Category: Continental

Penne in Basil and Lemon Cream Sauce

Pasta has to be one of my favourite comfort foods…it just lifts my mood. I can have it in any kind of sauce…or even just a basic tossed pasta salad with some olive oil and some herbs!

Besides, you can do so many variations with pasta…baked cheesy pasta with some veggies is another favourite at our place, my hubby loves it with some garlic bread💖

How to make penne pasta in lemon cream sauce Polkapuffs recipe Pasta in white sauce recipe

I particularly prefer the red sauce for any pasta…but since I also enjoy a citrusy flavour to pasta sometimes, I planned to go with my Lemon Cream sauce which is absolutely delicious for our weekend brunch, it’s a bit tangy and goes so well with penne or even spaghetti for that matter. Since the sauce is cream based, it coats the pasta well…and I chose to add some sweet corn, you can add more veggies or even boiled & shredded chicken or some sliced sausages if you wish.

Let’s begin..

Yield: serves 2

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

Ingredients:

1 cup boiled penne pasta (follow the instructions on the packaging)

2 tbsp garlic butter (or regular butter)

1 tsp oil

5-6 nos. black peppercorns

1/2 cup boiled sweet corn kernels

4-5 nos. fresh basil leaves sliced

1 tbsp Maida all purpose flour)

3/4 cup milk

2 tbsp fresh cream

1/2 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

Dried Italian herbs to taste

Method:

Heat the pan on low flame, add butter & oil. Once the butter melts into the oil, add the peppercorns. Sauté for a minute.

How to make penne pasta in lemon cream sauce Polkapuffs recipe Pasta in white sauce recipe

Then add the flour and sauté for 2-3 mins. Once the roux is ready, add milk and stir continuously to avoid lumps. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of mins while you stir it. Add the sliced basil leaves and corn kernels, season with salt and dry Italian herbs. Mix well. Turn off the flame. Let the sauce cool for a minute or two, add the cream and lemon juice. Stir well. Once again keep turn on the flame on low mode. Then add the boiled penne and toss everything together quickly. Turn off the flame. That’s it, it’s ready. You can add grated cheese on the top if you wish…I don’t. 😊

How to make penne pasta in lemon cream sauce Polkapuffs recipe Pasta in white sauce recipe

It’s a must try recipe…easy and yummy!

Love,

Shreya💝

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are soft, fluffy, delicious and melt in the mouth good! They are eggless and that makes no difference in the texture. They are buttery and have the most beautiful golden crust! 

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls need not take hours to make, my recipe here takes less than 2 hours to hit the table, warm and soft, to be enjoyed with some butter or as it is. I personally enjoy baking these beauties when I make Pav Bhaji or Misal Pav. Nothing like some fresh Pav/ dinner rolls with a spicy bhaji or Misal to mop up!! This pav tastes exactly like the pav we get with Vada Pav in Mumbai!!

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are no rocket science. They just need some basic techniques and you’ll be sorted. The four major constituents are…

Yeast – I use active dry yeast which needs proving (that’s when you dissolve the yeast with warm liquid as mentioned in the recipe for 6-8 minutes). If you use instant yeast, then that can be added directly to the flour. Either of these ingredients are easily available and they both work just fine.

Flour – Bread flour is used in most recipes from the West, however I’ve not been able to find any around me so I simply use All Purpose Flour. Bread flour has more protein and hence churns out taller and chewier rolls/ breads. All Purpose Flour will give you slightly shorter and less chewy rolls/ breads but the taste will be excellent.

Hydration – The dough for any sort of rolls/ bread needs to be hydrated just enough to be slightly tacky (sticky), just barely though. Adding way too much flour can result in stiff dough which in turn make stiff, dry rolls/ breads.

Measurements – Just scoop out the flour with the measuring cup and level it flat. Always use some extra flour to knead th dough just incase if the dough becomes too sticky.

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls have the most beautiful crumb structure.

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Let us start baking some Pav/ dinner rolls.

Take 1/2 cup of warm milk in a glass or bowl, add the yeast & sugar. Stir it lightly. Set it aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast bloom. (Note that if the milk is too hot, the yeast won’t bloom. So be careful with the milk. 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 butter and slowly add the yeast mixture.
Do not add all the yeast 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.
Add the rest of the warm milk too, slowly and keep kneading. We may not need all of the milk, so use it as and when you feel the dough drying up.
The dough needs to be tacky and not extremely sticky. remove the dough on the work surface.
Knead for about 8-10 minutes.
You can add some more flour if it’s the dough is still too sticky and again knead it well. The longer you knead it, the smoother and softer it will be.
Smoothen the dough with more butter.
Once the dough has become smooth, place it the bowl for it’s first rise/ prove. I gave it approximately 45 mins or so.
See the third picture above, the dough almost tripled after 45 minutes.
Then I gently punched down the dough and released the air within.
I, then greased my hands and divided the dough into 8 equal parts (used a weighing scale for this).
I greased the baking tin and placed the divided dough in it. Brushed each portion with butter.
Then I left them for the second rise/ prove for 30 mins.
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.
This is what they looked like as they came out of the oven! Brush them with some melted butter if you like.

homemade-laadi-pav-egg-free-mumbai-style-dinner-rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls
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Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are soft, delicious and so easy to make! 

Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 Pavs/ rolls
Author Shreya Ashish Tiwari

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour or bread flour
  • 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 11/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant dry
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • oil to grease the baking tray

Instructions

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

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

  3. Next, see the second picture above. For making the dough add the flour in the bowl, season with salt. 

  4. Add the butter and slowly add the yeast mixture. 

  5. Do not add all the yeast mixture at one go as we may end up with a very gluey and wet dough. 

  6. Keep adding a little bit at a time and make a dough.

  7. Add the rest of the warm milk too, slowly and keep kneading. We may not need all of the milk, so use it as and when you feel the dough drying up. 

  8. The dough needs to be tacky and not extremely sticky. remove the dough on the work surface.

  9. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. 

  10. You can add some more flour if it's the dough is still too sticky and again knead it well. The longer you knead it, the smoother and softer it will be. 

  11. Smoothen the dough with more butter.

  12. Once the dough has become smooth, place it the bowl for it's first rise/ prove. I gave it approximately 45 mins or so.

  13. See the third picture above, the dough almost tripled after 45 minutes. 

  14. Then I gently punched down the dough and released the air within. 

  15. I, then greased my hands and divided the dough into 8 equal parts (used a weighing scale for this). 

  16. I greased the baking tin and placed the divided dough in it. Brushed each portion with butter.


  17. Then I left them for the second rise/ prove for 30 mins.

  18. 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. 

  19. Please note every oven works differently hence adjust the temperature and duration according to that.

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

Recipe Notes

Please ensure that the yeast has bloomed well, if it hasn't, start over. 
If using instant yeast, just add it directly to the flour and follow the rest of the instructions. 

Love,
Shreya

Pin it here for later?!
homemade-laadi-pav-egg-free-mumbai-style-dinner-rolls

Baked Spring Rolls |How to make Baked Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls happen to be my favourite starters when ordering Chinese! But off late I’ve been steering clear of anything either fried or too oily in any way! The fried rolls have a way of making you feel so bloated in just a couple of bites….you can’t even have an entire roll. 

Hence, we bake! Takes barely 2 tablespoons of oil and we are sorted 😊

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Infact, the baked ones are far more crispier than the fried ones and there is no compromising on the taste too. A healthy option if you’re looking for snacking ideas with less calories😁 You can serve these with my homemade Schezwan Sauce. 

You can always prep the rolls and keep them frozen and then bake them as and when required (frozen rolls can be stored for a week approximately and need to be thawed for 45 mins before baking or frying). Coming to the fillings, you can go for any option…vegetarian or non-vegetarian…even just some greens like spinach or some bokchoy. The options are endless. What I am sharing here is a technique for eating healthier without much efforts 😊 The recipe for this filling is what I have learnt from my Mom.

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Let’s begin…follow the recipe and the tips too!

Serves: makes 7-8 rolls

Equipment: baking tray, cooling rack, measuring cups/ spoons, a wok, a clean plate.

Ingredients:

2 cups boiled noodles (to be cooked as per the instructions on the packet)

1/2 cup each of julienned carrots, capsicum & cabbage (you can add any fillings of your choice)

1 tsp chopped green chilli

1 tbsp ginger- garlic paste

1 tsp each of green chilly sauce, soy sauce & vinegar

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

7-8 sheets of readymade Spring Roll sheets (or homemade, it won’t make any difference to the baking process)

1 tsp rice flour mixed with 1-2 tbsp of water to make a glue to secure the edges of the rolls

Method:

Thaw the Spring roll sheets as per the instructions on its packet. Set that aside.

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Then, heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok, add chopped green chilli, ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a minute. Then add the julienned veggies & season with salt. Sauté on high flame for 3-4 mins. Then add the sauces and mix well. Then add the boiled noodles. Toss everything once. Turn off the flame and let the filling cool a bit.

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipeBaked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Preheat the oven @ 200’c for 10 mins. (Every oven works differently so set the temperatures according to your oven)

Next, keep one Spring roll sheet on a dry plate as shown in the pic below. Keep the glue ready on the side (read the instructions to make the glue above in ‘ingredients’). Keep the filling in the centre and start folding the sheet as shown below….

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipeBaked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Follow these steps, secure the edges with the glue.

image

Roll it over and set it on the baking tray. Repeat the same with the rest of the sheets. Now brush them oil.

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipeBaked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

Bake them at 210’c for 15 mins or until they turn golden & crisp using both the heating elements (upper & lower coils/rods simultaneously). Then remove the tray and flip the rolls over and again brush them with oil. Bake them again at 210’c for 10 min or until they turn golden &a crisp using both heating elements. (Please note that every oven works differently so adjust the temperature according to your oven).

Once done, remove the tray and cool for a minute on the cooling tray. Then serve with your favourite dip!

Baked Spring Rolls How to make. Asked Spring rolls Polkapuffs recipe

You have to try this…😋

Love,

Shreya💗

Cheesy Masala Corn on the Cob

If you love rains…you’ll love your Masala Bhutta (spicy corn on the cob) sold by street vendors! The taste is to die for…spicy, tangy and that smokiness is just perfect! No amount of oven roasting is ever going to give a corn on the cob the taste that you’ll get by roasting it in an open flame. 

How to make masala corn on the cob Polkapuff recipe for corn on the cob Healthy corn on the cob recipes

And that’s what I did! Usually I boil the sweet corn on the cob for a few mins and then just season the sweet corn kernels with some cracked blacked pepper & some sea salt! That’s tasty too…but since it was raining…I just felt like doing it this way 😀 A little guilt free indulgence for the both of us 😘

How to make masala corn on the cob Polkapuff recipe for corn on the cob Healthy corn on the cob recipes

I just twisted the masala a bit to our liking…let’s get started!

Yield: I used 2 cobs here, so serves 2 or maybe more if you’re sharing!

Equipment: a wired flame grill meant for roasting.

Ingredients:

corn on the cob – as needed

seas salt/ regular salt, red  chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, cracked black pepper – to be mixed  together as per taste

few wedges of lemon

grated cheese (I used processed cheese) – as needed

chopped coriander to garnish

* I am not mentioning any quantities above for the ingredients as this recipe is built more on taste rather than exact measures!

Method:

Husk the corn well. Keep the wired grill on the flame as shown in the picture above, and place the corn on the grill. Keep turning it around a few times until it’s charred well all over and looks cooked.

To serve – dip a lemon wedge in the mixed spices and rub it all over the roasted cob. Place the cob on a plate and add the grated cheese over the it & add some chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some more spices if you like. Serve hot!

How to make masala corn on the cob Polkapuff recipe for corn on the cob Healthy corn on the cob recipes

Would you not like that!? 😂 I took all of 10 mins for these beauties! The cheese is optional though, but it tasted yum with the spices and the sweetness of the corn. Happy me!

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.

image

Hope you bake these soon😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from Calorie count

Wholewheat Pizza Base | How to make Wholewheat Pizza Base

You like pizza, I know you do! It’s Friday night…you’re watching your favourite rom-com, you scarf down 5 slices of Pizza without pausing for a breath….and then the DOUGH hits you! Hits you hard 😶😶😶 it’s super chewy, hard and weighs you down. Not the best note to start your weekend on, right!?

We are all the same, I am just like you…love to have pizzas…watch movie marathons and hate getting off my couch on weekends! But not at the cost of feeling weighed down and missing the next two meals or so. Hence, my Wholewheat Pizza Base is perfect for satisfying all those pizza cravings in a healthy way 🤗

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

They are extremely light, crisp on the outside, moist within and taste way better than the all purpose flour ones. And the toppings…well that’s a whole other topic! Play! Yes, simply play with the toppings…veg..non-veg..greens or just plain cheese and herbs! They all work well with this Wholewheat Pizza Base. Although, if you still feel good about a APF pizza base, click here for a detailed, step by step recipe. Also, learn to make your own homemade pizza sauce, absolutely lip smacking and the quickest recipe ever!

A few things to keep in mind when making your own Wholewheat Pizza Base..

1. Yeast – I have used Active Dry yeast. Keep in mind the manufacturing date and the expiration date. Mine is manufactured in June’16 and expires in February ’17. So that’s the window..but I won’t be using this packet after December ’16. The effectiveness of the yeast diminishes with time. So work according to the dates.

2. Wholewheat Flour – I have used Aashirwaad Select flour here. Also, I didn’t seive the flour before kneading the dough. Just measured it correctly by first fluffing the flour, then adding spoonfuls of the flour into the measuring cup and then levelling it off with a palette knife. This is very crucial, so be measure it right!

3. Hydration – Wholewheat flour based breads need slightly more hydration as opposed to the APF ones. I used olive oil and water to hydrate the dough. (You can use regular refined oil too).

Let’s get baking!

Yield: 4-5 pizza bases depending on the size and the thickness. (I made 5 bases of approximately 7″ diameter).

Equipment: a baking tray, measuring cups/ spoons, rolling board, rolling pin, a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, cooling rack, a fork.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups wholewheat flour + some extra flour to dust the board while rolling the dough

125 ml warm water (you should be able to comfortably hold your finger in the water)

25-30 ml water @r.t.

3 tsp sugar

3 tsp active dry yeast

4 tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp extra to grease the dough

1.5 tsp sea salt

Method:

Activate the yeast – take 125 ml warm water and add the sugar & yeast. Mix well. Cover and set aside for 10 mins without disturbing it, to let the yeast bloom. If it doesn’t bloom, discard & start again. Don’t compromise this step.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

To make the dough – take the flour in a bowl, add salt and oil. Next add all the bloomed yeast mixture in one go. Start mixing them altogether using your fingers. At first the dough will be sticky but it will come together with 3-5 mins of kneading. Add 25 ml of water and keep kneading until you have a smooth dough. The more you knead, the better the dough shall rise! Grease the dough with 2 tsp oil and knead again for a 2-3 mins. Totally, you need to knead for about 15-20 mins. Cover with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 45-60 mins to rise.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

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Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

After 45 mins, this is what the dough looked like post the first rise. 

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Now, we punch the dough down and divide it into equals sized balls. Cover them again and let them rest for 30 mins for the second rise. The third picture below shows the size of the dough balls post the second rise.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200’c.

Now, dust the rolling board and the pin with some wholewheat flour and roll out the balls into a flatbread of about 3mm thickness and the diameter of about 6″-7″. Prick them well with fork as shown below.

imageWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Place the rolled dough on the baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins using both, upper & lower heating elements at 200’c to 210’c. (Please note every oven works differently so keep an eye on the pizza base, once it turns golden on the top side, take it out of the oven).

Once baked, cool the base on a cooling rack for 10 mins. Then apply pizza sauce & add other toppings and cheese and bake for another 10 mins or until the cheese melts. Enjoy!

If storing for future use, cool them completely, wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate. Stays fresh for 2-3 days under refrigeration.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Do try these out soon…you’ll love them!

Love,

Shreya💖

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! 😉

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

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.😊

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

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.

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

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.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

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…☺️

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

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.

Kiwi Agua Fresca

I know that you aren’t exactly looking for a summer drink in a climate that calls for Pyaaz ki Kachori and a cup of hot, ginger tea!! But when it comes to Kiwi, I can only think of Popsicles or some healthy drink (not too cold as I am still recovering from a bout of viral 🙄 So my Kiwi Mojito Popsicles are out question) and a crisp, fruity Agua Fresca is just the answer for it! Delicious, healthy and pretty….all at the same time 😘

Also, because I am in no mood to go into making anything elaborate that’d keep in the kitchen for long..nope, not happening! Meaning, this one’s too easy 😂

Kiwi Aqua Fresca recipe How to make agua Fresca Summer drink PolkaPuffs recipe

So what’s an Agua Fresca you’ll ask me..well it’s Spanish for ‘fresh water’ and can be made with a variety of fruits for adding a lovely flavour to water. I have made some with watermelons last year..(never blogged that though). This time around, it’s with some juicy kiwis, mostly because I’ve about a dozen of them sitting in my refrigerator and the Mister ain’t a fan of the fruit by itself. So this drink is a good option taste wise and to bring in some colour to these drab, grey rainy days 🤗 And pairs well with some Corn & Paneer Toasties for a quick and filling snack 👌🏼

Let’s see how…

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: a blender, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

2 nos. green kiwis peeled & sliced (do not de seed)

1 tbsp honey (optional)

3 cups water

Method:

Place all the above ingredients in the blender and give them a go until the fruit is blended completely. Taste for sweetness and adjust. You can add more water if you like a slightly thinner beverage.

Serve immediately and enjoy! This drink tastes best with the crunch of the seeds from the kiwi fruit so do not strain it. But that’s upto you!

Kiwi Aqua Fresca recipe How to make agua Fresca Summer drink PolkaPuffs recipe

You can also place a slice of kiwi and few sprigs of mint to make it all dainty…but then again that’s just me! You’d might as well have this out of the blender jar 😜..who’s to know!?

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Averie Cooks

Fudge Bars

These are my absolutely weakness! I can never say no to a Chocolate Fudge 😁 They are so gooey and a teeny bit chewy, not to forget the chocolate! I’d say perfect for your 4th of July celebrations too 🌭🍺

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

In my experience, this is the yummiest personalised gift you can make for your loved ones. Besides, you can easily play with the flavours too.

If not for gifting, just make these for yourself, curl up on the couch with your favourite novel and have some ‘fudge’!! Trust me, you’ll be making them so very often, simply because they are super addictive & get done in a breeze😉😉

Yield: 10 bars or 20 squares (depending on how your cut them)
Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups & spoons, a wired whisk, baking/ parchment, paper or aluminium foil sheet, a sharp knife.

Ingredients :
200 ml condensed milk
3+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp castor sugar
1-2 drops vanilla extract/ essence
50 gms butter
1 tbsp APF (Maida)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (replace the walnuts with pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, dried cranberries or prunes, etc.)

Method:
Line the any container or a plate with the baking paper/ parchment paper/ aluminium foil.

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In a wok, add all the ingredients except the vanilla extract & chopped walnuts.
Heat them on low flame and keep whisking simultaneously so that the mixture doesn’t burn or has any lumps.

image Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes together and form a thick mass that moves with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract & walnuts at this stage and mix well.

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Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared container or plate. Spread it with the help of a spatula.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep it in the refrigerator to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once set, slice it into bars or squares & serve.
They last for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Aren’t you tempted yet?! 😜
Love,
Shreya ❤️

Adapted from here.

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