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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Home Made Accompaniments

I am a foodie, I love my food but I don't like paying through the nose for things that really do not cost a lot to make.  I have been watching Jamie Oliver on his trip around Britain locating all those recipes that make our multi cultured nation stand out when it comes to cooking. Often the influences to dishes that we think are English actually come from another nation in a lot of instances.  It has been quite an interesting series to watch from that perspective alone.

As I am always .rather keen to cut the housekeeping amount down as best I can, I have been looking into accompaniments to meals like Tortilla wraps and Naan Bread and Pitta Bread and Chapattis.  Its rather like the Tortilla Chips recipe I posted a while back; to buy they cost a lot and yet the raw ingredients can be bought realtively cheaply.  For Tortilla Wraps for a pack of 8 at my local Coop they cost approximately £1.99 a pack unless they are on offer, as do Poppadums and Naan breads.   The only extra required is a modicum of your time and effort - to experiment.  These accompaniments are for the best part made with ingredients that nine times out of ten you will already have in your pantry or stock pile.  Sometimes it will call for a different ingredient, but if you like the results it is well worth keeping that speciality ingredient in.  This is what makes your pantry personal to you. Okay so you have to make them but they can be quickly made and they taste oh so much the nicer.

It is well worth looking in your local Asian shop (if you have one) for staples like Rice, flours, spices, dried fruits, oils etc as they really do stock a different selection, but often sell them in bulk packs at quite reasonable prices.

As a result I decided to have a  mess around and see how I get on.  I thought that I would start with Indian/Asian style accompaniments first:

Poppadums I like these as does my other half but to buy them you pay a lot and it frustrates me to high heaven.  However on doing  a little  research on the Internet I found this recipe and video  tutorial site:
- very simply made - these are a great favourite of my partner who likes them with the various spiced relish and chutneys.

This interest all stemmed from the fact that my local Asian shop sells many different types of beans and lentils as well as flours of different sorts which I have never heard of before, and I am getting quite curious as to what to do with them.  Especially as more and more I am making my own bread.  The other day I took the plunge and bought  for £2.19 a 1.5kg bag  of Chappati Atta a stoneground flour specifically for making chapattis with a recipe on the back which is:

300g of Chapatti flour
cold water

Measure out the chapatti flour into a bowl.  Gradually just add enough cold water to make a stiff dough.  Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes and place into the bowl. Leave in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  Divide into 4 or 5 evenly sized ballls; take each ball and roll it out to 2 to 4 mm.  Meanwhile heat a frying pan/griddle over a medium heat.  Place the flattened dough into  the frying pan and gently heat each chapatti turning it several times until golden brown.  Make sure the chapatti is cooked from within.  Rub a few drops of oil/butter or ghee on the chapatti to finish.

Serve with your favourite home made curry.

 I quite frequently make a home made chicken curry (using chicken thighs)  and these will go with them very nicely thank you very much.

I like experimenting and keeping costs down and having a go helps me do both.

Catch up soon

Pattypan

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