Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Monday, July 26, 2010

FOOD CHALLENGE: Cardamom

I got my first chance at picking the mystery ingredient for the group’s food challenge over the weekend. It took a while to decide because I kept changing my mind.

“You’re a Libra,” Nancy would say with each go.

I pondered: “How about rice? Or what about wonton wrappers? But, really, it should be something I rarely cook so I am forced to be even more creative. Something like eggplant.”

I chose coconut milk. But it turned out that the group had a coconut milk challenge before I began participating.

Bummer! Had to make yet another decision. *wink, wink* I ended up choosing cardamom.

I have cooked with cardamom one other time, but have had it in numerous dishes. I immediate considered a range of things: curry, biryani. Chai tea – which meant I just HAD to throw those ideas out.

I chose pulla, a cardamom bread that I have wanted to make since reading about the recipe in Saveur.

It took four hours to make the bread, which is not a long time at all! The last time I made bread, it took about 12 hours.

I followed the recipe – something I rarely do to the exact -- but omitted the nuts. I’m not a fan.




Honestly, the whole experience was entertaining. I freaked out a bit when my yeast didn’t activate after a few minutes, but it turned out well. Maybe it was because I kept hovering over it. Heavy breathing probably doesn’t help the process. But, my, the smell! Like tiny little breads baking in the bowl.

And the kneading! I wish I’d been able to knead and take a photo at the same time. The dough was so sticky and strong! I felt I was fighting against it. Of course, the recipe called for the use of a machine. But because I don’t have a blending machine, I had to do this old school. Goa, I felt like a gladiator. (It looked something like this photo, courtesy of Goddess of Cake).



Then the braiding. Have you ever braided dough?! It must be done ever so gently and swiftly because all the time you are working, the dough is growing in size.

But, my goodness, it came out looking and tasting quite lovely! But you must love the smell and taste of cardamom because the flavor is quite strong. Not spicy, just strong.


3 comments:

  1. I wish you could make this for me. I'm just not a baker. Sure looks good, though. I'd be interested to hear more about the food group and its challenges. Maybe you've already explained it in a previous blog?

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  2. hahahah! It is very tasty! Especially toasted with butter. Yum. And I should have an entry dedicated to the challenge. I mentioned it here: http://createsnapeat.blogspot.com/2010/07/food-challenge-puff-pastry.html

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  3. Oh its wonderful. I have never attempted making braided bread and this looks fab, sound like you had fun making it too.

    I have to admit, I haven't cooked much with cardomon either, its one ingredient I need to experiment with a little more.

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