My journal of foood musings and eating memoirs
I love the way December feels, and that’s for two reasons, the winter and the Christmasyness. I love that the winter makes us wear cozy cardigans and socks; I love the sight of our street dogs, looking lazy, yawning and curled up in patches of sun. I love that our shops are decorated with pretty lights and Christmas decorations. But most of all, I love the food that this season brings. Hot beverages, buttery good things, cakes and breads seem to find a place in our everyday. And as if all that was not enough we have more savory feasts. So for those of us who find it immensely hard to ignore these fatty treats there is no escape. And thus we drown in the wintery succor of butter, flour, sugar & spice. There’s probably the one form of redemption, fruit. But let’s face it, how does one eat plain fruit in the cold of December. Now that’s not good enough. And so we cook it and bake it and smother it with the necessary warmth of sugar and butter. Enough said, lets dive right into one of my Fatty December food, Luchi with a warm glistening orange jam.
I’ve been eating a fair amount of Bengali food and I thought it would be fair to show you how to make one of the most basic Bengali foods, Luchi or Puri (puffed bread) as we call it in the south. While there are many savory dishes that it can be eaten with, I choose to eat it with a warm orange jam. Now now, its December you know. Lots of oranges available and its cold and so your turn the fruit into a glistening warm jam. The sour sweet orange jam works brilliantly with the rich puffed bread.
The Luchi/Puri/Puffed bread for 2 (Serves 2)
What you need:
2 cups of Maida/all purpose flour
2 tablespoon ghee
Water as needed
Salt as needed
Ghee or oil for deep frying
Step 1: Pour the flour, ghee and salt into a bowl.
Step 2: Add about a tablespoon of water and mix the ingredients well. Better to use your hands but it can also be done with a spoon.
Step 3: Add about ½ cup of water and knead the flour. Knead well into a ball and till the dough is soft.
Step 4: Cover the dough with a moist kitchen clothe and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes.
Step 5: Portion the dough and make lime sized balls.
Step 6: Spread a little oil on each and roll into a thin circle. Rolling could be a bit of a challenge but using oil makes it workable. Avoid using flour when you roll as it will brown the bread while frying.
Step 7: Heat oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot fry each circle of dough. The Luchi will begin to puff, gently nudge with a spoon till the entire circle puffs up. Wait till it becomes a light cream color, turn over and fry the other side.
Step 8: Drain the Luchi of the oil and leave it on a paper towel for excess oil to be absorbed.
Glistening warm orange Jam
This is a fresh jam and has no preservatives. It’s important that you make Just enough that you will consume what you make. Although you can refrigerate it for a few days, it is best enjoyed as a fresh warm jam. Try it, it is a pleasurable experience!
What you need:
2 Star Anise
Step 1: Peel the oranges, remove seeds and use only the pulp.
Step 2: Heat a heavy pan, add the orange pulp, an equal amount of sugar & the star anise. I use two stars for the pulp of four oranges.
Step 3: On a medium flame keep stirring the ingredients till it begins to glisten and become of a jam consistency. Turn off the heat.
Step 4: Spread a plump glob of warm jam onto your hot Luchi and eat!