Sunday, July 6, 2014

Caramel Magic Homemade Granola bars and a Realisation

"Can you make me some cookies ,and put chocolate chips  in them? And please make cup cakes ,and put some cream on it and then drop some sprinkles on them. I love sprinkles on my cup cakes. And make granola ,but dont put raisins in it ,my papa and I don't like raisins..."

And all I ever asked was if she wanted something from Jalandhar...
Sweet Sister has since relocated to Bangalore from New Jersey and the one feeling the pangs the most is sweet Sanskriti, my 3.5 year old niece. Someone was leaving for Bangalore from Jalandhar and I called up sweet sister to ask if she needed anything from here. She hardly asked for anything, these demands came from the little madame Sanskriti.
Her demands must be fulfilled.
Granola, and that too without raisins. Everything else, we can manage, but we had to try a recipe for the granola before I could make a batch for Sanskriti.

Looking around for a good enough recipe, I found @saffrontrail  made granola but hers didn't bind.
Again a little research let to the conclusion that liquid glucose helps to keep the granola crisp and is no too sweet.
So an attempt.
The granola turned out great but the oats needed to cook more . So next time I will roast the oats beforehand.
And the realization, well ,I have been blogging about all and sundry, but have not been baking.
So the #facepalm...

For the

Caramel Magic Homemade Granola Bars ...

You need

2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (roasted and cooled)
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup Rice Crispies(I used desi Murmura)
1/2 cup tutti fruity -no raisins remember
1/2 cup melon seeds or magaz
2 tbsp grated coconut-dry kopra
50 gms butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup caramel /molasses
3 tbsp liquid glucose

I  caramelised 1/2 cup sugar and poured in 1 cup water and let it reduce to give me a thick dark molasses like sauce a day before. You can skip the same , but I have been wanting to use a sauce like so for ever now ,so...

You should roast the quick cooking oats in a large saucepan over low heat .(I used Quakers quick cooking oats and Kelloggs corn flakes, and if you have corn syrup, you can use it in place of liquid glucose. ..only the granola will be sweeter.)

In a large bowl place the butter, canola oil ,liquid glucose and molasses(or honey) and allow it to warm together.
A few minutes is all it takes.

Tip in the dry stuff into the wet and mix well. Taste and check if the granola holds together, you may need to add a little more roasted oats or cornflakes if the mix is too wet.
Place a sheet of tin foil or baking parchment paper on a  baking dish and grease it with canola oil.
You know its OK if it holds and lets go like a good ex ...
Now press it down into the  baking dish about 3/4th of an inch deep.
Keep the oven at 160°C and place the granola in for about 25 to 30 minutes. You're going to be able to judge it by pinching off a bit and tasting it yourself.
Bring it out and let it cool  for 10 minutes and tip it out on a board.

Peel off the paper and slice firmly into bars .
Cool and eat...
For the wow ,jewel factor ,I melted some white chocolate and drizzled it on...
OK the milk is a buffer for the granola and I am in love with these ginormous chai type glasses and the sprinkles are to keep little Sanskriti happy.
So what do you think....even without the raisins????

Like so... I know I am not a chocalatier...just a chocolate skills are bad.

A fresh batch for madame...
Most of the granola is gone...
I'll be trying the fruit and granola parfait next.
Stay tuned.
Be healthy and eat healthy.

So what are you baking today???
PS next up Dal baati,Choorma

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beautiful Food and some Memories and Pretty Dishes #BeautifulFood

The sun plays hide and seek and a light breeze is blowing,just enough to make her long hair dance in the wind.
Her name means rememberence, yet she has few memories of her childhood home or her family.
She has been here so long...
She can't remember the sights and smells of her native place...
The city has endured a long dusty summer and excessive heat spells,when it awakens to its first sight of dark storm clouds in this season.
A little wink of lightening and a rumble of distant clouds thundering towards her.
Simran stands in the patio of her house ,drying her long wet hair. Sometimes the long plait gets a little too heavy for her tiny self. She longs to run with the breeze blowing through and tangling up her hair , when the balmy morning brings back memories of  the aromas of huge the vats of roasting kada prashada from her neighborhood gurudwara.
Suddenly, she closes her eyes and watches a man stir all that fragrant desi ghee and whole wheat flour and sugar in that kadai and longs for that one bit of kada prashada.
She whispers a fervent prayer of apology to the lord and runs inside to make breakfast before the family gets up.
In a while ,she's through with breakfast and sets a pot of water and milk to boil for tea.
It's not in her nature to gently wake her kids and husband up for breakfast(She is Punjabi, you see),so she begins to call out to her family, the boys turning up within seconds...
They had woken up to the unfamiliar smell of hot, fried stuff.
On the table were their Winnie the Pooh plates and mums "rarely making an appearance/party stuff" glassware loaded with goodies and not a sign of any milk or cereal.
Desi breakfast.
In her special carafe was tea, all brewed and boiled and milky and syrupy, just the way she rarely ever made. She was pouring out a glass and calling out to their father, who happily appears out of nowhere and hitches up his pyjamas to sit cross legged on the chair.
Wah ,pakoras..
Onion and cauliflower and potatoes dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried. Simran's trademark masala sprinkled on the pakoras made them awesome"er".
Heaped on her gorgeous fluted rice platter , they were crisp and spicy and the family noisily dipped them into tomato sauce and munched happily.
Simran had made a spicy potato gravy with fresh red tomatoes and green chillies to go with the soft pooris ,and had opened a container of yogurt.
That handi shaped glass casserole dish reminded her of the matkis back home.
Milk here in the city was never good enough for thick creamy yogurt, store bought was better. Her plate looked pretty full and un ladylike as she dipped a small morsel of her poori into the potato gravy and then into the yogurt. One bite and she realised the breakfast had been worth all the effort.
She poured the syrupy concoction of tea and sugar and milk from her loyal carafe into her transparent  mug and sniffed at the vapours while she watched the boys empty out the pooris platter.
Knife at the ready ,Simran was waiting for the moment when both boys saw the last poori ,her estimate has never been wrong, exactly half to each.
As it began to rain in earnest her husband picked the bowl of the kada prasada(Atta halwa made as an offering for ardaas in a gurudwara) and commented that it looked like what they offered at the gurudwara back home in India.
The smell of the rain drops on the dry American soil was never the same as what Gulzar described. That made her hungrier for the kada prashada.
She smiled as she watched her husband wipe his greasy hands on his stubble and sniff his tea with appreciation.
Yummm ,what an amazing start to this dull rainy day.
Sc*** the cholesterol, sometimes ,your blood craves unhealthy, fried food.
Suddenly, that brought back images of the tandoor and the bubbling sarson ka saag and the
white butter slathered rotis.
She watched as her boys polished off the entire bowl of kada prashada and ended the meal with a burp.
Pure Punjabi!
Suddenly, she was running through those dusty roads and sugar cane fields again, with her mother calling out her name and asking her to be careful . She was running to her father who was sitting on a charpai and sipping his sweet syrupy tea ,slurping it up noisily as only he could do it. She was watching her childhood float by.
Funny how a meal can turn back the hands of time and make us relive those precious memories again(does everyone see them in slow motion and technicolour? I wonder?)
Time to count her  blessings and thank the lord. Not everyone can make the simplest food so yummy ,she thought as she picked up the empty dishes and loaded the dishwasher.

Beautiful dishes make good food better and memories priceless.

This post is a part of the contest for my borosil.

PS this post was intended to evoke some hunger. I hope you are starving for some poori aaloo and brewed sweet tea.

Spread the happiness


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