Wednesday 27 February 2013

Caramelized Onion Tarts

The Pudgy little hands that stole my tart!!
Family time is the best vacation!
A sudden vacation is not exactly what I had planned especially having to travel with a 20 month old baby but the incentive of having to spend some great time with family(and an extra nudge from hubby) made me pack my bags and leave for Punjab and Allahabad. I had a wonderful time in Punjab being pampered by Nani and Masi's, gorged on fresh produce of vegetables and dollops of homemade white butter  on yummy paranthas. Vaanya had a super time bonding with everyone and running around in the extra spacious houses. 

The next part of our vacation was homecoming to Allahabad. Our house is a 'Heaven Haven' for me. A place where I can leave behind all my worries and just soak myself in the luxury of the palatial house and the most beautiful garden. An amazing vegetable patch adds to the charm with fresh and unadulterated veggies being enjoyed everyday. The house was full on our arrival and we had the loveliest time with everyone except Vishal(hubby) who was missed terribly. One of the things I love and look forward to do here apart from relaxing and enjoying the yummiest food made by Amma(mother-in-law) is to bake!! My Baker's fingers jumped on to the recipe that I am sharing today to get warmed up and carry on my love to bake. 
I chose tarts as I love making and eating them and the best part is that once the shell is prepared you can play around with the filling to your liking, making it sweet or savoury.


For 6 tarts
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 30 gms butter(cold)
  • A little cold water for kneading
For Filling
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp green chilli sauce
  • a pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
For Garnishing
  • tomato slices/pieces
  • coriander sprigs
  • fresh cream/mayonnaise


Take flour and butter in a bowl and rub the butter cubes with the flour till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (in texture).
Now add cold water 1 tbsp at a time and knead to get a smooth dough. Do not over knead.
Wrap this dough in a plastic sheet and refrigerate for half an hour.
Take out the dough and roll it with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll it roughly to the size of the chosen tart tin with 1/8" thickness.

Gently press the dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the tart tin. Trim excess dough.
Line all the tart tins the same way. Make holes on the sides and bottom with a fork and refrigerate for another half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Bake the tarts for 15-20 mins or till they get a light brown colour.
Take them out and let them cool.
For a detailed step by step illustration refer here

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add the sliced onions with a pinch of salt. Lower the flame and let the onions cook stirring occasionally till they attain a brown colour. This is called Caramelization where the sugar in the onions oxidizes resulting in a golden brown colour.
Add vinegar, soy sauce, chilli sauce and sugar and stir well.
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Take a spoonful of the caramelized onions and fill in the tarts.
Garnish with a drop of fresh cream/mayonnaise, a small piece of tomato and coriander leaf.

The most difficult part in the entire process was taking pictures!! The moment I would try and take a pic, my daughter Vaanya would come to pick one up!!  It was such a difficult task, keeping her chubby pudgy fingers away. Here she is, caught in the act.

Sending this recipe to  Bake fest #16
and Blogoversary event

Happy Tart eating

Sunday 3 February 2013

Green Peas and Sweet Corn soup-quick, simple and zero oil

"It [soup] breathes reassurance, it offers consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability...There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup, it's wisp of aromatic steam teasing the nostrils into quivering anticipation." 
Louis P. DeGouy, Waldorf-Astoria chef, The Soup Book (1949) 

What is about winter that makes you want good food, comfort and a cozy chatty time with your loved ones? Winter exuberates warmth. Winter makes you want to come back home soon for that lovely bowl of soup. A bowl of soup that is like a kind friend who soothes your cold body and nourishes you.
I spent most of the winter scared of trying my cold hands on making soup though I had planned and bookmarked many. In fact, I took the timid way out and had packet soups!! Can you believe, a food blogger having ready made soups!! Only after you make your first bowl of soup, will you understand how easy, fresh and yummy a homemade soup can be. I must admit that I had another greedy excuse...Sayantani who blogs from the very famous blog A Homemaker's Diary is holding an amazing giveaway. For sharing a winter warmer recipe, a winner will be randomly chosen and will receive a gift voucher of Rs 1500 from Cuponation
This soup was a very hurried attempt and may I say turned out amazingly well. It is one of the easiest, no fuss, healthy and no oil soup. It combines winters two most amazing produce-green peas and sweet corns. Another great bit about this soup is the use of whole wheat flour used to combine and thicken the soup.

Recipe Source: adapted from Tarla Dalal
Ingredients: serves 2
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup boiled sweet corn, crushed coarsely
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 garlic pods, roughly chopped
  • 1 small green chilly, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour/atta
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper powder to taste

Take peas, onion, garlic, green chilly and whole wheat flour in a pressure cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 cup water. Let it cook for two whistles and remove from heat. Allow steam to escape on its own. 
Meanwhile, crush the sweet corns roughly in a mixer.
With a hand blender, blend the peas mixture in the pressure cooker. Strain the mixture to get a smooth consistency.
Take a deep pan and add the pea mixture. Cook on medium flame for few minutes. Add the crushed sweet corns and mix well. Add water to adjust the consistency of the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Serve with a small dollop of cream and a sprinkle of red chilli and black pepper powder.

Sending this recipe to A homemaker's diary giveaway sponsored by Cuponation  
to Food corner-cook like a celebrity 
and Winter food in 30 mins

Happy Soup making and enjoying


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