Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Posts Tagged ‘gluten free

Home made gluten free flour for Indian style breads

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Every time mother visits from India, I turn her skills to experimentation of some sort. Current ongoing one is on home made gluten free flours that are perfect for desi style rotis and parathas. I am frankly sick and tired of what you get off the shelf for gluten free flours, they are too starchy and too white.

Here are a few combinations that have worked i.e. they deliver healthy balance of proteins and fibers, result in decent binding and tastes good.  These blends don’t necessarily look pretty…and need a little oil….and Bob’s Mills flours are definitely not cheap….and if you are gluten sensitive, you have probably accepted that life is collection of compromises.

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Written by Som

August 24, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Wild rose – pretty to look at, smells heavenly and great to eat.

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Wild rose in my yard. Pick a handful of roses with strongest flavor to make about 2 cups of petals. Clean petals by swishing in cold water. Wacth out for small insects. Add to one cup of water, one cup of sugar, jelling agent and juice of one lemon. Cook for about 20 minutes and chill.

Rose jam with cheese. Also nice with yogurt. The rose petals are chewy in the jelly.

Written by Som

May 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Dessert

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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

Socca, Indian style

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We found some flowering coriander (aka cilantro) at the farmer’s market today. Normally this is cilantro past its prime but why not!

Harvest some of the flowers and young coriander seeds to make about a tbsp each.

Start with a cup of garbanzo flour, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 Tbsp of raw coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp onion (aka nigella) seeds and sufficient water to make this into a crepe batter consistency. You can substitute nigella with mustard seeds.

On a hot iron pan, add a tsp of oil. Ladle about 4 Tbsp of garbanzo bean batter and spread into a thin crepe. Cover and cook until the bottom surface is cooked, takes about a minute or so.

Flip and cook the other side. Keep in a covered container until all crepes are cooked. Don’t overcook or they can become dry. The steam from the crepes should keep them moist.

Serve with an indian style omelette – use the harvested coriander flowers, a finely diced thai green chili and finely diced fresh onions.

Written by Som

May 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Gluten free puri-aloo

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Buckwheat puri with aloo and yogurt raita

This dish is a different spin on peethi-ki-puri but is equally delicious and completely gluten free.

To make buckwheat puri, combine 1 cup of buckwhat flour with 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp mango powder. Add enough water and knead lightly until dough forms. Buckwheat doesn’t have gluten, so the dough will not have much elasticity. Divide into 10-12 dough balls, roll them flat gently with a little rice or buckwheat flour and deep fry one at a time in 350 degree oil.

Enjoy with your favorite potato (aloo) curry and salted yogurt or raita. And follow it up with a nice long hike to work off all those delicious carbs. Here are some photos from top of windy hill summit this weekend.

Skyline Blvd, facing south-west ward and looking down.

Looking east, you can see the salt ponds and Bay.

Looking north-west.

Facing south-west.

Written by Som

May 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Cuisine, South Asia

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Here is to mother’s day!

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Above is post-lunch drink. Chill the fluids – Blanton’s bourbon and Fever tree ginger ale. Combine half a bottle of ginger ale, gingerly, with an ounce of chilled bourbon. Sit back and enjoy this  slightly sweet, slightly gingery, slightly heady cocktail.

Lunch was a gluten free but otherwise a very Indian meal, something any mom would be proud to serve to her brood – buckwheat fritters with potato curry and raita. Sorry no photos – food disappeared before I had a chance to wipe oil off my fingers!

Make a potato curry. If you have a pet recipe, go with it. What you are looking for are curried potatoes with lots of light gravy, not the dry kind. Make a raita – for this meal, plain yogurt with a good dose of black salt is perfect.

To make the buckwheat batter, to 1 cup of buckwheat flour, add a teaspoon of salt, tablespoon of mango powder and 1 tsp of dried pomegranate seeds. Mix, add one cup water and stir until smooth batter forms. Buckwheat and sour flavor are brilliant together, so don’t skimp on the mango powder. This can be made up to a few days ahead. Preferably let the batter sit overnight.

Bring 2 or more cups of oil to about 350F in your favorite deep frying vessel. I am loving rice bran oil. Any high temperature oil is fine. Keep a paper towel lined cookie sheet in 250 degree oven. This is to keep the fritters warm while they are made in batches. Drop a tablespoon of batter at time in the hot oil. Fry unti the bubbles minimize. Transfer to cookie sheet.  Depending on the size of your frying vessel, you may be able to make up to 6 fritters per batch.

Ideally you want to serve the fritters as soon as they are cooked. But you can indeed keep the fritters warm in the meantime. Serve fritters with potato curry and raita for a not run-of-the-mill meal.

Written by Som

May 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm