Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ladi Pao Super Soft and Egg Free

I'm super stoked.
Can you peel of a pao from the lot like this?

Can you???
Can you???
It's almost like cotton candy peeling off.
And this time the only difference is that instead of using butter ,I used Desi ghee or clarified butter.
No tangzong ,no eggs, no milk powder nothing.
Just pure milk flour and yeast and some major muscle power with desi ghee.
Yup, the much maligned Clarified butter needs to be shown in all its glory.
Mine is home made.
But we'll go there in the next few posts.

Back to being stoked. And Ladi Pao.
The softest, yummiest pao bread you can make... and in the smallest interval of time.

And today , I kneaded the bread by hand. Not in the stand mixer. Not that easy, but not that difficult either.

For the

Ladi Pao Eggless Pao Bread

You need

2 cups maida or all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk plus 2 tbsp extra - to make 200mils
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cream of milk -optional
2 tsp instant dry yeast
40 -50 gms melted /softened butter-Amul or Desi ghee/clarified butter
Oil to grease tin

Grease an 8 inch cake tin with oil/butter.
On your clean worktop heap the maida or all purpose flour , salt and mix well with your fingers and make a well.
A lot of people add milk powder, but its never in my cupboard,so I have given up on it.
You may add malai or cream at this stage, but even if you don't, it will be ok. I didn't.
Warm the all the milk and add sugar and yeast-If you are using the active dry yeast, allow the yeast to mix and froth.
 If you're not, dive straight in. Just mix it with the flour, but away fro. The salt.
No pretense.
No preparation.
You can also liken that to eloping.
Marry in haste but never repent...
Back to the dough.
Into that well we made, pour in the milk mix.
 Keep your hand the same way like Hulk holds his.... claw like and mix into  a sticky oozy mess.
Yup its perfectly all right.
You'll need your bench scraper and end up with a sticky dough.
Now pour the butter or ghee over.
Stretch, fold, bring back and generally fool around with the dough.
Remember to use the heel of the palm to drag the dough forward and the bench scraper in your left hand to bring it back.
Almost like a coordinated motion.
Knead almost 10-15 minutes.

You may be tempted to add more flour. But if you do, these pao will not be soft enough.
Remember, chemistry / biology at work here.
And your bench scraper is your friend . Push forward ,scrape back.
The gluten protien will form accordingly.
You'll know the dough is done when it has come together and you are able to drag it towards you without any dough sticking on the work top. Make your ball by stretching the top and tucking strays under.
Grease a bowl with oil and place the dough ball seam side down in oil. Cover with film and set aside. Doubles so fast...
 After the dough has doubled divide into 9 or 16 balls. My dough is generally 540-560 gms. So a ladi pao will be approximately 60 gms. Or 30-35 gms.
 Stretch one side and pinch strays under. Like so.
Place close to each other .
Flatten the tops.
Allow these to prove 45 minutes.
 Halfway through ,preheat oven to 200C. Never over proof the pao. Bake within 45 minutes of second proof or as soon as it doubles.
 Brush with milk and pop in the oven for 18-20 minutes. My Morphy Richards needa me to broil the bread a minute for that perfect color.

Your home will be awash with amazing yeasty , buttery, bread toasting aromas by now.
Once they are done, check by knocking on the base for that hollow sound if you're not sure... but one can tell they are done by looking at them.
Brush with soft butter. I used a spoon of ghee.
Wait 5 minutes and turn the pao out onto a wire rack. You may need to run a knife around them in the tin.
 Allow to cool 5-10 minutes and then enjoy with your bhaji or Chai.
 This is best enjoyed fresh, the day they are baked. Remember, we use no preservatives at home.
 I've never had a chance to photograph these before, though I've been baking these for a long time I deliberately did it while the boys are out.
 Just the weather for these pao with Chai. Since they already contain enough butter...
With The Chana Achaari also they are fabulous.

Try them today. Oh and sweet dog Romeo practically webt ballistic while I was taking pictures. He wanted... the whining and the sniffing...And then sweet child walked in ,back from school, wet from the rain...
"Fee Fie Fo Fum, do I smell some Bread today????"
So what are you baking today???

Friday, June 24, 2016

Chana Achaari -Tadka Maar Ke -Jain Style

Chana Achaari or Chhole or white chick peas are a staple in any home. 
In fact it's a pretty standard source of protein in almost all houses.
And what with the recent eggless macaroon obsession ,the aquafaba -or water from the bean has also been elevated to a demi god like status.
Well, in my house, when all else fails, white chana or chhole comes tp the rescue.
And if it is tempered with desi ghee,the taste is just amazing.
Make your own desi ghee or buy your desi ghee online from askme grocery. They deliver everytime.

You may like to cook your food in refined oil or a vegetable oil like mustard oil, but a single teaspoon of desi ghee can change the taste of your food to make it heavenly. And I do this in almost all the meals I cook
Yes, sometimes we make samosas at home and fill them with mutton or chicken Keema and serve with Chana Achaari.
Achaari doesn't mean pickled White China or chickpeas ,just cooked in spices that are used for pickling in this subcontinent.

for the 

Chana Achaari -Tadka Maar Ke -Jain Style

You need

1 cup chickpeas , soaked overnight and pressure cooked 20 minutes -approx 400 gms
1 tbsp mustard oil or any vegetable oil
1 tbsp desi ghee
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp kalonji / nigella seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder -I used Tikha Laal
2 tomatoes diced
1 inch piece ginger julienned
5-6 green chillies slit
1 tsp amchoor or dry mango powder

Start with the spice blend. Dry rroast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds or rye dana, nigella seeds or kalonji and half the cumin seeds over low heat till they are fragrant. Grind them in a coffee grinder or like so , with a rolling pin . I tried the mortar and pestle. No can do.
Set aside.
Before you start out , ensure your chick peas are cooked and cooled. Raw chickpeas or chana cause flatulence or gas. I always cook my chana with a couple.of black cardamom pods or ajwain seeds and a teaspoon of salt. What has always been done to eliminate stomach disorders.
Heat a pan and pour in rhe mustard oil or vegetable oil. Smoke the mustard oil and pop in the remaining cumin seeds or zeera. Once they crack add the tomatoes and cook till pulpy.

I love to add green chillies here too... my family loves their food super apicy. You can omit the chillies. Add half the salt, turmeric powder,red chilli powder and the amchoor. Stir well on medium to low heat.

Add in the chana and somw of the liquid. Cook and mash some of the chickpeas with the back of the spoon.

Cook till the masala napps the chickpeas. Check for salt and adjust to taste.
Mean while get the tadka or tempering ready.
Keep all the ingredients, the ground masala, ginger juliennes, slit green chillies in bowls. The chillies must be DRY and split or they'll jump up in protest.
Hwat the ghee in a tadka pan or a small pan over medium heat. 

Once it heats up, add the ginger and chillies. Keep as far from your face as your arms will allow. And keep the flame low,as it may catch fire.
Turn off the heat and pop in the masala. Quickly stir and pour over the chana. Stir up to mix the tadka.

Thats done. Now serve with poori, paranthas, phoolkas, rotis, chapatis or even with pao.
If you're cooking for friends or a special occasion, you can temper your Chana Achaari in the service dish just before serving too.

Serve these warm or cold, as a filler in sandwiches or with samosas, this is a winner everytime.
And its got a Jain tag too.. no onion , no garlic.

Easy , filling ,full of protein and yummy.

A note to remember. Toast and grind the spicea fresh every time for a better flavor profile.


Coming up, a quick whole wheat flour Ladi Pao to go with these Chana Achaari.

So what are you baking today???

Until the next

Until the next


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