Whole Wheat Focaccia

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When Vandana of Esvasa asked me to do an organic recipe for her website. I knew I had to share this recipe. Esvasa is the only online journal which shares and talks about organic food in India (elaborately). It is an informative site and also features list of organic stores and restaurants across India. They also have a monthly news letter and you can sign up for free!

Focaccia is a flatbread, unlike a very thick-crusted pizza. Focaccia is similar to a bread  and can be made in any shape or variation. You can use all kinds of toppings and make it taste good but also visiually appealing. A square of focaccia topped with tomatoes, onions or zataar makes a great lunch or snack, and it’s good lunchbox fare.

Another thing you can do with focaccia is split it laterally and fill it, to make a sandwich.I made myself a nice focaccia sandwich using yellow butterfly’s sundried tomato hummus.

This is a very easy bread. I’m using 100% whole wheat flour and you get a denser than the regular focaccia made with refined flours. You could also use 1:1 variation of whole wheat & all purpose flour (maida) or 2:1 combination.

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Ingredients:

10gms dry active yeast

300gms whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp raw sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup lukewarm water

2tbs olive oil & some extra for rubbing

12-15 pitted black olives, halved

1-2tbs zataar

Procedure:

  • In a glass of lukewarm water, dissolve sugar  and yeast. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the measured flour, yeast mixture and form a soft dough, adding more water if necessary.
  • Cream the olive oil and salt separately and work into the dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until elastic.
  • Form into a ball and return to the mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes or double in size.
  • Knock back the dough (punch it in the middle and let all the air escape) and knead again for 3-4 minutes,
  • Shape the dough in desired shape and place the dough on the greased tray.
  • Roll or press out the dough into a rectangle the size of the sheet pan. Use your fingertips to dimple the dough all over and place the olives at equal distance.
  • Leave it in a warm spot for 20 minutes or double in size.
  • Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes or until the surface is browned.
  • Brush with some olive oil mixed with zataar and cool on a wire rack.

You can keep this bread at room temperature for a day or refrigerate upto a week.

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Asian style lettuce wraps with peanut butter & ginger sauce

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Peanut butter is versatile. My last recipe, grilled chicken with warm peanut butter sauce was a killer with my friends and family. Peanut butter can so easily make any Asian dish taste good. I can think of so many good uses of using peanut butter in Asian cooking like satay sauce, pad thai or a salad recipe that I’m going to share in my post today.

If you’re not a peanut butter fan like me, spiking your peanut butter with some palm sugar or coconut sugar and bird’s eye chilli can do wonders! If your basic sauce is ready, you can add pretty much anything that you like to this sauce.

These little lettuce wraps are just right for a healthy light meal or serve them up as a snack or starter.  It is a vegan recipe and you could also make it raw by negating the tofu. This salad is a  colourful and fun way of enjoying your veggies!

lettuce wraps

Ingredients:

6-8 Lettuce leaves, cleaned, dried and of desired size

1 big carrot, julienned

50 gms tofu, shredded (optional)

50 gms sprouts

1tbs peanut butter (I used i2cook’s peanut butter)

1 bird’s eye chilli, chopped finely

1 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp palm or coconut sugar (I used i2cook’s coconut sugar)

juice of half a lime

salt to taste (if required)

basil & roasted peanuts for garnish

Procedure:

  1. Combine the carrot, tofu, chilli and sprouts in a bowl.
  2. Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and lime juice. Add a teaspoon of water and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Place this mixture on each lettuce piece and garnish with basil, peanuts. Serve immediately.
  4. Alternatively lay out the ingredients and allow everyone to assemble their own. Serves 2-4.

More recipes on peanut butter

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Salted Coconut Caramel Sauce

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Caramel is generally made by adding butter and cream to caramelized sugar.  I’m sharing a vegan recipe of caramel sauce here. You heard it right! It tastes equally good or I can say even better. The secret ingredients in  this caramel sauce are coconut sugar and coconut milk. Coconut sugar is better than refined sugar and the coconut milk gives right  amount of fat for a great texture.

The low glycemic index (GI) of coconut sugar is 35 (around half of white sugar) and has led some to claim that it’s a good sugar substitute for people with diabetes. It has a high mineral content compared to other sugars and is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. You can use coconut sugar 1:1 in any way you would use regular sugar, including coffee, baking or cooking. More benefits and details in my previous post about this wonder sugar.

How does coconut sugar taste?  It does not look, smell, or taste the way one would expect it to (like coconut). It actually looks, smells, and tastes like brown sugar with the slightest hint of caramel.

Although this recipe is fairly simple, it does require some understanding of the caramelization process. When sugar is heated to the point of melting (with or without water), it begins to color and caramelize. If left as is, it will solidify into a hard mass. If water is added, it becomes a thin sauce. If water and fat are added, the caramel develops body and  texture. Adding water will make the caramel bubble up-  Caramel is extremely hot and can do serious damage, so be careful.

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Ingredients:

1cup coconut sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup of water

1 cup coconut milk (I used homemade)

1/4 tsp vanilla powder or extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

Procedure:

Mix all the ingredients in a pan. Place it  on a stove top, on low flame. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes, until thick or till desired consistency. Stir occasionally and keep a keen watch on the sauce. Once done, allow it to cool before transferring into a bottle. Remember, that the sauce will thicken after cooling. You can refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

Serving suggestions: This sauce is so good and tasty to use it as a dip for fresh fruits, crepes, waffles, ice-creams, trifles, cakes, cookies, chocolates or best had straight from the bottle 🙂


i2cook weekend learning sessions – i2instagram

i2cook was set from the ground up and we understand that learning new technology and protocols is imperative though not always desirable. However, since we wished to learn from those who have travelled the road, we decided to learn the tricks of success from 2 hosts who have already comprehended the best practices and will help us in aiming for our desires!

We wish to extend our learning to others who are facing similar difficulties; hence we have decided to use our office space to help others learn and network with our two hosts along with us. If we see your interest we may further extend such sessions into the future with your help and help more entrepreneurs.

In this new age of instagram, we thought why not hold an event for aspiring instagramers like us who would like to learn some fun tricks and trades of instagramming from successful predecessors. They have 1000+ followers on instagram and never fail to amuse you with their food pictures. Some times you just want to kill them for sharing all that yummy stuff.

Introducing host #1 Insia Lacewalla, famously known as @inses on instagram and @1NS1A on twitter. She runs her own gig Small Fry Co.  Insia is the angel who promotes/organizes food in all the rock shows and events. She brings delicious food to the less drunk people 😉

Introducing host #2 Anuja Deora, famously known as @misseatingout on instagram and @anujadeora on twitter. Anuja is currently a Managing Partner at Frozen Yogurt Inc (FYI), Juhu. Misseatingout left her corporate banking job in search of better pastures and found her calling in her love of food. She is veg and knows exactly the right places to eat in Bombay.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: entrepreneurs, home food creators, caterers, food industry aspirants and the food curious.

DATE: 10th August

TIME: 4pm onwards

WHERE: no.105, Building no. 5, Jogani Industrial Estate, Chunnabhatti, Sion east, Mumbai – 22. Call for directions 022- 24055308

ENTRY FEE: Free

RSVP: We appreciate if you could email us at i2cookn@gmail.com . Maximum people 15. Tea time snacks will be provided by us.

See you soon!