(a) start organizing her income tax return
(b) work on her term paper
(c) do some spring-cleaning
(d) ignore (a) through (c) and bake some bread!
No prizes for guessing, unfortunately! Here is the bread I made- a tandoori bread no less (or my version of it, anyway): Onion-Cheese Kulcha. It all started with this tempting article from eGullet. Monica Bhide and Sudhir Seth provide a basic naan recipe that can used as a base for many breads, including an onion kulcha. I don't really know the difference between a naan and a kulcha. Perhaps kulcha is simply a term for a stuffed naan. Perhaps the two come from different regions. If anyone knows, please tell us! In any case, the article is worth a read, and there are pictures of a traditional tandoor oven at the end.
The recipe below is adapted from the onion kulcha recipe in that article. I altered the naan recipe to one that is yeast-based, and with half whole-wheat flour, and omitting the egg (because I had none on hand). I altered the kulcha stuffing to use cheese as a binder instead of potato (had no potatoes on hand either...it is a lean pantry the day before I go grocery shopping). Of course, this last substitution made V's day! Because I made so many changes to the original recipe, I am rewriting it here. But please do refer to that article for pictures of each step along the way.
1. Make the dough
(a) In a large bowl, mix together 2 C bread flour, 2 C white whole-wheat flour and 1 t salt.
(b) Mix 3/4 C water and 1/2 C milk in a bowl. Microwave it until it is barely warm. Add 1 t yeast and 1 t sugar to the milk mixture and let it stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
(c) To the flour mixture, add 3 T yogurt and the yeast mixture and mix well to make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours.
2. Make the filling: Mix together 1 C (lightly packed) shredded cheese such as sharp cheddar, 1 medium onion minced finely, 3 T minced cilantro and red chilli powder and chaat masala to taste.
3. Preheat a pizza stone to 400F. Divide the dough and the filling into 8 portions each. Make filled kuchas using the same method we use for stuffed parathas (see the eGullet article for pictures). Dab each kulcha with a few drops of ghee and sprinkle with nigella seeds (could use garlic slices or poppy seeds or cilantro). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the kulchas are puffy and have brown spots.
I served the kulchas with some rajma (kidney bean curry). It made for a very special dinner! When you bite into the kulcha, the cheese is all melty and gooey and the onions are cooked. Now, I don't know if the flavor of the onions came through as much as I would have liked, but the whole thing was quite delicious to say the least.
This onion-cheese kulcha is being rushed over to Radhi as an entry for JFI: Onions.
Dale rests his head on V's lap as he ponders life, the universe and everything...
This is quite an unusual picture, because Dale is not a cuddly-wuddly type at all. He is a dignified creature who likes his space. This one time he was quite happy to snuggle up!
Tomorrow, this little blog will be three years old! Me and my blog, we are growing old together :) By now I have gotten used to living my double life, shuttling between my roles as a regular person and a food blogger. In real life, I am decidedly not a "people person" and quite prone to being "dark and twisty inside" (as they say on "Grey's Anatomy"). When I write this blog, I am able to relax and slow down; cooking and writing does make me warm and happy and I seem to chirp on endlessly about some recipe or the other. I enjoy my conversations with fellow foodies, through the comments and the e-mails and through connections with other food bloggers. As with all other ventures in life, blogging does come with its hassles in the form of those infernal plagiarizers, and the occasional rude comment or e-mail . But as long as the balance is tilted this way, this blogger will keep on blogging. Thank you, dear reader, for your continued support and encouragement!