Monday, December 30, 2013

Eggless Tutti Fruitti Whole Wheat Milk Buns

The end of the year 2013, was a very difficult one for me. I was loaded with lots and lots of work at the office front. Also, my little S was down with fever due to season change and to top it all the hubby dearest had to be away for a couple of days because of sudden demise of a close relative. So, in a nutshell, it was chaos with a capital C. Finally, today I got up the strength to bake something nice before the 31st. These sweet milk buns can be had at any time of the day/night. They are easy to make and store well. Excellent finger-food for kids!

Without further ado, lets get to the recipe.


Flour: 3 and a half cups
Whole Wheat flour: 3 cups
Active Dry Yeast: 1 tablespoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Milk: 2 cups
Sugar:1/4th cup
Oil/butter: 1/4th cup
Tutti fruit: a handful
For decoration:
Chocolate sauce: 3 tablespoons
Colored small candy: for sprinkling


1. Take warm milk in a deep-bottom bowl. Add sugar to the milk. Sprinkle yeast on top.
2. Now add salt and mix once. Add the tutti frutti.
3. Now start adding flour and whole wheat flour alternately. You may need to add some more flour depending on the amount of moisture in the air.
4. Once the mixture forms a solid lump. Now add butter to this mixture. Keep kneading till you get a firm, smooth dough. Keep adding sprinkles of dry flour if the dough gets too sticky.
5. Grease a deep-bottom bowl and dunk the dough in it. Keep the bowl in a dry, warm place for one hour. In one hour, the dough will rise to double its size.
6. Now punch the dough and knead it once more. Divide the dough into small balls. Grease a cup-cake mold and place the balls into the molds.

 7. Keep the cupcake mold undisturbed for another 20 minutes. The balls of dough will appear puffed up.
8. Now preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Bake the buns for 10 minutes.
9. Once the buns are done, grill the buns for 5 minutes in Grill mode.
10. Take the buns out of the oven. Brush with milk/butter.
11. Cool to room temperature. Pour a spoonful of chocolate sauce over each bun and sprinkle with coloured candies.

12. Serve and enjoy.
I am sending this recipe for the KFB Baking Palooza 2013. :-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Childhood Ramblings....(and Caramel Candy in the Pressure Cooker)

(Source: Cakes and More!: Dulce de Leche)

I grew up in Chittaranjan Park, the "little Bengal" of New Delhi. The Market no. 2 of Chittaranjan Park was just a stone's throw from my house. The market that I remember was quite different from the pillared and modernized structure of today.

The market of yore comprised of merely seven or eight shops in a row. These shops were really small and old-fashioned. I was a frequent visitor of this market accompanying my Dadaji (whom I used to call Dadabhai).

Out of all the shops that we visited, one shop was the most my special favourite. This was a small, dark, shanty of an aged "press-wallah". He used to specialize in ironing coats and blazers. So, at the start of every winter Dadabhai and I used to descend at his store, armed with a huge load of winter clothes.

This old man (the shopkeeper) was frail, bent, and soft-spoken. Whenever he spoke there was always a twinkle in his eye. "Nanhi gudiya" he used to call me lovingly. I used to sit very comfortably on his old charpoy and dangle my legs to my heart's content while Dadabhai used to count the clothes and chat with him on all topics under the sun. When it was time to go, the old man used to always give me an orange toffee. The small orange toffees that were available for 50 paisa at that time. Oh! to my six-year-old self that orange toffee was no less than a treasure because I was not allowed to eat toffees at home! Looking back, I wonder that my grand-dad never stopped me from eating the sweets. In present times, I daresay, we parents will never let our children accept toffees from strangers for fear of the toffees being laced with toxic things! Different times, different people!

Toffees and children are inseparable! Though I am very strict on the number of toffees that my daughter consumes in a week, but in my heart of hearts I know how she longs for it. Hence, when I chanced upon the recipe of making caramel candy, I just went headlong into making it.

Since the Kolkata Food Bloggers group is turning one and there is a wonderful birthday party celebration, I am sending this beautiful dessert for the "Kolkata Food Bloggers' Birthday Celebration".

This version of caramel candy is called Dulce - de - leche. (pronounced Dool - say - de - leeshay).
It is so simple. One can make it simply by steaming a tin of condensed milk in a pressure cooker. I got the recipe from here.


Here is the recipe:


Condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai mate): 1 tin
Water: Approx three cups. You would need enough water to make sure that the tin of condensed milk is half immersed in water.


1. Remove the plastic wrap of the condensed milk tin (if any). Do not open the metal flap of the tin.

2. Place it in the pressure cooker. Now add water till the tin is partially submerged in water. The water should come halfway up the sides of the tin as shown in the picture below.

3. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on high heat till one whistle. (Do not worry. This is safe!)
4. Right after one whistle lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer on the gas for 20 minutes. Do not turn off the gas. The cooking time will vary according to your requirement. If you want a hard dense chewy caramel, cook for 25-30 minutes. I generally like a soft, creamy consistency, so I go for 20 minutes of cooking time.
5. Let the tin come to room temperature. This takes nearly an hour but believe me, it well worth the wait.
6. Once the tin has cooled completely, open the tin. Dig right in with the spoon. It is heavenly delicious! Needless to say, kids will love it.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stuffed Caterpillar Buns

(Adapted from Caterpillar Bread by Fauzia's Kitchen Fun)

The days that little S has school, are governed by that million-dollar-question: "What do I put in her tiffin box?" You can imagine my annoyance when I open the box and find half-eaten food in it. (My face become red and steam comes out of my ears. :-))
I remember the words of a wonderful writer (mom and) grand mom "My grandchildren wont eat anything that has not danced on TV!" Left to her own devices, S would like to eat Maggi or Top Ramen every day of the week. Now I am not against her occasionally eating instant noodles, but sometimes it is good to eat healthy home-cooked food too. (Try explaining that to a 6 year old!) The poor child suffers from peer pressure. Her parents are not so "hep" because they want to give her rotis and paranthas for lunch.
While hunting around for interesting tiffin ideas, I got this wonderful recipe of caterpillar shaped bun from here.

These buns are easy to make, and I can experiment with any number of fillings. Home made, preservative-free, portable, and they look cute too!
In this recipe I have used spicy chicken kheema filling. Alternatively, paneer bhurjee or even some leftover sabzi can be used as a stuffing.
Here is how I made it:



For the filling:
Chicken kheema - 250 grams
Onions - 2 (ground to paste)
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Graram masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon (more can used if you want it to be more spicy)
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric - 1/4th teaspoon
Oil or butter - 2 tablespoon
Amchur powder/lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves (chopped) - 2 tablespoon
Potato (chopped into small pieces and fried) - 1 (optional)
For the bread base:
I used the bread dough that I make at home. You can get the recipe here.

Egg wash:
Egg - 1 (Beaten and mixed with 1/2 cup water)


Preparing the filling:
1. First heat oil/butter in a pan. Add the onion paste and ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and red chili powder. Stir fry till oil separates.
2. Next add the chicken kheema. You can steam the chicken keema beforehand to reduce cooking time but I generally avoid this step.
3. Stir fry add in pan till the meat starts changing colour. Add garam masala powder. Sprinkle some water on top of the meat to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan. |Continue to stir fry over medium flame. When the meat takes up a darkish colour, add some water. The amount of water should not be too much. The meat should not be immersed in the gravy.
4. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Open the cover. The water will have dried up. Stri fry for 1-2 minutes till the kheema filling is completely dry. Add the lemon juice and mix. Garnish with chopped coriander and leave aside to cool.

Stuffing the buns:

1. Take a round disc of the bread dough. Roll it into a roti. While rolling the roti, do not use any dry flour. Rather use oil/butter to roll the disc and prevent sticking.

2. Brush one end of the roti with egg wash.

3. Add the filling at one end of the roti.

4. Roll the outer flap of the roti and cover filling with the roti. Slightly press it down with the fingers.

5. With a knife, give longitudinal cuts in the remaining roti as shown in the picture:

6. Roll the roti in form of a roll. Add two cloves in form of eyes.

7. Brush with egg wash.

Baking the buns:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C for ten minutes.

2. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Set the oven to Grill mode. Grill for 5 minutes at the same temperature.

3. Cool to room temperature. Serve and enjoy!