Monthly Archives: June 2020

100% Whole Wheat, Eggless, Spicy Masala Buns – with Flax Seed- Sesame Seed – Mint

Baking might be an addictive affair. It is discouraging to see a flopped recipe. But, I feel, the aroma that the kitchen brings out, with baked goods, is one of the main reasons that make Baking, as addictive as it is. Why would one want to bake again and again, to make unsuccessful baking, successful, as though that is the only way to attain salvation??!!

After a change in the yeast brand, my bread/bun baking, has become better than before. I am working on making them more moist – as they turned out dry a few times. But, I assure, they taste excellent. My recent raisin bread too, turned out a bit dry. But, tasted awesome.

To tackle dryness, I have started incorporating buttermilk to buns. As such, while baking eggless goodies, I try to substitute with yoghurt. I prefer Dinner Rolls/Buns to be baked with butter. Though, quite recently, while I baked a butterless buns, (recipe from a cook-book I had), they came out really well. Shall bake it again, and confirm the recipe.

This time, I wanted to bake buns, with the excess mint leaves (I had dried indoors) and chillies and pepper…. something salt and spicy. These whole wheat buns, came out good. That’s why I couldn’t resist sharing them immediately.

100% Whole Wheat Eggless Spicy Soft Masala Buns – with Flax Seed- Sesame Seed

Ingredients

  • whole wheat flour – 300 gms (2 heaped up cups)
  • unsalted butter – 100 gms (melted and warm)
  • cane sugar – 12 gms (2 tsp)
  • powdered sea salt – 7-8 gms (1 1/2 tsp)
  • active dry yeast – 7-8 gms (2 tsp)
  • warm buttermilk – 1 cup
  • warm water – as needed to make a fine dough
  • Milk – 2 tbsp- for milk wash

For the Masala

  • flax seeds – 4 tsp
  • sesame seeds – 4 tsp (2 tsp for the powder and 2 tsp to sprinkle on top)
  • dried mint leaves – 1 1/2 cups approximately
  • dry ginger powder – 2 tsp
  • pepper corns – 2 tsp
  • red chillies – 4 no.s
  • oregano (optional) – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

Making Spice/Masala Powder

  1. Dry roast flax seeds and sesame seeds. Roast 2 tsp of the sesame seeds and reserve the rest 2 tsp for the milk wash.

2. Dry roast, dried mint leaves – a bit of roasting helps in blending well

3. Dry roast pepper corns and red chillies (as I had some home made chilli flakes, I used it too.) 4 chillies would be needed for the recipe. Since I also used the left over chilli flakes, I took 2 red chillies

4. Dry roast oregano for a very short time – oregano is optional. I added, to boost the flavour. But, the mint and others are sufficient to punch in the flavours. I roasted it a bit, again to blend well. If you don’t have oregano, use carom seeds

5. Blend all the roasted ingredients, with dry ginger powder to a fine dry mixture.

6. The blended powder weighed approximately 42-45 gms

Making the dough

  1. In a wide bowl, add whole wheat flour, yeast, masala powder, sugar and salt
  2. As I had no doubts with my yeast, I directly added to wheat flour. Otherwise, proof yeast with warm water, to check whether it is still alive
  3. Add melted butter, which is still warm
  4. Warm the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture
  5. No cold liquids, as the yeast would become inactive
  6. Start kneading the dough, by kitchen machine or by hand
  7. Add enough warm water, if needed. My dough needed more water
  8. Knead for 10 minutes, to a soft dough

kneaded dough

9. Place in a greased bowl and close it. I don’t use cling wrap at home. So, just close with any lid, but keep it in a moist place. I always place my yeasted dough in the oven, with the light on. I also place a bowl of hot water below or beside. This helps create a warm environment, if you live in a cold place or air-conditioned environment

10. Keep the dough for 1 hour to rise or until double

doubled

11. Once doubled, knock the dough and knead for a couple of minutes

12. Grease a baking dish or tray, or place parchment paper on the baking tray

13. Make 8 equal portions and roll into fine balls

14. Place on baking tray, spaced apart

15. Keep these buns, to rise again for 30 minutes

ready to be baked

16. Preheat oven to 220°C

17. After they rise, brush the top of the buns with milk and spread sesame seeds

milk wash

18. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until hard crust is formed

Remove from the oven and let them cool

buns done

Serve with the spread of choice. Tasted good with cream cheese spread and also with tangy coriander chutney.

Quarantine Cooking !!

What I’ve been cooking for the past three and a half months, seems like a whirlwind project. I am rest assured, it must be the case of almost everyone, handling a full house, during these testing times.

When I sat back and saw the clicks, my daughter wanted me to write continuous posts, under the title ‘Quarantine Diaries’. NO worries.. No diaries… this post consolidates the several dishes, those were rolled out of that sacred place in my house, called ‘Kitchen’. Later, let’s analyse a few recipes in the coming posts.

I started the month of March, with a Blueberry Jam – just two ingredients, berries and brown sugar, and of course, juice of lemon for longer shelf life.

blueberry jam

With a routine of including Millets in the diet, Millet Idlies always occupy a special place on the dining table. Samai (Little Millet) Idlis are true substitutes in colour, to the regular white rice Idlis. But these millet idlis are a healthier version, not to forget.

samai idli

Like the Samai Idli, Kollu (Horsegram) Idlies, are awesomely light, steamed cakes packed with the lentil flavour.

kollu idli

Don’t forget the different chutneys, that were made for the idlies. A few of those, I have highlighted in the end of this post.

A chocolate cake- with whole wheat, cane sugar, olive oil, dark chocolate and toasted pistachios. The urge to cut and eat, was more compelling than a good click to post.

chocolate cake

Next, came 50-50 Whole Wheat Buns, tried from an old book, I had. Though, the recipe demanded eggs, this is an eggless bun.

buns

Black Chick Pea Burger with the Buns

Next, for the benefit of online learners, to munch some traditional sweets, with longer shelf life…

Coconut Burfi with Cane Sugar

and Black Sesame Burfi with Jaggery

April, started with Whole Wheat Raisin Bread – wouldn’t term it the best, but full of flavour.

raisin bread

Time for a spicy powder for the health freak. Sesame and Flax seed chilly powder, to go with rice, idli or dosai.

flax seed podi

April, was also a month to try Pizza, the healthy way. Home-made whole wheat base, tomato spread from scratch and variety of toppings .. Pizza that was dreaded for the white flour, the meagre amount of veggies or meat to be searched for- in store bought frozen ones, or the branded /door delivered ones, used to be a half-yearly affair. Truly, we might have ordered pizzas twice a year.

The ill effect of making fresh pizzas at home, with loaded vegetables and with constraint on cheese, pizzas are almost a weekly bake now.

fish pizza

paneer pizza

chocolate pizza

Till date, I haven’t been quite successful with cookies. They used to be consumable, but not perfect. And I have always baked whole wheat cookies, never with white flour.

But, May started with this exception. A Good Whole Wheat Cookie!! Got the recipe from another blog, but as usual converted all purpose flour to whole wheat. It turned out to be so light and crispy.

whole wheat sesame cookies

When the need for a hot snack, with less work to fry, stir fry or sauté arose, tried baking these yummy potato wedges. Cut the potatoes, sprinkled some oil, baked for 30 mins or so. Took out from oven, sprinkled salt and spices of choice and, the baked wedges were ready.

Potato Wedges baked healthy

Who said Papdi Chaat needs Papdi or the crisps made of white flour. I chose to combine Papdi and Chole into a Chaat, but with a healthy twist. No matter you like it or not, its a whole meal. When I had my Methi (fenugreek leaves) Paratha dough in hand, I rolled a big pizza base out of it, and baked till crisp. That became my Papdi to go with the left over Chole curry. Add ons – home made green chutney, tamarind chutney and yoghurt.

Methi Paratha (Papdi) Chole Chaat

Time for a nice cake – Sticky Date and Walnut Cake – obviously with whole wheat flour and cane sugar, and eggless too. This time, I topped the cake with caramel whipped cream. With my home-made caramel, I could limit the sugar in the frosting.

Eggless Sticky Date and Walnut Cake

Next came in, Gooseberries. Lucky me, the super market had some new and fresh stock of gooseberries. The great berry, loaded with good nutrients, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, is highly popular for its anti-ageing properties. Let’s also do a gooseberry chutney series shortly. Great plans that arise as I write..

Gooseberry Coconut Green Chilly Chutney

Gooseberry Coconut Coriander Chutney

Gooseberry Coconut Mint Chutney

Gooseberry Coconut Red Chilly Chutney

Gooseberry Tomato Red Chilly Chutney

The long list of ingredients, written on the bottle of the world’s most favourite Chocolate spread, or a Peanut Butter Spread, creates a lot of stress and anxiety. But a good chocolate spread, to go with healthy whole wheat or millet pancakes, or home made bread or buns, can be a positive change in routine. So, tried this simple chocolate spread, with a combination of 80% and 72% dark chocolate with very little cane sugar and milk. Stores well in the refrigerator, for at least couple of weeks. Choose your dark chocolate, that has no margarine, but cocoa butter.

Home made Chocolate Spread

Those were a few different, yet healthy stuff that went into the tummy. I am satisfied, I could put in some thoughtful creativity, to indulge in the above stuff.