Hi Tea

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This is the final post in this week’s Thali series. My sister-in-law gifted me a cupcake / hi tea stand and I have been planning to use it in the blog for ages now. I didn’t want to miss the chance this time and so I figured making a hi tea spread for the Thali theme would be just perfect. Hi tea is a British tradition of drinking tea sitting on high back chairs at the table with a spread including cold cut meat, fruits, breads, crackers, etc.

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This hi tea spread includes –

1. Iced tea (because it it summer now)

2. Regular black tea & milk

3. Cheese and Garlic Scones

4. Walnut Cake Slice

5. Masala Chai Mini Muffins

6. Dry fruit biscuits

7. Pistachio and chocolate biscuits

8. Peas & Carrot Finger Sandwiches

9. Cucumber & Mayonnaise Finger Sandwiches

8. Jam

9. Honey

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Here is a quick recipe for the masala chai muffins –

Makes 16-18 mini muffins

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Granulated sugar

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup Masala chai / tea ( no sugar)

1 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 190C
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the oil, masala chai and vinegar in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine
  • Line a mini muffin tray and pour the batter up to 3/4 full for each muffin mould
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for half hour
  • Enjoy!

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

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Karnataka Breakfast Thali

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After a sumptuous Karnataka lunch yesterday, today is the turn of its amazing breakfast. I am a breakfast person, i.e. I can eat breakfast for lunch and dinner too. This breakfast is one of the most amazing things you can ever taste. Each dish is a full fledged breakfast dish in itself and put it together and you have a king’s feast.

Unfortunately I don’t get the authentic breakfast in the area I stay because (in the husband’s words) ‘We stay in the Delhi part of Bangalore’. It is easier to find golgappas here as compared to an Iyengar Bakery. To find the awesome dishes Bangalore dishes, I have to travel to the other end of the city which is near impossible thanks to the traffic. Tragic, right?

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So, though I haven’t eaten this breakfast combo anywhere in the city, this blog post serves as a plea to the restaurants in Bangalore to make a combo like this and have it as an all day meal for poor craving souls like me.

This Thali contains –

Thatte Idli – It is the softest, spongiest and melt in your mouth level delicious idli. Made with rice and urad dal, it is a feast in itself

Benne Dose – The butter dosa Bangalore is most famous for. Eat it and do not go near a weighing machine for a week, mostly for your own peace of mind

Khara Bath – I know I will be trolled for this but it is the tastier version of upma. I cannot stand upma but I can have khara bath every day of the week

Kesari Bath – Again, it is the easier tastier version of the regular boring kesari. Bathed in ghee, it can’t get better than this.

Sambhar & Chutney

Filter Coffee – Like a breakfast is complete without it!

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Here is a quick recipe for Thatte Idli. It can be made easily if you have the idli batter ready. Do try it and thank me later!

Makes 2 Idlis

WHAT WE NEED

1 1/2 cups   Idli Batter

1/8 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of Sugar

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the idli batter with baking soda and sugar and set aside for 15 minutes
  • You can use the thatte idli plate if you have. Else, grease any flat plate (with walls) or the lid of any stainless steel box
  • Heat a larger pan or cooker with water of around 1″ deep
  • Place the plate in the pan / cooker
  • Pour in the idli batter on the plate and steam for 10-12 minutes
  • Turn it off and let it remain as is for another 5 minutes
  • Take the plate out and unmould it
  • Serve hot with sambhar and chutney
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES 

  1. I have tried this with home made as well as store bought idli batter. It works well in both cases
  2. Instead of greasing the plate and pouring the batter, you can place a piece of banana leaf on the plate and then pour the batter. This makes the unmoulding easier

 

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

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Mixed Vegetable Sagu – Karnataka Special Meals

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I am back to Blogging after what seems like ages though it’s actually been just a month. This week I will be posting three different thalis or combo menus. When Valli announced this theme, she was benevolent to allow us to post one recipe from our previous thali menus. So when I checked on the few thalis I posted, I realised I had not posted this awesome recipe of the mixed vegetable sagu from the Karnataka special meals I posted a while ago. The amazing thing about this sagu is that it has quite a few vegetables, is delicious, quite easy to make and best of all it goes with poori, dosa, rotis and rice. So what I do is make a big batch of it for a Saturday / Sunday and have it for breakfast with dosa, for lunch with rice / poori and for dinner with rotis. The meals seem different but involve less effort from my end and I can enjoy the weekend too. Yay!

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The Sagu is not very spicy and so works well with kids too. If your kid loves coconut like mine does, it is a perfect way to sneak the vegetables in. Sagu is a also made with potatoes only but I love the mixed vegetable option better because I eat way too many potatoes as is. So here goes –

Serves 4-5

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

2-3 Carrots, medium size

4-5 Cauliflower florets

1 Potato, big

8-10 French beans

1/4 cup green peas

1 Onion, big

1 Tomato, big

1 tbsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Urad dal, split and skinless

1 sprig Curry leaves

Salt

To grind

1/2 cup Grated coconut, loosely packed

1″ Ginger, skinned and finely chopped

3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tbsp Roasted gram

1 tsp Poppy seeds

2 Green chillies, chopped

1″ Cinnamon

2-3 Cloves

1 Cardamom, green

2 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the carrots, potato, beans and cauliflower florets
  • Add salt and steam them for 12-15 minutes or and set aside
  • Take all the ingredients specified under ‘to grind’ above and grind them to a fine paste with little water and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once it splutters, add the Urad dal and curry leaves
  • Chop the onion and add it to the pan
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped tomato and let it cook till the tomato is soft
  • Add the cooked vegetables and ground paste
  • Add a little water if necessary. The Sagu needs to be at a thick gravy consistency
  • Adjust for salt and let it come to a boil, around 7-10 Minutes
  • Simmer 2-3 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rice, roti, poori or set dosa
  • Enjoy!

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

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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