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!
- Flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
- Butter – 1 cup
- Eggs – 3
- Butter milk – 1 Cup ( whisked well)
- Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
- Lemon Zest – from 2 lemons / 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice – from 2 Lemons
- Baking Powder – 2 tsp
- Extra butter and flour to grease and dust the pan
- Extra powdered Sugar for dusting
- Pre Heat the oven to 180C
- Grese and dust a pan with butter and flour. Make sure to tap out the excess flour
- Now in a large bowl, add the butter and sugar . Cream till pale and fluffy
- Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to cream the mixture well and incorporate as much air as possible.
- 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
- 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)
- Next add the butter milk to the lemon egg mixture and mix well
- With a spatula divide the flour mixture into 3 and slowly fold the flour into the buttermilk butter egg mixture ( wet mixture)
- Once you have added all the flour to the wet mixture, your batter is ready! ( do not over mix the batter)
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and tap to release bubbles
- Pop the cake tin into the pre heated oven and bake for 45 – 50 mins or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean
- Cool completely on a cooling rack and then turn it out onto a plate
- Finally dust with powdered sugar and lemon slices !
Enjoy your summer Tea party ❤
Hello my wonderful readers,
How are you all doing today? So today I am here with a simple no fuss snack thats is easy on the waist line and doesn’t feel like a salad at all. So every Friday my husband likes to unwind with a glass of scotch and he insists that I make some thing to go along with the drink. Inevitably I end up making something deep fried. So to change things up and keep it healthy, I decided to make these roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes and they were a HIT! They take close to no time to prep and once they are in the oven all you have to do is give them a toss in the half way through the baking time just to make sure they crisp up evenly.
The garlic and the rosemary boost the taste and flavour of the veggies.
- Brussel Sprouts – 500 Gms
- Onions – 2 large ( sliced)
- Garlic – 10 cloves
- Rosemary – 4 to 5 sprigs
- Potato – 2 ( cut to wedges ) (cut them thin so they take the same time to cook as the rest of the ingredients )
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Himalayan Pink Salt to taste ( use regular if not available )
- Olive oil for a generous drizzle
- Pre heat your oven to 200C
- Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts. Prep the onions, potatoes and rosemary
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients listed above
- Arrange the same onto a baking tray
- Drizzle olive oil and pop the tray into the oven. Bake for 40 mins or till the Brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and the potatoes are cooked well
- Make sure to turn the veggies around, half way through the bake, to ensure that they cook evenly
- Once done, serve right away . We like it a little crisp and brown on the outside.
- You could also grate some cheese on top of the roasted veggies
Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.
These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are sorted for a long time 🙂
- Rice Flour – 3 cups
- Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Oil to fry
- Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)
- Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
- Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
- In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
- Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble bread crumbs
- Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
- Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
- Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
- Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
- Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
- Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
- Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
- Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
- Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
- Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
- Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
- You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container
Hello my Dear Wonderful readers!!
So I am back with my next recipe and that is my easy peasy Milk Powder Peda! These are super easy to make. Traditionally you will note that this sweet is make from Khoya and if that is easily available to you then you could make it that way too. But I am a mommy of a two year old and I run the kitchen and the house along with looking after him without any help. So any quick Indian sweet recipe is always welcome. These sweets are a favorite among people of all ages. My husband absolutely loves these and they are made every year around this time. So I am off to making more Diwali recipes and I leave you with this beauty!
- Milk Powder – 2 cup
- Condensed Milk – 400 gms ( 1 can)
- Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Saffron – 15 strands
- Milk – 1 tbsp (warm)
- Ghee – 4 tbsp + to apply on hand while rolling the peda
- In a small glass, combine the warm milk and saffron strands and let it rest while we get on with the rest
- In a heavy bottom non stick pan, add ghee. Once the ghee has melted add the condensed milk
- Now using a spatula, mix the condensed milk and ghee well till you see bubbles begin to form on the side
- Then add in the milk powder and move quickly
- Mix well and continuously stir till there are no lumps left. Using the spatula, press down on all the lumps and give it a good mix
- Next add the saffron soaked in milk and the cardamom powder
- Give it a good mix
- Cook the mixture till you see that it begins to form a single big lump
- Then take it off the heat and set aside to cool
- Meanwhile grease a plate with ghee and apply some on your hands too
- Now slowly make small roundels with equal quantities of the mixture in the palm of your hand
- Set aside on the greased plate. This works well when the mixture is still warm and not too hot to touch
- Once you are done with all the pedas, make small indent with you finger or use a stamp to make an impression on the top of the peda and place pistachio slivers, saffron strands etc
- Your home made milkpowder pedas are ready!
Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing? Today, I finally got my Diwali lights out on the balcony and my son was super excited! He ran out onto the balcony saying “Wooow..so pretty! “. He was in his PJs and his little eyes twinkled in the reflection from the fairy lights. Hey do you follow me on Instagram? Cause if you do, then you can see the live photos of what I describe here. Search for A cupcake for love and you will find me. I share most of my day meals or finds on my Instagram handle and I would love to hear from you.
So Diwali is a few days from now and I did make a few sweets but I have been procrastinating and not putting up the recipes on the blog. To make amends I am starting with my ‘easy peasy’ Gulab Jamun. Now as we go move along you will notice that most of my Diwali sweet recipes include Milk Powder. This is the lazy mum’s easy way to make home made sweets, satisfy sweet tooth’s, not spend too much time in the kitchen and also enjoy the holiday. So I am not saying these are authentic in anyway, but you know what, they taste just as good and they guarantee satisfaction 🙂
So here is the recipe for my Milk Powder Gulab Jamun
Ingredients for the sugar syrup –
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
- Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Saffron – 8 – 10 strands
- In a heavy bottom pan, combine water and sugar
- With the heat on medium, slowly mix the water and sugar till it dissolves
- Then add the cardamom and saffron
- Now bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the flame and let it simmer till the mixture begins to thicken (around 10 mins)
- Continue stirring till the sugar and water mixture thickens ( dip a ladle into the mixture and see it it coats the back in a nice thick layer )
- Set aside
- Milk Powder – 1 cup
- All purpose Flour/ Maida – 2 tbsp
- Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – for frying (depends on the vessel)
- Milk – 1/3 cup
- Butter – 1 tbsp (melted and cooled)
- In a large bowl, combine milk powder, maida, baking soda and mix well
- Then add the melted butter and combine well with the flour
- Finally add little milk at a time and slowly knead the flour to form a nice ball ( may be a little sticky but that’s ok)
- Leave it to rest for 10 mins
- During that time heat a heavy bottom pan with oil on medium ( use enough to deep fry)
- Finally make tiny lemon size balls with the milk powder mixture and set aside
- Slowly fry these balls on medium till golden brown
- After you have fried them, drop it into the prepared sugar syrup ( its best if the sugar syrup is warm)
- Let it soak for an hour and they are ready!
Hello my dear wonderful readers!!
Its been so long and there has been so much happening, I do not know where to begin! We finally moved to our own place and I am so excited cause there is so much sun light and space in the form of big balconies! lol. So to start our sweet journey at the new place, I decided to make these simple yet decadent cookies. Hey you know what I discovered, if you want to get rid of the smell of paint in a new place, all you need to do is bake some thing nice! I made these cookies and the paint smell reduced considerably. The next day I made some biryani and that sealed the deal. hahahahaha…
These cookies are super easy to make and are perfect if you want to make chocolate cut out cookies.
1. Flour – 2 cup
2. Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp
3. Cocoa Powder – 4 tbsp
4. Demerara Sugar – 1 cup
5. Butter – 100 gms
6. Milk – 4 tbsp
7. Salt – one pinch
1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 C – Using your baking paper or silpat mat, line your cookie baking tray
2. In a bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat well for 2 – 3 mins
3. Then add the baking powder, salt, flour, cocoa powder. Then slowly add the milk to flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and once the dough comes together use your hands and bring it all together
4. Finally you will reach a nice thick doughy consistency
5. Lay a baking paper over your kitchen counter and place the cocoa dough in the centre
6. Then place another piece of paper over the dough ( the same size as the paper underneath (40 cm x 40cm)
7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a nice thin size
8. Then remove the paper over the dough and using the cookie cutter, cut out the desired shape
9. Slowly place the cookies over the prepared baking sheet. These cookies do not expand so its ok to not leave too much space between the cookies
10. Bake for 20 – 25 mins ( do not wait for the cookies to turn dark brown)
11. Once they are ready , place them on a cooling rack and they are ready for their dressing 🙂
For the glaze
1. Micro wave, 50 gms of dark chocolate in spurts of 30 seconds each. Make sure to put out the bowl every 30 seconds and mix with a spatula. This will help prevent the chocolate from burning
2. Dip the cooled chocolate cookies in the melted chocolate and place over a wire rack to let the excess drip down
3. Sprinkle with your favorite kind of topping / sprinkle!!
Hello My Dear Wonderful Friends!
How are you all doing today? Yay, its almost the weekend and I can not wait for Saturday. Its been raining all week and my little boy is down with a cold, so I decided to make warm food and to begin my day with lots of nutritious fruits to keep me going. Pineapples help build and secure your immune system. They are anti inflammatory and also help in digestion. Kiwi also helps build immunity and is a good source of Vitamin C and then there is mango. Do you really need a reason to add mangoes in anything?? 😛
This time I used coconut water cause I wanted this smoothie to feel like a cocktail! ha.. so much for a clean mind and a clean diet! lol. The thing is, when you make smoothies every day, you really do not wanna get bored and our world is full of different kinds of fruits and vegetables and the permutations are endless! That being said, there are certain smoothies I just do not make, like pineapple and oats = yuck! Orange + yogurt = run to the bathroom!! etc!
All this fruit talk is making me hungry! OK, so I am going to run along and make some thing to eat while you check out my recipe for this refreshingly fresh and jazzy smoothie!!
- Mango – 2 cups
- Kiwi – 3
- Pineapple – 1 medium size
- Coconut water – from one large coconut ( add more if you do not like it thick)
- Palm Sugar – 1 tsp ( optional)
- Skin the mango and cut the fresh mango into large chunks and chuck right into the blender
- Then cut the kiwis into two and using a spoon scoop out the flesh
- Slowly slice off the skin of the pineapple and cut into small chunks
- Add all the fruits into the blender
- Finally break open a fresh coconut and add the water to the smoothie ( if you can use the flesh of the coconut as well)
- Give a good mix
- Serve into individual glasses with a slice of pineapple on top
Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing today? I found peaches at the nearby market and I decided why not use them in a fresh morning smoothie. As I took a walk down the market aisle, I realized that the number of mangoes are dwindling, therefore I decided to make the most of it while its still available. That brings me to the topic of canned food. Now for one, unless its an order to make a cake without a seasonal fruit or when I need to add a cheer to a cocktail, I stay clear of canned food. Simple cause I worry about the preservatives in the can. Food was never meant to last as long as it does when it is canned. So why add more preservatives and chemicals to your diet right? That’s why I prefer using fresh fruits in my smoothies. Also if I want an element of cold or frozen, I cut up the required fruit and freeze it over night so my smoothies are thick and creamy. That being said some times when I need to make a tuna salad in a hurry (once in 6 months!) I do grab a can of canned tuna. Nothing substitutes fresh, seasonal fruits. So if you are planing on making a smoothie tomorrow, I suggest you pick up the least expensive fruit in the market, that means they are in season and they will only make you healthier!
So this smoothie is a mixture of fresh peaches, mangoes and oranges. Now if you want you could add water or yogurt but I do not like the combination of milk or yogurt with citrus fruits. It just does not work! ( for me). And this smoothie is a really thick smoothie, almost like ice cream. I did not add any liquid cause I wanted more fruit this time.
- Fresh Peaches – 4
- Mangoes – 3 cups ( cubes and frozen)
- Oranges – 2 large
- Ice Cubes – 5 – 6
- Cut and core the peaches.
- Cube the mangoes and freeze over night for a creamy thick consistency ( its ok if you do not have frozen mangoes, fresh mango works too)
- Juice 2 large oranges ( use the pulp too)
- Add all the ingredients into a blender along with the ice cubes. Blend according to the blender instructions and serve with a slice of fresh cut orange.
Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!
How have you all been? it’s been so long right? I am not sure where I have to begin but let me tell you, the feeling you get when you make something for the blog and then the thrill of taking photos, oh I missed that!
It’s been a busy few weeks, it all started with my son spilling water over the mac book and leaving me handicapped for a week. LOL. We were on the breakfast table going on about our normal everyday morning routine and suddenly all you remember is he was playing peek-a-boo and wuussshhh !! there was water all over the key pad. You know I have this routine where I wake up early just to make sure I can have a nice cup of green tea all alone and maybe blog too. But that day, both my son and the husband decided to wake up earlier than usual and everything went downhill from there!!
Anyways after paying a hefty sum at the apple store they returned the mac to us, with a new key pad and all. Thank god. It was during that week that we took a quick trip, just the husband and me and oh how I have missed being a girl! You know what I mean, after we got married, and the house and the baby, I haven’t had the time to think about anything else! I am sure if you are a mother too, you would understand. For a few days, I woke up whenever I wanted, I did not have to worry about making food or dealing with clutter or anything! just a few days and trust me all that it does it REJUVENATES YOU!!
Anyway after we got back, it was a week full of rains and Bengaluru was cloudy all the time! The true ‘Bangalore’ that I “oh-so longed for” during the sweltering heat the last couple of weeks. So that is when I decided it would be nice to make HOT HOT Kachoris! Now before you say that these are unhealthy cause they are deep fried, here is something you should know. I never make deep fried stuff at home and when I do, I make sure it’s not just for the three people here, I SHARE! 😛 So that means I always make a very small batch of these and I always make sure I share.
These Kachoris are flaky and crispy on the outside, and stuffed with spices and peas on the inside. There are many variations of the Kachori. You can fill them with onions, potatoes, different types of Dals ( lentils) etc. This is the basic version that incorporates greek peas, spices and I added caramelised onions (cause I love the taste of caramelised onions with flaky dough)! Traditionally served with a sweet tamarind chutney and a mint and coriander chutney these deep fried crispy Kachori’s are best enjoyed with your evening tea. (I usually serve it with coffee but you get the idea right!)
Also make sure you finish them right away or at least store them in air tight containers, but for the best experience, serve them just as you take them out of the oil!
Ingredients for the pastry :-
- Maida/ Flour – 1 cup
- Whole wheat Flour – 1 cup
- Salt – 1.4 tsp
- Baking Powder – 1.2 tsp
- Water – 1/2 cup ( or just enough to make a nice tight dough)
- Oil – 3 tbsp
Instructions for the pastry :-
- In a large bowl, add all the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and give it a good mix with a whisk
- Then add the oil and mix with your hand till the flour resembles bread crumbs
- Now slowly add water, a little at a time to make a nice tight dough ( water may also increase or decrease depending on how fresh your flour is)
- Try not to over work the dough ( like you would do when you make bread) This will ensure that you have a nice flaky crust
- Once the dough comes together to form a nice ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest ( 10- 15 mins)
- Mean while you can get ready with the filling
Ingredients for the filling :
- Green peas – 250 gms ( I used the frozen kind but any would do)
- Onions – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Asafoetida – one pinch
- Ginger – 1 tsp ( paste)
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Raw Mango Powder/ Amchur Powder – 1 tsp ( heap)
- Jeera/ Cumin – 1 tsp
- Sauf / Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp (or according to taste)
- In a non stick pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and Asafoetida. As soon as they begin to sizzle add the onions and fry till golden brown
- Then add ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala power, coriander powder and give it a good mix
- Next add the green peas.Stir well to ensure that the green peas are coated well with the spice mix
- Lastly add the fennel seeds and salt
- Cook till there is no water and the mixture is dry
- Set aside to cool down
- Now if you want you could use the back of a spoon to mash up the peas so its is easier in the next step but I usually leave it like that so you get to bite into the green peas
Final assembling and frying the Kachoris :-
- Now take your dough that has been resting for so long. Divide it into 6 – 7 equal halves and roll into small balls
- Slowly roll out each of these balls into small coins (around 10 – 15 cms in diameter)
- Then using a spoon, add the cooled green peas mix to the centre of the rolled out coin
- Now slowly, bring the ends of the coin together to make a nice dumpling. ( the same technique you would use to make momos or stuffed parathas)
- Make sure you get all the ends together and there is not what your stuff will spill out
- Now place the dumpling back on your counter and slowly press down to flatten in out into small discs
- Again you wanna be very gentle with it so you do not have the stuffing tearing through the dough
- Once you have done this will all the balls, you are ready to fry them
- Pour enough oil into a deep dish to ensure that the dish is covered at least 70 %
- Turn the flame on to medium high. These kachoris are not fried on high heat, so make sure the flame is at medium high
- Now slowly add the flattened discs maybe 2 or three at a time ( do not over clutter or you will bring the temperature of the oil down and then it will take longer to cook and they might not puff up as required)
- Fry the kachoris till they are nice and golden brown and then set on a kitchen paper to absorb all the oil
- You kachoris are ready! Serve right away with sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint and coriander chutney