Friday, September 12, 2014

Fresh Coconut-Banana pancakes with raisins for raising your smile

Decadent Indian Pancakes with whole-wheat flour, Banana, fresh Coconut




Sometimes when I look deep inside the culinary traditions of India, I often try to remember what I used to eat when I was a kid, back then some 15-20 years ago the food culture was different, at home and at restaurants. Things were changing as always has happened with time, this time it changed rapidly, specially the fast food scene changed drastically and it is still a very controversial change. So I remember as a kid what food was cooked in our kitchen at our homes by our moms, dads and now so many of them have faded in time, not that we have forgotten about them but they rarely appear.



           
               I am so surprised at times thinking about those dishes that faded but finding they were so healthy and tasty-a perfect blend. It is such a good balance, isn't it! Eating something tasty is important but eating healthy perhaps is more important, imagine eating something tasty but mostly harmful day after day and what it will do to our health! I know what you are thinking of? Fast-food, Right? So was I. Our body is a mirror reflection of what we eat and eating is supposed to be nutritious and fun. At times there is a gap and that’s where exactly these pancakes come in to fill that gap.



                                  When I made these pancakes recently I was so happy because of 3 reasons, it tasted scrumptious, it took me back to childhood n they are so healthy. It’s a complete win-win situation you see!



                                                                 For anyone who loves pancake and haven’t tried these banana-fresh coconut pancakes yet, this is your jewel pancake that will shine relentlessly. Made from sweet bananas, grated fresh coconut and whole-wheat durum flour, they thrive on the goodness of all these 3 star ingredients and you can’t eat just one. Unlike most pancakes that are made from flour which isn't a very healthy option, these ones are made from ‘ATTA’- the Indian whole-wheat durum flour. Atta is made from semi-hard wheat variety known as durum wheat. Since the whole-wheat contains the bran, the germ, it is much nutritious. 


          
                                                                                           The bananas add sweetness and flavor, so does the fresh coconut, so literally there is no need to add sugar in these pancakes, but then you can add it a little bit if you want to, since most of the sweetness comes from the banana n coconut in the form of natural sugar. 


            
 There is something pampering n fulfilling about these pancakes, easy to make, literally delicious to eat and a bundle of health. I mean when I made them and kept them on the plate, and within an hour they vanished! Perhaps the same thing will happen when you will make them, in fact I start eating even before I finish making all the pancakes which takes a little patience. As you fry them in the pan you will see how slowly the pancake will start to caramelize and get crispy slowly on a low heat, yummy.



                                     And all of this comes from old traditional cuisine! I can’t believe this was getting forgotten! Seriously! This pancake is the answer to the question ‘Can pancakes be healthy?’ So naturally this pancake has to be made n eaten very often in our kitchen and once you start it you won’t stop. And the old unhealthy pancakes need to be forgotten for all the good reasons. Hahah! May they rest in pancake-y peace.


             
                                                    I have added raisins in the pancakes, they are slightly sweet n sour and so when we bite into a raisin chunk in the sweet pancakes, they provide another depth of flavor.

So now I will tell you about the recipe. Here you go…


For The Recipe:  You will need
3-4 medium bananas, peeled and smashed with a fork to quite smooth
6-7 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
3 tbsp of rice flour
7-8 tbsp of whole-wheat flour/Atta
1-2 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of raisins, chopped
2 Pinches of salt
180 ml of water, it will vary
Vegetable oil to fry the pancakes, about 1½ tbsp oil for each pancake
This will make about 7-8 pancakes.



Consistency- It is supposed to be fairly thick and not on the runny side or thinner side. Start adding the water in small amounts, first add half the water, mix, add some more water, there will come a point of time when the consistency is such that the batter just begins to pour from a spoon, at this point add 1-2 tbsp of water and the consistency will be such that the batter now starts to pour or fall relatively easily than the previous time. The batter will still be on the thicker side and in the pan when we will fry them we will be able to spread the batter with a ladle since it will be fairly thick. So to keep in mind the batter will be on the thicker side but still will pour easily from the ladle.



1. In a flat plate, smash the bananas with a fork smash them until no big chunky pieces are left.

2. In a bowl add the bananas with all the other ingredients excepting the water and mix everything with a whisk or spoon. Add half of the water and mix, then add some more and make the batter smooth, then add a little more until the batter reaches the aforementioned consistency, which is fairly thick and begins to pour fairly easily from a spoon.

3. Rest the batter for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add it to the batter, mix. Now heat the pan back on medium flame until the pan is quite hot, then add 1 tbsp of oil and let the oil get quite hot, then take a ladle-full of the batter, which is around 3 ½ tbsp, and pour it in the middle of the frying pan, bring the heat to low flame, then with the back of the ladle spread the batter in the pan into a circle of around 6 inch diameter. You will see as you begin to spread the batter with the ladle that the batter will try to stick a bit with the ladle if you try to spread the batter quickly, so work slowly as you spread the batter and you will see it will spread nicely. Once you have spread the batter, turn the heat up to medium for 1 minute, then put the heat back to low and give around 3 minutes on this side.

5. Sprinkle a little oil on the top surface of the pancake and smear it with a spoon. After 3 minutes with a spatula lift the pancake a little to see how much it has browned, if it is brown, give it 1 more minute and it will get a darker shade of brown, this will be crispy when cold, specially the sides. Lift the pancake slowly, if you find the pancake has stuck a little in the pan, with the spatula scratch that place in the pan carefully and it will come off. Turn the pancake to the other side and sprinkle some oil around the pan and give it 2-3 minutes until it starts to get brown. Once browned take it off the pan on a plate. The last side which got fried will have to less brown than the 1st side, keep that in mind.

6. Fry all the pancakes like this one by one, when done serve them with freshly grated coconut or honey or maple syrup or on their own. 


Now when you are biting into one, tell me aren't they really so delicious! I told you! Bon appétit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Aloo ke Parathe ban ke taiyaar hein… Sound of everybody running………………………………………

Flavorful mashed potato stuffed fried flat-bread-the classic Aloo Paratha




Now if you haven’t tried this reader, yes I am talking to you, you have missed something amazing and until you try it you can’t even guess what you are missing! Once you make them or try them somewhere you will make them again n again or go back to them time n time again. Yes they are indeed so lovely.



                                                              Hearty potatoes treated in the healthiest way, boiled, flavored with herbs, onion and spices and stuffed inside flat bread which then shallow fried on a pan and they are a heavenly delight to eat. Eating them is such a fulfilling experience in it.
 

                                            A classic Indian staple dish that has stood the test of time and has made numerous men, women, children n dogs(;)) happy throughout hundreds of years and will keep on doing so. Aloo is potato in Hindi, Urdu n Bengali, in Marathi it is Batata. Undoubtedly one of the most popular breakfast or snack dishes served in homes across the western, central and the northern part of the Indian sub-continent. They are mostly served with yogurt or chutney of mango/radishes/mix-vegetables/tomato or with butter. To eat them hot while the blob of butter melts on their surface is a sight to watch and to eat! So often these flat-breads/parathas are fried in butter and then again served with butter! But also they are equally delicious fried in vegetable oil. Eating them with lots of butter day by day has its own effects on you…you can get fat! How will I forget to tell you they are simply amazing with tomato ketchup! Sometimes I add a touch of chaat masala in the tomato ketchup and it is mouth watering. The combination with yogurt is also to cherish, lovely creamy yogurt adds tang and so refreshing.  With chutneys it’s a beautiful moment. Now tell me that you are making them tomorrow.


                                                                                                      Potato is such a beautiful vegetable, healthy, nutritious and amazingly versatile! No wonder they are a staple food across many nations. We can have them in breakfast, lunch, dinner, in between meals and they are used both in savory and sweet dishes. Of all the stuffed fried breads found across the corners of India, I think aloo paratha is the most popular; the other popular ones will be mooli paratha, paneer paratha and recently cheese paratha.


                                                             If you are making them for the first time, which you must do, you can find them a bit challenging, like every new thing. Making the dough is easy, preparing the mashed potato is easy, when it comes to stuffing the mashed potato into the dough and rolling them out, it becomes challenging. All you need is soft hands, a bit of delicacy and a dose of confidence. That’s all n you are literally ready to roll.


                                                                                                                                                                         Once the mashed potato and the dough is done, you take a ball of dough , flatten it, make a dent in it and then stuff them with the mashed potato and then enclose the mashed potato with the dough, it will like a ball of dough with mashed potato inside it. All you need next is a soft hand when you roll them, because if you with heavy hand you will be spilling the potato mixture from the dough from everywhere. Remember that the mashed potato is very soft, so handle them softly.

Now I will tell you about the recipe, get ready with you rolling pin.



For The Recipe: You will need

For the Mashed Potato
4-5 medium potato in skin, halved and put a cross mark on top of both the halves with knife
Water to boil the potatoes
1 tbsp of salt
I medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tbsp of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp of Cumin seeds
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tsp of oil

For the Dough
200 gm plain flour or 100 gm of whole-wheat flour+100 gm of plain flour
Pinch of salt
85-90 ml of water
1 tsp of vegetable oil

For Frying
Around 2 tbsp of oil for each paratha/flat bread





1. Let’s make the dough first, mix the 2 flours if using 2 flours, then add the salt, 1 tsp vegetable oil and rub it in the flour, make a well in the center and add half of the water in the well, then slowly incorporate the flour, add half of the remaining water and do the same, then add the rest of the water and make the whole dough come together.  Start kneading the dough from this point until the dough becomes smooth n elastic which will take about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be moderately tight, not very soft neither very stiff. When the dough is smooth, divide the dough in 4 balls, smooth them out , then place them in a bowl, sprinkle 1 tsp of vegetable oil on them, coat them in the oil n rest them for 30 minutes.

2. Wash the potatoes, then cut them in half across the length, then with the knife put shallow cross mark on the top of all the halves, then heat the water in pan, add salt in the water and add the potatoes. After about 10 minutes check with the knife, if the knife goes smoothly inside the potatoes, they are done. Drain the water, cool them in normal water, then peel the potatoes and then smash them with a fork.

3. Put a pan on low heat, add the whole cumin seeds and toss them in the pan for about 2 minutes, then put them in a mortal n pestle and grind them to a powder, put the black pepper corns in the heat for 1 minute and similarly grind them.

4. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the pan and put it on medium heat, when the oil is hot add the chopped onion, the chopped green chilies and toss them for 2 minutes, reduce the flame to low, add the chopped coriander leaves, give them 1 minute, add a little salt to them, then add the mashed potato in the pan and mix everything well. Next add the crushed cumin powder, the crushed black pepper, salt to taste and mix well, give them 3 minutes in low heat in the pan, take them out in a bowl and let it cool.

5.  Now when the dough has rested for about half an hour, on a dry surface sprinkle some flour, then pick one ball of dough and sprinkle that ball with a little flour and cover it lightly with flour, then place it on the surface and press gently with your palm to flatten it slightly with your three tallest fingers. After that pick that flatten ball in your palm and start pushing the dough along the circumference to the center with your thumb while you go around doing that all across the circumference. What you are basically doing is creating a little dent in the middle region of the ball by pushing the dough and stretching the dough around the sides towards the center. This dent will be the space for the stuffing.

6. So pick about 1 tbsp of the mashed potato stuffing and place it in the dent, put such an amount that you still have about 1 inch side above it, now with your fingers stretch the sides slightly and put all the sides together so that the stuffing is covered, now twist the gathered edges lightly to seal them, then press the twisted edges on to the ball so that it again looks like a leveled flatten ball. Here the images will help you understand.

7. Now is the time for soft hands, a crucial point. Place the ball back on to the  floured surface and press lightly with your hands to flatten it even more, then with your rolling pin do the same, press on it gently to flatten it uniformly, then start rolling with a very light hand and give it a round shape. Don’t try to roll this ball very thin because in that case the stuffing will tend to leak from the sides. So roll it to a thickness when the stuffing is just about to come out, it will be around 1 cm thickness when this will begin to happen. Stop there and aloo parathas are always thick simple because they have stuffing. Do the same with the rest of the dough balls.

8. Put a pan on medium heat and let it get hot, don’t let it get very hot, when the pan is moderately hot, place on paratha on the pan and put I tbsp of vegetable oil on the surface and with the back of a spoon smear it, then flip that side over so that it begins to fry, take 1 tsp of butter and place on top of the paratha while the lower side is getting fried.  After about 2 minutes the lower side will be starting to brown. Keep the heat medium and let it develop some brown color, then flip it over and let this side also get light brown. Once done take it off the pan and do the same with the other parathas. Done!


Since they are very hot give them some minutes and then jump in, tear them off and eat them warm. Aren't they just amazingly yummy? I know, I know…..Bon appétit.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Banana, Pomegranate, Yogurt n Bourbon Biscuit Four-fle

Bourbon biscuit, banana, pomegranate, yogurt in 4 layers, topped off with the feather-light crispy hollow-puri, kissed by the chaat masala

Con esta receta participo en el Reto de Agosto de Cocineros de Mundo en Google+ en el apartado de Dulce Salado (según la receta que presentes al reto)



It’s raining flavors in the monsoon n in this glass it’s a burst of flavors n textures! From the look of it, it looks quiet elegant n serene, but don’t let the look fool you. It is the combination of tangy, sweet n salty put together in one; imagine this and you will begin to feel how it makes the word mouth-watering come true.



                              This is not a desert. The main taste isn't only sweet but also the tangy and the salty-the power of three! But then I think why deserts have to be always sweet? Anyways this is a rocking glass of ‘chatpata’ snacks, it’s a Hindi word which literally means the combination of tangy n sweet and only here this is one more.



                                                                                                                 When I begin to make this recipe I was thinking should I construct it as a sweet dish n I thought I will use whipped cream. Then I had a look inside my freeze and I saw 2 guys-yogurt n whipped cream and off course I picked yogurt, it’s so healthy. So instead of eating glass full of whipped cream (which only reminds me of more exercise later on) I chose good old yogurt, my all time favorite thing to eat. That’s when I decided I will go for the tangy-sweet-salty spectrum. Everything is balanced, huge bold flavors and not huge pile of sugar is used. Win-win.


                                                                       The sweet bananas add their amazing flavor and they lend their sweetness and slight tangy taste, the pomegranate adds so much moisture and their amazing flavor n color, the yogurt lends its creaminess and tanginess, and the bourbon biscuits add their crunch, the depth of chocolate flavor in every bite, the crispy hollow-puri adds their amazing crunchiness and finally the chaat masala binds everything together with its salty spicy flavor.

                                     Let me tell you more about the crispy hollow-puri, it a deep-fried Indian bread, tiny in its size, about 2 inches in diameter. In India this hollow-puri is used in the dish ‘Pani-Puri’- pani means water and puri is the crispy puffed up fried thin bread. They have a subtle flavor and a huge texture of crunchiness. The Chaat masala is the salty element; in fact I will describe chaat masala as a flavor-full spicy salt.



                                                                            You can use any banana you get your hands on, right here in the market currently I’m getting three different kinds of bananas, all sweet but with different shades of flavor. Bananas are one my favorite fruits which is accessible all year around, gives you instant energy. Just remember how many times you have watched tennis players gulping bananas in the breaks! Instant energy I tell you. And these bananas add so much flavor and fullness to this 4 layer foodie goodness in the glass.4 or 5?

       
And now I will give the recipe for you to try.


For the Recipe: you will need
3 medium bananas, if using big bananas use 1 1/2, cut in oval slices
½ of a medium pomegranate
3 bourbon biscuits
5-7 tbsp of full-fat/low-fat yogurt, whipped
3 crispy hollow-puris
½ tsp of chaat masala
1-2 tbsp of sugar



1. With a knife cut the bourbon biscuit into about 1 cm pieces, lay them on the base of the glass, press them slightly in the middle so most of the biscuit pieces goes toward all the sides of the glass.

2. Lay the oval banana slices in a circular pattern on top of the biscuit pieces and then arrange the pomegranate seeds on top of the banana slices distribute evenly so that the banana n pomegranate layers are visible and then sprinkle half of the chaat masala on top of the pomegranate.

3. Mix about 1 tbsp of sugar to the yogurt and whip to make it creamy, if the yogurt is quite sour you may need to add more sugar  or if you like it that ways leave it like that. With a spoon pour the whipped yogurt on top of the pomegranate seeds.

4. Crush 2 of the hollow-puris in your hand and make a layer of them on top of the yogurt. Next arrange some more banana slices on them and finally scatter some pomegranate seeds on the bananas and crush the last hollow-puri in half and scatter on them, sprinkle the rest of the chaat masala over them.


And you are done! Doesn't it look just beautiful? Give yourself a moment to look at it, appreciate it. Then slowly take a spoon and dig in. Bon Appetit!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crispy Carrot Patty to make you crunchier!

Crunchy outside, moist inside-carrot patty with coriander, red onion n chickpea flour



When you got 20 minutes in your hand n your memory tells you that you've carrots in the freeze, make this patty! And you will see what was missing in your life!


And really all you need are carrots, bunch of coriander leaves, eggs, chickpea flour/Besan/gram-flour, garlic, whole cumin seeds or Shahi cumin n that’s it! Off course salt n basic flavor spices like chili powder or cumin powder, but if you don’t have it, they will still be amazing! Trust me.



                                          I first made them 6 months ago when one day I had many carrots looking at me for no apparent reason and I was either in a cooking spree or severely hungry, I can’t remember, so I grated them, add chopped coriander leaves n stalk, chopped garlic finely, some chopped onion, added an egg to add richness, flavor, moisture and some gram flour, when I formed the patties and fried them in the pan they smelled so different n good. When I took them off after making them crisp on both sides and finally bite into one I knew that something good n new has come up in the world. So yummy and satisfying they were. And that’s how they were born! In a hurry, in need, in hunger n for the love or carrots.



                                                              When I cook like this I usually think of this line ‘Life in Simplicity’-the simplest of flavors coming together in harmony with each other and its more than cooking, it’s about life the simplest of things or simple persons coming together with their own qualities, adding bit by bit in balance to create something amazing, it does sound like the qualities of a good team. One of the most important things is the sense of balance in cooking, in life, in everything.



                                                                                                                                                               Oh! These carrot patties are so good with yogurt deep, in here I have added ‘Chaat Masala’ to heighten the flavor of the yogurt, chaat masala is an Indian masala mixture, it tastes tangy, salty plus the flavors from all the spices in it, there are about almost 10 spices in it altogether, you can find them in Indian food item stores or Pakistani. If you are completely new to chaat masala think of it as flavored salt. So when I dipped the crunchy patties in the yogurt and had my bite, it was a burst of beautiful flavors in harmony.



                                                                                                                                        You can pair them with any sauce or dip you like: tomato ketchup, honey mustard sauce, coriander chutney and mayo or without any of them, they taste superb on their own. You can eat them as a snack, appetizer, eat them with rice or with a salad.



Since the time when I made them first, I have never stopped making them; this has become something to look forward to whenever I have bunch of carrots in the house. I love the combination of coriander leaves and the garlic with the grated carrot; you can use parsley, a bit of mint, basil and see how it comes out. Now I have used ‘Shahi Jeera’ in the recipe which literally means ‘Royal Cumin’. This version of cumin is similar in flavor with cumin, slightly less strong than normal cumin seeds and by appearance the seeds look thinner n long. If you only have cumin seeds in your home, then use half of the amount of shahi cumin mentioned in the recipe.



                    If you don’t have gram flour/besan, you can substitute it with rice flour, plain flour, corn-flour or whole-wheat flour. Each will produce a slight difference in taste and texture.

                                      Time has come to tell you the amazing recipe. Do make them and you will realize what I am talking about in here.




The Recipe:  You will need
For the Patties
250 gm carrot
50 gm coriander leaves/6 tbsp chopped leaves n stalk
1 medium egg
2 green chilies-finely chopped
1 medium red onion-finely chopped
1 tbsp of shahi jeers/shahi cumin seeds/ ½ tbsp whole cumin seeds
2-3 medium clove garlic-grated
½ cup gram flour/6-7 tbsp of gram flour
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- ¼ tsp
Cumin powder- ¼ tsp
½ cup of vegetable oil for frying


For the yogurt dip
100 gm yogurt (full-fat preferably)
½ tsp chaat masala
½ tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp grated carrot (saved from the grated carrot)






1. Peel the carrots, then grate them on the medium side on a grater, don’t grate them on the smallest grater, they will become mushy. Be careful while grating, when you reach the last quarter on the grater, pay attention, don’t grate your finger, do it slowly.

2. Finely chop the red onion, finely chop the coriander stalks n the leaves, grate the garlic cloves, chop the green chilies finely, then mix all of them with the grated carrot and esp. rub the grated garlic all over the grated carrot nicely. Scatter the shahi cumin seeds over this mixture and mix again.

3. Break the egg and add it to the mixture, mix well, next add the chili n cumin powder n the gram flour and mix well. We are looking for a consistency where the mixture just begins to hold shape when you shape them in your hands, not too stiff  and not too loose that it falls apart very easily, so adjust by adding  little more gram flour if you feel it is too loose. Add the salt and mix well, taste it and adjust.

4. Heat a shallow frying pan on high heat, then add about 5-6 tbsp of oil in the pan, let it get hot on a medium flame, once hot reduce the flame to low. Now take 1 heaped tbsp of the mixture in your palm, first make a ball of it, then press the ball to make a patty. Now place it carefully in the pan, it should begin to sizzle, keeping the flame low make the patties one by one and place them in the pan. Once done rotate the pan so that oil touches all the sides of the patties. Give them about 7-9 minutes, with 2 spoons turn some of them in between  to see how much they have browned, if you see they have browned a bit you can turn them or you can give that side 2 more minutes so that they develop a richer brown color, this will make them crunchier. When they have reached that level of brown, turn them over to the other side, add 1-2 tbsp of oil in the pan and put the heat up to high for 20 seconds and shake the pan to distribute the oil all over. Now reduce the heat to low and give them about 4-5 minutes. Check them by turning over if they have browned, this side doesn't have to brown that much like the other side, keep it less browned  and so take them off in plate.

5.  For the yogurt dip, put all the ingredients together and whip up with a spoon. That’s it!


Oh! Now the time has come to bite into them, I know you couldn't have waited this far, you already had your bite as soon as they came out of the pan. Yummm…Aren't they? Bon Appetit.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cherishing the Cherry Clafoutis ...

Red Cherry Clafoutis with a hint of spice to lift it to new heights and let’s not forget the old secret tradition; using cherries with pits




                                                                  Clafoutis! Clafoutis!
                                                           The cherries roll on my finger,
                                                          U loose urself, let it be, let it be
                                                         Inside my mind now u just linger.

Well that’s a new start for my blog post, with a tiny poem! A month ago when I had a box of cherries in my hand, I rubbed my chin for what all I’ll be making with them, as it turned out I made only clafoutis, the rest I ate simply. Now I always tend to believe that fruits are always best eaten alone not just for their nutritional values also because I feel their flavor is reduced at the end of it. So before making the clafoutis I had my doubts which got cleared away to some extent after I made it. You can guess why? Because the clafoutis was delicious.



                       Clafoutis come from France, the region of Limousin, almost the central region of the country. Traditionally clafoutis is always made with black cherries, but other seasonal fruits are often used in making clafoutis such as pears, prunes, apples, cranberries, blackberries. In fact there is another name often used when any fruit other than cherries are used, known as ‘Flaugnarde’. The French pronunciation of clafoutis is ‘Klafuti’ or ‘Cla-foo-tee’. Now when we do say it like that note how it makes us smile at the end of it.



                                                      It is a baked desert of fruit, traditionally of cherries, arranged in a buttered n sugared dish and a batter is poured over the cherries without completely drowning them and then baked in the oven until it is set and starts to brown on the surface. The batter is made with eggs, milk, cream, sugar, flour, butter n basically that’s it. Now the alternations happen on this basic recipe as everyone alters it with their own taste.



In my version most importantly I've kept the whole cherries with their pits as it was done traditionally unlike the versions we most see on internet where the pits have been removed for the ease of eating! But then you remove one thing and you have to deal with the loss of flavor. And talking about the ease on eating! Come on, once you know you have made a clafoutis with whole cherries your brain automatically knows not to bite into that like a blind brain!


                                                                                 I have made two versions of clafoutis-one with the pitted cherries one without. And the result is the one made with cherries with pits, was much more flavorful n more delicious. So pits make a difference. In fact reading about it in Wikipedia taught me that the pits contain an active chemical called ‘Amygdalin’, during baking some amount of this chemical is released into the clafoutis, thus creating a delicious difference. Think about saving time also, you don’t have to pit the cherries, now isn't that nice? Now if you are serving it for your guests and if you don’t want them spitting cherry pits, then you remove it before baking knowing that it will be less delicious automatically.


                                             I have used black pepper and cloves in my versions, and guess what! Cloves go so well with the cherries, esp. the one I had, it is indeed a good combination, clove is a strong spice and we have to be careful because a little goes a long way. I used red rum to macerate the cherries along with the sugar n powdered clove n black pepper. I did not have ‘kirsch’ with me which is a cherry brandy which would've been nice but I love the flavor of red rum and so does cherries.


                                                                          While making the batter which gets poured over the cherries instead of plain butter I used ‘Beurre Noisette’ which is butter that is browned in a pan until the milk solids get separated and browned and it attains a nutty flavor. I love the flavor of that in many recipes.

So now I will take you to the recipe of clafoutis right away




For The Recipe:  you will need
For macerating the cherries
250 gm whole cherries
2-3 tsp of powdered sugar
1-1 ½ tbsp of red rum               
1 clove, slightly warmed in pan n powdered
Freshly crushed black pepper
For the batter
2 eggs
2-3 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp of powdered sugar
2 tbsp of milk
60 ml single cream
Pinch of salt
1/2 clove, warmed in a pan n powdered
Freshly crushed black pepper
1/4 -1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
20 gm of brown butter-beurre noisette
For buttering the ramekins
1 tbsp of lemon/lime zest
3 tbsp of powdered sugar
Pinch of clove powder
Some soft butter
                   

Texture of the batter has to be a pouring liquid consistency, preferably thin n not very thick; keeping the texture in mind we can adjust the amount of milk and cream n flour or eggs.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 Celsius.


1.  First with a paring knife cut the cherries along its length around the pit but don’t separate the cherry in half, with your fingers open the two half a bit just to expose the flesh. Now when all the cherries are done sprinkle  about 2 tsp of powdered sugar mixed with the clove powder, sprinkle some crushed black pepper on them and then add 2-3 tsp of red rum over them, toss them in that and let them macerate for half to an hour.

2. Grate the lemon/lime zest and mix that with the powdered sugar n pinch of clove powder kept for buttering the ramekins. Now butter the ramekins well, pour the sugar mixture into them and move around the sugar over the butter coat so the sugar creates a coating over the butter layer. Set aside.

3.  Take 20 gm of butter in a pan and on a medium flame let it melt, you will notice hiss sound as it keeps getting warmed, when the sound ceases down it is beginning to go to become beurre noisette, lower the heat now and within a minute you will see the separated milk particles below the butter had started to go brown and the whole butter has become brown in color. This is it, take it off the heat.

4. Time to make the batter, so in a bowl whisk the two eggs lightly, then add a pinch of salt, the milk and whisk lightly again. Then add the flour and whisk so there isn't any lump n nicely combined. Now add the brown butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, half clove powdered, freshly crushed black pepper, the cream and whisk to combine. Bring out the cherries now, you will notice some amount of liquid has gathered at the bottom of the cherries, add this liquid to the batter and combine.

5. In the baking dish/ramekins first lay the cherries, the base should be covered with cherries and some over them press the cherries lightly to pack them tightly. Then slowly pour the batter over them so that the batter drowns the cherries almost ¾ but not completely. Some of the cherry surface should be exposed. Now place them in the oven at 180 Celsius for around 30 minutes until the batter starts to go lightly brown on the surface. The batter will rise during baking. The batter should be crusty outside and soft n gooey inside. Let it cool so you can handle them. Serve them on their own or with crème fresh.




Cherry Clafoutis is ready for you now. Dig in with a spoon when it is warm or I like it more when cold. Bon appétit.