Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plaited Bread -- Sweet & Savory filling

After looking at this beautiful bread in a couple of blogs, I wanted to try one on my own. And here comes my version – Mix and match from a couple of recipes.

The coconut filling one reminded me of the coconut bun/dilkush which we get in the local bakery in Kerala, Though I missed the tutty fruitys.

Plaited Bread 10

Ingredients:  Serves – 12 to 14


All purpose flour     --   3 cups or more as required.
Active dry yeast     --   1 tbsp
Lukewarm water   --   ¼ cup
Lukewarm milk      --   ¼ cup
Sugar                          --   1 tbsp
Salt                              --   ½ tsp
Egg                              --   1
Butter                         --   ¼ cup, at room temperature
Egg                              --   1 for glaze

Chicken Filling:

Chicken                    --   250gm
Onion                        --   ½ of a medium size
Green Chillies        --   2 - 3
Ginger                      --   ½ inch piece
Garlic                        --   2 - 3
Turmeric Powder   --   ½ tsp
Chilly Powder       --   ½ tsp
Garam/Chicken Masala  --   ½ tsp, I used eastern chicken masala
Coriander Leaves  --   1 cup chopped.
Oil                              --   1 tbsp
Salt                           --   to taste

Coconut Filling:

Coconut                 --   ½ cup
Sugar                      --   2 tbsp, or according to your taste
Mixed nuts            --   ½ cup, ground; I used walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts.
Cashew nuts        --   ¼ cup, chopped
Cardamom           --   2

Plaited Bread 11


Combine the yeast, sugar and water. Stir and leave for sometime to dissolve and rise.
Mix the milk, salt, egg and butter in a big bowl. Gradually stir in the flour to obtain a soft and smooth dough.Keep the dough in a clean bowl, cover and let it rise. It might take around 1.5 to 2 hrs.

Plaited Bread 1

Chicken Filling:

Marinate chicken with ¼tsp turmeric powder and salt. Cook until done and shred the chicken pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute until the raw smell goes off. Add the finely chopped onions,sauté until they are translucent.Add the spice powders and salt and fry until the raw smell goes off. Add the shredded chicken and quarter cup of water. Mix well and let the water evaporate completely until you get a dry masala. Add the chopped coriander leaves,mix well and keep aside.

Plaited Bread 2

Coconut Filling:

Powder the cardamom with 1 tsp of sugar. Adding sugar while grinding helps to powder the cardamom well. Mix together all the ingredients and Keep aside.

Plaited Bread 7


Grease a large baking tray. Knead the dough, transfer it to a floured surface and then roll into a rectangle. I rolled the dough in an Aluminium foil, so it was easy to transfer to the baking tray.  Also I managed to roll it without flouring the surface.

Spread the filling in the centre of the rolled dough. With a knife, cut equal number of strips on either side of the filling.  To make a plaited pattern, fold the strip from each side to the other, so that they form the below pattern.Repeat until all the strips are folded over. Leave it aside to rise until almost doubled in volume.

I filled the chicken for 2/3 rd of the dough and coconut in the 1/3rd.

Plaited Bread 3   Plaited Bread 4Plaited Bread 6 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Beat the egg until fluffy. Brush the plaited bread with the egg glaze.

Plaited Bread 8

Bake until the crust is brown,for about 30 minutes. If the crust is get dark too soon, lightly cover the pan with an aluminium foil.

Plaited Bread 12

Transfer it to a cooling rack. Enjoy with tea.

You can preserve this in the fridge for 2 –3 days. Microwave in a closed container before serving. Ieven took a slice for lunch on the next day J

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Egg Fried Rice & Goan Shrimp Balchao

Here comes the century.... yay!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to post something special for the 100th post and have been waiting for a while.. Either I dont find the dish as special or I am not satisfied with the clicks. Finally I decided to post whatever I cook today(in fact yesterday) never mind what it is and how the clicks be.

While hopping through the blogs I came across the shrimp recipe @yummyoyummy and decided to try that out with a few tweaks. I checked Maya if it would pair well with fried rice and she gave a 'Go' to it.

And I really do not remember where I picked the fried rice recipe from. I did not bookmark it, but had it written down in a textpad. That was great too and my thanks to the real owner of the recipe.

Fried Rice - Goan Shrimp Balchao 1

Egg Fried Rice:

Ingredients(Serves – 3 to 4):

Basmati Rice          --   2 cups
Water                        --   4 cups
Any cooking oil    --   1 tbsp
Salt                             --   to Taste

Ginger                       --   1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic                        --   1 tbsp, finely chopped

Carrot                       --   2 medium sized
Beans                         --  10 - 12
Bell peppers/capsicum -- half of a medium sized one
Celery                        --   1 cup, chopped
Cabbage                   --   1 cup, chopped
Spring onion           --   2 - 3

Large eggs              --   3

Soy sauce                 --    ½ tbsp
Green chilly sauce  --  ½ tbsp
Rice vinegar          --   ½ tbsp
Ketchup                   --   ½ tbsp
Black pepper         --    1 tsp , freshly ground

Vegetable oil        --    2 -3 tbsp
Salt                            --  to taste

Preparation of Egg Fried Rice:

Wash and drain the rice. Boil water with salt and oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Taste the water to check the salt. Add rice and bring it to a boil again and then reduce the flame to medium - low and cook covered until rice is fully done and water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a larger plate or tray and gently separate the rice using a fork.  Let the rice cool completely before mixing with the vegetables, else it would be mushy.

It is best to use left over rice, I did actually cook the rice previous day and left it in the fridge.

Chop the vegetables and keep aside. Keep the white bulbs and stalks of the spring onions separate. We use them separately.

Heat up 1 tbsp oil, in a large wok or any large vessel. Add chopped ginger and garlic and fry till it turn transparent.Now add the white bulb of the spring onions, bell peppers, carrots,beans, celery and stir fry, for 1 -2 minutes in high heat. High heat helps to keep the vegetables crunchy even when cooked. But be carful not to burn the vegetables. Now add the chopped cabbage, half of the green stalks of spring onion and salt.The sauces might have salt in it. So be careful while adding the salt. Mix everything together and transfer to a plate.

Fried Rice 2

Add some more oil, and break the eggs, directly into the pan. Add salt and pepper quickly and stir the egg continuously to get fine scrambled egg and transfer to the plate

Fried Rice 1

Heat rest of the oil, add the cooked and cooled rice and stir well, in medium-high heat. When the rice well separated, add the cooked vegetables and the scrambled egg and mix well. Then sprinkle the sauces,vinegar and ground pepper one by one and mix well. The quantity of sauces can be adjusted to personal taste. The given quantity will give a mild flavor. Check the salt and sprinkle if required.

Switch off the flame and add the remaining spring onion, mix well. Garnish with some. Keep it closed for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve hot.


Goan Shrimp Balchao:

Fried Rice - Goan Shrimp Balchao 2

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Shrimp                        --   1 lb / ½ kg 
Turmeric powder   --   2 pinches, optional
Onion                           --   1 medium, finely chopped
Garlic                           --   3 cloves, minced
Tomato                       --   1 large, finely chopped
Curry leaves             --  10 , I added more
Whole dried chillies -- 4
Sugar                           --  ½ tsp
Butter/Coconut oil -- 1 tbsp, I used coconut oil.
Canola oil                  -- 1 tbsp
Salt                               -- To taste

For the spice paste :

Chilly powder         --   1 tsp
Garam masala       --    ½ tsp
Ginger                       --   1 inch
Garlic                         --   3 cloves
Vinegar                    --   2 tsp, I used white vinegar

Preparation of Shrimp

Marinate the shrimp with a little salt and turmeric powder.The original recipe does not use turmeric powder,so you can omit it too.Let it stand so for at least 15 - 20 minutes.

Grind the ingredients for the spice paste and keep aside.

Goan Shrimp Balchao 5

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the dry red chillies until brown on medium heat. Add the chopped ginger,garlic and curry leaves. Fry for around a minute and add onions, little salt and saute until brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are squishy.

Goan Shrimp Balchao 3    Goan Shrimp Balchao 4

Add the ground spice paste. Cook until their raw smell is gone and oil starts separating.

Meanwhile fry the shrimp in the butter/coconut oil until firm and pink. If you are using fresh shrimp, let the shrimp take round shape and also let the water coming out of the shrimp completely evaporate.

Goan Shrimp Balchao 1     Goan Shrimp Balchao 2

Add the fried shrimp to the sauce and mix well. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Switch off. I added 2-3 chopped curry leaves and drizzled half a tsp of coconut oil on top of it. Kept it closed for about 5 - 10 minutes and served with Egg fried rice.

Fried Rice - Goan Shrimp Balchao 3

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 3


                         Whole almonds          --   3/4 cup
                         Granulated white sugar --   2/3 cup
                         Eggs                                 --   2 large
                        Pure vanilla extract   --   1 tsp
                        Baking powder            --   1 tsp
                        Salt                                   --   1/4 tsp
                       All-purpose flour        --   1 3/4 cups 
                       Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate  --   4 ounces (chips or chop into small pieces)

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 1

Preparation of Biscotti:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).  Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.  Let cool and then chop coarsely.  Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment/foil paper.  Set aside.

Beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined.  Fold in the chopped almonds and chocolate.

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 4     Almond Chocolate Biscotti 5

Transfer the dough to your parchment lined baking sheet and form into a log. You may have to dampen your hands to form the log or fold the foil/parchment paper, as the dough is quite sticky. Bake for 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 6     Almond Chocolate Biscotti 7

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).  Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices, on the diagonal.  Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. 

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 8

Bake for about 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Almond Chocolate Biscotti 2

Makes about 16 biscotti.

Recipe source: Joy of Baking

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Puli Inji

Puliyinji 1
Tamarind                    --  a small lemon size ball
Water                            --  1 cup
Ginger                           --  Around half a cup of chopped ginger
Garlic                            --  3 big cloves    
Shallots                        --  2 medium size
Green Chillies            --  4 - 5
Turmeric powder    --   1/4 tsp
Chilly powder           --   1/2 tsp
Fenugreek                  --  1/2 tsp
Rice                               --  1 tsp
Jaggery                       --  2 small blocks/cylinders
Mustard seeds          --  1 tsp
Curry leaves             --  1 twig
Red Chillies               --  1 - 2
Salt                               --  as  required
Oil                                 --  2 - 3 tbsp
Preparation of Puli Inji:
Soak the tamarind in water for 10 - 15 min.Squeeze the pulp of the tamarind in the water. Strain it and keep aside.
Roughly chop the ginger, garlic, shallots and green chillies. Fry them in oil until they are half cooked. Let it cool and then grind it into a coarse paste.
Puliyinji 3
Add the salt,turmeric and chilly powder to the tamarind water and let it boil. Add the ground paste and jaggery and mix well. You can also melt the jaggery before and add the liquid to this mix. I am usually lazy to melt is before and hence add the whole block into this boiling water mix.
Do not close the pan and keep stirring too.
Meanwhile dry roast the fenugreek and rice and then grind them into fine powder.Add this powder to the tamarind mix, when it is about to reach the required consistency. Switch off the flame. This thickens as it cools.
Heat oil in a shallow pan. Splutter the mustard seeds, add the red chillies and curry leaves. Pour this on to the puli inji along with the oil left in the pan.
Puliyinji 2
The balance between the tamarind & jaggery  and the required consistency depends upon personal taste. So do accordingly. I love it to be really thick and hence I do let it dry as show in the picture.
This can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time. The above measure yields me a 200gm Bru bottle.This can be served with sadya or with biriyani. I know people who love to have this with idly too.