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!

 

 

Corn, Potato & Peanut Stuffed Fritters – Low guilt kind…

Corn Potato Peanut Stuffed Fritters – Low guilt kind… Succulent and meant to be had piping hot, finger licking & smacking of yumminess!

It’s Wednesday.. Do you know what that means ? Yep Just 2 more days of school madness until weekend hits. Then we have a new kind of madness. The weekend kind.. Is it just us or are most families do the crazy loopy loony tunes dance. Just before you go and prescribe anything, I just want to state on record. It’s the happy crazy kind. Cause busy is always better than keeping your mind idle! Shudder!

It’s such a beautiful day today that I did not even mind the constant din of the construction crew. Does estrogen high leads to such things? Who knows? Maybe yes and maybe a no? In any case there I had made all the prep for my kids favorite baingan bhartha ( recipe up pretty soon ) when on foraging in the pantry, inspiration struck. 

This particular kind is a mix of this and mix of that – If you have read through my blog posts , you would know that inspiration strikes me at the strangest of the times and places. So a combination of bhajji, bonda, pakora or hush puppies – in this Kuzhipaniyaram or appe pan.

This recipe yields enough to satisfy the after -school craving, of course ably supplemented by a cup of milk and a fruit. And if A1 comes from particularly grueling day, then a slice of banana bread too !

Pick one!
Pick one!

Yield : About 24 pieces   Serves: 2, 4 depending on the hunger level!  

Prep time : 20 min        Cooking time : 20 min

Ingredients :

For the stuffing mix

  • Potatoes : 2 -3 , Medium sized, Boiled and mashed
  • Onion : 1 – small size or replace with scallions – optional : finely chopped
  • Fresh or frozen Corn Kernels : 1.5 cups. I used the frozen one and microwaved it for about 2-3 minutes, so they were tender
  • De skinned Raw peanuts : 1/4 -1/2 cup, roasted and pounded very very coarsely
  • Kasuri Methi : 1/4 tsp. Finely crush and then add to the mix.
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp.
  • Amchur : 1/4 tsp
  • Jeera – Dhania powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder : 1/4 tsp ( completely dependant on your spice levels )
  • Mix of cilantro and mint fresh herbs : chopped finely : 1/4 cup
  • Salt : 1 tsp, adjust to taste

 Batter mix :

  • Besan or Chickpea flour : 1 cup
  • Rice flour : 1/4 cup
  • Kashmiri chilli powder : 1 tsp
  • Ajwain seeds : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : a very tiny pinch ( 1/8 of a tsp). Optional
  • Water : 1/2 cup ( to be added in stages )

Method:

Vegetable stuffing :

  • In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes , preferably the yield is with very little lumps.
  • Add in the chopped fine onions or scallions if using.
  • Roughly pound or crush the tender corn . The idea is it is slightly smashed but whole kernels of some of it is visible. YOU DO NOT want to make it a paste.
  • Add in the rough pounded peanuts ( again optional).
  • Add in all the dry spices , salt and fresh herbs.
  • Mix it well . Taste test it for spice and salt levels and adjust if needed.
  • Make small 1.5- 2 inch balls out of it. The idea is these get coated in the batter and get pan fried in the appe pan. So the size of it completely depends on the scoop of your pan. 

Batter cover:

  • In a smaller mixing bowl, add in all the dry ingredients of the batter mix and mix it well.
  • Add water in stages so you have a very thick consistency. Preferably the pancake batter consistency.
  • Too watery and it will not coat well, too thick and it would be too dry for the fritter.
  • You might need more or less of the water , depending on the flour quality.

Cooking :

  • Heat the appe pan and either spray mist it or add a tsp of oil to each of the scoops.
  • Take a ball of stuffing mix, dip in batter cover and gently drop it in the appe pan.
  • It should sizzle and cook on medium-high heat.
  • Using a bamboo skewer , flip it to the other side in about 2-3 minutes.
  • Make sure they are nice and even brown when you take it out.
  • Patience Patience, do not make this in high heat, You will simply ruin it!

Serve with mint coriander chutney, hot and sweet sauce or just eat them plain.

Want to make it the traditional way : just deep fry them !

Have it with a cup of garam chai or cold coffee.. Either way you cannot go wrong!

 

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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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