Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pizza Pinwheels



I love savory bakes. This month for Home Baker's Challenge, Gayathri suggested few recipes. Now two of them really caught my attention, one was the chocolate rolls and the other was these pizza pinwheels. But since I love to try savory bakes, I chose these over the chocolate rolls. But I am sure I will try out the chocolate rolls soon.

These Pizza pinwheels are really easy to put together and taste delicious. They can be the perfect appetizers for your potluck lunches or kids birthday parties. They were a huge hit with my kids.

Now off to the recipe

Makes around 10 medium sized pinwheels


What you'll need
For the Pizza Dough
  1. All Purpose Flour – 1 ½ cup
  2. Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
  3. Sugar – 1 tsp
  4. Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
  5. Milk – ¼ cup
  6. Water – ¼ cup

For the filling
  1. Pasta Sauce – 4 tbsp (or as required)
  2. Onion – 1 medium sized, finely chopped
  3. Red Bell Pepper – ½, finely chopped
  4. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1/2, finely chopped
  5. Grated Mozzerella – as required
  6. Olive oil – 1 tsp
  7. Italian seasoning – a pinch
  8. Salt and black pepper powder to taste

Method

For the dough
  1. In a wide bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix well.
  2. Mix the water and milk and warm it so that it is lukewarm.
  3. Now add the olive oil and the water milk mixture to the flour and mix well.
  4. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes into a smooth dough.
  5. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap.
  6. Set aside for 1 hr or till the dough is double its volume.
  7. In the meanwhile, prepare the filling,
  8. Heat a non stick pan, with a tsp of olive oil
  9. Add the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, next add the bell peppers and sauté for another 3 to 4 mintues.
  10. Add salt, black pepper and the Italian seasoning. Allow to cool.
  11. Pre – heat the oven to 200C
  12. Once the dough has risen to double it volume, punch down the dough and knead again for few minutes.
  13. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
  14. Roll one of the parts into thin rectangle shape.
  15. Apply about 2 tbsp of the pasta sauce, sprinkle some of the topping and then add the required amount of cheese.
  16. Start rolling tightly from the shorter side of the rectangle, once you reach the end, pinch the edges and seal well.
  17. Slice the log into medium size pieces  and place them on a baking tray with the cut side up. Shape them slightly into round discs.
  18. Brush with melted butter and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pinwheels are golden brown.

Remove from oven, cool and serve.





Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thattai - Easy Janmashtami Recipes


Thattai is one of our family favorite snacks. My kids love it very much. They prefer such savory snacks to sweets. My MIL is an expert in preparing snacks. She makes a huge array of sweets and snacks for Krishna Jayanthi and Deepawali. All these years I have been observing my MIL preparing the dishes, helping her here and there. Now that I am on my own, I have started trying out these snacks.




Makes - 18 to 20 
What you'll need
  1. Rice Flour – 1 cup (I used Idiyappam flour)
  2. Urad Dal Flour – 1 tsp
  3. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tbsp
  4. Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Unsalted Butter – 1 tbsp
  6. Asafoetida – generous sprinkling
  7. Chilli Powder – ¾ tsp
  8. Curry Leaves – few
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Oil to deep fry

Method
  1. Soak the channa dal for 1 hour
  2. In a wide bowl, take the rice flour, urad dal flour, sesame seeds, asafoetida, salt, chilly powder, mix well with hands.
  3. Now, drain the water from the soaked channa dal and add the dal. Add finely chopped curry leaves.
  4. Also add the butter and mix well with hands, so that the butter is incorporated in the flour.
  5. Now add water little by little and knead into a smooth dough, (just like chappathi dough)
  6. Heat a kadai with oil to deep fry.
  7. Divide the dough into small gooseberry sized balls.
  8. Take to thick plastic covers, milk cover or two ziplock bags, apply oil on one side of the plastic.
  9. Take one of the balls, place on the greased plastic sheet, place another plastic sheet, and flatten the ball flat bottomed vessel like davara, into a thin circular disc, Flatten into thin and even disks, you can use the fingers too.
  10. Prick the circular disc of thattai with a fork to prevent puffing up.
  11. Carefully transfer the thattai from the plastic sheet to your hand and slide into the hot oil, cook for couple of minutes on medium heat and then flip over. Cook till the bubbles stop.
  12. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen tissue.
  13. Grease the plastic sheet again and repeat  the procedure.
  14. Cool completely and store in air tight container.



Notes:
  1. Using good quality rice flour is important.
  2. Flatten the thatti nice and thin so that u get crispy thattais.
  3. Ensure that oil is hot when you drop the thattai and then fry on medium flame, don’t fry on very low flame, thattais will drink too much oil don’t fry in very hot oil too as the thattais will turn dark outside and remain uncooked inside.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Aval Kesari - Easy Krishna Jayanthi Recipes


Krishna Jayanthi is fast approaching. While preparing the neivedyams for Krishna Jayanthi, Aval plays an important role. Vella Aval is usually a must for this festival.

Now, if you want to try something different with Aval this year, give this aval kesari a try. It is very easy to prepare and even bachelors can make it without any trouble. It gets ready in no time and tastes very good.



What you’ll need
  1. Aval/Poha/Rice Flakes – 1 cup (thick variety)
  2. Sugar – 1 cup
  3. Water – 1 cup
  4. Ghee – 5 tbsp
  5. Cashew nuts – few
  6. Raisins – few
  7. Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  8. Orange color – little                  

Method
  1. Powder the rice flakes in a mixie until rava consistency.
  2. Heat a non – stick pan with 2 tbsp of ghee, fry the cashew nuts until golden, transfer to a plate and add the raisins and fry till the plump up. Transfer to a plate.
  3. In the same pan, add the powdered aval and fry in the remaining ghee for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to another plate.
  5. Heat 1 cup of water and bring to boil, add the color powder.
  6. When the water starts boiling lower the heat and add the fried powdered aval.
  7. Mix well, without and lumps and cook covered for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat.
  8. Once all the water is absorbed and aval is cooked add the sugar and mix well
  9. Add the remaining ghee and stir for few more minutes or till the kesari starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  10. Remove from heat, add the cardamom powder and the fried nuts and mix well.

Serve warm.



Note:
  1. Keep an extra ½ cup of hot water ready, if you feel the aval absorbed the water very quickly and is not cooked properly u can add it.
  2. I used Thick variety poha and so used equal and little more water, if using medium variety reduce the water quantity.
  3. Add the sugar only after the aval is cooked till soft. After adding the sugar, aval will not cook further.
  4. Remove from heat when slightly watery as it will tighten on cooling.





Saturday, August 2, 2014

Aadi 18 Aadi Perukku Festival Recipes


The month of Aadi is one of the most auspicious months in the Tamil Calendar. There are a few days in this month which are of even more significance. One of them is the Aadi Padinettam Perukku or Aadi Perukku, which is the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi. The Padinettam perukku is celebrated to pay the respects to the river Cauvery. On this day, a variety of rice items, vadai and payasam are prepared and packed and people used to walk up to the banks of the river Cauvery and enjoy their meal.

I don’t have any memory of having enjoyed such a meal on the banks of a river but I do remember, my mother preparing a wide spread different rice varieties, like Lemon rice, Coconut rice etc with lots of vadams, karuvadams etc. And we all use to sit together as a family and enjoy the meal.



Here are few of the recipes:







Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chembu Roast/Seppankizhangu Roast/Arbi Roast


Chembu is one of our family favourite vegetable. I like it in sambar, mor kootan and I love this puli vitta chembu curry that my mom makes. It pairs beautifully with Keerai moalagootal. So basically, we like chembu in any form.
Today’s recipe is a very simple one, but tastes awesome when paired with a simple rasam or mor kootan. In fact, I like to eat it just like that, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Some people deep fry it, but I like to make it this way, add a little more oil to get nice and crisp roast curry.

Serves – 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Chembu/Seppankizhangu – 500 gms
  2. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  3. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  4. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves –few
  6. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  8. Chilli Powder – ½ tsp or according to taste
  9. Salt to taste

Method
  1. Soak the chembu/Seppankizhangu in water for about 10 minutes. Then scrub and wash thoroughly to remove the mud and dirt from it.
  2. Pressure cook with just enough water for 2 whistles. Do not cook for long and make it mushy.
  3. Let it cool, open the cooker and drain out the water.
  4. Peel the skin of the vegetable and cut into thick slices or medium sized pieces. Let the chembu cool completely before frying.
  5. Heat a Kadai, preferably a non stick one, with oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
  6. Lower the heat and add the asafoetida.
  7. Now add the chembu pieces, add the turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  8. Mix well, taking care not to break the pieces.
  9. Let it fry on low to medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes, stir once in a while.
  10. Add the chilli powder and mix. Fry for another 7 to 8 minutes on low flame or till the pieces are roasted well.
  11. Serve hot with Rice and Sambar or Mor kuzhambu or with rasam.



Note:
  1. You can replace the red chilly powder with Sambar Powder, it gives a nice flavour.
  2. If you feel the pieces are slightly overcooked, refrigerate the pieces for about half and hour and then fry.
  3. Also you can sprinkle about a tsp or 2 of rice flour evenly over the vegetable to get crispy fry, though I did not add.



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