Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Friday, June 27, 2014

Savory Cheese Muffins



Ingredients:

All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups
White Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Baking Powder - 1 tablespoon
Salt - 1/2 tsp
All-Purpose Seasoning - 3/4 tsp (I used Adobo)
Ener-G Egg Replacer - 1 1/2 teaspoons diluted in 2 tablespoons warm water
Whole Milk - 1 cup (at room temperature) + 2 tablespoons
Water - 5 tablespoons
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Mustard Sauce - 1 tsp (I used Heinz)
Fresh Cilantro, chopped - 1/4 cup
Spring Onion, chopped - 1/4 cup
Red/Purple Onion, chopped - 1/4 cup
Parmesan Cheese, grated - 1/2 cup (you could try Cheddar too)


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
  2. Line the muffin moulds with paper liners.
  3. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and all-purpose seasoning. Combine well.
  4. In another bowl, take diluted egg replacer, whole milk, water, vegetable oil, mustard sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add chopped cilantro, spring onion and red/purple onion to the wet ingredients. Mix to combine.
  6. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients. The batter will be thick with dropping consistency.
  7. Combine parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  8. Pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into each mould until the paper liner is 3/4rth filled.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the muffin trays from the oven, smear little milk on top of the almost baked muffins.
  11. Place the trays back in the oven and bake for another 5- 10 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
  12. Let the trays stand in the oven for 5 minutes.
  13. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on wire rack to cool down little bit.
  14. Serve.


Note:

  1. You can replace Parmesan with Cheddar cheese.
  2. If you do not have All-Purpose Seasoning, you 1/2 tsp of freshly ground peppercorns and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder/minced garlic.
  3. Replace mustard sauce with finely ground mustard seeds. Add it with dry ingredients.
  4. To make it spicy, add some minced green chilli.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Ragi Dosa


Ingredients:

Ragi Flour - 4 cups
Black Gram/Urad Dal - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Onion, chopped - 1 cup (optional)
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1 cup (optional)
Cooking Oil/Ghee  for roasting each dosa

Method:

  1. Wash black gram thoroughly in water.
  2. Soak black gram in enough water for 3-4 hours.
  3. Grind black gram into smooth batter using little water.
  4. Add salt and ragi flour. Grind for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the batter into a large container and allow it to ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours. The volume of the batter will double.
  6. To prepare dosa, beat the batter thoroughly using a ladle. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water to get a pouring consistency (nectar thickened - pour in a continuous stream without breaking into drops) like that of a dosa batter.
  7. Heat a griddle.
  8. Pour a ladle full of batter in the centre of the griddle and move the ladle in circular motion until the batter if spread evenly on the griddle.
  9. Sprinkle chopped onion and coriander leaves on top of the batter layer. This is optional.
  10. Sprinkle little oil/ghee on top, cook covered on high flame for a few seconds until the bottom side is slightly roasted.
  11. Carefully remove the dosa from the griddle using a spatula and flip it over to roast the other side.
  12. Repeat steps 8-11 for the remaining batter. The left-over batter can refrigerated to be used later.
  13. Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or raita.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Methi Mutter Malai



Ingredients:

Fresh Fenugreek/Methi Leaves, chopped - 2 cups
Cooking Oil - 2 tablespoons
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1 large sized
Whole Milk, cold - 1 1/2 cups
Fresh Cream - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Fresh/Frozen Green Peas - 3/4 cup

For Spice Powder:

Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1" long piece
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - 5
Peppercorns - 6

For Gravy:

Onion - 1
Garlic Cloves - 5
Ginger - 1" piece
Green Chillis - 4
Cashew Nuts - 1 tablespoon
Poppy Seeds - 2 teaspoon


Method:

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients for spice powder for 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Take care so that the spices do not get charred. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Wash fenugreek leaves thoroughly and chop them.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and keep it aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Chop 1 onion and tomato.
  5. Squeeze out the chopped fenugreek leaves to remove water from the leaves. Keep the leaves aside. You can discard the water collected. I used it while kneading the chapati dough instead of water.
  6. In a spice blender, powder the dry roasted spices. Keep aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablesppon oil in a pan.
  8. Add cumin seeds.
  9. When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add chopped  fenugreek leaves. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the sauteed leaves into a plate or a bowl.
  10. Now heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan.
  11. Add chopped onion. Saute until it turns translucent in color.
  12. Meanwhile, blend onion, garlic cloves, ginger, green chillis, cashew nuts and poppy seeds into a smooth paste. Do not add water while blending.
  13. Add the blended onion paste to the sauteed onions. Let it cook on medium flame until the raw smell of onion disappears. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid charring.
  14. Meanwhile, blend tomato into a smooth pulp.
  15. Add tomato pulp to the onion mixture.
  16. Add spices, salt and sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
  17. Add sauteed fenugreek leaves, green peas, milk and fresh cream. Mix well to combine. 
  18. Check the consistency of the gravy. If you want it thinner add little water and cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame and turn off the flame.
  19. Serve hot with Naan, Rotis or phulkas.

This recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal recipes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ridge Gourd Curry


Ingredients:

Ridge Gourd - 1 large
Green Chillis - 2
Tamarind Extract - 2 tsps
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 1/2 tsps
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Cooking Oil - 1 tbsp
Bengal Gram - 1 tsp
Black Gram - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 3/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5
Dry Red Chilli - 1

For Masala:

Sesame Seeds - 4 tbsps
Garlic Cloves - 3
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsps

Method:

  1. Peel the ridge gourd and cut them into cubes.
  2. Slice green chillis.
  3. Dry roast sesame seeds and coriander seeds separately. Allow it cool down.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add bengal gram, black gram, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilli pieces.
  5. When mustard seeds start spluttering, add cubed ridge gourd and sliced green chillis.
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tamarind extract and salt.
  7. Cook covered on low flame until ridge gourd cubes turn soft but crunchy and still hold shape. Do not add water as the water vapors collected by covering the pan will be sufficient for cooking ridge gourd.
  8. Meanwhile, blend roasted sesame seeds, coriander seeds and garlic cloves into a coarse powder. Do not add water.
  9. Add this powder to the cooked ridge gourd. Mix well to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the flame.
  10. Serve hot with steamed rice, rotis or phulkas.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Watermelon Rind Halwa

Most of us discard the white rind of watermelon after cutting out the juicy pulp. This white rind is supposed to contain some vitamins and an amino acid that help dilate the blood vessels. It is also good for the skin and immunity.

To use the white rind, once you cut the red juicy pulp out, carefully remove the hard green peel using a sharp knife. Collect all the white rind and then grate.

Ingredients:

Watermelon Rind (the white part only), grated - 10 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 4 tbsps (you can add more if you want)
Yellow Food Color - a pinch (optional)
Saffron Strands - 8 soaked in 2 tbps hot milk
Cashew Nuts - 10
Raisins - 15

Method:

  1. Take the grated white watermelon rind in a large wok or a pan. Use the water collected while grating too.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and yellow food color(if using).
  3. Let it cook on high flame. Keep stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee, add cashew nuts and raisins. Roast for a few seconds.
  5. Continue to cook until it starts coming together. This could take 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Add sugar, saffron milk, cardamom powder and 3 tbsps ghee.
  7. Stir continuously until it comes together. 
  8. Add the roasted cashew nuts and raisins to the cooked halwa. Mix well  for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Serve hot.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ragi (Finger Millet) & Cornmeal Idli


Ingredients:

Cornmeal (medium) - 2 cups
Black Gram/Urad Dal - 1 cup
Ragi/ Finger Millet Flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash black gram thoroughly and soak in enough water for 4-5 hours
  2. Soak cornmeal separately in water for 4-5 hours in a large container. Water level should be nearly an inch above the level of cornmeal in the container.
  3. Grind black gram into smooth batter adding very little water. 
  4. Add salt and ragi flour to the black gram batter and grind until well combined. Takes about 2 minutes.
  5. Check for the water level in soaked cornmeal. If there is too much water, take some out of it and save it in a cup to adjust the batter consistency, if required.
  6. Add the ground black gram and ragi to the soaked cornmeal. 
  7. Beat the batter really well until well combined.
  8. Place the batter in a warm place and let it ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours. The volume of the batter will double.
  9. To make idlis, grease the idli mould with a little oil/ghee.
  10. Place the steamer on high flame.
  11. Gently mix the batter. DO NOT beat the batter heavily as the air captured in it during fermentation will be lost and the idlis will turn hard when cooked.
  12. Pour enough batter into each idli mould.
  13. Place the moulds in the steamer and cook covered for about 20 minutes. The cooking time depends on the type and size of the steamer. 
  14. Turn off the flame once cooked and immediately remove the lid of the steamer to avoid the water vapors from falling on cooked idlis.
  15. Let the idlis rest in the stand for 1-2 minutes.
  16. Carefully unmould the idlis.
  17. Serve hot with chutney and/or sambhar of your choice.