Friday, 11 November 2016

Dhal Puri Roti

This is a recipe I've come to love. Be warned it is a production BUT it's well worth it. 

  • 2 cups of yellow split peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. of roasted cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. of turmeric
  • 1 tspn. of salt
Boil the yellow split peas in water for 15-20 minutes.

Skim off the foam that rises to the top.  After about 20 minutes of boiling, start testing them by crushing a few of them with your fingers. (Be careful they will be hot).  You will know they are ready when the outside can be crushed but they are not completely done.  DO NOT COMPLETELY COOK THEM.  They will finish cooking when they are in the dough balls.

When they are ready rinse them  in cold water to stop them from cooking and let them sit in a strainer for about 20 - 25 minutes.

In a food processor combine the split peas with the garlic, cumin, turmeric,  and salt until they are crumbly.

This filling can be frozen for future use.

  • 3 1/4 cups of white unbleached flour
  • 2 TBS. of baking powder
  • 2 pinches of instant yeast (for softness, not leavening)
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • oil for cooking
  • flour for dusting
Mix the baking powder, instant yeast and salt into the water and add the flour a little at a time. If the dough is to sticky add flour a little at a time.  Knead it into a ball and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Cut into 12 pieces and roll into balls. If you have a metal pizza pan or a tawa proper, you can cut the dough into less but bigger balls to make bigger rotis.  My skillet is about 10 1/2 inches and  and I can get 12 good sized rotis  out of it.

Pinch a ball into a bowl with your hands.

Put a good 2-3 spoonfuls of the split-pea mixture into the dough.

 Use dabs of water to make sure it sticks together.
And seal it shut.
After the balls are filled, flatten them with your hands on a dusted, flat surface.
With a rolling pin roll it out flat.
Preheat a skillet to medium-medium high heat.  Brush on oil or spray Pam in the skillet and place your first roti in the skillet.

Immediately brush on oil or spray Pam on the roti side facing up. 

After about 15-20 seconds, flip it with a spatula and repeat. (After making this recipe a few times you will develop a feel for it.)

You should see the two sides of the roti separating and forming bubbles.

Full bubbles are even better (not that it will affect the taste.)
Once the rotis are done they can be frozen for future use.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Fast & Easy Pizza Crust


Lightly grease pizza pan and dust with cornmeal or flour.  Set aside.
Mix together:
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) of yeast
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 cup of warm water
and set aside until Yeast foams (about 10 minutes).  

Then add:
  • 2 1/2 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 2 TBSP. of olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. of salt
 Mix & knead just until smooth.

Let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll it out to desired size or thickness.

Transfer onto the greased and dusted pizza pan (or cast iron skillet for deep dish).

Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Trisha's Sweet Chili Sauce


Trisha and I were toying around with the idea of Vietnamese spring rolls. So one evening we got together and did it.  I took charge of the rolls and she the sauce.  And I have to admit that her sauce pulled it all together.  Luckily she wrote it down and let me blog it.

In a saucepan bring to a boil:
  • 1 2/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of vinegar (white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar are fine)
Stir in:
  • 1 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of ginger powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 2 tsp. of red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 TBS. of ketchup
  • 2 TBS. of soy sauce
  • 3 TBS. of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
And whisk in with rest of the ingredients stirring frequently until thick.

Serve hot or cold.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

D'Anthony's Banana Granola

This Granola is better than anything you'll find in the supermarket.  When he told me that he made it up himself I became intrigued.  Normally I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to granolas but I know that D.A. knows his way around the kitchen (no offence D.A.) but I wasn't expecting anything THAT good. Here's the recipe he gave me...

D'Anthony's Banana Granola

The color is off.
It should be more brown.

Dry ingredients...
14 cups of quick oats.
3 cups of wheat germ.
3 cups of coconut.
1 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds.
1 1/2 cup of sesame seeds.

Wet ingredients...
4 cups of brown sugar.
1 Tbsp. of salt.
1 Tbsp. of vanilla.
1 1/2 cup of water.
1 1/2 cup of oil.
4 ripe bananas.

  1. Preheat oven 250 degrees in a convection oven / 300 in a gas oven.
  2. Blend together the sugar,salt,vanilla,water & oil.
  3. Mix dry and wet ingredients together by hand.
  4. Mash & mix in the bananas.
  5. Bake 40-60 minutes.  (Don't forget to turn the granola every fifteen minutes or so for even browning.)
D'Anthony -  chef extraordinaire.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Millie's Granola

Millie's Granola

 Mix together:
  • 1/2 cup of raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp. of vanilla (optional if you replace honey with agave or if honey isn't solidified)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. of warm (liquid) extra virgin coconut oil
Then mix in:
  • 6 cups of Whole rolled oats
  • 4 pinches of salt
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon 
(If you rather have raw fruits & nuts  with your granola, the following can be added after baking the oats. If not add them now.)
  • 2 cups of chopped dates
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of chopped almonds
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Now I'm no expert when it comes to food spoilage however, at room temperature it "should" keep in a sealed glass jar for a good three weeks... but refrigerating is always safer.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Difference Between Fruit Butters, Jams, Conserves, Jellies, Marmalades, & Preserves

In our modern age I've come to find out that there are people who've never heard of fruit preserves & conserves.  I've even been asked from time to time what the difference is between jam & jelly.  So here are the definitions... 

Fruit Butters
Fruit Butter is made by cooking fruit pulp and sugar to a thick consistency that will spread easily.  Butters are cooked slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon.

Juice strained from fruit is used to make jelly. It is usually crystal clear and shimmering. Jelly is gelatinized enough to hold its shape when removed from the jar, yet soft enough to spread easily.  Flowers that can be made into juice (Sorrel) or tea (Rose-Hip pods & Hibiscus) can be made into jelly by themselves or combined with fruit juice.

Jams are jellies with crushed or chopped fruit.

Conserves are jam-like products made with a combination of two or more fruits, nuts and raisins.  If nuts are used, they can be added during the last five minutes of cooking.

Marmalade is made from the peel & juice of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water.  It contains pieces of fruit and peel in the transparent jelly.  It can be made from lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof.  Marmalades are similar in structure to jam. 

(On a personal note I recommend that you google a marmalade recipe & make your own marmalade before buying it because I've heard that the marmalade in stores are flavorless & just bad.  People who've only had store bought marmalade claimed to hate it but loved mine.)

Fruit is preserved with sugar so it retains its shape, is transparent, shiny, tender and plump. The syrup varies from the thickness of honey to that of soft jelly. A true preserve does not hold its shape when spooned from the jar.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dandelion Greens

Yeah, you heard right. Dandelion greens.  Now when  you work on your lawn you can kill two birds with one stone because those ubiquitous weeds that plague your lawns are actually very healthy for you.

The whole plant, root, leaves & bloom provide so much nutrition for severe illnesses that are so common in the United States.  On top of that  there's actually a coffee substitute that can be made by roasting the roots. Different people have easier methods of  roasting the roots, I'd recommend looking at several pages.  The pretty yellow blooms have actually been used for fritters.  But for now let's just stick to the leaves.

Here they are in my default greens recipe with onions, garlic & some soy sauce.
Cooked male dandelion greens.
Now I'm not one for bitter flavors but even though dandelions greens are bitter, they're not offensive.  I found them enjoyable enough that I will eat them again.

I've read that they're not bitter if you pick them in the spring before the flower appears & the leaves mature.  I had just learned about them in the late summer so the ones pictured above were picked after the flowers bloomed.

I recommend them.  If bitter flavors don't suit your pallet, I'd try mixing them with other greens first as there really is nothing like eating well for free.

And just a word of caution, if you're going to pick dandelions from somewhere other than your own property, first make sure that they're not sprayed with chemicals (check with the owner).

Now I don't know how true the following is BUT I was told to only eat the male leaves (the ones that look like lion's teeth).  I wasn't told why, so I did some homework on it & this is what I found...
  1. None of the pages I investigated made any reference to leaf genders.
  2. All the pages I investigated only showed male leaves for consuming.
  3. The only pages that showed female leaves were for illustration about dandelions only.  There were no references regarding consuming dandelions.

There's LOTS of information online on the nutritional value & all the medical benefits contained in these weeds.  For something that's so readily available I'd wager that it would be worth your time to google it.