Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Potato Masala

Potatoes - 3, large, boiled and peeled
Onion - 1, large, diced into chunks
Channa dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves and fresh coriander leaves - few springs
Oil - 2 TBSP
Water - 1 cup
Salt - to taste

  1. Heat oil in a skillet and splutter mustard seeds.
  2. Add channa and urad dals.  Fry until golden brown.
  3. Add the cut onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
  4. Saute until translucent, but still crunchy to the bite.
  5. Add 1 cup of water. turmeric powder and salt.  Bring it to a boil.
  6. Mash the boiled potatoes with hand and add it to the boiling water.
  7. Mix thoroughly.  Let it cook until the masala thickens.
  8. Masala should be slightly loose but at the same time thick in consistency.  Add water accordingly.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  10. Serve with poori or doasi.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nel Pori Urundai for Karthigai Deepam

Nel in tamil, is unhusked rice paddy.  Nel pori is puffed rice paddy.

Nel Pori - 4 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Thinly sliced coconut - 2 TBSP
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Dry ginger powder(sukku) - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1/2 tsp

  1. Spread the pori in a large plate or bowl.  Remove all the husks.
  2. If pori is soft, spread them in a tray and toast in a oven on a very low temperature setting.
  3. Remove and let it cool.
  4. Roast the thinly sliced coconut in 1/2 tsp ghee until golden brown.
  5. Heat the jaggery in 1/4 cup of water until completely dissolved.
  6. Strain to remove any impurities.
  7. Add ginger powder, cardamom powder and coconut.
  8. Boil the strained jaggery syrup until it reaches a soft ball consistency.
  9. To check the consistency, place some syrup in a bowl of water.  If you can make a ball out of it, then it is ready.
  10. Pour the jaggery syrup all over the pori.
  11. Using a wooden spoon, mix well to coat.
  12. Apply little ghee to your palm and shape into tight balls. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

100 % Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread ~ We knead to Bake #10

This is Aparna's We Knead to bake challenge for the month of October.  After  two unsuccessful attempts of baking this bread, I guess the third time was a charmer.  Please refer to Aparna's blog for more detailed recipe.

Peter Reinhart’s recipe uses a soaking procedure and the Biga/ sponge and that is the secret to the softness and texture of this bread. Other than that, it is important to knead the dough well to develop whatever little gluten there is in the whole wheat flour. Also be careful while shaping the dough into a loaf and make sure that you do not tear the risen dough as this will tear the gluten “cloak” that would have developed.


For The Soaker:

Whole wheat flour - 1 3/4 cups

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Water at room temperature - 3/4 to 1 cup

Vinegar (apple cider or plain) - 1 TBSP
For The Biga/ Sponge:
Whole wheat flour - 1 3/4 cups
Instant yeast - 1/4 tsp
Milk  - 3/4 cup (or a little more)
Vinegar (apple cider or plain) - 1 TBSP
For The Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the Biga/ Sponge
Vital Wheat Gluten (optional) - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Whole wheat flour  -  1/3 cup (and a few tbsp. more if required)

Instant yeast - 2 tsp
Oil (or melted butter if preferred) - 1/8 cup
Honey - 2 TBSP

  • First make the Soaker. Mix all of the Soaker ingredients together in a bowl until all of the flour is hydrated. I found that I needed more than the original 3/4 cup of water suggested and used a little over 1 cup but this can change from flour to flour. So I would suggest using 3/4 cup water and then adding a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency. Your Soaker should be somewhat like reasonably firm bread dough in consistency. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours. 
  • Now make the Biga/ Sponge. Mix all of the Biga/ Sponge in a bowl and knead together well till a soft ball forms. Again you might need more than the originally suggested 3/4 cup of liquid; I needed a little more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will keep for up to 3 days.
  • Two hours before you plan to mix your dough for the bread, remove the Biga from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. You might find your Biga rising a little during this time.
  • Divide the Biga and Soaker into small pieces (about 12 pieces each) using a sharp knife or scraper and put them in the food processor bowl (or stand mixer). You can knead this by hand too, but the dough will be tacky and a little difficult to manage. Do not be tempted to add more flour, when it is time to, than necessary.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the dough, except the 1/3 cup flour) and knead for about 3 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then add as much flour as needed (if necessary) to the dough and knead for another 3-4 minutes. Your dough should now come away from the sides of the bowl but still be a little sticky but somewhat manageable. It’s really important to not add too much extra flour during this step.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until almost doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough out into a rectangle with a width that just a bit less than your loaf tin. See that you do not tear the dough. Roll it up and shape into a loaf (see the video, if you need it).
  • Place your loaf in a greased and floured loaf tin (I used a 9” by 4” loaf tin) and let it rise until it is just higher than your loaf tin. Bake the loaf at 180C (350F) for about 40 to 45 minutes until the top is a nice deep brown colour and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Let the loaf cool completely (at least for about 2 hours), before slicing it. Refrigerate the loaf if not consuming immediately.