Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Naan | #BreadBakers


Unexpected weather patterns unfurl every year. This year, we entered summers directly from winters. The Spring hardly stayed and the temperature rose abruptly. The fields remained dry and parched. Not too many wildflowers and vegetation made an appearance. It was a bleak start to the summers. But nature has its own ways of restoring balance. For the last two days, it has been raining. The scent of rain drenched earth, cool breeze and a sudden drop in temperature has changed everything. Bunches of rain lilies have emerged in the corners of the fields. The dry lawn is a carpet of green. It is soothing to sit in the Sun and everything looks clean, bright and beautiful.


While our daily chores are going on, yeasty aroma of naan bread permeates the air. Our lunch is naan with chickpea curry.  Some finely chopped onions and green chilies along will make a perfectly pleasant day lunch.
Naan is a yeast-risen, yogurt enriched tender, soft and fluffy Indian flatbread.  Traditionally, Naan is made in a tandoor which is actually a cylindrical clay oven. Small pieces of dough are shaped with hands and slapped against the walls of the tandoor. Naan bakes over a burning fire. This gives naan a unique charred flavour of the clay oven.


Homemade naan is generally cooked in a cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan. It does miss out the charred flavour of the clay oven but is soft and very tender, blistered here and there and very delicious. It goes very well with soups, curries and Indian-style curry dishes with gravies.

Naan


Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Some oil for greasing the pan and for cooking naan
  • Some butter to brush naan.

Instructions


  1. Mix sugar and yeast in warm water. Cover and keep for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Mix flour and salt in a large plate. Make a well in the center. Add yogurt, oil, yeast mixture and knead till the dough becomes smooth, supple and shiny. This will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until double.
  4. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Work on one piece at a time. Cover the rest.
  5. Heat up a cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan. Brush the surface with oil. Roll out one piece of dough into an oval or a round naan. Brush the rolling surface with oil if the dough is sticking.
  6. Place the rolled dough in the hot pan.
  7. When it puffs up and bubbles appear on top and brown spots appear on the bottom, flip it over and cook the other side.
  8. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  9. Brush hot naan liberally with butter. Serve.

Linking to Bread Bakers.


BreadBakers


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient
This month, the Bread Bakers are baking flat breads with yeast or starter. Our host is Sonia from the blog Sonlicious. Sonia's blog has a collection of great recipes. 
Here are some flat breads baked by the talented members of the group.
  
·         Bacon and Leek Flamiche from Food Lust People Love
·         Chole Kulche Delhi Style from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
·         Creamy Garlic Flatbread Pizza from A Day in the Life on the Farm
·         Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·         Foccacia Bread from Cook with Renu
·         Gözleme from All That's Left are The Crumbs
·         Manakish Za’atar from Herbivore Cucina
·         Methi Naan from Mayuri's Jikoni
·         Naan from Ambrosia
·         Nángbĭng from A Shaggy Dough Story
·         Paneer Kulcha - Indian Flat Bread from Sonlicious
·         Quick Beer Crust Pizza from Cook’s Hideout
·        Sourdough Flatbread from Sneha's Recipe
·        Tajik Non from The Schizo Chef
·         Yemeni Malooga Bread from Gayathri's Cook Spot


         






Saturday, 7 April 2018

Low Fat Chocolate Cupcakes (Eggless)





Kids are back to their school. The new session has begun. New class, new books, new uniform, new teachers, new timetable, new activities and all the excitement that this newness leads to. This took me back in time to our own school days. I got lost in the maze of memories and thoughts and my reverie was broken when my daughter placed scissors in my hand and together we sat down to cover her books and notebooks. When we were small, dad used to cover our books. He would cut out labels from a plain sheet and write in his beautiful handwriting. His cover and labels are still intact in some of the old books that I have.
Childhood is the most beautiful time of life when everything is so simple and uncomplicated.  There are no real worries, friends are plentiful and everything is fun. Given a choice, many of us would love to remain in our childhood forever.


On the first day of the new session, my daughter wanted to take some cupcakes for her teachers and friends. We baked some eggless chocolate cupcakes. Some were packed for the teachers and some for friends. Everyone loved the deep, dark and chocolaty cupcakes

  

Chocolate cupcakes

Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup yoghurt (beaten till smooth)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • ¾ cup unrefined sugar (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease one 12 cup muffin tray or line the tray with paper liners. You may use silicone moulds if you have.
  2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients except chocolate chips.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients to get a smooth batter. Fold in ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into the tray. Fill up the moulds a little above half. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or till the top is firm to touch.
  7. Remove from the moulds, cool in the rack.
  8. Serve when cold.






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