Aloo Kulcha – Wheat flat breads stuffed with spiced potato mix

There are days and then there are some. Spring is supposed to be here. No honestly, it is supposedly “arrived” , cause we have reset the time to leap out of bed an hour early. It is near unfathomable to me to wake up in the dead of the night ( in my opinion 5.15 in the morning is 4.15 pre reset time and I declare it somewhere in the middle of the night ) and when your body betrays you and sticks to the clock, guess what? You still wake up … even if it is Sunday ! I don’t know about you, but there is only so much lolling in the bed one can do when DH is sound asleep and every living soul in the house including my 4 legged one is asleep. And for the fear of waking the littlest one up , no not A3, but the one with a tail, I stuck around for some more time . And then you know fertile mind, imagination , nothing to do & embarked on this brilliant plan of doing something for Sunday. After nearly an hour of fetch, I was more than ready for my cup of ginger tea and this! Especially since kids were groaning and moaning about the end of spring break!

 I just went ahead  tweaked my cheat Bhature recipe  for this one. Why cheat?  Cause I used whole wheat flour , our regular atta in proportion to the APF  ( or maida) and made it more easy on the stomach. Sort of cheating it for better health kind of thing.

 This kulcha or flatbread  is slightly flaky, crispy, tender and stuffed with mashed potatoes that spiced just right. Oxymoronic a bit in its description but not so in its taste. And best of all it is not tough one to do. Don’t be alarmed by the seemingly long list of spices. They are of your choice and can be made with minimal ones or just the ones available in your pantry.

There are 2 options to make this Kulcha –  on the tava / your regular skillet or flat  griddle or create a tandoor atmosphere in your oven and bake it at 475 – 500 F  for about 8 minutes. I have tried both and they both are very successful. 

Stacked
Stacked

Makes : 12 -1 4 Kulchas             Prep time : 30 min             Dough resting time : 60 – 120 min          Cooking time : 30-40 min 

Ingredients for the Dough

  • Whole wheat flour : 2 cups
  • APF(unbleached, unbromated) : 2 cups
  • Vegetable oil /Melted butter :  1/4 cup
  • Baking soda : 3/4 tsp.
  • Sugar : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Beaten yogurt : 1/2-3/4 cup
  • Water : 1/4 cup + more as required
  • Oil/ Butter/Ghee : As required for skillet fry

Topping for the kulcha or flatbread: (Optional)

  • Sesame seeds : 1/2 tsp.
  • Crushed Kasuri Methi leaves : 1 tsp.
  • Roasted and roughly crushed coriander seeds : 1 Tbsp.
  • Kalonji /Nigella seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Fresh chopped coriander : 1 Tbsp.
  • Red chili powder or paprika : 1 tsp.

( You do not have to use the entire exhaustive list. Mix and match according to your availability and preference. Lightly toasted very roughly crushed seeds lend an amazing flavor to the bread. Again use 1, 2 in this or add your own )

Potato stuffing / Masala Aloo stuffing:

  • 4 large russet potatoes : mashed well
  • Green chilies : 2 -4 . Fine chopped as per spice level
  • Grated ginger : 1 tsp.
  • Amchur / Dry mango powder : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp or as required
  • Garam masala : 1 tsp.
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • Fresh chopped cilantro : 2 Tbsp.

Method:

 For the dough :

  • You can use either a stand mixer or knead by hand.
  • Add in all the flours and salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk it well.
  • Add in the melted butter or oil and mix it too.
  • Add in the beaten plain yoghurt and then add water as required to knead a very smooth, soft and pliable dough.
  • Cover it well and rest the dough for a minimum of 60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prep the potato stuffing. 

For the stuffing:

  • Pressure cook, boil or steam about 4 very large russet potatoes and peel and mash them well.
  • Add the required spices, salt and the juice of half a lemon or lime and ensure it is completely mixed.
  • Finally add in the chopped cilantro, mix one more time and make about 2 inches globes or spheres of these ready to be stuffed.
  • You should get about 12 -1 4 globes of these based on the size of your potatoes.

 Making the Kulchas : (Method 1)

  • After the dough has rested for a minimum of 60 minutes, ( I let mine rest for a couple of hours), gently re knead it again for a minute or two and make about equal size big globes of these. You should get about 14 of these or so.
  • Make a disc of about 5 inches or so , place the stuffing in the center, bring the edges together to wrap it.
  • Pinch the seams together to prevent spilling out.
  • Gently roll it out to about 7-9 inches in size. Depending on the quality of the flour, this might vary but you definitely do not want the stuffing spilling out.
  • Sprinkle the toppings of your choice and gently press it so it sticks to the dough.
  • On a hot griddle, Tava or skillet , pan fry these with a  tsp. of oil or ghee and gently flip so they are evenly browned and cook on both sides.
  • Tip: using a flat spatula press the edges of the kulcha to ensure even cooking
  • Serve with a dollop of butter if desired.
  • Goes great accompanied with mango pickle, tomato chutney and Chole  Masala with a side of thick fresh yoghurt or curd.

These make pretty large Kulchas and depending on the appetite you can serve 8-10 people. Unless of course you are serving an army of teenagers. In that case, numbers significantly dwindle.

Method 2:

Want to make a large batch? .

  • Pre heat your oven to 475 – 500F ( whichever is the highest available).
  • Once you have it all rolled out with the sprinkles/ toppings of your choice, lightly mist with oil spray and bake on high heat for about 8 minutes or so.

These come out pretty good too. And do remember , you will have to adjust conditions and cooking time based on your oven’s function. It’s always a good idea to try it out for a couple and then do it large-scale.

 

 

Just the way it has to be served!
Just the way it has to be served!

Indulge, Enjoy!  After all Sunday is just once a week!

 

 

Quick and Easy, Eggless Cinnamon rolls !( with Icing / Glaze)

I had an itch to scratch! I happened to look at one of those shiny, glossy magazines which had a spring makeover done to a house and fell in love. Not with the labor , but with a near perfect shot of a gleaming white kitchen with huge SS appliances and bright green apples. And along with the apples was also placed a strategic shot of huge mug of Joe and an entire basket of cinnamon rolls. I could only imagine the fragrance of fresh baked rolls wafting through the kitchen! Now while I dragged my 3 A’s in the seemingly endless process of de cluttering and re-organizing, I had to scratch the itch. And so was born this need to bake fresh cinnamon rolls for the kids. Made fresh and more likely to bribe them to do the work 🙂

Jostling for space
Jostling for space

Absolutely wonderful and easy to make cinnamon rolls that are not very doughy and it’s a cinch to make. And also an upshot, they are not the extreme sweet kind and provide the right flakiness in the baked rolls. Go ahead take a big bite, you will reach for another one pretty soon.

 

Prep time : 30 min 

Total resting time: About 70 min or so

Baking time : 16-20 min

Makes 15-16 rolls

Ingredients

For the dough: 

  • Unbleached, Unbromated All purpose flour : 2.5 cups
  • Baking powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Warm milk : 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil : 1/4 cup
  • Butter melted : 1 Tbsp.
  • Instant Dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. ( 1 sachet)
  • Sugar : 1/3 cup

Filling:  

  • Soft brown sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Fine ground cinnamon powder : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Room temp or softened butter : 3 Tbsp.

Icing/glaze:

  • Powdered sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Milk : 2 Tbsp.
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.

Method:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry instant yeast to this and mix thoroughly with a whisk or paddle mixer.
  • Add the dough hook attachment and on low mixing speed add the oil and butter mix, followed by the milk + sugar+ lemon juice mix.(In a small bowl, mix milk with sugar and add the lemon juice and add to the flour. It’s ok if the milk slightly curdles. It works good.)
  • Knead well until you get a nice smooth dough. Let the dough rest in warm dark place until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions , it might take anywhere from 35 min to about an hour.
  • Once it has risen sufficiently, take out the dough on a greased counter top. Gently deflate it and roll it out to form a big rectangle. Mine was a good couple of feet in length.
  • Take a pastry brush and spread the softened butter on the entire rectangle.
  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and spread the mix on the entire area covered with softened butter. Pat gently so it sticks to the roll.
  • Now roll gently from the longest side and make a tight toll. Pinch the seams and ends. Slice it in the center. Now slice each log again into 7-8 wedges each and place on a greased baking pan.
  • Cover the rolls and let rise for about another 20 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 16 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye to just bake it golden brown.
  • Take out from the oven and dive in when they are warm!

Icing  / Glaze:

Mix all that is listed in the Icing/glaze prep section and pour over the rolls when they are warm.

Circles of cinnamon sugar
Circles of cinnamon sugar

These are near perfect! Dig in! Seriously, Just dig in !

Just before being gobbled up
Just before being gobbled up

Blackberry Buttercream Frosting ( on chocolate cupcakes) – Super Quick and Easy!

It was a beautiful day today. Hitting a near 80 F out in Cary, NC. As gorgeous a day it was, my furry friend decided it was a great day to officially decimate the dead fig tree. Well I had minor hopes of a miracle on the fig . You see it was lush and beautiful and even borne a couple of fruits, but it did not survive our whacko weather out here. Snow and more snow and then bright sunshine and crazy temperature fluctuations. So when then main anchor trunk ( more like it was wisp of a twig) broke and it was field day out for my 4 legged friend. Not only did she decimate it, she also quite helpfully dug a hole  for the next one to be planted. With spring break on and puppy chasing around the house, we finally got to get some minor work done.  I think M ( my furry friend) secretly watched Marley and Me in her mother’s womb. She has a near indestructible appetite for edible and non edible things !

My moment of glory!
My moment of glory!

While things were running amok and in the midst of cleaning up the kids playroom, I decided to experiment on eggless cinnamon rolls.  While preheating the oven, I thought this also calls for a batch of  chocolate cupcakes. Actually make that 24 chocolate cupcakes and then inspiration struck me. I needed  something nice and pretty on the frosting . I had been wanting to try the  blackberry frosting for some time. Thought it would be nice and not sickly sweet to top the chocolate cupcakes with . I think this will also go perfect with a batch of  lemon cupcakes or vanilla cupcakes .

 Just perfect buttercream frosting that incorporates ingredients from your pantry – butter, seedless blackberry jam  and confectioner’s sugar. That’s it ! Pretty neat eh??

Prep time : 15 min  

Frosting  for about 24 cupcakes

 Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter : 16 Tbsp. ( 2 sticks) at Room Temperature
  • Confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar : 4 -4.5 cups sifted
  • Blackberry seedless jam : 1/2 cup

In a stand mixer , whip them all together for about 5 minutes or so  until the frosting is super creamy and smooth and thick.

 Pipe it out on your favorite cupcakes.

Swirled on!
Swirled on!

For Lemon: http://www.veggierumblings.com/lemon-cupcakes-light-lemony-and-so-delectable/

For Choco -banana:  http://www.veggierumblings.com/moist-coffee-espresso-cocoa-banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

 

 

Peanut Butter Swirled Chocolate Brownies – Quick Fix Kind!

This particular brownie is an ode to my youngest … A3 , as I would like to call him. It’s funny how much peanut butter this child can live on. You name it and Peanut Butter (PB) makes it better for him. Flatbreads to plain sliced honey wheat bread – everything tastes better with PB. Actually it’s kind of funny because my oldest would not touch it with a 10 foot pole (Unless he was starving in a deserted island and the Skippy jar would save him! Honestly I think he might debate the merits of it though… ) and my middle one is ambivalent about it but my youngest, the smile on his face for a PBJ makes it well worth it. With the wet spring weather and last days of old man winter, I think this particular day calls for brownies. Any kind of them would do. But since my youngest left with a I cannot believe I have to go to school today, I felt this might bring out the bring smile on him. Nothing beats the smile of your loved one after a downer day!

Brownie Tower!
Brownie Tower!

 A doctored brownie mix – a quick fix brownie with swirls of peanut butter. Rich, gooey, chocolaty brownie with the smooth sweet and salty swirls of peanuts. Life is good!

Lay them out
Lay them out

Prep time : 10 min   Bake time : 35 minutes    Serves  : 6-8 

Ingredients:

  • Brownie Mix : 1 pack ( I used the regular one, not the family sized one)
  • Eggs, milk and oil : As per the instructions on the box
  • Peanut butter : 1/3 cup
  • Brown sugar : 2 Tbsp ( optional ) 

Instructions:

  • Pre heat the oven to the required temperature on the box. Most brownie mixes call for 325F to 350F.
  • Grease a 8 by 8 inch square pan and keep aside.
  • Prepare the brownie mix according to the instructions on the box . ( I used a Ghirardelli double chocolate mix. It called for 1 egg, 1/3 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water and to be gently stirred in).
  • Scoop out the batter in the greased baking pan.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, warm the 1/3 cup of peanut butter to soften it. Not melt it but soften it to a stage where it will be easily swirled. I used the smooth and creamy kind and since it already was sweet enough, I did not add the 2 tbsp. of extra sugar to sweeten it.
  • Add these near melted dropfuls of peanut butter and swirl gently.
  • Bake as per the instructions. Mine took about 35 minutes.
  • Cool, cut and serve with a tall glass of milk!
Waiting
Waiting

 

Verdict: Worth it!

Cinnamon and Chai Spice (masala) Eggless Mini Muffins

Most people tend to procrastinate. I tend to procrastibake ! Sheez, I had  a  pile of things to take care of and the weather gods finally smile on us to make way for a ray of sunshine. My list for spring cleaning was just getting into the groove when I realized, I tend to make too many lists ( I need a checklist for lists..) and felt I could use a Mary Poppins gene – maybe it’s hidden somewhere . I just know it is there, I need to find it .. That’s all, seek and you shall find!

 Well so begins the pantry cleaning which ends up in these moist bite perfect mini muffins. Don’t ask me for the connection, it just happened! These are absolutely delicious. Made in about 15 minutes – start to finish!  These mini sized super moist muffins are so so good,  I am  not kidding. These are perfect for the after school snack. Get  your kids a couple of these paired with fruits and milk and there you go, all is well now right? Cinnamon, Vanilla and chai spice – oh what more do you need – Maybe just a bit of cinnamon sugar sprinkle on the top. Life is perfect with a book, a steaming cuppa and a couple of these!

Spotlight!
Spotlight!

Recipe adapted from here.

 Prep time : 8-10 min   Baking time : 6-9 min   Yield : 36-42 mini muffins

Ingredients:

  • Self rising flour : 2 cups
  • Sugar ( brown or white) : 2/3 of a cup
  • Melted butter : 1/3 cup
  • Room temperature milk : 1 cup
  • Baking soda : 1/2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon ground : 1 tsp.
  • Chai Masala  : 1 – 1.5  tsp.
  • Pure vanilla extract : 1/2 tsp.

 For the topping:

  • Fine sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon ground : 3/4 tsp.
  • Melted butter : 3 Tbsp.

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 deg F and spray a 36 mini muffin pan and keep aside.
  • In a mixing bowl add in the self rising flour, baking soda , chai spice mix, cinnamon powder and whisk it well.
  • Add in the melted butter and milk and stir it in well.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and stir it well too.
  • Scoop out about a tbsp. or so of the muffin batter and add it to the pans . Do not over fill . About half the well or so to be filled.
  • Bake it for about 6-8 minutes and do the skewer test so you know it’s completely baked.( the edges would turn a tad bit brown)
  • Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 min or so.

Topping:

  • In a bowl, whisk the fine sugar and cinnamon and keep aside.
  • Using a pastry brush , brush the tops of the muffins with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the top. Alternatively, remove each muffin and gently dip in the melted butter and dip into the sugar cinnamon mix to coat the tops.
  • Want the entire muffin sugar sweet? just roll the whole muffins in the sugar mix to coat it well.

Cinnamon and Chai Spice (masala) Eggless Mini Muffins

Notes:

Chai Masala: ( you can use your spice mix or you can use this basic one too)

  • Black peppercorns : 1 Tbsp.
  • Whole green cardamom : 12 – 14 pods
  • Cinnamon bark : 2 inches
  • Dried ginger powder : 1 Tbsp.
  • Black cloves : 3- 4

Warm the spices  for a minute or two on a skillet . Cool and dry grind it in a spice grinder.

 Variation :

This would work will with thandai masala or as cinnamon banana mini muffins too or as in choco cinnamon mini muffins.

 

 

Chocolate Nut and Berry Clusters

Cleaning up the pantry sometimes yields surprise finds. So take this for instance.. I had a couple of bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Honestly when I did find these , my thought was to fall back into baking a nice banana chocolate bread. But then again, surprise…surprise .. You  really cannot do the banana bread without bananas.. Ahem! Okay so off they went on the counter while I foraged more. The search yielded cashews, almonds, walnuts and then some dried berries. You see where I am going with this right? Aha.. Not really a tough one is it? Out of the finds of the pantry, I give thee .. Absolutely amazing choco berry nut clusters! Ta-Da!

Measured out choco chips
Measured out choco chips

Decadent melt in the mouth, chocolate nut and berry clusters! All you need is a microwave safe bowl and this is ready in  minutes. 3-4 minutes to melt the chocolate and a few to chop the nuts if desired. Takes about an hour or two for the clusters to set at the room temperature. Now that I think about this , I feel this is a throwback to the Cadbury’s dairy milk fruit and nut – a luxurious treat of the yonder years when I grew up in India. And also incidentally the only kind DH would indulge in. I on the other hand love dark chocolates. I would to love to make this in the dark chocolate combination. But that again is the beauty and versatility of this particular nibble. Your mind is the only recipe book you need to refer to..

You really cannot go wrong with this of course!

Nuts and Berries of your choice
Nuts and Berries of your choice

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 cups of semi sweet white and dark choco chips mixed.
  2. 2 cups of raw almonds, walnuts, cashews and dried cranberries and blueberries. Measure and chop roughly if desired or you can make it with whole nuts too.
  3. A pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate. Sea salt is better of course. 

METHOD

  1. Take a couple of cookie sheets or baking trays and line it with parchment paper or baking sheet.
  2. In a pyrex glass bowl or any microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and melt it in high for 3 minutes in 1 minute intervals. Stir it in after each 1 minute interval. The end result is a creamy smooth mass of melted chocolate.
  3. Add the chopped nuts and dried berries to the melted chocolate and stir it in. Add the pinch of salt and stir it in. Give it one more stir to ensure there is as much even distribution of the nut berry mix with melted chocolate.
  4. Using a tablespoon, measure out scoops of these on the parchment paper lined trays.
  5. Cool these completely before storing them ( about 1-2 hrs. depending on the room temperature). Need it in a rush? Stick these in the freezer or chiller tray of your fridge.
  6. Serve these with decadent mounds of vanilla ice cream or just eat them plain.
  7. Best stored in the refrigerator.
Pick me!
Pick me!