Friday, July 25, 2014

Steamed Chicken Momos: A Healthy Anytime Snack!

(Adapted from Veg Recipes of India: Steamed Veg Momos)

This week I am posting a favorite street snack: steamed momos. Momos are basically steamed dumplings stuffed with a lightly spiced filling.

The filling can be both vegetarian or non-vegetarian. On our recent trip to Darjeeling, we ate momos galore. I was even planning to lug home a momo-steamer all the way from Kurseong but the hubby knocked some sense into my head. He promised that he would buy one for me in Kolkata.
But the momo bug had bit me and I started hunting around for the perfect, easy recipe. Voila! found just the one in my fave blog Veg Recipes of India. You can find the recipe here.

Here is the recipe, my way:

Ingredients:

Makes about 8 momos

For the momo base:
All purpose flour/Maida: 1 cup
White Oil: 2 tablespoon
Water to knead the dough
For the filling:
Minced chicken: 320 grams (vegetarians can use grated paneer and sweet corn)
Onions: 2 medium (chopped fine)
Ginger (chopped): 1/2 tsp
Garlic (chopped): 1 tsp
Spring onions (chopped fine): 2 tablespoon (optional)
Oil: 1 and a half tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper(crushed): 1/4th tsp
Sugar: a pinch
Vinegar: 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce: 1/2 tsp
For the chilli-garlic sauce:
Dried red chilli: 5-6
Garlic: 6 cloves
Tomato ketchup: 3 tablespoon
Salt: to taste

Process:

1. First knead the dough. Add enough water so that the dough is smooth and pliable but not sticky. Set aside for 30 minutes, covered with a wet cloth.
2. Chop all the ingredients for the filling.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry for a minute. Next, add the ginger and garlic. Fry for another minute. 
4. Add the chicken mince. (Vegetarian options are grated paneer and sweet corn.)

5. Add salt, sugar, pepper, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add about 1/4th cup water and cook covered at medium heat.


6. Take off the gas and set aside to cool.

7. Now take the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces.

8. Sprinkle a little maida on the work surface. Roll one roundel of dough into a roti. The thickness of the roti should not be too thick, neither too thin. If the dough is too thin, then it will tear when filled with stuffing.

9. Place one tablespoon of the dough in the center of the roti.
10. Smear the ends of the roti with water. Fold the roti into half.

11. Pinch the edges of the seam like a gujiya. To make it look good I pressed the edges with a fork. This step is optional. Mold the rest of the dough ball into momos. Cover with a damp towel to prevent drying.

12. Now its time to steam the momos. Since I don't have a momo steamer, I used my idli steamer. Pour two cups of water into the steamer and let the water come to a boil.
13. Place a perforated vessel inside the steamer. I used my rice strainer. Grease the perforated vessel and place the momos in that. Cover with the lid and steam for 7 minutes.


14. Remove from the steamer.

15. To prepare the chilli-garlic sauce, de-seed the chillies to remove the hotness quotient. Immerse the chillies in hot water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, discard the water and grind the chillies and garlic to a fine paste. Add tomato ketchup to the paste. Add more salt if required.

Enjoy steaming hot momos with fiery chilli-garlic sauce.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Restaurant Review: Southern Aminia

This week I am posting a restaurant review. Last week, it was my hubby's birthday, so my parents decided to celebrate his birthday in advance by treating us to a Biryani lunch.

We were planning to visit Arsalan, when the birthday boy suggested we try out Southern Aminia. I was under a wrong impression that this is solely a take away joint. I was pleasantly surprised to find a cozy restaurant on the second floor.

The restaurant is situated close to Golpark and is quite easy to locate.

The interiors are done up with comfy sofas and wrought-iron furniture. The d├ęcor gives a cheerful feel.

 
Southern Aminia
57, Ballygunge Gardens, Gol Park, Kolkata.   
Pocket pinch for two: INR 400-450
 
 
The menu is quite reasonably priced. You can order the ususal favorites, namely biryani and Chicken/Mutton Chaap. Also a number of kebabs and side dishes.
 
The menu card
To our disappointment, we could not order the Aminia Special chicken dish. They said the this dish can be ordered only in their New Market outlet (near the Elite movie theatre).
 
I went in for the Mutton Biryani (INR 140)...my eternal favorite!
 
Mutton Biryani
My parents decided to share a plate of Chicken Awadhi Biryani (INR 255).
 
check the beautiful...Chicken Awadhi Biryani!
 
My little S, settled for Tandoori rotis (INR 10/piece) and a plate of Chicken Rezala (INR 120).
 
Hubby man ordered for Tandoori rotis with a plate of aromatic Mutton Tawa Chaap (INR 150).
 
Tandoori rotis, Mutton Tawa Chaap, and Chicken Rezala
 
The biryani, I need write nothing about. All those who have had biryani at any outlet of Aminia can vouch for it. Though the Mutton Biryani was a tad bit greasy, I just threw the calories to the wind and tucked in with gusto! The Chicken Rezala was in a delicate white gravy and not all spicy. It is the only dish that my little one will have!!!
 
But the star of the ceremony was the Mutton Tawa Chaap. It was fragrant and the meat was beautifully tender.
 
For dessert we ordered for Mango Phirni, which was the season's selection. The Mango Phirni was delectable, totally melt-in-the mouth! We all loved it. Little S had two phirnis!!
 
 
All in all, it was gala feast for the taste buds. I would highly recommend this outlet for any family outing. This foodie-joint is roomy, the food is good, and the service is prompt! :)



                               

Friday, July 4, 2014

Petit Pains Au Lait (Little Buns of Milk)

(Bread # 17: We Knead to Bake)


The monsoons have hit Kolkata with a vengeance. Its raining torrentially almost every evening. And my little S feels the saddest because she is not able to play in the park. Almost everyday it rains when it time for her to go to the park!!!!

To cheer her up, we (her Dad and I) play all sorts of indoor games with her. When its raining hard outside, we all feel like munching on all sorts of snacks. So pakoras, muri-maakha, chire bhaaja, and other such savories are being made almost every evening. So its crunchy-munchy time, all the time...calories can go for a toss.

This recipe was Bread # 17 at the We Knead to Bake group. I had bookmarked the recipe for a long time but one thing led to another and I never got around to posting the recipe.

Petit pains au lait literally means little buns of milk. These buns or rolls are made up of milk and butter. I mean literally, only milk....no water is added to the dough. As a result, you get a lovely rich consistency and pillowy soft buns. They are relatively easy to make.


 

These buns are designed to make them look very pretty. Take a look at this video to see how to create the pattern. Also, see this video.

I referred to Aparna's detailed recipe that you can view here. I also referred to the original recipe here.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

2/3 cup warm milk (you might need a little more; I used toned milk)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread flour*(If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix this well.
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, then just use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.)
1/4 tsp salt
60gm butter, soft at room temperature ( I used a little more than half of a 100 gram bar of Amul butter)
Extra milk for brushing
Pearl sugar for topping (optional)  (I used normal granulated sugar)
 

Process:

You can knead by hand or use a machine. I used my hand food processor. Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly. Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.

 




Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.

 
 
 


Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn’t need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter.
 
Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder.

 
Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.
 
Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar/ granulated sugar.





Pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes at 200C. Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 15 minutes or so until they’re golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or chilled flavoured milk, or at breakfast.



This recipe makes 10 Petit Pains au Lait. They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.