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?

Baked Masala Peanuts 01

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.

Baked Masala Peanuts 02

 

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.

 

 

Peanut butter cookies (eggless)

Peanut butter cookies 01

I usually make cookies on weekend to pack it in the snack box for my kid during the week. But cookies do have a considerable amount of fat even though I try to reduce it as much as possible. So recently, when I happen to come across peanut butter cookies here, I wanted to give it a try.

Peanut butter along with whole wheat it makes a wholesome snack. I have used homemade peanut butter which has no added sugar. Also, the criss-cross pattern on a typical peanut butter cookie makes them look so pretty.

Peanut butter cookies 05

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar (I added couple of tbsp of sugar more as my homemade butter had no added sweetener)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup + 2 tsp milk

1cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour (atta)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

Mix together peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix well so that all the ingredients are combined well.

Separately sieve together atta, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this atta mixture to the peanut butter mixture and form a soft dough. Chill the dough for 15 minutes in the fridge.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degree Celcius.

Make balls with the dough. (I used 1 tbsp as my measurements as I prefer smaller cookies.). Press the balls onto the parchment lined cookie tray making a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 8 to 10 mins. The cookies will be soft on the top and the edges will be deeper in colour when the cookies are done. Time taken for baking varies from oven to oven and also depends on the size of the cookie, so adjust accordingly. Cool the cookies on the cooling rack and keep them in airtight containers on cooling completely.

Note : I halved the recipe given above and got around 12 cookies.

Peanut butter cookies 02

Fresh Fig Brownie

Happy Valentine’s day !!!

Fresh Fig Brownie 02

We really don’t have a ritual for Valentine’s day, but rather just go with the flow. Today it was celebrated with the whole family around the breakfast table. It was wonderful. Coming to the recipe, this is one of those recipes which is just awesome and happens by accident.

Fresh Fig Brownie 01

We really don’t eat fresh figs and I had a dozen to finish. Fig jam was obvious and tried, so decided on making a cake and an ice-cream. I had my fingers crossed with the cake in the oven because it was the first time I was using fresh buttermilk. (Here, I have used the buttermilk which remains after removing the butter for ghee.) It turned out just wonderful and was liked by all. I decided to call it a brownie because of the taste, texture and the amazing cracked top. It’s an easy and a healthy recipe. I know it has butter, but I believe a controlled amount of good fat is essential for your body.

I have adapted this recipe from the chocolate beet cake recipe.

Fresh Fig Brownie 05

Dry ingredients

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4  tsp salt

 

Wet Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh homemade butter (at room temperature)

3/4 cup powdered jaggery

1 cup fresh buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh fig puree

1 tbsp vanilla extract

 

Pre heat the oven at 180 degree Celsius.

Sieve together all the dry ingredient and combine it well.

In another bowl cream butter and powdered jaggery. Then add pureed fig and buttermilk and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients into wet ingredient and wisk together for a lump free batter. Do not over mix. Pour the batter in a greased and floured 7” x 9” tin. (I used a parchment paper at the bottom of the tin)

Bake for 25 mins or till the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Each oven is different so the time required may vary.

Let it cool in the pan for 20 mins and then on the wire rack till it is completely cooled. Slice and serve.

Fresh Fig Brownie 08

PLUM CRUMBLE (Gluten free)

Plum Crumble

I have a serious sweet tooth. Anyone who knows me also know this fact about me. We had this plum crumble for Sunday morning breakfast  . . . yes, you heard it right  . . . .  it is breakfast. A cool morning with sudden downpour, when the weather department have almost written off this year’s monsoon is a perfect excuse to have this sort of breakfast. Well! It has oats, amaranth, plums, almonds and unrefined sugar in form of wild raw honey and brown sugar. Sounds good ha!!!  The tart plums pair perfectly with honey, almonds add some crunch and oats are a perfect base. And an awesome aroma fills your kitchen when you take it out of the oven.

Crumble is a dish with British origin, popular during World War II as an economical alternative to pies. It can be made savory or sweet, but sweet is a popular version. In America, it is also known as crisp (maybe because they bake it a tad bit longer to get the crisper texture . . . well that’s my version)

A simple recipe, quick to make and enjoyed eaten warm. You can replace plums with any stone fruit of your choice like cherries or peaches. To keep it healthier have it with a dollop of chilled yogurt or if you are in an indulgent mood slather it with good old vanilla ice cream. We also liked it plain and warm . . . the choice is yours. Go ahead and try it yourself.

 Plum Crumble

Plum filling

4 big plums, pitted and diced

1/4 cup honey

1.5 tbsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp cinnamon

 

Gluten-free topping

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/8 cup powdered almonds

1/4 cup amaranth flour

1/8 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp grated ginger

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter, melted

1.5 tbsp dahi (greek yogurt)

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius.

In a medium sized glass dish approximately 8” diameter, mix together the sliced plums, honey, cornstarch and cinnamon. Arrange the mixed plums in a single layer.

In another bowl, mix together the oats, amarnth flour, powdered almonds, brown sugar, ginger and salt.

Mix in the melted butter and yogurt. Stir until the mixture is moistened throughout.

Spread the oats mixture evenly over the plums to cover them almost completely.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden. Let it rest for few minutes before digging in. Serve warm, as it is or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or yogurt.

Note: Keep the topping ready and then work with the plums, to keep the moisture from plums under check.

Savory Cake

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”

Warm breakfast and tea with newspaper is my ideal Sunday morning. After hurried mornings of weekdays this is something I really look forward to. How is your ideal Sunday morning?

savory cake

I am the foodie of my household, so it’s me who wants something different most of the times. So, I decided to bake a cake for breakfast. Hubbs and the kid gave stares when I announced that we had cake for breakfast but eventually enjoyed it (I hope ;). This is a healthy and wholesome start for the day and I did save a few for next day morning as well, so that Monday mornings start on a good note. I have made these more than couple of times and every time added a new twist to it. I am sharing the recipe which I made for the first time from here and will share the options in the notes below that I tried recently.

savory cake

Recipe

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. red chilli powder

1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder

Salt as desired

1 cup Semolina (Rava)

1 cup yogurt/curd (Dahi)

1 cup water

1 cup cut vegetables (I used spring onions complete, cooked sweet corn, carrot)

1 1/2 tsp Ginger and garlic paste

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

A pinch of asafoetida powder

2 tbsp. oil

Fresh coriander leaves or white sesame seeds for topping

Soak semolina in water for 10 minutes.

Sieve together whole wheat flour, baking powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.

Add curd to the soaked semolina and mix well and then fold the whole wheat mixture into it.

Add the chopped vegetables and ginger garlic paste and mix the batter thoroughly but remember to just fold the ingredients together.

In a small tempering pan add oil and heat it, then add mustard, cumin and asafoetida respectively in the hot oil and temper the batter quickly.

Preheat the oven to 190 degree Celcius.

Pour the batter onto greased loaf pan, cake tin or a muffin tray. I made half of the recipe given above used a 6” round cake tin. I always use a parchment paper to line my tins. Add chopped coriander leaves as topping.

Bake at 190 degrees for 30-40 mins. Each oven is different so check accordingly. Let it cool for 10 mins in the tin and further cool on rack or enjoy it warm.

Notes;

  • In another version of this, I used 1/2 cup corn dalia and 1/2 cup semolina instead of 1 cup semolina and enjoyed the variation as cupcakes. I got 9 regular sized cupcake using half the recipe given above. I also grated the vegetables as kids tend to be picky eaters. I used grated cabbage, carrots, bottle gourd and finely chopped capsicum this time. If you are using grated bottle gourd, quickly work with the batter as it may leave water.

savory cake  savory cake

Chocolate beet cake

Chocolate beet cupcake

Yes! You heard it right. . . . .  And you cannot taste beet at all.

I have always encouraged Avvi to know what he is eating and enjoy the natural taste of fruits and vegetables. But, beet root is one of those vegetable which Avvi doesn’t eat easily so I try and sneak it in some form. I have been thinking to make this cake for a long time now but . . (Ah! life has so many ‘buts’) . . . . . suddenly last Sunday he insisted that he wanted to bake and his energy was so contagious that I quickly checked my ever growing “recipes to try” folder and decide on this one. Chocolate is his preferred flavour, so it did put a smile on his face.

This is a fudgy cake and would taste great with some vanilla ice-cream.

Chocolate beet cupcake

Ingredients

3/4 cup beet (boiled with skin and then grated)

Dry Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used organic flour)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

1 cup plain thick curd

3/4 cup powdered organic jaggery

1/4 cup neutral oil (I used Rice bran oil)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Sieve the dry ingredients couple of times.

Mix all the wet ingredients till the jiggery dissolves completely.

Combine dry ingredients with wet gently to form a homogenous batter.

Add grated beet to the batter and fold gently.

Fill the cupcake liners till 3/4th full and place it in the oven. Bake at 170 degree centigrade for 25-30 mins till the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine took 28 mins and I got 13 medium sized cupcakes.

Remove from the oven and place the cupcakes on wire rack to cool completely. I frosted these with some homemade Nutella and sprinkled chocochips on the top.

Note : This is a fudgy cake and does not rise much.

Mango Cake

IMG_20150603_075306821

Mango cake

IMG_20150603_075251805

Mango cake

IMG_20150603_075213199

Mango cake

Flavour of the season is Mango, so let’s celebrate it . . . . As I kid as I did not like mangoes (and so many more things  . . . I was a very fussy eater) but my Nani made it compulsory for all and I had to abide by it even with tears in my eyes. That summer transformed everything for me; I fell in love with mangoes and thank my Nani every season for it. Now when Avvi refuses to even taste something new, I sneak a bite in his mouth while he watches his favourite TV show and a few bites later he starts enjoying it. (Of course ! he doesn’t admit it). I not very happy with this, but currently it works. As much as possible, I try to introduce him to fruits and vegetable in their natural form so that he is aware of what he is eating and makes the right choices when he grows up. Initially I was to bake a basic vanilla cake and top it with mango syrup but then I came across this recipe and decided to try it. The cake was good but a little dense probably because of the quality of jaggery I used.

Dry Ingredients

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour (atta)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Pinch of salt  

Wet Ingredients

1/3 cup powdered jaggery

1/2 cup aamras (mango pulp) I have used Alphonso mangoes.

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 tsp vanilla essence  

Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celcius.

Sieve together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl mix well all the wet ingredients til jaggery powder melts completely.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry in two parts and mix well. Do not over mix the batter.

Line your muffin tin with liners and pour the batter upto 2/3rd full. The above measurements shall give you 6 nos. regular sized muffcakes. I baked in a mini muffin pan and got 12 nos.

Bake for 14 -16 mins at 170 degree celcius, till the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. All ovens vary in temperature so adjust accordingly.

Cool the muffcakes on a wire rack and serve as it is or frost it with whipped fresh cream and mango pieces. These can be stored in fridge upto two days.