Category Archives: Random bits and bobs ..

Sourdough loaf

With sourdough there are hundreds and thousands of recipes that you can find but all you need is practice..

This recipe is in two parts and take two days to finish..roughly as in you start one night and the next evening you can have your bread.

part 1

  • Water 100 g
  • Flour 90 gm
  • Rye flour or whole wheat flour – 10 g
  • Sour starter- 10 g
  • Mix and keep overnight
  • The next morning
  • take all starter and add to
  • water 400 g
  • flour 540 g
  • whole wheat flour -60 g
  • salt 12 g
  • then you autolyse this.( Autolyse is a term used by bakers to make you feel inadequate). It’s just light mixing to let the gluten get hydrated .
  • keep for 30 mins . And the you stretch and fold.. ..I’ll try and put some vdos to show this but it’s really simple . You pull the dough and fold into three like a trifold .
  • then rest for 15 mins and repeat and do this 4-5 times.
  • let the dough rest then for 8-12 hrs in the fridge or a cool area so it slow ferments and develops complex flavours .

Chintu..the brave boxer with the largest heart

We have always been a family of dog lovers and have had many a dog all of whom have touched our hearts in a unique way.. Chintu was one such who beat the odds all the time and had such an optimism about him that was heart warming to see .He loved us all to bits and would sulk if he saw another pup getting some cuddles more than what he did ..

This story is about how he beat the Russel’s viper and survived his snake bite the time around 1998/99.

I worked in OAS Bombay at the time and would often go back home to Pune to meet my parents and all the doglings.. One such evening when I landed home it awas evening I saw Aai and Baba on the platform/ deck outside the house and a prone Chintu.

Apparently they saw him barking in the bushes and then attack something which they found later to be the dead body of Russel’s viper.He then took a few steps toward them and collapsed.

Then being doctors they decided they must do whatever it could be to save our brave boy.Deep my brother went to Sassoon hospital to grab antivenin and atropine.

We sat up all night alterately holding him while Baba my father injected him every hour with antivenin and then Atropine . The next day I had to return back to work and Bombay. In the morning our boy Chintu woke up and took a few woozy steps but made a full recovery.

A year or so later he would leave the house to go-to Talegaon where he spent the rest of his days on our family friends poultry farm .

Sometime later in another dog Anamika got bitten too but couldn’t be saved. She did leave for us two lovely gifts whom we named after her and a friend’s sister Anne Marie and Mika who had stories of their own.

Green papaya chutney/plastic chutney

When I worked at the Oberoi Grand in Calcutta many years back, there was a very popular condiment they would make all the time from Green papaya .they would call it plastic chutney because the papaya would get almost transparent look to it like a sheet of plastic.

The way to make it quite simple.

  • Green papaya peeled and thinly sliced – 1 roughly 300 g
  • Sugar – 300 g can go lesser really upto you
  • Mustard seeds- 1/4 t
  • Nigella seeds- pinch
  • Fennel seeds – pinch
  • Turmeric – 1/4 t
  • Ginger peeled and chopped – 20 g
  • white vinegar – 25 ml
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and add about 100 ml water.

Simmer till tender and check seasoning.

Chill and refrigerate in a clean bottle and use with any kind of foods really.

Salsa rojo

This is rustic semi hot and spicy sauce which is perfect for roast chicken but would work also for meatballs / albondigas or on fish ..hell I would even serve as a dunking sauce for a crusty baguette.. the recipe here is good to make in bulk and freeze.. just add the cream before you decide to serve it

  • Tomatoes over ripe even – 500 g
  • Garlic cloves peeled – 3-4/10 g
  • Onion brown peeled half -50-60 g
  • Vegetable oil-1T/ 20 g
  • Salt- to taste
  • Chipotle chilli for the smoky taste ..1-2
  • Chicken stock -200 g

Take a heavy bottom carbon steel or cast iron pan and heat it .when quite hot add every thing inside except the stock.. the idea is to get all the vegetable charred and black almost..just one step away from burnt…

Cool down and blend till smooth. Us the stock to adjust consistency. Check seasoning .

I also typically add some cream- about 100 g and pepper to finish the sauce..

Dosa part DEUX – Sambar

This is not a recipe for a dosa but more like the mini me for your dr evil or the thorn for your rose. Don’t tell me your mum makes it better than this…I’m sure she does but a it’s not a competition..every one has their own version..this is my own

These are the accompaniments for that delectable fermented pancake or the steamed rice cake the idli .there will be part trois absolutement for the two chutneys ..too but that’s not today..the train I’m writing this in will reach much before that.

So for the dal we need either tur/ Tuvar dal or a mix of tur dal and masoor( the red lentil).we will make one pot full of sambar it’s hard to put down how many portions we can get out of it.

  • Tur dal.- 1/2 cup / approximately 120 g wash rinse and soak.Cook either in the pressure cooker approximately 2-3 whistles or in the pot till it’s soft and mushy. Add a qtr spoon of fenugreek seeds during the cooking time
  • eggplant -30-40 g cut in cubes
  • small red shallots – 4-5 peeled called vengayam in Tamil they give a hint of sweetness to the lentil
  • Drumstick( not the chicken kind)/ Moringa / Murungakai-1 cut into 2 inch pieces . Give a unique flavour to it
  • Tomato small / 75 g cut into large dice.
  • oil 10 ml
  • mustard seeds -1/4 t / 2 g
  • Asafoetida- pinch prevents you from becoming Gassy classy ..
  • curry leaves – 1 sprig fresh or dry..
  • dry red chilli – 1/2 small one
  • turmeric-1/4 t..yup the same thing which goes in your latte but with no sugar
  • Sambar masala podi/ powder use mtr or brahmins – 1/4- to 1/2 t
  • Tamarind -5 g soaked in 50 ml hot water
  • Ghee – 10 g to add in the end ..for that flavour burst

Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds they should start to pop and crackle . Add also the asafetida , curry leaves the powdered spices and the cooked lentils.

Then simmer with the cut vegetable till vegetable are tender and add tomato and tamarind. Add ghee right in end for the extra oomph