Wednesday, 27 April 2016

555. Coconut Buns/ Chinese Cocktail Buns/ Gai Mei Bao

Cocktail or Cock tail???

    We Knead to Bake's #38 bake for the month of April are Coconut Buns or Chinese Cocktail Buns or Gai Mei Bao. These buns were supposedly created in the 1950s in Hong Kong. The owners of a local bakery were left with unsold buns and instead of throwing them away they decided to ground the buns, added sugar and used it as a filling for new buns. These days left over bread has been replaced by a sweet buttery coconut filling. There are two meaning to the cocktail buns. One is that the exotic mixture of filling deserved the name cocktail much like the cocktails created in bars and pubs. The second is that Gai Mei Bao literally means cock's(chicken) tail bun. The buns are soft and slightly sweet filled with a buttery sweet coconut filling. These buns are typical Hong Kong style buns. The topping, a mixture of flour, butter and sugar is usually piped, 2 lines, on the buns before baking.
    Try out this tasty, delicious buns and a must for coconut lovers. I found that the buns tasted better the next day as the buns were infused with the coconut flavour.








COCONUT BUNS/CHINESE COCKTAIL BUNS/ GAI MEI BAO
Makes 8
Recipe adapted from : The Woks of Life

For the buns:
 2½ cups plain flour(all purpose flour)
1½ tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
⅔ cup warm milk

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

For the filling :
50g (approx 3 tbsp) soft butter
1½ tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
⅛ cup (2 tbsp) milk powder
⅓ cup fresh grated coconut

For the topping :
2 tbsp milk
25g (1½ tbsp) soft butter
2 tsp sugar
2tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)

some milk for brushing on top
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough for the buns :
  1. Sieve flour, corn flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the egg and milk.
  4. Form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes by hand or 7-10 minutes by machine till it is soft and pliable.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly. Form the dough into a ball. 
  7. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with a cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place.
  8. Let the dough rise for 1½ hr or till its double in size.
Preparation of the filling :
  1. Cream the butter and sugar lightly.
  2. Add the flour, milk powder and coconut and mix well into a paste.
  3. Divide the paste into 8 parts.
Preparation of the topping :
  1. Cream butter and sugar till its mixed.
  2. Add flour and mix and finally add the milk.
  3. Mix well and keep on the side till required.
Final preparation of the buns :
  1. Divide the risen dough into 8 parts.
  2. Roll the parts into balls.
  3. Roll one part into a small oval shape about 4"X 3".
  4. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the dough.
  5. Pinch the two long ends together Seal the ends well. 
  6. Tuck the ends to form an oval shape.
  7. Place the bun on a greased or parchment lined baking tray with the sealed part under.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and left them rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Brush the buns with milk.
  12. Place the topping mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag. Snip off the end to form a small hole.
  13. Pipe 2 lines of the topping on each bun. I piped 3 as I had enough topping.
  14. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds.
  15. Place the tray in the oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are golden in colour.
  16. Remove the buns from the oven.
  17. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can brush the buns with sugar glaze or honey as soon as they come out of the oven. I didn't do that as there's enough sugar in the buns.
  • Next time I will probably make more filling as I found the filling too little.
  • I will also make the buns smaller as they were pretty big. 
  • If you don't get fresh grated coconut, you can use frozen fresh grated coconut.
You may want to check out the following :
leopard patch bread


Monday, 25 April 2016

554.Vegetable Noodle soup

What is Indo Chinese?

    The 37th #FoodieMonday#bloghop theme is #Indo-Chinese. What is Indo-Chinese? Indo-Chinese dishes feature in most Indian restaurants that serve fast food, Indian cuisine and you will find it as street food too. Indo-Chinese is one of the most favourite cuisine for Indians. The Indo Chinese mania has spread as far as America, Europe, Australia, Africa, basically to all the the continents. Basically its Chinese food with Indian flavours and ingredients that are popularly available in India. It is nothing like the authentic Chinese food that uses bok choy, choi sum, watercress, chinese broccoli,chinese water spinach, chinese amaranth, napa cabbage, ji cai, tofu, Sichuan pepper. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses bell pepper, cabbage, corn, baby corn, carrots,cauliflower etc. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses sweet and sour sauce, oyster, sauce, soy sauce, black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, szechwan and manchurian sauce just to name a few.
  How was India introduced to this cuisine? Well according to Wikipedia, a small community of Chinese mainly from the Hakka region settled in Calcutta during the 19th Century. They started cooking with Indian spices and vegetables to appease the Indian population. Since then Indo- Chinese cuisine has evolved to spring dosa, chinese bhel, idlis with chinese flavours etc. Manchurian, spring rolls, Chow mein, Manchow soup, American chop suey, chilli chicken/paneer, fried rice, date pancakes are some of the more popular Indo-Chinese dishes. 
     For the Indo Chinese theme I chose to go the healthy way by preparing a 'chat pata' Vegetable noodle soup.Most Indo-Chinese food is not too friendly for our hips as most of it is fried or requires one uses a good amount of oil. So here's a healthy soup.I've used Soba noodles. Soba noodles are usually made from buckwheat or wheat flour and are thin compared to the udon noodles which are thick.








VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
Serves 4

6oz (approx 150g) soba noodles
4-5 cups water/vegetable stock
10-12 spinach leaves (palak)
2 medium carrots
½ bell pepper-any colour
¼ cup chopped spring onion
7-8 cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
10 -12 mushrooms, cut into slices
1 medium onion, cut into slices
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1-2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Prepare all the vegetables. Peel the carrots, cut into half length wise and then cut into slices. Cut the bell pepper into large cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add sesame oil.
  3. Add onion slices, ginger and garlic pastes and saute them for a few seconds.
  4. Add all the vegetables except the spring onion and spinach.
  5. Stir fry the vegetables for 1 minute on high heat.
  6. Add water or vegetable stock and let it become hot.
  7. As soon the water becomes hot and begins to boil, add the noodles and salt.
  8. Take the pan off the heat.Add the spinach leaves. Cover the pan for 3 minutes.
  9. Add chilli sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper powder.
  10. Spoon the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle chopped onion and sesame seeds and serve.
Tips :
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You can use normal noodles.
  • If you don't have home made chilli sauce you can use ready made one.
  • The vegetables and noodles in this soup are not overcooked. 
You may want to check out the following :
mushroom egg fried rice
sesame honey chilli potatoes
chilli paneer




     

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Salads

Some exciting salads 

Its really hot and the last thing one wants to have is a heavy meal. Salads make a good and healthy option. However, they don't have to be boring. Add fruits, nuts, meat, fish, a variety of vegetables, dress it. Make it exciting. Check out some salads.











Tuesday, 12 April 2016

553.Multi grain garlic naan

MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN#BREAD BAKERS     

A healthy take on naan

  As much as we all love naan with our curries, naan is made from refined flour (plain flour, all purpose flour) which is not that healthy. During the process of refining the flour, the husk and bran, the most nutritious part of the wheat grain and rich in fiber is removed. What is left the white part which is carbohydrate, without any vitamins or minerals. Bleaching chemicals are used to make the flour more white. Consuming white flour on a regular basis along with sugar is bad for the body. Weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes may result in over consumption of white flour. In order to enjoy naan but in a more healthy way, I make it using multi grain flour. I make my own mixture at home as we don't get it in the shops here. I use about 8 different grains to make my multi grained flour. I use this flour daily for rotis and parathas. The recipe for the multi grain is given below. When Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories set the theme of using garlic in our bake for the month of April, I kept on thinking about garlic bread. I've already baked breads using garlic. So had to clear my head and think of other options. Made egg curry a few days ago and multi grain naan. That's when the tube light went on and I decided on my bake for April. Naan with garlic are just awesome, tasty and add a whole new dimension to the boring plain naan. 
So without much rambling, here's the recipe for multi grain garlic naan.                                       

 


 
                                                                                                                                                                           



MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN
Makes 10-12 naans

Multi grain flour :

6 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup finger millet flour (ragi, wimbi)
½ cup barley flour (jowar, jau)
½ cup soya bean flour
½ cup oat flour
½ cup millet flour (bajra)
½ cup green gram flour (moong flour) or can add chickpea flour
½ cup amaranth flour (rajgira, terere)

Mix all the flours very well in a large container. Store in an airtight container. I prefer to sieve the mixed flour for an even mix.





For the multi grain garlic naan :
4 cups multi grain flour
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¼ cup yogurt (at room temperature)
4 tbsp oil
extra flour for dusting and rolling
extra oil for greasing

For topping :
some water for brushing
4-6 tbsp butter
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 tbsp black sesame seeds or nigella seeds(kalonji)


  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt, soda bicarbonate and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Mix milk and yogurt together.
  4. Using the milk yogurt mixture form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop or board with flour and knead the dough till becomes smooth. (About 5 minutes)
  6. Put the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise till its double the size. This takes about 1-1½ hours.
  7. Knead the dough gently. Divide it into 10 -12 parts.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  10. Roll the dough parts into balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Dust the worktop with a bit of flour.
  12. Take one ball and roll it out into a round or oval shape about ¼" thick.
  13. Scatter the garlic slices and black sesame seeds (or nigella seeds) over it and gently roll over it once twice, lightly.
  14. Roll out the remaining dough and place on baking trays.
  15. Brush the top of naans with water.
  16. Place the rolled naan in the hot oven and bake for 5-6 minutes. Half way through, flip the naans over.
  17. Remove the naans from the oven. Bake the remaining naans.
  18. Just before serving, switch on the broiler (grill). Let the naans bake for 2-3 minutes till its light brown on top.
  19. Brush with butter and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Roll out all the naans before baking. Its easier to keep an eye on the baking and broiling.
  • You can add fresh fenugreek leaves to the dough.
  • Top the naans with chopped chillis instead of garlic or add both.
You may want to check out the following bakes by fellow bakers :

   

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.

Monday, 11 April 2016

552. Lemongrass Fruity Tea

Happy Chaitra Navratri

    The 35th theme for #FoodieMonday #bloghop was #NavrathriSpecial.  I was in a dilemma as to how I will get this post ready in a day as I was travelling on Sunday. I've already posted many fasting recipes. I'm glad this theme was chosen as I've learnt something new. Did you know that Navratri is celebrated 5 times in a year? I didn't know that. The first is Vasanta/Chaitra Navratri (around March or April), Ashad Navratri (around June or July), Sharad Navratri (around Sept or Oct),Pausha Navratri (around Dec or Jan) and Magha Navratri (around Jan or Feb). Our family celebrates the Sharad Navratri.
    Chaitra Navratri begins on the first day of the Chaitra month(this year 8th April) and ends on Ram Navmi Day. During this period Goddess Durga is worshipped, prayers are offered and people fast. During the fasting period, some take only fruit, milk and water, others fast by eating one meal only and others do not eat any grains or pulses during this time. Goddess Shakti manifests herself in three different forms, Goddess Lakshmi,(wealth), Goddess Saraswati (knowledge) and Goddess Durga(energy). The first three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga, the next three to Goddess Lakshmi and the last three to Goddess Saraswati. If one worships and fasts during this period without any expectation and with dedication, Goddess Durga blesses the devotees with energy and  freedom from all bondages. 
  Fasting periods are also good. It helps to rest the digestive system,cleanses and detoxifies the body,promotes mental clarity, helps to break eating patterns(nice way to get rid of bad eating habits), helps you feel light and more energetic and most importantly helps to enhance spiritual connection and inner calmness. It is important to hydrate oneself and eat light. For today's theme I have made and extremely refreshing, light and energetic drink. 







LEMONGRASS FRUITY TEA
For 2

2 cups very hot  water
3- 4 lemongrass stalks with the green parts
1 tbsp lemon juice
2- 4 tbsp honey (or sugar)
½ cup finely chopped mixed fruit (apple, grapes, pears, strawberries) of your choice
pinch of salt (optional)
ice cubes to serve

  1. Chop the lemongrass into smaller pieces and put them in a pan. Pour the hot water over it. Cover the pan and let it steep for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Strain the water to remove the lemongrass.
  3. Add lemon juice, honey and the finely chopped fruit to the cool lemongrass water.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate till its cold.
  5. To serve, add ice cubes to the glass. Pour the fruity tea over it and enjoy.
Tips :
  • Use fruits of your choice.
  • If you are fasting, add rock salt( sendha namak) if you want.
  • Adjust sweetness according to your taste.
  • Lemongrass helps digestion, is good for the skin, soothing when you have a cold or flu,reduces arthritic pain.
You may want to check out the following :

lemongrass and mint iced tea
basil mint lemon drink
watermelon iced tea
Sending this recipe to the following event :

Blog Hop



Friday, 8 April 2016

551.Leopard Patch/Leopard Spots bread

There's a leopard in my kitchen!

        When Aparna suggested a leopard patch or leopard spots bread for our March challenge in We Knead to Bake group, I felt right at home. Leopards are not new to me, as I have seen them in the National Parks and at the Animals Orphanage in Nairobi. Years ago it was pretty easy to spot these animals in the parks but these days its pretty difficult because of poaching. Leopards are different from cheetahs. Leopards are nocturnal cats while cheetahs are diurnal. Leopards have shorter legs and more stockier whereas cheetahs have long legs and are slender to enable them to run fast. Now coming to the spots, cheetahs have black spots all over. Leopards have spots that are brown in the middle and black at the edges and are always in clusters, more like rosettes.
                                   This monkey thought the Leopard's spots
                                   Were pasted on for polka dots.
                                   He asked how much it would cost
                                   New ones to buy if the old ones were lost.
I remember teaching the little ones in my class the above silly poem by Spike Milligan whenever we had a jungle theme.
Coming to the bread, getting the right shade of the light and dark brown was difficult as I don't have black edible colour. Mixing the cocoa into the dough by hand took a bit of time as I had to knead it till there were no white patches showing. Yes, had to do the task by hand as the power disappeared. Overall, it was fun making this bread.








LEOPARD PATCH/SPOTS BREAD
1 Loaf
Recipe source : http://www.cocoebaunilha.com/2015/12/pao-de-leite-leopardo.html

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wholewheat flour
2¼ tsp instant active dried yeast
¾ cup warm milk
⅓ cup warm water
1 tsp salt
¼ cup sugar (2 tbsp in you don't want a sweet bread)
2 tbsp oil
extra dough for dusting the board or worktop.
1 tbsp milk for brushing on top

For the light brown dough :
1½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1½ tbsp milk

For the dark brown dough :
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp milk

  1. Mix cocoa and milk for both the light and dark brown dough and keep it on the side till required.
  2. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  3. Add the yeast and mix. 
  4. Add oil and rub into the flour.
  5. Form a dough using both milk and water.
  6. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 10 minutes by machine till it is smooth and elastic.
  7. Divide the dough into half.
  8. Take one half part and roll it into a ball. Place it in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl. That's the white part.
  9. Divide the remaining half part into two equal parts.
  10. Take one part and add the light brown cocoa mixture (1½ tbsp + 1½ tbsp milk) to it. Mix and knead till you get an even coloured dough. 
  11. Roll into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl.
  12. Take the remaining part of the dough and add the dark brown cocoa mixture (4 tbsp cocoa + 3tbsp milk). Mix and knead well till you get an even coloured dough.
  13. Roll the dough into a ball. Place it in a greased bowl.
  14. Cover  the dough with cling film and let them rise for 1½ - 2 hours till the dough is double the size.
  15. Gently knead the dough to let out the air.
  16. Divide the dough, white, light brown and dark brown into 7 equal parts.
  17. Roll each part into a 8½ " rope separately.
  18. Take a dark brown rope and flatten it slightly width wise.
  19. Place the light brown rope on it.
  20. Cover the light brown rope with the dark brown rolled dough. If the dark part does not cover the light one evenly, its alright.
  21. Take a white part and flatten it width wise. 
  22. Place the dark rolled rope on it and cover it with the white dough. Must cover it properly. 
  23. Pinch the seams.
  24. Repeat steps 18 to 23 with the remaining ropes, light encased by the dark and the dark by the white.
  25. Roll each newly formed rope into 17" rope.
  26. Divide it into half so each part is 8½". So now you will have 14 ropes.
  27. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin lightly with butter.
  28. Place the ropes unevenly in the loaf tin.
  29. Cover the tin with cling film and let the dough rise for 1 hr till its double the size.
  30. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  31. Brush the top of the risen dough with milk.
  32. Bake the bread for 30 -35 minutes until the top is light golden yellow.
  33. Remove the dough from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • I used Cadbury's unsweetened cocoa. Using just 3 tbsp for the dark patch was not dark enough so I used 4 tbsp. Some recipes add edible black colour for the darker patch.
  • Try and get the ropes end to end in the loaf tin for a more even ends. Some of my ropes were not touching the ends of the tin so the end product was uneven on the sides.

You may want to check out the following :
Broa de milho
Pane siciliano


Sending this recipe to the following event :

 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

550. Farali uttapams

Beautiful Nature   
     
This evening just as the sun was setting, the sky was just so beautiful. Blue sky as though its daytime. I was busy in the kitchen when hubby shouted out "come quickly, look out of the window." I had to reach out for my iphone and take a photo. Nature is amazing and pleasures us with so many different colours in all shades imaginable. Its important that we take time to observe and enjoy nature. Its brings immense joy and peace to our mind and soul. When you don't stop to admire nature you miss out on the wonders of world. 
    Today's recipe is Farali Uttapams. My partner Ramya of Lemon Kurry gave me the ingredients little millet and yogurt. Our theme for March 2016 was whole grains. Fellow members have come up with some really delicious, innovative recipes following this theme - right from soups to energy bites. I decided to make farali uttapams using little millet and sabudana (tapioca, sago balls). Millet is the most nutritious, easily digestible and non allergenic grain. Its a great alternate to rice and is cooked like rice.I found all the different names just too confusing so decided to put it down in a table form for easy reference. All the information is sourced from google and wikipedia. Farali uttapams are gluten free and healthy. You can have them even on days when you are not fasting.


ENGLISH
GUJARATI
HINDI
TELUGU
KANNADA
TAMIL
MALAYAM

Barnyard millet

jhangora
odalu
oodalu
kuthiravaali
kavadapullu

Finger
millet
Nagli/bavto
Mandua/nachni
ragulu
ragi
kelvargu
koovarugu

Foxtail/ Italian
millet
kang
kangni
korra
navane
tenai
thina

Kodo
millet
kodri
kodra
arikelu
harka
varagu
koovaragu

Little
millet
Moriyo/
samo
kutki
sama
same
samai
chama

Spiked/
Pearl
millet
bajri
bajra
gantilu
sajje
kambu
kambam

Proso/
common
millet
cheno
barri
varigulu
baragu
panivaragu


Great millet/
Sorghum

Jau/juar
jowar
jonna
jola
cholam
cholum















FARALI UTTAPAMS
Makes 28-30 mini ones

1 cup little millet (sama, samai, moriyo)
¾ cup sabudana (tapioca/sago balls)
½ cup sour yogurt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ -1 tsp coarse pepper powder
1¼ -1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda) optional

oil for shallow frying

for topping:
1 cup grated carrot
¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
2-3 green chillis finely chopped

  1. Wash and soak little millet and sabudana in warm water for 2 hours. I prefer to soak them separately.
  2. Drain out the water from both the little millet and sabudana.
  3. Grind both in a food processor to a thick paste using very little water. I used only 2-3 tbsp.
  4. Transfer the paste into a bowl.
  5. Add the sour yogurt and mix well.
  6. Cover and let the batter ferment for 6-8 hours in a warm place.
  7. Add ginger, chilli pastes, pepper powder, salt and cumin seeds. Mix well. Add soda bicarbonate also if you are using it.
  8. Heat a pan or tawa over low heat.
  9. Rub a little oil over it.
  10. Add a ladle full of the batter and spread it a bit just like you would do so for pancakes.
  11. Add a bit of grated carrot, chopped tomato and chopped chillis over it. Drizzle a little oil (about ¼-½ tsp) around the uttapam.
  12. Cover the pan or tawa with a lid and let the uttapam cook over low heat till its done and the bottom is light golden colour.
  13. Flip it over for the carrot and tomato to get cooked a bit. After a few seconds flip over again.
  14. Serve uttapam with your choice of chutney.
Tips :
  • If the batter is too thick add a little water.
  • If the batter becomes too thin add some amaranth (rajgira) or arrowroot flour.
  • You should have a pancake like or dosa like batter.
  • You can add chopped coriander, grated paneer also.
  • If you are not making these uttapams for fasting then you can add chopped onions and any veg of your choice.
You may want to check out the following :

samo and potato pattis

buckwheat savoury pancakes/uttapams
farali dokhra

Sending this recipe to the following event :

shhh

Check out what following members made using whole grains :

Anu Kollon : Oats Energy Bites


Sharanya : Corn Payasam



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

555. Coconut Buns/ Chinese Cocktail Buns/ Gai Mei Bao

Cocktail or Cock tail???

    We Knead to Bake's #38 bake for the month of April are Coconut Buns or Chinese Cocktail Buns or Gai Mei Bao. These buns were supposedly created in the 1950s in Hong Kong. The owners of a local bakery were left with unsold buns and instead of throwing them away they decided to ground the buns, added sugar and used it as a filling for new buns. These days left over bread has been replaced by a sweet buttery coconut filling. There are two meaning to the cocktail buns. One is that the exotic mixture of filling deserved the name cocktail much like the cocktails created in bars and pubs. The second is that Gai Mei Bao literally means cock's(chicken) tail bun. The buns are soft and slightly sweet filled with a buttery sweet coconut filling. These buns are typical Hong Kong style buns. The topping, a mixture of flour, butter and sugar is usually piped, 2 lines, on the buns before baking.
    Try out this tasty, delicious buns and a must for coconut lovers. I found that the buns tasted better the next day as the buns were infused with the coconut flavour.








COCONUT BUNS/CHINESE COCKTAIL BUNS/ GAI MEI BAO
Makes 8
Recipe adapted from : The Woks of Life

For the buns:
 2½ cups plain flour(all purpose flour)
1½ tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
⅔ cup warm milk

extra flour for dusting
extra butter for greasing

For the filling :
50g (approx 3 tbsp) soft butter
1½ tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)
⅛ cup (2 tbsp) milk powder
⅓ cup fresh grated coconut

For the topping :
2 tbsp milk
25g (1½ tbsp) soft butter
2 tsp sugar
2tbsp plain flour (all purpose flour)

some milk for brushing on top
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Preparation of the dough for the buns :
  1. Sieve flour, corn flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar and yeast. Mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the egg and milk.
  4. Form a dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 -15 minutes by hand or 7-10 minutes by machine till it is soft and pliable.
  6. Grease the bowl lightly. Form the dough into a ball. 
  7. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with a cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place.
  8. Let the dough rise for 1½ hr or till its double in size.
Preparation of the filling :
  1. Cream the butter and sugar lightly.
  2. Add the flour, milk powder and coconut and mix well into a paste.
  3. Divide the paste into 8 parts.
Preparation of the topping :
  1. Cream butter and sugar till its mixed.
  2. Add flour and mix and finally add the milk.
  3. Mix well and keep on the side till required.
Final preparation of the buns :
  1. Divide the risen dough into 8 parts.
  2. Roll the parts into balls.
  3. Roll one part into a small oval shape about 4"X 3".
  4. Put one part of the filling in the middle of the dough.
  5. Pinch the two long ends together Seal the ends well. 
  6. Tuck the ends to form an oval shape.
  7. Place the bun on a greased or parchment lined baking tray with the sealed part under.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and left them rise for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Brush the buns with milk.
  12. Place the topping mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag. Snip off the end to form a small hole.
  13. Pipe 2 lines of the topping on each bun. I piped 3 as I had enough topping.
  14. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds.
  15. Place the tray in the oven and bake the buns for 20 -25 minutes or till the buns are golden in colour.
  16. Remove the buns from the oven.
  17. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Tips :
  • You can brush the buns with sugar glaze or honey as soon as they come out of the oven. I didn't do that as there's enough sugar in the buns.
  • Next time I will probably make more filling as I found the filling too little.
  • I will also make the buns smaller as they were pretty big. 
  • If you don't get fresh grated coconut, you can use frozen fresh grated coconut.
You may want to check out the following :
leopard patch bread


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Monday, 25 April 2016

554.Vegetable Noodle soup

What is Indo Chinese?

    The 37th #FoodieMonday#bloghop theme is #Indo-Chinese. What is Indo-Chinese? Indo-Chinese dishes feature in most Indian restaurants that serve fast food, Indian cuisine and you will find it as street food too. Indo-Chinese is one of the most favourite cuisine for Indians. The Indo Chinese mania has spread as far as America, Europe, Australia, Africa, basically to all the the continents. Basically its Chinese food with Indian flavours and ingredients that are popularly available in India. It is nothing like the authentic Chinese food that uses bok choy, choi sum, watercress, chinese broccoli,chinese water spinach, chinese amaranth, napa cabbage, ji cai, tofu, Sichuan pepper. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses bell pepper, cabbage, corn, baby corn, carrots,cauliflower etc. Indo-Chinese cuisine uses sweet and sour sauce, oyster, sauce, soy sauce, black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, szechwan and manchurian sauce just to name a few.
  How was India introduced to this cuisine? Well according to Wikipedia, a small community of Chinese mainly from the Hakka region settled in Calcutta during the 19th Century. They started cooking with Indian spices and vegetables to appease the Indian population. Since then Indo- Chinese cuisine has evolved to spring dosa, chinese bhel, idlis with chinese flavours etc. Manchurian, spring rolls, Chow mein, Manchow soup, American chop suey, chilli chicken/paneer, fried rice, date pancakes are some of the more popular Indo-Chinese dishes. 
     For the Indo Chinese theme I chose to go the healthy way by preparing a 'chat pata' Vegetable noodle soup.Most Indo-Chinese food is not too friendly for our hips as most of it is fried or requires one uses a good amount of oil. So here's a healthy soup.I've used Soba noodles. Soba noodles are usually made from buckwheat or wheat flour and are thin compared to the udon noodles which are thick.








VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
Serves 4

6oz (approx 150g) soba noodles
4-5 cups water/vegetable stock
10-12 spinach leaves (palak)
2 medium carrots
½ bell pepper-any colour
¼ cup chopped spring onion
7-8 cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
10 -12 mushrooms, cut into slices
1 medium onion, cut into slices
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1-2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  1. Prepare all the vegetables. Peel the carrots, cut into half length wise and then cut into slices. Cut the bell pepper into large cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add sesame oil.
  3. Add onion slices, ginger and garlic pastes and saute them for a few seconds.
  4. Add all the vegetables except the spring onion and spinach.
  5. Stir fry the vegetables for 1 minute on high heat.
  6. Add water or vegetable stock and let it become hot.
  7. As soon the water becomes hot and begins to boil, add the noodles and salt.
  8. Take the pan off the heat.Add the spinach leaves. Cover the pan for 3 minutes.
  9. Add chilli sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper powder.
  10. Spoon the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle chopped onion and sesame seeds and serve.
Tips :
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You can use normal noodles.
  • If you don't have home made chilli sauce you can use ready made one.
  • The vegetables and noodles in this soup are not overcooked. 
You may want to check out the following :
mushroom egg fried rice
sesame honey chilli potatoes
chilli paneer




     
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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Salads

Some exciting salads 

Its really hot and the last thing one wants to have is a heavy meal. Salads make a good and healthy option. However, they don't have to be boring. Add fruits, nuts, meat, fish, a variety of vegetables, dress it. Make it exciting. Check out some salads.











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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

553.Multi grain garlic naan

MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN#BREAD BAKERS     

A healthy take on naan

  As much as we all love naan with our curries, naan is made from refined flour (plain flour, all purpose flour) which is not that healthy. During the process of refining the flour, the husk and bran, the most nutritious part of the wheat grain and rich in fiber is removed. What is left the white part which is carbohydrate, without any vitamins or minerals. Bleaching chemicals are used to make the flour more white. Consuming white flour on a regular basis along with sugar is bad for the body. Weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes may result in over consumption of white flour. In order to enjoy naan but in a more healthy way, I make it using multi grain flour. I make my own mixture at home as we don't get it in the shops here. I use about 8 different grains to make my multi grained flour. I use this flour daily for rotis and parathas. The recipe for the multi grain is given below. When Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories set the theme of using garlic in our bake for the month of April, I kept on thinking about garlic bread. I've already baked breads using garlic. So had to clear my head and think of other options. Made egg curry a few days ago and multi grain naan. That's when the tube light went on and I decided on my bake for April. Naan with garlic are just awesome, tasty and add a whole new dimension to the boring plain naan. 
So without much rambling, here's the recipe for multi grain garlic naan.                                       

 


 
                                                                                                                                                                           



MULTI GRAIN GARLIC NAAN
Makes 10-12 naans

Multi grain flour :

6 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup finger millet flour (ragi, wimbi)
½ cup barley flour (jowar, jau)
½ cup soya bean flour
½ cup oat flour
½ cup millet flour (bajra)
½ cup green gram flour (moong flour) or can add chickpea flour
½ cup amaranth flour (rajgira, terere)

Mix all the flours very well in a large container. Store in an airtight container. I prefer to sieve the mixed flour for an even mix.





For the multi grain garlic naan :
4 cups multi grain flour
2¼ tsp instant dry active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm milk
1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¼ cup yogurt (at room temperature)
4 tbsp oil
extra flour for dusting and rolling
extra oil for greasing

For topping :
some water for brushing
4-6 tbsp butter
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 tbsp black sesame seeds or nigella seeds(kalonji)


  1. Mix flour, yeast, salt, soda bicarbonate and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub oil into the flour.
  3. Mix milk and yogurt together.
  4. Using the milk yogurt mixture form a dough.
  5. Dust the worktop or board with flour and knead the dough till becomes smooth. (About 5 minutes)
  6. Put the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let the dough rise till its double the size. This takes about 1-1½ hours.
  7. Knead the dough gently. Divide it into 10 -12 parts.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  9. Grease a baking tray with oil.
  10. Roll the dough parts into balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Dust the worktop with a bit of flour.
  12. Take one ball and roll it out into a round or oval shape about ¼" thick.
  13. Scatter the garlic slices and black sesame seeds (or nigella seeds) over it and gently roll over it once twice, lightly.
  14. Roll out the remaining dough and place on baking trays.
  15. Brush the top of naans with water.
  16. Place the rolled naan in the hot oven and bake for 5-6 minutes. Half way through, flip the naans over.
  17. Remove the naans from the oven. Bake the remaining naans.
  18. Just before serving, switch on the broiler (grill). Let the naans bake for 2-3 minutes till its light brown on top.
  19. Brush with butter and serve immediately.
Tips:
  • Roll out all the naans before baking. Its easier to keep an eye on the baking and broiling.
  • You can add fresh fenugreek leaves to the dough.
  • Top the naans with chopped chillis instead of garlic or add both.
You may want to check out the following bakes by fellow bakers :

   

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.
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Monday, 11 April 2016

552. Lemongrass Fruity Tea

Happy Chaitra Navratri

    The 35th theme for #FoodieMonday #bloghop was #NavrathriSpecial.  I was in a dilemma as to how I will get this post ready in a day as I was travelling on Sunday. I've already posted many fasting recipes. I'm glad this theme was chosen as I've learnt something new. Did you know that Navratri is celebrated 5 times in a year? I didn't know that. The first is Vasanta/Chaitra Navratri (around March or April), Ashad Navratri (around June or July), Sharad Navratri (around Sept or Oct),Pausha Navratri (around Dec or Jan) and Magha Navratri (around Jan or Feb). Our family celebrates the Sharad Navratri.
    Chaitra Navratri begins on the first day of the Chaitra month(this year 8th April) and ends on Ram Navmi Day. During this period Goddess Durga is worshipped, prayers are offered and people fast. During the fasting period, some take only fruit, milk and water, others fast by eating one meal only and others do not eat any grains or pulses during this time. Goddess Shakti manifests herself in three different forms, Goddess Lakshmi,(wealth), Goddess Saraswati (knowledge) and Goddess Durga(energy). The first three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga, the next three to Goddess Lakshmi and the last three to Goddess Saraswati. If one worships and fasts during this period without any expectation and with dedication, Goddess Durga blesses the devotees with energy and  freedom from all bondages. 
  Fasting periods are also good. It helps to rest the digestive system,cleanses and detoxifies the body,promotes mental clarity, helps to break eating patterns(nice way to get rid of bad eating habits), helps you feel light and more energetic and most importantly helps to enhance spiritual connection and inner calmness. It is important to hydrate oneself and eat light. For today's theme I have made and extremely refreshing, light and energetic drink. 







LEMONGRASS FRUITY TEA
For 2

2 cups very hot  water
3- 4 lemongrass stalks with the green parts
1 tbsp lemon juice
2- 4 tbsp honey (or sugar)
½ cup finely chopped mixed fruit (apple, grapes, pears, strawberries) of your choice
pinch of salt (optional)
ice cubes to serve

  1. Chop the lemongrass into smaller pieces and put them in a pan. Pour the hot water over it. Cover the pan and let it steep for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Strain the water to remove the lemongrass.
  3. Add lemon juice, honey and the finely chopped fruit to the cool lemongrass water.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate till its cold.
  5. To serve, add ice cubes to the glass. Pour the fruity tea over it and enjoy.
Tips :
  • Use fruits of your choice.
  • If you are fasting, add rock salt( sendha namak) if you want.
  • Adjust sweetness according to your taste.
  • Lemongrass helps digestion, is good for the skin, soothing when you have a cold or flu,reduces arthritic pain.
You may want to check out the following :

lemongrass and mint iced tea
basil mint lemon drink
watermelon iced tea
Sending this recipe to the following event :

Blog Hop



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Friday, 8 April 2016

551.Leopard Patch/Leopard Spots bread

There's a leopard in my kitchen!

        When Aparna suggested a leopard patch or leopard spots bread for our March challenge in We Knead to Bake group, I felt right at home. Leopards are not new to me, as I have seen them in the National Parks and at the Animals Orphanage in Nairobi. Years ago it was pretty easy to spot these animals in the parks but these days its pretty difficult because of poaching. Leopards are different from cheetahs. Leopards are nocturnal cats while cheetahs are diurnal. Leopards have shorter legs and more stockier whereas cheetahs have long legs and are slender to enable them to run fast. Now coming to the spots, cheetahs have black spots all over. Leopards have spots that are brown in the middle and black at the edges and are always in clusters, more like rosettes.
                                   This monkey thought the Leopard's spots
                                   Were pasted on for polka dots.
                                   He asked how much it would cost
                                   New ones to buy if the old ones were lost.
I remember teaching the little ones in my class the above silly poem by Spike Milligan whenever we had a jungle theme.
Coming to the bread, getting the right shade of the light and dark brown was difficult as I don't have black edible colour. Mixing the cocoa into the dough by hand took a bit of time as I had to knead it till there were no white patches showing. Yes, had to do the task by hand as the power disappeared. Overall, it was fun making this bread.








LEOPARD PATCH/SPOTS BREAD
1 Loaf
Recipe source : http://www.cocoebaunilha.com/2015/12/pao-de-leite-leopardo.html

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup wholewheat flour
2¼ tsp instant active dried yeast
¾ cup warm milk
⅓ cup warm water
1 tsp salt
¼ cup sugar (2 tbsp in you don't want a sweet bread)
2 tbsp oil
extra dough for dusting the board or worktop.
1 tbsp milk for brushing on top

For the light brown dough :
1½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1½ tbsp milk

For the dark brown dough :
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp milk

  1. Mix cocoa and milk for both the light and dark brown dough and keep it on the side till required.
  2. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl.
  3. Add the yeast and mix. 
  4. Add oil and rub into the flour.
  5. Form a dough using both milk and water.
  6. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 10 minutes by machine till it is smooth and elastic.
  7. Divide the dough into half.
  8. Take one half part and roll it into a ball. Place it in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl. That's the white part.
  9. Divide the remaining half part into two equal parts.
  10. Take one part and add the light brown cocoa mixture (1½ tbsp + 1½ tbsp milk) to it. Mix and knead till you get an even coloured dough. 
  11. Roll into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl.
  12. Take the remaining part of the dough and add the dark brown cocoa mixture (4 tbsp cocoa + 3tbsp milk). Mix and knead well till you get an even coloured dough.
  13. Roll the dough into a ball. Place it in a greased bowl.
  14. Cover  the dough with cling film and let them rise for 1½ - 2 hours till the dough is double the size.
  15. Gently knead the dough to let out the air.
  16. Divide the dough, white, light brown and dark brown into 7 equal parts.
  17. Roll each part into a 8½ " rope separately.
  18. Take a dark brown rope and flatten it slightly width wise.
  19. Place the light brown rope on it.
  20. Cover the light brown rope with the dark brown rolled dough. If the dark part does not cover the light one evenly, its alright.
  21. Take a white part and flatten it width wise. 
  22. Place the dark rolled rope on it and cover it with the white dough. Must cover it properly. 
  23. Pinch the seams.
  24. Repeat steps 18 to 23 with the remaining ropes, light encased by the dark and the dark by the white.
  25. Roll each newly formed rope into 17" rope.
  26. Divide it into half so each part is 8½". So now you will have 14 ropes.
  27. Grease a 9"X 5" loaf tin lightly with butter.
  28. Place the ropes unevenly in the loaf tin.
  29. Cover the tin with cling film and let the dough rise for 1 hr till its double the size.
  30. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  31. Brush the top of the risen dough with milk.
  32. Bake the bread for 30 -35 minutes until the top is light golden yellow.
  33. Remove the dough from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely before you slice it.
Tips :
  • I used Cadbury's unsweetened cocoa. Using just 3 tbsp for the dark patch was not dark enough so I used 4 tbsp. Some recipes add edible black colour for the darker patch.
  • Try and get the ropes end to end in the loaf tin for a more even ends. Some of my ropes were not touching the ends of the tin so the end product was uneven on the sides.

You may want to check out the following :
Broa de milho
Pane siciliano


Sending this recipe to the following event :

 

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

550. Farali uttapams

Beautiful Nature   
     
This evening just as the sun was setting, the sky was just so beautiful. Blue sky as though its daytime. I was busy in the kitchen when hubby shouted out "come quickly, look out of the window." I had to reach out for my iphone and take a photo. Nature is amazing and pleasures us with so many different colours in all shades imaginable. Its important that we take time to observe and enjoy nature. Its brings immense joy and peace to our mind and soul. When you don't stop to admire nature you miss out on the wonders of world. 
    Today's recipe is Farali Uttapams. My partner Ramya of Lemon Kurry gave me the ingredients little millet and yogurt. Our theme for March 2016 was whole grains. Fellow members have come up with some really delicious, innovative recipes following this theme - right from soups to energy bites. I decided to make farali uttapams using little millet and sabudana (tapioca, sago balls). Millet is the most nutritious, easily digestible and non allergenic grain. Its a great alternate to rice and is cooked like rice.I found all the different names just too confusing so decided to put it down in a table form for easy reference. All the information is sourced from google and wikipedia. Farali uttapams are gluten free and healthy. You can have them even on days when you are not fasting.


ENGLISH
GUJARATI
HINDI
TELUGU
KANNADA
TAMIL
MALAYAM

Barnyard millet

jhangora
odalu
oodalu
kuthiravaali
kavadapullu

Finger
millet
Nagli/bavto
Mandua/nachni
ragulu
ragi
kelvargu
koovarugu

Foxtail/ Italian
millet
kang
kangni
korra
navane
tenai
thina

Kodo
millet
kodri
kodra
arikelu
harka
varagu
koovaragu

Little
millet
Moriyo/
samo
kutki
sama
same
samai
chama

Spiked/
Pearl
millet
bajri
bajra
gantilu
sajje
kambu
kambam

Proso/
common
millet
cheno
barri
varigulu
baragu
panivaragu


Great millet/
Sorghum

Jau/juar
jowar
jonna
jola
cholam
cholum















FARALI UTTAPAMS
Makes 28-30 mini ones

1 cup little millet (sama, samai, moriyo)
¾ cup sabudana (tapioca/sago balls)
½ cup sour yogurt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ -1 tsp coarse pepper powder
1¼ -1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda) optional

oil for shallow frying

for topping:
1 cup grated carrot
¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
2-3 green chillis finely chopped

  1. Wash and soak little millet and sabudana in warm water for 2 hours. I prefer to soak them separately.
  2. Drain out the water from both the little millet and sabudana.
  3. Grind both in a food processor to a thick paste using very little water. I used only 2-3 tbsp.
  4. Transfer the paste into a bowl.
  5. Add the sour yogurt and mix well.
  6. Cover and let the batter ferment for 6-8 hours in a warm place.
  7. Add ginger, chilli pastes, pepper powder, salt and cumin seeds. Mix well. Add soda bicarbonate also if you are using it.
  8. Heat a pan or tawa over low heat.
  9. Rub a little oil over it.
  10. Add a ladle full of the batter and spread it a bit just like you would do so for pancakes.
  11. Add a bit of grated carrot, chopped tomato and chopped chillis over it. Drizzle a little oil (about ¼-½ tsp) around the uttapam.
  12. Cover the pan or tawa with a lid and let the uttapam cook over low heat till its done and the bottom is light golden colour.
  13. Flip it over for the carrot and tomato to get cooked a bit. After a few seconds flip over again.
  14. Serve uttapam with your choice of chutney.
Tips :
  • If the batter is too thick add a little water.
  • If the batter becomes too thin add some amaranth (rajgira) or arrowroot flour.
  • You should have a pancake like or dosa like batter.
  • You can add chopped coriander, grated paneer also.
  • If you are not making these uttapams for fasting then you can add chopped onions and any veg of your choice.
You may want to check out the following :

samo and potato pattis

buckwheat savoury pancakes/uttapams
farali dokhra

Sending this recipe to the following event :

shhh

Check out what following members made using whole grains :

Anu Kollon : Oats Energy Bites


Sharanya : Corn Payasam



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