Tag: snack

Garam Masala Tuesdays: Roasted Stuffed Potatoes

I started this blog in July 2010 mainly as a way to keep myself occupied and also to document the recipes I was trying as a newly wed. It helped, that as a result, my recipes would all be at one place. But, very soon it became my lifeline.

Now, being at home all day with nothing much to do is not fun at all. And more so if you are thousands of miles away from where you have been born and brought up.
Being home all day, with no job, no kids to take care of, makes you feel worthless as well.
This blog helped change that to a great extent and for that I have you all to thank.
It gave me an identity. People who I have never met know me. They don’t know me as V’s wife- but they know ME. And that counts for something.

Ricotta Cheese Balls

Another post!

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so soon!

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Surprised, eh?

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MINI CHOCOLATE BURGERS

It was a dreadful car ride. I had that feeling- the kind where you know there is doom at the end of the journey. But it had to be done. If not now, it would be too late.

So there I was standing outside the place. I stepped inside- my feet almost ready to run away. But, like I said, it had to be done. So I was there, waiting…waiting with knots in my stomach.

He called me in. He was dressed in white like an angel- but I knew he had the tools of the devil hidden away. He made me lie down. Asked me my name. Did a litle small talk – yeah! like that would ease my nerves!

Then it started. That blinding, in-your-face light. That dreadful noise- the noise that send shivers down your spine. Oh! how I hate that drill and oh! how I hate these dentist visits!

***Update***
Voting at Kitchen Corners is now open! Please go vote for these if you like the recipe!

Well I have not blogged for a while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. On the contrary, I have been cooking a lot. But, because of the much hated dentist visits (the very long sittings there and the trauma that goes with them), and cooking for the party my parents had at their house, I have been too busy to blog.

Now, for the above mentioned party I had made “chocolate fondant cake”. It was a disaster. It was nothing like what Raymond Blanc described them to be- and I ended up with mini chocolate cakelets, which I paired with a chocolate sauce and a scoop of ice cream topped with nuts- and thankfully everybody loved it- phew! Saved!

I had some chocolate sauce left from the “chocolate fondant” episode. I was going through my daily serving of tastespotting and saw a burger and the idea of chocolate burger came in my mind. (This is inspite of my dentist repeatedly telling me to stay away from chocolate- I can’t help it, dear dentist, I try but chocolate and I share a bond that just can’t end like that).

I thought for a while and thought cookie would be a perfect idea to sandwich a chocolate ganache to look like a burger.

I thought of entering this for KC April Cook off- the theme – crazy chocolate creations. To make the cookie “bun” completely chocolatey, I used white chocolate- not as chips or chunks but completely melted in the cookie dough batter. So, for the “bun”, I decided to use wheat flour and replaced the oil, milk and sugar (that generally goes in a cookie dough batter) with white chocolate- well isn’t that what white chocolate is made of ! (White chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla) Of course I was a little worried about the ratio of the three ingredients in the chocolate compared to what  generally comprises a cookie dough batter and it might change the result of the desired cookie. But they turned out great. I used cinnamon but feel fennel seeds powder or cardamom powder would go better with the white chocolate.

For the “burger” I used the chocolate sauce, that had been kept in the fridge (it solidified a bit in the fridge and was more like a refrigerated ganache). And on top, to replicate sesame seeds, I used some finely chopped cashew.

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Mets la main à la pâte!(YEASTED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE) My first at Daring Bakers!

For the past few days, ever since India beat Australia in the Quarter Finals World Cup Match cricket has been the talk of the town. From Facebook updates to my college chain mails to newspaper articles- wherever you go – the India Pakistan match is the topic of conversation. I can only imagine the excitement in my hometown Mohali, where the match is being played today. The advertisers, airlines, hotels, all are cashing in on the much anticipated match. Jokes on Afridi and his men are doing the rounds among Indians on social networking sites while the Pakistinis are doing the same on their pages for the team in blue. The mind games have begun on both sides. After long I have been excited about a match- I think there is something about playing Pakistan that triggers every Indian’s blood and the do or die spirit takes over. Defeating Pakistan is for most Indians like winning the world cup. Every Indian today is praying that India wins- I have no more nails left to bite!

Putting the excitement aside for a while, I completed my first Daring Bakers challenge, although a little late! *Victory clasp!*

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Jamie found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, no date, and she tried the recipe and it was brilliant!

This entry was supposed to be posted on the 27th but since I was busy packing, travelling, shopping, packing again and more travelling, only now I got the time to bake for the challenge. I enjoyed myself thoroughly in this challenge. The recipe yields two cakes and thought I would do one savory version and one sweet.

While the sweet dough kneaded to form a sexy (as Ria and Jamie put it)!, elastic and smooth dough, I had a tough time with the savory dough- I just could not get the elasticity called for in the dough. I used the bread maker’s dough cycle, then used my own muscle strength and boy how I used them! I’m sure tomorrow I’ll have sore muscles- yes I had to knead THAT much!

I also had trouble with the dough rising. It took longer than usual and did not rise as much as I hoped it would. One mistake I did with the sweet dough, which could be a reason for the not rising problem is that when heating the milk with water and butter- the milk almost boiled and it was still quite hot when I poured it in the flour mixture. But, that still does not explain why the savory dough did not rise. Maybe the yeast?! Hmmm…..Anyways the dough eventually did rise.

In the savory version I thought of putting cheddar cheese and have mentioned so in the recipe but when I got to rolling of the dough I realised that I had no grated cheese on hand. Pressed for time as the match had started (the long rising time changed my whole schedule- I was supposed to have been done with baking by the time the match was to start), I put parmesan cheese- but would still recommend the cheddar cheese.

I decorated the savory yeasted cakes by painting on it using a coffee-yolk mixture. (To see how to paint on your bread check this out!) For  painting I did not have a brush. I used an unused lipstick brush from my kit. Of course I washed it thoroughly. The things I do for baking!

The oven still gave me problems while baking- it does not heat evenly. So I had to make sure that I keep shifting the trays. It also took me longer than the stated time to bake the yeasted cakes as they were not getting brown from the top-nor was the hollow sound coming. As a result the sweet yeasted cake got burned from the bottom. I miss my own oven!!:(

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GRILLED CORIANDER CHICKEN LEGS

I have been enjoying Delhi food after a long time! Today, I went to Moet’s (a restaurant in Defence Colony, Delhi) and shared a chicken sizzler and roomali roti-kakori kebab combo with my mom-in-law. Kakori kebabs are these extra delicate lamb kebabs that are generally marinated with raw papaya and wrapped around skewers and grilled. Their name comes from a village by the same name near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (a state in northern India). The Nawab (ruler) of Kakori village developed these kebabs to address the complaints of the British (who were ruling India at that time) that the meat was very tough. Well, besides railways and introducing us to the English language, I think this is another thing I am grateful to the British for! Thanks to them and their complaints, we get to eat melt in your mouth delicious kebabs!

On Sunday, I went to this Italian restaurant, Tonino’s that is on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, and had amazing chicken chops with al dente spaghetti. My mom-in-law ordered a grilled fish which was very nicely cooked and flavored. For dessert we had a chocolate lasagna (I know!)- layered chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce spread in between each layer and served with vanilla ice cream. Not only was the food good, so was the ambience. The restaurant is like a Tuscany styled villa with a verandah, outdoor seating, and trees all around. At night they put candles everywhere and make it a really romantic place to take your loved one! Alas, I went with my in-laws, which wasn’t bad either but the romantic setting could not be tested!

I remember when I was in Moscow for two years and visited Delhi on a month’s break I had made a list of places/things I wanted to visit/eat. On the list were Khan chacha’s rolls (at Khan market), Nizam’s rolls (at Connought Place), Choor choor naan that you get outside LSR (my under-grad college) and chicken momos either from Sarojini/Dilli Haat, and the oily, greasy chowmein that is popularly known as Indian-chinese! I have already ticked off IIFT dhaba’s paranthas and The Big Chill. The list would be incomplete without mentioning Dal makhani, butter chicken and butter naan.  (Well, butter chicken can also be ticked off since I had it at Saket the other day with my friends) And I also would like to have gol gappas and a better version of aloo-tikki chaat (I had the latter at a wedding but wasn’t too impressed). Yes, I am on a mission!

Anyway, coming back to what I have been cooking. Well, practically nothing! I make tea regularly (if you would consider that cooking! and I know some of us actually do!) but besides the chicken biryani and what I cooked for the party at my parents place- I have not been cooking in India.

So, the other day when my mom-in-law got some chicken legs from Khan market, I thought of making some grilled chicken legs as an accompaniment to a glass of chilled beer. Instead of making plain tandoori chicken I thought of giving the chicken a coriander flavor. Now, I have been experimenting with my in-laws microwave and today gave their grill a try. It took longer than I expected to cook- but once cooked, the chicken was soft and delicious. We were out of lemon, but I’m sure some lemon juice on top would have made an excellent appetizer. And the glass of chilled beer- well it was the icing on the cake!

I had made these yesterday evening and could not take any pictures since the lighting in the house is all yellow and it was not flattering to the dish. I saved two pieces thinking I would make them as an afternoon snack but we were out the whole day. The moment we came back and since there was still some daylight I quickly went to bake/grill the kitchen. But by the time they were ready it was dark outside. Man, the trouble I go through to get a good click. So anyways, I was stuck with another yellow click. A little photoshop helped reduce the yellow but still doesn’t do justice to the dish! Well, when I make it the next time, hopefully I’ll get a good shot!

P.S: This post was written more than a week back, but due to no internet connection for the past few days and the fact that I had been travelling I have not been able to post it till today. Not that anybody cares, or do they???Hmmmm……

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ALOO PUFFS

I did not blog for one day but feel that its been ages since I blogged last. Weird! I wanted to blog about the aloo puffs (Stuffed puffs with a spicy potato filling) I made on Sunday but could not do so till today. There are two reasons for the delay.

One, my computer – it got infected by a virus and I could not access anything! Luckily, I was able to switch on my computer in Safe mode and delete the root cause file. Then, I installed MalwareBytes, and that too deleted some infected files and when I restarted, my computer was back with me! What a relief! But it did give me a scare!

Two, yesterday I was busy mapping out what all I have in my pantry and the refrigerator. The thing is, in two weeks time I am leaving for India on a looooong vacation. 🙂 🙂 So, I have two weeks to finish the frozen blueberries, cranberries and the other stuff I have in the refrigerator that I am sure V will not use. (Yes, V is not coming along :(!). And, yesterday was spent figuring out how I would do that without throwing it all in the dustbin!

Well, now, the list is made and each day, for the next two weeks, I have some experiment lined up. Its going to be real busy in the kitchen till I leave. For today, I had Indian styled chowmein and a raspberry cake on the list. Tomorrow, it is okra and chilli paneer and of course, Office Thursday!

On Sunday, I used the leftover puff pastry dough (from the time I made the apple turnovers) to make some puffs stuffed with a spicy potato filling. These puffs are very popular in Indian bakeries and a famous to-go for tea parties at home. One of my friends had made these puffs as a snack for us on our trip to Vegas. So, while thinking of ways to use up the leftover pastry dough- I though this was the perfect way to use them.

V loved them. I mean he loves everything I make (I think he is just nice) but these puffs- he really did love them. Even looking at the pictures now while I was writing my blog, he was like- I want more! 🙂 The pastry puffed up beautifully and the filling was perfect for Sunday breakfast!

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APPLE TURNOVERS

Puff Pastry dough completely amazes me- you know, how while rolling it’s just a single sheet, and while baking, voila! all the distinct layers puff up into a really flaky, buttery crust. Savory or sweet- the same dough can be used for both, and the results, in both cases, bake out perfect. Each round of rolling and folding results in a  thin layer of butter sticking to the dough- thus, creating hundreds of thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.

With no leavener in the dough, the rise happens when the butter melts in the oven and boils, creating steam which lifts the successive layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat is cooking the flour, hardening it around those minute air pockets, creating the puff.

A few days back, I had promised the recipe for Apple Turnovers I made for Office Thursdays. If the puff pastry and the filling is ready, these are a snap to make and perfect to serve with tea in the morning. I had sent these for V’s office colleagues and they were all devoured (V did not get any but I had saved one for him at home). I loved them and would definitely make them again.

Today morning, with the leftover puff pastry dough I made a savory vegetarian version. Will post that tomorrow!

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SAMOSAS & CHAAT

Yesterday it rained and with it my plans to go for a run were washed away. Instead V and I went out for dinner. Since I had overeaten at the Christmas party, and my running plans didn’t materialize, my order consisted of garden salad, fish, corn cob, dinner rolls and wild rice. It was pretty filling. But, you won’t believe it at 3 in the morning I had hunger pangs. My stomach was growling. I was mumbling in my sleep- I am hungry, I want food! Gosh! What’s wrong with me?? I mean I ate a lot. In fact at dinner, it was so embarrassing because while my plate was clean as a whistle, V had just managed to eat only 1/4th of his dish- the rest he took as to-go! So at 3 am in the morning I was wondering to myself- seriously what’s wrong with me?? Why am I such a glutton?? Do I have worms??? But, then if that was the case, I would be really thin. Then, do I have a really really fast metabolic rate? But, then again that being the case, it would still mean a very slim me! But, then neither am I slim nor am I anywhere close to it. (I checked my weight yesterday, and it wasn’t a pretty site 😦 !) Am I compulsive eater then? Or were the hunger pangs a result of what I was thinking about before I fell off to sleep (a.k.a the Black Forest Cake I am planning to make- I know glutton!). Anyways some how I slept again.

That was yesterday and today is a new day. I had some leftover samosa filling from the samosas I had made to take for the Christmas party. And I thought along with that some spicy chickpea curry would be perfect for lunch. (It’s almost like my mind blocked the memory of seeing my alarming weight- here I am planning to eat some more deep fried stuff! Glutton!)

Now Samosas, to explain in english, are like savory turnovers with a spicy potato and pea filling, deep fried (yes, deep fried) in oil. They are a very popular Indian snack served with mint and tamarind chutneys. When I was in India I would eat my samosa with a little curd and chutney. I always found the filling too spicy and the curd helped in balancing the flavors for my palate.

My dad is crazy about all stuff fried, all stuff sweet, actually all stuff fattening (I think that’s how I developed my love for food- from my dad). He once took me to this small shop in Panchkuian Road, near Connought Place, Delhi, called Frontier Stall to try their spicy samosa with chhole (a hot chickpea curry). Ah! Sweet fried goodness! It was mouth watering delicious! (By the way I found this link for things to definitely try when in Delhi- I could check only 6 out of 12) So when I decided to make Samosas for the Christmas party, I had already made a mental note to myself that with the Samosas left I would try recreating that chaat. Unfortunately, there were non left (secretly, I was happy because that proved that they were good!) but fortunately, I was left with some of the filling.

The only thing I would change the next time I make them is to make the filling more spicy. Both times I have made Samosas, I have made with the purpose of serving it to my foreign friends who are not used to too spicy food. Though perfect for people who prefer less spice, to make it more spicy add some red chilli powder to the dough and in the filling, add the green chillies with the seeds. You can also check Harini’s version (I found this site today so haven’t tried the recipe but to make a spicier version I’ll definitely give this a try too)

I took the recipe for the chhole from Manjula’s Kitchen’s website.

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