Snack

Bobbatlu – Pooranpoli – Lentil Stuffed Sweet Roti

Diwali is the festival of lights , an occasion to celebrate the triumph of the good over evil. It is an auspicious day when one would try and please ….well pray to the goddess of wealth ‘Laxmi Devi’ .  Traders and businessmen celebrate Diwali by having  huge prayers at their place of work, give bonuses to the employees and distribute sweets to everyone you know. They organise parties , exchange gifts, lots of sweets and dry fruits. I remember the day after Diwali , we would be sitting there staring at fruit baskets, sweet boxes and dry fruits in addition to the cooked treats from the neighbours and friends not knowing what to do with all the food. But the women folk always had a plan , fruit salad for breakfast , smoothies and dry fruit laddus and  sweets sometimes have been recycled …oops!! There I go spilling the family secret J  . It was crazy looking at my mom running towards us when you are just about to open a new packet of sweets to stop ..I am actually chuckling while I am writing this ,  but looking back she had a point , what would you do with 20 packets of sweets which  you know won’t last more than a week. But as kids , we always want one sweet from a gift box, another sweet from a different gift box and never finish the whole thing. It’s basically the thrill of unwrapping and opening the gifts. Adding to that , we ourselves end up cooking so much at home, stocking up savoury and sweet meats weeks ahead of Diwali.

On the day though, you ought to cook at least seven different things as an offering to the goddess laxmi. This is where the home chefs want to get creative and strive and plan to cook something that different and unique to impress the friends. We usually did well at this task at ours but there has to be one thing that is to be made repeatedly in the name of tradition and for you to carry forward. We have the pooranpoli or Bobattlu, in our case as a must for Diwali. Now, I am not that keen on deserts and sweets but this is quite different. It is almost like a sweet parata , so the carb element in it does enough for me to keep making it again and again. The pooranpoli and bobbatu are very similar while the former is a north Indian version , the latter is a south Indian version. The cooking method and seasoning does vary from region to region. I personally prefer the south indian version , because its more luxurious and made with plain flour whereas most pooranpolis are made using wheat flour. So , while six of the dishes are cooked , offered to god and enjoyed by afternoon , we have to wait for these bobattlu till evening. Reason being, the dough needs to soak in oil for at least four hours …..yes, immersed in oil until its absorbs some of it. Now, you know why I called it luxurious 🙂 . So , the usuall practice is get out of the house and start on some lightweight fireworks, come back to eat bobabbtlu, sit there with a cranky dog petrified of the loud crackers and bombs. Poor thing , it used be exhausted at the end of the day. The crackers , bombs keep going off till really late. We used to take turns , lock ourselves up in a room and keep ‘Nancy’ (our dog) distracted  in our laps most of the time to calm it down. Fireworks  are fine but , the 1000 wala , 2000 wala 5000 walas , which are literally 1000 small bombs tied together  are just too much …how can one gain pleasure putting the labyrinths through that sort of sound, is beyond my understanding. As they say  there are always some things that can change and this is one of the things that should definitely change with Diwali. Well , along with the green movement ,  cleanliness movement, a lot of awareness towards a responsible Diwali has been promoted both by Ngo’s, private sectors and government and hopefully we will see some change soon.

Staying back home all night , means us chomping on more and more bobattlu . As I said I am not a big fan of sweets , so I used to ask for just the paratha  without the filling or with very little filling. My brother used to love the filling (I think he still does) so he used take away balls of the sweet lentil filling to munch on. Worked out perfectly with no fights and arguments for a change. I started making them for every Diwali in my kitchen as well and again my son just loves the paratha  J …just like me J . They can seem a bit tricky at first but as you make them , you will get used to it as with anything else and you will get the hand of it. Give this recipe a try and enjoy the bobattlu my family style, especially if you have tried the north Indian version of them and let me know what you think of them .

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You will need :

500gms Plain ( Maida)

650gms Yellow split lentils (Chana dal)

200gms Sugar

1 tsp. Cardamom powder

500ml groundnut oil

Pinch of salt

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Bobbatlu – Pooranpoli

Method:

Make a soft dough with the plain flour adding a pinch of salt and one tablespoon sugar.

Soak this dough in a bowl of oil ( Fully immersed ) for at least 4 hrs and keep aside.

Meanwhile boil the lentils in a pressure cooker and make a nice paste of it. Add the remaining sugar, cardamom powder and mix well, try and keep this thick with no added water. You should be able to make balls and handle it to shape the roti’s. Keep aside until you are ready to make the Bobbatlu.

When you are ready, divide the dough and the lentils mix in equal balls . Take a clear plastic sheet, smother some oil on it and flatten the ball of dough with your fingers to form a small roti .

Place a lentil mix ball on top of the dough and seal the lentils mix with the dough from all sides and make a parcel. Now press to make a roti with your fingers.

On a pan cook the roti with more oil if required on both the sides till it’s done. The lentils are already cooked so you don’t need to worry about the inside bits being cooked.

Enjoy hot Bobbatlu with desi ghee …Ah …the aroma is to die for !!

Some pointers :

You can make with whole wheat aswell , equally tasty and this definitely can be made without soaking it in oil , they just won’t be as indulgent.

For a clear sheet , I usually use the liners which in between frozen paratha’s , works perfectly. Or, you can shape the rotis on the back of an oiled plate.

Cardamom is optional, but it does add a lot of flavour !

Serving the bobbatlu with ghee takes the dish to a new level so try not to miss it J

I make cupcakes with the bobabbtlu/pooranpoli flavours and they are quiet good. So if you have some lentils mix left over after making these for Diwali , head over to my pooranpoli Cupcake post and make some delicious fusion cupcakes !!

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Pumpkin and Courgette Croquettes

Hello my dear lovely readers, this morning I woke up to another gloomy day and here’s me wishing that I am tucked in bed, with huge mug of hot chocolate. But hey, after all life is about winter and summer. So I have decided I will just deal with it and get on with the day to day chores. But that’s easier said than done. Weather or weather related topics rather, are hard to run away from. We don’t have a way out apart from dragging our gloomy selves to work in the freezing cold, greet the other gloomy faced colleagues and talk about how bad it is outside.

The only thing that cheers our sick faces is of course piping hot deep fried food! It is almost customary in India to make something hot, spicy and crispy when it rains. Onions bajis are the most favoured on these occasions. I wanted to make something similar and so gawked at all the deep fried recipes available and was amazed of the ongoing croquettes craze going on all over. It was on the fine dining menus, the café menus and on almost all the food blogs. Now, my blogger instinct immediately ordered me to make some. This is of course way back during Halloween last year …err yes, I do leave my posts pending for months. If you have to ask me , this time I will blame it on a really busy work schedule, travelling to meet clients and working in their strange offices and of course a holiday to India which put a beautiful end to the year. And since I have started blabbering, a quick one about the strange offices I mentioned earlier. I said strange because, A. though I have worked with them from our office in London, I have never met anyone there, so it was always a weird ‘guess the face from the voice’ sought game on all the time. And B. there used to be an annoying alarm that would go off in regular intervals which I didn’t have a clue what it was about. Later I was told that the siren was to remind employees to take a coffee break, lunch break etc….how cool is that? Totally different from my big boss back in London office who I definitely think has a spreadsheet to keep record of our coffee and toilet breaks.

OK, so we were talking about me thinking about making some croquettes just after Halloween and for obvious reasons I had loads of pumpkin in the fridge. I have seem pumpkin croquette recipes on the web and it was just that day when all my creative juices were on a high and I whipped up a combination of Pumpkin, Courgette and Cream Cheese croquettes. Trust me, I loved it and was so proud of it.  With that cream cheese texture and the sweetness of pumpkin, they are a melt in the mouth. They are also very easy  to make (well, apart from the grating bit). The croquettes can be made till the last stage and frozen for those cosy evenings or unexpected visitors.

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Ingredients:

1 Cup grated Pumpkin

1 ½ Cup grated Courgette

150grams Cream Cheese

1 Tsp Cumin powder

1 Tsp Ginger powder

1 Egg

1 Cup breadcrumbs Seasoned

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Method:

Mix the grated pumpkin and courgette. Try to use fresh ones, and squeeze all the moisture out of the pumpkin and courgette. Add the cumin powder and the ginger powder. Add the cream cheese and season well.  Now depending on the mixture, if you feel it is a bit runny to make the shapes, feel free add any binding agent like soft white bread or corn flour.  Shape the croquette using your palm. Do use some oil on your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands and makes shaping the croquettes easier.

Dip the croquettes in beaten egg and then generously toss them in breadcrumbs.

Deep fry them in hot vegetable oil until golden brown and serve with any sauce.

To Freeze:

Make the croquettes and place them in the fridge for at least one hour before freezing so they will hold their shape together.

Variations:

  • Add some crushed Chillies for some fiery treat!
  • You can use some boiled peas in them for extra texture
  • Add a herb if you like that fresh flavour
  • Milk or just plain flour can be substituted to egg to coat the croquettes with breadcrumbs

Do let me know if tried these !!

Vegetarian Chat Pizza

Inspired  by all the Indian pizzas I watched on master chef  India, I decided to try something aswell and boom came the  Home Bakers Challenge to bake pizza’s.

I had this Pizza concept in mind for a long time now which is based on the indian street food chaat and this is my opportunity to give it a try. I am more than pleased with the results. I used the ‘green chutney’ from the chaat as a pizza base sauce and also topped the pizza with crispy ‘papdi’ and a dash of ‘meeta chutney’ or tamarind and date chutney.
The pizza is spicy, sweet, tangy, crunchy, soft, cheesy altogether Deeeelicious. Do give it a go.

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Ingredients:

For Pizza Dough:

3 Cups Plain flour

1 Tsp salt

1 Tbsp Chilli flakes

2 Tbsp Active yeast

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Sugar

For the pizza Sauce:

Green Chutney :

1 Cup Mint leaves

1/2 Cup Coriander/Cilantro

6 Green chillies

1 Tbsp lemon Juice

Tamarind Chutney:

1 Tsp Tamarind Paste

10 Dates

1 Tsp Grated jaggery or Mascavado sugar

Pinch of Salt

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

For the Toppings:

5-6 papdi’s

Chopped Yellow Peppers

Chopped Red peppers

Mushrooms

Mozzarella Cheese Pearls or Grated

Method:

Pizza Dough :

Prepare the yeast by dissolving the sugar and yeast in 250 ml of warm water and leave to rest for 5 mins untill the yeast is active and frothy.

Mix the olive oil , chilli flakes and salt in the flour.

Combine the yeast solution along with some more water if required and knead the dough to a soft consistency. knead the dough at least for 5 mins. Leave it to rest in a warm and dry place for 30 mins.

The dough should be almost double the size after 30 mins. knead the dough again very well for 10 mins and leave it to rise for 30 mins again. Knead the dough again and divide the dough with a dough knife or a worktop scraper into 2 or 3 portions according to the size of the pizzas you need. Use plain flour for dusting and start shaping the dough to form a circle using your fist. Use your knuckles to form a rounded circumference. Lift the pizza base on to the stone, mesh or the pan you are baking and prepare to start topping. I made this pizza on a mesh and is my favourite method.

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For a stuffed Crust Pizza:

Just use mozzarella cheese along the sides and fold the sides of the pizza. I used grated cheese , but the natural mozzarella balls can be handled more easily to wrap the edges.

Green Chutney

Mix the mint, coriander,  green chillies and grind them to a fine mixture. Add salt and lemon juice.

Tamarind Chutney:

Blanch the dates along with the tamarind paste with little water till it forms a smooth paste. Process it in a food processor if the mixture is not smooth enough. Run the mixture through a filter which will give you a smooth puree.

Add the salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix.

Assembling the Pizza:

Spoon the green chutney on the pizza generously, top it up with the  peppers and mushrooms. crush the papdi and place them on the pizza. Top it up with mozzarella cheese and finally drizzle the tamarind sauce. Bake the pizza for 15 mins celsius.

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Enjoy hot pizza and relish the flavours coming through. Feel the heat of green chillies, the freshness of mint from the base, the crunch of the papdi  and the slight sweet and tangy -ness of the tamarind sauce. I just Love it ! You will too…

Chick 65 Pizza Bites

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Pizza, as all know is a world’s top comfort food and is enjoyed by people all over the world. There are different versions of pizza in different countries. Chick 65 pizza is one such attempt by using a spicy indian starter ‘chick 65’ as a topping. Full of flavours and spices, this pizza is a winner. I made a batch of mini bites using the same and it takes our favorite pizza to a different level. You can now serve hot piping pizza bites for tea or as a snack and is so easy to avoid dripping the sauce on yourself . Kids love pizza and is usually served at kids parties. With the pizza bites, I am sure it will only become even more appealing to everyone and will also make great picnic food. I baked this for the Home Bakers Challenge and hope the recipe goes down well with all the foodies there….. Thanks to Divya Prakash who writes at divyasculinaryjourney  and Priya Suresh who writes at priyaeasyntastyrecipes for hosting the challenge this month.

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Ingredients :

All you need is a Pizza assembled and which is ready to go into the oven.

I choose my Chicken 65 pizza to make these pizza bites. Click here for the recipe.

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Method:

Once you have assembled the pizza with your favorite toppings, roll the pizza to make a roll. then secure the ends with the remaining dough and cut the pizza and place each piece on the baking tray. The pizza bites are ready to bake in the over for 10-15mins. serve them hot and keep them coming untill your guests are satisfied.

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Home bakers challenge

Chicken 65 Pizza

Yes I was on a Pizza spree and made this yummy chicken 65 pizza to please my man who dies for anything indian in terms of food. Chicken 65 is a starter ver famous in Indian restaurants. and making it is very easy.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

2 Tsp Garlic Powder

Salt to taste

3-4 Tomatoes

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Thyme

For the toppings

1 Cup Chicken65 – Click here for the full recipe

Chopped mixed peppers

Sliced Onions

For Pizza Dough:

3 Cups Plain flour

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Chilli flakes

2 Tbsp Active yeast

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Sugar

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Method:

Pizza Dough :

Prepare the yeast by dissolving the sugar and yeast in 250 ml of warm water and leave to rest for 5 mins untill the yeast is active and frothy.

Mix the olive oil , chilli flakes and salt in the flour.

Combine the yeast solution along with some more water if required and knead the dough to a soft consistency. knead the dough at least for 5 mins. Leave it to rest in a warm and dry place for 30 mins.

The dough should be almost double the size after 30 mins. knead the dough again very well for 10 mins and leave it to rise for 30 mins again. Knead the dough again and divide the dough with a dough knife or a work top scraper into 2 or 3 portions according to the size of the pizzas you need. Use plain flour for dusting and start shaping the dough to form a circle using your fist. Use your knuckles to form a rounded circumference. Lift the pizza base on to the stone, mesh or the pan you are baking and prepare to start topping.

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For a stuffed Crust Pizza:

Just use mozzarella cheese along the sides and fold the sides of the pizza. I used grated cheese , but the natural mozzarella balls can be handled more easily to wrap the edges.

For the Pizza Sauce:

Cook the tomatoes in 2 Tbsp of olive oil untill they are soft. Process the puree through a filter which will be used as a base for the sauce.

Heat a Tbsp of  olive oil to a deep pan. Add the tomato puree, garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme with a little water and mix well. Let it cook for 4 mins till all the flavours are released and leave it to cool.

Assembling the Pizza :

Spread the tomato sauce generously on the base and top it with really generous portions of chicken 65 , you can pick and avoid the curry leaves from the original recipe at this stage but do use them in the preparation of chicken 6 because , curry leaves is an important ingredient which ive the whole dish a beautiful flavour. Top it up with the other veges and grated cheese and bake for 15 mins till its done and serve piping hot!

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Chicken 65

 

Chicken 65, not sure why it is called so ….but is a very very famous starter in India. Small chicken chunks turned into a beautiful dish full of flavours and texture. I first got this recipe from my social studies teacher. She made it during one of the pot lunches and my mum and I immediately secured it for our recipe book because back then recipe sharing is only by mouth and especially these kind of restaurant style recipes are a trade secret and would never leave the chef’s kitchen. It’s great as a snacks/canapes with cocktails or as a starter and I assure you, whoever you are serving to will be totally fall in love with you.

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Ingredients: 

2 Breasts of Chicken

Half a bunch of Curry Leaves

10 Green Chillies

1 Tbsp Garam Masala

2 Tbsp Yogurt

1 Tsp Orange Food Colour

1/2   Tsp Chili Powder

2 Tsp Cornflour

11/2 Tsp Salt or more as per taste

11/2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds

1 Tsp Vinegar

5-10 Tbsp of oil

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Method: 

Marinade the chicken with Yogurt, salt, chilli powder, orange colour, cornflour, Ginger Garlic paste, coriander powder and  Vinegar and leave for at least  two hours.

Heat  oil in a pan, add the mustard and curry leaves. When the mustard start to splatter , add the green chillies and fry for 2 mins. Add the marinated chicken and cook it on a medium flame for at least 10 mins. Continue to cook till all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken has got a nice brown colour around the corners. Plate the chicken as heap and you will see the mountain of tempting chicken melting in the mouth and soon your plate will be clean.

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Spicy Cheese Bake

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Cheese is one of my favourites. I can have cheese with anything. And if that is a spicy mexican cheese filled with flavour and texture, I will go crazy to cook with it.Most of you will agree that the best form of cheese is when it is melted. whenever we go to mexican restaurants, a big bowl of nachos and cheese dip are a regular. And although, I did make the cheese bakes before, this particular recipe was such a great hit in the family. I didn’t give the type of cheese a great though when I shopped for this recipe. I just went for texture and flavour, So even if you have similar cheese as in my recipe in the fridge then just  go for it and have fun layering the cheese. But make sure the proportions are correct since you don’t want the bake to taste of just melted cheese with one of the cheeses overpowering the whole dish.This recipe  of course, is all about spicy Cheese bake, it is a plus if you have the spicy mexican cheese.

If you cannot get hold of spicy pepper cheese then the other variation you could do is that you can sprinkle some chilly flakes or chopped fresh red chilli between the layers would be just perfect and it will give a that extra colour and drama to the dish.I was so amazed when even the healthy eaters relaxed  their strict rules and enjoyed steaming hot and spicy cheese back with baked garlic tortillas and Nachos when I served it.

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Ingredients: 

125 Grams British Brie

225 Grams Extra hot mexican Cheese

160 Grams Mature Cheddar Cheese

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Method:

Cut the cheeses separately  as flat chunks so it is easy to layer them in the dish. In a baking dish layer the 125 grams of Brie evenly to form the first layer. Then continue with  about 200 grams of mexican cheese and top it with about 140 grams of cheddar cheese. Top it off with the remainder of the spicy and cheddar cheese together to give it an even taste and continuity to the dish.

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Bake for 15 minutes in the oven or till the cheese is melted completely and the sides are turning brown. Ah….How I love the dark browned cheese, scrapping it off the dish with a soft garlic tortilla! Well I loved it, Let me know what you think about the dish.

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