Aloo, poori, tandoori chicken...and apple pancakes!

When I woke up this Sunday morning, I had no idea I would be putting everyone at home to work in my kitchen - but yes, I did. It started with my son K discovering an apple pancake recipe on a countries and art CD he's playing with. He declared that he really wanted pancakes - and dad went off to hunt and gather some eggs and apples. Meanwhile, I was starting to prep for brunch, since we had invited a lovely family who had just moved in to the UWS over as they unpacked.

First, the Apple Pancakes.
I have to admit, once again, I didn't follow the recipe on the CD - just my instincts. It worked!
Two eggs
One apple
One cup milk
3/4 cup self-raising flour
Two tablespoons sugar
One pinch salt
One teaspoon vanilla extract
One teaspoon butter, softened
  • D&K helped beat the eggs, them mixed in the milk, extract - and then mixed in the flour. The butter was dropped in and mixed as well, with the sugar and salt. (Hubby came in and saved the day, by whisking the lumpy mix!)
  • Peel the apple and core it. Shop it into quarter inch cubes
  • Mix the apple into the pancake mix
  • On a heated, buttered pan or skillet, pour in a ladle of mix. Carefully swish the pan in a circular motion
  • Give it a minute to form, and test the edges to make sure it wont fall apart. Flip it over and leave it over a medium flame
  • Pop off the skillet and you're ready to go (the apple makes it pretty sweet). You could also use syrup, of course

I know I've ribbed hubby for a couple of years that I've had every other guy in his family cook in my kitchen (grandpa, brother in law, son....) I have to admit, he pulled together a great pancake breakfast today with his little sou chefs.

The brunch menu, which was initially going to be grilled fish and veggies, but brother-in-law M's girlfriend SP came over - and we'd talked about her love for pooris (puri). So the menu was revised quite radically. We went to pooris with a classic potato curry and some tandoori chicken to mix it up.

Of course, that meant that I put M and SP to work!

Tandoori Chicken
Chicken breast pieces, legs and wings (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons Badshah tandoori masala (yes, I cheated)
1/2 cupYogurt
Juice from half a lemon

      • Pat the masala onto the chicken pieces, but also mix in lemon juice and yogurt
      • Marinate for three hours, then lay out on oiled pan and cook for 25 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 300 degrees
      • Make sure to flip the pieces over about 15 minutes into the baking
      • Serve with slices of lemon

      Pooris (or Puris)

      I didn't let up that this happens to be my Indian favorite breakfast/ brunch element. Given it's deep-fried, it is best to not to over-indulge. But it's so tasty, you HAVE to try it -- the kids love it. I've tended to get them into the job of rolling out and flattening the dough. We get creative shapes, of course!

      Three cups chapati flour or atta (This is a blend of wheat and malted barley flours, you can get in Indian stores)
      Two tablespoon oil
      Two tablespoons salt
      Flour to powder the rolling pin and rolling surface
      One cup of oil in a small pan to fry

      • Start by sifting the flour and salt together. Knead in the oil and start by slowly mixing in water
      • I tend to use around a cup of water, but keep adding the water in a little by little till you have a firm dough
      • Let the dough sit for an hour or so
      • Roll the dough into balls, then start flattening the balls out into think circles
      • Heat the oil over a medium flame, and test with a small pinch of dough. You're ready to fry the pooris when the dough pops up to the surface of the oil
      • Slide the flattened dough slowly into the heated oil
      • As bubbles start popping up on the dough, gently pat down the poori. That will cause the poori to puff up beautifully
      • Once the poori is puffed, turn it over and let cook for about a half-minute and take out
      • Let the oil leach out of the poori into a paper napkin
      Pooris taste best with a nice potato curry

      Five skinned medium potatoes
      Two medium onions
      One teaspoon of mustard seeds
      Three tablespoons of oil
      Two large garlic
      One teaspoon turmeric
      Two teaspoons salt
      Five curry leaves
      • Chop the onions into medium slices. Skin the potatoes and chop into half-inch cubes
      • In a medium pot, heat the oil. When hot, pour the mustard seeds in and let pop. Also toss in the curry leaves, which will crisp quickly
      • Fry the onions in the mustard-scented oil till light brown. Also toss in the sliced garlic
      • Mix in the potatoes and stir till all the potato pieces are coated in oil
      • Then pour in water to cover the potatoes, and add in the turmeric and salt
      • Let the mix cook for about ten to fifteen minutes, then stir the mix so that a few of the peices crumble. This gives the curry a nice thick feel

      The potato curry is pretty unique. It works well with pooris and chappatis, but I'm not sure it works with much else. However, it has a nice delicate feel -- and the kids do tend to eat it by itself every so often.