Tandoori Roti in Toaster

SERVES: 3-4

Quick Light Fresh Baked Bread

COOKING TIME: 5-7 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 
400 grams whole wheat flour
200 ml water
5-10 drops of oil

STEPS:
STEP 1.  Add water to the flour, make dough soft enough that is not sticking to your hands. Take oil on your hand and roll the dough with greased palm to finish. Rest the dough for at least 15-20 minutes before making roti.
STEP 2.  Make balls of dough for the size and thickness that you want the roti to be. Roll the balls to make roti.
STEP 3.  Place rolled roti on to heated non-stick pan, turn it around when you see brown dots on one side.
Step 4.  Once both sides of the roti have been on the heated pan once, move the roti into the toaster on high setting. Fluffed and crisp tandoori roti will pop out of the toaster.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Add water cautiously to the flour not to make dough too soft. Dough should be hard enough to easily roll the ball with a rolling pin. You can add more dry flour to the dough or give the balls a pat of dry flour on either side before and during rolling it.
2.Keep rolling the dough balls into Roti while one is cooking on the pan so that next one is ready as soon as you move the first one into the toaster.
3.Depending on the size of the the slot of your toaster you may want to cut the roti in half before sliding it into the toaster so that all of it bakes well.

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How best to thaw frozen food?

  1. baby pumpkinPlan ahead! Smaller items can thaw overnight in the refrigerator, however foods weighing 1 kilo or more will  take about 24 hours in the fridge to thaw.
  2. It is best to thaw the freezer bags on a plate or a pan so that moisture does not drip.
  3. Food may be transferred from a freezer bag to a microwave safe container for thawing in the microwave.
  4. Food thawed in the microwave tends to quickly reach temperatures that boost bacterial growth, so plan to cook or reheat it right away.

Also check- How do I manage excess cooked food? Freeze or not? and Facts to know with freezing and thawing

Facts to know with freezing and thawing cooked food

  1. Always discard any items in the freezer that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  2. Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for too long before freezing. Remember, we freeze food because bacteria develops when its left at room temperature.
  3. Thawing completely and then refreezing food not only loses taste, texture, and nutrients but could also result in the development of bacteria due to frequent temperature changes.
  4. Never taste food to determine whether it is safe to eat. You also should not rely too heavily on appearance to determine whether the food is safe. If in doubt, throw it out.

Also check- How do I manage excess cooked food? Freeze or not? and How best to thaw frozen food?

Why do I still not use a pressure cooker?

It might be because you have heard a horror story about old-fashioned pressure cookers. Trust me pressure cookers today are very different from those outdated aluminum models, and are perfectly safe to use as long as instructions are followed.

I am on a mission to make people around me to think differently about this kitchen equipment that can save both time and money. I know all of us understand the need and importance of green cooking, smart energy saving and cutting our carbon footprint on this beloved planet.

Consider the fact that pressure cooking saves 70% or more energy than conventional methods of cooking. YOU can make a positive difference to the environment and also save considerable cooking time by switching to this method. So, take this small step to help save earth. Watch how easy it is to use one.

I have seen people scared to death with the idea of using a pressure cooker. Often it is the fear of high pressures and accidentally blowing a hole through the kitchen ceiling. For others it may be the sound, which can seem similar to a jet taking off. Or then it might be the geysers of steam shooting out of this contraption that make people uncomfortable .

Despite these seemingly frightening aspects of the pressure cooker, it is an easy to use and effective piece of equipment, and with the right instruction you can definitely get over your “exploding disaster” fears!

Facts about Pressure Cookers:

  1. Modern pressure cookers are all about the safety features, which include a top that locks on securely, a pressure indicator, and a safety pressure release valve.
  2. In terms of steam heat, it is hot, but quickly cools.  It is not as dangerous as cooking something with grease.
  3. Ways of releasing the pressure
    1. Quick release
    2. Running water
    3. Natural release

To get over the fear.

  1. Choose the right model for you. Stove or electric, loud whistle or no whistle.
  2. Read a reliable pressure cooker cookbook that will help you get over some of your safety fears.
  3. Take notes on cooking times, so that you’ll know what to adjust next time.
  4. Take time to get a feel for how it works. Every stove is a little bit different, and every pot is a little bit different, too. There’s a bit of a learning curve. You will soon discover how wonderful it is for cooking things.

What not to do:

  1. Do not add too much liquid -Don’t cook foods that “foam” and don’t fill it more than half way.  Then, don’t worry about it.(the pressure cooker has a very low evaporation rate-about one tablespoon per 10 minutes of cooking vs one cup of evaporation in an uncovered pot). This can be easily fixed by decreasing the cooking liquid significantly. You can even go as low as your cooker’s minimum requirement (which is usually a cup) – check your manual to make sure.
  2. Do not over-cook. The pressure cooker infuses flavours up to a point, after that point the food is over-cooked and the meat becomes tough and tasteless because all of the juices have been squeezed into the cooking liquid – making a delicious stock (if there wasn’t too much water ; )
  3. Do not ignore the manual or do anything they say NOT to do.

Practice by just boiling water until you get the hang of it.  In general, once it starts releasing pressure on its own, just turn it down and “cruise” from there.

Safety features pressure cookers already have

  1. If the top is put wrong – it won’t reach pressure. If you do get it on and do not turn down the heat right away, the valve will release the extra pressure and will activate. If this value is accidentally blocked, a secondary valve (usually a little silicone or rubber stopper) will kick-in. Should THAT fail, the gasket (silicone or rubber circle that seals) will buckle and THAT will release pressure – I have never gotten to that stage but at that point it can get messy and may spray food on your cook top but not the ceiling.
  2. A self-locking handle keeps you from accidentally opening the pressure cooker while the contents are still under pressure.

I hope you consider pressure cooking – not just for the speed but for the flavour, the health benefits and the planet (it’s ridiculous how little energy it needs to operate). I’ll gladly help you navigate the process of getting acquainted with your pressure cooker – just make the decision to buy one!

Meals that can be made in minutes take the pressure off of home cooks who want to make good food but may be pressed for time.

 

How to use a Pressure Cooker?

After the required number of whistles, the stove should be turned off. Once the heat is off, all the steam releases naturally in 5-10 minutes. This is the best way of cooking as it retains all flavours and nutrients. However, steam can also be quick released by using the steam release valve or by gently lifting the whistle (depends on the model of cooker and instructions that came with it). Check out my video to see how steam can be released early before its usual time.

In general, perform these safety checks and you will be good to go:
1. Check to make sure there are no dents or cracks in your pressure cooker or the rubber gasket before using it.
2. There must always be some sort of liquid in your pressure cooker before you close the lid.
3. The pressure cooker should never be more than ⅔ full as there needs to be room for the steam to accumulate.
4. Never try to force open the lid of the pressure cooker when there is steam inside. You can get seriously burnt.
5. Even when it is safe to open the lid, lift the lid away from your face, as the contents will be steaming hot.
6. All pressure cookers have a quick release valve/system. Follow the instructions to make sure you are doing it correctly.

Which Pressure Cooker to buy?

A few quick buying tips:

  1. Go with a spring valve for quieter more efficient operation or finger-tip pressure release that prevents clogging of the steam vent.
  2. You can also go for one with two pressure levels (High and Low) to keep you from pulverizing fish and veggies while you’re infusing them with great flavour
  3. I prefer the black hard anodized stovetop model over the electric one. Particularly because it makes the pressure cooker absorb heat faster making it more energy-efficient. And the pressure cooker stays looking new for years.
  4. Start with a 5-6L (that is the most versatile size) but if you can afford it get a set that uses the same pressure cooking top with a smaller 3-4L pan (for making side dishes, rice for one, pasta sauces, etc).

Are high-end pressure cookers worth the money?

Yes, and no. You get what you pay for and if you pay a lot you get a lot of hard anodized metal, stainless steel, bells & whistles and accessories. This extra metal retains heat like you wouldn’t believe and needs less energy to operate and makes things stick a little less.

No, in the sense that all that extra metal takes a few minutes less to reach pressure. And, as for extra accessories for extra money like a steaming pan,  you might already have it in your kitchen. The end the result is the same: pressure cooked food. Do not let budget get in the way of getting your first pressure cooker!

Colourful Beet Dip-दही गुलाबो चटनी

Calorie wise nutritious home made spread 
Gluten Free, quick to make 
Packed with Minerals, Vitamins and Antioxidants
Ingredients:
500 grams greek yogurt
One small beet root
1 teaspoon salt
1spring onion chopped small
2 inch frozen crushed green chilli (optional)
2 cloves of crushed garlic fresh or frozen
Preparation:
If you do not use greek yogurt, you will need to extract water from regular yogurt.For this put yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it for 1-2 hours for the water to drain out.
STEPS:
Step 1. Chop beetroot very small by hand or in a chopper and cook in microwave for 1 minute to make it tender.
Step 2. Add salt, beetroot, spring onion, frozen chopped garlic, and frozen crushed green chilli  to greek yogurt or block of yogurt.
Step 3. Mix everything thoroughly and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Handy Tips:IMG_2163

1. Beetroot yogurt dip can be served with baked naan bread, corn wafers,  crackers or thin savoury biscuits.
2. You can be as creative as you want to be , add other herbs like dill weed, rosemary, basil, mint, coriander or spices like red chilli pepper, black pepper.
2. You can also add finely chopped bell peppers, mushrooms or cucumber, going even further you could add bacon pieces.

SPICY COCONUT DIP-नारियल की चटनी

Gluten Free, quick and nutritious

It is a complete food rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals.

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
For Dip:
200 grams frozen shredded coconut
50 grams of dry roasted chickpea or peanuts
2 fresh green chilli or 1 inch of frozen crushed green chilli
100 ml milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 inch of frozen grated ginger

For Garnish:
1 teaspoon of oil
1 tablespoon of black mustard seeds
10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
2 whole dried red chilli

STEPS:
STEP 1. Put all ingredients for coconut dip in a food processor/grinder until it forms a smooth paste, keep adding milk if needed and let it grind for a minute or two for shredded coconut to get smooth.
STEP 2. For garnish, heat oil in a small ladle, add mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves until lightly roasted.
STEP 3. Add this to the dip, mix well, let it sit for 15-20 minutes for flavour of garnish to permeate.

IMG_1612HANDY TIPS:

  1. You can use fresh or frozen shredded coconut, the taste of the dip will be the same.
  2. roasted chickpeas can be replaced with peanuts or almonds, they will give the same smoothness and a different flavour to the dip.

Healthy Water-पुदीना पानी

mint water

All of us know drinking enough water is good for general health. And what if you can drink some healthy water every time you take a sip.  Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food.

Mint has a natural acid which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Mint is known to be a natural treatment for common cold, indigestion, pain relief, heart burns, gastric ulcers, skin and oral health.

Every time you fill up a pitcher of water for yourself, family or the guests, add a few mint leaves. Squeeze or crush them with clean hands before putting them in water. Add a few pieces of lime or lemon to help cleanse your digestive system. Lemon and lime also help to control fat and grease in your body.

Enjoy this healthy yet simple concoction every day.

Cucumber Dill Yogurt Dip-खीरा दही की सदाबहार चटनी

Gluten Free
Loaded with goodness of yogurt and coolness of cucumber
Quick to make  
Ingredients:
500 grams greek yogurt
One medium cucumber grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry dill weed or fresh chopped dill leaves
2 inch frozen crushed green chilli (optional)
25 grams of cut coriander leaves
2 cloves of crushed garlic fresh or frozen
Preparation:
If you do not use greek yogurt, you will need to extract water from regular yogurt.For this put yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it for 1-2 hours for the water to drain out.
STEPS:
Step 1. Grate cucumber and add 1/2 teaspoon salt to it, leave it for 5  minutes and then squeeze water out of it.
Step 2. Add salt, grated cucumber, dill, coriander leaves, garlic (fresh or frozen), and frozen crushed green chilli  to greek yogurt or block of yogurt.
Step 3. Mix everything thoroughly. Let it rest for some time or serve immediately.

Handy Tips:IMG_1598

1. This dip goes well as a spread for sandwiches, gyros, shawarma, as a dip with grilled veggies, meats, baked naan bread, corn wafers,  crackers or thin savoury biscuits.
2. You can be as creative as you want to be, add spring onion or other herbs like chives, rosemary, basil, mint, or spices like red chilli pepper, black pepper.