Monday, January 31, 2011

Crescent Rolls

I too CAN BAKE with yeast!!! Well, to be frank I had always dreaded about baking with yeast mainly because of the rising time! For a person like me with a full time job, a joint family and a number of hobbies, and who is hardly at home, even on weekends, it is actually difficult to spend a couple of hours for one item. Well, that includes the rising time, though, but it still is counted as the time, right?
Of course my parents used to bake breads, buns and rusks at home some 15-20 years back, with their limited resources, and they used to do a decent job at it, I must say. But somehow I hadn’t mustered enough courage yet.
But the urge to bake was just reaching the skies, especially drooling over some baked delicacies from fellow bloggers, and I just couldn’t resist it. So finally on a busy weekend, I decided I’m going to try my hand with the yeast bought long ago.I had decided that my first bake would be these crescent rolls from Champa, a major source of inspiration! Dee offered to help me without having a clue of what I am up to. He did all the kneading, and had not expected that we have to wait for a couple of hours in between. Anyways, I did all other stuff while the dough was doubling and made the pesto ready too. The first two rolls didn’t come anywhere close to a crescent roll, but then we got the hang of how thin the dough should be flattened and how it should be rolled. Except the first two, all of then came out well. I made some with jam also, for little niece Hima.
It was well accepted at home and all of it was neatly washed off by the next day! Guess what? A couple of my European friends dropped in for breakfast next day and they too complimented the rolls, along with other Indian breakfast!
Thank you Champa for your inspiration in baking :). These go to your Bake-off.
Crescent Rolls

Preparation time : 30 min + rising time + 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 min
Makes : 15-18


For the Dough:
All purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Instant dry yeast - 2 1/4 teaspoons
Salt 1 ½ tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Warm water - ¾ cup
Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
Green chillies chopped - 8
Coriander leaves - a handful, chopped
Milk - 2 Tbsp (original recipe used non fat dry milk)
2 pods of garlic crushed (I didn’t use it)

For the Filling:
Peanuts - 1/4 cup, dry roasted
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup, chopped
Green chilies - 8
Salt to taste
Garlic - 3 pods (I didn’t use it)
Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped

For Brushing:
1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp milk

• In a large bowl, add warm water and sugar and mix
• Add in the yeast and let it proof for 10 minutes. If the yeast does not create bubbles, then it is bad
• Once the yeast proofs, add oil, chopped green chilies, coriander, salt, milk, crushed garlic cumin seeds
• Mix in the flour and knead.
• This is not a sticky dough, so working with it is not difficult. Knead for 10-12 minutes.
• Coat it with some oil and keep in a warm place, covered with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to double - this might take 1 to 2 hours depending on the temperature.

• In a pan, dry roast the peanuts, and transfer to a blender / mixie jar
• In the same pan heat 1 Tbsp of oil
• When hot, add chopped onion and crushed garlic if using
• Sauté till the onion is translucent
• Meanwhile blend the other ingredients for the filling along with the roasted peanuts in the blender. You can add the remaining oil to facilitate the blades. Do not add any water.
• Add this paste to the sautéed onions and stir.

Making the rolls:
• After the dough has doubled in volume, gently punch it down to release the air bubbles
• Grease a baking tray and keep ready
• On lightly oiled kitchen platform, roll it into a big circle with a rolling pin. The thickness should be a bit lesser than ¼ of an inch.
• Cut it into wedges and spread the filling, leaving a boundary of about ¼ inch on the sided
• Roll it in, starting from the bigger side, tightly, till the corner, and give a crescent shape.
• Place it on the greased baking tray, allowing space in between for rising
• Repeat with all the wedges
• Keep it the tray in a a warm place again, for the second rise. I left it for about 30 minutes
• Pre heat the oven to 170 deg C
• Brush the rolls with milk + olive oil mixture
• Bake for 18-20 minutes, till it turns a light golden brown
• Once done, turn it on to a wire rack and let cool
• Enjoy the rolls hot, warm or cold!

Tips n Tricks:
• I use my microwave in convection mode for baking. I’m still not happy with my OTG. I preheated the oven to 40 deg C and left the dough in the oven to rise, and it worked fine. It doubled in about an hour and quarter
• The larger you roll the dough, the nicer will the rolls come out, with multiple layers. I messed up initially and re-rolled bigger

• Use any variation of the filling and enjoy the rolls

Monday, January 17, 2011

Viledele Chitranna - Beetle leaves Rice

Deciding on what to make for lunch box everyday is a huge task in itself than actually making something and packing! Being rice eaters, we prefer some rice item at least in the lunch box, along with some veggies. And Dee loves if there is a variety everyday - he hates taking the same old rice-sambhar or chitranna or vanghibath every other day, of course so do I! So when I was trying to fish out some new rice specialties from here and there, suitable for lunch box, which tastes good even when cold, and such, mom told me about the 4 recipe books that her friend Mrs. Leela Manjunath has written, ready for release.
And guess what one of the books were unveiled by mom in a nice little get together arranged by aunty and uncle! We too were invited for the function and sure I wanted to see mom releasing a book of someone else. And one of the books was completely on rice specialties! So got home and browsed through, and found this interesting recipe of Beetle leaves-rice! There are some more nice recipes in the book that I’ll post about.
It did come out well, and we enjoyed it. I did make some variations, and here’s the recipe....

Beetle leaves Rice / Vilyedele Chitranna

Preparation time : 5 min, excluding time to prepare rice
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 4

Cooked rice - 3 cups, sona masuri variety
Beetle leaves - thin, fresh green ones - 5-6 (original recipe had 4, I increased it)
Grated coconut - 2 Tbsp
Green chilies - 5-6, as per taste
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Ghee - ½ tsp
Cooking oil - 1-2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Peanuts - 2 Tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 Tbsp
Asafetida - a pinch
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste

• Spread the cooked rice in a wide bowl and add a teaspoon of oil so that the grains do not stick
• Keep aside for 5 minutes to cool
• Chop the beetle leaves into 1’ pieces
• In a skillet, heat ghee and roast the chopped beetle leaves and green chilies
• Grind it in a mixie with grated coconut, cumin seeds to form a coarse mixture. Do not add any water
• In the same skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
• Add groundnut seeds and fry for half a minute
• Add Bengal gram dal and urad dal and fry till golden
• Add curry leaves and turmeric and fry for a minute or two till all the ingredients are crisp
• Add the ground mixture and mix thoroughly, with the heat on
• Add salt and turn off the flame
• Add this to the spread rice and mix thoroughly
• Serve warm or pack it off for lunch box!

Tips n Tricks:
• Make rice with a bit lesser water, so that the grains are separate and not sticky
• Use thin, fresh green beetle leaves - the thick variety will have a more prominent taste and flavor

• Original recipe also had some chopped methi leaves sautéd and added

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Carrot Halwa

Happy New Year, one and all..... May this year bring all your dreams come true and be as sweet as possible.

Had made this carrot halwa sometime back, but hadn’t posted it. Very simple to make, this is one all time favorite sweet.

Here’s the recipe...

Carrot Halwa

Preparation time : 15 min
Cooking time : 20-30 min
Serves : 5-6

Carrot - 500 gm
Milk - ¾ cup
Sugar - 1 cup, adjust according to your taste
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Raisins - 15 - 20
Cashews - 15 - 20
Khoya - ½ cup, optional

• Wash, peel and grate carrots
• In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and add cashews and raisins
• Once done, add grated carrots and cook in milk till soft. You can cover the lid if using a pressure pan, to speed up the process. But make sure it is not overcooked
• Once cooked, add sugar and continue stirring
• Add remaining ghee to prevent sticking to the bottom

• If using khoya, add it and mix well
• Sauté for a few more minutes till the desired consistency is reached.

Tips n Tricks:

• Do not overcook the carrots
• The cashews and raisins can be toasted in ghee separately and added at the end, to retain their crunchiness

Sending this sweet and the rose to Create and Carve event