Kimbula Banis | Sweet Buns

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My usual modus operandi in any country theme is to look for the breads available there and try to bake atleast one such dish. I chanced upon this awesome sweet bun recipe and knew I had to make it. It is simple, tasty and makes for a perfect snack for kids.

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This dish is supposed to look like a crocodile and hence the name ‘kimbula’ which means crocodile. So usually these buns are longer and bigger. But I wanted to give these for my daughter’s snack box and so made them smaller and figured these could work as baby kimbula rolls. What say?

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 15-18 buns

WHAT WE NEED

170 gms All purpose flour

20 gms Milk powder

1 egg

4 gms Instant yeast

15 gms Brown sugar

25 gms Sugar + for sprinkling on top

12 gms Unsalted butter

65-70 gms Warm water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together, except water
  • Add the water slowly to form a soft and pliant dough
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes and keep covered in a bowl till it doubles in volume. It should take around 1 hour
  • Take out the dough and roll it with a rolling pin to a long rectangle
  • Cut the dough into small triangles with a dough scrapper or knife
  • Roll each triangle from the broad side to the narrow side
  • Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Transfer the rolled dough to the baking tray and set aside for half hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Sprinkle sugar generously on top of the dough buns
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy with some tea!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Kadala Thel Dala | Stir fried Chickpeas

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The second dish for the Sri Lankan cuisine theme is a popular snack called Kadala Thel Dala which is quite similar to the sundal prepared in Tamil cuisine. One main difference is the addition of onion to this dish which is not usually added to sundal but which makes this a simple yet delicious bowl of snack.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp vegetable oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Add mustard seeds and cumin.
  • Once the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves and onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or till the onion turns golden brown
  • Add the chickpeas, salt and chilly powder
  • Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

NOTES

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and then use in this recipe
  2. The onion will cook faster if sliced very thinly

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Dun Thel Bath | Ghee Rice with Green Peas

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The theme for this week is Sri Lankan cuisine. When I picked this theme, I did not know that the cuisine is very similar to Indian, more specifically South Indian cuisine. Because the country is an island, there must be coconut trees in plenty which is reflected in the cooking too. The same goes for the seafood as well. There is an influence of Malaysian and few other South east Asian cuisines as well which makes the Sri Lankan table a multi flavoured one.

This dish is a ghee (clarified butter) rich rice with green peas which is similar to the Indian Peas Pulao. It is slightly differentiated with the addition of raisins in plenty. I have reduced the raisins and added some cashews because the daughter loves it and she is having an increasing amount of say in what is cooked everyday. This rice pairs beautifully with any vegetable but we had it with some homemade plantain chips which was absolutely lipsmacking.

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Serves 2-3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

1 1/4 cups Basmati rice
2 cardamons
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup green peas
2 tbsp Cashews & raisins
Salt & Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the rice with 2 cups water and set aside
  • Cook the green peas in hot water for 5-7 minutes and set aside
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan
  • Add the cardamons, cloves and cumin seeds and fry for about a min
  • Add the green peas and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the rice and salt and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat after 3-4 minutes
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Rose scented Hazelnut Cookies

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This is my third and final post on New Year Challenges. I have been planning forever to experiment on ideas and recipes instead of adapting other recipes. Though I am sure most flavour combinations have already been discovered and perfected, there is a thrill and satisfaction of discovering something on your own instead of simply adapting another recipe. I used to do that a lot during my initial days in the kitchen but then it slowly died down as the years went by. Now I want to try dishes on my own and document it. Here is the first one – a rose scented cookie with hazelnuts and rose petals.

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Makes around 15 cookies

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature (around 80 gms)

1 tbsp Rose water

2 tbsp Hazelnuts, chopped

1 tbsp Dried rose petals

2 tbsp Milk / as required

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 175C
  • Beat butter and sugar till soft and fluffy, around 4-5 minutes
  • Add the rose water, flour and hazelnuts and mix
  • Add milk to form a smooth dough
  • Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Divide the dough into 15-20 parts
  • Roll each one into a ball, flatten and place on the baking tray
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes till the cookies get brown at the bottom
  • Let cool for 10 minutes
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘New Year Challenges’.

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Sourdough Banana & Zucchini Bread

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Another resolution I have is to improving my sourdough baking. I wanted to bake a sourdough bread loaf but the winter has been particularly cold this time and my starter is taking ages to show any signs of activity. So I ditched that idea and decided to bake a sourdough quick bread with bananas and zucchini. The oven spring in the loaf was awesome and we got a fabulously soft and delicious loaf. Do try it.

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Adapted from here

Makes one 9″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

3 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup Sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup Mashed bananas

1/2 cup Sourdough starter

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Orange zest (Optional)

1 cup Whole wheat flour, sifted

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup Tutti fruiti / nuts

1/2 cup Unpeeled, shredded zucchini

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Cream the butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy
  • Add the egg and beat into a smooth mixture
  • Stir in the mashed bananas, sourdough starter, orange zest and vanilla
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  • Add the flour mixture to the sourdough mixture
  • Add the zucchini and tutti fruiti and mix together to form a batter
  • Grease a 9″ loaf pan and pour the batter into it
  • Set aside for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 175C
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean
  • Unmould the loaf and cool on a wire rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘New Year Challenges’.

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Pane di Lino / Ground Flaxseed Bread

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This is the first post for 2018 and I wanted it be a bread. This week I am posting three recipes for the New Year Challenge in which we post dishes that reflect our goals and resolutions for this year. Mine have to revolve around bread. So I will be posting three posts related to bread.

One of my resolutions has been to completely stop buying bread from the store. I have reached closer to that goal in the past six months. Now the husband and daughter have become more discerning and want variety in the bread though they were content with the same store bread for all these years. So I tried this wheat bran and ground flaxseed bread which has an amazing texture in the crumb and crust.

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Adapted from here

Makes one 9″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

370 gms All purpose flour

25 gms Ground flaxseeds

10 gms Wheat bran

1 tsp Instant yeast

1 tsp Salt

300 gms Warm water

1 tsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together and form a wet dough
  • Cover and let it rest for an hour
  • Stretch and fold the dough on all sides and place it in the bowl seamside down
  • Cover and let it rise to double in volume which should take around 3-4 hours depending on the weather
  • Fold the dough over itself and let it rise again for 1-2 hours till you see it start rising again and increasing in volume
  • Take a Pullman loaf tin and grease the tin and cover with oil or butter
  • Take out the dough and shape it into a log
  • Transfer it to the loaf tin and cover with a cling wrap
  • Let it rise till the dough reaches nearly the top of the loaf tin which should take around 2-3 hours
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Cover the tin with its lid and bake at 230C for 30 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 220C and bake for 15 minutes
  • Take out the pan and unmould the loaf from the tin
  • Let it cool completely on the wire rack before slicing it
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you want to eat the bread as is without any butter, etc. then add another 1/2 tsp salt
  2. In hindsight I thought a darker colour on the crust would have been nicer. Maybe another 3-4 minutes in the oven would have achieved that

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘New Year Challenges’.

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The year that was….

Another year is at an end and 2018 is on the anvil with loads of promise. Every year when Valli asks us to write about the Best of the Year, she gives pointers like – best recipes, most liked ones, etc. But what I end up doing is write about my entire life in that year because this blog is my life journal. So you have to read about the boring details of my life because you chose to click here.

When I read my old posts, I am transported back to the time I made the particular dish, my kitchen and the mood then – probably my daughter tugging at the apron wanting to butt in on the dish or the husband hungrily asking if I had any more clicks left or could he eat already or my maid waiting impatiently to clean the mixing bowl and gettin on with her job or the rare occasion when it is just me, the dough and some soothing music in the background.

This year was pretty uneventful on the personal front – I stayed in one house for the entire year!! I made some amazing friends in my apartment complex and so has the daughter. She seems to have settled in her new school and I spent quite some time figuring out how to dress her up in various avatars as demanded by the school. I am convinced parenting was easier when I was a kid. Sigh!

On the blog front, this year has been promising. The reason I started this blog was to document my bread baking and I kind of lost the plot somewhere along the way. This year I have managed to bake quite a few loaves and learn a lot about baking in general and breads in particular. The highlight definitely was the April Mega Marathon when I baked 26 breads, one for each letter of the alphabet.

I also baked bread for this year’s Bake-a-thon in December.

Another highlight was our September Mega Marathon when I blogged about 26 Protein Rich Dishes

Thanks to Valli, who started the exploration of a country’s cuisine every month, I learnt about cuisines of USA, Morocco, Greece, Lebanon and Caribbean. I am hoping to do better on this front in 2018.

I know I shouldn’t but I do love certain bread recipes I made more than the others. There are a few I am partial to and simply cant help loving them a wee it more than the others. So here are my favourite recipes of the year that i blogged about –

1. Boule

This bread is special because it is the first one I baked with bread flour and the results were awesome to say the least.

2. Rewena Paraoa

I loved making a starter with the humble potato and that led to an amazing flavourful loaf. It was so much fun learning new methods and ingredients in bread baking.

3. Pain d’epi

You can’t bake bread and not be a fan of the French. The diversity and variety there is beyond imagination. This bread made me excited and a wee bit proud of my efforts in baking bread. It was on my list to bake for a long time and achieving it made me estatic.

4. Sourdough Brown Bread

I started baking with sourdough this year and this has been one of my better loaves to come out of those experiments. Also, whole wheat flour has lent a lovely flavour and texture to ṭhis beautiful loaf.

5. White Bread

I have been trying to get a hole-y bread forever now. Though I still haven’t, this loaf gave me hope that I can achieve it someday. This looks like an important step ahead in that direction.

6. Raisin Yeast Water Bread

Yeast water is an absolutely new discovery that I made this year and it is a huge ocean of knowledge in itself. This loaf is made from my first raisin yeast water to get some commendable results. Looks like an exciting area of exploration.

So that was my year. How was yours?

Happy Baking!

This is going to the Best of the Year hosted by Srivalli

Bake-a-thon Round Up

We come to the end of another Bake-a-thon, which is my favourite event of the year because I have legitimate reason to mix flour water salt and yeast and get all excited and worked up at the same time. My original plan was to have all recipes in this theme as sourdough baking but I am guessing I still have sometime to go before I can be competent and confident enough to publish those efforts.

So this time is about breads – sourdough and yeast breads, not to mention yeast water breads.

Here is a recap –

1. Raisin Yeast Water Bread

2. Rosemary Fougasse

3. White Bread

4. Cornell Bread

5. Sourdough Brown Bread

6. Pullman Loaf

7. Apple Yeast Water Bread

8. Khobz Dyal Zraa’

9. Whole Wheat Bran & Seeded Bread

10. Roasted Garlic & Potato Bread

11. Crusty Cloche Bread with Maize Flour

12. Cinnamon Rolls

13. New Year’s Eve Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Happy Baking!

New year’s eve Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

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This will be the final recipe for the year 2017. I will save the disbelief for the year having gone past quickly for another post. I have been wanting to make a pizza for this Bake-a-thon but I never got around it. The main reason was that I happened to visit 3 Italian restaurants in a span of 10 days and if I dared to make pizza after that run, I knew I would be seriously injured or maimed. But then finally I hit upon this idea and it call came together very well.

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I chanced upon this recipe for New Year’s Eve Pizza and thought it would be a wonderful way to end the year. The best part about it is that the pizza is topped with bread crumbs mixed with olive oil giving it a lovely crunch and crisp top. I had some bread frozen because my experiments did not turn out too well and no one wanted to have it. So I have been pulsing them and using as bread crumbs. I figured I could use up some of that too with this recipe. Then I remembered I had a large head of cauliflower waiting to be used. So I mixed the bread crumb topping with cauliflower crust and voila, we have this awesome pizza that works perfectly well when it comes to clearing out my refrigerator.

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Makes one 11″ pizza

WHAT WE NEED

1 kg Cauliflower

60 gms Almonds

3 tbsp Chia seeds

4 tbsp Water

1 tbsp Dried oregano

1 tsp Salt

Toppings per your choice

1/4 cup Bread crumbs

1-2 tbsp Olive oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Break the cauliflower into florets and blitz them in a food processor / mixer to form a rice like consistency
  • Transfer it to a microwave safe bowl
  • Cover with cling wrap and microwave for 8 minutes till softened
  • Transfer it to a kitchen towel and let cool for 10 minutes
  • Grind the chia seeds and mix it with water in a bowl and set aside
  • Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cauliflower through the kitchen towel
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl
  • Grind almonds into rice like consistency
  • Add the almonds, chia seed mixture, oregano and salt to the cauliflower and get them together like a dough
  • Press into a greased baking tray at 1/4″ thick
  • Ensure that the thickness is the same overall without having highs and lows
  • Preheat the oven at 200C
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes till light brown
  • Take it out and let cool for 15-20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Add toppings to the pizza base as per your choice
  • Mix the bread crumbs and olive oil and sprinkle on top of the pizza covering it well
  • Bake at 220C for 10 minutes or till the top turns golden brown
  • If necessary, broil for 2-3 minutes
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. The bread crumbs are optional and can be omitted if you wish
  2. Chia seeds can be substituted with flaxseeds
  3. If you do not want to microwave the cauliflower, then steam it for 8-9 minutes

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

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Every now and then I wonder how I end up missing the classic dishes, the most popular ones that have stood the test of time. I keep thinking about baking them and blogging about it but then I discover something new and exciting and this gets sidelined to be revisited another day. I always imagine someone visiting my blog and then is stunned speechless because there is no recipe for cinnamon rolls or pound cake. So now there is one less thing to worry about.

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The husband and daughter threw a fit about having to eat too many breads. They wanted something sweet and made all sorts of threats to ensure I give them that. So I figured I could make cinnamon rolls because they satisfy my criteria of yeast dough and so kind of fall in the bread category and at the same time they are sweet and will please the family.

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Recipe adapted from here and here

Makes 15 medium rolls

WHAT WE NEED

For the rolls

120 ml Milk

56 gms Unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/8 tsp Instant yeast

pinch of salt

3/4 tsp Cinnamon powder

8 tsp Brown sugar

204 gms All purpose flour

For the glaze

1/4 cup Icing sugar

1 tsp Unsalted butter, melted

1/2 tsp Vanilla essence

2-3 tsp Milk

 

WHAT TO DO

For the rolls

  • Heat 21 gms butter and the entire milk together in a microwave oven/ saucepan till melted
  • Let it cool to become lukewarm
  • Transfer the butter and milk mixture to a large bowl and add yeast, 2 tsp brown sugar  and salt
  • Add the flour little by little and knead to a loose ball consistency
  • Cover and set aside till the dough doubles in volume, around 1-2 hours
  • Roll out the dough to a thin rectangle
  • Brush it 21 gms butter and top it with 6 tsp brown sugar and cinnamon powder
  • Roll the dough tightly into a long tube shape and place it seam side down
  • Cut it into 15 pieces with a knife
  • Place the rolls in a greased baking tray leaving little space between them
  • Brush the top of the rolls with the balance butter
  • Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or till it is slightly golden brown

For the glaze

  • Mix all the ingredients for the glaze to form a thick glaze
  • Pour over the rolls as soon as they are taken out from the oven
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017