BUN MASCA CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

THIS IS AN EASY DISH THAT EVERYONE LOVES. BUN MASCA  (MASCA MEANS BUTTER )IS AVAILABLE AT ANY IRANI BAKERY. IT COMES PARTIALLY SLICED AND BUTTERED. IT IS COMFORT HOME COOKING. IF YOU DONT LIKE CHOCOLATE LAYER THE BREAD WITH A GOOD JAM, ALMONDS, CARAMEL SAUCE, EVEN LEMON CURD.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 BUN MASCA FROM IRANI BAKERY
  • 1 CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS SEMI SWEET
  • 1 TEASPOON BUTTER
  • FOR CUSTARD
  • 5 EGGS CRACKED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1.5 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 1/2 CUP LIGHT CREAM (TETRAPAK) WARMED
  • 2 CUPS WHOLE MILK HOT
  • 1 CUP SUGAR CASTOR OR GRANULATED

BAKING TRAY TO FIT BOTH BUNS SNUGLY (ATLEAST 1.5 INCHES DEEP)

METHOD

TO ASSEMBLE BREAD

BUTTER YOUR BAKING PAN.

OPEN THE FIRST BUN UP (WATCH MY VIDEO ON IGTV) AND LAY EACH HALF ACROSS THE BAKING PAN OF YOUR CHOICE SO THE BREAD IS SPREAD EVENLY ACROSS THE PAN OF YOUR CHOICE. SCATTER CHOCOLATE CHIPS ALL OVER. OPEN UYP THE SECOND BUN MASCA AND LAY IT OVER THE STOP. PRESS DOWN SO IT FITS SNUGLY INTOT HE PAN. THEN USE A KNIFE AND CUT THE BREAD ACROSS ALLTHE WAY THROUGH IN TWO PLACES LENGTHWISE.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 AND PREPARE LOWER RUNG WITH BAKING RACK.

FOR THE CUSTARD

WHISK EGGS AND VANILLA WITH SUGAR UNTIL WELL INCORPORATED IN A MIXING BOWL. SLOWLY ADD WARM CREAM AND WHISK CONTINUOUSLY. ADD HOT MILK AND WHISK AGAIN. USING A SIEVE, STRAIN HALF THE MIXTURE OVER THE LAYERED BUNS. PRESS THE BUNS DOWN SO THE CUSTARD CAN SEEP INTO IT EVENLY. LET IT SIT 15 MINUTES.

SIEVE THE REMAINING MIXTURE OVER THE BUNS AND LET SIT 15 MINUTES.

BAKE 30-35 MINUTES UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN. WHEN YOU PRESS DOWN WITH A SPOON THE CUSTARD SHOULD NOT OOZE OUT BUT YOUR PUDDING SHOULD BE SOFT AND CUSTARDY INSIDE.

 

PUFF PASTRY IN INDIA

Puff Pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

Puff Pastry- Where to Buy It in Mumbai and What to Make with It

Before the chicken puff came puff pastry. In India Pattice and savory Khara biscuits available at Irani cafes are the most commonly eaten snack made from puff pastry. 

Puff Pastry also known as butter paste and puff paste originated in France where it is called pâte feuilletée or feuilletage. Feuille is the French word for leaf.

 Puff pastry, unlike pâte brisée is a laminated dough where layers of dough are repeatedly rolled and rested with layers of butter to produce a very flaky, fine and crisp dough.  In some early, medieval recipes eggs were also added to the dough. 

The process is far more time consuming than short crust or the choux pastry (pate a choux) so many home cooks buy it frozen or readymade at a bakery.

photo Gallica

The first published recipe for puff pastry appeared in François Pierre La Varenne‘s “Pastissier Francois” in 1653.

But it was invented some years before this in 1645 by a French pastry cook’s apprentice, Claudius Gele who accidentally stumbled upon the technique for puff pastry while trying to make a loaf of bread for his bed ridden father. 

Claudius later went to work for the Brothers Mosca’s pastry shop in Florence, Italy where he continued to produce the puff pastry for his employers all the while keeping the recipe secret. He made his employers a fortune. 

While many food historians agree puff paste was a logical outcome of short crust pastry others believe that it was influenced by Middle Eastern Phyllo and werqa dough made with olive oil and fine sheets of dough. 

My 1765 edition of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by a Lady has an early recipe for ‘Puff-pafte’. By the early 1800’s Puff Pastry become the standard term used in English cookbooks.

photo

 

In Mumbai you can buy Puff Pastry to order at Worli’s City Bakery.  They sell it by the kilogram and must be ordered with 24 hour notice. It is also available refrigerated in 250 gram sheets at American Bakery in Byculla. Both are vegan. Check with the local Irani cafés in your city –if they make khara biscuits and pattice, chances are they will sell you the readymade dough. You can also buy it in the frozen section in supermarkets and some club shops.

I would advise you keep the fresh puff pastry refrigerated (not frozen) at all times and use it within 24 hours.

For me puff pastry is the go to when I don’t have time to make leavened dough or a short crust pastry.

Here are some of the easy, elegant and delicious recipes I make. You can also make chicken pot pies, cheese straws, vol au vents, poisson en croute (whole fish wrapped in pastry.

No Huff, Puff Pizza photo Bini Bharucha

NO HUFF PUFF PIZZA

Perfect for large groups, you can add on almost any filling.  While this recipe calls for a red sauce you can also do a Pizza Bianco or a sweet dessert pizza with fruit compote and almonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAPOLEONS

This classic layered dessert should be served plated as individual portions. They are impressive and elegant but easy to make.

Napoleons with pastry cream and fruit photo by Bini Bharucha

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mixed-fruit-napoleons-with-pastry-cream/

MUSHROOM AND GOAT’S CHEESE BEGGARS PURSES

Beggars Purses with puff pastry photo Beynaz Mistri

Knotted with chives these delicate purses can be stuffed with meat, prawns, tofu or turn them into a dessert.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/puff-pastry-beggars-purses-with-mushrooms-goats-cheese-and-thyme/

APPLE, HONEY AND CINNAMON TURNOVERS photo Bini Bharucha

Turnovers are so easy. I bake them just before the dessert course and serve them warm with vanilla ice cream and some honey drizzled over the top. A winner! 

http://www.taradeshpande.in/easy-apple-honey-and-cinnamon-turnovers/

 

Poisson En Croute

A classic French preparation this is a complex dish but makes a spectacular main course.

poisson en croute with puff pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

THE CHICKEN PATTICE STORY IN INDIA

FROM PASTY TO PATTICE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN PUFF IN INDIA

Nahoum’s Chicken Pattice (Kolkota)

 

Some of my debut film ‘Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin’ was filmed in south Mumbai. A film about one eventful night we began shoots at 7 p.m. and invariably director Sudhir Mishra and some of the crew ended up at Kayani’s Café early the following morning.  Fortified by cups of sweet Irani chai and flaky chicken pattice that came straight out of Kayani’s dinosaur ovens, I’d race off to St Xavier’s College for economics class. 

Everyone in Mumbai has an Irani café story and pattice are an integral part of the menu.

Jimmy Boys Caramelized onion puff (Ballard estate, Mumbai)

It is suggested that Indian chicken and Mutton Pattice also called Chicken Pattie and puffs is a ‘desi’ variant of the Cornish Pasty introduced to the colonies by the British. While a typical Cornish Pasty in England is a crimped, stuffed D shaped savory made with short crust pastry or rough puff (flour and fat), most Chicken Pattice at Irani bakeries and private English era clubs are a version of the layered French puff pastry or pâte feuilleté. 

Pasties, patties and pattice fall into the ‘portable pies’ category that includes turnovers, calzones, empanadas, pop tarts, Natchitoches and Stromboli. There are numerous references, entire cookbooks even dedicated to these stuffed pies throughout medieval history. They were cheap to make, easy to carry and very satisfying. It is no wonder they have been adapted the world over.

In my 1765 edition of Hannah Glasse’s ‘The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy’ the author provides a recipe for puff paste and for patties and pasties. Curiously some of the recipes like this one for Beef Patties require the pastry to be fried. 

This is unusual because while the fillings, shape and size of Patties and pasties have varied during its evolution they are almost always baked.

Food historian Clifford Wright alludes to the Middle East for the origins of these pocket pies. In 9th century Baghdad Sanbusaks or Samosa, a stuffed fried triangular pastry faintly resemble the calzone. 

Kayanis chicken and mutton puffs (Dhobi Talao Mumbai)

The Persians made Baghlava Esfhani, a sweet D shaped pastel and Boreks, fine yufka dough stuffed with meat originated in the Ottoman Empire.

 Larousse Gastronomique links Pasty to Bastilla or Bestila, the national dish of Morocco. Some suggest Pastilla has Arab Andalusian origins from the time of the Caliphates in the 8th century. Pastilla in Spanish means ‘small pastry’ and employs a fine werqa dough. The B in Arabic replaced the ‘P’. The King of Spain Philip II had a fondness for Bastilla. 

In cookbooks dating 1129 to 1200 the French were making a kind of stuffed pie called pastilles.

Pastis (not to be confused with anise flavored liqueur) is derived from the French word pâte meaning pie.  Pastis Landais, Gascon and bourrit are all made with different kinds of dough but are often served as individual pies.

Author Claudia Roden refers to Turkish Pasteles de Carnes made by Sephardic Jews from Greece. The Syrians also make a pie called Pastelis.

Kolumna in Russia claims to have invented a sweet Pastilla with egg whites and has a museum dedicated to this pie. Corsicans still make Bastella, a meat and vegetable filled pie pastry.

I also found mentions of patties, pastie and puffs in Rundell’s ‘A New System of Domestic Cookery’ (1814). Interestingly the terms are used interchangeably but they all employ puff pastry, are individual pies, stuffed and baked. 

Boston Cooking School Cookbook (1898)

Cornish pasty can be traced back to 1300 A.D. in Cornwall when it was a miner’s food and contained only potatoes. Meat was added later. It is said that King William the Lion (1143 A.D.) served wastelli dominici to Richard the Lion-Hearted. 

The Cornish pasty has a PGI – Protected Geographical status now and the Cornish Pasty Association (yes there is one!) insists it be made with beef, must contain no other vegetables besides turnip (swede, also called Rutabaga in the U.S.A), onion and potato. It also lays out specifications for the kind of dough (not too flaky but hearty and robust enough to survive a trip down a mine shaft in someone’s pocket). Some traditionalists suggest the addition of bread flour to the dough. In order to be sold as a Cornish pasty the savory must be made in Cornwall. 

Cornish Pasty is believed to have travelled to America in the 1830’s when 37000 miners immigrated to the USA. Their coal mining expertise was in great demand and its possible with them went the food they loved the most.

In parts of the USA like Michigan and Pennsylvania where the Pasty continues to be popular the dough is sometimes made like choux pastry by boiling butter, water and flour over a stove. The Cornish pasty evolved a little differently in Jamaica where the traditional patty is dough seasoned with turmeric and is often served vada pao style with a coconut bread bun. The journey this culinary delight took through the colonies transformed the plain vegetable and meat fillings into more flavorful versions spiced with scotch bonnets, garlic and curry spices. 

Cafe Excelsior Spicy Chicken Puff (Fort Mumbai)

On the other hand in the USA and UK a patty is also a breaded cutlet like a cutlet or tikki in India, (the Ragda Pattice is a curried potato cutlet) though the term is also used to describe burger patties in school canteens. An empanada or Brazilian pastel would best describe a pasty in the USA, while a turnover made with puff pastry would most closely resemble an Indian chicken patty. rectangles, even round.  

My favorite chicken pattice came from Bastani near Metro cinema before it closed. In Mumbai Jimmy Boy’s make a delicious caramelized onion and paneer puff that closely resembles the shape of the Cornish pasty. You can also buy a spicy chicken puff from Café Excelsior Fort. Wengers in New Delhi and Nimrah in Hyderabad, Flurys and Nahoum’s in Kolkata.

EGG SALAD WITH VINEGARED ONIONS AND TOMATOES

Egg Salads can be spiced and flavoured in many ways. This is a recipe I make at home when I want a quick lunch.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR 4

8 SLICES GOOD QUALITY SANDWICH BREAD THICKLY SLICED OR CRACKERS OF YOUR CHOICE

SOFTENED UNSALTED BUTTER (OPTIONAL)

LETTUCE LEAVE SOF YOUR CHOICE

1 CUP HOME-MADE MAYONNAISE (REFER RECIPE) OR GOOD QUALITY STORE BROUGHT EGG BASED MAYO

8 SOFT BOILED EGGS PEELED AND QUARTERED (REFER HOW TO BOIL AN EGG)

1/2 CUP RED ONION FINELY CHOPPED AND SOAK IN A TEASPOON OF WHITE VINEGAR

7-8  FIRM CHERRY TOMATOES QUARTERED OR 2 SMALL FIRM PLUM TOMATO CHOPPED FINELY, LIQUIDS DISCARDED

1 TSP TOMATO PASTE OR KETCHUP

CAYENNE PEPPER OR RED CHILLI POWDER

1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED CURLY PARSLEY OR FRESH CORIANDER LEAVES

METHOD

 

COMBINE THE MAYONNAISE, TOMATO PASTE OR KETCHUP, 1/2 TSP CAYENNE PEPPER, 1 TEASPOON SALT, CORIANDER OR PARSLEY, TOMATOES AND ONIONS AND STIR WELL. ADD THE EGGS AND MASH CORASELY.

ADJUST FOR SEASONINGS.

BUTTER BREAD OF YOUR CHOICE. PLACE THE SALAD LEAVES OVER THE BREAD AND THEN SPREAD THE EGG SALAD OVER IT. GARNISH WITH CORIANDER OR PARSLEY LEAVES AND SPRINKLE LIGHTLY WITH CAYENNE.

 

SPANAKOPITA OR GREEK SPINACH PIE

SPANAKOPITA OR GREEK SPINACH PIE

SPANAKOPITA OR GREEK SPINACH PIE

Ingredients

IN THIS RECIPE THE FILLING IS RAW AND CONTAINS EGGS. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HALF SHEET PAN OR AN OVEN THATS NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR A HALF SHEET PAN MAKE TWO QUARTER SHEET PANS. TRADITIONALLY SPANAKOPITA HAS SEVERAL MORE LAYERS OF FILO DOUGH ON TOP THAN THIS RECIPE BUT I PREFER MINE WITH LESS.

USE BABY SPINACH- IT HAS LOWER MOISTURE CONTENT AND COOKS FASTER.

YOU CAN ALSO USE CHARD, LEEKS, SORREL EVEN ARUGULA (WHICH IS NOT TRADITIONAL BUT VERY TASTY). THIS MAKES 20 PIECES.

1/2 KG PHYLLO OR FILO DOUGH THAWED

1/2 KG BABY SPINACH WASHED AND COMPLETELY DRIED, COARSELY CHOPPED

1 CUP FRESH SEPU OR DILL RINSED, WIPED DRY AND CHOPPED

1 CUP GREEN ONION BULBS AND 2 INCHES OF THE GREEN STALK CHOPPED

1/4 CUP RED ONION FINELY CHOPPED

2 TBSPNS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

2 TEASPOONS FRESH OREGANO LEAVES CHOPPED (OPTIONAL)

SALT AND BLACK GROUND PEPPER TO TASTE

200 GRAMS MILD LESS SALTY FETA CHEESE IN A BLOCK

400 GRAMS HOMEMADE UNSALTED CRUMBLED PANEER COMPLETELY DRAINED

ZEST OF ONE LEMON

1.5 CUPS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

3 GGS WHISKED

Instructions

ALL THE LEAFY GREENS SHOULD BE COMPLETELY DRY. PAT THEM DOWN WITH PAPER TOWELS IF REQUIRED.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450F AND PREPARE BOTTOM RUNG.

HEAT 2TBSPNS VEGETABLE OIL IN A PAN AND SAUTE THE RED ONION UNTIL JUST SOFT.

SWITCH OFF FLAME AND ADD OREGANO IF USING. ALLOW THIS TO COOL.

COMBINE COOKED ONION MIXTURE WITH WITH LEMON ZEST, SPINACH DILL AND GREEN ONIONS IN A LARGE MIXING BOWL.

ADD BOTH CHEESES AND USING YOUR HANDS CRUMBLE THE CHEESE AND MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO GET A STICKY CREAMY MIXTURE. ADD 1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL.

ADD 1 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER POWDER AND TASTE THE FILLING. ADD MORE AND PEPPER SALT TO TASTE AND MIX TO COMBINE. ADD WHISKED EGGS AND MIX THOROUGHLY.

GREASE A HALF SHEET PAN (18 BY 13 INCHES) WITH SOME OF THE OLIVE OIL. OPEN YOUR PHYLLO DOUGH CAREFULLY AND UNROLL IT. PULL OUT TWO SHEETS AND PLACE AT THE BOTTOM OVER THE OILED SHEET. SPREAD THE DOUGH EVENLY AND LET THE SIDES HANG OUTSIDE THE SHEET PAN. USING A PASTRY BRUSH OR YOUR FINGERS BAST THE WHOLE SHEET WITH OLIVE OIL.

PLACE ONE MORE SHEET OF FILO DOUGH OVER IT AND BAST AGAIN WITH OIL MAKING SURE TO DO THE OVERHANG AS WELL.

SPREAD THE FILLING OVER EVENLY AND SMOOTHEN THE TOPS. BRING THE SIDES THAT OVERHANG OVER THE FILLING AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE. BRSH WITH A LITTLE OLIVE OIL.

PLACE TWO MORE SHEETS OF FILO DOUGH OVER THE TRAY AND TUCK THE SIDES INSIDE THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE. BRUSH WITH OLIVE TO COVE RTHE ENTIRE SURFACE.

USING A SHARP KNIFE CUT THE PIE INTO SQUARES - I DO 4 AND 5 ACROSS TO GIVE ME 20 PIECES BUT YOU CAN DO THEM LARGER OR SMALLER. THIS WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO REMOVE FROM THE PAN ONCE BAKED.

PLACE TRAY IN THE BOTTOM RUNG AND REDUCE HEAT TO 350F.

BAKED 30 MINUTES THEN MOVE TO THE MIDDLE RUNG AND BAKE UNTIL THE TOP IS GOLDEN AND CRISPY.

REMOVE AND COOL 30 MINUTES. CUT AGAIN AND SERVE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/spanakopita-or-greek-spinach-pie/

UPPIT/UPEETH OR UPMA-SPICED CREAM OF WHEAT

Semolina with cashews, coconut and sev
4-6 servings

This is a delicious, comforting dish prepared across India with many delicious variations. Uppu means salt in many south Indian languages. The most popular version is made with semolina or suji. In Karnataka it is Uppittu or Kharabhat, in Maharashtra upeeth, in the Konkan, usli, and is served with coconut chutney. In the north, it is upma, served with yogurt; and in Tamil Nadu, uppumavu is creamy and moist. Upeeth is also made with rice and wheat vermicelli, day-old bread and corn. Our family version is crumbly semolina, topped with fried sev, cashews and fresh coconut. For a little colour and a dose of vitamins add cooked green peas to it.

Ingredients
1.25 tsps salt or to taste
1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
¾ cup finely chopped red or white onions
2 cups fine semolina or rava/sooji
½ cup cooked, drained green peas (optional)

Tempering
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp ghee or oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
5 seeds of fenugreek (optional)
Pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp husked, split black gram or urad dal (optional)
8 fresh curry leaves, torn
3 Indian green chillies, 1-1.25 inches” long, finely chopped
1/4 inch fresh ginger root, peeled, julienned (optional)

Optional garnishes
4 tbsp grated fresh; or frozen, defrosted, unsweetened coconut
1 cup store-bought plain, fine gram flour strings or sev
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (optional)
4 tbsp unsalted, cashewnut pieces, fried or toasted

Method
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pan with the salt and sugar. If you need to boil the green peas, add them to the water.
In the meanwhile, put the ghee or oil in a large kadhai or heavy-bottomed pan on high heat. (Semolina doubles in volume when cooked in hot water, so you need an oversized pan.)
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them cook 30 seconds. Add the urad and asafoetida, the curry leaves, green chillies and ginger and cook 30-60 seconds.
Add the onions and sauté, till they soften; do not brown the onions.
Reduce heat to medium and add the semolina. Stir well and sauté for 5-6 minutes until semolina is fragrant and toasty.
Switch of the flame under the boiling water and slowly pour it over the semolina, with the green peas if you are using them. Stir vigorously. The semolina will boil and spit and slowly begin to solidify. Keep stirring to prevent lumps.
Reduce heat and continue to stir, till the semolina has a crumbly texture and all the water has evaporated. This will take several minutes.
Some prefer their upma sticky. Add a little extra water and cook it down for a shorter period.
Taste for salt, sweetness and adjust to your taste. Garnish with all the extras and serve warm with wedges of lime.

MUSHROOM MASALA ON TOAST

MUSHROOM MASALA ON TOAST

MUSHROOM MASALA ON TOAST

Ingredients

This is a wonderful dish, a colonial recipe for a brunch or breakfast meal. You can make it entirely vegan without the butter. Serves it on thick slices of toasted and buttered bread so the bread can absorb the mushroom sauce.

Serves 3-4

200 GRAMS WHITE MUSHROOMS

1/2 CUP FINELY CHOPPED WHITE ONION

2 TEAPSOONS FINELY MINCED GARLIC

1-2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES VERY FINELY CHOPPED

2 TBSP RED TOMATO CHOPPED

1 TBSP BUTTER OR VEGETABLE OIL

2 TBSP VEGETABLE OIL

1/4 TEASPOON CARAWAY SEEDS

1/4 TEASPOON SOY SAUCE

1/2-1 TSP BROWN SUGAR

2 TBSO FINELY CHOPPED CORIANDER OR CILANTRO (USE PARSLEY IF YOU DISLIKE CORIANDER)

1/2-1 TEASPOON TEASPOON MAIDA OR ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

SALT TO TASTE

Instructions

USING A WET TOWEL WIPE THE MUSHROOMS AND DUST OFF ANY MUD OR DIRT WITH A FOOD BRUSH. THEN WIPE AGAIN WITH A CLEAN WET TOWEL. USE A SHARP KNIFE TO CUT SOME OF THE STEM OFF EACH MUSHROOM BUT NOT ALL OF IT- ONLY THE PARTS THAT ARE SOFT AND MUDDY.

SLICE THE MUSHROOMS INTO 4-5 PIECES LENGTHWISE.

HEAT BUTTER AND OIL IN AN EXTRA LARGE SKILLET ON MEDIUM HEAT.

ADD CARAWAY SEEDS AND COOK UNTIL THE SEEDS SIZZLE.

ADD ONIONS AND SAUTE 3 MINUTES UNTIL ONIONS BEGIN TO BROWN.

ADD CHILLIES, GARLIC AND TOMATOES AND COOK 1-2 MINUTES UNTIL TOMATOES SOFTEN AND LOSE WATER.

STIR IN 1/2 TSP OF MAIDA AND MIX WELL WITH THE SAUCE.

ADD MUSHROOMS AND SAUTE UNTIL MUSHROOMS SOFTEN A BIT. THEY NEED TO HOLD SHAPE SO DON'T OVER COOK THEM.

ADD SOY SAUCE, BROWN SUGAR AND SALT TO TASTE.

COOK UNTIL MIXTURE THICKENS A BIT.

ADD THE CORIANDER LEAVES.

ADJUST SALT, BOWN SUGAR.

SPOON OVER BUTTERED TOASTS OR SERVE IN A BOWL ACCOMPANIED BY SOLDIERS- TOASTE BUTTERED BREAD CUT INTO FINGER SIZED SLICES.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mushroom-masala-on-toast/

BOSTOCK- FANCY FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

BOSTOCK- FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

BOSTOCK- FRENCH TOAST WITH FRANGIPANE, RUM AND ALMONDS

Ingredients

Bostock is a French toast like no other. A classic from Normandy the bread can be soaked and layered several hours before you are ready to bake it.

Serves 3

3 thick slices of brioche bread about 3/4 inch thick

4 teaspoons thin cut orange marmalade or apple jam

For the milk bath

2 eggs whisked

1 cup wholemilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tbspn castor or granulated sugar

For the frangipane:

1/2 cup powdered almonds with skin

3 tbspn castor or granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Pinch salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. brandy or spiced rum (OPTIONAL)

1/4 tsp cinnamon, powdered

Garnish

1/2 cup cinnamon syrup or fruit compote or mild honey

1/2 cup finely sliced almonds with skin, toasted to a golden brown

Powdered sugar, for serving

For the cinnamon syrup:

Boil together 1 cup castor sugar, 1 tbspn brown sugar, 3 inch stick of cinnamon and 2.5 cups of water on a medium flame until you have 1 cup of syrup. Cool, strain and discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 1 tbsp rum or brandy. Keeps refrigerated for a month. Great in cocktails, over gelato and bread pudding.

Instructions

Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon together. Pour into a 9 by 12 inch cake pan. Place the 3 slices of bread in the egg bath and allow them to absorb the liquid on both sides.

Spread the top of each slice lightly with the marmalade or jam of your choice. If you plan to bake this later cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Let it reach room temperature before you bake it.

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare middle rack.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the frangipane in a medium mixing bowl using a balloon whisk. You should have a wet, soft, easily spreadable mixture.

Divide this mixture into 3 portions and spread over the marmalade on the brioche slices.

Bake in the middle rung until the frangipane is bubbly but still moist about 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Remove cake pan and using a sharp flat spatula remove each slice onto a plate. Top with toasted almonds and powdered sugar.

Serve warm as is or with cinnamon syrup, fruit compote or mild honey.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/bostock-fancy-french-toast-with-frangipane-rum-and-almonds/

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

Ingredients

These latkes are vegan and gluten free. They are also Jain. Latkes a Jewish specialty are made during Hanukkah- the Festival of Lights. Shredded potatoes, flour and eggs are mixed together to make a misshapen crispy pancake that is served with sour cream and apple sauce.

These latkes use chick pea flour and rice flour to produce a really crispy mini pancake that is less oilier than the traditional latke. They make wonderful passed hors d'oeuvres.Garnish them with a variety of toppings such as smoked salmon, caviar, vegan apple chutney, strained yogurt, sour cream even salsa.

It should be shredded thick and the length should resemble matchsticks. Shredding them to thin causes the zucchini to leak water.

I use a julienning tool and then I cut them into smaller lengths with a scissor.

Makes 12 2.5 inch pancakes

300 grams zucchini julienned

1/2 teaspoon finely sliced Indian green chillies (optional)

2 tbsp chick pea flour plus more

4 tbsp rice flour plus more

1 teaspoon salt

vegetable oil for frying

non stick pan

Garnish

Strained vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt or regular sour cream

finely chopped curly parsley

apple sauce or chutney for a vegan latke

Instructions

In a dry non stick pan saute the rice flour and gram flour separately on a medium flame about 2 minutes. Cool completely and set aside in 2 separate bowls.

Cut the julienned zucchini into smaller pieces- about matchstick length.

Stir in the green chillies and all the chickpea and half the rice flour. Mix manually. Allow the flours to absorb all the liquid from the zucchini. Let sit 1 minute.

Once you have a dryish mixture add a tablespoon of water and mix again. Slowly add the remaining flour teaspoon by teaspoon until you have a mixture you can form into small loosely held together cakes. The mixture should not drip.

Add only as much rice flour as required to hold the zucchini together. Reserve any excess for a different recipe.

Heat 1.5 inches of oil on medium heat in a non stick frying pan until very hot but not smoking. Drop a small piece of the batter to test the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top the oil is ready.

Form the zucchini mixture into small pancakes on the base of your hand and slide them into the hot oil about 4-5 at a time. Cook until both side are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and then place onto paper towels. Turn over so that both sides are well drained.

Let cool 5 minutes. Garnish with a topping of your choice. I used strained yogurt and parsley.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/vegan-zucchini-latkes/

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, DILL AND APRICOTS

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, APRICOTS AND FRESH DILL

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, APRICOTS AND FRESH DILL

Ingredients

I BEGAN MAKING THIS RECIPE 6 YEARS AGO FOR THANKSGIVING AND IT HAS EVOLVED AND CHANGED OVER TIME- SOMETIMES I USE MINT INSTEAD OF DILL AND CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF APRICOTS. THE BASMATI MAKES A WONDERFUL CONTRAST TO THE TEXTURE OF WILD RICE. YOU CAN ALSO USE FLAVORFUL RICE LIKE KOLAM.

WILD RICE IS A GRASS SEED THAT COMES FROM A DIFFERENT GENUS THAN ASIAN RICE. THERE ARE 4 SPECIES THAT ARE GROWN IN THE AMERICAS, INDIA AND CHINA. IN THE UNITED STATES IT WAS NOT FARMED BUT TRADITIONALLY HARVESTED BY NATIVE AMERICANS FOR WHOM THIS ANCIENT FOOD HOLDS GREAT SYMBOLISM.

SINCE IT GROWS WILD IN LAKES AND SMALL BODIES OF WATER NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES LIKE THE OJIBWA WOULD PADDLE TO THE WEEDS IN CANOES AND GENTLY 'KNOCK' THE SEEDS FROM THE GRASS.

SOME SPECIES LIKE TEXAS WILD RICE ARE ENDANGERED BECAUSE OF LOSS OF HABITAT.

I USE MINNESOTAN WILD RICE BECAUSE MY HUSBAND IS FROM MINNESOTA. NOW THAT THIS RICE HAS BECOME POPULAR IT IS BEING FARMED IN PADDY FIELDS IN CALIFORNIA AND MINNESOTA AND CULTIVATED WILD RICE IS VERY GOOD. BUT AT THANKSGIVING I SPLURGE AND BUY HAND-HARVESTED AND WOOD PARCHED WILD RICE THAT'S ABOUT 6 TIMES THE PRICE OF CULTIVATED WILD RICE. YOU CAN ALSO BUY IT ONLINE BUT READ THE CAPTIONS CAREFULLY. HAND HARVESTED ON CANOES IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IF YOU WANT THE TRADITIONAL WILD RICE.

THIS RICE IS A BEAUTIFUL BLACK WITH A SUMPTUOUS MEATY TASTE AND CHEWY TEXTURE THAT VEGETARIANS LOVE. WILD RICE NEEDS A LONGER COOKING TIME THAN BASMATI SO THEY SHOULD BE COOKED SEPARATELY.

SERVES 10

1 CUP WILD RICE CULTIVATED OR HAND HARVESTED

2 CUPS BASMATI RICE

24 PEARL OR SAMBHAR ONIONS PEELED OR 200 GRAMS WHITE ONIONS SLICED IN THICK RINGS AND SEPARATED

1 TABLESPOON MAPLE SYRUP

4 TBSPNS BUTTER OR OIL

1/4 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

12 TURKISH APRICOTS FINELY SLICED LENGTHWISE INTO STRIPS

1 CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH DILL/SEPU

SALT TO TASTE

Instructions

HEAT 2 TBSPNS BUTTER AND THE VEGETABLE OIL IN A DUTCH OVEN STYLE POT. ADD THE ONIONS AND SAUTE ON A VERY LOW FLAME, STIRRING FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL ONIONS ARE TENDER, STICKY AND CARAMELIZED. THIS WILL TAKE 25 MINUTES. YOU CAN DO OTHER WORK IN THE KITCHEN AS THE PROCESS ONLY SPEEDS UP IN THE LAST 5 MINUTES. TOWARDS THE END ADD THE MAPLE SYRUP AND STIR THE ONIONS GENTLY ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE USE PEARL ONIONS. USING A SLOTTED SPOON REMOVE THE ONIONS AND RESERVE ON A PLATE.

IN THE SAME POINT ADD REMAINING BUTTER AND THE WILD RICE. ADD 3 CUPS OF WATER AND 2 TSP SALT. COOK ON HGH HEAT UNTIL WATER HAS MOSTLY EVAPORATED.

ADD THE BASMATI AND STIR GENTLY TO COAT IN OIL. ADD 4.5 CUPS OF ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER, COVER AND COOK UNTIL RICE IS ALMOST DONE. SWITCH OFF FLAME AND ALLOW IT TO COOK IN ITS OWN STEAM FOR 2 MINUTES.

TAKE OFF THE LID, FLUFF THE RICE WITH A FORK AND LET IT BREATHE ABOUT 10 MINUTES. STIR IN HALF THE DILL AND HALF THE APRICOTS AND ADJUST FOR SALT.

LADLE ONTO A PLATE.

TOP WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, REMAINING DILL AND APRICOTS. SERVE WARM.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/wild-rice-pilaf-with-caramelized-onions-dill-and-apricots/