Saturday, January 11, 2014

The best ever cornbread baked in my kitchen

I have already been raving about my crush on Mexican food ever since I opened that tiny tin of Chipotle chillies that Nupur got me. I dont know if winter has officially set in, in Hyderabad or is it some random cyclone effect - but the mornings and evenings are chilly and the day is generally cloudy. I am not a big sun person, so this suits me just fine. More so, I can indulge in infinite cups of tea, drink big bowls of soup for dinner and my taste buds suddenly develop a liking for spicy stuff. "Bring back the Chili" said my tastebuds to me yesterday. And opposites attract, dont they. What better way to complement the hot and flavour blasting chili than this mildly sweet cornbread, scented with cumin and coriander leaves?

I have baked cornbread some 3-4 times and this was THE. BEST. EVER. I am not exaggerating.
Especially if you are someone who has shied away from baking this because you dont eat eggs, you are in for a pleasant surprise. My husband quit eating eggs a few years ago and I am constantly figuring out ways to turn out decent baked stuff with replacements for egg and yesterday I hit gold. Flaxseed which is one of the best sources of Omega-3 for a vegetarian. You can buy the seeds and powder the quantity required for each recipe in a coffee grinder / chutney jar of mixer.

For each egg to be replaced - use 1 tbsp flaxseed powder whisked into 3 tbsp of very hot water. You will get an emulsion like beaten eggs and use it at the stage of the recipe when it calls for eggs.

This was most perfect match for the chili and I must add that my toddler son loved this too - in fact he was making it extremely difficult for me to take a picture, by digging his tiny fingers into it!

Recipe for Eggless Cornbread
Serves 3-4
Loosely adapted from Alton Browns Creamed Corn Cornbread recipe

In a large bowl, mix-
1 cup yellow cornmeal (Makkai ka atta)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk well-
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flaxseed powder whisked into 6 tbsp hot water
1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp finely chopped pickled jalapenos or 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds for garnish (optional, but gives a nice look to the bread)
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels (gives a nice sweet crunch, but I did not have it on hand, so did not use)

Preheat the oven at 200C.
Grease a loaf tin or line with tin foil.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry - till just combined and stir in the jalapenos, coriander leaves and corn kernels. I added a few spoons of the brine from pickled jalapenos as I found the mix somewhat dry. This gave a big flavour boost to the bread.
Pour into greased loaf tin. Flatten lightly with wet fingers and bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Let it rest for 15-20 minutes outside, before slicing.
Serve warm with chili. Recipe for chili posted here.

Food shopping in Hyderabad

Flaxseed also called Alsi in Hindi and Tashi in Bengali (knowledge shared by my twitter friends) is available with most grocers nowadays.
In Hyderabad, you can buy it at -
Ratnadeep (Srinagar Colony / Madhapur)
Q Mart (Road no.2 Banjara Hills)
Hypercity (Inorbit Mall, Madhapur)
Fabindia outlets that stock food

Pickled Jalapenos are available in all supermarkets. American Garden, Frigata are some of the good brands.

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