Avocado Toast two ways for breakfast

I have to admit, I joined the Avocado Toast movement much later than I should have. No, no, I didn’t wait till yesterday. I’ve had a few orders of these at cafes around the city. And finally, I got around to trying them out at home.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m totally smitten with avocado. I can eat them plain, maybe topped with a tiny sprinkling of salt and a squeeze of lime. I love the way an avocado lends itself to so many recipes and uses. It is creamy, picks up flavors so well and can cool down an otherwise spiced up meal. I have tried a chunky guacamole before and I can just eat that stuff by the spoonful. Throw in a few tortilla chips and I can have a party for one (**wink, wink). I have also attempted a quick and easy Chocolate Avocado Mousse – so very delicious and it makes a perfect eggless mousse option. I can’t wait to try out many more recipes using avocado. What is your favorite way to enjoy an avocado? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to try it out too.
Now, onto the Avocado toast I made for breakfast over the weekend. Since this was a first attempt for me, I decided to keep it simple. I’ve seen some pretty extravagant avocado toast options around and maybe someday I will try them out too. But there’s nothing wrong with simple. And simple and yummy makes it even better. So if you love ordering avocado toast at a cafe, I urge you to get into the kitchen and try whipping some up yourself. You will save yourself a heap of cash (which means more avocado for you.) The Lord knows these little green gems cost an arm. Speaking of which, if you find yourself around a Harris Farm Markets outlet, check out their Imperfect Picks range. They have mini avocados for $7.99 a kilo, when I saw them last. A lot of fruit and veg is discarded because of ridiculous aesthetic standards maintained by large supermarket chains and anything that doesn’t meet those specifications usually ends up in a landfill. These minis are so tasty but would typically be discarded because of their size. And how wrong is that. I love the Imperfect Picks range and urge you to support them too if you have the option. 
Back to the avocado toast. I made two options for hubby and me. One savory and one sweet. It made for a very satisfying breakfast and couldn’t have been simpler to put together. Our savory one had a fried egg on top and our sweet one had some banana and maple syrup. There are no strict quantities for this recipe, so feel free to have some fun with it.
Avocado Toast with Egg
1 slice of bread, toasted to your liking
1/2 small avocado or 1/4 large
1 egg, fried to your liking (you could also use a poached or a boiled egg, if you prefer)
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Cut the avocado in half and discard the seed. 
Scoop out the flesh and roughly mash it up with a fork.
Spread the avocado over the toast.
Top that with an egg. I used a fried egg, sunny side up.
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top.
Enjoy!!!
Avocado Toast with Banana, Maple Syrup and Sunflower Seeds

1 slice of bread, toasted to your liking
1/2 small avocado or 1/4 large
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
Maple syrup, to drizzle over, to taste
Cinnamon powder
Cut the avocado in half and discard the seed. 
Scoop out the flesh and roughly mash it up with a fork.
Spread the avocado over the toast.
Top that with the banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, the sunflower seeds and lastly, a drizzle of maple syrup.
Enjoy!!!
Note: I haven’t been compensated by Harris Farm Markets for this post. The opinions stated here are my own and I’ve shared it with you because I strongly believe we can cut down waste as a society by just being more aware. 

Methi Poori – Fenugreek speckled, deep fried flatbread

I seem to be on an Indian bread / flatbread roll at the moment 🙂 A while ago, I had spotted someone posting a picture for Methi Pooris and ever since, I’ve thought about them every once in a while when I try and work out what we’re going to have for dinner. What are Methi Pooris? Pooris are little deep fried flatbreads. Methi is nothing but fenugreek. So basically, these are just little deep fried flatbreads with a little fenugreek in them. Now, not always, do these thoughts get acted on, but not this time. This time, I am proud to say I actually made these pooris. I did a little reading up on them and with every recipe I read, I found myself with a little ingredient hurdle I wasn’t going to conquer. So on went my thinking cap and I decided that I was going to bravely venture into conconting my own version of the pooris. I took bits and pieces from 3 different recipes that I thought would work together, made a few minute changes and was very happy with the result. I didn’t get any step by step pictures this time, since I wasn’t sure how well the pooris would turn out. But when we tasted them, I knew I had to share this recipe with you as soon as I could.

So, if you are looking to add a little variety to your routine Indian meals, try this out. A lot of folks make the pooris using fresh methi / fenugreek. I didn’t have access to any, so I replaced it with some Kasuri Methi / dried fenugreek leaves. These are readily available in any Indian grocery store and keep well for months. I served this up with some Aloo bhaji, or mildly spiced Indian curried potatoes. You can find the recipe for that here. If you’d like to try the basic poori recipe, the plain one, you can find it here. If you’re a noob at cooking Indian food the potato stir fry is a good place to start. It is nothing more than a quick stir fry and if I can make it, anyone can 🙂 So don’t let the thought of cooking Indian food scare you. Give these recipes a try and you’ll be hooked.

Methi Poori


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaped tbsp natural, unflavoured yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Oil, for deep frying

Mix the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in a large bowl.

Place the kasuri methi in your palms and rub a little to release their flavour. Sprinkle over the flour.

Tip in the turmeric powder and mix everything together.

Add the yogurt and stir through.

Gradually add a little water and knead to a soft, pliable dough.

Add the water gradually as you don’t want to end up with a sticky dough. If the dough turns out too sticky, sprinkle a little flour over and knead it in and you should be good to go.

Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for about half an hour.

Heat the oil for deep frying over medium heat.

(To test the oil, drop a tiny pea sized ball of the dough carefully into the oil. It should sizzle and rise to the top fairly quickly. If this happens, your oil is at the right temperature. If it browns straightaway, your oil is too hot. Take it off the heat for a while and then start frying. If it just sinks to the bottom without any sizzle, your oil is not hot enough.)

Make small walnut size portions and roll to form a disc. Do not roll out too thin. (According to my mum, they need to be a little on the thicker side to puff up. I simply follow that and get brilliant results each time.)

Deep fry as you’re rolling them out. Don’t stack the raw discs before frying.

When golden brown, drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

Serve hot!

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

Those of you who follow me on Facebook, know that I’ve been meaning for this post to go live for over week now. Well, I’ve finally gotten to it and let me tell you, it’s worth the wait. Recently I picked up some zucchini at a bargain price from Paddy’s market at Flemington and was eager to try something different from the zucchini fritters I usually make. Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy the fritters every time they are made, but I’d seen so many other recipes around, I was eager to try something new. I went through all my bookmarks and pins and after a little looking, I found 2 recipes that I was going to work with – one savoury and the other sweet. This is the savoury one.

From personal experience, I knew I could not go wrong with a recipe that had cheese and garlic in it. And I was right. This is an easy loaf recipe that is so flavourful. It goes well with a nice big bowl of soup. I found that this bread was best eaten slightly warm. I tried warming the required slices in the microwave as well as on a pan. Both work well. The pan gives you light toasty edges, which I personally find quite yummy. Not to mention, it looks pretty. I love the green flecks throughout the loaf. I followed the recipe to the letter with the exception of swapping the green onion for some chopped onion and was very happy with the result. The only thing I did differently was bake a whole loaf instead of mini loaves. This increased the baking time and when I make this recipe again, I’ll make sure I have a mini loaf tin. I think they would be perfect in the smaller sizes. 
Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread
Recipe from: Emily Shares
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup zucchini, grated
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 onion, finely chopped (the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion)
2 tsp dry dill (or 1 tbsp fresh dill)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. 
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and garlic powder.
Then add the zucchini, cheese, onion and dill to the bowl and toss to coat them with the flour mix.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and the cooled, melted butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and gently stir through until the ingredients are just moistened. The batter will still be lumpy and that’s alright. Do not over mix the batter.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes or till a toothpick pierced through the center comes out clean.
If you choose to bake these as mini loaves, bake for 20-30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.
And you have yourself a beautiful loaf of bread.

Stay tuned for the sweet loaf. Here’s a little peek at what it looks like –

Crusty Italian Bread

I’ve always been a bread lover. In my book, nothing beats warm bread fresh out of the oven with some butter on top. If like me you like good bread and you ever are in Hong Kong, please stop by this Italian restaurant called Fat Angelo’s. The food is phenomenal, but their bread basket is out of this world. I consider their bread, the best I’ve had till date, ever.

On to my experience baking bread from scratch. In the past, using yeast overwhelmed me. I tried my hand at bread a few times a couple of years ago and each time ended up with blobs of unrisen dough resulting in brick hard bread, no, you could definitely not call that bread. Later on I learned that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Infact, I was using a brand of yeast that was known to fail; only I didn’t know that. So if any of you reading this are based in India and have tried baking bread using Bluebird yeast, without much success, you know why. Please change your brand of yeast.

This Crusty Italian Bread is something I am so proud of. Once you get the hang of making bread, its actually a lot of fun and very satisfying to see a beautiful loaf emerge from the oven. The flavor and texture was fantastic. My husband isn’t overly fond of bread, but he went back for seconds. He liked this bread so much that he had a slice after dinner with some butter. I was elated. I knew that I had done something right. I can’t wait to make this again.

Crusty Italian Bread
Recipe from: Let’s Feast

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 heaped tsp instant dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp salt

Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.

Mix in the yeast, salt and sugar.

Add the oil and the water and mix it well till the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough well. Add more flour gradually if the dough is too sticky. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes. The dough should be well knead, soft and not tacky or sticky.

Smooth it out into a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 60 minutes or until double in size.

Remove the cling film and punch the dough back to knock out the air.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten the dough with your hands. Roll it to form an oval shape. It should be rolled tightly and press the seam well. Repeat the process again. You should end up with an oval loaf with slightly tapered ends. Place it onto a lightly floured board and cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven and your baking tray to 220°C.

When the dough is ready to be baked, remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle some semolina and place the loaf of bread over it, to add some crunch to the base.

Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slits on the top of the loaf about 1-2cm deep.

Spray the loaf with water and place it in the oven for 3 minutes. Repeat this step 2 more times, leaving the dough to bake for about 40 minutes after the last spray.

If you think the bread is browning a little to much or too quickly, place some aluminium foil loosely on top.

When the bread is done, take it out of the oven, turn over and tap the base of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is done.

Leave the bread on a cooling rack. Once it has cooled, slice and enjoy!!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day … Irish Colcannon and Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

While most of the times, you see recipes for St. Paddy’s day all decked out in green, I’m pretty sure Irish fare isn’t all green. Do correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve never been to Ireland, but hope to travel there someday. This year, I decided to treat myself and the husband to traditional Irish food. After looking through a few sites, I knew I would have to bake some Irish Soda Bread, but I wanted something quick to go with it. I happened upon a recipe for traditional Irish Colcannon. As luck would have it, I had all the requisite ingredients. So I had picked out the side dish for the evening. Now, I didn’t have the time to make anything elaborate for the main, so I just went with some sausages. I don’t know how Irish that is, but I can tell you this, it sure made for a delicious meal.

Many of you may not know this, but I can be very absent minded at times. For example, I was so sure I had taken pictures of the loaf of bread I baked, but actually I hadn’t. The bread was very easy and quick to put together. It was different compared to the regular yeasted breads, but I was happy with the way it turned out. I made a wholewheat soda bread this time around, but I’m quite eager to try out the white bread version too. We enjoyed this bread for dinner as well as for breakfast the next morning, with a smear of butter and some homemade Nectarine jam (recipe to follow). Later in the day when I sat down to edit the pictures and blog about it, it appeared I hadn’t taken pictures of the bread at all. ***Gasp*** I know!!! In the life of a blogger, that’s an absolute disaster. I figured, I would have to skip blogging about the bread this time around, atleast till I made this bread again and captured some pictures of it anyway. That’s when I realized, I still had one lonesome slice of the bread left. So please forgive the picture of the lone slice of soda bread.

On to the colcannon; nothing could be simpler to put together. Its a nice way to mix up mashed potatoes. I simply wrapped a couple of clean, washed and brushed potaotes – skin on, in some foil and put them in the oven with the bread and it was ready it by the time the bread was done. I didn’t think the combination of cabbage and potato would work, but I was wrong. This turned out really yummy. It had some nice flavor and texture from the cabbage and the onion. Typically, leftovers of mashed potato are used in the dish. I didn’t have any, so I just roasted some potatoes in the oven to use. You could make some mashed potatoes the regular way, by boiling the potatoes instead. Do what works best for you.

Our tribute to St. Patrick’s Day was a rather subdued one. What are you doing this year to celebrate this day. Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear more.

You can find the recipe I used here.

Irish Colcannon
Recipe from: Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

2 large potatoes, boiled or roasted
1/3 head of cabbage, finely cut
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
Splash of milk, as needed
Small knob of butter

Peel and mash the potatoes.

Heat a small knob of butter in a pan and saute the cabbage till done to your liking,

Mix the cabbage and mashed potato well. Season with salt and pepper. If the mash appears too stiff, add a splash of milk and mix.

Melt some more butter in a pan and saute the onion till it has softened.

Tip in the potato and cabbage mash and mix well. Check the seasonings and adjust, if needed.

Enjoy!!!

SRC: Buttermilk French Toast

I’m excited to share with you, my SRC assignment for this month. I had the wonderful Kate, who authors Food Babbles, a ridiculously delicious blog. Kate has so many wonderful recipes on her blog and that made it really hard to pick one for this months reveal. I was torn between so many treats, but not having access to an oven at the moment, helped me narrow my options down. I went with something I knew I’d love, a delicious breakfast treat, Buttermilk French Toast. I have made French toast before but never with buttermilk and I was curious. Now only recently I got to experience first hand the kind of magic buttermilk does with pancakes and I was very eager to see what it would do to French Toast.

And I was right, these slices turned out really good. There is a depth of flavor with a mild tang that you can get only by using buttermilk. This was Sunday breakfast for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I stuck to the recipe for most of it, except I used regular sliced bread instead of the challah bread and I left out the ground cinnamon, not because I have anything against it, but because I forgot to pick it up at the store 🙁  Despite that, the French Toast was fantastic and I’m sure I’ll be making this yummy breakfast treat often. ‘Thanks Kate, for a delicious take on one of my favorite breakfast treats. I know I’ll be back to try out more of the treats on your blog’.
Buttermilk French Toast
(Yields 8-10 slices)
1 cup buttermilk, shaken well 
4 eggs
2 tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
8-10 slices of bread
A little butter for frying
Beat the buttermilk, eggs, salt, sugar and essence well to combine.
Heat a skillet or griddle.
Dip the slices of bread in the batter one at a time, letting it soak in some of the batter and flip the slice over to repeat on the other side. Take care to not leave the slice in the batter for too long, else it will get too soggy and break apart when you try to get it to the pan.
Butter the griddle lightly for frying. 
Carefully, place the slice onto the pan and cook until lightly browned (or to your liking) on both sides.
Drizzle some honey over it and enjoy.

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Bread Pudding

Now here’s a pudding that I’ve always loved. My aunt, who is in England now used to make this very often when she lived with us many years ago. I must have been no more than 6 years old at the time, but I can still remember  how she’d always serve us a pudding of some sort or the other after a meal. Years later, my dad tried his hand at making us some bread pudding. Now don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it just wasn’t the same like the one my aunt used to make for us. When I tried out this recipe, I was really pleased because this is the closest I’ve had to the real thing, atleast for me. The only thing I did a little differently than what my aunt used to do was add some slivered almonds and some golden raisins. Oh boy, I was glad I did. It turned out to be really yummy. However, if you’re not to fond of dried fruit and nuts in your bread pudding, then don’t hesitate to leave it out altogether.

 

Bread Pudding

12 slices of bread, if they’re a day or 2 old, its even better
500ml milk
5 eggs
150g sugar
Grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder, to taste
1-2 tbsp. butter
1/2 – 1 tsp. vanilla essence
Extra sugar for the layer of caramel
1/4 cup of raisins, or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Mix warm milk and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Lightly beat up the eggs, vanilla and nutmeg and add to the cooled down milk mixture. Whisk in to mix well.

Chop up the bread roughly or simply tear the slices of bread into smaller pieces and soak it in the milk and eggs mix.

Add the raisins and stir a little to spread them through the mix.

Let it stand and soak in the liquid. In the meanwhile, you can make the caramel.

Make the caramel either straight on the baking tray, if you’re using a metal one or make it in a pot and pour into the baking dish to cover the base of it. I did the latter. Simply melt the sugar on low heat till it caramelises. Keep an eye on it as is can go from a beautiful caramel to severely burnt in moments.

When your happy with the colour of the caramel, drizzle it over the base of the baking tin while its still hot. As it starts to cool it wont spread around the base.

Note that when making the caramel, they say its better to swirl the pot rather and stir it. That’s how I’ve always done it and have never had any trouble with it.

Give the caramel a few minutes to set and then pour in the eggy – milky – bread mix. (I’m sure there’s a better term to use here 😉 but you get the message)

Sprinkle some of the slivered almonds on the top, you can also add some raisins to the topping if you wish.

Add a few knobs of butter on the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC for about 30-40 minutes.

Here’s what it looks like before baking; all assembled and ready to go into the oven.

 
 
After it comes out of the oven and has cooled down, here’s a glimpse of the golden caramel goodness that lies beneath.
 

This pudding can either be served warm or cold. Its just as good either way.

Baking Partners: New York Style Pizza two ways

Today’s post is my first as part of a fun baking group that I recently came across called “Baking Partners”. Read all about it and join up here. The idea is a small group of people come together and improve their baking skills by targeting a common recipe / technique each month. I loved the sound of it and immediately signed up. Thank you, Swathi, for letting me be a part of this group.

Their goal for this month was attempting to make a New York Style Pizza from scratch at home. We love pizzas and I enjoy making them from scratch too and yet somehow, I’ve never blogged about if before. Strange, I know. I figured this would be a great way to add to my baking repertoire and I pretty much stuck to the recipe except for not using fresh basil in the sauce as it wasn’t available. But I did instead add some mixed Italian herbs to develop a better flavor profile for the sauce. I halved the recipe and made 3 pizza pies of different sizes. This was enough for dinner for 2 with enough leftover for another meal coupled with a salad.

It was a good learning experience and I can’t wait to see what this group decides to bake next. For now, here’s a peak at the pizzas I made. They tasted wonderful and I was very pleased with the fact that it was made at home and not just ordered for. One thing that I will do the next time is pay more attention to presentation. Other than that, this recipe is great.

This is the veggie one we enjoyed. Toppings include red onion rings, green peppers and corn. I used a combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese.

Here’s a snapshot of the non-veg version. Toppings include red onion rings, green peppers and spicy pork sausage slices. I used the same combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese for this one as well.

New York Style Pizza
Adapted from: Serious Eats

Shredded cheese of your choice – I used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar
Toppings of your choice – I used Veg (Onion rings, Green pepper rings and corn kernels) and Non-veg (Onion rings, green pepper wings and spicy pork sausage slices)


For the Dough


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp EVOO
7 1/2 ounces lukewarm water

Place the flour on your workstation.

Make a well in the center and place the yeast, sugar and water in the center.

A water gradually and work the flour from the center working in a little bit of the flour at a time, till all the flour is used up. You may or may not need all the water.

When you’ve got a soft, pliable dough, place it on one side.

Spoon the salt on the workstation and pour the oil over the salt. Rub down on it using the base of your palm.

Work the oil into the dough. Round it off to a smooth ball, cover with a damp cloth and keep aside in a warm place for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.

In the meanwhile you can start working on the sauce.



For the sauce – 


1 (200g) pack tomato puree (non availability of canned tomatoes)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Mixed Italian herbs
Salt, to taste
A pinch of red chilli flakes
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 – 1 tsp. sugar

Heat the oil and butter in a pan.

Tip in the garlic and saute for a few seconds to release the aroma.

Tip in the onion and saute till the onions have softened.

Tip in the spices and herbs and stir it in.

Add the tomato puree and stir in. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Season with some salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and let it continue simmering till it thickens and the flavors develop, about another 15-20 minutes. Be careful to not burn it. Check on the sauce at about the halfway mark. If you’re happy with the flavors, take it off the fire.

To assemble – 


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Lightly drizzle some olive oil on the baking sheet and spread it on the pan.

Divide the dough into 2-3 portions. Roll into balls and using your fingers flatten it out to form a disc, keeping the outer edge a little thicker. Drape the dough over your knuckles and gently stretch till the crust is about 1/4″ thick.

Place on the greased sheet. Spread the sauce over it. Add your toppings and finally the cheese.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes till the cheese is all melty and has a few brown specks on it.

Take out of the oven, slice and serve hot.

Note: The original recipe has you rest the dough for about 24-72 hours. But when I did that the last time I made pizza, I was treated to a big disastrous mess in the fridge. So I made these the same day.

Cheese stuffed Whole Wheat Garlic Breadsticks

Those of you who’ve been following this space for a while, know that I’ve always loved the idea of baking my own bread, but have always been intimidated by the mighty “yeast”. However, off late I’ve been doing better with it. I whipped up these stuffed bread sticks a while ago and we absolutely loved it. Warm bread straight out of the oven, with a garlic butter spread on the inside coupled with some melted gooey cheese. Whats not too love! Just writing about it has me longing for another piece. The best part is that this is a whole wheat bread, with just a tad of all purpose flour, so it is a healthier variant too. Now that I’ve made this lovely delight, my head is just swimming with other options to use as a stuffing. I’m really looking forward to some more experimentation with this bread. But don’t take my word for it, try it out.

Now, who’s ready to take a peek at what the stuffing looks like. I used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar by Kraft. I think I’m going to up the cheddar the next time. 
Cheese stuffed Whole Wheat Garlic Bread Sticks
Adapted from recipe by: K Latha Kiran
(Yield: 8 bread sticks)
For the bread – 
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
For the garlic spread –
2 tbsp salted butter
6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
Red chilli flakes, to taste (optional)
Mixed Italian herbs, to taste (optional)
Grated cheese, to taste (your choice of cheese / blend)
In a bowl, mix the yeast, water and sugar and dissolve.
Add the flours to it and knead it to form a soft pliable dough. The dough will be a little sticky. Its a sign that your gluten is forming, which is a good thing. 
Mix the oil and the salt using the palm of your hand and rub it into the dough. 
Cover with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.
Oil your fingers and knock back the risen dough lightly. 
Roll the dough out on a lightly dusted surface. 
Mix all the ingredients of the garlic spread except the cheese and apply on the dough. 
Sprinkle grated cheese on half of the dough, flip the other half over to cover. 
Cover with the damp cloth and leave to rise for about 20 minutes to half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and bake for 15-20 minutes till it browns on top.
Take it out of the oven and immediately brush lightly with some olive oil.
Enjoy!

Puran Poli

Those who know me well, know that I love all good food, but dessert is my absolute weakness. I love all kinds of sweets, candies, bakes and Indian sweets too. The thing is, I can bake some wicked stuff, but I’ve never attempted too many traditional Indian sweets at home. I usually just go to an Indian sweets shop and pick up stuff over there. In a way, thats a good thing because a lot of these divine treats are usually high on the sugar and ghee (clarified butter). Atleast that’s the notion I have. I have made a few before like this slightly healthier version of Sheera, Gaajar ka Halwa and Gulab Jamuns which I’d made a long time ago before I’d started blogging (I should make those again). Today’s treat is a slightly healthier one. It is a sweet Indian flatbread called Puran (Poo-run) Polis (Poh-lees). These are usually made for the Holi and Gudi Padwa festivals. We enjoyed these for breakfast, had some with our afternoon cup of tea and enjoyed every bite of it. My husband loved it, for him these were perfect.  That’s always great to hear.

Puran Poli
Recipe by: Tasty Treats
Makes 10
For the flatbread – 
100g whole wheat flour
100g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Milk, for kneading the dough
2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the filling
200g chana dal 
1 cup water
225 gms jaggery, roughly chopped
8 green cardamoms – seeds crushed
A little ghee / clarified butter, to smear on while cooking
Mix the flours and salt and knead it to a soft and smooth dough using milk as needed. 
Incorporate the oil into the dough by kneading in 1 spoon at a time. Knead well till all the oil is incorporated.
Keep the dough aside in an airtight container for an hour.
Wash the dal a couple of times and pressure cook it with a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water for 2 whistles.
Turn off the heat and when the pressure has dropped completely, drain the excess water and spread the dal on a plate to cool off.
Add the jaggery and cardamom seeds to the dal and mix well. I put it in the mixer and pulsed it a little till it turned to an almost smooth paste.
If the paste is too wet, cook it off on medium heat till the moisture dries out a little, till it can be rolled into little balls.
Cool it off, divide it into 10 equal portions and roll them into balls and keep aside.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll into balls.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 4″ in diameter (just approx large enough to contain the filling and a little extra around the edge for sealing), place the filling in the centre and cover with the dough, sealing it off (sort of like a stuffed dumpling).
Flatten this ball out gently and ever so gently roll it out as thin as possible without exposing the filling. If it remains on the thicker side too, its no problem. From here on, you have to handle the flatbreads very gently or they will break.
Place them on a hot griddle and let it cook on a medium flame till it lightly browns on one side. Flip over to achieve the same result. Smear a little ghee on top and flip over and let it cook till done. Smear a little ghee on the other side as well and flip over and cook off.
I like to eat these a little warm. They refrigerate well too. Simply reheat them on the griddle and you’re good to go.
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