Sep 2, 2014

Brazilian Torta form Brazil

Now coming to the second day of this culinary trip to around the world in 30 days. To day I have landed in Brazil. Brazilian cuisine is a mixture of European and African cuisines. Brazil is a tropical country, before immigrants entered in to this country They have their own ingredients in their cooking. Like cassava(manioc),  When immigrants from Europe entered in to this country, They brought wheat and leafy vegetables. When potato are not available they included sweet manioc in the place of potato. Then Africans also have their role in developing Brazilian cuisine. Japanese immigrants gave their Asian touch  to Brazilian cuisine. So many waves from immigrants, They brought some of their typical dishes, replacing the missing ingredients with local ingredients.But still the traditional dishes have their own place. Coffee is a favorite drink and Cachaca sugar cane based drink is a national cocktail. Rice and black bean stew is a national and very popular dish. coconut is widely used in some regions and plantain, pineapple and pappaya are the favorite fruits.
Brazilian cuisine has it's various regional typical dishes. Due to the abundance of forest and fresh water fish and cassava are the staple foods in the North. In south rice and beans are an extremely common dish along with fish and beef. Feijoada black bean and meat stew is a very popular dish. North east Brazilian cuisine is heavily influenced by African cuisine. Vatapa is a very common dish in this region. Vatapa is made with shrimps coconut milk and bread and acaraje a black eyed peas paste balls which are deep fried also came from African cuisine and many more like this.Finally Southern Brazilian cuisine is highly influenced by German immigrants. Here food is based on red meat along with red meat pastas, sausages and desserts are very common.
Now coming to, to day recipe is Brazilian Torta. in some cuisines Torta means a yeast based bread, but here in Brazil it is a pie. Which looks like a pie but with out crust  and recipe sounds like a Frittata, but frittata recipe doesn't have flour and milk. Can use any vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, green peas, zucchini. Even I have seen this recipe with grated chow chow which is a popular vegetable in Brazil. Apart fro vegetables you can add shard meat or tuna fish. You can make this as a dessert too by adding plantain. you can serve this for break fast or dinner and also a small piece with a cup of coffee as a snack.
To day my recipe is with vegetables.
Onion  --- 1 big sliced
Tomato  ---  3 medium sliced
Broccoli  ---  cut in to small pieces 1/2 cup
Green bell pepper  ----  1 medium sliced
salt to taste
Oregano   ---  1 tea sp ( i used dried)
Mix all the chopped vegetables in a big bowl add oregano and salt mix well and set a side.
Flour   --- 1 cup ( i used whole wheat flour you can use APF or Maida)
Milk   --- 1 cup
Eggs   ---  3 large
Baking powder  --- 1 tea sp 
A pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend well to combine every thing, make sure there are no lumps.
Grease a baking dish with little butter, pour a little flour and milk batter and spread the entire bottom of the dish.
Now place the vegetable mixture and pour the remaining milk and flour batter on top.
Bake the torta in a pre heated oven for 60 minutes at 200 degree. This baking time bepend up on your oven mine took 60 to 65 minutes.
Insert a tooth pic and check if it is done the remove and let it stand till it become to room temperature then cut. When it is hot it is a little difficult to cut so let it cool and then cut.
Serve with any salad or with a cup of coffee


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 44

Sep 1, 2014

Harira From Algeria

We have started another Mega BM this month. Actually I missed last mega BM and irregular in few month BM. That was SriValli, so kind of her, She didn't through me out from the BM group thank you so much for that Valli.

                                                                          When I saw the mail about this Mega Marathon, with the theme of International cuisine in alphabetical order I just wanted to do this. And let's check the theme Around the world in 30 days, when I saw this I just remember that old Raj Kapoor's movie Around the world in 8 dollars. I am a huge fan of Raj kapoor movies not only Raj kapoors all old movies. I don't know if Valli know about that movie or not but This theme made me to saw that movie once again. Any way that is an other story, now coming to the BM.
                                                                  This month we have to cook a recipe from each country in alphabetical order. Like day one we have to choose a country with the very first letter A. Means A for America, Algeria, Armenia, Argentina, and we have to cook a recipe from that country cuisine.

     My first choice is Algeria, This is a North African Country. I lived in North Africa for one year. When ever I get a chance I tried to explore the cuisine of north Africa. Like all other North African countries Algerian cuisine is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Also got a strong influence of Turkish cuisine. Like other North African Mediterranean coastal countries Algeria  has its large range of tropical fruit and vegetables and they use a lot of vegetables in their cooking. Because of Mediterranean coast they also have a huge range of see food recipes also. Lamb is commonly consumed in all over the country. Flat breads like Kesra is eaten with every meal, but in some regions couscous is more favorite then flat breads. They use a lot of spices like cumin,  different verities of dry red chillies, coriander, nutmeg, fennel, ginger, mace, star anise, black pepper, caraway and many more like this. Traditionally Algerian food is cooked in clay vessels.
                                                        Salads will take an important roll in Algerian cuisine with a influence of French and Turkish cuisine. Some dishes were much more influenced by Spanish cuisine. Fresh seasonal fruits are served at the end of the meal. Sweets like Halwa (this looks like our sonpappidi), makroudh are eaten during the Ramadan month. Mint tea and Turkish coffee are the favorite drinks and drunk in the mornings with pastries.
                                                   My choice for today recipe from Algerian cuisine is Harira. Harira is traditional soup of Maghreb. It is a popular starter but also can have as a one pot meal because it contain lentils, chick peas, vegetables, meat, eggs and rice or pasta. It is usually served with hard boiled eggs and Algerian bread, dry fruits, traditional honey sweets also with slices of lemon.
                                             I made my Harira with out meat, served with bread.
Recipe adopted from here
Onion   ---  1 big finely chopped
Tomatoes  ---  3 big
Celery  ----  1 stalk chopped
Olive oil  ---  2 tab sp
Zucchini  ---  1 peeled and chopped
Potato  ---  1 big peeled and chopped
Carrots ---  2 peeled and chopped
Lentils   ---  3/4 cup (dry)
Ginger  ---  1 tea sp ground
Coriander powder  ---  1 tab sp
Cumin powder   ---  1 tab sp
Turmeric powder  --- 1/2 tea sp
Hot paprika  ---  1/2 tea sp
Black pepper powder  --- 1/2 tea sp
Salt to taste
Bay leaf  --- 1
Parsley  ---  2 cups chopped
Coriander leaves  --- 2 cups chopped
Green pepper  -- 1 (can use jalapeno pepper)
Chick peas  --- 1 can drained and rinsed (I used dry chick peas soaked for overnight and cooked till soft)
Vermicelli broken in to bite size pieces or rice   ---  3/4 cup
Flour   ---- 3 tab sp
Lemon juice   -- juice of one lemon
Water  ---  1/2 cup
Caraway powder  --- 1 tab sp
Cumin powder  -- 1 tea sp
For serving hand full of chopped coriander leaves and lemon slices and bread.
1. Heat olive oil in a huge pan add bay leaf, onion stir for a while then add ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, hot paprika, black pepper give a good stir.
2. Now add chopped carrot, potato, zucchini, lentils, fresh coriander leaves and parsley mix well .
3. In the meanwhile make a pure with chopped tomato and celery and add this tomato pure to vegetables. Mix well and add 4 cups of water (nearly one lit. water).
4. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium heat and cook till lentils and vegetables are done.
5. Now with a help of a potato masher mash the vegetables and lentils lightly. Add 4 or more cups of water. Here the amount of water added is depend on your like whether you like a thin soup or a thick soup. we like a medium thick soup so I add 4 cups of water.
6. Add green pepper, salt to taste and let it cook for 20 more minutes.
7. In the meanwhile mix  flour, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water, caraway and cumin powder mix well and set a side.
8. Add pasta and chick peas cook till pasta become soft. Then add the flour mixture keep stirring cook till soup become thick as require, switch off the heat and add hand full of chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with lemon wedges.
This soup is traditionally made with meat.
You can add a well beaten egg just before switch off the heat (if you like).