Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bugs Bunny Nibblets

Bugs Bunny Nibblets

I didn’t know what to call these. Do I call them carrots? They sound so plain and blah! Gajar? Nahhh!! So I started thinking what do carrots remind me of? And the first thought that popped into mind was Bugs Bunny and his “Ehh!! What’s up Doc!!!” He was always nibbling on carrots. So I christen these the Bugs Bunny Nibblets.


For the outer layer

1 ½  cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
A pinch of orange food color

For the filling

1 cup corn
1 cup green peas
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Few coriander sprigs

Mix the flour, colour and salt. Add the oil and mix. Make a stiff dough.
Boil the corn and peas. Give them a whizz in the blender. You don’t want to make a paste. Just crush them slightly. Heat some oil. Add the cumin seeds. Add the crushed corn and peas and shredded coconut. Season with salt and fry for five minutes. Cool the filling.
Make small balls of the dough. Roll them out thin. Cut the rolled out dough into half. Take one half and form a cone. Put some filling inside and close the top and seal with some water. Make sure that the nibblets are triangular in shape. Do the same with the whole dough. Deep fry the nibblets. Take a small piece of the coriander sprig and insert it into the nibblet. Use a toothpick to make a small hole of required.

Monday, 25 May 2015

How To Make Sour Cream At Home

How To Make Sour Cream At Home

Many of the recipes I come across have sour cream as one of the main ingredients. Sour cream is not easily available in India. One can still get some in big metros but no way in the places I get to live. For a long time I have avoided making such cakes. However it is silly to simply give up just because you do not have that one key ingredient. 

I started searching on net for sour cream substitute, something that I can easily make at home with things that are already in my pantry. This recipe worked perfectly for me and my cakes also turned out great. 

For Sour cream substitute

¼ cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup heavy cream

Mix all three ingredients and leave in room temperature for 24 hours. Your sour cream substitute is ready.

Aam Kashundi

Aam Kashundi

Something spicy and tangy, something sweet and sour.
This reminds me of a trip I made to my native village many many years ago. I was about 11 years old and my grandfather took us for a visit to the ancestral land. Those were the times when there was no electricity or running water in the village. There were no paved roads. Water had to be drawn from the wells. Coming from a city these were novel experiences.
Of all the fun things I did then what comes to my mind right now is making a sweet and tangy roasted tamarind chutney. I plucked tamarinds from the tree, roasted them in an outdoor wood oven and made a salty, sour, sweet and tangy chutney.
In this day and age of urbanisation there are no trees left to pluck tamarinds or mangoes from. The local grocer has packets of fruits stamped with “export quality” stickers and coated with wax. Most of the fruits are artificially ripened and they don’t have the natural sweetness of tree ripened fruits. It has become a very sad world.
Coming to the dish this is a Bengali preparation. Kashundi is made with mustard seeds. I keep a jar of this aam kashundi by my bedside so that I can eat a spoonful whenever I want to.


½ kg raw mango
¼ cup mustard seeds
2 green chillies
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
5 dry red chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 cup sugar
2 tbsp salt

Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies. Grind them to a powder. 

Soak the mustard seeds in warm water for half an hour. Grind to a paste along with green chillies and salt. 

Peel the raw mangoes and cut into slices. 

Make a puree in the blender. 
Heat some oil add the ground powder and saute for a few seconds. 
Add the mustard paste and cook for some time. Now add the pureed raw mango, salt, sugar and turmeric powder. Cook for 10 minutes. 
Check the seasoning. Adjust the salt or sugar accordingly.

Gobi Paneer Makhni

Gobi Paneer Makhni

Gobi and paneer in a tomato based gravy with kasuri methi. The final taste comes out to be achari. Maybe it is the combination of ingredients because I certainly did not start out to make a achari dish. Sometimes experiments turn out to be amazing!!


2 cauliflower/gobi, cut into florets
100 gm paneer, cubed
3 tomatoes, blanched, pureed
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp kasuri methi
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
¼ cup mustard oil

First blanch the tomatoes and make a fine puree. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point. Add the cumin seeds. 
Saute the cauliflower florets on high heat till they are well browned. 
Add the tomato puree and ginger paste. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, chilli powder, salt and sugar. 
Cover and cook till the puree dries and the florets are coated well with the masala. 
Add the kasuri methi and paneer pieces. Cover and cook for some more time. The oil will separate and the dish will be cooked. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Kurkuri Bhindi

Kurkuri Bhindi

I love eating boiled bhindi!! For non- Bengalis this might sound strange. However in Bengali cuisine “sheddo” or boiled vegetables is an integral part of the daily food. We eat boiled radish, pumpkin, krela, bhindi, lauki, raw banana, and the list is endless. My favorite is, however, boiled bhindi!!

This post is not about boiled bhindi. It is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Kurkuri bhindi. Deep fried as opposed to boiled. Crispy as opposed to slimy. What is common, however, is that both taste yummy!!


250 gms bhindi, slit into very fine strips
½ cup cornflour
4 tbsp besan
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder(optional)

Mix the slit bhindi, cornflour, besan, salt and red chilli powder. Keep aside for half an hour. Deep fry. Your kurkuri bhindi is ready. 

Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake

Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake
Recipe source : Cake by Rachel Allen

Ever since I made the coconut streusel topping mocha cupcakes I had fallen in love with the idea of a streusel topping or a crumb topping. The cake is soft and moist underneath and the streusel topping is crumbly and buttery. What an awesome combination!!

I came across this recipe in Cake by Rachel Allen. It has two of my favorite things, a marble cake and a crumb topping. This was one cake I simply had to bake. And the fight that ensued over division of slices is a testimony to its awesomeness.

I have made few changes to the recipe wherein I have reduced the amount of butter and increased the amount of milk. Also I have used half butter and half oil. I have reduced the crumble topping too.


225 gms butter( I have reduced the amount to 200 gms where I have used half butter and half oil)
225 gms castor sugar
4 eggs
11 tsp vanilla extract
225 gms plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50 ml milk ( I have used 4 tbsp +2 tbsp milk)
25 gm cocoa powder

For the crumble topping( the amount I have used)

50 gms plain flour
20 gm castor sugar
20 gms chopped dark chocolate
25 gms cold butter

First make the crumble topping. Using your fingers mix together flour, sugar and butter till it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the chopped chocolate. Keep aside.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9” springform tin.
Whip the butter and oil till it becomes smooth. Now add the 4 tbsp milk and sugar and cream till light and fluffy. 
Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence. 
Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mix. 
Whip at medium speed till it becomes a smooth batter with no lumps. 
Remove half the batter. Add cocoa powder and 2 tbsp milk to the other half and mix well. 
Now put the batter in the cake tin by placing alternating spoonful of the batter. Once all the batter is placed swirl it with a toothpick. 

Sprinkle the crumble topping on top. 

Bake for 50 minutes.

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

Matar and paneer. 
A match made in heaven. 
And it tastes best in a tomato based gravy. No onions, no garlic, no heavy masalas. A simple dish and one of my favourites from childhood. 
Many people prefer frying the paneer pieces before putting them in the gravy. I don’t!! I like my paneer to be soft and crumbly. Frying makes them chewier. 
The dish is so irresistible that you will not be able to resist dipping a spoon and sampling it as the gravy simmers away!!


200 gm paneer, cubed
1 cup peas
3 tomatoes, pureed
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
A pinch of sugar
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cardamom powder
4 tbsp mustard oil

Heat the mustard oil. Add the cumin seeds. Add the tomato puree and ginger paste. Cook till the water evaporates and the puree starts drying up. 
Add all the masalas and cook till the oil separates. Add salt and sugar. Now add the peas and paneer pieces. Cook for a minute or two till the paneer pieces are well coated with the masala. 
Add ½ cup of water and simmer. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. You can have this with hot roti or rice.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Chocolate Peanut butter Overload Cake

Chocolate Peanut butter Overload Cake
Recipe source :

Happy birthday to me!! This is the birthday cake I baked for my birthday. When I first decided to make my own cake I was pretty sure I needed it to be utterly sinful. What can be more sinful than chocolate and peanut butter. Then I came across this recipe from the browneyedbaker. The very name caught my attention. Yummm!!!

There are a few changes I made to the recipe mainly because of the extreme cold here. The temperature is around 2 degrees Celsius and butter simply does not melt. Any butter I put in the cakes makes the cake rock solid. So I have started making oil cakes. The recipe calls for buttercream. I have replaced that with whipped cream. Rest of the recipe is the same.

For the cake

2 cups creamy peanut butter

⅔ cup heavy cream
2 ½ cups + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup+ 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
3 eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 ½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4 ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter frosting
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the ganache
2 cups grated chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

For garnish
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line and grease 3x9” cake tins.

Mix together sifted flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes. Divide the batter equally into three tins. Bake for 25 minutes.

Make the frosting. Whip the cream till it starts to thicken. Then add the peanut butter and whip till stiff peaks form.
Now layer the three cakes with the frosting. 

Use only half the frosting for the layering. Keep one cupful of frosting for piping and use the rest to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Make the ganache. Melt the grated chocolate on a double boiler. Add the heavy cream and whisk well to make it smooth and glossy. Pour over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides.

Pipe designs on the cake using the cupful of frosting. Garnish with roasted peanuts.

Banana Walnut Choco Chip Cake

Though I bake everyday, it has been ages since I posted anything new on my blog. Last year saw lots of changes ...