Tuesday, 2 June 2015

510. baked sakarpara

  SWEET SQUARES

  Almost all the yummy treats or snacks that are available on the Indian Sub continent are fried. Every Indian home you will find jars or tins of these snacks ready anytime. I too love these snacks or farsan as they are called. However they are very high in calories and as a result we have to eat them with caution. However, many a times you will hear people say that 1 - 2 tbsp of the snack does not satisfy them and before they know it they have had a whole bowlful of the snack.  One of the snacks I really like is sakarpara. Sakar means sugar and para is diamond. So its basically diamond shaped sweet dough fried. However, there is no hard and fast rule on the shape. I prefer to cut them into squares. I tried baking sakarpara instead of frying them. The first time I tried out the recipe, the sakarparas were a bit hard. So second time round added baking powder and they turned out really crunchy and yummy. Try out the recipe. Kids too love sakarpara. By baking them you are providing them a non fried snack.






BAKED SAKARPARA

1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp butter
4 -5 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3-4 tbsp cold milk

a little extra flour for rolling
a little extra butter for greasing

  1. Sieve flour, sugar, cardamom powder and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. Add sesame seeds and mix.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips.
  4. Add cold milk and form a dough. The dough should not be sticky.
  5. Cover the dough with cling film or a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease baking trays with butter.
  7. Using a bit of flour roll the dough till it is about 0.5 mm thick.
  8. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares (1'') or diamond shapes.
  9. Place the cut shapes on the greased tray.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  11. Keep an eye as the sakarpara tends to brown quickly.
  12. Once they are light golden brown, remove the sakarpara from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  13. Store them in an airtight container.
Tips :
  • I added just 4 tbsp of sugar. If you like sweeter sakarpara then add 5 tbsp.
  • When you roll out the dough the edges will be a bit cracked. Cut off the cracked edges and re roll into circles or shape it into squares.
You may want to check out the following :
chakri


Thursday, 28 May 2015

509. Butternut squash and apple salad

Salad days are back

  I usually go through these mood phases, wanting to eat junk food, only pasta or chatpata chaats etc. I cannot for some odd reason stick to eating the same type of food every single day. So I am back to my 'want to eat salad' mood. But that doesn't mean I am satisfied with just a tomato. cucumber and carrot chopped and mixed with lettuce. It has to be different. I also don't like the ready salad dressings so make my own. What are the advantages of eating salad? You may say they are healthy. Yes they are but along with that there are so many other advantages.Salads are nutritious, help you adopt a healthier lifestyle, helps you eat several servings of vegetables and fruits.Salads help to increase fiber and reduce cholesterol levels. A salad before your main meal gives you the feeling of fullness. This helps prevents overeating or bingeing.However, stay clear of fatty creamy dressings and when you use add-ons like meat, cheese, nuts don't use too much. A little helps to make the salad more interesting and tasty.
  So today I made a butternut squash salad. A few days ago I wanted to buy a small butternut squash but couldn't find a small one. Bought the big one and used half for the salad and the rest made it into a puree. The slight sweetness of the butternut squash and the sourness of the green apple is a perfect balance. The salad is a stomach filler and healthy. Try the recipe and add whatever other ingredients you want to.

Share your thoughts:
Do you enjoy eating salads?





BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SALAD
Serves 2 or 4

2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash
1 green apple
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
¼-½ tsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
a few lettuce leaves or baby spinach (about a cupful)
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped spring onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Mix butternut squash with olive oil and half the amount of salt.
  3. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until done.
  4. Let the roasted butternut squash cool down completely.
  5. In the meantime, cut the apple into cubes.
  6. Roast the sesame seeds and let it cool.
  7. Add lettuce leaves, torn into bite size or the spinach to the apple.
  8. Add the chopped spring onion and the butternut squash.
  9. Mix in the remaining salt, pepper, chilli flakes, sesame seeds and lemon juice.
  10. Serve.
Tips :
  • I didn't make a separate dressing as I didn't want to add extra oil to the salad. You may use a dressing of your choice.
  • Can use normal apple instead of the green one.
  • Add roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of sesame seeds.
You may want to check out the following :
pasta with butternut squash

Sending this recipe to the following event :


Mayuri's Jikoni

Citrus spice and all things nice



Wednesday, 27 May 2015

508. mango cardamom ice cream

About time

       I am so glad that France is the first developed country to tackle the issue of food wastage and will be passing a law that supermarkets will be banned from throwing or destroying food that is still edible. It is believed that in France about 7.1 million tonnes of food is wasted per year. There a many poor families, students, homeless and unemployed people forage the bins for food. To prevent potential food poisoning, supermarkets have been dousing the leftover food with bleach. In 2012 UK threw away 7 million tonnes of food. How much is that? Well, fill Wembley Stadium nine times over. The law will require the supermarkets to donate the food to charities or as animal feed. While there is a lot of argument that that is not the solution of dealing with food wastage, its a beginning. An average French person throws away 20 -30 kgs of food of which 7 kgs is still wrapped. Food wastage has to be tackled at the home level too. People need to be made aware of buying what is required and not more. Consuming the faster perishable goods first, is a good way to tackle food wastage.Buying sensibly and perhaps supermarkets should really stop offering buy one 3 free or 2 free enticing gimmicks. People have a tendency to buy more than required just because its on sale. Think for a moment, why is that product on sale? Does it have a short expiry date? Did it have a problem at the production line? Does it taste good? Does your family actually consume that product or did you buy it because of the offer? 
       If people stop wasting food, filling up plates that's just enough, it will have a ripple effect. More production of food means more land, more storage, more transport and more water is required. This all equates to energy wasted. Food wastage has an effect on the environment too.Disposed food filled in landfills emits methane which is a relatively damaging greenhouse gas. 
      When we were growing up, we were not allowed to waste food at all. We had to take a small serving and could always go for more.We lived as a joint family and I cannot remember anyone wasting or leaving food on their plate. When we went to restaurants, food was ordered sensibly. Dishes can always be re ordered. Its true for majority of the family that the person who cooks usually knows the likes and dislikes and the appetite of the members. 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/22/france-to-force-big-supermarkets-to-give-away-unsold-food-to-charity
http://humansarefree.com/2014/08/everything-you-need-to-know-about-food.html


Image result for food waste quotes

Today's recipe is a creamy,easy and delicious mango ice cream. I love making ice creams at home because it allows me to make them with real fruit as opposed to artificial flavourings and colours. You can make this recipe into popsicles or paletas.




MANGO ICE CREAM
Makes about 1.5 litres

1½ cups evaporated milk 
1¼ cup fresh cream
3 cups chopped mango (I used 2 big mangoes)
1 tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¾ cup sugar

  1. Pour the evaporated milk into a blender.
  2. Add mangoes and sugar. Puree till you get a smooth mixture.
  3. Strain the mixture to remove any fibers that might be present in the mangoes.
  4. Return the mixture into the blender. Add the cream and cardamom powder. Blend for a few seconds.
  5. Chill the mixture for 2 hours if you are going to use the ice cream maker machine.
  6. If not, pour the mixture into a tin with a tight lid. Put it in the freezer.
  7. If you are using the machine, follow the instructions on the pamphlet.Mine takes about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the ice cream from the machine and put it into a tin with a lid. Put the tin in the freezer till required.
  9. Remove the ice cream 5 minutes before you need to serve so that it is easier to scoop.
  10. Garnish with nuts or fresh chopped mangoes and serve.
Tips :
  • Use milk that is boiled and reduced to half the quantity instead of evaporated milk if you want to. That means you will need 3 cups of milk.
  • I used fresh single cream. You can use any that you get.
  • Try adding ginger powder instead of cardamom for a different taste.
You may want to check out the following :

frozen blueberry ice cream





Sunday, 24 May 2015

507. orange and cinnamon swirl bread

lovely combination
      For the month of May, the We Knead to Bake group had to bake an orange and cinnamon swirl bread. The combination of orange and cinnamon is absolutely heavenly. While I was baking this bread, the kitchen was filled with wonderful aroma of both the combinations. The original recipe used apricot preserve. I couldn't find any apricot preserve in the supermarket and we don't get apricots so I decided to first make orange marmalade and used that as the filling. This recipe finally got me to make marmalade which I had wanted to d for a long time but never seem get down to it. I thought it would be difficult but actually its very easy. I baked an eggless version of the bread and changed the recipe to suit me. I added sugar in the dough and used brown sugar for the filling. When I sliced the bread, the swirl was not a tight swirl, though I did try to roll the dough tightly. But hey, the taste was amazing. Its a lovely bread to have for breakfast or tea. I had it even as dessert!
     There are classic combinations that most of us sure will work well in baking... apple and cinnamon, strawberry and mint, blueberry and lemon, carrot and orange, chocolate and orange or mint, but must say orange and cinnamon was a lovely combination. Try it.
Share your thought :
What are you favourite combination of ingredients for cooking, baking etc?










ORANGE AND CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
1 Loaf

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2¼ tsp active dry instant yeast
1 tbsp grated orange zest (rind)
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup warm milk
4 tbsp orange marmalade or apricot preserve
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
⅓ - ½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

extra butter for greasing
extra flour
1 tbsp milk

  1. Sift both the flours and salt together into a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of sugar, orange zest and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add orange juice and warm milk. Form a dough.
  4. Dust a worktop or board with flour and turn out the dough onto it.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (by machine for 5-7 minutes on medium speed).
  6. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky. 
  7. Add the butter and knead into the dough. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  8. Grease a bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the bowl.
  9. Cover and place it in a warm place. 
  10. Let the dough prove(rise) till its double the size. Mine took 1½ hours.
  11. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin with butter.Line it parchment paper.
  12. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top or board. Knead it gently to remove the air.
  13. Roll it into a 15"X 8" rectangle.
  14. Mix cinnamon powder and brown sugar together.
  15. Spread the marmalade or preserve over it.
  16. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over it. 
  17. Roll the dough into a tight roll like a swiss roll.
  18. Pinch the seam to close completely. Tuck both the ends in.
  19. Place the roll into the prepared loaf tin with the seam side down.
  20. Place the dough again in a warm place to rise till its double the size or about an inch above the rim of the loaf tin.This will take about 30 -35 minutes. Brush  1 tbsp milk over the top of the risen dough gently.
  21. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  22. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 30 -35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  23. Remove the bread from the oven.
  24. Remove it from the tin and place it on a wire rack.Let it cool down completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • If you have a smaller tin loaf e.g a 8"X 4" then divide the dough into two and roll each into a 6"X 13" rectangle.
  • You can use white sugar instead of brown.
  • You can add less sugar in the dough if you like.
  • You can add 1 egg to the dough. You may not need to use the milk and butter.
  • The original recipe uses 2 cups of plain flour. I took 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • Don't use too much of the preserve or marmalade as it will ooze out of from the sides and seam.
  • If the top begins to brown quickly then cover the loaf tin with a sheet of aluminium foil.
You may want to check out the following :
pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following events :


Thursday, 21 May 2015

506. orange marmalade

Little Joys

     Every time I log off from my hotmail account, the MSN new page appears. Its an interesting mixture of news, quirky happenings, lifestyle, finance, home etc. A whole package to take care of what interests you. Yesterday I read an article on what things kids of these days miss out on because of technology. Very interesting and I remember there was joy and a sense of achievement too when we used these things because that's all we had. For example, kids of today probably wouldn't know how to use a directory. Remember when we had to browse through the phone book to find contact numbers? I remember just for fun we use to see how many Patels were listed in the Kenya Directory or how many Njoroges were in Nairobi. During our trip to Florida we actually opened the directory to find how many Patels were in Orlando. We were missing our khichdi. Of course we didn't have the guts to call any of the numbers! That's a different story. Kids of today will probably never experience how to use the dial up phones, you know the ones where we needed to turn the dial with our finger to call. Kids of today hardly ever need to go to the library to do research work. Going to the library every Saturday was a fun activity for me. Going through so many reference books, encyclopedias etc. Kids of today will not experience the joy of recording favourite songs on a cassette tape. We've done that umpteen of times. Kids of today probably don't need a dictionary to look up meanings of words. Today you just type the word on the online dictionary. Watches are more for fashion than telling the time today. Most kids use their mobiles, computers, tablets to tell the time. Winding an alarm clock, getting up ever so often to switch channels on the telly without a remote control are things today's kids do not experience.They will find all these things in a museum somewhere.
    Today's recipe is an orange marmalade which I had been meaning to make for such a long time. Every time I bought oranges they got used up for other things - baking, for juice, salads, desserts etc. So day before yesterday bought the oranges and immediately started preparing them for the marmalade. I had been through quite a few recipes and some appeared so complicated, some needed a sugar thermometer, some were talking about kilos of oranges. For a trial run definitely didn't want to make huge quantities. So the best was to pick the best from all and make my own recipe which I dare say worked pretty well.Originally marmalade was made from quince fruit, but modern day marmalade is usually made from citrus fruits. The most popular being orange marmalade. The marmalade back then was mostly used in baking and desserts.To read a bit more about marmalade, check out this link. Here is my simple orange marmalade recipe.

Share you thoughts :
What other things did you use that kids of today have probably not even heard of?









ORANGE MARMALADE
Makes 1 cup

3 oranges
1 cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

  1. Put a  2 small plates in the freezer.Will explain later why.
  2. Wash the oranges well. Using a peeler, peel off the rind from all three oranges.
  3. Chop the rind from 1 orange into thin strips.
  4. Remove the white part (pith/albedo) by peeling it off the oranges with your fingers. Remove as much as you can as the white part is the bitter part.
  5. Cut the oranges into slices and remove the pulp from the membrane and the middle white part. If you prefer a bitter marmalade, then you can leave the thin membrane. I prefer to remove it. Remove the seeds also.As you do this, juice will come out of the segments. Save the juice to add to the pulp.
  6. Put the pulp, juice, chopped rind, zest and water in a thick based saucepan.
  7. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. 
  8. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring it regularly.
  9. Add sugar and stir the mixture continuously till the sugar melts.
  10. Let the mixture simmer till it becomes thick. Towards the end stir more frequently so that the mixture does not stick or burn. This takes about 20 -25 minutes.
  11. Now that frozen plate comes handy... put a teaspoon of the marmalade on the frozen plate. Put it back in the freezer for a minute only.
  12. Take the plate with the blob of marmalade out of the freezer. Tip it a little sideways. The marmalade should not drip down. Now will your finger, gently push the marmalade from the edge towards the middle. The skin on top should wrinkle if the marmalade is done.
  13. If it fails both tests, let it simmer for a further few minutes and repeat the test. Now you see why we needed 2 frozen plates!
  14. Spoon the marmalade into a sterilized jar. Close the lid and let it cool down at room temperature.
  15. Once it becomes cool, put the marmalade in the fridge.
Tips :
  • Sterile glass bottles for the jam, marmalade by putting them in boiling water. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Add spices of your choice to the marmalade if you wish... cloves, cinnamon, ginger etc.
  • You can add extra chopped rind if you like.
  • Add lemon zest and juice for extra flavour.
  • Best to use white sugar as slightly brown sugar will change the colour of the marmalade.
You may want to check out the following :
green tomato jam





Monday, 18 May 2015

505.eggless Kugelhopf / Gugelhuph

Learning

  The few cooking groups that I belong to are really educative. I have learnt new techniques, more about world cuisine, a bit more about other countries and its fun to see the photos of fellow bloggers. The same recipe turns out quite different in different hands. If it weren't for these groups I don't think I would have tried out different sorts of breads or baked goodies. I would have probably stuck to the more familiar recipes. Sometimes time does not permit me to bake on time but I do finish the challenge before the month ends. A lot of research goes into challenging the groups to a certain recipe.Research by both the one who sets the challenge and also by the ones who take up the challenge. 
  For the month of May Gayathri challenged the baking eggless group to a Kugelhopf. What is a kugelhopf?Kugelhopf, kougelhopf, kouglof, gugelhuph, is a yeast bread popular in parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, France, basically many parts of Central Europe. The slightly sweet yeast bread is served with coffee and can be orange or lemon flavoured with dry fruits in it like candied mixed peels, raisins, almonds etc and spices. Sometimes it may contain brandy. Its usually baked in a fluted pan with a central tube, much like the bundt pan. Traditional kugelhopf pans were made of enameled pottery. The outside part of the bread is lightly browned with a subtle crust and the inside soft and spongy much like a brioche. read more about kugelhopf here . Depending on regions, its served with coffee, or at breakfast or even dessert. Whenever or however it is served, this bread is absolutely delicious, soft, sweet and flavourful. Mine disappeared really fast. 

Share your thought :
Do you love baking? Do bake at least once a week?









EGGLESS KUGELHOPF/GUGELHUPH
Serves 8 -10

2⅓ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flax seed powder
3 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, prunes,sultanas etc) I used mixed peel
1 tsp instant dry active yeast
¾  cup warm milk
5 tbsp butter
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)

1 tbsp milk
icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
butter for greasing
almonds -optional
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flax seed powder and water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Put flour, sugar,salt, baking soda and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture and milk to the flour. Mix the dough on medium speed on your dough kneading machine or by hand for 6-8 minutes or till the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much, add about a tablespoon first.
  4. Add the butter little by little and knead the dough on medium speed for another 5-7 minutes or by hand. If you are kneading the dough by hand, then you may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area. Let the dough rise till it is double the size.Mine took about 1½ hours.
  6. Grease a bundt pan lightly. Place almonds in the groove if you want to.
  7. Gently knead the dough and add the mixed peel or dry fruit. Knead it into the dough.
  8. Roll the dough into a ball. Make a hole in the middle of the dough.
  9. Place the dough in the bundt pan.
  10. Put the pan in a warm place and let the dough rise till its double the size or for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Keep a piece of aluminium foil to cover the pan ready.
  12. Brush the top with milk.
  13. Bake the bread in the oven for 25 -30 minutes or till a knife or skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  14. Check the bread after 10 minutes. If the top has become brown, cover the pan with the foil and bake for further 15 -20 minutes.
  15. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  16. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
  17. When it is completely cold, dust the bread with icing sugar and serve with some butter.
Tips :
  • If you are using dried fruit like raisins, prunes, etc, soak it overnight in brandy or orange juice.Drain out the excess liquid before using the soaked fruit.
  • Can add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the dough.
  • If you want to replace the flax seed with egg, then use one egg. Do not add the baking soda. You may need less milk.
You may want to check out the following :
Julekake


Sending this recipe to the following event :


Baking eggless group



Tuesday, 2 June 2015

510. baked sakarpara

  SWEET SQUARES

  Almost all the yummy treats or snacks that are available on the Indian Sub continent are fried. Every Indian home you will find jars or tins of these snacks ready anytime. I too love these snacks or farsan as they are called. However they are very high in calories and as a result we have to eat them with caution. However, many a times you will hear people say that 1 - 2 tbsp of the snack does not satisfy them and before they know it they have had a whole bowlful of the snack.  One of the snacks I really like is sakarpara. Sakar means sugar and para is diamond. So its basically diamond shaped sweet dough fried. However, there is no hard and fast rule on the shape. I prefer to cut them into squares. I tried baking sakarpara instead of frying them. The first time I tried out the recipe, the sakarparas were a bit hard. So second time round added baking powder and they turned out really crunchy and yummy. Try out the recipe. Kids too love sakarpara. By baking them you are providing them a non fried snack.






BAKED SAKARPARA

1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tbsp butter
4 -5 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3-4 tbsp cold milk

a little extra flour for rolling
a little extra butter for greasing

  1. Sieve flour, sugar, cardamom powder and baking powder together into a bowl.
  2. Add sesame seeds and mix.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips.
  4. Add cold milk and form a dough. The dough should not be sticky.
  5. Cover the dough with cling film or a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease baking trays with butter.
  7. Using a bit of flour roll the dough till it is about 0.5 mm thick.
  8. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares (1'') or diamond shapes.
  9. Place the cut shapes on the greased tray.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  11. Keep an eye as the sakarpara tends to brown quickly.
  12. Once they are light golden brown, remove the sakarpara from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  13. Store them in an airtight container.
Tips :
  • I added just 4 tbsp of sugar. If you like sweeter sakarpara then add 5 tbsp.
  • When you roll out the dough the edges will be a bit cracked. Cut off the cracked edges and re roll into circles or shape it into squares.
You may want to check out the following :
chakri


Pin It

Thursday, 28 May 2015

509. Butternut squash and apple salad

Salad days are back

  I usually go through these mood phases, wanting to eat junk food, only pasta or chatpata chaats etc. I cannot for some odd reason stick to eating the same type of food every single day. So I am back to my 'want to eat salad' mood. But that doesn't mean I am satisfied with just a tomato. cucumber and carrot chopped and mixed with lettuce. It has to be different. I also don't like the ready salad dressings so make my own. What are the advantages of eating salad? You may say they are healthy. Yes they are but along with that there are so many other advantages.Salads are nutritious, help you adopt a healthier lifestyle, helps you eat several servings of vegetables and fruits.Salads help to increase fiber and reduce cholesterol levels. A salad before your main meal gives you the feeling of fullness. This helps prevents overeating or bingeing.However, stay clear of fatty creamy dressings and when you use add-ons like meat, cheese, nuts don't use too much. A little helps to make the salad more interesting and tasty.
  So today I made a butternut squash salad. A few days ago I wanted to buy a small butternut squash but couldn't find a small one. Bought the big one and used half for the salad and the rest made it into a puree. The slight sweetness of the butternut squash and the sourness of the green apple is a perfect balance. The salad is a stomach filler and healthy. Try the recipe and add whatever other ingredients you want to.

Share your thoughts:
Do you enjoy eating salads?





BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SALAD
Serves 2 or 4

2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash
1 green apple
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
¼-½ tsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
a few lettuce leaves or baby spinach (about a cupful)
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped spring onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Mix butternut squash with olive oil and half the amount of salt.
  3. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until done.
  4. Let the roasted butternut squash cool down completely.
  5. In the meantime, cut the apple into cubes.
  6. Roast the sesame seeds and let it cool.
  7. Add lettuce leaves, torn into bite size or the spinach to the apple.
  8. Add the chopped spring onion and the butternut squash.
  9. Mix in the remaining salt, pepper, chilli flakes, sesame seeds and lemon juice.
  10. Serve.
Tips :
  • I didn't make a separate dressing as I didn't want to add extra oil to the salad. You may use a dressing of your choice.
  • Can use normal apple instead of the green one.
  • Add roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of sesame seeds.
You may want to check out the following :
pasta with butternut squash

Sending this recipe to the following event :


Mayuri's Jikoni

Citrus spice and all things nice



Pin It

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

508. mango cardamom ice cream

About time

       I am so glad that France is the first developed country to tackle the issue of food wastage and will be passing a law that supermarkets will be banned from throwing or destroying food that is still edible. It is believed that in France about 7.1 million tonnes of food is wasted per year. There a many poor families, students, homeless and unemployed people forage the bins for food. To prevent potential food poisoning, supermarkets have been dousing the leftover food with bleach. In 2012 UK threw away 7 million tonnes of food. How much is that? Well, fill Wembley Stadium nine times over. The law will require the supermarkets to donate the food to charities or as animal feed. While there is a lot of argument that that is not the solution of dealing with food wastage, its a beginning. An average French person throws away 20 -30 kgs of food of which 7 kgs is still wrapped. Food wastage has to be tackled at the home level too. People need to be made aware of buying what is required and not more. Consuming the faster perishable goods first, is a good way to tackle food wastage.Buying sensibly and perhaps supermarkets should really stop offering buy one 3 free or 2 free enticing gimmicks. People have a tendency to buy more than required just because its on sale. Think for a moment, why is that product on sale? Does it have a short expiry date? Did it have a problem at the production line? Does it taste good? Does your family actually consume that product or did you buy it because of the offer? 
       If people stop wasting food, filling up plates that's just enough, it will have a ripple effect. More production of food means more land, more storage, more transport and more water is required. This all equates to energy wasted. Food wastage has an effect on the environment too.Disposed food filled in landfills emits methane which is a relatively damaging greenhouse gas. 
      When we were growing up, we were not allowed to waste food at all. We had to take a small serving and could always go for more.We lived as a joint family and I cannot remember anyone wasting or leaving food on their plate. When we went to restaurants, food was ordered sensibly. Dishes can always be re ordered. Its true for majority of the family that the person who cooks usually knows the likes and dislikes and the appetite of the members. 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/22/france-to-force-big-supermarkets-to-give-away-unsold-food-to-charity
http://humansarefree.com/2014/08/everything-you-need-to-know-about-food.html


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Today's recipe is a creamy,easy and delicious mango ice cream. I love making ice creams at home because it allows me to make them with real fruit as opposed to artificial flavourings and colours. You can make this recipe into popsicles or paletas.




MANGO ICE CREAM
Makes about 1.5 litres

1½ cups evaporated milk 
1¼ cup fresh cream
3 cups chopped mango (I used 2 big mangoes)
1 tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¾ cup sugar

  1. Pour the evaporated milk into a blender.
  2. Add mangoes and sugar. Puree till you get a smooth mixture.
  3. Strain the mixture to remove any fibers that might be present in the mangoes.
  4. Return the mixture into the blender. Add the cream and cardamom powder. Blend for a few seconds.
  5. Chill the mixture for 2 hours if you are going to use the ice cream maker machine.
  6. If not, pour the mixture into a tin with a tight lid. Put it in the freezer.
  7. If you are using the machine, follow the instructions on the pamphlet.Mine takes about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the ice cream from the machine and put it into a tin with a lid. Put the tin in the freezer till required.
  9. Remove the ice cream 5 minutes before you need to serve so that it is easier to scoop.
  10. Garnish with nuts or fresh chopped mangoes and serve.
Tips :
  • Use milk that is boiled and reduced to half the quantity instead of evaporated milk if you want to. That means you will need 3 cups of milk.
  • I used fresh single cream. You can use any that you get.
  • Try adding ginger powder instead of cardamom for a different taste.
You may want to check out the following :

frozen blueberry ice cream





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Sunday, 24 May 2015

507. orange and cinnamon swirl bread

lovely combination
      For the month of May, the We Knead to Bake group had to bake an orange and cinnamon swirl bread. The combination of orange and cinnamon is absolutely heavenly. While I was baking this bread, the kitchen was filled with wonderful aroma of both the combinations. The original recipe used apricot preserve. I couldn't find any apricot preserve in the supermarket and we don't get apricots so I decided to first make orange marmalade and used that as the filling. This recipe finally got me to make marmalade which I had wanted to d for a long time but never seem get down to it. I thought it would be difficult but actually its very easy. I baked an eggless version of the bread and changed the recipe to suit me. I added sugar in the dough and used brown sugar for the filling. When I sliced the bread, the swirl was not a tight swirl, though I did try to roll the dough tightly. But hey, the taste was amazing. Its a lovely bread to have for breakfast or tea. I had it even as dessert!
     There are classic combinations that most of us sure will work well in baking... apple and cinnamon, strawberry and mint, blueberry and lemon, carrot and orange, chocolate and orange or mint, but must say orange and cinnamon was a lovely combination. Try it.
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What are you favourite combination of ingredients for cooking, baking etc?










ORANGE AND CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
1 Loaf

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2¼ tsp active dry instant yeast
1 tbsp grated orange zest (rind)
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup warm milk
4 tbsp orange marmalade or apricot preserve
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
⅓ - ½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

extra butter for greasing
extra flour
1 tbsp milk

  1. Sift both the flours and salt together into a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of sugar, orange zest and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add orange juice and warm milk. Form a dough.
  4. Dust a worktop or board with flour and turn out the dough onto it.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (by machine for 5-7 minutes on medium speed).
  6. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky. 
  7. Add the butter and knead into the dough. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  8. Grease a bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the bowl.
  9. Cover and place it in a warm place. 
  10. Let the dough prove(rise) till its double the size. Mine took 1½ hours.
  11. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin with butter.Line it parchment paper.
  12. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top or board. Knead it gently to remove the air.
  13. Roll it into a 15"X 8" rectangle.
  14. Mix cinnamon powder and brown sugar together.
  15. Spread the marmalade or preserve over it.
  16. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over it. 
  17. Roll the dough into a tight roll like a swiss roll.
  18. Pinch the seam to close completely. Tuck both the ends in.
  19. Place the roll into the prepared loaf tin with the seam side down.
  20. Place the dough again in a warm place to rise till its double the size or about an inch above the rim of the loaf tin.This will take about 30 -35 minutes. Brush  1 tbsp milk over the top of the risen dough gently.
  21. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  22. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 30 -35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  23. Remove the bread from the oven.
  24. Remove it from the tin and place it on a wire rack.Let it cool down completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • If you have a smaller tin loaf e.g a 8"X 4" then divide the dough into two and roll each into a 6"X 13" rectangle.
  • You can use white sugar instead of brown.
  • You can add less sugar in the dough if you like.
  • You can add 1 egg to the dough. You may not need to use the milk and butter.
  • The original recipe uses 2 cups of plain flour. I took 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • Don't use too much of the preserve or marmalade as it will ooze out of from the sides and seam.
  • If the top begins to brown quickly then cover the loaf tin with a sheet of aluminium foil.
You may want to check out the following :
pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following events :


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Thursday, 21 May 2015

506. orange marmalade

Little Joys

     Every time I log off from my hotmail account, the MSN new page appears. Its an interesting mixture of news, quirky happenings, lifestyle, finance, home etc. A whole package to take care of what interests you. Yesterday I read an article on what things kids of these days miss out on because of technology. Very interesting and I remember there was joy and a sense of achievement too when we used these things because that's all we had. For example, kids of today probably wouldn't know how to use a directory. Remember when we had to browse through the phone book to find contact numbers? I remember just for fun we use to see how many Patels were listed in the Kenya Directory or how many Njoroges were in Nairobi. During our trip to Florida we actually opened the directory to find how many Patels were in Orlando. We were missing our khichdi. Of course we didn't have the guts to call any of the numbers! That's a different story. Kids of today will probably never experience how to use the dial up phones, you know the ones where we needed to turn the dial with our finger to call. Kids of today hardly ever need to go to the library to do research work. Going to the library every Saturday was a fun activity for me. Going through so many reference books, encyclopedias etc. Kids of today will not experience the joy of recording favourite songs on a cassette tape. We've done that umpteen of times. Kids of today probably don't need a dictionary to look up meanings of words. Today you just type the word on the online dictionary. Watches are more for fashion than telling the time today. Most kids use their mobiles, computers, tablets to tell the time. Winding an alarm clock, getting up ever so often to switch channels on the telly without a remote control are things today's kids do not experience.They will find all these things in a museum somewhere.
    Today's recipe is an orange marmalade which I had been meaning to make for such a long time. Every time I bought oranges they got used up for other things - baking, for juice, salads, desserts etc. So day before yesterday bought the oranges and immediately started preparing them for the marmalade. I had been through quite a few recipes and some appeared so complicated, some needed a sugar thermometer, some were talking about kilos of oranges. For a trial run definitely didn't want to make huge quantities. So the best was to pick the best from all and make my own recipe which I dare say worked pretty well.Originally marmalade was made from quince fruit, but modern day marmalade is usually made from citrus fruits. The most popular being orange marmalade. The marmalade back then was mostly used in baking and desserts.To read a bit more about marmalade, check out this link. Here is my simple orange marmalade recipe.

Share you thoughts :
What other things did you use that kids of today have probably not even heard of?









ORANGE MARMALADE
Makes 1 cup

3 oranges
1 cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

  1. Put a  2 small plates in the freezer.Will explain later why.
  2. Wash the oranges well. Using a peeler, peel off the rind from all three oranges.
  3. Chop the rind from 1 orange into thin strips.
  4. Remove the white part (pith/albedo) by peeling it off the oranges with your fingers. Remove as much as you can as the white part is the bitter part.
  5. Cut the oranges into slices and remove the pulp from the membrane and the middle white part. If you prefer a bitter marmalade, then you can leave the thin membrane. I prefer to remove it. Remove the seeds also.As you do this, juice will come out of the segments. Save the juice to add to the pulp.
  6. Put the pulp, juice, chopped rind, zest and water in a thick based saucepan.
  7. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. 
  8. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring it regularly.
  9. Add sugar and stir the mixture continuously till the sugar melts.
  10. Let the mixture simmer till it becomes thick. Towards the end stir more frequently so that the mixture does not stick or burn. This takes about 20 -25 minutes.
  11. Now that frozen plate comes handy... put a teaspoon of the marmalade on the frozen plate. Put it back in the freezer for a minute only.
  12. Take the plate with the blob of marmalade out of the freezer. Tip it a little sideways. The marmalade should not drip down. Now will your finger, gently push the marmalade from the edge towards the middle. The skin on top should wrinkle if the marmalade is done.
  13. If it fails both tests, let it simmer for a further few minutes and repeat the test. Now you see why we needed 2 frozen plates!
  14. Spoon the marmalade into a sterilized jar. Close the lid and let it cool down at room temperature.
  15. Once it becomes cool, put the marmalade in the fridge.
Tips :
  • Sterile glass bottles for the jam, marmalade by putting them in boiling water. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Add spices of your choice to the marmalade if you wish... cloves, cinnamon, ginger etc.
  • You can add extra chopped rind if you like.
  • Add lemon zest and juice for extra flavour.
  • Best to use white sugar as slightly brown sugar will change the colour of the marmalade.
You may want to check out the following :
green tomato jam





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Monday, 18 May 2015

505.eggless Kugelhopf / Gugelhuph

Learning

  The few cooking groups that I belong to are really educative. I have learnt new techniques, more about world cuisine, a bit more about other countries and its fun to see the photos of fellow bloggers. The same recipe turns out quite different in different hands. If it weren't for these groups I don't think I would have tried out different sorts of breads or baked goodies. I would have probably stuck to the more familiar recipes. Sometimes time does not permit me to bake on time but I do finish the challenge before the month ends. A lot of research goes into challenging the groups to a certain recipe.Research by both the one who sets the challenge and also by the ones who take up the challenge. 
  For the month of May Gayathri challenged the baking eggless group to a Kugelhopf. What is a kugelhopf?Kugelhopf, kougelhopf, kouglof, gugelhuph, is a yeast bread popular in parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, France, basically many parts of Central Europe. The slightly sweet yeast bread is served with coffee and can be orange or lemon flavoured with dry fruits in it like candied mixed peels, raisins, almonds etc and spices. Sometimes it may contain brandy. Its usually baked in a fluted pan with a central tube, much like the bundt pan. Traditional kugelhopf pans were made of enameled pottery. The outside part of the bread is lightly browned with a subtle crust and the inside soft and spongy much like a brioche. read more about kugelhopf here . Depending on regions, its served with coffee, or at breakfast or even dessert. Whenever or however it is served, this bread is absolutely delicious, soft, sweet and flavourful. Mine disappeared really fast. 

Share your thought :
Do you love baking? Do bake at least once a week?









EGGLESS KUGELHOPF/GUGELHUPH
Serves 8 -10

2⅓ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flax seed powder
3 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, prunes,sultanas etc) I used mixed peel
1 tsp instant dry active yeast
¾  cup warm milk
5 tbsp butter
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)

1 tbsp milk
icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
butter for greasing
almonds -optional
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flax seed powder and water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Put flour, sugar,salt, baking soda and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture and milk to the flour. Mix the dough on medium speed on your dough kneading machine or by hand for 6-8 minutes or till the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much, add about a tablespoon first.
  4. Add the butter little by little and knead the dough on medium speed for another 5-7 minutes or by hand. If you are kneading the dough by hand, then you may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area. Let the dough rise till it is double the size.Mine took about 1½ hours.
  6. Grease a bundt pan lightly. Place almonds in the groove if you want to.
  7. Gently knead the dough and add the mixed peel or dry fruit. Knead it into the dough.
  8. Roll the dough into a ball. Make a hole in the middle of the dough.
  9. Place the dough in the bundt pan.
  10. Put the pan in a warm place and let the dough rise till its double the size or for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Keep a piece of aluminium foil to cover the pan ready.
  12. Brush the top with milk.
  13. Bake the bread in the oven for 25 -30 minutes or till a knife or skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  14. Check the bread after 10 minutes. If the top has become brown, cover the pan with the foil and bake for further 15 -20 minutes.
  15. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  16. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
  17. When it is completely cold, dust the bread with icing sugar and serve with some butter.
Tips :
  • If you are using dried fruit like raisins, prunes, etc, soak it overnight in brandy or orange juice.Drain out the excess liquid before using the soaked fruit.
  • Can add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the dough.
  • If you want to replace the flax seed with egg, then use one egg. Do not add the baking soda. You may need less milk.
You may want to check out the following :
Julekake


Sending this recipe to the following event :


Baking eggless group



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