Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Meloui | Moroccan Breakfast Pastry

Rghaif is the general name given to leavened or unleavened bread/pastry in Morocco. These are made using mostly all purpose flour, wheat, semolina flours etc and are usually sold as street food. They are typically used to break fast during Eid -ul - Fitr as well. 

When Ramadan was around the corner, I saw as usual several delicacies flying around in the blogging world. This time I did try out the yeasted Moroccan Ramadan breakfast pastry/ pancake called Meloui from here.

This simple yeasted pastry is made using all purpose and semolina flours and it is shaped by rolling the strip of dough like a carpet/rug. I didn't master the art of folding a meloui but yup it came out well and tastewise was yum. Its usually served with honey-butter sauce, but I preferred spicy side and went for another Moroccan side zaalouk  made using eggplant.

All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
Fine ground Semolina: 2 cups
Sugar: 2 tsp
Salt: 2 tsp
Instant Yeast: 1/4tsp
Warm Water: 1.5 cup approximately.

Folding and shaping the pastry
Vegetable oil
Soft Butter
Fine semolina

Mix the dry ingredients of flour,semolina, saugar, salt and yeast in a bowl and add in enough water to form a dough that is soft and easily kneadable. You can add more water/flour as needed to prevent it from being dry / sticky respectively.

Transfer it to an oiled (not floured) counter and with oiled hands knead it somemore time to get a smooth and elastic dough.

Pinch off palm sized pieces of the dough and shape into a round ball. Place it in an oiled/lined baking sheet / bowl and let it rest for atleast 20 minutes covered with plastic wrap.

Take each ball and with oiled hands/ with oiled rolling pin roll it out on counter -preferbaly oiled- to a circle as thin as possible. 

Dot it with butter and then semolina.
Fold this circle in thirds like a letter- fold top third/left third to the centre, then bring the bottom third/right third up to cover the first fold. We will be getting a rectangular piece.
Dot this strip of dough with more butter  followed by semolina.
Then fold again into thirds like a letter. 
You will end up with a very narrow strip of rectangle.
Flatten this strip to remove any air bubbles and sprinkle more semolina.
Then roll it up like a rug/coil pinching the loose end of the dough to the coil to seal it.
Place the rug/roll upright on an oiled tray and cover with a plastic wrap.
Continue this process with all the other dough pieces.

Take a coil/roll and flatten it into a 1/8" thick disc using hands or rolling pin (carefully so that the folds don't disappear within the circle) and cook on a preheated pan/tawa on medium  heat. Turn the sides several times after few seconds till both sides are dotted with brown spots and cooked properly.

Serve warm with sweet syrups or spicy sides like I did.

The shape looked like naan and it was nicely layered inside - this especially if you could flatten it with hand and not rolling pin. the texture was bready and it was very filling. The eggplant side was perfect with this and that post will be up soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fakesoupa | Comfort Greek Style

Come rains and I think about soups. Nothing can beat the comfort provided by soups on rainy night. Though tomato is a regular favourite, I try to make something or other always. This time is the Greek style lentil soup - "Fakes" soup adapted from Souvlaki For the Soul. An easy to make simple yet perfect with brown lentils, basic stock and spices and drizzle of red wine vinegar and Olive oil to round it off.

Whole Brown Lentils (whole masoor dal): 1.25 cups
Onion: 1 finely chopped ~ 1 cup
Carrot: 1 finely chopped ~ 1 cup +
Garlic: 3 medium cloves finely chopped

Dried Bay Leaves:1-2 big leaves or 1 tsp as per taste
Dried Oregano: 2 tsp

Water: 4 cups +  as needed

Tomato Puree : 1 cup 
Tomato Paste : 1 tbsp

Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Red Wine Vinegar + Extra Virgin olive oil: for drizzling
Parsley: for garnish (optional)

In a deep pan saute onion, garlic and carrot in little olive oil till transparent.

Stir in the picked, washed and drained lentils. Add in the rest of the ingredients except oil and vinegar and bring to boil on medium heat.

Reduce to simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes or more until the lentils are cooked yet the teexture is to our taste and the flavours mingled well. 

Serve garnished with red wine vinegar and extra evoo and fresh parsley.

If you find the time too much, you can use precooked lentils and add them to the onions and thus reduce the cooking time. If you don't have tomato paste, then add more tomato puree based on your tanginess quotient.

Greek oregano is much preferred in this though you can go for the regular Italian one like I did. Taste will be slightly different in this case. But still the soup was great and we lapped it up. 

You can play around the ingredients and add small pasta, potatoes, choice of herbs etc.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Workaholic's Hot Chocolate | GoodBye to Chilly Weather

The moment it rains, I make sure I enjoy a cuppa of Hot Chocolate either spiced white hot chocolate or the French style Chocolat Chaud. This time I thought I will do it differently as I saw a thicker version by Paula Deen.

A custardy hot chocolate.... I had never heard of custard being added to hot chocolate.Ofcourse the taste was awesome as they compliment each other. But I was taken aback by the thickness of the chocolate drink. Its very filling too and I skipped my next meal after drinking a cuppa. No wonder its called a workaholic's hot chocolate -- you can keep ooooonnnnnn working for a long time without even taking a snack break.

The original recipe involved making a custard from scratch with eggs and milk, I went for the easier eggless way using custard powder. 


Vanilla Custard :1 cup or more prepared using vanilla custard powder with 1 and 1/4 cup as per instructions given in the packet. 
Semi sweet/milk/dark chocolate: 2 tbsp + grated
Hot milk: 1 cup +

Prepare the custard , take it off heat and stir in the chocolate grated or chopped. Make sure it completely dissolves and you get a smooth mixture. To this add in the additional 1 cup of milk or more if too thick. 

Serve warm in cups garnished with marshmallows, more cocoa, grated chocolate or cinnamon.
You can add any spices while making the custard or your choice of flavours.I bet you can't have more than a cup at a time, but you'll end up making it again and again.

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