Friday, May 10, 2013

Cheddar jalapeño biscuits

At last I managed to bake these "biscuits". I have never delayed anything as much as I have delayed baking these biscuits. These biscuits has been in my "to do" list for at least a few months now. The recipe is from a book called The higher taste by Kurma Dasa. It is a great book with some simple vegetarian recipes. I wanted to bake these biscuits since the moment I set my eyes on it. But I held back because of the quantity of cheese mentioned. It has one and a half cups of cheddar cheese. I thought of cutting down the cheese and I started searching for some other recipes on the net. I found quite a lot of them. But they all had one thing in common, they were all filled with fat in one form or the other. They were some which had a lot of butter and cheese and they were those which had both cream and cheese. So in the end, I just decided to go ahead and bake these after all.

I am not sure if these cheese and spicy goodies can be called as "biscuits". Because texture wise they were nothing like biscuits. They were more like bread with chewy texture. Like scones to be precise. But then, my definition of biscuits is slightly different. I had thought that biscuits has a slight crispy and crunchy texture to them. Or I believe it is a common "Indianism" to address cookies as biscuits. Taste wise, they were nothing like I had tasted before. They were absolutely delicious. The mixture of cheese, corn and Jalapeño make an an incredible flavor combination. I would have liked to include chives in these for some extra flavor kick but then they were not available. 

The in house connoisseur of good food (S) gave the verdict that these biscuits were great. And then he went on to say that they would taste better with a soup. I had to agree with him. These biscuits, although great on their own, would taste better as a side dish for soups. 

Cheddar jalapeño biscuits recipe:
Preparation time; 20min
Baking time: 15min
Makes- approximately one dozen biscuits

All purpose flour- 1 cup or 240gm + 2tbsp to dust
Yellow corn meal- 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 2tspn
Baking soda- 1/2tsp
Salt- 1/2tsp
Cold unsalted butter- 2tbsp, cut into bits
Sharp cheddar cheese- 1-1/2 cups, grated
Milk- 1/3 cup
Pickled jalapeno chilies- 2tbsp

  • In a large bowl, Sift, the all purpose flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Rub the cold butter into flour mixture till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Stir in the cheese, chilies, and milk and mix gently till the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough.
  • Turn the dough on a floured surface and knead gently for about a minute. PAt the dough out to 3/4 to 1" thickness and cut into shapes of your choice using biscuit cutter.
  • Place the biscuits on a well greased, parchment lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 min or till the biscuit turns brown.
  • Allow the biscuits to cool slightly before serving
  • You can substitute the corn meal with All purpose flour if the corn meal is unavailable.
  • You can add 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika powder if you like the biscuits a little spicy. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Southekayi Hasi gojju- Raw food at it's best

I was going through my previous posts yesterday and I realized that a long time back I had posted a recipe for hasi gojju. You can find that recipe here. In that version of hasi gojju, the ingredients for the ground mixture is roasted before being ground. So that doesn't make the dish completely "hasi" or raw. In this version however, all the ingredients are raw. So this dish is completely raw and yet delicious to taste.

This version of hasi gojju is my mother's recipe. As this dish goes great with both rice and rotis, she makes this dish often. It is one of those quick fix recipes that is a working woman's dream. All you need is some cucumbers or maybe some tomatoes and a little onion if you want some zing and voila this dish is ready. If you feel chopping the cucumbers fine is a tedious job, then just grate it. There not that hard is it?? It just takes about 15min to cake this dish from start to finish. Cool. isn't it??

This is a true blue dish from Karnataka that makes an excellent side dish. Try serving this dish with either piping hot rotis or with rice and rasam. You will surprised as to how gratifying and wholesome this simple dish can be.

Southekayi Hasi gojju Recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time- nil
Serves- 4

Cucumbers- 3 small or 1 large, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
Tamarind-  a small lime sized, soaked and juice extracted
Coconut- 1/3rd cup
Roasted gram- 1tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1tbsp
Green- 1 to 2
For the seasoning:
Oil- 2tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chili-1 or 1/2a tsp of red chili flakes
Turmeric- a pinch
Curry leaves- 8-10
Asafetida-a pinch


  • In a blender jar, combine the coconut, jaggery, salt, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, green chili, roasted gram and the tamarind extract and blend to a coarse paste.
  • Add the ground paste to the chopped cucumber and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the turmeric, asafetida, red chili flakes and the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds. Once done, add the seasoning to the prepared gojju and serve immediately with hot rice.
  • Tomato and onion can also be added to this dish.
  • This dish has a very short shelf life. So it has to be consumed almost immediately or has to be refrigerated till further use.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bread and paneer kofta in spinach sauce

I think malai kofta is one of the most favored dishes in the Indian cuisine. A classic North Indian dish, where deep fried cottage cheese dumplings are simmered in tomato and onion gravy which is flavored with saffron and topped with cream. A dish can't get any richer than this can it? To me malai kofta is much more than all this. It is a dish a that pampers my senses. A dish that can be rightfully called as "sinful indulgence"

There was a time when I thought that I could have this dish every other day. During my newly wed days, I used to make malai kofta every weekend and butter naan to accompany this dish. But after the birth of Purvi, we have consciously switched to a healthier life style. Yes, we do indulge in rich moghlai dishes once in a while when we hit the restaurants but if I have to make a Moghlai dish at home, I try to adopt a healthier cooking method. So here it is. My version of malai kofta. But without  the oil, cream and a healthier spinach gravy instead of the onion and tomato gravy. 

I have shallow fried the koftas in the paniyaram pan instead of the deep frying. And I have not used milk instead of cream. Personally, I was very happy with this dish. Even the kiddo lapped this dish up without any complaints. But the "connoisseur of good food" (read as S) was not all that pleased. He said that the dish was just about OK. But then this opinion is from a person who doesn't like anything that is out of the ordinary. So I guess you win some and you lose some. 
On the whole, I thought that this was a little different but a luscious dish none the less. So if you are looking for a guilt free, wholesome and yet a scrumptious dish then this recipe is worth a try.

Bread and paneer kofta in spinach sauce Recipe
Preparation time: 25min
cooking time: 20min
Serves- 4


For the Koftas:
Paneer- 1/4 cup, crumbled
Potato- 1 med, boiled, peeled and mashed
Bread- 2 slices, crust removed
Corn flour- 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2tsp
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 tsps, finely chopped

For the gravy:

Spinach- 250gms, blanched
Onion- 1 med, blanched
Cashew nuts- 10-12 soaked for an hour
Green chili- 1
Tomato- 1 small, blanched and pureed
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seed powder- 1/2tsp
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Salt- to taste
Milk- 1 cup
Garam masala- 1/4tsp
Oil- 2tbsp
Ginger- 1" piece
Garlic- 2 cloves
Capsicum- 1 small

Ghee- 1tsp
Skimmed milk powder- 2tsp, mixed in 1tbsp to make a paste (optional)

Make a powder of
Cinnamon- 1" piece
Cloves- 2

For the koftas:

  • Dip the bread slices in water for a few seconds. squeeze and keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread slices along with paneer and mashed potatoes, corn flour and mix.
  • Add the salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and the chopped coriander and mix well.
  • Divide the mixture into 12-14 equal portions and shape them into lime sized balls and set aside.
  • Heat the paniyaram pan and add quarter tsp of oil in each cavity. Place the prepared kofta in the cavity and fry on a low flame till completely brown on all sides. 
  • Once done remove from heat and drain the koftas on absorbent paper. Repeat the procedure for the remaining koftas.
For the gravy:
  • Combine the blanched spinach, onion, green chili and the soaked cashew nuts in a blender jar and blend till the mixture is smooth and keep aside.
  • Make a paste of the the ginger, garlic and capsicum in a mortar and pestle and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic capsicum paste and fry for two min or till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the ground spinach paste and fry for 2min more. Stir in the tomato puree and fry for a min.
  • Stir in the turmeric, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and one cup of water and cook for 3-4 min more.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the milk and the garam masala. Allow the mixture to simmer for 4-5min till the mixture thickens. Take off the heat and set aside.
  • Heat ghee in another pan and add the cinnamon-clove powder and fry for a few secs. Remove from heat and add the tempering to the spinach gravy and mix well.
  • Just before serving, Place the koftas in the spinach gravy and gently heat the mixture.
  • Take off the heat and drizzle the milk powder mixture over the koftas and serve immediately.
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