Pav Bhaji Pizza (Vegit Review)

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Recently, in the course of my busy life, I was introduced to some ready to cook snacks that come under the brand name of Vegit. These Snack Mixes are available in India and are a boon for people looking to cook some mouth watering snacks in a jiffy. I received some packets of the snack mixes for review and I must say I simply loved the versatility of these products. Vegit Pav Bhaji is a recent addition to their kitty and apart from Pav Bhaji, one can make a number of recipes using the mix. I tried Pav Bhaji Pizza and the result was something that I totally loved. For those who cannot lay their hands on this timesaver Vegit Mix, wait till I post the recipe of Pav Bhaji made from scratch 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 pack Vegit Pav Bhaji Mix
6 pieces ready Pizza Base
1 small onion (sliced)
1 small tomato (sliced)
2 mushrooms sliced (optional)
3 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese

RECIPE

Follow package instructions and prepare Bhaji from the Vegit Pav Bhaji Mix.

Spread 5 tablespoons of the prepared Bhaji on a ready pizza base.

Top the pizza with onion, tomato and mushroom slices.

Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 10 mins.

Take out the Pizza from oven and sprinkle grated cheese. Bake for another 5 mins till cheese melts.

Serve hot.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

Matar Kulcha (New Delhi Special)

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If there was to be a poll on Delhi’s favorite breakfast, the hands-down winner would be Matar Kulcha. A popular North Indian street food comprising curried dried white peas and fermented flat bread, Matar Kulcha is sold in makeshift stalls all around Delhi. Vendors begin their sales from early in the morning and do brisk business till late in the evening, as this versatile dish can be had for breakfast, as a light lunch, as well as an evening snack. Although I am a BIG Matar Kulcha fan, I prefer not eating on the roadside and make my own at home. If I can get the same taste without compromising on the hygiene, why not! 😉 And once I share the recipe with you, you will want to make it at home too. Just because it is too simple a recipe! Here’s how you can make it:

INGREDIENTS:

FOR MATAR (Matar is the Hindi word for Peas!)

1 cup dried white peas (these look like chickpeas but are smaller in size)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili (minced)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons roasted cumin powder
1 teaspoon roasted coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon mint-coriander paste (fresh mint leaves and fresh coriander leaves ground together into a fine paste)
1 teaspoon rock/black salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 black cardamoms (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt (to taste)
1 liter water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Coriander leaves, ginger julienne (to garnish)

FOR KULCHA (Fermented Flat Bread)

1-1/2 cup refined flour
1/4 cup yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup warm water
Salt (a pinch)
1 tablespoon coriander leaves (chopped)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

RECIPE:

To make Kulcha, mix 2 tablespoons flour with yogurt, baking soda, vinegar and salt. Set aside for 10 mins,

Add this mixture to the remaining flour, and adding a little warm water, knead into a soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour, or till the dough doubles in size. (Since we are not adding yeast to this dough, and fermenting it with the help of baking soda and yogurt, Kulcha will remain soft for a long time.)

Grease your palms with a little oil and divide the dough into lime sized balls.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls into circles, around 4-5 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch in thickness.

Preheat oven at 175 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or use a Silicon baking sheet.

Sprinkle some coriander leaves over each Kulcha and press it down with your fingers.

Arrange on the baking tray and bake for 5-7 minutes or till the Kulcha puffs up.

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NOTE: You can store these flat breads for 4-5 days in refrigerator. So you can make batches in advance and use as and when required. You can also cook these Kulchas on a griddle, flipping over before brown spots start appearing on each side.

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To make Matar, soak the dried white peas in water for 6-7 hours. Drain the water and pressure cook the peas with turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt till the peas are soft.

In a bowl, mix together tamarind paste, mint-coriander paste, 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder and rock/black salt. Add a little water to make a Chutney.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute. Now add green chili and chopped onion, reserving a little for garnish.

When onion turns translucent, add the chopped tomatoes, again reserving some of it for garnish.

When tomatoes become tender, add crushed black cardamom, cinnamon powder, roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder, red chili powder, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Add 1 cup water and cook covered on high for 3 minutes.

Now add the cooked dried white peas and mix well with the rest of the ingredients, mashing it gently with a spoon as you stir. When all the ingredients have mixed well, add the tamarind chutney that we had prepared. Mix well.

Pour a ladle full of the curried Matar in a bowl and garnish with chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped coriander leaves and ginger julienne.

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Serve steaming hot with Kulcha. And dig into bliss on a cold, winter morning! 😉

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: This dish can be made 100% oil free. You just need to add the cooked peas to a pan, add a little extra water and cook for another 5 mins with the chopped onion, tomato, ginger-garlic paste and green chili. Also, skip adding cumin seeds. Follow the rest of the procedure to get a delicious, guilt-free, healthy and wholesome meal.

Macaroni Masala

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This is Macaroni with an Indian twist. Looks yum? Then read on. I was introduced to Macaroni Masala in 2008, in the canteen of the newspaper office where I worked. Intrigued by the fusion of the flavors, I had asked the cook to share the recipe with me. He did, and ever since, Macaroni Masala has become a life saver dish for me. I make it when I can’t think of anything else. I make it when I am hungry and I want a quick fix meal. I make it when I have guests over at my place. I make it, well, every time I want to eat a fusion dish. Popular in north India, Macaroni Masala is just the perfect blend of East and West. Cooked with Indian spices, this dish is easy, yummy and healthy, all at the same time. Getting impatient to know the recipe? Okay, here it is:

INGREDIENTS:

1 bowl whole wheat macaroni (cooked)
1 small tomato (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili (minced)
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder (or all spice powder)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water

RECIPE:

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan and add cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle, add ginger-garlic paste and green chili and saute for half a minute.

Add chopped onion and cook till it turns translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are tender. Then add tomato puree and tomato ketchup and mix well.

Add cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and salt and mix.

Add water and cook covered on high for 5 minutes. When the water has reduced, add soy sauce and lemon juice and mix well. Add cooked macaroni and stir till the sauce mixes well with it. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes,

Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: This is the recipe that I was introduced to. You can add more vegetables like shredded carrot, cabbage, french beans and bell peppers to make this dish more nutritious. Now it’s easier making your kids eat vegetables!