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Campfire bread of India – Bafla August 12, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Oven baked Breads and Rolls, slow cooker recipes, What we call it....
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23 comments

If you had asked me about grilling or barbecue a few years ago, I would have blinked. I had no clue about these cooking methods. Though we used to cook sweet corn and sweet potato on open fire, our cooking methods mostly included steaming, boiling or pressure cooking. I came to know about the concepts of grilling and barbecue, only after coming to US. I observed people cooking in open fire or charcoal grills in the common patio of our apartment complex. It was my first summer in US and I had no craze for hanging out in the sun. As I was from a country where the weather was always hot, hanging out in the sun sounded funny.

But, over the years I started to long for summer days because of Boston’s freezing winters. I felt like we were forced to be indoors for at least 3/4 days of a year and summer seemed to be the time we were freed. We enjoyed the summer along with our friends and potluck parties. During those parties, we all talk about arranging a barbecue. After shortlisting the likes and dislikes of the friends, the only thing that was left was sweet corn. Eventually, we would drop the idea as there was not much options for vegetarians. This lead me to look for recipes that are fun to make in a grill or open fire. Those recipes should meet the palates of our friends, should be filling and a meal by itself.

Bafla is one such recipe that yielded itself to these needs. It is a bread from Rajasthan region of India. These are soft and chewy and are delicious with a simple dhal or curry. These are non leavened breads, that is, no yeast or fermentation needed. But, I added some leftover sourdough starter from my weekly baking. The sourdough added nice sour flavor and made it more softer.

Ingredients:

For the bread:
2 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 Cup sourdough starter (optional)
4 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
water for kneading

For the Dhal:
2 Cups mung dhal
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp of Dabeli masala or other
2 1/2 Cups water
Cilantro and curry leaves for garnish
Juice of 1 lime

Method:

1. Mix the ingredients for the dough and knead it into a stiff dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
2. Shape into lime size balls and set aside.
3. Put all the ingredients for dhal in a large pot and bring to a boil.
4. When the water for the dhal starts boiling, drop the dough balls.
5. Cook until the dough floats to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. Cook the dhal until done and mash it. (I transfered it to a slow cooker and cooked for 3 hours in high)

Dhal to serve with bafla

Dhal to serve with bafla


7. Set the boiled dough in a grill and cook until the outside is browned a little bit.

Bafla in an indoor grill

Bafla in an indoor grill


8. Break bafla into pieces and set in a bowl. Pour dhal over it and serve hot

Bafla served

Bafla served

We can cook both the dhal and bafla in outdoor grill. This is my entry for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle event hosted by Sig with the theme “Grill it”. I am sending this to Susan’s yeast spotting event too.

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Multigrain Pancake balls – Aindharisi Paniyaaram July 7, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Breakfast, out of the griddle, What we call it....
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14 comments

Cooking with kids is an amazing experience. They are packed with three E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Exploration. They infect us with energy and enthusiasm. When we start exploring things with them, we will get to know lots of things that escaped our view earlier.

This weekend, me and my son were making pancakes balls as ever. We poured the batter in each depression of the Aebelskiver pan while my son kept counting each one of them. Suddenly he exclaimed pointing at the pan, “Look Mommy! it looks like your ear ring!”. It did look like a wonderful flower shaped ear ring. This answered a long time unanswered question “What is Paniyaaram?”

I have always wondered why they named the pancake balls as “Paniyaaram” in Tamil. My son’s observation led me to a nice explanation of the term. “Pani” in Tamil Means “Work”. “Aaram” denotes a kind of Jewelry. When it comes to cooking, If we take the “Work” as “Culinary Art” then “Paniyaaram” would mean “Jewel of culinary Art”! Those who tried to make paniyaaram will accept that its an art and needs some expertise.

This post is about one such paniyaaram, called “Aindharisi Paniyaaram”. Since it is made up of 5 different grains they named it so. “Aindhu” in Tamil means “Five”.

The urad dhal and Tapioca pearls give the recipe the spongy texture. The coconut and Moong dhal give the nutty flavor. I made both sweet and savory varieties out of the same batter. Both turned out great.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Long grain white rice
1/2 Cup Par boiled rice ( Look for this in Asian Groceries)
1/2 Cup Tapioca pearls ( Look for this in Asian Groceries)
1/2 Cup Urad dhal
1/2 Cup Moong dhal

(*** The flours of all the above ingredients are available in the Asian stores. So, we can combine equal amounts of the flours to desired consistency. Soaking and grinding the grains is more nutritious and give better tasting final product ***)

For sweet Version:

1 Cup Jaggery or Turbinado sugar
1/4 cup Freshly shredded coconut
2 tsp Cardamom powder
1/2 tsp Salt

For Savory Version:

1 Onion Chopped
2 Carrots Shredded
1 Green Bell pepper Shredded
1 Tbsp Cilantro Chopped
2 tsp Salt

Other ingredients:

Oil for shallow frying

Method:

1. If using whole grains, Soak them in water for 2 hours. Drain well and grind to a smooth paste using 1/2 cup water. To test the consistency of the batter, Coat the back of a spoon with the batter and draw a line in the middle, with the tip of a finger. The separated batter should remain as is and should not drip and cover the line.

Batter Testing

Batter Testing


2. If using flours, combine the flours together and mix with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water until the consistency is reached as mentioned in step 1.
3. For the sweet version, take the Jaggery in a medium sauce pan with 1/4 cup water and boil in medium heat until the jaggery is dissolved in the water. Mix in to the batter. Add the other ingredients for the sweet version and mix well.
4. For the savory version, mix the ingredients into the batter.

5. Heat the abelskiver pan and add 1/4 tsp oil in each depression.
6. When the oil is smoky hot, drop 2 tablespoons of batter in each depression.

Batter poured in Aebelskiver pan

Batter poured in Aebelskiver pan


7. When the sides turn golden brown, ease the sides with a metal skewer and push from one side of the pancake ball. This will make the pancake ball to turn. Turn all of them and cook the other side until golden brown.
8. Serve the sweet version with honey.

Sweet paniyaram

Sweet paniyaram


9. Serve the savory version with sour cream and your favorite chutney

Savory Paniyaram

Savory Paniyaram

I am sending the savory version to WBB #24 – Summer feast event hosted by Sia and AYE #4 event hosted by Phemomenon.