November 28, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Just the right season for baking and celebrating.  Latest addition to the baking list - Cinnamon roll!
I am not sure how the idea of baking a cinnamon roll crossed my mind, but I enjoyed every moment of this baking session. Seeing the dough rise to folding it over and over again, it was amazing. The roll looks complicated, however the baking process is not as complicated as the roll itself.

kitchenspells.blogspot.com

So here is another recipe to celebrate Christmas this year.

Ingredients

For the dough
  1. All purpose Flour - 2 cups + 3 tbsp
  2. Yeast - 3 tsp
  3. Water as required
  4. Salt - 1 pinch
  5. Sugar - 2 tbsp
For the filling
  1. Cinnamon powder - 1/8 cup
  2. Sugar - 1/4 cup
  3. Raisins - a handful
  4. Butter - 2-3 tbsp

Method

Soak the yeast and 2 tbsp sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water and keep it covered for half an hour till it turns frothy.

Take sifted flour into a big vessel, add salt to this and mix well. Tip it onto the kitchen slab and create a well in between and slowly pour in the yeast water. Now using your hands, fold in the dough. Slowly add water as required and bring in the remaining flour and keep mixing. Pour water as required till well combined. Knead the dough for ten minutes to make it airy. Keep it covered in a vessel using a cling film. Let it rest for half an hour and the dough slowly rises.

Punch in the dough and knead it again for another 10 minutes. Place it back in the vessel and keep it covered for another half an hour. 

Meanwhile bring together the cinnamon powder and sugar and set aside.

Take the dough and make 3 or 4 smaller balls. Flatten out the dough, sprinkle a little of the flour and roll into an approximate rectangle shape. Apply a little butter on the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture as needed on this. Spread raisins over. Carefully roll this tightly and seal the ends with a little water.

Cut into approximately 8 cm  length pieces and place it in a baking tray lined with butter paper.
Place the rolls with a little space in between to give space for it to rise. Cover and set it aside for half an hour before placing in the oven which has been pre- heated for 20 minutes at 220 degree. Let the roll bake at 180 degree for 45-50 minutes. 

Brush it lightly with butter for a glaze and let it cool. Cut into rolls and serve.

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You may also note - 
  • Sprinkle enough flour while rolling out the dough, lest it stick to the bottom.
  • You may choose to add other dry fruits.
  • Make sure you seal the end of the rolls well else the on baking it may open up.




November 22, 2015

Tavas - Cypriotic Lamb Stew

There is lot in common between Shibin and I.We love to travel and we love to try out new cuisines. The traditional gastronomy of the places enthuse us and we make sure we study it before we head out there. Our travel to Cyprus was no less. We came across an exciting array of cuisines primarily comprising of meat and potato.

If you go to Cyprus and you are not sure what to eat,head into a traditional Taverna and order the Meze. The Meze like the Kashmiri Wazwan consists of several small dishes starting with the salad and course by course servings of pita bread and Tahina, Pastitsio, Souvla, Sheftalia, Kleftiko, Aflia, Tavas and may be even grilled Halloumi cheese. If you are baffled by the number of dishes in Meze, you will be even more baffled by the huge portions they serve.

I definitely had to try out one of the dishes and I chose Tavas. The original recipe is from Mr.Xenios' wife-the owner of the cottage where we were staying. She had prepared this for us on our last night in Cyprus and it was simply adorable.

kitchenspells.blogspot.com


Tavas is more like a cypriotic version of the Indian curry with cumin seeds and pepper as the spices slow cooked in the oven.  The traditional preparation uses Oregano, however I have not used it here. To give it an Indian touch , I have added 1 tbsp of chilly powder.

Ingredients
  1. Lamb - 1 kg
  2. Baby Potato - 1 kg
  3. Tomato - 1/2 kg
  4. Onion - 2 big
  5. Parsley - 1 bunch
  6. Cumin seeds - 4 tsp
  7. Pepper powder - 4 tsp
  8. Herbs - 2 tsp(optional)
  9. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  10. Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
  11. Water - 1 cup
  12. Salt

Method

In a deep baking dish, bring together the lamb, potatoes and onions. All of these need to be chopped in big chunks. To this, add crushed cumin seeds, pepper powder, chilly powder, herbs and salt. Drizzle olive oil and toss it well.

Pour in 1 cup water into this (add more water if you need more gravy).Then, layer the dish with chopped parsley and  top it with tomatoes cut in rounds. Pre-heat the oven for 20 minutes and cover this cooked at 200 degrees for 2 hours .Uncover it after two hour, stir it and cover uncooked for another 1 hour at 180 degrees.

Once done, let it rest for a while covered. Then serve it with Pita bread/ Roti or bread.

Enjoy every bite as you dig into the succulent lamb and potatoes.

kitchenspells.blogspot.com



November 17, 2015

Marble Cake

It is the best time of the year again. I may be a little too early.  Nevertheless,the weather is too tempting and the carols playing are just so joyful that I cannot let it go unnoticed. That is how I came to bake today after a long day at work. The aroma from the hot oven is tickling palates around here.

Shibin ( that is my husband) and I love Christmas. Perhaps that is what drew us close - our love for Christmas. I remember how endlessly we could chat about Christmas and the holiday season earnestly before we were married. This is our second Christmas together and we vow to make this Christmas even more beautiful than our first one together. Carols to wake us up in the morning and Christmas movies that make our evenings! I would be doing a grave injustice, if I forget to mention CBN radio - an American radio station that plays carols round the year. That is what is playing right now, giving me the Christmas spirit. For those who love Christmas as much as I do, google up CBN radio soon and enjoy the season.

kitchenspells.blogspot.com

Marble Cake on my blog to kick start the Christmas celebrations. Probably one of the easiest cake recipes for all beginners. I got this recipe on our recent visit to Cyprus, from the Mr. Xenios' wife who was the owner of the Cottage where we stayed. 

So here it is - 

Ingredients
  1. Egg - 2 no.s
  2. Flour - 2 and 1/4 cup
  3. Oil - 1 cup
  4. Sugar - 1 cup
  5. Baking powder - 2 tsp
  6. Lime juice - 1/2 lime
  7. Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
  8. Milk - 3/4 cup
Method

Sift together the flour and baking powder.

Separate the egg whites and yolk. Whisk the egg whites till it is completely frothy.

In a bowl bring together the oil, sugar, egg yolk and 1/2 a cup of milk. Fold in together and slowly add in parts of the sifted flour combining it well.

Add the whisked egg white and lime juice. Fold the mixture together till they are combined. Avoid overdoing as you may end up with air bubbles.

In a separate bowl mix the cocoa powder in 1/4 cup of warm milk and dilute the powder. Add 5-6 tbsp of the cake batter to this and mix it well. This mixture gives the marble designs on the cake.

Grease a baking dish and layer the batter alternatively with the two batter. Add the white batter first and pour tablespoon full of chocolate batter randomly over. Keep repeating this until done.

Pre-heat the oven for about 20 minutes. Place the dish in the oven initially at high temperature of 220 degree and lower it to 160 after 10 minutes. The cake may need about 50 minutes to bake.

Once done, move this to a cooling rack. Slice and serve it.
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You may also note
  • Make sure to keep the consistency of both the batter the same, else both  may separate and may not bake at the same time.
  • The batter should be a little thick . Making it runny would result in both the batters mixing.


November 7, 2015

Coconut Barfee

That was a pretty huge break from blogging. After a wonderful trip to Cyprus - (details on a travellogue soon) and also a bout of sickness, I am back in the kitchen. Now that Diwali is right around the corner, why not a sweet dish?

Diwali is probably a festival that brings together the entire country. From lighting the lamps to bursting the crackers, everyone irrespective of age and religion join in. The energy can be felt in every lane in India and the hustle bustle in every household. The earliest memories of Diwali for me is the kids in our colony gathering for Diwali celebration at a neighbors house. We joyously lined the walls with candles and lit them, took part in the pooja, burst crackers and finally gobbled down really sumptuous food. This was a day, we the kids of Vidyanagar colony looked forward to. Crackers were not my favorite but I loved lighting the lamps and loved going on a drive to see the beautifully lit houses.

This is my first Diwali away from India and discussions in office are on what to do for Diwali? That is when I felt that this was the moment to try out some sweet dishes. Barfee is what came to my mind first. Coconut Barfee, I recall my mother making it often. No time wasted, I immediately asked for her recipe and here it is. The only change from her recipe is that I used rose water instead of water.

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Ingredients

  1. Coconut - 1 cup grated
  2. Sugar -3/4 cup
  3. Rose water - 1/4 cup
  4. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Ghee - 2 tbsp
  6. Cashewnuts
Method

Fry the cashew nut in ghee and keep aside.
In a pan, add water and sugar. Stir on low flame and add the grated coconut. When bubbles start forming on the edges add ghee, fried cashew nut and cardamom powder.Stir until the mixture starts separating from the pan.
Move this mixture to a greased pan. Set it using a spoon or fork and cut it into desired shape while still warm.Allow it to cool down and and serve making this Diwali special.

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