snack

Garlic bread – Perfect Lazy Sunday Breakfast

After an eventful women’s day with my girl friends at home yesterday, I woke up at 10 in the morning and started thinking how about skipping breakfast and jump to brunch there by skipping lunch too!! haha 😉

But then when I entered kitchen to make some tea, I spotted white bread and that reminded me of garlic bread!!



What I love the most about garlic bread is that it is such a simple wish to full fill!!

Ingredients
Bread

For garlic butter (For 4 breads)
2 tsp butter or Nutralite (good alternative)
1 medium size garlic clove
1/2 tsp oregano spice mix (Oregano + thyme)
[A useful tip : Never dispose the spice mix and chilli flakes that you get when you order home delivery for pizzas. They come in handy when you are making pizza or garlic bread!]
1/2 or 1 tsp chilli flakes
Sea salt as per taste

Crush garlic and sea salt in a mortar. Add oregano and chilli flakes and mix well.

Generously spread on bread.

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
Bake the bread at 200 degrees for 8 minutes. Give a standing time of 3 minutes, so they turn crispy.

Enjoy crispy roasted garlic bread, nothing like it on a lazy sunday morning!! Enjoyyyy 🙂


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non veg · snack

Easy to make pocket pizzas

One fine day I had come home at around 7:30 in the evening, which by the way is pretty early for me, so wanted to make the most of it. I decided to make pizza and bought all the vegetables on my way back. At the time of making, I thought, lets give the pizza a new look! and thats how pocket pizzas happened.














And believe me, pocket like shape has a lot of advantages, the flavour is sealed inside. Also the stuffing along with cheese remains hot and soft for longer period of time compared to a flat pizza. You have all the right reasons to experiment with this shape, so go ahead and try it! You will not be disappointed.

The ingredients and recipe is pretty much similar to the pizza recipe I posted here some time back. Only difference is that I took small dough balls and made 1/4 inch thick round shaped pizza base. 

The vegetables should be finely chopped so they can be conveniently sealed. Non vegetarians can use finely chopped chicken sausages along with vegetables.




First apply some sauce and then sprinkle some grated cheese. [The mistake that I did was I had spread cheese on top of veggies, please avoid that because cheese ends up oozing out.] Place some veggies and seal the pizza by folding them from two corners.

Important : As shown in the pictures, the seal eventually opens up while baking, but that is okay.

At the time of serving, sprinkled some oregano spice mix (Oregano + thyme + very little sea salt) 

A useful tip : Never dispose the spice mix and chilli flakes that you get when you order home delivery for pizzas. They come in handy when you are baking pizza at home! Always stash them in your fridge. 
If not pizza, you can use them for making garlic bread!


breakfast · snack

Pav Bhaji

Healthy alternative to pav bhaji.. brown bread bhaji! brown bread lightly toasted using nutralite. If you havn’t tried nutralite yet, you better do it now. It is a great substitute for ghee/butter. Believe me, you will not compromise on taste and at the same time indulge in guilt free eating 🙂

Ingredients (Serves four)
4 potatoes
1 cup green peas
1 cup carrot pieces
1 cup tomato puree
2 capsicums finely chopped
4 onions finely chopped (2 for bhaji and 2 for serving)
3 tsp Pav bhaji masala (I prefer Everest over any other brand. Simply amazing)
1 tsp kashmiri lal mirch
1 cup fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice or tamarind pulp
[For preparing tamarind pulp, remove seeds and dip tamarind in warm water, stuff the tamarind as much as possible, to avoid watery pulp. Put it in a mixer and grind till it reduces to pulp. For storing for future use, add a pinch of salt to the pulp and store in a dry air tight container in fridge]
2 green chillies
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil for bhaji
Brown bread
Nutralite for toasting bread

Now the simplest pav bhai recipe follows
Boil potatoes, green peas, carrots together and mash them.
Heat oil in kadhai, add 2 onions, capsicum and green chillies on high flame.
When onions and capsicum turns soft, add tomato puree and simmer the flame. Cover the pan with a lid.
Cook for 5 minutes or till oil separates from gravy.
Now add salt and pav bhaji masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
Simmer the flame, add boiled vegetables, tamarind pulp or lemon juice, 1/2 cup coriander, chilli powder, mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile lightly toast brown bread in nutralite.

At the time of serving, sprinkle some coriander and onions on bhaji.

Enjoy the best and simplest pav bhaji ever!


breakfast · snack · vegetarian

Masala Dosa

Now that you know how to make dosa batter.. lets go to the next step.. masala dosa.

Masala dosa has evolved over a period of time. There are so many types of masalas that can go into dosa, some of my favourites are kaju curry (a speciality of Vizag), paneer curry and the latest addition is schezwan.
But lets not forget the original stuffing, alu masala.

The recipe you will find here is with alu masala.

Ingredients
Dosa batter

For the masala (4 dosas)
4 boiled potatoes peeled and mashed
1 green chilly finely chopped
2 onions cut julienne style
1/4 tsp ginger finely chopped
1 tsp udat dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp sarson (mustard seeds)
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin)
3-4 methi seeds
Pinch of haldi
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Tip
To avoid dosa batter turning sour after 3-4 days, you should store the batter in fridge immediately after grinding. Night before you want to make dosa for breakfast, take as many spoons of batter as required and leave it outside for fermenting. This way rest of the batter remains fresh for a long time.

I keep atleast 4 potatoes boiled and stored in fridge as they are very useful in urgency. When you do not have time to prepare anything, you can always make alu tadka. Store boiled potatoes with peel, they stay for long.

For making masala
Heat oil in kadhai. When oil is hot, add methi seeds, chana and udat dal and immediately when they turn little brown, add sarson. When sarson start crackling, add jeera. Now add onions and green chilly along with ginger. Mix thoroughly. When onions turn brown, add mashed potatoes, haldi and salt. Mix well. Cook for no more than 5 minutes and masala is ready. I add chana dal and udat dal make the masala crunchy, more fun.

For making dosa
Ensure that the non stick pan is hot. Now simmer the flame and spread thin layer of dosa batter. Now increase the flame, apply some oil around the corners of dosa and 1 or 2 drops in center. You will notice that the dosa will start to leave the pan from corners, then take a big spoonful of masala and smear a thin layer on one half of the dosa.  Now fold the other half to cover the masala. Remove dosa from pan.

Trick for making crispy dosa is to not flip it. You will know it is ready when dosa leaves the pan from corners. Just keep for 5 seconds more and remove it. Always simmer the flame when spreading batter over pan and always keep high flame when dosa is cooking.

snack

Roti Masala Papad

Masala papad – favourite starter before a meal for all Indians!!  It is a spread of vegetable khachumbar on papad and topped with some salt, amchur powder and red chilli powder.

My version of masala papad is very similar to this popular combination minus papad. I use roti instead.
Roti turns more crispier than a papad hence makes for a good alternative, plus it is filling too. 

rainingfood.com masala papad using roti

It is the best use of leftover rotis. In fact, once you start making masala papad, you would want to have more left over rotis 😉

Lets quickly jump to the recipe

Ingredients
Rotis
Amchur powder
Garlic flavoured red chilli powder
[Grind 3 garlic pods, 1/2 spoon roasted jeera with 1 tbsp red chilli powder to make garlic flavoured red chilli powder]
Oil for shallow frying
Salt to taste

Important : Only use rotis/phulkas and no chapatis/parathas. If you do not have leftover rotis, make some rotis and let them cool down.

Heat a non stick frying pan, when hot, reduce the flame to medium. Use 1 tsp oil for each roti. When oil is hot, put roti on pan. Use a flat spoon to continuously move the roti in circular direction by putting some pressure. Once it turns brown on the bottom side, turn the roti and repeat the same step. Sprinkle amchur, chilli powder and salt and turn roti again. After half minute, remove the roti from pan and place it on a plate.

It will not be crispy right now. Let it cool down to room temperature and viola! roti turns crispy and ready to serve!!

ps: Many use lemon juice instead of amchur powder, but I prefer not to as it keeps the papad crispier for long.

rainingfood.com masala papad using roti

rainingfood.com masala papad using roti

breakfast · non veg · snack

My latest fascination.. fried onions

I went for grocery shopping last weekend and stumbled upon a big pack of fried onions and since then I have only been cooking up stuff that would taste even better with a dash of fried onions. 

So, what are fried onions? Simple! they are fried – onions. The onions are cut julienne style and deep fried until crisp. They are little sweet and crisp and usually sprinkled on top of a dish at the time of serving. Some popular dishes where they are used the most across India are Biryani and Khichda (Khichdi with meat).
In most dishes you will be using them directly but you can also caramelize them further and use them in a variety of dishes. I will share some of the recipes that I tried at home.

Many (including myself until now) used to fry onions whenever the need arised but these days you get ready made packets.. so why bother! 

I had decided to make hot dogs that night and I also wanted to use fried onions. The result was hot dogs with fried onions! Weird huh?? but trust me it was awesome!! 

Simplest and fastest way to mouth watering treat, here it goes..


Ingredients (Two hot dogs)

2 hot dog buns
4 Chicken sausages (I used Venkys Cheese stuffed chicken sausages)
1 cup raw onion cut into rings
4 Cheese slices 
Barbecue sauce
Mayonnaise
Mustard Sauce
Half cup fried onions
Black pepper, salt to taste
1 tsp olive oil




Make a horizontal slit on the bun for making hot dog.
Place the hotdogs upside down on a baking tray and microwave in convection mode at 200 degrees for 2 minutes to lightly roast the bread. This step is optional.

Heat oil in frying pan and lightly fry the sausages along with onion rings, sprinkle some black pepper and salt. Leave the onions crunchy.

Apply mayonnaise sauce on the bread, place the cheese slices, sausages and onions. Spread barbecue and mustard sauce.

Now comes the twist, at the time of serving, sprinkle some fried onions on top. 

Yummy mouth watering hot dogs are ready!! You will absolutely love the crunchy sweet texture of fried onions when you take the first bite and you will remember me 🙂

ps: Make sure to get the best quality pack as some turn soggy.


snack

Thin crust vegetarian pizza with multi flour base

And so I decided to end the year 2013 on a high, what best than trying something in my favourite place, “The Kitchen”. Pulled out a recipe book that my friend Krishna gifted to me when he was leaving Mumbai. 



The biggest challenge when baking pizza is the base of coarse. This recipe book had a detailed study on different types of yeasts and flours and the varied results with various proportions of the ingredients. This recipe would serve as a quick guide to making a simple pizza base but I would suggest you study more on yeasts and flours to be able to try out different variations in the bread. 

This recipe has lots of vegetables in it, you can try several other toppings of your choice.

Ingredients (2 medium thin crust pizzas)

Making the pizza base

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
2/3 cup warm water (80°c – Use a food thermometer)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 levelled tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp Italian herb mix (Optional)
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt

Pizza toppings (Chop the vegetables in size and shape of your choice)

2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped yellow pepper 
2 cups chopped red pepper
1 cup onion (julienne style)
2 tomatoes ( Salad like pieces )
Chilli flakes
Oregano spice mix (I used Oregano + thyme + very little sea salt)
3 Tomatoes (for sauce)
4 garlic pods
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (Optional)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
Grated mozzarella cheese (As much as you like, I used 3/4 cup for 2 pizzas) 
2 Britannia cheese slices (Optional)
Salt to taste


Pizza base

Add pinch of sugar, yeast to warm water and keep it in a warm place (I preheated microwave for 30 seconds and kept the bowl in it). Leave it for 5 minutes or till bubbles appear.

Mix both flours, olive oil, herb mix and pinch of salt. Add the yeast mixture to it. Gently knead the dough till it becomes shiny. Lightly grease your hands with oil and apply it on the surface of dough. Place it in an air tight container or seal the open container with plastic cling wrap. Keep it in warm place for 1.5 – 2 hours or whenever the dough doubles in size. Do not open the container until about 1.5 hour.

Tomato sauce

Grind tomatoes, garlic pods, sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper and pinch of salt.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan and add the tomato purée. Cook on low heat until its cooked (around 10 mins). Keep stirring in between.

Toppings

Add 1 tsp oil in a pan and stir fry all the vegetables (except onions and tomatoes) on high heat stirring continuously. Do not add salt at this stage. Fry until water evaporates (important) and then add some salt and rest of pepper, mix well.

Final step

When the dough doubles in size, knead it again till it settles.

Preheat the oven at 210°c.

Grease the pizza baking tray. Take half of the dough and spread it gently in round shape using hand or rolling pin maintaining 1/4 inch thickness.

Spread a thin layer of sauce and sprinkle grated cheese. Evenly place stir fried vegetables and chopped onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and oregano spice mix. Put some pieces of Britannia cheese slice on top for extra cheesy flavour.

This is how it looked before going into the oven 



Bake at 210°c for 20 minutes.

At the time of serving, sprinkle some more oregano and chilli flakes if you like!

I bet, if you have a home made pizza once, you will never have outside again. 🙂



non veg · non veg grill · snack

Fish tikka




This post draws a huge inspiration from the famous Barbecue Nation.

I would always wonder as to which fish they use for preparing fish tikkas and one fine day I asked and he said, “madam, ye basa machli hai, India me nai milta, Vietnam se mangvaatein hai” and that is when I first got introduced to Basa fish and as far as I know, it is called the same in Hindi too. You do not find it at local sea food markets but you can surely pick them up from frozen non veg section in big stores.

Most restaurants serving fish tikkas use this fish and the only reason is lots of meat and less bones. Go and grab basa fish fillets to prepare some yummy tikkas.

Cooking fillets is so easy and quick that it gives you ample time to try out lot of varieties at the same time.

I prepared three different marinades – green, tandoori and pepper and grilled the tikkas in oven.
This fish has a lot of oil within, so you don’t even have to apply extra oil for grilling. Just grease the base you are using.

Quantity mentioned in each of the marinade will make 6 regular size tikkas of each type.

2 Basa fillets

Ingredients for Green marinade
1 cup coriander
1/2 cup mint
Juice of half lemon
Salt to taste

Ingredients for Tandoori marinade
1/2 tsp tandoori masala
[I use Shaan’s]
1/4 cup hung curd
[Pour curd in a muslin cloth and hang it for an hour, all the water will drain out]
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
[You may use any mustard sauce]
1/4 tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste

Ingredients for Pepper marinade
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion
1 tbsp nuts (any, I used dried watermelon seeds)
Juice of half lemon
Salt to taste


Grind the ingredients separately.

Carefully cut the fillet into 18 pieces, the size should be as big as you find in restaurants because any smaller than that would be very difficult to handle as it becomes very soft after cooking.

Marinade 6 pieces in each masala for at least half an hour.

You may either use a rotisserie or a wired rack for grilling.
I had used a rack. Grease the rack using oil/butter and place the tikkas over it.

Set the oven in grill mode and cook for 20 minutes or until the fish gets fried on top.

Carefully remove the tikkas from rack and serve with sliced onions and lime.

Enjoy these mouth watering melt in mouth tikkas and please do leave a comment. 🙂

If you have a secret masala for marinade, please do share!

breakfast · snack

Pizza bites

I couldn’t think of a better name than this.. 🙂
It started off with the plan of making garlic bread in the morning. As I prepared the garlic butter, realized that I also have mozzarella  and some veggies! This is garlic bread topped with choice of vegetables topped with mozzarella cheese. At the time of serving, you may sprinkle some chilli flakes and your choice of herbs such as thyme, oregano. Like it sweet? add a dash of ketchup on top. In short, use your imagination!



















Let us first start with the recipe for garlic butter

Ingredients (1/2 cup butter)
1/2 cup butter
5 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp black pepper
[You may add more]
Salt to taste
[If you are using salted butter such as Amul, you may not even need to add extra salt]

Coarsely grind garlic cloves. Mix butter, pepper, garlic and salt. Garlic butter is ready.


Recipe for Pizza bites

Ingredients
Slices of bread (Wheat or plain flour)
Chopped capsicum (long pieces)
Onion juliennes
Chopped tomatoes (long pieces)
Mozzarella cheese grated
Ketchup (optional)
Oregano (optional)
Chilli flakes (optional)

Spread generous amount of garlic butter on bread.

Put some veggies on top. I had used raw veggies directly because I like them half cooked but if you prefer roasted veggies then shallow fry them in 1 tsp butter before using.
Top it with grated cheese.

Use a wired rack in grill mode for crispy bread. I have noticed that when you place the bread on baking tray it tends to become soggy at the bottom. To ensure it gets crispy on both sides without having to flip them you need to place the bread on wire rack as shown in the picture. Set the oven in grill mode for 5-7 minutes (till bread becomes crispy). Check after 5 minutes, if need be, grill for another few minutes as required.






Yummy veggie pizza bites are ready! Top it with some ketchup, chilli flakes and herbs for extra flavor.
This morning I made some scrambled egg along with it for a wholesome breakfast.





non veg · snack

Stuffed Capsicum with cheesy mushrooms

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The first time I ever tried stuffed capsicum.. and I realized, its so darn easy and yet so yummy, there are lots of ways in which it can be prepared. Sharing one of the recipes today.

This one is less spicy,  will soon try a spicy Indian version and share it..

I have clubbed the vegetarian and non vegetarian version in one blog as there is very little variation.

Here it goes




Ingredients(Serves 2)

4 Capsicums
1 pack of button mushrooms (each cut into half)
250 gms chicken mince 
[Only ingredient to make it non vegetarian, optional]
3 heaped tsp plain flour 
21/2 cups milk
5 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes finely chopped
1 medium size onion cut julienne style
3 Green chillies
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp butter + 1/2 tsp butter 
Salt to taste

Heat a frying pan and add half of the butter, when hot, add onions ,chilly and garlic and fry on high flame till onion turns transparent.
Add minced chicken and fry till its cooked, roughly 5 mins. [Optional]
Add chopped mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and fry for another 4 minutes.
Move the contents of the pan to another vessel. 

Add rest of the butter to the pan, when hot, add the flour and stir continuously for few seconds till it turns little brown, add milk and mix well. Keep stirring and bring to boil.Ensure no lumps are formed.

When the milk thickens , add the fried ingredients to the pan, add some salt to taste and mix well. Turn off the flame and sprinkle cheese on top.

Cut the top part of the capsicum and remove the inner unwanted stuff, lightly coat the capsicums with butter and pour the mixture into each one of the capsicums carefully.

Place the capsicums in a baking tray/dish and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.





Stuffed capsicums with cheesy mushroom (and chicken, optional ) sauce ready!
Serve hot





Guys, please do try the recipe and leave your valuable feedback.
Thank you for visiting.. 🙂