Baking | Lamb & Purslane Pide … Turkish cuisine with British flavour

” You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them,
go to wonderful places while you still can…”
Nora Ephron

Lamb & Purslane PideChomp, chomp, chomp.Ooooh, this is good“, declared Mr PAB between bites. Then gesturing wildly he said, “This MUST go on the blog. It’s GOOD!” So with recommendation, hot off the press oven, here are Lamb and Purslane Pides, or simply put Turkish Flatbread Pizza!Lamb & Purslane Pides What is purslane? It is an annual succulent, found in North India in the hot summer months, is funnily considered a weed in America {LOL}, and cooked extensively through much of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Mexico! It is known as kulfa saag here, and was the only green other than spinach that I could find to replace the chard! It worked a charm …  and went undetected by the ‘green hating‘ terrible teens!Lamb & Purslane Pides It’s been ages since I cooked lamb mince. By healthy choice I’ve switched over th chicken mince but the lamb murmur has been growing stronger of late. My SIL is a great lamb lover and mentioned that she prefers lamb to chicken any day. I was listening. Then the other day, a meeting with someone from BBC GF and she mentioned her undying love for lamb too. Now I was all ears!Lamb & Purslane Pides “Next kebabs will be have to be lamb“, I thought as I got mince from the butcher. However, this morning I lost my inclination to make kebabs. I wanted something on dough, something baked, something quick! I recollected the Turkish pides with sumac I had made long ago and googling got me to a Lamb & Chard Pide recipe on BBC GF!

Pides, local pita bread, are delicious flatbread pizzas topped with different ingredients from Turkeys rich cuisine. You have specialty Turkish pide restaurants across Turkey which sell different avatars of this flatbread. It is popular street food there as well. Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region which include chicken, beef, cheese, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients.

Lamb & Purslane Pides It came together fairly quickly. I did a quick rise dough, and by the time the dough was rising, the lamb was ready. Baked quick, crisp and nice, the lamb pides were wolfed down faster than the time I took to make them… not a crumb remained!Lamb & Purslane PidesThe recipe suggestion was to drizzle pom molasses over it. I didn’t have any but I did have a fresh plum prune sauce I developed for Del Monte. To that, I added some red harissa that I had made last week. It was H O T! 10 red chilies, more fresh red chilies = fiery HOT! That said, it’s almost gone and I am ready to make my next jar! Lamb & Purslane Pides Red Harissa The lamb offered subtle, gentle flavours, lilted further by the cottage cheese and bell pepper. The pickled peppers added some zest, and a drizzle of plum chili sauce brought out a delicious complexity of flavours … all pairing beautifully together!Lamb & Purslane Pides I loved how quickly and beautifully the meal came together. Of course we had the much dreaded power cut halfway through, so I baked a couple on a heavy griddle pan covered with a lid over low heat …. and there was no reason to complain {pictured above}. So there you, if it’s too hot to turn on the oven OR you suffer power cuts like we have all summer, these cook up crisp beautiful on the stove top too!Lamb & Purslane Pides

Lamb & Purslane PidesI had some dough left over, so made some chicken, red harissa and plum sauce pides the next afternoon for the kids. Gone in minutes! They are filling yet light enough for a summer meal. Pair with a green salad, maybechilled summer cooler … and you have a meal!Summer CoolerBon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

And as I leave I wish to thank Lifezing for interviewing me. It was an honour and I loved doing it.
Catch it, with a whole lot of colour here

In conversation with Deeba Rajpal From Passionate About Baking

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking|Papdi Chaat & Bhel Puri … Indian Street Food & Guest Posting!

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”
Mark Kurlansky

North Indian Street Food Talk street food and it throws up a myriad of colourful pictures in my head. It’s an amazing food group, one that goes deep into culinary cultures and is fast becoming haute cuisine, upmarket and constantly evolving. Yet, hit the streets and you find good old rustic appeal, preserved from the past, especially in the old city areas. You are instantly hit by a culture that time hangs on to. North India is no different; the streets are painted with colour and flavour, heat and dust.North India, Old Delhi Monkeys wander above while cattle languish below, spice sellers plonk themselves under umbrellas sheltered from the sweltering sun, pan walas sit in rows with an engaged clientele. Across the street, chicken tikkas sizzle over red hot coals! The camera works overtime, how much can you possibly capture and, then again,  how much can you blog? As you see, Indian streets are ‘happening’, and Old Delhi holds that eternal charm. North India, Old DelhiThe camera feeds hungrily at as you get transported to a different age. I feel compelled to share some street culture before I go further! A few more pictures … all taken on a day when Mr PAB and I decide to take a train ride into Old Delhi. Didn’t shop, just wandered around clicking, caught up in mixed emotions … North India, Old Delhi We found a water carrier opposite Jama Masjid selling chilled water in engraved silver handmade bowls, the water stored in a stitched and sealed whole goatskin {top left}. Handcarts piled high with plates and plates of neatly sliced pineapple {painstaking job that}… all open air but plenty of takers, dry fruits sold in small sacks, chocolate too{top right}. AMAZING!North Indian & Street Food {Jama Masjid} In North India street food is a quintessential part of our tradition, not always healthy {read nice and deep fried delicious}, and holds eternal appeal. If you literally eat it off streets, with all the heat and dust thrown in, you are bound to be awarded with a Delhi belly, but there are ways of beating that!North Indian Street Food Papdi ChaatWhen Asha, the Fork Spoon Knife gal wrote to me wondering if I would write her a street food themed guest post for her 3rd blogiversary, she heard a resounding YES! After much dithering, I decided on something I could bake, reflective of PABs central theme, and so made the most delicious Papdi / Whole wheat Crackers {if I may say so myself}. I also made some Bhel Puri from a trail mix of sorts! The crackers would make great bases for canapes too, and the trail mix is easily munched on its own.

North Indian Street FoodDo get across to Street Food Month on Fork Spoon Knife for the rest of the post and recipes! Happy 3rd Blogiversary Asha!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Baking | NUTS about Alton Brown’s DOUGHNUTS …Yeastly tales with the Daring Bakers

“Be sweet and honest always, but for God’s sake don’t eat my doughnuts!”
Emma Bunton

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

It’s the 27th again, and the  much awaited Daring Bakers time of the month again! I’m still not sure if I got it right. Maybe I missed the fine print that states somewhere that we have to bake a batch too, but here I am with the challenge for October 2010. Going nuts about dougnuts is the call, and I think it’s something we love to love universally! What’s not to love about this tasty fried dough, an end result that can be seen across various cultures. Call a doughnut by another name – beignets, crullers, fritters, Sufganiot, and krapfen; tasty little bites they are!

But hello? No baking here, and 650gms of flour…what was I thinking? Was bitten by a bug from la-la land; I really should have halved the recipe. I chose the yeasted doughnuts version, and there was dough popping right out of the bowl, threatening to explode. It was everywhere and I had to fry some in a hurry as it looked like the very active yeast was set to explode. Within the hour of the yeastly rise {in the fridge that too} I quickly set the wok on fire and got frying!

They say ‘hurry makes curry‘. Tch tch … the first doughnut went into the oil in haste, and I was miserably rewarded with a splattering of hot oil! OUCH!! Got branded a confirmed Daring Baker with 2 burns across my forehead. Some stamp eh? Never heard the end of it for 5 days, “OMG, what happened?“…  blah blah blah! Could have kicked myself! Please always be CAREFUL when deep frying! Another tip: Do keep a plant of aloe vera handy in your yard/garden. It is soothing and healing, and you can barely see any marks on my face now. Just break off a bit of the cactus stem, squeeze out the clear gel, and apply… works wonders!Completed a quick batch that day after being rudely interrupted by the incident, and the remaining dough went back into the fridge. It stayed there for 2 days because by then I had so much more to do, and it just felt safe sitting there. Day 3 had me running again because it wasn’t safe to let it be anymore. I wish I had made half the quantity of dough because doughnuts are best eaten fresh. IMHO, they just seem to lose their charm as they cool off, losing their characteristic fluffiness and charm.

I made a batch in the oven too, just in case I had missed out on a DB rule for the challenge. They were OK. To make up for their lack of apparent lightness, I dressed them with a low fat cream and vanilla sugar glaze. Had to be PINK in support of Breast Cancer Awareness for Pinktober. {I’ve been going quite PINK this month – Pinkarons {pink macarons}, Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries, A Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cake}. The kids enjoyed the pink ones because of the glazing. I had many plans for the fried ones – pumpkin topping, pastry cream within, dessert donuts etc. But the number that had been eaten already didn’t warrant any more calories, so I let them be. They were absolutely light and delicious served fresh. This is one recipe I will use in the future, for it’s ease of making, and taste! YUM!!

The Alton Brown yeast doughnut recipe is  great one, except that 4.5 tsps of yeast sounded like too much. I used fresh yeast from my block in the freezer, and despite cutting 10g {10g = about 1 tsp dry}, and placing the dough in the fridge after kneading, an hour later it had more than doubled. The results were very good. After refrigeration, the dough was very easy to work with, and the fresh doughnuts were very, very good. I dusted them with a cinnamon/vanilla sugar mix …

Thank you Lori of Butter Me Up for this fun challenge. It’s been a while since I made donuts, and I have to say it was wonderful making them! Got to use my new donut cutter too that I got from my little shop in Old Delhi. As always, a HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for keeping this fab kitchen together … and growing!!

Yeast Doughnuts
Minimally adapted from recipe by Alton Brown
Yield: 30-35 doughnuts & 30 to 35 doughnut holes, depending on size {Mine were regular sized}
Ingredients
1.5 cup milk, lukewarm
70g unsalted butter,melted
30gms fresh yeast
1/3 cup warm water {35°C}
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup granulated vanilla sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated nutmeg
4 2/3 cup (650g} all purpose flour {plus extra for dusting}
Vegetable oil for frying  { at least 3 inches of oil}
Method:
Mix the warm milk and butter. Set aside.
In a small bowl, pour the warm water over the fresh yeast and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour.  Combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. {I left it cling wrapped in the fridge, and it rose in 30 minutes}
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. {Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter}.
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a heavy bottom wok to 185°C. {Test the oil to see if it’s ready with a doughnut hole. It should immediately bob to the top of the oil, and begin to brown. If it comes up slowly, the oil needs to get hotter. If it becomes dark brown immediately, the oil is too hot…beware!}
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Sift a mix of powdered vanilla sugar and cinnamon over both sides immediately. Alternatively, allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

Do stop by HERE and check out how the rest of our talented bakers have gone nuts over doughnuts this October!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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