Friday, September 25, 2015

Pan de Sal

I found this great recipe on Saveur and I'm a huge Saveur fan. Or at least I used to be. Now that the editor has changed, the recipes aren't so friendly anymore. And the foods are so America-centric now, when they used to be quite international.

This Filipino Sweet bread, or Pan de Sal, is quite delicious and easy to make. They come out soft and delicious and quite pillowy. Do try it at home.

Pan de Sal (sweet Filipino bun)
(recipe from Saveur)

6 cups Flour (the recipe calls for bread flour, I used All-Purpose since we don't get bread flour here)
1 cup plus 1 tbsp Sugar
1.5 tsp Salt
2.5 cups Milk, warmed
1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
4 tbsp, Butter, melted; plus more
1 Egg
1 cup Bread Crumbs

Combine the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 cup of the warmed milk in a bowl and set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining milk, the melted butter and the egg.

In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: the flour, the 1 cup sugar and the salt.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with muslin or plastic wrap until doubled in size, about 45 minutes, in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 180 deg. C

Place the bread crumbs on a plate. 
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a rectangle (approximately 4" by 9" and deep by 1/2"). Working from the long end, roll the rectangle into a tight cylinder. Cut the dough crosswise into five 1.5" rolls. Gently roll the cut sides in the bread crumbs. Place the rolls, bread crumbs up, onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat for remaining dough, placing them slightly apart. (Here's a video on how to shape the pan de sal. And here's a pictorial on how to shape it.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Eat while warm.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Brown Butter Blondies

So brownies are ... nice. I actually prefer cookies. How about you? I'm not a huge brownie/ blondies fan. Blondies are just brownies with chocolate. I prefer blondies to brownies though. This was just delicious. I read this in a Bon Appetit magazine.This is now my effort to make all the recipes that I've bookmarked over the years. Please bear with me! :)

My kids made these. They are super easy to make. 

Brown Butter Blondies
(recipe originally from Bon Appetit)

For the Brown Butter:
1/2 cup Butter
1 Egg
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

 For the Blondie:

1 cup Butter, softened
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Make the Brown Butter Mixture:
Melt the butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, stir often until the butter foams and the butter browns, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool slightly. 
Add the egg, vanilla, salt and brown sugar. Beat the mixture until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fold in the flour gently. 
Make the Blondies:
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. 
Whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 1/4 cups flour, the salt and the baking powder.  In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream 1 cup butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, and pale and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. 

Mix in dry ingredients until completely combined. 

Pour in half the blondie mixture into a buttered 13" by 9" baking dish. Smooth the top. Add the brown butter mixture as a layer on the top and smooth it out. Next add the remaining blondie mixture on top of the brown butter mixture. 

Bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Green Gram and Fenugreek Dosa

Dosas are a staple of south Indian cuisine. As much as paneer butter masala and chicken tikka are synonymous with Indian food for the western world, India has as many types of cuinines as we have states.

India is a sort of Europe, if you will. We are made of several states, each with their own cuisine, language, culture and clothing. Just like Europe is made of several countries, each with their own language, and culture. India is an amalgamation of all these states. Some cuisines and languages are just more well-known than others.

South India is made of four states and the one I live in is Tamil Nadu. The food here consists of fermented rice flours and mostly curries that have very mild spices. Of course even in Tamil Nadu, there are several kinds of food. We have many, almost a dozen sub-cultures, and they each have their own cuisines! Its quite wonderful, in a way. For example, food from different cities might be different, within the same state!

Dosas are pretty predominant across Tamil Nadu. Different people make it differently. There are so many many variations of this. I have made several variations myself in this blog. Well, you can imagine my delight when I came across this book: Dosai by Chandra Padmanabhan. She is one of my favorite south Indian cookbook authors. Every recipe of hers is a keeper! This book is so amazing. Here's a lovely recipe from the book.


Paithum Paruppu and Vendayam Dosai 
(Green Gram and Fenugreek Dosa)
(recipe from Dosai by Chandra Padmanabhan)

Makes 10-12 dosais

1/4 cup husked green gram (mung dal)
2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 cup Parboiled Rice
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3-4 Green Chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
5-6 Curry Leaves
Oil, as needed

Combine the dal and the fenugreek seeds. Wash well and soak in water for a couple of hours. Separately, wash the rice and soak for a couple of hours.

Drain and grind the dal, till light and fluffy, adding 1/2-3/4 cup water.

Drain the rice and grind to a smooth batter with 1-1 3/4 cups water.

Combine both the batters and add the salt and mix well. Set aside and allow to ferment for 4 hours.

When ready to make the dosas, add the cumin seeds, green chillies, coriander leaves, onion and curry leaves. Adjust the consistency by adding some water to make the batter of pouring consistency.

Prepare a tawa or flat top pan. To Prepare: Smear a thin layer of oil evenly on a tawa or griddle pan using a halved potato, or onion dipped in oil. Heat the tawa. When you sprinkle a few drops of water on it, it should sizzle.
With a clean wet cloth, wipe the tawa to remove excess oil. Lower heat and the tawa is now ready for cooking the dosai.

How to cook the dosai:
Pour a ladle of batter into the center of the tawa or griddle pan. Spread quickly using a circular motion with the back of the ladle to form a 6" round dosai.
Drizzle 1 tsp oil around the edges.
Raise heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, till the base is golden brown.
Turn over carefully and fry the other side, till crisp and golden. Remove from heat.
Wipe the tawa with a wet cloth after making each dosai so that it does not get over-heated.
Oil the tawa again if it becomes too dry.

Repeat for the remaining batter.

Serve hot with a chutney, podi and/or sambar.

Other dosais in this blog: Dosai, Peas DosaiNeer Dosai, Tomato Dosai, Pesarat, Adai, Vegetable Adai, Akki Roti and Ilai Vadam.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Miracle Mayo

I'm not really a fan of mayonnaise. In fact, I quite dislike it. But my kids love it. Seriously love it. I'm super picky that they don't eat a lot of mayo because I think it isn't healthy. I've also been on a major non-prepared foods phase, which has resulted in us making our own peanut butter, jam and mayo at home. We have also started making our own pasta and pesto. Soon we will be making our own bread. (I haven't quite perfected the perfect sandwich bread).

I've also started buying completely organic pasteurized milk, growing my own vegetables at home and buying any extra vegetables we need only from known farms that are local. I've also started composting our kitchen waste for our rooftop garden.

I came across this recipe in a Saveur magazine and decided I simply must try it since all our attempts at making mayo have utterly failed. Well, this one worked like a charm. Now I must say that it doesn't always work. I have no idea why, but sometimes when I follow the exact same steps, it just doesn't emulsify. But sometimes, it works like a dream.

Saveur's 20-second Mayonnaise
(recipe from Saveur)

1.5 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard (I don't always use Dijon)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
2 cups Canola Oil.

Put all the ingredients into a tall slender container. Lower an immersion blender into the container until its at the bottom. Turn it on and blend for 3-4 seconds and slowly bring it up, incorporating all the ingredients until it begins to emulsify and turn into mayo. The whole process takes about 20 seconds when its done right.

I have sometimes experimented by adding flavors to the mayo, like chilli powder or lemon rind, and it tastes great.


Sunday, September 13, 2015


Have you heard of these delicious Turkish Anatolian flat breads known as Gozleme?

They sounded familiar but I hadn't had one until this summer when we happened to be in gorgeous Sydney for the Vivid Sydney light festival. The festival sees the entire city light up every night in the most creative, gorgeous way and it is a sight to behold. While the festival is on the for the week, the streets are filled with lovely street stalls and one of them sold Gozleme. It seemed to be a hot favorite and so we stood in line for a good 20 minutes to get a hot, steaming Gozleme fresh off the pan.

It was delicious, crispy, flat bread stuffed with spinach and feta, full of flavor.

Back home in India, we wanted to have it one more time, and like most international foods, if you want to have something a little bit out of the ordinary, you have to make it yourself. Chennai is behind most cities in India in the diversity of its cuisine. It is getting more adventurous every year but still very far away from other cities in India.

Anyhow, I decided to make the gozleme. Having got the recipe off the web, here goes. (a small note here: I got the recipe from a website called Ozlem's Turkish Table. This website is quite a gem. She has step-by-step instructions for most recipes and every single item on there looks do-able and delicious! Do take a moment to go through her website. I've bookmarked half her savory pastries!!). It came out quite perfectly. Do give it a try. Its easy and even the kids love it.

(recipe from Ozlem's Turkish Table)

For the flat bread:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
8 g Dry Instant Yeast
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Plain Yogurt
260 ml Warm Water
A pinch of salt

For the filling:
200 g Spinach Leaves, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
230 g Feta Cheese
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, or Chilli Flakes, or Red Pepper Paste, to taste (optional - you can make the filling as spicy as you'd like or omit it completely)

Combine about half the warm water, salt and yeast in a bowl and leave aside for 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy. Now combine the flour, yeast mixture, olive oil, yogurt, salt and the rest of the water. Combine all the ingredients and knead until a soft dough is formed.

Divide the dough into 5 balls and keep aside, covered in a damp cloth, until doubled in size.

Meanwhile prepare the filling.  Combine all the ingredients for the filling and knead well to release the flavors and make the onions softer. I ended up sauteeing the onions and blanching the spinach leaves.

Now roll out each ball into a thin, flat round. Fold the top and bottom edges of the round until they meet in the middle.

 Spread the filling in the center and then fold the left and right sides until the filling is covered.

 Press the edges together to seal.

 Repeat for the remaining dough.

Heat a non-stick flat or griddle pan. Brush one side of the gozleme with olive oil and place, oil side down, on the pan and let cook for 5-6 minutes until browned. Brush the other side with olive oil and flip over and cook until both sides are brown.

 Repeat for the remaining gozleme.

Serve either cut up into squares or rolled up. Attack! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Avocado Cucumber Salad

Avocado Salad 

There's nothing healthier than avocados (full of good fats), egg whites (fantastic proteins) and cucumbers. 

This salad, thrown together by my five year old, since she just found these ingredients in the fridge, and didn't realize she was making something super healthy.

Chop up the avocados, egg whites and cucumbers (try to make them somewhat the same size). Add chopped spring onions and cilantro. Mix them all together. Add salt and pepper to taste and add some crushed red pepper for heat (if you want it). 

Dress the salad with a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt for a dressing. That's it. All done. 

Obviously this is an extremely flexible recipe. The cucumber gives some crunch but you can also add peanuts or other good nuts. Some mint might be nice too. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mustard Potatoes

Don't you love the taste of raw mustard? I do. I've used it a lot in my cooking. I simply love that pungency and a little bit of a hot, spicy taste. Its delicious.

Now, if you put that and potatoes together, there can be nothing wrong with it!

Here's a lovely Bengali dish with some raw mustard, mustard seeds, mustard oil and potatoes. It's really really good. It makes a great side with rice or rotis/ chapatis.

Bengali Mustard Potatoes

(the original recipe is from a paper I've torn out of a magazine ages ago and only recently found. I have no idea which magazine this is from, so can't credit the source)

4-5 tsp Mustard Seeds
8 Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into pieces
3 Tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp Mustard Oil
Kasundi (a special Bengali mustard paste. Its available at specialty stores) (optional), to taste.
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder, or to taste
10-12 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 cups Water
Salt, to taste

Crush the mustard seeds in a mortar and pestle or really with any heavy object.

In a deep pan, heat the mustard oil, add the garlic cloves and stir fry until the garlic is a golden brown. Add the crushed mustard and turn the heat to low. Allow to cook for a minute or two. Keep stirring and don't allow the mustard to burn. Add the potatoes wedges. Mix thoroughly to coat.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, kasundi, salt and water. Cook covered on medium heat till potatoes are cooked and tender, about 25-30 minutes,

Serve warm with rice or rotis.

If you like this, you'll also like Mustard Curry and Mustard Chutney, on this blog.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Corn Soup

In continuation of the healthy soups, here's one that is a big hit with the kids, and adults and grandparents! And no one believes anything this delicious could be low fat and healthy. Go ahead and try this.


Corn Soup

2 corn on the cob, or about 1 1/2 cups of corn, cooked with a little salt.
1 cup Water
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp Butter. (yes, only one one tsp)

Cook the corn with a little bit of salt and remove the corn from the ears. Or, if using prepacked cooked corn, forget the above step. D-uh.

Put the corn in a blender with the water and blend well. Strain through a very fine strainer. Take the remaining bits of corn which haven't blended and return to the blender with a little water and blend again. Again pass through the strainer.

Add the strained corn to a saucepan on low-medium heat. Add a little salt, pepper and the butter. Heat through but do not allow to come to a boil.

Serve hot or warm.

Other soups on this blog: Carrot Soup, Mulligatawny Soup and Mushroom Soup.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monkey Bread

Another easy lovely recipe from Saveur magazine - this one is a lovely recipe for you to do with the kids. Not much can go wrong and the kids will have a lovely time. This is one of those recipes where you know if you put in all this delicious decadent stuff, nothing can go wrong, and if something does, it tastes great anyway!

Cinnamon Monkey Bread

(original recipe here)

3-3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Butter, softened plus more for greasing
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Salt

Heat 2 tbsp of butter with milk and 1/3 cup water on medium heat until warm. Transfer to a bowl of a stand mixer with a hook attachment. Add 1/4 cup sugar, and the yeast and stir to combine. Allow to activate the yeast and foam, about 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer onto a medium speed and add the flour and salt. Beat until all combined and the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in size.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan.

Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the remaining butter in a pan, add and combine the brown sugar and set aside.

Pinch small rounds from the risen dough (about the size of small cherry tomatoes). Toss the small balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture (the kids will enjoy this part!) and fit snugly into the prepared bundt pan. Pour the butter-brown sugar mixture slowly and evenly all over the dough, allowing it time to get into the nooks and crannies.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm. (with vanilla ice cream or a caramel ice cream). :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Milagai Inji Puli

Milagai Inji Puli or literally Tamarind-Chilli-Ginger, is a very famous south Indian side that tastes great with almost anything. Literally. Spread it on toast. Mix it in with rice. Add it to plain yogurt. So delicious. Here's a very simple recipe that's great to whip up and gets a lot of attention from guests.

Milagai Inji Puli
(Chilli Ginger Tamarind)

100 gms (about 1/4 cup) Ginger, cut into match sticks-sizes
5-6 Green Chillies, (use extra long ones. Snip off the top stem, slit halfway lengthwise,keep the chillies whole)
A lemon-sized ball of Tamarind, soaked in warm water and reserve the pulp
1 tbsp Sesame oil (I used Indian sesame oil - gingelly or til oil - but regular sesame oil is fine)
2-3 tsp Asafoetida (or according to taste)
A lemon sized ball of Jaggery
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Turmeric Powder (optional)
Salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the asafoetida and the long green chillies. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Next add the tamarind pulp and turmeric powder (if using). Let it come to a boil and then add the salt and jaggery. Continue to boil until the mixture thickens.

Now add the ginger and boil for a couple more minutes. Remove from stove and allow to cool.

This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dipu's Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend gave me this recipe ages ago and I should have tried it sooner, because these are some of the best cookies I've ever made.


It was easy. My kids did most of the work! And they did most of the eating too!!


Dipu's Chocolate Chip Cookies
(makes about 4 dozen small cookies or 2 dozen regular cookies - mine here are the small version!)

1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 cup Butter, softened
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Hot Water
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 175 deg C.

Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Plant to Plate

Its been a long dream of mine to have a vegetable garden at home, an organic vegetable garden. In our family, we are famous for having killed a cactus! So I didn't hold out much hope.

A friend and some family started to have their own gardens and I decided I should try before I gave up. So I decided to start it in a very small way.

I got some boxes made out of old cargo boxes that were being thrown away. I lined them with plastic and made some holes in them. I filled them with soil and topped it with a layer of compost that I bought at a local nursery.

My kids and I then planted some seeds. We decided to go with super low maintenance vegetables that should grow quite easily in the bright hot sunny weather. We planted radish, ladies finger, eggplant, beans, tomatoes and green chillies, and a type of spinach.

That was about a month ago or maybe a month and a half. Here's the progress so far. The spinach grew so fast that we actually got to eat it!

From Plant to Plate.



Green Chillies

Ladies Finger

And finally, the spinach was made into a nice salad. 

Next, we are going to start our own compost pit at home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Pasta (for the kids)

Not sure about other kids, but mine refuse to eat spinach. Or any leaves. They love broccoli and most vegetables but hate spinach. But I've been trying very hard to get them to eat it. This is what we made for dinner tonight and they actually liked it. I wouldn't say loved but they did like it, and that's a huge step. And said they would like to have it again. Sometime.

Green Pasta
(Pasta with a lovely creamy spinach sauce)

1 cup Pasta, feel free to use any kind, cooked
3 cups Spinach
2-3 Garlic cloves
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup Pine nuts, toasted (optional or feel free to substitute any nuts that you like)

In a blender, add the spinach, garlic, salt, yogurt and parmesan and blend to a smooth sauce.

Put the pasta in a pan on medium heat and add the spinach sauce. Stir to combine and cook together for a few minutes. 

Spoon the pasta into bowls/plates. Top with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

Really quite nice.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


These little pillows of cheesy French heaven are a perfect snack or appetizer. It is a baked savory pastry made of choux dough. Choux dough or pate a choux is a dough made of only water, butter, milk and flour. Choux pastry is used to make such marvelous things as profiteroles, eclairs and beignets. And gougeres are just choux pastry mixed in with cheese. Sometimes they are also stuffed with meats, or even mushrooms.

I've been quite hesitant to make choux dough since it requires you to be quick and act fast and I kinda like to take my time in the kitchen. But I was quite inspired by a recipe for a three cheese gougere that I read in Saveur, and subsequently went about reading several more recipes for gougeres from David Lebovitz and The Kitchn. All of those links above will tell you how easily these are made, and explain in step by step detail.

The one thing you must do is have all the ingredients on hand. Its difficult when the dough is cooking to then grate the cheese. So make sure your mis-en-place is ready.


8 tbsp Butter, cubed
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Milk
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Water
5 large Eggs
1 cup grated Cheese (I used Parmesan. I recommend any sharp cheese such as Gruyere, Comte or Pecorino)

Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.

On medium high heat, melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the salt, water and milk. When the butter has melted, add the flour. Whisk quickly with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and starts sort of looking like mashed potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and add half the cheese and continue cooking the dough, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, to dry out the dough a little bit.


Transfer the dough to a bowl and using a hand mixer, mix the dough for 3-4 minutes until it has stopped steaming and slightly warm (be sure it isn't too hot or the eggs will cook when added).

Add one egg at a time, completely incorporating the egg with the hand mixer before adding the next one. Continue until all eggs are blended in.

Scoop all the dough into a piping bag with a plain tip or a Ziploc bag with the edge cut off (which is what I did). Pipe the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Each gougere should be the size of a small cherry tomatoes. Smooth the top down if needed, so it doesn't burn in the oven. Top each one with an additional sprinkling of cheese.

Once the dough is all piped out, put the trays into the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 190 deg C and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm, or at room temperature. It doesn't really matter. They'll fly off the plate in a matter of minutes. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My New Twitter a/c: @akrishna73

Mustard and Cheese Bread

This is a must-try bread. Just take my word for it. Even if you've never baked another bread in your life, do try this. Its delicious, easy and very forgiving. I received this recipe from a friend many years ago. I've made it many many times since then, but have only just realized I haven't posted this on my blog.

It's from Martha Rose Shulman, who is a columnist for the New York Times and an author of several cookbooks. After the great success of this bread, I ran out and bought her book. It's just amazing. Buy a copy. 

Cheese and Mustard Bread

(From Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman)

2 1/2 tsps Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm Water
1/2 cup lukewarm Milk
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Oil
1 large Egg, lightly beaten (about 1/4 cup)
1/4-1/2 cup Mustard (the recipe recommends Dijon but I used an Indian mustard, Kasundi. Also I used a little more than 1/2 cup, as I love the spiciness of Kasundi).
1 tbsp Shallots/ Onions, finely chopped (I used 2 tbsp)
1 cup Sharp Cheese like Gruyere, grated (I used Pecorino, because I love it)
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 beaten egg, for egg wash (optional. I didn't use it).

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand for five minutes until frothy.

Mix all the ingredients together including the yeast, in a bowl. (You can add several other options to this dough like cumin seeds, black pepper or any other herbs or spices, maybe even some nuts would be lovely). Keep mixing until they come together as dough. If too sticky, add a little bit of flour, but please go easy on the flour. Of course, you can add some water if the dough is too dry.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the warmth of the room.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Punch down and shape the dough into a loaf. (Or any shape you desire). Place in a loaf pan and cover with a cloth. Leave again in a warm place and allow to double in size.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until down. (Adjust timings if you are making anything smaller than a regular loaf). To test if a loaf is done, knock on it gently and you'll get a hollow sound. Let it cool slightly and then remove from pan. Allow to cool for a further 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve warm.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sri Lankan Pol Sambol

Sambol is a popular topping and side dish in Sri Lanka. There are two basic varieties - sweet and savoury (pol sambol). Here I've made the spicy version and will soon follow with the sweet one. Pol Sambol is best served with idiyappam.

Its also super easy to whip up...

Pol Sambol

1/2 cup Grated Unsweetened Coconut
1-2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Onion, cut fine
1-2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve as a side with idiyappam. Feel free to make it as spicy as you'd like. And you can play around with the lemon juice as well.