Monday, December 15, 2014

Kashmiri Kahwa | December 15 - International Tea Day

As the winter sets in we spend more times indoors. Its too cooold to go outside. Its colder in Bangalore but nothing beats a cup of hot tea to blow away the chills. 

In my apartment complex, there is a commercial part and one section is mostly food joints - be it street food, chinese , vada pav, pizzas, bakeries etc. We can definitely pick and choose if we decide not to cook one/any time. The most popular among these is a tea point . Its always full and we have to wait in queue for our turn. 
But yes, the cutting chai or adrakwali kulhad chai with a plate of pakodas and company of friends makes life warm. 

Speaking of tea, it is topmost beverage consumed in India. Though South India has traditional and patented filter coffee and beautiful coffee plantations, there is a sizeable portion of tea drinkers also. 

As for myself, I am the only tea drinking child born to coffee consuming parents and married off in a tea drinking family -is it karma !? 

Well whatever it is I enjoy a hot cup of masala chai in the morning and occasional hot/iced green teas and of course a cuppa with friends too. 

Recently I tried and liked  the Kashmiri Kahwa and thought of posting it today being the International Tea Day

Kahwah/Kahwa is a traditional green tea consumed in Afghanistan,northern Pakistan and Kashmir Valley. Its rich in anti oxidants and is a popular breakfast tea along with breads. Its is made in big brass "Samovars" by boiling tea leaves along with spices and saffron and also roses and served with sugar/honey and crushed/chopped walnuts/almonds. 

Ingredients:

Water: 3 cups

Cardamoms: 3
Cloves: 2-3
Cinnamon: 1 inch piece

Sugar: 3 tsp + as per taste

Green Tea Leaves: 2 tsp

Saffron: few strands
Almonds: 3-4 chopped/flaked 

Preparation:
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.

Add the spices and sugar. Reduce the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cover with a lid and let it simmer for few minutes. 

Add the tea leaves and take it off heat. Let the tea leaves steep in the water for a minute atleast or more if you prefer a stronger taste. 

In small serving cups, add safrron strands and chopped almonds. Strain the hot tea into these cup and serve the tea hot.

You can sea the tea turning into a fresh yellow as the saffron flavours it. You can also add saffron strands while boiling tea along with dried rose petals.


Its perfect to beat the winter chills as well. Make sure you serve it warm. More more details you can check out the original source here. I had simply loved the detailed post and have followed the recipe verbatim.I had used Chinese gunpowder/ green tea. It will be more authentic if you could get the Kashmiri green tea. 

Meanwhile sip on...


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Black Pepper Breadsticks | Peppery Winter Charm

I love breadsticks. My family too. But for past one year or so we buy our breadsticks. This happened after I tried one particular recipe and it came out nought. Ofcourse I can go for tried and tasted Grissini but somehow I keep on trying new recipes and once they flop then I become disheartened and give up completely. This was until I came across this peppery breadsticks and now yeah, I wont be buying these again but baking them.

Ingredients:
Warm Water: 1 cup
Yeast: 1 tbsp
Bread Flour 3 cup + 2 tbsp 

Solid shortening / Vanaspati : 3/4 cup or 12tbsp
Salt:  4 tsp 

Fresh ground Pepper: 2-2.5 tsp 

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. 
Combine water, yeast and 2 tbsp of flour and let it stand till foamy. If you do not have breadflour you can go for all purpose itself or make your own bread flour by adding 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten to 1 cup of flour to get 1 cup of bread flour.

Add the remaining flour mixed with salt and pepper along with shortening, and knead at medium speed till we get a smooth elastic dough. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 15 mnts. You can reduce the salt a bit if you like. 3.75 tsp works well 

Turn the dough onto an unfloured counter and divide into quarters or 4. Cut each portion into 8 pieces. Roll each into a 9 inch  x 1/2 inch rope. 

Arrange on a bakingsheets and adjust the length of each portion to 8". This is to keep all the sticks at the same length.Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F/175 until golden and firm shifting the pans halfway through baking. You can bake one tray at a time and turn/spin the tray so that the breadsticks are equally brown.

Transfer the breadsticks to racks and cool completely before serving. You can serve these as snack with/without dip and/or along with soup.




Crunchy breadsticks full of pepper. You can play around with different spices and create your own snack stick.You can also check a wheat version of thin grissini as well.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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