Vada pav- ghar ka bana hua a.k.a homemade

 
One day after I land, Maya ji made me some lovely authentic Maharashtrian vada pav (bread with potato mash, a spice mixture and hot green peppers). I never imagined that Vada Pav would be this really light meal despite being fried (so you can of course then imagine that it would be easy to shove a few down the food pipe!). That was my second breakfast by the way…
I need to get the recipe from her, will post it later.

Should have made this a long time ago

Chocolate bread:

The original recipe for this bread comes from the lovely book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

I made a bunch of alternations to include different flours and go eggless on this one. Here is my version (halved the recipe that was in the book)

Ingredients


For the ganache:

2 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Yeast and egg susbstitutes:

1/2 cup and 12 tbsp lukewarm water
3/4 pkt active dry yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp flaxseed in 3 tbsp water
1/2 cup and 3 tbsp honey

Dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup barley flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 oz dark chocolate, cut to pieces

Egg wash


Method


Melt butter and chocolate (“Ganache”) in a microwave, do like 20 sec or so runs and keep an eye on it- do not let it burn. Set aside.

Mix the ingredients listed as “yeast and egg substitutes” in a separate bowl. Once mixed add in the dry ingredients and the ganache. Mix until just combined. You do not have to knead it at this point. Let it rise and fall, should take about 2 hours or so.

I then refrigerated mine for 2 days, covered the bowl with plastic wrap.

After two days, took the dough out- it was easier to work with at this point. Flour the work surface, take the dough out, cut into halves. Set one half back in the fridge. Shape the other half into a nice ball shape and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour and 40 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. In the last 20 min, preheat the oven to 350F. Once you have let it rest, brush the egg wash on the bread and bake it until a fork comes out clean. Mine took about 35 minutes.

Let it cool and enjoy as is or with any kind of spread you might like.

Judgement


The bread turned out to be on the bitter side but I rectified it by using nutella as the spread (goes to show that nutella can do wonders!). It was a bit on the heavier side too, not like some of the airy, yeasty breads. I did love the hidden chunks of chocolate- can never get enough of chocolate, only this time it was too much of bitter chocolate!
Sending this bread to the weekly “Yeast spotting event


Andorran Trinxat with a sour cream dip (Indian ishtyle), the original Andorran recipe uses bacon and bacon fat.

Ingredients

1 head Savoy cabbage, cleaned and chopped
5-6 medium sized potatoes (I used yukon gold)
1/3 of a package of firm tofu, cut into tiny pieces

1 small bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly-ground black pepper

2-3 tbsp corn flour (as binding agent)


Method


Cook the cabbage (cook, NOT overcook since here the cabbage is already chopped up) and potatoes separately (boil them in lightly salted water). Drain the liquid and mash the potatoes. Drain the liquid from cabbage too (you might have to squeeze it a bit to get most of the water out).


Mash cabbage and potatoes, add in the tofu, spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper.


Make small patties and pan fry them or bake them at 350F for about 25 minutes.


Serve hot with any kind of dip you like.


Here I made a very easy sour cream dip:


1/2 cup sour cream 
1/2 tsp each of amchoor, ground cumin and caraway seeds, chilli powder
2-3 tbsp home made or store bought tamarind chutney
salt to taste


Combine all the above ingredients and serve it in a platter along with the lovely Andorran Trinxat (Soulful creations style!).

Azerbaijan goes well with Afghanistan

For quite a while, I have been interested in learning about different cultures especially their cuisines. I have decided something- there are about 195 countries in the world, most recipes in a given region seem to differ only slightly from their close counterparts, so this year I intend to cook (Vegetarian food, of course) dishes from different countries. Sort of compare and contrast in my mind the cuisines from different regions, you know. As a start- I present to you, a tandoor bread from Azerbaijan (akin to our naan) and tomato-yogurt soup from Afghanistan (akin to tomato kadhi)
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The recipe for Tendir Choreyi (tandoor bread) is modified from AZ cookbook
Ingredients

1 package (1/4 oz / 7g) dry yeast
1 ½ cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) warm water
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 egg yolk, for brushing
4 tsp nigella seeds

Method

Mix yeast with water until the yeast dissolves.

Add the flour to a large bowl. Mix in salt and caraway seeds. Add yeast mixture gradually until everything is roughly mixed. 

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough, punching it down with your fists, folding it over and turning. Knead for about 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Leave the dough to rise in a warm spot  until doubled in bulk. (The dough should look puffy and be soft when poked with a finger- mine took about 2hrs or so). Punch down the dough, then transfer it onto a lightly floured surface.

Shape the dough into a ball, and with your hands flatten slightly and stretch it lengthwise. Using a rolling pin, start rolling the dough becomes a long flat bread (about ½ inch thick (1.27cm), 14 inches long (35cm) and 8 inches (20cm) wide). Transfer it to a cookie sheet and shape it accordingly. Let it rest for about 15 min

In the meantime, preheat the oven at 400F.

Using a knife, make shallow slashes on the bread (4 from right to left and 4 the opposite way, each at a slight angle). Brush the bread evenly with the egg yolk and sprinkle with nigella seeds.

Bake for 20- 25 min until the top is golden.

Serve warm with a side of smart balance and some Afghan Soup…
Sherwa-e-Lawang, recipe modified from here
Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp margarine and 1 tbsp EVOO
16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups yogurt, strained for about 1 hr
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

Fry garlic in the oil-butter mixture until it browns. Add the tomatoes, and cook until they turn reddish brown (took a while because of all that liquid in the can). Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine strained yogurt, flour, water, turmeric and some salt until there are no lumps of the flour. Slowly add this mixture to tomato-garlic in the pan. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
Judgement
The bread with some butter and soup- ultimate comfort food. Oh the warm smell of yeasty bread- nothing comes close to it, does it?! 
The only thing- I should have reduced the fat in the soup a bit, could feel a prominent taste there and was not too fond of it.

Ready for some wild bread….


Yes, I can…
Finally I managed to bake some bread and a bread that has wild rice in it (do not please ask me why I am so enamored with wild rice). The only thing is wild rice is freaking expensive people. Yeah that is the most costly ingredient in this bread but it is all worth it in the end, innit?!

So here goes, my own adaptation of this recipe here

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp butter, cubed
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup cooked wild rice

Method

1. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the water, milk, butter and honey to 120°-130° (I used my judgement here as I do not own a thermometer). Add to dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Stir in the wild rice and enough all-purpose flour to form a stiff dough (I would have used about half a cup more flour and I think I accidentally added more wild rice than 1 cup, may be again half a cup more).
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover (with a damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf. Place in a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely

Judgement: The bread tasted great especially when I toasted it- all the flavors were lovely. It was great for breakfast this morning! I am sending this bread to BBD # 23 hosted by Nick of IMAfoodblog and started by the lovely Zorra.

Zopf- A Swiss bread

So after the disastrous cooking efforts the past two days, I woke up this morning determined to make this bread and make it well. Zopf is a traditional Swiss bread and it literally means “braid”. This is my entry to A.W.E.D Swiss event. This event was originally started by D of “The chef in you“.
It is a fairly simple bread made with flour, yeast, butter and an egg. I got the recipe here and followed it through.

Ingredients 1 package active dry yeast 1 1/3 c warm milk 1 egg yolk 2 tbsp butter, softened 2 1/2 cups flour 1 egg white 1 tbsp water Method In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolk, butter and 2 cups of bread flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. (Here I must added at least a cup more!)

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.(I had to keep added flour to the surface to prevent the dough from sticking)

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 14 inch long cylinder. Braid the pieces together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden.
One thing I must say though- I did not braid it well but the bread came out well. Also I forgot the salt, yeah baking 101 hello!!!! So the next time, I will add some salt. May be make some a sweeter version of the bread and braid it so that it looks pretty.

Fresh Pineapple-Zucchini bread with spices

It seems like it is finally spring here in the Boston area- at least in the next few days temperatures are lingering the upper 60’s (I sound like a weather girl!). Anyway, I decided to welcome the 80’s this weekend by making something delicious (Mind you, I did not know that it was going to turn out to be delicious). I made Fresh Pineapple-Zucchini bread, the basic recipe comes from here, but of course I had to experiment!

Ingredient

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1 cup grated zucchini
1 1/3 cup fresh pineapple, pureed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pineapple

Method
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend in pineapple and zucchini. Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Cool and enjoy.

Judgement:
I was worried that the pureed pineapple would make it too soggy or something but I tell you, it was super-
moist and yum!!! Next time may be I can add some nuts too. But I think I will submit for BBD #19 hosted by CindyStar.

BreadBakingday19