Tuesday, 9 February 2016

539. Vitumbua (coconut rice pancake balls)

Vitumbua #BreadBakers

From the East Coast of Africa

Vitumbua (singular kitumbua) pronounced as vee toom booa are the local answer to pancakes/ doughnuts in East Africa especially in Tanzania and the coastal part of Kenya.Instead of being deep fried, they are made in a special vitumbua griddle/pan. Its similar to the aebleskiver pan or appe pan or paniyaram pan. Vitumbua is a common Tanzanian street food and found during Ramadhan in Mombasa. Its usually served with hot tea as breakfast. Beneath the crust the interior is light and fluffy, melt in the mouth texture. Most of the East African Coast cuisine has been influenced by Indian, Yemeni and Omani culture so perhaps vitumbua too may have been brought here by one of the settlers. The Bread Bakers theme for February is Griddle Breads hosted by Ansh of SpicerootsThank you Ansh for such a wonderful theme. As soon as I read griddle bread, I knew I had to post the recipe of Vitumbua and share a bit of the East African cuisine with the fellow bakers.  I love to turn the humble breakfast pancake balls into a dessert. Served with melted chocolate, drizzled with honey/maple syrup or a fruity syrup, its simply delicious. I love the fact that it requires very little oil to prepare these soft pancake balls.













VITUMBUA (COCONUT RICE PANCAKE BALLS)
Makes about 18

For Vitumbua :
1 cup rice
½ tsp instant dry active yeast
½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp grated coconut
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp melted butter
2-3 tsp oil 

For Chocolate sauce:
50 g chocolate
1-2 tbsp coconut milk

For the orange syrup :
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

Preparation of Vitumbua :
  1. Soak rice in warm water overnight.
  2. Next day, drain out the water.
  3. Add rice, warm coconut milk and coconut into a blender jug.
  4. Process the rice to a smooth consistency. Pour the batter into a bowl.
  5. Add yeast, sugar, salt,butter and cardamom powder to the batter and mix well.
  6. Cover the bowl with a cling film and set it in a warm place for the batter to ferment.
  7. This will take about 1-1½ hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  8. The batter is ready to use when it nearly doubled in size and bubbles on top appear.
  9. Heat the pan (appe, paniyaram, vitumbua or aebleskiver pan) over low heat.
  10. Pour a drop of oil in each of the cavities.
  11. Fill the cavity with the batter, three quarter full.
  12. Cover the pan with a lid. 
  13. Let the vitumbua cook till it turns light golden in colour.
  14. Flip it over carefully using a teaspoon or a prawn fork(my ideal tool).
  15. Let the other side cook till its golden in colour.
  16. Vitumbua are ready. You will not be able to resist trying out the hot pancake balls.
  17. Serve vitumbua as it is with hot tea, or with honey, maple syrup. You can dust the vitumbua with icing sugar or serve it with chocolate sauce and orange syrup. 
Prepare the chocolate and sauce while the batter is fermenting.

Preparation of chocolate sauce :
  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water (bain marie).
  2. Add coconut milk and mix well.
  3. Set it aside till required.
Preparation of orange syrup :
  1. Heat orange juice and sugar in a pan over low heat till the sugar melts and the syrup becomes slightly thick.
  2. Take it off the heat and add the orange zest. Mix well. Let the syrup cool.
Tips:
  • Prepare a fruit syrup of your choice but orange and chocolate is a heavenly combination.
  • Make sure the batter is smooth. If it feels grainy, the vitumbua will not be soft.
  • Use frozen grated coconut if you don't get fresh one. 
  • Its important to cook the vitumbua or low heat because you don't want the inside to remain raw.
You may want to check out the following :

Griddle Breads




BreadBakers



#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.



We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Monday, 8 February 2016

538. Crunchy Sweet Pepper and Cauliflower Bites

Thinking healthy

    For the January Shhh Cooking Secretly challenge, my partner Veena Krishna Kumar of Veg Nation challenged me to cook with bell pepper (sweet pepper) and poppy seeds. I nearly asked her change the bell pepper. No don't get me wrong, bell peppers are so versatile that one can make anything with them. The only reason I wanted her to change it was because hubby dear is allergic to them. Well, he doesn't break out into a rash or anything but feels that it upsets his stomach. But I love bell pepper, so thought that I really don't have to make something that he will like or appreciate; some day it has to be my choice too. So I decided to work with the given ingredients and was trying to think of something healthy. Salads are healthy, but I had this crunchy cauliflower bite recipe bookmarked for a while. So decided to make both sweet pepper and cauliflower to make the wonderful healthy bites.Cauliflower ones for hubby and sweet pepper ones for me :) I baked the bites instead of frying them and hubby dear actually wanted the fried ones! 
    Come to think of it, with the basic batter recipe and the breadcrumbs, you can use a variety of vegetables... boiled sweet potato or potatoes or pumpkin cut into thick fingers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms etc. Let your imagination wonder and try out these healthy bites for your family.












CRUNCHY SWEET PEPPER AND CAULIFLOWER BITES
Serves 4-6

200 g (approx) cauliflower
200 g (approx) sweet pepper (any colour)
some oil for drizzling

For the batter :
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup water
2 - 4 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tsp garlic paste
¾ -1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder

For the coating :
2 cups breadcrumbs ( I used wholewheat breadcrumbs)
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice

For the Yogurt and Poppy seed dip :
1 cup thick yogurt
1 tsp black poppy seeds
2 tbsp cashew nut powder
2 tbsp chopped chives 
¼ tsp salt
finely chopped green chilli (optional)

  1. Wash the cauliflower and pepper. Dry it with a kitchen towel.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. Cut the pepper into thick long strips or bite size pieces.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and drizzle a bit of oil over it.
  5. Mix the ingredients for the batter together in a bowl. 
  6. Mix breadcrumbs and herbs and put the mixture in a plate.
  7. Dip the bite size vegetable into the batter to coat it completely.
  8. Put it in the plate with the breadcrumbs and coat it.
  9. Place the coated vegetable piece onto the prepared tray.
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 with the remaining pieces.
  11. Put the tray in the oven to allow the cauliflower and sweet pepper to bake for 15 minutes till it becomes golden in colour and crunchy.
  12. While the veggies are baking, prepare the dip.
  13. Mix all the ingredients for the dip in a bowl or a jar.
  14. Keep it in the fridge till required.
  15. Remove the baked veggies from the tray and serve along with the yogurt dip or a dip of your choice.
Tips :
  • To prepare fresh home made breadcrumbs, process 2-3 bread slices in a  food processor (chopper) till you get fine breadcrumbs.
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking dish.
  • Put it in the preheated oven (100°C or 150°C) and let it bake for 5-7 minutes or till it becomes crispy. Let it cool for a while and then use the breadcrumbs for coating.
  • Use a herb of your choice.
  • Add spices to the batter if you like.
You may want to check out the following :

baked breaded mushrooms

lemongrass and ginger infused pineapple coconut icecream
roasted sweet pepper pesto
Sending this recipe for the following event :

If you would love to join our shhh cooking secretly group, please get in touch with me or Priya at Priya's Versatile Recipes.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

537. Farali dokhra

MOTHERHOOD

  We live where there are numerous apartments in one compound. So no doubt we have a mixture of cultures and religions.Evening time comes alive as mothers and kids are all out walking, talking playing etc. A few days ago I overheard a conversation between young mums. As usual the talk was on how each one's child is performing in school, their manners, what they eat etc. What I noticed was that the conversation was turning into a competition as to whose child was better. On my way to the apartment I couldn't help thinking why these mums and their kids think they are in sort of a race. As our children grow up, we really don't remember if they did better than their classmates in sports or in the class. What we remember are the times we spent with them, holidays, at home, when they are sick, precious moments etc. Marks, degrees, trophies all become irrelevant. I wanted to go up to the mums and tell them to let their children live a life and not a life of comparison.
  Today I came across the below quote on Facebook and knew immediately what I wanted to share with you. Expensive holidays, gadgets, designer clothes all do not equate to loving your child. If you truly love your child then instill life's values in them. Teach them to be compassionate, frugal, well mannered, caring, loving, respectful. These values will help them in life and not expensive parties, gifts and holidays.The quote says it all. Enjoy your journey on this life's path with your child/children.


Coming to the recipe, I wanted to try out this recipe for a very long time but never got down to it. Today being Ekadashi, tried it out and must say it turned out really good. But then I love any type of dokhra. There are some recipes which recommend that samo should be soaked in water or yogurt for one hour or so and then blended in make a smooth batter. I prefer using the flour as its much quicker. Steamed snacks are much healthier than fried ones. So try this one even if its not a fasting day.








FARALI DOKHRA
Serves 2-4

1 cup samo flour(shama millet, moriyo)
4 tbsp sabudana (tapioca, pearl sago)
½ cup sour yogurt, at room temperature
½ cup warm water
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 tsp eno (fruit salt)
¼ tsp red chilli powder

Tempering (vaghar) :
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1-2 green chillis chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (dhania)

  1. Mix samo flour and sabudana in a bowl. 
  2. Add ginger, chilli pastes,water and yogurt. Mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl and keep it in a warm place for 8 hours to allow the batter to ferment.
  4. Take a steamer or a wide pan with a lid.
  5. Add water, quarter full. Put a stand or ring. Put on medium heat to allow the water to get hot.
  6. Grease a steel or aluminium plate (about 8-9 inch wide) with oil.
  7. Add salt,oil to the batter and mix well.
  8. When the water begins to boil, add Eno to the batter and mix it well. The batter should become frothy.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared plate.
  10. Sprinkle the chilli powder over it. 
  11. Put the plate in the steamer or pan. Let it steam for 10 -12 mins.
  12. Remove the plate from the steamer and let it cool completely.
Preparation of the tempering :
  1. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, sesame seeds, chilli and curry leaves. 
  3. Mix well. Add the chopped coriander and mix.
  4. Pour the tempering over the cooled down dokhra.
  5. Cut the dokhra into squares or diamond shape and serve.
  6. Serve with coriander, mint or mango chutney.
Tips:
  • If you don't have samo flour, you can grind it at home.
  • Add pepper powder instead of red chilli powder if you want.
  • Check out my steaming device here.
  • Adjust spices according to your taste.
  • Store leftover dokhra in the fridge. Just before serving, steam it for 3-4 minutes or warm it up in the microwave oven. Sprinkle a bit of water over it before putting the microwave oven.
You may want to check out the following :
samo/moriyo kheer
samo and potato pattis



Monday, 18 January 2016

536. Tiger bread rolls/ Dutch crunch rolls

Tiger, tiger burning bright

      Remember reciting this poem by William Blake when you were in school? I just couldn't help trying to remember the lines while I was baking this bread. I had to google the poem and check out the correct lines. Still can't remember the lines. It probably means my brains too are getting old :)
     So lets come to the actual bread. I saw this mottled topped bread at Nakumatt  and was really fascinated by the effect. Bought the rolls and they tasted like just any other ordinary rolls. Then one fine day I stumbled upon the recipe and actual name of the bread... tiger bread or Dutch Crunch Bread. I wonder why its called tiger bread since there are no stripes on the top. It should actually be called a giraffe bread as it resembles the spots on a giraffe. Further search on the famous google led to this sort of bread being known as alligator bread too.Its believed that the bread originates from Netherlands. The paste or topping is made using rice flour and sesame oil to give it that unique nutty flavour. The end result is a crunchy exterior and a soft interior. Well, whatever its called, I just wanted to learn how to get that beautiful mottled look on top of a loaf or rolls. The first time I tried the recipe out, the mottled effect did not happen at all. It was perhaps because the paste or topping was too thin and there was not enough yeast in it. The second attempt too was a disaster. The recipe I followed suggested that I apply the topping or paste when the buns have risen. Applying the thick paste on risen dough is not easy. The buns got flattened a bit and the mottled effect was not apparent. While browsing through different recipes, I discovered that some applied the paste or topping before the second proving stage and some, after. Finally Delia put my mind to easy as she had written in a comment about tiger bread to apply the paste or topping before the second proving stage.
    I used my normal white bun recipe and got the recipe for the topping or paste from bright eyed baker. The rolls turned out good and would have loved a much better mottled effect, but what I achieved this time round made me happy. So I decided to post this recipe for the We Knead to Bake January challenge. For January, Aparna suggested we bake any bread of our choice. You can either make buns or make a bloomer shaped loaf or any shape you like. I must admit the crunchiness was not too apparent the next day so its best to enjoy the bread on the day its baked.












TIGER BREAD ROLLS/ DUTCH CRUNCH ROLLS
Makes 8-10 buns (8 large and 10 medium)

For the dough:
3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1-1¼ cup warm milk
2 tbsp butter (or if you prefer sesame oil)
2¼ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the topping or paste :
¾ cup rice flour
½ cup warm water
1½ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

extra oil for greasing
extra flour for kneading

Preparation of the bread dough :
  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add half the quantity of butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add warm milk and bring the flour together to form a dough.
  4. Knead the dough on your worktop till it is soft and smooth. Add extra flour little at a time if the dough sticks too much. Usually it takes 10 -15 minutes to get the dough into a nice smooth consistency.
  5. Add the remaining butter and knead the dough. Shape it into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours or less if the weather is hot.
  7. Knead the dough gently.Divide it into 8 or 10 parts.
  8. Let the dough pieces rest for a while.
  9. In the meantime prepare the topping or paste.
  10. Mix all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl till it becomes a smooth paste.
  11. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  12. Roll each piece of the dough into a round shape. Pinch the seams well and place that seam side down on the tray.
  13. Coat the shaped rolls with the topping or paste well. It should cover the whole roll and it should be thick enough.
  14. Place the tray in a warm place, cover with a tea towel and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes or till they are nearly double the size.
  15. In the meantime preheat the oven at 200°C.
  16. Put the rolls in the oven to bake. Bake at 200°C for the first 10 minutes.
  17. After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 10 minutes or till the crust is a nice golden colour.
  18. Remove the rolls from the oven.
  19. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
  20. Serve with soup or butter or your favourite jam.
Tips :
  • Try and add sesame oil to the paste. It gives the bread a wonderful nutty flavour.
  • If the paste is too thin, or there is less yeast the mottled effect will not happen.
  • Coat the bread well with the paste.
  • The paste should be thick. When you drop it from the spoon it should fall in lumps and not in ribbons.
  • Since I didn't want the tea towel touching the paste, I covered the tray with the rolls during the proving stage with a big bowl... a really big bowl!
You may want to check out the following :
spiced pumpkin bread rolls




Tuesday, 12 January 2016

535.Buckwheat savoury pancakes/uttapams

Buckwheat savoury pancakes#Bread Bakers

Starting a healthy year

  The Bread Bakers theme for January is Ancient Grains hosted by Robin Beck of A Shaggy Dough Story. I'll be honest, had a slight idea about ancient grains but never actually paid much attention to it. I have used some of them not knowing that they are classed as ancient grains. My research began on the internet as to what really are ancient grains(heritage grains). All the grains we know are somewhat ancient as they have existed for years. However ancient grains are ones that have not changed over the last hundred years i.e have not been hybridized. They have not been modified over the years.Ancient grains have more robust texture thriving without much pesticides and fertilizers.Some of the most common ancient grains are quinoa, millet, spelt, teff, sorghum, farro(emmer), kamut(khorasan), chia, freekeh,amaranth, buckwheat,barley, wild rice. I realised that the Indian cuisine uses quite a few of these ancient grains and these days traditional recipes are modified to include buckwheat, quinoa, chia etc. There are people in remote villages that still make rotis using kamut or rather khorasan wheat.
  I decided to use buckwheat. Buckwheat is not actually a grain but is a pseudo cereal.Its not wheat or related to wheat. It is the fruit seed of the plant. Its related to the rhubarb or sorrel plant. This makes it ideal to use during fastings such as Ekadashi. Buckwheat flour has a nutty, earthy taste. Its used to make soba noodles, pancakes, galettes(crepes), blinis etc. Rich in protein and minerals like manganese,copper, magnesium, phosphorus, rich in fiber, helps to control blood sugar, gluten free, buckwheat is considered 'superfood'.
  Known as kuttu ka atta in hindi, kutto in gujarati or papparai in tamil, its used for making dosas, rotis, and the groat is used for making khichdi. I decided to make buckwheat savoury pancakes or uttapams to serve on Ekadashi day. The flour appears grey as the seeds are harvested when they turn black. Some soak the groat overnight and then grind it to make the pancake mixture. I prefer to use the flour as its much quicker.














BUCKWHEAT SAVOURY PANCAKES (UTTAPAMS)
Makes 12-14 mini ones

1 cup buckwheat flour (kutu ka atta)
½ cup peeled and grated bottle gourd (doodhi/lauki) or zucchini
½ cup peeled and grated carrot
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1-2 green chillis, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1¼ cup water
¼-½ tsp coarse pepper powder
a pinch of soda bi carbonate (baking soda)
2-3 tbsp oil


  1.  Mix grated bottle gourd, carrot, coriander, coconut, ginger paste, chopped chillis in a big bowl.
  2.  In another bowl mix buckwheat flour, salt, pepper and baking soda.
  3. Add flour to the vegetables. 
  4. Add water and mix well. The batter should not be too runny or too thick.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Add a few drops of oil and let it become a bit hot.
  7. Add about 2 tbsp of the batter.
  8. Lower the heat and cook the pancake (uttapam) on one side.
  9. Flip it over. Add a few drops of oil and cook the pancake till done.
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 with the remaining batter.
  11. Serve the pancakes with chutney, pickle, yogurt or a fresh salad.
Tips :
  • Use zucchini instead of bottle gourd. 
  • Add other vegetables of your choice.
  • Can add ½ part buckwheat flour and ½ part rice flour to make it more palatable for kids.
  • If you make the pancakes on a fasting day, avoid adding baking soda.
Let's check out what my fellow bakers have made using Ancient Grains :

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

539. Vitumbua (coconut rice pancake balls)

Vitumbua #BreadBakers

From the East Coast of Africa

Vitumbua (singular kitumbua) pronounced as vee toom booa are the local answer to pancakes/ doughnuts in East Africa especially in Tanzania and the coastal part of Kenya.Instead of being deep fried, they are made in a special vitumbua griddle/pan. Its similar to the aebleskiver pan or appe pan or paniyaram pan. Vitumbua is a common Tanzanian street food and found during Ramadhan in Mombasa. Its usually served with hot tea as breakfast. Beneath the crust the interior is light and fluffy, melt in the mouth texture. Most of the East African Coast cuisine has been influenced by Indian, Yemeni and Omani culture so perhaps vitumbua too may have been brought here by one of the settlers. The Bread Bakers theme for February is Griddle Breads hosted by Ansh of SpicerootsThank you Ansh for such a wonderful theme. As soon as I read griddle bread, I knew I had to post the recipe of Vitumbua and share a bit of the East African cuisine with the fellow bakers.  I love to turn the humble breakfast pancake balls into a dessert. Served with melted chocolate, drizzled with honey/maple syrup or a fruity syrup, its simply delicious. I love the fact that it requires very little oil to prepare these soft pancake balls.













VITUMBUA (COCONUT RICE PANCAKE BALLS)
Makes about 18

For Vitumbua :
1 cup rice
½ tsp instant dry active yeast
½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp grated coconut
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp melted butter
2-3 tsp oil 

For Chocolate sauce:
50 g chocolate
1-2 tbsp coconut milk

For the orange syrup :
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

Preparation of Vitumbua :
  1. Soak rice in warm water overnight.
  2. Next day, drain out the water.
  3. Add rice, warm coconut milk and coconut into a blender jug.
  4. Process the rice to a smooth consistency. Pour the batter into a bowl.
  5. Add yeast, sugar, salt,butter and cardamom powder to the batter and mix well.
  6. Cover the bowl with a cling film and set it in a warm place for the batter to ferment.
  7. This will take about 1-1½ hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  8. The batter is ready to use when it nearly doubled in size and bubbles on top appear.
  9. Heat the pan (appe, paniyaram, vitumbua or aebleskiver pan) over low heat.
  10. Pour a drop of oil in each of the cavities.
  11. Fill the cavity with the batter, three quarter full.
  12. Cover the pan with a lid. 
  13. Let the vitumbua cook till it turns light golden in colour.
  14. Flip it over carefully using a teaspoon or a prawn fork(my ideal tool).
  15. Let the other side cook till its golden in colour.
  16. Vitumbua are ready. You will not be able to resist trying out the hot pancake balls.
  17. Serve vitumbua as it is with hot tea, or with honey, maple syrup. You can dust the vitumbua with icing sugar or serve it with chocolate sauce and orange syrup. 
Prepare the chocolate and sauce while the batter is fermenting.

Preparation of chocolate sauce :
  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave oven or over hot water (bain marie).
  2. Add coconut milk and mix well.
  3. Set it aside till required.
Preparation of orange syrup :
  1. Heat orange juice and sugar in a pan over low heat till the sugar melts and the syrup becomes slightly thick.
  2. Take it off the heat and add the orange zest. Mix well. Let the syrup cool.
Tips:
  • Prepare a fruit syrup of your choice but orange and chocolate is a heavenly combination.
  • Make sure the batter is smooth. If it feels grainy, the vitumbua will not be soft.
  • Use frozen grated coconut if you don't get fresh one. 
  • Its important to cook the vitumbua or low heat because you don't want the inside to remain raw.
You may want to check out the following :

Griddle Breads




BreadBakers



#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.



We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Pin It

Monday, 8 February 2016

538. Crunchy Sweet Pepper and Cauliflower Bites

Thinking healthy

    For the January Shhh Cooking Secretly challenge, my partner Veena Krishna Kumar of Veg Nation challenged me to cook with bell pepper (sweet pepper) and poppy seeds. I nearly asked her change the bell pepper. No don't get me wrong, bell peppers are so versatile that one can make anything with them. The only reason I wanted her to change it was because hubby dear is allergic to them. Well, he doesn't break out into a rash or anything but feels that it upsets his stomach. But I love bell pepper, so thought that I really don't have to make something that he will like or appreciate; some day it has to be my choice too. So I decided to work with the given ingredients and was trying to think of something healthy. Salads are healthy, but I had this crunchy cauliflower bite recipe bookmarked for a while. So decided to make both sweet pepper and cauliflower to make the wonderful healthy bites.Cauliflower ones for hubby and sweet pepper ones for me :) I baked the bites instead of frying them and hubby dear actually wanted the fried ones! 
    Come to think of it, with the basic batter recipe and the breadcrumbs, you can use a variety of vegetables... boiled sweet potato or potatoes or pumpkin cut into thick fingers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms etc. Let your imagination wonder and try out these healthy bites for your family.












CRUNCHY SWEET PEPPER AND CAULIFLOWER BITES
Serves 4-6

200 g (approx) cauliflower
200 g (approx) sweet pepper (any colour)
some oil for drizzling

For the batter :
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup water
2 - 4 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tsp garlic paste
¾ -1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder

For the coating :
2 cups breadcrumbs ( I used wholewheat breadcrumbs)
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice

For the Yogurt and Poppy seed dip :
1 cup thick yogurt
1 tsp black poppy seeds
2 tbsp cashew nut powder
2 tbsp chopped chives 
¼ tsp salt
finely chopped green chilli (optional)

  1. Wash the cauliflower and pepper. Dry it with a kitchen towel.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. Cut the pepper into thick long strips or bite size pieces.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and drizzle a bit of oil over it.
  5. Mix the ingredients for the batter together in a bowl. 
  6. Mix breadcrumbs and herbs and put the mixture in a plate.
  7. Dip the bite size vegetable into the batter to coat it completely.
  8. Put it in the plate with the breadcrumbs and coat it.
  9. Place the coated vegetable piece onto the prepared tray.
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 with the remaining pieces.
  11. Put the tray in the oven to allow the cauliflower and sweet pepper to bake for 15 minutes till it becomes golden in colour and crunchy.
  12. While the veggies are baking, prepare the dip.
  13. Mix all the ingredients for the dip in a bowl or a jar.
  14. Keep it in the fridge till required.
  15. Remove the baked veggies from the tray and serve along with the yogurt dip or a dip of your choice.
Tips :
  • To prepare fresh home made breadcrumbs, process 2-3 bread slices in a  food processor (chopper) till you get fine breadcrumbs.
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking dish.
  • Put it in the preheated oven (100°C or 150°C) and let it bake for 5-7 minutes or till it becomes crispy. Let it cool for a while and then use the breadcrumbs for coating.
  • Use a herb of your choice.
  • Add spices to the batter if you like.
You may want to check out the following :

baked breaded mushrooms

lemongrass and ginger infused pineapple coconut icecream
roasted sweet pepper pesto
Sending this recipe for the following event :

If you would love to join our shhh cooking secretly group, please get in touch with me or Priya at Priya's Versatile Recipes.


Pin It

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

537. Farali dokhra

MOTHERHOOD

  We live where there are numerous apartments in one compound. So no doubt we have a mixture of cultures and religions.Evening time comes alive as mothers and kids are all out walking, talking playing etc. A few days ago I overheard a conversation between young mums. As usual the talk was on how each one's child is performing in school, their manners, what they eat etc. What I noticed was that the conversation was turning into a competition as to whose child was better. On my way to the apartment I couldn't help thinking why these mums and their kids think they are in sort of a race. As our children grow up, we really don't remember if they did better than their classmates in sports or in the class. What we remember are the times we spent with them, holidays, at home, when they are sick, precious moments etc. Marks, degrees, trophies all become irrelevant. I wanted to go up to the mums and tell them to let their children live a life and not a life of comparison.
  Today I came across the below quote on Facebook and knew immediately what I wanted to share with you. Expensive holidays, gadgets, designer clothes all do not equate to loving your child. If you truly love your child then instill life's values in them. Teach them to be compassionate, frugal, well mannered, caring, loving, respectful. These values will help them in life and not expensive parties, gifts and holidays.The quote says it all. Enjoy your journey on this life's path with your child/children.


Coming to the recipe, I wanted to try out this recipe for a very long time but never got down to it. Today being Ekadashi, tried it out and must say it turned out really good. But then I love any type of dokhra. There are some recipes which recommend that samo should be soaked in water or yogurt for one hour or so and then blended in make a smooth batter. I prefer using the flour as its much quicker. Steamed snacks are much healthier than fried ones. So try this one even if its not a fasting day.








FARALI DOKHRA
Serves 2-4

1 cup samo flour(shama millet, moriyo)
4 tbsp sabudana (tapioca, pearl sago)
½ cup sour yogurt, at room temperature
½ cup warm water
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil
¾ - 1 tsp salt
1 tsp eno (fruit salt)
¼ tsp red chilli powder

Tempering (vaghar) :
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
1-2 green chillis chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (dhania)

  1. Mix samo flour and sabudana in a bowl. 
  2. Add ginger, chilli pastes,water and yogurt. Mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl and keep it in a warm place for 8 hours to allow the batter to ferment.
  4. Take a steamer or a wide pan with a lid.
  5. Add water, quarter full. Put a stand or ring. Put on medium heat to allow the water to get hot.
  6. Grease a steel or aluminium plate (about 8-9 inch wide) with oil.
  7. Add salt,oil to the batter and mix well.
  8. When the water begins to boil, add Eno to the batter and mix it well. The batter should become frothy.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared plate.
  10. Sprinkle the chilli powder over it. 
  11. Put the plate in the steamer or pan. Let it steam for 10 -12 mins.
  12. Remove the plate from the steamer and let it cool completely.
Preparation of the tempering :
  1. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, sesame seeds, chilli and curry leaves. 
  3. Mix well. Add the chopped coriander and mix.
  4. Pour the tempering over the cooled down dokhra.
  5. Cut the dokhra into squares or diamond shape and serve.
  6. Serve with coriander, mint or mango chutney.
Tips:
  • If you don't have samo flour, you can grind it at home.
  • Add pepper powder instead of red chilli powder if you want.
  • Check out my steaming device here.
  • Adjust spices according to your taste.
  • Store leftover dokhra in the fridge. Just before serving, steam it for 3-4 minutes or warm it up in the microwave oven. Sprinkle a bit of water over it before putting the microwave oven.
You may want to check out the following :
samo/moriyo kheer
samo and potato pattis



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Monday, 18 January 2016

536. Tiger bread rolls/ Dutch crunch rolls

Tiger, tiger burning bright

      Remember reciting this poem by William Blake when you were in school? I just couldn't help trying to remember the lines while I was baking this bread. I had to google the poem and check out the correct lines. Still can't remember the lines. It probably means my brains too are getting old :)
     So lets come to the actual bread. I saw this mottled topped bread at Nakumatt  and was really fascinated by the effect. Bought the rolls and they tasted like just any other ordinary rolls. Then one fine day I stumbled upon the recipe and actual name of the bread... tiger bread or Dutch Crunch Bread. I wonder why its called tiger bread since there are no stripes on the top. It should actually be called a giraffe bread as it resembles the spots on a giraffe. Further search on the famous google led to this sort of bread being known as alligator bread too.Its believed that the bread originates from Netherlands. The paste or topping is made using rice flour and sesame oil to give it that unique nutty flavour. The end result is a crunchy exterior and a soft interior. Well, whatever its called, I just wanted to learn how to get that beautiful mottled look on top of a loaf or rolls. The first time I tried the recipe out, the mottled effect did not happen at all. It was perhaps because the paste or topping was too thin and there was not enough yeast in it. The second attempt too was a disaster. The recipe I followed suggested that I apply the topping or paste when the buns have risen. Applying the thick paste on risen dough is not easy. The buns got flattened a bit and the mottled effect was not apparent. While browsing through different recipes, I discovered that some applied the paste or topping before the second proving stage and some, after. Finally Delia put my mind to easy as she had written in a comment about tiger bread to apply the paste or topping before the second proving stage.
    I used my normal white bun recipe and got the recipe for the topping or paste from bright eyed baker. The rolls turned out good and would have loved a much better mottled effect, but what I achieved this time round made me happy. So I decided to post this recipe for the We Knead to Bake January challenge. For January, Aparna suggested we bake any bread of our choice. You can either make buns or make a bloomer shaped loaf or any shape you like. I must admit the crunchiness was not too apparent the next day so its best to enjoy the bread on the day its baked.












TIGER BREAD ROLLS/ DUTCH CRUNCH ROLLS
Makes 8-10 buns (8 large and 10 medium)

For the dough:
3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1-1¼ cup warm milk
2 tbsp butter (or if you prefer sesame oil)
2¼ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the topping or paste :
¾ cup rice flour
½ cup warm water
1½ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

extra oil for greasing
extra flour for kneading

Preparation of the bread dough :
  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add half the quantity of butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add warm milk and bring the flour together to form a dough.
  4. Knead the dough on your worktop till it is soft and smooth. Add extra flour little at a time if the dough sticks too much. Usually it takes 10 -15 minutes to get the dough into a nice smooth consistency.
  5. Add the remaining butter and knead the dough. Shape it into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours or less if the weather is hot.
  7. Knead the dough gently.Divide it into 8 or 10 parts.
  8. Let the dough pieces rest for a while.
  9. In the meantime prepare the topping or paste.
  10. Mix all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl till it becomes a smooth paste.
  11. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  12. Roll each piece of the dough into a round shape. Pinch the seams well and place that seam side down on the tray.
  13. Coat the shaped rolls with the topping or paste well. It should cover the whole roll and it should be thick enough.
  14. Place the tray in a warm place, cover with a tea towel and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes or till they are nearly double the size.
  15. In the meantime preheat the oven at 200°C.
  16. Put the rolls in the oven to bake. Bake at 200°C for the first 10 minutes.
  17. After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 10 minutes or till the crust is a nice golden colour.
  18. Remove the rolls from the oven.
  19. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
  20. Serve with soup or butter or your favourite jam.
Tips :
  • Try and add sesame oil to the paste. It gives the bread a wonderful nutty flavour.
  • If the paste is too thin, or there is less yeast the mottled effect will not happen.
  • Coat the bread well with the paste.
  • The paste should be thick. When you drop it from the spoon it should fall in lumps and not in ribbons.
  • Since I didn't want the tea towel touching the paste, I covered the tray with the rolls during the proving stage with a big bowl... a really big bowl!
You may want to check out the following :
spiced pumpkin bread rolls




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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

535.Buckwheat savoury pancakes/uttapams

Buckwheat savoury pancakes#Bread Bakers

Starting a healthy year

  The Bread Bakers theme for January is Ancient Grains hosted by Robin Beck of A Shaggy Dough Story. I'll be honest, had a slight idea about ancient grains but never actually paid much attention to it. I have used some of them not knowing that they are classed as ancient grains. My research began on the internet as to what really are ancient grains(heritage grains). All the grains we know are somewhat ancient as they have existed for years. However ancient grains are ones that have not changed over the last hundred years i.e have not been hybridized. They have not been modified over the years.Ancient grains have more robust texture thriving without much pesticides and fertilizers.Some of the most common ancient grains are quinoa, millet, spelt, teff, sorghum, farro(emmer), kamut(khorasan), chia, freekeh,amaranth, buckwheat,barley, wild rice. I realised that the Indian cuisine uses quite a few of these ancient grains and these days traditional recipes are modified to include buckwheat, quinoa, chia etc. There are people in remote villages that still make rotis using kamut or rather khorasan wheat.
  I decided to use buckwheat. Buckwheat is not actually a grain but is a pseudo cereal.Its not wheat or related to wheat. It is the fruit seed of the plant. Its related to the rhubarb or sorrel plant. This makes it ideal to use during fastings such as Ekadashi. Buckwheat flour has a nutty, earthy taste. Its used to make soba noodles, pancakes, galettes(crepes), blinis etc. Rich in protein and minerals like manganese,copper, magnesium, phosphorus, rich in fiber, helps to control blood sugar, gluten free, buckwheat is considered 'superfood'.
  Known as kuttu ka atta in hindi, kutto in gujarati or papparai in tamil, its used for making dosas, rotis, and the groat is used for making khichdi. I decided to make buckwheat savoury pancakes or uttapams to serve on Ekadashi day. The flour appears grey as the seeds are harvested when they turn black. Some soak the groat overnight and then grind it to make the pancake mixture. I prefer to use the flour as its much quicker.














BUCKWHEAT SAVOURY PANCAKES (UTTAPAMS)
Makes 12-14 mini ones

1 cup buckwheat flour (kutu ka atta)
½ cup peeled and grated bottle gourd (doodhi/lauki) or zucchini
½ cup peeled and grated carrot
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1-2 green chillis, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1¼ cup water
¼-½ tsp coarse pepper powder
a pinch of soda bi carbonate (baking soda)
2-3 tbsp oil


  1.  Mix grated bottle gourd, carrot, coriander, coconut, ginger paste, chopped chillis in a big bowl.
  2.  In another bowl mix buckwheat flour, salt, pepper and baking soda.
  3. Add flour to the vegetables. 
  4. Add water and mix well. The batter should not be too runny or too thick.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Add a few drops of oil and let it become a bit hot.
  7. Add about 2 tbsp of the batter.
  8. Lower the heat and cook the pancake (uttapam) on one side.
  9. Flip it over. Add a few drops of oil and cook the pancake till done.
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 with the remaining batter.
  11. Serve the pancakes with chutney, pickle, yogurt or a fresh salad.
Tips :
  • Use zucchini instead of bottle gourd. 
  • Add other vegetables of your choice.
  • Can add ½ part buckwheat flour and ½ part rice flour to make it more palatable for kids.
  • If you make the pancakes on a fasting day, avoid adding baking soda.
Let's check out what my fellow bakers have made using Ancient Grains :

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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