Sunday, 24 September 2017

CINNAMON ROLLS AND A POST ON A SPICE - CINNAMON

CINNAMON ROLLS AND A POST ON A SPICE - CINNAMON


Cinnamon is the oldest and most versatile spice in the world and is used in many savory and sweet items, a delicious spice which is used in the culinary world from ages. It is mainly used in cooking as a condiment and flavouring agent. Cinnamon is actually the bark of a tree which is removed and dried. Cinnamon sticks are long, brown and their shape is like a cigar. The sticks and their powder are both used in different cuisines. This spice is widely used in American, European, African and Asian cuisines, this is the reason it is a famous spice of the world.


In Indian cuisine, this spice is used a lot in savoury dishes like rice, lentil and vegetable curries, stews, yoghurt salads, drinks, coffee, tea and in many snack items. And it is also used in sweet items like cakes, cookies, murrabas (Fruit preserves), puddings, fudges, and traditional sweetmeats etc. It is also added in many spice blends of different states of India, the famous one is Garam Masala.


In Indian homes, it is not only used as a fragrant spice but also as a medicine. My mother always used it in a masala tea for the treatment of a sore throat, in which she added- cinnamon, honey, black pepper powder and clove powder. This masala tea really works and helps us to relieve symptoms of a sore throat, till today we are using her tea formula. According to Ayurveda, cinnamon is called the ancient healing spice of the world.



There are enormous health benefits of this spice; even scientific researchers have shown that this spice has a lot of health benefits. Check this website-


This article in the newspaper - “Washington Times” explains that Americans love cinnamon and they use it in all dessert recipes, pies, cakes, bread, rolls, coffee to mention a few. The title of the article was “Cinnamon unites cuisines of the World”. It seems when people adopted recipes from other cuisines, this spices also traveled with the recipes throughout the world.



This is a simple recipe, it is easy to make the dough like for bread or a plain bun and is very simple to spread butter and sprinkle the mixture of cinnamon-sugar, give round shape and bake it. My grandchildren love this cinnamon rolls, they happily take these rolls in their lunch boxes to school.




RECIPE

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH

  • 2 cups brown bread flour
  • Half packet active dry yeast (5 grams)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • more oil for coating

FOR CINNAMON FLAVOUR FILLING

  • 2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter

METHOD

  • In a cup, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar and salt in it. Mix well and leave it - around 5 minutes till the colour of the water changes and becomes foamy.
  • In a big bowl take flour add salt, oil and this foamy water of yeast, mix more water and make a soft dough, coat all sides with oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap to let the dough rise, let it double in size. Keep it in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise.
  • Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.
  • Punch dough down. Divide into 2 big balls. Roll the ball thin on a flat surface. Apply a thin layer of butter and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the rolled out dough.
  • Cut long strips of the dough and roll giving round shape as shown in the picture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20minutes till they are golden brown.
  • Cool on a rack, this can be served hot or cold.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry with Hearth and Soul blog hop and Meatless Monday










Tuesday, 12 September 2017

PEACH CHUTNEY

PEACH CHUTNEY


After moving to Canada, I had heard many times that, in summer there are many ‘pick-your-own-fruit’ farms and you get a chance to pick fresh berries/fruits from the farm or orchards. If you are willing to pick your own berries, you can get an empty basket in 5-10 dollars, then go ahead and help yourself and fill your basket. It sounded like so much fun. On a road trip through the beautiful Okanagan Valley, I got to experience such a fruit picking, which I never had before in my life. Though in my long stay in Africa, I had a lot of experience of picking fruits and vegetables from my own kitchen garden but picking fruits from a farm with acres and acres of plants was another experience on its own!



Being vegetarian, my diet is depending a lot on fresh fruits and vegetables of any kind, so I am always interested in looking for new places/shops to get fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. Here, in summer a lot of varieties of fruits are available, so summer is the season when I use them in my culinary journey to make some old tried and tested recipes plus I try and learn some new recipes out of them.



This is a simple recipe, my mother was making the same type of chutney with mangoes so I tried with peaches once and really liked it, and so whenever fresh peaches are available I make this chutney. When peaches are in plenty here, I even freeze them for future use in winter. It is very easy to freeze peaches- rinse thoroughly and slice them; sliced peaches can be kept in the freezer in a zip-lock freezer bag.




  These are pics of my trip to Vancouver, a farm stall and an orchard where I picked peaches.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Medium peach (100-150 grams)
  • 1/4 fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 fennel seeds
  • 1/4 mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry or fresh mint
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 green chilies optional
  • Juice of 1 lemon

METHOD


  • Wash and slice peaches into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add fenugreek, fennel and mustard seeds in it, when the colour is slightly changed, add sliced peaches with salt and chili powder and green chili, roast for 2 minutes and add water.
  • Cover it and leave it to cook for 8-10minutes.
  • When peaches are soft, add sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes when cold add lemon juice.
  • Serve when cool with any food or snack of your taste.