PUMPKIN PIE FROM SCRATCH



Pumpkin pie is a beautiful golden coloured, winter pie filled with pumpkin custard flavoured with pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice mix contains cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom.

In America and other western countries, pumpkin pie marks their harvest time.  It is prepared at the beginning of the winter season on Thanksgiving.


After some research and a couple of trails, I have zeroed down to this perfect recipe for pumpkin pie. 

During my trails of this recipe I found out that the spices were very overpowering, also the quantity of sugar could be reduced. Combinations of different types of fats like margarine, vanaspati (hydrogenated vegetable oil) and butter were suggested. Accordingly, I have done some suitable alterations, which was liked by my kids (my best critics).


I have used the food processor for making the crust dough; however, it can also be done with hands.



Use a 9 inches pie dish for the given quantities. Ensure that pie is baked in a preheated oven only.



Slow baking is the best way to bake a pie. Therefore bake at 180 degree Celsius for the given period of time.

The picture showing ingredients for pie crust shows granulated sugar but I would suggest powdered sugar works better than granulated sugar.


Recipe for Pumpkin pie

Ingredients for Pumpkin pie


For Crust




  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100gms butter (cold)
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp ice water
  • A pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)

For Filling




  • 250gms pumpkin
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup white/ light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (grated)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • A pinch of salt

How to make the Filling


Heat the milk and bring it to boil. Simmer it until it reduces to one-third of its quantity.

Cool it and blend it in a mixer jar to get a smooth, thick liquid. Set aside.


Remove seeds from the pumpkin. Steam in a big pan for 15 minutes or until the flesh becomes soft.


Let it cool for 5 minutes. Scoop out the flesh of pumpkin with a spoon.



In a mixing bowl combine the pumpkin flesh, evapourated milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, sugar and salt. Blend this mixture in a blender to get a smooth consistency.

How to make Pie crust


Cut the butter slab into cubes.



Tip in all purpose flour, sugar and butter. Pulse the food processor for 5 seconds. Do this repeatedly until you get a crumbly mixture.



Add one tablespoon of ice water at a time and pulse it. The mixture should look like shown in the picture.


Transfer the mixture on a board and gently bring it together to form a flattened ball.




Wrap it in a cling film and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.



After 30 minutes open the cling film such that you can roll the pie on the cling film itself. This will help you to handle the rolled pie. Roll the pie up to the thickness of 3 mm.



Flip the cling film along with the rolled pie such that the pie can be easily placed in the pie dish.



Peel off the cling film. Gently press the pie to take the shape of the pie dish and trim the edges.



Fold in the edges.



Press your index finger to get a uniform pattern all around the edge.



Bring together the trimmings of pie and roll it. Cut out your favourite shapes with help of cookie cutter. These cutouts will be used to cover the pie.



Now keep a butter paper in the pie and fill it with kidney or any other beans. The weight of beans will prevent the crust from puffing. Pie weights can also be used.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg Celsius for 10 minutes.



Remove from oven. Carefully remove the kidney beans and butter paper.



Bake the crust further for 15 minutes. At this stage, you may observe browning at the edges of the crust.



Remove from oven. Pour in the filling. Bake at 180 deg Celsius for 30 minutes.



Cover the pie with the cutouts as shown in the picture.



Give an egg wash.

Now finally bake it at 180 deg Celsius for 30 more minutes.

Remove from oven and cool it completely before cutting into pieces. It can also be put in refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours and serve chilled.

MASALE BHAT



Big or small occasions, Masale bhat is a must have dish on the menu. Masale bhat is a rice based preparation, popular in Maharashtra.



One more reason why Masale bhat is made on every occasion is that it is an easy to make recipe.  It is also considered as a one pot meal. You just have to make this aromatic rice with some koshimbir or raita and you are ready to go.

Traditionally carrot, potato, cauliflower and green peas are added with goda masala and basic condiments. Surti kolam or sona masuri rice is preferred more. Nowadays basmati rice is also used.



Masale bhat is one dish which is incomplete without its garnish; grated fresh coconut and finely chopped coriander. Sweetness of fresh coconut compliments the mildly spiced Masale bhat.

Recipe for Masale bhat


Ingredients for Masale bhat



  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups vegetables (potato, cauliflower, peas)
  • ½ cup onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 nos green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp gingergarlic paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp goda masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ cup fresh coconut (grated)
  • ½ cup coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • Salt to taste

For spice mix

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 to 6 cloves
  • 3 to 4 small pieces cinnamon

How to make


Soak the rice for 15 minutes.



Dry roast cloves, cinnamon, star anise and coriander seeds for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Cool the khada masalas completely before grinding it.

Grind it to get a coarse powder. Keep aside.



Heat some oil with ghee. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Sauté until they crackle.



Add onions and green chillies. Sauté until onions become translucent.



Add ginger garlic paste. Cook for a minute.



Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, freshly prepared spice mix and goda masala. Mix well.



Add vegetables and mix well.



Add soaked rice. Sauté for 2 minutes.



Add 2 cups of water and salt. Bring it to boil.



Cover with lid, reduce the heat to low and cook until done. Stir occasionally.



Garnish with generous amount of grated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with Kakdichi koshimbir (cucumber raita).

PRAWNS KOLIWADA



Prawns Koliwada, a delicious dry prawn preparation, inspired from the Kolis(fishermen) in Mumbai. Like Vada pav, prawns koliwada is another popular street food found all over Maharashtra, mainly in Mumbai. It is generally a take away dish.

 
Prawns are marinated in ginger garlic paste and spices for a few minutes. Gram flour gives nice body to the coating. I have included rice flour in this recipe which adds to the crunch of the coating on prawns.

Prawns are deep fried in hot oil. It is important to maintain temperature of oil to high. Also, it is necessary to fry the prawns in small batches. Overcrowding in oil may drop the temperature of oil. 

Recipe for Prawns Koliwada




Ingredients for Prawns Koliwada



  • 500gms prawns (cleaned and deveined)
  • ¾ cup gram flour 
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

How to make


Clean and devein the prawns.



Marinate the prawns in ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and lemon juice for 10 minutes.



Add gram flour and rice flour to the prawns. Mix well.



Add 2 tbsp of water to get the coating consistency.



Heat the oil. Fry prawns in small batches. The temperature of oil should not go down or else the prawns will sink to the bottom and become soggy.

Fry the prawns on each side for approximately 1 minute or until crispy from outside. Over frying may result in chewy prawns.

Serve with mint chutney.

BUTTER GARLIC PRAWNS



Prawns in garlic flavoured butter sauce can make anyone drool.  The silky sauce with well balanced flavours compliments the perfectly cooked prawns.



Butter garlic prawns is a quick and easy to make dish. It can be made just before serving. Only a few ingredients required to make a finger licking dish.



Remember not to brown the garlic or butter. Also overcooking the prawns may make them chewy. It is advisable to cook on medium to low heat. Butter garlic prawns is a wonderful side dish which will surely win hearts for you.

Recipe for Butter garlic prawns


Ingredients for Butter garlic prawns



  • 250gms medium sized prawns (deshelled and deveined)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 50gms butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make




Melt butter in a pan.



Add garlic to the hot butter. Cook till fragrant on medium heat. Prevent browning of garlic.



Tip in the prawns. Cook for two minutes on each side.



Keep moving the prawns to prevent them from browning.



Serve it as an appetizer or a side dish.