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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with butter

10Jun 12

Bhatura

BhaturaBhaturas are Indian fried puffy breads. They actually puff up as you deep fry them, which is why they are a lot of fun to make. This is a lovely recipe I learned from my grandmother. (If you want more ideas, try this cheese and onion bread recipe.)

Since they are neither sweet nor salty, Bhaturas are very versatile. You can drizzle your favourite chutney on them. Check out my chutney recipes on my homepage.

Many Indians serve these tasty breads with Channa Masala.

 

Ingredients:

  • 240g all-purpose flour (also known as Maida)
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 50g yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. milk

Preparation Method:

  1. Sieve the all-purpose flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter a little bit in the microwave and add to the bowl.
  3. Add the milk and the yoghurt.
  4. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic. This may take a while, but consider it good exercise!
  5. Now roll this dough into a ball.
  6. Cover the ball with a wet cloth.
  7. Set the ball of dough aside for 5 hours. From time to time, check the cloth on top of the dough. You do not want it to dry up completely, so wet it every so often.
  8. After the allotted time, take this dough and knead it more.
  9. Take a small amount and roll it into round circles that are approximately 1 centimetre by 10 centimetres thick. Try to make these circles as perfectly round as possible.
  10. Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Wait until it is very hot.
  11. Take one of these circular Bhaturas and slowly lower it into the oil. Do this slowly because at this point the oil is very hot and if it spatters up on you, it will burn you.
  12. Let it fry for about 2 minutes. It should puff up as it is frying.
  13. Flip the Bhatura over. You will only flip it over once. Wait until it is slightly golden.
  14. Carefully remove from the oil.
  15. Leave it on a paper towel to let the oil drain off. Otherwise, it will be extremely fattening!
  16. Repeat this with the rest of the dough circles.

Makes: 5 Bhaturas
Takes: 30 minutes (plus 5 hours for the dough to sit)

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01Jun 12

Tasty Rava Ladoo

Rava LadooI absolutely love this Rava Ladoo recipe. Rava Ladoo is a tasty dessert that is easy to make. Ladoos are small ball-shaped treats made with plenty of sugar and other spices such as cardamom, a typical spice that we Indians love to add to dessert (try these Pistachio and Cardamom Bicuits).  Ladoos are excellent for parties because they are a nice, small snackable size. This is why in India they are served during holidays and festivals. Once made, ladoos can be stored and last up to a week, so you can prepare this dessert well ahead of any party you’re planning on throwing. That way you don’t have to leave them until the last minute.

Ingredients:

  • 150ml unsalted butter
  • 80g raisins
  • 400g semolina
  • 400g sugar
  • ½  teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 25g cashews and pistachios, crushed
  • 400ml whole milk

Preparation Method:

  1. Crush the cashews and pistachios and set them aside. The mixture should have the same amount of cashews as pistachios.
  2. In a large frying pan, sauté the raisins in the butter. Stir them slowly so they are all evenly cooked. This should make the raisins nice and plump.
  3. Take the raisins out of the butter. Drain them well so that they are not greasy. Set them aside.
  4. Using the same butter, add the semolina. Stir it constantly for 3-4 minutes so that it is evenly cooked.
  5. Add the sugar and continue stirring slowly.
  6. Add in the cashew and pistachio mixture, cardamom powder and the raisins and keep stirring.
  7. Slowly stir in the whole milk.  Stir until the milk is fully absorbed.
  8. Once the milk has been fully absorbed, take the frying pan off the stove and let everything cool down for 5 minutes.
  9. Now you are ready to make it into little lime-sized balls. Don’t wait until it gets too cold, because then it will not hold the shape. But since it is still very hot, I recommend using an ice cream scooper to form the balls.
  10. Leave them on a slightly greased platter. They should be separate so that they don’t stick together.
  11. Let them cool down for at least an hour before serving.

Makes: 35-40 ladoos

Takes: 30 minutes

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21Mar 12

Vegetable Samosas

Vegetable SamosasVegetable Samosas make a delicious snack at a party. They also work well as an accompaniment to a curry dish such as this Mussel Rassam recipe or as a starter. Eat them hot just after you’ve cooked them, or keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat them cold. I like them with a big dollop of mango chutney, but if you don’t want the fuss of spoons and forks, just enjoy them as a finger food.

Ingredients

To make the pastry
• 380g plain white flour
• 155g white self-raising flour
• 130g butter

To make the samosa filling
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 pinch of panch phoron (Bengali five-spice)
• 2 onions, chopped finely
• 3 large potatoes, cut into small cubes
• 100g peas
• 1 green chilli, chopped finely (add another if you like your samosas hot!)
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• Salt
• Vegetable oil in which to deep fry

Preparation Method

To make the pastry:
1. Put the 2 types of flour along with the butter into a mixing bowl and work the contents together. Drop in a dash of warm water and knead the mixture into a dough that should be elastic in consistency.
2. Make 12 dough balls and with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle. Then cut each circle in half.

To make the samosa filling:
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan; add the panch phoron and the onions; and fry until the onions turn a lovely golden brown. Add the chillies, turmeric, potatoes and peas; then season with salt. Cook the vegetables on a low heat until they are soft, stirring the contents of the pan frequently.

4. Make little islands with the filling on the half-circles of dough, using a teaspoon. 1 teaspoon on each piece of dough should be enough. Fold the dough into triangle shapes.

5. Take a heavy-based pan, fill it halfway with vegetable oil, and heat on high. You’ll know when the oil is ready to use if you drop a tiny piece of onion or other small piece of leftover veg into the oil and it sizzles immediately. Lower a few of the dough parcels into the hot oil and deep fry for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-looking and golden brown in colour.

6. Using a slotted spoon to drain the oil, carefully scoop the samosas out onto a plate covered with a piece of kitchen roll which will remove some of the excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining parcels, cooking a few at a time. When all of the samosas are cooked and drained, they are ready to serve.

Note: Hot oil can be dangerous and should never be left unattended.

Takes: 65 minutes

Makes: 24 Vegetable Samosas

 

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