Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dal Paratha (Flat Bread with Lentils)

Dal Paratha with pickles and Checca
I made these parathas with leftover dal - an inspiration from Hema! Dal parathas are quite easy to prepare, delicious, nutritious, and filling.  I served them with a side of freshly made Checca (fresh tomato salad) and pickles - YUM.  Plain yogurt or a raita is another traditional and terrific accompaniment to parathas.

Ingredients:

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (Atta)
1 pinch of sea salt
1 cup cold Simple Dal or Chunky Chana Dal
Water if needed
About 1or 2 Tbsp Oil for cooking
A small handful Fresh Fenugreek or dry (optional)

Method:


Combine the atta (flour) and salt in a large bowl; stir in the dal and knead in the bowl adding a few drops of water if needed to make a pliable but firm dough.

Do add the fresh fenugreek if you have it; dry (called Kasuri Methi) is good too. If using Kasuri Methi, only 1 or 2 tablespoons will do. Fenugreek adds a lovely fragrance whether you use the fresh of dry.

Wrap the dough in clear film or place in a zipper bag and allow to rest for an hour.  If not using right away, please store the dough in the fridge until ready to roll out.

Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll into smooth discs.

Roll out the discs of dough into circles - about 6-7 inches in diameter using a bit of flour to dust them so they do not stick.

Cook the dough circles on a hot griddle on both sides until a few dark spots form and the paratha is cooked; the procedure is the same as for Thepla, a flat bread with herbs.

Serve hot or warm.  Enjoy!!
Dal Paratha

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemony Poppy Seed Muffin
Lemony Poppy Seed Muffins are the best muffins ever!  These fragrant muffins are easy to make and very satisfying with their tangy taste. This recipe is adapted form Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance; I added lemon juice for a more lemony taste that my family adores.

I like to make a double batch and freeze the extra muffins. Moskowitz recommends freezing the batter - to freeze the batter, pour into muffin liners placed in muffin pans and freeze until solid; place the frozen muffin batter in re-closable storage bags and keep frozen.  When ready to bake, place the frozen muffin batter back in muffin pans and bake - frozen batter will require about 8-10 minutes extra time.

These muffins may be baked using the mini muffin pans as well; for mini muffins, bake at 375*F for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted close to the center of a muffin.

Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups Unbleached Flour (Maida)
1/4 cup fine Almond meal
1/2 cup Sugar + a little more for topping
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
2 large Lemons, zest and juice
3/4 cup plain or vanilla Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
3/4 cup plain or vanilla Yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
1 small Vanilla bean or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Oil

Method:

Prepare the muffin pans with a light coat of oil: you may use an oil spray.

Wash the lemon thoroughly and wipe dry.  Zest with a micro-plane or  grater - make sure you grate only the yellow skin.  Cut the lemon in half and collect the juice.

Combine flour, almond meal, sugar, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest in a large bowl; whisk together lightly to combine the ingredients.

Measure out the milk, yogurt, and oil into a bowl or large measuring cup.  Split the vanilla bean, scrape the pulp with the tip of a small knife and add (reserve the vanilla bean pods for flavoring another recipe like Pudding) along with the oil and lemon juice and whisk well to combine thoroughly.

Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine.

Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins; sprinkle the top with a pinch of sugar if you like.

Bake in a 400*F oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the muffins are done.  ( Note:  My muffin pans are practically black from years of use; they absorb the heat very well so I bake the muffins at 375* F to prevent them from burning.)


Let cool a little and serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!!