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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Moroccan Roasted Carrot Soup

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The weather is Bangalore is amazing this time of the year. It is cold enough to want to have tea and hot, deep fried snacks all the time but not too cold that you need multiple layers of clothes. It is perfect weather for a soup and I had some carrots which had to be used at the earliest. I roasted them with some onions and garlic and blended it with some roasted cumin and the results were delicious to say the least. It is the perfect recipe for a lazy day meal because you get rather tasty results with minimal efforts.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

3 carrots, medium to large

1 onion, large

5-6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds

2-3 cups water / veg stock

Salt & pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Cut the onion, carrots and garlic into large chunks and transfer them to a oven safe dish
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix in the olive oil
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes till the carrots start shrinking
  • Blend the carrots, onion and garlic with roasted cumin
  • Transfer the mixture to a vessel and add the vegetable stock / water
  • Let it come to a boil and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with some bread
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon for the theme, ‘Moroccan Cuisine’.

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Khobz dyal Zraa’ – Moroccan Wheat Bread

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Another awesome part of baking bread is the scoring of the dough before baking. Scoring is simply slashing the dough top so that we are able to control where the bread expands from. When you score the bread with a pretty design it adds a delightful artistic side to the loaf, a treat to the eyes and you are in awe of it even before biting into the first slice. Though it appears easy, scoring requires a little confidence and quite a bit of practice. The tool used to score dough is called lame and it is basically a regular blade mounted on a stand. As usual, this is not available in India and so I fashioned myself one in order to be able to score the dough well. This is my first effort with my new tool and it doesn’t look too bad for a first attempt, right? Despite a slightly misshapen loaf, that is.

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Bread is an integral part of Moroccan cuisine and they have a wide variety of breads, both dough raising and flat breads. I picked the whole wheat bread which has an equal amount of whole wheat and all purpose flour. This bread is a relatively flat bread and needs only one rise which makes it a comparatively faster bake. But because of the low hydration, the air pockets are not huge but small and uniform throughout.

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 1 large loaf

WHAT WE NEED

135 gms All purpose flour

135 gms Whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

180 gms Warm water

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Oil

1 tbsp Honey

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt together
  • Make a well in the middle and add the yeast
  • Add the oil, honey and water to the yeast and mix it first
  • Then mix with the flours to form a dough
  • Knead for 6-7 minutes till you get a soft pliable dough
  • Set aside for 15 minutes
  • Grease a baking tray and sprinkle some semolina
  • Press down the dough with the palm of your hand to make a 1/4″ thick circle
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven at 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour on top and slash the dough in any pattern of your choice
  • Put the dough into the oven and reduce the temperature to 220C
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Turn the tray around and bake for another 10 minutes or till the loaf acquires a rich brown colour
  • Take it out of the oven and cool on a rack
  • Enjoy!

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

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Moroccan Zaalouk

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We try and explore the cuisine of a different country each month in our Blogging Marathon and I try to take up the theme, if only to bake a new kind of bread from a new country every month. This month’s cuisine is Moroccon and as I was browsing through various recipes, I realised how similar it is with Indian cuisine. I found this recipe for an eggplant and tomato salad called Zaalouk which is quite similar to Baingan Bhartha made in India. Coincidentally the husband picked 2 large eggplants on his trip to the supermarket and I decided to kill multiple birds with one stone.

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This is a salad in Moroccan cuisine and is said to go very well with bread. I simply topped it on my toasted homemade bread and I have to tell you it is divine. I would have frowned on having baingan bartha for breakfast but this zaalouk with bread is a treat. The key difference between the two is the amount of tomatoes used in the dish. While we use 1 or 2 tomatoes for an entire eggplant, this dish calls for 3-4 making the taste significantly different, not to mention delicious.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 4-5 people

WHAT WE NEED

2 large Eggplants

5-6 Ripe tomatoes

4-5 Garlic cloves

1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp red chilly powder / paprika

Oil

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Rub some oil on the eggplants, poke a few holes with a fork and roast them on high flame till they are cooked
  • Remove the skins and mash well
  • Heat 2-3 tsp of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and chilly powder and let cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame
  • Add the roasted eggplants and mix well
  • Add salt and a little water and simmer for 5-7 minutes
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot
  • Enjoy with some bread!

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

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Bhajiya Pav

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As someone who was living in Mumbai for most of her life, I am going to commit blasphemy by uttering the next few words – I am not a big fan of the Vada Pav. Let the lynching begin. Somehow, all my life I tried to like it because duh! But I simply could not find it in me to enjoy Vada pav. I enjoy them separately – I love the batata Vada and I can eat pav with nothing on the side because bread! But put them together with the spicy green chutney and I start backing off from there. But Bhajiya pav is something I adore and crave and can eat as many as you can get me. Each bite holds so many memories and conversations of the years gone by. In our school, we did not have a proper canteen. We had two ladies who would come at break time with huge tubs full of Vada pavs, samosa pavs and bhajiya pavs. By the end of the 15 minute break they would walk out with empty tubs but full pockets. Since my mother took our eating out as a personal affront, we did not eat out much except for the birthdays – ours and our friends’ when the treat always was bought from the aunties at the ‘canteen’.

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Later, we discovered the ultimate maker of Vada pavs and bhajiya pavs near our home in Mumbai. Ever since, no trip of mine to Mumbai is complete without a bite (so much more than a bite!) of his bhajiya pavs. He fries the bhajiya, rips open the pav, fills it with the chutneys and bhajiya, packs it in old newspaper and ties them with many metres of thread in a blink of the eye. We spend more time in pulling out the thread and untangling it from our fingers than we spend in actually eating the contents inside. Though I still don’t like the green chutney, I have included it here husband will not have it any other way. But trust me, if you top it with loads of dry garlic chutney and close your eyes, you will find yourself in a Mumbai street corner near a push cart which is super hot because of the incessant frying, with aromas that could make you hungry even though you just had lunch and an invisible magnetic pull towards it saying the golden words “Bhaiya 2 bhajiya pav parcel”.

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Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

6 Pavs

Dry garlic chutney

For the Bhajiya

1 Potato, large

1/2 cup Chickpea flour

2 tbsp Rice flour

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

Oil for deep frying

For the green chutney

6-7 stalks of fresh coriander

1 garlic clove

1 green chilly

3-4 drops of lemon juice

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the bhajiya
  • In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, rice flour, chilly powder and salt
  • Add enough water to form a slightly thick batter. The batter should not be too thin else it would be difficult to coat the potato and not too thick in which the flavour of the potato is lost
  • Slice the potato into thin slices in a mandolin slicer
  • Once the oil is hot, take one slice of the potato and coat it well with the batter and drop it into the hot oil
  • Once it is nicely cooked on both sides, take it out of the oil and place it on tissue to absorb the excess oil
  • You can fry multiple potato slices at a time depending on how big your pan is
  • Repeat the procedure with all other slices of potato till you have the desired number of bhajiyas
  • Add all the ingredients for the green chutney in a small mixer jar
  • Add enough water to blend together all the ingredients into a chutney. It needs to be slightly runny so that it is easy to slather it over the pav
  • Cut open the pav in half horizontally but leave it joint at one end

Assembling the dish

  • The pav is usually eaten as is but you can lightly toast it with some butter if you want
  • Apply the chutney on the inside of the pav and place 2-3 bhajiyas in it
  • Top it with dry garlic chutney and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Street Food’.

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Paneer Manchurian

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If you are a vegetarian in India who loves Chinese food (Indo-Chinese, to be accurate) you have to order a manchurian gravy with either fried rice or hakka noodles. It is as if no other dish exists. I have gone to countless dinners with friends and family and every time we landed at a Chinese joint, it was fried rice, hakka noodles and vegetable manchurian. The only thing we would debate about was if we needed the manchurian with or without the gravy. If we were in a spend-all mode then we would have spring rolls for starters and manchurian with gravy for mains else it was ordered without gravy. And Indian restaurants in their forever adapting jugaad mode came up with paneer, cauliflower and baby corn varieties for manchurian giving us a wee bit relief from the usual mixed vegetable one.

So this paneer manchurian is an ode to every meal with family and friends that I had back in Mumbai with the same dishes over and over again.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

200 gms Paneer

4-5 Garlic cloves

1″ Ginger, grated

1-2 Green chillies

1/3 cup Spring onion greens

1/2 Capsicum, finely chopped (optional)

2 tsp Soy sauce

2 tbsp Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups Water

1-2 tsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Cornflour

Salt

Oil

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Cut the paneer into cubes
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp cornflour, 1 grated garlic, grated ginger and salt
  • Add the paneer and coat it well with the cornflour mixture
  • Deep fry or shallow fry the paneer till it is light brown and set aside
  • In a pan, heat 2 tsp oil
  • Finely chop and add the garlic and green chillies
  • Once the garlic starts to brown, add the spring onions and capsicum
  • Stir it frequently and let it cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the soy sauce, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water and mix well
  • Mix 1 tbsp of cornflour with 3 tbsp of water and add to the pan
  • Cook on simmer and let the sauce thicken
  • Add the vinegar, salt and sugar and mix
  • Add the paneer and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • If the sauce is too thick add 1 tbsp of water at a time till it reached the desired consistency
  • Turn off the gas and garnish with some spring onion greens
  • Serve hot with hakka noodles or fried rice
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Street Food’.

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