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Puri and Potato Masala Recipe

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The temperature in Hyderabad is a beautiful 18 C in the early mornings and hovers around the 20′s at least till 9 AM. This is K’s favourite season and sometimes its tough to make out where he starts and the dog ends on the bed. Despite a thick furry coat, one can find Sage snuggled under the blankets with K post his early morning walks.

We planned to spend the weekend with K’s parent’s who live close by. But Sage by dinner time on Saturday, had decided he wanted to go back to ‘his’ house and the non-stop fuss was too much to take. All of us were disappointed, especially me, because I was so looking forward to some total cooking free R&R. Sunday breakfast was supposed to be Puri and Aloo Bhaji and all of us were disappointed we could not go as per plans.

This morning, when we woke up, we spoke again of the missed chance of eating puri and aloo. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that they cannot remember when I voluntarily filled a pan with oil to deep fry anything! Even this blog has very few deep-fried treats. But the beautiful winter morning called out for some indulgence and I set about making an elaborate (for me) breakfast.

Puri (Makes 10-12)

11/2 Cup                     Whole Wheat Flour (I used Ashirwaad Atta)

1/4 teaspoon            Salt

1 teaspoon                 oil

Oil for deep-frying

Water to make the dough

Add about 1/2 cup water to the flour and mix with your fingers, add water a little at a time as required to bring the dough together to make a firm yet soft dough. Apply the oil and knead for a minute. Cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10 equal parts, roll into a smooth ball between your palms, flatten and roll out dusting with dry flour into a 4 inch disc. Ensure the puri is not too thin, else it will break / burst while frying.

Heat oil in a kadai, gently lower the rolled out puri and fry on medium high heat till it puffs up, turn over and fry on the other side. The puri should be lightly golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper before serving while still hot.

Note: Adding a tablespoon of semolina while making the dough results in crisper puris, I didn’t add this since I forgot.

Aloo Bhaji (Serves 3-4)

1 medium Onion, Sliced

4 medium Potatoes, boiled and peeled

1 green chilli, slit

1/2 inch piece Ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric / Haldi powder

1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds

1 teaspoon Urad Dal (Black Gram, husked)

1 tablespoon Chickpea Flour (Besan / Senagapindi)

2 Tablespoons Milk / water

10-12 Curry Leaves

2 tablespoons Fresh Coriander Leaves

Salt to taste

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice + More to serve

1 Tablespoon Oil

In a pan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the urad dal and fry till it is turning golden. Add the green chilli, grated ginger, curry leaves and sliced onions. Fry till the onions are turning translucent, about 1 minute.

Add the turmeric powder and red chilli powder fry for a half a minute.

Peel and chop the boiled potatoes into chunks. Add them to the pan, reduce the heat to low and mix well till they are coated with the rest of the ingredients.

Add 1/2 cup of water, salt to taste and cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Stirring a couple of times.

Remove the lid off the pan and stir the curry. Add 1/4 cup water if you want more gravy, test for salt and spices and adjust as needed.

Mix the chickpea flour with the milk/ water and gently pour it into the curry while stirring, continue to cook for a minute till the curry gets thickened.

Take off the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and lemon juice, stir to mix and serve hot with puris.

Three Ingredient Soup ~ Pumpkin, Potato and Fried Garlic

pumpkin potato soup

pumpkin potato soup

I looked at the right corner of the screen of my computer to check the time, was shocked it was almost 8.30PM. Should have listened to the rumblings in my tummy. Ignoring them when your fridge is free of leftovers (happens sometimes in the Escapades household) is a sure indication that I may have succumbed to some jelly or whipped cream that was leftover from my desserts class on the weekend.

I have not been going to the gym for over 2 months for various reasons. This means that I am trying (in vain) to atleast eat right.

I knew we had a wedge of pumpkin and a few sprouting potatoes in the vegetable crisper. I sprung into action and whipped out my trusty peeler and tiny 11/2 litre pressure cooker.

Pumpkin – Potato and Fried Garlic Soup (serves 2)

Yellow Pumpkin                                 1 cup (remove the skin, seeds and membranes, chop into chunks)

Potato                                                         1 cup (peel the skin and chop into chunks)

Garlic cloves                                              2-3 (peel the skin and slice finely)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil                               2 teaspoon

Salt and freshly ground pepper              to taste

Heat a pressure cooker till quite hot. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and sliced garlic. Sauté till the garlic turns golden and almost crisp.

Add the cubed pumpkin and potato and pumpkin and toss around till they are nicely coated in the oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of hot water and put the lid onto the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 whistles and take off the heat.

When the pressure releases, put everything into a blender jar and whiz till the vegetables get puréed and you have a nice thick liquid.

Return to the pot, heat through but do not boil. Add salt to taste and freshly cracked pepper.

Dish out into serving bowls, garnish with the remaining olive oil and serve hot with crusty bread on the side.

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

I have been severely neglecting my own marathon and I beg your pardon. If you have followed me on my FB Page, you will know that I have been keeping busy, very very busy. Onto some yummy soup now.

Winter in Hyderabad is pleasantly chill and the perfect time to whet the appetite with a bowl of soup. The array of winter vegetables makes soup making an enjoyable chore. Add a bunch of aromatics like fresh ginger, garlic or lemon grass, a dash of warming spices like nutmeg and bay leaves and you have a robust soup. 

Carrots and Sweet Potato are an excellent combination for a soup. They have a natural sweetness which gets enhanced while cooking and the addition of garam masala imparts a nice kick to warm it up. Perfect for the winter months with the subtle sweetness of sweet potato and carrot, this delicious thick soup is nutritious and a great meal in itself. Serve with toasted bread and dinner is done!

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Time Taken (30 minutes including cooling time)

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Carrots 2 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

Sweet Potato 3 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

Onion 1 small, finely chopped

Celery Sticks 1, about 4-5 inches, chopped

Cumin Powder ½ teaspoon

Garam Masala ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Stock Cube 1

Water 3 cups

Olive oil 2 teaspoon

  • In a pressure cooker, warm the olive oil, saute the onion till translucent.

  • Add the cumin powder half the garam masala and fry for a minute,stirring.

  • Add the celery, cubed potato and carrot and saute till they are beginning to get a few golden edges.

  • Add the water and the stock cube, half the salt and close the lid of the cooker.

  • Cook for 2 whistles on high heat, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release.

  • Open the cooker, drain the vegetables out with a strainer, add to a blender and blend till creamy.

  • Now add the pureed vegetables to the broth, simmer on a low flame, taste for salt and adjust. Add freshly ground pepper and the rest of the garam masala. Serve hot with toasted bread.

Eggless Baking Classes in Hyderabad

egglessbaking

If you would like to attend, please leave a comment.

 

 

Day 5 ~ {DIY} Lemon Infused Olive Oil for Salads and Soups

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Lemon Infused Oil

Lemon Infused Oil

The aroma of a scented oil to finish off a salad or soup is enticing. After eyeing some fragrant flavoured oils on some online stores, I decided it wouldn’t be so difficult to make some myself. The process is quite simple and yet, the resulting oil is such a great add on to finish a dish.

This oil is best made in small batches to retain its freshness and aroma. Citrus is my favourite flavour / scent profile and I have made another batch with Orange peel.

Lemon Infused Olive Oil (Makes 1/2 cup)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil                    1/2 cup

Fresh Lemons                                2-3

Wash and pat dry the lemons, with a peeler, peel off the skin of the lemons in thin strips like ribbons. Make sure you do not scrape too much of the white part, as it renders the oil bitter and useless.

In a saucepan, gently heat the olive oil till warm (do not bring to a boil) drop the strips of lemon rind into this and heat for 4-5 minutes at the same temperature, ensuring the oil does not come to a boil.

Take off the heat and cover the saucepan and leave to cool completely.

Transfer the oil and rinds to a sterilised, clean glass bottle and cap it shut.

Use as required to garnish soups, make salad dressings or simply add to pasta/ salads.

Day 2 ~ Spicy Asian Style Vegetable Broth with Buckwheat Noodles

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Wishing all my readers A Very Happy & Warm Diwali. May your homes and hearts be filled with the love of your family and friends, your tummies full and your lives happy.

Spicy Asian Broth

Spicy Asian Broth

There is nothing that punctures the ego of a food blogger better than a set of terrible pictures! If you know me well enough, some of my best experiments, trials and efforts never make it to the blog because it would have been demolished even before I reached out for the camera. Sometimes, I would have made something which I felt was not blog worthy and after spooning in a mouthful, reached out to take a picture because the recipe / dish surpassed my expectation. Such is the life.

This Asian Style vegetable broth with noodles was made after a tired day, when the last thing I wanted to do was to slave in the kitchen. I put together whatever vegetables I had, seasoned it well and threw in some noodles for a carb kick. It hit home all the right spots and made for a very satisfying dinner. Please pardon the crappy pictures, trust me when I say this soup was excellent.

Buck wheat noodles have a nice texture because they are thicker than refined flour noodles. I happened to have a pack which I used, replace with any noodles of your choice.

Spicy Asian Style Vegetable Broth with Buckwheat Noodles – Serves 2

Ingredients

1 medium Onion (sliced into semi circles)

1/2 cup Yellow Pumpkin (Remove the skin and slice into 1/4 inch thickness)

1/2 cup Mushrooms (I used King mushrooms, use any kind you have)

1/2 cup Spinach (remove the tough stems and chop roughly)

1/2 inch piece of fresh Ginger

1 small fresh red chilli (use dried red chilli soaked in a bit of warm water, discard water before using), crushed with a mortar and pestle

2 sprigs of fresh Basil

1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

freshly crushed pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sesame oil (or vegetable oil)

1 cup cooked Buckwheat Noodles

1 teaspoon of lemon juice (adjust to taste)

Method

Wash and slice/ dice all the vegetables.

Skin and crush the ginger roughly.

Cook the noodles as per the directions on the packet, drain and set aside.

In a deep saucepan, heat the oil and add the crushed ginger & red chilli. Fry for a few seconds, add the sliced onion, pumpkin and mushrooms and saute till the onion has turned translucent. Season with half the salt and pepper.

Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes or till the vegetables have cooked through. Skim off any scum that comes to the top with a spoon.

Add the cooked noodles and spinach and take off the heat, cover and let sit for 4-5 minutes.

Spoon into serving bowls, serve hot with a dash of lemon juice and a sprig of fresh basil.

Day 1 ~ Brown Rice Salad ~ Blogging Marathon

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DSC_0372

My comfort food is rice. When I have nothing else to cook with, no vegetables, no mood, no time, unexpected guests… basically anything to give me an excuse to eat rice will be taken! The fact that I hate getting flour under my nails is one of the main reasons I love rice.   I am a self respecting Rice eating south Indian and never feel ‘full’ if my meal is made up of only roti :( is my main motivation.

So when I wanted to make a robust salad and make a whole meal of it, my choice of carbohydrate naturally was rice. I used brown rice and I do believe this is what adds a nice texture to this salad. Brown rice, either you love it or you hate it. Our palate these days is so attuned to silky white polished rice, that any different texture just doesn’t feel like rice. I began experimenting with brown rice a few years ago and the Escapades household has a very clear verdict – No brown rice stuff for K.

So while I stock atleast 5 different kinds of rice in the pantry, I use most of them when I am cooking a meal just for myself. At best, K will eat it when disguised as mushy pongal or khichdi.

This salad is a filling nutritious meal and can be had both warm and at room temperature. Brown rice doesn’t refrigerate very well. So any leftovers need to be consumed within a day or two. This is a dish that is very versatile, increase the amount of rice by double and serve as a pulav, swap the brown rice with cooked white rice or even cooked pasta if you are not fond of its taste.

Warm Brown Rice Salad with Vegetables – Serves 2

Brown Rice                                         ½ cup, washed and soaked for 20 minutes

Onion                                                  1 medium

Red bell pepper                                 1 medium

Zucchini                                               ½ a small one

Carrot                                                  1 medium

Red chilli flakes                                  ½ teaspoon

Lemon juice                                        1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Olive oil                                              1 tablespoon

Oregano                                              ½ teaspoon (dried)

Garlic                                                   1 pod, sliced

Fresh Coriander Leaves                    1 small bunch

In a pressure cooker, add the rice and 11/2 cups of water, cook for 3 whistles and then lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes till done.

When the pressure releases, open the cooker, fluff the rice with a fork. If there is water at the bottom, drain it with a sieve. Set aside.

If you do not like the taste or texture of brown rice, you can use regular white rice for this dish.

Peel the carrot and cut into small cubes. Chop the onions, zucchini and bell peppers into the same size as the carrots.

In a pan, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic slices till they are golden brown, remove them carefully to a small plate and set aside.

In the same oil, add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, covered.

Add the onions, bell peppers and zucchini pieces and stir and cook for 2 minutes, add the oregano, salt, red chilli flakes, and part of the fresh coriander and stir. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, add the cooked brown rice to the vegetables and stir gently. Taste and check for salt, adjust if needed. Add the lemon juice and remaining coriander and stir gently. Serve immediately.

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