Sunday, December 28, 2014

Masala stuffed whole wheat buns



I had a desire to make these stuffed buns for long time. But I was avoiding it as I wasn't confident if I could make soft buns with wheat flour. Thanks to my friend  Lalita Sundari who introduced me to this amazing whole wheat pastry flour. This flour is meant for making pie crusts, cookies, and cakes. This flour also makes an excellent pizza crust, but I was afraid to make bread as it does not work well with yeast. But thanks to the internet which gave me an idea of adding a commercial agent called vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten is used by the commercial bakers for making soft and fluffy breads. There are also other ingredients that could be added to the the wheat flour to make the bread soft- honey, milk and butter. 


Ingredients

For bun
  • 1.5 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)
  • 1.5 tsp kasuri methi, fine crushed between palms (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil/ butter
  • 2 -4 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup luke warm milk
  • 1/2 cup luke warm water (or as required for kneading the dough)
  • Melted unsalted butter for brushing
  • Flour for dusting
Filling
  • 1cup finely chopped Cabbage
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots, beans and peas (together)
  • a generous pinch of asafetida 
  • 1 tsp cumin  seeds 
  • 1tsp coriander powder 
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp MDH Sambar masala powder
  • 1tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves ( cilantro) to garnish


Method:

Dough:
Dissolve sugar in lukewarm milk, add yeast and set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.

Mix the flour, ajwain, kasoori methi, salt, oil/ butter, honey and salt in a bowl. Add the milk once the yeast becomes frothy and start kneading the dough with lukewarm water as needed. 


Once the dough starts coming together, transfer the dough to the floured surface and continue to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes soft and elastic. 


Transfer the dough to an oil greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a damp place. 



Fillling:
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Boil the potatoes. Boil the carrots beans and peas separately. 

Heat the oil in pan. Add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds cracks add the cabbage and asafetida and fry them until translucent. Then add the all the spice powder and fry them for a minute in medium flame. 

Then add the boiled and mashed veggies. Add salt and cook them for 5 minutes.

 Turn down the heat and add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Allow the filling to cool down.


Rolling and Stuffing:

After an hour the dough would have doubled in size. Gently knead the dough again and divide them into 8 equal balls. Line a baking tray with parchment sheet and spray some oil and arrange the rolls with enough space for them to expand. 

Roll the filling about approximately half the size of the rolls. Now the rolls would have risen a little bit. Flatten the rolls between your palm and place the filling balls and close them by pinching the sides to the centre.


Place the stuffed rolls on the greased tray with the pinched side facing downwards. Brush some milk and cover it with food film.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. The rolls would have risen a little bit when the oven is heated. Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the buns turn golden brown.

As soon as you remove the buns from the oven brush them with butter.


Serve the buns warm with your favorite spicy tangy chutney. 



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Curried Butternut squash Basil soup

On a cold evening, our bellies were craving for some hot soup. I quickly scanned my kitchen resources and came up with an idea to make 'butternut squash soup'. Butternut squash, always remained an 'untouchable' in my refrigerator- the least preferred vegetable in my family. Hence, I picked few other veggies to make the soup palatable. I chose fresh basil leaves and curry powder to flavor the soup. I avoided oil/ butter for health reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming this soup recipe and felt more content seeing my family relish the soup.

Ingredients:
Butternut squash, cubed- 2 cups
Carrot, sliced - 1/3 cup
Tomato - 1
Asparagus, chopped- 1/4 cup
Red bell pepper, chopped- 1/4 cup
Celery, finely chopped- 2 tablespoon
Basil leaves- 6
Vegetable broth/ water - 2 cups
Curry powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Method:
Combine all the chopped veggies in a steamer. Add basil leaves when the veggies are half cooked. Cook them until tender. Do not overcook them!

Remove from heat and cool them.

Blend the steamed veggies with 2 cups of vegetable broth or warm water, salt, black pepper and curry powder.

If you prefer it piping hot then pour it into a pot and heat them to desired temperature.

Variations:
Roast the veggies in oil or butter instead of steaming them.
Garnish with whipped cream/ sour cream


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Toasted Almond Broccoli Soup

Today I am here to share a simple, tasty and healthy soup recipe- without using oil or butter. I adopted this recipe from a recipe book that came along with my new blender. As I was scanning through the recipes, the almond broccoli soup caught my attention. I quickly rushed through the details and was excited to make it immediately. The original recipe had zucchinis; I omitted it due to lack of resource. I have never tasted or tried soups with toasted nuts- trust me! this soup was awesome(with the roasted almond flavour).


Ingredients
Almonds- 1/3 cup
Broccoli florets - 4 cups
Vegetable broth- 3 cups
salt and black pepper to taste

Method
  • Steam the broccoli florets and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Blend the almonds in a blender for 30 seconds and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
  • Leave 2 tablespoons of almond meal for garnishing; bring all the ingredients together in a blender and grind them to a smooth consistency.
  • Garnish with the toasted almond meal.
* Dry roasting on a low flame would be an alternative to toasting in oven. Saute them frequently for even toasting.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Basil Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:
Basil Pesto sauce
Basil, fresh- 1 cup tightly packed
Pine nuts/ walnuts- 1/4 cup
Grapeseed oil- 1/4 cup
Lemon juice- 1/2 tablespoon
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Basil Pesto Pasta
Pasta, uncooked- 1 cup
Sun Dried tomatoes- 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
frozen green peas- 1/2 cup
salt to taste
grated Parmesan cheese- 1/4 cup
grapeseed oil- 1 tablespoon
Milk- 1/8 cup (optional)
Pine nuts, to garnish- 1/8 cup (optional)

Method:

Basil Pesto sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste.
  • If  you are using walnuts, either chop them before blending or pulse the walnuts first and then bleand it with the remaining ingredients.


Basil Pesto Pasta:

  • Boil water in a pot and cook the pasta a la dente with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt.
  • Drain the pasta and retain 1 cup of the pasta stock.
  • Heat a pan. Add the pesto sauce and pasta stock to make the sauce creamy.
  • Add the cooked pasta, frozen peas, sun dried tomatoes and milk(optional).
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pinenuts.





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