January 25, 2015

January 21, 2015

Buckwheat Roti

January 21, 2015
One cup buckwheat flour, a good pinch of Himalayan salt, one tablespoon of ghee (or oil), and about a third of a cup water (or as much as needed for an elastic dough) – that’s the basic recipe for making buckwheat flatbread, or roti. For softer dough, use dairy – milk, yogurt or buttermilk – rather than water. Being gluten free, buckwheat doesn’t have viscosity and tends to dry up and tear apart easily. Dairy functions as glue.
Rub the ghee into the flour and salt mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in the liquid gradually. If you slip in too much water, add flour. There is no need to excessively knead the dough. As soon as you have formed a smooth ball, cover it and let it rest at least for thirty minutes.
Should you become an adventurous baker, incorporate mashed avocado to the flour mixture. Reduce the amount of water accordingly.
Potatoes and buckwheat go well together. Make spicy roti by adding ground jeera and black pepper, chilli, and fresh fenugreek seedlings or chopped cilantro along with the potatoes.
The stovetop baking method is straightforward. If you want fully blown, feather light breads you need two sources of heat.

First, place the flatbread on a medium hot skillet (preferably cast iron) and let it bake until tiny bubbles appear on the top and the edges curl. If you roll the bread thinly, it takes only about thirty to sixty seconds, but if you make a thicker bread, it may take one and half to two minutes to reach this point. Using metal tongs, lift the bread and place it on the top of a direct flame. It should instantly fill with hot air. If you don’t have access to fire, place a mesh a few centimeters (1 inch) above a hot burner and flip the bread over it. As soon as it puffs, remove and cover it with a cloth.

I usually skip the second part and bake the bread on a skillet by flipping it over continuously while tenderly pressing and encouraging it to cook properly. At some point I brush a little bit ghee on the top. With this method, the bread formulates many smaller air pockets instead of becoming like a balloon.

Happy baking!
Thank you.

January 3, 2015

Baked Avocados

January 3, 2015
Looking for a new way to serve avocados? Stuff and bake them. It’s also an excellent way to get rid of leftovers while cleaning the refrigerator and pantry!
For the stuffing, use your favorite ingredients. I made mine from paneer, cooked black beans, roasted pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, fried eggplant cubes, basil, cayenne pepper, black pepper, hing powder, kala namak powder and Himalayan salt. Then my little helper, Heikki (age 8), grated parmesan-type hard cheese suitable for vegetarians on the top, and I baked the avocados in 220 C (428 F) until the cheese melted and looked nice.
Although he was eager to assist in the kitchen, it turned out Heikki disliked avocados. When the table was set, he announced he would prefer his own snacks instead! While we ate, I learnt *all* about football.
Thank you.

December 26, 2014