Category Archives: Pizza

Olive Oil & Mint Dip

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Olive Oil & Mint Dip

This recipe was the invention of the day I made Vegetarian Dough Balls, recipe 2. I prefer to call it my Desi twist to the Videshi oil.

Olive oil is one of the favorite oils that I use in my cooking. It is added to most of the chutneys and freshly ground Pestos that I make. I loved the slight minty taste giving to the olive oil by adding freshly made Pudina chutney, brushing this oil or serving it as a dip with the Dough balls was loved by all.

Sharing with you all here a very simple, but a distinctively flavorful dip. We can prepare ahead and keep the Pudina Chutney ready in the refrigerator and mix it with Olive oil to make this quick dip and apply it over bread, parathas, or serve with any savory baked dishes or also apply to toast and grab a quick snack at any time. Mixing this with freshly cut salad vegetables and tossing it makes a quick yum vegetable salad. The choice is yours on how you can use it, give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

Olive Oil: 100 gm

For Pudina Chutney:

Fresh Mint: 1/2 Bunch (100 gm)

Green Coriander: few springs (25 gm)

Green Chili: 1 or 2

Garlic: 1 Clove

Salt: To taste

METHOD:

  • Clean the mint and coriander bunches and wash the leaves.
  • Grind the garlic, green chili, mint and coriander leaves together in a mixer pot and get a smooth paste. Add salt as per taste.
  • Take the olive oil in a bowl.
  • Take 1 tbsp. of the mint and coriander chutney and mix it with the oil.
  • Our Olive oil with Pudina chutney dip is ready.
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Mix the Pudina Chutney with the Olive oil

I used this dip with the Dough Balls.

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Vegetarian Dough Balls with Olive oil & Mint Dip

 

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Vegetarian Dough Ball with the dip.

Have fun trying out the dip in your kitchen.

ashu

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Vegetarian Dough Balls: Recipe 2

Yummy vegetarian Dough Balls
Yummy vegetarian Dough Balls

Thank you to all who have appreciated and liked my yesterdays post of Vegetarian Dough Balls: Recipe 1. (Click here for the recipe.)

Today I am posting another recipe of Dough Balls, but with a different filling inside. As mentioned in the previous post the choice of filling makes as many varieties of the Dough balls as we choose to experiment. Small changes in ingredients gives each recipe the necessary twist and makes it unique in its own way. It is sometimes the simple ingredients available in the refrigerator that are sufficient to give us a complete new dish, we just need to let our imagination led us to create. I believe this is true  in our day to day life too, one must not get into the routines of following the same pattern, we should always keep room for some change. To explain better giving an example, the same settings in the house over a long period makes it very dull and unappealing, and just a shift of position of the same furniture, and/or of the wall hangings, paintings, or even adding fresh indoor plants gives the same old room a complete makeover. For this one needs to make it happen, and unless we do not make the changes one would not know the difference it makes. Try it out for yourself and notice the change it brings. For me, adding lots of green indoor plants works the magic, makes the room more fresher and just makes the whole environment a more happy place.

The current recipe uses vegetables and cottage cheese. I was asked by my vegetarian friends to post vegetarian recipes too, this is for all those friends and my readers. I loved experimenting with these ingredients and the result was loved by all who ate, and sharing here I wish to spread this happiness to all of you who would give it a try.

Baking is a joy that needs to be experienced, I know how fast the baked dishes disappear from the plates, but the aroma that fills the house lingers on. These moments are the simple pleasures of life.

VEGETARIAN DOUGH BALLS:

INGREDIENTS:

Pizza Dough: 500gm (Please click here for the dough recipe).

Carrot: 1

French Beans: 100 gm

Green Peas: 50 gm

Onion: 1 Small

Cottage Cheese/Paneer: 150 gm

Oil: 1Tbsp (for cooking the vegetables)

SEASONING:

Salt: To taste

Chili Flakes: 2 Tsp

Black pepper powder: 1 Tsp

Dried Oregano: 1 Tsp

Mint Chutney: 1 Tbsp

METHOD:

Dice the Paneer and Carrot into small pieces. Finely chop the onion, and cut the French beans.

Heat a pan or Kadai over gas flame and add little oil and put the cut vegetables and peas and cook for 10 min. Add the seasonings and mix well. Add the grated/diced paneer and mix. Remove the pan from the gas stove and empty the contents into a bowl. As this cools add the mint chutney and mix well. (Recipe of the chutney to follow in the next post.) This is the filling for the dough balls.

Veg Dough Ball filling
Veg Dough Ball filling

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Knead the pizza dough and make small balls of equal portion. Roll out each dough to form a circular shape puri and spoon 1-1/2 Tbsp filling in it.

Roll out the dough
Roll out the dough
Filling
Filling

Close the circular ends together giving it a ball shape. Let all the ends of the circular shaped dough meet, pressing firmly to join so that they do not open when getting baked and spill out the filling. Brush each dough ball with some olive oil or any cooking oil.

Dough Balls ready for Baking
Dough Balls ready for Baking

Keep all the dough balls on a greased baking tray or tray lined with butter paper and put in the oven that is preheated to 200 deg C and bake for about 30-45 min, or until they are baked to perfection. The baking time would depend upon the size of the dough balls made. One can apply Olive oil again after they are half baked, this ensures they do not look dry. I applied oil after the baking was complete.

Baking in process
Baking in process
Vegetarian Dough Balls with the dip.
Vegetarian Dough Balls with the dip.

I served these baked delights with an oil dip. Recipe of the dip will be my next post, do visit again and check it out and leave your thoughts about the posts.

Have fun baking and enjoy these warm comforting vegetarian snacks and spread the happiness to your family members.

ashu

Vegetarian Dough Balls-Recipe 1

Early November I had a get-together at my place with my girl friends coming over for a lunch meet, our monthly fun-time together. When it is party time at home, I always believe in making and/or serving food that is a bit different from the routines. This is one of the dish that was served as a starter or finger food. It is a tasty and much appreciated recipe and I am glad to share it here with you all.  As I started writing this post and was writing the title, I thought for a moment to decide on a different name, but I have always called these flavor filled yum bites by the name Dough Balls and hence I thought it was the most appropriate name and am going to stick to it. Dough Balls that I make are essentially made of pizza dough and are filled with filling of our choice. This gives us a lot of scope to experiment and we can have many varieties of the same dish but each bite becoming a different  eating experience.

Italian food is favorite food at home, and Pizza is something that is welcome at any given time of the day. Pizza is my weakness, something that is difficult for me to resist, yeah even on  days when I am consciously watching the calorie intake. It was a time before I started the blog that I had tried making something different of the left over pizza dough, and my familiarity with Indian tea-time snacks Samosa and Kachori had led me to try filling the pizza dough with a chicken filling and shape it like a ball that was later baked. The kids had absolutely loved it. Thus the new snack got added to the list of my homemade recipes. (Check out my Instagram for the pictures of the homemade recipes).

I make use of the pizza dough for making Pizza, Calzones and these yum Stuffed Dough Balls. You can check the Calzone recipe here.

Salads using bell peppers are a favorite and to make a filling for stuffing these dough balls using the different colored peppers gives it a very appealing and colorful appearance, not to forget the sweetish taste they add. It is healthy eating to incorporate colorful vegetables in our diet, and by using the different bell peppers we are adding color, taste and texture to the filling. Using the personal favorite cheeses and adding a dash of the seasoning of chilli flakes and dried herbs makes a very delectable bite of these yum baked goodies.

To make these we need the pizza dough.

CHEESE AND BELL PEPPERS STUFFED DOUGH BALLS:

INGREDIENTS:

Pizza Dough: 500 gm (Please click here for the dough recipe).

Bell Peppers: 1 small each (Red/Green/Yellow)

Onion: 1 small.

Cheddar Cheese: 100 gm

Paneer/Cottage Cheese: 50 gm

Parmesan Cheese: 50 gm (optional)

NOTE: As I love Parmesan cheese, I try to make use of it very often.

SEASONING:

Salt: To taste

Chili Flakes or black pepper powder: 1 Tsp

Dried Oregano: 1 Tsp

METHOD:

Grate the cheeses. Finely chop the Bell peppers and onion. Take a bowl and mix the cheeses and the chopped vegetables and add the seasoning. Season according to personal taste. Mix well. Our filling is ready for use.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Knead the pizza dough and make small balls of equal portion. Roll out each dough to form a circular shape puri and spoon 1-1/2 Tbsp filling in it. Close the circular ends together giving it a ball shape. Let all the ends of the circular shaped dough meet, pressing firmly to join so that they do not open when getting baked and spill out the filling. Brush each dough ball with some olive oil or any cooking oil.

Roll out the dough
Roll out the dough
Dough balls ready for baking.
Dough balls ready for baking.

Keep all the dough balls on a greased Aluminum foil or baking tray  and put in the oven that is preheated to 200 deg C and bake for about 30-45 min, or until they are baked to perfection. The baking time would depend upon the size of the dough balls made.

Cheese and Bell Pepper stuffed Dough Balls
Cheese and Bell Pepper stuffed Dough Balls

Serve these dough balls with sauce or dip of choice. I had made three dips/chutneys to serve for my house party: Mint Dip, Red Chili Chutney, and Plum Chutney.

Homemade dips/chutneys.
Homemade dips/chutneys.

I am not very happy with the picture quality of the snaps but when cooking for a party and trying to finish up the baking work, I could manage only with this quality. My friends appreciated the appetizers that I served them and loved eating these yummy cheesy bites of delight.

If you are a pizza lover and a foodie like me then I would strongly recommend giving this recipe a try in your kitchen, it is not a complicated recipe and worth all the efforts that goes in home cooking. I believe it is always a fruitful experience to eat something unusual occasionally, and one does not necessarily have to enter the restaurants for that. Cooking at home gives us the opportunity to eat right and make use of the best products and minimize or eliminate the artificial products and flavors used in packaged, frozen, or processed foods. When we have control over what we are feeding to the body, we are on the correct path by being more responsible for the welfare of our health. It is rightly said: Health is Wealth.

ashu

 

Feta Cheese and Spinach Calzones

IMG_7472Pizza loving people like me and my family can never say no to a Calzone, the folded form of a pizza. The first time I saw Calzone mentioned was in the menu card in Pizza Hut. Anything that I like has to be compulsorily cooked in my kitchen, obviously it has to be as per my specification and taste. Thus the seed for Calzone making was planted in my mind.

One afternoon, my son’s friends were home for a school assignment, I made these feta cheese calzones as snacks for them and they turned out to be an instant hit with the kids. From then onwards it is a baking dish that the kids look forward to. After writing the homemade pizza post, this recipe has to follow. Surprisingly it is not a very difficult dish to make, but does need some planning in advance for the dough making. I use the pizza base dough for making the Calzone. The filling can vary according to our taste and preference. I like to make it using feta cheese and spinach. Feta cheese is the brined salty crumbly cheese which perfectly goes with boiled/steamed spinach. As the cheese itself is salty, no seasoning is required in the mixture. Let’s get making the yummy Calzones.

FETA CHEESE AND SPINACH CALZONES:

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE:

Refined flour(Maida)- 3 cups (300g apprx), Active dry yeast: 5-7 g (1 tsp heaped), Water: 30 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 10 g(2 tsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2 tbsp Olive oil.

METHOD TO MAKE BASE:IMG_7618

Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

Take 3 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour, and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double its size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the calzone. (Check the homemade pizza post for detailed pictures.)

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

Feta cheese- 100 g IMG_7974

Spinach- 150-250 g

I steam the spinach in my rice cooker for couple minutes instead of boiling the leaves in water. This retains the dense green colour of the leaves and also the nutrients and vitamins. For this little quantity of spinach 2-3 min of steaming is enough.

METHOD TO MAKE CALZONE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C.
  2. Take a small portion of the pizza base dough, make a ball and roll it to form a circular base for filling the feta cheese mixture. Try not to roll the base too thick, it tastes better with a medium thin coat.
  3. Place the filling -mixture of crumbled feta cheese and roughly chopped spinach. Close the ends using water or milk to seal. I used a mould to get small perfectly shaped calzones.
  4. Brush the top with egg wash or milk, it gives a nice shine to the top coat. (I have used egg)
  5. Bake the calzone in a pre- heated oven at 220 C for 20-25 min or till they are evenly baked on both sides. After 10 minutes of putting them in the oven, turn them over to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.

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If you have reached reading till the end, I am sure you would agree with me that it is a very easy recipe. Go ahead and try it out and find out if your family loves it as much as my kids love it.

Serving  Tip: Serve these yummy calzones with hot green chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce.

Enjoy!

Homemade Pizza

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Pizza, a food loved by almost all family members, young and old. This was my dad’s favourite too, he always looked forward to eating this at home. The early or first pizza preparation done during my growing up days at my parents house was using a readymade pizza base, but not any more. Though the readymade base seems an easier option, but baking the base at home is also easy, though it needs a bit of planning ahead. As the base uses yeast, so it needs some time before we can put the dough in the oven.

Use of fresh ingredients makes pizza eating an experience in itself. The freshly baked pizzas eaten in Italy were the most cherished moments of that vacation. But I am yet to master the pizza base flipping in air done by the pizza chefs that I witnessed in Italy. Baking it fresh at home for dinner becomes a meal that is looked forward to by my pizza loving family. The best part of the home baked pizza is that each family member’s pizza topping specification is met. The thickness and crustiness of the base can also be done to one’s own preference. The tomato sauce is perfect to my taste, a bit of chilli and garlicky taste. The toppings choice could be endless depending upon our taste. In this post I have used both chicken, that was sautéed and cooked with spices to make it taste tandoori style, and also used only bell peppers and onion in the vegetable style pizza. Let’s start noting the ingredients and method to start with baking the pizza base.

HOME BAKED PIZZA :

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE:

Refined flour(Maida)- 4 cups (400-450g apprx), Active dry yeast: 10 g (2 tsp), Water: 50 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 15 g(1 tbsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2-3 tbsp Olive oil( any oil would do, but best is olive).

METHOD:

Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

IMG_7775IMG_7777IMG_7618Take 4 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double i’ts size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the base of the pizza.

Let’s make the tomato sauce for the pizza.

TOMATO SAUCE FOR PIZZA:

INGREDIENTS: Ripe red tomatoes-3 nos (blanched), Long red chilli-1, Garlic cloves- 2-3, Onion-1 small.

METHOD: Boil water in a pot and add the tomatoes (give it a cut) to it. As the tomato skin gets torn, remove the tomatoes from the water and peel out the skin. Chop these blanched tomatoes roughly, chop the chilli, onion and garlic and grind to a smooth sauce consistency. Add red chilli powder if a more hot sauce is desired and salt as per requirement.

IMG_7738IMG_7737IMG_7742IMG_7739PIZZA TOPPINGS:

INGREDIENTS: Chicken-250-350 g (Sautéed in little oil with spices, red chilli powder and salt to get tandoori flavour), Bell peppers, olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, and dried oregano.

Prepare and keep the toppings ready as shown in the picture.

PIZZA BAKING:

Preheat the oven to 220-230 deg C.

IMG_7323Take some portion of the pizza dough, form a ball, and using extra flour roll the dough ball to make a circle of desired thickness, but make sure not to make it too thin. Using a baking tray, bake this circular pizza base at 220 deg C in a preheated oven for 10 min. Remove the tray from the oven and top the base of the pizza with the freshly made tomato sauce, and all the required toppings- the bell peppers, onion slices, olives, tandoori chicken, mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the oregano herb on top. Insert the tray with the pizza  into the oven again and bake till done, cheese melted and the base is crusty. Remove from oven and cut into slices and serve hot. The snaps show both the veg pizza and also the chicken pizza. Go ahead give it a try and enjoy the home baked pizza meal. Though it would seem a time consuming recipe, but once you do it, it turns out a very easy recipe.

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Do give it a try and find out how the experience turns out for you and your family. Enjoy!!!

Tips:

I used a pie dish to make the chicken pizza. Roll over the circular base to the pie dish and press the edges and bake.

Mushrooms, broccoli, corn etc can also be added to the vegetable pizza, the choice is endless.

Whole wheat flour could also be used along with refined flour, but the taste is little different.

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