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Carrot Cake with Cardamom

carrot cake with cardamom
My friend P celebrated her 40th birthday last month. Although I had all plans of baking a birthday cake, it did not happen. I knew she likes my cakes, so I promised her I will bake one for her soon. She said she loves carrot cakes. She also mentioned that she likes her cakes without any frosting on them. I have few recipes of carrot cakes that I have already tried like – carrot cake with apple filling, eggless banana cake with carrots and raisins,  banana-carrot cake. I wasn’t sure she would like banana flavor in cake, so I thought of trying out a new recipe. I used Alton Brown’s carrot cake as the reference and changed few spices in it to suit our taste.

The following quantity made two oval cakes. P came in when it was still warm, just out of the oven. Half of one cake was finished before it even had time to cool down. She said she does not want icing, so she had plain one. I packed the other oval cake for her to take home. V and Ishaan declared it was one of the best cakes and Ishaan wanted me to bake one the next day. I have promised him to bake it soon again, may be for his birthday. P told me the cake was completely finished within 10mins of her reaching home.

For the first time I tried cake flour. Read more about cake flour at baking bites. I had read about this flour many times but I always mixed cornstarch and all purpose flour to make it at home like mentioned by joythebaker. I wanted to try store bought cake flour to see what difference it makes. The cake was very light and moist, but it is too early to say if it was worth the trouble of searching 4-5 grocery stores to find this flour. I will know more when I bake more cakes (which is very likely in next 1 month because of lot of birthdays coming up).

Pictorial:
Make the spice powder.
carrot cake with cardamom1 carrot cake with cardamom2
Sieve together the dry ingredients.
carrot cake with cardamom3
Mix the wet ingredients.
carrot cake with cardamom4 carrot cake with cardamom5
Fold in the flour and then carrots.
carrot cake with cardamom6 carrot cake with cardamom7
Grease the baking dish.
carrot cake with cardamom8
Pour the batter in the baking dish and bake.
carrot cake with cardamom9

 

 

carrot cake with cardamom10

Carrot Cake with Cardamom
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12 pieces
Very moist and fragrant carrot cake with cardamom
Ingredients
  • 2 and ½ cups (12 oz) cake flour
  • 2 cups (10 oz) grated carrots
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) yogurt
  • 1 tea spn baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tea spn baking soda
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) oil
  • 8 pods of cardamom
  • 2" cinnamon
  • A small piece of nutmeg (almost size of a small cardamom pod)
  • 1 and ⅓ cups sugar
  • ¼ tea spn salt
Frosting (optional)
  • 1 and ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 5 tea spns orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  2. Grease baking pan/s with butter and sprinkle flour, shake the pan such the the flour covers the the pan Then remove the excess flour to make sure there is only a very thin coating of flour (I used a parchment paper at the bottom of the pan and then applied butter on top of it and sides. This way the cake cake out of the pan very easily).
  3. Take out the seeds of cardamom and powder them with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Sieve together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the cardamom powder just made.
  5. In a mixing bowl, take eggs, oil, sugar and mix well.
  6. Then add yogurt and beat till mixed.
  7. With a spatula, fold in the flour mixture, a little at a time.
  8. slowly mix in grated carrot (do not over mix).
  9. Pour the batter in the pan. (I equally divided them in two oval pans).
  10. Bake at 350F for about 40mins or till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let the cake cool before topping with the icing. It can also be served warm.
  12. For the icing, beat together confectioners sugar and orange juice till it forms a uniform mixture.
  13. When cake is completely cooled, add it on the cake.
Notes
If you can't find cake flour, it can be easily made at home. For each 1 cup of all purpose flour, take out 2 tbl spns of flour from it and replace it with corn starch

 

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Kale and White Bean Soup

Kale and white bean soup

Kale and White Bean Soup

Have you caught up with Kale craze yet? I have been reading about Kale so much in blog world and watching it on TV regularly these days. First time I tried making something with Kale, no one wanted to even try it. I tried few different things and this soup is one dish that we all enjoy very much. I make these kind of hearty soups regularly for V’s and Ishaan’s lunch boxes. Even the little one enjoys few spoonfuls of these soups.

Wiki says – Kale is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms of vegetables.Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.

This soup is derived from white bean vegetable chili that I posted a while ago.

Pictorial:
Remove the thick stems of kale and cut into small pieces.
kale white bean soup2 kale white bean soup3Chop the vegetables and fry them in little oil.
kale white bean soup1  kale white bean soup4
Add beans, kale, spices and water or stock. Cook till done.
kale white bean soup5 kale white bean soup6 kale white bean soup7

 

Kale and White Bean Soup
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
A hearty and tasty kale and white bean vegetable soup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tea spn chopped ginger
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tbl spn lemon juice
  • ½ tea spn coriander powder
  • ½ tea spn cumin powder
  • ¼ tea spn pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Soak white bean in water overnight.
  2. Remove the thick center stems of kale and chop into small pieces.
  3. Heat little oil and add onion, celery, carrots, ginger and fry for few minutes. (I make this directly in pressure cooker).
  4. Now add kale and fry for few seconds.
  5. Add soaked beans, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt.
  6. Pour in water or stock, pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
  7. When it is cooled down, add lemon juice, pepper.
  8. Serve hot.

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Lasuni Dal Palak

Lasuni Dal Palak

We have always loved the very aromatic Lasuni Dal Palak in restaurants in India. When we moved to US, I tried different recipes to get the same strong aroma of garlic to my dals/gravies. Somehow I could not reproduce the same. Then I read about this recipe where garlic is used in 3 ways on some blog (for the life of me, I am not able to locate that recipe, I will update this post with the link when I find it). I made few twists to it over the years and finally I came up with this recipe which we absolutely enjoy. Garlic is added to the dal in 3 stages – once while cooking dal, then with onions and then again in a seasoning which is poured on top. This is not the regular lasuni dal palak but a mix of  that and the Andhra style spinach pappu. Finally I have a recipe of spinach dal which no one complains about. When I make this, I make some extra rice since everyone at my home seems to enjoy this very much.

Some variations of this dish – Nupur’s Lasuni dal palak, Sailu’s Lasooni dal palak, a simpler dal palak by me.

Pictorial:
Cook dal with spinach, garlic, turmeric.
lasuni dal palak3
Heat oil, add cumin, urad dal, methi seeds. Then add onions, tomato and fry.
lasuni dal palak1 lasuni dal palak2
Add dal, chilli powder, cumin powder, salt. Cook.
lasuni dal palak4 lasuni dal palak5
Slightly crush garlic and chop. Make a seasoning of mustard, curry leaves, garlic and pour over dal.
lasuni dal palak6 lasuni dal palak7

Spinach Dal with Garlic (Lasuni Dal Palak)
4.0 from 2 reviews
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
A very aromatic garlicky dal with spinach. Garlic is added 3 ways to get the heady aroma.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 2 big cloves garlic
  • 1 tea spn cumin powder
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • Salt
Seasoning 1 :
  • ½ tea spn cumin seeds
  • ½ tea spn methi(fenugreek) seeds
  • ½ tea spn urad dal
  • ½ cup onion
  • ½ cup tomato
  • 1 tea spn chopped garlic
  • 1 tea spn chopped ginger
  • Oil
Seasoning 2:
  • 1 tea spn crushed and then chopped garlic
  • 1 tea spn mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Ghee
Instructions
  1. Pressure cook toor dal, chopped spinach with garlic, turmeric, adding enough water till dal is cooked.
  2. Mash it well and keep aside.
  3. Heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, methi seeds, urad dal.
  4. When they are fried, add ginger, garlic, onion.
  5. Fry till onions are brownish.
  6. Add tomato and cook till it is mushy.
  7. Now add the cooked dal, cumin powder, chilli powder, salt.
  8. Add enough water to make it a thick dal.
  9. Bring it to bowl and take off the heat.
  10. Separately, heat ghee and add mustard seeds.
  11. When they start popping, add garlic, curry leaves.
  12. When garlic turns brownish, pour the seasoning over the dal and close the lid immediately.
  13. Serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes
Instead of cooking spinach in pressure cooker, It can be added while frying onion to keep it more greener in color.

Ghee increases the aroma of the dal, but avoid it if you are very calorie conscious.

 

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Black Forest Buns

Black Forest buns

Black Forest Buns

The bread of the month in We Knead To Bake group were these delicious Black forest buns. I had never heard about these buns before. Since V loves Black Forest cake, I thought this would be a good fit for the Valentine’s day (I baked it on the weekend before Valentine’s day).

I have realized how hard it is to concentrate on anything these days, with 2 small kids around. I usually start with full interest and by the time I am half done, I literally start rushing things because one of them or both would have lost their patience by then. Same happened with these. I did not pay attention to some of the main details. So these turned out like pull apart rolls in shape instead of the  buns that you can see in Aparna’s blog. I used little too much cake in them, so it was a little hard to roll into a log and then cut into pieces. But they were so good, I did not mind the shape at all. They looked rustic (ahem!!) and kind of cute after I drizzled the chocolate on top.

They tasted so much better on the next day. I sent some for Ishaan’s teachers and some for V’s colleagues. I think I was the one who finished the most. The bread, cake and cherries all were delicious together. I am sure I will make these again, may be with a little less cake next time.

Read more about these buns at Aparna’s blog.

Black Forest Buns
4.0 from 1 reviews
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 buns
Delicious buns stuffed with chocolate cake and cherry preserve, drizzled with chocolate
Ingredients
For dough
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 50 gms (3.5 tbl spn) butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • ¾ tea spn salt
  • 1 and ½ tea spn instant yeast
  • 3 to 3¼ cups all purpose flour
For Filling
  • ¾ cup strawberry/cherry jam (I used cherry preserve)
  • 2 and ½ to 3 cup crumbled chocolate cake (I used ½ recipe of black forest cake)
For Drizzling
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Heat milk and water till it is warm.
  2. Take off heat and add butter, mix till it melts. (I transferred it to stand mixer bowl).
  3. Add sugar and beat till it is dissolved.
  4. Cool down the mixture and then add yeast, egg and beat till mixed.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour, salt and mix.
  6. Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time till everything is mixed well.
  7. Knead the dough for about 10mins.
  8. Lightly apply oil to the surface of the dough and leave it aside covered for about 1 and ½ hrs till it doubles in volume.
  9. Now punch down the dough and roll it into approximately 18" x 12" rectangle.
  10. Spread the jam (or cherry preserve or compote) on it.
  11. Spread crumbled cake on top.
  12. Roll the dough as tightly as possible.

  13. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  14. Place them in a cake pan leaving some space between them for them to rise(there was not much space left in my cake pan, so I kept them pretty close).
  15. Leave them aside loosely covered for another 45mins-1hr to rise.
  16. Preheat the oven at 350F for about 10mins.
  17. Bake at 350F for 25-30mins.
  18. Cool them completely. Then drizzle melted chocolate on top.

 

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Stuffed Bread (with Spicy Stuffing)

Spicy Stuffed Bread

Spicy Stuffed Bread

Do you remember the spicy stuffed breads we used to get in bakeries in India? Not sure if they are still available, but I craved for these buns when we moved to US. I used to search for these buns in bakery sections here and would get disappointed to see the sweet breads. Finally I deciced to make them at home. Sometimes with paneer, sometimes with eggs and other times with mixed veggies, they were always a hit.

Couple of years ago, V got me a KitchenAid stand mixer as a surprise gift. It has become my favorite gadget in the kitchen. I use it to make bread dough, chapati dough, cakes etc. After some trial and error, I have figured out a way to efficiently use this. Fresh breads are on the menu atleast once a week now.
stand mixer

Last week I bought a oven thermometer (finally!!). I had noticed my breads were not getting baked in the time mentioned in many recipes. I had same trouble with cakes. I found online that some ovens show wrong temperatures. This thermometer costed me about $5. I think it was totally worth it. When I tried preheating my oven to 350F, I noticed the thermometer was showing 325F. So it is off by 25F, which makes a big difference to baking. If you are struggling to get your cakes/breads baked properly, this might be something you would like to invest in.
oven thermometer

Now coming to this bread, I try to make them into decorative shapes instead of simple buns. They are always big hits in get togethers. I have started making these instead of chapatis which take a long time to roll. I learn something new with every bread I bake. So this has been ongoing learning experience for me. I make the bread with 50% multi grain flour(the one we use to make chapatis) or wheat flour. I feel the bread gets more dense if I use more of it. But I am working on it, to see if I can decrease the amount of all purpose flour(maida) in it.

spicy stuffed bread29

Spicy Stuffed Bread (with Paneer Stuffing)
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
Freshly baked bread with spicy stuffing
Ingredients
  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 2 cups multi grain flour or wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbl spn butter
  • 1 tbl spn honey
  • 1 tbl spn + some more olive oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Take luke warm water in a bowl and add honey and yeast to it.
  2. Keep it aside for 10mins till the mixture becomes frothy (yeast becomes active).
  3. Now add milk, butter, multi grain (or wheat) flour, salt and mix till it all comes together (I do the mixing in stand mixer with dough hook).

  4. Then add ½ cup all purpose flour at a time mixing all the time till it becomes a dough.
  5. Add 1 tbl spn olive oil and mix again. (It may take slightly more flour or water based on humidity and other factors).
  6. Now knead the dough for 10mins. If you are mixing by hand, take the dough on a clean flat surface and knead for 10 mins.
  7. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it. If it breaks easily, you need to knead a little more.
  8. Now apply some olive oil on the surface and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or damp towel and keep in a warm place (I keep in oven with lights on).
  9. The dough will double in volume in about 1 and ½ to 2 hrs.
  10. Punch the dough down and lightly mix the dough.

  11. Leave for another 45mins.
  12. Now take the dough pieces, stuff them and shape into required shapes (follow the pictures for few different ideas).
  13. Shaped into a thin long log, without any stuffing (this I use for sandwiches next day)
  14. Stuffed shaped into a easy, beautiful bread

  15. Cover the dough over the stuffing


  16. Make sure the seam is down and stretch the bread into long log. Then put deep cuts into it making sure the log is intact on left. Then gently lift it and move it into a circle.


  17. Stuffed simple braid



  18. Cover the shaped dough with plastic wrap or damp towel and leave around 45mins

  19. Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  20. Brush the top of the bread with milk (or egg wash), sprinkle some white sesame seeds or chopped garlic or dried herbs on top.
  21. I slashed the top with a sharp knife for the bread with no stuffing. Then topped with herbs and sesame seeds

  22. For stuffed breads, it was just sesame seeds

  23. Bake at 350F for about 20mins.
  24. Let them cool for few minutes before cutting.

For Spicy Stuffing
Spicy Stuffed Bread (with Paneer Stuffing)
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
Spicy stuffing for bread
Ingredients
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 cup chopped paneer (or boiled and chopped eggs or mixed vegetables or ground chicken)
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ½ tea spn cumin seeds
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • ½ tea spn chilli powder
  • ½ tea spn grated ginger
  • Oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and add cumin seeds.
  2. Add onions, ginger and fry till they are translucent.
  3. Add garam masala, chilli powder, salt, peas. Cover and let them cook.
  4. Now add paneer, mix well and cook for another 5 mins or so.

 

 

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Karathe-Batate Talasani

Karathe-Batate Talasani

Bittergourd has become a latest addition to our diet. Whenever V does shopping at Indian store, he invariably picks up few bittergourds. They have pretty short shelf life, so I have to use them up quickly.Karathe kismuri is the only dish I end up making with it since we love that dish so much.  Recently, whenever I fry bittergourd to make this dish, both V and Ishaan keep eating the fried pieces as it is, before even it gets into any dish!. I prepared Aayi’s karathe nonche last time. I was looking for something different again, so I tried this.

I got these small thin potatoes – fingerling potatoes a while back. They taste great roasted just with some garlic and chilli powder. Any potatoes can be used, but these give a nice bite to the dish. A generous squeeze of lemon takes this simple dish to a whole new level. This dish tastes great when made spicy. Serve with rice and simple dal for a comfort meal.

Pictorial:
Fry the bittergourd with salt.
karathe-batate talasani1 karathe-batate talasani2
Add the potatoes and cumin seeds.
karathe-batate talasani3 karathe-batate talasani4
Add the spices and cook till done.
karathe-batate talasani5

Spicy Bittergourd-Potato Fry (Karathe Batate Talasani)
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Lemony spicy fry with bittergourd and potatoes tastes great served with rice and dal
Ingredients
  • 2-3 bittergourds
  • ½ lb potatoes (about 2 cups when cut)
  • 1 tbl spn lemon juice
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • ½ tea spn cumin seeds
  • ½ tea spn garam masala
  • Oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Cut bittergourd into thin pieces and apply salt.
  2. Heat little oil in a thick bottomed pan (I use cast iron pan) and fry bittergourd pieces till they are crispy and almost black in color.
  3. Wash the potatoes well and cut them into bite sized pieces.
  4. Add the potatoes, cumin seeds to the bittergourd and fry till they are tender (do not add water, fry on low flame).
  5. Add the spices, a little salt, mix well.
  6. Sprinkle lemon juice, mix.
  7. Serve hot.

 

 

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Eggs in Coriander Leaves Curry

Eggs in Coriander Leaves Curry

Eggs in Coriander Leaves Curry

Living in Kansas for more than 9 years now, we have made some very close friends. We feel it is such a blessing when we are so far away from family. One of our friends invited us for dinner during Thanksgiving holidays. I was supposed to take a dish, but I had no energy to make anything that day. So my friend prepared the whole dinner. The dish that I loved most was a eggs in  coriander leaves curry. I remember I had tasted a similar curry sometime before, but don’t know where. She shared her recipe with me. I tried it at home with few changes and we loved it.

Pictorial:
Boil eggs and cut them into half.
eggs in coriander leaves curry1 eggs in coriander leaves curry2
Make the spice paste.
eggs in coriander leaves curry3 eggs in coriander leaves curry4
Fry onion and add the ground paste.
eggs in coriander leaves curry5 eggs in coriander leaves curry6Make the wheat flour paste. Add eggs tomatoes and the wheat flour paste to the curry.
eggs in coriander leaves curry7
 eggs in coriander leaves curry8

Eggs in Green Curry
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Boiled eggs cooked in a flavorful coriander leaves curry.
Ingredients
  • 5 boiled eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2" cinnamon
  • 1 tea spn chopped garlic
  • 1 tea spn chopped ginger
  • ½ cup tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 tbl spn wheat flour mixed with little water
  • ½ cup coriander leaves (use all thick stems and leaves)
  • Oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat a little oil and add cloves,cinnamon.
  2. When they are fried, add ½ cup onion and fry till they are translucent.
  3. Grind the onions with coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies and ¼ cup tomatoes.
  4. Heat little oil and add remaining onions, fry till translucent.
  5. Add the ground paste, enough water to bring to required consistency.
  6. Slowly slide in the halved boiled eggs, remaining tomatoes, salt.
  7. Now add the wheat flour mixed in water and carefully mix, taking care not to break the eggs.
  8. Cook till the gravy starts boiling.
  9. Serve hot with chapati or rice.
Notes
For a bright green curry, leave out the tomatoes and use a little tamarind as souring agent. Use more leaves instead of stems.

 

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Julekake

Julekake

Julekake

This month’s bread in “We Knead to Bake” group was Julekake. It is a Norwegian Cardamom scented Christmas bread. I was so excited when Aparna posted the recipe in the beginning of the month. I always wanted to try a bread with dried fruits, it reminds of the bread I used to eat when I was a kid. Also, everyone keeps talking about Christmas breads/cakes during this season. I thought I would bake this soon and post the recipe on time (24th ie). But that never happened. It is winter here and kids started falling sick one after the other in loop. I am having hard time just keeping up with everyday food. Then finally I baked this last week. It was an instant hit. Even my 8 month old tried few pieces and loved it.

Read more about this bread at Aprna’s blog. I did not find candied fruits or I should say I did not have too much patience searching for them. Instead I used dried papaya and dried pineapple along with raisins. I loved these fruits and cardamom aroma of the bread. I think I should have covered the bread a tad bit early, it became very dark before I could get to it. So after 15mins of baking, I covered the bread with a silver foil and baked for remaining 15mins. V kept saying it was just perfect. We had it for atleast 3-4 days.

Pictorial:
Make the dough.
julekake1 julekake2 julekake3 julekake4 julekake5 julekake6
Add the dry fruits to the dough.
julekake7 julekake8
Let it rise again.
julekake9 julekake10
Shape the dough and make the egg wash.
julekake11 julekake12
Brush the egg wash on the bread and spread almonds. Bake the bread.
julekake13

Julekake (Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread)
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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Julekake is a very fragrant Norwegian cardamom scented Christmas bread
Ingredients
  • 2 tea spn active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 50gm (3 and ½ tbl spn) butter, soft at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 to 5 pods cardamom, powdered
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup mixed candied fruit or peel (I used dried papaya and dried pineapple)
  • ¼ cup golden or dark raisins
Glaze
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Take the lukewarm water, 1 tbl spn (from ¼ cup) sugar and add yeast to it.
  2. Keep it aside till the yeast becomes active (frothy).
  3. Add remaining milk, sugar, egg, butter, salt and mix it well.
  4. Now add powdered cardamom, flour and knead till a smooth dough is formed.
  5. Knead for some time to get a elastic dough.
  6. Spread the dough on a flat surface and sprinkle the fruits and raisins on it.
  7. Roll the dough and knead lightly so that the fruits are spread across the dough.
  8. Brush a big bowl with some oil and keep the dough in it.
  9. Cover with a wet cloth and leave it aside till it doubles in volume (about 1 to 1 and ½ hours)
  10. Lightly deflate the dough and shape it into a ball.
  11. Keep on a oiled baking sheet (or a baking pan like I did) and leave it aside for another 45mins.
  12. Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  13. Lightly beat the egg with milk. Brush this mixture on the dough.
  14. Spread the almonds on top of dough.
  15. Bake for about 30mins or till bread is golden brown, cover the bread with a foil if it is browning too fast.
  16. Cool the bread completely before cutting it.

 

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Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies

Sugar Cookies

It was last November/December when I had invited my friend Leslie and her family for dinner. She brought a big batch of sugar cookies that were beautifully decorated with some colored sugar. Ishaan was around 3 and 1/2 then. He ate atleast 4-5 cookies in one go. I had never seen him liking any cookie like that. I asked Leslie for the recipe and she was very kind to share it with me. It then sat there for a long time. I was pregnant at that time and somehow forgot all about it.

Then last month for Thanksgiving, I thought I would bake some cookies and send to Ishaan’s school. I remembered these cookies because I knew kids would love these. I asked for the recipe again. But then I got busy and could not bake. Finally we decided to bake this yesterday. Ishaan wanted to help decorate them. He decorated using M&Ms and chocolate chips. He said he is practising patterns – he had arranged the toppings in some pattern in all rows. Once done, he counted all to see how many we had in each tray. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I think Santa will get some of these cookies if Ishaan does not eat all of these before 24th!. Thank you Leslie for the recipe.

Pictorial:
Mix all the ingredients.
sugar cookies1 sugar cookies2
Shape and decorate cookies. Then bake them.
sugar cookies3 sugar cookies4

Sugar Cookies
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Serves: 100 small cookies
Easy and tasty sugar cookies that are fun to make and sure to impress anyone
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tea spn cream of tarter
  • 1 tea spn baking soda
  • 1 tea spn salt
  • 1 tea spn vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Beat together sugar, powdered sugar, butter and oil.
  2. Then add all other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Preheat the oven at 375F for 10mins.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for 30 mins. (see notes)
  5. Shape them into small rounds and decorate as you wish.
  6. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
Notes
In the original recipe, it was mentioned to drop the cookie dough by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet as soon as it was prepared (no resting). Then flatten with a fork to create a + and sprinkle with colored sugars before baking. I wanted to bake round cookies, so I refrigerated them for 30mins and then shaped and decorated them.

 

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Methi Hasi Palya

Methi Hasi Palya

Fenugreek leaves are used in variety of dishes in Indian cuisine. In few recipes, they form base and in some other they are just used to give distinct flavor. In any case, they are of great nutritional value and if cooked in appropriate way, they become part of healthy diet. Needless to mention, healthy dish can be a tasty one too. In this category of ‘healthy and tasty’ dishes, this Fenugreek Salad(Methi palya) has remained our favorite for quite some time now.

We have learnt this from a close North Karnataka friend’s family. This friend of mine, hardly likes our traditional dishes, due to his inherent dislike for coconut. However irony is we like everything that is made in their kitchen! Their cuisine has fewer dishes but each dish is made to perfection. Generally in any North Karnataka thali, its a practice to serve few Fenugreek leaves by side. But this dish goes extra mile, as its leaves remain raw and crunchy. The dish by itself is very tasty and competes for top spot on their thali, along with traditional Ennegaayi, Kalu, Mirchi Bajji and Gurellu powder. Just because leaves are not cooked, its always referred as Hasi Palya(raw side-dish) in their home.

We have learnt this from them and in this version, we have made one modification. Please refer to Notes for as authentic version as theirs.

Pictorial:
Wash and spread methi on a paper. Chop them.
methi hasi palya1 methi hasi palya2
Grind onions, coriander leaves, chillies, curry leaves, garlic.
methi hasi palya3 methi hasi palya4
Make the seasoning and then add the paste to it. Let it cool to room temperature and then mix with methi leaves.
methi hasi palya5 methi hasi palya6

Fenugreek Leaves Salad (Methi Hasi Palya)
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Serves: 3-4
Fenugreek leaves salad with a dressing of freshly ground spice paste
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of fresh Fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt as desired.
For tampering:
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
For grinding:
  • 3 green chillies
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup onion
  • 2-3 strands coriander leaves
  • 3-5 Curry leaves
Instructions
  1. Cut and separate roots of Fenugreek bunch, wash leaves, drain and spread over either a paper or dry cloth. This step is very important to get crunchy texture to dish. We need to ensure we get leaves, without any water.
  2. Chop onion and grind ingredients mentioned above, into smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding.
  3. In a thick bottomed vessel heat oil and add ingredients mentioned. Fry them till they start to splutter.
  4. Add paste prepared earlier and fry till raw smell goes off and oil starts separating. Ensure turmeric is added bit later, to avoid burning.
  5. Allow it to cool. Add 1 tsp of salt or as desired.
  6. Chop Fenugreek leaves and mix with earlier mixture. Its advisable to mix when you are about to serve to retain freshness of Fenugreek leaves.
  7. Serve at this stage along with rice and curry or Jowar roti and Ennegaayi.
Notes
Instead of grinding onion in to paste, you may shallow fry finely chopped onion along with other ingredients for tampering. This may require little more oil and hence we have used onion, while grinding.
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