We're moving cities. Shifting everything we own from one city to another, obviously, is not an easy task. But it is definitely easy compared to the task of uprooting ourselves from our friends, memories, houses that we've transformed into homes over the last 3 years, and a city that has become one of my favorites. Still, what has to be done has to be done. So I thought, why not say farewell to all our friends and especially my son's little friends in style, but with a touch of home-made love too. After all, in my mind, there is nothing more touching than cooking for your loved ones yourself, rather than getting it catered. I decided to throw a party for all our kiddie friends and their moms, 25 lovely people in all, in the comfort of our own home. This is the first time I was hosting a kiddie party. The menu and recipes I tried out may be of help to some of you reading this, who want to do something special for your little ones too.
I decided to keep the menu restricted to "finger foods" and less spicy, and since the majority of the guests were vegetarians (but "eggetarians"), I kept the non-vegetarian items to just one. So the menu was as follows:
- Stuffed Vegetable Masala Bun
- Vegetable Patties
- Banana-Butterscotch Muffins
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chicken Nuggets
- Potato Chips
Having a toddler (and no kitchen help for cooking) does not make all your good intentions of cooking everything from scratch easy to execute, so I used some shortcuts. For the vegetarian fillings, instead of chopping assorted vegetables myself, I used store-bought frozen mixed vegetables (precut, the Safal brand, 500 g pack each for the buns and the patties). And the chicken nuggets were the frozen, ready-to-fry ones (Venky's brand) and the potato chips were store-brought (Hot Chips!). Priya, my neighbor and buddy, helped out by taking half of the buns and muffins to be baked in her oven. And my dear husband did his bit by completely taking care of our lil' one throughout the day and did some last-minute frying of the patties too. All in all, the party was a success with the little people and their moms (or so I like to think!).
The vegetarian masala stuffed buns is a recipe I got from the net many years ago and for which I would like to attribute the source, but have no clue, so please if you happen to know, do let me know too! I wanted to make this because I remember when I was in college and used to go home for vacations from hostel, my mom loved to bake buns stuffed with minced meat (kheema) on certain lazy cozy Sunday evenings. They were absolutely mouthwatering and inspired me to attempt to bake it myself before I left for college that summer. Somehow I got smitten with the whole idea of baking your own bread/buns at home. The smell of baked bread wafting out of the oven is something so divine, that you'll never want to buy bread again from a bakery, if you could manage the time and patience required to do this everyday! Unfortunately, my mom lost that recipe, which left me to fend for myself when I wanted to replicate it-so here is the one I found after that!
To make 10 buns (I tripled the quantities given to make 30 buns and as I said before, used 500 g of mixed vegetables to make the filling)
You don't have to worry that this is complicated or laborious or just for a party. It really is not. Do it when you have a lazy afternoon, all the time in the world, nothing else to do, and a friend/sister/daughter/mother who you love to do things with (or even brother/son/father!).
For the buns:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1/2 cup wheat flour (atta)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons active dried yeast
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped fine
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- Take a large mixing bowl and pour the oil, salt and sugar into it.
- Now add the boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the milk now (which is at room temperature), and add the yeast and mix well until it dissolves.
- Now add the two flours, coriander leaves, turmeric and chilli powders.
- Knead into a dough.
- Grease the mixing bowl with a little oil and keep the dough in it, covered with a damp muslin cloth, for at least 1 hour to let it prove (double in size).
- After an hour, knead the dough again for 5 minutes and then divide into 10 equal sized balls.
For the filling:
- 1 large potato, washed and chopped finely
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cauliflower, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons carrot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons beans, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon mix of cumin-coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- Sesame seeds to garnish
- Heat the oil and let the asafoetida and cumin seeds crackle.
- Then add the onions, fry till translucent, and add all the other veggies with the masala powders.
- Sir fry for 1 minute, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
For making the stuffed buns:
- Take a ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin (or just use your fingers to flatten) to a 3-inch circle.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the stuffing in the center, then bring the edges around to seal at the top with a pinch.
- Roll in a plate filled with sesame seeds or just sprinkle the seeds on top. Repeat with the other balls.
- Grease a baking sheet or tray.
- Place the stuffed buns with a little gap between them on the tray and leave it to rise again for 1 hour.
- Then preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
|The buns, before baking and after stuffing, left to prove again for 1 hour.|
I brushed the buns with a little melted butter (using a pastry brush) just before they went into the oven.
You could stuff these buns with almost anything that catches your fancy. If you want a nonvegetarian one, then simply use minced meat (kheema) instead.