Monday, 27 June 2016

571. Chocolate Medallions

It's great spending time with my son

     It's a week since we arrived in Montreal. The weather is really hot. Good for the people of Montreal, after the long winter. People sun tanning in their balconies, in the parks, children playing under the water fountains, pet owners out with their pets, cold beers, barbecues even in the smallest balconies, alfresco dining, beautiful flowers, greenery, street festivals, people riding on their bikes, walking, hiking, an endless list of ice cream flavours. The whole city is bustling with activities. For me its just too hot (I get too much sun anyway in Mombasa). So I really don't want to get out of the house till after 4pm when the heat is a bit bearable. However, sometimes we have to get out when the sun is beating on our heads. I then walk around with ice cold water. Talking about heat, couldn't believe that the chocolate was melting so fast in my hands when I was preparing the chocolate medallions. 
      Our 46th theme#FoodieMonday#Bloghop is Dry Fruits. Dry fruits or dried fruits are fruits that are dried either in the sun, dryers, dehydrators or ovens whereby the original content of water is removed. Fruits are dried and consumed when not in season by adding them to breads, salads, rice, cakes, stews, curries, desserts etc. Dried fruits add natural sweetness to a dish. During the early civilization fruits were picked and dried to consume during the winter or cold seasons.They also used them as natural sweeteners. Nowadays usage of dried fruits is wide spread, where most people use it everyday. Most nutritionists recommend a handful of dried fruits to ward off hunger pangs. Its better to reach out for some dried fruits than a packet of fried snacks. However, like everything else, too much is not good as they are sweet. I prefer to nibble on a few raisins, a couple of figs, dates or apricots to satisfy my sweet tooth. 
       When the group decided on dry fruits, I was thinking of cakes, muffins, bread. Both father and son didn't want to have any sweet bakes. But then hubby is always looking for chocolate after dinner. So I decided to make chocolate medallions with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. One medallion is enough to beat the craving and is healthy.









CHOCOLATE MEDALLIONS
Makes 12-16 (depending on the diameter)

¾ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
mixed dried fruits
some seeds
some nuts

  1. Take a parchment paper about 12"X 8". Using a round small lid draw circles on the paper. I used a 2" inch lid. Turn the paper and tape the edges with sellotape to a tray or work board. The circles are your guidelines.(or rather arcs!!)
  2. Keep whatever dried fruits, nuts and seeds you are going to use. I used dried banana, mango, cranberries, raisins and pineapple. I added cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
  3. Melt chocolate either over boiling water or in the microwave oven.
  4. To melt chocolate over boiling water,put chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl. Boil water in a saucepan. Place the bowl in the pan, it should not touch the water. So make sure it sits at the rim of the pan.Mix the chocolate with a spoon. The steam from the hot water will melt the chocolate.
  5. To melt it in the microwave oven, put the chocolate chips in a microwavable container. Heat for 1 minute. Remove the container from the microwave oven and mix the chocolate chips. Return the container into the microwave oven and heat further for 30 seconds. Mix well.
  6. Put a tablespoon of the melted chocolate on one of the traced circle. Spread it out a bit. Repeat till the melted chocolate is over.
  7. I put each fruit, nut and a sprinkle of seeds on each medallion so that each piece has an equal amount of fruit, nut and seeds. 
  8. Put the medallions with the tray or board in the fridge till the chocolate sets.
  9. Remove the medallions from the paper and store in a container in the fridge till required. Believe me, cold chocolate medallions taste so much better than the room temperature ones.
Tips:
  • I haven't give the measurements of the dried fruits, nuts and seeds as the amount required depends on the type of fruits, nuts and seeds you use. 
  • You can add any fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.
  • Use only dark chocolate if you prefer.
  • Use white chocolate instead of dark and milk chocolate.
  • The number of medallions you get will depend on the diameter of the circle. I got 16.
You may want to check out the following recipes:
marble barfi
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop

Saturday, 25 June 2016

570.Iranian Barbari Bread/Naan-e-barbari

Flatbreads are fun to bake

    Our We Knead to Bake group has taken a new turn. Aparna, the starter of the group, suggested that members take turns to decide on the type of bread the rest can bake. I hosted the #40th bake. Barbari had been on my long list of bakes for a long time. Since we hadn't baked a flatbread for eons,I decided to challenge the group with Iranian Barbari Bread. 
     Barbari or barberi means our fathers ‘of or related to the Barbars' in Persian language. The Barbars live in the Khorasan region, near the eastern border of Iran. The word Barbar means uncivilized, foreign, barbarian) . The Barbars hated being referred to by such a name and Reza Shah granted them the name Khavari (Easterners). However, the name of the bread remains. It’s a very popular bread baked in Iran. It’s made in traditional brick ovens. The bakers make it about 70-80cm long and 30-45 cm wide. It’s usually served with tea and a soft cheese called lighvan cheese which is made from ewe’s milk. It’s also served with typical Iranian jams (Moraba). 
    Modern times means it can be served with feta cheese, olives, dips, gravies, curries and whatever you fancy. The bread is golden brown because of the spread or roomal that is smeared on it before baking. Barbari bread is slightly thicker than most flatbreads that we know of.
    Check out Heghineh.com on how to knead the dough and stretch it into an oval shape without using a rolling pin.Baking this bread in convectional ovens gives a different texture from those baked in the traditional ovens. If you have a pizza stone use it to bake this bread.

Since our home ovens are small, I divided the dough into 4 parts.








Iranian Barbari Bread/Naan-e-barbari/Noon Barbari
Makes 2 or 4

For the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
1½ cups warm water
1½ tsp instant dry active yeast
1½ tsp sea salt (or normal salt)
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder

For the roomal (spread):
cup water
1 tsp all purpose flour (plain flour)
1 tsp baking soda (soda bicarbonate)

For topping:
Nigella seeds(kalonji) or sesame seeds

Some semolina (sooji) to spread the dough
Some oil for greasing
Extra flour for kneading the dough

Preparation of the dough:

1.   Mix flour, yeast, salt, baking powder and sugar in a big bowl.
2.   Add warm water and form a dough.
3.   Dust the worktop with some flour and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes or till it is smooth and elastic. This bread requires a good gluten formation so make sure you knead it well. Or alternatively knead the dough in a dough machine.
4.   Form the dough into a ball shape and place it in the greased bowl. Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film.
              Place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours.

In the meantime prepare the roomal or spread:
1.   Put the flour, water and baking soda in a pan.
2.   Mix well.
3.   Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
4.   Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
5.   Let the roomal cool down before using it.

Preparation of Barbari Bread:

1.   Knead the dough gently and divide it into 4 parts.
2.   Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease it with oil.
3.   Sprinkle some semolina on the worktop.
4.   Take one piece of the dough and using the roomal, spread it into an approximately 9”X 4” oblong shape.
5.   Using the roomal, make grooves/lines lengthwise about 1-2”apart on the flattened bread.
6.   Place it on the baking tray.
7.   Repeat steps 3 -6 with the remaining dough.
8.   Spread the remaining roomal on the bread pieces.
9.   Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds or nigella seeds or a mixture of both.
10.  Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11.  Place the trays in the oven and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes or till it’s golden brown.
12.  If  you place both the trays in the oven at the same time, remember to switch their positions half way.
13.  Remove the baked barbari bread from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.
14.  Serve with tea, your favourite dip, olive oil, feta cheese or any soft cheese.

Tips:
  •  Since the bread requires good gluten formation, its advisable to add gluten powder if you don't get bread flour.
  • Use the roomal or spread liberally to shape the bread and also so you get that lovely golden colour.
  • Add seeds of your choice to the bread dough also if you like.
You may want to check out the following:
coconut buns
leopard bread

pizza swirl bread
Sending the recipe to the following events:

Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

569.Mini Garlic and Chilli Pull Apart Bread

Belated Happy Father's Day
    In between airports and rushing around like zombies with red shot eyes, I didn't get to wish my dad on Father's Day. I belong to the generation that takes hours to figure out how to access the free wifi at airports and by the time I do, its time to board the flight. There was a lot drama involved in catching our flight to Montreal. Our flight was on Friday 17 June to Doha and from there to Montreal. So the whole schedule was stuck in my head as leaving Friday night and reaching Montreal on Sat afternoon. By Thur night we are packed, planned Friday lunch in such a way that I would use up the last bits of veggies left. Thursday night after midnight my hubby's phone rings. Its one of those basic Nokia ones so the longer it rings the louder it gets. Hubby was snoring away to dreamland, and unable to sleep,I was reading. Initially, I just wanted to ignore the call and then several unpleasant thoughts flashed in a second in my mind... is it from India, is it from UK, from Dubai, are all well? So I rushed to pick the phone. 
"Hello," I answered.
"Hello, is that Doctor Patel?" the man at the other end asked.
"No, but I'm his wife." I replied with a bit of irritation as I thought this was a prank call.
"Dr. Patel is sleeping, can I help you?" I asked.
"Isn't he going to fly by Qatar Airways today?" asked the man.
"Yes but tonight". I replied
"No mam he has to be here now as the flight is at one." he informed me.
And my mind just went blank as I realized the blunder. 1 am is Friday morning and not Friday night.
My palms started sweating and my eyes wide open. Panic written all over my face. Here hubby is sleeping and we are still in Mombasa. How can we be at the Nairobi airport in half an hour. 
The man must have realized that I panicked so he advised me to call the Qatar Airways office at 08.30 and they will help me out.
I didn't sleep the whole night as its the first time we have missed a flight because we got the time of day wrong.However, we did get the flight re booked and traveled the following day. The lady who re booked our flights reminded me thrice on the phone that I should be at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 10p.m on Saturday and even sent an email. 
I don't think we are ever going to presume 1 a.m. is night ever again. 
  As we landed in Doha, rushed off to freshen up and catch the next flight. As we kept on walking and walking with our Gate no where is sight, I wished my hubby happy father's day. He didn't hear that, for that matter any other conversation we may have had in between. His main focus was catching the Montreal flight! So as I am writing this post, he claims that I didn't wish him!
   Coming to 45th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop theme, we decided on making bread. My past few posts have been sweet bread so I decided on a savoury one. I've been wanting to make a pull apart bread for a long time. I made mini version so that I could share some of it with my neighbour. I made garlic and chilli pull apart bread. My dad loves his chillis so keeping him in mind, added some green chillis. The outcome was delicious and loved the hint of chilli in the bread. Read on for the recipe. 
   As I am writing this post, its only 9 a.m.in Montreal and its so so hot. Looking out its seems as though its already 12 noon or so. Hubby is getting a bit impatient as he wants to get out and walk to the park. I want to clean up my bachelor son's kitchen before I begin cooking anything! But the walk will definitely win... the dirty kitchen can wait! 
    Lastly, hats off to all the Fathers(Daddies, Papas, Dadas) out there. Mums have been able to spend so much time with their kids while dads have had to make ends meet and provide for the family. I was able to spend lotsof time with my kids in their formative years while my husband worked hard to provide for us. My dad has and is my ardent supporter and listener. He is like a Rock of Gibraltar, always there in times of sorrow and happiness. There is still so much I learn from him. Value for family, being there for all, how to be more organised.  Remembering my father in law also, miss him so much. He also provided us with valuable support, advise and had a wonderful sense of humour. 








Mini Garlic and Chilli Pull Apart Bread
Makes 12

2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup plain flour( all purpose flour)
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1- 1¼ cup warm milk
2 tbsp soft butter

For dipping:
100g butter
4 cloves of garlic - mince them
½ - 1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp dried oregano

For sprinkling on top:
some sea salt

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing
  1. Mix the flours, yeast, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add butter and rub into the flour.
  3. Add milk and form a dough which is not too stiff or sticky.
  4. Dust the worktop with some flour.
  5. Knead the dough on the worktop till its smooth and elastic. This will take about 10-15 minutes by hand and 7-10 minutes by machine.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly with oil or butter.
  7. Roll the dough into a ball shape.
  8. Put in it the greased bowl. Cover it with a tea towel or cling film.
  9. Let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1-1½ hours.
  10. Prepare the dipping mixture. Melt butter and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
  11. Gently knead the dough and roll it out into a long rope.
  12. Cut the rope into 60 parts. Each piece should be about 1".
  13. Grease a muffin tray lightly with butter.
  14. Dip a piece of the dough in the dipping liquid and place it in the muffin tray.Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  15. Put about 5 pieces in each cavity.
  16. Pour remaining butter over the bread.
  17. Sprinkle the tops with some sea salt.
  18. Let the dough rise for 45-1 hour.
  19. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  20. Bake the bread in the hot oven for 15 -20 minutes till the tops are light golden brown.
  21. Remove the mini breads from the oven. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
  22. Serve warm mini garlic pull apart bread with soup, curry or stew.
Tips:
  • Can mix half butter and olive oil for the dipping.
  • Use herbs of your choice.
  • Sprinkle the baked bread with parmesan cheese before serving.
You may want to check out the following:
garlic rolls
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop

Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

568. Mango and Passion fruit Yeast Bread

Mango and Passion Fruit Yeast Bread#BreadBakers

A very tropical bread

      For the month of June 2016, Mireille Roc of Schizo Chef challenged the members of Bread Bakers to use any stone fruit as a part of their baking in any form---juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, jam etc. I love following Mireille's blog as she comes up with recipes from all over the world.
      Living in Kenya means we don't get many of the usual stone fruits like cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines etc. However, we get mango and coconut which are stone fruits or drupes. Stone fruits or drupes are fruits which have their outer fleshy skin(exocarp) and the flesh(mesocarp) surrounding a shell, pit or stone which has a hardened endocarp with a seed inside. Did you know that almonds, pistachios, jujube, coffee, dates are also drupes.
     I decided to bake a yeast bread using mango, passion fruit, coconut and cashew nuts. These ingredients are considered so tropical and the combination results into an exotic flavour. I love the mango and passion fruit combination. While the bread was baking my house was filled with the aromatic aroma of both the fruits. This bread can be  served for breakfast or as a tea time treat.








MANGO AND PASSION FRUIT YEAST BREAD
1 Loaf

 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
 ½ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup warm thick fresh mango puree
2 tsp instant active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tbsp chilled butter
¼ cup chopped cashew nuts
3-4 (about ¼ cup) passion fruit pulp (pulp from 3-4 fruits)
¼-⅓ cup candied mango pieces

1 tbsp milk for brushing the top
extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing
  1. Put flour,sugar,ginger powder,salt, coconut and yeast into a big bowl and mix well.
  2. Warm up the mango puree till its lukewarm. Add the passion fruit pulp to it.
  3. Add the mango puree to the flour mixture and form a dough.
  4. Dust the worktop with some flour and knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic. 
  5. In between keep on adding bits of butter. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or if you are using a machine 7-10 minutes. Add the chopped nuts and candied mango.  Knead the dough to incorporate the fruit and nuts.
  6. Shape the dough into a big ball.
  7. Grease the bowl lightly with butter and place the dough in it.
  8. Cover the dough with a tea towel or cling film.
  9. Place the bowl with the dough in a warm place and let it rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ - 2 hours.
  10. Knead the dough gently to remove the air.
  11. Grease a baking tray lightly with butter.
  12. Dust the worktop with little flour.
  13. Gently knead the dough and make it into a round shape.
  14. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for 45 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  16. Brush the top with milk.
  17. Put the loaf into the oven to bake for 35 -45 minutes.
  18. If the bread top browns too quickly, cover it with some foil and bake.
  19. Take the loaf out of the oven. 
  20.  Let it cool on a wire rack.
  21. Slice and serve.
Tips:
  • I used the locally available candied mango which had no artificial colouring, therefore hardly noticeable in the bread.  You can use other candied fruit if you like. The puree itself adds the mango aroma to the bread.
  • The dough may take longer to rise than normal breads as the addition of passion fruit may slow down the yeast activity.
  • I had to cover the bread with a foil after 20 minutes.
You may want to check out what fellow bakers have baked using stone fruits:

#BreadBakers - Stone Fruit
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen.

Monday, 13 June 2016

567. Badshahi Khichdi

I did it my way!

     Badshahi Khichdi is a humble khichdi that is turned into a more satisfying and delicious dish that is fit for a king. Not that the simple khichdi is not tasty. Basically this khichdi is made using split pigeon pea (toor, tuvar dal) and rice. The khichdi has some added vegetables mainly potatoes and brinjals(eggplants) and is tempered using onion, garlic, ginger, chillis and spices. However, I made this khichdi my way. I have tried to give it a more 'royal' appeal by stuffing the potatoes and brinjals with spices, chickpea flour and peanuts. This khichdi is usually served with spiced up yogurt, but since my preparation already has quite a few spices, I decided to serve it with plain yogurt. You may served it with spiced or tempered yogurt if you wish.
     For our 44th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop theme,we decided to make a dish using Indian spices. So I decided to use my version of Gujarati Garam Masala for our #IndianSpicesSorted theme. What is so different about this masala from the other garam masalas. Well, it seems Gujaratis love using dhana(coriander) and jeeru (cumin) in most of their preparations. So this masala has more dhana and jeeru compared to the other spices used.
    I used this masala for the stuffing I prepared for the vegetables.Not many cookbooks will have a Gujarati garam masala recipe, but that's what I make often and use it for my dishes where it calls for garam masala. This masala is not too spicy as it has no chillis in it. Therefore, this masala allows you to add other spices according to your taste and dish. 
   Making masalas at home is easy as long as you have all the right ingredients at hand. Its best to lightly roast the spices over low heat before grinding them as these spices let out a volatile oils which adds to the flavour of the spice blend.Try eating raw cumin seeds and the roasted ones. Notice the huge difference in both. The roasted one will taste more earthy. Dry roasting also gets rid of any moisture in the spices. Crunchy and crispy spices are easier to grind.
    Before I get down to the recipe for the masala and the khichdi, lets get one thing straight, in Indian cooking there is no such thing as curry powder! Curry powder and curry are Western invented terms used for a blend of spices and amazing how turmeric is referred to as curry. Why couldn't they just use the term masala? Curry powder will mostly look yellow or brown because of the abundance amount of turmeric or coriander powder used in the blend.  The word curry powder is also widely used for Indian spice blends here in Kenya.
     The charming thing about making home made spice blends is that you can adjust the amount of spices you use according to your or your family's taste. So here's my version of Gujarati Garam Masala with is not too hot.











GUJARATI GARAM MASALA
Makes about ½ cup

4 tbsp dry coriander seeds (dhana)
2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp peppercorn (mari)
1 tbsp fennel seeds (valiyari, saunf)
1 tsp cardamom seeds (elachi)
10-12 cloves (laving, laung)
1 star anise (chakra phool,badhiyan)
1 big piece mace (javintri)
1 black cardamom ( elacho, bada elachi)
2 one inch long cinnamon sticks (taj)
  1. Mix the spices in a wide pan and dry roast over low heat for 40 -50 secs or till you get an aromatic smell.
  2. Take the pan off  the heat.
  3. Let the spices cool down.
  4. Grind using a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
  5. Store the garam masala in an airtight jar or container.



BADSHAHI KHICHDI
Serves 6 -8

For the khichdi:

1 cup rice
1 cup tuvar dal (toor dal, split pigeon peas)
3 cups water
1 large onion, cut into half and sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 dry red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste (or tsp of fine julienne of ginger)
1½ - 2 tsp salt
4-6 cloves (laving)
1-2 pieces cinnamon (taj)
6-8 peppercorns
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or oil

For the stuffing masala :

¼ cup chickpea flour (chana, besan flour)
¼ cup coarse peanut powder
2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsp of Gujarati Garam Masala
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)

For the potato and brinjal vegetable (shaak):

2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ cup water
8 small potatoes
8 small brinjals (eggplants)

Preparation of the khichdi:

  1. Wash the rice and tuvar dal together. 
  2. Add 3 cups of water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat ghee/oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add cloves, cinnamon, pepper and red chilli.
  5. Add mustard and cumin seeds.
  6. As soon as they begin to sizzle, add onions and asafoetida.
  7. Stir fry till the onions become soft and translucent.
  8. Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  9. Add ginger and chilli paste. Mix well.
  10. Add turmeric powder and the soaked khichdi mixture along with the water.
  11. Add salt and mix well.
  12. Cover the pan and let the khichdi cook over low heat till done.
  13. Don't overcook the khichdi to a mushy consistency. You want separate grains.
  14. Uncover the pan and remove the khichdi into a wide tray to cool down.


Preparation of the stuffing:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add sesame seeds. As soon as they begin to pop add the chickpea flour.
  3. Stir fry till it gives off an aroma. About 20-30 secs.
  4. Add peanut powder and stir fry for 15-20 secs.
  5. Add green chilli and ginger paste. Stir fry for about 45-50 secs.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Let the mixture cool down a bit.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients, salt, sugar, garam masala, red chilli powder, coriander, asafoetida and lemon juice.
  9. Mix the stuffing very well.

Preparation of the brinjal and potato vegetable:
  1. Peel the potatoes and at the top make slits in a cross way. Make sure you don't slit all the way down. Leave in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Trim the stem of the brinjal, leaving a bit. Remove the green sepals. Make a slit either cross way from the bottom like the potato or just on one side, not slitting all the way down. I prefer the latter one.
  3. Put the brinjals in salted water for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes and brinjals from the water. Pat them dry on a kitchen towel. This helps to open up the slits and makes filling them a little easier.
  5. Start stuffing the brinjals and potatoes with the stuffing.
  6. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  7. When it becomes hot, add fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds.
  8. Add the stuffed brinjals and potatoes. Make sure they are in a single layer.
  9. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and mix gently.
  10. Add water, cover the pan and cook over low heat.
  11. Take the pan off the heat once the vegetables are cooked. If need be you may add a little bit more water.



Final preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. At this stage you can either mix the vegetable and khichdi  or you can make layers in an oven proof dish.I prefer to mix both together.
  3. If you have mixed it together, put it in an oven proof dish.
  4. If you want to layer it, first add khichdi. Then add the vegetables and end with a layer of khichdi.
  5. Cover with a foil.
  6. Put it in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes till it becomes hot.
  7. Serve with yogurt, papad and your favourite pickle.
Tips:
  • You can use left over khichdi for this dish. Just stir fry it with the above mentioned spices and onions, garlic, chilli and ginger. 
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • If you want to serve the khichdi with tempered yogurt then heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan. Add some mustard and cumin seeds. Add a sprig of curry leaves and if you want finely chopped chilli. Pour the mixture over the yogurt. Add a bit of salt to the yogurt and mix.
You may want to check out the following:
Tea bread using home made tea masala
Nunu's Biryani
home made masalas
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop

Monday, 27 June 2016

571. Chocolate Medallions

It's great spending time with my son

     It's a week since we arrived in Montreal. The weather is really hot. Good for the people of Montreal, after the long winter. People sun tanning in their balconies, in the parks, children playing under the water fountains, pet owners out with their pets, cold beers, barbecues even in the smallest balconies, alfresco dining, beautiful flowers, greenery, street festivals, people riding on their bikes, walking, hiking, an endless list of ice cream flavours. The whole city is bustling with activities. For me its just too hot (I get too much sun anyway in Mombasa). So I really don't want to get out of the house till after 4pm when the heat is a bit bearable. However, sometimes we have to get out when the sun is beating on our heads. I then walk around with ice cold water. Talking about heat, couldn't believe that the chocolate was melting so fast in my hands when I was preparing the chocolate medallions. 
      Our 46th theme#FoodieMonday#Bloghop is Dry Fruits. Dry fruits or dried fruits are fruits that are dried either in the sun, dryers, dehydrators or ovens whereby the original content of water is removed. Fruits are dried and consumed when not in season by adding them to breads, salads, rice, cakes, stews, curries, desserts etc. Dried fruits add natural sweetness to a dish. During the early civilization fruits were picked and dried to consume during the winter or cold seasons.They also used them as natural sweeteners. Nowadays usage of dried fruits is wide spread, where most people use it everyday. Most nutritionists recommend a handful of dried fruits to ward off hunger pangs. Its better to reach out for some dried fruits than a packet of fried snacks. However, like everything else, too much is not good as they are sweet. I prefer to nibble on a few raisins, a couple of figs, dates or apricots to satisfy my sweet tooth. 
       When the group decided on dry fruits, I was thinking of cakes, muffins, bread. Both father and son didn't want to have any sweet bakes. But then hubby is always looking for chocolate after dinner. So I decided to make chocolate medallions with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. One medallion is enough to beat the craving and is healthy.









CHOCOLATE MEDALLIONS
Makes 12-16 (depending on the diameter)

¾ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
mixed dried fruits
some seeds
some nuts

  1. Take a parchment paper about 12"X 8". Using a round small lid draw circles on the paper. I used a 2" inch lid. Turn the paper and tape the edges with sellotape to a tray or work board. The circles are your guidelines.(or rather arcs!!)
  2. Keep whatever dried fruits, nuts and seeds you are going to use. I used dried banana, mango, cranberries, raisins and pineapple. I added cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
  3. Melt chocolate either over boiling water or in the microwave oven.
  4. To melt chocolate over boiling water,put chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl. Boil water in a saucepan. Place the bowl in the pan, it should not touch the water. So make sure it sits at the rim of the pan.Mix the chocolate with a spoon. The steam from the hot water will melt the chocolate.
  5. To melt it in the microwave oven, put the chocolate chips in a microwavable container. Heat for 1 minute. Remove the container from the microwave oven and mix the chocolate chips. Return the container into the microwave oven and heat further for 30 seconds. Mix well.
  6. Put a tablespoon of the melted chocolate on one of the traced circle. Spread it out a bit. Repeat till the melted chocolate is over.
  7. I put each fruit, nut and a sprinkle of seeds on each medallion so that each piece has an equal amount of fruit, nut and seeds. 
  8. Put the medallions with the tray or board in the fridge till the chocolate sets.
  9. Remove the medallions from the paper and store in a container in the fridge till required. Believe me, cold chocolate medallions taste so much better than the room temperature ones.
Tips:
  • I haven't give the measurements of the dried fruits, nuts and seeds as the amount required depends on the type of fruits, nuts and seeds you use. 
  • You can add any fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.
  • Use only dark chocolate if you prefer.
  • Use white chocolate instead of dark and milk chocolate.
  • The number of medallions you get will depend on the diameter of the circle. I got 16.
You may want to check out the following recipes:
marble barfi
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Saturday, 25 June 2016

570.Iranian Barbari Bread/Naan-e-barbari

Flatbreads are fun to bake

    Our We Knead to Bake group has taken a new turn. Aparna, the starter of the group, suggested that members take turns to decide on the type of bread the rest can bake. I hosted the #40th bake. Barbari had been on my long list of bakes for a long time. Since we hadn't baked a flatbread for eons,I decided to challenge the group with Iranian Barbari Bread. 
     Barbari or barberi means our fathers ‘of or related to the Barbars' in Persian language. The Barbars live in the Khorasan region, near the eastern border of Iran. The word Barbar means uncivilized, foreign, barbarian) . The Barbars hated being referred to by such a name and Reza Shah granted them the name Khavari (Easterners). However, the name of the bread remains. It’s a very popular bread baked in Iran. It’s made in traditional brick ovens. The bakers make it about 70-80cm long and 30-45 cm wide. It’s usually served with tea and a soft cheese called lighvan cheese which is made from ewe’s milk. It’s also served with typical Iranian jams (Moraba). 
    Modern times means it can be served with feta cheese, olives, dips, gravies, curries and whatever you fancy. The bread is golden brown because of the spread or roomal that is smeared on it before baking. Barbari bread is slightly thicker than most flatbreads that we know of.
    Check out Heghineh.com on how to knead the dough and stretch it into an oval shape without using a rolling pin.Baking this bread in convectional ovens gives a different texture from those baked in the traditional ovens. If you have a pizza stone use it to bake this bread.

Since our home ovens are small, I divided the dough into 4 parts.








Iranian Barbari Bread/Naan-e-barbari/Noon Barbari
Makes 2 or 4

For the dough:
3 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
1½ cups warm water
1½ tsp instant dry active yeast
1½ tsp sea salt (or normal salt)
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder

For the roomal (spread):
cup water
1 tsp all purpose flour (plain flour)
1 tsp baking soda (soda bicarbonate)

For topping:
Nigella seeds(kalonji) or sesame seeds

Some semolina (sooji) to spread the dough
Some oil for greasing
Extra flour for kneading the dough

Preparation of the dough:

1.   Mix flour, yeast, salt, baking powder and sugar in a big bowl.
2.   Add warm water and form a dough.
3.   Dust the worktop with some flour and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes or till it is smooth and elastic. This bread requires a good gluten formation so make sure you knead it well. Or alternatively knead the dough in a dough machine.
4.   Form the dough into a ball shape and place it in the greased bowl. Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film.
              Place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours.

In the meantime prepare the roomal or spread:
1.   Put the flour, water and baking soda in a pan.
2.   Mix well.
3.   Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
4.   Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
5.   Let the roomal cool down before using it.

Preparation of Barbari Bread:

1.   Knead the dough gently and divide it into 4 parts.
2.   Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease it with oil.
3.   Sprinkle some semolina on the worktop.
4.   Take one piece of the dough and using the roomal, spread it into an approximately 9”X 4” oblong shape.
5.   Using the roomal, make grooves/lines lengthwise about 1-2”apart on the flattened bread.
6.   Place it on the baking tray.
7.   Repeat steps 3 -6 with the remaining dough.
8.   Spread the remaining roomal on the bread pieces.
9.   Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds or nigella seeds or a mixture of both.
10.  Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11.  Place the trays in the oven and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes or till it’s golden brown.
12.  If  you place both the trays in the oven at the same time, remember to switch their positions half way.
13.  Remove the baked barbari bread from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.
14.  Serve with tea, your favourite dip, olive oil, feta cheese or any soft cheese.

Tips:
  •  Since the bread requires good gluten formation, its advisable to add gluten powder if you don't get bread flour.
  • Use the roomal or spread liberally to shape the bread and also so you get that lovely golden colour.
  • Add seeds of your choice to the bread dough also if you like.
You may want to check out the following:
coconut buns
leopard bread

pizza swirl bread
Sending the recipe to the following events:

Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen. 

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Monday, 20 June 2016

569.Mini Garlic and Chilli Pull Apart Bread

Belated Happy Father's Day
    In between airports and rushing around like zombies with red shot eyes, I didn't get to wish my dad on Father's Day. I belong to the generation that takes hours to figure out how to access the free wifi at airports and by the time I do, its time to board the flight. There was a lot drama involved in catching our flight to Montreal. Our flight was on Friday 17 June to Doha and from there to Montreal. So the whole schedule was stuck in my head as leaving Friday night and reaching Montreal on Sat afternoon. By Thur night we are packed, planned Friday lunch in such a way that I would use up the last bits of veggies left. Thursday night after midnight my hubby's phone rings. Its one of those basic Nokia ones so the longer it rings the louder it gets. Hubby was snoring away to dreamland, and unable to sleep,I was reading. Initially, I just wanted to ignore the call and then several unpleasant thoughts flashed in a second in my mind... is it from India, is it from UK, from Dubai, are all well? So I rushed to pick the phone. 
"Hello," I answered.
"Hello, is that Doctor Patel?" the man at the other end asked.
"No, but I'm his wife." I replied with a bit of irritation as I thought this was a prank call.
"Dr. Patel is sleeping, can I help you?" I asked.
"Isn't he going to fly by Qatar Airways today?" asked the man.
"Yes but tonight". I replied
"No mam he has to be here now as the flight is at one." he informed me.
And my mind just went blank as I realized the blunder. 1 am is Friday morning and not Friday night.
My palms started sweating and my eyes wide open. Panic written all over my face. Here hubby is sleeping and we are still in Mombasa. How can we be at the Nairobi airport in half an hour. 
The man must have realized that I panicked so he advised me to call the Qatar Airways office at 08.30 and they will help me out.
I didn't sleep the whole night as its the first time we have missed a flight because we got the time of day wrong.However, we did get the flight re booked and traveled the following day. The lady who re booked our flights reminded me thrice on the phone that I should be at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 10p.m on Saturday and even sent an email. 
I don't think we are ever going to presume 1 a.m. is night ever again. 
  As we landed in Doha, rushed off to freshen up and catch the next flight. As we kept on walking and walking with our Gate no where is sight, I wished my hubby happy father's day. He didn't hear that, for that matter any other conversation we may have had in between. His main focus was catching the Montreal flight! So as I am writing this post, he claims that I didn't wish him!
   Coming to 45th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop theme, we decided on making bread. My past few posts have been sweet bread so I decided on a savoury one. I've been wanting to make a pull apart bread for a long time. I made mini version so that I could share some of it with my neighbour. I made garlic and chilli pull apart bread. My dad loves his chillis so keeping him in mind, added some green chillis. The outcome was delicious and loved the hint of chilli in the bread. Read on for the recipe. 
   As I am writing this post, its only 9 a.m.in Montreal and its so so hot. Looking out its seems as though its already 12 noon or so. Hubby is getting a bit impatient as he wants to get out and walk to the park. I want to clean up my bachelor son's kitchen before I begin cooking anything! But the walk will definitely win... the dirty kitchen can wait! 
    Lastly, hats off to all the Fathers(Daddies, Papas, Dadas) out there. Mums have been able to spend so much time with their kids while dads have had to make ends meet and provide for the family. I was able to spend lotsof time with my kids in their formative years while my husband worked hard to provide for us. My dad has and is my ardent supporter and listener. He is like a Rock of Gibraltar, always there in times of sorrow and happiness. There is still so much I learn from him. Value for family, being there for all, how to be more organised.  Remembering my father in law also, miss him so much. He also provided us with valuable support, advise and had a wonderful sense of humour. 








Mini Garlic and Chilli Pull Apart Bread
Makes 12

2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup plain flour( all purpose flour)
2 tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1- 1¼ cup warm milk
2 tbsp soft butter

For dipping:
100g butter
4 cloves of garlic - mince them
½ - 1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp dried oregano

For sprinkling on top:
some sea salt

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing
  1. Mix the flours, yeast, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  2. Add butter and rub into the flour.
  3. Add milk and form a dough which is not too stiff or sticky.
  4. Dust the worktop with some flour.
  5. Knead the dough on the worktop till its smooth and elastic. This will take about 10-15 minutes by hand and 7-10 minutes by machine.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly with oil or butter.
  7. Roll the dough into a ball shape.
  8. Put in it the greased bowl. Cover it with a tea towel or cling film.
  9. Let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1-1½ hours.
  10. Prepare the dipping mixture. Melt butter and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
  11. Gently knead the dough and roll it out into a long rope.
  12. Cut the rope into 60 parts. Each piece should be about 1".
  13. Grease a muffin tray lightly with butter.
  14. Dip a piece of the dough in the dipping liquid and place it in the muffin tray.Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  15. Put about 5 pieces in each cavity.
  16. Pour remaining butter over the bread.
  17. Sprinkle the tops with some sea salt.
  18. Let the dough rise for 45-1 hour.
  19. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  20. Bake the bread in the hot oven for 15 -20 minutes till the tops are light golden brown.
  21. Remove the mini breads from the oven. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
  22. Serve warm mini garlic pull apart bread with soup, curry or stew.
Tips:
  • Can mix half butter and olive oil for the dipping.
  • Use herbs of your choice.
  • Sprinkle the baked bread with parmesan cheese before serving.
You may want to check out the following:
garlic rolls
Sending this recipe for the following event:

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Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen.
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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

568. Mango and Passion fruit Yeast Bread

Mango and Passion Fruit Yeast Bread#BreadBakers

A very tropical bread

      For the month of June 2016, Mireille Roc of Schizo Chef challenged the members of Bread Bakers to use any stone fruit as a part of their baking in any form---juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, jam etc. I love following Mireille's blog as she comes up with recipes from all over the world.
      Living in Kenya means we don't get many of the usual stone fruits like cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines etc. However, we get mango and coconut which are stone fruits or drupes. Stone fruits or drupes are fruits which have their outer fleshy skin(exocarp) and the flesh(mesocarp) surrounding a shell, pit or stone which has a hardened endocarp with a seed inside. Did you know that almonds, pistachios, jujube, coffee, dates are also drupes.
     I decided to bake a yeast bread using mango, passion fruit, coconut and cashew nuts. These ingredients are considered so tropical and the combination results into an exotic flavour. I love the mango and passion fruit combination. While the bread was baking my house was filled with the aromatic aroma of both the fruits. This bread can be  served for breakfast or as a tea time treat.








MANGO AND PASSION FRUIT YEAST BREAD
1 Loaf

 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
 ½ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup warm thick fresh mango puree
2 tsp instant active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tbsp chilled butter
¼ cup chopped cashew nuts
3-4 (about ¼ cup) passion fruit pulp (pulp from 3-4 fruits)
¼-⅓ cup candied mango pieces

1 tbsp milk for brushing the top
extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing
  1. Put flour,sugar,ginger powder,salt, coconut and yeast into a big bowl and mix well.
  2. Warm up the mango puree till its lukewarm. Add the passion fruit pulp to it.
  3. Add the mango puree to the flour mixture and form a dough.
  4. Dust the worktop with some flour and knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic. 
  5. In between keep on adding bits of butter. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or if you are using a machine 7-10 minutes. Add the chopped nuts and candied mango.  Knead the dough to incorporate the fruit and nuts.
  6. Shape the dough into a big ball.
  7. Grease the bowl lightly with butter and place the dough in it.
  8. Cover the dough with a tea towel or cling film.
  9. Place the bowl with the dough in a warm place and let it rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ - 2 hours.
  10. Knead the dough gently to remove the air.
  11. Grease a baking tray lightly with butter.
  12. Dust the worktop with little flour.
  13. Gently knead the dough and make it into a round shape.
  14. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for 45 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  16. Brush the top with milk.
  17. Put the loaf into the oven to bake for 35 -45 minutes.
  18. If the bread top browns too quickly, cover it with some foil and bake.
  19. Take the loaf out of the oven. 
  20.  Let it cool on a wire rack.
  21. Slice and serve.
Tips:
  • I used the locally available candied mango which had no artificial colouring, therefore hardly noticeable in the bread.  You can use other candied fruit if you like. The puree itself adds the mango aroma to the bread.
  • The dough may take longer to rise than normal breads as the addition of passion fruit may slow down the yeast activity.
  • I had to cover the bread with a foil after 20 minutes.
You may want to check out what fellow bakers have baked using stone fruits:

#BreadBakers - Stone Fruit
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Sharing with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories and An Italian in my Kitchen.

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Monday, 13 June 2016

567. Badshahi Khichdi

I did it my way!

     Badshahi Khichdi is a humble khichdi that is turned into a more satisfying and delicious dish that is fit for a king. Not that the simple khichdi is not tasty. Basically this khichdi is made using split pigeon pea (toor, tuvar dal) and rice. The khichdi has some added vegetables mainly potatoes and brinjals(eggplants) and is tempered using onion, garlic, ginger, chillis and spices. However, I made this khichdi my way. I have tried to give it a more 'royal' appeal by stuffing the potatoes and brinjals with spices, chickpea flour and peanuts. This khichdi is usually served with spiced up yogurt, but since my preparation already has quite a few spices, I decided to serve it with plain yogurt. You may served it with spiced or tempered yogurt if you wish.
     For our 44th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop theme,we decided to make a dish using Indian spices. So I decided to use my version of Gujarati Garam Masala for our #IndianSpicesSorted theme. What is so different about this masala from the other garam masalas. Well, it seems Gujaratis love using dhana(coriander) and jeeru (cumin) in most of their preparations. So this masala has more dhana and jeeru compared to the other spices used.
    I used this masala for the stuffing I prepared for the vegetables.Not many cookbooks will have a Gujarati garam masala recipe, but that's what I make often and use it for my dishes where it calls for garam masala. This masala is not too spicy as it has no chillis in it. Therefore, this masala allows you to add other spices according to your taste and dish. 
   Making masalas at home is easy as long as you have all the right ingredients at hand. Its best to lightly roast the spices over low heat before grinding them as these spices let out a volatile oils which adds to the flavour of the spice blend.Try eating raw cumin seeds and the roasted ones. Notice the huge difference in both. The roasted one will taste more earthy. Dry roasting also gets rid of any moisture in the spices. Crunchy and crispy spices are easier to grind.
    Before I get down to the recipe for the masala and the khichdi, lets get one thing straight, in Indian cooking there is no such thing as curry powder! Curry powder and curry are Western invented terms used for a blend of spices and amazing how turmeric is referred to as curry. Why couldn't they just use the term masala? Curry powder will mostly look yellow or brown because of the abundance amount of turmeric or coriander powder used in the blend.  The word curry powder is also widely used for Indian spice blends here in Kenya.
     The charming thing about making home made spice blends is that you can adjust the amount of spices you use according to your or your family's taste. So here's my version of Gujarati Garam Masala with is not too hot.











GUJARATI GARAM MASALA
Makes about ½ cup

4 tbsp dry coriander seeds (dhana)
2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp peppercorn (mari)
1 tbsp fennel seeds (valiyari, saunf)
1 tsp cardamom seeds (elachi)
10-12 cloves (laving, laung)
1 star anise (chakra phool,badhiyan)
1 big piece mace (javintri)
1 black cardamom ( elacho, bada elachi)
2 one inch long cinnamon sticks (taj)
  1. Mix the spices in a wide pan and dry roast over low heat for 40 -50 secs or till you get an aromatic smell.
  2. Take the pan off  the heat.
  3. Let the spices cool down.
  4. Grind using a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
  5. Store the garam masala in an airtight jar or container.



BADSHAHI KHICHDI
Serves 6 -8

For the khichdi:

1 cup rice
1 cup tuvar dal (toor dal, split pigeon peas)
3 cups water
1 large onion, cut into half and sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 dry red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste (or tsp of fine julienne of ginger)
1½ - 2 tsp salt
4-6 cloves (laving)
1-2 pieces cinnamon (taj)
6-8 peppercorns
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or oil

For the stuffing masala :

¼ cup chickpea flour (chana, besan flour)
¼ cup coarse peanut powder
2 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsp of Gujarati Garam Masala
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)

For the potato and brinjal vegetable (shaak):

2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ cup water
8 small potatoes
8 small brinjals (eggplants)

Preparation of the khichdi:

  1. Wash the rice and tuvar dal together. 
  2. Add 3 cups of water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat ghee/oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add cloves, cinnamon, pepper and red chilli.
  5. Add mustard and cumin seeds.
  6. As soon as they begin to sizzle, add onions and asafoetida.
  7. Stir fry till the onions become soft and translucent.
  8. Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  9. Add ginger and chilli paste. Mix well.
  10. Add turmeric powder and the soaked khichdi mixture along with the water.
  11. Add salt and mix well.
  12. Cover the pan and let the khichdi cook over low heat till done.
  13. Don't overcook the khichdi to a mushy consistency. You want separate grains.
  14. Uncover the pan and remove the khichdi into a wide tray to cool down.


Preparation of the stuffing:
  1. Heat oil in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add sesame seeds. As soon as they begin to pop add the chickpea flour.
  3. Stir fry till it gives off an aroma. About 20-30 secs.
  4. Add peanut powder and stir fry for 15-20 secs.
  5. Add green chilli and ginger paste. Stir fry for about 45-50 secs.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Let the mixture cool down a bit.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients, salt, sugar, garam masala, red chilli powder, coriander, asafoetida and lemon juice.
  9. Mix the stuffing very well.

Preparation of the brinjal and potato vegetable:
  1. Peel the potatoes and at the top make slits in a cross way. Make sure you don't slit all the way down. Leave in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Trim the stem of the brinjal, leaving a bit. Remove the green sepals. Make a slit either cross way from the bottom like the potato or just on one side, not slitting all the way down. I prefer the latter one.
  3. Put the brinjals in salted water for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes and brinjals from the water. Pat them dry on a kitchen towel. This helps to open up the slits and makes filling them a little easier.
  5. Start stuffing the brinjals and potatoes with the stuffing.
  6. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  7. When it becomes hot, add fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds.
  8. Add the stuffed brinjals and potatoes. Make sure they are in a single layer.
  9. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and mix gently.
  10. Add water, cover the pan and cook over low heat.
  11. Take the pan off the heat once the vegetables are cooked. If need be you may add a little bit more water.



Final preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. At this stage you can either mix the vegetable and khichdi  or you can make layers in an oven proof dish.I prefer to mix both together.
  3. If you have mixed it together, put it in an oven proof dish.
  4. If you want to layer it, first add khichdi. Then add the vegetables and end with a layer of khichdi.
  5. Cover with a foil.
  6. Put it in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes till it becomes hot.
  7. Serve with yogurt, papad and your favourite pickle.
Tips:
  • You can use left over khichdi for this dish. Just stir fry it with the above mentioned spices and onions, garlic, chilli and ginger. 
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • If you want to serve the khichdi with tempered yogurt then heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan. Add some mustard and cumin seeds. Add a sprig of curry leaves and if you want finely chopped chilli. Pour the mixture over the yogurt. Add a bit of salt to the yogurt and mix.
You may want to check out the following:
Tea bread using home made tea masala
Nunu's Biryani
home made masalas
Sending this recipe for the following event:


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