Healthy Quinoa Brownie Nutty Bites

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Summer Lemon Sponge Cake

 

Hello my wonderful readers!

How have you all been? As you can see, I haven’t really had much time to blog and cook as I have been spending time at the school and after with my little one. I stay at the school along wth my baby and once we are back we continue with activities etc together. Not cause blogging is not as interesting, its just that it really feels nice to spend time with Adi. In the last few weeks, as a mother there are so many changes in my little one and its just the best. I couldn’t imagine not sharing these changes with him. The perks of staying home with your baby, I guess 🙂

For March – April the temperatures are soaring like crazy and apparently they are only going to get worse. So I decided to make a little lemon sponge cake for the evening tea. The cake is light and spongy and so so delicious. Paired with a cup of tea this makes the perfect summer evening tea.

As the days go by there is this reality that hits you that these moments, hot, cold, summer or rain, will never come back. Little precious moments with the little boy and as a mum the only thing you want is for your little one to be able to make decisions on his own with a sensible head. As a parent we are so so weak. Some times even if its for his good, it takes a lot out of me to keep a straight face when I am trying to explain why he should do some thing . Or when I ask him if he wants to go to school and he replies with “OR THE MALL? ” like its really an option .. lol…. secretly I think he enjoys the car / auto ride to and from the school more than anything. He holds the railing behind the auto driver and pretends to be driving the auto with all the expression and sound effects the auto and its driver. Once we are home, everyday he makes a fuss to enter home. Cause he knows its time for lunch and then his afternoon  sleep which is such a struggle!! But in all its the best feeling to see his little black straight hair flutter gently when he runs to jump, his little look from the corner of his eye when I ask him to keep back things or when I say “What did Amma say?” and he says ” No Skweeeeming ” … These little moments make my heart warm and every moment worth living. Oh my there I go again about how I love my little honey bee.

Ok back to the recipe. You want all the ingredient at room temperature and do not forget to butter and dust the pan WELL!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
  2. Butter – 1 cup
  3. Eggs – 3
  4. Butter milk – 1 Cup ( whisked well)
  5. Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
  6. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  7. Lemon Zest – from 2 lemons / 1/4 cup
  8. Lemon Juice – from 2 Lemons
  9. Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  10. Extra butter and flour to grease and dust the pan
  11. Extra powdered Sugar for dusting

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat the oven to 180C
  2. Grese and dust a pan with butter and flour. Make sure to tap out the excess flour
  3. Now in a large bowl, add the butter and sugar . Cream till pale and fluffy
  4. Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to cream the mixture well and incorporate as much air as possible.
  5. In a large pan, mix the flour and baking powder. Sieve the mixture thrice to incorporate air and to distribute the Baking powder well in the flour
  6. Now into the butter and egg mixture, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and mix well ( if you are using a hand whisk this is easy, the same can be done with a hand held whisk)
  7. Next add the butter milk to the lemon egg mixture and mix well
  8. With a spatula divide the flour mixture into 3 and slowly fold the flour into the  buttermilk butter egg mixture ( wet mixture)
  9. Once you have added all the flour to the wet mixture, your batter is ready! ( do not over mix the batter)
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and tap to release bubbles
  11. Pop the cake tin into the pre heated oven and bake for 45 – 50 mins or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  12. Cool completely on a cooling rack and then turn it out onto a plate
  13. Finally dust with powdered sugar and lemon slices !

 

Enjoy your summer Tea party ❤

Pal Appam — Lace Hoppers

 

 

Hello my wonderful readers,

Do you follow my Instagram feed? Many a times Appam is our preferred breakfast and it is super easy to make once you have the batter. Much like the dosa batter but I use yeast in this recipe. There are recipes that do not include yeast but I love that lovely fermented smell that comes from the yeast and frankly its more like  a – ‘Soak, Dump , Grind and Rest’ method. The reason it is called a Lace Hopper is because of those wonderful intricate lace like weave that it has on the outsides. The inner centre of the circle is thicker and the outer ring is crispier. These are perfect with a coconut milk based egg curry. The recipe for which I will share later. You could also pair with left over curry from the previous day.

My son started school this week and man now I know how it feels to be a mum of child going to school!! no am not talking about the work that goes into getting him ready for school but the fact that this little human being is already ready to start his formal education! The school is like no other school we have ever seen. It believes in being as natural and close to the environment as possible. Infact as you enter into the school you wonder where the building and concrete structures of the school is. Lots of lush green, children learning under trees, no foot wear, greeting each other with a namaste. In all, this is the perfect place for my little one. While the little one is inside his little environment, I sit outside and just breathe! all the fresh air and the sounds of chirping birds, the occasional squirrel running around. It feels like a Gurukula straight out of the Mahabharata! In all this new change is one my little bunny is trying hard to cope up with but is also something he looks forward too. Wish me luck people! I hope he likes it for all the years to come..

So back to the recipe! This recipe makes easily 20 appams and you have 3 breakfasts from the week sorted.

Now before I get into the recipe, I wanted to tell you this. Traditionally appam is make with ” Kallu” / palm wine / Toddy . It helps in the fermentation and it gives the appam its unique smell. But Kallu is hard to find and yeast gives you just about the same smell so why not? My grandmother lives on a property that houses almost 5 dozen coconut trees and so back in Kerala toddy is easier to come across and the appam is so so good! Also the heat and the humidity of the place also helps in making the perfect batter. This is my straingforward recipe and it works all the time. All you need to make sure is it to keep the batter in a warm place of your kitchen over night. Not in the fridge! Not near a window with cold air blowing in etc. A nice warm corner for the yeast fairy to work her magic!


Ingredients :-

  1. Ponni Rice – 2 cups
  2. Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
  3. Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
  4. Yeast – 1 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
  6. Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
  7. Coconut oil for greasing the pan

Instructions :-

  1. In a large vessel, wash the Ponni rice. Then soak the rice in water for 5 -6 hours ( 12 hours is best) I usually soak in the morning and do the rest after dinner
  2. After the rice has soaked in the water for sufficient time, in the bowl of your grinder or blender, add the soaked rice, cooked rice and desiccated coconut
  3. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the yeast and let it stand still till the yeast becomes frothy ( activated yeast)
  4. Then add 2 cups of water to the blender jar with the rice and coconut and blend to form a nice smooth paste. There shouldn’t be any coarse rice pieces or coconut pieces
  5. finally just before you remove the blender jar from the machine, add the yeast water and the rest of the water and run the blender for 1 min.
  6. Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
  7. Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
  8. Now cover the container loosely and set it on a plate. Place the container in a warm place over night. By the next morning you will see the batter rise up and be bubbly
  9. This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
  10. Now heat up your appam chatti.  ( Appa chatti is a vessel that is used to make these hoppers, the market is flooded with teflon non stick pans, but I DO NOT USE any teflon / non stick pans in my kitchen, so if you are interested in buying a pan I suggest you look for a iron pan, the one I own is from —   the Village Fair 
  11. Heat your Appa chatti on a medium flame. Once it is hot grease the pan lightly with coconut oil. I dip a cotton cloth in oil and then spread it around the chatti
  12. Now using a ladle pour the fermented Batter into the chatti. Slowly swirl the chatti round to spread the batter to all the sides of the chatti and then place it back in the flame. You will notice that the batter settle back to the centre. That is fine, that is what gives it that fully centre and crisp side. Now if you do not like it to thick, just reduce the amount of batter and rotate the chatti for a little longer that way all sides are crisp yet not too thick. Also make sure to use mittens or use a cotton cloth to hold the sides of the chatti
  13. Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
  14. Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
  15. Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
  16. Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
  17. Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry 

 

 

Malayali Kadala Curry – Black Chickpea Curried in roasted Coconut and shallots

 

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Hello wonderful readers!

How have you all been? This week has been insanely crazy. Lots of work and we ordered in dinner yesterday cause I had no time to make dinner! The week started out just right. A little work out, a few good shoots and then yesterday by late afternoon this massive headache. Anyway today has also been a day of Muti tasking and much more, but on the bright side my little one is still sleeping so I have a few minutes to spare and write this blog post.

This recipe is very close to my heart. It is my grandma’s recipe and every one in my family absolutely LOVES this dish. In fact this dish is the main reason my cousin and I fight over the breakfast table. For a normal house hold of 5 people, 2 cups of chickpea are more than enough but in our case my grandma makes an entire cooker full of it and she hides half of it from my cousin brother cause only then would I get anything!! That being said, even the rest would disappear in no time 🙂 Where I am from this curry is a staple with “PUTTU” – steamed rice cakes. That recipe I will post soon. Kadala curry is a little time consuming but is so worth it and trust me, you would wanna have this with everything . Including a slice of bread!!

Ingredients :-

 

  • Kadala / Black Chickpea – 2 cups ( soaked for 6 – 8 hours)
  • Coconut – 1 ( divided into two)
  • Onions – 1 ( sliced lengthwise)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  • Shallots – 9
  • Dried Red Chillies – 6 a
  • Coriander Seeds – 1/4 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  • Cloves – 5
  • Green Cardamom – 3
  • Pepper corn – 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 14 ( cleaned and dry) + 6
  • Fennel Seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Salt – according to taste ( we use around 1 tbsp ) but it depends on the chickpea and the curry it self
  • Green Chillies – 4 slit into two ( optional)

 

Instructions :-

First lets prep the coconut

 

  • Cut the coconut into two
  • Use one half and cut into small thin strips
  • Grate the other half – if you are using store bot desiccated coconut then use 2 + 1/2 cups

 

  1. In a large wok or khadai. Add the coriander seeds, dry red chillies, cinnamon, shallots, green cardamom, curry leaves (14), fennel seeds and pepper corns
  2. Now with the flame on low, roasted the mixture till its nice and brown in colour. Make sure to toss the mixture every now and then or else the coconut might burn
  3. Once the mixture is golden brown ( a little dark brown is fine too) empty it into a blender jar and blend till it forms a nice paste. Now ideally it should turn pasty on its own but if it does not then add a few table spoons of water to help it along
  4. Now once that is done set it aside
  5. In an instant cooker add the Chickpeas, with the turmeric, sliced coconuts and onions.  Cook for 5 whistles or till the chickpeas are soft to touch. Set aside
  6. Now in the same large wok add the coconut oil and once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds
  7. As soon as they splutter add the curry leaves. Then add the roasted coconut mixture and cook till all the moisture has evaporated
  8. Then add the cooked chickpeas. And cover and cook till the curry becomes nice and thick.
  9. Finally add salt and the split green chillies
  10. Cook for another 5 mins and serve HOT!!

Oven Dried – Sun-dried Tomatoes

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Hello my wonderful readers!

How have you all been? So this time I am back with a simple recipe and it is a super money saver. We absolutely love sun-dried tomatoes and they just go with everything! But buying the packages / bottled kind is super expensive and it honestly does not make sense when you have access to fresh ripe tomatoes right? So this post will help you make simple sun-dried tomatoes and trust me it is super easy.

Ingredients :-

  1. Tomatoes – 1 kg ( try using ripe ones)
  2. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  3. Olive oil – 1 cup
  4. Garlic – 4 cloves
  5. Basil Leaves – 6

Instructions :-

  1. Pre heat your oven to 100 c .  Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with oil . Set aside
  2. Wash and pat dry the tomatoes
  3. Cut the tomatoes into thin halves lengthwise . If you are using cherry tomatoes, then cutting them into two halves is sufficient . But if you are using regular tomatoes, cut them into thing slices, as they are the quicker to cook.
  4. Spread the cut tomatoes out evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure they are not touching each other and there is enough space between the pieces. This will ensure the hot air passes through each piece and it cooks / dries evenly. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt too. Tuck the basil leaves underneath the tomatoes so they do not burn but they give off their flavour.
  5. Make sure to spread olive oil on the basil leaves
  6. Now turn the oven mode to the  continuously baking mode. I have a setting on my oven that allows me to leave the oven on till need be
  7. Pop the baking sheet into the oven. Now balance a wooden spoon on the door in such a way that there is a little space for the moisture to escape from the oven. (Trust me this helps)
  8. Now depending on how ripe and how thin the tomatoes are, this can take 6 – 7 hours
  9. Every once in a while just give the tomatoes a mix and turn them over.
  10. The smaller pieces will get done faster so you can take them out of the oven sooner.
  11. You want to wait till the skin has a leathery feel and they look all de hydrated and small.
  12. Once they all are done, let them sit and cool completely. Now you can have them just like that too.
  13. If not you can add the rest of the olive oil into a clean glass jar, add the garlic and salt
  14. Then add the dried tomatoes and store in a fridge. I have left them for 2 -3 months and they have been fine.
  15. Your oven dried / sun dried tomatoes are ready! You can use them in pastas, sandwiches, pizza etc .

 

Caramel and Orange Upside Down Cake

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Hello my wonderful readers!

How have you all been? I think I can finally say that we have settled into our new house after close to 6 months of moving in here. Its been crazy with the little one. When he was one people would say “Oh wait till the terrible twos” Now as he inches towards the 3 I wanna say ” wait till the horrible threes”!! lol.. But on the other hand he finally understands things. Like when I say that we will get to go to the play pen on a Friday, he finally gets it. He does not get when Friday is, but he understands that it will come soon. My little boy has also learned to eat with a fork. Now I was never ok with him holding a fork in his hand but every time we go to a restaurant he wants to eat like us. (At home we would refrain from using it cause he would want it too). So now he has decided to have his meals with a fork too. It impossible to have watery dal and rice with a fork so lunch is when I feed him. But otherwise he is learning. My little baby is growing so fast and its almost time to put him in school. Before we had him we had promised each other that no matter how hard it would get, we would not get a nanny and no day care. Simply cause I have trust issues. That being said, now my son is of an age where he can form sentences. And I encourage him to talk to me and recollect what happened every day. So that way  even if I am away I won’t be in the dark about what is happening in his life. There will come day when he is all grown up and doesn’t wanna talk to me, but till then I am going to take every minute that I get to listen and to be a part of his life. My boys are my world and when I say boys I mean my little one and my husband. In this house, age is just a number. Some times there is absolutely no difference between the two. They both can be equally stubborn about food and then they can melt my heart with just a smile. All it takes is one look and they have their way.

So you know how you go for a walk and you smell some one cooking some thing? Like when I am at the gym in the mornings and I can smell toasted bread with lots of butter! OH THAT SMELL! haha. Well yeah, and then I am on the mill and I am dreaming about buttered toast! lol! no wonder I don’t lose weight! haha. So thats how I have been feeling when I look into my Instagram app. OH BTW! If you do not follow me on Instagram, plz do. Its the same name as the blog. ACUPCAKEFORLOVE. All the orange upside down cakes that have made their way all over the internet got me wanting to make some myself. So here it is. Super super simple and goes deliciously well with a cup of tea.

Ingredients :-

For the orange layer – 

  1. Oranges – 2 ( medium size) + 2 (large)
  2. Sugar – 1 cup
  3. Water – 1/4 cup
  4. Butter – 2 tbsp
  5. Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt – 1 pinch

For the cake layer – ( all at room temperature)

  1. Caster sugar – 1 + 1.2 cup
  2. Flour – 2 cups + 4 tsp
  3. Eggs – 4 medium size
  4. Milk – 1 cup
  5. Apple cider vinegar – 1 tsp
  6. Baking powder – 1 tsp
  7. Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
  8. Orange Zest – 1 tbsp
  9. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  10. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  11. Orange Juice – 3 tbsp
  12. Butter – 150 grms
  • Pre heat your oven to 180 C and butter a cake pan heavenly. Set aside

Instructions for the orange layer 

  1. First cut the orange into thin round slices . Make sure to take out all the seeds
  2. Layer the oranges in the prepared cake tin pan
  3. In a sauce pan, add the sugar and water. Let it come to a boil. Do not whisk till it comes to a boil. You can move the pan around a few times if need be
  4. Once the sugar mixture becomes amber colour, take it off the heat and add the butter and whisk well. Then add the vanilla and salt. Give it a good mix and then pour the mixture over the top of the layer oranges
  5. There is alway a change of the mixture burning your hand when you add the butter so be very careful. Always wear mitten while making caramel
  6. Set aside to cook

 

For the Cake layer 

  1. In a large bowl combine al the dry ingredients – flour + baking powder + baking soda + salt
  2. In another bowl combine milk + vinegar
  3. In a mixing bowl combine butter and sugar and whisk till the butter turns pale and yellow
  4. Then add the eggs. After the eggs add the vanilla extract
  5. Now alternate between the milk and the flour mixture and add to the sugar butter mixture
  6. Continue till all of it is incorporated
  7. Then using a spatula add the juice and orange zest
  8. Pour the batter on top of the orange caramel mixture
  9. Once done level the batter and pop into the oven for 45 – 50 mins or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  10. Now once you pull the cake out of the oven, use a butter knife and run it along the sides of the cake ( make sure you have you mitten on for this)
  11. Then place plate on top and turn the cake upside down
  12. Slowly remove the cake pan and your cake is ready! Serve right away!

Nadan Chicken Cutlet – Kerala style Chicken Croquettes

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Hello my Dear Wonderful People!

How are you all doing? Happy Valentines day! A day for love, a day to be loved and a day for love to be loved! Yup.. Its one whole day when we get to show our special people that they matter to us. And unlike many people, I absolutely love the idea of having this day. No it doesn’t not mean that we can’t show love on other days, and if you see it like that then I feel sorry for you. If you giving me another chance to show you how much you mean to me and you make it mandatory on the 14th of every Feb then I am taking it! Cause you know what? no matter how hard I try, some days, I forget to tell you how much you mean to me. Somedays I try but I might not be able to get to you cause you were having a bad day. But today I am going to take that day. Also maybe 20 years from now, this day might not mean as much as it does today but so what? Today is what matters right?

So on this special day, I decided to make my husband his favourite deep fried snack. These cutlets. I do not make them often, infact the last time I made them was close to a year ago. Simply cause they are deep fried and they involve quite a few steps. But once you make them, you could make a large batch and freeze them and use them as and when you want. That is what I did this time 🙂 This recipe is from my grandmother and her cutlets are out of this world. These little bites of heaven are perfect for a evening snack or a great side for dinner time. There are many variations to these cutlets, some people add cashews to the meat and some others fry the meat and add rice flour. My recipe is quite straightforward. Boil / cook each part of the recipe. Combine , dip , coat and fry! FINISH!

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( boneless)
  2. Potatoes – 4 large
  3. Onions – 3 cups ( chopped fine )
  4. Green Chillies – 10 ( adjust to taste)
  5. Ginger – 4 inch knob
  6. Garlic – 14 cloves
  7. Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
  8. Coriander Powder – 4 tsp + 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 3 tsp
  10. Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
  11. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 cup ( chopped)
  12. Mint leaves – 1 cup (chopped)
  13. Salt – 1 tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ( adjust to taste)
  14. Oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
  15. Eggs – 2 ( beaten )
  16. Bread Crumbs – 1 cup ( more according to shape of cutlet)

Instructions :-

  1. Peel potatoes and boil till soft. Set aside
  2. In a pressure cooker add the chicken pieces. Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder + pepper powder (2 tsp) + Coriander powder 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt. Pressure cook the chicken for 3 whistles. ( If you do not have a cooker, just use a pot and boil the chicken till cooked well.)
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, open the cooker and look for water. If there is excess water, cook the chicken on high flame till all the water has evaporated. Same for when cooking in a pot. Once all the water has evaporated, set aside to cool down
  4. Then in a blender, blend the chicken to form a coarse paste. Make sure not to grind it too much. You want some chucks of chicken to remain
  5. In a large flat bottom pot, add 2 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot. add the onions and fry till golden brown. During this time in a mortar and pestle add the ginger + garlic and green chillies. Crush to form a nice coarse paste
  6. Add the ginger paste to the onions and fry till the garlic looses its raw smell
  7. Then add the rest of the turmeric powder + coriander powder + garam masala powder. Give it a good mix and fry till the masala has cooked well into the onion mixture
  8. Set aside to cool. During this time lets get our assembly line ready 🙂
  9. In one plate add the boiled potatoes + the onions spice mixture. Add the fresh mint and coriander
  10. Mix with your hand to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Then add the ground chicken
  11. after you have mixed the chicken with the rest of the spiced potato mixture, make small patties of equal size and set on a large cookie sheet or plate
  12. Now with one hand dunk the patties into the light beaten egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly
  13. Set aside in a large plate ready for frying!
  14. In a large wok or Khadai, heat oil
  15. Once the oil is hot ( on medium heat) fry the patties till golden brown
  16. Reserve on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
  17. Serve right away with ketchup!