Chocolate cupcakes

My daughter was complaining that the cupcakes I made were very dry. So I decided to change the recipe and here is the final version.

   
 Beat 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/4 cup oil and 2/3 cup sugar until soft and silky. 

Add vanilla essence and 4 eggs one at a time while beating until it mixes well on a low speed.

Add 3/4 cup plain flour and cocoa powder (unsweetened) each, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup milk and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

In a preheated oven (190 deg. Cel.) bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out dry

In the meanwhile, let’s make the buttercream frosting.

Beat unsalted butter 200gms, until soft and silky. Add vanilla essence and mix. Now add 3 cups of icing sugar, 1 tbsp meringue powder and 1/4 cup milk. Add coloring. Mix well until the frosting is to your liking. 

Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.

  

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Lemon Cake

   
 
Beat 200gms of butter with 1 cup of sugar (You may adjust the sugar as per your requirement) basically 1 slab and oil ( a little less than 1/4 cup).

Once the batter is smooth add 4 eggs and vanilla essence.

Add 2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder after sifting.

Add the zest of 2 lemons and it’s juice.

Mix well to form a smooth batter.

Divide the batter in 2 small cake pans and let it bake for 55 minutes at 180 deg. Cel.

Almost a year back – I came across a new style of martial arts – Krav Maga. The name itself sounds so sexy that I had to try it. The kind of person that I am, I have to try something new and if it is fashionably exotic – it has to be stamped on my passport of adventures. Before I started training I was quite anxious. It was a new form of contact sport – something I had never tried before and I didn’t know the level of pain, I was going to feel.

My stint of martial arts completely ended when I started Taekwondo. when in the second week. I was quite enjoying the aah hoo and kicking in the air. Then we had to kick pads. While I was holding up the pads when my dear friend kicked hard to show off – missed the pad and hit my lip. My lips were swollen and I resembled someone who had smooched too many times. That was the last day. Beauty, comes before learning to protect yourself.

However, after many years I found my courage to try martial arts again. Soon I got excited by this sport. Unlike India coaches, here, they are not out to get you.  They are quite alright with taking it slow. But, I did not know that I had the basic KM attitude in me. Having born and brought up in India I had the KM attitude in me ever since I joined college. Roaming the busy streets of Mumbai, one learns to protect oneself from pinches, butt slaps and being pushed. So if you wish to catch a train you definitely need to have your elbows strong. I had gone a step ahead with an elbow on one side and an umbrella on the other. And when I started learning the art form all I had to do was dig deep inside, get to know the old me travelling in local trains. Thankfully it had stayed from then on.

Dahi Vada

The fist time I made dahi vada, was a tragedy, the vadas were so hard that it could have done some serious injury. Over the years I have perfected this snack and has become a much requested item.

Ingredients

For the Vada:

1 cupe white urad dal

2 green chilies

1 inch piece of ginger

Oil for frying

A pot of water

For the Dahi (yogurt):

4 cups of yogurt plain

1/4 cups of sugar

For the Ganishing:

1/4 cups tamarind soaked in water

10 Jaggery crushed

chili powder

pepper powder

salt

Method:

  1. Soak Urad dal for 6 – 8 hours.
  2. Remove excess water and grind to smooth paste. Add ginger and chili while grinding.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. It should be of dropping consistency.
  5. add the soak tamarind, it’s juice and jaggery to pan and gently heat till all is well mixed. You will need a thick liquid so add water if needed. the mixture will be sweet and sour.
  6. Heat oil to a medium and drop the vadas in. I can do 4 at a time in my pot.
  7. Remove from the oil once golden brown and soak in water.
  8. The vadas will float in water and as water seeps in these will becomes heavy and drown to the bottom.
  9. Whip sugar and yogurt to a smooth texture.
  10. Squeeze excess water from the soaked vadas and add it to the bowl.
  11. Pour the yogurt mixture.
  12. Add the tamarind juice, salt, pepper powder and chilli powder to taste.
  13. Serve and let your guests enjoy.

Meatloaf

I have had this weird caving where I want to have only Indian vegetarian food. It is weird because I love meat and I thought it would die off in a couple of weeks. This went on for so long that my family refused to boycott home cooked meals. Finally, I caved in and made them a meatloaf. You can imagine the joy on their face. Read below for the recipe.

  
Ingredients

1.5 cup shredded carrots

1 yellow pepper

3 cups of mince meat

1 egg

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

3 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 red chili

4 tbsp BBQ sauce

2 tbsp ketchup

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 200 deg. cel.

Add all ingredients except the olive oil and mix.

Pat the mixture on a tin to create a shape of a bread and rub with olive oil.

Let it bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Serve with tomato sauce and baked potatoes.

Baked Potatoes

I love potatoes. Who doesn’t? My daughter. She does not even crave french fries. So this post is definitely not for her. To all those who love potatoes.

  
Ingredients

8 New potatoes

2 tbsp Dried Rosemary

3 tbsp Olive oil

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven at 200 deg. cel.

Cut into halves the new potatoes.

Toss them in a pan with the rest of the ingredients.

Bake in the over for 30  minutes.

Note: You may add other vegetables to this if you wish.

Rice Kheer or Porridge….what’s in a name

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes. For a food lover that was torture. This morning he was craving for something indulgent. This is what I made for him.

Ingredient

3 tbsp rice (any kind)

2.5 cups milk

2 tbsp pistachios

2 tbsp almonds

2 dates

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp clarified butter (ghee)

IMG_4460

Method

Soak rice, pistachios and almonds in a separate bowls for 30 minutes.

Drain the rice and roast it in ghee till it tuns golden brown.

Add milk and continue cooking the rice while using a ladle to scrape of cream from the sides of your pot.

In the meanwhile, peel the pistachios and almonds.

Once only a cup of milk remains add the sugar and mix well. The rice will also have been cooked by now.

Chop the dates and mix it in with the porridge.

Remove in a bowls and garnish with the chopped nuts.

Orange Chicken

My daughter loves meat and prefers a little sweet marinade. So here is what I made tonight.

Ingredients:

Chicken 1 cup

Red pepper juliennes 1

Yellow pepper 1

Sesame seeds 2 tbsp

Onion juliennes 1

Garlic pods crushed 2

Ginger juliennes 1 inch piece

Five spice powder 1 tsp

Honey 1 tsp

Soya sauce 1 tbsp

Oyster sauce 1 tbsp

Oranges peeled and deseeded 2

Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

* although the ingredients list is pretty long the entire thing doesn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Method

Heat oil in a pan and add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté till onion in golden.

Add the chicken and sauté for a minute then add the peppers. Sauté for another minute.

Add the remaining ingredients sauté till chicken is cooked.

Serve on a bed of steamed rice.