Sunday, 31 January 2016

Mixed Dry Fruit and Nuts Vedhmi / Puran Poli

These irresistible Mixed Dry Fruit and Nuts Vedhmi/Puran Poli (Indian flatbread stuffed with sweet lentils, dried fruit and nuts)  are a must-try dish. Make on any happy occasion.



Vedhmi is a Gujarati word for Indian flatbread Stuffed with a sweet lentil filling. It's a very popular traditional dessert throughout India


We love traditional Puran Poli but wanted to cut down on the intense sweetness from jaggery so we made instead with daal, dried fruit and nuts as the dried fruit lent enough sweet. The end result was a pillow-soft bread filled with a rich, sweet and nutty filling.





Picture of dried figs



WHAT IS VEDHMI-PURAN POLI


Vedhmi/Vedmi is a Gujarati word for Puran Poli (Indian flatbread Stuffed with sweet lentil filling). It's a very popular traditional dessert throughout India, served piping hot with a bowl of aromatic ghee. In Gujarat, this dessert is called Vedhmi, simply because it's made with your fingertips by tapping the stuffed flatbread and in Gujarati fingertips means Vedha!


Picture of dried dates


WHEN TO PREPARE VEDHMI-PURAN POLI


Vedhmi or Puran Poli is one of the tastiest and delicious desserts in Indian cuisine. Mostly this dessert is prepared during festivals and other occasions. It is made during many Indian festivals such as makar sakranti, pongal, Holi to name a few. Although - who needs an excuse for a treat!


Picture of mixed nuts

Picture of dried lentils



What is the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GUJARATI AND MAHARASHTRIAN PURAN POLI?

While in many other states of India, Chana Daal (Split Bengal gram daal) is used to make the filling, in Gujarat mostly toover daal (Split pigeon pea) and jaggery or sugar are used, and these beautiful and aromatic flavours are added by using cardamom and nutmeg.

For the upper layer many people use Semolina and Plain flour to make flatbread crispy outside, but mostly I have seen Vedhmi made with Whole Wheat flour.

Maharashtrain Puran Poli are mostly filled with chana dal and sugar.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEDHMI-PURAN POLI


In Gujarat mostly Vedhmi served with Gujarati Kadhi, Peas Pulao, Patra, Valor-Ringna nu saak and obviously a generous dose of pure golden Ghee, Next morning once again we get chance to enjoy Vedhmi, but this time we would wash it down with Kesar Badam Milk .

MAKING VEDHMI-PURAN POLI A TEDIOUS JOB?

Many believe that the perfect preparation of Vedhmi / Puran Poli involves a high skilled task, I agree to a certain extent.  Mostly you would be disappointed when filling oozes out of the dough and flatbread starts tearing. Also in the making Puran (filling) or in kneading the dough, but couple of things you can keep in your mind while preparing (see method) and obviously with some experience the job can be done.



So if you are a crazy fan of Vedhmi / Puran poli, but still love to try something different try this Dried fruit and nuts Vedhmi. I am sure you will have no complaints. If you want to try Traditional Vedhmi recipes, just leave dried fruits and nuts out and make it original way ( No Dry fruit and nuts ) with the same methods.

Ingredients for Puran Poli layer and filling:


You will need:- Dough - Upper layer

  • 1 cup chapatti flour (I used wholemeal). You can also use plain flour which is how Puran poli is made in South India.
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oil
  • Water

You will need :- Filling

  • 1/2 cup chana and toover daal (you can use either of them if you like)
  • 3 tbsp. khoya / Mawa or full fat milk powder
  • 7-8 dried figs finely chopped
  • 7-8 medjool dates. pitted and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. mixed nuts ( almond, cashew and pistachio )
  • 1 tbsp. white poppy seeds ( Khus Khus )
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch cardamom and nutmeg powder

Step-by-step Method to make Puran Poli 


Step by step Puran Poli recipe photo



Method:- Filling
Clean, wash and cook both daal together in the pressure  cooker ( Only add sufficient water )
Once daal is cooked, grind daal, dried figs and dates in a food processor and make it in a smooth paste.
Lightly roast mixed nuts and make a coarse powder.
Transfer the cooked daal mixture in a heavy bottom pan, add sugar.
Keep cooking the mixture on a low to medium heat and constantly keep stirring.
Once all the moisture starts evaporating, add Khoya mixed nuts powder and keep stirring.
Slowly mixture will keep getting thicker and stiff. ( time to perform a taste on the filling ). TAKE A SPOON, DIG INTO MIXTURE, IF SPOON STANDS ERECT IN THE MIXTURE WITHOUT FALLING DOWN, means filling is ready.
Transfer the filling in a plate and let it cool completely. Longer the better. ( I prepare stuffing early in the morning and leave it to cool about 5-6 hours or sometimes prepare at night and leave it in the refrigerator whole night ).
Now prepare dough.
Place flour, salt in a plate and knead chapatti like dough, it should be pliable and soft.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave it to rest for 20 minutes.
Once you are ready to prepare Vedhmi, add 1/2 tsp oil in the kneaded dough and once again knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the dough and filling mixture into equal portions and make golf size balls.
Start heating griddle or tava on low heat.
Roll the one ball of dough into oblong shape chapatti ( not too big ) ( see picture )
Put the filling ( stuffing ) ball on the edge and overlap the other end of the chapatti. ( see picture )
Take a sharp edge bowl or glass and press on the stuffing-filled chapatti. ( see picture )
Remove the excess dough and very gently roll the Vedhmi to your desired thickness or use your fingertips to press down the Vedhmi. ( This method will require a lot of time )
Cook on the hot griddle on both side, apply Ghee on both side and roast the vedhmi till it's nice and brown on both sides.
Apply Ghee generously on the Vedhmi and serve hot.
Enjoy !!


Puran Poli, Maharashtra puran poli, Gujarati puran poli, Gujarati vedmi, Gujarati Vedhmi, Makarsankranti recipe, sweet stuffed flatbread
Indian flatbread, desserts, lunch, dinner
Guajarati - Maharashtrian
Yield: 12-15

Mixed Dr fruit & nuts vedhmi-puran poli

These Delicious and irresistible Mixed Dry Fruit and Nuts Vedhmi-Puran Poli, a must try in your lifetime. Make on any happy occasion. Cook loads, these are lovely!
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 40 minstotal time: 1 hours and 40 mins

ingredients:

Dough - Upper layer

  • 1 cup chapatti flour ( I used wholemeal )
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oil
  • Water
Filling-Stuffing-Puran

  • 1/2 cup chana and toover daal ( you can use either of them if you like )
  • 3 tbsp. khoya / Mawa or full-fat milk powder
  • 7-8 dried figs finely chopped
  • 7-8 Medjool dates. pitted and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. mixed nuts ( almond, cashew and pistachio )
  • 1 tbsp. white poppy seeds ( Khus Khus )
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch cardamom and nutmeg powder

instructions

Filling-Stuffing-Puran
Clean, wash and cook both daal together in the pressure  cooker ( Only add sufficient water )
Once daal is cooked, grind daal, dried figs and dates in a food processor and make it in a smooth paste.
Lightly roast mixed nuts and make a coarse powder.
Transfer the cooked daal mixture in a heavy bottom pan, add sugar.
Keep cooking the mixture on a low to medium heat and constantly keep stirring.
Once all the moisture starts evaporating, add Khoya mixed nuts powder and keep stirring.
Slowly mixture will keep getting thicker and stiff. ( time to perform a taste on the filling ). TAKE A SPOON, DIG INTO MIXTURE, IF SPOON STANDS ERECT IN THE MIXTURE WITHOUT FALLING DOWN, means filling is ready.
Transfer the filling in a plate and let it cool completely. Longer the better. ( I prepare stuffing early in the morning and leave it to cool about 5-6 hours or sometimes prepare at night and leave it in the refrigerator whole night ).
Now prepare the dough.
Place flour, salt in a plate and knead chapatti like dough, it should be pliable and soft.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave it to rest for 20 minutes.
Once you are ready to prepare Vedhmi, add 1/2 tsp oil in the kneaded dough and once again knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the dough and filling mixture into equal portions and make golf size balls.
Start heating griddle or tava on low heat.
Roll the one ball of dough into oblong shape chapatti ( not too big ) ( see picture )
Put the filling ( stuffing ) ball on the edge and overlap the other end of the chapatti. ( see picture )
Take a sharp edge bowl or glass and press on the stuffing-filled chapatti. ( see picture )
Remove the excess dough and very gently roll the Vedhmi to your desired thickness or use your fingertips to press down the Vedhmi. ( This method will require a lot of time )
Cook on the hot griddle on both side, apply Ghee on both sides and roast the vedhmi till it's nice and brown on both sides.
Apply Ghee generously on the Vedhmi and serve hot.
Enjoy !!

Created using The Recipes Generator














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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Masoor daal and Green Beans Khichdi #comfortfood #indiankhichdi #nowonmyblog #jcookingodyssey


To devour ultimate comfort food Khichdi, you don't have to wait for any particular season, Khichdi is for any time, however I love to have hot and steaming Khichdi during the winters. I have eaten Khichdi whole of my life and would never get bored, it could be so simple and humble sadi (plain) khichdi with pickle, yogurt and papad , Masala Khichdi ( Spicy version ) where rice and daal, Tuver or Moong daal sautéed in ghee with whole spices and enjoyed with yogurt, salad and papad and sometimes easy yet an elaborate Khichdi, prepared with lots of vegetables, aromatic spices and Nuts , I would enjoy without any doubt.

Khichdi, I think is one of the healthiest, wholesome and nutritious one pot meal around. If you have pressure cooker, this dish can be done in jiffy.  Like I said Khichdi is such a dish that you don't need to wait for any particular day or season, but you need Mood, I prepare Khichdi according to my mood and health. If  feeling a bit under the weather,  plain khichdi makes me happy, pressed for time just go for Masala khichdi and when I am feeling good and fit, have lots of time on hand, I still make khichdi :) It's just I make more efforts in peeling and chopping vegetables and make Khichdi almost like a Biryani !!! You know, I am not a Biryani fan, so I make Biryani Khichdi :P



I vaguely remembered, I think Khichdi was the first dish which I completely cooked by my own when I was around 9 by observing Mum while she cooks, how would she cut the vegetables, how much spices she was adding and how much precaution she would take while she cooks. My mum used to prepare many types of Khichdi, one of them was Masoor Daal Khichdi, mostly on Sunday evening as at Lunch time usually we would've had heavy and elaborate meals.

Masoor ( red lentils ) Daal Khichdi, cooked with Fresh green beans, freshly ground Garam masala( which lends little darker colour Khichdi ).  You will have Protein and vitamin rich dish from this one pot meal. This satisfying and comfort khichdi can be eaten as it is or enjoy with fresh plain yogurt , roasted papad and fresh salad , sometimes I would love to have with Gujarati Kadhi.



You will need :-

  • 200 g Basmati rice 
  • 200 g Masoor daal 
  • 200 g green beans ( Fansi ) cut
  • 100 g Potato cut and cubed with the skin
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. green chilli and ginger crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 2 clove ( Laving )
  • Small bark of cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. mace powder ( Javentri )
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 black pepper
  • 1 small bay leave
  • 2-3 tbsp oil 
You will need :- Vaghar ( optional )
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • small green chilli chopped
  • Pinch red chilli podwer


Method :-
Clean, wash and soak rice and daal separate for 10-15 minutes. Then discard the water.
Now place all the whole spices in a grinder and grind into powder. Leave it aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add ginger and green chilli, then add onion and garlic.
Sauté onion and garlic for one minute, add potato and green beans.
Fry for few seconds and add rice and daal.
Add ground whole spices according to your taste ( I added 1 tsp. ) red chilli and turmeric powder.
Add salt and fry mixture for 2 minutes.
Add water, close the pressure cooker lid and cook till 3 whistle.
Let the cooker cool naturally.
If you are going to do a vaghar on the khichdi, heat oil, add cumin seeds.
Once crackle add green chillies, red chilli powder and pour vaghar on cooked khichdi.
Serve Hot khichdi with dollop of ghee, yogurt, salad and papad.
Enjoy !!
















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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Fresh Chick peas ( Garbanzos ) and Green Garlic Fritters - Lila chana and Lilu Lasan Vada #kemcho #jcookingodyssey


While me and mum were breaking this such an enormous block of Jageery, with hammer and chisel on one cold morning, there was a knock on the door, we had visitors, one of our family friend with their little girl from the UK came to meet us.

We were so shocked , specially me, when this little girl said 'look mum, it's Gor' in Gujarati, took me minutes to believe what she spoke.  Out of curiosity I asked them so many things about UK and was so amazed when I heard that almost all the Indian groceries and vegetables are available easily in London and big cities of UK.
Coincidently, it was unknown to me that soon I shall be getting married and settling in the UK in not too distant future from the family friend visit. Still I was relaxed because one thing for sure I knew that whatever happens but I will have accesses to Indian groceries in London.




It is fortunate that you can get everything. Recently I went to get some Indian vegetables and I spotted from far some Fresh Ponk ( tender Sorghum ), literally I almost ran to get there, my bad luck couple in front of just picked up the last lot.  So I grabbed one of the assistants and asked him to bring some for me from their stock room.


Darn, I was dispointed to hear that Ponk was out of stock and there was not any delivery of fresh veg and fruit until next day, and it wasn't guaranteed that even in next delivery, PONK will be there or not .While I was with sad face moving ahead I saw cart full of Fresh Chick peas, without second thought I picked up one bag to compensate myself, and from the frozen section also picked up Lilu Lasan ( Green Garlic ) and headed home.

Ponk , Lila Chana and Green garlic is very popular seasonal treat in Gujarat, and it is not available throughout the year. Fresh and tender these gems are true delight. They are perfect winter bounties and I am extremely fond of them.  So once these gems are in my kitchen, I do prepare some traditional delicacies and devour them with great pleasure.

 As soon as I got home, half amount of the Lila Chana ( we call POPTA in Gujarati ) I roasted on a griddle with the pod,and while watching TV one by one I was shelling them and munching on them, I would say one of the best and healthiest snack ever, and then there was an exciting part !




Next there was these unique and delicious Lila Chana ane Lilu Lasan Vada were wafting their incredible aroma in the kitchen and satisfying my cravings for something hot in this chilly weather. These vadas are extremely easy to prepare, spicy, crispy scrumptious and can be done in a matter of minutes. You can adjust spiciness according to your taste, but I would recommend that you eat quite spicy and use Green Garlic in this recipe, because that imparts the unique flavour. Not forgetting it's best to make most of it while it's available. Best accompanied with Green Mint and Coriander chutney, fried green chillies and freshly sliced onion. Great combination ever you can enjoy in winter !



You will need :-

  • 250 g shelled green chana
  • 3 tbsp. green garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped coriander
  • 3/4 cup besan 
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. coarse rice flour ( optional )
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch bi -co -soda
  • 2-3 tbsp. ginger and green chillies crushed ( Not paste )
  • Oil for deep frying 


Method :-
Place fresh chana in a grinder , grind to coarse mixture, do not make paste.
Add everything in a big bowl except oil and mix everything.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadai.
Take small amount of vada mixture and carefully drop in a hot oil.
Now turn the heat low and fry them till crispy but cooked inside well. ( While you are frying vada, prick the vada with pointed knife, so inside of it cook well too )
Do not fry vada too brown.
Serve hot with chutney, fried green chillies, sliced onion and lemon wedges.
Enjoy !
















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Monday, 25 January 2016

Lapsi, Methi ane Bajri Muthia/Muthiya - Broken Wheat ,Fresh Fenugreek and Millet steamed cake #kemcho


We Gujarati love to devour freshly made hot and savoury Muthia with cup of chai or Chaas ( Lassi ) any day. It can be eaten as snack or light lunch, many families even have it for dinner as well.





Put a bowl full of Muthia in front of me and big mug of masala chai in my hand and I'm a preety much a happy camper. Oh and do watch me while I pick up those tiny winy tempered and crunchy sesame and mustard seeds one by one and start to enjoy them..best part ever!




To bring out some real taste of Muthiya remember how important the tempering part is, this is the highlight in bringing the best out of Muthiya, and it is a must that fresh curry leaves, dried red chillies and sesame seeds to be include in the tempering part, as these will release the particular aromas that are important in the Muthiyas. To enhance the taste and texture of the Muthiyas even further, then fry them longer till the crunchiness appears. Okay now make yourself a good cup of tea and consume these crunchy Muthiyas for an unforgettable experience !


It could be Dudhi (bottle gourd ) na Muthia , with little twist I have also prepared Oats, Quinoa and Methi Muthia Methi Muthia, too , Rice and Methi Muthia na Rasawala Muthia . After looking at my Muthia recipes by now you might have an idea that I love one particular ingredient, yes it's Methi ( Fenugreek ) especially fresh methi always makes me and my sunny boy happy .

During winter months in Gujarat, people consume lots of fresh methi and millet ( Bajra ), and I follow the same. At least once or twice we have Bajra rotla in a week and fenugreek sabji too. A fresh bunch of Methi is always useful in the kitchen, for me Ringna Methi sabji must include Methi obviously. My muthiyas made with Methi I've also used in making Undhiyu, another most popular and delicious Gujarati delicacy which we love to core. I am always discovering ideas to include Methi, in my baking ventures and recently prepared Methi and Ajwain Fougasse.


Lapsi, Methi and Bajri Muthia, were also produced in my kitchen because suddenly I got this immense craving to gorge on this healthy, delicious and flavourful Muthia. So this time there is new addition into traditional Methi muthia recipe, It's the Broken wheat, (Lapsi ) that is one of the three healthy ingredients, the other two being Methi and Bajri flour. Together with the earthy flavour of Bajri ,the bitterness of Methi and the nuttiness of Broken wheat combine together takes the Muthiyas to a different level.
Lapsi, Methi and Bajri Muthia, are phenomenal with Chaas ( Lassi or buttermilk ).




You will need :- Muthia

  • 1/2 cup broken wheat - Lapsi - Dalia
  • 1 cup fresh finely chopped fenugreek leaves - Methi
  • 1 cup millet - Bajra flour 
  • 1 tbsp. besan or soya flour
  • 1 tbsp. chapatti flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. ginger chilli paste
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp. sour yogurt
  • 2-3 tabsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

You will need :- Tempering ( Vaghar )

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • Pinch hing
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • 7-8 fresh curry leaves 
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. water
You will need ;- Garnish
  • Handful of fresh finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. grated coconut
  • Lemon wedges 

Method :-
Clean, wash and soak broken wheat in water for half an hour.
Discard the water, add new water and cook broken wheat in pressure cooker, cooked broken wheat should not be runny, almost like cooked rice.
Let it cool at room temperature. ( I generally cook broken wheat at night, and leave it in the fridge to use in the morning )
Take big plate, and mix all the ingredients given for muthia.
Knead into dough, dough should be like chapatti dough.
Apply little oil into your palm.
Divide the dough into equal portions and shape them into round balls.
Arrange them on a greased perforated plate ( thali ) and place in a steamer.
Steam them about 20-25 minutes, insert a knife and check that it comes out clean, meaning it's cooked.  turn off the heat.
Let it cool for 5-8 minutes, carefully remove them from the steamer and leave it aside.
Now prepare the vaghar by heating oil in a kadai.
Add mustard seeds, once crackle add hing, dry red chilli and curry leaves.
Fry for few seconds and add sesame seeds and tomato ketchup.
Cook tomato ketchup for a few seconds and add 2 tbsp. water.
Let water boil and add steamed muthia, carefully sauté them for 4-5 minutes.
Serve hot in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves, grated coconut and lemon wedges.
Best accompanied with Chaas ( Lassi ).
Enjoy !
















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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Poori-Puri - Unleavened Deep Fried Indian Bread #jcookingodyssey #nowonblog


You can devour and enjoy Poori with bhaji, sabji, tea, yogurt pickle, halwa , Siro  kheer , Shrikhand, Keri no ras, Basundi or Doodh paak, or sometime on it's own,  there are endless way to enjoy Poori !! After Roti or Chappatti I think Poori is most well known and versatile Indian bread you can find in Indian Cuisine.



Poori or Puri is an unleavened deep fried Indian bread. When I was a kid,  at one time, in our house Poori used to be counted as a luxurious, novelty and treat, so they were left for mainly big festivals and some special occasions or when guest arrives. Nowadays, I don't fry too often because health doesn't allow it !

I have been making Pooris more than well over three decades. it was always me and my brother who would roll the pooris for Mum, so she can fry them very quickly, she did not mind what shape or size. But we always used to give her perfect round rolled pooris, whenever mum called us to roll poori, while Mum's in the kitchen, my brother would get Papad ( Tortilla ) press without her knowing  and would sit in the sitting room, and we take turn to press the Poori and use stainless steel glass and cut perfect round shape pooris and used to amaze her. After so many years when we told her that we were cheating while making Pooris , she told us she knew what we were doing, but she kept quite because we were having fun:)


We Gujarati's make two type of Poori, Saadi (Plain Basic) poori, and Masala Poori and both variations make delicious combo with sweet and savoury dishes. The moment you see round and fluffy poori coming out of frying pan your worries goes away, obviously the flop ones can be quite overwhelming.  I've been through these stages many times, but now experience speaks a lot !

Now that I talked about experience, let me share with you my experience about Poori. Anyone can make Poori, there are not many hard and fast rules, just keep couple of things in mind.

If you want to make perfect poori, start at very early age, watch your elders how they are making it, help them making it, best to start with rolling few pooris first,  surely one day you will be expert in making Poori.
Never use a thin bottom pan for frying, reason is that oil heats very quickly in those pan and sometimes there is a chance of pan catching on fire.
Always use wide and heavy bottom kadai for frying.
and keep patience and keep the practise going, you will get there !

You will need :-

  • 250 g chapatti atta ( whole wheat flour )
  • 3 tabs oil 
  • Pinch salt 
  • Pinch Ajwain ( optional )
  • Oil for deep frying

Method :-
In a wide plate ( Parat or Kathrot ) place flour.
Add salt , oil and ajwain and mix everything with your fingertips.
Now add water little by little and mix the dough.
Once dough coming together, stop adding water.
Now start kneading the dough, knead dough well for about 8-10 minutes.
Dough should be semi stiff, not soft like chapatti otherwise you will need dry flour to roll the poori and the Poori will start to soak up lot of oil. Also not very stiff either or you will have Pooris with cracks.
Cover the dough for 5 minutes with clean kitchen towel.
Make small equal sized ball.
Start heating oil in a kadai.
Take one ball and roll gently with rolling pin and make round poori.
Do not stack rolled pooris or they will stick to each other.
Once oil is heated, add tiny bit of dough and see if dough comes up straight away on the surface means oil is heated and ready to fry the pooris.
Carefully slip rolled poori into hot oil.
Very gently press with a  perforated spatula  ( jaro ) and Puri should be puff up.
Once puffed up turn poori over and cook other side until light golden.
Remove poori from the kadai.
Serve hot with sweet and savoury dishes.
Enjoy !














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Thursday, 21 January 2016

DOODH PAAK

Rich and aromatic Doodh Paak - a Gujarati style rice pudding is made with basic ingredients such as rice, milk, and sugar and is the quintessential Gujarati dessert made in almost every Gujarati household and enjoyed with Poori/Puri. 


Flavoured with cardamom, nutmeg, and nuts, delectable dessert can be enjoyed with Indian meal or end to a meal.

Rich and aromatic Doodh Paak - a Gujarati style rice pudding is made with basic ingredients such as rice, milk, and sugar and is the quintessential Gujarati dessert made in almost every Gujarati household and enjoyed with Poori/Puri.

Methi and Ajwain ( Fenugreek leaves and Carom seeds ) Fougasse - East meets West !


I can't believe it, why on earth I never baked Fougasse until few months back when by chance I switched on channels and watched Paul Hollywood's baking programme which was broadcasting on BBC2, I think it was repeated programme. He was showing how to make Sour dough starter and few baking recipes using sour dough. OMG, how easy that was, oh yes, whatever he makes look so easy. I always thought that breads like fougasse, difficult to make, but when I saw Paul making it, I could not have been more wrong.



I left everything, once he started making Olive Sour dough Fougasse, there and then I decided that next morning my oven had to do work for me. While he was adding olives and oregano into dough, many things were dancing in my head. Although I was watching TV, my eyes were scanning my refrigerator to find some Desi ( Indian ) stuff..and I found something which I can never get tired of..It was Fresh Fenugreek Leaves ! Well, you all know me right ? I always want to create a recipe where one ingredient always travels from far east and meets the west :) well that's what really I am !



And next afternoon I met one of the most aromatic, rustic and bursting with flavours bread I'd ever encountered. I was so pleased with the results, fresh fenugreek leaves and carom seeds both flavours suited so well and aroma of baking fenugreek leaves was just simply divine, you can't ignore the wonderful baking aromas wafting from the kitchen ! so simple to make and yet so impressive looking, crunchy on the outside and soft inside.

I would definitely say that this recipe is much easier to bake than to actually to pronounce it !!

Although Paul's recipe of Olive Fougasse inspired me to bake Fougaasse, actually I did not follow his recipe as his recipe was using sour dough starter which I did not have that time, but followed his tip to use semolina for dusting.



Fougasse, is a great traditional and popular French bread. It is crusty, and can be flavoured with many ingredients. It is flat and often shaped like a leaf with holes running through the surface.( I am not sure that mine did :) ! And definitely this bread is best torn rather than slice, just pass around the table and each person will tear off the desire quantity. Generally Fougasse share along with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but I prepared flavoured oil with mixed herbs, spices and garlic.

You will need :- For the dough

  • One 7 g sachet of easy - blend yeast or 15 g fresh yeast
  • 500 g strong bread flour + 2 tbsp for dusting
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 300 ml cold water
  • Semolina for dusting 
You will need :- 
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh methi leaves ( do not use dried fenugreek leaves )
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp. ajwain ( carom seeds )
  • Coarse sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. oil
Method :- Dough
In a big bowl place flour, easy blend yeast, sugar and salt.
Mix everything with wooden spatula.
Now mix 100 ml boiling and cold water, it should feel perfectly hand hot.
Add the oil in water.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour oily water all at once.
Quickly using a wooden spatula mix everything to make a soft and sticky dough.
On a clean surface sprinkle flour and tip the soft and sticky dough.
Knead the dough by stretching it away from you then folding it half towards you and pushing it away with the heel of your hands. ( do it about 18-20 times )
Once dough is smooth and silky, put it in a well oiled mixing bowl and cover it with clean kitchen towel and leave it for about one hour. ( No need to put in a warm place )
Mean while make fenugreek mix by heating oil in a pan.
Add ajwain seeds, chilli ginger paste .
Fry just few seconds and add methi leaves.
Keep heat high, and let the methi cook for 2-3 minutes.
Methi mixture should be totally dry.
Let it cool.
Once dough is risen and ready ( the dough is ready when it springs back when you press the dough with your finger. )
Mix semolina and dry flour to sprinkle on the surface.
Now sprinkle semolina and flour mix on the clean worktop , tip the risen dough on it and lightly need in the fenugreek mix.
Pre heat oven to gas mark 7-8 ( high )
Keep baking tray ready dusting with semolina.
Cut the dough in 3-4 equal pieces.
Put the dough piece on dusted baking tray and use your hands to make each peiece into triangle or rectangle shape.
Now create a hole in the dough by using sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts.
Carefully stretch the dough so holes open up more.
Sprinkle some sea salt.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 10-12 minutes.
Serve hot.
Enjoy !




















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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Vegan Carrot, Ginger and Coconut Soup with Saffron Vinaigrette #winterwarmer #comfortfood #hotandsteamysoup #freezingbritain #jcookingodyssey #nowonblog

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!

From mild December 2015, we have moved into very Chilly and freezing January 2016, brrrrrrr , I am frozen! Britain's weather has taken turn and Sunday morning we woke up to white gardens, winter is here and showing its presence.

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!
Every time we open front or back door of the house, freezing cold air makes our bodies numb, which basically makes me want to stay inside our cosy and warm home with my warm and cosy flannel PJs and bathrobe on all the time.

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!

Once cold and chilly days are set, my body constantly demands hot and comfort food, so I have been making hot and steamy food to combat sub zero temperatures.  One of my comfort food is piping hot and steamy bowl of soup because soup is wonderful this time of the year.

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!


Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!

Any vegetable soup, so easy to put together, either roast or just throw everything in the pan or pressure cooker, whiz up and mop it down with good rustic bread.

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!

So the day before yesterday it took me less than half an hour from the start of the recipe prep to the time we were sipping this Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It was sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It was just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!

Carrot, Ginger and Coconut soup. It is sweet, spicy, rich and creamy, just right for a cold day.  It's just simply amazing, A pinch of saffron gives this soup exquisite flavours. The perfect winter warmer with a smooth and velvety texture, wonderfully healthy and nourishing!


You will need:-

  • 500 g fresh carrots washed, peeled and cubed
  • Small  pinch saffron 
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 700 ml vegetable stock 
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh coriander
  • 1 green chilli ( optional )
  • 1 big onion roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch red chilli flakes
  • Pinch nutmeg and cinnamon powder
  • Pinch ground coriander
  • Edible soup flowers for garnishing
  • 1 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper  
You will need;- Saffron Vinaigrette

  • Pinch saffron
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Few drops lemon juice
  • 1/4 Tsp. crushed garlic
Method:- Saffron Vinaigrette 
Place all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and leave it aside for later use.



Method:- Soup
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add onion and garlic and sauté till it turns pink.
Now add green chilli and ginger.
Add chopped carrots, ground coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon powder.
Cook everything about 3-4 minutes.
Add vegetable stock and mix everything.
Close the pressure cooker lid and let the soup cook till 3 whistles. ( If you are cooking it in the pan then until carrots are fully cooked )
Once pressure cooker is cooled naturally, add dry saffron, fresh coriander and whizz up with a hand blender or in the food processor until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the soup in another pan, add coconut milk ( leave a couple of tea spoon for garnishing) and re heat but not boil.
Check the seasoning.
Serve in a serving bowl, drizzle saffron vinaigrette, sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and edible soup flowers.
Serve with rustic bread or bread croutons.
Enjoy HOT !!






















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