Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stir Fried Noodles

My husband went out of town for a couple of weeks. I have a 10 months old daughter at home. Since my husband is not home, when I come home from work, I try to cook dishes that don't take too much preparation time or cooking time, so that I can spend more time with my daughter.
A few days back, I bought fresh yakisoba noodles from a local store here. The package came with seasoning mix, but instead of using the package, I stir fried the noodles with some colorful veggies, and added my own seasonings.

Here is what you will need
2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil or Peanut Oil
1 package fresh or dried Yakisoba or any Asian style noodles
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Cut into Pieces
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper, Cut into Pieces
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, Cut into Pieces
1/2 Cup Mixed Frozen Veggies, thawed
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
4-5 Italian Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped

If you are using dried noodles, then cook per the instruction on package and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Let it come very high temperature. Now add the peppers and the veggies to the pan. Stir fry at high temperature for 2-3 minutes. Then add the salt, sugar, white pepper powder and the soy sauce. Cook on high flame for 30 seconds. Now add the fresh or cooked noodles to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes at high flame until everything is mixed well and the noodles are heated thoroughly. Now add the basil. cook for 30 more seconds then take off of the flame.
Serve hot.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crispy Spicy Chickpeas

This delicious and healthy snack is very easy to make, and requires only about 30 mins to make it.

1 Cup Chickpeas or 1 Can Chickpeas, drained
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoon Oil,
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder,
1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala, or Amchur Powder,
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala

Soak the chickpeas overnight in 3 cups of water. If you are using canned chickpeas, skip soaking step.
The next day, drain all the water (soaked or canned) and pat them dry with the help of a kitchen cloth or paper towel. Transfer into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to coat the chickpeas.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. lay the coated peas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Stir once at 15 minutes mark. Take out of the oven, and let it cool completely. Enjoy as late night snack or snack on the go.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Indian Ladi Pav (pao)

Ladi pav is Indian dinner roll. It is eaten with a lots of Indian dishes like pav bhaji, misal pav, vada pav etc etc. We don't get ladi pav here in USA. The dinner rolls we get here have a little sweet taste to them, which dont taste very good with spicy Indian dishes. 
On December 4th this year, my daughter turned 10 months old. Usually, we go out to celebrate her monthly birthdays:), but this week we were very busy, and didn't get a chance to go out, so I thought of making pav bhaji, with homemade ladi pav.
Here is the recipe for ladi pav. The recipe below makes about 12 buns. The time required from the start to finish is about 3 hours.

3 Cups all Purpose Flour (or Self Raising Flour),
Salt to taste,
2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast,
2 Teaspoon Sugar,
2.5 - 3 Cups Warm Water,
2 Teaspoon Oil, (Dont' use olive oil, it has strong taste)
2 Teaspoon Milk,
2 Teaspoon Melted Butter

Heat half cup of water in microwave for 20 seconds. The water should not become too hot, but it shouldn't be just luke warm too. Dissolve the sugar in the water. Now add the yeast to the water and mix well. Let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you will see foam in the water. If the water doesn't appear foamy, the yeast hasn't activated. Let it sit for few more minutes until foamy.

In the mean time, take a big bowl and apply oil to the inside of the bowl. Keep aside.

Take 3 cups flour in a mixing bowl and add salt to it. Mix well. Heat the remaining 2.5 cups of water for 35 seconds in the microwave. Again, the water should not be too hot, but shouldn't feel just lukewarm. Add the yeast water to the flour along with the oil. Mix it well in the flour. Now add the warm water a little at a time to knead soft dough.
Use only as much water as needed. You might not need all the water to make dough. Now, apply some oil to your palms and knead the dough one last time. Make a smooth ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. The bowl should be big enough to let the dough expand to double its size. Cover the bowl with a lid or a plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm area for about 2 hours.

Note: I keep the bowl near my stove while I am cooking, so that it gets some heat from the stove.
After two hours, the dough will have exapnded to double its size. Apply some oil to the inside of a deep baking dish. Dust with some flour. Now, punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 minutes. Make 12 small balls and arrange them on the baking dish. Make sure to leave some room beween the balls, as they will exapand. Cover and keep aside for 30 more minutes.
After 30 minutes, you will see the gap between the balls have closed, or became very small due to the expansion.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the milk on top of the balls and bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the door closed, and let the bread sit in the oven for 5-7 more minutes. Take it out of the oven and brush the top surface with melted butter. This will allow the top surface to be soft and will give it a golden shine. Let it cool completely before trying to remove from the pan. Enjoy fresh with pav bhaji, vada pav, or misal pav.

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