Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Archive for the ‘Specialty’ Category

Coconut filled rice crepes, a Bengali delicacy

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Pati Shaptar Pithe/Pitha or coconut filled rice crepes. Pati means a mat, and shapta means simple in Bengali.

Grate raw coconut (or get frozen unsweetened grated coconut and thaw), about two cups, add sugar to taste and stir fry until golden brown. If you wish, you can add a tablespoon of raisins and a tablespoon of toasted and chopped cashew nuts or slivered almonds.

Pitha comes in various shapes. These are the simplest. To prepare the crepe batter, to a cup of rice flour, add a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of sugar. Add milk, 2% or full fat preferably, until the batter consistency is like crepe. Heat up a non-stick pan. If needed, you can wipe it down with a buttered cloth/brush. Follow cooking temperature regimen for a crepe.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter and roll it around on the hot pan to form a thin crepe.

As the crepe cooks, it starts to lift off the edges.

Add two tablespoons of filling. Optionally, form the filling in the palm of your hand in shape of a small spheroid.

Roll in form of a fat cigar.

Keep aside while you prepare the rest. These can be eaten warm or at room temperature. To take them to the next level (i.e. not simple), you can bake them in condensed milk as well but they do become heavy. Drizzling some condensed milk on top while not traditional can be an excellent substitute.

During this trip to India, I am seeing some new sweets in Bengal including baked rasogolla (boiled cheese balls dunked in sugar syrup) , Kolkata’s famous sweet and chana pora (literal translation for roasted cheese), a dish very similar to cheese cake.

Written by Som

November 21, 2014 at 6:16 am

Peethi ki Poori, lentil stuffed fried Indian bread

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Peethi ki poori served with potato curry

No pain, no gain. This is one of the more complex of Indian breakfasts that is better left to special occasions.

Peethi: Soak 1 cup dry Urad lentil, whole or broken with no husk, overnight, grind in a food processor so it is not a complete paste with no additional water. Add 2 green chilis, 1 tsp salt, roasted and crushed black peppercorn. In a heavy pan, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Add a pinch of asafoetida and 1 tsp cumin seeds. Cook for 30-45 seconds until fragrant and add the processed lentil. Cook until the mass becomes sticky dough like. Let cool. This can be made upto a couple days in advance.

Potato curry: Peel and chop one large Idaho potato, in 1.5 inch cubes. In 1/4 cup water, add 1 tsp turmeric powder, 2 Tbsp sour yogurt and 2 Tbsp of tomato paste and make into a smooth paste. In a pressure cooker, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add 2 whole red peppers, 1 tsp dry urad daal, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds until they splutter and add the tomato-turmeric paste. Stir until fried and add the potato pieces. Stir to coat, add 1 tsp salt and add 2 cups of water. Pressure cook at medium for 5 minutes after the pressure builds up. Switch off and wait for pressure to subside. You can keep like this this for upto two days. When ready to eat, warm up, crush some of the potatoes with the back of your spoon, adjust for salt and add 2 Tbsp of chopped coriander leaves.

Poori dough: Take 2 cups of whole wheat flour, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp salt and necessary water to make into smooth dough. Let rest until ready to use. Heat oil for deep frying and maintain temperature while you roll out the poori’s.

Now get ready to put together the meal.
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Written by Som

July 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Makke ki Roti – the way mom makes it

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You have surely heard stories of chefs stirring sauces with their hands. My story involves my mother-in-law shaping old-fashioned corn rotis on the hot griddle with her hands. I am presenting a story here and not a recipe. I can’t follow this recipe and I won’t recommend you try.

She estimates amount of corn flour she will need based on how hungry the family is. Adds appropriate amount of grated radish, chopped radish leaves, salt, dry mango powder, hot paprika and water. Kneads to form a pliable dough.

She puts the griddle to heat on medium-high, and keeps following things handy - a bowl of water convenient to dip her fingers in, a tablespoon and a cup of vegetable oil. She shapes tennis ball sized dough in her hands and flattens each into a fat roti with her palms.

She oils the pan lightly, places the roti on the hot griddle, dips her hand in cold water and flattens the fat roti into a thinner one. Then she ladles oil along the edges so the oil slides underneath and cooks the underside of the roti.

These rotis take a few minutes per side to cook. She flips only when the underside is done and repeats the oil treatment. The flipping is done gently as the corn rotis break relatively easily due to lack of gluten.

Voila! They are ready to serve. The rotis are crisp on the outside, melt-y polenta-like inside. Traditionally served with mustard greens that has been cooked for hours into a buttery smooth piquant sauce.

Written by Som

December 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

Pimientos de Padrón with a touch of sesame oil and flower peppers

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Padrón peppers tossed with smoked salt and sichuan peppers

These Spanish peppers have caught on in San Francisco Bay Area. Last few years they were expensive and scarce at the farmer’s market, a small basket for $5. This year, our neighborhood Asian market has a large bag of these for $5. Last year, I fried these peppers in oil until blistery. This year, I got lazy and decided to push these under the broiler. Surprisingly enough, they came out at least as good as fried if not better.

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Written by Som

October 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Chocolate, some more?

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Askinosie Chocolate Hazelnut Spread ...

Balancing hazelnut and chocolate can be tricky. My better half has been wanting to take a crack at making a chocolate hazelnut spread. He eventually will, but for now, after some suitable procrastination, he surprised me with mail order from Askinosie, a chocolatier we have grown fond of over weekly doses of Scream sorbet. With chocolate as good as Askinosie, you don’t want the chocolate flavor overpowered, even with something as good as hazelnut. This spread is nearly perfect and since its arrival, has made its way on our home made biscotti, and crepes. A more recent guilty pleasure is with s’mores (marshmallows and graham crackers).

... with smores

I am mulling over the thought of crepes, chocolate hazelnut spread and marshmallows a la Breizh.

Written by Som

August 4, 2011 at 4:28 am

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