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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with flour

20Jul 12

Stovetop Naan Bread

Stovetop Naan BreadNaan bread is a delicious flat bread that is very popular in many Indian restaurants. It is similar to pita bread, which is another tasty flat bread. However, just because naan is flat does not mean it is unleavened. In fact, this naan recipe calls for yeast, which will make your bread puff up. You can then just gently pat it down with a spatula to flatten it before serving.

Traditionally, naan bread is baked in a clay oven. Let me tell you, nothing compares to that authentic flavour of naan from a clay oven! But, since we of course don’t have clay ovens in our houses, here’s a simple way to try Naan at home on your stovetop. Use a non-stick pan so you do not have to put any oil on the pan at all. Cooking it without oil will make the taste as close to oven-baked naan bread as possible.

When you are kneading the bread, make sure the water you add is lukewarm. When you go to divide the bread into balls and roll it, first moisten your hands with a little cooking oil. This will make it easier to work with.

Many people, myself included, like to spread a bit of ghee butter or Moroccan hummus on their naan bread. You can also serve it alongside all types of curries or Indian dishes with sauces like this malai kofta.

Stovetop Naan Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 naans
 
Naan Bread is a flat bread.
Ingredients
  • 500g Flour
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 2tbsp Yeast
  • 400ml Water
Instructions
  1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Slowly pour in the water while kneading the dough with your hands. Knead it until it does not stick to your fingers.
  3. Cover the dough with a moist kitchen towel and set it aside for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Now divide the dough into balls the size of a clementine. Lay the balls of dough on a clean cloth.
  5. Dust a surface with flour.
  6. Take one ball of dough and dust it lightly with flour. Dust a rolling pin with flour as well and roll until it is very thin.
  7. Heat up a non-stick pan till it is extremely hot.
  8. Put the flattened dough on the pan and cook on one side until you see little bubbles.
  9. Flip it over.
  10. When it starts to puff up, flip it back again. Let it puff up well, then take a spatula and gently flatten it. Remove quickly from the pan.

 

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11Jun 12

Chickpea Samosas

Chickpea samosasI just love bringing samosas to my friends’ parties. Everyone’s faces light up when they see me walk in the door with this tasty finger food. Like my Vegetable Samosas, Chickpea Samosas are completely vegetarian, so everyone can enjoy them.

They also make the perfect accompaniment for any dish, such as this Mussel Rassam Curry.

Ingredients:

  • 400g chickpeas
  • 100g peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 140g of wholemeal flour
  • 175ml water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation Method:

To make the pastry:

  1. Put the wholemeal flour in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the water.
  2. Knead the dough. This can be quite tiring, but remember, the more you knead it, the better the results will be. Think of it as good exercise!
  3. When the dough is elastic, mould it into a ball shape and set it aside for 15 minutes.

To make the samosa filling:

  1. Clean the chickpeas and soak them overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours.
  2. Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove them and set them aside.
  4. In a frying pan, fry the onions for 4 minutes until they turn a golden brown.
  5. Add the peas and stir.
  6. Add the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir. The tomatoes should become very soft.
  7. Now it is ready for the spices. Add the garam masala, cumin powder and coriander. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Stir slowly for 2 more minutes before taking them off the hot stove.
  8. Take the dough and divide it into 4 portions.
  9. Roll these 4 portions into flat circles.
  10. Gently add the chickpea samosa stuffing to each circle using a small teaspoon. Be careful not to overstuff.
  11. Fold the top flap over and gently press the sides together.
  12. Fill a heavy-based pan halfway with vegetable oil and heat on high. Slowly lower the samosa into the hot oil. Be careful not to do this too fast or the oil will splatter and you’ll get burned. Deep fry for 5 minutes
  13. Remove the samosa and leave them on a kitchen roll to drain some of the excess oil off.

Note: Hot oil can be dangerous and should never be left unattended.

Takes: 10 hours
Makes: 8 large chickpea samosas

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10Jun 12

Bhatura

BhaturaBhaturas are Indian fried puffy breads. They actually puff up as you deep fry them, which is why they are a lot of fun to make. This is a lovely recipe I learned from my grandmother. (If you want more ideas, try this cheese and onion bread recipe.)

Since they are neither sweet nor salty, Bhaturas are very versatile. You can drizzle your favourite chutney on them. Check out my chutney recipes on my homepage.

Many Indians serve these tasty breads with Channa Masala.

 

Ingredients:

  • 240g all-purpose flour (also known as Maida)
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 50g yoghurt
  • 2 tsp. milk

Preparation Method:

  1. Sieve the all-purpose flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter a little bit in the microwave and add to the bowl.
  3. Add the milk and the yoghurt.
  4. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic. This may take a while, but consider it good exercise!
  5. Now roll this dough into a ball.
  6. Cover the ball with a wet cloth.
  7. Set the ball of dough aside for 5 hours. From time to time, check the cloth on top of the dough. You do not want it to dry up completely, so wet it every so often.
  8. After the allotted time, take this dough and knead it more.
  9. Take a small amount and roll it into round circles that are approximately 1 centimetre by 10 centimetres thick. Try to make these circles as perfectly round as possible.
  10. Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Wait until it is very hot.
  11. Take one of these circular Bhaturas and slowly lower it into the oil. Do this slowly because at this point the oil is very hot and if it spatters up on you, it will burn you.
  12. Let it fry for about 2 minutes. It should puff up as it is frying.
  13. Flip the Bhatura over. You will only flip it over once. Wait until it is slightly golden.
  14. Carefully remove from the oil.
  15. Leave it on a paper towel to let the oil drain off. Otherwise, it will be extremely fattening!
  16. Repeat this with the rest of the dough circles.

Makes: 5 Bhaturas
Takes: 30 minutes (plus 5 hours for the dough to sit)

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14May 12

Sweet Gulab Jamoon

Sweet Gulab JamoonGulab Jamoon is a delicious Indian dessert. It consists of deep fried balls of dough, called jamoons, in a sugary syrup. Gulab Jamoon was served at all my cousins’ weddings. In fact, it is one of the most typical desserts served at traditional Indian weddings, and one of my very favourites of all sweets.

These days, gulab jamoon powder is internationally available, so it’s not difficult to find and pepare; however,  it takes a little more time compared to other desserts as it sometimes requires being dipped in sugar syrup for whole night. The texture resembles the liqueur syrup-saturated French cake Baba au Rhum.

They also remind me a bit of doughnuts. Speaking of, did you know that May 12th through May 19th is national doughnut week? Maybe you should try this recipe to celebrate!

The term gulab jamoon comes from Persia, and it means “rose water”, referring to its rosewater-scented syrup. This very tasty dessert is often eaten at important celebrations, like weddings, but also commonly enjoyed at Diwali (the Indian festival of light) and the Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

There are lots of varieties when it comes to gulab jamoon, and each one has its one appearance and special taste. You can eat them cold, but our favourite way to enjoy gulab jamoon is to warm them a bit before serving. It adds another dimension to the dish;  it’s perfect for special occasions when you want something more exotic than cake.

I got this recipe from my aunt, who really knows how to make tasty sweets.

Sweet Gulab Jamoon
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Gulab Jamoon is a delicious Indian dessert.
Ingredients
  • 250ml Water
  • 250g Sugar
  • 500ml Khoya
  • 125g Flour
  • ¼tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 pinch of Saffron, crushed
  • ½tsp. Cardamom Powder
  • 125ml Milk
  • 900ml Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Instructions
  1. To make the syrup, combine the water and sugar in a large pot and let simmer while you are preparing the jamoons.
  2. To make the balls of dough, start by crumbling the khoya into a large bowl.
  3. Add in the flour and baking soda. Mix these ingredients together.
  4. Sprinkle in the pinch of crushed saffron and cardamom powder.
  5. Knead these ingredients to form dough. Slowly add in the milk as you are kneading. Only use as much milk as you need to make the dough soft. You might not need as much as 125ml.
  6. Take a small bit of dough in your hands and roll it into a perfectly round little ball. There should be enough to make 30 balls.
  7. Put these balls on a plate and cover them with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Let them sit for up to 10 minutes.
  8. Heat up the vegetable oil until it is very hot. (You may substitute ghee for vegetable oil). Then lower to the lowest flame.
  9. Slowly drop in the balls of dough. Be careful not to burn yourself. These balls will rise to the top of the oil. Let them fry until they are light brown.
  10. Remove the balls from the hot oil and leave them aside on a paper towel. Let the oil drain off them.
  11. Now add them to the syrup, which should be still simmering in the pot. Cover the pot and let simmer for 1 hour, then turn off the flame. My aunt then lets them soak in the syrup overnight. If you have time for this, it will give the balls a much sweeter flavour.
  12. Serve in a dish with plenty of syrup and perhaps a bit of icing sugar!

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21Mar 12

Vegetable Samosas

Vegetable SamosasVegetable Samosas make a delicious snack at a party. They also work well as an accompaniment to a curry dish such as this Mussel Rassam recipe or as a starter. Eat them hot just after you’ve cooked them, or keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat them cold. I like them with a big dollop of mango chutney, but if you don’t want the fuss of spoons and forks, just enjoy them as a finger food.

Ingredients

To make the pastry
• 380g plain white flour
• 155g white self-raising flour
• 130g butter

To make the samosa filling
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 pinch of panch phoron (Bengali five-spice)
• 2 onions, chopped finely
• 3 large potatoes, cut into small cubes
• 100g peas
• 1 green chilli, chopped finely (add another if you like your samosas hot!)
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• Salt
• Vegetable oil in which to deep fry

Preparation Method

To make the pastry:
1. Put the 2 types of flour along with the butter into a mixing bowl and work the contents together. Drop in a dash of warm water and knead the mixture into a dough that should be elastic in consistency.
2. Make 12 dough balls and with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle. Then cut each circle in half.

To make the samosa filling:
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan; add the panch phoron and the onions; and fry until the onions turn a lovely golden brown. Add the chillies, turmeric, potatoes and peas; then season with salt. Cook the vegetables on a low heat until they are soft, stirring the contents of the pan frequently.

4. Make little islands with the filling on the half-circles of dough, using a teaspoon. 1 teaspoon on each piece of dough should be enough. Fold the dough into triangle shapes.

5. Take a heavy-based pan, fill it halfway with vegetable oil, and heat on high. You’ll know when the oil is ready to use if you drop a tiny piece of onion or other small piece of leftover veg into the oil and it sizzles immediately. Lower a few of the dough parcels into the hot oil and deep fry for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-looking and golden brown in colour.

6. Using a slotted spoon to drain the oil, carefully scoop the samosas out onto a plate covered with a piece of kitchen roll which will remove some of the excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining parcels, cooking a few at a time. When all of the samosas are cooked and drained, they are ready to serve.

Note: Hot oil can be dangerous and should never be left unattended.

Takes: 65 minutes

Makes: 24 Vegetable Samosas

 

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