Sunday, March 28, 2010

Homemade Indian Flavoured Pizza!

Making a Pizza from scratch, rich in Indian flavours has been a long time dream for me.

And then Lavi announced the theme for the lovely event of Global Kadai and I was all set to venture this beautiful looking food.
Moreover, the overwhelming response from my dear blogger buddies in savoury buns, the recent post and the sudden expertise I gained in handling yeast on flour propelled me to come up with the fullest energy! :)

So here we go…

For the preparation of the Pizza Base I substituted Whole Wheat Flour with the regular All Purpose Flour.

Ingredients for the Pizza Base

A large cup of Wheat Flour (makes 2 medium sized pizzas)
¼-½ cup of Luke warm water
½ tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp each of sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tsps of Homemade Ghee(no olive oil here so as to make it more Indian) ;)

Mix ½ tsp of active dry yeast in ½ cup of luke warm water along with sugar and salt and kept it aside in a warm place undisturbed for 30 minutes.The frothy layer would have formed on top.(I used Hodgson Mill active dry yeast which works well with whole grain flours)

In a bowl containing the wheat flour, add the yeast solution as well as the melted butter and knead well into a soft pliable dough.Taste the dough and add more salt or sugar if you need.Brush melted butter on top the dough and keep it aside for 2 hours.The dough would have acquired double the size after this time.Punch down the dough to remove air and roll it out to make 1cm thick pizza base.I spread the dough with my fingers leaving the edge around a little thicker, since I preferred thin and crispy inside with soft and 'bready' edge.Prick it with a fork here and there and bake for 5-6 minutes in 180 deg C in a pre heated oven. Remove and keep aside the ‘pre baked’ pizza base.

Ingredients for the Pizza Sauce

A tbsp of oil
4 Ripe red tomatoes (less sour variety)-4- cut into bite sized pieces
1 Big onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsps of water
½ tsp of dried herbs-I substitiuted Indian herbs- a few fresh Coriander and Tulsi leaves.
Salt- as needed
A pinch of freshly ground pepper

Chop onion and garlic, fry in the oil, red chillies next and the tomatoes.Saute until they turn soft and mushy.Add 2 tbsps of water if you want a runny sauce. Simmer.
Stir in the herbs,salt and pepper powder.Cool and grind to a smooth paste/sauce.

For The Topping, I used

Roasted Bell Pepper (insert a skewer across, roast in direct flame, rub off the black skin and cut into small cubes)

  • *Paneer Tikka ( I tried tawa method)- Scroll down for the recipe.
  • Corn
  • Roasted Bell Pepper- inspired by the post here.
  • Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • Finely minced Small Onions and Garlic
  • Homemade Ghee- drizzled here and there
  • Chilly flakes
  • Coriander leaves.
  • Cheese-I used mozarella cheese slices.

*Paneer Tikka

100 gms Paneer, cubed into 9 equal pieces.
A tsp of yogurt
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
A fewdrops of lime juice
1/4 tsp Chaat masala powder
1/2 tsp Tandoori masala
A pinch of Black pepper powder
Salt to taste
Ref oil to drizzle while cooking on Tawa

Mix the ingredients (except paneer) to form a thick paste.Marinate the paneer pieces with the paste evenly smeared (liberally) on them for half an hour.

Heat a tawa or a griddle and place the pieces 3-4 at a time.Drizzle a few drops of oil.

Turn the pieces carefully, so as to ensure that all the sides are cooked evenly and browned well on the surface. Repeat as batches.Once it cools down cut the chunks each into 9 pieces and use as the pizza topping.

Assembling the Pizza before Baking

Spread the Sauce over the pre baked pizza base. Sprinkle the toppings in the list in that order ending it up with cheese topping.Preheat the oven to 240 deg C , often the full blast in any oven. Bake the Pizza for abt 10-12mins or until the cheese melts. Check the pizza often to make sure it doesn't overcook or burn.

Remove from the oven and serve warm.

The roasted bell pepper, paneer tikka along with the crunchy bits of onion and garlic was Heaven, still bitten deep into the flavourful ghee enriched topping as well as the thin n crispy wheat flour base was YUM!..

Lavi, this is prepared specially for the Global Kadai event you host for the month :)
Global Kadai is an event started by Cilantro.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mini Savoury Buns

My first attempt of making buns and I'm absolutely happy with the final outcome which made me feel…
...hmm not bad..for the first time..:)

Here's how I made them...

I mixed ½ tsp of active dry yeast in luke warm water along with ½ tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt and kept it aside in a warm place undisturbed for 30 minutes.
The frothy layer formed on top proving the quality of yeast(whew) :)

In a bowl containing a cup of all purpose flour I added 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt.
A tbsp of finely cut fresh coriander leaves, ¼ tsp of chilly flakes,a large clove of garlic; minced and a few tiny bits of green chillies were thrown in along with 2 tsps of melted butter.
The flour and the spice mixture was kneaded well to a soft pliable dough using the frothy yeast solution.Spiced up buns need to be salty but I love them 'balanced':) though I wanted a little salty ones this time.
The dough was less salty. I was too lazy to add more and knead all over again..

I coated some melted butter on the inside base of a micro wave safe bowl, placed the dough in it and after giving a mild roll, kept aside for 2 hrs in the micro wave oven after giving it a 10 sec warm up and covered the bowl with a towel.

After a couple of hours I took out the bowl from the oven.The dough had doubled in size.I punched it down so as to remove the trapped in air and gave it a gentle knead.

Next, I divided it into 9 equal balls (golf ball sized), placed in a greased baking pan(you can also use parchment paper) and brushed melted butter on top of each.

I kept it covered for another 30 minutes until they rose a bit more.

Sprinkled some sea salt on top of each.(remember, the dough was less salty)
Believe me!.. this tastes Great!.. when bitten into the salty crusty top and the less salty soft insides is Divine!! :)

Finally they were baked in a preheated oven for about 30 mins set to 200 deg C (oven temp varies..mine is the old fashioned electric oven which demands a little more heat and time.. :))

The buns had acquired a golden brown colour by now.I removed them from the pan, cooled down a bit and coated some more melted butter for that extra glaze for these err photos ;)

We enjoyed the warm spicy buns for the breakfast with a hot pot of coffee :)
Biting into the garlic bits and chillies along with the bursting flavour of coriander was.......
Heaven!! :)

These Mini Savoury Buns were prepared for Rachel's Bread Baking Day (BBD) #28.
BBD is an event created by Zorra.

I am happy to be a part of JFI after a long time.
Suma, this is for you too, for JFI- Breakfast, you host for the month of March.
JFI is the brain child of Indira.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cocoa Banana Muffins

Well, it is a fact that I just can’t control my sudden cravings for chocolate cakes and the love for the divine banana bread.
This sudden thought came into my mind today. What if I would combine the two?

And here’s the yummy result with which I am extremely contented!
Chocolate Banana Muffins! :)

I mixed a smaller portion of batter which could fill in just 4 ramekins, wondering how it would turn up and to my pleasantest surprise the cake got over in a jiffy marking another family favourite.

Luckily each had one’s own portion of a whole ramekin :)!

Here’s how I whipped it up, (to yield 5 ramekins)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Chocolate powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
4-5 tbsps of milk - [can ‘sour cream’ be substituted here? Pls suggest :)]
1 tsp baking powder
A fat pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Sift flour, chocolate powder, baking powder and salt at least 6 times to facilitate even mixing.
In a separate bowl, cream sugar,(I powdered it) oil, egg and banana.
Fold in the dry ingredients with a wooden spatula.
Transfer into the prepared ramekins.

I baked them for 40 mins with temperature set to 375F in my oven.But I feel I slightly over baked them.When I inserted the skewer after about half an hour, it didn't come out clean; later I realised it would have been melted chocolate and would have taken them out then.
So be careful about the baking time :).

The 'Cocoa-Nana' Bread ;) is off to Dhivya's Best Chocolate Cake event being celebrated for her completion of two fabulous years of blogging and 300 yummy posts!! :)
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