Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pav a la mode ( or... Pie Bhaji)

The title of this note should have given y'all a hint about what this dish is..
For those of you who've grown up in or visited Mumbai, India, recall a visit to your favorite Pav Bhaji place, potatoes & other assorted vegetables mashed beyond recognition, flavored with masala & served up with a generous dollop of melting butter, chewy pav, soaked up with the essence of the bhaji, and finely sliced onions with a wedge of lime..
Not exactly the kind of food that would be served up on a balmy spring evening with a chilled glass of Reisling!!!
The difficult thing about making Pav bhaji @ home is that you can never make it in small quantities. you invariable find yourself with a generous portion left over. ( & you've run out of the Portuguese Saloio rolls that seem to be the closest to 'asli' pav in the US). Making these pies is a novel way to tackle the excess bhaji & the best part, they freeze well for a future instant snack. The pie dough recreates the buttery aroma of the warm pav served up in restaurant and yet is flaky & light. Serve with a salad & chilled glass of Reisling or Chardonnay. A good bollywood movie rental & the company of your best friend rounds up the ingredients forfor a perfect, relaxing evening!




Ingredients: (for the crust)
1 1/2 cups atta or whole wheat flour
1 stick (8 tbsps) butter cut into cubes & frozen
1 tbsp ghee or vegetable shortening, chilled,
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tbsp Pav bhaji masala powder
½ cup chilled water

You also need:
Pav bhaji (leftovers work great)
Wax paper,
Rolling pin and marble surface to roll the dough.


Method:

Combine atta, baking powder, Salt & pav bhaji masala powder in a food processor jar & pulse until well combined.

Add ½ the cubes of butter & ½ tbsp of the ghee to the flour mix and pulse for 5 seconds and then run the processor continuously for another 5 seconds.
Add the remaining butter & ghee & process till the flour resembles fine crumbs with pea sized bits of butter.
Transfer into a mixing bowl, add chilled water to the sides of the bowl, one tablespoon at a time.
Using a fork, move the flour to the centre till the mix resembles clumped up pebbles .
Using clean hands, gather the dough & gently press into a ball on the sides of the bowl.
Work the dough gently for about a minute.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until required.

Heat oven to 375-400 C
Brush muffin/cupcake baking tray with ghee.
Remove dough from fridge, divide in half.
Place dough between sheets of floured wax paper and roll to the thickness of a paratha.

Remove the top layer of paper & cut out 2 circles from the dough, the larger one to cover the bottom and sides of a greased muffin/cupcake baking pan. Allow some of the dough to stick over the top of the cup

Scoop a tablespoon of prepared Pav bhaji onto the dough. Place the smaller circle over the bhaji and seal the rim.

Brush with ghee, prick with a fork and bake for ~ 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with a side of any salad of your choice.

Waffling around - A Pictorial

Qn1. Identify the dish:


a. Waffles
b. Pop tarts
c. Medu vada
d. A really late April Fools Joke
e. None of the above

For all those who either said waffles or medu vada, pat yourselves on the back.

This has been a staple snack in my kitchen ever since I received a waffle iron as a gift & had to figure out what to do with it. to make this you need the following

I cup urad dal soaked.
Salt to taste,
your personal choice of spices (green chillies, red chili powder, pepper...)
grind the Soaked urad dal with salt & spices till it forms a stiff whipped batter much like the consistency of a well beaten egg white. A stone grinder works best for achieving this.

1 tbsp oil and brush

A waffle iron with nonstick plates


& yes, you can put these back in your cupboard



Method:
brush plates with oil.
Drop a dollop of batter on to a heated waffle iron & let cook until the steam ceases to escape.



Open the waffle iron



and transfer into a serving dish


A word of Caution...
Make sure you wait till the waffle iron stops steaming... or else



this is what you'll get.. ( the scraps are perfectly edible.. but that's another story!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Indian Cornbread

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set off to find a sea route to India. But as many men are wont to do, he just did not stop & ask for directions, he took off in the opposite direction & quite serendipitously, discovered the Americas... and a slew of new culinary gems that were to redefine classic cuisines in other parts of the world. (potatoes & chili peppers ring a bell anyone?)
Corn or Maize is a Native American staple, and corn bread is a well known comfort food in the southern parts of the US. Its baked in cast iron pans using baking powder rather yeast as a leavening agent, and hence can be whipped up quickly if the right ingredients are available.
My' Desi' tribute to Cornbread was a 'handvo' made with hominy grits combined with a store bought 'handvo' flour. The end result is a dish which tickles the tongue with the added crunch provided by the corn grits. (for those who are unfamiliar with American staples, Grits is just corn, ground to the consistency of wheat dhalia or Lapsi).


The flour & grits (in equal parts) were made into a thick batter using buttermilk. Added to this were Salt, pepper, & 2 cups of grated Zuchhini squash & other goodies & baked till Golden brown!,

Served this with a quick tomato chutney & a side of fresh garden salad (with a delightful quirky dressing!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Southie Sushie: Recipes


Sauteed Green beans
1 lb green beans
1 tbsp olive oil,
½ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
1 dried red chilli, broken in two
1 tbsp Yellow Moong dal
½ cup water
A pinch of asafetida powder.
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
Salt to taste.
1 tbsp shredded coconut

Trim the ends of the green beans and cut into desired size.
Heat oil in a skillet or wok; add mustard seeds, urad dal & red chilli. Stir till mustard pops and the urad dal changes color to reddish brown.
Add water & moong  dal. Bring to a boil.
When the moong dal appears to have cooked partially, add the green beans, asafetida, salt   and curry leaves. Stir well.
Lower heat, cover with lid, and cook till the beans are tender.
Add shredded coconut and mix well. Transfer to tableware and serve.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Southie Sushie

If there is a word that raises the hackles on many a conservative South Indian brahmin matriarch, its the mere mention of ...FISH!! To them its the tipping point indicator for anyone from the younger generation gone over to the dark side... i.e an omnivorous diet.
Being an avid NY times reader, I came across this in today's Dining & Wine section. How to make Sushi without the fish, & of course my radar shot up.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/dining/05mini.html?ref=dining

I had been working on this idea for quite a while, just never got around to blogging about it, simply because, the food got eaten before I could photograph it , or the lighting wasn't optimal, or that all 3 rice variations were not made yada yada...
Well the stars aligned today, & I present to you, a SUSHI triumvirate of the most revered mixed rice dishes of the south Indian world, lemon rice, Tamarind rice & that mother lode of the ultimate southie comfort food; Yogurt rice!


(From L to R; Yogurt Rice (white) Tamarind Rice (brown) & Lemon Rice(Yellow))


The bit players that raise the YUM Quotient for these entrees a couple of notches are, sauteed French beans, Pappadoms & Pickled Baby mangoes..


The icing on the cake of course would be the grudging admiration of any of the old matriarchs on seeing this...
Feast your eyes!


PS:
I'll post the recipes & the plating details in a day or two, please bear with me.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ShareThis