Tuesday, June 24, 2014

KOMAJ ( Persian Bread )

This is a Persian bread with turmeric and cumin flavours stuffed with dates. Both these spices are extensively used in Indian cooking and the bread rolls tasted so flavorful, one of the best bread rolls that I have ever tasted.find any other information about it. The recipe is taken from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s book, Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia, and here’s what they have to say about Komaj.
“This is our interpretation of a wonderful savoury–sweet bread we tasted in the oasis town of Mahan in the south-east of Iran. Cumin is grown in abundance in the region and is used to flavour many of the local dishes, often in combination with turmeric. “
They usually make these breads in the heart shape in Iran. I have made some in the heart shape and some round ones.
Here goes the recipe :

For the dough:
Flour ( all purpose flour or self raising flour ) .... 3 and 3/4 cups
Active dry yeast ..... 1 tsp
Warm water ... 1/8 cup
Cumin seeds ... 2 and 1/2 tsps (roasted and slightly crushed)
Sugar ... 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Salt ....... 1/2 tsp
Egg ... 1 (optional)
Warm milk ... 2/3 cups
Olive oil ... 1 and 1/2 tbsps

 For the filling:
Dates ... 12 - 15 ( Pitted and cut into pieces)
Butter ...25 gms (unsalted at room temperature)
Cardamom powder ... 1/2 tsp


Take 1/8 cup warm water and add 1 tbsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast and leave it in the warm place for about 8-10 mins until it becomes frothy.

Mix the turmeric and crushed cumin seeds into the flour (save a tsp of cumin seeds for sprinkling on top) Knead into a dough adding the olive oil, salt and remaining sugar with warm milk. Also add egg if you are using it. I did not add in the dough but used the egg white for glazing.

After kneading, shape the dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover it and set it aside in a warm place to rise until double.(about an hour or so. In winter it may take longer)

Remove the dough, deflate it, knead it again for a few minutes.

 Shape it into a ball and again set it aside for a second rise until double.

In the meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing the butter, dates and cardamom powder.

Remove the dough after it is risen the second time. Divide into 8 portions first.

Roll out into a longer rectangular strip about 1/4" - 1/8" thick. Spoon a littlle filling in the bottom portion, brush the surface with water and fold it over the filling. Make sure to seal them well because they swell and open up during the baking process.

Cut it into any shape using a cookie cutter. Place them on a greased tray or butter paper leaving enough space between them

Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. You can make use of the dough left out from the cuttings also to make more rolls using different shape cookie cutters.

Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Brush them with milk or egg white and sprinkle the remaining cumin powder over them. Press it lightly to stick.

Bake them at 200 degrees C for about 10 - 12 minutes, checking in between. The time and temperature varies a bit depending on the type and size of your oven.Cool them on the rack. They can be served with tea. They taste better when fresh but you can refrigerate them and re-heat a little before serving.

This quantity makes about 10 - 12 Komaj

(Adapted from Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia by Greg & Lucy Malouf) http://www.amazon.in/Saraban-Chefs-Journey-through-Persia/dp/1742705138

Made for  Aparna's We Knead to Bake # 18 Komaj @ My Diverse Kitchen

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Monday, June 23, 2014


Kothu Parotta is very famous street food in the Southern states of India, specially Kerala and Tamilnadu. Kothu Parotta literally means chopped up rotis. It is somewhat like bhurji. Chopped up rotis are sauteed along with onions, tomatoes and spices. Non vegetarians love to add eggs and chicken. It is an amazing sight when you watch it being made in the streets ( with that "Tak Tak " noise made with the metal  spatula ) on a huge tawa , and all the ingredients being added one by one. You can use any left-over parathas. I have used ready made wraps to make it.

Parottas / roti s/ wraps .... 3-4
Eggs ................... 2 (optional)
Onion ........ 1 large ( 1 cup )
Tomato ..... 1
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Green chillies .. 2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Curry leaves ... 1 sprig
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .... 1/2 tsp

1. Cut the parottas or wraps into small strips or pieces.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan and add oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
3. When they crackle add the ginger garlic and onion. Saute until translucent.
4. Now add the chopped tomatoes and stir-fry until they are cooked.
5. Next add the parotta pieces, salts and the spice powders. Sprinkle a little water to cook.
6. Meanwhile in a separate pan make the scrambles eggs and mix them into the cooking parottas.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Note: You can also add the eggs directly in the same pan as they do in the street shops but I prefer this way. There is no end to variations. Vegetarians can add any vegetables of their choice to make it more sumptuous. Non vegetarians have a choice of adding cooked and left over curries and kormas. You can go ahead and experiment with various masalas like sambar powder, chicken masala, pav bhaji masala etc etc ..

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Today I had made Upma for breakfast and had a bowlful of leftovers. Usually we make pesarettu with upma stuffing. I thought let me try out a sandwich today. It was really very delicious. I just added a little finely chopped onions and coriander leaves which you can even skip. I am sure kids would love these sandwiches.

Upma .... 1 small bowl
Onion ..... 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves .. 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Bread slices ...... as needed
Butter ....... to spread on the bread (optional - I did not use as there is oil in the upma)
Tomato ketchup ... to serve with the sandwiches.

1. Spread the upma on the bread slices and add finely chopped onion and coriander leaves on top.

2. Place another slice on top and toast them in a sandwich toaster.

3. Cut them and serve hot with tomato ketchup.

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How to make Upma
(Click on the name to see the recipes)

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Healthy masala poori made with multigrain flour can be relished with some curry or by itself with curd and pickle.

Whole wheat flour ... 1 cup
Multigrain flour ...... 1/2 cup
Besan / gram flour .. 2 tbsps
Rice flour ........... 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds ..... 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp (add more if you like)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Garam masala ..... 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves .... handful ( finely chopped)
Salt ... to taste
Oil .... for frying


1. Knead all the ingredients adding a tsp of oil and sufficient water to make a soft dough.

2. Cover it with a damp cloth and set aside for 15 - 20 mins.

3. Make lemon sized balls and roll into thick pooris. Apply oil on the rolling pin to avoid the dough from sticking. ( meanwhile keep the remaining dough covered with the damp cloth )

4. Deep fry the pooris to a golden brown colour.
Serve hot with pickles and curd.

Recipe source : Foodelicious

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Try this restaurant style corn soup at home ,,

American Sweet Corn kernels: 1 cup. (or) 1 can of corn kernels
Water: 4 cups
Ajinomoto: 1/4 tsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp
Milk : 1 tbsp
Pepper: 1/2 tsp
Corn Flour : 1 tbsp, made into slurry

1. Boil corn kernels in enough water until tender. (Alternately, you may pressure cook them.)
2. Add the 4 cups water to the corn in a pan, and allow to boil.
3. Add salt, sugar, ajinomoto, pepper and let it boil for 5 more minutes.
4. Add corn flour slurry. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. Finally, add milk, allow one boil and remove from fire.
Serve hot with soy sauce as accompaniment.

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These make a very healthy breakfast and definitely a treat for kids. You can reduce the sugar quantity and pour honey or maple syrup on them before serving.

Flour .. 1 cup
Zucchini .. 1/4 cup (grated)
Strawberries . 1/4 cup (chopped finely)
Eggs ...... 1
Baking powder .. 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon powder . 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder ... a pinch
Milk ..... as needed
Sugar ..... 4-5 tbsps ( as sweet as you like )
Oil ...  as needed to make the pancakes

1. Mix all the ingredients except oil. Make a smooth and thick batter adding sufficient milk.
2. Spread with a ladle on a pan and make the pancakes spooning a little oil.

Linking to :

Dish Name Starting with Z @ Learning How to Cook

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

PUMPKIN GOJJU ( Karnataka Style )

Gojju is a curry from Karnataka which is tangy, spicy and a bit sweeter. The base of the curry is a spicy masala ground with fresh coconut and roasted spices. Sesame seeds give a distinct flavour to the curry.It can be prepared with different vegetables and even pineapple.The gravy of this curry is really very delicious and goes well with plain rice, rotis or dosas and idlis. Today's recipe is made with pumpkin. We never liked pumpkin when we were kids and I remember mom made it this way and we relished it not knowing it was pumpkin.

Pumpkin ....  1 cup (cut into cubes )
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Jaggery ... 1 tsp
Tamarind .. lemon sized ( soaked in water)
Salt ... to taste

For the masala:
Grated coconut .. 2-3 tbsps
Chana dal ..... 1 tsp
Urad dal ...... 1 tsp
Sesame seeds .. 1 tbsp
Methi seeds ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds ... 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 2-3 ( as per your taste)

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

1. Cut the pumpkin into cubes.
2. Heat a little oil in a pan, saute the pumpkin and add a little salt, turmeric powder and a little water to cook.
3. Also add the tamarind extract and jaggery. Simmer until three-fourths done.
4. Meanwhile take a tsp of oil in a pan and roast the gram dal and urad dal to a golden colour. Now add the sesame seeds, methi seeds, cumin seeds and the dry red chillies and roast further. Tip in the grated coconut and continue to saute for half a minute. Let it cool.
5. Now grind this in a mixie adding a little water to make a thick paste.
6. Mix the ground paste to the cooked pumpkin and simmer to cook further until the gravy gets cooked.
7. Check the salt and add if needed.
8. Finally add the tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.

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