Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gluten Free Focaccia / Sorghum / Jowar Focaccia

Yet another invention for a Gluten Free Dairy Free detox. I had a sudden craving for Focaccia bread studded with olives and jalapeno peppers and red juicy tomatoes ... well that was ruled out due to All - Purpose flour. Not to be put down, I started my hunt on the Internet for gluten free focaccia recipes - yet another hurdle they all had some kind of egg replacers, or Xanthan gum and or almond meal or flax seed meal. I didn't have any of these so I just decided to do it my way. Believe me it turned out to be really yummy and hubby says it could become our all time recipe for Focaccia. Now that is the best compliment I could hope for. So read on to recreate the magic in your own kitchen's.

Jowar (Sorghum) Focaccia
(Oh heck!!! I just can't get this pic to appear horizontal. Will try tomorrow)
1.5 Cup Jowar / Sorghum Flour
0.5 Cup White Rice Flour
0.5 Cup Corn Starch
4 Cloves Garlic pounded
Quarter onion minced really fine / pounded along with garlic * Optional
Rosemary sprigs a few
Salt as per taste
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Honey / Agave Nectar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Pkt Active Dry Yeast
1 & 1/4 Cup Warm Water
a Pinch of Raw Sugar

For the Topping
1 Tomato sliced
1 Jalapeno Pepper Sliced
2 Tbsp Chopped Olives
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Implements / Utensils
2 Mixing Bowls
1 Baking Sheet

1. In the small mixing bowl, add 1 and 1/4 Cup warm water, pinch of sugar and empty the yeast packet and leave to proof as per packet instructions. The proofed yeast mixture will start forming bubbles and rise up.
2. In another mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients, pounded garlic, onion.
3. Now add honey, olive oil, lemon juice and the proofed yeast mixture to the rest of the ingredients.
4. Dough should feel sticky more like a thick muffin batter or bhakri dough.
5. Lightly knead the dough. Using wet palms shape the dough and place it on a baking sheet dusted with dry jowar flour. I spread it entirely on my sheet pan.
6.  Top with sliced tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, olives sprinkle a bit of sea salt, crushed pepper and rosemary.
7. Place in warm draft free place and allow it to rise for 20 to 30 mins. I usually leave it in a warm oven.
8. Heat the oven to 375 F and once the oven reaches the temperature bake for 25 minutes until golden and firm.
9. Bring it out of the oven. Brush with a coat of olive oil if needed. ( I didn't do it to mine)
10. Enjoy warm with Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar or Olive Oil seasoned with some rosemary, garlic and black pepper  or eat it just like that ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jowar Roti / Sorghum Flour Flatbread

We started on a 21 day cleanse as described in Kathy Freston's book Quantum Wellness. There are primarily five things that are a strict no-no in this diet:  Alchohol, Animal Products, Caffeine, Gluten and Sugar. Oh my what do we eat then? Well a lot of vegetables and fruits and pulses and legumes. Being Indians and vegetarians for most part no meat part is fine. The part that is tough is no GLUTEN. We eat roti's or chapati's or phulkas made with whole wheat flour practically with every meal. So how do we manage without Atta (whole wheat flour)? Our mothers and grandmothers used to use a variety of whole grain flours like Jowar, Bajra, White Rice Flour, Red or Wild Rice Flour and make roti's or what we Sindhi's call "Mani" of these. So taking a walk down the memory lane and remembering the way it was done in good old days when the kitchen and cooking were for mothers under the watchful eyes of my grandmother, here's my version of Jowar Roti or Juvar ji Mani straight from my blog to your homes ...

Juvar Ji Mani / Jowar Roti / Sorghum Flour Flatbread

1 Cup Jowar Flour / Sorghum Flour + some for dusting
1 Cup Hot Water (near boiling)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Crushed Black Pepper * Optional
Ghee / Oil / Butter

1 Ziplock bag two sides cut to make a rectangle
Tava / Griddle

1. In a bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper. To this add one cup of hot water, set aside for 8-10 minutes till it is cool enough to handle.
2. Knead the dough, unlike chapati flour this dough is less sticky since it does not have gluten and hence does not require heavy kneading. Add more water if the dough is very hard. When you tear of a ball you should be able to pat it without cracking. If it cracks add a little more water - a teaspoon at a time

3. Now on the ziplock bag apply a very little ghee, sprinkle some dry flour. Tear off a small portion and roll it into a round.

4. Now get ready to shape it into a round with your palm and fingers as shown below

5. Once you have a uniformly thin roti to your desired thickness, gently lift the ziplock bag a remove the roti onto your other hand or directly on the hot griddle taking care not to burn the plastic.

6. Cook on both sides, apply ghee and serve hot with any of your favourite vegetables.

Enjoy this gluten free, dairy free, whole grain delight with some hot pickle, some slices of raw onion and garlic chutney.

Simple Everyday Meals ...

Many of my American or shall I say non - Indian friends love the restaurant served "Indian" food. Often times I get asked if we eat Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan as everyday food? Well logical question since these are a few of the most popular dishes served universally in "Indian" restaurants. I try my best to explain to them the difference between the Indian food served in the restaurants versus simple home cooked Indian meals. But as they say "Pictures speak louder than words" ... I post below some pics of everyday meals.
Dal, Rice, Aloo Methi and Homemade Mango Pickle (Anna Mangai)

 Cabbage, Green Peas and Carrot subzi, Chapatis and Vegetable Raita

Cauliflower In Tomato Sauce (Tamate wari Gobhi) usually served with Chapati.