Summer Fruit Tart

Here is the easy way to make a fruit tart, I had originally found this recipe on the net and tried it with a pie crust which turned out very good …
I always thought using puff pastry would make the base soggy , last week due  to shortage  of time I has to use the puff pastry and it turned out rather very nice and the tart stayed quite crisp even after couple of hours…. It is a great dessert for summer and very  easy to make….

One puff pastry sheet thawed
Assorted fruits cut to same size
4 ounces of mascarpone  cheese (unsweetened. if you use sweetened cheese then omit step no 2)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sugar

For the glaze
Half cup of orange juice/mango juice
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cornstarch and couple of drops of lemon juice or zest…

1) Lay the pastry sheet on a parchment paper, elongate the sheet with a rolling pin so its a nice big square and pierce the puff pastry with a fork all over.
Bake the puff pastry sheet in the oven at 400°F on a sheet of parchment paper for about 20 mins or until golden brown ,  remove and let it cool completely.

2) Mix the cheese sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

3) Spread the cheese mix on the puff pastry evenly of about 1/4 inch thick layer
Arrange the fruits in a neat pattern on the cheese. Chill the tart with the fruit in the refrigerator while you prepare the glaze.

4) In a sauce pan add sugar, orange juice and cornstarch and bring it to a boil,
Once it comes to a boil and starts to thicken lower the heat and let it simmer until the glaze is nice and thick and transparent, remove and let it cool. add the lemon drops or the zest.

With a brush spread the glaze on the fruit tart and chill for 30 minutes.

cut the tart with a pizza cutter and serve.Image


Caramelized Onion Spinach Herb Tart

Of recently i have been experimenting with made from scratch pie dough and puff pastry sheets in making sweet and savory tarts and the results so far have been fantastic….
It passed with flying colors with my family……..
specially in summer heat, these dishes are a welcome break from the usual and also very chic to serve it to guests….
This recipe uses puff pastry as the base which i know may not be readily available in India so for the people in India I will post a pie dough recipe that is super easy to make and is almost fool proof which can be used as the base for the tart or the crust…
1 Puff Pastry Sheet (pepperidge farm or store brand)
(thawed for about 15 minutes)
2 cups of frozen spinach or fresh spinach which is chopped fine and cooked until tender.
1/2 cup of corn kernels boiled
Handful of grated/shredded carrot/
1 large onion, thinly sliced.
3 pods of garlic, teaspoon each of fresh herbs- thyme,rosemary,mint and chives….
1/4 cup of fresh chopped cilantro.
if you are using dried herbs use just a pinch since its far more concentrated than fresh.
1/2 cup of either white or red sauce pasta sauce.
use ready pasta sauce, dont bother making it at home since it uses very little quantity.
I used Ragu Light Alfredo Sauce. The sauce binds the mix together.
Pepper and chili powder to taste.
Handful of  cheese – I used goat cheese but you can use mozzarella, white cheddar or any other:))
Pre heat the oven at 400 F.
Lightly dust the parchment paper with flour or if you are using a non stick cookie sheet then lightly grease it.
Lay the thawed puff pastry
Stretch it out with a rolling pin just a little so that its a good size rectangle and then pierce it all over with the fork.
Bake it in the oven until golden brown under and over.
Remove and Cool.
The filling:
In a pan, add some oil on a medium high.
Add the onion slices and cook until they are tender and light brown.
Remove and keep aside.
To the same pan add some more oil, garlic,spinach,carrots,cooked corn, sauce,herbs,salt,pepper and chili powder to taste.
Let is cook for about 10 minutes until the mix is well incorporated and all the moisture has evaporated. taste it and adjust the spiciness according to your pallet.  I like it quite spicy. U may add hot sauce if you wish.
spread the spinach mix on the puff pastry sheet, top it with onions and sprinkle it with cheese and bake it for 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
Cut it with the pizza cutter and serve.
By Aditi Sheth
NOTES: variety of filling can be used for this savory tart with or without the sauce.
             u can arrange slices of lemon  or oranges as toppers on the tart
             potato can be used for filling or for healthier options, use cooked broccoli florets, asparagus etc…
             non vegetarian options like shredded chickenImage are also possible…

Tempura Vegetables with Chinese Sauce

Vegetables: Radish, Baby Carrots,Paneer,Cauliflower,
1/2 cup of dry corn starch
For the sauce:
4-5 tablespoons of corn starch
4-5 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of red/green chili sauce or as per your taste. I use more. Short cut option would be to use Sriracha Sauce available in all stores.
2 table spoons of crushed garlic
Water, salt to taste. This being a chinese sauce, I like it spicy and I use all the above ingredients generously.
Cut the paneer and radish into chunks of 2 inches long. They should be about same size as baby carrots.
Cauliflowers into medium florets..
Roll all the vegetables into the dry corn starch generously and fry them until crisp, about a min or less. Keep aside uncovered.
Make the sauce.
In a wok, take some oil, saute the garlic, add soy sauce and chili sauce.
Mix the corn starch and water into a smooth liquid,not too thin.
Add it to the wok and simmer until the sauce is lump free and thick. Add salt.
Arrange the vegetables on the serving platter and pour the sauce over them, garnish with green onions if you want to and SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
Iblanched all the vegetables which I should not have. The veggies got soggy.
I served the dish much later after cooking which again made it into an ordinary manchurian type of dish which this is not meant to be. The fun is in the crispness of the veggies.
Serve it immediately while the veggies are crispy
Aditi Sheth

Spicy Peas-Coriander-Paneer stuffed Aloo Tikkis


3 med potatoes

1 cup green peas boiled  And drained.
3/4 cup roughly chopped coriander
1/4 cup grated paneer
Few cubes of pineapple.
1/2 cup besan or gram flour for batter
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 full teaspoon Garam masala
1 full teaspoon — red chili powder, turmeric, chaat masala,coriander powder for peas mix and some more of each for potato mix.
Salt to taste
Oil for sautéing and deep frying….Method:

Mash the boiled potatoes , season with salt, red chili powder. Keep aside.
In a sauté pan take some oil, add the boiled peas, coriander and all dry masalas and mix well, sauté for few minutes.
There is distinct taste of Garam masala and spiciness from red chilis so be generous with it. Keep aside.

In your palms take some potato mix, make a ball and flatten it out.
In the center add a big dollop of peas mix, put a small pinch of paneer and then top it with  a piece of pineapple In the center and fold everything into a round ball or oblong shape, whatever works.

Refrigerate the tikkis for a half an hour so it firms up, incase your potatoes are over cooked or the mix is n
ot stiff enough.
For the batter:
add salt,red chili powder to the flour, add water cautiously to the gram flour so to make smooth thick batter.
Dip each tikki into the gram flour batter completely and roll them on the bread crumbs coating each with a thick layer of crumbs.
Deep fry the tikkis and keep them uncovered. These tikkis stay super crisp for long time….
Serve it with sweet ans spicy chutney..Alternately u can add more layers of flavor with  other dry fruits in the center ….

Aditi Sheth

Instant Pedha 2

2 cups ricotta cheese (i think the standard package works)
1 cup cream
1 cup milk powder or non–fat dry milk
flavoring of your choice – I use elaichi and kesar (cardamom and saffron) with pieces of almonds or pistachios for decoration.
mix it all together, make sure there are no lumps and stir on low heat till the mixture is fairly dry and comes off the sides of the pan. take it off the heat, let cool till its cool enough to handle. shape into little pedhas. If you want to get fancy and use cookie cutters, i can see how that would look very attractive as well. let cool.
the pedhas were absolutely delicious! I made these a few months ago, right after my daughter was born and we would offer these to our friends who came to see her. they were blown away by how nice the pedhas were!
Nisha Kolhatkar

Khava Narial Vadi (for coconut lovers)

  • Grated frozen coconut, sugar and khoya in 1:1:1 combination
  • Mix khoya and coconut well.
  • Heat some ghee in a pan and add the mix in it and cook it well by continuous frying.
  • Add Sugar to it and again cook it for another 10mins.
  • When the mix becomes paste, add ilaichi powder to it and mix well.
  • Now spread the mix on a big round greased plate.
  • Wait for 5-10mins and make cross lines on the spread with the help of knife.
  • Wait till it starts leaving the plate.. separate it from the plate with the help of knife or flat spoon.
  • Vadi’s will get separated from each other. Keep it in air tight box.

Mushroom Tikkis

200 gms button mushrooms – cleaned and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
juice of 1 lemon
1 potato – boiled and grated
1/2 tsp saffron – dissolved in water
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp deggi mirch powder (available readily in India) or else the regular red chilli pwd will do but the taste might differ a little
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salf to taste
1) Put chopped mushrooms in a muslin cloth and squeeze out excess water.
2)Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and saute the ginger-garlic paste.
3) Add chopped mushrrom, lemon juice and grated potato. Cook till all the water dries up and allow this mixture to cool.
4) Once cooled grind this mixture to a fine paste. Add the remaining ingredients.
5) Make tikkis and cook on a tava with the remaining oil. Serve hot.
TIP: Incase the paste is too soft then use besan to bind the tikkis. Make sure to roast the besan before as it binds well and tastes better.
One can add panner also.
By Chandni Sanghvi Patel