Monday, January 23, 2012

Olive Oil Bread

I made this bread after having it bookmarked for SO long.  It was so good and surprisingly easy (with the help of the Kitchen Aid)!  The only change I made from the original was to use some wheat flour to make it healthier.
One word of caution, watch the bread.  The baking time will vary based on your oven.  Mine didn't take quite as long as the original recipe stated.  As you can see, my bread cracked a bit.  However, it still tasted good!

Olive Oil Bread
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen


  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for the bowl and drizzling)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Put water and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook.  Sprinkle yeast and let it sit for five minutes.   Mix in olive oil.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour with the salt.  Mix on low until everything is incorporated.  Then turn the speed up to medium and mix for three minutes.
  3. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix well.  Start on low and then switch to medium speed.  Then add 1/2 cup of flour again (start on low then switch to medium).  The dough should be smooth and elastic.  If it is sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it seems dry.  (For me, I only needed an additional 2 tablespoons, but you may need between 1/4 - 1/2 cup).  Knead on medium until the dough is smooth.
  4. Coat a large bowl with olive oil.  Form the dough into a ball and toss it in the olive oil coated bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm place.  Allow it to rise for an hour or until it is doubled in size (may take longer in the winter).
  5. Gently remove the dough and place on clean, dry surface.  If the dough is sticky, you may need to add flour to the surface.  Form the dough into a big oval and roll out to form a loaf that is about 14 inches long.  I shaped my loaf with my hands.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.  
  7. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Score it on top with a knife (PPK recommends three diagonal slices).  Drizzle with olive oil and let rise for 15 minutes.
  8. Once the dough has risen for another 15 minutes, place in oven and bake for 25 minutes on the middle rack.  Lower the heat to 350F and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Check the bread using tongs.  Mine began to brown after 5 minutes at the lower temperature.  Per PPK, if it is browning too much, transfer the bread directly to the oven rack for the remaining baking time (I had to do this).
  9. Once the bread is baked (total time for me was about ~35 minutes), take out of oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before you slice into it. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Garlic Kulcha

For a long time, I wanted to experiment making different "breads" from India.  I love onion kulchas from Punjabi restaurants and thought I would try this one when I saw it.  Although not as greasy as the restaurants, still very yummy.

Garlic Kulchas
adapted from Chef in You

  • 3 cups multi grain flour (I used Sujata)
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed (or other) oil
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • water
  1. Put all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add the wet ingredients (except the water) to the dry ingredients and turn on mixer on low. Add a little water at a time until dough forms. Knead until it is smooth.  Cover and let rest for 1-2 hours. (I let mine sit for 3 hours).
  3. Heat a cast iron or other skillet over medium heat.  Roll out dough on a floured surface as it may stick.  Put on hot skillet to cook and it will puff up.  Cook both sides and enjoy with your favorite dal, shaak/sabji or just plain.

Chipotle Hummus & Tahini

This year's Thanksgiving feast for the veggie lovers was a Mediterranean delight with falafels served with cilantro hummus, chipotle hummus and homemade tahini sauce.  Here are the recipes for the chipotle hummus and tahini sauce.  I used my vitamix for the tahini sauce and it turned out excellent.

Chipotle Hummus
adapted from lizmari


  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans 
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil (grapeseed or olive) 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic 
  • 4 whole chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (take seeds out) (use more if you want it spicier)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies
shopping list
  • Directions:
  1. Drain garbanzo beans and wash.  Add garbanzo beans and all other ingredients to a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  You may need to add more oil or lime/lemon juice to your taste.
  2. The four chilies will make this mild.  Add more chilies plus some of the seeds to make it spicier.
  3. Enjoy with pita chips.
adapted from epicurious

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Soak sesame seeds in 1/4 cup water for 30 minutes.  Add this to blender and blend until paste formed.  Add remaining ingredients and adjust according to taste.
  2. Note: the addition of cilantro and parsley will turn your tahini green!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Starfish Crackers

I love, love cheese crackers.  Especially goldfish crackers! It is no wonder that the kid loves them too.  However, looking at the long ingredient list from these goodies turns me off.  Thanks to the Smitten Kitchen, I found a way to make them at home.  The result, addicting! Now I had to buy car cookie cutters because the star shaped was rejected by the kid.

Starfish Crackers
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup multi grain flour (I used Sujata)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Add all the ingredients in a food processor until the dough forms (takes approximately 2 minutes).
  2. Roll out dough or chill to roll out later.  If you chill longer than 30-45 minutes, let it come somewhat to room temperature.  (I let mine chill too long and it began to crack as I rolled it out.)  Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut shapes using a cookie cutter.  I used a star shape as that was what I had on hand. 
  3. Transfer the crackers to a cookie sheet leaving about 1/2 inch between them.  Bake on middle rack for 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn brown.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Gavar shaak (Saucy cluster beans)

I happen to love gavar (aka cluster beans). I realize not everyone does, but thankfully my kid does! This gives me an excuse to make it when it's available at the farmers market.  And its available now until November!

Gavar shaak
Serves 2-3

  • 1/2 lb gavar (when cut up, approx 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons of yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (haldi, harder)
  • 1-1 1/2 cup water
  • chili powder to taste
  • salt to taste


  1. Cut and wash gavar. Set aside.
  2. Mix the besan, yogurt, turmeric,chili powder (if using) and salt together. Make sure there are no lumps. I typically use a wire whisk. Add the water and mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat pressure cooker with oil and add ajwain seeds over medium heat. When seeds sizzle and turn brown, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the besan mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. If water evaporates too quickly, add a little more.
  4. Add gavar and mix together. Put lid on and cook for 7-8 minutes (without whistles) or for 3-4 whistles. The gavar should be softer but not mushy.  Enjoy with rice, khichadi or roti.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

I am constantly in search of a healthy baked goodies to try out on my colleagues at work.  These fit the bill nicely as the other recipe I wanted to try required ripe bananas.  They were a hit and my friend said they were the best yet! Next time, I would modify this somewhat to add cinnamon and dry ginger powder.  They are good that you forget that they're healthy! I highly encourage you to check out Heidi's blog, she has some GREAT recipes!!

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
Modified From Heidi Swanson
Makes 2.5 dozen

  • 1 cup multi grain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Coach's cut oats (from Costco)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil (didn't have coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. I used a baking sheet and a stone to bake my cookies (don't line the stone).
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and oats in a bowl. (I used my stand mixer bowl.)  Add the nuts and carrots.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup and ginger.  Add this to the dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.
  4. Drop onto the baking sheet and/or stone.  I used a tablespoon and flattened some (if you want them crispy) and left some as mounds (to have them softer).  Bake on the top part of your oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned on the top and bottom.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cilanto-Lime Vinaigrette

Here is a tasty and healthy dressing I came across and love!  It works great on many different salads. 

Cilantro-lime Vinaigrette

  •  3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Mix above and adjust according to taste.  Pour over salad and enjoy!