Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Desi Take on the Danish Braid

The June Challenge from the Daring Bakers took me right back to my early days as a novice baker!! Still in high school, I had an insatiable need to experiment with all goods baked. Thumbing through an old Woman & Home magazine, courtesy my grandmother's collection, I found myself fascinated with the very flaky puff pastry. Out came the flour, butter, and rolling pin, and with a some great recipes and enduring love for the puff pastry was formed.

The Daring Bakers recipe for the Danish Braid is simply super. Yet it did set me in a bit of a quandary. I was keen on making a savoury rather than a sweet braid, and I wanted to avoid using the egg and vanilla essence combination as my olfactory sensation is not taking kindly to it!! So here's the alternative recipe I developed.

For the Pastry:
1 sachet yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp onion seeds
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 stick butter
2/3 cup milk

For the Filling:
1 large onion, sliced fine
1 garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp butter
A drop of olive oil

Prepare the pastry as per the original recipe. For the filling, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, and then the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the onions are delicately caramelised. Now add the mushrooms, turn up the heat and fry, stirring all the time. Once the mushrooms are cooked and there is no water in the pan, add the seasonings. Mix well, remove from heat, and cool.

Prepare the braid, fill, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve warm or cool.

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moth Bhaji | Stir-fried Dew Bean

Moth, Matki, Mat, are all synonyms for the Dew Bean. Very small and creamy brown in color, the Moth bean resembles Mung bean. But it has a stronger, fresher flavor with a deliciously nutty aftertaste. Moth is very healthy with high amounts of both protein and fiber. Moth bhaji is a delicately seasoned stir-fry. It is excellent on its own as a quick snack or incorporated into any meal as a main dish.

1 1/2 cups Moth, soaked overnight
2 large potatoes, cubed
6-8 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of half a lemon
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp oil

  1. Place the Moth beans and peanuts in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Add one teaspoon of salt and cook till tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin. When the seeds pop, add the curry leaves and the sliced spring onions. Fry well.
  3. Add the cubed potatoes, half a cup of water and cook until the potatoes are just done but not too soft.
  4. Now add the cooked Moth, peanuts, grated coconut, red chilli powder, and the turmeric.
  5. Adjust the salt and other seasonings.
  6. As a snack, serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and some cilantro. For a meal, this dish goes best with hot Chappatis and ghee. 
Vegan Recipe

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007-2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.