Strawberry and Cream Cake

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Strawberry and Cream – does that ring a bell? I remember those winter days in Kolkata when I ate a huge bowl full of fresh strawberry and cream and I fell in love even more everyday. It almost became a part of my meal each day such that I ended up eating less of my staples because I needed to eat my bowl of happiness. This cake is a dedicated for my love towards Strawberry and Cream! I am enamored by the ruby red strawberries and can’t contain my excitement when I get hold of the freshest batch at the grocery store. Its like giving a kids his favorite candy, pure joy! I love it, I am obsessed by it and then fall in love with it even more.

This cake is no brainer, no ornated cake. Simple, basic pantry staples to bake a moist and vanilla rich cake. And then let your imagination flow. I have done a basic whipped cream decoration with lots of strawberry chunks and fresh blueberries to adorn my lil cake. Grab your box of strawberries because you can’t go wrong with it ever!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 6 inch round cake)

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour (you can also use all purpose flour/ maida)
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 160 grams white granulated sugar
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder, slightly heaped
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced
  • 8 – 10 fresh blueberries, to garnish

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C. Butter/ oil your cake tin and lightly flour it and keep aside.
  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and whisk it until just incorporated. Now add one egg at a time and beat it until just incorporated.
  • Add whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder to this egg mixture and fold it. Add milk and fold the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the mould and put it to bake for 35 – 38 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done allow it to cool and then de-mould it. Allow the cake to completely cool down. This may take several hours.
  • Once its closer to cooling down, place a bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Take the bowl and pour in the whipping cream and icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks are formed.
  • You can add some chopped strawberries to it. Cover the cake with the cream. You can divide the cake horizontally and then apply whipped cream between the 2 halves of the cake along with the top and sides.
  • Garnish with remaining strawberries and blueberries and enjoy!

 

Chocolate and Almond Biscottis

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What is holidays and merry making without any chocolate? A quintessential ingredient while baking because chocolate makes things taste darn delicious. One of my all time favorite holiday pairing is Chocolate and Almonds and when you get both these in a biscotti, its pure bliss. The magic of chocolate and almond is such that it entices you with every bite. The crunchy toasted almonds and the chunks of dark chocolate is a perfect treat for this holiday winter!

This year has been phenomenal for me. Everyday was a new day with lots of learn and relearn. Professionally and personally I have grown and become more confident. Yes, every path has its own hurdles, I learnt how to embrace it, work on it and come out of it sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully. And every lesson learnt called for a celebration and these biscottis is a reminder to the awesome year that almost flew past my eyes. A great treat to munch during the day before your ring in the new year. Crunchy, chocolaty and something which shouldn’t be missed this year!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 15 – 16 biscottis)

  • 120 grams blanched almonds
  • 110 grams all purpose flour
  • 110 grams whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 135 grams granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120 grams dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking try with parchment paper and keep aside. Spread the blanched almonds on the sheet and bake it for 10 – 12 minutes  until just fragnant.
  • One done remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Chop it roughly and keep aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl add the eggs and granulated white sugar and beat until thick and pale. This would take about 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat it for 30 – 40 seconds. To this add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, orange zest and salt and beat it until just combined.
  • Now add roughly chopped chocolate chunks and almonds and fold in the mixture gently.
  • Transfer this dough to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out in the shape of a log around 12 – 13 inches long and 4 – 4.5 inches wide. Bake this for 22 – 25 minutes.
  • Once done remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 – 7 minutes. Take a sharp knife and cut the log into pieces which is 3/4 inch – 1 inch thick.
  • Preheat your oven to 170C for atleast 10 minutes. Keep each piece of half baked biscotti side by side on the baking tray and put it to bake on one side for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Flip the biscottis on the other side and allow it to bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once done remove it from the oven and allow it cool completely. Once cooled bite into this magical biscottis.
  • You can store it in an airtight container for 10 – 12 days.

 

 

Fig and Almond Cake

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Love to eat a cake at breakfast or do you love your tea time with a stumptuous piece of cake? Do not worry because this recipe has got you cravings covered. A simple and delicious cake often needs no introduction. A cake which has been adorning my breakfast and brunch tables these days is a Fig and Almond Cake. It is as pretty as it tastes and darn easy to make!

I must confess as much as I love eating cakes, I am not a bog fan of the frosting and fondants that come along with it. I hated it as a child because it was overly sweet and overpowered the true flavors of the cake and the feeling still prevails. When it comes to my kitchen, I enjoy baking cakes free of frosting. Something which is simple, naked and true to its flavors.

This cake is moist and fluffy. The combination of fresh and dried figs together in the cake is so magical. The subtle cardamom flavors lends an aromatic and spicy nature to the cake. The gorgeous and perfectly toasted almonds on the top adds the perfect crunch to the entire cake. Such simple ingredients yet a pretty little cake that you can never get bored off!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 6 inch cake)

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 egg
  •  3/4 cup plain buttermilk (you can use 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp melted butter, room temperature + extra for greasing the cake tin
  • 1/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, for garnishing
  • 10 – 12 fresh figs, cut in circles for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, for garnishing

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter and flour the cake tin and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, and salt and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and almond extract and keep aside.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mixture and fold gently.
  • Add the dried figs to the mixture and fold in until its evenly spread.
  • Transfer the mixture to the cake mould. Now top it with fresh fig slices, sliced almonds.
  • Allow the cake to bake in the oven for 22 – 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, allow the cake to cool down, garnish with icing sugar, slice it and eat!

Enjoy!

 

Stone Fruit Galette

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Looking for a dish to adorn your sunday brunch table or a nice rustic dessert to make your weeknights exciting – this rustic stone fruit galette is the simple answer. It is goodness bundled into a fuss free easy pie which lets you enjoy the tone and the produce of the season. It’s a perfect way to show off the perfectly ripe and juicy stone fruits available in the market.

I am always enchanted by the rustic galettes. They are so appetizing and pretty to look that I want to eat the whole thing almost instantaneously. The wonderful colorful fruits are wrapped in a flakey rustic pastry, baked in no time and topped with sugar – oh so tempting! They are definitely less demanding than a pie and stunningly sumptuous. I heard someone say that its a lazy people’s pie. I am happy to be called lazy if the result is so deadly delicious.

I can’t rave enough about the versitality and the awesomeness of these galettes. Once you make then, they will become your best comfort food. A perfect farewell to the juicy and ripe stone fruits!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 8 – 10 people)

For the pastry:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting and rolling out
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20 gms granulated white sugar
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
  • 6 – 7 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 300 grams of plums, seed removed and cut into wedges
  • 450 grams of peaches, seed removed and cut into wedges=
  • 3 tbsp of granulated white sugar (you can add 1 tbsp more if the stone fruits are sour)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • orange skin segments (optional)
  • mint leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, to garnish (optional)

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take all purpose flour, whol wheat flour, sugar and salt and whisk it. Now add the cold cubes of butter.
  • Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs. It is okay to see small chunks of the butter.
  • Now add the ice cold water a couple of tablespoons at a time and bring together the dough.
  • Dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on it. Add more water if needed and bring it together to make a ball. Cling wrap it and refridgerate it for an hour atleast.
  • Meanwhile you can make the filling. Take the stone fruits in a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt and mix it.
  • Preheat your oven to 220C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Once the dough it chilled, take it out and roll it out to 15 inch circle. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet.
  • Top the pastry with the fruit mixture (you can also layer it piece by piece) leaving 2 – 2.5 inch gap from the edges.
  • Fold the edges over the peaches gently or make pleats if necessary.
  • Take the lightly beaten egg and using a pastry brush, brush on the folded edges which will give it a nice golden color.
  • Allow it to bake for 25 – 28 minutes at 200C or until golden crisp brown.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Garnish with icing sugar, orange skin segments and mint leaves.
  • Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas

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Monsoon therapy with rustic Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas – pure joy! The rains lashing against the window panes, steaming cup of coffee and empanadas – perfect rainy afternoon. Dreamy yummy creations which is bursting with flavors. You have to be crazy to not enjoy these savory pockets!

If that wasn’t enough to lure you to try these out, probably your childhood memories surely will. Remember those vegetable patties and pies you enjoyed at the neighborhood bakery store… oh so delicious! The crisp and flaky pastry and the absolutely gorgeous stuffing…I am already dreaming about it while writing this post. While I was in the US, I often missed those patties until I stumbled upon these hot pockets filled with sumptuous stuffing called empanadas from a famous food truck in San Francisco. It ticked all the boxes for the things I was missing. Homely and satisfying.

I was trying my hands to make empanadas at home and guess what, I  was bursting with ideas. It almost took 1 week for me to calm down and decide about the filling. You can fill the dough with all your favorite things and enjoy these wonders.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 14 – 15 pieces)

For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting and rolling out the dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 grams butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 120 ml ice water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 200 grams button mushrooms, chopped
  • 200 grams cottage cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup spinach, blanched and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

For the dough:

  • Take all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a bowl and whisk it.
  • Using a pastry blender/ 2 forks or using the tips of your fingers, blend the cold butter into the flour mixture until it forms a coarse crumb like mixture.
  • Beat 1 egg, ice cold water and white vinegar in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour-butter mixture and using a fork combine the entire mixture. Do not over knead it.
  • Generously dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on to it.
  • Bring together the entire dough together by gently kneading it.
  • Divide the dough into 2 halves, cling wrap it tightly and refrigerate it for atleast 1.5 hours.

For the mixture:

  • While the dough is resting, take a saucepan on medium heat. Put oil in it.
  • Once its hot add 1 tsp chili flakes and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute it for a minute until it turns translucent.
  • Add mushrooms to the mixture and let it cook for a minute.
  • Now add the remaining chili flakes, salt, black pepper and basil leaves and saute the mixture for couple of minutes,
  • Once done take it from the stove and allow it to cool completely.
  • Once cooled add grated cottage, spinach and mozzarella cheese and form a mixture using a spoon.

To Assemble:

  • Preheat your oven to 230 C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Take some dough and roll it out on a flat surface into round discs of similar sizes ( approximately 6 inch diameter)
  • Take the stuffing and place it on one side of the circle.
  • Take the other end of the dough and form a semi circle. Seal the edges as shown in the picture or by making knife impressions.
  • Once all the pies are formed, beat one egg and using a pastry brush, egg wash the top of the empanadas before they go into the oven to bake.
  • Place the pies atleast 1 inch apart and put it into the oven to bake at 200 C for 18 – 20 minutes, until the empanadas a golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve it hot with a yogurt dip and enjoy!

My Family’s Favorite Egg Curry

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When I look back and retrospect my initial days cooking in the kitchen, a multitude of emotions run through my mind. There is definitely a sense of achievement to see how far I have come along in cooking, each day is better than yesterday. A lot of different techniques, different cuisines and different flavors seems unraveled in front of me, I definitely want to explore and understand the world of food better! This recipe is special to me since its humble and screams of the flavors that me and family enjoy. It was just a few years back when I was attempting to make egg curry and I failed miserably since my eggs weren’t boiled perfectly. And here I am confident about this lip smacking Egg Curry!

This dish falls in my comfort zone food category , quintessential to days when I want to have something delicious and have no time to make something elaborate. A sublime curry with perfectly boiled eggs snuggled in it with layers of Indian flavors – Oh so yum! It’s rustic and a simple dish for all those egg lovers. So just when you were thinking what to cook with parathas or rice, we answered your dilemma with this flavorful Egg Curry!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 3 hard boiled egg, peeled and sliced half
  • 4 big tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 1 medium onion, roughly diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillis, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 – 7 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (you can increase it slightly if you want more spice)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp dried mango powder (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 – 3 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste

METHOD:

  • Take tomato, onions, 1 green chili, ginger and garlic in a mixer grinder and grind it to form a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
  • Now take a kadhai/saucepan on medium heat and add oil. Once its hot, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and the remaining chilli and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Now add the tomato – onion paste and saute it until it starts to thicken. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala and let the mixture cook until it starts to leave oil. Make sure you keep stirring it to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once paste starts to leave the oil, add water and allow the water to boil.
  • Add the boiled eggs and cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the curry to boil for another 2 minutes.
  • Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice or parathas.

Enjoy!

 

 

Double Chocolate Scones

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You don’t need a weekend to have a lavish breakfast loaded with baked goodies and you definitely don’t need a holiday to indulge guilt free. Everyday is another day to rejoice and enjoy everything that you eat (but yes, moderation is the key!). Off late I have been having a quest for sumptuous scones and what better than to bake chocolate scones on #WorldChocolateDay.

While I was baking these, a friend asked me what exactly is a scone. To which I replied, it is a quick bread or probably a quick cake or a quick biscuit. I guess you understood what I was hinting towards. It is a bit of everything which you can make in no time and its oh so good!

These scones are everything a perfect scone should be – tender, moist, fluffy, flaky and packed with white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks. It’s not perfect in shape like the ones you get in some cafe, but it’s slightly more rustic. A perfect tasty treat to enjoy your breakfast or your evening tea party!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 8 scones)

  • 240 grams flour + extra for dusting
  • 25 grams Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 grams granulated white sugar
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 large egg, room temperature and lightly beaten in separate bowls
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk 1 egg lightly. Add milk and vanilla extract, whisk it and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and orange zest and whisk it slightly. Now add the cold cubed butter and using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour until crumbs are formed of the mixture.
  • Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and fold in until the ingredients are just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and fold in until evenly distributed.
  • Lightly flour the kitchen top and transfer the scone dough and knead it a few times. Make sure not to over knead it. the dough should look slightly rustic.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a circle with 8-9 inch diameter.
  • Take a knife or cutter and cut the dough into 8 even sized triangles.
  • Transfer each triangle to the baking sheet. Brush it with a lightly beaten egg and bake the scone for 15 – 18 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool and you can serve it just as is or with whipped cream.

It’s Happy World Chocolate Day so time to bake and enjoy!

 

Berry and Pistachio Biscottis

 

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Who doesn’t loved baked goodies? Sometimes simple baked goodies give you the utmost pleasure. Yes, I am talking about Biscottis. The crunchy biscottis is on the top of my coffee pairing list. Monsoons, your daily dose of cuppa and these lovely Berry and Pistachio Biscottis – perfect!

WARNING: They are highly addictive.

These biscottis reminded me of the rusk and crunchy Indian biscuits I used to enjoy as a child. Dunking those into my glass of milk and biting into it was so much fun. These biscottis are slightly more exotic, but being a biscotti lover I still dunk it into my cup of coffee and enjoy every bite.

It is slightly messy to make these yummy treats but when the aroma of freshly baked goodies waft through the entire house, you can’t help but rejoice. Golden and crisp studded with berries and pistachios is an epitome of how simple things can make life so much more exciting.

Sitting in the balcony, watching the rain come down, enjoying coffee and biscottis, chatting away with my hubby and enjoying my lil one grow day by day – peaceful! So bake these now because its definitely enjoyable at anytime of the day with all your friends and family.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 pieces)

  • 240 grams all purpose flour + 1 cup for dusting and kneading
  • 140 grams granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 grams unsalted pistachios, shelled and broken into 2 – 3 pieces
  • 60 grams dried mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals (optional)

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs using an electric beater on high speed until light, pale and fluffy. This would take about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and beat it for 10 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder and whisk it.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat it until just combined.
  • Now fold in pistachios, mixed berries and rose petals one by one until its evenly distributed throughout the dough mixture.
  • Generously flour the kitchen top and transfer the dough onto it. Smear your hands with flour also so that its easier to work with this dough.
  • Form a log which is 30 cm long and 9 -10 cms wide. Gently place this log on the baking sheet and bake it for 22-25 minutes or until its slightly firm to touch.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool on the wire rack for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150 C.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut diagonals of the log (1.2 – 1.3cm thick). Take the cut biscottis and place it on the baking sheet and bake it for 8 -10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Turn the slices over and bake it on the other side for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. You can store it an air tight container for atleast 8 – 10 days.

Dunk it and enjoy!

 

Quick Powerhouse Patty with Yogurt Dip

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It’s #foodcoma time! These powerhouse patties are an explosion bomb, packed with fresh flavor and great nutrients. I always loved patties since childhood. My mum used to revamp it every single time with different veggies and different herbs to make our meals more exciting! Yes, I get these genes from her. A lot has changed  in my life since I have attained motherhood. When it comes to food, I try to eat healthier stuff, more superfood and introduce the same to my child by alternating the favors. To my surprise my 2 year old mini bomb loves it too!

These patty is quite literally everything. The delicious concoction of nutritious veggies, the lushness from the fresh herbs and the abundance of super-food all comes together to create a firework of amazing flavors. All this complemented with a zippy yogurt sauce, it is phenomenal.

So just when you were pondering what to eat with your cup of tea during monsoons, we’ve got a quick and easy solution for you!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 8 – 10 pieces)

For the patty:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, for cooking the patty
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly crushed black pepper, to taste

For the dip:

  • 120 grams plain Greek Yoghurt (I used Epigamia Yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

METHOD:

For the patty:

  • Cook the quinoa as instructed in the package. Once cooked, fluff it with a fork and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the spinach leaves and once blanched, run it under cold water. Roughly chop it and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl, mix chopped onion, grated carrot, chopped spinach leaves, chopped basil leaves, parsley, chili flakes, garlic and lemon zest and mix it with a spoon.
  • Add cooked quinoa, lightly beaten egg, salt and pepper and mix the mixture using your hand.
  • Lastly add the Panko bread crumbs and completely mix the patty mixture. Keep it in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Take out the patty mixture from the fridge and using an ice-cream scoop, take a scoop of the mixture, roll it and slightly flatten it.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining mixture.  Keep the balls in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile take a flat pan and put it on medium heat. Spray 1/2 tbsp of oil.
  • Now put the patty on the pan, drizzle some oil on the patty and allow it to cook until its crisp and golden brown on each side.
  • Repeat the process for all the patty and keep it aside.

For the dip:

  • Take Greek yogurt in a bowl. Whisk it slightly using a wire whisk.
  • Add lemon and salt and mix it with a spoon.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Now place the patty in a platter along with the dip and serve immediately!

 

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

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Some things are Pretty, Simple and absolutely Delicious and one of which is Cherries! So let’s jump into the cherry-chatter that has been taking place in everyone’s kitchen. Every corner of my fridge is filled with fresh cherries and its aroma and flavor is incredibly intoxicating! And what better way to celebrate the season of cherries than baking these super easy and moist Cherry and Dark Chocolate Muffins!

The aroma of freshly baked muffins wafting through the entire house is insanely magical. Muffins are indeed my haven whenever I am craving something sweet. When these simple vanilla muffins are studded with juicy red pitted cherries and chunks of dark chocolate – it’s every chocolate and fruit lover’s fantasy! The delicious pop of flavor from the fresh cherries has made be fall in love with these muffins. Chunks of dark chocolate makes it so decadent. Nothing beats a perfectly golden crisp and moist muffin to brighten up your day!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (12 Regular Muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup halved fresh cherries, pit removed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped in chunks
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tbsp milk (optional)
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line your muffin baking tray with liners and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, brown sugar and caster sugar and mix it using a wire whisk.
  • In another bowl, take a large egg and beat it lightly using a wire whisk or fork. Now add yogurt, oil and vanilla extract and whisk it until just combined.
  • Add the pitted and halved cherries to the dry ingredients.
  • Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently until the mixture is just combined.
  • Finally add the chocolate chunks and combine gently. If the batter is too thick then add 2 tbsp of milk and fold gently.
  • Fill the muffin cups evenly with an ice-cream scoop until each cup is 3/4th filled with batter.
  • Put it in the oven and allow the muffins to bake for around 18 – 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool on the wire rack for atleast 15 – 20 minutes and its time to dig into deliciousness.

Happy days ahead!