Sunday, February 28, 2021

Uzbek Non / Obi Non - Whole Wheat Version

Uzbek non or obi non is a flat bread from Uzbekistan. Though the Naan type flatbreads are common all over central Asia, this one was exciting. Because of the stamp. I have never used these stamps. When I saw about these in the Facebook discussions, I ordered one from amazon. 

There many designs in these stamps. They are called 'chekich' and have intricate designs. It is a great work of art and using them in bread is quite brilliant. Loved the intricate designs even after baking. It was fun and exciting to use the stamp and see how it worked. Kids had fun in stamping the bread. The center of the Non was flat after baking and the sides are puffed up. I liked the shaping technique too. 

I was checking some videos and liked NastassjaCanCook. Her method was easy. I tried to make it whole wheat and was trying with different combinations. I liked the version I had shared today and used regular whole wheat atta (whole wheat flour) that I use to make everyday chapathi and roti. This flour absorbs more water. So I have changed the liquid measurements accordingly. Initially while kneading, it may be a little wet, but keep kneading to form a smooth and soft dough. I used my bread machine for this part after the first trial and hence this part was breezy. Different brands may need different water for kneading and hence adjust according to your wheat flour. Her tip to shape the bread was very helpful. Also, my dough doubled in 1 hour though she kept for 2 hours. If you live in cold regions, adjust the proving time accordingly.

This month the Bread Baking Babes are baking Uzbek flatbread. It is the13th anniversary, and our host is Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups picked this bread for this event. I joined the group recently and this is my first post in this group. I couldn't resist the stamps and hence started my trials of making this yummy bread. Tanna has given a great step by step guidance to try this in everyday yeast version as well as a sourdough version. I tried the wild yeast method and still need to improve on the sourdough version. We love sourdough bread and hence pretty soon would be making this version again. 

They are great with stews and curries. I loved them especially with Dal Makhni (Dal cooked in butter and spices). They are good with soups too. I read about the tradition that it is torn and served and not cut into pieces. They taste great with chai too! Chai, non and fruits can be a great breakfast.This recipe makes 20-22 in nons, but can be made into 4 smaller ones too. 


Makes 2

Bread flour - 2 cups
Whole wheat flour -1 cup Sugar - 1 tsp Salt - 1and 1/4 tsp Butter - 3 tbsp (melted) Active dry yeast - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Milk - 3/4 cup Water - 3/4 cup Heavy cream - 1 tbsp, for brushing sesame seeds( for decoration)


Add everything except melted butter, heavy cream, and sesame seed to the bread maker and set it in dough cycle. When it is kneading for the final longest duration add the melted butter and let it continue. After an hour, the dough will be doubled in size.

After it has doubled size, punch and roll the dough. Divide the dough into 2 halves. Roll each dough onto a ball. Leave it covered for another 30 minutes to prove again. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F. Keep a tray in the bottom of the oven.

Gently flatten the dough a bit. Then gently push in the middle and slowly work towards the edges pushing the dough to the edge thereby creating a flat surface in the middle and creating a border around the edge to a circle of 20-22 inches diameter. Transfer to a baking stone or pizza pan. Punch using the stamps in the middle. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle sesame seeds. Add water to the tray in the bottom to create steam. Put the non in the oven to bake. Bake for 22-23 minutes.

Cool and serve with tea, soup, or as such.

Japanese Steamed Curry Buns #FoodnFlix

These buns are soft and delicious. They are like soft pillows. Steamed buns are fun and yum to have. I tried the steamed Japanese curry bun or kare bun for #foodnflix. The movie for this month is "Spirited Away". My kids love watching anime and we were excited to watch the movie. I had checked out the movie in our library,  but all of us had a crazy weekends this month but somehow we managed to watch it together and enjoyed the time. These buns are equally tasty like the Tainan Pan-fried Cabbage and Noodle Buns. I adapted parts of the recipe from Lisa. I steamed instead of pan-frying and didn't use ketchup. These buns can be steamed, pan-fried or baked and they are tasty in all the three forms. I used the same recipe for the buns as in Pan-fried Cabbage and Noodle Buns.  When I read about the curry powder, I saw that Indian and Japanese curry powder to be similar but latter being milder. You can make your own curry powder or use store-bought ones.

Food'nFlix is a fun little group that gets together each month and watches the same movie at their leisure.  Once we watch, we create a dish that was inspired by the chosen film. Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting this month. If you want to participate in Food 'n Flix, Check out this month's announcement post at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, and drop by the Food 'n Flix site to learn more! Thanks, Camilla!

This is a beautiful movie by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. In this animated film, a 10-year-old Chihiro  and her parents, who were on the way to their new home they were moving to, stumble upon a abandoned amusement park. Her parents were turned into giant pigs after they ate the food there, which were for spirits who visit the bath house. Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku, who explains to her that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who spend their time there, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents. Finally, she frees her parents from there. 

I was so impressed by the character, Chihiro. What amazing qualities she has! She has the dedication and determination to the fullest to get back her parents though she was scared. At the same tome, she was nice to everyone and showed compassion. She worked hard in Yubaba's bathhouse. She cared for the stinking spirit which was a harder job for a 10 year old. She had the qualities to care for others and refused gold when others were running for it. She was not greedy and was the most lovable child. For a 10 year old, having these qualities consistent, really moved me and I loved the movie and Chihiro.

There were so many food inspirations. My daughter loves Asian food and in fact she was the guide for me in identifying the foods from the movie. I wanted to make the sponge cake they had when they had a high tea with Zeniba. In fact, wanted to make the same kind of high tea experience since we loved it in London. May be sometime. I wanted to make vegan onigiri and steamed buns. Chihiro had when she was talking to Lin and they were enjoying the buns. I am not sure what the filling was. I wanted to try the red bean stuffed buns as well as the curry buns.  I was happy that at least I tried the curry buns, because of time crunch. They were delicious and would soon try the bean paste buns too. 


Makes 8

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Proving time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Cooling time : 10 minutes

For the dough:

All-purpose flour -3 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Oil - 1-2 tbsp
Water - 1 and 1/4 cup

For the curry:

Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Carrots - 2/3 cup, chopped
Beans - 1/4 cup, chopped
Potatoes - 1 cup, chopped
Garlic- 3 cloves, finely chopped
Curry powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - 2/3 tsp
Water - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Green onion - 1, chopped


Activate the yeast if you are using active dry yeast in warm sugar water. This can be skipped if you are using instant yeast. Add salt to the flour, make a well, add the yeast mixture and 1 tbsp oil. Knead to a soft dough. Apply a little oil on the dough and the bowl and leave it covered for an hour for it to double in size.

In the meantime, chop the veggies. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, carrots, and beans. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the bell peppers, potatoes, salt, and curry powder. Sauté for a minute. Add a cup of water. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes till the veggies are cooked. Make a slurry with 1 tsp rice flour and 2 tbsp water. Add chopped green onions, soy sauce and rice flour slurry, cook for a minute  to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.

After the dough has doubled, punch down and roll. Make it into 8 portions. Roll each into a ball. Flatten them to 7-9 inch and fill in 2 tbsp of curry. Gently gather the edges and fold into pleats and close the buns. Repeat with all the dough balls. 

Heat water in a pan and bring to a boil. Smear oil generously if you are using a steel plate to steam. Keep the seam side of the bun facing down on the plate, cover and steam for 12 minutes. Depending on the size of the pan or steamer, steam in one or couple of batches.

Cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serve with sweet and spicy sesame - soy sauce or sweet red chili sauce.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Hot Garlic Noodles

Kids to adults, everyone loves noodles. Noodles has some magic attached to it. Every flavor of noodles is equally welcomed by everyone. This hot garlic noodles is loved in our family. It is spicy, garlicky, and yummy to the last bit. 

We used to buy the Ching's brand earlier. Though it is a little spicy, my kids will love to have it. Though the quick cook packaged noodles are fun, it is not healthy to have it more often. So, I started to make it from scratch and we love this version. This is very close in taste to the original version. If you prefer a little soupy, add a little more water. I have used the Ching's hakka noodles, feel free to use your favorite noodle for this recipe. 

Christie is hosting "All about Noodles" event in our "Our Family Table" group. I linking my recipe to this event. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table!  Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!


Serves 4

To cook Noodles:

Hakka noodles - 3
Water to cook
Oil - 2 tsp

For hot garlic paste

Chili - 6 to 8
Byadige/Kashmir red  chili - 2
Garlic - 8 to 10 cloves
Water - 1/4 cup

For the final hot garlic noodles:

Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves
Ginger - 1 tbsp, minced
Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Sugar 3 tsp
Green onion - 4
Hot garlic paste from the above


To make the hot garlic paste, soak the dried red chilies in hot water. Grind them with garlic using the water for soaking to a smooth paste.

Boil enough water to cook the noodles by following the directions on the package of the noodles you use. Drain, add oil to the noodles and separate with hand so that they don't become a sticky mass.

Heat Oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic, sauté till nice aroma comes for about a minute. Add the ground chili-garlic paste and continue to cook for a minute. Then add salt, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and white parts of the green onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the noodles, stir-fry till everything is combined well. Garnish with green onions. 

Serve hot.

Here are the noodle recipes we shared today for "All About the Noodles". Thanks, Christie.

Beef Coconut Curry Soup by Art of Natural Living

Easy Linguine with Clam Sauce by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

Edamame Noodle Salad by Karen's Kitchen Stories

Hot Garlic Noodles by Magical Ingredients

Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak by Making Miracles

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole by Cheese Curd In Paradise

Savory Noodle Kugel by Palatable Pastime

Spicy Arribata Zoodles by That Recipe

Tofu Lo Mein by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

Friday, February 26, 2021

Sichuan Style Long Green Beans

Long green beans is also called as Karamani in Tamil. We usually make curries with that for chapathi or rice. Our usual dry curries are with coconut and with dal (we call parupusli). We also make sambhar or gravy kind curries with the vegetable. I have made only our traditional curries with this vegetable. So when I saw this recipe for the #LNYCOOKOFF organized by Melissa's Produce, I wanted to give a try and we loved it. Of course I made changes to the recipe. I didn't have rice wine and also didn't add the brown sugar. I wanted a spicy one and in fact added a teaspoon of siracha paste (and a little bit more in my plate). I added tofu to have a balanced meal as I served with colored pepper fried rice. 

The original recipe called for coating the beans with corn starch and deep frying. I was not in the mood of deep-fried version and hence shallow fried them on a cast-iron pan for 3-5 minutes, till they became crisp. I coated the tofu with corn starch and shallow fried them like how I did the beans. You might like the Black Pepper Tofu too and these are vegan. I got su mi ya cai from Amazon which is preserved mustard greens. I added that in this recipe. If you don't have, you can make without it too.

This was very delicious. I served with fried rice and everything was empty in a jiffy. This version of beans had a great flavor and now I have few more ideas to try this beans in a few different fusion recipes. This is my second post for the #LNYCOOKOFF. I have already posted the Vegan Lo MeinNoodles

I am linking this to Helen's What's for Dinner? Sunday Link up #304. Drop by her site to see fabulous recipes linked by fellow bloggers.


Serves 4

Long beans - 3 cups, cut to 1.5-in pieces
Tofu - 7 oz, (Pressed to remove the water), cut into small pieces
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Corn starch - 2tbsp plus 1 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup


Hoisin sauce - 2 tbsp
Chili garlic sauce - 2 tbsp
Vegetarian oyster sauce - 2 tbsp
Siracha paste - 1 tsp

For the final sauté

Oil - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Su mi ya cai (preserved greens) - 1 to 2 tbsp


Wash and dry the beans with a towel, chop them to 1 or 1.5 in long. Coat them with 2 tbsp corn starch. Heat 1/3 cup oil in a cast-iron pan and fry the beans in two batches, to crisp texture which would take around 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

Coat the tofu cubes with 1 tsp corn starch. In the remaining oil, fry the tofu cubes to crisp texture 3-4 minutes each side. Set aside.

Mix the sauces together and set aside. 

Heat the pan again and add 2 tbsp. When it is hot add the garlic, ginger, and the pickled greens. Sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the fried beans and tofu and Add the sauce. Stir-fry for a minute till everything is combined well. 

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Black Pepper Tofu

This black pepper tofu is protein rich, tasty and a little spicy dish that can be served as a meal or as a side with rice, quinoa or noodles. This is quick and easy to make too. This tofu is phenomenal in flavors.

This tofu is rich in flavors and this protein rich tofu can be made with simple ingredients in your pantry that are not expensive. This is a great one to fit in your weekly meal plan so that it helps in nourishing your family on a budget.

To make this tofu, the following ingredients are required:

Tofu - Extra firm tofu works best. Press the tofu between paper towels to remove extra moisture.

Corn flour - This helps in making a crisp texture for tofu. Do not skip this.

Shallots - Shallots have a sweet flavor when compared to onions and that helps in balancing the heat from black pepper. Onions may add to the heat. I recommend using shallots.

Black pepper - The star of the dish! Black pepper adds heat and tons of flavor. This recipe is meant to be a spicy one. To suit your taste palette, adjust the quantity of black pepper.

Soy sauce - gives the umami flavor.

Ginger and garlic - add flavor.

Fresh red chilies - These add a burst of heat. If you can’t handle the extra heat, skip or can be added in minimum quantity.

Green onions - This adds to the fresh aroma and flavor.

Sugar - balances the heat from the black pepper. I have used organic unbleached sugar. Brown sugar can also be used.

Is this recipe vegan?

My version of black pepper tofu is vegan. Sesame oil lends a depth of flavor to any dish and this dish has perfect asian flavor with the use of sesame oil. The original Yotam Ottolenghi’s version is made with butter and if you prefer that, use butter and it would be equally good too.

What to serve this tofu with?

These black pepper tofu can be served as such for a protein rich meal. I serve them with Vegan Lo Mein Noodles, rice, or fried rice. They give the perfect protein balance to the noodles or rice, and the heat also balances. This quick and easy black pepper tofu is great for weeknight dinner for weekend lunch or dinner. This can also be used to make wraps and tacos too.

How much protein per serving?

This recipe can be served as a side to 4. Each serving would give about 8g of protein when served as a side.

A note about this recipe…..

This recipe was adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi.  My recipe differs from Ottolenghi's in the reduction of spicy-heat and using sesame oil. Also, I use only one kind of soy sauce, which I normally use for most Asian recipes. This recipe is really spicy for us. If you can take more heat, add one more tablespoon of pepper and a couple more fresh red chilies, just like his recipe. His recipe uses butter. I normally use sesame oil, it gives tons of flavor to Asian recipes. The butter he had used balances the quantity of black pepper he has used. If you are ok with using butter and can handle the heat, go ahead and try. In anyways, you will love this tofu! 

I am also linking this to Blogging Marathon, Sundays on Silverado, What's For Dinner, Happiness is Homemade, and Crafty Creators.

Serves 4

Tofu - 12-oz, pressed to drain the water completely
Corn starch - 1.5 tbsp
Soy sauce - 5 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1.5 tbsp
Shallots - 6, or 2 cups, sliced
Garlic - 6, minced
Ginger - 1.5, minced
Green onions - 6, chopped to 1-in pieces
Sesame oil - 1/3 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp
Fresh red chilies - 2, finely sliced


Cut the tofu into cubes and toss with corn starch. Heat sesame oil in a cast-iron pan. Fry the tofu pieces in two batches till golden brown flipping the sides once. Drain in a paper towel and set aside. 

In the same pan using the same oil, add the sliced shallots, ginger, garlic, and fresh red chilies. Sauté for 10-12 minutes till they are soft and translucent. 

Add the black pepper, soy sauce, sugar, and mix.

 Add in the tofu and green onions. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till well combined and sizzling. 

Serve with rice or noodles.