Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Archive for June 2013

Baci di Dama cookies with homemade nutella

leave a comment »

Baci-di-dama cookies with homemade nutella

It sometimes feels as if David Lebovitz is an integral part of our kitchen curriculum. These Baci di Dama cookies are via him except we substituted almond flour for hazelnut flour. Whatever you do, don’t substitute the rice flour out. They imparted a nutty flavor that held up against the vast amounts of butter, chocolate and nuts in this cookie.

I wish we still had the batch of hazelnuts a good friend got us from Oregon. But those hazelnuts had participated in making of homemade nutella based on yet another of David’s recipes. Instead of chocolate, we used the nutella as filling.

Even without the filling, the cookies are amazing. With the filling, the cookies are superlative. If you are facing a weekend where your choice is between home improvement and making cookies, go for these please and  I promise you that you will gain an year of life.

Written by Som

June 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Ginger-y banana bread

leave a comment »

I think I am one of those who buy bananas hoping that no one would eat them so I could make banana bread later. My go to recipes for banana bread these days is David Lebovitz’s site. He seems to have a tropical appreciation for this particular fruit. This time, starting with David Lebovitz’s recipe, I made following modifications:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Ginger syrup instead of sugar from “the ginger people” brand
  • Guittard’s white chocolate chips
  • Crushed kernels of allspice instead of cinnamon

Needed to be baked for 60 minutes but the result is again a super moist banana bread with overtones of ginger and allspice. Next time, I have to try the upside down banana cake.

Written by Som

June 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Home made kale chips

leave a comment »

Clean and dry two cups of kale leaves, cut into large bite size pieces. Place in a bowl and add 1 tsp of olive oil. Use your hands to evenly coat all leaves. Sprinkle salt and ground flower pepper (sichuan pepper). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cook until dry in a 200F oven. A 350F oven will dry in 15 minutes or so. Higher temperature causes the leaves to brown but doesn’t seem to effect the taste. Crowding will cause uneven drying. In my oven, I have to turn the leaves every 10 minutes or so.

Enjoy! At least try. Imagine a marching band of kale superfood molecules going through your blood vessels and sucking up the cholesterol buildup in their wake. I like kale chips. Perhaps not as much as I like potato chips but when the local market is flooded with kale, it is hard to say no. And chips are better that sautéed greens, at least some of the times.

Written by Som

June 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

Posted in Californian, Cuisine

Tagged with

Nettles and eggs

with one comment

Following recipe serves two. Start with 2 packed cups of greens. In principle you can use a variety of greens including spinach or arugula but I chose nettles because that is what I had at hand. Wash and spin dry.

In your favorite omelet pan on which eggs don’t stick, add 1Tbsp butter and nettles. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Cook until barely wilted. Break open four eggs, gently.

In a separate saucepan, clarify 1Tbsp butter and fry a pinch of ground spices (seeds of one green cardamom, 4 whole black pepper kernels, 2 allspice kernels). Add this to the cooked eggs and serve.

Written by Som

June 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

Posted in Californian, Cuisine, Food, Lactose Free, Recipe

Tagged with

Redd, memories from an year ago

leave a comment »

Oysters with champagne mignonette. Oysters now always remind me of this disturbingly sexy scene in Tampopo where the gangster eats a raw Oyster off a young girl’s hand.

Steamed pork buns with crackly sweet barbecued pork. Aroma of five spices and pork fat, a complete antithesis to the previous dish.

Written by Som

June 22, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Californian, Cuisine

Tagged with , ,

Can you convert flour to chocolate?

leave a comment »

After resting in the fridge for a bit

A little crumbly to roll

Cooling on the rack …

These disappeared a little too quickly. I rolled some of these around in dried and roughly crushed orange powder.

Recently, my husband made these intensely chocolate-y sables from Smitten Kitchen recipe. He used the recipe as is and used Valrhona chocolate bars (75% dark). Result is a crumbly version of Valrhona, not significantly far from eating the chocolate bar by itself. Combine it with an espresso and you will be ready for anything the day throws your way.

Written by Som

June 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Bengali fish fry and Kentucky bourbon

leave a comment »

Batter fried small river fish

Kentucky bourbon in a Kolkata home

Fish fry continues to be part of Bengali “afternoon/low tea”. The type and style of fry depends really on the season and availability.  Bigger pieces are typically fried lightly coated in turmeric and salt and served with a dash of lime. Smaller fish are dunked in a a spicy wheat flour or besan (can be substituted with garbanzo bean flour) batter before frying.

My father’s generation can perhaps tell the taste and texture difference between 30-50 different varieties of fish. Most of these varieties have now disappeared from the local markets. Now when I visit Kolkata, there is at least a once a week story about the good old days when fish were plentiful in the rivers.

To be honest, I like the ritual more than anything else. Family gathers at the table waiting for freshly fried fish to be served. My mother’s kitchen is only a few feet from the dinner table so we eagerly watch her as she heats up the mustard oil and fries for a good few minutes until the outside is fried crisp but the flesh is flaky. The pungent aroma of mustard oil mixed with the fresh fish oils is perhaps the best pick me up even on a muggy summer day.

I have developed a fondness for Kentucky bourbon and I think it goes really well with family and fried fish. And my family agrees one hundred percent.

The fish disappears rapidly leaving behind folks licking fingers. A few fish bones on the plate and aroma of fish and bourbon is all that is left behind.

Written by Som

June 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Food, Snack

Tagged with ,