Celebrating Simla Apples

Most of the local produce chains and the roadside vendors are now displaying Simla Apples and Local Pears.  Change of seasons is finally creating room for the rather dowdy Simla apples amongst all the shiny, bright imported varieties - New Zealand Fuji, American Red Delicious, American Gala....
Whatever Simla Apple lacks in appearance, it makes up in virtue - no wax polish, lower carbon foot print and the pride in "be Indian buy Indian"

Whether it is the US bemoaning shifting of manufacturing jobs or local governments striking over FDI, the solution is very simple and begins (perhaps even ends) with each Individual.  Wherever you are, whatever you consume, make it a point to support local businesses first.

Start with the local mandi for vegetables, if you can get to one, the next is the small roadside shops, then the locally launched markets (the pazhamudhir cholais) and finally the fancier stores, from Nilgiris (local actually) to Mercado via Spencers.

Both Charity and Business begin at home :)

In honour of Simla apples, I made a pure apple muffin.  Then added a 125g of chopped dark baking chocolate.  I left out all nuts because Ash doesn't like the change in texture from smooth muffin to chopped nuts.

Indian Lemons tend to be small and by the time I zest one, it starts looking like a shaved kitten, I thought I would jazz up the apples with Sweet Lime zest instead of the usual lime Zest.  Sweet lime is big and has an abundance of Zest, so I only needed to denude a part of the lime. 

Gau dipped his finger in the batter, tasted it and declared he hoped the muffin tasted as good as the batter.
Biting into the chocolate and the zest flavours, Gau declared this is exactly what he was looking for in my previous batch of muffins.  The muffins were spot on!

I was in a hurry, baking this during the morning rush hour in my kitchen.  I forgot to add any oil to the batter!

Lesson Learned? 
People, please scrub your sweet lime, zest it and store the zest with a bit of sugar in the fridge. Don't Throw away all the flavour in the rind of the sweet lime!
Oil is unnecessary to a yogurt based muffin with eggs in it.  Between the fat from the eggs and the moisture from the fruits, the muffins continued to taste awesome 2 days after they were made.

Group I

1 cup whole wheat flour (aata)
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/2 - 1 tsp chai masala (or a combination of cinnaom, cloves, nutmeg, dry ginger)
1 tsp baking powder

Group II

1 cup yogurt
3 medium sized eggs
1/2cup regular sugar (could do with a tbspoon or 2 less, muffins were a tad too sweet)

Group III
1 tsp zest from a sweet lime
1 sweet lime juiced
4 apples peeled and coarsely grated into above sweet lime
zested sweet lime, NOT diseased ;)

1/4 bar dark baking chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 175 deg C or 350 deg F

Mix group 1 ingredients througly, with finger tips preferably.  Ensure the yellow besan is evenly spread through the flour.

In another bowl, beat group II ingredients until homogenous, 10 minutes by hand, 5 by hand held mixer;  First mix the yogurt and sugars, eggs 1 at a time, finally the essence.

Pour Group I into Group II and mix gently.

Fold Group III into the mix.

Pour into a buttered muffin pan and bake 20 - 25 minutes until golder brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre brings out just some crumbs, not wet liquid.

chopped dark chocolate oozing when you bite into the muffin
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