Buttermilk Biscuits

I first had buttermilk biscuits at Popeyes along with fried chicken. And it was love at first bite.

Since then I have been in search for a recipe to recreate them in my home myself. I tried a lot of recipes online and finally I can say that I might have found one that I am really happy with. Today I am going to share it with you all.

Buttermilk Biscuitsmakes: 8 biscuits
adapted from here

Ingredients:

All purpose (not self-rising) – 2 cups
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Unsalted cold butter – 6 tbsp
Buttermilk – 1 cup

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix. Now add cold butter cut into tiny pieces and buttermilk. Using a fork, gently mix, avoid overmixing. Dust flour on your kitchen countertop and invert the buttermilk+flour mixture. Knead dough gently 3 to 4 times until it holds together. Dust your palms with flour as well and pat the mixture down into a large patty, approx 1 inch in thickness.

Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper and dust it lightly with flour. Working quickly, use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits and keep placing the biscuits on the tray, make sure they are all placed close to each other. Place the baking tray in the refrigerator for approx 15-30 minutes. Now transfer the tray to the preheated oven and let them bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you see a get a light brown hue, remove from oven and serve warm along with a salad or coleslaw and baked/grilled chicken.

Luv,
Mona

Meethay Ghoday

A few days before I heard my mother in law speak about a sweet dish that I had never seen, tasted or even heard about in my entire life. She told me that Ghoday, is a special Hyderabadi dessert that her mom used to make for her when she was a kid. I immediately requested her to make it for me well.

ghoday – left to dry

The method is simple. And very similar to making pasta. Dough is rolled out, cut into squares and made into a cute flower shapes.

shaping ghoday

 Then they are left to dry out for a few hours or overnight. Once nicely dried they are deep fried until golden brown in color. Finally they are cooked in milk and sugar and served at room temperature.

deep fried ghoday

It was my first time I had prepared and tasted this dessert. I enjoyed it. It was delicious!

Meethay Ghoday – Traditional Hyderabadi Milk and Flour based Dessert

Ingredients:

Durum Flour – 1 1/2 cup (you can also use maida)
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Canola oil (you can also use a little bit of ghee for nice flavor)
Water
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Raisins and sliced almonds – 3 tbsp, shallow fried

Method:

1. Combine the flour, salt, oil and water (reserving some of the flour for rolling). Add only a little water at a time and make a dough. Cover with a damp towel and keep aside for 30 minutes. Later knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, firm and pliable. Make the dough into a log and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Roll into a ball between your palms. Using a rolling pin roll each ball into into a disc. Make sure that the circle is as thin as it can be and try to use as less flour as possible to aid in the rolling process. Cut the rolled out dough into squares using a knife or a pizza cutter. Shape each square into a flower as shown in the picture above and keep them aside on a tray. Continue until all the dough is used up. Leave the shaped flowers on the tray uncovered for 5-8 hours or overnight until they are dry and hardened a little bit.
2. In a frying pan pour oil to deep fry the prepared dried dough flowers. Once the oil is hot, deep fry them all until they are nicely golden brown in color. Usin a slotted spoon, remove them onto a platter.
3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan at medium high heat, pour milk and about 1 cup water and add the deep fried dough flowers. Mix well and let it simmer covered for 10-15 minutes until they are softened. Give it a stir once in a while. Add sugar and mix. Add more water if you need to cook them more. Once cooked thoroughly, add the shallow fried raisins and sliced almonds. Transfer to a serving bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Ghoday is ready to be served.

Luv,
Mona

Chicken Tikka Pizza

A while back I got a request from hubby dear that I am not preparing specials that often as I used to before babyjaan happened.

Chicken Tikka Kawabs – Murgh Tikka

So one weekend I adorned my chef hat and got onto making something especially to please him. I had prepared chicken tikka a day earlier and there was some leftover. The idea to make a pizza immediately popped in my mind and I am glad he thoroughly enjoyed what I made for him.

Chicken Tikka Pizza

Ingredients:

All purpose flour – 4 cups
Yeast – 1 packet – 7 gms
Warm water – to make a dough
Salt – 2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 4 tbsp
(Store-bought) Pasta Sauce [or] Tomato Chutney – 3/4 cup
Sun dried tomatoes – 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces
Chicken Tikka – 1 cup, cut into small pieces
Green/Red Bell Peppers – 1/2 cup,
Green Olives – 1/2 cup, sliced
Mozzarella Cheese – grated, 1 cup

Method:

1. In a cup of warm water, add one packet of yeast and mix using a spoon. Add salt and sugar and a cup of flour and mix to make a wet dough. Pour olive oil all over the dough. Cover with a wet towel and keep aside for an hour. Later you will notice that the dough has almost doubled in size.
2. Add the remaining flour to the dough and add water as needed to make a soft dough. Do not work the dough a lot. Mix it lightly ans make sure it is soft. Let it rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the toppings.
3. Preheat oven to 450 F.

4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet using waxed paper. Dust lightly with flour all over it. Drop the ball of dough over it and working with your fingers spread the dough so that it completely covers the entire baking sheet. Slather the pizza with the pasta sauce or chutney whatever you are using, then add all the toppings spreading them all over the dough. Lastly add the grated cheese and transfer the baking sheet into the oven. Your pizza will be ready in about 20 minutes.

For Thin crust pizza: use a rolling pin and roll the dough to achieve the thinness you want. Then transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet and add the toppings.

FREEZE: To freeze, set dough balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then freeze in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. If you plan to use it in a recipe that calls for half a batch, divide it before freezing. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Luv,
Mona

Suhali

Deep fried, crisp and sweet. This is how I how I describe my childhood favorite tea time snack~Suhali (plural – suhaliyaan). They are just like poori, but rolled a little thinner than poori for a crisp end result and sprinkled generously with powdered sugar after being deep fried.

Suhali – Deep fried Sweet Discs

Ingredients:

All Purpose flour/Maida – 3 cups
Salt – to taste
Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Water

Oil to deep fry
Powdered sugar as topping

Method:

Mix flour, oil and salt in a bowl. Add water little by little to make a soft dough. Knead for a couple of minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. Knead again for 5 minutes. Pinch off walnut-size balls of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands to smooth round balls. Cover the balls with a kitchen towel. One by one roll the balls into thin discs using as little flour as possible.

Deep fry the discs in hot oil in a deep kadai/wok on both sides until golden and crisp. Remove them using a slotted spoon from hot oil and place on a platter. Immediately sprinkle the fried suhali with powdered sugar. Continue until all are done. Serve when cool. Store at room temperature. Finish within a week.

Note:
1. It is necessary that you roll the discs for suhali preparation thinner than you roll for poori.
2. You can add ghee and cold milk to the flour instead of oil and water respectively to make the dough if you wish. My aunt even adds a spoon or two of semolina to the dough.
3. Use as little flour as possible while rolling the suhali.

Luv,
Mona

Dry Fruits and Nuts Biscuits

Just like Sharmila, and I believe many other Indians, I tend to get confused between cookies and biscuits. Back home in India, only those that are studded with chocolate chips were called as cookies, whereas all others are referred to as biscuits. So you are free to call them whatever you wish, fruit biscuits, or fruit cookies, these melt in mouth morsels studded with dry fruits and nuts are a treat.

dry fruits and nuts biscuits

The famous Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad city is popular for fruit biscuits, among many other baked food products that they are known for. I had always loved these when I was a little kid. These were perhaps one my most early loves. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered a recipe for fruit biscuits at one of my favorite TV chefs website, Ina Garten. I have tried and took delight in many of her recipes, her homely style of cooking is something that I can identify with.

Simple to prepare and delightful to taste, these biscuits have become a regular in my house. Ofcourse I miss those that were available at Karachi Bakery, but these have been successful enough to win my heart and rock my tastebuds. I have made a few changes to the original recipe so that it suites me. For an eggless version, try Priya’s version.

Dry Fruits & Nuts Biscuits/ Cookies
Adapted from this original recipe

Ingredients:

Dried fruits – 1 cup [I used a mixture of tutti frutti and raisins. You can use whatever dry fruits you fancy, like dried berries, candied cherries (or any fruits) etc]
Dried nuts – 3/4 cup [I used a mixture of cashewnuts and walnuts]
Honey – 1 tbsp
Fresh orange juice – 2 tbsp
Fresh lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Canola oil – 1/2 cup
Powdered cloves – 1/4 tsp
Light brown sugar – 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 2, large
All purpose flour – 2 2/3 cups
Salt

Method:

1. Chop the dried nuts and fruits roughly. Place them in a mixing bowl, add orange juice, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Cover with a plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.
2. In a mixing bowl add butter and oil, powdered cloves, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, beat for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and beat for a minute or two until mixed. Add the the dried fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Now add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don’t over-mix! Divide the dough in half. Place the half on a wax paper and using the long edge of the paper as a guide, shape them into logs. Cover the logs with plastic wrap entirely if you plan to freeze them now to use later. Or else, refrigerate the logs wrapped in wax paper for 1-2 hours or until firm (you can even freeze them for just 15-20 minutes) so that you can easily cut them into slices.

biscuit dough logs

biscuits, cut and ready to be baked

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on aluminium foil lined cookie sheets and bake for 14 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges. Mine were done in just 14 minutes. Once done, transfer the biscuits immediately on a rack and let cool. Once cool, store in air tight food storage containers.

Luv,
Mona