Stone Fruit Galette

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Looking for a dish to adorn your sunday brunch table or a nice rustic dessert to make your weeknights exciting – this rustic stone fruit galette is the simple answer. It is goodness bundled into a fuss free easy pie which lets you enjoy the tone and the produce of the season. It’s a perfect way to show off the perfectly ripe and juicy stone fruits available in the market.

I am always enchanted by the rustic galettes. They are so appetizing and pretty to look that I want to eat the whole thing almost instantaneously. The wonderful colorful fruits are wrapped in a flakey rustic pastry, baked in no time and topped with sugar – oh so tempting! They are definitely less demanding than a pie and stunningly sumptuous. I heard someone say that its a lazy people’s pie. I am happy to be called lazy if the result is so deadly delicious.

I can’t rave enough about the versitality and the awesomeness of these galettes. Once you make then, they will become your best comfort food. A perfect farewell to the juicy and ripe stone fruits!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 8 – 10 people)

For the pastry:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting and rolling out
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20 gms granulated white sugar
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
  • 6 – 7 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 300 grams of plums, seed removed and cut into wedges
  • 450 grams of peaches, seed removed and cut into wedges=
  • 3 tbsp of granulated white sugar (you can add 1 tbsp more if the stone fruits are sour)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • orange skin segments (optional)
  • mint leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, to garnish (optional)

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take all purpose flour, whol wheat flour, sugar and salt and whisk it. Now add the cold cubes of butter.
  • Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs. It is okay to see small chunks of the butter.
  • Now add the ice cold water a couple of tablespoons at a time and bring together the dough.
  • Dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on it. Add more water if needed and bring it together to make a ball. Cling wrap it and refridgerate it for an hour atleast.
  • Meanwhile you can make the filling. Take the stone fruits in a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt and mix it.
  • Preheat your oven to 220C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Once the dough it chilled, take it out and roll it out to 15 inch circle. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet.
  • Top the pastry with the fruit mixture (you can also layer it piece by piece) leaving 2 – 2.5 inch gap from the edges.
  • Fold the edges over the peaches gently or make pleats if necessary.
  • Take the lightly beaten egg and using a pastry brush, brush on the folded edges which will give it a nice golden color.
  • Allow it to bake for 25 – 28 minutes at 200C or until golden crisp brown.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Garnish with icing sugar, orange skin segments and mint leaves.
  • Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas

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Monsoon therapy with rustic Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas – pure joy! The rains lashing against the window panes, steaming cup of coffee and empanadas – perfect rainy afternoon. Dreamy yummy creations which is bursting with flavors. You have to be crazy to not enjoy these savory pockets!

If that wasn’t enough to lure you to try these out, probably your childhood memories surely will. Remember those vegetable patties and pies you enjoyed at the neighborhood bakery store… oh so delicious! The crisp and flaky pastry and the absolutely gorgeous stuffing…I am already dreaming about it while writing this post. While I was in the US, I often missed those patties until I stumbled upon these hot pockets filled with sumptuous stuffing called empanadas from a famous food truck in San Francisco. It ticked all the boxes for the things I was missing. Homely and satisfying.

I was trying my hands to make empanadas at home and guess what, I  was bursting with ideas. It almost took 1 week for me to calm down and decide about the filling. You can fill the dough with all your favorite things and enjoy these wonders.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 14 – 15 pieces)

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting and rolling out the dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 grams butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 120 ml ice water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 200 grams button mushrooms, chopped
  • 200 grams cottage cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup spinach, blanched and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

For the dough:

  • Take all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a bowl and whisk it.
  • Using a pastry blender/ 2 forks or using the tips of your fingers, blend the cold butter into the flour mixture until it forms a coarse crumb like mixture.
  • Beat 1 egg, ice cold water and white vinegar in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour-butter mixture and using a fork combine the entire mixture. Do not over knead it.
  • Generously dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on to it.
  • Bring together the entire dough together by gently kneading it.
  • Divide the dough into 2 halves, cling wrap it tightly and refrigerate it for atleast 1.5 hours.

For the mixture:

  • While the dough is resting, take a saucepan on medium heat. Put oil in it.
  • Once its hot add 1 tsp chili flakes and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute it for a minute until it turns translucent.
  • Add mushrooms to the mixture and let it cook for a minute.
  • Now add the remaining chili flakes, salt, black pepper and basil leaves and saute the mixture for couple of minutes,
  • Once done take it from the stove and allow it to cool completely.
  • Once cooled add grated cottage, spinach and mozzarella cheese and form a mixture using a spoon.

To Assemble:

  • Preheat your oven to 230 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Take some dough and roll it out on a flat surface into round discs of similar sizes ( approximately 6 inch diameter)
  • Take the stuffing and place it on one side of the circle.
  • Take the other end of the dough and form a semi circle. Seal the edges as shown in the picture or by making knife impressions.
  • Once all the pies are formed, beat one egg and using a pastry brush, egg wash the top of the empanadas before they go into the oven to bake.
  • Place the pies atleast 1 inch apart and put it into the oven to bake at 200 C for 18 – 20 minutes, until the empanadas a golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve it hot with a yogurt dip and enjoy!

Orange Glaze Cream Scones with Blackcurrant Jam

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Kick starting this New Years the sweet way, the British way with scrumptious Orange Glaze Cream Scones with Blackcurrant Jam. These scones are as welcome on the breakfast table as they are on the teatime table. The aroma of the spices and fresh orange is so enticing that you will reach out to have a second helping of these scones.

I devour scones since they are so simple to make yet so delicious! I ended up making these scones one fine evening when I returned from work and got an itch to bake something apart from the usual cupcakes and cakes. In no time the scones were ready and I couldn’t resist myself and ended up having a couple of them. Right out of the oven – so warm, so comforting! They are mildly sweet, buttery flavored with infusion of warm spices. The buttery earthy flavor with a crisp exterior and fluffy interior is what you can expect of these scones. The orange glaze is not to be missed, since its just too perfect to go with these scones. The black currant jam adds the perfect sweetness-tartness to the scones while you have it with your cuppa.

So if you haven’t started baking this New Year, this is the perfect recipe to start your baking spree and surprise your friends and family.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 12 round scones)

For the scones:

  • 260 grams all purpose flour
  • 55 grams of granulated white sugar
  • 12 grams baking powder
  • 120 ml full fat milk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 2 egg, lightly beaten (keep each egg in separate bowls)
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze and filling:

  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 3/4 cup blackcurrant jam ( I used Hartley’s blackcurrant jam)

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside
  • Meanwhile, mix all purpose flour, sugar baking powder, salt and keep aside.
  • Add the cold cut butter and blend in the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your finger tips.
  • Once the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, mix milk and  1 egg and lightly beat it.
  • Now add the milk-egg mixture to the flour-butter mixture along with cinnamon and orange zest and fold it gently with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix it.
  • Slightly flour the surface and knead the dough a little and pat it to form a 7 – 8 inch disc shape. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough and place each scone dough into the baking sheet.
  • Now take a pastry brush and brush the top of the scones with the lightly beaten egg to get a good color.
     
  • Bake it for 15-17 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool on the wire rack for a while once its completed baking.
  • Meanwhile whisk orange juice, orange zest and icing sugar until its well combined.
  • To assemble the scones, take each scone and cut it horizontally into equal halves. Take a tablespoon of blackcurrant jam and spread it evenly on the scone. Place the other half on top and garnish generously with orange glaze.
  • Serve immediately!

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Happy January, happy eating!

Vegetarian Momos

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Summer vacations meant family trips to the hill stations, strolling at Mall Road and eating momos and maggi. Eating momos at different local vendors was quintessential to any trip to the the hills, until recently when momos are becoming a rage in different parts of India. It is becoming everyones favorite especially with the crazy concoctions available now. Its wonderful to gorge on these during the rains.

With the arrival of monsoon in Bangalore and a nip in the air, I decided to make momos at home. I was intimated by the meticulous task that would lie ahead of me but somewhat knew that once the rhythm was set, these mini wonders would be ready in no time. They are so simple yet so satisfying. It hits every note – fresh veggies and overwhelming flavors is comforting.

I love the basic vegetarian flavor. The shreds of cabbage, the sweetness from onion, the crunch from the carrots and the freshness from the ginger, all combine well to create something yummy. The whole process of making the stuffing, filling and folding is therapeutic. You can take inspiration  from different places, cuisines, then play with your imagination and create flavors which your family enjoys. Don’t forget to make a tangy, spicy dipping sauce that makes the momos all the more addictive that you can’t stop with just one.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 16-18 pieces)

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

For the wrappers:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 6 tbsp water, for kneading

For the dipping sauce:

  • 5 dried red chilis
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste

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METHOD:

For filling:

  • In a saucepan heat the olive oil and once it is hot add the garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until its translucent and soft. Add in the grated ginger and sauté too.
  • Next we need to add the finely chopped carrots and cabbage and sauté on high heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add salt, soya sauce, red chili sauce and freshly grounded black pepper and mix it well. Cook the mixture on low heat for a minute.
  • Take it off the heat and allow it to cool at room temperature.

For the wrappers:

  • Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the wrapper in a bowl and knead it well until the dough is soft and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it to form thin circles, about 2 – 3 inch in diameter, on a lightly flour dusted board.
  • The edges should be thin and the center should be relatively thick. Make the wrappers and keep aside.
  • Take small portions of the filling and place it at the center of the wrapper.
  • Lift one side and start pleating it slowly. Once pleated, take the top of the pleats and slightly twist it and join it in the center.
  • Keep making the momos. Cover the pleated momos using a damp clothe to avoid the momos from becoming dry.
  • Fill the steamer with water, place the momos on the steamer tray (the momos shouldn’t touch each other on the tray.
  • Cover the lid and allow it to cook using steam for 7 – 8 minutes. The momos should now be transparent and not sticky. This means its done.

For the dipping sauce:

  • Take water in a saucepan and bring it rolling boil. Take it off from the heat and add the dried red chilis into it.
  • Let it soak for 20 minutes.
  • In a blender add garlic cloves, soaked red chilis, a tbsp of the soaking liquid, vinegar, salt and sugar and blend it until its completely blended.
  • Take a saucepan and heat the oil. Once heated add the blended chili mixture and allow the flavor to be infused properly. This will take around 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Mix cornflour and water in a bowl. Make sure there is no lumps.
  • Add this cornflour to the above heating mixture and keep stirring it for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat, transfer the dipping sauce into a serving bowl to be served with steamed momos.

Enjoy..Monsoon is on its way!

 

Garlic Bread Rolls

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I was always fascinated by the aroma and the taste of freshly baked breads. However, I felt scared in using dry/active yeast especially because I didn’t know the technique well. Today for the first time I tried using yeast and making a bread roll out of the dough. The process was quite simple and the results were fantastic. All that was required was love, patience and a few ingredients from your kitchen pantry.

These rolls are definitely for all the garlic lovers out there. It fills the air with a beautiful fragrance of garlic and the fresh herbs. The perfect blend of garlic with herbs and butter makes you crave for more. Try it with your daily cuppa or serve it with a bowl of soup, these rolls will surely be a hit! Be it a tiffin snack for your kids or a tea time snack for your guests, this easy and fresh bread roll is here for everyone. A soft, fluffy texture within and a crispy outside texture and look, this garlic roll is my next favorite tea time snack.

So don’t get intimidated, switch on your baking skills and bake some for your friends and family now.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 10 – 12 pieces)

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 140 ml water
  • 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15 – 20 garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Warm water and add dry active yeast in it. Allow it to sit for 12 – 14 minutes at room temperature.
  • In a bowl add whole wheat flour. all purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt and keep aside.
  • Once the yeast has started to bubble up and become frothy, add the dry ingredient mix to the yeast solution.
  • Add vegetable oil and knead to form a smooth and soft dough. (Add very little warm water if kneading is a problem.)
  • Leave the dough covered for 1.5 hours until leavened.
  • Meanwhile, create the garlic paste. To do so take the finely minced or crushed garlic in a bowl. Add butter, chilli flakes, oregano, salt, black pepper and a dash of olive oil. Mix it well.
  • Once the dough has risen, give it a punch and knead it well for a minute.
  • Dust the work surface with some flour. Take half the dough and roll it out to a form a circle.
  • Put the garlic mix generously on the rolled out dough.
  • Roll the dough to form a cylinder and then cut the it into 1.5 – 2 inch small cylinders.
  • Grease the  pan in which the bread will bake. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Put the rolls onto the baking sheet and wash it with olive oil and the garlic mix.
  • Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes at 180 C until golden brown.
  • Serve it warm with your choice of dip.

Fresh Pasta

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The art of making fresh home made pasta look intimidating, however if prepared with patience, attention and love, the outcome is simply amazing.

Kneading, resting, rolling and cooking – looks like you have a mammoth task ahead of you, however once you have got the science behind it you are definitely in for some treat. The recipe is simple and demand only a few basic ingredients easily available in your pantry. Every person I came across provided me with different ingredient measurement and kneading techniques, forcing me to think that making pasta is almost an unachievable skill. But I think you can crack the code by tinkering with the timings and flavors until you get the texture you desire.

I was introduced to the pasta making technique by my sister in law after which I try to make home made pasta whenever I wish to cook Italian food. Once you try this recipe, you will feel the difference between fresh and dry pasta. You can iterate with different ingredients and feel completely satisfied with the outcome.

So clear your kitchen top and get the dough rolling in your pasta machine!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)

METHOD:

  • Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Take the flour in a bowl or on the table top. Make a well in the center and add EVOO.
  • Crack the eggs into the well and using your fingertips mix the eggs with the flour until fully incorporated.
  • Knead the dough gently using the palms of your hand. Begin folding the dough in itself first and then flattening and folding again.
  • Incorporate more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter top.  Squash the dough on the kitchen top, reshaping it, stretching it and repeat the process until the dough is smooth
  • Cover the dough with a cling film and rest it in the refrigerator for atleast 30 – 40 minutes before using it.

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To roll out the dough, make sure you have enough flour within your reach for dusting. Dust the table top, flatten the dough with your fingers and pass it through the widest setting in your pasta machine. Repeat it a couple of times. Then fold the dough again in the form of a letter. Dust it and pass it through the machine 4 – 5 times to strengthen the gluten in the pasta. Now pass the dough through the machine a couple of times each from the widest to the narrowest setting. Finally you can get different types of pasta (example: fettuccine, spaghetti or sheets for ravioli, etc) depending on what you want.

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Cook the pasta quickly to avoid it from drying. Boil some water in a saucepan and add salt. Put the pasta into the water and allow it to cook for 3 – 4 minutes until al – dente. Strain the water and toss up the cooked pasta with your favorite veggies and sauce. (It’s worth trying fresh pasta with homemade pesto sauce).

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You can freeze or store the homemade pasta which will require a couple of extra minutes of cooking.