Pear Muffins

Pears Muffin

Pear Muffins

1 cup + 5 tbsp all –purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup walnuts chopped (or any nuts)
1 cup yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp nutmeg grated
2 pears chopped to small pieces

In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and walnuts.
In a small bowl whisk sugar, egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla and add to flour.
Stir until just combined.
Add pears and mix. Don’t beat or over mix.
Fill greased muffin cups (or lined with paper cups) almost full and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Freeze a few to enjoy later.

To freeze, wrap individually in cling wrap and then place in a ziplock bag.

Pears Muffin 1


Easy Focaccia

Simple Foccacia

Easy Focaccia
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour website

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups water
3 +2 +2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Toppings are all optional as per your choice
Parmesan cheese, rosemary, olives, tomato, onion, pizza flavors etc.

Grease a 9” x 13” pan (or any big pan) with 2 tbsp olive oil.
Warm ½ cup water and add yeast and sugar. Let it bubble.
Combine all ingredients (3 tbsp oil) in a food processor bowl or hand held mixer bowl and mix till combined.
Scoop the sticky dough (very loose and sticky) to the greased pan and spread.
Cover loosely and let it rise for 1 hr.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Simple Foccacia 1

Gently poke the risen bread all over. Drizzle remaining olive oil.
Sprinkle topping of your choice.

Simple Foccacia 2

Bake the bread till golden brown for approx 30-35 mins. (If the bread is done and not brown on top, just broil for a few minutes).

Simple Foccacia 3

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe Source:Jessica

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can (15 oz) )
½ tsp salt
¾ cup butter (I used
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk (or 3 tbsp milk powder +1 cup water)

Frosting: (I used only ¼ of the recipe and frosted only 1 cake)
12 oz cream cheese at room temperature
¾ cup butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla essence
6 cups powdered sugar

Pumkin Cake 1

Sieve flour and baking soda. Add salt.
In a large bowl/stand mixer, beat butter and sugar. (I added 2 tbsp boiling water and beat again).
When it starts to be fluffy, add one egg at a time and mix well.
Add oil, pumpkin and vanilla essence and mix again.
Beat in flour alternately with milk beginning and ending in flour.
Pour the batter into 2-3 greased pans of your preference.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
Cool the cake completely before frosting.
Frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cheese. Add maple syrup and vanilla essence. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined and then on medium speed till smooth.
Use frosting as layers and to cover the cake.
Slice and serve.

Pumkin Cake 2

Christmas Fruit Cake

Mum's Xmas Fruit Cake

Mum’s Christmas Fruit Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¾ sugar
1 egg
½ cup + 1 tbsp oil
4 tbsp cashewnuts chopped
4 tbsp tutti-frutti
4 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp orange peel chopped
2 tbsp crystallized ginger chopped
1 tsp shahjeera
¼ tsp cloves powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

To caramelize:
¼ cup sugar
½ cup + 1 tbsp water

Heat the sugar in a medium pan. Let it melt and caramelize. Don’t stir.
When the colour becomes dark golden and the sugar starts to bubble, add water. (Be careful as it will splutter)
Add sugar and oil and let the mixture boil for 3 minutes. Let it cool.
Sieve flour and baking soda.
Either transfer the caramel to a mixing bowl or use the same pan to mix dry ingredients.
Add flour all at once and mix using handheld mixer or wooden spoon.
Add all the spices, nuts, peel and raisins and mix well.
Break an egg into the batter and mix again.
Pour into a greased baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 30-35 mins. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
Decorate with frosting or serve plain.

Mum's Xmas Fruit Cake 1

Home made Pumpkin Puree (in microwave)

Pumpkin puree

Homemade Pumpkin Puree –in Microwave

Pumpkin –that’s all!!

Skin and chop pumpkin to large cubes.
Place pumpkin cubes in a large glass bowl and microwave covered for 8-10 mins. Time depends on the size of the cubes.

Pumpkin puree 1

Take out and drain out any water formed.
Let it cool and puree in a blender or food processor.

Pumpkin puree 2

Store in freezer.
It would be convenient for later use if its measured ( ½ cup or 1 cup) and frozen.
Freeze some in ice trays. Take out and store in zip lock bags once frozen. Pop one or two cubes in kid’s soup, pancakes or anything that can mask the addition of vegetables!!

Beef Biryani

Beef Biryani

No introductions required. This is a very aromatic and tasty biryani.

Beef Biryani

1 kg beef cut into big pieces
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt

4 large onions sliced
½ cup oil
5-7 green chilies (should be spicy as no chili powder is used)
4 sprigs curry leaves
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 large tomato chopped fine
1big handful of mint leaves chopped (½ cup)
1 big handful of coriander leaves chopped (½ cup)
½ cup fresh grated coconut (put in freezer for some time if not frozen)

2 cups basmati rice
5 small cardamoms
4 pc 1” cinnamon
4 cloves
3 whole mace
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp oil

Wash the beef pieces in vinegar added water and rinse well.
Pressure cook with black pepper powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt for 4-5 whistles or till cooked tender.
Pulse the frozen coconut in a grinder bowl so that it becomes powdery. Don’t add water as we don’t want a paste.
Heat oil in a large pan.
Add onions and a little salt and saute till almost brown. Add ginger garlic paste, slit green chilies and curry leaves and saute till raw smell goes.
Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala and saute for a minute.
Add ground coconut and stir for atleast 5-8 minutes till everything is nicely fried and gives out a good aroma. Keep medium flame. Add little more oil if you think the mixture is too dry.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and saute for a minute. (If the mixture is not spicy, add few slit green chilies now).
Add tomatoes and mix well.
Add cooked beef along with the water and let it simmer. Check salt.
When the curry becomes very thick, take off fire.

Beef Biryani 1

Wash rice till water runs clear.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add whole spices.
Add 4 cups hot water and add salt.
Add 4-5 tbsp of beef masala gravy to the water.
Add rice and mix well.
When the water starts to boil, cover and lower the heat. (Less than medium, but above low)
Open the lid after 10 mins and stir slowly and check if any water is remaining.
Keep for a max 3 more mins if there is traces of water or else take of fire. Discard the whole spices.
Take a big glass bowl and layer alternately with rice and beef with sprinkle of coriander/mint leaves in between.
Garnish with fried onions, raisins and cashewnuts.
Serve with raita, papad and pickles.

Beef Biryani 2

Biryani can be layered in a big pan and kept on dum for 15 mins or baked in oven at 150 degree Celsius for 15 mins: though it’s optional especially for this biryani.

Lasooni Dal Palak

Lasooni dal palak

Lasooni Dal Palak

¼ cup yellow moong dal
2 cups chopped palak (I used green cheera)
5 cloves garlic chopped finely
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
½ tsp red chili flakes

Cook dal in 2 cups water till soft.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal and stir.
Add garlic and saute till it becomes light brown.
Add chili flakes and palak.
Cook covered for few minutes till the leaves are soft.
Add cooked dal and mix well. Add hot water to get required consistency.
Check seasonings and take off fire.
Serve with Chapathi.

Oats & Orange Caramel Bars

Oats and Orange Caramel Bars 1

Oats & Orange Caramel Bars

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 can condensed milk
¼ cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange rind

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined.
Mix flour, oats, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix. Divide into 2.
Line parchment paper in a 8×8 baking pan.
Place half of the dough mixture on the tray and press down evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 8-10 mins.
In the meanwhile, stir condensed milk, orange juice, orange zest.
Take out the baking crust and spread the condensed milk mixture on top. Sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal mixture on top.
Bake again for 15 mins or until the bottom crust is golden brown.
Cool and slice into small squares and serve.

Oats and Orange Caramel Bars

If you keep a close watch and bake for 10 mins or so, condensed milk mixture will remain white and will not become caramel.
Bake to your liking.

Chickpea Oats Cookie Dough Pie

Chickpeas Oats Cookie dough pie

Chickpea Oats Cookie Dough Pie
Adapted from Katie

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar (or ½ cup more )
1 large egg (or ¼ cup applesauce)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor to a smooth paste.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a parchment lined baking pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree celsius for 30-35 mins.
Serve warm or cold.

Chickpeas Oats Cookie dough pie 1

Fruit Salad with Yogurt

Fruity Raita

Fruit Salad with Yogurt

2 cup yogurt
4 tbsp honey or sugar
1 drop of vanilla essence
1 cup chopped fruits of choice
½ cup mangoes or pineapple (not both)

Whisk yogurt, essence and honey or sugar.
Mix chopped fruits and serve.
Healthy treats for kids and adults!!

Chill yogurt and fruits before mixing and not after.