Showing posts with label Simple starter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Simple starter. Show all posts

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rosemary Focaccia

Also known as Italian flat bread, Focaccia is one of my personal favorite. You can mix and match different ingredients and come up with something spectacular.  I got to work again with my favorite herb- rosemary and my whole house smelt so good after baking this :)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp dry yeast
luke warm water
olive oil
1 small red onion (sliced)
3-4 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped fine)
rosemary leaves
salt (1/2 tsp)
5-6 Black olives (optional)

  • Sift the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the yeast.
  • Pour in warm water, crushed/chopped garlic, olive oil and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface (for good 10 minutes)
  • The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  • Once done, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel.
  • Leave it in a warm place for an hour till it doubles in volume.
  • After an hour (when the dough has doubled up), punch the air and knead the dough again for 2-3 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to a large circle (about 1 cm thick)and transfer to a greased baking tray.
  • Brush the dough generously with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle the sliced onions, chopped rosemary and some salt on the dough (generally sea salt is used- I just used the regular salt) - Press them gently on the dough so that they stick and get embedded.
  • Using a finger, make deep indentations in the dough- stick the black olives in a pattern.
  • Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and leave it to rise for 30 minutes. 
  • After 30 minutes, when the dough has risen a bit, pop it in a preheated oven and bake it for 25-30 minutes (220 degree celsius)
  • Serve warm with salad/soup.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Garlic & herb Rolls

This recipe has been adapted from the lovely blogs- Sprinkles of parsley & Torviewtoronto - I just added my own twist to the original recipe. It was a mega success and within minutes all the rolls vanished. You can be super-creative with the recipe and try using different ingredients- I used a combination of Italian herbs, dash of pepper and crushed garlic for the filling- So here goes my version....

Ingredients for the base- (Makes about 8-10 rolls)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp yeast (dry active yeast)
2 tbsp luke warm water
olive oil (about a tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt
luke warm water for kneading dough

For the filling

4-5 garlic pods minced
5 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
dash of pepper
salt (according to taste)
Italian herb mix- 1 tsp(oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary mix)


Combine yeast and sugar in a tablespoon of luke warm water and set it aside for five minutes. The yeast becomes active and froths up. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Add the yeast liquid, olive oil and start kneading the dough with luke warm water. After five minutes of kneading the dough should become smooth and silky. Roll it into a ball and keep it in a clean bowl- cover it with a cling wrap. Allow the dough to raise for an hour. In the meanwhile, we must get our filling ready. In a bowl, combine garlic, pepper, Italian herbs and salt with butter. Mix well and keep it aside. After an hour when the dough doubles up in size, punch the air out and knead it for a couple of minutes on a lightly floured surface.  Roll your dough in a long rectangle and spread the garlic-butter mixture evenly on it. Roll it up along the long edge till it forms into one big roll. Slice the roll into equal sized pieces and place it on a baking tray. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow it to raise for 10 to 15 minutes. Brush the rolls with melted butter. Pre heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius and bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes till golden brown. Give enough space for the rolls and don't cramp them. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Comforting Tortellini soup

Instead of making my own pasta or even think of making it, I quickly ran to the super market and got a packet of frozen tortellini. A quick soup with dash of all veggies in my fridge took care of the dinner time! I have never tried a soupy tortellini. I always saute it with veggies or eat it with arabiatta sauce. If you are tired and want to spend minimum time in your kitchen with less pressure on "after-cooking" clean up then it's a perfect one-pot recipe (should I say one-pan??)- very comforting with nice flavors and a healthy way to finish your day. Read on....


1 big cup mixed assortment of veggies (I used mushrooms, beans, shallots, peas, carrots, zucchini)
1 bay leaf (how cannot I use this when I have a food blog titled Flavors??)
5-6 cups of Vegetable broth
1 onion (medium sized) chopped
salt according to taste
1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes
Frozen tortellini (used spinach and ricotta filled tortellini)
1 tsp dried basil
fresh parsley for garnishing
black pepper to taste
Olive oil to cook
3-4 crushed garlic cloves (I can't cook without my star ingredient)


Heat olive oil in a pot/pan. Saute onions, garlic and other veggies over medium flame (for about 8 min). Add broth, bay leaf, basil, tomatoes and salt to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil over high flame. Mix the tortellini and cook on a low flame for 5-6 minutes. Allow it to simmer well before adding pepper. Toss in the parsley for garnishing. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breezy Sunday evening snack- Baked rosemary potatoes!

I recently discovered the herb Rosemary- Never had an opportunity to work with it much and when I did get an opportunity, I fell in love with this gorgeous herb! Rosemary is extremely high in Iron & Calcium- so all the more good reasons for me to get pally with this herb :)  Baby potatoes work great with rosemary and bring in the garlic and shallot twist to make an easy peasy snack!


500 gms baby potatoes (unpeeled)
5 peeled shallots cut in slices or wedges
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
5-6 crushed garlic cloves
salt & pepper according to taste

How did I make it?

Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius. Throughly wash the baby potatoes and mix them with onions, olive oil, rosemary, vinegar and garlic. Toss well till the vegetables are well coated. Grease a baking pan and place the potatoes in the pan. Bake them for about 30 to 35 minutes till the potatoes are completely cooked. Once cooked, remove them from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve hot with chilli sauce!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bread stix with a cumin twist!

Come winter, you always want to cuddle up with a hot soup at night. I have experimented with so many soups and probably have tried all the ready made soup versions I could find in the super market. The problem with soup is you want something crunchy to go along- something to dip in the soup. Garlic bread is my favorite and of course bread sticks taste great with any kind of soup- I did a batch of bread sticks and it tasted heavenly with my potato leek soup- Here is a simple recipe for bread sticks, enjoy!


2 cups all purpose flour
cumin seeds approx 1tsp
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
lukewarm water to mix the dough
1tsp yeast


Mix the flour, cumin and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast, then make a well in the center of the dough. Pour in the warm water and start mixing the dough. Add the olive oil and continue to mix till it becomes a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes till it becomes soft and elastic. Put the dough in a separate bowl and cover it with clear film and leave for about 1 hour till it has doubled in bulk. After an hour, press the dough to release the air and knead for 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into small balls and start rolling them into long sticks. Place well apart on a baking sheet and leave it aside for 15 minutes till they become puffed up. Bake for about 15 minutes till it becomes crisp and golden in a preheated oven (220 degree Celsius). Enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hearty pumpkin soup with herbs n garlic bread

Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable- You could do so much with pumpkin- it is used extensively in south Indian cooking. Of all things, I love it in the soup form! It's so easy to make and tastes really good. I combined my soup with sizzling garlic bread and had an amazing starter. So if you are tempted to grab a packet of ready to make soups at your super market- think again... All you need is pumpkin, onions and a good blender for this soup.

Pumpkin soup Ingredients-

1 medium sized pumpkin - peeled & cut in small chunks
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
bay leaf - 1
cumin seeds
salt (according to taste)
1 cup vegetable broth (1 to 1.5 cups- enough to cover the pumpkins for boiling)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds with bay leaf. As the seeds start to sputter, saute onions and garlic over moderate heat for five minutes. Add the pumpkin chunks and pour vegetable broth to cover all the pumpkin in the pan. Add salt and pepper. Allow the pumpkins to soften and cook till they become tender. Remove from flame and allow it to cool a bit. Pick out the bay leaf and puree the soup with a hand blender.  Serve hot with chopped coriander on top.

Now comes the star- Herbs n garlic bread!


Butter at room temperature
Garlic powder
Italian herbs/seasoning
dash of chilli flakes
salt (if you are using unsalted butter)
Bread slices


Mix garlic powder, herbs, chilli flakes and salt to the butter. Quote liberal dose of this butter on your bread slices and toast it in a frying pan till the bread absorbs the butter and becomes golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and garlic butter

Absolutely love this simple Italian starter. Easy to make and really sumptuous!

What do we need?

2 ripe tomatoes
slices of cut Italian bread
4-5 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)
fresh basil leaves (chopped)
olive oil (1/2 tsp)
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese for the topping

How did I put together?

Step 1: First we need to prepare the tomatoes. Boil water in a saucepan and drop the tomatoes in as the water starts boiling. Cook for a couple of minutes till the skin starts to split. Take the tomatoes out of boiling water and run them under cold water for a minute. Peel the skin, remove the seeds and roughly chop them.
Step 2: Prepare some garlic butter. Put the chopped garlic in a small cup and mix butter and salt. Blend them well till you achieve a spread consistency.
Step 3: Get the topping ready. Mix chopped tomatoes, basil leaves, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.
Step 4: Rub the bread slices with garlic butter and toast them in a oven/griller till they are light brown on both sides.
Final step: Pile up the tomato filling on the bruschetta and add the mozzarella on top- Pop them in the oven for a couple of minutes till the cheese melts. Enjoy!


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