Baked Masala Cashewnuts

wp-1484011001301.jpg

Try out this baked version of gram flour coated masala cashew nuts that is a perfect snack for tea time !

Makes: 1 kg masala cashewnuts

Ingredients

  • For the coating
    • Gram flour – 1 cup
    • Corn starch – 2 tbsp
    • Rice flour – 2 tbsp
    • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
    • Ajwain powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Salt, to taste
  • Whole cashew nuts – 1 kg
  • Oil – 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Water, as required

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients for coating, including salt in a mixing bowl
  • Bring water to a boil and switch off flame
  • Soak the cashew nuts in the water for 2 minutes and drain
  • Coat the drained cashew nuts with the coating
  • Spread the cashew nuts on a baking tray and sprinkle some oil
  • Bake the cashew nuts in batches for a good result
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bake the coated cashew nuts for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
  • Cool and store in an air tight container

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea !

 

 

 

Baked Sweet Potato Sandwich

img_20170104_191533-1

Looking for a unique recipe using sweet potatoes ! Try this sweet potato sandwich with a crunchy layer of coconut, peanut and roasted gram dal as the filling ! This recipe is adapted from Chef Jyoti N Parekh’s recipe for Yam dabada

I was amazed at the different variety of sweet potato available here in the U.S, I tried the jewel variety ( copper skin and deep orange flesh) and the Japanese sweet potatoes (purple skin and butter colored flesh). Both types of potato tasted delicious !

Makes: 6 sweet potato sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dalia (roasted gram dal), ground
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, roasted and ground to a coarse powder
  • 2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp oil to smear on the potatoes before baking

Method

  • Wash the sweet potatoes well and steam in a rice cooker or pressure cooker
  • Peel the skin and cut each sweet potato into 2 equal pieces, so that you have 12 pieces in all
  • Apply oil on both sides of the sweet potato pieces
  • Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing and divide into 6 equal portions
  • img_20170104_173417
  • Place the stuffing between 2 sweet potato halves and press well to form a nice sandwich
  • img_20170104_173818
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Arrange the sweet potato pieces on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the pieces mid way until the top of the sweet potato is slightly brown and roasted

Serve hot and enjoy 🙂

Christmas Cake

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-10-14-31-amMerry Christmas Everyone ! Presenting a dark, moist and yummy Christmas Cake from my kitchen ! Ideally this cake should be made at least a week before Christmas , but I only had 2 days on my hand ! The dry fruits and nuts for this cake have to be soaked overnight (for a day, preferably 2)

This recipe will make a large 12 inch as well as smaller 8 inch cake, that serves at least 10-12 people !

This cake recipe is inspired by chef Sabrina Katakam.

Ingredients

  • 350 g flour ( I used unbleached all purpose flour, you can use regular flour too)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp powdered nutmeg and cloves (or allspice powder if you have that)
  • Peel of 2 oranges, and 1 lemon
  • 100 g cherries
  • 100 g almonds
  • 900 g mixed dried fruit ( I used dates, prunes, dried berries, golden raisins, craisins)
  • 450 g dried black currants and dried blueberries
  • 225 g finely chopped black grapes
  • 225 g raisins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 225 g butter
  • 225 g dark moist brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar for grinding with the orange and lemon peel
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Note: I used a stand mixer for making the cake batter, you can use a food processor or any other method for blending too

  • Chop the grapes and cherries fine
  • Chop the almonds fine
  • Soak all the dried fruits, almonds, currants, cherries, blueberries, grapes and raisins in 4 tbsp of coconut water. Leave it at room temperature overnight (preferably for 2 days)
  • On the day you make the cake, coat the soaked fruit-dry fruit mixture with a little flour. This will prevent it from becoming sticky
  • Beat the egg whites and yellow, adding 1 tbsp sugar until the mixture is smooth and frothy
  • The final mixture should look like thisIMG_0161
  •  Grind the orange peel, lemon peel with 1/4 cup sugar
  • Cream together the lemon, orange peel mixture, butter, sugar and maple syrup until the mixture is soft. Do not over-beat as this type of cake does not need much beating as light cakes
  • Gradually blend in the egg mixture and dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove)
  • Stir in the fruit a little at a time
  • Prepare the cake tin as follows
    • Line the bottom of the tin with four layers of parchment paper
    • Cover with a greased parchment paper that covers the sides of the tin as well
    • Such a padding will help keep the cake moist
    • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

    • Bake at this temperature for 1 1/2 hours and then lower the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake further for 20 minutes.
    • Baking time may vary for your oven, so test the cake to make sure it is well cooked
    • To test the cake: First press on top – it should feel firm and the edges should easily release from the tin. Now, cool the cake on a wire rack. Turn the cake out carefully and wrap it tight with a cling wrap
    • Keep moistening the cake with coconut water ( Brush the cake with coconut water) until it is ready to serve. This cake has a good shelf life.

Enjoy the holiday season !

 

Almond Cookies

Christmas comes but once a year, and it’s the season for merry baking as well. Starting the season with some home made almond cookies ! These cookies are made with a combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached all purpose flour. It’s also packed with the goodness of homemade almond butter ! My LO wanted whale shaped cookies, so we used a cookie cutter and he helped me shape them !  That’s why you see a variety of shapes in the picture 🙂

Makes around 40 cookies

img_20161218_090226

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 + 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectionary sugar
  • A few drops vanilla essence (Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

  • Place the butter outside for 15-20 minutes so that it reaches a room temperature. The butter should not melt, we just want it to reach a room temperature so that it blends well with the batter
  • I used two cookie trays and baked the cookies all at once (Detailed instructions follow in the steps below). You can bake one sheet at a time or use 2 cookie sheets. Line the cookie tray (or 2 cookie trays) with parchment paper, grease it with butter and dust it with a little flour
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Beat sugar and butter until frothy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to prevent any sugar remaining in the bowl which is not incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients – both the flours, salt and cardamom powder and mix well until the dough starts to come together . At this stage, use a folding in movement, i.e. mix well in one direction so that there are no air bubbles formed
  • Add the almond butter and mix well
  • At this stage if you find the cookie dough is too dry to shape into cookies, then add an additional tbsp of melted butter
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes
  • Take the dough and press and flatten the dough with your hands to smooth and even out the dough. If the dough appears tough, you can knead the dough again in your food processor or stand mixer, until smooth
  • Shape the cookie into any desired shape using a cookie cutter or shape it into flat round shape using your hand. My LO wanted a whale shaped cookies, so we used a cookie cutter and he helped me shape them !
  • When using 2 cookie sheets, position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (assuming a regular, non-convection oven). Place one cookie tray in the upper rack and place the second cookie tray after 5 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back after around 10 minutes. Check the cookies on both the sheets after 15-20 minutes
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient time
  • Once cooled store in an air tight containerv

Enjoy 🙂 , it’s the season to be Happy, Pha la la, la la la !

Baked Potato with creamy corn

Try out this unique recipe for baked potatoes stuffed with creamy corn !

Ingredients

  • 3 large potatoes 
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp flour 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup boiled corn 
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Chopped mint to decorate
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 

Method 

  • Scrub and wash the potatoes and steam in a rice cooker. It is important that you just steam the potatoes and not boil them in water. Stove top steaming or rice cooker works best 
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, allow them to cool down for some time. Cut the potatoes into half and scoop out a small portion using a spoon to make some space for the filling 
  • Melt 2 tbsp of butter and add the onion, capsicum and Jalepeno, cook for a few minutes until soft 
  • Add the flour and stir for a minute 
  • Add the milk and stir until it thickens 
  • Mix the corn, coriander powder and salt
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter and apply it over the potato
  • Line the potatoes on a cookie sheet or a large baking tray 
  • Stuff the potato with the creamy corn filling 
  • Sprinkle the cheese and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes 

Serve hot and enjoy 😊

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

img_20161109_190017

Enjoy this delicious homemade whole wheat pizza from the comfort of your own home and oven ! I never thought pizza with whole wheat base will taste good, but it was yummy ! Can’t wait to share the recipe with all of you ! So let’s dive in :

Ingredients

  • For the base
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp active dry yeast
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 tbsp butter
  • For the sauce
    • Butter – 1 tbsp
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • Half an onion, finely chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 Red chilli
    • Dried oregano – 1 tsp
    • Tomato paste – 6 oz
    • Water, as required
  • For the topping
    • 1 Red bell pepper or green bell pepper chopped into rings
    • Boiled corn – 1/2 cup
    • Finely chopped zucchini (You can use any squash of your choice too) – 1/2 cup
    • Grated parmesan cheese

Method

  • For the pizza base
    • Melt sugar and salt in lukewarm water ( 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s important to measure the temperature as the yeast will not be active if the water is too cold or hot)
    • Melt the yeast with the water. Leave it aside for 10-15 minutes
    • Knead the flour with butter and the warm water (with salt, sugar and yeast) for at least 10-12 minutes
    • Make a ball and place the dough in an oiled vessel. Cover with a wet cloth and place in a warm place for 3-4 hours until the dough doubles in volume
  • For the sauce
    • Heat butter and sauté the onions, red chilly and garlic for a couple of minutes
    • Add the tomato paste and saute for few more minutes
    • Add water as required to make a thick tomato sauce ( I used approximately 1/2 cup water )
    • Add salt, pepper and oregano
    • Simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • For the vegetable topping
    • Saute the boiled corn in 1 tbsp olive oil or butter for a few minutes, and sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste
    • Saute the zucchini in 1 tbsp olive or butter, sprinkle some water and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. Add some salt and pepper towards the end
    • Saute the bell pepper rings in 1 tbsp olive or butter for a few minutes
  • To make the pizza
    • Once the dough doubles in size, knead the dough again on a floured surface
    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Divide the dough into equal portions (You can make 3-4 small pizzas or 2 large pizzas, that is completely up to you. I made 4 small pizzas)
    • Stretch the dough out into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Roll out the pizza dough thin for a thin crust (1/2 cm) or a little thicker for a medium crust (around 1 cm) on a pizza stone
    • Bake the pizza base for 10-12 minutes, turning mid way until it is brown from both sides
    • Spread the pizza sauce leaving 1/2 an inch on the edges, top with the vegetables – corn, zucchini and bell pepper. Sprinkle the grated cheese and bake for around 7-8 minutes until the cheese melts
      • Note: The pizza toppings can be varied accordingly to your choice, you can use along with cheese, diced mushrooms, olives, asparagus, sprinkle dried pepper flakes, garlic or herbs like basil, oregano or rosemary too !
    • Give a pat on your back and enjoy the home made pizza  🙂

Pani Puri

Pani Puri or gol gappa is one chat item that you cannot just stop at one ! If you have puris in hand, it’s really easy to make pani puri at home. I combined two recipes – followed the recipe for the teeka paani or spicy water by Tarla Dalal (http://www.tarladalal.com/Pani-Puri-Mumbai-Roadside-Pani-Puri-Golgappa-33408r) followed the recipe for meeta paani or sweet/sour water by my Mom

Ingredients

  • Puris (Homemade or store bought)
  • For the chana filling
    • Cooked kabuli chana – 1 cup
    • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
    • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp
    • Oil – 2 tbsp
    • Salt, to taste
  • For the potato filling
    • Potatoes, boiled and chopped into cubes – 1 cup
    • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
    • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
    • Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp
    • Oil – 2 tbsp
    • Salt, to taste
  • Sweet Tamarind Water
    • Tamarind- 1 large lemon size
    • Sugar-6- 8 tablespoons
    • Roasted jeera powder-2 teaspoon
    • Salt, to taste
    • Chilli powder- ½ teaspoon
    • Garam masala powder-1 teaspoon
    • Black salt- ¼ teaspoon
    • Mint- a bunch
  • Spicy Mint Water
    • 1 1/4 cups mint leaves
    • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1-2 green chillies
    • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
    • 2-3 black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp black salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed powder
    • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup boondi (Optional, but enhances the taste)

Method

  • For the chana filling:
    • Heat oil in a pan, add the cooked channa and the other ingredients. Fry till a nice aroma comes. Remove into a vessel and allow it to cool
  • For the potato filling:
    • Heat oil in a pan, add the cooked potato and the other ingredients. Fry till a nice aroma comes. Remove into a vessel and allow it to cool
  • For the sweet tamarind water:
    • Soak tamarind in six cups of boiled and cooled water. Add all the other ingredients including the washed bunch of mint. Let everything soak together for an hour. Squeeze well and strain through the sieve. Refrigerate the sweet tamarind water and serve it well chilled
  • For the spicy mint water
    • Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and blend in a mixer to a fine paste using ¼ cup water
    • Combine the prepared paste and 3 cups of chilled water in a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate the spicy mint water and serve it well chilled
  • Serving the pani puri
    • Make a hole on top of each puri. Fill each puri with a teaspoon of the chana or potato filling and boondi (optional) . Dip the puri into the sweet tamarind water and/or spicy mint water and serve immediately or it will become soggy

Enjoy eating pani puri for yourself and making it for your loved ones too !