Curry Night In

Flat BreadsSaturday night is rapidly turning into homemade curry night – with homemade breads of course. You’d think that naan breads would be relatively easy but there are so many variations about that trying to find the “right” recipe was proving easier said than done (a recent recipe produced crispbreads rather than naans…). I was looking for something more robust and flavoursome and felt that yeast rather than baking powder was the way to go.

So I gave another Hairy Bikers’ recipe a go – a naan bread with oomph and lots of flavour with the addition of fennel and poppy seeds kneaded into it. Possibly a little too much on the “bready” side ( I think I needed to make them a little thinner) but good for mopping up the spicy sauce of my tikka masala (plus they freeze well as well). You can find the recipe on the BBC website.

But I’d also spotted a recipe for Missi Roti in Food and Travel magazine . Described as a “simple, rustic chickpea bread from Rajasthan” it sounded (and looked) delicious and definitely not the sort of thing I can get from my local curry house (unless your local is the Cinnamon Kitchen in London which is where this recipe comes from).

Close up of Missi Roti

Why have one bread when you can have two….! So I set to work mixing gram and white flour together with onions, coriander, chilli, turmeric and ajowan seeds. I added more water to the mix as it seemed a little dry to me and used red chillies rather than the green in the recipe and it worked pretty well. Its certainly an attractive bread and one of the more unusual Indian breads I’ve tried.

I suspect that curry nights are going to be a regular occasion from now on so any suggestions for breads to go with them will be gratefully received.


Teacake Therapy


I love toasted teacakes. There’s nothing to beat them with ice cold butter as a tearoom treat (assuming you can find one in between the ever expanding Costa and Starbucks empires!). But I’ve never tried making them at home until now. After throwing the last of my hot cross buns on the floor (don’t ask) I decided that I needed some teacake therapy.

A thorough search of the Internet resulted in the Hairy Bikers recipe which seemed to have the required amount of spices. I made a couple of changes- I had no orange zest so added a tablespoon of mixed peel and soaked the dried fruit in orange juice for about 30mins. I also increased the amount of milk to 200g as I found another recipe where the proportion of milk to flour was 53%. I had a slight panic when I realised that the Bikers’ recipe had an egg in it as well which would increase the liquid content, but resulting dough was still just the right consistency so I’d definitely recommend adding extra.

Teacake dough before resting

Teacake dough before resting

Instead of rolling out I shaped into rolls and then patted out to the right height. The tops were brushed with milk and they were baked for about 15 mins ( though I had to turn down the oven for the last five min to about 150 as they were going too brown).

The finished teacake

The end result was possibly still a bit too brown on top (I won’t bother with the milk next time) but a lovely brown colour inside from all the spices. Obviously the main test is how they taste toasted and covered in butter and I’m pretty pleased with the result. Unfortunately I managed to “over toast” (I think it may be safer to let Long Suffering Husband make tea at this rate!) but they tasted very nice. Definitely one to be done again.