Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Magas - Gujarati Besan Fudge

Today marks the third anniversary of my wee blog. What a fun filled and exciting journey it has been. With over 200 blog posts and about 700 encouraging comments in these years, I am amazed, humbled and overwhelmed. I am delighted to be able to get in touch virtually with foodies around the world who have provided me with invaluable tips and support. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart. Even though it has been very difficult to keep up with my busy, busy,busy schedule at work and at home, I look forward to many more years of sharing my love of food with you all.

This time around, I have taken a journey back home with my post. Magas is a first cousin(!) of Mohanthaal, a very dear and forgotten dessert of Gujarat and Maharashtra. I fondly remember mom making this ghee filled mithai before Christmas and I was the first one to taste it because I always wanted it sweeter and I would ask mom to add more and more and more sugar! She would ask dad(who is even bigger sugar fan than I am) and he would want more sugar! Finally, it would be her or my sister and then, of course, the sugar was enough or more. But at the end, it always turned out just perfect. While making pieces, mom always used to scrap the bottom of the plate and make sure to gather all the bits and pieces of Magas and make small balls for me and my sister. I like the simplicity of making it and the texture of course flour in it. So friends, enjoy my childhood favourite mithai!


2 cups coarsely ground chick pea flour
1 to 1.5 cups + 3 tbsp ghee
¼ cup milk
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp cardamom powder
Charoli (chirongi) seeds as required for garnish

How to:

Mix milk and 3 tbsp ghee and rub the chick pea flour(besan) thoroughly.
Keep covered and set aside for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes or so, just pulse the flour in the food processor till big lumps are broken and you get coarse texture.
Heat a non stick pot on a medium high heat.
Add the flour to the pot, and 1.5 cups of ghee. Make sure the flour is covered with ghee.
Roast the flour till nice pink, for about 20 minutes.
Let it cool down completely before you add powdered sugar to it.
Add as much sugar as you need for the sweetness and then beat the mixture thoroughly.
Pour in a greased dish, garnish with charoli seeds.
Cut in to pieces once cool down.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pizza Bites

I am always looking for the tricks that will satiate my hungry family pre-dinner. Everyday we get home from work, even before I start dinner, both father and son ask for snacks. I do have some pre-packaged snacks in my pantry all the time. But we do get bored of eating all that store bought junk, don’t we?  Last week, don’t remember the day but they both were screaming for snacks and I happened to have pepperoni and wonton wrappers in my fridge. Thought let me just try to make small snack size bites of them. So I just oiled to mini muffin tray, placed the wonton wrappers in them and pushed the tray in the toaster oven. They were baked in like 3 minutes. Then I just spooned the marinara sauce in the cups, placed some already cut up mushroom slices on top, sprinkled cheese over it, stuck one pepperoni in each and put the tray back in the toaster oven. In 5 minutes, the hot and tasty snack was ready for my family. It only took about 10 minutes from the oven to their mouths and guess what, the request was made by both of them to make it again on Saturday as an appetizer!

Looks like I just gave out the ingredients and recipe! Do I need to post it again, really? Don’t think so. And again, sky is the limit with these babies. Stuff them with anything, make them as simple and fast as you can or as elaborate and elegant as you wish.


Sunday, February 17, 2013


Another Christmas creation that I remember fondly from my childhood. I absolutely loved this snack. The only thing I didn’t like about it growing up was how time consuming it was to prepare. Mom used to mix a few dals and rice and then clean them up, grind them and make the dough for murukku. Well, I found the easiest ever method and tell you what, this snack doesn’t last for more than 2 days in my house! I made about 30 spirals and poof, they vanished into thin air so fast!(purely hypothetical!).

1-1/2 cups rice flour
½ cup besan
Salt as required
¼ cup oil and more for frying
¼ cup sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp Indian red chili powder
Water as required

How to:
Make dough by mixing all the ingredients.
Dough should be a  bit harder than Chapati dough.
Heat up the oil to 350° F in a deep sauce pot.
Make murukku using the special murukku press on parchment paper while the oil heats up.
Deep fry till golden.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homemade Wonton Soup

I always, always, always have wonton wrappers in my fridge. They are so versatile, come in handy whenever I am in a rush to make something very quick. This soup was just another one of those I Want Something Hot N Steamy To Warm My Soul kind of dishes. We were buried in snow last week. What a blizzar it was. We had an unexpected long weekend. It was Friday and I need to make room in the fridge to put the groceries after Saturday grocery shopping. I found mushrooms and tofu and the wonton wrappers. I thought, hmmm, now what to do with these wrappers? And someone knocked on the door of my brain, asking me to make dumplings. Which I did. And then, boom, from dumplings, I took a U-turn and made this soup.

It is so easy, so satisfying, so comforting. Make it tonight friends!

Homemade Wonton Soup
For Wontons:
12 wonton wrappers
½ cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup shredded carrots
1 tbsp soy sauce
Ginger and garlic paste as per taste
1 tbsp oil

How to:
Cook the veggies in hot oil with ginger,garlic and soy sauce until the water evaporates.
Keep it aside to cool down.
Once cooled down, fill the wonton wrapper with about a tsp of the mixture, dip your fingers in the cold water and seal the wonton wrappers.
Make all the dumplings.

For Soup
1 litre chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced tofu
Soy sauce per taste
Chili sauce per taste
Rice noodles as required

How to:
Boil the chicken broth.
Add mushrooms, tofu and wontons.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until wontons float on the top of the broth.
Remove from heat.
Add rice noodles, soy sauce and chili sauce.
Serve hot soup with garnishes of your choice, like cilantro, Thai Basil or sliced spring onions.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

Spreading a little love as V day is fast appraching! Since Valentine's day falls on Thursday this year, it will be difficult for me to make special breakfast, lunch and dinner for the special day. So I decided to spread it over the entire week. This is the V day breakfast that we just had this morning. I will be making a special dinner next Saturday and in between, we will have a lunch planned on the 10th! I think this is the great way to celebrate a day in a week.

Back to the post, well, as the name suggests, these are stuffed pancakes. Stuffed with the goodness of Nutella. Just like all of you, my family is crazy about this chocolatey hazelnut spread. Sometimes for a quick chocolate or sugar fix, I take it in a spoon and devour it just like that. It's that good, this stuff!  I've made Nutella Stuffed French Toasts which was a big hit in my household. So this time around, I've come up with another Nutella recipe which was equally delish. The only problem was, we can't stuff Nutella all over the pancakes as they cook so fast. So I had to be content with spreading the Nutella in the middle of the pancake and then wait till I get to the middle while enjoying the pancake. I did try spreading it all around by thinning out Nutella a bit, it gave me nice swirls which was ok, but not exactly what I wanted. Maybe next time, I will place dollops of Nutella all over the pancakes instead of just putting it in the middle. That way I can have a better tasting stuffed pancakes. But in the meantime, I am happy with these babies.

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes
1 cup AP flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt
Nutella and oil(or butter) as required

How to:
Mix AP flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
Crack an egg in a small bowl, whisk it with milk.
Now add egg mixture to flour mix.
Add baking powder and oil to it.
Pre heat the griddle to the temperature so that when you sprinkle water on it, the drops dance and disappear!
This is the correct temperature of the griddle.
Smear with oil or butter.
Now pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter to the griddle.
Right away, top with a tbsp of Nutella, quickly cover it with 1 tbsp of pancake batter.
Cook till edges are dry, flip and cook for about 40 seconds.
Make all the pancakes and enjoy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

de Chèvre Pizza

This is by far, the best de Chèvre pizza we have ever tasted! I am not kidding. This is our favourite pizza to enjoy on the cruises.  This was my first time making it and it came out just perfect. All I had was the picture from one of the cruises that my son took of this pizza slice. I knew it has mushrooms and goat cheese in it.  Wasn't sure about the sauce or mozzarella cheese to top it off with.
 I kind of knew there is no red sauce so I need some kind of white sauce. First I thought of making Béchamel sauce and then being pressed for time as ever, I opted for bottled Alfredo sauce!
Some sautéed Portobello mushrooms with garlic and I was ready to assemble my first de Chèvre pizza.

de Chèvre(goat cheese) pizza
1 cup crumbled Goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large Portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp oil
½ cup prepared Alfredo sauce
1-1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

For Pizza dough:

1 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 tsp. sugar
3 c. flour

Mix ingredients together, adding flour last. Cover and let rise 1 hr.

How to:

Pre heat the oven to 450° F.
In the mean time, cook sliced Portobello with garlic, salt and pepper in oil.
Keep aside.
Stretch the dough on oiled pizza pan.
Spread some Alfredo sauce on it.
Next, spread mushroom mix, followed by both cheeses.
Stick in the oven till cheeses melt and the crust is cooked.