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Gouda and Pizza Sauce Muffins Recipe

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Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffin

Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffin

Amma is currently with me and as is the usual practice, I try and make something interesting when she is around. Unlike K, she is game to try anything at least once, and is deeply appreciative of my culinary escapades ūüôā

A conversation almost always gets triggered from a food memory. This time, while asking about the ingredients I used, and knowing that finely grated cheese was used, she told me about how there was food rationing in the 50’s and some of the schools and organisations affiliated to America received supplies of ¬†cheese powder and egg powder which they had no idea how to use. So they would mix the two and make scrambled eggs ūüôā

I told her how I love savoury muffins and that it is a pity most people associated baking with cake and cake is sweet and hence all baked goods are expected to be sweet. In my baking classes, I used to teach a savoury pizza muffin, but due to it having not too many enthusiasts, I changed that over to a sweet variant.

For this muffin, I eyeballed all the ingredients and it turned out wonderfully fluffy and full of flavour.

I ran out of whole wheat flour, and have used half of all purpose flour and half whole wheat, feel free to use whole wheat flour for the whole amount, but expect the crumb to be a little grainy.

The pizza sauce I used is the one I posted in the Fusilli with pine nuts recipe. This is an all purpose pizza / pasta sauce that is very handy to have in the fridge.

Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffin

Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffin

Gouda Cheese and Pizza Sauce Muffins (Makes 6 large muffins)

1/2 cup All purpose flour (Maida)

1/2 cup Whole wheat flour (Atta)

1/2 cup Grated gouda cheese + 2 teaspoons for garnish

(Use any cheese such as parmesan or even processed cheddar, mozarella makes the muffin stringy, hence not recommended)

1 Egg (to make this eggless, use 1/4 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes and use when the recipe calls for egg)

1/2 cup Milk (I used full fat)

1/4 cup Pizza/ Pasta sauce (check for the recipe here or use store bought)

8-10 fresh basil leaves, shredded (substitute with any fresh herbs of choice – mint, coriander, garlic chives or even spring onions)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Salt to taste (add half of what you think you need because the sauce and cheese are salty)

Preheat the oven to 185 C and brush the bottom of a muffin pan with oil. For an even brown crumb, do not use muffin liners.

In a bowl, add the all purpose flour, wheat flour, grated cheese, salt, baking powder, baking soda, chopped onion and basil leaves and toss well.

In another bowl, add the egg and milk and whisk with a fork. Add the pizza sauce and mix it well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and with a light hand, mix till the batter is just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups equally, garnish with the reserved grated cheese. Bake for 16-17 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.

Cool in the pan for 3-4 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edges of the muffin pan and removing them to a cooling rack / serving plate.

These muffins are best eaten warm. Can be stored refrigerated for upto 4 days.

PS: To make this an eggless muffin; use 1/4 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes and use when the recipe calls for egg

 

 

Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich

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Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

This has to be the month of sandwiches for me. After detesting dry bread with cucumber and tomato slices, I have become a sandwich fiend with a vengeance. There is nothing better than a good sandwich made with fresh bread. Generally I do not like the bread to be slathered on with either butter or mayonnaise. Just a little to get things going and add flavour.  This sandwich filling has three of my current favourites ~ mushrooms, olive oil and a readymade chilli garlic paste which is handy to have in the fridge.

I add this paste to curries, dal, pasta sauce, vegetables and even spinach for a nice kick. It is not too spicy and yet lends a wonderful depth to the vegetables. Am sure this can be made at home, I just picked it up on a whim of my now aimless supermarket trips and am (for a change) making good use of it.

I used onions, sliced mushrooms and a little bit of bell peppers. Am sure zucchini, thin strips of carrot, and even slices of eggplant will taste terrific in this. The key is to add a lot of onions  and saute them on a medium flame till they are sweet from the caramelization, but not brown or crisp.

A box of these sauteed vegetables in the fridge will make it easy to rustle up pasta, a roti wrap or even as a vegetable side on a busy weeknight.

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich (Makes 2)

4 slices                       Bread of choice, lightly toasted

1 medium                   Onion, sliced (about 2/3 cup)

1 cup                          Vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach etc, sliced

1 tablespoon              Extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon                 Chilli garlic paste (or grind together one clove of garlic with 1 ripe red chilli)

a handful of fresh herbs such as coriander or basil

1 teaspoons               Salted butter

  • In a flat pan, heat the oil and add all the vegetables. Saute on medium heat till the vegetables have wilted and the onions are translucent(about 2 minutes).
  • Add the chilli garlic paste, salt to taste and the fresh herbs and mix well. ¬†Continue to saute till the liquid from the vegetables has almost dried off. At this point, the onions should be a deep brown and still soft. Turn off the heat and cool.
  • On a medium hot tava, toast the bread lightly and apply the butter.
  • Place the sauteed vegetables in a thin layer, top with the other slice of bread and press down lightly. Toast for 1 minute on each side, ensuring the filling does not come out.
  • Slice diagonally and serve warm.

Note: these vegetables can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for upto 5 days to make a quick meal tossed with cooked pasta or in a wrap.

 

Tandoori Aloo Grilled Sandwich Recipe

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Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

I was going through the motions of getting through a random day. It is getting hot in Hyderabad and my energy levels are surely going to hit severely low notes soon. I had a deadline to meet and that involved shopping for ingredients, making¬†3 recipes, taking pictures, writing out the recipes and sending them to my editor. It was 4:30 PM and I had to complete this task by 6PM. Yes, yes. ¬†This is exactly where you should do the ‘eye-roll’. I wanted to make one subway style sandwich which I have already featured here with home made bread rolls, one with sauteed vegetables in olive oil and Italian spices like they serve at coffee shops and one desi style grilled on a tava sandwich with a potato filling. K really loves potatoes stuffed into sandwiches, and I had boiled a few earlier in the day, that was the loose plan.

On my way to the nearby supermarket, my namesake called and we chatted. I told her my task at hand and asked for ideas. She told me she had made this sandwich with left over tandoori aloos, made for a BBQ and it was the best sandwich ever! That fixed the deal for me! I decided to make the potatoes with the spicy/ tangy tandoori masala. Arundhati cooked the potatoes with yogurt and tandoori masala as they were originally meant for the BBQ. I used the spice mix to pan saute the potatoes.

Even if I say so myself, this sandwich turned out so good, we had it two nights in a row as dinner. The mixtures keeps well and it will be convenient to have a small stash of spiced up potatoes in the fridge for ‘food emergencies’. I don’t have a sandwich maker and grilled this sandwich old school, on a hot griddle, pressing it down with a steel plate to get it to crisp up.

Tandoori Aloo Sandwich

Tandoori Potato Sandwich (Makes 2 Sandwiches)

4 slices                        Bread of choice

2 medium                   Potatoes, boiled, peeled and roughly crumbled

1 teaspoon                 Tandoori Masala

¬Ĺ teaspoon ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Vegetable oil

salt to taste

1 tablespoon            Fresh Coriander leaves

2 slices                     Cheese

1 tablespoon           Table butter

1 medium                Tomato, sliced

In a pan, heat the oil and add the crumbled potatoes. Add the tandoori masala and mix well. Saute till it is well coated. Add the salt to taste, coriander leaves and remove from the heat. Cool slightly.

Toast the bread on a tava, butter the slices and place a slice of cheese on top.

Arrange the sliced tomato over the cheese evenly and put half of the potato stuffing on top. Cover with another slice of toasted bread and press down.

Toast lightly on the tava till the cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} ~ Semia/ Vermicelli Pulav Recipe

Vermicelli Pulav

Vermicelli Pulav

I am attempting something very brave this month, cooking and posting Vegan recipes all this month for the Vegan Month of Food where bloggers around the world will post vegan recipes all this month. Wish me luck dear readers as I do not fare very well with rules and schedules. the only other time I attempted to do something like this was when I joined Nupur in the blogging marathon. I was very rewarded although it was exhausting to post daily.

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So to begin this marathon, I am posting a simple yet filling Indian breakfast / all day recipe of Semia Pulav. Semia is vermicelli which is extensively used in Indian cooking to make sweet and savoury preparations. On one occasion when Siri who is also doing this marathon visited me at home, I asked if she would have something to eat (it was past lunch time) and she said yes. I offered to make this Semia Pulav about 10 times. She must have thought that is the only dish I know how to make! She finally said “looks like you are determined to make me eat this, so yeah make it!”

Anyway, onto the recipe which is fairly simple. I like to add a dash of ready-made masala for a nice spice kick and lots of vegetables. A lot of people do not like to eat Vermicelli because it tends to have a sticky pasty consistency once cooked. This is due to the starch content in it. One way to combat this is to add a precise amount of water to cook it. Another way is to dry roast the vermicelli till golden to prevent it from turning mushy. I take the easy route out and buy pre roasted vermicelli. What? that’s 10 minutes off your active cooking time when you plan to make this!

Vermicelli Pulav Recipe

(time taken – 20 minutes, Serves – 2)

Vermicelli / Semia                   1 cup, pre roasted preferred, else dry roast in a medium hot pan, stirring gently till golden

Vegetables of Choice              1 cup (I used red capsicum, peas, carrot and carrot)

Onion                                        1 medium, sliced fine

Vegetable Oil                           1 tablespoon

Salt                                             to taste

Green Chilli                              1, slit

Fresh Ginger¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ inch piece, grated

Curry Leaves                           a few

Mustard Seeds                       1 teaspoon

Ready Masala Powder ¬† ¬†1 teaspoon (I used Everest Pav Bhaji Masala, can substitute with ¬Ĺ teaspoon garam masala + ¬Ĺ teaspoon coriander powder)

Hot Water                                11/2 cups

Method

In a medium pan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard. Add the curry leaves and green chilli along with the onions and fry till translucent, add the grated ginger, the chopped vegetables and half the salt.

Fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the pav bhaji masala (or garam masala) and fry for half a minute.

Now add the hot water and taste for salt, adjust with the remaining, when the water comes to a boil, slowly add the vermicelli and stir till the water is above the vermicelli. Cover with a loose lid and cook for 5-6 minutes or till the water has been absorbed, but it is still moist.

Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving with some raitha and pickle.

Celebrate the Monsoons ~ Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

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The arrival of the monsoons, my favourite time of the year, sees cart loads of fresh corn being sold all over the city where I live. The easiest and most tempting way to eat it is freshly roasted and slightly charred over hot coal, rubbed down with red chilli powder, salt and lemon. Most people would have at least once in their life, stopped their vehicle in pouring rain to get a freshly roasted bhutta to savour.

Fresh corn is extensively used in Indian cooking, from the bhutta malai curries of the north to Makai sabzi in Rajasthani cuisine, to crispy vadas of the south and of course there are cutlets, salads and pulavs. I have a list of recipes to try while fresh corn is still available. Use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob, or peeled sweet corn that is readily available if you would prefer.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh Corn and spices on a crisp papdi

I made an easy chaat using store bought papdi. You could substitute crispy savoury tart/ canapes shells, toasted baguette or even indian khakras or papad depending on which part of the world you live in, or what you have handy.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh corn, cucumber, tomato, onion and spices on a crisp papdi

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat (serves 2)

Fresh Corn Kernels               1 cup

Onion                                       1 small, finely chopped

Tomato                                    1 small, finely chopped, pulp removed

Fresh Coriander                     1 small bunch, finely chopped

Cucumber¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ small, peeled, deseeded and chopped

Papdis                                      1 small packet (any super market will have it in the snack section)

Fine Sev                                   1/2 cup

Salt and red chilli powder       to taste

Chaat masala                           1 teaspoon

Lemon juice ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ teaspoon

Steam the corn kernels for 3-4 minutes, rinse and drain. Set aside to cool.

Chop all the ingredients as mentioned and put them in a bowl.

Add the fresh coriander, lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt and chaat masala.

Place the papdis on a plate, spoon one spoon of the corn mixture onto each papdi, top with the fine sev, garnish with some more fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Am attempting to post soups and salads this whole month. In my mind, this qualifies as a very nice Indian Salad!

 

Some of the other corn recipes on this blog are:

Corn Bread

Corn Croquettes

Corn Pulav

Makai ki Sabzi

Dosa Spring Roll

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Dosa Spring Roll

Dosa Spring Roll

A few weeks ago, I was browsing for recipes that use Dosa batter and found Dosa Spring Rolls. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to giving food a Chinese makeover. For too many “items” including Chaat have gotten a Chinese makeover with disastrous results (according to me). I prefer mixing wheat or oat flour into leftover dosa batter and making dosas, or making appams with chopped vegetables and seasoning. The spring rolls looked easy enough to make and I am not one of those people who will talk without trying out something at least once. I had to try it. The fact that it made it to the blog means it got a thumbs up, for variety and ease of preparation.

I saw this on Nag’s blog and from what I see a lot of people have made and liked it. So if you are looking for a way to glam up your dosa, add vegetables and sneak them into the diets of unsuspecting or fussy eaters in your family, or just a nice light dinner option, make this.

Dosa Spring Roll

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Dosa Batter                             2 cups

Oil                                            2 teaspoons

Cabbage¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ Cup, shredded fine

Green Capsicum ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ cup, cut into juliennes

Carrot                                      1, chopped fine

Onion                                       1 medium, sliced finely

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ginger Garlic paste ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬Ĺ teaspoon (optional)

On a hot pan, add ¬Ĺ teaspoon of oil and add the ginger garlic paste (if using) and saut√© for a minute.

Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté on medium heat till the cabbage is just wilting. The vegetables should be crisp and retain their colour. Remove from the heat.

On a dosa pan, add one ladle of batter and spread as thin as possible to make a 6 inch dosa. Drizzle oil and fry till golden brown.

In the centre add 2 tablespoons of sautéed vegetables and roll like a spring roll. Remove onto a plate, cut using a sharp knife into 2-3 pieces.

Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Serve hot with sauce or chutney

Festive Fare ~ Diwali Recipes ~ Namak Paare

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Namak Pare

Namak Pare

Diwali is around the corner and I always watch many beautiful recipes being posted all across blogs for festive cooking. Alas I always stand by and just watch. Going by my last track record, I mostly post after the festivals are over! To remedy that, who would have thought that this daily blogging for NaBloPoMo would help? For the next few days I will be posting easy to do festive fare. All those of you who are scared of traditional cooking, take heed in the fact that I am a novice too! The only thing I have to overcome is my aversion to deep frying!

Namak Paare are fried savoury pastry kind of snacks that can be made ahead and stored in an airtight box for a week or more. The thing with these snacks is that it is pretty straightforward and is made with ingredients that are in our everyday cooking ingredient list. no fancy running to the grocery store for me!

Namak Pare

Namak Pare

Namak Pare (Savoury Crackers)

This recipe makes about 8 cups full of fried namak paare

Maida                               2 cups

Whole Wheat Flour    1 cup

Oil                                      6 Tablespoons

Sooji                                  2 Tablespoons

Salt                                     to taste

Ajwain                              1 teaspoon

Water                                to knead a stiff dough

Oil for frying

Using just enough water mix all ingredients into a medium stiff dough that is pliable. Let the dough rest for an hour

Heat oil in a kadhai, divide the dough into 6 portions and roll out each one like a chapatti about 1/8th inch thick. Using a sharp knife cut through into diamond shapes or strips or squares.

Drop the strips into the hot oil and fry over a medium heat, stirring every now and then.

Remove the fried strips with a slotted spoon when golden ‚Äď they will darken a shade as they sit continuing to cook as they cool. Store in an airtight tin after they have cooled completely.

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