Bombay Toast with Yoghurt Topping and Strawberry Jam

Bombay Toast5The smell of Bombay Toast wafting up from the kitchen is a delightful memory that I have from my childhood. Thick slices of white bread from Kayani bakery, dipped in a batter of eggs, sugar and milk and shallow fried in Amul butter – yum!

Well, here is a bumped up version that I recently made for brunch with two of my friends. The yoghurt topping is easy to make and goes well with pancakes and waffles too. My homemade strawberry jam added a touch of color to this composition. Enjoy!

Bombay Toast with Yoghurt and Strawberry Topping
8 eggs
1½ cups half-and-half or milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon vanilla
1½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 large loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into ¾ inch slices
Vegetable oil and butter for shallow frying

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Whisk eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt in a large, wide-mouth bowl. Soak two or three slices of bread, at a time, in the egg mixture for two minutes on one side. Turn them over and soak the other side for two minutes.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon oil and one tablespoon butter. When the butter melts, gently add the soaked slices of bread. Cook for two to three minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Fry the remaining soaked slices of bread, adding oil and butter as needed. Place the prepared Bombay toast on the sheet pan and keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serve with maple syrup, yoghurt topping and jam of your choice.

Yoghurt Topping
1 cup yoghurt
½ cup cool whip
¼ cup maple syrup

Whisk the yoghurt, cool whip and maple syrup in a small bowl until creamy and smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Puri and Bhaji

Growing up in Pune, Maharashtra, my family often traveled by train to Mumbai. Traveling by train was always exciting. Whenever we stopped at a station, I would scan the platform, looking for the puri-bhaji and aloo bonda walas (vendors). Puri-bhaji is a quick and satisfying fix for hungry travelers! I remember relishing every bite – an integral part of our trip’s adventure. And as the train pulled away, we eagerly awaited the next station for dessert – the famous Lonavala chikki. Simple pleasures are what some of my memories are made of.

Today, I am sharing a recipe for puris and bhaji. Puris are whole-wheat deep-fried bread, and bhaji is a potato side dish that often accompanies puris. Puris and bhaji can be served as a meal by itself or individually as side dishes. The main ingredients for bhaji are potatoes and onions. I’ve spiced my bhaji recipe with a twist on the train platform offering. Hope you like my version!

For the Puris
2 cups wheat flour (Indian wheat flour or Pillsbury Chakki atta)
2 teaspoons oil
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon of warm water (approximately)

Put the wheat flour in a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the center of it. Add two teaspoons of oil. Mix the flour, and oil well. Add salt to the warm water, and add it to the flour. Knead to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into 20 equal sized balls. Cover with a damp paper towel, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed wok.

With the help of very little dry flour roll each ball into 4” diameter diskettes. Cover them with damp paper towels until all the puris are made. Deep fry on medium-high heat until light brown on both sides.

For the Bhaji
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon yellow split peas (Channa dal)
1 teaspoon split black gram (Urad dal)
1 stalk curry leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
3-4 finely chopped green chillies (adjust to your taste)
3 cups sliced red onions
3 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 diced tomato
4 cups diced boiled potatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large pan. Add mustard seeds, and when they splutter add cumin seeds. Lower the heat to medium, and add the yellow split peas, and wait for a minute until they they turn light brown. Add the spit black gram, stir until they also turn light brown. Then add the curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, onion, salt, and turmeric. Saute until the onion turns transparent. Add the tomato, and saute for another two minutes then add the diced potatoes. Mix gently, cover the dish, and let it cook over low heat for five minutes. Serve garnished with chopped coriander.