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My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

The cake batter before baking

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

Golden crust. Nutty. Spiced.

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

cake 5

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

PicsArt_25-12-2014 16_45_36

My Version of Basic No-oven Eggless Cake. Slightly spiced. Nutty. Crusty yet moist!

Basic eggless cake

#MerryChristmas Sprinkle love and garnish with compassion

cake 7

Sweet memories of Nostalgia and childhood

So, its Christmas today. Wasn’t particularly chirpy. Rather depressing. I am just trying to distract myself from some disturbing thoughts.

So thought of baking a cake. Turned out absolutely fantastic. Had tried in the past, couple of times with great disastrous results.

And wait, this was baked in a cooker (pressure cooker) and tasted no different than.. infact better than… a convection oven/ microwave version. Though its perfect for an oven too.

You got to trust my recipe because I am a novice. Hence would give detailed basic recipe with in-hand experience tips.

Thanks for host of recipes available online on basic sponge cakes. I have added my twist to suit my taste for a nutty crusty moist non-creamy feel to my mouth.

Great for beginners!

Note The Ingredients

All Purpose Flour (Maida) : 1/2 cup

Whole Wheat Flour (Aata) : 1/4th cup

Semolina (Suji/rawa) : 1/8th cup

Milk : 1/4th cup

Condensed Milk : 1/2 cup

Ghee/Clarified Butter : 1/2 cup

Curd/Yoghurt : 1/2 cup

Sugar/ powdered sugar  : 1/4th cup

Salt : a small pinch

Baking Powder : 1 1/2 tsp

Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp

Cocoa Powder : 3 tsp

Vanilla Essence: 1/2 tsp

Lemon zest : 1/2 tsp

Garam masala/ or just cinnamon powder : Just a pinch

Almonds, Raisins, Cashews : 1/2 cup

Cake Garnish Sprinkles: Optional : 2 tsp

  1. Take a big bowl. Sieve into it the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder all together

  2. In another bowl, mix/lightly whisk the milk, condensed milk, yoghurt/curd, vanilla essence, lemon zest. Keep aside.

  3. Melt the clarified butter/ghee separately

  4. Now, blend/whisk the sugar into the melted clarified butter/ ghee well. Keep aside

  5. In to the big bowl of dry ingredients (i.e. the mix in point no.1)… add the mix from point no. 4 ( clarified butter + sugar) and mix from point no. 2 (milk, condensed milk, yoghurt/curd, vanilla essence, lemon zest )

  6. Whisk/fold  it all together. Never over whisk or over blend a cake mix. The bubbles and the fluffiness are good.

  7. The batter shouldn’t be runny. It should be thick yet velvety. (not too tight when you try to run a whisk through it)

  8. Taste this batter to check if you want more sweetness

  9. Top it up with the nuts and raisins

  10. Sprinkle pinch of Garam Masala or Cinnamon powder

Baking/Cooking method

1. Take a container that fits inside an aluminum cooker

2. Grease this entire container with clarified butter by applying it with a greasing brush or hand

3. Add 1 tbsp semolina/flour to it and dust/coat the entire container for a dry layer. This helps the cake come out easily once ready. Tap out the excess.

4. Add the cake batter mix into this container gently with a flat ladle/spoon

5. Remove the circular rubber/ gasket  and the whistle lid from the pressure cooker

Image source : google images

Aluminum Pressure Cooker

6. Add one to two cups of salt in the bottom of the cooker

7. Close the lid and let heat for 5 to 6 minutes. (Just like we need to preheat too when baking in an oven)

8. Now open the lid

9. On this base of the salt carefully keep a small steel bowl or some kind of separator

10. Carefully place the container with batter on top of the separator

11. Close the lid

12. Heat on high  for 5 minutes.  Then lower the heat

13. Relax. Set an alarm of 40 minutes

14. After 40 minutes check by carefully opening the lid

15. The cake should have risen by now with a beautiful brown crust and aroma

16. Insert a fork. It should come out clean. If not cook for few more minutes.

17. Let cool slightly once ready.

18. Take the container out and invert/flip it upside out down into a big flat plate by tapping to unmould . Flip again on a different plate so that the garnished top is visible.

19. Garnish the top with sprinklers

20. Go eat!

Important Tips

1. You can use the same recipe and bake in an oven as well.

  • You can bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºc (360ºf) for 30 minutes

2. You can vary the amount of cocoa powder depending on how chocolaty you want it

3. You can add more of all purpose flour if you do not have semolina. Semolina adds crispiness though

4. If you do not have condensed milk, replace with full cream milk

5. Almonds add great nutty flavour. You can add or decrease the nuts as per your wish. Don’t go overboard though else it will get too rich too handle! Atleast I like my cake simpler.

6. Greasing the container and coating it with flour is important to help the final cake come out of it beautifully and avoid sticking it to the container

7. Powdered sugar is recommended however I used simple sugar and it was just fine

8. never over-beat a cake mixture batter

9. Pre-prep is crucial while baking. Measure accurately and proportionately to avoid disasters and wastage. You can always vary the ingredients once the batter is ready before baking it

10. Though strongly recommended to use the same, however if you do not have clarified butter, replace it with unsalted butter or oil if you want. Don’t compromise on the quantity of fat though for this cake

11. Don’t add water to pressure cooker. Salt at the base helps create a oven like environment.

12. Let the cake container not stick to the sides of the cooker

PicsArt_25-12-2014 16_45_36

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Instant Basil pesto & red chilly Zucchini, Bellpeppers Veg

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Watching the sunlight seep in secretly and undeclared into the kitchen can fill ones heart to brim.

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Also a trip to the greens and sunsets to the town outskirts, had added a craving for something green and unique!

Photo WP_20140913_038 altArAJjcjtjbNeqfiJMD4XrHeH2ok04vrQp6FhT4FGlx9H WP_20140913_034

The idea popped up for some Sunshine and smiles and colours. And something instant.

I was a fan of basil pesto from the day I had Pasta in basil pesto with garnish of pinenuts and cherry tomatoes.

I had ordered these ready made pestos after confirming their quality just for such a Situation! 😉

Basil Pesto and red chilly dip

Basil Pesto and red chilly dip. The ancient Romans ate a paste called moretum, which was made by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together.Basil, the main ingredient of modern pesto, likely originated in India and was first domesticated there. (Source: wikipedia)

Red Chilly Dip ingredients!

Red Chilly Dip ingredients!

Green pesto Goodness

Pesto is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. First, garlic and pine nuts are placed in the mortar and reduced to a cream,then the washed and dried basil leaves are added with coarse salt and ground to a creamy consistency. Only then is a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino added. To help incorporate the cheese a little extra-virgin olive oil is added. In a tight jar (or simply in an air-tight plastic container), covered by a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, pesto can last in the refrigerator up to a week, and can be frozen for later use. (Source: wikipedia)

This recipe is good for a different menu in the middle of the week and a fresh change to the taste palate. NOT MUNDANE. No NO!

1) To prepare these unique yummies cut one zucchini, two yellow and red bell peppers and one small cauliflower into square half cubes.

2) Add one tbsp oil (olive/sesame or refined) into a preheated pan

3)Once smoky hot, add the zucchinis. Stir on high heat for 30 secs.

4)Now add the bellpeppers and cauliflower florets. Stir on high heat for another minute

5)Reduce heat, cover for a minute

6) Remove the lid to add two tbsp of basil pesto and two tbsp of red chilly dip with a dollop of tomato ketchup or puree

7)Stir to let it all cuddle up well with each other with sprinkle of salt and black pepper

7)Add chopped fresh parsley and cover for another minute with a squeeze of lemon on top

And that’s ready to serve !

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Zucchini and parsley

Serve with raw onions and lemon and flat bread or rice of your choice

Colours!

The zucchini, also known as a courgette, has origins which can be traced back more than 9,000 years to Mexico. Zucchini is a type of summer squash. They’re available in green and yellow varieties. Both have soft, succulent flesh. Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C, and provides some beta carotene and folate. Select firm zucchini with glossy skin. Store in an sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to three days. (Source: taste.com.au)

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Beety Sesamy Flavour-Burst Rice Bowl ! Beetroot, fenugreek aromatic mix rice bowl in sweet, sour, hot flavours

My RICE BOWL

Beety Sesamy Flavour-Burst Rice Bowl

Its good when you feel , intuitive, sure and creative! When certain basics are right and still there is a long way to go, discovering and exploring something never tried or heard before elevates the journey all of a sudden. And such is life. Each day you feel one way or the other.

Well I was feeling red and velvety… not like angry red.. but bright vivid red… and green.. like the fresh, garden green!

And that turned into a gardeny red healthy bowl of rice. I wish I could capture the flavours here. So try it and experience the delight yourself.

Beety Sesamy Flavour-Burst  Rice Bowl !   Beetroot, fenugreek aromatic mix rice bowl in sweet, sour, hot flavours

Beety Sesamy Flavour-Burst Rice Bowl ! Beetroot, fenugreek aromatic mix rice bowl in sweet, sour, hot flavours

The recipe is a veggie mix rice dish I ended up cooking and relishing with a taste that was exotic, comforting, with true and fresh burst of flavours.

Some key ingredients are beetroot and fenugreek (methi patte) …

“Beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan” (Source: bbcgoodfood.com/)

“Methi contains protein, fibre, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron and alkaloids.” (Source: thehealthsite.com/)

Enjoy the process of cooking this simple dish by cutting, chopping, grating, mashing the required ingredients beforehand while you watch your favourite show. Just make sure to visit your nearest veggie seller for fresh vivid green fenugreek leaves and bright red beetroots..

Green goodness

Fenugreek leaves and dhaniya

Pre-preps

First Stage of Cooking the rice :

  • Groundnut Oil or sesame/olive oil (I used groundnut)
  • Fennel seeds: Just a little more than a pinch
  • Finely chopped green chillies(Keep the seeds on!)
  • Finely Chopped Garlic
  • Finely grated Ginger
  • Cooked Kolam or regular rice(not too soggy so that it can mix well later)
  • Curry leaves: Chopped
  • Hing or asafoetida
  • Fresh Methi/fenugreek leaves : Two small bowls
  • Beetroot : Two Chopped Coriander leaves for garnish
  • Salt for garnish
  • Pepper for garnish (peppery delights add punch of flavours)

For the wild tempering:

  • Butter(How can there be no butter in my recipe 😉 )
  • Oil
  • White Sesame seeds (til)
  • Sugar granules
  • Whole Red Chillies
  • Coriander seeds: Just a pinch (I would recommend crushing these already after slightly roasting)
  • Grated Paneer

Added and recommended ingredient delights:

  • Teeny weeny Pieces of apple : one tbsp
  • Boiled potatoes with pinch of italion seasoning : One big potato
  • Lemon juice
Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Coriander seeds goodness

Coriander seeds goodness

Cheese, green chillies, garlic,

Cheese, green chillies, garlic, coriander seeds

Fennel goodness

Fennel and asofoetida/hing goodness Asafoetida is one of the spices native to Afghanistan and cultivated near India. It is one of the most common spices used in Asian cuisine and especially the Indian cuisine. Though the odor of the spice is strong, Asafoetida is known for its miraculous health benefits for human body. Used widely in dals/lentil recipes and pickel preparations.

Beety bites

Beety bites

Parboiled beetroot diced

Fenugreek or methi.. the yummier way

Fenugreek or methi.. the yummier way

Grated cheese

Grated cheese

THE RICE

THE RICE

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An ingredient : Sesame : used in Indian Cooking since always for the crispy crunch to any recipe. Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah. They are available throughout the year. One of my favorite facts about sesame seeds is that they are an abundant source of minerals.

Sesame, Curry leaves, coriander leaves, red chillies, Fenugreek

Sesame, Curry leaves, coriander leaves, red chillies, Fenugreek

Let’s begin this exciting culinary journey!

Cook the beeroot in boiling water for say 5 to 7 minutes.

Pass through running tap water.

Peel off the skin and chop into fine tiny diced pieces.

Beetroot in boiling water

Beetroot in boiling water

Keep aside.

Maroon red delight

Diced beetroot Maroon red delight

In a preheated deep pan on a gastop, add 1 tbsp oil.

Once heated, add half a tsp of fennel seeds.

Once toasted in the oil, add 1 tbsp of ginger and 1 tbsp of chopped garlic goodness.

Stir and let cook for 30 secs. Add the chopped green chillies. Stir for 30 secs only.

Add the methi/fenugreek leaves. Cook for 30 secs.

Beetroot in cooking

Beetroot contains betaine, which in other forms is used to help treat depression, and trytophan, the feel good chemical in chocolate. n 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR’s Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beetroot soup) in zero gravity.

Add the delightful par-boiled beetroot pieces. Stir till the fenugreek turns slightly crispy.

Add the rice and mix everything well making sure not to break the grains or letting it stick to bottom.

Sprinkle salt and pepper

WP_20140908_051  Parallel to it now, heat a tapered shallow pan in the othe rburner. Add few drops of oil along with half tsp of salted butter to avoid butter from burning.  melted butter Once heated add crushed slightly pre-roasted coriander seeds, raw sesame seeds, chopped red chilles, curry leaves chopped, a pinch of asafoetida and stir well. After 10 secs add a tbsp of sugar granules. Stir it all till sesame gets crispy  (be careful not to burn the sesame or red chillies) (I say just taste a sesame to identify if crispy and well roasted for the perfect topping to this dish)

Keep an eye by continuously roasting, toasting and stirring.

tempering

Gardeny tempering

Sugar

Hey Sugar!    Sugar and sesame together are quite the pair to go for!

Tempering to be added to the main cooking

Tempering to be added to the main cooking

The ingredients for the tempering should be ready in 20 to 25 secs.

Add the grated paneer/cottage cheese (half a small bowl) and mashed potatoes which has been seasoned with pinch Italian dried herbs. (Italian seasoning is optional) Toast them well along with other ingredients in the tempering pan.

Separately  lightly roast the tiny bits of apples. Keep aside

NOW…

Add all of this except the apples in to the other pan with rice, beetroot, fenugreek mix..Mix well…

Sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves on top and lemon juice. On topmost layer add the apple toppings…

Grab the entire bowl and enjoy with your favourite tv show and person!

bowl

DHaniya/Coriander wonder

Coriander, commonly known as Dhania in the Indian Subcontinent and Cilantro in the Americas and some parts of Europe, is an herb that is extensively used around the world as a condiment, garnish, or decoration on culinary dishes.

sesame edited. jpg                           mashed potatoes_     edited WP_20140908_052     WP_20140908_051

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Excerpts From The Forum:

Fridays are usually filled with anticipation for a fun and exciting or relaxing weekend. Fridays feel different and are somehow more special than other weekdays. They’re days to indulge, to let your hair down, and to celebrate by kicking it up a notch.

So, share with us how you celebrate your Fridays.

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