I have always maintained that food blogging makes you do things you probably wouldn't have otherwise. I usually reserve Saturdays for posting my week's recipes. Last Saturday, for a change, I browsed and browsed and then browsed some more. I didn't really cook during the day. I made myself a nice salad and had it with some soup. And then got back to browsing. My mouth was watering as I saw the pictures on Sharmi’s blog and I kept digging deeper until I came to her Tangy Cilantro Spirals. At that point I had to turn away because the temptation was a little too much. I wanted to grab a bite then and there. It was pouring cats and dogs and I really wanted to have some tea and eat a spiral or two. The perfect weather for that!
Since I knew I couldn't, I moved away. Away from her blog. And went to Anita’s blog. I went into her archives. I was fairly pleased with my baking efforts of the previous day and went into her bread section and landed on her post about bagels. There I was... drooling all over the pictures. Then it was too much for me. How much can a poor girl take? I just sat there thinking about how cruel the world can be, especially these two wicked ladies. Creating delicious stuff that I can't pick up and put in my mouth.
I'd brought back 2 packets of yeast from Madras and have been wanting to make Amma's handmade pizza for ages. I ended up making the French Bread Pizza, for which I didn't have to touch yeast. Now, why do I fear yeast? Because I tried making fruit buns when I was in Class 4. And they were a complete disaster. So, while I've watched Amma make the perfect pizza for years now, I never got around to even as much as trying.
That afternoon, after a really sugar high friday (cake and trifle pudding, more cheesecake at the restaurant), I wanted something savoury, something chatpata (tangy). Off I went to my bookshelf and pulled out the Ann Pillsbury Baking Book. I found a recipe for dinner rolls. I was too scared to modify it, but I had to.
- I didn't know how much "1 cake" of compressed yeast was.
- I didn't have much flour left.
- I didn't want dinner rolls. I wanted chatpata stuff.
So, I combined whole wheat flour along with my flour and used as much yeast as I thought I needed to. When the buns were baking, we invited our friends for dinner and so all of use enjoyed the buns with drinks and dinner.
For the dough:
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tbsp Oil
1 1/2 tbsp Yeast
1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Boiling water
1/4 cup Milk
For the filling:
1 large Potato, washed and chopped finely
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp Capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbsp Carrot, finely chopped
1 tbsp Beans, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
Salt to taste
For the Topping:
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Sesame SeedsFor the dough:
Take a huge mixing bowl and place the oil, salt and sugar in it. Add boiling water and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the milk now to bring the mixture to room temperature. Add the yeast and mix well. Add the flours and knead into a dough. Place the dough in a greased vessel and cover it with a damp muslin cloth. Allow to rise until double in size (roughly 45-50 minutes).
Knead the dough for a minute and then divide into 10 equal portions.
For the filling:
Heat the oil, add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the cumin crackles, add the chopped onions and fry for a minute before adding the other vegetables, salt, chilli, turmeric and cumin-coriander powders. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients for the topping together.
Take a portion of the dough and spread it on to your palm. Place some stuffing in the centre and bring the edges and seal. Roll in the topping mixture and place on a greased baking sheet or tray. Repeat with the other protions.
Allow to rise for 50-60 minutes and then bake in an oven at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.
Enjoy these buns fresh out of the oven.
Since these buns are a meal in themselves, and they are non messy, they are very good companions for the lunchbox and definitely make for good company while on a picnic. So, I am sending taking these on my picnic with Anupama for our share of fun in the sun.
Sharmi and Anita: you've been great inspirations for this experiment and more. A big thank you.