Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Vegetable and Cheese Grilled Sandwich

When in Mumbai, you cannot miss eating the Grilled Sandwich. Made in a HUGE triangular bread and stuffed with vegetables, cheese and chutney, this sandwich can easily be a meal for one, or sometimes even two. This sandwich is really famous across the city but my favorite is Swastik Sandwich (now Sandwizzaa) in Santa Cruz. Not only is the sandwich yummy, the way the two men make it is really interesting too! 


One guy applies butter and chutney to stacks of breads and arranges the vegetables on it, while the other finishes off the grilling, applying butter all over! They serve it with a couple of chutneys and tomato ketchup. This sandwich and a bottle of coke is perfect a meal. Here is a picture of the original.



For those who are not from the city, if you are wondering how I know the details of the process here is an insight on it. I have never been to their kitchen because they do not have one! All this preparation happens in the stall by the corner of the street and anyone standing in queue to get their sandwich cannot help but look in delight at all the various steps that go into the sandwich! After moving to the US I never found anything like the sandwich from Mumbai. The regular sandwiches can be made at home using bread, but no one has this triangular bread here. 




Last year when I learned that Shital from Shital's Kitchen got the triangular mold made from India, I just loved the idea! Check her recipe here. On my last trip, I was hell bent on getting the mold made. I visited the small shops that mold aluminium and asked them if they could make something like that. They only needed the measurements and it would be done. Based on my conversation with Shital and estimation, I got the mold made. Mine is 8 inches x 8 inches x 9 inches and 6 inches deep. I chose not to make a base and use a foil to make a base when I need to bake. The guys there made the mold perfectly and I could not wait to use it! 




To make the grilled sandwich I use this bread. It makes really good club sandwiches as well. To make the loaf, I used the basic white bread recipe. Sometimes I even use whole wheat flour to get a healthier bread (does not remain as healthy given the cheese and butter)! Based on the proportions, I generally get about 12 slices of medium thickness. Once the bread is made, the sandwich is really quick. Butter, chutney, vegetables and cheese go into it. The sandwich is grilled in a Panini Press and it feels like Mumbai all over again!



Ingredients

For the Bread
All purpose Flour 3 cups
Active dry yeast 1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp)
Unsalted Butter 3 tbsp
Salt  2 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Water 1- 1 1/4 cup



For the Sandwich (Inspired from here)
Cilantro Chutney as required
Cucumber 1 medium
Tomato 2 medium
Onion 1 medium
Green Pepper 1 medium
Boiled Potato 1 medium
Amul Butter, Cheese 
Sandwich Masala



Method

For the Bread

Heat the water with 1 tsp salt and sugar. When it is at 110 F (just warm) add the yeast, mix well and rest covered for ten minutes or till the yeast blooms.

In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and remaining salt. Add bloomed yeast mixture and softened unsalted butter. Using a stand mixer or with your hands, mix it all together till you get a smooth soft dough. It took me about 15 minutes to make a really smooth dough. Brush with butter/ oil and keep the dough covered in a warm place. Let the dough rise for an hour. 



While the dough doubles, line the triangle mold with oil or butter. Cut the parchment paper to fit inside the mold perfectly. Also, line the bottom with foil and rest with base down on a baking tray. 

Once the dough doubles, punch it down and knead for a few minutes to a smooth ball. Then, lay the ball in the bread mold and spread it evenly on the base. Brush the top with oil/ butter and let the dough rise for another hour or so. 


Towards the end of the hour, preheat oven to 400 F/ 210 C. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Once the tops are light brown in color, remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely (3-4 hours) before slicing. If you attempt it before it is cool, it is difficult to get smooth slices. Once cool, slice the bread into thin or thick slices as you like. You should get between 11-13 medium slices from the proportions. 



To make the Sandwiches

Making the sandwich is really easy. Start by slicing all the vegetables and making the cilantro chutney as per this recipe

Apply butter and chutney to a slice. Lay flat. Place cucumber slices and tomato slices. Sprinkle sandwich masala. Using another slice, apply butter and chutney and place it on the earlier slice. Apply butter and chutney on the top side. 




Now place the potato slices, onion slices and green pepper slices. Sprinkle sandwich masala and grate cheese to cover the top of the vegetables. Place the last slice with butter and chutney.



Heat the panini press and toast the sandwich with butter. Slice and serve with cilantro chutney, red chutney and tomato ketchup. For the recipes of the chutneys, refer this recipe.  







Friday, August 26, 2016

Farali Kadhi | Rajgira Kadhi

Yesterday I posted Samo Khichdi and is tastes perfect with a Farali Kadhi. So today the recipe for the kadhi is up too! Growing up in a family where fasting food was not just for people who fast but for everyone to feast on, I have a liking for all kinds of fasting foods. Whether it is Sabudana Khichdi or Sabudana Vada or Rajgira Thepla, I love it all! 



My grandmother was the best cook in the house and the fasting foods she made is unmatched over the next two generations! A typical ekadashi lunch menu would be an elaborate one: Rajgira thepla/puri, dry potato fry, Farali kadhi, samo khichdi and shrikhand. Dinners on fasting days would be something tasty as well, ranging from samo dhokla to farali pattice or sabudana khichdi or vada. Over the past few months I have posted a few of these recipes like Rajgira Thepla, Sabudana Khichdi, Buff Vada/Farali PatticeSamo Khichdi, Sabudana Vada and this Kadhi today.  

Just typing out the dishes I am tempted to make all of them! Today I finally have enough recipes to make a separate category in the blog index for fasting recipes!! Do check it out here.  Coming back to the recipe, this kadhi is so simple to make. Just a few ingredients from the pantry (most Gujaratis will have all these ingredients in their pantry!), about 10 minutes and the kadhi is ready to serve. 


For this recipe I used boiled potato. However, you can use bottle gourd or sweet potato or any kind of yam. Also, if you do not have amaranth flour or are not fasting, feel free to use all purpose flour or chickpea flour to thicken the kadhi. Peanuts are used to thicken and impart a flavor in the kadhi. Omit it and increase the amaranth flour in case of allergies. Serve this kadhi with Samo Khichdi or Rajgira Thepla

Ingredients

Yogurt 1/2 cup
Rajgira/Amaranth Flour 2 tbsp
Boiled Potato 1/2 medium
Peanuts crushed 1/4 cup
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2-3
Ginger Chilli Paste 1 tsp
Chilli 1-2
Ghee 1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp


Method

Whisk yogurt with 1/2 cup water. Add it to a pan and mix in crushed peanuts and diced potato. Also mix the ginger chilli paste, sugar, salt and black pepper powder. 

Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and once they pop, add curry leaves and chilli. In a minute transfer the tempering in the yogurt mixture. Mix and bring the kadhi to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce flame to medium and cover. Simmer the kadhi for about 5-6 minutes, adjust salt, sugar and spice and turn down the heat. Serve hot topped with cilantro and black pepper powder. The kadhi tastes best with Sabudana Khichdi or Samo khichdi


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Samo Khichdi | Barnyard Millet Khichdi

Today is Janmashtami, the festival celebrated in India to welcome Lord Krishna. Like most other festivals, this day is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. Every state has it's own traditions and the best celebration is probably in Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The events for the day include a lot of holy recitals, bhajan, kirtan and culminates with the birth of the God at midnight. The next day of Janmashtami is celebrated  as Gokulashtami. The events include tying matkis or clay pots filled with white butter and other goodies. Boys and men form human pyramids and break the pot to get the goodies out of it. The whole atmosphere is filled with joy and color. 


Another part of the Janmashtami celebration is fasting. While a lot of people fast without having a drop of water all day and break it with the birth of the Lord, many other families fast with Sabudana (tapioca), Potato and other ingredients that are allowed. Barnyard is one such millet. There are a ton of recipes made a combination of this millet and potatoes, yam and peanuts. One such dish is this khichdi. 

This recipe of Barnyard Millet is a very easy one. While other fasting items require elaborate preparations like soaking the tapioca pearls, cooking the potatoes or making batters for dosa and idlis and fermenting them; this is a no-fuss recipe. All you need is the ingredients and a pressure cooker. The millet is cooked in the cooker and needs no soaking etc, and the potatoes are added raw too. If you wake up one morning and realize it is a fasting day, this one can be a quick lunch. 


For this khichdi, the basic ingredient is samai seeds. These seeds are called by different names: Samai, Samo seeds, Vrat ke Chawal, Jhangora, Morio, Mario, Moraiaya seeds, Bhagar or KuthiraiVaali in the regional languages. The other ingredient I used is potato. However, this can be substituted by sweet potato, yam or even bottle gourd if desired. Adjust the spice level as per your preference and substitute regular salt for Sendha Namak if that is what you prefer. Make this khichdi and serve it with Farali Kadhi, yogurt or buttermilk. It is a great way to make lunch in under 30 minutes!

Ingredients

Samo/ Barnyard Millet/ Samai 1 cup
Potato 1 medium
Peanut Powder 1/4 cup
Whole Peanuts a handful
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Ginger Chilli Paste 1 tbsp
Green/ Red Chilli 1
Curry leaves 2-3
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 
Black pepper Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Ghee/Oil 1 tbsp


Method

Wash the barnyard millet and set aside. Dice potatoes and keep ready. Whisk the yogurt and add a cup of water. Keep the buttermilk ready to pour. Heat the ghee or oil in a pressure cooker, add the peanuts and fry. Once the peanuts are brown, add cumin seeds and let them pop. Then, add diced chilli, curry leaves and ginger chilli paste. Fry for a minute, add diced potato and mix well. 

Cook the potatoes for a couple of minutes and add the barnyard millet. Mix in peanut powder, salt, sugar and pepper powder. Then add the buttermilk and mix well. Cover with the whistle on, and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on medium flame. 

Let the pressure cooker cool, open and add lemon juice. Mix well and serve garnished with cilantro. Serve with Farali Kadhi or with yogurt. The khichdi tastes great with buttermilk as well.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tricolor Baked Casserole

Blogging Marathon #67 Week 3 Day 3
Theme: Layered Dishes
Dish:Tricolor Baked Casserole 

Today is the last day of this week's Blogging Marathon and the theme is layered dishes. After posting a Layered Biryani and S'mores over the last two days, here is another lovely layered dish from my kitchen. While this dish is made pretty often in the house, it has never gone on the blog! Finally when the theme was layered dishes, I HAD to post it finally!



Back in India, this dish was my Aunt's signature recipe and she taught me how to make it. She would make it for family get togethers and used to be made in a huge baking platter. The effort that goes into the dish all seemed worth given the quantity she would make. When I replicated it for two of us, it was pretty difficult to make a small lot. So I ended up making it enough for two meals! 

Another reason for loving this dish is because I made this when my husband's family I cooked a meal for the first time at my in-laws place. As some members in the family follow a jain diet (no onion, garlic) I made two versions of the dish, one just like this recipe and one jain friendly. His grandmother really enjoyed the dish and kept admiring the layers! It was such a proud moment for me, that my first dish was appreciated so much. She still mentions this and the Mint Mojito I made that day. 



So here is the recipe that is from a source I have no idea of! I learnt it from my family, and made changes in it from time to time to include different vegetables or ingredients depending on availability and preference. I hope you all enjoy it as much as my families do!



Ingredients

Allpurpose Flour 1 cup
Milk 2 cups
Mozzarella Cheese 1 cup
Garlic 2-3 pods minced
Butter 2-3 tbsp
Oregano 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/2 tsp

For the Orange Layer
Carrots 1/2 medium
Onion 1/2 medium
Italian Eggplant 1/2 medium
Tomato Puree 1/2 cup
Olive Oil 1/2 tsp

For the White Layer
Baby corn 3-4 small
Pasta of choice 1/2 cup boiled and drained

For the Green Layer

Zucchini 1/2 medium 
Green Pepper 1/2 medium
Pureed Spinach 1/2 cup 
Olive Oil 1/2 tsp


Method

Heat butter in a thick bottom pan. Once it is hot, add minced garlic and saute. Once the raw flavor goes away, add flour and mix well to coat it with butter. Let the flour cook for a couple of minutes and then add the milk, salt, oregano and pepper powder. Mix and cook on medium flame till the mixture thickens. Once it is thick, add 1/2 cup cheese and mix well. Turn down the flame. Divide the white base into three parts. For the white layer, mix baby corn and pasta into 1/3 base. Set aside. 

For the orange layer, heat olive oil in a pan. Saute diced onion, carrot and eggplant for 3-4 minutes till it is just cooked. Then, add tomato puree and mix well. Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Open, add 1/3 of the white base and mix well. Set aside. 



For the green layer, heat oil. Add peppers and saute for a minute. Then add zucchini and mix well. Then add the spinach puree and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining white base and mix. 

The layers are ready to bake. In an oven proof bowl or plate, add the green layer. Sprinkle some cheese on it and oregano as well. Then add the white layer and top with cheese. Finish off with the orange layer and remaining cheese. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes at 350F/ 180 C. Bake till the cheese is melting. Remove and serve with bread or just dig into it without any accompaniment. 




Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to make S'mores

Blogging Marathon #67 Week 3 Day 2
Theme: Layered Dishes
Dish: S'mores

Today is the second day of the Blogging Marathon for the week and I am posting layered dishes this week. For today, I have a really easy and quick recipe that is loved by people of all ages. With just three ingredients and unlimited possibilities, S'mores had to finally make it to the blog today!


Summers are quickly coming to an end and we are having the last of our outdoor barbecues. While making skewers full of vegetables, tofu and paneer is something we do all the time, S'mores is the ultimate grilling dessert for summers. The reason for us is that the dessert is a lazy one, unlike the cobblers and grilled fruits and the like. 



Those desserts need a lot of ingredients and some effort. Instead, S'mores just needs three ingredients and a roasting fork. After all the barbecue excitement, just relax by the campfire or grill and roast the marshmallows. It just takes two to three minutes and assembling the s'more is another 30 seconds! So under five minutes, you can have a indulgent dessert ready!


If you are adventurous, you can add grilled fruits in the sandwich. Also, substitute the graham cracker for a cookie of your choice and you have a delicious combination. A lot of people like their S'mores with peanut butter slathered over the cracker. With this dessert, the possibilities are endless!



Ingredients

Graham Crackers 1 per sandwich
Hershey's Milk Chocolate 1 packet
Jet Puffed Marshmallows a few




Method

To make marshmallows on the grill / gas stove: Take a large marshmallow in a roasting stick and evenly roast till the marshmallow puffs and is evenly brown. 

To make marshmallows in an oven: Evenly spread the marshmallows on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and place in a 350 F preheated oven for a minute so that it is evenly puffed and brown.

Break a cracker into two squares and place two pieces of milk chocolate and then press the marshmallow on it. If you like chocolate, add two more chocolate pieces and top with another biscuit. Enjoy warm.










Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Layered Vegetable Biryani

Blogging Marathon #67 Week 3 Day 1
Theme: Layered Dishes
Dish:Layered Vegetable Biryani

Today is the first day of the Blogging Marathon for this week and my theme is layered dishes. For the first day, I chose a dish that is simple to make, delicious to eat but difficult to write down! Little did I know when I made this one that it would be so difficult to put it down on the blog! The recipe is simple and is from my Mother. I always fascinated how the rice and vegetables were cooked in layers.



I tried this dish on my own after a rather long time. I think I last made it sometime in winter, and by the time it was done, the sky was pitch dark and I never took the pictures. So when the theme for this week was layered dishes, I HAD to make this and post it.

While the length of the post would make you think it is a complex one, I promise you it is super easy! The three parts of the dish; rice, vegetable mixture and toppings are to be made. I have mentioned how I make it, but you can edit it to suit your style. While I cooked rice in a pan, pressure cooking it will speed the process. I used vegetables I had in my refrigerator, you may choose and pick your favorites. Add tofu or paneer if you like too. For the topping, I fried the onions. If you do not like, just leave those out. Overall, this dish is versatile and can be changed easily. 



The layers are the beauty in the dish and the flavors are its core. The gravy used should be enough spicy and tasty that when mixed with twice the amount of rice, it does not become bland. The rice should not be overcooked that they would completely break when microwaved. And the beet should not be used in excess. Else, you will get a dish that has an overpowering beet taste and dark pink color! Do try this dish, and come back tomorrow for yet another layered recipe!

Ingredients

For the Rice Layer
Basmati or any long Rice 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Cardamom Pods 1-2

For the Vegetable Layer
Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, French Beans, Potatoes, Green Peas, Cauliflower)
Onion 1/2 medium
Green and Red Pepper 1/2 each
Garlic Ginger Chilli Paste 1 tsp
Tomatoes 3 medium
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Biryani Masala/Garam Masala 1 1/2 tsp
Salt as required

For Topping
Onion 1 medium
Beetroot 1/4 medium
Cilantro 1 cup
Mint leaves 1 cup



Method

Wash and soak the rice in 1 1/2 cup water for an hour. Once soaked, add the salt and cardamom pods and bring the pot to a boil. In about 7-8 minutes, the water will be absorbed and the rice cooked. Do not cook till completely soft. Just cook al-dente. Turn down the flame and spread the rice in a big plate. Cool.

To start with the vegetable layer, chop all the vegetables to cubes of even size. Also chop the onions and peppers. Make a puree from the tomatoes. For vegetables that take long to cook like potato and cauliflower, partly boil them in water and remove. Set aside. 

Heat oil or butter in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them pop. Next, add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the cumin pops, add ginger chilli garlic paste and onions. Let the raw flavor of ginger and garlic vanish. Then add peppers and mix well. Next, add all the vegetables, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix and cook covered for 4-5 minutes. Add whisked yogurt, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomato puree and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes till the mixture is thick. Season with salt and biryani masala. Turn down the flame and set aside.



For topping, slice the onion into thin slices. Fry over medium heat and keep ready. Chop the cilantro and mint; grate beetroot. To assemble, use a microwave safe bowl that is deep enough for the layers. First, spread almost half the rice in the bowl or plate. Then, add some grated beet, mint and cilantro leaves and fried onion. Next comes the vegetable layer. Add all the vegetables in a layer. Top that with onions, cilantro, mint and beet. Lay the remaining rice, add the leaves and onion. 

Once done, place the bowl in the microwave and lightly cover with a plate. Microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes. The steam from the vegetables will help blend the flavors. Remove from microwave, mix well and then serve immediately. We love our biryani with yogurt, papad and salad. 





Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#67

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eggless Ravioli from scratch

For Sunday brunch, I am always looking to make something that is best served warm. That is probably the only lunch we have together at home! From  simple things like Dal Dhokli to various pizzas and pastas, our lunch is mostly pretty elaborate on weekends! Another reason is that I can get my husband to click a few pictures for me if I do not have that recipe on the blog!


Last weekend I was craving for pasta. Plus, I saw that I had not posted a pasta recipe since so long on the blog! I was confused between making gnocchi from scratch or ravioli. Finally, it was ravioli with Pesto Sauce. I made a BIG batch of this Pesto and I had to use it for this recipe. The result was an awesome brunch and a great day!


I made ravioli in the past but each time it was with eggs. I posted this Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli some time back. I have a lot of friends who wanted an eggless version, so I experimented a couple of times to arrive at this one! From molten butter to olive oil, from resting the dough overnight to resting it in the refrigerator, I tried it all. Finally, I decided that this recipe gives the best result. No dry pasta with cracks and no overly moist raviolis. This one worked really well!

The ingredients required for this pasta is simply flour, oil and water. Such an easy recipe and gives perfect results. I used a ravioli press time but if you do not have one, it is okay. Just follow the method in this post and you do not have to spend on another kitchen gadget! So head straight to the kitchen and whip up some goodness for the family!


Ingredients

For the dough
All purpose flour/ Maida 1 cup
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Water 1/2-3/4 cup

For the stuffing
Italian Cheese blend 1 cup
Oregano 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp


Method

In a bowl sieve the all purpose flour/maida. Add salt and olive oil and make a crumbly mixture. Add water, 1/4 cup at a time and mix it into the crumbly flour mixture. The mixture should come together as a soft pliable dough. Once the dough is soft, cover in shrink wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

Make the filling for the ravioli. To do so, add the shredded cheese and all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Once the dough has rested enough, remove and divide into eight equal parts. 


Using each of the dough ball, roll out to a rectangle that is about 2-3mm thin and as long as the ravioli press you are using. Line the cavities of the press with oil or nonstick spray. Add some flour and place the first rolled out dough. Fill each cavity with one teaspoon of the filling. Brush little water on the top and place the second dough sheet over it. Press down with a rolling pin. Add some dry flour on top and place the ravioli cutter plate. Press and plate down and overturn the entire thing. Press down and remove the plates. The ravioli should have been cut. Separate each piece and add some flour or cornmeal on them. Lay them in a single pile on a cookie sheet or parchment paper.

If you are freezing the ravioli, place the cookie sheet in the freezer till they are frozen. Then, add them all to a ziploc and store. To make them right away, boil salted water in a pan. Once it is boiling, drop the ravioli and let them cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove and dip it in your favorite sauce.

The day we made this ravioli, we enjoyed some of it with Marinara sauce and the rest with this Basil Pesto, Mozzarella Cheese and cocktail tomatoes. Perfect weekend brunch for us!