Sunday, 4 March 2012

52 Recipe Challenge - week 34.

As I mentioned in my last blog I've fallen into bad habits of not cooking new recipes or blogging as often as I feel I should, so I've decided to rectify this.  Another thing that I've noticed is that I've been mainly posting about sweet treats so the savoury dishes have been falling a bit by the wayside... I've tried to rectify this by making a curry and naan breads. Not entirely getting away from things I make too often on the blog at least it’s not another cake! I decided to try a few more recipes from my Indian Cookbook.
My Indian Cookbook and a few spices..

The recipes I decided to try were the Naan recipe and the Baigan Ka Bhurta (roasted aubergine with tomatoes and ginger) recipe although I followed the Naan recipe nearer to the letter than the curry recipe!

To make these dishes you will need:

For the Naan -

1 teaspoon of Sugar
100ml lukewarm Water
1 7g sachet of dried Yeast (the recipe says 1 teaspoon but I only had sachets in)
250g/ 8 oz Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 tablespoons Natural Yogurt
2 tablespoons Oil
1 tablespoon melted Butter

For Baigan Ka Bhurta -

1 Aubergine
3 tablespoons of Oil
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of Ginger (the recipe said use 2cm of fresh ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger but I only had ground ginger in.)
1 teaspoon Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chilli
3 Garlic cloves
1 Onion chopped
200g of chopped tomatoes (this is what I used the recipe says vine tomatoes but I had didn't have these.)
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
(The original recipe aslso says use 1/2 teaspoon ground Fennel which I don't have and 1/2 a teaspoon Gram Masala which I didn't notice and forgot to use...Ooops!)

I started off looking at the recipes and cursing myself that I hadn't really left myself with enough time to make them properly after trying to dig a tree out of my garden... but that's another story! So I turned on the oven to pre-heat and measured 100ml lukewarm water into my measuring jug then poured in my sachet of yeast, gave it a stir and popped it on the hob whilst I waited for it to turn frothy.

Then I got the flour, salt and baking powder out and sifted it into my mixing bowl before making a well in the centre for the wet ingredients.

Next I put my Aubergine on a baking tray and then placed it in the oven and turned the oven down to 200c/ gas mark 6 and set my timer for 20 minutes.

As the yeast water mix wasn't frothy yet I got a pan out and put some oil in it in preparation for when I needed to cook the cumin seeds and put this on the hob as well.  As things seemed to be taking their time I sat down to watch a bit of telly for a minute then checked on the yeast and water mix, which had gone frothy so I added it to the flour, baking powder and salt.  Next, I added the yogurt and oil and mixed it all together, initially I used a spoon and then my hands. 

 When the dough was combined, I kneaded it in the bowl for about five to ten minutes and then put some cling film over it then put it on the hob for about half an hour.

The original recipe says to let the dough rise for 3 - 4 hours but I'd have been eating in the early hours if I did that!  Whilst I was waiting for the dough to rise and the aubergine to cook I watched a little more telly then was asked how long tea would be and started to prepare again... So I looked at my recipes and got out a bowl for the aubergine and filled it with cold water to put it in once it came out of the oven.  I then checked on the aubergine and turned it over so it didn't cook funny.

Once I did that I started to cook the cumin seeds and chop up the onion then realised I should probably wait before cooking the cumin seeds, turned the gas ring off and moved the pan.  It was at about that time I got the aubergine out of the oven and put it in the bowl of cold water only to find that the bowl was too small to fit the aubergine in! I tried transferring it to the slow cooker bowl, which was also too small but not quite as bad as the other one.  I ended up turning the aubergine over a few times, so I could dip the unsubmerged end in the water and cool it down.

After I did this I put the pan back on the hob and started to cook the cumin seeds again whilst peeling my aubergine.  Then when I thought the cumin seeds were cooked enough I added the garlic and ground ginger and cooked them for about a minute before adding the onion. 

I gave it all a quick stir and then I returned to my aubergine. When peeling the aubergine I emptied the water out of the slow cooker bowl and then put the peeled aubergine in it.  I looked at the recipe and it said to mash the aubergine with the back of a spoon but I didn't have much luck with this so I turned to my potato masher.  This did a bit of a better job but it still didn't look like the aubergine in the recipe book but I decided not to worry about that too much.  

When I mashed the aubergine I went back to my pan and stirred the onions, garlic, cumin seeds and ginger powder then added the mashed up aubergine and the coriander cumin and chilli. The mashed aubergine was still mainly intact but a bit flatter so I jabbed it with my spatula until it separated up a bit more and combined it with the other ingredients.

Whilst that cooked I put my baking tray in the oven to heat up and took the dough from the mixing bowl, kneaded it for a few minutes then divided the dough into 6 separate balls of dough of roughly similar sizes.
 I tried to form the dough balls into roughly naan bread shapes with my hands after miss reading the second to last paragraph of the recipe and put 4 of them on the baking tray at the top of the oven for a few minutes. I left the other 2 balls on the side to rise.

Next I added the chopped tomatoes to the aubergine mix in my pan.  This is where I cheated by using the other half of the pizza sauce I made the night before which consisted of 200g of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and various spices.  Once these were mixed together I melted a knob of butter in the microwave, took the naans out of the oven and brushed them with melted butter then returned them to the oven for another couple of minutes.

When the naans were done I put them on a plate and sprinkled coriander on them as I worried they looked more like pita breads...

I then returned the baking tray to the oven and shaped the last 2 naans with the rolling pin then putting them on the hot baking tray, repeating the process I used for the other 4 naans.

When the naans were cooked I added a bit of extra ground coriander and lemon juice to the curry and dished it out.  

It ended up being a nice curry and one I'd happily try again but I think I'll try to make more of an effort to get all the ingredients next time and start it earlier as we ended up eating it quite late.  I would also be happy to try to make naans again but need to work on my shaping technique and might try coating them with garlic butter at the halfway time on my next attempt.

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