Category Archives: LazyChef

Diwali Feast: Lazychef turned Susheela

SAVOURIES:

Namakpara:

Mix Maida (Flour), Oil, ajwain and salt. (Maida to Oil 10:1) (Maida to Ajwain about 70:1) (Salt to taste)

Knead tight. Roll thinner for crispier. Slice. Fry.

Cool before eating?

Namakpara variations:

Mix maida, haldi, hing, ajwain, salt. Spice? Similar proportions.

Doesn’t matter much if you mess it up. All that matters is that you knead the dough tight. (When you poke it, it should not get a dent that rises back)

Kneaded well? Roll. Slice. Fry. Cool.

Matthi
– the homey stuff, not the layered one.

Kneaded the dough for namakparas?

Roll it in a circle about 8″ in diameter. About 2mm thick.

Poke it with a knife or slice lines into the centre about an inch wide to ensure it doesn’t rise while frying.

Fry. Cool. Serve. Eat.

UNBASIC THE SAVOURIES

Savoury Sticks

(Well, I wasn’t able to make sticks, so I’ll tell you of how I sneakily changed the shape)

Besan, Rice flour, Oil (2:1:1);
Dried methi or sliced+washed+dried palak (enough to make it look pretty or to pretend that it is healthy, say as much as the rice flour by volume)
Salt. Red Chilli powder(optional). (ajwain, hing, jeera optional)

#lazytip: Instead of oil and masalas etc, just bung some old achaar or achaar oil into this.

Knead. Tight.

Roll. (haha! I kid you here, it is almost impossible to roll, though pro people seem to do it with ease)

#lazytip Take a small ball of dough. Roll it into a ball. Press it between your palms. Palm sized mathhi looking things are ready to fry.

Or, take a giant ball of dough. Roll it out thick. Slice into sticks.

Fry. Cool before eating if you can wait.

UNSAVOURY THE SAVOURY

HONEY SESAME BITES

This one is quite fantastic, even if I say so myself.

Maida (about two cups)
Ghee/Oil (about half a cup, but it is entirely up to you. The range is 2 TBSP to a bit more than a cup)

Honey 4 Tbsp
Sesame seeds (roasted?) 2 Tbsp
Salt (a tiny pinch)

Knead. Knead tight. Roll (thinner for crispier). Slice. Fry. Deepfry.

Savour.

SWEETS:

Naaru or Suji Coconut laddoos

Suji(roasted), Khoya(roasted), Coconut(grated or desiccated), Sugar (syrup or finely crushed).

how much? Hmm.. 1 cup to 1.5 cups of suji, 1 cup of the Khoya, 1/2 cup coconut and about 1 cup sugar.

Really, it’s up to you. Remember the khoya binds, so you need to mind that, everything else is how you like it.

Oh, and loads of ghee. What else are you roasting all that stuff in?

For each of these (suji, Khoya, nuts(optional), Coconut), roast and set aside. Do not cook the sugar. Put all of these in one giant plate/praat/patila/bowl.

Mix. Crumbly mix it is.

Now make laddooo. It is a bit trickier than it looks in the you tube videos, but you get the hang of it soon. Unless you’ve made snowballs – it’s exactly the same texture.

With a suji laddoo, the trick is to grab as much as you can and squish hard. The tight compact centre will hold when you try to shape it into a sphere. Don’t crush too hard after the first two times when you were compacting the centre.

(The first time I tried, I burnt my hands. Then realised the laddoos come together even when the mixture is warm). Enjoy!

Suji Barfi

You want this to be softer than the laddoos. So change the proportions.

Suji (roasted)(1 cup); Khoya (roasted, in ghee) (1 cup),
Coconut (grated) (1 cup) (optional) (If you take the coconut out, add some flavouring – elaichi powder/vanilla drops/paan liqueur/something)
Sugar (syrup or crushed) (1 cup) (we use less)

Roast the suji. Roast the khoya. Roast the coconut/add the flavouring)
Add the sugar. Mix.

In a flat baking tin/thaali place the mixture. Press down tight. Even out the surface.
(Optional: Put pretty sliced dry fruits or silver varqq or any fancy toppings you want. Press them in gently)

Leave it aside to cool. Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Besan Barfi

Tiny secret (well sorta, everyone knows it): Besan barfi and besan laddoo are the same stuff, just presented differently.

What you need: Besan, Ghee, Sugar. (1:1:1)
Just make sure the sugar has no crystals, crush it well. Sugar crystals taste awful in the sweet.

Roast the besan in the ghee till it turns darker in colour and smells like heaven. You’ll know the difference – it is like growing up, the smell matures. Add the sugar, keep mixing till it is all one unit. You may see ghee being released on the sides too. Bear with it.

Place in a baking tin/thaali. Leave to cool. Slice when half cooled or it’s too much work after. Serve. Enjoy.

To make a laddoo, same stuff, roll into laddooo balls. It’s hot stuff, so I personally go for the barfi option here.

Besan Suji Laddoo:

Now this is a cool one, and you can barfi it, but laddoos are better. (All you do is roast besan AND suji in the previous recipe. I’d recommend 2/3 besan, 1/3 suji in that cup)

Plain Barfi

This is the basic barfi mix. Most people add nuts, powdered nuts or specific flavours and colouring for variety.

1 cup khoya, 1/2 cup maida (optional), 1 cup sugar (syruped or crushed), 1/2 cup ghee (can increase, I couldn’t)

Roast the khoya in the ghee. Add the maida (or even arrowroot powder). When roasted till brownish, take it off the flame and add the sugar and the nuts/flavourings. Mix.

Press tight and level in a baking tin/thaali. (Decorate?). Cool. Slice. Serve.

Chocolate Barfi

Variation on the basic barfi. My favourite is a layered plain and chocolate barfi.

1 cup khoya. 1/2 cup cocoa or drinking chocolate (depending on how sweet you want the top layer. We like it cocoa-ish, a tad bitter). Ghee. Sugar (crushed or syruped)

Roast the khoya in ghee till it starts browning. Add the cocoa (can even add a bit of maida/arrowroot here). Mix well. Switch off the heat. Add the sugar. Mix.
Press tight and level in a baking tin/thaali. (Decorate?). Cool. Slice. Serve.

To get the layered effect, let the bottom layer be the plain barfi. Once that has cooled, add another layer of chocolate barfi on top. Once cooled, slice. Serve.

Ta,Da!!! The showstopper – Jaggery Ginger Laddoos!

This was the awesomest thing of the day. Sharing.

Khoya (1/2 cup), Jaggery(1/2 cup), Ghee (1/2 cup, or less).
Fennel/Saunf (1 tbsp, crushed to powder), black pepper(2-6 pieces, freshly crushed), Ginger (1 tbsp, freshly grated- can add ginger powder too)

Roast the khoya in the ghee. When it turns brownish, add the jaggery (#protip, crush the jaggery before adding, it gets done faster). Mix well, but don’t let the jaggery cook or crystallise. As it starts melting, switch off the heat. The latent heat in the ghee and khoya will do the job.

Add the fennel, pepper and ginger. Mix really well.

Sit in a comfy spot and make small laddoos. (Do not eat this when they are hot and soft, not worth it)

Cool them. Let the jaggery set to hard and the khoya to slicey cool.

Fight for your share. Or keep them to yourselves 🙂

Pictures? Maybe 🙂

LazyChef makes Punjabi Curry

There is an elaborate punjabi curry recipe that can take upto an hour to prepare.

And then there is LazyChef.

The really Lazy/Quick Chef will comprise and not insist on Pyaaz ke Pakode/Onion Bhaji in the curry. It is deep-fried, takes time and utterly delicious. Easy to make, and the pro people  can make it while making the curry. But we will avoid it.

 

What do we need:

Dahi, mildly sour is good. About a Litre for 3-4 people.

Besan: 1 giant heaped tablespoon for each person – so that’s about 4-5 per litre of dahi

(Water)

Sliced Onions. (Maybe boiled potatoes – but that is a local version) (Another version will have kasoori methi/or dried methi leaves from the larder)

Salt. Red Chilli powder (I avoid, everyone else swears by it). Methi seeds (the tiny yellow square-ish ones, bitter to taste). A pinch of haldi. Jeera. (Just salt and Jeera does too)

Oil, of course.

 

Prep:

Dahi, equal parts water, besan. Mix it up in a bowl or mixie. It should look like a watered down yellow lassi. Bung a pinch of haldi on to it if you want to. Keep aside.

Cook:

In a large pan, heat the oil. I’d say about a tablespoon but real Punjabis would say at least four times that. Also, could do Sarson ka Tel (Mustard Oil) but that is a bit too authentic for me.

Heated the oil? Put the jeera – a teaspoon – Let it sizzle and pop. (Add the other masalas too at this stage if you have any/all. Oh, and salt now would be okay too)

Put the sliced onions in, Fry till you are bored. Don’t burn it.

Pour the dahi/water/besan mix in.

Stir as it thickens.

Bring it to a boil once for a thin, instant curry. Each boil thickens it more. I like a three-boil curry.

(It will thicken a bit more as it cools down).

(Pop the pakoras in at the last boil, if you must. Else – add the boiled potatoes now)

Done!

 

(did you remember to boil the rice to eat the curry with? That takes about twenty minutes too) .

 

Slurp away 🙂

 

LazyChef Goes Lebanese

Inordinately fond of Lebanese Food.. So, when the shopping basket revealed a tub of hummus (that recipe another time),  it was time for a lebanese spread.

 

A perfect spread would have had 7-10 items, mine had 6. Two were spectacular.

 

1. Jugaad Fattoush.

What you need:

Salady stuff: (Just make sure it looks green and bright at the end)

A bunch of palak (washed, shredded fine), (some rocket would be nice too) (washed and shredded), lettuce (- chopped in chunks – I had none so added the gentle part of a cabbage),, tomatoes (chunky cut), (should not have added the boiled corn, but I like it, so there. In it went), blanched broccoli (takes a minute – bung it in boiling salted water, drain it out in under a minute); Overtoasted (on a pan) pitta bread to crumble.

Dressing: Lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, amchoor or sumac – half a spoon each – ready to bung in

 

That’s it: Mix. Keep. Mix. Eat.

 

Yeah, Official Recipe. Swear.

 

2. Garlicky Tahini.

 

I swear it took under five minutes.

 

In a bowl I threw in a fistful of sesame seeds, poured olive oil over it, added salt, for fun a few raw peanuts (not in main recipe at all!)

Peeled about 15 garlic cloves

(Pro tip- put them in a bowl of water, the skin softens and it speeds up the peeling. Also, don’t worry about wasting the top/bottom 1mm of garlic if you want to speed peel)

 

Action: Bung it all in a mixie and bzzzz it until it looks like a paste.

That’s it. Tasted wonderful with the other stuff.

Quite sharp though – must have been too much garlic.

Paneer – the LazyChef’s best friend

A Paneer Quickie?

Here we go:

You need onions, tomatoes, paneer, salt. About the same quantity. A bit of oil.

Optional:

Veg: Capsicum (or those giant green chillies that are not very very spicy); Spices: jeera (cumin), red chilli powder, cloves. Maybe – garam masala powder will cover it all.

Oil: Anything refined will do.

(Zero Oil? Use tomato juice instead of Oil, add it after roasting, not before)

Steps:

1. Peel, wash onions. Dice into large pcs – say 8 pcs to a medium sized onion. Wash and chop tomatoes to about the same size.  Paneer diced to about the same size.

2. Put a spoonful of oil in a heated pan, add chosen spices. Jeera and garam masala do best. Can make it spice free too.

Add onions and roast till glistening (not just an oil layer on them, they shine a bit more before they start softening). Keep em as crunchy as you like, mild softening-full glistening is ideal.

(Optional chillies or capsicum can go in now)

Add tomatoes and play about mixing it in. Let the juices flow. When the tomatoes are threatening to drop their peel and there is plenty of tomato juice in the pan, bung in the paneer. Mix. Add salt.

Do not overcook the paneer or it tastes like rubber.

Do not cover the pan if you have green veggies in it.

Mix, lower heat, give it time to simmer. Cover a bit – but not more than 2-4 minutes.

Poke, mix, taste, smell. It will feel right in about 7-10 minutes.

Voila, ready to eat!

 

(PS if it is undercooked, call it a salad)

 

Four Salads in Twenty Minutes

 

Salad 1: Corn and Sprouts

Blanch Corn, cool.

Blanch the sprouts, cool

Mix. A pinch of salt. Squeeze a lemon.

Add your secret ingredient of the day.

(Options: Rock Salt, chili sauce, olive oil etc.)

What I added today: Jalapeno Peppers and Raisins.

 

Salad 2: Kala Chana sprout Salad

Blanch the Kala Chana sprouts if old ppl are eating them (about 3-4 handfuls)

Chopped Tomatoes (6)

Chopped Onions(3)

Juice of one Lemon

Salt

Thai Chilli Sauce

Sesame Seeds

The trick here is to let the tomatoes and lemon juices do their thing with the salt. Let this salad rest for at least 10 mins for the juices to mingle, then mix again.

 

Salad 3: Carrot Moutarde

Grate or chop the carrot, blanch if necessary (old ppl etc.) (about 5-6_

Chop boiled potatoes (4 -5)

Mix a spoonful of Mustard paste with two spoonfuls of yoghurt

Add salt and vinegar.

Mix.

This salad is best eaten cold

 

Salad 4: Brocolli

 

Broccolli releases its goodness, and colour when it is blanched well. And cooled a bit.

Blanch Broccoli – as much as you want

Generously pour Onion Relish on it

Done!

 

Tips and Tricks:

 

1. Blanch salads so that they get cleaned thoroughly, are easy to digest and stay shiny for longer

2. Add salt to the water for Blanching

3. Let the water boil, add the chopped veggies, wait about a minute or two, sieve out.

 

And here is my favourite Salad, though I did not make it today- Rocket, Onion and Walnut

Wash the Rocket and tear it to baby rocket sized bits

Caramelise the Onions, preferably sliced in rounds (I don’t add sugar, but you can, trace)

Toss the walnuts in when the onions are done caramelizing – they don’t get crisp, just nice and warm.

Add a trace of salt if you want to.

Switch off the flame.

Add the rocket leaves, and toss the salad. Cover for about 30 seconds. Any more and the salad leaves lose their colour.

Transfer to cool serving dish (or the leaves will cook – and you don’t want that)

 

 

 

 

 

Diwali – Healthy Sweet – Khajoor laddoo

Well, healthier than the carbs and sugars we indulge in with the other sweets… though if you have diabetes, this still does not qualify as healthy.

But it has all good stuff.

You will need:

De Seeded khajoors(dates), chopped

Chopped nuts – almonds, pistachios etc.

A spoonful of ghee, or a trace amount to line the wok

Action:

Warm the wok with the ghee (don’t need much)

Roast the nuts lightly

Put the chopped dates (khajoors) in, and toss around till everything starts to soften.

Switch off the flame, continue to attempt integration of mass in wok for another minute.

Now, for the brave:

Take a portion in your palm and fashion into a laddoo, little spheres of goodness. Place aside to cool

For the less brave:

Place it on butter paper. Roll to even it out – about half an inch thick. Slice into barfi shapes (squares or diamonds) before it cools down. Separate and cool

Enjoy!

(For the simple namkeen:https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-2-namkeen/ )

(For the simple barfi: https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-barfi-for-beginners/ )

Diwali 2 – Namkeen

The Simplest Namkeen to make is a namak para..

You need – maida (flour), Oil (for kneading and frying), salt, ajwain, warm water to knead

For every cup of flour, use a ladleful of oil (or ghee, if you are posh) to knead. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch (and a bit) of ajwain.

Crumble the oil into the maida. (add more oil if you are feeling generous)

Knead with warm water into a tight, almost impossible ball. Which means, be very sparing with the water.

Pull off manageable portions, knead it between your hands to make it even and springy.

(About this time, put oil in a wok, on a flame to heat for frying)

Roll out on a flat surface (pre-oil it) till it is about 1 mm thick

With a knife, score out a diamond pattern (cut through)

Lift out the diamonds and fry..

Cool to eat..

 
(For the healthy Khajoor Laddoo https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-healthy-sweet-khajoor-laddoo/ )
(For the simple namkeen:https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-2-namkeen/ )
(For the simple barfi: https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-barfi-for-beginners/ )

Diwali – Barfi for Beginners

The Home Made Diwali Spread

(Or, More Kudos for Less Work)

A Sweet, A Savoury and a Healthy Option

Barfi, NamakPara, KhajoorLaddoo

The Sweet: Barfi

The easiest thing to make in the world is a barfi. At its simplest, it is khoya, mashed in warm ghee over a low flame, with sugar and flavours added. It takes time to mash it in, and lo, by the time it is mashed, it is pretty much cooked.

Then you laddoo it or barfi it, according to how much heat your hands can handle. (Laddoo making almost burns hands)

Recipe:

One Unit Khoya
One Unit Sugar (powder, not crystals)
One Unit Ghee
(you chose the units, roughly equal quantities)
(I halve the ghee, just to feel as healthy as I look. Can reduce the sugar too)

Flavouring:

Cd be Elaichi(green cardomom)  powder. Or Vanilla essence (coupla drops). Or a Quarter unit of finely chopped dry fruits – almond, pistachio – anything)

Basic Barfi:

Take a Wok like pan, the thicker the base the better it is.
Light the fire, low flame
Put the Ghee in, let it warm up.

#Protip: Run the khoya through the mixie to shred it. Or Grate it. Or chop it up as small as you can (takes patience)

(Should I have said this before? Sorry, Switch off the fire as you do this – you don’t want the ghee to be too hot)

#Protip2 If you are powdering the sugar yourself, in the mixie, do it before you shred the khoya. Saves you from having to wash n dry it in between)

Back to cooking:

Warm the Ghee.

Put the shredded khoya in.. start mashing.

As it begins to soften, add the sugar.

Mash and Turn.

(Add flavouring, dry fruits etc. now)

As it integrates into a single massive lump/ball, make sure it is even.

Spread and mash to identify lumps. Pull together to integrate.

Traditional test is that it separates from the sides – doesn’t want to stick.

Don’t overcook.
(If it starts being unsticky, and you still have some mashing and smoothening to do,  switch  off the flame for a few minutes)

Bingo – basics done.

Now, to Roll.

Roll them on a flat surface using a rolling pin. About an inch thick (or as you like it)

Admire, instagram for a moment. (Give it a moment to breathe and set)

Slice into diamonds or squares.

Lift with a SPATULA and arrange on pretty butter paper – Give it a few minutes to set some more)

IN SUMMARY:

Shred the Khoya

Powder the sugar

Warm the Ghee.

Mix and Mash (add fancy flavours n nuts)

Roll and Cut.

Cool and Serve

🙂

Send me some!!
(For the healthy Khajoor Laddoo https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-healthy-sweet-khajoor-laddoo/ )
(For the simple namkeen:https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-2-namkeen/ )
(For the simple barfi: https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-barfi-for-beginners/ )

For the Namkeen: https://aanteladda.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/diwali-2-namkeen/

Quick Aampanna

Craving Aam panna?

This one shd not take more than 20 minutes to make, though I’m afraid, it may take much longer to cool down.

(Best to start before brushing your teeth in the morning, stick it in the fridge before going to work, and have it waiting for you when you get back)

Tastes nearly authentic, utterly true to the lazychef ethos.

Take 4-6 raw mangoes. Wash.
Plonk them in a pressure cooker with half a cup of water per mango and one for the pot. (Less for smaller mangoes, obviously)
[How much water protip- enough to cover the mangoes and leave 3odd inches between water level and pressure cooker top]

Add a large tablespoon of sugar per mango, and a bit more if you like it sweeter.
And a pinch of salt.
For adventure, add a slice of ginger, some black peppers and a couple of cloves.
Pressure cook for ten minutes.

Let it cool down.

Now the tricky, messy part.

SEQUENCE this well – it takes 2-3 minutes. Else, I promise you at least 40 minutes of gooey glory. Also, use the implements suggested.

When you open the pressure cooker, the mangoes should have separated from their peel, almost as if they exploded in the cooker.

1. Pour out the water with the mango bits floating in it.. this too is aampanna (50 seconds). Pour it into a large pan.
2. With a spoon or fingers, separate the peel from the centre. Leave the peel in the cooker, or on the side (30-40seconds)
3. Take a knife, and scrape off the cooked mango pulp into the pan with the water you just poured out (about a minute)
4. Don’t bother too much with the mango pulp sticking to the peel. If you are fussy, scrape it off with a spoon and add it to the pan.
5. Wash your hands, tidy up the space, throw away stuff 🙂

The pan has your aam panna.. ALMOST.
Either whiz it with a blender, or mix it with a spoon.
Add Black Salt/kala namak and (crushed) ice before you drink it..

EVEN MORE ADVENTUROUS?
AAM PANNA SORBET?

1 Double the sugar when cooking. Reduce the salt.
2. Freeze the liquid aampanna, crush, refreeze, crush n serve 🙂

Thai Soup

This one is about preparation, cooking time is minimal.

Tons of fine chopping.

So first gather your stuff around

Pan, noodles, water.

Frying pan, Chicken breast slices OR prawns

Seasonal Vegetables, finely sliced – beans (diagonal for style, carrots, baby corn)

Thai Veg: Spring onions, lemon grass, galangal, kafir leaves, coriander/parsley. – finely sliced, pak choy.

Imp: Peanuts, crushed – roast em.

Spices: Chilli Flakes, pepper, lemon (dried or fresh), brown sugar.

If you can: Fish stock/chicken stock, coconut milk

Here goes:

Track 1: One one hob, put the noodles to boil in water

Track 2: Another hob:
Large pan (with lid, Trace oil, (if chicken gently panfry the pieces a bit, take out, keep aside.

Add a bit of water – 1/3 cup, add the brown sugar, let it bubble.. add kafir leaves, half of the chilli flakes, pepper, dried lemon.

Add another 1/2 cup water/fish stock.

Option – Either blanche your veggies, and keep aside for assembling at the end

Or
if really lazy, When it bubbles again, add the tough veggies – beans, mangetout, carrots etc. Let it simmer till it begins to soften.

Simmer – lower the flame.

Add the chicken or prawn now.

Add coconut milk if you want to.

Add pak choi now..

Simmer for about a minute. Switch off heat. This is your sauce.

It needs a lid.

Place sliced lemongrass, galangal, spring onions etc. on the sauce and shut lid. Let the steam soften them a bit.

Track 1:

Your noodles should have cooked by now. Drain. Wash. Wash again with boiling hot water/pour from kettle on to noodles, to heat them again.

Assemble to Serve:

Giant Bowls for eating:

Place noodles at the base. Pour sauce with the bits that interest you ..Let the liquid stand about 1/2 inch above noodles.

(You could add the blanched veggies and sliced toppings at this stage too)

Take a bunch of roasted crushed peanuts and plonk on top.

Before Eating:

Take a picture, instragram it.

Eat.

SUMMARY:

BOIL THE NOODLES
BLANCH THE VEGGIES
SLICE THE TOPPINGS
MAKE THE WATERY SAUCE (water in tom yum paste or whatever you like will do too. Or packet soup. Or the way above)
ASSEMBLE
SERVE
EAT