Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Whole Wheat & Spinach Naan (on Stovetop)

Yields: 8


Ingredients:


Curd/Unsweetened yogurt - 1 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 3/4 teaspoon
Spinach (Palak), finely chopped - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup
Whole Wheat - 2 cups + dusting
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji - 2 teaspoons
Butter

For Aid:

Thick Griddle, preferably of cast iron
A lid big enough to cover the griddle
A small bowl with water
A Kitchen tong

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take curd, ghee, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Set it aside for 2 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped spinach and whole wheat flour. Knead it into soft and smooth dough.
  3. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Gently knead the dough again and divide it into ping-pong sized balls.
  5. Heat a griddle.
  6. Lightly dust a dough-ball and using a rolling pin, roll it into a disc of approx. 0.2cm thick (thicker than chapati/phulka)
  7. Sprinkle a spoon of finely chopped palak and a few nigella seeds on top of the rolled out disc and gently press them into the disc so that they hold onto the disc.
  8. Now carefully lift the rolled out disc and using your hand palm, pat some water on the bottom side of the rolled out disc.
  9. Place the rolled out disc, with the wet side down, on the hot griddle and cover the griddle with lid immediately. Set the flame to medium. In about 30 seconds, remove the lid and you will see large bubbles on the disc.
  10. Turn on another gas burner, set the flame to high, using a kitchen tong place the other side (the side not roasted on the griddle) on open flame until brown patches are formed. Take care not to place it on the flame for long as the naan will burn.
  11. Turn off the open flame. 
  12. Top the hot naan with a dollop of butter. Serve hot with the curry/dish of your choice.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Chocolate Bomb



Ingredients:

Cake of your choice - 750 grams (preferably, cake baked with oil) - see notes below
Chocolate Ice cream - 1 litre box
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/2 cup

For Chocolate Ganache:

Semi-sweet Chocolate chips - 1 cup (heaped) - 200gms
Heavy Cream - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

For Decoration:

Strawberries
Fresh Mint Leaves
Chocolate Shavings

To Serve:

Dessert Plates - 6


Method:

Preparing Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Take the chocolate chips in a glass bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan, take heavy cream and bring it to a boil.
  3. Pour the heavy cream on the chocolate chips.
  4. Add salt.
  5. After a minute, whisk it thoroughly until you get a creamy chocolate ganache. 
  6. Set it aside to cool down little bit.
Preparing and assembling Chocolate Bomb:
  1. Crumble the cake and divide into 6 equal portions. 
  2. Tightly roll each portion into a ball. Keep them aside.
  3. Scrape ice cream from the box using a spoon.
  4. Just before serving, cover each prepared cake-ball with scraped ice cream all around. Keep the ice cream covering as thick as you would like. Be quick so that the ice cream does not melt. Refrigerate the ice cream covered cake-balls immediately.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all the cake-balls are covered. Do not refrigerate for a very long time. See notes below.
  6. Lay a bed of chocolate ganache in each dessert plate.
  7. Take cocoa powder in a wide-bowl.
  8. Roll each ice cream covered cake-ball in cocoa powder such that it is coats the ice cream all around.
  9. Place each prepared ball on the bed of chocolate ganache.
  10. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top of the ball, place some strawberry slices and fresh mint leaves. 
  11. Serve immediately.

Notes:
  1. Preferably, use cakes baked with OIL. The coldness of ice cream and/or refrigeration to avoid ice cream from melting after the cake-balls are covered with ice cream, will make the cakes baked with butter very hard. If you can avoid refrigeration of cake altogether and serve the dessert immediately, cakes baked with butter will be good. 
  2. Plain cakes like Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry taste the best. But, you can choose whatever you prefer.
  3. The quantity of cake and ice cream mentioned above is not an absolute requirement. You can vary the size of cake-ball or ice cream covering based your preference.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Riceballs cooked in Spinach & Coconut Curry

Serves: 6


Ingredients:

For Riceballs:

Par-boiled Rice  - 2 cups, soaked in water for 2-3 hours
Salt to taste
Water

For Spinach & Coconut Curry:

Spinach - 2 bunches
Onion - 2
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon
Jaggery - 2 tablespoons (optional)
Salt - to taste
Tamarind Pulp - 1 tablespoon
Red Chilies - 6
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Black Gram/Urad Dal - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut Grated - 1 1/2 cups, tightly packed

For Seasoning:

Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoons
Dry Red Chilies - 2
Curry Leaves - 7 to 8

For Aid:

Steaming Pot


Method:


  1. Grind rice into coarse batter adding little water.
  2. Take the rice batter in a thick bottomed pan, add water to get the batter of pouring consistency, about 3-4 cups. The batter must be close the consistency of whole milk.
  3. Add salt to the batter.
  4. Cook the batter on high flame stirring continuously until it forms a lump. Turn off the heat and the let the dough cool down.
  5. Meanwhile thoroughly wash and chop spinach.
  6. Halve the onions and cut each half into 6 pieces.
  7. Heat water in a steaming pot.
  8. Make small 1" diameter sized riceballs from the prepared dough, place them in the steaming pot and cook for about 20 minutes. 
  9. In a large pan/pot, take chopped spinach, onion pieces, red chili powder, salt, salt, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Add  2 cups of water. Cook until the water comes to a boil.
  10. Add steam cooked riceballs and let it cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 teaspoon oil in a small pan. Roast black gram, coriander seeds and dry red chilies separately on low flame. Black gram and coriander seeds must turn slightly brown and dry red chilies must turn crisp. Transfer the roasted ingredients into a blender. See Variation noted below.
  12. Heat a small dry spoon on a flame, add turmeric powder, toss for 2-3 seconds. Transfer it into the blender.
  13. Add coconut and 1/2 cup of water to the blender and blend until you get a smooth paste and add it to the cooking riceballs and spinach. Adjust the consistency of the curry by adding a little water if required.
  14. Continue to cook the curry on low flame for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  15. In a small pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add this seasoning to the cooked curry.
  16. Serve hot.

Variation: 
  1. Instead of using 1 tablespoon Black Gram and 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds, follow this variation. Use 2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds and 1/4 tablespoon Cumin Seeds. In step 11, instead of roasting in oil, dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately until they turn slightly brown. Roast the dry red chili by holding them on the flame until they turn crisp. Continue with step 12 as mentioned above.
  2. Instead of using the regular spinach (palak), use Malabar Spinach.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Avocado / Butterfruit Paratha


Ingredients:

Avocado, well-ripened - 1
Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
Freshly Ground Peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Chili - 1, minced
Coriander Leaves - 3 to 4 stalks, finely chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Water - 1/3 cup (approx.)
Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups + dusting
Ghee/Oil - 2 tablespoons



Method:
  1. Slice the avocado into half, discard the seed and scoop out the pulp. The avocado must be ripened so that the pulp is soft enough.
  2. Take the avocado pulp in a mixing bowl and mash into a smooth paste.
  3. Add minced garlic, ground peppercorns, minced green chili, chopped coriander leaves. lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Pour water and mix well.
  5. Fold in whole wheat flour and knead thoroughly. Add a little water if required to get a soft dough. The dough must be like that of chapati, soft but still firm and not sticky. Depending on the quality of the flour the volume of water required to get the right consistency of the dough may vary.
  6. Keep it covered for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Knead the dough again and divide them into lemon-sized balls.
  8. Dust a dough-ball with little whole wheat flour and roll into thin disc like a chapati. You could try different shapes - grease with some ghee/oil, fold into half, grease again, fold into half and roll it thin into triangular shape or any other way you like.
  9. Heat a griddle.
  10. Set the flame to medium, place the rolled out disc on the griddle and let it roast until it turns whitish with brown specks. Low flame makes it stiff and hard, so ensure the flame is set to medium and take care not to over-roast.
  11. Now flip the side and roast until the other side turns slightly whitish with brown specks.
  12. Drizzle little ghee/oil on one side, flip the side and drizzle ghee/oil on the other side.
  13. Serve the hot parathas with the choice of your curry/side dish. 


Variations:

  1. You can cumin/carom seeds to the dough before adding flour.
  2. You add fresh fenugreek leaves along with or instead of coriander leaves.