"I want muffins, and I want them now,
Sweet, savory or spicy, i'll devour them any how!
A cold winter storm, and baked so fresh
Melted cheese and butter, and soft soft flesh
A bite or two, and boy I was hooked
Never did I ever, for spicy muffins look!
Now breakfast is served, and lunch & dinner
I think my friends, we have a baked winner!"
My cravings change with the weather. Yes, I am one of those.
So on a dreary winter evening I felt for muffins. After checking the temperature a few times, and convincing myself that I can bear the cold and step out for some indulgence, I gave up. I mean if it doesn't happen impromptu, it probably never will. But that didn't get rid of the cravings.
So as I always do, I headed to the kitchen to rummage around the pantry to see what I could bake. Darn, I was out of sugar! But then it struck me, savoury spicy muffins! I mean I love bread, and always too lazy to make it, so why not give this quicker easier alternative a shot. Pulling out a bunch of veggies, and cheese, always cheese, I set to work. I used a basic muffin recipe and baked with atta or Indian wholewheat flour (a much healthier alternative that I use for all my baking!), and added a hint of masalas (spices) for the Indian in me. The result was a crisp on top moist and cheesy on the inside muffins that are an all-in breakfast bite. No additional condiments needed. And boy, are they tasty fresh out of the oven!
They also store well at room temperature in an airtight container (if your household can hold off the temptation that is), and would be perfect for a picnic. Errr... once the weather warms up that is. A girl can dream, can't she.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups atta (indian wholewheat flour)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/4 cup yogurt)
1/2 cup hard cheese like cheddar, gouda (I used a jalapeno cheddar)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
2 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped (with stalk)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 pinches paprika or red chili powder
1 pinch salt
Take 1 tablespoon of the butter and heat on a non stick pan. Add the onions and red peppers, along with a pinch of salt, and cook till they begin to get tender. Add the remaining spices, spinach and cilantro and cook just till the leaves wilt. Turn off heat and cool the mixture.
Heat oven to 400F and grease/line 8 muffin cups and keep aside.Mix the atta (flour), salt, sugar and baking powder. Keep aside.
Beat the butter and the eggs. Stir in the buttermilk and mix well. Now add the dry mix to the wet, and slowly fold. Do not overmix! Finally stir in the cheese and the veggie mixture and give it one last mix. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan with an ice cream scoop (it'll be thick and sticky).
Bake for 16-20 mins till a toothpick comes out clean. I also give it a 2-3 min high broil in the end to really crisp up the tops!