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May 292014
Pain au Lait-3

Pain au lait


I am a few days late in posting the Petit Pain au Lait – the bread of the month for the “We Knead to Bake project”. It’s been happening a lot lately. I do cook and bake a lot. I just don’t get around to posting them or writing about them. Sometimes I don’t even get around to photographing them. That is something that does happen when family is visiting and you are busy enjoying the time together and making memories. And for me memories around food are always the best kind.

Pain au Lait

For this month’s We knead to Bake, We had the Petit Pain au Lait – or simply put Mini Milk Bread. The only thing little about this tiny bread is its size. They are extremely flavorful and soft as clouds. They are nice and gold on the outside. Though the photos don’t show the rich golden color and for that I take personal responsibility on behalf of my oven. It has been acting really weird these past few weeks and I think it’s time I got its annual physical tests done. Anyhow, back to the bread on hand.

Pain au Lait

With a crisp exterior and really cloudy soft interiors, speckles of sugar on top and a sometimes a filling of your choice – these little breads though named simply are divine in taste. I think they are quite elegant in looks as well. It is a perfect little bread to savor with your coffee. In fact, the next batch I am making tomorrow will be brought to my new neighbors who just moved in a week ago. A pack of coffee and some mini bottles of jams in various flavors and a bag of the Petit Pain au Lait. It feels good to share something delicious.


Pain au Lait-3

Petit Pain au Lait

Petit Pain au Lait


  • 2/3 cup warm milk (Plus a few tea spoons more in case you need it)
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 60gm butter, soft at room temperature
  • Extra milk for brushing
  • Demerara Sugar for topping (optional)


  1. Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Using the Paddle attachment, Stir to mix.
  3. Add all the flour and the salt and mix until it looks crumbly. Switch to the dough hook, Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky.
  4. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. (About 1.5 hours to 2 hours)
  6. Turn the dough out onto your working surface.
  7. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Cover the dough pieces and let them rest for about 15- 20 minutes
  8. Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter.
  9. Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder.
  10. Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or until almost double in size.
  11. Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal incisions on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top.
  12. Bake at 400F for about 12 minutes or until they’re golden brown.


*If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix well.

Mar 242014
Oatmeal Kedgeree

Oatmeal Kedgeree

Dear Oatmeal,

I love you. I really do. But we need to talk. Don’t worry. It’s not that kind of talk.  I can’t break up with you. After-all you enable me to be a better me and keep me going for quite a while in the mornings. When you are with me, even the daunting workouts at the gym seem to fly by fast and you make those long runs seem so easy because I have the energy to “just do them”.

So why do we need to talk? It’s not you, it’s me. I have been going into a rut with the same old same old way of treating you every morning. I sweeten you up with dates or honey or with fruits. You know it, I know it and the whole world knows it. I don’t like all things sweet and not on all days.

Oatmeal Kedegree

So I have decided to spice up our relationship and I promise you, it will be hot and steamy from now on.

So we will temporarily say adios to the bananas and mangoes and apples and say hello to the multi colored vegetables. And that’s not all. We are going to bring in some hotness from Ethiopia too. Exotic spices always keep me, you know, interested. Oh you are going to be salty, spicy and hot. I promise to love you more than your sweet version. So are we on the same page? Ok great!!

Oatmeal Kedgeree

My Dearest, I am glad we had this talk and you agreed. Your new Avatar as Oatmeal Kedgeree with Ethiopian Berbere Seasoning is Rocking! I am now going to share this new magical you with my friends. I know some of them will LOVE you in your spicy best. I know I do.


Stay good and Delicious,


Oatmeal Kedgeree with Ethiopian Berbere Seasoning

Serves: 4 sevings

Oatmeal Kedgeree with Ethiopian Berbere Seasoning


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp oil ( I used ghee)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1- 2 dry red chillies
  • 2 Tbs minced shallots
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables ( You can use any quick cooking frozen veggies of your choice)
  • 2- 3 fingerling potatoes boiled and peeled( optional)
  • 1/2 C steamed cauliflower (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Berbere Spice Mix ( use cayenne and some ground ginger if you don't have the Berbere mix)
  • salt to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish


  1. Start by heating the water and add in the oats, stir and let it cook on low heat.
  2. While the oats are cooking, heat the oil/ghee and add in the cumin.
  3. Wait for it to crackle, then add in the chillies. Stir and now shallots and let them turn translucent.
  4. Add in the veggies, stir and cover to cook until soft.
  5. If using precooked potatoes and cauliflower, wait for the mixed veggies to soften a bit then add them.
  6. Add in the salt, the berbere spice and the cooked oats. Stir and allow the flavors to combine, garnish with cilantro and serve with a cup of spiced lassi


I used the potato and cauliflower to add an Indian Khichdi taste to this. You can use any vegetables you like. You could also steam cook the veggies before you saute them. I usually soak the oats in water and leave it in the fridge. It cooks faster and on some days, i just put it in a smoothie without cooking.

Nov 242013



So another confession. I have never eaten a cinnamon roll. Yes! One more confession and one that I am not even ashamed to admit. I mean no disrespect to the American Cinnamon roll, but I just am not someone who can take in that much of sticky sweetness and then endure all that sweetness. I just don’t have a sweet tooth. My teen on the other hand loves the sticky sweetness but not the cinnamon so much. So we never had to have the conversation about making the American Cinnamon rolls in our house or buying them from the store.

Then, as fate would have it, Aparna had to go and choose a cinnamon roll for our November We Knead to Bake. And the only motivation I had was they did not have too much sugar or a glaze, and they had spice. Ok that’s Three motivations. Even though I had never had cinnamon rolls, it was time to make the Swedish Cinnamon roll and see for myself why everyone loves them so much.

For the teen I made a few without the cinnamon and they were as delicious as the ones with cinnamon. I baked a batch in cupcake liners and a batch on the baking sheet without any liners. And I also decided to make the buns instead of the rolls. I also used Madhava Coconut sugar for the filling instead of regular sugar as it is less sweet and that’s just a personal preference.


Sweden is known for many a culinary things and one of them is the Kanelbullar. The Kanelbullar even has its own day – October 4, which is celebrated as Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Roll Day) . Ha! A whole day dedicated to celebrate baked goods. This iconic cinnamon roll is usually had with coffee and the tradition of serving coffee with a baked good is called Fika . Oh! fika! I already love the sound of it all. The sweet spicy bread is wonderful with or without coffee.



This Bread is being Yeastspotted .


Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Snails/ Rolls – # We Knead to Bake 11


    For the Starter:
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the Dough:
  • All of the Starter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt (if using salted butter, otherwise 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 6 to 8 pods cardamom, powdered
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 60g butter, soft at room temperature
  • 1 medium egg
  • For the Filling:
  • 75g butter, soft at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed (or 1/3 cup caster sugar)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coarsely ground almonds
  • For the Topping:
  • Egg wash
  • Pearl sugar or large sugar crystals


    Make the starter
  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the Starter into a sticky dough, in a large bowl. Place the Starter dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover it and then refrigerate it. Since it's cold here these days, I left it out on the counter for 7 hours.
  2. The next day, about 30 minutes before you are ready to start on the dough, take the Starter out and leave it at room temperature. As always this can be kneaded by hand or in the stand mixer. Since my starter was already out, I moved to the next step.
  3. Tear the Starter to large pieces and drop into the processor bowl. Now sift together the flour, cardamom and salt into a bowl. Add this, the lemon zest and sugar to the bowl and run the processor till well mixed.
  4. Now add the soft butter and egg and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough. If your dough feels dry, add a little milk or if it feels wet then add a little flour till you have the required consistency of dough.
  5. Now turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and then roll it out into a approximately rectangle about 20” by 12” in size.
  6. Apply the softened butter all over the dough, and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon all over.
  7. Sprinkle the coarse almond powder over this.
  8. For the rolls - tightly roll the dough jelly/ Swiss roll style and cut it into 20 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases.
  9. For the buns - fold the dough over in half and cut into 20 long strips with a sharp knife, twist and shape them as desired. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases.
  10. Let them rise for about 10 to 15 minutes till they look a little puffy but not swollen up. Brush the Snails/ Buns with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with pearl sugar, large sugar crystals or brown sugar.
  11. I tried to follow this video to help me get the beautiful shapes.

Feb 032013
Nan-e-Barbari - Persian bread

I have been missing home, a lot, lately. That is one of the reasons why you are and will be seeing a lot of bread / Naan/ Indian bread related posts on Spiceroots. There is something in those not so distant mountains that I see from my kitchen window that speaks of home to me. Its almost hypnotic. How they change from the time the first rays of sun touch them to the time the sun hides behind them almost feels like a conversation. I do feel very blessed to live in Colorado. It feels like home and yet makes me miss home. Ironic. I know.

I chanced upon this bread in the latest issue of Food and Wine and immediately knew I will make it soon. I leafed through the magazine to get my daily dose of food porn, but I kept coming back to the pictures of this bread.

There was an instant connection, almost a pull. Something about the bread was familiar. When I read the recipe, I knew what the connection was. The Bread uses a roomal – mixture of flour, water , oil & sugar for that exquisite color and texture. And that is what the local Kandur ( bread maker) in Kashmir uses when he is making the special breads with rogan – very similar to roomal.

 So I kept the magazine down and set to work. This bread had to be made and made immediately. The whole process of making this bread was nostalgic. And I am glad to say the Nan-e-Barbari has reached the coveted place of “myfavorite bread” in Miss S’s books! That is no mean feat!


This bread is also heading over to Yeast Spotting.

Nan-e-Barbari – Persian Bread

Serves: 2 breads

Nan-e-Barbari – Persian Bread

Recipe slightly adapted from Food and Wine Magazine.


    To make the dough
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour Plus some more for kneading
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • To make the Roomal
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Final touches:
  • 1 tbs Nigella seeds (optional )
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds (optional)
  • some extras:
  • 1tsp oil


  1. Add the yeast to water and let it bubble up.. about 5 minutes
  2. Mix the salt into the 4 cups of flour and add to the yeast mix.
  3. Knead to a very smooth dough ( 6 - 7 minutes in a stand mixer) ( If kneading by hand - knead until your dough can stand the window pane test ; If the dough is a little sticky, apply flour to your hands and keep kneading... )
  4. Oil a bowl and put the dough in it, cover and let it rise for an hour, until double in volume.
  5. Next punch the dough down and divide into two parts. cover and let it rise again.
  6. While the dough is rising this time, make the roomal.
  7. Combine the flour, oil , sugar, with half a cup of water and mix it all in and cook it on low heat until it thickens. cover and let it cool.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  9. Working each part of the dough separately, shape the dough into a rectangle and put it on a well oiled baking sheet.
  10. Make the ridges in the shaped dough, apply half of the roomal paste, sprinkle half of the sesame, nigella on it and bake for 15- 18 minutes.
  11. Repeat wit the second part of the dough!


Nov 302012
mango oats smoothie


Feed your kid a big breakfast. Easier said than done. Give her a helping of fruits with the breakfast. Climbing Mt. Everest might be an easier task. And if you are blessed with someone who likes to count each morsel while she eats and you doze off to sleep because it is painfully slow, the alarm goes off- time to grab the bag, load the kid into the car with one shoe in hand, the other dragging behind attached to one of her legs – God bless you!

To keep her nourished, so she can get through a high energy, high focus day at school and then at her extra curricular activities is a task I take seriously. I get creative with food. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy eating, she does. She just eats slowly. Which is why, we resort to drinking breakfasts.

Fruit smoothies, milk shakes and the likes. One of our most cherished breakfasts on the go is the Mango oats smoothie. Supreme taste with excellent nourishment and very easy to make. Good Morning


I am re-posting this for the Power food blog group Friday. As I wanted to add the benefits of eating a whole grain into this post.

Apart from helping you eat lesser by keeping you fuller for a longer time and hence help you lose and maintain your weight goals, oats is a great booster for your healthy immune system. The beta-glucan found in oats, significantly enhancesthe human immune system’s response to bacterial infection.

In addition to that oats help reduce cardiovascular disease, lower bad cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood sugar.  Making oats a great part of your meals does wonders for your body. So go for it.

38 Power Foods blog group  focuses on one ingredient each week taking inspiration from the book ; Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of the whole living magazine. Each week we all  come up with recipes, stories, articles to encourage eating nourishing food.

Jeanette at jeanetteshealthyliving ; Martha at Simply Nourished Living ; Mireya at Myhealthyeatinghabits ; Alyce at More time at the table ; Casey at My Sweet and Savory;   Minnie at TheLady8Home


Mango Oats Smoothie

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Serving Size: 12 oz

Mango Oats Smoothie

Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 1/4 cup Mango (peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup Oats (I use old fashioned rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Honey
  • 1 pinch Green Cardamom powder (really just a tiny pinch)


  1. The night before, soak the oats in 1/4 C of water and keep it in the fridge
  2. In the morning, using your smoothie maker or blender, blend the oats with all the other ingredients
  3. Drink up a yummy breakfast


If you want to cook the oats just before you make the smoothie, cook it your usual way and add ice when you make the smoothie.

 Posted by on November 30, 2012 at 8:45 AM  Tagged with:
Nov 062012
egg burji

Spartan Egg Bhurji

This is one of the dishes that he cooks and I eat. He is so much in his element while cooking this that I do not even offer to help out. It reminds him of his days in school, when cooking something filling and nutritious in as little time as possible was the main idea. He also remembers how due to his cooking skills he would manage to get all the “other” work done by his friends. If any of his friends are reading this, trust me he does tell me he was sweetly wicked to make you all do the dishes!

The dish is called the Spartan Egg Bhurji because it was sort of invented in Michigan State University. Hence, to keep the nostalgia going he named it thus. It is a great dish for a brunch, or when you have to cook something fast. Eggs, onions and a few spices and you are in for a really good treat in less than 30 minutes.

This egg bhurji goes well with toasted bread, as a sandwich filler, with parathas and sometimes I fill the leftovers in tomatoes and give them a quick grilling. Delicious any which way you want to enjoy it. This does need you to perfectly boil some eggs, recipe for which can be found here : boiled eggs

This recipe is his favorite way to treat me to a lazy Sunday morning brunch. Does your guy/ significant other cook too? What is your favorite dish that he/she makes?


Spartan Egg Burji

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 servings


  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp – cumin seeds
  • 2C yellow onions – diced small
  • 4 green chillies (medium size) roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp koshur salt ( or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ C butter
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish


  1. Place the eggs in pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  2. Once the water starts boiling, reduce heat to medium and let the eggs boil for about 1 and a half minutes.
  3. When the timer runs out, switch off heat, remove the pan of eggs from heat and cover and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  4. In the mean time, dice the onions and chop the green chilies.
  5. Heat oil is a skillet, and add the cumin.
  6. Wait for it to crackle, then add in the onions.
  7. Saute the onions on medium heat until they are transparent ( about 5- 6 minutes)
  8. Add in the turmeric, stir to mix. Now add in the green chilies, the red chili, cumin and coriander powders.
  9. Season with salt, stir and mix well.
  10. Now add in the butter and cook on low heat until the onions are well cooked and the oil separates from the mix.
  11. While you are letting the onions cook, The eggs would be cooked and cooled slightly by the fifteen minute mark
  12. Peel the eggs from their shells and grate the boiled eggs using a box grater.
  13. Keep this grated pile of eggs ready.
  14. Now back to the onions, they should be just about ready too by now. The oil in the masala would be floating on top. Add the garam masala. Stir to mix.
  15. Add in the eggs, stir to mix well.
  16. Serve Hot with bread, roti , or on a toast or make a sandwich.