Give Us Today Our Daily Bread: Easy Spelt Loaf

Spelt watermark

 

The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…

Bread Making is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of
meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
M.F.K.Fisher, The Art Of Eating

 

And I couldn’t agree more.  I absolutely love bread making. For me the entire process is one of the most satisfying experiences in my kitchen. Right from kneading the dough (which I must admit I love doing with my hands) to knocking it down,letting it rest and baking it.Gentle bread aromas wafting through the house as I wait impatiently for my loaf to turn into that wonderful golden brown. A perfectly made loaf for me is a euphoric sense of accomplishment and gratification.Now it’s another story how antsy one gets  once the bread has been baked, as I just can’t wait long enough for it to cool and devourer it.

I had some Spelt flour which I had picked up on a trip to Dubai last year and had been wanting to experiment with this ever since.

Some Facts about Spelt:

Now mind you this grain is not gluten-free as it a form of  ancient wheat, all though the gluten content is lower and hence better tolerated by those who are gluten sensitive (This is my own opinion as I do have Gluten Sensitivity)

Packed with nutrients,this grain is much in demand and is making a huge comeback.Spelt has high water solubility, so nutrients are easily absorbed by the body making it easy to digest. It is high in protein (significantly higher than wheat), higher in B complex vitamins, and spelt is high in both simple and complex carbohydrates. Spelt’s nutty flavor doesn’t just taste good, it has so many other nutritional benefits that are amazingly good for you.

TIP WHILE KNEADING SPELT DOUGH:

The gluten in Spelt is pretty unusual, while wheat flour that needs a lot of kneading to strengthen gluten to give bread structure, the gluten in spelt breaks down fairly easily. So just make sure not to over knead this flour.

Well enough said about Spelt flour and now for the recipe for this wonderful Bread. Please do try it out. I have made this a couple of times now, with some not so great results. This time however it came out just perfect.

Go ahead and bake some ,I’m quite glad I experimented with Spelt flour.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 grams Spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon  Active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 300 ml Luke warm water
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Pumpkin seeds(optional)

METHOD:

  1. Pre heat  the oven to 200 C
  2. Activate the yeast by mixing it in about 100 ml water and the sugar.
  3. Once the yeast is activated mix the spelt flour, yeast, salt and remaining water and make it into a smooth dough .I like to use my hands. Please do ahead and do this in a mixer with the kneading attachment.
  4. The dough will be soggy so you could add a little more oil and mix till smooth.
  5. Place this in a glass bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let this rest for about an hour.
  6. The dough will have doubled in size within the hour.
  7. Knock down the dough.
  8. Now place this dough in a bread tin that has been lightly greased.
  9. Make deep cuts on the surface of the dough.
  10. Cover again with a damp cloth and let this rest for another hour.
  11. Sprinkle with some flour and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 34-40 minutes.
  12. Remove from the tin when done and place on a wire rack to cool.

Happy Baking dear friends!

Oven Grilled Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables

IMG_3517

How’s the summer treating you? Kind and cool I hope….While I prefer the heat over cold wintry days any day, the summer month’s here in Mumbai have been sweltering hot.Perhaps most of you would agree that the last thing on one’s mind is cooking in the heat.

Well the dear son is here on his holidays from Montreal and  yes I’ve been pampering him with his favourite meals.He often hear’s me complain about the heat and of course the eternal debate on what to cook for dinner!  I for one have been trying to simply meal times at home. At least the dinner’s. A couple of posts ago I wrote about focussing on easy and fuss free cooking ideas.This dinner idea is just that.A oven grilled boneless chicken accompanied with the starchy goodness of some Hasselback Potatoes and a healthful serving of  pan charred Zucchini and carrots. Well balanced,nutritious and gets done in just about 30 minutes.Yes that’s my new kitchen mantra.Well for the summer’s at least.

So how’s that for an ultra quick and  family friendly recipe that’s light and refreshing and one that can just as well become a part of your weeknight repertoire? Do share some of your easy meal ideas here.I would love to hear from you. Continue reading

Zucchini Noodles: Loving My Spiralizer

Watermark

All right I may as well admit it.I’m an absolute and out right gadget freak.More specifically a Kitchen gadget freak.Travelling does that some how.An incessent and obsessive need to browse through home and kitchen stores,walk down endless aisles of supermarkets,on the look out for some kitchen gadget or house ware that would make cooking a lot more interesting.That, I do not have any more shelf space  is another story all together.Amongst the stuff that I’ve been amassing over the years are hordes of  Bakeware, Cookware,Gizmos and  various other kitchen memorabilia collected over numerous travels ,making the insides of my pantry  resemble a well stocked Kitchen-ware store.No,I’m not complaining,just overjoyed at my stash.After all having the right equipment makes all the difference.

Continue reading

Worth Switching to Fortune Rice Bran Oil: Subz Kheema with Paneer & Soya

 

 

Watermark Suba kheema

 

 

An eternal debate for me has been making a conscious and healthy choice with regards to the Cooking Oil I use in my kitchen.For many of us seem baffled with the various alternatives available on the supermarket shelves and in stores.

I for one have  been using Sunflower Oil for some time now and have been on the look out for a lighter and a healthier alternative. Having moved to Mumbai just about a year ago, I’d been following many debates on the best medium of Cooking Oil.All though  one may argue and have multiple views on this topic.I’m very conscious of the Oil used for regular cooking in my kitchen as using good Cooking Oil is of prime importance for my family’s well being.That said and coupled with some extensive research made me realise that it was perhaps time to explore using Rice Bran. And just as well,this 5 kg pack of Rice Bran Oil arrived from Fortune Foods last week.

 

 

IMG_7566

Rice Bran Oil is extracted from the rice husk and has some great health benefits.It is  enriched with multiple nutrients like Oryzanol that makes it extremely healthy and heart friendly. Rice Bran Oil is a new entrant in the market and soon becoming fairly popular with those looking for a healthier option.

Some key benefits Include:

  1. Cholesterol lowering oil: Heart friendly.
  2. Oryzanol: Improves HDL/LDL ratio. Healthier heart.
  3. Balanced PUFA/MUFA ratio: Cleaner blood vessels.
  4. Balanced Fatty Acids#: Balanced nutrition, balanced health.
  5. Tocotrienols & Phytostrerols*: Anti-cancer properties.
  6. Squalene: Improves skin tone and delays wrinkle formation.
  7. Vitamin E: Helps maintaining balance of nervous system.
  8. Natural antioxidants: Protection against diseases.
  9. Ferulic acid^: Stimulates hormonal secretion, rejuvenates health.
  10. Low oil absorption: Healthier food.

Information source: http://www.fortunefoods.com

Here is a super easy vegetarian recipe that I made up over the weekend using Fortune Rice Bran Oil.

Verdict:Well it’s been about a week of cooking in this Oil and I’m very happy to have made the switch to Rice Bran Oil.I personally find it much lighter than most other cooking oils’ I’ve used.It’s fairly odourless and a mild and pleasant flavour.Best of all it has a high smoking point and that works really well for the Indian Cuisine especially deep frying and stir frying.

Subz Kheema with Paneer & Soya Granules

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 350 grams Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  • 150 grams Soya Granules (Soaked in warm milk)
  • 50 grams green Peas (par boiled)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Zeera (Cumin seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Fortune Rice Bran Oil

Directions

  1. Soak the Soya granules in some warm milk for about 30 minutes and then squeeze out the milk and keep aside.
  2. Next crumble the Paneer.
  3. In a pan heat some Oil and let it heat.
  4. Add the jeera and let it splutter and then add in the onions and fry well.
  5. Next fry the ginger-garlic paste for a few minutes.
  6. Now add in all the spices and mix well.
  7. Put in the diced tomatoes,fry well and add some water so they cook well.
  8. Once the spices and tomatoes are cooked add in the soaked soya granules and fry for about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Lastly add in the crumbled Paneer and mix well.
  10. Sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with some chopped coriander.

Disclaimer: The above thoughts and views expressed on Rice Bran Oil are part researched from reliable  Internet sources and some information derived from the Company website.The Recipe is my  initiative to promote Fortune Rice Bran Oil which was sent as a complementary sample for me to use.

Pea & Potato Soup with a hint of Rosemary

IMG_7393

Monday morning’s leave me somewhat overwhelmed with the fact that the over indulgent weekend just whizzed past with either endless food trial’s in my kitchen, social engagements that are food centric or family lunches that are best spent around  a table full of flavours.

My Monday’s are perhaps what Sunday are to most people. I tend to take it easy and wind down after a hectic weekend. It’s the start of my weekly planning of menu’s for home cooked meals or perhaps listing down recipes that I may need to shoot for my YouTube videos ( You may like to take a peek into the recipes I do here) or even prepping up for an exciting new blog post.That’s pretty much been my morning today.I also like to go easy on my own lunch and prefer to a light and easy meal.It’s a great way to detox and load up on some healthy goodness .All  though I’m quite the cautious eater and constantly monitor my calorie’s,it’s the weekend’s where I do indulge and loose track,almost as though “Calories don’t count on Weekend’s

This afternoon’s lunch is a bowl full of Green Goodness as I like to call it.It’s a delicious Pea & Potato Soup with a hint of some Rosemary and garnished with some crumbled Feta and fresh tomatoes for a burst of freshness.I’ve added some yogurt into the soup to give it a thicker consistency and a dash of tartness that I was looking for.The Olive oil too does wonder’s to the palette.I prefer to enjoy a warm bowl of soup,however you may even serve this cold if you wish.Paired with a garden fresh salad and some lovely warm fresh bread would just make it the perfect accompaniment.

Bon Appetite!

Pea & Potato Soup

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams (frozen peas thawed)
  • 1 large Potato (cubed)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 pods garlic (finely chopped)
  • 500 ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Few Springs of rosemary
  • Crumpled feta For garnish
  • Chopped Tomatoes for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons Yogurt (whisked)

Method:

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the potatoes and cubed potatoes next
  3. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Now add in the stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes till the peas and potatoes have cooked.
  6. Cool and mix well in a blender.
  7. Add more water to get desired consistency.
  8. Whisk in the Yogurt.
  9. Add salt and pepper and garnish with the crumbled feta and chopped tomatoes.

Serve hot with garlic bread and a garden salad