I know I am supposed to be on a healthy eating spree but then I believe that on festivals, you should eat and not think about diets and healthy food etc. All that you should think about is tasty, yummy and delicious food. So I decided to go ahead and make a curry which is absolutely delicious. I made the masala powder based on what spices I felt like cooking the chicken and egg with. I have made the masala powder and saved it for future recipes. It is a pretty versatile spice powder. And really does not take too long to make. This serves 2-3 persons and takes about 45 mins to prepare.
Happy Easter to everyone and hope everyone has a wonderful day…
- 1.5+1 tsp masala powder (recipe at the end)
- 1 chicken breast (cut into 1″ cubes)
- 2 hard boiled eggs (cut into 2 halves)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1″ ginger
- 1 large bunch cilantro leaves
- 1/2 red onion (sliced)
- 1/2 tomato (chopped)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
Ingredients for Masala Powder
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 red chili
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1″ cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- Dry roast the ingredients under the masala powder list. Once the dry spices are roasted and smell wonderful, grind the spices to a fine powder.
- Marinate the chicken pieces in a paste made of the garlic, ginger and coriander leaves.
- In the meanwhile heat the oil and add the red onions to it.
- Fry the onions till it is dark brown.
- Now add 2 tsp of the masala powder and mix till throughly mixed.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes and let the tomatoes get mushy.
- Add some water to this mixture if it gets too dry.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked thoroughly, add the chicken cubes to the onion mixture.
- Cook the chicken till cooked through.
- Now add the water to the chicken and let the curry simmer for 5 mins.
- Next add the coconut milk, hard boiled eggs and salt to taste. Let the curry cook for a few mins till you get the desired consistency for the gravy.
Thanks for reading my blog and do let me know how the dish turns out if you do try it.
Pictures from Readers who tried this recipe
- My aunt Geetha made the dish for her Vishu Meal… That’s New year’s day in Kerala… I am honored….
Easy, Simple and Delicious
My mom used to make tomato fish very often specially when we had guests over. I love this recipe because it is simple and easy to make. It also requires minimal ingredients. Most of the ingredients are almost always at home in my pantry or refrigerator. I have made this about 3-4 times but never found the time to take pictures before we ate it all. This serves about 2 persons.
- 1 halibut filet (cut into 1.5 inch cubes)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 1 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1″ ginger minced
- 2 green chilies slit
- 1.5 tsp coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp fennel powder
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- salt to taste
- oil (2 tsp + 2 tsp)
- Marinate the fish pieces with the turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt.
- Marinate the fish for about 2 hrs or overnight.
- Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a saucepan and add the fish to it. Fry the fish pieces on each side for about 2 mins each.
- Remove the fish pieces from the saucepan and set it aside.
- Add the rest of the oil to the same saucepan . Once the oil is hot add the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida.
- Once the seeds are brown, add the shallots, ginger nad garlic to the oil and fry till it is browned.
- Now add the dry spices to this mixture.
- Once the spices are mixed with the shallots and ginger-garlic mixture, add the tomato.
- Cook the mixture till the tomato is completely cooked and all mushy.
- Add the cup of water to the mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add the tamarind to the mixture and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Next add the fish pieces to the gravy.
- Let the tomato fish simmer for about 10-20 mins. This will thicken the gravy and cook the fish.
This is not the same recipe that my mom follows when she makes her tomato fish. She fries the fish and then adds it into the gravy. I just cook it to ensure that it is cooked faster. I love this curry specially since it goes well with rice, bread or even chappatis. It is a spicy dish and you can go slow on the green chili, cayenne pepper or the black pepper. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did and thanks for reading.
Daring Bakers March Challenge
I made this bread without the topping though about a month back and then I was supposed to complete the challenge but then a ton of things happened last month and this got pushed to the back burner. But there was no way I wasn’t gonna make it ultimately, it just looks so awesome and I have overcome my fear of baking yeast breads now so I had to try it. The daring bakers version was made of all-purpose flour. I decided to make the bread with whole wheat flour instead but stuck to the recipe for the topping as is. The result was a beautiful looking tiger bread and a bread made of whole wheat flour!
Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!
I have here first the recipe for the dutch crunch topping and the second recipe is for the bread itself.
Dutch Crunch Topping
Servings: This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9×5 loaves (23cmx13cm) or 12 rolls. If you make only 6 rolls in the first soft white roll recipe, you can cut the topping recipe in half.
- 2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/½ oz) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
- 1½ cups (360 ml) (240 gm/8½ oz) rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour) (increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, as shown below, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. We tried coating it with a brush but it worked better just to use fingers or a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
- Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends. With the Soft White Roll, you can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping. With the Brown Rice Bread, the loaves should stand for 20 minutes with the topping before baking.
- When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.
Whole Wheat Bread:
Servings: Makes six sandwich rolls
- 1 tablespoon (1 packet) (15 ml) (7 gm/ ¼ oz) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water (105-110º F) (41-43°C) (No need to use a thermometer – it should feel between lukewarm and hot to the touch)
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm milk (105-110º F) (41-43°C)
- 1½ tablespoons (22½ ml) (20 gm/ ⅔ oz) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising)
- 1½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (9 gm/⅓ oz) salt
- Up to 3 cups whole wheat flour
- In the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes (The mixture should start to bubble or foam a bit and smell yeasty).
- Add in vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon, mix at medium speed until the dough comes together. (The photo to the right is with the first 2 cups of flour added).
- Add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, as shown in the photo below (For us, this usually required an additional 1½ to 2 cups of flour).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 equal portions (if you’d like to make rolls) or 2 equal portions (if you’d like to make a loaf) (using a sharp knife or a dough scraper works well). Shape each into a ball or loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (try not to handle the dough too much at this point).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
- Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping as described above. While the original recipe recommends letting them stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping, I got better results by putting them directly into the oven.
- Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 380ºF/190°C/gas mark 5 for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.
If you make the bread with all-purpose flour this is a soft sandwich roll. I decided to use whole wheat flour because I am on a healthy eating spree. Hope you enjoyed this recipe. I loved it and a big thank you to Sara and Erica from Baking JDs. Their instructions and recipe were both brilliant and thanks to them now I can make this pretty looking bread at home anytime I wish.
Ready in a few minutes and lip-smacking delicious!!!
As promised, here is another quick and easy to make recipe. I was at Target the other day and I picked up some shrimp for dinner. As I was roaming around the store, I picked up a bottle of relish. It was a pineapple and habanero relish. Oh yes and since I am on a healthy eating spree, I decided to throw in some broccoli. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and I ate this with white rice. It was delicious, the pineapple and habanero make an awesome combination.
- 1 pound shrimp
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup pineapple habanero relish
- 2 green chilies (slit)
- 4-5 garlic cloves (sliced)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili paste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper pwd
- salt to taste
- Marinate the shrimp in the relish, chili paste, soy sauce, salt and pepper for about 10 mins.
- In the meanwhile boil a pot of water and add some salt. Once the water is boiling add the broccoli to it and let it cook for a couple of mins.
- Remove the broccoli and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilies to it.
- Once the garlic browns add the shrimp to the oil and let it cook till the sauce thickens.
- Once the shrimp is cooked remove it and set it aside.
- Add the broccoli to the same pan and saute for a couple of mins.
- Serve with rice.
This was really easy to make and was delicious. A little spicy, so you could avoid the green chilies if you don’t want to take a chance with making it too spicy. And make sure that the sauce thickens to a sticky paste before taking it off the heat. The caramalized pineapple habanero relish was brilliant. Hope you enjoy this easy to make dish and thanks for reading.
Quick and healthy…
I continue with my quick and easy to make recipe series, atleast for now. This is really easy to make, takes almost no active time other than to flip the chicken breasts. The pan roasting and then oven roasting ensures that the outside is nice and crisp and the inside is still juicy and moist and not dried out.
The next few posts are going to be brief as I really have no time but I still need a break from work, research and everything else once in a while. And yeah this blog is my way of taking a break and doing what I love… This recipe serves one and takes about 30 mins to cook. The marination time is anywhere between 30 mins to 2 hrs.
- 1 chicken breast
- 1/8 cup olive oil + 3 tsps
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp dried basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- salt to taste
- Marinate the chicken breast in the ingredients listed above.
- I marinated the chicken for about 1.5 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 475 F.
- Heat the 3 tsps of olive oil in a pan.
- Place the chicken breast in the pan and roast it till it is browned on both sides (about 12-15 mins).
- Now transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking the chicken breast.
- Flip the chicken in about 5-7 mins and continue cooking till the outsides are crisp and the chicken breasts are cooked through.
I served this with some roasted broccoli, salad and wild rice. And it was delicious and very healthy and as a bonus took almost no time to cook. Hope you enjoy it and do let me know what you think of the recipe if you do try it.
Jazzing up good ol lentils
I have grown up having lentils in some form or the other almost everyday. It is one of the most versatile food item, I can think of. Just by changing what kind of lentil you use, you can change the taste of the entire dish, you can also add different kinds of spices to it and make it a completely different dish. In fact I love to make soups, main dishes or desserts with it. Today I am going to write about an awesome lentil soup with roasted tomato.
The soup itself is ready in no time if the lentils are cooked. Cooking the lentils takes different amounts of time depending on what type of lentil you use. I used two kinds of lentils for this soup, moong dal (split mung lentils) and toor dal (pigeon peas) but you could use any combination. After having made the soup, I was wondering what would make the lentil soup pop! I had these roma tomatoes in the fridge and thought of using it as the red pop in my lentil soup. So here’s the recipe. It is really easy to make and quick specially if you have the lentils already cooked.
- 1/4 cup moong dal (cooked with some salt)
- 1/4 cup toor dal (cooked with some salt)
- 1 cup water (more or less depending on the consistency you want)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 green chili chopped or 1/2 tsp red chili powder (add if you want the soup spicy or skip it)
- pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp molasses
- salt to taste
- tomatoes (number depends on the number of people you are serving the soup)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to about 350 F.
- Wash and cut off the base of the tomato so that it would stand upright in a baking dish.
- Remove the pulp from the tomato into a small bowl and mix the olive oil, salt and pepper in it and transfer it back into the tomato.
- Place the tomato in the oven for about 20-30 mins or till it is soft and mushy.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
- Add the minced garlic and the green chilies to the olive oil. Once the garlic is browned, add the dry spices to the garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Next add the cooked lentils and the water to the garlic and bring to a boil.
- Next add the chopped coriander leaves, sour cream and molasses.
- Simmer this for about 15-20 mins and add salt to taste.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend for a couple of minutes.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did…. Thanks for reading and hopefully I will get to the croissants and rugelach soon…
How about some Salad!!!
Cooking just for one person is definitely one of the most boring things ever. Firstly I love to cook / bake because I love to feed people so half the fun is lost when I am cooking for myself. The next few recipes that I plan on making are either going to be quick to make or just plain healthy… Atleast that’s what I am thinking right now. So here’s the first one, I made this easy to put together salad with chicken sausage and a very interesting asian style dressing. It would take about 15 mins to put together.
- 3 cups Mixed Greens
- 1/2 cup steamed baby carrots
- 1/2 cup booked broccoli
- 2 chicken sausages (chopped and cooked)
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Next add the minced garlic and fry till it is lightly browned.
- Next add the sesame oil to the garlic in the saucepan and stir till it is mixed.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients under dressing using a hand mixer and add the garlic – sesame oil mixture to it.
- Mix the greens and vegetables together.
- Put the sausage pieces over this.
- The dressing can be served on the side and added as needed.
Hope you like this. I loved it mainly because all the ingredients are usually in my refrigerator and it is easy to put together. And maybe I will bake something next, how about some rugelach or maybe some croissants.
Daring Baker’s challenge Feb 2012
I completed this challenge almost 2 weeks back and I have made the bread atleast 4 times now. I completely love this recipe! It is so easy to make and the results are stunning and different each time as you can change it so easily. And you can make whatever your heart feels like or add variations to the recipe depending on what ingredients you have at home. I love such versatile recipes as you can make a completely different dish by just making a few tweaks to the original recipe.
The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lis stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
I guess it’s more of a monthly routine for Sheela and me to get together and bake every daring baker’s challenge. So we did meet again online and we made a couple of variations on the recipe. I made two kinds of muffins; oat blueberry muffin and orange cranberry muffin. They were awesome and healthy as I substituted half the all purpose flour with oat flour. And Sheela made Banana Walnut Bread and she substituted 1/3rd of the all purpose flour with oat flour. After a couple of days I also tried a savory version of the quick bread; a beer bread with cheddar cheese and fresh herbs. I have listed all three recipes below. And once again a big thank you to Lis for the awesome instructions for the challenge. This recipe is a keeper!
And now let’s get to the recipes. I have also added a primer at the end of the blog which was very handy and helped me bake the perfect quick bread, so I thought I should share it with everyone too. And we must thank Audax for this. As usual he came up with such wonderful pointers that make it difficult for you to make any mistakes.
Basic Quick Bread (add blueberries or cranberry and orange peel for the two variations I made)
makes 12 muffins
- 1 cup (240 ml) (125 gm/4.5 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 cup (240 ml) (125 gm/4.5 oz) oat flour
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) (112 gm/4 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) (112 gm/4 oz)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) fine sea salt or table salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk or soured milk*
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) mild- or non-flavored oil, like canola
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) flavored extract, such as vanilla or almond
- 1 cup blueberries (for blueberry muffins)
- 1 cup dried cranberries + peel from one orange (for orange cranberry muffins)
* To make soured milk, combine 1 cup milk (240 ml) with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4. Line a muffin pan with paper cups.
- In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to combine. Make a well in the center and set aside.
- Lightly whisk (butter)milk, egg, oil, and extract to combine. Pour into well and stir until just mixed into a batter. The batter will be lumpy and may still show a few streaks of flour.
- Now add the cranberries / orange peel / blueberries into the flour mixture and gently fold it in.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Beer Batter Bread with Cheddar Cheese and Fresh Herbs
Makes one 9″ x 5″ loaf
- 3/4 cup (240 ml) (100 gm/3½ oz) chopped coriander
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (chopped)
- 1.5 cups (720 ml) (420 gm/15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (45 gm/1½ oz) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- One (12 fl oz/355 ml) (about 1½ cups) bottle beer (such as amber ale)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) (55 gm/2 oz) butter, melted and divided
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375F/190C/gas mark 5. Spray 9″ x 5″ (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add coriander, mint, cheese, and beer. Stir just until moist.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan. Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 35 minutes.
- Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake an additional 23 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Banana Walnut Bread
Makes 1 – 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) toasted walnuts coarsely chopped
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 ripe bananas(approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position.
- Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.
- Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients until just combined and batter is thick and chunky.
- Fold in the nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse brown sugar (optional).
- Bake until bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be covered and stored for a few days, or frozen for longer storage.
Quick bread primer
- Quick breads can be sweet or savory, they are a modern innovation they became common after the introduction of baking powder and baking soda.
- Baking powder is a combination of acid and alkaline that reacts together when moistened to form gases that raises the baked quick bread. Usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of flour.
- Baking soda (an alkaline salt, sodium bicarbonate) is used when the liquid is acidic, such as buttermilk, honey, molasses, tomato sauce etc. Usage . to 1 teaspoon per cup of acidic liquid.
- Be sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.
- Measure ingredients accurately, using the measuring tools and techniques suggested.
- Preheat the oven to the correct baking temperature. Arrange racks so that the bread will bake in the center of the oven which has the best heat distribution in the oven.
- To allow for good air circulation while baking, leave at least 1 inch of space between pans and between pans and sides of oven. Switch pan positions and rotate pans halfway through baking.
- The two top secrets to moist, tender quick bread is 1)in the mixing always use a quick light technique so you don’t over-mix the batter 2) don’t over-bake since this cause dryness in the final baked product. .
- Quick breads can be created by the following methods:
- Muffin (or the two-bowl) method – The dry and wet ingredients are kept separate and then are combined quickly and gingerly by adding the wet to the dry, and folding the two together with only a few strokes. The idea is to not over-mix, basically moistening the ingredients and leaving the batter slightly lumpy, with wisps of flour showing (even small lumps are fine) so as not to overdevelop the gluten in the flour which will keep the bread tender. An over mixed batter creates tough and rubbery muffins/quick breads. Since over-mixing will cause “tunnels” ¡V holes where the air bubbles can escape ¡V which will make the quick bread tough.
- Creaming method – The butter and sugar are beaten and creamed together until smooth and fluffy. Next, the egg and liquid flavoring are added to the butter and sugar mixture. The dry ingredients and other liquids are folded in last. This method is best when baking cakes since a lot of air pockets are added into the mixture. Folding in the ingredients creates even more air pockets to keep the cakes light and fluffy.
- Cutting in method – The chilled fat is cut into the flour. The fat results in a flaky texture since the fat melts while in the oven. This method is best used when baking biscuits, scones or pie crusts.
- Depending on the recipe and the type of quick bread, there are also three different types of batter:
- Pour Batter – This type of batter has a dry:liquid ratio of 1:1. Because there is so much liquid in this type of batter, the result is very moist and dense.
- Drop Batter – This batter has a dry:liquid ratio of 3:1. This batter will result in a moist but fluffy baked good
- Stiff Dough – This batter has a dry:liquid ratio of 7:1 This batter will result in a very light and fluffy baked good.
- Lower gluten flours are best to make quick breads you can replace 4 tablespoons in each cup of all-purpose flour with cake flour in most recipes or replace 2 tablespoons in each cup of all-purpose flour with corn flour (cornstarch) if you wish to lower the gluten levels of your flour.
- Flour should be sifted to aerate it which gives more rise therefore a lighter crumb to the final baked goods.
- Add fruit, nuts, etc. after lightly combining the wet and dry ingredients. Then give the batter one more light-handed stir and you’re done. Is the batter still thick and lumpy? That’s exactly what you want
- If you’re adding dried fruit, try soaking it first. This will moisten the fruit, make it tender and juicy, and also preserve the bread’s moisture. Don’t sprinkle dried fruit on top of quick bread before baking, as it will burn before the loaf is done.
- To lower the fat, for example, you can substitute some (or all) of the oil with an equal amount of almost any fruit puree (apple sauce, plum baby food, pumpkin puree, mashed bananas).
- Glaze your baked quick breads for a nice finishing touch and burst of flavor. Make a simple mixture of confectioners’ (icing) sugar and a little milk or fruit juice. Try orange and lemon juices, for their fragrant, tart zing; add curls of zest for extra color and flavor.
- For most quick mix recipes as a general rule – less butter and sugar in a recipe makes it more bread-like, while more butter and sugar produces something closer to cake.
- To prevent moist quick breads from spoiling, let them cool completely after baking. Then wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. If your bread is made with cheese, cream cheese or other perishable foods, it should be refrigerated
- Quick breads such as banana, zucchini and cranberry slice and taste best when served a day after baking. Wrap the cooled bread in foil or plastic wrap; leave at room temperature overnight. Others like cornbread and coffee cakes are best served warm.
- The quick bread is done if a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If it is not done, test again in a few more minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, unless recipe directs otherwise. Turn loaves out onto a wire rack to cool. Most quick bread should be cooled completely before slicing to prevent crumbling.
- Using a sawing motion, cut loaves with a thin sharp knife. Use a serrated knife for quick breads that have fruits and/or nuts.
Valentine’s day and another Daring Cooks challenge…
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!! And a very happy birthday to a very special person…. Ayush! I still can’t believe that he is already 2 years old. He is my closest friends son and his birthday is on 14th Feb… If I remember right, he is not a big fan of sweets but loves spicy food. So though I am not there to celebrate his birthday with him, I dedicate this post to Ayush and wish him a very happy birthday with loads of hugs and kisses…
And yes of course I did celebrate Valentine’s day with my hubby… But thanks to his very busy schedule (I am not complaining as he is busy cos he is getting done with his PhD dissertation), we had to have a very low profile celebration today… But we did not skim on the chocolates and wine. I made a pepper garlic chicken dish which I will post in due time and have marinated some lamb for some delicious lamb biryani for tomorrow. These recipes are all getting ready to be posted once this post is done.
The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties! Valentine’s day happens to be the reveal date for the daring cooks challenge for Feb 2012. I have made these before but for this challenge I decided to make two types of patties which I haven’t tried before. One is a spiced mint lamb patties and the other one is a combination of rice and shrimp.
I love patties mainly cos they are delicious and secondly, you can convert just about anything in patties and make a while new dish without a lot of effort.
(Makes about 4-5 patties)
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 slice white / wheat bread (1/2″ cubes)
- 3 teaspoons milk
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp coriander pwd
- 1/2 tsp cumin pwd
- 1 tsp cinnamon pwd
- 1 tsp ginger pwd
- 1 tsp nutmeg pwd
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- Mix together all the ingredients by hand. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together form patties.
- To ensure that the patties are all the same size, use a measuring cup to measure out each patty. I used 1/3 cup for one patty but I would recommend using about 1/2 cup meat to form a single patty as the red meat patties to shrink quite a bit when they are cooked.
- Also form a depression in the middle of the patty before frying it as these patties do tend to puff out in the middle as they cook.
- It works best if you can cool the patties for some time in the refrigerator as it helps firm up the patties and avoids breaking and cracking of the patties.
- Once they are firm enough add just a touch of oil to a non stick pan and transfer the patties to the pan. Flip the patties just once when the side on the pan is browned. The patties are ready in about 1o mins.
- Serve as a burger in a sandwich bun with an onion, lettuce and a yogurt sauce, mixing together about 4 tbsp greek yogurt, 2 tbsp mint chopped leaves, 1/2 tsp dried oregano and salt to taste.
These patties are just correctly spiced and are very filling. I did not realize how much they shrink so the bread I got to make burgers with turned out to be too small. But thats a lesson learnt. Hope you enjoy these patties as much as I did. And now for the Rice and Shrimp Patties.
Rice and Shrimp Patties
(Makes about 5-6 patties)
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- few strands of saffron (optional)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
- 1.5 cup raw shrimp
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1 cup ground oats
- milk to add moisture to the patties if they feel too dry
- 1 egg beaten
For the Shrimp Marinade
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 twig curry leaves
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- Wash and cook the rice in the water-coconut milk mixture. Add the salt and white pepper powder to this before it is cooked.
- Once cooked, cool the rice.
- In the meanwhile dry roast the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and the black pepper.
- Transfer the roasted seeds to a grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Now marinate the shrimp in the freshly ground spice mix along with the rest of the ingredients. I marinated the shrimp for about half hour.
- Next heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the cumin seeds.
- Once the seeds start to sputter add the onions to the oil and fry till they are slightly browned.
- Next add the marinated shrimp and cook on both sides. This would take about 10-15 mins.
- Transfer the shrimp to a food processor and grind to a coarse mixture.
- Add this to the cooked rice along with the coriander leaves and add salt to pepper if required.
- Next mix the ingredients together with your hand to a sticky consistency. Use the milk and ground oats to ensure that they form patties .
- Once again use a measuring cup to measure out for each patty. I used a biscuit cutter to get the heart shaped patties. But you can make them simple circular patties.
- Use the egg as a wash over the patties and roll the patties in the ground oats. (you can substitute this with bread crumbs).
- Again put the patties in the refrigerator for a while so that they firm up and do not disintegrate when fried.
- Heat some oil in a non stick pan and transfer the rice and shrimp patties to the pan. Cook for a 3-4 mins on each side till a golden colored crust has formed. The meat is already cooked so you do not have to cook it for too long, just make sure that the crust is a nice golden brown in order to get the slight crunch to the patties.
- The patties are ready to serve hot just by itself.
Since these patties have both rice and shrimp in it they do not require any accompaniment other than some ketchup. Hope you enjoy making both versions of the patties and do let me know if you try out some variations on these patties. I would love to hear about them cos I love to make different kinds of patties. Till the next post, happy valentine’s day everyone!
The Daring Cooks January 2012 Challenge
I am terribly late posting this challenge. Actually couple of weeks late. I bought all the ingredients for the challenge quite early but had a very hectic couple of weeks at work. But then I had to ultimately make the Tamales. I am actually surprised that I haven’t eaten tamales at a restaurant before. I actually loved the end result of this challenge and though it seems like a lot of effort, it isn’t a lot of work. Once the filling is prepared, the dough hardly takes any time. In fact Amit helped with the final putting together of the tamales. This recipe makes about 24 tamales.
Maranda of Jolts & Jollies was our January 2012 Daring Cooks hostess with the mostess! Maranda challenged us to make traditional Mexican Tamales as our first challenge of the year!
Note: If you use a traditional masa mixture (white corn flour, not to be confused with corn starch) you will need to add baking powder and salt for the Green Chile Chicken Tamales. Some masa mixtures can be purchased with the baking powder and salt already included.
If you cannot find corn husks, you can use parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Soaking the corn husks: 3 hours or up to 1 day
For the filling: 50-60 mins
For the masa: 10 minutes
Preparation and cooking: 2 hours (depending on how quickly you become at pressing and rolling the dough + steaming time)
- 1 – 8 ounce (225 gram) package dried corn husks (If you cannot find corn husks, you can use parchment paper or plastic wrap.)
- 1 pound (455 gram) tomatillos (can sub mild green chilies – canned or fresh)
- 4 – 3 inch (7½ cm) serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped (can sub jalapeno)
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups (480 ml) low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups (960 ml) (400 gm/14 oz) cooked and shredded chicken
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) roughly chopped fresh cilantro (also known as coriander)
For the masa dough:
- 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (265 gm/9⅓ oz) lard or vegetable shortening
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (10 gm/1/3 oz) salt (omit if already in masa mixture)
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (8 gm/¼ oz) baking powder (omit if already in masa mixture)
- 4 cups (960 ml) (480 gm/17 oz) masa harina (corn tortilla mix), I used instant masa mix
- 1 ½-2 cups (360 ml – 480 ml) low sodium chicken broth
For the Filling
- Place the dried corn husks in a large pot and cover with water.
- Place a heavy plate or a smaller pot full of water on top of husks to keep them in the water. Let soak for 3 hours or up to 1 day, flipping occasionally until husks are softened.
- Once husks are softened, boil chicken about 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Immediately place hot chicken into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn mixer on high to shred chicken (this takes about 3-5 seconds).
- Place an oven rack on the top setting. Turn the oven on broil. Peel and rinse the tomatillos.
- Line a heavy baking sheet with foil. Place tomatillos on baking sheet and place under broiler.
- Broil (grill) until black spots form on tomatillos, then flip and broil (grill) other side. This takes about 5-10 minutes per side depending on the strength of the broiler.
- Place roasted tomatillos and juices from the pan into a food processor and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped Serrano chiles and process until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
- Add the tomatillo puree and boil, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes (it should turn thick like a paste).
- Add in the chicken broth, stir to mix well. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture coats the back of a spoon and is reduced to about a cup (240 ml).
- Stir in the chicken and cilantro. Salt to taste.
- Prepare the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium high heat, cream together the lard or vegetable shortening, baking powder and salt.
For the Dough
- Mix in the masa harina, one cup (240 ml) at a time.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add in 1 ½ cups (360 ml) of the chicken broth.
- If the mixture seems too thick (you can taste it for moistness) add up to ½ cup (120 ml) more of the broth 2 tablespoons (30 ml) at a time. (The dough should be a cookie dough like texture).
- Take 3 large corn husks and tear them into ¼ inch (6 mm) strips. (I would suggest you put these back in the water until use because they dry out and start breaking when you try to work with them.
- Take a large pot with a steamer attachment. Pour about 2 inches (5 cm) of water into the bottom of the pot, or enough to touch the bottom of the steamer. Line the bottom of the steamer with corn husks.
- Unfold 2 corn husks onto a work surface. Take ¼ cup (60 ml) of dough and, starting near the top of the husk, press it out into a 4 inch (10 cm) square, leaving 2-3 inches (5 -7½ cm) at the bottom of the husk. Place a heaping tablespoon (15 ml) of the filling in a line down the center of the dough square.
- Fold the dough into the corn husk.
- And wrap the husk around the dough.
- Fold up the skinny bottom part of the husk.
- And secure it with one of the corn husk ties.
- Stand them up in the steamer. If there aren’t enough tamales to tightly pack the steamer, place crumpled aluminum foil in the excess space.
- Steam the tamales for about 40 minutes or until the dough deepens in color and easily pulls away from the husk.
I was very wary about whether we would like Tamales. Specially since we have never eaten them before. But I am going to make these pretty often at home. We loved it. And I am definitely going to try some tamales at a authentic Mexican restaurant so that I know how it is supposed to taste. I am pretty sure this is pretty close to the real deal, after all it’s a daring cooks challenge recipe! I hope you do try it too. I am very sure you will love it too.