Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anyone for a Plate of Pav Bhaji?

I totally agree that this is a wholesome hot meal served in a jiffy right out from the hands of the chat waalla, or the chat kiosk. During my night shift working hours, this meal used to be the smart option available. Me and TJ had to be ready for work at 4pm for our cab to pick us up. We would have just woken up at 3:15pm just in time to get ready, so where is the time to think of a meal? So once the cab drops us to work, we would have this bracket of 20minutes before we sat at our workstations to log in which is 6:30pm. My constant option would be the pav bhaji and a hot cup of tea, while TJ would resort to a nice ghee masala dosa and tea. We would gobble down our food and just make a run for.....so that used to be a our late lunch, and evening snack.



Ingredients:
Cauliflower - 1 cup,  finely chopped
Carrots - 1/2 cup, chopped
Potatoes - 1 1/2 cups, boiled and mashed
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Onion, chopped - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 2 cups,chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Pav bhaji masala - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 2tsp, finely chopped
Black salt - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
To be served
8 pavs
2 limes cut in halves and a small bowl of finely chopped onion

Put all the vegetables into a pressure cooker, and let off at least 3 whistles until the vegetables are very soft (cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and peas). Alternatively, those who are not using the pressure cooker, boil the vegetables in salted boiling water till very soft, drain the water and keep aside. Into a large frying pan, saute the onion and garlic in butter till soft. Add the tomatoes and continue to saute till the tomatoes have become soft. Add the pav bhaji masala and saute till the oil starts to separate. Add the vegetables and mix well. Sprinkle in the black salt and continue to saute on low heat, using a potato masher, mash down the vegetables. Use about 1/4cup warm water if required to break the vegetables and get it all incorporated with the masala. Once the vegetables are well combined take it off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Cut the pavs horizontally and into a another frying pan, drop in a 1/2tsp of butter and toast the pavs on both sides and serve along with the bhaji






Tip: You could even grate some cheese over the bhaji and make it a cheesy affair. The paneer lovers may also crumble paneer whilst making the bhaji too. The more the paneer the merrier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fish Mango Curry

This dish is much more subtler in terms of spice and when the season of mangoes is galore, there's nothing like it to cook it up for lunch. A pappadom and pickle with rice and fish curry will do just fine...

Ingredients:
Fish  - 450gms (I used Black Pomfret, which was skinned off and cut into fillets)
Dry red chillies - 5
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2tsp
Red button onions - 6, thinly sliced
Ginger - 1tbsp, julienned
Plum garlic cloves - 2 sliced
Curry leaves - 3sprigs
Salt to taste
Raw mango - 2tbsp, chopped roughly
Coconut gratings - 1 1/2cup

Grind the coriander, turmeric, cumin powders along with the dry red chillies with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Combine the fish, ground masala, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and salt in a pan. Add 3/4cup of water and bring to a boil and then simmer for another 15minutes. Add the raw mango to the fish curry, simmer again for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile grind the coconut gratings with 1/2cup warm water as fine as possible an add to the curry.
Temper 1tsp mustard into a pan, add a sprig of curry leaves and 3-4 button onions sliced. Fry till the onions are golden brown and add a couple of dry red chillies and pour this over the fish curry and serve.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Strawberry Banana Muffins~ A Sweet Punch

I'm chuffed at the way my muffins turned out, especially because I were to make them over the weekend and my timings just didn't quite work out for me, and to top it all I was out of sorts - we all have those days don't we?!
I started my day this morning all set to bake my muffins in the morning and I realized I don't have the strawberries. My mind didn't seem to work out at all on an apt substitute. So I just got dressed, and headed out to the store, to see and then weigh out my options. Just when I thought there was no hope, I silently prayed, "Lord help me choose the best fruit", lo! and behold a box of strawberries tucked away in the fruits section just awaiting it to be picked. I checked and rechecked and double checked and my joy had no bounds at what I got. I ran to the cash counter, beaming as if clutching a pot of gold. Rushed home and got to baking pronto, and I present you 'My scrum-my yummy muffins'.



Recipe adaped from the Joy of Baking

Ingredients:
1/2 cup - unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon - pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed to about 1 cup
1 cup (240 ml) fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 cups - All purpose flour
3/4 cup - light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons - baking powder
1/4 teaspoon - baking soda
1 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon - salt


Preheat oven to 170C. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or lightly butter or spray the muffin cups with a vegetable spray.
In a small saucepan melt the butter. Let cool to room temperature. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour. (This helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



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