Arnav’s Blog :)

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Arnav has started his own blog, it can’t get more predictable🙂 he is talking only about cricket. Please read when you have a moment and leave a comment, it inspires him to keep writing. Thanks!

Here is the link

Name of the blog : diaryofacricketgod.blogspot.in/

Banana Bread

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Made Banana Bread this weekend. The recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s recipe book, super easy to prepare as long as you have the right ingredients, utensils and most importantly -a friend like I do🙂

If you are thinking of giving this cake to children, don’t worry, the alcohol doesn’t pervade, you just end up with aromatically swollen fruit.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Here is how the recipe goes-

Ingredients :

  • Scant Half cup golden raisins
  • 3 ounces rum (enough to soak raisins)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted) 175 gms
  • 1/2 cup sugar – 150 gms
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small very ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a (~9*5 inch loaf pan, buttered and floured or with paper indent)

Method :

Put the raisins in a small/medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC or 325ºF  and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained raisins and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin  and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes . When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer . Enjoy the yummylicious banana bread🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Break! Here is a Coconut Cake!

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Don’t know  why it took me so long to start updating my blog again…it gives me so much joy to learn how to make a new dish, TAKE PICTURES and finally post the recipe!  It is always a delight when your family and friends love what you made for them.

Baking is not my forte….I hate to measure and go by the book…….but of late everyone around me seems to be baking such lovely cakes and I was tempted to try my hand at baking. I am very lucky to have a friend who is expert at this and showed me how to prepare this, thanks Sharmila, you are the BEST and you know I will keep troubling you🙂

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Coconut Cake🙂

Here is how the recipe goes…

Ingredients: 

  • 225 gms all purpose flour
  • 2.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 225 gms butter softened (keep it out of the refrigerator an hour before you start preparing)
  • 225 gms sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225 gms finely grated coconut(fresh or frozen)

Method :

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees or 325 F. Grease the tin then dust with flour.

Ideally we must sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, I just mixed them softly. Keep this aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and lightened in colour. Lightly beat the eggs with vanilla essence and then add to this mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour three batches and then fold in the coconut as well to distribute the coconut throughout the cake batter.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy the cake, it is delicious when it is fresh and warm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil Recipe

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Appetizing and Delectable- Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta with tomato & basil

Bruschetta with tomato & basil

 

I love Bruschetta, the tinge of olive oil, the aroma of basil, the freshness of tomatoes leaves one craving for more. Served as brunch on a Sunday morning, they make perfect appetizers. Icing on the cake….your husband makes them to perfection for you!🙂

Ingredients

Time for preparation- 10 minutes

Time to toast less than 10 minutes

Serves 4-5 as an appetizer

  • 5 or 6 ripe tomatoes (~300 gms)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (We used garlic flavoured bread so I did not add garlic)
  • 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (alternatively dried basil)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper & oregano to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or any bread of your choice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cheese (optional)

Method-

Prepare the tomatoes first.  Chop the tomatoes finely.

Turn on the oven to ~ 230 C(450°F) to preheat. Now while the oven is heating, put  tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt, oregano and pepper to taste.

Slice the baguette or the bread on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil or butter. Now  spread the topping prepared above on the bread. And then grate cheese evenly over the bread (optional)

Once the oven has reached 450°F, I placed the tray of bread slices in the oven on the middle rack. Toast for ~ 8 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast just the bread (olive side up) and then either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Once done, munch away😉

 

 

Shakarparas- Deep fried, sugar coated flour recipes

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Arnav enjoying the Shakarparas

Arnav enjoying the Shakarparas

Shakarparas- Deep fried, sugar coated flour recipes

This is my second post this year…. is something amiss…or maybe not….we have a cook this year & he is a pro. I have been busy putting those extra pounds and enjoying the yummylicious dishes that he prepares.

Moving on, Mom is here for a month, can I ask for more…NO! Mom here means, endless hours of chit chat, gossip, I don’t need to do any laundry, no cooking….she looks after me, Arnav & home. Bliss!

My Mom got along these Shakarparas with her…Shakarpare are sugar coated flour pieces which are deep fried. And they can be stored for 2 -3 weeks. I loved them, the sugar was just right. I finished them soon enough, Mom being Mom, made more of them and here is the simple recipe.

Ingredients-
All-purpose flour – 500 gms
Ghee – 100 gms
Water to knead
Oil for frying
For Sugar Coating
Sugar – 500 gms
Water – ~200 ml

Preparation-

Add ghee to the flour and mix it until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now add water required to knead this into a stiff dough. Keep Aside.
Heat oil in a kadai or a saucepan. Divide the dough into four to five long rolls.
Roll each portion to ~6mm inch thickness and cut in a criss cross with knife into 1/2 inch diamond shaped pieces.
When the oil gets perfectly hot (120 – 140 C) fry the pieces for a couple of minutes on high flame then medium flame for ~10 minutes or till the pare are crisp and light golden. Drain them on a paper tissue and fry the remaining pieces in the same way.

To make the syrup (coating)-

In a pan boil the water and the sugar till the sugar dissolves and it reaches one-string consistency – I don’t really measure- however the amount of water that I took was enough to cover the sugar.

Add the pare all together (or in batches) and coat the pare evenly with the help of a flat spoon.
Do not mix too much, as the sugar will harden. Take them out and let them dry for a while. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Matar (Peas) Paratha for Sunday Brunch

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Matar (Peas) Paratha

 

Matar Paratha

Matar Paratha served with alu sabzi, green chillies pickle & curd

Nobody makes these like my Mom does🙂 I always freaked out on the matar pooris that she made and the yum alu sabji to go with it, good old days when one did not have to count calories! I think I and bro actually competed as to who would eat more! Poor Mom! without any help she would put these treats together and add that special zing to our weekends. You are awesome Mom! And I can’t wait for you to visit us again and make yummilicious stuff ; Now I can compete with Arnav when it comes to the number of pooris😉

 Here is how the recipe goes..

 To prepare dough

  • Wheat flour – 400 grams (2 cup)

Oil and salt to taste- optional, I did not use it.  You can also add kalonji (Nigella) or ajwain (carom) to the dough to add to the flavor. I love to keep it simple and let the flavor of peas rule, so I did not add anything to the dough.

For pea stuffing :

  • Green peas – 500 grams/1 cup(peeled)- You can use frozen peas but fresh peas are preferrable
  • Salt – add to taste(1/2 tsp)
  • Green chilies – 2 chopped fine
  • Ginger – 1  inch long piece- chopped
  • Fennel seeds (Saunf) – 2 tsp (I love the flavour of saunf with peas)
  • Cumin seeds (Zeera) – 2 tsp
  • Asafetida- Hing
  • Oil- I Tbsp

– How to make Matar Paratha

Knead soft dough using warm water. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Prepare Pea Stuffing :

Grind peas, green chilies, ginger and fennel seeds into a coarse paste (don’t add any water). Place pan on  heat. Add slight oil and cumin seeds  and a pinch of asafetida. Once the cumin seeds crackle add the green peas paste prepared above. Keep on medium heat and stir. Add salt as per taste. Usually when it is fresh peas the paste would be completely dry, however the frozen peas tend to have moisture and it takes a little more time on heat for the paste to dry.

It shouldn’t take more than 7-10 minutes in either case. Once the paste is ready keep aside to cool.

Take some dough and roll out into a medium sized chapatti, spread some oil on this and place ball of the peas paste stuffing in the center of this chapatti.  Draw the edges of the chapatti towards the center to cover the filling.  Slightly press this and dust it with flour.  Roll this with a rolling pin and dust liberally with more flour as you are rolling.  When done, pat out the excess flour.

Heat a tava and fry the paratha both sides to crispy and brown.  Put some oil over the paratha as you do this. Stuffed Peas(Matar) Paratha is ready

You can serve the stuffed paratha hot with dhania chutney/curd/pickle or like we had it with some alu sabzi.

Perfect Sunday Brunch….and I can’t wait for the next weekend, we’d already be in February! Am hoping the week is a quick one (read less work😉 )and I already have an idea of what I am going to prepare and post next week!

 

 

Place ball of the peas paste stuffing in the center of this chapatti

Place ball of the peas paste stuffing in the center of this chapatti

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Hot & Spicy Chilli Paneer

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Hot & Spicy Chilli Paneer  with gravy        

Chilli Paneer with gravy

Chilli Paneer with gravy

I and Arnav love this- Charit is not a big fan of this but for once he joined us for our Sunday treat. I had to learn making this as it is Arnav’s favorite- though I am sure he’d prefer the chicken instead of paneer cubes J

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Ingredients for Chilli Paneer

Ingredients for Chilli Paneer

400 gms. Paneer (Cottage cheese) cut it into medium-sized cubes 
Spring onions chopped fine along with the leaves

2 medium-sized onions, each cut it into four-five pieces as shown
2 large capsicum, cut into slices (Shimla mirch) Usually only the green capsicum is used however I had the yellow and red capsicum handy and used them as well today
2 table-spoon Corn flour (Makai ka aata)
(Additional 3 Tbsp corn flour + 2 Tbsp spoon Maida – needed to coat the paneer if you are deep-frying it)
2 Green chillies, chopped fine
10 Garlic pods (Lahsun) chopped fine and ginger chopped fine
Salt as per taste

Black pepper (Kali mirch) & Red Chilli flakes as per taste

 

                                                                                                                                     Sauces

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4  t spoon Vinegar (sirca) (we like the chilli, so I used the Chili vinegar)
~1 Tbsp  Soya sauce 
~1 Tbsp Tomato sauce/ Ketchup
~ 1 tbsp Hot Chili sauce + Sweet Chili sauce (optional)

Oil for frying

 

 

 

 

Method-

Sauté paneer in 1 Tbsp oil, add black pepper, salt and red chili flakes as per your taste as you shallow fry it on medium heat – this will add flavor to the Paneer

Take a small bowl and add 2 table-spoon corn flour and ~5-6 table-spoon water and mix it well to form a paste- keep this aside.

Take 3 table-spoon of oil in a separate pan and heat it over medium flame. Now add chopped onions to this, sauté for a couple of minutes, add the chopped garlic & ginger, add green chillies, stir and cook for ~ 2 minutes- add capsicum, stir well and cook them until they get half-cooked (~5 minutes) Very important to remember that the veggies for this sauce should not start getting over cooked or stick to the pan- the burnt flavor does not go well here. Now add the spring onions and leaves (set aside half the chopped spring onion leaves for garnishing) Add a tbsp water if you see the vegetables start sticking to the pan.

Now add all the sauces, vinegar, salt to taste and cook on medium heat for 1 minute.

Add over 2 cups of water to the pan and bring the mixture to boil. Once this starts boiling, then, add corn flour paste that we had kept aside. Let the mixture boil again until you get the desired thickness of gravy. Stir in every 1 minute. (Remember the gravy thickens and settles as it cools so get this off the heat at slightly more liquid consistency than desired)

Add paneer pieces to the pan and stir well, put the heat to low and cook for 3-4 mins, stirring every minute. Then, turn off the heat and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped spring onion leaves.

Serve Chili Paneer with Gravy hot with noodles or fried rice.

 In case you are planning to deep fry the paneer- in a medium-sized bowl add 2 tbsp maida, 3 table-spoon (corn flour, the maida adds to the softness, however by itself, maida would crumble in the gravy-  corn flour’s job is to bind this together therefore the corn flour amount should be more than maida)  Add 1 t-spoon salt, tsp vinegar and ginger garlic paste as per your taste- this adds flavor to the paneer which can otherwise taste bland. Add some water and mix them well to form a thick paste, add more water if needed. The thickness of the paste should be such that it can coat paneer cubes properly. Now deep fry the paneer cubes on medium flame.  

Chilli Paneer served with rice

Chilli Paneer served with rice

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