Palm Sunday and a Red Chilli and Sweet Caramelised Onion Loaf

My dad’s sitting across from me as I type out this post, fashioning crosses out of the palms he collected at church yesterday. Palm Sunday signals the start of Holy Week and I try and make it to the services at the parish I grew up in. One of the most beautiful churches in the suburb of Bandra in Mumbai, St. Peter’s Church still conducts the best Holy Week services in this part of the city dotted with Catholic Churches in an otherwise predominantly Hindu country with a growing but relatively smaller Muslim population.

Bandra used to be a quaint little suburb when I was growing up, with tiny cottages and a few 3 storey buildings. Where weekends meant friends, games, parties and deserted streets. Where everyone knew everyone, at least on a head-nodding basis, and where it was safe to stay out late. But now the streets are lined with hawkers selling knock-offs of branded goods and imitation jewellery, and cheap Chinese imports, making an evening walk down the street impossible and a drive down to the seafront a nightmare. With the patronage of persons in high political office these hawkers have multiplied over the years and any attempt to relocate them to a designated hawking zone are met with threats. For most of the old timers with their children scattered around the globe this is a terrible situation, and it’s often easier for them to just turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the goings-on.  They prefer to live in peace, or just live, even if it’s no longer that peaceful anymore.

So I’ve come to visit my parents. God and home were how we were raised. Morning prayers and night prayers and grace before and after meals and the rosary prayed together as a family during the months of May and October. And the Lenten Season with the Stations of the Cross leading up to Holy Week with its church services which culminated in Easter with all its glory.

I wanted to bake something for Mum and Dad since I’m visiting, and because breaking bread with the family is specially significant at this time of year, it was my first choice. My dad had just picked up a vibrant lot of red chillies from the market. Available only around this time, these chillies are plump and have a strange combination of sweet and hot spiciness trapped in every fibre. Not wanting to take a chance with the chillies since my mum cannot handle too much heat, I made sure I removed all the seeds and the membranes and sliced them thin, sprinkling over some granulated brown sugar and a good squeeze of lime and refrigerating the lot till it was time to use.

Here are the Ingredients –

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

11 – 12gms fresh yeast (I didn’t measure… just used the good ol’ eye measuring method)

2 teaspoons granulated brown sugar

1/3 cup sliced red chillies

1 large or 2 small onions

3 tablespoons EVOO

3/4 to a cup of warm water

After the chillies have been prepared and are chilling out in the fridge, chop/mince the onions and caramelise them with a tablespoon of olive oil and a heaped teaspoon of granulated brown sugar.

Once the onions have caramelised keep them aside to cool and activate the yeast. Add in the flour which has been mixed with a teaspoonful of salt and extra water as may be required, kneading lightly.

Sprinkle over the onions and the sliced chillies (do not add the water that has leached out of the chillies as it contains all the heat from the chillies) and knead well. Add extra water as required and a tablespoon or so of the oil.

Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and drizzle over a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Leave the dough to prove for about 2 hours till it more than doubles in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, punch it back and knead for a couple of minutes before transferring the dough into a loaf pan for its 2nd prove (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours). I worked the loaf with my fingertips after transferring it into the pan to give it that uneven, bumpy, rustic, artisan bread look (which it is!)

Once the loaf has risen, score the loaf with a sharp knife and you can either use an eggwash or brush with olive oil (like I did) and sprinkle on a few poppy seeds.

My parents have a large gas oven so I baked the loaf for about 50 – 55 minutes at 210°C. But if you have an electric oven (like the one I usually use) 40 minutes at 200°C should be good.

The loaf developed a lovely crust with a nice bite to it and the inside remained soft, with the onions melting into the bread, leaving its heady sweetness in every mouthful.

Delicious even on its own, this loaf is best eaten warm with a liberal helping of butter.

Time for a trip to Yeastspotting I suppose.

Wishing you all a reflective and peace-filled Holy Week.

The Versatile Blogger Award

2012 is proving to be a good year. I ended January with the Liebster Blog Award coming my way and now with Vered Simons from http://eatnowtalklater.wordpress.com nominating me for the the Versatile Blogger Award, I’m quite chuffed.

And the rules for this award are:

A) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post… But of course!

So here’s a shout out to Vered, not just for the award but for all her comments and ‘Likes’ on my posts since The Cook, The Baker and The Clay Boy Maker came into the big wide world of blogging. Thank You! 🙂

B) Share 7 things about yourself… Do I have to?… Really?… Oh well!

Here goes….

1. I prefer lean meat and detest fat and chicken skin.

2. Since I’ve started this blog… which led to a baking overdrive, I’ve had to buy new jeans… honest! The old one’s just don’t fit any more.

3. I love the opera, and operatic music, but can’t sing. Not even for my supper. Now, isn’t it a good thing I cook?

4. I love plantain chips, salted and sprinkled with chilli powder and lemon… I’m not mentioning those jeans again.

5. I’m a chronic learner, a perennial student if you will. Got myself a Bachelors and Masters in Law, in my 40s, just for kicks.

6. Secretly wish to go out and spray paint Mumbai, the city in which I live, and I mean the entire city, with one gigantinormous can of spray paint… bright green and purple. If only it wouldn’t harm the ozone layer.

7. I love the mountains, but I live near the sea… That’s life I suppose 😉

C) Pass the award on to 15 bloggers…

No mean task this and I hope to make the magical number. But even if I don’t, here are some of the blogs I love to stop by and more than deserve this award. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

And they are…

1. http://susartandfood.wordpress.com/ Susan blogs about food and art and her cat among other thing. A definite place to stop by, browse and smile a while.

2. http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/ Marilyn Gardner who authors this blog, posts on a variety of subjects and her sensitivity while dealing with issues, even those alien to her cultural background, keep me visiting her blog for more.

3. Barbara or Smidge as she’s also known in the world of blogging from http://justasmidgen.com/ whose love for life comes through in her writing. A writer, a poet, an artist, a cook… who also plays the cello.

4. Seth and Jenn Kendall’s delightful food blog Home Skillet http://hskillet.blogspot.in/ for their yummy recipes and the lovely photos accompanying them

5. Ramona from http://curryandcomfort.blogspot.in/ who is an absolute wiz at what she does. Don’t miss the variety of dishes she churns out… and gives you a step by step demo at times as well.

6.  Tara from http://sugarspiceandbacon.com/ for her lovely recipes, especially the Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers. Yum!

7. Elle from http://ellesphotographicadventures.wordpress.com/… whose photo blog is a real treat for the senses.

8. http://klutzychef.wordpress.com/ for her matter of fact way of being, and writing and for her delicious recipes and lovely food photos.

9. Carol Anne from http://thisisrocksalt.com/, who rocks out a mean Old Fashioned… cupcake among other things. Fedex some to me puhlease!

10. A naturalist to the core of his being, Alok who lives in the foothills of the HImalayas, works to empower local communities and chronicles butterflies and moths of the region among other things. A modest man Alok chronicles his work/passion at  http://forwildlife.wordpress.com/ Drop by his blog or rather his Nature Log (he doesn’t see himself as a blogger :-)) if you’re a nature lover or just anyway. It’s well worth the visit.

11. Jess, a brilliant baker and cook who I met on FoodBuzz and I’ve only just started following on Twitter. Drop by http://cake-o-cake.blogspot.in/ and you’ll be glad you did.

12. April at http://gluten-free-zen.com/ because she is a marvellous cook and baker, whose recipes are gluten free. A must see for all the recipes and my personal favourites, the Breads, especially the French Bread.

… and I fell short of the 15 blog mark but I hope that’s okay.

D) Contact the bloggers I have chosen to let them know that they have been selected!…

Have a great week of Food, Fun, Love and Peace…

Rosemary Parmesan Milk Bread

Weekend’s are baking bonanza time in my house… and I’ve got my fingers crossed over a raisin yeast water that I’m trying out… but that’s for another day and another loaf.

Speaking of loaves… I’ve been craving milk bread.

Milk Bread… mm-mm… the kind made with real milk and not milk powder. The sort I ate when I was young and when Bandra (in Mumbai) where I grew up, was dotted with numerous small bakeries. None of the fancy-schmancy patisserie or delicatessen sort of places which abound nowadays selling bread at crazy-assed prices. Just your regular old fashioned bakery, with big, hairy, sweaty, vest clad bakers who grunted out their greeting (who can blame the poor sod’s when they’re up all night) and handed you your warm, fresh loaf for a virtual pittance. I miss those days.

Now most of the milk bread recipes I came across were for sweet milk bread and I wasn’t in the mood for any of that. Plus I had a hunk of Parmesan that I wanted to see the end off. Which basically means that once its gone I have a legitimate excuse to rush to the fromagerie (oh who am I kidding! I mean the local deli which also stocks cheese) and pamper myself to a whole new selection of yumminess… ummmmmm.

So yeah, Parmesan it was and Rosemary, a 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of the former and 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of the latter… The +’s for sprinkling on top of the loaf before baking.

I used about 3 cups of all purpose flour, to 2 cups of warm low-fat milk and about 12gms of fresh yeast. Activating the yeast in the milk with a teaspoon of sugar. Adding it into the flour with 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil), mixing it in well, before sprinkling in the grated Parmesan and the Rosemary, and kneading it well. 

Prove the dough for 2 hours or till it more than doubles in size. Then knock it back and shape into a loaf.

Place into a prepared loaf-pan and allow to prove for another hour.

Brush the top of the loaf with an egg-wash… and score the top, before sprinkling on the extra cheese and rosemary. Bake the loaf in a 200 degrees C preheated oven for 35 minutes or till the top turns a nice golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool the loaf and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice it up…. and Enjoy.

This loaf produced such a nice soft crumb and the flavour .was delicious, with the Parmesan and Rosemary coming through… but not too strong. A dish worthy of YeastSpotting.

I guess you don’t have to be a big, hairy, sweaty, vest clad baker to bake delicious milk bread… 😉

Four Seed Rye Sourdough Knots

I’m on a Rye Bread trip. I love the taste, the texture and the fact that it’s so darn nutritious, I almost don’t feel guilty scarfing down an entire loaf.

This time however I decided to make rolls and I must say that reading Danya’s (edible substance’s) post on the Chilli and Cheese Sourdough Baps that she and her sister Vered (EatNowTalkLater) made recently, inspired me to try and make these Sourdough Knotted Rolls. Here’s a huge thank you for the inspiration girls!

Unfortunately though, here in Mumbai you don’t get ready rye sour, so I hunted around till I came across a nice and easy recipe from ‘thebarefootkitchenwitch‘. Now the barefoot kitchen witch’s recipe for rye sour called for onions, yeast, caraway seeds, rye flour and water. I made half the quantity mentioned in the original recipe, letting it stand for over 24 hours to develop that nice sour tang. So a big shout goes out to ‘The Barefoot Kitchen Witch’ for her lovely recipe.

And since I love seed bread (and you’ve probably figured that out by now) I decided to go the whole hog. Putting in white sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, caraway seeds and poppy seeds.

Here are my ‘Four Seed Rye Sourdough Knots’. I got a dozen (that’s twelve rolls and not a baker’s dozen) from the ingredients that I put in.

Ingredients for the Rolls –

1 1/2 cups rye sour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

12gms fresh yeast

2 3/4 cups of flour (extra for dusting or kneading as required)

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds (+ extra for sprinkling)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 egg – beaten

* (1 tablespoon honey + 1 tablespoon olive oil) (optional)

I’m still respectfully wary of yeast, and approach it the usual way… with warm water, sugar and fingers crossed. Before moving on to toast the seeds to bring out their nuttiness. Letting them cool completely before putting them into a bowl and reserving them for later.

Then measured out the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, adding in the yeast and the olive oil, combining the ingredients partially, before stirring in the rye sour, and the mixed seeds into the yeasty flour mix.

Knead the mix well for about 8 – 10 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. If required, and only if the dough is too sticky, add in a sprinkling of extra dough, a little at a time, being extremely careful not to add in too much.

Leave the dough to prove in a greased bowl covered with cling film for about an hour and a half to two hours.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knock it back, and knead again. rolling it out into a thick log, which you can then cut.

I got about 12 average size pieces.

Roll out each piece into a thick cord and loop around to shape the rolls into knots.Place the rolls onto parchment paper lined trays and leave to prove again for about 30 minutes till nicely puffed up.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 210 degrees C for about 20 minutes.

I had initially planned on brushing the tops of the rolls with an egg wash before sprinkling on some poppy seeds, but I also wanted to give some to my brother, and he suffers from an egg allergy. Even the slightest trace has him in the ER… You can well imagine my sister and I having a blast as kids, polishing off all the cakes and other eggy treats he couldn’t lay his hands on. But that was a long long time ago and I’m all grown up… Oh yes I am! So I decided to brush his half of the rolls with a mix of honey and olive oil, before sprinkling on the toasted poppy seeds.

I brushed the other half of the rolls with the egg wash, and sprinkled on the poppy seeds.

The honey and olive oil brushed rolls were baked first, for about 25 – 30 minutes. And kept carefully aside when they were done. Far, far away from the egg wash brushed rolls, which followed them into the oven.

Both the batches turned out great… and tasted amazingly good.

The rolls were delicious fresh off the oven, with a pat of butter.

And I had one the next day for brunch, with a fluffy spring onion, sun-dried tomato and Parmesan omelet with some grilled tomatoes on the side.

And the Bread Adventures continue….

Figgy Rye Rolls

I wish you a Merry Christmas… I wish you a Merry Christmas… I wish you a Merry Christmas…

I love this time of year… when we actually have cooler weather here in Mumbai, and when we get the most amazing array of fruits… And then it’s Christmas, and Christmas makes me think of figgy puddings and what else, but… Figs!

I bought a dozen or so of them the other day and since then I’ve been dreaming up a bunch of ways in which to use them… tarts, pies… you name it.

Christmas is also family time and time to get together with loved ones, friends and family… taking the time out to catch up and chat and exchange hugs and love. So yeah, my brother is in town and I wanted to bake him some bread to go with a fig preserve that I planned to make for him, because he just loves preserves and jams.

And then halfway through proving the dough for the Honey Rye Bread I had a flash of genius. Why not use the same dough as the Rye Bread along with the fig preserve… something that bordered on sweet and savoury. Now that would be a real treat for someone with a craving for something sweet but healthy… wouldn’t it?

The fig preserve is fairly simple to make and quite quick. I didn’t want to pulp the fruit completely or strain it… after all it isn’t a fig without all those little seeds now is it? So I let it be as is… using ripe figs, chopping them up into a small dice, then mixing the rest of the ingredients with the fruit, and letting it all stand for about 4 hours to let the flavours meld, before cooking the macerated fruit for 50 minutes to an hour on a very slow flame, stirring occasionally. Then taking the preserve off the flame and allowing it to cool completely before using.

Ingredients for the Fig Preserve:

6 large figs – chopped

4 tablespoons powdered sugar (you can use more sugar if you like it sweeter… I don’t)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup port wine ( a little extra if required)

Pinch of cinnamon powder

Large pinch of paprika

1 tablespoon rosemary – chopped

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of ½ lime

On to forming the rolls…

Since I was using the same dough for the Honey Rye Bread, I simply divided the dough into two portions and rolled it out on a lightly floured surface to a quarter of an inch thick.

Then spread on the preserve. I used a fairly thick spread (but you could spread it thinner), and rolled up the dough, constantly dusting the edge being rolled in with a sprinkling of flour till the entire dough was rolled up.

Cut the roll into pieces about an inch to an inch and a half thick using a sharp knife and place the pieces onto a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted baking tray.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 25 – 30 minutes.

Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the rolls onto a wire rack to cool.

Dust with icing sugar when completely cooled.

Strawberry Muffins (with a touch o’ Balsamic)

Who doesn’t love strawberries! And now that it’s December… they’re here… in season and I am overjoyed.

Gorgeous aren’t they?

So I saw these delicious mouthfuls of goodness sitting on the shelf at the supermarket just waiting for someone to pick ’em up, take ’em home and make ’em into something scrumptious. And I figured why not go the muffin way… especially since my evening coffee was turning into a drag without a suitable accompaniment.

So the strawberries were sliced and diced and married with balsamic vinegar and sugar… what else??…

(before adding in 1/4 teaspoonfuls of both clove and nutmeg powder… for the extra zing)… and allowing the fruit to macerate for about an hour.

Then butter met sugar, met an egg, whipped up with 3/4 cup of low-fat milk (you can also use buttermilk)…

… before the vanilla extract found its way in… not much, a 1/2 teaspoon should do nicely.

Wet ingredients… all done… Check!

Now in a separate bowl flour and baking powder were sieved together with a pinch of salt… before the wet ingredients were added in.

Care should be taken to not over-mix the batter… fold… fold… fold…

Then swiftly add in the macerated strawberries, folding them into the batter with deft strokes of the spatula.

Spooning the batter into paper-cup lined muffin trays and dusting the tops with a blend of icing sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Before baking them in a 200 degrees C pre-heated oven, for about 20 – 25 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven onto a cooking rack and dust the tops again with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg blend… just to give it that feeling of Christmas… (We could do with some snow in Mumbai for a change).

Fix yourself a nice big mug of coffee…

…and dig in…

Enjoy!

Moving

So I’m off on a break.

Or am I?

But this isn’t one of those breaks where I sit in meditative silence, contemplating nothing, and everything. It’s more of a hiatus from things I usually do… to pack and move house… a return to my nomadic ways of not knowing what and when. Just more of the same really, in a different setting.

And believe me when I say that there’s nothing worse for a woman hitting her mid-forties than moving house… yet again…. and I’m quite the pro.

Oh the forties… when everything seems to go out of whack, but then you realise that nature’s just playing with ya… it’s the teaser before the show. So you’ll have your fair share of ills and ails, and menopause will loom large, and then retreat behind some mirage. Given all this I would rather back-peddle time and head out into the vast unknown… what else is there really?… Gigantic backpack on my back, and a large tube of iodex in hand, rather than get a slip-disc from packing a couple of boxes.

Moving house can be a real back-breaker especially when you’ve been malingering with that exercise routine you set out for yourself, and the only walking you do is taking the stairs wherever you go.

Okay…  I try!

But this time it’s a double whammy… I’m moving multiple houses, not just the one I live in, in Mumbai, my temporary home, but the one I have in a small town near Mumbai. A place that’s been more of a refuge than a permanent home, where I have come to unwind and recharge… a place where I did live for a while, briefly, but which gave me enough to fill my heart and soul with wonderful memories and with both joys and sorrows. The only downside is that I’ve accumulated so much stuff over the past four decades of living that Noah would probably leave me standing at the pier, baggage-in-tow even if I was the last woman left on earth.

So my break consists of de-cluttering, of sifting and sorting through piles of… everything, and since most of my things comprise either books, art material or kitchen supplies I’m not keen to get rid of any of it… boxing it all, into cartons marked – ‘Immediate’, ‘After-a-while’, and ‘Can be saved for posterity’, which though quite a task in itself, has been made immensely easy thanks to the generosity of a friend who sent in an armful of boxes and carton tape with her name emblazoned all over it.

At least the chances of my stuff getting misplaced during the great move will get drastically reduced.

Unfortunately all this frenetic activity has left me with little energy to cook, and apart from a hastily thrown together fried rice, with oyster and button mushrooms, fiery green chillies, fresh green peas, French beans  and baby corn, flavoured with star anise and a few cinnamon sticks, that I dished up one afternoon… I haven’t cooked anything else…

So it’s been take-out…

And the picture speaks for itself…

So yeah, it is tough moving, even for a self-proclaimed nomad, but as far as this little space of mine goes, it’s more of an a bientôt instead of an au-revoir kind of thing… so parting isn’t such sorrow. But I’ll miss the December sunsets from my bedroom window, with the sun retreating in a blaze into the trees and buildings in the distance, tinting the sky with passion, as if to say, “Hey! It’s too early… someone’s gotta turn back the clock”.

Then I’ll sit in the warm glow of a candle as the night grows colder, and sip some wine… content that I’m almost all done… but wistful and contemplative as the flame arises and passes.

And I’ll curl up under my quilt as the day ends… to wake up to the morning sun and the Buddha in deep meditation at my window…

Have a wonderful new week!

Cheesy Herbed Focaccia with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I suppose my love for bread comes from being Goan, and having experienced the joys of beautifully baked bread whenever we visited Goa during our yearly summer vacations. From the basic Pao and Poee (Poi) to the Bakri and the ring shaped Kanconn, to the numerous varieties that the village ‘poder’ or baker delivered to our doorstep morning and noon, just in time for breakfast and tea. Every one of those loaves of bread so distinct, so full of flavour, and still warm, they dance around the edges of my tongue and my mind as I relive those memories… So many varieties, I can’t recall all their names.

Even back home, Bandra where I grew up was dotted with numerous Irani and the odd Goan bakery or two that made both the soft pao and its crustier cousin the brun pao. None of those packed loaves of the flavourless sliced variety, sitting encased in plastic bags, waiting, characterless and forlorn for someone to pick them up from the corner store made it to our table, at least not very often.

I’ve always wanted to bake delicious bread… forming it into loaves, shaping it… my love for clay and working with it made me figure that it wouldn’t be such a difficult task. And despite being a fine art, the process is really quite simple, with the easiest of ingredients… flour, water, salt and yeast… in some cases without the yeast. All it takes is love and a pair of caring hands.

And then comes what’s known as artisan bread… which is really nothing but small batches of focaccia, ciabatta, country loaves, sour-dough and baguettes among others, all hand-crafted and at times combined with an array of scrumptious ingredients, ranging from cheese (Parmesan, Cheddar or Mozarella to name a few) to sun-dried tomatoes, caramelised onions, or even the finest olives… the list is endless.

Traditionally artisan bread is made in old-fashioned masonry ovens, but even a tiny regular home oven can produce the most amazing loaves of bread, and it isn’t all that difficult to make.

Here’s a Cheesy Herbed Focaccia with Sun-Dried Tomatoes. I had the sun-dried tomatoes sitting in rosemary and garlic  infused olive oil for a week, just to develop a few more flavours and I used both the olive oil and the tomatoes for this recipe along with a generous handful of Parmesan and some parsley while working the dough.

After almost 2 hours of letting the soft elastic dough prove or rise…

Proving the Dough

… I  knocked it back (in a quick punching motion) and worked it a bit before placing it onto the baking tray to sit for an additional twenty to twenty-five minutes (I lined the tray with a bit of oil).

Knocked back... but not out!

Finally stretching out the dough using my fingertips and finishing it up by making a few rapid jabbing motions into the dough to give it that dimpled effect…

All Dimpled!

Brushing the top with olive oil, a generous sprinkling of oregano, chopped rosemary and a bit of rock salt… and it was oven ready…

Snug as a bug!

I took a tip from a Lesley Waters recipe I came across and sprayed the top of the focaccia with water a couple of times to allow it to steam as it baked…

And here it is…

Cheesy Herbed Focaccia with Sun-dried Tomatoes

I wanted to eat it no sooner it was out of the oven, but I turned it onto a rack to cool before slicing it… and wow!

Pan Grilled Barbecue Chicken

If you’ve ever lived in Mumbai you’ll know that this city just doesn’t have the space to set up a Barbi unless you append an e at the end!

But I have this grill pan that works wonders.

So I put together a few aromatics (read spices)… quite a few aromatics actually, pan roasted them just a tad to release their natural flavours and oils, and pounded them in my mortar and pestle.

The aroma was heady…

Caution: Don’t stick your nose too close to the picture

Then coated the chicken quite liberally with it…

So it sat, that chicken… soaking in all those wonderful flavours. And then it was time for the wet rub (I used a bit of yoghurt)…

Before it hit the sizzling hot grill…

And finally a good dunking into my own blend of barbecue sauce (the yoghurt features here as well… )

Bon Apetit!

Or should I swing hammer to gong n yell… “Come n get it!”

Chicken, Peas and Parsley Pies

I love butter and I love pastry. But working with it is a challenge in Mumbai where the temperature is anything from hot to hotter to hottest. So I stuck my hands in ice cold water and rubbed them with ice-cubes to keep them cold.

I made these pies in a muffin tray. Individual servings,  perfect for a light lunch or dinner… or even as an in-between-meals kinda snack.

You can fix yourself a salad on the side, in case you feel guilty about all that butter in the pastry, and want something to cut that fat… But it’s quite unnecessary.

These pies don’t feel heavy on the stomach at all… and butter is in any case good for the soul.

Chicken and Parsley Pies