Banana Bread

I like eating a variety of breads – Indian Breads like Naan, Chappati, Millet Breads etc and non-Indian breads like crusty french bread, breakfast breads and others. One of my favorite breads is Banana bread with walnuts or chocolate chips. So even though it is not really an Indian inspired recipe (the title of my blog notwithstanding), I wanted to post this recipe from a recent cookbook that I bought – America’s Test Kitchen. The recipes from that cookbook always come out really well without any modifications. Speaking of modifications, I have started exploring how I can make gluten-free of recipes that I really love. The reason for that, well read on….

Banana Bread

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Khakra (Lightly Spiced Chickpea Cracker)

In the previous post, Aloo Gobi, I had mentioned my experiment to apply the technique learnt in the cooking class that I took in making Indian crackers, failed. I had messed up on the proportion of spices and forgot to add oil, an essential ingredient! I was determined to try again since I really miss some of the crackers my mom used to make. She used to roll the dough really thin and then would cook it on the stove top by constantly pressing on the rolled out cracker on a hot pan with a kitchen towel. Basically, she was making sure that the steam generated from the heat would not make it puff up. After all the crackers were cooked, she would go on to make the world’s best garlic chutney.

Chickpea Flour Crackers

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Aloo Gobi (Braised Potato and Cauliflower)

A few weekends ago I took a cooking class on making French chocolates from a French chef, Suzanne (Cuisine By Suzanne). We found out about this class when we we were at a Japanese festival in Seattle and that it was being offered at a Japanese chef’s house (Hiroko Sugiyama). I jumped at the chance to learn something new as I like taking cooking classes, no matter what cuisine. I especially like taking classes that are hands on. It is no fun just watching the chef show how to make something if you cannot participate. Not only is a hands-on class more fun but you learn much more by doing it yourself. I usually try to apply that to my cooking as it triggers new ideas. Over the years I have taken lots of classes – 5-day class for the basics of cooking, Pizza making, Chocolate and so on.

Tomato on Vine

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Masala Bhindi (Masala Spiced Okra)

One of my friends from Minneapolis is from the southern part of the US. She hated okra since the only way she was used to eating it is in the form of gumbo. I had her try the way I cooked it (as outlined in the recipe below) and she loved it. She was surprised that it was not slimy. Okra is one of my favorite vegetable but I do not like it’s slimy texture either. How do you get rid of the sliminess when cooking okra? The most important thing to do is to dry it really well after washing it wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel. The next step is to cook it in the pan before adding any other vegetables or spices other than onion. Cook it till it starts to brown a little. Once that is done, then add spices and tomatoes etc. There are also recipes that are made by frying the okra in oil. I prefer not to fry okra since it soaks up a lot of oil and the dish comes out really oily. I believe that is how you will find them in the Indian restaurants.

Okra

Okra cut on both ends.

Okra

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