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gOBI 1
Learn how to make Gobi Manchoorian/ Gobi Manchoori

Gobi Manchoorian/ Manchoori is an Indo Chinese food which is quite popular in India. It is said to have been developed by the tiny Chinese community that lived in Kolkata for over a century.  It is nothing but fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and chili sauce. There are two different variants of it, dry and gravy. If I were frying I would use all purpose flour and cornstarch to make a thin batter; dip the florets in the batter and then deep fry.  Once that is done follow the below mentioned sauce recipe.  Few recipes even call for Ajinomoto (MSG) to increase the taste however I try to avoid it due to health reasons. Some add food colors to give the florets a bright red color, which is quite common in restaurants. I avoid that as well.
gOBI 2
In the past I have baked the same dish using different flours – chickpea,all purpose and even whole wheat flour. The problem was it wasn’t as crispy as I had expected it to be also there would a thin layer of batter stuck in the base of the florets. This used to put me off. That’s when dusting cornstarch came to my mind. I actually used about 3-3.5 tablespoon of cornstarch. The cauliflower florets baked beautifully, ending with a crispy texture. But the only thing was I could feel the cornstarch even after baking ( I realized I added a lot).The next time I would work with 1.5-2 tablespoons only. I know fried ones are the best but I wanted to try something that I could enjoy whole heartedly without worrying about calories. Making junk food healthy is a very smart idea:) .
Gobi 3
To me these tasted great, not as crispy as the fried ones but slightly close to it. Once they are coated in the sauce, I don’t see much of a difference. A good sauce is the key! If you plan to use them just as plain fritters, do season them with salt, pepper, cayenne and some turmeric (for the color) before baking. Also broil it for about 2-3 minutes towards the end to make it more crispier.

Baked Gobi Manchoori

Serving Size: 3

Baked Cauliflower with sweet and Chili sauce - healthy twist to a tasty junk food.

Ingredients

  • Baking Cauliflower
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets about 5-6 cups
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2-3 garlic pods, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 thai green chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Green chili/red chili sauce, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro , chopped
  • Salt as needed

Instructions

Preheat oven at 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Wash and dry in a paper towel. Place all the cauliflower in a large bowl. Drizzle oil over the florets coating it well. Now add the cornstarch and toss it. Spread it evenly on the lined sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip each floret. Increase temperature to 425F. Bake again for about 20 minutes. You will end with slightly crispy florets with a brownish tinge. Feel free to broil it for about 2 – 3 minutes for more crispier option, which I didn’t.

Sauce - Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onions turn pink. Do not overcook the veggies, do retain the crunchiness. Now add the ketchup and soy sauce. If you are using the chilli sauce, please add now( We don’t eat too spicy food, so I avoided the sauce). The mixture will start sizzling. Add the cauliflower,lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Garnish with cilantro.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2015/03/baked-gobi-manchoori/

If you are thinking of gravy please add some water mixed with very little cornstarch towards the end and then a quick boil will result in a semi gravy Manchoorian sauce. Serve as an appetizer or along with fried rice/noodles. Spring onions are a great choice too, if you have some handy do add it right at the end.

Enjoy guilt free!

 

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Sheermal 3
Aparna chose “Sheermal”for the “We need to Bake”group few months back. I finally got to bake it last week. I didn’t have enough flour in hand so halved the below recipe and made just two Sheermal’s.

Sheermal or Shirmal is a saffron based traditional flatbread which is a rare Lucknow and Hyderabadi delicacy. They are also made in Bangladesh,Iran and Pakistan. This mildly sweet bread is made with simple ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Egg, Milk, Ghee(clarified butter) and not to forget the key ingredient “Saffron”.
Sheermal 2
According to
Aparna – incorporating the ghee into the dough slowly by adding a little at a time ensures that the fat is dispersed evenly through the dough, and gives a better texture to the Sheermal. Make sure your dough is soft, elastic and well kneaded as this will produce a superior Sheermal. The hallmark of good Sheermal is the glistening finish on the flatbread from brushing it with melted ghee or butter, so do not skimp on that, even though this flatbread is already rich as it is. The egg gives the dough a little extra richness, texture and flavour, but you can leave it out if you don’t use eggs.
Sheermal 4
Traditionally these are cooked in a Tandoor, but oven is a good choice too. Some recipes call for leavening agent but this version uses yeast. I did not have “Kewra” ( screw pine extract) so used rose water. But to be honest I couldn’t feel the rose water flavour in the bread. You can also try using cardamom instead of Kewra/ Rose Water. You can garnish it with raisins, poppy seeds, slivered almonds etc.

This video is a film showing how Sheermal is made in smaller commercial bakeries – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-6gZYWUrEo

This video gives a good demonstartiuon on how to make/ shape Sheermal – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD_74g36bJI

Sheermal / Shirmal ( Saffron Flavored Flatbread)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

A traditional Saffron Flavored Flatbread!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more, as required for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (screw pine essence) or rose water
  • A few strands saffron soaked in 2 tablespoon warm milk
  • Melted butter, for brushing

Instructions

Mix the yeast into the warm water with sugar and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes till it is frothy.

You may knead by hand or with a machine. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg and run the processor a couple of times to mix well. Then add the ghee in two lots to this and again pulse a couple of times till it looks like fine crumbs.

Now add as much milk, and finally the kewra (or rose water) and knead until you have a very soft and slightly sticky dough. Transfer this to an oiled bowl, cover with a moist cloth and let the dough rise till doubled in volume (about 1 to 2 hours).

Remove the cloth and knead the dough again. Shape into a ball, lightly coat all over with a little ghee, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Now divide the dough into 4 equal portions and using your fingers, press out each portion into a round of approximately 4” diameter (about 1/8” thick). You can also use your rolling pin, but I found it quite easy to do with my fingers. Place the rounds on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking tray and using a fork, dock (prick holes) the whole surface of the dough rounds.

Brush them all over, generously, with the saffron-milk solution. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 10 to 15 minutes till they turn a lovely golden brown. Do not over-bake them.

Take them out of the oven, and immediately brush them lightly with melted butter or more ghee. Serve warm. This recipe makes 4 Sheermals of approximately 4” diameter.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2014/12/sheermal-shirmal-saffron-flavored-flatbread/

Serve them warm with any spicy curry,vegetables,jams or pickles. My little one loved it with some Nutella Spread.

Enjoy!

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patties 1
Nothing excites me more in summer than shopping in the Farmer’s market! The vibrantly colored produce… bundles of flowers…fresh greens …to tasting samples …to the baked goods smell. I just get carried away and always end up buying more than it’s required for our small family. The prices are reasonable and the quality of the products is far superior. I make sure to visit several markets even if it means driving across the town! Each of these markets has something unique to offer and is an experience in itself. During my last visit, I bought two large Zucchinis which were lying in the refrigerator for more than a week. I usually make Baked Zucchini fries or Roasted Veggies or Zucchini Chutney. As I enjoy mixing different things to create something tasty, this time around I decided to blend Quinoa and Zucchini and see what I could come up with.
patties 2
Of late we have been making a change in our daily habits to incorporate healthy food. We are trying our best to cut down on processed food as well. Embracing healthy habits has taught me lot about my limits and what I need to do about it. If I had to bake Zucchini Fries, I would have to use breadcrumbs and may be an egg( I know milk can be used instead:P). So there is the extra carbs from the bread -I would love to avoid. Roasted Zucchini – well how do I use Quinoa in this? So after enough deliberation I zeroed on these healthy Patties. I did not have Hamburger buns handy so just made simple patties and topped it with chunky guacamole and sour cream. This one made a perfect snack! I don’t claim this to be a low carb food, but less than 15 g of carb is not bad at all:)

I grated Zucchini and squeezed it well to remove all the water. Added Quinoa, bell pepper,onion and a whole can of white beans to make it protein rich food(Kidney beans should work too). Since the mixture was mushy I added Chickpea flour but it was still too sticky. Ideally breadcrumbs could have done the job but I wanted to avoid it. So added a whole cup of rolled oats. Now I was able to shape them. It baked well…you may want to use just a drop of oil on top or simply use oil spray over the patties. On hindsight I should have powdered the oats, but would it be still crunchy?? Well I don’t know about it. Let me know if you’ve tried that. Here is how I made them:)

Baked – Quinoa and Oats Patties with White Beans

Yield: 15 patties

Calories per serving: 75cal each

A healthy snack made with Quinoa and White Beans along with vegetables!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups zucchini,grated
  • ¾ cup cooked quinoa
  • one 15oz organic white beans can(I used Northern White Beans from Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 -3 thai green chillies , chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • chat masala(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil/oil spray
  • GUACAMOLE
  • 1 avacado, cut and flesh removed
  • ½ cup of red onions, chopped
  • 1 roma tomatoes,chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno/green chillies, chopped
  • A tablespoon cilantro,chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • salt as needed
  • Light Sour cream for garnishing

Instructions

Squeeze all the water from the grated Zucchini. Rinse and drain the canned beans; mash it with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients(excluding the oil) and shape them into small balls; flatten them. Place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about an hour. It should be a little hard.( I like to freeze it for about 30 mins)

Preheat oven at 375F. Add just a drop of oil/use an oil spray on each patty and rub it gently on the top. Bake until golden brown and crispy.( Flip halfway through). It might take about 35-40 mins.

To make the Chunky Guacamole – Mix all the ingredients. Mash them using a fork.

To Serve – Place two patties on a plate, top it with some guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy!

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2014/09/baked-quinoa-and-oats-patties-with-white-beans/

My husband usually believes tasty food and healthy food are mutually exclusive! So the minute I told him I baked them and it’s healthy, he didn’t seem excited. I persuaded him to try some and guess what??? he ended up asking for an extra serving:). I felt good to prove that his theory was wrong! Each patty contains about 75 cal; 13g carb;1g fat;4g protein.

These are crunchy and best when it’s right out of the oven and definitely fills you up. Just the patty taste fine, but the topping gives it a nice kick..so don’t miss out on that!

Enjoy!

Nina

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Mawa Cake 1 main

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious!

I was really kicked about the Mawa Cake and worked on it as soon as I read the post. In a hurry I ended making a stupid mistake. I read 4 cups of milk as 4 litres of milk(that was alot of MILK!!!). Mawa requires patience and lot of stirring. Mine took almost 3-4 hrs; that’s when I felt something was wrong;logged into the DBC site to check and that’s when I realized how dumb I was!!!.Now that I was left with a huge batch of Mawa,I saved up a cup for the cake and added a little sugar to the remaining. Mixed it well and made small flat disc and refrigerated it for sometime. These are called Pedas and they make agreat dessert. But yes…not to forget they are made with whole milk so very very HIGH in calories.

Mawa Cake 2 main Mawa Cakes are a speciality cake that is the hallmark of Irani cafe’s in India. Mawa (also known as Khoya/ Khoa) is made by slowly reducing milk (usually full-fat) until all that remain is a mass of slightly caramelized granular dough-like milk solids. Mawa is used in a wide variety of Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Peda, to mention just two. Mawa is pronounced as Maa-vaa; Khoya is pronounced as KhOh-yaa.
Mawa Cake 3 main In this cake, Mawa lends a rich and a caramelized milky taste to this cake which is slightly dense and reminiscent of a pound cake. Cardamom and cashewnuts are typical of a Mawa Cake; but almonds can be used too. I had a whole pack of blanched sliced almonds from Trader Joe’s that came into use. The batter can be used to make Cupcakes as well. They were totally moist and the cardamom flavor was to die for. Even my little enjoyed this cake. Masala Cookies 2 main
Masala cookies are something that features very often at home. So these were not something new; however I just baked them with the flavors I like.The word Masala means “Spice Mix”, they are savory and spicy Indian snack. These were quite spicy because of the chilies and pepper that went into them. They are loaded with flavors and are super crunchy on the outside;soft and flaky in the inside. I used Mint and Dill leaves which added a zing to the cookies. Masala Cookies 1 main I made the Mawa two days ahead of time and stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before you make the cake. Instead of cardamom you may choose to use nutmeg also.For the Masala cookies I didn’t have curry leaves handy; Cilantro,Dill and Mint leaves did their flavoring magic:)

Mawa Cake

Serving Size: Makes One 8 inch Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Mawa:
  • 1 litre (4 cups) full fat milk
  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Butter (soft at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup packed crumbled mawa
  • 1-1/4 cups castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 to 6 cardamom pods, powdered, (about 1-1/2 tsp powdered cardamom)
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Blanched Sliced Almonds / Cashewnuts to decorate

Instructions

First make the “Mawa”. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.

The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.

Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance. There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from heat and transfer the mawa to a bowl and let it cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate it for a day or two (not more) till you’re ready to make the cake. It will harden in the fridge so let it come to room temperature before using it.You should get about 3/4 to 1 cup of mawa from 1 litre (4 cups) of full-fat milk.

Now start preparations for the cake by pre-heating your oven to moderate 350°F . Beat the butter, the crumbled mawa and the sugar in a largish bowl, using a hand held electric beater, on high speed until soft and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed till well incorporated. Add the vanilla and milk and beat till mixed well.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt onto the batter and beat at medium speed and well blended. If you cannot find cake flour, place 2 tablespoon of cornstarch in the bottom of your 1-cup measure and then fill it with all-purpose (plain) flour to make up to 1 cup.

Grease and line only the bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan. Pour the batter into this and lightly smooth the top. Place the cashew nuts (or blanched almonds) on top of the batter randomly. Do not press the nuts down into the batter. A Mawa Cake always has a rustic finished look rather than a decorated look.

Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 1 hour until the cake is a golden brown and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Do not over bake the cake or it will dry out. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it will aluminium foil hallway through the baking time.

Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 min in the tin. Release the cake, peel off the parchment from the base and let it cool completely.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2013/09/mawa-cake-and-masala-herb-cookies-daring-bakers-august13-challenge/

Masala Herb Cookies

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 tablespoons fine white or brown rice flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or according to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 3/4 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorn, crushed coarsely
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed coarsely
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh cilantro,mint and dill leaves
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold yogurt
  • A little oil to brush the tops of the biscuits/ cookies

Instructions

Put both flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl of a food processor and add the pieces of chilled butter. Pulse until the mixture takes on the texture of breadcrumbs.

Now add the chopped green chillies, finely grated ginger, crushed peppercorn and cumin, sugar, the chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves. Pulse a couple of times to mix well.

Then add 2 tablespoons of yogurt and pulse again. Add one more tbsp of yogurt (or two, as much as needed), and pulse again until the dough just comes together and clumps together. You want a moist dough, not a wet one – somewhat like pie dough.

Do not over process or knead. The dough should be just moist enough for you to use your hands and bring everything together to shape into a ball. Flatten it into a disc and cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least hour. You can also leave it overnight (up to about 24 hours) and work on it the next day.

Pre-heat your oven to moderate 350°F and line your baking trays with parchment or grease them with oil.

Lightly dust your working surface and roll out the dough to 1/8”(3 mm) thickness, not more or your biscuits/ cookies will not be crisp. If using Sesame seeds, sprinkle it uniformly over the dough and use your rolling pin, very lightly, to press them in.Using cutters of your choice (about 2-1/4 inch in size), cut out biscuits/ cookies and place them on lightly greased baking trays. Brush a very thin coat of oil over them. This will help them brown while baking. Bake them in a preheated moderate oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or till they’re done and golden brown on the top. Remember the baking time will depend on the thickness and shape of your biscuits/ cookies. Let them cool on the trays for about 5 minutes and then cool them on racks. Once they’re completely cool, they should be a bit crunchy and not chewy.

http://www.thefoodielovers.com/2013/09/mawa-cake-and-masala-herb-cookies-daring-bakers-august13-challenge/

Note – I was traveling so posting very late. Its better late than never:)

Bon Appétit
Nina

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