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Columnists: October 2012 Archives

From Your Kitchen - South India

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Chana Sukka (Sweet and Spicy Chickpea and Coconut Sauté)
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 tablespoon unscented oil or ghee
1 small onion, diced fine
1 small tomato, diced fine (optional)
2 - 3 teaspoons bafat spice mix (recipe below)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
¼ cup hot water
¼ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
½ teaspoon grated palm sugar
Salt to taste
¼ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
½ onion, sliced and caramelized
1 tablespoon unscented oil + 1 sprig curry leaves, to garnish
Heat the oil or ghee in a sauté pan, and add the onion. Fry for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomato, if using, and the spice mix.
Fry gently for about 5 - 7 minutes, then add the chickpeas, tamarind concentrate and hot water. Cook together for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the grated palm sugar. Stir, then season to taste with salt.
Add the desiccated coconut, and stir together until the coconut starts absorbing some of the sauce. Stir in the caramelized onions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil for the garnish in a small pan, and add the curry leaves. Fry together for 30 seconds, then pour it over the chickpeas, giving it a quick stir.
Serve with rice or Indian breads.
Bafat Spice Mix
Makes about ¼ cup of spice mix
10 long mild dried red chillies
1 tablespoon lightly crushed cinnamon stick or cassia bark
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon  cloves
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
½ star anise
Toss all the ingredients one by one in a hot pan, stirring constantly. Remove to a bowl, and let cool.

Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or an unused coffee grinder. Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight tin.

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From Your Kitchen - Ukrainian Babka

Author: Karlynn Johnston, The Kitchen Magpie,
  • 1/2 cup of warm water 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of traditional yeast
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 8-9 cups of flour
  • 7 small coffee tins or 4 large loaf pans
  • beaten egg for brushing on the tops
  1. Put the butter, milk, salt and sugar in a pot and brought it to a near boil, you want to slightly scald the milk. This can also be done in the microwave, believe it or not.
  2. Add one cup of the coldest water possible to the butter/milk mixture, to help cool it down.
  3. Take the warm water and sugar, mix in your yeast thoroughly and let it start bubbling away.
  4. Beat your egg yolks and turmeric. The turmeric gives the bread it's lovely color. You can also use 3 whole eggs instead of the 6 egg yolks but the yolks make a richer bread. So 3 eggs OR 6 yolks, folks. Add it to the cooled milk mixture.
  5. I used the mixer for this now because it is one heck of a job. Add in the first four cups of flour, then your raisins. Then slowly add another 4-5 cups until the dough is slightly sticky.
  6. My dough always climbs the hook eventually so I used the mixer to get it combined and kneaded as much as possible then removed it and kneaded it on the counter for a while.
  7. Once that's done it needs to rise. Put it into a bowl(s) in a nice warm place and cover.
  8. Once it's doubled in size, it's time to punch it down and put it in the tins to rise again. Grease the ever lovin' heck out of those coffee tins.
  9. You want to fill the tins/pans only half way with punched down dough, this dough rises like you wouldn't believe!
  10. Time to let it rise again. Let them rise until they are almost at the top. They will rise in the oven as well when they start baking, which is why you want them only to rise barely to the top of the tin.
  11. Remove all the oven racks except the bottom one. Kick the tires and light the fires to 325 degrees.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes on the very bottom rack in your oven, the tops get very golden brown but don't fear, the inner part has to cook and the tops get brown and stay brown.
  13. Once they are nearly done brush with the beaten egg and cook until the bread is finished.
  14. The bread will sound hollow on top when tapped & be a lovely brown.
  15. Cool very slightly in the tins then remove to make sure the bread doesn't sweat and the bottoms don't get soggy.
  16. If they stick slightly in the tins, twist and shake gently at the same time, they will pop right out.
  17. If they stick in the loaf pans, run a knife along the edge to free the bread then remove safely.
  18. Cool on racks for a couple of hours. If you can wait!

For picture directions click here

In Crowd Pick - October 4-7

Aimee Hill
Until Sunday - A Few Good Men @ Citadel Theatre
Sat - Ian Thomas @ Festival Place  
Shout out - Sat - 13th Annual Timeraiser @ Arts Barns

Jason Kodie
Thurs - Phantom of the Opera @ Winspear (silent film)
Fri - Dean Lonsdale, Tanyss Nixi, Marie Josee Houle - Elevation Room
Shout - Edmonton chante happening all wknd