Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
I’m excited to invite you to the launch of the Kickstarter for my children’s picture book, Princesses Only Wear Putta Puttas! Please check out the amazing video shot by film director Michael Duni, read an exclusive excerpt of the book with a special picture glossary, and preorder your copy at this link today: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/24665272/princesses-only-wear-putta-puttas
This, my first book, is going to be published in November. Kickstarter is a platform that has raised over $1Bn for creative projects just like mine.
Since early momentum is so important on Kickstarter (I would love for Princesses Only Wear Putta Puttas to get picked up as a Staff Pick and featured on the site!), please consider doing one of the following:
Preordering your copy of the book today! I have an Early Bird Special – you could get an Advanced Reading Copy of the book before it’s published in November for only $9. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/24665272/princesses-only-wear-putta-puttas
Liking, commenting, and sharing the post I’ll be putting on my Facebook page
Forwarding this email to your friends who have little princesses in their own lives!
Many thanks for checking out my Kickstarter for Princesses Only Wear Putta Puttas! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/24665272/princesses-only-wear-putta-puttas
|Milk Fudge Bonbons/ Toffees|
Rather than make the usual potato based samosas, I decided to get to of my most favorite veggies, sweet potatoes and beetroots together to make this universally favorite and known Indian appetizer. You know you’ve created a winner recipe when you kids cannot keep their hands of the food – It took a lot to keep them away from the samosas at least until I got a chance to photograph it – I feel like this cruel mom when i do this, the kids understand the long-term value of this short but excruciating wait, I hope
Tomorrow is Varalakshmi pooja day – when Goddess Lakshmi who epitomizes wellness and prosperity is welcomed into our home and propitiated with sweet and salty offerings by way of food; flowers and a garland of mantras. I am so happy this festival comes in the summer when my daughters are not in school and it can be treated as a very special occasion, often more than even Deepavali when it is business as usual unless it falls on a weekend.
With no garlic or onion, this is a good recipe to consider making for festive occasions. Trust me you will be hooked on these samosas if you get a chance to make it or have it made by your help.
I have a picture gallery of the recipe – pretty self explanatory – at least for the stuffing.
NOTE: MAKE YOU STUFFING FIRST
Ingredients for the Dough
1 cup AP Flour
2 tbsp Sooji or cream of wheat (slightly coarse)
1/2 cup of warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2tbsp olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients and add the oil and mix – Add water slowly making sure you only use as much as you need to make a non-pasty, firm but soft & fine dough. Pinch into 5-6 balls.
For the veggie stuffing – sweet potatoes, beetroots, green chilies, salt –
Since I am on a bread roll, (lol) I thought I’d follow up my french bread post with my stuffed and braided bread – the one many of you good friends have given me the wonderful like sign for on FB:)
Keep the same bread recipe as my french bread – except after it rises the first time around
roll it out like a pizza crust. The rest of the recipe follows – this was another of my off the cuff ideas since It is that time of the year again when my veggie garden is profuse with squash blossoms – You may recall my zucchini bajjis from last year. I did not want to use the blossoms in the usual ways that have been recorded on the web. It is really easy and I would love for you to try it – Like all other works of art, this requires patience and that is no biggy for most of my creative friends, right?
Here we go!
Identify the male flowers and pick about 10-15. Wash in gentle water and pat dry with paper towel – allow them to sit in a sunny part of your kitchen until you are ready to work with them
Prepare your bread dough. Let it rise for 2 hours
Ingredients for stuffing the blossoms
1/3 less Fat Philedelphia cream cheese – I used about 6 ounces of the 8 ounce box
Pesto (Mine was homemade and the recipe will be posted soon) about 4 ounces
Mix the two nicely and keep ready
Pick up the dry blossom, cut the back ends off with the stem leaving a small hole. Approach stuffing from the petal end which is wide and convenient – make sure you do not over stuff or push it too far towards the stem side hole.
Hold the flower and with a small spoon insert the cream cheese pesto mix (about 2 tsps). Press the petals close with your fingers. repeat until all flowers are filled.
When the 2 hours are up get the dough out and knead a couple of times . Split into 2 halves. I made a braided bread with one half and a plain loaf with the other.
Roll out the one half like you would pizza dough. Make sure the surface has already been dusted with flour before doing this.
Now place the blossoms gently and closely, facing opposite directions alternately (see picture below) .
Take a sharp knife and cut the sides into strips. The top and bottom corners will be slightly broader. Fold them in first, gently over the blossom. Then braid the rest of the strips, as shown in the picture.
Bake at 350 degrees or until brown at the top.
I hope you’ll enjoy this!
Serve it hot
Stay tuned for my Masala Buns – which is the next recipe on my blog!
|I have truly made a better braid than this, but hey…|
Can she bake a cherry pie, Charming Billy
She can bake a cherry pie
Quick as a cat can blink her eye…..
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!!! Have you, composer of this song, ever made a pie crust from scratch??? You would not make such flippant claims, even in jest, if you have. A blink of a cat’s eye eh? Yes if it is blinking in slow-mo for about 24 hours -lol!
The biggest challenge of making a pie is without doubt the crust – if you nail that, then the rest is a breeze – And to master my pie-making skills, I once again turn to my lovely patient Canadian friend Stephanie of Joys of Baking. I followed her like the Lamb did Mary (ah- there is another rhyme I’ve inadvertently alluded to) you cannot but make a perfect pie crust. So my advice – follow this link for pie crust lessons.
What I claim to be mine is the filling –
In my Cherry kachal post, I told you about our wonderful cherry picking adventure, right? This was the first recipe I made with them – I have another very informative post on how to freeze cherries properly coming up soon.
What sets a pie apart from any other, other than a deliciously flaky crust? The filling, of course.
What a turn on it is to pick your own fruits, clean them, pit them and use them in a recipe – I made it my own by adding two ingredients that all my Indian friends would approve of and applaud Ginger and Cardamom. I ditched the same old Cinnamon and went for the exotic, the tingling spicy and what was pronounced a fabulous pie – I had taken this to a friends home and there was this gent there who was not a big cherry anything fan – I think he just got converted that evening I quote loosely “best pie ever” and went for seconds. That mes amies is a good compliment, n’est pas?
Here is the recipe for the pie filling
3lbs or 5-6 cups of pitted fresh cherries
3/4 cup of sugar
2tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1tbsp powdered cardamom
1 tbsp ginger powser
In a heavy bottomed pan, throw in all the ingredients and cook for about 3minutes only until the ingredients come together.
Allow to cool down completely
Pour into the pie crust spreading evenly
Oven set to 350 and baked for 34-45 minutes
Follow Stephanie’s baking directions please – Link here
Here is my pie crust, pie filling and finished pie pictorial – enjoy y’all. Sorry I did not have the time to take pictures from the start – too preoccupied trying to get the ingredients right
|Dough is made|
|cut into 2 halves if making a covered pie|
|Roll out flat and wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate|
|They can be in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer a lot longer|
|here are my two wrapped pie halves ready for refrigeration|
|The pie lady|
|Rolled and transferred on to the greased pan|
|Note little fingers have poked the pie!!|
|Following Stephanie’s instructions to design the corners|
|Fixing poke marks|
|Look at that!|
|cut the excess crust from the rim|
|keep refrigerated until ready to roll out and bake|
|The stars are coming along|
|My little one helps press the stars|
|There she is in her Rapunzel outfit|
|The pie is filled|
|arranging the stars|
|The oozing that indicates a fully cooked pie|
|The color is off – not enough light|
|This is a good one!|
|Get your forks and dig in folks|
This is a simple and immensely addictive snack made in many parts of India, but perhaps called by different names. In Tamil kara means spicy and boondhi means drops. The kids had gone out for a swim. My hubby had just finished off a rather distasteful packet of something from the indian store, the kind that is excessively spicy and doughy and not much else – I decided to launch on the boondhi trail – after all, how hard can it be- In my mind, it seemed a cinch, since I had bought the boondhi ladle the last time I was in India.
I took my inspiration from the video from Vahrevah – he explained it quite nicely and it was easy to figure out what I should look for – And the bottom line is consistency – that’s really all it boils down to when you consider how, oily or soft, or elongated they could get -if the consistency is incorrect – so what you are looking for is a thick flowing consistency that drops slowly from the ladle – You take a ladle to the ladle and assist the drops
The second point to not is don’t over crowd the pan – there should be exactly one layer of boondhis per time else you get yourself and the boondhis into a sticky, clumpy mess.
Here is my recipe with a few changes that helped me make the best boondhi
2 cups of besan (or what you amount you choose)
1 tsp of baking soda
1.5 cups of water (divided)
2tsp of salt
kara podi (to mix in after the boondhi) I used homemade molagapodi, some roasted cashews and curry leaves.
Preparation of batter
Sift the besan to get rid of knots
add the salt and the baking soda
mix them in nicely with a whist
Add 1/2 cup of water first and and make a thick paste
Then slowly add the rest of the water in small installments, checking for thick flowing consistency
Note: Too much water will not make round drops and will absorb too much water. Too thick a batter will not allow the batter to drop into the oil –
Trial and error is OK! It took me at least two tries to know when to stop the dripping to avoid clumping. I had to add more batter because I had gotten it a little too thin for starters. I guarantee you that by the 3rd or 4th round, you’ll have nailed it
Heat oil on a medium flame
Get the boondhi ladle positioned above the centre of the frying pan.
Now I will let my pictures speak for themselves.
|The boondhi ladle|
|My watery atta|
|bad bad bad!!|
|Not so great -too much water and too much batter in one go!|
|Really good right|
|That’s my wrist flying around with a ladle stirring the ladle|
|Check out these beauties|
|I had added to much batter|
|My best batches|
You can see how I kept improving until it really did get perfect – I think adding the baking soda gave it the air to puff up nice and round.
|A seasoned patty pan flower|
|ready to eat!|
These are beauties from my garden and after browsing plenty as to how to cook ‘em, I decided I will make a stuffed bake out of it! These squashes are as easy on the eyes as they are on the palate
As always, love you all and see you in your blogs soon
|Pattypan takes centre stage|
|Their heads with the top scooped off for future recipe|
|Cutting the rim like a surgeon – my dahling hubs|
|Now he scoops out the seeds|
|Sorry it got uploaded sideways|
I am also excited to announce that NOW SERVING will be haing a 3rd guest segment soon…. Stay tumed
That’s really it mes amies – bon soir until the next time!!!
The winner was picked from the Indian entries since Pari will be mailing out the wonderful cookbook of Tarla Dalal to the lucky person. I picked the winner through random.org and the book goes to Entry # 7 – Creatrive Journey Congrats to you J
Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me
Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Cool Lassi(e), Harini, Kalyani, Priya Mahadevan, Suma
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid’s Special: Priya Suresh, Veena,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets: Shylaja, Srivalli
Seven Days of Regional Specials: Priya Yallapantula
Under 15 mins Quick Breakfast:Aarthi, Vaishali
Linking this to Priya’s Book Marked Recipes