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Showing posts from July, 2011

Pretzel Soft Bread

Ok folks, gather round. This thrills me beyond words, a colleague of hubby gifted a book to me ‘Bread Matters: Why and How to Make Your Own by Andrew Whitley’. My words will fail me here when I attempt to tell you how spectacular it was to receive such a wonderful book.

The book is all about the evolution of the bread industry, fundamentals of fermentation, the ingredients that go into an industrial bread, why you should prefer artisan breads and even try making your own at home. The author owned and ran a bakery in Cumbria from 1976-2002, he shares his inclusive work & his experiences during that time. You can read more about Andrew Whitley here
I love the way he writes ‘It is time to take bread into our own hands.’ The book is perfect for a beginner like me. It provides troubleshooting advice and recipes for all great British baked goods. What I liked the most in this book is unlike other baking books this one is not very technica…

Egg Puffs

Last week, when it was 6 degrees in Johannesburg city and all the sane people were warming up near fire, I looked around my kitchen, with its empty counter and cold oven; clearly, this was the day for me to make some egg puffs.
The idea of baking egg puffs was on my mind for past four years. Yes, it’s long time. It never occurred that these were ridiculously easy to make with store bought puff pastry sheets. I remember being infatuated with these in Bangalore, India and ate almost four of these. I know what you are thinking…four? I’m no good, bad influence and possibly everything that your nutritionists, cardiologists warn you about.
But like a true foodie with a pulse, I enjoy trying new things and when I like it…I go extra.

Who wouldn’t love baked buttery puff pastry stuffed with caramelized onions and boiled eggs?

(For four egg puffs)
Puff pastry sheets - 1 sheet (thawed) Hard boiled eggs - 2 (cut into half) Onion - 1 (medium size, chopped lengthwise) Peas ½ cup Ginger garlic p…

Palak Paneer - Global Indian Favorite

No matter where we go, we are never too bored of our lip-smacking baingan ka bharta, dal makhani or palak paneer. But I wasn’t aware that South Africans love our Indian food just as much. I guess Indian food is so popular because it tastes really good and is so flavorful.
Just the other day, a Dutch decent South African friend of mine asked me to show her how to make palak paneer. Apparently, Jurie loved this dish when our families went out for a meal to ‘Swad’ an elegant Indian restaurant located at Melrose Square.
She wanted to cook some Indian food for her visiting sister, who lives in Australia and a regular Indian food eater herself.

We decided to meet at my place and we cooked the curry and some rotis.

Palak Paneer is an easy north Indian curry for a first timer. A delicious combination of two utterly bland ingredients – spinach and cottage cheese (paneer) cooked in a moderately spiced onion and tomato sauce.  

The smooth pureed spinach & cottage cheese cubes just melted in…

Gajar Halwa...a diabetic friendly dessert !

It’s a continuous challenge for people like me with diabetes to eat healthy diet. The daily diet that we eat at home consists of mainly wheat, veggies and lentils. But there are times when I loose control or possibly just rebel with my food choices. This happens mostly on long weekends or when hubby craves for carb heavy foods and I end up cooking for him…and eating as well.

I was seriously considering not posting this recipe because the Gajar halwa is something that is high on calories and my mom thinks that I eat what I post here and apart from that I don’t cook. I decided to bite the bullet and post it because this recipe can be a low calorie dessert, easy to make…provided you have a food processor and I didn’t have any other post to blog.

The halwa was made in two batches. One with using sugar and the other with sucrose.  Also, I used 1 % low fat milk and deleted mawa/ khoya from the recipe.

This was the first time I used sucrose for making an Indian dessert and it tasted pretty …

Basic Chutneys: Tamarind Chutney & Coriander-Mint Chutney

Any Indian can associate to the word chutney. Interestingly, the word chutney has become so well known in all parts of the world. A quick Google on chutney tells me that the concept was given to the world by South East Asians and was imported to Western Europe in the 17th century.

Our Indian chutneys are still made almost the same as our grandma’s made. The only difference is that these days it’s much easier with grinders as compared to pestle and mortars.
The coriander chutney and the tamarind chutney are very basic yet versatile and can be served as condiments with any Indian main course. At my place, these are eaten with samosas, sandwiches, chaats, tikkis or dhoklas. 

Tamarind Chutney
Tamarind pulp 1 cup
Jaggery ½ cup
Red chilli powder ½ tablespoon
Cumin powder (dry roasted) ½ tablespoon Salt to taste

In a pan, dry roast cumin seeds and grind it into coarse powder.
In a thick bottom pan, mix tamarind pulp, jaggery, red chilli powder, salt and water.
Cook this blend on…