Category Archives: Festive Food

Pizza Bianca

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Understanding the dynamic lifestyle and dietary changes coupled with stressful work schedules means that a family need added nourishment o combat daily challenges.  The Food Bloggers Association India and ITC group threw us a challenge with this Review Box. Aashirvaad Atta, one of India’s most trusted Atta brands in the country is committed to help the families with wholesome meal. Aashirvaad Atta with multigrain promises the goodness of six different grains – wheat, soya, channa, oats, maize and psyllium husk providing an added advantage over regular atta.

Aashirvaad the pioneer and market leader in the packaged atta segment has developed Aashirvaad Atta with Multigrains to address this aspect providing an uncompromising taste of rotis, with the wholesome goodness of grains. The extra fibre makes the food easier to digest and the extra protein in the atta helps to build strength.

I used this Atta to make the Neapolitan Pizza Bianca, in which one can taste the base with different flavours of cheese hitting the taste buds. There is no marinara sauce used in this type of pizza. I added my twist to the pizza by drizzling some spiced honey and thinly sliced apple.

So, here follows my recipe….

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Ingredients:

Makes 8 thin crust medium size Pizza.

Base – Aashirvaad Atta 500 grams, 25 grams of dry yeast, salt to taste, sugar 2 tabsp, extra virgin Olive Oil 2/3 tabsp and Milk  ¾ cups.

Toppings – 100 grams grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tabsp cream cheese, 200 grams Mozarella cheese, 200 grams Cheddar cheese, 200 grams Ricotta cheese. Fresh Basil leaves. 2 thinly sliced apples, Spiced honey (Honey induced with pepper), dehydrated garlic powder, dried oregano.

 

Method :

Base – Take half cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl, add sugar and dry yeast. Give it a stir and keep it covered for 15/ 20 mins for the yeast to activate. Take a big mixing bowl, pour in the Aashirvaad Atta, add salt, yeast mixture and start kneading the Atta with milk. The process of kneading takes atleast 25/30 mins. Make soft dough and drizzle some olive oil. Cover and keep it in an airtight cupboard for the dough to rise and double in size.

Toppings – Just grate all the above mentioned cheeses and keep it ready into bowls. Keep the rest of the ingredients ready too.

After an hour once the dough has risen, knock back the dough with your fist to take the air out. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll them into chapatti (circles) and roast each on a hot griddle for a couple of mins.

Preheat the oven to 250 deg. Centigrade for 15 mins.

Now place the rolled base on a wire rack of the oven, drizzle the cheeses except for the ricotta, the seasoning of garlic, oregano, place some thinly slice apples.  Grill the Pizza for 10 to 15 mins. Just before serving grate some ricotta, freshly torn basil leaves and drizzle a couple of spoons of spiced honey. Cut it and enjoy hot. The thin crispy base with different cheese, the oozing of honey is simply magical and takes you right back to the streets of Naples.

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N.

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Apple tarts!

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A quick and pure vegetarian tarts especially for my friends who crib on my recipes mostly being non-vegetarian.

Ingredients for 6 small tarts :

Short crust pastry – 250grams of all purpose flour, 100 grams of butter, sugar 2 tsp and salt to taste.

Filling – 3 apples, brown sugar 2/3tabsp, cinnamon powder 2tsp, salt to taste, juice of 1/4 lemon and 2tabsp honey. Icing sugar 1tabspoon.

Method:

Short crust pastry – In a mixing bowl take some flour add salt and sugar. Now add chilled cubes of butter. Rub the maida/flour to the butter till it comes to a sandy texture. Then drizzle some water and knead it into a tight dough. Refrigerate it for an hour. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts, roll it and place it in the tart dishes pressing it firmly. Poke the pastry with fork and bake it for 15 mins in 200 deg in a pre heated oven.

Filling :

While the pastrys are baking, prepare the filling… Option 1 chop the apples, add sugar,cinnamon, honey and salt. Toss it in a pan till it soften and then fill it in the tart shells. And Option 2 thinly slice the apples horizontally​, the cut into half making it into a semicircular shape. Place each slice overlapping making it a long row of around 12/18 inches. Now drizzle little cinnamon and sugar over it. Now fold the apple in circular motion making it look like a rose and carefully place it on the tart shells. Drizzle some more sugar, cinnamon, salt and honey. Bake it for 15mins. 

After cooled drizzle some icing sugar.

N.

Panna Cotta

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Here is my take on Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert which I made using the milk Europaea gifted by the Olive Tree Trading and Food Bloggers Association India (FBAI). Normally cream is used along with the milk for making Panna Cotta. I haven’t used cream purely because of the richness if this milk. The Panna Cotta turned out to be soft, silky , wobbly and beautiful. I used the mulberries grown in my terrace garden. It gave an altogether a different taste and look.

Ingredients:

Europaea milk 7 cups, vanilla pods 2, vanilla sugar 2 tabspoon, gelatin 1 tabspoon. Strawberries with sauce for garnish and fresh mulberries.

Method:

Put the milk for boiling in a deep pan, slit open the vanilla pods and extract out the mushy vanilla seeds, add it to the milk. Add the sugar. Keep it aside to cool . In a small bowl add gelatin with  1/2cup of lukewarm water. Mix well and stir it in the mixture of milk and vanilla. Stir well and transfer it into small bowls or moulds. Can add strawberries to it. Allow it to cool completely and place it in the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours. To serve simply take it out of the moulds on the bed of strawberry sauce and some more strawberries or mulberries. Enjoy the wibbly wobbly fun desert.

N.

Pasta

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The FBAI and Olive Tree Trading had gifted me with a hamper of their Products – olive oil, Europaea milk and Quinoa. Asked us to try these products in the daily dishes we prepare. I have been using these products in salads, pastas and dessert I make for my family. I am really impressed by the quality of these products. The milk is so rich and pure that no cream was required when I made the Panna Cotta. Also the simple pasta which I made using olive oil took us to the Italian Nonna’s kitchen. I will be sharing the Panna Cottas recipe in my next post ,in this will share the pasta recipe.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti 1 pack, garlic 3/4 cloves finely chopped, 1 onion chopped. 1 capsicum chopped. Handful of basil. Olive oil 5/6 tabspoon. Parmesan cheese 1 cup grated. Whole wheat flour 1 tabspoon. Milk 3/4 cups. Salt and pepper as per the taste.


Method:

Boil water enough to soak the Spaghetti and cook it not fully. Leave it little uncooked / al dente. Drain and drizzle a few drops of olive oil. In a heavy bottom pan heat some olive oil and saute onions, capsicum and garlic for a few mins. Drizzle some wheat flour and stir fry till it becomes golden. Pour hot milk and let it boil into a beautiful white sauce. Add the Spaghetti and season with salt and pepper. Tear some basil and garnish. Just before serving drizzle some more olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.

One can add meat, seafood or veggies of your choice to this pasta.


N.

Sanjoree 

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On every possible occassion we make Sheera. Be it a Birthday ..a pooja or any auspicious day, Sheera is made. Sheera is a dessert made with semolina (rava) slow cooked in ghee, milk, banana and flavoured with cardamom. Loved by everyone so it is made in larger quantities. So now what do we do of the leftover, after it is relished? My anwer is I make Sanjoree that is simply stuff it in a paratha like we make the Aaloo paratha. Simple, quick and with a twist of health, here is my take on Sanjoree.

Ingredients: 

Whole wheat flour or the flour which I use is a mix of whole wheat, soyabean, fenugreek and flaxseeds 2 cups. Salt to taste. Ghee for frying and Sheera. Recipe posted earlier. (Can just google it Nainasrecipes Sheera)

Method:

Knead the flour with water not to tight. Divide into small lemon size portions. Roll small and thin chapatis, stuff the Sheera, cover it with another rolled chapati. Press it gently and place it on a hot iron or any non stick griddle. Slow roast the paratha drizzling ghee till it turns golden. 

Enjoy hot. This is also and excellent option for our little ones break box.

N.

Multigrain Churma laddoo

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What do we give our kids in their school break box? This is a universal question we as mums ask ourselves. It’s not an easy job to please the child with healthy snacks. I thought over this and came up with this recipe in which we satisfy both the aspects, the taste and the health. Digging from my Rajput roots I picked up my mum’s recipe of Churma and twisted it a bit by adding the healthy ingredients. So here’s my take on quick and easy Churma laddoos. 

Ingredients :

Flour mix – (This formula I use it for my daily rotis, so make in larger quantities and use it for a month.)

Whole wheat 1 kg, Soyabean 50 grams, Fenugreek seeds 2tabsp, Flax seeds 2/3 tabsp. Grind them into a fine powder and Do Not Sieve it.

Ghee preferably home made 2/3 tabsp. Sugar as per your choice 5/6 tabsp and salt to taste.

For the flavouring – nutmeg powder, cardamon powder 1/2 tsp each.

Optional – Finely chopped nuts like cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios.

Method:

Take a deep mixing bowl. Take the flour mix , season it with salt. Knead the flour with water or milk. The dough should be not too loose nor too stiff. Now make small balls and make chapatis /parathas. Slow roast the parathas by using little ghee. Make the parathas flaky by layering it with ghee and dry flour. After the parathas are cooled break them into small pieces and grind it into a coarse powder. Add sugar (preferably castor or powdered) , ghee, the flavouring of nutmeg and cardamon. And finally the chopped nuts. Mix it thoroughly and make small laddoos.  Store it in an airtight container.

Enjoy the healthy yet tasty bites. I always carry these while traveling. One doesn’t feel homesick nor do you end up eating junk food.

N.

Upaasache Thalipeeth !

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Upaasache Thalipeeth, sends me down  the memory lane . As a teenager when I had got nothing to do with cooking…my Dadi caught hold of me one fine day and asked me to assist her with this dish. Did not realise at that time..that this whole experience would turn into a beautiful memory. So here I share a precious memory with you.

Ingredients:

Soaked sago (sabudana) 2cups, boiled potatoes grated 1 cup, samo seeds 3tabsp, peanuts powder 2 tabsp, ginger 2 tabs grated, green chillies 6/7 (as per your taste), cumin seeds 1 tabs, juice of 1 lemon,  flax seeds 1 tabs. Salt to taste. Ghee for shallow frying.

 Method:

 Grind ginger, chillies, cumin seeds and flax seeds with the lemon juice into a rough paste. In a mixing bowl take sago, potatoes, peanuts powder and samo seeds. Add the freshly grinded paste and season it with salt. Knead into a nice dry dough. Make small balls (lemon size). Flatten it and shallow fry it till it turns Golden and crispy. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Happy fasting !

N.