Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Baked and filled khakhra cups
The theme chosen for the Free Spirit Bloggers this month is "Savoury party starters"! I know, that all of you are very interested now, to check out mine as well as the rest of the team members' sites for super cool ideas.
Suggestions from baked to pan fried, simple to complex cooking were coming forth in torrents. Mini samosas, baked potatoes, bite size burgers and many more were discussed. I had wanted to go with kababs, but never initiated any move in that direction. Then one morning, I decided, I will do canapes. My papadam canapes have been often repeated snacks at home and I wanted to try something similar.
Why not mini khakhras and make canapes then? I decided and quickly set out with the preparations to mix the dough and such.
Just then, while chatting, Madhuri said that she had been to a product launch and they had served something bite size with cheese and stuff. I had a flash of brainwave then, to make the khakhras in cup shapes and fill, instead of the usual canapes.
A small change in the plan....result: wonderful cup shapes khakhras!
I was very happy about the final product and now started wondering about the fillings.
Again it was Niki who put in many ideas and so did my husband. And I was surprising myself with the different ideas I could think of (which is rare, I shall confess).
Having raved so much, I think it is time to switch to the recipe.
It was also decided that we post something that we can make ahead of the actual party day, it shall be something that we can serve a good number of guests and we can show just a few in pictures while the recipe will be multiples of the servings shown in the picture.
I have made them using my muffin tray, while I feel that if I had baked them in mini muffin moulds, that would have been a great idea. Just the right size for starters and you can have much more for the same quantity of prepared dough.
However, feel free not to bake in muffin moulds but roll and cut in desired shapes before baking, and make canapes. Or roll them as with usual khakhras and cook on stove top too.
You may use your own filling ideas which incidentally, can be innumerable. For kids' parties you may make them sweet, cheesy and much more. Serve a dip in these cups with finger cuts of salad veggies and later eat the cup too!
I have made with four different fillings here.
Ingredients for Khakhra cups:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
(or use 2 cups whole wheat flour)
2 table spoons Kasuri methi
2 table spoons caraway seeds (ajwain/omam)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Water to knead the dough to soft yet stiff consistency
Oil to grease the muffin tray
Sift the flours and the salt together. Add the kasuri methi and the ajwain and mix well. Rub the oil in.
Gradually add sufficient water and knead well to form a slightly stiff but pliable dough.
Cover the dough and rest it for about 20 minutes. Knead again and pinch out very tiny marble size balls of the dough. (Alternately, pinch out enough dough to roll into big rounds and then cut out small circles that can fit in the muffin trays.)
Grease the moulds of the muffin tray and keep ready.
Roll the pinched out marbles into very thin circular discs, taking care not to tear them. Dust some flour to achieve the thin discs.
Pre heat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade.
Fill the muffin moulds in the tray with the rolled discs to form cup shapes. They need not be perfectly fitting or evenly filled too.
Bake at 200 degrees Centigrade for just 6 minutes.
Proceed with the rest of the dough. Keep the dough covered with a damp cloth so it does not dry.
The khakhras have to be made crisp. You may prick the surface with the edge of a safety pin or tooth pick and bake them.
Remove from the oven and spread them on place mats or trays to cool.
Store them in airtight containers.
Khakhras usually keep fresh for long many days. So, when you are planning these for a party you may prepare them much ahead and store them.
This quantity will give you about 72 cups in the normal muffin size. With the mini moulds you may have plenty more.
The most interesting part was the filling. I thought really hard to make some attractive and delectable ones which can also be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated, allowing you respite from this chore and enough time to concentrate on the other dishes.
Hummus was one filling I used with the olives to top it. Just before serving, place a spoonful of hummus in the cup and top it with pitted olives.
My daughter suggested Pico de Gallo, when I was going for Salsa. In this case, I assembled the rest of the ingredients and refrigerated them. Only the tomatoes were added on the actual day.
I have used the recipe from Dhivya's Chef in you where she has a very valuable tip for this. Check that out!
Again Niki's suggestion was the crumbled feta cheese and peppers filling, in which I replaced the feta cheese with paneer.
The recipe for Paneer and peppers crumble:
250 grams paneer crumbled
2 large red bell peppers deseeded and cut in tiny cubes
2 large green bell peppers deseeded and cut in tiny cubes
5 green chillis slit, seeds removed and chopped very fine
1 medium onion sliced very fine
Juice from 2 lemons
2 teaspoons oil
Salt to taste
If desired some chat masala/ roasted and ground cumin
Olive oil to drizzle
Before cutting the bell peppers, chop the top off, scoop the seeds out and stand them in boiling water for just a minute. Remove from the water and cut them in uniform cubes.
Heat oil in a pan and add the green chillis, toss for a minute and add the onions. Saute for a few minutes and then add the cubed peppers and salt. Mix them thoroughly, and just before removing from the heat, add the crumbled paneer.
Take it off the stove and blend the lemon juice in it.
While assembling this in the khakhra cups, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the chat masala.
This is a colourful and delicious filling.
The next filling is spiced hung yoghurt with a cherry tomato topping garnished with small quantity of dukkah.
1 litre home set yoghurt
Salt to taste
A fist full of mint leaves
1 teaspoon roasted and powdered caraway seeds
Dukkah as required
Transfer the yoghurt on a cheese cloth. Tie it up and hang in a hook with a bowl below it for several hours.
When the whey in the yoghurt has drained into the bowl, remove the solid content from the cheese cloth.
Transfer this hung yoghurt on a large flat dish.
Run the mint leaves and salt in a mixer to a coarse texture.
Add the mint, caraway seeds powder and dukkah to the yoghurt and incorporate the spices in the yoghurt.
This filling can be refrigerated for a four days.
While assembling, drop a spoonful of the spiced yoghurt into the khakhra cups. Place a cherry tomato on the yoghurt and sprinkle some dukkah on the top.
One more topping was the spicy corn. I store some frozen corn in the freezer and boil it to have as snack. Also there I grind a coarse paste of ginger, green chilli and garlic and add to the corn. Toss them and salt until they blend and eat it for a spicy snack.
That can be used as filling for the cups too.
Hope you enjoyed my party starter. Just use your resources and imagination to bring about more fillings or toppings, in case you are making canapes.
Do not just stop here, head over to Anu's, Deepti's, Dhivya's, Mads', Mridhu's, Nags' and Siri's spaces to check what they may indulge you with, when you are invited to party with them.