Monday, 24 December 2012

Pineapple Praline Gateau ☆☆☆ Christmas Special ☆☆☆

 Merry Christmas 

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Everywhere you go;

But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be

On almost every front door."

Merry Christmas

With all the Christmas spirit & indulgences, here's to cooking & baking but surely eating our way into a fantastic beautiful new year! This is a special cake which I originally baked for my sis-in-law for her Birthday. I am crazy about nuts and I love almonds & cashews & hazel nuts & the list goes on, ergo goes without saying that I loved my first hand experience with praline cake. The cake came out well, it was gorgeously moist and crunchy at the same time. This cake  could be a show stopper for any occasion. I am sure you will enjoy making this and eating it too :) 

Pineapple Praline Gateau
Recipe adapted from MariasMenu
Pineapple Praline Gateau  ☆☆☆ Christmas Special ☆☆☆

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Channa Masala

Channa / White chickpeas are often stored in food cupboards as pulses have a long shelf life and also because they can be transformed into lovely flavorsome dishes any time. One can make chatpata chaat items or the quite famous middle eastern hummus dips or curries. Well I have a cent percent successful recipe from my Amma (mom) to make this perfect Indian curry which goes well with bhaturas or other breads. Unless you are using the canned chickpeas, the only one important thing to remember while using them is to soak the channa, the previous night in water. (In-case you forget you can soak the channa in hot water for few hours and get the same result). 

Channa Masala
My Amma's recipe :)
Channa Masala

1 cup Channa / White chickpeas, cooked 
(reserve the water used for cooking channa) 
1 Red Onion, large, finely chopped
1 Tomato, large, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
small piece Ginger, finely chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit lengthwise
1 Tbsp Red Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
Oil, to saute
a small bunch Coriander leaves, chopped

  • Soak the White Chickpeas/Channa overnight and cook in a pressure cooker till soft . (I wait for two whistles and then on reduced heat cook further for 4 more whistles. Let it cool completely before opening. For getting a darker shade for the channa and gravy, I add a tea bag while cooking channa.) Drain the water and save it for later.
  • Add some oil in a pan and saute the chopped onions till it turns  transparent.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute further for few seconds until the raw smell goes.
  • Once the onion starts to brown, add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Saute well for around 5 mins.
  • Add the cooked channa along with the reserved water used for cooking channa (as per your choice).
  • Stir in the chopped coriander and cook till the gravy reaches the desired consistency. (usually it takes around 10 mins).
Notes : Add a spoon of tamarind sauce, for more tanginess (if you like). Though the best accompaniment for channa masala is bhatura or other breads, I like it with basmati rice too.
                                     ♥ Thank You ♥

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins ---> Eggless

During this time of the year we are pure vegetarians. So I have diverted my attention to vegetarian dishes and paratha's but I have to admit I miss my baking trysts. Every recipe that I had bookmarked for baking had listed eggs as an ingredient. That's when I decided to embark on a dedicated hunt for egg-less baking recipes!
Tadaa and here is one! The recipe used peanut butter and it piqued my curiosity. So I put on my baking shoes and baked my first batch of harmless vegan muffins.  They were not really sweet but pretty soft and very pea-nutty :D I love peanut butter and baking, so it goes without saying that it was indeed a super easy recipe & most importantly a lovely experience. Hope you too enjoy baking these munchkin muffins!

Egg-less Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Recipe adapted from Divinetaste
Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins  --->  Eggless

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Rustic Plum Tart

I had always wanted to try out all the berry varieties & stone fruits. So one day I bought plums even before deciding what to make of it. I had thought of eating them raw,  but then the idea of making a tart crossed my mind. I decided to use the store bought pastry as I was baking tart for the first time. I got the list of further ingredients required for tart preparation and got them lined up. A scrumptious fruit tart is a gorgeous pastry crust, browned to perfection and filled with a rich creamy filling. It's hard to resist the beauty of this dessert too! So tag along and lets make this fruitilicious tart.

Rustic Plum Tart
Adapted from the book ' Tarts & Pies' by Philippa Vanstone
Rustic Plum Tart

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Carrot Cake ... Scrummy & Yummy

Cakes & Bakes are for sharing, although I am sure that there are plenty of us who wouldn't mind gobbling a whole loaf on their own given the choice. Home baked goodies make perfect gifts, wrap it up beautifully & wait for the smiles! They are also good surprise material, so just wait and bask in all the happiness it creates.
I am not a big fan of carrot cake but here almost everyone loves lemon drizzle or carrot cake. So that is the main reason I gave it a try. Nikhil loved it too. So get ready with your bunny hats to get your load of fresh carotene!

Carrot Cake
Recipe fully adapted from BBC Good Food (Mary Cadogan)
Carrot Cake ... Scrummy & Yummy

Friday, 7 December 2012

Carrot Mushroom Stir Fry

Even if you love cooking, at the end of a long day you don't necessarily have the time or energy for it. Of-course you can order a nice hot pizza or some Chinese take away which will be delivered right at your door step, but a bit of hob side pottering might help some of us unwind or at-least keep our kitchen running!
This is an amazingly easy & flavorful stir fry. My friend Nimisha, introduced me to this beautiful combination during an Easter dinner.  

Carrot Mushroom Stir Fry 
Carrot Mushroom Stir Fry

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced rounds
1 & 1/2 Tbsp butter
200 g Mushrooms, sliced 
Salt, to taste
1 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

  • In a skillet over medium heat, stir-fry sliced carrots in butter for around 6 mins. 
  • Add sliced mushrooms and saute further for 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cooked. 
  • Stir in salt and pepper. 
Notes : If you prefer, you could add a tsp of lemon juice along with salt & pepper. For an easy & simple meal, I prepare garlic bread, potato mash and this lovely stir fry.

                                        ♥ Thank you ♥
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