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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eggless Apple Blueberry Nutmeg Cake


There is a phrase very profoundly used in Lion King the animation film is “Circle of Life”. I know you all will be thinking .There she is, again going to start about dharma, karma and devotion. But if you carefully notice, we all are part of this “circle of life”. Each and every entity in this universe is part of this circle of life.

I had seen in my growing up years, my father and my uncles listening to Ventures - a rock band of 60’.You can catch up with this video for their performance.
No, I was not born then. Many of you won’t know what I am talking about but many songs of late 60’s and 70’s in Indian film movies had been inspired by these fellows especially the likes of Shammi Kapoor’s.




My Baba still has some of those old LP records. You know the kind of music one used to listen on records being played on turntables, well hmmm….The Cute and little Pup with the Gramophone logo “HMV” or was it EMI..Remember. There you all know, how I knew about a rock band from 60’s…These days Baba has neatly treasured those old LP’s in a box.
Well, then came our generation of music lovers ,with high dose of bass and guitar- Jon Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Guns N Roses and the likes of many similar stuff.An entire generation of youth growing on listening to these cassettes. LP’s had been replaced by cassettes in early 80’s I guess, as that is when they came to Indian markets.



These days my daughter listens to Justin Bieber mostly on youtube.Yeah I know something to do with genes.When music notes float in the air, one is bound to pick up some of it.It’s by default you see….But Justin Beiber, or is it Bieber..whatever .. ish! Well what can I say for that? Why do these kids grow so fast?
Recently we introduced her to some good old music by Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi.It’s not done purposefully but was more to do with the routine that we have. We were listening to some of the songs on YouTube as usual following or managing our daily chores. It was couple of months back, may be during her winter holidays .And there she was asking about these songs.
She has slowly started liking many of them since then.Although I would pretend not to admit about the lyrics part though.Somehow many of them are very intriguing, what she likes is the music.And she also moves on with likes and the beats of “Nelly Furtado” and “Celion Dion”.



But deep down she is hooked to what these two fellows sings-.Timon and Pumbaa.

And then again dancing on the old quintessential Bengali folk songs- Dhitank -Dhitank Bole..  and Boli O Nandi .Not to forget Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya  which is her favorite Hindi song for the time being.We often end up singing both the songs in chorus and loudly.One moment we really enjoy where I become a kid again like her.


One thing which brings us I mean three generations of our family together, if you have noticed is immense liking for good music and good food without any compromise.
So, as I would like to put a picture here the summary would be my father is fond of having cakes just like his granddaughter. And in between there is one more step of addition of ours (I mean me and DH's) fondness for music and good food. So the “circle of life” goes on like this…..

Now to the recipe for this post- a light and flavorful eggless cakes to brighten the atmosphere like a soft breeze.
As I said earlier in my last post that I have been baking lot of eggless cakes these days.
Here is another recipe for Apple Cake which I made in my initial blogging years..apparently the pictures were uploaded to photobucket, and I lost the pictures due to inactivity on photobucket.
I had some of the left-over blueberries. Yes, I love blueberries, love these tiny berry fruits...I had some gala apples also.And I had the basic eggless cake recipe by Ma also.So, started making this eggless apple cake.This time it was different as per choices of fruit is concerned and use of oil is concerned.Nutmeg powder and mixed spice powder is added to enhance the flavor of this apple cake.

Now to the recipe now

Eggless Apple and Blueberry Nutmeg cake
Recipe requirements

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¾ tsp of baking powder
  • ¾ tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp of mixed spice powder
  • 2 royal gala apples, cored, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup of blueberry
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of corn oil




Method

  • Preheat oven at 175 deg C.
  • Prepare 9 inch round cake tin. Drop a little cooking oil and then layer the flour about 1 tsp by evenly tapping, shaking and tilting in the round cake pan.
  • Mix sugar and corn oil in a big mixing bowl. Now add in cored, peeled and finely chopped apples. And also blueberries. If using frozen no need to thaw them.
  • Mix in flour+baking powder+baking soda+nutmeg powder+mixed spice powder
  • Start mixing milk and flour mixture slowly with the sugar+oil+apple mixture.
  • When the cake batter is prepared. Transfer this to the baking pan. Smooth out the surface evenly by a knife dipped in water.
  • Bake the cake for about 40-45 mints at 175 deg C or till a skewer/toothpick comes out clean when inserted in to the middle of cake.
  • take out and leave it cool for about half an hour.Then flip the cake over a serving plate.Have it with evening tea or as Breakfast.

For the Icing 

Mix in about 200 ml  roughly  or 1 cup of of double cream with 3 tbs of icing sugar till they become thick.Scoop out and spread the icing evenly over cake.If it has become too thick , then you can dilute it with whole milk.
I would say this cake is delicious even without the icing.


Note-

  • Check for the oven settings. Every make of oven behaves differently. So the baking time may vary. I would say bake until the center of the cake is cooked well. Check with the help of toothpick. Never open the oven door frequently to check if the cake is done.
  • While mixing the cake batter never beat vigorously, a gentle mix works well otherwise the cake will rise well in oven but after baked it will sink in the middle.
  • This eggless cake is made with Corn oil , a healthy alternative to butter or shortening.
Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eggless Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Growing up years are filled with so many memories of vibrant colors like a rainbow. And like a vibrant rainbow, it keeps showing up after every spell of rain. And when you start exploring different shades, your thoughts keep you wandering in lanes and by-lanes of joyous past.Isn't ?


One such memory was to see my ma making cakes in her old Bajaj OTG which was small, round and made of metal, aluminum with a glass top may be. (These days OTG is now part of a microwave or a convectional oven.) She used to make sponge cakes with eggs and butter- sorry Amul butter. And then after my marriage, came my ma-in-law who never used OTG, but made light fluffy sponge cakes in pressure cooker. I have blogged about that recipe a slight variation for cupcakes which was back in year 2008, you can go and check it Here

All over these years I have slowly started baking myself routinely, driven by some passion obviously. These days I am making baked goodies even if there is no special occasion and whenever I feel like. My sister-in-law is vegetarian. So, she likes cakes but if its eggless cake. This time my ma made eggless cake and used whole milk instead of eggs. The basic guidelines I got from my ma about the cake over a phone couple of weeks ago and improvised it by adding different flavors/fruits to the basic cake recipe. I hope my sister-in-law tries this out someday and even better if I visit them, would make sure they taste this cake.
I am slowly discovering the benefits of eggless baking and with normal cooking oil instead of butter or shortening. This eggless pineapple upside down cake is a light cake.Calories are less in this cake as it’s made of corn oil and is eggless. Corn oil is a great alternative to butter or shortening so watch out, it is a hidden treasure for you that I am sharing with you.


Here is the picture taken in night, just right after I flipped the cake over the plate.




And here is the left-over cake after our morning breakfast. This eggless pineapple upside down cake recipe is a keeper recipe.



Eggless pineapple upside down cake


Recipe requirements

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk+2 tbs more
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ¾ tsp of baking soda
  • 1 can of pineapple rounds
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of corn oil

Method

  • Preheat oven at 175 deg C.
  • Prepare 9 inch round cake tin. Place one big round in the centre. And cut other 3 rounds in to half. Place them all around the central round circle of pineapple.
  • Mix sugar and corn oil.
  • Now add 2 rounds of pineapple all crushed.
  • Mix in flour+baking powder+baking soda.
  • Start mixing milk and flour mixture slowly with the sugar+oil+pineapple mixture.
  • When the cake batter is all set and prepared. Transfer this to the baking pan. Smooth out the surface evenly.
  • Bake the cake for about 40-45 mints at 175 deg C or till a skewer/toothpick come out clean when inserted in to the middle of cake.
  • Now take out and let it cool. Flip the cake over a plate and it’s ready to be served with evening tea or as part of your morning breakfast menu.



Note-

  • This cake recipe is made of corn oil. I do think in India sunflower oil is available; you can make cakes with sunflower oil as well. Sunflower oil is a great substitute for butter or shortening in cakes.
  • If you like fresh pineapple, use it. I felt it was too much of a job cutting a pineapple so, I preferred canned/tinned pineapples.


Sending this to Kid's Delight - Eggless and Vegan Bake, event hosted at Priya's Easy N Tasty and originally started by Srivalli at Spicing Your Life




and also to Healthy Diet Events at Raji's Vegetarian Tastebuds,originally started by Priya's Easy N Tasty.

Happy Cooking Friends


Friday, February 17, 2012

Oven Baked Chicken Tikka with Vegetables


These days if you ask me what goes in Oggy and the Cockroaches or Waybuloo, I would say yeah that’s my kind of girl. And I would even oblige you with loads of home-made goodies if you happen to live in our neck of the woods.



And by any means or chance if you happen to ask me about the latest saas-bahu serials, I would say pardon me, this is not my cup of tea and I take my tea very seriously.

Then there are some exceptions like this  which caught my attention out of nowhere. And oh! This also reminds me of my feminine traits as well. Eh! And look at the plight,I am now writing here in my blog with a big time heartache. Some would say these are tissue paper movies or serials.I would say a human devoid of emotions is a robot, a robot just performing his or her tasks in this meta-physical world.




Anyways, well this is supposed to be a week revolving around love and well only love what else.
Just thought when you need to tell how much you love, you don’t need any particular day for that matter
.
These chicken tikkas were well appreciated by my folks especially my kiddo. I would say go ahead and make them and enjoy them in company of friends and loved ones. And you don’t need any particular or special day for this. It could be any day, any day made special with the love of people those matter to you most.

Oven Baked Chicken Tikka with vegetables
Recipe Requirements
2 chicken breast cut into about 2 inch pieces
For the marinade
4-5 heaped tbs of yogurt/Greek style yogurt
2 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of red chilly flakes
2 tsp of MDH kitchen king masala
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of black pepper powder
1 tsp of garam masala
1/4  tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of fried herbs


Method

  • Clean chicken breast pieces. Trim excess fat if any. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into 2 inch pieces.
  • Now make the marinade
  • Mix all yogurt+red pepper powder+kitchen king masala+cumin powder+coriander powder+garam masala+black pepper powder+salt+red chilly flakes.
  • Preheat oven at 170 deg C.
  • Now marinade chicken pieces with above made marinade.
  • If you wish you can use mushrooms,onions and green bell peppers/Shimla mirch also.
  • Soak some toothpicks in water which helps in piercing chicken and vegetables.
  • Line chicken and vegetables pieces accordingly over the soaked toothpick.You can use large bamboo skewers or metal skewers.




  • On a baking tray, line up grease proof paper. And place the skewers neatly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mints, then take out and brush them with left-over marinade.
  • Transfer again in the preheated oven and bake further 15 mints or till chicken pieces are properly cooked.
  • Serve with some Tartar Sauce.
Note
  • This recipe is a no-oil method of baking the chicken tikka. However if you wish you may add any cooking oil in the marinade itself and let the chicken pieces soak up the flavor.Then when it's all done after proper baking just drizzle some oil or butter over it.
  • Leave the marinaded chicken overnight in fridge and bake next day for best result.
  • This recipe is no onion, garlic and ginger recipe.If you do think you can add the onion/garlic/ginger paste at the time of marination.
  • You can go ahead and prepare some gravy also to go with these tikkas.Click here for a no stir/fry gravy or click here for a wonderful rich and creamy gravy.
  • Vegetarian can substitute chicken pieces with paneer or tofu.


Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, February 10, 2012

Subah Ka Nashta – Matar Kachori and Kabuli Chane ki Sabzi


Past week has been crazy here as temperature dropped drastically. Temperature hitting as low as -5 deg C.So, you can imagine the kind of weather we have for the past few days here.
We witnessed first snow for this winter season and perhaps last one also.We were out in snow for a while on Sunday morning and it felt magnificent except for the cold.



What a beautiful site it becomes, when you woke up in the morning and snow clad trees and parks around your home, greet you first thing in the morning.


DD was excited to see snow out there and so were we! These are some of the pictures of snow around our locality.



Life with all it's vigour and beauty....When life with all it's vigour and beauty is there to uplift your mood and spirit.Who needs any other addiction in life.Isn't ?


Soft cotton like feelings..Thats what DD told me while trying to get hold of some snow to play.We did make a snowman.It was not picture perfect but we did enjoy making it.What matters more and important is the attempt itself, failure and success comes last.Isn't ?


You can catch some more pictures of snow in our neck of the woods about a year ago ...Here
Shall we proceed now to some cooking......... 
It goes a phrase in UP -Subah- e- Banaras and Sham- e- Awadh...Well all I can say both have breath-taking views.And so is the diverse cuisine it offers..
.
Anyways I have always said in past our daily eating and upbringing has been greatly influenced by the land we inhabited while growing up.UP has been on my mind always and not to mention even my DH.Both of us have almost spent our entire growing up years in UP.So, our day to day affair and talks do revolve around UP and it's simple cuisine which we both like a lot.
The recipes that you see in this post are not a regular feature in our home especially the fried stuff "the dreaded kachoris".This has been on our holiday breakfast menu provided I have the enthusiasm for all this and more.
It’s not that I don’t like making them, but our daily morning affair is, well a roller-coaster ride for me. And this needs little bit of planning and time. Perhaps that’s why this has been part of our holiday breakfast menu, particularly on a lazy Sunday brunch menu. And that day it was special.




Now to the recipe
Matar ki kachori/Koraishutir Kachori
Recipe Requirements-
  • About 2-3 cups of frozen green peas
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic pods
  • ½ inch ginger
  • Seasonings
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of hing/asfoetida
  • 3-4 cups of whole wheat flour/atta

Method
  • Knead the flour with some water+1 tsp of cooking oil and pinch of salt.
  • Now m/w at high for 1 mint to defrosts the frozen peas.
  • Now pulse through in mixer/grinder- green peas, onion, garlic and ginger and green chilies.
  • Now add oil in a frying pan, add the green peas paste and add in hing/asfoetida.
  • Adjust seasonings with salt+sugar+red pepper powder+black pepper powder+cumin coriander powder.
  • Keep on frying till the peas mixture starts to collect well. When the mixture has been properly fried and has become dry transfer to cool in a separate bowl.
  • Make even round size balls from the kneaded atta dough.
  • Roll in to small discs, place about 2 tsp of fried mixture, and secure from all ends and then roll into small rounds with your palms by pressing gently.
  • Dust the working surface with flour, and start rolling the rounds into small discs, pressing gently.
  • Meanwhile you keep on making kachori.Heat up a saucepan with enough cooking oil. Drop in some cumin seeds to check if the oil is properly heated.
  • Now fry the kachoris one by one at medium flame.Raise the flame once in a while if the oil tends to go cool and kachoris are not puffing up well.Take out over a tissue paper to absorb the excess oil.



Now to the making of Chane ki sabzi

Chick Peas with Potato Curry/Kabuli Chane Ki Sabzi 
Recipe requirements
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans/chick peas/Kabuli Chana
  • 1 medium size potato
  • 1 tomato chopped finely
  • 2 medium size onions
  • 4 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 2-3 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of salt or as per required
  • 2-3 tbs of cooking oil

Method
  • Heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil.
  • Now add in chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Keep on frying till the rawness is gone.
  • Add in chopped potatoes.
  • Now add the seasonings-cumin+coriander+red pepper+black pepper+turmeric powder.
  • Add the chick peas with the water from the can. Check for salt, if required add salt accordingly as most of the canned products do have salt already. Alternately you may use dried chick peas. Soak them overnight in water, next day discard the water. Then pressure cooks them.
  • Add about 1 cup of water.
  • Add in chopped tomato or you may use jarred pasta sauce, whatever is available.
  • Cover and let it simmer for 15-20 mints or till all becomes soft and mushy.
  • Serve and enjoy with warm matar kachoris.
Other Related post from Spice and Curry


Happy Cooking Friends