Tuesday, October 30, 2012

chhole with naan

Chhole, chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a part of legume family. I usually cook other legumes like matki,moong,black eyed peas. This one comes every once in a while. I make poli/roti with it but this time an opened packet of yeast was on the counter so instead I gave a shot at making naans! Result was very soft and tasty! I am never going back to store bought naans.
                          Making chhole couldn't be simpler . Ask her. So simple and yet so tasty. I am noting down recipe here with my additions/alterations.

For naan
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
1/2 tea spoon dry yeast
1 tb oil
1 tea spoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 tea spoon minced garlic
1 tea spoon minced chillies
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tb yoghurt

For Chhole
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
1 bay leaf
1 tea spoon red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1 tea spoon amchoor powder (dry mango)
1/2 tea spoon cumin powder
1/2 tea spoon coriander powder
1 tea spoon chana masala
1/4 tea spoon garam masala
1 medium size onion grated (optional)
1 medium size tomato (grated or use 1/2 tb spoon tomato paste - optional)
salt to taste

To make naans, mix together 1/4 cup warm water,yeast and sugar and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture should bubble up in 10 minutes. If not, the yeast is not active. Discard the mixture and start again. In the meantime, mix together flour,minced chillies and mined garlic and blend everything together.Add yoghurt and yeast mixture and pulse again. Add oil and salt and pulse again until the ball is formed. (You may have to add 1-2 table spoons extra water to make dough.)Transfer the dough onto a plate and knead for 4-5 minutes. Coat the dough with oil and transfer into a well oiled bowl and keep the bowl in a warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, dough will double in size.Punch down the dough and divide it in 4 equal balls. At this time, you can make the naans immediately or refrigerate the dough for using later. Roll each ball into 1/4 inch thick oval shape. Transfer rolled dough/naan onto a greased baking tray and broil in 400 F oven for 5-7 minutes or until naans are golden brown. Remove from oven, spread 'ghee'/butter on hot naans and serve immediately.
                To make chhole, start with soaking garbanzo beans in water for at-least 8 hours. Rinse and cook them in enough water to cover the beans and a bay leaf in pressure cooker with 2-3 whistles. Drain the beans in colander and transfer warm beans into a mixing bowl after discarding bay leaf. Add all the spices and toss everything together. Heat oil in large pot, add cumin seeds and mustered seeds. When they start to pop or sizzle, add the 'spiced' beans and stir. Add little water at a time to make the gravy. Adjust salt to taste. Serve hot!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malai Burfi

Malai burfi is best known for its melt in the mouth texture. Malai is milk fat! So a burfi made out of pure fat. How bad that can be? It is one of the most scrumptious burfis that I have tasted and loved. If you know your way around making paneer, this is a piece of cake. (not literally!).  :)

6 and 1/2 cups milk (I use 2%, use anything more than 2%)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tb spoon milk powder (dry milk)
1/4 tea spoon cardamom powder
2 tb spoon sliced nuts (almonds or pistachios)

In a heavy bottom pan, bring 5 cups milk to a full boil. Lower the heat and add lemon juice; little at a time, stirring  the milk continuously. Switch off the heat once the milk is fully curdled. At this point, you will be able to see whey and paneer (milk fat) separated. Transfer the mixture into a colander lined with a cheesecloth and drain the excess whey. Run cold water on paneer and squeeze out maximum water you can. This helps getting rid of sour taste of lemon.
              Transfer paneer into a heavy bottom pan with remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of milk and simmer this mixture on a low heat until almost all the milk is evaporated stirring occasionally. Add sugar and cook the mixture until all the sugar is melted and the mixture starts to leave the sides of pan and turns into a soft ball. Add cardamom powder and milk powder and stir everything together until you get a very soft ball. This should not be very dry. Do not overcook this mixture to remove any excess liquid, else you will end up with chewy burfi. Transfer the mixture onto a greased plate and form a square of 1/2 inch thickness,using a spatula.Garnish with chopped nuts while the mixture is warm. Allow it to cool completely before cutting into desired shape.
                 Store in air tight container in the refrigerator. This will last for couple of days only.

Note- Always cook paneer mixture on a low heat to prevent it from burning or changing its bright white colour!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I always thought making pizza from scratch could be daunting. But when you have Ina Garten to teach you , all you say is "how easy is that"! Follow the recipe as it is and you will have a nice,soft pizza dough. Get the recipe for the pizza dough here.  Addition of garlic in the dough was  not bad either! Pesto and mozzarella cheese made fabulous topping.

Ingredients for the base
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tea spoon active dry yeast
pinch of salt
1 tea spoon minced garlic
1/2 tb spoon honey
1 tb spoon olive oil.

1 cup pesto
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

To make the base, mix dry yeast,honey and olive oil with 1/4 cup warm water and set aside. Mixture will foam up (if it doesn't, that means yeast is not active. Discard the mix and start again after changing the yeast). Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and minced garlic in food processor and pulse a few times. Add yeast mixture to the flour and pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour and salt to the processor while the processor is running to make a smooth ball. Transfer the dough onto a plate and knead for 3-5 minutes. Dough should be elastic and soft. Coat the dough with oil and transfer into a bowl. Keep the bowl in a warm place for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the dough will be double the size.Punch down the dough,form a ball and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes by covering with a damp towel. At this point, you can make the pizza. If you want to wait for a while , keep the dough in the refrigerator.
                  To make the pizza, roll the dough into a circle. Transfer rolled dough (base) onto a baking sheet sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal.  Brush the base with olive oil and bake for 5-7 minutes in a 450 F oven. Remove the base from oven after 5-7 minutes, top it with pesto and cheese and bake again for 10 minutes or until the base is cooked and cheese is melted. Serve hot!

To make the base, add lukewarm water spoon by spoon to form a ball if the yeast mixture is not enough.You may need maximum 1-2 tablespoon extra water.