Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The KISS principle and making of a galette

Who does not like drama, well a bit of drama adds the much needed spunk to life.
But then dramas do not make for real life. Happiness and comfort often lies in the most simple things.
There are times when one consciously needs to slow down the pace of life. Take time to stop and appreciate smaller, seemingly insignificant things in life;listen to your soul which urges you to keep it simple- KISS.
Fanaticism of perfection often overpowers my senses. Over a time I have learnt that it is alright to do things which are imperfect but doing is important rather than waiting for that perfect " thing."
One such deliberately un-rushed day  when I thought of making a spinach quiche  or a tartlet, I chose to  keep it simple and make a rustic galette for dinner. Yeah...Galettes are simpler!
On a regular day I would push myself  to take the extra effort to make a perfect looking dinner and probably chuck it half way as I realize, I do not have a particular ingredient or an equipment. Well, but for today,galette, it was.

This rustic looking baby is extremely flavorful and also easy to prepare.  I find this one preparation extremely comforting, no-fuss food.
To up the nutrition quotient and make it easy for my body to digest who, otherwise... misbehaves with carb overload , I have made few changes to the original recipe of the savory galette, if there is any, that is!
Though the net is flooded with many versions of this food, must mention my inspirations for this particular preparation; Saee of My Jhola and Anushruti's blog,Divine Taste which features a spinach cheese pie recipe.
You may also want to check out this site for a few tricks while making a galette.

What I used:
11/2  cups mixed flour ( diabetic care atta from Jiva )
half cup oatmeal
3/4 th cup cold butter cut in cubes
bunch of baby spinach leaves from Trikaya sourced from my favorite place Godrej's Natures basket
3/4th cup home made paneer
2 tablespoon of grated cheese
1 spoonful of cream
salt, pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoon Ice cold water for binding

Making the crust:
The  flour +  oatmeal +  salt+  cubes of cold butter ; in a bowl
Added 2-3 tablespoons of ice cold water to just about to bring this together and make a dough.
Over kneading, I had read, would spoil the game.
Wrapped  the dough in a cling film and left it in the fridge to chill for  about 30 minutes.

The filling:
In the meanwhile made the filling:
Combined spinach leaves + paneer  and ran them coarsely in a chopper for about a minute.
Removed in a bowl and mixed salt and nutmeg and the grated cheese and the spoonful cream.

Putting the galette together: 
Once out from the fridge, the dough behaves much better. I then rolled it into a round shape, about 5-6 inches diameter, I did not want it to be too big.
Carefully spooned the spinach mixture in the center, leaving out the sides.
The sides were then lifted up, pinched and folded inwards to form the shape.And it was pretty easy.
This was carefully slide into a preheated oven (200 degree Celsius) and the heat was then lowered to 175 degree Celsius. The galette seemed ready by 20 minutes, the cheese and spinach mixture bubbling happily, the sides looked delicious and brown and I knew It was time to get it out.




Sunday, September 7, 2014

Adopting"joy" and making chocolate crispies...




Adoption, in India, has been yet in its nascent stages. Though there has been a steady rise in the number of children being adopted and the stigma attached to adoption is not as sharp as earlier yet, the number of children adopted is not so high.
 Me and the husband talked about adoption even before we were married and deep inside my heart, I knew I would embrace it, sooner or later. Well, God planned it for us, adding a little twist.  It was about 8 years back when a pregnancy loss prompted me and my partner to take this life changing decision and this  little parcel of joy (she was a tiny 3 month old) became a part of our life. No, she became "OUR LIFE". (Arriving at the decision and executing makes for another post.) Every single day after that has been such a joyous celebration of life.
Being a mother is a rewarding journey. You rediscover yourself on various planes as you hold the little one's finger as she forays into the world. Each day brings its own set of emotional concoction and leaves you with memories to be treasured for life. This piece is one such attempt to document me and my little miss laughter's time on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.
My bundle of joy,well she is no more a bundle, she is seven already, returned home from school with an assignment on mixtures and materials. It involved making a simple recipe by mixing two or more ingredients.
After a bit of brainstorming and some discussion later, momma knew that one ingredient, for whatever we make, has to be chocolate. 
We set out to make the simplest recipe; chocolate crisps
We choose 3 basic ingredients and a simple technique.



 This is how we made it.

Prep work :
1 small bowl of chopped chocolate + 2 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of crushed rice crispies, that sounds fancy, that was crushed rice puffs(mamara)
This how we actually made it:
In a bowl, chocolate + butter, goes in the microwave for 60 seconds roughly
Out of the microwave, the little one stirs it real hard with all her might
Putting in the crushed rice crispies, she mixes them well again 
And finally spoons into tiny muffin liners
The tray of chocolate muffins goes into the freezer compartment for about 20 minutes
And ten minutes later we have a happy smile, hands full of chocolate and some neat looking chocolate crispies.






Thursday, January 30, 2014

A fiery tomato "loncha" aka pickle

A nip in the air makes me crave for something really really spicy and that is how I remembered this fiery, red hot tomato pickle.
Why pickle ?..... because that is what my Ma calls it. Ma belongs to " Vidarbha"the  eastern most region of the Maharashtra state which almost means central India. Most of her cooking style reflects the signature fiery cooking style of that region.
This preparation was a regular during my growing up years. Heaps of red, ripe tomatoes would be deftly cut by the helper , the ginger -garlic paste prepared. Once home after her duties at work she would take over the kitchen.This tangy-fiery tomato preparation would take some cracking , bubbling few minutes to be made and would be mopped up with hot, fresh phulkas.
Now, I am a mother to a pickle loving 7 year old and wife to a tomato-hating husband.Regardless, whenever this "loncha" is made it is wiped clean !
Here I am sharing with you this simple, quick and flavor packed recipe of "Tomato che Loncha" as Ma calls it or tomato pickle. 
Mind you, this is not the sweet and sour kinds, this one is really really HOT and tangy.
Go ahead and try this one, an utterly simple preparation that you may get hooked to every time you see red tomatoes!

This is how it is made,
Chop about 3-4 ripe red tomatoes .
you will need about a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste.
Heat oil, in a pan. Now you have to be really generous and add a good 2-3 tbsp of oil .
Add mustard seeds, followed by ginger garlic paste. Fry well . Add chilli powder, about 2 -3 big spoonfuls.
Now add the chopped tomatoes.And fry these well until almost mashed and they lose shape.Add salt to taste.
Keep stirring and let it cook till oil floats on top.
There you are. done.
This can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
My favorite way to have this is with a piece of bread or a chapati.