Cakes n bakes, Desserts/Sweets

Baklava

Baklava

Last month, my friend invited me for a potluck party, I agreed and I decided on making Baklava. I had made these before and was comfortable preparing it the second time too.. but here comes the trouble..

Baklava’s were baking and I kept the syrup on stove and forgot to start the timer. BUMMER! Meantime my son started throwing tantrums and had to be with him for a while and completely forgot about the syrup boiling. When I was back to the kitchen, my syrup had crystallized and had to redo the syrup all over again! Thankfully I was ahead of time and prepared the syrup right on time when the baklava’s just finished baking.

All in all, never forget to start on your timer 🙂 Baklava’s turned out nicely and everyone enjoyed eating it!

Ingredients:

1/2 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough

9 ounces chopped nuts ( I used almonds, pistachios, walnuts)

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp water

1/2 cup and 1 tbsp white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup and 1 tsp honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×9 inch pan.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside.

nuts

Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work.

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Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered.

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Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 -8 sheets deep.

Baklava

Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Baklava

Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

Baklava

Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Baklava

BaklavaBaklava

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Main Course

Paneer paratha

Few years back, I had visited my aunt and uncle who were living in Jalandhar, Punjab.  My aunt had a cook who used to make amazing rotis and parathas. I had a really good time eating variety of parathas with full fat yogurt and the best mixed vegetable pickle that he made. Ofcourse with the delicious food that I enjoyed, I also gained some weight :). I really dont regret eating so much though. So, this paneer paratha was thought by the cook and never forget him nor his recipes.

Ingredients:

Grated paneer- 1 cup

Cumin powder- ¾ tsp

Coriander powder- ¾ tsp

Red chilli powder– 1 ½ tsp or according to your spice level

Garam masala powder- ¾ tsp

Chopped cilantro leaves- ¼ cup

Wheat flour-1 cup

Hot water- ½ cup

Salt- to taste

Oil

Preparation:

To make the dough: Mix the wheat flour with half cup of hot water, 1 teaspoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix it well and make it into dough, cover and keep aside.

For the filling: Mix grated paneer with rest of the spices mentioned above, chopped coriander and salt.

Take a little bigger than lemon sized dough. Roll it to ½  inch thickness and smear ½ tsp oil. Add 2 tbsp paneer mixture in the center. Lift the sides of the dough and bring it to the center. Flatten it a little and roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness by adding gentle pressure to the rolling pin and making sure the filling doesn’t come out. You can sprinkle little wheat flour and roll the rotis making sure the dough do not stick to the bottom.

Roast it on a hot griddle adding little ghee or oil on both sides.  Serve it with yogurt and pickle or any other side dish of your choice.

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