Permanent link to archive for 27/12/07. Thursday, December 27, 2007
Salt and Breadmaking

PB from Bangalore, India wrote me today: Hare Krishna! I wanted to ask... is it necessary to add oil or salt while making atta flour dough for chapatis? My husband has read that we should avoid using salt & oil while making it. Why do we add salt to the dough & is it required?"

the magic chapati:

My reply: It is a matter of personal taste whether you add oil or salt in chapatis. Salt improves the flavour of the breads, there is no doubt. It accentuates the natural sweetness of the grain, even. Saltless bread is very bland. And the salt also improves the dough texture due to chemical changes with the gluten.*

Oil or ghee inside the chapati dough makes the breads softer and more tender. I prefer to leave out any oil or ghee, and spread the hot chapati with a little ghee after cooking.

(*When salt is added to a dough, some of the negatively-charged chlorine ions will bond with the positively-charged sites on the gluten protein, neutralizing the overall charge. With the repulsive forces eliminated, the web will tighten, compact, and bond with itself more strongly. A more bonded, compact gluten web can better withstand the force exerted by the swelling air bubbles in an actively fermenting dough, and thus will expand more slowly).

And for those who thought that adding/not adding salt in bread was an insignificant choice, think again. Read this interesting article.

Posted by Kurma on 27/12/07; 10:10:32 AM from the dept.

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Salt and Breadmaking

'Dhoodh, Where's my Recipe?'


Sankarsan from Sofia, Bulgaria writes:

"Dear Kurma I have a question. I have opened a restaurant in Sofia, Bulgaria. Your books are guide for me...One costumer asked me if I know how to make a 'dhoodh'. I never heard this before. In Yamuna's cook book I saw that this means milk. Do you know anything about it? How to prepare, some recipes, some details?

My reply:

My response to people who ask me such questions is: 'Tell me more details of the recipe you are referring to.' Put the responsibility back on them to explain. Get them to describe to you what they are talking about.

Dhoodh is the Hindi name for milk, yes. Maybe they are confused and thinking of something else, like dhoodh pak, for instance (a sweet made with milk).

If they actually do just want a recipe for hot milk (garam dhoodh), tell them all the different things you can add, like cardamom, saffron, turmeric, nutmeg, sliced pistachios, almonds etc, plus, of course, a little sugar. Hope this helps.

Posted by Kurma on 27/12/07; 10:02:31 AM from the dept.

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'Dhoodh, Where's my Recipe?'

Far Out, Mung Bean Sprout

Tommaso from Verona, Italy writes: "I recently tasted a nice salad of mung bean sprouts and potato on my trip to North India. It was healthy and very tasty. Can you send me a recipe?

sprouted mung:

My reply:

Hello! Yes, sprouted mung are indeed very healthy! I love to make my own. You won't get them as long as the ones you buy at Asian markets, but short-tailed homemade sprouts like the ones pictured above are bursting with juicy succulence and crisp nutrition. How's that for a mouthful!

You can sprinkle them in salad, eat them straight with a sprinkle of sea salt or Indian black salt and a squeeze of lime juice, or cook with them.

Here's a delicious favourite recipe of mine that includes sprouts.

Delhi-style Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

Known as moong ki chat, this very popular salad is eaten as a road-side snack in India, especially in Delhi. The chili, lemon, and tongue-tingling spice combination chat masala give it a pleasant bite. Home sprouted mung beans taste best. Serves six.

1 medium potato
1 small green chili, minced fine
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped fine
250g (9 ounces) sprouted mung beans, about 1¾ cups tender ones with tiny sprouts about 1.5cm (½-inch) are best
1 medium tomato, diced
1½ teaspoons chat masala, or more to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Boil the potato until tender, peel and dice it.

Combine all the ingredients.

Serve immediately.

Posted by Kurma on 27/12/07; 7:19:42 AM from the dept.

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Far Out, Mung Bean Sprout

December 2007
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