June 28, 2012

Flax Seed Curry Leaves Spice Powder

I m not a big fan of spice powders. Strange for that statement to come from a person who s a south indian at her very core. We southies eat a variety of these spiced powders. Called as podi, no south indian household is complete without a generous stock of this stashed away in the pantry. Why i m not a fan is something i m yet to discover.But then after making this powder, i ve changed my mind. I m in love with the concept of eating dosas with spice powders mixed with copious amounts of sesame oil.Or better yet. Mix a heaped tablespoon of this along with some ghee, hot steamed rice and some salt and gorge on this for breakfast.

 I m salivating now. And the brownie point is that this s so healthy!Flax and curry leaf! Can you beat the duo? No.On second thought, there are two brownie points. The other being this s such a breeze to make in the kitchen. So get your blenders ready. We are all set to go!

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Makes about 200 g

What You Need?

Flax seeds 1/2 cup
Curry leaves fresh ones preferably 1 cup packed
Bengal gram or kadala paruppu or channa dal 1/2 cup
Urad dal or black gram or ulundhu paruppu 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Sesame seeds 2 tsp
Dry red chilies 15
Hing 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1.5 tbsp

How To Make It?

In a kadai, dry roast the curry leaves until aromatic. Takes about 3 to 4 mins. The leaves must not have any moisture left.
Then in the same kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
Now, add the channa dal and urad dal and roast till they turn a light brown.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same kadai, add the coriander seeds, hing,cumin seeds and the flax seeds and roast till aromatic.
Now, finally, add the dry red chilies and saute for 2 mins.
Let all this cool down completely.
Once cool, add salt and grind to a coarse mixture or a fine powder.That option s purely yours.

Store in an airtight container and relish your idlies, dosas or rice with this delicious yet healthy spice mix.

June 27, 2012

Battenberg Cake ~ Daring Baker Challenge 2

I ve made so many cakes before.But all of them have been one bowl or simple ones until now. I ve not had the nerve to ice a cake till now.Let alone make a post of it. I mean i did frost one and it was beautiful and all that but somehow,i knew i could do better.So, this month when the daring baker challenge was announced, i was both excited and a lil scared. I wanted to try the cake real bad but at the same time, so many things about this cake daunted me. Like the chocolate plastique for starters.I wont say this s a great attempt but then even though slightly run of the mill, the cake boosted my confidence like hell. And that s why i thought i m definitely posting my cake!
    So what s battenberg cake? I sure had not heard of it before this challenge. And i must say it was quite a challenge!When Oggi couldnt make it to host this month s challenge, Mandy of What The Fruit Cake came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg cake challenge. She highlighted Mary Berry s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease. I must say she made the whole thing a lot simpler for us and i m so in love with that chocolate plastique that she gave us.She even suggested a combination of flavors. Thanks Mandy! Well, off to the cake now.

 I must tell you all that this requires some amount of planning and a lot of patience.The reason why my cake looks a lil badly finished is because the pink half broke into two when i was turning it out from the tin and i had a very difficult time assembling the cake. So this cake s all about patience and slow down actions! You cant make this snappy!

Prep Time: Under 30 mins for the cake
             Under 30 mins for the chocolate plastique
Cook Time: 30 mins for the cake
             Under 20 mins to knead the plastique
             Under 20 mins for the assembly
Makes an 8"X6" cake
(Because i dint have enough butter to make buttercream, i used jam.But in case you are using chocolate plastique, your best bet is some butter cream icing.I really wanted to take pics of the tin and the prep of the cake but i was so short on time that i couldnt.I ll make the cake sometime again and repost the pics.Until then, just enjoy the finished pics :))

What You Need?

For The Cake:

Butter softened and unsalted 3/4 c
Castor Sugar 3/4 c
Self Raising Flour 1 and 1/4 c
Eggs 3 large at room temperature
Almonds ground 1/2 c
Baking powder 3/4 tsp
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Almond extract 1/4 tsp
Pink food coloring liquid or paste or gel a little

For The Dark Chocolate Plastique

Cooking dark chocolate 200g chopped coarsely
Liquid glucose syrup or corn syrup 4 tbsp

Special Equipment:

Battenberg cake tin or an 8"X8" cake pan divided into two with the help of parchment.

To Finish:

Any fruit jam 1/2 c and some more

How To Divide The Cake Tin?

You Will Need:

Butter paper or parchment paper.
Tin foil

Fold a sheet of tin foil several times to reinforce the divide.
Now, fold the butter paper into half and insert the folded tin foil in the fold.
Now, grease the pan with butter and place the parchment paper with the tin foil in between.
The butter will help glue the paper onto the pan.
Your battenberg tin s ready.

How To Make The Plastique:

In a double boiler,melt the chocolate until glossy and shiny.
Let it cool for about 5 mins.
Now, add the corn syrup or liquid glucose syrup.
The chocolate will seize up immediately.
Now, in a sealable bag, place the chocolate mixture, spread it evenly and leave it overnight or leave it in the fridge to set for about 2 hours.

How To Make The Cake:

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Now, add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract and whisk until the mixture is light and just combined.
At this stage, add in the flour and whisk until well combined.
Now, divide the batter into two.
In one half, add the food color and mix well.
Now, place the pink batter in one half of the tin.
And the yellow batter in the other half.
Bake for 25 to 30 mins till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Let it cool completely before you turn the cake out.
Now, trim the edges of both the cakes and cut them into 2 vertically.Make sure all the strips of the same size to get an even finish.
You will have 4 vertical strips of alternate colors now.
On a large cutting board, place the cake strips.
Heat the jam on high in the microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes.
The jam would have become liquid now.
Spread the jam on the sides of the cake strips.
Combine one pink strip and yellow strip this way.
Now, spread the jam on the top of the cake strips.

Combine the other two strips in the same fashion like you did the first two strips.
Place the combined two strips over the first two strips making sure that the pink strip is over the yellow strip and the yellow strip s over the pink strip.The objective is to get an alternate checkered pattern in the cake.
Now, remove the chocolate from the sealable bag and start kneading the chocolate on a surface coated with powdered sugar,
It will break in the beginning but as it warms up and will become pliable.
Knead until you get a dough like structure out of the chocolate.
Now, roll out the chocolate plastique into a thin sheet of rectangle.
Spread the jam over the chocolate well so that once you place the cake, it will stick to it and stay firm.
Now, place the cake on one end of the chocolate rectangle and start rolling the cake making sure that the chocolate covers the cake well.

Now, trim the broad ends of the cake a little bit to get an even finish.
A battenberg keeps well for 2 to 3 days. Dont put it the fridge as the chocolate hardens up and the cake becomes a lil crumbly. Keep it in an airtight container and enjoy a slice whenever you breeze in and out of the kitchen.And at that rate, you neednt even be contemplating storage.Just saying though !

June 21, 2012

Corn Flakes Cookies~ Vegan

I was a butter person. Note the tense. Was. That s the grammar gal in me talking. But i am now a convert. No, its not that i m crazily becoming a vegan or something.Its just that the prospects of me sweating it out in a gym seems scary to me. So we go easy on the butter these days.And i try and veganise cookies. Mind you only cookies. Why? Because i like cookies with less mess and butter means a lot of measuring, calculating and cleaning up. The others. The cakes, the breads and everything else, we eat oodles of butter. Am i sounding self contradictory? Yes i m. I just dint want to tell the whole world that i m a lazy bag on bones who hates softening butter and cookies means i ve to soften butter.Or i dont get the texture right. Did you even think that i ll worry about work outs? Come on.. are you kidding me?

    Anyway, i made these cornflakes cookies for two reasons. One, they are chewy and i absolutely love chewy cookies. And two because, Mr.P in the name of dieting picks up about half a dozen boxes of cereal and never bother to open them. He always manages to eat dosas or poha.Anyway that s another story.But these cookies are gone now.Not even a crumb left to feed the poor squirrels who rummage about for food in my trash. So, will you bake these?

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
             Chilling Time: 1 hour to 12 hours max( refer notes)
Cook Time: 12 mins 
Yields 16 cookies

(Let me warn you! these cookies are not quickies.In my opinion no cookie s a cookie. Because you have to chill the dough to have fabulous cookies. And you must chill the dough atleast 10 hours. I baked 2 batches of cookies. One with dough chilled for an hour. And the other chilled for 10 hours.And i must say there was a phenomenal difference in both. You can make this a normal cookie by using 1/2 cup butter instead of oil and cow s milk or full fat milk instead of soy milk. The baking powder acts as a brilliant leavening agent in this cookie and hence no eggs.) 

What You Need?

Flour 1 cup
Corn flakes 1 cup
Corn flakes coarsely crushed 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup powdered
Canola or any flavorless vegetable oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Soy milk about 2 tbsp
16 cashew halves to top the cookies

How To Make It?

In a medium mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Add the sugar and combine well.
Now, in another large mixing bowl, place the oil and the vanilla extract.
Add in the sieved flour slowly until just combined.
Use your hands and gently bring the dough together until it forms a mass.
The dough should be a teeny weeny bit crumbly at this stage.
Wrap with cling film and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 hours at least.
At the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a baking tray with tin foil.

Take out the dough and if you find it too hard to mix, add about 1 tbsp of the milk and try and bring together the dough.Add the remaining only if required.
Now, add the corn flakes to the dough and mix gently.
Its ok if they break a lil in the process.The idea is to get those lovely crunchy flakes as you eat the cookie.
Once you are done, divide the dough into 16 equal portions.
Shape each portion into a small ball and coat them with the crushed corn flakes.
Gently flatten the cookies into flat discs and place them on the baking tray atleast 1/2 inch apart.Place a cashew half on each cookie in the middle.
Bake for 12 mins until you get a light golden crust on the top.
I must tell you that at the 8th min, the house was enveloped in a heavenly smell of vanilla along with that comforting aroma of a cookie baking.
The cookies will be a lil soft when you take them out.
They harden once they cool down.If you bake for longer, then the cookies become very hard. Mine were perfectly done and chewy.
Transfer to an air tight container.

Enjoy with a glass of cold milk or hot chocolate. 
Can there be a better meal?
Sending these cookies to I love Baking 5Lets Cook Kids Special and Vardhini s Bake Fest 8 hosted byReshmi

June 20, 2012

Peerkangai Thugayal Recipe| Easy Chutney Recipes

My fancy for gourds s unrelenting. Especially my love for ridge gourds. Its something like the ice cream love that you have when you are a kid. Everytime the ridge gourds make an appearance at the market, i ve to buy them. Many a times, i even turn my head away from the vendor who has beautifully arranged the gourds on his wicker basket. But no. I know i ll walk back to that guy and without a second thought buy 2 or 3 of those fleshy gourds no matter what the price. If you ask me why, i really dont know except that my love for these gourds is something special. If you ask me how i cook it, then i only have 3 ways of making it. One in a dal and the other this chutney. And then fritters. I dont know any other recipes. Nor do i want to know. Because i want to keep the memory of eating tender ridge gourd chutney unadulterated.

June 19, 2012

A Year Of Blogging, A Million Thanks & Some Chocolate

In the midst of all that was loaded onto my plate, the fact that i completed a year of blogging went by just like any other day. I  completed a year of Tomato Blues on the 14th June. Little did i know a year back, that i would get so hooked on to writing about food and more so ever, making food with a fervor unbeknownst to my folks back home and here. The kitchen s all i need. A skillet s all i want. I was a girl who loved shopping for her clothes.There was a time when not a month had gone by without me splurging on a new t shirt or that stylish jacket. Funnily now, times have undergone a drastic change. I dont want to buy colorful tshirts or sassy jackets anymore. All i want to buy is table linen and white crockery and cutlery. Like i said, the kitchen s all i need.
         I was married a year before i began blogging. As a new bride who dint know her lentils and spices, i did find the time spent in the kitchen annoying and sometimes frightening in the beginning. I really dont know when my perspective on food changed or how it changed. But then, that change has sort of changed my whole way of life. And it s given me so much of hope and love from around the world. A year of marriage, some experimentally successful cooking and Mr.P was gently urging to me begin telling the world how to cook. I was apprehensive but once i began, there was no looking back. I ve not stopped since and i doubt if i will.
     The beginning of a food blog was not very exciting for me. I had too many inspirations.But still, to get the aesthetics of food blogging right took me about 6 months. And then, a whole new world opened up to me. Bloggers i met through virtual events went on to become great friends. And now they have all transcended to being my best friends. I know it s been a while since i have been here on the blogosphere. But to this date, any new comment still leaves me with a wide grin just like my first comment on my first post did.
     I must thank a few people for helping me come so far. First, Mr.P of course. Its not easy living with a food blogger. Mind you. But he does and i m really thankful to him for that. It can be very irritating when your stomach is growling with hunger, the food s readily sitting on the table looking all pretty but then your wife has to click that picture or she wont have a post to do. He s put up with my experiments( some were real nasty) and my constant urge to click anything food for the past 1 year. And whats more! He s been there with me when i ve talked to him about how much i long for some ramekins in white. He s borne all this with abundant patience and for that i m terribly grateful to him.
And after Mr.P, its definitely Amma and Daddy who take the time out to look into my blog and tell me what they think. I couldnt have asked for better critiques. While Amma calls me often to tell how much she liked one picture or the other, Daddy, just like Dads are, tells me that all my posts are lovely and that each recipe s simply mouth watering.
     Now that we are done with family, i ve some more people who i must say, have made a great impact on the way i blog. Lets start with all you beautiful beautiful people who cook from my blog. I value all your comments and even though i dont respond to each comment, believe me they are all incredibly inspirational to me. Thanks a million for your unwavering and growing support for Tomato Blues.And then there are my lovely friends.Co bloggers who ve become chuddy buddy sorts now. The entire Gourmet Seven is like extended family to me. I resort to them when all else fails in my kitchen and they ve never let me down until today. Thank you beautifuls for making my blogging experience such a delight.
    Having said all this, no one finishes a year of something without something to celebrate the memory with. Mr.P became very generous last month and bought me a Nikon D55 to commemorate the occasion of my first blogoversary. Thanks to Mr.P for such a loving and thoughtful gift again. I ve been meddling with the camera for sometime now and that s the reason i ve such good pics at times and then i ve some real dirty ones. Please bear with me until i get the hang of it. I m experimenting a lot with colors, whites and focus. So until i m there, the pics are going to be this way. A lil nice and a lot bad.

   Now, all this definitely calls for some kind of a toast. I decided i ll toast all the lovely people in my life, Mr.P, Amma, Daddy, my precious readers and the whole of G7 with this chocolate bark. After all finishing up a year sure does make one feel festive. Before i begin, here are some recipes that won many hearts in my one year of blogging.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins

Cook Time: Under 20 mins
             Setting Time: 1 hour
Yields about 12 medium size pieces

( This chocolate bark cant get easier. You can make this using dark chocolate or milk chocolate or white chocolate. You can add about any kind of topping or stick to one particular combination like maybe craisins and pistachios or you can even make some that are nutty and minty. You must be very very careful when you are melting the chocolate. Even a teeny weeny bit of water can spoil your chocolate and then you will be terribly disappointed.If you are melting your chocolate in a double boiler, then make sure you dont let the steam escape or the moisture from the steam will spoil the chocolate. Line your tray with butter paper before you begin the entire process.)

What You Need?

Cooking chocolate ( dark or white or milk) 250 g chopped roughly
Mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) 1/4 cup slivered
Mixed dried fruits ( candied peel, figs quartered, raisins, sultanas)1/4 cup

Other Things That You Must Have:

A tray that is 1/2" deep
Butter paper 1 sheet
Rubber spatula
Two steel bowls.One that will fit in snugly into the other and will have a gap of about 10 to 15 cms between the both to use as a double boiler.For more details on how to melt chocolate read my posts on
chocolate fudge cake and home made mint filled chocolates

How To Make It?

Line a tray with the butter paper and keep ready.
Place the chocolate in a double boiler and let it melt completely stirring occasionally.
Once the chocolate s completed melted and glossy, pour the chocolate onto the lined tray evenly.
This step entirely depends on how thick you want the bark to be.In case you want thick barks, then you need not spread the chocolate to the whole tray.

Once you are done pouring the chocolate, drop the tray gently on the kitchen counter.
Spread the nuts and fruit on the chocolate while its hot evenly.
Now, let it come to room temperature.
Once it comes to room temperature, let it set in the fridge for about an hour.
Once set, chop into pieces and pack them up into cute gifts.

Or start devouring them like we did.You cant resist home made chocolate, can you?

June 16, 2012

Cherry And Banana Smoothie

Cherries. For some reason they cheer me up.May be its got to do with the name. And the color too. Yeah color definitely. And then that sweet sour zing that you get when you bite into one of them. Well, isnt it obvious that i m a cherry lover. I eat them by the boxes. Everytime i open the fridge, i pop a few of them into my mouth. There was a time when i ate 3 boxes of them in a day. That much s how much i love them.

    Cherries having become ubiquitous in Baroda, Mr.P picked up a huge box for me the other day. And immediately i was delving myself into a world of gastronomical utopia. Cherry cobbler, cherry pie, cherry smoothie. What not? So here comes cherry and banana smoothie.Quick recipe. Breakfast menu. And will be gone in a shot.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Nil
Makes 2 tall glasses

( This s a versatile smoothie. You can skip the ice cream and add condensed milk. Replace about 1/2 cup of the milk with 1/2 cup of yoghurt. You can even add a mango instead of a banana. See what i mean?)

What You Need?

Cherries pitted about 15
Banana 1 large
Milk 2 cups
Vanilla ice cream 1 scoop or about 1/2 cup
Sugar 2 tbsp

Ice cubes to serve

How To Make It?

Place the cherries, banana and ice cream in a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
To this, add the milk and the sugar and blend again.

Serve chilled with ice cubes.

June 15, 2012

Rajma And Cheese Stuffed Parathas

Did i ever tell you how much of a bean hater i am? I can eat any veggie. Eggplant, okra, bitter gourd, ash gourd, chayote, you name and i can eat it. But beans. No. After all i cant eat everything healthy right. I mean this is a democratic country where people do get to pick their choice of leaders. So why not food?Mom of course dutifully disapproves. So will i if my kid refuses to touch a single bean.
    I dont eat beans. But that doesnt mean i hate them totally. I like their texture. Those colors and that lovely sound they make when shaken up in a glass jar. I have that beautiful tube like thingy from Mauritius full of beans. When shaken, it makes a mellifluous sound. Just like a soft breeze or maybe the gentle waves on a sea shore shushing. Whenever i watch them waves, i am somehow reminded of pretty women trying show off their gowns and walking around with sass. Anyway, my point was whenever i visit a grocer, i linger around in those aisles where they stock up beans. And then i start picking one by one. Almost all of them. Some white, some red, some brown, some yellow, some a pale green and some even with tiger stripes. I dont know what its called though.What happens after i pick them up? Well they sit prettily in my pantry in cute lil jars that my mom gave as a part of my wedding trousseau. Yes, my mom gave me jars. She s one of those who thinks up of everything! Every morning, i wake up and religiously open the pantry and admire my jars full of beans. Lovely beans with gorgeous texture and loaded with fibre and protein.And then i close it back quickly for the fear that i may get tempted to cook them and worse yet, eat them. Such is my bean saga.

  Now, just how did these parathas get made? It so happened that i was browsing through Tarla Dalal s Parathas and i happened to see this recipe. Even then, i couldnt bring myself to cook these. Soaking them kidney beans, cooking them, smashing them and all of that all of a sudden seemed too much work for me. But a convert was born two nights ago. I really dont know what came over me. Call it the bean enlightenment. I opened the pantry to soak my black lentils for my idlies. And then next to those black lentils sat these cute kidney beans begging to be cooked up. I guess it was that moment. I right away decided that it shall be rajma parathas for lunch the next day. Now, i m a convert who has been beanfully enlightened. And boy i m glad i m because this recipe s surely a keeper. And whats more? Pack it for your kids lunch and see what magic happens!

Prep Time: Soaking time: Overnight
             Under 20 mins for the rest
Cook Time: Under 5 mins for each paratha
Yields around 8 parathas
Serving Suggestions:Mint RaithaTomato Raitha

( This recipe does need a lil patience. Knead the dough for the covering first and set aside. Then proceed with the filling. The filling has to be made into balls while they are warm enough for you to handle. Or else they harden up and crumble. I used Britania cheese spread as i dint have cheese cubes. But feel free to use any cheese. You can even try gouda or cheddar for a different taste. I did try a white cheddar and i must say i was in love with the paratha. I was sorry that i made only one of those. Water to knead the dough depends on the quality of the flour and the weather. I used about 1.5 cups.Make sure your dough is not too sticky or you will not be able to roll it out.)

What You Need?

For The Covering:

Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Water to knead 1 to 1.5 cups approximately
Salt 3/4 tsp
Oil to cook
Flour to dust
Cheese spread 1/2 cup or grated cheese 3/4 cup

For The Filling:

Rajma or kidney beans 1/2 cup soaked overnight
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Onion 1 medium chopped finely
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Cloves 2
Salt to taste
Oil 1.5 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Coriander leaves 3 tbsp chopped finely

How To Make It?

Pressure cook the rajma with the cloves along with 3 cups of water for about 8 whistles until very soft.
Drain and reserve the water. Set aside the beans.
Knead the flour into a soft and pliable dough adding water gradually and set aside.
Now, mash the rajma well to form a dough like consistency. You need not show who s boss. The mixture can be a little coarse too. The objective is to be able to make a ball of the filling.
Heat a kadai with oil.
Add cumin seeds.
Once they crackle, add the chopped onions and fry till light brown.

Now, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 secs.
At this stage add the spice powders and mix well.
Now, add the smashed rajma, salt and combine well.
In case you find the mixture too dry, add about 2 tbsp of the reserved rajma water to the mixture. We are looking at a semi solid mixture and not something crumbly and too dry.
Once you have a semi solid mixture ready, add the coriander leaves and about 1/2 tbsp of the rajma water. Mix well.
Switch off the flame and let it cool down a bit.
Once its warm enough to handle, make 8 even sized balls out of the mixture and set aside.
Now, take the chapathi dough and knead for about 30 secs.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and make a ball.
Roll into a thick chapathi dusting with flour whenever necessary.
Once you have a thick chapathi about 10 to 12 cms in diameter, spread about 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp of the cheese spread over the chapathi.
Make sure you dont use too much cheese spread or you will land up with sticky chapathi that you cant roll.In case you are using grated cheese, then just place about 1 tbsp of the grated cheese on the center of the chapathi.
Now, place a filling ball in the center of the chapathi and bring all the edges of the chapathi together in a bunch.
Pinch the excess dough.
Flatten the chapathi gently. Dust with a little flour.
Now, roll them into parathas.
Repeat for the remaining dough.
Now, heat a tawa or a girdle.
Place one paratha and wait for brown spots to appear on both the sides.
Now, smear oil on both the sides and cook for another 2 mins on medium flame.
Repeat with all the parathas.

Serve hot with onion rings, pickles and any raitha of your choice.
Sending this to Lets Cook Kids Special and My Legume Love Affair hosted by Valerie.
Let's Cook - Kids Special

P.S. Tomato Blues completed one year on the blogosphere this month on the 14th. Celebrations are about to begin. Stay tuned!

June 13, 2012

Methi Soya Curry Recipe| Side Dish For Flatbreads

It has been a while since i posted some curries. Easy to make that is. After all, you cant make restaurant style food everyday at home. I have to tell you all something now that i ve started on restaurant food anyway. The other day, Mr.P and i visited a new restaurant. After much deliberation on where to go and what to eat, we had zeroed in on this one with practically a lot of difficulty. Anyway. We found the place nice. Great ambience. Great music. Heck! We even had a maitre'D.Plus the service crew was flashing bright smiles. Nothing could have gone wrong at all. Until the menu appeared. When the very handsome and cherubic waiter presented the menu, i was like a cat which had swollen a canary. Its in my making you know.


June 10, 2012

Tomato And Corn Pie- Gourmet Seven

Now, i m so not a pie person. Well, if you consider a pizza then i am. But otherwise, i m so not that person who goes all wide eyed at the sight of a juicy pie. But now after this pie, please consider me a convert. I ve fallen madly in love with pies. Not long ago, the very thought of making bread was a daunting thing. It was like someone asking me to recall the differentia of sines, cosines and tangents. And making a pie crust from the scratch was like asking me to recite integrals of sines and cosines. While i could live with differntial calculus, the utterance of the word integral was enough to send my head spinning.
       So, i think you ve got quite an idea about how i felt about making pie crusts and breads. I am proud to say that i ve dealt with the bready issue beautifully. Atleast decently. But this pie crust always hung suspended in my mind. When someone begins cooking, there definitely is a to do list. Some things get done and then you strike them off the list. But some never materialise. This pie crust was one of them.Like the fondant i m meaning to make since november. Pie crust. I ve been meaning to get my hands on since when? Like February 2011. So that s like a year and a half. I always kept telling myself. This week. Next week. After a month. No butter. We ate too much butter this month. We ate way too much deep fried this month.I ve to lose a few kilos. Mr.P hates pies. These are all some of the reasons i kept telling myself to convince me not to make that pie crust. Well, i m glad its not that way anymore. And i m overboard with joy because i can make decent pie crusts now. Thanks to Gourmet Seven. We chose pies, tarts, quiches and galettes from Smitten Kitchen this month. I picked this juicy Tomato And Corn Pie.
          Followed the recipe to the T. Got a beautiful golden pie crust. But honestly, tweaked the filling a little. Let me not bore you anymore.

Prep Time: Under 30 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Makes a 9" pie

( The recipe called for beef steak tomatoes. I really dint have a clue as to what they are.I just used regular indian tomatoes and the result was brilliant. Again i dint have chives. So i used italian seasoning instead. I reduced the amount of cheese because we dont like cheese too much. But feel free to use the amount mentioned for the actual pie effect. You must use chilled butter to get a good crust. You can actually make this pie ahead and freeze it.You will have some dough remaining after you made the crust and trimmed the overhangs. Make them into mini savory tartlets. Recipe coming soon.Dont forget to prep up some ice cubes and ice water before you begin.)

What You Need?

For The Crust:

All purpose flour 2 cups
Butter cold and unsalted 6 tbsp cut into 1/2" pieces
Butter melted 2 tbsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Milk 3/4 cup

For The Filling:

Tomatoes medium size 4
Corn 1.5 cups
Mayonnaise 1/3 cup
Cheddar cheese 1.75 cups grated
Coarsely ground black pepper 2 tbsp
Basil 1 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Italian seasoning 1 tbsp

Special Equipment:

Pie dish 9"
Pastry brush
Bucket of ice cold water

Baking Time and Temperature:

400 F or 200 C for 35 mins

How To Make It?

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
Now, add the butter and gently rub into the flour using your finger tips until it resembles bread crumbs.
Add the milk next and stir gently until the flour and milk gets mixed and comes into a ball.
Transfer this to a floured surface.
Divide the dough into two equal halves.
Refrigerate one half.
Now, using a rolling pin, roll the other half on the floured surface to a sheet of dough that can cover the pie dish entirely.
The dough should not be too thick or too thin.
Now, transfer the sheet of dough onto the pie dish.
Make sure the entire edge of the dish is covered.
Trim the overhangs.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Now, boil a large pot of water.
In the meanwhile, make a cross at the bottom of each tomato.
Once the water starts bubbling, drop the tomatoes and blanch exactly for 10 to 15 secs.
Transfer immediately to a bucket of ice cold water. This s to stop the tomato cooking further.
Peel the tomatoes and cut them cross wise into 1/4" thick slices.
Remove any seeds and juices.

Whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl.
Spread the mayonnaise on the pie crust.
Arrange the tomato slices and corn alternatively.
Now, sprinkle the pepper evenly.
Next add the cheese to the top of the tomato layer making sure its evenly spread.
Add the italian seasoning and basil next.Keep aside.
Now, take the remaining dough and work it in the same fashion into a sheet.
Cover the pie in the same way you did with the first half of the dough.
Trim overhangs.
Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie with melted butter generously.
Bake for 35 mins until you get a golden top.
Serve warm or in room temperature.

You can make this 2 to 3 days ahead and freeze it too!!
We all made something in a pie dish this month. Check out my partners in cooking: Vardhini, veena,Radhika,Sangee,Kaveri and Anamika