Friday, July 31, 2009

Vegetable Puffs

Iyengar Bakeries – the wonder, the splendor…..
Bakeries dot every street of our town i.e. Bangalore, more specifically Iyengar bakeries. Sometimes I really wonder how this orthodox sect got into the making of all the English stuff using eggs etc.
Almost every corner in southern Bangalore has an Iyengar bakery.
Bakery’s specialties are the yummy potato bun, the spicy khara bun, really sweet benne biscuit (butter cookies), artistically arranged dilkhush and dilpasand, tasty veg pups (what they call for puffs) and to end with all this a cup of yellow colored badam milk :)! (Wow am drooling writing all these :-p).
I would like to mention that 1 of my buddy is closely associated with these famous Iyengar Bakeries, hence anything newly introduced in the bakery we would be the tasters ;). I was lucky to see few of the bakery’s daily activities – Got to know that earlier on the bakers used to do most of their jobs manually but now a days machines have taken over them.
As a college student I enjoyed these bakeries as our adda ;). The best time to eat bakery stuff was in the afternoons, when the eatables came hot out of the Iyengar ovens.
Iyengar Bakeries no doubt offers a variety of items but each one of them are carb feast, so better watch out. That’s why the Bangaloreans are spoilt/pampered with all the comforts of toast, puffs, alu bun, nippattu… along with the supporting weather.

Well…even after statying away from Bangalore for the last 7yrs, I get nostalgic thinking about the varieties of options that we have back home. I never bothered to try even knowing what flour was used to bake or make, courtesy darshinis & bakeries – seriously they are God’s Gift for the working couples I feel. But today, the urge to eat those delicacies has forced me to learn all those professionally made dishes, which seem to be so easy and interesting. Best part is you find all the required ingredients here in their best quality, which yield the best result when followed according to the instructions – something similar to the Iyengars :)! One such trail was Vegetable Puffs, which becaಮೇ a hit!( Thanks to 1 of my blogger frnds V)
Here is a peek for the dish –

Puff pastry sheets (the one that you get in super markets in frozen section)
Boiled potatoes – 11/2 cup
Boiled veggies like finely chopped carrot, beans, and green peas – 11/2 cup (make sure all the moisture is removed from the vegetables using a cloth or a tissue)
Finely chopped onions – ¾ cup
Finely chopped cilantro – ½ cup
Finely chopped green chilly – 3 to 4
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds powder/ Jeera powder – 1 teaspoon
Red chilly powder – 1teaspoon
Black Pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala – 1teaspoon
Chaat Masala – ½ teaspoon
Sauf – ½ teaspoon
Oil – 1 to 2 Tbsp
Salt to taste

To make the masala
  • Heat oil in a pan and add sauf, let it splutter and then add onions and fry till golden brown.
  • To this add the boiled vegetables, mix well and fry for about 2min.
  • Lastly add all the masalas, salt and cilantro. Mix well and take off the heat.
To make the Puff :
  • Keep the puff pastry sheet out from the refrigerator for about 1hour till it is thawed completely. (Or just follow the instructions as mentioned on the box becos it might vary from brand to brand)
  • Unroll the pastry sheet carefully; cut the sheet into rectangular pieces.
  • Keep the above-prepared masala on one side of this rectangle; apply a little bit of water on all the four edges of the sheet and pull and cover the other side of the rectangle over the masala and seal it well on all the sides.

  • Bake on an aluminium sheet over 350 – 450 F for 30min.

Hot hot vegetable puff is ready to be attacked

Enjoy the aroma of the Bakeries at the comfort of your home over the weekend and ciao you all again next week!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Spice up your supper

Food becomes more delicious when it is associated with some good memories. And sometimes each one of them brings back many memories and I enjoy the thoughts that flow in my mind :)! I capture few delicious moments to cherish year after year.
I am presenting one such all time favorite item i.e. Mavinakayi chutney.

I had fallen in luv with this chutney sometime ago at 1 of our relatives place in a small town. It was hot summer afternoon when we were traveling by road to our village, where we stopped over for lunch at S place. Invariably during summer every house in India enjoys the most extensively exploited fruit for its juice, flavour, fragrance and colour . Yes we too enjoyed the BaaLe yele oota (banana leaf) with anna-saaru, payasa, chitra anna (rice-rasam, kheer, lemon rice) and ofcourse last but not the least tantalizing mavinakayi chutney. The hospitality & kindness shown by the hosts made it even tastier.

And now with my parents in-law around we are having a feast here – Kadubu, ambode, payasa, dappa menasinakayi chitraanna, usli, hoLige, mavinakayi chutney, mavinakayi chitraanna……..Yes my mil is an expert in making varieties of mavinakayi chutney which can be had with rice, chapathis, dosa, idli or as a spread also. Last week we all enjoyed the mouthwatering chutney made by her. Again it’s quite precious for us, as we don’t get raw mangoes here, so it was a watchful eating ;).

This mavinakayi chutney is a good choice if you fancy comfort food, but don’t want anything too calorific OR if you want something full of flavour & a doddle to make when you are short of time! All you need to do this is –

Menthya / Fenugreek seeds – 2tspn
Grated raw mangoes (skin peeled) – 2 to 3
Red chillies – 3 or 4
Dry coconut – 150g
Jaggery – 25g
Salt to taste

For tempering
Oil – 2tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Pinch of asafetida
Turmeric – 1/4tsp
Few curry leaves

  • Dry roast methi seeds and powder it. Dry roast the coconut and grind it along with the methi seeds.
  • Dry roast red chillies & grind it with the above and keep it aside.
  • Grind grated raw mangoes, salt and jagerry to paste without using water. To this add the methi-coco-red chillies and grind into a smooth paste. (Depending on the sourness of the mangoes you can adjust the quantity of the jaggery)

    To make the tadka/tempering
    Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, asafetida and curry leaves. Take off the heat and then add the turmeric to get a good colour.
    Now the most tempting Maavinakayi Chutney is ready to attack.

Serving Suggestions: It tastes best when eaten with hot rice and ghee. It can also be served with chapattis, dosa, idli or even can be used as a spread.

Variations: This chutney can be even made with fresh grated coconut but this is to be used within 24hrs of time.
When made with dry coconut, can be refrigerated upto 10-15days. But make sure you use a clean dry spoon to serve.
Chutney tastes equally good when made with the frozen raw mangoes also.

Have a spicy weekend & Ciao u all again next week !!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guilt Free and Gorgeous

If you search I hate Pizza, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone who actually hates pizza – even my 21months old brat lovesssssssssssssss pissssssssssssssaaaaaaaa (that’s how he calls it). During our last vacation in June, every dinner you ask him ‘Yen tinnoNa iga naavu’? (Means what shall we have now?) he used to say pissssssssssssaaaa with the unaltered passion towards it J. He happily uses his tigger fork to finish his Green peas topped Margherita, dancing and singing and giving countless hugs and kisses to mama the day she make him a pissssssssaaaaa - so is the power of Pizza :)! I really sometimes feel saaru anna – mosaru anna (rasam rice and curd rice) also had the look and feel of a Pisssssaaa :-p
Well, yesterday we made Supreme Veggie Pizza with a freshly made base. I am not sure if baking the base @ home is common; we always have made this way and enjoyed the thin crust pizzas. The advantages of making a pizza at home is – the base used here is wheat flour, veggies can be added according to our personal preferences and also the availability in that particular region. You could also have a hold on the fat content and enjoy the pizzaaa. Traditionally the base of the pizza is plain, but it can be seasoned with garlic, herbs or even stuffed with cheese.
We concluded that it was a Restaurant quality & budget price. Ahhh…the pleasure of cooking a menu that’s as good as a meal out and satisfyingly cheaper too. The secret of success is Triple tested recipes, a foolproof time plan and the best ingredients.
So why not make your own delicious pizza with this easy to use mix? I suspect it’ll become a firm favorite with you too!
Here goes the procedure to make your own Pizza

Pizza Base Mix – 1Pkt (I use the 1 that we get in morrisons)
Green Peppers chopped – 1
Red Peppers chopped – ½
Tomatoes chopped – 1
Onions chopped – 1
Green chillies finely chopped – 1
Babycorn slit lengthwise – 4 to 5
Jalapenos as per taste (u can add more if u want to have a spicy pizza)
Handful of sweetcorn kernels
Tomato sauce with herbs (I use napolina sauce)
Mozarella cheese
Lukewarm water


  • Empty one sachet of pizza base mix into a bowl. Add 100ml of lukewarm water, mix to a smooth dough.
  • Knead for 5min on a floured surface. Roll dough out into a circle of about 10inch diameter & carefully place it on a baking tray for an Italian style pizza or a greased 8inch cake tin for a deep pan pizza.
  • Leave in a warm place for 15minutes or until well risen.
  • Mix all the vegetables in a bowl.
  • Spread the sauce generously on the base and sprinkle some grated cheese.
    Add the toppings & cover it up with some more cheese.
  • Preheat your oven to 200deg centigrade and carefully slide the pizza base onto the stone and bake for about 15-20min or till cheese melts and turns into golden brownish in colour.
Now ready to eat yummy yummy pizzzzzaaaaaaa

Have a colourful weekend!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Its Barbie time!

When the weather is good, why not try & make the most of it by firing up the barbecue?
BBQ are great fun and ideal for low fat cooking – it encourages the fat to drip away from the food. Even the simple ingredients can be transformed into tasty and interesting dishes. You can make varieties ranging from fish steaks and kebabs to roasted veggies & fruit desserts.
Just a note to be careful & make sure that the food is thoroughly cooked and don’t put yourself at risk near the hot equipment.
Try popping something on the Barbie or under the grill. Last weekend we tried Paneer tikka and it was a sizzling success. So thought of sharing it with everyone :)!

Paneer – 500g (cut into pieces)
Capsicum – 1 Big, diced
Tomato – 1 Big, diced
Onion- 1 Big, diced

For marinade
1Cup-hung curd
1tbsp ground mint leaves
1tbsp ground cilantro
4 green chillies paste
1tsp lemon juice
2tbsp garlic paste
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder
1tsp chat masala powder
1tbsp butter/oil
1medium cucumber
Salt to taste


  • Cut the Paneer and vegetables into big pieces.
  • Grind all the ingredients of the marinade together and mix it with the paneer and vegetables and refrigerate for a minimum of 30min.
  • Pre heat the oven for 200deg.
  • Pierce the paneer along with vegetables to a skewer and place them in the oven.
    Reposition the marinated paneer and vegetables frequently and brush with oil and grill for 30min or till golden brown in colour on all sides.

Paneer tikka is ready to be served with cucumber-tomato salad and green chutney.

Have a sizzling weekend!!!

This dish has been submitted in Durga Pooja Food Festival which you can reach by clicking here

Friday, July 3, 2009

Delicious as it is…..
Summer – its time for a few more simple pleasures! I think berry fruits are best grown in British climate and the season runs from early June through to late August. And I can’t hold myself back from buying those gorgeous looking strawberries every week :d. Strawberries don’t keep well for long, so its best to eat them as soon as you can ;). Benefit is that they are low in cals and packed full of Vitamin C.

It was beginning of summer and the Keukenhof was full of blossoms. We were amazed to know that, the then uncultivated land was transformed into a magical colourful world of flowers. Keukenhof was celebrating its 60th birthday this year.
The tulip Garden organizes various events throughout its opening time. The day we visited the tulip garden it was Traditional costume festival. We were lucky to get a glimpse of Old couples dressed in the checks dresses & high pointed bonnet and of course the most famous part of their costume was the wooden shoes (Farmers & bulb growers from centuries wear these shoes, as they are cheap, long lasting and safe working shoes).

After taking the amazing ‘Walk the fame’ (where many tulips have been named after famous people like Aishwarya Ray -the famous Indian film star, Ferrari, Donald Duck etc), Hudson river in flowers, painting exhibitions by famous Dutch artists, animal paddock (where my son was so exited to see all the farm animals in real) we reached the mill.
It was one of the famous attractions in the Spring Garden. The history of the mill goes back to 1892 when it was used as a polder draining-mill. Later on it was handed over to keukenhof. The mill has been a part of keukenhof for 52years.
We enjoyed the traditional Dutch folksongs and dance in front of this mill amid varieties of flowers, lovely spring weather of Netherlands and of course the best-grown strawberries :)!.
Keukenhof strawberries are the best ones that I have tasted till date. I am not sure whether they are grown somewhere around or they are exported…but they were so juicy and vibrant, the cream combo made it looks even more elegant.
My today’s recipe reminded me of those yummy strawberries and hence some memories of our Amsterdam trip also. Last but not the least, we felt that it was a daylong trip posing with the flowers :)! I would like to share few of my pictures taken during our outing along with this week’s recipe– The feeling of color blindness was set in once we walked out of the Garden :d

So here’s another no cook delicious recipe for the week – Special Strawberry Sundae!

Strawberries – 280g (100g for the puree, rest few chopped and few halved)
Caster sugar – 2tbsp
Double cream – 100ml
Vanilla ice cream

  • Whizz 100g of strawberries with caster sugar, push through a fine sieve and discard the seeds.
  • Whip the double cream to soft peaks; fold in 1/3 of strawberry puree until marbled.
    Mix remaining puree with 180g strawberries, chopped.
  • Layer up scoops of vanilla ice cream, the strawberries and the strawberry cream, then top with the halved strawberries.
    That’s it, ready in 10min!

Go on treat yourself with the special strawberry sundae and ciao next week!

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