Banana and Coconut muffins

Good day to you all!

I am not exaggerating but these muffins bake to be such soft and delicious little dollops of joy. The bits of coconut in this add a crunchy element to the muffins. Perfect for having with breakfast or any time that you have some sweet tooth. Made with overripe bananas these muffins are easy to bake and requires basic ingredients found in your kitchen. You might be wondering about the difference between cupcakes and muffins. Well it’s actually pretty simple, muffins are had at breakfast and cupcakes are had for dessert. Muffins have toppings and cupcakes have frostings. Muffins can be considered a miniature version of bread and cupcakes can be considered as a miniature version of a cake. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Overripe banana- 2 nos. or 150 gm
  • Egg- 1 nos or 53 gm
  • Icing sugar/ powdered sugar- 50 gm
  • Coconut oil- 50 ml
  • Coconut (chopped)- 20 gm
  • Flour- 120 gm
  • Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon- 1 tbsp
  • Raisins- 30 gm
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  • Preheat your microwave at 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Soak the raisins in water.
  • In a bowl, mash the bananas using a fork. Now add an egg and whisk it well.
  • Add icing sugar and whisk well till combined.
  • Add coconut oil and mix well.
  • Now sift the flour, baking powder and soda.
  • Add these to the bowl. Fold the flour in using a spatula. Do not over mix.
  • Chop up half the raisins and add to the batter. Add the chopped coconut pieces, ground cinnamon and vanilla essence to the batter.
  • In minimum strokes fold these in. Again just mix till needed.
  • Grease your muffin molds. If you are using silicon mold, you do need to grease it.
  • Pour the batter till 3/4th of the mold and add the raisins as toppings on top.
  • Bake at 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  • Poke a knife or a skewer and if it comes out clean, then its done! In case the top don’t get desired color, increase the temperature and bake for 5 minutes.
  • In case the tops become golden and brown, and the muffins are not done yet, place a piece of foil or baking paper on top to prevent further browning and continue baking.
  • Happy baking!

Bonus tips:

  • You can choose any kind of toppings that you want like raisins, coconut flakes, almond flakes.
  • These muffins taste best served fresh and hot.
  • If you do not find ground cinnamon, pound some whole cinnamon and then pass through a sieve.

 

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Bread and butter pudding

Good day to you all!

Bread and butter pudding is such a classic. Usually made with leftover bread, but you can also use some fresh ones for making this dessert. It is delicious yet so simple. It is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can make a lovely and rich dessert. You can also have it for breakfast and will leave you satiated for a good chunk of the day. In this recipe we prepare our very own custard instead of using store bought custard powder.

Ingredients:

  • Bread-  4 pcs
  • Egg- 2 nos
  • Milk- 250 ml
  • Sugar- 40 gm
  • Butter- 50 gm
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tbsp
  • Cashews- 20 gm
  • Raisins- 20 gm
  • Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp

Procedure:

  • Soak the cashew and raisins in water. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a saucepan, heat up the milk and sugar on a medium flame, till the sugar dissolves.
  • If the milk gets too heated up, cool it down as the egg might get cooked at high temperature. Whisk the eggs in the mixture. Whisk it well.
  • Add vanilla essence and cinnamon powder to the mixture.
  • Trim the edges of the bread and the cut it into two halves to get two triangular pieces.
  • In a fry pan, fry the bread slices using generous amounts of butter till golden.
  • Now in a baking dish, arrange the fried bread slices. Now pour the mixture on top of it. Add the soaked cashews and raisins. Place few chunks of butter all over the dish which will melt while baking.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
  • Drizzle some condensed milk on top for added flavor or just simply cut yourself a chunk of this buttery delight.
  • Serve as a dessert or maybe a snack.

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Bonus Tips:

  • If you want your pudding to have less butter, you may choose not to add the chunks of butter in the dish.
  • If you prefer an egg-less version, do use the store bought custard.

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Spinach Hummus

Good day to you all!

Hummus is popular in the Middle Eastern cuisine and used for multiple dishes. It is extremely simple and you can play around with the flavors and colors a lot. It is packed with nutrition and is delicious. Spinach is a nutrient dense vegetable and is packed with carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Add it to an already protein laden hummus and you have your daily dose of health ready.

Ingredient:

  • Boiled Chickpeas- 300 gm
  • Spinach- 100 gm (after blanching)
  • Capsicum- 25 gm ( 1 small)
  • Garlic- 10 gm (8-10 cloves)
  • Lemon- 1 no
  • Olive oil- 5 tbsp
  • Salt- as required
  • Black pepper- 1 tbsp

Procedure:

  • Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight. Boil the chickpeas in a vessel or in a pressure cooker. Do not throw the water away.
  • Wash and trim the roots away from the spinach. Boil water in a vessel and put the spinach in it for two to three minutes. Remove and keep aside.
  • Place diced capsicum and cloves of garlic on a baking tray. Roast the vegetables at 250 degrees Centigrade or 482 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients after cooling. Add half a cup of chickpea water to the mixing bowl. Blend well, stirring in between. Adjust consistency using olive oil if you want your hummus to be creamy or add the chickpea water if it is too thick.
  • Drizzle some olive oil and serve with crackers, in wraps, in sandwiches, on toasts and the list goes on.

Bonus tips:

  • Save up the chickpea water and use it as aqua fava in your desserts.
  • Blend the other ingredients before adding the chickpeas, as it becomes easier to blend.
  • The hummus will take quite some time to blend so don’t lose your patience.
  • I skipped adding tahini to my hummus, but you can add it if you want.
  • Store in an airtight container and use it for up to two weeks.

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Nolen gur er payesh (Jaggery flavoured kheer)

Good day to you all!

Payesh or kheer is a vital part of every elaborate Bengali meal. It is mandatory to serve the birthday boy or girl some payesh at the end of their meal. Every special  occasion calls for some cold payesh at the end of the meal. The word “payesh” is derived from the Sanskrit word Payasa or Payasam, which also means “milk”. Let’s dive into the recipe right away!

Ingredients:

  • Milk: 1 litres
  • Gobindobhog chal: 50 gm
  • Nolen gur(Jaggery): 100 gm
  • Cashews: 10 gm
  • Raisins: 10 gm
  • Ghee: 10 gm
  • Salt: a pinch

Procedure:

  • Wash and soak the rice for around half an hour. Strain the rice. Leave it in the strainer to dry.
  • Soak the cashews and raisins in water in a separate bowl.
  • In a pan, heat half the ghee and add the rice to it. Lightly fry the rice and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining ghee to the pan. Fry the cashews and raisins till golden brown.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, start reducing the milk. Keep stirring it continuously. Let it come to a boil and then slowly reduce on a medium heat.
  • After around 15-20 minutes, add the rice to the milk. Keep stirring as it thickens and the rice cooks.
  • The rice should smash easily once cooked. It should be mushy.
  • The consistency should be quite thick as the jaggery would loosen it up a bit. Add the cashew and raisins and stir.
  • Chop up the jaggery or nolen gur. Now, switch off the flame and add in the salt and jaggery.
  • Your payesh is ready. Serve it cold or lap it up with some luchi maybe :p

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Bonus tips:

  • Add a tsp of sugar to ensure that the milk doesn’t split after adding jaggery. This tip was given by my mom. You can try without adding sugar too.
  • Add in some almonds too if you like more nuts.

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Whole wheat no yeast Bread

Good day to you all!

Recently I stumbled on this recipe by Gemma Stafford as I was looking for recipes to make no yeast bread. It turned out to be perfect and since then I have been baking several batches for my family. I will be sharing the link to her blog because she deserves all the credit. Head to the bonus tips section for the link. However a lot of you kept asking for the recipe so I decided to share it here. She provides a lot of options and this is my version of the options I chose.

Ingredients:

Set 1

  • Oats- 42 gm
  • Yogurt – 112gm
  • Milk -112 ml
  • Oil- 28gm
  • Honey- 35gm
  • Egg- 1 no (large)

Set 2

  • Wholewheat flour (atta) – 200 gm
  • Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda- a pinch
  • Salt- 1/2 tsp

Procedure:

  • In a bowl, weigh and add all the ingredients of set 1.
  • Give it a good mix using a whisk or a fork.
  • Cover and set it aside at room temperature for at least 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile weigh the ingredients of set 2 in a big bowl.
  • Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Celsius (374 degrees Fahrenheit or 408 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Grease a loaf tin or a rectangular mold with oil or butter. You can also place a parchment or a baking paper on the bottom to allow the bread to easily come out of the mold.
  • After 45 minutes, mix the ingredients of set 1 in set 2. You should have a thick consistency.
  • Pour it in the baking mold immediately as the baking powder and baking soda starts reacting with the wet ingredients. Sprinkle some oats or even some seeds before popping it in the oven.
  • Bake at 190 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Celsius (374 degrees Fahrenheit or 408 degrees Fahrenheit) for 40 minutes.
  • This time is perfect if you follow this recipe. However if you reduce or increase the amount of ingredients then adjust time accordingly. Check with a skewer to ensure it is not raw.
  • Cool the bread. Remove from mold, slice it up and store it in your refrigerator.
  • Happy baking!

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Bonus tips:

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Eggless 3 ingredient Oat Cookies

Good day to you all!

Are you stuck between trying to fit in your jeans and hogging those sweet treats? Even if you are not, a cookie or two never hurts especially if it is this healthy and tasty. There are tons of chewy oat cookie recipes available but if you are a crispy cookie kinda person this recipe is the one for you. 

Ingredients:

  • Oats- 30 gm
  • Oatmeal- 30 gm 
  • Honey- 40 gm
  • Butter- 20 gm
  • Dark chocolate/ chocolate chips- 30 gm

Procedure:

  • Blend the oats to prepare oatmeal. Chop the dark chocolate if you do not have chocolate chips.
  • In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
  • Make small roundels and place on a greased baking tray. 
  • Preheat oven at 200 degrees Centigrade/392 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile refrigerate the cookies for some time.
  • Press and flatten the cookies a little and bake at 200 degrees Centigrade/392 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
  • Let it cool and enjoy!

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Bonus tips:

  • If you want you can add some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds to the cookie mix.

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Wholesome Shrimp Spaghetti

Good day to you all!

A perfectly balanced dish, it is perfect for any meal and everyone will love it. This dish is a perfect combination of taste and health. Shrimps or prawns give it that beautiful flavor and the spinach gives this dish its rich green hue.

Ingredients:

  • Butter: 25 gm
  • Garlic: 10 cloves
  • Shrimps/ Prawns: 75 gm
  • Onion/ Shallots: 2 large
  • Flour: 10 gm
  • Milk: 50 ml
  • Spinach: 100 gm
  • Basil: 10- 12 leaves
  • Processed cheese: 30 gm
  • Salt: as required
  • Black pepper: as required
  • Italian seasoning: 2 tbsp
  • Spaghetti: 100 gm or a handful

Procedure:

  • Fine chop the garlic and keep aside. Chop the onions or shallots and keep aside. Grate the cheese and keep aside. Wash and cut the roots away of the spinach leaves. cut the bunch in half and keep aside.
  • De-head and de-vein the prawns or shrimps, wash them and keep them aside.
  • Heat some water in a saucepan, once the water comes to a boil, add the spinach leaves. Let it blanch for 2 minutes, strain and keep aside. Wash the basil leaves and place in a blender. Add the cooled down spinach leaves and blend it to a smooth paste and keep aside. Do not squeeze the water out of the spinach before blending. Keep the paste aside.
  • Heat some water in a saucepan.Add a tbsp of olive oil or refined oil and a tbsp of salt. Once the water comes to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook till well done.
  • In a saucepan, add a knob of butter and saute the garlic till it becomes golden in color. Add the shrimps and fry till pink in color. Make sure they are not overcooked else they will become rubbery.
  • Remove the shrimps and keep aside. In the same pan, add some more butter and fry the onions till translucent.
  • Add the flour and fry till light golden. Add the milk to the pan and cook till it becomes a little thick. Add the spinach and basil paste to the pan.
  • Lower the flame, add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and 3/4 of the grated cheese. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till it reaches a saucy consistency,i.e thick and pouring.
  • Add the shrimps, cooked spaghetti and combine well. Check the seasonings and remove from flame.
  • Your pasta is ready. Garnish with the remaining grated cheese and basil. Enjoy all by itself or a with a slice of toasted garlic bread.

Bonus tips:

  • Do not throw the pasta water away. In case the sauce becomes too thick, add the pasta water to maintain consistency.
  • I added fresh basil, you can add some dried basil to the sauce if you want. You can also skip basil altogether. Basil adds a strong flavor to the dish but it is optional.
  • You can add Parmesan cheese if you have it, else go ahead with processed cheese.

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Nuts, seeds and Chocolate- 3 ways

Good day to you all!

Mother’s day is coming up and I feel they deserve nothing but the best. You can never go wrong with some chocolates handmade with a sprinkle of love. In this post I decided to share some artisanal chocolate treats using some nuts and seeds. It is insanely easy and a well packed pouch can definitely be the perfect Mother’s day gift. Good to gift, share or have it all by yourself.

Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate (You can also use milk/ white chocolate)
  • Nuts( Almond, Pistachio, Cashew or any nuts of your choice)
  • Seeds( Pumpkin seed, Watermelon seeds, Sunflower seeds)

Procedure:

Type 1: Chocolate Mendiant

  • Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave in a dry bowl.
  • Roast the nuts and seeds in microwave at 250 degrees Celsius / 482 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or till roasted and golden in color. The seeds are to be placed in the baking tray after 10 minutes, thereby roasting it for 5 minutes.
  • You can also roast it on a tawa if you do not have a microwave.
  • Pour some chocolate in a piping bag and pipe out little circles on a tray or a plate lined with a butter paper.
  • Alternatively you can use a spoon and pour little amounts of chocolate.
  • Place an almond, a cashew, and two seeds. You can change it up and place nuts and seeds accordingly.
  • Let the chocolate set in a cool area or in the refrigerator. Release from the tray and store it in a cool and dry place.

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Type 2: Chocolate nut clusters

  • Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave in a dry bowl.
  • Roast the nuts in microwave at 250 degrees Celsius / 482 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or till roasted and golden in color. 
  • You can also roast it on a tawa if you do not have a microwave.
  • Now drop all the nuts in the melted chocolate. Either use your fingers or a spoon and scoop out three to four nuts and place on butter paper.
  • Let the chocolate set in a cool area or in the refrigerator. Release from the tray and store it in a cool and dry place.

Type 3: Crunchy chocolate clusters

  • Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave in a dry bowl.
  • Roast the nuts and seeds in microwave at 250 degrees Celsius / 482 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or till roasted and golden in color. The seeds are to be placed in the baking tray after 10 minutes, thereby roasting it for 5 minutes.
  • You can also roast it on a tawa if you do not have a microwave.
  • On a greased tray ,place nuts and seeds and spread them evenly.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add some sugar and sprinkle some water. Let the sugar caramelize. Once the sugar dissolves completely and gets a light golden color, pour the caramel on the greased tray over the nuts.
  • Let it cool and harden.
  • Crush the praline into pieces using a pestle or any other heavy tool into a crumble.
  • Now drop the crushed pieces in the melted chocolate. Either use your fingers or a spoon and scoop out some nut and seed mix and place on butter paper.
  • Let the chocolate set. Release from the tray and store it in a cool and dry place.

Bonus tips:

  • In case you do not have butter paper, take a steel tray or a baking tray and lightly grease with oil. The mendiant chocolates will be a little difficult to release but the clusters will come out perfectly.
  • To clean the saucepan in which you made caramel, just add water and boil it. The sugar will dissolve in the water and can be cleaned easily.
  • Keep an eye on the caramel, the chocolate will taste bitter if the caramel goes too far.
  • Ensure that no water comes in contact with the chocolate, as the chocolate might seize. Keep your bowls and spatula dry.

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Pyaaz ke pakode(Onion fritters)

Good day to you all!

Kolkata is experiencing frequent rains and we Bengalis love to have these pakodas with cha(tea). Make it on those rainy evenings or any time of the day and team it with some cardamom tea and you got yourself a winner.

Ingredients:

  • Onion- 2 large
  • Green chili- 2 nos. (as preferred)
  • Besan(gram flour)- 5 tbsp
  • Kala jeera( nigella seeds)- 1 tsp
  • Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt- as required
  • Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1 to 2 tbsp
  • Refined oil- for deep frying
  • Black salt- to sprinkle

Procedure:

  • Slice up the onions and fine chop the chilies.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well.
  • Heat up some refined oil in a kadhai and using your fingers, scoop up some mix and drop in the hot oil.
  • The shape and size can be altered. I prefer smaller pakodas as they turn out crispier. Fry till golden brown, remove and place on tissue to soak up excess oil.
  • Sprinkle black salt or chat masala and you are done! Have it with some puffed rice/ muri and tea.

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Bonus tips:

  • Add a tbsp of rice flour if you want it to be crispier.

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Vegan egg-less chocolate lava cake

Good day to you all!

Unavailability of snacks and sweets has led me to some serious chocolate cravings. Are you also craving for some warm molten chocolate oozing out of a cake? I have got you covered. Just make sure you have some chocolate and rest consists of basic staples. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • Flour- 60 gm
  • Icing sugar(powdered sugar)- 90 gm
  • Cocoa powder- 30 gm
  • Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- 1/4 tsp
  • Water- 120 ml
  • Refined oil/ melted butter: 30 ml
  • Chocolate chunks

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your tin molds and keep them ready. I used silicon molds so I didn’t grease it. You can use ramekins, cupcake molds, tiny oven safe bowls.
  • Keep your chocolate chunk or block ready.
  • In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients and mix them.
  • Add the water and mix using a whisk or a fork. Add the oil or butter and mix well.
  • Fill up half of your mold with the batter, then place a chunk of chocolate. Pour the batter on top of it but make sure you cover only 2/3 of the mold so that it leaves room for the cake to rise.
  • Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-7 minutes. Alternatively you can skip the preheating and bake it in microwave setting instead of convection for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove the lava cake from the mold and serve it hot. You can also serve it in the mold itself. You can dust some icing sugar, add a scoop of ice- cream or even drizzle some syrup over it. I prefer having it as it is.


Bonus Tips:

  • If you do not have dark chocolate, place a chunk of any chocolate, it would taste a little different but no one can go wrong with some chocolate.
  • While taking out of the oven the top should be firm and cooked but should feel soft.
  • If the cake doesn’t come out of the mold, serve it in the mold.
  • Do not put any metal mold in microwave option. Silicon molds go well with both types of baking.
  • In case you are making smaller portion just convert it to tablespoons. A tablespoon is equivalent to 15 grams.

Do let me know if you bake it in the comments below. Like and share if you liked it:)

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