Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rice Flour Roti / Sindhi Chapri

Rice flour rotis are made with specific vegetable or meat dishes at Sindhi homes. Both varieties the Wild Rice or Red Rice flour as well as the White Rice flour is used to make these rotis. I have made them with White Rice Flour commonly available at most grocery stores. These are gluten-free and a good option to regular chapatis.
1 Cup White Rice Flour
1.5 Cups Hot Water
1 -2 Chopped Green Chillies
2-3 Tbsp Chopped Corriander / Cilantro leaves
Mixing Bowl
Ziploc bag - 2 sides cut to form a rectangle
Griddle / Tava
1. In a mixing bowl add rice flour, salt, chilli and corriander leaves.
2. Heat water in a pan but take it off heat just before it reaches boiling point.
3. Slowly add water to the other ingredients. Note save almost half cup water in the pan, this may or may not be needed depending on how much the flour absorbs.
4. Set aside for 5 mins till the mixture is cool to handle.
5. Then knead it into a soft dough, adding more hot water if needed.
6. Take a small portion of the dough and place it on the cut ziploc bag. Lightly with the palm of your hand and fingers shape it into a flat round disc.
7. Gently lift and transfer to a hot griddle on a med-high heat.
8. Flip to the other side after 3 -4 minutes or till soft brown spots start appearing on the underside.
9. Cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes, flip to check and serve hot.

Masala Almonds - Healthy Chakna

Almonds = Healthy but both me and hubby are lazy about eating them. Don't much like them give me cashews anytime ;). I was on the lookout for honey roasted almonds but most recipes I had called for sugar along with honey and so I dropped the idea. Since I had planned to make something with Almonds, I decided to make it in the style of Masala Peanuts that we made during fasting season. So here goes a quick and snappy way to make Masala Almonds. Another note Masala = Spice(s) what I have here is my combination, feel free to explore and experiment. Enjoy them just like that or with your favorite drink.
2 Cups Almonds
1 Tbsp Oil
Roasted Cumin & Pepper Powder
Red Chilli Powder
Amchur / Dry Mango Powder
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Coat almonds with oil and spread them in a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5-7 mins till crispy.
3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the masala mix, toss to coat evenly and return to oven for another 5 mins.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 to 40 mins. The almonds will be crispy and spicy perfect for chilled Beer.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Herbed Roasted Tomatoes

I have been making Herb Roasted Red Peppers for sometime now and keep them handy for making sandwiches and other stuff, I used to wonder if I could roast some other vegetables in a similar manner. Thanks to FoodBuzz, I came across Nancy of Spicie Foodie's post on "How to Roast Tomatoes". She is absolutely my kind of cook ;) I love her site it is sooooooo colorful. Lovely photos but I digress. Here's my version of her recipe.
8-9 Tomatoes
6-8 Pods Garlic
1 Jalapeno Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Black Pepper
2-3 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1. Preheat oven to 390 F. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray and keep aside.
2. Wash the tomatoes and wipe dry. Cut them into half and de-seed them.
3. Finely mince garlic, jalapeno pepper and take it in a small bowl. 
4. Add olive oil and all dried spices to the bowl and mix well.
5. Apply on the inside of the tomatoes and set them on a greased baking tray.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes depending on size of tomatoes. They should be slightly browned and shriveled but not burnt. 
7. Allow to cool completely before using. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Note: Mine were still pretty juicy may be I could have roasted them for some more time.

Cheese Crackers

I recently joined FoodBuzz a foodie community website. I came across Kath's site through FoodBuzz and a couple of her recipes caught my immediate fancy. Anyone who knows me knows I am big cheese fan and for that matter so is my hubby. We enjoy our cheese and we pick up quite a variety on our travels. So when I came across Kath's post titled "Melt-in-your-mouth Homemade Cheese Crackers!" I just had to make them. I made some very minor modifications and used a different cheese as I was out of Tillamook Cheddar. So here's the recipe as I made it but do visit her site to see the lovely step by step pics.

1½ Cups (6 oz) grated Cabot Buffalo Wing Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
¾ Cup (90 g) flour, plus more for dusting
½ tsp salt * I omitted as cheese has enough salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 to 2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease or line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour and spices. Now cut in the butter till you have a bread-crumb like mixture. Add cheese and mix it with a spatula or by hand.
3. Add milk one Tbsp at a time and knead the dough with light hands till it comes together to form a ball.
4. Roll out on a floured board with a rolling pin.
5. Cut into desired shape with a knife, pizza cutter or cookie cutter shapes. Poke a small hole in the center of each cracker.
6. Place crackers atleast 1/4th inch apart and bake for 12-15 minutes.

WARNING: These are highly addictive :)

English Cucumber and Oat Bread

This recipe of bread was born out of sheer necessity to use up English Cucumbers brought in bulk. I searched and searched but all I could find was sweet breads whereas I wanted a yeasty loaf. I experimented, hoped and prayed that it would turn out fine and it turned out to be immensely flavorful :) - two beautiful loaves with a lovely texture.
1/2 Cup Buttermilk @ room temp
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Oil
1 English Cucumber grated *approx 2 cups
2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 Tbsp Honey
2Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
Crushed Red Pepper  * Optional
1 Jalapeno Pepper chopped very fine * Optional
1 to 1.5 Cups Oats
4 to 4.5 Cups All Purpose Flour * Note may need more or less depending on water content of cucumber
1 Pkt SAF Gourmet Instant Yeast  * approx 7 gms

Loaf Pans
Mixing Bowls

1. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in warm water and add the yeast. Let the mixture stand until yeast foams vigorously approx 5-10 mins.
2. In a large mixing bowl add 4 cups flour and 1 cup oats. Mix in other dry ingredients - salt, seasonings and cheese and mix with a whisk.
3. In another small bowl mix in buttermilk, honey, oil, cucumber and jalapeno pepper. Whisk it to mix all ingredients and then add it to the dry ingredient bowl.  Now add the yeast.
4. Knead the dough, if it feels very sticky slowly add more flour till it becomes stiff. Set it in a greased bowl, covered loosely with a cheesecloth.

5. It will double in size in about an hour. Caution use a large enough bowl, mine started running out of the bowl, it was hilarious. I don't have a pic of that but imagine walking into the kitchen to check on it and see it overflowing out of the bowl.

6. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface. Divide into half. Shape into loaves and place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans sprinkled with oats. Sprinkle with oats on top of the loaves. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40  minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
8. Slice and enjoy with a helping of butter.
Isn't it beautiful textured !! My oh my I loved it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sindhi Seyal Machi / Fish in Garlic and Corriander Sauce

We Sindhis love our "Seyal" masala and what is not to love - fresh corriander leaves, green chillies, garlic, sukha dhaniya, haldi and salt that's pretty much all there is to it. We cook vegetables in this masala or sometimes apply a thicker version on our potatoes and pan roast them or make fish curry. I made pan roasted fish fillets coated with this masala.

6-8 Tilapia Fillets or any fish of your choice

First Marinade
1 Lemon juiced
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Powder

Seyal Masala / Second Marinade
1 bunch Cilantro / Corrianer Leaves
6-8 Green Chillies
8-10 pods Garlic
1 Tbsp Sukha Dhaniya / Dry Corriander Powder
1 tsp Turmeric
Salt  * Adjust to taste as we have added salt to the first marinade also

Oil for pan frying

1. Mix ingredients for first marinade in a small bowl. Lay Tilapia filets in a baking tray or any other wide plate.

2. Pour marinade on both sides of each filet. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

3. Make a coarse paste of the ingredients for the second marinade adding as little water as possible. Traditionally this was done in a mortar and pestle but we can use our mixer or food processor for this.

4. Apply the paste to the fish filets cover and set aside in the refrigerator  for an hour.

5. Take a non-stick pan add a little oil and set it on medium-high heat, then add filets and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. To test doneness, insert a spoon if the fish flakes it is done.

6. Enjoy as main course with chapati or as an appetizer with your drinks .

Bisi Bele Huli Anna / Bisi Bele Baath

My tryst with Bisi Bhele Baath began pretty recently - a couple of years back. It was at my husband's mamas place, his mami had made BBB for lunch. Until before that, I had not ever tasted this but having had it once, I wanted to recreate the magic at home. Initially, mami had given me some powder which I used but it hardly lasted for 2-3 times. I decided to take matters in my hand and re-create the powder or as we software engineers like to call it "reverse engineered" from my recollection of mami's BBB. So here goes my version - purists beware that I am not making any claims to authenticity, I am only sharing my version of this amazing one pot wonder.
For the powder 
2 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Udad Dal
1 inch piece cinnamon
4 Green Cardamom
1 piece Star Anise
Bay leaves
6-8 Dried Red Chillies
Curry leaves
1 tbsp Jeera
4-6 peppercorns
4 Cloves
1 Tbsp Dried Corriander Seeds
Methi seeds

For the Rice
1 Cup Rice
1 Cup Tur Dal
1 small onion
1 Carrot Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper
Few French Beans
6-8 drumsticks
1 Tomato diced
2 Tbsp Green Peas
1 lemon sized ball Tamarind
1 Tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Corriander leaves for garnish
Cashews for garnish
4.5 cups water

1. Dice and prepare all veges, soak tamarind in water and soak rice and dal mix.

2. Dry Roast all the ingredients for the powder and grind fine.

3. In a pressure cooker, add some ghee and saute all veges, then add rice and dal, add tamarind water, hing, salt and the bisi bele powder. Add water I like my bisi bele baath a little soupy -adjust water to how you like it best. Put the lid on and let it whistle twice.
5. In the meanwhile, heat some ghee and fry cashew bits till nice and brown.
6. Once the pressure cooker is cool enough, transfer to a bowl, garnish with cashews and corriander leaves. Serve piping hot with papad.