June 20, 2015

Crepes - Brunch the English way

The English version of our very own Indian Dosa is what I would want to call it -Crepes.
A good way to begin your day, an easy brunch for those lazy days, an evening snack or even a relishing dinner - the way you like with the filling of your choice. 
We chose to have it as our Saturday Brunch!

The first time I heard of crepes..hmm..Of course from my husband!!
Heard, may the wrong word. He 'made' it for me on our second Valentines day together!!

What fascinates me about crepes is the choice of filling you possibly can have. While we chose Jam, you may opt for anything from Honey to Nutella if you want it sweet. As a savory dish, you can choose any fillings of veggies or meat and roll it up. Also, this could turn into a perfect snack for your kids tiffin box:) Get innovative with crepes - roll it up and slice it or stack it and serve with fresh fruits and glimmer of honey. I am sure kids and adults will enjoy every bite of it.


So here we go - 

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Ingredients
  1. Self raising flour/maida - 1 cup
  2. Salt - 1 tsp
  3. Sugar - 3 tsp ( you can increase the quantity if you want it sweeter)
  4. Eggs - 2
  5. Vanilla essence - 3 drops
  6. Milk - 1 1/2 cups
  7. Butter - 2 tbsp - melted

Method

Sift the flour to prevent formation of lumps. Add sugar and salt and keep aside.

Break the eggs into a cup and whisk it well using a hand blender. To this, add vanilla essence and milk. Make sure your eggs and milk are at room temperature before the preparation. Whisk the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients slowly, whisking it constantly. Make sure that no lumps are formed. To be on safer side , you can strain the batter once you are done whisking..

Finally add the melted butter and mix the batter well.

Meanwhile heat a pan and brush it with butter. Take the pan off the heat, pour a ladle full of batter onto the center of the pan and rotate the pan for the batter to spread and create perfect circle. The crepes have to be thin and uniformly spread. Let it cook on medium flame for about a minute and a half and then flip it over. Once flipped over just cook it for half a minute and transfer it to a plate.

We had a lovely brunch of crepes with jam and a serving of pan fried plantains.
Fresh home made jam goes best - here is the recipe - http://kitchenspells.blogspot.ae/2015/05/strawberry-apple-jam.html.

Go truly the English way with a serving of scrambled eggs or sausages and coffee.

This is definitely a must try recipe! Coz it is simple and yummy!

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June 14, 2015

Beetroot Cutlet - Snack Time

Beetroot Cutlet makes me quite nostalgic.

My earliest memory of this dish is when I made it in Class 9 for a proficiency badge in Guides movement. For those of you who are not familiar with the Scouts and Guides association, it is a movement to develop the young boys and girls as responsible citizens which may not be achieved through civic education alone. You need to cross various stages and tests to be eligible for the Rashtrapati Award. Each of the stages consists of a set of badges that need to be achieved and one among that was a proficiency in cooking for which we were to take to school a dish prepared by us. It was my mother’s suggestion that I try this recipe which she had noted down in her diary sometime back. The examiner being a vegetarian and a foodie loved it and I landed the proficiency badge.

The second story dates to my PG days in Bangalore. My room mates had gone home for the weekend and I was left alone in the PG with nothing better to do. I thought of trying this recipe, not quite sure of the quantity this would make. In the end, I ended up making exactly 63 cutlets which fed four of us for over a week.

The last time I made this in Bangalore was along with a colleague for Potluck in office where each of us had to get a dish from home. We did have a target of 40 cutlets, well overshot it and made 50  and the mix left over for another 20 – 25. Too tired to make any more we just refrigerated the mix and had it a day later along with chapatti just like that!!(Not bad I must say)

Last of all not to forget a dear friend, who hates beetroot, yet we succeeded in getting him to have this for potluck. Every time I see or hear “ BEETROOT”, I remember him :)

Here goes a quick snack which surprisingly to me goes well with finely chopped onions and coriander leaf garnish. It is the onset of monsoon in India, so why not try this over a weekend while I sit and eat the cutlets here in UAE dreaming of the monsoons.

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Ingredients

Beetroot - 3 grated
Potato - 2 Boiled and mashed coarsely
Green Chilly - 2 finely chopped
Ginger - 2 tsp finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Maida/ self rising flour - 3 tbsp
Corn Flour - 3 tbsp
Bread Crumbs
Oil
Salt

Method

Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and toss in the cumin seeds. Saute for a minute and add chopped ginger.Keep sauteing and add the onions. Cook till translucent and add chopped green chilly.

Add the coriander powder and chilly powder. Saute till the masala is cooked and add the required salt. Toss in the grated beetroot and mix it well. Saute for about 4 - 5 minutes till the water that has oozed from the beetroot dries up. 

Switch off the blame and fold in the mashed potato with a fork. While still warm, roll it up into shapes you desire. Stack it up in an air tight container and freeze it for about an hour. The patties would now be a little firm.

Mix maida and Corn Flour along with water to create a paste in which the patties can be dipped and then roll it in bread crumbs.  Non - vegetarians can use beaten egg for the dip instead of maida and corn flour.

Shallow fry the cutlets in oil for around 4 minutes on either of the sides on medium flame. Serve it hot with finely chopped onion and coriander garnish and with tomato sauce dip.


You may also note - 
  1. You can freeze the remaining patties for later use. However, ensure that you remove it from the freezer at least half an hour before you fry.
  2. Do not mash the potatoes finely. Leave a few chunks, adds more taste to the cutlets.
  3. In case you mixture is not holding itself together and you are unable to roll it - add bread crumbs into the mixture and this will hold better.
  4. Use only the required amount of oil. Excess oil may result in your mixture being oily and it will not hold together.
  5. You can also deep fry it. I tend to shallow fry to reduce oil consumption.

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June 6, 2015

Omelette Curry - Mom's Special

Egg curry ,egg roast and egg burji is a common dinner recipe for us. It was time to try something new. And that is how the idea of omelette curry struck! I remember my mom making this a long time ago and I think it is quite unique. Having a boiled egg in the curry is usual but having an omelette in there is fun:)

Trust me when I say this!

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We were to have guests over for dinner on Friday night and when I suggested omelette curry, my husband was a little skeptical. He presumed that it would be like normal egg curry just that the boiled egg was replaced by omelette. What if it looked a little too common? 

Despite this, he let me have my way. Lo and behold, I made my omelette curry!
I have tried this one another time, but did not succeed in wrapping up the omelette in such a way that it held its shape together. And this time I got it right.

So here goes the recipe relished by everyone who had it. The trick here is getting your omelette cooked and wrapped the right way.


Ingredients

For Omelette
  1. Egg - 5
  2. Onions - 2 medium finely chopped
  3. Coriander leaves - a handful chopped
  4. Green Chilly - 1 tsp chopped
  5. Salt - to taste

For the gravy
  1. Onions - 2 big ones chopped lengthwise
  2. Tomato - 1 big chopped lengthwise
  3. Ginger - 2 tbsp finely grated
  4. Green Peas - a handful
  5. Curry leaf - 1 sprig
  6. Coconut - 1 grated ( Grind in the mixer to get thin and thick milk)
  7. Chilly powder - 1 tsp heaped
  8. Coriander powder - 2 tsp heaped
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp
  11. Green cardamom - 4 
  12. Cloves - 4
  13. Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  14. Bay leaves - 2
  15. Black cardamom - 2
  16. Cashew nut paste - 3 tbsp
  17. Oil
  18. Salt
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Preparation

Making the omelette 

Break open the eggs and whisk it. Add the onions, coriander leaves,green chilly and salt. Mix it well.

Heat a pan and smear oil over it. Do not over heat the pan - keep it on medium flame. 

Pour the mixture on to the pan spreading it evenly. Let it cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on low flame. The omelette should not be flipped over instead fold it over four times.  You may notice that the surface of the omelette may not be cooked perfectly and it would still be moist. You need not worry about that. It needs to be moist to hold it together perfectly and whatever is left uncooked would be cooked once this goes into the gravy.

This mixture would ideally give you about three omelettes.  Slice the folded omelettes into 4- 5 pieces of equal length and keep aside.

Making the gravy

Pour oil into a skillet and toss in the spices - ingredients 11 to 15 mentioned above. Saute it for a minute before you add the sliced onions.

Once the onions are translucent, add the grated ginger and saute till the raw smell goes off.  Now, you can add the chilly powder, turmeric powder and the coriander powder. Saute it for another 2 minutes on low flame. 

Add the green peas. I have used frozen peas, you may use fresh or dried ones as per your choice. Saute it for around 3 minutes. Add the thin milk of the coconut. Bring it to boil and reduce the flame. Add salt and let it simmer covered for 10 - 15 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and the thick milk of coconut. Have it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Add the cashew paste. Stir it well and add the omelette slices. Refrain from stirring once you have done this. Simmer it for another 2 minutes before you switch off the flame and let it rest covered.

You can garnish your curry with crushed onion, crushed pepper and curry leaves fried separately. Let your curry rest for at least 20 minutes before you serve it to let the omelette absorb a little of the flavors.

This curry is an excellent accompaniment for chapati, roti, appam and bread.

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You may also note - 
  1. Do not overcook the omelette. If you do, it will not stick together when you fold it and may break.
  2. Refrain from stirring the curry once you have added the omelette slices. Stirring may result in the folded omelettes opening up and separated.
  3. You can try adding potato as well to the gravy along with green peas. Same goes with the omelette, you can try adding other veggies of you choice. However ensure that they are sliced finely else you may be unable to fold it over.






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