Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaf Cake

_DSC0681

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!

_DSC0689

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

_DSC0676

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!

4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Jam

_DSC0277

Jams often reminds me of my childhood days. It transports me back it in time when mum used to generously slather store bought jam on a piece of bread and then tummy was happy! The fridge door was usually adorned with a plethora of beautiful and colorful jars of jams – berry, orange and lots more. To me jam making always seemed like a difficult process, until I tried to give it a shot. My first homemade jam was a strawberry chia jam and believe me it was darn delicious! I realized how very few ingredients can be turned into something so wonderful and addictive. With Christmas approaching, I have already begun the multitude of baking sessions in my kitchen. This Cranberry Jam is a must try. Layer it on your toast, swirl it in your festive loaf cakes, fill it in your cookies – it tastes delicious.

A quick, 4 ingredient recipe is sure to win everyone’s heart. Planning to gift homemade goodies this Christmas to friends and family or planning to make some dessert for the party, this Jam is the answer to all your needs.

_DSC0286

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 cup)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

METHOD:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

 

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

 

_DSC0153

Hunting for an easy peasy recipe for a non chocolate cookie – these bright buttery cookies are soon going to be your elixir for happiness. While chocolate cookies are almost everyone’s favorite, these lemon – thyme cookies are magical! Shortbread cookies are an epitome of glamour and simplicity. They are fun to make – quite therapeutic and almost like your canvas where you can play around with different flavor combination and make these little heart wonders.

Bright and buttery – these lemon and thyme cookies are perfect additions to your breakfast as well as tea time table. The freshness from the locally sourced fresh lemons and the fragrance from fresh thyme makes you want to go for another bite. Absolutely scrumptious. Minimal ingredients, fool proof recipe and these little indulgent and melt in your mouth cookies are ready in no time.

Share some love with these cookies!

_DSC0143

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 16 – 18 cookies)

  • 1 cup multigrain flour + extra for dusting
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 35 grams granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • few thyme leave sprigs, for garnishing

_DSC0148

METHOD:

  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until they are smooth and creamy. This would take around 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 seconds.
  • Add in multi-grain flour and salt and beat it on low speed for 40 – 50 seconds , until its just combined.
  • Now to this mixture add lemon juice, lemon zest and thyme leaves and beat it for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to your kitchen top. Make sure that the kitchen top is lightly floured. Combine the entire dough mixture. Do not over mix/ over knead it.
  • Flatten the dough mixture into a disc shape, cling wrap it and put it the fridge to chill for atleast 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile pre heat your oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Line your baking sheet with a parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Lightly flour the surface. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch think circle. Take heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out the cookies.
  • Transfer each cookie to the baking sheet. Garnish it with thyme sprigs. Allow the cookie to bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown.
  • Once done, take it out from the oven and allow it to cool completely and enjoy!

 

 

 

Easy Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans Curry)

_DSC0631

When I think about Indian comfort food, Rajma Chawal tops my list every time. I am not the kind of person who loves to eat Indian food everyday, but eating different cuisines and combinations each day, Rajma Chawal provides that brief hiatus where I go back to my roots, simple home style food where the magic of spices is unparalleled.

As a child mum used to make different versions of Rajma – sometimes without onion garlic, sometimes with a bit of cream and sometimes with potatoes in it. I enjoyed all these different varieties, but my favorite was the one which my friend used to get in her lunch. I remember gobbling down her entire lunch in school on days she got Rajma. I often tried to replicate her recipe, but failed each time. I think that it is the world’s best Rajma chawal and my friend refuses to share the recipe.

Each bite of this curry unveils the perfect blend of Indian spices. The melt in your mouth rajma (kidney beans) along with a flavorful onion-tomato gravy instantly can win anyone’s heart. Pair it with basic steamed rice, pickled onions and papad – quick and easy meals are sorted!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 3/4 cup uncooked rajma (kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 – 5 -cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili, cut lengthwise
  • 1 – 2 bay leaf
  • 4 – 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp rajma masala powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp  garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pinch of baking soda (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped for garnishing
  • lemon wedges, to serve

_DSC0632

METHOD:

  • Drain the water from the overnight soaked kidney beans and transfer the beans to a pressure cooker. Add 3 1/2 cups of water, bit of salt and baking soda in the pressure cooker and close the lid. Allow the kidney beans to cook on medium flame for atleast 4 – 5 whistles. (You can let it cook for more whistles until the beans is tender and cooked).
  • Once the whistles are done, allow the steam to escape on its own. Take the rajma out and drain the liquid. Do not throw it away since we will use it later.
  • Meanwhile take the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic cloves and ginger and make a fine paste using a mixer grinder.
  • Put a sauce pan on medium flame. Add ghee. Once hot add the cumin seeds and allow it to crackle. Add the green chili, curry leaves and bay leaf and saute for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Now add the tomato- onion paste and cook it on low flame. After a minute or so add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, half of rajma masala and let the mixture cook until all the moisture is evaporated. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked add the cooked kidney beans along with the remaining rajma masala and give it a quick stir.
  • Add the rajma stock (and more water if you like it watery), cover it with a lid and bring the curry to boil.
  • Add kasuri methi and adjust for salt and spice levels and let it cook for another minute or so.
  • Now garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Sabudana Khichdi

_DSC0375

Eat Eat and Repeat! Its that time of the year when the festive bells are ringing everywhere. The excitement and glint is everyone’s eyes is unparalleled. Not only because is time for merry making but also because everyone gets to eat abashedly. The kitchen is beaming with a plethora of yummy dishes each day. Some traditional and some not so traditional dishes. All diets comes to a halt because it’s time to eat, enjoy and celebrate.

Today marks the auspicious start of Navratri. Brings back tons of childhood memories. The elders in the house would fast for 9 days, the entire house adorned with vibrant flowers and offer prayers to Goddess Durga. When we talk about fasting, the first dish I relate to is Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls) Khichdi. I absolutely love it, period. Mum used to make so many different dishes out of these white edible pearls like Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Kheer but I am completely smitten by my mum’s Sabudana Khichdi.

The perfectly soaked tapioca pearls, the tempering from basic Indian spices and those crunchy peanuts on top – I can eat the whole thing at once and mind you anytime of the day! So whether you are fasting in the coming days or no, this dish is literally clean comfort food. Quick to make, yummy to eat!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1 cup sabudana (tapioca pearls)
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and chopped into cubes or slices
  • 1/2 cup slightly crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 green chili, slit lengthwise
  • 7 – 8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chili powder (you can adjust the spice level based on your tolerance)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Soak the tapioca pearls in a bowl of excess water overnight. Once soaked strain off the excess water and let the tapioca pearls rest for atleast 20 -25 minutes so that all the water is drained.
  • Meanwhile take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Once its heated add ghee.
  • Now add cumin seeds and let the seeds crackle. Add curry leaves and green chili and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the potatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. Add salt and allow the potatoes to cook constantly stirring it to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add little water to avoid that.
  • Once potatoes are 95% done and there is no water, add the crushed peanuts and saute it for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and allow it to cook.
  • Lastly add the tapioca pearls and cook for 2 – 3- minutes until the pearls are soft and almost transparent.
  • Drizzle some lemon juice and stir it.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

 

 

Baby Spinach and Burst Cherry Pasta

_DSC0593

Pasta – Weeknights – Are you serious!? Welcome to the weeknight meal extravaganza. After a hectic day at work, enjoying a rustic bowl of pasta is pure bliss. For me pasta is my comfort food at any hour of the day. I must confess that I am not an everday roti-sabzi kind of girl. Perhaps that my go – to food when I am ill or have been eating out a lot. I must also confess that I get bored very easily eating the same food. The whole experience of enjoying my meal fades away.

Weekdays being hectic, dinner is always a challenge. I often resort to cooking a quick simple pasta loaded with goodness of herbs and veggies. There is something about pastas that makes you fall in love with it every single time. Rustic or fancy – you just fall in love with it. Cooking it (and then eating it, of course) is therapeutic! This Burst Cherry Pasta has become my recent favourite. It is simple with no frills and fancies. It delivers on deliciousness, simplicity and a beautiful play of colors. Garlicky, subtly spiced and loaded with freshess – weeknight meals sorted!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2  – 3 people)

  • 250 grams of uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 – 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150 grams baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • salt, to taste

_DSC0596

METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water on high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, put the spaghetti in it with salt and let it cook on medium het until al dente.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C. In a bowl take the cherry tomatoes, 1.5 tbsp olive oil, salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Coat the cherry tomatoes generously and transfer it to the baking sheet.
  • Allow the cherry tomatoes to roast in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until it starts to burst open.
  • Meanwhile if the pasta is cooked, drain the water and run it under cold water and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put it on low heat. Take the remaining olive oil. Once its heated add the garlic and let it cook on low flame for a minute ot two. Now add the chilli flakes and saute for 30 – 40 seconds.
  • Once the cherry tomatoes are out of the oven, transfer it to the saucepan and saute for 40 seconds to a minute.
  • Now add the baby spinach and let it cook for a minute or 2 until its soft on medium flame.
  • Add the chopped basil leaves and stir in the mixture. Add the boiled pasta and saucte it for minute or 2.
  • Now add the salt, cream cheese and give the pasta a quick mix.
  • Add in lemon zest, toss it , garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

Triple Layer Chia Pudding

_DSC0112 (2)

Chocolate, Berries and Superfood – mornings just got better and brighter. All of these packed in a jar and I am in seventh heaven. This trip layer breakfast pudding is a reminiscence of my childhood. Of course I didn’t eat chia seeds or even oast as a child, but all the flavours are inspired by when I enjoyed as a child. Mornings has gotten better with this pudding since I can kickstart my day on a healthy note. And definitely brighter since breakfast has become a no-brainer! Concoctions and combinations of whatever is available in the kitchen and you have something absolutely gorgeous to start your day with .

The flavours are inspired by the different milkshakes mum used to make for me and my cousins. I thoroughly enjoyed milkshakes. Thick shakes, loaded with goodness from ice creams – oh so yum! My favourite was mum’s berry shake (which I can assure is the best berry shake in the world) and my brothers loved decadent chocolate shake. Every shake mum served was loaded with drama – some were a treasure trove of all the good things while others had fresh fruits and nuts in it. Life was simple and full of awesomeness.

And now is the time when such fancy things adorn my pantry. Keeping abreast with new food trends and fancy thingsavailable in the supermarket , I try to incorporate some of the good things into my diet. Something which is easy, nutritious and tasty. I enjoy some and I outrightly reject a few after a few attempts. Chia seed puddings are my favourite. This triple layer pudding has a surprise in every bite. The berry layer adds a freshness to the dish, the vanilla-oats layer provides a good break before we dig further into the creamy chocolaty layer full of chia seeds.

Its time to eat right and eat tasty!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 5  tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 – 2.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 2 – 3tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (you can substitute it with honey)
  • 2 tbsp kiwi, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take half of the coconut milk, cacao powder, 1 tbsp agave nectar, chia seeds and whisk until it is lump free and it is evenly mixed. Once done keep aside in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • In another bowl, take the reamining coconut milk, vanilla extract, rolled oats and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar and whisk it well and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take a saucepan on medium heat and put the berries along with remaining agave nectar and water and cook it until it becomes mushy. This takes around 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool to room temparature and mix in the lemon zest and keep aside.
  • In a jar first put the chocolate – chia layer. Then top it with vanilla-oats layer. Finally put a generous layer of berry compote.
  • Cover the lid of the jar and allow it to set in the refriegrator overnight.
  • Take it out of the fridge around 5 – 10 minutes before consuming it. Garnish it with fresh fruits of your choice and enjoy!