Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Lasagna Rolls - Indian Way

I was in the mood for something new and different. I had some goat cheese in the fridge (Steelers pizza left over), few beetroots, lot of ripe tomatoes, a printout of lasagna rolls recipe I wanted to try, and an idea of how to make it more suitable for our palate. After 45 minutes in the kitchen, the result was - tasty lasagna rolls, some with goat cheese and some with spicy sweet peanut paste as filling, baked in fresh tomato sauce and served with sautéed onions, beetroots and peas as topping.

Lasagna, Home made Tomato Sauce, chopped onions and beetroots, Goat cheese and Spicy Peanut Paste for filling

Recipe:

1.Tomato Sauce: Cook finely chopped 8 ripe, juicy tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves in one tsp of oil. Also add half glass of water, half teaspoon of red chilli powder and salt to taste. Cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and sauce like.

2. Filling: I prepared two kinds of filling. One is goat cheese, that’s an easy one, buy and open the packet, true Italian way. Roasted peanuts (outer skins removed) made into paste by adding little bit of salt, jaggery, red chilli powder and few drops of water - my idea of Indian type filling.

3. Lasagna: Meanwhile, cook 5 lasagna sheets in boiling salted water according to the instruction on the packet (takes at least 15 to 20 minutes), in a big pan. Drain and keep them in cold water so that they won’t stick to each other.

Spreading peanut paste onto a lasagna sheet, rolling and cutting into two equal parts Cut lasagna rolls in tomato sauce, ready for baking

4. Baking: All the prep work is done and our ingredients are ready for the final step. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spread the filling (goat cheese or peanut paste) on lasagna sheet evenly. Roll the sheet to the end and cut it into two equal rolls, crosswise. Prepare all lasagna sheets in this way. Pour the tomato sauce in a baking dish, arrange the lasagna rolls (cut side down) neatly in the sauce, loosely cover the dish with an aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 375° F.

5. Sauté: Finely chop beetroots and onion. Add peas and sauté them for few minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

Serve the lasagna rolls in tomato sauce with sautéed beetroots, onion and peas as topping.

Lasagna rolls in tomato sauce with sautéed onion, beetroot and peas as topping

I have to say I liked both goat cheese and peanut paste rolls equally. Tangy tomato sauce and sweetness from sautéed beetroots, onions and peas perfectly complimented the bland, baked lasagna rolls. Little bit time consuming, but I think these beautiful flower like lasagna rolls are terrific for entertaining because they can be prepared in the morning and baked at the last minute.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Milk & Products, Cheese, Pasta (Friday November 4, 2005 at 2:27 pm- permalink)
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Steelers Pizza

Steelers Logo from www.seatseek.comI consider Pittsburgh as my hometown in US because it was where we arrived in US from India. We spent three wonderful years full of firsts; first snow fall, first snow storm, first time assembling the furniture for our house from Ikea, first of lot of things.
And Pittsburgh is a sports town, Steelers is THE team, they all route for. Naturally we couldn’t escape the enthusiasm of locals and now we are also turned into full-fledged, The Terrible Towel waving, Steelers flag in front of the house kind of fans.

Last year was particularly exciting for us Steelers fans. The rookie quarterback brought the team almost to the finals. I could have prepared ‘Roethlis-berger’ in his honor for last years wonderful play, alas I am not a meat eater.

So instead I prepared our favorite game party food - Pizza, for this month’s sport theme party hosted by lovely Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness. Not any pizza but a pizza resembling the Steelers logo and wishing for a season of Steelers super bowl.

Steelers Pizza with Mozzarella and goat cheese with yellow, red bell peppers and olives as toppings

Steelers Pizza:

This Pizza is made with a basic white dough base, flavored with tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella and goat cheese and also roasted yellow and red bell peppers and olives.

Our lunch today:)-

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Goduma (Wheat), Bell Pepper, Cheese (Thursday October 20, 2005 at 3:01 pm- permalink)
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Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I learned the basics of bread making by watching Breaking-Bread series by Father Dominic on PBS. His show demystified the whole bread making process for me. I grew up in Andhra Pradesh, the rice bowl of India, where bread is not an everyday food. It is an exotic thing associated with sickness, prescribed by doctors as an easy digestable food for people when they are ill. Only time I had bread was when I was under the weather and that too quite reluctantly.

When we moved to US, it took some time to get know that bread is not a bland tasteless cardboard kind of food that I remembered and also to separate the bread-sickness association from my mind. I was fascinated by the completely unknown world of bread making and different varieties of bread. I was curious and eager to learn the process so I tried the cook books about baking bread. With information overload, the whole process of bread making felt as easy as preparing for an entrance exam or tooth pulling.:)

During that time, Breaking Bread series by Father Dominic started on PBS. This chubby, homely monk with a pleasant, fatherly disposition and witty, calming narrative showed the bread making in such a way, that I felt confident to try out. The bread I first baked was a plain whole wheat bread loaf. We both liked the taste of it and later on I experimented with adding honey, nuts etc., After moving to Ohio, I am using the whole wheat flour, produced in old style - stone grinding powered by water at Lanterman’s Mill (not only the major tourist attraction but also a functioning working flour mill of Boardman, Ohio) for my bread. The difference in taste is tremendous, the close thing I can compare it is that of great harvest bakery whole wheat bread. Lot of texture and full of flavor, just two slices would fill us up good.

Last weekend I tried again my bread making skills. Although the dough behaved with a mind of it’s own because of excessive rainy and humid weather, the loaf cameout good after baking. Here is the recipe and the whole process in images:

Lanterman's Mill, Youngstown, OhioStone ground Whole wheat flour  - Purchased at Lanterman's water mill, Ohio
Lanterman’s Mill……………..Stone ground Whole Wheat Flour

Recipe:

1 cup coarsely ground whole wheat flour from Lanterman’s mill
1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur brand)
1/4 ounce packet of dry active yeast
1 cup water
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup honey
½ cup of golden raisins and chopped walnuts
¼ cup of oil

Just Prepared dough, waiting for a rise Two hours after - the dough has risen

First Rise:
Dissolve yeast in half cup of warm water. Measure the flours in a big bowl. Mix buttermilk, oil, honey, water and yeast mixture into the flour to make soft, sticky dough. Take the dough on a wooden board and knead it for about 5 to 10 minutes, handling it gently. Use a spatula to pick up the sticky dough and turn it over as you work. Place this kneaded dough back in the bowl, cover and place the bowl in a warm place and let the yeast do the work. Wait until it tripled in size for about 2 to 3 hours.

The Second rising in the Bread Pan Second rising done

The Second Rise:
When the dough has finished rising, add nuts and raisins and prepare the dough for the second rise. Take the dough again on flour board, deflate it by pressing the dough flat. Now sprinkle finely chopped walnuts and gloden raisins. Incorporate them into the dough by kneading for few minutes. Place the dough in a loaf plan, cover and let it rise to the top of pan, takes about another two to three hours.

After this final rise, place the loaf pan in preheated oven at 400° F and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove it from oven, bread slides out of the pan easily and let it cool completely before slicing.

The pearls of wisdom, I learned from Father Dominic is ” Let the dough rest and don’t peek and poke it too often”. Very true for successful bread making.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread with Walnuts and Golden Raisins with strawberry jam
Honey whole wheat bread with walnuts and golden raisins
Our weekend breakfast, lunch and dinner

Recipe Source: Cooking Show on Television.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Walnuts, Goduma (Wheat), Sugar, Jaggery and Honey, Honey, Whole Wheat Flour (Monday October 17, 2005 at 12:15 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Samosas with a Twist

For my first ever virtual blog party, a monthly event started and hosted by lovely Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, I made these little golden parcels of potato-pea filling in all purpose flour wraps and a pitcher of refreshing watermelon juice.

Little Golden Parcels (Samosas with a Twist) & Watermelon Juice

They are a hit in my house, a party of two. Hope the hostess approves my contribution.

Recipe of Little Golden Parcels:

For Curry:Preparing Little Golden Parcels aka Samosas with a Twist
1 cup of mashed potato
Half onion, two green chillies, half cup of fresh peas, coarsely grinded
Pinch of turmeric and salt to taste
Prepare the curry by sautéing the above ingredients.

Wraps:
1. Prepare a firm dough by mixing one cup of all-purpose flour, half cup of water and a pinch of baking powder & salt. Keep it aside for at least half an hour. Meanwhile prepare the curry. When the curry is ready and cool enough to handle, take out and divide the dough into small balls. And with a rolling pin, roll out the rounds. Or simply use wonton wraps.

2. Take one teaspoon of cornstarch in a cup, make a paste by adding little water.

3. In each wrap, put a teaspoonful of curry mixture in the center. Make a line of cornstarch paste around, about half inch from the edge. Bring all four corners to the center and press together firmly to form little bags.

4. In batches, deep-fry them in oil until golden brown. Makes about 15 to 20. I don’t have chives at home right now; otherwise I could have tied a chive around the neck of each bag as garnish.

5. Serve them with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Goduma (Wheat) (Thursday September 22, 2005 at 2:08 pm- permalink)
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Upma with Cracked Wheat

My mother used to make upma for breakfast 2 or 3 times a week when I was growing up. I can’t blame her, with four children, making them to get ready for school in the morning; I don’t know how she even found time to prepare breakfast. Upma is easy to prepare, filling and nutritious. During marriages upma is the standard breakfast item in our area and tastes completely different from that of home made one, I have to say much better. Now I know the secret, measurements of ghee and oil were equal to the upma rava quantity. No wonder it tasted so good. But at home, my mother was always conservative in use of ghee/oil in upma, unconsciously healthy. I didn’t appreciate that back then, but now I do.

Recipe:

Upma Ingredients

2 cups of semolina or suji or cracked wheat and 4 cups of water
(suji:water always in 1:2 ratio)
1 onion, 2 green chillies, 1 carrot, small piece of ginger
- all cut into small pieces
Half cup of fresh peas
Handful of roasted cashews or peanuts
For popu or tiragamata: 1 tsp each - urad dal, chana dal, minced garlic, curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds.

If you are going to prepare upma with fine semolina or suji, roast them slowly till the color changes from cream to light gold. This process makes them not only more tasty, it also allows the grain to thoroughly mix with water without forming any lumps. For cracked wheat, bulgar because of large size of the grain, this step is not necessary. But roasting always adds some extra flavor so do it if you can spare some time.

Preparation:

Saut�ing the Ingredients Adding water to the ingredients

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan, add popu ingredients in the order listed. Popu is a must for upma. When fried in oil, urad dal and chana dal bring cruchy nuttiness, garlic and curry leaves add some sweet fragrance, where as cumin and mustard seeds some essential oils and health benefits.

When mustard seeds start to jump around, then quickly add onions, green chillies, ginger, carrot and peas. Saute them to tender. Sometimes, I also add other vegetables like potato, bell peppers and tomato to make it more rich and nutritious. You can change the vegetables and create numerous varieties of upma. Do not be afraid to experiment. Upma is a very forgiving recipe.

Add 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix. Close the lid and bring the water to a boil on high heat.

Adding Upma ravva Upma in final stage of making

Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat. Pour the upma ravva (suji, semolina, or cracked wheat) slowly, stirring continously with a spoon, to prevent the lump formation.

Also add the toasted cashews or peanuts. On reduced heat, cook the upma covered, untill all the water is absorbed and upma becomes soft and smooth like porridge. Turn off the heat and let it sit for few more minutes, covered.

Serve warm with lime/lemon juice sprinkled to taste. Have delicious upma with pickle (mango or lemon) or with chutney (coconut or peanut).

Upma and Andhra Mango Pickle

Upma with Mango Pickle. Traditionally a breakfast, but now at my home, a quick filling meal on a weekend or on a busy day.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Goduma (Wheat), Bulghar (Wednesday April 20, 2005 at 5:03 pm- permalink)
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