Category Archives: Savory Snacks

Prawns Potli

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli
ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

ashu’s new recipePRAWNS POTLI- my tribute for my elder brother.

The flow of life is ever changing, making us drift along with it, sweeping us through its different waves and giving us the moments, emotions, and experiences that one may not always be ready to accept or deal with. But one does learn to sail through if we allow ourselves to accept and adapt. It is in our hands how we handle each and every moment that we have to face on a day-to-day basis.

This post is made in memory of and as my fond remembrance of my eldest sibling whom we lost this month. The loss of our loved ones leaves a huge vacuum and fills us with grief, I have been dealing with my share of this emotion. But it would be wrong to let grief overtake the memories and good times that were shared, one should be celebrating the sibling bond and the strength it imparts. As I look back and lovingly cherish the journey I shared as his younger sibling, remembering all the positives that I got to learn from him, I decided to cook a new recipe in his honor as my tribute and respect towards him.

He was a big time foodie, and as I reflect back to my childhood days, he was the influence I think that might have pushed me to this hobby of cooking and learning new recipes. He was the connoisseur of food of our family, loved different cuisines, and introduced us siblings to restaurant foods and knew the best food joints/places in the home town while we were growing up and later too, and also at the same time was the most dreaded critic of our cooking, the cooks of the house, even until the recent days. He was a perfect event manager, menu planner for any functions or marriages that happened in the household.

It is this foodie nature of his that I want to cherish forever and sharing a part of him with you all by the above writing about him.  As he loved non-vegetarian food, hence I decided to try something new using Prawns.

PRAWNS POTLI

ashu’s -Prawns Potli

INGREDIENTS:

For The Dough:

Refined Flour: 200 gm

Fine Semolina: 100 gm

Salt: 1 pinch

Water: 100 ml ( or as much-needed to make soft dough)

For The Filling/Stuffing:

Prawns: 500 gm

Onion: 1 Medium-to-small

Green Chilies: 2 (or add as per personal taste)

Green Coriander: 2 Tbsp (few sprigs)

Cumin: 1 Tsp

Salt & Pepper: as per taste for seasoning.

Cooking Oil- As required for Frying

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

METHOD:

Put the refined flour, semolina and a pinch of salt in a glass bowl or any bowl and mix together. Adding water to this mix make a soft dough and keep it covered until we prepare the prawns filling. Before using the dough we should knead it well.

Clean and devein the prawns, wash and pat them completely dry with a napkin or kitchen tissue roll.

Coarsely grind the onion, green chili, coriander, cumin, and the Prawns in a mixer pot or food processor pot. Add the salt and crushed peppercorns. We do not want the prawn flesh to become gooey, but remain smaller chunks. (For the initial Potli’s I had used this uncooked raw filling, but the wet content leaked and oil spluttered. )

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

Heat a fry pan/Kadai and add 1 tsp oil (just to avoid food sticking) and then add this ground mix and saute so that the prawns get slightly cooked and all extra liquid if any gets completely dried away. This will be our filling for the Potli.

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

Knead the flour dough well to get a softer dough. We can use a drop or two of oil to avoid the dough from sticking to our palm.

Make small round balls of the dough and roll out thin circular discs as seen in the picture below. Place little amount of filling and bring the ends closer, twisting and tightening together towards the center. Make sure to seal it in center and leave the ends free so that it resembles a Potli.

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli
ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

Once the Potli’s are ready, heat a thick bottomed pan or Kadai and pour oil in it for frying. As the oil heats, slowly we slide the Potli’s into the hot oil and deep fry first keeping the flame of the stove on high and later making it to medium heat. The Potli’s should be fried to golden brown, reducing the heat ensures the ends become crispy .

The frying part needs our attention and demands more patience from us. If any water from the prawns makes the filling wet, and if the ends are not properly sealed then the liquid oozes out into the hot oil, making it splutter and also burns the oil. Hence try to avoid any water/liquid in the filling. Initially I had not used cooked filling, but the raw coarsely ground prawns and the water from the onion and prawns made the oil splutter and hence I pan dried the water. Avoid cooking the filling for long, Prawn flesh is delicate and we do not want to make it rubber textured.

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

As you can see my potli’s are of different shapes and sizes, more patience required in future I guess 🙂 .

We can make all the round discs first, later fill the filling and seal the ends, and thus make and keep the potlis to fry together. Or one could make it in batches of 3-4 and simultaneously fry while making. Do as per your convenience 🙂 .

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

I preferred to keep the prawn filling simple. The sweetness of the prawns, the heat from the green chili, the fresh herb taste and dash of the cumin and freshly ground peppercorns, perfect taste with each bite of the potli. Also note, it is better we make the potli’s smaller in size, they puff up a bit while frying and we can get perfectly sized ones to hold and which can be finished up in a bite or two. We need to fry them to perfection so that the outer ends are crispy and the bottom part is medium soft to bite into.

Serving Options: I used store-bought Tomato and Chili sauces as dips to serve with the Prawns Potli. We could also serve it with a hot and tangy green chutney.

ashu’s recipe-Prawns Potli

I am feeling happy as I share this recipe that I made with love and affection for my brother, in his memory and in the process doing my bit to carry on the legacy of introducing new foods and recipes with the folks who are part of my life and also with those who cross my path.

Enjoy and stay content doing whatever that makes you happy 🙂 .

ashu

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Tilwale Methi Muthia

ashu's- Tilwale Methi Muthia
ashu’s- Tilwale Methi Muthia

This recipe is my adapted version of the Gujarati dish Muthia. During my stay in the state, I learned couple of Gujarati recipes from my neighbors and friends. The recipes are all cooked according to my preference and hence I have altered the few ingredients that are essential part of Gujarati recipe i.e. Sugar or Gur. I tend to avoid adding sugar to my cooking and hence I do not add it in the tempering too.

I make methi muthia for adding to the Undhiyo dish. This Friday, I made this favorite breakfast version of the Muthia using 4 to 5 different flours and fresh green methi leaves. As it is a steamed dish and oil is used only for tempering, so it is a healthy recipe too. The mixed flours have a little coarser corn and wheat flour, it adds fiber to the recipe. The methi and Sesame too adds the fiber.  The carom or ajwain seeds aid in digestion.

Friday being a weekend here in the middle east, the breakfast has to be something special, I added my little touch in the display, the family loved it and we enjoyed a hearty meal. The muthias were served with a freshly ground, tangy, green coriander and mint chutney/dip. I added curd and onion dip too, in case one wished to have the curd taste, I need curds with most of my meals :).

Sharing here my healthy steamed muthia recipe. These are the ingredients that I use for this version in my kitchen, might differ from the traditional recipe and cooking, but I prefer this version for the steamed one.

                                     TILWALE METHI MUTHIA:

INGREDIENTS:

Flours: 1/2 katoris each of Rice flour, Makai (corn)atta, Rava (wheat semolina), Bhajni atta (optional) and 1 to 1 1/2 katori of Wheat flour.

(Note: one could use whichever flours they have from above, and it does not matter if one of the flours is not added. You can mix semolina and wheat flour too to make this. Some also use gramflour and semolina only.)

Green Fenugreek/Methi leaves: 1 bunch

Sesame seeds: 50 gms

Curd/yogurt: 2 Tbsp

Red chili flakes/red chili powder: 1 Tbsp

Turmeric powder: 1 Tsp

Ajwain (Carom seeds): 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste

Cooking Oil: 2 Tbsp

Long red Chili: 1 nu

Water: 1 glass (as required)

Chaat masala: 1 Tsp (optional)

METHOD:

Take the flours in a bowl or a big deep plate, add the ajwain, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and mix. Make a well in the center and add the finely chopped methi leaves and curd. Mix well and using water make a medium-to-soft dough.

Mixed flours
Mixed flours
Flour and methi for making muthia
Flour and methi for making muthia
Methi Muthia dough
Methi Muthia dough

Divide the dough into medium balls and make long rolls out of the balls.

The rolled out dough
The rolled out dough

Grease a steaming basket, place the rolls in it, brush the rolls with oil so that they do not stick to each other after being steamed.

Oiled rolls ready for steaming in the rice cooker.
Oiled rolls ready for steaming in the rice cooker.

I steamed these methi rolls for 15 minutes in an electric rice cooker, I find it very easy to use the electric rice cooker. Once done, remove them from the cooker and allow to cool.

Steamed methi muthia rolls
Steamed methi muthia rolls

Once cooled, our rolls are ready to be cut into even-sized roundels. I prefer cutting them into bite-size portions, easy to eat with a toothpick, also can be served as an appetizer /finger food at parties.

For the Tadka (or tempering):

Heat a Wok or Karahi on the gas stove, add the oil and heat.

IMG_2711

Add the sesame seeds and the long red chili slices. Once the sesame starts to crackle then add the cut roundels and stir well so that the Sesame gets evenly coated.

IMG_2714

Sesame coated methi muthia
Sesame coated methi muthia

One can add little salt, chili flakes, and chat masala at this stage too, if preferred. Mix well and remove on a serving dish or plate.

ashu's- Tilwale Methi Muthia
ashu’s- Tilwale Methi Muthia

I served the muthias with a tangy DhaniyaPudina Chutney and Onioncurd raita.

Tilwale Methi Muthia served DhaniyaiPudina Chutney & Onioncurd raita
Tilwale Methi Muthia served DhaniyaiPudina Chutney & Onioncurd raita

Give these yummy bites a try and enjoy with friends and family. Wishing you all a good day ahead.

Enjoy!

ashu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tandoori Momos

Ashu's Tandoori Momos
Ashu’s Tandoori Momos

Any new dish or menu that I really like always invariably results in getting prepared in my kitchen. Do any of you readers share this habit of mine? Today’s recipe is one such new dish that I happened to taste this year.

I have already mentioned how Momos (click on it to see the momos post) happen to be a favorite dish in my household. And have also shared the fond memories of eating steaming hot momos in candle light, because their was a power outage, at the humble homely restaurant in Nagarkot during our Nepal tour in 2011, in that previous post. Do click on the link to read about that.

Now coming back to this post, I came across this word Tandoori momos in February of this year, and was quite intrigued and wondered what and how they must be. And just the following weekend I saw the name mentioned in a takeaway menu card of a local restaurant and immediately ordered them. They were the most amazing spicy momos I ever tasted. Momos, until then, that I always made at home were with no chili or spicy and just used herbs to season the meat or vegetables used. But the tandoori momos are The dish to eat if you like tandoori style cooking, I have simply fallen in love with this dish. I  highly recommend it if you have not yet tasted them.

The tandoori food like- tandoori chicken or fish etc sold in restaurants or eateries use the orange food color, but I do not use any color in my recipes and hence the color is not the typical orangy reddish that is so typical of tandoori chicken, but then homemade is always the best, with the freshest ingredients and always freshly made.

Today I share with you my recipe of the month –Tandoori Momos, I have made it per my taste preference. This might differ from any original tandoori recipe, but I am sharing here ashstyle cooking!! So here you go-Chicken Momo recipe, Tandoori style.

TANDOORI MOMOS (CHICKEN)

INGREDIENTS:

Boneless Chicken: 350 gm

GingerGarlic paste: 1 Tbsp

Green Chili paste: 1 Tsp or Red Chili Flakes: 1Tbsp

Chopped Green Coriander & Mint: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To taste

Refined Flour: 350 gm

Garam Masala: 1 Tbsp

Tandoori Masala: 1 Tbsp

Chaat Masala: 1 Tbsp

Cooking Oil: 2 Tbsp

METHOD:

Grind the chicken flesh with the ginger & garlic and green chili pastes. Or one can directly add the whole chili, ginger and garlic (2 small cloves of garlic, 1-2 green chili and small piece of ginger can be used) to the chicken and grind together. Add the salt and chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well. Our momo filling is ready for use.

(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momo filling
(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momo filling

Make a medium soft dough of the refined flour. We are not adding any salt to the flour, as we will be using the spices to coat. Make even-sized small balls of the dough and roll out a small circular puri.

(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momo outer cover
(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momo outer cover

Fill the chicken stuffing and close the ends as shown in the picture. Make all the momos and keep ready. Do not forget to apply oil to the steaming bowl/plate in which the momos are to be steamed. This prevents the steamed momos from sticking to the bowl or one another after they are steamed.

(ashuskitchen) Chicken momos kept in steam basket
(ashuskitchen) Chicken momos kept in steam basket

Steam the momos for 10 minutes in a steamer. If you are using a pressure cooker for steaming purpose, then do not keep the whistle.

(ashuskitchen)Steamed Chicken Momos
(ashuskitchen)Steamed Chicken Momos

Take a small bowl and mix the garam masala, tandoori masala and chaat masala with oil. Apply this spice paste on each steamed momos and place them on a lined baking tray.

(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momos-The spice coated steamed momos
(ashuskitchen)Tandoori momos-The spice coated steamed momos

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C, with the oven & grill setting, and then bake/grill the momos for 25-30 mins or until they are baked. Over grilling might burn the outside coating, and hence do check them and use own discretion for oven time and remove once they look baked and grilled.

Do not keep the baking tray very close to near the grill as the intense heat from the grill might burn the top cover and the momo might be still half baked. Keep the tray in the middle shelf of the oven.

Vegetables and momos ready for baking/Griling

Vegetables and momos ready for baking/Grilling

I also made tandoori vegetables to go with this dish, our dinner menu that night in the last month, March month.

ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)
ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)
ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)
ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)
ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)
ashuskitchen- Tandoori momos (Chicken)

The spicy outer coat and the mildly seasoned chicken filling compliment each other and we get a taste that is the best and makes us reach out for more momos. We had a great dinner time in my household when I made these, though a couple of them did get a bit over grilled, resulting in a hard outer coat, but nevertheless it was a good meal time, all were finished, even the slightly burnt ones too 😁.

Ashuskitchen's Tandoori Vegetables
Ashuskitchen’s Tandoori Vegetables

Hope you all must have enjoyed the pictures and maybe you might like to give them a try. Do let me know what you think of the recipe in the form of your comments. Have happy mealtimes, and a great Sunday ahead.

Enjoy!

ashu.

Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

#ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad
ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

Salads are an essential part of the regular Indian meal. Most meals do have some or the other type of salad, chutney, koshimbirs, raitas etc as a component of the Indian Thali.  Foodies who love salads would understand how one is drawn towards the salad table at the buffets. I am very fond of salads and lately have been adding dried fruits too to my salads, it helps us to eat the daily intake that should be part of our food. Fiber is the undigested part of our food that is present in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits, whole pulses or legumes etc. that provide us with the essential roughage or bulk and thus aid in proper bowel movement and helps to prevent constipation .

I won’t be wrong if I write that for most Indians the word Chaat results in instant tingling of the taste buds and sudden mouth-watering moments. Chaats are blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste with the savory factor added too. It is a dish that creates a happy riot in the mouth with the over production of saliva by the salivary glands and one is left drooling till the Chaat vendor serves the ready dish in our hands.

When I am looking out to make easy, yet interesting, menu options at home from the ingredients that are almost always available in the refrigerator, I came up with this simple, refreshing, mouth tantalizing dish that I am sharing with you all.

One can call it a Chaat or Salad as I have added the sweetcorn for the fiber and its sweetness, crunchy salad vegetables, threw in some dried berries to give out the sweetness, sprinkled the lemon juice for the sourness, added the green chili/red chili powder for the spice, added the nuts for the nutty crunch in the bite and lastly sprinkled with the savory food-the fine Sev. I made this as a light dinner menu and served with lot of fine Sev sprinkled on top and savory Papdi and hence I called it Sweetcorn Chaat. If I avoid the Sev, then I would call it a salad and serve it with roasted Papad along with meals.

Sweetcorn Chaat/ Salad:

INGREDIENTS:

Sweetcorn: 2 Corn cob (Boiled)

Bell Peppers: 1/2 each Red/Yellow/Orange

Cucumber: 1 Medium-sized

Onion: 1 Medium-sized

Tomato: 1 Medium-sized

Fine Sev: 100 gm

Mixed nuts: 30 gm (Almonds, Pistachios, walnuts)

Dried Berries: 2 Tbsp (Blueberries/Cranberries)

Raisins: 1 Tbsp

Lemon: 1 Medium-sized

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp finely chopped

Green Chilli: 2 or Red Chilli powder 1 Tsp

Salt: To Taste

Pepper: 1 Tsp

Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp

METHOD:

Boil the corn in a Pressure cooker, 2 whistles. (I used raw corn and hence preferred to boil it in cooker). Then remove the corn from the cob.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

Finely chop all the salad vegetables (bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, green coriander, chili as shown in the picture below.

Salad vegetables
Salad vegetables

Take a big glass bowl, add the boiled corn, the cut vegetables, the dried chopped nuts, the dried berries, raisins, the seasonings, chopped chilli and green coriander, sprinkle the lemon juice and then mix/toss all the ingredients. Check the seasoning and adjust according to ones taste. I have also added sliced almonds. (I oven roasted the Almonds, coarsely chopped and then added.)

Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.
Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.

Just before serving add the fine Sev on top and give the final toss and serve along with papdi.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

This chaat tasted so yum and ended up becoming the dinner menu. As one can note the salad is full of fiber and hence it becomes filling for the tummy. The fresh berries might not be regularly available at home, as here in the UAE it is not locally produced. We all are aware of the importance of including the berries in our diet and I keep the dried ones handy, works well to toss them into lot many dishes. These dried berries and raisins impart the necessary sweetness to the chaat, hence we do not need to add any sweet chutney which is essential for any chaat preparation. If one has mint and coriander chutney handy, one could also use that or the freshly chopped herbs too work well as they add the required freshness. Do give this sumptuous healthy dish a try to enjoy with each bite the different flavors and texture of this delicious Sweetcorn Chaat or salad from ashuskitchen :).

I wanted to share a healthy, nutritious snack menu with you all and hence the post for this March month. Do also give importance to include some part of physical activity in your daily schedules, apart from eating healthy meals.

Eat well and stay fit :).  Enjoy!

ashu

 

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

 

Diwali 2015

Last week we celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali. It is the big festival that brings with it an excitement all around with lot of preparations, lot of household work from cleaning to painting the walls, shopping for gifts, new clothes, some utensil or silverware and/or gold, lot of festive cooking of meals, as well as the traditionally associated snacks that one is so fond of eating. A Diwali without the traditional savory and sweet snacks and loads of Mithais and ladoos would be incomplete.

I grew up with fond Diwali memories of the customary rituals followed by my mother, her homemade snacks, the fire crackers, the new clothes, the visiting relatives and the good food being served to all. It was a time with lot of activities and family gatherings. I have tried to continue the rituals that I grew up following, and thus every year Diwali is a busy time, occasion that brings with it lot of festive mood and celebrations. The past week was thus family time, with diyas being lit, handmade rangolis done on the floor and colored, tried making first time a sweet that I like a lot but had never tried making in my kitchen. Yeah, this was my first try of making Anarsa, a sweet that is made of rice flour and sugar. I was under the impression that it involved a lengthy process and needed perfection to make and hence had never tried making it ever. But, this time I tried and they turned out just the way I like them.

Sharing here some snaps from my Diwali this year.

Anarsa: A sweet made from rice that is soaked for 3 days, then wiped dry and finely ground to flour. Sugar is added to the flour and a tight dough ball is made and Anarsa is made from this dough. It is deep-fried on slow flame. The frying takes a bit of patience and expertise and technique, but nothing that a beginner cannot follow. I was able to get the perfect shape, so anyone who knows how to fry them can do it. I have used fine Semolina coating, a change from the regular recipe ingredients.

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Ashu wishes you all Happy Diwali.
Ashu wishes you all Happy Diwali.
Homemade Diwali snacks.
Homemade Diwali snacks.

Traditional snacks for Diwali include Chakli, Chivda, Sweet and salty Sankerpala, Besan Sev,  Mathri, Anarsa, Karanji or Gujjia, Ladoos, and Barfis. Above are some of the snacks that I made this Diwali.

It is a different type of Chakli I made this Diwali, a family recipe that uses rice flour and sesame seeds and are shaped by hand. I have started making this type of Chakli since last two months, a never tried recipe before that is getting mastered with frequent attempts. This rice Chakli making is a bit tedious process, but a favorite of my daughter and hubby and hence the extra efforts to master it.

Rice Chakli, a family recipe that is being mastered with frequent attempts of making it, since September’15.

They are shaped by hand, made on cloth and later deep fried.
They are shaped by hand, made on cloth and later deep-fried.

The handmade décor of rangoli design at the door during the festival, a ritual followed by making this Rangoli. The design is inspired from internet images.

Handmade rangoli that is colored using colored rangoli.
Handmade rangoli that is colored using colored rangoli.

The Laxmi Puja day Prasad:

Diwali puja prasad
Diwali puja Prasad

Diwali festivities have now come to end. It was a week of food indulgence, lot of tasty snacks and yummy and rich food eaten, both at home and at parties. Now, with the end of the festival, it is time to start the fitness regimen and go for walks with friends. Yup, the weather is turning out perfect for outdoor activities and hence no excuses.

ashu

 

Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll

Kothimbir Wadi or Sambar Vadi: We call it Sambar Vadi in my household. All of those who are familiar with this snack would know how tasty it is and eating one wadi is never enough, we always eat more than one. I remember mother used to buy 1-2 kgs of the green coriander, patiently clean the bundles, wash the leaves, dry them and then finely chop them. The dry coconut needed to be grated. The onions needed to be finely chopped. Uff, that was too much of work to do. These were my thoughts in childhood  and I had made up plans then that I will never ever attempt to make this, I never ate the inside coriander filling during childhood so it was beyond me to understand the trouble mom undertook to make this. But things do change over a period of time as we grow, the eating preferences to some extent for me. A foodie does go the extra length to satiate the taste buds, provided it is something that one likes a lot. I am sure you all would agree that the taste of the food cooked by mothers always stays with us forever.

Growing up in a big family with specific recipes associated with particular festivals, time or season remain as fond memories. With ever shrinking family size, one might not indulge making certain dishes. The company of elders make us relive those eating moments, mom’s visit allowed me this privilege. The month gave me the opportunity to not only be under her loving care but also allowed me to meet the woman she is, whom I have always admired. The experiences and rigors of life transforms lives and make them what they become. It was overwhelming to see my mom, even at age 77, so full of enthusiasm and abundance of energy to enjoy each days moments. Her zeal for adventure, the spirit to explore and learn, to still keep caring and loving and giving, even now, when she should be the one receiving it, to still be so positive in spite of the situations and above all to lead a life that still makes a difference in other people’s lives makes me salute her, and I feel it is a blessing to be her daughter. Her strong persona gives strength in life’s weak moments. I loved each moment being with this amazing woman, my mother. I just wonder whether at her age I would be that active and zealous, I know not. But I would do my best because Yeah, I owe it to her.

Now it is time to start cooking this yummy snack from the state of Maharashtra in India. Reading the recipe you would come to know that it is not an instant dish, but does need some pre-preparation and a bit of efforts to make. But trust me, it is definitely worth trying and eating. We do get this ready-made in snack shops, on menus in hotels, but I can say the homemade ones are always the best. Though I make this every winter season or even otherwise when the taste buds crave, but I have to mention that my mom’s Sambar Vadi is the best for me. I have tried to make it as much like hers, but due to unavailability of some essential ingredient I have not added that. The post is essentially posted with the intent that the recipe needs to be saved for the next generation kids of my family. Happy cooking 😃!!!

KOTHIMBIR VADI:

INGRIEDIENTS:

Green Coriander: 400 gm (in weight after cleaning and chopping)

Onion: 1 Big

Green chilies: 4-5 nu. (finely chopped)

Fresh Coconut (grated): 1/2 to 3/4 of a fresh one or 150-200 g if dried one used. (one could use the dry grated coconut too instead of fresh)

Cumin: 1 Tsp.

Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp

Garam Masala: 1 Tbsp

Gram Flour: 250 gm

Rice powder: 1 Tbsp

Oil: For frying

Turmeric: 1 Tsp

Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste

METHOD: Prepare the ingredients. Clean the coriander bunch, wash thoroughly, then dry the leaves and then finely chop the green coriander. Grate the coconut and keep ready for use. Chop the chilies, onion and keep ready.

Cleaned, washed, dried and then finely chopped green coriander.
Cleaned, washed, dried and then finely chopped green coriander.

Heat the pan, put half the quantity of the chopped coriander and give it toss or two and remove from the pan and keep in a bowl. This is just done for a minute or so, to remove the raw taste.

lightly tossed coriander.
lightly tossed coriander.

In the heated pan add 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then add cumin, chopped chilies and fry. Then add the chopped onion and cook till they are pinkish in color and are cooked. Once done then empty it on a plate and let it cool.

Fried in little oil until cooked.
Fried in little oil until cooked.

Once the heated coriander cools, add to it the remaining chopped coriander that is raw. Add the cooked onion and chili to this mix. Add the turmeric, grated coconut, salt, and 2 Tsp of garam masala powder. Mix all these ingredients well so that the spices are evenly coated. (For more spice one can add red chili powder as per taste) This mixture is the filling.

The coriander filling
The coriander filling.

In a bowl take the gram flour, 1 tbsp rice powder, add salt as per taste, carom seeds, 1 Tsp red chili powder, and 2 Tsp oil and add water to make a tight or stiff dough. Cover and keep it for sometime and then knead well. Make even- sized small balls and roll out puri’s. Apply garam masala paste (mix the garam masala powder with little water) on the puri and then put 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the center. Fold the sides and seal the ends. Little water can use used to seal the sides, if required. The ends should not open while frying in oil.

Make the puris and place the coriander filling.
Make the puris and place the coriander filling.

Heat oil for frying in karahi. Fry the rolls until they become crisp and then remove and drain on a tissue roll. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll.
Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll.

These were the only pictures that I could click, the wadis had a very crispy outer coat (adding more oil to the gram flour results in the outer coating becoming very crisp), but mom liked them. I wish you all to give it a try if you are fond of making something new.

Enjoy! Happy Wednesday.

ashu.