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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Veg Hakka Noodles

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There was a small little Indo-Chinese joint near my college which served the usual fare of Hakka noodles, fried rice and manchurian. The lovely part was that one plate of noodles or rice was just Rs. 25 and even better that it was sufficient to satiate two college kids. The best part of that was that they even served us half plate for half the amount. So if one couldn’t find someone to share the meal with you could always half it. The joint was small with very little seating capacity and the taste was just about fine but it was so much value for money that you had college kids flocking there at all times.

So when I picked this street food theme for this week’s Blogging Marathon, I wanted to blog about my days in Mumbai and the street food there. Somehow I have not managed to fully explore the street food in Chennai or Bangalore. I am guessing that a bit of comfort and money became barriers to the eating anywhere and everywhere. I was in Mumbai during my teens and early adulthood when one would not be very flush with money and also have that spirit of adventure to try stuff. As I grew older the ambience and comfort became as important as the food and the love for street food diminished. This trip down memory lane is making me get back to that exploratory mode. So maybe I will get around Bangalore and find some delicious food in a hole in the wall in the near future. Wish me luck!

Till then you can enjoy the recipe for this awesome Hakka noodles. Though it is usually made with wheat noodles, I have replaced that with flat rice noodles because the daughter and husband prefer it more. Also I figured we have modified the Chinese cuisine so much beyond recognition that one more change won’t hurt as much. Right?

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

200 gms  Flat rice noodles

3-4 cloves Garlic

1  Dried red chilly

1/4 cup  Spring onion greens, finely chopped (extra for garnishing)

7-8 Button mushrooms

7-8 Baby corns

4  Baby Zucchini

1  Capsicum, medium

2 tsp  Soy sauce

1/2 tsp  Vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Water

Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat a large vessel with 4-5 cups of water and add salt and few drops of oil
  • Once it comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook as per package instructions (usually between 5-8 minutes)
  • Once the noodles is cooked, drain the water and pass some cold water through the noodles to stop cooking
  • Add a tsp of oil and mix so that the noodle strands don’t stick to each other
  • Finely chop the garlic, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini and capsicum
  • In a pan, heat 2-3 tsp of oil
  • Add the dried red chilly and finely chopped garlic
  • Once the garlic starts turning brown, add the spring onions and stir for a minute
  • Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan and mix well
  • Let it cook on high flame. It should take about 5 minutes to be cooked but still retain a bite
  • Add the soy sauce and mix
  • Add the noodles, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Turn off the gas and garnish with spring onions
  • Serve hot with vegetable or paneer manchurian or any other gravy of your choice
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. The flat rice noodles can be substituted with any other noodles of your choice
  2. Other vegetable options include carrot, beans, etc.

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

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Quick Bread – Zucchini Bread

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We had the children’s day celebration at our apartment complex for which they organised a drawing and colouring contest. Sounds good, right? But no. Parents were breathing down the necks of the little ones (read 8 to 10 year olds!) giving them detailed instructions on what they need to draw or the colour they need to use. My daughter made those sad puppy dog eyes making me feel like an ignorant negligent parent in contrast. I have been ranting ever since to all and sundry about how parents need to leave their kids alone to take their own decisions and make their own mistakes so that they can learn their own lessons. Then I found out that the kid whose mom gave the maximum instructions actually won the contest. Now I am in two minds – maybe I should have helped her afterall. She would not have been heartbroken about not winning. But then maybe this will help her deal with life better in the long run. Parenting is tough! Rant complete and I am feeling better already.

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Now on to the dish of the day. I luckily found zucchinis at the local supermarket much to my surprise. I grabbed it and simply had to make a zucchini bread. It turned out fabulous especially with all that cheese in it. Since it is a quick bread, I could eat some before the daughter was back from school and became competition. Yay!

I have begun to replace all purpose flour with wheat flour in most recipes except yeast bread where I think they make a significant difference to the airiness of the bread. In muffins, quick breads, etc. I can manage a reasonable amount of lightness to the dish with whole wheat flour. You could use all purpose flour in this dish just as the original recipe.

Adapted from here

Makes one 7″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

Zucchini, grated                      3/4 cup

Whole wheat flour                 1 cup

Baking powder                        1 tsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Salt                                             1/2 tsp

Milk                                            1/2 cup

Apple cider vinegar                1 1/2 tsp

Egg                                              1

Olive Oil                                    1 1/2 tbsp

Cheddar cheese, grated         1/2 cup heaped

Mixed herbs                             2 tsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper
  • Squeeze the grated zucchini gently to release some liquid. I did not do it because I used whole wheat flour which absorbs more water and I did not want the bread to be dry. Squeeze out some liquid (around 2 tsp or so) if you are using all purpose flour.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together
  • In another bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Any vinegar will do. I used apple cider vinegar
  • The milk will curdle a bit. Then add the egg and oil and mix well
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine ensuring no dry flour is left
  • Add the zucchini, cheese and mixed herbs and mix lightly
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour
  • If the toothpick inserted comes clean, the bread is done
  • Cool it for 10-15 minutes in the loaf tin and then unmould it on to the wire rack to cool further
  • Once it is completely cooled, (around an hour) slice and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Cuisine of the USA.

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