Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Apple Challah

Last year I was on a long break from baking. It was not intentional. With my daughter off to college there is no one at home to eat my experiments. During one of her visits from college I broke the baking drought with this Apple Challah, a recipe I have wanted to bake ever since I saw it in a Facebook baking group.


Partially cooked apples are added to challah dough to make Apple Challah. The apples with a little apricot jam add a lovely flavor to the bread. You can make the dough as rich as you want with the addition of eggs and honey. Or you can keep it simple with a water challah recipe as I did.


I tried a cornstarch glaze but it did not give me the deep golden color I was looking for. After the bread was almost done I added a glaze of watered down apricot jam and that gave the bread the shine and the deep color I was looking for.

You will need
For the filling
1 apple
1/2 lime
1 tsp. apricot jam/preserve
1 scant tsp. cinnamon powder

For the dough
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. instant yeast granules
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

For the glaze
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apricot jam

First you want to make the dough. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients for the dough followed by the wet ingredients. Combine to form a soft sticky dough. Knead well until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover and keep aside for an hour or until it doubles in volume.

During the last 10 minutes, Cut the apple in quarters. Remove the seeds and then cut into thin slices. In a small bowl add a cup of water and the juice of a 1/2 a lime. Add the slices and microwave for 3 minutes. Drain the water and keep aside. In a small bowl add 1 tbsp. of water and 1 tsp. of apricot jam. Mix well and keep aside.

Flour a working surface and transfer the risen dough on to it. Divide into two equal portions. Keep one of them aside.

With one of the portions: divide into two such that the small part is a forth of the whole portion. Roll the larger of the two parts into a disc the width of your palm and keep aside. Divide the smaller part into two again. Roll each of the parts into a long rope about 8 inches. Using a roller flatten the rope. Repeat with the second rope.


Brush half the apricot mixture on one of the flattened ropes. Place the apple slices on it and sprinkle with cinnamon powder.


Fold the lower half of the dough over the apple slices.


Starting from one side roll the dough and apple to form a flower. Secure with a toothpick if needed and let it stand. Repeat with the other flattened rope. Starting where you left off roll the second rope and apples around the first to form a large flower. Place this on the center of the disc and keep aside.


Now work with half portion of dough you had put aside. Divide it into 3 portions and roll each into a long rope of about 10-12 inches. Pinch one end of all three strands together. Braid the 3 strands like you would braid hair. Do not pull on the ropes or braid too tight. When done place the rope around the apple flower on the dough disc. Secure the ends by tucking one end under the other.


In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with water and brush on the bread. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F while the bread proofs. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. In a small bowl mix the apricot jam for the glaze with a 1 tsp of water. Remove bread from the oven and brush with the apricot mixture. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to allow the bread to turn a deep golden brown.




Remove from oven an let it cool. Enjoy!








This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #76 for the theme Mother's day sweets. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spicy Naan

Today I have a variation of the recipe I posted yesterday, spicy naan! Spices are mixed into the flour before it is kneaded into dough. And sprinkled over the top. I was tying to recreate the taste of the spicy naan we had at Sanaa, the restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge in Disney World. We dined there this past summer and enjoyed their flatbread platter.


I made five different flatbreads garlic naan, spicy naan, plain naan, onion kulcha and aloo paratha. I served them with roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber raita. It made for an filling dinner and allowed us to revisit some of the enjoyable moments from our vacation.



The recipe for this naan is very similar to that of plain naan posted yesterday. The only difference is the addition of cayenne pepper and cumin and coriander powder to the dough.

You will need (4 naan)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 oz. instant yeast
4 tbsp. yogurt
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 fl. oz. warm water
1 tsp. cumin coriander powder
1 tsp. or adjust to taste cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. onion seeds (kalonji)

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a dough. Follow the recipe plain naan.



Enjoy!















This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #69 for the theme flatbread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Naan

Naan, the delicious flatbread leavened with yeast is a great addition to any menu especially if it hot out of the oven. There is a large variety of naan and I have a sampling of a few here in this space. This past summer we were on a vacation to Disney World and decided to dine in at Sanaa, the restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. They served a flatbread platter - different types of flatbread with chutneys, sauce and dips. I decided to recreate this platter in my house. I served it roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber raita.


There are five different flatbreads in my platter - Garlic naan, plain naan, spicy naan, onion kulcha and aloo (potato) paratha. Recipes for Garlic naan (first bread from left in pic) and aloo paratha (fifth bread from left in pic) can be found on this space. The others are new to this blog. I will post them one by one this week. The first is the naan, it is the third bread from the left.

You will need
For the dough
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 oz. instant yeast
4 tbsp. yogurt
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 fl. oz. warm water

This recipe is similar to the garlic naan recipe. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. Now mix in the wet ingredients and form a dough. Cover and allow it to rise for about 2 hours. Transfer to a working surface and divide the dough into 6 portions. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 F.


Once oven is preheated place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet on the second rack. Switch on the broiler on high heat. Take one portion of dough and roll it out on a floured working surface to about 6-7 inches in diameter. Pick up the naan in one hand, moisten the other palm with water and gently rub it over one side of the naan. Place the naan moistened side down on the heated stone/inverted sheet. Place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes watching closely. You can do two naan at a time.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #69 for the theme flatbreads. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kid's Delight - Fruit based recipes - Event Announcement

Changing seasons bring with it a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The food we cook also changes to accommodate the changing produce in the grocery store. Whether you are enjoying the last taste of summer fruit or the fresh taste of fall fruit, share your recipes with us.


This month I am hosting Kid's Delight, an event started by Srivalli of Spice your life. As part of this event I challenge you to cook dishes where fruit is the primary ingredient and have the stamp of approval from a child. I understand this 'approval' can be subjective. My child has a mature palate and will try anything. Your child may be picky. I will accept all entries as long as they are vegetarian (eggs okay).

Here are the rules.
Prepare a fruit based dish and blog about it between the 16th of October and 15 of November 2016.
Link to this post and Srivalli's Kid's Delight post.
Entries should use fruit and not fruit extracts. Fruit juice is okay.
Multiple entries are allowed.
Children in your life should have approved this dish.
The dish should be vegetarian (eggs okay)
Archived entries will not be accepted.

Bloggers and non-bloggers are invited to send in their entries to varadaskitchen@gmail.com with the subject line 'Fruit Based Recipes'. Please include the following in your email.
Your name and the name of your blog
Name of the recipe
URL of the post
Picture of the dish

I look forward to all your colorful dishes

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cucumber Mint Sandwiches

One of the most popular and very simple sandwich is the cucumber sandwich. A hint of mint enhances the taste. This happens to be one of my very favorite sandwiches. I realized a few months ago that I had not posted this recipe. Today I decided to set that right.


You will need
8 slices of bread
1/2 cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
10 fresh mint leaves
1 tsp. butter
1 tbsp. cream cheese

Leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter top to allow it to come to room temperature. Wash and dice the mint leaves. In a bowl mix together the mint leaves, butter and cream cheese.

To assemble: Cut off the crust on the slices of bread. I left it on. Apply the butter cheese mixture to one side of all the bread slices. Place the slices of cucumber in a single layer on the buttered side of a slice of bread. Place another slice over the top buttered side down. Cute diagonally twice to form little triangles. Repeat for the remaining slices.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #69 for the theme small bites. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Zatpat Rava Appe

The appe pan or aebleskiver pan is my favorite for quick snacks. And this recipe is great for an evening snack or appetizers for a party. This recipe results in spicy and sour appe that taste great with chutney or pickle. Use the spice/chili pepper liberally as the cream of wheat and yogurt is bland without it. This is one of my go to snacks.


You will need (14 appe)
1 cups Cream or wheat or rava
2 cups yogurt
a handful of cilantro
1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 green chili pepper, deseeded and minced
salt to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil

Combine the yogurt and rava in a mixing bowl and keep aside for an hour.


Mix in all the other ingredients except the oil.


Heat an aebleskiver or appe pan on medium/low heat. Add a few drops of oil in each of the wells. Add a tablespoon of batter to each well. Cover and cook on medium/low heat.


When the bottom is brown flip the appe over using a knitting needle or skewer. Allow the second side to brown. Take the cooked appe off the heat. Repeat with the remaining batter.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #69 for the theme small bites. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Soup in summer? Yes, I made soup in summer. We had a lot of rain a few weeks back and soup felt good for a change. Red bell peppers, in my opinion, add a ton of flavor to any dish they are used in. Roasted red bell peppers are even better. I love the aroma in the house as they are roasted. And the family loves the end result.


You could add cream to the soup but I prefer to add milk. It adds flavor and is perfect for soup in summer.


You will need (4 servings)
2 red peppers
1 tbsp. butter
1/3 medium onion, prefarably red, but others will work too
1 medium carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsps tomato paste
1 tsp. paprika
1 2/3 cups broth or water
salt and pepper
milk

Roast the bell peppers. I do it on the stove top. I stick a fork in the pepper and place it directly over the heat. I turn it around to char the skin evenly. When done I wrap it in aluminium foil and keep it aside for at least 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, dice the onions. Heat the butter in a pan and add the onions. Saute until cooked and semi transparent.


Unwrap the roasted bell peppers and rub the skin off. It should come off easily.


Leave a few charred pieces of skin on the pepper. It adds a smoky flavor to the soup. Dice the peppers and the carrots.


Add all the ingredients except the milk to the pan.


Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer until the carrots are cooked.


Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Puree in a blender. Return to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the milk. Let it simmer without coming to a boil for ab






Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #66 for the theme 3 Vegetable that are fruit. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chickpea Avocado Feta Salad

A few days back I had soaked garbanzo beans without checking to see if I had all the ingredients I normally use to cook them. The next day I was in a bind. I had no time to visit the grocery store and did not have anything else prepped. I had an avocado in the refrigerator and some left over feta cheese. A simple dressing of lime juice, salt, pepper and I had a delicious salad ready.


You will need
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpea
1 avocado
1/4 cup feta, adjust to taste
salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lime

If using dry beans, soak overnight and pressure the next day. Discard the cooking water. Peel the avocado and remove the seed. Dice finely. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.


Enjoy!














This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #66 for the theme 3 Vegetables that are fruit. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.