Thursday, 30 January 2014

Greek Simiti / Koulouria




I am very happy that Eggless Bakers Group has completed two years and I myself have been a member of this group  for almost a year now. This group has taught me a lot . I first used to stay away from bakes which include eggs as my mother in law doesn't eat eggs. But with this group I have successfully learnt to substitute eggs without compromising on texture and taste. So thanks a lot gayathri for including me in this wonderful group and wish you many more successful years of eggless baking . 


This month we are making a Greek sweet bread called Simita or Koulouria . These actually are big ring like structures though I have made small rings . This bread is suggested by Priya Suresh . Thanks Priya and Gayathri for this yummy bread ring.











Original Recipe : My Little Expat Kitchen

Ingredients :


For the dough :

2 tsp................dried active yeast
100 ml.............warm water
50 ml ..............warm milk
2 tbsp..............sugar
1 cup..............wheat flour
1 1/2 cup..........all purpose flour
2 tbsp...............thick sour curds ( to substitute 1 egg )
2 tbsp + 1 tsp...oil
1/2 tsp..............salt

For the coating :

1 cup ................dry toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup..............black currant crush ( diluted with 1 tbsp water )


Method :

In a bowl add yeast, sugar and 2 tbsp warm water.

Mix the yeast with fingers and make a paste.

Now add remaining warm water, both the flours, curds, oil, milk and salt in this order.

Now knead the dough for almost 10 minutes with your hands.

The dough should be soft , elastic but non sticky.

You can add more flour to achieve the above consistency.

Now apply oil to dough and keep it in greased bowl.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rice for 1 hour or till double in size.

Take sesame seeds and diluted black currant crush in two separate wide plates.





After the dough has doubled knead it and make 10  to 12 equal balls .

Roll each ball to a long rope as shown in picture.






Fold it and braid the two strands and form a ring .

Press the ends with water to stick.






Dip this ring first in diluted crush and then coat it well with sesame seeds.

Keep them on greased baking tray .





Bake 5 to 6 at a time in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees .





Keep the rings well separated as they rise while baking.

Serve warm or cold .




Foccacia Caprese


This is my second month in We Knead To Bake a brainchild of Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen  in which the members bake a different bread every month.

Last month I made a delcious and totally unusal sweet bread called german-bee-sting-cake  and this month we are doing Foccacia Capreses a very well known herbed bread. I have used wheat flour as well as all purpose flour .

This bread was a delight to make because I personally like savory bakes. This cheesy bread was enjoyed by all . So off to the recipe


 




Ingredients :

For the Herbed Oil :

1/4 cup............. olive oil
1 tsp................. oregano (dried )
1 tsp.................basil ( dried ).
1 tsp................garlic paste
1/2 tsp ................salt

For the Dough :

2 tsp...............Dry active yeast
1 n 1/2 tbsp....sugar
1 tsp...............salt
1/4 cup..........oil
1 n 1/2 cup ....warm water
some oil for brushing
2 cups............maida
1 1/2 cups......wheat flour

For the topping :

1 ...............big tomato thinly sliced
2 cubes.....cheddar cheese sliced thinly
2 tsp.........dry basil leaves




Method :

Mix all items in herbed oil and mix them well and keep aside.

In a bowl add yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.

When the yeast mixture become frothy add herbed oil to it and mix well.

Now add maida n wheat flour and knead a dough with warm water.

Knead for almost 10 minutes till the dough is soft and elastic but not sticky.

Place it in a big oiled bowl and turn it around to coat the dough with oil.

Cover the bowl and keep aside for about 1 hour for the dough to become double.

After the dough doubles take it out and press it to form a rectangle shape.

Again keep to rise for 1/2 an hour.

Now press the dough with oiled fingers to form evenly formed dimples in it.





Brush the surface with oil.

Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Take out from oven and arrange cheese slices and top with tomato slices.




Sprinkle some dried basil on top .

Again bake for 10 minutes till the cheese just melts.

Serve hot.







Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Lima Beans Stir Fry

For the remake of Potluck party this month I was paired with Nandoo from nandooskitchen  and hence got to make her lovely dish Avarakka Podithuval ( Hyacinth beans stir fry ) Though I used the lima beans instead. 






Ingredients :

1/2 Kg .....................Fresh Lima beans
4 tbsp.......................scraped fresh coconut
1/4 tsp......................turmeric powder
2 ............................green chillies
2 tsp.......................coconut oil
1/2 tsp..................mustard seeds
1/2 tsp.................urad dal
1 sprig................curry leaves
1/4 tsp...............hing ( asefoetida)
salt



Method :

Wash the beans and remove the strings .

Cut them in small pieces.

Coarsely grind coconut and chillies and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.

When they splutter add urad dal and let it become golden .

Now add hing, curry leavesand finally add chopped lima beans.

Add turmeric and salt and cook till done.

Now add the ground coconut chilly mixture.

Stir for 2 minutes and remove from fire.

Serve with rotis or dal rice.






Sending this to Jagruti's Potluck Party

Grab button for Potluck Party


Tilache Ladoo ( Sweet Sesame Jaggery Balls )

Tilache Ladoo or Tilwale laddoo are a must during winter and usually are prepared in most Indian Kitchens during January on the occasion of Makara Sankranti or Pongal . The Gud (jaggery ) and Til (sesame ) provide the much needed heat in the winter. They give us energy and warmth. These laddoos are made along with small white sugary sweets called Halwa or Phutane in marathi .

 The jaggery used for these laddoo is a special variety called chikki gud and it is available freely at every grocery store especially in winter season.

 I made these laddoos for the SFC ( Sweet Fantasy Club ) a sweet event by a sweet friend Preeti Garg .





Ingredients :

2 cups ......................unpolished til (sesame )
1 n 1/2 cups ..............jaggery ( chikki gud )
1/2 cup....................roasted chana dal
1/2 cup..................roasted and skinned peanuts ( cut into pieces)
1/4 tsp..................coarsely ground cardamom powder
2 tbsp.................ghee


Method :

Dry roast til ( sesame) in a pan over low flame.

Add roasted peanut pieces and daal.

Also add cardamom powder and mix everything.

Now in the same pan add ghee and jaggery.

Heat till jaggery melts and becomes frothy.

Take a small teaspoonfull molten jaggery and drop it in cold water .

It should instantly form a hard ball .

This is a check to see if jaggery is ready to make laddoos.

Now add the above mixture in this jaggery and mix everything very well.

Apply ghee to your palms and make round balls while the mixture is still hot.

Cool them and store in airtight containers.





Saturday, 18 January 2014

Koffiebroodje ( Coffee Buns )

For the month of January we the members of  baking-partners  were given two Dutch recipes for baking .
Our this month's host Kaveri suggested two very yummy and interesting recipes : Apple tarts and Koffiebroodge or Coffee buns . I found the recipe of coffee buns very interesting and hence decided to make them . They are Dutch sweet buns usually had with coffee and hence the name. These buns are actually baked slice rolls with sweet custard feeling . These yummy buns are very spongy and soft and went perfectly with hot cup of coffee. Thanks Swathi  and Kaveri for this lovely recipe.








Ingredients :

2 cups ..........................maida
1 tsp..............................dry active yeast
3 tbsp...........................sugar
1/4 cup ......................warm water
3/4 cup .....................warm milk
1/2 tsp.......................salt
2 tbsp.......................butter
1 tsp.........................vanilla


For the filling :

1/2 cup.................milk
2 tsp...................vanilla custard powder
2 tbsp................sugar
1/4 cup..............whipped fresh cream
2 to 3 tbsp..........dried blueberries ( soaked in little water )


For the glaze :

2 tbsp...................strawberry jam
1 tbsp..................water







Method :

Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water and keep aside for 10 minutes to rise.

Add flour and salt and mix well.

Also add butter , vanilla and warm milk and knead to a soft elastic dough.

Cover and let the dough rise for 60 to 70 minutes.

For the filling mix custard powder in 2 tbsp milk .

Heat the remaining milk with sugar.

Add the custard and milk mixture slowly to this hot milk and stir continuously.

When the mixture is thick remove from the gas.

When it cools down add whipped cream and mix well.

After 1 hour take the dough and punch it.

Knead it again and make 2 parts.

Roll each part into a rectangle shape.





Apply the custard evenly on it and sprinkle the blueberries.




Now roll the dough with seam down.

Cut 1 inch slices and arrange them on a greased baking tray.

Again let it proof for half an hour.

Brush the slices with butter and bake in a preheated oven for half and hour at 180 degrees.





For the glaze mix the jam and water and brush it on the baked slices.






Serve warm with a cup of strong hot steaming coffee.



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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Faluche Du Nord ( French Flat Bread )


Faluche Du Nord is a French flat bread usually eaten at breakfasts or used to make sandwiches. The bread has a white crust ( though mine doesn't have as I have used wheat flour instead of maida ).

 I have no idea whether this bread is made with wheat or no but as I have decided to reduce my maida intake , I nowadays replace it with wheat flour wherever possible. The result was good and the bread was soft though it may not have puffed up as much as it should .

This popular bread was our this month's  home-bakers-challenge  an event started by priya suresh   Thanks Priya for introducing us to this lovely bread.





Ingredients :

2 cups ............................wheat flour
1/2 cup...........................maida ( ALF )
1 n 1/2 tsp ......................active dry yeast
1/2 tsp ..........................salt
2 tbsp + 1 tsp.................groundnut oil







Method :

In a bowl mix yeast , salt and 1/4 cup warm water.

Keep it aside for 10 minutes or till it turns frothy.

Now take wheat flour , maida, 2 tbsp oil and add this yeast mixture to it.

Knead the dough very well for 8 to 10 minutes to soft elastic consistency.

Keep it in a greased bowl and rest it for 1 n 1/2 hour.

Remove the dough and roll it in a 1/4 inch thick disc.

Cut in round shapes with a round cutter.

Place the rounds on a greased baking tray and again keep to rise for 1 hour.

Brush the top of the dough with 1 tsp oil and sprinkle some wheat flour on it.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes .





Sunday, 12 January 2014

Gajar Kaa Halwa ( Carrot Halwa )

In winter you get lots n lots of carrots and I like to make various dishes using carrot during this time. Carrot contains plenty of Vitamin A which is essential for our eye sight and also lot of fibre to provide roughage to our body. Though eating raw carrot regularly  is best for our health, there is certainly no harm in occasionally  making something as simple and delicious as this gajar kaa halwa.

This sweet can be easily made with minimum ingredients and is always popular among children and adults alike.I saw this recipe in a Marathi book called Sugranishi Hitaguz written by a well known nutritionist Dr Malati Karwarkar .

 She has advised on turning our regular dishes into healthy and delcious ones.  In this recipe instead of using Khoya or Mawa I have used instant milk powder. This makes the dish more nutritious . For making khoya /mawa you need to boil and reduce milk and in this process the nutrition part in milk is lost whereas milk powder provides you with all the advantages of milk . Also adding poppy seeds adds to the nutritional value along with giving that additional crunchiness to the halwa. You can add or skip the other nuts according to your taste.







Ingredients :

1/2 kg................ carrots ( select dark orange and long thick variety )
1 n 1/2 cup.........sugar ( use can alter the amount as per your liking)
2 tbsp................ghee
2 tbsp..............chopped nuts ( almonds, pistachios , cashews etc )
1 tbsp...............raisins
1/2 tsp..............cardamom powder
4 tbsp.............. instant milk powder ( or can use khoya / mawa )
1 tbsp ..............poppy seeds ( optional )
silver foil for garnish ( optional )






Method :

Wash and grate the carrots.

In a non stick pan add ghee and saute the carrots till the raw smell disappears.

Cook till carrots are half cooked . ( this may take 8 to 10 minutes ).

Add sugar and cook till sugar melts.

Now add poppy seeds and instant milk powder and cook for 5 more minutes.

Before removing add the nuts, cardamom powder and switch off the gas.

Garnish with silver foil and serve warm.






Also sending it to :


Foodabulous-fest  @ eshoboshoaahare

spotlight-continental 

holiday-recipes











Friday, 10 January 2014

Corn Spinach Soup


At present we Mumbaikars are experiencing a very pleasant cold climate in the evenings and sometimes chilly mornings . And having a hot comforting soup at such times in the evenings is very satisfying.

I love winter season because you don't feel tired and also the fruits and vegetables are available in plenty . Needless to say that I had brought lots of fresh vegetables from the market and so didn't get time to make an elaborate dinner . So decided to make a soup instead with some salad. 


Actually I wanted to make a simple sweet corn soup as I had bought some fresh tender sweet corn kernels but ended up adding some fresh tender spinach leaves and the the result was amazing. The soup tasted too good and did not take any extra time as such . The happy satisfied faces of all the family members was a well deserved reward .




 

Ingredients :

1 cup ......................fresh sweet corn kernels
15 to 20 ..................fresh spinach leaves ( don't use the stem )
1.............................onion ( finely chopped )
1 tbsp......................oil
1 tbsp.....................corn flour
1/4 cup + 3 cups ..................water
salt
sugar
pepper powder ( optional )



Method :

Boil fresh corn till tender.

Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them.

Heat oil in a thick bottom vessel and saute onion till translucent.

Now add the corn and 3 cups water and bring it to boil.

Add salt , sugar as per your liking.

Mix cornflour in 1/4 cup water and pour it in the boiling soup.

Stir continuously for 2 minutes.

The soup will become thick.

You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adjusting the cornflour used.

While serving sprinkle some pepper powder on top and serve piping hot soup.



Linking this to potluck-party-cyber-style   @ Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey




Monday, 6 January 2014

Onion And Cheese Soup


There is nothing more comforting than having a steaming bowl of soup on a cold wintery evening. This simple onion and cheese soup gives you exactly the warmth and comfort needed for the pleasant and cold weather . Made this simple soup and had along with bread.

 The trick lies in sauteing onion slices on low flame till they become golden brown . This ensures a lovely aroma of onion in you soup. Also add grated cheese just before serving the soup and don't reheat once you add the cheese. Enjoy this rich creamy and cheesy soup .







Ingredients :

2 to 3 .......................Onions ( very finely sliced )
2 tbsp......................butter ( used Amul butter )
3 to 4 tbsp..............cheddar cheese ( shredded )
2 cups ....................milk
1 tbsp.....................cornflour
1 tsp......................pepper powder
salt


Method :

Saute sliced onion in butter on a low flame .

The slices should become golden brown . ( takes 25 to 30 minutes )

This sauteing on slow flame is very important as it imparts the real flavour of onions to the soup.

Now add milk and when it becomes hot add pepper powder.

Also dissolve cornflour in 1/4 cup water and add to the soup.

While serving boil to soup and add shredded cheese.

Serve immediately with bread or soup sticks.

The soup should be piping hot.

Don't reheat the soup again after adding cheese.

This changes the taste of the soup.


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Eggless Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is an exclusive dessert and I first came to know about it while watching Australian Masterchef . The blowtorch technique used to melt the sugar and to form the crusty top fascinated me and I was like there are certain desserts which are just not meant to be done at home. And Creme Brulee was just one such  dessert about which I could only  imagine .

But then there are some who just like to take such challenges which sound impossible at first and then making them look possible to attain . This was the feeling I got when I saw that this month Gayathri  had challenged the members of Baking Eggless  with Creme Brulee a dessert suggested by Vimalalakshmi and that too an eggless version. She had also taken pain to describe in detail how to prepare the crust at home without the blow torch method.

I obviously found  this challenge very exciting and not to be missed at any cost. The part which I most enjoyed while making this dessert was no doubt the melting of sugar. This I tried by two different techniques. First I tried heating the backside of a spoon till it turned black and then keeping it on sugar . The sugar sizzled and melted but also made the spoon sticky in the process. After heating the spoon 2 to 3 times it became totally black and it became difficult to melt the remaining sugar. So after melting sugar in 2 bowls in such a way I opted the other way.

The other way to form the crust was  to caramalize the sugar and pour a thin layer on the baked and cooled  custard. This method was very easy and the caramel formed a thin crunchy layer on the top . We all broke it with a spoon and enjoyed our Creme Brulle just the way the judges had done in Australian Masterchef Episode. Absolutely loved breaking the crunchy caramel layer on top.

Thanks Gayathri for this wonderful recipe and this amazing technique which I learnt .









Ingredients :

1 cup................................fresh cream
1 cup ..............................milk
4 tbsp...............................vanilla flavored custard powder
4 tbsp + 5 tbsp................sugar
1 tsp...............................agar agar ( veg version of gelatin )






Method :

Mix agar agar in 4 tbsp water and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Mix the custard powder in 1/4 cup milk .
Heat the remaining milk with 4 tbsp sugar.
When hot pour the milk mixed with custard powder and stir.
The mixture will thicken.
Switch off the gas and let the mixture cool.
Whip the cream till stiff and add to the cold thickened mixture.
Also add agar agar dissolved in water and beal well till everything is mixed.
Now pour this mixture in 5 to 6 bowls.
Take a deep tray and fill it 1/4 with hot water.
Keep the bowls in water and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the baked custard cool down compleately.
You can keep it in fridge for 3 to 4 hours to chill.
Now sprinkle 5 tbsp sugar uniformly on top of the custard.


For the  crusty top

Method 1 :

Heat a medium spoon directly on the flame til it become very hot.
Then place it on top of sprinkled sugar .
The sugar will start sizzling and melting.
Repeat this till all the sugar melts and you get a nice crusty top.
Though in this process the spoon gets totally spoilt and black.





Method 2 :

Heat 5 tbsp sugar with 2 tbsp water .
Go on heating till the sugar caramalizes.
Pour 1 tbsp caramalized sugar on top of the baked custard.
The caramel will immediately harden forming a nice cruncy crust.



For a detailed post describing how to make the crusty sugar top without a blow torch please refer to the following post :
 http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2013/06/13/technique-how-to-brulee-without-broiler-or-blowtorch/






Shrimp Tempura ( for IFC )

Prawns is a type of shell fish very delicious and versatile. It can be made into gravies, pulavs or also can be used as a filling for frankies, wraps n burgers. Today I have made this prawn tempura which are actually fritters which are crispy and yummy.

Though the original recipe doesn't call for turmeric I couldn't help using it along with pepper powder as there was no other masala used in this recipe and I was worried about the smell of shell fish . In konkani we call this smell ( nustyaa  hinvsaan).

The dish was amazingly tasty is perfect as starters for parties and special occasions . Linking this to  International Food Challenge or (IFC ) an event started by two lovely bloggers  Saras and  Shobana which was hosted by Shahzia of  cutchikitchen

Thanks Shahzia for this simple yet wonderful recipe.







Ingredients  :

10 to 12 .................... big sized prawns
4 to 5 tbsp...................maida
1 tbsp..........................cornflour
1 ..................................egg
1 tsp............................pepper powder
1/2 tsp.........................turmeric powder ( optional)
water
salt
oil for deep frying


Method :

Clean the prawns and remove the upper shells keeping the shell part near the tail.

Remove the black thick thread from the stomach of the prawns.

Marinate them with turmeric powder for 15 to 20 minutes.

Then wash the prawns thoroughly.

Make a thick batter not too thick not too thin with maida, pepper powder. egg, salt and water.

Now dust the cleaned prawns with cornflour .

Dip them in the batter so that they are well coated from all sides.

Deep fry them in oil till crisp and golden .