Saturday, February 28, 2009

Double Beans

Double Beans are a form of lima beans, broad beans or butter beans. They are usually white and slightly pink and need to be soaked before cooking. They almost triple in size after soaking. Just see the beautiful color of these beans - and they're absolutely delicious.

I've searched and really have no idea if these beans are called Double Beans in English too. And I'm not sure if you even get them outside India - I haven't seen them anywhere else. Maybe an Indian grocery store in some towns carry this variety of beans. If you do find them, pick them up!

This is my favorite recipe for double beans.

Double Beans Kootu (Kootu is a form of spiced gravy - usually eaten with rice).

1/2 cup split Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal), cooked and mashed (save the water)
1 cup Double Beans, soaked for a couple of hours and cooked in water until tender
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit lengthwise
2 tsp Chilli Powder
4 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Urad Dal
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 pinch Fenugreek Seeds
1 pinch Asoefetida
3-4 Curry Leaves

For Garnish:
4-5 Cilantro Leaves, chopped

Heat about 1/2 a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the onion, green chillies and tomato. Stir fry on a medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the beans and all the powders and continue to stir fry, combining everything together, about 5-6 minutes. Add the water from the cooked pigeon peas and salt to taste. Continue to cook on medium heat, and let it come to a boil. Add the pigeon peas and let it cook together for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir to combine. Serve over rice.

This is off to Susan @ The Well-Seasoned Cook for My Legume Love Affair: Eighth Helping.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I'm always trying to take part in the Bread Baking Day organized by Zorra. This month it's hosted by Notitie van Lien, one of the most beautiful photographers in the blogosphere. This month the theme is Potato Breads. I've been wanting to make savory stuffed buns for a long time, and I took this opportunity to do just that.

The buns have mashed potato added to the flour. And the buns are also stuffed with a spicy potato filling. I also did some spicy chicken ones for my family. Both were very well received. The nice part is the combinations/ fillings are endless. The bread can be flavored. The fillings can be altered to suit your tastes. And its really simple.


For the Bread:
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Yeast
2 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 cups warm Water
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Potato, peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional - I just wanted a spicy bread. You could add any herbs/ greens of your choice like fenugreek/ cilantro/ cumin/ fennel/ za'atar).

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, until it comes together as a ball. Empty the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes soft and elastic. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a muslin cloth. Keep in a warm place and leave aside for an hour or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 10 or 12 equal parts (I got 10 but depending on the size of the buns you want, you could get 12). Flatten each ball into a thin circular shape, with your fingers. Put about 2-3 tbsp of the filling in each (recipe follows). Bring the edges around the filling until it is fully covered. Pinch the seams together to seal. Place seal-side down on a baking tray. Repeat for all the balls.

Cover the buns with muslin cloth and leave aside for approximately an hour. Bake at 180 deg C for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway for even baking. Remove and brush with melted butter when warm (optional - this just gives the buns a softer crust).

For the Peas and Potatoes Filling:
6 small Potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled
1/2 cup Peas, boiled
2 Onions, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 small piece Cinnamon
2-3 pieces Cardamom
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 cloves Garlic, chopped

Heat some oil and add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the onion, garlic and tomato. Saute until the onions are brown. Add the potato, peas and the powders and salt. Continue to saute until well browned and mixed through. Sprinkle with a few teaspoons of water and cover and cook for 10 minutes.

For the Chicken Filling:
1/4 kg boneless Chicken pieces, shredded
1 Tomato
1 Onion, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1" piece Ginger
(Grind the garlic and ginger together to a paste. OR use 1 tsp readymade ginger garlic paste)
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

For the tempering:
1 Bay Leaf
1 small piece Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1-2 pieces Cardamom

Heat some oil and add the ingredients for tempering. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, tomato and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the shredded chicken. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and the powders and saute well until the raw smell of the paste disappears. Add 1 cup of water and continue to stir fry until the water has been completely absorbed. Keep aside.

Enjoy the buns! Next time I'm going to try a cheese and broccoli filling. Or maybe even some cottage cheese and veggies. The possibilities are endless.

This is off to Notitie van Lien for Bread Baking Day #17: Potato Breads. And to Susan @ Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Egg Salad

Sometimes, you get referred to new blogs. And sometimes, you come across them by pure chance. But a sure-fire way to find great blogs is to sign up for the Taste & Create event hosted by Nicole over at For The Love Of Food.

I was paired with Kaytie and Drew of Tiny Biscuits. Their food is nothing short of amazing. And the writing is light and interesting. Being vegetarian was not a problem - there was such a variety of great recipes, that it was just a question of choosing the right one. I was intrigued by this recipe because they had eaten it with naan, an Indian flatbread. I've never tried that combination before - egg salad and naan!

The egg salad itself was incredible! They says its slightly better than the one her mom makes - and let me say, its far better than the one I make! I've never had egg salad with olives before and to blend in cheese is sheer genius! Thanks Kaytie and Drew for a keeper of a recipe.

Incredible Egg Salad
(recipe from Tiny Biscuits)

6 eggs
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I used low-fat)
1 piece of Laughing Cow garlic & herb cheese (I used 2 tbsp of Boursin Garlic & Herb Cheese - we don't get Laughing Cow here in India)
1/2 teaspoon mustard (I used French grainy Mustard)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
black olives (I added about 3-4 olives cut fine)
green onions, chopped (I added a 2 tsp of finely minced greens)

Boil the eggs. Let it cool, shell the eggs and chop into small pieces.

Blend the cheese, mustard, mayonnaise and lemon juice together. Toss the egg with the cheese dressing. Add in the olives and garnish with the minced spring onion greens.

Try it with the naan - its actually a great combination - who would've thought! Thanks, Kaytie and Drew!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

I have a friend who had a birthday recently. She said all she wanted for a gift was a bread a month. Sort of like the Fruit A Month (anyone see that Everybody Loves Ray episode?) Club except of course that this is ... bread!

This month she requested a sweet, nutty bread. I'm not someone who enjoys sweet breads and wouldn't normally have tried this recipe, but her request got me to look into Peter Reinhart's recipe for Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Bread. And it's another winner from Reinhart!

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
(original recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice)

3 1/2 cups Unbleached Bread Flour (I used All-Purpose)
4 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 large Egg
2 tbsp Shortening (I used 3 tbsp Butter)
1/2 cup Buttermilk or Whole Milk (I used Whole Milk)
3/4 cup Water, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Raisins (I used golden raisins)
1 cup chopped Walnuts

For the Cinnamon Sugar:
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tbsp ground Cinnamon

Stir together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon). Add the egg, butter, milk and water and mix until it forms a doughy ball. Turn the ball out onto a floured counter and begin to knead until the dough is soft and elastic (approximately 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the walnuts and raisins, a little at a time, and knead for an additional 2 minutes. I've never kneaded in chopped nuts before, so I found that a little difficult but the whole thing comes together beautifully as you knead).

Place the dough in a slightly oiled bowl and cover with muslin. Let rise until doubled in size, approximated 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. This next part is optional - If you want that lovely swirl filled with cinnamon sugar, then go ahead. Otherwise, you can just shape each half into a loaf and go to the next step. For the swirl - Gently press each part out into a rectangle (about 8" by 5"), with the long side facing you. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over one side of the rectangle. Now tightly roll, starting from the long side facing you. Seal the end and place in a loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat for the other rectangle. Reserve maybe a teaspoon or so of the cinnamon sugar.

Spritz the loaves with olive oil spray, cover with muslin and let it proof at room temperature for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Place the loaf pans in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans 180 deg and bake for an additional 30 minutes (this is to ensure even baking. It really works for me as I've found that the back half of my oven is hotter than the front).

The finished loaf will be golden brown on top and will make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Roll the top of the loaf while warm in a bed of the reserved cinnamon sugar (alternately you can sprinkle some on top of the loaves) while the loaves are warm. The caramelized sugar will give it that extra crunch and burst of cinnamon which is oh-so-delicious!

Let it cool for atleast 1 1/2 hours before slicing and eating.

This is for Susan @ Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Banana Chocolate Bread

I've been terribly out of touch with my blogs for a few months. What can I say? December is always so busy that sometimes I need a couple months of hibernation just to recover.

In my hibernation, I forgot to add my contribution to the Sweet and Simple Bakes February bake. I did make the bread but didn't blog about it. So here it is. It's one of the simplest and most delicious breads I've ever made. My daughter actually did the mashing, mixing and tasting! Here's the recipe from Maria and Rosie of Sweet and Simple Bakes:

Banana Chocolate Bread

9 oz Self-Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
5 oz Caster Sugar
3 ½ oz Butter, softened
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (I left this out - not a big fan of orange zest)
4 small Bananas, peeled
3 oz Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Lightly butter and line the loaf tin with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and butter and, using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest in another bowl.

Add the bananas and mash very well with a potato masher. Add the chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Gently but thoroughly bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared loaf tin.

Smooth the top and bake in the oven for 1-1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Everyone should try this at least once in their lives. It's absolutely amazing.