Thursday, 26 July 2007

One in the oven

Thank you all for your enthusiasm in my previous post, and I hate to be discouraging, but nobody got it right. :)

However, the closest answers I got were from Kajal, who guessed that I was preparing Gujarati dhokla, and Poonam who guessed it was polenta.. :) Not bad!

This was, in fact, my third attempt, and first successful one, at making panelle al forno, which like dhokla, is made mainly of chickpea flour, and where method of preparation is concerned, is just like polenta.

Believe it or not, people do get paid to write crummy recipes in bad faith with the intention of throwing off eager learners like me, which explains my 2 earlier failed attempts. For one, chickpea flour CAN and WILL get lumpy when you toss it into boiling water, no matter how thin the "stream" of flour, and I had to learn that the hard way the first time.

On the second attempt, I learned to stir part of the required amount of water (at room temperature) into the chickpea flour and to boil the rest, but guess what? The quantity of water stated in the recipe was so excessive, it was impossible to cut out pretty shapes from the ensuing quivering glob, lumpless though it may have been!

I could easily have given up, but I do enjoy my besan and have been fascinated with its use in non-Desi, non-Middle Eastern recipes, thus the perseverence.

Nonetheless, success tends to place a cap on that perseverence, so, satisfied with the successful panelle I had in hand, I thought I'd might as well make the best of it and pair it with several different flavours!

With parmesan and dried tomatoes:

with slices of sausage:

or simply with garlic, butter and parsley -

I'm not particularly good at recommending wines for particular dishes, but ever since Arles, I have been drinking more wine than I really should, with or without my meals. For this meal, I feel the need to let you in on my latest discovery, haha:

The choice was not mine, but my husband's, not only because of the funny label, but because one of the names on the label happens to be his. I'll let you draw your own conclusions! :)


Asha said...

You made that with Besan! Looks like a fancy stuff!:D Actually,it is fancy Parmesan and sausage thrown in,right? Looks good,it is like Polenta but with Besan.
LOL @ Fat Bastard! What an appropriate name!! Hope it better than it's name!

Poonam said...

wow! that looks fantastic!

Suganya said...

No way I could have guessed that.

evolvingtastes said...

Have always been fascinated by 'panelle' because of the besan connection, even though I haven't had a chance to eat it anywhere. I have also seen some Italian recipes where the panelles are deep fried - have you tried those?

That rosé looks wonderful for a summer meal too. For some reason, Rosés are not very popular in the U.S.

Sharmi said...

that sounds great and yummy dear. I would have never guessed.

Coffee said...

LOL! Nice post indeed! And FAT BASTARD! hahaha

For some reason my comment on the previous post would not go thru...... but I would have never managed to guess as well. :)

Jyothsna said...

Lol at that label!!

Richa said...

that's cool! "stream" of flour, that reminds me of a gujarati snack Khandvi wherein one needs a thin concoction of besan+buttermilk without lumps :(
that wine - perils of modern marketing ;)

Keropok Man said...

that's something new, never seen this dish before. can make some for us when u are back or not?

the name of the wine just makes me laugh.

sra said...

what a name for the wine!

Sandeepa said...

European Dhokla ? never had polenta before. You sure cook great stuff

cheesewithaspoon said...

Hi Shilpa! Such pretty things these panelle! And that wine, I've had it too but I always thought it was Australian!

tigerfish said...

Hahahha....really funny label....will be a nice gift for anyone I don't like...:p

Shilpa said...

hi ashaji - yes, it's congealed besan! :) actually, it's really not all that fancy, just stuff i found at random in the supermarket! :) as for fat bastard, it was pretty strong! ;-)

thanks poonam! :) the taste was something else, though.. :( i didn't really like the one with dried tomatoes.

suganya, heh heh, don't worry, you weren't alone! :)

hi evolvingtastes, same here, have never seen panelle in a restaurant but i stumbled on the recipe years ago when i was wondering what to do with a bag of besan that i'd just bought. and yes, i've seen the recipe for the deep fried version, but haven't been bothered to go there yet. :) as for rosé, it's not considered all that "classy" here either, but i guess in summer its popularity surges!

thank you sharmi dear.. :) your guess was understandable, a lot of people thought they were cookies, too! :)

Shilpa said...

Thanks Coffee! :) haha, yeah, the name made me laugh mainly because I'm a big fan of the Fat Bastard in Austin Powers! :) He's so gross he's adorable! as for your post not getting through, yeah, it happens to me often, too, strange..

hey jyothsna, i laughed, too, just had to wait for it to chill before drinking it! :)

hi richa, now you're giving me the urge to make khandvi! grr!! :) have you seen this simple microwave version?
not sure how credible it is, but if it works, tell me! :)
as for the name of the wine, i totally know what you mean! i did taste some desperation in it! :)

hey keropok! sure! this is one dish for which i can easily find the ingredients in s'pore! :) except that, hor, i didn't like the one i made with dried tomatoes, it wasn't such a great combination.. :)

hi sra, yeah, the more i think about it, the more i wonder about the relevance of the name.. ;-)

thank you sandeepa dear.. ;-) hey, tell you what, now that i've made european dhokla, care to try making desi polenta? that's an idea, isn't it??? :) not sure about the tadka, though..

hey cheesewithaspoon! :) thanks for the compliment! :) you must be busy, huh? it's been a crazy week for me, too! and oh, btw, i'm taking my driving exam next wednesday AT LAST! will keep you posted! as for the wine, i was not impressed. i still prefer reds and whites.

hey tiger, haha, don't like someone, still want to buy them wine? ;-) hhhmmm, that makes me think now, wonder if my hb bought it for a reason? dropping hints, maybe??? ahem, lemme go whack him.. ;-)

Victor said...

No way I would hazard a guess like that! Not the name of dish you've cooked but which part of the wine label has your husband's name. LOL.

WokandSpoon said...

That was a really interesting meal! I've never tried using chickpea flour only because I'm too chicken! Thanks for the tips!

Hehe - I would have picked the Fat Bastard wine as well. Hehehe!

Good luck for your driving exam! What a nightmare that you have to do it in France! I've heard some nasty stories...but I'm sure you'll be fine ;-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations !! u are the best !! sniff sniff td