Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Fluffy Pancakes

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups
  • Baking Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • salt – a pinch
  • sugar – 1 and 1/2 tablespoon
  • Butter – 2 cubes
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Oil – for cooking

You can prepare soft, yummy pancakes in just two simple steps:

Combine all the dry ingredients: Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Sugar. Add melted butter, milk and beaten egg and mix well to form a batter-like consistency.

Heat a oiled pan on medium heat. Ladle out some batter on the pan. Flip the pancake when you see holes forming on the top layer. Cook it until brown on both sides.

Pancakes are traditionally had with Maple syrup drizzled on top.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Palak Paneer

This is my version of Palak Paneer that is very easy, quick to prepare and never fails to taste delicious!!

Ingredients:

Palak (Spinach) – 100gms

Paneer – 200gms

Butter – 2 tablespoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Jeera/Cumin – 1 teaspoon

Garlic (finely chopped) – 1 tablespoon

Onion – 1 large

Red Chilly powder and Salt – as per your taste

Preparation

Blanch Palak in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Transfer the palak onto a bowl of cold water and let it sit for about a minute or two.

Now blend the palak into a fine paste using a food processor.

Heat some oil and add 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. We are using some oil along with butter, as the oil stops the butter from burning away. Add cumin seeds followed by finely chopped garlic. Now add finely chopped onions and sauté until it is slightly pink. The slight crunch from the onions adds a unique taste to the dish. Hence, do not wait until it turns golden brown.

It’s now time to add the paste we prepared by blanching the palak.

Add Red chilly powder and salt as per your taste and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally add the king of the dish – the Paneer, cut into cubes. Cook for not more than 5 minutes to prevent the Paneer from becoming rubbery/hard. You can garnish with some fresh cream if your desire. Tastes best with a few drops of lemon juice squeezed on top of it. It goes well as an accompaniment with Chapati/Roti or Nan.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Chocolate Cake and Ganache

Here’s what you will need to prepare a delicious moist chocolate cake.

Dry Ingredients:

All purpose flour/Maida – 100grams

Cocoa powder – 30grams

Baking powder – 1 and 1/2 tablespoon

Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon

salt – a pinch

Sugar – 90grams

Wet ingredients:

Eggs – 5

Oil – 1cup

Milk – 1/4 cup

vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon

For the chocolate ganache:

Fresh cream

Dark Chocolate

Preparation

  • Pass all the dry ingredients (Flour, Cocoa powder, Baking Powder, Baking soda and Salt) through a sieve and mix them together.
  • Whisk the eggs well and add sugar followed by Oil, Milk and vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the above wet ingredients in 3 batches and fold it in. Make a smooth homogenous mixture
  • Smear a baking tray with Butter/Oil. You can optionally use a butter paper.
  • Add the above mixture to the baking tray.
  • Pre-heat the microwave. Place the tray and bake at 180 degree centigrade for 25 min and your cake is ready.

Chocolate Ganache

For chocolate ganache we will need Dark chocolate and Fresh Cream. The ratio will be 2 parts chocolate and 1 part fresh cream. We will need a double boiler, that is, a heat resistant bowl to melt the chocolate and an outer vessel to hold boiling water.

First, we will bring the water to boil. Place the heat resistant bowl and add dark chocolate pieces. Keep stirring until the chocolate melts.

Stop the heating process. Add fresh cream and continue stirring.

Let it cool. Spread on the cake evenly.

To Decorating the cake you will need whipped cream and icing sugar. Whip the cream until it is frothy. Add icing sugar in parts and continue whipping until a thick consistency is acquired. Decorate the cake as required. Enjoy your moist chocolate cake…

Wish you a very Happy New Year!!!

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Happiness is… the smell of freshly baked Bread!

Here’s what you will need to make a soft Wheat bread at home:

Wheat Flour – 3 cups

Butter – 2 cubes

Milk – 1 cup

Sugar – 15 grams

Dry yeast – 6 grams

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Step 1: Activating the Yeast

Add 2 cubes of melted butter, 1 cup of warm milk, 15 grams or approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar and 6 grams or 1/2 tablespoon of dry yeast into a bowl. Mix it well for the yeast to activate. There is no need to rest the mixture. Too much waiting at this stage can make the dough too sour. You can move on to step 2 immediately.

Step 2: Preparing the Dough

Add 3 cups of Wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoons of oil. Add the activated yeast mixture. Additionally you can add 1/4 cup of water to make the dough. Dough making is a very crucial step. Keep kneading the dough for about 15 min, until the dough becomes glutenous. You must be able to stretch the dough into a thin layer. This is important for the dough to have enough room for the gas released while the dough is rising.

Step 3: Resting

Add some oil to the bowl before placing the dough back. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap or a wet towel. Make sure you choose a big enough bowl that can hold double the size of the dough. Set aside for 2 hours after which the dough would have doubled in size.

Step 3: Proofing

After 2 hours, knead the dough again into a cylindrical shape. It should be such that it fits into your baking pan. Grease the pan with some butter or oil. Place the dough now into the baking pan. Cover it with a wet towel or cling wrap and rest for 30 minutes. The dough should rise an inch above the pan.

Step 4: Baking

Brush some milk on the dough. This gives a good brown color. Place the baking pan in a pre-heated oven on a low rack. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 40 minutes.

Enjoy the aroma of the baking bread spread around your kitchen and home 🙂

Allow the bread to cool and then cut them into slices.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Oats Cake

Here’s a healthy version of cake. No maida, no sugar and no guilt!!

Dry ingredients:

  • Quick Oats – 3 cups
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/4 teaspoon

I used Quick Oats. Rolled Oats would work as well. The cinnamon powder is optional. Mix the above dry ingredients evenly.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Melted butter (unsalted) – 2 cubes
  • Honey – 1/2 cup or as sweet as you prefer
  • Egg – 1 (whisked)
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 teaspoon

Mix the above wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and combine to form a homogenous mixture.

Smear the cake pan with butter. Dust with Oats powder. Another easier way to avoid preparing oats powder is to just save some dry ingredient that we just prepared and sprinkle the same onto the cake pan. Remove the excess.

Transfer the mixed batter into a cake pan. Tap it a few times. Place it on low rack.

Pre heat microwave at 180 degree Centigrade. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown or until it is completely cooked. Insert a toothpick and it should come out clear without any batter sticking to it.

Make sure to cool it on the rack for about 15 minutes before serving.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Pani Puri on a rainy day

Pani Puri has been almost everyone’s all-time favorite. I have missed it since almost a year. Today, I finally tried preparing it myself which was my long time desire! I used ready made puris. Making them myself will be an experiment for another day…

Here’s is my version of Pani Puri, real quick and easy. It turned out clean and hygienic and somewhat tasty. It however couldn’t beat the taste of the one sold on road-side. It missed the smell, dust and perspiration!! 🙂

Step 1: Ingredients for Preparing Pani.

  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • Mint leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Green chilly – 3
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Tamarind juice- 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice – half lemon
  • Spices: Red Chilly powder, cumin, pepper powder, chaat masala

Make a paste with coriander, mint, chilly and ginger. You can either use a mixer or a food processor. Add tamarind juice and lemon to the mixture. Dilute it with 2-3 glasses of water. Pass the diluted mixture through a sieve/filter. Add the dry spices – red chilly powder, cumin powder , chaat masala and pepper powder. Add some salt.

Step 2: For the Filling you will need:

  • White Peas 1 cup
  • Potato – 2 (optional)
  • Onion – 1
  • Coriander leaves
  • Spices: Red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chaat masala, pepper powder

Soak white peas for about 5 hours or overnight. Boil it in a pressure cooker for about 5 min or until mashable/soft. You can boil potatoes and mash them. The stuffing is equally tasty even if potatoes are avoided. Add chopped onions and coriander. Add all the spice powders: Red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chaat masala and pepper powder and mix it well. Serve them with onions.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Uddin Vada / Medu Vada

Medu vada or Uddin vada is made from lentils (urad dal) and is a fond breakfast item in South India. Chopped onions, coriander, curry leaves and green chilly is added to the lentil batter and is deep fried in oil until brown and crisp.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Chocolate Mug Cake

Comfort food

How to make a good Mug Cake:

Step 1: Choose a Mug of appropriate size. Keep in mind the amount you would be preparing and also account for the additional 1-2 inches for the cake to rise in the microwave.

Step 2: Always add all the dry ingredients first & mix them well and then add the wet ingredients. Add the following dry ingredients and mix them homogeneously with a fork or a spoon. The measurements stated below is only an approximate. Adjust them according to your cup size and the amount you wish to make.

  • Maida or all purpose flour (3 tablespoon)
  • Cocoa powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Sugar (2 table spoon) – Can be powdered or normal crystal sugar
  • Baking powder (1/4 tea spoon)
  • Baking soda ( a pinch)

Step 3: Now add the below wet ingredients and mix well. If you are not using powdered sugar, do give a good mix at this step to partially dissolve the sugar.

  • Milk (3 tablespoon)
  • Oil (1 teaspoon)

Finally: Pop the cup into the microwave for exactly 1 minute and see your cake rise.

Enjoy!