June 29, 2008

Delicious Danish: Daring Baker Challenge June 2008

The Daring Bakers hosts truly have us globe trotting without buying a ticket. We have gone French in the past, with Bread and the Opera, and this time we’re doing Danish!
Welcome to this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge and my fifth one. Kelly of Sass and Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin set us to make some Danish pastry this month. As usual, this is another cooking/ baking direction I’ve never gone before. But this time was a bit different for me. I went into the challenge knowing what a Danish pastry looked and tasted like!!
As usual, we were provided with lots of information regarding the history and also links and details for working with Danish pastry. And a recipe to bake by.


I’m not reproducing the recipe here to keep this post from being too long and boring everyone with a recipe seen on countless blogs. For those interested in the recipe, a printable version can be found here.

My Danish Experience:

The dough:

Of course, we started the challenge with the making of the dough (Detrempe). I didn’t use any vanilla beans because they are not available here and sourcing them from elsewhere would have proved expensive. Then Rachel, a fellow DB, offered to send me some but I had finished baking my Danish pastry by then.
So I used double the amount of vanilla extract (3 tsps) instead. There were no oranges to be found at the market (not the season for them here), so I used the zest/ rind of some lemons and unsweetened orange juice from a carton. And I used salted butter as I couldn’t find the unsalted kind. I know, many of you find this hard to believe, but it’s true.
I don’t have a stand mixer, so my arms got a lot of exercise. Otherwise, I had no problems with the dough. The butter (beurrage) behaved well and didn’t leak. This could have been due to the lower temperatures here these days (the monsoons are finally here).

All ready for a sleepover in the fridge.

I made a full recipe of the dough and froze it.
Here is a good link that shows how to make Danish pastry dough and shape them.

The filling:

We were required to make a braid with either the given apple filling recipe or a filling of our choice, provided we had made it. I made a half recipe of the apple filling for the braid as I love apple pie. I sprinkled some cashewnuts, sautéed in a little ghee, over the filling before braiding the dough.
I also used some other filling for the individual Danish pastries I made.
- Mango preserves I had made earlier.

Apricot and Almond & Cashew filling

- Apricot and Almond & Cashew filling using left over almond-cashew meal from the Opera Cake. I followed Beatrice Ojakanas’ recipe.

Sweet moist coconut filling

- Sweet moist coconut filling. This is a traditional south Indian sweet filling we use in many of our sweets. Take 1 cup of loosely packed, freshly scraped/ flaked coconut (dessicated or dried coconut won’t do) and ½ - ¾ a cup of powdered jaggery (depending on sweetness of the jaggery). Put both in a pan with 2 tbsp of water and stir, on medium heat, till it comes together (about 3 – 5 minutes). If this is kept on the stove for longer, it will take on a toffee like texture which is not desirable. The filling should be moist but not wet. Add a tsp or so of ghee (clarified butter) and a tsp of cardamom powder and mix well. Take off heat, cool and use.
- A savoury Indian style filling made of steamed cauliflower, potatoes and peas sautéed with turmeric, chilli, cumin, coriander, garam masala powders and salt. Actually I had this leftover from lunch, so I used it to make some turnovers.

Putting it all together:

I made the braid as instructed but left out the egg wash. The braid still baked to a beautiful brown. I used a half recipe of the Danish pastry dough for the braid and used the remaining half to experiment with various fillings and shapes.
It is important to keep the strips long enough for braiding or else the braid will open up during baking. The thing would be to mark the dough rectangle into three equal parts, place the filling in the middle third and then cut the outer thirds of the rectangle into strips for braiding.


Apple filling and cashews

Almost ready for the oven


For individual Danish pastries I made a few each of the following.
Spandauer – pastry folded into envelopes with mango preserves.
A sort of packet, with coconut filling, where the four ends of a square of dough were brought together and twisted into a top knot.
Bears claws/ Cock’s combs/ Kammar filled with apricot filling. (I bet you never saw a bear with paws like these!)
Pinwheels with the coconut filling.
Open Danish twists with the mango preserves/ grated bitter-sweet chocolate.
Snails with the apricot filling
And “croissants with no filling”, at my daughter’s express request.


Verdict:

This challenge worked well for me. No unfortunate experiences, for a change!
The dough could be made and frozen, fillings made ahead and refrigerated (except the savoury kind), and then assembled conveniently.
And the smells that float throughout the house when these are baking is another experience. All the spices (cardamom is my absolute favourite) and fruit baking up in pastry full of butter makes for a wonderful fragrance.
I didn’t find the dough too sweet, probably because I used salted butter! So this dough made a good combination with savoury fillings as well.

Most Danish pastries, I understand, are either sprinkled with sugar before baking or drizzled with a sugar glaze afterwards. I chose not to do this as I didn’t want the pastries too sweet. I didn’t get the layered effect in my braid (though it was good) but got some layering in my individual ones. I did get lovely layers in my filling free croissants. These were the best.
I think I might just venture forth into the world of puff pastry in the future.

Thank you, Kelly and Ben, for demystifying (for me, at least) one more baking tradition. I say this every time, and I’m saying it again. Please do go across to my fellow DB blogs to be tempted by the sheer variety of Danish pastries baked up across the world.



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June 28, 2008

Spicy Whole Masoor Dal (Pink Lentils)


This is one of those recipes I have come up with over the years. When I first started cooking, I was a bit out of my depth finding an “easy to put together” vegetable, lentil or anything that would be good with chappathis.
A good thing about lentils is that you will always find them in some variety or the other in Indian kitchens, and pink lentils and moong lentils do not even need to be soaked before cooking them. They're also comfort food to the Indian psyche and there are very few of us who do not like cooked lentils with our meals.





In my parents rice eating south Indian home (and my husband’s), chappathis were not considered “filling” enough for lunch or dinner but more of a “tiffin”. So while I didn’t find it too difficult to cook up a south Indian meal, finding something (to serve with chappathis or parathas) that was easy to cook, wholesome and tasty took a little longer.
I have since added a few such recipes or come up with my own concoctions that are now a part of my regular cooking.





This dal made with whole masoor dal or pink lentils is one of them. Whole masoor doesn’t need to be soaked in water before cooking it. It also cooks quickly and soft to a creamy consistency, so you don't even need to plan ahead for ths dish.

Quite a few North Indian style curries, at least the ones served in most Indian restaurants, are usually rich but home coked daily preparations are rarely cooked in ghee or with cream. These are reserved for special occasions.




This recipe of mine is creamy in texture from the lentils and yogurt which gives it a texture and tase reminiscent of cream, yet is light on the palate and the digestive system. Serve it warm with chappathis (or rice) and a slald for a complete meal.

Spicy Whole Masoor Dal (Pink Lentils)
 


Ingredients:
 

2 cups cooked whole masoor (pink lentils)
 
2 onions, diced
 
1 big tomato, diced
 
1/2 tsp ginger paste
 
1/2 tsp garlic paste
 
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
 
1/2 cup fresh yogurt
 
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
 
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
 
1 tsp cumin powder
 
1 tsp garam masala
 
salt to taste
 
2 tsp oil
 
1 – 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, for garnishing
 
 

Method:

Cook your lentils until they're well done but not mushy.
Grind the onions and tomato into a fine paste.
Heat the oil and add the ginger and garlic pastes. Saute and then add the green chillies and the onion tomato paste. Over medium heat sauté till the raw smell of onion disappears. If the paste looks too dry while sautéing, add 2 tbsps of water and continue cooking.
 
Once the paste is cooked add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Sauté a few times, and add the whole masoor/ lentils. If the lentils are too dry add enough water (between half and one cup should do) to ensure the dal is thick in consistency. Using a wooden spoon, lightly mash the lentils so that dal becomes a little thick in consistency. Add the salt, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes add it.
 
Whisk the yogurt and add to the dal, stirring continuously. Turn off the heat and mix the dal well to ensure the yogurt is well blended.
Do not turn up the heat or allow the dal to boil once the yogurt has been added or it will split/ curdle spoiling the appearance of the dish.
 
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm with chappathis, parathas or rice.THis recipe should serve 4.


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June 26, 2008

Shades Of Yellow - CLICK : June 2008 Yellow For Bri

By now, I’m sure all of you would have heard about Briana Brownlow and her battle with cancer. I had not heard of her or her blog, Figs with Bri, till this post at Jugalbandi.
This post is just in case there is someone who wasn’t aware of the fundraiser for Briana (not many I’m sure) and would like to help in any way.


Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer.
Intensive chemo and other treatments, including holistic alternatives are not completely covered by her health insurance. The team at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR. This includes a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. You may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

You can also lend your support by taking part in CLICK, a food photography event, where this month is YELLOW for Bri. Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

Cancer is an illness that has touched all of us in some way or the other. I have seen its presence not only in my family but in those of our friends. Someone I knew but lost touch with lost her painful battle with cancer last month. She leaves behind a 13 year old daughter. My cousin's wife has had two surgeries and is undergoing chemotherapy to fight a tumour in her brain which refuses to go away.

Many such battles do have a happy ending, but after a difficult journey. I recommend Lance Armstrong’s book about his battle with cancer “It is Not About the Bike – My Journey Back to Life”, if you haven’t read it yet.

Let us do what we can. Remember that every little bit of support (in any manner) counts. There is a saying in Malayalam (a south Indian language), “Pala Thulli Peru Vellam” that translates into “Many little drops make a big pool of water”. And let us keep Bri and her family in our thoughts and prayers.

This is my contribution to CLICK: Yellow for Bri. “Shades of Yellow”




My glass of mango juice is served up with a Kiwi Cheesecake from the Sept- Oct 2003 issue of Tarla Dalal’s Cooking & More.


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June 25, 2008

Microwaved Mango Preserves

Printable recipe here.

It is almost the end of the mango season here and I’ve been taken over by a bit of mango madness in the last couple of months. We’ve eaten mango as fruit, had it in pickles, juices, milk shakes, ice cream, in dessert, baked it, and cooked it into absolutely delicious “curries”. I think the only thing I’ve not thing I’ve not done is deep fry it!


I also made some preserves using some slightly over ripe mangoes I had sometime back. Since I made them in the microwave, I’m sending this to Srivalli at Cooking 4 All Seasons to be part of her MEC: Bottled!

Ingredients:

5 mangoes, peeled and chopped
¾ cup powdered jaggery/ brown sugar
1 ½ tsp dried ginger
1 tsp cinnamon powder
4-5 cloves
½ tsp salt

Method:

If you would like the preserve to be more like jam, then run the mango a couple of times in the blender.
Put all the ingredients, except the ginger in a microwave safe bowl. Mix and then cook at 100% for ten minutes. Now add the ginger, stir well and microwave at 80% for another 8 minutes. Allow the preserve/ jam to cool. It will thicken a little bit. Bottle and refrigerate. I got enough preserve to fill a medium sized jam jar.
My mangoes were quite juicy and so took longer to cook and reduce. You might have to adjust your cooking time depending on the variety of mango. Similarly, you might need to adjust the jaggery/ brown sugar required depending on the sweetness of your mangoes.

Some Appreciation For My Blog:

Some more fellow bloggers have passed on a couple of awards, as they feel my blog (and I) are worthy of them. I can only say thanks and feel pretty good and humbled by all this.



Simran of Bombay Foodie has given me a “You make my day award” and Rachel of Tangerine’s Kitchen has given me not one, but two awards – A Yummy Blog award and a Rocking Girl Blogger award.






Thank you so much, Simran and Rachel.


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June 24, 2008

Nicole's Four Grain Pancakes

Printable recipe here.

This month, for Taste and Create, I was paired with Nicole herself (whose idea this event is) and got the chance to go through her recipe archives.
The first time I decided to go through her recipes (For The Love Of Food) I was in for a bit of a shock. Apparently, some nut had erased most of the posts from her blog! Imagine how terrible it can be to see all your hard work just disappearing overnight. As Nicole herself puts it to the person behind this awful deed, “I hope that you find cockroaches in your shoes the next time you slip your feet in!”
Though some of her posts are gone for ever, she and her husband have managed to put a lot of them back on her blog and are continuing working on the matter.


What I did find find on Nicole’s blog was lots of vegetarian recipes. And I’m going to try some of them for sure. But for this particular event, I chose to make some Four GrainPancakes.
Nicole’s recipe is below:

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Flour1/2 Cup Corn Meal
1/3 Cup Quick-cooking Rolled Oats
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Lactose-free Milk (originally calls for Buttermilk)(I used low fat milk)
1/3 Cup Butter, melted (I used oil)
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (I used honey)
2 Eggs, beaten

Directions:
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and stir well until there are no longer lumps in the batter. Adjust the thickness/thin-ness by adding more flour or more milk.
On medium-high heat, heat a griddle until hot. Reduce the heat to low if you are working with a gas range. Lightly grease the griddle with some cooking oil. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until bubbles form and burst open on the surface of the pancake. Flip the pancakes and cook another 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve immediately, or keep warm between 2 plates.
Makes about 16 4-inch pancakes.


Verdict:

First of all check out the beautiful pancake pictures on Nicole’s blog.
I halved the recipe and made some minor changes (see the ingredient list) but otherwise went with Nicole’s recipe. I also covered the pancake for about a couple of minutes after pouring the batter on the griddle (do this on low heat) and then turned it over to cook the other side. This fluffs up and cooks the pancakes giveing them a nice “holey” appearance. The result was absolutely light and fluffy pancakes which are not too sweet. The other nice part about this recipe is that it doesn’t take much time to put together. This is a keeper and it’s going to feature regularly in my kitchen. Next time I’m going to try it without the egg.
Nicole suggests serving the pancakes with “maple syrup, fresh squeezed orange juice, berries, butter, or whatever you wish”! Akshaya had hers with mango jam, I had mine just plain and my husband didn’t have any this time (he is away on work)!
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June 22, 2008

Manipuri Khichdi and Ootti

Printable version here.

The recipes in this post are the result of a lot of Internet searching! When Bhags of Crazy Curry announced North Eastern food as the theme for RCI, I was quite interested. For one thing, I have been fascinated by the sheer beauty of that part of the country that I’ve seen in books and on TV. The North Eastern states of India are home to some of the most beautiful orchids in the world.
After going through the many search results, most of which were sketchy and largely repetitions of each other, what I realised was that non vegetarian food forms the bulk of their cuisine. And I had never heard of many of the ingredients used in those recipes.
We refer to the different states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh by putting them together as one entity, but each state has its own particular separate identity.
My search for vegetarian recipes from these states led to my discovery of two blogs, Anthony's Kitchen and Monica Gi Chakum, with some Manipuri vegetarian recipes.



I chose to cook Manpuri Khichdi and Ootti from Anthony's blog. As he hadn’t given very exact measures for some ingredients, I have put down what I used. I didn’t have any pictures to refer to either. Otherwise I have stuck to his recipes.

Manipuri Khichdi

(Original post here)

Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
¼ cup tuvar dal
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp peanuts, skinned
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 each of bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and red chillies
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ghee

Method:

Cook the rice and dal till done but firm.
Heat the oil and ghee, add the peanuts and sauté till golden. Now add the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, red chillies and cumin. Stir a couple of times and add the onions, sautéing till golden and soft. Add the turmeric powder, stir, and then add the cooked rice and dal. Salt as required. Take off the heat and mix everything, gently till well coated with the onion and spice.
Serve hot.

Ootti

(Original post here)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups white peas
1 big onion, finely sliced
1 ½ “ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 red chillies
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cooking soda
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Method:

Soak the peas in water for about 5-6 hours and cook till done but firm. Put the peas into a pan, add one cup water, salt and the cooking soda. Bring it to a boil. There will be a lot of froth from the soda! I have never cooked (baked, yes) with cooking soda and it seems to make the peas a bit mushy.
In another pan, heat the oil and add the bay leave, cumin and chillies. Just sauté and add the ginger and onion. Saute till onions are brown. Pour this into the peas and mix well.
Serve hot.

We enjoyed the Manipuri Khichdi for lunch with Ootti, roasted pappads and some pickle. And in true south Indian style, finished the meal with yogurt (curds)!
I also just discovered, when Arundati reminded me, that the deadline for RCI submissions was long over. That’s how up to date I am with all things “bloggy” these days!!

Updated on 23rd June, 2008:

Bhags at Crazy Curry has requested me to send this in for RCI: North East Indian Cuisine, as she hasn't posted the round up yet. So Bhags, here this comes your way.
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June 19, 2008

Nupur’s Ragda Patties & My Tamarind and Date Chutney

Printable version here.

When Zlamushka announced that she had chosen to showcase Nupur’s blog, One Hot Stove, for her event Tried & Tasted, I headed there. This blog is one that I read regularly and she writes very concise and informative posts, not to mention her good collection of recipes and knitting projects. I am also an admirer of Dale.
I chose to try out her ragda patties. It is something I’ve eaten but never made at home. This was just the thing to have with a steaming hot cup of tea, especially on a cold and rainy (the monsoons are finally here) evening. And I was planning to make a batch of my tamarind and date chutney.
Ragda patties is a food that has all the elements of a chaat when served with this chutney, yogurt, sev and chopped coriander. I followed Nupur’s recipe, only adding a bit of chilli powder to the patty dough and we enjoyed it. We actually ended having this in lieu of dinner instead of teatime, but that’s another story.



Nupur’s ragda patties are my choice for Zlamushka’s Tried and Tasted and also for Monthly Blog Patrolling started by Coffee of Spice Cafe.. This month, MBP: Street Food is being hosted by Sia of Monsoon Spice.

My Tamarind and Date Chutney:

This is something I’ve been making for a long time and is great as an accompaniment for snacks like samosas and kachoris (both deep fried pastry with savoury fillings) or any other food that calls for a sweet and sour chutney.




Ingredients:

1 cup thick tamarind pulp
(made from a packed handful of tamarind soaked in about 1¼ cup warm water)
¾ - 1 cup powdered jaggery
½ cup loosely packed seedless dates, finely chopped
2 tbsp golden raisins, chopped
1 ½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
black salt (kaala namak)/ salt to taste

Method:

Put the tamarind pulp and jaggery in a pan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture till the jaggery dissolves. Now add all the remaining ingredients and cook till the chutney thickens a bit and takes on a shiny appearance.
Allow to cool and use as needed. This chutney keeps in the fridge for a while.
The amounts of tamarind, jaggery, chilli powder and salt may be adjusted as required. This chutney should be sweet, sour and spicy.
I’m sending this chutney across to Sig of Live to Eat who is hosting JFI this month, with Tamarind as the theme.
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June 17, 2008

Egg Moillee (Egg Curry with Coconut Milk) And 2 Awards

Printable version here.

This post will be a bit of a surprise on this blog since it is a vegetarian blog! But then, we are ovo-lacto-vegetarians. I refuse to get into discussions about how could I be vegetarian if I eat eggs!!
The fact of the matter is that though we eat eggs occasionally, I am always happy to see a cake, cookie or bread recipe without eggs. That said, this particular dish is a bit of an exception. While I don’t make it very often, we like this egg curry (though my daughter will pick out the yellow and keep it aside). It must be the coconut milk that goes into the curry.


This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Menu Book by Vasantha Moorthy.

Ingredients:

6 eggs, hard boiled
2 large onions, sliced thin
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 -3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 small sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
4-5 tbsp ghee
thick milk from 1 coconut
1 sprig curry leaves
3 tbsp chopped coriander
salt to taste

Method:

Cut each egg in half. Heat the ghee in a pan and place the eggs with cut side face down. Shallow fry the egg halves, gently turning over, till golden brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.
To the remaining ghee, add the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamom and stir a couple of times. Add the green chillies, stir and now add the sliced onions. Sauté till soft and golden in colour. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté till the ghee separates.
Add the turmeric powder, curry leaves and tomatoes and allow to cook well.
When done add the coconut milk, 2 tbsp coriander leaves, salt and mix. Just bring to a boil and take off the heat immediately. If you allow the curry to boil after adding coconut milk, it will split. The consistency of the coconut milk gravy should be thick and sauce-like rather than watery.
To serve, place the shallow fried egg halves in a serving dish and pour the coconut milk curry over this. Garnish with remaining 1 tbsp coriander leaves.
Serve hot with chapathis/ parathas/ rice or aapams (fermented rice pancakes).
This spicy and fragrant egg curry goes to Suganya of Tasty Palettes who is hosting this month’s edition of AFAM : Coconut.

The Awards:
I'm going to take this opportunity to thank Jayasree and Anamika for passing on two awards to me. It is truly cheering to know that your fellow bloggers think your blog is worthy of recognition.



Jayasree of Experiments in Kailas Kitchen has been nice enough to pass on the Good Chat Blog Award to me. My husband and daughter certainly agree with her because they know (though Jayasree doesn’t) just how much I love to talk!



Anamika: The Sugarcrafter has also passed on the Yummy Blog Award to my blog. I truly appreciate your kind words about my blog and that it deserves this award.

I would like to pass on these awards to each and everyone of you who has given me the encouragement to continue blogging by your presence at My Diverse Kitchen. Thanks to you all.
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June 13, 2008

Bread With Sprouts

Printable version here.

Sprouts in a bread?
That’s what I wondered when I came across the Bread Baking Day 1st Anniversary edition Zorra is hosting BBD this. She chose “Bread with sprouts” as this month’s theme. Sprouts bread is higher in protein and fibre and if made the traditional way, low calorie and almost fat free.
The whole concept of sprouts in bread is new to me. So I looked up some links Zorra had given us and did some research into the subject. Without going into too many details, what I figured out was that there were two main types of sprouts bread.
One type, also called Essene bread, has its origins in biblical times. Here wheat sprouts are ground, made into flat unleavened loaves and baked at low temperatures. This sweetish tasting bread is mentioned in Ezekiel Verse 4:9 in the Old Testament of the Bible. Typically, no oil, salt, flour or leavening agents are added to this bread, though there seem to be varieties of it with fruits, nuts and seeds.
The other type of bread is made with different types of flours to which sprouts have been added. The choice of flours and sprouts seems to be with the baker.
I was a bit confused and Zorra further clarified matters by saying that the bread was to be made with sprouts made at home. The Essene bread didn’t sound too appetizing (though many people think it is quite good) so I decided to try the other type.
The two “easily sprouting” beans I had with me were moong beans and black eyed beans. I took a handful of a mixture of both beans and soaked them in water overnight. Next morning, I drained the beans, put them in a flat plastic container and sprayed them with a little water. I turned them around in the container every few hours and by night they had sprouted. I refrigerated them and used them the next morning to make bread.




The sprouts should have "tails" about the length of the bean for an optimal result when used in this bread. If the sprouts are too short then the full nutritional benefit is not obtained and if they are too long they also spoil the texture of the bread!




I couldn’t find too many recipes for this type of bread and most of them used ingredients I didn’t have or could get easily. So I came up with my own recipe, which is below.

Ingredients:

½ cup warm water
1 ½ tbsp honey
1½ tsp active dry yeast
½ cup sprouts (I used moong and black-eyed beans)
1½ cups flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup malted millet flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oil

Method:

Run the sprouts in the mixer-grinder/ processor to just break them up. Do not grind into a paste.
Dissolve the honey in ½ cup of warm water. Add the yeast, mix well and allow to prove. Put the flours, salt, oil and crushed sprouts into the processor and run a couple of times to mix well. Now add the yeast mixture and enough water to form a soft dough. You may do this by hand, if preferred.
Form the dough into a ball, put into a greased bowl and cover it. Keep aside till double in volume. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf, using flour if the dough is sticky. Allow the dough to rise (for about ½ an hour) and bake at 190C for about 40 minutes. When done, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack.




I expected this loaf to be very dense, but it wasn’t. It was quite soft and slightly crusty. Taste-wise, it was slightly sweet with a nice crunch on the crust wherever there were sprout pieces. And this bread makes great toast. We really liked it.
My sprouts bread is joining Zorra's BBD #11 Bread with sprouts.
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June 2, 2008

Ribboned Finger Sandwiches

Printable version here.


There’s really nothing much to these sandwiches. And how difficult can it be to make a sandwich?
I have mostly made these to serve at my daughter’s birthday parties. I usually keep these as a sort of back up to the rest of the menu, even though I serve it with the other food. It doesn’t take too much time to make some more sandwiches, if needed, with some extra butter and bread.

My thinking would be that who would want go to a party and eat sandwiches when there’s more exciting stuff like cake and all the rest of it? Surprisingly, I’ve had kids coming and specifically asking for the sandwiches. And quite few adults too.
The spreads for the sandwich can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Ingredients:

1 large loaf sandwich bread
1 big carrot, finely grated
1 tsp mustard paste
1 onion
a handful each of coriander and mint leaves
2-3 green chillies (or as required)
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
¾ to 1 cup butter, softened

Method:

For the carrot butter:
Mix together the grated carrot, mustard paste and half the softened butter, till well blended. Refrigerate till needed.

For the herb butter:
Grind the onion, coriander leaves, the mint leaves, green chillies, lemon juice and a little salt to a fine paste. Mix this with remaining half of the butter till well blended. Refrigerate till needed.
You may use any herb/ combination of herbs to prepare a herb butter to suit your taste.

For the sandwiches:
Take three slices of bread. On one slice, spread the herb butter. Cover with the second slice and spread the carrot butter. Cover with the third slice of bread, remove the crust and cut the sandwich in the middle. This would give you 2 finger sandwiches.
If you like beetroot (we don’t, not very much) then you can finely grate the beetroot and make beetroot butter also. Then you would have a three layer sandwich. Alternatively, you could mix some grated cheese, tomato ketchup and some butter for a spread. This particular ketchup variation sounds unappetizing, but kids (except mine, she doesn’t like ketchup) seem to like this.
The green layer of my sandwich doesn’t look very green because I finely grated the onion and added it instead of grinding it up with herbs. If you grind everything together, your sandwich will have a lovely green layer.
These ribbon sandwiches are being sent to be a part of Monthly Mingle, an event started by Meeta, and hosted this month with a theme of Appetizers & Hors D’Ouevres by Manasi at Fun and Food.
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