Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cheese Cookies :Eggless Indian Style Salted Cheese Biscuits

Nibbles- all time favorite thing. Easy quick and a perfect partner while watching tv, reading a book, spending some me-time or just like that. And better if it has cheese, I mean who can say no to cheese-y munchies? Cheese Cookies how does that sound? Recently when I was sent Primula Cheese to try and make some vegetarian dish out of it, I just could not wait. Within a minute I knew I wanted to bake cheese crackers. Flaky and crunchy bits of cheese- ah you getting the picture now.

Little about the Primula Cheese.

And here is how they make it:

It was sent to me in the cute cool blue colored bag, which by the way I loved. Light Cheese, Cheese with Chives and Original Cheese was in the bag. Let me tell you, I am totally enjoying these cheeses. I have had a thick layer on the toasted bread, dipped it in nachos, mixed it pastas, rolled in tortillas and I am totally hooked. I love all three so much that honestly I can’t choose a favorite one. Cheese in tubes- innovative isn’t it? Swirl it, spread it, melt it- do whatever and however you want but do try Primula Cheeses, I bet you will enjoy it to the core.

These cheese crackers are addictive and perfect for party or that happy hour time nibble. I used Primula Light Cheese and flavour it gives is earthy, oozing and perfect. I made these crackers a bit thick, more like biscuits or cookies and then paired with little drops of Chives Cheese and oh my god, it was like pair made in heaven.

1/2 cup All purpose flour/maida
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 pinch black pepper powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons primula light cheese
Pinch baking soda
Pinch baking powder

Sieve all purpose flour, salt, red chilli powder, black pepper, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
Mix butter in the above bowl. Mix butter till you have bread crumbs like texture.
Mix cheese in it and form the dough. It should be medium soft dough.
Form the dough in the shape of log and cover with cling film and freeze for 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven at 180C for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the log out of freezer and cut in 1 inch thickness and arrange in baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes, flip the cookies and bake again for 8 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Swirl Chives Cheese on cookies and serve.

You can use any cheese spread instead primula cheese.
Add little salt because cheese already contains salt.
You can add herbs like oregano, basil or rosemary.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with toppings such as tomatoes, olives or any veggies.
You can top these cookies with cheese, tomato or any chutney.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Primula Cheese and OPR  for sending cheese  for review.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Muhammara: Red Bell Peppers and Walnut Dip: Turkish Dip: Middle Eastern Dip

A dip is the favourite thing in summer. Just have some nachos, crackers or toasted bread, serve it as starter, appetizer or a party snack. Keeping British summer in mind, I tend to change dip in my kitchen. But always a dip is needed for Friday up till the weekend. Some days are hot and then I craft quick refreshing dips like pomegranate yogurt dip, roasted kiwi dip or plain simple tomato salsa. Then there are milder windy days that need something spicy, and then I make roasted tomato dip or hot Indian garlic dip.

Today is another such day when I am sharing a spicy, hot and pungent dip. But this time it isn’t an Indian dip, it is a Turkish dip called as Muhammara. You remember my post about Turkey through my lens? It was there where I mentioned how I loved a spicy dip in Istanbul. Well, I almost forgot to search for its recipe, until one day I visited a Turkish restaurant near my house. I knew I had to make this at home pretty soon.

I tried to make it as authentic as possible without putting in my Indian brain and I was not disappointed. Anyone who loves spicy food will love this dip undoubtedly. It gets smoked taste from roasted bell peppers, crunch from walnuts and creamy texture from olive oil-over all it has everything you need in a dip. Forget hummus and chutney, give this dip a try and bring a little turkey in your home.

Author: Shweta Agrawal
Cuisine: Turkish, Middle Eastern
Serves: 4

4 large red bell peppers
2 sliced of bread
1/4 cup walnuts
2 whole dry red chillies
1 tomato chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil +2 tablespoons more
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

  1. Ground walnuts in the grinder into fine paste.
  2. Soak red chillies in water for atleast 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C/430F. Arrange the peppers on a large baking tray and let roast for 30 min, or until the peppers’ skin get covered with occasional black spots. Set aside to cool. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the stems along with the seeds and peel off the skins.
  4. Put everything together in the blender or grinder or food processor and blend into smooth paste.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add blended paste in it. Mix for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Serve with sprinkle on sesame seeds.

You can use ground walnuts as well.
This is a spicy dip, if you want to make it milder skip whole dry red chilies or chilli flakes.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with nachos, chips or crackers.
Ideally it is served with warm pita bread.
I served it with black olive focaccia. Will go well with any roasted bread.
Can be used as spread for sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets.