Stuffed Tomato Tikki (cutlet)

20170601_134242The versatile potato, loved by one and all over the world. It is rare to find a person who does not like potato. From french fries to roast baby potatoes sprinkled with italian herbs or the baked potato oozing with melted cheese and herbs in the western part of the world, to the poshto aaloo in Bengal , aaloo parathas of Punjab or the Pao wada which is nothing but a ball of spiced potato dunked in a golden chickpea batter and fried. The favourite street food of maharashtra. This humble root is comfort food.

As a young bride I soon learnt that sunday brunch at my new home, every week without fail  was khichdi and potato sabji , always accompanied with fried papad. and a bowl of yogurt. Potato is used as the base for many indian snacks, like samosas, tikki, chaats, as a filler in dosas etc. But the tikki is a favourite in any sindhi household,  it was a must on sundays in our home in Pune. my mother prepared the tikki in the most basic manner, boiled the potaoes, peeled mashed and added some dry spices and bread to bind the potato, shaped and of course deep fried the tikkis , served them with bread slices and chutney… the famous sindhi tikki dabroti. This snack was served during the interval of sunday movies run on doordarshan. The good old days.

Tikkis are also a popular chaat item sold as ragda pattice, which is a heart shaped potato cutlet, pan fried till crisp, and served with a tangy chickpea gravy and accompanied by slices of onion marinated in lime juice, a tamarind sauce and fresh green chutney.. oh so delicious. the recipe I will share with you today is a fusion version of the tikki, tiny cherry tomatoes hollowed out, filled with a green paneer filling and engulfed with potato, breaded and deep fried till crisp,its tasty as well as easy on the eyes.. do try it out.

Stuffed tomato tikki

Ingredients for the potato covering

1 kg boiled, peeled and grated potato

3 slices grated bread

Red chilli powder to taste, about 1 tsp should be enough

1 tsp caraway seeds. ( shah jeeri)

Salt to taste

Method for potato covering..

Mix everything together and divide into 15 balls and keep aside.

We also need 15 cherry tomatoes, preferably oval in shape, cut off the top and reserve it. now scoop out the pulp with a tiny teaspoon and use this pulp to make the filling. keep the tomatoes upside down to drain any liquid remaining.

Ingredients for tomato stuffing

Tomato pulp from cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup corriander leaves

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 green chillie

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cummin seeds

A little turmeric powder and salt to taste

1/2 cup grated paneer..( cottage cheese)

Method..

Grind together corriander leaves, garlic and green chillie.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add cummin seeds and green paste.. also add corriander powder, salt, and turmeric.

Mix well and add grated paneer.. shut the flame.

Assembling..

Fill the paneer mixture into the cherry tomatoes and cover with top of tomato.

Take a ball of potato mixture in your hand and hollow it out to form a bowl.Put the stuffed tomato into the bowl in and upright position and gently cover the whole tomato , pressing to make it tight.

Dip each tikki into a medium thick  batter made with flour and water and roll in fine breadcrumbs. Keep refrigerated until needed.

To serve, deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Cut into two pieces and serve.

 

 

Cocoapple barfi

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, we have grown up  hearing this phrase. Apples have formed their own niche in the dessert world. Who can resist a warm apple pie with a rich aroma of cinnamon and topped with a scoop of vanilla icecream? or a buttery crisp apple crumble .. comfort food at its best. Even the worlds best known vinegar is apple cider vinegar. Easily available all over the world in different varieties such as granny smith, gala, red delicious etc. Each country having their own favourite recipes for apples.

Apples also played an important part  in sindhi weddings  many years ago, all the fruit hampers sent to the grooms home would surely include at least two dozen apples, among other fruit. Red kashmiri apples were considered the best. My mother used to make an awesome apple murbo,  or apple preserve made in sindhi style using saffron, cardamom and sugar. The memory of this murbo can still make my mouth water, chunks of apples or mango in a thick sugar syrup infused with strands of saffron and cardamon seeds. Mummy usually gave us murbo to eat with a phiki koki, saltless sindhi koki or flat bread. Murbo was also my amma( grandmom’s) favourite.

Many of us familiar with apple kheer or rabri. But apple in a barfi form was something I had never thought  of , until  I stumbled across the recipe on internet recently. I tried it and liked it, so today i would like to share this recipe with you, do try it. Its a very simple recipe, easy to make and best eaten chilled.

Cocoapple barfi

Ingredients

3/4 cup of fresh coconut

1 1/2 cup of grated red apple

1/2 cup dancow milk powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp saffron strands soaked in a little hot water

1/4 cup chopped nuts( almonds and pistas)

1/2 tsp cardamom20170427_191706 powder

1 tsp of  kewra water or few drops rose essence

2 tbsps ghee

Method

  1. Heat a pan and roast the coconut till the colour changes slightly and there is a nice coconutty fragrance in your kitchen…keep aside in a bowl.
  2. . In the same pan, add 2 tbsps of ghee and add the grated apples to the pan, saute on medium heat until the  liquid evaporates from the apples, at this point You can listen to some old bollywood songs..
  3. . Add the milk powder, sugar and coconut to the apple mixture in the pan, and keep stirring till the barfi starts coming together and leaves the sides of the pan.
  4. .Add the soaked saffron strands and cardamom and stir .
  5. Lastly add the nuts and kewra water. and continue stirring until ghee separates.
  6. Pour onto a greased tray and top with more finely chopped nuts or varkh..
  7. Cool completely and refrigerate.
  8. This barfi has a soft texture , so is rather delicate, hence it is best served chilled.

The tricoloured steamed cake

Cakes, we all have grown up eating cakes of various types in our childhood, and even as adults. Cakes are a symbol of celebrations,Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements etc, all call for a cake to be cut. From simple sponge cakes, to the decadent fondant cakes, the world has a cake for everyone”s taste. Each country has their own popular cakes, some cakes even named after the country or region they come from, for instance the madeira cake named after a Portuguese island is a light sponge cake normally flavoured with lemon and eaten with jam. And many more, black forest cake, lamington cake to name a few. Nowadays cakes are decorated beautifully, taste fabulous, are decadent in their richness, covered with chocolate ganaches and various other delicious toppings. Top class bakeries via with each other in producing cakes par excellence. We can choose cakes as per our choice, vegan, eggless, gluten free etc.. the public is well pampered as bakeries can cater  to almost all requests, and we are spoilt for choice.

Back to Pune, the city where I grew up, the cakes we ate then are the cakes we crave for today, simple cakes like the pound cakes of kayani bakery or the glass cakes from royal bakery, melt in your mouth cakes with the taste of real butter. These bakeries are still doling out the very same cakes of the same quality with the addition of mawa cakes, plum cakes etc. Till today the cakes are sold out in record time with people queuing up to buy the cakes for home consumption or even sending them to relatives in other cities.

Jakarta is a city where we can get the most amazing cakes, which are truly out of the world, I have yet to taste better, some of my own good friends and relatives can make the most amazing eggless cakes.  This country so rich in heritage and culture has been my home since 33 years, and has taught me so much. Even though baking is not exactly my forte, I do manage simple cakes mostly vegetarian,  used as bases for my desserts.. But the recipe I will share with You today is a steamed cake, commonly known as  BOLU KUKUS. This cake was made very often when my children were growing up and needed something to have for a evening snack. It contains no oil at all, and has a different texture as compared to a baked cake. This cake is light on the stomach and is delicious.

 

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TRICOLOURED STEAMED CAKE.. BOLU KUKUS

INGREDIENTS..

4 EGGS

200 GMS SUGAR

150 GMS FLOUR

65 ML OF THICK COCONUT MILK ( I USED THE TETRA PACK)

1/2 TBSP OF SP..( CAKE EMULSIFIER, AVAILABLE IN SUPERMARKETS OR AT BAKING SPECIALITY STORES)

METHOD

GREASE A MEDIUM SPRINGFORM CAKE PAN LIGHTLY

PUT  WATER IN A STEAMER AND PUT ON THE HEAT

NOW BREAK THE EGGS INTO A STEEL MIXING BOWL, ADD SUGAR AND THE SP

BEAT WELL WITH A ELECTRIC BEATER AT HIGH SPEED, UNTIL THE MIXTURE DOUBLES IN SIZE AND TURNS A PALE WHITE COLOUR .

SLOWLY ADD THE FLOUR AND COCONUT CREAM ALTERNATELY, AT THIS POINT U CAN REDUCE THE SPEED OF THE MIXER.

DIVIDE THE CAKE MIXTURE IN 3 PORTIONS EQUALLY, AND ADD 3 DIFFERENT FOOD COLOURING AND FLAVOURING FOR EACH PORTION…( I USED STRAWBERRY, LEMON AND PANDAN FLAVOURING AND COLOURING)

NOW PUT ONE PORTION OF CAKE MIXTURE INTO THE PREPARED SPRINGFORM TIN AND PUT INTO THE HOT STEAMER FOR 10 MINS.

AFTER 10 MINS , OPEN THE STEAMER, IF THE CAKE IS SPINGY TO TOUCH, POUR THE SECOND LAYER AND STEAM ONCE MORE ON HIGH HEAT FOR 10 MINS, FINALLY ADD THE THIRD LAYER, AND STEAM FOR ABOUT 20 MINS..

REMOVE THE CAKE PAN FROM THE STEAMER AND SET ASIDE FOR AN HOUR TO COOL COMPLETELY, LOOSEN THE SIDES OF THE CAKE WITH A KNIFE AND GENTLY OPEN THE SPRING FORM CAKE, READY TO SERVE.

Watermelon and cottage cheese salad

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Watermelon , one of the most loved fruits all over the world,this wonderful fruit, quenches our thirst and hunger at the same time and has very  few calories.. a boon for anyone on a diet. This fruit which is more than 91 percent water, is a god sent on a hot humid day, as it keeps us hydrated. Watermelon has been used in cocktails or mocktail with amazing results as it blends well with almost all flavours as well as lending its pretty red colour . Using it as a ingredient in salads also produces amazing results, the use of feta cheese in an  chilled italian watermelon salad is awesome specially if its sprinkled with chopped mint leaves… hmmmmm.

Today, the recipe i will share with you is a fusion of the east and west cultures, it is a simple salad using just few ingredients but it makes for a good centerpiece at any party, and a good appetizer before any meal. For me, watermelon brings back those lovely memories of the hot and dry Pune summers.  The vendors at the market  and roadside with their carts full of this luscious emerald green skinned fruit heralded the beginning of summer for us, which in turn meant half days at school.  Walking home at 1 pm in the hot heat,  we could hardly wait to reach home, where my mom would have drawn the curtains, making our home oh so cool, the fan whirring at full speed and the best site, my mom cutting cold watermelon and giving us heaped platefuls of cold cut watermelon sprinkled with salt. A good way of keeping our electrolytes in balance. Miss those good old carefree days.. brings to my mind a beautiful song sung by late kishore kumar, koi lauta de mere beete hue din, of course i always have an appropriate hindi song for any situation..:) because of my love for old hindi songs, but will keep that topic for another post. Do try this recipe and don’t forget to serve it chilled. and do give this post a like and share it with your friends.

Ingredients..

Half a seedless watermelon

1 bowl of hung curd

1 tbs of whole caraway seeds ( shah jeeri) gently roasted

few strands of saffron, soaked in a tbsp of hot water and  ground to a paste

half cup of grated cottage cheese(paneer)

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp of finely grated lemon rind

finely chopped cilantro, and few mint leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of honey.

method..

Take a melon baller spoon and scoop out small balls from the watermelon

Put the balls in a strainer for 15 mins till excess water drains out

Meantime , in a bowl, mix together the hung curd, saffron, honey, salt pepper, lemon rind and lemon juice  to get a amazing sunny dressing.

Now arrange the watermelon balls in a pretty dish, sprinkle the grated cottage cheese (paneer) and half of the chopped  cilantro and mint leaves and gently mix.

Finally pour the yogurt sauce over the balls, and sprinkle generously with the roasted caraway seeds and remaining chopped cilantro and mint leaves…enjoy.