Preparation Time: 60 mins Cooking Time: 60 mins Serves: 8
Recipe Ingredients: for the phyllo pastry 450 g refined flour 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 teaspoon oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup hot water 200g butter For the filling 450 g mixed nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds), finely chopped 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder For the syrup 1 cup water ½ cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence ½ cup honey To serve Sugar syrup Pistachio flakes Honey (optional) Gulkand Recipe Method: For the phyllo pastry Place half the flour in a bowl and mix in the vinegar, oil, lemon juice and hot water. Knead the dough on a floured surface till it is stiff. Divide the dough into 20 parts. Roll out each part into a very thin, almost translucent sheet, like a roomali roti. Cut into an 8-inch square, cover with a damp cloth and set aside. If using a pasta machine pass the dough through the machine till you reach mark 1. Dust with flour several times. Cut into squares and cover with a damp cloth. For the filling and sauce In a bowl, toss the chopped nuts with cinnamon. Set aside. In a pan, heat together the sugar, honey and vanilla. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. To assemble the baklava Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Butter the base and sides of an 8-inch square pan or tin. Spread two sheets of pastry on the base of the pan one on top of the other. Brush with melted butter, then add 2 more sheets. Repeat till you have about 8 layers of butter and pastry. Sprinkle two to three spoonfuls of the nut mixture on top. Repeat the layers of pastry, butter and nuts. Use a sharp knife and cut the pastry into squares or diamond shapes while still in the tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or till the pastry is crisp. Remove the baklava and pour the prepared sugar syrup all over the baklava; sprinkle with pistachio flakes. Set aside to cool. To serve Arrange pieces of baklava on a plate. Drizzle with sugar syrup and sprinkle with pistachio slivers. For extra sweetness add some honey as well! Footnote: People have a sweet tooth but God has given me 32 sweet teeth! This is one of those recipes which has all of them craving for more. Note: Commercial phyllo pastry is made by machines as it has a texture that is very difficult to achieve by hand. Use 450 g of readymade phyllo dough for this recipe.
Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints. The big move in Pankaj Bhadouria’s life came with a small step when she decided to leave her successful teaching career spanning over 16 years and enter India's 1st televised cookery reality show - MasterChef India on the leading GEC - Star Plus.
And as they say, fortune favours the brave, Pankaj went on to become a worthy winner and with it India's first ever MasterChef.
The comfort of the classroom gave way to the adulations, accolades and a host of achievements. Pankaj hosted her first cookery show - "Chef Pankaj ka Zayka" on Star Plus during Sep-Oct 2011 where she showcased her passion for cooking. The success of this daily show added another flavor to her sweet success.