This actually doesn’t take much time at all. Simply pile on sliced peppers, tomato, olives, waffles or any left over nuggets or tikkis on a bed of fresh iceberg lettuce leaves (on a tortilla wrap) and add a dash of mayo and ketchup 😉 Voila! ! A yummy, filling and healthy wrap is on your table! !!
Boil and mash potatoes and carrots, add chopped coriander, salt, a pinch of turmeric powder, amchur powder, fresh ginger or ginger powder and make into balls. Put each ball in the centre of a little rolled-out dough, fold in, and roll it out into a paratha. Cook on both sides.
A huge welcome to you! !! I’ve been very irregular here but for once I do have valid reasons for this hiatus!!!
You know I’ve been bombarding you with some really interesting info on the Community Radio project that I’ve been supporting. I hope you took a couple of minutes to read about how radio can be a wonderful instrument of change. I will not deviate from today’s post which is a lovely recipe from the very talented Shubha Shashikanth. My little prince had been asking for spaghetti with veggie balls for some time. It looked complicated so I avoided it until Shubha posted her recipe on facebook. Made it this afternoon and it was absolutely brilliant. Do try it.
Ok, my version of Shubha’s recipe:
1) Spaghetti: As always, Boil lots of water, add a pinch of salt, throw in the spaghetti and cook until semi-soft. Don’t let it get squishy please! Drain the water and keep this aside.
2) The yummiest veggie balls EVER: I grated 1/2 carrot, 1 potato, 1/5 cabbage, about 100 gms paneer and added salt and white pepper. Add breadcrumbs. I didn’t have any, so I added a spoon of ‘sage and onion stuffing’. Added about a tablespoon each of rice flour and whole wheat flour. Make lemon sized balls from these and deep-fry in hot oil.
3) Sauce: Ideally, I would have fried onion, ginger, garlic, tomato and spices to make the sauce. But it was a busy day, so I used ready-made Bolognese sauce. And it was yum!!!
Tada!! This dish doesn’t take more than 20 minutes if your sauce is ready. Do try, do try. It was a huuuuuge hit at my place, especially because we are vegetarians. We loooooved it.
I wake up each day, wondering what to pack in my child’s lunch-box! I prefer non-messy finger-foods, but they aren’t always filling. My Little Prince hates sandwiches, and you already know about my exceptional roti-making-skills! Therefore I often resort to jam-triangles (er, a fancy name for two slices of bread with jam spread inbetween them and cut diagonally into two halves), or rolls (again, paratha rolled like a cigar (oops) along with fresh fruits/vegetables/salad and a tiny pot of Yogurt.
So when I saw some cute little tomato buns on display at the Bakery section of a superstore, my heart skipped a beat! They looked (and tasted delicious!) and were rather filling too. Inspired by the lovely chefs I know I decided to come up with a recipe to make these on my own.
Those of you who know me, also know what a ‘fantastic’ cook I am (Hick! Please take that with a bucket of salt!). And this recipe (Ahem… my own, by the way :-)..pulls collars up!) is so utterly easy, that even a Baking-Duffer like me cannot go wrong. Seriously!
When my little prince tasted the Swirly Buns, he said ‘Mummy, these don’t look like the store ones, but they taste quite similar’ J Good enough for a first attempt, huh?
I hope you do try it!!
What I think you need to have:
1) For the bread/roll:
2.5 cups of flour, 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 spoon sugar, 1 spoon salt (I prefer my food a little less salty, but feel free to add more if you wish!), 1 tablespoon Del Monte EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). 1 tablespoon of butter (I can’t measure out xy.z gms for nuts 😉 but again, feel free to add more if you like), 3/4 spoon dry-active-yeast (I bought the yeast that you add directly to the flour, and not the one that needs preparation. So if you are using yeast that needs to be proofed, then do follow the instructions on the pack 😉
2) For the cheese n’ tomato spread/filling:
Ibelieve life is too short to waste time making tomato sauce from scratch!!! Blanching tomatoes, peeling and grinding them.. argh..takes the pleasure out of cooking doesn’t it?! So do take the smarter way out and use good quality ready-made store-bought pasta sauce. Like Del Monte pasta sauce (You can use any of the Del Monte range, but I prefer tomato-garlic – which translates to ‘Siliciana‘), Grated cheese, a handful of Dried herbs, and if you want, a few drops of milk for basting (you could use egg, but I chose to go completely veggie on this one). I actually found the Swirly Buns go a little soggy if you baste them. They turn out light and fluffy if you don’t baste them. Up to you of course!
What I think you should do:
As always, mix all the ‘bread’ ingredients in a bowl, knead into a soft dough and leave it covered with clingfilm for about 20 mins until it has doubled in size. Then knock down the ball of dough, and roll it out into any shape. Rectangles would be nice though. (I got 2 big size rectangles for this quantity of flour.) Now slice these into thin LONG strips. Or make one medium length strip, and slit it into two halves (length-wise) to make it one looooong roll.
Onto each strip, spread some Del Monte pasta sauce, throw in some grated cheese and dried herbs. Now roll it inwards like a circle. Once you get a cute little Swirly Bun, top it with a generous spread of pasta sauce, more grated cheese and a pinch of dried herbs again.
OPTIONAL: Brush with a drop of milk or egg-wash if you like, but certainly don’t let them get soggy! I didn’t brush/baste it, and it turned out great anyway!
Now the dear husband decided to try his hand at the Swirly Buns and made an interesting variation, of Italian Pasta + Swirly buns 🙂 He included a few bites of lovely little Tomato+Basil Tortellini and a dash of Pesto and made this huge dinner-roll 🙂 that tasted awesome.
Pop these pretty little Swirly Buns into the oven (180 degrees, 20-25 mins). And voila! You have an amazing-looking-and-tasting batch of Swirly Buns!!!
Take a look at these babies!!!
And on the inside…
The Swirly Buns are good to eat hot or cold! Pack these rolls into your kid’s lunch box for a lip-smacking snack 🙂
They make a nice accompaniment to soups as well. Or WTH, just munch on them while wasting time on Facebook 😉 😉
I think the shelf-life should be quite good. Unfortunately, I never get to find out, as they get polished off the day I make them!!
There are lots of things different here in the UK as compared to India.
Like for example, many of us (Indian parents/grandparents) pride ourselves in saying our children are ‘Oh soooo naughtyyyy….’ whereas here ‘naughty’ indicates the kid is ‘bad’!
And when I say ‘tea’ I really mean the sweet, hot liquid with milk.. tea! Not the ‘London’ version of tea that means a nice evening snack (that tea is a part of!)
Or for example, ‘curry’, which to me, means vegetables, diced/chopped/etc, tempered with mustard seeds and seasoned with regular, mundane spices and not a thick gravy flavoured with cream or coconut milk! Which by the way, reminds me of what a local tour operator once said… ‘Britain’s favourite food isn’t Fish n Chips, but ‘Chicken Curry’!
So here is a dish, that we absolutely LOVE! With a Japanese/Chinese flavour, this is a one-course dish, scrumptious, filling, healthy (well, in part!) and absolutely droolicious.
Its actually a signature dish of Wagamama, called ‘Yasai Katsu Curry’ (Fried vegetables curry with rice). Obviously this is the ‘vegetarian’ version (actually, ‘eggetarian’ as you do need a little bit of egg to coat the veggies in). However, you could easily replace the veggies with slices of chicken and it would taste just as good (my non-vegetarian friends would claim it tastes even better!) The curry here refers to a Japanese style of curry. Wiki says it all!
First, let me post a picture.. to see if it tempts you!!
Ok, so I hope I have your very kind (stomach-growling) attention now!
Before I very generously share this magic recipe with you, let me give you an estimate of how much time this dish takes, to make. Er.. around an hour (more, if you make all the ingredients from scratch, and less, if you decide to play smart like I did, and buy some of it from the store).
The trick, really, is to get all the ingredients ready before-hand, and then the actually cooking/serving is actually quite quick.
I can guarantee you, the effort is really worth it, considering this is a one-pot meal, that your folks are going to LOVE!
So, for the ingredients.
We actually have FOUR sets of components here.
1) For the main Yasai Katsu:
(a) Vegetables like Brinjal (aubergine), Butternut squash and Sweet potato work best. Just slice them. This really depends on how you want your veggies. Wagamama serves thick slices, whereas I like em thin 😉 so I sliced a brinjal into 0.5 thickness.
(b) Half a cup of ordinary white flour with a pinch of salt
(c) Two full cups of a mixture of crumbs (Bread crumbs and plain salt crackers (I used Melba Toasts) ground into fine crumbs, to add a crisp texture to the veggies)
(d) One egg, beaten lightly.
You could add your choice of spices to any of these, really. I just added some salt to the flour, and some more salt, coriander powder and tumeric powder (Tee hee… an Indian cook after all!) to the bread crumbs mixture. But make it the way you like it. If you like your food spicy, then go for it!
2) The side: Now you could serve either crunchy vegetables or a side salad. I chose the veggies, simple because I had no salad at home 😉 Take your pick of colourful capsicum(peppers), baby-corn, mange-tout… vegetables that will suit a quick stir-fry.
3) White rice. You could either use plain ponni rice/sona masoori rice or basmati rice. It tastes good either way. Wagamama serves this dish with some yummy sticky white rice, that I have NO clue how to make. So I faithfully stuck to our aromatic basmati 🙂
4) And lastly, the curry sauce. Now, Google says it is to be prepared this way.
Onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder – Fry it all, simmer with a little water for about 15 mins, cool it, and grind it with a little more water. Simmer again for about 15 mins.
Now, how do you cook this delicious meal? Really , truly simple!
Step 1: Cook your rice. I washed 1 cup of basmati rice, added 2 cups of water to it, and chucked the bowl into the microwave, first for 10 mins, then a quick stir, and another 7 minutes.
Step 2: Now, while your rice is getting cooked, take a couple of minutes to grind the bread and the crackers together to get a fine bread-crumbs mixture. Beat an egg, and keep it aside. Keep the flour ready. Start heating up the oil. Don’t slice your brinjal until it is time to fry them.
Step 3: Get your curry sauce organized. I’ll be honest. I didn’t make the curry sauce myself. Just bought a pack of ‘curry sauce powder’ from the supermarket and added it to boiling water. Voila!! A nice, thick, sticky curry sauce.
Step 4: Roughly chop your side vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Heat one teaspoon of mild/medium olive oil (for health reasons… well, don’t ask me why I insist on olive oil, when the bleddy veggies are going to be deep-fried!!), and throw the veggies in. Stir-fry on high heat for about 3 mins and take them off the pan. Puhlees, for heaven’s sake, don’t cook them soggy!
Also, if you have a couple of minutes to spare, do peel a carrot, and slice slivers of it, for garnishing. It adds that ‘special’ touch, you see 😉
Step 5: OK, now for the frying bit. By this time, you should have your rice, your curry and your side salad/veggies READY. So take those slices of brinjal (if you are using sweet potato/squash, please cook them in boiling water before frying them), coat them lightly in flour, dip them in the egg, and load them with the crumbs. Once you have about 3-4 ready, slide them gently into the hot oil. You know how to fry, don’t you? Just ensure it does not get burnt! And, drain excess oil onto tissue paper.
Step 6: Pile your plate and serve Hot Hot Hot!!!! Invert a cup of rice, arrange the fried veggies, add some side veggies, ladle the curry sauce, and garnish with carrot!! And.. Bon Apetit!!!
If you are wondering about how silly the title is, wait until you see the pictures. They are self-explanatory 🙂
I received an email from dear Swaram, about recipe exchange. The crux was that it should be a simple and easy-to-make recipe. And this is what I ingeniously came up with:
1- Take any left-over steamed or cooked veggies from the previous day, or the day-before 😉 as long as there is no mould/fungus on it, that should be fine 😈 To this, add, a pinch of Salt, Turmeric, Jeera Powder, Aamchur, Pepper powder (I use this instead of Chilli powder, so that even Kids can eat it. Psst: By kids I mean moi 😉 I hate spice ;-)), Ginger-garlic paste.
2- Now mash it up really well, or even better, just quick grind it in the mixie without any water. You should end up with an AWFUL looking gooey paste.
Btw, I used a little bowl of freshly steamed Beans, Carrot and Peas and another little cup of left-over aloo-gobi sabzi. No, I didn’t mix the two, now even I cannot stand such a disgusting concoction 😉 I made two different types of parathas 🙂
3- Take a small lemon-sized ball of dough, and divide it into two. Roll it out into little circles. Drop a lump of the awful mixture into one circle, place the other circle on top, and press the edges together to seal them. Now roll them out into a big paratha, but don’t let the goo get out through the edges.
4- Cook this on a hot Tava, and remember, wherever the goo has indeed squeezed itself out, just add a few drops of ghee and let it roast.
Trust me on this folks, the left-over-mixed-veggies-parathas taste AWESOME. Needless to say, they are extremely nutritious too.
Try it out for yourself…
(P.S: Warned you in the beginning : These look awful, but taste awesome. Do try!!)
I was wondering if my Friday Feast posts were turning boring, when Deeps said she was actually looking forward to it!!! So I plunged into writing this post, on a Tuesday, and scheduling it to be published on Friday (Whoa @ my commitment to blogging, no?).
This Friday, I have not one, but Two Feasts for you!
1- ONE-POT STIR-FRY MEAL
As always, a quick n easy one-pot meal idea : Stir-fry noodles/rice
Utterly simple – Roughly chop up loads of veggies – Spring onions, onions, baby corn, carrot, capsicum (all colours), cabbage, mange tout, beans – toss them into a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Stir-fry them on high heat, for about 2-3 minutes, until they get slightly brown, but not fully cooked. Do remember to keep the veggies crunchy.
Now add in some salt to taste. I don’t usually add Ajinomoto as I cannot serve that to my little brat. If you like, you could add in a tablespoon of soy sauce and vinegar. Or a ready-made packet of Knorr hakka noodles masala (which tastes quite good!).
Finally, throw in the cooked rice or noodles (as you like), toss briskly, without mashing either the rice or the veggies. Basically, you are doing a stir-fry and not cooking food.
For the more enthusiastic folks around, a side-dish (cauliflower manchurian or paneer manchurian and the likes!) could be made as well. I usually just stock up on the Knorr Manchurian or Knorr Schezwan packets, and use them sparingly on my feeling-lazy-days!
They are extremely simply and taste divine. Just follow the instructions on the pack and its really easy to make the side-dish. Otherwise, ofcourse, you can do it from scratch, and there are loads of recipies on the internet, that I don’t want to bore you with now!!
Personally, I am very happy with this one-pot meal. Its simple, easy to make, tasty and well, let’s face it -what could be healthier than vegetables?
2- THOMAS DOSAI!!!!
The second Feast for today, is specially meant for your Kiddies and Kiddos: A yummy dosai in the shape of a Thomas train (with wheels!), decorated with cooked potato and spinach 🙂
My mum used to make dosais in the shape of Ducks and Houses when we were young!
The important thing to remember while making dosai in different shapes, is the temperature of your tava. Heat your dosai tava slightly, not too hot (otherwise the batter will become clumpy), and not too cool either (as then, the batter will not cook!!).
When the tava is warm, ladle the batter onto it. First draw a circle, and then a little rectangle adjoining it. Lastly, spoon a tiny bit on the top to make a funnel! Don’t forget the wheels!!! Cook little circles of batter, and just arrange them under the train before you serve.
You can top this with any veggies to make a face. The possibilities are quite endless, really! I am quite sure your child will wolf this down in no time 🙂
This one is for mommies and daddies of children who happen to be fussy eaters 🙂 A lunch-box idea that is really and truly easy peasy for the parent, and even easier for your child!
(Apologies for the poor picture quality).
1- Roughly chop veggies like baby corn, carrot, beans, capsicum (green, red, orange and yellow – really just any colour available), cabbage and a little onion if you please. Stir-fry these for about 5 mins in a teaspoon of oil, add a pinch of salt. Add some cooked white rice (basmati makes a great combination).
2- Complement the rice with a few cherry tomatoes and fruits like apple, grapes or peeled orange.
Voila! Your child has a lovely balanced meal!! And the chances are pretty good, that he/she will gobble this up without making a fuss. Mine did 🙂
Happy weekend, girls and boys 🙂 and uncles and aunties 🙂
(a) Chapati dough (b) Beat together: 1 egg, a pinch of salt (add pepper, if you like), some chopped coriander
Step 1– Roll dough into circle, spread few drops of oil, fold into half, spread another drop of oil, fold again to make it a triangle. Roll out into a bigger triangle, taking care to not smash the layers into each other 😉
Step 2– Pop this onto the Tava (griddle/pan), cook for a few seconds on one side, turn over the chapati and cook for a few more seconds on the other side. Don’t let it turn brown, just cook it very very little, so that the layers are ready to peel away from each other.
Step 3– Take the semi-cooked chapati off the Tava, and gently peel the layers, without tearing them apart! Use a spoon (not a knife, please)
Step 4– Now place the chapati back onto the tava, and spoon half the egg mixture into the triangle. The cheeky mixture will try to leak (outside the chapati), but ‘you’ can be smarter and do a little acrobatics with the Tava. Tilt it a little, to help the mixture run back inside the chapati. Yeah yeah, you can also cheat a little, and scrape any mixture off the tava and spoon it right back into the chapati!
Step 5– Give this a couple of minutes to cook well on both sides, and ensure the egg is also fully cooked inside! The chapati turns into a yummy filling paratha.
Step 6- Actually, there’s no step 6. All you have to do, is E.A.T 🙂 You could dip this in ketchup or a salsa dip to make it tastier. The only real drawback is, you have got to eat this hot, not cold.
EDITED TO ADD:-
I guess the shape and technique seem a little daunting. It really is quite easy, once you practise making the parathas a couple of times. For those who don’t wish to try, there is a really easy way.
Roll the dough into a regular chapati, make it really thin though.
Cook the chapati slightly on one side, then turn to the other. Turn back the slightly cooked side now, and spoon in the egg mixture. Now fold the chapati from both sides, and also slightly seal the top and bottom so that the egg remains inside.
Leave this to cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes until the egg is fully cooked. You could turn this over and let it cook for a minute longer.