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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Delightful Baked Macaroni

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Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni

 

Baked Macaroni

This one definitely is not for the calorie conscious, but once in a while it is good to indulge! Like we did recently:-)

Here is how the recipe for baked macaroni goes:

Ingredients-

1  package macaroni (~250 gms)

Butter- 4 Tbsp

All Purpose Flour (Maida)- 4 Tbsp

1 – 1.5 cup milk

1 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Method

Preheat oven to 250°C – ~ 450°F.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add macaroni in it drain & rinse according to package directions; set aside.

Now melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly. Boil it for 3-5 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes as you stir it.

Add shredded cheese gradually and let it simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Take it off heat. Add macaroni to this. Now transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve with Garlic Sticks or Buttered toast.

You can add olive oil with butter.

If you like garlic flavor or veggies, you can heat additional butter in a separate saucepan and add garlic paste, fry it and add veggies to this and cook them. You can add this to the cooked pasta and sauce in the baking dish.

Simple & Delectable Pizza

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Pizza- Quick to make!

Pizza is ready!

Pizza is ready!

 

Let me start by wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day! I had a very nice time attending the Flag Hoisting ceremony at my son’s school. It is amazing to see these young kids render the National Song so melodiously and remember our freedom fighters. Love you guys!

Now over to the Pizza….back in the times, Mom used to make Pizzas for me and Bro, she still does….:-) and those pizzas were our special treat. We’d be so excited about a ‘Pizza Party’. She’d make the sauce at home and the pizza base too. I am not half as good as her…so  I get the base from the super market and well sauce…..and well with a lot of cheese and some seasoning, sauce is optional.

We make the pizza in a very simple way, it comes out so delicious, try it and you’d go for it again and again!

Ingredients & Method

Pizza Base (Thin Crust)

Onion, Capsicums, Tomatoes – finely chopped. Mix these in a bowl and add salt as per taste.

Garlic finely chopped (optional) add to the above mixture.

Pizza Seasoning- Oregano

Mozzarella or Processed Cheese

Ghee (Clarified Butter)- 1-2 tsp per pizza

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Spread some ghee on the pizza base. Now spread the mixed vegetables evenly over this. Grate the cheese generously:-)

Heat the oven to 225 C and place the pizzas for twenty minutes. Done!

Tips:

You can have additional topping of your choice- you can zucchini, chicken tikka, chicken sausages, paneer cubes (cottage cheese)  or pepperoni.

If you don’t have pizza base at home, you can also use Bread- Brown Bread or any other bread of your choice….comes out equally delicious.

And the most important thing- the man in your house can make this simple pizza himself, ask him to do it for you, in my case, I don’t have to ask, my man makes them perfect!

Time for Alu (Potato) Sandwich

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Had a long long break!  Am back with these simple sandwiches that I have grown up on. Found them (read “ate them”) everywhere….home, school canteen, college canteen and now road side chaat stalls restaurants….

This one never fails! simple and pleasing and adding just 2 ingredients black salt and chaat masala, these sandwiches will sure make your taste buds jump in triumph!

Boil 4 medium size potatoes; chop coriander, green chilies (optional) add salt as per taste, black salt and zeera (cumin powder) Mash and mix and your stuffing is ready.

Spread ghee/butter on both sides of the 2 slices of brown bread and now spread the potato stuffing on one of these slices. Place the other slice on top of this and toast this. Once ready sprinkle a bit of chaat masala on the bread and you snack on!

Made for a perfect lazy Saturday morning breakfast!

The Delightful White Sauce Pasta!

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Arnav Enjoying his Pasta!

Arnav Enjoying his Pasta!

Pasta in white sauce is my favorite lunch at work- I have it when I want to pamper myself.  Having said that, it is Arnav’s and Charit’s favorite too. I always feel guilty when I have something that Arnav loves and he is not around to enjoy it- he loves his food and is always open to trying new things- which is a blessing!

I remember when I was in hostel my Mom used to say this, “We made custard pudding and missed you.” I did not understand it as much as I do it now! A Mom is a Mom is a MOM!

So I cook this white sauce pasta often at home and it is always a hit with my little Arnavi and Charit.  You can always change the vegetable mix that goes with it- add garlic if you like the flavor, chicken sausages too- suit yourself! Use a lot of veggies – broccoli, mushrooms…corn!

Warning- Calorie Count not allowed!

Pasta in White Sauce

Pasta in White Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Pasta (of your choice) – 250 gms

Oil- ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp

Butter- 1 Tbsp

All Purpose Flour (Maida) or Corn flour- 1Tbsp

1 Big Onion- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

1 Carrot- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

6-7 Beans- Sliced into Thin Long wedges

Green Peas- 1Tbsp

White Cream- 1.5 Cups or more as desired

1 Cheese Cube grated

Salt to taste

Oregano for seasoning/Pepper to taste

Red Chili Flakes – optional (I don’t add pepper and red chili flakes)

Method-

Pasta

Boil the pasta as per the packet directions- add a pinch of salt and half tbsp oil to the water while boiling. Once the pasta is boiled- drain the hot water and run the pasta under cold water.

Sauce

Heat the butter in a Sauce Pan. If you wish to add garlic paste, add now and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the Maida/flour and stir. Stir the Maida/Flour only for a minute and now add milk to this- stir continuously so that no lumps are formed.  Once it boils, add Salt, Oregano/Pepper and red chili flakes. Let the mixture thicken, add white cream and bring this mixture to boil. Add grated Cheese and stir. Take it off the heat. The Sauce is ready.

Veggies.

Take a little oil in the Sauce Pan and add onions, sir and let them turn golden brown. Add carrot, and beans, peas and other veggies. Stir and cover the lid for five minutes. Add salt as per taste. Take the veggies off the heat once they are cooked. Don’t overcook the veggies – you will like them slightly crunchy in Pasta.

Veggies like Carrot, peas can be boiled with the pasta too.

Now place the sauce on heat and add cook veggies and pasta to it. Stir mix gently- add more cream/cheese to garnish and serve hot with a soup of your choice!

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