An absolutely packed schedule just before the winter break sets in. There are days and then there is today …
So while the going gets crazy , the crazy get going ??
The breakfast was bit of a dud ..Cold winter morning , not freezing but still cold enough for you to want to pull in the blankets closer. You might want to reach out for the warm toasted bread and dab of butter. Or a warm cinnamon roll. But not a single loaf of bread was baked and we were all out bread, cinnamon rolls, hot and tasty dosa or anything nice – according to the kids.
It was the second last day of school before winter break sets them free. And the kiddos are to be out for a long time and were fed fig bars(tsk tsk ) for break fast – all natural very good ,stone ground wheat and natural fig in it .But it was not exactly a cold morning choice ! Sigh ! Even the apple oat smoothie did not soften the wounded eyes of A2 ( A1 was more preoccupied with his gazillion tests in school today ) . And mom decided to make an after school treat.( Sucker for those wounded eyes , me thinks! )
A1 and A2 are a huge fan of samosas ! I mean honestly what’s not like about it – there’s all sorts of spiced laden veggies in a pastry dough which is usually fried. And mom kind of relented( guilty of momism) and made a quick batch of – samosas . With whole wheat partially ( I cheated ) and BAKED it ! Corn and potatoes and carrots and so much more bring the burst of flavors and fresh mint/ coriander chutney – I need chai now !
Not very labor intensive. It was done pretty fast.
Time for prep : 30 min Resting time for dough : 30 min Shaping and filling : 15 – 20 min
Baking 25-30 min Yields : 12 -14 pieces
For the stuffing:
Large potatoes : 3 nos.( boiled and mashed roughly )
Onion : 1 , diced fine
Sweet corn : boiled : 1/4 cup
Mix of peas and carrots : 1/4 cup
Oil : 1 tbsp.
Red chili powder : 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala : 1 tsp.
Chaat masala : 1/2 tsp.
Cilantro : chopped : 1/4 cup
Salt : 1 tsp + as required
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
For the dough:
White whole wheat flour : 1 cup
All purpose flour : 1 cup
Ajwain/ Carrom seeds : 1 Tbsp.
Oil : 3 Tbsp.
Water : as required
Baking powder : 1/4 tsp.
Salt : 1/2 tsp.
For the dough :
In a wide bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients first and whisk well to ensure even distribution of salt and baking powder.
Add the oil and mix thoroughly so the dough now resembles fine crumbs.
Now sprinkle water ( DO NOT ADD EXCESS WATER. SPRINKLE LITTLE BY LITTLE ) and bring the dough together to form a very tight dough. It has to be tight dough. Do not knead it excessively. We do not want to form gluten in the dough and then you will have stretchy outer covering instead of a flaky one.
As soon as the dough comes together to form a ball, keep it covered for about 30 min. It is important to rest the dough.
For the filling:
In a wide skillet or fry pan, add the oil and add the cumin / jeera seeds and let it sputter. Add the onions and fry well. Subsequently add the boiled and mashed potatoes, boiled corn and peas and carrots . I microwaved the frozen peas and carrots and then corn for a couple of min each to aid the cooking process.
Add the salt and then spice powders listed and mix well. Do not mash it too much
Add the fresh chopped cilantro, stir once and take it out to cool.
After cooling divide it into 12 – 14 portions depending on the number of dough pieces.
If you have excess left , then it makes a great sandwich filler.
Making the samosa:
Pre heat the oven to 350 deg F
Fill a small cup with water and keep aside.
After the dough has rested for 30 min, knead it once to get a smoother one. Divide it into about 6-7 portions.
Roll out each portion into a big circle. Try to keep it on the thinner side.
Slice it in the middle to form 2 semi circles.
Now using the tips of your finger wet the edges of the semi-circle.
Bring the edges together so it overlaps to form an open cone and seal the edges .
Fill the cone with your stuffing and seal the third side as well by wetting the line edge of the dough.
Repeat for the rest.
Baking the samosa:
Arrange the triangular pastries on a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush with a dab of cooking oil on the surface.
Bake for about 15 minutes in the pre heated oven.
The increase the heat to 375 F and bake another 10-12 minutes.
You will have flaky and crisp shell with spiced filling inside.
Disclaimer : A super quick post. Still have not gotten around to using my cannon after the vacation. Inertia , I suppose.. So smartphone shots it is !
Well the Masala Peanuts lasted but a few precious hours in the house .. There was still some awesome raw peanuts left and I wanted something with enough spice and zing in it . And I did make it 🙂
Crunchy, and perfectly spiced with tanginess of lemon with chili flavor in it and just a kiss of honey. Oh this would be totally addictive in the snacking department . Whip up a bowl in minutes and prepare to be amazed..
2.5 cups of raw skinned peanuts
Fresh squeezed lime juice : 2-3 Tbsp.
Oil of your choice : 2 tsp ( can increase up to 1 Tbsp. if you prefer)
Honey : 1.5 Tbsp.
Salt : 1/2 tsp.
Red Chili Powder : 2 tsp.
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp. ( optional)
Hing : A generous pinch
Optional : dried mint flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peanuts. Whisk it well. The honey especially needs to be homogeneously distributed in the spice mixture.
Add the raw skinned peanuts and toss it well in this so it well coated. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the flavors and spice have a chance to adhere to the peanuts.
Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper or non stick sheet.
Scoop the peanuts allowing the excess spice mix if any to drain off ( I did not have to really drain it or so) and spread them out on the baking sheet.
Bake them for about 15-17 minutes ( oven times may vary so keep an eye)
Let it cool before you dive in.
Options , Variables and Notes:
This is one of the most basic recipe. Feel free to add in some flavors and experiment.
Add dried Oregano leaves or some Italian seasoning mix, Red chili flakes and season for a different take on flavor.
Add dried mint leaves, garam masala and season and you would be pleasantly surprised by the Indian twist!
Add just honey, asafoetida and Oil along with a hint of ground black pepper and you will be amazed..
Always keep an eye out while toasting nuts in the oven. They go from perfectly crisp to burnt very fast.
A very short post. In all honestly did not even take pictures on my Cannon. Cause today was such a day that paid homage to the ” need a vacation after the vacation” kind of thing. After a long and exhausting road trip , and I mean really exhausting, laundry and stuff needed something to munch. But since we had loaded up with enough calories for a lifetime twice over and then some, was not willing to really rack my brain or stretch my time . And then of course a pack of raw unroasted peanuts caught my fancy. We love peanuts here and except for my oldest who treats it like his mortal enemy !! Our road trip introduced us to a particularly unappealing one – too much vinegar and a crusty outer layer that had us gagging and reaching for the nearest bottle of water. Sigh ! A good masala peanut should have enough coating to give you the crunch but not overwhelm you so you have to dig for the nut !!
This is a spin off of my mom’s take on masala crunchy peanuts. No deep frying.. Just regular microwave option ! Simple and quick made in a jiffy. I would definitely advise to make in smaller batches cause unlike deep frying, microwave method requires you to ensure the wet coated peanuts are spread out on a plate and cooked in 2 minute intervals.
Preparation Time : 5-7 minutes
Cooking Time : 5-8 min
Raw peanuts with skin: 1/2 cup
Chickpea flour / Besan : 1/4 cup
Hing : A generous pinch
Red Chili powder : 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala : 1/2 tsp.
Amchur: A pinch
Salt : 1/4 tsp.
Water : 2-3 Tbsp.
Baking soda : a tiny pinch 1/8 tsp.
OPTIONAL : 1 tsp. of oil
Wash the raw, unskinned peanuts very well and drain in a colander and set aside.
In a wide mixing bowl, add the flour and 1/8 tsp. of baking soda and whisk well.
Add the rest of the spices and mix well again.
Add the drained peanuts and toss it well with the flour-spice mix.
Sprinkle the reserved 2-3 Tbsp. of water as required and in stages so the peanuts get coated in spice mix very well and they sort of clump/ adhere together.
OPTIONAL : I did not use oil at all. But if you desire to and need an extra crunch, add in 1 tsp. of oil and mix it with the nut – spice mixture.
Spread this mix on a microwave safe plate. Spread it out in a single layer as much as possible.
CAUTION : Microwave for 5-6 minutes in full power in 2 minute intervals please ! You will burn the peanuts of you bake it at one stretch and you will need to stir it a bit in between intervals.
Verdict: Awesome and crunchy peanuts. I made mine without any oil and it was really crunchy. Optionally you can also add Chaat masala.
Notes and Variables :
Microwave cooking power would vary the time but you should generally anticipate it being done in this time frame .
Quality of the peanuts and the size – smaller ones tend to crunch up faster so keep an eye out
Stirring it in between would keep it from burning of course.
Mine was done in about 5 minutes.
Adding oil is definitely your choice. Mine was crunchy without any.
Take care so the flour – spice mix coats it evenly. You do want it too lumpy or watery.
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
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.
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 …
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!