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October 30, 2012

SWEET SAMOSA | DIWALI SWEETS RECIPES

 

I learnt this from my MIL.We used to make this for every diwali.It is very easy to prepare.. Kids would love this for sure.. The stuffing is also easy to make.

 

INGREDIENTS
 
  • All purpose flour = 1/2 cup ( 100 gms)
  • Semolina / rava – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee –2 tsp
  • Cooking soda – A big pinch
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – A pinch
  • Water – 1/3 cup
For stuffing:
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Gram dal / pottukadalai – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom seeds – 3 nos ( remove the skin & grind )

METHOD
 
  • Take a wide bowl , sieve maida & cooking soda.
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  • Add rava , salt and mix well. Now add water and make a smooth , pliable soft dough like chapathi dough. Knead well for sometime and cover the dough with a polythene sheet for 30-60 minutes..
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  • In the mean while , make stuffing. In a kadai , dry roast coconut for a minute till the wetness emanates.
  • In a mixer , take the dal , roasted coconut & cardamom seeds. Pulse it once or twice to make a coarse powder..
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  • Now add the sugar & again for pulse twice. The mixture should not be smooth. It should be coarsely ground. Do not add water..
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  • Now take the dough and make small balls. Dust in little maida and keep it ready .
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  • Now make a small poori ( should be slightly thick )and keep 2 tsp of filling in the centre. Close one side to make a semi circle.Seal the corner by pressing with ur finger ( dip ur fingers in water & seal it if needed). Now run the samosa spoon over the edges to make a design.. Discard the extras and set aside.
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  • Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry on both sides till golden brown. It puffs up slightly like poori..Store in a box after it cools down.
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Yummy sweet samosa is ready !!
 
 
 
 
 
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October 26, 2012

VEG LASAGNA RECIPE WITH EASY HOME MADE PASTA & BECHAMEL SAUCE



Last month i was asking my sister & friends in abroad to suggest me some international recipes..They told me about this famous lasagne and i had no clue about it.To be frank , i did not know how to pronounce & spell ( it is la-zaa-ne-aa) Winking smile.. I asked my hubby regarding the same & he said he had tasted this in US & UK.. I searched for some good recipes .. Most of them were with beef and egg. I wanted a pure veg recipe..There are 2 choices for veggies.One with spinach & the other one is with veggies like carrot , aubergine & mushrooms..I finally decided to go with my Microwave oven manual recipe..By referring some videos on NET , i got the idea of how to arrange it. I bought the lasagne sheets in Nilgiris , Brigade road.. Somehow i successfully prepared it yesterday. We loved it. My husband told “This tastes better than the ones served in restaurants”. I felt it had a slight bland taste.But he said it would be more bland with lots of cheese but mine was spicy, flavourful & better.WOW ,What else i want , i was very happy Party smile..Please make sure u eat it hot , at least warm Winking smile
One sad thing is , i had no casserole or lasagne pan .I made with my baking pan .I was not able to make many layers as my pan was broader and lesser in height Also i prepared less quantity of sauce & vegetable mixture.So I made a single layered lasagna.But i have given the quantity of ingredients to make 3 layers..Soon i’ll update the picture with many layers Smile. Do leave ur  suggestions if any changes can be made in this recipe..
About the sauce , i got b├ęchamel sauce recipe from the manual and the pasta sauce from here .. Both are very simple and easy to make. No fancy ingredients..All are easily available in stores..I’ve tried to capture step by step recipe. If u have ready made store bought sauce , this dish can be made in jiffy. Ideal for potluck & parties..As i prepared the sauce @home , i felt it time consuming. But the sauces can be prepared well in advance and refrigerated.When i was preparing the sauces , my hubby sniffed  , came to kitchen & asked me whether i am making any italian recipe.Thumbs up. It smells awesome..Try this recipe and let me know how it turned out !!
 
 
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA SAUCE
 
  • Big ripe tomatoes – 6 nos ( blanched & pureed )
  • Big onion – 2 nos ( very finely chopped )
  • Garlic – 6 cloves (minced)
  • Olive oil – 4 - 5 tbsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1 tbsp
  • Parsley ,oregano , thyme and basil mix –1 tbsp ( i used garlic bread seasoning ) OR Oregano – 1/2 tbsp & Basil – 1/2 tbsp
  • Bay leaf – 1 no
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt  & water – as needed
  • Cheese – 2 tbsp (optional)
 
METHOD
 
In a bowl , boil the tomatoes till it cracks. After it cools down, remove the skin and grind them coarsely to make a puree.
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In a kadai , add oilve oil and saute the finely chopped onions & garlic cloves. Saute till turns translucent.Now add the tomato puree , salt , bay leaf & 1/4 cup of water..Allow it to boil for few minutes.
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Then add the seasoning ( crush it lightly with ur hands), black pepper powder & some more water.Allow it to cook uncovered for 10 - 15 mins in low flame. Finally when it turns thick ( sauce consistency) and leaves oil, Switch off the stove..
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U’ll get a nice aroma..Remove the bay leaf & store in a bottle after it cools down .Refrigerate it till use. Its shelf life is around 5 days..The sauce gets a nice color if u use ripe , coloured tomatoes..No need to add canned tomato puree. I dint use.
NOTE:
This sauce can be used for making simple pasta & spaghetti recipes ..Ur kids would love this..
 
 
 
INGREDIENTS FOR BECHAMEL SAUCE / WHITE SAUCE
 
  • Milk –  1.5 cups
  • Bay leaf – 1 no
  • Pepper corns – 6 nos
  • Big onion – 1 no ( cut into slices)
  • Maida / All purpose flour – 2 tbsp
  • White pepper powder – 1 .5 tsp ( i used black pepper powder)
  • Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Butter – 3 tbsp
  • Salt –1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Water – as needed
 
METHOD
 
  • In a  milk pan , boil the milk along with bayleaf , onion and pepper corns.Boil it for 5 mins. Strain the milk and allow it to cool.
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  • After the milk cools down , add maida to it and mix well without lumps. Now melt the butter in a pan and add the milk mixture to the pan  with sugar & salt. ( as per the actual recipe , maida has to be roasted well in butter before adding milk , but u may get lumps while roasting. So i added the maida with milk without roasting.) . I kept the milk in a bowl . I added the melted butter to the bowl.I got this step from here..
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  • Now allow the milk to boil till the raw smell of maida emanates. Keep in low flame. Add more milk if necessary.Finally add the pepper powder & nutmeg powder.Boil for few mins.It will thicken and reaches sauce consistency. Remove & store.Make the sauce slightly thin (ie tomato ketchup consistency)
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INGREDIENTS FOR VEGETABLE LASAGNA
 
  • ** Lasagna sheet – 9 nos ( Follow as per the instruction given in the box. Put the sheets in salted hot water for 10 mins , make it soft & then arrange them)
  • Brinjal ( long green variety) – 4 nos
  • Mushroom – 7 nos
  • Carrot – 2 nos (finely chopped)
  • Bell pepper – 1/2 no ((finely chopped )
  • Big onion – 2 nos
  • Garlic cloves – 6 nos (minced)
  • Salt & pepper powder – 1/2 tsp each
  • Lasagna pan (13x9x2) – 1 no
  • Thermal foil – 1 sheet
  • Ricotta cheese – 1 can
  • Grated Mozarella Cheese – 1 cup  ( I used pizza cheese alone )
 
METHOD
 
  • Chop the brinjal into round slices & immerse in water till use.
  • Clean & cut the mushroom into small pieces.
  • Finely chop the carrot & capsicum . Boil in water till it is cooked.
  • Heat water in a big vessel , add salt & a drop of oil , allow it to boil. Add the lasagna sheet and keep it for 10 mins in fire-off. This makes the sheet soft. Remove the sheet & proceed..
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  • Finely chop the onions & garlic cloves.In a kadai , heat the olive oil and add the onions & garlic cloves .Saute till turns transparent.Add the cooked carrot &capsicum. saute for few seconds. Then add 3/4th of the pasta sauce.Mix well. Add salt & pepper powder.Mix well and switch off the flame. Set aside.


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  • Heat olive oil in a separate pan and saute the brinjal & mushroom pieces till it shrinks in size. Add the required salt & set aside.
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  • Now take the lasagna pan or casserole..Brush with oil or butter.I kept a thermal foil at the bottom as my pan is in a bad condition but that is not necessary..
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  • Boil the lasagne sheet in a bowl of water for a minute.Take it out and then place the lasagne sheet in the pan.. Fill the gaps by keeping small pieces of sheet..Spread the white sauce over the sheet ..
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  • Now spread the carrot mixture with pasta sauce which we kept ready. Spread a layer of sauteed brinjal, mushroom mixture.. Again spread a layer of white sauce and cover with ricotta cheese.
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  • Place another sheet above this and repeat the same procedure starting & ending with white sauce. Make 2-3 layers as per the quantity of vegetables available..Finally cover the mixture with a lasagne sheet & spread 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over it. Cover it fully without any gap.
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  • Now close the pan with a thermal foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180c in convection mode for 30-40 minutes. Mine took 35 minutes. Please keep an eye after 25 mins.If the color of the sheet turns golden brown on top & cheese melts, stop baking and give a standing time of 10 minutes.
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  • Remove and enjoy eating hot !!
Note :I baked for 30 minutes with thermal foil and it dint get brown. So i uncovered it and baked for another 5 minutes.The point is the outer layer has to be slightly browned. So keep an eye !!
 


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