Samosa



With both my boys kicking up a storm of fun in my life I have been conveniently procrastinating on updating the blog off late. Although I am cooking up new and fun dishes everyday, there just aren't enough hours in day or energy in the hands to click/write/upload and share. Hopefully will gain more control of my time soon...sigh!

On a much happier note.....am looking forward to my trip back home after over 3 years and cannot wait to indulge in all the attention, delicacies and fun. Lots of new and wonderful things to await....the birth of a niece/nephew, a giant family reunion, all-nighters of games and gossip with cousins and some unadulterated TLC from both my moms.....
Just hope I reach there all safe and sound with the tornado that my younger one is. The Pilot is going to need a vacation after that flight.

More details on the chronicles of Gutloo and Gosi coming soon.....For now, enjoy the recipe:-)

Ingredients 
MainSpicesGeneric
2 Large Potatoes1 tsp JeeraOil
1/2 cup Peas1 pinch HingSalt
1 cup Wheat Flour4-6 curry leaves
1 cup Maida1 tsp Dhania seeds
4-5 Green Chillies
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Dhania Jeera Powder
1 pinch Turmeric




Method
Knead a stiff dough out of the wheat flour and maida using warm water and set aside.
Pressure cook the potatoes without skin for about 3 whistles.
Roughly chop the green chillies.
In a small skillet, heat 2 tsp oil and splutter the jeera.
Reduce the heat to low.
Add the Dhania seeds and roast for a few seconds.
Immediately add the green chillies, hing, curry leaves, turmeric, red chilli powder, dhania jeera powder and saute for a couple of minutes and turn the heat off.
Mash the potatoes and add this masala, salt and peas and mix until well blended.
Roll out the dough into discs about 2 mm thick and a diameter of about 6 inches.
Cut it in half to get two semicircles.
Take one semicircle and roll it into a cone and fill about 3-4 tbsp of the potato mix.
Press all the edges with a dab of water to seal it into a samosa.
Make all the samosa and set aside.
Heat a deep pan with oil and deep fry the samosas one by one until crisp and golden brown.
Remove, drain and serve with chutney/chole/pav.

Gnocchi With Roasted Vegetables

What can I say...I am on a roll!
Dinner tonight was golden roasted Gnocchi served on a bed of colorful vegetables. We were in the mood for something light and easy and this dish totally fit the bill. Considering the alternate plan of "Maggi", this was an upgrade and a delicious one at that. So here goes...



Ingredients:
8-10 colorful Jalapenos
1 Bell Pepper
1 small Onion
8-10 Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp crushed Garlic
7-8 Sage Leaves
Dried Oregano
Gnocchi
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Butter
Parmesan Cheese



Method:
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add some salt.
Cook the gnocchi for 4-6 minutes until they float on top.
Drain the gnocchi.
In a pan, add a tbsp of butter and toss in the gnocchi.
Roast on a medium low flame until golden.

Roughly chop up the vegetables.
Heat a skillet with a couple tbsps of Olive Oil.
Add the Onions and saute on medium for a few minutes.
Add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
Add in the chopped vegetables and roast until cooked but still retaining their crunch.
Add in the roasted Gnocchi and toss for a minute.
Garnish with Parmesan and serve warm with a side of some warm bread.

Back from the Break with...Veg Kofta

After absconding from the blogosphere for almost 2 years, I am back with one of my all time favorite dishes...Kofta!
First a quick update on the last couple years...
Soon after my last post on Ciabatta, we found out that we have another precious munchkin on his way into our family. Siddhant came into our lives on the morning of Ganesh Chaturthi...Sept 1st 2011.In fact all my nausea and morning(and noon and night and midnight) sickness was the reason I didn't cook much and therefore blog much. Once he was born, I had my hands so full with the 4 yr old and the newborn that blogging pretty much was off my to-do list. Also, since both Shekhar's mom and my mom were here last year, I was barely cooking. I was just basking myself in their immense affection and pampering...
After that we had a 3 month period of nomadic lifestyle while we remodeled our house. We had some water damage in the kitchen that lead to a complete remodel of the entire first floor of our home. As painful as the 3 months were, I now have a brand new kitchen....built custom to my needs and taste and most of all EXTREMELY FUNCTIONAL. I will do a separate post soon showing off my dream kitchen...
Now life is back to normal and the routine with the kids is a like a well oiled machine. Its a priceless delight watching Anirudh and Siddhant grow up and I don't intend to miss a minute of it....

Coming to the recipe of the day....




Ingredients

MainSpicesGeneric
1 large Onion2 tsp TurmericOil
2 large Tomatoes3 tsp Red Chilli PowderGhee
1/4 cup Grated Paneer3 pcs Green ChilliesSalt
1 large Potato1 tsp Garam MasalaSugar
1/4 cup Peas1 tsp Kitchen King
1/4 cup Carrots2 pc Bay Leaf
1/4 cup Cauliflower2 pc Moti Elaichi
1/4 cup Beans1 tbsp Fresh Cream

1 pinch Kasoori Methi

3-4 tbsp Maida

Fresh Dhania


Method
For the Kofta:
Pressure cook or steam and mash all the vegetables and mix in the grated paneer.
Add salt, a pinch of turmeric, 1 finely chopped green chilli, 1 tsp red chilli powder and some finely chopped dhania leaves.
Mix all the ingredients into a thick dough and make small balls with the palm of your hand.
Dissolve the maida in about 1/2 cup of water and remove any lumps. Add a pinch of salt.
Heat a cup of oil in a small kadhai for frying the koftas.
Dip each kofta inside the maida mixture and coat all sides. Let it sit in the maida for about 30 seconds.
Slowly drop them one by one into the hot oil. Make sure there is sufficient room in the oil.
Frying too many koftas at once could make them break in the oil.
Once they are fried to a golden brown color, remove and set in a paper towel.



For the gravy:
Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies.
In a skillet, heat about 2 tsp of ghee or white butter and let the jeera splutter in it.
Add the onions, green chillies and a tsp of sugar and saute until it caramelizes.
Add the kasoori methi, Garam Masala Turmeric, Kitchen King, Bay Leaf, Elaichi and 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder and saute until the raw smell disappears.
Add the tomatoes and cook until they are pulpy. Add salt.
Simmer for about 5-8 minutes.
Take about 3 Tbsp of this gravy and grind into a fine paste in the processor and add it back to the skillet.
Drop in the crisp Koftas in to the gravy, season with fresh Dhania and a dash of cream, and serve.


Ciabatta!!!!!



I finally nailed it!!!! After about 4 years and 2 dozen failed attempts at making restaurant style succulent Italian bread, I had completely given up on bread making. We had resigned to a mindset that you needed Italian blood flowing through your veins to get it just right. and we couldn't find an iota of Italian DNA in either the Thirunelveli or the Thanjavur roots we had at home. But 3 weekends ago, we were watching our favorite food channel and America's Test Kitchen had a bread special episode going on. For the first time I came across a recipe demonstration to that detail with real temperature settings and exact timings and of course a visual of the dough at all stages. And then it dawned upon us...there is no shortcut to good bread. The recipe itself called for about 8+4 hours of just waiting at different stages for fermentation. And then the baking time of course. So we decided to try it one more time with a very low expectation level since I have fallen on my face multiple times before. We were so desperate to find the key that we went and bought the exact same mixing equipment they had on the show. So I followed the recipe to the tiniest detail and voila we actually landed a really good loaf indeed....but it was still missing the ZING. It was by far the best bread I had made but still not restaurant style. So I tried again a week later. This time the bread was so stiff and dense, and I thought I lost it again! And then I pondered another week over what I was doing differently and it dawned upon me. I was so fixated on the recipe that I had lost sight of the most important advantage of a visual demonstration. The look of the dough at every stage! I compared and saw that my dough was a lot less wet and had too few bubbles compared to that the video. Now I knew I had to tweak something and the most key step occured to me. The fermenting does not happen on a cold counter top. I had to set the dough in a temperature controlled area for the fermenting to happen just right. So at every stage of fermenting, I made sure I set the oven to a 100 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cool to a warm temperature like 80 degrees. I also tweaked the amount of water and kneading time resemble the dough in the video. Finally, I landed the PERFECT restaurant style Ciabatta I had been itching to make for years!!!!!!!!!! Deliciously airy and light inside and a golden crisp crust outside.
I was almost in tears of joy at the success. We couldn't believe our taste buds!!! I am jotting down the recipe with all the tweaking I had to do to make it work for me. I would however first like to credit America's test kitchen because the basic recipe came from them and there was no way I would have landed this without their video. To check out the original version, please go to their website at America's Test Kitchen



Ingredients

MainSpices/Flavouring
~5 cups All Purpose FlourSage/Rosemary
1 sachet Active dry YeastGarlic Herb Butter(Optional)
Salt
2 oz 2% Milk




Method
To make the Biga:
Pre-heat oven to 100 degrees and let it cool down with the door half open for 3-5 minutes.
Take 1.5 cups of flour in a big round bowl and add 1/4 tsp of yeast in it.
Blend it with 8 oz of water using a heavy spoon.
This is a very wet dough and will be very sticky to work with your hands.
Cover it tightly using a cling wrap and leave it in the oven closed for about 8 hours.



To make the dough:
The biga would have fermented and should be a little bubbly and clinging to the sides of the bowl.
I used a Kitchen Aid mixer to make this dough.
In the mixing bowl, transfer the biga.
Add 2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp yeast, 2 tsp salt, 2 oz milk and 8 oz of water.
Finely chop an herb of your choice like sage or rosemary and add about a tbsp of it into the dough for flavor.
Mix it on the lowest speed using the mixing ladle attachment for about a minute.
Pause and scrape the dough from the sides into the center and mix again on medium low speed for about 4 minutes.
Pause and scrape the dough again and swtich the attachment to a dough hook.
let it knead this dough at medium low for 10 minutes and then on medium for an additional 7-9 minutes.
Transfer this dough back into the glass bowl without stretching it too much. It will be very very sticky. Using a silicone spatula would be a good idea.
The transfer should be quick and in a big lump so we do not loose the structure we built with the kneading.
Again pre-heat the oven to 100 degrees and let it cool off for 5 minutes.
Put a cling wrap back on and set the dough in the oven for an hr.
Remove the wrap and do about 8 to 10 turns on itself to lightly mix the dough without breaking any bubble.
GENTLE is the key.
Put the wrap back on and set it back in the oven for another 30 mins.
Redo the 8-10 turns and set it back for another 30 minutes.
The dough is now done.
It will be one helluva sticky dough and we will need to flour it up a lot to handle it.
Flour a smooth working surface and transfer the dough into it without stretching it., We want all the fermented bubbles to stay in place to make this a light and airy loaf.
We will be dividing this dough into about 6 portions using a pizza cutter or a bowl scraper.
Very lightly work each portion into a flat 5x4 size and fold it on itself 3 times .
Do not break any bubbles in the process.
Take a baking sheet and set a parchment paper sheet on it and flour the surface.
Place the dough portions about 2 inches apart.
Cover the sheet with cling wrap (yes..again!) and let it sit for about 30 mins.
In the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 460 degrees.
After 30 mins, remove the cling wrap and spray the loaves with with a little water and put it in the oven.
Do the water spraying 2 more times at 2-3 minute intervals.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the loaves are well puffed up and a golden crust has formed.
They should have at least doubled in volume.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
Smear some herb/garlic butter on top and let it melt on the surface.
Let the loaf relax and cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.



It is pretty delicious as it is but you can always dunk into some warm marinara or olive oil for the indulgence.

Sabudana Wada and a Birthday...



This weekend my little munchkin turned 3 and I have spent the last 4 odd days just getting overwhelmed at how fast the past 3 yrs have passed. He turned from a tiny 6lb-15ounce ball of sweet smelling cotton candy into a 3 & 1/2 ft tall bundle of mischief in the blink of an eye! So apart from just smothering him all weekend and sucking in all his cuteness, we decided to spend the weekend enjoying his day doing stuff he loved. He crawled into our bed on Saturday morning around 10-ish with a very matter-of-fact "There you are!". After an hour of chitchat and about 4 rhymes, we got ready to start our day with his favorite breakfast - MAGGI. He can have this just about anywhere anytime! He just recently started Montessori and very adorably showed off how to twist and scoop noodles on his own using a fork. After breakfast we headed out to the city and visited the Aquarium of the Bay by Embarcadero. He loved looking at all the fish and other creatures that were on showcase and had a wonderful time running about the place. He freaked a little around some crabs/octopuses but overall had a ball. Then we stuffed ourselves in about 4 different flavors of ice cream and enjoyed some live dancing/music on pier 39. We headed into The Rainforest Cafe and ordered the three vegetarian items they had on their menu for a late lunch/early dinner. So all in all nice day out in the city, great drive and fabulous memories of fun.
On Sunday, very close family friends of ours visited us and we had tea with sabudana wada with them. Here is my version of this all time favorite snack and some pictures.

Ingredients

MainSpices/TadkaGeneric
1 cup Sabudana1/2 tsp TurmericOil
2 large Potatoes1 pinch HingSalt
1/2 cup Peanuts1/2 cup Dhania
2 tbsp Bread Crumbs1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Maida8-10 Green Chillies

1 tbsp Grated Ginger






Method
Soak the sabudana in just enough water to immerse it for about 2-3 hrs.
Boil the Potatoes, peel the skin and leave it in the fridge for about 2 hrs. This will harden it up a little and make it easier to grate later.
Coarsely break the peanuts in a processor and roast them for just a couple minutes.
Once the sabudana has soaked in all the water, sprinkle a little water on top and microwave for about 2 minutes on medium.
In a bowl, grate the potatoes.
Add the semi-cooked sabudana, finely chopped green chillies and dhania, peanuts, bread crumbs, spices, maida, salt to taste and blend with the back of a heavy spoon until well mixed.
Make equal sized balls with it and flatten them on your palm and set aside on a plate dusted with some flour.
Heat oil in a wok and deep fry them on medium heat until nice and golden on both sides.
Serve hot with a side of chutney of choice or sweetened yogurt sprinkled with a pinch of elaichi.