KonkanFood

Food has always attracted me and been away from home for years for my studies and work taught me the importance of good home made food. Food makes me happy. I have named by blog "KonkanFood", I come from the konkan region of India and my food is majorly influenced by this region. I love eating and like to incorporate the delicious dishes I come across in my day to day life.


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Homemade panner/ricotta cheese

There are few things I like to make from scratch. I do not prefer using canned or store bought ready to use ingredients, which I can make easily at home. For simple health reasons and added preservatives.

This is how I make panner also called as ricotta cheese. You will not buy store ricotta cheese anymore if you try this.This is widely used in Indian cuisine to make curries, grilled and a delicacy for vegetarians. Its tastes fresh and can replace any meat in a dish. I see it is also used in many Italian recipes.

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Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of whole organic milk

1/2 cup of lemon juice or a white vinegar

Cheese cloth

Strainer

salt if required

Method:

1. Take a heavy bottom pan and heat milk. Make sure that you get whole milk, as skimmed milk will not yield the same results.When milk is about to boil add lemon and stir. Put of the gas.

2.Milk will start to curdle, keep stirring. Let it seat for 2 minutes. Add salt if you want, I don’t add to mine. In the meantime spread cheese cloth over the strainer and let the strainer rest on some vessel in which you can collect the whey. Pour the contents onto the cheese cloth, the solids will collect on the cheese cloth, I pour a glass or 2 of cold water on the solids.

3. Get the ends of the cloth and squeeze out the excess liquid, put a weight on the cheese cloth and set it aside for a hour or so. You will get fresh homemade panner in no time.

Tip: You can use the whey to in soups or knead a dough.

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Protein Packed Sprouts

 

You can make sprouts of any type of whole bean or a whole lentil. I have tried sprouting a variety of whole dried beans and lentils, they come out perfectly. You could make salads, soups, gravies and a variety of other snacks of these sprouts. They are protein packed.

To start with always remember a cup of dried beans/Lentils will give you approximately a double amount of sprouts.

 

Recipe:

1 cup of mix of chickpeas, black beans, black eye pea, kidney beans, green gram (Moong)

4 cups water

1 muslin cloth or a clean cotton cloth

 

Method

1.In a large bowl, add in the beans/lentils and wash them thoroughly at least 2 times.

2.For 1 cup beans/lentils add around 2 to 3 glasses of water and soak it overnight, give it a standing time of 12 to 15 hrs.

3. Drain the water and spread the beans/lentils on a muslin cloth on the plate. Wrap the whole thing with a muslin cloth and keep in a dark warm place, preferably in a oven.

4.After around 20-24 hrs, you will notice beans/lentils have started sprouting. You can use them right away or after a few more hrs you will see they have sprouted much more. DSC01177

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Note: Muslin cloth helps in keeping the beans/lentils moist and prevents it from drying. You could also so without muslin cloth, in case you do not have one.

It takes approximately 2 days for the sprouts but if you notice there is hardly any work to be done. And you could refrigerate these sprouts in a air tight container for 4 to 5 days.

I find a sour dough to be more healthy and tasty as I have used fewer ingredients and results were better.  Well but you will have to have an acquired taste or welcoming taste buds. It is a Greek style. I like all kinds of breads and used this dough for making pizza, stuffed bread and buns.

Recipe:

31/2 cups of whole wheat flour

1/4 cup warm water

1 and 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (I used whole curd)

1 sachet of active dry yeast- It was 6 grams

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of honey

1 tsp of sugar

 

Method

1. To a cup of warm water add the dry yeast and sugar and stir well, set it aside for 10 to 15 mins or till it foams. Take 3 cups of wheat flour in a bowl, add salt, honey and mix it well. Add the frothed yeast to this mixture, at first add 1 cup of yogurt and slowly the remaining as required.

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Get the dough on a hard surface and knead it well.While kneading the dough it will stick to the bottom so you will need to use the remaining wheat flour for firming the dough. It took me 5 to 6 minutes to form the dough. Apply a tsp of oil on the dough and keep it aside in a warm place covered for proofing for around 80 to 120 mins. Make sure you have enough room in the bowl for the dough to rise.

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After 2 hrs of proofing

Dough will almost double the size and and will get very soft. Punching on the dough a few times will get it to its normal size. Knead the dough on a hard surface for 3 to 4 mins and add flour if it gets a little sticky. Dough is ready for cooking

You can make 2 medium sized pizza’s with this dough, here is the link to the recipe.

https://konkanfood.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/healthy-pizza/

or you could make 3 small medium sized stuffed spinach- cheese breads, here is the link to the recipe

https://konkanfood.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/spinach-cheese-stuffed-bread/