Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Braided Bread with Mushroom and Corn Stuffing Recipe

Blogging Marathon#64 Day 1
The braided bread has been on my to-do list for a while now. Shaped yeasted breads is my theme for the Blogging Marathon and for the next 3 days I will have a bread recipe that I have been waiting to try. Sometimes working in a group(though virtual) helps you to shed those inhibitions and get to work. I am being part of the BM after long and really enjoyed Day 1 itself of being pushed out of my comfort zone.

Yeast is no new ingredient for a Keralite actually with the appam being a regular on the breakfast/dinner menu. However, every time I use yeast, it is fingers crossed and praying hard that all the right conditions come together for the yeast to come into action. It is a wonderful experience seeing it rise to that nice fluffy texture that is a thumbs up for you saying you have got the first and most important step right. The second will be to incorporate this with the remaining ingredients mix and getting the perfect dough. The aroma of freshly baked bread is simply heavenly and is the real reward of all the baking. My teen came in asking what I was baking and all the pictures here are courtesy her.

I went by yummytummyaarthi's vegetable stuffed braided bread recipe. She has a lovely collection of baked goodies and other recipes. A must check out blog. Her bread looked perfect. I first thought of doing a chilli paneer stuffing recipe but a sweet corn mushroom filling too was on the mind and the love for mushroom and corn did take over. The end product looks a little complicated however, it is a simple technique of braiding that brings out this hard to resist bread. A wonderful addition to your evening tea, breakfast menu or even dinner, this is an anytime instant smile recipe. Do try it.

For the bread:
All Purpose Flour or Maida - 2 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Olive Oil  - 2 tbsp + 1 for greasing in the vessel where you would rest the dough)
Warm Milk - 3/4 cup 
Warm water - 1/4 cup

For the filling/stuffing:
Mushrooms -200 gms (washed , cleaned and chopped lengthwise)
Sweet corn - 1 cup(I used the frozen one and microwaved it for 2 minutes)
White pepper - 1 tsp (you may use black pepper too, adjust quantity as per spice levels)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Mozzaraella - 1/4 cup (I sprinkled some over the filling before finally braiding it)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 small(finely chopped)
Ajwain/Caraway seeds - 1/4 tsp or any other herbs of your choice

For the Bread:
1- Take 1/4 cup warm water in a cup and add 2 tbsp sugar to it. Add the yeast and keep aside for 5-7 minutes for the yeast to rise. 
2- Take a bowl, add the all purpose flour/maida, salt, 2 tbsp of oil and the fermented yeast. Add warm milk little by little and bring together into a dough (like that for chapati). Grease a vessel with oil. Keep the dough in it, cover and keep aside for 1 to 1.5 hrs to rise. The dough will more than double in size. After an hr, punch the dough down to remove all the excess air. Keep aside. 
For the filling:
1- Take a pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil in it. Add in the chopped onions and mushrooms. Saute for 3-4 mins. Add the sweet corn. Sprinkle salt, white pepper and ajwain or caraway seeds. Saute for another 2 mins till all the moisture from the mixture has almost dried up. Keep aside. Now we come to the assembly. 
Method for Assembling it

1- Make 4-5 balls of the bread dough. Roll out one portion into a broad rectangle. Make equal horizontal slits on both sides. Now put the mixture along the centre of the rectangle, sprinkle some grated mozaraella cheese and criss cross the slits towards the centre to get the braided look(as shown in the picture. YummyTummy also has a video on it. 
2- Put in a pre-greased flat baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 deg C and then for 6 to 8 minutes at 220 deg C. The baking time may vary slightly from oven to oven. Remove. Cut. Serve hot. 
*You may decided to do a mixed vegetable/chicken, minced meat, paneer or any other filling of your choice. You can even do a sweet version of it. 

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Check out the http://spicingyourlife.blogspot.com/p/blogging-marathon.html" target="_blank">Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#64

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paper Boat - Drinks and Memories - a Review

Stepping into a supermarket, the paper boat drinks have always caught my attention. Love the bright colours, the design that holds something special - a memory, a thought, there's something special that immediately connects. 

The brand has brought into the supermarkets and stores drinks that takes one back to the childhood days. So when I got this email from the marketing team asking if I could review it on my blog, I said an immediate "Yes". On Saturday I received this package with the Paperboat Panakam Drink which I understand is a limited edition launch here in South India on the occasion of Ram Navami. Panakam is a drink prepared as prasadam for Rama Navami and is a wonderful way to beat that summer heat.

On opening the package , the aroma of the Paper Boat Panakam drink  really had something in it that transported me back to my Granny's kitchen. I really am finding the feeling difficult to articulate but there was something in it that unlocked childhood memories that were locked away in some part of my brain. It was a nice happy feeling.

I refrigerated one pack and it was really refreshing with the pleasant jaggery base, lemon and I could taste the ginger and cardamom that lend its flavour but still stayed subtle in their expression. A beautiful blend of traditional taste brought together in this drink. For me, this drink is a winner and I sure am tempted to try some more flavours from Paper Boat.

The drinks are packaged in 250 ml packages and the brand states that it uses no preservatives and no added colours. This drink is priced at Rs 30 and has a packaging that is very convenient to carry even while travelling. Just, shake, open and drink.

For more on the other drinks and the Paper boat brand Click Here 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quick Chicken Pizza Recipe

It was pizza time for dinner the other day. Although a great time to make your breads and pizza bases with the summer making a early entry, however, I wonder if it is the right time to use the oven indoors. Anyway for a good pizza its all worth it.

With a quick dinner on my mind, I did a cheat recipe by getting store bought pizza base and also used a readymade pizza sauce(will add a pizza base recipe and sauce from scratch in the coming days). So with some left over tandoori chicken, chopped in a few veggies and the pizza was ready to go into the oven in no time. Coming down to the pizza recipe. 

Ingredients for the pizza 
Store bought pizza base - 2
Pizza sauce - 2 to 3 tbsp
Tandoori chicken pieces (shredded) - 1 cup
Onions - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Tomato - 1 small(chopped into rounds slices)
Capsicum - 1 small (chopped into juliennes)
Mushrooms - 1/2 cup (chopped lengthwise)
Mixed herbs - 1 tbsp
Ajwain or caraway seeds - 1/2 tsp(I like the taste of ajwain in my pizza, its the Indian oregano equivalent , you may however decide to add dried oregano instead)
Mozaraella cheese - 1 cup(grated)
* You may add other vegetables of your choice like broccoli or even a few pieces of pineapple.

Method for making the pizza 
1- Take the two bases and smear the pizza sauce on each about a tbsp or more on each. All ingredients mentioned are to be split into two for the two bases.
2- Add in the chopped chicken pieces spreading evenly to cover the entire base. Add the chopped onion, tomato, capsicum and mushrooms.
3- Sprinkle the mixed herbs and oregano or ajwain. Add i the grated mozaraella cheese.
4- Preheat oven to 220 deg C for 5 minutes. Put the pizza in on the middle rack and bake at the temperature for approximately 10 minutes or till your base is crisp and your cheese has melted completely.Take out. Cut into slices. Serve hot. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Paneer Paratha Recipe

Parathas are a favourite and love all kinds of fillings. I have been working at learning the art of making parathas and so it was aloo, kheema and paneer paratha that made it to the menu the other day. The paneer parathas came out well and we had it with a tomato chutney Amma made (hubby also likes his parathas with jam and so that too was added to the table. A simple quick and easy recipe, this is one that I will make again soon, probably some experimenting on the thickness and filling that goes into each is what is on the cards in the coming days. So let's get started with the paneer paratha. 

Ingredients for the Paneer Paratha
For the dough
2 cups wholewheat flour or atta
1 tbsp cooking oilWater as requiredSalt (optional , I generally do not add salt to my dough as the filling has the right quantity)

For the filling:
Paneer - 200 gms (grated)
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 3/4 tsp (you may choose to use chopped green chillies instead)
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp 
Jeera powder - 1.2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder -1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 2tbsp (chopped finely)
Ajwain or caraway seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - for cooking

Method for making Paneer Parathas
1- Grate paneer and slowly add in all the other ingredients except oil. Mix lightly with your fingers so that all the dry spices are well incorporated into the paneer or cottage cheese. Your filling is ready. Keep aside. 
2- For making the dough, add the tbsp of oil to the wholewheat flour and mix. Now slowly add in the water little by little and make into a thick dough as you would for any other Indian bread or pie crust. Keep aside. Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.
3- Divide the dough into small balls. Now take one ball of dough and roll out flat. Put 1 tbsp of the paneer mixture in the centre and fold the dough in pleats like for the momo. This will ensure that the mixture does not come out. Seal. Roll out lightly. Do not press too hard.
4- Take a pan. Spread a little oil on it. Now put in the rolled paratha. Spread some oil or ghee on top of the parathas. Let cook for a minute. Turn it over. Cook both sides evenly till golden brown. Serve hot.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Green Chicken Curry Recipe

Time flies. I realized that it is a month since I posted something new. The last month has been a super busy month with my daughter's exams, a writing assignment on hand which has included the addition of videos and so learning the nuances of doing the audio track and combining it with the video, a jewelry making course that a friend and I enrolled for(lots of making and fun) and attending a cookery workshop that included salads, pastas, chocolates and pastries.

So that is something that has kept me on my toes. Here's a small peek into the happenings and the creations that were extremely satisfying. Making something of your own really brings in a feeling of satisfaction and achievement.
There has been a lot of sewing happening for my KnotnStitch Etsy store. The latest addition being a kalamkari cushion cover with kantha stitches and sequins. Do drop in and have a look at the collection. 
Now to cooking and the green chicken recipe, this is one that has been resting on my phone for quite a while and is impatient to make an appearance. Did not really get much of a chance to get some good pictures as the family was waiting for the Sunday lunch which consisted of Jeera rice, a raita and the green chicken curry. 

Ingredients for the Green Chicken Curry
Chicken - 500 gms (cleaned and washed)
Cummin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt/curd - 2 tbsp (nicely beaten)
Tomato - 1 (small, pureed)
Onion - 1 (big, chopped fine)
Salt - to taste
Oil- 2 tbsp
Water -1/2 cup
Whole spices  green cardamom-2, cloves -2, cinnamon - 1" stick

For the green masala paste
Coriander leaves - 1 cup chopped
Mint leaves - 1/2 cup chopped
Green chilli- 1 to 2(depending on your spice level)
Cummin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves

Method for making the Green chicken curry
1- Grind all the ingredients given under the green masala heading and keep aside. Puree one tomato and keep aside. 
2- Take a pan and add in the cummin seeds and the whole spices mentioned. When it splutters, add the finely chopped onions and salt to taste. Saute till the onions are soft and golden brown. Add in the tomato puree, saute. Add the turmeric powder and saute till the oil starts oozing out of the sides of the masala indicating that the masala is cooked. Add the chicken and saute for 3-5 minutes. 
3- Now add in the green masala paste, mix. Add half a cup of water. Cover and cook till the chicken is almost done. Add the beaten yogurt (keep stiring on low flame while adding the yogurt or else it will split). Cover and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes
4- Open, sprinkle the garam masala powder. Mix. Switch off flame. Keep covered for 5 to 7 minutes, this will allow for the flavours to be absorbed. Serve hot with rice/rotis or any Indian bread of your choice.