Category Archives: Recipe

Of carrot cakes and truth about frostings… Day 5

Ms.Aadya was going to the zoo today and its sort of a tradition in this house that Mumma has to bake her something special for such occasions.I asked her what she wanted and she said,”Carrot Cake”..So,that’s what I baked. I have to tell you,it was quite an experience,cracking eggs,when I had my own cheer-leading team of midget sized people! With every egg that I cracked,the girls cheered..I whisked and they sang and danced..:) I had only just creamed the oil and sugar and Aadi wanted a taste.Nanhi didn’t like the look of the creamed brown sugar,but she threw a tantrum because only didi got to taste it!! Oh! the joys of sibling rivalry!
So,the recipe-this one calls for oil instead of butter.My mom was forever looking for ways to replace butter with low-cal options,so you can imagine her joy when a friend told her that she could replace butter with vegetable oil.Since then all the cakes in our house were made using vegetable oil.And every now and again,I play around with the basic recipe to add flavors.
Without further ado,I present :
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Ingredients :

Yields 1 Glad BBQ pan (29cm X 19cms X 5cms)

3 eggs
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chilled water
2.5 cup self raising flour
2.5 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts(almonds,walnuts,cashews and pistachios)
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 tsp cinammon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder

Method:

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degs (160 fan forced). Grease and sprinkle some flour on the cake pan.

Cream the oil and Sugar together,making sure that all the lumps are broken.Add one egg at a time.Add the flour,walnuts,carrots,salt,spices and the baking soda.Mix it together gently,adding little water at a time.

Pour the batter in the baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes,till the fork comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let it cool..

Once cool,you can frost the cake and garnish it.I used Philadelphia Frosting It was divine and for garnish I used chopped nuts(walnuts,almonds,cashews,pistachios)

If you want to make your frosting from scratch,I totally recommend this recipe from Taste.com

60 gm cream cheese
30 gm butter,softened
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup icing sugar.

Place cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until pale. Gradually add icing sugar mixture, beating until combined.
So quick and it turns out so nice and fluffy..ohh yumm!

I still remember the first time I tasted a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting at starbucks in a Borders Book store in Delaware and my first reaction was..umm why cheese? But with every mouthful,I liked it a little better..and now I can’t think of any other frosting that will compliment a carrot cake as the Cream cheese.
That being said,I know my daughter and though Aadya insisted on the CC frosting,I knew it that she wouldn’t like it.I let her taste it,before I frosted the cake..she did and when I asked,she said..hmm not bad…I frosted the cake,she waited patiently and then worked her way through her piece slowly..very slowly..and then,she said,looking extremely shattered..’OK Mumma..I need to tell you the truth about the frosting..I don’t quite like it’
SD and I couldn’t stop laughing..I removed the frosting and she gobbled the cake up.
But she is like me.. she is warming up to the cream cheese.. every now and again,she wants to take a little lick of the frosting…
I heart this cake..because its so light and moist and not very sweet.Its just perfect to school snack or after-school snack or even great with the afternoon cuppa.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do..If you try the recipe,please leave me a comment tell me how you liked it:) and also send me pictures,so I can add them to my reader’s pictures page!

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Joy of Gifting -Day 4!

Its that time of the year..In the last two years our list of gift-giving has grown and the most important people on that list are Aadya’s teachers and why not,after all they spend so much time with her,nurturing her.Last year’s teachers were even more special,because they watched out for her,even more,specially since I had a new baby and they were my support system for her.So,I wanted to give them something special,something with a personal touch.After a lot of thinking,I came up with these goodies baskets for her Kinder teachers-
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They contained-Christmas tree cookies(that Aadi helped make),Rocky Road Fudge,Chocolate Candy CookiesOhhh! so yumm!,Chocolate brownies,some Hershey Kisses and hand-painted candles and a card that Aadya made. They were so happy to recieve these. I also made smaller goodie boxes using noodle boxes,filled with Rocky Road and Cookies. Those were for her activities instructors.
Here’s a pic of my little Princess and the finished gifts..She was so proud of her mumma,she made it a point to tell all her teachers that her mummy made all the things all by HERSELF!

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I thought I should spread some Christmas joy and what better way,than with some chocolate.
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Here’s my recipe for Rocky Road fudge:

Ingredients:

500 gms of semisweet cooking chocolate( chopped )
200 gms of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds-chopped
2 tsp butter.

Method:

Grease and line a 9″ square cake tin.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler,taking care not to burn it.Add the marshmallows and roasted nuts,mix well and immediately transfer it to the baking dish.
Allow it to cool either at room temperature,till its firm or cool it in the refrigerator.
Once firm,cut it into squares and store in an air-tight container.

Tip : For Roasting Almonds: Line a cookie sheet with some baking paper and spread the almonds in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 160 degs.Keep checking the nuts,as soon as you get the beautiful nutty smell,remove it from the oven to prevent it from burning.I love roasting my own almonds only for this reason..the aroma lingers on for a long time.

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Hope you enjoy this Fudge as much as we did 🙂
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Day 3- A big cookout &10,000 visitors on the blog!

Every week,we start eating healthy/clean.But by the time its Friday evening,all good intentions fly out the window.Weekend mood kicks in and that’s it..who really wants to cook then. And then starts my downward spin :Eat-out on Friday night,followed by eat-out on saturday afternoon,may be cook something or else,eat out on Saturday night.Sunday morning starts out good-I cook a big breakfast and then we go for swimming at 2..But by the time we finish,everyone is starving and the first stop before home is fast-food!!There I have said it all now!
I work so hard to lose weight during the week- I workout,I walk,eat healthy..and then I go and ruin it all in the the 2.5 days,that is the weekend.This weekend,I was feeling horrible and told SD that something needs to change.
Hence the cookout today.
For my cookout menu today,I am making-

A big batch of chapati dough-ready,
Chicken curry-chicken is getting marinated,
sprouts curry – ready and
Cabbage-mixed vegetable stir-fry- Cabbage is chopped.

While I cooked the Sprouts curry,I did my 25 squats for the day.I had a big workout this morning,one that involved a lot of punching on a punching bag..I am sore all over and I have to tell you the squats hurt like H.E.L.L!!! SD was sitting right there,as I grunted my way through them..Oh!Dear God! The man has seen me in every form now!!LOL!

I leave you with a recipe for the sprouts curry:

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Ingredients:

3 cups of mixed sprouts(mung,chickpeas,peas,lentils)
1 medium onion( fined chopped in the chopper)- Very fine,but not just puree’ed yet!
1 small tomato (fine chopped in the chopper)
1 tbspn ginger-garlic paste.
salt ( to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala/curry powder
3 cups water.
oil( 2 tsp)
1 tsp cumin seeds
Fresh Coriander& grated fresh coconut(optional) for garnish

Heat oil in a pan and and add cumin seeds.When they start to splatter,add the chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for one minute,and add the tomatoes,fry well till all the water from the tomatoes has dried up.
Add the sprouts and add the spice powders and the salt and toss it all together,gently.
And lastly add the water.Bring it to a boil and then cover and let it cook on a low flame till the beans are soft.If the water is drying up and the beans are still not stop,add a little more water.But you don’t want the curry to be too watery.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and grated coconut.Serve hot with Chapati or steamed rice.

This dish tastes good even with plain bread slices to dunk in.At least that’s how it was served in our college canteen.It was the most sold item and so wholesome,specially for those days,when you were slogging in a chemistry lab from 7:30 am to 11:00 am and only had an hour or so before the lectures began.I can tell you,I had wolfed down food that fast,before or after those wonder years!

Oh and I am so excited!! My blog just crossed the 10,000 visitors.I am especially thrilled because its been a year since I bought this domain,but I actually migrated all my blogs here and started blogging regularly only since August.So,A big Thank you to all of you,who didn’t give up on me through all those url-changes..and A big thank you to ALL of you,who take the time to visit,read and comment.
Thank you!thank you!thank you!!!
And if you are just a lurker,why not leave me a comment ..Go on..don’t be shy 🙂

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Whole wheat herb&cheese muffins


Weekend Brunches are back in our household-only difference,now its good home-cooked food,and not cafe/restaurant fare!
The deal is -hubby makes the tea and I dish out the goodies..fair enough?You think?? I have to grovel every other weekend..for that cuppa chai! but on those other weekends,when he makes it without the grovelling,its a bliss!So anyway,coming back to the weekend Brunch..on Saturday,I made this Spinach casserole,following Monu’s recipe,as it is..it turned out great..only I should have used more spinach.We had it with Papad and Boondi Raita.
On Sunday,I made these whole wheat herb and cheese muffins. I had been wanting to try savory muffins for a long time..but didn’t find any recipe,that I wanted to try.So,today,I decided to experiment..and it was a success.
Here you go:

Savory Whole Wheat Herb and Cheese Muffins

Ingredients
1.5 cups whole wheat flour(atta)
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup grated cheese(any cheese you like)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil spread
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2-3 tsp chopped mint
2-3 tsp chopped corriander
1 medium sized onion-fine chopped
2 green chilies chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for greasing

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 200degF or 180 deg fan forced.
Sift the flours and baking powder in a bowl.
Add the cheese,herbs and salt and pepper to the flour mix.
Melt the olive oil spread in a pan and pour it into the flour bowl,reserving about 2 tsp melted butter for frying onions.Fry the onions till translucent.Let it cool.
Beat the egg and milk together.Slowly add this to the flour mixture,stirring simultaneously.Mix well to incorporate all the flour.Add more milk if required.
The batter will be lumpy.
Put the batter in a greased muffin tray,filling each cup about two-thirds full.
Bake it at 180deg fan forced for 15-20 minutes,till the tester comes out clean.
Serve hot with ketchup or dips of your choice.
We had ours with ketchup,hummus,garlic sauce and Chai!
I think it will go well with a mint chutney too.Next time,may be I’ll replace the chai with freshly squeezed orange juice!yummm..
If you happen to bake this,do let me know,how it was 🙂
Enjoy!

Eggless Date cake


This is one of my own recipes.Winter brings out the baker in me and I have to have warm,fresh from the oven treats in my kitchen.
I heart dates,for their moist texture and natural sweetness. They are also a great source of iron.But,for some reason,I can never get Aadi or DH to eat it . But they love cakes and baked goodies.So,I had to find some way to introduce these yummies to their tongues and tummies.
I looked for some recipes,but didn’t find one that I liked.I wanted to use whole wheat flour and minimum or no sugar.So,this is what I came up with:

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use all purpose flour)
1 cup chopped dates,soaked in 1/3 cup warm water
300 gms whipped cream
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)
Preparation:
Puree the dates and keep aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder and put it in a mixing bowl.
Add the date puree,whipped cream, and oil and start creaming.The mix will be very dry and hard to beat,if required add 1-2 tsps of water. Keep beating till the batter becomes light and fluffy.
Pour in a pre-greased 9″ tin and bake at 160deg fan forced for 15-20 minutes or till the tester comes out clean.

The cake comes out moist and golden .Cut it into pieces and store in an air-tight box.

Vegetable Noodles


This is one of my favorite recipes..Easy-peasy yummy meal in minutes.Just right for the days,when you want to eat something fancy and don’t want to go out.The whole dish is ready in almost the same time,that it will take your home-delivery guy to deliver a meal!
Serves- 2-4
For this dish,you need:
250 gms dry noodles-egg noodles or haka noodles.
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 carrot,cut into sticks
1 capsicum,cut into slivers
1 medium sized onion,thin sliced
4-5 green beans- cut into medium sized bits.
3 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar

Preparation:
Cook the noodles as per the instruction in the pack.Drain,run some cold water in the noodles,toss with a tsp of oil and keep aside.
Add the rest of the oil in a wok,put all the veggies and stir fry.Add a little salt and pepper and let it cook till all the veggies are almost done.I like to keep the veggies a little crunchy.
Add Soya sauce and vinegar and toss the noodles with the vegetables.Mix everything together and serve hot.
If you eat eggs,you can also add some scrambled eggs.
I sometimes add peas and baby corn too.
This is a hot favorite in my house and I love it for all the veggies that go in it.
Look here:

To save time,I put the water for boiling noodles on the gas,and start chopping veggies.By the time,I am done chopping,the noodles are also boiled.Then,I saute’ the veggies,while setting the table.Done this way,it takes me less that 30 minutes to put this meal on the table.:)
This dish goes well with Chili Chicken ,but tastes good by itself too.
Enjoy!

Savory Pancakes


My brother,is sharing an apartment with 3 other guys.One of them is Korean and loves cooking.Every other night,he cooks up a storm and feeds the other three..and to feed three hungry guys,is no easy feat.
One night he made these pancakes and Sahil passed on the recipe to me..it was a lazy,rainy weekend and I had to try it.I changed some ingredients,simply because I didn’t have them at home.He used- all purpose flour,frozen mixed vegetables,eggs,salt and pepper.I didn’t have eggs and had only self raising flour.So,here are the ingredients that I used :

Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1 medium sized potato-peeled and grated
1 medium sized carrot -peeled and grated
1/2 green capsicum-diced
1 small onion- fine chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste.
some water to mix
oil for greasing.

Preparation:
Take the self-raising flour in a mixing bowl.Add all the other ingredients.Mix well,adding very little water,if required to make a thick batter.The batter shouldn’t be very runny.
Heat and grease a non-stick pan and spread the batter on it,like a pancake.cover and cook on medium flame.turn after a minute or two.
Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Edited-WP is being very naughty n not letting me upload pics,i’ll try again tomorrow! It worked today!

Cream n’ Pineapple Cake


Last year,when we organised a party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday,we were very disappointed by the choice of cakes offered. Either the cake was too dry,or the design wasnt nice..or we didn’t want the frosting that they offered or they didn’t agree to do a frosting of our choice..OR..it was just TOOOOOO expensive.
We still ended up paying $$ and getting a cake that we didn’t like..Ok make that I didn’t like..DH doesnt care much anyway.That day,I decided that come what may,I will bake the cake for her b’day hence forth.
The cake in the picture is the one that I baked for her 3 rd birthday party,2 days back.
Its the first time I baked a sponge cake..and I can tell you,this recipe is a KEEPER!The recipe is a hand-me-down from my brother,who is an HM graduate.He made me try out a sample 1-egg cake..and I was hooked.I baked it in the nite,iced it.DH and Aadi loved the taste and I was happy with the result.
And my scientist brain works better,in stress!So,baking that one egg cake was a great help and made for easy calculations.
To make this cake,you need-
Ingredients-
For the Sponge Cake:
Self Raising flour- 200 gms
Corn Flour-1 tablespoon
Sugar- 200 gms( Sugar- can vary depending on your taste)
Eggs- 4
Baking Powder – 1 1/2 tspn
Vanilla extract- 1 tspn

For the filling-
400 gms whipped cream- thick and fluffy
1/2 can pineapple pieces(Do Not throw away the syrup,keep it aside.

For the final finishing-
700 gms whipped cream,thick and fluffy(I used ready to serve whipped cream,which came in 400 gms tub)-chilled
Pineapple rings
Halved strawberries.

Preparation:
Line and grease two 9″ round cake tins.Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C(160-fan forced).
Sift the flour,corn flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Separate the yolks and egg-whites.
Gradually add sugar,to the egg yolks and mix using a whisk.Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking,till the mixture turns to cream color and gets a buttery consistency.
Divide the flour mix in three part and slowly fold into the egg-sugar mix,using a spatula.
When the mix gets too dry and it gets difficult to move the spatula,then beat the egg white,till its frothy and add it to the mixture,little at a time.
The final batter shud be creamy and smooth and should fall in ribbons,when you lift the spatula..
Put the batter in the greased tins and bake for 15-20 mins.When you insert a knife in the cake and it comes out clean,turn off the oven immediately and remove the cake from the oven after 5-10 minutes.
Let it cool.

Puttin the cake together :
Put the cakes upside down.Prick the surface with a fork and spoon some pineapple syrup on to the cake,till all the surface is wet.Let the cake absorb the syrup.Repeat again after 10-15 mins.Let the syrup be absorbed once again.
Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on the base cake.
Put a layer of pineapple pieces on that and then,spread another thick layer of whipped cream.Keep the other cake on this,like a sandwich.
Cover the top of the cake with whipped cream.Cover the sides of the cake with whipped cream.Cover with cling wrap and let it sit overnight or atleast a couple of hours.
When the base coat is set,spread a fresh layer of whipped cream on top.Smooth out the top and sides.Garnish with pineapple rings and strawberry halves.
Let it chill for a few hours,before serving.

Here’s what my final cake looked like.My daughter wanted a Scooby Doo cake and so,I propped a Scooby Doo figurine in the middle.

I can’t wait to try it with other fruits…The cake was super soft and super moist-totally melt-in-your-mouth.When my brother suggested pineapple cake..the first one that popped in my mind was Monginis pineapple cake..and I so wanted to re-create that..And I am glad,this is the closest thing to it,that I have tasted in all the years that I have been away.
BTW,when I decided to bake this cake,I searched the blogs for Pineapple cream cake and stumbled upon Soma’s recipe..it is slightly different..but,her pics are very detailed.
Hope you enjoy baking it,as much as I did..:)
Happy Baking.

Chocolate Fudge cake


I found this recipe in the Good Food magazine..and I knew instantly,I was going to try it out.More than anything else,I was sure,I wanted to bake it for Aadya’s birthday.I tried it as is,without mucking up and the cake was to DIE for! For the birthday cake,I upped the flour and used plain butter frosting instead of chocolate fudge..it was fine..but nothing to beat the chocolate,eh?
The recipe finally..Sorry for the long wait people.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups(225 g) self raising flour
1/2 cup(50 gms) cocoa
1 cup sugar
11/2 tsp baking powder
250 g butter,softened
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
75 g dark chocolate,melted( remember to pick up dark chocolate with atleast 70% cocoa solids)

Fudge Icing
200 g butter,softened
200 gm pure icing sugar
200 gms dark chocolate,melted

*Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (or 160 deg C-fan-forced).Grease and line two 20 cm round sandwich pans.
*Place flour,cocoa,baking powder,sugar,butter,eggs,vanilla extract and melted dark chocolate in a food processor until smooth.If the batter is a little stiff,add 2-3 tbsps water and process again.
*Divide mixture equally between the pans,smooth surface and bake for 30-40 mins ,until a skewer comes out clean.Cool cakes in pans for 5 mins,before transfering onto wire rack to cool completely.
*To make icing,place butter and icing sugar in a clean food processor until combined.Add melted chocolate and process,until smooth.Sandwich together layers of cake with half of the icing and top with the remaining icing.

Cut a huge slice and ENJOY!!!

For this cake,I used vanilla custard filling and instead of the chocolate butter icing..I used pink frosting.EVERY thing was same,only I didn’t add chocolate powder and added some pink color.When adding color,add color to only a small portion of frosting,at a time.
I covered the top of the cake with pink frosting and then added chocolate sprinkles.The fairies were sugar fairies,cake toppers ($6-from Coles)..
Ta..daa.. all done!

Veg Manchurian Dry

This one’s for you,Swaram
This recipe is a hand-me-down of my sister’s. I made this for Aadya’s birthday party last year,and it was a big hit.I love this one for its simplicity and nutrition values.Great for getting those veggie into your fussy eaters.
For this recipe,you need
For vegetable balls-
2 cups grated cabbage
1 cup grated carrots
1 capsicum grated.
(1-2 green chilies ,fine chopped-optional)
2-3 tbsp corn flour
extra corn flour or bread crumbs for coating.
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
oil for frying
For the Manchurian sauce
1 whole garlic,pods peeled and chopped
1 medium sized onion,diced and/or 1-2 spring onions
1 capsicum,diced
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1tsp chili sauce
2 green chilies cut and soaked in a little vinegar.
1 tsp corn flour
3/4 cup water or vegetable stock.
2-3 tsp toasted sesame seeds.

Preparation:

To make Manchurian balls-Start by squeezing the grated cabbage and carrot between your palms to get rid of all the excess water.Add the grated capsicum,salt,pepper and corn flour and make balls.If the mix is still very wet,add some more flour or 2 tbsp of bread crumbs to it. Cover with cling wrap and chill the balls for half an hour.
After half an hour,remove and shallow fry.(I mostly fry in a pan,with little oil).Keep aside.

To make the sauce:
Drizzle some oil in a pan,just enough to coat it evenly.
Stir fry the onion and capsicum,till its half cooked.
In the same pan,add one tsp oil and add the chopped garlic.Lower the flame and stir it for 2 mins.
Add soya sauce,chili sauce,vinegar,chilis in vinegar and cornflour.Add the water and let it simmer.
When the sauce starts to thicken,add the stir fried vegetables and manchurian balls and mix well so that all the balls get coated with the sauce.
Garnish with toasted Sesame Seeds and chopped corriander leaves.
Serve hot,over plain white rice or as a side with noodles.
Dig in!!
P.S.-Sorry I don’t have any pics right now,will update it,the next time,I make it.