Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bean Toast

This makes for a quick and healthy breakfast. The idea is from a Lentil Toast recipe in one of my collection of cookbooks. That recipe used puy lentils. I did not have those on hand, also I wanted to make it a quicker version, hence replaced it with a can of cannelini beans.

Here's how I made these bean toasts:

1 can cannelini (white) beans or any other per your taste - drained & rinsed
1 tsp oil
1 clove garlic - minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tomato - finely chopped
handful of frozen chopped spinach
salt & pepper to taste
Bread slices - I use multi-grain bread

Heat the oil. Saute the onions for 5 mins until lightly brown. Add the garlic, tomato, frozen spinach, beans, salt & pepper. Saute another 5 - 10 mins. Use this mix on toasted bread as I did above to make an open faced toast. Or fill between 2 slices of bread and toast in a sandwich toaster. The mix is also dry enough to use as a filling in parathas.

This Bean Toast is off to the MLLA-18 event at Cooking 4 All Seasons.
This event was started by Susan The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Puff Pastry Mini Samosas

These samosas are always crowd pleasers. Here's how I make them:

1 sheet of Puff Pastry (I use Pepperridge Farm) - thawed for 40 mins on the counter top

For the samosa stuffing:

2 big russet potatoes - boiled, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces
Handful of frozen peas
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
Seasoning to taste - red chilli pwd, garam masala, salt

Heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds. Fry a few seconds, then add the ginger paste, potatoes, peas and seasonings. Mix well. Cover & cook on low heat 5 - 10 mins. Samosa stuffing is ready. Cool this to room temperature.

To make the samosas:

Divide the thawed puff pastry sheet into 3 parts along its folds. Divide each part into 4 and roll into a ball. You should have 12 puff pastry ball in all - this will make 24 mini samosas.
Roll each ball into a thin circle. You can use some all purpose flour to help with the rolling. Cut each circle into half.

Working with each semi-circle, roll it into a cone shape. Use a little water to seal the edges. Put about 1 - 2 tsp of the samosa stuffing into the cone and seal the mouth with some water.

Place the prepared samosas on an ungreased baking sheet. Keep them covered with a damp towel while working with the rest of the samosas.

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake the samosas for 15 mins., turning over mid-way.

Serve hot or warm with ketchup and/or chutneys.

These mini puff pastry samosas are off to the WYF: Tea time snacks event at Simple Indian Food.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a popular street food in Mumbai, my hometown. To me, it represents the quintessential nature of the city - a mishmash of different veggies (u can literally throw in any) with an end product that has something for every kind of palate.

Here's how I make it:

1 tbsp Amul butter or vegetable oil
1 big onion - chopped
1 big green bell pepper - chopped
4 juicy tomatoes - chopped (u can substitute with tomato puree too)
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
3 - 4 big potatoes - peeled and chopped
1 cup cauliflower flowerets
1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
Salt & sugar to taste
1 - 2 tsp red chilli pwd
2 - 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala (I use Everest brand)

Heat the butter/oil in a pressure pan. Add chopped onions and fry till lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and fry another 3 - 4 mins. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, fry 1 min. Add the tomatoes. Fry well for 5 mins. Add the potaotes, cauliflower, peas and carrots along with the masalas and seasonings. I usually add about half the given quantities at this stage. Add about 2 cups of water, close the pressure pan and cook for 2 - 3 whistles. When the lid can be opened and the bhaji has slightly cooled, reheat it gently while mashing all the veggies together with a potato masher. This bhaji is typically eaten well - mashed. Check & adjust the seasonings at this stage.

Serve hot garnished with chopped onions and cilantro, with a lemon wedge on the side. And ofcourse with well butterred and roasted pav.

(All the veggies mentioned above can be rough chopped. I just throw them in my food processor one after another.)

(Though this bhaji is easiest made in a pressure pan, u can make it in a regular pot too. Just use boiled potatoes, cauliflower, peas and carrots in this case.)

(This will serve 4 - 5 adults.)

This Pav Bhaji is off to the RCI - Mumbai event at Kitchen Chronicles.
This event was started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.
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