Beet, Oats and Flax Seed Tikki / Croquette/ Cutlets

 

  • Hot weather in Spring : Check
  • Crabby kids : Check
  • Crabby mom : Check ( Nah, I am an angel!)
  • Weekly produce cleaning and org: Check
  • A bunch of beets : Check

It was hot sultry calm before the storm in NC. Very hot and humid weather and temperature in higher eighties.. We know what happens next here – thunderstorms and heavy rains. Predicted in the next 24 hrs.  That still did not stop us from cribbing and hoping we could have a bit of the cooler breeze. But nonetheless, as part of the fridge cleaning process, I came across a bunch of beets.. And that’s what became of these..

This was such a delight to have.. Made a cool Minty Cucumber Greek Yoghurt Dip and it was absolute heaven on hot sultry night.. Kids loved it! The only indulgence was the addition of bread crumbs made easier on self cause I used the wheat kind. The shredded raw beets and crunch of sesame on the top and great blended flavors from the spices boosted this to just another level !

Beet, Oats and Flax Seed Tikki / Croquette/ Cutlets

Prep time : 30 min  Cook time : 30 min Yield : 36 cutlets

Ingredients

For the base:

  • Fine Shredded Raw Beets : 1 and another 1/4 Cups
  • Fine Shredded Raw Carrots : 3/4 cup
  • Fine shredded Onion : 1/4 cup
  • Boiled Potatoes : 2, peeled and mashed
  • Bread Crumbs : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted and powdered Oats : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted and Powdered flax seeds : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Cilantro Chopped  :1/4 cup
  • Fresh Mint Chopped : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Jalapeno : 2 chopped fine ( optional)
  • Red chili powder : 1 tsp. ( optional and adjusted to spice level)
  • Garam Masala : 1.5 tsp.
  • Chat Masala : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : 1.5 tsp.

For the outer covering to create the crunchy crust:

  • Bread Crumbs : 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds : 1-2 Tbsp.

 To cook :

  • Oil as desired

Method:

  1. Pulse everything listed under the base in your food processor or if not in wide bowl by hand. The idea is to bring it all together to form a wet mass. This is achieved when the wet sticky potato mass combines with the fresh ingredients. You typically will not need any water at all to bring it together.
  2. Make 2 inches flat patties in diameter and about 3/4 of an inch thick out of these and set aside.
  3. Mix everything listed for the crust and set aside. If you do not wish to add bread crumbs but just the sesame seeds, it will bring out the richness and color of beets but you will still miss the crunchiness of it.
  4. Coat these patties  well in the bread crumbs –  sesame seeds mixture. Nope, I did not initially dip it in milk, corn flour paste, flour paste or any such thing. The wetness of the patty was enough to coat the bread crumbs mix..
  5. Note: The patty was wet but definitely not sticky.
  6. In a wide skillet, add a Tbsp. or so of oil  and gently swivel it so it coats the entire surface of the skillet and then heat it . ( A nonstick would be pretty useful here).
  7. Gently place the patties on the heated oil surface and cook for about 5 – 9 minutes. Flip it once in the 4-5 minute interval and gently press down to ensure they are cooked thoroughly but not smushed.
  8. Do cook it in medium high heat. In very high heat just the outer layer would be cooked and you will have soft raw middle.
  9. Serve it with cool yoghurt dip.

Minty Cool Yoghurt dip:

  •  2 cups of Greek / very thick yoghurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup of very finely shredded cucumber
  • 1/4 cup of very finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp. of chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

 Mix all together and serve!

Option 1 : Yes you can deep fry this.  Yes it will taste absolutely delicious, but man why would you want to do it on a hot spring night and also kill the beets?

 Option 2 :  Baking . I did try baking it on 375 – 400 for about 15 minutes. The pan version yielded better taste though.

 

 

 

 

Veggies and Cheese stuffed Pinwheels – Spiced,Eggless,Whole wheat and Irresistible!

 This should have been one of those soul inspiring or a post with a deep message or something thereof. Truth be told, I was one heck of a distracted soul yesterday and goofed up on a couple of things including the prep on what I needed to do . But hey all is well that ends well right?? Plus it’s the weekend and we can all afford to go a wee bit crazy after a week of 5.30 AM alarming alarms..  Keeping it short and simple.. Just so you know while this was happening, I think Mrs. Doubtfire would have been awfully proud of me. Disaster not withstanding and leaky taps not holding me back , no sir I do not know what you are talking about the orange cup. I think Mr. Bean was channeled and changed genders in my kitchen today 🙂  So did feel like some sort of metaphysical channeling happened right there and I survived and saved the day ! Excuse me while I try and pat my back 🙂

 

So here it goes.. This one is awesome and the recipe is a sure shot keeper. Pinwheels of somewhat flaky and slightly crispy, tender, baked bread encasing spicy veg filling tempered with cheese. Absolutely sinful ( on a diet, well not really ) and so worth it ! An absolute crowd pleaser and kid certified recipe ! Perfect for starter and evening snack. Make it a winner with a cup of hot steaming ginger chai – Cure all for all times !

Truth behind...
Truth behind…

Prep time : 30 minutes    Dough rising time : 110 minutes   Baking time : 20 min  Serves 4-6

 Ingredients (Makes 12-14 pinwheels)

 For the Dough:-

  • 1.5 cup white whole wheat flour (I used KA)
  • 1/2  cup of APF  + 1/2  more cup  as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Ajwain  or carom seeds
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves fine crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
  • 2.25 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2-3 Tbsp. cup of warm water- as needed for the dough
  • Flour for dusting if required

For the filling :- (Makes about 2 cups)

  1. 1/2 cup of grated cauliflower
  2. 1/4 cup colored bell peppers of choice, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup of Broccoli slaw
  4. 1/4 cup of carrots and green peas
  5. 1/2 cup of onion finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp. of ginger garlic paste
  7. 1 tsp of Pav Bhaji masala 
  8. 1/2 Tsp of Red Chili powder
  9. 1 tsp. of salt and more if required adjusted to taste
  10. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  11. 1/2 cup shredded cheese blend

Topping

  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheese blend

Method :

First Rise and Dough:

  • Proofing the yeast : Dissolve sugar in warm milk, add yeast and set aside till frothy. This shows the yeast is active and proofing is especially necessary because we are using active dry yeast. If you do not see the frothing in about 5 minute, re do this step. No happy yeast, no bread rise!
  • Mixing the flours: In a  mixing bowl of your stand mixer (if using) or simply any large mixing bowl, add 1.5 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of APF and whisk it to ensure that they thoroughly mixed . Reserve  the second 1/2 cup of all purpose flour to add as needed. This is especially useful when we do not weigh out the flours and use volumetric measurement.
  • Add Ajwain, Jeera and  crushed Kasuri methi ( fine crushed between the palms of your hands) to the sifted flour . Whisk once again to aerate and thoroughly distribute the spices.
  • In the mixer/  large bowl now add the salt. Add in the oil and whisk it once

Kneading and first rise: 

  • Now add in the yeast mix and 1/4 cup of  warm water to the flour mix.
  • Mix it thoroughly and knead well till everything comes together. Note :- Start with 1/4 cup of water to begin with. Once a loose dough ball starts to come together continue kneading for 5-8 minutes till you get a soft, elastic dough. Adjust the water or flour level to ensure the dough is not dry or too sticky. With so much whole wheat in this mix, the pliability will not be comparable to the one using APF exclusively.
  • In a well oiled pan or the same mixing bowl rest the dough ( cover with a damp cloth and keep it in a warm, dry, dark place) for at least 90 minutes until it is doubled in size.

 For the filling : ( while the dough is rising )

  • In a pan, heat the oil and add in the onion and sautĂ© them very well. Now add in the ginger garlic paste, bell pepper , grated cauliflower, peas and carrots and broccoli slaw in succession.
  • Salt it to ensure it cooks well , but retains its crunchiness.
  • Add in the masalas and chili powder and toss it well so it all comes together and let it cook for another 10 minutes or so,
  • Turn off the heat and stir it well .

For the Pinwheels / Second Rise:

  • Line a large rectangular baking pan or two if desired with parchment paper or baking liner.
  • Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it and knead it well for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Roll it out on a floured surface or a lightly greased surface  to make a rectangle .
  • Spread out the cooled filling on it .
  • Top it off with 1/2 cup of cheese that has been shredded. I used the 4 cheese Mexican cheese blend here.
  • Make a jelly roll by rolling from the short end first.
  • Pinch the end of the seams to seal it.
  • Using a very sharp knife , slice it into 1/4 -1/2 inch slices.
  • You should now see concentric rings of dough and filling.
  • Lift them carefully and place it on the baking pan about 3-4 inches part. Absolutely no touching each other !
  • Cover again with the damp cloth and let it rise for another 15-20 minutes.

Baking:

  • When the second rise is happening, preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
  • Once the second rise is done ( there is an obvious increase in size , but it will not double or so), top with some cheese.
  • Bake for about 18 -20 minutes , until golden brown. 

Once baked, carefully remove them from the tray and let cool on a rack.

Make a steaming hot cup of tea/ coffee/ anything else and Enjoy!

 

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Potato and Veggies in a Puff Pastry Basket -Doled up to be eaten!

Sunday afternoons and late afternoons are well just that.. Lazy, indulgent, me-time craving and mostly is the time when I catch up on some reading if possible. Of late though, the only reading I seem to be catching up on is coordinating schedule calendars or even worse – to -do lists! Have you wondered ever as to how to-do lists emulate a certain Hero’s body part from Ramayana? Tale of Hanuman’s tail I say (pun really?) I often wonder if I have this secret capacity that is very very secret, so secret that even I do not know how and where it is hidden, this capacity of mine to add more than I take – Especially in the case of to-do lists, take one out add 5 in? How do you balance the equation? Seriously someday I am going to need a reminder for my reminders…

In any case, a high tea fare in the afternoon resulted in me racking my brains on something different. After all today’s meal was a super delish mixed veg tomato rice and raitha. A one pot meal to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and needs. Packed schedule and lunch and an errant dishwasher left me with very little time for innovation. A quick rummage into the freezer and the pantry yielded the staples , but then again lo behold.. I spied a lone pack of puff pastry sheets. Like a child pouncing on popsicles on a hot summer day, I gleefully pounced on this pack and my mind ran a quick myriad of variations on the menu possibilities each with different degrees of effort in it. Back to the point of Sunday afternoon, I needed to do some quick thinking and with very minimal effort this creation was for all to indulge !

 Here we go…..

For the Basket:

One pack Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry sheets – thawed and ready to be used. Please follow manufacturer’s instructions on these for use.

 For the Filling:

  • Onion: 1, chopped finely
  • Red Potatos : 2,chopped finely
  • Zucchini: 1,chopped finely(optional)
  • Frozen peas and carrot mix: 1/2 cup ,thawed and ready to use.
  • Mint: a few sprigs, chopped finely
  • Cilantro: a handful, chopped finely
  • Oil of choice: 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi: crushed, 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera: 1/2 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder : 1/2 tsp ( optional)
  • Garam masala : 1/2 tsp 

Prepwork :

  • Take out the Pepperidge farm puff pastry sheets and thaw according to instructions.
  • Pre heat the oven to 375 deg F and spray a 12 cup standard muffin pan with cooking spray.You will  need two of these for 2 sheets of puff pastry.

To make the filling :

  • Heat oil in a wok, add in the mustard seeds and jeera seeds. On sputtering of these, add in the chopped onions. Fry them till translucent , add in the chopped zucchini and stir for a min or two.
  • Add in the potatoes ( I microwaved these chopped potatoes for 5 min ro so, to hasten the cooking process) and thawed peas and carrots frozen mix.
  • Stir in gently and cover and cook for about 5 min.
  • Add in the Masalas , salt and stir so they are well mixed in the filling.
  • Add in the crushed kasuri methi and cilantro and mint in the final stage.
  • Toss gently and turn off the flame.

Method:

  • Spread out the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut them in to strips of 2-3 inches. One sheet yielded 12 strips. This recipe yields about 24 of these baskets.
  • Place each cut strip of puff pastry sheet in the cup of muffin pan. Sort of molding it slightly to naturally hug the shape of the indention.
  • Scoop out a tsp or so filling and fill it in the cup. Repeat this process so you have distributed it amongst the 24 muffin cup baskets .
  • Bake it in the oven for about 20 min or so.
  • Once done, you should have light browning of the pastry sheets. Let it stand in the oven for a min and then remove it . Now you will notice the nice browning of the sheets.
  • Let these cool out for about 5 min or so.
  • Gently scoop out these baskets…
  • Serve them warm with a cup of ice-cold coffee …

Notes:

  • Don’t have 2 muffin pans? Just do it batches. Just make sure the other sheet is refrigerated until use.
  • Don’t have the patience to do it in batches? Then make 12 of these baskets and make pinwheels of another sheet..
  • Have left over chole? Try baking it in these cups. Just ensure the filling is not too runny.
  • Make it more different? Try it with paneer spiced up..
  • This is pretty much a blank canvas and waiting for your master touch!
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FoxNut Munchies ( Salt and pepper spiced Makhana)

Lotus Nuts, Fox nuts.. What’s in a name?  Except this provides more nutrition than your average munchies and huge plus, this is not deep fried. I faintly remember this being brought into the menu by my maternal grand mom. But in Chennai where I grew up , this was not a common occurrence. I had been eyeing this in the stores and went on to read about it a bit. On a catch up session with my mom, she remembered how it was catered to in our household . So there you folks, a simple and quick recipe,that is made in a Jiffy and the next time you feel like reaching for the bag of chips, or butter smothered popcorn , or just like that during the in between times, this is what you would be reaching for ..again and  again , I promise !

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