Tuesday, August 30, 2016

PAIN D'EPI / WHEAT STALK BREAD / EARS OF WHEAT


Epi is the French word used to describe the flower of a wheat stalk. So the Pan d’Epi or Épis de Bléis the name given to bread that looks like a wheat stalk or the ears of wheat. The Pan d’Epi is a classic and commonly made French artisan bread. When made for special holidays and celebrations, this bread is often made more decorative by shaping it into a wreath.
The Pan d’Epi is easy enough to make and really just one step up from the French baguette. It is made the same way but then cut to resemble a wheat stalk. It is eaten just a baguette and can be served with soup, or used to make sandwiches.

This bread is best eaten fresh, the day it is made. It is best stores wrapped in paper until it is used. If the bread starts to go stale, revive it by sprinkling it with water and briefly baking it. Otherwise, use it to make croutons or breadcrumbs.   

Ingredients:
APF / maida ..... 2 and 1/2 cups
Oil .............. 1 tbsp
Salt .......... 1 tsp
Sugar ....... 1 tsp
Instant yeast ... 1 and 1/2 tsp
Warm water .... 3/4 to 1 cup

Before proceeding to make the epi watch the videos to have a clear idea of shaping and cutting the baguette.

  How to shape the baguette :

How to cut the epi:

How to make a Holiday wreath:

Method:

Put all the ingredients, except the water, in a bowl (or processor bowl) and mix well. Add enough warm water and knead until you have a soft and elastic dough, almost sticky dough.





Shape into a smooth ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat it well with oil. Cover loosely and let it rise for about an hour to an hour and a half till it has doubled in volume






Dust your working surface lightly with flour. If you’re going to shape it as a long wheat stalk (or two if your oven or baking sheets aren’t large enough to take one long one), then press out the dough into a rough rectangle. 





Fold the long edge away from you towards the center and fold the long edge near you towards the centre.






Now fold over in half, like a letter fold and pinch the seam together neatly and tightly. Place the pinched side down.







Make cuts about 2 inches apart and move each portion on the alternate side.







Once the Epi has been shaped, loosely cover the dough and let it rise again for about 15 minutes.







Brush them with egg white or milk to give a glossy finish.







In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 240C (470F) with a baking tray upside down on the rack and an empty pan at the bottom of the oven.  When ready place the Epi in the oven and pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom to create steam. These days modern ovens come with the steam option. If you have that you don't need to pour the water. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes till the Pan d’Epi is done and golden brown in colour. Let it cool completely before cutting. 


 Event hosted by Aparna Balasubramanian :
We Knead to Bake # 42- @ My Diverse Kitchen 

Monday, August 29, 2016

MOROCCAN LENTIL SOUP


Try out this delicious and healthy Moroccan soup made with lentils and spices. It is nutritious, healthy and does not take much effort. This spicy and aromatic soup is perfect in winter to keep you warm. You can relish it with pita or any bread. I have served it with herbed pita bread.
This month in our " Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge " group I was paired with Mayuri Patel. The theme was International cooking and I was given two ingredients for Moroccan cooking, lentils and tomatoes by her.
Mayuri blogs at "Mayuri's Jikoni"  Do visit her space for Gujarati delicacies and more..

Ingredients:
Red Lentils .....  1/2 cup 
Garbanzo beans / chickpeas ... handful (boiled)
Cannellini beans ........... handful  (boiled)
Onions .................. 1 (diced)
Garlic .............. 2-3 cloves (crushed)
Ginger .......... 1 tsp (grated)
Tomatoes .... 1 (diced)
Carrot ........ 1/4 cup (diced) 
Celery ....... 1/4 cup (chopped)
Garam masala ... 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder ... 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper ........ 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ,,,,,,,,,, 1/2 tsp
Salt .................... to taste
Coriander leaves or parsley 
Olive oil ............ 3 tbsps

Method:
1. In a large pot heat oil and saute the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add the soaked red lentils, tomatoes,carrots, celery,salt and the mentioned spices along with sufficient water (about 2-3 cups) to cook the lentils.
3. Towards the end add the boiled garbanzo and cannellini beans.
4. Maintain the consistency of the soup as you like it and add water accordingly.
5. Take a small portion of the soup and puree it. Stir it into the pot. 
Garnish with coriander leaves or parsley leaves and enjoy. You can add some while cooking the soup too.

Recipe adapted from -  Here


Saturday, August 27, 2016

SABUT CHANA DAL WITH KOLHAPURI MASALA GRAVY


Here is a simple and delicious dal recipe for spicy food lovers made with authentic Kolhapuri masala that I got from Kolhapur recently.
Check out..
Home made Kolhapuri Masala Recipe 

Ingredients:
Chana dal ... 1 cup
Onion ....... 1 small
Ginger ......   1 tsp (grated)
Garlic ....... 5-6 cloves (crushed)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Amchoor powder ... 1 tsp
Kolhapuri Masala powder ... 1 tbsp ( use less if you want it milder)
Coconut milk ... 1/4 cup (optional)
Salt ............. to taste
Coriander leaves ... handful
Oil ........... 3 tbsps.

Method:
1. Soak chana dal overnight.
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the finely chopped onion until translucent.
3. Tip in the ginger and garlic. Add a little water and simmer.
4. Now add the soaked chana dal, salt and turmeric powder.
5. Add about 2 cups water and simmer to cook until chana dal is almost cooked. It should remain grainy. Do not over cook it to the mushy consistency.
6. Now add the Kolhapuri masala, amchoor powder and 1/4 cup coconut milk or water. Adjust the thickness of the gravy to your liking.
7. Add coriander leaves and cook for one minute.
This can be served with rice or rotis.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

OATS AND DRY FRUIT BARFI / FUDGE


This is a sugar free sweet, amazingly delicious. Crushed or chopped dry fruits and oats are sauteed in desi ghee, which give a nice and crunchy texture to the sweet,  Make and enjoy !

Ingredients:
Quaker oats ... 1/2 cup
Almonds ....... 1/4 cup
Pistachios ..... 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts ... 1/4 cup
Walnuts ........... 1/4 cup
Seedless dates.............. 150 gms (1 cup )
Poppy seeds ............ 1 tbsp
Edible gum powdered ............. 1 tsp (optional)
Cardamom powder ............... 1/4 tsp
Powdered pistachios ......... 1 tbsp (for garnishing)
Desi ghee ................... 1/4 cup


Method:
1. Heat ghee in a sauce pan and Reduce the flame. Fry all the dry fruits until they give out a nice aroma. Remove and set aside to cool.
2. In the same pan saute the oats in the remaining ghee. Remove them in the same pan with dry fruits.
3. Add very little ghee and fry the edible gum on very low flame. It will puff up. Remove it in a bowl.
4. Grind all the dry fruits coarsely in a dry grinder.
5. Now in the same pan saute the chopped seedless dates and keep stirring until they melt and form onto a lump.If they are fresh you will not need to sprinkle any water. If you think they are not becoming soft then sprinkle 2 tbsps of water and stir well until they soften.
6. Now add the ground dry fruits, fried edible gum and poppy seeds.
7. Keep stirring until they are mixed up well and form into a lump.
8. Brush a flat plate with a little ghee. 
9. Remove the prepared sweet and flatten it with spatula.
10. Garnish with pistachio powder.
Allow it to cool before cutting it. 



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

METHI DAL / MENTHI KURA PAPPU



Dal is a staple dish in South Indian Cuisine. It is made almost every day with a variation adding different greens or vegetables to it. Today's version is with methi leaves and I simply love  love the methi flavour. This goes very well with jowar ki roti or plain rice.

Ingredients:
Toor dal .... 1 cup
Methi leaves .. 1 cup
Tomato ....... 1
Green chillies .. 1-2 (as per your liking)
Garlic ........... 6-7 cloves (crushed)
Ginger ........ 1 tsp (grated)
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Tamarind juice ... 1-2 tbsps (as per your liking)
Salt ........... to taste
Oil ... as needed

Tempering:
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ...... 1 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 1-2
Asafoetida ......... 1 pinch
Curry leaves .... 1 sprig


Method:
1. Soak dal for one hour or more. Boil it adding a little salt and turmeric powder.
2. In a pan heat a little oil and the tempering ingredients.
3. When they crackle, add the garlic, ginger and green chillies.
4. Next add the methi leaves and tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes are cooked.
5. Mix the boiled dal and add the tamarind juice. Check the salt and spices. If you want it spicier you can even add red chilli powder.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

OATS ADA PRADHAMAN


This is a traditional payasam recipe from Kerala which is made with rice flour, jaggery and coconut milk. I have replaced rice flour with  with oatmeal. The taste is just the same.You must try out this healthy version.

Ingredients:
 Oats .. 1 cup (dry grind to a fine powder)
 Jaggery ... 1/2 cup
 Cardamoms ... 4
Cashewnuts ... handful
Coconut milk .... 1/4 cup
Desi ghee ... 2 tbsps

 Method:

 1. Grind the oats to a fine powder. Mix water to make a smooth dosa like batter.






2. Take a banana leaf and cut into big square pieces.





3.  Heat them over the flame to soften them a bit to make the rolling easy.You may use foil paper if you can't get banana leaves.





 4. Spread batter with a spoon leaving the edges like you spread a dosa. I have used foil today.






5. Roll them carefully and seal the foil paper edges. If using banana leaves tie them with threads.






 6. Steam them in a double boiler for 10 - 12 minutes.







7. Immerse the rolls into chilled water. They will easily open up after this step.






8. Remove the steamed ada strips from the water and set aside.








9. Now boil the jaggery with water and remove the scum. Strain to remove the impurities.







10. Now cut the ada strips into pieces and add the steamed ada and cook until done. Add cardamoms while cooking.






11. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer until you get the desired consistency.






 12. Heat ghee and lightly fry the cashew nuts and add them to the pradhaman.










Saturday, August 6, 2016

STUFFED PAPAD CONES / MASALA PAPAD CONES


This snack is delicious and very easy to make. Just keep any filling of your choice ready and assemble it when your guests arrive.
Making the papad cones is very easy. Cut the papads into halves, brush some oil on both sides and microwave them for half a minute on each side. Immediately roll them into a conical shape. You can do it on a tawa also. But the rolling has to be done within seconds after removing from tawa or microwave before the papad turns crispy.
This was for " Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge" I was paired with Shobana Vijay, She blogs at Shoba's Delight . Do visit her space for delicious veg and non veg recipes. The two secret ingredients she gave me for this month's theme "Monsoon Treats" were Corn and Green Peas.

Ingredients:
Papads .... as needed
Potato .... 1
Green peas .. 1/2 cup
Fresh corn kernels .. 1/4 cup
Tomato ............... 1 small
Onion ................ 1/4 cup (finely diced)
Coriander leaves ... handful
Cumin powder .... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp (add as per your preference)
Chaat masala powder ... for sprinkling (optional)
Mint coriander chutney ... few spoons or as needed
Sweet tamarind chutney .. few spoons or as needed
Salt ............ to taste
Oil ... as needed

Method:
1. Boil the potato, peel and cut into small pieces.
2. Boil the green peas and corn kernels with little salt. Drain and set aside.
3. Chop the onion, coriander leaves finely.
4. Remove the seeds form the tomato and cut into small pieces.
5. Heat a tbsp of oil and add the potato, green peas and corn.
6. Mix the salt and cumin powder. Tip in the onion and red chilli powder.
7. Stir well to mix and switch off the gas. Now add the tomato pieces and coriander leaves.
8. Mix everything well, check the salt and keep the mixture aside until use.
9. Just before serving, cut each papad into 2 halves. Brush it with oil on both sides.
10. Microwave it for half a minute on each side. Immediately roll it into a conical shape.
11. Alternately you can do this on a tawa too.
12. You have to do a single piece at a time because the papad gets crispy very soon and you cannot fold it.
13. Now fill the cones with the stuffing and spoon a little of both chutneys on top before serving. You can sprinkle chaat masala if you like.




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