Sunday, 24 May 2015

507. orange and cinnamon swirl bread

lovely combination
      For the month of May, the We Knead to Bake group had to bake an orange and cinnamon swirl bread. The combination of orange and cinnamon is absolutely heavenly. While I was baking this bread, the kitchen was filled with wonderful aroma of both the combinations. The original recipe used apricot preserve. I couldn't find any apricot preserve in the supermarket and we don't get apricots so I decided to first make orange marmalade and used that as the filling. This recipe finally got me to make marmalade which I had wanted to d for a long time but never seem get down to it. I thought it would be difficult but actually its very easy. I baked an eggless version of the bread and changed the recipe to suit me. I added sugar in the dough and used brown sugar for the filling. When I sliced the bread, the swirl was not a tight swirl, though I did try to roll the dough tightly. But hey, the taste was amazing. Its a lovely bread to have for breakfast or tea. I had it even as dessert!
     There are classic combinations that most of us sure will work well in baking... apple and cinnamon, strawberry and mint, blueberry and lemon, carrot and orange, chocolate and orange or mint, but must say orange and cinnamon was a lovely combination. Try it.
Share your thought :
What are you favourite combination of ingredients for cooking, baking etc?










ORANGE AND CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
1 Loaf

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2¼ tsp active dry instant yeast
1 tbsp grated orange zest (rind)
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup warm milk
4 tbsp orange marmalade or apricot preserve
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
⅓ - ½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

extra butter for greasing
extra flour
1 tbsp milk

  1. Sift both the flours and salt together into a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of sugar, orange zest and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add orange juice and warm milk. Form a dough.
  4. Dust a worktop or board with flour and turn out the dough onto it.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (by machine for 5-7 minutes on medium speed).
  6. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky. 
  7. Add the butter and knead into the dough. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  8. Grease a bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the bowl.
  9. Cover and place it in a warm place. 
  10. Let the dough prove(rise) till its double the size. Mine took 1½ hours.
  11. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin with butter.Line it parchment paper.
  12. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top or board. Knead it gently to remove the air.
  13. Roll it into a 15"X 8" rectangle.
  14. Mix cinnamon powder and brown sugar together.
  15. Spread the marmalade or preserve over it.
  16. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over it. 
  17. Roll the dough into a tight roll like a swiss roll.
  18. Pinch the seam to close completely. Tuck both the ends in.
  19. Place the roll into the prepared loaf tin with the seam side down.
  20. Place the dough again in a warm place to rise till its double the size or about an inch above the rim of the loaf tin.This will take about 30 -35 minutes. Brush  1 tbsp milk over the top of the risen dough gently.
  21. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  22. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 30 -35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  23. Remove the bread from the oven.
  24. Remove it from the tin and place it on a wire rack.Let it cool down completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • If you have a smaller tin loaf e.g a 8"X 4" then divide the dough into two and roll each into a 6"X 13" rectangle.
  • You can use white sugar instead of brown.
  • You can add less sugar in the dough if you like.
  • You can add 1 egg to the dough. You may not need to use the milk and butter.
  • The original recipe uses 2 cups of plain flour. I took 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • Don't use too much of the preserve or marmalade as it will ooze out of from the sides and seam.
  • If the top begins to brown quickly then cover the loaf tin with a sheet of aluminium foil.
You may want to check out the following :
pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following events :


Thursday, 21 May 2015

506. orange marmalade

Little Joys

     Every time I log off from my hotmail account, the MSN new page appears. Its an interesting mixture of news, quirky happenings, lifestyle, finance, home etc. A whole package to take care of what interests you. Yesterday I read an article on what things kids of these days miss out on because of technology. Very interesting and I remember there was joy and a sense of achievement too when we used these things because that's all we had. For example, kids of today probably wouldn't know how to use a directory. Remember when we had to browse through the phone book to find contact numbers? I remember just for fun we use to see how many Patels were listed in the Kenya Directory or how many Njoroges were in Nairobi. During our trip to Florida we actually opened the directory to find how many Patels were in Orlando. We were missing our khichdi. Of course we didn't have the guts to call any of the numbers! That's a different story. Kids of today will probably never experience how to use the dial up phones, you know the ones where we needed to turn the dial with our finger to call. Kids of today hardly ever need to go to the library to do research work. Going to the library every Saturday was a fun activity for me. Going through so many reference books, encyclopedias etc. Kids of today will not experience the joy of recording favourite songs on a cassette tape. We've done that umpteen of times. Kids of today probably don't need a dictionary to look up meanings of words. Today you just type the word on the online dictionary. Watches are more for fashion than telling the time today. Most kids use their mobiles, computers, tablets to tell the time. Winding an alarm clock, getting up ever so often to switch channels on the telly without a remote control are things today's kids do not experience.They will find all these things in a museum somewhere.
    Today's recipe is an orange marmalade which I had been meaning to make for such a long time. Every time I bought oranges they got used up for other things - baking, for juice, salads, desserts etc. So day before yesterday bought the oranges and immediately started preparing them for the marmalade. I had been through quite a few recipes and some appeared so complicated, some needed a sugar thermometer, some were talking about kilos of oranges. For a trial run definitely didn't want to make huge quantities. So the best was to pick the best from all and make my own recipe which I dare say worked pretty well.Originally marmalade was made from quince fruit, but modern day marmalade is usually made from citrus fruits. The most popular being orange marmalade. The marmalade back then was mostly used in baking and desserts.To read a bit more about marmalade, check out this link. Here is my simple orange marmalade recipe.

Share you thoughts :
What other things did you use that kids of today have probably not even heard of?









ORANGE MARMALADE
Makes 1 cup

3 oranges
1 cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

  1. Put a  2 small plates in the freezer.Will explain later why.
  2. Wash the oranges well. Using a peeler, peel off the rind from all three oranges.
  3. Chop the rind from 1 orange into thin strips.
  4. Remove the white part (pith/albedo) by peeling it off the oranges with your fingers. Remove as much as you can as the white part is the bitter part.
  5. Cut the oranges into slices and remove the pulp from the membrane and the middle white part. If you prefer a bitter marmalade, then you can leave the thin membrane. I prefer to remove it. Remove the seeds also.As you do this, juice will come out of the segments. Save the juice to add to the pulp.
  6. Put the pulp, juice, chopped rind, zest and water in a thick based saucepan.
  7. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. 
  8. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring it regularly.
  9. Add sugar and stir the mixture continuously till the sugar melts.
  10. Let the mixture simmer till it becomes thick. Towards the end stir more frequently so that the mixture does not stick or burn. This takes about 20 -25 minutes.
  11. Now that frozen plate comes handy... put a teaspoon of the marmalade on the frozen plate. Put it back in the freezer for a minute only.
  12. Take the plate with the blob of marmalade out of the freezer. Tip it a little sideways. The marmalade should not drip down. Now will your finger, gently push the marmalade from the edge towards the middle. The skin on top should wrinkle if the marmalade is done.
  13. If it fails both tests, let it simmer for a further few minutes and repeat the test. Now you see why we needed 2 frozen plates!
  14. Spoon the marmalade into a sterilized jar. Close the lid and let it cool down at room temperature.
  15. Once it becomes cool, put the marmalade in the fridge.
Tips :
  • Sterile glass bottles for the jam, marmalade by putting them in boiling water. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Add spices of your choice to the marmalade if you wish... cloves, cinnamon, ginger etc.
  • You can add extra chopped rind if you like.
  • Add lemon zest and juice for extra flavour.
  • Best to use white sugar as slightly brown sugar will change the colour of the marmalade.
You may want to check out the following :
green tomato jam





Monday, 18 May 2015

505.eggless Kugelhopf / Gugelhuph

Learning

  The few cooking groups that I belong to are really educative. I have learnt new techniques, more about world cuisine, a bit more about other countries and its fun to see the photos of fellow bloggers. The same recipe turns out quite different in different hands. If it weren't for these groups I don't think I would have tried out different sorts of breads or baked goodies. I would have probably stuck to the more familiar recipes. Sometimes time does not permit me to bake on time but I do finish the challenge before the month ends. A lot of research goes into challenging the groups to a certain recipe.Research by both the one who sets the challenge and also by the ones who take up the challenge. 
  For the month of May Gayathri challenged the baking eggless group to a Kugelhopf. What is a kugelhopf?Kugelhopf, kougelhopf, kouglof, gugelhuph, is a yeast bread popular in parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, France, basically many parts of Central Europe. The slightly sweet yeast bread is served with coffee and can be orange or lemon flavoured with dry fruits in it like candied mixed peels, raisins, almonds etc and spices. Sometimes it may contain brandy. Its usually baked in a fluted pan with a central tube, much like the bundt pan. Traditional kugelhopf pans were made of enameled pottery. The outside part of the bread is lightly browned with a subtle crust and the inside soft and spongy much like a brioche. read more about kugelhopf here . Depending on regions, its served with coffee, or at breakfast or even dessert. Whenever or however it is served, this bread is absolutely delicious, soft, sweet and flavourful. Mine disappeared really fast. 

Share your thought :
Do you love baking? Do bake at least once a week?









EGGLESS KUGELHOPF/GUGELHUPH
Serves 8 -10

2⅓ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flax seed powder
3 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, prunes,sultanas etc) I used mixed peel
1 tsp instant dry active yeast
¾  cup warm milk
5 tbsp butter
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)

1 tbsp milk
icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
butter for greasing
almonds -optional
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flax seed powder and water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Put flour, sugar,salt, baking soda and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture and milk to the flour. Mix the dough on medium speed on your dough kneading machine or by hand for 6-8 minutes or till the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much, add about a tablespoon first.
  4. Add the butter little by little and knead the dough on medium speed for another 5-7 minutes or by hand. If you are kneading the dough by hand, then you may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area. Let the dough rise till it is double the size.Mine took about 1½ hours.
  6. Grease a bundt pan lightly. Place almonds in the groove if you want to.
  7. Gently knead the dough and add the mixed peel or dry fruit. Knead it into the dough.
  8. Roll the dough into a ball. Make a hole in the middle of the dough.
  9. Place the dough in the bundt pan.
  10. Put the pan in a warm place and let the dough rise till its double the size or for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Keep a piece of aluminium foil to cover the pan ready.
  12. Brush the top with milk.
  13. Bake the bread in the oven for 25 -30 minutes or till a knife or skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  14. Check the bread after 10 minutes. If the top has become brown, cover the pan with the foil and bake for further 15 -20 minutes.
  15. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  16. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
  17. When it is completely cold, dust the bread with icing sugar and serve with some butter.
Tips :
  • If you are using dried fruit like raisins, prunes, etc, soak it overnight in brandy or orange juice.Drain out the excess liquid before using the soaked fruit.
  • Can add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the dough.
  • If you want to replace the flax seed with egg, then use one egg. Do not add the baking soda. You may need less milk.
You may want to check out the following :
Julekake


Sending this recipe to the following event :


Baking eggless group



Friday, 15 May 2015

504. Mexican Bhel

Floods everywhere

   These days the news is mostly on the floods in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and how people are getting to work and back home. Traffic delays, flooded main roads, water in homes, power station shut down because it gets flooded, resulting in some areas going without power for hours or even days. Everyone is busy blaming the County. While that is true that the county did not prepare for the rains by cleaning out the drainage, its our fault too. Rubbish which includes plastic bags, plastic bottles, paper, cigarette boxes, food packages etc are all thrown mindlessly on the roads and the roadside. So many times I have seen hawkers leaving dirty and used plastic bags on the roadside, people having lunch or dinner and throwing plastic cups and plates on the roadside. Where does all this rubbish land up? In the drains and as a result blocks the drains. Blocked drains means water cannot pass through. Yes it is also true that more and more buildings are coming up and the sewerage system cannot cope with so much waste. But doing our little bit would make a huge difference. Don't throw rubbish on the road and roadside. Construction companies do some sort of building work, be in homes, offices or roadwork.After they finish, they do not bother to clear up the rubble. This lands up in the drains and the rubble blocks the drains. This year some areas in Nairobi have faced flooded roads and homes. People have to incur huge losses as water has damaged their furniture and homes.Many of these people do not have insurance to cover the loss. However in true Kenyan spirit some people have made others laugh by posting humorous pictures. Where can you and I begin to make that small change? By simply trying to use less plastic. I shop for my groceries at Nakumatt. I think they need to re educate their workers on how to pack grocery using less bags. When I insist on packing my own stuff or using my own bags, I still get a look of disgust! Today if I would not have intervened, butter would have got its own bag, milk another and yogurt another! When I just put all this in one bag (my own), the man walked away offended! In spite of all the problems, as 2 of the pictures show, people do have a sense of humour. Pool party is at one of the flooded areas of Nairobi, and innovation at its best.



I want to share a link with you. Watch it to understand what happens to all this plastic.
The story of the 3 bottles
     Today's recipe is a simple Mexican Bhel. Yes you read it right. Its amazing how Indians love to indianise every international dish. However, I just love it, adding variety to our daily diet with a bit of the Indian touch. I had a bit of corn and beans left and a few home made tortilla which would not have been enough for quesadilla or enchiladas. So the left over ingredients were used up to make a filling, somewhat healthy and delicious bhel.





MEXICAN BHEL
4 servings

2 tortillas
1 cup boiled red kidney beans
½ cup cooked sweet corn
¼ cup chopped sweet pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped spring onion
¼ cup cheese cubes (tiny)
8 -10 olives cut into rings
1-2 jalapenos or green chillis, finely chopped
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup diced carrot
1 large tomato, finely chopped
½ - ¾ cup thin sev
¾ -1 cup guacamole
¾ - 1 cup tomato salsa /sauce

oil for deep frying

  1. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Cut the tortilla in thin strips or squares. Fry the tortilla pieces till they are crispy. Keep them on the side till required.
  2. Just before serving, mix beans, corn, onion, spring onion, pepper, olives, chillis, cheese, cucumber, carrot and tomato in a big bowl. Add the tortilla pieces and mix.
  3. Serve in individual bowls with sev sprinkled on top.
  4. Top with guacamole and salsa.
Tips :
  • Can use ready made nachos.
  • Thin sev ( a gram flour snack) is available in most Indian stores or sweet shops. 
  • Its best to use cooked tomato salsa sauce for this preparation.
You may want to check out the following :
healthy bhel
dahi papdi chaat
Sending this recipe to the following event :












     











Wednesday, 13 May 2015

503. Iyengar Bakery style Khara Buns/ Savoury Buns

VERY SIMPLE LIFE

      Last Sunday our club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari went to to a remote village for the opening ceremony of a bore well. This was the 3rd bore well that the Club had constructed with the help of generous donors. As soon as we reached the village, what struck me was how simple life is in these remote villages. No electricity, no water, no complicated or complex buildings... actually nothing except for huts, lots of trees, greenery and cattle. When we have to stay without power for even an hour, we get frustrated and life comes to a standstill when our taps run dry. These villagers live without all this. Women, girls, young children have to track long distances to get water. Boys may have to look after cattle. Children as a result cannot attend school. We are hoping that by digging a bore well, the villagers will lead better lives and children will be able to attend school. The villagers entertained us with some traditional dance. Their musical instruments were simply bottles filled with beans and pebbles. The magician had quite a few tricks up his sleeves. He just used basic everyday gadgets, bottles, paper, pot, bowl, knives, cloth and nothing fancy like cards, magic boxes, cylinders, puppets etc etc. We take so many things in our lives for granted. 
    This month for the Home Bakers Challenge group we had to bake buns. Priya had given us a choice of  cheese stuffed buns, Sri Lankan seeni sambal buns, Iyengar bakery khara buns and dark chocolate buns. I straight away knew the buns I wanted to bake. The savoury ones. Many of the Iyengar bakeries in Bangalore sell these eggless savoury buns. They are treat to have especially when topped with loads of butter. These buns have onion, coriander and chillis  kneaded into the dough. I decided to also add garlic. Some bakeries add ginger and curry leaves. We had these savoury buns with some  tomato soup. Had one with tea the next day. Its a nice treat for tea time. 






Share your thought :
Do you feel we take so many things in life for granted?

IYENGAR BAKERY STYLE KHARA BUNS/ SAVOURY BUNS
Makes 8

1½ -1¾ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1½ tsp dry active instant yeast
¼ cup warm milk
½ cup warm water
1½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp soft butter
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 - 6 green chillis, cut into thin slices
⅓ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp oil

extra oil for greasing
1 tbsp milk for brushing on top
  1. Sift 1½ cups flour with salt into a big bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add the water and milk and form a dough. It will be a bit sticky.
  4. Dust the worktop or board with some of the remaining flour. Place the dough on it.
  5. Using little butter at a time, knead the dough till it becomes smooth, soft and silky. If the dough is too sticky add little flour. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes.
  6. Grease the bowl with a bit of oil. Rub oil over the dough and put it into the bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise till it becomes double in size. Mine took about 1½ hours.
  8. While the dough is rising keep the stuffing ready.
  9. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat. Add cumin seeds. 
  10. Add onion and garlic ans stir fry till the onion becomes soft. 
  11. Add the chopped chillis. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool.
  12. Add coriander and mix well.
  13. Gently punch down the risen dough.
  14. Dust the work top with little flour. Pat the dough into a circle.
  15. Add the onion coriander mixture. Knead the mixture into the dough gently.
  16. Shape the dough into a ball.
  17. Place it in the bowl and let it rest for 10 -15 minutes.
  18. Divide the dough into 8 parts.
  19. Roll each part into a ball and flatten it slightly. 
  20. Place the buns on a greased tray.
  21. Let the buns rise till they are double in size. I let it rise for 45 minutes.
  22. Brush the top of each bun gently with milk.
  23. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  24. Put the tray in the hot oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are light golden brown on top.
  25. Remove the buns from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can add grated ginger and finely chopped curry leaves too.
  • I prefer to add the onion and garlic after the dough has risen the first time. When I was still new at baking, I had added garlic and onion during the first stage only and my dough did not rise at all. 
  • Make sure the coriander is completely dry otherwise the dough will become too soft. I like to leave the washed coriander on a kitchen towel for a while before chopping.
You may want to check out the following :
simple scones

Sending this recipe to the following events :



Sunday, 24 May 2015

507. orange and cinnamon swirl bread

lovely combination
      For the month of May, the We Knead to Bake group had to bake an orange and cinnamon swirl bread. The combination of orange and cinnamon is absolutely heavenly. While I was baking this bread, the kitchen was filled with wonderful aroma of both the combinations. The original recipe used apricot preserve. I couldn't find any apricot preserve in the supermarket and we don't get apricots so I decided to first make orange marmalade and used that as the filling. This recipe finally got me to make marmalade which I had wanted to d for a long time but never seem get down to it. I thought it would be difficult but actually its very easy. I baked an eggless version of the bread and changed the recipe to suit me. I added sugar in the dough and used brown sugar for the filling. When I sliced the bread, the swirl was not a tight swirl, though I did try to roll the dough tightly. But hey, the taste was amazing. Its a lovely bread to have for breakfast or tea. I had it even as dessert!
     There are classic combinations that most of us sure will work well in baking... apple and cinnamon, strawberry and mint, blueberry and lemon, carrot and orange, chocolate and orange or mint, but must say orange and cinnamon was a lovely combination. Try it.
Share your thought :
What are you favourite combination of ingredients for cooking, baking etc?










ORANGE AND CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
1 Loaf

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2¼ tsp active dry instant yeast
1 tbsp grated orange zest (rind)
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup warm milk
4 tbsp orange marmalade or apricot preserve
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
⅓ - ½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

extra butter for greasing
extra flour
1 tbsp milk

  1. Sift both the flours and salt together into a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of sugar, orange zest and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add orange juice and warm milk. Form a dough.
  4. Dust a worktop or board with flour and turn out the dough onto it.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (by machine for 5-7 minutes on medium speed).
  6. Add a bit of flour if the dough is too sticky. 
  7. Add the butter and knead into the dough. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  8. Grease a bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the bowl.
  9. Cover and place it in a warm place. 
  10. Let the dough prove(rise) till its double the size. Mine took 1½ hours.
  11. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin with butter.Line it parchment paper.
  12. Turn out the dough onto a floured work top or board. Knead it gently to remove the air.
  13. Roll it into a 15"X 8" rectangle.
  14. Mix cinnamon powder and brown sugar together.
  15. Spread the marmalade or preserve over it.
  16. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over it. 
  17. Roll the dough into a tight roll like a swiss roll.
  18. Pinch the seam to close completely. Tuck both the ends in.
  19. Place the roll into the prepared loaf tin with the seam side down.
  20. Place the dough again in a warm place to rise till its double the size or about an inch above the rim of the loaf tin.This will take about 30 -35 minutes. Brush  1 tbsp milk over the top of the risen dough gently.
  21. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  22. Place the dough in the oven to bake for 30 -35 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  23. Remove the bread from the oven.
  24. Remove it from the tin and place it on a wire rack.Let it cool down completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • If you have a smaller tin loaf e.g a 8"X 4" then divide the dough into two and roll each into a 6"X 13" rectangle.
  • You can use white sugar instead of brown.
  • You can add less sugar in the dough if you like.
  • You can add 1 egg to the dough. You may not need to use the milk and butter.
  • The original recipe uses 2 cups of plain flour. I took 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • Don't use too much of the preserve or marmalade as it will ooze out of from the sides and seam.
  • If the top begins to brown quickly then cover the loaf tin with a sheet of aluminium foil.
You may want to check out the following :
pane siciliano
Sending this recipe to the following events :


Pin It

Thursday, 21 May 2015

506. orange marmalade

Little Joys

     Every time I log off from my hotmail account, the MSN new page appears. Its an interesting mixture of news, quirky happenings, lifestyle, finance, home etc. A whole package to take care of what interests you. Yesterday I read an article on what things kids of these days miss out on because of technology. Very interesting and I remember there was joy and a sense of achievement too when we used these things because that's all we had. For example, kids of today probably wouldn't know how to use a directory. Remember when we had to browse through the phone book to find contact numbers? I remember just for fun we use to see how many Patels were listed in the Kenya Directory or how many Njoroges were in Nairobi. During our trip to Florida we actually opened the directory to find how many Patels were in Orlando. We were missing our khichdi. Of course we didn't have the guts to call any of the numbers! That's a different story. Kids of today will probably never experience how to use the dial up phones, you know the ones where we needed to turn the dial with our finger to call. Kids of today hardly ever need to go to the library to do research work. Going to the library every Saturday was a fun activity for me. Going through so many reference books, encyclopedias etc. Kids of today will not experience the joy of recording favourite songs on a cassette tape. We've done that umpteen of times. Kids of today probably don't need a dictionary to look up meanings of words. Today you just type the word on the online dictionary. Watches are more for fashion than telling the time today. Most kids use their mobiles, computers, tablets to tell the time. Winding an alarm clock, getting up ever so often to switch channels on the telly without a remote control are things today's kids do not experience.They will find all these things in a museum somewhere.
    Today's recipe is an orange marmalade which I had been meaning to make for such a long time. Every time I bought oranges they got used up for other things - baking, for juice, salads, desserts etc. So day before yesterday bought the oranges and immediately started preparing them for the marmalade. I had been through quite a few recipes and some appeared so complicated, some needed a sugar thermometer, some were talking about kilos of oranges. For a trial run definitely didn't want to make huge quantities. So the best was to pick the best from all and make my own recipe which I dare say worked pretty well.Originally marmalade was made from quince fruit, but modern day marmalade is usually made from citrus fruits. The most popular being orange marmalade. The marmalade back then was mostly used in baking and desserts.To read a bit more about marmalade, check out this link. Here is my simple orange marmalade recipe.

Share you thoughts :
What other things did you use that kids of today have probably not even heard of?









ORANGE MARMALADE
Makes 1 cup

3 oranges
1 cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

  1. Put a  2 small plates in the freezer.Will explain later why.
  2. Wash the oranges well. Using a peeler, peel off the rind from all three oranges.
  3. Chop the rind from 1 orange into thin strips.
  4. Remove the white part (pith/albedo) by peeling it off the oranges with your fingers. Remove as much as you can as the white part is the bitter part.
  5. Cut the oranges into slices and remove the pulp from the membrane and the middle white part. If you prefer a bitter marmalade, then you can leave the thin membrane. I prefer to remove it. Remove the seeds also.As you do this, juice will come out of the segments. Save the juice to add to the pulp.
  6. Put the pulp, juice, chopped rind, zest and water in a thick based saucepan.
  7. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. 
  8. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring it regularly.
  9. Add sugar and stir the mixture continuously till the sugar melts.
  10. Let the mixture simmer till it becomes thick. Towards the end stir more frequently so that the mixture does not stick or burn. This takes about 20 -25 minutes.
  11. Now that frozen plate comes handy... put a teaspoon of the marmalade on the frozen plate. Put it back in the freezer for a minute only.
  12. Take the plate with the blob of marmalade out of the freezer. Tip it a little sideways. The marmalade should not drip down. Now will your finger, gently push the marmalade from the edge towards the middle. The skin on top should wrinkle if the marmalade is done.
  13. If it fails both tests, let it simmer for a further few minutes and repeat the test. Now you see why we needed 2 frozen plates!
  14. Spoon the marmalade into a sterilized jar. Close the lid and let it cool down at room temperature.
  15. Once it becomes cool, put the marmalade in the fridge.
Tips :
  • Sterile glass bottles for the jam, marmalade by putting them in boiling water. Wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Add spices of your choice to the marmalade if you wish... cloves, cinnamon, ginger etc.
  • You can add extra chopped rind if you like.
  • Add lemon zest and juice for extra flavour.
  • Best to use white sugar as slightly brown sugar will change the colour of the marmalade.
You may want to check out the following :
green tomato jam





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Monday, 18 May 2015

505.eggless Kugelhopf / Gugelhuph

Learning

  The few cooking groups that I belong to are really educative. I have learnt new techniques, more about world cuisine, a bit more about other countries and its fun to see the photos of fellow bloggers. The same recipe turns out quite different in different hands. If it weren't for these groups I don't think I would have tried out different sorts of breads or baked goodies. I would have probably stuck to the more familiar recipes. Sometimes time does not permit me to bake on time but I do finish the challenge before the month ends. A lot of research goes into challenging the groups to a certain recipe.Research by both the one who sets the challenge and also by the ones who take up the challenge. 
  For the month of May Gayathri challenged the baking eggless group to a Kugelhopf. What is a kugelhopf?Kugelhopf, kougelhopf, kouglof, gugelhuph, is a yeast bread popular in parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, France, basically many parts of Central Europe. The slightly sweet yeast bread is served with coffee and can be orange or lemon flavoured with dry fruits in it like candied mixed peels, raisins, almonds etc and spices. Sometimes it may contain brandy. Its usually baked in a fluted pan with a central tube, much like the bundt pan. Traditional kugelhopf pans were made of enameled pottery. The outside part of the bread is lightly browned with a subtle crust and the inside soft and spongy much like a brioche. read more about kugelhopf here . Depending on regions, its served with coffee, or at breakfast or even dessert. Whenever or however it is served, this bread is absolutely delicious, soft, sweet and flavourful. Mine disappeared really fast. 

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Do you love baking? Do bake at least once a week?









EGGLESS KUGELHOPF/GUGELHUPH
Serves 8 -10

2⅓ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flax seed powder
3 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, prunes,sultanas etc) I used mixed peel
1 tsp instant dry active yeast
¾  cup warm milk
5 tbsp butter
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)

1 tbsp milk
icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
butter for greasing
almonds -optional
extra flour for dusting


  1. Mix flax seed powder and water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Put flour, sugar,salt, baking soda and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the flax seed mixture and milk to the flour. Mix the dough on medium speed on your dough kneading machine or by hand for 6-8 minutes or till the dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much, add about a tablespoon first.
  4. Add the butter little by little and knead the dough on medium speed for another 5-7 minutes or by hand. If you are kneading the dough by hand, then you may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area. Let the dough rise till it is double the size.Mine took about 1½ hours.
  6. Grease a bundt pan lightly. Place almonds in the groove if you want to.
  7. Gently knead the dough and add the mixed peel or dry fruit. Knead it into the dough.
  8. Roll the dough into a ball. Make a hole in the middle of the dough.
  9. Place the dough in the bundt pan.
  10. Put the pan in a warm place and let the dough rise till its double the size or for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Keep a piece of aluminium foil to cover the pan ready.
  12. Brush the top with milk.
  13. Bake the bread in the oven for 25 -30 minutes or till a knife or skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  14. Check the bread after 10 minutes. If the top has become brown, cover the pan with the foil and bake for further 15 -20 minutes.
  15. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  16. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
  17. When it is completely cold, dust the bread with icing sugar and serve with some butter.
Tips :
  • If you are using dried fruit like raisins, prunes, etc, soak it overnight in brandy or orange juice.Drain out the excess liquid before using the soaked fruit.
  • Can add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the dough.
  • If you want to replace the flax seed with egg, then use one egg. Do not add the baking soda. You may need less milk.
You may want to check out the following :
Julekake


Sending this recipe to the following event :


Baking eggless group



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Friday, 15 May 2015

504. Mexican Bhel

Floods everywhere

   These days the news is mostly on the floods in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and how people are getting to work and back home. Traffic delays, flooded main roads, water in homes, power station shut down because it gets flooded, resulting in some areas going without power for hours or even days. Everyone is busy blaming the County. While that is true that the county did not prepare for the rains by cleaning out the drainage, its our fault too. Rubbish which includes plastic bags, plastic bottles, paper, cigarette boxes, food packages etc are all thrown mindlessly on the roads and the roadside. So many times I have seen hawkers leaving dirty and used plastic bags on the roadside, people having lunch or dinner and throwing plastic cups and plates on the roadside. Where does all this rubbish land up? In the drains and as a result blocks the drains. Blocked drains means water cannot pass through. Yes it is also true that more and more buildings are coming up and the sewerage system cannot cope with so much waste. But doing our little bit would make a huge difference. Don't throw rubbish on the road and roadside. Construction companies do some sort of building work, be in homes, offices or roadwork.After they finish, they do not bother to clear up the rubble. This lands up in the drains and the rubble blocks the drains. This year some areas in Nairobi have faced flooded roads and homes. People have to incur huge losses as water has damaged their furniture and homes.Many of these people do not have insurance to cover the loss. However in true Kenyan spirit some people have made others laugh by posting humorous pictures. Where can you and I begin to make that small change? By simply trying to use less plastic. I shop for my groceries at Nakumatt. I think they need to re educate their workers on how to pack grocery using less bags. When I insist on packing my own stuff or using my own bags, I still get a look of disgust! Today if I would not have intervened, butter would have got its own bag, milk another and yogurt another! When I just put all this in one bag (my own), the man walked away offended! In spite of all the problems, as 2 of the pictures show, people do have a sense of humour. Pool party is at one of the flooded areas of Nairobi, and innovation at its best.



I want to share a link with you. Watch it to understand what happens to all this plastic.
The story of the 3 bottles
     Today's recipe is a simple Mexican Bhel. Yes you read it right. Its amazing how Indians love to indianise every international dish. However, I just love it, adding variety to our daily diet with a bit of the Indian touch. I had a bit of corn and beans left and a few home made tortilla which would not have been enough for quesadilla or enchiladas. So the left over ingredients were used up to make a filling, somewhat healthy and delicious bhel.





MEXICAN BHEL
4 servings

2 tortillas
1 cup boiled red kidney beans
½ cup cooked sweet corn
¼ cup chopped sweet pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped spring onion
¼ cup cheese cubes (tiny)
8 -10 olives cut into rings
1-2 jalapenos or green chillis, finely chopped
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup diced carrot
1 large tomato, finely chopped
½ - ¾ cup thin sev
¾ -1 cup guacamole
¾ - 1 cup tomato salsa /sauce

oil for deep frying

  1. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Cut the tortilla in thin strips or squares. Fry the tortilla pieces till they are crispy. Keep them on the side till required.
  2. Just before serving, mix beans, corn, onion, spring onion, pepper, olives, chillis, cheese, cucumber, carrot and tomato in a big bowl. Add the tortilla pieces and mix.
  3. Serve in individual bowls with sev sprinkled on top.
  4. Top with guacamole and salsa.
Tips :
  • Can use ready made nachos.
  • Thin sev ( a gram flour snack) is available in most Indian stores or sweet shops. 
  • Its best to use cooked tomato salsa sauce for this preparation.
You may want to check out the following :
healthy bhel
dahi papdi chaat
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

503. Iyengar Bakery style Khara Buns/ Savoury Buns

VERY SIMPLE LIFE

      Last Sunday our club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari went to to a remote village for the opening ceremony of a bore well. This was the 3rd bore well that the Club had constructed with the help of generous donors. As soon as we reached the village, what struck me was how simple life is in these remote villages. No electricity, no water, no complicated or complex buildings... actually nothing except for huts, lots of trees, greenery and cattle. When we have to stay without power for even an hour, we get frustrated and life comes to a standstill when our taps run dry. These villagers live without all this. Women, girls, young children have to track long distances to get water. Boys may have to look after cattle. Children as a result cannot attend school. We are hoping that by digging a bore well, the villagers will lead better lives and children will be able to attend school. The villagers entertained us with some traditional dance. Their musical instruments were simply bottles filled with beans and pebbles. The magician had quite a few tricks up his sleeves. He just used basic everyday gadgets, bottles, paper, pot, bowl, knives, cloth and nothing fancy like cards, magic boxes, cylinders, puppets etc etc. We take so many things in our lives for granted. 
    This month for the Home Bakers Challenge group we had to bake buns. Priya had given us a choice of  cheese stuffed buns, Sri Lankan seeni sambal buns, Iyengar bakery khara buns and dark chocolate buns. I straight away knew the buns I wanted to bake. The savoury ones. Many of the Iyengar bakeries in Bangalore sell these eggless savoury buns. They are treat to have especially when topped with loads of butter. These buns have onion, coriander and chillis  kneaded into the dough. I decided to also add garlic. Some bakeries add ginger and curry leaves. We had these savoury buns with some  tomato soup. Had one with tea the next day. Its a nice treat for tea time. 






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Do you feel we take so many things in life for granted?

IYENGAR BAKERY STYLE KHARA BUNS/ SAVOURY BUNS
Makes 8

1½ -1¾ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1½ tsp dry active instant yeast
¼ cup warm milk
½ cup warm water
1½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp soft butter
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 - 6 green chillis, cut into thin slices
⅓ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp oil

extra oil for greasing
1 tbsp milk for brushing on top
  1. Sift 1½ cups flour with salt into a big bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Add the water and milk and form a dough. It will be a bit sticky.
  4. Dust the worktop or board with some of the remaining flour. Place the dough on it.
  5. Using little butter at a time, knead the dough till it becomes smooth, soft and silky. If the dough is too sticky add little flour. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes.
  6. Grease the bowl with a bit of oil. Rub oil over the dough and put it into the bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise till it becomes double in size. Mine took about 1½ hours.
  8. While the dough is rising keep the stuffing ready.
  9. Heat oil in a small pan over low heat. Add cumin seeds. 
  10. Add onion and garlic ans stir fry till the onion becomes soft. 
  11. Add the chopped chillis. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool.
  12. Add coriander and mix well.
  13. Gently punch down the risen dough.
  14. Dust the work top with little flour. Pat the dough into a circle.
  15. Add the onion coriander mixture. Knead the mixture into the dough gently.
  16. Shape the dough into a ball.
  17. Place it in the bowl and let it rest for 10 -15 minutes.
  18. Divide the dough into 8 parts.
  19. Roll each part into a ball and flatten it slightly. 
  20. Place the buns on a greased tray.
  21. Let the buns rise till they are double in size. I let it rise for 45 minutes.
  22. Brush the top of each bun gently with milk.
  23. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  24. Put the tray in the hot oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are light golden brown on top.
  25. Remove the buns from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can add grated ginger and finely chopped curry leaves too.
  • I prefer to add the onion and garlic after the dough has risen the first time. When I was still new at baking, I had added garlic and onion during the first stage only and my dough did not rise at all. 
  • Make sure the coriander is completely dry otherwise the dough will become too soft. I like to leave the washed coriander on a kitchen towel for a while before chopping.
You may want to check out the following :
simple scones

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