Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Flaounes (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies)

This months bread for the group We Knead to bake was  Flaounes (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies) which Aparna introduced us to.
Ok I do have to admit the bread was really new to me and I am always delighted when it is some new bread the group is making which I don't know about.

Even though I was delighted about making a new bread, I didn't had time to make them, as it was two weeks of Easter holidays and we went for a holiday to London which was really fun, as there was Hans , Shyama and myself and a uncle and aunt from Hans ( they had planned to go to Indian for 18 days in February but uncle need a knee operation in february so they had to cancel their trip)

So as there is such a huge Indian community in London we thougth we all will go to London and they were delighted when we took a trip to Brick Lane, South Hall and Toothing.
Especially South Hall and Brick Lane was a delight for them.

I did meet up Nisha one evening sadly no pictures as Hans took the pics while we were having dinner and the two pics he took were not good :-).
Then we went to Germany just Hans and I so al toegther we were busy enjoying the Easter holidays.

Now to the bread Aparna had given the recipe using lesser eggs but I used the original recipe which she took the recipe and made like in The Traveler's Luncbox blog.
I do have to say the bread is tasting good, I always say if i say that i will make a dish, dessert or some bake again after I make them fir first time then it is a hit.
But what I will say is this bread I wo'nt make anymore . Could be also I thought it was a bit bland and not exciting enough to make them again.

Yield: about 18 palm-sized pastries Recipe Courtsey The Traveler's Lunch box)

For the dough

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon mastic, ground in a mortar (optional; also called mastica)
1/2 teaspoon ground mahleb, (optional; also called mechlepi)
1 tablespoon sugar

3 large eggs
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1/2 cup (125g) butter, melted and cooled
1/4-1/2 cup (60-125ml) lukewarm water, or as needed
vegetable oil, for greasing bowl and work surface

For the filling
1 lb 2 oz (500g) Cypriot halloumi or a mixture of cheeses (e.g. kefalotyri, kashkavali, parmesan, pecorino, manchego; see note above), grated

1 tablespoon flour
5 large eggs

2 tablespoons dry mint

1/3 cup (50g) raisins or currants (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder 

For the decoration:
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (100g) sesame seeds

In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, salt, mastic, mahleb, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter and add this to the flour. Add as much water as needed to get a soft but kneadable dough. If it's too sticky to knead, add additional flour by the spoonful until you can knead it with clean hands without it sticking to your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball. Wash out the bowl, pour about a teaspoon of oil into the bottom, and put the dough in, rolling it around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for about an hour, or until doubled in size. Fold the dough over itself a couple of times to deflate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24.
Meanwhile, mix all the filling ingredients except the baking powder and set aside. If refrigerating the dough overnight, cover and refrigerate the filling too. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate.
The dough is easiest to handle when it's cold, so divide it in half and keep the half you're not working with covered in the fridge. On a lightly oiled work surface, and using a lightly oiled rolling pin, roll the other half to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Using a bowl as a guide, cut as many 6-inch circles from the dough as you can. Combine the scraps, re-roll and cut out more circles. Repeat until you've used all the dough. Gently pick up the circles and press one side into the sesame seeds. Brush off any loose seeds. Place the circles back on your worktop, sesame-side down.
Stir the baking powder into the cheese mixture. Heap 2-3 tablespoons in the center of each dough circle, spreading it slightly but leaving at least an inch (2.5cm) border all around. Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the dough and fold three of the sides to form a triangle shape (see pictures below). Using a fork, press the corners together to join.
Place the flaounes on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them widely so they have room to expand. Let them rise while you prepare the second batch of flaounes, about 30-40 minutes. About 20 minutes before you begin baking, preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Just before baking, brush the outside of the flaounes with beaten egg. Bake them in batches for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature. Freeze what you won't be able to eat within 3 days.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Layered Paratha

I myself am surprised that I am adding a roti recipe here in my blog :-)
Truth to be said I made these for a DELICIOUS paneer dish I made and of course I think a creamy paneer dish need some kind of roti to go with that than rice.

 I was in a mood to make some thing new.

So I took out a book which I bought in 1991 , Jully 9th. ( Ok you all might be saying how come I remember the exact year and date when I bought the book)

Hans has this habit when ever he buy a book he sign them with date and year and I guess after getting married to him and seeing him doing it I thought it was such a wonderful idea and started doing same so, which I think is so good as now I know after all these years the book was bought in Bombay in 1991 :-)

The book is called Rotis and Naans but Porobi Babbar

Ingredients : Makes 6

225 gms wheat flour ( atta flour) plus a little bit for sprinkling
4 to 5 tbsp of ghee/soft butter
1 level tsp of salt
150 ml of warm water ( you might need a bit more or less according to your flour)

Sieve together flour and salt. Rub in 2 tbsp of ghee.
Slowly add water . Knead to a smooth and pilable dough.
Rest for 30 minutes
Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
Sprinkle with a bit of flour.
Take one dough ball and flatten it with you palm.
Roll the dough into a circle shape. Now spread 1/2 tsp ghee ever entire circle and sprinkle 1 tsp of flour over it.
Lift and fold backwards ( refer to the step by step pic)
Roll into a swiss roll, prepare the remaining balls the same way.

Now take a ball, flatten with palm and roll into a round disc. It should not be very thin or very thick , medium thickness it should be.

Heat the griddle iver medium heat.
Place one paratha and when you see small bubbles coming up flip it over.
Spead a little bit of butter/ghee each sides and cook un till both sides are evenly brown.
Transfer to a plate and keep it warm and make the remaining parathas.
Pile all parathas together after making and press lightly with both hands. This makes them appear fluffy and it will show the layers.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Chicken Fried Noodles With Sausages

I love noodles and I think lots of the noodle dishes I have is so easy to make.
And if you are a regular reader of my blog you will know I love Wagamama and have both their books.
This recipe is from their book and I just adapted it to a dish with the things I had in the fridge like I do with lots of my recipes. I just get inspired by reading the recipe and then make things according to the ingridients I have at home.

Ok as you can see when I was clicking the picture I forgot to add the eggs and it is only when I cleaned up I realized I didn't add the eggs and then I just scatterd the eggs on top and then took a click fast.

125 gm flat noodles
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 egg beaten and seasoned
1 onion slices
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finley chopped
1 red chilli finely chopped
100 gm chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
100 gm brocoli florets
50 gm sausages ( I used german thing sausages)
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp of soysauce
handfull of bean sprouts
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the noodles according to the packet , drain, refresh under cold water and keep aside.
Put 1 tbsp of oil to the wok .
Add the egg swril so that it coats the base and cook for 1 minute. Remove allow to cool and then roll up and thinly slice.
Add the remaining tablspoon of oil to the wok and stir fry the garlic, chilli for a minute, then add the slices onions, chicken, brocoli and sautedd for few more mintes till everything is cooked.
Add the brown sugar, soysauce and the beansprouts cook for few minutes.
Add the drained noodles and mix everything together.
Add pepper and salt to taste . Add the sliced fried egg and serve hot.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Saffron hot cross buns

hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK,Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada, but now available all year round.

English folklore includes many superstitions
 surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.

Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time, so some say they should only be cooked one at a time. 

Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten
. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

Every month I am always looking forward to get my Delicious magazine in my post box.
And when this months magazine arrived I was excited to see the recipe of the hot cross buns, as every year during the easter time I want to make them but it never seems to happen .

But then this recipe was looking so good and there was step by step pics I thought I should make them.
Plus this is such a easy recipe to make as there is hardly any kneading required which I think is wonderful.
The only thing I think is these are best on the day you baked them. In the recipe it is written they are stay soft even on the next few days , but i tired and even though they are good and soft next day, they are not same as it was freshly baked.
Saffron Hot Cross Buns recipe here and there is a step by step instructions there.
Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Citrus & Marzipan Bakewell tart

I love buying cooking books and food magazines. I have so many cooking books and magazines that he pile is getting too much.
There are times when I clean up mymagazine bunch and then I throw the ones I really don't use.
Most of the time I order the books online unless if the book is written by a Belgian Authour then I buy from the shop  as it is in Dutch.
And each time I order a book online Hans  remark, didn't I hear some one saying I am not going to buy any more new cooking books.

So while I was in the Bookstore near to my home, I was looking at the magazine section and saw the BBC Good Food Magazine, and I looked through the recipes in i and this Bakewell tart caught my attention and I was like ohhhhhhhhh I want to make this tart.
But I said to myself I have too much magazine as I have get monthly two food magazine in my post.
So didn't buy but the whole day I was thnking about this tart that I went next day to the book store and bought the magazine.
Only after buying the magazine I found out they had the recipe in their site as when i looked for it i just typed Lemon Bakewell tart and didn't find in search :-(

Well I must say I am so happy I got the magazine as these tarts are so good.
They are bit on the sweet side but I think the tanginess from the curd makes it up :-)

Tip :

I made myown short crust pastry and used individual tart tins, in the recipe they asked for a long one tart tin.
Original recipe didn't ask for the addition of 1/4 tsp of baking powder, that is my addition.

Citrus & Marzipan Bakewell Tart. ( Recipe from BBC Goodfood Magazine )

  • 375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry ( I didn't buy from the store I made at home)
  • jar of lemon curd
  • 280g icing sugar
  • juice 1 lemon

  • For the sponge

    • 100g very soft butter
    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 50g ground almonds
    • 50g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
    • 1/4 tsp baking piwder ( oriinal recipe didn't ask, but I added)
    • ¼ tsp almond extract
    • 2 medium eggs, beaten
    • 25g chopped candied peel
    • zest 1 lemon
    • zest ½ orange
    • 50g block marzipan

    Method (Read the Tip above)

    1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to line a 12 x 35cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Press any overhanging pastry back over the outside of the tin (you can trim after baking). Prick the base all over with a fork and chill for 30 mins. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
    2. Bake the pastry for 15 mins until just cooked but not coloured. Lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the sponge mixture by beating the butter, sugar, ground almonds, flour, almond extract and eggs together with an electric whisk until well mixed. Tip in the candied peel and zests, then coarsely grate in the marzipan – the best way to do this is to keep dipping the end of the block in flour to stop it getting sticky, and stir into the mix every now and then to stop it all clumping back together. Give everything a good stir.
    3. Spoon 3 tbsp of the lemon curd into a disposable piping bag or a small food bag. Spread the rest of the lemon curd over the base of the tart, then spoon over the sponge mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and firm. Cool completely in the tin.
    4. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough of the lemon juice to get a smooth, thick but still runny icing. Spread all over the top of the tart and wiggle the tin to help it smooth. Snip off the tip of the bag of reserved lemon curd. Pipe lines horizontally across the length of the tin, then use the end of a cocktail stick or skewer to drag lines down the length of the tin to ‘feather’ the lemon curd into the icing. Will keep well for up to 5 days in the tin covered with cling film, or sliced in an airtight container.

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014

    Hoisin Chicken With Vegetables

    It is Easter holidays for Hans and Shyama here, though Hans is home , Shyama was still at her place as she had to do work for her thesis etc... but she is coming home today as we are going for few days of holiday and I thought before going I will add a new post in my blog.

    Will tell about our few days trip when I come back as I have planned to visit markets and then it is fun to share the pictures of the market etc....

    I do have a step py step pictorial of making the dish, will add them later.


    750 gm bonless chicken (Breast or thigh / leg)
    5 tbsp of corn flour ( 2 tbsp for mixing with the chicken and the rest for thickening the sauce)
    Oil for deep frying and extra 3 tbs also for the sauce
    1 heap tablespoon of grated ginger
    1 tbsp of finley chopped garlic
    2 onions chopped
    250 gm brocoli florets
    400 gm Straw mushrooms from a can
    70 gm fresh mushrooms slices
    2 carrots sliced
    2 celery sticks sliced
    3 tbsp of hoisin sauce
    2 tbso of chinese wine
    1 tbsp of soy sauce
    2 tbsp of chinese black vinegar
    700 ml  hot water
    Salt and pepper for taste
    1 tsp of seasame oil

    1. In a bag ( I use deepfreeze bag) add the chicken pieces and the 2 tbsp of corn flour and give it a good shake so all the pieces are coated with the corn flour.
    Heat in a wok / pan oilf for deepfrying, when the oil is hot enough, deep fry the chicken till they are light brown, drain and keep side.
    Remove the oil which you deep fried the chicken and add the extra 3 tbsp oil .
    Add the onions and fry for few minuites. Then add the ginger and the garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.
    Add the broccoli, celery, carrots and frest mushroom and sauted for few minutes.

    Add the chinese wine, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegarn salt and pepper  and the hot water.
    And bring it to boil , add the frreid cchicken pieces and the tinned mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, mix the 3 ybsp of corn flour with a bit of water and add this paste to the wok and make the sauce thick. Don't add the cornflour paste full you might not need the whole amount for making the sauce thick. Add the sesame oil and serve with steamed rice or noodles.