Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Sheermal or Shirmal is a saffron-flavored slightly sweet traditional leavened flat bread that is found in various countries on the Asian sub-continent including Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. It is a naan-like milk bread, apparently of Persian origins, and it is suggested that the name comes from the Persian word for milk which is “sheer”. In India, this “milk” bread is predominantly found in Muslim neighbourhoods (another reason to suppose it came to India with the Mughals) of Kashmir, Lucknow and Hyderabad.
You will find that some Sheermal decorated with a lovely pricked rustic pattern on its surface, Lucknowi Sheermal garnished with raisins, others like to use slivered almonds, poppy seeds or sesame seeds to top their Sheermal. This bread is usually eaten as it is with tea for breakfast, or served slightly warm as part of a meal with a mutton curry called Nalli Nihari or spicy kebabs. It can also be served with Khurma/ Qorma, vegetable curries, etc.

Flour ... 2 and 1/4 cups
Active dry yeast .... 1 tsp
Sugar ........... 2 tsps
Salt .......... 3/4 tsp
Lukewarm water .. 1/4 cup
Ghee / clarified butter .. 1/4 cup
Egg (lightly beaten ) ... 1
Milk ............ 1/4 cup or as required for kneading
Rose water or kewra water ... 1 tsp
Saffron ......... few strands soaked in 2 tbsps warm milk
Melted ghee ... for brushing

1. Take lukewarm water in a bowl. Add sugar and sprinkle dry yeast. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until frothy.
2. Take the flour in a big bowl. Add beaten egg and yeast mixture. Mix it You can use a food processor if you have it.
3. Add the ghee in two lots and mix it until it resembles crumbs.
4. Now knead it adding milk to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. Add the rose water or kewra water towards the end.
5. Transfer the dough into an oiled dish and cover it. Leave it in a warm place to rise until double.
6. Remove the dough and knead it again lightly and shape it into a ball. Coat it with ghee and cover it with a damp cloth to rest for 15 minutes.
7. Now Divide it into 4-5 equal portions and press it into a flat bread using your fingers. This is how it is made traditionally but if you want to use a rolling pin go ahead and do it. It should be about 4 inches in diameter and 1/8 th inch thick.
8. Place thenm in a greased baking tray. Using a fork prick the surface all over.
9. Brush them with saffron milk.
10. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180 C ( 350 F ) for about 10-15 minutes until they turn golden brown, Do not over bake them.Brush them with melted ghee.

 Information  and recipe -  Aparna Balasubramanian.

 We Knead to Bake # 22 ( Sheermal/ Shirmal ) @ My Diverse Kitchen 

Monday, November 17, 2014


There is a large number of Chinese settlers in Peru and you will find similarities in some of the Peruvian dishes. I had the chance of learning and tasting some of them during my visit to Lima where I took the Gourmet Tour. Chefs gave a demo of a few popular dishes and this was one of them. Yellow chilli sauce is added to flavour most of the dishes which makes them spicy and tangy.

Cooked rice ... 2 cups
Eggs ... 2
Sesame oil ... 2 tbsps
Spring onions .. 5-6
Red bell pepper .... 1 (diced)
Ginger ....  1 inch piece julienned
Cooked chicken or any meat ... 1/2 cup
Soy sauce .... 1 tbsp
Salt ... to taste
Yellow chilli sauce .. 1 tsp (Peruvian Sauce ) See recipe - HERE 

1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Whisk the eggs with a little salt and make a thin omelette. Cut it into strips and set aside.
2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the white part of the spring onion and ginger.
3. Add the diced red pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Now tip in the cooked chicken or meat pieces and the boiled rice.
5. Add the sauces and the green part of the spring onions and saute until heated through.
6. Garnish with egg strips and red bell pepper strips. and serve hot.

Linking to:

Hearth and Soul blog hop party . November 4th week @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen


This sauce is used in lot of Peruvian dishes and also as an accompaniment with the snacks.

Yellow chillies ... 1 cup
Sugar .......... 1 tbsp
Vinegar ...... 1 tbsp
Salt ......... to tatse
Oil ........... 3-4 tbsps

1. Slit the chillies and remove the seeds.
2. Boil them with a little salt for  8-10 minutes until they are cooked.
3. Drain the water. Add the sugar, vinegar and grind the chillies to a paste.
4. Heat the oil and allow it to cool. Add the ground chilli paste and adjust the seasoning.


Toor dal ..... 1 cup
Tamarind juice .... 2-3 tbsps.
Jaggery ....... a small piece.
Tomato ................. 1
Onion ................... 1 ( or small onions)
Broccoli ........... 1
Green chillies .... 1-2
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Red chilli powder ... 1/2 tsp.
Salt ................. to taste.
Coriander leaves ... handful.

For tempering :
Mustard seeds ..... 1 tsp.
Cumin seeds ........ 1 tsp.
Asafoetida ............ a pinch
Dry red chillies .... 2-3
Garlic ............. 2-3 cloves
Curry leaves ......... a sprig

To make sambar powder:
Dry roast:
Coriander seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ........ 1 tsp.
Methi seeds ........ 1/4 tsp
Dry red chillies .... 2
Chana dal ............. 1 tsp.
Dessicated coconut ... 1 tbsp.
Cloves ................... 2
Cinnamon ... a small piece.

1. Soak the toor dal for 2-3 hours. Cook it in the pressure cooker( 2-3 whistles)
2. Dry roast and grind the sambar powder and keep it aside.
3. In a pan heat a little oil. Add the tempering ingredients. when the seeds crackle, add the onions and stir fry for 1 minute.Now add the crushed garlic, tomato and the dry spice powders and mix well.Add the salt, jaggery, tamarind juice, broccoli and dal. Bring to boil adding sufficient water. Simmer until the drumsticks are cooked.(any other vegetable of your choice can replace the drumsticks)
4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.


This podi is  served with idlis and dosas with some sesame seed oil or melted ghee mixed with it.. If you like it really hot then add more chillies and you get what is called gun powder in Andhra. It tastes awesome with freshly cooked steaming hot plain rice and ghee.

Dry red chillies ... 50 gms
Urad dal ............. 100 gms
Chana dal ............ 100 gms
Toor dal .............. 100 gms
Cumin seeds ....... 1 tsp
Sesame seeds ...... 1 tbsp
Asafoetida ........ 1/4 tsp (optional)
Salt ....... to taste

1. Dry roast all the ingredients except asafoetida.
2. Bring them to room temperature.
3. Grind them and mix the salt and asafoetida.