Sunday, 30 August 2015

520.Cemita buns

Going all the way to Mexico

     Well not really, am at the moment sitting in London writing about a Mexican bread. Cemita originates from city and region of Puebla in Mexico. It refers to the bread as well as the sandwich itself. The bread bun or roll is made with flour, fat and egg and has sesame seeds on top. It has a brioche like texture, crispy on the outside and soft and spongy inside and slightly sweet. Found as street food in many cities and towns of  Mexico, as well as the streets of  New York and Los Angeles. The sandwich typically contains a white cheese, avocado,meat, onions, salsa and papalo herb. Papalo is very much similar to coriander. Some bakers added the herb to the bread whereas some added it to the sandwich. Apparently the cemita found outside Mexico is not the same as the authentic stuff. Well, I'm not an expert on this subject. All I can say is when the August challenge on We Knead to bake came up, I happily baked the cemita rolls and made my version of the sandwich with it. I added avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and coriander to the sandwich. We enjoyed the bread thoroughly. 
Here is the recipe for the buns/rolls. Try it out, its really a different kind of roll/bun. As the dough was fairly sticky, I kneaded it by machine.
I was not able to take a good photo of the sandwich I made because it was night time.







CEMITA BUNS
Makes 6-8

Recipe source :serious eats

3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup (25% fat) fresh cream, at room temperature
½ cup warm milk
2 eggs
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
2 - 3 tbsp sugar
½ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp coarse sea salt
extra milk or egg for brushing the top
extra flour for dusting
butter for greasing


  1. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a big bowl.
  2. Add the cream, milk and lightly beaten eggs into the flour mixture.
  3. Mix everything up with a spatula and let it rest covered for about 10 minutes.
  4. Let the machine knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If it is too sticky, add a little bit of flour but not too much.
  5. Grease the bowl and hands with some butter. 
  6. Shape the dough into a round ball and place it in the bowl. 
  7. Cover the bowl with a cling film and let the dough rise in a warm place till it is 1½ times its original size. Mine took about 3 hours.
  8. Dust the work top and knead the dough gently. 
  9. Cut the dough into 6-8 parts.
  10. Cover the dough pieces with a tea cloth and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
  11. Grease a baking tray with butter.
  12. Lightly dust the work top and roll each part of the dough into a ball. I then pressed it gently between my palms to give it a flattish wide shape.
  13. Place the dough on the greased tray. Repeat step 12 with the remaining dough parts.
  14. Cover the tray with a tea cloth and let the buns rise for 30 - 45 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  16. Brush the tops with beaten egg or milk.
  17. Sprinkle a generous amount of sesame seeds over the buns.
  18. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt.
  19. Bake the oven for 15 minutes till the tops are golden brown.
  20. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  21. Serve as a sandwich with your favourite filling.
Tips :
  • If the dough is sticky and cannot be worked on, leave it for 15 -20 minutes. It becomes a bit more glutenous and its easier to work with.
  • If you want to knead it by hand, add a bit more flour and knead it. However it should stick a bit to your hands, 
  • Your oven temperature may vary so use either 200° or even 180°C.
  • To make eggless buns you will need to add more milk.
You may want to check out the following :

orange swirl bread

maritozzi con la panna

pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following event :

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

519.Mango Kolache # Bread Bakers

Taking tropical fruit to Europe

Let me introduce you to the group:
#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.
How is the theme decided?
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.  
Would you like to join?
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.
     I just recently joined a new group which bakes. Different groups have different rules and different themes. I am excited and the same time a bit apprehensive. I am hoping I will be able to meet the requirements. As soon as the host for the month Pavani of Cook's Hideout set the theme for August, which is bread made with summer bounty, I thought "it's not really summer in my part of the world". We are going through what is known as the rainy season. However, we are blessed with sunshine throughout the year. So I guess you can say that we perpetually have summer whole year round. Well, living at the coast, the first summer ingredient that came to my mind was mango. Combination of mango and a bookmarked recipe resulted in a mango kolache. Thank you so much Pavani for the wonderful theme.
   Kolache is a Czech bread usually baked during celebrations. It usually consists of a yeast sweet dough in a round shape with a topping of a sweet mixture.Either fresh, tinned or dried fruits like peaches and plums, cream cheese, poppy etc are some of the more famous fillings. Modern times means more modern fillings like blueberries, cherries, apricots are more popular. Some add posipka (streusel) on top. For more details about the history of kolache please visit this link.
   The sweet yeast dough is enriched by using butter, milk and egg. The texture of the dough was much like a brioche. The bread turned out soft and pastry like. I should have brushed the buns with egg wash before filling the dents. I forgot to do that and as a result you will see the white ring around the filling.
   So followers enjoy a treasure trove of summer bounty breads made by the group members.




















MANGO KOLACHE  
Makes 12 -15
Recipe adapted from Saveur

For the sweet yeast dough :

3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose baking flour)
¾ cup warm milk
1 egg
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp soft butter
6 - 8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind (zest)

For the filling :

1 cup diced ripe mango (peeled)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)

For egg wash :
1 egg
2 tbsp water

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

Preparation of the dough :
  1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and yeast in a big bowl.
  2. Add egg to the warm milk and whisk it lightly.
  3. Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour.
  4. Make a dough and knead it, adding butter at intervals till you get a smooth and silky dough.
  5. If the dough is too sticky, add little flour but not too much. Shape the dough into a big ball.
  6. Grease the bowl with butter. Put the dough into the bowl. Cover with a cling film.
  7. Let the dough rise till its double the size in a warm place. This will take about 2-3 hours.
  8. Gently press the dough with your knuckles. Working on a board or work top dusted with flour, shape the dough into a rope. 
  9. Cut into 12 -15 parts.
  10. Roll each part into a ball. Cover with a tea towel. Let the balls rest for 10 -15 minutes.
  11. Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and water lightly.
  12. Shape each part again into a round ball. Place on a greased or lined baking sheet.
  13. Using a rolling pin, make a dent in the middle of each ball.
  14. Brush the buns with the egg wash.
  15. Fill the dent with 1 tsp of the filling.
  16. Let the buns rise for 30 - 45 minutes till they are double the size.
  17. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  18. Bake the kolache for 15 minutes or till they are golden brown.
  19. Remove them from the tray and let them cool on a wire rack.
  20. Serve with tea or coffee.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Put mango and sugar in a pan.
  2. Heat over low heat till the sugar melts.
  3. Mix cornflour and water together.
  4. Add the cornflour and mix. 
  5. Cook over low heat till it becomes thick.
  6. Cool the mixture.
Tips :
  • I added only 6 tbsp of sugar. The dough was not too sweet. If you prefer a sweet dough add 8 tbsp.
  • You can use apricot, peaches, cherries, blueberries etc instead of mango.
  • If you don't want to roll the buns, you may roll out the dough to about ½" thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the rolls or buns. Make a dent and fill.
  • If you want to sprinkle the top with posipka then mix ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup plain flour, 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Sprinkle the top with posipka and bake.
You may want to check out the following :

Breads using summer bounty



Sending this recipe to the following event :
BreadBakers
Bread Bakers




Breads using Summer Bounty:



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

518. Baigan raita / Eggplant yogurt salad

Appreciation 

    When one writes endearing comments on posts or facebook or likes your hard work, it brings immense satisfaction. Appreciating hard work has many advantages. One makes new connections, learns new things, makes one a better person, makes one work harder and above all makes one happy. We can appreciate what life offers us, appreciate what others do for us, appreciate when one cares for you, appreciate when someone teaches us. Appreciating someone else's work does not make one little but on the contrary makes them benevolent. Little words like sorry, thank you, hello,  makes ones day more happy. Lets make a conscious effort to appreciate more and complain less. That sort of contradicts what I wrote in my last post, however, after venting my frustration and anger, I calm down and appreciate the better things in life. 
  Coming to today's recipe,what is a raita? It is simply a yogurt based side dish which may contain raw or cooked vegetables, fruits or boondi (chickpea drops fried) along with spices. It is usually served along with parathas, rotis, naans, rice, curries, vegetable dishes etc. It usually has cooling effect to a hot curry or biryani or even grilled meats and vegetables. I love having raita during the hot season and sometimes make a meal out of it. 

Share you thought :
Do you appreciate someone's hard work easily?











BAIGAN RAITA / EGGPLANT  YOGURT SALAD
SERVES 4

1 large (approx 350g ) eggplant (brinjal)
2 cups fresh plain yogurt 
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
½ - 1 tsp garlic paste
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
4-6 fenugreek seeds (methi)
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)

oil for greasing

for tempering (vaghar) :
1 tsp oil
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
1 dry red chilli


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Wash the eggplant, cut off the stem part and cut it into half.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. 
  4. Place the eggplant halves on the sheet, cut side down.
  5. Brush oil over the eggplant. Roast the eggplant in the oven for 25 -30 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven. The flesh should have becomes soft.
  7. Let the eggplant cool a bit. Peel off the skin.
  8. Mash the eggplant lightly.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over low to medium heat.
  10. Add fenugreek and then the mustard and cumin seeds.
  11. Add the chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes a bit soft.
  12. Add garlic and chopped chilli. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  13. Add the fried mixture to the mashed eggplant.
  14. Add yogurt, coriander and salt to the mixture. Mix well.
Tempering :
  1. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat. It should not be smoking hot.
  2. Add the dry chilli and the chilli powder.
  3. Immediately pour the mixture over the raita.
Serve the raita immediately or put it in the fridge to chill it.

Tips :
  • Add chilli paste instead of chopped chilli.
  • You can add ¼-½ tsp grated ginger.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Add chopped grapes or pomegranate arils to the raita.
You may want to check out the following :
banana cucumber raita






Monday, 3 August 2015

517. coconut barfi / coconut fudge

Road frustration

  Every person driving a car, matatu (local transport mini vans), rickshaw,lorry or riding a bike or scooter or motor cycle thinks that they own the road. Every person thinks that he/she has to get to their destination in a jiffy. Every person thinks that others waiting in the queue in a traffic are either stupid or foolish or not smart. The result is road hogs are born and the bigger the vehicle the more menacing they are. They manage to drive off smaller vehicles off the road. Rickshaws or tuk tuks (as they are called here) drivers steer in and out of lanes not worried about causing jams, scrapping other vehicles or causing one to brake suddenly. Their attitude is "you dare even touch and see the consquences". They know that the bigger will be blamed. Matatu drivers literally think they are the kings of the road and the rest are cockroaches. Road courtesy and manners are thrown out of the window. No one wants to follow correct lanes, give way, obey traffic lights and rules.Traffic wardens are ignored and police bribed. When is this going to change. Road rage is rapidly becoming a part of driving here and no body seems to care. I have seen so many times, cars racing behind ambulances. They have no idea that they are putting other peoples lives at a risk. Driving even a small distance is becoming a challenge. The most coolest or calmest person cannot drive without uttering a swear word or getting angry. To drive in Mombasa, you need eyes not only in the front but also at the back of your head and the sides too. You never know when a matatu, tuk tuk, cycle, motor bike will appear to hog your space. Cheap bribe taking driving schools are producing all these reckless drivers. 
    Today's recipe is a fresh coconut barfi. Fudgy, sweet and full of coconut flavour. Love it. Anything with coconut is my favourite. Feel like finishing all the barfi. 

Share your thoughts:
Do you experience reckless driving in your part of the part?













COCONUT BARFI / COCONUT FUDGE

3 cups grated fresh coconut
2 cups full fat milk
2 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp coarse cardamom powder (elachi)
a generous pinch of saffron strands

extra ghee for greasing
  1. Melt ghee in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add grated coconut and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add milk and let it get hot. Stir in between so that the coconut does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the condensed milk. Mix well.
  5. Cook the mixture over low to medium heat and stir frequently.
  6. The mixture will become thicker. 
  7. Don't forget to stir the mixture. After 30 minutes it will come away from the pan.
  8. Gather the mixture into a ball in the pan. Stick a teaspoon in the middle. If it does not fall then the barfi is ready.
  9. Add half of the cardamom powder and saffron to the mixture. Mix well.
  10. Grease a tray (5" X 7") lightly with ghee.
  11. Line the tray with a plastic sheet or parchment paper.
  12. Pour the mixture into the tray.
  13. Level it out with a spatula.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining cardamom powder.
  15. Let the barfi set for 2-3 hours.
  16. Cut into squares and serve. 
Tips :
  • I prefer to use a non stick pan. While cooking, the milk does not stick to sides of the pan as its easier to scrap it off frequently. 
  • I keep the barfi in the fridge as it tastes between a bit chilled. Also it will stay longer.
  • I made tiny bite size barfis. You can cut the size you prefer.
  • Make sure you don't get the brown part of the coconut when grating it.
You may want to check out the following :

kaju barfi

Thursday, 30 July 2015

516. Chocolate date mousse

It's an Honour

   Last Saturday was an exciting day for me. I was installed as the 19th President of my very hardworking and active Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari. Since the Club was chartered, I have been a part of it. First as a spouse and then as a Lion. The best part was that one of my good friend Lion Tasneem Dar, performed the ceremony of installing me along with my board members. My best friend Daxa and Jitu were there to share the milestone in my life along with my brother in law and sister in law. The surprise moment was when my hubby Ajay, sang a song for me. I was feeling shy, happy and loved all at the same time. Was I nervous? Yes, had butterflies in my stomach the whole afternoon. Its a big responsibility to run such a fine Club, but then we have wonderful members, helpful and active. Right from medical to educational to donations, some activity or the other takes places practically every month. The Club climbs to greater heights under each President. For my year too I am hoping to achieve a lot more to take the Club one rung higher on the ladder of service to Humanity. So this year you will probably get to hear a lot more about my Club and the activities. 
    For such a special occasion it had to be celebrated with something sweet. I made a simple but absolutely delicious chocolate date mousse at home. Thank you Aarthi of Yummy Tummy for the recipe.I made just a few changes, added more chocolate and flavouring. Hope you enjoy this dessert. It's eggless and the only sugar that is present in it is from the chocolate. None is added to it. The month of Ramadhan meant that we got really nice sweet dates. 











CHOCOLATE DATE MOUSSE
Serves 8
Recipe source: Yummy Tummy

250g chocolate (both dark and milk)- the total weight of both should be 250g
200g dates (approx 22-24) - pitted
½ cup fresh milk
2 cups whipping cream (chilled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cardamom powder

For topping :
fresh fruits or grated chocolate or chopped nuts


  1. Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Pit the dates and add to the hot milk.
  3. Cover and let the dates soak in the milk for 1-2 hours.
  4. Process the dates in a food processor to a puree or paste.
  5. Melt the chocolate. Heat water in a small pan. Put the chocolate in a glass or steel bowl that sits well on the pan. Stir constantly till the chocolate melts.
  6. Add the date paste to the melted chocolate. Add vanilla extract and cardamom powder. 
  7. Mix well.
  8. Whip the cream till it reaches the soft peak consistency or till its fluffy.
  9. Add the cream to the cooled down chocolate and date mixture. Fold in the cream gently.
  10. Spoon the mousse into individual serving bowls or containers.
  11. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 - 4 hours or till it sets.
  12. Serve with any of your favourite toppings or on its own.
Tips :
  • Pit the dates before you measure them.
  • I used more of dark chocolate than the milk one. You can take half of both or as you prefer.
  • Don't use the dried out dates.You don't want the mousse to be gritty.
  • While melting the chocolate, make sure the bowl does not touch the hot water. Its the hot steam from the bottom that helps to melt the chocolate. Or you can melt it in a microwave oven.
You may want to check out the following :

watermelon mousse





Thursday, 23 July 2015

515. Chickpea flour savoury pancake

  sweet memories

  The food blogger world for is getting bigger and bigger. Getting to know more bloggers, following many regularly and commenting too. Its amazing how some recipes reminds one of their childhood. It can be a whole recipe, a method or just a single ingredient that can trigger the memory.  One such recipe I came across was zucchini pancake by Shobha of Shobha's Food Mazaa. As I read the recipe, I immediately thought of my mum. She would make pudlas (chilas) and sweet pudlas often for dinner for the huge family. She would have two tawas on the cooker, and would spread out perfect round pudlas for all of us. My cousin would usually ask her to add an egg in his savoury pudlas. She would mix the egg into the batter and make them. I thought of making a version of the zucchini savoury pancakes. Here is my version. Shobha thank you sharing a wonderful recipe and bringing back sweet memories.  I added other vegetables as these days hubby dear does not want to eat salad. So the trick was to add as many veggies as I could. I thought the recipe name should not be zucchini pancakes. The pancakes turned out really good and an absolutely healthy meal. I used very little oil. Next time I would team it up a nice salad to make it into a filling meal. I bought this pan which can be used to make mini uttapams, fried eggs, mini bhakris, parathas etc. I used it to make these cute mini pancakes.









CHICKPEA FLOUR SAVOURY PANCAKES
Makes 12 mini ones
Recipe idea : Shobha's Food Mazaa

1 cup besan (chickpea flour/ chana flour)
2 eggs
1 small onion
1 medium size zucchini
1 medium size carrot
¼ cup sour yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander or fenugreek (methi)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda) 
little oil


  1. Wash, peel and grate the carrot into a big bowl.
  2. Wash and grate the zucchini. Add it to the bowl.
  3. Peel and grate the onion.Add it to the bowl.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil.
  5. Mix the batter well.
  6. Heat a non stick tawa over medium heat. 
  7. Rub a bit of oil over it.
  8. Spread a ladleful of batter into a pancake like shape.Drizzle little oil around it.
  9. Let it cook over low heat.
  10. Flip the pancake over and let it cook till it becomes light golden brown.
  11. Serve immediately with your favourite sauce, chutney or pickle.
Tips :
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Add any vegetable of your choice.
  • Cook the pancakes over low heat. If you cook them over high heat the outside will get cooked immediately but the inside will remain raw.
You may want to check out the following :

instant pudlas

moong dal pudlas or chilas

Sunday, 30 August 2015

520.Cemita buns

Going all the way to Mexico

     Well not really, am at the moment sitting in London writing about a Mexican bread. Cemita originates from city and region of Puebla in Mexico. It refers to the bread as well as the sandwich itself. The bread bun or roll is made with flour, fat and egg and has sesame seeds on top. It has a brioche like texture, crispy on the outside and soft and spongy inside and slightly sweet. Found as street food in many cities and towns of  Mexico, as well as the streets of  New York and Los Angeles. The sandwich typically contains a white cheese, avocado,meat, onions, salsa and papalo herb. Papalo is very much similar to coriander. Some bakers added the herb to the bread whereas some added it to the sandwich. Apparently the cemita found outside Mexico is not the same as the authentic stuff. Well, I'm not an expert on this subject. All I can say is when the August challenge on We Knead to bake came up, I happily baked the cemita rolls and made my version of the sandwich with it. I added avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and coriander to the sandwich. We enjoyed the bread thoroughly. 
Here is the recipe for the buns/rolls. Try it out, its really a different kind of roll/bun. As the dough was fairly sticky, I kneaded it by machine.
I was not able to take a good photo of the sandwich I made because it was night time.







CEMITA BUNS
Makes 6-8

Recipe source :serious eats

3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup (25% fat) fresh cream, at room temperature
½ cup warm milk
2 eggs
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
2 - 3 tbsp sugar
½ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp coarse sea salt
extra milk or egg for brushing the top
extra flour for dusting
butter for greasing


  1. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a big bowl.
  2. Add the cream, milk and lightly beaten eggs into the flour mixture.
  3. Mix everything up with a spatula and let it rest covered for about 10 minutes.
  4. Let the machine knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If it is too sticky, add a little bit of flour but not too much.
  5. Grease the bowl and hands with some butter. 
  6. Shape the dough into a round ball and place it in the bowl. 
  7. Cover the bowl with a cling film and let the dough rise in a warm place till it is 1½ times its original size. Mine took about 3 hours.
  8. Dust the work top and knead the dough gently. 
  9. Cut the dough into 6-8 parts.
  10. Cover the dough pieces with a tea cloth and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
  11. Grease a baking tray with butter.
  12. Lightly dust the work top and roll each part of the dough into a ball. I then pressed it gently between my palms to give it a flattish wide shape.
  13. Place the dough on the greased tray. Repeat step 12 with the remaining dough parts.
  14. Cover the tray with a tea cloth and let the buns rise for 30 - 45 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  16. Brush the tops with beaten egg or milk.
  17. Sprinkle a generous amount of sesame seeds over the buns.
  18. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt.
  19. Bake the oven for 15 minutes till the tops are golden brown.
  20. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  21. Serve as a sandwich with your favourite filling.
Tips :
  • If the dough is sticky and cannot be worked on, leave it for 15 -20 minutes. It becomes a bit more glutenous and its easier to work with.
  • If you want to knead it by hand, add a bit more flour and knead it. However it should stick a bit to your hands, 
  • Your oven temperature may vary so use either 200° or even 180°C.
  • To make eggless buns you will need to add more milk.
You may want to check out the following :

orange swirl bread

maritozzi con la panna

pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following event :

Pin It

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

519.Mango Kolache # Bread Bakers

Taking tropical fruit to Europe

Let me introduce you to the group:
#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.
How is the theme decided?
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.  
Would you like to join?
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.
     I just recently joined a new group which bakes. Different groups have different rules and different themes. I am excited and the same time a bit apprehensive. I am hoping I will be able to meet the requirements. As soon as the host for the month Pavani of Cook's Hideout set the theme for August, which is bread made with summer bounty, I thought "it's not really summer in my part of the world". We are going through what is known as the rainy season. However, we are blessed with sunshine throughout the year. So I guess you can say that we perpetually have summer whole year round. Well, living at the coast, the first summer ingredient that came to my mind was mango. Combination of mango and a bookmarked recipe resulted in a mango kolache. Thank you so much Pavani for the wonderful theme.
   Kolache is a Czech bread usually baked during celebrations. It usually consists of a yeast sweet dough in a round shape with a topping of a sweet mixture.Either fresh, tinned or dried fruits like peaches and plums, cream cheese, poppy etc are some of the more famous fillings. Modern times means more modern fillings like blueberries, cherries, apricots are more popular. Some add posipka (streusel) on top. For more details about the history of kolache please visit this link.
   The sweet yeast dough is enriched by using butter, milk and egg. The texture of the dough was much like a brioche. The bread turned out soft and pastry like. I should have brushed the buns with egg wash before filling the dents. I forgot to do that and as a result you will see the white ring around the filling.
   So followers enjoy a treasure trove of summer bounty breads made by the group members.




















MANGO KOLACHE  
Makes 12 -15
Recipe adapted from Saveur

For the sweet yeast dough :

3-3½ cups plain flour (all purpose baking flour)
¾ cup warm milk
1 egg
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp soft butter
6 - 8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind (zest)

For the filling :

1 cup diced ripe mango (peeled)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)

For egg wash :
1 egg
2 tbsp water

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

Preparation of the dough :
  1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and yeast in a big bowl.
  2. Add egg to the warm milk and whisk it lightly.
  3. Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour.
  4. Make a dough and knead it, adding butter at intervals till you get a smooth and silky dough.
  5. If the dough is too sticky, add little flour but not too much. Shape the dough into a big ball.
  6. Grease the bowl with butter. Put the dough into the bowl. Cover with a cling film.
  7. Let the dough rise till its double the size in a warm place. This will take about 2-3 hours.
  8. Gently press the dough with your knuckles. Working on a board or work top dusted with flour, shape the dough into a rope. 
  9. Cut into 12 -15 parts.
  10. Roll each part into a ball. Cover with a tea towel. Let the balls rest for 10 -15 minutes.
  11. Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and water lightly.
  12. Shape each part again into a round ball. Place on a greased or lined baking sheet.
  13. Using a rolling pin, make a dent in the middle of each ball.
  14. Brush the buns with the egg wash.
  15. Fill the dent with 1 tsp of the filling.
  16. Let the buns rise for 30 - 45 minutes till they are double the size.
  17. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  18. Bake the kolache for 15 minutes or till they are golden brown.
  19. Remove them from the tray and let them cool on a wire rack.
  20. Serve with tea or coffee.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Put mango and sugar in a pan.
  2. Heat over low heat till the sugar melts.
  3. Mix cornflour and water together.
  4. Add the cornflour and mix. 
  5. Cook over low heat till it becomes thick.
  6. Cool the mixture.
Tips :
  • I added only 6 tbsp of sugar. The dough was not too sweet. If you prefer a sweet dough add 8 tbsp.
  • You can use apricot, peaches, cherries, blueberries etc instead of mango.
  • If you don't want to roll the buns, you may roll out the dough to about ½" thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the rolls or buns. Make a dent and fill.
  • If you want to sprinkle the top with posipka then mix ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup plain flour, 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp cinnamon powder. Sprinkle the top with posipka and bake.
You may want to check out the following :

Breads using summer bounty



Sending this recipe to the following event :
BreadBakers
Bread Bakers




Breads using Summer Bounty:



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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

518. Baigan raita / Eggplant yogurt salad

Appreciation 

    When one writes endearing comments on posts or facebook or likes your hard work, it brings immense satisfaction. Appreciating hard work has many advantages. One makes new connections, learns new things, makes one a better person, makes one work harder and above all makes one happy. We can appreciate what life offers us, appreciate what others do for us, appreciate when one cares for you, appreciate when someone teaches us. Appreciating someone else's work does not make one little but on the contrary makes them benevolent. Little words like sorry, thank you, hello,  makes ones day more happy. Lets make a conscious effort to appreciate more and complain less. That sort of contradicts what I wrote in my last post, however, after venting my frustration and anger, I calm down and appreciate the better things in life. 
  Coming to today's recipe,what is a raita? It is simply a yogurt based side dish which may contain raw or cooked vegetables, fruits or boondi (chickpea drops fried) along with spices. It is usually served along with parathas, rotis, naans, rice, curries, vegetable dishes etc. It usually has cooling effect to a hot curry or biryani or even grilled meats and vegetables. I love having raita during the hot season and sometimes make a meal out of it. 

Share you thought :
Do you appreciate someone's hard work easily?











BAIGAN RAITA / EGGPLANT  YOGURT SALAD
SERVES 4

1 large (approx 350g ) eggplant (brinjal)
2 cups fresh plain yogurt 
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
½ - 1 tsp garlic paste
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
4-6 fenugreek seeds (methi)
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)

oil for greasing

for tempering (vaghar) :
1 tsp oil
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
1 dry red chilli


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Wash the eggplant, cut off the stem part and cut it into half.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. 
  4. Place the eggplant halves on the sheet, cut side down.
  5. Brush oil over the eggplant. Roast the eggplant in the oven for 25 -30 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven. The flesh should have becomes soft.
  7. Let the eggplant cool a bit. Peel off the skin.
  8. Mash the eggplant lightly.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over low to medium heat.
  10. Add fenugreek and then the mustard and cumin seeds.
  11. Add the chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes a bit soft.
  12. Add garlic and chopped chilli. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  13. Add the fried mixture to the mashed eggplant.
  14. Add yogurt, coriander and salt to the mixture. Mix well.
Tempering :
  1. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat. It should not be smoking hot.
  2. Add the dry chilli and the chilli powder.
  3. Immediately pour the mixture over the raita.
Serve the raita immediately or put it in the fridge to chill it.

Tips :
  • Add chilli paste instead of chopped chilli.
  • You can add ¼-½ tsp grated ginger.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Add chopped grapes or pomegranate arils to the raita.
You may want to check out the following :
banana cucumber raita






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Monday, 3 August 2015

517. coconut barfi / coconut fudge

Road frustration

  Every person driving a car, matatu (local transport mini vans), rickshaw,lorry or riding a bike or scooter or motor cycle thinks that they own the road. Every person thinks that he/she has to get to their destination in a jiffy. Every person thinks that others waiting in the queue in a traffic are either stupid or foolish or not smart. The result is road hogs are born and the bigger the vehicle the more menacing they are. They manage to drive off smaller vehicles off the road. Rickshaws or tuk tuks (as they are called here) drivers steer in and out of lanes not worried about causing jams, scrapping other vehicles or causing one to brake suddenly. Their attitude is "you dare even touch and see the consquences". They know that the bigger will be blamed. Matatu drivers literally think they are the kings of the road and the rest are cockroaches. Road courtesy and manners are thrown out of the window. No one wants to follow correct lanes, give way, obey traffic lights and rules.Traffic wardens are ignored and police bribed. When is this going to change. Road rage is rapidly becoming a part of driving here and no body seems to care. I have seen so many times, cars racing behind ambulances. They have no idea that they are putting other peoples lives at a risk. Driving even a small distance is becoming a challenge. The most coolest or calmest person cannot drive without uttering a swear word or getting angry. To drive in Mombasa, you need eyes not only in the front but also at the back of your head and the sides too. You never know when a matatu, tuk tuk, cycle, motor bike will appear to hog your space. Cheap bribe taking driving schools are producing all these reckless drivers. 
    Today's recipe is a fresh coconut barfi. Fudgy, sweet and full of coconut flavour. Love it. Anything with coconut is my favourite. Feel like finishing all the barfi. 

Share your thoughts:
Do you experience reckless driving in your part of the part?













COCONUT BARFI / COCONUT FUDGE

3 cups grated fresh coconut
2 cups full fat milk
2 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp coarse cardamom powder (elachi)
a generous pinch of saffron strands

extra ghee for greasing
  1. Melt ghee in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add grated coconut and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add milk and let it get hot. Stir in between so that the coconut does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the condensed milk. Mix well.
  5. Cook the mixture over low to medium heat and stir frequently.
  6. The mixture will become thicker. 
  7. Don't forget to stir the mixture. After 30 minutes it will come away from the pan.
  8. Gather the mixture into a ball in the pan. Stick a teaspoon in the middle. If it does not fall then the barfi is ready.
  9. Add half of the cardamom powder and saffron to the mixture. Mix well.
  10. Grease a tray (5" X 7") lightly with ghee.
  11. Line the tray with a plastic sheet or parchment paper.
  12. Pour the mixture into the tray.
  13. Level it out with a spatula.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining cardamom powder.
  15. Let the barfi set for 2-3 hours.
  16. Cut into squares and serve. 
Tips :
  • I prefer to use a non stick pan. While cooking, the milk does not stick to sides of the pan as its easier to scrap it off frequently. 
  • I keep the barfi in the fridge as it tastes between a bit chilled. Also it will stay longer.
  • I made tiny bite size barfis. You can cut the size you prefer.
  • Make sure you don't get the brown part of the coconut when grating it.
You may want to check out the following :

kaju barfi

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

516. Chocolate date mousse

It's an Honour

   Last Saturday was an exciting day for me. I was installed as the 19th President of my very hardworking and active Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari. Since the Club was chartered, I have been a part of it. First as a spouse and then as a Lion. The best part was that one of my good friend Lion Tasneem Dar, performed the ceremony of installing me along with my board members. My best friend Daxa and Jitu were there to share the milestone in my life along with my brother in law and sister in law. The surprise moment was when my hubby Ajay, sang a song for me. I was feeling shy, happy and loved all at the same time. Was I nervous? Yes, had butterflies in my stomach the whole afternoon. Its a big responsibility to run such a fine Club, but then we have wonderful members, helpful and active. Right from medical to educational to donations, some activity or the other takes places practically every month. The Club climbs to greater heights under each President. For my year too I am hoping to achieve a lot more to take the Club one rung higher on the ladder of service to Humanity. So this year you will probably get to hear a lot more about my Club and the activities. 
    For such a special occasion it had to be celebrated with something sweet. I made a simple but absolutely delicious chocolate date mousse at home. Thank you Aarthi of Yummy Tummy for the recipe.I made just a few changes, added more chocolate and flavouring. Hope you enjoy this dessert. It's eggless and the only sugar that is present in it is from the chocolate. None is added to it. The month of Ramadhan meant that we got really nice sweet dates. 











CHOCOLATE DATE MOUSSE
Serves 8
Recipe source: Yummy Tummy

250g chocolate (both dark and milk)- the total weight of both should be 250g
200g dates (approx 22-24) - pitted
½ cup fresh milk
2 cups whipping cream (chilled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cardamom powder

For topping :
fresh fruits or grated chocolate or chopped nuts


  1. Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Pit the dates and add to the hot milk.
  3. Cover and let the dates soak in the milk for 1-2 hours.
  4. Process the dates in a food processor to a puree or paste.
  5. Melt the chocolate. Heat water in a small pan. Put the chocolate in a glass or steel bowl that sits well on the pan. Stir constantly till the chocolate melts.
  6. Add the date paste to the melted chocolate. Add vanilla extract and cardamom powder. 
  7. Mix well.
  8. Whip the cream till it reaches the soft peak consistency or till its fluffy.
  9. Add the cream to the cooled down chocolate and date mixture. Fold in the cream gently.
  10. Spoon the mousse into individual serving bowls or containers.
  11. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 - 4 hours or till it sets.
  12. Serve with any of your favourite toppings or on its own.
Tips :
  • Pit the dates before you measure them.
  • I used more of dark chocolate than the milk one. You can take half of both or as you prefer.
  • Don't use the dried out dates.You don't want the mousse to be gritty.
  • While melting the chocolate, make sure the bowl does not touch the hot water. Its the hot steam from the bottom that helps to melt the chocolate. Or you can melt it in a microwave oven.
You may want to check out the following :

watermelon mousse





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Thursday, 23 July 2015

515. Chickpea flour savoury pancake

  sweet memories

  The food blogger world for is getting bigger and bigger. Getting to know more bloggers, following many regularly and commenting too. Its amazing how some recipes reminds one of their childhood. It can be a whole recipe, a method or just a single ingredient that can trigger the memory.  One such recipe I came across was zucchini pancake by Shobha of Shobha's Food Mazaa. As I read the recipe, I immediately thought of my mum. She would make pudlas (chilas) and sweet pudlas often for dinner for the huge family. She would have two tawas on the cooker, and would spread out perfect round pudlas for all of us. My cousin would usually ask her to add an egg in his savoury pudlas. She would mix the egg into the batter and make them. I thought of making a version of the zucchini savoury pancakes. Here is my version. Shobha thank you sharing a wonderful recipe and bringing back sweet memories.  I added other vegetables as these days hubby dear does not want to eat salad. So the trick was to add as many veggies as I could. I thought the recipe name should not be zucchini pancakes. The pancakes turned out really good and an absolutely healthy meal. I used very little oil. Next time I would team it up a nice salad to make it into a filling meal. I bought this pan which can be used to make mini uttapams, fried eggs, mini bhakris, parathas etc. I used it to make these cute mini pancakes.









CHICKPEA FLOUR SAVOURY PANCAKES
Makes 12 mini ones
Recipe idea : Shobha's Food Mazaa

1 cup besan (chickpea flour/ chana flour)
2 eggs
1 small onion
1 medium size zucchini
1 medium size carrot
¼ cup sour yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander or fenugreek (methi)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda) 
little oil


  1. Wash, peel and grate the carrot into a big bowl.
  2. Wash and grate the zucchini. Add it to the bowl.
  3. Peel and grate the onion.Add it to the bowl.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil.
  5. Mix the batter well.
  6. Heat a non stick tawa over medium heat. 
  7. Rub a bit of oil over it.
  8. Spread a ladleful of batter into a pancake like shape.Drizzle little oil around it.
  9. Let it cook over low heat.
  10. Flip the pancake over and let it cook till it becomes light golden brown.
  11. Serve immediately with your favourite sauce, chutney or pickle.
Tips :
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Add any vegetable of your choice.
  • Cook the pancakes over low heat. If you cook them over high heat the outside will get cooked immediately but the inside will remain raw.
You may want to check out the following :

instant pudlas

moong dal pudlas or chilas

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