Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle

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Simple ingredients, quick recipe and an addictive cake – this Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle is juts about that. Its getting quite cold back in Bangalore and all I am craving for is nuts and spices for the extra warmth. And then its December where I don’t need any additional excuse to make homemade cakes. My kitchen smells amazing – some nuts and fruits soaking in booze at one end, cookies baking in the oven, fruits being converted into jam on the stove top, cake cooling down and cream getting whipped up elsewhere. Amidst all this its me – an excited soul who is loving every bit of this scene in my kitchen.

Suddenly my mum calls and tells me she made this amazing semolina cake loaded with nuts. Ah! My to do baking list just increased slightly and I set to make this cake since I had everything stocked up at home. The crumbly cake loaded with the goodness from different seeds is a perfect accompaniment during tea time. Garnished with toasted nuts and a tangy orange drizzle, I have got my go to recipe whenever I want to bake something quickly. Delicious, moist and super easy. Try it now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 8 inch cake)

  • 1 1/4 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for preparing the baking tin
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar too)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, melon, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • few strands of saffron
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 C for atleast 10 minutes. Spread the blanched almonds on the baking tray and allow it to toast for 8 – 10 minutes or until just slightly brown.
  • Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Again Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take 2 tbsp of milk and soak the saffron strands in it for sometime.
  • Meanwhile take the cake mould, slightly butter and flour it and keep it aside.
  • Now in a bowl whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. To this add semolina, whole wheat flour, salt, , orange zest, cardamom powder, mixed seeds, saffron soaked milk, curd and milk and fold in gently until well combined.
  • Allow this mixture to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Lastly add baking powder and baking soda and fold the mix gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to cake mould and allow it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • In a bowl take fresh orange juice and add icing sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Take the cake, generously drizzle the orange juice mixture. Garnish with toasted almonds, pistachios and dig in.

Overnight Pumpkin Pie Parfait

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The nip in the air, the beautiful color of the leaves, the pretty pumpkin decoration adorning everyone’s houses and not to forgot the aroma of the most delicious and comforting food wafting through my entire house – that’s absolutely dreamy! Yes Fall and Halloween is right here and so in my favorite Fall recipe of Overnight Pumpkin Pie Parfait!

While I was in the US, everyone eagerly waited for Fall. The most picturesque any city can get throughout the year. Perfect time to spend nestled in the blanket, sip on a cup of hot latte or warm soup and enjoy the scenic beauty. And then comes those pumpkin recipes – the delicious Pumpkin Spiced Latte or the Pumpkin Pies, you can’t stop but gorge on those. This Parfait is a twist on my favorite pumpkin pie which helps be indulge guilt free. The warmth from the fresh spices and the creaminess from the coconut milk and yogurt is the best thing to ask for every morning.

So just when you were thinking how to indulge in a pumpkin pie, you’ve got you covered!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin, seeds removed
  • 200 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  • 100 grams plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 – 2 cloves
  • 1 pod of cardamom
  • orange zest, for garnshing
  • edible flowers, for garnishing

METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix rolled oats, coconut milk, greek yogurt, 1 tbsp agave nectar, chia seeds and vanilla extract and whisk it under there are no lumps. Keep it in the refrigerator in a bowl overnight.
  • Take the diced pumpkin pieces in a pressure cooker with a bit of water and let it cook for about 3 – 4 whistles. Once its done let the steam escape on its own before you open it.
  • Once cooked to perfection and softened completely take the cooked pumpkin cubes and puree it along with cardamom, cloves, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder, ginger powder and the remaining agave nectar.
  • Puree it completely (without water). In case you have a lot of water in the puree, you can cook the mixture on low-medium flame to let the moisture evaporate and then allow the puree to cook down completely.
  • Meanwhile take the walnuts and almonds and pulse it in a food processor until the big lumps don’t exist.
  • Use a couple of serving jars, layer each of them with equal amount of walnut and almond crumb.
  • Then evenly divide the the coconut-yogurt and chia mixture. Layer it with pumpkin spiced puree.
  • Finally garnish with orange zest strips and edible flowers. Allow it to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Fall!

 

Dry Fruit Bliss Balls

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Diwali is right here and I can’t contain my excitement. Meeting friends and family, wearing new closed, decorating each corner of the house and then the most important part – eating the most amazing array of food. The festive happiness spread to every nook and corner of the house. The flowers, the diyas, those little lights, all ready to adorn my house and then the laddus and cookies all making my kitchen smell sweet and fragrant.

I try to lose my self control during my favorite festival of the year and this year is going to be no different. Yes, I will gorge on the traditional desserts and some fried snacks during get togethers but then I will try to watch and eat. I know its slightly difficult but these pretty Dry Fruit Bliss Balls solves this problem. No compromise on the fun, food and flavor for sure!

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These dry fruit loaded bliss balls is an amazing way to serve your desserts + dry fruits this year. Pop them into your mouth and your sweet craving is taken of. Dry fruits and Diwali brings back lots of childhood memories. I have grown up watching my parents gifting dry fruits to friends and family or offering dry fruits to guests when they came to greet. This treasure trove of dry fruits is a nice twist to the usual bowl of mixed dry fruits. Fun and an easy affair, this yummy bliss ball will solve all your end minute stressful Diwali preparation.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 12 – 14 balls)

  • 1 cup Mejdool Dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • 3 tbsp almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut + extra for rolling
  • 2 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 5 – 6 saffron strands, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cold pressed coconut oil (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a food processor put dates, figs, raisins, almonds, pistachios, desiccated coconut, walnuts, poppy seeds, chia seeds, cardamom powder and saffron strands and  blitz it until the mixture doesn’t have big chunks of dry fruits.
  • Add coconut oil and grind it again. Make sure not to over grind it else you will get dry fruit butter.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor and transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  • Take 3/4 – 1 tbsp of the mixture and make balls out of it. Roll it into desiccated coconut and keep aside.
  • You can keep the bliss balls at room temperature and serve within 1 day or keep it in the fridge and serve cold.

Happy Diwali!

 

 

 

 

Berry Banana Smoothie

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The pretty pink color greeting you a beautiful morning – is there anything more you can ask for? Yes that’s my new found friend – Berry Banana Smoothie.

I love the whole new concept of Breakfast on the Go. It’s exciting how simple things come together to make something delicious and healthy. And not to forget mornings are calmer and peaceful since these dishes are quite simple to make. Among the myriad of options that you can make, breakfast smoothie is my all time favorite. Throw in some basic pantry staples in the blender and let it to the rest. Try it once and you’ll be hooked forever.

Smoothies is like a meal in the glass. Quite filling and makes you feel rejuvenated. Creamy, nutritious and everything yummy you can ask for each morning!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 – 2 people)

  • 1 big banana, kept in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup of mixed berries (I used strawberries and blackberries)
  • 4 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 120 ml chilled unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
  • pinch of cinnamon powder
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • few mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

METHOD:

  • Roughly chop the bananas and keep aside.
  • Put the chopped bananas, mixed berries, yogurt, agave nectar, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and coconut milk in the blender and blend until its smooth and lump free
  • Add the chia seeds and give it a quick stir. Transfer it to the serving glass/jar.
  • Garnish it with mint leaves and serve chill!

Enjoy!

 

 

Banana Bread Granola – 100th Post Celebration!

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Hello folks! I can’t believe that I have penned down 100 of my favorite recipes and shared my culinary stories with all if you. The love I have got from each of you is completely overwhelming. It is so gratifying to see the blog grow from a single viewer to a community of such amazing people who appreciate my efoorts and my love for food. I can’t thank each of you enough for your unending faith in me.

Coming to the 100th blog post celebration, means something special was cooking in my kitchen. A dish that invokes memories of my first baking experience and has become my family (and definitely my lil one’s) favorite – Quick Banana Bread. However this is not a post about the classic banana brad but something which is healthy, super easy and unquestionably delicious – Banana Bread Granola!

When you feel like munching something, a bowl of this granola with or without yogurt is all you will need to satisfy your hunger pang as well as your sweet craving. The aroma of banana bread flavors wafting through the entire house is therapeutic. The warmth of the spices and the infused banana flavor makes it quite addictive.

Just as we enjoyed this super bowl of granola, make a BIG batch for yourself because I bet this will get over in no time!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (Makes 3 cups)

  • 1 3/4 cups jumbo oats
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 15 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin/melon seeds
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (you can use agave syrup or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium sized banana, mashed

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 165 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep aside
  • In a bowl add jumbo oats, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, salt and brown sugar and mix well so that the ingredients are evenly spread.
  • In another bowl add maple syrup and melted butter and whisk it. Add vanilla extract and whisk the mixture.
  • Now add the mashed bananas and mix it well.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and using a spatula mix it well so that all the ingredients are well coated and evenly spread.
  • Spread the entire mix onto the baking tray and spread evenly. Put it in the oven to bake for 23- 25 minutes.
  • Around 10 minutes into baking, take the baking sheet out and using a fork just mix the entire granola mixture to avoid burning of the ingredients.
  • Put it back into the oven and allow it to bake for another 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven, fluff it using a fork and allow the mixture to cool down completely. Only once it is cooled will the mixture get crunchy.
  • Store it in an airtight container upto 2 weeks.

Voila!

Mango and Coconut Chia Pudding

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Say hello to my Mango Breakfast! I have a love affair with mangoes and this coconut chia seed pudding with mangoes was love at first sight. This easy recipe what you can enjoy as a healthy breakfast, it is invigorating for a perfect brunch and creamy and yummy for dessert.

I love this chia pudding for breakfast and enjoying this almost everyday while the mangoes are there in the grocery store. A table full of seasonal and nourishing food is what you need to kick start your day. The perfume of the perfectly ripened mangoes, the luscious coconut milk studded with black chia seed – the combination is irresistible.

So by now you might have understood that there are somethings in summer I cannot resist – one of which is mangoes. While I am digging into my amazing chia seed pudding, whip this up in no time because you can still indulge in guilt free yumminess!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 -2 people)

  • 200 ml coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 medium sized ripe mango, diced
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rose petals
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • mint leaves, for garnish

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl whisk coconut milk, vanilla extract and chia seeds. Combine well so that there are no clusters of chia seeds.
  • Keep it in a bowl to set overnight in the fridge.
  • Before serving, add lemon zest to the coconut chia mixture and stir it with a spoon.
  • Transfer it to a jar/bowl and top it with diced mangoes, dried rose petals and mint leaves.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chia Seed Pudding With Poached Cherries and Grilled Peach

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Finally jumped into the chia seed pudding bandwagon. A great morning workout and a delicious yet healthy breakfast makes me feel kind of excited and pumped up to kick start my day. Eating a healthy breakfast bug has bitten me majorly. And what better than a chia seed pudding with seasonal fruits. These magical little seeds are full of goodness and loads of nutrition. Grilled peaches and red ruby like cherries are stunning additions to the dish, isn’t it?

This chilled pudding is creamy and scrumptious. The almond milk lends a nutty dreamy creamy texture to whole dish. While the grilled peaches adds warmth to the dish, the poached cherries lends the sweetness and tartness to the entire pudding. The dish completely reflects the summer season and tastes absolutely gorgeous. I adore this pudding not only because its healthy but also because you can make it over the weekend and enjoy it for a few days. And yes, the plumped chia seeds soaked in almond milk reminds me of the chilled sago milk pudding my mum used to make during summer vacations.

There are umpteen flavor combinations with which one can play around and broaden your repository of beautiful breakfast chia seed puddings. The plethora of colors from the fruits looks like you are painting your canvas.

So, just when you were thinking about how to eat a healthy and yummy breakfast, we have this pudding for you!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 – 2 people)

For the pudding:

  • 200 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 90 grams plain Greek Yogurt (I used Epigamia Greek Yoghurt)
  • 3 tbsp black Chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp agave nectar ( you can use honey or maple syrup) (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the poached cherries and grilled peaches:

  • 10 – 12 pieces of red cherries
  • 1 medium sized peach, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp water

For garnishing:

  • few dried berries
  • unsalted pistachios, coarsely crushed
  • edible flowers (optional)

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RECIPE:

For the pudding:

  • In a bowl whisk Greek Yoghurt and almond milk until the yogurt is well incorporated.
  • Now add vanilla extract and chia seed and whisk well. Make sure there are no Chia seed lumps.
  • Transfer the mixture in to a container and set it in the fridge to set overnight or atleast 6 – 8 hours.

For the poached cherries and grilled peaches:

  • In a saucepan take fresh cherries, water, lemon zest and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar let the mixture boil on medium heat until the cherries are soft.
  • Once done let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile take a bowl and whisk melted butter, remaining agave nectar, cinnamon powder.
  • Take the cut peaches and marinate them in the mixture.
  • Put the grill pan on stove on medium heat. Once its hot put the marinated peaches on it and allow them to grill. This would take about 40 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove it from the heat and keep aside.

To assemble:

  • Take the chia seed pudding in a container in which it was set overnight. Place the grilled peaches and poached cherries on top of it.
  • Garnish with dried berries, crushed pistachios and edible flowers.

Dig in and have a healthy morning!