Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaf Cake

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My all time summer favorite combination is Lemon and Blueberry, and when you combine them in a mini loaf, they are irresistible! While I enjoy baking almost anytime of the day, I usually have sudden morning cravings for freshly baked goodies. And this no fail classic comes to my rescue every time. Its almost like saying that when life gives you lemons, you make these Lemon and Blueberry Mini Loafs.

The burst of freshness from the blueberries and the tang from the lemon, these mini bundles of wowness is not to missed this summer. They are an epitome of summer yumness. Buttery, lemon-y and yummy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 – 5 mini loaf cake)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 80 grams jaggery powder or granulated white sugar
  • 60 grams butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp heaped baking powder
  • 1/ 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter or spray your mini loaf tins. (I used a mini loaf liner hence didn’t have to butter or spray)
  • In a bowl take the blueberries, 1 tbsp of flour and toss together until bluebrries are all coated with flour and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, lemon zest and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a another bowl take the butter and beat it using a electric beater until soft. Add the jaggery or white sugar and beat it until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Add 1 egg and beat it until just incorporated. add lemon juice and beat it for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Now add the flour mixture and milk and fold it gently until the mixture is just incorporated.
  • Add the blueberries and fold it gently into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter equally into the baking moulds and bake it for 28 -30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, let it cool down and then dive in!

Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink)

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Scorching heat, the summer holidays, a chilled glass of a tangy and sweet Raw Mango drink that mum used to make before I headed out to play – all that and more is so synonymous with Indian summer season. This Raw Mango Cooler aka Aam Panna is a summer to-do in almost every Indian household. It reminds me of my childhood in every way. Being a mum of a 2.5 year old makes me relive my summer childhood days with my son with this cooler almost every day.

This thirst quencher is made with green raw mangoes along with spices and tastes absolutely delish. Make a huge batch and you won’t be surprised that it will get over so soon.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 6 – 8 people)

  • 3 medium sized Raw Mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (you can adjust this depending on your preference)
  • 12 – 15 fresh mint leaves + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
  • 8 – 9 ice cubes
  • chilled water (according to the consistency you desire)

METHOD:

  • Take the chopped and desseded raw mangoes along with some water and pressure cooker it for 3 – 4 whistles or until its tender and cooked.
  • Once done, let the steam escape and let the mixture cool down completely.
  • Take all the ingredients – cooked mangoes, cumin powder, sugar, rock salt, ice cubes and fresh mint leaves along with some water and blend it to make a puree. (You can store this puree for a couple of days).
  • Take the puree, add some water (depending on the consistency you like for your drink), mix it well and serve in glasses.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves, roasted cumin powder and ice cubes and serve.

 

 

Mayo Pasta Salad

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A bowl of scrumptious salad, freshly prepared chilled juice and a bite sized healthy desserts is what I usually crave for during the days when the temperature is soaring. Vibrant, fresh and delicious is what salad means to me and this Mayo Pasta Salad is my definition of a boring salad made exciting. I am sure by now you must be knowing how much I love my food and that I can’t eat the same thing day in and day out. Given this, I cannot thrive on leafy salads all the time and this salad fits in beautifully in my meal plans.

I throw in all the bits of veggies kept in the fridge, play around with a few dressing ideas and tada! my salad in ready. Creamy, crunchy, spicy and sweet – all packed in a single bowl of this mayo pasta salad that you ought to fall in love with this!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 1 3/4 cup uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
  • 3/4 cup peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise (I used store bought mayonnaise)
  • 6 tbsp yogurt/ hung curd (I used Epigamia Artisinal yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (I used Bhut Sriracha Sauce)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water along with a tsp of salt on stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Once done put the uncooked pasta and let it cook until al dente.
  • Once it is cooked, drain it and run the pasta under tap water and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together yogurt, sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until its smooth.
  • Take a bowl add all the ingredients – peppers, broccoli, pasta, parsley, cilantro and mix it gently.
  • Add the dressing and toss it until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Garnish with berries and serve!

Banana and Nutella Quick Bread

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It’s time to reveal my secret (not so secret anymore) elixir for times when I am down and out – Banana and Nutella Quick Bread! I made this bread with ragi and oats flour and it all about comfort and yumness! Tried, tested and never failed with this recipe. And I hope you now understand why it’s my favorite – super easy, super quick and no scope of messing it up!
The freshly grounded cinnamon-y flavor to the nutty flavor from the flours, everyone’s favorite Nutella to the goodness from the banana in every bite, makes it a delicious dessert to dive in all through the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 – 9 inch loaf)

  • 100 grams oats flour
  • 90 grams ragi flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, medium sized
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil + extra for brushing
  • 100 grams melted Nutella

METHOD

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile spray or brush you baking mould with oil and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl sift your flours, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder and whisk it. Add chia seeds and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mash the banana using a fork into small chunks. Add oil, sugar and vanilla extract to it and mix it well using a wire whisk.
  • Add the wet and dry ingredients and fold it until just combined.
  • Transfer half of it to the baking mould. Put half the Nutella and using a skewer make a design. Repeat the process.
  • Allow it to bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done take it out of the oven. Allow it to cool. Then slice it up and serve!

Thai Rainbow Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

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I have started to believe that I have a thing towards fresh produce and making everything from scratch whether its salad dressings, breads, ghee and possibly everything within my scope. There is still a long way to go, lot of skills to learn however I am loving this. Using local and fresh ingredients rather than frozen ones adds such a depth of flavor and a feel good factor in everything you make. The effort that goes in making everything perfect for your family and friends, making everything pure and good is a true epitome of love and affection.

This salad is all about freshness – delicious and crunchy ingredients, a flavorful dressing, beautifully tossed together and yay! its ready. A perfect way to welcome the summer and enjoy every bit of homemade thai flavors.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 5 people)

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red carrots, julineed
  • 1/3 cup mixed bell peppers, julineed
  • 180 – 200 grams rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli, for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

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METHOD:

For the dressing:

  • Whisk everything together until incorporated and keep aside until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • Take a bowl filled with boiling hot water and place the rice vermicelli noodles in it. Let it soak for 2 – 3 minutes or until the noodles is cooked.
  • Once done drain it and wash it with tap water. Allow the water to completely drain off.
  • In a large bowl mix together red cabbage, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, coriander leaves, black sesame seeds and noodles and toss it so that everything is almost evenly distributed.
  • Add the dressing and toss it.
  • Garnish with red chilli, peanuts and coriander leaves and serve!

 

 

Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I have a special relationship with muffins. Be it a classic chocolate chip muffin or a blueberry muffin, I usually whip up atleast one batch of a different muffin every week. A freshly baked muffin for breakfast is what I call a perfect start to my day. And this classic Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffin is a dream come true on the breakfast table. The aroma of freshly baked goodies, the beautifully baked muffins right out of the oven sitting atop the kitchen top and waiting to be devoured – the sense of happiness and excitement is unparalleled. These muffins needs no frills or fancies. Its about the basic ingredients all whipped together to bring a smile on your face when you bite into it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 muffins)

  • 60 grams whole wheat flour
  • 30 grams oats flour
  • 70 grams brown sugar
  • 60 ml oil
  • 120 ml yogurt (I used Epigamia Artisinal yogurt)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp heaped baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. LIne your cupcake tray with liners or spray it with a cooking spray generously and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix whole wheat flour and oats flour and keep aside
  • In another bowl mix oil, sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk it well. Now add baking soda and baking powder to it and whisk it.
  • Add the flour mix into the wet ingredients and fold it until incorporated.
  • Add the chocolate chips and fold it gently into the mixture.
  • Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin moulds and bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, allow it to cool done and dive in!

Gharwali Khichdi

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Basic homestyle khichdi is my synonym for comfort food. There is nothing better that can remind you of clean and sumptuous home food than this Khichdi. A bowl of piping hot Mixed Dal Khichdi, a generous dollop of ghee and a fragrant tadka – a complete one pot meal and definitely your answer to a lazy day food.

 

Growing up in a Marwari family, khichdi was a pretty regular affair in the kitchen with so many different variations. Not only was it served with homemade ghee but also with kadhi, pickle, papad, fried munchies and curd. A simple dish was ornated and with that extra touch of love (read Ghee!) from grandmom made it even more delicious. Light on the tummy, nutritious and yummy, this lentil and rice concoction has been one of my all time favorite Indian meal. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes (I took half moong dal and half Toor dal)
  • 1 green chili, split lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • hing, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro leaves, for garnsihing
  • fried onion, for garnsihing

METHOD:

  • Take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Meanwhile wash the lentils under water a couple of times.
  • Once the saucepan is heated, put ghee. Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, green chili, red chilli, grated ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pod and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Now add the washed lentils and stir for 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Add some salt and turmeric powder and mix it well. Add 1 cup of water and mix it. Cover the saucepan and let the lentil for 10 minutes or so.
  • Once half done, add the washed rice into the saucepan and give it a good stir. Add more salt and around 2 1/2 cups of water and stir. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the mix cook for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentil is perfectly cooked.
  • Once done, transfer it to a bowl, garnish with coriander leaves, fried onions and a generous dollop of ghee and dig in!