I have some friends coming over tonight and I was looking for simple, easy-to-prepare snacks with which I could bowl my friends over. I realise I have a problem here. No, preparing/cooking isn’t the issue at all. Trying to make stuff that’ll bowl people over is! Recently, I’ve been making things that are pretty easy to make but not the kind that one would regularly prepare at home.
But far from all the praise going to my head (I must confess some of it has!), I feel compelled all the time to come up with dishes that’ll look and taste more interesting and exotic each time. Not that I score on the exotic front much, but these days I’ve changed the meaning of ‘exotic’ in my personal dictionary to also mean simple things from childhood that are not so easily available anymore.
For tonight’s get-together, I wanted stuff that I could I make ahead and serve cold plus things that could be served nice and warm but without me having to hobble and wobble around in the kitchen the whole time. I decided on the herbed toast topped with veggies as one of the starters. It is an easy thing to prepare. All I have to do is chop up all the vegetables and grate cheese in advance. As the friends start coming in, I’ll sprinkle grated cheese and herbs on the bread, top it up with the fine-chopped veggies and pop them all into the oven for a few mins. The inviting smell of the ready product will be enough to bring me back into the kitchen.
For the other snack I was torn between one khara (spicy) biscuit recipe and one for cheese crackers, both of which I’d stumbled upon online a few days ago. I settled for the khara simply because most of the ingredients were available at home and I substituted some with others for those that weren’t. These have turned out pretty tasty, they are low on fat and will taste great as finger snacks with some sort of dip or chutney or could even replace the boringly bland breadsticks that accompany soups!
Interestingly, this recipe reminded me of the Gujarati khakras (crisp papad-like snack). I must try baking it in roti shape next time and topping it with chopped tomatoes, onions and a good sprinkling of chaat masala for an interesting version of the masala papad. And while you trudge through my tedious posts, I’ll get cracking and clean up the mess in the kitchen and hope fervently that my friends give the stuff today a thumbs up!
Maida – 1 cup
Butter – 2-3 tbsp
Sugar – 2-3 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Curd – 3-4 tbsp
Maggi masala* – 2 tsp
*I divided the ingredients into two batches and used 2 finely chopped green chillies and 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried methi leaves) instead of Maggi in the second one. You can add any other herb/masala powder to your taste
Preheat oven to 175 deg C
Beat sugar, butter and curd well
Add salt and Maggi masala or green chillies+kasoori methi. Mix well
Add the maida a little at a time and mix with a wooden spoon. Do the final kneading with your hands. Don’t knead too much though. The dough will be soft and pliable (like poori dough and softer than roti dough)
Roll it out like a roti and cut into any shape (I cut mine into long strips)
Bake in the oven for around 12 mins (a couple of mins more or less depending on the thickness of the roti)
NOTE: The original recipe called for scoring little nicks on the biscuits before baking to release trapped air. I forgot to do this and had small puffed up bubbles of air on some wafers