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vegetarian

Genoa Fougasse“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.”
William Cowper

Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I’ve baked in a while. Sometimes you just need ‘bread luxury’, and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home. French Fougasse has always been on top of my list of fave breads. The Genoa Fougasse just knocked it off!Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Spices have always fascinated me since I entered the kitchen. My love affair with them getting more intense when I joined Dolphia and Simi on the spice journey with The Masala Dabba. The colours, the flavours, the versatility never cease to amaze. I am rather light handed with spices in the kitchen, using them only to enhance flavours rather than overpower the dish. The fougasse I planned to make was just a cheese and walnut bread.Genoa Fougasse with SprigIt’s a dough I’ve been working with, an experiment which goes on substituting grains on the go. I wanted a light bread, so I decided to stay half whole wheat and half plain flour. Also instead of water, I like kneading my dough with cultured buttermilk. Kills two birds with one stone, no make it four! Adds some calcium, makes the dough buttery light, reacts faster with the yeast, and of course lends beautiful flavour too! I recently did pitas with a similar dough, playing around with the quantities a little. Seems to work its charm each time!Genoa Fougasse with SprigThe  charm however turned to absolute joy with this gourmet spice blend from Sprig. The spice blends arrived as the dough was proofing. On a whim I decided to add some to the bread. The fresh flavours please you as you undo the foil, the aromas very enticing. The packaging is quite eye catching, the quality excellent. If you look closely, you can pick out the ingredients as listed on the box.Genoa Fougasse with Sprig It’s quite a generous portion in the box, will see me for a while. It added colour, flavour and real happiness to the fougasse which was quite aptly renamed Sprig’s Genoa Fougasse. I can see a Syracuse Fougasse, maybe a Tangier Fougasse in the future perhaps. That’s the really nice thing about spice blends. They are so versatile to use – as a rub, marinade, glaze, paste, crumb, sprinkle or dressing! Or like me, with my imagination on about everything. You can see just what happened!!Genoa Fougasse. Also Malacca Spiced Yogurt, Tangier Hummus & Syracuse FoxnutsI made a Genoa Dipping Oil to serve alongside the bread. Just when you think the bead can’t get any better, one dip into the oil and you reach another exciting new level. Ideas popped into my head. You can do Malacca Naans or Tangier Pita Breads! Imagine a themed meal with the spice blend running through the meal? Really had me happy. Tangier Pitas with Tangier marinated grilled chicken, a hearty salad within paired with a mild Tangier laced salad dressing. Just the idea makes me happy!Falafel with Sprig Gourmet Spice BlendAs I see spices, new ideas constantly develop in my head. How about a spice blend spiked yogurt, like a raita. I gently tried sprinkling some Malacca and melon seeds over home made yogurt. I can’t even begin to tell you how addictive that was. It was actually bowl scraping good. Next time it’s going to be either grated radish, a spice blend, chopped walnuts, maybe a dash of garlic and fresh mint or coriander as a side. The possibilities bring a smile to my face, somewhat like these fox nuts {or makhanas below}.

Spiced Yogurt and FoxnutsAs the days pass by, there is always something interesting happening in the kitchen. These days falafal seems to rule, hummus much in demand. While attempting to make hummus the other day, I added the Tangier Spice Blend on a whim since it seemed to tie in with the region. What an amazing result. It lifted the hummus to a new delicious level. The daughter dug in asking where it was from. ‘You made it? Really? This is much better than store bought hummus‘.Tangier Hummus with SprigSo chuffed, I added some into the falafal mix as well. This turned out to be fun! Pitas, falafal, garlicky dip, salad all happening in tandem!Falafel & Tangier Hummus with SprigThis gourmet spice blend from Sprig is available at Nature’s Basket, Foodhall and many stores across India. Locate a store here, else shop at the online store.

Gourmet Spice Blends from SprigSprig has offered to giveaway a set of the Gourmet Spice Blend to a reader of Passionate About Baking.

To enter all you need to so is like Sprig on FB and tell me what dish you would make with any {or all of the spice blends} should you win. I’ll pick a winner on the 25th of July. You must be a resident of India to enter.

Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Bread dough
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer. Mix gently first at speed 2 for a couple of minutes, then at speed 4 for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Add a spoon or two of buttermilk if the dough is a bit hard, or a spoon or two of flour if it is still sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and leave in a warm place for an hour until doubled. {Alternatively, leave in the fridge overnight for a slow rise}
  5. Preheat oven to 225C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Knock back dough, and flatten to a rough rectangle of 8" X 4" on a floured surface. Drizzle a little olive oil, then sprinkle over with Sprig Genoa Spice Blend. Top with grated cheese and walnuts. Fold into thirds, flatten again, and fold into thirds again.
  7. Place on prepared cookies tray, and shape into large oval, about an inch high. Cut slits through the dough to resemble leaf like cuts. Drizzle over with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over with more spice blend, rosemary sprigs and Himalayan rock salt. Leave to rise while you preheat the oven to 20 minutes.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven, middle shelf, both upper and lower elements, until puffy and golden brown. Serve with a spice blend infused extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
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Overnight Thandai Oats wth peaches and plums“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”
Robert Hellenga, Philosophy Made Simple

Overnight Thandai Oats with Peaches & Plums, a no brainer at best. A recipe that took far too long to come, one that is the easiest and has a nice gentle touch. The home made Thandai Nut Mix adds a delightful touch, tying in well with the almond milk, sabja/basil seeeds and melon seeds. Of course, feel free to use chia seeds as they are super foods too, though imported. I use basil because they are locally available and swell up so beautifully. My sweet friend Madhuli @ My Food Court makes sure my supply of basil seeds is never ending.PeachesPeaches and almonds make for great pairing. What’s not to love about a breakfast that offers everything in a bowl? Oats, nuts and seasonal fruit? The nut factor comes in from this Thandai mix. Holi collageThandai, or sardai, is a cold drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. It’s a traditional cooler from the Indian subcontinent, one that is very popular around Holi, the festival of colour. 3 Rose Sabja Thandai Thandai 2 1000 Thandai 1000The recipe for my Thandai Nut Mix is here on the KitchenAid India blog. There are hundreds of versions of the mix online, some more complex than others, yet most customisable to taste. Feel free to use your own, or a store bought variety, else add almond meal or chopped walnuts. If nuts are not your thing, maybe just skip them but do try this once. It’s quite gentle on the palette and ties in well with the stone fruit.Oat Walnut Trifles with Vanilla Roasted Peaches & PlumsTalking about stone fruit, this is the best time of the year to enjoy them to the maximum. I use them as much as I can these days. In bakes like crumbles, or trifles {as above}, just simply much through them, or then like this lemonade below. Elevate your simple everyday lemonade or nimbu paani to a Peach and Cherry Lemonade. Peach & Cherry Lemonade 2 1000Allow peach slices, pitted cherries and fresh mint leaves to sit in the lemonade for about an hour in the fridge. You’ll be delighted with the change in colour and gentle flavour.

 

Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
Overnight Thandai Oats
Topping
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Overnight Thandai Oats
  2. Divide the oats, Thandai mix, melon seeds, basil/sabja seeds and brown sugar between 2 lidded glass jars. Top with just enough milk to soak the mix.
  3. Stir gently, cover and leave to stand in the fridge overnight.
  4. Topping
  5. Next morning top with sliced fresh peaces and plums, scatter over with melon seeds and fresh mint
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The Masala Dabba #3“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.”
The Mistress of Spices

The Masala Dabba #3. We enter month #3 of our collaborative spice journey exploring or rather ‘shooting’ spices, a fun interaction with DolphiaSimi,  Meeta and me. The spices we cover for The Masala Dabba #3 are cardamom, whole pepper and turmeric. I think I love the spice journey best. March is synonymous with Spring, new beginnings and a whole lot of colour. Thandai This March also had holi, the festival of colour, which inspired me to shoot several times through the month. I did a fun version of Thandai for KitchenAid, one you can play around with endlessly. The recipe included a bit of pepper and cardamom.Thandai for HoliI’m just a little badly organised, procrastinate a lot, so I didn’t get down to editing the images for The Masala Dabba #3. Now I’m rushing to post on the last day of the month!TurmericWinter in North India means a lot of fresh turmeric root, and the colour it yields when it hits the grinding stone is amazing. Ground fresh turmeric makes for a fabulous turmeric milk. You can find the recipe for warm soothing turmeric milk on Dolphia’s blog.Turmeric RootOur recent trip to Banaras actually brought alive and to the forefront the Indian love for spices and everything colourful.Banaras 2016The play of spices ruled the roost. And if there are spices, can colour be far behind? Do read about Banaras and it’s beautiful culture if you find a moment. We had the most fun time ever!

Banaras 2016March was a busy month. I haven’t been blogging too much, but I made a mean Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot Pudding adapted from Delectable Platter. The Indian dessert, delicately laced with green cardamom, was absolutely delicious. Green cardamom is an interesting spice and works equally well in savoury and sweet recipes. I use it a lot in kormas, a delicate Awadhi lamb/chicken curry.

Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingNot so much black cardamom. It’s a larger, more robust almost rustic spice, and you would often find it in a lamb curry or as part of garam masala, a baghar/tadka/tempering maybe, also in rice pulao. I haven’t ever heard of it in a sweet preparation ever. Have you?

The Masala Dabba #3

Kormas, curries, pulaos and garam masalas also use a lot of whole back pepper. The Thandai interestingly had some too. There are several colours in whole pepper, though the black is most widely available, and perhaps the cheapest. There is a controversial pink pepper, actually they are dried berries I hear, and it is said to be toxic. However, it is used often in the West. I use it sometimes to sprinkle over wholegrain bread, very sparingly, just for visual appeal.Pink Pepper Rosemary BreadAnd that pretty much covers the spices for March. Spices are addictive to shoot. I can’t barely wait for time to shoot in April. All I know is that it’s going to be another colourful and fun month!The Masala Dabba #3

The Masala Dabba #3

The Masala Dabba #3The other Spice Girls have been amazing with their spices this month.
Do stop by Story of Cooks and Turmeric n Spice. Meeta has yet to blog spices this month.

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