Saturday, February 6, 2016

KRENDL (Pretzel Shaped Russian / Ukrainian Fruit Filled Bread)

This is a long pending bread that I was supposed to bake in the group "We Knead To Bake" during Christmas but got delayed as we were moving back from Brazil to Mumbai. Krendl was the bread chosen for the month of December.

The Krendl, like a lot of European celebratory yeasted breads is made from enriched dough. The filling is typically fresh apples and dried fruit like apricots and prunes cooked to a jam like consistency with some spice. After baking, the Krendl is lightly covered with a sugar glaze and an optional sprinkling of sliced almonds or else a simple dusting of icing sugar.

Pretzels were supposed to have been invented in a medieval monastery to be given out as rewards to children who said their prayers, and were generally small in size. The crossed arms of the Pretzel are said to represent crossed or folded arms of Jesus. The shape of the Pretzel has endured over time as has the belief of baking it into breads for religious and celebratory occasions. Krendl is thought to be of German origin and from the late 13th century when there were many German bakers in Russia. There is a suggestion that the name could be a corruption of the German Kringle which is a cookie.

( Recipe adapted from - Taste of Home )

(For the Dough)
All purpose flour ... 3 to 3 1/4 cups
Instant yeast .......... 2 tsps
Sugar ..................... 1 tsp ( to ferment the yeast)
Luke warm water ... 1/4 cup
Cream ................ 1/4 cup
Butter .................. 50 gms
Egg ...................... 1
Vanilla extract .... 1 and 1/2 tsps
Salt ................... 1/2 tsp

(For the Filling)
Apple juice ..... 1 cup
Apples ............ 2 (peeled and chopped)
Dried figs ...... 1/3 cup
Dried apricots .. 1/3 cup
Prunes ............. 2/3 cups (chopped)
Butter ............. 15 gms (about 1 tbsp)
Sugar ............ 1 tbsp

(For Spreading on the Dough)
Butter ............ 25 gms (soft at room temperature)
Sugar ........... 1 and 1/2 tbsps
Cinnamon .... 1/2 tsp

(For the Glaze)
Butter .... 8 gms (1/2 tbsp)
Hot water ... 1/2 tbsp
Icing sugar .. 3/4 th to 1 cup
Lemon rind ... 1/4 tsp
Sliced almonds .... 1/4 cup for garnishing.

Alternately you can also just sprinkle icing sugar instead of glazing.


Take luke warm water and spoon the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast and leave it to become frothy.
Put all the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of the processor and knead well to form a soft, smooth and elastic dough that is somewhat sticky. You may knead it with hand too in a big bowl if you don't have a food processor.

Remove the dough on a floured surface and knead adding a little more flour until the texture is soft and smooth.

Shape it into a round ball and place in a greased container. Leave it covered until risen to double. It takes about 1 and 1/2 hours. In winter it takes more time..

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Put all the ingredients for the filling  in a large saucepan, Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally,

Simmer until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency.

Let it cool.

Now remove the risen dough and  deflate it.

 Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it lightly.

Roll it into a rectangle.

 Brush the soft butter all over the dough rectangle to within 1” of edges. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon powder.

 Spread the filling over this.

 Roll up the dough jelly/ Swiss roll style as tightly as you can from the long side of the rectangle.

Seal the seam well and pinch together the ends as well so that the filling will not escape.

Place the dough roll, seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Shape it into a pretzel pinching the ends to the side or tuck them under. Loosely cover and let it rise for about 30 to 45 minutes till it has risen and looks “puffy”.

Bake the Krendl at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 45 minutes till it is done and golden brown in colour. Cool the Krendl on a rack. Dust with icing sugar.

 If using the sugar glaze, mix the ingredients for the glaze to a slightly thick pouring consistency and then brush the Krendl with the glaze. Garnish with the sliced almonds and let it set. Beat together all the ingredients for the glaze to make it to a smooth, runny consistency. Add a few more drops of water if needed, to thin it out to desired consistency. Brush over the warm Krendl. Garnish with sliced almonds.

 This recipe makes about 20 servings.

We Knead to Bake # 34 - My Diverse Kitchen

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Thecha / kharda is a Maharshtrian spicy dry chutney made with green chillies and garlic. It is extremely spicy and is usually served with jowar or bajra bhakri. To make a mild version you can add some roasted or fried peanuts and coriander leaves and the quantity can be adjusted to your liking. Thecha can also be made with fresh red chillies. A little bit of this spicy chutney taken with any meal adds flavour and zing to your taste buds specially those who like spicy food.

Green chillies ... about 1 cup (chopped)
Garlic .............. 1/4 cup
Peanuts .......... 1/4 cup
Fresh coriander ... 1 cup (chopped)
Salt .............. to taste
Oil........... 2 tbsps (preferably peanut oil)

1. Wash the chillies and dry them with a kitchen towel. Cut them into big pieces.
2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the peanuts. Remove them into a bowl.If you are using roasted peanuts then you don't need to fry them.
3. In the same oil tip in the chillies and saute them a little. Add the garlic pieces together with the chillies.
4. Remove them into a bowl and let them cool.
5. Grind all the ingredients coarsely adding a little salt to taste.
6. Saute the coriander leaves and add them to the ground chutney.

Note: This chutney is very spicy on the first day when you make and it becomes less spicier the next day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


It is summer time in Brazil and I am back into making pickles again. The city I live in is full of mango trees and Brazilians do not use raw mangoes. We Indians have a gala time plucking them and making mango dishes and pickles. Last summer I made quite a few pickles and was wondering what to make now.
I remembered a traditional Sindhi pickle that I had eaten during my childhood in my nani's place. "Potli Pickle".. grated mango is pickled in small bundles of muslin cloth. I still can remember the day when nani (mom's mother) opened a bundle and served a spoonful to all of us (me and my cousins) It was so much fun. Those were the days.. I wonder if kids ever eat pickle these days ??? However you must try out this pickle for your family. Open one potli and everyone shares a little at each meal. Interesting one isn't it !

Raw mangoes ... 6 -8
Mustard oil ...... 1/4 cup
Kalonji / onion seeds .. 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds .............. 1 tbsp
Crushed fenugreek seeds .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ..... 2 tsps
Red chilli powder .... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ............. 1/2 tsp
Jaggery or sugar ..... 1-2 tsps
Salt .................... to taste
Garlic pods ...... lightly crushed or whole (one for each potli)
Vinegar ........... 1/2 cup
Boiled and cooled water .. about 2 cups ( or as per the capacity of the jar )
Muslin cloth ........... cut into 5" x 5" squares.
Use a sterilized jar with a plastic lid.

Wash the mangoes and wipe them with a kitchen cloth.
Peel and grate the mangoes.
Mix all the ingredients mentioned in the list except garlic. Also mix half the quantity of mustard oil.
In a jar take the boiled and cooled water and add the vinegar, remaining oil and some turmeric and salt.
Now take a piece of muslin cloth and spoon a portion of the grated pickle mix that you have prepared.
Place a garlic piece either whole or lightly crushed in the center.
Tie the bundles by bringing the corners together or use a thread. Do not make a tight bundle.
Immerse these bundles into the jar and cover the lid.
Keep them in the sunlight for 2-3 weeks.

Monday, November 30, 2015


This is an authentic Andhra recipe of dal cooked with raw mango. Pappu is a thicker version of dal and is cooked either plain or with the addition of vegetables, greens or raw mango. It can be relished with plain rice and ghee along with some other side dish and fried papads.

Toor dal .... 1 cup
Raw mango ... 1 small (about 1/2 cup grated or pieces)
Green chillies ... 1 -2
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ........... to taste

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

1. Clean the mango and wipe it with a cloth. Peel it and cut into small pieces or grate it.
2. Soak toor dal for 3-4 hours.
3. Pressure cook dal with mango, turmeric powder, little salt and green chillies adding 2 or 2 and 1/2 cups of water.
4. In a pan heat the oil and add the tempering ingredients. When they crackle add the crushed garlic and simmer until it becomes light brown and crispy.
Mix the tempering and dal together. Save little for garnishing before you serve.

Note: the quantity of green chillies and raw mango can be according to your liking. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Here is a recipe of delicious and spicy palak dal. The addition of coconut and red chillies gives a different touch to the usual dal palak we make. If you love spicy dishes then you must give it a try.

Spinach / palak ... 2 cups
Toor dal ............. 1/2 cup
Onion ................ 1 small
Garlic.............. 3-4 cloves (crushed)
Salt ............. to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Oil ... 2-3 tbsps

For coconut masala:
Grated coconut .. 1/2 cup
Dry red chillies ... 2-3 (as per your preference)
Tamarind paste ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp
Coriander seeds ... 1 tsp

1. Soak dal for 2-3 hours.
2. Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds. Add the red chillies and roast a little.
3. Now add the grated coconut and saute for a minute.
4. Grind these adding tamarind juice and a little water. Set aside.
5. In a pressure cooker or a pan add 1 tbsp oil and saute the onion.
6. Add the spinach and dal. Cook it adding salt and sufficient water. If using a pressure cooker you will need less water.
7. Now in a small pan heat the remaining oil and fry the crushed garlic until light brown in colour.
8. Add the ground masala paste and simmer for a minute stirring it.
9. Mix the masala in the cooked dal.