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snacks

Comfort food … food that reassures is different things to different people.”
David Tanis

Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day.  Crudites on the side, in every colour, make this complete! Comfort food for the soul!The recipe is a no brainer, a simple very simple whisking together of staple cooking ingredients that will possibly already be in your kitchen. These are ingredients that were meant to be together. The recipe is adapted from a very old one that I got while in college in Delhi University. A friends grandmother made a basic version often, and I gleefully went back home to recreate the recipe then much to the amazement of the family. This was in the late 1980’s!!Much changed since then, the recipe evolved gradually. This is its current form. When Mother Dairy asked if I’d like to take do a few recipes for #CreamOfAllFood and taking over their instagram handle for a week, I knew this had to be shared too. This is our favourite dip, and is worth every share! Mother Dairy products have been a part of my growing up years, bringing up the kids, my kitchen, my culinary life. I am quite sure they are in your life too!While I absolutely love doing sweet desserts and dishes, my heart belongs to savoury. Add garlic, fresh herbs, a dash of lime juice to any savoury dish and I’m a happy camper. Add cream to it, and now we’re talking. This Creamy Garlic Dip is possibly the simplest example of taking something delicious to finger licking good addictive! The cream made that happen!!Use this as a basic recipe. I added garlic and garlic greens to it. Sriracha might be really nice in here too. Maybe tahini, maybe grated red radish, or even finely chopped walnuts, fresh coriander and chilies. Who knows what might hit the chord with you. I urge you to try.Begin basic. Hung yogurt, cream, grated garlic and salt is a good beginning. Then build as you go. And so many more reasons to enjoy this. Dahi/yogurt, garlic, fresh herbs, lime juice … think good gut bacteria and protein, think minerals, think garlic and its health promoting phytonutrients, think Vitamin C. As always, above all, think S I M P L E!! As simple as the Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits which I did in the #InstaCookingClass #1.So wait no further. I whisked together the recipe on Instastories the Mother Dairy Instagram handle that I’ve taking over this week. This was #InstaCookingClass #2. Catch me there, or on the Mother Dairy FaceBook page later this week. Love to hear if you liked it {or not}, what recipes you might like to see in future, and what you’d like to make with the #CreamOfAllFood!And oh, did I tell you that I love pairing dips with wholegrain crackers? So I turned the oven on, and began throwing in stuff of all sorts into the Thermomix. One seed followed another, one flour followed another, and luckily enough the ending was good. The experiment worked!The crackers were a ‘cracker of an idea’! The dough was so good and loaded with SEEDS! It behaved beautifully so I made some savoury shells in the my favourite mini pie pan from Kitchen Aid too. Seedy wholewheat & buckwheat canapes filled with a creamy garlic dip, and pickled radishes are as delicious as they sound! Do make these as well if you are a passionate baker like me. Else crudites in  seasonal colours like bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes are great too!

Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers
Yum
Print Recipe
Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day. Crudites on the side, in every colour, make the platter balanced!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers
Yum
Print Recipe
Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day. Crudites on the side, in every colour, make the platter balanced!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Instructions
Creamy Garlic Dip
  1. Whisk the cream + yogurt + olive oil + salt + lime juice until smooth.
  2. Finely chop remaining ingredients including the stalks of the coriander and greens of the green garlic.
  3. Stir in.
  4. Taste & adjust seasoning.
  5. Tip: Use as a dip, on crackers, on canapes, in a roll, as a marinadeSeedy wholegrain buckwheat crackers
Seedy wholegrain buckwheat crackers
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, grind together 65g sunflower seeds, almond meal, flax seeds, white & black sesame seeds.
  2. Add the smoked sea salt, buckwheat flour and wholewheat flour. Stir to mix, followed by the clarified butter. Mix again on high speed to distribute the fat evenly.
  3. Add the additional 35g sunflower seeds and stir to mix {low speed}.
  4. Stir the honey into the water, and slowly drizzle in enough to make a stiff yet pliable dough. Add more if required. {All flours have a different absorption capacity.If the dough is soft, add a tbsp or two of buckwheat flour}.
  5. Allow the dough to rest covered for a bit while you preheat the oven.
  6. Divide the dough into 4. Roll out one portion as thin as possible between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
  7. You can either cut into shapes using a pastry wheel/pizza cutter/knife, or leave it as one whole and roughly break it up. Alternatively, you could stamp out into fluted round shapes with a cookie cutter, and bake into tiny bite sized canape shells. I used the KitchenAid mini pie tray for some.
  8. Bake until they feel firm and begin to colour. Keep an eye on them after 20 minutes as they can colour and burn petty quick.
  9. Cool completely on cookie racks, and store in an airtight container
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 Kurkure Lays, plant visit Pepsico India‘Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good, satisfied, calm, cared for and carefree. It’s food that fills us up emotionally and physically.
Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience.’
Ellie Krieger

First thoughts that swept through my head as we entered the Pepsico factory in Dhulagarh near Kolkata, a much anticipated trip into a promising kitchen. Hello Kurkure, have I missed you! It’s been a few years since I dived into a bag. One crunchy bite later, nostalgia flooded my soul, that old familiar taste that had serenaded me for several years. I was back! With an eclectic group of about a dozen ‘foodies’ flown  specially into Kolkata, we warmed up to each other over the hours drive to the factory. That drive was anything but mundane, action packed, but that’s a story for another day…Pepsico plant visit, KolkataA friend recently said to me that his entire family was addicted to Kurkure for 8 long years, and that’s quite a similar story across households in India. Kurkure, in hindi means crisp, now PepsiCos most most loved voted snacking brand in the Indian market, is a favourite with Indians across the globe. For me, a once in a blue moon guilty step off my routine.  There I was to discover that there’s so much more to the brand than just the snack. A brand that is constantly reinventing itself, attempting also to constantly improve nutritionally. It also makes great breakfast oats, one of my most favourite pantry ingredients.

Pepsico plant visit, KolkataThey’ve got the spice mix and product bang on! With 30 snacking options, Kurkure forms an iconic part of Indian food culture, a deep connect & nostalgia since being introduced in 1999. This entirely indigenous brand, made with trusted kitchen ingredients like rice, oil, corn, gram & spices, Kurkure has constantly re-invented itself to sustain its relevance to Indian culture and the Indian ethos. Yet the story is more than the plant producing snacks. It’s the larger picture of social responsibility that appealed to me, and that made the visit so worthwhile.pepsico-plant-visit-kolkata-2With the popularity of Kurkure, came many myths about the ingredients, about how good it might or might not be! One trip to the fully automated snack plant in Dhulbari proved otherwise. Prepared most hygienically in a state of art plant, it hits the spot for comfort food with the right spice blends and flavours. All ingredients in the Kitchen of lays are carefully sourced, efficiently managed and well stocked. It has now entered the traditional namkeens area which is proving to be equally popular!Pepsico plant visit, Kolkata

Pepsico plant visit, KolkataAnd then there is the Kitchen of Lays. Another heartening story right from the potato being germinated up to the chips that get sealed into bags, it’s a fascinating adventure. Overcoming challenges like a not a well developed supply chain, small land holdings, marginal farmers, loads of wastage etc, the company offers community support especially to farmers right from word go offering careful handling and the right variety of seeds. India is the only country outside of the US, where potato germ plasma and mini tuber are grown in greenhouses in Punjab. To help farmers minimize losses due to vagaries of nature, the company offers weather forecasts in collaborative farming to 24K farmers in the country. The partnership offers a 360 degree of engagement with best agronomy practices, soft loans, crop insurance, high quality seeds for better yields etc.Pepsico plant visit, KolkataTo think that much and more goes into the making of a mere pack of chips is a somewhat enlightening experience. Following the journey of the humble potato from a germ plasma to the fryer was fascinating. It makes the picture real, a story that comes alive with community collaborative farming, sustenance, social responsibility, good practices, the right potato and an efficient system. An automated system that works with precision, infra red sensors that pick out the slightest anomaly, dedicated happy workforce … and of course happy customers.Pepsico plant visit, KolkataSustainable growth, community development and minimizing the impact on the environment is worthy of praise! We were fortunate to experience the facility first hand. Right from very passionate hands on managers, spirited workers, an efficient management system, the fully automated plant operates impressively. What amazes is that PepsiCo’s growth in India has been guided by a philosophy of “Performance with Purpose”, the goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth. 06-1In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize their impact on the environment, providing a safe and inclusive workplace for employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where they operate. For instance, in 2009, PepsiCo India achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first business to achieve ‘Positive Water Balance’ in the beverage world, a fact verified by Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd. The company has been Water Positive since then.
Pepsico plant visit, Kolkata
The Kaizen quality and productivity initiative where everyone is empowered, motivated and encouraged to add value contributes to safety, quality and productivity. With initiatives like that and three planks of renewable energy systems in place, for eg rice husk that generates steam to heat oil, or then frying that gives flash steam than runs a system to generate electricity, it’s hard to look at the packet of Lays or Kurkure the same way again. They just mean so much more now!

Photo courtesy Karan BhujbalThank you for opening your home and hearts to us Pepsico India!
{Photo courtesy Karan Bhujbal}

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle “There is a lot of food culture that goes on in the home and in the community in non-traditional ways. Food is a lot more than restaurants.”
Eddie Huang

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird’s Eye Sweet Chili Pickle. These turned out to be crackers with a bite. Paired with the sweet chili pickle, they got just the right kick as well, some smoked Gouda on the side to balance the heat from the pickle. Both the crackers and the the pickle have much in common, other than the long name of course! Both earthy and rustic, both from local produce, they have a combination of flavours that compliment each other. The taste undertones are complex but subtle, individual ingredients in each that compliment the preparation. The good thing is that they pair together beautifully too!

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleSay millets to me and a part of me shudders with fear, while the other part of thinks happily this might be the time for me to ‘step out’ and be millet confident. I’ve had a LONG unsteady relationship with millets, more hate than love. In the past I have found them uninspiring, sandy, gritty and rather unrewarding to work with. Yet a recent contest on Commeat which focused on millets made me sit up and take notice. Couldn’t figure out why it had everyone so excited.MilletsThus began a small journey. Though only a few weeks old, I am fast covering ground. Picked Madhuli’s brains as she does a load of creative food with millet. I pestered her SO MUCH that she just mailed me many bags of different varieties.Then I shifted gears and pestered Ruchira, my other millet inspiration. She put me onto making the yummiest millet khichadi ever. So I bravely ventured further on my own, and here is my first experiment, millet crackers. Flavoured with my fave ingredients, garlic and rosemary, I threw in some sesame seeds too!Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleMuch reading online tells me that roasting the flour before using it reduces a characteristic mustiness the flour has. Did just that. Looked and felt like sand, or rather EARTH! Which gave me an idea. I decided to pair these earthy rustic millet crackers with this Lovilovi and Bird’s Eye Sweet Chili Pickle from Place of Origin.On the onset, might I warn you that the flavours just explode in your mouth. Not for the faint-hearted, this intriguing pickle tempts you to dig in. The heart wants more yet the mouth is on fire! Smoked or herb cheese on the side balances it off!Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili PickleMade from the Lovolovi plums and the bird’s eye chilies that grow wild in the coffee estates of Coorg, The Earth Reserve’s Sweet pickle is a must-have for all who love combination between sweet and spicy. One of the most piquant chilies and tartness of the berries combine to bring you a flavor that has a spicy kick but not mouth burning and you can still taste all the individual flavours. This pickle looks good, tastes good and provides you a versatile usage. Liven up a burger, serve with a cheese board or cold meats, spice up sausages, mix in to mayo…

Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle
Based in Scotland of India – Coorg, The Earth Reserve brings to you homemade products with a passion for bringing wholesome food to the table without any added colours, flavours, synthetic preservatives, taste enhancers or pectin. Free from harmful pesticides or any other chemical sprays, the ingredients are instead sprayed with the nourishing rains and mists that the hills of Coorg are blessed with. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle With its natural heritage and colourful history, India is the birthplace and home of a number of cuisines. The environment, soil, climate and history contribute to unique recipes made with locally sourced produce. Accordingly, every town in India is famous for select foods or food producers. As human beings, it is natural for us to have a strong emotional connect with the food we eat. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle There will always be some food products which trigger fond memories of familiar hometown flavours and gastronomical experiences – it could be the sweetshop from across the street from where you grew up or a confectionery in that hill station that you went to one summer. Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle This pickle hits ‘thta’ spot and more! So if you make crackers like these, to set your world on fire with this fabulous pickle, PlaceofOrigin.in is the answer!!
Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers
Yum
Print Recipe
Crisp, earthy, flavourful and gentle, these Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers are a great wholegrain savoury bake. They are good on their own, and really good when paired with a dip , maybe cheese as well. Paired with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle, they got just the right kick, with some smoked Gouda on the side.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers
Yum
Print Recipe
Crisp, earthy, flavourful and gentle, these Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers are a great wholegrain savoury bake. They are good on their own, and really good when paired with a dip , maybe cheese as well. Paired with Lovilovi and Bird's Eye Sweet Chili Pickle, they got just the right kick, with some smoked Gouda on the side.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Gently roast the ragi with sesame seeds over low heat until lightly coloured. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Place all ingredients except water in bowl of stand mixer.
  4. Mix on low speed, then add 50 ml water to make a soft firm dough. Add a little more water as required. Knead the dough until smooth for 2 minutes.
  5. Roll out as thin as possible between two sheets of baking parchment, cut into desired shapes, then transfer to baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they turn brown on the edges and feel firm.
  7. Cool completely, then transfer t an airtight container.
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