Monday, September 24, 2012

Back after good times - Aloo phoolkopi diye chanar dalna

So I have been away for long but I was not away from good food. I am just back from a fabulous holiday in Delhi, fully pampered by my sister and sis-in-law.The amount of food i consumed its not funny and to top it got some really cool goodies along - some gifts ,some i bought. I did a lot of food shopping , braving the afternoon heat , loitering around Khan Market , picking up baking stuffs from SDH, crockeries from Good Earth...I had a great great time. I have come back with a lot of enthusiasm and fervour to cook more good food and also take up baking a bit more seriously! But today I decided to do make something traditional and cooked up " Aloo phoolkopi diye chanar dalna"  - thats cottage cheese curry with potatoes and cauliflower. Extermely simple but very delicious.Btw also wanted to share a good news that my blog has already had a little more than 1000 hits ...1042 to be precise!!!!!!

Ingredients :     

Paneer - 200 gms

Cauliflower florets - 1 cup parboiled

Potatoes diced - 1 cup  parboiled

Paanchphoron - 1 tsp

Bayleaves - 2 nos

Jeera paste - 2 tbsp

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Garam masala paste ( elaichi and dalcini ) - 1 tsp

Green chillies - for garnish

Ghee - 1tbsp

Refined oil - for frying around 2 tbsp


In a pan add some oil , fry the paneer cubes, cauliflower florets and the potatoes till light brown in colour.

In the same oil , splutter the paanchphoron seeds and bay leaves. Next tip in the cauliflower and potatoes. Add turmeric, ginger paste, jeera paste, salt and sugar.
Fry the masala well adding some water so that it doesnt burn.  

Once the masala is fried well, add water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. This is usually a light gravy. Add the paneer cubes and let it simmer in the gravy for 5 mins.

To finish add the garam masala paste, green chillies and a dollop of ghee on top.

Serve with steaming hot rice.      

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Taming the Yeast - Crusty Cheese Bread

Baking bread had been on my mind for a long time now. The first time i tried, the yeast just refused to behave , refused to rise and I ended up with some buns that were like stones : ( But I too refused to give up and went around the markets scouring different brands of yeast. With a lot of suggestions from fellow foodie friends / bakers from a popular foodie page I could manage to bake my first set of yummy buns. Take a look....

Making this set of buns gave me immense satisfaction and I decided to give bread baking another shot . This time something I picked up an easy recipe adapted from Martha Day and made a "Crusty Cheese Bread" . The original recipe had onions in it but I skipped that and instead added some herbs - oregano and parsley. And this is how it turned out...

Ingredients :

Warm water  - 300 ml

Dry active yeast - 2 tsp (7 gms) This is easily available at the grocers, or you may have to
                                          look around a bit.

Sugar - 1 tbsp

Sunflower oil - 1 tbsp

White flour - 450 gms  

Salt - a pinch

Mixed dry herbs - 2 tbsps ( I used oregano, parsley and red chili flakes )

Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cup ( keep aside 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top for baking )

Milk - 2 tbsp ( for glazing )


Put the water in a jug , sprinkle the yeast on top, add the sugar. Mix well and keep aside to rise for 10 mins. After 10 mins the mixture should have become all frothy and bubbly. If not then the yeast is not right.

In a bowl , add the flour, salt,herbs, grated cheese and make a well in the centre.Add the yeast mixture and the oil gradually, incorporate the flour and mix to a soft dough, adding extra flour if reqd.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 8- 10 mins until the dough is smooth and springy. Put it in a greased bowl , cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 1 hr or until doubled in bulk.

Once it has risen , transfer mixture to a floured surface, knock out the air bubbles by kneading the dough softly. Divide the mixture into two halves and roll out into a longish shape , like a roll.

Place on baking sheets and make diagonal cuts along the top and sprinkle the remaining grated  cheese on top.Glaze with milk.Cover and leave for another 30 mins until well risen.

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Bake the rolls for 20 - 25 mins until it becomes brown on the top.

It might seem that its a tough job to make a bread but trust me once you have done it a couple of times there will be no fear and all that you will get is sheer joy.