Sunday, 24 September 2017

CINNAMON ROLLS AND A POST ON A SPICE - CINNAMON

CINNAMON ROLLS AND A POST ON A SPICE - CINNAMON


Cinnamon is the oldest and most versatile spice in the world and is used in many savory and sweet items, a delicious spice which is used in the culinary world from ages. It is mainly used in cooking as a condiment and flavouring agent. Cinnamon is actually the bark of a tree which is removed and dried. Cinnamon sticks are long, brown and their shape is like a cigar. The sticks and their powder are both used in different cuisines. This spice is widely used in American, European, African and Asian cuisines, this is the reason it is a famous spice of the world.


In Indian cuisine, this spice is used a lot in savoury dishes like rice, lentil and vegetable curries, stews, yoghurt salads, drinks, coffee, tea and in many snack items. And it is also used in sweet items like cakes, cookies, murrabas (Fruit preserves), puddings, fudges, and traditional sweetmeats etc. It is also added in many spice blends of different states of India, the famous one is Garam Masala.


In Indian homes, it is not only used as a fragrant spice but also as a medicine. My mother always used it in a masala tea for the treatment of a sore throat, in which she added- cinnamon, honey, black pepper powder and clove powder. This masala tea really works and helps us to relieve symptoms of a sore throat, till today we are using her tea formula. According to Ayurveda, cinnamon is called the ancient healing spice of the world.



There are enormous health benefits of this spice; even scientific researchers have shown that this spice has a lot of health benefits. Check this website-


This article in the newspaper - “Washington Times” explains that Americans love cinnamon and they use it in all dessert recipes, pies, cakes, bread, rolls, coffee to mention a few. The title of the article was “Cinnamon unites cuisines of the World”. It seems when people adopted recipes from other cuisines, this spices also traveled with the recipes throughout the world.



This is a simple recipe, it is easy to make the dough like for bread or a plain bun and is very simple to spread butter and sprinkle the mixture of cinnamon-sugar, give round shape and bake it. My grandchildren love this cinnamon rolls, they happily take these rolls in their lunch boxes to school.




RECIPE

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH

  • 2 cups brown bread flour
  • Half packet active dry yeast (5 grams)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • more oil for coating

FOR CINNAMON FLAVOUR FILLING

  • 2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter

METHOD

  • In a cup, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar in it. Leave it to mix well - around 5 minutes till the colour of the water changes and becomes foamy.
  • In a big bowl take flour add salt, oil and this foamy water of yeast, mix more water and make a soft dough, coat all sides with oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap to let the dough rise, let it double in size. Keep it in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise.
  • Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.
  • Punch dough down. Divide into 2 big balls. Roll the ball thin on a flat surface. Apply a thin layer of butter and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the rolled out dough.
  • Cut long strips of the dough and roll giving round shape as shown in the picture.
  • Bake at 350 degree F for about 20minutes till they are golden brown.
  • Cool on a rack, this can be served hot or cold.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

PEACH CHUTNEY

PEACH CHUTNEY


After moving to Canada, I had heard many times that, in summer there are many ‘pick-your-own-fruit’ farms and you get a chance to pick fresh berries/fruits from the farm or orchards. If you are willing to pick your own berries, you can get an empty basket in 5-10 dollars, then go ahead and help yourself and fill your basket. It sounded like so much fun. On a road trip through the beautiful Okanagan Valley, I got to experience such a fruit picking, which I never had before in my life. Though in my long stay in Africa, I had a lot of experience of picking fruits and vegetables from my own kitchen garden but picking fruits from a farm with acres and acres of plants was another experience on its own!



Being vegetarian, my diet is depending a lot on fresh fruits and vegetables of any kind, so I am always interested in looking for new places/shops to get fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. Here, in summer a lot of varieties of fruits are available, so summer is the season when I use them in my culinary journey to make some old tried and tested recipes plus I try and learn some new recipes out of them.



This is a simple recipe, my mother was making the same type of chutney with mangoes so I tried with peaches once and really liked it, and so whenever fresh peaches are available I make this chutney. When peaches are in plenty here, I even freeze them for future use in winter. It is very easy to freeze peaches- rinse thoroughly and slice them; sliced peaches can be kept in the freezer in a zip-lock freezer bag.




  These are pics of my trip to Vancouver, a farm stall and an orchard where I picked peaches.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Medium peach (100-150 grams)
  • 1/4 fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 fennel seeds
  • 1/4 mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry or fresh mint
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 green chilies optional
  • Juice of 1 lemon

METHOD


  • Wash and slice peaches into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add fenugreek, fennel and mustard seeds in it, when the colour is slightly changed, add sliced peaches with salt and chili powder and green chili, roast for 2 minutes and add water.
  • Cover it and leave it to cook for 8-10minutes.
  • When peaches are soft, add sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes when cold add lemon juice.
  • Serve when cool with any food or snack of your taste.







Thursday, 31 August 2017

FRESHLY BAKED BROWN BUNS

FRESHLY BAKED BROWN BUNS


In 2009, when I was in South Africa, I joined the group (mostly ladies), called “Weigh Less group” to lose some kilos. I was successful, in six months I lost 13 kg (28 pounds), which was a considerable achievement, I was very happy. In that weigh less group, participants were supposed to attend the group meetings every week, where the group leader use to weigh us and after the weighing, there were discussions and lots of motivational tips and tricks were given to participants. Weigh less in South Africa is quite similar to weight watchers of North America.


In those weekly group meetings, together with the formula for different types of foods, lots of booklets were also given to the participants. Those booklets were full of information about healthy eating, meal planning and simple things which we should do and follow in our daily routine for a healthier and happier life because the ultimate aim was to lose weight. Here are few examples of the tips- 1. when you go shopping, park your car at a distance so that you will get a chance to walk a little longer, 2. Do not use the elevator, climb the stairs to use some calories.


Few others were very interesting – 3. Do not go shopping, when you are hungry, you will be tempted to buy unnecessary items particularly the high-calorie ones, which you will eat later and consume extra calories. 4. If you are on the “weigh less” program, during the grocery shopping, do not go in the aisle of cakes and cookies, otherwise, you will be tempted to buy them and eat later. That is interesting, isn’t it? I really enjoyed the whole journey of Weigh Less, where I lost a few kilos and gained a lot of good information about the healthy life style, which till today I am practicing in my life.


Personally, I have experienced that when I go for shopping in super markets, and if I am in the bakery section, the smell of freshly baked bread always attracts me and I am tempted to buy freshly baked buns or bread. And I have also experienced that whenever I go in the aisle of cakes and cookies, I am tempted to buy a few of them.



Coming to the recipe, bun or bread baking is not a difficult task, plus you can enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread in your own kitchen. The other benefit of home baked bread/bun is that we do not add any preservative etc so it is healthier to eat home baked buns or bread. This is a very simple recipe with few ingredients.

Special announcement about co-hosting Fiesta Friday for the 2nd time

I am excited and pleased to host this event for the 2nd time, called Fiesta Friday, which is the 187th week of this blog party. This blog post party is on from the last three years, and it will soon be celebrating the 200# week. In this blog hop, bloggers around the world share their splendid recipes through their blog posts and awesome clicks of the recipes. You can check the above link and join us. Please read the guidelines and follow them to get a chance to be a winner, who will be featured in the next week party. This is a wonderful way to meet and gain exposure and views of the other blogger friends. I am sharing my recipes with this group from so many months and I am assuring you that, this is a friendly, supportive and welcoming group. This week in Fiesta Friday, my co-host and I will visit each and every participant's post and comment on their awesome recipes, which is a normal procedure of this party.

I am co-hosting this event with Judi. If you are joining for the first time please link your post to the main page of Fiesta Friday my page Herbs Spices and Tradition and Judi's page Cookingwithauntjuju

I really appreciate and would like to thank Angie of Fiesta Friday who gave me the 2nd chance to co-host this event.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups brown flour
  • Half packet active dry yeast (packet is 10 grams)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs oil
  • more oil for coating

METHOD
  • In a cup, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar in it. Leave it to mix well around 5 minutes till the colour of the water changes and becomes foamy.
  • In a big bowl take flour, add salt, oil and this foamy water of yeast, mix more water and make a soft dough, coat all sides with oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap to let it rise (until double the original size). Keep it in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise.
  • Punch dough down. Divide into 12-14 balls. Knead and tuck ends under on each one until top is smooth. Coat all sides with oil and place on a large greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  • Cover. Let bun rise until almost doubled in size.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F, about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove onto a rack to cool.