Feb 17

Spaghetti Bolognese

A hearty pasta that fills your heart and belly at the same time. The sauce originates from Bologna in Italy and is a meat based sauce. The sauce is simmered with tomatoes and a mince of mutton or beef. It is usually served with a flat pasta but in many places around the world, its become popular to be served with spaghetti.

Ingredients

1/2 pkt Spaghetti

500 gms mutton mince

2 big onions

5 skinless tomatoes puréed or chopped

1/2 pkt tomato purée

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

10 minced garlic

Salt

1 tsp Chilli flakes

1 tbsp maida

Mixed Italian herbs – fresh or dried

Parmesan cheese

5 babycorn

1 pkt mushtoom

150 gms brocolli

  1. Boil the pasta al dente
  2. Blanch or roast the tomatoes or remove skin and chop or purée as per preference.
  3. In a pan, heat olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Sautée to pink
  4. Add the mince and brown it well
  5. At intervals add the tomato, pkt purée, Worcestershire sauce, chilli flakes and if u are adding dried herbs (fresh herbs will taste better if added towards the end. Let this cook out for an hr adding little water as it becomes dry (Alternative is to put everything in a cooker for 2 whistles and 5 minutes but taste will differ)
  6. When half done add the baby corn, when nearly done add the mushrooms and a couple of mins before u shut the gas add broccoli and maida.( All the veggies are raw and added at different intervals as their cooking times are different – remember we also want a crunch to the veggie)
  7. Adjust seasons and switch off gas
  8. At serving time, pour the sauce in the Center of the bed of pasta and top with cheese.

 

Feb 10

Tequila Lime Chilli Chicken


TLC

I am an avid Masterchef Australia follower. One day Nigella made this finger licking tequila chicken and I literally drooled looking at it. Marked it on my to do list and promised to make it soon. Unfortunately life took over and I never got a chance to make it.

TLC

Today, i was sending a secret valentine hamper to a friend and thought, this is the perfect occasion to make the Tequila chicken and send her. So made a few changes to Nigella’s recipe and here u have it. Trust me its not just yum but exotic too.

TLC

My blog completed 2 years on January 21st and due to my ill health, I was unable to post something to commemorate this occasion. The tequila lime chilli chicken is the perfect dish to showcase for my anniversary. Its so me.

TLC

Ingredients

 

1 kg chicken pcs with bone

75 ml tequila + to glaze

zest an juice of 2 small limes

3 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp sriracha sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

10 crushed garlic

1 tbsp maida

salt

  1. Mix tequila, olive oil, lime juice, zest, chilli flakes,sriracha,  salt, garlic.
  2. Add chicken to this marinade and massage it well with the marinade
  3. Keep for 4 hours or overnight if possible.
  4. Transfer to an oven proof dish (do not cover) and cook for 35-45 mins at 200C in a pre heated oven.
  5. When cool, transfer the liquid to a pan, add sugar and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Add Maida and mix well, add little tequila to mix it all.
  7. When the sauce gets thick, add the chicken and mix well till the sauce coats the chicken and gets a golden brown colour.

Dec 07

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

japanese cotton cheesecake

A cake I absolutely adore and that’s saying something since am not a cheesecake lover. I waited months for my birthday to come just to order this from a baker friend and relished it. So when I saw this challenge posted by my baker friend Anuja I did the happy dance.

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Now there are many recipes out there but u are always left in doubt if it would work or not. So when ur handed a tried and tested recipe on a platter, you have to give it a shot.

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Everything went as planned but I did make a huge error. I made a mistake of not going as per my ovens heating temperament and followed the recipes instruction. The middle rack created havoc with the cake and I had to wing it with the rest of the baking time. Thanks to Mani Vinaik who kept advising me. I would have given up if it wasn’t for u. The cake is good but I feel could have been softer and that’s because I didn’t bake it as it should have been.

But I do know what not to do the next time. And yeah. I do make everything look pretty

japanese cotton cheesecake

Recipe from Anuja Sule’s http://www.simple-baking.blogspot.in

Ingredients:

125 grams cream cheese

110 grams amul fresh cream

3 egg yolks (room temperature)

3 egg whites (room temperature)

70 grams caster sugar

40 grams all purpose flour

30 grams cornflour

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 th teaspoon cream of tartar (or salt)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Method:

Preheat your oven at 160 degree celsius. Line a 6 or 7 ing baking pan with parchment paper. No need to grease it. Set it aside.

Sift the all purpose flour and cornflour, set aside.

Melt cream cheese and cream over a double boiler (or in a microwave) . Cool the mixture.

Once the cream cheese mixture is partly cooled, add in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon juice and mix until incorporated.

Add in the sifted all purpose flour and cornflour. Mix well until incorporated. Run the mixture through sieve once, to get rid of any lumps.

Make the meringue, whisking egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. You can beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk until SOFT PEAKS form.

Take 1/3rd of the meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3rd of meringue. After that,  fold in the remaining 1/3rd meringue. FOLD GENTLY. Once you are done, if the total volume of the mixture is almost unchanged while it’s texture is foamy and smooth and free of bubbles, then you have got it right.

Place the baking pan into a large baking tray (with high sides) and pour hot biiling water into the tray, upto 1/2 the height of pan.

Place it on central rack of your oven and bake at 160 degree Celsius for 40-50 minutes, until the cake top is golden brown. Then lower the temperature to 140 degree Celsius and continue baking for 20-30 minutes more.

Once the cake is baked, turn off the oven, slightly open the oven door and leave the cake inside for about 15 minutes. The cake will shrink a little and pull away from the sides of the pan. Now you can take it out of the pan, remove the parchment paper and let cake cool completely on the rack.

Refrigerate the cake for atleast 4 hours or overnight,  before serving.

 

*Notes:

# If the cake rises too high and sinks in the oven, that means the baking temperature or upper heat is too high, or cake is placed too close to upper heat.

# If the cake doesn’t rise or is too dense or chewy, it happens due to improper beating if eggs or wrong folding technique that deflates the air bubbles.

# It’s normal that the cake will shrink about 1/2 inch to 1 inch after cooling. If the cake rises, yet shrinks significantly after being taken out of oven, then it means that it is under baked or another reason is, over mixing the egg white mixture with the cream cheese mixture.

# If there are cracks on surface, it happens due to lack of sufficient water in water bath, or too high upper heat. But don’t worry, most if the cracks will settle down once the cake cools down.

 

 

Dec 07

Prawn Pulao

prawn pulao

Today being a holiday, I woke up late and around 11 am thought – let’s try a new dish. I haven’t made any savoury recently and I also had prawns in the freezer.

I didn’t want to make the regular dishes with prawns so thought why not try a pulao. Messaged a few friends who were generous enough to share their recipe. Am gonna try them soon too especially Mafrin’s Aunts Parsi prawn pulao.

prawn pulao
My friend khurana was kind enough to share this recipe by Nagina Hassan and I decided to give it a shot. I prefer short and easy recipes, this one was kind of elaborate though the final product is yum.

prawn pulao

INGREDIENTS

 

1 kg cleaned deveined prawns

2 cups washed basmati rice

4 sliced big onions

5 big tomatoes chopped

4tbsp. ginger garlic green chilli paste

2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

whole spice – 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 4 green cardamom, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 black cardamom, 2 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 6 cloves

oil

salt

PRAWN MARINATION

2 tsp garlic paste

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

oil/butter

Salt

GARNISH

3 tbsp. fried onion

2 tbsp. mint

pinch saffron

butter/ghee

 

  1. Marinate the prawns for an hour.
  2. Cook rice till about 60% done, drain and leave to dry.
  3. Take a big vessel, pour oil and add the whole spices.
  4. When it sizzles, add the onions and saute till brown.
  5. Add the paste of  ginger garlic and chillies. Let it fry a while.
  6. Add the dry powder masalas and mix well till it leaves oil.
  7. Add the tomatoes and cook it till its soft and the masalas leave oil.
  8. Add 1/2 glass water, mix well and add the par cooked rice and mix.
  9. Meanwhile in another pan, add oil/butter and fry the prawns till they turn slightly pink in colour
  10. Add the prawns to the rice and mix well.
  11. Now garnish with mint, fried onions, saffron, garam masala, red chilli, ghee.
  12. Now put it on dum for 15-20 mins. serve hot.

 

Oct 07

Eggless Oats & Cranberry Cookies

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A delicious eggless cookie with a wonderful sweet salty chewy flavour. A wonderful mix of oats, cashews and cranberries makes this cookie hard to put down. This recipe is courtesy Anuja Sule who runs a Facebook group called Simple Baking’s happy bakes and shares some wonderful recipes to attempt.

 

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Ingredients:

113 grams cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped

113 grams dried cranberries

170 grams butter, room temperature

210 grams light brown sugar

260 grams Quaker Oats

105 grams all purpose flour

30 ml milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, then add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon powder. Add the flour mixture to this and beat to incorporate.
  4. Then stir in the chopped nuts, oats and raisins and mix everything together.
  5. Use a large spoon (or an ice cream scoop) to make the balls of the dough and place it on the baking sheet about 1.5″ or 2″ apart. Now press the balls slightly by your fingers to flatten them.
  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the sides are golden brown in colour (mind you, it will still be a little soft in middle. It will harden once it cools down).
  7. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Note –  You can refrigerate the batter, while baking in batches. At any point you feel that the batter has become loose because of the heat/humidity, just keep in fridge till the butter in it hardens a little and then use it.

Recipe courtesy – Anuja Sule from Simple Baking

 

 

Oct 07

Eggless Coffee Cake

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There are so many recipes out there. Some look perfect but when attempted are a dismal failure.

Now I love coffee cakes and have made a few but all egg based. So when I get an order for an eggless coffee walnut cake for this weekend I readily said yes and then sat in a tizzy wondering what recipe should I try.

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Most people shy away from eggless, yes that used to be me at a point but when u have a dear friend who asks “eggless hai kya” plus live in an area that prefers eggless, the need of the hour is a good eggless recipe.

To my luck a fantabulous baker Priyanka Arora Nayak (urf Baker Rani) from Polka Dots Cake Academy posted this recipe and I didn’t wait a day before eagerly attempting a trial batch. It was so yum that I saved some just to photograph it. All the other pieces were gobbled up.

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Ingredients

140 gms All purpose flour

30 gms Cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

150 ml yoghurt

165 gms castor sugar

1/2 cup oil

3 tsp coffee powder mixed with 1 tbsp. hot water

1 tsp Vanilla extract

3 tbsp. milk

1/4 tsp salt

On the side whipped cream and a rum cinnamon sauce (Optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 160C and line a 7″ tin.
  2. Combine coffee and hot water
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients – APF, Cocoa, BP, BS and salt.
  4. Beat yoghurt and sugar till well blended.
  5. Add coffee mix and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  6. Add oil very gradually, while beating continuously.
  7. Mix dry ingredient mixture in 3 instalments and gently mix the batter. Avoid over mixing it.
  8. Add milk and mix gently. Pour into the greased tin. Tap 2-3 times to remove the air bubbles.
  9. Bake at 160C for 45-50 mins or until a skewer comes clean.

Recipe courtesy – Polka Dots Cake Academy

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Aug 16

Bhuna Ghosht

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Mutton cravings were reaching a peak. Especially home cooked mutton. I was desperate for done but my kids don’t enjoy and have been procrastinating to cook for the two of us.

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Made full use of the Independence Day holiday and invited my family over for lunch with the joint purpose of celebrating Rakhi too

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Prepared Bhuna Ghosht which is a simple, light and flavoursome Hyderbadi preparation and it was paired with an aromatic Mangalorean ghee rice. Bliss

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Ingredients

1 kg mutton

1.5″ cinnamon stick

3 green cardamoms

2-3 thinly sliced big onions

8 chopped garlic

1 heaped tbsp ginger garlic chilli paste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 tsp red chilli powder

oil salt

1 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)

chopped coriander

 

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the cinnamon and cardamom, wait for a minute and add the onions and garlic. Fry till golden brown.
  2. Add the ginger garlic chilli paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
  3. Add salt, turmeric, chilli and mutton pieces. Fry on medium heat mixing constantly till the pieces have a well fried look.
  4. Add 3/4 cup water, give one whistle and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure drop by itself.
  5. Remove heat and check if the meat is done. Add maida and mix well.
  6. Dry any excess water but ensure that you are left with enough gravy. garnish with coriander

recipe – Nita Mehta with a few personal touches.

 

 

Aug 10

Orange & Cranberry Cake

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I had an order today for boozy tea cakes. 4 diff flavours. Now I do use alcohol in some of my birthday cakes (if the client demands) but usually I soak them or mix in the ganache. Never tried to booze up a tea cake

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When the client asked for 4 diff flavours, the bewdi 🙊 in me started thinking of cocktail combinations and this is what I came up with
Kahlua & coffee
Lemon almond & tequila
Orange Cranberry & Vodka
Banana walnut & dark rum

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As I wanted to taste the combinations made a little extra of each flavour for me. I have already featured the other flavours in my blog, but not this one.

So here it is. Orange & Cranberry tea cake. Look at that crumb 😍

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INGREDIENTS

225 gms room temp Amul butter

200 gms Granulated sugar

2 Eggs, at room temperature

2 tbsp fresh Orange juice

1.5 tsp Orange zest

190 gms All purpose flour

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 cup Milk , at room temperature

1/4 cup Dried cranberries

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C.
  2. Grease a 9 x 3 inch loaf cake pan well and dust with flour.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  4. Mix the dried cranberries with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Keep aside.
  5. Rub the orange zest and sugar for a minute or two.
  6. Beat the zested sugar and butter using an electric mixer for a few minutes until light , fluffy and creamy.
  7. Beat in the eggs and orange juice.
  8. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk in two additions . So , 1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk -1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk- 1/3 of the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  9. Fold in the floured cranberries with a spatula.
  10. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a few cranberries on top.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake spring back when touched or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely, right side up on a wire rack.

(the recipe is taken from the blog http://www.floursandfrostings.com/orange-and-cranberry-butter-cake-recipe with some minor changes as I made them. U can also follow the exact recipe as mentioned in the blog link)

Aug 03

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes

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Baking without eggs is not too easy. To get the right texture and flavour i had to go through many recipes to find the one that works best. when Anuja Sule from Simple baking shared this for her bake along group, I knew it had to be a winner.

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This cupcake is moist, light ad delicious. dressed it 3 ways –

 

  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped cream and a Kahlua drizzle.
  • Vanilla cupcakes with an Oreo cookie for the base and frosted with a cookies and cream frosting

one bite and you are transported

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Ingredients:

 

170 grams all purpose flour
15 grams cornflour
240 grams thick curd
170 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/8th teaspoon baking powder
125 ml flavourless oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon water approximately (depends upon the consistency of the curd)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a 12 cavity cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium size bowl, sift all dry ingredients, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and curd till the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add oil and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Don’t over mix.
  6. Add water till the batter reaches dropping consistency. Scoop the batter in the cupcake liners and bake for 12-14 minutes.

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Jul 15

Victoria Sponge cake

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One of Britain’s most loved cakes is the Victoria sponge cake that supposedly has been named after Queen Victoria. Its a moist delicious and feather light sponge that is perfect to serve at tea time. Either slather it with cream and strawberries or lightly dust it with some icing sugar. Its absolute heaven when slightly warmed before enjoying it.

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The key to growth is constantly learning new things. Baking is something I enjoy and being part of a baker’s fortnightly baking group is such a treasure trove of recipes and flavours. i have Anuja Sule from Simple Baking to thank again for this wonderful recipe.

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Ingredients

175 grams butter, room temperature (1 cup)
175 grams caster sugar (1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, room temperature
175 grams all purpose flour (1.5 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30 ml milk, room temperature

 

  1. Heat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  3. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency (about 5 minutes).
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs, one by one
  5. Then fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  6. Add the milk give it a nice stir.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden brown.
  8. The cakes should spring back when gently pushed in the middle. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
  9. Dust some icing sugar on top and eat warm.

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