Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pav Bhaji - Mumbai Style!!!!

I have a constant craving for Mumbai street food and some of these dishes have become my party staples! One such recipe that I find myself repeating very often whenever I have guests or my family wants to eat something different is Pav Bhaji. I never fail to get rave reviews and never have seconds left! Recently, when a friend of mine e-mailed me for my Pav Bhaji recipe - I realised I don't have one posted on my blog. So this one is for her...

I remember reading a recipe for Pav Bhaji long long time ago in the Sunday Mid-day (my favoritest read on a Sunday) and from then on I have had a winner on hands (with a few tweaks here and there)! This is also a healthy way to get your husband and children to eat their veggies without turning up their noses! My recipe feeds 4.

5 medium sized boild potatoes
1.5 cups vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, peas, beans or whatever else you have on hand and want to feed your family ;))
4 tomatoes boiled and pureed without their peels
1 large onion diced small
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 kashmiri whole red chillis
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
Pav Bhaji Masala as per taste

Boil the potatoes and put aside. In a pressure cooker add 1tsp oil and the kashimiri chillis (broken in half), ginger-garlic paste and choppee d onions. Saute onions till pink. Then add the tomatoe puree and saute till the mixture leaves oil. Now add the vegetables and saute again. Add the dry masalas i.e. turmeric, chilli powder, salt and at least 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala. Add the potatoes and stir the mixture well. If the mixture is not in semi-liquid form - add some tomato puree so that the mixture is a bit pasty. Add about half a cup of water and give this a couple of whistles.

Open the pressure cooker and mash the mixture with a masher. Add water and bring to a boil if required. Now taste and add more pav bhaji masala, chilli and salt as per taste. This whole "bhaji" should not be very curry like - so if you think it's too thin - give this a couple of more whistles and leave aside - this dries up a bit on it's own. And you're all done.

Serving Suggestions:

I always serve this with a side of diced onions, lemon and grated cheese and a big chunk of butter.

The pav's are also nicely heated on a pan with butter!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Chunk and Oat Cookies

Delhi and Gurgaon have been freezing this year and with friends and relatives being around on and off I have been too lazy and tied up to enter the kitchen. Nothing like snuggling into the blanket anytime the baby decides to nap :)! But one morning I got up and could literally smell the cookies I have been meaning to bake for over a month.

I have been trying to find an easy and healthy recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies (chewy so my 14 month old son can eat some too...) and have tested a few recipes that I found online courtesy Rachel Ray, All recipes and a couple of other sites and came up with mine which is a little variant from the others but delivers the goods!

This recipe uses the quick cooking Quaker Oats which are heart healthy and give many benefits. I have given up trying to give my husband Oats or porridge for breakfast. Breakfast in our house can range from eggs & sausages to paranthas or dosas - I try to keep it simple and healthy but we do end up indulging on the weekends.

Though this is not the healthiest way to incorporate oats into our diet - I thought we had to make a start somewhere and incorporate the goodness of oats into our lifestyle - http://www.quaker.co.uk/Benefits.aspx

This cookie is a winner with my family and there usually isn't much left when the aroma of oats, cinnamon, chocolate baking waft from the kitchen and I have to hide a box for these to survive over 3 days....

Here goes and do leave comments and updates on how these came out:

1 cup butter softened (about 225grms)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder (you can add more for flavour)
3 cups quick cooking quaker oats
1.5 cups all-purpose flour (wanted to use whole wheat but haven't tried it with this variation)
1.5 cups chocolate chunks made from cadbury chocolates (made about 1/4 inch big chunks but you can use any chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, raisins etc)
a couple of spoons of milk

I creamed the butter and sugar in the food processor but it didn't beat too well - so I added about 2 tsps of milk - do add more if required but very little at a time. I then added the eggs. I mixed all the dry ingredients and added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients (excluding the chocolate chunks).

I then made balls (slightly sticky dough) of the size of a table-tennis ball. I then add the chocolate chunks individually into the cookies and put them on a greased parchment. Flattened them slightly with the end of a wooden spoon and left them a little rounded towards the top . These cookies don't spread too much - so you can make the balls the size of the cookies you want.

I baked them for 13-15 mins at 165 degrees centigrade and then left them on the wire rack to cool. They were yummy and full of taste and I ate the ones that had extra chocolate chunks hidden in them.

I definitely got less than 2 dozen cookies with this recipe but didn't count how many I got....

Pictures too follow soon. And please do leave me some tips on getting the darned pictures right!