Vanilla & Buttermilk Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes 1

This can be baked as cupcakes or as a round cake or better still.…..in disposable paper cups. This makes a very good birthday cake if you layer with whipped cream and fruits or any other filling. As plain cakes, it’s a little bland for my taste, but it’s perfect with a cup of tea.

Vanilla & Buttermilk Cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp nutmeg powder
1 cup buttermilk (I dilute yogurt)
2 eggs at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp boiling water

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

Method:
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda. Add salt and nutmeg powder.
Beat butter and sugar till mixed well. Add water and beat on medium speed till fluffy. Add one egg at a time and beat well.
Add vanilla and mix.
At low speed add flour and buttermilk alternatively in 3 batches-starting and ending with flour. Scrape the sides to ensure uniform mixing.
Spoon batter into paper cups or muffin tins and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 15-20 mins. Insert a toothpick at the center of the cake when the top becomes light brown.
Baking time for round cake will vary.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes 2

I used some leftover batter to make a small fresh fruit cake. It tasted good though this is not the batter for fruit cakes. Will post a recipe soon.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes 3

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Mango Lassi (Mango Yogurt Drink)

Mango Lassi

There might not be an Indian home where mango lassi is not prepared. During mango season, this is a regular in every home. You can add little cardamom and saffron too and they complement mango lassi very well.

I added chia seeds to my glass of lassi as these are my latest craze. Chia seeds /sabja seeds are a complete source of protein providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form.

Chia seeds are said to have:
*2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
*5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
*2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
*3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
*3 times more iron than spinach
*copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6, which are essential fatty acids
(taken from naturalnews.com)

Just add a tsp of chia seeds to half glass of water. It will swell in no time.

Mango Lassi with Chia Seeds

Ingredients:
1 mango peeled and cubed (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup yogurt (cold)
¼ – ½ cup cold water
1-2 tbsp sugar if required
¼ tsp Cardamom powder (optional)
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)

Method:
Blend mangoes, yogurt, ice cubes and water till smooth.
Add sugar if required.
Serve in long glasses.

Add milk and instead of yogurt to make mango milkshakes.

Mango Lassi 1

Mutton Curry

Mutton Curry

This is an absolute easy and delicious recipe. I would recommend preparing it a day before it is to be served…..if it can last that long!

Mutton Curry
Recipe source: my mother-in-law

Ingredients:
1 kilo mutton pieces
3 large onions
1 pod garlic slivers
5 tbsp ginger sliced
1 large potato cut into large cubes
Handful of curry leaves
1 tbsp coriander powder
2-3 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder
Handful of chopped coriander leaves
6-8 tbsp oil (don’t reduce 🙂

Method:
Wash the mutton pieces and keep on a strainer so all water runs out.
Heat oil and add onions.
When onions become translucent, add ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute till all becomes golden brown.
Add coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and stir well for few minutes.
Add mutton pieces and keep stirring on high flame for 5 minutes.
Add 5 cups boiling water and add salt and turn the flame to medium.
When mutton is half cooked, add potatoes. (Potatoes can be fried in little oil and added- this helps to prevent the potatoes from dissolving in gravy)
Cook till mutton is cooked and soft and the gravy is thick.
Add coriander leaves and stir.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with sookha Chapathis (chapathis with no oil). Yummy.

Mutton Curry 1

Chicken & Mushroom Vol au Vent

Mushroom Chicken Vol au Vent 1

Chicken & Mushroom Vol au Vent

Puff pastry (readymade)
5-6 medium mushrooms
½ cup chicken finely chopped (boiled or grilled)
1 small onion
5 tbsp cream
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 pinch dry basil
½ tsp pepper
Red capsicum and coriander leaves to garnish
Salt
1 tbsp oil
1 beaten egg

Mushroom Chicken Vol au Vent 3

Method:
Heat oil and add garlic and onion. When onions become translucent, add mushrooms and cook till it becomes dry. Add chicken, basil, salt and pepper.
Stir for few minutes and add cream.
Simmer for a few minutes and take of fire and let it cool.

For puff shells:
Defrost the puff pastry. Cut circles of 2 “diameter or any size of your choice. Cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. Place two rings on top of the base and slightly press with your hands. Prick the base with a fork.

Mushroom Chicken Vol au Vent 2

Brush the pastries with egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes or till the puff rings become golden in colour.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Place 2 tsp of the mushroom filling in each puff rings and garnish with capsicum and coriander leaves.

Chocolate ganache filled vol au vents…for my son

Chocolate Vol au Vent

Notes:
Puff shells can be made beforehand. Store them in airtight container in room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Mushroom Chicken Vol au Vent 4

Mathi Vevichathu (Sardine Curry)

Mathi curry

Mathi Curry (Sardine Curry)

Ingredients:
10 sardines cleaned
1 -1½ tbsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp fenugreek powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 kokum (kodumpuli)
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 sprigs curry leaves

Grind to make a paste:
5 shallots or ½ onion
6 cloves garlic
1 no. 1” pc ginger
1 small tomato chopped (deseeded)

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
When it splutters, add the paste and stir till raw smell goes and oil separates.
Add the dry powders and stir on low flame for 2 minutes. Don’t let it burn.
Add 2 cups water, kokum, curry leaves and salt.
When the water boils, add the fish. Let it simmer on medium flame till the gravy thickens.
Serve with Kappa (tapioca) or rice.

Mathi curry 1

Lauki Kheer

Lauki Kheer

Lauki is an Indian vegetable and usually its cooked with dal or potato as a side dish for Chapathis. Try this sweet version for a change.

Lauki Kheer

Ingredients:
2 cups grated lauki
3 cups milk
½ cup sugar
6 small cardamoms (open pods slightly)
½ tsp cardamom powder
Handful of cashewnuts and raisins
2 tbsp butter

Method:
Roast cashewnuts and raisins in 1 tsp butter and keep aside.
Peel and cut lauki. Take out the spongy inside and grate.
Squeeze the grated lauki with your hands and take out as much juice as possible. Measure 2 cups of lauki.
Heat butter in a pan and add lauki and whole cardamoms and stir on a medium flame till raw smell goes.
This will take around 15 minutes. Don’t rush here as this will determine the taste of final product.
Add milk and sugar and stir. Cook half covered till lauki is soft and the mixture has slightly thickened. (It will not thicken when cold).
Add cardamom powder, cashewnuts and raisins.
Take off fire and discard the whole cardamoms.
Serve warm or cold.

Lauki Kheer 1

Bhindi Masala (Okra)

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

Ingredients:
15 long okra
1 medium onion sliced
1 small tomato sliced thin
½ tsp ginger/garlic paste
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp oil

Method:
Cut the tips of okra and slit from the middle, keeping it intact.
Heat oil and saute onions till almost brown.
Add ginger/garlic paste and stir for 2 minutes.
Add coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and stir.
Add tomatoes, okra and salt. Cook covered on low flame.
Don’t add water. Stir often carefully until the okras are cooked, approx. 15 minutes.
Add coriander leaves and mix.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.

Bhindi Masala 1

Thai Noodles Salad

Thai Noodle Salad 3

Thai Noodle Salad with Egg Noodles

Ingredients:
200 gms egg noodles
1 chicken breast grilled and cut into strips
2 tbsp spring onion chopped
½ cup carrot strips
¼ cup red capsicum strips
¼ cup green capsicum strips
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp ginger minced
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp peanut butter
4 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp chili sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds and large red chilies to garnish

Method:
Boil noodles in water till soft. Don’t overcook it.
Drain in a colander and hold over running tap water to cool it.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add all the vegetables.
In a small bowl, mix honey, peanut butter, soya sauce, vinegar, chili sauce.
Heat oil and add ginger, garlic and spring onions. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add the honey mixture and whisk over low fire. Simmer for 1 minute.
Take off fire and let it cool.
Add to the noodles and vegetables and mix well.
Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds and chili slices on top.
Serve warm or cold.

Thai Noodle Salad 2

Oats, Banana & Goji berry Cookies

Oats Banana and Goji berry cookies

This is a variation of Breakfast Oats Cake that I had posted earlier.

Banana, Oats & Goji berry Cookies/strong>

Ingredients:
½ cup quick cooking oats
1 banana
2 tbsp goji berry (or any nuts, raisins, dates etc)

Method:
Mash banana and mix with oats and goji berries.
Take small balls and flatten to round shapes.
Place on a plate and microwave 4 minutes to get crispy cookies.

The edges are very crispy with chewy center….healthy and yum.

Oats Banana and Goji berry cookies 1

Cucumber Boats

Cucumber Boats

Cucumber Boats

Ingredients:
1 large cucumber
½ cup labneh or hung yogurt
2 tbsp pickled jalapeno minced (or 1 tbsp pickled chilies)
4 tbsp green or black olives minced
1 tbsp red capsicum minced (optional)
Few coriander leaves to garnish
Salt
Toothpicks

Method:
Mix labneh, jalapeno, olives, capsicum and salt.
Slice cucumbers at a slanting angle at ¼ “thickness.
Insert toothpick passing through two ends to resemble a boat.
Place a tsp of filling at the centre.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Cucumber Boats 1