Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Corn Capsicum Fried Rice

I had some leftover zeera pulao . Also some lonely corn that I boiled for lunch but did not eat and a half cut capsicum  stored after using other half for pav bhaji a day earlier. So I decided put three together to tango.

Take around 1.5 tbsp sesame oil. Add 1 tsp each of ginger and garlic paste. I make paste for couple of days together and store in refrigerator. Fresh paste makes a huge difference in flavor. Next add dice capsicum, onion and boiled corn sliced off from the cob. I boil corn by splitting in half , put in pressure cooker with 1/4 cup water and take 2 whistles.

Saute the vegetables on med high flame for couple of minutes next add some salt and some kind of chilli saue. Today I added schezwan sauce. Add about 2 cups of boiled/leftover rice. Mix well serve hot. Tasted pretty good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tomato Rasam

This is the first time I made Rasam at home. Unlike the spicy, tangy water served at Udipi this turned out very flavorful. I followed this recipe as such. And yes I used MTR Rasam masala.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekend Cooking

French Loaf made with part Atta and part plain flour

Sooji Dhokla

 Chana Chaat

 Chana Chaat served with some sev and Pomegranate seeds

My 5 year old made these cookies in her play kitchen with play doh. How lovely!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eggless Mini Chocolate/Vanilla Cupcakes


1 1/4 cups All purpose flour (plain flour/Maida) 
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1 Cup Buttermilk (Substitute 1 Cup milk + 1 tbsp Vinegar)
1 1/4  Cup Powdered sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil 
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water


Prepare your cupcake/muffin pan. I have used mini cupcake pan (24) this time but you can very well use regular size (12)cupcake pan.

In a bowl assemble all the dry ingredients the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda together and sieve together once.

Pre heat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

In another bowl put in the milk and vinegar and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Put in the sugar and oil and blend If using buttermilk just add sugar and oil to it and mix and blend. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Now put in the sieved dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients, add the additional 2 tbsp water and blend with a hand blender or stand mixer or even just hands until well mixed about 3 to 4 minutes.

With the help of an ice cream scoop or a spoon drop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes for regular cupcakes and 10 mins for mini cupcakes. Make sure you don't fill them more than half.

Now, to bake chocolate cupcakes replace cornstarch   with equal amount of cocoa powder and rest of the method will be same.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quick Broccoli and Cabbage Rice

Not big fans of Broccoli here. Frankly, I have not been around this vegetable much, so not quite aware of possibilities. At most I have been using it in rice dishes and stir fry vegetables like  Vegetable Jal Frezi. Likewise for cabbage I have only few options that can be served . So I paired both cabbage and broccoli here and it resulted in darn good tasting rice.

This recipe is very quick and adds colorful veggies to otherwise simple carbohydrate. I serve it paired with some kind of beans like Rajma (Red Kidney beans), Black Eyed peas etc. Add whatever vegetables you have in fridge.


Approx 2 cup cooked Rice ( I have used Basmati rice. You can use rice of your choice but take care that it                                                is not overcooked)
1/2 cup small broccoli florets
1/2 cup cabbage shredded or diced in small
1/4 cup carrot diced small
1/4 cup green onion chopped small
2 cloves of garlic grated/finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger grated/finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
handful of cilantro leaves chopped fine
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt to taste
Green chili to taste

Heat the olive oil in heavy bottom pan. When its warm add green onion. Saute for a minute and add ginger and garlic. On medium heat keep sauteing for another minute and then add all other veggies. On high flame saute them with continuous stirring till tender.  Lower the heat , add green chili and salt. Add cooked rice. Stir well and cover the pan and let it sit for minute or two. Before serving spritz with generous dose of lemon and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tutti frutti fruit cake

Growing up, in India cake was something special. Not that it is not special now but before internet happened, globalization made international food commonplace, things like cake were still foreign item trying to invade Indian desert scene and it has now.  In my school canteen beside the regular samosa , popcorn and likes they sold small cupcakes. They did not have any icing just simple sponge cake in tiny cupcake form with bits of tutti frutti (chopped candied fruits) here and there.Only now I can say that they can be categorized as muffins not cupcake.  I loved it. I still remember, they only costed about 2-3 rupee each (in 1990's) and used to get over pretty quickly.

We eat countless things all through our life. We like many of them but still only few make place in memory so strong that despite the passage of longest time we remember them with same vengeance. In my opinion it is not only the taste but also the context, the story behind that makes them special. For me in this case it was novelty , trying to beat the crowds in school canteen , asking mom for money etc. This cake is truly remembrance of all that and much more.

I bought candied fruit cake mix just before Christmas thinking of baking a traditional fruit cake. But days passed and I could not pull it out . So on new years eve I pulled the sponge cake recipe I wanted to try and decided to add candied fruit mix to it.I made another addition of lemon extract to the original recipe of Smitten Kitchen.  It worked. This was easily one of the best cakes I have baked. Texture was not dense not too airy just perfect and taste took me some 20 years back. This recipe would make perfect sponge cake for being dressed with whipped cream or frosting of choice.

Recipe (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 cups plus 1 tablespoons cake flour (see notes for substitution)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp lemon Zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk (see notes for substitution)

1 cup fruit cake mix(tutti frutti/ candied fruit pieces)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch cake pan with butter and flour. I used 8 inch round cake pan and Bakers Joy spray.

Take about 1/2 cup flour and toss the candied fruits/tutti frutti in it. This will prevent them from sinking in the bottom cake. Sift together rest of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light colored and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and lemon extract. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating continuously.. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined . Its ok if mixture look curdled.

Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated. Finally very gently add the candied fruits tossed in flour with a spatula.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack, then cool completely, about 1 hour.


Cake flour makes the cake with lighter crumb. If you do not have cake flour you can use All 
purpose flour and cornstarch.

1 cup AP flour - 2 Tablespoons AP flour + 2 Tablespoons corn starch = 1 cup cake flour. You can find more details here.

I did not have buttermilk. I used yogurt and some water mixed evenly. You can use milk and vinegar/lemon juice also . More about it here.