December 29, 2015

Hosting MLLA - Edition 91 !

Its the new year in 2 days from now !! and how the past year has just rushed by - so many developments, changes ... its exciting to be part of the new year. And as Robert Frost would say "....Miles to go before I sleep..."

Its equally Exciting to be hosting Susan and Lisa's highly successful Blog Event - MLLA (aka My Legume Love Affair), and the success simply shows in the edition its running currently - 91 !! I mean, isnt that amazing ?? A simple concept, and a linky tool. With Legume as a star ingredient..

I sure am happy to host this, Thank you Lisa, for the opportunity :) This event is on all of January 2016. 

Lisa is also looking for hosts for 2016. So, should you be keen, check out the details at this link.

Look forward to all your delicious entries. Make sure you link up to Susan's and Lisa's page as well as this event announcement to qualify for the roundup...So, do link up all your vegetarian / Vegan (and eggfree) dishes with any Legume as the star ingredient - one entry per blogger per month :)

Cheers
Kalyani





December 21, 2015

Sesame crusted Bundt Bread | Easy Party Ideas

Its amazing how a simple Pizza dough can give rise to so many yeasted breads - in as many forms and shapes. While I am yet to post the basic Pizza dough / Bread dough, this is one take on it . Flavour and topping courtesy are the dear Husband who,although isnt into too much (read any) bread,he does like an occassional Focaccia / Turkish Pide / Pizza on a lazy weekend brunch.

Today's bread is quite simple, and as I mentioned in my post on the Baked Karela Chips, I am quite drawn to the oven often than I thought, and always have a small batch of processed dough (pizza dough thats risen once or twice) in my freezer. Today was one such experiment which we all rather liked...Goes very well with a bowl of warm Carrot - Tomato soup...


So, if you are keen on a weekday / weekend Lunch or dinner with bread and soup for this #Xmas or #Newyear2016, do try this out and let me know how you liked it..While this goes to Day 10 of Bakeathon. 


Prep time : 15  mins | Rise / Standing time : 90 mins + 25 mins | Baking time : 25 mins 
Makes : 1 loaf 

Ingredients:

  • Bread flour - 2 cups
  • Instant Yeast - 1 pkt (7 gms)
  • Warm water - 1/2 cup + 3 TBSP (or as required)
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp (or to taste)
  • Oil - 3 TBSP (2 TBSP+ 1 TBSP - divided use)
  • Honey - 1 TBSP (omit if vegan)
  • Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted Sesame - 1 TBSP - for topping


Method:

  1. In a stand mixer, mix all ingredients except sesame and knead to a smooth pliable dough. If kneading by hand, add as little or more water as required. It took me 8-9 mins to knead with my #Kitchenaid Stand mixer.
  2. Shape the dough, and place covered in a greased bowl for 90-120 mins to double.
  3. Once risen, punch the dough lightly, divide into 12 equal portions. and with slightly greased hands, make them into small roundels
  4. Grease your bundt pan (I used a silicon quick release pan, so didnt grease), place these small roundels in two layers, lightly brush with 1/2 tsp oil (which was remaining) and top with roasted sesame.
  5. Cover and let it rise for further 30 - 45 mins till fluffy. 
  6. Towards the end of the 2nd rise, preheat oven to 180 C.
  7. Bake the bundt bread for 23-27 mins till bread is baked, and the tops get a golden top.
  8. Cool on wire rack, unmould and serve warm or at room temperature as it is or with any soup.

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2015 


 




December 16, 2015

Mini Spinach and Cottage Cheese Tarts | Easy Party Ideas

These Mini Spinach tarts (aka tartlets) were made for a kiddies party and we all liked them very much., I generally detest using APF and butter and cheese, but feeding a crowd of enthu kids was a breeze and a pleasure too :)

And these buttery cheesy mini tarts with a hint of garlic and paneer and spinach : what can I say ? Super happy kids !!

Although my elder one has been asking me to make it again, I have been putting it off. Maybe for the forthcoming Xmas - New year party that we hope to host  / participate in, will make these again. 

Pardon me for the pictures as they were taken just before they were served. Promise to update the post when I make this again. However, the step by step process is quite comprehensive !

Meanwhile join me as they make way for Day 7 of the Bakeathon. If you have missed any posts all this December on this baking fest, check out older posts here.

Prep time : 20 mins, Standing time : 15- 20 mins , Bake time : 12-15 mins , 
Makes : 8-10 Mini Tarts (Medium sized)

Course : Snack, Cuisine : French.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • Maida / All Purpose Flour - 1 cup + 2 TBSP
  • Cold Butter - 65 gms (I used about 5-10 gms lesser)
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp scant
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Cold thick Buttermilk - 1/2 cup (or as required)

Filling:

  • Olive Oil - 2 tsp
  • Chopped Spinach - 1/2 cup
  • Onions - 1 medium (finely chopped) - optional
  • Crumbled Paneer / Cottage Cheese - 1/2 cup
  • Grated Cheese - 1/4 cup + 2 tsp for topping
  • Salt - as reqd (please note cheese is salted too)
  • Pepper - 1/2 tsp (crushed)
  • Finely chopped Garlic - 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli flakes - 1/4 tsp (adjust to taste)


Method:

Lets make the crust first : 

  1. Sieve APF, salt and baking powder twice over. 
  2. Add in the cold butter and with a fork or a pastry cutter incorporate it into the flour till they are the size of peas. 
  3. Now add buttermilk  little by little and mix gently with your fingertips till you are able to make a slightly soft but pliable dough. 
  4. Clingwrap and freeze for 15-20 mins while you make the filling.


For the Filling : 

  1. Heat Olive oil in a pan, splutter the garlic and saute till browned, add onions and saute well. Add the spinach and let it sweat a bit. 
  2. Sprinkle little salt, and add the crumbled paneer (cottage Cheese). Adjust seasoning with red chilli flakes and black pepper. 
  3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

To prepare & Bake the Tarts :

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Roll the refrigerated dough on a slightly floured surface, cut into desired shape (I had Mini Tart Pans, so cut it to that size), gently lift the cut out portion and lay it on the tart mould.
  3. Make small pricks on the surface with a fork or a sharp pointed knife.
  4. Cover with pieces of parchment paper, and blind bake it with some beans in a preheated oven at 165C for 8-10 mins
  5. Now gently brush it with some oil (optional), and spoon in the filling till 2/3 of the baked tart. Top with Cheese , any other seasoning and bake further for 6-7 mins till cheese has melted
  6. Cool on wire rack, gently un-mould and serve warm.


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2015 


 




December 14, 2015

No Knead Wholewheat Banana Chocochip bread

This recipe I bookmarked from Suma's space and it got baked and consumed on the same day. Quick to make, makes use of all the ripe bananas that everyone buys but nobody wants to use after a while. I  generally use overripe bananas in Quick breads like muffins, cupcakes or even pancake. But this yeasted bread from Suma's blog caught my fancy. Guess it was time to clear my bookmarks this Bakeathon.

If you love Bananas, Cinnamon and cardamom (and not in any order) then this bread is for u. I couldnt get any slices after we cut them coz they disappeared real fast, but I assure you it was so good. I used wholewheat in place of APF and used some brown sugar, so the resulting bread was a tad darker than the original, but we loved the cinnamony, chewy and soft loaf. 

Prep time : 15 mins, No Knead. 
Rise time : 2 hours (depending on the temp outside).
Yields : One 9*5 loaf or 3 smaller loaves



Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat flour - 3 1/2 cups
  • Instant yeast - 1.25 tsp
  • Mashed Banana - 1 cup
  • Brown / Refined sugar - 1 TBSP
  • Semi Sweet Chocochips - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp (opt.)
  • Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp (opt.)
Method:

  1. Sieve flour with salt and baking powder. Mix in yeast and keep aside. 
  2. Mix together mashed banana, buttermilk and sugar well. Add to the floured mixture. Add in cinnamon and cardamom powders if using. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment and the dough came together very quickly. 
  3. If mixing by hand, do remember the dough is rather sticky. So you might want to lightly grease your hands before mixing.
  4. Cover and rest in a oiled bowl. Depending on the climate, it might take 1-1.5 hours to double in size. I used wholewheat so the rise wasnt too much, but it was spongy. 
  5. Punch it down once and transfer to greased and lined baking pans. 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 mins till a toothpick comes clean. 
  7. Rest on a cooling rack, slice when completely cooled into desired thickness.



This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2015 


 




December 11, 2015

Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes

Baked potato wedges. Potato dry Curry with Black Pepper. Spinach and Veggie Hashbrowns. Potato-Chickpeas Soup. Potato with Aubergines. Potato Saute with Sesame......The list goes on for potato lovers. 



Today's dish features Potato as the star of the dish, can be had as a Main Course too. Hasselback potatoes are so famous, I wonder why I didnt try this earlier when the entire blogosphere / Pinterest was full of these. Nevertheless, we made it, loved it. Made it several times over - all with minor but interesting variations.


Hasselback potatoes needs no introduction, yet for my readers ...
"A variation is Hasselback potatoes, where the potato is cut into very thin slices almost down the bottom, so that the potato still holds together, and is then baked in the oven, occasionally scalloped with cheese.The proper noun "Hasselback" refers to the fancy Hasselbacken hotel and restaurant in Stockholm which originated this dish." (Source : Wiki)
So, do make it for X, as / New year Party. I assure you it would be the star of the party. No matter how many variations, one cant really go wrong with this.  used very little cheese to top / partially stuff it and liked it that way. But you can go liberal with the cheese and still like it. Older kids living in dormitories with an oven or even bachelors/bachelorettes can make this quick n easy recipe :)

So, lets take a look at my variation. While this goes to Bakeathon under the theme "Flourless Baking"



Prep time : 10 mins, Bake time : 35-40 mins (depends on Potato quality), Makes : 4 portions ; Spice level: Medium, 

Can be made totally vegan by dropping the cheese and butter off the list :-))

Adapted from here

You would need:

  • Longish Fairly big Golden Potatoes - 4 nos
  • Butter / Oil - 4 TBSP (I used a mix of both)
  • Grated Cheese - 4 TBSP
  • Salt and Pepper - to taste
  • Red Chilli Flakes - 1 tsp
  • Oregano and dried herbs - 1/2 tsp


Method:

  1. Wash, scrub the potatoes clean. As shown in the pictures above, first make a small cut at the base of the potato, big enough to keep it stable (from toppling over). 
  2. Now make a thinnish slit along the width of the potato but not through the base. Apply butter / oil liberally all over, and sprinkle adequate salt and pepper. 
  3. In a preheated oven at 210 C / 400F, bake for 30-35 mins till the slits separate a bit and they are almost baked but not mushy . Now apply some more butter / oil and bake for 5-10 mins but watch them turn crisp and golden brown, but not burnt. 
  4. You can serve directly at this stage, but as I added some cheese and chilli flakes, I topped the potatoes with the same and baked for extra 5-7 mins.
  5. Top with any dried herbs or serve as is. Its best enjoyed warm


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2015 


 




December 9, 2015

(Almost Wholewheat) Dominos style Garlic Bread sticks | Kids snack

This GOTTO be the most awaited recipe, not just for me, but for my little angels. They have now got used to eating homemade pizzas, which are a lot more healthy and way less cheese than home delivered / takeaway pizzas made commercially, and they don't complain at all.



But this Dominos style garlic sticks is their favourite, and after seeing a lot of recipes online including Pavani's Pizza Bread sticks (from her Olive Garden favourite menu), I found that making these werent so tricky at all. Thanks Pavani for the inspiration and the push to make these :D

December 7, 2015

Classic Dark Chocolate Brownies | Easy #Christmas recipes

They say classic brownie recipes are not to be tampered with. I didnt. And we loved them (although not a fan of dark chocolate at all, these were very tempting). My husband and kids are fan of really dark chocolate (the elder kid even venturing upto 95% cocoa dark chocolate). We had a small celebration at home when the elder kid scored great marks in her exams , and what better treat than to treat them with Sinful Dark Chocolate Brownies. 


I have made Eggless Multigrain Chocochip Sizzling Brownies , Vegan Choco crinkle walnut brownies & Low fat Eggless Brownies in the past. So this yummy recipe joins that treat. Make it for #Xmas or any other #party at home - am sure you would love any of the treats!!

Adapted directly from the Ghiradelli website itself, this was a treat fit for chocoholics. Only change I made was to sub some of the butter with coconut oil (yes!!) and also substitute the eggs with yoghurt. Compared to Lindt, I think I quite like Ghiradelli better (and I am not even a chocolate lover). Well, dont delay. If you have a batch of dark chocolate, and love those late night treats, make a batch for yourself and watch it disappear rather quickly :)


Sending this to Day 3 of Bakeathon.  

Join me and other bakers to check whats been baking :)

December 6, 2015

Know your ingredient - Bell Pepper.

Every Sunday, we head to checkout one ingredient (Veggie / Fruit / Grain / Protein / Dal / Dairy / Leafy greens etc). Learn a bit about that and checkout whats on offer using that ingredient as a star in any dish.


First in this series is Capsicum / Bellpepper / Sweet pepper. Its my MOST fav veggie, and I can pick this anytime at the market with my eyes closed , and even if there is some at home, I do pick them up , for I love the aroma when its sauteed and the crunch that comes from the salad / curry to which its added to.



A wonderful combination of tangy taste and crunchy texture, sweet bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world with their beautifully shaped glossy exterior that comes in a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Despite their varied palette, all are the same plant, known scientifically as Capsicum annuum


They are members of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, while the red, orange and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity. Paprika can be prepared from red bell peppers (as well as from chili peppers). 


Bell peppers are not 'hot'. The primary substance that controls "hotness" in peppers is called capsaicin, and it's found in very small amounts in bell peppers. 



Benefits of Bell pepper:


  • Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. 
  • While bell peppers are a very popular vegetable, they have not always shared the health research spotlight with other members of the pepper family due to their very minimal content of the phytonutrient capsaicin, the well-researched pepper compound that gives hot peppers their "heat." 
  • Once active in the body, capsaicin can bind onto nerve cell receptors and change pain sensation, and it may also have important anti-cancer and blood-sugar balancing properties. 
  • his vegetable actually provides us with a very broad range of antioxidants. In terms of conventional nutrients, bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin C at 117 milligrams per cup. (That's more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in a typical orange.) 
  • Bell pepper is also a good source of another antioxidant vitamin--vitamin E. 
(source : here)

Lets check what all has been dished out using this versatile Veggie:


 











December 4, 2015

Onion Sesame Pull Apart Bread | Yeasted bread recipes

Officially, this was the first ever bread I baked with Bread Flour ; not that I didnt like wholewheat, but APF is more or less banned at home. 

So, I got lucky that the husband lugged back the bread flour back home after a long trip, I was like a kid who had discovered a huge bag of goodies. Chocolates and most other stuff he brought back never interested me. So i was eagerly waiting to use this up. 



Umm... that means this recipe came about a year and a half ago (or longer), and although I have baked it several times since then, the pics have eluded me. This bread itself was magical right from the way the yeast and bread flour came together, and I could visualise myself ticking off many more bookmarks which called for Bread Flour, and I love working with this magical ingredient although I hoard it like gold :) 

Has it ever happened to you ? Anything that you crave for and it suddenly falls into your lap ! Or am i completely bonkers to talk about bread flour !! Nah :)

December 2, 2015

Running Recap of Bakeathon

In case you have missed the Bakeathon, here's a running round up.... Hope you enjoy all the treats...

Cheers
Kalyani


Baked Karela Chips | Baked Bittergourd Crisps | Vegan Recipe | Diabetic Recipe

We have had a double run on baking theme this year. Early in April, we did 30 days of Baking via the "Fire up your oven" series. And we are back to blogging thrice a week on purely bakes all this December. If you are a baking addict or getting to be one (like me), do join us at this Bakeathon this entire month. I am joined by 15-20 other blogging friends.

And we are posting just bakes. I know I would never have said this, but nowadays, baking seems easier than making parathas :-)))

That said, although there were no themes specified, I just classified them into 3-4 categories for ease of choosing what to bake. I shall be posting these randomly with a mix-n-match of themes.

Today's theme is Veg Bakes. As tea time snacks go,  we like to have them as oil free and hearty at home and generally make cutlets, patties or even Bhel puri .

But this snack bookmarked from Suma's blog just blew me away. For a total bitter gourd hater, I actually liked them. And while Suma had microwaved them, wanted to try baking them in the oven. I made it both versions - in the micro and the oven. And while the oven took a slightly longer time, there was no perceptible difference in the taste.




You can much these as is (and they are sooooo guilt free) and great for diabetics and its vegan too ! Thank you Suma -  my elder one and husband (who like bittergourd atleast once a week) loved it and made me a slight convert  too :))

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