can work wonders. Not that I think Mian married me to reform me (you didn't, right?), but he has helped me overcome a lot of the 'I cant do that' block I had.
Take my kitchen for example..I am a passable cook, but had accepted that I can't make breads in any form- leavened or otherwise. Pasta (which counts as unleavened bread in my book) would sometimes be made from scratch, but those were definitely special occasions, and the preparation would begin with buying flour. Yes, flour never formed a part of my pantry.
And then Mian came along with his love for the sensuality of bread making. I watched him make tons of bread for the simple pleasure of it and realized that it's not actually a dangerous process. He taught me how to knead, gave me a love for the smell of fermenting dough, and left our kitchen stocked with far too many flours (whole wheat, refined, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth) and enough yeast to colonize a planet.
Last week, I returned from the Pindar valley hungry for good food but too tired to do anything remotely complicated. Nothing that requires me to step out of the house, I decided. Nothing complicated, nothing requiring me to slave. And so I made this:
and today for lunch, it was this:
This was so good. It took me about an hour, of which less than half was actual work time. Everything needed for this was already in the kitchen, and the end result was heaven- thin, crisp crust with caramelly, salty, intense topping. Please, make this.
Base: I didn't really use a recipe. This is a good one with hand-holding for the technique, which is the kind of bread recipe I like. I mixed one three-fingered pinch of yeast and a pinch of sugar in a little water and let it proof till I finished the dishes. Added to it one cup flour, a pinch of salt, a splash of oil and enough water to make a soft dough. Kneaded it till there were no cracks, coated the ball with oil and let it rise for a little less than an hour. Preheated the oven at the hottest possible. Oiled the lid of our kadhai, and stretched out the dough on that. Loaded with toppings, and let it cook for maybe 15 mins till the bottom of the crust was brown.
Toppings: Tomato sauce made by reducing blanched tomatoes with some dried fish (softened for 10 mins), garlic, salt, crushed red chilies, sugar. Onions and capsicum that I had sauteed till brownish. Olives.pepper. salt. some oregano.
not too much work for lunch, dinner and absolute bliss, eh?
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