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Monday, March 29, 2010

Paneer Tikka Wrap and Roll

This is a delicious and easy to make one dish meal. It can serve as a snack or can also be served as a main meal. I had a wonderful chicken wrap in LA a few years ago and I really wanted to make something similar. Well I had some paneer in the fridge and some lavash and this dish was created. It is a cross between paneer tikka and a sandwhich. Quick to make and absolutely flavorful and delectable.


Ingredients
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 cup paneer - diced into bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper/capsicum - diced
1 large or 2 medium sized tomatoes - diced
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
1 tbsp chickpea flour/ besan (optional) or cornflour
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kasuri methi
1/4 tsp turmeric
lavash bread (2-4)
salt to taste


Method
Mix together yogurt, flour, masalas, kasuri methi, salt, turmeric, ginger garlic paste and red chilli powder. To this add paneer and tomatoes. Keep this mixture aside for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and add the bell pepper to it. Fry it for 2-5 mins and add the paneer mixture. Cook this till the mixture is almost dry and hte paneer is browned. This will create the paneer tikkas.

Heat the lavash bread, add the cooked paneer mixture and roll it up into a wrap. This can be enjoyed hot or cold. A cool dip is a great complement with this dish as well as some hot sauce.


Tips
Dice all the pieces to similar sizes so it cook uniformly and is easy to eat. If you cannot find lavash bread, this can be replaced by whole wheat tortilla or whole wheat paratha or chapati/roti. You can spread some butter on the lavash bread before adding the paneer and rolling it to enhance the taste. The chaat masala also has salt, so be careful when you add salt. The flour is added to provide thickness to the paneer tikka mixture, creating a sauce.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kutchi Dabeli or Double Roti

One of the first street foods I tasted was Kutchi Dabeli. A street vendor near my college bus stop used to make this mouth watering snack. The smell wafting from the stall was so irrestible that I just had to stop and taste it. And I was hooked. Well, its been several years since I have eaten this and I had been craving it for a while. The limiting factor was that I didn't have access to the spice mix to make it. The uncertainity of ever obtaining the spice mix finally propelled me into doing some research and after scouring the internet, asking mom and jogging my memory I finally was able to recreate this dish. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


Ingredients
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of asafoetida or hing
2 tsps garam masala
2 tsps jeera- corriander powder mix/dhania jeera powder
2 tsps red chilli powder (decrease or increase the quantity per taste)
1.5 medium onion finely diced (keep some aside to use while assembling the dabeli)
4-5 medium sized potatoes - boil and mash these finely
some cilantro/corriander - finely chopped for garnish
1/4 to 1/2 cup pomeogranate seeds (In case you cannot find pomeogranate seeds, substitute with green grapes diced)
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup hot spicy peanuts (substitute with regular peanuts if you can't find the spicy ones)
1-2 tsp butter
8 dinner rolls or pav
2 tsp sweet tamarind chutney

Chutneys needed to assemble
1 tsp Hot green chutney per dinner roll
1/4 tsp Sweet tamarind chutney per dinner roll
1/2 tsp Garlic chutney per dinner roll


Method
To make the dabeli stuffing
Heat oil. Add the asafoetida and diced onions. Cook the onions till transluscent and add the mashed potatoes. To this add the garam masala, dhania jeera powder, red chilli powder. Mix thoroughly and let it all cook for a few mins. Add salt, sugar, 1/4 cup peanuts and cook for another minute. Take it off the heat and add 2 tsp sweet tamarind chutney.

To assemble the dabeli
Slice the the dinner roll horizontally. On the bottom half apply the various chutneys (vary the propotions to taste). Add the potato mixture next, top it with the onions, pomeogranate seeds, peanuts and cilantro. Add the top slice of the dinner roll. In a pan heat the butter and cook both sides of the sandwhich till lightly browned. Serve hot.


Tips
Dabeli is generally spicy, so you may need to reduce the amount of chilli powder, based on how hot your green and garlic chutneys are. Pomeogranates are not always in season, and if you do not find grapes either, substitute with golden raisins.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Carrot Walnut Cake

This is a terrific recipe. The result is a delicious moist and healthy cake. The best of all, this is the recipe I put together based on my earlier cake baking experiences. The way it started off was that I needed to find a way to use all these carrots I had bought. I remembered reading a carrot recipe a while ago and voila after a few tries, this recipe was born. For those who have always been scared of baking, this experience has led me to believe that all the fuss about the perfect balance of ingredients has been created to intimidate the non-bakers. So this is a perfect first recipe for those who want to venture into the world of cakes.

The healthy aspect of this recipe, is the use of carrots, walnuts, whole wheat flour, yogurt and some oil. This a great recipe for breakfast muffins.

It was such a great looking cake and the aroma was so delicious that we just couldn't resist tasting it before taking a picture!


Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
2.5 tsp  baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt, low fat or fat free is okay
2 eggs
1.5 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (I used a handful)
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar (It turned out perfect with 1 cup, however you can reduce it by 1/4 cup and still achieve great results)




Method
Sieve together all the dry ingredients - flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Add in the walnuts to this mix. In another bowl whisk together the oil and sugar, to this add the eggs and whisk them together. Add in the carrots and the yogurt. Add the flour in parts to the wet ingredients mixture and fold it in. This mix may need to be thinned out to a consistency where it can be easily poured into the baking pan with a couple of tablespoons of milk.

Line a greased baking pan (8x8 is a good size) with parchment paper and pour the mix in. Bake this for about 30-40 minutes at 350 F.

Enjoy it for breakfast or as a snack. A glass of warm milk or even hot tea goes great with it.


Tips
Use milk to thin out the cake mixture. The parchment paper keepts the carrots from sticking to the baking pan. To test if the cake is done, pierce the center with a clean knife or toothpick, if it comes out clean, your cake is done.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Samosa

Samosa is one of the most popular Indian appetizer or snack I can think of. The traditional Indian samosa has a wheat flour shell and a potato stuffing. As I think of this recipe, my mind wanders back to those wonderful childhood evenings when we were allowed to feast on samosa instead of eating dinner. This is a recipe which can be enjoyed fried or baked and I must say that the baked version does not induce the guilt that the fried version does.


Ingredients

For the cover
2 cups nbleached wheat flour/maida
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 cup water- enough to form the dough

For the stuffing
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic - grated/chopped fine
2-3 potatoes - boiled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup peas (fresh/frozen and thawed)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (this can be reduced if you dont want it too spicy)
green chillies to taste - chopped fine
1 tsp mango powder/amchur
salt to taste



Method

For the pastry shell

Mix all the ingredients except for the water. Add a little water at a time and knead the dough. The dough should not be too soft/loose. Use a little oil to smooth out the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough into circles about 6-8 inches in diameter and about 2-3 mm in thickness. One circle will be used to create two samosas. Cut along the diameter to create two half circles from each one. Each half circle needs to be turned into a cone shape while assembling the samosa. Use a paste of rice flour and water to glue the sides/seams of the cone leaving the bottom open. Cover you dough with a damp cloth at all times so that it doesn't try out.

For the stuffing

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the onion, garlic and green chillies. Fry the onion till its transluscent and add the corriander powder, garam masala. Fry this for a minute and add the potaotes and the peas. Add the salt and mango powder. Mix this and let it cook for about 5 minutes. The stuffing is ready

Assembling the samosa
Create the cones using the half circle pastry shells as described above. Put enough stuffing in the samosa, so that you can seal the open end without the samosa bursting at the seams. Assemble all your samosas before starting the frying/baking process.

Cooking the samosa
Heat the oil, test it with a small piece of the dough. If it comes up almost immediately after you put it in the oil, the oil is hot enough to fry your samosas. Fry a few samosas at a time. If you want to go with the lower calorie option, assemble all your samosas on a cookie sheet/ baking sheet and you can brush them/spray them with some oil. Even if oil is not used, the samosas turn out very crispy.

Enjoy them hot with some mint and tamarind chutney.



Tips

If using fresh peas, boil them in water (with a little salt) for 5 minutes or till the peas soften up a bit. Immediately drain the water and add the peas to a cold water and shock them to prevent further cooking. Use a damp cloth to cover your dough as well as the assembled cones and samosas so that the pastry shell doesn't dry out before you start the baking/frying process. The firmer the kneaded dough, the less oily your fried samosas will be.

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