Friday, July 29, 2016

Eggless Tutti Frutti Buns | Bun Maska

Have you heard of Bun Maska before? If you are from Mumbai, you would vaguely remember the round buns studded with tutti frutti. While these buns were largely found either in stores, packed by a local company or in Irani Cafes. When served with a generous helping of butter and dunked in cutting chai, these buns are irresistible! 



Literally, Bun Maska means bread and butter. While some cafes serve plain bread made with flour and milk, some places make them studded with tutti frutti. These tutti frutti are actually flavored raw papaya bits. While I got it from the store, a lot of people actually make it at home! These colored bits of goodness are really great in buns. They add sweetness, a great texture and bright color in the buns. 

On my last trip to Mumbai, I went to a new Parsi joint Soda Bottle Openerwala. They serve these buns with cutting chai. It was a pleasure to see a high end restaurant reinvent the buns and include it in the menu. The flavor was authentic and I loved the way they serve it. On returning, I was looking forward to make these buns at home. I had a big lot of red yellow and green tutti frutti at home. So I decided to make them. 



While the dough has almost the same procedure as other breads, the only difference is that the dough is made using 3 parts milk and one part water. This helps to get the required sponge and milky flavor in the buns. Make a big lot of these buns and store them for about 4-5 days. To enjoy, slit the buns, apply butter and dunk the bun slice in tea. The combination is unmatched.  



Ingredients

All purpose Flour 3 cups
Active dry yeast 1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp)
Unsalted Butter 3 tbsp
Salt  1/2 tsp
Sugar 2 1/2 tsp
Water 1/4 cup
Milk 3/4 cup
Tutti Frutti 1/2 cup




Method

Heat the milk and water with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar. When it is at 110 F (just warm) add the yeast, mix well and rest covered for ten minutes or till the yeast blooms.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and remaining sugar. Add bloomed yeast mixture and softened unsalted butter. Using a stand mixer or with your hands, mix it all together till you get a smooth soft dough. It took me about 15 minutes to make a really smooth dough. Keep the dough covered in a warm place and let it rise for an hour. 

Once the dough doubles, punch it down and knead for a few minutes to a smooth ball. Add the tutti fruttis and divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a round bun.  




Preheat oven to 400 F/ 210 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the buns and brush them with some milk. Place them in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Once the tops are light brown in color, remove and transfer to a cooling rack. 

To serve, slice the buns from the centre or cut into into slices. Apply butter ( I am biased to Amul butter) and serve with chai. 





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Anniversary Celebrations and a Chocolate Cake for Two

On Saturday my blog completed two years. The end of two years of blogging has taught me a ton of things and the years came with lots of fun filled achievements to be proud of. The most striking of all the wins has been the award from Sanjeev Kapoor for my Baked Thandai Gujiya for the Holi recipes contest. Such a great feeling that day was :)



In the last year, I started using Instagram as a social media for the blog and it has gone a long way! With over 800 followers I am so thrilled to see the network grow each day. If you are not following me there, do connect with me there. With just under 2000 followers, the Facebook page for the blog has grown in the last year too. 

Ok, so here is a bit of the celebration we had. It happens to be two year anniversary and I decided to make a cake for TWO! The cake is a tall one and I added chocolate mousse between the layers. This triple layer cake has chocolate ganache on the topmost layer and the cake is enough for two people, provided they have it for a meal! We devoured the cake over weekend brunch and had our stomachs full. 



To make the cake, simply make three small cakes (this eliminates the need to slice them!), make a chocolate ganache and using some of the ganache; make a chocolate mousse. Once you have the components ready, just assemble it all, and decorate as you like. I just roughly smoothened the outer layer of mousse and trickled chocolate ganache over it. The result was an amazing chocolate overload cake. With a 2 candle on top the cake was perfect for two of us :)

Ingredients

Three mini cakes, using this recipe

For the Ganache
Heavy Cream 1/2 cup
Semi sweet Chocolate 3/4 cup

For the Mousse
Heavy Whipping Cream 1/2 cup
Sugar 3 tbsp
Chocolate Ganache 2 tbsp
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp



Method

Make three 4 inch cakes using this recipe. Because it is a cake for two people, the proportions mentioned in the recipe are enough. Each cake will be about 1 1/2 inch thick.

To make the ganache, heat heavy cream in a pan till it just starts to bubble. Do not boil the ganache. Add the cream to chopped chocolate pieces and mix well till the chocolate completely melts. Reserve till required.

To make the mousse, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Then, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whip again. Finally, add two tbsp of chocolate ganache prepared above and beat to stiff peaks. Set aside. 

To assemble the cake, place one chocolate cake, top with a couple of spoons of mousse and place the second cake. Add some more mousse and place the last cake. Let the mousse and cake set for an hour in the refrigerator.

Remove cake from refrigerator, spread mousse on top and roughly apply it on the sides. Add the remaining mousse to a piping bag and keep ready. Using a spoon, spread ganache on top of the cake and let a few strands flow along the sides. Using the piping bag, pipe on the bottom and top of the cake. Sprinkle a few colorful sprinkles or decorate as you like. 





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jaisalmeri Kala Chana Kadhi

Blogging Marathon #66 Week 4 Day 3
Theme: Recipes from a Region: Rajasthan
Dish: Jaisalmeri Kala Chana Kadhi

Today is the last day of this month's Blogging Marathon. After the Baked Churma Ladoos and Masala Baati, today is another dish from Rajasthan. It is a soup that is particular to the state. Kadhi as most of us know is a mixture of chickpea flour and yogurt cooked with spices. Every state in India has it's own version. Whether it is the sweet and sour Gujarati Kadhi or Punjabi Kadhi with Pakodas or Gujarat's Mango based Fajeto, all these have the same base and the additives are based on the kind you are making.



Rajasthan has it's own version of Kadhi which has black chana added to the yogurt and chickpea mixture. While the rest of the kadhi is similar to other states, the addition of chana gives this one a great texture. When enjoyed with steamed rice or traditional Bajri Roti, the combination is perfect. From the city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan; this kadhi is sometimes called Khatta Kala Chana. 



The Gujarati way of cooking Kala Chana would be either with diced onions and tomatoes with chilli garlic paste. Or the famous kala chana baingan which is really popular in the state. Making it with yogurt and chickpea flour is a welcome change. This curry ends up being complete by itself. It has a soupy texture, has chana and is perfect for roti and rice. It eliminates the need of having a vegetable to complete the meal! 



Ingredients

Besan/Gram flour 2 tbsp
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Black Chana 1/2 cup
Ghee 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Cloves 2
Cinnamon Stick 1 inch
Curry leaves 2-3
Dry red Chilli 2 sliced
Salt, Sugar, Lime Juice 
Cilantro 




Method


Soak the chana overnight and pressure cook them before ready to make the kadhi.

Beat yogurt with 1/2 cup water, add the chickpea flour and mix to a smooth mixture. Transfer to a pan and add another 1/2 cup water. 

In a small pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds pop, add cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon. Then add curry leaves and dried red chilli. Pour the entire mixture into the flour yogurt mixture. 

Add the boiled chana and bring the kadhi to a boil. Add a tsp of salt, a tsp sugar and juice of half a lime. Mix well, and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice and Bajri Roti. 











Monday, July 25, 2016

Rajasthani Churma

Rajasthani Churma is a variation of the traditional Churma ladoos. This sweet is generally enjoyed with panchmel dal and stuffed baati or unstuffed baatis. The main idea is to balance the spices and so the sweet churma helps cut the spice from the dal or the garlic chutney that makes a strong presence in Rajasthani cuisine. 



If you have tried the Gujarati version of Churma Ladoos, you know that it is made from wheat flour and jaggery. Also, by adding ghee in the mixture, they are shaped as round balls. On the other hand, this churma is made from flour and sugar and generally served in a powder form. Adding ghee on top is not uncommon. 

The day I made panchmel dal and stuffed baati, I made this Churma. While you can follow the recipe below, it is very simply the same dough as the one made for baati. So another way to easily make this is to make a big bulk of the baati dough and using a quarter of that dough, make a disc and bake it. The dough will have a little salt, but it is generally never tasted once the sugar is added. If you are making the dough separately, skip the salt and proceed as listed below. It does not take too long to make this churma and the result is surely delicious!



Ingredients

Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
Semolina 2 tbsp 
Clarified Butter/Ghee 2 tbsp 
Water 
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cardamom 3-4 pods
Cashewnuts, almonds and pistachios 1/4 cup



Method

Mix together the flour and semolina in a large mixing bowl. Add molten ghee and slowly mix it in. Add water slowly and knead a hard dough. Knead the dough till it comes together and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 20-30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness disc. Make a few cuts with a sharp knife. Place the dough disc on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Check if the dough is hard. f ity is, remove and cool. Else bake for another two minutes till it is hard. 



Let the dough cool. Meanwhile, powder the sugar with cardamom and finely chop cashewnuts, almonds and pistachios. Once the dough is cool, transfer to a food processor. Blend to a fine powder. 

Remove the powder in a bowl, add cardamom sugar and chopped nuts. Mix well and enjoy with panchmel dal and stuffed baati or the traditional ones



Masala Baati

Blogging Marathon #66 Week 4 Day 2
Theme: Recipes from a Region: Rajasthan
Dish: Masala Baati

Today is the second day of this week's Marathon, and my theme for the week is Rajasthani food. What is Rajasthani food without Dal Baati? This dish is probably the most famous and loved dish from the state. While the traditional recipe is to make dough dumplings, boil them, fry them and serve them with Panchmel Dal. However, sometimes we feel that it is too much dough. So this recipe, Masala Baati is a slight variation by filling the baatis with a spicy and tasty stuffing.



The first time I had these stuffed balls of goodness was when my sister in law made them for us almost a year ago. It was a perfect brunch and been on my mind since then. But somehow, I never ended up making it. Finally, when I chose Rajasthan for this week, I was definitely going to make them. To make these, I used the baati recipe from my baked baatis. While the stuffing we had there was predominantly potato, I decided to change it a little and add a lot of peas too. The result was great and we thoroughly enjoyed the peas and potato stuffed baatis. 



Another striking feature of these baatis is that they are baked. No hassle of boiling or frying. This recipe can be easily made in just three steps: Make the stuffing, make the dough and bake the stuffed baatis. While they are tasty, they are healthy as well; atleast healthier! Along with the baatis, we enjoyed the panchmel dal and a simple form of churma made from flour and sugar. The combination was perfect! 



Ingredients

For the cover

Whole Wheat Flour 2 cups
Semolina 1/2 cup
Clarified Butter/Ghee 1/2 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Water 

For the filling

Potatoes 2 medium
Green Peas 1/2 cup
Onion 1 medium
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Aamchur Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt, Sugar and Lime juice to taste






Method

Mix together the flour, semolina and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add molten ghee and slowly mix it in. Add water slowly and knead a hard dough. Do not add excess water else the baatis will become soft. Knead the dough just enough for it to come together and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 20-30 minutes.  

To make the stuffing, boil and mash the potatoes and boil the peas. Dice onions. Take oil in a pan, add onions and saute till they are translucent. Add the mashed potatoes, peas and garam masala. Mix it together, add turmeric powder and amchur powder. Add salt, sugar and lime juice to taste. Turn down the heat and let the filling cool.




Preheat the oven to 400F/ 210 C. Divide the dough into lemon sized balls.  The size of the baati is based on how you like it, but ensure that they are all of the same size for even cooking. Flatten the dough balls, add a tbsp of the stuffing and roll them to a smooth ball. Using a knife, make a plus sign on top. 

Place the baatis on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, till it is light brown. Then turn them over and bake for another 10 minutes till the top is brown. Once the baatis are brown on all sides, remove from oven and brush a little ghee on them. 

Baatis can be prepared in advance and stored in an air-tight container. Just before serving, place them in a preheated oven for 5-6 minutes and serve warm. Enjoy these baatis with Panchmel Dal and Churma. To eat, break the baati into pieces and add dal on top and enjoy the churma on the side. 











Sunday, July 24, 2016

Baked Churma Ladoos

Blogging Marathon #66 Week 4 Day 1
Theme: Recipes from a region: Rajasthan
Dish: Baked Churma Ladoos

Today is the beginning of the last week of this month's Blogging Marathon, and my theme for the week is Regional Recipes. If you have been following the Marathon and my blog, you know I did the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu for the Mega Marathon in April. Here is a round-up, in case you missed it. 




This week I foray into another state of India, and this happens to be my favorite state of the country. I am referring to the colorful, flavorful and definitely wonderful state of Rajasthan. When most people discuss food from this state, they think it is full of ghee, oil, sugar and calories. While the notion is not completely wrong, today's lifestyle demands a healthier version of the age old recipes. So in this week, I promise you three guilt free (some people would call it lesser guilt) recipes from the state. These recipes are traditional, but made in a healthy way without compromising on the taste. 

For the first day, I would have started off with a main course or appetizer like the other weeks and ended the week with a sweet. However, today, sweets first. The simple reason is that Herbivore Cucina is 2 years old today and so my blogging experience. I published my first post, Cupcake Handvo exactly two years ago. While the anxiety of pressing the publish button has gone down over this period, the excitement of posting and the curiosity of number of views each morning is still the same. I will be doing a separate post with a cake and the celebration, I decided to add a traditional sweet on this day to make is special. 




So today is a recipe of a traditional Rajasthani sweet, the good old Churma Ladoo in a healthy way. The recipe has three parts; one is making dough, frying the dough balls and finally blending in jaggery and ghee. While adding the ghee in the last stage remains the same as the traditional recipe, we can do away with the frying part of the method by baking the dough balls. This eliminates a lot of oil or ghee and the result is a little less guilty ladoos. This recipe will come especially handy for Ganpati, which is just around the corner. These churma ladoos are Ganpati favorites in our family. So glad we can now enjoy a couple of more ladoos, and feel less guilty about them!




Ingredients


Wheat Flour 1 1/2 cups
Semolina/ Rava 1/4 cup
Oil 2 tbsp
Water 1/2 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Ghee 1/4 cup
Nutmeg a pinch
Cardamom 2-3 pods
Poppy seeds (optional)




Method


Put wheat flour and semolina in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp oil. Using 1/2 cup water knead a dough that is fairly hard. Do not over-knead, just make sure the flours come together. Use some more water if required. Then, using a small portion of the dough, shape it into small log with your palms. Repeat for the entire dough. I could make about 8-10 small sized muthiya using this proportion.

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Line a tray with a baking sheet or parchment paper. Place the dough logs and bake them for 20 minutes, till they are slightly brown. Turn them over and bake for another 20 minutes. Once they are evenly brown and are hard, remove and let them cool completely. 




Once the dough balls are cool, grind them to a fine powder using a food processor or mortar pestle. Sieve the powder through a fine sieve and regrind if required. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup ghee and once it melts, add jaggery. Only heat till the jaggery melts and do not over-cook else the ladoos will be chewy. Add powdered cardamom and nutmeg powder to the churma and slowly add in all the ghee jaggery mixture and mix it all together.

Apply little ghee on the palms and shape the mixture to balls. In a plate, place a handful of poppy seeds. Roll the ladoos in the seds till the poppy seeds stick to it. Alternatively, you can also add poppy seeds to the mixture and roll out the ladoos. Enjoy baked ladoos, a little less guilt compared to traditional ones. I have made the fried ones too, check them here

Looking for more sweet recipes? Check out these: Bombay Ice HalvaChurma Ladoo, Corn Flour Halva | Karachi HalwaDudhi (Lauki) BarfiGudpapdi | SukhdiInstant Microwave Kesar Peda.








Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Simple Fresh Cherry Mousse

Cherries, those bright pink colored beauties are in full bloom now. Whether it is cherry picking at a local farm or getting them from the farmer's market, almost all cherries are super sweet! This is the time to make desserts out of the herries as you would need minimum sugar, thanks to their own sweetness. A few days back I made a Cherry Jam from the local cherries. I had a last bit of that jam left and decided to make a yummy dessert using it.



As some of you know, mousse is one of our favorite desserts. Apart from the usual Chocolate Mousse, I love to make mousse using seasonal fruits. They taste so yummy and have a freshness that is unmatched. I still love my Mango Mousse from not too long ago, and now this cherry mousse is on my favorites list! Another reason why I love this cherry based dessert is for the light pink color it has. Pink in anything is chic, especially when it is a dessert like this :)

The method to make this dessert is really easy. It has just three ingredients and takes less than five minutes to stir and mix. Then comes the most difficult part for me; waiting for a few hours to let the mousse set! I keep checking the refrigerator, thusit takes even longer process for the mousse to set. Once set, just garnish and serve. The beauty of the dessert is that you can make it ahead of time for a party. It tastes great, it is so easy to make and looks really cute too.



Incase you cannot find fresh cherries at other times of the year or the cherries in your refrigerator are not sweet enough, add a tsp of maraschino cherry water. It will give a cherry flavor and sweeten the mousse as well. It also helps enhance the pink color of the mousse.



Ingredients
Heavy Whipping Cream 1 1/2 cup
Confectioners' Sugar 1/4 cup
Cherry Jam 3 tbsp
Cherries to garnish



Method

Make the Cherry Jam as per this recipe. In a mixing bowl add cream. Whip using a hand blender till you get soft peaks. Add in the sugar and cherry jam, whip for a minute and you should get soft peaks. Do not over mix. 

Transfer to small glasses, mugs or bowls. Refrigerate the mousse for at least a couple of hours before serving.


To serve, top with fresh cherries. You may also add a sprig of mint.






Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dhaba style Bhindi Masala

Blogging Marathon #66 Week 3 Day 3
Theme: Vegetables that are Fruits
Dish: Dhaba style Bhindi Masala

Today is the last day of this week's Blogging Marathon, and the ingredient for today is our family favorite, okra. We both love our bhindi in all imaginable ways; okra potato sabji, bharwan bhindi, dahi bhindi and bhindi kadhi. Today is a dish that is a little different from conventional bhindi sabji. 




This Bhindi Masala dates back to my school days, when I visited Punjab with my family. We went all around North India in a Tata Sumo and visited a lot of places from Delhi to Manali. Everyday we would stop at some random dhaba each day and enjoy the local cuisine. While paneer and gobi was everywhere; sarson, palak and bhindi were found at a few places and it was super! My mom would make the Bhindi Masala in the same way after we got home. When I started taking interest in cooking, she taught me the recipe and now I make it and we enjoy it here!

The recipe may not be new or unique, but it has a few characteristics that are way different than the Gujarati style of cooking okra. We never add garlic in our sabji, neither do we add onions. So adding these ingredients makes the vegetable taste different. Not to mention, we love garlic and onion in everything and okra is a favorite too. So overall, it makes a perfect treat for us. I made this a couple of days back and we had a great dinner of roti, dal, bhindi and rice. Perfect comfort food for weeknight dinners!



Ingredients

Okra 1 lb
Onion 2 medium
Tomatoes 2 medium 
Garlic 2-3 pods
Green chilli 1-2
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Oil 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 2 tsp 
Salt, Lime juice to taste
Cilantro




Method


Wash, dry and chop okra into one inch pieces. Slice onions and chop tomatoes into pieces. Mince garlic pods. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. Once they pop, add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the cumin pops, add garlic and chopped green chilli. Cook till the raw flavor of garlic vanishes. 

Next, add the onions and cook till slightly soft. Add the tomato pieces and red chilli powder. Cook till the tomatoes start to soften. Then add the okra along with salt and turmeric powder. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes, till okra softens. 

Once the okra softens, turn down the heat and add lime juice. Season with cilantro and serve with roti and steamed rice.