Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eggless Donuts for Eggless Baker's Group

This month’s challenge at Gayathri’s Eggless Baker’s Group is Donuts.Even though this is a baking group this is not a baking recipe…it’s just that we can bake, but haven't .Also the major challenge was to make these eggless. After making these I wondered why egg is used, they come out so good without them.I think we can jolly well say bye bye to M.O.D and Dunkin Donuts.Actually I feel the basic donuts are fine, it’s the toppings which, need more practise. The simple ones are fine, but the elaborate I just love them.The summer heat here is awful, and working with anything like butter, chocolate and cream is a job.So I used raspberry glaze and chocolate ganache  for the donuts.Chocolate did bother me, but had to make them for my grand kids who were so impatient ever since they knew naani was making donuts. My day was made when these little ones went on gobbling these donuts , though at one particular time I had to stop them.The next batch will be made very soon, but with wheat flour.
Thanks Gayathri.
And this is how I made them...

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour 
2 tsp fresh yeast 
¼ cup milk, warm 
1 tbsp butter 
4 tbsp sugar, powdered 
Pinch salt 
Vanilla flavoring 

Proofing the yeast 
¼ cup luke warm water 
1 tsp sugar 
2 tsp yeast 
Add sugar and yeast to the warm water. 
Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes. 
It should have risen.
Coming to donuts 
Mix flour, sugar, salt . 
Mix milk ,butter, vanilla flavoring and yeast . 
Bind the dough with this . 
The dough should be soft. 
Cover and keep for 30 minutes. 
It should have doubled by now. 
Knead it gently and roll into ¼ ‘’ thick disc. 
Using a donut cutter cut the donuts. 
Leave them to further rise for another 10 minutes. 
Deep fry till golden. 

Raspberry Glaze 
2 tbsp sugar 
1 tbsp milk
 1 tbsp water 
Raspberry flavoring and color 
Mix all ingredients and boil till the sugar melts and becomes slightly thick. 
Pour over the donuts. 

You could pour ganache over the donuts. 

I used ready sugar craft flowers and hearts.The paper butterflies are from vanilla wafer paper.I painted the paper with food colors and sprinkled some silver dust.

I did not have a donut cutter, so the center is a big circle.
I realized that I should have rolled it thick to get a thicker donuts, I felt they were a little thin.
Taste wise I would say I was more than happy with these, all I feel is that they should be consumed fresh.May be within 30 hours!.The freshness of the donut is important and I realized that they do not taste as good after one and a half days.

Just for Fun
Now this might not look like a donut but it is made with the same dough I filled some chocolate pieces and sealed the dough.,it looked more like a ball...but trust me it vanished in seconds. 
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Indian Calzone with Cottage Cheese

Weekend cooking for some is very elaborate, while others like to cook just one filling dish. Some prefer take aways while the others like to eat out.For me the weekend is just Sunday and to tell the truth I like to cook only something which can be done in a jiffy.I hate to cook elaborate meals. For this weekend we have these crisps which taste just like paneer tikka wraps, without actually marinating the paneer and grilling it.I served these with onion rings and spicy green chutney.They are easy, quick, crunchy and delicious.You have the choice of converting this into a soft roll too.

4 chapatis

1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp kitchen king masala
1/2 tsp kasoori methi
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp garam masala
Coriander leaves
Crumble the paneer.
Add all the ingredients and mix well.
Check the spices to your taste.

Take a chapati, place it on a slightly greased gridle.
Place the stuffing on one half of the chapati.
Fold the other half on top of the stuffing.
So we get a semi circle.
Toast the chapati on slow fire till crisp, using little oil.
Flip over and cook the other side too.
Prepare all chapatis in the similar manner. Cut them into two and serve with onion rings.

Let's peep in Valli and Champa's kitchen and see what they have done during the weekend.
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mango Dessert with Agar Agar

BM # 28   Day 3

I was recently introduced to the famous Italian dessert Panna Cotta, which is made with cream and milk, but the agar agar pudding that I make is with just milk, so one can enjoy this dessert without being guilty. The pudding is very close to Panna Cotta , the Panna Cotta surely is a richer dessert , but trust me most of the people would not even know the is that close.Check it out for yourself.

500 ml milk
4 gms agar agar strands
1/2 cup mango pulp, preferably alphanzo / kesar
Boil milk .
Add agar agar strands.
Boil milk till the strands dissolve.
Add sugar to taste, remember the mango pulp is sweet.
Remove from fire.
Stir for a few minutes , so that the milk cools down a little.
Add mango pulp and mix well.
Pour into cups or moulds.
The pudding will set as soon as the milk comes to room temperature.
Place it in the refrigerator.
Serve chilled.

The dessert is simple, but delicious.One can serve this with some chocolate sauce too. Try and consume the dessert within two days.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Choondo , the Gujju relish

BM #28   Day 2

Choondo is a sweet mango relish, which is prepared with grated raw mangoes and sugar. Preferably made with Vanraaj mangoes. It is a combination of Mangoes and sugar, where the sugar is determined by the sourness  of mangoes. Gujarati ladies are very good with their pickles and relishes and during the mango season one can see vendors selling these raw mangoes on the roads.They have small hand cutting machine for cutting the mangoes.They even grate the mangoes.The ladies buy the mangoes and get them grated or cut right there. This actually is a blessing!  My  MIL used to make this, but last year I made it .It was my first attempt and it came out pretty good. A perfectly prepared Choonda will never have crystallized sugar.Traditionally this is prepared by placing the mangoes and sugar in the sun.The sugar is dissolved by the heat of the sun .once the sugar has dissolved completely, the choonda is ready.There are some quick versions of this relish, but I stuck to the traditional method.

1 cup raw mango, grated 
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chilly powder
1 tsp cumin seed
Mix all ingredients and place them in a wide mouthed pan.
Put the grated mango and sugar. Mix well.
Cover with a muslin cloth and place it in the sun.
Get the pan indoors in the evening.
Repeat day after day till all the sugar has melted and the raw mango has acquired transparency.
Store in a sterilized jar.

Over a period of time the choondo might turn thick , remove as much as required and microwave for a few seconds.This will refresh it.
This is normally served with Baakhri,Thepla ,Khakhras.

Just managed to click this picture showing the vendors grating mangoes for choonda.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Keri Pyaz ki Chutney / Raw Mango and Onion Relish

BM # 28   Day 1

With summer setting in the food changes .Everyone looks for light simple food avoiding spices and oil.Chilled treats and cold food is what we generally relish.Now this is a chutney which I have been eating since I have got married,a specialty of my M.I.L.This can be made in a jiffy and relished with any meal.for us this is a must on both the meals the minute we spot raw mangoes in the market.This chutney adds a bit of pep to that bland summery food. So Mangoes is the theme for this last week of marathon.

Raw mango, grated
Onion, grated
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste.
Red chilly pwd
Grate the raw mango and onion.
Mix the two.
Add salt and sugar and red chilly , balancing the flavors.
when I say balancing the flavors, I mean the chutney should be sweet,as well as tangy and a wee bit spicy. Chillies is again optional, you could avoid them yet enjoy the chutney.

If the mango is really sour you might need more sugar..and if it is on the sweeter side  little less sugar will be required. Jaggery can be used instead of sugar .Ideally this chutney should be left out for about 15 minutes for the flavors to infuse ..and then chilled ,but in case you are impatient..go ahead and enjoy it .
This stays good in refrigerator for a week .

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Rotelle Pasta with Red and White Sauce

I love browsing the international section in a super market. One gets to see plenty of new products and some of the ingredients truly fascinate. I picked up a packet of Rotella Pasta on one of my visits .Rotella is a type of pasta resembling wheels with spokes. I somehow loved this round shape which resembles one of the fry yums variety. After checking the ingredients, I picked up the pasta. I have recently discovered that many pastas contain eggs and that is not acceptable to me, hence checking the ingredients is a must. It might sound funny but at home I have a magnifying glass to check!! So for this weekend we have Rotella Pasta with red and white sauce.Do check what my friends Valli and Champa are upto!

1 cup boiled pasta 
1 cup white sauce 
½ cup red sauce 
1 tsp oregano 
½ tsp chilly flakes 

White sauce 

3 tbsp wheat flour 
1 cube cheese 
1 ½ cup milk 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Roast the flour in a non stick pan till it gets a mild pinkish colr. 
Transfer the flour to another pan. 
Let cool. 
Add milk and blend the flour, making sure no lumps are formed. 
Put the pan on fire and let boil. 
Keep stirring and the sauce will become thick. 
Add a cube of cheese . 
Add salt and pepper.
Remove and keep aside. 
This is a sauce which has zero oil and made from wheat flour,you could make it totally fat free by avoiding the cheese.

Red Sauce 
6 tomatoes 
1 onion, finely chopped 
2 cloves garlic 
2 tbsp tomato ketchup 
Salt to taste 
Blanch the tomatoes, peel and puree. 
Heat 1 tsp oil. 
Add chopped garlic and onion. 
Saute’ for a few minutes. 
Add tomato puree’, let cook. 
Add ketchup, salt and a pinch of sugar. 
Cook till a little thick. 

Assembling the pasta 
Place the boiling hot pasta in the serving plate. 
Pour the cooked white sauce. 
Pour the red sauce .
Place some cheese or sprinkle grated cheese. 
Sprinkle herbs of your choice. 

The pasta should be freshly boiled, to get the best taste. 
The sauces have to be piping hot. 
Since there is hardly any oil or butter you could add a generous amount of cheese. 
Tastes best if served hot!!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mattar ki Poori / Peas Stuffed Indian Bread

BM #28   Day 3

Last day in the Indian flat bread series, and today I have made the fried bread.This stuffed poori has been on my to do list since a long time, but since it is fried , it becomes difficult for me to make .Difficult, since no one will eat, so I made just these two pooris and from the rest of the dough and stuffing I made parathas.I served these with Dahi Wale Aaloo. Dahi Wale Aaloo is a recipe to die for.I shall post it very soon.The two pooris were divided in eight parts...yes !! so everyone got a small piece to taste.The taste was awesome, but all preferred parathas those too just sprayed with very little oil.Anyway, this health story is a every day let's not get into it ..Here is the recipe....

1 cup wheat flour 
½ cup coarsely ground wheat flour 
4 tsp ghee / oil 
Salt to taste 
Place both the flours in a kneading bowl. 
Add salt and ghee.
Rub like bread crumbs. 
Add water slowly and bind the dough. 
Keep aside for 15 minutes. 
Divide the dough into 12 balls. 

1 cup green peas 
1 tsp cumin seed 
1 tsp fennel seed 
1 tsp coriander seeds 
Pinch asafoetida 
1 tb sp gram flour 
2 green chillies, finely chopped 
½ tsp chaat masala/ mango pwd 
½ tsp garam masala 
Coriander leaves chopped 
Salt to taste 
Heat 2 tbsp oil. 
Add cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. 
Add asafoetida and green chillies. 
Add boiled and crushed peas. 
Saute and add gram flour. 
Saute till dry . 
Add all spices and coriander leaves.
Let cool.
Divide the stuffing into 12 balls. 

Assembling the pooris
Roll each one a little, place the stuffing in the center. 
Flatten the edges with your fingers.
Cover and seal and flatten the ball. 
Make sure to press the disc first with your hand and then roll lightly. 
Deep fry, first on full flame and then on slow flame. 
Fry till crisp and golden.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bread Jo Dhodho / Bread Pancake

BM # 28   Day 2

I really do not know the origin of this Indian Flat bread, which is my theme for this week. All I know is my hubby's grand mother used to make these. She was very famous for these and would make for us as an evening snack.The evening snack would get heavy and I would avoid dinner.It's been a good 20 years since I ate these.After Naani passed away we have not had these. While thinking about the Indian Breads for BM , I recollected these dhodhas , something that we all used to love, but I guess the trend of white bread has gone and most of us have shifted to multi grain or wheat breads. You could try with those too, but I like to make these with white bread.One can add some veggies too, but I have made it just the way naani made....yes original, no twists!

4 slices white bread
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Coriander leaves
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Soak the bread slices in 1/4 cup water.
After 10 minutes, add all the ingredients.
Mix well with hands and you shall come to a dough consistency.
The dough will be semi soft, however, if you find it very soft, just crumble another slice and add.
Heat a non stick gridle.
Spray some oil.
Take a ladle ful of the dough and spread on your palm with wet fingers.
The size of the Dhodho is entirely upto you, I like to make small ones.
Once the upper surface is dry , flip over and cook.
Apply oil on the cooked side and let it cook till crisp.
Flip back and apply oil and cook till crisp.
Serve hot.

This Dhodho can be made from stale dry bread, only it might absorb some more water.
Normally this is served for breakfast or mid meal.
It actually does not need any accompaniments, but some thing like Jeera Aaloo go well as a side and makes it a complete meal. I served it with mint chutney.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Moong Daal Paratha

BM # 28   Day 1

The third week begins, and for this week I have chosen to make Indian Breads.There is such a huge variety in Indian breads that I was left totally confused.This might look as an extension of the last week , as this too can be put under the Sindhi Cuisine category.These parathas are very popular in Sindhi homes.The breakfast culture is out so normally these are served for lunch.A bowl of fresh curd spiced lightly with a little boiled potato and some red rubies for that, this meal is totally delicious.The parathas can be relished with pickle or papads well.

2cups whaeat flour
1tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Water for kneading the dough
Mix everything and knead a semi soft dough.

2 cup moong daal, boiled with salt and turmeric
2-4  green chilies
1 onion, finely chopped
1tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
1tsp  mint leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp  red chilly pwd
½ tsp garam masala
1tsp  dry mango pwd
1tsp whole coriander seeds
Salt to taste
The daal should be washed and soaked for at least 2 hours.
Boil the daal with very little water, and on slow flame.each grain of daal should be separate.
Mix everything for the stuffing, when the boiled daal has cooled down.
Do not mash it up and mix gently.
Pinch out a lemon sized ball from the dough.
Roll into a small disc.
Apply ghee and sprinkle the dry flour on it.
Place a generous helping of the stuffing in the center.
Bring the edges together to make a ball.
Dust with flour and flatten the ball gently.
Roll lightly dusting in between for smooth rolling.
Roll into 5-6’’disc.
Heat a gridle and roast the paratha. Apply generous layer of ghee on both sides.
Cook till golden and crisp.
You can make it oil free too , just cook on slow fire to make it crunchy.
Serve with raita or pickle.

I served the parathas with my favorite Aaloo Anar Raita.
Do check what my friends have cooked for this BM.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sanna, The Manglorean Idli for Indian Cooking Challenge

This month I decided not to do the ICC. Reason?...Heat!! I read the challenge and thought forget it..they are idlis..and who is going to work on these from scratch.Normally we get the ready batter so find it tedious to soak rice and grind.Anyway, just before the challenge date, I studied the recipe and decided to give it a try.I was actually nervous.Anyway I confirmed from Valii regarding the rice to be used and finally soaked the rice and daal.Since I do not have a grinder, I sent the rice and daal for grinding, to a grinding shop.It was one of those days when things cropped up, and I had to put the batter in the frig.Next day I asked Valli if I could still use the batter she gave me a green signal.Here I am with the most fantastic idlis.I was glad I attempted the challenge..I would have surely missed on one of softest idlis.

1 ½ cups boiled rice 
½ cup raw rice 
¼ cup split black gram dal / udad dal 
Wash and soak the rice and dal sperately for at least 3 hours. 
Grind the udal dal first , this helps in making the idlis fluffy. 
Grind the rice, using minimum water to a fine paste. 
The batter consistency should be that of a dosa batter. 
Pour in a big container, as there should be enough room for the batter to double during fermentation. 

Yeast solution 
1 heaped tsp yeast 
1 tsp sugar 
3-4 tsp luke warm water 
Add sugar and yeast to luke warm water. 
Leave it for 10 minutes to ferment. 
Sugar will help the yeast to dissolve and the solution will become frothy. 
Stir to make sure all yeast granules have dissolved. 

Back to batter 
Pour the yeast solution in the batter and mix well. 
Add salt. 
You could add sugar, as these idlis are mildly sweet.I did not add the sugar. 
Cover with a muslin cloth and leave it undisturbed for 2 hours and 1 ½ hours in hot weather. 
Prepare the dokla cooker. 
I used the every day katoris to fill in the batter. 
Do Not Sir The Batter. 
Pour the batter with the help of a ladle, making sure you take the top batter only, as this should not be stirred, once the first batch has gone in, cover the batter. 
Repeat for the rest of idlis.  While the idlis are shall find the batter fermenting even more, and yet again take from the top. 
The batter should be half filled as these will fluff up. 
Steam for 15-20 minutes. 
Make sure to remove the lid carefully , so we do not see any steam drops on these cotton soft idli. 
Allow to cool for de moulding.
While un moulding these, I realized it did not come out as clean as the original idlis, but that does not hamper the taste in any way, so go ahead and try the world's softest idli!!

The idli were a treat and I guess from now on I will have to make the batter for idlis from scratch. I served these with Sindhi Curry and coconut chutney. You could call this Curry as Sambar's cousin , since it has the mild tanginess .
Thanks Valli and Shireen, one of the best challenges!!

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