Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Cakes & Bakes: Paratha

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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Paratha with curry & rice

When we order an Indian takeaway we always include a portion of breads to go with our curries. Our favourite is paratha – an unleavened, fried flatbread made with wholemeal flour. The name originates from the words parat and atta which means layers of cooked dough.

They can sometimes be made stuffed with vegetables, paneer or potatoes (aloo). We prefer them plain – and this time I’ve made half the batch studded with pan fried cumin seeds (geera).

Traditionally they’re cooked on a tawa but a large, cast iron frying pan will do. If you don’t want to eat all the parathas in one go, you can prepare the dough up to stage 10 and freeze the extra. Just place each circle between 2 pieces of parchment paper, stack them one on top of the other, wrap in cling film or zip-lock bag and store flat.

Cakes & Bakes: Paratha

Yield: Serves 8

Cakes & Bakes: Paratha

Ingredients

  • 450g plain flour (I used an equal amount of chapatti flour) + a little extra for dusting
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 350ml water (approx)
  • 45g ghee, clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 1tsp cumin seeds (geera)
  • 55g vegetable oil for brushing
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Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt
  2. Add enough of the water to form a smooth, soft dough
  3. Knead well and leave to relax for ½ hour covered with a damp cloth
  4. In a small frying pan over a medium heat, dry fry the cumin seeds for about 3 minutes, shaking continuously to stop burning. Set aside
  5. After the dough has relaxed, re-knead and divide into four balls (loyah)
  6. Flour surface and roll out each dough ball into 20-23cm/8-9inch circle
  7. Sprinkle half the dough with the cumin seeds
  8. Spread with some ghee and sprinkle with a little flour
  9. Cut rolled dough circles from centre to edge. Roll each tightly into a cone. Press the peak of the cone into the centre and flatten. Leave to rest for 30 minutes
  10. Flour the surface again and roll out the dough very thinly with a rolling pin
  11. Cook on a moderately hot, greased tawa/frying pan for 1 minute
  12. Turn over, brush with ghee/oil and cook for another minute
  13. As each one is cooked, stack on top of each other, wrap them in a clean tea towel and move on to the next
  14. Eat immediately
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-paratha/

Simple home made paneer

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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Cubed home made paneer | H is for Home

I’m a regular stalker of the discounted shelves and fridges in our local supermarket. I’m very strict though, I only ever pick something up that I would have bought anyway. On a recent late evening trip to Morrisons, I saw a 4-pint bottle of whole organic milk for 89p down from £1.84. We don’t generally use full fat milk, and we never buy it in such large quantities, but I knew that I wanted to try making home made paneer.

Paneer is a simple curd cheese – similar to cottage cheese, mascarpone and quark – that relies on acid rather than rennet to form. From earlier research I knew that only full fat milk really works – and you need a fair amount of milk to make a big enough portion of paneer worth the process. You also need the acid which separates the curds from the whey. This can be in the form of natural yoghurt, citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar.

The process was like a doing a school science experiment. Heat the milk in a big saucepan, add the acid, stir and the alchemy of the separating liquid from solid happened instantaneously! I knew it was simple to do – but didn’t realise it was that simple. Why hadn’t I done it before? Paneer costs about £7 per kilo in the shops – when you can actually get hold of it that is!

We used some of it when making a curry and some of it like you would ricotta, in a spinach & paneer lasagne. We saved the whey and used it in place of the water when making a dhal. It made the dish slightly sweeter, creamier and tastier.

Here’s how I made it…

Simple home made paneer

Simple home made paneer

Ingredients

  • 4 pints/2 litres full cream milk
  • 150g plain natural yoghurt
  • 2tsp white wine vinegar
  • or 1½tsp powdered citric acid
  • or 1½tsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp salt
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Instructions

  1. Sterilise a large piece of muslin, cheesecloth (or a lint-free glass cloth like I used) by putting it into a pan/heatproof bowl and covering it completely with boiling water from a kettle
  2. Using tongs, remove the cloth from the water and spread it over a metal colander
  3. If you plan on using the whey, put the colander into a large mixing bowl so that all the liquid can be collected
  4. Put the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat to boiling stirring regularly to prevent it burning
  5. When it begins to bubble, add the yoghurt and vinegar turn off the heat and stir. The curds should separate from the whey
  6. Set aside until cool enough to handle
  7. Pour the contents of the saucepan into the cloth covered colander
  8. Remove the colander from the mixing bowl, put the colander into the kitchen sink and carefully rinse the curds
  9. Sprinkle evenly with salt
  10. Take up the corners of the cloth into your hands and twist & squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible
  11. Form the cloth into a block shape - ( I put the cloth into a DIY 'mould', a plastic container that some mushrooms came in that I punched holes in the bottom of )
  12. Weigh it down with something heavy ( I put a jar of dried split peas into an identical mushroom container and popped that on top )
  13. Put the paneer on to an under-plate and refrigerate with the weight still on top for about half an hour
  14. The paneer is ready to cut into cubes to be used or can be removed from the cloth, covered in clingfilm/saran wrap and left in the fridge for up to 5 days
http://hisforhomeblog.com/food/simple-home-made-paneer/

Canned blackcurrants

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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Colander of blackcurrants

I’ve preserved all our other allotment and foraged fruit in one way or another – raspberry jelly, redcurrant relish, rose hip syrup. I thought this time I’d give canned blackcurrants a go. Home canning (in glass jars that is!) is much more popular in the US than it is here in the UK, but I’ve always fancied giving it a go.

Canning, according to Wikipedia, “Is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a shelf life typically ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances it can be much longer.”

Some websites I’ve visited say you need special equipment; a big stove-top canner – much like a pressure cooker – for starters. A jar rack, jar lifter, funnel… In practice, the only foodstuffs that need to be canned in a high pressure canner are meat, seafood, dairy and most vegetables (sweet tasting ones such as carrots, beetroot, sweetcorn, peas and beans). Fruit (which is what I’ll mainly be canning) and acidic vegetables can be done using the water bath method in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. It’s not absolutely necessary for them to reach the 116-130ºC temperature necessary for the first group of foods.

I used utensils I already had to hand. Aforementioned heavy bottomed pan. A jam thermometer to be perfectly sure the water bath got to the optimum temperature. A funnel to make sure the little berries didn’t bounce all over the floor and under the kitchen cabinets as I tried to pour them into the jars. A wire cooling rack to keep the jars from rattling against the bottom of the saucepan during boiling. A pair of tongs to lift the jars out of the hot water. Some vintage Mason-type jars with new rubber seals. It is important that jars are in perfect condition with no chips or ill-fitting lids. If they aren’t they won’t be air-tight and contents will spoil and may prove a health risk!

Here’s the method…

Canned blackcurrants

Canned blackcurrants

Ingredients

  • At least 500g freshly picked blackcurrants. Use only perfect fruit - no bruised, over-ripe berries need apply!
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  • For the sugar syrup
  • 1 part sugar to 2.5 parts water (e.g. 200g granulated sugar to 500ml water)

Instructions

  1. Sterilise the jars & lids - you can do this by putting them into a large saucepan and covering them with water and bringing it to the boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat and leave them in the hot water until you're ready to use them
  2. Top & tail and rinse the fruit well in a colander
  3. Decant the fruit into the sterilised jars (using a funnel if you have one). Leave a space of about 2.5cm/1inch from the rim of the jar
  4. Put your sugar and water into a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat
  5. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat
  6. Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup over the fruit - enough to completely cover the fruit but leaving a gap of 1.25cm/½inch to the rim of the jar
  7. Remove any air bubbles using a plastic or wooden knife (like the ones you get from a take-away)
  8. Screw the lids onto the jars firmly, but not too tightly
  9. Put a wire cooling rack into the base of a large heavy-bottomed saucepan (if you don't have one or the one you have doesn't fit - use a folded tea towel)
  10. Put the jars into the saucepan and fill the saucepan with enough hot water to completely cover the jars by at least 2.5cm/1inch. Make sure there's at least 5cm/2inches gap to the top of the saucepan; if there isn't you'll need a larger pan
  11. Put a lid on the saucepan
  12. Bring the water to a low, rolling boil. Once it gets to this point, boil at this level for a further 15 minutes
  13. Turn off the heat and carefully remove the jars using a jar lifter or metal tongs
  14. Put the jars on a thick tea towel or wire rack to cool. The lids on the jars should be concave and should not move when pressed down with your finger. If one of your jars has not formed a vacuum - just refrigerate and use it's contents within a week
  15. Label, date and store the jars in a cool, dry, dark place. The fruit will store for at least next year when you can do it all over again! :-)

Notes

This recipe will work for any kind of similar fruit - redcurrants, white currants, bilberries, blueberries etc.

http://hisforhomeblog.com/food/canned-blackcurrants/

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

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Redcurrant muffin with a cup of tea | H is for Home

So far on our allotment, the only things that have come to fruition are the currant bushes that we inherited. The last time we were there we did a little bit of weeding but we spent the vast majority of our time picking shiny, jewel-like blackcurrants and redcurrants. We harvested almost a kilo of the latter – that’s over £10-worth from a supermarket! 125 grams of it was put towards making a batch of redcurrant muffins.

We acquired a silicon muffin tray in a boxed lot at an auction many moons ago that we surprisingly, have never used. Fished out, dusted down and washed; it turned out 6 big, beautiful muffin specimens! Silicon is a revelation – baked goods ease out of it with no cajoling whatsoever! If you’ve not tried it before, Lakeland does a good range of affordable silicon baking tins, pans and trays.

The redcurrant muffin recipe used here was found on the Abel & Cole website. The rest of the redcurrants have been put into the freezer temporarily, waiting to be turned into jam, jelly and relish; so keep a watch out for some more redcurrant recipes to follow!

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 12 small or 6 large muffins

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Ingredients

  • 60g Stork or butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml milk
  • 125g fresh redcurrants
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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan (We have a 6-hole silicone muffin pan that makes lovely large, tall muffins!) or insert paper muffin cases
  3. Put the Stork/butter into a microwave-proof bowl or measuring jug and heat on a low setting for 20 seconds. Set aside to cool
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  5. Add all but 2 tbsp of the caster sugar - this is being reserved to sprinkle over the muffin tops prior to going into the oven
  6. In a small measuring jug, beat the egg a few times until the yolk & white is just combined
  7. Whisk in the milk and melted Stork/butter
  8. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring quickly and gently until flour is just dampened
  9. Gently fold in the redcurrants, being careful not to burst too many of them
  10. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin , filling each slightly more than half full
  11. Sprinkle the 2tbsp of reserved sugar over each muffin
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes away clean
  13. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes prior to serving
  14. Keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-redcurrant-muffins/

Cakes & Bakes: Bolo de fubá com coco

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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slice of bolo de fubá com coco | H is for Home

I’ve finally succumbed to the World Cup-mania – this is a Brazil-themed blog post! Brazilians have a sweet tooth apparently, and this bolo de fubá com coco is a national favourite. Bolo de fubá com coco translates as ‘cornmeal cake with coconut’.

It’s quite a densely textured cake -  so folding in the beaten egg whites is an important stage in the proceedings. What isn’t quite so necessary, but makes the job that much quicker, is using quite so many mixing bowls and different electric mixers. You may even say that the time you save on the mixing, you lose on all that extra washing up! :-)

Using a Bundt tin is traditional but it’s not essential if you don’t have one, a large round cake tin will suffice. The cornmeal gives it a lovely yellow colour. It’s a tasty and very filling cake, so don’t cut yourself a massive slice! It’s a mid-afternoon with a cup of tea kind of cake.

Cakes & Bakes: Bolo de fubá com coco

Yield: makes 8-12 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Bolo de fubá com coco

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 225g/8oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 330g/11½oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 250g/9oz finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 235ml/fl oz coconut milk
  • 120ml/fl oz milk
  • 100g/oz dessicated coconut
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  • For the topping
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs dessicated coconut
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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a Bundt cake tin or 23cm/9 inch round springform cake tin
  3. In a large measuring jug, combine the coconut milk, milk and dessicated coconut and set aside
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cornmeal and set aside
  5. Separate the egg yolks & whites. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, and preferably using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Set aside
  6. Using an electric stand mixer on a medium speed, cream the butter and caster sugar
  7. Gently whisk the egg yolks before gradually adding them to the butter & sugar mixture mixing on a low speed all the while
  8. Still on a low speed, add flour & cornmeal mixture alternating with the coconut & milk mixture
  9. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites until well combined
  10. Put the mixture into the Bundt/cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes away clean
  11. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside
  12. Allow the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing it from the tin and transferring it on to a serving plate
  13. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and dessicated coconut over the top
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-bolo-de-fuba-com-coco/