Masala French Toast

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons red onion finely minced
1 teaspoons green chili finely minced, jalapeno or other spicy chili works too
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
1/3 cup milk or water
2 slices bread sourdough, multigrain or whole wheat

To serve
2 tablespoons ketchup green chutney or sriracha sauce

Whisk together onion, green chili, turmeric, salt, cilantro and milk in a wide bowl (big enough to fit the sliced bread). Add in the eggs and whisk for a minute.

Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture and gently press down with a fork so the bread can absorb the egg mix. Flip the bread over and repeat on the other side.

Heat a non stick pan (you can also use cast iron) and apply 1/2 teaspoon of oil. Carefully place the soaked bread on the pan. Spoon and spread over some extra onions from the egg mixture on top. Cook on medium heat for a minute or until the bottom side starts to turn golden brown.

Turn over and cook the other side for a minute until it becomes golden brown. Repeat with the second slice of bread.

Serve hot with ketchup, sriracha or green chutney.

Sri Lankan Coconut Roti

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen grated coconut
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon oil

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, flour, and salt. Make a well in the center, add water, and mix gently. The consistency will be somewhere between a batter and bread dough.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and spread it evenly with a paper tow. Drop 4 or 5 tablespoons of batter onto hot skillet, leaving adequate space between them. Flatten each roti with a spatula so that they are no more than a 1/4 inch thick and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with any soupy lentil dish for light meal or on their own with tea or coffee for breakfast.

Makes 8-10 roti.

Stovetop Naan

3 cups (426 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup (180 milliliters) whole or low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
About 3/4 cup warm water
Canola oil, for greasing the baking sheet
1 to 2 tablespoons melted ghee or unsalted butter, for brushing

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the buttermilk over the flour mixture and quickly stir it in. The flour will still be fairly dry, with some wet clumps.

Pour a few tablespoons of the warm water over the flour, stirring it in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Repeat until the flour comes together to form a soft ball. You will use about 3/4 cup of the warm water in total, but it may need a little more or less depending on your exact measurements or the weather. You want the dough to be very soft, close to being slightly sticky, so if you add an extra tablespoon or so, it won’t hurt. Using your hands, gather the ball, picking up any dry flour in the bottom of the bowl, and knead it to form a smooth, soft ball of dough, 1 to 2 minutes. If it’s a little too sticky to handle, dust your hands with flour, but do not add any more flour to the dough, if possible.

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with the canola oil. Cut the dough into 6 equal portions (the dough will be roughly 700 grams, so aim for about 116 grams each). Shape each portion into a round, cupping and tucking the edges underneath as best you can to make it smooth. (Don’t sweat this too much, as the dough is pretty forgiving and you’re going to roll it out anyway.) Place on the baking sheet. Brush the rounds with the melted ghee or butter and cover with plastic wrap or a slightly dampened clean dish towel. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The dough needs to rest, but will not rise or change much in appearance.

With about 10 minutes left in the dough resting time, preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Place one of the dough rounds on the surface and then turn it over so that both sides are floured. (Keep the remaining dough rounds covered.) Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- to 9-inch circle, rotating the dough 90 degrees after each motion to create an even round. Dust the work surface and rolling pin with just enough flour to keep things from sticking; you don’t want to overdo it. Again, don’t get too obsessed with the perfect shape. Part of the charm of naan is its rustic appearance.

When the skillet is sizzling-hot (check by sprinkling a few small drops of water; if they bounce and quickly evaporate, it’s ready), add the first portion of rolled dough. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lots of bubbles appear on the top and the bottom dries out and is freckled with brown spots.

Remove the finished naan from the skillet, transfer to a baking sheet or serving platter, and brush with more of the melted ghee or butter. Cover with foil or a clean dish towel to keep warm. Transfer the second naan to the skillet, and continue to roll and cook the remaining dough. Serve warm.

Air Fryer French Toast Sticks

Batter:
4 slices of bread
2 eggs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Dipping sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl, gently beat eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Slice bread into fourths and dip into egg wash, careful not to over-soak.

Air fry at 350°F for 2 minutes.

Turn and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.

Bostock

1 1/2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rum, kirsch, or amaretto liqueur
a few drops orange flower water, (optional)
6 slices brioche, challah or firm-textured white bread, such as pain de mie, cut in 1/2-inch (2cm) slices
6 ounces (170g) almond paste
2 large eggs, at room temperature
a few drops pure almond extract, (optional)
1/2-3/4 cup (40-60g) sliced almonds
powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar with the water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the liquor and a few drops of orange flower water, if using.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or leave it unlined) and place the slices of bread on it.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a medium bowl with a spatula, beat the almond paste with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the eggs, and a few drops of almond extract, if using, at medium-high speed until smooth. But avoid whipping it up; mix it just until most of the lumps are removed. (A few little ones won’t matter.)

Brush each slice of bread generously with the syrup, enough so it saturates the bread all the way through. Spread each piece of bread with the almond topping then sprinkle sliced almonds over the top.

Bake until the tops of the Bostock are well-browned. I begin checking them at the 6-minute mark but they can take up to 10 to 12 minutes so best to rely on visual clues rather than precise minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The almond topping can be made in advance and refrigerated up to one week. Let come to room temperature before using.

Sally Lunn Bread (Batter Bread)

1/2 cup warm (110-115°F) milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup warm (110-115°F) water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry (or instant) yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
softened butter or vegetable spray for greasing the bread pan

In a small pot or microwave safe bowl, heat the milk and butter together on the stove top or in a microwave oven. When the butter melts, set the mixture aside and allow it to cool to 110-115°F. The mixture should feel warm (not hot!) to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a quart-size glass measure, whisk together the water, yeast, and sugar. When the milk mixture has cooled sufficiently, add it and the eggs to the yeast mixture. Whisk briefly to combine.
Tip 3 1/2 cups flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center of the flour, and then add the liquid ingredients. Stir vigorously, with a stout spoon until a thick, smooth batter develops. If the batter seem soupy rather than thick, go ahead and stir in the extra 1/2 cup of flour. Cover the bowl with cling film and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume — about 2 hours.

Use a spoon or spatula to gently deflate the batter. Then pour the batter into a 9×5 loaf pan or a 13-inch pain de mie (“Pullman”) pan. Cover loosely with lightly-greased cling film. If using a loaf pan, let the batter rise until it forms a crown approximately 1 inch above the rim of the pan (about 45 minutes at room temperature). If using a pullman pan, let rise just until the batter reaches 1/2 below the rim (about 45 minutes), and then slide the lid on. Halfway through rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake in the preheated 375°F until the bread is done — usually 45 minutes. Unmold and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing.

Paratha

2 cups (480 ML) wheat flour or atta (substitute with all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons oil for kneading (optional)
3/4 to 1 cup water (or luke warm water)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoon ghee or oil as needed

Mix together wheat flour, salt, oil in a wide mixing bowl.

Pour water little by little as needed & make a stiff non sticky dough.

Knead well to make the dough soft and pliable.

If necessary knead with moist fingers.

When you press down the dough with a finger, you must feel it is soft and dent easily.

Wrap it in a moist cloth or cover it in a container and set aside for 30 mins.
You can also grease the ball with a few drops of oil and cover.

How to make paratha:

Knead the dough lightly & divide to 8 parts.

Then roll to balls & keep them covered.

Take a few tbsp of flour to a small bowl & flour the rolling area.

Dip a ball in the flour and dust off excess. Too much flour on the parathas can make them hard.

Place the ball on the rolling area and flatten it slightly with fingers.
With the help of a rolling pin begin to roll each ball to a round layer or roti of 7 inches.

Making square paratha:

Apply ghee all over the paratha and fold 1/3 part of it.

Then apply the ghee to the folded part as well & repeat folding the other 1/3 part.

Apply ghee over the 3 layered long strip and fold 1/3 part of it.

Then repeat the other 1/3 part & you will have a square.

Sprinkle little more flour if needed to prevent sticking.

Then roll the square further to make a 7 inch square paratha.

Making Triangle paratha:

Apply ghee all over the roti & fold it to half to make a half circle.

Next apply ghee over it & repeat folding it to get a triangle shape.

Sprinkle a bit of flour & begin to roll evenly to a triangle paratha.

Frying paratha:

Heat a griddle until hot on a medium high flame.

Transfer paratha to the griddle. Cook it until you begin to see bubbles, then flip it.

Fry on a medium high flame on the other side as well pressing down with a spatula.

Pressing down helps the parathas to puff up and the layers get separated and get cooked through.

Flip the parathas too and fro. Cook until brown spots appear on both the sides.
Drizzle ghee or oil on both sides.

Remove the paratha to a wired rack or plate lined with a clean cloth or kitchen tissue.

Stack them one over the other to keep them soft.

Serve paratha with curry or chutney or just yogurt.

Variations:

For vegetable paratha – Mash well 1½ cups of boiled mixed vegetables & add it to 1 cup flour along with half tsp garam masala and half tsp of red chilli powder & handful of coriander leaves.

To make spinach paratha – Blend 1 cup spinach with 2 to 3 tbsp water, 1 garlic clove, 1 chilli & ¼ tsp garam masala to a smooth paste. Mix this with 1 cup flour, salt & 1 tsp oil.

For spiced or masala paratha just add half tsp each of red chili powder, garam masala & handful of coriander leaves to 1 cup of flour. Mix the dough and make masala paratha. You can also sprinkle in between the layers.

To make methi paratha, just add half cup finely chopped methi leaves to 1 cup flour along with spices, ginger garlic & herbs.

Notes:
If the dough turns sticky, sprinkle some flour and knead it.

If the dough turns hard or too stiff, then moisten your fingers and knead the paratha dough.

You can also make the dough in a food processor or stand mixer.

Vegetable Paratha

1 cup (240 ML) atta / whole wheat flour
salt as needed
1/2-tsp grated ginger or ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (adjust as needed)
1/4 tsp GARAM MASALA
1/2 tsp ajwain / carom seeds/ vaamu
ghee or oil for frying
1 1/2 cup mix veggies (can substitute with other veggies)
1/2 cup potatoes or sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup carrots cubed
1/4 cup cauliflower
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup methi or palak chopped finely(optional)
1 Handful coriander leaves (optional)

Steam or boil mix vegetables until just cooked.

When they are still hot, mash them well using a masher until smooth.

Add the rest of the ingredients except atta. Mix well.

Add the flour and mix. If needed add little water or vegetable stock if any left from boiling the veggies.

Knead well to make a soft non sticky dough. Divide the dough into 5 to 6 equal sized balls.

Dust the rolling board and a ball with little flour. Flatten and begin to roll evenly to a medium sized paratha of 6 to 7 inches.

Heat a roti tawa. When it is hot enough transfer the paratha gently to the tawa. After a minute flip it and spread ghee or oil.

Cook on both the sides until brown to golden spots appear, meaning the paratha is cooked.

Continue to make and fry all the parathas.

Stack mix vegetable paratha to keep them soft.

Injera

1 cup warm water
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups teff flour
2 cups water (+ up to 1/2 cup more to get a good texture)
salt
Spray coconut oil

Add the warm water and sugar to a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the top, and allow to sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Add in the flour and water and whisk to combine fully. Cover with saran wrap and allow to sit on the counter for 1-2 days, until slightly sour.

Which in the salt, and enough water, if necessary, to give it a fairly loose consistency.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with a bit of coconut oil. Ladle about 1/2 cup batter into the pan and stir to coat. Allow to cook for 20 seconds or so until bubble begin to appear, then cover and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 min until the top looks set. Invert the flatbread onto a cutting board or plate. Stack the flatbreads between parchment paper or paper towel, and allow to cool fully.

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins

These are the famous Jordan Marsh department store muffins.

1/2 cup (8 tablespoon/4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) blueberries, fresh preferred
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers, and grease the papers.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.

Beat in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Mash 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter, stirring just to combine and distribute.
Scoop the batter by the heaping 1/4-cupful into the prepared muffin pan; a muffin scoop works well here.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar atop each muffin, if desired. It’s traditional — go for it!

Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Can you use coarse white sparkling sugar instead of granulated sugar on top of the muffins? Sure; but they won’t be “true” Jordan Marsh muffins.

If you use frozen berries, don’t crush any of them. Rinse several times in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels before using; this will help prevent the muffins from baking up blue-green.

Room-temperature butter is easier to work with than ice-cold butter when preparing muffin batter. If possible, remove butter from the fridge an hour or so before starting the recipe.

Peach Streusel Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter melted
2 tablespoons oil preferably pecan or grapeseed
2 large eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced peaches

For the streusel:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line them with muffin cups.

To make the muffin batter, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until creamy, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until well combined and a thick batter is formed. Fold in the peaches.

To make the streusel, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg until well combined. Stir in the butter and pecans until everything well combined.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter, then evenly top with streusel. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and when a knife inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Serve warm.

Dosas and Uttapams

1 cup urad dal/black lentils (split or whole, with or without skin)
500mL water + 2.5 Liters + additional 500mL for dosas
4 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed powder, freshly ground
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, freshly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
vegetable oil for cooking (vegetable oil sprays are also pretty useful here)

Clean the lentils to remove any stones that might be present. Rinse under running tap water, place in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day drain the water and grind the lentils with the 500mL of water to a smooth paste with a blender. There should be no clumps in the batter. Transfer to a bowl and cover and let it sit for at least 12 hours or at this point you can either refrigerate the lentil mixture and use it within 2-3 days.

The next day transfer the lentil mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, fenugreek powder, salt and yeast. Add the half of the 2.5 Liters of water to batter and stir to form a smooth batter. Transfer the batter to a large container or stockpot (one with deep bottom will be useful when the fermentation causes the batter to rise and prevent it from overflowing. Allow the batter to sit covered (not airtight) for at least 6 hours before using. The batter will ferment and rise.

On the day of cooking, mix the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chili, cumin and salt in a medium bowl and keep aside. (This will be used to top the uttapams)

To prepare Uttapams: Heat a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high. Pour and spread a teaspoon of oil on the surface of the pan. The batter will be thick resembling the consistency of a pancake batter. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter in the center and allow it to spread by itself into an 8 inch circle. Sprinkle about two generous tablespoons of the mixed tomato-onion mixture over the top of the uttapam and then drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil. Cook until the edges get golden brown and they start to come off from the sides. Using a silicone spatula, release the uttapam from the sides, and flip to cook on the other side for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. Prepare the rest similarly. Serve hot.

To prepare Dosas: Add 500mL of water to the batter and stir. The consistency should be thinner like that of a crêpe batter. Heat a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet on medium-low. Pour and spread a teaspoon of oil on the surface of the pan. Using a ladle pour about 1/2 cup batter in the center of the oiled pan and spread the batter with a circular motion using the ladle starting from the center moving outwards to form a large thin crêpe (don’t use too much pressure or it will tear the dosa as it begins to cook). Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon oil over the dosa. Cook until the dosa begins to turn golden brown and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Using a silicone spatula, release the uttapam from the sides, and flip to cook on the other side for about 3 minutes. Prepare the rest similarly. Serve hot.

Aloo Paratha

For the dough:
Atta or whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Warm water – as needed
For the filling,
Potatoes – 2, medium-large
Oil – 2 tsp
Onions – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Aamchur powder or lime juice – 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
For making and serving aloo parathas,
Ghee or oil – to cook parathas
Butter
Thick yogurt
Red onions, sliced
Ketchup or other sauces

Take atta in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and oil and mix with your fingers. Add warm water, a little at a time, and knead till the dough comes together. The dough must be soft and supple, so add as much water as needed. Knead dough for a few minutes till smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Boil, peel and smoothly mash the potatoes. Set this aside in a bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add turmeric, cumin and garam masala powders.

Add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Season with salt. Add aamchur powder or lime juice for tanginess. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and give it a final mix.

Allow the potato mixture to cool down before filling the parathas. The mixture should be smooth and fairly dry as well.
Divide both dough and potato mixture into 8 balls.

Flour your work surface lightly. Roll a dough ball into a 3″ circle. Place a portion of potato filling in the middle and gather and pinch the dough at the sides to make a sort of pouch.

Roll this stuffed dough pouch carefully and evenly till fairly thin. Sprinkle a bit of flour if you find it too hard to roll.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle till almost smoking hot. Rub a bit of oil or ghee on the griddle and place the rolled paratha on top. Cook on medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add a few drops of oil or ghee on top of the paratha and flip. Cook the other side for a minute or so. Both sides must be fully cooked with some browning. Press down with your spatula at the sides to help with the cooking.

Once done, remove aloo paratha to a bread basket or casserole dish to keep warm.

Repeat till you make all the parathas. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to simultaneously roll and cook the parathas!

Serve parathas warm with a generous dollop of butter on top. Serve along with thick yogurt, achar, or sliced red onions!

If not serving immediately, store parathas in a covered container with a clean kitchen towel so that they do not sweat and become soggy.

Parathas can be refrigerated for a day and re-heated on a hot griddle or in the microwave.

NOTES:
1. Atta is a kind of fine-milled whole wheat flour used to make Indian flatbreads like chapatis, rotis and parathas. Easily found in Indian or specialty grocery stores.

Rava Idli

Oil or ghee – 2 tsp
Cashew nuts – 4-5, broken
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Rava/sooji/semolina – 1 1/2 cups
Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely grated or chopped
Green chili – 1, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 6-8, cut into thin ribbons
Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, shredded (optional)
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Water – as needed
Salt – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1/4 tsp

Heat oil (or ghee) in a large skillet. Fry the cashews, drain and keep aside.

Then add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Fry till the seeds crackle and the urad dal turns light golden.

Then add the rava/semolina and roast for a couple of minutes on medium heat, stirring all the while.

Remove this mixture to a large mixing bowl and cool slightly. Then add the fried cashews, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, cilantro and carrots. Sir to combine and add yogurt. Mix well till it the mixture is uniformly moistened. Add a little water to make a smooth, but thick batter. The batter should be thicker than a regular pancake or dosa batter. Cover the bowl and rest for half an hour.

After half an hour, add salt and baking soda to the batter and mix well. Adjust with a bit of water if batter seems to have thickened further.

Meanwhile, heat water in a steamer vessel. Grease and set aside the idli plates.

Pour batter in the idli plates and steam in the steamer vessel for 8-10 minutes or till idlis are cooked (check with a toothpick to see if it comes clean).

Remove from steamer, rest for 5 minutes and remove the idlis from the idli plates using a spoon.

Serve idlis immediately with hot sambar and spicy chutney powder. Store leftovers in a hot-pot or casserole. These can be re-heated in the microwave or lightly steamed again.

Idli, Dosa, and Uttapam Batter

For the batter,
Idli rice – 2 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Cooked rice or rice flakes (called aval/poha) – 1/2 cup (do not use both)
Salt – 2 tsp (or to taste)
Water – as needed

For idlis,
Batter – as required
Oil – for lightly greasing the molds

For dosas,
Batter – as required
Ghee or oil – as required

Batter: Wash the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds in cool water a few times. Soak them in a generous amount of water in a large bowl for at least 4-6 hours. If you are unable to grind the batter that day, you can refrigerate the rice and dal and use the next day.

When you are ready to grind the batter, wash and soak the aval/poha in water for 5 minutes, just enough to soften it. Skip this step if you are using cooked rice. You only need either of these ingredients, not both.

Fill the blender only half-full with the drained rice and dal. Add water to just come up to the level of rice and dal; do not add a lot of water. Grind to a smooth consistency (a fine sand-line gritty texture is also fine). Do this in batches if needed.

Pour the batter into a large container. Make sure to fill the container only halfway, to allow room for the batter to rise during fermentation.

Mix the batter well with your clean, bare hands. Cover the container lightly and rest in a warm place (on the countertop or in a toasty oven) overnight.

Once the batter is risen (it will also smell fermented), add salt and mix gently to combine.

Make idlis and dosas with this batter. Refrigerate the batter if not using immediately to prevent further fermentation and souring of the batter.

Idlis: Fill the steamer vessel with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lightly grease the idli molds with a few drops of oil. Pour the batter to fill the molds. Slightly under-fill the molds so that the idlis have room to rise.

Place the molds in the steamer vessel, cover with the lid, and cook for 8-9 minutes. You can check if the idlis are done with a toothpick (it should come clean). If you overcook, the idlis can become dense and hard.

Remove the hot idli molds from the vessel, let cool for a few minutes, then gently remove the idlis with the help of a spoon. It should come away easily since you greased the molds.

Dosas: Place the well-seasoned dosa pan on medium heat.

Sprinkle a few drops of water, if it sizzles, the pan is ready. Add a few drops of sesame oil to the pan and gently wipe with a wad of paper towel.

Pour a ladle-full (around ¼ cup) of batter in the center of the dosa pan. Starting at the center, quickly make concentric circles of increasing diameter with the rounded cup of the ladle. This will form the dosa shape. Pour a few drops of ghee or oil on the dosa and around the edges. Cook for a couple of minutes till the bottom is golden brown, then flip with a wide spatula and cook the other side for a few seconds. If you have spread the batter thin enough, you may not even need to flip the dosa. Remove the dosa to a plate and serve immediately or keep it warm while you finish making more dosas.

Serve idlis and dosas hot along with sambar, coconut chutney, tomato chutney, chutney podi, etc.

Uthappam: Use the regular dosa batter to make thick, pancake-like dosas. Top the dosa with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, cilantro and pinch of red chili powder before turning it over and cooking the other side. You can also add grated carrots and other vegetables like fresh peas. This is a great option for using up leftover dosa batter that has become too sour.

NOTES:
1. If the blender motor becomes hot while grinding, turn it off and wait for some time before starting it again.

2. If your dosa pan becomes too hot, use a lightly moistened towel to wipe the surface.Then add a few drops of oil, wipe with a paper towel, and make the rest of the dosas.

3. Dosas can also be made like a thick pancake without spreading the batter thinly. In this case, you will definitely need to flip and cook the other side too. Such thick dosas are called spot dosas or set dosas.

4. Leftover idlis can be stored in the fridge overnight. Re-heat them gently in the microwave or in a steamer vessel. Dosas on the other hand, are best served fresh.

Gobi Paratha

Dough
2 1/2 cups chapati flour (or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted (or oil)
2/3 cups warm water

Cauliflower filling
2 cups shredded cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ginger, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Dough
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in melted ghee and rub with fingertips until mixture has consistency of course breadcrumbs. Add the warm water, bit by bit, to form a dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Place dough into a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Dough should rest here for at least 15 minutes.

Filling
Mix grated cauliflower and salt in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as you can and put handfuls into another bowl. (This is important to do because dough will not cook properly if there is too much moisture from cauliflower.) Mix strained cauliflower with rest of filling ingredients.

Assembly
Divide dough into 10 even pieces and roll into balls. Flatten a ball and dip into dusting flour. Roll out to 3 inch diameter. Place one tablespoon of filling in the center. Wrap the edges up and pinch closed at top like a dumpling. Make sure the top is sealed and smooth out the crease. Repeat for all ten dough pieces.

Turn on skillet to medium heat.

Sprinkle your rolling surface and the top of the filled dough ball with some flour and roll out to 6 inch diameter. Make sure to roll out with sealed side on top.

When the skillet is hot (you can check with a drop of water – when it sizzles the skillet is hot), place a paratha on it. When bubbles start to form, turn the paratha over. Cook for 10 seconds and spread 1 teaspoon of ghee or oil over the top surface of the paratha. Flip over and spread a bit of ghee or oil over the top of this side of the paratha. Press the puffed areas with a spatula lightly. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the dough is cooked and the paratha is golden-brown with spots on both sides.

Chapati

Chapati
Ingredients (makes 6 rotis)
1 cup of flour
~1/2 cup lukewarm water
extra flour for rolling
Method
Sift the flour into a bowl and slowly add water while kneading until you get to a dough that is soft, smooth and pliable. The longer you knead the dough the better but 5 minutes of heavy kneading will do.

Take the dough ball and cover with a damp cloth for a minimum of 30 minutes (you can also make the dough and put in your fridge for making another day).

Divide the dough into 6 dough balls or loee and roll them in flour.

Flatten each each dough ball with your palm and roll out to a 6 inch diameter, using extra flour so it does not stick.

Heat an iron skillet on medium heat. When it is hot (water drops should sizzle immediately), place roti on.

Let it cook and when you start to see bubbles form in many places, flip it over and cook until the other side does the same.

Over a medium flame, with flat tongs or chimta place the roti until it blows up or browns on both sides. (If you are cooking on an electric stove, you can press the roti in different places with a cloth to make it blow up a bit right on the skillet)

With the tongs, hit the roti against a surface to shake off any excess flour.

Butter one side with ghee and place in an airtight container lined with paper towel.

Dosas

1 cup urad dal (black matpe beans; see headnote)
2 cups raw basmati rice (see headnote)
1 tablespoon methi seed (fenugreek; see headnote)
Water
1 teaspoon salt
Flour (optional)
Vegetable or coconut oil (liquefied)

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the urad dal and rice separately in a fine-mesh strainer to clean and remove any excess starch. Place the rice in one bowl and cover with water. Combine the urad dal and methi seed in a separate bowl and cover with water. Soak each for 6 hours.

Drain, reserving the soaking liquid from the dal.

Combine the dal and a little of the reserved soaking liquid in a high-powered blender; puree until very smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Clean out the blender, then add the rice and some of the reserved soaking liquid; puree until no individual grains or pieces are apparent.

Pour the pureed rice into the pureed dal, stirring until well incorporated. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter or slightly thinner. Season with the salt. Cover the bowl with a plate or loose-fitting lid. Let the batter sit at room temperature to ferment for about 8 hours. It will increase in volume and should smell slightly sour when ready. (In warm weather, keep the batter away from sunlight; in cool weather, place the batter in an oven or microwave (turned off) to ferment away from drafts.)

Refrigerate the fully fermented batter if you’re not going to make dosas right away. Otherwise, heat a griddle or 12-inch nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle or pan, and very quickly use the bottom of a ladle or bowl to spread it, in one rapid, clockwise motion, into a thin round that’s 6 or 7 inches across. (If the batter seems too thick, add water to the mixture in the bowl in small increments; if it is too thin, flour can be added to thicken it.)

Use a spoon to sprinkle a small amount of oil on the edges of each dosa for crispness and to ease removal from the cooking surface. When the dosa’s underside is a golden brown, gently roll so that one end is a little wider (a slightly loose cone shape), or fold in half. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining dosa batter.

Source: Adapted from Ananda Poojary, owner of Woodlands in Langley Park.

Baked Lemon French Toast

6-10 slices day-old bread (challah, miche, white etc.)
6 large eggs lightly beaten
2 cups half & half (10%) cream
1 cup milk (whole (3%) milk, if possible)
1 Tbsp vanilla
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
To serve:
Fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries, for topping
Icing/confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Mint leaves for garnish
Maple syrup for drizzling

Grease your baking dish with butter. Lay your bread slices in the dish in a single layer, slightly over-lapping, but ensuring that the layer is as flat to the bottom of the pan as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and brown sugar. *Note: You may not need to use all of the soaking liquid. A lot will depend on the thickness and type of bread you are using.

Pour mixture over bread slices only until the bread is almost all covered, with only the top edges of the bread slices exposed. Use a fork to gently move the slices so that the soaking liquid seeps between the slices, as well.

Allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, pressing down with a fork and adding a bit more of the soaking liquid if necessary, once some has been absorbed by the bread before putting in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until set and lightly golden. *If necessary, loosely cover with aluminum foil for the last part of baking if top seems golden enough before the bake is set.

Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and scatter fresh fruit over top. Serve with maple syrup, for drizzling.

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks from 4 large eggs, separated and chilled
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cake flour
1/4 cup milk, chilled
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Unsalted butter, for greasing and serving
Maple syrup, for serving
Confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl; set aside. Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, the vanilla and baking powder to egg yolks and whisk until blended. Add flour and milk; whisk until fully combined.

Add lemon juice and salt to egg whites. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip mixture on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Continue to whip over medium while gradually sprinkling with remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Turn speed to high and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture doubles in size, about 1 minute. Take care not to overbeat meringue.

Heat a lidded nonstick skillet over the lowest heat setting and set the lid aside.

Using a rubber spatula, scoop about 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture and gently fold almost combined. Repeat with half the remaining meringue until almost combined, then fold in the remaining meringue just until no streaks remain.

Carefully grease the warm skillet and the inside of four 3-inch-wide pastry rings (they should be at least 1 1/2 inches tall) using the butter. Check the heat of the pan by sprinkling a bit of water in it: Droplets should steam off the surface, but not dance or sputter. Place the greased pastry rings in the warm pan and ladle a scant 1/2 cup batter into each ring. Place lid on top of skillet and cook pancakes on very low heat until they start to rise and a few small bubbles start to form on top, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove lid, carefully slide a flat spatula underneath each pancake and position another spatula on top, then gently flip pancakes in their rings. Immediately replace lid and cook until pancakes are cooked through and spring back to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a platter, grease the skillet and pastry rings and repeat to make 4 additional pancakes.

Top pancakes with a pat of butter and drizzle with maple syrup; serve immediately. Serve with any combination of confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and berries, if desired.