Tag Archives: Delicious

easiest, most delicious, home made pizza

I love home made pizza. And by home made, I mean where you make the dough from scratch, and top it to your heart’s content. My favorite kind is when I also make pesto sauce from scratch to top my pizza, but here I just want to talk about making the dough that you can use anyway you see fit. I have also discovered that using 00 flour (finer texture, less gluten than all purpose flour) which I have found on Amazon and at local supermarkets makes a nicer crust and a more delicious pizza. You can certainly use all purpose flour and it will still come out beautifully.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2.25 tsp dry yeast (one small packet yeast)
  • 3 cups 00 flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • Your preferred sauce
  • Your preferred toppings
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnishing

How to:

1. Mix the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl). Mix the yeast and let it rest for five minutes.

2. When the yeast is frothy, add the flour, salt, and olive oil and knead the dough at medium speed (if using a stand mixer) or with your hand, till it all comes together and is not sticky. On my stand mixer, this took about 8 minutes.

3. Roll the dough into a smooth ball and let it rest in a well oiled bowl (you could use the stand mixer bowl), in a draft free area, for 45 minutes to an hour.

4. At the end of this time, the dough should have doubled in size.

5. Preheat the over to 500 degrees F.

5. Divide the dough into four equal sized balls. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a circle 6-7 inches in diameter (yes this is okay, because I don’t know to flip my dough).

6. Transfer the dough circle to a pizza pan. Spread your favorite sauce, sprinkle your favorite toppings, top with pieces of mozzarella cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. (Repeat process with the rest of the dough). For the pizza shown here, I spread homemade pesto sauce and topped the pizza with sun dried tomatoes, finely sliced asparagus, and mozzarella cheese. Just before serving, I topped the pizza with some micro kale, since I did not have any basil on hand.

7. Slice into six slices and enjoy!

8. If you do not use up all the dough, you can keep it in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for a month. Just bring the dough back to room temperature before using.

PS. If you want to make your own pesto sauce, here’s how I make mine. I take a bunch of basil leaves, a clove of garlic, a quarter cup of pine nuts or walnuts, a quarter cup of finely grated parmesan cheese in a food processor. I add a bit of salt and black pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil and grind the mix till it is coarsely ground and still has a grainy texture.

delish Gulab Jamuns

Gulab Jamuns are one of my favorite Indian desserts.  The sugar syrup-soaked deep fried balls made with a milk/flour dough with a hint of saffron and cardamom may be too sweet for some, but for me, it is the perfect dessert served by itself or with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.  For years, I used the mix made by Gits, a famous Indian instant food brand.  But once my aunt taught me how to make these, there was no looking back.  The recipe is foolproof, it turns out the perfect Gulab Jamuns each time and each person that has tried these wants the recipe promptly.  So, here’s how I make my favorite sweet and if you do give this a try, I’d love to get your feedback.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use it straight from the fridge, but it can be at room temperature)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • A strand of saffron, crushed
  • Oil for deep frying (I used vegetable oil)

How to:

1. Mix the milk powder, flour, baking soda, ghee, and the tbsp of sugar.  Add the milk slowly and mix the ingredients into a dough that is nice and moist and not dry.  Hold back some of the milk if your dough has already come together nicely.  Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and set aside for three hours.

2. After three hours, pinch off little balls of dough and make into smooth balls about 1 cm in diameter.  Continue to make these balls, placing each one on a plate, ensuring they are not sticking to one another.

3.. When all the dough balls are made, heat enough oil to deep fry the balls.  Test the oil temperature by dropping a little piece of dough.  When it rises to the top immediately, you are ready to fry the balls.  Fry the balls in batches, turning them gently till they are evenly golden brown.  Transfer to a plate set up with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

4.  Now make the sugar syrup.  Take the 3 cups of sugar in a large flat bottomed pan, add four cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil.  This takes about 20 minutes.  Now add the saffron and cardamom, give it a swirl, and reduce the heat to low.

5.  Now add the fried balls to the sugar syrup, gently tapping it into the sugar syrup so it can absorb the liquid.  Set aside for 30 minutes and then serve warm or cold, either by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Tahini parathas – Where India meets the Middle East

I love parathas, the flaky, stuffed with anything, griddle cooked with generous amounts of ghee or oil flatbread. I’ve made it plain and with many a stuffing; but seeing a half a jar of tahini in my fridge, triggered an idea. What if I stuff the parathas with tahini and cook them with some toasted sesame seeds on top? Well, there was no waiting on my part as I got to work and created these flaky breads. In the words of my mom, they were melt in your mouth goodness!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups atta (I used this whole wheat flour from the Indian store)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Water to form dough
  • 1/2 cup Tahini (use the one that is smooth, where the oil does not separate such as Trader Joe’s organic Tahini or Sooms which is available on Amazon)
  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds
  • Oil or butter to cook the flatbreads

How to:

1. Mix the atta, salt, and oil in a bowl, adding water and kneading till the dough comes together nicely and is smooth. I used my stand mixer for creating the dough.

2. Divide the dough into 1 inch balls. Take each ball on to a lightly floured board and spread it with a rolling pin into a medium sized circle (like a medium sized tortilla)

3. Spread a tsp of tahini all over the dough with your fingers and roll the circle gently into a rolled log.

4. Slowly circle the log into a coil, tucking ends under (see image below).

5. Take the snail shaped coil and spread into a medium sized tortilla on a lightly floured board. Gently press some toasted sesame seeds into the paratha.

6. Put the paratha onto a warm griddle, dribbling a tsp of oil all around it and cook till brown spots appear. Flip it to the other side and continue cooking till you see brown spots.

7. Remove from the griddle and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

8. Serve plain with a hot cup of tea, or eat with your favorite veggies.