Monday, 29 June 2015

Caramel Jam Cake

Caramel Jam Cake

Few days ago I baked the OMG cake. It was OMG because that was my reaction when I was cutting the cake. It was unbelievably soft. I think adding orange juice and pineapple jam/marmalade made the cake so moist. 
So this inspired me to try out more cakes with jam in them. Jam or marmalade not only makes the cake soft but it also gives an unusual flavour to the same old cake.
This time it is a caramel cake with mixed fruit jam in it. Why mixed fruit? Because that was the jam sitting in my pantry at that moment. I am sure any other jam would work as well.


1 cup brown sugar
¼  cup butter
½  cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
¼ tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp mixed fruit jam

Beat sugar and butter at medium speed. Add oil and blend well. Add eggs one at a time. Add the jam and mix well. 
Sift together flour and baking powder. Add to butter mix alternately with the milk. Add vanilla essence. 
Bake at 170 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if the cake is done.  

Lauki Halwa

Lauki Halwa

I have a very peculiar problem with the place I am staying in. At almost 11,000 feet there are many things that I find strange here. 
Cooking is a big chore because mundane things like onions and potatoes don’t get cooked easily. It takes me three hours to cook potatoes in a pan. It takes about 10 whistles to cook masoor ki dal. 
And all this is because of the altitude which changes the boiling point of ingredients. So anything that takes about 20 minutes to cook down in the plains takes about 2 hours to cook here.
My nemesis, among other things, is the bottle gourd or the lauki. It simply will not cook. And it is a very common summer vegetable. Also it is very good for health. What to do?? The only option for me was to make Lauki halwa. Once pressure cooked it becomes eatable. And if made well it is a delicious dish!


1 large lauki
1 cup mawa/khoya
1 cup sugar ( you can adjust depending on how sweet you want it)
1 cup assorted dry fruits, chopped ( I have used cashews and chuara)
2 litres milk
2 tbsp ghee

First skin the lauki and then grate it. Put the grated lauki along with 1 ½ cups of water in a cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Take the lauki out of the cooker and put in a colander to drain away the excess water. 

Meanwhile put the milk to boil. After it boils for 15 minutes add the grated and cooked lauki in the milk. 

Now cook till the milk evaporates and the mixture thickens. Add the sugar, mava and dry fruits. Keep cooking till the halwa is dry. Add the ghee and cook some more. 

Achari murg

Achari murg
A Sanjeev Kapoor recipe

The taste of achar in chicken. The acharoi flavour comes from paanch phoron. Paanch phoron is very commonly used in Bengali cuisine. It includes rai, methi, jeera, kalonji and saunf. This combination is what gives this dish an awesome acahri tang.


½ kg chicken
½ cup mustard oil
1 ½ tsp kalonji
1 tsp rai
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp saunf
4 large onions, chopped
7 green chillies
5 dried red chillies
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
3 tbsp achari masala
1 tbsp haldi
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp crushed balck peppercorns
2 cups yogurt, whisked
1 cup tomato puree
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup kaju magaz paste
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp amchur powder

Acahri masala (makes 10 tbsp)

1 tbsp rai
1 tbsp kalonji
1 ½ tbsp. saunf
½ tsp methi
2 tbsp dhania seeds
1 tbsp jeera seeds

 To make the acahri masala grind these ingredients into a rough powder. 

Heat the mustard oil to smoking point and then let it cool slightly. Add kalonji, rai, jeera and saunf. Add onions, green chillies, red chilles and saute till the onion is well browned. Add the kaju paste. 
Add the chicken, garlic paste and ginger paste and saute on high flame.
 Add 2 tbsp acahri masala, haldi, coriander powder and crushed peppercorns. Saute for 5 minutes.
 Add yogurt and mix well. Cook for some time and then add tomato puree. Add coriander leaves, salt and 1 cup of water. Let the gravy come to a boil. Cover and cook till the chicken is done. Add the vinegar and 1 tbsp achari masala. Simmer for some time.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sesame Chicken Strings

Sesame Chicken Strings

Evenings are munching time in or home.

 Bengalis have a tradition of having something savoury with their evening tea. It is usually Muri(puffed rice) mixed with raw mustard oil, some chopped onions, chopped boiled potatoes, some mixture, chopped green chillies(they are a must), and if possible some pickle oil. This is the quintessential Jhaal Muri. 

The green chilly is a must, if not in chopped form then two or three whole ones to be chewed along with each handful of muri. The non Bengali might find it strange when offered a big bowl full of jhaal uri in the evening but he can’t stop after the first mouthful. You simply just can’t have one!!

This post is not about the jhaal muri. It is about a simple evening snacks. And that thought brought the jhaal muri to my mind and I got diverted. Oh yumm!!

Sesame Chicken strings are easy to make and just like the jhaal muri you can’t stop at one. A nice appetizer, it can be made in a jiffy.


2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste

For the batter

½ cup cornflour
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp tomato ketchup
Salt to taste
1 tsp ajinomoto (optional)

For the sauce

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ tsp soya sauce
½ tsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp oil

First marinate the chicken strips in salt and ginger garlic paste for 10 minutes. If you have time you can marinate it longer.
Make a batter of cornflour, flour, soya sauce, tomato ketchup and salt. The batter should be thick enough to coat the chicken strips. Dip the chicken strips in the batter and deep fry them. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the sesame seeds. Then add the honey, soya sauce and ketchup. Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. All the ingredients will be mixed properly. Add the chicken strips and cook on high flame for a few minutes till the water evaporates and the chicken strips are well coated with the sesame and sauce. Serve hot.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe source : sallysbakingaddiction

I love cinnamon rolls!! Have you ever walked past the cinnamon rolls chains in the malls and smelt the aroma wafting up to you? It is the most irresistible smell in the world. I am reminded of those cartoon shows where the aroma just floats across the room and puts tendrils up one’s nose. Baking does the same to you especially if it has cinnamon.

These rolls are easy to make. You just have to use some arm muscles while kneading the dough because the more you knead the softer they will turn out to be. I, however, take the easy way out and use a Kitchenaid. Once you make them at home you will stop buying those overpriced ones form the market.


2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 ¼ tsp yeast
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 ½ tbsp. butter ( I used Amul butter and so have not added any extra salt)
1 egg

For the cinnamon filling
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
¼ cup granulated sugar

For the glaze
3 tbsp cream ( you can use more cream to make a smooth glaze)
1 cup powdered sugar

Keep aside ½ cup flour. Mix together rest of flour, yeast and sugar. 
Warm the milk, butter and water till the butter melts. Keep aside for a few minutes till the mixture is lukewarm.  
Add the buttery mix to the flour and mix. 
Add the egg and start kneading. The mixture will be very wet. 
Keep adding the reserved ½ cup flour and keep kneading. 
In case you feel that the dough is not coming together even after adding the ½ cup flour then you can add a few tablespoons more till the dough comes away from the bowl. Knead for at least 15-20 minutes if you are doing it by hand. The dough should be soft and pliable. 

Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cling film and keep it in a warm place till it doubles in size. This will take about 2 hours. 
Now take the dough out and punch it a few times. 
Divide into two large balls. 
Take one ball and roll it out to a big circle. Spread half the butter on the rolled out dough. Sprinkle half the sugar and cinnamon powder. 

Roll it up tightly. 

Cut roundels. 

Use the other ball of the dough the same way.
Grease a baking dish. Place the roundels in the dish keeping some space between them as the roundels will be left to double in size. 

Cover with a clingfilm and keep aside for another hour till it doubles.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Bake the rolls for about 25-30 minutes.

Take out the warm rolls and drizzle the glaze on top. For the glaze mix powdered sugar and cream to a thick paste. When the glaze touches the warm rolls it will melt and drip down the sides and insides of the rolls. 

Queen’s Cake

Queen’s Cake

A simple cake with easy measurements. It might remind one of pound cakes with equal amounts of flour, butter and sugar. Why is it a Queen’s cake? Because it is soft and moist and fit for a royal palette!!


175 gms butter
175 gms flour
175 gms castor sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
½ cup choco chips
2 tbsp milk

Cream together butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. 
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. 
Sift together flour and baking powder. Mix the choco chips in the flour. 
Fold the flour into the batter. Add the 2 tbsp milk to make the batter smooth. 
Pour the batter into a 8” cake tin.
 Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Spiced Rum Banana Cake

Spiced Rum Banana Cake
Recipe source :

Don’t be put off by the rum bit. The bananas are mushed with the rum and kept aside so that the bananas are infused with the flavour. However when you bake the cake the rum effect evaporates and you are left with a subtle taste but no side effect.

The spices are cinnamon and nutmeg and they go really well with banana. Just imagine all this amazing buffet of taste in a cake!!


220 gms flour
200 gms brown sugar
200 gms mixed dry fruits, chopped ( I used raisins, walnuts, cashews and almonds)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100 gms butter
3 ripe bananas
4 tbsp dark rum ( In case you don’t want to use rum then you can add any liqueur)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.. Mash bananas and mix with rum. 
Keep aside for half n hour. 

Cream together butter and sugar well. 

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. 

Add the mashed banana to this mix.

Sift together flour, baking powder, nutmeg powder and 
cinnamon powder. Toss the mixed dry fruits in flour. 

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and fold in gently. 

Pour the batter in a cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes.    

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 ...