Monday, August 30, 2010


Gözleme is a Turkish flatbread that is made usually from all purpose flour and is stuffed with a veg or meat filling and cooked on a griddle. It is from Anatolia region in  Turkey and on cooking on a griddle gets brown spots on it or 'göz' in Turkish.As per wiki, it is a pastry but the way it is made is similar to the way we make maida roti or  kulcha or even a Tortilla.In some sites I have also seen it referred to as a pancake.The filling inside the gözleme makes it similar to quesadilla and here(1,2,3) you can see the video of making a gözleme just like a quesadilla.In most of the sites it is given as a yeasted bread but I found a rectangular,non yeasted  gözleme at Binnur's Turkish CookBook and have adapted from it.As I said it is the simple mixing of flour and salt with enough water to form a dough which after resting is rolled out and stuffed and cooked.For filling,I simply crumbled tofu and mixed it with onion and cilantro and spices and went for a vegan filling.

All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
Salt: 1/2 tsp or as per taste
Water: 1/4 -1/2 cup as needed to make a dough

Tofu: crumbled: almost 1 cup
Onion:6-8  tbsp finely chopped
Cilantro: few sprigs chopped
Red chilli flakes (optional)


Filling: Mix all the filling ingredients and keep aside.Let tofu absorb all the flavours for atleast 30 minutes.You can go for your choice of filling -veg or non veg as well.

In a bowl,sift together flour and salt.Adding enough water knead to form a smooth elastic dough.Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for atleast 15 minutes.

Cut the dough into 4 equal parts.Take a piece,roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thin circle and then place 2-3 tbsp of filling in the middle.Fold the opposite sides of the circle to cover the filling.The pic with the first side folded is ...

Then fold the 3rd and fourth sides as well to form a rectangle.After 3 sides it looks like..

and finally ready to cook,...

You can checkout the pictures in the original recipe at Binnur's as well.

Heat a pan/skillet/tawa to medium heat and place the rectangular gözleme on it and cook for max 1-2 minutes till the brown spots appear on it. The brown spots similar to eye or goz in Turkish has given the gözleme its name.Turn over and cook the the other side also.Brush the already cooked side with melted butter or oil for a vegan version.I used oil.Also brush the other side with oil/butter as well.Alternatively before placing the gözleme on the skillet you can spray the skillet with oil and cook it. Repeat the process with all the other dough balls as well.Serve with thick yoghurt or your choice of accompaniments. 

The bread was hearty and filling.The gözleme can also be used as a lunch box item and we can try out various fillings as well.This also warms up AWED:Turkey at Janet's Saveur,an event by DK.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hearty Banoffee Cupcakes

Okay,before reading this post of mine,let me warn you in advance that these are very hearty but turned out to be amateurish attempt by an amateurish baker.I am no patch to the ones made by Aparna here. From the moment she posted the banoffee cupcakes,I wanted to make some.Then finally I made the cupcakes which turned out fine,but my condensed milk toffee sauce goofed up. But I remade it again though I am not sure it could be called a 'sauce' .But anyway heres my version which is as hearty as the original.

All purpose Flour: 1 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Baking Powder: 1.5 tsp

Butter: softened: 4 tbsp
Brown Sugar: 1/3 cup packed
Mashed Banana: 1 no: or 8 tbsp
Egg - 1 or Egg replacer: 1/4 cup (I used 1 tbsp flax fround with 3 tbsp water)

Thick Slices of banana: 6-8

Toffee Sauce:
Butter: 2 tbsp
Condensed Milk: 8 tbsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Whipped Cream
Sprinkles/ Chocolate shaved/Chocolate vermicelli

Sift together flour,salt and baking powder in a bowl.In another big bowl,beat together butter and sugar until smooth.Beat in egg /egg replacer until well incorporated.

Here I used flax seeds as a replacer.You can use any other as well.Flax leaves grains in the finished product but since we are using mashed banana which also leaves its fibres in the product,I thought flax also fits here.Feel free to use your choice.Also I was short of 1 tbsp of butter,so I beat in 1-2 tbsp of banana before folding the rest of banana and flour mix.

Fold in mashed banana and sifted dry mix and beat in until well mixed .Here since my batter was a bit thick,I added 1-2 tbsp of water to get the cake batter consistency.

Bake at 180C for about 15-20 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.Mine took exactly 15 minutes.

Let it cool completely while you prepare the toffee sauce.

Here I had to make the sauce twice.First time ,it was so hard that it was like toffee and not toffee sauce.Second time around I lightly boiled it and stopped when it was still liquid.Melt butter in a thick bottomed pan and add in condensed milk and pinch salt.I used salted butter and so avoided salt.Boil till it turns light brown.Keep aside.

As suggested by Aparna,I used the cone method to insert the sauce into the cupcakes.You can see the pictorial for this at BakingBites but my simple attempt is also here.

Frost it with whipped cream and sprinkles/chocolate curls or vermicelli.Perfect cupcakes with a toffee sauce.

 Simple but droolworth dish which also goes to Valli's Tried & Tasted - an event by Lakshmi- where MyDiverseKitchen is in the spotlight.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Domatesli Pirinç Çorbası-Turkish Tomato & Rice Soup

Tomatoes is one of my favourites and I love especially rices and soups with it.There are more soups with tomato in this bog as well.I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a simple and delish Turkish style Tomato soup with rice here in this site and tried it out.The name in Turkish may be a mouthful but the soup is worth it.


Vegetable Oil:1-2 tbsp
Tomatoes: 2 big grated:: almost 3/4 cup
Tomato Puree: 2 tbsp
Veg Broth: 1 and 1/4 cup or more as needed
Water: 3/4 -1 cup
Rice: any short grain: 1/4 cup

Parsley/Cilantro : for garnish (optional)

Grate the tomatoes in a bowl.This is the easiest way of making a fresh puree while removing the skins as well.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan(use butter for non vegan versions) and add the grated tomatoes.Let them cook for a few minutes till the raw smell starts to disappear.Add in tomato puree and continue cooking for few more minutes.Add in the broth and water - you can go for only broth  -and bring it to a boil.Reduce and add the cleaned rice and cook till the rice is done but still a soupy consistency is there.Add in salt and pepper and serve in bowls garnished with parsley. I had only frozen parsley so I went for a cilantro garnish .

The dish is pretty easy to make and the above estimate serves 2 hearty appetites or even 1 if you take it as the only meal.It is tangy or tomatoey and requires extra pepper but is excellent and filling for wintry nights.You can use only broth rather than adding water.I wanted the tomato taste to be in the forefront and not the broth's so went for a mix.Add as much liquid as needed to cook the rice and more as the soup thickens with time and ther should be liquid as it is a soup and not rice.

The soup also warms AWED:Turkey at Saveur.And is also off to Healing Foods: Tomato hosted at SeduceYourTasteBuds,an event by Siri.

The elegant soup is also featured in FoodCandy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coffee & Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Squares

The year 2008 was happiest for me. I went to US and once there,I discovered blogging and baking. Madhuram of EgglessCooking was the one who motivated me to bake(I blindly follow her advice) and DK of ChefInYou behind my  international experiments. The year also made me discover several reverred bloggers and one in particular that astonished me was Aparna of MyDiverseKitchen.It was BBD#12 hosted by Aparna (also thanks to Zorra),that I first delved into her blog.I always thought you could never bake breads and other delicacies in India what with the powercuts and nonavailability of items and all other excuses.Actually the fact that she is doing this in India,allowed me to mentally prepare myself to continue baking when I returned in 2009.Ofcourse by that time,I was very happy to see Sunshinemom, Deeba and Simran baking and blogging happily in India.

Once I returned (and till now) I keep on mailing her my baking doubts(hope she does not mind) and have also tried out few recipes -baking and otherwise -from her and her I am posting the latest one tried from her - Coffee and chocolate Chunk shortbread squares. OMG its scrumptious.I usually put off making shortbread as it is buttery but since I had few extra choco pieces I decided to go for it.You must surely do a shortbread by Dorie Greenspan and suggested by Aparna.I halved the recipe and 2 sticks of butter gave me hiccups and halving seemed a nice idea.Still I got around dozen and more  pieces of which just few remained the next day.

All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
Salt : a pinch

Unsalted Butter : 1 stick /100gms/1/2 cup:softened
Powdered Sugar: 1/3 cup

Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
Coffee : 2 tsp powder + 2 tsp Hot Water mixed together

Chopped Chocolate: 6-8 tbsp

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla and prepared coffee (coffee powder + hotwater mixed or coffee decoction). Beat in sifted flour and salt on very low speed just until combined. The dough will be crumbly and sand like but donot overwork the dough as it can affect the texture of the shortbread.Fold in chopped chunky choc pieces.

Transfer the dough onto a ziploc bag or within plastic wrap and gently press outt the dough with hands or rolling pin to a 1/4 ' thick rectangle.Turn the wrap/bag to the other side and while rolling occasionally lift the plastic from the creases and gently press out air pockets if any.Cover completely and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for atleast  24 hours.The more the time taken,the perfect the shortbread will look.

Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180C/ 360F. Take out the dough remove the plastic wrap or ziploc bag and cut the dough into 1.5" inch squares and place these on a lined baking sheet.The original recipe goes for unlined or non greased baking sheet.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes till the edges start browning. Mine by done around 15 minutes or so.Keep an eye after the 12 minutes else you will end up with  burnt chocolate squares. :)

Cool on a wirerack and enjoy the crumbly buttery taste with choco chunks thrown in. Lipsmacking.I loved it warm from the oven. and somehow only clicked the pics.

This is my first entry to T&T:MyDiverseKitchen at SriValli's, an event by Lakshmi.Enjoy the sinful chocolate shortbread.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moroccan Carrot Salad

This is a simple salad that has the Moroccan flavours of cumin and coriander.I found this salad in Vegetarian times and was curious how it comes out.I am not sure whether it is authentic Moroccan dish but hearty and easy it sure is.Cumin and coriander are spices that I normally use in spicy gravies and rarely in a salad especially as whole seeds.So I just crushed them a little so that the flavours are easily mixed in.

Carrots: grated:  cup
Currants: handful: almost 1/4  cup
Apple Juice: 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice: 1.5 tsp
Olive Oil: 1-2 tsp

Walnuts: handful : almost 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds: 1tsp +/-
Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp+/-

Cayenne Pepper /Chilli powder: to taste
Salt: to taste

Cilantro: garnish

Wash,peel and grate carrots in a bowl alnong with currants..Add in the oil and juices and little salt.

Toast the walnuts,cumin and coriander seedds till the seeds emanate a nice aroma and the nuts start to brown.Lightly crush the toasted mix and add it to the carrot bowl.Toss well.Add in cayenne pepper or chilli powder and adjust salt and serve garnished with cilantro.

A simple easy to make carrot salad with flavours not commonly used in salads.You can use raisins instead of currants,but I  felt the orange carrots contrasts nicely with the colour of the currants.The apple juice adds slight sweetness and you can adjust the quantity with lemon juice .A sweet,spicy and tangy salad which is  refreshing and I loved it.The apple juice makes it a bit sweet,lemon juice add tartness and currants are slightly tangy.Add to it the heat or spiciness from the coriander seeds and cumin.A mouthful of salad gives you What I did not like in the salad was the walnuts.I am not a nuts person-I like them only in baked goodies and not in salads or sides-so I may omit them the next time.

This simple salad is visiting NCR:Carrots at TinnedTomatoes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spiced Cocoa Nibbles

These are hearty and spiced snacks that I saw in Saveur's TasteSpace.She had made these simple nibbles or snack bars from Eat Me Delicious and had added mint leaves to make them heartier and more refreshing.I started making the same when I read about the flavour variations she had suggested.Without wasting anytime,I added pepper and chilli flakes along with cloves and cinnamon and it was very hearty.

Almonds: 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
Dates: chopped: 1 and 1/4 cup
Cocoa Powder : 1 tbsp
Cinnamon Powder
Clove powder
Chilli flakes

Blend together chopped dates and almonds along with the cocoa,spices and vanilla.If the dates are dry then you can add little water while blending.Blend to a fine paste that sticks together when pressed and the dough rolls along the edges of the blender.Mine looked like...

Pour the dough in a clean plastic wrap and with your hands shape the dough into a dense log making sure to squeeze out the airspace.Wrap the log in plastic and roll few more times.

Refrigerate the dough log for atleast 2 hours or overnight (much better).Slice it up and serve and enjoy the spiced nibbles.

The nibbles are excellent midnight or anytime snack I must say.I loved the spiced version, though adding any spice of your choice or spiceless is delectable as well.The cocoa powder has a sharp taste and if used more this will be prominent in the nibbles.You can also go for drinking chocolate powder or sweetned cocoa instead.The taste is that of dates and spices and we can say the almonds are hidden ingredient in the nibble.I am not sure mine came perfect as it was very slightly sticky -most probably I had added more water while blending.So make sure its as perfect as commercial ones.You can play around with spices and make these comfort nibbles as you like.They are oil free and filling snacks and give the perfect enrgy to go on with your work or satisy your craving for chocolate.Thanks Saveur for the keeper recipe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pita Bread

Pita is a  round pocket bread that is prevalent in Middle East and Mediterranean cuisine.The pocket in pita is formed when the steam puffs up the dough while cooking and when cooled there is  a pocket in the middle. I had never attempted a pita before but was tempted to when I found an excellent recipe at Peter Minakis' Kalofagas.He had adapted the recipe from Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiaduo.

All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
Salt: :1 tsp or as per taste
Instant Yeast: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Olive oil:2 tbsp

Warm Water : 1 and 3/4 cup or as needed.
Corn meal : for dusting
Vegetable oil for greasing the pan

In a bowl add water,oil,yeast,salt and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes or until active.Add in flour in to the bowl and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and leave in a warm spot for rising about 30 minutes.

Divide the risen dough into 6 pieces.Roll out each piece into 1/4 inch  thick 8-10 inch rounds.Dust with corn meal and poke each round with the tines of the fork gently.

Heat a pan on medium heat and spray with little oil.Place a pita on the hot pan/skillet and cook for a few minutes till you see it puffing up.Flip to the other side and cook till done.

Stack the pita one on top of the other and keep wrapped in foil or warm towels till serving time.Serve it with your choice of gravy or loaded with salad or your choice of filling.

The pita puffed up excellently and you can see the pocket here :)

The pita tasted fine with the salad I stuffed up inside.The texture was right and same as that of shop bought ones. You can also cut it into small pieces and bake into pita chips.Thanks Peter for the keeper recipe.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zucchini & Carrot a Scapece

Scapece (pro. skahpeysay) is an Italian dish -side or salad and usually has a poached/fried  vegetable/meat in an vinegary/acidic sauce/marinade before serving. The word scapece is supposed to be from Persian 'sikbag' which means acidic.The dish is also called Escabeche (pro.eskabesh) in Spain and Savoro in parts of Italy and Greece.The preparation is very simple and zucchini scapece is popular in Naples. I was looking for a zucchini recipe-when I have something like zucchini I always think of a new dish first rather than go for a tried and tested ones- as I had one waiting for turn in my fridge and since this dish was simple and involved deep frying -a favourite when its chilly outside- I did it.I used Giada's recipe from FoodNetwork for making my scapece but the estimates could be a bit off the mark as I had a single medium size zucchini.

Zucchini: 1

Garlic: 1-2 cloves
Fresh Basil
Fresh mint

Red Wine Vinegar: 4 tbsp +

Olive Oil: for deep frying:

Slice the zucchini into little bit thick rounds.Likewise peel and slice the carrot in a similar way.No need to peel the skin of zucchini. Crush together garlic,mint and basil.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and deepfry zucchini rounds if needed in batches.Drain on papertowels and while still warm arrange in a single layer on a serving dish.Sprinkle salt and pepper and half of the garlic-herbs mixture.You may not go for layering,but toss everything together in a bowl as in the original recipe,but I wanted it in a layered way as the green and orange look good.The first layer looks like

Meanwhile deepfry the carrot slices in the same oil adding more if needed.Drain these on paper towels and while still warm,arrange them on top of zucchini layer and sprinkle salt and pepper and rest of the garlic -herb mix on these too.

Now drizzle vinegar on top of the layers.I used capfuls of vinegar and it looks like..

Cover with a plastic wrap and let it marinate overnight in the fridge.

Serve cold or room temp as a side salad.

Not much of a recipe,but I made the pics colourful.Iwish I could serve it as a starter,but as the name and taste suggests,it is acidic or very vinegary or tangy and not many may like a very tangy starter.I suppose you use this as a side salad  with certain  dishes to balance out the flavours. It is also said that this is used as a way of preserving rabbits,quails and other game meat and can also be served as starter,but unless you are a very tangy person(I am ),you may not like this dish.So do check out the original Giada recipe and make your scapece.Anyway my zucchini was put to the best use as we liked it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nohut Salatasi- Turkish Chickpea Salad

This is a simple yet delectable and healthy salad from the versatile turkish cuisine.Turkish cuisine is fusion of Arabic,Balkan and other cuisines in the middle east.Apart from certain dishes throughout the country,it is a mix of regional cuisines.I had found Turkish to be full of dishes which can be easily converted to vegan or vegetarian depending on how you want it and a vegean/vegetarian will have a variety to choose from if at all he/she goes to Turkey :). Anyway after trying Turkish soup,Kofteh and Tomato Salad this is another one such dish which is easy to prepare and healthy. This is a simple chickpea salad that is from the Classical Turkish Cooking by Ayla Algar.I got the said recipe from here and also referenced this blog where it has been tried out.

Chickpeas: 1/2 cup
Red onion: 1 small

Red/Green Jalapenos : I used green chillies: chopped/sliced:1-2 as per taste
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh /Frozen Parsley
Thyme: I ued dried
Mint: fresh/ dried
Tarragon :substitute with marjoram/basil: I used dried
Garlic: Crushed: 1-2 cloves
Cumin: crushed : substitute with cumin powder.
Olive oil: 2+ tbsp
RedWine Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp +
Salt & Pepper : to taste

Soak chickpeas and cook till done.Remove the skin of chickpeas (I did not) and toss it in a big bowl along with finely chopped red onion.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the chickpeas-onion and toss well to combine.Let it sit for  atleast 30 minutes for the flavours to be absorbed.Adjust salt,pepper and vinegar/lemon juice serve at room temperature or chilled.

You can adjust the herbs as per taste and availability.I used more cilantro than parsley and substituted tarragon with dried marjoram.You can also use basil(fresh/frozen/dried) instead of tarragon.Also you can replace redwine vinegar with lemon juice though I used a mix of both.The taste was excellent.Chicpeas and herbs go a long way and here the first taste is that of the lemony herbs followed by the filling heartiness of the chickpeas.This can be used as a side salad or even a pita filling or a whole bowl can be served as a filling lunch.

This is my first entry to AWED:Turkish at Saveur, an event by DK.This also goes to MLLA #26 at Simona's,an event by Susan.

Update on 12,August : The salad is also visiting CWF:Chickpeas at NithuBala's, an event by Kiran

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pappa al Pomodoro:Tomato Bread Soup

One of the major attractions while making Tuscan bread was that I could use it for making Pappa al Pomodoro or Tuscan Tomato Bread soup.This is said to be the first course of poor Tuscan cuisine and is a peasant style soup.It is said that to make true Pappa al pomodor you have to use unsalted Tuscan bread,fresh tomatoes,broth,garlic and basil.I made my soup using Mario Batali's recipe at FoodNetwork.

Tomatoes: Peeled and chopped: loosely 1 and 3/4 cup
Onion: finely chopped: loosely 6 tbsp
Garlic: 1 clove
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1 tbsp+
Tuscan Bread:cubed/cut into chunky pieces:1 cup
Water:1.5 cups
Fresh Basil:2 tbsp + as needed

Remove the skin of tomatoes by blanching them in hot water and then dipping in ice cold water. Roughly chop them.Finely chop the onion and mince/crush the garlic.Cube the bread and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions and crushed garlic.Saute till the onion turns transparent.Add in tomatoes along with its juices if any and little salt and let it cook till the tomatoes soften and start to break down.This takes about 5 minutes or so.Add in bread cubes and water and let it simmer till the bread soaks up all the water and soup acquires a porridge or babyfood consistency. Stir in chopped/torn basil and adjust the salt and add pepper and serve hot garnished with parmesan.

The soup or porridge was excellent and very filling.Obviously I love tomato soups and this one is heartwarming and compared to normal soups this is done within minutes.The pics do not do justice to the soup.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brown Rice Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a middle eastern salad of bulgur,parsley,mint with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.This dsh is versatile as several additional ingredients can be added and it has several variations where bulgur is replaced with other forms of grain.I had made the normal bulgur tabbouleh and was surprised when I saw the whole grain tabbouleh in the Vegetarian Times.That time I had just purchased brown rice -ok,this is a post from my drafts -but even now cannot believe that brown rice is available in India. After seeing just a few packets of brown rice in a hypermarket,I am still surprised when I see the varieties available now at another one right from Brown basmati to brown kolam rice-there are atleast 5 varieties of brown rice available at certain places.But ofcourse other varieties of whole grains are just trickling in and are  unavailable/highly expensive at most places.Coming back to the recipe, the original mentioned that we could use brown rice instead of bulgur and so I simply adapted the recipe.

Brown Rice: 1 cup cooked
Chopped Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes Halved: 1/2 cup+
Cucumber: peeled & cubed:1/2 cup +
Red onion: chopped: 1/4 cup+

Fresh Parsley & Mint: as per taste
Salt&Pepper: as per taste

Garlic Cloves: 1-2
Olive Oil:1 tbsp+
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp+

In a big bowl,mix together the cooked rice and chopped cucumber, tomatoes and onion.Add chopped fresh herbs,salt & pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a small pan,add the garlic cloves and allow it to sizzle a bit.Remove from heat and let it cool.Pour over the rice and veggies along with lemon juice.Mix well and adjust the salt-pepper- lemon juice just as you want.Serve at room temp or chilled garnish with fresh parsley or mint.

The salad is very healthy as it has brown rice.Instead of this,you can also use kamut,quinoa,wheat berries  or even couscous.This is just the basic tabbouleh recipe with traditional ingredients.On taste testing,the flavours just burst in your mouth. Rather than going for an elaborate rice pulao/pilaf, this is something that we can whip up easily and is less spicy and lighter yet filling on the stomach and is perfect especially in summer.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

/*TYNT script starts here */ /*TYNT ends */