Monthly Archives: August 2020

Almond flour and Whole Wheat Flour Bread

I’m still a learner, when it comes to baking Bread. My notion is not a gluten free bread, but something different from the usual ones.

I am at a stage, where I’d like to play with yeast, to find more interesting recipes. Hence, thought of including Almond Flour in the well practiced Bread recipe. Without the gluten (wheat), bread with plain almond flour might not be a successful one. We might need other binding agents like eggs or flax seeds. Even with flax seeds, eggs would be necessary for a Good result.

So, I chose to combine Wheat and Almond flours – in the ration 2:1. For 400 gms of wheat flour, I added 200 gms of almond flour. I also included warm buttermilk.

Buttermilk might kill the yeast. So, I had a careful eye to mix the dry ingredients first and then warm water and warm butter milk. And, immediately ran the kitchen machine. We could also proof the yeast before adding it to the flour.

Almond Flour and Whole Wheat Flour Bread

Ingredients

  • whole wheat – 400 gms
  • almond flour – 200 gas
  • honey – 4 tsp
  • salt – 1 1/2 tsp
  • yeast – 3 tsp
  • warm water – 1 1/2 to 2 cups approximately
  • warm buttermilk – 1 1/2 cups
  • oil (preferably olive oil) – 2 tsp = 1 tsp for greasing the bowl; 1 tsp for greasing the baking tin

Making the Bread

Process I

  1. In the Stand Mixer Bowl, add wheat flour, almond flour, yeast and salt and mix well with a spatula
  2. Pour warm buttermilk and honey; and switch on the mixer with the dough hook
  3. Add warm water little by little, till the dough has enough water to knead
  4. Note: Almond Flour doesn’t need water as much as plain whole wheat flour would need. That’s why, check the dough and then add water
  5. After the initial mixing up of all the ingredients in the mixer, let the dough be kneaded for 10 minutes. Add more water, if needed while kneading
  6. Alternatively, if you plan to knead by hand-
  7. In a big bowl, add ingredients as in step 1, 2 and 3
  8. Knead well until buttermilk and water gets incorporated and the dough is stretchy.
  9. Grease the same bowl, with 1 tsp oil, and place the bread dough
  10. Cover with a clean cloth, place the bowl in a warm place
  11. Let the dough rise for half an hour or until double

Process II

  1. Knock the dough, and give it a gentle knead
  2. Grease the baking tin with the other 1 tsp olive oil 
  3. Roll the dough into loaves and place in the tin
  4. Let the dough rise for another 1/2 hr to one hr – or until doubled

Process III

  1. Preheat the oven at 220 degree C
  2. Place the dough and let it bake for 30-35 minutes, more or less, depending upon the oven.

For a soft crust

Once the baking is done-

  • Switch off the oven
  • Brush the crust with butter
  • Open the oven and leave the bread inside. Let there be a little gap in the door, for air to pass through
  • Once the bread is warm, remove and let it cool completely
  • Let it cool, with a cloth covered
  • The crust of the baked bread is soft and easy to slice.

Kappa and Meen Curry (Kerala Cuisine)

Respect for one’s own cuisine, would also result in respect for cuisines around the world, and cuisines around you. Kerala is neighbourhood to Tamilnadu; and both the states share close linguistic, cultural and cuisinical ties. Specialities like Aappam, Avial, Payasam, Puttu, Appam, Coconut Milk Curries and many more, can be found in different versions in both the South Indian States of India.

When one of my neighbours from Kerala, my good friend ‘N’, sent me Kappa and Meen Curry – Tapioca and Fish Curry – I couldn’t stop licking the curry, full of flavour. The combined flavours of Coconut and Kudampuli and shine on the curry – from the coconut oil, stayed in my mind for a long time.

Kappa or Tapioca is called Maravalli Kizhangu in Tamil. In some parts of Tamilnadu, it is also called Kappa Kizhangu. ‘Kizhangu’ is a generic term for tubers.

Kudampuli is a tamarind variety, that belongs to the species of Garcinia. It is also called Malabar Tamarind.

So, got the authentic household recipe from ‘N’ and tried to make at home. The joy of making one of Kerala’s most popular dishes- (with Kappa (cooked tapioca)- that’s two of Kerala’s traditional dishes) – was truly overwhelming.

Thanks ‘N’ for the recipe. I have to confess, mine was not as good as hers.

Kappa and Meen Curry – Tapioca and Fish Curry

Ingredients (for approximately 1/2 a kilo of fish)

  • Fish – clean and cut to small or medium sized pieces – 1/2 kg

For the curry

  • grated coconut – 1/2 a coconut
  • turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • salt – to taste
  • ginger – 2 inch piece
  • kudampuli – 3 pieces washed and soaked in water
  • curry leaves – a handful

For seasoning

  • coconut oil – 3 tbsp
  • shallots – 8-10 -sliced
  • curry leaves – a handful
  • green chillies and garlic – optional

Preparing the Fish Curry

  1. I used Black Pomfret. Feel free to use any fish; with bones or fillet as preferred

2. In a mixie jar, grind coconut, powders- (turmeric, chilli, salt) and ginger into a smooth paste

3. According to the original recipe, ginger was smashed and added to the curry. To get the flavour and spice of ginger, I blended it with the paste.

4. In a Clay Curry Pot (Man Chatti in Tamil), add the paste with enough water to make a watery curry

5. Add the Kudampuli/Garcinia with the soaked water and curry leaves

6. Check salt – add more if needed. Let the curry simmer for a while

7. When the raw smell of spices change and the curry has boiled well, add the cleaned fish pieces

8. Let the fish cook in the boiling hot curry for at least 20 minutes, with stove in sim position

9. Little more than 20 minutes, the oil from the ground coconut would show up on the curry

10. Check the curry. If you prefer it to be thicker, boil in medium fire – till it reaches desired thickness

11. When the curry is ready, season it.

12. Heat coconut oil and add sliced shallots and curry leaves

13. When they are fried a bit, add to the fish curry

14. Half a tsp of red chilli powder fried in oil, can also be poured on top of the curry. This renders a beautiful red colour and extra flavour to the curry.

15. Serve hot with boiled Kappa – Tapioca.

16. The amounts of coconut and chilli powder can be altered as per family preference.

Boiled Tapioca

  1. Peel the Tapioca.
  2. Cut to small to medium pieces
  3. Wash well till the extra starch is removed and is clean
  4. In a pressure cooker, add water, salt and turmeric to the tapioca
  5. Cook till 3 full whistles. no need to simmer
  6. Season with coconut oil, mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves
  7. Sprinkle grated fresh coconut before serving (if preferred).
  8. Serve with Fish Curry

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Why I prefer the ‘100%’ tag is, due to the countless number of times I’ve been fooled in shops and the web – with the phrase ‘whole wheat’ bread, bun or whatever snack that claims to be whole wheat.

This whole wheat product, doesn’t include white flour at all.

After I changed my yeast and started kneading with a Stand Mixer, my home-baked whole wheat Bread has passed with flying colours.

So, without wasting much time…….

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients

  • wholewheat flour – 4 cups (one cup = 130mg x 4 = 520 gms)
  • yeast – 3 tsp – 11 gms
  • honey – 1/4 cup
  • salt – 1 1/2 tsp – 11 gms
  • warm water – enough to knead into stretchy and elastic dough
  • olive oil – 2 tsp app. (1 tsp for greasing the bowl; 1 tsp for greasing the baking tin)

Making the Bread

Process I

  1. In the Stand Mixer Bowl, add flour, yeast and salt and mix well with a spatula
  2. Pour warm water and honey; and switch on the mixer with the dough hook
  3. After the initial mixing up of all the ingredients in the mixer, let the dough be kneaded for 10 minutes. Add more water, if needed while kneading
  4. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mixer, not to worry
  5. In a big bowl, add ingredients as in step 1 and then step 2
  6. Knead well until water is incorporated well and the dough is stretchy.
  7. Grease the same bowl, with 1 tsp oil, and place the bread dough
  8. Cover with a clean cloth, place the bowl in a warm place
  9. Let the dough rise for half an hour or until double

Process II

  1. Knock the dough, and knead well again
  2. Grease the baking tin with the other 1 tsp olive oil
  3. Place the well rolled dough in the tin
  4. Let the dough rise for another 1/2 hr to one hr – or until doubled

Process III

  1. Preheat the oven at 220 degree C
  2. Place the dough and let it bake for 30-35 minutes, more or less, depending upon the oven

For a soft crust

Once the baking is done-

  • Switch off the oven
  • Brush the crust with butter
  • Open the oven and leave the bread inside. Let there be a little gap in the door, for air to pass through
  • Once the bread is warm, remove and let it cool completely
  • Let it cool, with a cloth covered
  • The crust of the baked bread is soft and easy to slice.