Ricotta Cheese stuffed Parathas – Whole wheat flatbreads stuffed with cheese , potatoes and spices!

I had a whole tub of Ricotta cheese sitting in the Fridge. This is not one measly tub , mind you! One whole big tub of this equals to nearly 3 cups of cheese… Sigh ! Costco shopping can be quite dangerous to me. And to the Fridge ! And to the waistline.. I mean there is only so much kalakkand and caramel cheese fudge I can make..

So there I was staring at the fridge and literally looking at the tub of Ricotta cheese and thinking – I did not buy that ! But you do what you have to do. And dinner was calling in a couple of hours . And necessity is the mother of invention ! With a little help because of the near bare contents of the fridge and little chemistry and more of if-you-are-hungry-you-can-eat-anything-, this one was made.

In any case , this one thing I created on the whim became a huge – I mean it guys… HUGE, HUMONGOUS hit at home !

Ricotta cheese is a bit like the modeling clay you can get in your hands. A blank slate to create what strikes your fancy. This time the tub of cheese became wonderful stuffed Parathas.

This one was awesome and the recipe is a sure shot keeper…

Prep time : 30-45 min   Dough resting time: 1 hr       Cooking time : 45 min      Serves :6- 8

Ingredients:

For the Stuffing:

  • Ricotta cheese : 3 cups cheese,
  • Boiled Potato : 2-3
  • Grated ginger : 1 tsp
  • Turmeric : 1 tsp
  • Salt : 1-1.5 tsp
  • Green Chillies or Chilli powder : Added to taste and spice level
  • Coriander – Jeera powder : 1.5 tsp
  • Garam masala (Optional) : 1.5 tsp.
  • Kasuri Methi : 1 tsp. Crushed well.

For the Dough:

  • Whole wheat flour: 3.5 cups
  • Ajwain : 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder / Haldi : 1/2 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli pwder : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Oil : 1-2 Tsp.
  • Very warm water : 1.5 cup + as required

Prep work :

For the stuffing:

  • The ricotta cheese I used, was very very moist and there fore I emptied it out on a wide Corelle bowl, whisked it well and microwaved it for about 7 min initially. The idea is to get rid of the moisture in it, if not we will have a soggy mess on our hands. Since the quantity was nearly 3 cups to begin with, it took me an additional 7 min in intervals to achieve the granular structure of cheese. Now remember , you don’t want it turn brown at all. So keep an eye on it and cook it in stages. Soon you will have very soft and granular cheese. Objective achieved!
  • Boil or pressure cook the potato.
  • Mash them all together with the spices and make 16-18 round big lemon sized balls/globes out of these. 

For the Dough:

  • Knead the flour to get a nice soft pliable dough. Oil the surface of the dough and rest it for atleast an hour.
  • Make about 16-18 sized big globes out of these and keep them covered.
Ricotta Cheese stuffed Parathas - Whole wheat flatbreads stuffed with cheese , potatoes and spices!
Ricotta Cheese stuffed Parathas – Whole wheat flatbreads stuffed with cheese , potatoes and spices!

 

Making the stuffed Parathas:

  • Roll out the dough globe ( by dipping it into the flour if required . Usually dusting the surface of the workspace does the trick ) to a about 5 inches in size or so.
  • Place the smaller globe of stuffing mix in it and cover it . The idea is to tent it beautifully and seams need to be overlapping .
  • Roll it out gently to get a nice big sized disc of about 10-12 inches of size.
  • Heat a flat griddle, and shallow fry it with a tsp of oil on both sides.
  • Serve the sizzling hot brown flat bread stuffed with yummy goodness of cheese, potatoes and spices with a dollop of butter, a side of yoghurt and some delish mixed veg pickle.
  • Pack on the yummy power!
Ricotta Cheese stuffed Parathas - Whole wheat flatbreads stuffed with cheese , potatoes and spices!
Ricotta Cheese stuffed Parathas – Whole wheat flatbreads stuffed with cheese , potatoes and spices!

Dates and Nuts Sugar Free Roll ( Sugar Free Khajur and Nuts roll)

Dates and Nuts Sugar Free Roll- Khajur and Nuts roll… Royal Diwali Mithai with no added sugar and rich with nuts ! A sure crowd pleaser !

This recipe is a slight modification from my earlier one. Last year I had made the Dry fruits and Nuts Burfi and Ladoo.

Without much ado, here it goes. A sure winner in Diwali Mithai list!

                                          Prep time : 15 min                   Cooking time : 10 min                         Setting time : 1 hr                     Yield : 15- 20 pieces 

 

Happy Diwali 2014
Happy Diwali 2014

Ingredients:

  • Chopped Dates : 2 cups
  • Chopped Nuts : 3/4 cup ( mix of cashews, pistachios and walnuts)
  • Poppy seeds / Khus -Khus : 2-3 Tbsp.
  • Clarified Butter / Ghee : 1.5 tsp.

Method:

  • Chop the dates ( I used the sticky seedless kind) to yield about 2 cups of the chopped quantity. About 20-25 dates would yield this depending on the size and quality of the dry fruit.
  • Run it in the blender. This is going to be a slightly sticky mass. Do not over process it or add any liquid to this.
  • In a wok or non stick kadai, toast the poppy seeds on medium heat and keep aside. An easier option would be to nuke it in the microwave for about a min.
  • Also toast the nuts for a min or two. The result is 2 pronged – you get the crunch in the nuts and get rid of the raw edge of it too. Again do not over process it. Remove it and keep aside.
  • Next add in the 1.5 tsp. of ghee or clarified butter and add in the blended dates. Please process this on medium heat for about 5 min or so. You will notice the darkening in the color of the dates and a heavenly fragrance too.
  • Add in the nuts at the stage.
  • Make sure the nuts are distributed throughout the dates base. Now depending on the freshness of your dates, you might need to add in a teaspoon more of the ghee to bind it all together if required.
  • Turn off the heat and remove on to a parchment paper lined plate.
  • Let it cool for just a minute and roll out into logs of your desired thickness.
  • Coat it with the toasted poppy seeds and set it in the fridge for about an hour.
  • Remove, slice the logs to yield thick wedges of this .
  • Result is a delicious slice of dates and nuts without any added sugar!

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls- Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

NC has been blessed with rain and more rain. SO much that the sun played it safe and decided to have a day off…Wanting to cheer up the kids bit for the after school munchies as much to indulge them just for today….10 min to prepare and 12 to bake, 5 to clean up and satisfaction – priceless! Ala .. Mastercard!

Beautiful sight - Rain drenched foliage in our backyard
Beautiful sight – Rain drenched foliage in our backyard

This is a quick and easy post and is an easy way out . No, I am not claiming it to be the scratch from the bake kind. I have done it in the past, but with our weather today, I think it is a safer bet to rely on the back up’s I normally have – Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to the rescue . And hence here we go an easy post for those one-off days where you remove those supermom cape …Atleast for me:-)

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Prep time : 10 min   Bake time 12-15 min /350degF            Makes : 8         Serves : 2-3

Ingredients

Dough Covering:

Pillsbury Crescent rolls : 1 tube

Crescent rolls to the rescue
Crescent rolls to the rescue

Stuffing Mix:

Shredded Cheese mix of your choice : 1/2 -3/4 cup

Dried Italian herbs : 1.5 Tsp.

Dried Parsley Flakes : 1.5 Tsp.

Red chili flakes : 1/2 – 1 Tsp.

Cheese and dried herbs mix
Cheese and dried herbs mix

Seasoning:

Oil/softened butter/ Oil spray : 1 Tsp.

Dried Parsley flakes : 1 Tsp.

Preparation, Stuffing and Baking:

  • In a small bowl mix all that is listed in the stuffing mix gently.
  • Unwrap the dough from the tube and separate the perforated triangles properly.
  • Place a tsp or more of the stuffing in the center of the wide section of the triangle and roll it to form a crescent. Too much stuffing will ooze out from the sides , so use your best judgement.
  • Repeat this step until you have all 8 prepped out and lay in on a flat sheet for baking. Now since there were only 8, I used the small baking tray for the toaster oven.
  • Lay them out gently with enough space to expand during baking.
  • Brush them with the melted butter, oil or spray mist with your oil of choice.
  • Toss in some parsley flakes on the surface , so you have a rich texture and visual appeal to the baking.
  • Bake as per the instructions on the tube. I did mine for 350degF for about 12 minutes or so.
  • Note : the second batch I made, I added some dried garlic flakes to the seasoning and added some dried black pepper as well to the parsley flakes for top seasoning.
  • Note 2 : Have some sautéed vegetables ? Mix it with the cheese for a healthier option for stuffing?
  • Note 3 : Let your creative juices run as this is a veritable black canvas to unleash your wild side!

 

Cornflakes, Poha and Nuts Chivda – Low fat and easy !

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix – Low fat with added goodness of nuts and spices to make it more interesting! Happy munching !

The first of the festivities begin with a bang!!!

DH twisted his ankle and hobbled away chauffeuring A1 for his weekly robotics meeting . You know how you think you end up having this one day of the week without classes or any social commitments ….? And just like that, that day gets picked for this weekly activity. In any case , with DH away and A2 diligently working on her myriad of school projects and A3 generally clowning away, I had this itch to do something. Quick, easy and perfect!

Usually this is the time when I head to the  “baking center of my brain” and subsequently raid the pantry and fridge in the hopes of creating something new. But now is as good a time as any to begin on the Diwali list. Ideally, I would have loved to begin with the creation of a sweet or Mithai. Kind of like beginning on a sweet note kind of thing , tradition and all,so to speak.

Well in this case, this conflakes chivda has a bit of everything – sugar and spice and everything nice.

Happy Diwali folks !

Diwali DIya
Diwali Diya

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix 

Cooking time : 20-25 minutes            Prep time : 5 -8 min                    Serves : 8-10

Ingredients:

  • Unsweetened Cornflakes : 3 cups
  • Thick or thin flattened rice or Poha of your choice : 2 cups
  • Cashews : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted Channa Dal or Dhalia : 1/3 cup
  • Peanuts ( skinned or unskinned ) : 1/2 cup
  • Safflower or any oil of your choice : 6 Tsp.
  • Haldi or Turmeric powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Spice Mix:

  • Paprika or Chili powder : 1- 1.5 Tsp. (Depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Hing or Asafoetida : fine ground : 1/4 tsp.
  • Chaat masala : 1.5 tsp
  • Kari powder ( optional) : 1 tsp.
  • Coriander – Jeera powder : 1/4 tsp.
    Salt : 1- 1.25 tsp.
  • Sugar : 1-1.5 Tsp.

Procedure:

  1. In a big wok or Kadai, heat 2 Tsp. of oil and roast the nuts sequentially and set aside. Do not rush this step. They do need to get roasted to a nice brown color. Hastening this step would result in semi crunchy nuts.. Not what you need definitely! (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  2. Add another teaspoon oil and fry the roasted Channa dal or dhalia and curry leaves ( washed and dried please!) to crisp.( Remove the contents and let it cool! )
  3. Add another teaspoon of oil and add in half of the haldi powder and add in the 2 cups of flattened rice or Poha. Slow roast this on medium flame. High flame heat will burn the Poha and leave you with an inedible mess! Roast this until all the flakes are nicely toasted and super crunchy. Should take you anywhere from 7-12 min depending on the type of the flakes and heat maintained. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  4. Add in the remaining oil and toss in the cornflakes with the other half of haldi powder and slow roast it again. This should take about 10-15 min. They become really crunchy and are more brown in color than the untoasted one. Again do not rush this process and ensure you are tossing the contents thoroughly to distribute the heat. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  5. In a separate bowl dry mix all the ingredients listed under spice mix.
  6. Once the contents of the mix have sufficiently cooled down , layer it out in big wide bowl.
  7. Add in the spice mix and gently toss it with a fork or a spoon so it coats the crunchy mix.
  8. Adding in the spice mix when it is hot, will result in sweating of the flakes and you will lose the crunchiness 🙁
  9. Make sure the contents are absolutely cool before storing in an airtight container.
  10. Should stay fresh if properly stored for about 10 days.

Moong Dal Stuffed Paratha ( Flat breads stuffed with awesome spiced Moong Dal mélange)

Of Ninjas, Parathas and More..

A3 ( my youngest) can be a bouncy ball of energy! Do imagine this wiry 6 year old with enough spunk to get you grinning through the day, devoted to his older brother and coddled by his sister. This little tyke can keep himself entertained through the day without much . When he did turn 6, my neighbor and awesome friend, SP dropped in to wish him and presented him with his much coveted TMT wares. That’s it guys, we struck gold ! Which also means we were subjected to the glory of the teenage mutant ninja turtles morning, noon and night.. For a short time, atleast!

Well, we rediscovered it a few weeks later and A3 was in his full on glory. So mommy dearest, decided to make protein loaded dinner to fuel up the imaginations some more..

Protein power for the little one
Protein power for the little one

Moong Dal Stuffed Paratha ( Flat breads stuffed with awesome spiced Moong Dal mélange)

Prep time : 35 min  – 50 min            Cooking time : 30- 45 min          Serves : 4-6

Ingredients:

For the Stuffing:

  • Skinned / yellow Moong dal : 1/2 cup
  • Whole green Moong dal : 2/3 cup
  • Potato : 1
  • Grated ginger : 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies or chilli powder : Added to taste and spice level
  • Coriander – Jeera powder : 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder (Optional) : 1 tsp.

For the Dough:

  • Whole wheat flour: 3 cups
  • Ajwain : 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder / haldi : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp.
  • Oil : 1-2 Tsp.
  • Very warm water : 1 cup + as required

Prep work :

For the stuffing:

  • Boil or pressure cook the dals and the potato.
  • Mash them all together with the spices and make 12-14 round big lemon sized balls/globes out of these.

For the Dough:

  • Knead the flour to get a nice soft pliable dough. Oil the surface of the dough and rest it for atleast an hour.
  • Make about 12-14 sized big globes out of these and keep them covered.

Making the stuffed parathas:

  • Roll out the dough globe ( by dipping it into the flour if required . Usually dusting the surface of the workspace does the trick ) to  about 5 inches in diameter or so.
Delicious stuffing
Delicious stuffing
  • Place the smaller globe of stuffing mix in it and cover it . The idea is to tent it beautifully and seams need to be overlapping .
  • Roll it out gently to get a nice big sized disc of about 10-12 inches of size. Make sure the stuffing does not split out the sides 🙂
On the griddle !
On the griddle !
  • Heat a flat griddle, and shallow fry it with a tsp of oil on both sides.
Cooking away!
Cooking away!
  • Serve the sizzling hot brown flat bread stuffed with yummy goodness of lentils with a dollop of butter, a side of yoghurt and some delish tomato pickle.

Pack on the protein power!

Waiting to be devored!
Waiting to be devored!
[yumprint-recipe id=’22’]