I love the idea of being able to produce a healthy, nutritious and delicious bread. My Indian students who gave me their delectable fresh homemade flatbreads to try made me wish that such a tradition could be part of my daily life too. Following some video blogs such as “Show me the Curry” convinced me to begin practising at least every now & then, and I now have a small repertoire of easy favourites. This chickpea and wholemeal flour with red onion, chilli, herbs & seeds is really nutritious and quick to make. It’s good to make for immediate use with a curry or dip or for freezing some balls of dough to cook later. The chickpea flour gives the bread a lovely nutty flavour. I found this recipe in “Fresh Indian” by Sunil Vijayakar.
150 g plain wholemeal flour,150 g gram (chickpea flour),1 red onion, finely diced, 1 red chilli, de-seeded & finely chopped,1 Tablespoon chopped fresh coriander, 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon black onion (Nigella) seeds,100-150 mls lukewarm water, salt, sunflower or olive oil for brushing.
Sift both flours in a large mixing bowl. Add onion, red chilli, chopped coriander, cumin & onion seeds. Season with salt & mix together. Gradually pour in enough of the measured water for mixture to come together and knead on a lightly floured surface to make a soft dough. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then divide the dough into 8 portions. Shape each into a ball. (You can seal in ziplock bags at this stage to freeze if you wish.)
Roll the balls out on a lightly floured surface to a 12 cm (5″) diameter disk.
Heat a large flat griddle pan till hot. Cook the disks one at a time for 30seconds, flip, brush with a little oil or ghee, flip over & cook for a minute, moving the bread around. Flip the dough again and cook on the other side for a minute or until bread is lightly browned both sides.
Remove, cover in foil, serve warm.
Cherry pipping is done… (time management specialist & willing kitchen helper on hand!)…last lots frozen to make Ursula’s cake in more dreary days to remind us of such a fleeting delight.
On to the apricots & peaches!
The birds have had a feast on the upper canopy, and luckily we’ve savoured a few sun-warmed gorgeous ripe apricots…but necessity meant a rescue mission of the not quite ripe to make an apricot and almond crumble (once again from “Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book”) and a peach tart- this time from Elizabeth David’s “Summer Cooking”.
I’ve loved going back to these much worn & loved paperbacks to unearth some past favourites & to think about all those untried with such pleasure…to make one day?
Actually these peaches came from Araluan…ours are not quite ripe yet. We went to Braidwood for a post Christmas breakaway…and came back loaded with beautiful white peaches and nectarines from a footpath vendor -a grower- up from the valley.
The zucchinis are from our garden though…and they’re beautiful. Had to make a side dish with them-pan-frying lightly in olive oil & garlic with thyme, some lemon zest & juice. Delicious! (“River Cottage Everyday” suggestion!)
Dumplings…we love them!
Recently we’ve been eating the most delicious Shitake mushroom mouthfulls encased in a bouncy sticky Cantonese pastry (CHANS’s YUM CHA from the supermarket freezer) for fasting day lunches.Emily has decided she likes them too.
I found a recipe from an old Delicious magazine for a chicken & shitake filling with similar sounding seasonings so tried this different non-vegetarian home-made version!
3 dried shitake mushrooms, 250 gms chiken mince,3 spring onions,( white part only, finely chopped), 1 garlic clove crushed, 2 teasps grated ginger, 2 Tbspns grated ginger, 2 Tbspns finely chopped coriander,1/2 teasp Chinese 5-spice, 2 tsps soy sauce, 1 tsp honey, 25 round wonton wrappers (from Asian supermarket freezer)
I’m sure these won’t anywhere near approach the authentic Cantonese dumpling skins version…but they will at least be a handy extra freezer fast food lunch (and they’re fun to make!)
Myrtle’s pudding recipe has vanished…or at least is tucked away somewhere I haven’t discovered yet…
so this year’s pudding is a breakaway in a basin. It’s a pale imitation in more ways than one…I used golden raisins which I had on hand for a walnut cake recipe and they gleam brightly instead of melting mysteriously into the mix. It was a huge amount & had to be divided into a larger & smaller basin.
Tying the covers of paper & foil over the tops with string proved the trickiest part of the procedure with both Ian & I struggling to fit them (the baking paper wasn’t quite wide enough)…and both of us wishing I’d put the mixture in a rag as usual & hoping for the rainy weather to stop while it seasoned. Anyway,now they’re done,some other Christmas cooking can be contemplated.
Meantime our summer veggie garden is beginning to bear fruit (garlic & some onions harvested) and we had the first medley of our beautiful Lebanese eggplant & lime green zucchini. Yum!
Luckily we’ve snatched a few delicious fresh apricots down in the bottom corner away from the baby Wattle bird…the mulberries have been a great decoy for the Currawong baby and all the Silvereyes and now for this boofy baby too- mostly keeping them away from the other ripening fruit… and the mulberries are continuing to ripen in a second flush.
Well…we’ve shared the first one…no doubt there’ll still be more on the tree for another one…or possibly for a mulberry frangipane tart or mulberry jelly.
Made a shortcrust pastry…and tossed up how to make the filling…In the end I took the simplest route and just put the fresh berries(de-stalked) with added cornflour & sugar gently mixed then placed on the uncooked bottom pastry, & covered with the top piece. Not so pretty..but delicious,especially with ice-cream!