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Category Archives: Breads

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee – Nostalgia in a Cup

Every morning. That first sip of coffee……

I was introduced to coffee while studying for my Master’s degree in Chennai (South India).

Not a fan of caffeinated drinks, I would always choose milk while my friends would order a cuppa from our college café. And then they would rave about it. Not just for the taste but also the fact that it kept the sleep at bay while attending boring University lectures. Now that got me curious, because my humble glass of milk couldn’t do that. And that is what led to my first sip of coffee.

‘Love at first taste’ is how I describe that moment. It was strong, bitter, rich, sweet…..not flavours I generally enjoyed but I was hooked.

Now that I had started to enjoy coffee, I was quickly introduced to filter coffee or filter kaapi as traditionally known. Living in Chennai, it was hard to ignore filter coffee. I would always be fascinated with the aroma that lingers in every restaurant serving South Indian food. And even more fascinated with the way the coffee was served, in stainless steel dabaras.

The filter kaapi took my coffee experience to a whole new level. Countless cups were enjoyed during my student life, and marrying into a Tamilian household, filter kaapi soon became an integral part of my everyday routine.

But filter coffee got forgotten when I moved to Australia. Because who sells filter coffee in Australia? We tried a couple of South Indian restaurants here hoping to have some good filter coffee, but the experience was always disappointing.

And then I discovered Malgudi Days – a premium specialty South Indian Coffee, roasted and blended in Australia!

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

Malgudi Days has the most interesting story on how their signature South Indian traditional filter coffee blend came to life.

A native of South India, but bought up in New Zealand and Australia, Anee was always interested in the world of coffee. Perhaps owing to the fact that his dad’s family had owned coffee farms and been in the coffee industry back in India. So after a decade of working as Senior Risk Management Executive in the banking industry, Anee decided to shift gears and set up his own coffee business in 2012 establishing his company, Samson Coffee House.

The story of Malgudi Days began when Anee’s mom, disappointed with the quality of filter kaapi options in Australia, asked him to create a traditional blend that’s reminiscent of the true flavours of South Indian coffee.

South Indian filter coffee is a unique blend of coffee beans and chicory (introduced to India by the British in late 18th century). So Anee spent months researching, testing and trying out several different combinations before he was able to create a blend that bought an acknowledging smile to his mom’s face. While initially it was only a gift to his mom, anyone who tasted this blend encouraged him to go commercial, and thus Malgudi days was born.

Named after his mom’s favourite writer and his book, Malgudi Days is all about incorporating Indian culture into the modern day Australian narrative.

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

The traditional blend is crafted from Arabica and Robusta beans, grown in the Baba Bundangiri Hills and premium grade organic chicory.

“We pick ‘Speciality’ grade beans which can be traced back to the farmer, Co-Op, plantation or estates where the coffee has come from. Speciality coffee refers to coffee that is “grown and farmed in optimum conditions, harvested with care, processed meticulously and finally, roasted and brewed with a knowledge and understanding that does justice to everyone involved in this process”. Speciality coffee is associated with delicious, well made and ethically sourced coffee. It is often used to refer to coffees that are graded (by qualified taste-testers, or Q Graders) and that “score above 80 points (out of 100)”.

Both the whole bean and ground variants are available at Malgudi Days for purchase. Apart from the traditional South Indian filter coffee blend, there are also others like Heritage, Mysuru, Monsoon, Royale to choose from.

The description for each type of coffee, brew methods and other information is provided in detail on the website. So hop over and take a read.

Getting back to the traditional blend, the South Indian filter is the best brewing method; you could also use the stovetop method. Both are outlined in detail here. I used the filter method which is really easy once you get the hang of it. The filter and the traditional stainless steel cups/dabaras are also available for purchase on the website.

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

When one thinks of South Indian filter coffee, it’s always traditional South Indian food especially breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, upma etc… that come to mind.

But I am travelling a bit further today….to Nepal, to bring to you their much loved breakfast snack – Gwaramari (loosely translated as round bread).

Gwaramari (Nepali bread) - thespiceadventuress.com

The reason why I wanted to step away from South Indian food is to showcase the fact that filter coffee can pair with dishes from other cuisines too, moving regional to global. And what always surprises me is that every cuisine in the world share similarities if we are willing to look and embrace it.

Gwaramari reminds me of so many different snacks like fritters, vada (South Indian savoury doughnut) etc… The key difference is that this Nepali bread is made from flour as opposed to rice or lentils. And though I have never been to Nepal, I have read that Gwaramari is especially popular during the colder months.

Gwaramari (Nepali bread)

So it only feels apt to make it now….what can be more delicious than a glass of hot filter kaapi and some fried deliciousness on a cold day.

Let’s end the rambling and get right on to the recipe;

(Note – Instead of Nepali style chutneys, I served the Gwaramari with sambar (South Indian lentil stew) and tomato onion chutney)

Ingredients:

  1. 250gm plain flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. ½ tsp grated ginger
  4. ½ tsp grated garlic
  5. ½ tsp crushed cumin
  6. ¼ tsp coriander powder
  7. ½ tsp black pepper powder
  8. Salt, to season
  9. 230ml water
  10. Vegetable oil; for deep frying

Method:

Note – It’s best to let the flour mixture rest overnight. If pressed for time, use after resting for 2-3 hours.

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except water.
  2. Slowly add the water, stirring continuously, till a thick batter consistency is obtained (almost like a paste). Water must be added slowly to ensure that the right consistency is obtained.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or keep for atleast 2-3 hours.
  4. Remove the flour mixture from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before use.
  5. Heat oil in a deep pan (for deep frying) to 190°C. Take a small ladleful (roughly 1 ½ tbsp) of the flour mixture and place gently into the oil. (Within seconds, the gwaramari will rise to the surface of the oil). Add more and fry till the bread balls are golden brown and crisp.
  6. Repeat with the entire flour mixture.

The bread does not have a uniform appearance and that’s part of its rustic appeal. Enjoy warm with chutneys and a hot cup of filter kaapi.

Gwaramari (Nepali bread)

Gwaramari (Nepali bread)

 

Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Malgudi Days. All the opinions are unbiased and entirely mine. 

 

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Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes)

Banana bread is one of the most forgiving recipes that I know, especially since I am a novice in the baking department.

It does not require the exacting measurements or baking knowledge that is required to bake most other desserts, cakes etc…. But having said that, there are good and bad banana breads.

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

If you do not like banana bread, then chances are you have had the not so desirable ones that are sold at most generic cafes. It was the same for all the three of us which put me off baking it for a very long time. But as I started seeing a lot of my friends and favourite bloggers sharing so many different styles of banana bread, I realised that there is more to this recipe.

So began the experiments trying out various recipes to get one that we enjoyed best. There was no dearth of over ripe bananas in the house. By weekend, there are always a couple that has begun to look way too brownish for my son to eat and the only way I used to finish it off was in smoothies and milkshakes.

And overripe bananas are exactly what you need for this bread.

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

Though named so, banana bread is a cross between bread and cake drawing inspiration from both baking techniques.

The decision to add vegemite was almost last minute. We are not big fans of vegemite but there is a small bottle in my pantry that I use occasionally to experiment and create recipes that incorporates the flavour and nutritional components of vegemite without being too obvious in the smell department. Just can’t stand that!

One good example of this would be the Vegemite roast chicken that’s quite popular in our home.

As I tasted the banana bread batter, I thought it could do with another ingredient to sort of intensify the flavours and suddenly vegemite came to mind. Added a little bit to the batter and I really liked the richer, almost caramel kind of flavour that I decided to go ahead with it. And boy, it did turn out delicious.

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

If you have vegemite at home, then by all means use it; I promise you won’t be disappointed. But if you don’t, then omit it and go ahead with the batter as such or you incorporate other flavours like chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, peanut butter etc….

Ingredients:

  1. 3 medium sized ripe bananas
  2. 2 tbsp whole milk
  3. 3 eggs (room temperature)
  4. 80 gms unsalted butter (melted)
  5. A pinch of salt
  6. 1 cup raw sugar
  7. 1 tbsp vegemite
  8. 2 cups plain flour
  9. 2 tsp baking powder
  10. Almond flakes

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan forced).
  2. Grease a loaf pan with butter or oil spray and then line with baking paper.
  3. In a large glass bowl, add the bananas and mash well with a fork. Then add the melted butter, sugar, milk, vegemite and eggs. Use a whisk or hand held beater to mix all the ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, sift the flour along with baking powder. Add a pinch of salt to this and mix.
  5. Add the flour to the banana mixture and fold in gently till all the whole batter gets combined well.
  6. Pour into the loaf pan and line the top with almond flakes.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or till done (insert a skewer through the centre of the loaf; the skewer will come out clean if done).
  8. Cool before removing from the loaf pan.
  9. Slice and serve with butter.

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli)

Hot Cross Buns are everywhere!

I mean, it’s practically impossible to walk into any supermarket, bakery or fresh food store without catching a glimpse of beautifully arranged packets of these, right at the counter. And to think, ‘hot cross buns’ was only a childhood nursery rhyme for me till five years ago.

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

That’s true. I have never seen or eaten a hot cross bun in my life till I moved to Australia. And I clearly didn’t like it the first time I ever tasted it. It was too sweet for me and I didn’t really enjoy the idea of intensely sweet bread with hints of spice.

Fortunately, the dislike didn’t last too long as I discovered better tasting hot cross buns. But still, it was not my favourite and not something I bought to celebrate Easter.

But this year, I was challenged with the task of creating a hot cross bun recipe for another website. I wanted to do something interesting and if possible savoury since there were so many baked/dessert recipes using hot cross buns that were all over the internet.

Quite a bit of research later, I decided to take inspiration from NoshOn.It and came up with these utterly delicious Hot Cross Bun Sliders!

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

In the process of creating this recipe, I must say that I fell in love with the brioche style hot cross buns from Woolworths. So much lighter in texture than the regular buns, these were not excessively sweet, more buttery which made it absolutely delicious when toasted.

So getting on to the recipe today, I was looking for a recipe that is an answer to the hot cross bun leftover situation that will happen in many households around the world. And these sliders are just perfect for that. Savoury, so that you have a respite from all the sweet treats and also works great as a brunch or Easter morning breakfast.

Using sausage meat to create the burger like patty is a brilliant idea because it is often so flavourful especially if you buy the varieties which have herbs and spices in them. I picked up some Angus beef sausages which were absolutely perfect. All that you need to do is remove the skin, roll and shape the stuffing into patties.

You can use just toasted hot cross buns for making these sliders or make it extra indulgent by going the French toast route. Dip the buns in French toast batter (minus the sugar and spice) and toast to perfection. Believe me, this step changes the game altogether….you will know how delicious only if you make it guys.

Add a fried or poached egg and a drizzle of garlic aioli to finish this absolutely divine rendition of Hot Cross Bun Sliders. Happy Easter folks!

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Stuff Mums Like, so head over to the website for the full recipe.

 

Rice Stuffed Paratha (Indian flat bread stuffed with flavoured rice)

Parathas are Indian flat breads made from wheat flour. These are a staple in North Indian cuisine and eaten in every household at all times of the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Stuffing the parathas take these humble flat breads to a whole new level making it a complete meal in itself. The options are endless and you can get as experimentative as you like. Some of the traditional favourites are aloo paratha (potato stuffing), onion paratha (spiced onion stuffing), gobi paratha (cauliflower stuffing) but there are many modern ones too like beetroot paratha, zucchini paratha etc….

The best accompaniment for parathas are raitas or flavoured yoghurt dips (there are some amazing ones here) and a side of hot, spicy pickles. Make sure to add a dollop of ghee or butter to the parathas…

Children love parathas; it is fuss free eating and make excellent lunch box recipes too. And mothers get to hide all sorts of veggies inside. A winner all the way!

Today’s dish is a rice stuffed paratha – something I had never heard of before till a friend mentioned it in passing the other day. We were chatting about my blog, the onion paratha recipe I had posted and she mentioned that I must try with some leftover rice stuffing. It piqued my interest (reminded me of burritos with lime rice filling) and I waited eagerly for some leftover rice to make its presence known in my refrigerator.

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My friend, Alka, mentioned that they use traditional Gujarati spices to flavour the rice but I decided to create my own flavours instead. The result was deliciously fabulous – hot piping parathas with a mildly spiced and fragrant rice stuffing served with a dollop of butter.

So, come on, let’s take out some rice and flour and get cooking – rice stuffed parathas!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1. Unbleached wheat flour/atta – 2 cups
2. Salt – to season
3. Water – ¾ ths cup (add more if necessary)
4. Ghee – 1 tsp

For the stuffing:

5. Leftover white rice – 1 cup
6. Red onion – 1 small, finely chopped
7. Green chilli – 1-2, finely chopped (you can totally omit this too)
8. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
9. Salt – to season
10. Chat masala – ¼ tsp
11. Coriander leaves – 1 tsp, finely chopped
12. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp


Method:

• Prepare the dough by mixing together all the ingredients. The amount of water mentioned is an approximate; you may need to add more water to adjust the dough consistency. Cover with a wet cloth and leave at room temperature for at least an hour.
• For the stuffing, mix the rice, chopped onions and green chilli in a bowl.
• Heat oil in a pan and add the rice mixture to it. On low heat, mix it well and add turmeric powder and season with salt. After 5 minutes, remove the mixture and allow to cool.
• Once cooled, add chat masala and coriander leaves and mix well to combine.
• To make the stuffed paratha, divide the dough into medium sized balls. Roll out to at least 3 inch diameter circles (see the images). Place a little stuffing on one rolled out ball and cover it with the second rolled out ball. Press the sides well to avoid stuffing from leaking out. Dust with flour and roll lightly on top to press the layers together. Be gentle or the stuffing will seep through.
• Heat the tawa/flat pan and place the paratha; cook one side well before flipping over. Drizzle some ghee and flip over again. Cook till the parathas are golden brown and done.
• Serve hot with a dollop of butter.

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Onion Paratha

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When it comes to Indian breads, I am very much a beginner – the only two I ever make are chappathi and puri. But now I intend to make changes to that status and learn more about the various types of breads from this vast nation.

Parathas are a staple in almost all North Indian households and there is so much variety that you can bring to this humble whole wheat flat bread. Today, I have made an onion stuffed paratha which is basically a flat bread made from whole wheat flour stuffed with a mildly spiced onion mixture.

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The best thing about stuffed parathas is that you can use just about ingredient to make the stuffing. Pair it with a raita/yoghurt dip, pickles and roasted pappad and you have a wholesome, nutritious meal ready.

And like I mentioned, being a beginner, I would love to know more about the different types of breads that you make at home.

So let’s get cooking……hot and delicious onion paratha.

Recipe courtesy – http://www.7aumsuvai.com

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Ingredients:

For the dough:

1. Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
2. Warm water – 3/4ths cup (or as needed)
3. Salt – to season
4. Ghee – to drizzle while the paratha is being cooked

For the stuffing:

5. Onion – 2 medium, finely chopped
6. Green chilli – 1 small, finely chopped
7. Cumin/jeera seeds – 1 tsp
8. Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
9. Garam masala powder – ¼ tsp
10. Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
11. Curry leaves – 1 tsp, chopped
12. Salt – to season

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Method:

• In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, water and season with salt. Mix through and leave covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mix well to form a semi-soft dough and leave covered with a damp cloth for another 20 minutes. (The first step is optional but helps to knead the dough faster and easier).
• To make the onion stuffing, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.
• To make the stuffed paratha, divide the dough into medium sized balls. Roll out to at least 3 inch diameter circles (see the images). Place a little stuffing on one rolled out ball and cover it with the second rolled out ball. Press the sides well to avoid stuffing from leaking out. Dust with flour and roll lightly on top to press the layers together. Be gentle or the stuffing will seep through.
• Heat the tawa/flat pan and place the paratha; cook one side well before flipping over. Drizzle some ghee and flip over again. Cook till the parathas are golden brown and done.
• Serve hot.

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