Vegetable Focaccia

 

Making soft fluffy bread has always been a dream of mine. Its also been an unattainable one for me, till now. Frustrated at the multiple failures, I had quit baking bread many times. But I always come back with this ‘one last try’.

And during this latest ‘last trial’, the miracle happened. The focaccia turned out to be soft and fluffy and I turned totally speechless! Now, that’s two miracles!

I can’t really express my happiness in words, nor can hubby express his relief at not having to break his teeth. Hopefully, this will inspire me to bake more bread that’s finally edible. Read on for the Focaccia recipe :)

 

Its Blog Hop time again and this time I am paired with the very talented Mireille of Chef Mireille’s Global Creations. Her blog is quite familiar for me since she is also a regular participant of Blogging Marathon.

I was totally confused as to what to make/bake, since her space has lots and lots of truly global recipes. I already had her Choco chip Banana bread in my bookmarks, but since there weren’t any bananas at home I couldn’t make it. Then slowly I shifted my focus to this ‘Pizza style Focaccia’ and I am glad I did!  

 

Recipe Source : Gourmet Global

Serves :  3-4

Ingredients:

For the bread :

  • Plain Flour            :          4 1/2 cups
  • Yeast                       :           2 tsp
  • Sugar                      :            1/2 tsp
  • Salt                          :            1/2 tsp
  • Water                     :            2 cups

For the topping:

  • Red peppers         :          1 medium, sliced into long pieces
  • Yellow peppers   :          1 medium, sliced into long pieces
  • Green peppers    :           1/2 small, sliced long
  • Onion                     :            1 medium, sliced
  • Salt,pepper, chili flakes

For the sauce: (optional) 

  • Red pepper (I used green) :       2 big, whole
  • garlic pods                                :       2
  • Milk                                             :       1/4 cup
  • Cheese                                        :       3/4 cup

Method:

  1. Dilute the yeast in warm water. I usually microwave the water for 10 seconds and check the heat and if its not too hot, add the yeast to it. Add sugar and let the yeast sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes. I leave it in the MW itself.
  2. When the yeast has foamed, take the flour in a big bowl and add the yeasted water and salt and form a dough, mixing with your hand. Once the dough is formed, knead for 4-5 minutes till a soft dough is formed. You will have to add more water or flour, depending on whether the dough is really dry or wet.
  3. Cover with a plate and keep aside for an hour or till its doubled in size. Punch the dough back and knead for a minute and then again leave undisturbed for another 45 minutes.
  4. Heat a pan, add the sliced vegetables for topping and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Do a taste test and keep aside.
  5. For the sauce, roast a whole red pepper on open flame. You can use two forks for holding the pepper or you can roast them in the oven. Once the skin is black, remove from heat and put it in a plastic bag for two minutes. The skin will peel off easily this way. Take off the skin, grind this into a smooth paste along with the garlic pods.
  6. In a pan, add this ground roasted pepper paste and 1/4 cup milk and bring it to a boil. Add the cheese and mix until it all comes together to a boil. Keep aside for cooling.
  7. Once the dough is ready, spread it in a cookie sheet and arrange the veggies on top. Pour the sauce on top of it and let the whole thing rest for another 20-30 minutes.
  8. When the dough is resting, preheat the oven. Once the dough is ready, bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 180C/ 350F, or until the bread is done and shrinks away from the sides.
  9. Serve with coke/pepsi or any other aerated drink.

Note: I used green peppers for the sauce, I used the sauce in only one half. I sprinkled cheese on the other half. 

Season these with pizza seasoning and chili flakes while serving.  

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Lachha Paratha

A month and a half has flown by since we moved in to our new apartment. Yet life is as unsettled as it can be. Like the mythological goddesses carrying many things in many arms, I too don a 4-5 things in my two hands all the time. A broom, a mop, a duster and a bucket of water is what you would find me yielding most of the time.

There is too much of work going on all around and even inside the house. So its hardly surprising that cooking and blogging has taken a backseat for the time being. It was only when the husband hinted about the monotonus food being served everyday, that I decided to make something different.

So here is the Lachha Paratha I made, from my Blog Hop partner Pallavi’s blog for this month. Check out her space for a lot of interesting recipes or if you want to learn the ABCs of Gujarati Cooking. I served it with Capsicum Stir Fry from Nupur’s blog.

Ingredients:

  • Wheat Flour               :               2 cups
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Ghee
  • Extra Flour

Method:

  1. Take the flour in a broad vessel and add a tsp salt (or as much as you prefer). Mix.
  2. Add about half a cup of water and start making a dough, adding more water as required to get chapati dough consistency.  I usually add water in  1/4 cupfuls, that way I won’t add too much water and end up with a sticky dough. You can add a tbsp of oil or ghee while making the dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 5-6 balls, each about the size of a lemon. In a separate plate, take about 2 tbsp of flour or wheat flour.
  4. Dust the dough ball in the flour and roll it into a circle, like you would do for a chapati. Add a teaspoonful of ghee in the middle and spread it out. Sprinkle about half a tsp of flour on top of the ghee.
  5. Now fold it from one end like a fan. Please check out Pallavi’s step by step pictures to see how it is done. You can also check out this video for another way of doing it.
  6. Once you have folded the dough to the other end, roll it into a circle like a snail. Stick the end with a bit of ghee. Dust in the flour and roll out the circle again. Do not apply a lot of pressure, since the layers might get pressed out. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
  7. Heat a tawa or a non stick pan and when its hot, cook the lachha paratha for a minute. Flip over and cook the top side too. You can add a tsp of ghee while cooking, that really adds to the taste and stops the paratha from drying out later. I cooked the paratha in open flame too in the end to get a charred tandoori effect.
  8. Enjoy with yogurt and pickle. We had it with a quick and easy Capsicum stir fry.

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Garlic Peas Rice

Come Wednesday and I realized that my camera was missing.

We shifted to a new apartment two weeks back and now life is all in boxes and suitcases since we didn’t do any woodwork. With great difficulty, I have managed to make the place in habitable state and contain all the mess in one of the bedrooms.

The most beautiful spot in the house is the balcony, though we ended up spending more time in the bathrooms. Reason – the bathroom latch. It just won’t open from inside!

The day here starts with me or hubby asking the other with ‘Do you have any idea where —– is?’. And the confident reply would be : ‘Oh, its there in one of the boxes.’

So, please bear with me while I hunt for my camera and please visit the original post at my Blog Hop Partner Nupur’s space for some beautiful clicks. Mine were taken with the webcam :D.

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice               :           1 cup
  • Garlic pods                  :           8 – 10
  • Green Peas                  :           1/2 cup
  • Capsicum                     :           1/2 of a small one
  • Red Chilies                  :           2
  • Ghee                               :           1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds                :           1 tsp
  • Bay leaves                    :           1 -2, optional
  • Salt and Pepper         :            per taste

Method:

  1. Wash and clean the rice till the water runs clean. Soak and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Peel and mince the garlic. Chop the capsicum into fine pieces.
  3. Heat one tsp of ghee in a kadai. Drain the rice and saute it for a minute. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the remaining ghee and add the cumin seeds, red chilies and bay leaf. Once its done spluttering, add the minced garlic and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the green peas, capsicum, salt and pepper, and saute for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat and mix with the rice.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and microwave for 10-12 minutes or till the rice is done.
  7. Serve with dal, yogurt and a pickle.

Linked to:  Blog Hop Wednesdays

Gobi Manchurian – Step by Step pictures

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Words are extremely difficult to come at times. The more so, when there is a pressure. When you really wish, hope and even demand, the ‘word well’ inside us just seem to dry up.

I am trying my level best here, to write something. And I am not able to. This is funny, especially when you consider that I am quite a yakety-yak. It’s a fact that there are people who really run away or hide when they see me – cause they know I yack their head off. They know I don’t stop once I start.

My friend who was staying with me, tried her level best to hide her relief when she moved out. No more midnight yack-yack-yack to listen to. Cramped her hostel may be, but there will be peace and calm when she reaches home from work now onward!

Oh well! I have done it again. Four paragraphs explaining how I am not able to write on the blog! That quite makes a post by itself. Enjoy the gobi manchurian, served with a small dose of chatter.

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Gobi Manchurian – Gravy style

Its the second Wednesday of the month and its time to Blog Hop! This time around, I am paired with Deeksha of Dee’s kitchen. I made her Gobi Manchurian for dinner and it got finished off in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • Onion                    :       1 small (or 1/2 cup spring onions), chopped
  • Capsicum            :        1 small, chopped fine
  • Ginger                  :        1/2″ piece, very finely chopped
  • Garlic                    :        2-3 cloves, crushed
  • Soy sauce            :        2 tsp
  • Green Chilli sauce :  1 tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup   :   1 tbsp

For the batter and florets :

  • Cauliflower florets        :     2 cups
  • All purpose flour           :     1/2 cup
  • Corn flour                         :     2 tbsp
  • Chili powder                    :     1/2 tsp
  • Garlic                                  :     1 clove, minced
  • Salt
  • Water ( 1/4 – 1/2 cups approx)
  • Oil                                         : for deep frying

Method:

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Clean the cauliflower florets and immerse them in hot water with a tsp of salt, for 5 minutes. This is supposed to clean the florets thoroughly. Drain and keep aside.

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Prepare the batter. Mix the all purpose flour, corn flour, chili powder, garlic with required amount of salt. Add water in steps, starting with 1/4 cup and mixing the batter and then adding a little bit more. You want a batter with pouring consistency, but not too thin. Keep this aside.

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Prepare the sauce. Heat one teaspoon oil in a kadai. Add the onions (or the white portion of spring onion), capsicum, garlic, ginger and saute till onion turns brown, about 2-3 minutes.

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Add soya sauce, green chili sauce and tomato ketchup. Mix well and cook for a minute in low heat. Check and add salt as required. Take off the heat and keep aside.

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Heat oil for deep frying. Take the cauliflower florets, dip it in the prepared batter until it is coated fully. Deep fry in the oil. Drain in a kitchen towel.
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Once all the florets are fried, add it to the prepared sauce. Mix well. Garnish with spring onions (if you have) and serve hot.

If you want a gravy version, add one cup of water and boil for a few minutes. It will be good if you add water just before serving.

This makes an excellent starter to a meal. It also pairs well with any Indo-Chinese rice/noodles.

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