Hot Tomato Sauce

The price of tomatoes have fallen down drastically over the few days and we have been getting a kilo for around 10-12 rupees. Isn’t this a sufficient reason to make some tomoato sauce and store it in your refrigerator? I remember my grandma making this when I was a small girl and my mom used to follow her recipe and make it for us. I have been brought up in a family which believes that each and every home made food is much better and superior to outside food. I may be wrong and I often feel that whenever we discuss food at home with my hubby 🙂 He believes that even outside food is good and healthy and there is nothing superior about home food. To each his own, isn’t it? I can’t change the way a person thinks. I remember long back (when I was newly married) I had tried to make tomato sauce at home and hubby had said though yours is good, but it doesn’t taste like store bought tomato sauce. Well, I have never made it again in my kitchen 🙂 But now I have Neha and she feels whatever her mom makes is the best 🙂 Also my blog is my biggest inspiration and how can I forget my favorite baking group on Facebook, where I have lots and lots of well wishers and followers. So these days, I feel like trying out many stuffs just so that I can update it in my blog 🙂

So what are you guys waiting for ? Grab some fresh tomatoes and make this. And do not forget to share your feedback with me 🙂 Thanks for reading. The best part is with just a kilo of tomatoes, I got around 700-750 grams of sauce. Just look at the colour! No artificial colours or  preservatives are used in the recipe. Just remember to store it in clean and dry glass bottles once the sauce is fully cooled. It will surely stay good for a month. I shall definitely update the shelf life as I use it because as of now I do not know how long this will last 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes 1 kg
  • Salt to taste
  • Brown sugar 2-3 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder 1-2 tsp
  • Vinegar 2 tbsp
  • Garlic 2-3 cloves
  • Black pepper corns 10-12 
  • Cloves 2-3
  • Cinnamon 1 inch piece (optional)

Method:

  • Wash and pat dry the ripe and red tomatoes.

  • Make small incision in the shape of a cross at the base of the tomatoes.

  • Blanch it in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.

  • Drain and soak the tomatoes in ice cold water for few minutes.
  • Remove the skin of the tomatoes and blend it into a fine paste in a mixer.
  • Starting it to remove any seeds or skin.
  • Peel 2-3 cloves of garlic and crush it a bit. Crush the pepper corns and add these two and the cloves in a clean muslin cloth and tie it to form a pouch (potli).
  • Heat a heavy non stick pan and pour the strained tomato pulp into it. Drop on the muslin pouch into it.
  • Now add salt to taste, brown sugar and the red chilli powder in to it.
  • Simmer it on low flame till the sauce thickens. This will taken around 40-45 minutes. 
  • Add the vinegar and boil for a minute. Now remove the muslin pouch and discard it.
  • Cool well and store inside the refrigerator in clean and sterilized glass jars. 
  • Use it in sandwiches or as a dip. 

Notes:

  • You can completely avoid the red chilli powder to make it a sweet n sour sauce.
  • Additionally, you can add garlic powder and or onion powder for a variation.
  • You can reduce the amount of red chilli powder if you do not want it too spicy. I added 2 teaspoon of red chilli powder and it’s quite spicy.
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Ragda Pattice

Any Mumbaikar would be surely familiar with this, isn’t it? Being an ex Mumbaikar, I make this quite often at home. And isnt it an wholesome meal, with the carbohydrates from potato, protein from the dried peas, fat from oil, greens from the coriander mint chutney. So this was decided for this years Valentine’s day’s dinner menu. For the dessert, I made eggless whole wheat brownies drizzled with butterscotch sauce and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Here is my version of ragda pattice. You need to make aalu tikkis, a tangy hot gravy with dried peas, a spicy mint coriander chutney, a sweet n sour tamarind chutney (optional), freshly chopped onion, coriander leaves, nylon/bareek sev and lemon wedges. You can even serve a couple of fresh bread slices or laadi paav along with these for a complete meal.

Ingredients:

For the Pattice:

  • Potatoes 5-6 medium
  • Boiled peas 1/2 cup
  • Onion 1 medium
  • Green chillies 2-3
  • Ginger 1/2 inch piece
  • Coriander leaves handful
  • Salt to taste
  • Amchur 1 tsp
  • Bread 2-3 slices
  • Refined oil 2-3 tbsp

For the Ragda:

  • Dried peas 1 cup
  • Onion 1 
  • Tomato 1
  • Ginger 1/2 inch piece
  • Garlic 2-3 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder 2 tsp
  • Tamarind paste 1-2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves handful

Coriander mint chutney:

  •  Coriander leaves a bunch
  • Mint leaves a bunch
  • Salt to taste
  • Green chillies 2-3
  • Peanuts handful
  • Lemon juice 2 tsp

For the topping:

  • Bareek sev
  • Finely chopped onion, coriander leaves, lemon wedges

    Method:

    To prepare the Pattice:

    • Boil the potatoes till soft. Chop the onion, ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves finely.
    • Break the bread slices into pieces and pulse in a mixer till it’s crumbly.
    • Mash the potatoes till it’s smooth. No need to mash it like a fine paste.
    • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and saute the onions. 
    • Add the ginger, green chillies and mash the boiled peas and add it.
    • Now add salt, amchur and mix well.
    • Add this to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
    • Now add the bread crumbs, chopped coriander leaves and mix everything to form a dough like mixture.
    • Shape into round or heart shaped  patties and refrigerate for an hour or so.

    • Heat oil in a grill pan and shallow fry these patties till they are golden in colour and crispy on the outside.


      To prepare the Ragda:

      • Soak the dried peas in water overnight or for 6-8 hours. 
      • Cook it well with little salt and turmeric powder.
      • Finy chop the onion, ginget, garlic and tomato.
      • Hear oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it.
      • Now add the chopped onipn, ginger and garlic and saute well.
      • Add the spices and saute till the raw smell goes off.
      • Add the tomatoes and cook.
      • Now add the soaked peas and salt. Cook till it is tender and soft.
      • Add the tamarind paste and garnish with coriander leaves.

        To prepare the chutney:

        • Wash and chop the mint and coriander leaves.
        • Add the leaves, green chillies, peanuts and salt into a mixer jar and grind into a smooth paste.
        • Add lemon juice and mix well.

          To assembe the ragda pattice:

          • Arrange the fried pattice onto a serving plate. Crumble it a bit.
          • Drizzle the ragda on top. Now sprinkle the chopped onion, coriander leaves. Squeeze lemon juice on top.
          • Now squeeze some green chutney on top and garnish with bareek sev. 
          • You may enjoy it with buttered bread slice or laadi paav. 
          • If you do not like the crumbly mass, serve everything separately. 
          • If you like curd based chats, you can add some sweetened thick curd and sweet n sour tamarind chutney.
          • Enjoy it hot with your loved ones 🙂

          Eggless Wheat Brownies

          Brownies with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or topped with walnuts or almonds or served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce is heavenly, isn’t it? And when you know that the brownies are made with whole wheat flour and brown sugar, the guilt factor is reduced further, right? You can check my earlier post on brownies with all purpose flour. The apple sauce in this recipe gives these brownies a nice flaky crust. If you do not like your brownies to be very fudgy, bake it for few more minutes. I have used a 240 ml cup.

          Ingredients:

          • Whole wheat flour 100 gm
          • Cocoa powder 25 gm
          • Salt a pinch
          • Baking powder 1/2 tsp
          • Demerera sugar 75 gm
          • Milk 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp
          • Dark chocolate 75 gm
          • Butter 75 gm
          • Apple sauce 1/2 cup
          • Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

          Method:

          • Preheat your oven at 150-160 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
          • Line a 7 by 7 square cake tin with parchment paper in such a way that the paper overflows the tin. Grease it lightly.
          • Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
          • Heat the butter and add the chocolate pieces till it melts.

          • Remove from fire and add 1/4 cup milk and sugar and mix well. Now add the applesauce and mix.
          • When the sugar melts, add the vanilla extract and mix well.
          • Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder 6-7 times.
          • Add the dry ingredients slowly into the liquid mixture in 2-3 batches and fold it gently. 
          • Add a spoon or two of more milk and mix. Do not over mix.

          • Pour this batter into the prepared cake tin and tap in gently to remove air bubbles if any.

          • Bake for 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with very few moist crumbs.
          • Remove the tin from the oven and allow it to cool.

          • When it is fully cooled slice into desired size and enjoy with a scoop of icecream drizzled with hot chocolate sauce or drizzle it with butterscotch sauce. 

              Notes:

              • To get 1/2 cup applesauce : Peel the skin of 1 apple and then chop into small pieces. Boil it with one tablespoon of water and cook till it is soft. Mash it well with a fork or masher. Your apple sauce is ready. You may add a pinch of cinnamon and a spoonful of sugar if desired.

              • You may sprinkle the brownies with chopped almonds or walnuts or chocochips for an added crunch.
              • To get perfect neat sizes of brownies:
              1. Slice the brownies only after they are fully cooled. You may refrigerate them if you feel for an hour.
              2. Use straight walled caken tin rather than a slanted one.
              3. Always line the tin with parchment paper and get the parchment paper over flow from the tin, so that you can easily take it out of the tin and slice then by keeping the paper on a wooden board.
              4. Use sharp serated knife to slice the brownies. 
              5. After each cut, wipe the knife clean so that the crumbs don’t stick to them.
              6. You can trim off the edges and use a ruler to mark 2 x 2 and then slice them.

              Baked sev

              Baked sev?? Is it even possible was my first thought when I accidentally saw a recipe on the internet. I didn’t need any push to try this in my kitchen. In Mumbai we get very thin nylon sev in almost all shops. But it’s a bit difficult to get it in Chennai and even if we get it, such savouries are quite expensive in Chennai. And doesn’t every chat item need some topping of sev? I wouldnt say that this baked version is as good as the fried one or tastes like the nylon sev, but it is surely 95% close to the fried version. My hubby gave a green signal to it. So what else do I want? Have I told you before that it is not easy to get a green signal from him 🙂 

              Today bring Valentine’s day, I had to make something special for dinner, isnt it? I thought about different menu, finally settled for Ragda Pattice 🙂 Yummy, isnt it? So baked these sev in the morning for the topping. Without much talking, here is the recipe for baked sev. I have used a 240 ml cup.

              Ingredients:

              • Gram flour 1 cup
              • Rice flour 1-2 tbsp
              • Salt to taste
              • Turmeric powder a pinch
              • Oil 1 tsp
              • Water as required

              Method:

              • Mix the flour, salt, turmeric and oil in a mixing bowl.
              • Sprinkle water slowly and knead into a tight dough.
              • Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
              • Meanwhile preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
              • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready.
              • Take a sev press and grease it lightly.
              • Fill it with the dough and press the sev onto the baking tray.

              • Bake it for 13-15 minutes or till the sev looks golden. Keep an eye on it after 10 minutes.

              • Remove the tray from the oven and let the sev remain in the tray for 3-4 minutes.
              • Cool well and store it in airtight containers.

              • Enjoy on chats or use it in mixture.

              Notes:

              • You can add ajwain (carrom seeds) or cumin seeds (powdered) or chilli powder or asafoetida for added flavour. 
              • Use fresh gram flour for a better taste.

              Eggless Red Velvet Cake

               

              Red velvet cake is a velvety cake which gets it deep red colour from the mild amount of cocoa powder in the batter along with the red colouring either natural colour like beetroot or by using artificial red liquid colour or gel colour. Its made mostly during Valentine’s day or during Christmas. 

              Red velvet cake had been in my to-do list since a very long time. The main reason why I was a bit hesitant to bake this was the usage of artificial colour. I confess that I had tried to make cupcakes using raw beetroot puree and though I ended up with a beautiful red colour, we didnt like the taste of it (it really tasted like beetroot) and for the first time in my life, I had to throw something that I baked 😦

              I had tried to buy Ameri red gel colour, but it was never in stock whenever I went to buy them. Finally, few days back, my sister gave me an imported red food colour along with many other baking related stuffs. So when my cousin and family decide to visit us over the weekend, I decided to try out this red velvet cake. My cousin’s son’s birthday is tomorrow and so Neha wanted me to bake a cake when they visited me so that we can have a small pre birthday celebration here. Kids loved the cake immensely and relished it a lot. Since I do not bake frosted cakes that often, I am extremely nervous when it comes to frosting and thereby struggle a lot to achieve a neat finish. I had thought of some other design in my mind and ended up with a totally different design 🙂 Practice is the only way to achieve neat finish in a cake, no matter how many videos you watch. 

              Ingredients:

              • All purpose flour 150 gm
              • Cornflour 10 gm
              • Cocoa powder 10 gm
              • Salt a pinch
              • Sugar 125 gm 
              • Baking powder 1/2 tsp
              • Baking soda 1/4 tsp
              • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
              • Oil 60 ml (1/4 cup)
              • Melted butter 30 ml (2 tbsp)
              • Milk 120 ml (1/2 cup)
              • Apple cider vinegar 1.5 tsp
              • Red food colour as required
              • Whipping cream 400-500 ml
              • Dilute sugar syrup 100 ml

              Method:

              • Preheat the oven at 150-160 degree Celsius for ten minutes.
              • Grease a seven inch or eight inch cake tin with butter and dust it with flour. Tap out the excess flour. 
              • Sieve the all purpose flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, salt and the rising agents 3-4 times.
              • Add the vinegar to the milk and stir it well. Keep it aside for five minutes to make the buttermilk.
              • Now powder the sugar and add it to the buttermilk. Add the oil and melted butter to it. 
              • Mix everything well to get a homogeneous mixture. Now add the vanilla extract and stir.
              • Add the red colour according to the colour you desire. If its a good gel colour, add a few drops. I had a red colour gifted by my sister and I used 3/4 teaspoon of it to get a good colour. 
              • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and fold it gently.
              • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Tap the tin gently to remove air bubbles if any.

              • Bake the cake in the middle rack of your oven for 30-32 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

              • Remove the tin from the oven and cool for 3-4 minutes.
              • Transfer the cake from the tin onto a wire rack and cool it well. 

              • I doubled the recipe and made two such cakes. 
              • Once the cake is fully cooled, wrap it with a cling film and chill it in the fridge overnight or for few hours.
              • Transfer your whipping cream from the freezer into the refrigerator shelf for 5-6 hours.
              • Chill the bowl in which you will whip the cream and the blades of the beater in the freezer for few minutes.
              • Measure the required quantity of the cream into the chilled bowl. Make sure there are no ice crystals in the cream.
              • Whip the cream till you get stiff peaks. This will take arounnd 4-6 minutes. 

              • Remove the chilled cakes from the refrigerator and slice each cake horizontally into 2 halves. 
              • Crumble one half of the cake and spread it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake it at around 100 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes till the crumbs are dry.
              • Make a dilute sugar syrup with 2-3 tablespoon of sugar mixed with water.
              • Soak the 3 slices in sugar syrup and fill the layers with the whipped cream.
              • Do the crumb coating of the cake with the cream and chill for few minutes. 
              • Frost it neatly with the cream and decorate with the cream and the dry crumbs of the cake. 
              • Chill for few hours for the cream to set fully.
              • Thaw the cake for few minutes and then serve it. 

              Notes:

              • Generally the red velvet cake is frosted with cream cheese or ermine frosting. 
              • Beat the cream cheese till it is soft and then fold it in whipped cream or butter cream and then use this to frost the cake.

              Chocolate Meringue Cookies

              After I made a successful batch of French macarons, I wanted to try baking these meringue cookies. I was a bit skeptical about these having an eggy taste, so decided to play it safe and add some fresh melted dark chocolate to remove egg smell if any. So when my cousin and family planned to visit us, I made these and got pretty good reviews about the same. These are extremely feather like light and melt in the mouth. Though I must confess that I need to work on getting a more beautiful piped out shells, but it’s pretty ok for a first trial. The chocolate flavour is optional and you can simply play around with colours and flavours. Can add small bite sized  pieces of nuts or chocochips for a crunch. The key is to whip the egg whites till you get stiff peaks and then bake these at a very low temperature of about 100-120 degree Celsius for 40-50 minutes. You can use any kind of star nozzle or simply snip off the tip of the piping bag and pipe these onto a clean parchment paper lined in a tray. Eggless version coming up soon in the blog. 

              Ingredients:

              • Egg whites 2
              • Powdered sugar 75-80 gm
              • Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
              • Salt a pinch
              • Dark chocolate 25 gm

              Method:

              • Take a clean and grease free bowl and crack two egg whites into it taking care that the yolk doesn’t get mixed into it. 
              • Beat it at a low speed of your electric beater till it appears glossy and white.
              • Continue beating till you get soft peaks. 
              • Now add a pinch of salt and continue beating.
              • As soon as the peaks start getting stiffer add the powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue beating.
              • Incorporate all the sugar and beat till you get really good stiff peaks.
              • Add the vanilla extract and fold gently.
              • Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a microwave for few seconds or over a double boiler. 
              • Take a piping bag and attach a star nozzle into it.
              • Line the piping bag with streaks of melted chocolate.
              • Preheat the oven at 100-120 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
              • Scoop out the prepared whipped egg whites into the piping bag.
              • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pipe out the cookies into desired shape and size.
              • Take care to pipe out similar shapes and sizes to ensure uniform baking.
              • Bake these for 45-50 minutes or till these appear dry while touching.
              • Keep a close watch after 40 minutes or so.
              • Cool these well and store in airtight containers. 
              • Use it as garnishing on top of cakes or icecreams or simply devour these melt in the mouth beauties.

                Notes:

                • Ensure that the bowl is clean and there are no traces of oil. Greasy bowl will stop the egg whites from getting stiff peaks.
                • You can wipe the bowl with a tissue smeared with vinegar or lemon juice.
                • You can add a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar while whipping the eggs.
                • You can increase of decrease the sugar by a tablespoon depending on your taste.
                • Bake for a lesser time of you want softer marshmallow type meringue cookies. For crunchier ones, bake longer.
                • You can simply scoop out spoonful of the whipped egg whites instead of piping then out. 

                Protinex Cookies

                Last year somebody had asked me whether I know to make cookies with protein powder. I was quite intrugued and the thought to try these cookies was somewhere at the back of my mind. I have successfully made Horlicks cookies, Bournvita cookies and even Complan cookies. So, when I was planning to make some healthy cookies for my sister, I thought of trying something using protein powder. Luckily I had some left over vanilla flavoured Protinex in my pantry. Also decided to use some of my soaked dry fruits. Another self imposed challenge was to completely avoid oil or butter. Had an apple in the refrigerator, so decided to make some applesauce and add it to the cookies for a binding effect. Added some almond flour ( left over from the French macarons trial) and soaked dry fruits ( left over from the Christmas cakes ).  I am quite happy with the taste, but its not very crunchy. On cooling well, it has become soggy and chewy. But my sister has said that it tastes good and that she will eat it.

                Ingredients:

                • Oats 75 gm
                • Whole wheat flour 75 gm
                • Almond flour 2 tbsp
                • Protinex powder 45 gm (3 tbsp)
                • Salt a pinch
                • Applesauce 100 gm
                • Soaked dry fruits 2-3 tbsp
                • Chopped badam 2 tbsp
                • Milk 1-2 tsp (optional)
                • White chocolate 40 gm

                Method:

                • Mix the whole wheat flour, oats, almond flour and salt together.
                • Add the apple sauce, soaked dry fruits, chopped white chocolate, chopped badam to the dry ingredients and mix well.
                • Add little milk or butter if the dough appears too dry. Do not knead hard.
                • Preheat the oven at 160-170 degree Celsius for atleast 10 minutes.
                • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready.
                • Make small balls of the dough and flatten it in your palm.
                • Arrange them neatly on the baking tray leaving some gap between two consecutive cookies.
                • Bake for 25-30 minutes or till it looks done and the sides look golden.
                • Remove from oven and allow it to remain in the tray for few more minutes.
                • Transfer onto a cooling rack and cool it well.
                • Store in airtight containers. Enjoy.

                 Notes:

                • These remained crunchy fot some time and then turned a bit chewy. But it tastes good and is surely very healthy.
                • To make applesauce: Clean and chop an apple and boil it in 1/4 cup water with a pinch of cinnamon powder and a spoon of jaggery. Cook till it is very soft and tender. Mash it with a potato masher and use it.