20 December 2011

Chocolate Overload Barrel Cake

Finally i got to make the barrel cake :). I'd been planning on making this for a some months now and after the birthday was over my hubby asked if i was satisfied :D. I enjoyed putting it together and everyone enjoyed delving into it...SATISFACTION!!!!

I used choice of chocolates that my son loves. For the top chocolate filling i used about 200 grams of handmade chocolates and 1 packet of M&Ms, and munch bars for the barrel. Here's the recipe for the cake and frosting.

11/2 Cups - All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp - Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 Tsp - Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/2 Cup - Sugar
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup - Milk
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
2 - Eggs

For the filling and frosting:
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (160 g) softened butter
3 cups powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 tablespoons lukewarm milk

Preheat Oven @ 180 degrees C. Grease a 9inch baking tray and keep aside
Sieve all the dry ingredients together and keep aside
Blend the Oil, Milk and Sugar till creamy
Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time and whisk till well combined then add the vanilla extract and mix well
Pour the wet over the dry ingredients and mix well (incase the batter is too thick, add milk 1 tbsp at a time) 
Transfer the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes or till the tip of the toothpick   inserted in the center comes out clean
Cool the cake completely

For the filling and frosting:
Cream the softened butter with powdered sugar in a bowl. Add cocoa, vanilla and 4 tablespoons lukewarm milk, and mix until smooth.
Use one 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake.

It was not just a child's chocolate fantasy but the adults as well fulfilled :D.

18 December 2011

Turning 2!!!

Been off Pan Cuisine for a while and feel good to be back. Sadly will not be posting any recipe today but am leaving you with a peek into what's been keeping me away from here.

My lil' boy just completed two years and hubby and it is just amazing how incredibly fast time flies and how even quickly the kiddo is growing up. December truly is a fun packed month for this family what with two birthdays, an anniversary and then Christmas....what ffffUnnnnn!!!!!

The house is done up for Christmas as best as i can , truth is i lack unbelievably in the beautification department. 

And then the turning 2 party...

I'd been looking forward to A's 2nd birthday to bake THE CAKE for him. Since A is crazy about chocolate i wanted to make him a chocolate-loaded barrel cake with all his favorite chocolates and bars. The cake was not as neat as i would have wanted but it was well received by both parents and kids....phew!!

Blowing out B'day candle needs to be practiced in advance, my baby didn't quite get it..lol :)

Super excited to cut the cake...

Digging for his favorite m&ms :D....

The dinner spread.....

The menu was stir-fried homemade paneer, tomato dal, slow cooked chicken, my special pork curry and salads...thankfully everyone enjoyed it. 

It was fun to see the kids between 1s - 3s trying to interact with each other...a lot of busted balloons, crying, hyper energies, kicking, hugging, jumping but thankfully no nagging ones. The kiddies had fun and so did the parents....t'was a well spent evening. Now the journey of taming the terrible two begins....Hope you are enjoying this celebration season as much as we are :).. Cheers!!

9 December 2011

Pork - Naga Estyle

With the days speeding towards Christmas, this Naga belle, yours truly, is craving for many a dish that is typically Rongmei Naga. I miss the sight and smell of home and especially the home grown spices and ingredients. December truly is a celebration month back at home. The month is always packed with weddings, families get-together, love feasts at Church ect..etc..and the main dish that dominate the menu in most of such occasion is Pork or Beef or both (quite predictably) :D. Fish and Chicken are like a side dish, or made specially for those with health issues...basically for the Unwell lot ;).

Yes...fact is Naga people in general love pork and we love it most when cooked with fermented bamboo shoot or with fermented soya beans (the typical way). The way we process soya bean is totally different from that of the the Chinese. The smell is overwhelming but the taste is (for us) just mind blowing. Fermented bamboo shoot and soya beans are lovingly parceled by mothers to their children who are far away from home. Both these ingredients are used in curries and chutneys as well. 

Today's recipe is one of the Naga style of cooking that i love. Pork is cooked with dried soya beans, with potatoes as the thickening agent. Typically you would use raja mirchi instead of the green chilli and red chilli powder, fresh turmeric instead of the powder. Also due to the non availability of other local spices, i have used garam masala, an obvious influence of being married to a mainland Indian ;).

Sun-dried Soya beans
1 Kilo - Pork, cubed
3 - Medium Onions, diced
4 - Medium sized new potatoes
7 Tbsp - Veg' Oil
1/2 Cup - Dried Soya Beans
3 - Green Chillies, slit in the middle
3-4 - Garlic Pods, smashed
1 - Thumb sized Ginger smashed and diced
1 Tsp - Garam Masala (optional)
1 Tsp - Tumeric Powder
2-3 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
Salt - According to taste
4 1/2 Cups - Water

  1. Heat some water in the microwave for about 1 minute plus and soak the soya beans
  2. Divide the pork meat into two batches, heat about 2 Tbsp oil in a pan and brown the first batch
  3. Repeat with the second batch with 2 Tbsp of oil and keep aside
  4. In the same pan, add the rest of the oil, when it is hot, add garlic and fry till it becomes fragrant
  5. Now add the ginger, saute for a minute and then add the diced onions and the slit green chillies and saute till the onion is evenly browned
  6. Now add the browned meat, sprinkle salt and mix it up well,put the lid on and cook on medium high flame for some time
  7. Once the steam starts coming off the lid, add the rest of the ingredients except water and give it another good stir
  8. Now add the soaked Soya beans and give it a good mixing so that the meat is well coated
  9. Add water and cook with the lid on for about 1 1/2 hours or till the meat is soft to your liking.
  10. Remember to keep stirring it every 2 - 3 minutes.

I personally feel that curries taste best when it is slow cooked. The total prep and cooking time would be around 2 to 21/2 hours depending on how soft you want the meat to be. Serve it over hot rice, raja mirchi chutney and some crunchy salad and you are on your way to becoming a Naga warrior..lol :).

7 December 2011

Huish Cake: A traditional Welsh Cake

I do love frosted cakes BUT i have to admit i love Traditional (no-nonsense, non-fancy) cakes much more. I somehow enjoy my cake even better knowing the interesting stories behind its origin. Like other history, the history behind certain cakes and cookies make for very interesting read. 

This Huish cake is from Wales and the cake is believed to be a traditional baby-christening cake :)...cool ain't it!!! The ingredients used and the ultimate taste of the cake is as interesting as the story of it's origin.

I'm kick-starting my holiday baking with this cake...December truly is one eventful month for this family. Toddler's birthday, our Anniversary and of course Christmas one week after the other...my head is brimming with too many ideas that 'am left dizzy and unproductive (is that the reason why scientists are paid 100 times more than the farmers?????), am a lil' delirious so pay no attention to the ( ) ;D.

I adapted this recipe from Julie-Duff''s and tweaked it a wee bit here and there to get the taste to my liking. If you're considering gifting yourself another cook book for x'mas, i would recommend picking this one, i got mine as a B'day gift from hubby dearest and we have been expanding horizontally faster than the speed of light ever since (does the statement make for a good book review??) :);). Back to the cake, here's the recipe.

1 Cup - Self-Rising Flour*
1/2 Cup - Rice Flour
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
1/2 Cup - Sugar
4 - Eggs
1 Tbsp - Lemon Zest, grated

The original recipe used butter, only egg yolks and the zest of one big lemon. The primary reason for using veg' oil inmost, almost all of my cakes is just for my mental peace ;); and as for using whole eggs as oppose to just yolks, i found the the batter too crumbly like a cookie batter and so i dump in the egg whites as well. As for the lemon zest, i wasn't too sure about a strong citrus flavor on my cake since i have those small lime commonly available with the vegetable vendors here in Hyderabad.

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree C and grease a round baking tray. Keep aside
  2. Mix both the flour in a bowl and keep aside
  3. Beat oil and sugar till creamy and then add the eggs and whip it up till well combined
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan
  5. Bake it for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack for another minute or so and serve.
My toddler could not wait for the cake to cool and he finished two slices immediately..this cake is definitely for both the young and the old older people alike:).The cake looks like a pound cake and taste like a pound cake but with an interesting citrus twist. Next time i make it i'll increase the lemon zest to 2 Tbsp for a better citrus kick. I also have to mention that it taste even better the next morning (if it's still there) :). Please enjoy!!

Note: To make your own self-rising flour (i made my own for this recipe) mix 11/2 Tsp Baking Powder + 1/4 Tsp Salt to 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour and sieve twice to ensure the mixture is well combined.

28 November 2011

Pork and Pumpkin Curry

My mom completed 60 years this month and it is indeed a blessing to have God fearing parents and also have your parents still hearty and healthy. My mom is a quiet and patient person and she loves...loves her kitchen garden. She has 'green fingers' and so anything she plants be it flowers or vegetables almost always turn out nice and healthy. 

Surprisingly though, she is not a good cook and she predictably preferred gardening to cooking :) and so her dishes were pretty much wishy-washy most times ;). But Of course there were some dishes that she makes really well, one of that is Pumpkin Curry. We siblings love pumpkin curry, especially when it is paired with beef or pork.

Today's recipe is my interpretation of my mom's recipe. I would suggest that you do not substitute the mustard oil because the oil gives a distinct flavor to the dish, and Of course the addition of pork enhanced the magic of this dish. Enjoy it with hot steaming rice. Cheers to all the pumpkin lovers!

Pork - 500 gms with bones, cubed
Pumpkin - 500 gms, cubed
Garlic - 5-6 cloves, crushed
Onions - Two big, diced
Ginger - 1 Tbsp, crushed and diced
Dried Bay leaves - 2 big or 3 small
Green Chillies - 3 slit length wise
Red Chilli powder - 2 Tsp
Turmeric powder - 2 Tsp
Coriander powder - 1 Tsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tsp
Peanut or Sesame Oil - 2-3 Tbsp
Mustard Oil - 5 - 6 Tbsp
Water - 450 Ml
Salt to taste

Heat the mustard oil in a casserole or wok, brown the pork pieces and keep aside.
Clean the casserole and heat the mustard oil in it and add the bay leaves and garlic and saute till the garlic is fragrant
Now add the ginger and green chillies and saute further till the chillies are a little shriveled up
Put the pumpkin in and sprinkle some salt and fry for 3 - 4 minutes, then add the browned pork in and give it a good stir
Add the garam masala, turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and mix it up really well ensuring that the meat and pumpkin is well coated with the spices
Put the lid on and cook for about 5 minutes after which give it another good stir and add the water
When the water comes to a rolling boil, turn down the flame to simmer and cook until the meat is tender and the pumpkin soft and mushy

Mom's tip to selecting the pumpkin is to look for the ones with the broad stalks and yes these ones really do have better flavor. Please Enjoy!

25 November 2011

Fried Finger Bread

The feel of winter is in the air, here in Hyderabad. If you're outside the heat still burns your skin, but if you're inside the house, your toes get eerily cold you just wanna curl up inside the comfort of your warm bed :). Today's post is one of missing home and reliving some of the taste from my childhood, when life was truly carefree and 5 rupees was still a lot of money :).

I got hold of this recipe from my dear friend Naro and have been meaning to make it but kept postponing it because it is a deep fried delight. But with the winter air throwing up memories of home and the good ole days...i just had to make it :).

I grew up enjoying this fried bread in one of the tea stall back in my home town. They use to serve it fried like a puffed up ball. Fresh out of the pan, it use to be absolutely irresistible. I used to make sure that my mom brought this back with her whenever she go to the market :).

2 1/2 Cup - All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup - Oil
1/4 Cup - Milk
1/2 Cup - Sugar
3 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
Veg oil for deep frying

This recipe is a very versatile one. The same recipe can be used for making fried doughnut, back at home we call it Naga Doughnut and this is something we loved making as kids on Christmas Eve staying up till 12 O'Clock to be gifted to friends and families on Christmas morning :).

  • Sieve the flour, baking soda and baking powder and keep aside
  • Beat the sugar, oil and milk using a hand mixer till the sugar is dissolved
  • Add the eggs one at a time and give it a good whisk
  • Heat the oil for deep frying with the flame on medium-low
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it  and start combining it with your hand
  • The dough will be sticky, so add flour a Tbsp at a time and work on the dough till it stops sticking on your hand
  • Take the dough the size of a Tbsp and roll it out to a long cylindrical
  • Curve into a U shape and taking one end of the U, place it atop the other repeating till the ends are joined looking like a braid
  • Fry the fingers and keep tossing it so that all the sides are cooked
  • Fry it till it is nicely browned, lil' crusty outside but nice and cakey inside

My kiddo liked it, t'was his breakfast :). I'll definitely be making this again on Christmas Eve and keep it as a  Christmas tradition for this family ;).

22 November 2011

Homemade Paneer/Cottage Cheese

My toddler has turn on waste mode again..this time it's his milk. Unfortunately for this household, i'm not (at all) a fresh milk person and so the excess milk posted a problem. I would make curd or curd cheese and use it in my baking and curries but there were days when it became all too much and i would be clueless as to what to do with it and so would end up making my tea (grudgingly) with it. 

Then one fine day, not so long ago, i came across the method of making paneer. I banged  my head that day wondering why i had never thought of that before. This is nothing new for a lot of homemakers but for me it was an exciting experience learning 'the basic' and i share this for the benefit of friends and family who may be as clueless as i am :).

I ripped this off Aipi's blog. I think i'm falling in love with her a little more day by day...lol. She has one amazing blog and i suggest you visit and drool (if you haven't), you'll thank me later ;).

All you need is...Milk and Vinegar. Yup! that's all you need. 

To get started, first bring the milk to rolling boil and then turn off the flame. Then add vinegar a table spoon at a time and mix it well. Immediately you will see the whey separating from the milk solids.

Now strain the whey from the milk solids using a colander with a muslin cloth placed atop it.

Wrap it up and put as much weight as you can on top so that the remaining excess water can be drained out. 
I would suggest making it in the morning and letting it drain the whole day and then using it for your dish. You alternately freeze it up in a ziplock bag for use later. 

Psst..psst ..sorry about the poor photographs..lets blame it on the weather.

To make around 450 grams of paneer i used around 2 liters of full cream milk and 4 Tbsp of cider vinegar. The texture of the paneer was as good as the store bought ones and NOW i know why paneer are on the expensive side ;) as oppose to meat :).

Hope you enjoy experimenting as much as i did. Thank you so much Aipi at US Masala for the inspiration :) and the recipe. 

Note: Do not be shocked by the quantity of whey, the good news is that it's great for gravy curries...so no waste and 100% satisfaction :).

12 November 2011

Dutch Apple Cake

Is sending my hubby to buy fruits & vegetables a good decision? Alone??? NOoooooooooooooo!! Sometimes A lot of time it ends up in tragedy. Like this week, he volunteered to pick up Apples while i entertain our kiddo in the car. What is with men and bargaining and selecting things? I had to shout out to him "don't forget to bargain"...bargaining, he did BUT came back (to find out at home later) with well dented Apples :((. I was looking forward to having some crunchy, juicy Apples for dessert and what we had was black spotted, saw dust kinda textured basket of apples. Only one was decent enough to be had in it's truest form...you definitely would have to call the doctor after having the others...no kidding!

I was very disappointed, to say the least but then what was the point of ruing over it rite?? BTW to save his butt hubby told me, "what's the problem, just make apple cake", point to note, he hate cakes with fruits or vegetables, big talk! i know! Anyways, i decided to incorporate some in my cooking and some in my baking. 

Today's cake is inspiration from Rachel Allen's. It was extremely good. The cake is light and the apple with the goodness of honey was truly sensational. I have decided that henceforth, till i find something more fascinating, this is how my apple cakes are gonna be made. Here's the recipe.

1 Cup - Flour
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp - Sugar
Pinch - Salt
1/2 Tsp - Cinnamon Powder
1/4 Tsp - Nutmeg Powder
1 Tsp - Vanilla Essence
2 - Large Eggs or 3 Small ones
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
2 Tbsp - Whole Milk
1 - Big Apple Sliced!
 Honey to drizzle and serve :)

Preheat Oven at 180 degree C, grease a square baking pan and keep aside
Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl
Mix the Oil and 1 cup Sugar and give it a good mixing
Then add the Eggs one at a time, also the vanilla essence and blend it well
Add the dry ingredients into the wet in two or three batch
Add the milk to thin the batter slightly
Transfer the cake batter on to the prepared pan and then arrange the apple slices on top horizontally
Sprinkle the 2 Tbsp of sugar over the apple slices, to caramelize it
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or till toothpick inserted comes out clean
Let cool for 5 - 10 minutes and then serve the warm cake with honey drizzled over it

A slice of this cake will, am sure, will keep the blues away :) :D. Enjoy!!

9 November 2011

Potato Pork Pie

I've been reading up about the English cuisine...and i was surprised to find myself salivating ;). When it comes to dessert, West definitely rules (i am a Rachel Allen and Nigella Lawson fan), BUT when it comes to the main dish on the table, it had to be Asian for me. I need the spices, bland was never grand and so I was very  skeptical of dishes without a bit of chilli in it.

But the last few weeks of reading up on some of the traditional English recipes have so intrigued me that i decided to keep my biases aside and attempt one of the recipe. I initially wanted to attempt Cottage Pie but unfortunately the beef shop was closed and so i had to settle on making this Potato Pork Pie. Beef and Pork being my favorite protein, and so the obvious choice of meat :).

It was so good, i loved it and enjoyed it thoroughly. I am planning to follow up on this recipe using chicken for Hubby's sake. If you love pork and potato and baked meals, this one is for you. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients for the Pork:
500g - Ground Pork
11/2 Cups - Carrot diced
11/4 Cup - Green Peas (i used frozen peas)
2 - Garlic Pods
1 Tsp - Dried Chives
1 Tsp - Dried Rosemary
1 Cup - Chicken Stock
Salt - As per taste
2 1/2 Tbsp - Veg Oil

For Mashed Potato:
300 g - Potato
2 Tbsp - Full Fat Cream
1/2 Tsp - Garlic Salt

Preparing the pork:
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the onions till lightly browned.
  • Add the carrots and peas and saute for a couple of minutes and then add the ground pork.
  • Saute the vegetable and pork mixture till the meat starts to firm up
  • Add the chives and rosemary and salt and saute for a few more minutes
  • Now add the chicken stock, let me add here that you can use any stock of your choice :), let it come to boil and then turn heat down to simmer and cook till the pork is cooked
  • Tilt the wok so as to drain the excess oil from the meat
Preparing Mashed Potato:
  • Prick the potatoes with a fork and pressure cook the potatoes till tender (around 4-5 whistles)
  • Mash the potatoes with a wooden spoon or fork till there are no lumps
  • Add the cream and garlic salt
  • Preheat oven at 200 degree C when your pork is just about done.
  • Transfer the veg-pork mixture into a baking dish and spread it evenly
  • Layer the top with the mashed potato and bake it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes 

Have it straight out of the oven, garlic bread pairs well. Drain the fat down by having some oranges or sweet lime and  all will be well :). With a recipe like this one i am looking forward to winter....

5 November 2011

Baked Sweet Potato

My better half loves sweet potato fried. I love it steamed. He doesn't like steamed and i don't enjoy it fried. So i stopped buying it since i could never get the potatoes fried to his liking and it's left untouched if it is steamed.

Then recently i decided to goggle and see if i can fish out a recipe which both of us can enjoy. I decided to check out at Group Recipes, which is something like a recipe sharing community :) cool huh!! 

I'd hooked up over there recently and have been inspired to put new twists to everyday cooking. As expected there were a couple of sweet potato recipes. I read up most of the recipes and decided to make my dearest hubby some sweet potato for breakfast.

2 - Big Sweet Potatoes
1/2 + 1/2 Tbsp - Salted Butter

  • Preheat oven at 200 degree C, grease a baking tray with some oil and set aside
  • Clean and chop up the potatoes into square bite size pieces and divide into two batches
  • Heat a frying pan, once hot put half the tablespoon of butter and fry up the first batch of potatoes for 2-3 minutes on each side, repeat the same for second batch of potatoes using the remaining butter
  • Bake the fried sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for 10 minutes
The top will be crisp but soft and neatly cooked inside. Serve it with a glass of orange juice or light red tea with sugar. 

Needless to say...the Man was thrilled :D. Am not sure what's so great about having sweet potatoes for breakfast but i guess he felt the Love. I also enjoyed the potatoes and so this conflicting chapter in now officially closed :) phew!!

It is never the big things BUT little acts of LOVE that sustain and keep a relationship healthy. Happy weekend!

30 October 2011

Fizz Pound Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Today was my sis-in-law's (SIL) birthday and so i baked her a Fizz Pound Cake taking the opportunity to tick off another one from my 'got to bake' list. I need new inspiration especially when a birthday is around, and get a major kick out of baking a birthday cake for a loved one.

My SIL is one sweet-silly-wacko-girly-gurl...very warmhearted, generous and a chatterbox. I love to bake birthday cakes that define the person in some way, and fizz totally suited my SIL's person and so the decision was made and i baked her a Sprite Pound Cake and frosted it with butter-cream. Here's the recipe...

2 Cups - All Purpose Flour
1 Cup - Veg' Oil
1 Cup - Sugar
3 - Eggs
1/2 Cup - Sprite
1 1/2 Tsp - Lime Concentrate (i used Dabur's Lemoneez)

  • Preheat oven @ 180 Degree C, grease two baking trays and keep aside
  • Sieve flour and keep aside
  • Cream sugar and oil using a hand held blender
  • Add eggs one at a time to the sugar-oil mixture
  • Add the flour a little at a time and ensure it's well blended
  • Now pour in the sprite and lime juice and give it a good mixing
  • Pour the cake batter into the two prepared pans and bake it for 20 minutes
  • Once done, cool it on the rack while you get the frosting ready
For the Butter Cream Frosting:
Cream 1 Cup butter and 21/2 Cups sugar with 2 - 3 Tbsp milk and 1 Tbsp fresh cream. Add 1 Tsp of dry food color (optional) of your choice and mix it up well. If the frosting is too thick to spread, add milk a tbsp at a time till you get the correct consistency.

I made a 3 layered cake, as you can see in the picture above. It was good!! The birthday girl loved it:). That's all that matters EOD right???? I had fun baking it and assembling it and she and the rest of the family had fun eating it....Happiness... :):)

28 October 2011

Roasted Chicken Thigh

What would my family do without Chicken??? I am a staunch non-vegetarian with more inclination towards Pork and Beef while my hubby is devoted to Mutton. The tragedy is that due to health reason my hubby is advised to abstain Red Meat. Isn't mutton under red mean you ask??? I have the same doubt, but my hubby says it may be red but less fatty so the distinction...am not convinced but whatever...

Good news is, mutton is way to expensive here in Hyderabad and Beef & Pork totally out of the question for regular feasting...that's when Chicken comes to the rescue. Btw we consider Fish part of the veggies so....it really doesn't count as a non-vegetarian dish.

Thankfully, chicken is a very versatile protein and so it's easy to tweak around, As much as i love chicken curries, i love dry dishes even more, and most of all i love baked/roasted chicken a lotttttttttttttttttttttt...yea that's how much i love it :)

Today's recipe is one of those quick fix recipe for days when you want something nice but your energy level low to do the stand and stir ordeal. This recipe serves two.

2 - Chicken thigh with skin
2 Tbsp - Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp - Chilli Vinegar
1/4 Tsp - Garlic Salt
2 Pinches - Salt
1 Tbsp - Chinese Rice Wine

The marinate will hold good for upto 4 pieces of chicken thigh. 

  • Dump all the ingredients in a bowl with a tight lid
  • Prick the chicken thigh all over using a fork, dunk it into the marinade, give it a good shake so that thighs are well coated with the marinade, leave it be for atleast 30 minutes 
  • Preheat oven at 200 degree C and grease a baking tray with some oil or ghee
  • Place the chicken thighs in the center and bake it for 1 hour, flipping the thighs to the other side halfway through
It'll be beautifully baked by that time, crisp on the outside but juicy and warm inside... You can pair it with a nice coleslaw of your choice and it's a complete meal. Enjoy!

22 October 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies - Eggless

Lately I'm addicted to baking cookies i must confess :). It use to be 2 and even 3 cakes in a week not so long ago but now cake baking is restricted to 'on-demand' mode ;) and it's trays of cookies from this experimental kitchen...... 

Today's cookie recipe is born out of the need to use up a bag of molasses that has been sitting in the pantry for a long time. Thankfully this new entry was well received in the house...and so i decided to enter the recipe here today.

The cookie batter will be crumbly but fret not! It'll come out just fine, infact great from the oven. Since it is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, the whole house will be engulfed by the sweet aroma as it bakes. Here's how this one goes...

1 Cup - All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup - Molasses (grated)
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
1/4 Tsp - Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp - Ground Nutmeg
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
A Pinch - Salt

  1. Sieve all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and keep aside
  2. Preheat oven at 180 Degree C
  3. Grease 2 baking trays and keep aside
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture and mix it up with your hand
  5. When it is well combined, smoothen it into a ball and keep it aside covered for 5-10 minutes
  6. Take enough batter to make a regular sized cookie, flatten and shape it round on your palm and arrange it on the prepared baking trays, ensuring you leave enough space for the cookies to expand ( and it will, don't be fooled by the crumbly texture)
  7. Once all the batter is used up, bake it for 12 minutes
  8. Allow it to cool for 3-4 minutes, loosen the cookies using a spatula and enjoy this sugar cookie

Store the cookies in an airtight container. It is best when paired with green tea. Enjoy!!

19 October 2011

Banana Oats Cake/Bread

It really is getting very difficult to feed my fussy toddler, it makes me wonder whether i was this fussy when i was at his stage...i bet i wasn't :) ;). Noodles, Pasta, Biscuits, Cakes, Rice & Dal, Upma, Roti and Saabji etc..etc..Bread, Oatmeal..and the blahs...just not working these days. He has resigned from the cake-pot nickname and i am so lost at to what to feed him. Thankfully...he drinks his milk. 

This week the tod'ler asked for bread and banana...so we bought a bunch of banana and after having one banana that day, he now refuses to even hold it in his hand..arrrrr*#@`*!! This morning got up to find out that the bananas are going soft...the hot weather definitely not helping :(, so i decided make a cake.

Lately i have been tweaking, surfing to find various ways to incorporate oats into out diet, other then the regular oatmeal and this morning came across this banana-oats recipe in tumblr, just what i wanted, unfortunately didn't bookmark the page so no idea of the original source..but who ever it was..bless him/her.

Unlike other banana cakes...this one is really light and just lovely..the toddler had a bite too :) happiness!! Here's how this one goes..

1 Cup - All Purpose Flour (original recipe  11/2 Cups)
1/2 + 1/4 Cup - Quaker Oats (original recipe 1/2 cup)
1/2 Cup - Sugar (original recipe used 1 cup)
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil (original recipe used butter)
3-4 -  Overripe Bananas
1 Tsp - Maple Syrup
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
1 - Egg (original recipe 2 eggs)

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree C, grease a baking pan and keep aside
  2. Combine flour, oats, sugar and baking soda in a mixing bowl and keep aside
  3. In another bowl mash the bananas properly using a fork or use food processor if you must
  4. Add the oil and maple syrup to the banana puree and mix it up well
  5. Pour over the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and blend it well
  6. Transfer batter in to the greased baking pan and bale it for 30-35 minutes
  7. Cool it for about 3-4 minutes in the pan, invert cake, cut and munch away
It should be crunchy on the top but light and fluffy inside...what i love about this recipe is the abundance of goodness in its simplicity.


14 October 2011

Lamington de Australia

Lamingtons reminds me of my Pre-University days back in Shillong, a beautiful hilly town in the North East India.    A piece, rather a cube of this cake use to cost five INR back in those days, around 1999-2000, and i was addicted to this cake and the best part was that it was sold only in one cafeteria, five minutes away from the hostel i was residing in :), it did dig one big hole in my pocket ;). After i moved to Bangalore for my Degree, i searched in all the popular pastry shops BUT sadly not one of them had even heard of this cake. I was devastated and shocked actually.

This cake, as it turns out, is a traditional Australian cake and i got to know about this through my favorite TV program 'Masterchef Australia', my craving for this cake was once again awakened and so i goggled and decided to bake it for my hubby's birthday. I didn't have time to cut and dip and roll the traditional way so this is what i made for him last year...

Boy! was he excited :), and i was super thrilled that my first attempt was a huge success, it was really good. I followed the exact recipe from joy of baking, one truly great site for baking enthusiasts i must say. This cake definitely is one of our common love and so two days back, when hubby told me that we were having his American colleague over for dinner, i went ahead and made this cake the original way. Our guest loved it and said it was the first time he was having lamingtons :D, i pat myself and told myself 'job well done'. It's great when your effort (esp in the kitchen) is appreciated :).

Chocolate and Coconut truly is a lovely combination...try it to believe it:).

9 October 2011

Anzac Biscuits - Eggless

Lately I've been interested in traditional cakes and cookies. Today's post is one of the recipe I've bookmarked  for quite a long time and finally decided to make it this evening. It's interesting to note how certain cakes and cookies came about. ANZAC biscuit is associated with WW-I and Anzac quite literally stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, more about the history of the biscuit here.

The exciting part, for me, about this biscuit is the use of Oats and Coconut. Days like today, when i am out of eggs and have no motivation to step out of the house...recipe like this is really a Big Deal coz all the ingredients are easily, almost always, available in the house and it is so easy to make and absolutely lovely to devour.

The goodness of butter (;D), the crunch of oats and the sweet and lovely flavor of the coconut culminating to one absolutely lovely, and mind you..healthy dessert, snack of whatever you want it to be....aah! life is good...even in the absence of eggs! :)

This recipe is adapted from Julie Duff"s book cakes from around the world. Here's how this one goes....

1/2 Cup - Butter, Sugar, Flour, Brown Sugar, Oats, Dessicated Coconut
1 Tbsp - Golden Syrup
2 Tbsp - Boiling Water
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda

I became aware of Golden Syrup through Nigella Lawson. Does she really eat the way she projects it to be on TV? Anyway, by all means substitute the golden syrup with honey if it's not in your pantry.

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Grease a baking tray and keep aside
  2. Melt butter with the golden syrup in a thick sauce pan and keep aside
  3. Put the baking soda into the boiling water, mix it up and pour it into the butter
  4. Bring together the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl, make a well and pour the buttery mixture into it and mix it up till well combined
  5. Take about a Tbsp of the batter at a time, roll into a ball, flatten it in your palm, arrange it into the prepared trays and bake for 15 minutes
  6. Cool it for 2 - 3 minutes and only then, take it out of the trays and cool it further in the wire racks...Enjoy the crunchy goodness :)

My toddler gobbled down two as soon as i kept it out on the table ;). It is a sweet-crunchy bomb so pair really well with a hot cuppa green tea.