Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Happy new year!

After a long silence I thought of reviving my blog...I mainly have quit updating it last year because of lack of time, but I hope that now when I'm about to finish my studies, I will have more time to dedicate for cooking and baking! And I do have some good recipes in mind which I would like to share :) SO, happy new year, and happy cooking & baking moments to all my friends & other readers!

PS. This picture of vegetable croquettes and nudel salad brings me back to a great vegetarian restaurant House of Peace (Jl. Erlangga V No.8, Kebayoran Baru) in Jakarta, where I went in March!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pannari or Finnish "oven pancake"

Yes, this is the fun part nro 2 for tonight: Pannari or traditional Finnish oven-baked pancake. I remember this as an absolutely tasty evening snack from my childhood, which was easier to prepare than the usual pancakes and satisfied the sweet teeths of the whole family. There is also salty versions of it topped with cheese, ham or other things, but I have never tried any of them. Pancakes must be sweet ;)

I looked for the traditional grandmother's recipe for a while and this one from Sorsanpaistaja blog was selected as a pretty good match with my pancake memories! I think if I continue making pancakes all the time, this soon is going to turn into a pancake blog ;)


6 dl täysmaitoa
2 munaa
1 1/2 dl sokeria
1/2 tl suolaa
reilu 3 dl vehnäjauhoja
50 g (tai omantunnon mukaan) voita sulatettuna

1. Kaada maito kulhoon, hajota sekaan munat. Lisää muut aineet ja sekoita. Anna turvota.

2. Lämmitä uuni 200-225 asteeseen. Kaada taikina leivinpaperilla vuoratulle uunipannulle ja kaada sulatettu voi tasaisesti päälle. Paista noin 20 minuuttia kunnes pannari on kauniin kullanruskeaa.

3. Tarjoa heti esimerkiksi mansikoiden kera.

Finnish pancake

6 dl milk
2 eggs
1,5 dl sugar
0,5 tsp salt
about 3 dl wheat flour
50 g melt butter (or according to your taste...)

First advice: no fat-free milk, no margarine. It only tastes like the real thing, if you use real milk and real butter, and maybe add an extra egg ;) I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 dl though.

1. Mix milk and eggs in a bowl. Add sugar, salt and flour and whisk well. Let it rest for some time.

2. Heat the oven to 200-225C. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and pour the dough on it. Pour the melt butter on top of it. Bake about 20 minutes until the pancake is golden brown.

3. Enjoy with strawberries. Jam, curd, whipped cream or ice cream also work with it :)

Sesame rolls

How to avoid reading for an exam? My best tip: 1) Start baking 2) Notice that the oven is hot and to make the best use of it, bake also something else 3) You have happily spent the whole evening baking and relaxing and thus will get a good grade! :)

Tonight I felt like making some bread rolls, because I have a lot of flour of all sorts, and other sesame seed were already a bit out of date, which was a good reason to use a lot of them in the dough! I found the recipe on a website of the Finnish organic honey producer Komppa-Seppälä Farm. That honey we sell on the university organic food circle also comes from them!


* 5 dl vettä
* 50 g hiivaa
* 1 tl suolaa
* 3 rkl Voi hyvin -hunajaa
* 2 dl seesaminsiemeniä
* 1 dl vehnäleseitä
* 11-12 dl hiivaleipäjauhoja
* 1 dl öljyä

Liuota hiiva kädenlämpöiseen veteen. Lisää suola, hunaja, seesaminsiemenet ja vehnäleseet. Alusta taikina hiivaleipäjauhoilla. Lisää öljy alustamisen loppuvaiheessa. Kohota taikina lämpimässä paikassa. Leivo sämpylöiksi. Kohota. Voitele kohonneet sämpylät vedellä ja ripottele pinnalle seesaminsiemeniä.

Paista 225 asteessa 15 minuuttia.

Sesame rolls

5 dl warm water
50 g yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp honey
2 dl sesame seeds
1 dl wheat brans (or flakes)
11-12 dl flour (preferably not the whitest wheat flour ;)
1 dl oil (I used olive oil)

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add salt, honey, seseme seed and wheat brans, and little by little the flour. Add the oil in the end of kneading. Let the dough rise in a warm place. Cut it into equal pieces and form into balls. Let them rise on an baking tray. Heat the oven to 225 C. Before baking the rolls, brush them with water and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Enjoy!

Mmm, I love freshly baked bread! It is my dream to wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread, or optionally to the smell of pancakes! :)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Rice and Banana Pancakes

In less than two months I will be going to Indonesia for four weeks. As I have started to look for the travelling information, like train timetables and interesting things to see, I have also searched for websites about Indonesian food. I found some prtty good websites like Tasty Indonesian Food that provides the readers with a great variety of recipes and other food-related infromation. I hope to cook some vegetarian main dishes before I leave :)

Today I tried for the first time the famous banana pancakes. I don't know if these are THE Famous Banana Pancakes that the Southern Asian travellers eat for breakfast on Banana Pancake Trail (!) since I have never traveled there, but at least they were my first attempt! I found the recipe here.

Rice and Banana Pancakes


3 Medium Ripe Bananas
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Cup Rice Flour
Corn Oil -- for brushing skillet


In shallow dish, mash bananas to a smooth consistency. In a bowl, dissolve sugar, salt and yeast in the water. In another bowl, combine banana, flour and yeast mixture. Stir the mixture until it has the consistency of pancake batter. Let stand 30 minutes. Brush skillet with oil. Heat until hot. Pour in 1/3 cup of batter. Cook pancake on both sides over moderate low heat until golden and risen. Continue with remaining batter. Serve warm with syrup.

Hmm, to be honest, there were some slight difficulties in preparing these banana pancakes! The dough was very coarse compared to the usual pancake dough, so I was afraid of them being too thick and uncooked inside. On the other hand, as we discovered after a few attempts, you can move the dough on the pan with a spoon and make it thinner so that it fries faster. We also needed a bit more oil than just "for brushing skillet". However, patiently you can manage to make pretty pancakes which have a slight taste of banana, and which indeed are delicious with honey, syrup or jam!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Cookie debts

New year, new ideas! I'm eventually recovering from the terrible flu I had during the Christmas holidays and now cooking feels like something nice and tempring again. Of course I had prepared something vegetarian, seitan roll for the Christmas table, but I didn't eat even half of it, so the leftovers are still in the freezer :)
I think it is better to make many small promises for the new year so that at least some of them will be realised! One of the promises was to return this lovely Lebkuchen box to the owner, who gave it to me over a year ago, full with some lovely homemade cookies. I had promised to return it full as well, so I baked some of my favourite cookies this weekend. This superrecipe is from a Swedish friend Torun, who gave it to me many years ago, and I have done my fair share to spread around the chocochip evagelion! Here is the original recipe, as written in the tiny piece of paper I have got:

* cream 250 g butter
* add and beat in 2,5 dl white sugar and 2,5 dl brown sugar
* beat in 2 eggs and 1,5 tsp vanilla sugar
* sift (it's not 100% necessary, but the cookies DO get better) mix & stir in 6 dl flour, 1,5 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking soda
* stir in 300g chopped dark chocolate and 200 g chopped nuts (if you like)
* make small balls, bake at 150-170 for bit more than 10 minutes
* hide the cookies well

Well, I bake them every time a bit differently. This time I only used brown (Mascobado) sugar so the cookies became browner than usually. I also noticed that there was less chocolate in the cupboard as I had thought (!) so I added 100g of dark chocolate and 200g of walnuts and hazelnuts, finely chopped. Cookies are very tasty even if you add less than 300g chocolate, which is quite a lot! next time I think I'll add a tablespoon or two of cold strong coffee which might give a nice kick to them as well.

And yes, after all also the nutty version was so tasty that I had to hide the cookies :) I'm happy that I can eventually pay back my cookie debts!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Finndian fast food

Weeks are flying by..I have noticed that on some very busy weeks I cook only once and eat that same soup for many days, which is not very inspiring!

I have spotted some good recipes on Vihreä Lanka, the weekly newspaper of the Green Party of Finland. I wanted to try the pea sundal because I had never tried making sundal, even if many other Indian recipes are familiar to me. This recipe you could call "student food", because it basically doesn't cost much - a 500g bag of Finnish organic peas cost 0,88€ in the supermarket.

As I am curious to see what the more authentic recipes included, I did some research and instead of just adding curry powder, as the first recipe suggested, I went for this one at SpicyTasty:

Green Peas Sundal


* Dry Green Peas : 1 cup
* Onion : 3tbsp (finely chopped)
* Green chili : 3 to 4
* Garlic :1
* Ginger : 1/4″
* Cumin seeds : 1/4tsp
* Coconut : 2 tbsp (optional)
* Salt : required to taste

For Seasoning:

* Oil : 1tbsp
* Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
* Urad dal : 1tsp
* Whole red chili : 2
* Curry leaves : 6 to 8

Method of Preparation:

1. Soak the dry green peas overnight in a warm water.
2. And pressure cook the soaked green peas with water and little salt for 2 whistle in medium flame.
3. After that strain the water and keep the coked peas aside.
4. Now grind the chopped onion, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and green chilies in to a thick paste.
5. Heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds, urad dal after it sputter add the whole red chili and ground masala fry them till the raw smell goes off from the masala or fry them for like 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Now add the curry leaves mix it all together and add the drained & cooked green peas.
7. Stir well and let it stand in the heat for upto 4 minutes in low flame.
8. Remove from heat and sprinkle with some coconut (shredded) if you want.

I followed the recipe otherwise, except I used just a normal kettle for boiling the peas (took like 30 minutes) and I didn't have urad dal, so I left it out. I also reduced the chili - I put just one red chili from my mum's garden, as they were quite hot, but I added some chili powder in the end as it wasn't spicy enough to my if you like it hot, use many chilis! Since my mixer is not working so well for small quantities, I could get as fine results as in the original recipe.

However, this was a very easy and tasty recipe, I think I'll do it again! It works as snack or a side dish, or as a main dish, as I prepared it together with boiled barley. So this is quite a satisfying mix between the Finnish ingredients and Indian spices and Indian way of preparing the dish. I hope to stroll one day on the long beaches in Chennai where they sell sundal as a snack :)

PS. If you have some good recipes for Indian vegetarian dishes or good blogs/websites with Indian recipes, please send me the links to the comment box! :)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Today's mood

Today's mood is as grey as the weather and requires pancake therapy! Nothing makes the day sweeter & brighter than a pile of pancakes: first I make some with cheese and tomato filling, then add a little bit of sugar in the dough and prepare some sweet ones :) Mmmmh!

It's also very inspiring how many different recipes there almost every country I have ever been to, there's some pancake speciality!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Spicy rice noodle soup

A windy rainy day, a perfect soup day! I thought of cooking oriental noodle soup, because I bought a pack of Thai rice noodles two days ago. Since eating alone is rather boring, I invited my flatmate to join for a spicy oriental soup :) I was actually thinking about doing a Japanese style recipe from Joanna Farrow's 30-Minutes Vegetarian, but didn't have black bean sauce and didn't feel like looking for it..this is an easy recipe, contains whatever you can find in your fridge :)

I followed the instructions of a noodle soup on the website of International Vegetarian Union. Besides recipes they have a lot of information about vegetarianism - good to learn something new, e.g. how to say in Bahasa Indonesian that I don't eat meat, chicken nor seafood (Saya tidak makan daging, ayam atau makanan laut).

When trying to pronounce that, I take a second plate of the spicy soup!

For 2-3

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
(a bit of ginger)
1 tbsp chili paste or fresh chili
1 tsp sesam oil mixed with a drop of ordinary cooking oil

carrots chopped to small toothpick sized pieces
cabbage cut into small stripes (easy to do with a cheese slicer)
tofu (I used approximately 150g of cold-smoked tofu)
vegetable stock powder (preferably without natriumglutamat)
1 tsp brown sugar
rice noodles

Chop onions and garlic. Chop also other vegetables and tofu before starting to cook so that you don't burn anything (happens sometimes in hurry!). Fry onion and garlic for a moment, add tofu. After tofu has got some colour, add the vegetables and chili paste and fry for few minutes more. Add water, vegetable stock powder and sugar, let simmer for some time. Add noodles and boil on a low heat until ready and spice with salt, pepper and whatever you like. Garnish with roasted peanuts or cashews, or with few coriander leaves.

I used Thai rice noodles, that need 10 minutes of cooking, but I guess other noodles would do the trick as well. You can also add e.g. bell pepper or zucchini in the soup if you have them at hands. Next time I'll add less chili paste (not everyone is as addicted as I am!) and maybe a drop of soy sauce. And one day I'll also master delicacies like Thai Tofu & Noodle Soup :)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lasagna with soy and zucchini

I cooked this lasagna quite while ago, but now eventually I'll update it here :) It's very simple and quick to make, and you can prepare it even if you have only one kettle - well, you need two kettles and a bit more time & effort for making the tomato sauce and bechamel sauce for the more traditional Italian lasagna :) This isn't traditional, maybe not even so Italian, but still worth trying!

I usually prepare the tomato sauce for vegetarian lasagna with soy or TVP which is very practical to use and adds some more protein to any vegetarian sauce. Also in this recipe I have used dark crushed soy.

For the sauce:

1 onion (or two if you really like onion)
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
2-3 dl soy (or other TVP)
6-7 dl water or vegetable stock (I just added 1 tbsp of organic veg stock powder)
200 g soft/processed cheese (that melts well)
spices as basil, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, salt

zucchini (around half a kilo)
lasagna noodles
parmigiano cheese

Chop the onions and garlic and fry them in olive oil.

Add the soy and some water, let it simmer for some time and add more water if needed, and the spices. If you don't know how long to cook TVP, check on the package.

When the soy is cooked, add the cheese and let it melt into the sauce.

In the meantime chop the zucchini into pieces or slices and lightly oil a lasagna baking dish.

Lay some sauce and pieces of zucchini at the bottom, cover with pasta and repeat until the baking dish is full. Add the rest of the sauce on top of the dish and sprinkle some grated parmigiano on top of it.

Bake in 225 C for 40-50 minutes. Enjoy with some green salad :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Apple pie has got some new fans!

I made this very same pie again last week for some foreign guests and they seemed to love it as well..this time I put more apples, because I had got a huge bag of them from a friend and I couldn't eat all of them. One of the new fans of this pie said that I will be get to a good marriage, so let's hope that this pie works wonderfully on some innocent, unmarried guy ;)