Garlic & Cheese Pretzels

When we lived in Malaysia, we frequented Auntie Anne’s for their delicious pretzels. The daughter and I would spend some time simply watching them behind the counter shape the pretzels with amazing accuracy and speed. She loves the soft pretzels as do I and we both always picked the savory ones as against the sweet options. So this dish is an attempt to recreate that memory for us. Though my shaping skills need a LOT of work, the pretzels tasted good and the daughter was happy. So it is a kind of mission accomplished.

Adapted from here

Makes 6 Pretzels

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup Milk

2 1/4 tsp Instant yeast

3 tbsp Brown sugar

2 1/4 cup All purpose flour

5 tbsp Unsalted butter

1 tsp Salt

2-3 tsp Garlic powder

6 tbsp Cheese, grated

2 tsp Mixed dried herbs

For the soda bath

1/3 cup Baking soda

3 cups Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the yeast with the milk in a large bowl
  • Add sugar, flour, 2 tbsp of butter and salt
  • Knead till it forms a smooth dough, around 7 minutes
  • Set it aside till it doubles in volume, around 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 230C
  • Grease a baking tray or line it with parchment paper
  • Add the 4 tbsp cheese, mixed herbs and garlic powder and mix well
  • Divide the dough into 6 pieces
  • Roll each piece into a thin long rope and shape like a pretzel

  • Dissolve the baking soda in warm water
  • Dip each pretzel into the soda water and place it on the baking tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes till it is golden brown in colour
  • Brush the pretzels with the balance butter and top with cheese
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Though the soda bath is not mandatory, it is recommended. If you do not use the soda bath then broil the pretzels for 2 minutes to get a nice golden brown colour
  2. I did not top the pretzel with cheese because the daughter doesn’t like it though I love the extra cheese on top.
  3. I used mozzarella cheese. You can use any other cheese as well like cheddar or parmesan

This is my post for the Kid’s Delight event started by Valli of Spice your Life and hosted by me this month for the theme, ‘Baked Treats‘.

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Multigrain Fougasse

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Fougasse is one of my favorite breads and I love to make it often. I have blogged about a simple Rosemary Fougasse previously and so this time I wanted to do something different. I found this awesome multigrain recipe with olives, tomatoes and garlic and I knew I simply had to make it. It turned out wonderful and is something worth a try!

The unique thing about this recipe is it asks for cool water instead of the usual warm water. That takes a longer time for the dough to rise instead of the usual 1 hour to double.

Recipe from here

Makes 1 medium Fougasse

WHAT WE NEED

For the starter

3 gms Instant yeast

35ml Cool water

55gms All purpose flour

3 gms Salt

For the dough

All of the starter

4gms Instant yeast

50ml Olive oil

90gms All purpose flour

90gms Multigrain flour

50gms Whole wheat flour

30gms Rye flour

6gms Salt

110ml Cool water

2 tbsp Sliced olives

1 oven roasted tomato, chopped

1 head of slow roasted garlic

2 tsp Dried Rosemary

2 tsp Dried Thyme

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the starter and keep it covered in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours
  • Add the instant yeast, all the flours, salt and oil to the starter and knead for 8-10 minutes
  • Add the olives, tomato, garlic, rosemary and thyme and knead for 4-5 minutes
  • Set it aside covered till the dough doubles in volume, around 2-3 hours
  • Take out the dough and roll it out on parchment paper
  • Shape it like a leaf and make 1 long cut through the centre and smaller cuts on the sides like a leaf
  • Cover and let it double, around 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Brush the top of the dough with cold water
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Cool for 15 minutes
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. To speed up the process, use warm water to mix the dough
  2. I used a mix of soy, maize, amaranth and quinoa flours for the multigrain. You can use any flour per your choice

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘French Cuisine’.

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Herbs & Garlic Rolls

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All through my life I have tried to lose weight. It has mostly not worked because I would not stick to any plan for more than a week. Then I would look at people thinner than me wearing pretty clothes and sulk. This has been going on forever with no end in sight. Finally I figured out how to solve the problem. No, I am not propounding a new weight loss strategy. All I am saying is that my problem has always been other people being thinner. So I figured I would put my baking to use as a dark art and get everyone around me to put on weight. If that is not a delicious solution I don’t know what is.

So these garlic rolls are the first step in that direction. In my defense, they did turn out delicious and quite gobble-worthy.

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 10 rolls

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup All purpose flour

1 cup Whole Wheat flour

2 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Olive oil

3/4 cup Warm water

60-70gms Herbed garlic butter

Sesame seeds to garnish

WHAT TO DO

  • Add the flours, yeast, sugar, salt and oil in a large bowl
  • Add 1/2 cup water and mix to form a smooth dough
  • If the dough seems too dry then add 2tsp water at a time till the dough comes together
  • Cover and set aside for an hour or till the dough doubles in volume
  • Take out the dough and roll it into a 1/2″ thick rectangle
  • Spread the garlic butter on the dough evenly
  • Roll the dough into a tight log from the longer side of the rectangle
  • Cut the log into 10 pieces
  • Grease an 8″ round baking pan and place the rolls side-up on the pan
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and set aside for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 185C
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or till the rolls are golden brown
  • Brush with the balance butter on top
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. I used the store bought garlic butter but you can also make it at home. Take 70 gms of salted butter, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 2-3 tsp of mixed herbs. Pulse the garlic and herbs together in a blender. Add them to the butter and mix well. Add salt if needed and use.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Wraps & Rolls’.

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Mint & Coriander Dip

Continuing with my hung curd spree, today I am posting a quick mint and coriander dip with hung curd. We celebrated my daughter’s birthday over the weekend which is the reason I was left with some mint & coriander chutney as also a whole load of chips that feature in the photos.

So I just mixed the hung curd and chutney to get a creamy dip. It is a nice way to revamp leftover chutney and get a smooth dip. I need some carrots now with this dip to balance out all the cake I have been eating.

WHAT WE NEED

3 tbsp Mint & coriander chutney

2 tbsp Hung curd

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the chutney with the hung curd with a whisk or in a blender
  • Check for the saltiness and add salt accordingly
  • Serve with carrots or chips (chips actually 😉
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. To make mint & coriander chutney, take a small bunch of fresh coriander, 4 sprigs of mint, a couple of garlic cloves and 3-4 green chillies. Mix them all with salt in a blender. Add water to form a smooth mixture. You can replace the water with some extra virgin olive oil. If you are using water, drain it out before adding to hung curd.

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon for the theme, ‘Condiments’.

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Oven roasted carrot soup

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If you want to make anything delicious, I suggest you roast it in the oven. Tomatoes, yes…onions, yes….carrots, yes….sweet potato, yes….garlic ,yes. I think I have made my case. Roasting in the oven gives the dish a lovely aroma and an explosion of flavours that are otherwise not unearthed. I know I have two more carrot soups on my blog (here and here) but do you really believe there is a finite number of carrot soups in the world? Like I said before, carrots are able to marry any other vegetable easily and so the flavours to be explored multiply exponentially. Carrot’s natural sweetness can be balanced with any spicy flavouring and result in a magical soup. So try this one too and raise your glass to the humble carrot.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

3 medium to large carrots

1 medium sized onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tomatoes

2 tbsp curds / yogurt

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Peel and roughly chop the carrots
  • Roughly chop the onion
  • Add the garlic, olive oil, cumin, pepper and some salt and mix well
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes till they start turning brown
  • Turn the tray once during the roasting to ensure equal roasting on all sides
  • Take out the baking tray and cool slightly
  • In the meanwhile, soak the tomatoes in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • Peel the skin, deseed the tomatoes and purée it
  • Add the roasted vegetables to a mixer / food processor and blend to a smooth mix
  • Add the purred vegetables and the tomato purée to a pot and mix well
  • Stir in the yogurt and adjust for salt
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so till it is hot
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One vegetable three ways’.

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Cheese & Garlic Scones

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When I made a Hi-Tea combo couple of months ago, my favourite of the lot of dishes was the Cheese and garlic scones. These are super easy to make and taste so good. It is one of the few baked dishes that even my husband liked and asked for seconds. I have made it several times since and it has been appreciated by kids and adults alike. This makes for a quick and easy snack with all ingredients easily available at home. I do think of adding some vegetables to it but then I feel maybe some dishes should be left just for taste instead of trying to healthy-fy everything all the time.

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Recipe from here

Makes 8 scones

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup All purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup shredded cheese

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

1/2 cup Milk

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  • Add the shredded cheese and garlic to the bowl and mix well
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the milk except for 2 tsp of milk
  • Bring together all the ingredients and form a dough
  • Do not overmix
  • Grease a baking tray and transfer the dough to the tray
  • Pat it into a 1″ thick circle and cut into 8 wedges
  • Brush the balance 2 tsp milk on the dough
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the top gets brown spots
  • Cool for 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with butter

NOTES

  1. I have tried this dish with cheddar cheese, pizza cheese (mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and matured goat cheese and it works beautifully with each one
  2. I found the goat cheese (matured) slightly bland in comparison to the other two and so I sprinkled some dried rosemary to enliven it

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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Hi Tea

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This is the final post in this week’s Thali series. My sister-in-law gifted me a cupcake / hi tea stand and I have been planning to use it in the blog for ages now. I didn’t want to miss the chance this time and so I figured making a hi tea spread for the Thali theme would be just perfect. Hi tea is a British tradition of drinking tea sitting on high back chairs at the table with a spread including cold cut meat, fruits, breads, crackers, etc.

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This hi tea spread includes –

1. Iced tea (because it it summer now)

2. Regular black tea & milk

3. Cheese and Garlic Scones

4. Walnut Cake Slice

5. Masala Chai Mini Muffins

6. Dry fruit biscuits

7. Pistachio and chocolate biscuits

8. Peas & Carrot Finger Sandwiches

9. Cucumber & Mayonnaise Finger Sandwiches

8. Jam

9. Honey

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Here is a quick recipe for the masala chai muffins –

Makes 16-18 mini muffins

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Granulated sugar

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup Masala chai / tea ( no sugar)

1 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 190C
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the oil, masala chai and vinegar in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine
  • Line a mini muffin tray and pour the batter up to 3/4 full for each muffin mould
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for half hour
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Roasted Garlic and Potato Bread

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If you don’t know already, let me tell you that roasting garlic is one of the most amazing things you can do in the kitchen. It lets out a lovely aroma that delights the senses, works up your imagination and appetite and lends a wonderful flavour to the dish. So when I saw this awesome bread with roasted garlic and mashed potato, I knew I simply had to do it. It turned out so light and flavourful that even the daughter and husband were asking for seconds.

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It takes a little longer to make this bread because of the additional step of roasting garlic and mashing potatoes but it is definitely time well spent which rewards you with an amazing loaf. I have used all purpose flour for this loaf but you can replace upto 50% of it with whole wheat flour or other flour of your choice. But the bread will be denser than a loaf made entirely with all purpose flour.

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Adapted from New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

Makes one large loaf

460 gms All purpose flour

340 gms Warm water

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 1/4 tsp Sugar

110 gms Mashed potatoes

1 garlic head

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Wrap the garlic head with its skin in foil and bake for 25-30 minutes
  • Take it out and squeeze out the garlic pulp and set aside
  • Mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar, mashed potatoes and garlic in a large bowl
  • Add the flour and mix it to ensure no dry flour remains
  • Cover and set aside till it rises and flattens or collapses, around 2 hours
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours
  • Take out the dough from the bowl and dust it with a little flour and shape into a ball
  • Let it rest for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour and slash the top of the dough
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes
  • Take the cover off and bake for 10 minutes
  • Unmould the loaf and let cool completely on a wire rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Bhajiya Pav

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As someone who was living in Mumbai for most of her life, I am going to commit blasphemy by uttering the next few words – I am not a big fan of the Vada Pav. Let the lynching begin. Somehow, all my life I tried to like it because duh! But I simply could not find it in me to enjoy Vada pav. I enjoy them separately – I love the batata Vada and I can eat pav with nothing on the side because bread! But put them together with the spicy green chutney and I start backing off from there. But Bhajiya pav is something I adore and crave and can eat as many as you can get me. Each bite holds so many memories and conversations of the years gone by. In our school, we did not have a proper canteen. We had two ladies who would come at break time with huge tubs full of Vada pavs, samosa pavs and bhajiya pavs. By the end of the 15 minute break they would walk out with empty tubs but full pockets. Since my mother took our eating out as a personal affront, we did not eat out much except for the birthdays – ours and our friends’ when the treat always was bought from the aunties at the ‘canteen’.

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Later, we discovered the ultimate maker of Vada pavs and bhajiya pavs near our home in Mumbai. Ever since, no trip of mine to Mumbai is complete without a bite (so much more than a bite!) of his bhajiya pavs. He fries the bhajiya, rips open the pav, fills it with the chutneys and bhajiya, packs it in old newspaper and ties them with many metres of thread in a blink of the eye. We spend more time in pulling out the thread and untangling it from our fingers than we spend in actually eating the contents inside. Though I still don’t like the green chutney, I have included it here husband will not have it any other way. But trust me, if you top it with loads of dry garlic chutney and close your eyes, you will find yourself in a Mumbai street corner near a push cart which is super hot because of the incessant frying, with aromas that could make you hungry even though you just had lunch and an invisible magnetic pull towards it saying the golden words “Bhaiya 2 bhajiya pav parcel”.

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Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

6 Pavs

Dry garlic chutney

For the Bhajiya

1 Potato, large

1/2 cup Chickpea flour

2 tbsp Rice flour

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

Oil for deep frying

For the green chutney

6-7 stalks of fresh coriander

1 garlic clove

1 green chilly

3-4 drops of lemon juice

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the bhajiya
  • In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, rice flour, chilly powder and salt
  • Add enough water to form a slightly thick batter. The batter should not be too thin else it would be difficult to coat the potato and not too thick in which the flavour of the potato is lost
  • Slice the potato into thin slices in a mandolin slicer
  • Once the oil is hot, take one slice of the potato and coat it well with the batter and drop it into the hot oil
  • Once it is nicely cooked on both sides, take it out of the oil and place it on tissue to absorb the excess oil
  • You can fry multiple potato slices at a time depending on how big your pan is
  • Repeat the procedure with all other slices of potato till you have the desired number of bhajiyas
  • Add all the ingredients for the green chutney in a small mixer jar
  • Add enough water to blend together all the ingredients into a chutney. It needs to be slightly runny so that it is easy to slather it over the pav
  • Cut open the pav in half horizontally but leave it joint at one end

Assembling the dish

  • The pav is usually eaten as is but you can lightly toast it with some butter if you want
  • Apply the chutney on the inside of the pav and place 2-3 bhajiyas in it
  • Top it with dry garlic chutney and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Street Food’.

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Pantzarosalata / Beetroot Yogurt Salad

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One of my recent endeavours is to try and eat more salads. As a rule, I hate salads and I am always trying to avoid them. But as a food blogger, if I can’t make tasty salads then what is the point? So I wanted one salad recipe from Greece. As always, I was looking for something easy and that can be made with ingredients easily available at home. I came across this easy and gorgeous beetroot salad and I am sure this is going to be a regular feature at home now on.

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Serves 2-3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Beetroot, medium                      3

Greek yogurt                               300 gms

Walnuts                                        10-12

Garlic cloves                                 3

Olive oil                                         2 tbsp

Vinegar                                          1 tsp

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Boil the betteroots for 30-40 minutes till they are cooked
  • Peel the beetroots and cut them into small pieces and set aside
  • In a blender / mixer take the garlic cloves, walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Add the yoghurt to the mixture and stir well to combine
  • Pour the dressing over the beetroot and mix well
  • Chill the salad in the refrigerator for a couple of hours
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Ensure that you use only Greek yogurt else the salad will turn watery.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Greek dishes.

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