Matar Kachori | Khasti Matar Kachori

Let’s call it as Kachori Weekends at our place….last weekend it was Aloo ki Kachori and this week, I was keen to make my favourite green peas stuffed Kachoris to devoured with some green Chutney! 👌🏼😁

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The market is flooded with fresh, bright green peas. They so sweet and perfect! I have shelled and cleaned about 4-5 kgs of green peas, frozen them in sterilised Ziplock bags to last me for the entire year….more than enough for the two of us! I do this almost every year as I detest the flavour of the store bought frozen peas, they are quite tasteless.

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Anyhow, with all the green peas around me got me craving for some Nimona (a gravy made with puréed green peas, very famous in Uttar Pradesh and enjoyed with steamed rice and some ghee) with the onset of the winters in December…..I have made it almost every week. And now, with the winter almost on it’s way out…I wanted to make Matar ki Kachori once, as it’s fried..once is more than enough for the entire season 😂

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They turned out so crisp and flaky…just the way I love my kachoris. My Mom’s recipe never fails me….be it her Plyaaz ki Kachori or this …just perfect😋

The stuffing is made with fresh, sweet green peas and some spices tasters tangy, earthy as it uses my home made Garam Masala along with loads of ginger…all the flavours of a perfect Northern winter!  There is no onion or garlic in this recipe. The outer pastry is flaky and very crisp as its fried on slow flame…always fry your kachoris low and slow! They cook well and never turn limp and soggy.

You can pair these Matar ki Kachoris with dubkimaar Aloo Tamatar and chutney or just some imli ki chutney…just so yummy👌

Let’s start…

Yield: 9 large kachoris

Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, a slotted ladle, measuring spoons/ cups, rolling board, rolling board, kitchen paper, a small pan, potato masher, mixing bowls.

Ingredients:

For the outer cover:

2+1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)

salt to taste

3 tbsp ghee

water as needed

Method:

Take flour in a  mixing bowl, season it with salt. Add ghee and rub it into the flour until the flour resembles bread crumbs. This ensures that the outer cover of the kachori is crisp and flaky. Next, add sufficient water to make a semi stiff dough. Cover the dough and set it aside to let it rest for a minimum of 30 mins.

For the stuffing: 

1 cup fresh green peas

1 nos. boiled potato

salt to taste

2 tsp mustard oil (use any oil as per your preference)

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 tsp finely chopped green chillies

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp coriander powder

3/4 tsp red chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional)

1/2 tsp amchoor powder (dry mango powder)

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

chopped coriander leaves as needed

oil to fry

Method:

Mash the boiled potato and set it aside. Potato is used as a binder, if you wish you can avoid it too.

In a pan, heat oil. Once it’s hot, add hing, cumin seeds and green chillies. Let them splatter around for a minute. Then add the grated ginger. Cook it for a minute.

The washed and dried green peas go in next. Season with salt and cook the peas for a few minutes. Then add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, Garam Masala powder. Mix well. Add the mashed potato and mix well with the spices and the peas. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the peas become mushy.

Add the amchoor powder along with chopped coriander leaves next and mix well. Turn off the flame. Cover the pan with the ready stuffing for a few minutes. Then using a potato masher, mash the peas and potato mixtures well. Let some of the peas stay whole, while roughly mashing the others. That’s done.

Assembling:

Divide the dough which was kept aside into 9 equal sized balls.(I could make 9, if you choose to make smaller Kachoris, you can easily make upto 12 kachoris with this much amount of dough). Flatten each ball of dough to a thickness 2-3 mm and diameter about 3″, add 2-3 tsp of the stuffing. Close the dough ball around stuffing tightly and secure the ends so that the stuffing doesn’t spill out while frying. Flatten out the kachori a bit using a rolling board and pin.

Do the same with all the other 8 dough balls as well. Set them aside. Heat oil to fry in a heavy bottomed wok. Once it hot enough, drop 1-2 kachoris at a time and fry on low flame until golfden and crisp on all sides. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on kitchen papers. Fry them all and the serve these piping hot with sides of your choice.

The stuffing keeps well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator if stored in a glass or porcelain bowl. (I avoid plastic)

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I am drooling all over again just as I was typing out this draft 😜 But, seriously, do try this one out soon …..so easy to make and very flavoursome!!! You will be making these again and again.

Love,

Shreya💖

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread (Eggless)

I guess I can’t keep my hands off the oven…specially when I have to clean out left overs😉😉 I found some peanut butter sitting on one of the shelves in my pantry…and I was like….what can we do with this….. was just about 2-3 tbsps of it….guess it is from my last batch of eggless Peanut Butter and Choco Chip Cookies. Definitely not enough to make a sandwich for lunch. Anyhow, I put it out on the dining table only to notice a few ripe bananas from a copulent of days ago! 😑😑😑 why do I always have bananas when we hardly eat them!!

I will tell you why?! Because they make for some incredibly delicious banana muffins or bread. That’s when it clicked to me that I’d saved a delicious recipe including bananas and peanut butter with some chocolate 🤗🤗🤗 yayyyyy! I knew what I’d do with these. My afternoon project…and something very tempting for my hub’s evening tea 😀

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Look at the crumbs…so moist! This bread turned out to be so soft and light….just the way we like it! I am glad I did make this because a girl can never have too many banana bread recipes at hand! My Chocolicious Banana & Butterscotch Breakfast Bars are one of my go to recipes whenever I am in a rush to have something ready for a quick breakfast and have some ripe bananas. I think this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread is going to be the next.

It’s just been a little over 18 hours since I baked this and almost half of it is gone….we are just the two of us😜😜 some gluttons!!! I baked two loaves, one of 7″ and another mini sized of 6″.

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Making mini loaves is a good idea if you have plans to send some to your loved ones. Else you can dump all of the batter in one larger loaf tin and bake a single bread. (**Always remember to fill the loaf tin only to 3/4th of it’s capacity to avoid the batter spilling over as it bakes and also line the tray well with parchment paper as shown in the pictures below).

I did replace the eggs with thick homemade yogurt and the bread still turned out so good! But I will try with eggs the next time around just to see the difference.

Oh that reminds me…summers are around the corner…do try my 2 ingredient Banana Ice Cream 🍦 You can add raisins or some chopped roasted almonds to the ice cream as well 😊

But for now, let’s make us some delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread 👌

Yield: 1 loaf of 7″ and 1 loaf of 6″

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, a hand blender, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tins, parchment paper or butter paper, a silicon spatula, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 nos. medium ripe bananas

1/4 cup thick yogurt (not sour)

4 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1/8 cup (2 tbsp)  vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp milk

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat the oven @ 180’c. Line the baking trays with parchment or butter paper. Set them aside.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, baking soda in the smaller mixing bowl, stir them together and set the bowl aside.

In the larger mixing bowl, add chopped bananas, oil, milk, vanilla extract, yogurt and the peanut butter. Using a hand blender, blend these together until smooth.

Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry and using a silicon spatula, fold them together. Do not whisk, just fold them gently. (If the batter looks a bit dry, add 1 tsp to 2tsp extra milk but not too much, the batter must be thick and not runny). Add the chocolate chips next. Fold them in too with the ready batter. (If you do not have chocolate chips, use roughly chopped chocolate chunks of Morde cooking chocolate).

Fill the baking trays with the ready batter only upto 3/4th of their capacity. Tap the trays on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

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Bake them at 180’c for 25 to 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

(note – I baked the 7″ bread for 35 mins and the 6″ bread for approximately 27 mins. Please adjust the temperature and duration as per your own oven. Every oven does work differently).

Once the breads are baked, let them be in their tin for 10 mins, then unmould them and let them cool on the cooling rack for 20 mins or so before slicing.

Enjoy them with tea, coffee, milk or just as it is….I served these with some of my eggless homemade Honey Butterscotch ice cream as desserts last night! ……..now you know how it is getting over too soon😂😂

 

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Love,

Shreya❤

Adapted from Sincerely Jean.

 

Aloo ki Kachori

Winters are the perfect season to devour everything that’s deep fried and spicy😋😋 I can never say no to anything that’s fried even though I keep promising myself to avoid it as far as possible.

These Aloo ki Kachoris are so so delicious…even if I am saying this myself but you truly need to eat these to believe me! 👌🏼😀 They are crispy, flaky and the filling is absolutely lip smacking!

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Dont they look tempting….!? I served these for our Saturday brunch and my hubby couldn’t stop raving about them. I was moving a couple of inches aboveboard the ground for the next few hours 😂😂 The thing is has always enjoyed Aloo ki kachori made in one of the shops in some obscure lane in Kanpur….I’ve tasted that too on one of our trips there, I must confess that it was such a treat 😋 I couldn’t stop at one!

So when my hubby wanted me to make some at home a few weeks ago, I asked my Mom for the recipe and kept my fingers crossed that he’d approve of them. I usually make Pyaaz ki Kachori at home for brunches so I knew I’d nail the outer crisp cover…it was the filling that I wished to perfect.

I served them with every kachori’s favourite accompaniment Dubkimaar Aloo Tamatar ka Rassa and some kacchi kairi Wali chutney…will share the recipe today.

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Yield: 8-9 large Kachoris

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, rolling pin, rolling board, large mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons.

For the outer cover:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup Maida (APF)

salt to taste

3 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

water as needed

Method:

In a large bowl, take maida, season with salt. Add the ghee and rub it with the mAida until it resembles bread crumbs. This makes the kachori crispy. Then add little water at a time and make a semi stiff dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen napkin and set aside for 20-30 mins.

For the filling:

Ingredients:

4 nos. large boiled potatoes

salt to taste

chopped green chillies to taste

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

1/2 tsp amchur powder

oil to fry the Kachori

Method:

Mash potatoes, add salt, roasted cumin powder, amchur powder, hing, red chilli powder, chillies and coriander leaves. Mix well. Set it aside.

Assembling and Frying the kachori:

Divide the dough in equal sized balls (I made 9). Roll these balls to a flat Roti like shape having a diameter of 3″ or so, stuff with the potato filling. Secure the ball well and flatter the kachori a bit using the rolling pin. Do the same for all the 9 dough balls.

Now heat the oil in a wok til it’s hot enough to fry. Add 1-2 Kachoris at a time and fry them on low flame until golden and crisp on both sides. Don’t fry on high flame as the Kachoris won’t turn crisp.

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Serve them piping hot.

Ingredients for Kairi Wali Chutney:

2 bunches fresh coriander

3/4 cup chopped kairi (raw mango)

5-6 cloves garlic

3-4 nos. green chillies

salt to taste

water as needed

Method:

Wash and chop the coriander leaves. Add al, the ingredients in a blender jar and make the Chutney using water as needed. Store the Chutney in a porcelain or glass jar, it will stay fresh for 6-7 days.

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Hope you enjoy these🤗

Love,

Shreya💖

 

Wholewheat and Oat Sandwich Cookies – eggless

So….the oven has gotten enough time to cool down I guess😉 It’s been sitting idle since my spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake ….and that was one really good cake. Besides, my hubby had been asking me for something to nibble at with his evening tea for almost a week…and I kept putting it off…I am kinda on the slow mode…the climate has made me a bit lazy and I barely do much cooking these days…just the basic stuff and that’s about it! 

Anyways so I thought I’d bake him some cake but I was out of APF and we are not very fond of wholewheat cakes to be honest though my Wholewheat Chocolate Cake is something which we’d happily devour. It was gooey and super soft, something that will go well with tea or coffee. Anyhow, with the cake out of my way, I thought of going the cookie way 😊always a win-win with my hubby😘

Why these cookies? Oats✔️ Wholewheat ✔️ eggs ✖️ easy and quick ✔️ so many reasons to stick with this recipe!

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Don’t these look pretty?! The thing is…they need not be pretty at all. You can keep them as simple, plain cookies sans the filling. But I like everything pretty….so I went ahead and added a touch of gorgeousness. I have given them the classic scalloped edge shape and filled them a light and flavoursome lemon icing. We loved them! This is the first time I went ahead with an icing for these cookies. Obviously, you can go for any other flavour here, some butterscotch essence or some good quality vanilla extract, these are the classics and taste absolutely great with tea or coffee.

Yes, I added a bit of bright sunshine yellow colour to the icing, lemon flavour seemed to look the part with a hint of this colour, don’t you think so!?! 🤗

These cookies are extremely crispy and have the most beautiful crumb. Being mildly sweet, the flavour of peppercorns and sea salt in the cookies comes through in every bite and the lemon icing adds freshness. Yes, this recipe has freshly cracked black peppercorns and some sea salt too.

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We will have a look at the recipe in a bit, but firstly there are a few things to keep in mind here…
The cookie dough for the this recipe is prepared in the blender! Yes! No whisking butter or rubbing the flour with the butter either. All the ingredients are added to the blender and everything is just easy from there…

Why easy from there? Reason – this recipe needs precision. I have used a weighing scale but you can always google the ‘gram to cup’ measures easily.

The original recipe called for Maida or APF but I have been replacing it with wholewheat flour for the last few times that I’ve made it. Seemed to work fine. However, feel free to use APF instead in equal measures as the wholewheat flour, the results will remain the same – excellent!

Yield: 15-17 Sandwich Cookies

Equipment: a blender, a rolling pin, weighing scale, measuring cups/ spoons, rolling board, cling wrap, cookie cutter, baking tray, parchment paper, cooling rack, a small bowl, a spoon.

Ingredients:

85 gms chilled and cubed unsalted butter (I used Amul cooking butter)

30 gms rolled oats (I used Quaker Everyday Oats)

145 gms wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwad Select)

75 gms light brown sugar

2 tbsp regular confectioners sugar (fine white sugar)

1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns

1-2 tbsp chilled water

Method:

Preheat oven @160’c for 10 mins. (Please set the oven temperature as per your oven, every oven works a bit differently)

Spread the oats on the baking tray. Let the oats turns golden in the oven @160’c for about 5-7 mins using only the lower heating rods/ coil. Remove the oats from the oven and cool it at room temperature. Once cooled, grind the oats to a fine powder.

Now seive the wholewheat 2-3 times. In a blender jar, add the powdered oats, seived wholewheat flour, butter, sea salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, light brown sugar and the confectioners sugar. Pulse everything together for a couple of minutes. The mixture should resemble bread crumbs.

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Next, add 1 tbsp of chilled water and pulse again. If the dough begins to look like it has come together, remove it on a bit of cling wrap and make a ball and cover it well with the cling wrap. If the dough hasn’t come together, then add about 1/2 tbsp more of chilled water at the most to make the dough to come together. Don’t add too much water else there will be no going back from there.

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Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour minimum or even upto 24 hours maximum before rolling and cutting the cookies. (I refrigerated the dough for about 30 hours as I had some other things to do before getting back to these cookies).

Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven @180’c.

Once the dough has chilled for about an hour, let the dough thaw at room temperature for 10 mins. Dust the rolling board and the pin with some wholewheat flour. Roll the the dough to a thickness of about 3-4 mm. Cut the desired shapes and place them on the parchment lined baking tray about an inch apart. Chill the cut out cookies for 15 mins in the refrigerator.

Bake them for 15-17 mins using the lower heating rods/ coil @180’c or until the edges turn golden. This is how they look once baked ⬇️

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Chilling the cut out cookies makes sure the cookies never spread much. Let the cookies cool down completely in the cooling rack.

For the icing:

Ingredient:

3/4 cup icing sugar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

2-3 drops of yellow food colour (optional)

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together to make a thick icing.

For the Sandwich Cookies:

Spread a bit of icing on the underside of one cookie and place the other cookie over it to make a sandwich. Do the same with the rest of the cookies.

These Sandwich cookies keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight box.

They keep well for over a week without the icing in an airtight box.

Yes, I added a bit of bright sunshine yellow colour to the icing, lemon flavour seemed to look the part with a hint of this colour, don't you think so!?!  🤗

That’s it, ready! Ta-daaa! 👌🏼😀

Love,

Shreya❤

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Mexican Vegetable Soup | Vegan and Glutenfree

So…here we are in 2017 and this bright, colourful soup was destined to be the first post of the year😁….why ‘was’?? Because this was made sometime during the last couple of days of the year gone by…..it was our healthy and light meal before binged in the name of making merry!!

Anyhooooo….so how have the first few days of the new year been treating you!? Honestly, I feel no different. The dates have changed no doubt, but that is where I think it ends. I am not one who makes resolutions and stuff….it’s been that way all my life. Do you? Have any of you actually seen your resolution through the year and then made notes about it later? I’d love to know! I mean, many break their resolutions the very next morning of making them….seems like such a waste..moot point, no?!

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So coming to this soup….it’s as healthy as healthy gets..no cornflour or APF or any ingredient to thicken the broth. It has a ton of veggies…like literally! Plenty of spices and the tang….that’s just perfect!!

Obviously you could add a bit of meat like sliced sausages or some boiled eggs. I was thinking maybe some seafood, like prawns or even squids! The possibilities are endless…. but I keep this one as veg…always. It’s one of our favourite go-to soups to do at home. It’s the quickest too, you’ll see!

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Everyone has a favourite soup….this is my current favourite, has been for sometime now. I usually even like Manchow soup…a personal favourite or some Thai Noodle soup, I’d probably share that recipe here too sometime….could make for a ideal summer lunch! ☺️

Anyways….let’s first learn to make us some healthy Mexican Vegetable Soup….

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottomed pan, measuring cups/ spoons, a ladle.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp oil

5-6 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped carrots

1/4 cup sweet corn

1/4 cup finely chopped French beans

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 nos. large ripe tomatoes

salt & pepper to taste

3/4 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp peri peri spice mix (store bought)

2 cups water

3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves

juice of half a lemon

nacho chips to serve on the side (optional)

Method:

Heat oil in the pan, add crushed garlic and chopped onions. Sweat the onions for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the chopped bell peppers, carrots, beans, sweet corn. Stir well and season with salt & pepper. Cook the veggies for about 5-6 mins.

Then add the oregano, cumin powder, red chilli powder and the peri peri spice mix. Stir well, add tomatoes. Cook these together for another 5-6 mins or until the tomatoes turns soft and mushy. Add water (I add about 2 cups, you can add more or less).

Let the soup come to a boil, takes about 12-13 mins. Once the consistency is right, add chopped coriander and lemon juice. Serve the soup piping hot with some nacho chips.

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Such a filling meal….I’d say do try it once.

Love,

Shreya 💝

Adapted from cooking classy

 

Suran Ka Bharta | Oal Ka Chokha | Jimikand Ka Chokha | Spicy Mashed Yams

Winter afternoons call for comfort food, a warm, cozy spot on the couch, a good book or maybe a movie marathon … your favourite throw and a long snooze! Did I ever tell you’ll that winters are my favourite time around the year. Not because I can eat to my hearts fill or because I get to bundle up and sit in the same spot for hours…lol…no! I like it because I have the fondest memories from this season…☺️ My Dad’s birthday…followed by Mom’s birthday….and to round it all up…I got married on one super cold night! Yes, weddings in my culture happen in the dead of the night and more often than not, in winters 😂 

Anyways…..I saw elephant foot yams (suran/ oal/ jimikand) flooding the market as it happens every winter and the first thing that occurred to me that I have to make Suran Ka Chokha! 

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It’s a typical winter favourite at my Mom’s place and gladly for me, my hubby too enjoys it! Making it is not all that difficult either…just a very recipe including the most common ingredients from your pantry but the flavours pack such a punch!

I can have this by the bowlful but it is quiet fiery so I limit myself to a couple of spoonfuls during meals…and it’s almost like a pickle, so pungent and yet very flavoursome.

As always I have followed my Mom’s recipe as always… if you’re wondering what will you be pairing this one with…I’d suggest some Dal Sultani, steamed rice, bharwa hari mirch (this you must not miss, I insist!) along with this chokha…and that will be such a splendid spread 👌

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a large saucepan, measuring cups/ spoons, a mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

300 gms boiled yam (suran)

salt to taste

6-7 tbsp mustard oil

2 tbsp finely chopped green chillies

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

15-16 cloves of garlic (grated)

1″ piece of ginger (grated)

lemon juice as per taste (I add a little more as the yams tend to absorb the flavours well)

Method:

Wash the yam well, cut it into 2″ chunks.

Boil 7-8 cups of water with a pinch of salt. Add the chunks of yam in the water. Boil these until fork tender. Drain the water and let the yam cool completely.

Peel the yam. Use a fork to mash the yam. Make sure there are no lumps.

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Season the mashed yam with salt, add the ginger and garlic, mustard oil, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander and lemon juice. Mix well. Keep it aside for 15-20 mins before serving to let the flavours get absorbed.

This tastes best at room temperature and the flavours are enhanced if served the next day.

This keeps well in a glass or porcelain bowl for about a week under refrigeration.

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Hope you enjoy this recipe which is very close to my heart!

Love,

Shreya❤️

Chocolate Truffles 

Chocolates are the ultimate indulgence for me…food wise! I usually refrain from the temptation and stick to more healthier options if craving desserts. But the festivities do call for something indulgent, don’t you think so?! 😉 Besides, nobody says no to chocolates and as expected, my hubby does love them too☺️

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So the last from this Christmas is going to be these delicious, sinful Chocolate Truffles. I can go on eating them all in a go if I weren’t afraid of putting on a pound with each bite😜 nope….can’t take that risk.

Making this recipe doesn’t call for any thermometer or any other fancy gadget. It’s just a bit of eyeballing the situation…and you’re all set. Obviously for that one needs to master the art of making the perfect ganache. I will share exact recipe for the same in grams (use a weighing scale), if you follow the measurements correctly, you will end up with the most luscious and shiny ganache ever. Either use this ganache to fill within a cake or to dress a cake. Make truffles if your like me, or simply pour over favourite Brownie and indulge your tastebuds!

I prefer keeping them simple and hence just rolled these beauties in some good quality unsweetened cocoa powder just before serving.

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Here are a few variations you can use to decorate your truffles. 

Funfetti/ sprinkles/ edible shimmer powder: After the ganache balls have set well in the refrigerator, just roll each ball in some funfetti/ sprinkles or edible shimmer powder. It is one of the easiest things to do and kids particularly enjoy them. These are easily available in any store that specialises in bakery and decorative goods. (I personally prefer Arife, as there is a huge variety of each of these things)
Chocolate: This is a very common option, melt some Chocolate chips of a cooking chocolate bar, let it come to room temperature and then dip the set ganache balls in the chocolate and let them set for about 15 mins in the refrigerator.
Nuts: I love the nut encrusted truffles. Crush any nuts of your choice in a bowl (I prefer pistachio for it’s beautiful green and pink hue) and coat the set ganache balls in the crushed nuts. They look pretty and add a whole new flavour dimension. Hazelnut or walnuts too make for an excellent choice.


Now for what you can add within them, in terms of flavour. 

Liquor: Fruity liquor (raspberry, coconut, lemon, strawberry, etc) or even something like rum/ whiskey, etc can be added to the ganache mixture once it has cooled down a bit and just before you begin making the ganache balls. If you add the liquor when the ganache is too hot, the alcohol will evaporate and there won’t be much flavour left behind.
Essence/ extract: Almond extract or the good old vanilla is always such a lovely flavour.

Let’s learn an easy and precise recipe….

Yield: 10 large truffles

Equipment: a saucepan, a heatproof bowl, parchment paper/ baking paper, a small scoop of a tablespoon, measuring spoons/ cups.

Ingredients:

170 gms bittersweet dark Chocolate (morde)

5 tbsp heavy whipping cream

21.26 gms unsalted butter (1.5 tbsp approx)

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Cocoa powder as needed to roll these truffles (I used Hershey’s)

Method:

Heat water in a sauce pan, once it’s boiling gently, place a heatproof bowl over the sauce pan in such a way that the bowl does not touch the water below (double boiler).

Place chopped chocolate, cream and butter into the bowl and let these melt slowly.

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Once the chocolate has melted into the butter and the cream, take the bowl off the double boiler and gently mix everyt with a silicon spatula for a minute. Do not over mix. Once the mixture comes to room temperature, add vanilla extract, mix and refrigerate for two hours.

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If you refrigerated it for longer, then let the ganache become slightly soft before rolling it into balls. I used a tablespoon to measure the ganache and rolled them into balls and the quickly rolled every ball into the cocoa powder. Refrigerate until they need to be served/ packed.

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Make sure the ganache is not runny, it needs to be firm when being rolled into balls. Ensure you use a good quality cocoa powder as that adds much flavour. Alternately, roll in icing sugar if you wish to avoid cocoa.

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes

These are so tempting…it’s hard to resist really😜 I’d love these as Christmas gifts too….so I am sure so will your loved ones!

Chocolate Truffles  How to make chocolate truffles Perfect chocolate ganache recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas recipes
One of the easiest things to make for the last minute prepping…☺️

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from my baking addiction

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake

Everyone is baking Christmas cakes, some boozy, some not so boozy…filled with nuts, preserved fruits and a whole lot of warm spices. Amazing aromas and delicious tasting cakes sure mean Christmas 😋

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

A traditional Christmas cake is moist, very moreish, filled with rum or whisky soaked dry fruits and preserved fruit peels. These are soaked for over a month or so in advance to incorporate the flavours of the alcohol into the ingredients. These cakes are often served as a large round cake or even at times as petit fours. They could be served as a naked cake, just dusted with some icing sugar. One could even cover them in marzipan or ice them with whipped cream and then decorate them with Christmas embellishments. They all look so pretty! ☃️🎄

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

However, I have never baked a boozy cake or even a traditional Christmas cake for that matter. I first thought I’d soak all the  fruit peels and dry fruits in some orange juice with some whole spices but I wasn’t quiet sure when would I get to actually bake the cake. So I changed the plan and this worked out really well.

I decided to bake a warm and hearty Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake. Some simple and fresh ingredients transformed into this gorgeous cake. I must admit it did turn out better than I had thought. 😊 And the texture was perfect, moist crumb and not very dense.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

The addition of Cranberry gives the cake a bit of tartness in every bite that compliments the citrusy notes from the oranges very well. If you wish you omit the Cranberry here, do that or you can replace them with some colourful tutti Frutti or even chopped nuts. I added some warm spices here, feel free to omit them too if you wish. This recipe makes for an excellent summer cake with just the orange flavour or replace Orange juice with some lemon juice.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Let’s start…

Yield: a 7″ round cake.

Equipment: an electric whisk, 7″ cake tin, a large mixing bowl, a medium sized mixing bowl, a silicon spatula, cooling rack, baking paper/ parchment paper, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)

1+1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 nos. large eggs

1 stick/ 100 gms unsalted butter @room temperature

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground clove

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries

icing sugar to dust the cake

Method:

Preheat the oven @180’c. Line the base of the tin with parchment paper/ baking paper and grease and dust the sides well.

In a medium size bowl, seive together the flour, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set it aside. Dust the cranberries with some flour and set them aside.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. I used an electric whisk and it took me about 3-4 mins of whisking. Now add one egg at a time and whisk the butter and sugar mixture with the eggs until light and fluffy once again.

Now, add the seived flour mixture and milk in the egg-butter-sugar mixture alternately and fold the mixture with a silicon spatula. Do not mix with a heavy hand else all the air whisked in the eggs will escape. Then add the orange juice and the cranberries. Mix well.

Pour the batter in the tin and bake @ 170’c using the lower heating rods/ coil for 60 mins approximately or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Note that every oven works differently so keep an eye on the temperature and the duration of the bake.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

I prefer baking my cakes low and slow, low temperature takes longer to bake the cake but ensures it rises well without any cracks on the top.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and cool it on a rack for 15 mins in the tin, then unmould it and cool it for a further 30 mins. Dust the top with some icing sugar. Slice it and serve. This cake keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

I used these spices, you can choose any spices of your choice.

Spiced Orange and Cranberry Cake  How to make an orange cake Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking
Hope you will bake this soon, it’s easy, alcohol free and absolutely delicious! 😀

Love,

Shreya💖

 

Gingerbread Man Cookies (eggless, no molasses)

Christmas 🎄✨is so close and all I think about is what all I wish to bake for it😋 There’s plenty to be done…I have already finished doing a fair bit in whatever little time I have between so many things…I almost thought I’d have to skip it this year!

The one thing that was on my mind were these gingerbread man cookies!! ☃️☃️ I’ve had these cookie cutters for ages now and i was itching to put them to good use 😂 I mean, I did bake gingread cookies last year too but just regular round ones and hence didn’t even post them on the blog…not to forget, I had baked them for New Years!! Lol!! Well, there’s a good reason being a bit tardy…..will come to that shortly.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Don’t they look crisp, all nice and crunchy!? Well that’s precisely why I didn’t mind waiting for an entire year to share the perfect recipe for an egg free, molasses free version of these cuties. I had tried a couple of recipes last year (I had more time then I guess to keep experimenting)…anyways I didn’t enjoy them as they had egg and also called for molasses. I found all the ingredients easily but maybe it was the flavour that wasn’t quite right. Or maybe it was me..I did something…I don’t know! Those cookies looked great even as a typical round, flat version but obviously they lacked the snap and crunch in every bite.

After hunting for another version which would be eggless and molasses free, I did stumble upon a great keeper of a recipe!

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

The texture of these gingerbread man cookies is just how it’s supposed to be, crunchy and keeps fresh for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. They have wonderful snap of them and the aroma…well it’s smells like Holidays in my home 😍 These best part, no electric heater or whisk is needed, no fancy equipments either…just make the dough and roll it out, use a cookie cutter of any shape you like, a star or some Christmas trees or even little mittens if you get hold of them. Bake these and ice them or enjoy them just like that.

Do read the recipe carefully before starting out. Also keep all the ingredients ready on the work surface, it will save you time and you will definitely avoid missing out anything important.

Also note that every oven works differently so please monitor trhe temperature and the baking time as per your oven. 

Yield: 16-18 cookies (I used medium sized cutters and rolled the dough a bit thick)

Equipment: a heavy bottomed saucepan, a wired whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, cling wrap, cookie cutters or knife (if you’re going for simply square or rectangular cookies), baking pan, parchment paper/ baking paper, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup milk (you may need a bit extra)

2 tbsp corn syrup (use honey if you can’t find corn syrup but I have not tried honey in this recipe so far)

a few golden or silver sprinkles to decorate the gingerbread men cookies (I ran out of icing sugar🙄😑)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, seive together the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and the baking soda. Set these aside.

Now, place butter, corn syrup, milk and sugar in the sauce pan and turn on the heat. Let the butter melt and the sugar dissolve completely on a low flame while stirring it continuously with a wired whisk. Once the sugar has melted, turn off the flame. Let the mixture cool for just 5-7 mins but not more as it thickens because of the corn syrup.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Next, add this butter and sugar mixture into the sieved flour and spices. Mix well using the whisk. The dough will come together very easily, if not add just 1/2 teaspoon of milk and bring the dough together. If needed only then add a few more drops of milk. If you add too much milk, the dough will turn out to be extremely gluelike and won’t hold a good shape. 

Now, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Please do not refrigerate the dough for longer as it will become too hard to roll out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Preheat the oven @ 180’c.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of cling wrap, dust it with very little flour and roll it out to a thickness of 4 mm approx (I like them thick, you can roll them to a thickness of 3 mm too). Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut them out.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas bakingimg_6212

Line a baking pan/ tray with parchment paper or baking paper and place these cookies a little apart from each other on it. Push  the sprinkles in place where you want to make the eyes and smile for the gingerbread man. Or else do an icing later. The sprinkles won’t melt while baking or fall off later.

Tip: roll and cut all the dough at once because this dough gets a bit sticky. If you have a small oven and can bake only 10 cookies at a time, keep the remaining cut out cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until you have to bake them. Please do not freeze the dough, it will become rock hard and will not come to a good texture to roll them later.

Bake the cookies @180’c for 13-14 mins using the lower rod for the first 11 mins and the upper and the lower, both rods for the last 2-3 mins to ensure a good colour. (My cookies cracked a bit as some of the sugar wasn’t melted well , but they still turned out crisp and didn’t spread much).

Keep an eye while baking them. Cool them on a cooling rack. Click here to learn how to make and use eggless royal icing to ice and decorate any cookies.

So it’s the corn syrup that replaces molasses and makes these cookies crisp.

Gingerbread man cookie recipe Eggless no molasses gingerbread cookie recipe How to replace molasses in gingerbread cookie recipe Polkapuffs recipes Christmas baking

Making this is a lot of fun and you can also include your kids while rolling the dough or icing the cookies later 😚

Love,

Shreya😍

Adapted from art of dessert.

Veg Kung Pao Noodles

It’s very rare that I share an Asian inspired recipe here on the blog. It is not that I don’t make them at home..it is usually made for dinner (I don’t shoot in the evenings)and on days when it’s made for lunch, I love it too much to even wait for a minure to set up a shoot and click! No, not happening!! 😜 Hahha!! Common, everyone would agree with me when I say that Asian food tastes best when piping food. Straight from the wok to my plate…👌🏼

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But yesterday was a different story, night before the last we had enjoyed Veg Hakka Noodles with Schezwan Paneer. And as always we enjoyed it so so much! We prefer a lot of veggies in our Hakka Noodles and some spicy sides for a complete meal.

Sooo… I ended up with a bowl of boiled noodles. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them😉 I loozed around in my refrigerator and found that I had all the necessary ingredients to make a quick Veg Kung Pao Noodle bowl for my lunch the following day!!

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

If anyone is wondering what is Kung Pao or Kung Po exactly, it is nothing but a quick stir fry of chicken (I didn’t use chicken here), some sauces and chillie pepper/ bell peppers. They have peanuts too….but I have replaced them here…this is my version, I like to play a lot with Asian recipes. There is always room for subbing. Almost every Asian restaurant or any other restaurant that selves Asian fold these days, includes their version of Kung Pao on their menu. It’s a hit among adults as is with the kids. Keep it spicy or mild, it’s really upto you. I usually order a veggie version with some fried rice if I am in the mood for a light meal. Since I had the left-over noodles, I simply tossed everything together to make a Veg Kung Pao Noodle Bowl 😉 You can also replace noodles with some boiled rice too.

You can use any veggies of your choice, any protein of your choice (tofu, chicken or some other meat) and the sauces too can be of your choice! I tend to keep it more Indo-Chinese, so you can imagine how delicious this is going to be! Let’s start…

Yield: serves 2

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

Ingredients:

2 cup boiled noodles (follow the instructions on the cover to cook them, make sure they are al-dentè)

100 gms cubed paneer (Indian cottage cheese. Substitute these for chicken, prawns, beef, pork, boiled eggs or tofu)

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp rice flour

salt to taste

black pepper powder to taste

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp red chilli sauce

1 tsp green chilli sauce

2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp Schezwan sauce

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup sliced green bell pepper

2-3 tbsp sliced green onions

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

9-10 nos. cashewnuts

5 tbsp oil

Some slived green onion to garnish

Method:

In a bowl, mix paneer cubes, rice flour, corn flour, salt and black pepper powder together. Keep it aside for a minute or two.

Keep all the veggies ready as well.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Place all the floured paneer pieces in oil and shallow them on all sides until brown and crispy. Remove them from the oil and drain them on some kitchen paper. Set that aside for now. Fry the cashewnuts in the same oil. Remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen paper. Set that aside too.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok, add spliced green onions and ginger garlic paste to the oil once it’s hot. Sauté these on high flame for a minute or two. Then add the sliced red, green and yellow bell peppers. Season with some salt and black pepper powder. Toss these for a couple of minutes. Then add the ketchup, soy, schezwan, red and green chilli sauces along with the vinegar. Mix well. Now add the paneer cubes and the fried cashewnuts. Toss once again. Next, go in the boiled noodles and a tsp of oil if necessary.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer Polkapuffs recipes Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Make sure everything is coated well with all the sauces. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Irresistibly yummmmm!!! What more could I ask for on a winter afternoon…some comfort food and then a long snoozzzzeeee😂

Love,

Shreya💗

 

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