Mushroom rolls

Just when you thought this blog was dead, I decided to give you a surprise ! Ladies and gentlemen, this  blog has resurrected.

I made these mushroom rolls a long, long time back. Fortunately I took pictures. 🙂

Ingredients

  • ¾ C plain flour(maida)
  • 1 ¼ C milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • a pinch of baking powder

Filling

  • 1 ½  tbsp oil
  • ¼ of an onion –chopped
  • 1 C chopped mushroom
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cabbage
  • ½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp grated cheese

Spinach sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maida
  • 2 C milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients

  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce mixed with 1 tsp red chilli sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp  grated cheese

Method

  • Sift maida, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add milk and beat well to get a smooth pouring consistency .  Keep aside for 10 mins.
  • Heat a non stick pan. Put 1 tsp oil on it.  Pour a bit of batter to make a thin pancake. Turn over and cook till both sides are evenly and properly cooked. Remove and keep aside. Make 3-4 such pancakes.
  • For the filling, heat 1 ½ tbsp oil, add onions and cook till they turn soft. Add mushroom and cook further 2-3 mins. Add garlic-ginger paste, chillies, cabbage and cook for an additional 2-3 mins. Add salt, pepper, remove from fire add cheese and keep aside.
  • Spread a pancake , spread 1 tsp of tomato sauce and chilli sauce mix. Put 2 tbsp of filling in the centre. Seal the edges with tomato sauce. Cut the roll into smaller rolls (1” to 2” in size).
  • For the sauce heat 2 tbsp butter. Add 1 ½ C finely chopped spinach  and stir for about 2-3 mins till the water dries up. Add maida and stir for ½ min. Add milk stirring continuously till it boils. Add salt-pepper. Simmer on low heat for 3-4 mins to get a thin pouring consistency sauce. Remove from fire.
  • Spread ¼ of the sauce on a rectangular serving dish. Arrange rolls on top. Spread the remaining sauce over the rolls to cover completely. Grate cheese on top and bake at 200 deg.C for 10 mins.

I got this off Nita Mehta’s Bakes and Cakes (No, we arent done with that book yet). It underwent considerable change before it made it to our dinning table. I avoided the pan cakes (and the maida) and used whole wheat flour to make think rotis ( you can make then exactly the way you make them everyday, just make them thinner..and ensure they are just a light brown when you get them off the tawa.)  What you add in the filling is totally up to you. I didnt have any cabbage so I just did away with it. I am not comfotable cooking mushroom for just a few minutes over the stove.I prefer to pressure cook them so that they cook properly. If you pressure cook them, you can drain the extra water and then add it to the onions. Any remaining water dries up in a minute or two.

I made the white ssauce separately (keeping the same proportions as given in the book) . The spinach was blanched separately, chopped finely and added to the sauce. If you like your food spicy, it would be a good idea to increase the pepper in the filling and throw in some coarse ground red chilli powder too.

Brocolli-zucchini casserole

Here’s another one in the “lets bake healthy” campaign- a simple vegetable casserole.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli(medium in size)
  • 1 zucchini (medium in size)
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 ½  -2 C of milk
  • 1 ½ -2 tbsp wheat wheat flour 
  • 1 egg(hard boiled)
  • 2 cubes of cheese(grated and totally optional 😉 )
  • ½ C bread crumbs
  • A little butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Method:

  • Wash and chop the broccoli and zucchini. Finely cut the onion and garlic.
  • In a non stick pan, heat ½  tsp oil. Sauté the onion and garlic in the hot oil till lightly brown. Add the cut broccoli and zucchini, add salt, cover and cook till tender.
  • To make the white sauce, stir in the wheat flour/aata in a cold cup of milk. You will need to add a little more that  if you want a thicker sauce. This consistency works fine for me but please use your discretion to get the just-right- consistency for your sauce. Pour the milk in a saucepan and cook it till it thicken. Add salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly.  If you are using cheese, add it to the sauce at this stage.
  • Add the cooked broccoli and zucchini to the sauce.
  • Pour into an oven proof dish. Place thin slices of tomato and the hard boiled egg over the sauce and vegetables. Cover with bread crumbs. Dot the bread crumb cover with butter. Bake in the oven at 180 deg.C for 10 -12 minutes till the bread crumb cover in nice and crisp and the tomato slices cooked.
  • Serve with soup and bread.

 Notes:

This is the first time I tried making white sauce with atta instead of all purpose flour017 and I have to admit, you can hardly tell the difference. There is a minor difference in the colour of the sauce but other than that you cant even tell you have used atta. I don’t know if eating 2 tbsp of atta instead of maida makes any drastic difference to your health status, but it does feel  good to be doing something in the name of good health!

 Make sure you peal the zucchini before you cook it. If you don’t, it will lend a bitter taste to your dish and you will not  like that! I learnt this  the hard way.

There is no denying that adding cheese makes the dish richer and tastier.But I have also realised that omitting the cheese doesn’t make  any great difference. The casserole tastes fine even without the cheese.May be the sauce isnt as creamy as it is with the cheese, but in the larger objective of consuming less calories, whats a little creaminess, I ask you? 😛

What vegetables you add to the sauce is totally up to you. After discovering the success of the “atta sauce”, I have made many variations of this casserole- with corn, spinach, paneer, with cheese, without cheese, with bread crumbs and without.

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After making white sauce with atta, next on agenda- attempting a cake with aata!

Beans-cauliflower casserole

Typically when  I try to bake vegetables, which isnt often to begin with, I end up tossing them into a white sauce , grating a lot some sinful cheese over them and popping them in the oven for a few minutes. Thats why I like this recipe- it has an ample amount of cheese  but the sauce is tomato based. Quite a nice change from the over done white sauce , if you ask me.

cauliflower-rajma

Ingredients:

  • 1/2C kidney beans/rajma soaked overnight
  • 1 onions (chopped)
  • 3 tomatoes(250 gms) -blanched, peeled and chopped
  • 4Cfinely chopped cauliflower
  • 21/2tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 C (150gms) grated cheese
  • 1/2C cream
  • 2tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pressure cook rajma in 2C water and 1/2tsp salt.Drain excess water after pressure cooking.
  • Fry the onions and cauliflower  in a little oil till the onions turn golden and the cauliflower is cooked.Add salt and pepper.
  • Add tomatoes,ketchup, sauce,rajma to the onion and cauliflower.Check for salt.
  • Remove from stove.Add half the grated cheese and mix.
  • Trasfer to a baking dish. Top with a mixture of the remaining cheese and cream.Add some salt and pepper to the cheese-cream mixture if you feel the need.
  • Bake at 180 deg.C for about 20 mins.

Source: Nita Mehta’s Bakes and Cakes

Notes:  It doesnt get any more nutritious than this. You have a source of proteins and a source of vitamins and minerals. All you need  is to add a source of carbs (like may be from  brown bread) and you have yourself a fairly balanced meal. I had made this dish for dinner when I was home alone one day. The copious quantities I ended up making forced me to eat this without any accompaniments but I think a clear soup and a slice or two of bread would have gone well with it. The tomato base was a refreshing change from the white sauce. I dint have any Worcestershire sauce and so I skipped that entirely and I dont know how much difference that made in the overall taste- I am not particularly well versed with the taste of Worcestershire!Though pepper is normally a great seasoning to use, I found this dish slightly lacking on the seasoning front.I mean it tastes fine  but for the Indian palette, used to an over-dose of masalas, it was a little on the bland side. It might have been a good idea to add some garlic at the stage when onions and caulifower was being sauted and cooked.

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Rice aubergine casserole

 A slighty time consuming recipe.. but one  that yields yummy results.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C rice
  • 2 bay leave
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 1 large brinjal/aubergine cut into 1” piece
  • 1 large capsicum cut into ½ “ pieces
  • Oil for frying

Red sauce

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 11/2 oinion chopped finely
  • 4 large tomatoes pureed
  • ½ tsp red chilli pwd
  • ½ tsp suage
  • 11/2 tsp salt

Cheese sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maide
  • 2 C milk
  • 2 cheese cubes grated
  • ¾  tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Method:

  • Sprinkle 4.4 tsp salt on the brinjal pieces and leave for ½ hour ro sweat. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Heat oil and deep fry till golden brown.
  • Boil rice in 5 C water with salt, bay leaves and shahi jeera. Cook till tender. Drain excess water and keep aside to cool.
  • To prepare the red sauce, heat oil, sauté chopped onions toll light brown. Add tomato puree, salt, red chilli, sugar and oregano. Cook for about 5 mins till slightly thick. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • For the cheese sauce, heat butter in a pan, add the maida and stir on low heat for  about a minute. Add milk stirring continuously till it comes to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add seasoning and grated cheese. The sauce should be thin in consistency.
  • To assemble, spread half the rice in an oven proof dish. Spread half the aubergine and capsicum on it.  Top with ½ the  red sauce and ½ the cheese sauce.
  • Spread the next layer of rice. Add brinjals, capsicum, top with the two sauces.
  • Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake in a preheated oven for 10 mins at 200 deg.C.
  • Serve hot.(Serves 4)

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Notes:   To avoid deep frying the aubergine pieces, I shallow fried them on a non stick pan.  It doesnt turn out as crisp as it would have had it been deep fried but it gets cooked just fine. The original recipe doesnt ask you to cook the capsicum pieces butI have a mortal fear of serving kachha khana,  so  I sauted the capsicum in 1/2 a tsp of oil before adding it to the dish.  This recipe made me realise one thing- white sauce and rice make a great combo! The white sauce makes the rice creamy and rich.  The texture you get is somewhat like risotto.. at least to me it tasted like risotto and because I love risotto I gave this recipe a doubel thumbs up!:D

Baked vegetables in spinach sauce

A baked dish of vegetables that was modified a bit to make a one dish meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 3C diced mixed vegetables(French beans, carrot ,peas, potatoes, cauliflower)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

White sauce

  • 2 tbsp maida
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Other ingredients

  • 2C chopped spinach
  • 1C cream
  • 6 tbsp grated cheese

Method:

  • Parboil or microwave vegetables. Strain and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp butter, sauté the chopped onion.  Add the mixed vegetables and sauté foe 2 mins. Add chilli powder and salt. Keep aside.
  • For the white sauce, heat 2 tbsp butter, add the maida and still for a minute. Add milk salt and pepper. Cool till it thickens a bit.
  • Cook the spinach separately till dry. Cool and blenderize to a puree.  Beat the cream lightly, add the spinach and white sauce to it.
  • Mix the vegetables to this sauce. Mix 3 tbsp grated cheese.
  • Pour in a dish, cover with the remaining cheese and bake at 200 deg.C for 20 mins.

Source: Nita Mehta’s Bakes and Cakes.

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Mandira’s notes: I did two things to the original recipe- i got rid of the cream that was added to the spinach and I added macarone along with the vegetables to get a one dish meal. I think the cream was totally superfulous- may be it made it creamier and richer but it wasnt an essential part of the recipe and thats exactly why it was avoided.  The macarone added volume ( and carbs)to the dish and made it a full meal by itself.

Veggie Casserole – Two Recipes

Most casseroles are miracle one pot meals that can be easily assembled, don’t require exacting measurements and are baked without too much of effort. Both of us baked veggie casseroles – each in our own way. Mandira dunked potatoes, beans and paneer in white sauce and baked until set. Lakshmi Layered Vegetable Casserole with potato, red peppers, onions and tomatoes and baked with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese on top.

Recipe #1: Mandira’s Paneer, Potato and Beans in White Sauce Casserole

This was a spontaneously developed recipe by Mandira’s mom. She had eaten something similar ages back at a restaurant and decided to re-invent it in her kitchen.

Ingredients

  • French beans -100gms
  • Cottage cheese or paneer- 100gms
  • Potatoes- 2 Small
  • White sauce- 1 1/2 cups
  • Cheese – 2 cubes grated
  • Oil for Sauté
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker. Cool the potatoes and dice.
  2. Par boil the French beans till they are cooked just right. String and cut into 1 inch size pieces.
  3. Cube the paneer to a size similar to the potatoes.
  4. On a non stick pan, pour a few drops of oil. Sauté the potatoes and paneer pieces to make them evenly crisp on all sides. Keep these aside.
  5. Prepare white sauce using milk and maida. Once the sauce is ready, add the seasonings and grated cheese.
  6. Add the sauted potatoes, paneer and beans and mix well.
  7. Put this mixture into a oven proof dish and bake for about 10 mins- till the cheese melts and the top of the dish browns a little.

Ensure the following: Nothing to ensure in this recipe really- its pretty simple and straight forward. The only thing important is the consistency of the white sauce- it shouldnt be watery neither should it be too thick. It needs to be thick enough to coat the vegetables easily.

Source: Mandira’s mom.

Mandira’s Notes: This dish goes well with a hot bowl of soup and well-buttered toasts. To make this dish more interesting, you can finely chop a few flakes of garlic, slightly sauté them in little oil and add it to the white sauce and vegetables. This gives it a nice flavour.

I tried eating this dish with Tabasco. Don’t know why I thought it would go well. Let me warn you, it doesn’t go well at all!! Perhaps regular tomato ketchup will work well. Else, the dish is fine by itself.

Recipe #2: Lakshmi’s Potato, Red Peppers, Tomato and Onions Casserole

I developed this recipe while trying to conjure up an accompaniment to the ciabattas I had baked this weekend.

Ingredients

  • Vegetables – 500 g (Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes or similar vegetables of your choice)
  • Onions – 2 Medium
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (or fresh cream/double cream for a richer version)
  • Cheese – 50 g
  • White breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Salt and Paprika for seasoning (as per taste)
  • Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

Method

  1. Grease a 9 inch Baking dish with Olive Oil.
  2. Slice the Onions into rings. Saute the onions until translucent and set aside to cool. Slice the other vegetables into thin discs.
  3. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C.
  4. Form layers in the baking dish with the sliced vegetables, starting with the tomatoes. Sprinkle white breadcrumbs and seasonings over each layer before proceeding to the next. Continue doing this till all the vegetables are used. End with a layer of either potatoes or tomatoes (never onions, unless you like black onions!!!).
  5. Pour the Milk into the baking dish. Top with the remaining bread crumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Bake at 200 C for 40 minutes or until the dish turns golden on top.

Serve with bread of your choice.

Lakshmi’s Notes: Oven timings may vary. Note the browning on top to know when to stop. I finished with a layer of tomatoes for a change this time. Finishing with Potatoes in a casserole is a better idea – browned potatoes taste doubly better than oven baked tomatoes IMHO.

Pizza-licious!

Who can resist oven fresh pizzas?? Here’s a step by step guide to make your very own, home baked pizzas. The original recipe is a result of research and experimentation carried out by Lakshmi who is obsessed with pizzas. It has been posted at The Yum Blog (her other blog) earlier.

The recipe yields a crust that is “neither too thin, nor too thick”and “crisp on the outside, soft inside” which works with us very well.

Pizza with Wasabi-Olive Oil Sauce Topped with Spinach, Onions, Tomatoes and Peppers with Mozzarella Cheese

Makes: Two 12 inch Pizzas

Ingredients

For the Base/ Crust/Pizza Dough

  • Water – 1 cup
  • All Purpose Flour – 2 1/2 cups (plus extra for dusting)
  • Corn Flour – 3 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Honey – 1 tbsp
  • Active Dry Yeast – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Dried Herbs of Choice – 2 tbsp (optional)

For Topping

  • Sauce of choice – 2 tbsp (or Olive Oil)
  • Toppings of choice – 1 1/2 – 2 cups sliced and sauted (tossed in 4-5 tbsp of sauce of choice if you like)
  • Cheese of choice – 1/2 cup (grated) (or 6 tbsp for each pizza)

Method

  1. Warm 1 cup water. Water that you can dip your finger in is warm enough. Dissolve the sugar, add honey and yeast. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Dissolve the yeast.
  2. Mix All Purpose Flour, Corn flour, Salt and Basil. Dissolve one cup of the flour mix to dissolved yeast. Add the second cup and combine by whisking in one circular direction with your hand. Add the remaining flour and whisk into a dough. Add the olive oil 1 tbsp at a time while combining into dough. The dough will be loose but well combined and smooth. The dough is not kneaded.
  3. Divide the dough into two. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until its almost doubled. This should take about 1-2 hours.
  4. Flour the pizza pan. Preheat oven to 250 degrees C.
  5. Take one portion of the dough onto the pizza pan and using your palm pat into thin circular disk till it covers the pan. You can use a rolling pin. Dust with adequate flour while stretching. If the dough bounces back, let it rest for a while and stretch. Cut out any extra edges. The edges of the base should be slightly thicker. Using a fork prick all over the base.
  6. Spread 1 tbsp of the Sauce. Spread Toppings. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the crust turns golden or cheese starts to brown. Or bake the base for 5 minutes. Take out spread the sauce and toppings and bake for an additional 5 to 15 minutes. Your method will depend on choice of sauce/ toppings (the amount of water or liquid content) and how hot your oven can get.
  7. Take out from oven and let pizza cool down before transferring to serving plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Slice into pieces and serve.

Whole wheat pizza with Garlic Olive Oil Sauce topped with Sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos and coloured peppers with cheddar cheese

Lakshmi’s notes:

Whisk the dough together. Do not knead like you do for rotis unless you want a tough chewy crust.

You can replace half of the AP flour with wheat flour. Be sure to increase the water by 1/2 cup. Pay attention to the dough consistency while determining water content, it needs to be loose. If you’re using 100% whole wheat you’ll need 1 cup of water for 1.5 cups of flour.

Dough kept overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours) and rested about an 1 hour outside before baking produces better results. Reduce yeast to 1 tsp in this case. Its not necessary to allow dough to double before refridgeration, about 1 hour of rising time is sufficient.

Allowing the dough to rise too much can result in a bready pizza base rather than a thin crisp one. Dough that’s risen too much when rolled out thin will yield a hard biscuit and not a crust.

Incorporating more than the needed amount of dough while rolling out the pizza crust can lead to a very hard crust. Use only as much as needed to prevent dough from sticking while rolling out.

Pizza topped with corn, onion, tomato, bell pepper and loads of cheese

Mandira’s notes: I used a corn, onion, tomato and bell pepper topping, with loads and loads of cheese. The pizza turned out well. The only thing that went wrong was that I used Fun N Food Pasta and Pizza Sauce. That’s what killed the pizza. The sauce is so sour that its distracting. So whatever you do, don’t try this sauce. A thin layer of good old tomato ketchup would work better. I used Brittania cheese cubes because that’s what I had in the home but mozzarella would probably have been better.

I made the dough for the base time for the very first time and so I dint want to experiment too much. In terms of herbs, I stuck to good old oregano. I let the dough rise for around 6 hours and then kept it in the fridge. I rolled out one of the bases a little thin which made it hard and crusty. Fortunately the other one turned out fine.