Spring has arrived! Today I spotted a blue jay, which, has always been the true marker of Spring. The Cardinals brighten a winter landscape and the blue dashes with Spring’s riot of green! And with that, it is almost binary switch in my kitchen. I want more green on my plate, more vegetables and more fresh looking and tasting stuff. I am not sure how much I can garden this year, as last year’s patch has been completely razed and no longer viable. So, I am definitely focusing on being more mindful of getting produce that is in-season in the local environs (North East for me and ignoring California!). I am also angling towards quicker meals that allow me more time with family and yet bring a touch of special….Read More
Rather impressed with what had been delivered on my Instagram feed, I allowed myself to go with the flow and tweak to my pantry! Roasted cherry tomatoes with rosemary draped over a cheese filled pastry shell. Divine! That’s all folks.Read More
Somehow, since moving here and the puff pastry becoming ubiquitous, I had forgotten my own humble origins. How a bite of a simple pastry could make my life feel rich and sumptuous. Because in the 10 minutes that I took to eat the egg puff (for at least an hour after), I forgot about how I was the awkward one in class, that my skin was too brown for a fairness obsessed culture, that I had no pretty clothes (OMG! that horrendous high waisted jeans I had! :O), that I was the weird kid in class who wore so big an A-line skirt that it looked like a ball gown because my mother chose the cheap tailor. No, for those minutes, I felt equal to the nobility who probably were the only ones who could have afforded such a pastry, only 50 years prior!
But Instagram brought it up! That community of food obsessed and passionate rekindled me. It all started with Giulia’s post on the Puglian rustici…!Read More
Today I have for you a simple tart with a puff pastry base, spicy fried okra filling and topped with a fried egg, a fresh salad of zucchini strips and radish slivers and a drizzle of fresh citrus..
This fried okra is made Indian style and spiced with chilli powder and a touch of garam masala. It makes a fantastic side by itself...
The British left behind many legacies when they quit India. The most perceived is, of course, the pervasive presence of the English language in the average Indian's life, which, has largely contributed to the country being catapulted as a significant player on the global scene.
I am indeed thankful for the many other subtleties that are not always mainstream. Being married to a Parsi, these little things are brought much more often to my notice. Parsis were the most anglicized during the British Raj and perhaps, even maligned for their adoption of many English traditions. But, they are a lot more clued into the Queen's culture than most Indians. Besides being originally Persian also helps!
One of the little things that I am glad was a fallout of colonization, is tea with pastries. Bakeries are a true delight to me and the smell of fresh, baking bread and pastries is the best ever mood booster! And, I love the fact that the bakeries have savory and sweet treats for the so inclined.
Tea, as you all know, is my favorite time of the day. Since I was a kid, I have loved having something warm with my tea. At home, mum would make a simple snack, like upma or more exotic stuff on weekends, like masala vadai. And, some days, when she stepped out for errands she would stop by a bakery and pick up fresh Puffs!! Those were my absolute favorites!
Chicken or Egg puffs;spicy stuffing encased in flaky pastry. Hard to ask for more pleasure in life! In India, making pastry isn't that easy but here it's a simple joy, especially with frozen pastry sheets so easily available. I made these puffs on a cold day recently with leftover chicken curry, spicy, aromatic and warming. The curry itself makes for a great main course with rice or roti...
Chicken Curry Puffs
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp milk for egg wash
(you won't need all of it for the puffs but you can make a meal of it with rice/bread/roti)
1/2 kg boneless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
salt per taste
Cut the chicken into bit size pieces and marinate in the spice mix, salt and yogurt. Refrigerate for an hour.
Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the chicken and saute uncovered for five minutes. Cover and cook stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. If there is a lot of water, cook uncovered till the sauce/gravy is thickened.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice/roti or use as stuffing
Roll out the pastry to one inch wider on each side. Cut 3 inch circles of the puff pastry. Place a bit of filling in the center. Brush the edges with egg wash and cover with another circle of pastry. Crimp the edges with a fork.
Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool for a few minutes but serve warm. Store in an airtight container. They are yummy cold too :D