Saturday, August 26, 2017

Masala Alu

My daughter's enthusiasm for The Great British Bake Off (or hashtag GBBO, as it is known in social media) convinced me to give it a try. Well, I went through all three seasons on Netflix streaming and the fourth season on PBS, one right after the other. I am now a huge fan.

Over here, we don't have the first few series that were on in England. Our 'first' season is really the fifth. And I also see that our 'second' season was actually the fourth over there. I so don't understand how television works. Why can't all the shows be on over here, and if not, why can't the ones we have be shown in order?? Despite that little annoyance, it is THE BEST SHOW!

I have learned so much about cooking. I've bought three cookbooks, one by Paul Hollywood, and two by one of the contestants, Chetna Makan. I follow several of the contestants on Instagram and Facebook. I also have subscribed to Chetna's YouTube channel, Food with Chetna. This recipe comes from her. I love the way so many Indian dishes include potatoes, my personal favorite food. Here is the video of Chetna making Masala Alu, Spicy Potatoes.

I followed it exactly except I had no chili peppers, and I forgot to substitute chili powder. Next time. And there will be a next time because we loved it! I was able to buy fresh curry leaves online from Mr and Mrs Amazon. I had white mustard seeds not black. I chopped the ginger the way she did, but another time I think I'll try grating it. I didn't top with coriander because I am not fond of it. I didn't use mango powder because I didn't have any. Will look in the store or online for it. I have never used in cooking before:
curry leaves
mustard seeds
garam masala

And a cool little aside. One of the baked goods from Season 1 (in the US), episode seven was a Breton pastry that no one had heard of or could pronounce. Kouign-amann. I had to write out a way to remind me how to say it. As near as I got it - cooweenamon, with the accent on the last syllable. It is the pastry that most appealed to me on all the shows. And miracle of miracles, a young couple have bought an old farm in town, and are doing various things to support it. One of them is pastries. The woman used to work in a French bakery, and her work is divine. She sells her wares Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and believe me, we are there all three days! Croissants, brioche, cookies (sables), and yes, Kouign-amann. It is the most delicious pastry I've ever eaten. And it is a big hit among her customers. We take care of Hazel Nina on Fridays, which we now call pastry day! She used to be a croissant girl, but now she requests the 'ticky' (sticky) one, which is the Kouign-amann.

I haven't had much chance to write my blog (or read blogs) this summer, but finally here is something to offer for Weekend Cooking.


  1. I haven't followed that show. Will look out for it. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  2. I only watched one GBBO, and I liked it. I'll have to catch up.

  3. I love that show but didn't think to follow up and see you tube channels and cook books, thank you for introducing me.

  4. Oh Nan, you now have such delectables to enjoy with your floral bouquets nearby. I love how you support local endeavors and I know I would be visiting this pastry shop if I lived in your neck of the woods.

    I, actually we, enjoy the GBBO. The Kouign-amann looks heavenly.

  5. I'm not at all surprised that you are taken with GBBO. I just love it. Youtube channels? cool, I was a huge fan of Chetna in her series. Have you looked around youtube for the earlier seasons? That's were I watched the first few British series. I've been inspired to make things with yeast like naan, and now am not afraid of making pastry.
    Enjoy your pastry Fridays with Hazel Nina!

  6. Oh wow! You've convinced me to watch GBBO -- which I have never seen. I don't think I've ever had kouign-amann. Now I'll hve to be on the look-out. Enjoy the end of your summer!

  7. I followed a link on your FB page to Nancy Birtwhistle (sp?) ... but it sounds like the Chetna 'channel' would be more up my alley -- we don't do pastries in our house (more's the pity).... but love to try ethnic foods. And oh, we started watching GBBO when we were at our Colorado kids and have continued (even Bill likes it, although as I said we don't do pastries ... it's good entertainment. We are in the second season (as shown on PBS via Netflix). I had figured out that the first season (the one with Nancy and Chetna) wasn't really the first ever, but didn't know they were out of order. how strange.

  8. I love these kind of potatoes that have all these wonderful seasonings. Look delicious. Visiting from Weekend Cooking

  9. I, too, am a fan of Kouign-amann, which I encountered the first time a few years ago at one of our local farmers markets.

  10. I knew you would love this show! I don't like coriander either, we are sisters! :-)


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