Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Dal and Rice bread

Dal (Lentils) and Rice are generally associated with an everyday meal, however, we decided to use the same Dal and Rice and make it into a bread. Our gluten-free bread today was made from Goa rice (boiled rice) and Moong dal ( green gram lentil), and it makes a light flavoured bread, perfect for lightly flavoured sandwiches.

Our Sandwich filling was Beetroot, tomatoes, carrots and a spicy green chutney.

There comes a time when you realise that one can do bread with almost anything, and when that dawns on you wheat bread sounds so boring!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Goa’s Traditional Cake- Baath.

Across bakeries and homes in Goa, especially, during the Christmas season, it is a tradition to bake Baath or Batica. Baath is a traditional Goan cake, and unlike other cakes- Baath is different, for it uses Semolina and not flour. It has coconut in it and is allowed to sit overnight prior to baking.

So where did Goa get it’s Baath from? We are not entirely sure, however, the closest cake to Baath is the ‘Basbousa’, from the Middle East. Basbousa makes use of Semolina, has coconut and is very similar in preparation to Baath. In Egypt, it is specially made during the Christmas season. Food historians believe that Basbousa originated in Somalia, and considering Goa had historic maritime links with Somalia (even before the arrival of the Portuguese) it is possible that the ‘Basbousa’ from Somalia arrived in Goa, and somewhere during its historic journey- Basbousa became Batica, further shortened, to Baath.

It is interesting to note that the original Basbousa, unlike the one baked today, was made not from wheat Semolina, but from Sorghum! Yes, it was gluten free and like many other traditional recipes, the convenience of wheat made cooks adapt wheat to replace the traditional grains!

We have adapted this recipe and our Baath is made from Sorghum, rice and Yellow pea semolina- so now, wheat should not be a reason why you can’t eat Baath! Our Gluten-free Baath does not contain Vanilla essence, we use the vanilla bean and, just like all our other products, we do not use baking powder.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The House Of Grains Deli .

This blog has been silent for some months now- however behind the veil of silence, we have been working hard over our recipes and there is some good news that we would like to share with you! Great news for all those in Goa, who either want to enjoy wholesome eating options or need to eat nutritious, gluten-free food.

On 18th December, “House of Grains” will open a little, ethical “Deli” which will focus on using Gluten-free, ethnic, and mostly organic ingredients, to make and serve not just nutritious but conscious speciality food. 

We wish for our deli to be a homely space, reflecting not only the ethos of “home-cooked meals are made with love and are nutritious”, not to forget, our food is certainly just that, but also, the kind of persons that we are, homely and casual. Also, given that, garbage is such a massive issue, we are consciously working towards eliminating plastics, composting all our kitchen waste and thereby, eyeing to become a “zero waste deli”.

We are using recycled cane furniture, eco-friendly fans (power consumption 32 Watts as opposed to 65 plus watts in the regular fans) and LED lights. Our curtains are made from cotton Khadi while the cushion covers are made from cotton fabric, printed using vegetable dyes.

Although, we would have preferred using regular plates and bowls, water shortage in the area has forced us to consider disposable options. The plates and bowls we use are made from Bagasse (Sugarcane waste), which will then be composted in our garden.
At a later date, we plan on offering gluten-free, organic groceries and wish to keep all of it packaging free. We would love our patrons to bring in their own boxes/ bags to help each of us become garbage free.

Come 18th December, we look forward to chatting with you over a cup of freshly ground coffee. Having said that, we would like you to know that we have already begun taking orders for our breads and cakes.

P.S. Kindly find the menu on the menu page.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A tale of two Breads

These two mini bread boules may appear similar but appearances are deceptive. Both are gluten free breads and are made from exactly the same ingredients- Barnyard millet, salt and a bit of grated carrot. However, they have one fundamental difference. The one on right- sitting on a pedestal of bread slices was slowly fermented with wild starters- it's a sourdough bread and the one on the right is fermented with yeast. The sourdough took about 8 hours to ferment, while its yeast sibling took one hour. Nutritionally, there is no significant difference between the two, neither in texture- But how about taste? Hmmm... we have been eating bread made by both these methods and this is what we felt:

Just like Theory of Relativity, which states that speed is relative to the frames of reference of an observer- taste too is relative to the palate of a taster. However, this is what our taste buds suggested- The sourdough bread combines best with, spicy curries, mild cheeses, chutneys, sunny-side-up eggs and peanut butter. The yeast bread goes best with jams, mild curries, sharp cheese and scrambled eggs. Sourdough bread goes nicely when dunked in coffee, while the yeast bread does will with tea. It feels much like how one would choose their wines- but unlike the connoisseurs, we were more than happy to have any bread with any dip- Its not just wholesome but healthy too. 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Barnyard millet, Sourdough Pie

Our heads are reeling with ideas, but working on the technique, is what slows us down. We have been working on a sourdough pie crust for sometime and this morning it turned out just right. " Eureka was the word, echoing in our kitchen labs". There is some more tweaking that needs to be done, but for the moment we have a nice crunchy crust and a pillow soft crumb.

The gluten-free, pie  was made from, Organic, whole Barnyard millet only and was infused with herbs. We used our leftover bread dough from the previous day as a starter. The fermentation took about 8 hours and involved a slow one-hour baking. The filling for the pie was a mixture of all the veggies I could gather from the fridge and cooked it like, how one would make a Mangalorean masala dosa filling.

Millets make an amazing breakfast grain, they fill you up quite quickly, sustain you for a longer time and they come in a large verity. We work with nine different millets and we can do all that we want to do, in a much more healthy and sustainable way. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Billion Dollar Idli,

 For reasons I have not tried to find out- Barnyard Millet is also called the 'Billion Dollar grass' hence the title of this post. For a large part of human history, millets were a staple and it sustained and helped flourish many a civilisation. However, in the last few decades, the convenience of wheat has replaced most of these millets in our diets and we, humans are essentially living on a diet of a single kind of grain and vitamin supplements!

Barnyard millet, from which these idlis were made, can be used exactly the way rice is used. For these idlis, we substituted the rice with whole, unpolished, organic barnyard millet and fermented it with the previous day's leftover sourdough bread dough as a starter. So, unlike a conventional idli, this one has neither rice nor black gram (urad dal) and yes it was stuffed too - with vegetables and spices. Small things that make life amazing! What say?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Vada Paav

Our attempt to bring Mumbai's beloved street food- Vada Paav, home. When Aarina went off gluten, Vada paav was perhaps the biggest casualty. Not anymore- we made a much healthier version of the paav (bread) for breakfast. Made from Little millet and proso millet only, the bread was made with wild leavening and took 8 hours to ferment. The starter was the previous day's bread dough, which was only proso millet.  

The best part of millet bread is that they sustain one for much longer hours and their much lower glycemic index make them the best grain option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Way better than wheat or rice.