Spinach Dosa

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This is the last day of the week and my final vegetable based protein dish. Spinach is the vegetable of choice. As a kid, I was anemic for sometime which my mother took as a personal affront. So she fed me a bunch of spinach each day pureed. She refused to stop even after my hemoglobin levels were over the threshold so much so that I was convinced that my vein, if cut, would bleed green instead of red.

I read somewhere recently that if two people in a house agree on the fan speed then they are definitely not married. I think that should be extended to dosas as well. The husband and I have completely different views on what a perfect dosa should be like. He thinks dosa should be thick and small while I think any dosa thicker than a banned plastic bag should be termed an uthapam.   

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I make spinach dosas mostly when the batter is insufficient for the number of dosas needed. I add some spinach purée which increases the volume of the batter and also gives it a nice flavour. I paired this with some lentil and coconut chutney which I came up with when I discovered that I didn’t have any fried gram to make the regular coconut chutney. I had some mixed lentil powder we use to mix with rice. So I blended it together with some coconut, ginger and green chillies. It tasted very nice with the dosa and we had a lovely weekend breakfast.

Protein – Spinach, Skinless black gram / Urad dal

Makes 15 dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Dosa batter                            4 cups

Spinach                                   1 small bunch

Green chillies                        1-2

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Wash and chop the spinach
  • Blend it along with the green chillies, salt and little water to a fine purée
  • Mix around 1/3 cup of purée with the batter 
  • The consistency of the batter should be slightly less than regular dosa batter but not as watery as a rava dosa batter
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on it
  • Spread the batter in a circular motion and pour few drops of oil around the edges of the dosa
  • Once it starts browning at the edges, use a steel spatula and turn it over
  • Let it cook for a minute and then take it off the tava
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the batter till you have as many dosas as you need
  • Serve warm with chutney or molaga podi
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Peas Paneer Paratha

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Today we celebrated Janmashtami / Lord Krishna’s birthday. I know the rest of the country was done with this last month. But we have our own strange calendar which always schedules Janmashtami when no one else does. When we were kids, my brother and I were told that since God had too many places to visit on a single day, he gave us a after appointment in order to be able to spend more time with us rather than a hurried visit. We felt rather special hearing it. Today I found myself giving a similar explanation to my daughter when she wondered why we chose a different day for the festival. Is this how traditions are started?

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My dish for today is green peas paratha with paneer. My daughter loves paratha of any kind. In other words, if it is round and topped with ghee it can easily be named paratha and she would eat it. So as any mother would, I manage to stuff all kinds of vegetables in the parathas and she gobbles it up. Peas is not one of her favourites. So parathas are the perfect way for her to get all the protein from the peas. As for me, I seem to have a ‘P’ fixation of some sort. I love Peas, Paneer, Paratha, Pizza, Pasta, Panagam, Pongal, etc. Maybe I will eat all salads if they were renamed as Psalads like Psmith. 

This is the first time I measured out ingredients for the paratha to write this post else I always work on estimation. I have not added green chilies to parathas since it is for my 4 year old. But you can add some to the filling to raise the spice quotient.

Protein – Green peas and Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

Makes 6 medium parathas

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

Whole wheat flour                     400 gms

Oil                                                   2 tsp

Salt

Water


For the filling

Green peas (fresh or frozen)        1/2 cup

Paneer / Cottage cheese                 150 gms

Red chilly powder                           1/4 tsp

Garam masala                                  1/4 tsp

Fresh coriander                                Few sprigs

Salt

Water

Ghee / clarified butter


WHAT TO DO

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, oil and salt
  • Add water to make a soft dough. Set aside for 20 minutes
  • Heat 2 cups of water in a vessel and add the green peas
  • Cook for 6-8 minutes till it is completely cooked
  • Drain the water and set aside the peas
  • Grate the paneer and transfer it to a bowl
  • Mash the peas nicely and transfer it to the same bowl. If you want you can pulse the peas in a mixer to form a coarse paste
  • Finely chop the fresh coriander and add it along with salt, chilly powder and garam masala to the bowl
  • Mix all the ingredients for the filling together
  • Heat a tava 
  • Divide the dough and the filling into 6 parts each
  • Roll out one portion of the dough with a rolling pin
  • Keep one portion of the filling inside and bring the ends of the rolled out doug together and close it
  • Roll it out again carefully to ensure that the dough does not tear and filling does not come out
  • Transfer it to the tava and cook on one side
  • After a minute, turn it over and let it cook on the other side 
  • Once both sides are cooked, take it off the tava and brush it with some ghee
  • Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough and filling
  • Serve warm with curds or pickle
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Black Gram Dosa with black gram chutney powder

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My mother is very interested in my blogging themes and enthusiastically keeps a look out for dishes that fit my theme of the month. Though she prefers me cooking and blogging about more traditional Indian dishes instead of ‘baking bread all the time’, she still supports my endeavour in a big way. She saw this recipe on a Tamil cookery show and promptly wrote it down to tell me. 

Usually dosa is made with skinless black gram but this dosa is made with the whole black gram which is the same one used to make dal makhni. Another interesting feature was that the black gram did not have to be soaked in order to make the dosa. I was intrigued when I heard that and thought I should give it a shot. For the past few weeks I am experimenting with grinding my idli / dosa batter in a mixer rather than the wet grinder. One, it is easier to clean and can also be used for smaller quantities as compared to the grinder. Though I am not completely pleased with the idli results from such an endeavour, the dosa works beautifully. So I used a mixer for this recipe too and it turned out quite nice. 

This dosa is also accompanied by a black gram podi / dry chutney powder which is to be mixed with oil and spread on the dosa. The combination is fantastic and I would recommend you try the two together instead of having this dosa with a regular red chilly lentil powder.

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Protein – Black gram

Recipe from Revathi Sankaran’s TV show

Makes 10-12 dosas

WHAT WE NEED

For the Dosa 

Idli rice                     3 cups

Raw rice                    1 cup

Black gram                1 cup

Fenugreek seeds       1 tsp

For the chutney podi

Black gram                 1/4 cup

Bengal gram               1 tbsp

Dried red chillies       5-6 

Salt

WHAT TO DO

For the dosa

  • Soak the idli rice and raw rice together and the fenugreek seeds in a separate vessel for 6 hours or overnight
  • Wash the black gram well and add it to a mixer / blender
  • Grind it well to a near smooth paste and set aside
  • Drain the water from the rice and add to the blender
  • Add the fenugreek seeds and salt and grind to a smooth paste
  • Mix the ground black gram and the rice and set aside to ferment for 6-8 hours depending on the weather
  • If the weather is chilly and you are not sure the batter will ferment then wrap the vessel with a thick towel and place it on top of the refrigerator. The heat from the refrigerator will help fermenting.
  • Once the batter has fermented, add some water and salt, if needed.
  • Heat a tava
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on the tava and spread it in a circular motion
  • Add few drops of oil at the edges of the dosa and let it cook for 20-30 seconds on medium high
  • Gently release the dosa from the tava with a steel spatula and turn it over on the other side
  • Let it cook for 10-20 seconds on low
  • Take out the dosa from the tava
  • Repeat the same procedure till all the dosas you need are made
  • Enjoy with the chutney powder

For the chutney powder

  • Dry roast the black gram, bengal gram and dried red chillies in a pan individually and set aside to cool
  • Add all the ingredients with salt to a blender 
  • Blend to a coarse powder 
  • Once the dosa is made, mix the chutney powder with a little gingely oil and apply on the dosa
  • Enjoy!


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  This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. 

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Bansi Rava Upma

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When the husband heard about this week’s theme and my first two dishes, he was pretty upset. He felt that by documenting those elaborate breakfasts alone, I was not being completely honest. Though I do make elaborate breakfasts for the weekend, it is not quite as often as he would like it to be. So, in the interest of transparency and honesty is this breakfast which also makes a regular appearance during weekend. I make this when we plan a lunch out. I make enough so that this doubles up as dinner too and I have that rare break from the kitchen.

The husband loves rava upma but I am not a huge fan because it is not so healthy. I came across this post on bansi rava upma and it fit with what we both wanted. So I modified it significantly to suit the husband’s taste and now we are all happy. Bansi rava is hugely popular in Karnataka and easily available across all stores. From what I understand, bansi rava is brown and coarser as compared to sooji which is white and very fine but it is not as coarse as semba rava / daliya. The nice part of making this upma is that we can roast the bansi rava along with the vegetables in the pan before adding hot water.

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Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Bansi Rava                                  1 cup

Onion, medium                         1

Green peas, shelled                  1/3 cup

Oil                                                2-3 tsp

Mustard seeds                           1 tsp

Curry leaves                              2 sprigs

Green chillies                            1-2

Chana dal                                   2 tsp

Urad dal                                      1 tsp

Ginger                                         1″

Grated coconut (optional)       2 tbsp

Water                                           3 cups

Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the chana dal and urad dal
  • Once the dal starts browning, add the chopped curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger
  • Then add the onions and fry till they turn translucent
  • In another vessel, boil the water
  • Then add the peas and fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the bansi rava and fry for 5-6 minutes
  • Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add it to the pan and mix it with the rava
  • Add salt and stir the mixture well
  • Simmer and close the pan for 1-2 minutes
  • Open it and stir it frequently till it absorbs all the water, for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the grated coconut and mix well
  • Serve hot with pickle or chutney of your choice
  • Enjoy!

I usually add coconut oil for this upma and it adds a lovely flavor.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.

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Rava Dosa – a nearly foolproof recipe

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In the second of my Weekend Breakfasts, I have the most delicious Rava Dosa with the classic partner, medhu vadai and accompanied by sambhar and two types of chutneys – coconut and coriander. All of this has to be washed down with a tumbler full of frothy, steaming filter coffee.

I have tried numerous recipes for the rava dosa and most of them have simply not worked. Either the dosa would come out in bits and pieces as if it has been toyed around by a toddler or it would stick strongly to the tava and simply refuse to budge. I kept experimenting with various types and quantities of rava and rice flour and finally I can tell you that I have a nearly foolproof recipe for the rava dosa. It is no longer something I can only have at a restaurant. I can have it whenever I feel like it, which is way more often than it should be. So I love this recipe and this dish so much that I am convinced this is my legacy. Whatever I do or don’t do henceforth, I am happy to report I can make a good Rava Dosa.

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The basic recipe has mainly three ingredients – rava / semolina, rice flour and curds. Simple thumb rules to go by are – The time needed to keep the rava soaked in curds is directly proportional to the proportion of rava in the recipe. The more rava you use in the recipe, the crispier is your dosa and the skill needed to make it is also more.

The usual proportion I use is 1/2 cup of rava to 1/2 cup of curds and 1 cup of rice flour. You can use as low as 1/4 cup of rava & curds each to 1 cup of rice flour. Even an equal amount of rava and rice works but I find that I prefer the taste and texture when the rava is half the quantity of the rice flour. Though you can use 1-2 tbsp of curds for 1/2 cup of rava and substitute the rest with water, I would recommend you not to do that. Using equal amount of rava and curds is one of the key reasons for success in making this dosa.

The rava and curds need to be mixed together and set aside before adding the rice flour. If you use only 1/4 cup then you need only 10 minutes of soaking for the rava. If you are using more, then you would need around 20 minutes. You can play around with this depending on the time available to you.

If the curds are sour the dosa tastes better but that does not mean you cannot make this with fresh curds. All I suggest is to have the curds at room temperature. If you do not have time to get the curds from the chill of the refrigerator to room temperature, then take the required curds in a separate bowl and add few spoons of boiling water to it. This will help increase the temperature of the curds. This can also be used before giving curds to kids if you don’t want them to have it cold.

The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rava. The best test to check if you have sufficient water is to pour a small amount of batter on a very hot tava. If it does not immediately form a lace like pattern, then you may need to add more water. But add water in 1-2 spoons each time so that you do not end up with excessive water in the batter.

The tava needs to be very hot while pouring the batter. As soon as you pour the batter, reduce the flame slightly and once you turn over the dosa reduce it to low flame. This will ensure the tava is not overheated which can result in blackening the dosa.

Makes 10-12 medium sized dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                                         1/4 cup

Curds (Sour / fresh)                                   1/4 cup

Rice flour                                                     1/2 cup

Cumin seeds / Jeera                                   1 tsp

Whole black pepper                                  1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves (finely chopped)         2 tsp

Broken cashewnuts (optional)                1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the rava and curds in a bowl and set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • The rava would have soaked a lot of curd and will appear to be a thicker mixture
  • Add the rice flour, cumin seeds, pepper, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and salt
  • Add around 1- 1 1/4 cups of water and mix all the ingredients to a runny batter.
  • Heat the tava till it is nicely hot
  • Pour a small amount of batter on the tava. If it immediately spreads into a lace like pattern then the consistency of the batter is fine. Else add few spoons of water
  • Pour a laddle full batter from the outside in i.e. pour the batter in a circular form as an outline and then fill it with the remaining batter. The shape of the dosa will not be an exact circle but slightly shapeless
  • Pour oil at the edges of the dosa and a couple of drops on the dosa
  • Reduce the flame to medium low and wait patiently till the edges start turning brown
  • Once the edges are brown, reduce the flame to low and turn the dosa to the other side using a spatula. This is the key step when one has to be very careful.
  • Use the spatula slowly and carefully to release the dosa from the tava. If you meet with too much resistance, give it few more seconds before you try again
  • Do not wait for more than 30 seconds for the upturned dosa else it will become hard
  • Take it off the tava and put the gas on full flame again before pouring the next ladle of batter
  • Continue the same procedure till you have as many dosas as you need
  • The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before using the refrigerated batter, check if you need more water to be added to it
  • Enjoy the golden brown dosa hot with sambhar and chutney!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under ‘Weekend Breakfasts’.

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Sandwich Platter


Yes, I still exist and so does the blog. I took a break for a couple of months to take car elf some other stuff in my life. Not that I completed everything I wanted to do in these two months but I am significantly more in control than I started out. In these two months, the daughter started kindergarten and has to be woken up at 6 am every morning. Thank you for your sympathies. My mom is turning 60 and so we did a little pre-celebration for that with a trip to Coorg. By the time I coordinated with the entire family of only 6 people and planned the trip, the white hairs on my head quatrupled. Then my father-in-law turned 70 last month. You see where this story is going and why I didn’t blog.

This week’s theme is about my favourite meal – breakfast. One of the few things I enjoy since exchanging my money paying job for tantrums and yells paying job is a leisure breakfast. I pack off the husband and daughter and sit down to relish my breakfast while scrolling through the social media feeds or listening to some melodious tunes while watching the clouds darkening and hoping for a quick rain. This week’s theme is ‘Weekend Breakfast’ which is a class of its own. Before the daughter was born, our weekend breakfast was a routine trip to the nearby Udupi restaurant. We even ordered the same items every week. The husband would choose poori sabji while I would have set dosai and kurma which would be washed down with s strong dose of filter coffee.

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Since I love bread and therefore sandwiches, I make different types of sandwiches for breakfast on a weekend. This gives us a chance to experiment and also the daughter gets to taste new stuff regularly. The humble sandwich lets us experiment with everything from the type of bread to the spread and fillings. It can be a hearty nutritious meal or a tasty drooling treat.

The sandwich platter is accompanied by fruits and some saffron milk for the kid and some fresh lime juice for me. This platter has –

  • Grilled Potato sandwiches with a spicy coriander chutney
  • Hummus sandwich with tomatoes and cucumber
  • Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
  • The classic – Bread butter jam

You have a choice to either grill or toast your bread or have it plain. The spread can be anything from coriander or mint chutney to hummus or cheese spread. The fillings can be the usual tomatoes and cucumber or potatoes or healthy like beetroot and carrots. These sandwiches can be had with mayonnaise or ketchup.

 There are hardly any recipes in these sandwiches, just a simple assembly of readymade / raw ingredients. The new thing I tried was grilled halloumi cheese with raw tomato slices inside lightly buttered toasted bread. One thing to keep in mind is that halloumi is a very salty cheese and you don’t need any extra salt for the sandwich.

For the hummus sandwich, I used plain bread to which I applied a generous dose of hummus. Then I placed tomato and cucumber slices to complete the sandwich.

I made the bread butter jam because I wanted backup for my daughter in case she didn’t like any of the others. Usually I get the unsalted butter to room temperature and then mix one part butter with one part jam of my choice to form a smooth mix. Then I apply it on the bread. This is usually the first bread I make and set it aside for 10-15 minutes which makes it so much more delicious. This time I used pink guava jam which was loved by us all.

The only thing I made was the spicy coriander chutney. I used it along with boiled and mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I grilled the sandwich to a crisp treat.

 So here is the recipe for the chutney. I am not sure of the source of this recipe. I have been making it for a long while now. If I am not mistaken, it is from Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. This is a quick, no cook, no coconut chutney perfect for a spicy sandwich.

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                                2

Green chillies                            1-2

Coriander leaves & stems        8-10

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Tear the bread into 4-5 pieces and put it in a blender
  • Cut the green chillies and add it to the bread. If you do not want a very spicy chutney, you can add 1 chilly else go for 2.
  • Wash and tear the coriander and add it to the bread
  • Add salt and requisite water to blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste
  • Generously apply on bread slices and add the veggies of your choice to make a spicy sandwich
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.
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Saffron Buns

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I have to confess. This is part this theme and part a desperate attempt to somehow make it fit into the theme because I couldn’t do it last month as part of the mega marathon. Aren’t they cute? These are Swedish saffron buns and they are so aromatic. As I was telling you yesterday, I have this major fear of forgetting ingredients and letting them go waste. Last year my parents visited Kashmir and my mom went slightly overboard in buying saffron. When I say slightly, I mean ‘I have to gift this to every person of my acquaintance so let me buy the entire supply from the valley’ level overboard. And to her credit she did gift it to almost every person of her acquaintance (you should be friends with my mom, it is so beneficial) but she did prepare for contingencies which left her with quite a few extra cute boxes of saffron. Naturally, I was part inheritor of those boxes and so now I have around 3 boxes of saffron sitting in my fridge and staring at me every time I open it. While I know saffron doesn’t spoil easily, I am still kinda sorta uncomfortable looking at them all the time. So for the past one years, the husband has been wondering as to why all the sweet dishes in the house are orange in colour and I am yet to get through box one. 

Hence you can imagine how insanely happy I was to spot a bread recipe with saffron. I intend making his a weekl dish at home and thankfully the daughter loved it. Yay! And I am sure the husband will like it once he has them. Yes, I had them for lunch, don’t judge me. Anyway this recipe is from Gayathri’s blog and so egg free. Yum is the word.

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Makes 6 pieces

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Saffron                        a pinch

Hot water                    1 tbsp

All purpose flour       1 1/2 cups

Sugar                            2 tbsp

Instant yeast               1 1/2 tsp

Oil                                  2 tbsp

Curds                             3 tbsp

Milk                                1/4 cup + for wash

Raisins                           12

WHAT TO DO

  • Add the saffron strands to the hot water and set aside
  • Mix the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl
  • Add the milk, curds and oil to the bowl
  • Add the saffron water and mix well
  • Knead for 10-12 minutes till you get a soft pliant dough
  • Cover and set aside in a greased bowl till the dough doubles in volume
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into 6 parts
  • Roll each part into a 12″ rope and twist the ends to form the ‘S’ shape
  • Transfer all the 6 portions of the dough to a greased baking tray
  • Keep a raisin at the two ends of the ‘S’ for each portion
  • Set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the dough with milk just before baking
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • Let it cool for 10 minutes
  • Enjoy with some jam or butter or both!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme ‘Picnic Dishes’.

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Za’atar Pull Apart Bread

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Today is the final day of this Mega Marathon. It has been an awesome one month with the frangrance of yeast wafting around my kitchen and sometime my entire house. It has been a month of constantly cleaning the mixing bowl and measuring cups to start the bread for the next alphabet. I was tempted to go with Zopf for this last bread of the month but the pull apart bread has been on my to-bake list for ever now. So I did some realignment and adjustment and finally came up with zaatar pull apart bread.

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I first tried tweaking another recipe and wanted to make a savory monkey bread type of pull apart in which I stuffed zaatar flavoured paneer. The taste was amazing but the pull apart kind of went fell apart. The individual rolls tasted great but due to all the butter coating the dough they simply did not stick to each other and literally fell apart. So I abandoned that and then found this recipe in which the filling was simply zaatar and olive oil. That sounded more manageable and so I went ahead with it. But I did not want to take any more risks and so I topped the dough with cheese just before going in to bake so that it holds the various pieces of dough together. In doing that I had to sacrifice the look of the bread and the rolls are not individually visible in the bread. Maybe I am better next time.

Country – England

Makes one 10″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour             1 1/2 cups

Instant yeast                     1 tsp

Sugar                                  1 tsp

Olive oil                             1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                      1 tsp

Curds                                  1/4 cup

Milk                                     4-5 tbsp

For the filling

Zaatar spice mix               5-6 tbsp

Olive oil                              5 tbsp

Milk for glaze                    2 tbsp

Mozzarella cheese           2 tbsp (optional)

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead well for 8-10 minutes till the dough becomes soft and pliant
  • Set aside in a covered greased bowl till the dough doubled in volume
  • Mix the zaatar spice and olive oil in a bowl and set aside
  • Once the dough has doubled, divide it into 4 quarters
  • Divide each quarter further into 4 pieces
  • Roll out 1 of the 4 pieces into a 6″ diameter circle
  • Apply the zaatar and olive oil mix on the circle
  • Roll out the next piece and place it on the first piece and apply the zaatar mix on it
  • Repeat the process for the other 2 pieces and you will have a stack of 4 circles with zaatar mix in between all of them
  • Roll up the 4 circles together into a log and pinch the ends together to seal

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  • Repeat the process for each of the other 3 quarters of dough
  • You will have 4 logs of dough
  • Cut each log into 4-5 pieces making diagnol cuts like a ‘V’
  • Grease a 10″ round pan
  • Place all the cut pieces in the round pan with the cut side facing up
  • Cover and set it aside for an hour to increase in size

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  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk or egg wash
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for 15-20 minutes or till the bread is nicely brown
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and demould the bread and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘Z’.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Yang PaBbang

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We are almost at the end of our baking mega marathon. I was quite worried at the beginning because I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and the strategy was to bake almost everyday. But surprisingly I enjoyed this month immensely. My routine would be to finish the day’s cooking by 7 in the morning and then start with kneading the dough. I would leave it for the first rise and get my daughter ready for school. Once I dropped her off, I would return and shape the dough for the second rise and then bake the bread and click the photos before the natural light went away. Then I would write the blog post for the day and edit the pictures. I am so used to this routine, to this extremely thereupetic alone time simply kneading the dough and feeling the wet shaggy mixture turn into a soft pliant dough, to watch in awe every time the dough rises and chew my nails nervously every time it doesn’t rise as fast, to hover around the oven till the nicely golden brown is reached and grab it out before it runs a risk of turning black. I have a feeling I am going to miss all of this. I hopefully will continue baking breads, just not so many at a time.

Today’s bread is a delightful Korean bread which is both stuffed and topped with vegetables. It also takes lesser time than other breads because it needs only one rise and is baked soon after which makes it perfect for a faster bake. The original is not vegetarian but Varada posted a vegetarian version of it. I followed the recipe except I used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour and I changed the vegetables. I did not have capsicum and so I replaced that with some corn and olives and the result was some absolutely yummy bread which I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Country – Korea

Makes one 12″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour               1 cup

Whole wheat flour            1 cup

Instant yeast                       1 tsp

Olive oil                               2 tbsp

Salt                                       1/2 tsp

Lukewarm milk                 1 cup

For the filling & topping

Mozzarella                          1/4 cup

Onion, small, chopped      1

Olives, pitted & chopped   2-3 tbsp

American corn,  cooked     1/4 cup

Cayenne pepper                   1/2 tsp

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead well for 5 minutes till the dough is soft and pliant
  • Cover and set it aside in a greased bowl for it to double in volume, around an hour or so
  • Mix all the ingredients for the filling and set aside
  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Grease a 10″ loaf pan
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle of 12″ breadth
  • Place 3/4 of the filling in the middle and close it lengthwise to seal the ends of the dough
  • Transfer the dough to the loaf pan
  • Top the balance ingredients on the dough
  • Bake for 45 minutes or till it is nicely brown and leave it in the oven for another 15 minutes
  • Take out and let cool 
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘Y’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Xacuti Khara Bread

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Not surprising that I spent the maximum time trying to figure out a bread for the alphabet, X. I almost gave up and was reconciling myself to doing something other than bread when I came across the dish called, ‘Xacuti Chicken’. Upon further reading, I discovered that it is a dish popular in Goa, India and Xacuti is a spice mix used to make the chicken very aromatic and tasty. So I figured I could add that to a bread and make a xacuti bread but then the country clause of our marathon kicks in and I didn’t want to violate that. Then finally, a couple of days back an idea struck me as I was putting my daughter to sleep. These days most ideas find this time to strike because I have to be very quiet and perfectly still else the daughter wakes up at the slightest shrug. I remembered having read about the Iyengar bakery khara bread recipe at Veena’s blog and so this grand idea was born. My bread would totally be Indian because both xacuti and khara bread are from here. Yay! Purists would surely debate this culmination of west and south India but that is how creativity and innovation works, no? The bread is very aromatic and my daughter and I loved it. The husband? Let’s just say he is a purist. 😉

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It is said that time and temperature are ingredients for a good loaf of bread. While it is comparatively easier to play around with time, it is not so with temperature. Since most of the blogs and websites are from the western countries there are innumerable tips about how to keep the dough warm when it needs to rise. But there are few tips on how to cool down the dough in the excessive tropical heat to ensure it rises well. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am having trouble with the dough rising to be double its volume because of the excessive Bangalore heat. My first idea was to use room temperature water instead of lukewarm to knead the dough and that paid good dividends. Obviously using cold water is out of question but I needed to reduce the temperature further for my dough to rise nicely. I remembered reading about a wet towel leading to better rising dough. So then I hit upon an idea by which I soaked a kitchen towel in cold water and squeezed out the excess water. I covered my dough bowl with cling wrap and threw the cold kitchen towel over it for 20-25 minutes. That helped beautifully and the dough happily bulked up making the world a brighter place for me. I did not want to keep the towel on for too long because I was worried the temperature would drop too much and adversely affect my dough. I kept watch and checked every 5-7 minutes and by 25 minutes the dough rise was good enough for me to remove the towel and let the dough rise a bit more for the balance 35 minutes. 

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Country – India

Makes one 8″ loaf

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                     1 1/2 cup heaped

Instant yeast                             1 tsp

Sugar                                          1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                              1/2 tsp

Water                                          6 tbsp

Milk                                             1/4 cup

Olive oil                                      1 tbsp

Xacuti spice powder                1 – 1 1/2 tsp

Milk for brushing the dough  2 tbsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together except the milk for brushing the dough
  • To figure out how much xacuti spice you need, I suggest you first add 1 1/2 tsp with the rest of the ingredients
  • Hold back 1 tbsp water.
  • Taste the dough and if you think you need more, add another 1/2 tsp along with the 1 tbsp water to mix well
  • The spice tastes stronger in the dough than in the finally baked bread. So keep that in mind while tasting the dough
  • Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by hand
  • Cover and set aside in a greased bowl till it doubles in volume
  • Take out the dough and flatten it into a rectangle
  • Roll up the dough from the short end into a tight loaf
  • Grease an 8*3″ loaf tin and transfer the dough into it
  • Cover and set it aside for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Brush the top of the dough with milk
  • Bake for 40 minutes or till the top is nicely brown
  • If you tap the bottom of the loaf tin, it should sound hollow
  • Cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy as is or with some butter!

NOTES

  1. I used a home made xacuti spice mix in which I reduced the number of red chillies used. If you are using a store bought one, then you could try mixing it with some onion powder / garlic powder / mixed herbs to tone down the hotness quotient if you wish.

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 This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘X’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75