Potato Kibbeh

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For the month of February, one of the Blogging Marathon theme was ingredient swap. One of the ingredients I got was bulgur wheat from Pavani . I had prepared lentil kofte (or a version of it since I was short of all the supplies except bulgur :D), but I still had enough to try some other recipe.

A generic search for vegetarian bulgur recipes landed me on this page and I was absolutely taken in by their baked version of potato kibbeh.  With pictures as good as theirs and clear step wise instructions, it was almost a crime not to prepare it :-)). Though I made it long before, it has been staying in the drafts section for way too long. Since this month’s theme is protein rich foods and this recipe has bulgur, chickpea and spinach as sources, it time for this recipe to join the virtual world.

Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern dish prepared with bulgur and mostly meats. There are many variations to the dish right from shaping it to the method of cooking. It can be deep fried, baked or served raw and is shaped as a ball, patty or scored into diamond shapes. You can read more about this dish here.

Read on for the recipe and pictorial.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2.5 lbs) potatoes, cooked
  • 1 1/4 cups fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 big onion, sliced
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the bulgur in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the potatoes separately. Once its cooked, add to a bowl and mash well so that no lumps remain. Add the grated onion, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, parsley and drained bulgur. Mix well using your hands until everything is uniformly spread. It will come to the consistency of a dough finally.

For the filling, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Saute one big chopped onion and one each red and orange bell pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now add one cup of cooked chickpeas and 2 cups of spinach. I have used a small pack of frozen spinach here.

Add the bulgur to the potato mix and mix everything well. Divide this bulgur potato ‘dough’ into two parts. In a baking pan, spread one tablespoon of oil. Spread a layer of thinly sliced onions from one large onion.

Spread one half of the bulgur potato mix on top of the sliced onions. Spread all of the filling evenly on top of the bulgur mix.

Once you have covered the entire surface with the filling, add the rest of the bulgur dough evenly on top of the filling. Cover it completely.

Using a knife, score whatever patterns you want into the dough. The knife scoring go all the way down to the bottom of the dish. I cut it into wedges and then made not so deep circular patterns on top. Spread 1/4 cup of olive oil on top evenly and bake in a preheated oven for 40 -50 minutes at 400F. If the top is not browned at the end of that time, keep under broiler for a couple of minutes. Take off the oven and cut into slices once its cool enough to touch.

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Potato Cheeselings

1potato_cheeslings Evenings are the time when life calls for something savory to eat with a hot cup of tea. These slightly spiced peppery cheesy potato cheeslings fit the bill perfectly. 

The recipe is from Vasantha Moorthy’s Vegetarian Menu cookbook. The biscuits- or potato cheeslings as the book called these, were crisp when it came right out of the oven. However, a little while later, it went soft. I had to reheat them on the stovetop to get them to be crispy again. So I would suggest baking only on a need basis. The book suggested cutting the dough into small rectangular strips for baking, but I used a round cookie cutter. 

Read on for the recipe. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato, boiled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vanaspati/ solid ghee/ softened butter/ coconut oil*
  • 1 cup grated cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper 

* I used coconut oil which had turned solid because of the cold weather. 

Method:

  1. Cook and peel the potato and drain off all the water. 
  2. Mash the potatoes, mix with all the other ingredients and knead everything into a dough. Taste test and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes and divide it into two parts. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4″ thick. You can either cut out strips of size 2″X 1″ or use a cookie cutter and cut out some other shape. 
  4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top turns brown. 

Note: I noticed that the biscuits turn soft a little while after it’s taken out of the oven. So bake in small batches as needed. I have a feeling this would be a good candidate for deep frying as well. 


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This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Most of the cookie recipes make so many cookies that it can almost feed an army of kids. This recipe from Hershey’s Make it Chocolate book is no exception. I got over 3 dozen cookies out of this batch. The smart thing I did was to bake this on a need basis. The dough needs to be refrigerated and I let it sit there for a few days, taking out small amounts of dough to bake as needed.

You might be wondering why that is such a big deal, given that a lot of you might already be doing that. But the fact is, I have this compulsive need to finish off the dough the day I make it. I don’t want to deal with preheating the oven multiple times or washing the same cookie pans again and again, so its always been a case of baking excess cookies and eating excess cookies.

But this time, I was having guests through out the week and I would take only the amount of dough I needed every single time. So no excess cookie eating this time around :-)

Read on for the recipe and the pictorial.

Recipe source: Hershey’s Make it Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup odorless oil like canola or sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

Method:

In a big bowl, mix sugar and oil. Beat well using a stand or hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Add the vanilla extract as well.

Once the eggs are well combined, add sifted cocoa powder. Fold it in slowly.

Once cocoa is well combined, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Beat in at low speed, I ended up folding it in carefully using a silicon spatula after one point. Chill this mixture overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Heat oven to 350 F/180C. Scoop a small 1″ ball of dough. Roll in powdered sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave a little space between the cookies to allow space for spreading. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the cookies are done. Let it cool in the tray for at least 10 minutes to prevent it from crumbling when taking out of the tray. The recipe makes 40 plus cookies.

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Oatmeal Chocolate bars

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I have never had the patience to make bars before since there is more work involved than making a cake or a brownie. For a bar, there are multiple layers and that means more work. To be honest, I have never eaten any of those time consuming bars, so I never knew what I was missing.

At a bake sale at my son’s school, I happened upon the best bake of my life. It was raspberry bar brownies made by the kid’s grandmother. I ended up buying all the brownies from her (about 5 or 6 – that’s all that was there). I don’t regret those calories a bit. It was a work of art – I took a picture of it in the hope that I can look for a similar recipe somewhere. It had a shortbread base, chocolate layer, crumb top and raspberry jam swirled on top. Oh it was delicious!!

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The point of the story was to show why I decided to make these oatmeal chocolate bar. After knowing what the ‘bar world’ had to offer, it’s difficult to stay away from there. So I tried this recipe from my Hershey’s book. These are quite good. You are good as long as you don’t compare it with the raspberry swirls. Nothing comes close to that one, actually :-)

Read on for the recipe. This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group

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Recipe source: Hershey’s Make it Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate filling, recipe below
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnuts

Chocolate filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter (~100 gms)
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 14 oz can condensed milk

Method:

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a thick pan over low heat. Add Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 2/3 cup cocoa powder. Mix well.

Add a 14 oz can of condensed milk and cook stirring continuously. Remove from heat when the mixture is smooth and thick. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and line a 9 X 13″ pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 cup butter (~220 gms) with 2 cups light brown sugar. When the mix is light and fluffy, add the two eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat it in.

In another bowl, combine 3 cups oats, 2.5 cups flour, 1 cup walnuts, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add this dry ingredients to the butter and egg mix and fold it in using a spatula and finally using hands to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into two portions. Press one part into the prepared pan. Pour the chocolate filling on top of it. Sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the chocolate. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of walnuts too to the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top is golden in color. Cool completely and cut into about 36 squares and enjoy!

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Whole wheat egg less Orange Cake

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BM # 77: Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Vegan Sweets
Recipe:  Whole wheat egg less Orange cake

Ever since I read the recipe for the Spanish Orange cake at Vaishali’s space, I have been planning to bake one. Her recipe calls for cooking a whole orange and then pureeing it before adding it to the cake. I saw another recipe from Mary Berry in the same lines, her Orange Spiced cake also called for cooked and pureed oranges. The cooking and pureeing part was what I wanted to try. But unfortunately both the recipes call for dairy products.

So I decided to try a recipe I had already tried with good results, Priya Srinivasan’s whole wheat cake. The recipe calls for buttermilk which I substituted with cooked orange puree. The substitution makes the recipe vegan.

The cake was full of orange flavor. Its been ages since I served a cake on its own without frosting, so I was feeling a little lost with just a basic cake. I usually soak the cake layers with a simple sugar syrup before serving or frosting the cake. Since the cake is vegan and I don’t have any vegan butter now, I decided to go for a simple mix of icing sugar and water.

Read on for step wise pictures and the recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if the orange is not sweet)
  • 1 cup buttermilk pureed orange
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed

* Increase this to 1/2 cup to avoid adding the water the next time.

Method:

The recipe makes an 8″ cake.

Cook one big orange until its completely soft. I used the Instant Pot here and cooked in manual mode for 20 minutes. I used only one orange for the cake though I cooked two oranges.

Let it cool. Cut through the orange, take out the pips and chop it roughly, skin and all.

In a food processor, pulse it couple of times (including the skin) so that its roughly pureed. It measured out to exactly one cup when I measured it.

Sift 1.5 cups of wheat flour a couple of times. Whisk it with 3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if the orange is not sweet), 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. Once its all combined well, add the orange puree and 1/3 cup oil.

The batter was a little thick, so I ended up adding 1-2 tablespoon of water to loosen it a bit. I would increase the oil to 1/2 cup the next time I am doing it. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 8″ pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C/ 350 F for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. I have mixed 1/4 cup icing sugar with a little water (less than a teaspoon) until it reaches a thick consistency and piped it over the cake.

Here I have baked a 6″ cake and two cupcakes with the leftover batter.

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