Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lemon Buttermilk Pie ♥



I have baked many a Pies during my stay in Canada, but this is the first time I actually baked an entire Pie right from the scratch and all on my own! I must add that it was worth the effort. I am the kind of person who appreciates all the hard work if the final product pays off! Now that I have resorted to barely buying any bread since I bake at home and also the same in the Pizza Dough department, I will not get a store bought Pie crust ever again! The Buttermilk adds creaminess to the Pie and also mellows down the strong Lemony flavor, which works out perfectly 'coz the balance is just right, and it is definitely not as heavy as when you add cream so +1 on the health scale too! I used much less butter as compared to the one recommended in the recipe I followed, but it still worked out fine, especially when it serves the purpose and you're trying to watch what you eat. It's like having the best of both worlds! :)

Lemon Buttermilk Pie
Serves 8 (if they have 1 slice each which I don't think they will, so better say 4)
Recipe for Pie Crust adapted from Simply Recipes and the filling recipe adapted from About.com

Ingredients:

For the Pie Crust:


1 cup All purpose Flour
300 gm/1/4 cup Butter, cut into pieces and chilled or frozen
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp Sugar
6 tablespoons of Cold Water
Extra Flour for dusting


For The Filling:

Zest of 2 small Lemons
Juice of 2 small Lemons
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Buttermilk (I used lesser coz anyways my filling was too runny with that so I recommend 1 cup instead of 1.5)
4 Eggs
3/4th cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter (I used Clarified Butter/Ghee)
Ground Cinnamon for Dusting

Extras :
Parchment/Wax/Butter Paper
Pie weights : you could use rice or beans or even small coins if you have many of them!
A Pie Dish.
A Blender

Method:

 Before you do anything. Make sure The ingredients for your Pie Crust are chilled. Especially if you're in a hot place like India. So Just make sure your cut slices of butter are in the freezer, and Flour in the fridge. I actually I added the flour, salt and sugar to my blender mug and put the entire thing in the fridge so that my equipment stays cold to. Win for portable blenders!

Preheat Oven to 420F/220C

Now you need to know that when baking Pie crusts, if you want your crust to have that nice flaky texture, you need to work fairly quickly and make sure you do not transfer the heat of your hands on to the chilled butter. The chilled butter melts in the oven and that results in a flaky crust. I would recommend washing your hands with ice cold water before you handle the dough out of the blender. Okay so moving on, Put in all the ingredients (except water) for the Pie in the blender and pulse till it looks like a coarse powder. Now add in the chilled water and pulse for another 10 seconds. The dough should be loose but still able to hold together if you form a shape. Transfer this to a surface and form it into a disc about 4 inches in diameter. DO NOT KNEAD IT! Just get it together. Something like this

Now put this in a plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Till then get your Pie dish ready. Flour your surface where you would roll the dough. Pull the refrigerated dough out after 30 minutes and lightly dust with flour. Roll it into a circle. This recipe is for a standard 9 inch Pie dish. Mine was a little wider but it worked perfectly. Roll it out to a 12 inch diameter so it can cover the sides of your dish too. gently transfer this base to the dish and press lightly to make sure it adheres to the surface and there is no air in between. Press the dough to the sides too, and seal off any holes or cuts in the structure with residual pie dough that you would trim off the edges. I am a first timer, still I managed to do it!


Now you need to blind bake this crust. Place a Parchment Paper over the crust and fill it with some pie weights so that the paper touches the whole surface of the pie base. I used rice.

Now bake this crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or till the edges of the Pie base start turning brown. Remove and let it cool. Like this.
Remember to turn down the oven to 350F/170C once you remove the Pie crust.

Now on to the filling! In the blender crack in 4 eggs and sugar, and blend till Light yellow. Add in the flour and pulse. Then add in the Buttermilk, Melted Butter,Lemon juice and zest, and pulse. Add in the Vanilla and pulse some more. A lot of pulsing in here I tell you guys! 10 seconds at a time :) Well the filling's that easy!

Now for those who can handle some pressure in the kitchen, I'd recommend that you add in only 1/4th of the filling to your pie and then transfer it to your oven rack, then pour the rest, coz the filling is runny. But if you do not wanna take chances or are doing it for the first time, then just pour the filling right in there, and carefully put the pie dish in the oven without spilling the filling over or letting it go under your pre baked crust. Sprinkle with Cinnamon, that is optional but it gives a nice contrast to the flavors. Let this baby bake in the oven for 55 minutes. Check if it is cooked, and if not, give it few minutes more. Another thing you must remember is that your pie crust sides might try to go a little extra brown. At this point you could either cover your pie dish with a metal plate or else cover it with foil so that the crust does not burn and the filling gets cooked as well. Remove from the oven and let it cool before you dig in! I am so sure you guys would love this one :)

The only thing I would do different the next time... wait. No! This was perfect!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rajma Rasmisa



This dish has never failed to take me to my special place, when I was spending some time in North India, and this was included in the staple diet that side. Of course, the local Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) were that much better in quality, too. Post my return to Mumbai, I had to keep trying to get this recipe right. My Mom makes an amazing Rajma Gravy herself, but this is just different. After a long, long quest, I had to turn to the Master Chef himself, Sanjeev Kapoor, and the first spoonful itself took me back in time, when I used to have Piping hot Rajma with Steaming hot Chawal (rice) and the world was a happy place. It's a must try, you people!

Rajma Rasmisa
Serves 4
Recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor - Khana Khazana

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of Soaked Red Kidney Beans (You can used Canned beans too, no need to pressure cook them)
A couple of Bay Leaves
2 medium Onions, finely chopped
An inch of Ginger, julienne
6 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 medium Tomatoes, blended into a  purée 
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
2 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
Salt, to taste
Oil


Note - If using canned beans, you will also need 4.5 cups of Water.


Method:


Pressure cook the Rajma in 5 cups of water, with some salt, till it is soft and tender. It should be easily mashed with the back of a spoon. Set aside. Do not discard the water. For those of you using Canned Beans, skip this step. Just rinse your Kidney Beans in Water and set aside.


Heat up about 2-3 tablespoons of Oil in a deep pan. Once it is hot, add in the Bay leaves, let it sizzle for 10 seconds, then add in the Onions, Ginger and Garlic. Sauté until Onions turn Golden Brown. Add in the Tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the Coriander,Cumin,Red Chili and Turmeric Powders. Mix well and cook till Oil separates from the mixture. Now add in the kidney beans along with the Water. Mix well, add Salt to taste and Garam Masala Powder. Simmer for 30 minutes, and garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves. Enjoy with hot steaming plain rice!!



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Faux Keema (Minced Meat) Burgers.



I am posting here after AGES! And I have no excuse at all, I have been really putting it on the backburner for a long time and now I have so many posts that I need to type! I hope every one has been doing fine :) Now, without further ado, here I go...

I made these Soya Granules Burgers today and they turned out so delicious, I just knew I had to put them up here as soon as possible. Just calling them Faux Meat Burgers to sound fancy ;)


Faux Minced Meat Burgers/ Soya Granules Burgers
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

1 cup Soybean Granules
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
4 slices of Bread
1 tablespoon Red Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Coriander Powder
1 tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
1 teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder
A handful of Chopped Coriander Leaves/Cilantro Leaves
Mustard Sauce to taste
Ketchup to taste
Dark Soy to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oil
Water
Burger Buns
1 Tomato, thinly sliced into roundels

Method

Boil the Soya Granules in 3 cups of water with a dash of Soy sauce. Then drain them and set aside. In a pan, heat up 1 tablespoon Oil and add in the Onions, sauté them till translucent.Then add in the Ginger-Garlic paste and fry for a minute. Turn the heat to medium low, and add in the Soya Granules followed by Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala Powder. Mix well, add Salt and Pepper. Transfer this to a flat dish and let it cool.
Once cool, add in 4 slices of bread, soaked in water and squeezed, the Coriander Leaves, a dash of Mustard and Ketchup each, and Chaat Masala Powder. Knead this into a  dough and form patties. I made 12. Then fry them on medium low on a pan lightly coated with Oil. I did them 4 at a time, 3 minutes each side. They don't break unless you add a lot of pressure, so there is nothing to worry.



Now toast your buns and assemble your burgers, a half of the bun, followed by the patty, then a slice of Tomato, a dash of Mustard and Ketchup if needed, and top it off with the other half of the bun. No rocket science here! :P And ENJOY!


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