Saturday, September 23, 2017

Banana cake with citrus cream cheese frosting

I don't know where to begin after such long hiatuses. Do I reintroduce myself?  Carry on like a month and three weeks did not, no way, go by and take a single script with it? Although, this could be a nonissue since I'm not writing a chapter book. Cooking how-tos in less than 400 words are kind of liberating. You throw your point across and hope at least a few catch. Though, let me tell you, it can be burdensome when my cook-photograph-blog-now list grows to unmanageable proportions, without getting offloaded somewhere. Still, I really do hope you miss our tete-a-tetes. Because I've missed you.

The indefinite search to satiate certain voids  cravings that need to be addressed yesterday, have you troll the web to find answers. In this case, I'm talking snacking dessert. I'd like to say, how wonderful it is to have an uncountable amount of midnightsnacks that aren't just meant for midnight. Goodies in-between meals, sometimes a meal on its own, are energy sources and ultimate mood enhancers. When you know not end from tail, of how your appetite//life will further set pace, and there is nothing more gratifying than a slice or three of cake. I'm telling you, your search should be productive when trying to fix unyielding obsessions. 

Tagged as the "Best Ever", today's banana cake is highlighted with 5 stars and a trail of almost two thousand reviews. Most were boasts, some lengthy essays, of everyone and their mother making BestEver their go-to cake/dessert/potluck recipe.  I was totally intrigued, reviewing these reviews, because it's this breed of testimonial that force you to climb out of hibernation and demand the same results from your own oven.

Like the gamut of banana desserts, it calls for overripe, spotted bananas, which I didn't have. Using the green stemmed/ semiripe/ones I like to eat, was definitely the most genius thing I've ever done(don't hold me to that). It yielded a terrifically different texture, tiny surprise bites inside soft moist crumb. The addition of buttermilk cuts in perfectly to nix any intimidating sweetness.

Moreover, it's exactly this genre of cake that makes cream cheese frosting its default enhancer. Two types of citrus peel jack the icing several notches, adding further freshness to the whole scene. 

Might I add, there isn't a statute of limitations on how you can pretty up this, or any cake, for that matter. And that should never be your excuse for not trying. 
Because we all have an inner pastry chef that's just screaming to come out. Don't we?

(Adapted from, now GeniusKitchen)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cup mashed bananas
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups cream cheese frosting
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 275°F
  • Grease two 9 inch circular cake pans.
  • Stir in the lemon juice with bananas. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda.
  • In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy,
  • Beat in eggs until mixture is pale and thick.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Gradually add in the flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, combining batter thoroughly.
  • Stir in bananas.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 1 hr to 1hr 15 minutes until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a parchment covered plate directly in freezer for 30 minutes.
  • To frost, take cakes out of freezer and come to room temperature.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.
  • Top with walnuts
Cream cheese frosting recipe here. To this, I added 1 tsp orange zest and ½ tsp lemon zest.
To toast walnuts: Spread nuts on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 350° preheated oven until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Keeps well for up to 3 days, at room temperature. After that, refrigerate. 

His word. Never returns void~
"Then the Lord replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay." Habakkuk 2:2,3

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rhubarb lemonade

Hello and goodbye third week of July, taking on a trail that could rival The Speed Force and one I am not too unhappy to see leave. It's seasonal dysfunctionalism, you see. Here I am, with not more than a half-shelf's worth of week's leftovers, less than 10 words on this update which needs to be out yesterday, and the splitting midmorning headache that wants me to crawl into the icebox, right next to the leftovers.

Lazy is a such a negative word, although many of you who pop in for a view and note my repeated absences will brand me as such. Though, my selective participation, as I like to call it, helps me decipher where and when to partake in many dispensable, indispensable, semidispensable activities. Such as brushing my hair, feeding people/myself/lone animal living under common roof, shooing away the variety of wildlife that have made my backyard their home/(surprise!) bathroom and, of course, updating an inspirational cooking journal. You may disagree on the last part, though I sincerely hope not. 

Still, as much as I am in the dregs of Exhausting Inferno, I want to share with you at least one of the menu items that rotate regularly in 16 ounce tumblers on my table, mainly because there is often produce overflow of main ingredient, this time of year, but more the fact it keeps sanity intact. These would be for days( too many to count) of climatic lethargy, when the brain is too fried to even consider daily nourishment, much less how to keep afloat when surroundings, situations, lack of dessert ideas clearly try to drown my very soul. So, when I reach for the 4 pound bag of lemons in the produce bin, know that I am on a mission, to hydrate my people and restore personal wellbeing. We all have a calling. Right?

A batch of lemonade is sustenance I believe, especially when you live in a furnace most of the year and have made so much that you devise clever ways for it to become an essential(ahem)dietary requirement to the two underlings you house. That's when your tall glass of liquid citrus will contain either one or several of the following options: bites of peach, mango, blueberry, strawberries, multiberries and the accompaniment to my now famous pudina sandwiches...options which have your drink look as appealing as magic markers.

The idea for rhubarb (yes rhubarb!!) saturated lemonade comes from this FOOD52 article. The gorgeously shiny vegetable has the unique distinction of being declared fruit as well and lends a surprising dimension to what might have been mere meh refreshment. There is a rustic quality about rhubarb, the ridges which line it's pearly stalks, the purity in it's tartness. Pieces cooked and blended into freshly crushed lemons make it fashionably coral and brilliantly addictive; a sip as bright and clean as the first morning sun. And poetry in a glass.

Finally, if you desire a less homogeneous look, layer the strained(pink) rhubarb mix on top of the strained lemon(yellow) one, when serving. It just might be that level of cool that boosts your status to Master of Amplified Drinkmaking.
And when life gives you lemons, it's ok to dream big.

(Inspiration: FOOD52's sparkling rhubarb lemonade)
  • 2 long-ish stalks rhubarb, cut into half inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 6- 8 lemons, quartered, preferably remove piths and any visible seeds
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 ½- 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ice
  • ¾ cup sugar(more if needed)
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • Put the rhubarb in 1 cup water(enough to just cover pieces) and bring to a boil. Simmer until pieces break down and become soft and cooked. Cool.
  • In a blender put the quartered lemons, lime (peel and all) with the cooled rhubarb mixture and half cup water. Blend on a low setting for just under a minute, allowing blades to crush the citrus. Do not blend longer, blades will grind any remaining seeds, and mixture will become bitter.
  • Strain this into another container/ large pitcher, clear of any sediment. 
  • Clean out blender jar and pour the strained juice mixture along with remaining water, sugar, ice and one sprig mint. 
  • Blend until sugar dissolves. Add more water/sugar/ice if needed.
  • Pour into glasses.
  • Garnish with additional mint.
I never remove pith or seeds of the citrus. Just have blades whir a few times, on low setting and strain the liquid before I blend with the remaining ingredients. 

Tongue cooler.  It looks good and sits well with a spice rubbed porkrib dinner. 
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. 
-Psalm 32:7(KJB)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Star spangled meringues

As the mercury climbs to record breaking highs, never to pale its reputation in bringing about the hottest month of summer in the desert Southwest, we usher in America's 241st birthday, maybe viewing fireworks, most probably eating sticky ribs and very definitely sipping rhubarb lemonade (for which you need to remind me to give you the recipe). This could be the reason for the rush publish, pushing my red, white and blue 🇱🇷handiwork out the door right now, this moment, after I type in, at least, twenty more words. Perhaps, though, a truer reality might be that I was craving meringues, at the same time wanting also to show off the 4 dozen I theme painted (over two of these batches) in less than  half a day.
But then, you must never wait for an occasion to beckon your inner child. Find ways to festive up, no matter how circumstances steer your life. Or how cumbersome your load gets. There will always be the cookie/task/moment that shoos the mundane and dark away and hails in the bright morning star.
 Swirling some star spangled pretty.
Consider this something to wow the guests you will invite, and color appropriate to accommodate any time/season/circumstance. It could also be pretext in which you get called over to your neighbor's backyard barbecue come following year.
Or...maybe do like I do, when those insatiable cravings come rushing in like thunder and you need just that bit of color to brighten up any horizon; revel in the work of your hands and have the two favorite family members share in on the magic.

Have a fun, safe and memorable 4th of July, my friends.

Meringue cookies recipe and directions

How to do the red and blue stripes~ Food network 
The joy of the Lord is my strength♥️
"Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Monday, June 5, 2017

Coconut ice cream

Prior to demonstrating the easiest ice cream in the world just that once, I forever thought it  impossible, to desecrate create that level of fantastic which, for sure, my favorite carton brands were capable of and also allowed to profit upon.

My very first time was  in 2012, where my fear left me and bechanced on the multifaceted, wondrous properties of condensed milk. Of course, the grave disservice I've done, after all my freezer experiments, and the multitude of flavors my tummy could direct,  was that not one got wedged into BFMK archives ever. I am truly sorry.

But, then, it's time. For the light to shine again, of the glory a 6 ingredient blueprint can bring to, perhaps, life, and positively your dessert bowls tonight.

It's ice cream, without an ice cream maker. All you have are the two hands your gifted with, knife, maybe a mixer and for sure, that wee bit of motivation.

Creamed custard purists may argue that it may not be the most honorable way of doing ice cream . But do you really need a mandate to construct your own frozen joy?

The thoughts that might be running through your head at this very moment might/ may not be limited to those similar to mine when I first embarked on my own ice cream making journey:

~This may not be good.

~It may be the hardest thing ever.

~How would frozen condensed milk taste?

To point one, I'll ask (this would be rhetorical)... Do you think I would polish so indepth on such a subject, that too for the second time, if it was not that. utterly. excellent(?).

Second point beckons me to have you consider most of us have the diligence and motor skills of a 3 year old. Don't we? So, it's doable. 

Three. Not like condensed milk. Who? How? Really? 

As we get to task, you can see my ingredients are directly derived from the area of map I spring from. Tender coconut, the fruit which absolutely needs to become a Thing and not just be touted as post workout replenisher. The world needs to see the potential of young coconut flesh and how gratifyingly delicious it's diaphanous strips are.

Not to worry, if this doesn't elicit the response that may stop you in your tracks, it will definitely have you think, sort of rebuild your own magic churn. You may want to drop in that cocoa, and freshen the scene with leaves of mint. Swirl in some homemade caramel sauce, sprinkled with cashews. With the coconut and/or without. The potentials are as endless and wild as your cravings set out to be. Provided the dynamic duo of whipped cream and condensed milk remain constant. Combined, they replace machine labor and have you effortlessly become manufacturer of your own lush.

This may not be the recipe that will break the internet. But it is one that might break the late night  monotonous treat-out-of-the-box routine. The next time you climb into the freezer you may just scream. For your own ice cream.
A sort of semifreddo-ish build makes it perfect to scoop into bowls.
Nirvana captured by the lens.
Whether you climb the tree and husk one yourself or find tantamount goodness on specialty grocery shelves, the choice is yours. 

  • 1 ½ cups chopped tender(young) coconut flesh( from about 3 coconuts(approximately 1 ½ 12 oz can)
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Place 1 cup tender coconut and coconut water in blender jar and blend until smooth.
  • Roughly chop remaining ½ cup coconut. Keep aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, with whisk attachment, beat cream, adding in sugar at intervals, until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  • Mix blended coconut mixture, coconut milk, condensed milk and chopped coconut together. Gently fold into whipped cream, with rubber spatula until soft and silky. Be careful not to deflate the mixture. A few lumps here and there are fine.
  • Using a rubber spatula, softly scrape the mixture into a freezer bowl that can hold 6-7 cups. Smooth top and press down a large piece of wax paper on top to prevent ice from forming.
  • Freeze for upto 6 hours.
  • When ready to serve, rest on counter for 2-5 minutes.
  • Scoop into bowls.
  • Refreeze with fresh plastic wrap pressed snug over top and secure with a lid.
  • Best if consumed within a week( which should, in no way, be a problem).
More ice cream ideas?
Mango kulfi

What happened in...
"This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." Jeremiah 33:2-3 (MSG)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Carrot cake

This needed to ferry out faster than I could type. 

That means, as much as I enjoy it, and am urgently believing you do too, we won't have our usual 
lengthy dialogue.

I know you're disappointed.
And that just was not a sigh of relief.

I'll confess I am not as diligent and methodical as I portray myself to be. And the slightly imbalanced to-do list of Easter things needed to be finished by tomorrow and those that actually are is terribly disproportioned as of this moment.

Which is why I'll close up script right now. 

But not before I send you some greetings.

And assign you this insanely moist carrot cake. Which looks more like a carnival, circus and garden show rolled into one.

Still.. it is rank, my friends.

Just like your Sunday should be.

Happy Easter!
He is risen❤️

(Cake recipe adapted from
For the cake~
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp powdered cloves
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pound grated peeled carrots (about 4-5 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs

For the frosting~
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
For the cake~
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 9" inch  round pans.
  • In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer or with hand mixer whisk oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add sugar and beat well. 
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the dry ingredient mixture until just combined.
  • Divide the batter between prepared pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F  and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cakes are done and toothpick inserted in middles come out clean.
For the frosting~
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese with butter and beat in mixer on medium-speed just until blended. 
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth between each addition.
  • Beat on high for about three minutes until soft and fluffy.
  • Spread on a thick layer on top of one cake. Place second cake over this and cover sides and top of second with remaining frosting. 

** I've updated with some new pictures. Got to show you how good it really is. Right?
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Romans 8:11

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mixed berry coconut chia smoothie

I have a friend who uses exactly half a tub of vanilla ice cream to make blended drinks. Servings can be anywhere between 1 to 3. If that possibly weren't enough to call in the fat police, she anoints it with a good pouring of sugar, half canister to be precise. Fruit is optional, though, as a prerequisite to slotting it fruity, we've seen the few strawberries that wheedle their way through. Needless to say, this is the best drink I've ever tasted and probably ever will in my entire life. She calls it a smoothie, which by any beverages and drinks mandate, it is not.

Did that deter us from replicating and consuming copious amounts in titan mugs on summer days where water just wouldn't, couldn't do the trick? Though I, in those rare halo moments, and without fail, would always throw in cups of frozen fruit, for the sake of my conscience. And posterity. 

It didn't help that all the love I was running in the blender was wreaking havoc on my get-fit-wellness regime, namely, afternoon treadmill trolls, while watching queued episodes of Netflix flicks, having me a bit more "prosperous' than I'd like. To make matters worse, when heat demands shorts and tshirts, I'd be dressed for the Artic, creatively covering up, newly-formed folds, flab and handles. The painful outcome of coma-esque drink pureeing showed, forced an end to my addictive spiralling towards darkness. I really had to find a less sinful way to contentment  smoothie making.  

Point also to note, the liquid food column here had been in serious need of an update. I mean, on better days I probably would've journaled all the stuff I throw in my Ninja jar. Though it might surely fail to leave you in a state of overawe, unlike the one time my spirit fruit blended into a milkshake, or even when I colored lemonade coral.

When agave nectar tries to recreate what barrels of sugar has done, it's a miracle of sorts.  Certainly so when it affirms much more than the prior could possibly achieve. You see, agave nectar is pure sugar. It tastes good. Yet, it has a low glycemic index. Which in layman terms means it's really good for you.  None of the thigh expanding drama that would otherwise happen if you had made smoothies like my gluttonous, nutritionally unbalanced self always did, and probably still desires to do.

This fuchsia frosty is as pure, precise, and prettier than anything you would see in a glass.  The speck/ snip of fresh/ frozen berries, bites of chia,  and whiffs of coconut transport you to island beach fronts and holiday settings that you've been to or are much needing to go on.

I could see this happening in your kitchen right now. With some necessary provisions and a little determination you could too. So, then...what are you waiting for?
The past weeks have been seeing this as part of my afternoon pick-me-up-off-the-floor plan of action. A 12 ounce mug gives sensational pep to my afternoon runs, having me (truly) believe I may be several years younger than the past birthday went out to try and prove.
Do you see the halo? Having several antioxidant and digestive benefits, ingredients become almost ethereal.
Do both. Fresh and frozen fruits create unbelievable texture and an unbeatable pure flavor.
Beauty in the bits. Snippets of fruit are welcome surprises while sipping the Smooth.
Why chia? Just that it gives texture and tons of nutrition. Is there any more to say?

  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½cup fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into halves
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (fat free if desired)
  • 2-3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut slices or chips slices for garnish (optional)
  • Stir chia seeds into milk and keep aside for a couple of minutes.
  • Blend ingredients, from coconut milk to nectar with the chia mixture until smooth, or desired consistency.
  • Top with coconut slices.

For smoothies, I use the unsweetened carton coconut milk, found in the refrigerated dairy section. The canned milk can be an option, but will have a stronger coconut-y flavor.

A smoother smoothie? No worries. Blend longer until silky, and totally free of fruit grit. Strain if desired

Serve immediately or store refrigerated for up to 1-2 hours.

This makes 4 cups, or 3 generous servings. Need more? Double ingredients.

Coconut slices come frozen at Asian specialty groceries or you can buy the dried unsweetened coconut chips. 

2013~ Palappam 
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, March 23, 2017

No knead jalapeno cheese bread

Mystery stories and baking are my perfect comrades on afternoons that don't demand hustling to get dinner on the table at 7, which anyways, always ends up 9. It's especially of benefit, when the author of this new series, you've just begun(which your boss so graciously lent you;-) creates settings for the deepest darkest murders in cozy bistros amidst platters of warm croissants, and stars a chief Inspector who "stands in the light because he knows where the darkness is." Hmm, even my novel reading has started preaching to me.

In all the engrossing twists and turns of your new read, you feel the call. To create and to eat. Because you are truly, maybe always, very hungry. Is this a general phenomenon or am I just specially inclined that way? Please. Let's not answer that.

It's then you also come to the rather appalling fact that you haven't made an appearance over here in almost a month. I digress. And have no real explanation. Though I promise, I may demostrate today something which might dazzle the socks off you, or maybe your loaf pan. So keep the socks on and stay for the rest of the show. Please.

I didn't have to do much trolling for this. It appeared on my Facebook feed, as a gift, like answered prayer, which is, in fact how God talks a lot to me these days. It works. At least you'll see that in the remaining part our discussion. 

A block of sharp cheese is the only item I needed to make a grocery run for. Any and all remaining components are pantry essentials, plus the two or three can't-live-withouts permanently occupying space in my overflowing Indian cupboard. Thus, without much ado, I brought cheddar bread to light.

When I say a mere 9x 5 loaf vaunts a delirious amount of rich flavor, in no way is it exaggeration. There are a number of reasons the bread is as desirable as it is. First, let's get out of the way the truth that there is nothing mounds of cheese can't and will not make right. Two, with those gleaming  golden shreds, a few red jalapenos go a tremendously long way, amping up on the fierce, thereby adding more finetuned dimension. Third, the synthesis of onion, garlic work in unison with the touch of chaat masala, yielding to a final production so vibrant that has your kids and those you may or may not decide to share with begging for a soon second show. 

I tweaked the original cheddar bread to have it salute, somewhat strongly to my tastebuds.You too, should sync any breadmaking fantasy you may be occupying this very minute and bring it to fruition right now, right here. Like those glutenesque visions of  parsley, sage and cubed swiss?  Slices tucked with powdered chicken bullion and parmesan? Flavored and on fire with quatro Mexican cheese and rings of habanero? It's the dive in and experiment sort of instruction, where many things which spin your mind, belly and very orbit delivers an end that's undeniably good.

There are a lot of things this yeast bread recipe boasts. A fluffy, dense interior, carrying enough air pockets that make it springy to the touch. A credible hardy crust conveying an impressive sandwich bread reminiscence, and compels you to have even those end wedges that nobody wants. Moreover, there is practically no need to knead( like the play?). Why, all this wonderbread truly needs is a cape.

It's a recipe for those days where you desire a little bearing, the oomph/ push required to steer you right, and a dueness to a clear sense of accomplishment. It could very well solve many of the world's problems. Or maybe just yours.

Finally, I'll wrap up this brief baking class, and often, to your chagrin, my soul broodings. It's worth it. So go on, it's yours now. The basic no knead that might be a fundamental part of your life. That should in itself be much bread for thought. 

Do we hear angels sing?

A cupful of sharp cheddar is more than enough to give the loaf the punch it needs without having it taste like Cheetoes. Which probably wouldn't be a bad thing either.
It's the strawberry jam  that did it. Smeared on thickish pieces of bread, you have no way escape. It made me take down 3/4 of my first loaf. Of course, I made a second batch, coz you have to feed the children;-)

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour's no knead cheese bread)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion, fried to a light brown
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic, lightly browned
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • 2 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 red jalapeno, sliced into thin rounds(seed if needed)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup milk(at room temperature)


  • Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix with hand or on lowest setting of mixer, whisk together onion, garlic, flour, chaat masala, yeast, jalapeno and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk cheese, eggs and milk until blended. Add this to the dry ingredients.
  • Beat for a final 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Scoop batter (it will be thick) into prepared pan. Cover and allow to rise for approximately 1 1/2 hours- 2 hours.
  • Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and serve warm
  • The bread top browns quickly, so tent with foil about 20 minutes into baking.
  • And for those of you asking," What is chaat masala and where have we seen it before?". Click on the colored type and find out. Still wondering? It's what you've been missing all your life, seasoning that brings to life just about anything it comes into contact with. I urge you. Buy!

More breads~

Last year~

"As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him."

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Spinach rotis/chapatis(Indian flatbread)

Seriously, I ponder about way too many offbeat things. A range of thoughts that can take me hours to recover from, sometimes never wanting to leave. Things that might have you wonder, as it does me, could it just be the results of my overwhelmed/ overworked mind(?) or maybe it's supposed to be that way. I fear on confessing this utterly random headstuff, you may not want to be friends with me again.
And that should never ever happen. Right?

With that said, I'll also mention most of these intentional broodings revolve around food. 

Perhaps now is when I should stop. 

You know, finding recipes and making things that interest my palate are not too difficult a task. The only condition that could have me not sharing would be an interest threshold unmatching yours. Like that bar of chocolate I melted yesterday and poured over my bread, with at least 6 slivers of banana (awesome!) fascinated me no end. I can see how it wouldn't appeal to the general recipe-seeking public.  It's then I believe I should always cede to your likes and demands, though sure can say the three part snack I just gave you is stupendous.

I have them, those peculiarly creative moods, where constant gray days demand bouts of chromatic pop. You've seen how I like to paint my food. It's a nostalgia that stems from grade school, the smell of crayons and playdo that I ate drew with, sentimenting that just doesn't leave you no matter how old you are.

Not that we're using crayons on food. This is where the strange cogitative mindstate I mentioned above shows me I need to color my rice, my dessertsmaybe, even my life.  Really, who wouldn't want to see a rainbow on their plate?

These here are chapatis. Chapatis (chup-aah-thees). What are they? Well, let me educate you, friend, real quick, if you've never encountered Indian food and the thing most normally seen as bread for the entire subcontinent. In loftier parts of the country they're known as rotis and can sometimes be what entire households fixate their meals on. They are made of a fine milled wheat flour, not similar to the horsefeed, some wholewheat often tastes and looks like. Mixed with liquid and kneaded to a soft dough, rotis/chapatis are rolled flat and cooked on a griddle with marginal(in my case plentiful) fat, sometimes not.

Chapatis compensate for the rice/ potatoes, even chewy bread that fill out the richer Western meal.  In actuality, rather than being a mere side, a stack of rotis are main spread on curry splashed plates. They provide a carb source much more nutrient dense than you really want to believe, which could be reason for the thousands of tons of wheat consumed in the world's second most crowded country. That, people, is something to laud. And perhaps model ourselves.

So are chapatis green? No. They are usually the color of wheat. But this is my recipe and if I wish to make them look like superhero skin on fleek, so be it.

They say we eat with our eyes. I did not know, because up until publishing recipes and clicking decently aesthetic pictures of the same, I really did believe my mouth did all the work. Honestly, I like it that way.

However, I do understand that a visually appealing plate of food would make someone with no appetite turn into a wolf... from experience ...hmm(?) Maybe.

The almost neon color is a result of a generous blender yielding me a bountiful supply of leaf-hue pulp to make it so. Fortified with as much as two cups spinach(I use the 16 oz frozen pack) just enough cilantro and a single green chili pepper atta-flour becomes an official foliage-like dough. A task that's actually an easy feat and way better than any smoothie bowl you decided to try this week. Who likes those anyway? 

So-called righteous roti pundits may claim I ruined a beloved staple. That simply cannot be true.  There are several frozen varieties filled and flavored with everything from cheese to pineapple.  Can't you see then I'm only contributing to the innumerable stunning ways to roll roti ?

These have been made in my kitchen quite a lot, with varying levels of leaf dye that sometimes make shades of green slightly unpredictable, but never short of utterly delicious. 

Finally, the below meal can be an archetype of what you place on your tables tonight. A pairing so astounding that it finds place on your weekly supper rotations and may never ever decide leave.

It is terribly hard to mess this up. And if you do, you can blame the two machines, a rolling pin and possibly the skillet for any wrong that could be. Since they do most of the work, I mean.

  • 1 ½ cups chopped frozen spinach, lightly thawed
  • 4-5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper ( Indian green chili), chopped 
  • salt
  • water, if needed
  • 1 ½ cups finely ground wholewheat flour(Indian atta flour), plus more to knead
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or any cooking oil
  • salt
  • water
  • In a blender or mixer, process spinach, cilantro, pepper, salt to a smooth puree.
  • Add in only enough water for it to reach a thickish liquid consistency.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using knead attachment or bowl of food processor, add green puree and upto 1 cup wheat flour, oil salt. Knead in machine till smooth dough turns out, sifting in additional flour, pouring in sufficient water for mixture to be elastic and pliable.
  • Take dough out on work surface and knead gently a few more times. At this stage it should be smooth and shiny. Cover with a damp clean kitchen towel 10-15 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 1- 2" balls. Roll out one and leave the rest covered.
  • Have a flat top pan or griddle heated to medium on stove. Place rolled out round onto skillet.
  • Heat on both sides, brushing with additional oil if needed(or butter:-) till cooked / burnished with brown spots on both sides.
  • Repeat with remaining balls.
  • These rotis/ chapatis make for an awesome meal with a magnificent accompaniment, such as this or this, this or this.. However, seved with nothing but a few smears of butter alone is also ridiculously epic.
Alternatively, if you need that arm muscle workout, something I definitely qualify for, yet have no desire to  fulfill, by all means use your hands to knead, pull and roll.

The story of Joseph in the OT(Genesis 37-50)❤️God had a divine purpose for Joseph and throughout the oft saddening events of his life, Joseph always kept his eyes on God. And in the end, we come to understand that intended evil can definitely become eventual good, in, by and through His sovereign hands.