Mar 24, 2010

You may want to unsubscribe now...

A few months ago, when Manisha asked the same of her readers, it was for a totally opposite reason than mine. She was about to embark on the NaBloWriMo.
I, on the other hand, have already embarked on a journey I never thought I would take again after I was done with my degrees and started working. Now, a decade and some later, in my adopted country where it is never too late to start anew, I have decided to get a degree in arts, something I had always wanted to do.
Combined with all the trappings involved with being a mom and a good student, it is hard to keep up with the obligations of a blog not to mention hours spent blog hopping and facebooking.
When Randy Pausch tells you to prioritize your work load according to the following rule, you listen and as a result, blogging takes a back seat to the four year old, school and the four walls one calls a home.

That is not to say I am taking a permanent break from blogging. I will still post but not on a regular basis. Or should we say my regular basis will be sporadic, as evident from this second post in a month.
If any of you want to catch up with me or what is going on in my life, you can always look me up on 359 days of DSM, where I try to post at least once in two days. Why that and not DSM, you may ask? Because it takes me a few minutes to post here as opposed to a few hours on this blog.
So, if you decide to unsubscribe, I understand and agree. Let the countdown begin.

Mar 4, 2010

Tibetan bread in a skillet

This and the posts that will follow have been a long time coming. Call it blog fatigue or my tendency to bite more than I can chew, DSM took a back seat to other chores equally important, like going to school and trying to stay updated on my other blog, 359 Days of DSM. So, to all those who wondered and expressed concern at the absence of activity on this blog, Thank You. I appreciate the love and support of my virtual friends, which I find sometimes lacking in my real life friends.

A couple of weeks ago imprisoned in our own house by 6 inches of snow and too thin blooded to go out and play, we turned to culinary games. Fortunately for us, the day before the white flurries descended on our Tx homeland, I had scored a couple of cookbooks from our library, one of which was his favorite chef Jacques Pepin’s More Fast Food My Way. If you thought French cooks were snooty just watch Jacques in action and you will think your favorite uncle was showing you magic tricks with food. He can be found with his culinary magic tricks here or on PBS every Sunday.

As with all things, he is never happy with a first attempt and the long internment gave him ample time to
experiment till he came up with something he liked. It goes without saying that unlike me, he perfected the original recipe first, which is as simple as bread cooked in a skillet can get.
The original calls for flour, salt, baking powder, water, a few tablespoons of oil and a 12 inch skillet. It does, like all things instant, need to be consumed within a couple of hours, preferably right out of the skillet. The modified version is also easy, fast and tastes best right out of the skillet but you can use the leftovers next day. If you are watching your carb intake, this recipe is not for you. Go eat some moong dal dosas, recipe can be found here.
Unlike regular breads, this is a wait-till-the-last-minute to make a bread kind of recipe. So, plan and keep ready the rest of the meal before you make this. I made chole-palak (garbanzo beans and spinach curry) to go with it. Pair it with your choice of spicy curry.

Serves 2
1 ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup water, plus about 2 tbsp more for steaming the bread

His additions: (also see note)
1 Tsp ajwain/ carom seeds
1/4 cups finely chopped cilantro

Whisk all the dry ingredients together and add water to make a thick, gooey batter. It should be thinner than a dosa batter but thicker than buttermilk.
Spread the oil in a 12 inch skillet, preferably non-stick and add a swirl of olive oil to it. Pour the batter in the skillet and spread it evenly on the floor of the skillet with the back of a spatula.
Add some water along the edges and cover with a tight fitting lid and get the bread cooking. Place on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. The water steams the bread and helps it cook. At the end of 10 minutes the water should be gone and the dough frying.
Reduce the heat and, using a fork, flip the bread. Cook the other side, covered, for another five minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and cool a little in the skillet before cutting it into wedges. Serve with chole palak or curry of your choice.

Note: We have tried this with a 1:2 combination of APF and whole wheat flour too. I liked it, he didn’t. So try the original version first and then experiment with the flour combination.

You can use any combination or assortment of herbs to make the batter.

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