Fudge Brownies 

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If there is one thing I am scared of baking then it is an eggless recipe. I panic and then mess up even the best of recipes. I have tries multiple recipes from various sources but the eggless version always betray me. My parents have now reached the stage of ‘super annoyed’ because they see the dishes I bake but can’t eat them because of the egg. So it is my endeavor to master the art of eggless baking so that my parents can have a feast of my baked goodies soon.

I have tried multiple eggless brownies but I only manage to get the ‘cakey’ version of it and never the fudgy version. Also most of them do not hold the structure and partially collapse. So for now, I continue to bake brownies with eggs. This is a recipe for keeps. The brownies turned out so fudgy and chewy and simply delicious.

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I have added chopped walnuts to the brownie. It is not mandatory but I will judge you a little bit if you don’t. It has dark chocolate in it though you can replace that for milk chocolate. The key to a delicious brownie is to not over-bake it. The pointers to figure out the brownie is done are – it starts to pull away from the sides, the top is cracked and when you insert a toothpick in it, there are a few crumbs. I halved the recipe and made adjustments because I had only 1 egg and the recipe needed more.

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Dark chocolate                   170 gms

Unsalted butter                    56 gms

Egg                                          1

Granulated white sugar      100 gms

Vanilla extract                       5-6 drops

All purpose flour                  55 gms

Baking powder                     1/2 tsp

Salt                                          a pinch

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease a 6″ baking pan and line it with parchment
  • Melt the chocolate and butter by the double boiler method or for 50 seconds in a microwave oven
  • Mix well and let it cool
  • In another bowl, mix the egg, vanilla and sugar until frothy (4-5 minutes with a whisk)
  • Add the chocolate mixture and mix well
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well
  • Pour into the baking pan and bake for 27-30 minutes till the top of the brownie is cracked and it has started pulling away from the sides slightly.
  • Take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 2 hours at room temperature
  • Serve warm with some ice cream
  • Enjoy!

 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Cuisine of USA’.

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Ras Malai

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This is the last post for this mega marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. I can’t believe how quickly the month went by and I am so glad that I successfully completed my third mega marathon in a row. My protein for today is my favourite, that I was saving up to be the final post to finish with a flourish. I was not able to decide what dish to make with paneer. The choices are too many and I love all dishes that have paneer in it. So I kept postponing making this dish till it was time to go to Mumbai for my week long vacation. I completely forgot that I was yet to cook the 26th dish and made a distress call to my mom. She, as usual, made a million suggestions in under a minute and confused me more than ever. Then, as I was reading and drooling over Valli’s post (our boss lady, for the uninitiated), I figured it has to be a paneer based Bengali sweet and since mom makes an awesome Ras malai, I finally decided on my dish.

Mom has these phases where she masters 2-3 sweets and feeds them to everyone who visits our home for a 2-3 month duration. Then those are forgotten for the next 2-3 dishes. Her Ras Malai phase happened just as I got married and so I wasn’t a frequent beneficiary though I remember her stuffing the husband with it during our first Diwali. She was only too happy to make it again, especially after I mentioned that the husband is a huge fan. ( I might have exaggerated a bit). So this is my mother’s dish and her recipe. I helped her with most things but all my cooking and food blogging experience was not sufficient for her to trust me with the kneading of the paneer. Mothers! 

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Protein – Paneer

Serves 7-8

WHAT WE NEED

Milk (to make the paneer)                      2 litres

Lemon                                                         2

Water                                                           1 litre

All purpose flour / maida                        1 tbsp

Milk (for the soaking paneer)                 2 litres

Sugar                                                           200 gms +60 gms

Saffron                                                        a pinch

Almond and cashew slivers for garnish

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 2 litres of milk in a large vessel till it comes to a boil
  • Simmer and squeeze the juice of the lemon on to the milk and mix well
  • The milk will separate into fat and whey (greenish liquid) 
  • Transfer the fat / paneer to a cheesecloth and tie it. 
  • Let the balance whey drip out of it. It should take approximately 2 hours
  • Transfer the paneer to a large plate and knead it for 15-20 minutes
  • When you make balls from this paneer, it should be whole and soft and without any cracks. 
  • Then it is done else continue to knead for another 3-4 minutes
  • If it is your first time, it is better to add 1 tbsp of all purpose flour while kneading the paneer. This ensures that the paneer doesn’t scramble when cooked
  • Heat the water along with 60 gms of sugar
  • Divide the paneer into small balls and roll them into balls. 
  • The paneer balls will expand once cooked and soaked in milk which needs to be considered before deciding the size of the individual paneer balls. 
  • Press the balls to form discs 
  • Once the water is hot, transfer the paneer balls in batches to the water and let it cook
  • After 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the paneer disc and let it cook on the other side
  • When the paneer starts turning pale in colour, around 5 minutes, remove it from the water and set it aside
  • The milk for soaking the paneer can be done simultaneously in another large vessel
  • Heat the 2 litres milk till it is reduced to half its quantity 
  • Add the 200 gms sugar and saffron strands and let it cook till the sugar is fully dissolved
  • Add the cooked paneer balls to the milk 
  • Serve chilled and garnish with almond and cashew slivers
  • Enjoy!



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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Quinoa Chocolate Mug Brownie

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So I am back home to Bangalore. Like every time, I am back with some amazing memories with my family and friends, lots of promises made about keeping in touch and visiting at leisure, a reasonable break from mother chores of feeding and putting the daughter to sleep, suitcases bursting at their seams thanks to my shopping excesses and very tired legs thanks to all the meeting and shopping. Finally, after so many years, I am at peace with the fact that Bombay is no longer home and I am a guest here after all.

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Today’s dish is a quick microwave mug cake. I never bought a microwave but always end up getting on my kitchen counter thanks to the house owners. I use it rarely and that is when I am sleepy and tired and need a quick fix. This brownie worked perfectly for my ‘cranky after a flight’ daughter and me. It tasted warm and fudgy which, in the cool and rainy Bangalore weather, seems like a blessing.

Protein – Quinoa

Recipe from here

Serves 1

WHAT WE NEED

Quinoa flour              1/4 cup

Sugar                           1/4 cup

Cocoa powder            2 tbsp

Oil                                 2 tbsp

Milk/ Water                2 tbsp

Pinch of salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a mug
  • Add the oil and milk to form a dough
  • Microwave for 1 minute and check to see if it is done i.e. springy on top and gooey inside. Else microwave for another 20 seconds
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Italian Lunch Spread

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Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes on my blog or talking to me will know I adore all things cheese and all food Italian. I have been planning on making a full fledged Italian meal forever now but never got around to doing it. The Thali theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon finally forced my hand and I ticked an item off my bucket list.

Disclaimers first – This may not be an authentic Italian meal considering it is purely vegetarian except for an egg in the Eggplant Parmigiana. This would be the meal you would have in popular Italian restaurants in India. My limited research tells me the meal usually consists of –

Soup

Antipasti / Starters

Primo / First course – Usually a risotto or pasta

Secondo / Second course – Usually some meat or fish

Dolce / Dessert

I have made –

Mushroom Soup

Bruschetta – A simple and lip smacking starter that goes well with the soup

Pasta in Arrabiata Sauce for the First Course

Eggplant Parmigiana – A tasty baked eggplant dish topped generously with cheese

Mushroom and Capsicum Pizza with lots of Mozzarella cheese – I used a healthy pizza crust recipe with oats and wheat flour which results in a guilt free indulgence.

Vanilla Panna Cotta – An easy and quick dessert to round up the meal

The usual Italian meal also includes a cheese platter and seasonal fruits. I have omitted them and replaced that with a Pizza in typical Indian style because all we know about the Italian cuisine is pizza, pizza and some more pizza.

I have detailed the recipe for Bruschetta here which is a perfect answer to an easy and tempting starter and can be made quickly if you have unexpected guests.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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Ugadi Pachadi

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My father had warned me years ago that if I watch movies at the rate I was watching, soon there would be no more movies for me to watch. I scoffed at him with all the disdain of a twenty something who knew better than her parents. But the thirties of your life teaches you how right your parents always are and so now I am actually in a situation where I have finished watching almost all Hindi and Tamil movies there are except of course the few I resolutely avoid. This happened sometime last year when I was still in Malaysia and discovered that I had watched every movie on TV. So I had two choices – either I switch to Chinese movies or Telugu movies (just to be be clear – not watching movies is not an option!). I chose the latter because they had subtitles, were comparatively easier to understand since there is a lot in common with Tamil and Hindi and the heroes look awesome. It was mostly the last reason but come on!

Since I started watching Telugu movies, I became interested in the Andhra cuisine too and started watching telugu cookery shows to improve my understanding of the language and discover the cuisine. I discovered the innumerable similarities and differences with Tamil cuisine.So this recipe today is a perfect example of similarities and differences of Andhra and Tamil cuisine. Ugadi Pachadi is made on the occasion of Ugadi which marks the beginning of the year for people in Andhra and Karnataka (two states in the south of India). This dish symbolizes life itself which is sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, sometimes bitter and sometimes spicy and so it has the mixture of ingredients of all the six tastes – sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, sour and pungent.

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The main ingredients of this dish are raw mango and jaggery. The Tamil way of making this dish is to cook the raw mango and heat the jaggery till it melts and mix the two. But I am so much in love with the much more simpler no cook Telugu version where all the ingredients are mixed and made into a slightly thick mixture.

Recipe source here.

Serves 5-6

WHAT WE NEED

Raw mango, large                     1

Jaggery, grated                           1 cup

Tamarind paste                         2 tsp

Red chilly powder                     1/2 tsp

Dried neem flowers                 1 tbsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Peeling the mango is optional. Deseed and cut the mango into small pieces which will amount to 1 cup.
  • In a large bowl, add the mango pieces, jaggery, tamarind paste, chilly powder, salt and dried neem flowers
  • Mix well to form a thick sauce like consistency. It will take some time for the mixture to come together
  • To speed it up, heat a tava till it is very hot and turn off the gas. Keep the vessel on top of a hot tava to aid the melting of the jaggery. Else keep the bowl in a large vessel of hot water for similar results
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon for the theme – Festival Recipes.

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Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand with Poori

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My second recipe for the festivals of March is Poori Shrikhand for Gudi Padwa which is celebrated as the first day of a new year in Maharashtra, India. This idea is again from my bestie who i requested to give me the name of any dish except puran poli. For some reason the poli is nemesis. I have tried it thrice and failed so miserably that I am convinced it is not to be. I have conducted extensive research on puran polis but every hack and idea fell short and my husband’s face was a sight to behold whenever I tried to make it. Since he is a nice guy, I decided to spare him any further experiment and stop trying for now.

Thankfully Maharashtrians make puran poli for Sankranti which is the harvest festival in the month of January and they make the delightful shrikhand poori for Gudi Padwa. The shrikhand is amazingly easy to make and can be done within minutes, once you have the hung curd ready. It is a creamy, smooth dish which leaves you licking your fingers for a long time after. Another lovely aspect is that it lends itself to multiple creative flavours and can burst into a new flavour every time. You can add fruits like strawberry, mango or apple or spices like cardamom, saffron and cinnamon to name a few. This is a perfect dish to try new flavour combinations.

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Since this is my first time I decided to try the classic flavour of saffron and cardamom and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. Since this is a no cook recipe, it can be whisked together within minutes and served to an excited family.

Serves 4-5

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Curd (made from 1 litre milk)            4-5 cups

Sugar, powdered                                    1/2 – 3/4 cup

Cardamom powder                                1/4 tsp

Milk                                                            1 tbsp

Saffron                                                       5-6 strands

Pistachios                                                 4-5 for garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Take a clean kitchen towel and place it over a deep bottom vessel
  • Pour the curd into the towel and tie it up to a large spoon or spatula and place it in the vessel
  • Ensure that there is a significant gap between the bottom of the towel and the vessel so that the whey that drips from the curd does not find its way back to it
  • Keep it in the fridge overnight till all the whey drips from the curd to the vessel and only thick curd remains in the towel

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  • Take the milk and add the saffron strand to it and keep aside for 10 minutes
  • Take the thick curd in a large bowl and add the powdered sugar, cardamom powder, milk and saffron
  • Using a whisk, mix all these ingredients together to form a smooth mixture
  • Taste it to ensure it is sweet enough for your taste
  • Chill the shrikhand for 2 hours before serving
  • Garnish with pistachios and serve with hot pooris
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. Usually 1/2 cup of sugar should be sufficiently sweet but if you need more then add 1 tbsp at a time and taste before adding more

 

This is my post under Festival Themes for the Blogging Marathon.

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Hayagreeva

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This week I will be posting March festival recipes i.e. recipes of dishes made for festivals that fall in the month of March. Since the most popular festivals are Gudi Padwa and Ugadi, I will be posting one recipe for Gudi Padwa, one Karnataka recipe for Ugadi and one from Andhra where Ugadi is also celebrated. These festivals mark the beginning of the year for the people from these regions and is celebrated with much pomp and splendour.

When I picked this theme, I promptly called by bestie who is a Maharashtrian married to a Kannadiga to pick her brains about what dishes they make. Her mother-in-law prepares this jaggery and bengal gram delight called Hayagreeva or Hayagreeva Maddi for Ugadi and it sounded just perfect for me to try out.

This dish from Karnataka is surprisingly simple with jaggery and Bengal gram teaming up to drive away whatever guilty feelings you might have regarding gorging on a dessert with abandon. Like any self respecting south Indian dish it has the ubiquitous coconut in it which adds a lovely crunch to the otherwise mushy delight and when it is topped with dry fruits roasted in ghee (clarified butter) you know there is no chance you are going to give this one a miss.

There is a nice story behind the dish which was mainly prepared for the deities of Udipi. Mythology says that a devotee, Sri Vadirajatirtha used to offer this dish to Lord Hayagreeva who came in the form of a white horse to devour it all. Thus the dish has been named after the Lord himself.

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Serves 3-4

Recipe from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Bengal gram / chana dal                 1 cup

Powdered jaggery                              1 cup

Ghee                                                      3-4 tbsp

Desiccated coconut                          4 tbsp

Cashew nuts                                       8-10

Raisins                                                 10-15

Almonds                                             4-5

Honey (optional)                              2 tbsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Pressure cook the bengal gram for 4 whistles and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Set aside the cooker for 20 minutes before opening it
  • Mash the bengal gram well and set aside
  • Heat a pan and add the jaggery and bengal gram to it and mix well
  • Cook on medium flame and keep stirring frequently while the jaggery melts
  • Cook till the mixture thickens which should take around 10-12 minutes
  • Add the cardamom powder, honey and 2 tbsp of ghee, mix well and turn off the gas
  • Cut the cashews and almonds into small pieces
  • Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and add the cashews and almonds
  • Once they turn golden brown, turn off the gas and add the raisins
  • Pour this over the jaggery mixture and add the desiccated coconut
  • Mix well and serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. Adding honey is optional. I added it because my family does not like the dish to be too thick and honey helps in reducing that a bit and makes the dish a little free flowing though not much and adds a nice aroma and flavour to the dish.

 

This is my post under Festival Themes for the Blogging Marathon.

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Simple Whole Wheat Crepes

  


For the third and final day, I wanted to do a desert / sweet dish and so I tried the French goey chocolate sponge cake from Priya’s blog but I managed to burn the top of the cake. Though it tasted good, it was in no condition to be clicked and so I switched to this simple crepe recipe which can be breakfast or a desert if teamed with an ice cream. So here goes –

Rexipe source – here

WHAT WE NEED

Eggs                                  3

Whole wheat flour       1 cup

Milk                                  1 cup

Water                               3/4 cup

Honey                               1 tbsp

Vanilla                              1 tsp

Salt                                     1/4 tsp

Butter, melted                 1 tbsp + extra for cooking
 WHAT TO DO

  • Put all ingredients in blender and mix well. 
  • Let stand about 15 minutes.
  • Melt and swirl around a small pat of butter in a pan over medium heat.
  • Angle pan and pour enough batter on one side to thinly and evenly cover the pan. 
  • Swirl the batter around quickly to cover the pan in one thin layer.
  • After about a minute (and once it is golden brown on the bottom) carefully flip it over without tearing the crepe.
  • Fry for another minute on the other side (until it is golden brown as well) and then roll up each crepe. 
  • Serve with maple syrup or honey
  • Enjoy!

   
 

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Flourless Mug Cake

   

On top of my to be finished list is peanut butter. The daughter is its lone admirer in the house and since she can’t finish a large amount in a short time, I figured I will try using it for stuff other than bread. So here is a quick and easy mug cake with just peanut butter, egg and sugar. I have to admit even I liked it, even though I am far from a fan of peanut butter. Do try it out.

Recipe source – here

WHAT WE NEED

Peanut Butter        3 tbsp

Sugar                        2 tbsp

Egg, large                1

WHAT TO DO

  • Add all three ingredients to an 8 oz mug
  • Mix till they combine well together
  • Microwave it for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes
  • Let it cool for about 5 minutes
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – 3 ingredient dishes.
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Quick Banana Ice cream

 
It’s the same situation. Again! Every time I settle down, start liking the city, figure out my way through the place without Google maps and think, ‘I can get used to this’, the husband would tell me those words – ” we have to move”. So we are moving. Again. It will be our 6th house in 8 years of marriage.  When I was a kid, I wanted to live in different cities, go to different schools and make new friends but we lived in the same house for 25 years and I only went to one school. Dear God, this is not a case of better late than never. 

So I have started using up all the items in my kitchen because it was a total chaos the last time and I had to waste a bunch of stuff that still haunts me. I still have nightmares about the new bottle of instant yeast that I just threw away. But today’s recipe is about saving from a more immediate waste disaster. Bananas, of course. I am simply tired of making banana breads and milkshakes and there is only so many you can add to the pancake. So when I had overripe bananas again, I remembered reading somewhere about this kinda sorta banana ice cream and it fit the 3 ingredient rule too. So voila!

Serves 2

WHAT WE NEED

Bananas, medium size             4

Chocochips

Honey

WHAT TO DO

  • Skin the bananas and cut them horizontally
  • Freeze the bananas for at least 2 hours, preferably 5-6 hours
  • Remove the bananas from the freezer and put them into a blender
  • Blend them well till it’s nice and creamy
  • Freeze for half hour
  • Serve with chocochips and honey or any other topping of your choice
  • Enjoy!

     

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Three Ingredient Dishes

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