Category Archives: Breads

Aloo Kulchas

During our stay in Jamshedpur recently- we were there for three weeks till we got to Mumbai this last weekend – I had the most amazing aloo kulchas at Gunchu Didi’s home, which she’d bought from the canteen in her school where they make these to order. In fact I liked them so much that when she and Usha Masi and Vijay Bhaiya cam home for dinner, I asked her to buy some for that evening too.

I can’t remember the last time an Indian bread made such an impression on me; not, I think, since the delicious, wonderfully soft and thin Maharashtrian polis that Vasanti made for us when we visited her in Pune once.

So this is going to be one of the first new recipes I am going to try my hand at once I get back to my kitchen in France.

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Filed under Baked Main Meal Dishes, Breads, Breakfast Ideas

Garlic Bread

Inspired by Shefali, I have started to make garlic bread at home finally. Shri misses the frozen kind we used to buy in HongKong from Delifrance, which one could just toast/grill at home with delicious results.

Here is the way I have been making it recently, which he as well as the girls like quite a lot.

Now if I could only remember to pull it out of the oven in time, instead of letting it go from being just the right crispness to bordering-on-burnt each time …

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Garlic Bread

One fresh baguette, sliced in to 1inch (or a little more)  wide pieces

Butter (about 5-7 teaspoons for this much baguette, though more would be definitely nicer)

1 large pod of garlic, grated

salt (just a little, say 1/2 a tsp or even less, as the accent should be predominantly of the herbs)

3/4 tsp of dried oregano flakes (vary this as you like)

1/2 tsp each of dried basil and thyme flakes (vary this too as you like)

Mix the garlic and seasoning in to the butter and leave it for a little while so that all the flavors are well-absorbed.

Spread a little butter on each side of the baguette pieces, then grill these at 200 degrees C in the middle of the oven for a few minutes on each side till they are done.

Et voila ! That is so simple, I wonder why I never tried it before – so a big thanks to Shefali for the inspiration.

I must try not to make it too often though – this is a very indulgent experience, with all that butter  🙂

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Filed under Breads, Starters and Snacks, Versatile Accompaniments

Pain de Sarrasin- aka Kuttu ke Paranthe!

Talk about it being a small world.

When I wrote recently about buckwheat crepes I had no idea that buckwheat flour , called sarrasin in French or ble noir, is the good old kuttu ka atta that is used all over India to make things like cheelas, paranthas and pakoras for people who are fasting for religious reasons and therefore not allowed to eat grains. But then I have never actually eaten anything made with this flour in India, nor indeed have I seen it, since in our home my Aryasamaji mother and dadi never observed any fasts for any festival or occasion. So, being only very vaguely aware of this flour,  I had never given any thought to it or to what it might be.

My good friend Priti wrote to tell me about it, after reading about the crepes here.

So when I made paranthas today, for the girls’ lunch, with the flour I originally bought to make the very French galette, it felt like I had taken the long way home, in a manner of speaking 🙂

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Kuttu ke Paranthe

I made the dough as I would for any other paranthas – with water but also with some crushed rock salt in this case –  then rolled out and cooked the paranthas in the same way too. I noticed that the flour had a tendency to get sticky so I added water very carefully, only a little bit at a time.

The girls, as they sat down to eat, sniffed at their plates and said, “hey but these smell like those crepes !”

I did tell them eventually why. And though they were evidently not too excited about this new culinary experiment, they did eat them, good girls that they are, without further comment, with some aloo ki subzi , a little pickle and yoghurt.

I have no idea how far from the original these are in taste or look, but they are good enough to eat that I would definitely make them again.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast Ideas, Food Discoveries

Galettes des Sarrasin-or Buckwheat Crepes

I made buckwheat crepes for dinner last night, finally, and though Noor said quite frankly that she did not like them too much( I am hoping that she might take to them gradually, especially as yesterday she was quite full from her gouter and not inclined to enjoy her dinner anyway), Shri really liked them, and Indira said “I completely love them !” . In fact, after she tasted the first one as it came off the crepe pan, she declared it exactly the same in taste as the ones we ate in Valberg recently, bless her heart.

They turned out quite nice, except that the ones I have eaten in restaurants here are sometimes crisper. So I need to figure that one out still.

Once again, a really simple, quick dish to make. We had these with soup and potato-feta cheese pancakes.

These savory crepes are called galettes in France to distinguish them from the sort of crepes that are eaten with sweet fillings. And sarassin, or ble noir, is  buckwheat flour. Buckwheat, as I wrote here is not actually any kind of cereal. It is a broadleaf plant that is a very good source of protein and iron. It is also used to make the variety of noodles called soba in Japan.

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Galettes des Sarrasin, or Buckwheat Crepes

250 gms of buckwheat flour, with 1 tsp of salt mixed in (this quantity should be enough for at least 6 people)

250 ml of milk ( either whole cream or half-fat)

500 ml of water

1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine the water and the milk. In a mixing bowl, stir in half the milk and water, and the egg, in to the flour till the batter is quite smooth. Add the rest of the milk and water, and mix till well combined.

Ideally, leave the batter to rest for 60 minutes.

Heat a medium-sized crepe pan till it is very hot. Put a little knob of butter on the pan, and quickly spread it over the surface of the pan with a kitchen towel. Now lift the pan off the heat, pour about 1/2 a small cup  of batter on to the pan, and quickly bend and turn the pan every which way till the batter covers the entire surface of the pan. Put the pan back on the hob, and cook till the top of the crepe dries and the edges start to go quite brown/crispy and start to lift a little off the pan’s surface. Flip the crepe over with a spatula, and cook the other side for 1/2 a minute or so, lifting every few seconds towards the end to check if it is done.

Repeat the process for the rest of the crepes. Any extra batter will keep in the fridge.

Spread a little beurre de bretagne (or any other salted butter) on the crepe, then fold it over twice to form a triangle. You could also eat these crepes/galettes with any savory filling such as ratatouille, diced/slices of smoked chicken or ham, sliced tomato and cheese (grated emmenthal or slices of mozarella) etc.

Eat them while they are still quite hot, if you can. They taste best that way, IMO.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast Ideas, Quick Meal Ideas