Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lasagna With An Indian Twist


I was a kid in the time of black and white TV when on one sunday afternoon I saw this punjabi lady make this dish on TV. After that many a times it used to be an after school snack for us kids. Most evenings I would make small treats for my sisters and brothers, grilled sandwiches, soupy snacks etc. but I would get taunted from my Aunts, "Chapati khayla nako". As is in all homes, who likes to eat chapati at that age. So when I started using up chapatis for the evening snack my Aunts were happy. Then they started complaining about me using too much cheese.

In those days we never bought cheese locally, either it was too expensive or not as good as Kraft. So the supplies of cheese were provided by Uncle M and it always was in my custody. Most of the elders still had not acquired a palate for it. They would say, "God knows what these kids love about cheese. It has just a salty taste." Well not that we could decode the hidden flavors in the cheese at the age but I guess we loved it because it was something exotic for us in those days plus above all Uncle M got it from all his travels.

Those days the only cheese I knew was processed cheese and cheddar cheese. Uncle had once bought a red wax coated cheese that looked like an apple. I still don't know what type it was. Though now I have learnt to appreciate cheese a little more.

So what can be better than a truely cheese loving dish than a Lasagna. It was through that cookery show that I learnt early that Lasagna is a Italian layered pasta dish. This twist too is really an original creative one by that lady on TV. I don't recollect whether it was Neeta Mehta or someone else. Well what matters is I still remember it and I have been making it ever since. That is brilliance.

I know you can't wait to try out. Well then get noting.

Ingredients

3 chapatis
1 cup cooked vegetables/ left over bhaaji
4 tablespoons sauce of choice
and
any soft cheese of choice (cheddar+mozarella) or crumbled paneer

This dish is extremely versatile. You can have endless variations without having to repeat a creation. I love it that way instead of creating the same taste.

It can be baked in a tin in the oven or made on stove top in a deep dish frying pan. I love both versions and there is a difference in taste too.

To layer begin with the first chapati then the bhaaji, spread evenly. Then cover with second chapati. Now spread the sauce with a spatula. Then the third chapati takes its place. Grate the cheese over it. I don't give any proportion for cheese as it depends on how much you like. I am quite generous and don't want my readers eyes popping out while reading, so you do your own thing.

This is the basic layering. You can repeat this pattern for another 3 layers on the top. Always ending with a nice cheese layer. Bake it for 15 mins in a preheated oven @ 190 deg celsius. This baked lasagna is soft.

If done on stove top, the bottom layer gets crisp and that is how I enjoy most.

It has all the ingredients that are already processed or cooked so this dish is ready in a jiffy. Once the cheese melts remove from heat. Cut out portions with a pizza wheel cutter and serve warm. It is quite juicy with all the cheese and sauce so does not require any dressing but a glass of juice to go with it or a masala chai is great.

Enjoy recycling your food!

10 comments:

  1. Wow thats a cool twist !!! It was Amul cheese for us, even now love Amul butter and buy that instead of the local brands

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  2. Good Morning dear,

    Tks. for the dish, sorry for being stupid but please tell me which sauce...........

    Anyways great receipe, keep going.

    With love

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  3. Sandeepa yes when it came to butter is was Amul, the undisputed favorite. I remember the Vijaya buter ad too. Gimme gimme gimme Vijaya butter, Gimme the most on my toast...we loved the jingle but ate Amul always ...as much as we followed Bharat Dabholkar's posters and wisecracks.

    Anon, GM to you too. U can use any sauce, tomato, mustard, mayo etc for variations.

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  4. The cheese covered by red wax may have been Gouda Cheese. Aged Gouda cheese is so delicious!!!

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  5. Anjali, great receipe.. My usual doubts on Baking :)Should I use convection mode?

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  6. Anon thanks! Yeah may be :).

    Sapio for this you need not use convection. This works good with 2 mins microwaving as no browning is required. All it needs is heating thru and melting the cheese.

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  7. Wow....this is new.Never thot i cud make this at home....yummy!

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  8. Now that's more like know story..hehe...sound very similar...though I didn't like cheese when I was young compare to I like that now much more ;)....Lasagna looking so nice....with wonderful twsist

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  9. Hey I used to do this when I was in school too. We used to pick up only Cheese spread then, so I used to spread a little tomato ketchup on the chapatis, then a thick layer of cheese(u know I love cheese), and then whatever sabji mum would have prepared that day on the cheese and then roll it and eat. Ofcourse mum didnt know about my cheese eating habits then :-)

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  10. Voyager I knew it would be you too!

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