Category: Breakfast

Shakarpara | Khurma

I can’t imagine a Diwali without any Khurma (as we call it up North) or Shakarpara (little chunks of pastry dough flash fried and turned crisp, then cooled and dunked into a thick sugar syrup…to make these melt in the mouth sweet bites!)….I am sure your are salivating as you read the description 😜😁 each of these little bite sized yummies are super crisp and taste out of the world….pop one into your mouth and your in food heaven! 

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Don’t they look so pretty…every single one of them looks like a gold nugget to me 😍!! Lol! The flavour is amazing too….it’s very hard to resist them. I remember eating them by the bowls as a kid when my Mom used to make these during Diwali or even during summer vacations as a quick snack. They’d disappear within days…hardly leaving any to be gifted to friends and family.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

As these beauties are dry in texture and stay fresh for almost a week in an airtight container, they make for an ideal gifting idea. Pack them in pretty jars…add a personalised message or not…cover with a delicate doily or an overturned cupcake liner….tie a little festive raksha around them and they are ready! I suggest you add them to your Diwali Goodie Bag list for your loved ones😊

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

This was also a part of my Karwa Chauth Sargi….although made by me! I guess my hubby had more of them than I 😂

Anyways…I will share some tips and tricks here with you how to make perfect, crispy and delicious Shakarpara/ Khurma.

Yield: approximately 3 cups

Equipment: a rolling board, rolling pin, a knife, measuring cups/ spoons, 2 heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spatula, kitchen tissues, mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

2 cups Maida (APF)

2 tsp Bombay Rawa  (semolina)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of baking soda

5 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

Water as needed

oil to fry

For the syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Method:

In a mixing bowl, seive maida (APF). Add salt, rawa, baking soda and ghee. Rub these together until the texture of the flour resembles to that of bread crumbs. This step is crucial as it ensures the crispness of the shakarpara. I rub these ingredients together for almost 20-25 mins.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photographyimg_5519

Next, take very little water to knead a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a napkin and let it rest for 15 mins.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll them on a board to a thickeness of 6mm or so. Using a knife cut into small diamond shape pieces. Set them on a plate.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photographyimg_5522

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Heat oil in a wok, once it’s hot, lower  the flame to minimum and fry the pieces until golden. Keep moving the pieces around in the oil so that they get a golden colour and cook evenly. Cooking on low flame ensures that they are crisp.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Fry the entire batch and keep it on kitchen tissues to absorb any extra oil. Let them cool down completely. They will crisp up as they cool down.

Syrup:

In a wok, take water and sugar. Heat these on medium flame while stirring continuously. The sugar will start melting and also will become very thick. Keep stirring and once the sugar starts settling like a white powder around the wok, add the fried pieces of Maida (APF).

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photographyimg_5525img_5526

Mix everything together quickly to coat the fried pieces with the sugar. Be quick as the sugar will dry and set within 5 mins.

Let them cool completely before storing in airtight boxes.

Shakarpara recipe Khurma recipe Diwali recipes Polkapuffs recipe Shreya tiwari photography

Hope you try them soon. Also, check out Khasti Mathri recipe here. 

Love

Shreya💖

 

Eggless Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

Love baking…absolutely love it 😍 so little to do and so much to enjoy!! And I can assure you that you’ll love these vegan, eggless and wholewheat muffins! They are so healthy too as they have been sweetened with honey 🙂 and are super moist as they have pumpkin! Sounds delicious!? Wait till I get to the last bit….

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The last and final flourish to these beauties comes from the cinnamon sugar dusting 😍..oh so yum! Do I have you with me so far…!?

So the last 10 days have been going on with too many activities around me…assignments kept me on my toes, Navratri celebrations and the cooking were being juggled with the blog posts alongside…Dusshera was spent with much gusto…🤗 And not to forget the calories that we inhaled during all this😄 And if that wasn’t enough….with my birthday just gone a couple of days ago…it was the breaking point of heavy food..sweets..binge eating!! So much so..that I didn’t bake a thing for my own birthday…lol! Hubby was expecting another batch of my gooey Brownie Muffins but I was just not in the mood!

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So this was something I’d been eyeing on Pinterest and I conveniently had about a large chunk of pumpkin in my refrigerator…. my own little early Hallowe’en cum late birthday treat😄

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These were comforting and warm…I had two of them at a go!! Hubby too approved these…says they are a welcome change to the usual flavours 😄

Let’s get your oven going…

Yield: 8 muffins

Equipment: 2 mixing bowl, muffin tray, muffin liners, measuring cups/ spoons, manual wired whisk, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

109 grams or  approx 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp Wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwaad Select Atta or you can use APF too)

1+1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp honey or more as per taste

183 gms fresh pumpkin purée (see detailed method below)

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

3-4 tbsp icing sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Method:

Preheat the oven at 160’c for 10 mins. (Please note that every oven works differently and you must adjust it accordingly)

Line the muffin tray with liners. Set it aside. (If you don’t have liners, grease the tray with oil.)

How to make the pumpkin purée:

Take fresh ripe/ orange pumpkin, wash, peel and cut into small cubes. Add 1 tbsp water to it and make a thick purée. Weigh it to 183 gms/ approximately 3/4 cup.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the atta, baking pwd, salt and cinnamon pwd. Set it aside.

In another mixing bowl, whusk together the oil, honey and pumpkin purée.

Now, add the dry sifted ingredients to the whisked wet ingredients. Fold everywhere together gently.

Pour the batter into each muffin liner upto 3/4 th capacity. Bake @160’c for 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Eggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffinsEggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffins

Once baked, set the Muffins on a cooling tray for about 15 mins.

For the the cinnamon sugar: 

Mix together icing sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl. Using a small tea strainer dust this cinnamon sugar on the muffins:) ….that’s it, they are ready! Perfect to have with some tea/ coffee or even on their own!

Eggless cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins Polkapuffs recipe Eggless vegan muffins

Also, click here to try my delicious tea time Vanilla Sponge cake in Pressure cooker.

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from texanerin baking.

Vrat ke Pakode | Phalhari Pakode ki recipe | Glutenfree Fritters

I am a Northern Indian and having spent many winters up there, I love everything that the winters have to offer in terms of the local fresh produce! I particularly enjoy roasted or sautéed Singhara (water chestnut or water caltrop). The flavour is very earthy and not many spices are needed to enhance it further 🙂 They are commonly seen in green or brown colour…I’ve heard about the pink ones but haven’t come across any yet. Although, the green ones do have a light pinkish hue around the skin. I wish I had a few fresh ones at hand to show it’s beauty! 

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So, as I was saying…it’s available up North…usually you will find local vendors selling these on small stalls. These Singharas or water chestnuts are usually roasted on coal embers and are sold hot. The earthiness (‘sondhapan’ in Hindi) is something that grows on you and you will want to enjoy them even more! Usually paired with the evening tea, they make for a toothsome snacking option.

Since it’s a fruit, it can be enjoyed during the Vrat (fasting) season in Navratri or Mahashivratri. It can be enjoyed raw,boiled or sautéed or even roasted as I mentioned above wth some Vrat ka namak.

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes 

The Singhara is dried and powdered to make Glutenfree flour which too can be used for recipes during Vrat (fasting). It’s full nutritional properties and almost no fats!

So, today I am going to be sharing my favorite Vrat (fasting) dish, Vrat ke Pakode! Anyone who knows me well, know that’s I am not too fond of sweets…(Yes!! My blog archives tell a different story…but that’s courtesy my hubby😘😂). This is my Mom’s recipe…and I freak out over them. So much so, I refuse to share any when these are on the menu. Luckily enough, my hubby has become fond of them so he wants a share even though he isn’t fasting….so obviously I make a large batch!!

Let’s see how…

Yield: serves 1

Equipment: a large wok, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, a slotted spoon, kitchen paper.

2 nos. large potatoes

1/4 cup Singhara ka atta (water chestnut flour or any other Glutenfree flour like buckwheat or finger millet but I always use water chestnut flour)

vrat ka namak (or regular salt) to taste

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp chopped green chillies

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

1/4 tsp degi mirch (optional, use it for the colour)

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and some extra to garnish

water as needed

oil to fry

Method:

Peel the potatoes, wash and pat dry them.

Then cut the potatoes into small cubes. Set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the cubed potatoes, degi mirch, black pepper pwd, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and grated ginger.

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipesVrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes

Mix these well. Add the Singhara flour/ atta. Mix well again. Do not add salt right now. (If you do, the mixture will leave a lot of water and the fritters/ pakode won’t be crisp). 

Heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot enough, reduce the flame to medium.

Now season the mixture with salt and add a little water to it and mix well. Do not let the this mixture rest, drop spoonfuls of it into hot oil and fry them evenly until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove from the oil and place them on absorbent kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

That’s it, serve them piping hot with tea and some Phalhari chutney. 

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes

Also try my Roasted Phool Makhane (spiced foxnuts), click here for recipe...makes for a great fat free snacking option as you fast!

Love,

Shreya💝

Cheesy Vegetarian Quesadilla

I am always up for Tex-Mex! Are you?! 😁 I had shared Cheesy Veg Tacos last year….just like the ones we enjoy at Taco Bell. My hubby loves them…just as much as he loves these veg quesadillas which taste better than the ones you get at your favourite Tax-Mex joint 😉 

How to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillas

Whenever we visit Chilies, our favourite for Tex-Mex or even TGIF…quesadillas are definitely ordered..veg or non-veg, they are so crisp and flavourful! Cheesy..yes but that’s just a necessity. It holds the quesadillas together and adds that tartness in every bite 😀

How to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillas

There can be many options for fillings in veg or non veg..I make different versions of vegetarian fillings…each better than the other….😁😁

I personally like the ones with roasted veggies and lots of chillies. But I made these one’s as per my hubby’s choice of veg fillings. If you’re waiting to try these then don’t, you are bound to love these flavours. Mexican food is very close Indian flavours and they too use a lot of spices like cumin, paprika, garlic and lots of chillies!! Perfect 👌🏼👌🏼

Let’s see how…

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: a non-stick pan, measuring cups/ spoons, a wok, a plate.

Ingredients:

3 nos. readymade tortillas (or even homemade thick paratha/ Indian flatbread)

Filling:

1/2 cup sweet corn

1/2 cup chopped green capsicum

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp oil

salt to taste

1 tsp cumin powder

1+1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1 tsp fresh cream

1 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp dried thyme

Cheese as required

Method:

Heat oil in the wok. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté for a few mins. Next, add the corn and capsicum. Season with salt, red chilli pwd, thyme, cumin pwd. Mix well and cook for 5-8 mins on low flame. Turn off the heat, add cream and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.

Most of the Tex-Mex food is served with Pico de Gallo (a salsa) and some sour cream.

Ingredients for Pico de Gallo

1/2 cup each of finely chopped tomatoes & onions.

salt to taste

1/2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies

1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and set it aside to serve.

How to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillas

To assemble a quesadilla:

Follow the pictures below

How to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillasHow to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillasHow to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillas

First, place the cheese at the bottom, then the filling and then more cheese on top. Then fold it in half as shown above in the second picture.

Heat the pan on low flame. Place the filled and folded quesadilla on the pan. Press down slightly and toast on both side until brown and crisp. You can use oil too but I do not use any.

To serve:

Cut each quesadilla into 2 or 4 pieces and serve with Pico de Gallo and sour cream along with some wedges of fresh lime 😀

How to make veg quesadillas Polkapuffs recipes Recipe for Mexican quesadillas

This is the brand of tortilla that I use. Also, learn to make Tacos here.

Love,

Shreya💕

Eggless Wholewheat Cardamom Cookies | Elaichi Biscuits

Chai and biscuits…have become chai and cookies. The English biscuits have been taken over by chunky cookies all the way from the West! I am not complaining…I never have tea…so the cookies over biscuits dilemma has never haunted me🤗

But my hubby loves his tea…it’s no secret. Although he is not a biscuit or cookie loving kind of a guy…he does like them once in a blue moon…and on that lucky day, he can clean out the tin! 😂

How to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookies

Store bought cookies are not his kind…he finds them too sweet and the Maida (all purpose flour) makes it way too heavy. I agree…these are precisely the reasons why even I don’t like indulging in them too often. Also, these cookies or biscuits are often made with Dalda (vegetable fat) which isn’t the healthiest choice. Though they are very crisp but definitely not our choice.

So these atta biscuits (wholewheat cookies) were one of the earliest things I learnt to bake for my hubby back when I got my oven! There were few hits and many more misses 😂😂😂😂 I had burned bases to rock solid cookies which wouldn’t come off from the tray…though they were lined with parchment paper! Sometimes, they’d spread so much and turn into a congealed mass…LOL! 😜

But you learn..make your own mistakes and then understand where you went wrong. I referred to so many recipes all over the place just to make a good wholewheat cookie. Finally, almost over a year ago I was able to stick to a recipe where I was happy with each aspect of the result…. It was crisp, perfectly cooked and did not spread much. Just the way I wanted.

It took me almost over an year to bring them to my blog for you as I always bake these at night and clicking pictures isn’t possible then or even if I bake them during weekends, my hubby starts eating them warm off the baking tray! There’s hardly any left for me…forget clicking them 😁

I am going to share a few tips here that I learnt in the process of learning to bake these atta cookies ..

* the very first trial with making these atta cookies was inspired by a recipe I saw in some magazine at my Mom’s place. It had used butter obviously, but I used oil to make it healthy. The result was a congealed mass on the tray even after baking for 25 mins. It simply spread.

* next, after a few hits and misses, I tried them using ghee (clarified butter). They tasted decent but felt a little heavy for our palates. They were crisp but became soggy on the second day. They too spread but not too much. Not satisfactory.

* finally I thought of trying with unsalted cooking butter as per the original recipe but I changed the proportions as per my choice and used just the basic ingredients. By this time I’d already baked the exact same thing over 7-8 times. So I was able to judge the texture and the quantity on sight. Also, extensive research online made me understand the value of refrigerating the cookie/ biscuit dough. It helps. Big time! Using butter does make it crisper and the end result is what you see in the pictures here. The cookies/ biscuits do spread. It will. But it is minimal and gives you perfect looking cookies. These cookies stay fresh and crisp for upto 3 days in an airtight box. (My experience, it never lasts longer than that as I always make a small batch)

Hope you have gone through the tips above before we begin the actual recipe.

Yield: 12-14 small cookies

Equipment: (no fancy equipment is ever used for this, remember I was learning to bake with basic things at home) a wired whisk, a large mixing bowl, a small bowl, baking tray, parchment paper/ baking paper, a cooling rack, measuring cups/ spoons, as small pan, a weighing scale if you have one would be excellent.

Ingredients:

1 cup wholewheat atta (ashirwaad select atta)

75 gms unsalted butter (approximately 3/4th quantity of a 100gm. I used a weighing scale here)

6 tbsp powdered sugar (add more or less as per taste)

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd (Elaichi pwd)

1 small pinch baking soda

Method:

How to measure the atta – fill the cup with spoonfuls of atta. Do not dip the cup into the container with the atta. That way you will always end up with extra atta and the ratio will be wrong.

Seive the atta along with the baking soda once. Set it aside.

Take butter in the pan. Let it melt on very low flame. Once it’s melted, let it cool for 2 mins. Take the butter in a small bowl, then add the powdered sugar and cardamom pwd in the butter. Whisk well to make a smooth mixture.

How to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookiesHow to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookiesHow to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookies

Now add this mixture to the sieved atta and baking pwd. Mix it gently and bring it together. This is not like Roti dough so it with crumbly. Let the dough rest for 5-7 mins to absorb the butter. Then gently shape the cookies (takes me 20 mins for just 12 cookies each time). Make sure the shape of cookies is evenly sized and smooth all over. (See the pic above). Place them apart on parchment lined baking tray.

I can make 12 cookies with this quantity, you may have 10 or 14 as well, depending on the size. Once you have shaped the dough, keep them in the refrigerator for 15 mins.

Preheat the oven at 150’c for 10 mins. (Every oven is different so work according to that for setting the temperature and duration for baking).

Take the baking tray out from the refrigerator and place it in the middle of the oven to bake at 150’c for 20-22 mins. They will turn golden on the top and slightly brown at the bottom. Do not bake at high temperatures else the cookies with burn at the base. Once the cookies are baked, keep the baking tray out of the oven for 10 mins on a cooling rack.

How to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookies

Then transfer the cookies to the cooling rack for cooling them completely. They are soft at first then turn crisp as they cool.

Once completely cooled, store them in airtight box.

How to make wholewheat cookies Wholewheat cardamom cookies recipe Atta biscuit recipe How to make atta cookies Polkapuffs wholewheat cookies

Occasionally, I do like a cup of lemon tea with these cookies! Also, try sugar cookies by me.

Love,

Shreya💝

Slightly adapted.

Homemade Pav | Pav Buns | Dinner Rolls

Pav Bhaji on my mind….like for the last entire week I am unable to think beyond it. Every veggie that I glance at reminds me that it could go into my Bombay Pav Bhaji 😂😂 no, I am very serious! I so didn’t want to order any…because those are just not my kind of Bhaji…hence tonight is going to be it:) {happy dance}

Anyways…so I planned to make some Pav ahead of making the Bhaji. It’s beyond easy if you ask me…one bowl magic I call it😊

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

Once you learn to handle the yeast well, making a bread or Pav bread isn’t difficult at all. For me, it’s always been more of the technical part that I concentrate on rather than the recipe itself. The ratios are no doubt very important, I can’t stress enough on that here. One needs to measure them out correctly else things could go horribly wrong! So pay attention to every detail when making a Pav or Bread dough.

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

Let’s learn how..

Yield: 6 Pav (depends on the size of the Pav)

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, baking tin, cooling rack, a large mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

2+1/2 cups Maida (all purpose flour) + extra Maida (APF) to dust the dough while kneading (I used appropriately 1/2 cup)

5 tbsp oil + extra to grease the tin & to brush on top of the Pav

salt to taste

1/2 cup lukewarm water (comfortable enough to dip your finger)

3 tsp yeast (I used active dry yeast)

2+1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

Take 1/2 cup of lukewarm water in a glass or bowl, add the yeast & sugar. Stir it lightly. Set it aside for 10 to let the yeast bloom. (Note that if the water is too hot, the yeast won’t bloom. So be careful with the water. If the yeast doesn’t bloom, start again)

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipeHow to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipeHow to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

See the first picture above, the yeast has bloomed really well. It almost overflowed on the kitchen top.

Next, see the second picture above. For making the dough add the flour in the bowl, season with salt. Add the oil and slowly add the yeast mixture. Do not add all the mixture at one go as we may end up with a very gluey and wet dough. Keep adding a little bit at a time and make a dough like we do for rotis. This dough will be sticky so you can add some more flour and knead it well. The longer you knead it, the smoother and softer it will be.

If you feel the dough has become too dry while kneading, add the yeast mixture and continue kneading. I used the entire yeast mixture but did not require any more water. Once the dough has become smooth, grease it with oil and place it the bowl for it’s first rise/ prove. I gave it approximately 30 mins or so.

See the third picture above, the dough almost tripled.

Then I pushed down the dough and released the air within. I then greased my hands and divided the dough into 6 parts. I greased the baking tin and placed the divided dough in it. Brushed each portion with oil. Then I left it for the second rise/ prove for 20 mins.

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

Preheat the oven at 200’c for 10 mins. Place the tin on the middle rack and bake the Pav for 20 mins @ 200’c using both the upper and the lower heating coil/ rods/ elements. (Please note every oven works differently hence adjust the temperature and duration according to that). I let them sit in the oven with the upper rods turned on for an extra 5-7 mins to get a lovely brown crust.

This is what they looked like as they came out of the oven! Brush them with some melted butter if you like.

They turned pillowy soft with a firm crust and absolutely melt in the mouth kinda good….yum!

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

How to make Pav at home Easy recipe for dinner rolls Pav recipe Pau recipe Polkapuffs recipe

I have made Pizza Rolls, sandwich breads, focaccia bread & Wholewheat Pizza Base too for the blog, do check them out.

Love,

Shreya💝

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookies (eggless)

Today seems like such a cookie kinda day to me…all I want to do is grab a good book, some cookies and curl up on the couch! But I won’t, because I am a nice person (😉) and I chose to share a delicious recipe with you guys!! 

May I say I am choosy about my cookies?! I am sure there are many who’ll wholeheartedly agree with me on this. Don’t go putting anything that comes out of a pretty carton into your mouth. Most of those haven’t been made with all the loving that you’d put into a homemade cookie! Yes, love makes all the difference…it tastes better…melts in your mouth and your (my) hubby goes crazy for them! 😍

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Look wise, ahem…I’d say don’t pin your hopes on making every cookie look exactly the same or all perfect around the edges, still if can do that, great! For me homemade cookies should look the part…I don’t go trying to make each of them look even and all…!! Some are bigger than the rest…who cares, get a nibble or two extra😁

I love the bits of Choco chips in every bite and they compliment peanut butter just right. These are absolutely crisp and stay fresh for about 2-3 days in an airtight container, that’s the max they last in my home…maybe they’d keep fresh longer! Who’s to know?! 😂

My suggestion – bake a smaller batch, they taste great when fresh.

Also, you can freeze the dough for upto a week. Portion them before freezing, spread the portioned dough on a plate and freeze. Once frozen, store them in ziplock bags. Later, thaw the number of cookies you want to bake at room temperature for about and hour or until they come to room temperature, then pop them in the refrigerator for 15 mins to set a bit else they will spread too much while baking. Bake them as per the instructions given below.

Anyways…if you are as enthusiastic as me about baking your own cookies, check these out too….. Karachi Biscuits/ Tutti Fruity CookiesBrookies – fudgy mocha flavoured, glutenfree Amaranth cookies (rajgira), Bourbons, Almond Shortbread Cookies, no bake Peanut Butter Cookies, Chewy Butter Biscuits, Sugar Cookies with icing. (Most of these too are eggless…perfect isn’t it!?)

Let’s bake some cookies….:)

Yield: 9-10 cookies (I make them slightly large, yield depends on how you portion them..maybe if you’d keep them smaller, you’ll make around 12-13 cookies)

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, baking tray, mixing bowl, fork, parchment paper, a whisk/ electric whisk, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Maida (all purpose flour)

1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Demerara sugar)

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/4 tsp milk

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter

5-6 drops vanilla extract/ essence

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tbsp peanut butter (I used smooth)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter, both sugars, vanilla extract & milk until well combined and fluffy. (I used a manual whisk as it was a small quantity, but use a electric whisk if making double or triple the batch as they must be well combined)

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

Next, add the flour, Choco chips & baking soda. Fold them in gently. Lastly add the peanut butter and fold again.

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipePeanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

The dough is ready, rest it in the refrigerator for an hour to set the dough.

Once chilled, portion the cookie dough in equal sized balls, flatten them using a fork and place them an inch or two apart as they spread on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Chill the portioned dough balls again for 15 mins in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

Preheat the oven at 180’c for 10 mins. Take the chilled portioned dough balls from the refrigerator and bake them at 180’c for 20-25 mins or until the cookies turn golden brown on all sides. (Bake using just the lower heating rods for first 20 mins, then turn on the upper rods too for the last 5-6 mins, please note every oven works differently so keep an eye on the cookies)

Once the cookies are baked, take them out of the oven, let the cookies first rest on the baking tray for 15 mins as they continue to crisp up further. Then transfer them on to the cooling rack for another 10 mins. Once they are completely cooled, store them in a parchment lined airtight container.

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Hope you bake these soon😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from Calorie count

McDonald’s Style Pizza McPuffs | Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs

Vegetable Puff anyone?! You? And you?! Yes, I guess all of us would grab one the moment we’d set our eyes on these. They are so light, crisp…buttery, flaky…absolutely melt in the mouth yummy! The filling too an integral part…spicy veggies with a dash of tang is what made these Puffs to die for! Even the non-veg version was always so delicious…one Puff would never suffice! 😉

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Hence, I will having 3 of them! Hahah! No, i didn’t, I shared these with my hubby…who couldn’t stop chomping on them. My hubby kept saying that they taste better than the bakery ones. The filling was very different he said, more like the one in a Pizza McPuff from McDonalds! I was like…yes, I did try to replicate the filling, he loved my version.😊

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Why is the filling like Pizza McPuffs, you’d ask me…simply because I love the flavour bomb that is inside a McPuff. It’s so creamy and yet light, perfection in every bite! But I always wanted to make that in Puff Pastry version. So I did.

That filling, those buttery layers made this for the perfect snack…or if I may suggest, a light meal with some soup on the side on a winter night! Wow, sounds about right! 😍

Making the Puff pastry sheet at home is quite a task..trust me! The rolling, the folding, and repeating the steps at least 10-12 times is a challenge that may or may not give you perfect results. I have used ready to use sheets which I always keep in my freezer when I need to whisk quick snacks or pies even! They are handy and absolutely perfect. But there are few tips on using them that I will share here along with the recipe for the McPuffs filling.

Firstly, always buy a frozen pastry sheet which has a manufacturing date closer to the date you are buying it. Say for example, if you are shopping for this on 15 Jul 2016, the manufacturing date should nothing older than 01st June 2016. That way, you will get the freshest product.

They expire in 90 days, so do plan accordingly. Buy 1 or more packets depending on your consumption. (I always buy 2 at a time, because I know I will use it all in about 5-6 weeks.)

Thawing a frozen pastry sheet, it is crucial to know how you thaw (bring a frozen pastry sheet to room temperature) them. Every package once opened cannot be refrozen. To thaw, place the frozen pastry sheet roll at room temperature for about an hour. It also depends where you are, say if the climate is humid, it will soften faster and the same goes for the other way around too.

The size of the frozen pastry sheets is just right to make about 4-5 of these vegetable puffs. But it also depends on how you have sized the puffs, you could even make 6-7 of them. (I usually make large ones)

Let’s get started..

Yield: 4-5 large McPuffs/ Vegetable Puffs

Equipment: a baking tray, cooling rack, a knife, a fork, a small pan, measuring cups/ spoons, pastry brush.

Ingredients:

1 nos. frozen pastry sheet

oil as needed to brush the puffs before baking

For the filling:

1 cup each boiled and chopped carrots & beans (you can add any veggies or meat)

salt to taste

1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

3/4 tsp mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

3 tbsp Amul fresh cream

2 tsp oil

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped veggies. Season with salt & pepper. Mix well & sauté for 3-4 mins.

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Next, add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilly pwd and Italian herbs. Mix well and cook for 5 mins. Now turn off the flame, add cream and ketchup. Mix well. Set the ready filling aside to cool for a few mins.

Assembling the Puffs:

Lay the thawed pastry sheet and cut the pastry into pieces as per your choice. Place the filling in the centre and close the pastry from the other side as shown below. Use a fork and press down the edges to secure the filling within the puff.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Make small incision on top of every puff and brush them with oil.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Place the ready to bake puffs in the refrigerator for 10 mins to firm up, that way they get perfect flaky layers once baked.

As they cool in the refrigerator, preheat the oven at 180’c for 10 mins. Now place the baking tray in the oven to bake the puffs for 20-25 mins @190’c using both the upper & lower rods. (Please note that every oven works differently and you may need to adjust the timing and the temperature too. These settings worked for me.)

They will start turning brown on the top as they puff up, so keep an eye on them as they bake. Once done, remove from the oven and place the them on the cooling rack for a few mins to cool them a bit. Serve warm/ hot with ketchup.

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Hope you try these soon and don’t be intimidated by the pastry sheets! They are very simple to use. ☺️

Love,

Shreya💖

Vanilla Sponge Cake in Pressure Cooker

There are somethings which you learn unknowingly, just by watching it way too many times…although that’s just in your subconscious. You don’t really know whether you already have known it all your life until you’ve tried it – my Mom’s Vanilla Sponge in a Pressure Cooker is just that for me, with a slight variation of my own that I’ve perfected over the years 😘

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Ain’t this a beauty! Such an easy recipe, even easier is the technique which is I’ve learnt from my Mom, she’s an expert with cooker cakes…no, not because she doesn’t own an oven….(she has a very rare flame heated English oven, almost like Nigella’s, that’s over 3 decades old & has seen some of the best bakes in its time)….it’s merely a thing of convenience for her to bake in a pressure cooker and get done quickly! She’s my Mom after all, quick and easy is something that’s been passed on me by her…☺️

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The hand that held mine once, holds on a piece of cake made by the one she made. How ironical! My first time clicking with a model, my Mom💖…the best part, this cake was made in her kitchen…using her utensils & equipments…(the props are mine…I end up stocking up on them wherever I go!)…almost the traditional way. I beat the sugar with the eggs using a manual beater for the first time in my life! That’s how she still does and says that is the correct way to incorporate the air into the batter for a light and airy cake… the results are here for you to see. She has a point. I will follow this more from now…give my muscles a bit of a workout! 😂 Also, no parchment/ baking paper!

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So coming to the recipe, my Mom uses homemade white butter when she bakes a cake. I have used oil in place of the homemade white butter as she didn’t have that ready at home. Also, I have added some milk…it really does make the cake so much more moist, here she agrees with me! You learn some, you teach some!

Yield: a 6″ square cake

Equipment: a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tin, a large pressure cooker, a spare steel bowl, a cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+ 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1+ 1/4 cup all purpose flour (Maida, sieved once)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup refined oil

1 + 1/2 tsp baking pwd

3/4 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

Method:

Prepare the tin with some oil and dust maida (APF) all over. Set aside.

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In a bowl, beat together the sugar & eggs until light and frothy.

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Then add the sieved flour, milk & oil. Beat again & add the baking powder with vanilla extract. Beat well, set aside.

Heat the pressure cooker on high flame for 10 mins. Place a bowl or plate inside at the bottom. DONT ADD WATER IN THE COOKER.

image Pressure cooker cake recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Vanilla sponge cake in pressure cookerPressure cooker cake recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Vanilla sponge cake in pressure cooker

Fill the batter in the ready tin upto half its capacity and place the tin in the heated pressure cooker on the bowl kept at the base. Cover the pressure cooker with it lid but remove its gasket and weight. Bake on medium flame for 40-45 mins.

Do a toothpick test and check if the cake is ready after 40 mins, it should come out with a few moist crumbs, if your cake is ready then remove from the cooker using kitchen tongs and cool the tin on cooling rack for 10 mins before unmoulding the cake.

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If the cake in undercooked, then let it cook for another 10 mins. It should be ready by then. Slice and serve.

This cake keeps well in an airtight box for 3-4 days.

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I am in love with it’s texture and airiness!!

Love,

Shreya ❤️

My variation adapted from here.

Roasted Masala Makhane | Roasted Foxnuts

You’d love to chomp on something healthy for a change, wouldn’t you! I know I would…..and I do☺️ These peppery, spicy, very crunchy & absolutely addictive Roasted Masala Makhane (Foxnuts)are our go to snack on most days!  

I can’t seem to get enough of these, I remember grabbing them by the handful when my Mom would make these on the days she’d be fasting..(vrat)….she’d use sendha namak and ever since then I have been a huge fan 😉 Obviously, when you are not fasting, use regular salt or sea salt.

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They are also supposed be very healthy and filling too…besides being yummy and so easy to make!

Yield: depends on how much you wish to make! I suggest, make a large batch because they taste better than your favourite ‘butter popcorn’ 😜

Equipment: a wok, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons

Ingredients:

2 cups makhane

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

3-4 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

any other masalas (spices) you wish to add.

Method:

Cut the makhane into halves and see if they are clean and dry within (see pics below).

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Heat ghee in a wok, add the makhane. If you need to, then add more ghee. I did add about 1 tsp more. The more ghee you add, the crisper they get. The makhane absorb a lot of ghee anyway, so you’d literally not see the ghee in the pan.

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Season with salt & pepper. Add any more spices as per your taste. Let the makhane crisp up on medium flame for another 4-5 mins but keep tossing them around constantly so that they don’t colour up too much.

That’s about it, have it piping hot! They stay crunchy for almost an hour, but that depends on how much ghee you have added while roasting them.

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You got to try these to know how good it actually tastes!

Love,

Shreya💗

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