I sometimes wonder if I could indeed have completed one year on Paleo/AIP if I had not come across cassava flour! Although I have embraced many different types of foods and cuisines in the last twenty years since moving to the United States, one thing that I can still not have enough of is ‘curry’! Yes I need my curry, ma’m and I need something to dunk into that curry you know? Rice and curry or Rotis and curry! Gosh that first couple months on AIp was tough when I just ate a lot of steamed / boiled yuca. Was finally so glad to come across Cassava flour via Instagram. And even more thrilled when I realized I could make tortillas aka rotis aka parathas with them!
Yes, once I got a handle on that, there has been no looking back! Cassava rotis, Cassava parathas stuffed with veggies, cassava tortillas for any kind of tacos. Agreed that it is some amount of work to make these but since I was so used to making the Indian whole wheat rotis on a regular basis for my family that making a few cassava ones additionally didn’t amount to too much work. Besides, I make the dough for a batch of 8-10 tortillas/rotis. And then cook them on an ‘as needed’ basis. The dough stays in the fridge for 3-4 days without any issues.
And lately I noticed a couple AIP flatbread recipes by some AIP bloggers. One of them was for Flatbread Pizza by The Unskilled Cavewoman. Ever since coming across this recipe, I was thinking of trying a version for myself. Last week I had some left over dough that I had made for making cassava rotis/tortillas. Now this is a dough I make every week. Here’s my video for making the cassava rotis/tortillas.
I make it slightly differently than the recipe by ‘The Unskilled Woman‘. One of these days I will try her recipe too. But anyways, since I had the dough left, I had an intense desire to try making a flatbread with it. I decided to first just add some red onions and olives to it since they are my favorite toppings for pizza. I just spread the dough flat on a baking tray and added the toppings. The flatbread came out awesome. I just had it with some herbed extra virgin olive oil.
And then I made it again for the second time this week!. As I started making it, I thought of adding a few cranberries too! And then while it was baking in the oven, I decided to whip up a sauce to spread on top. I was thinking something ‘pesto like’. But then I saw the avocado and decided it would be ‘creamy avocado and basil’. Then I thought of throwing in spinach too since I always try to incorporate as many vegetables as possible into every meal!
The flatbread came out so delicious – loved biting into the cranberries and olives. And don’t forget the red onions. They are the star! You cannot skip them! And the pesto cum sauce complemented it perfectly.! I cleaned up everything in like 5 mins! I did not even want to waste time taking too many pics 🙂
Take a large mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, the salt and oil to it. Then add half of the hot water and stir using a spatula to wet the flour. Then add all the rest of the water and the extra olive oil. Knead using your hands to form a smooth dough.
Line a baking tray with Al foil and brush liberally with the olive oil. Place the dough on this tray and flatten it using your fingers to form a rectangle / flatbread like shape. Pierce lightly with a fork.
Place the toppings on top and again press to get them inside the dough.
Place tray in the oven and bake at 425 F for about 10-12 mins until the bottom is crispy. Take out and brush again with olive oil on top and bake again for another 3-4 mins.
For the sauce:
Add all sauce ingredients to food processor or blender and blend till smooth and creamy. Check for salt and add more if needed.
For the herbed dipping oil:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
I use Anthony's Goods Cassava flour. If you use a different brand, then the dough consistency and consequently the consistency of the flatbread may come out different.
If you have been following my blog, you might wonder why I am posting this kappa Puttu recipe again? Well guess what this is a different way of making kappa puttu. I guess this is the traditional way of making it. What I had posted earlier was an easy or short cut version. Actually speaking both versions are not that hard and if you already have some cooked leftover kappa (yucca) then you can go for the recipe I posted earlier. My aunt had suggested I try making Kappa puttu since that would be a great grain free bread option for me. I loved the version I made before. However my darling cousins kept insisting that I should try making it using raw grated yucca (tapioca) and that tastes much better. So then how could I not give it a try right?
My husband was kind enough to grate the yucca for me. Since yucca is hard, it is really a little tough on my weak RA stricken hands to grate this. Hence so kind of him to volunteer! Well the resultant ‘puttu’ was moist and delicious and the texture was ‘rice’ like.! And goes perfect with some chicken curry or fish curry! Yum!
Puttu is traditionally steamed using an utensil called “puttu Kodam’ which basically consists of a long mould that fits on top of a steamer pot. Since I don’t have this contraption, I make do with a strainer fitted on top of a cooking pot. To get a round shape, I pack the cooked ‘puttu’ in a small bowl and then invert it onto the serving plate. But if you have a puttu maker, you can make it in that. You can check out what a puttu maker looks like over here.
This Yucca Puttu or Yucca Rice as I like to call it as become my staple ‘bread’ for eating with fish / chicken curry and has made my transition into a Paleo diet so much more acceptable! I don’t miss rice anymore since this yucca rice is so delicious and perfectly complements curries since it has the wonderful ability to sop up all that gravy! yum! Traditionally, kappa Puttu uses a mix of kappa (yucca/tapioca) and rice flour. But I replaced rice flour with coconut flour to keep it Paleo. But you can use same recipe replacing rice flour with coconut flour too.
Freshly grated yucca mixed with coconut / rice flour and steamed to get a 'rice' like consistency that is a perfect complement to spicy Indian curries like chicken curry, fish curry or vegetable curries
1 cup freshly grated Yucca (tapioca or kappa)
½ cup coconut flour (or rice flour) (Use coconut flour for Paleo, AIP version)
In a large mixing bowl, add the freshly grated yucca/tapioca. Add the coconut flour (or rice flour) and salt. Add the freshly grated coconut. Mix well using your hands.
Steam this mixture using a Puttu maker or using a make shift steamer as explained below.
For make shift steamer, fill a large cooking pot ¼ th with water and heat till water boils. Place a strainer that fits on top of this pot on it and spread the yucca mixture over it. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and steam cook for about 10 minutes. To serve, pack in small bowls or moulds and invert onto a plate.
He He … ABC Paratha, isn’t that a fun name? Its an interesting story how this particular paratha was conceived in my kitchen. So you see, of late I have been juicing regularly using a variety of vegetables and fruits. I would always feel upset about throwing away all the pulp since there is so much fiber (and also nutrients) left in the pulp after you juice. At least my Breville juicer does not really compact my veggies and fruits and so I know there is still a lot of good stuff left in that pulp. What I would do is freeze the pulp and then put it in smoothies and soups.
Then one fine day while I was making methi parathas for my kiddos, a light bulb went on and I said to myself – Hey, next time I an use some of that juice pulp! And so as it happened , the next time I used Apples, beets, cucumber and celery for making my juice. I faithfully gathered the pulp and saved it for making parathas the following day. The next day as the kids came home from school, there were these warm, pink parathas ready for them. They both devoured the parathas. They loved it! I did not tell them what was in them nor did they bother to ask! So after that day I kept making such parathas frequently and this combination with the apple, beets and the cucumber was the one they loved the best. One day I had added grapefruit too and that gave a bitter taste which they complained about. So Ok no grapefruit business. let’s stick to the ABC and let’s call it the ABC paratha.
So now this paratha has become a regular in our house along with the methi thepla. Over the past few weeks I experimented further with these parathas adding ragi flour (finger millet flour) and flaxseed meal to replace part of the whole wheat flour. The kids continued to love it. Isn’t that the best thing? When you make them such healthy, wholesome food and they enjoy it?
Btw, I make this paratha now by using freshly grated apples, beets and cucumber even on the days I am not juicing:) And I serve these parathas with my homemade apple and date chutney, which is also a cinch to make and my daughter and my favorite chutney since it is sweet, tangy and spicy. My daughter loves the combination – of this paratha with the apple chutney. I think they perfectly complement each other.
Sweet and Savory paratha (Indian flatbread) made of whole wheat and millet flour and stuffed with grated apples, beets and cucumber
½ cup grated apple (about ½ of a medium peeled apple)
¼ cup grated red beets(after peeling the skin)
¼ cup grated cucumber (skin peeled)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder(cayenne pepper)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup Ragi flour (finger millet flour)
1 tbsp flax seed meal
about ¾ cup water to knead the dough
extra ghee or olive oil for cooking paranthas
In a large mixing bowl, add the grated beets, apple and cucumber. then add the salt and all the spices and the oil.
Next add the whole wheat flour, the rage flour and the flexed meal and the oil and start mixing together. Add water slowly until you get a smooth dough. (Add additional bit of flour or water as needed)
Divide the dough into small golf ball size balls - about 20 balls.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat.
Take each dough ball and roll using chapati rolling pin into a round chapati shape (about 5-6 inches diameter) - use flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling surface.
Place the chapati onto the heated pan and cook for 1 minute. Flip and apply oil or ghee to the chapati and let cook for about 30 seconds and then again flip to the other side. Apply oil/ghee to this side too and again flip to let cook for another 30-40 seconds or until both sides are cooked and have brown spots on top. Transfer to a container to keep warm. Continue making the rest of the parathas the same way.
For the recipe of Apple and Date Chutney, Click here
Btw Happy Holi to all those who celebrate! I started writing this post and realized it was Holi. In maharashtra we make stuffed lentil parathas called Puran Poli for Holi. These Pink parathas I made I thought could also be very apt for Holi don’t you think so? 🙂
Spicy Stuffed buns!
Veggie Stuffed buns!
One a penny, Two a penny,
Tasty Stuffed buns!
One of the Sri Lankan recipes that I had bookmarked a few weeks ago was these breakfast buns stuffed with a spicy onion filling. The onion and red chili filling in these buns is actually ‘seeni sambol’ which is a spicy onion chutney very popular in Sri Lanka (at least that’s what my virtual tour has shown me). This seeni symbol recipe was very similar to the ‘ulli chamandi’ (onion chutney) which is traditional to Kerala. Yeah that is just one of the various commonalities between Sri Lankan and Kerala cuisine.
Last week I had made this onion chutney and since I had some leftover, the thought of making these stuffed buns came to mind. I thought of making them for dinner and so decided to do a couple different variations for the stuffing too. One was seeni sambol and for the other stuffing, I sautéed veggies and added ricotta cheese. I knew that was a filling that would definitely be a hit with my children. And I was absolutely right! Both these buns were a huge hit! I did a third variation too with just the veggies without the ricotta for myself (I am dairy free remember? ). The buns came out so wonderfully light and soft – I am already thinking of thousand other ways I am going to try them again soon!
¼cup milk (I used almond milk for a dairy free version)
About 4 cups all-purpose flour
4tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes (I used Smart balance dairy free )
olive oil, for greasing
Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or working by hand), combine 1 cup water and the yeast. Mix together. Add the egg, milk, 4 cups flour, salt, sugar and butter. Knead until you get a smooth dough(Add more flour if needed). Turn into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 16 balls and let rise for another 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Seeni Sambol/ Ulli Chamandi:
1 tsp coconut oil
1 medium red onion,chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 dry red chillies (use according to your spice level)
1 tiny piece (nickel size ball) of tamarind, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water (seed removed)
1/2 tsp salt
In a small frying pan, add the oil and sauté the onion,garlic and the dry red chillies for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Transfer to a food processor / chopper and coarsely grind adding the tamarind paste and salt. Transfer to a container.
1 cup ricotta cheese (skip ricotta for a dairy free version)
In a sauté pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions for a minute. Then add the chopped veggies and the spices and salt and cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then uncover add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese mix and turn heat off.
Making the stuffed buns:
Set aside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. Punch down each ball of dough and press with your fingers to form a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Put a tablespoon of filling in one quadrant of the circle, then fold the dough over like a half moon to cover the filling. Fold over once again Pinch the rounded edges of the dough together, tuck them under, and place the bun on the baking sheet. Repeat, placing the buns several inches apart. Brush the tops with the egg yolk mixture, and set aside to rest for about 20 minutes while the oven heats.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 deg C). Bake the buns until lightly golden on top and bottom, about 12 to 13 minutes; Serve warm or at room temperature, for breakfast or a snack.
No need to knead? Are you sure? A stand mixer must be needed then? Nope. All you need is a large mixing bowl and a little bit of advance planning.:)
How many times have you noted a recipe down and tried it ardently following the recipe to the last detail only to be disappointed with the results? Well it has happened to me more than once. Hence when I started this blog one of the many things I wanted to do was to only post recipes that I had tried and tested successfully at least a minimum of 3 times in my kitchen.
Ciabatta bread I just love love love. I could probably live an entire week just on this bread alone! Maybe some butter to go with it. But seriously ciabatta is s bread I just love – just plain, with soups or in sandwiches. So in the past one year I have tried several different recipes from the internet. But was not quite happy with the results until recently when all my experiments resulted in me finally being able to make the best ciabatta ever! The key is to have a sticky dough. Considering that there may be variations in the quality of the flour with different brands of All purpose flour, it is important to add just enough water such that you get a sticky kind of dough. Hmm perfectly crusty on the outside and spongy on the inside! This bread is very similar to the khadak paav bread that is so famous in Mumbai.! My family was thrilled and now as I have baked this bread many times successfully – finally I feel I can post the recipe here 🙂
You need to plan 24 hours ahead – that’s the pnly setback. Which is not really a setback but just creates the need for advance planning. So if you would like to bake this bread for dinner then you need to start the previous evening. And we are not talking about a lot of work at all. All you need to do is to mix the flour,yeast,salt and water using a spatula or your hands (it cannot get any easier right? ) and just let the dough rest and do its thing for the next 18 to 24 hours. Then 2 hours before your dinner the next day, you take the dough out punch it and give it the shape you want and let it rise again. Then bake it! And devour it! Believe me this recipe will become a regular feature in your home!
Ciabatta Bread (Home made 'no knead' bread)
Time: About 20 minutes dough making and 45 minutes baking excluding time for dough to rest
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
2 cups water (approximately 2 cups and water should be at room temp)
Start about 18-20 hours in advance of when you would want to bake this bread.
Take a large mixing bowl and add the yeast and the 1/4 cup warm water (should not be too hot – check by putting your finger in it – it should feel just luke warm).
Then add the flours and the salt and mix everything together using a spatula/spoon.
Next add the rest of the water (about 2 cups) slowly 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing with the spoon until you get a sticky dough (even stickier than pizza dough).
Cover the bowl with AL foil and place it in a warm place to rest for at least 18 hours (or up to 20 hours).
After the dough has rested, it would have risen a little bit. Now take that dough and using a pizza cutter or your hands divide the dough into two pieces.
Take a large baking tray and line with parchment paper. Sprinkle the paper liberally with flour.
Now pull each piece into a rectangle shape and place both the pieces onto the parchment paper. Now cover the tray loosely with foil again (such that the dough does not stick to it or you can use plastic wrap dusted with flour on the inside). Let the dough rest for one more hour.
After the dough has rested for an hour, it is ready to be baked.
Take the foil (or plastic wrap off the tray and bake at 425 degrees F (or 220 deg C) for about 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing.
The amount of water you use should be just enough to get a sticky kind of dough – the 2 cups given above in the recipe is hence an approximate quantity.
Use luke warm water to mix the yeast and to form the dough (This is especially important for folks living in cold climates). However the water should never be too hot.