Monday, July 18, 2016

Honey Oats Bread

Baking bread at home is indeed a very satisfying thing to do.Especially now that researches show so many preservatives and additives added to breads to make them softer and last long.We never used to care for all this before but now that we have a toddler at home who demands whatever food we eat to be fed to him as well,I am a little cautious as to what makes its way to the dining table.
Though I have to admit,I do not bake breads that often.Making chapathi/parathas from scratch is something which comes so easily to me but making bread somehow seems like a daunting task.I am trying to overcome that mind block so you may see quite a few bread recipes popping up here soon.
I always add a handful of oats to my chapathi dough,so when I saw this recipe of Honey Oats Bread,it immediately caught my attention.The bread is quite easy to make with no fancy ingredients,just the regular stuff you'd have in your kitchen.I loved the texture of the bread,soft with a slight sweet taste and perfect to eat as is or toasted.
Honey Oats Bread was baked as part of Bake-Along.Though I baked it long back,it appears on the blog only now,well better late than never :)

Honey Oats Bread
Recipe Source - Bakingdom


All-purpose flour – 3 cups
Oats – 3/4 cup
Milk powder – 2 tablespoons
Instant Yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoon
Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1/4 cup
Unsalted butter – 2 tablespoons
Honey – 1/4 cup
Honey – 2 tablespoons, warmed
Oats -2 tablespoons


Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up a 9 inch by 12 inch  loaf pan with butter paper with extra paper hanging out of the pan.
Add all-purpose flour, oats, instant yeast, salt and milk powder in the bowl of your electric beater. Beat the dry ingredients in slow speed to mix them all together.
Add milk, water, butter and honey in a saucepan and heat up until it reaches lukewarm. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
Check for the temperature of the liquid mixture. Touch the liquid mixture and wait for 5 seconds. If the 5th second is the maximum heat you can bear, then it’s the right temperature. If it’s too hot and unbearable, then the liquid will kill your yeast. If it’s easy to bear, then it wont activate your yeast. So keep a check on the right temperature.
Pour the liquid mixture gently as you keep beating the dry ingredients. If using hands to knead, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the liquid mixture and start to knead.
Beat on medium speed until the wet and dry ingredients are combined and the dough starts to come together.
Continue to beat on medium high speed for about 10  minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough is shiny.
Transfer the dough in a bowl coated with oil. Turn the dough once to coat oil all over the dough.
Cover with a damp cloth and leave it aside for 1 hour until double in volume.
Punch or knock down the dough to release all the air. Transfer dough onto your working counter or a mat.
Roll it gently into a rectangle. If sticky dust the counter with all-purpose flour.
Roll it into a log shape.
Gently transfer the log shaped dough into the loaf pan and cover with damp cloth and set it aside for 20 minutes until double in volume.
Use a pastry brush and apply the warm honey on top.
Sprinkle oats on top. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree c for 25 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden brown and you knock down the bottom of the loaf pan you hear it hollow.
Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Pull the butter paper that’s hanging out. Peel off butter paper and let it come down to complete room temperature.
Slice and keep in airtight container. It is ready to be served.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar | Pressure Cooker Sambar Recipe

I don't exactly remember when was the first time I had my first taste of Ratna-cafe Sambar,I just remember we heading there every weekend for our dose of Sambar-Idli and dosas.Mostly for the Sambar.It was different from the usual ones.Maybe the masala they used or maybe their secret recipe,it just was irresistible.For eating two idlis,we required at least one big container of Sambar and the best part is,they kept serving it with a smile on their faces!

So when I came across this recipe for Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar,I just couldn't let it go from my mind.I decided to try it and see if it matches the taste,especially because the recipe was supposedly handed down from someone who worked at the Cafe.

I think the result is almost 90% close to the original one.If my memory(or maybe taste buds?)serve me right,the Sambar had a distinct flavor of coriander,so next time I'd increase the amount of coriander used.Other than that,it is a wonderful recipe.Moreover,it is made in a pressure cooker.You just need to get a few things ready and the final cooking is done in a PC.

Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar Recipe
Recipe Source - Kannamma Cooks


For the Sambar Masala

Ghee - 1 tsp
Dried Red chillies - 4
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp {I'd increase it to 2 tsp next time}
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1/2 of a medium sized,chopped
Tomato - 1,chopped
Green chilly - 1,chopped
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup

For cooking dal 

Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Water - 2 cups


Tomato -2,chopped
Drumstick - 1,chopped to 1' pieces
Pumpkin - 1/2 cup,chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Water - 1/2 cup

For the Tadka

Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp


Pressure cook dal till soft and mushy.Keep aside.
Prepare the sambar masala base - 
In a kadai add ghee and add in the red chilly,coriander,fenugreek and urad dal.Roast till the dal turns golden brown in colour.Mix in the grated coconut and roast till golden.Remove to a plate and let it cool down completely.
Into a mixer jar,add the roasted ingredients along with tomato,onion,green chilly,asafoetida,turmeric powder,chilly powder,jaggery salt and water and grind to a smooth paste.
Take a pressure cooker{I used a 2ltr SS cooker}and add the tomato,curry leaves and water.Add in the vegetables,cooked dal and on top of it add the ground masala.
Do not mix at this stage.
Close the cooker with the lid and cook for 2 whistles on high heat.Let the pressure release normally.Open and mix gently.
In a tadka pan,add ghee and splutter mustard seeds and jeera.Add the tadka to the cooked sambar.
To serve - Into a small bowl,place idli and top it with sambar and a tsp of ghee.We like something crunchy with this so I added a tsp of Mixture/Chivda.

This Sambar thickens as it cools down,so feel free to add warm water as required to loosen it to the consistency you like.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Aloo Capsicum Sabzi | Dry Sabzi for Roti

Roti-Dal-Sabzi can make me a very happy person.I hear my friends complain all the time about the trouble of kneading the dough,rolling the chapathi and cooking it on the tawa in this blistering Chennai heat,but me,anything is bearable when you are rewarded with warm,soft chapathis,even better when paired with delicious side dishes like these.

When I was pregnant and perennially hungry,I used to make chapathi in bulk and store in the fridge.Whenever hunger pang struck me,I heated up one chapathi,added any sabzi cooked that day on top,rolled and relished.My amma says that's the reason why Arjun loves chapathi :)

Aloo-Capsicum sabzi is a very simple one you can whip up in a jiffy.It is inspired by my friend's cook who made this while we were at her place for dinner one night,along with some Jeera rice and Paneer Makhni.
Aloo-Capsicum Sabzi


Potato - 2 medium,thinly sliced
Capsicum - 1 medium,sliced
Oil - 1 tbsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 medium,finely chopped
Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp,finely chopped


In a kadai heat oil and splutter jeera.Add onions and saute till it softens lightly.
Add the masala powders and give a quick mix,take care the flame is on low so that the spices do not burn.
Mix in the potato and capsicum,add salt to taste.Mix well so that the spices and salt coat the vegetables well.
Cover and cook on medium heat till the vegetables are cooked.No need to add any water.
Once the vegetables are cooked,open the lid and keep the flame on high so that the vegetables crisp up a bit.Mix in coriander leaves and switch off flame.

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