Whole grain crackers – Vegan

Ok so I am losing track of the days in this lockdown of the Corona era. They say it is Day 16 of 21, so let’s go with that.

As I mentioned on the previous post, I had teamed up last year (or some year) with the Kitchen Aid brand to use their Stand mixer to create recipes. The stand mixer is quite an amazing appliance and it does make life much easier especially when you want to knead dough for breads or make large quantities of batter for cakes and dough for cookies. Apart from the main mixer, they also have several attachments that one can buy, to perform a variety of tasks.

One such attachment is the Kitchen Aid pasta maker. Having always been fascinated by it, I was really glad to receive this too along with the mixer. Of course I had several great plans for it, which of course I relegated to the back burner ever since I took to serious travel blogging. But in that initial little window of time, I did do justice to it and apart from making pasta right from scratch, I also used it to make crackers. The rest of the great plans will now probably see light of day during this lockdown. Think momos and samosas and high hopes ๐Ÿ˜€

While hand rolling is also a possibility for those without the equipment, the pasta maker does help in producing sheets of even thickness, which certainly makes the task easier and also in turn results in evenly baked crackers, something that I have always aspired for.

Anyway, if you are using the appliance, then it will produceย the dough, the pasta roller will roll it out โ€ฆ and what do you have to do? You have to just have fun cutting out the shapes you want. That simple.

And if you do not have the machine, just go for it with your hands. You also need to use them for purposes other than washing multiple times ๐Ÿ˜€

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Ragi Milk Bread – Vegan

Well it is Lockdown day 12 I guess, of the Corona era and in between actually baking and cooking, I also thankfully discovered recipes that I had created earlier for the Kitchen Aid Stand mixer brand. So what better time to pull those out of the woodwork and dump them on my blog, right?

So this lovely bread was conceptualized when I was doing a lot of wholegrain baking and the family had started to get whiny about the excessive ‘healthy food’ that was being foisted on them.

So I realized that I had to be clever and sneak in whole grain in a camouflaged form. So I did some quick thinking and I managed to get it so well disguised, that it was actually in a liquid state!!! How, you may ask?

Well years of sneaking in foods that are disliked, makes one an expert at being underhand.

I had a flash of brilliance when I realized that I could use ragi milk instead of dairy milk in my breads and ta daa, there was the presence of the healthy grain in a bread that was made of lighter flours like refined flour (maida). Of course I did use a portion of whole wheat too for the conscience and the fiber.

To the dough I also added some moringa leaf (drumstick leaf) powder, which is considered a superfood and I also swirled the loaf with some more moringa.

So read on for my โ€˜cleverโ€™ recipe which the family loved, without realizing the presence of millet in the bread. And it is vegan, other than the egg wash on top which one can easily eliminate.

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Rasam Powder

Today is probably the 11th day of the 21 day Corona lockdown but then who is really keeping track. Days are passing by in a blur, without any identity and I have stopped naming them. So for me, everyday is yet another Day.

Being stuck at home has its advantages and disadvantages and in my case, being forced back into the kitchen definitely belongs to the latter ๐Ÿ˜€

However, this is not the only downside because the dishes that I cook, also scream to be photographed and paraded on social media. And that brings into play, the additional task of responding to requests for the recipe which I then have to document and prettify and blog about.

I have however decided to skip the beautifying part and use minimal gimmicks to present them to you. Maybe someday I will revisit them and do the honors.

So today you will be the beneficiary of my Mother in law’s recipe for rasam powder which is a simple and straight forward recipe, just like my blog.

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Tomato Bread

Sometimes it takes the world to stop, to get me moving ๐Ÿ˜€

Due to the Corona virus, it is lockdown Day 7 of 21 in India and I am stuck at home like almost all of you. For a travel writer who was always on wings and wheels, this is a very different experience for sure. But then this is also the chance to pause and look inwards (since there is nothing much happening outwards anyway) and also to spout armchair philosophy for the purpose of entertaining the world and hopefully adding cheer through the morbidity.

And also of course, to revive my baking which had been banished into the past, to make place for my hitherto present interests.

So this ‘Loafer to Loaf’ post, will be a combo deal akin to a hurdle race, where my captive audience will have to wriggle through my gyaan (preaching of sorts) to eventually get to the recipe of bread, that for some reason excited a whole bunch of people on Facebook yesterday. Talk about the simple things suddenly becoming most important!!!

And try not to cheat by jumping to the recipe. My feelings will be hurt ๐Ÿ˜€

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Vishalla – Restaurant Review

Vishalla – The Great Thali

‘So many celebrities have visited our restaurant over the years and today we have you too’, his eyes twinkling, 82 year old Surendra Patel ji welcomes me into his office which is in the premises of his famous rustic style Gujarati restaurant, Vishalla in the city of Ahmedabad, India.

Responding with an equally jocular – ‘I believe everyone is equal’, I find myself at the start of a very interesting conversation with this great person who has created and maintained this magnum opus of a restaurant for an impressive 42 years.

‘I agree. Here there is no VIP system. Everyone follows the same discipline and even my wife and I do not break the queue when there is a rush for meals’, says Patel ji. This is a man of principles, a Gandhian and a custodian of the environment and I am honored to be able to have this brief time with him.

My being here was fortuitous, since I happened to be an ‘Online discovery’ by Foram Thakore, while I was on a travel blogging assignment to a few of Gujarat’s heritage properties. Foram who is an artist and closely associated with Vishalla’s art gallery, saw my work on Facebook and sent me a message when she found that I was in the vicinity of Ahmedabad.

Having kept my last day free for any possible shopping or other personal work, I could manage to accept her rather determined invitation ๐Ÿ˜€ and this turned out to be one of the best hastily arranged experiences of my life.

So sit around the low wooden tables and join me in partaking of their huge spread, as I take you through the story of Vishalla.

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