Chatti Pathiri

Chatti Pathiri: an Indian dish made out of layered crepes that are filled with a savory filling and then baked in coconut milk. It is like a lighter lasagna with an Indian twist

The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!

I made a Chatti Pathiri.Chatti pathiri if you are not familiar with it is basically layered pastry or crepes made in the North Malabar and Malabar region, of KeralaIndia. It is made in both sweet and savoury variations. The dish is very similar to the Italian lasagna in concept but instead of pasta; pastry sheets / crepes are used.

The filling depends on the variation desired. The sweet ones are made with sweetened beaten eggs, nuts and raisins, seasoned with cardamom. The savoury ones are made with a meat filling.  Traditionally pathiri crepes are made out of rice flour, but like many traditional recipes, new adaptations use different types of flour and different crepe recipes.

Having tried a savory crepe in one of our sourdough surprises challenges, I was really looking forward to this month’s challenge and it did not disappoint. The Pathiri was almost like a lighter lasagna with Indian flavors. We all loved it but the kids loved it so much that they were actually looking forward to the left overs the next day!Thank you Joanne for an amazing challenge.

I served my pathiri with a quinoa salad on the side.

quinoa salad

I stuck to Joanne’s Chatti Pathiri recipe with a few changes. I doubled the crepe recipe because I wanted more layers and I increased the amount of chicken used and added some mushrooms as well.

Chatti Pathiri: an Indian dish made out of layered crepes that are filled with a savory filling and then baked in coconut milk. It is like a lighter lasagna with an Indian twist

Chatti Pathiri:


Ingredients:
For the crepes:

4 large eggs
2 cup (500 ml) milk
2 teaspoon (10 ml) white vinegar
2 tablespoon (30 ml) grape-seed oil or neutral-tasting oil
2 cup  (240 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour, sifted
pinch of salt
Butter for crepe pan

For the filling:

400 g  boneless chicken, I used a mixture of thighs and breast
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon roasted curry powder*
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 large red onion, diced

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
20 almonds, roasted, ground
Handful of spinach leaves
1 tablespoon (15 m) (½ oz) (15 gm) ghee
2 teaspoons ghee additional
salt to taste
1-2/3 cup (400 ml) coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves

*feel free to substitute garam masala

Directions:

crepe

For the crepes:

1) In a jug or mixing bowl add vinegar to milk; allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2) In a bowl (or larger jug), combine milk mixture with remaining ingredients; refrigerate for at least one hour.
3) Heat pan coating pan lightly with butter; remove excess  with paper towel.
4) Pour batter to desired size; flip when edges start to lift.

NOTE: 
Do not pour batter into a pan that is not hot enough as it WILL stick.

HINT AND TIP:Crepes do freeze well, so you can do this challenge in two steps if you are tight on time. Prepare the crepes and filling one day, layer and finish cooking the next. Just make sure  to store the crepes  in a sealed Ziplock bag

filling

For the filling:

1) Cut chicken into bite size pieces and remove any excess fat.
2) Place in a food processor and mince; set aside.

3) Place almonds in a pan; roast under grill (broiler) for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted; remove. In a food processor or mini grinder, grind almonds until fine; set aside.
4) In a small bowl, combine turmeric powder, coriander powder, and roasted curry powder; set aside.

4) In another small bowl, combine ginger paste, garlic paste; set aside.
5) Prepare (i.e. dice) red onions; set aside.

6) With all ingredients now prepared, heat a large fry pan on medium heat, then add 1 teaspoon ghee.

7) Add ginger, garlic paste; sauté for 30 seconds.

NOTE: 

May need to lower heat “slightly” if pan ingredients start to splatter.

8) Add red onions; sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft; move onions to one side of pan.

9) Add in powdered spices to opposite side of pan; sauté for about 1 minute; combine with onions.
10) Add the mushrooms, sautee for 10 minutes then add the chicken mince; sauté until brown.
11) Add finely ground roasted almonds.
12) Add a good handful of spinach (or more); allow to wilt; approximately 3 minutes.
13) Remove mixture from the heat; set aside until completely cool; about 30 – 40 minutes.


ASSEMBLY

In a bowl, pour your coconut milk ; set aside.

Use the ghee to oil the bottom and sides of the pan (I used an 8 inch cake pan with a removable base and I wrapped it in foil to prevent leakage )

wrap

Dunk one crepe in the coconut milk, remove it and place it in the pan

Top the crepe with the completely cooled chicken mixture
layer
Repeat and continue layering for as many layers as you choose to do or until mixture runs out
Pour the remaining coconut milk over the layered crepes
coconut milk
Place your chatti pathiri in a preheated moderate oven 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4, until all the coconut milk evaporates; you will notice the side “starting” to become dry.
baked Pathiri

Remove from the oven

Allow your pathiri to cool for 10 minutes and them take it out of the pan, you can flip the pan on the serving plate or you can use a spring-form pan
Chatti pathiri
Chatti Pathiri: an Indian dish made out of layered crepes that are filled with a savory filling and then baked in coconut milk. It is like a lighter lasagna with an Indian twist

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No bake vegan almond date bars

Vegan raw date nut and oatmeal bars

My kids have a love affair with oatmeal, they would happily eat anything with the word oatmeal in it.  Refrigerator oatmeal, granola, cookies, you name it. When it was time to choose my secret recipe club assignment, I went through the Saturday evening pot’s archives.I bookmarked their Berry Smoothies with Hidden Greens,  and their Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Balsamic Vinegar recipe among many others. Then I came across this recipe for no bake fruit crumble bars and I instantly knew that this was the one! Before I can get to the recipe let me tell you a little about my assigned blog. The Saturday evening pot is run by the Chef, who graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts and has always loved cooking.His family, The Lucky Wife and The Well-Fed Kids, who get to be the taste-testers of his new creations .They share their food adventures and recipes through their blog Raw vegan date almond bars This particular recipe was made by the Lucky wife. I loved it because it was quick, easy,nutritious, lunch box friendly and of course it had oatmeal in it. I adapted the recipe a little using dates as  a filling instead of jam, I also added a few spices to jazz things up a bit. I used dates because I wanted to try these bars in their purest form, raw, vegan and with out any added sugar. Why you may ask? Well until recently a recipe described as raw, vegan and without sugar was one I would not even consider. It must be bland and tasteless I always told myself but the more I read about the health benefits of raw and vegan food, the more I am tempted to give recipes like this one a try. So I ventured on,and I am happy to report that after trying these bars, the result blew me away. The crust had a wonderful texture with the earthy oats, the nutty almonds , the hint of coconut and slight sweetness provided by the dates. The filling added a spicy sweet note without making these bars overly sweet. The best part is that the kids loved them so much that they demanded them for school and I was more than happy to oblige. Read the full post »

Sushi salad with ginger soy dressing

sushi salad with ginger dressing 2

No winter lasts forever

Spring is officially here and with the kids freshly out of their mid-term exams it was time for a picnic. A time to have fun, recharge and hunt for color.

The kids had a blast chasing butterflies and lady bugs, climbing trees, picking flowers and building a mini fire with my brother to make tea and grilled cheese sandwiches. I personally took the time to soak up the peace and quite away from all noise and mono tones of the city.A cup of tea and a view like this are some of life’s simplest yet most valuable joys

beautiful spring

 

yellow flowers

 Have you ever wished trees could talk?

I know it sounds crazy but on numerous occasions, I wished trees could talk.  During our picnic we came across this tree, I was simply fascinated by its trunk! I would have loved to listen to what this tree had to tell about the decades it stood there watching, listening and growing. I would happily spend hours listening to her story about how she overcame whatever it was that left that mark in her trunk and how she managed to find the strength to go on..

chef in disguise jordan

 

Read the full post »

Creamy citrus and poppy seeds salad dressing

Citrus poppy seed salad dressing

Sunday is here which means it is time for a new and refreshing salad dressing recipe. The weather is warming up, and with spring in the air, I crave colors! it is like I need to wash away the months of winter gloom. I go hunting for color and beauty every where,I’d be stuck in traffic but my attention is on the sidewalk admiring a tender flower opening up its petals to greet the world. Driving home late from work , I try to focus on the breath taking hues of sunset, it is like the sun is a silent artist painting the horizon everyday trying to remind us that even endings can be beautiful.  I get home and all I crave is a bowl of refreshing greens dotted with splashes of colors from the different fruits and veges and perfectly complimented with a new homemade salad dressing

Today’s dressing is creamy,sweet and tangy with a little bite of Dijon mustard, it is a perfect compliment to green salads especially salads that feature fruit.

Citrus poppy seed salad dressing

Citrus and poppy seeds salad dressing

Recipe source:Women’s weekly salad cookbook

2 teaspoons (10 ml) orange zest
¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) poppy seeds
1/3 cup (80 ml) sour cream (I usually use labneh for a lighter dressing)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard
1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey

Whisk all the ingredients until homogenous

Homemade nougat

Nougat The March 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt. She challenged us to learn to make classic nougat and to make it our own with our choice of flavors and add-ins.

Making nougat from scratch was on my “when I am brave enough and skilled enough” list. The process seemed too intimidating! Boiling hot sugar syrup, exact temperatures, recipes with far too many steps and far too many details that can go wrong. Then the March challenge was announced and I just knew that if I didn’t do it now, I may never do it.

Looking back on the experience, I have to say that despite my fear and anxiety, the process was actually enjoyable! If you keep the tips listed below in mind and if you follow the steps you will find out that making nougat at home is actually much easier than what you expect!and once all is said and done, it is also very rewarding.Not only did you make your own nougat but it also tastes better than the over priced stuff you buy, you can customize the filling and flavors to your liking and of course you can brag about the fact that you can make your own nougat from scratch :) nougat from scratch

Notes and tips on making homemade nougat:

A few things that you need to keep in mind when making nougat.

The candy thermometers  there are two kinds of candy thermometers:digital and analog mercury thermometers made specifically for candy making. Before using your thermometer to make candy, it would be a good idea to test its accuracy. You can do so by boiling some water and measuring its temperature. You see, when you are making candy, even 2 degrees can make a difference in the finished texture.

Keep in mind that  your candy thermometer should not directly touch the bottom of the pot when you use it or you will be measuring the temperature of the pot, not its contents, and you run the risk of blowing out your thermometer.

The temperature : You will find that recipes vary in the temperature they use to make nougat. The temperature listed in the recipe is the one that I used. If your candy comes out harder or softer than you’d like, try adjusting the syrup temperature the next time.

Weather also plays a part in the outcome of nougat. Nougat is best made on a cool, dry day, as humidity can noticeably affect the texture of the nougat and its shelf life. Nougat made on a humid day may turn out softer than nougat made on a dry day even if you cook the sugar syrup to the same temperature each time. You may want to play with the temperature of the sugar syrup to work with your climate.

Nuts:  Many nougat recipes call for the nuts to be kept warm prior to adding them to the nougat because cold nuts cause the warm nougat to set up faster  which makes it hard to handle, added to that, nuts are easier to fold in when they are warm

Edible rice paper: Edible rice paper, also known as wafer paper helps prevent the nougat from sticking to everything and makes it easier to cut, serve, and store the candy. It can often be found in Asian food markets and in some gourmet stores, or purchased online.  (Note that edible rice paper is not the same as thin rice paper wrappers intended for spring rolls). If you cannot find any, line your pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray

Fat: is added to nougat to give it a shorter texture and cleaner bite. I’ve tried the recipe without it and it still comes out tasting good, it’s just chewier.

Clean up: Nougat is super sticky! it sticks to everything! The easiest way to clean up the bowls and spatulas is to fill them with water and leave them for a couple of hours, the nougat will simply dissolve away. Trying to scrub it away immediately can prove to be impossible, soaking the utensils in water for a little way will make your life MUCH easier

Nougat with almonds

Nougat Torrone:

Recipe Source: Chocolates and Confections by Peter P. Greweling Servings: one 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) slab The recipe can be divided in half Prep time: approximately 45 minutes Cook time: approximately 30-45 minutes Cool time: approximately 45 minutes

Ingredients

4 sheets edible wafer paper, 8×11 inches (20×28 cm)

For the Meringue:

2 large egg whites, at room temperature ¼ cup (60 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) granulated sugar ½ teaspoon (3 gm) cream of tartar

For the Syrup:

1½ cups (360 ml) (500 gm) (18 oz) honey (preferably light in color and flavor)

3 cups (720 ml) (600 gm) (21 oz) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) light corn syrup

½ cup (120 ml) water 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Add-ins:

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) cocoa butter, melted (see Recipe Notes above)

5 cups (1.2 litre) (680 gm) (24 oz) toasted whole unblanched almonds

Directions:

1. Place the toasted almonds in a heat safe bowl and put in an oven at 250°F/121°C until needed.

2. Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) pan with wafer paper, cutting it to fit.

3. Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar for the meringue in a 4.5 or 5 quart (about 5 litre) mixer bowl fitted with a whip attachment but do not begin whipping.

4. Heat the honey in a small saucepan or in the microwave until nearly boiling

5. Combine the remaining ingredients for the syrup (sugar, corn syrup, water and vanilla bean) in a 2 quart (2 litre) saucepan.

6. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and boil for 3 minutes, covered.

7. Remove the lid and attach the candy thermometer. Continue to cook uncovered on high heat without stirring until the syrup reaches 290°F/143°C. sugar syrup 8. When the sugar mixture reaches 290°F/143°C, start whipping the egg whites on high speed and move the sugar mixture off the heat and slowly pour the heated honey into the sugar mixture. The mixture will foam up initially. foam 9. Put the pan back on the heat and continue cooking until the mixture again reaches 290°F/143°C.

10. Remove from the heat and use tongs to take out the vanilla bean pods.

11. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the whipping whites by letting it run down the inside of the mixer bowl. Don’t pour it directly on the whites or they may collapse.

12. Whip on high speed for 3 minutes.

13. Add the cocoa butter and whip JUST until the mixture is smooth again. Do not over mix.

14. Remove the bowl from the mixer and dump in the hot nuts from the oven. Mix quickly with a heat-safe spatula until the almonds are evenly distributed.

15. Immediately pour the hot nougat into the prepared pan, on top of the wafer paper.It will be stiff! Use a rubber spatula to scrape the candy from the sides of the bowl and work quickly.  Cover the top of the nougat with more wafer paper and press to smooth and even out the nougat.

Note: If your nougat is covered with rice paper, you can weigh it down to compress the nougat evenly. Place a second 9×13 pan on top of your nougat, and place a large book or other heavy object in the pan to weigh it down and provide even compression

Note 2: Nougat sets up pretty quickly, so it’s important to work fast once the sugar syrup has been added to the eggs. It’s a bit of a judgment call in whipping the nougat enough that it is well aerated and not so long that it stiffens up on you. It should look kind of like a thick cake batter, it should fall in thick ribbons when you scoop it. If your nougat gets too stiff to work with, you can try aiming a hair dryer on high heat at the nougat and the bowl for a few seconds to warm it up and make it more pliable.

16. Let the nougat cool at room temperature until just warm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Don’t let it go too long or it will be very difficult to get out of the pan and difficult to cut. You want it to still be a little flexible when you remove it but not so soft that it loses its shape.

17. Pry the nougat out of the pan with a spatula and dump it out onto a cutting board. Trim the edges and cut the nougat with an oiled knife into the size pieces you want. Homemade nougat 18. Wrap the nougat individually or store at room temperature in an airtight container. The texture of the nougat will soften a bit after a few days, especially if you have added dried fruits in with the nuts.

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