Saturday, May 31, 2008

American Rye Bread 美式稞麦面包

This is an American Rye Bread. I am not sure why it named "American" but according to the recipe book, this is kind of American bread. I have been trying a wholemeal bread week ago but it was really a disaster. That is a very good wholemeal bread recipe which contains half of the whole wheat flour. Well, I shall not give up and will definitely try it again.

This Rye bread did not contains many of the rye flour and it is quite easy to made by using the straight dough method. I put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and leave it to knead with the dough hook for 30 minutes. It is still a little bit of stickiness but I just let it proof for 40 minutes. I did not roll the dough very nicely and was very careless did not grease well inside the loaf tin that is why the side of this bread look quite ugly. What a good lesson! I let it proof at the room temperature for another 1 hour before bake in the oven.
One thing that I like this bread is, the dough has no yeasty flavor because the smell of the rye is quite strong although it only contains little amount of rye flour. Furthermore, it is easy to made. This bread is very tender and soft, I have to cut it very carefully so that the crumbs stay beautifully before serving on a plate. I like to spread with my homemade peanut butter and blackcurrant jam as I found the flavor is just so match.
Original recipe from an old book that my mum gave to me:
Bread flour 270g
Rye flour 30g
Yeast 5g
Sugar 20g
Salt 6g Egg 30g
Water 180g
Unsalted butter 15g
1. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except butter. Kneading until well combine and all the mixture come together.
2. Add butter continue kneading (I let the mixer knead for 30 minutes).
3. Bring the dough for proofing about 30 minutes (I proof it for 40 minutes).
4. Round the dough and cover with slightly wet towel and rest for 10 minutes.
5. Roll out into long shape then roll it up tighty as a swiss-roll style.
6. Place the dough in well greased bread tin and let the dough proof for the second time for about
30 minutes (I proof it for 45 minutes) cover with slightly damp towel.
7. Bake it in the preheated oven at 200'C for about 30 - 40 minutes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ela adai - Rice wrappers with banana,jaggery & coconut stuffing

Ela adai is a delicacy that can bring many nostalgic memories. This is another sweet, which in my home, is usually prepared in the summer months when jackfruit is available in plenty. The filling for the elai adai is prepared using ripe jackfruit bulbs.

In Kerala, elai adai is served in many small tea shops/hotels through out the year. When jackfruit is out of season, aval (beaten rice)/banana takes the place of the main ingredient. This is the first time I am trying with banana filling.

To prepare the filling

I used the Nenthrapazham variety which is a speciality of Kerala. I haven't tried with any other variety of banana.

Ripe bananas - 2 Powdered
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Cardamon - 1 tspn
Ghee - 1 tblspn

Slice the banana into bite sized cubes. Heat a kadai. Add a teaspoon of ghee. Transfer the banana cubes. Cook till they turn soft.
Add jaggery powder and keep mixing. When the mixture starts to thicken, stir in the coconut. Cook till the mixture comes together and no trace of liquid found.
Finally add cardamom powder and remove from fire.

You can prepare the filling before hand and refrigerate.

For the outer covering
Roasted rice flour - 1 1/2 cup
Hot water - 1 cup
salt to taste

Add salt to rice flour and mix well. Make a well in the center and slowly add hot water. Mix with a spatula. Add enough water to get a soft dough.

Wash and wipe dry the banana leaf. Run it over the flame and you can notice the color change. This makes the leaf more manageable.

Grease a leaf with oil. Take a lemon size of the rice dough. Pat into a circle of 3 inch diameter. Take a spoonful of the filling and place it on one half of the circle.

Fold the leaf such a way that the other half covers the filled one. Repeat with rest of the dough.
I used my MW Idli maker for steaming them. I could steam 3 at a time.

Steam for 7 minutes. Adjust the timing according to your MW and size of the adais you make.

Yummy elai adai is ready.

I am going to make this often since the process is simple and easy when compared to the so called traditional ones, though I will rate them the highest.

I am sending this across to Srivalli for her MEC-Steamed Dishes event.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Instant Wheat Appam and an Award

Neyyappam or Appam is always the traditional one using rice, for me. Never I have bothered to try anyother versions. When I was discussing various quick snacks, with one of my Christian friend J, she told me about this appam. When her kids ask for any sweet dishes, she makes this easily. J said she adds maida (AP flour) also. I made with wheat flour alone to make it a healthier version.

Wheat flour - 2 cups

Jaggery powdered - 1 1/2 cup (Adjust to suit your palate)

Cardamom powder - 1 tspn

Ghee or Oil for frying

Melt jaggery with 1 cup of water. Strain for any impurities. Add the melted jaggery to wheat flour without forming any lumps. Add water to the batter if required, to get a pouring consistency. The batter should be like dosa batter.

Take the appam pan. If you are using non-stick pan, add teaspoon full of ghee into each pit. Spoon in the batter to 3/4th of each pit. After 2 minutes, slowly turn the appams with the help of a skewer and cook for another one minute. Repeat for the rest of the batter.

Spongy appams are ready in less than 15 minutes.

Sowmya of Creativesaga has passed on the Nice Matters Award.

About the award

“Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

Thanks a ton Sowmya for passing the award to me. I know I have delayed in picking up the award and passing it on. Better late than never and I am passing the award to


Prema Sundar



Please accept and enjoy your awards. You all deserve it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Peach Chiffon Cake

This is a simple peach chiffon for my god brother's birthday. The cake is very soft and spongy with the strong peach flavor. I infused some dried apricot with brandy a week before making this cake. So the flavor of brandy was quite strong as well. Of course, children might not like the brandy so better don't add in any liquor for this cake if serving children.

Another thing is I should have more practice as my skill for cake decoration still very lousy. Look at the cake I've brushed with fresh cream, it is quite messy. I really need to improve.

However, we had a good time having this peach chiffon cake during the birthday dinner. The dried apricot inside the cake is just so match with the peach sponge. I added some peach puree into the fresh cream to make this cake much peachy.

Recipe for 24cm chiffon cake tin:

Egg whites 235g
Caster sugar 118g
Corn flour 13g

Egg yolks 90g
Water 40g
Vegetable oil 78g
Peach puree 118g
Flour 105g
Caster sugar 25g
Dried apricot 118g (infused with brandy **optional)

Fresh whipping cream 250g
Sugar powder 20g
Peach puree 50g
10 slices can peaches
10 Chinese parsley leafs


1. Whip the egg whites until peak form then slowly add in caster sugar continue whipping until a shiny and smooth consistency. Add in the cornflour and whip until just combine.

2. Mix egg yolks, oil, water, peach puree, flour and caster sugar until everything combine. Then mix in chopped dried apricot.

3. Add in 1/3 of the egg white mixture to (2) until combine. Then add half of the left over egg whites mixture. Then continue adding the remaining egg whites mixture. Slowly and gently combine everything.

4. Pour into the baking tin and bake 60minutes at 160'C.

5. Let the baked cake turn upside down for cooling before unmold it.

6. Whip the fresh cream with sugar powder then slowly mix in peach with spatula. Decorate it with your creativity.

8. Keep the cake in the fridge it could last for 4 - 5 days. Best serve in 3 days.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Green Tea Chiffon Cake

I think I was quite brave to make this cake for my guests without any experience of this recipe and much time. Well, I really like to give it a try so I marblized some chinese red tea (红茶) with japanese green tea (抹茶) and hopefully they both could become a friend (kind of sensitive topic). Don't worry, I'm just talking about "Tea".
Somehow, the marble effect not very obvious because I've mixed too much during the marblized process. Without any chance to change the marble effect I shall continue with a simple decoration using some fresh cream and sprinkling some green tea and sugar powder mixture.
Well, by the time I cut it out, I still could see some marble effect but I believed without mixing too much it would be much prettier.
This cakes is full of tea flavour, especially the green tea. I store it in the fridge and serve it to my guests with this hot and humid weather.
Recipe for 24cm chiffon cake tin :

Egg whites 235g
Caster sugar 118g
Corn flour 13g

Egg yolks 90g
Water infused with red tea 78g
Vegetable oil 78g
Flour 118g
Caster sugar 25g
Green tea powder 7g
Water 25g

Fresh whipping cream 250g
Sugar powder 20g
Pinch of Sugar powder
Pinch Green tea powder


1. Whip the egg whites until peak form then slowly add in caster sugar continue whipping and until a shiny and smooth peak form. Add in the cornflour mix until combine.

2. Mix egg yolks, red tea, oil, flour and caster sugar until everything combine.

3. Add in 1/3 of the egg white mixture to (2) until combine. Then add half of the left over egg whites mixture. Then continue adding the remaining egg whites mixture. Slowly and gently combine everything.

4. In another clean bowl mix the green tea powder with water until it become a green tea paste.

5. Mix the green tea paste with 120g of the mixture (3).

6. Add mixture (5) to mixture (3) to make a marble effect. (not to mix too much)

7. Pour into the baking tin and bake 60minutes at 160'C.

8. Let the baked cake turn upside down for cooling before unmold it.

9. Whip the fresh cream with sugar powder and decorate it with your creativity.

10. I mixed some sugar powder with green tea powder to sprinkle on top of the cake.

11. Keep the cake in the fridge it could last for 4 - 5 days. Best serve in 3 days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Panchmel Dal and Baati

When RCI Rajasthan was announced, I had bookmarked few recipes. I found Dal Baati , part of an ordinary Rajasthan menu. Most of the Rajasthani recipes were new to me. Finally I tried Baati and Gatte ka Pulao. But since my personal life kept me busy, could not post it in time for the event. Even now, its the routine cooking going on in my kitchen. Meanwhile, the to-be-posted recipes will make it to the blog.

For baati, I followed partly sanjeev kapoor's recipe and Aathika's .

Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
besan - 1/2 cup
ghee - 3 tbspn
curd - 1/2 cup
baking powder - 1/2 tspn
ajwain (omam) - 1/2 tspn
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and knead into a soft dough using water.

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls.

Cover and keep for one hour.

I use my MIL's old handvo cooker for baking. I baked for nearly 30 mts. By that time, I could see cracks on top of the baatis. To have a look at the handvo cooker, visit here.

Panchmel Dal

Recipe source - Sanjeev Kapoor

As the name indicates, this recipe calls for 5 different dal. Needless to mention about the protien punch hidden in this recipe.

Bengal gram (chana dal) - 1/4 cup
Whole green gram (whole moong) - 1/4 cup
Split black gram (urad dal) -1/4 cup
red lentils (masoor dal) - 1/4 cup
turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn
salt to taste
ginger - 1 inch
green chillies - 2
oil - 3 tblspn
hing - a pinch
cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn
cloves - 5
red chillies - 2 (broken into two)
cumin powder - 1 tspn
coriander powder - 1 tspn
red chilli powder -1/2 tspn
tomatoes - 2 nos
garam masala - 1/2 tspn (I used Kitchen King masala)

Wash all the dal together. Pressure cook with enough water and turmeric.
Grind ginger and green chillies to a paste
Heat oil in a pan. Add hing, cumin seeds, cloves and red chillies. When cumin seeds change color,
add ginger-chilly paste and saute for few seconds.

Stir in cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder.

Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till oil separates.

Add cooked dal and additional water if needed.

Cook for ten minutes with occasional stirring. Take care the dal doesn't stick to the pan.

Add garam masala powder and remove from heat.
Serve hot with baati.
Baatis are usually broken into pieces and dropped in a bowl of dal and eaten.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Craving Stuffs

Those are the stuffs that always filled up in a container and stored in my kitchen cabinet for my craving teeth at anytime. There are Nutty Granola, a recipe from my idol chef Ellie Krieger, Italian Fruity Biscotti a recipe from so called “sweet baby James” James Martin from the UK, and Nutty French Balls from a Japanese recipe book translated by Taiwanese. My family like these stuffs as I do and I like to used it as a gift when I’m rushing to visit anyone else. I have introduced the Granola at my previous posting, and now I continue with the other two. First, I like to share the Nutty French Balls.

I mixed 187g of sugar powder with 85g each for chopped walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts then divided it into two bowls of 13g and 6g for chocolate powder and instant coffee powder respectively. Warm the two bowls of mixture in a preheated oven at 100°C for about 5 minutes or until the mixtures become 40°C (this step for mixing up with eggs white much easier later on).

Mix these warm mixtures with 40g and 45g egg whites for chocolate and coffee mixture respectively. The eggs white seems very little when mixing with the mixture but this measurement is just nice for the texture later on. The mixture would be too wet to roll up if the egg white is too much.

I shaped each mixture into 13 balls each for both flavors and baked in a preheat oven at 130°C for about two hours.

This Nutty French Balls are very crunchy and definitely could cure someone who is crazily craving like me and also good to serve with a cup of coffee or tea for my guests come in without prior notice (sometimes it happen).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Extending my break

Its been 2 long weeks since I have blogged. And the break seems to get extended. I never thought its going to be a long break. I am not sure when I can resume serious blogging. I really miss visiting all your blogs. Very soon, I will try to catch up with all the wonderful posts out there, though it may take some more time to put my blog back to action.

I was very touched by emails from some of my blogging friends, who enquired about my absence from blogosphere. Its a great feeling to know that you are missed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

German Rye Bread 田园稞麦面包

This is my favorite German Rye Bread. It reminded me when I was first tasting a rye bread in Berlin hotel for breakfast. I just miss it so much until I found a recipe from the book that my mum gave to me weeks ago. This is quite a dense and solid bread containing with 1/3 of rye flour and again, it is a healthy version of bread.

I followed exactly the same recipe from the book to make this rye bread. I mixed these ingredients in my dough mixer: 200g bread flour, 100g rye flour, 5g instant dry yeasts, 5 g salt, 190g slightly warm water and 10g of molasses. Then I placed it in a grease bowl and covered with cling film to rest for 30 minutes. Punch it down after the resting and roughly shape it into a ball by simply tighten it up and let it face up rather than the smooth part face up as the book had mentioned to give it a rustic look. I covered it with a damp towel and let it proof for about 30 minutes before baked it in the oven at 230'C about 25 - 30 minutes.

I really like this rustic look and it shows a very homemade country bread. My hubby and I was very enjoying the rye flavor and we hardly taste the yeasts on this bread. I shall put this recipe in my regular breakfast menu.

Matcha Red Bean Rolls

So, I continued with my red bean paste that had stored in the freezer days ago. I've used some of them to made few chinese red bean pao by using some premix pao flour from Phoon Huat. The others I used it for matcha red bean rolls. This is my first time to match this matcha sponge dough with red bean paste as I think red bean always go very well with green tea. Anyway, the dough is quite soft, but the problem is I was too greedy when wrapping too much red bean in the dough and finally the red bean paste is much prominent than the dough. What a good lesson for me not to be greedy next time. I followed the sponge dough recipe from an old recipe book. This book has been with my mum about 20 years, and now she passed it to me as she mentioned she had already retired from the kitchen. This book immersed in the water when our house flooded by a heavy rain many years ago. But my mum tried to dry it as I think she also loves this book very much. It really put my mood down for making bread when I was first looking at this book. But after read through it I really falled in love with it. The recipe book contains lots of old fashion recipe especially those European bread and rolls that my hubby and I love to have every morning. I shall keep this book as it is just so meaningful for mum and I.

I followed a plain sponge dough recipe from this book to make the green tea rolls and I've just added a tablespoon of matcha into it, however, I hardly taste the green tea flovour. I shall say my skills of making bread is still not up to the standard as you can see the rolls doesn't look in good round shape. If anyone have a good skills please please teach me and I will try to improve next time.
I used half of the original recipe to make 9 rolls and add 1 tablespoon of green tea powder. I put together all the ingredietns to my dough mixer except butter. Knead for about 15 minutes then I add butter and continue kneading until the dough well developed. I rest it in a grease bowl with cling film for about 40 minutes at room temperature then I divided it into 9 balls and rest for another 25 minutes covered with damp towel. I flatten each small dough to add in a red bean paste (don't be greedy like me) then covered with damp towel for another 60 minutes proofing before bake in a 200'C about 20 minutes.
Original sponge dough recipe from the book:
350g bread flour
6g instant dry yeast
18g sugar
7g salt
7g milk powder
230g slightly warm water
18g butter
** I added 1 tablespoon green tea powder

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Red Bean Paste

I bought a pack of red bean quite some time ago but only this time I have mood to made something with red bean. I might use it for red bean pao or red bean bun or just spread on a piece of bread for breakfast. Well, I normally cook quite a lot as it could store very well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or 3 weeks in the freezer. Of course I could easily get it from supermarket or bakery shop, but today I really have the mood to do it myself. I roughly washed 300g of red bean then cooked with 600ml of water at high heat with the lid on. It tooks about 10 minutes until the water bubbles up then I added 250ml of water (I've just added drinking water which is not hot or cold). I put the lit on again and cooked for another 5 minutes until it bubbles up again. I roughly washed it through a drainer again then put back to the pan and cook with 800ml of water until the red bean swelling but not breaking. Then roughly wash through a drainer again. This time I cooked with 850ml of water with Pandan Leaves at medium heat for 40 to 60 minutes with lid on. In between, I added some water (just drinking water) 2 to 3 times to prevent drying out and make sure the water cover up least 2 to 3cm from the top of red bean. Then I check whether it's soft enough by using a spatula to scraped a few bean before drained it and took away the pandan leave. I let it cook about 30 minutes before blend it in a food processor until it became a paste.
I cooked the bean paste with 150g of sugar with low medium heat and keep stirring with wooden spoon until I could draw a "1" in the pan. I divided it 8 or 9 portion by a big spoon to let it completely cool.After it completely cool down I made it into 18 little balls about 40g each and store some in the fridge and some in the freezer. I think I shall use it for a red bean pao soon.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I am very particular with breakfast with no rushing and relaxing conversation with the family to start a new day. Cereal, oat porridge, bread, pancake, milk or coffee are in our daily menu. I don't wish to rush in the morning for preparing breakfast so normally will prepare everything in advance. I usually attached each measuring cups with the container of cereal, oat, my premix pancake, crepes, milk just to fix the portion when cooking so that I don't need to do measurement in the morning. Nowadays, there are more options as I've been doing some research of healthy bread recipes. Lately, I found a cereal recipe named Granola. You could get a package from supermarket actually. But this time, I really like to do it myself because I can add in different or more ingredients to this recipe and then put into a container just in case I feel bored with bread or craving at anytime. I made a big jar for mum as a mother's day gift. We have the same craving habit, so I guess this could really help her.
This recipe from one of my idol chef Ellie Krieger, she is a celebrity nutritionist. You won't feel guilty when using her recipe but of course portion is also very important.
I used 3 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cups chopped walnut, 1/2 cups chopped almond and 1/2 cups chopped pecans and 1/2 cups raisin. You could add more oats or other nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or dried cranberries etc. I found walnut and almond is quite good in omega-3 fatty acid so I followed her recipe. I mixed these ingredients with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, you can add more if you like and 1/4 tsp salt which is quite optional. After mixing all the dried ingredients, add 1/2 cup pure maple syrup and mix until everything is coated. Bake in the oven 30 minutes at 160'C or until golden brown. Serving size should be 1/2 cups perserving. It could be served with milk or yogurt or even desserts.
The naughty of me would always grasp some whenever I pass by the kitchen.

Curry Bun

I learned this curry bun in Sam's workshop. He called this "no-time dough method". I guess that is because the dough only need one proofing time. I changed the bun fillings by adding some chicken cubes rather than just only potato cubes so that it won't be too boring for me. Of course you could change your curry recipe instead of using the original recipe as I found the taste quite boring. Somehow, I found sambal chili with onion or chili sardines are quite tasty too!
This recipe could make 10 buns, however, I reduce it to half as there are only two of us.

(Original recipe from Sam)
Ingredients for the bun:
300g Bread Flour
10g Milk powder
2 tsp Bread improver
20g Sugar
1 tsp Salt
6g Yeast
1 Egg
120g Water
20g Butter
Some lime leaves and slices chilli for decoration

Method for the bun:
1. Place all the ingredients in the dough mixer except butter. Knead till the side of the bowl is clean.
2. Add in butter and knead till well developed.
3. Remove the dough and divide into 10 x 50g pieces. Roll the dough out and wrap 50g of curry potato filling. Shape and place the dough in a baking cup on a baking pan.
4. Proof the bread till double in bulk, approximately 1 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 200'C. Brush the surface lightly with egg glaze.
6. Bake at 200'C for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Brush with oil when baked to give a
glossy finish. Decorate wtih lime leaf and sliced chili.

Curry potato filling:
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion - cut cubes
3 medium potatoes - steam or boiled, peeled & cut cubes
1 tbsp curry powder or more
1 tsp salt

Method for curry potato filling:
1, Heat up frying pan. Add in olive oil and onions. Stir fry till fragrant.
2. Add in potatoes cubes, curry powder and salt (to taste). Stir fry till evenly mixed.
3. Cool the filling before use. Divide the filling into 50g portions.

Whole Wheat Loaf

This is quite a dense and solid loaf as it consists of fifty percent of wheat flour. Do you ever think how much wheat in a wholemeal bread you bought from supermarket? I have read many whole wheat bread recipes, but most of the bread with very little wheat until I found "Happy Home Baking". She has a wholemeal bread recipe that consists of fifty percent wheat flour. If you are looking for a healthy diet of cause the more wheat you have the best. I really like to give a try so I followed her recipe and added some ground rye on the bread surface before it go into the oven. I was quite happy with the result although I'm not sure the texture mentioned is the same. Yes, the crust of the bread was crisp and the crumbs were quite dense but somehow it still had the softness just like the one I ate in Berlin. I love the smell of wheat and definately will put this recipe in my bookmark.