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Friday, January 30, 2015

Mixed Fruit Jam (Homemade)

Jams are preserving fruits in the best way to spread on breads or rolls.My mom used to make jams and I hardly remember licking from store brought jam bottles.She used to make in large batches and the jam used to vary as per season.Seasonal fruits that go cheap in market used to end up in jams and I think that way she was managing economics well.I even remember the tomato jam made from the fresh organic tomatoes that she had grown in the backyard.We loved it a lot with breads and chapathis.All foods that shes used to make were filled with her love and care and so do I think about all moms in the world.Anyways,not making the post very emotional and let's get back to some stirring and scooping the jam on breads.Mixed fruit jams can be made with any available fruits in market but make sure that you use a good contrast of colored fruits so that you get a good natural color like store brought.Second point to remember is to use a balance of fruits like sweet and tangy flavors.The best part of jam making after all the strenuous stirring is that you are getting the natural fruit flavors unlike store brought.What's next?? Go ahead and pin it down !!

mixed fruits 7 cups chopped(apple 1,banana 1,red grapes 1 cup,plum 2,kiwi 2)
sugar 4 cups
citric acid 1/2 tsp or lemon juice 2tbsp(1/4 cup) 

  • Wash all the fruits,peel and chop it very small (I got a total of 7 cups chopped).Mix  the sugar and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

  • Add this to the cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles.(Don't add any water as the fruits releases water)
  • Once pressure is released,transfer the contents to a non stick pan and keep stirring with a wooden spatula for nearly 30 -35 minutes or till the sauces thicken.

  • Add the citric acid or  lemon juice when you can draw lines using your spatula in the jam (you can separate the jam contents and can see the bottom of the pan and it doesn't come together very soon).Mix well and turn off heat.Remove from pan or move away from residual heat immediately else it may further thicken the jam as it cools.OR Check the desired consistency by pouring it in a plate.Tilt the plate at an angle of 45 degrees,the jam shouldn't flow down.Then its ready.
  • Cool completely and store in moisture free,air tight containers. 

* Ideally jam recipes require equal amount of sugar to equal amount of fruits.And so,I should be using 7 cups of sugar but here I used only 4cups as the sugar in fruits was good enough and I didn't wish to overload sugar like store brought jams.
* Though the cooked fruits gets mashed up as we keep cooking to reduce the sauce and thickening,but if you feel the fruits may not get well incorporated,then blend the cooked contents in a blender.Then pour the contents back to the pan and reduce.Either way works good but I prefer the way mentioned in the recipe.
* Use clean dry bottles(preferably) to store jams so that it doesn't react and doesn't gets fungus soon
* Always use clean dry spoons or knives to take out jam
* I have used citric acid but you can always use lemon juice too.

For all recipes of jams & preserves,click here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meen Pathiri | Steamed Rice Pancakes with Fish Filling (Step by Step Pics)

Snacks are an inevitable part of meal at home and being a blogger,opened up lots of opportunities to try out different types of snacks,cake,cookies and many others.Now a days,I hardly rely on store brought snacks and preferably try out some healthy chaats,fried or baked snacks.Today's post is also an interesting yet healthy as it is a steamed pancake with a spicy fish filling.Meen Pathiri is a popular and authentic recipe from Malabar region of Kerala.This is a speciality during Muslim weddings and in Iftar menu during Ramadan.This can be served as a healthy steamed snack or as a dinner too.The aroma of the spicy fish masala itself makes it mouth watering and delectable with a steamed rice cover.I have tried the ari pathiri and irachi pathiri sometimes earlier and this time tried out these meen(fish) pathiri.I have used king fish in this recipe but you can use any firm fish without much bones to make this recipe.Though the recipe is a bit long and may take up time but is worth all the efforts.Do give this a try if you haven't tasted yet and enjoy !!

Recipe source :Shab's cuisine
for making pathiris
parboiled rice/long grain rice/pachari 1 1/4 cups
rice flour(unroasted) 1/2 cup
perinjeerakam 2 tsp
grated coconut 1cup
water 3/4 cup
onion 1 small
salt to taste

for marinating & frying fish
king fish 300 gm
chilly powder 1.5 tsp
coriander powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil 5 tbsp

for fish masala
onion 1 large or 2 medium sized
tomato 1 medium sized chopped
ginger garlic paste 1tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1 tsp
coriander powder 2tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
curry leaves 1 sprig
cilantro/coriander leaves 2 tbsp
mint leaves 3-4 chopped
garam masala 1/4 tsp
water 2tbsp
to grind
grated coconut 1/4 cup
fennel seeds 1/4 tsp
shallot 1
water 2 tbsp

  • For marinating and frying fish- Rub the fish with salt and lemon juice,leave for 15 minutes to remove any odor.Wash under running water 4-5 times,drain water and leave aside.Make a paste using the ingredients listed under marinade except oil and rub the fish with the paste.Leave aside for 45 minutes to an hour.Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish pierces until crisp and golden brown.Drain and leave to cool.Gently remove the bones off and make small pieces.If using fillet,omit this step.

  • For making masala- Either use up the remaining oil after frying fish or use fresh oil 2tbsp in another pan.Add the onion and saute until it becomes translucent.Add in ginger-garlic paste and saute till raw smell disappears.Add in the spice powders-chilli powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder and saute till you get a nice aroma of spices on low flame.Add in chopped tomato and cook well.In the meantime,grind the coconut with fennel seeds,shallots and water to a smooth paste.Add this paste to the cooked tomatoes.Mix well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until raw flavors disappear.Add in the lemon juice,garam masala & chopped leaves;cilantro,curry leaves and mint leaves along with fried fish pieces.Add 2 tbsp of water,adjust salt and cook covered for 5-6 mins on low med flame to get a thick coated masala(not watery).Switch off flame and keep covered.

  • For making pathiris- Soak the rice before hand overnight if using parboiled rice or 4-6 hours if using pachari or long grain rice.Grind the rice with minimal water and get a grainy texture(about 3/4th done).Add the grated coconut,onion,fennel seeds,salt (listed under pathiri) and coarsely get it ground.Tip it in a bowl and add rice flour.The water in the ground mixture should be absorbed by the rice flour and make a soft dough or a dough that can be shaped in balls.Make even number of balls(I got 12 balls).

  • Take one ball,place it on a banana leaf or square cut baking sheet paper.Flatten it using your heel of the palm until thin and round.Place about 2-3tsp of masala and leave a centimeter distance around the circumference.Take the second ball slightly larger than first so that it covers the masala fully(I made 6 balls of equal size and the other 6 balls slightly larger than the first 6 balls).Now place the ball on another sheet of paper and flatten the similar way.

  • Turn it down over the other pathiri with filling and peel the top paper.Gently press the sides so that its sealed well.Place a steamer with water on heat and place the prepared pathiri  with baking paper/banana leaf in steamer and steam cook 7-8 minutes until done.Repeat the same process till you finish all balls.
Serves ~7 pathiri

* You can use puttu podi too.
* Try getting the sides of the disc thinner so that its cooked evenly.Also leave lesser space than that I have left.
* I have used Ponni parboiled rice and so the color of the pancakes is off white,but the ones made with pachari(long grain rice) will be pure white in color.Taste and texture wise parboiled rice works good.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart Bread with Homemade Cilantro Pesto

Breads are always inviting and perfect to go with some garam chai(hot tea) or for a dinner too.This bread turned out very flavorful with cilantro pesto and blended well with mozarella cheese.A dip in ketchup adds an additional touch to the finished product.Bread making is risky and at times doesn't work well if you kill your yeast in hot water.Initially when I baked breads there had been flaws but gradually with experience I have now gained much better confidence to make them better.The latest trial is by making with wheat flour than relying on all purpose flour alone.In this bread too,I have combined wheat flour and all purpose flour(maida).Pesto is a Italian sauce originating in northern Italy and traditionally consist of crushed garlic,basil leaves and pinenuts blended with olive oil and parmesan cheese.But here in this recipe,the star ingredient is cilantro and not basil.You can use basil too as per original recipe.I have adapted the bread recipe from here (slightly modified)and the cilantro pesto from here.Try and enjoy !!

for bread dough
wheat flour 1 cup
all purpose flour 1/2 cup
yeast 1.5 tsp
salt 1/4 tsp
sugar 1.5 tsp
olive oil 1 tbsp
egg 1(reserve egg white)

for bread filling
cilantro pesto 1/4 cup
shredded mozarella cheese 1 cup

for cilantro pesto
cilantro 1 bunch
garlic clove 2 small
walnuts 1/4 cup
toasted sesame oil 1tbsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
pepper powder 1/4 tsp
salt 1/4 tsp

  • Combine water,yeast,sugar in a bowl.Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl,add flours and salt.Add the yeast mixture,egg,mix well to the dough.
  • Gradually add and blend to the flour.Make a dough,slightly sticky dough is alright and add the oil on the dough.Apply oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl.Keep covered for an hour or until raised.

  • Blend the garlic cloves,walnuts,lemon juice and cilantro chopped.Add in sesame oil,salt and pepper powder.Process until smooth and transfer in a bowl,keep ready.
  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface in a rectangle,10*14 ".

  • Combine the mozarella and pesto in a bowl,mix well.Spread the filling on the rolled rectangle to within  1/2" of the edge.
  • Starting with the long end,roll the loaf tightly.Tuck the ends under and place the loaf on  a parchment paper lined tray.

  • Using a sharp knife,cut slits in the loaf,2" apart.Be careful to  cut only 3/4 through the loaf leaving the bottom side intact.
  • Brush the top with the reserved egg white liberally.Leave for 20 minutes to rise.
  • Place it in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly.Pull out the slit slices and serve with some ketchup or just like that !!
Serves ~ 1 loaf of 12" * 9" or 7-8 pieces of 2" thick

* The original recipe makes 2 loaves with double the ingredients,the ingredient listed here gets perfect to make one loaf.
* Using wheat flour for bread baking doesn't double the loaf but raised and soft when pressed down after an hour unlike the all purpose flour(maida) breads.If you aren't confident of baking bread with wheat flour,then use all purpose flour keeping the remaining ingredients same.
* You can add parmesan cheese to the pesto too.I was about to mix the mozarella cheese to the pesto so just omitted that.You can even add a chilli/half of a jalapeno pepper to spice it up.I just avoided as kids may not like it much.
* You can make the same pesto with basil omitting the cilantro and replacing it with basil.

For all other bread recipes,click here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Homemade Rice Flour(Step wise Pics) | How to make rice flour at home ?? | Puttu Podi | Idiyappam Podi

Homemade rice flour in general terms is ground rice used to make several Kerala breakfast items namely puttu,idiyappam,kozhukatta,vattayappam,ari pathiri and so on.Though these days we get rice flour from stores but this is a keeper recipe.I used to grind the puttu podi when when we were in India esp for puttu and for idiyappam too.The store brought flour is good too,but at times I try to make my own batch of puttu podi and love that homemade flour more than store brought.The puttu made with homemade rice flour is more softer and tastier too but requires an additional work.You can save this recipe to make your own batch at home !!!

Wishing all my Indian friends and readers,Happy Republic Day !!

(In the pic,puttu podi made from unnakalari)

Long grain white rice flour,pic below(updated pic)

Watch YouTube #shorts for homemade puttu podi.

rice,good quality plain rice/pachari/*unnakalari(matta rice) 1 cup

(Puttu made using the above ground rice)
  • Wash the rice 3-4 times under running water or till water runs clear.Soak the rice in water for half an hour for pachari or long grain rice.If you use unnakalari or matta rice or podi ari soak for an hour.(If you feel the rice needs a look through for stones or other impurities,then do that first before wash and soak.Here the rice quality is good and generally doesn't require any inspection)
  • Drain the water completely in a colander,leave for 5-10 mins for water to drain completely.
  • Transfer the rice in  the mixer(if you are making a larger batch then add in batches)  and pulse it few times.Then,grind it for a minute.
  • In the meantime,spread several layers of paper towel or white papers or large thalli(plate) ready to collect the flour(Don't use news papers as it has carbon which will be absorbed by the damp flour and becomes toxic)

  • Transfer the ground contents in the sieve and sieve it till there is no more flour flows out from sieve.If you are making puttu podi,the flour is slightly coarse and so use sieve with slightly bigger holes than the first fine one.If you are making idiyyappam podi,the flour is very smooth and roasted well.In that case use sieve with fine holes to get smooth flour.
left side-sieve used for Idiyappam flour(smooth flour) ;right side-sieve used for puttu podi(coarse flour)

  • If there is any more left over rice to be ground add it along with remains from the sieve or just add the remaining from sieve and grind in the mixer.
  • Repeat the process of sieving till you are done with all rice.
  • Heat a pan or kadai and add the rice flour on low medium flame.Keep stirring with a spatula(to avoid lumps) till you find steam escaping through the flour.Puttu podi can be roasted for 4 mins and idiyyappam podi can be roasted slightly longer for about 7-8  mins so that the shelf life is well preserved.

(long grain white rice ground left & roasted right pic)
  • Immediately switch off flame and transfer the flour to another sheets of white paper or layers of paper towel.Using a spatula spread the flour nicely to cool down and to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Leave to cool completely,transfer to ziploc bags or air tight bags.Puttu podi can be preserved for a week and idiyyappam podi stays over a month.
Serves ~ 1 cup + few tbsps of flour

* If you are making puttu podi then red matta rice is fine and tastes good but otherwise for all other recipes like idiyappam ,kozhukatta,pathiri -good quality pachari or long grain rice is used.
* Soaking the rice yields softer puttu,so washing and soaking is important.
* I have used payasam rice to make puttu podi as I love the taste and flavor of unnakalari or matta rice the best.You can use good quality pachari/long grain rice too.
* Never use newspapers to collect the flour as the rice flour is moist when sieving and can absorb the carbon from paper easily.Use clean sheets of plain white paper or sheets of paper towel.
* You can make larger batches and store the flour.

The pic of puttu prepared from homemade rice flour.

Puttu podi 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Spanish Potato Omelette | Tortilla Espanola | Tortilla De Patata

Tortilla in origin means a 'small cake or torte'.Spanish Potato Omelette (Tortilla Espanola) is a very filling omelette from Spain that you can make on a lazy weekend or for a weekday too, when you are left over with no good options for breakfast.Some time back, we had this omelette at a famous Mexican restaurant here and the kids loved it a lot that they order this every time we dine out at that place.And so, I tried to give this a try at home.The original recipe calls for frying the potatoes in oil for cooking, but here I modified it a bit to make the potatoes less starchy and to avoid the excess oil, too.My first trial wasn't a big success as I didn't separate the eggs and so the eggs didn't fully cover the potatoes.But this time I separated the yolks and white and made it which made it perfect like restaurant style.This can be served for a small family and if you wish to make larger batches, you can double the ingredients and make the omelette, but you can always make it in batches of this same size so that it gets evenly and quickly cooked.Give this a try, kids would definitely love the mildly spiced, fluffy texture with the small bites of cooked potato layered in between.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10-12 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 1 omelette
eggs 3; yolks & white separated
potatoes 3 or 4 medium-sized sliced thin
onion, 1 medium-sized chopped fine
salt to taste
pepper to taste
oil 4 tbsp(1/4 cup)


  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites in a bowl when cold, leave at room temperature till use.
  • Peel the potatoes, wash and slice it thin or make small cubes. Peel, wash and dice the onions small.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Add the drained sliced potatoes. Sauté for 5-6 minutes on medium flame until half cooked. Then add the sliced onions and sauté until translucent and lightly browned. Switch off flame and drain this mix from oil. Reserve the oil to make omelette in the same pan.
 Try this method to cook potatoes if you would like to reduce the amount of oil- 
  • Cook the potatoes in 2 cups of water and a little salt until done.Drain water and leave aside.(Don't overcook the potatoes as it may become mushy, the pieces should be just cooked and pieces intact) 
  • Add a tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the onions until translucent.
  • Add a pinch of salt and beat the egg whites in an oil free bowl until nicely frothy and doubled in volume.Add egg yolks to the same mixture and salt, whisk well.Add the pepper powder, give a quick stir.Mix in the cooked potatoes and onions.Adjust salt and pepper if required.
  • Heat oil(2 tbsp) in the same pan (you used to cook onions)/iron skillet. Gently swirl the pan so that the sides and bottom are well coated.Add the mixture to the skillet and, using a spatula, gently bring the sides to the center to get a nice thick omelette and flatten the surface to get even thickness.Cook on a low flame, check for browning of the sides.Insert a skewer in the center of the omelette to fasten the process so that the steam escapes from the center, helps to cook faster in the center.When the steam escapes from the vent from the skewer, that means it's cooked from inside and needs a flip.(takes approx 7-8 minutes for this thickness)
  • Now, slide the omelette in a plate with the uncooked side up.Invert the skillet on the plate and flip the omelette back to skillet, add a tbsp of oil through the sides.Gently cook the other side (for 3-4 minutes) on low flame.
  • Slide it out on a plate, cut and serve to see the layers of potatoes intact in the fluffy omelette.Though it tastes good just like that,I served it with some green chutney or guacamole.

Servings ~ 1 omelette of 8" size

* Separating the egg yolks and egg whites when cold, as it makes it easier to separate.
* You can add chopped green bell peppers too.
* Reduce or omit onions if you don't love the flavours.
* If you wish to try the original then add 6tbsp of oil in a pan, add the sliced potatoes and get it cooked in oil.Add the onions halfway through.Then, switch off the flame and let it cool a bit, combine with the beaten eggs.Add this mixture to the frying-pan and repeat the same steps as above.

Some of the related recipes that you may find it interesting are-
Mexican Red Salsa
Chicken Bean Rice Bowl
Sausage Tacos 
I HOP Spinach omelette

And finally,enjoy !!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dates-Walnut-Coffee Muffins (Wheat flour,Eggless & Butterless)

Dates have a lot of healthy nutritional facts but I find it very hard to feed these to my kids as they don't like it eating just like that.But if you sneak in dates that perfectly worked good for me and my kids.These muffins have a mild subtle flavor of coffee and the richness of dates.Walnuts are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and so adding the nut crunch makes it more healthy and delicious.These muffins afre soft,moist with the addition of oil and makes perfect for breakfast or as snack.I gave a try without adding sugar with only dates,yielded a mild sweet muffins.Give them a try either way and enjoy !!

whole wheat flour 2 cups
baking powder 2 tsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp
salt a pinch
water 1 cup
oil 1/2 cup
vanilla extract 1 tsp
chopped walnuts 1/2 cup
granulated sugar 1/2 cup

to soak
milk 1 cup
chopped dates 1 cup or  20 pitted
coffee powder 2 tsp

  • Boil the milk and add the coffee powder,stir well.Add the chopped dates in it and leave for half an hour until its very well soaked.Grind this mix in a blender and puree to a smooth paste.
(few steps of preparing)

  • Sift the flours,baking powder,baking soda and salt twice to mix well.Add the pureed mix,oil,vanilla extract and give a nice stir until incorporated.Add water little by little till you get the right consistency and keep mixing.Add more water if required or reduce the water if lesser required.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
  • Add in the chopped walnuts(reserve about 1-2 tbsp),give a quick stir.Using an ice cream scoop or spoon,add spoonful of batter in each paper liners.
  • Garnish the top with reserved walnuts and bake in pre heated oven for 25-30 mins.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.Serve or refrigerate left overs.

Yields~ 12 muffins

* You can add butter (1 stick) for richer taste.
* You can skip adding the granulated sugar,have tried that way too.The muffins are mildly sweet with the sweetness of dates.Check the taste of batter before scooping in muffin cups and add more sugar if that suits your sweet tooth.
* Add honey to replace granulated sugar too.
* Using the same amount of ingredients,you can bake a cake in a 13*9 pan.

Eggless Dates Cake
Carrot Cake
Banana Dates Walnut Cake

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gothambu Kozhukatta (with Sweet Chick Peas filling) | Steamed Stuffed Wheat Flour Balls (Step by Step Pics)

Kozhukattas/modak as many know are steamed rice dumplings with coconut and jaggery/sugar mix.I have already posted a recipe of the traditional kozhukatta sometime back.These are very healthy snack or breakfast recipe as its oil free and makes perfect for kids.Similarly,I gave a try to Gothambu Kozhukatta (steamed wheat flour balls).These kozhukattas unlike the rice kozhukatta are more filling and takes time to digest.And so I made a thin layer of cover to make it tastier.You can make the traditional round balls but try making the cover very thin(though a bit time consuming) so that it gets cooked faster and is tastier that way.

Coming to the filling,there is something unique.After I made the sharkara upperi(varetti),I had a little left over jaggery powder with spice mix(sharkara podi) after everyone munched the sharkara varetti.I happened to use that left over powder along with the remaining ingredients in the filling and got a way to finish too,when I first made it couple of months back.But to my surprise,the spice powders really added nice flavor and taste to the filling.The second time I made them,took a specific measurement of the spices and made so that I could preserve the recipe.So,finally here it is- am sure kids would love it and you will be happy to sneak in the protein packed chick peas too.Do give this a try for a after school snack !!

to make cover 
whole wheat flour 2 cups
salt to taste
water 1 cup

to make sweet filling
cooked chick peas 1 cup
grated coconut 1/2 cup
jaggery 1/2 cup
water 1/4 cup
dry ginger powder 1/2 tsp
cumin powder 1/4 tsp
cardamom powder 1/4 tsp

  • TO MAKE SWEET FILLING-Soak and cook the chick peas in pressure cooker with salt until done.Drain all water from the cooked chick peas.Pat dry and add to the blender.Pulse it 3-4 times until its coarsely ground.Heat a pan and add water.add jaggery.Let the jaggery melt and then strain the impurities.
pic from lt to rt-1.cooked chick peas 2.coarsely ground chick peas 3.grated jaggery to melt 4.adding chickpeas and grated coconut to melted jaggery 5.adding spice powders and filling ready.

TO MAKE  KOZHUKATTA-Sift the flour with salt in a bowl.Add water to the flour and knead to a smooth dough like for chapathis/rotis.Pinch out small portions(large gooseberry size) and place on a oiled Ziploc bag or transparent cover or banana leaf.Cover the other half or cover with another leaf and using the heel of the palm,thin out the ball in a disc shape or small pooris.Place the filling in the center and close in a semi circle shape to stick all ends.Using a fork mark shapes on the sides to get a neater look or use hand pie molds.Though I made a few as regular balls as we do for kozhukattas but kids liked the other one more than this as in the semicircle shapes,the covering gets nicely thinned out compared to ball shapes.

  • Place the steamer on heat,add adequate water and place the kozhukattas.Steam for 7-8 mins or until it becomes darker in color and is cooked.
  • Serve warm just like that for breakfast or after school snack.

* You can use the same filling and make rice kozhukattas too,the same way as we make traditional ones or vice versa.Use the gothambu kozhukatta cover and add a plain coconut-jaggery filling too.

* Soak and cook a little extra chickpeas to make this snack when you make chole masala
* You can use banana leaves or parchment paper instead of ziploc bags.

Traditional Kozhukatta

Ammini Kozhukatta
Chick Pea Dip
Chick pea-Avocado Salad
Crispy Baked Chickpeas  
Achari Chana Pulao
Kappa Meen Kozhukatta

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Neujahrs Pretzel (New Year Pretzel) ~ Baking Partner's Challenge Jan'15

New Year Pretzels are a speciality from Germany that they believe brings good luck and prosperity if eaten on the New Year eve or before breakfast on New Year's day.These are lightly sweetened pretzel made with yeast.These pretzels were suggested for Baking Partners challenge this month by Swetha @ Tasty Curry Leaf & Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen.The original recipe is from Pittsburg difference between a regular pretzel and a New Year pretzel is that its covered with icing and decorated with candied cherries and nuts.I tried half of the recipe to make two large pretzels.This is not sweet as cake and is very soft and delicious bread.Though its a bit late after New Year for the good luck wishes but still you can go ahead and try for a snack.

Ingredients(I made half of this)
bread flour 6-7 cups
warm milk 1.5 cup
butter 1/2 cup melted
sugar1/2 cup
active dry yeast 1tbsp
warm water 1/2 cup
eggs 2
salt 1tbsp

for icing
confectioners sugar /icing sugar 2.5 cups
water few drops
vanilla extract 1tsp
OR icing sugar to dust

for garnish
toasted sliced almonds or pistachios

  • In a bowl,mix together,warm milk,sugar and butter until butter and sugar are completely dissolved.
  • In another cup,add the yeast to the warm water with little sugar.Wait till its foamy and bubbles up.
  • Sift the six cups of  bread flour(reserve 1 cup) with salt well.Add the yeast mix along with warm milk mixture and egg.This may give a sticky dough,add in more flour from the reserved flour.Continue kneading until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead well to get a smooth dough.Place it in a bowl to double in volume for an hour.
  • Now divide the dough in two or four equal sized balls.Make long thin ropes with each ball and make a horse shoe like u turn facing you.Twist the two ends and then twist one more time and fix to the opposite side in a 'x' shape.Refer this video for better understanding about shaping pretzel.(I divided the dough in two and made two)

  • Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper and wait to rise for another hour.I covered the tray with another tray so that the top dosen't dry out.
  • In the mean time,pre heat oven to 375 degrees F and bake in pre heated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Immediately after removing from oven,brush the top with butter to leave the crust soft.Dust with icing sugar and garnish with candied cherries or maraschino cherries.(I dusted one with icing sugar and second one we had just like that) OR Make an icing using icing sugar and water by adding vanilla extract too to get a spreadable icing.Apply this on top of the pretzel and decorate with toasted nuts or cherries.
 Servings ~ 2 pretzel

* You can use Ener G egg replacer in place of eggs as suggested by Swetha.For 1 egg,use 1.5 tsp of egg replacer or 1tbsp of egg replacer for two eggs.I personally have no experience about the outcome with this product.
* You can make your own bread flour by adding vital wheat gluten 1tsp to 1 cup of all purpose flour.