Moving from Dubai and Mumbai Ladi Pav

 

 

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A big hello and a warm welcome from my kitchen in Mumbai!

Well it just seemed like yesterday that the dear husband accepted the offer to re locate to Mumbai. We’ve had a pretty nomadic or perhaps a gypsy like existence  so to speak for many years now.I’ve been happily globe trotting along with him and making my home in Dubai, New Jersey and Toronto these past 23 years. So when a move was on the cards once again, it took me by no surprise and that to shifting to Mumbai got me feeling ecstatic and overjoyed!

Well lets put it this way, I’m quite the Mumbaikar at heart,grew up in the city and know every nook and cranny and could probably walk down many of its alleys with a blind fold. Of course  the thrill of being reunited with both sides of the family and friends would just be amazing!So it seemed that the winds of change were blowing our way once again.It was time,yet once again to bid adieu to these golden sands of Arabia, a place that I’ve called home for over 15 years,leaving back wonderful memories and friendships that I will treasure for years to come..

The move happened early November last year and yes it’s already been four wonderful months in the city. With the first few months being chaos ridden, primarily awaiting our household effects to arrive, looking for an apartment to actually moving into one, my life now has returned to some semblance of order.

And my kitchen in Mumbai has been officially open for sometime. Oh yes and I’ve been baking away especially since I’ve managed to bring along my wonderful Samsung oven from Dubai. This blog post is  a special recipe as an ode to city that I now live in and have come to love too. I’m sharing my recipe for a Mumbai Ladi Pav, which literally translates into a slab of bread. These soft pav’s are just delicious when they come out of the oven and can  be eaten with butter or most often with a snack ie Pav Bhaji (Vegetable with Pav) Vada Pav (Potato balls with Pav) Kheema Pav (Mince with Pav)

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Well I just baked a batch and I doubt they will last to go along with anything else. The dear husband can just eat plain ladi pav. My personal favorite is a warm, soft pav just out of the oven and slathered with butter!

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Oh well here you go with this recipe. And now that the kitchen is up and about I hope to be baking and posting more often.I’m looking forward to this new journey in Mumbai and while I cannot change the direction of the winds,I can always adjust my sails in that direction for now.

Shukran Dubai,

Hello Amchi Mumbai!

Mumbai Style Ladi Pav

Ingredients:
• 3 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
• 1 ½ cups Lukewarm water
• 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 ½ teaspoon melted butter
Directions:
1. Measure out the lukewarm water and add the active dried yeast and add the sugar and stir and keep aside.
2. The yeast should become frothy in about 15 minutes.
3. Now add the yeast to the flour and knead well for at least 10 minutes and add the salt.
4. Don’t panic if the dough seems very sticky. It should come together if you continue kneading it for about 10 minutes.
5. Once well combined add in the melted butter and knead further for 5 minutes.
6. Knock down the dough for about 5 minutes.
7. Cover this dough with a damp cloth and let this rise for at least 1 hour.
8. Lightly deflate the dough and form 8 equal parts.
9. Form each into round balls.
10. Grease and dust a baking tray with some flour and lay the balls on this tray.
11. Lay 4 dough balls in a row.
12. Keep these covered with a damp cloth again for an hour.
13. Pre heat the oven to 205 C.
14. Place the tray in the middle rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
15. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
16. You may wish to rub some butter on each of the rolls once they are out of the oven

 

 

What a Bagel: Easy Breakfast Bagels

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My family is quite the breakfast kind of people.Well most weekdays are a quick brekkie on the go with the usual porridge, fruits, parfait or perhaps just some toast.Weekends are however special. “I’d like a big breakfast please”,is what most often my dear son would request and this is when we pull out all the stops and cook up a storm.This would usually consist of eggs made into omelets or scrambled,sautéed vegetables or hash browns,bacon or sausages and of course homemade  bread that I may have made earlier on.My hubster loves to freeze the bread I make,”It lasts longer and there’s always some when you want it” is his take,all though I prefer to have bread when it’s fresh and hot out of the oven.

I miss my son pottering around the kitchen egging me to bake up something for him.A few weeks before he left for university he said,”Mom how about baking some bagels”?Now I’d been putting off the bagel making process thinking they were way too complicated to attempt and why even bother when you get perfect store-bought ones?Right?

Oh how wrong have I been!

The health conscious and fitness maniac that he is,would often hand me a package containing the bagels and read out all the ingredients that were in it.Emulsifiers,Bromides,Improvers,Food additives and what not.Names that not only difficult to pronounce ,leave alone digest. So on my sons’ persistence and the ramblings ,on what actually went into commercial bagels and breads, did I cave in and decide to bake  a batch.Now I have been baking bread for quite sometime ,but hadn’t gone around  the bagel making process.Oh well how difficult can it really be? And  decided to give the bagels a try.

As with most bread the key ingredients in this recipe are flour,yeast,sugar and salt.And bagel topping of course like pumpkin seeds,onions seeds ,sesame or even a sprinkling of cinnamon works just as great. Most recipes call for strong bread flour,all though I’ve used good old All Purpose and quite happy with the consistency.While kneading the dough don’t worry about it being too hard as this recipe does use a limited amount of water and hence it would seem a tough dough.

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The key to a good bagel is the boiling of the bagel prior to baking,this sets a good crust.A word of caution, do not over boil.This recipe calls for approximately 30 seconds on either side.Once boiled make sure you drain the bagels well and then sprinkle them with your favorite toppings and go right ahead and bake them.

 

 

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These bagels are so very worth the effort and trust me you will never reach for a store-bought one again.Homemade bagels have now become a delightful treat at our breakfast table.After all who wouldn’t want a fresh and warm bagel right out of the oven? Toasted of course ,with some butter or slathered with cream cheese! Ah just bliss! Nice and crusty on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside.

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Do bake some today!

Go ahead and follow this step by step recipe and you will be delighted with the results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

Glaze:

  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • sesame seeds,Pumpkin seeds, Onion seeds or Cinnamon powder

Directions:

  1. Add the yeast to a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar.Stir the mixture and keep aside.It should get very frothy in about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Combine the remaining water and flour, the activated yeast ,remaining sugar and salt and form a smooth dough.
  3. If the dough seems hard,you may add about 30-50 ml warm water and knead for about 10 minutes.
  4. The dough should be pliable ie smooth and elastic and not hard at all.You may dab your fingertips in warm water and smoothen out the dough.
  5. Oil a bowl and add the dough and turn it around to coat it with oil.Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
  6. After it has risen for an hour,punch down the dough and knead further for one minute.
  7. Divide into 8 rolls.
  8. Lay the dough balls onto a well floured surface for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Then flatten each dough ball gently and make a hole in each and widen them a little bit.
  10. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest further for 10 minutes.
  11. Heat water in a wide pan.Add 1 teaspoon sugar and bring it to a boil.
  12. In the meantime grease a baking tray and Pre heat the oven to 200 C for about 20 minutes.
  13. Drop each bagel into the boiling water.Boil on each side for about 30 seconds and flip it over and repeat the same.
  14. Remove the Bagels and lay them on a kitchen towel to drain well.
  15. Whisk the egg white and water well.Brush onto each bagel.
  16. Sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
  17. Bake in the center of the oven for about 22-25 minutes.
  18. Transfer and cool on a wire rack.

Note: Bagels are best eaten within a couple of days of baking.However you may freeze them and toast as and when required.

 

Pizza making at Pantry Cafe

Pantry Café a wonderful modern dining & open kitchen  concept opened it’s door’s a couple of months ago. Having read Foodiva’s review I had explored this place over breakfast and a brunch a couple of times. This café has a lovely rustic-chic feel to it. The menu apart from the wide  array of sandwiches, soups ,salads has  the most delightful cheese platters and some great steaks too.. And of course their wood oven Pizzas.

I had read all about its live Pizzeria and the wonderful wood oven Pizza’s though had yet to try some. It was marked down on my “To Eat” list for my next trip to Pantry Café.

Well I was quite naturally excited on getting a blogger’s invite for a Pizza making demo and decided to go along and see this happen live.

On arriving we were warmly greeted by the lovely Owner who was very enthusiastic about the afternoon session. She then introduced us to the man behind stove or in this case the wood oven –Chef Dominico from Naples.

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The demo started off with the chef explaining to us about the key steps in the Pizza making process. In this case it’s the Italian Tipo 00 Pizza flour that creates their wonderful thin crust pizza’s. This is available at the pantry café for those of you who may wish to experiment with some pizza making in your kitchens. The café also retails various other products ranging from Oils,vinegar,pasta sauces & cheeses.

Sauces

 

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We sampled four varieties of Pizza’s that afternoon.
 Classic Margherita
Spicy Diavalo with Wagyu Pepperoni, Mushrooms & cherry tomatoes
Genovese with a pesto base and topped with Mushrooms & Arugula
Pizza Bianca

As for me the Pizza Bianca was a winner…Truffle Brie, Mushrooms, Roasted garlic & Arugula…Absolutely divine!

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Thank you Pantry café for a wonderful afternoon.

Do visit Pantry café:
 Located at: Al Wasl Square Al Hadeeqa Street Jumeirah
Contact: Tele: 009714-3883868
E-mail: info@pantrycafe.ae
Open for Breakfast,Lunch & Dinner

Pizza Recipes as shared by Chef Dominico Pantry café.

Classic Pizza Margherita

The traditional Margherita pizza is a simple pizza that relies on the basic ingredients to make a great pizza-Italian Tippo Flour, San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella,olive oil,and fresh Basil .There are three official variants. Pizza Marinara which is made with tomatoes,garlic,oregano,and extra virgin oil. Pizza Margeherita,made from tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil and Pizza Bianca, a white base with fresh mozzarella ,garlic, oregano,sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

Pizza Dough Recipe

1kg Caputo Tipo 00 Flour

1/2 liter of water

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon fresh yeast

Pour water into a mixing bowl. Add Oil, salt, sugar and yeast and mix well. Then slowly keep adding the flour until all the water has been absorbed and continue to mix all the ingredients for the dough by hand and knead well for about 10 minutes. when done,divide the dough into smaller balls and cover with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest for 12 hours.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

500 grams San Marzano tomato sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon white sugar

50 gr. fresh basil

You can use canned San Marzano tomatoes to create a wonderful and simple pizza tomato sauce. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and blend using a hand mixer.If you are using a brick oven, you should not cook the sauce. The hot oven will cook the sauce perfectly. If you are using a convectional oven you can cook the sauce for 3 minutes.

Basic Pizza Margherita

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

5 grams Parmiggiano Reggiano

40 grams fresh mozzarella

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

5-6 whole basil leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 240 Knock back the dough balls by punching it to remove air and roll each dough out on a floured surface until you have very thin, 25cms-diameter pizza bases.

Spread the tomato sauce over pizza bases leaving a 2cm border. Divide the mozzarella between the bases, then scatter the Parmiggiano  Reggiano .Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the pizza bases are crisp and lightly golden around the edges..

Drizzle the pizzas with a little more olive oil, garnish with small basil leaves then serve immediately.

This is just the start .Once you master a perfect pizza margherita, you can vary it by adding an endless possibilities of ingredients. Below is a simple guide to assist you in selecting the right ingredients for the different pizza variants however,remember there are no hard and fast rules.

Margherita & Marinara

Porcini mushrooms

Grilled eggplant, tomato and basil

Grille eggplant, tomato, arugula, capers and anchovies

Arugula and grilled onions

Al Mare- clams, mussels and prawns

Four seasons: artichokes, mushrooms, olive and turkey ham

Turkey ham, Wagyu pepperoni, Wagyu ground beef, button mushrooms & cherry tomatoes.

Bianca

Roast potato, rosemary and Percorino

Mushroom, leek, tomato and slivered Parmesan

Pesto, oil and tomato

Smoked salmon and Brie

Mushroom and Brie

Artichoke and Brie

Four cheese: mozzarella, Percorino, parmesan and Gorgonzola

Olive,grilled onions and anchovies

Truffle Brie, mushrooms, roasted garlic, arugula

You may also like to read a fellow bloggers review of Pantry café Pizza making at :

www.coffeecakesandrunning.net

www.mymouthisfull

DISCLAIMER: I was invited to Pantry café for the Pizza making session and all views expressed on this blog post are solely my own.

Olive Foccacia-Hot off the oven

Dear son’s request for dinner tonite was some cheese Ravioli(store-bought).I haven’t yet tried my hand at making fresh pasta from scratch.One day,some day is what I keep saying.Certainly on my “to try out”list though.I thought a nice garden salad with some black olives would go well with the pasta.Actually I saw a fair amount of the olives and wondered if it was that time of the year again to get down some bread baking.

I love baking this Olive foccacia and its been awhile since I made it.One of the best breads you could possibly eat.This one’s a family favorite.You could always play around with the ingredients and use some variations:

  • Sun dried tomatoes and herbs
  • Garlic and Rosemary
  • Green olives and garlic

I personally love black olives…so Olive foccacia it is.If you do use garlic please be careful with the amount you use and it can make the bread pretty pungent.Olive paste is a good alternative,however fresh olives just gives it a wonderful fresh flavour.

This post is actually dedicated to a very dear friend Rohini.Thanks Ro for sharing this wonderful recipe with me.I remember learning to make a sun-dried foccacia with her many years ago. She now lives in Melbourne with her family and I sure miss our foodie times together.As you follow the recipe you will notice that I”ve used Weetabix in the dough.This is a great addition to this bread as it makes it high in fibre,healthier and wholesome.I like the bread slightly thickish,however you could always make it thinner so it results in a crisper foccacia.

Some Important Tips on baking Olive Foccacia:

YEAST:

  •  I’ve just used some DCL(brand name) active dry yeast.Please ensure the water is lukewarm.Any hotter than that will kill the yeast.
  • Whisk the yeast and the water well.Cover this mixture and let it rest in a warm dark place for at least 15-20 minutes.I usually keep it in my un heated oven.
  • You know the yeast has fermented well if you see a thick frothy foam on top of the cup.

OLIVE OIL:

  • Please use a liberal amount of olive oil while knocking down the dough.This will make the final product soft and light.

KNEADING AND KNOCKING DOWN THE DOUGH:

  • This is a very important step.At first the dough had to be kneaded well.Once it has rested for at least an hour.You can add the olives and you literally have to knock down or punch this dough

 

 

Happy Bread making dear friends and thanks for reading my post.If if have an interesting ingredient that you would like to add to this foccacia,please do and I’d love to hear about it.I do hope this bread will be baked in your kitchens as well.It’s delish to say the leaast.And I doubt I’m going to have any remaining for dinner tonite…my son’s dipping a slice into some olive oi and devouring it.

With much love from my kitchen to yours…untill Ipost again.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 gm plain flour
  • 2 Weetabix biscuits
  • 1 cup (lukewarm water)
  • 11/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives,plus some extra for the topping
  • 1 tablespoon dried Oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  1. Crush the weetabix biscuits and add it to the flour.
  2. Add the yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water and whisk well.
  3. Keep the yeast mix in a warm and dark place for 15 minutes.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil,salt and the yeast to the flour mix.
  5. The consistency of the dough at this stage will be soggy.
  6. Knead the dough well.Cover witha damp tea towel and let it rest for about an hour.
  7. Knock down the dough and add the chopped olives,pepper and dried oregano.
  8. Add the remaining oil as well.
  9. Again let this dough rest for about an hour.
  10. Grease a baking tray and shape the dough into a thickish oblong.
  11. Add the chopped olives and brush with oil.
  12. Bake at 180 C for about 25-30 minutes or till the crust is a medium brown.