Friday, October 24, 2014

Makkai ki Roti - Indian Cornmeal Flatbread

Indian Cornbread Roti

This week's BM theme is to update a few old archived posts with updated photos and improve the recipes also, if warranted. One thing that has improved in the last 2 years is my talent at rolling flatbreads and especially Indian breads. Makkai ki Roti is one of the most difficult roti's to roll because of the coarse nature of both Indian wheat flour and cornmeal. This is one of the most challenging roti's to roll, but since I managed with Bajra ki Roti (millet) here, I decided I was ready to try again. Since neither millet nor cornmeal have gluten, this is what makes these roti's so challenging. Additionally, Indian wheat flour has a lower protein content than American wheat flour,

Two years later, I am doing this roti again and hope to achieve more aesthetically appealing results. One thing I have learned that makes the roti's easier to roll is it is important to let the dough rest. Even if it is just for 5-10 minutes, you will find the breads easier to roll out and with softer bread results. I've also adjusted the water:flour ratio to yield a softer roti.

Makkai ki Roti
(updated from here)
Yield: 10 roti's
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup chappati flour (Indian wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup warm water
  • ghee, for brushing
Chop ginger, chile, cilantro and onion very finely, with the aid of a food processor if possible.
Add this in a bowl with both flours and ghee. Add water a little at a time, until you have a soft dough. Cover and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Divide dough into 10 equal sized balls and roll each into a smooth round around 6" in dimeter on a well floured board
Brush a skillet/tawa with ghee. Place one roti on it. As soon as little air bubbles start to appear, brush the top with ghee and flip over. Brush the top side with ghee and cook for another minute. Flip over onto a plate and brush the top with ghee..

Repeat for all the remaining roti's.
Cornmeal Roti

Due to the coarse nature of the flours, it is important to brush the roti's liberally with ghee both while cooking.and afterwards. Otherwise your roti's won't remain soft and pliable. They will be crispy, which is what occurred the first time I made them.

These make the perfect late night snack with some mint chutney.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 45

...linking to Come Join Us for Breakfast

Chef Mireille

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paneer Chaman

Tomato Fennel Paneer

Having a big block of paneer in the refrigerator to be utilized, I went on a search for North Indian paneer dishes to go with my BM theme this week and I came across this tantalizing curry infused with the fragrant flavor of fennel.

This dish comes from the politically tumultuous but breathtakingly stunning North Indian state of Kashmir. Located on the border and once part of the Mughlai Empire, there is a lot of influence of Middle Eastern cuisine on the plates of the Kashmiri's. Abundant use of fennel, cardamom, saffron, dried fruits and nuts characterizes this cuisine.

Happy Diwali treats

Happy Diwali, also known as Deepavali to all.

What is Diwali you might ask? Well it is the most celebrated holiday in India, also known as the Festival of Lights. In addition to India, it is also largely celebrated in other countries with large Hindu populations like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Malaysia, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Suriname.

It is a festival that lasts four days. The third day is Diwali day, which is today. Part of the celebration includes lighting small oil lamps called a diya, hence its name - Festival of Lights. There are several reasons why this holiday is celebrated by different communities like the Jains & Sikhs, but mostly it is to celebrate an occurrence from the Ramayan (a Hindu holy book) when Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman escapes from a 14 year exile when he defeats the evil Ravana.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Paneer Mirch

Rajasthani Paneer Mirch

Since the Indian side of my family is said to originate in Rajasthan, I am always interested to learn more Rajasthani recipes and I wanted to represent recipes form 3 different North Indian states for my theme this week of North Indian side dishes. Since we've already done Punjab and Kashmir this week, it's time to more on to Rajasthan, the land of Kings. Although paneer is not as popular in Rajasthan as it is in Punjab, I was able to find this paneer recipe from the Rajasthan city of Jodhpur.

This is a very spicy curry, so feel free to adapt it to your own palate. It is a semi-dry curry and goes great with steamed Basmati rice.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Party Time

My last post was my 1000th published post and it is a great milestone I can't let it go without a big celebration. It's holiday season, so this event is going to last until Christmas...

What do I like the most...well I have been on a bread baking kick and I love tropical ingredients. So you have two options:
- make a cake, pie or specialty pastry perfect to impress my guests for the holiday season...but it must include one of my favorite ingredients:
  • mango
  • coconut (or coconut milk)
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato
  • sweet plantains
- or any yeast risen bread that I can serve with my Christmas dinner. As I've mentioned before, I will be having house guests and I need some new ideas for the Christmas meal I am planning.

Chole Adraki - Ginger Chickpeas

Punjabi Chole

This week my BM theme is North Indian side dishes. Many people don't realize how regionalized Indian cuisine is and often throw it all into one genre. However, there is great variety between the states of India and even a larger divide between the cuisines of North and South Indian states. This week you will get a North Indian side dish from 3 different states perfect to accompany rice or roti (Indian flat bread).

Every state has their own version of chole, basically a stewed chickpea dish with spices. This first side dish of the week is from the state most often represented in Indian restaurants in the West - Punjab.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Walnut Wheat Bread for World Bread Day

For those who didn't know, today is World Bread Day as well as World Food Day. Who comes up with these made up "holidays" I don't know, but as a food blogger, I embrace them. It's just another excuse to show you a delicious recipe with a theme. For the 9th annual World Bread Day, I present you with a delicious all purpose sandwich bread to replace your basic wheat.

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