Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mangai Pachadi ~ Raw Mango in Jaggery Syrup

அனைவருக்கும் இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்
Wish You All A Very Happy Tamil New Year

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Raw Mango - 1 large, sliced into big chunks with skin
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cups, powdered
Fresh or Dried Neem Flower - 1 tbsp
Red chili - 2, broken
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp

  1. Place the cut mango, neem flower, turmeric powder and salt in a large skillet and add water just until immersed. Cook until half tender.
  2. Meanwhile, melt jaggery with 1/2 cup water.  Strain to remove impurities.
  3. Add the jaggery syrup to the mango mixture and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Combine rice flour in cold water and make a thick paste.  Add it to the mango mixture and mix well. Let it boil for a minute and switch off the stove.  This makes the pachadi to become thick and sauce like consistency.  
  5. Adjust the thickness consistency according to your preference.
  6. Heat oil in a small skillet and splutter mustard seeds. Turn of the heat and add the broken red chilies. 
  7. Pour over the pachadi and mix well.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Japanese Melon Pan ~ We Knead to Bake #15

Due to sickness and travel, I was not able to post last month's We Knead to Bake project on time. But better late than never.  Finally found time to bake these yummy and crunchy cookie dough covered bread.  Thanks Aparna for choosing this bread.

Recipe adapted from:
Video link:

For the bread dough:
All Purpose Flour - 1 3/4 cup (plus extra as required)
Milk Powder - 2 TBSP
Instant Yeast - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Warm water - 1/3 cup
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1 TBSP
Butter - 2 TBSP (25gm), at room temperature

For the cookie dough:
All Purpose flour - 1 1/3 cup
baking powder - 3/4 tsp
A large pinch of salt
Butter - 4 TBSP (60gm), at room temperature
Castor sugar - 1/4 cup (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
Large egg - 1
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Lemon zest - 1 tsp (I used lime zest)
Granulated sugar for dusting

  • Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl (or the bowl of your machine if using one). In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.
  • Knead (on low speed in the machine) till it all come together as a dough and then (on medium speed) until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.
  • Now add the butter and knead (first at slow speed and then on medium) until the butter is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should well-kneaded to develop the gluten.
  • Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume (about an hour or so).
  • During this time make the cookie dough. In a bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add this to the bowl. Also add the lemon zest. Beat together until just combined.
  • Shape the dough into a cylinder (this will make the dough easy to divide and flatten out later), and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough until required.
  • Now go back to the bread dough. Once it has doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment. Deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions.
  • Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. Work with one portion and keep the others covered so they don’t dry out.
  • Unwrap the cookie dough. It should be reasonably firm now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder of cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Use two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film to flatten the cookie dough. Place one slice/ round of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet/ cling film. Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin but not very much so.
  • Carefully take on ball of bread dough (it will have puffed up a little so don’t deflate it), and place the circle of cookie dough on top of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the ball, but leaves the bottom open. Gently, holding the covered bread dough by the underside, press it into some castor sugar. 
  • Then using a scraper, or the blunt side of a knife, mark the top of the cookie dough side of the bread roll with a cross hatch/ diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough (otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes) without cutting through the cookie dough layer into the bread.
  • Place this on the greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls. Let them rise for an hour.
  • Bake them at 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes, until the tops of the Melon Pan just start turning brown. If you let them brown too much, the underside of the bread will burn. Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  • This recipe makes 8 medium to largish Melon Pan. Melon Pan are best eaten the day they are made. However warming them slightly before serving the next day is also fine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hyderabadi Double Ka Meeta

This rich bread pudding is one of the specialties of Hyderabad.  Traditionally the bread in this dish is deep fried in ghee / clarified butter.  But to reduce some calorie count, I toasted the bread slices in ghee.  
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 5 to 6

White Bread Slices - 10
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Milk - 4 cups
Evaporated milk - 1 can
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Saffron strands - few
Mixed nuts - 1/2 cup, pistachios, almonds and or cashews
Ghee / Clarified butter -

  1. Slice the bread in half.  Keep it aside for some time for it to dry.
  2. Meanwhile,  prepare the sugar syrup by combining sugar and water in a skillet.  Boil until sugar dissolves and thickens, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Add the cardamom and remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the milk and evaporated milk and cook until its reduced to half.  Add the saffron strand and mix well.
  4. Toast or shallow fry the bread slices in ghee until golden brown.
  5. Place the toasted bread slices in the sugar syrup.  Press it gently to absorb the syrup.  Remove and place it a tray.
  6. Pour the milk mixture all over the bread.  
  7. Garnish with chopped nuts.
  8. Serve warm.