Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baked Cheese Crackers

Cheese crackers are an all time favorite not only with kids but grown ups too.

I make these very often for my kids as these crackers are very cheesy and crispy with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. You cannot stop with popping just one in your mouth.......they are very addictive.

1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour,
1/2 cup butter, room temperature,
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tsp sugar,
1 tsp paprika,
1 tsp baking powder,
few sprinkles of water to make dough.

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and make a soft dough. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough to 1/2 cm thickness and then score to get shapes or can use spritz cookie press to get the rippled effect crackers or can use the star plate of the chakli maker to get star shaped crackers.
  • Put on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, do not allow to burn.
  • The crackers will just turn mildly golden brown.
  • Cool and store in an air-tight container.

Add any chopped herbs or any other spices like cumin seeds or black pepper to make fancy grown up version.
These crackers do not expand when baked so when arranging them on the tray no need of spacing them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Doodhi Bhaaji / Pumkin Stir Fry.

Pumpkin takes the top spot on my list of favorite vegetables, I like it in any form, any day. This is one of the ways Ma prepared doodhi bhaaji, in its most simplest form with the 'Goan Trinity' of onion, green chilly and coconut. Goan tirphal also called sichuan pepper is used for this dish and this pepper gives the humble pumpkin a unique flavor, kicks it up a notch and takes it to a totally different level.

4 cups chopped pumpkin(yellow or butternut),
1/2 onion, chopped,
1-2 green chillies chopped,
3 tbsp grated coconut,
10 tirphal pieces/sichuan pepper (optional),
salt to taste,
few tsp of water.

  • Wash and rinse the tirphal, discard the black seed inside it, it is not edible.
  • Crush the the pepper slightly but do not powder it.
  • Mix all ingredients in a pan, cover and cook on low flame till the pumpkin is tender.


Discard the tirphal when serving the vegetable, the pepper is not edible.

As with most of the other vegetable dishes, Ma never used oil to cook this dish too.

The tirphal imparts a distinct flavor to the humble pumpkin.