Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Komaj- Persian Date & Cumin Bread | We Knead to Bake #18

I am not a great fan of dates. In shakes as syrups, I am ok but won't miss it if not there. Else ofcourse my mother turns it into a sweet snack, which I have no qualms eating but don't ask me to make it. 

Note to  Self: I am making it one day.... umm it will come soon....)

So when Aparna gave a cumin and date bread from Iran I was happy to go with it. After all its tough seeing the date packet peeping out whenever I open the fridge. I know.. 

Anyways the only catch here was will my daughter give a thumbs up? The bread also had spice ingredients like turmeric and cumin seeds along with dates and will the combo be a hit?

I actually couldn't wait to taste the bread and was biting my nails when finally I got a thumbs up sign from her. Whew.. 

Not much can't be found about this bread on googling and this recipe from Aparna for We Knead to Bake #18 is from the Greg & Lucy Malouf's book - Saraban-The Chefs' Journey through Persia.As usual I halved the recipe and replaced egg or rather half of it with cornstarch.Also I replaced almost half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.


Instant Yeast: 1/2 tsp
Warm Water: 1 tbsp + few more tbsp

All Purpose Flour: 1cup
Whole Wheat Flour : 14 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1.25 -1.5 tsp toasted & coarsely crushed
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp+ optional  1/8 tsp

Egg: 1/2 or optional (replaced with 1 tbsp cornstarch + 1.5 tsp water mixed as a paste)

Warm milk: 1/3 cup + 2-3 tbsp
Olive Oil: 2.1/4 tsp olive oil

Dried dates: 8-10 pitted and chopped
Unsalted butter: soft 2 tsp
Cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp

Milk: Brushing on top


Dissolve yeast in water and keep aside for 10 minutes and let it bubble up a bit.

Add in the flours, crushed cumin (1.25 tsp) , sugar, turmeric and salt to a  bowl and mix well. Add the yeast mix and optional egg and mix till it is incorporated. I used 1tbsp cornstarch mixed into a paste with 1.5 tsp of water to replace half an egg.

Add milk and oil and knead to have a smooth pliable dough thats not sticky. I needed more liquid to get a pliable dough. So I added around 2-3 tbsp of milk and water each and kneaded till I got a dough. It was pliable and yellow in colour and moist, but not sticky. It didn't look smooth was  okay. 

Shape into a ball and place in a greased  bowl, turning once to coat. Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled for an hour atleast. I went for almost 2 hours.

When risen deflate it , shape into a round and put back for a second rise for an hour or so.

Prepare the filling by mixing the filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Divide the dough into 2 portions and each portion into 2 giving 4 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll out the portion into a 1/4" -1/8" thick rectangle.

Choose a cookie cutter that is 8cm widest, press it down lightly on one half of the rectangle. You can see the outline/marks on the dough. 

Place 1 tsp of filling at the approximate centre of this mark/outline, fold over the other half of the rectangle over the filling and now it looks like a covered square or circle based on the cookie cutter you have chosen.

With the same cookie cutter, cut the portion with the filling in the centre and in such a way that the sides are neat and well sealed.

Repeat with the remaining portions and reroll the scraps and repeat the process to get 2-3 pieces based on size. I got a total of 6 pieces and 1 smaller piece.

Place the komaj on a lightly greased or lined  baking sheet leaving some space between them as they puff up on baking. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes.

Brush them with milk and sprinkle remaining cumin seeds on top pressing lightly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 8-10 minutes . Take out and serve warm optionally dusting with powdered sugar.

Yum one as I had mentioned earlier. The dates make it sweet and the cumin adds a bite. umm.
 Let me munch on.. while you take a look at komaj baked by others at Aparna's

Psst.. She also had a packet of dates peeping out of fridge.. anyway we can say thanks to komaj, dates ke acche din aaye hain!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vegan Russian Salad | Go healthy with Washington Apples

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away.  

Today its not just a proverb but a proven fact.

The mystical or forbidden fruit is actually good to you.Rather its not forbidden anymore. It is said that an apple or atleast three a day gives you the full benefits of apples and help you live life healthy and beautiful.

They raise the good cholesterol, lower the bad one and supports weight loss. In general it keeps you and your family healthy. They reduce the chances of heart diseases and cancer and keeps lungs healthy.

So go healthy with  the best apples a.k.a. Washington Apples

To increase the awareness about the goodness of apples, the SCS group and Washington State Apple commission had held an interactive session where renowned nutritionist Sheela Krishnaswamy shared tips on healthy eating and answered queries.

Washington State Apple Commission  is a state owned but self governing body from the prominent apple state of Washington. SCS group is a Gurgaon based agri business firm that helps bring the healthy apples from Washington state in USA to your homes and on your plate.

Though unable to attend the show, I got to review the apples and try out the interesting recipes that were demonstrated at the vegan restaurant Carrots in Koramangala, Bengaluru where the talk was held. Especially the Vegan Russian Salad with Cashew Mayonnaise.

I am posting the recipe verbatim though you can definitely play around with the quantities of the ingredients based on your taste as I did .

 Red Delicious Apple: cubed 30 gms

Sweet Potato: cubed 20 gms
Carrot: cubed 20gms
Green Peas: 20 gms

Cashew Mayonnaise: 100 gms

Steam/boil the sweet potatoes, carrot and peas.
Mix these with cashew mayonnaise and apple cubes.

Chill for an hour atleast and serve as a delicious salad.

The recipe is simple and quick but healthy and yum.You can go for your choice of mayo but I preferred the cashew mayonnaise the recipe suggested.

I made my own cashew mayo but more on that later..

Now get healthy by munching a Washington Apple as no other apple comes close.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cheddar Rosemary Scones | Baking Partners June

It was very long since I baked scones. That too savoury. So for this month's Baking Partners challenge, thanks to Swathi and Archana, I finally baked simply yummy cheddar rosemary scones. Cheese and herb definitely do wonders to your appetite. So munching on the scone, lets see the recipe.

Self Raising Flour: 225gms: ~ 1.8 cups 
All Purpose Flour 225 gms + 1.25 tsp of Baking Powder + 1/4 tsp salt

Mustard: 1.5 tsp
Salt & Pepper: a pinch each

Butter: 4 tbsp or 50 gms cold cubed

Cheddar cheese: grated : 50 gms + more for topping
Fresh Rosemary chopped: 1/4 cup

ButterMilk: 150 ml 
Yogurt: 100ml + water: 50 ml whipped together

Whip yogurt and water together to make 150 ml buttermilk.Keep aside. 

In a bowl whisk together self rising flour, salt, pepper and mustard. Incase you don't have the said flour, you can use all purpose flour mixed with baking powder and salt as in 1 cup self raising flour = 1 cup apf + 1 tsp 
baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt. 

To the flour mix, add in cubed cold butter and pinch and fluff till you get sand consistency. Mix in cheese and chopped fresh rosemary. You can go with your choice of cheese and herb and even use dried herbs.

Make a well and add in buttermilk starting with half or three fourth of the quantity and gently bring together to get a dough. Transfer this to a lightly dusted surface and continue kneading till you get a smooth dough. 

Roll out the dough into a circle with radius 3". Transfer to a greased or lined baking sheet and cut the dough into quaters and each quarter into half getting a total of 8 pieces.

Brush the top of each piece with remaining buttermilk and top with grated cheese (I went slow with this) and more fresh/dried herbs.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C (rather than 220c as mentioned in the recipe ) for about 15-20 minutes or more till the scones are slightly risen and turn brown on the top. You can see the cheese browning (as it is cheddar) and inhale the heady aroma of rosemary.The bottom should sound hollow when tapped.

Take out and serve warm with optionally more  cheese and if needed with a dip. Perfecto for tea time and snack time at school.You can try various other seasonings and even go with half wholewheat flour.Just remember to increase the amount of baking powder in this case. 

Lets see how others have enjoyed their scones and tarts at Swathi's.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nutty Oaty Maply Apple Crisp | Perfect Celebratory Dessert

It has been long since I posted a recipe. Earlier there was summer hols and then I became netless. Since Friday I have trying to post and the net is playing hide and seek. Finally its now back on track but dunno how long.

Lets get straight to the the maply oaty apple crisp which is healthy and yum.

Apples: about 2-3 apples thinly sliced.

All Purpose Flour: 2 tbsp
Oats: 2 -3 tbsp
Brown Sugar/ Demerara Sugar: 4 tbsp
Powdered Cinnamon: 1/8-1/4 tsp

Cold Cubed butter: 2 tbsp

Walnuts: 2 tbsp

Maple Syrup: 2 tbsp
Powdered Cinnamon: 1/4 tsp

Mix together flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter into this and pinch and fluff till the mixture is crumbly.Stir in walnuts.

Combine apple, maple syrup and cinnamon in a large bowl. Spoon this apple mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mix on the top as a separate layer. 

Bake at 375F or 180C for about 35-45 minutes or until top becomes brown and mixture bubbles. 

Serve warm with a dollop of icecream as a perfect dessert.

Yummo if I am to borrow Rachel Rays words. I have adapted it to suit me from here.You can actually play around with the crumb mixture - keep it oats only or use multigrain flour or your choice.

By the way this is how we quietly celebrated TastyCurryLeaf turning 7 last day of May. So have a slice of crisp....

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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