Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Epic Fail - Strawberry Mirror Cake, The Mock Version

The first time I ever laid eyes on this cake was on Annie's Eats. It was love at first sight. That is also when I first read about the Daring Bakers. Wow! I thought to myself. This looks so good and must be super complicated to make. This was when I had just started baking and did not have enough confidence to pull off something like this. But then as time went by, and I started baking more and more, I realized that the recipe was very simple. I would always go back to it and read it and also read many other blogs who had posted the same recipe, just to get an idea of the problems they faced or get any helpful hints. However, I never had the opportunity to make such a lavish dessert and it was soon lost in my binder.

Then, I was asked to make dessert for Eid and almost at once this cake came to mind. It would be the perfect end to a scrumptious meal. A show stopping dessert. Three weeks prior to the date, I started planning on how I would go about it. Shop on Tuesday, bake the cake on Wednesday, make the juice and puree on Thursday. Everything was planned and I could not wait to get started. Tuesday evening I rushed to the store to buy everything I needed and that’s when the first blow struck. They were out of gelatin. What? How can you be out of gelatin? A bit dejected, I returned home with the rest of the ingredients and decided to send the hubby to look for it the next day. Wednesday afternoon I started baking and made the strawberry juice and the puree. I waited impatiently for hubby to come back with the gelatin. Two hours later he walked into the house. “Sorry, they are out of stock everywhere”.  Panic set in. How could this happen to me? Why God Why? Suddenly I remembered something. I had seen a similar dessert during one of the event round ups and I quickly logged on to search for it. Hmm, a mock Bavarian cream. This should work fine I thought. After all it is ice cream and jelly. Hubby was sent once again to the supermarket to bring the new ingredients. Once he got back I quickly got to making the mock Bavarian cream and poured it onto the cakes. Then I made the mirror and it went on the cream. I was so happy with my dessert.

Bad Pictures I know, but my heart was just not in it :(

It set up extremely well and the next day when I un-molded it everyone exclaimed ooohs and aahs. The mirror had set up perfectly and tasted just like the store bought jelly. I cut up a big slice and had the first taste. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. This does not taste like cream at all. There was too much of a jelly consistency in the cream and I was really disappointed. After all the hard work I put in I was expecting so much more. Guess it’s my fault for going the mock way. However, there were a few people who really enjoyed this dessert. My take is that if you love jello you will love this dessert. I for one am not a big fan of jello, so it was a no go for me. Better luck next time! (Yes, there will be one).

If you want to try this dessert get the recipe at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Happy Eating!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar Cookies - My First Daring Bakers Challenge!

My Eid themed cookies!

Blog checking lines - The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking. 

A collage of all the colourful cookies!

Hurrah! I am very happy to post my first ever Daring Bakers challenge! Now, as anyone from India will tell you, we do not make or eat sugar cookies in India. I mean, culturally it is not a part of any of our festivals or celebrations like in the U.S. So it should not come as a surprise to you that I had never baked or decorated a single cookie (sugar cookies) in my life. That's why this was truly a challenge for me as I would have never pushed myself to try something like this. I had a great time making and decorating with all the different designs. It was like playing with paint in your hands and seeing what fun stuff you can come up with.
We were supposed to decorate the cookies according to a theme, which was 'September'. This year we celebrated Eid-ul-fitr in the month of September and that's what I decided to use as my theme. Also, my niece celebrates her birthday today (Happy Birthday Heba!) and I decided to make some bright colourful cookies for her.

Cookies - I made the cookie dough and divided it into three parts and froze two of them. I wanted to do a test batch and used one part of the dough to bake and decorate. Taste wise, the cookie recipe is great. It makes a nice crispy cookie which i loved eating on its own. I am not a big fan of royal icing and thought the icing made the cookies too sweet. Next time I will just add some melted chocolate on top.

Sugar Cookie Recipe - Click here for the complete recipe and post.
Icing -  For my first batch, I used a an icing recipe from I am baker which I loved. It is a very simple solution of milk and confectioners sugar. It was so easy to work with and I didn't have any trouble at all with it. No hardening, no air bubbles and I was able to color it very easily (I used Wilton gel paste colours). When I made the second batch of cookies I decided to tackle royal icing and see what all the fuss was about. I made the icing with meringue powder and it came together easily. My only mistake was making so many different colours. I wanted to make 7 colours and because of this it took a long time to get my icing bags ready. After doing all this I later realized that I didn't have enough piping tips for all the bags. Duh! All in all I had a great time decorating them and seeing the results. I did learn a lot of lessons and next time will surely keep them in mind.

1. Read, Watch and Learn - Before I started my baking, I must have read a thousand posts on how to's and watched a similar number of videos. There are so many awesome tutorials out there that after watching them I didn't feel so intimidated by the process. The website University of Cookie is a great place for beginners and each step of the process is shown in video. If you are doing this for the first time like me please visit this site!
2. Prep, prep and more prep - I cannot emphasize the importance of this step. First, figure out exactly what type of decorations you want to do and draw out your design on a paper. Colour it using the exact colours you want to use. This will give you a clear picture of how many colours you will need, what type of cookie cutters you will use etc. I had all my designs in my mind and thought I was good to go. But when you start decorating you realize you have forgotten something.
3. Time - . If the cookies are due tomorrow and you start baking them the night before - foggetaboutit! Bake them at least three days before, make the icings and decorate two days before so that the icing has enough time to dry and you can bag them without risking spoiling them. 
4. Supplies - Make sure you have all the supplies before you start. I didn't have any decorating supplies and had to buy almost all of them. Piping bags and tips are the most important and I think one must have at least 3 - 4 each of numbers 1 - 3. Invest in some good supplies initially and these will last for a long time.
5. Relax - If you are new to this and screw up, just relax. there is no use getting frustrated because it's just a cookie! I did screw up a few but then I ate them up. No more evidence!

Find the sugar icing recipe at I Am baker

Find the Royal Icing Recipe at Annie's Eats

Given below are a few links to tutorials that helped me to understand the entire process and made my life so much easier!

P.S - If you are in Dubai, you can get all baking and decorating supplies at Tavola in Mercato Mall, Jumeirah or at Lakeland in Mirdiff City Center. When I went there the first time I was like a kid in a candy shop! I bought so much stuff and still could'nt get enough. So, any of you want to buy cookies from me? I have to use up my supplies after all.
Happy Decorating!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Is A Daring Baker

I am a daring baker! Yes, I am. For over a year I had been ogling and marveling at the wonderful creations of the daring bakers. Never in my dreams did I think that I would have the guts to join this group. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, let me explain. Daring Bakers is an online baking group started by the genius duo of Lisa and Ivonne and together they run the website called The Daring Kitchen (which also includes Daring Cooks), wherein on the first of every month a challenge recipe is given to the group and this has to be kept a big secret until the reveal date. On the 27th of the month all the participating bloggers (and non bloggers) post their creations on their respective blogs. So, after months of dilly dallying I finally jumped the gun and joined the group.
I registered after the deadline (2 am on 28th) and was expecting my first challenge to be in October. But somehow due to the time zone differences I lucked out and my entry was counted and here I am with my first challenge! Since the reveal date is tomorrow I just wanted to post an intro about the group. So stay tuned for the reveal tomorrow!! In the meantime, do check out the website for all the past challenges and wonderful creations and to know more about the group.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chickpeas - Two ways!

(Image Taken From The Internet)
 This is the first time I am doing a double post and it's all because of Nupur from One Hot Stove who is hosting Blog Bites, the Iron Chef Edition. Well, this months theme was 'One ingredient , Two ways!' All we needed to do was take one ingredient (anything from meat to a spice to a vegetable) and cook it in two different ways. At first I wanted to do a sweet and savory version using the same thing but because I was pressed for time and the deadline was inching closer, I decided to post something I had already made.
The ingredient that I chose is the humble chana! Yes, chickpeas my friend. So basic and yet so versatile. In my house I always have cans of chickpeas ready to whip up a chana masala or a chana pulav in a jiffy. No more soaking overnight and cooking in the pressure cooker.

As you know, I live in the middle east and absolutely love the multicultural cuisines out here. One such dish that I like is the falafel. The perfect falafel is crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. But this can often go wrong in many places as some vendors fry them at one time and sell them later after they have gone all soft. Thus I decided to make my own and searched for a good recipe. I didn't have to look much and came across the Hummus 101 blog which has fabulous recipes. Do check it out for the recipe and many others. (Do not use canned chickpeas under any circumstances!) I served our falafel with tahini sauce and some pita bread. It can be had with ketchup as well. Anything goes with ketchup I think!

My second recipe is an Italian dish called Farinata, made with chickpea flour and water. Now, I had never eaten this anywhere before nor had I heard about it. But when I came across the dish on Cream Puffs In Venice, my interest was piqued. It sounded very similar to the besan chila or besan cake that we make back home. This is somewhat a cross between the two, the thickness being neither too thin like a chila nor too thick like the cake. Also, this is prepared in the oven and has oil in the batter. Next time I will probably make it a little more thinner as I wanted a crisp bottom. The farinata can be easily customized according to personal tastes (I added caramelized onions to mine) and I prefer it with a nice dipping sauce. Here is the recipe that I used at the Food and Wine website. I made mine in a large non stick stainless steel pan and it worked perfectly.

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spinach, Ricotta and Chicken Lasagna

It's once again time for Taste and Create and this month my partner is Dragon Musings. She has a lot of lovely recipes for cupcakes and desserts which would have been great to make but I am on a sugar overload (is that even possible?) this month and decided to go the savory route this time. First I thought of making a pizza as she has some fantastic recipes but then I saw this lasagna recipe and got a sudden craving for it. I had not made lasagna in a long time and the last time I made it, it was a bit of a flop. So, armed with this recipe I assembled all my ingredients and got ready to make it. It was very easy and straightforward and the only change I made was to add cooked minced chicken (Latif will never touch anything vegetarian!) with some spices to the pasta sauce (home made)and simmer it for some time. This was the first time that I ever cooked with Ricotta cheese and the spinach - cheese mixture was lovely and creamy.  Overall it was very delicious and I will surely use this recipe again.

Click here for the recipe.

Happy Eating!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Figure Friendly No Bake Cookies

One night as I was sitting all alone at home and browsing the web I came across this recipe and did a double take. Chocolate? Check. Peanut Butter? Check. Figure friendly and no bake? Wow! This was too good to be true. So I ran to the kitchen and a quick pantry survey told me that I had all the ingredients on hand (even the reduced sugar preserves!) I quickly whipped this up and after half an hour of setting in the fridge I was happily munching on a fudgy treat. I am not sure on the figure friendly part but these are a nice alternative to baking on a hot day.

Recipe Source - Given below as is from Cooking Ventures (My changes and notes in red)

Ingredients - Makes 1 Dozen Cookies

2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cups Low-fat Milk (skim Works Fine) – Used Skimmed Milk
1/4 Cups Sugar
2 Pinches Salt
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cups Reduced-sugar Strawberry Preserves – Used Sugar Free Raspberry Preserves
1/4 Cups Peanut Butter (reduced-fat Works Great) – Used Reduced Fat but would prefer to use regular next time
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
2 Tablespoons To 3 Tablespoons Splenda (Depending On How Sweet You Like Things) – Omitted this
1-1/2 Cup Rolled Oats – Used Instant Oats
2 Tbsp Chopped Almonds
  1. Add a piece of waxed paper to a small cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer to chill.
  2. To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, milk, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and strawberry preserves. Use a fork to break up any large pieces of strawberries. Whisk often and bring to a light simmer, then immediately remove the saucepan from the burner.
  3. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and Splenda. Whisk lightly to incorporate the peanut butter.
  4. Add the oats and almonds and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture. Allow the mixture to rest in the saucepan for 6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes. This resting period will allow the mixture to firm up slightly.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to place mounds of the mixture on the chilled cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the cookies to fully gel. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. These cookies, when properly prepared, should not be hard and brittle. They should be soft and fudgy.
Note from Cooking Ventures: I tried this recipe using sugar-free preserves, without success. To me, sugar-free preserves have a very artificial taste that is distracting in this recipe. Reduced-sugar preserves are not normally made with artificial sweeteners (but do have a reduced amount of sugar). - My husband and brother tasted the cookies and did say that they got an artificial taste so I can vouch for this! Will surely use reduced sugar or regular preserves next time.

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pina Colada Cake

The Eid holidays are over and I am back at work (sigh!). I had a great time over the weekend, as we went bowling and to the movies, ate a lot and met up with school friends after a very long time. As I had mentioned in the Eid day post, I was in charge of dessert for Eid and this cake was one of the two cakes that I made. I first saw this recipe on Annie's Eats and her cake looked so beautiful and elegant that I knew I wanted to try it out. However, there was one glitch. You see, I had never tasted a Pina Colada before! Yes, mostly because it's a cocktail and also because I thought pineapple and coconut would taste weird together. But after seeing the recipe I was eager to give it a try and went to a restaurant and ordered the mocktail version. Two sips later I was hooked. The flavors were good and I could imagine it in cake form. I knew I had my eid dessert. However, let me be honest and say that the cake part is from a box mix (gasp! I know), but I had to make two desserts and one was very time consuming (more on that epic fail later) and I thought I could bake one cake and use it as the base cake for both the desserts. Well that worked out pretty well and I had my cake ready in no time. The frosting was also made the night before and I just kept in the fridge. The next day, I leveled the cakes and frosted and decorated the cake. We ate it on the third day and it was so moist and yummy. I was a bit skeptical about cream cheese frosting but after the cake rested in the fridge the icing transformed into awesome goodness! Next time I will surely use the cake recipe as I am sure it will be fabulous (as all recipes from Annie's site are).

Recipe Source - Frosting recipe given as is from Annie's Eats with my notes in red.


For The Cake
1 Package Super Moist Betty Crocker White Cake mix. (Any other brand will do)
3 Egg Whites
1 1/4 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

For The Frosting
1 Cup Fresh Pineapple Chunks - I used canned but next time will use fresh for more flavor.
12 oz. Cream Cheese (At Room Temperature)
18 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (At Room Temperature)
2 2/3 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar (Sifted)
Yellow Food Coloring (Optional) - Omitted this.

For Decoration
Shredded Sweetened Coconut
Fresh Pineapple Wedges
Fresh Strawberries

Bake The Cakes
Preheat oven to 350° F (175 Degree C). Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and keep aside. Mix and bake the cakes as per package directions. Cool completely before frosting.

Make The Frosting
Puree the pineapple in the food processor until smooth. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add pureed pineapple until frosting achieves the desired pineapple flavor (approximately ¾ cup of puree). Add yellow food coloring to achieve a brighter color, if desired. If frosting is too liquid, allow to chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using to set up.

Assemble The Cake
Place one of the cake layers on a cardboard cake circle.
Top with a layer of pineapple frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish with shredded coconut, fresh strawberries and/or pineapple wedges, as desired.

 Happy Eating!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chilli Cheese Toast

Eating Chili Cheese Toast is like killing two birds with one stone. You get something filling that is healthy and tasty as well. I ate this for the first time at my best friends house way back when I was in school. The same day I went home and made it for my mom. We all loved it and I have been making this ever since for everyone I know! It is very easy to make and can be had for breakfast, brunch or an evening snack. It requires a little bit of prep work but the cooking time is very quick. This is a great way of using any bread that is being ignored in the bread basket or the fridge. If you have kids at home who don't eat veggies you can sneak in a few more veggies like grated carrots or pureed beans and peas (pre-cooked of course!). They wont know the difference and you will be much happier!


Ingredients - Serves 2

4 Slices Wholewheat Bread (White or Brown will also do)
4 Tsp Salted Butter
4 Tbsp Chili, Mint and Coriander Chutney*
1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
1 Cup Finely Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cups Grated Cheese (Mozzarella or cheddar)
Ketchup For Serving

1. Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C.
2. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet covered with foil.
3. Apply 1 tsp butter on each slice followed by 1 Tbsp chutney. (You can apply more or less depending on  your tolerance to heat).
4. Sprinkle a little cheese on top, followed by the onion and and tomatoes.
5. Finish by adding cheese and covering the top completely.
6. Place in oven and bake for 10 - 15 minutes till the cheese has melted and the bread is toasted. Serve hot with ketchup.

*Note - To make the chutney, simply grind together mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chilies with a little water and salt. Quantities are to be adjusted according to personal taste.

Tip - If you do not have an oven, make this in a sandwich maker or frying pan. Butter the outside of the bread and place it on the heated pan (buttered side down). Apply all the toppings on the other side, cover and cook on a low flame till the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted.

Happy Eating!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak And A Traditional Eid Recipe - Sheer khurma

Eid Mubarak everybody! I am so excited today as we are going to Latifs' cousins house to celebrate with family. Since we only have two festivals in the whole year, I always look forward to celebrating Eid. After a month of fasting it is now time for some fun. I really miss my parents and all the things we do back home every year. There are so many things that have become a tradition for us and every year we know what to look forward to! The new clothes, the delicious biryani, intricate mehendi designs, getting eidi from my dad, the smell of attar in the air when dad goes for the eid prayers, clicking crazy pictures with my sister... oh the list just goes on! There are so many memories of every eid celebrated back home and I look forward to many more to come.
Latif and I go to his cousins place every year for lunch and spend the whole day there. We are going there today and I am taking dessert! I have two amazing cakes lined up which I will post shortly. Till then you enjoy this Sheer Khurma recipe which is the traditional dessert for eid. Sheer Khurma literally means Milk with Dates and it is basically sweetened milk with dry fruits and vermicelli. Everyone has their own style of making this so I have provided the recipe that my mom has taught me and what we personally prefer. You can add more dry fruits, more vermicelli, raisins etc.



1 Litre Milk (1000 ml)
1/2 Cup Sugar (More if Needed)
2 Tbsp Ghee
1/2 Cup Fine Roasted Vermicelli (Thin Long Variety)*
4 Cardamom Pods (Elaichi)
1 Cinnamon Stick (2 Inch) (Dalchini)
1/8 Cup Almonds (Sliced)
1/8 Cup Pistachios (Sliced)
1/8 Cup Cashew nuts (Coarsely Chopped)
1/8 Cup Dry Dates (Sliced)
1/4 Cup Dry Dates (Soaked In Warm Water and Pureed)**
A Pinch of Saffron (Zafran)
1/4 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

*Note - The vermicelli to be used is the thin long variety that needs to be gently broken into one inch long pieces. See picture below.

Roasted Vermicelli

** Note - The dates add an authentic flavor to the sweet and thicken the milk. However it is OK to skip them if you cannot find the dry dates. I have made it many times without the dates and it turns out just as good.

1. Heat the ghee in large frying pan. Add the almonds and fry till golden brown. Do this on medium heat to prevent burning or over browning. Remove the almonds with a slotted spoon and keep aside. Repeat the same with the pistachios, cashew nuts and sliced dates. Remove and add the vermicelli along with the cardamom and cinnamon stick and toast for 5 minutes. Remove and keep aside. Add the date puree and cook well for few minutes till you get a nice aroma. Remove from pot. The remaining ghee in the pot will not be needed.

2. Bring the milk to a boil in a large heavy bottomed pot (preferably non stick). Lower the heat and add the sugar (Start with a little, keep tasting and gradually add more - remember we will be adding the condensed milk also). Keep the heat on low and keep stirring for 5 minutes.

3. To the milk add the condensed milk (check the sweetness and add accordingly), pureed dates paste, toasted vermicelli and all the dry fruits. Stir and cook till the vermicelli is soft.

4. Soak the saffron in hot milk and add at the end. Serve hot or cold.

Store in the fridge and reheat serving portions as reheating causes the sweet to thicken.

Happy Eating!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Instant Oats Dosa With Peanut Chutney

I absolutely love my weekends. It’s a great time to sleep, eat, relax and bond with my hubby. I work five days a week and get a nice two day weekend which I use to unwind and laze around the house. Since I wake up late I have to find a quick breakfast to appease my hungry stomach and keep me going for some time till lunch is ready. That is exactly what this breakfast is. Quick, easy and filling. It was ready in no time at all and I savored it with a hot cup of tea.

Recipe Source – Seduce Your Tastebuds

Ingredients – Makes 15 Dosas Approx.

For The Dosa
1 1/2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
1 Cup Wheat Flour
¾ Cup Semolina (Sooji/Rava)
Salt To Taste
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
For the Chutney
1 Cup Peanuts (Roasted*)
2 Tsp Coconut (Grated)
2 Green Chilies
5 – 6 Curry Leaves
A Small Ball Tamarind (Marble sized)
Salt To Taste
For Tempering (Tadka) the Chutney
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Zeera)
1/2 Tsp Urad Dal (Split)
Few Curry leaves
2 Tsp Oil

*Note - Make sure the peanuts are very well roasted, otherwise the chutney will have a raw taste. The peanuts should be crunchy and not soft.

Make The Dosa
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, dry roast the oats till light brown and fragrant. Cool slightly and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add enough water to make a batter of pouring consistency. Take care to avoid lumps.
  4. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the chutney while the batter rests.
  5. Heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle full of batter in the center. Spread it to to the sides in a circle using the back of the ladle. (If not using a non stick pan, pour a little oil to the sides)
  6. When the edges lift up from the pan, flip it over and cook for a minute. Remove to a plate and keep aside. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Make The Chutney
  1. Grind all the ingredients without adding water for a few minutes.
  2. Add water little by little and continue grinding. (The chutney should not be too smooth.)
  3. Remove to a serving dish.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients. When the mustard seeds splutter, remove and pour over the chutney.Mix well and serve.
Happy Eating!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Iftaar Treat - Fruit Chaat

I absolutely love this fruit chaat and no iftaar is complete for me without this simple but delicious mix of fruits. You can add in any seasonal fruits, a dash of honey or sugar and a light sprinkle of chaat powder. I am a fussy eater when it comes to fruits as I don't like eating whole fruits. So when I am offered this treat I can happily eat a lot of fruit! It is very healthy and you can omit the sugar completely as the fruits lend their own sweetness. Back home in India it is my dad who makes this everyday in ramadan and it has become his chore for the day. So now I have given this big task to Latif. Hope he can do it well and carry on the tradition!


Ingredients - Serves 6

1 Apple
2 Large Bananas
1 Orange
1 Pear
1 Ripe Guava
1 Cup Seedless Grapes (Chopped)
Sugar To Taste or Honey
A Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Chaat Powder (More to Taste)

Wash all the fruits and dice them up in a big bowl. Mash up the orange slices a bit using the back of a spoon to release their juices.  Add the sugar/honey, salt and chaat powder. Mix well and serve. (I prefer to keep it in the fridge for sometime to chill and for the flavors to mingle)

Happy Eating!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Iftaar Treat - Dahi Bread

During ramadan there are some days when I just don't feel like going to the kitchen and preparing something elaborate. Well, this is what happened recently and I knew I had to make something for iftaar but didn't want to labour away for long. Then I saw some bread on the counter and immediately remembered this dish that I have always eaten in a relatives house during ramadan. It is easy to make and tastes good. Though I didn't know the exact way to make it  I started off with my own quantities and it turned out perfect. The amount of yogurt used was just right as the bread soaked it up nicely but did not become soggy which is something that can easily happen in this dish. I think whole wheat bread is really good for this as it is not very soft to begin with. But Latifs' aunt (from whom I learnt this) always uses white bread so I guess its just a matter of choice.


Ingredients  - Serves 4 - 5

5 Whole Wheat Bread Slices (White or Brown will also do)
1 1/4 Cup Thick Yogurt (Divided)
3/4 Cup Water (Divided)*
3 Tbsp Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Red Chilli Powder - As needed
Cumin (Zeera) Powder - As needed
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves (Cilantro)
Plain Sev for Topping

* Note - If your yogurt is not thick do not add water. Whisk well and use as is. You may need to increase the quantity of the yogurt.

Trim the sides of the bread slices with a sharp knife to get a square shape. Keep aside.
Combine 1 cup of the yogurt with 1/2 cup of water, sugar and salt. Whisk well till the sugar is dissolved.
Take an 8X6 rectangle glass dish (or a similar dish with high sides). Pour 1/4 cup worth of the whisked yogurt on the bottom and arrange two slices of bread on top.
Sprinkle a little red chilli powder and cumin powder according to taste.
Repeat with the remaining yogurt and two bread slices ensuring that all the bread is completely soaked in the yogurt. Trim the 5th slice of bread and fit it into the corners where the bread slices are missing.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup thick yogurt and 1/4 cup water and pour evenly all over the top. Sprinkle with red chilli powder and cumin powder.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge just before serving and garnish with the onions, coriander leaves and sev. Cut into 9 equal portions using a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Happy Eating!!