Saturday, February 25, 2012

Soft Pretzels

I wanted to make Pretzel similar to the one we get at the Malls and after doing a lot of research on the Internet for this recipe, I have come up with my version below. It tastes very similar to the Pretzels available at all Malls. Hope you enjoy it too. This recipe makes around 10 medium sized pretzels.


For the Pretzel:
  • 2 cup All Purpose Flour/ Maida
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Active dry Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Coarse salt/ Koshers Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
For the Soda Bath:
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

1) Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl and stir to dissolve.
2) Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve.
3) Add flour and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Sprinkle more flour till you are able to knead it well without it sticking to your hands.
4) Let the dough rise for atleast 1 hour.
5) Once the dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long thin rope about 1/2 inch or less thick and shape it like a pretzel. See the illustrations below to shape them.


6) Now prepare a baking soda water bath by adding the baking soda to the warm water. Be certain to stir often.
7) Dip pretzels in the soda solution and place them on a parchment paper and allow them to stand for 30 min. 
8) Preheat the oven to 450 F and bake the pretzels for around 8 min or until golden.
9) Brush with melted butter and add the coarse salt to taste. Yummy Pretzels are ready. Enjoy!


Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels:
Melt a stick of butter in a shallow bowl, big enough to fit the entire pretzel and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon powder and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Pretzels:
I love adding a spicy touch to my pretzels. Add a finely chopped/ coarsely ground Jalapeno pepper to the flour while mixing the dough. The rest of the procedure remains the same.

Suggestions/ Notes:
  1. The Baking Soda solution should be really warm and stirred well before dipping the pretzels. This solution makes the pretzels golden brown, so if they weren't evenly coated or if the solution wasn't well mixed, you might get some uneven browning.
  2. If you dont have Parchment paper, bloat the pretzels on a paper towel before baking them or else you will get a bitter taste.
  3. If Ghee is not available, you may replace it with melted butter for this recipe.
  4. The Pretzels are to be eaten hot. They become a little hard and chewy when cold. So just warm it up in microwave and they will be as good as new.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dill flavoured Upma

I love the aromatic flavour of Dill leaves and I wanted to make something with it and that resulted in this upma.

  • 1 cup - Rava
  • 1 cup - Chopped Carrots and Beans
  • 1/2 cup - Lima beans
  • 1/4 cup - Dill Leaves finely chopped (You may use less if you don't want the taste of dill to be dominating.)
  • 1 - green chilly ( Add more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp - ginger paste/ finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp - lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp - salt ( adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups - Water
  • 2 tsp - oil
  • 1 tsp - ghee
  • 1 tsp - urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp - mustard
  • Pinch of asafetida
  1. Heat the ghee in a saucepan and add the Rava to it. Fry it till golden brown and keep it aside.
  2. Now heat the oil in the saucepan and add mustard and asafetida
  3. When the mustard starts crackling add the urad dal and fry it till golden brown.
  4. Now add the ginger and green chilly, then the chopped vegetables, lima beans and the dill leaves and give them all a stir.
  5. Now add the water and bring it to a boil.
  6. Add the salt and then add the rava. Be careful while adding the rava as it will start spluttering. Simmer the stove and stir continuously to break the lumps.
  7. Switch off the Stove and add the lemon juice.
  8. Serve hot!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Potato Curry with Yogurt Gravy

This is one of my favourite curry from Manjula's Kitchen. The original recipe uses only Potato but we can use a variety of vegetables, such as green peas, carrots, and cauliflowers, as a substitute for the potatoes but the recipe for the gravy remains the same.

  • 2 large boiled potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 teaspoons besan (gram flour)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender.
  2. Peel and cut them in bite size pieces.
  3. Mix the yogurt, ginger, green chilies, turmeric powder, coriander powder and paprika into a paste.
  4. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida.
  5. After the cumin seeds crack, add the bay leaf and besan (gram flour). Stir for about half a minute until the besan (gram flour) is golden-brown.
  6. Add the yogurt paste and stir-fry for about 2 minutes on medium heat until the paste starts leaving the oil from the sides.
  7. Add the potatoes and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add about one cup of water. After the gravy boils, let it cook on low-medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Adjust the water in gravy to your liking. 
  9. Add the cilantro and salt and continue to cook for a few minutes. Serve with any kind of bread.

Classic Cookies

The Butter cookies that we get in the Bakery are my favourite and I always wanted to make them at home. But they are made of Vanaspathi/ Dalda and I didn't want to use that, so I replaced it with Ghee. They are extremely easy to make and very tasty too. My daughter loves them a lot and she calls them snow cookies!!

  • 2 cups - Maida / All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup - Sugar
  • 1 cup - Ghee
  • 1/2 cup - Cashews/Almonds/Any Nuts of choice (Optional)  
  1. Add Maida, sugar, ghee and the nuts (if you are adding nuts) into a mixing bowl and combine the ingredients to make a dough.
  2. Make small balls of the dough and flatten it slightly and transfer it to a baking tray.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the cookies for around 10 minutes or till the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden in colour.
  4. Transfer the cookies from baking tray to a wire rack and cool.  
Suggestions/ Notes :
  1. When you take the cookie out of the baking tray it may crumble as they are extremely soft till they are completely cooled. Hence use caution while transferring the cookies to the wire rack.
  2. You may add 1 tsp cornflour so that the cookies will not be so soft and crumbly but a little on the crunchy side.
  3. You may also replace ghee with soft butter at room temperature and that will taste good too.

Sending this recipe to the event: Any One Can Cook: Series 43

Curries for Indian Flatbreads

Paneer Butter Masala
Methi Malai Mutter
Channa Masala