Recipe – 100% WHOLEWHEAT BREAD (atta bread)

Baking your own bread is therapeutic and rewarding experience; the smell of a warm freshly baked bread wafting through the room is divine.

I love making bread and trying out different variations. It is easy to get a fluffy and soft texture with flours but when it comes to making a 100% wholewheat bread (atta bread), it is a challenge.

Since I want to bake a sugar-free bread using 100% wholewheat flour (chakki atta) for hubby dear, this recipe is simply perfect. I love to do it in the old-fashioned way. It does not have all purpose flour, eggs or sugar. I have made this bread recipe with sugar too; add 1 tbsp (if using it); the bread was more fluffy and light. The gluten powder was given to me by one of my friends; thought to use it for this bread recipe.

My toddler loves to baste the bread as he has done in all my previous bread recipes. You can baste with water or plain milk, however, it is optional. I basted my bread to keep my little chef happy.

The bread had a soft, light and pleasantly chewy texture.  You can tell the bread is cooked by tapping underneath. If it sounds hollow then it is cooked and if it doesn’t you have to put it back in the oven for little longer. Uncover the bread and allow it to cool completely; it is hard to resist cutting a slice of fresh warm home-made bread – so go ahead and enjoy!

Have a peep to my other bread recipes 4 braid bread, Simple Irish Soda bread and Turkish bread.

recipe source : my own

total prep time : 3 hrs/20 mins, cooking time : 25 mins, serves : 1 loaf, author : gloria

Ingredients

400 gms + 50 gms for dusting wholewheat flour*

2 tbsp gluten powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp milk powder

1 ½ tsp fine salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

350 ml lukewarm water or milk of your choice

basting with plain water or milk (optional)

Method

Combine wholewheat flour, gluten powder, ground ginger, milk powder and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add vegetable oil and lukewarm water or milk.

With the help of a wooden spoon, mix everything nicely. At this stage, the dough would be sticky. Dust little wheat flour onto the surface area and transfer the dough.

Using the extra wheat flour*, rub your hands and begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes silky and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest in a warm spot for 2 hours to leaven.

After the 1st rise, remove from the bowl and gently punch the dough down.

Shape into a loaf tucking the edges and place seam side down in a generously greased loaf pan (9×3 inches).

Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise further for a second time undisturbed for 60 minutes. Baste it with plain water or milk.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220º C and bake for 25 mins or until golden brown.

Once slightly cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack uncovered to cool completely.

Enjoy your home-made freshly baked atta bread slathered with butter or in your meals.  Makes a great sandwich too.

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Recipe – LEMONGRASS TEA

Lemongrass tea is a soothing, easy to make and comforting beverage. The benefits of lemongrass tea is endless combined with anti-oxidant properties. It aids digestion, removes harmful toxins from the body, helps in curing fever and cold. This recipe which I share today is an exhilirating blend of lemon peel, lemongrass and ginger. Have added only ½ tsp of organic honey and sometimes, I skip lemon peel and add lemon juice instead. You can also sweeten it with your favourite sweeteners of choice. For a healthier version, it is best to have fresh and drink warm. However, you can also chill it in the refrigerator and add some ice cubes too.

total time : 20 mins, serves : 2, author : gloria

Ingredients

2 stalks of lemongrass

1” ginger (peeled/crushed)

4 cups water

½ tsp lemon peel

pinch of ground mace or cinnamon

honey or jaggery, as desired (optional)

Method

Remove tough outer layers of the lemongrass stems and trim off the hard part at the root end; wash it in water. With the back of the knife, lightly bruise the stalk.

Place ginger, lemon peel and the lemongrass in a saucepan along with fresh cold water and boil. Cover with a lid and let it come to a rolling boil on medium heat.

Now, reduce heat and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes. Switch off flame and let the flavours steep for 10 minutes.

Strain and add pinch of ground mace or cinnamon. Once it cools slightly, sweeten the tea with honey or jaggery, if desired.

Pour into your favourite cup, sipping it slowly; enjoy!

Recipe – BRAZILIAN STYLE CARROT CAKE (bolo de cenoura)

Brazilian style carrot cake also known as Bolo de Cenoura is a very simple, easy to prepare cake, with available ingredients at home. It is moist, tender, soft, rich in flavour and texture. A popular Brazilian dessert; this plain cake is topped with chocolate sauce and is incredibly delicious.

Carrot cake is a great kid’s snack too; it can be served plain or dusted with icing sugar/powdered sugar and can also be topped with chocolate sauce (here, I’ve skipped it). Vegetable oil is added to keep the cake moist and prevent dryness. Carrots, being the star ingredient; it is best to use fresh and organic.  Also, it gives natural sweetness to the cake and an appealing look with rich golden colour once baked.

total prep time : 55 mins, yields : a large bundt cake, cuisine : brazil, author : gloria

Ingredients

3 nos medium sized carrots

3 nos large eggs

1½ cup vegetable oil

1½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups unbleached flour

3 levelled tsp baking powder

1 tsp orange extract

1/8 tsp salt

Method

Pre-heat oven 180º C/350º F and grease a large bundt pan.

Peel and roughly chop the carrots. Keep aside.

In a bowl, stir unbleached flour and salt. Reserve.

Into a blender or food processor, add chopped carrots and oil; break in the eggs and add the orange extract; blend until smooth for 4 minutes.

Tip in the granulated sugar and continue to blend for 2-3 minutes.

Now, combine the reserved flour and salt mixture, little by little and blend everything together nicely.

Transfer the blended mixture into a large bowl; add baking powder and with the help of a wooden spoon, stir slowly for a minute.

Pour the batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the tooth-pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool cake completely on the wire rack. Dust with icing sugar on top or enjoy it plain with coffee / tea.

Recipe – PUNJABI STYLE MUTTON CURRY

This mutton curry comes from the heart of Punjab which makes one drool and head straight to the kitchen. A simple and easy curry with aromatic spices and great flavour.

I make this curry very often and it is one of my family favourites. A dish for all meat-lovers with an appetizing aroma which is irresistable. The most popular, delicious punjabi style mutton curry goes well with rice, naan or rotis and would surely make you go ‘Balle Balle….’

Here in this recipe, the meat is cooked with aromatic spices and does not need any marination. The cooking time of the meat varies depending upon the quality of the meat. Adjust spice amount to suit your palate. The consistency of gravy is a thin-soup like consistency. To make it more flavourful, add punjabi style garam masala towards the end of the dish. For the punjabi style garam masala click  here.

prep time : 20 mins, cooking time : 50-55 mins, serves : 6, cuisine : punjab, author : gloria

Ingredients

600 gms goat meat (cut/washed/cleaned)

2-3 medium sized onions (chopped)

2-3 medium sized tomatoes

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

3 large tbsp pure desi ghee

2½-3 cups water

salt to taste

whole spices :

1 big dried bay leaf

3 green cardamom

1 black cardamom

1” cassia cinnamon stick

3-4 cloves

3-4 black peppercorns

Make a masala paste by adding little water:

1½ tsp chilly powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1½ tsp Punjabi style garam masala

Method

In a blender, puree tomatoes and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a large skillet, add onions; once translucent, add the whole spices and continue to saute till the onions reach golden brown in colour, without burning.

Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for a minute till it becomes fragrant.

Now, add the tomato puree; give a good mix and tip in the masala powder paste and fry till oil releases at the edges.

Into this, add the cleaned meat and mix well for 8 minutes on medium-high heat stirring constantly till it changes colour to light brown.

At this stage, add water; stir to combine well and bring it to a boil.

Simmer and add salt according to taste. Cover with a lid and allow it to cook on low heat till the meat becomes juicy, soft and succulent.

Finally, add a large pinch of garam masala (punjabi style); stir and switch off heat.

Dish up with hot steamed rice, parathas, naan or rotis with a slice of onion and lemon at the side.

Enjoy!!!

My observations/notes:

  • can use mustard oil instead of ghee

  • can be prepared with lamb meat also

Recipe – DUCK ROAST (nadan tharavu roast)

Duck roast or tharavu roast is a classic traditional dish of Kerala. It is prepared on Christmas or Easter celebrations and is hugely enjoyed by everyone. Duck roast is one of the many dishes my mum-in-law cooks for Christmas annual lunch and we all devour every bite, forgetting the calories. There are many variations and one such variation I am sharing today.

prep time : 35 mins, cooking time : 50-55 mins, serves : 6, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 kg duck with skin

2 cups sliced shallots

5-6 nos big garlic cloves (chopped/sliced)

2 inch ginger (chopped)

5-6 nos green chillies (chopped or slit)

1 cup boiling water

2 spring curry leaves

coconut oil

salt to taste

Spice powders:

1½ to 2 heaped tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp chilly powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp fennel powder

2 tsp pepper powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala (preferably home-made)

To marinate :

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ tsp crushed peppercorns

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp rock salt

To garnish (optional) :

1/2 cup fried onions (slice onion and deep fry in oil)

1/2 cup fried potatoes (slice potatoes, add turmeric, salt; deep-fry or shallow-fry in oil)

Method

Cut the meat into medium pieces and clean nicely. Marinate duck pieces mentioned under ‘to marinate’ for 30 minutes. Reserve.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet; tip in shallots. When translucent and soft, add green chillies, ginger, garlic and continue to saute until the shallots turn golden brown in colour over medium heat.

Add the spice powders; stir fry on low heat constantly for a minute until fragrant and the raw smell leaves, without burning the spices.

Into this, add the marinated duck pieces, few curry leaves and boiling water. Mix to combine well; cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until it is 85-90% cooked*.

Now, take a wok, tip in oil and add few curry leaves. Fish out the duck pieces and deep fry both sides of the meat in batches for 2 mins. Keep aside.

Meanwhile, reduce the gravy* and thicken it; add the fried duck pieces, curry leaves. Simmer and stir to incorporate everything together as one single mass, masalas well coated to the meat and till a roasted texture is obtained. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Finally, add a pinch of garam masala, pepper powder, a teaspoon of coconut oil, fried onions and fried potatoes. Allow it to sit at room temperature for few hours before serving.

Serve duck roast with rice, palappams or bread of your choice.

My observations/notes:

  • it can be made slightly wet or dry.

  • shallots can be replaced with 3 nos onions