Category Archives: vegetarian

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!

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

Basic eggless cake

#MerryChristmas Sprinkle love and garnish with compassion

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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

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instant crispy crumbly bread snack

crispy crymbly bread snack

crispy crumbly bread snack

When you want to create something delectable in a jiffy, yet satisfy that craving for something snacky and spicy here is a solution.

For this Dry Bread Upma Dish

Take four to five white bread slices

Tear them into medium-sized square pieces with hand

Heat a pan. Add 2 tsp butter and 1/2 tsp oil. Once hot temper with 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds. Wait till they crackle. Add curry leaves,and a cup of sliced onions. Saute till soft.

Add 2-3 split long green chillies and stir for few seconds.

Now add the pieces of bread and stir dry till slightly brown or crispy. Add turmeric powder , 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste, and some black pepper.

Stir and add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and some red chilly powder to garnish. Don;t forget to squeeze in juice of half a lemon for the tangy sweet flavour.

Awesome when paired with ginger tea and a view of sunset!

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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!

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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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Sweet Mushy Banana Coconuty Fritters

Banana fritters

 

 

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Happens to me a lot..but these fritters… I tell you they are delicious if you have the slightest of sweet tooth!

 

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I enjoy very particular kind of sweet stuff.

And I love these. Have always done. Sweet, savoury, deep fried,  with a lingering soft taste in the mouth and something you can pop in the mouth the next day too…and the next…

Nostalgia. Family. Togetherness.  The fritters personify these things and more…

HOW  DO I MAKE IT ?

Take two almost ripe bananas to prepare this recipe. Mash them and keep aside.

3/4th cup all purpose flour / maida

Two tbsp wheat flour/ aata

One tbsp rava/sooji/semolina (For crispiness)

Two tbsp rice flour (For crispiness)

l/4th cup of ready made desiccated coconut or better still FRESHLY GRATED COCONUT..

3/4 cup of milk

1/4th cup of condensed milk

half a cup of sugar

2 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp baking powder and a punch of baking soda (Just avoid if you don’t want to use these)

 

 

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Mix mashed banana, sieved all purpose flour, sieved wheat flour, sieved rava (semolina), sieved rice flour, coconut,  and sieved baking powder and soda together.

Now, preheat a deep bottomed solid pan to melt the sugar and jaggery. I usually screw up sugar caramelization process so got to be careful if you are new at this too..

Once slightly preheated add the sugar granules. Let them turn brown from the edges. Stir initially and then stop stirring to avoid them from getting crystallized. These sugary lil things can turn evil and go all sticky and hard within miliseconds.. Add the jaggery pieces after 10 secs or so . Just when the sugar granules are slightly light brown add the milk and stir till it all mixes well into a smooth consistency.

Add this beautiful liquid to the dry mixture of flour. Add slowly and keep mixing with a whisk  to avoid lumps. Add the condensed milk and let it cuddle up well too.The consistency should be slightly runny like a pancake batter but not too thin or thick. Add milk accordingly.

Now, while this liquid rests, take a deep bottomed pan in a gastop  and fill with two cups of oil for deep frying. I like to add 1/4th of clarified butter or ghee too for a beautiful flavour.  Let the oil get smoky on medium flame.

Now, take a ziplock plastic bag and fill it with the banana, flour mixture that you have already gotten ready. Or use hands!

In the hot oil deep fry by slowly adding little rounds of the mixture. See how they puff up ! 🙂 Dont worry about the shapes 😉 its okay to have uneven shapes. They add to the rustic memories…and traditions of cooking homemade recipes..

 

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Do it in a batch of 4 to 5 fritters if you are new at this.  Keep an eye to make sure the oil doesn’t get so hot as to burn up, so keep lowering the heat as and when you feel the fritters are going too dark. Look for golden brown . Try different shapes if you want.

Some like to shallow fry it too like tiny pancakes…

Let the oil get absorbed in a paper towel every time you take they off the pan after frying.

 

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Colourful basic mix veg recipe

Well, its a beautiful morning and loved the colours on the sky…the untouched guitar still added music to the room silently…music of thoughts…

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and then the mind wanders  on to whatever colourful was there in the fridge.. orange, green, white, brown….
You open the fridge and you wonder what to cook really! What today…
Sometimes just mix and match the veggies you have got with you..

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The recipe I share today with almost realtime images and videos is easy, simple and colourful. Flavours of basic Indian spices. The process can be replicated with any of the other available dishes and you have a handy dish ready anyday, anytime.

Pick some Cauliflowers (phulgobhi), carrots (gajar), potato (aloo), capsicums (shimla mirch),and fresh coriander leaves .

Blanch the cauliflower by putting them in boiling water for a minute and transferring into a bowl of icecold water. Strain them dry.

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VEGGIES from the street food sabziwala

Dice the veggies into whatever shape you like. I was in hurry so I went for diced square medium sized ones. WP_20140902_006

Preheat a deep pan for a minute. Add one tablespoon oil in a deep pan. Let it heat on medium flame. Add pinch of cumin seeds and mustard seeds (saabut jeera and rai).

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Once they start spluttering, add the veggies except the tender colourful capsicum.

After say 5 mins of stirring it gently on high heat, lower the heat. Add, a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi), one big tsp of coriander powder (dhaniya powder), red chilly powder (laal mirchi), and pinch of garam masala.With it throw in freshly grated ginder of about half tsp.

image source: google

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Add the capsicums in the end . Stir for half a minute. Add the coriander leaves. Squeeze in half a lemon and some water (1/4th of a medium coffee cup)

Cover the lid and let cook slowly for 7 to 8 mins.

And we are done! 🙂

Enjoy with hot rotis/naan/steamed of any form of rice.

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morning instant and random breakfast tips

Mornings are when they say you must feed your poor stomach that has fasted the entire night!

 

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Mornings ought to bring a sense of calm which is pretty difficult to find/achieve/try for often…Stress engulfs one and all these days. Newspapers and magazines are filled with articles of leading a destressful life… sigh..Well with mornings one of the best way to start your day is a glass of water…no matter how busy, rushed or stressed or lazy you feel..

 

InstagramCapture_4addb280-5db9-4961-9bc1-ea3b93e7434b_jpgFor a light yet not so light breakfast..few things that caught my attention are:

Bread that are healthy like this new 9 grain bread slices available these days.

Have it with a healthy spread of peanut butter for that dose of instant energy (Personally I prefer cheese or plain salted butter) You could try it with some delicious fruit jam as well..

A cuppa coffee of tea/chai whatever makes you feel chirpy..

Roasted cashews..yummy!

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Breakfast and more…

 

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Bread Upma and chai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick bread upma is a good choice as well.

To make a plate of bread upma.

Crumble into tiny pieces 6 to 7 slices of bread (or brown bread). Add 1 tsp oil and dollop of butter in a pan, add jeera (cumin seeds), and mustard seeds. On spluttering add chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Throw in thinly sliced onions..

Now add the bread pieces with sprinkle of turmeric powder, red chilly powder, 1 tsp sugar and half tsp lemon squeezed juice. Sprikle salt evenly and throw in lot of fresh coriander leaves. You could try sprinkling bit of pavbhaji masala as well. Spicy, hot accompaniment with tea in the morning is ready for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, fruits are wonderful in the morning. If you can manage add in fruits to your daily diet. When I dont like having them I sprinkle black pepper, and salt to pieces of apples, pineapple, pear, mangoes etc and have them..

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Work can start a bit later…Ideas can start flowing a bit after the mind has settled as well..

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Serene nature and urban landscapes… fusion of new age peace mantra?

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Soothing Tender Cauliflowers in red tomato gravy

Sometimes you wonder how else to use the same old veggies every week. A slight twist adds that dimension of freshness to food and adds up to variety to probably a mundane menu.

Cauliflowers taste great when cooked the right way.

For this recipe, cut cauliflowers to medium forest tree shaped pieces. Not too tiny.

Cook them in boiling water for a minute and transfer to a bowl of ice cold water for five minutes. Drain them dry. Marinate these with some turmeric and black pepper.

In a pan,add one tbsp refined sunflower or groundnut oil. Add pinch of cumin seeds. Add one tsp of grated ginger and let it cook for half a minute.

For 250 gms of cauliflowers, use fresh puree of 4 tomatoes.

Add the puree now and let it simmer with pinch of turmeric, generous amount of coriander leaves, two tbsp chopped green chilly, half tsp red chilly powder, salt. Once the puree starts oozing the oil, add a cup of warm water to it and simmer slowly. Add pinch of sugar.

In a deep frying pan, add enough oil and deep fry the cut cauliflowers pieces gently till slightly golden brown. Add these to the puree and cook for another one minute.

The gravy is ready  to be had with flat breads or steamed rice.

Recipe-2799-Red-Tomato-Gravy-69718 -MG-3195 IMG_4605-500x375image source: google | healthyfoodforliving.com

 

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