Monday, 29 April 2013

Long time, no blog!

Computer issues.  (Sounds like a good excuse, yes?)

Hoping for spring here ... we have a few sunny days and then snow ... like today (and I wore sandals to work - just call me stupid optimistic).  Funny, cuz we had a hummingbird visit our balcony yesterday!
Miss Boots on the balcony, anxiously watching for spring!
I treated myself to a tasty treat yesterday.  (That was lovely English grammer, weren't it?)  Salt and Pepper Bread from Northern India.  It was so delish, I thought I would share the recipe / method with y'all!
First, make a soft - but kneadable - dough with 2 cups flour and a cup or so of warm water.  Add a little less / more water as required.  You'll know when the dough is kneadable.  Cover and set aside.
 Make yourself a yummy Mango Lassi (equal amounts of mango fruit, yogurt and ice cubes blenderized to smooth ... see tall glass at right of picture below).  Maybe put on some bhangra music to set the mood.
Meanwhile, dry toast (I use a mini cast-iron frypan just for this purpose) a couple of teaspoons of cumin seeds.  When they are toasty and fragrant BUT NOT BURNED, set them aside to cool.  Then dry toast a couple of teaspoons of black peppercorns.  When they are toasty and fragrant BUT BEFORE THEY START POPPING, set them aside to cool.  Chop about 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (or regular curly parsley), and set aside.  Get the ghee out of the fridge OR melt some butter.

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.  You are going to roll out one at a time, so keep the rest covered as you go so they stay soft and pliable.

Roll piece of dough out to an approximately 6 inch circle.  Yes, that is a mini rolling pin ... perfect for rolling out flat breads, tortillas, dumplings, etc.

Smear a bit less than a teaspoon of ghee or melted butter over rolled out circle of dough.  Sprinkle with cumin seeds, peppercorns, coarse salt, and chopped parsley. (I suppose I could have "eyeballed" all these things into 8 equal little piles, but I didn't ... and I ran out of parsley by circle #8 ... OOPS!)

Roll up like a jelly roll.  (Yes, that is a BLUE thumb nail ... it's glittery too ... I had a creative "girly" moment ...)

Roll up your "jelly roll" in a coil, flatten with your hand, and roll out into about a 6 inch circle again.  This bit is fun!  The peppercorns and cumin seeds crunch as you roll, and your kitchen starts to smell fabulous!

Cook each completed bread on a hot griddle brushed with a TINY bit of oil (I oiled it at the start, then again half way through cooking the breads) ... about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on one side, then about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the other side.  DON'T OVERCOOK!

Keep cooked breads wrapped in a clean towel ... unless someone is eating them as fast as they come off the griddle!

Enjoy!  I like spicy, so I munched a few right off the griddle.  These are yummy with grilled meat or a nice cold salad.  I did chicken thighs and a tomato salad.

These were my "St Patrick's Day" socks ... let's hope I don't need to wear socks any more until next fall!  (grumble grumble ... I still see snowflakes falling out there ... )