Monday, December 29, 2014

X'mas Pudding

I was looking for a good X'mas place but didn't want to shell out more than 250 bucks. Since everything cost 750 bucks and up and the quantity was huge I never did manage to buy one. But then I came across the recipe in HT Brunch I jumped at the opportunity to bake something after months.
The pics were clicked at night and are not too great. I never did get around to clicking good pics.

The quantity is huge and after giving it to the maid and cook I still had half leftover. So, please reduce the ingredients quantity by half. I am not an expert and don't change ingredients quantity when it comes to baking since baking is an exact science.

- Butter : 450 gm
- Breakfast Sugar : 250 gm
- Eggs : 8
- Maida : 470 gm
- Ground cinnamon : 2 gms
- Cocoa powder : 50 gms
- Curd : Quantity not given in recipe. I added 2 tbsps
- Tutti fruti : 100 gms
- Cashew nuts : 100 gms
- Golden Raisins : 100 gms
- Candy ginger : 25 gms
- Candy Orange Peel : 25 gms
- Dry black currant : 25 gms
- Chocolate chips : 150 gms
- Dark rum : 120 ml
- Red wine : 90 ml

All these ingredients are available in shops which stocking baking stuff. I generally buy everything from Modern Bazaar in DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon. I think Le Marche also stocks them.


- Take room temperature butter and beat it with the sugar.
- Begin stirring the eggs one by one until the mixture becomes fluffy. I used the beater for this
- In a separate bowl, mix maida, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
- Add this dry mixture to the egg/butter/sugar mixture
- Add curd to above and mix well. I didn't have a utensil big enough to fit the huge quantity and had to improvise.
- Mix in dry fruits and chocolate chips
- Add dark rum and wine and mix it well. You need to mix it with a spatula and not beat it

Don't worry if the mixture tastes bitter. The chocolate chips will melt during baking and make it sweet.

- Take moulds and fill them up with the mixture
- Preheat oven at 180 degree and bake for 30-35 mins. 30 mins were good enough for mine

Yummy X'mas cake is ready.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

French Toast

My cook is on leave today. Altogether she works only 3 weeks in a month. Sigh!!!
Anyway, since I have bought a Philips food processor am keen on cooking. I don't let my cook use it. Actually, she is not great with technology and will avoid using it anyway. But over the years and many cooks I have realized that my blenders/choppers/mixers get spoiled/depreciate faster when they use it. I don't know why but there are no problems when I use them.

For b'fast I decided to make the quick french toast. The recipe has been taken from this website.

I have modified the recipe slightly:
Ingredients :
4 slices of bread. I used brown bread
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla essence. You can skip if you want but I generally have vanilla essence in my fridge
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder. You can skip but I generally have it in my pantry
2 tsp of sugar. For a healthier version, use honey. The original recipe recommends 4 tsps but then I found 1 egg enough for 4 slices of bread instead of 6. And 4 tsp was too sweet for my taste
1/2 cup milk

- Beat all the ingredients
- Heat oil or butter in a non stick pan
- Put the mixture in a shallow dish and dip 1 piece of bread in it. Dip the other side also
- Put it immediately in the pan for frying. Once it becomes brown (shown in picture), turn and cook the other side

Yummy french toast is ready and can be eaten on its own or with honey/maple syrup. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Egg Muffins

I wanted to make savoury muffins for the longest time. Egg muffins seemed like the easiest ones to try... and I did. They turned out yummy and so tasty. Even my hubby who is generally not open to experiments loved it. 

- 2 or 3 eggs, depending on how big your mould is. My mould is quite shallow and so I needed 3 eggs
- Veggies- tomato, capsicum, onion, cauliflower. I did not have mushrooms and corn else would have added them
- salt to taste
- black pepper

You can also add tomato ketchup, cheese or any other sauce you have. I decided to keep it simple

- Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius
- Chop all the veggies together
- Grease a muffin mould
- Beat the eggs and add salt and pepper
- Mix all the veggies with the beaten eggs
- Pour the mixture in each mould ensuring a proper mix of veggies and eggs is present in each muffin cup
- Bake in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degree celsius. I tried baking it for 10 mins but it was insufficient. I think 20 mins should do it
- Let it cool and then remove from the moulds

They can be eaten as b'fast or dinner.  Very tasty. 

Corn Oats Upma

This is another recipe that I use for b'fast and dinner. It is very tasty and healthy. I came across this recipe in Nita Mehta's book 101 diet recipes which was bought during the book fair at Pragati Maidan.
So, here it is:

Serves 4
1 cup oats- roasted for 2-3 minutes and then powdered in a  mixie
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 dry red chilli
2 tbsp channe ki dal
1 tsp urad dhuli dal
10-12 curry leaves
1 onion- chopped
1 tomato- chopped
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup corn kernels boiled or frozen
1/2 capsicum- chopped
juice of 1 lemon

- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds when the oil is hot
- Remove from fire. Add red chilli, channa dal, urad dal and curry leaves. Stir till dal turns light brown
- Return to fire. Add onions and fry till golden brown
- Add water and salt. Let it come to a boil
- Cover and cook on low flame till the dal is cooked and is no longer crunchy
- Keeping the flame low, add chopped tomato and corn. Stir
- Add oats gradually and stir.
- Stir fry the upma for 3-4 minutes till dry. Turn off the fire and add capsicum and lemon juice. Mix well.

This is how I make upma. The 1st 3 steps remain the same. After that,
- Add tomato and corn, capsicum and fry till tomato gets completely mushy.
- Add water with curd mixed. Curd gives upma a little sour taste which I like. Add haldi and let it boil
- When it comes to a boil, add the oats and stir till upma becomes dry
No need to add lemon juice.

You can cook it anyway you want.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I love red velvet cake/pastry/cupcake. Unfortunately, I am yet to find a bakery in Gurgaon which has this. No kidding... Binge, L'Opera, Taj Vivanta etc do not have it. How I miss Rolling Pin at R City Mall, Ghatkopar. I was addicted to their red velvet pastry. Sure, Choco La does have it but it is a little hard.
While reading this month's Femina I came across the recipe for this by Pooja Dhingra (of Le 15 Patisserie fame) and decided to make it this weekend.

What I like about Red velvet is that it is not too sweet... and the cream cheese frosting complements it so well. Unlike a regular pastry which has sweet cake and a sweeter frosting.

Makes 5-6 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
- 55 gm butter
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp red food coloring (do not use the gel color, use the liquid color)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- a pinch of salt
- 100 gm yoghurt
- 120 gm flour (maida)
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the cream cheese frosting:
- 125 gm cream cheese, cold (I used the one from Britannia... it is so much cheaper)
- 50 gm butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 300 gm icing sugar, sifted

I was not very accurate with the measurements because I don't have the measuring cups. Weird, I know but I have not baked in a long time. Will definitely buy them now. In fact I just realized that I forgot to add vinegar and baking soda yet the cupcakes turned out fine. And thats why I prefer making cupcakes, unlike a cake where measurements are very important.

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 6 cupcake tin with liners
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together red food coloring, cocoa and vanilla essence. Add to the batter and beat well
- In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the yoghurt and whisk well. Beat into the batter. Add flour and beat until flour just disappears into the batter.
- In a small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Pipe batter into the cupcake liners till 3/4th full. Bake for 20 mins till a skewer comes out clean
- To make frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together till smooth. Add lemon zest and beat. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously till smooth and creamy.
- Cover and refrigerate frosting for 2-3 hours before piping on to cupcakes.

Yummilicios red velvet cupcakes are ready.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Caramel Pudding/Custard

I have almost given up on baking because I am on a healthy eating mission and desserts are rarely low calorie/healthy. But I have a lot of baking ingredients and so decided to finish them off. Also, baking is very precise... any mistake or change in measurement and the dish goes poohh... It happened last weekend when I tried making coconut mousse. It tasted amazing but did not set. Oh well, I am going to try it again.

I follow the instagram feed of passionforbaking and decided to check out the blog and found a recipe for caramel pudding.


You can check out the recipe and step by step pictures here. The only problem- the blog is in Nowergian language so I had to use google translate it. The good part- newer posts have an English translation.

I have halved the recipe to make a smaller pudding meant for 4 people.

- 1.5 cups sugar for caramel
- 300 ml milk
- 150 ml cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 125 degree Celsius


- Pour 1.5 cups sugar in a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Let it melt and become caramel.

- Pour the caramel in a cake pan (the one in which you want to make your caramel custard). If you want to make smaller cups of the custard, pour the caramel into such pans. Move it around to coat the sides

- In another bowl, beat the eggs with hand. No need to use an electric beater

- In a saucepan, heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla essence and cream. Turn off the gas when it comes to a boil

- Once the mixture cools, add the beaten eggs to it

- Pour the mixture on top of the caramel in the cake pan

This is where the recipe gets confusing... when I researched online, Indian recipes suggested cooking in an oven while international recipes recommended cooking in a water bath.

- What I did was... boiled water... poured it into a glass vessel and then placed the cake pan into it

- I placed the glass vessel (with hot water and cake pan) into the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius and baked for 30 mins

- Its done when the top becomes brownish... you can use a knife to check it


- When it cools, overturn it onto a plate and refrigerate

Yum... love the custard/pudding... tastes so good.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mushroom Soup

I have been experimenting with soups these days- healthy, nourishing and filling. On some days they are my dinner. I (rather my cook) made the mushroom soup 2 nights back and it tasted so good.


mushrooms- 1/2 packet for 1 bowl (1 person)
Onion- 1
Salt to taste
Milk - 2 spoons
Pepper to taste


- Saute onion and then add chopped mushrooms and salt in a cooker.
- Add water and boil. Once the cooker cools down, grind the mixture in a mixie.
- Pour it back in the cooker/pot, add pepper and serve.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sweet Potato baked fries


Imagine being able to eat fries when you are on a diet. Awesome, isn't it? I have wanted to try baking fries and using sweet potato in some recipe for ages... and combined both. Sweet potato is healthier than a regular potato and these fries are guilt free.

- 1 sweet potato
- olive oil
- salt/pepper/chat masala etc. You can use anything... paprika, oregano. I used Catch chat masala


- Preheat a microwave oven in convection mode.

- Slice the sweet potato in the shape of fries. Add some olive oil- just enough to cover the fries but not excessive. Add chaat masala and mix properly

- Place the fries on a baking sheet. Ensure they are not sticking to each other.

- Bake for 10 mins on one side or till they become brown and then flip each fry and bake on the other side.

Yummy fries are ready. Just a note of warning though... these fries taste slightly sweet. If you don't like the taste, just dip in some ketchup and eat.

Mushroom Spinach Frittata


Another recipe I came across while researching on the Dukan Diet. I never liked spinach as a kid and most of my adult life. But recently, I have come across such tasty recipes of spinach. It is a very versatile vegetable.

- mushrooms - I used 1/2 pack
- 3 eggs... I found them too many. 2 should have been enough
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach. When I make it again, I will use more spinach
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 onion- chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water


- Heat oil in a shallow frying pan, one which is used to make omelette. Saute onions till soft

- Add the mushrooms and fry. You can add a little water if it gets a little sticky or start burning. Add the spinach leaves and saute till they become soft

- Add salt, pepper and tomato ketchup. Spread out the mixture flat in the pan

- Beat eggs in a bowl, add salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the pan and cover with a lid

- Switch off the gas once eggs are completely cooked and serve. You do not need to flip over.

You can add more veggies- carrots, capsicum etc and oregano, basil if you want. There are so many options to this Italian omelette.

Cauliflower onion soup


I have started following the Dukan diet with modifications. The Dukan diet recommends eating proteins and vegetables for every meal. I don't plan to follow it to the 'T' because the body does need carbs and fats. The plan is to have protein/veggies as the main meal for lunch and dinner.

I came across the recipe of cauliflower soup online and decided to give it a try. It tastes very, very good... creamy, smooth, slighty sweet.

Ingredients: serves 2

-1/2 cauliflower (small)- chopped
-1 onion- chopped
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tsp olive oil


- Heat the olive oil and saute onions till soft

- Add the cauliflower and fry for 5 mins

- Add milk and water. Cover and let it cook till cauliflower is soft

- Let the mixture cool slightly and then puree in a mixer. I tried using a blender but mixer works better

- Heat the soup on the stove, add salt and black pepper

Yummy and healthy soup is ready.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Healthy burger


We were supposed to have a friend over... and I thought of burgers for dinner. The friend didn't turn up but we had leftover mixed vegetable from lunch... and I decided to make a healthy version of burger.


- Mixed veggies- carrot, beans, onions, potato, cauliflower, cabbage, corn etc.
- Bread slices: 2
- Bread crumbs: 1 slice. Crush it in a mixer to make crumbs
- Egg: 1
- Mayonnaise: I used Wintergreen's garlic paste instead. For the healthy version, you can make a replacement. Add salt, garlic paste, pepper to hung curd. For hung curd, I generally put regular curd in a filter (the one used for tea) for a few mins.
- Lettuce
- Green chutney. I used Wintergreen's basil pesto paste but the coriander pudina chutney can be used instead
- Ketchup
- Spices- salt, haldi, red chilli powder
- Burger buns


- To make cutlets... boil all the veggies in a pressure cooker. I used the leftover vegetable instead. Add onions, spices (salt, haldi, red chilli powder), bread slices dipped in water to the veggies and mash everything together. Adjust any seasoning and make cutlets. Beat an egg. Dip each cutlet in the beaten egg. Roll the cutlet in bread crumbs. Heat oil in a non stick tava. Shallow fry the cutlet and place it on a paper napkin. You can also deep fry it but for a healthier version it should be shallow fry.

- Take burger buns, slice them in two and heat on a tawa. Put garlic paste/curd mixture/mayonnaise on one slice and green chutney on the 2nd slice. Place a lettuce on the bottom slice... place the cutlet and put some ketchup on top.

Yummy, healthy version of a burger. Who said healthy food cannot be tasty?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oats Uttapam


I, rather my cook, made this last week. Very, very healthy and quite tasty. I don't remember the exact measurements of the recipe 'coz that was changed according to preference.


- 1 cup oats- powdered. Powder Quaker quick cooking oats in a mixer
- 1/2 cup curd
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 green chilly
- salt to taste

-  Finely chopped Veggies- onion, tomato, carrot, cabbage and any other veggies you want to add


Mix all the above ingredients to make a loose batter like that of dosa or uttapam. Spread some oil on the non stick tawa. Spread the batter on the tawa with a spoon and cook like dosa/uttapam.