Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts

Feb 28, 2016

Shortcut Gulab Jamun

Who doesn't love a gulab jamun?
Making this traditional sweet treat is a snap with this shortcut recipe. This simple recipe using bread and milk to make gulab jamuns was all over the internet a few years back, so I am not sure where it originated. I've embellished it a bit by infusing the milk used for the gulab jamuns with Kashmiri saffron. The saffron not only imbues the gulab jamuns with it's rich flavor and color, but also lends it's golden hue to the syrup as the gulab jamuns steep. 

bread sweet Indian cardamom saffron.

2 C water
2 C sugar
7 green cardamoms, bruised in mortar and pestle
1 loaf sliced white bread
1/4 to 1/3 C milk
20 strands of saffron (optional)
4 C cooking oil
4-5 drop kewra or rose water (optional)

Here's what to do:
1) If using saffron, heat milk in a saucepan until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Place saffron strands in milk and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes. (Try to use as little milk as possible, I used 1/4 C on a small 12 slice loaf of bread.) If not using saffron skip to step 4 and use plain milk,

Come on little strands of sunshine, do your thang!
2) To make the syrup heat water, sugar, and green cardamoms in a medium saucepan until boiling.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3) Chop crusts off of bread slices.

4) Place a small bowl of water nearby. Drizzle each slice of bread with the saffron infused milk and squidge into a ball. Try to use as little milk as possible. Squeeze out as much milk as you can to form a dense ball. Get the outside of the ball of dough as smooth as you can by dipping your hands into the bowl of water as you roll them. If you have any cracks in the surface your gulab jamuns will be pockmarked and bumpy.

5) Heat cooking oil in a deep saucepan or kadhai over medium high heat until 300F/150C. Test the heat of the oil by frying a cube of bread, if the bread bubbles and turns brown in 30 seconds the oil is ready.
That  looks more like a fried caterpillar than a bread crust.
6) Place 4 balls in hot oil at a time, they will sink to the bottom at first but slowly rise to the surface. Allow them to fry for about 4 minutes, gently turning them until they are deep brown on all sides. Remove the fried balls with a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to a napkin or paper towel on a plate to drain off excess oil.

7) When all the balls have been fried place them into the prepared syrup. Warm the syrup for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove pan from heat. Add kewra or rose water if using. Allow your gulab jamuns to soak for at least 2 hours. Serve warmed or at room temperature. These can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week, allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

Helpful Hints:
Day old or stale white bread works well in this recipe too. You could probably think of this as the Indian version of "pan perdue."

Dec 16, 2015

Bollywood Banana Bread

An American classic done Desi! We like everything spicy here on the Indian Subcontinent. Even sweet treats! So good old banana bread gets a Bollywood makeover. This recipe makes a tasty, dense, moist loaf that tastes even better the next day! It freezes well, can be made eggless or "veg," and makes a great holiday gift or simple to make tea time treat.

1 C brown or white sugar
2 eggs (or 1/2 C yogurt/dahi for 'veg' option)
1/2 C ghee or butter, melted & cooled (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp ground cinnamon/dalchini
1/2 tsp ground mace/javatri or nutmeg/jaiphal (or allspice if you're going halal)
1/2 tsp ground cloves/laung
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS ginger preserves or orange marmalade (mango, raspberry, or apricot jam will work too)
3 very ripe bananas, pureed or mashed finely with fork
1&1/4 C flour/maida or whole wheat flour/chakki atta
1/4 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Here's what to do:
1) Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter and flour an 8"x 4" loaf pan. Combine eggs (or yogurt/dahi), sugar, spices, oil (or ghee), baking powder, ginger preserves, & salt in large mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed.

2) Add bananas & beat until well mixed. Fold flour into mixture until just combined, do not over mix.

3) Pour batter into buttered & floured pan, top with chopped walnuts. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until tester stuck in the middle of bread comes out clean.

6) Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing bread from pan.

Helpful hints:

Don't have ginger preserves? Orange marmalade, apricot, pineapple, or mango jam or preserves work well in this recipe also.

Want to make this bread 'veg'? Use 1/2 cup full fat yogurt in place of eggs.

Don't have ghee or a suitable vegetable oil? Use butter instead, softened to room temperature.

Brown sugar will give this bread a more treacle-y flavor like jaggery. White sugar will work too, but the bread will be lighter in color.

Need some fiber in your diet? Whole meal flour (chakki atta) works well in this recipe in place of white flour (maida) too.

Well, maybe this banana bread won't be this glamorous - but it will be tasty!

I'm posting this a bit early as I'm going to be off on a whirlwind tour of BIG FAT DESI WEDDINGS until next week, hope you're having a happy holiday season too!
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