Low fat Sitaphal Kulfi (Custard apple)

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Sitaphal is also known as Sugar apple or Custard apple. They are currently in season here in Mumbai, and you can find them everywhere. But, my family refuses to eat the fruit by itself, so one interesting way to feed them this amazing fruit is using it in kulfi. The version which I have here is an egg-free as well as a low fat one. I know kulfi and low fat actually do not go together, but you will definitely not miss the creaminess here even without the cream. The texture of this is not exactly like a traditional ice-cream but you can also try serving a scoop of this with warm buckwheat waffles. They should pair well.

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1/2 kg ripe sitaphal

500 ml + 1/4 cup milk

2 tsp corn flour or corn starch

1/4 tsp cardamom powder

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Deseed the sitaphal, which is a tedious process. But an easier way to do it is to scoop out all the pulp and seed into a mixer jar and pulse the mixer in short intervals for a couple of times or so. Remove the paste and strain it to get a smooth seed free pulp.

Meanwhile in a thick bottomed pan add the 500 ml milk and reduce the milk to 2/3rd of the original quantity. Keep stirring at equal intervals. Add sugar and cardamom powder and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Mix the corn flour with 1/4 cup milk at room temperature. Add this corn flour mixture to the reduced milk with sugar. Let it boil for few minutes till the mixture thickens a little.

Let the mixture cool till room temperature and then add all the sitaphal pulp. Mix well to form a homogenous mixture and pour into moulds. I did not have the kulfi mould and hence used a silicon cupcake liner.

Freeze overnight. Remove the kulfi from the freezer a couple of minutes before serving. Remove from the mould and enjoy.

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Eggless Buckwheat Waffles

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Buckwheat is not a derivative of wheat, in fact it does not belong to wheat family at all. Buckwheat seeds are eaten as groats or flour; hence it is referred to as a pseudo cereal too. Buckwheat is high in essential nutrients. It is rich in many trace minerals, including manganese, magnesium and copper. It is also a good source of the B vitamins: B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin and choline. You can read more about buckwheat from here and here. It is also known as ‘kuttu’ locally in Mumbai and used for Hindu fasting meals.

I try and incorporate such healthy ingredients in everyday cooking wherever possible. I am sure there are better and healthier ways to consume this powerhouse. But, till I find more ways to cook this grain I am happy with these waffles. My son too consumed these ‘chocolate waffles’ (for him anything brown is chocolate;) with complete admiration. Here I have topped these waffles with ready to use whipped cream (Result of my impulse grocery shopping). But you can top these waffles with fresh fruit, honey or maple syrup.

The photos were clicked on the dining table itself as Avvi refused to wait longer and hence are not up to mark. But on a good note, I feel so happy when Avvi devours something which I make. I am one satisfied mother.

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Dry Ingredients

3/4 cup Buckwheat flour

3/4 cup Maida or All-purpose flour

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

3 tbsp powdered sugar
 

Wet Ingredients

1 cup Milk (use non-dairy milk for vegan waffles)

3/4 cup Water

2 tsp Apple cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Oil

½ tsp vanilla extract

 

Take milk in a bowl, add vinegar and set it aside to curdle.

Meanwhile mix buckwheat flour, maida, baking powder, salt and sugar.

To the curdled milk add water and oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet and make a lump free batter. Adjust water to get pouring consistency if required.

Let the batter rest for 8 to 10 mins.

Meanwhile preheat the waffle iron. Brush the plates with butter and pour a ladle of batter at a time so as to cover the plate.

Cook the waffles according to manufacturer’s directions. Mine were done in about 4 minutes. Enjoy with your favourite topping. Here I have used whipped cream and chocolate syrup, but can use fresh fruits, honey or maple syrup.

 

 

 

 

Milk Bread

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This is my first bread recipe on the blog and it had to be this milk bread. You would have read about my love for this milk bread here, typical from Iyengar bakery, since I was a child. This soft and slightly sweet bread takes you to heaven when you slather generous amount of butter on it. That’s my favourite way to have this bread.

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This is a very easy recipe; just make sure that your yeast is good.  I have had a long relationship with yeast and I had my initial good days followed by a long series of disasters. But, baking your own bread feels amazing and the aroma is heavenly. I have used active dry yeast, fresh yeast and instant yeast in my previous attempts and found that I am most comfortable with instant yeast, so this is what I have used here. Good yeast is crucial to a good bread and proof the yeast before you start making bread if you are unsure.

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1 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast

3/4 cup luke warm milk

2 tbsp powdered sugar

2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or oil

3/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cup bread flour or Maida.

Luke warm water as required

 

In a bowl add sugar and yeast and give it a stir. Add the luke warm milk, mix and let it sit for 5 mins till the mixture is frothy.

In a stand mixer add bread flour or maida, salt and mix well. Then add ghee or oil and run the mixer to incorporate the fat into the flour.

Then slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour in the stand mixer while mixing all the time. Follow it with required quantity of luke warm water to form a soft dough. The dough should be soft and sticky.

Knead the dough for 9 to 10 mins in the stand mixture. You can also the above process by hand, kneading for around 15 mins with the heel of your palm. Post kneading the dough should be soft and should come together as a ball. You can check the doneness with a window pane test. In this test take a small portion of dough and stretch it till it becomes translucent. If the stretched dough breaks before it could be stretched to the correct thickness then knead for some more time.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Spread some oil on top of the dough too. Cover the container with a cling film or a damp muslin cloth.

Now let the dough rest in a warm dark environment for an hour or more till it doubles its size. Do not keep checking the dough every now and then . . . let the yeast work in peace.

When the dough doubles in size, roll the dough into a log shape and place it in a greased loaf pan with the seam side at the bottom. Here, I have used an 8 inch X 4 inch loaf pan.

Now keep the loaf pan in a warm dark place un-disturbed for almost an hour for the second rise.

When the dough has risen above the pan carefully place the pan in a 200 degree centigrade preheat oven. Bake for 25 to 30 mins till you get a hollow sound when you gently knock on the bread.

Let the pan rest for 10 mins once out. Then with a knife loosen the sides of the bread from the pan and pop the bread out of the pan and onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice the bread with a bread knife when the bread is cooled.

Eggfree Blueberry Muffins

eggfree bluberry muffins

Yeah, blueberries . . .

Well, you can replace blueberries with chocolate chips or chunks or raisins.

But blueberries are wonderful; I have used frozen blueberries here. I stocked on some wonderful ingredients during my recent trip abroad. Yes, I go grocery shopping on vacations too J. Didn’t I tell you I am different? So, my readers in India may find some ingredients which are not available easily in India for few of my future posts. But I have got to try these, so please bear with me. Where ever possible, I would also give suggestions for substitutes, so that most of my readers can go ahead and enjoy making the recipe as much as I did.

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Coming back to these muffins . . . . These are the most awesome muffins I have ever made. I have tried many other versions of eggless vanilla sponge except the one with milk powder. So, I searched for a few recipes and tweaked this recipe for my version from here. I was really blown away with the result . . . the muffins were soft, fluffy and melt in your mouth with hint of berries . . . just amazing. I am sure these will work for you too, give it a try and let me know how it turned out.

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Dry Ingredients

1 1/2 cups maida or all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup milk powder

3/4 cup powdered sugar

 

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted white butter, melted (I used homemade butter)

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries (or chocolate chips)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Dust the blueberries with maida, so that they do not settle at the bottom while baking.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together and mix well.

Add melted butter and vanilla extract to the milk and combine well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to get a lump free batter.

Add the blueberries and gently fold into the batter taking care not to smash many.

Scoop out the batter into the cupcake tray lined with liners. Bake for about 18 mins or till the toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Masala Peanuts (no frying)

Baked Masala Peanuts

It’s been pouring in Mumbai. I do not enjoy getting wet, but sure like to look out of the window from the comfort and warmth of my house. Add a steaming hot cup of tea with a dash of ginger or lemongrass along with these guilt free peanuts and . . . . the picture almost perfect.

Also, I want to share a secret . . . . I am scared of deep frying. I don’t know if it’s normal but, that’s just me. Last time I deep fried something . . . was almost three years back. But, that does not mean that I do not crave fried food and thankfully I am blessed with two loving mommies who do it for me. Do you too have any such crazy fear?

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Masala peanuts are an all-time favourite with my husband, so this one is for him :). They are super easy to make and I like these as it keeps a check on my diet without compromising on the taste buds. Happy rains.

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1 cup Raw Peanuts

1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp Besan (Chickpea flour)

1 tbsp rice flour

Water as required.

 

Spice mix

Kashmiri red chilli powder as per taste

Salt as per taste

Hint of turmeric powder

3/4 tsp crushed kasuri methi

 

In a bowl add both the flours; besan and rice flour. To this add the spice mix and mix well.

Add water, a tbsp at a time to form a lump free thick batter (almost like a brownie batter).  Be careful as not to make the batter very runny like we normally do it for bhajiyas. Add a tbsp of besan if you feel that the batter is less or is too runny.

Into this batter add the peanuts and coat them well.

Drop the coated peanuts on a parchment lined baking tray, few at a time. Make sure that the peanuts are not dropped as a blob but scattered around in pairs or trios and are in single layer only. Do not overcrowd the tray.

Bake these in a preheated oven at 200 degree Celcius for approximately 15 mins. You may require a couple of minutes extra as each oven temperature varies. Move the peanuts around after 10 mins and keep a close watch.

The peanuts will be slightly soft when removed from the oven, but will firm up once cooled. Let it cool in the tray itself and store in an airtight container.

 

 

Eggless Tutti Frutti Cake

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It’s been really long since I posted. Although, there were interesting things that kept me occupied (read vacation), I took a bit too long to get back from my slumber. Blogging is a lot of hard work and I kept finding excuses for myself. Surprisingly during all these times, when I did not post what kept me motivated to get back was steady increase of likes on my Facebook page. Yeah, I have crossed 300 likes on Facebook. This calls for something sweet and here I have a simple vanilla cake decorated with colourful tutti frutti. Use of lemon zest adds freshness to this cake though it can be optional.

I made this cake sometime back, and it was appreciated by everyone. Hope you all enjoy it too.

Eggless Tutti Frutti Cake 01    Eggless Tutti Fruti Cake 03

Ingredients

2 cups Maida or All purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

1 cup milk
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup White granulated sugar
1/2 cup Flavourless Oil
1 tsp Vanilla extract

3/4 cup Tutti frutti

Take milk in a bowl and add vinegar to it. Let it sit for 10 to 15 mins till it curdles.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Sift together maida, salt and baking powder and then add lemon zest. Mix well.

Now add sugar, vanilla and oil to the milk and vinegar mixture and beat well till all the sugar dissolves.

Mix dry ingredients into the wet and mix well but gently by hand to form a lump free batter. Lastly coat the tutti frutti in 1 tbsp of maida and mix it with the batter.

Pour the batter in a greased and floured or a parchment lined loaf pan. I used a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 50 to 55 mins till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Coffee n Fig Ice cream

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The days are getting hotter and exams are over. It’s time for fun . . . .

This ice-cream is an explosion of flavours. Coffee, figs and chocolate . . . exactly in that order. Fresh figs are still available and so decided to make this creamy luscious and easy recipe adapted from here.

No ice-cream machine.

No churning.

Simple ingredients.

Awesome flavour.

Coffee n Fig Ice cream 02

I have used coffee decoction here and strongly recommend it. I had always been an instant coffee girl and found filter coffee bitter (That’s probably one thing which all coffee lovers admire and want in their cuppa . . . . but this is just weird me). But, few years back when we visited Coorg, we came back with a lot of coffee, mainly for friends and had few packets left with us. The coffee was lying in the freezer for a year and then finally I decided to either use it or give it away. The coffee conquered my senses in the very first meeting. The taste was rounded, smooth and the aroma was heavenly . . . I was addicted. But all good things come to an end and till someone gets me my fix from Coorg, I am using coffee from a local brand which is good, but I don’t admire as much as the earlier one.

Coming back to this ice-cream. Do try this and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as we did.

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For ice-cream

1/2 can (200 gms) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup fig compote (recipe below)
1/4 cup coffee decoction (at room temperature)
1 cup cold heavy cream (I used 25% Amul)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (can use less, if desired)

For Fig compote

125 gms fresh figs
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt (I used Fleur de sel)

Make the fig compote first. Chop the figs and add it to thick bottom pan along with sugar. Cook till the figs are mushy and smash them a bit. Remove from heat and add butter. Let it cool completely before you add it to the ice-cream recipe.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, fig compote, coffee.

Whip the cream till soft peaks are formed and then fold it with the coffee-fig mixture. Mix well and uniformly. Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle chocolate chips and lightly mix.

Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Keep the pan at room temperature for 2 mins before scooping out to serve. Enjoy the creamy ice-cream with your loved ones.

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