Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Leopard Patch Bread |We Knead to Bake #37

My daughter learned about aestivation last year. Aestivation is the hibernation during summer months.Come April May or the Indian Summer I aestivate.. now I can give a name to my condition.Its tough to blog when exams come, school finally closes and travel plans being made.But my aestivation extends usually more than two months.. I enjoy the process sooooo much that I don't feel like coming back.. Posts line up, deadline for events come and go but I am me.. 

Its good to be back though once that starting trouble is over.This post was supposed to be up in April, but as usual I baked and then put it on backburner.. Blogging is something which always gets the back seat in the journey of life. We know its there but yup its the last in the list.. 

Anyways todays post is the leopard patch bread which I baked in between trips.This was the chosen one by Aparna for We Knead to Bake #37and is inspired by Partricia Nascimentos Pao de leite leopardo


All purpose flour: 2 cups
Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Warm milk: 2/3 up
Warm water: 1/2 cup
Melted butter: 4 tbsp or 50 gms
Sugar: 4 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Instant yeast: 2 tsp

Dark Brown Dough:
Cocoa Powder: 3 tbsp
Milk: 1 tbsp

Lighter brown dough:
Cocoa Powder: 1.5 tsp
Milk: 1 tbsp

Combine all dough ingredients into a bowl and stir until it starts leaving the sides of the bowl. 

Transfer to a lightly greased surface and with oiled hands knead it for 6-8 minutes till its smooth and supple. 

Divide it into 2 halves.Shape one half into a ball and place it in a greased bowl and let it rise until double for about 2 hours covered loosely.

Take the other half and divid it into 2 equal portions. To one portion add the lighter cocoa milk and knead well in a processor to get a ligter cocolour dough for the leopard patches.

Repeat the same process with the other portion and darker milk to get a dark brown dough. 

Shape each into a ball and let it rise until double.

Gently deflate each of the dough and divide each into 6-8 equal portions.

Roll each light brown dough piece into long ropes of 8.5 " long.

Roll each dark brown dough piece into ropes of similar length. Flatten the dark rope and place the light brown ropes within them.  These need not be perfectly enclosed as imperfections create the unevenness that show up as beautiful leopard patches.

Roll out the white dough pieces into the same length, roll these to flatten them out and enclose the brown ropes cwith the white piece completely.

Gently roll the enclosed ropes gently increasing their length to about 17". Cut each rope into half to get around 14 ropes of 8.5" long

Arrange these a little unevenly in a greased loaf pan, cover and let it rise for an hour of so until doubled in volume. 

Brush the top with milk.

Bake the bread at 180C for 30-35 minutes, until light golden and done. Remove from the oven and cool it on a rack before slicing. 

The bread is not as sweet as you would want. It will be with a dollop  of nutella or peanut butter or whatever spread you like. You can also go for savoury spread but I prefer chocolate with sweet so never tried. The loaf or remaining slices can be frozen till three months. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Curried Brown Chickpeas - Chana Upkari | Happy Ugadi

Every Friday when I was in school, I would wake up to the sound of fresh pepper being ground in the traditional Indian style spice grinder. No modern pepper mills for my mother.. even now its the same. The pepper would then be added to a seasoning for cooked brown/black chickpeas - kaala chana - along with a handful of coconut gratings to make Konkani style chona upkari. 

Every Friday it was a ritual to include chickpeas in the menu. No idea why this was but most Konkani homes followed this tradition on Fridays and also festival days as well.This continues even today and come Thursday night, I will soak chickpeas (black /white) or rajma or other dried beans (being little experimental).

Ugadi or New Year for Konkani, Kannada and Telugu communities falls today and is being celebrated with traditional rituals and food. A New Year for me means Khotte/Ittu along with my mom's special coriander chutney, lemon pickle (nonche), chana ghhasshi and upkari.  Every Konkani festival this was my breakfast. Though ofcourse marriage changed all this. Its good to have a spread when your mom is cooking, but when you have to do it, then its a bit tough...ahem !! 

Anyways today being Friday and also Ugadi, I thought I would share the simple chana upkari with you all. Khotte/ Ittu being a distant dream due to lack of jack fruit leaves and inability of yours truly to turn the leaves magically into a basket.. Oh.. the Goodness of mothers..


Brown Chickpeas : cooked 1 cup  (any chickpeas will do)
Soak 1/2 cup chickpeas overnight and cook it in a pressure cooker next day  or 1 hour on stovetop adding little salt.

Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera : a very small pinch 
Curry Leaves: 5-8 
Dried Red Chillies: 1-2 
Fresh grated Pepper : 1/2 tsp +/- (adjust the chillies and pepper )

Salt: as per taste
Fresh coconut gratings: handful /as per your taste

Wash and pressure cook the soaked chickpeas adding little salt. Once done drain the cooking water. You can keep this water for later use like to make rasam or whatever you want as its good healthy lentil water. You can even use canned chickpeas after draining off the water.

Heat oil in a deep pan. Add mustard. When it sizzles add cumin ,red chillies, curry leaves and fresh grated pepper. Let these sizzle till you get a nice aroma from the pepper. Add in the cooked chickpeas and saute well to mix everything well.

Mix in the coconut gratings and let it cook for 1-2 minutes on low flame so that water if any is remaining will be absorbed by the coconut and we get a dry curry. Adjust salt and garnish with more coconut if needed before serving.

Serve as side to whatever you like - idli, khotte/ittu, dosa, puri ,roti/breads or even rice.. Goes well even as a teatime snack... be creative and be traditional.

Wishing all a healthy & prosperous Ugadi and wonderful year ahead..

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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