Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wholewheat Pita with Baba Ghanoush, Yogurt Cucumber dip and Spinach & Corn Kebabs

I wanted to make pitas for dinner. It was too late to soak the chickpeas for hummus and falafel. But there were other things that I could manage within the given time. I made wholewheat pita, homemade tahini, baba ghanoush, yoghurt cucumber dip and spinach & corn kebabs.

It was a wholesome and healthy meal. It was the kind of lebanese mezze I always imagined serving up. Everything tasted delicious and the combination of all the flavors and cool/hot components went amazingly well together.

Most of the pitas puffed up and a few did not. I didn't care as all of them tasted delicious. :)

I am posting recipes for all the different components of the platter separately so it is easier for everyone.

The recipe of the pita involves making sponge and dough separately.

Whole Wheat Pita
Recipe Source: Wildyeastblog
Makes 8 pita breads

Ingredients for the sponge:
1. 225 g whole wheat flour
2. 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3. 280 g lukewarm water

Ingredients for the Doughs:
1. Sponge made above
2. 1.5 tsp salt
3. 1.5 tsp olive oil
4. 185 g whole wheat flour

Steps to make the sponge:
1. Activate the yeast in half of the lukewarm water i.e. 140 ml. (Dissolve a pinch of sugar in the water and then dissolve the yeast. Keep aside for 10 minutes or till there is formation of foam on the top)
2. Combine all the ingredients of the sponge together. Keep aside the covered sponge for an hour.

Steps to make the dough:
1. Add salt and oil to the sponge and mix well.
2. Add flour and mix well. The dough would be very sticky.
3. Flour a work surface and transfer the dough to it using a spatula.
4. Start kneading the dough. Add little more water and flour as per the requirement.
    If the dough is too sticky add some water. Knead. If it is still sticky add some flour.
    I had to knead for about 15 minutes to bring on the smoothness in the dough.
5. Place the dough in a bowl and cover it. Keep aside for 1.5 hrs or until double in size.

Steps to make the Pita bread:
1. Take out the dough and knead for a few minutes to degas it.
2. Divide the dough into 8 balls of equal size.
3. Roll out the dough in a circular shape with a diameter of around 7-8 inches. The thickness will be of around 2 mm. Leave them on the work surface covered for 10 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 230 degree Celsius with the baking stone inside it. I didn't had a baking stone so used the baking tray instead by turning it upside down.
5. Place a parchment paper on the baking tray. Sprinkle a little flour on the paper.
6. Bake the pita by placing it on the parchment paper for around 4 minutes. They will puff up. If they don't puff still take them out.
    I brushed one pita with water and it also helped in puffing up the pita.
7. Keep baking and serve hot.

Baba Ghanoush
Recipe adapted from: Baba Ghanoush
Makes about a cup full

Ingredients for Baba Ghanoush:
1. 1 medium sized egg plant
2. 1 finely chopped garlic clove
3. 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste, make a paste of toasted white sesame seeds and olive oil. The paste should be thick yet pourable)
4. juice of half lemon
5. salt to taste
for garnish:
6. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
7. fine chopped coriander leaves

Steps to prepare the Baba Ghanoush:
1. Poke the eggplant with a fork. Roast it well.
2. Once the eggplant cools down a bit, remove the brown skin.
3. Mash and mix the eggplant well with other ingredients. Don't make it too smooth.
4. While serving pour the olive oil and the chopped coriander on top.

Yogurt Cucumber Dip
Recipe source: Cucumber Dip

Ingredients for the yogurt cucumber dip:
1. 1 medium cucumber
2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
3. 350 gram thick yogurt
4. 1 garlic clove, minced well
5. fine chopped mint or coriander
6. a pinch of red chilly powder
7. salt to taste

Steps to prepare the yogurt cucumber dip:
1. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Chop the cucumber.
2. Stir the yogurt till it become smooth.
3. Add all the ingredients to the yogurt.
4. Keep in the fridge till required.

Spinach & Corn Kebabs
Makes 8-10 kebabs

Ingredients for Spinach & Corn Kebabs:
1. 1 medium size fine chopped red onion
2. handful of boiled corn kernels
3. half of a spinach bunch, chopped very finely
4. 1 finely chopped green chilli
5. 3-4 tbsp corn flour (or as per the binding needs)
6. 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
7. 1/4 tsp garam masala
8. 1/4 tsp dry mango powder
9. oil to fry
10. salt to taste
11. Add water only if required ( spinach has good amount of water content)

Steps to prepare the kebabs:
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Prepare around 8-10 balls out of the mixture.
3. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the kebabs until golden brown.

Steps to assemble the pita:
1. Cut the pita open.
2. Place one or two kebabs in it.
3. Fill the pita pocket with baba ghanoush and cucumber dip as per your liking.

All the components, standalone and together, turned out to be amazing. I didn't miss falafel at all. ;)

Go ahead and make this wholesome healthy meal of wholewheat pita and the other various components in this lebanese mezze.

Happy Holidays :)

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