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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vegan carrot cake

I am upbeat about baking cakes more than ever before because I have brought this microwave convection oven.I am dreaming about how perfectly browned my cakes will turn out !

I had quite a few carrots in my refrigerator & thought about making  a carrot  cake. This time ,I wanted to go vegan.Hence no curds or yoghurt.I decided to use apple sauce  as also apple cider vinegar to be the egg replacers in my vegan cake.

Ingredients : 3/4 cup multi grain atta ( Aashirwad or Pillsburry or any brand ) ,1/4 cup whole wheat flour,1/2 cup (tightly  packed)  grated carrot , 1/3 cup apple sauce,1tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup oil,1/2 cup brown sugar,1/2 tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp baking powder,1/4 tsp cinnamon,salt to taste.

Method : Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

I ran out of multigrain atta when I started measuring it out.So ,I added 1/4 cup whole wheat flour to 3/4 cup multigrain atta.To this flour add,brown sugar,baking powder & soda,salt & cinnamon.Mix it nicely with  whisk many times.This will help in getting a thoroughly mixed cake flour.Keep aside.

I made apple sauce by pressure cooking a diced apple till 1 whistle.When ,the cooker cools,take out the diced apple.Peel off skin & puree the apple or it can be simple mashed.Keep aside.

Mix oil,apple cider vinegar ,apple sauce & grated carrot in a vessel.Mix all nicely.Pour this mixture into a well made in the cake flour mix kept aside.Fold the wet & the dry mixes so that no lumps remain.If need be ,some water can be added.The cake batter is ready.

Line a baking vessel ( preferably glass or silicone ) with butter paper.Pour the batter on butter paper into the baking vessel.Bake in microwave convection mode at 180 degrees centigrade for 35-40 minutes.

Then put off the oven.Test with fork or knidfe.If the fork or knife comes out clean ,cake is done.Otherwise,bake for five more minutes.

THen put off oven.Let it cool in oven for 10-15 minutes.Take it out from oven.Let it cool outside oven for another 15 minutes.Put the baking vessel upside down on to a large plate.The cake will drop down on it.Peel the butter paper off the cake.Cut the cake into desired pieces & serve.




I used brown sugar.If while sugar is being used,a lesser amount would do.Brown sugar is unrefined & tends to have less sweetness.

My cake was breaking on the top...that is its crust was cracking up on the top.And I felt, that it was done.I put off the oven at 35 minutes.My cake was moist when it was cut .Spongy too.Yet,the next day,it was soggy.So ,next time around,I am going to bake it for 40 minutes.

I received a compliment too for this cake from my neighbour.She commented ,"Your cakes are getting better ."




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rajma revisited

I have made rajma quite a number of times.I read about a simple rajma dish in Sangeeta Khanna's blog here .I tried it out.And it was  a hit ! Authentic  taste.I was hooked.Since then ,I have made rajma following her recipe while adding my own two cents to the recipe.

Ingredients : 1/2 cup rajma beans soaked overnight ( used the  buff coloured ones ) ,2 tbsp oil,1 large onion finely chopped or minced in mixer or grated,,2 medium tomatoes chopped ,1 small carrot chopped,1/2 tsp jeera,1 bay leaf, 1 -2 hari mirchi finely chopped, 1/2 tsp ginger paste or grated ginger,salt to taste.

Method : I used buff coloured beans this time.I used oil for this recipe.Once ,I have used butter as well.Butter,ghee or oil can be used as per choice.

Pressure cook rajma beans after throwing the soaked water.Cook in fresh water .Cook till 2-3 whistles& then keep gas burner on slow & cook upto 10 minutes.Put off the gas.Keep aside.

Pressure cook chopped tomatoes & carrot till one whistle.Put off gas.Keep aside.

In a kadhai, take oil.Add jeera.When they splutter,add chopped green chillies & ginger ( paste or grated ) .Fry nicely.Add onions now & fry nicely till raw smell of onion goes away.Add the bay leaf & fry it with the onions.

Meanwhile cool the cooked tomatoes & carrot.Make a puree of the tomatoes & carrot in blender.Pour this carrot tomato puree into the kadhai.Mix nicely.Now add cooked rajma & mix nicely.Let it start simmering.Add salt to taste.Let it boil for 10-15 minutes.Water can be added to thin the gravy if needed.After it has boiled for 10-15 minutes,put off the gas.Serve with chapatis and or rice.




My parents loved the flavours ! This is really simple recipe with hardly any spices.And this has to be tasted to believe, that without any fuss,rajma can taste so well !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fluffy cake in a jiffy !

I love many food blogs.They share simple recipes & post such superb clicks that one would want to cook the recipes at that moment !

A very simple cake recipe was shared by one of the food blogs on facebook.It is the 5 minutes oreo biscuit cake.It so happened that I had some oreo biscuits  at home.Well ,my kid loves oreo & yet, not all flavours.I had 11 biscuits of chocolate  cream  & 6 biscuits of orange cream oreo biscuits sitting in a box.So,I decided to try this microwave quick cake !And, I was rewarded by a super  fluffy cake !

Ingredients : 11 oreo biscuits ( chocolate cream ones ) ,6 oreo biscuits ( orange cream ones ),1/2cup milk + 1tbsp milk, 1-2 tbsp brown sugar,1/2 tsp baking powder.

Method : Break the oreo biscuits into pieces.Breaking makes it easier to pound them in mixie.Now powder the broken biscuits into powder in mixie.Add milk.

I added 1/2 cup milk.Run the mixie.Add sugar & baking powder.Run mixie again.Put off mixie.

Line a baking dish with butter paper.Pour the batter from mixie into the butter lined baking dish.As ,I poured the batter ,I noticed that towards the bottom of the mixie ,some biscuit powder had remained dry.I panicked.I added some more milk & ran the mixie again.I poured this batter on the top of  the batter already poured before in the baking dish.I was thinking that my cake may not rise as bottom powder was mixed later etc.

The cake batter must fall like ribbon into the baking dish.That must be the consistency of the batter.

Put the baking dish containing the batter in the microwave.Bake it for 3.5 to 4 minutes.Put off microwave.After 5 minutes,take out baking dish.Test with knife if cake is done.If not bake for 1-1.5 minutes again.

After baking is over,open microwave door after 5-10 minutes.Let the baking dish cool outside the microwave for 10 more minutes.Now put up the baking dish upside down on to a plate.After a few minutes,the cake will drop down on plate.Remove the butter paper sticking to the cake.Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes.Cut into desired shapes & serve.





The final test was yet to come.I served one piece to my kid.She dug her fork into it & put a tiny piece into her mouth.Then she bit it.She said ,"Not bad ." I was glad.And then ,she finished that piece & said ,"Please get the whole cake here." She devoured half the cake at one go ! And this from someone who saw me powdering the orange cream oreo biscuits & making a face ! And the remaining pieces,she savored the next day !

The cake was extremely soft .And there was no proof that I had poured some leftover batter later.Moral is that baking chocolate cake is a good ego booster !


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Paneer butter masala

I wanted to try a new paneer dish as my kid loves paneer .I came across this paneer butter masala here.I made some changes as my kid eats less spicy foods.

Ingredients : 100 gm Amul paneer cubes,2 small tomatoes,1 tsp grated ginger,1/2 tsp chilli flakes,5-6 cashewnuts,1/4 tsp garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric,1/4 tsp hing,2 tsp oil,2 tsp Amul butter salt to taste.

Method : Take butter & oil in a kadhai.After the butter melts,add grated ginger.Fry it in the oil butter mix.Meanwhile puree the tomatoes in a blender with 1 tsp chilli flakes ( red chilli powder can be used as well ).Pour this blended tomato mix into the kadahi.& fry nicely.Add one bay leaf to the kadhai & mix so that the tomato gravy is covering apart of the bay leaf.Let this mix boil.

Cut the paneer cubes into smaller size if needed.

After the tomato puree has boiled, add turmeric & hing.Mix nicely.Meanwhile take 5-6 cashews & powder them in the mixture.Add this powdered mixture to the kadhai.Add the cashew mix to kadhai after the raw tomato smell disappears ( this means boiling tomato puree for 10-15 minutes ).Mix powdered cashews nicely with gravy.The gravy will start becoming thick.Add half cup water or less if thicker gravy is needed.Add salt & garam masala.Mix nicely.Add paneer cubes & bring the whole thing to a boil.Let it simmer for 5 minutes.Then put off the gas.Serve with chappatis.




My kid found the garammasala too much.So next time,I will put just 1/8 tsp of garama masala per 100 gm of paneer for this  dish.Moreover,she loves paneer cubes & gravy is simply discarded.So it must be semi dry or thick gravy.