“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”- Elbert Hubbard
For a while now , I have been wanting to dabble in savoury baking – and after a few nudges and pushes from others, I have been wetting my feet in this different baking zone . I know my ventures have been spaced out and simplistic – like the pull apart garlic bread and the no knead focaccia . But this quiche is much more ambitious – atleast for me it is !
A quiche is basically (and originally) a savoury tart made with a pie crust filled with veggies or meat, topped with cheese and filled with a custard made of eggs and dairy. Needless to say , with all the butter, cheese, eggs and cream – quiche is rich food ! Its filling and a meal in itself – come to think of it, it does cover most of the food groups ;-P .
It does have several components and takes a bit of planning (and waiting around ) but it isn’t difficult work .
I tried my hand at a Indianised quiche because as much as I like international desserts , some non-sweet food from non Asian countries isn’t to my taste ( except of course burgers, fried chicken and other junk food!). And well , i felt like experimenting . So the filling is made with chicken marinated in a tikka- style masala and some caramelised onions. You can use ready made Tikka masala powder too . I sauted the chicken in a frying pan which while not authentic , makes things quicker. You could cook the chicken in the oven for more authentic Chicken Tikka. I used Cheddar cheese and not a lot of it. You could use Mozzarella , Gruyere or Parmesan too.For the custard , I used the standard quiche custard ratio of equal parts of eggs to milk to cream.
Coming to the tart base, I used a savoury shortcrust pastry made of flour , butter , salt and water. I also added some chilli powder to spice up the tart shell as well to keep with the Indian theme. You can easily make this dough by food processor – mix the flour with salt and chilli, add cubed butter and then water until it comes together. But not everyone has a food processor so my instructions here are to make the pastry by hand. Keep in mind , that the dough shouldn’t be kneaded ( you don’t want gluten forming ). The dough needs to be rested before rolling out , after shaping into tin and blind baked. But while you are waiting around, you can make the filling and custard .
Another small pointer, it is sometimes advised to pour the custard after placing the filled quiche in the oven to prevent spillage, but i just place the tart pan on a baking sheet and move it as gently as possible. I just find it more comfortable that way. Also , in a quiche the wet filling may leak over the edges so trim the edges AFTER baking .
Ok, enough with instructions. Its not rocket science. Its just baking . French baking Indian style !
- 140 grams or 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt (skip if using salted butter)
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 112 grams or 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 3-4 tbsp ice cold water
- 250 grams boneless chicken
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- pinch of pepper powder
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 tbsp curd
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion
- 3 tablespoons grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs
- 240 ml or 1 cup cream
- 240 ml or 1 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix together the flour, salt and chilli powder .
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the cold butter diced into small pieces.
- Rub the butter and flour between your hands until all the butter is incorporated into the flour.
- The mixture should resemble coarse breadcrumbs and have no big pieces of butter visible.
- Add the cold water , one tablespoon at a time and mix into the mixture until it comes together into a slightly wet and soft dough. You might not need all the water. No need to knead !
- Shape into a disc, cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After chilling, on a floured surface roll out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
- Grease a 9 inch round tart pan (preferably with removable bottom).
- Place rolled out dough into the pan and press into bottom and sides well. You can use bits of broken or extra pastry to fill up empty or thinner spots.
- Using a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the dough. This is to prevent the pastry from puffing up.
- Chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F.
- Place an aluminium foil sheet over bottom of dough and fill with rice or baking beans . The edges needn't be covered.
- Bake at 200 C for 15 minutes (blind baking).
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces .
- Marinate with salt, spices, curd , ginger garlic paste and lime juice. You can refrigerate this for few hours or rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Dice the onion.
- In a pan, heat some oil.
- Saute the chicken until cooked.
- Remove the chicken from oil and saute the onion in same oil until golden brown.
- whisk the eggs
- Whisk in the cream, milk and salt.
- You can strain this mixture.
- After blind baking for 15 minutes, remove the tart pan from oven.
- Lower temperature to 160 C / 325 F.
- Remove the aluminium foil and weights
- Place tart pan over a baking sheet or bigger pan.
- Spread the chicken over the bottom and then the onion.
- Spread grated cheese all over.
- Pour the custard and gently place in oven.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard looks set .
- Remove from oven and let cool a bit in shell. The puffed up filling will shrink a little.
- Using a knife, trim off excess pastry from above the rim of tart pan.
- Cool for few minutes and unmould carefully.
- This can be stored refrigerated for 3 -4 days.
- Reheat in microwave or oven .
- You can make the pastry using food processor.
- You can fill the custard into the pan while in oven to prevent spills.
- Adjust spices and salt to your taste levels.
- My cup is 240 ml
So, I was pretty darn happy with this brain child of mine ! The spiced pastry had a lovely light reddish colour and was amazingly short and crumbly. The chicken tikka and onions were a great desi filling but went so well with the more traditional custard ! A big hit this was at home. Happy Happy me !
P S. I actually made this quiche for a contest for Better Butter which is a great recipe portal . They always have ongoing contests ( with thoughtful prizes!) and there currently is a video recipe contest for bloggers. I have tried doing video recipes before but they never worked out for me. You need to be organised and prepared and neat – I am none of these things . Also , an extra pair of hands go a long way in shooting video recipes and since i bake at odd hours of the day and night, the hubby is either asleep or at work ( or impatient )! But the Betterbutter app makes taking videos a breeze and I m pretty much happy with the result . Do check out my video recipe on their site.
I am aware this sounds like an ad for Betterbutter but it really is not ! I haven’t been paid or coaxed (or even asked to write this!) and I don’t have friends or relatives there. Its just that I feel good work should be appreciated and those guys are doing a fantabulous job! Way to go Team BetterButter!