to make a thick paste to coat the balls.Now,dip each ball in this paste and roll them in bread crumbs.Repeat the same step till you finish all balls.

  • Heat the paniyaram pan and add half a tsp of oil in each hole.When it is hot,add the balls.Roll the balls in the oil immediately  so that the round surfaces are coated with oil and then cook on medium flame until each side is crisp(keep rotating the balls so that all surfaces look evenly browned.Also,be careful when turning all sides as the cheese is melted and is gooey.So any extra pressure on the balls will break the cheese balls and will not hold shape).
  • Repeat the same step until all cheese balls are fried.Drain on paper towels and serve warm with ketchup.

* Adding a few corn kernels adds a nice crunch in between but if you don't wish that way,you can always make coarse paste of the whole mixture.
* Adding bread crumbs to the filling is optional,I had used frozen corn so the moisture was present.But if you use fresh corn,you can leave out the bread crumbs.
*If you don't have a paniyaram pan,then shallow fry using less oil or deep fry as per preference.Deep frying requires less time but uses more oil.
* I have used mozarella cheese but you can use any processed cheese or mix two cheese and use.You can even reduce the cheese to 1/3rd cup.
* Alternatively,you can use green peas to make the similar balls instead of using corn too.

A few more veg appetizer recipes that are a  hit at home-
* Hot Chilli Gobi
* Veg Puffs
* Stuffed Mushroom
* Baked Vegetable Cutlets
* Goat Cheese Tartlette
* Italian Bruschetta
* Pizza Pin wheels

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mushroom Quiche(Wheat flour Crust)~ Baking Partners Challenge

Quiche(pronounced K-E-E-S-H) is an open pie or savory pie filled with a custard,meat,sea food or veggie filling.Its a French dish served as a party food and can be served hot or cold though I love it warm.This takes up a lot of calories as butter,cream,eggs and the filling if its meat/chicken makes is used.Each time I planned to try quiche was postponed because of the same reason of calories.However,Baking partners challenge for this month suggested by Swathi@ Zesty South Indian Kitchen and Arthy @ Cook with Arthy Sharma was a quiche.And finally gave it a try by trying the mushroom quiche with Indian spices.The pie crrust is first blind baked and then baked with the veggie or meat filling and topped with custard and cheese.You can always alter the spices in the filling and add according to your taste buds.The fillings are versatile and can be made as per preferences.I have followed the recipe suggested except that I added half of wheat flour and all purpose flour(maida) to the crust which worked fine.This serves good for an appetizer and can be cut in eight pieces.If you love the savory pies,am sure you will love this too.The buttery flaky crust with the creamy delicious filling makes it scrumptious.Try this out !!

Preparation time~1 hour
Resting time~2hours-overnight
Baking time~more than 1 hour(2 bakes)
Serves ~9" round quiche
whole wheat flour 8tbsp /1/2 cup
all purpose flour(maida) 8tbsp /1/2 cup
butter unsalted,chilled cut in cubes 85g or 6 tbsp
salt 1/2tsp
chilled water 1.5-2tbsp

for filling
button mushrooms 175g /slightly lesser than 1/2 lb
ginger chopped fine 1/2tsp
garlic chopped fine 1/2 tsp
shallots1/4 cup chopped
spring onion/green onion bulb 1/4 cup
finely chopped spring onion /green onion 1 cup
butter 1tbsp
turmeric powder a pinch
coriander powder/malli podi 1 tsp
chilly powder /mulagu podi 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

for custard
heavy cream 1/2 cup
egg 1
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/4tsp
salt to taste

parmesan cheese /cheddar cheese 55g/slightly more than 1/2 cup

  • In a bowl,add the flours,salt and cut the butter in cubes.Rub through the flour to get dispersed well.The dough may look crumpy,add in the chilled water.Each clump should hold shape when pressed and not fall together.Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for two hours -overnight(I refrigerated for two hours).

  • In the mean time,when the quiche dough is resting for chilling in refrigerator,you can prepare the filling.I used mushroom filling.Heat butter or oil in  a pan (I used oil) and add in  the sliced shallots,sliced onion bulbs and followed by chopped ginger and garlic.To this add all the spice powders listed in filling and saute on low flame.Add the mushrooms and cook till it starts to leave the water.Cook until the moisture is dry and then finally add green onions.The moisture should be completely dried up else it becomes soggy.
  • Thaw the quiche dough for 15-20 minutes after refrigeration so that you can roll it down easily.Now,take two parchment papers of large size or baking mats and keep the dough in between sandwiched to roll them in thin circle of 10-10.5" diameter to cover a 9" pie pan.
  • Pull the top parchment paper and gently transfer the rolled out dough on to the pie pan by inverting so that the parchment sheet is on top now..Pull the parchment paper and now gently remove any excess dough on the sides of the pie pan and shape the sides by gently tapping with fingers on all sides and round with your fingers.If you have any scarps left out,use for any areas were the dough looks thinned out or torn.Using a fork,prick the dough at the bottom of the pan so that it doesn't puff up.

  • Refrigerate the pie pan for another 15-20 minutes and then pre heat oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F.Add a sheet of parchment paper covering the center of the dough and the sides(for blind baking).Fill the pie pan with legumes or cereals or rice,I used vanpayaru or red oriental beans,but you can use any other cereal or legumes(helps to weigh down the dough so that it doesn't puff up).The beans or legumes used for blind baking may not be fit for cooking as it is exposed to high temperatures then,so use accordingly.Blind bake the pie for 20 minutes and then remove the beans along with parchment paper.Bake again for 15 minutes.Remove and keep aside when you see the sides getting browned and the sides starts to leave the pan.
  • To make Custard- Whip the cream,egg and spices together with some salt nicely.Keep aside.
  • To assemble-Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F and spread the quiche crust with half of the parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese.Then add in the mushroom filling.Fill the custard and top it up again with remaining parmesan cheese.Bake in pre heated oven for 35 minutes or until the filling is set and firm.Serve warm or cold once out of the oven(I cut the slices when it was hot and so the filling was goeey,wait till its warm on touch to cut in slices).

* You can add milk instead of cream if you would like to reduce calories.But that may take longer time to set.
* The ratio of cream/milk to eggs is 2:1.So,add accordingly.
* I used a 9" pie pan but this can be done in a 8" pie pan too.
* This is an Indianized version of the filling but you can always alter as per taste preferences.
* I have used a mix of all purpose flour(maida) and wheat flour but you can always use all purpose flour alone.In that case just use 1.5tbsp of chilled water.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Quick Egg Masala | Chapathi Sides

Do you prefer to make elaborate meals or prepare quick meals?? I prefer quick fixes esp when everyone is at home as I would like to spend most of my time with my family rather than wasting in kitchen.Weekend lunches or dinners are usually simple,quick yet a filling one.Mostly its biriyani,pulao or casseroles that can be put together and can be served with a simple side.Today's post is one such quick fix egg fry that can be served with a veg pulao,jeera rice, mexican rice or even chapathis.This can be made in a jiffy and need no expertise to do except for a few hard boiled eggs.I make this usually when my pantry runs out of vegetables often.The only thing you need to be careful is not to separate the egg yolk and whites,so a gentle stir is fine.Enjoy with your fav staples !!

Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time~ 25 minutes
Serves~ 4

hard boiled eggs 4
onion 2 large,half moon sliced
tomato 1 small
grated/minced ginger 2tsp
green chillies 2-3
chilli powder/milagu podi 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder/manjal podi 1/4tsp
fenugreek powder/uluva podi a pinch(optional)
crushed pepper /kurumulakku podi1tsp
kasoori methi crushed 1 tsp
cilantro/malli illa chopped 2 tbsp
salt to taste
oil 2tbsp

  • Boil the eggs in a pressure cooker/sauce pan by dropping them in boiling water.Continue to boil the water in the sauce pan for another 10-12 mins with salt(salt helps to de shell easily).If you are using pressure cooker,Pressure cook for one whistle and leave for the pressure to release.Now,drain the water of the boiled eggs and add ice cold water to the eggs.Leave for 5 mins and then de shell the eggs.Wash them and cut them in quarters and keep covered.
  • Heat oil in the pan and add sliced onion,green chillies.Saute until translucent and add minced ginger.Saute again till raw smell disappears.Add in the spice powders listed on low flame except fenugreek powder.Top it with  chopped tomatoes and toss well.Cook covered for 2-03 minutes until the tomatoes gets cooked and mashed on low flame.
  • Combine well and add the kasuri methi, fenugreek powder(if using).Add salt and add the quartered eggs.Give a gentle mix,don't over do it else you may separate the yolks and whites.Add the chopped cilantro and switch off flame.Keep covered and serve warm.
* You can even add halved eggs if you are apprehensive about the mixing.The idea is to coat the eggs with the masala.
* Omit if you don't have kasoori methi and add fenugreek powder 1/4tsp instead of a pinch.
* Alter spices as per tolerance.

RELATED EGG POSTS (that can be made in a jiffy)
* Kothu Chapathi
* Egg Curry(Kerala style)
* Egg Dosa(Mutta dosa)
* Egg Parathas 
* Mutta Aviyal 
* Egg Fried Rice
* Vegetable Egg Casserole
* Egg Pepper Roast

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns using Tangzhong method | Hamburger Buns(Step by Step Pics)

The stores around you may sell breads,buns at a very economical rate than trying to make it at home.But have you ever wondered what goes in the list of ingredients to make a loaf or bread or rolls of bun,the list is pretty long and you may be perplexed to understand them all.But do we really long list of  need this long list of ingredients to make a loaf or bun.Not first trial of whole wheat bread was sometime back which built a confidence and believe me that bread was super pillow soft which can be challenged with the store brought bread.I made the bread using the tangzhong method and that really worked wonders.These buns were then added to my do list which finally got some sunshine now.I tried using the tangzhong method ton make these soft buns with wheat flour.They turned out super soft and delicious.All loved the rolls and we had with black bean burger(which I had posted sometime back).If you get this correct,am sure you will never go back to the store brought buns.Enjoy !!!

Preparation time~2hours
Baking time ~30 minutes
Serves ~8-10 
whole wheat flour 300g/1.2 cups
*bread flour 400 gm/ 3cups 
active dry yeast 6 gm /2.12 tsp(or one sachet)
sugar 80 gm/  5tbsp
salt 2tsp/10 gm

*tangzhong 200 gm/2/3 cup(refer to below recipe of tangzhong)
egg 45 gm/1   yolk and white separated, whisked 
milk(leukwarm) 1cup/200gm
water 1/2 cup(leukwarm water)
unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 80 gm/5 1/4 tbsp

  • Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you are using a bread maker, add the ingredients according to the instructions of your bread maker. Note: use your bread maker only for the mixing/kneading stage/first rise).  
  • Add the milk,egg(reserve the half egg white to brush on top) and the tangzhong(refer notes to learn about making of tangzhong and the pics in making tangzhong can be seen here).
  • Mix until the ingredients come together, and then knead until it forms dough. Add the butter and continue to knead and medium/high speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. To test the dough, pull it until it forms sort of a thin membrane(refer pics here). This could take up to 20 minutes. 

  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled. The first rise may take 40 minutes -1hour. 
  • Punch down the dough and divide in eight portions.Make tight balls of the dough by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Second proofing-Arrange the rolls on a parchment paper lined tray leaving a space of 3" between balls,cover with plastic wrap or damp cloth and allow to rise again for 20-30minutes.Brush the rolls liberally with the egg wash,sprinkle with sesame seeds or rolled oats and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. (Mine got done at 30 minutes,cover/tent the top of loaf with aluminium foil to prevent over browning at 20minutes) 
  • Remove the rolls  from the pan,brush the top with butter(helps to keep the crust soft and retains the color)and cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely.Cut in slice and make your own burger.We had it with our own homemade black bean burger,check it out if you are interested !!

* For tangzhong
Bread flour 50 gm/1/3 cup
water(can replace with milk) 250ml/1 cup
Mix flour in water well without any lumps.(I used milk) Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done.  If you want to check the temperature of tangzhong it is 65 C/149 F.Remove from heat.Transfer into a clean bowl,cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up.Let cool.The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature(see pics here).Just measure out the amount you need.The left over tangzhong can be stored in fridge upto a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey.If so,you need to discard and cook some more.(The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.The whole tangzhong is used for making the above mentioned measure of buns.
* If you don't have access to bread flour,then try to get vital wheat gluten and add a tsp to every cup of all purpose flour to substitute bread flour.OR try using all purpose flour alone in case you don't get vital wheat gluten but then you can't call it a wheat flour hamburger bun though.
*The tangzhong method can be used to make the famous dilkush of our Indian bakeries or any other stuffed ones too.I had my own dilkush recipe in blog which stills runs to be one of the popular ones,so didn't give a try using this method.or try making your own whole wheat bread loaf using this method.If you are making bread,then this measurement will make two loaves.

*The rolls should cooled completely before cutting slices otherwise it leaves a sticky texture.
* Though I used wheat flour,the bread turned out more of white probably because I used Ashirwad atta(Indian brand).
*Always keep your rack in the center of the oven otherwise the top or bottom may burn fast.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Gothambu Halwa | Thirunelveli(Tirunelveli) Halwa | Wheat Halwa (Step by Step Pics)

Nothing beats the traditional tastes and flavors of any recipe.Even the utensils used for cooking influences the taste.Have you ever checked out the Kerala style fish curry made in a wok/ kadai doesn't taste the same as the one made in mann chatti( clay pots)?? Hmm..I have felt this many times and that holds true for many more recipes that demand a particular utensil or bowls.Though we may improvise to make it at home but may not replicate the tastes.Thirunelveli halwa,is one such recipe that is authentic and
nostalgic too.The name itself tickles my taste buds,I have had this halwa couple of times from one of my friends who was a native of Thirunelveli(Nellai).Her vacation trip to home always ended with a pack of halwa for us too.I will not say that this halwa tasted exactly the same but my hubby rated this on a ten rating scale and gave a seven.Not bad,huh??The color and texture was perfect but the ghee wasn't overflowing.I compromised the ghee just to reduce the caloric load.So,when you prepare this halwa,do use the 3/4th cup of ghee.This is a time consuming halwa but its worth to try once in a while.This halwa can be prepared with wheat flour too but the consistency and texture is doubtful.Try if you like it or make it for Diwali or if you are craving for some Thirunelveli halwa.

For more Diwali sweets,check out this link here.

Preparation time~8 hours
Cooking time~45 minutes
Serves ~ 10-12 pieces or a small bowl of halwa
whole wheat kernels 1/2 cup
granulated sugar 1.5 cups
cashew nuts 8-10
ghee 1/2- 3/4 cup

  • Wash and soak the wheat kernels overnight or 8 hours.Reserve half cup water and drain the rest.Grind in a mixer until smooth.Strain the mixture in a tea strainer.Again add the strained mixture in the sieve to the blender and add 1/2 cup water.Grind again until smooth and repeat the process of straining.Squeeze out any residual liquid and throw that strained residue away.Leave the collected wheat milk undisturbed for half to one hour(Use a bowl from which you can drain the water easily,I used a glass bowl).Now,drain the excess layer of clear water formed on top of the undisturbed milk after 30 minutes to one hour without draining away the main  contents.

  • Break the cashew in bite size pieces.In a heavy bottomed pan,add a tbsp of ghee and fry the cashew nuts until slightly browned.Drain in a plate.
  • In the same pan,add half cup sugar and a tbsp of water.Keep flame on low medium.Wait till the sugar starts to melt then become dry and then melt again.At this time the sugar starts to caramelize,reduce flame to low(else sugar gets burnt) and wait till the sugar syrup turns golden in color.Immediately add a cup of water,slowly as there may be splutters and the sugar tends to harden too.Continue to stir with a long wooden spoon(be very careful as there are chances of getting burns) until the sugar is completely dissolved and looks like a colored syrup.
  • At this point,add the remaining sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.Continue to boil until you reach a one string consistency.(One string consistency means when you wipe a little sugar syrup in your thumb and pull the syrup between your thumb and index finger ,it forms a string consistency).

  • Pour the wheat milk gradually at this point and keep mixing on low flame else the milk gets cooked in lumps.
  • Now add ghee 1tbsp at a time,and keep mixing with the wheat milk.Add a tbsp each time until the ghee gets absorbed with the halwa mixture.The halwa mixture gets cooked with ghee and it may take around 20-30 minutes for the halwa mixture to get ready.Keep stirring and at a point the ghee may not be absorbed any more and at that point you can stop adding the ghee.

  • Keep a tray or plate greased with ghee ready.In the cooking mixture,add fried cashew nuts at this point and mix well.Now,keep stirring until the mixture coats the ladle or spoon and roatates freely in the pan.But don't switch off  the flame then and continue to cook until you see the halwa turns slightly pale in color.Switch off flame then and pour in  the greased plate/tray and wait to cool.
  • Cut in slices or serve in a bowl just like that is totally your preference.

* The recipe is adapted from here and I haven't tweaked much except reducing the ghee to half cup.But please don't reduce the ghee much as you may not get the authentic taste and flavor.
* I have used haleem wheat kernels but the original recipe uses sambai wheat kernels.
* The one string consistency must be carefully watched,if you don't get this right at the point you may not get halwa as the end product.