Homemade Eggless Mushroom and Cheese Jumbo Ravioli with a herbed Butternut-Walnut Sauce

Hello Cousins!!

Finally we begin to stir!!  Daibi would be back in action in a few days..they just returned from an awesome Delhi By Foot Photography and Bird-Watching trip from Bharatpur!! Its such a delight to see the pictures that they have brought back…makes me long for a teleporting vehicle to transport me there!! I too wanna witness this annual migration of thousands of spectacular looking birds who travel primarily from Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and western Siberia in Russia…aaah! some day I will!! But Daibi, don’t you wanna visit the Okhla Bird Sanctuary as well?? I mean that’s one of the things you must do being in Delhi during the winters!!

No no…I will not get carried away with my melodramtic yearning for Delhi winters…STOP Dakhina Mitra!! And I am back 😀  Didi, kudos to you and my dearest Rizimon for making those amazing uttapams….I learned to make them when I was 21 and he is only 9!! I agree with our Blogger friend Rashmi about the fact that most Indian boys/men don’t know how to cook! But being in a household where grandmommy, mommy, mommy’s sister, daddy and mommy’s brother are avid cooks/food lovers, I think we haven’t left Rizimon with any other choice, but to cook ;). That doesn’t mean he is not a foodie himself….I still remember a 4-5 year old Rizimon ordering a All-American Banana Split icecream at Nirulas, Delhi for himself. There was only a quarter plate left-over for you and me who were eagerly waiting for him to leave most of it!!

Homemade Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli in a herbed Butternut-Walnut sauce

Homemade Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli in a herbed Butternut-Walnut sauce

Today I will write about an Italian pasta dish which I think Rizimon can try with a little help from you.  A few weeks back you had sent me a pic where he was frying potatoes by himself, so I think he can manage doing this too..I am also pasting a link on quick pasta meals for him coz I know how easy it is to make a pasta dish!

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Braised Bacon and Silverbeet with Gratin Dauphinoise

Hello loves!

Where are you guys? You both have been too silent lately…tremendously busy, eh? But I have again started my cooking spree 🙂 and the latest was Braised Bacon and Silverbeet with Gratin Dauphinoise.  I learned about Silverbeet first from my German family, the Oppolds – Erik, Alexa, Leo and Marta (an awesome bunch of foodies who not only adopted me in their love-filled household but also introduced me to the German Cuisine and many new vegetables/herbs).  With a taste somewhat similar to spinach,  it belongs to the beetroot family and has highly nutritious leaves.  Do you know about this leafy veggie? Do you think any of the saags that we get in India, resembles this?  The Gratin Dauphinoise is a French dish that uses the technique of baking or broiling ingredients topped with cheese, butter or breadcrumbs till a golden crust develops.  It was created in the French region of Dauphiné where thinly sliced potatoes were layered with milk, cream, cheese and herbs in a garlic rubbed dish. Now you would ask how is it different from a Potato Au Gratin.  The difference lies in the fact that the latter has breadcrumbs in it and is a bit softer/mushier than the former which is more crusty on the top due to the cheese.  Besides gratins are made in deep pie dishes or casseroles where as a Dauphinoise only has 2-3 layers and can be cut into pieces to be served as savory.

Without much ado, I will proceed with the recipes ample for 4 people.

Braised Bacon and Silverbeet with Gratin Dauphinoise

Braised Bacon and Silverbeet

250gms Bacon Rashers/cubes

500 gms Silverbeet or any green leafy vegetable that can be cooked like savoy cabbage

100 gms Sour Cream or 2 tbsp sour curd mixed with 2 tbsp cream

2-3 pinch of Nutmeg powder

1 large Onion

2 cloves of Garlic

Salt and black pepper to taste

First, wash and chop the silverbeet. In a pan, throw in the bacon and saute till crispy and golden brown.  You don’t need to put oil in the pan as the bacon itself releases a lot of fat.  Add in chopped onions and garlic. When the onions have softened, add the chopped silverbeet, 1 tsp of salt and cover to cook on  medium heat.  Please be careful while using the salt in this as the bacon is already salty.  Once the leaves are cooked till a point that some crunch is left, add the sour cream, black pepper and the nutmeg powder. Stir well for 2-3 minutes, check the seasoning and take off the flame.

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Gratin Dauphinoise

4 big Potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices

1 shallot or 1/2 red onion finely chopped

1 big clove of Garlic (bruised)

Few Thyme sprigs

1 cup milk

1 tbsp cream

3/4 cup Grated Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, pour in the milk, the cream, thyme and onion/shallots.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Take a shallow baking tin/dish, brush it with the bruised garlic thoroughly and put a layer of the potato slices (retain the large and well cut slices for the top layer).  With a ladle, pour half of the milk mixture over the potatoes, enough to cover them.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper and half of the cheese. Top this with another layer of potato slices, and the milk mix.  Then bake at 160 degrees in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or till a fork goes smoothly through the potato layers.  The milk would start curdling and you may think that you would be left with a mushy bake. But don’t worry, take the dish out, sprinkle it with rest of the cheese and bake for another 15 minutes or till the whole thing is set and the top looks crusty and golden brown!!

Arrange the Braised Bacon and Silverbeet on a plate, cut a piece of the dauphinoise (didi you can present it in a better way I think) and serve with bread or fresh salad.  It is not necessary to combine these two elements…so one can try new combinations..like Silverbeet/Gratin Dauphinoise with a lovely fish fillet or a chicken steak.  One can also cook a vegetarian version of Silverbeet by adding mushrooms or ricotta/cottage cheese, just like our Palak Paneer 🙂

Write back both of you, missing the chatter 😦

Love,

Dakhina

Juicy Honey-Sesame Chicken Drummettes, Fried Eggs with Tamarind Relish & Fish Tikkis

Woooooooow Daibi!!! What a walk!!! I sure miss Delhi on such days….when I visit next time, please, oh please take me there again..coz I see new things that I never tasted…me and Niloy together drooled over your Iftaar foods post and the other pictures on your DelhiByFoot Facebook page and took a pledge..WE HAVE TO GO TO DELHI 6 ON OUR NEXT VISIT!!

Didi, I too wish I was at one of Rizi’s B’day parties…managing kids or helping you clean afterwards would have been a cake-walk if I would have had the chance to fill myself with all the goodies you make for these parties…I still remember the pictures of the self-made burgers that you made last year…yuummmm!! But lemme not stray with old memories of food again (is there something about food & memories, good or bad, they tend to linger on, don’t they?)… So getting back to your last post, like you, some of my friends too have been asking me about a few starters that I keep making regularly..so here are some of my favorite recipes..please note that in this post the ingredients of the recipes are in italics.

Juicy Honey-Sesame Drummets with Grilled Butternut, Grilled Tomato and Avocado Salad

There are four amazing starters on this plate.  Grilled Butternut, which is basically half-inch slices of this buttery-textured pumpkin arranged on a grill pan and then sprinkled with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Just when the butternut slices are cooked (you can poke a knife in it to check) and slightly browned, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Second is that beautiful Grilled Tomato where I cut the tomato in to half, cleaned the innards (Beauty Tip: don’t throw them..the juice and seeds mixed with one tsp of olive or almond oil and 1 tbsp whole wheat flour or black chickpea flour makes an awesome face pack or body scrub to reduce dark spots), stuffed it with lots of cheddar cheese and chives and then grilled it for 10 mins.

The third is an Avocado Salad or dip which as you know is called a guacamole.

The fourth is the very Juicy Honey-Sesame Chicken Drummettes! It is a bit different from the normal recipes coz I add a few extra flavors in it.  For the two of us, I take 8-10 drummettes with skin (A whole chicken wing has three joints – one is the wingette which sort of rectangular in shape with the two skinny bones & meat in between. The drumette is the section that is attached to the body of the chicken and resembles a drumstick. The wing tip isn’t eaten normally). If someone doesn’t like the skin, they can peel it off by soaking the pieces in hot water.  Then I marinate these drummettes in 1tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp garlic.  I also add grated lime rind and finely chopped coriander root in this (according to my Thai friend Paruedee to get the maximum flavor of coriander leaves, one must use the part close to the roots.  She washes them thoroughly and adds the green parts to her curry pastes or simply throws them in a boiling soup).  After marinating for 5-6 hours, I pan fry them with very little oil on mostly high heat till they are partially charred and yummily cooked 🙂 In this way, all the juices remain intact and you have these flavorsome soft and amaazing drummettes….gosh I am drooling!!!!

Fried Eggs with a Tamarind Relish

Fried Eggs with a Tamarind Relish

This is again a recipe from Paruedee and she used to produce this simple but totally delicious starter/main dish from thin air in what the Germans say, an augenblick (a moment).  So you pan fry boiled eggs and set aside.  Make a table tennis sized ball of tamarind and soak it in hot water.  In a pan fry some chopped red chillis (depending on how hot you want it) and then add the tamarind water, sugar and salt according to taste and boil. I like it hot, sweet and very sour..but you can tweak accordingly.  Then slice the eggs into halves and plate them.  Pour the tamarind sauce liberally all over them, sprinkle chopped coriander, mint and basil, and throw in a generous dash of fried shallots on top (here you get them prepackaged in the market, but you can fry some onions till they are crispy brown).  I drizzle some more sauce to add an extra kick 🙂 And you can serve these with drinks or as a party snack for kiddies or if you have made a lot of sauce, you can serve it with rice too!!

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Fish Tikkis

I made these fish tikkis or kebabs for Niloy’s b’day party.  It was again very simple…I made some 35 tikkis by mashing 1kg boiled Basa fish fillets (any boneless fish would do), 4 medium sized boiled potatoes, 2 medium sized onions and 4 cloves of garlic chopped finely, 2 handfuls of mint leaves & coriander leaves, 5-6 chopped green chillis, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 2 tsp homemade garam masala, 4 tbsp lemon juice and salt to taste.   You can do the maths if you want small amounts 🙂 With a clean hand roll out table tennis sized balls and flatten them into a shape of a tikki.  Pan fry these with few drops of oil.  The sheer exhilaration of producing 35 tikkis made me forget my blog and I didn’t take any pictures!! 😛

Let me know if you guys try these..sending lots of love,

Dakhina

——————————————————————-

Hey Rinks,

I still remember those half-spheres of eggs and were they addictive or what…the sauce was to-die-for. Actually I always thought that the eggs were simply boiled, now I know that u did saute them a bit…

This is really simple, i am making this very very sooooon 🙂

cheers & take care

Ramit.

Spicy Veggie Cocktail Nibbles with Tangy Sesame Dip

Dear Rinki

How are you today? How was the movie? I wish we too could have seen it especially Riz wanted to see Batman so much but to travel to Kolkata just now isn’t possible. We shall have to wait for it to come on DVD. On Thursday we were invited for a dinner party. It was an enjoyable evening out after a long time. The rains have played havoc with our social lives! The food was great. With drinks there was a delicious chicken pakoda (fritters) and fish fries, but for the vegetarian option sadly there was just some potato crisps out of a bag. It’s surprising how many Bengali’s are stumped with the idea of putting up vegetarian options when they have company. So I was inspired to share out my recipe for an easy vegetarian starter which goes great with drinks or tea and also wonderfully well with a steamy hot novel on a rainy afternoon.

Spicy Veggie Cocktail Nibbles with Tangy Sesame Dip

Spicy Potato Cheese and Carrot nibbles

Ingredients (enough to make thirty bite size nibbles)

Boiled and peeled potatoes                                        5 large

Bread crumbs/ fresh bread crumbled                   1/2 cup

Cheddar Cheese grated                                                                   1/2 cup

Carrot Grated                                                                     2

Onion finely diced                                                            2

Ginger and garlic finely minced                                1 tsp each

Fresh Coriander leaves/mint chopped                  lots!

Sesame seeds                                                                    1 tablespoon

Tomato ketchup                                                              to taste

Green Chilies deseeded and finely chopped         2-3

Chili powder (optional)

Mint Powder (optional)

Salt to Taste

Oil to fry

Method

Take all ingredients in a bowl, mix them well, squashing together with your fingers to form smooth dough like mix….if the mix is watery add more bread crumbs, adjust salt and seasoning accordingly.Form into tiny bite sized balls and deep fry in oil till golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and serve hot with tangy sesame chutney (recipe follows).

There is no hard and fast rule to this recipe, please feel free to add or remove ingredients according to taste or dietary constrictions.The nibbles can be prepared before hand and kept in the fridge covered with a cloth till it’s time to fry.Crushed roasted peanuts can also be added to the potato mix to add taste and texture. 2 tablespoons of granulated soya meal which has been soaked in water and squeezed, can also be added to get a different taste. Mince chicken/meat may be prepared in exactly same method for non-vegetarian option, an egg maybe added to bind the meat.

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Tangy Sesame Chutney

Ingredients

Sesame seeds                   1 -2 tablespoons

Garlic chopped                  4-5 cloves

Red chili flakes                 according to taste

Chives (dry /fresh)          1 tsp

Tomato Ketchup

Salt to taste

Oil                                      2 tsp

Method

In oil fry the garlic with chili flakes, add the sesame, when a nutty yummy aroma permeates your senses and the sesame and garlic have turned golden brown turn off the heat and add the chives. Remove into serving bowl immediately to stop further browning, add tomato ketchup and mix. There you have it, tangy sesame garlic chutney in a minute.

Did you go through my post on Rizi’s birthday cake…We really missed you; you manage kids so well, having you around would have subtracted my stress levels enormously. I wish you would post your cocktail eggs with tamarind dip recipe, I remember making it years ago after I had it for the first time at your place in Delhi. I remember it was such a hit with everyone. I have forgotten the details of the chutney. Do share soon so I can make it next time we have company.

P.S. Am reading William Dalrymple’s The White Mughals. What an amazingly researched book and how it bursts so many misconceptions we have about our own history. I didn’t know that the Portuguese came to Goa before the Mughals, did you?  I’m enthralled… The book although a narration of real events reads better than any pot boiler… If you haven’t read it try and get hold of it.

Say hello to Niloy, and looking forward to hearing all about his birthday celebration.

Catch you soon

Didi

Missing everyone….and making Quattro Formaggi Pizzas!

Dear Didi and Daibi,

Yesterday was Rakhi…was missing you all a lot..didn’t feel like doing any work either..its been soo many years that we three haven’t been together on Rakhi.  Didi, when you were in Delhi, you tied Rakhi to both of us….I guess I never told you this but I felt very proud for having this honor; and when I would go to school later, I flaunted it saying, ‘meri didi ney bandha hai Rakhi coz mai bhi didi ki raksha karungi (my sister tied me the rakhi coz I would also protect her like my brother would)’.  Those were such lovely days, Ma used to make Loochis (fried flat bread) and some lovely aloo sabji (potato curry) or choley (Chickpeas curry)..and ofcourse that heavenly paayesh (rice and thickened milk dessert) served with freshly made narkol nadu (coconut laddoo) or jethima’s famous malpuas (soft and flat flour sweets dipped in sugar syrup)!!!  And Daibi, do you remember, almost every time just before Rakhi we would end up having a deadly fight..and we both would bitterly say, ‘No Rakhi this time’…then on the Rakhi morning we would have peace talks mediated by Ma and Baba and then all would be fine (next time we meet, we should have one of those fights just for the kicks!!)……aaah those were the days….

Anyways, remembering that time, yesterday I made a four cheese pizza called “Quatro Formaggi” in Italian. I used your method of making a pizza-dough and topped it with mozzarella, parmesan, provolone and gorgonzola cheese.  I have read about many variations to this recipe where they have used ricotta and other types of Italian cheese.  But gorgonzola is very important for this pizza…which I doubt you would get in India..its a kind of blue cheese with a very heavy pungent smell and not everyone likes it.  So when you guys come here, I will make it for you 🙂

Quattro Formaggi Pizza

I also made calzones with the left-over dough and made a caramelised onion and lamb sausage stuffing for them.  Niloy got that for lunch today, so he is is happily benefiting from my ‘not-so-good’ days when I end up making something new and interesting!

Oh and I totally forgot to tell you guys…a few days back I made this upside down strawberry cake and choco-chip+candied orange peel muffins.  I lined up the baking tray with strawberry halves and poured the cake batter on it. Didi, I still follow your recipe of madly whipping up 1/2 cup oil+1/2 cup sugar+2 eggs together and adding 1 tsp baking powder+1 cup flour later.

Upside down Strawberry Cake and Chocochip & Candied Orange Peel Muffin

The cake turned out to be feather-soft and the juices from the strawberries made it melt in the mouth.  I have tried making a similar cake with apple quarters, peach halves, pineapple slices and grapes! Trust me they all turn out to be delicious!!! 😀 See talking about food already lifts my mood…now I will get back to work..

You both take care, sending loads of love and hoping that someday we three get together for Rakhi.

Write back soon,

Rinki

Shrimp and Salmon Bake with Asparagus – A Fishy Cassoulet!

Dear Daibi and Didi,

The three of us are known everywhere for being “avid fish lovers”..isn’t it? Just like other fellow Bengalis, the three of us drool at the mere mention of the word fish, right? Heheheee….our friends who read this would know for sure that am lying.  When it comes to fish, we are ‘Fraud Bengalis’ as the sight and smell of fish is enough for us to throw our hands up in the air and call for a hunger strike, saying, ‘Cholbe na cholbe na’ which in English means, it will not be tolerated (though that never worked with our parents as they would still stuff the large Rui or Katla fish pieces down our throats).  As a child I loved fish, Ma still tells me that I used to happily polish off a whole fish head back then…but I guess growing up with you two fish haters, I too switched over.  Then when I moved to Europe, I realised that genetically modified chicken tasted bad and it wasn’t the best way to complete my protein intake.  Being a student, limited my finances, hence I could’t afford the organic stuff either. This made me turn to fish and eggs (I hated both of them).  I began to eat cans of tuna or herrings or sardines and even smoked salmon, anchovies and caviar (a continental chef would sue me for saying this, but I would still say, by themselves these things STINK!!!!).  My all time high was when Baba, a true fish lover, could not eat raw fresh herring in Amsterdam whereas I ate it without any qualms! I even fell in love with the different forms of Sushi and finally came to the conclusion that ‘pheesh runs in my blaad too’ :).

Till now I have cooked with tuna and sardines (have even turned them into divine Indian curries and koftas), but never with salmon.  I am finally beginning to do so and Niloy, who is another fish lover, has complimented each of my experiments.  I must say that I got the general idea of this particular dish from the Masterchef Australia 4 series, and thought it was unique.  But then I read about Cassoulet – a traditional dish from south of France made with haricot beans and meat topped with crunchy bread cubes – and I knew where the influence came from 🙂  There are many ways of cooking this dish, but here is my version of a fishy cassoulet!

Shrimp and Salmon Bake with Asparagus

Ingredients: Serves 4

1 roughly chopped Onion

1 tsp of chopped Garlic

400 gms of Salmon steaks (or any other boneless fish)

1/2 cup cooked and peeled Shrimps

2 Carrots chopped in cubes

1/2 bulb of Fennel (you could use 1 tsp of Fennel Powder instead and add some other veggie)

15-20 green Asparagus sticks (you could replace with 1 Broccoli/French Beans for adding crunchy greens)

(optional) 1 Celery sticks, 5 inch leek piece, peas, corn

4-5 slices of stale White Bread

1 cup of White sauce (traditionally called roux) or 1/2 cup white sauce+1/2 cup sour-cream (for people concerned with health, thick sour yoghurt mixed with 1 tsp of white flour to stop it from getting curdled)

1/2 cup White Wine

1 Lime/Lemon

2 tbsp Olive Oil

A few sprigs of thyme and dill

Parmesan Cheese, Salt and Pepper to taste

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In a hot pan, sear the Salmon steaks til crispy brown on both sides.  Set aside.  In the same pan, to retain the fish oil and flavor, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and throw in the garlic and onion.  While the onions are getting cooked, cut the bread into cubes, place them in a baking tray, sprinkle some olive oil on them and roast for 12-15 mins till crispy – leave in the oven with the heat turned off.  Add the carrots, the fennel, some salt & pepper in the pan and saute till cooked.  Chop about 7-9 asparagus sticks into 1inch pieces and add in the pan with the other cooked veggies for 3-4 minutes or till nice and fresh green – transfer this into a baking dish.  Crumble the salmon steaks and put in the shrimps, white sauce, wine, herbs and lemon juice.   Mix and season well according to taste (you could add more lemon juice for a tangy flavor).  Coarsely crush the bread cubes and cover the fish mixture.  Finally sprinkle some Parmesan cheese (quantity as per liking) and bake in the oven at medium heat for 10-15 mins or till the crust turns brown.  In the meanwhile take a pan, add a tsp of olive oil and saute the rest of the asparagus or broccoli till crispy green. Season well and serve as a side dish with the bake.

Do make it some time and let me know how it tastes, coz Niloy and me loved it and finished it off in 12 mins flat 🙂

Take care, lots of love,

Rinki

Chicken Salami Pizza with Homemade Dough and Sauce

My dear Rinki,

Rizi has been pestering me these last few days to bake him a pizza, you know how it is here, no Pizza Hut or Dominoes to order from! I was wondering how great it must be for you to just go to the supermarket and pick up ingredients from all over the world…here i have to look really hard to find even a capsicum ( or should i say bell pepper now that you are living in Australia!)…sometimes it is hard but hey it is fun and adventurous. Do you remember the days when i didn’t have an oven and used to bake bread in a saucepan on the gas hob ! I remember you asking for the pizza base recipe so darling here goes. It takes a little time but nothing beats the aroma of fresh pizza…… I can almost hear Rizi shouting Yipppeeee

Chicken Salami Pizza with Homemade Dough

Basic bread recipe ( can be used for pizza, calzone, rolls )

Ingredients

Flour                                    400 gm

Dry Powder Yeast           1 heaped tsp

Salt                                        1/2 tsp

Sugar                                     2 tsp

Warm Water                       2 cups

Oil   (Olive oil )                   2 tsp

Method for Dough

In a bowl sprinkle 1 tsp sugar, add the yeast , pour about half a cup of warm water and cover. In a few minutes the yeast will have started to bubble. This is indicative of your yeast coming alive. Test the warmth of the water by sticking your finger in it. It should be comfortable warm. Hot water will kill the yeast instantly.

Take the flour in a bowl sprinkle the rest of the sugar(1tsp) over it, make a well in the center. Do not add the salt now. Adding Salt to the Yeast directly will kill it.  Pour the frothy yeast in the center and mix with the flour. Now you may add the salt. Bring the whole thing together by adding more warm water. Add water very sparingly or you will end up with an unmanageable slurry. (You may not need the whole water or you may need more! cup sizes are rather arbitrary)

Next turn out the sticky mix on to your counter, sprinkle a dusting of flour and knead…knead and knead some more. Using the heels of your palm, stretch the dough away from you, then collect it back into a ball and stretch away again. This action helps to create the gluten in the dough and will result in a good bread texture. Do not add too much dry flour or your bread will go hard and doughy. After exercising your biceps for about fifteen minutes, if the dough looks satiny and smooth then it is done. It will be springy to touch. Make the dough into a ball. Oil it and keep it in a bowl covered with a tea cloth.

Depending on the temperature of where you live, the quality of yeast and flour, the dough will take anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour to double in size. This is the first proofing. Knock back the dough and and knead it again. Use just the lightest dusting of dry flour. Again oil the dough ball and let rest for another twenty minutes, the dough will rise again. This is the second Proofing. Now roll out your dough into whatever shape you want, you can make dinner roll shape, bun shape, add filling to a circle of rolled dough and fold over making a calzone. Let the dough rest finally for another twenty minutes prior to baking.

If making pizza  Roll the dough out in a circle,or like you see in the picture I have made a large rectangle ! not traditional but saves me the trouble of making multiple ones in a not so large oven. Sprinkle the baking sheet with a little dry flour before keeping the rolled dough on it. Now would also be the time to prick the base with a fork to prevent it from rising like a loaf.

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For Pizza Sauce, please refer to our Basic Chutneys and Sauce post.

Assembling the Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza dough ( see above)

Pizza sauce ( see above)

Onion                                                          2 nos cut into thin round slices

Capsicum (bell pepper)                       2 cut into thin strips

Chicken/pork salami                            as many as you wish

Olive oil( or any white oil)                 for drizzling

Cheese                                                        as much as you want!

( mix of mozzarella and cheddar is good although I’m thankful for whatever I can get here, which is usually processed cheese); ( your veg pizza option could be mushrooms, pineapple, baby corn, paneer, tofu) and most important get your kids to help…my son loves to assemble the pizza, resulting in a magical reduction of the salami!

Step 1.    Spread olive oil on the pizza base and bake blind( without any topping) for ten minutes n a very hot oven ( 250 degree C )

Step 2.    Take it out and spread generous amounts of sauce on the base .Reserve about a third of the sauce for drizzling on top.

Step 3.    Spread all the various toppings on the sauce-y base : )

Step 4.    Smother it in cheese, then drip the reserved sauce over the toppings, and finally drizzle olive oil over the whole pizza

Step 5.   Bake in a very hot oven , 250 degrees C, for about twenty to forty minutes depending on shape, size and thickness of your pizza .Best way to judge is, the veggies will seem nice and grilled, the cheese will be bubbling, the base will no longer appear doughy but would have taken on a border of crispy brown, but most importantly your tongue would most definitely be  salivating from the wonderful aroma of freshly baked pizza !

I always have trouble in keeping Rizi still while the pizza is being sliced…I wish he would eat his dinner just as fast every day! I hope you will make the pizza, if not you can make the dough separately for bread, or you can make the sauce and keep it in the fridge for later use. The sauce keeps for a few days easily in the fridge. I use leftover sauce for sandwiches or even fish curry! Tell me your experience with the recipe, it isn’t bound in cast iron, you make changes and tweak it as you wish to. Happy Pizza eating!

Till next time,

Didi