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garlic

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip“As while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is perhaps the yummiest dip I have made in a while. From an out and out eggplant hater, to one who got sold over a smokey roasted eggplant {or brinjal or ‘baingan’ as referred to here locally} one fine day, the journey was uneventful. There are some things I just will not touch with a barge-pole. Eggplant was one of those. For a long time. Until 3 years ago.

Persian Roasted Eggplant  Walnut DipThen one day I tasted a Baingan ka Bharta made by a lady who used to cook at my mothers. The flavours had me captivated, and her style of cooking this quintessential Indian vegetarian dish had me smitten. Garlicky, smokey, earthy, firey was what she presented on the table that memorable day. One bite down, and I chased her for the recipe. Simple as ever, it was a game changer for me. Then came a dip I tasted at Ruchira’s place more recently. Sold again!Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipThis Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is inspired by both the recipes. The twice used garlic from the bharta, and the creaminess from the dip. Can there ever be too much garlic? For me, no. I love it with a vengeance, and here the roasted garlic pods with eggplant bit gives the dip subtle undertones. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. I love adding walnuts to dip so in they went, while the Greek yogurt adds the right creaminess that the dip demands. All in all it has a lot to offer. Go ahead and add some roasted paprika to it if you like, maybe some pomegranate pearls to give it a juicy pop of flavour and colour. Persian Roasted Eggplant & Walnut DipIn the blender and smooth, this barely takes time and is a great make ahead party option. It also doubles up as a useful ‘sauce‘ for wraps, or a sandwich spread if you like. I served the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip with these equally earthy Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers I made recently. The more garlicky, the better! And of course, since the dip was ready and sitting there, I decided to experiment with it for a few pictures.Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipJust different backgrounds, angles, light, what have you! Some work, some don’t, but the important thing is to keep experimenting. Darter & yours truly have announced our next Food Styling & Photography Workshop  in Delhi this September, our 5th one here, so it’s always fun to experiment and share ideas. Food Styling and Photography Workshop Sep 2016I tell the participants to try and shoot everyday, to constantly experiment with different backgrounds, angles, light and moods. I do just the same.

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography, Flatlay, World Photography DayEveryday. With whatever I have on hand. If I haven’t baked or cooked something ‘image worthy’, then I just grab raw produce, knick-knacks or props from an earlier shoot, things lying on my desk, stuff I like, then shoot them in frame. It’s a huge learning process, and therapeutic too. The important thing is to experiment, to keep your mind open. I can never say that enough!

And that’s how I got to this delicious Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip too, with an open mind!

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted eggplant walnut dip
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" slits into sides of eggplant and push in 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Roast over low flame {or under broiler} until charred {like for baingan ka bharta.} Leave covered in a bowl to cool.
  2. Remove garlic and press out roasted pods. Discard skin. peel off charred skin of eggplant. Chop roughly. {Can be done a day or so in advance}
  3. While the eggplant is cooling, heat ghee in heavy bottom pan and caramelise onions and garlic.
  4. Place in cooled eggplant with with caramelised onions & garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and keep for a couple of hours/overnight for flavours to mature. Top with chopped walnuts and chives.
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“Ingredients are not sacred. The art of cuisine is sacred.”
Tanith Tyrr

Savoury Chicken GaletteIt was a savoury chicken galette waiting to happen, or maybe wanting to be baked. It’s a result of blogger interactions, loads of food talk, some food cravings, events missed and repented, flavours virtually thrown into the air and talked about….Savoury Chicken GaletteI missed a picnic a few weeks ago with the Delhi food bloggers bunch. There was so much talk about food, what who was making, baking, getting,  that I had pangs …not hunger pangs but pangs of missing out on something good!  The Great Cookaroo threw in yolks after yolks to make her to go pastry cream from Dorie Greenspans Baking with Julia. I had the book on the shelf. A favourite from a favourite food blogger who gifted it to me from Bangalore. {Thank you again Suma!}

Savoury Chicken Galette Then there was talk of pickled green garlic pesto which immediately threw my tastebuds in overdrive … that sounded drop dead delicious. I wanted some! My chance soon came as a bunch of us met again at the Ty.phoo Tea & Food pairing eventSangeeta  carried a bottle of pickled green garlic pesto for me.

Savoury Chicken Galette with green garlic pestoSmothered on a toast the next morning, it had a comforting homey feel! It had all the hints of the green chutney sandwiches my dad often made … beautiful flavours that teased the palette. As I sat in the kitchen, the laundry machine whirring punishingly in the background, I reached out for Baking with Julia! The book is a winner. Read it, bake from it, drool over it, learn from it. I wanted to bake something savoury that morning, and settled for Cheese & Tomato Galette!

Savoury Chicken Galette The galette dough was done in seconds, a Flo Baker recipe from the book. Don’t you love a dough that comes together in a heartbeat, is fuss free, smooth, pliable and uses pantry staples? I didn’t even need to rest it since it held beautifully, winter ensuring a fridge like cold kitchen. {Feedback from batch #2: An overnight rest in the fridge yields a pliable nice dough too.}

Savoury Chicken Galette I used everything I had on hand! Pickled green garlic pesto, mozzarella, chicken salami, then some roasted onion balsamic jam, cherry tomatoes, smoked sea salt, pepper. Finished it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic greens.

Savoury Chicken GaletteThe green garlic pesto was a bit spicy / chili for the younger fellow, but hit all the right spots with the daughter and husband who love everything chili! You can find the recipe for the Pickled Green Garlic Pesto {or lehsun ka achaar} on Sangeeta’s blog. Use extra virgin olive oil to get a more pesto like feel to it {as she did for my batch}, and reduce the chilies if you don’t like it too hot! BTW, Sangeeta does great personalised  diet plans too, so do stop by if you need one!

Savoury Chicken Galette You can do pretty much anything with a ‘pastry canvas’ like this. To keep the younger one happy, I made a second lot with roasted bell peppers and onions {roasting done in the Philips AirFryer, 10 minutes was all it took}, topped with sliced chicken sausages marinated briefly in a honey-mustard-garlic mix. Keep it vegetarian with roasted veggies, caramelised onion & garlic jam and feta, maybe tomatoes.  It’s smooth, fun to roll out, and even more fun to ruffle over the filling to give it the characteristic galette feel.

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Recipe: Savoury Chicken Galette 
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Summary: A simple, crisp and delicious pastry base which can go sweet or savoury. This savoury rustic pie can hold varied combinations of toppings, vegetarian or non vegetarian, and is great for picnics, snack boxes. The savoury chicken galette can be assembled ahead of time, or even baked ahead and rewarmed in the oven briefly. Recipe adapted minimally from Baking with Julia. Makes 4 6″ galettes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • Galette dough 
  • 80ml ice cold water
  • 45ml buttermilk
  • 120g plain flour
  • 25g cornmeal [makki ka aata]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g butter, chilled cubed
  • Suggested toppings {a combination of any of the following}
  • Green garlic pesto {recipe here}
  • Mozzarella
  • Caramelised onion & garlic jam {recipe here}
  • Chicken salami, sausages etc
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sliced and roasted bell peppers
  • Sliced onions {roasted with the bell peppers}
  • Green garlic stalks
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Galette Dough
  2. Place the flour, cornmeal and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse briefly to mix, then add chilled butter and pulse briefly until you get an uneven mix from peas to breadcrumb size bits.
  3. With the mchine running, pour in the buttermilk, followed by most of the chilled water and process until a soft, moist dough forms.
  4. Remove, divide into 2, press into flat disks and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Assembling
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  7. Divide each disk into two and roll out to about 8″ circles. I cut the edges round with a pastry cutter, though you could just leave it uneven.
  8. Line a shallow platter with the rolled out pastry hanging over the edges, fill it up as you like, beginning with mozzarella, then gently fold the edges over the filling around the sides.
  9. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, garlic greens etc over the filling and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack, leave for at least 10 minutes, then slide off with a wide spatula. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scattering of garlic greens, fresh herbs etc.

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“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.”
Thomas Keller

Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadIt’s the season to be jolly, and in many ways jolly hungry! Fresh off the success of the sweet apple olive oil popovers and pull apart bread, I was keen to do a savoury version. The dough which came together beautifully for the Apple Cranberry Almond Olive Oil Pop-overs and Pull-Apart Bread delivered its promise in this wonderful Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Olive Oil Pull-Apart Bread.

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Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadEggless, butterless yet light and scrumptious had won me over. The Pioneer Womans Cinnamon Roll Dough which I got from an adaptation from Ginny @ Cooking With Chopin, Living With Elmo for The Secret Recipe Club this month seems to have been one of the best discoveries of the year. It took to the apple stuffing so well, I decided to try my luck with savoury. I sneaked in some butter this time though!Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadSavoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadI might bake and blog a load of sweet on PAB, but my heart is totally savoury. Nothings delights my palette more than savoury bakes, the success of which are always very rewarding. I enjoyed making this bread, adding some red and green chili peppers that I had preserved in vinegar a few days ago. Tangy, chili, salty … loads of flavour in them. I think preserved olives or maybe roasted bell peppers would compliment this bread too. Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadServed my bread with some fresh homemade tomato soup, chargrilled broccoli with chili & garlic and chicken paillards in compound lime cumin butter. Wonderful! I find that working flavours into a basic dough prior to the rising makes the bread burst with flavour, and just the way the family loves it. I reached out for ingredients I found on my counter, in my pantry, in my fridge… flecks of red and green for the holiday season keeping me inspired!Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadInto the dough went dried herbs {fresh would be wonderful too}, garlic {we are a family that loves our garlic}, finely chopped almonds {just because I think nuts add great texture and taste to savoury breads; walnuts would be great too}. As a departure from the earlier recipe, I kneaded the dough for a minute or two before the final rise as it worked some elasticity into the dough, making it more pliable. {I made the dough in my Thermomix. You could use dough hooks or your processor as the dough is quite soft/doughy/sticky}Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart BreadIn other completely unrelated news, my Thai chili plant from Down Under is finally in bloom and I cant wait to ‘harvest’ the first crop. The chilies look purplish at the moment, though I thought they were going to be red! Hmmm…Chili plantOh and our little Coco turned all of 6 months old, naughty as can be. She got thoroughly spoilt and completely untrained in the 4 days I was away … uber naughty again but C.U.T.E.!! Sigh!

Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

51

Prep Time: 3 hours

Bake Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

A full of flavour, light savoury pull apart bread. Olive oil, red & green preserved chili peppers, garlic and sharp cheddar make this a wonderful light choice for the festive season. {Eggless/vegetarian}

Ingredients

Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

1 portion dough {recipe follows}

200gm sharp cheddar {or mozzarella}

Preserved chili peppers {or olives, roasted bell peppers etc}

50-75gm unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Dough {from The Pioneer Womans cinnamon rolls; can be made a day ahead}

2 cups whole milk, warm

1/2 cup light olive oil

1 tsp sugar

1 heaping spoon salt

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 tbsp dried Italian herbs {or fresh}

1tsp red chili flakes

1 package active dry yeast

4 cups {plus 1/2 cup extra, separated} all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon {heaping} baking powder

1/2 teaspoon {scant} baking soda

1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped fine

Instructions

    Dough
  1. Mix the milk, olive/vegetable oil and sugar in a pan (LARGE POT).
  2. Sprinkle in the Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute {5-10minutes}.
  3. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
  4. After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Knead the dough for a minute or two before the final rise as it seems to work some elasticity into the dough, making it more pliable. {I made the dough in my Thermomix. You could use dough hooks or your processor as the dough is quite soft/doughy/sticky}
  5. {At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down}
  6. Savoury Chili Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread
  7. Grease the sides of an 8" Victoria sandwich tin, and line the base.
  8. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/4" thick, and pour over half the melted butter, spreading evenly with an offset spatula.
  9. Grate cheddar all over, and sprinkle over with chopped pickled chili peppers.
  10. Roll the larger end like a swiss roll. With a sharp knife {or floss} cut into12 portions, and place cut side up in the prepared tin all around the edges. There will be gaps in the dough, don't worry. All the gaps get filled in as the bread rises before and during baking. {You could also use a muffin tray. I lined the bottoms with circles of parchment and greased the sides.}
  11. Place a dessert ring/mould in the centre so that the dough doesn't spread inward. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until double, about an hour.
  12. Bake at 180°C 40-45 minutes. Cover with foil last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning. Brush with the remaining melted butter as soon as it comes out.
  13. Leave in pan for 15-20 minutes, then loosen the sides with a butter knife and turn out.
  14. Serve warm or at room temperature. {The bread tastes good the next day too, sliced and reheated on a non stick pan with a few drops of EVOO}

Notes

I made half the above portion.

http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2011/12/baking-savoury-cheese-garlic-olive-oil-pull-apart-bread-egglessvegetarian-holiday-baking.html


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

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