Monday, 23 September 2013

Work and food dilemmas!!

It’s not a new story... age old!! I have work to do so I can’t cook, lets order in today!! And this kind of becomes a repeated story for months on it. Yeah there is an easy Indian option to hire a cook. But that comes with its own pair of strings, not to mention the cost. And then, you don’t have strict office timings, when do you ask the cook to come in?? So the easy home-made solution to these woes- Maggi and others of its kind. It’s unhealthy, and hence you decide to put it off for the next New Year resolution to start eating healthy. If this is you and you have read till this point, you might want to continue on as I have figured out a great solution to these woes...
First of all, let’s look at the problem.
  •         Time: You never seem to have enough of it to look for pots and masalas on the kitchen counter.
  •     Energy: always tired to go in the kitchen... Really!!
  •     Now Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver both did some inspiring work on this front. But we dont get their food. We want our desi stuff!!

So here are the solutions to all these problems, in THREE words- PLANNING, MARINATING & REFRIGERATING!!

To read more, and I know you do want to as there are many tips and tricks that you cant forgo; click here- .

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Shudh Desi Paratha in Layers..

It was a difficult decision to not indulge in the flaky soft maida wala kerela paratha... too good... too delish... but also too sinful... I love it but I had more important things on my mind, like breast feeding which compelled me to stay, drink and dream healthy. So I thought and thought... what could be next best thing and it had to be home cooked, whole wheat parat wala paratha (layered flat breads). The cooking technique of a traditional kerela paratha and these parathas, my way; are a bit different.  Needless to say I thrive on simplifying everything in my way; and I did the same here. It’s a perfect dish to woo your date off the planet, as it looks ‘oh so difficult.’ And later you can very well call it a shudh desi romantic dates in layers!! :-p


Whole wheat flour and water kneaded into a bit tacky but firm to touch, ball of dough.
Refined oil/ghee for the layers as well as to fry the parathas

Filling options:
1)      Dry powder masala wala paratha
·         ½ tsp cumin
·         ½ tsp sweet paprika
·         ½ tsp coriander

2)     Kala jeera

3)     Salted carom seeds

4)     Roasted masala
·         ½ tsp fennel powder
·         ½ tsp coriander powder
·         Roasted together


Now to the technique of this super gourmet looking flat breads. Firstly make fist size balls of the dough and flatten it on a board in a somewhat square shape, as shown in the pic here. Use extra flour to help it not stick to the board and go as thin as possible, without visible tears or any sticking. With the glutinous maida its easy to just stretch out a sheet, with aata u have to be a bit careful.

Once there, brush over a teaspoon of oil or ghee and sprinkle a pinch of salt from a distance to reach every corner.

This is the perfect time to sprinkle you desired fillings as well.

Once done, roll the dough as if rolling a carpet. Now with maida, traditionally people would cascade it slowly to form many folds. This won’t work with aata because of the textural difference. Rolling will serve the purpose better.

Now re-roll the roll, unlike your carpet.

Finally using a rolling pin, very gently flatten the re-rolled roll to a perfect disc. With maida, you could just press it with your palms to get this result. With aata, on account of its fibrous texture, it’s difficult, once again.
Heat some oil in a pan carefully, and transfer the delicately layered discs on it. Roast them till done.

And just like that you created magic on a plate!! Viola!! Enjoy it while it’s still hot.



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