Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lebkuchen – German Gingerbread

Maida- 250 gms
Almonds- 85 gms (powder in mixer)
Ginger powder- 2tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp
Soda-bi-carb- 0.5 tsp
a pinch each of:
ground cloves and black pepper
Zest of one lemon
Honey- 200 ml
Butter- 85 gms
For the glaze:
Icing sugar 100 gm
water- 2-3 tsp
Mix all the dry ingredients well in a large bowl. Heat the butter and honey in a pan over low flame until butter melts. Pour into the flour mixture along with lemon zest. Mix well into a solid dough. If liquid is insufficient add a few drops of honey and mix. Allow to cool. Make into small lemon sized balls. Flatten each ball into a disc shape. Preheat oven to 180C. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper giving sufficient space between the discs and bake at 180 degrees C for 12 to 15 minutes until brown.
Remove and cool on wire rack.
Mix icing sugar and water. Dip the top of each biscuit in the icing and spread with a knife. Allow to dry in a warm place.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Masala Buns

Plain flour or maida- 250 gms
Oil- 4 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Active dry yeast-1 tsp (double if fresh yeast)
Sugar- 3 tsp
Water- 50 ml
Milk- 50 ml
For the Masala:
Onion- 1- quartered and sliced fine
Green chillies-4-5
A fistful each of Curry leaves and Coriander leaves
Oil- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Grind the chillies, greens and salt coarsely and keep aside. Heat the oil in a pan, add onion and a little salt. When onion is done well, add the ground mixture, mix and switch off the stove and allow to cool.
Warm milk and water together. Take care not to heat too much; or the heat will kill the yeast. Add sugar and yeast. Cover and keep aside in a warm place for 15 minutes. Once yeast is fully dissolved and frothy, it is ready.
Take flour and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add a tbsp of oil. Add the yeast mixture and knead well into a soft dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until it is not sticky. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and keep aside for 2 hours.
Add the prepared masala to the dough. Apply 1 tbsp oil and punch the dough for about 5 minutes. Shape into Buns using oil and let it rest covered on a greased baking sheet for about an hour. Leave sufficient space between buns since the size will increase. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 10-15 minutes or till golden. A couple of minutes prior to removing, brush the top with a little milk.
Allow to cool a bit before transferring to wire racks for cooling.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Braided Butter Bread

Plain Flour- 500 ml and some more for dusting
Butter- 50 gms (softened)
Salt- 1 tsp
Sugar- 3 tsps
Warm Milk- 100ml
Warm Water- 110 ml
Fresh Yeast- 2.5 tsps
For topping:
Mix together 1 tsp each of:
Sesame seeds
Poppy seeds
Caraway seeds
Dry minced onion
Coarse salt
For brushing:
3tsp milk
Mix the yeast in warm water until it dissolves and keep covered for 10 minutes. Take care not to use hot water. One method is to test the heat the water by applying on your wrist. It should feel comfortably warm and not hot.
Add the milk, softened butter, sugar, Flour and salt and mix well. Knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise until it doubles for about an hour.
Punch down the dough. transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal portions. Shape each into a 10 inch rope. Place the ropes on a large greased baking tray and braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes.
Brush the loaf with milk and sprinkle the topping. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for 25 minutes. Remove and cool over wire rack.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beetroot Salad

Here is a simple salad using beetroot, tomato and onion.
Beetroot – 1 medium size
Onion – 1/2 medium size
Tomato – 1/2 medium size
Coriander leaves for garnish
1) Peel the beetroot and grate it.
2) Cut onion and tomato into small thin pieces.
3) Mix them and add salt. Add a dash of lime, and coriander leaves for garnish. Your simple and yummy salad is ready.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Green Peas Chutneywale

1 cups boiled green peas
2 medium potatoes- Boiled and diced
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves
2 cardamoms
1″ piece of cinnamon
2 tsp cornflour
200 ml coconut milk
Juice of half a lemon
4 tsps oil
salt to taste
Grind into a paste:
1cup fresh coriander leaves
5 green chillies
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
Heat the oil in a pan, add the spices. Let them crackle.
Add the ground paste and fry till the oil separates.
Mix the cornflour with coconut milk and add to the mixture. Simmer till the gravy thickens.
Add the boiled peas and potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Remove from fire and add the sugar and lime juice. Serve with phulkas or rotis.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Artisan Bread

Artisan bread is bread that is crafted, rather than mass produced. It will have little more than the basic ingredients of flour, water, yeast, oil, milk and salt unlike preservative-laden commercial breads. Some varieties may have eggs and /or sugar.

Plain flour or maida- 250 gms
Oil- 4 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Active dry yeast-1 tsp (double if fresh yeast)
Sugar- 3 tsp
Water- 50 ml
Milk- 50 ml
Warm milk and water together. Take care not to heat too much; or the heat will kill the yeast. Add sugar and yeast. Cover and keep aside in a warm place for 15 minutes. Once yeast is fully dissolved and frothy, it is ready.
Take flour and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add a tbsp of oil. Add the yeast mixture and knead well into a soft dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until it is not sticky. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and keep aside for 2 hours.
Apply 1 tbsp oil and punch the dough for about 5 minutes.
Grease the baking sheet or bread tin well. Shape the dough in desired shapes using the remaining oil. Let it rest covered for an hour. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 10-15 minutes or till golden. A couple of minutes prior to removing, brush the top with a little milk.
Allow to cool a bit before transferring to wire racks for cooling.

Spicy Baked Cheese Rolls

Maida- 300ml
Whole wheat flour- 150 ml
Sugar- 1 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Olive Oil- 4 tbsp
Active dry yeast- 2 tbsp (If fresh yeast is used, double the quantity)
Red Chilli flakes- 1 tbsp
Grated cheese- 30- 40 ml
Take half a cup of lukewarm water (NOT hot water) and add the sugar and yeast. Keep it closed for about 10 minutes in a warm place. the mixture will froth up which indicates that the yeast is active. Take a large bowl. Add the flours and salt and mix thoroughly. Add the yeast mixture and mix well to make a smooth dough. If needed, add a little water. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and knead the dough well for about 10- 12 minutes. Place the dough in a oiled pan, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Dust the kitchen top with flour and roll out the dough into a large rectangle of half an inch thickness. Spread 2 tbsp olive oil on the surface, sprinkle the chilli flakes and grated cheese evenly over the entire surface. Lightly roll the roller so that the flakes and cheese are embedded in the dough. Roll the dough into a log shape. With a sharp knife, cut the log into one inch thick rounds and place on a greased baking tray with space in between. Let the rolls rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. The volume will double. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for about 30 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vegetable Bun

For the Bread:
Plain Flour-250 gms
Oil- 4 tbps
Salt-1 tsp
Sugar_ 3 tsp
Active Dry yeast- 1 tsp
Water- 1/2 cup
Milk-1/2 cup
water to knead
For the stuffing:
3 potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 onion- finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
4-5 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Method (Bread dough):
Warm 1/2 cup water and milk together and add the sugar and yeast. Take care not to overheat; or the yeast will not be active. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes. When yeast is fully dissolved and frothy, it is ready to use.
Mix salt and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and a tbsp of oil. Add the yeast mixture and knead into a soft dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes till it is smooth and not sticky. Grease a large bowl and place the dough, cover and let it rest in a warm place (not over stove or oven) for 1 1/2 hours. Add 1 tbsp oil, and punch the dough for 3-4 minutes. Now the dough is ready for shaping and stuffing.
Method (Stuffing):
Heat oil in a pan, add ginger, garlic, chillies, onion and saute till onion turns pink and soft. Add potatoes, lemon juice, salt and coriander, Mix well and cook for about 2 minutes. Cool well before stuffing.
Proceed further:
Take a golf ball sized dough and pat thickly. Place a tablespoon of stuffing in centre. Pull up sides and carefully enclose stuffing. Shape into a round and slightly flattened bun. Grease your palms if necessary to shape. Place on a baking sheet leaving enough space for rising. Cover and rest for 30 minutes. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 15 minutes or till golden. Brush with milk a minute or two before taking out of the oven. Cool on racks and serve warm with butter/ marmalade.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Paneer Tikka

Paneer slices- 250 gms
Hung Curd- 1/2 cup
(Tie curd in a thin muslin cloth and let it remain for 2 hours. All the whey will drip and you will get thick creamy curd.)
Ginger- 1″ (grated)
Garlic- 4-5 pods (crushed)
Butter- 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Tandoori Masala- 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala- 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp (crushed)
Carrot, Tomato, Capsicum, Onion juliennes(thin long strips)- 1 tbsp each
Coriander leaves- 1/2 tbsp(finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Slice paneer into 1.5″ square slabs. Mix red chilli powder, salt, sugar, cumin, tandoori masala, half the ginger -garlic and chopped coriander in curd well. Dip the paneer slices well in this mixture and let marinae for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator till required.
Just before serving, heat a non-stick pan, heat 1 tsp butter, add the julienned vegetables, chaat masala and salt to taste. Remove and keep aside. Add the remaining butter and place the paneer slices to sizzle till light brown. Flip and repeat for the other side. Serve the tikkas hot with the sauteed vegetables on the side and tomato sauce if preferred.

Veg Katti Roll

No. of servings: 6 rolls
Ingredients (for filling):
Carrot – 1
Green Capsicum (or coloured) – 1/2 large size or 1 medium size
Onion – 1 large
Paneer – 100 g
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1-2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves
1) Cut onion, carrot and capsicum into thin long strips.
2) Take oil in a pan and add jeera. Add onions once the jeera starts to crackl.
3) Sauté the onions till the colour becomes transparent. Add carrot and continue to sauté till it becomes soft. Add capsicum and sauté the same.
4) Crumble the paneer to pieces and add this to the sautéed vegetables. Add salt, and the spice powders.Add coriander leaves and mix well. Now the filling is ready.
5) Make regular chapathis. Once they are taken from the tawa, add the filling inside the chapathis and roll them.
This roll tastes best with coriander or mint chutney.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yellow Dal – Gujarati Style

For Dal:
Toor dal- 60 ml
Deskinned peanuts- 2 tbsp
Boiled, chopped potato- 2 medium
Grated Ginger- 2 tsp
Green chillies-3 or 4
Jaggery- 1 tbsp
Kokum or Tamarind- 2 tsp
Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp chopped
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Tomato- 1 medium, chopped
Mustard- 1 tsp
Jeera- 1 tsp
Methi seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chillies (byadagi)- 3
Curry leaves- 4 or 5
Cloves- 3 or 4
Cinnamon- 1 stick
Bay leaf- 2
Dried methi or Kasoori methi- 2 tsp
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Dhaniya powder- ! !/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves (for garnish)
Cook in pressure cooker, the soaked dal, kokum or tamarind, potato and deskinned peanuts. Take the cooked dal in a pan, add water, ginger, green chillies, peanuts, peeled and chopped potatoes, kokum(tamarind), jaggery, salt and coriander leaves. Simmer covered until dal begins to thicken. In another pan, heat the ghee and add the bay leaves, red chillies, jeera, mustard, methi, cloves, cinnamon, dried methi and curry leaves. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Saute till tomatoes cook. Add to the dal and cook for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mayonnaise & Mustard Sandwich

Here is a quick recipe for a sandwich.
White/brown bread
Tomato –slices
Cucumber –slices
Green/coloured capsicum – cut into strips
Black olives (optional)
Eggless Mayonnaise
Mustard paste
Cheese slices cut into thin strips
1) Toast the bread to make it nice and crisp.
2) Apply mayonnaise on one slice of the toasted bread. Arrange the tomato and cucumber slices, along with the olives.
3) Apply mustard paste on the other slice of the toasted bread. Put the cheese and capsicum strips on top of it. Close the sandwich, and enjoy it!

This sandwich can also be made using Pav bread for a change.
1)      Toast the pav bread with some butter on your regular toaster (or tava).
2)      Apply mayonnaise, mustard and arrange the vegetables (tomato, cucumber, capsicum) as per your taste.
3)      Serve it as an open sandwich. This will surely be an interesting snack for children.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Green Peas & Mint Soup

This is a tasty and a thick soup using peas, mint leaves and potato.
No. of servings – 2
Green peas – 1 cup (120 ml)
Mint –  20-25 leaves
Potato – 1 small size, sliced or finely chopped
Onion – 1 small size (cut into long and thin pieces)
Vegetable Stock  – 3 cups (water can be used in case stock is not available)
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves (optional)
Milk – 1/2 cup
Cream (optional)
Salt to taste
White pepper powder – 1/4 teaspoon
1) Heat butter in a pan, add the onion and garlic. Sauté this till onion becomes transparent and soft.
2) Add the potato slices and mint leaves, and pour the vegetable stock. Boil this till potato becomes soft, and then add the green peas. Boil this for about 5-6 minutes till peas become soft.
3) Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat, cool the vegetable mixture and strain. The excess stock/water should be retained for the soup later. Puree the mixture using a little stock .
4) Now comes the last step – mix the puree with the remaining stock and milk, and bring this to a boil. Add salt and white pepper powder. And your yummy soup is ready!
Note: Cream can be added for garnish.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Stuffed Tomatoes in Gravy

6 Medium size tomatoes for stuffing
For stuffing:
2 Medium potatoes- Boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tbsp each boiled corn and peas
1 green chilli- finely chopped
1 small onion- finely chopped
50 gms paneer- grated
Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
For Gravy:
3-4 medium tomatoes
Garlic pods-3-4
Chilli powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
MDH Tava fry Bharwan masala- 3 tsps
salt to taste
Oil- 30 ml (approximate)
For Paste:
Melon seeds- 60 ml
Cashew nuts-6-8
Finely sliced onions- 240 ml
Tomatoes:Cut away the top of the tomatoes for stuffing. Check if they stand up erect; else cut a thin slice off the bottom so that they stand erect. Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes and keep aside. Rub a little oil inside the cavity and outside and keep them inverted inside the frig for about 15 minutes.
Stuffing: Fry in a little oil finely chopped onions, chilli and ginger/garlic paste. Add boiled corn, peas and mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper. Finally remove from fire and add the crumbled/ grated paneer. Mix well and stuff the tomatoes with the mixture. Top each tomato with a blob of butter and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
Paste: Wash and soak the melon seeds and cashew nuts in warm water just enough to cover. Fry the sliced onions in 2 tsps of oil until browned nicely. Cool and grind along with the soaked nuts to a smooth paste.

Gravy: Cut the tomatoes and puree along with the scooped tomatoes, garlic, and the powders and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and add the puree mixture and fry until the raw tomato smell goes. Then add the paste, blend well. Adjust salt and texture adding water if necessary. Arrange the tomatoes in a serving dish and pour the gravy over it. Alternately, place the tomatoes in the pan and heat for some time and serve.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kanakadhara Sthothram

Kanakadhara Sthavam:
Adi Shankara as a Brahmachari, before he took up Sanyasa, used to seek Bhiksha daily in accordance with his Asrama Dharma. One Dwadasi day, he went for Bhiksha to a poor Brahmin’s house. That Brahmin himself was living by unchavriddhi (is an act of collecting grains left out in the threshing field) and had gone out to collect grains.
When Shankara came for Bhiksha, the lady of the house was alone and had nothing to offer. However, she had one single gooseberry which was kept as an essential item for dwadasi paranai. (on dwadasi , the day next to ekadasi -day of fasting) people eat gooseberry as a custom) She thought that while she was not able to offer Bhiksha to the Brahmachari, she should atleast give him the gooseberry fruit and so gave it to Shankara.
Shankara understood the lady’s good intention and inability to give grains for Bhiksha. He was moved by the gesture and so prayed to goddess Mahalakshmi to give the family prosperity and composed Kanakadhara Sthavam. An ashareeri was heard to say that the Brahmin couple is suffering from poverty on account of their actions in their previous births and that it cannot change. Shankara, however represented to the divine stating that in this birth, they have parted with the only edible item of gooseberry in their house and by that action alone, they have earned immeasurable punya which nullifies all the papas of their previous births. He then prayed to the Goddess Lakshmi again to give them prosperity. Immediately, thereafter commenced a shower of golden gooseberries in their house.

‘Kanaka’ means gold and ‘dhara’ means shower. Since the sloka caused a shower of gold, it is called Kanakadhara Stotram.

श्री कनकधारास्तोत्रम्
अङ्गं हरेः पुलकभूषणमाश्रयन्ती भृङ्गाङ्गनेव मुकुलाभरणं तमालम्‌। अङ्गीकृताखिलविभूतिरपाङ्गलीला माङ्गल्यदाऽस्तु मम मङ्गलदेवतायाः॥ १॥
मुग्धा मुहुर्विदधती वदने मुरारेः प्रेमत्रपाप्रणिहितानि गतागतानि। माला दृशोर्मधुकरीव महोत्पले या सा मे श्रियं दिशतु सागरसंभवायाः॥ २॥
आमीलिताक्षमधिगम्य मुदा मुकुन्दं आनन्दकन्दमनिमेषमनङ्गतन्त्रम्‌। आकेकरस्थितकनीनिकपक्ष्मनेत्रं भूत्यै भवेन्मम भुजङ्गशयाङ्गनायाः॥ ३॥
बाह्वन्तरे मधुजितः श्रितकौस्तुभे या हारावलीव हरिनीलमयी विभाति। कामप्रदा भगवतोऽपि कटाक्षमाला कल्याणमावहतु मे कमलालयायाः॥ ४॥
कालाम्बुदालिललितोरसि कैटभारेः धाराधरे स्फुरति या तडिदङ्गनेव। मातुस्समस्तजगतां महनीयमूर्तिः भद्राणि मे दिशतु भार्गवनन्दनायाः॥ ५॥
प्राप्तं पदं प्रथमतः खलु यत्प्रभावात्‌ माङ्गल्यभाजि मधुमाथिनि मन्मथेन। मय्यापतेत्तदिह मन्थरमीक्षणार्धं मन्दालसं च मकरालयकन्यकायाः॥ ६॥
विश्वामरेन्द्रपदविभ्रमदानदक्षं आनन्दहेतुरधिकं मुरविद्विषोऽपि। ईषन्निषीदतु मयि क्षणमीक्षणार्धम्‌ इन्दीवरोदरसहोदरमिन्दिरायाः॥ ७॥
इष्टाविशिष्टमतयोऽपि यया दयार्द्र- दृष्ट्या त्रिविष्टपपदं सुलभं लभन्ते। दृष्टिः प्रहृष्टकमलोदरदीप्तिरिष्टां पुष्टिं कृषीष्ट मम पुष्करविष्टरायाः॥ ८॥
दद्याद्दयानुपवनो द्रविणाम्बुधारां अस्मिन्नकिञ्चनविहङ्गशिशौ विषण्णे। दुष्कर्मघर्ममपनीय चिराय दूरं नारायणप्रणयिनीनयनाम्बुवाहः॥ ९॥
गीर्देवतेति गरुडध्वजसुन्दरीति शाकम्भरीति शशिशेखरवल्लभेति। सृष्टिस्थितिप्रलयकेलिषु संस्थितायै तस्यै नमस्त्रिभुवनैकगुरोस्तरुण्यै॥ १०॥ श्
रुत्यै नमोऽस्तु शुभकर्मफलप्रसूत्यै रत्यै नमोऽस्तु रमणीयगुणार्णवायै। शक्त्यै नमोऽस्तु शतपत्रनिकेतनायै पुष्ट्यै नमोऽस्तु पुरुषोत्तमवल्लभायै॥ ११॥
नमोऽस्तु नालीकनिभाननायै नमोऽस्तु दुग्धोदधिजन्मभूम्यै। नमोऽस्तु सोमामृतसोदरायै नमोऽस्तु नारायणवल्लभायै॥ १२॥
नमोऽस्तु हेमाम्बुजपीठिकायै नमोऽस्तु भूमण्डलनायिकायै। नमोऽस्तु देवादिदयापरायै नमोऽस्तु शार्ङ्गायुधवल्लभायै॥ १३॥
नमोऽस्तु देव्यै भृगुनन्दनायै नमोऽस्तु विष्णोरुरसि स्थितायै। नमोऽस्तु लक्ष्म्यै कमलालयायै नमोऽस्तु दामोदरवल्लभायै॥ १४॥
नमोऽस्तु कान्त्यै कमलेक्षणायै नमोऽस्तु भूत्यै भुवनप्रसूत्यै। नमोऽस्तु देवादिभिरर्चितायै नमोऽस्तु नन्दात्मजवल्लभायै॥ १५॥
सम्पत्कराणि सकलेन्द्रियनन्दनानि साम्राज्यदानविभवानि सरोरुहाक्षि। त्वद्वन्दनानि दुरिताहरणोद्यतानि मामेव मातरनिशं कलयन्तु मान्ये॥ १६॥
यत्कटाक्षसमुपासनाविधिः सेवकस्य सकलार्थसंपदः। संतनोति वचनाङ्गमानसैः त्वां मुरारिहृदयेश्वरीं भजे॥ १७॥
सरसिजनिलये सरोजहस्ते धवलतमांशुकगन्धमाल्यशोभे। भगवति हरिवल्लभे मनोज्ञे त्रिभुवनभूतिकरि प्रसीद मह्यम्‌॥ १८॥
दिग्‌ हस्तिभिः कनककुंभमुखावसृष्ट- स्वर्वाहिनीविमलचारुजलप्लुताङ्गीम्‌। प्रातर्नमामि जगतां जननीमशेष- लोकाधिनाथगृहिणीममृताब्धिपुत्रीम्‌॥ १९॥
कमले कमलाक्षवल्लभे त्वं करुणापूरतरङ्गितैरपाङ्गैः। अवलोकय मामकिञ्चनानां प्रथमं पात्रमकृत्रिमं दयायाः॥ २०॥

स्तुवन्ति ये स्तुतिभिरमीभिरन्वहं त्रयीमयीं त्रिभुवनमातरं रमाम्‌। गुणाधिका गुरुतरभाग्यभागिनः भवन्ति ते भुवि बुधभाविताशयाः॥ २१॥