Showing posts with label breads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breads. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Daily Dinner (21): Weekend Indulgence - Paalak ki Poorie

Once in a while, I give in to indulgence- in the name of children, award to self for good behavior, or just because….

Weekends are especially tempting. I find it harder to stick to a diet and exercise regimen when I am at home all day. Goodies beckon, and everyday lunch salads are the furthest from my mind. It is a good thing that the kids love poories - the fried Indian bread. To break the guilt, I do keep a little green (as in salad) on the side. Plus, I try to sneak in veggies in the poorie itself for the kids.

Every mom I know of has her own way of making this universal kids’ favorite. But here’s how I make my Paalak ki Poorie for an indulgent weekend meal.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chawal ka Paratha- Reliving Childhood.

I have been told that kids should learn to eat everything. And that offering them with a choice is spoiling them for life. But believe me, if catering to foodie likes and dislikes is spoiling, then I was a thoroughly spoilt brat as a kid! And I changed when I grew up (not all, but quite a bit!)….

For many of my growing up years, I refused to eat roti. Eaten the traditional way, it got my hands dirty, food got under my fingernails, and I complained about smelly food fingers after lunch at school. I’d only eat whatever I could with a spoon. That pretty much made rice or sandwiches the only option for school. I wasn’t ready to even consider anything else. Then one day, my mom packed my school lunch with stuffed parathas, filled with rice – with the reasoning that she was still giving me rice - and I got a new food to love for life!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gobhi ka Paratha- Cozy Comfort of a Cold Morning.

The humble cauliflower; and the mighty peas –possibly, two of my dad’s favorite things.

Sometime in November, the sabzi-wala bhaiya would come all excited and call out for my dad, announcing that he had procured the first cauliflower and peas of the season. My dad would hurry on downstairs. Then, they would engage in at least a half-hour haggle on prices; the bhaiya, unrelentingly adamant that his prices were reasonable, and my dad, equally strong-willed about making a good bargain. Finally, they always came to an agreement on “wholesale prices”, and my dad came back laden with 5kgs of fresh peas and 5kgs of cauliflower. The next half hour- my mom hemming and hawing about shelling all those peas and my dad trying to calm her down by saying that he’d help- which of course was the biggest lie ever!

Then I remember those afternoons when I came home from school to find my mom sitting on the balcony in the winter sun, elbow-deep in shelling peas. She not only seperated the sweet pea seeds, but also skinned the tender shells of new peas to make another one of my dad’s favorite – “matar ke chilke ki sabzi” (more on that, later some day….). Sometimes, I helped her. More often than not, the peas went straight in my mouth!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Teej Greetings- with Malpua/ Indian Pancake

Today, I learnt this morning, is Shravani Teej.....the festival of swings and mehendi.

For many many years in my growing up years, the first rains of monsoon would begin an impatient wait for Teej. More often than not, I knew it was around the corner when some strange messenger rang our doorbell with a box-ful of goodies for my mom - saree, red and green bangles, bindi-kajal-sindoor, toe rings, mehendi and mouth watering sweets made especially for my mom by her mom.....The D-day I'd see my mom deck up in all her finery, and dream of looking as beautiful as she did then; someday.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bhature - A Punjabi Flat Bread

I just came back from a 10-day vacation. My plan, apart from doing everything else you do while on vacation, was to catch up with blogging. In anticipation, I loaded up a few pictures, and saved a couple of draft versions of posts.  While I was doing that, I realized that this space of mine has become therapeutic to me. Writing relaxes me; but I have also become addicted to all the lovely comments that you all leave me. The last 10 days, I actually had severe withdrawl symptoms.

The one day I remember, is while visiting some family in Sweden. She made Chole-bhature for dinner. But somehow, her dough for Bhature got too sticky. They were hard to roll, and wouldn't puff up. I asked her her recipe, and realized it was quite a bit different from mine. So I figured, I'd share how I make this quintessential Punjabi flat bread. This may not be an authentic recipe, but this is how my mom told me I could make a fairly sticky dough manageable...and it works quite well.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Muchri Roti : And reminiscing about Dad...

I find it strange how memories have a way of popping out of my head at the vaguest moment.  

Recently, I came across something called Muchri Roti on a blog post.  I had no idea what it was. But as I read through the recipe, it was though I was 10yrs. old, standing in my mom's kitchen watching her serve warm-straight-from-the stove rotis to my dad. She had a way of picking up the roti straight from the tawa onto the palm of her hand, lathering it with generous amounts of ghee, and then mushing it up by rolling her palm so that the roti separated into crusty layers. My dad called that roti "Muchri roti"- just like that blog post did.  I had never attached much significance to that name, or that roti. Although sometimes I did wonder why I could never get the flaky layers to separate in my cooking ever. Always attributed it to my lack of experience.  But turns out that Muchri Roti is in a class of it's own....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Corn muffins: Weekend Brunch

I had never had a savory-ish muffin ever in my life. Then came A's friend- who went to a culinary school in New York while her husband was sent far away on a consulting assignment. Not only did she go to this school, but she actually got interested enough to stay on for a whole 9 months and graduate.  So when she came to visit us loaded with a tray-ful of goodies she'd baked herself, my jaw literally dropped to the floor. Not only did she bring melt-in-the-mouth cakes and muffins, but also awesome chocolate creations and a few of the savory corn and jalapeƱo muffins, that she said were leftover from their morning breakfast.  The first thought that went through my mind when I tasted her creations- her husband's never going to accept any more consulting offers ever again :-))

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Dinner (8): Rajasthani Missi Roti (Plus a repost)

If I had to pick out anything absolutely essential, stand alone compnent to a North Indian meal, I'd point to the roti (chapati) or the unleavened tortilla-like flatbread. This may sometimes be the only ingredient in a thali; and yet enough for sustenance.
And I'm not talking only about those who can't afford to pay for food. Growing up, I had a cousin who'd only eat his roti with ghee-boora (powdered sugar mixed with butter). My treat at my naani's home used to be roti rolled around a thick spread of fresh malai (milk cream) sprinkled with sugar. My mom loved to coat her rotis with ghee- mirch (red pepper powder mixed with clarified butter) with a raw onion on the side. And on hot summer days, I remember coming home from school and sitting down for a lunch of Rajasthani Missi Roti with a glass of chilled Matha (spiced butermilk). This roti was the informal, no-frills attached at-home thali.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Golden Sunshine: Makkai ka Zucchini Paratha

Unexpectedly, it is a beautiful, warm and sunny day today. A taste of spring to come . After months of cold and snow, it is nice to see the sun come out bold and bright. I may sound cliche, but seeing the sun come out and light up everything did ease my gloominess - part of which was as a result of my recent health problems. The snow has really started to melt and I can see bald patches in my lawn, where grass will spring up...soon, I hope. The trees look like they're ready to sprout and I can't wait to start thinking about a vegetable patch again this year. I've spent the past couple of hours sitting outside, and just soaking up the beauty of this day. And reminiscing....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Minding my B's- Banana Blueberry Bread

This post has been sitting in my computer for ages...just couldn't conjure up a story to go with it. Still can't, as a matter of fact. So am just going to quit trying and post it. My friend and I had decided to treat our families out to an open air concert evening and a Friday night picnic dinner. The idea was to just go home after work, look in our pantries and make something quick and convenient. Pulao and cheese quesidillas were an obvious choice for my meal. As I scurried around getting things together for the picnic, my eyes fell on a bunch of bananas gone over-ripe as a result of the the unprecedented heat wave the past few days. Rather than toss them into the dustbin, I chose the alternative of making use of these ugly looking, but perfectly good bananas while satisfying the kids' hankering for dessert. I usually make banana muffins for the kids. This time I decided to bake a loaf instead for the convenience of carrying it to the park. Without any further ado, here is the recipe:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friends or Foes: Paratha or Thepla??

I've been invisible from the blogging scene again for a while. The experimenting, cooking, feeding the family and entertaining was as usual. Just did not take pictures to post. And a food-blog isn't appetizing enough unless accompanied by visuals, I think. So, I apologize and I'll make up for it....some day, and hopefully soon enough. I'm going to start backwards for now- most recent first. July 4th weekend.

A bunch of friends proposed a beach vacation. The location was decided and we rented some condos right on the water. Menu for breakfast included cereals, bagels and cream-cheese, pancakes and theplas. What in the world is a thepla; I asked the rest of the crowd.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Venturing into the unknown- Cheese and Dill bread

I've always been a fan of artisan breads. The shapes, the distinct textures and flavors excite me. Not that we had much exposure to them back in India. Now, I make it a point to try out every new bread that I can lay find in the stores. And before I knew it, I got obsessed with wanting to try making them.For my first attempt, I picked on a fresh dill and cheese bread. Don't ask me why... As I've mentioned umpteen times in this blog, I am not much of a baker. So this project began with a lot of 'what ifs..." and "how tos..". Apart from the baking aspect, dill was a new herb for me as well. I just wasn't sure about it- but many of my friends were all praise for this highly fragrant herb and I dived headlong into baking this flavorful bread.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Extreme Makeover- Leftover edition. Knead I say more?

My blog was going to be all about the new stuff that I tried out in my kitchen. After all, no one wanted to know how I cooked everyday dinner. It was all so basic, or so I thought, till I came across Daisyblue's announcement of Leftover Delicacies event.
Ever since then, I've been itching to write this piece. I've opened and closed the page many times, trying to ignore the temptation. Today I am finally giving in. You see, A has been away a lot this past month, and we've been inundated with leftovers. After weeks of living off the fridge, finally I threw the last box in the dishwasher yesterday and look forward to eating something 'fresh' tonight. But more on that later...This post is not going to be a recipe, I warn you. There is no way I can concoct a "recipe" for what I'm going to tell you. So what do I do with those little extra packets of food. Some of my thoughts are no brainers - like the fried rice from leftover rice. And I also do a chawal ki sabzi and chawal ke parathe. But Daisyblue said no rice recipes, so that's out for now. Most of my gravy-less veggie preps get converted to sandwich fillings or take on fancy avatars of kababs and tikkis for breakfast. My most exciting piece of conversion comes from the leftover soups and dals. You see, I really get a kick out of kneading all of these into the flour and making parathas and puris. So this is what my entry in the event is going to be.

Urad-chane ki dal ka paratha
To make these, you have to incorporate the dal or soup in the atta during kneading.
Let the dough rest for about 10 min, knead it again and roll out the rotis/puris.
You'll need to dust the rotis frequently as the dough gets pretty sticky. E
ither cook them on a skillet with a bit of oil to make parathas, or deep fry them as puris.

I really love to make them as these breads come out very soft, and taste divine with raita and achaar like my Gobhi-shalgam ka achaar. Plus I don't have to worry too much when the kids want to eat just the roti, without anything to go with them, since the dal is in there already. So go ahead, knead a dough with anything liquid and sticky and make these delish parathas. And if you already knew this, well- I warned you in the beginning, didn't I?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I love Facebook. It was here that I found my childhood friends and rekindled long-forgotten memories. We got back to calling each other those elementary school nicknames; laughed at our teachers again and extolled virtues of the school we hated in a not-so-recent past. And then, I hate FB. It was here I found my childhood friends and discovered that they were not those only the pranksters I knew. They all had lives and talents and expertise that I only dream of - jetsetting, media savvy, artistic bunch was what I found along with the goofiness that I’d been expecting. So I have no idea why I was surprised to find out that some of those old friends were also accomplished cooks at home. Their updates about food they cook made me turn green (but I’m definitely not the envious kind, I assure you). And then, when the pictures appeared, I turned greener. For not only were these aforementioned friends great cooks (or chefs, if you please), but they’re all great photographers. And what are all those exotic sounding foods and breads that they make? 

In one of my revved up “green” moment, I’d decided to bake the bread that a FB friend had on her page. I gathered all the ingredients…but then never had the courage to try her recipe. You see, I’m not very confident or adventurous around the little space in my house we call the kitchen. Whenever I saw her post another bread recipe, a little voice inside my head reminded me of the little packets of yeast sitting in my pantry. And I gave both the voice and my friend’s FB updates a cold shoulder. And then, I recently came across this recipe that was way too tempting to ignore. I had all the ingredients, so it was all a matter of picking up the courage and diving in. That was my project, this last weekend! I’ve pretty much followed the recipe to a T, except for the yeast proofing part. Also, I was too impatient to wait for the flour to rise the second time! The buns did come out excellent nevertheless, and I got over my FB greens without much stress :-).
Stuffed Veggie buns
For the dough:
All purpose flour 1 cup
Whole wheat flour ½ cup
Parsley 1 small bunch, chopped
Baking powder 1tsp
Salt 1tbsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Warm water ½ cup
Active dry Yeast 1tsp
Milk as needed
For the filling
Frozen Mixed veggies ½ cup thawed
Boiled potato 1
Salt, pepper to taste
Amchoor powder ½ tsp
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Oil for tempering

  1. Add the sugar and yeast to warm water and keep aside for 15 min.
  2. In the meanwhile, sift the flours together and add the salt, baking powder and chopped up parsley to this. I also preheated the oven to WARM at this time.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast-mix to it. Bring it all together slowly and make soft, pliable dough. Add warm milk as needed. Grease an oven-proof bowl and put the dough in this, cover with an oiled plastic wrap, and keep inside the oven for an hour. You can turn off the oven and just let the dough rest in the warmth.
  4. Prepare the filling meanwhile. I tempered the cumin seeds in a bit of oil, added my veggies, potato and spices to coat. Then allow the filling to cool.
  5. After 1h, the dough had doubled up and was very soft with holes on the outside. Punch down the dough, quickly divide into 6 balls. Flatten one ball with your hands, put the filling in the center and close the edges tightly. Flatten the filled ball again slightly. Repeat with all the six balls of dough.
  6. Keep all the filled buns on a greased oven-proof plate, about 2 inches apart. You can sprinkle them with poppy or sesame seeds now, but I didn’t have any
  7. Allow them to rise again in a warm oven for 1h- this is where I was impatient and only waited 20 min.
  8. Brush the tops with a little milk and butter. Bake them at 350F, until golden brown.
My two cents: The buns came out as well as the original post promised; but I do wish I'd allowed them to rise a bit more. Wonder what they'd have tasted like then.... I am sending this to YeastSpotting- the weekly cooking with yeast event, and to Lets Do Brunch..

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moong Dal Dosa

I am bad about weekend mornings... Weekends make me crave for GOOD food.... Food that ignites memories of happy ole times when mom cooked and we ate... And most weekend mornings lead to frustration....about HAVING to cook...about WANTING to eat....and about NOT being able to satisfy whatever the little devil inside of me wants at that moment. So this saturday a couple weeks ago, I was working hard to ignore the little perp inside my head that kept reminding my tastebuds of masala dosas. And no, the instant, rava dosa variety wouldn't do. And no, we couldn't go to a restaurant- after all we were in the midst of a major nor'easter here. But I did want dosas didn't I? Dare I improvise? After all, people to the south of the Indian peninsula made all kinds - and I'm pretty good with improvising with rotis; so what's the big deal with dosas? The biggest lament in my dosa-making ability is that I can't get the batter to ferment in this weather. A close second, my food processor doesn't do a good job of grinding the Urad dal required for the batter. Could I, should I, dare to bypass both? I did, and boy, was that one satisfying meal for me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Going Nuts and Bananas

Well folks, I'm back again. One more impromptu "We're craving for...." request sent me hurrying over to the kitchen. Don't get me wrong; I do feed my kin. But they definitely have a knack for putting me up against odds. Oh sorry! No more rambling; here's what happened. One of the holiest season amongst Jains is what is observed as 8-day long Paryushan by the Svetambra sect or the 10 holy days of Das lakshna by the Digambars. Its essentially celebrated as a festival of forgiveness, and observance includes fasting and abstaining from your favorite foods, to build self-control. So, we (read "I") decided that my family will give up store-bought baked products (as in cakes), which is essentially a staple snack around my home.