Friday, November 29, 2013

Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls

Turkey shaped bread rolls (vegetarian)

Made these Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls for Thanksgiving yesterday. Wanted to make something in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, but vegetarian of course, to take to a friend's place. Found inspiration here, and decided to do stuffed rolls rather than plain dinner rolls. These were appetizers, so fairly small in shape. The stuffing was pav bhaji style potato.

Here's how I made these Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls:

Potato Stuffing: 2 medium russet potatoes (boiled, peeled and grated); 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper, seasonings to taste (salt, sugar, Everest Pav Bhaji masala, red chilli pwd), 2-3 tsp oil.

Heat the oil, sauté onions till softened. Add bell pepper & sauté 5 mins. Add the potatoes and seasonings. Mix well and cook another 5 mins. Take off heat and let it come to room temperature before using.

3 cups Flour/Maida
1 packet rapid rise yeast (abt 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup lukewarm water (110 F)
1.5 tbsp. sugar
1.5 tsp salt
4 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup milk pwd

Warm the water to 110F, add sugar and yeast. Stir gently. Cover and keep for 10 mins. A frothy layer will form on top by then.
Take the yeast/water mix, melted butter, salt and milk pwd in a big glass bowl. Mix gently. Add the flour abt 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well. You may need anywhere from 2.5 to 3 cups flour. The dough will be sticky. Knead it well for 10 mins to make it smooth.
Lightly oil the bowl and keep the kneaded dough in it. Cover and leave for 1 hour.

The dough will double or triple in size by then. Lightly punch the risen dough. Divide into balls and stuff with the potato mixture.

To make the turkey shape, I used a large ball for the body, half that size for the head and slightly smaller ones for the feathers. Used small pieces of the dough (without the filling) for the beak and wobble. Stuck 2 cloves for the eyes. I wanted a good amount of stuffing in each roll, used about 2 tbsp. in the feathers and head and double in the body.

Cover and leave for another hour. The stuffed rolls will again puff up by then.

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the rolls with some milk. Bake them for 30 to 40 mins until golden brown. While still hot, brush the rolls with some butter. These rolls are slightly crisp on the outside (but soften as cooled) and fluffy inside.

Let cool slightly before serving. I lightly cut the rolls along the ridges so people could pull them out and help themselves.

These turkey shaped rolls were well appreciated by all .... for their creativity and taste.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daal Roti

Here's a quick idea for using up left over daal/goda varan which makes a good lunch box item for kids.

Add some seasoning to the cooked daal like salt, coriander pwd, cumin pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd etc.

Add finely chopped veggies - in the picture below I've added spinach on the left, tomatoes on the right.

Add wheat flour, little by little, kneading to a smooth dough with a few drops of oil. Add water only if needed as the daal may already have some.

Keep covered for 1/2 hr. Then divide into balls and roll into circles dusting with flour as needed. Roast both sides with some oil.

Here I have rolled  my rotis laccha paratha style to make them flaky.
Roll up and pack in lunch box.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Khandvi/Surali Chi Vadi

After innumerable attempts over the years, I now feel comfortable making khandvi or surachi chi vadi. I like this stuffed version which I feel gives a better flavor than just garnishing with tempering, coconut, cilantro etc.

Here's how I make Khandvi/Surali Chi Vadi:

Stuffing - 1 cup frozen shredded coconut, handful of cilantro, 1 or 2 green chillies, ginger paste, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Coursely grind the ingredients together. Or finely chop and mix.

Other prep - Spread 3 or 4 sheets of aluminum foil on the counter top. For each keep 1 katori ready. Wet the bottom of the katori with little water.

Khandvi rolls - 1 cup gram flour, 2 cups thin buttermilk, pinch of hing/asafetida, salt and sugar to taste. The buttermilk should preferably be a little sour. Leave it out for a couple of hours before use. Sieve the gram flour, then mix all the ingredients together. Whisk together to get a smooth batter. Put this in a heavy bottom pan and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep whisking as it heats up. In 5 mins., the batter will start to thicken. Whisking will become harder, but its important to keep doing so, to break lumps and keep the batter smooth. In another 3 mins or so, batter will start leaving sides of pan and will acquire a little sheen. This is when it is ready to spread on the foils. You can test by putting a little drop at first. Wait a minute, then try to roll it to see if its ready.

Once the batter in ready to be spread, it is time to act fast. Take off heat, drop a ladleful of batter on one foil. Using the moistened katori bottom, spread it as evenly and thinly as possible on the sheet. Use gentle pressure when doing so. Keep ladling the batter on all the foils, spreading as you go, before moving to the next ladleful.

Once all the batter is spread, let it  rest for a few minutes.

The one step I am still working on is spreading the batter fast enough. I still end up wasting some batter which cools down before I can spread it.

As the spread batter cools, make tempering with oil and mustard seeds.

Spread the coconut stuffing and the tempering evenly on the spread batter. Then start cutting strips about 1.5 to 2 inch wide. Roll from one end to the other. Note that you will need to trim edges to get even shaped strips.

Serve at room temperature. These will be gone in minutes, so be sure to save a couple for yourself.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diwali Party

Menu for our Diwali party potluck this year was:

Appetizers - Faraal from Mumbai (Bhajni chakli, shev, besan ladoo, mini baked bakarwadi); I made Khandvi/Surli chi vadi ( recipe coming soon), Rava Ladoo and Badam Katli; friends brought other yummy snacks
Drinks - Mango lassi
Dinner - Made Kofta Curry and Veg. Biryani; friends brought other delicious accompaniments & desserts

Here are couple of quick ideas to add a Diwali touch to the party:

For keeping the kids busy, we had Cookie decoration with Diwali theme.

We used store-bought sugar cookies and decorated with sparkly gel icing that comes in tubes (purchased at Jo-Anns).

The salad arrangement featured cucumber and carrot diyas.

Cut the cucumbers into slices and lop off a small part to make the diya shape. For the light, cut a baby carrot on the bias.

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