Naan Khatai

Naan Khatais have a special place in my heart. Because they are a part of my beloved grandmother’s (Who passed away this year.God grant her peace) childhood in Delhi(India). I used to stare at her in fascination when she used to talk about the monkeys who used to snatch things from unsuspecting victims. For example once my great-grandmother fried(they didn’t have ovens,therefore didn’t bake) a batch of naan khatai and left it in her veranda to cool. Since they were already tired of monkeys snatching stuff, she was keeping a close eye on that batch of naan khatais. However somebody called from inside the house and she turned her back towards the tray to answer the person. And when she turned back. ……….. no tray,no naan khatais. 

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A pair of monkeys was sitting there munching naan khatais with the tray in their hands. And these monkey-cum-thieves stole about everything they saw. And they were damn smug about that. When people make movies depicting monkeys imitating people, they aren’t using special effects. Monkeys not only imitate humans but they also make fun of them after stealing their stuff. I recently asked a friend in Delhi about these guys.And she says, that the population has decreased due to authorities being on a monkey-chase. However they are still there. I feel thankful that the only monkeys we have are the ones in the zoo or in a circus. I wouldn’t like them steeling my naan khatai or other cookies for that matter.5

 

The other memories of naan khatai involve my mum and the aunts. The way they used to sit on the ‘takhat’ (kind of like an extended bed minus the mattress, so it was hard) at my grandma’s house and gossip around their cups of tea, samosas and naan khatais. I would sit there (being a huge sucker for gossip) and would dunk my naan khatai in my mother’s tea. And let it there for longer than neccessary. So the naan khatai would break and settle at the bottom of the cup. And somebody would have to get her another cup of tea. So, baking these always brings about the best memories of my life. These large gatherings occur rarely now, now that grandma isn’t there to hold us all together!

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Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: approx 12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter or Ghee – (1/2 cup, 4 oz) at room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • All Purpose Flour  – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/8 tsp
  • Sliced pistachios- For garnishing

 

Instructions:

  •  In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and softened butter/ghee.Mix well with a spoon.
  •  Add Cardamom Powder and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift All Purpose Flour with Baking Powder and Salt.
  •  Knead Flour mixture with Butter Mixture to form a soft dough.
  •  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and leave it for 10 minutes in the fridge.

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  • Now heat the oven to 300 degree F or 150 degree C.
  •  Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
  •  Roll each portion into a smooth ball with no cracks and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper .(Or sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil spray).Leave ample space between dough balls.
  • Garnish each ball with sliced pistachios.

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  • Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes (keep an eye on them– naan khatai should remain white).
  • Remove the naan khatais  from the baking tray and cool on the cooling rack.

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Crispy Vegetarian Samosa

main 

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Ingredients(Serves 6)

For cover

  • 1 1/4 cup refined flour
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

For Filling

  • 2 large potatoes boiled(slightly mashed with a spoon)
  • 1 tsp crushed dried cumin seeds( to dry put on a low heated frying pan for a while.Crush with rolling pin)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried pomegranate seeds(to dry put on a low heated frying pan for a while.Crush with rolling pin)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter(for stir frying)
  • 3 green chilies chopped finely

How to go about it(Cover)

  • Knead the flour, clarified butter and salt with a little water to make a firm dough. Cover this with a wet  cloth and set aside while we prepare our filling.

How to go about it( Filling)

  • Set a frying pan on medium heat. Add the clarified butter. Add the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients in this pan. Stir for a while. Then dish out the filling.

A Step by step on how to put together the samosa

Here’s the fillingphoto0575

Divide your dough in lemon sized balls(just a bit larger than that).Then roll out each ball

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Cut in two  halves

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Fold into cones


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Stuff the cones with filling

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Make a back-bone of the samosa.This helps it stand.

Now overlap the side with backbone to the front side. Press to close the samosa

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You have a samosa that stands

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Deep fry all samosas .Initially fry on medium heat for 5 minutes. This will cook the dough inside out.

Then raise heat levels, and on high flame, cook until brown and crispy.

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Spicy Chickpea and Potato Salad

Salad Sunday #2

 

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photo0495What You Need

  • 1 cup dried black chickpeas 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 potato in cubes( boiled)
  • 1 large Tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Chaat masala 
  • 1 tsp black cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind paste
  • 2 or 3 tsp Lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

How To Go About It

  •  Soak the dry chickpeas overnight or for 8-9 hours. 
  •  Once they are soaked, drain the water. 
  •  In a pressure cooker add the soaked chickpeas with enough water. 
  •  Pressure cook for 6-7 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. 
  •  Once the pressure cooker cools down, drain the cooked chickpeas 
  •  In a large bowl, add all the ingredients including the chickpeas. 
  •  Mix well. 
  •  Taste and if required add more of the spices or salt. 

 

Before serving just garnish with some coriander leaves and lemon wedges. 

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Sweet Pea and Feta Cheese Pasta Salad

Salad Sunday #1               

Healthier. Eating healthy. Healthy Living……. A huge list of these ‘healthy’ titles have taken over the internet. This healthy living is like a disease that people are catching. Even myself. Yes, Ayesha who basically runs away from most H words, except Hershey’s. But to be honest, these past few days I’ve been wondering if I should lead a healthier life style. That means REDUCING high calorie foods from my everyday life. Notice that I said reducing and not ERADICATING? Yep, I’m going to have high calorie stuff, but not  too much. Just now and then. This is not about weight(okay, so maybe it’s about that one pound I’ve gained in the last week), it’s about health. It’s about…errr……feeling good. It’s about feeling happy. (Let’s be serious, I can’t be all those until I get chocolate). Anyway weight is important to me. I don’t want to look like a pear or a football in near future(Those who feel good looking like that please don’t feel offended.By all means eat what you like. It’s just me I’m talking about.Personal opinions, you see?) So this is a Betty Crocker recipe I’ve modified to suit my own taste. All I can say is that when it comes to salads, It’s one of the tastiest.

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Prep Time:25 min

Servings:6

  •  3 cups Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta(8 oz)
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas(12 oz bag)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 egg boiled cut into cubes( Yolk discarded)
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese grated (4 oz)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cook and drain pasta as directed on the package, adding frozen peas during the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Rinse with cool water and drain.
  • In a salad bowl toss all ingredients together except olive oil. Drizzle olive oil after the salad is made.

Per serving: 310 calories  

I will be posting one salad recipe every Sunday. I’ll have these salads in place of lunch, so they have to taste good. So yeah, will need to think  a bit for that. Hopefully,I ‘ll remember to  post Salad Sunday #2 next week. 

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xxx