Naan is one of the essential dishes in the Indian & Pakistani cuisine. You can’t mention a good curry and then not think of how it could be savored with a naan.
As I see it, a naan can be enjoyed with a good curry or on its own, if stuffed with meat or vegetables. The sign of a great naan is when people start eating it plain, without anything else.
In my family, my mother always makes the naan bread, but I wanted to try a different recipe and get them to be more like the ones you get in the restaurants. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/naan/
I think it is very close to the result that I wanted to achieve. The only thing I didn’t like, was the amount of sugar in these naans. They were too sweet for me. In my opinion naan should be savory or at least not sweet.
Here is the original recipe by Mic on Recipe.com that yields 14 naans:
In my dough I added fresh coriander, crushed garlic and chili flakes to give the naan a bit more flavor. I have made both plain naans and keema naan (with minced meat filling) from the same dough.
My parents have always wanted to make naan and chapatis in a traditional clay oven like they used to when they were in Pakistan. However those are hard to get in an apartment in Denmark. So about 10 years ago they found a substitute for a tandoori (clay oven). It was basically a metal box with a heeating element attached on the top inner side of the box. It gave the maximum heat, as this box didn’t have any heat regulating knob on it. (Since I made these naans, we have actually upgraded to a newer, more user-friendly model of this Tandoori, with heat regulation)
The idea is to make a naan or chapati and place it on the top of the box. Once it gets the heat, the dough hardens up and then you can open the box and put the naan into the box for a minute or so. This will back the upper side and give it its signature brown/black charred spots.
The naans are portioned into almost equal sized balls, the oil is ready in the small bowl to brush the naan and the clay oven is fired up with excruciating hotness.
I usually poke holes in the naan once it is placed on the top. This way it doesn’t get too inflated with air once it is inside the oven.
It is very very hot inside this box. My mom has this aluminum foil on the inside, so the naan don’t stick to the bottom.
The naan making is in the process. You can see the beautiful brownish charred spots emerging on it.
Golden, delicious and soft naans.
This one was with the minced meat filling.
I am well satisfied with this recipe now and I hope it inspires you to give it a try as well.
When I was younger, some of the vegetables that my mother used to make, were not to be found in the normal shops in Denmark. Still it is quite hard to find okra in danish shops. Luckily there are plenty of pakistani, afghani and turkish grocers now who import these special vegetables. I have been brought up on classic pakistani vegatable dishes made from small baby aubergines (bengan), okra aka lady fingers (bhindi), bitter gourd(karela) or parsnips.
One of my favorite is Bhindi. I have often seen danish ladies at the grocery store, investigating the foreign vegetables with curiousity and interest. Often they ask how to prepare the vegetables and get a short and most basic recipe from the owner of the shop.
I will be letting you in on my mothers recipe on how to make Bhindi, but you can try it some other way too.
One rule my mother always explained regarding bhindi was, never to put water when making this vegetable.. This can be a very sticky and slimy vegetable if introduced to water. That is definetaly not the way I want to eat my bhindi.
When we buy okra, we do it by the weight.. like buy about 200 gram of okra. when you choose the okra, go for the green, small okra. Don’t pick the very long and dry ones, they are more stringy and do not taste that good. They should give a little, when you try to bend them slightly.
Washing and cutting okra
Recently we found them in the freezer department. Now you can buy them in a packet where they are ready to prepare without any cutting. This is the first time I have used the frozen ones. They were tiny and therefore I haven’t cut the top or tail of or diced them. I took them straight out of the packet as they were.
To make Bhindi you will need the following:
Serve with chapati or (you can eat with naan too, if you don’t have chapati.
Healthy food is not really my speciality, but I do love it when its good.
A while ago I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls food program called the River Cottage, where he promotes organic food. In that episode he made a simple oatmeal dish that cought my attention. Usually I don’t eat breakfast, because I forget, or am in a rush in the morning.
Oatmeal doesn’t strike many people as anything too exciting. I think its rather boring but healthy. However this recipe is rich on nutrition, healthy and colorful in the good way.
As I can’t recall the full recipe, this is my take on it. The most significant thing about the original recipe was that Hugh had soaked the oats in Orange juice.
A few years ago I became allergic (more like hormonal imbalance resulting in acne) to dairy products. I really missed eating oatmeal, but I never thought of this combination. So if any of you can’t for one reason or another not intake dairy products, this is a great way to eat oats.
So basically you take a large bowl and put the desired amount of oats. Then add your favorite orange juice to the bowl, enough to submerge the oats. It will get absorbed later. Leave this mix to get well incorporated over night or for 1 hour.
You can also add a grated apple or diced banana, grated coconut, fresh berries, raisins, almonds or cashews.. whatever you want to the mix now or do it later.
I used a banana, grated apple, dried cranberries, freshly grated coconut.
When you are ready to eat, stir the oatmeal and put it in a new deep plate or bowl. Add a couple of plain or greek yoghurt. If you didn’t add the extra berries or nuts already, you can do this now too. Finish off with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you like.
This is really tasty and different than your usual breakfast. I definitely feel cheerful and healthy from all the fresh flavors and colors.
Have a great day!
For Easter holidays, I love to make easter eggs. I used to buy them but now I can make them my self. It is something different when things are homemade with love and care.
My cousin was coming over, so we could relax and enjoy a couple of movies. She has quiet a sweet tooth, so I wanted to greet her with some classic easter eggs and soft rocky mountains.
I like the idea of simple Easter eggs, with good marzipan and some nougat in the middle, coated with dark chocolate. However, this time I wanted to make a decorating contrast of milk and dark chocolate.
I have used the following for 14-16 eggs.
31-32° C (milk) and 33-34° C (dark) is your working temperature. If the chocolate gets cooler while you are working with it, then reheat it slowly to these temperatures again.
Double boiler method
Last year my darling friends gave me a surprise party for my 30th birthday. so I decided to show my gratitude by inviting them over for a lavish tea party with great variety of cakes. They usually complain whenever I put up photographs of my baking goods on facebook that they never get to taste it.
My initial vision was to make smaller versions of my best cake recipes, something I consider “my greatest hits” if you like. However, as I am huge fan of making really heavy cakes (grand in size and calorie wise), a great friend advised me not to make more than 2-3 cakes, as nobody would be able to eat more than 2 bites of those heavy weight champions.
I could see the point, but in my heart I just wasn’t satisfied with the thought of 2-cakes.. I wanted to be over the top, with so many different things to choose from. as a challenge to myself it had to be recipes I hadn’t made before.Eventually I made a compromise and decided to make it all petit four style.
Easy on the eyes and the stomach.
I ended up making the following:
Hai Mirchii, uff uff Mirchii. (Mirchii = hot chili)
Since my childhood i have had really spicy food and I have grown a passion for those red fiery elegant chilies.
Here I’m about to share my recipe for everyday chili paste that you can smear on good bread, use it with your pita kebab or with anything you like.
you can usually get it in our local shawarma (donër kebab, pita, gyro whatever they are called). This chili doesn’t get too hot as there is ample tomato pure that gives quite a lot sweetness.
Close the jar tightly after use, and it can last 1 week in the fridge or outside even.
Enjoy the hotness.
Many years ago I saw a recipe on Jamie Olivers Tv show for how to make a herb bread. I love it so much that it has become my foolproof, always a hit, olive bread.
It has an unusual ingredient semolina, that gives it the nice crumbly texture that I enjoy. I can have it as a side dish to lasagna, serve it with cream cheese or eat it with home made chili paste. You can even it plain, as it is packed with great flavors.
Easy to make with simple ingredients.
Here is the recipe:
Ingredients for dough
You don’t have to make it so tall, it is evenly good as a 2 inch flat bread as well.
Olive/herb bread served with home made chili. You can even use it to make a panini with melted cheese and your favorite toppings.
Give it a try and Enjoy!
Have you ever wondered how much fat there might be in ½ liter heavy cream (38% fat)?
Well i got curious one evening. I had some heavy cream in the fridge which was reaching the expiration date and I hate to throw out food. So I decided to make butter out of the cream.
I have often seen on TV how they can overdo the whipping and turn the peaky soft whipped cream into yellow creamy butter. Now i wanted to try the same thing.
I whipped the cream as much as i could until it passed the state of milky liquid —> soft peaks —> whipped texture to hard creaminess. Once it reaches this point, watery liquid starts to extract from the yellow soft butter.
I drained the butter in a cloth, washed it in cold water a couple of times. You see the butter gets even more solid when you put cold water on it as it lowers he temperature of the butter (in other words, there is no way that the butter could melt away along with the water).
Actually I could have stopped right there and be very statisfied with the solid yellow butter. However, I was quite bored that evening, so I wanted to make an other experiment.
As I didn’t need the butter right away, I thought I could make it even more long lasting. One way of doing this is by eliminating any moisture from the butter.
So I put the butter in a saucepan and placed it on the stove with lowest heat. After 10 minutes the surface was very foamy from the natural buttermilk which at this point was golden-brown color. After removing that and repeating the heating process I was able to get the most purified and clarified butter that i made my self.
This is the end product, which resembles oil when its liquid and yellow solid when put into fridge.
This method of clarifying butter, to make it last longer, is something my grandmother had done for ages, as she had fresh milk from cows to make butter, buttermilk, cream, yoghurt and cheese on her animal farm.
You can use the clarified butter for sauces as it gets a very nutty flavor when heated and slightly browned. Also it is used in Pakistani and Indian cuisine for the rich taste.
To answer my initial question about how much fat there might be in ½ liter heavy cream …quite a lot more then I thought ;)
Pakore is a great snack and highly appreciated by my family, any day any time. I consider myself as the Pakora Master. In monsoon or on a rainy day the best eat is Pakoras. If you ask Pakistani’s or Indian’s about what to eat on a rainy day, I will be amazed if they say anything but a roaring “PAKORE!!!”. My brother is a huge fan, and it is amazing how many he can eat. I never make less than a batch of about 100 pakoras and believe me, its gone same evening! (or else he packs it in a box and brings back to his crib).
How to pronounce the word?
Singular: pakora [pa-ko-raa] plural :pakore [pa-ko-re] or if you wanna give it an anglo touch you can call them pakoras [pa-ko-raaz]
What is a pakora?
Pakora is a deepfried snack made of vegetables or meat in a batter made out of gram flour. It resembles a Japanese tempura, but this has loads more spices and the main difference is the gram flour instead of rice flour, or wheat flour. So basically protein wrapped around veggies. It is a win win situation.. healty and tasty. This dish has the Desi flavour!
Here is a list of what pakore can be made of, from the simplest to the more complex
For first time makers: Expect to cut loads of veggies and spends loads of time frying it, that is pakora-making!
About the recipe
I’ve been asked about this recipe many a times but the reason I’ve never written it down is that I never measure any ingredients. I start by peeling and cutting the vegetables in dices, spicing them up, adding the gramflour and the liquids. Then I stand for 2 hours frying the batter.
Ingredients for My recipe
Flour and spices:
Tips for frying:
Taste the pakora seasoning:
Place the fried pakora on the plate and let cool for 2 minutes before tasting the salt and spiciness of it. Adjust to taste if required.
Try to make one more and taste again. Once satisfied fry the rest of the batch and serve hot with a mint chutney, tamarind chutney or ketchup.
I love cooking on sundays, and today I was in the mood of making some delicious Pizzas.. and loads of them. I love making several varying tastes at the same time :)
I was hugely inspired by Nikko Amandonico’s La Pizza : The True Story from Naples. The pictures are so alluring and appetizing even when it’s not framing the food. The photographs capture the warm, but cosy atmosphere of the italien food, the culture and the italien people.
So I decided to bring that atmosphere into my kitchen on this rainy yet warm summer day.
First up, the grocery shooping. I always have a slight idea of which ingredients I’m going for, but I truly love being out shopping and getting inspired by looking for food that looks appealing. It gives me a special feeling to pick up the fresh herbs, beautiful bottles of Olive oil, colorful vegetables etc. My theory is that if you have fresh ingredients and quality products, you can’t really mess it up.
I think the most important thing with pizza making is to get the dough right. In the past I’ve had some trouble finding a good recipe for a crispy pizza dough, so I thought I would go for 2 different recipes today.
I bought 1 pack of Durum flour, as to follow the basic recipe described in La Pizza. For the other recipe I bought readymade flour mix for pizza. I believe cheating is allowed when experimenting J
The recipe in La pizza is as follows:
25 g yeast
2½ dl luke warm water
400 g durum flour
1 tsp salt
This is what I did with the ingredients:
Mix the yeast with ¼ dl luke warm water and add in 2 tbsp of flour. Mix it thoroughly into paste and leave under a damp cloth for 30 minutes.
Make a crater from the rest of the flour and make it hollow in the middle. Pour in the yeast paste, salt and the rest of the water. Mix it slowly, making sure there are no lumps in the dough. Work your way from the middle and outwards. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should turn into white and soft dough (not really sticking to your hands anymore). Cut the dough into 4 parts and make small balls. Place them in a tray or plate and cover it with a slightly wet or damp cloth for 2-3 hours. I reckon the longer the dough rests the better.
For dough number two I used the recipe shown on the package. 500 g pizza flour Mix the water and the yeast well. Put the flour on the kitchen table in a crater and make a well in the middle. Add the salt and the oil in the well of flour and add the water. Mix the water with the salt and oil first and then combine the flour little by little. This ensures a better control of the dough and no lumps in the process. Continue to knead it for 10 minutes. This dough is very sticky when in your hands, but if you try to throw it on the table it would get off your hands immediately. Don’t be scared of the dough, it will get really nice and soft, yet sticky. The elasticity of the dough is the texture that we are going for. I often see the professional pizza makers cut a piece of the dough where it’s shiny, super fresh and has a great amount of elasticity. That seemed to be the kind of dough, which I ended up making in my kitchen today, hence feeling very proud of the end result J
1½ tsp salt
1½ tsp Olive oil
3½ dl Water
For dough number two I used the recipe shown on the package.
500 g pizza flour
Mix the water and the yeast well. Put the flour on the kitchen table in a crater and make a well in the middle. Add the salt and the oil in the well of flour and add the water. Mix the water with the salt and oil first and then combine the flour little by little. This ensures a better control of the dough and no lumps in the process. Continue to knead it for 10 minutes.
This dough is very sticky when in your hands, but if you try to throw it on the table it would get off your hands immediately. Don’t be scared of the dough, it will get really nice and soft, yet sticky. The elasticity of the dough is the texture that we are going for. I often see the professional pizza makers cut a piece of the dough where it’s shiny, super fresh and has a great amount of elasticity. That seemed to be the kind of dough, which I ended up making in my kitchen today, hence feeling very proud of the end result J
The toppings I kept very simple today;
I love cheese so I had a great variety today
The first pizza dough was very crispy and made perfect raised corners also known as cornicione. It was easy to roll out with a rolling pin and by hand as well. Tasted even better… really crispy crust.
The second dough was now as crispy but a bit more fluffy and wholesome. I wouldnt go for this kind of dough for a thin italien pizza, but likely to use it for a regular family pizza like my mum used to make when I was yonger. still good pizza though.
Here is the whole lot- so enjoy the photographs and do try to make them yourself, cos they are certainly worth it.
- Bon Appétit!
Pizza Marinara in the oven
A very hot Marinara
Margherita - Just out of the oven
A very hot pizza for my mama- she isnt too keen on “pale” pizzas.
Another Margherita on the second dough. See how thick the crust is.
Unbaked Pizza blanca - gorgonzola
Oozingly gorgeous gorgonzola pizza. Soo yummy!