Friday, 13 January 2017

606. Chocolate Sesame Fudge

Happy Uttarayan

Guest post for Pushpita Aheibam

    Come fly a kite 
    And watch it sail
    Across the sky,
    Waving its tail.
    By Jean Warren

   Once again it Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. Uttarayan is the Gujarati name for the festival celebrated all over India. Be it Pongal, Lohri,Magha Saaji,Suggi,Ghughuti or any other name, it basically celebrates the transition of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn which is in the south part of the world to the north. It marks the ending of the winter solstice. The festival is also dedicated to the Sun God. It marks the end of the evil Poush (Kamudta) month. It is believed that Bhisma Pitah in spite of being on a bed of arrows and in grave pain, waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan to willingly die. Its also the period when the Gods awaken from their deep slumber. This festival is celebrated with a feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation. 
   
  Gujarat celebrates this festival over two days. The next day its called Vasi Uttarayan, meaning stale Uttarayan. I have no idea why its called Vasi Uttarayan. Usually during this festival most Gujarati homes prepare Undhiyu (winter vegetables cooked in with spices in an earthen pot), tal sakri (fudge made with sesame seeds and jaggery) or tal ladoos. The people of Gujarat celebrate this festival by flying kites. Its a time when relatives and friends meet outdoors, and all ages and gender enjoy flying kites in all sizes from the rooftops. Friendly competitions are held as to who can sustain their kite in the air for the longest time. The threads are sometimes laced with broken glass so it becomes easier to cut an opponents kite. Kites are made from very light paper and bamboo. Before Uttarayan, kite making becomes like a cottage industry for many homes.
  
   The skies all over Gujarat are doted with a variety of colours. It is believed that many years ago kite flying was enjoyed by the Kings and Nawabs who showed off their prowess and was a form of entertainment also. Trained kite fliers were employed. Slowly kite flying became popular with the masses. Ahmedabad, the kite capital hosts the International Kite Flying Competition during Uttarayan.
  
   During this joyous and vibrant festival, Pushpita a food blogger at Ei Gi Chakhum invited me to do a guest post. Pushpita, I'm so honoured for giving me this opportunity. In five years since I started blogging, this is my second guest post. 
  
   So what do I say about Pushpita? Well, she's a friend I haven't met as yet face to face (which hopefully one day I will) but we meet constantly on our Foodie Monday whatsapp group. I met her when she joined the group just a few months after me. She's a very friendly, helpful, caring and warm person. An economist by profession, her love for food led her to blogging. Through her blog she's opened up a whole new world for me through her speciality dishes from the North Eastern part of India, especially Manipur. Friendship with her proves that age is no bar, she's way younger to me but that does not stop us from sharing happy and sad moments. Please do check out her blog Ei Gi Chakham.
   Coming to today's special recipe for Uttarayan, I've already made the famous tal sakri so I decided to make a fusion version. Since its auspicious to have tal (sesame seeds) and gur( jaggery) on Uttarayan, I made it using tal and gur but its not too sweet and its healthy as I've also added cocoa powder to it. Its a simple and quick recipe. So read on to find out how to make chocolate sesame fudge.





CHOCOLATE SESAME FUDGE
Makes 12 -16 small pieces

½ cup white sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup grated jaggery (gur)
3 tsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp cinnamon powder (taj)
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¼ tsp or less red chilli powder

  1. Grease a 6"X6" with a little ghee.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds in a grinder till it begins to become like a paste.
  3. Remove the ground sesame seeds into a bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and chilli powder to the ground sesame and mix very well.
  5. Add jaggery and  ghee into a thick bottomed pan. Heat the mixture over low heat, mixing it all the time till the jaggery melts and begins to bubble and froth.
  6. Add milk and mix.
  7. Add the melted jaggery mixture to the sesame mixture. Mix it well.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Pat it down evenly.
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the fudge and press it down gently with your fingers.
  10. Let the fudge set for 2-3 hours. 
  11. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Tips:
  • This fudge is a great treat for those who want to eat healthy but crave for something sweet.Its not sweet at all.
  • If you want to make a sweeter fudge take half unsweetened cocoa and half sweetened cocoa.
  • Adding red chilli powder is optional. I added it as it reminds me of the chilli chocolate.
You may want to check out the following:


oats and nuts ladoos
tal and mixed nuts ladoos
tal sakri



   

   

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

605. Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Healthy Start

 Happy New Year to all the members of the wonderful, wonderful group Bread Bakers. I'm so glad to be part of a group where we learn so much about not only different breads and techniques but get to know each member more through their blogs, culture and festivals.
  Pavani of Cook's Hideout wanted us to begin the new year with some healthy breads. A great theme Pavani, can't wait to check out what other participants have baked. I decided to use amaranth as my healthy ingredient. I made Amaranth Flatbread for the first time and it turned out so good. I'll probably use that as a pizza base or make a focaccia next time. I made an apple salsa to go with the flatbread and the family enjoyed it as a starter with some wine.
  Amaranth is not a grain but rather a grain like seed. We use the green leaves to make curry or a dry vegetable coupled with egg plant or lentils. Amaranth or rajgira as its known in Hindi is used to prepare food during fasting days which demand a grain and pulse free diet. Amaranth seeds can be used like rice to be served with curries, lentils etc.Its a great replacement for oats as breakfast. Amaranth can be used in the seed form or as a flour.
  Amaranth is gluten free, helps to lower cholesterol, has anti inflammatory properties, helps to lower blood pressure,is a rich source of protein (ideal for vegetarians), is rich in lysine(helps the body absorb calcium, produces energy and helps build muscles), good source of fiber, boost immune system, is a good source of Vitamins A,C, E, K, B5, B6 and is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and copper.
  To work with amaranth flour, one needs to add another flour or boiled potato(sweet potato or tapioca) to make it more pliable. I added wholewheat flour, another healthy product. Check out my easy recipe. Amaranth flatbread had a nutty, earthy taste and is not heavy on the stomach.










AMARANTH FLATBREAD
Makes 2

1 cup amaranth flour (rajgira)
1½ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1-1¼ cup warm water
2 tsp instant dried active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

extra flour either amaranth or wheat flour for dusting
extra olive oil for greasing


  1. Sift amaranth flour, wheat flour and salt together.
  2. Add dried herbs and yeast and mix well.
  3. Add honey to 1 cup warm water and stir it well.
  4. Using the required amount of water, make a dough.
  5. Let the dough rest covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Dust the work top with some flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until its smooth.
  8. If it sticks to your hand use small amounts of the measured oil.
  9. Grease the bowl with some oil.
  10. Shape the dough into a big ball and place it in the bowl.
  11. Cover it with a wet cloth or cling film and let it rise till its nearly double the size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Dust the work top again with flour.
  14. Knead the dough gently  and divide it into 2 parts.
  15. Roll each part into a ball.
  16. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll/pat it out into a 8-9" diameter circle.
  17. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  18. Place the flatbreads on the tray.
  19. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden in colour.
  20. Let the flatbreads cool down a bit on a wire rack.
  21. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite dip, cream cheese or salsa.
Tips:
  • Use the flatbread as a pizza base.
  • If the flour sticks too much to your hands, add a bit more flour or use oil to knead the dough.
  • To make apple salsa, chop a big apple finely. Add one small finely chopped onion, a few mint leaves, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Mix well and serve.
  • Can use a frying pan, griddle or tawa to cook the flatbreads.
Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow #BreadBakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

Monday, 9 January 2017

604. Khamiri Green Peas Puri

2017 -BEGINNING WITH OBSTACLES

   Just as the new year began, like everyone we prayed for a peaceful, trouble free and happy year. Well, happy we are as positive things in ours lives make us happy. However, the year hasn't really begun too well for hubby and me. From the time we left India, we're facing problems one after the other. 
  First obstacle - I go to my bank in Mumbai to get one of my debit cards activated. Tried it out at an ATM and it worked. Then the tech savvy in charge of cards informs us that our cards have a raised limit. He tinkers on the computer and tells us all is well. We are happy and leave the bank. Next day early morning at around 5 am hubby and I use our cards to pay for breakfast at the airport and they don't work! Can you imagine if we had tried to purchase something with more value or required the cards to pay for some emergency? Still getting sorted out!
  Second obstacle - Flight delay for over 2 hours for a trip that usually takes only 45 minutes! Instead of getting home at 2.30 pm, we reach at 5.30 pm.
  Third Obstacle - We unpack, freshen up. Hubby is on the ipad and I was watching TV. Both kept on saying its time to go to bed, but we were glued to our seats for sometime. There was power fluctuations which is normal in this part of the world so we just ignored it. Suddenly, I see sparks coming out of a socket behind hubby's massage armchair. Before we could even get up to switch it off, the socket behind the TV caught fire! It began to flare up so quickly. Luckily we put it off-- hubby kept on beating it with a thick cloth. Now we have a fire extinguisher in the house. Need to look for the old blanket which might be somewhere in the cupboards. Whole night no power, its really humid and hot. So we decide to go to our beach apartment to spend the night. The water in the apartment taps does not come out in force,but we just go to sleep. In the morning when we get up, there's water and sand everywhere in the corridors and stairways. We were told that a huge water tank on the roof top burst! Got home, had an electrician to sort out the problem which actually was a faulty trip switch at the main board downstairs. Scary!
  Fourth obstacle - Our househelp of so many years (over 18 years) decides that 6 weeks of holiday was not enough for him. He doesn't turn up for work. When I called him to ask when he will come, I got the answer " I'm sick, so don't know when I'll come!" Usually he will indicate when he'll be back.
  Fifth Obstacle - Yes still not over, when I put the clothes in the washing machine, and none were soiled badly or had sand. The wash comes out with tiny pieces of some plastic bits much like synthetic leather and sand grit! Check all the pockets again, found nothing.Still a mystery where it came from. Still got the bits of black stuff at the bottom of the machine. Ran it on cleaning mode but it didn't go away. Now to sort this out, need a vacuum cleaner!


 Enough of obstacles. In spite of all the obstacles I still managed to get my #74th theme on peas ready for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop. Blogging relieves stress for me. My moment of happiness.We were suppose to use only fresh peas for whatever we chose to prepare. When a fellow member Kriti suggested peas I knew immediately that I would prepare a saved Tarla Dalal recipe - Khamiri Green Peas Puri. What's so different about this puri from the normal pea puris you may ask? Well, khamir in Mughal language means yeast. The dough for this puri is prepared using yeast. The texture of the end product is a soft but slightly spongy puri. I made a few minor changes to the recipe but the end result was delicious. Ideal breakfast treat.Check out the recipe.









KHAMIRI GREEN PEAS PURI
Makes 8
Recipe source : Tarla Dalal

For the dough:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp ghee
1 tsp instant active dried yeast
⅔-¾ cup warm water

For the filling:
1 cup boiled fresh peas
1 tbsp oil
½-¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

oil for deep frying
extra ghee for greasing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl. 
  2. Add ghee and rub into the flour.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the flour and mix.
  4. Form a dough using warm water.It should not be hard or too soft.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes till its smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with some ghee. 
  7. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the greased bowl. 
  8. Cover the bowl with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rise for 1½ hours till its double the size.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Mash the boiled peas lightly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the mashed green peas.
  4. Add salt, green chilli, ginger, sugar and mix well.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
  6. Add cinnamon and clove powders, coriander and lemon juice.
  7. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently. Using a bit of flour, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  2. Divide the filling into 8 parts.
  3. Take one dough ball and using your fingers and thumb form a small basket or cup shape. 
  4. Put one part of the filling in it.
  5. Pinch up the seams to close the cup with the filling.
  6. Flatten it a bit between your palms.
  7. Using a little bit of flour, roll it into a 4" diameter circle.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  10. When its hot slide in one of the puris and fry it, turning it over often till its light golden brown in colour.
  11. Serve with a hot cup of coffee or masala tea.
Tips:
  • Use fresh peas to get a nice green filling.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Warm up the leftover puris in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fry the puri over medium heat and not high heat as you don't want the dough from the inside to remain raw.

You may want to check out the following:
kachoris
pea kofta curry
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



  

Monday, 2 January 2017

603. Exotic Fruit Salad

HAPPY NEW YEAR

   Write it in your heart that every day of this new year is the best day. 
    
    A new year has begun, time to reflect on what we achieved last year, what we didn't and  what we would like to achieve. Like every year I continuously make a resolution to lose weight, which so far I haven't; not get so emotional if my kids don't call regularly, which is pretty difficult to stick by and have more patience with my hubby's weird, out of this world ideas. However, I still get angry and try to retaliate them with all my energy :) 
   This year I've not made any resolutions as I forget about them even before the 15th of January. Desserts, chocolates, good fried food, chaats still tempt me to no end. Perhaps I will try and take baby steps or make small mindful changes every day. However, it can only work if I continue with the change and not forget about it after a day. Lets see how it goes.
   But changes I do want. I want to go into 2017 loving myself more. I want to stop pleasing others. I want to think about me and my hubby more. I want to do what I feel I should. I don't want others telling me what I should be doing. I am old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. For me that's going to be like a major makeover. No seriously, after certain events that took place last year, I want to break the shackles of pleasing everyone. As hubby dear often reminds me that I should follow my heart. 
   It is also important to thank our past years and learn from it. Its the past that has allowed us to move to the new year. Its also a time to thank God for all that we have, good health, home, family and friends.
   So here's wishing you all a year which will bring you good health, peace, happiness, more family time, prosperity, success in all you want to achieve, new friends and continued friendship.
   Our 1st Monday of 2017 theme for #FoodieMonday#Bloghop is New Year. This is the 73rd theme. We had to prepare anything that we think is fit to welcome the New year into our lives. New beginnings mean celebrating with something sweet. However, after the wedding, Christmas, hubby's birthday celebrations I really didn't want to add more sugar into our bodies. I decided to make something that is naturally sweet and healthy - a fruit salad. You may think what's so unique about a fruit salad, but for me it is. I don't get dragon fruit in Mombasa so I decided to make a fruit salad using it. Saw the dragon fruits at a local veggie shop in HSR Layout, Bangalore and decided that I must use it for my next post. The other fruits I used are in season here and am enjoying them every day.
So here's my naturally sweet post to celebrate the New Year.








EXOTIC FRUIT SALAD
Serves 4

1 dragon fruit
12 strawberries
1 cup grapes
a few fresh mint leaves
1 cup of pomegranate seeds/arils

For the orange reduction:
1½ cups fresh orange juice
1 tsp cornflour


  1. To prepare the orange reduction, mix orange juice and cornflour in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. Put the pan over medium heat and let the juice become hot.
  3. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 7-10minutes till it becomes a little thick.
  4. Let it cool down completely.
  5. Scoop out the flesh from the dragon fruit. 
  6. Cut the grapes into half.
  7. Tear the mint leaves.
  8. Hull the strawberries and cut into half or thick slices.
  9. Mix the fruits and mint leaves together in a serving bowl.
  10. Pour the orange reduction over the fruit salad and serve.
Tips:
  • Use any fruit of your choice.
  • Make it colourful so that it is appealing and kids will want to reach out for it.
  • Can serve the fruit salad with some ice cream or drizzle fresh cream over it.
  • Use basil leaves instead of mint.
You may want to check out the following:

Fruit Tartlets
Fruit Jelly
amaranth fruity pudding
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop
   

Sunday, 1 January 2017

602. Pistachio and Rose Cake

5th Blogiversary


Above picture from Google

 Yes, its a milestone achieved. Its exactly 5 years ago I started blogging. Back then had no idea how to take photos, add photos, link articles, and so much more. Over the years not only have I learnt so much in the technology world but also have learnt so much in the food world. I've made some very good friends over the internet and met a few. I've learnt so much by joining groups that challenge me to bake, cook, prepare different varieties of food. I can easily say that I try out a new recipe at least once a week if not more. Some have been total disasters and some not approved by family members. 
  I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of We Knead to Bake, Bread Bakers, Shhh Cooking Secretly and FoodieMonday. Its unfortunate that other groups that I had enjoyed being a part of died, International Food Challenge and Home Bakers' Challenge to name a few. 
 I started blogging to share recipes that I had learnt from my mum, my mother in law, kaki and other women I've known. Also the aim was to share my recipes with family and friends.  My family and a few friends appreciate my efforts and they have been trying out the recipes.  
  From this year, I would like you to share photos of any recipes you try out from Mayuri's Jikoni and I will feature it on my blogpost and Facebook. 
  5 years is a long time and I certainly am not in the rat race to get more likings. I blog because I love cooking and want to share not only a bit of my life, world events but also the recipes with you.
  I truly appreciate all the support and love my followers have showered on me by appreciating my work. I don't have an artistic eye to create a wow factor for my food photos. I entirely depend on my iPhone for photos. 
  Blogging would not have been possible if I had not been introduced to it by my cousin Shreena. My mentor has been my daughter who not only designed Mayuri's Jikoni but also has patiently taught to me how to include so much technology on my blog. She's the one who encouraged to be on other social medias like Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Facebook. My son Niku for teaching me how to link articles and encouraging me to try out new recipes, my son Neel for introducing me to Google Documents. I have to also thank my taster, my hubby. A true critique and  when we are travelling, he too is trying to spot new props I use for my photos.He waits with patience before I can serve the food preparation as I need to take photos. He has encouraged me follow my passion. My daughter in law Elo for sending articles that may help to improve the blog or my photos.
   I'm hoping for your continued support and in return I hope to cook more exciting recipes to share with you. 
   I made this pistachio and rose cake to celebrate my 5th blogiversary and my hubby's birthday which was on 25th December. I chose to make a pistachio cake because he simply loves them. My recipe is source is Heavenly Cake Baker. I didn't use the frosting specified in the recipe, added rose extract and petals as I think they go well together much like the way orange and chocolate do. For the frosting I made a white chocolate ganache. Ok will let you know the secret... during the wedding I had put out those famous little Lindt chocolates for guests to indulge in. The classic, milk and dark got consumed and the white ones were left. So used that for the frosting. 
 If you check out the recipe source, Sicilian Pistachio Cake is made using the emerald green pistachios grown in Sicily region or more specifically Bronte, the Italian capital of pistachio. Since I didn't have the Sicilian pistachios I chose not use the name Sicilian Pistachio Cake.






PISTACHIO AND ROSE CAKE
Serves 8-10

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup blanched pistachios - divided
¾ cup sour cream - divided
150g soft butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp rose extract
2 tbsp milk

Topping and Frosting/ganache:
100g white chocolate
1 cup fresh cream
dried rose petals
2-3 drops of rose extract
 remaining pistachios cut into thick slivers

  1. To blanch the pistachios, add them to hot water and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Remove the skin. Divide the pistachios, ½ cup and ¼ cup.
  2. Grind ½ cup pistachios along with sugar to a coarse powder. Do not powder it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  4. Grease a 9" round cake tin with butter and dust it with flour. Or you can line it with parchment paper.
  5. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and soda bicarbonate together. 
  6. Add the pistachio sugar mixture and mix well.
  7. In another bowl whisk 3 tbsp sour cream,eggs, milk, vanilla extract and rose extract together.
  8. Add the remaining sour cream and butter to the flour. Rub it into the flour.
  9. Gradually add the egg mixture bit by bit while folding it into the flour mixture.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Level it out.
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes till its done and appears light golden colour.
  12. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove the cake from the tin.
To prepare the frosting/ganache:
  1. Gently heat the cream till it is hot.
  2. Take the pan off the heat.
  3. Add the white chocolate pieces and 2-3 drops of rose extract.Mix well.
  4. Leave the ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes till it becomes thick but spreadable.
Final Preparation:
  1. Pour the frosting or ganache over the cooled cake. Spread it out gently with a spatula.
  2. Scatter rose petals and pistachio slivers over the ganache.
  3. Serve with some coffee.
Tips:
  • If you use unsalted butter then add ½ tsp of salt.
  • To get the nutty texture and flavour, do not grind the pistachios to a powder. Leave it coarse.
  • Use a frosting your choice or serve it without frosting.
You may want to check out the following:

MY FIRST RECIPE
eggless chocolate banana bundt cake
fig lemon cake





Thursday, 29 December 2016

601.Oatmeal Banana Quick Bread

A satisfying beginning to the day

   Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is breaking a fast; a fast you undergo from the time you had dinner to the time you have breakfast. Importance of breakfast has been stressed by athletes, dietician, doctors, physical trainers. Breakfast provides the necessary fuel required for the brains and body after the overnight fast. Meals usually consumed for breakfast provide important nutrients like iron, calcium, B vitamins, proteins and fibers that are necessary to function during the day. A balanced meal of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals and vitamins is what most breakfast meals provide us with. Eating cereals, eggs, lean meat, fruits, vegetables, milk products take care of the required balance meal.
   Eating a well balanced and filling breakfast helps us to feel full most of the day and its unlikely that one will binge at lunch or dinner if one has had a hearty breakfast. Skipping breakfast usually makes us reach out for sugary treats at mid day or lunch time.
   Having breakfast restores glucose levels needed for brain function. Eating breakfast improves memory and concentration levels. Empty stomachs make us moody and as a result raises our stress levels. A hearty breakfast helps to maintain a good mood and therefore more capable to deal with stress.
   Hearty breakfasts help to maintain the energy we require to get through the day. Eating breakfast also helps to maintain a long term health. It wards off obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases. Breakfast kickstarts our metabolism helping to burn calories throughout the day. 
   However, its important to eat healthy food for breakfast and avoid fried and greasy foods and foods high in sugar.
   Serving the same old types of food for breakfast can get a bit boring. I prefer to have different variety for breakfast whereas hubby dear is happy to stick to his oatmeal with fruits and nuts. Give that to him 365 days and he's happy. I need variety, cannot eat the same things for days. 
   The Shhh Cooking Secretly group decided on a breakfast treat theme for the month of November. I was paired with Rafeeda who I met in Dubai. She blogs at The Big Sweet Tooth. She's a sweet and very friendly person. Rafeeda gave me oats and nuts to prepare a breakfast treat. You may think November is long gone and the year is ending. I got very busy preparing for my daughter's wedding. Though I had baked Oatmeal banana quick bread twice in October, I just didn't get the time to write the post. 
   However, as the saying goes 'better late than never' so here's my breakfast treat using oats, nuts, dried fruits, banana and egg.







OATMEAL BANANA QUICK BREAD
Makes 1 big loaf or two small ones

1 cup quick rolling oats
¾ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ cup chopped mixed nuts ( I used walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts)
½ cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit of your choice)
1 egg
1½ cup mashed ripe bananas
¼ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

extra oatmeal or rolling oats to sprinkle on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf tin 9"X5" or two small ones with butter. Dust it with flour.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt together into a big bowl.
  3. Add oats, nuts and cranberries  to the flour mixture. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl add both sugars, egg, oil, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Whip well.
  5. Add flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix gently till the flour becomes wet. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes. If you bake in smaller loaf tins then it will take 25-30 minutes. Bake till the top appears golden brown.
  8. Leave the bread in the tin to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the tin and serve for breakfast or any time of the day.
Tips:
  • Use honey instead of white sugar.
  • Use nuts and dried fruits of your choice.
  • Over ripe bananas are best for baking. I freeze over ripe bananas and use them when required.
You may want to check out the following:

breakfast muffins


Sending this recipe for the following event:


shhh

Friday, 13 January 2017

606. Chocolate Sesame Fudge

Happy Uttarayan

Guest post for Pushpita Aheibam

    Come fly a kite 
    And watch it sail
    Across the sky,
    Waving its tail.
    By Jean Warren

   Once again it Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. Uttarayan is the Gujarati name for the festival celebrated all over India. Be it Pongal, Lohri,Magha Saaji,Suggi,Ghughuti or any other name, it basically celebrates the transition of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn which is in the south part of the world to the north. It marks the ending of the winter solstice. The festival is also dedicated to the Sun God. It marks the end of the evil Poush (Kamudta) month. It is believed that Bhisma Pitah in spite of being on a bed of arrows and in grave pain, waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan to willingly die. Its also the period when the Gods awaken from their deep slumber. This festival is celebrated with a feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation. 
   
  Gujarat celebrates this festival over two days. The next day its called Vasi Uttarayan, meaning stale Uttarayan. I have no idea why its called Vasi Uttarayan. Usually during this festival most Gujarati homes prepare Undhiyu (winter vegetables cooked in with spices in an earthen pot), tal sakri (fudge made with sesame seeds and jaggery) or tal ladoos. The people of Gujarat celebrate this festival by flying kites. Its a time when relatives and friends meet outdoors, and all ages and gender enjoy flying kites in all sizes from the rooftops. Friendly competitions are held as to who can sustain their kite in the air for the longest time. The threads are sometimes laced with broken glass so it becomes easier to cut an opponents kite. Kites are made from very light paper and bamboo. Before Uttarayan, kite making becomes like a cottage industry for many homes.
  
   The skies all over Gujarat are doted with a variety of colours. It is believed that many years ago kite flying was enjoyed by the Kings and Nawabs who showed off their prowess and was a form of entertainment also. Trained kite fliers were employed. Slowly kite flying became popular with the masses. Ahmedabad, the kite capital hosts the International Kite Flying Competition during Uttarayan.
  
   During this joyous and vibrant festival, Pushpita a food blogger at Ei Gi Chakhum invited me to do a guest post. Pushpita, I'm so honoured for giving me this opportunity. In five years since I started blogging, this is my second guest post. 
  
   So what do I say about Pushpita? Well, she's a friend I haven't met as yet face to face (which hopefully one day I will) but we meet constantly on our Foodie Monday whatsapp group. I met her when she joined the group just a few months after me. She's a very friendly, helpful, caring and warm person. An economist by profession, her love for food led her to blogging. Through her blog she's opened up a whole new world for me through her speciality dishes from the North Eastern part of India, especially Manipur. Friendship with her proves that age is no bar, she's way younger to me but that does not stop us from sharing happy and sad moments. Please do check out her blog Ei Gi Chakham.
   Coming to today's special recipe for Uttarayan, I've already made the famous tal sakri so I decided to make a fusion version. Since its auspicious to have tal (sesame seeds) and gur( jaggery) on Uttarayan, I made it using tal and gur but its not too sweet and its healthy as I've also added cocoa powder to it. Its a simple and quick recipe. So read on to find out how to make chocolate sesame fudge.





CHOCOLATE SESAME FUDGE
Makes 12 -16 small pieces

½ cup white sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup grated jaggery (gur)
3 tsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp cinnamon powder (taj)
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¼ tsp or less red chilli powder

  1. Grease a 6"X6" with a little ghee.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds in a grinder till it begins to become like a paste.
  3. Remove the ground sesame seeds into a bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and chilli powder to the ground sesame and mix very well.
  5. Add jaggery and  ghee into a thick bottomed pan. Heat the mixture over low heat, mixing it all the time till the jaggery melts and begins to bubble and froth.
  6. Add milk and mix.
  7. Add the melted jaggery mixture to the sesame mixture. Mix it well.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Pat it down evenly.
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the fudge and press it down gently with your fingers.
  10. Let the fudge set for 2-3 hours. 
  11. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Tips:
  • This fudge is a great treat for those who want to eat healthy but crave for something sweet.Its not sweet at all.
  • If you want to make a sweeter fudge take half unsweetened cocoa and half sweetened cocoa.
  • Adding red chilli powder is optional. I added it as it reminds me of the chilli chocolate.
You may want to check out the following:


oats and nuts ladoos
tal and mixed nuts ladoos
tal sakri



   

   
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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

605. Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Healthy Start

 Happy New Year to all the members of the wonderful, wonderful group Bread Bakers. I'm so glad to be part of a group where we learn so much about not only different breads and techniques but get to know each member more through their blogs, culture and festivals.
  Pavani of Cook's Hideout wanted us to begin the new year with some healthy breads. A great theme Pavani, can't wait to check out what other participants have baked. I decided to use amaranth as my healthy ingredient. I made Amaranth Flatbread for the first time and it turned out so good. I'll probably use that as a pizza base or make a focaccia next time. I made an apple salsa to go with the flatbread and the family enjoyed it as a starter with some wine.
  Amaranth is not a grain but rather a grain like seed. We use the green leaves to make curry or a dry vegetable coupled with egg plant or lentils. Amaranth or rajgira as its known in Hindi is used to prepare food during fasting days which demand a grain and pulse free diet. Amaranth seeds can be used like rice to be served with curries, lentils etc.Its a great replacement for oats as breakfast. Amaranth can be used in the seed form or as a flour.
  Amaranth is gluten free, helps to lower cholesterol, has anti inflammatory properties, helps to lower blood pressure,is a rich source of protein (ideal for vegetarians), is rich in lysine(helps the body absorb calcium, produces energy and helps build muscles), good source of fiber, boost immune system, is a good source of Vitamins A,C, E, K, B5, B6 and is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and copper.
  To work with amaranth flour, one needs to add another flour or boiled potato(sweet potato or tapioca) to make it more pliable. I added wholewheat flour, another healthy product. Check out my easy recipe. Amaranth flatbread had a nutty, earthy taste and is not heavy on the stomach.










AMARANTH FLATBREAD
Makes 2

1 cup amaranth flour (rajgira)
1½ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1-1¼ cup warm water
2 tsp instant dried active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

extra flour either amaranth or wheat flour for dusting
extra olive oil for greasing


  1. Sift amaranth flour, wheat flour and salt together.
  2. Add dried herbs and yeast and mix well.
  3. Add honey to 1 cup warm water and stir it well.
  4. Using the required amount of water, make a dough.
  5. Let the dough rest covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Dust the work top with some flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until its smooth.
  8. If it sticks to your hand use small amounts of the measured oil.
  9. Grease the bowl with some oil.
  10. Shape the dough into a big ball and place it in the bowl.
  11. Cover it with a wet cloth or cling film and let it rise till its nearly double the size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Dust the work top again with flour.
  14. Knead the dough gently  and divide it into 2 parts.
  15. Roll each part into a ball.
  16. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll/pat it out into a 8-9" diameter circle.
  17. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  18. Place the flatbreads on the tray.
  19. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden in colour.
  20. Let the flatbreads cool down a bit on a wire rack.
  21. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite dip, cream cheese or salsa.
Tips:
  • Use the flatbread as a pizza base.
  • If the flour sticks too much to your hands, add a bit more flour or use oil to knead the dough.
  • To make apple salsa, chop a big apple finely. Add one small finely chopped onion, a few mint leaves, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Mix well and serve.
  • Can use a frying pan, griddle or tawa to cook the flatbreads.
Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow #BreadBakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

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Monday, 9 January 2017

604. Khamiri Green Peas Puri

2017 -BEGINNING WITH OBSTACLES

   Just as the new year began, like everyone we prayed for a peaceful, trouble free and happy year. Well, happy we are as positive things in ours lives make us happy. However, the year hasn't really begun too well for hubby and me. From the time we left India, we're facing problems one after the other. 
  First obstacle - I go to my bank in Mumbai to get one of my debit cards activated. Tried it out at an ATM and it worked. Then the tech savvy in charge of cards informs us that our cards have a raised limit. He tinkers on the computer and tells us all is well. We are happy and leave the bank. Next day early morning at around 5 am hubby and I use our cards to pay for breakfast at the airport and they don't work! Can you imagine if we had tried to purchase something with more value or required the cards to pay for some emergency? Still getting sorted out!
  Second obstacle - Flight delay for over 2 hours for a trip that usually takes only 45 minutes! Instead of getting home at 2.30 pm, we reach at 5.30 pm.
  Third Obstacle - We unpack, freshen up. Hubby is on the ipad and I was watching TV. Both kept on saying its time to go to bed, but we were glued to our seats for sometime. There was power fluctuations which is normal in this part of the world so we just ignored it. Suddenly, I see sparks coming out of a socket behind hubby's massage armchair. Before we could even get up to switch it off, the socket behind the TV caught fire! It began to flare up so quickly. Luckily we put it off-- hubby kept on beating it with a thick cloth. Now we have a fire extinguisher in the house. Need to look for the old blanket which might be somewhere in the cupboards. Whole night no power, its really humid and hot. So we decide to go to our beach apartment to spend the night. The water in the apartment taps does not come out in force,but we just go to sleep. In the morning when we get up, there's water and sand everywhere in the corridors and stairways. We were told that a huge water tank on the roof top burst! Got home, had an electrician to sort out the problem which actually was a faulty trip switch at the main board downstairs. Scary!
  Fourth obstacle - Our househelp of so many years (over 18 years) decides that 6 weeks of holiday was not enough for him. He doesn't turn up for work. When I called him to ask when he will come, I got the answer " I'm sick, so don't know when I'll come!" Usually he will indicate when he'll be back.
  Fifth Obstacle - Yes still not over, when I put the clothes in the washing machine, and none were soiled badly or had sand. The wash comes out with tiny pieces of some plastic bits much like synthetic leather and sand grit! Check all the pockets again, found nothing.Still a mystery where it came from. Still got the bits of black stuff at the bottom of the machine. Ran it on cleaning mode but it didn't go away. Now to sort this out, need a vacuum cleaner!


 Enough of obstacles. In spite of all the obstacles I still managed to get my #74th theme on peas ready for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop. Blogging relieves stress for me. My moment of happiness.We were suppose to use only fresh peas for whatever we chose to prepare. When a fellow member Kriti suggested peas I knew immediately that I would prepare a saved Tarla Dalal recipe - Khamiri Green Peas Puri. What's so different about this puri from the normal pea puris you may ask? Well, khamir in Mughal language means yeast. The dough for this puri is prepared using yeast. The texture of the end product is a soft but slightly spongy puri. I made a few minor changes to the recipe but the end result was delicious. Ideal breakfast treat.Check out the recipe.









KHAMIRI GREEN PEAS PURI
Makes 8
Recipe source : Tarla Dalal

For the dough:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp ghee
1 tsp instant active dried yeast
⅔-¾ cup warm water

For the filling:
1 cup boiled fresh peas
1 tbsp oil
½-¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

oil for deep frying
extra ghee for greasing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl. 
  2. Add ghee and rub into the flour.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the flour and mix.
  4. Form a dough using warm water.It should not be hard or too soft.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes till its smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with some ghee. 
  7. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the greased bowl. 
  8. Cover the bowl with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rise for 1½ hours till its double the size.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Mash the boiled peas lightly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the mashed green peas.
  4. Add salt, green chilli, ginger, sugar and mix well.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
  6. Add cinnamon and clove powders, coriander and lemon juice.
  7. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently. Using a bit of flour, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  2. Divide the filling into 8 parts.
  3. Take one dough ball and using your fingers and thumb form a small basket or cup shape. 
  4. Put one part of the filling in it.
  5. Pinch up the seams to close the cup with the filling.
  6. Flatten it a bit between your palms.
  7. Using a little bit of flour, roll it into a 4" diameter circle.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  10. When its hot slide in one of the puris and fry it, turning it over often till its light golden brown in colour.
  11. Serve with a hot cup of coffee or masala tea.
Tips:
  • Use fresh peas to get a nice green filling.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Warm up the leftover puris in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fry the puri over medium heat and not high heat as you don't want the dough from the inside to remain raw.

You may want to check out the following:
kachoris
pea kofta curry
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



  

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Monday, 2 January 2017

603. Exotic Fruit Salad

HAPPY NEW YEAR

   Write it in your heart that every day of this new year is the best day. 
    
    A new year has begun, time to reflect on what we achieved last year, what we didn't and  what we would like to achieve. Like every year I continuously make a resolution to lose weight, which so far I haven't; not get so emotional if my kids don't call regularly, which is pretty difficult to stick by and have more patience with my hubby's weird, out of this world ideas. However, I still get angry and try to retaliate them with all my energy :) 
   This year I've not made any resolutions as I forget about them even before the 15th of January. Desserts, chocolates, good fried food, chaats still tempt me to no end. Perhaps I will try and take baby steps or make small mindful changes every day. However, it can only work if I continue with the change and not forget about it after a day. Lets see how it goes.
   But changes I do want. I want to go into 2017 loving myself more. I want to stop pleasing others. I want to think about me and my hubby more. I want to do what I feel I should. I don't want others telling me what I should be doing. I am old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. For me that's going to be like a major makeover. No seriously, after certain events that took place last year, I want to break the shackles of pleasing everyone. As hubby dear often reminds me that I should follow my heart. 
   It is also important to thank our past years and learn from it. Its the past that has allowed us to move to the new year. Its also a time to thank God for all that we have, good health, home, family and friends.
   So here's wishing you all a year which will bring you good health, peace, happiness, more family time, prosperity, success in all you want to achieve, new friends and continued friendship.
   Our 1st Monday of 2017 theme for #FoodieMonday#Bloghop is New Year. This is the 73rd theme. We had to prepare anything that we think is fit to welcome the New year into our lives. New beginnings mean celebrating with something sweet. However, after the wedding, Christmas, hubby's birthday celebrations I really didn't want to add more sugar into our bodies. I decided to make something that is naturally sweet and healthy - a fruit salad. You may think what's so unique about a fruit salad, but for me it is. I don't get dragon fruit in Mombasa so I decided to make a fruit salad using it. Saw the dragon fruits at a local veggie shop in HSR Layout, Bangalore and decided that I must use it for my next post. The other fruits I used are in season here and am enjoying them every day.
So here's my naturally sweet post to celebrate the New Year.








EXOTIC FRUIT SALAD
Serves 4

1 dragon fruit
12 strawberries
1 cup grapes
a few fresh mint leaves
1 cup of pomegranate seeds/arils

For the orange reduction:
1½ cups fresh orange juice
1 tsp cornflour


  1. To prepare the orange reduction, mix orange juice and cornflour in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. Put the pan over medium heat and let the juice become hot.
  3. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 7-10minutes till it becomes a little thick.
  4. Let it cool down completely.
  5. Scoop out the flesh from the dragon fruit. 
  6. Cut the grapes into half.
  7. Tear the mint leaves.
  8. Hull the strawberries and cut into half or thick slices.
  9. Mix the fruits and mint leaves together in a serving bowl.
  10. Pour the orange reduction over the fruit salad and serve.
Tips:
  • Use any fruit of your choice.
  • Make it colourful so that it is appealing and kids will want to reach out for it.
  • Can serve the fruit salad with some ice cream or drizzle fresh cream over it.
  • Use basil leaves instead of mint.
You may want to check out the following:

Fruit Tartlets
Fruit Jelly
amaranth fruity pudding
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop
   

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

602. Pistachio and Rose Cake

5th Blogiversary


Above picture from Google

 Yes, its a milestone achieved. Its exactly 5 years ago I started blogging. Back then had no idea how to take photos, add photos, link articles, and so much more. Over the years not only have I learnt so much in the technology world but also have learnt so much in the food world. I've made some very good friends over the internet and met a few. I've learnt so much by joining groups that challenge me to bake, cook, prepare different varieties of food. I can easily say that I try out a new recipe at least once a week if not more. Some have been total disasters and some not approved by family members. 
  I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of We Knead to Bake, Bread Bakers, Shhh Cooking Secretly and FoodieMonday. Its unfortunate that other groups that I had enjoyed being a part of died, International Food Challenge and Home Bakers' Challenge to name a few. 
 I started blogging to share recipes that I had learnt from my mum, my mother in law, kaki and other women I've known. Also the aim was to share my recipes with family and friends.  My family and a few friends appreciate my efforts and they have been trying out the recipes.  
  From this year, I would like you to share photos of any recipes you try out from Mayuri's Jikoni and I will feature it on my blogpost and Facebook. 
  5 years is a long time and I certainly am not in the rat race to get more likings. I blog because I love cooking and want to share not only a bit of my life, world events but also the recipes with you.
  I truly appreciate all the support and love my followers have showered on me by appreciating my work. I don't have an artistic eye to create a wow factor for my food photos. I entirely depend on my iPhone for photos. 
  Blogging would not have been possible if I had not been introduced to it by my cousin Shreena. My mentor has been my daughter who not only designed Mayuri's Jikoni but also has patiently taught to me how to include so much technology on my blog. She's the one who encouraged to be on other social medias like Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Facebook. My son Niku for teaching me how to link articles and encouraging me to try out new recipes, my son Neel for introducing me to Google Documents. I have to also thank my taster, my hubby. A true critique and  when we are travelling, he too is trying to spot new props I use for my photos.He waits with patience before I can serve the food preparation as I need to take photos. He has encouraged me follow my passion. My daughter in law Elo for sending articles that may help to improve the blog or my photos.
   I'm hoping for your continued support and in return I hope to cook more exciting recipes to share with you. 
   I made this pistachio and rose cake to celebrate my 5th blogiversary and my hubby's birthday which was on 25th December. I chose to make a pistachio cake because he simply loves them. My recipe is source is Heavenly Cake Baker. I didn't use the frosting specified in the recipe, added rose extract and petals as I think they go well together much like the way orange and chocolate do. For the frosting I made a white chocolate ganache. Ok will let you know the secret... during the wedding I had put out those famous little Lindt chocolates for guests to indulge in. The classic, milk and dark got consumed and the white ones were left. So used that for the frosting. 
 If you check out the recipe source, Sicilian Pistachio Cake is made using the emerald green pistachios grown in Sicily region or more specifically Bronte, the Italian capital of pistachio. Since I didn't have the Sicilian pistachios I chose not use the name Sicilian Pistachio Cake.






PISTACHIO AND ROSE CAKE
Serves 8-10

2 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup blanched pistachios - divided
¾ cup sour cream - divided
150g soft butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp rose extract
2 tbsp milk

Topping and Frosting/ganache:
100g white chocolate
1 cup fresh cream
dried rose petals
2-3 drops of rose extract
 remaining pistachios cut into thick slivers

  1. To blanch the pistachios, add them to hot water and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Remove the skin. Divide the pistachios, ½ cup and ¼ cup.
  2. Grind ½ cup pistachios along with sugar to a coarse powder. Do not powder it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  4. Grease a 9" round cake tin with butter and dust it with flour. Or you can line it with parchment paper.
  5. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and soda bicarbonate together. 
  6. Add the pistachio sugar mixture and mix well.
  7. In another bowl whisk 3 tbsp sour cream,eggs, milk, vanilla extract and rose extract together.
  8. Add the remaining sour cream and butter to the flour. Rub it into the flour.
  9. Gradually add the egg mixture bit by bit while folding it into the flour mixture.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Level it out.
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes till its done and appears light golden colour.
  12. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove the cake from the tin.
To prepare the frosting/ganache:
  1. Gently heat the cream till it is hot.
  2. Take the pan off the heat.
  3. Add the white chocolate pieces and 2-3 drops of rose extract.Mix well.
  4. Leave the ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes till it becomes thick but spreadable.
Final Preparation:
  1. Pour the frosting or ganache over the cooled cake. Spread it out gently with a spatula.
  2. Scatter rose petals and pistachio slivers over the ganache.
  3. Serve with some coffee.
Tips:
  • If you use unsalted butter then add ½ tsp of salt.
  • To get the nutty texture and flavour, do not grind the pistachios to a powder. Leave it coarse.
  • Use a frosting your choice or serve it without frosting.
You may want to check out the following:

MY FIRST RECIPE
eggless chocolate banana bundt cake
fig lemon cake





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Thursday, 29 December 2016

601.Oatmeal Banana Quick Bread

A satisfying beginning to the day

   Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is breaking a fast; a fast you undergo from the time you had dinner to the time you have breakfast. Importance of breakfast has been stressed by athletes, dietician, doctors, physical trainers. Breakfast provides the necessary fuel required for the brains and body after the overnight fast. Meals usually consumed for breakfast provide important nutrients like iron, calcium, B vitamins, proteins and fibers that are necessary to function during the day. A balanced meal of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals and vitamins is what most breakfast meals provide us with. Eating cereals, eggs, lean meat, fruits, vegetables, milk products take care of the required balance meal.
   Eating a well balanced and filling breakfast helps us to feel full most of the day and its unlikely that one will binge at lunch or dinner if one has had a hearty breakfast. Skipping breakfast usually makes us reach out for sugary treats at mid day or lunch time.
   Having breakfast restores glucose levels needed for brain function. Eating breakfast improves memory and concentration levels. Empty stomachs make us moody and as a result raises our stress levels. A hearty breakfast helps to maintain a good mood and therefore more capable to deal with stress.
   Hearty breakfasts help to maintain the energy we require to get through the day. Eating breakfast also helps to maintain a long term health. It wards off obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases. Breakfast kickstarts our metabolism helping to burn calories throughout the day. 
   However, its important to eat healthy food for breakfast and avoid fried and greasy foods and foods high in sugar.
   Serving the same old types of food for breakfast can get a bit boring. I prefer to have different variety for breakfast whereas hubby dear is happy to stick to his oatmeal with fruits and nuts. Give that to him 365 days and he's happy. I need variety, cannot eat the same things for days. 
   The Shhh Cooking Secretly group decided on a breakfast treat theme for the month of November. I was paired with Rafeeda who I met in Dubai. She blogs at The Big Sweet Tooth. She's a sweet and very friendly person. Rafeeda gave me oats and nuts to prepare a breakfast treat. You may think November is long gone and the year is ending. I got very busy preparing for my daughter's wedding. Though I had baked Oatmeal banana quick bread twice in October, I just didn't get the time to write the post. 
   However, as the saying goes 'better late than never' so here's my breakfast treat using oats, nuts, dried fruits, banana and egg.







OATMEAL BANANA QUICK BREAD
Makes 1 big loaf or two small ones

1 cup quick rolling oats
¾ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ cup chopped mixed nuts ( I used walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts)
½ cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit of your choice)
1 egg
1½ cup mashed ripe bananas
¼ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

extra oatmeal or rolling oats to sprinkle on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf tin 9"X5" or two small ones with butter. Dust it with flour.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt together into a big bowl.
  3. Add oats, nuts and cranberries  to the flour mixture. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl add both sugars, egg, oil, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Whip well.
  5. Add flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix gently till the flour becomes wet. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes. If you bake in smaller loaf tins then it will take 25-30 minutes. Bake till the top appears golden brown.
  8. Leave the bread in the tin to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the tin and serve for breakfast or any time of the day.
Tips:
  • Use honey instead of white sugar.
  • Use nuts and dried fruits of your choice.
  • Over ripe bananas are best for baking. I freeze over ripe bananas and use them when required.
You may want to check out the following:

breakfast muffins


Sending this recipe for the following event:


shhh
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