Banana Flittas

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One advice I would like to give people who are yet to be married is that to look for someone with similar taste in food. A surprisingly lot of time and effort in your life is with regard to food – buying, making, eating. If you don’t agree on that, it is not going to be easy. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. It has taken us nearly a decade to find a middle path and now we have the daughter’s taste to consider which is very likely to disrupt the equation we have painstakingly worked on to cause equal grief to both of us. 

Usually I am of the opinion that fruits should not be cooked but should be had raw and with its skin whenever possible. I do enjoy my orange cake and banana bread (but the bananas are overripe and so shouldn’t count. Right?) but little else. So I was kind of skeptical to make these banana fritters or flitaas as they are called in Jamaica. But once I did, the husband and daughter loved it so much that they are trying to make me promise to repeat this as often as I can. I am so torn between my principles and the demands of the family. Sigh! Well, I did like it too!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes around 10

WHAT WE NEED

Bananas, ripe, medium                    2

All purpose flour                                1/2 cup

Sugar                                                     2-3 tbsp

Baking soda                                          A pinch

Ground cinnamon                              1/4 tsp

Salt                                                         A pinch

Oil                                                           2 tsp

Milk                                                        1 tbsp

Oil for deep frying
WHAT TO DO           

  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying
  • Mash the bananas well in a bowl and set aside
  • Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
  • Add 2 tsp oil and the milk to the mashed bananas
  • Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and combine to form a smooth, wet dough
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dough in the hot oil and fry till golden brown
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the bananas. You need to taste and adjust to your preference
  2. An option is to roll the deep fried flittas in some cinnamon sugar to give it an additional level of flavour and sweetness 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.

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Honey Roasted Almonds 

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Today, we have a quick almond snack. This is the second day of the week in which I will be posting recipes of protein rich nuts and seeds. The daughter loves almonds and this made her eat them all the more. What more to ask for!

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Protein – Almonds

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Honey                             2 tbsp

Cinnamon powder       1/4 tsp

Almonds                         1  cup

Salt                                   1/4 tsp heaped
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 175C
  • Heat the honey in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute on low power
  • Add the cinnamon and almonds to the honey and mix well
  • Line a baking tray with parchement paper
  • Spread the almonds on parchment paper
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Take the tray out once after 6 minutes and give it a shake
  • Let it cool completely
  • Transfer it to a bowl and mix with salt
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Let the almonds cool completely before transferring to the bowl. I did not wait long enough and the skin on the almonds came off. While it did not make an impact on the taste, it did not look very pretty.

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

Estonian Kringle

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I received a note yesterday from my daughter’s school asking me to dress and prepare her for a short speech detailing what she wants to be when she grows up. I was and still am very irritated by that note. People don’t know what they want to be even at age 25 and here we want a 4 year old to think about it. So I asked her this morning and she belted out her standard reply -“I want to wear make-up”. The daughter has been surprisingly excited about make-up for the past year despite never having seen me in it. She would visit all the duty free stores and tell the saleswomen that she would come back when she gets older to buy her make-up and then she would make me walk with her telling her the name of each item and memorizing it.

Since that is not a job, atleast a conventional one, I dangled my apron in front of her and she caught the bait. So she now wants to become a ‘cooking manager’ with make-up. Since her dad and aunt have ‘manager’ in their designation, she thinks everyone who goes to office is a manager. Truth be told, she is already a cooking manager because she dictates what is to be cooked at home and tastes it first and approves it (almost always).

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Since I have been baking bread for the past fortnight, she is excited about the dough doubling in volume and want to peak everyone few minutes to see how much it has grown. Then one day she declared she wanted butter and sugar in her bread. Thankfully I had this recipe that needed to get done and here we are.

The history of the Kringle is muddled like most other dishes. What is known is that it comes from the word ‘Kringla’ from Old Norse meaning ring or circle. One version directs the origin to Scandinavia and its immense popularity in Danish cuisine even today. It is almost mandatory to have a kringle for birthdays, weddings and Christmas. There is also a story talking about the kringle being an offshoot of the pretzel and how it also had two circles previously but now has evolved into a braided wreath shape. Another version pegs Germany as the originator of this buttery, sweet bread. Since Germany occupied Estonia, the kringle was also adopted by them and then Estonia excelled at this so much that it is called Estonian Kringle. The traditional recipe includes saffron, cardamom and raisins but most kringles these days have cinnamon and almonds in them.

I made them with cinnamon and almonds since the daughter loves them and it looks beautiful. So here goes –

Country – Estonia

Makes one large wreath serving 3-4 people

Recipe from here.

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour                   2 1/4 cup

Salt                                           1/2 tsp

Milk, lukewarm                      3/4 cup

Sugar                                        1 tbsp

Instant yeast                           5 gms

Butter, melted                        30 gms

Egg yolk                                    1

For the filling

Butter, softened                       50 gms

Sugar                                          5 tbsp

Cinnamon                                  3 tsp

Ground almond (optional)     3 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • In a bowl, mix together the milk, egg yolk and melted butter
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast
  • Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well
  • Knead the dough till it pulls away from the edges, about 8-10 minutes
  • Shape the dough like a ball and place it in a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap
  • Set it aside for an hour or till it doubles in size
  • Mix together the filling ingredients to make a smooth paste and set aside
  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with parchment
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to form an 18*12″ rectangle
  • Spread the filling mixture on the dough leaving a 1″ gap from the edges and roll up the dough
  • Cut the dough into 2 portions vertically leaving it joined at one end
  • Braid the two ropes ensuring the open side is exposed and join the ends to form a wreath and pinch them together
  •  Transfer the wreath to the baking sheet

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  • If you have any additional filling or some ground almonds left, sprinkle it over the wreath
  • Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for another 10 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter E.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Carrot Soup

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Carrot soup has been on my list since the beginning of this mega marathon but I kept postponing it. I would buy carrots with the intention to make the soup but I would end up using it for upma or pulao and postpone it yet again. If nothing else, my daughter would eat up the carrots leaving me staring at the empty fridge tray. Finally, the time has come for this delightful carrot soup and it is a testament to the saying – ‘Best things come to those who wait’.

The original recipe is titled Moroccan Carrot Soup but since the spices I used do not resemble Moroccon in any way, I dropped it from the title. It is a completely Indianized soup complete with sambhar powder and red chilly powder. Trust me, it works. If you don’t believe me, ask my daughter who is sitting beside me slurping away happily.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Carrots, medium                   4

Vegetable stock                      2 cups

Cinnamon powder                  1/2 tsp

Sambhar powder                     1/2 tsp

Red chilly powder                   1/4 tsp

Salt

Toasted sunflower seeds      to garnish

Freshly ground pepper         to garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Peel and chop carrots and cook them until soft. they can be cooked in a pressure cooker or in a covered vessel with water
  • Let the carrots cool
  • Then blend them with 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to form a smooth puree
  • Add the puree and the remaining stock to a saucepan and turn on the heat
  • Add the spices and salt and mix well
  • Simmer for 6-8 minutes
  • If the soup is too thick, add little water to bring it to desired consistency
  • Turn off the heat
  • Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds and freshly ground pepper
  • Enjoy!

 

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This post is part of the Septembe Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Moroccon Spaghetti kinda sorta….

  

First my disclaimer – I have never had moroccon spaghetti before. So I have no clue as to how it’s supposed to be. I found this awesome recipe in this book called – Accidental Vegetarian. There are some pretty interesting and new combinations in this book.

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And the second disclaimer is that I haven’t stayed true to the recipe from the book either. It was to have chickpeas and flaked almonds which I substituted with broccoli and ground almond all because I had to finish that spaghetti staring at me in the pantry.

So here goes –

Serves 3

Spaghetti                 300 gms

Olive oil                    1 1/2 tbsp

Onion                        1

Garlic                        3 cloves

Broccoli                    150-200 gms

Cherry tomatoes    10-15

Almonds                    5-6

Cinnamon, ground 1 tsp

Cumin, ground        1 tsp

Ginger, ground         1 tsp

Cloves, ground         1/2 tsp

Salt & Pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions .
  • Finely chop onion, garlic, broccoli and cut the tomatoes into halves.
  • Heat oil and add the onion and garlic. Cool till soft
  • Add the brocolli, cinnamon, cumin and tomatoes and cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes till they are completely cooked
  • Add salt and pepper and almonds and mix well.
  • Add the cooked pasta and mix to combine.
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. Optimal tip – garnish with parsley or mint leaves or some ground almond.

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Blogging Marathon – Apple Fritters

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Before you frown, let me tell you that I am one of you. I am also not in favor of cooking fruits in any way and believe that they taste best when eaten raw. Well, I don’t  even peel fruits if I can help it.But (of course there is a but) some recipes go beyond and call out to you. Don’t they? This is one such. So forgive. And while you are in that mood also extend the forgiveness to my future upside down pineapple cake which I will be making as soon as I get THe pineapple 😀Ok, the great news is that I have finally found a food blogging marathon. Can you believe this was happening for four years and I couldn’t find it till now. Google, how could you? Anyway, I found it and then had to wait for a month to sign up and then another month to participate. If nothing else, the kitchen has taught me patience.So I am part of this Blogging Marathon. Yay!

The rules are – 3 Fritters in 3 Days from 3 Cpuntries. Wiki says Fritters = Batter + Filling + Deeeep Fry! Yumm

Here is my recipe for Apple Fritters and from the sketchy info I got, it is an American Classic

WHAT YOU NEED

3/4 cup All purpose flour

Pinch of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup yogurt /curds

1 Egg

4 Medium sized apples

Oil for frying

1/4 cup Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

WHAT TO DO

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt

In a separate bowl beat egg and mix it with the yogurt

mix the wet with the dry ingredients

Core the apples and cut them into thin rings (around 1/4 inch thickness). Then cut out a portion from the centre with a cookie cutter to make the apple rings

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heat oil

mix sugar and cinnamon in a plate. If you are a cinnamon fan like me, feel free to increase the quantity of cinnamon by another teaspoon.

dip the apple on the batter and gently place it in the oil. Fry till both sides are golden brown.

sprinkle sugar mix while still hot.

Gobble it up ASAP.

Notes-

1. I found that I did not need the entire amount of sugar since I like a subtle sweet instead of it being overpowering. So adjust according to your taste. You can use the balance sugar mix for your tea or coffee.

2. If you have batter remaining, you can add some chilly powder, more salt and herbs and use the batter for onion or capsicum rings. I did and they were not so bad.

3. Every page I read on apple rings advised to serve immediately on making them. I did, not that I needed an excuse.

4. I did not peel the apple and it tasted good. But you can peel if you so want.

Happy Fritters!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I woke up today with a longing for a coffee flavored cake. Numerous attempts at Google-ing did not yield any satisfactory result and I was on the verge of giving up when I came across this recipe. Voila! My taste buds were going to get exactly what they wanted. Hurrah!
The best part of the recipe was that it was given for one cup of flour. Usually recipes are for bigger cakes. The flour quantity required is 2 or 3 cups. That works out to be too large for my husband and me and more importantly it does not let me bake as frequently as I want. Usually I am using all my arithmetic knowledge to divide the rest of the ingredients with regard to one cup flour and that is one of the reasons my cakes or breads don’t turn out exactly the way it should. There are few errors and they are few notches short of perfection.
So the one cup of flour in the ingredients was all it took for me to rush into the kitchen and pull put my mixing bowl. This recipe is easy and very tasty.
I did not make too many changes to it except that I added half a tsp of cinnamon. I am not putting down the recipe here since it is exactly the one I used with the addition of cinnamon. Plus that blogpost has a more elaborate recipe with pictures and I am sure that would be easier to follow. So here is the picture of my yummy cinnamon coffee cake! The husband could not wait till I clicked a picture…so it’s only half the cake. I know it has sunk…that was because I left it on for a longer time when I was preheating my oven. Silly mistake! But that has no impact on the taste 🙂

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Notes:
1. The cinnamon I added (which was not part of the original recipe) worked well with the coffee flavor
2. It took 45-50 minutes for my cake to be done
3. I did not have 60 gms of butter available. So I used 52 gms of butter and 10 gms of sunflower oil.

Happy Baking!