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Monday, June 19, 2017

Bionico


I came across bionico when looking for an easy dessert recipe from the Latin cuisine. It is one of the popular street snacks from Mexico and is a perfect treat to serve on a hot day. It is along the similar lines as the popular fruit custard from India though no cooking is involved in the case of bionico. A medley of chopped fruits are drenched with a sweetened sauce, made primarily with dairy products and  coffee granules.
 
It takes only a couple of minutes to prepare the sweetened sauce but it is a very delicious and interesting base to the fruit medley. Any combination of fruits you have on hand can go into this recipe as long as they are sweeter. Similarly, any toppings of your choice can go into bionico. We didn't feel that granola complimented bionico well but it can be included if proffered.
 
Recipe source: Here
Ingredients: (Yield 4 servings)
About 5 cups of chopped mixed fruits
(The original recipe had banana, apple, papaya, strawberries and grapes. I used banana, cherries, mango, peaches and strawberries.)
 
Ingredients for the sweet sauce:
Half of 14 oz. condensed milk can
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt / low fat sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp. instant coffee granules

Ingredients for toppings:
Raisins
Chopped pecans (I used walnuts instead.)
Sweetened coconut flakes
Granola
 
Method:
* Add all the ingredients mentioned under the sweet sauce into a bowl and whisk to combine.
* Add fruit pieces to parfait glasses / bowls. Pour the prepared sweet sauce as needed over the fruit pieces and garnish with preferred toppings.
bmlogo
This post goes to Blogging marathon #77 under the theme "Latin American Recipes". Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Avena Colombiana

Avena means oats in Spanish and avena is also an oatmeal based drink from South America that is quite popular locally. There are subtle variations in the recipe depending upon where it is prepared in the Latin American regions. However, generally rolled oats are stewed in a mixture of milk, water, cinnamon and cloves and finally sweetened with sugar.
Avena is usually served as a breakfast drink both for kids and adults though serving it as an evening snack is also not uncommon. This thick and creamy drink can be served either warm or cold, depending upon the seasons. I prepared it past this week when we had the heat wave going on and obviously, I had served it chilled.
Recipe Source: Here
Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
A pinch of ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Sugar to taste
Method:
* Cook oatmeal, milk, water and cinnamon together for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium flame. Add ground cloves and sugar to the mixture and cook for about 5 minutes more.
* Let cool the mixture and chill it, covered.
* Discard the cinnamon stick and blend the oat mixture fine. Add extra water if thinner consistency is preferred. Serve it cold.
bmlogo
This post goes to Blogging marathon #77 under the theme "Latin American Recipes". Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pan de Coco - Coconut Bread from Dominican Republic


Pan de Coco is a coconut bread from the Latin region and the version here today comes from 'The Dominican Republic'. The recipe varies region wise and comes in both sweet and plain versions. This Dominican version is not on the sweet side and  instead these are 'heavy and salty' kind flat breads. According to the the original recipe, these are usually served with fish or meat dishes that have lot of sauce so that these breads are used to scoop those gravy kind dishes and soak up the juices.

These coconut breads are supposedly evolved from a combination of a recipe of 'Johnny cakes' brought by the English immigrants to the region and coconut, which is locally available in abundance. The coconut flavor is not pronounced much in this version though they are called coconut buns and coconut flakes are not an usual addition. These breads are more like biscuits with a crispy exterior and we had them hot from the oven, slathered with butter. 

Recipe source: Here
Ingredients: (Yields 6 breads)
2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (Reduce the qty by 1/2 tsp if salty breads are not preferred.)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. coconut oil + extra for greasing baking sheet and palms 
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)

Method:
* Preheat the oven to 300 deg F. Grease a baking sheet and keep aside.
* Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add coconut milk and oil to the dry ingredients and knead together to a dough. Grease your palms with oil and work the dough if it is sticky.
* Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll them into balls. Flatten them on the greased baking sheet, into discs of about 6 inches diameter. 
* Sprinkle the coconut flakes if using, on the top of the discs.
* Bake them for about 25 minutes or a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. They are not going to get brown but remain pale after baking.
* Once cool, they can be toasted quickly but at high temperature to brown them. (I skipped the step.)

bmlogo
This post goes to Blogging marathon #77 under the theme "Latin American Recipes". Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Bajra - Methi Rotis / Methi Dhebra / Indian, Millet Flour Flatbreads

 
Here are some millet flour based flatbreads as part of the 'healthy lunches' I am posting this week. These are inspired from the western state of India, Gujarat and can be converted to a gluten free version if wheat flour is left out from the recipe. These wholesome rotis are spicy on their own and do not need any side dish as such but a spicy pickle and some cool yogurt would make great accompaniments. Dhebras can be made two ways. The first one where wheat flour is completely eliminated, shaped into smaller and thicker discs and are deep fried. The second method is where they are rolled out into thin rotis like I did and are cooked with little oil. The deep fried dhebra make a great evening snack while the thinner version makes a great addition to lunch or dinner menu.
Ingredients: (Yield 8 - 9 dhebra)
About 2 cups firmly packed fresh fenugreek greens / methi leaves 
1 or 2 green chillies
1 tsp. grated ginger 1 & 1/2 cups millet flour / bajra flour 
1/2 cup wheat flour (optional)  + extra for dusting

1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
2 pinches of asafoetida
1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1/4 cup yogurt
Oil for toasting dhebras

Method:
* Coarsely chop the fenugreek greens and finely chop green chillies.
* Combine flours, turmeric, salt, chili powder, asafoetida and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Next add fenugreek greens, green chillies, ginger and yogurt to the bowl and mix well.
* Add water in small increments and form a firm but a pliable dough. Cover and rest the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes.
* Grease your palms with oil and divide the dough into 8 or 10 portions and shape each ball into a disc between palms. Work with one dough portion at a time and keep the rest covered.
* There are two ways to proceed after this step. Method one involves rolling out the dough balls into thin circles and toasting them on a hot skillet. Method two involves directly placing the dough ball on an unheated, oiled tawa / flat pan, shaping it and then toasting. I am giving below both methods though I don't follow the rolling method. I find the second method convenient and easier since the millet dough tends to be on the stickier side. 
 
Method 1: 
* Heat a skillet on medium flame.
* Roll out each portion into a thin circle of about 5 - 6 inches diameter, dusting with flour if necessary.
* Place the rolled out disc on the hot skillet. Flip it when you notice bubbles on top. Apply oil on the surface after about 10 seconds and then flip it again. Continue  to cook gently pressing it with a spatula until brown spots appear on the bottom side. 
* Apply a little oil over the top side, flip it and cook until the bottom side now develops brown spots. 
* Remove the dhebra and cook the remaining dhebras following the same steps.
* Keep the cooked dhebras covered until serving.
Method 2:
* Pour a tsp. of oil at the center of an unheated tawa / skillet / flat pan. Place a portion of the dough at the center and shape it into a thin circle using fingertips. Turn on the stove and cook on medium flame until there are brown spots on the bottom side, . Brush some oil over the top side and flip it. Cook until the bottom side develops brown spots. Remove the dhebra once it is cooked on both sides.
* Let the skillet cool down a bit before cooking the next one since the dough can not be shaped on a hot skillet. To cut down the waiting time, the skillet can be washed in cold water or two skillets can be used instead. 
bmlogo
This post goes to Blogging marathon #77 under the theme "Healthy Lunches". Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.

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