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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vada Pav

I could pick a recipe of my own choice for today, the Day 3 under "Taming the Yeast" theme, given that I featured one of the buns I posted in the last two days. I chose to go with the eggless burger buns I posted this week to prepare the famous street food from the Mumbai region, the vada pav. Vada pav often dubbed as the Indian burger is a combo of a vada, the potato fritter and the pav, a bun. Lime sized spicy potato curry balls are coated with chickpea flour batter and then deep fried. A spicy garlic chutney is smeared on the lower side of the bun and the fritter is sandwiched between the bun slices. The vada pav is said to be originally started as a cheap meal for the low income group but soon the tasty snack went on to become one of the popular street foods of Mumbai.
What you need for vada pav:
Burger buns / Pav buns
Batata vada / Aloo bonda
Garlic chutney (Recipe below)

* You can use traditional pav buns or the store-bought hamburger buns. I used the eggless burger buns.
* I used this aloo bonda recipe. Just add sauteed minced ginger, onion and garlic before adding the mashed, boiled potatoes.
* For garlic chutney, powder 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp red chili powder / 4 - 5 red chillies, 1/4 cup grated dry coconut and salt. (I had to add a little water to facilitate grinding.)
* Now to assemble the vada pav, cut the bun cross-wise into two and spread some garlic chutney thinly on the bottom portion. Place the aloo vada between the two slices and enjoy.
Check what other marathoners are cooking during BM #45.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Eggless, Butterless Wheat - FlaxSeed Meal Rolls

These wheat - flax meal rolls are a part of "Taming the Yeast" theme for this month's BM. They are made with wheat flour and flax meal and this healthy option came from  Priya Suresh. Adding flax meal to our diet is beneficial as flaxseeds are rich in heart healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids and dietary fiber. Our bodies can digest flaxseeds better in ground form. Adding flax meal to baking goods is one way to sneak it in into our diets besides adding a nutritional punch. You can either grind flax seeds home or use the store bought flax meal. I halved the original recipe and got six buns.
Ingredients: (yield six buns)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour (Indian style roti atta can be used.)
1/4 cup flax seed meal / ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast (I used dry active yeast)
3/4 cup warm milk
1 - 2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp milk for brushing
* Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Next add luke warm milk and oil to the bowl.
* Knead together to form a soft and smooth dough. (Priya's dough was firmer compared to what I got, going by her pictorial post. My dough was all wet and sticky and so, I added extra 3 - 4 tbsp. of wheat flour to reach her dough consistency. I guess it is ok even if 
the dough is sticky.)
* Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and place it in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in volume. (It took about 90 minutes for my dough to rise.)

* Deflate the dough and knead for a minute. Divide the dough into six portions.
* Shape each portion into a ball. Place a ball on the work surface. Cup it with your palm and roll it into a smooth ball. (Try not lifting the ball at any point of time during rolling and this will hep you to shape). Repeat the steps with the remaining balls.
* Place the balls on a parchment paper lined / greased baking sheet, with space in between. 
* Cover the balls with a towel and keep it in a warm place for the second rise, for about 45 minutes or until the balls puff up nicely. (My second rise took 30 minutes.)

* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 180 deg C.
* Brush the tops of balls with milk and bake them for 30 - 40 minutes or until they turn golden brown. 
* Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. 
* They can be used to make sandwiches or just spread some jam / butter / cream cheese and enjoy. I sliced the buns and stuffed with spicy potato curry.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Eggless Burger Buns

I love recipes on the Kingarthurflour website as most of my experiments from there so far have been successful. Besides there is an opportunity to learn beforehand whether the recipe genuinely delivers what it promises, by going through user reviews. The  suggestions / tips provided by the reviewers to improve the original recipes turn out useful as well. These burger buns seem to be one of their popular entries and for BM #45, 'Taming the Yeast' theme,  Gayathri suggested her eggless version of these beautiful buns. These soft, subtly sweet buns work great for burgers and sandwiches. I halved the original recipe and made six buns instead of four. I accidentally added milk instead of water and probably that' why the color of the buns turned a shade darker but the taste and texture were very good.
1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. sugar
A pinch of baking soda
1.5 tsp instant yeast (I used dry active yeast.)
1 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (I added 1/4 cup warm milk + 1 tbsp water.)
1 tbsp. melted butter to brush 
1 tbsp sesame seeds
* Combine all ingredients except water in a mixing bowl. Don't add all the water at once. Start by adding about 1/4 cup of water and knead the mixture into a soft, smooth dough. Add extra water if needed, in tbsp. increments. (I needed about 5 tbsp. water.)
* Knead for about five minutes, cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles. 
* Deflate the dough and divide into 5 - 6 portions. Roughly shape them into balls. Place one ball on the work surface. Cupping the ball with your palm and not lifting the dough from the work surface, roll the ball until it is smooth with a flat bottom. Repeat the steps with the remaining balls.
* Place them on a parchment paper lined or a lightly greased baking sheet and flatten to about 3 inches across.
* Cover them and again allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until puffy.
* Preheat the oven to 375 deg F / 190 deg C.
* Brush the tops of buns with melted butter and sprinkle sesame seeds.
* Place them in the preheated oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes, until golden. Mine turned to a light brownish hue by 11 minutes. However I baked them for up to 15 minutes to make sure that buns are baked well and they turned a few shades darker.
 * The original recipe mentioned to brush them again with melted butter to get a satiny crust but when I did my sesame seeds topping were no where to be seen. :)
* Cool the buns on a rack.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Recap of 'Around the World in 30 Days'

Here is quick pictorial recap of "Around the World in 30 days", an alphabetical based blogging marathon I participated in, last month.  I chose to try some yummy treats from around the world during this culinary tour and most of them were kid friendly dishes as they were cooked during my kids' summer vacation. I tried small portions of the dishes and several ended up being our new favorites, like the Argentenian 'Tortas Fritas',  'Butter Flaps' from the Guyana, Hungarian 'Kifli' and the Egyptian 'Ghorayebah'. Brazilian 'brigaderios' and Uruguayan 'garrapiñadas' have become my daughter's new favorite treats while my husband absolutely loved the Dominican fudge. I loved the 'Al Rangina' from Qatari and 'Malikia' from Yemen, the quick and yummy treats from the Arab world. Hope you may too find some of them interesting enough to try.
Click on the recipe names to go to respective posts.

A for Argentina (South America) - Tortas Fritas

B for Brazil (South America) - Brigaderio

C for Colombia (South America) ~ Cassava Fries

D for Dominican Republic (North America) ~ Dulce De Leche En Tabla

E for Egypt (Asia & Africa) ~ Ghorayebah

F for France (Europe)~ Mendiants

G for Guyana (South America) ~ Butter-Flaps

H for Hungary ~ Vaníliás Kifli

I for Iraq ~ Kurat al-Mishmish

K for Kenya ~ Kashata
L for Lithuania ~ Tinginys

M for Malaysia ~ Cekodok Pisang

N for Nigeria ~ Akara

O for Oman ~ Khabeesa

P for Panama ~ Patacones / Tostones

Q for Qatar ~ Al Rangina 

R for Russia ~ Oladi

S for Sierra Leone ~ Kanya(h)


U for Uruguay ~ Garrapiñadas

V for Venezuela ~ Cachapas

W for Wales ~ Tiessennau Mel

X for Xīn Xīlán ~ Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Y for Yemen ~ Malikia / Masoob


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks with Sprinkles

My daughter knows about my food blogging and sometimes she just checks the pictures on this blog to know what I am blogging about. Yesterday in a casual conversation she learnt about my participation in blogging marathons and my 'themed' posts. After hearing about this week's theme, she thought that Valli genuinely was looking for ideas and was going to prepare these dishes on her kids' birthdays. I couldn't stop laughing at her naivete but went ahead with her suggestion of a 'chocolate treat' for the party.

These chocolate-sprinkle covered pretzel sticks are a hit with my kids and so I thought of sending them over to this virtual anniversary party. All you need to make these yummy treats are a few pretzel sticks, a melting variety chocolate and some sprinkles to decorate. One can leave the decorating job to enthusiastic kids as I did. My daughter used nonpareils, chocolate sprinkles and confetti sprinkles to decorate and some of the pretzels were left with just chocolate coating.
* Cover a baking sheet with foil / wax paper.
* Pour the sprinkles in small shallow cups and keep them handy.
* Melt the chocolate using double boiler method or in a microwave. (I prefer the former method since the chocolate remains melted for longer time compared to the microwave method as I leave the chocolate pan on the hot water pan until I am done.)
* Dip half of the sticks in chocolate and roll them in sprinkles. 
* Lay them on the baking sheet and stick it in the refrigerator to dry them quicker.
1. Small or jumbo sized pretzel sticks or small sized pretzels can be used. 
2. White or dark chocolate can be used. One oz of baking chocolate covers about 65 - 70 small sized (2.5 inch) pretzel sticks. I used Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate.
3. Nuts / dessicated coconut can be substituted for sprinkles. 

This is going to be my contribution to 
1. Blogging Marathon #45
2. Kids' Delight - Potluck Party.