Monday, August 29, 2011

Golden Yellow custard cake

A few months back I met a lovely person. Even though she is a little elder to me, I absolutely did not feel out of place with her. The casual and welcoming attitude, the helping nature, a positive outlook to everything and an understanding of mindset…What could I ask more in a friend?

So when her cute little daughter told me that her mom's birthday is coming soon, I started thinking of ideas to show my appreciation towards her. There is nothing better than making a cake for a birthday. Chocolate cake has become too common (no brainer!) and so I surfed my favorite sites for that perfect cake.

Anushruti of divinetaste,has some amazing eggless cake recipes. This is one of her b'day cakes.

I'm happy that my friend liked the cake so much, that she asked for the recipe.

This is for you Dee, Happy Birthday!!

GOLDEN YELLOW CAKE (adapted from the recipe here)


1. All purpose Flour (maida) - 2 cups
2. Granulated Sugar- 1 & 1/4 cups
3. Vanilla custard powder-1/2 cup
4. Milk-1 cup+ 1 Tbsp (if required)
5. Baking powder-2tsp
6. Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
7. Vanilla extract- 1tsp
8. Butter- 100gm (1/2 cup)


1. Prepare a round cake pan by greasing and then dusting it lightly with flour.

2. Tap to remove excess flour from the pan.

3. Heat milk in a pan. Stir in the sugar and after it melts completely, set it aside to cool at room temperature.

4. After the milk reaches room temperature, pour it into a large mixing bowl, add custard powder and vanilla extract and mix well with a whisk. Put in the butter and mix again.

5. Heat the oven to 160⁰C or 325⁰F.

6. In a bowl, sieve the flour , baking powder, baking soda together for proper mixing. Alternatively you can put them together and mix well with a fork.

7. Add this flour mixture to the custard mixture and mix well so that no lumps remain. You can use a hand blender also. Add the flour mixture periodically. It'll make it easy to mix in the batter.

8. Put the prepared batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55-60 min. or till a skewer comes out clean. I usually use toothpicks to check.

Perfect to bring smile on the face of your loved ones.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Banana & Honey Ice cream

Anybody who knows me well, knows that I'm an ice-cream fan. The only problem being that, I need to count calories and I try to avoid food with added colors. That’s one of the reasons why I'm on the lookout for healthy recipes for my sweet cravings.
This is one of the experients which took a tasty turn. Ideal for a yummy treat!

1. 2-3 ripe bananas-mashed
2. Evaporated milk- 157 gm (for 1 tin)
3. Honey -1-2 tbsp
4. Vanilla extract-1/2 tsp

1) Take the bananas and mix them with evaporated milk.
2) Add vanilla extract.
3) Add the honey to this mix. You can taste the mixture before freezing and adjust for sweetness by adding more honey.
4) Pour into a metal or a air-tight container and keep for freezing.

Serving suggestions
You can top it with fresh fruits. I used strawberries and pineapple which gave a very fresh feel to it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Household North Indian curry

Ok, I should probably not claim this to be "the" north Indian curry. But it is more or less what I've been learning in the kitchens of north Indian households. A lot of variations are available to this basic curry mixture. Mostly new spices are added to enhance the flavors.

1. Onions- 1 medium
2. Tomatoes- 2 medium sized
3. Garlic- 2-3 cloves
4. Green chilies-1-2 (depending on desired hotness)
5. Ginger (Adrak)-half inch piece
6. Oil or Ghee(clarified butter)-1 tbsp
7. Salt to taste
8. Turmeric powder (haldi)-1/4 tsp
9. Red chilly powder (lal mirch)-1/2 tsp
10. Coriander seeds powder (Dhaniya powder)-1 & 1/2 tsp
11. Garam masala (a spice mix, popular in North India)-1 tsp

1. Blend the onions and garlic together.
2. Blend tomatoes, green chilies and ginger. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil. Add the onion-garlic paste. Cook at high flame till the paste leaves the oil on the sides.
4. Add tomato paste and cook on medium flame. Add all the spices.
5. You may add a little water here if the paste is too thick to stir. Cook till small bubbles come to the surface and the mixture leaves oil on the sides.
6. The curry is ready.

Add your choice of precooked or semi-cooked vegetables here. I use it for boiled potatoes and peas to make aloo matar or mushroom with peas to make mushroon matar.
In a similar manner I make matar paneer (Peas with cottage cheese),though in the later stage of cooking, I add a little cream to sweeten it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lauki with chana dal (gravy preparation of split bengal gram and bottle gourd)

Lately the days have been dragging by, so I needed some good ol' recipe to cheer me up. Thankfully, my husband reminded me of this one and I made it the very day. I was happy that it came out well in spite of the fact that I mostly made it from memory.

Serves 3-4 people
1. Chana dal (split bengal gram)- 1 katori (200ml approx volume)
2. Bottle gourd (Lauki/dudhi) - 2 cups, chopped in medium sized pieces.
3. Oil-1 tbsp
4. Onion- 1 medium sized, blended or chopped finely
5. Tomato- 1 big, chopped finely
6. Garlic- 2 cloves + ginger (1" piece)- made into a paste
7. Green chilly-1 chopped finely or ground with ginger & garlic paste
8. Dalchini (cinnamon)- 1 cm stick
9. Lavang (clove)- 1

10. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
11. Salt- 1 tsp/ as per taste
12. Coriander powder (dhaniya)- 2tsp
13. Garam masala- 1tsp
14. Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp

a. Keep chana dal soaked overnight or in warm water for 3 hrs. In tropics even room temperature water is ok for soaking.
b. Take a pressure cooker and heat oil in it.
c. Add cinnamon and clove in it. Add onions, ginger-garlic paste & green chilly and fry on medium high flame till it leaves oil on the sides.
d. Now add tomatoes, all the masalas (spices) and mix well. Lower the flame a little and cook till tomatoes are mushy. Add some water, if required here (I added some 2 tbsp of water).
e. Now add the soaked and drained chana dal and mix well with the gravy made. Add about 1 cup of water and close the cooker. Adjust the flame to high.
f. After 3 whistles, lower the flame to medium. After one more whistle, switch off the gas and let it cool.
g. If you are the impatient kind like me, you can just release the pressure of the cooker and open it.
(Note: the number of whistles may vary according to the amount of water and the time for which the dal was soaked. Basically the dal has to be cooked but still hold its shape)
h. Add Lauki to the dal and close the cooker again. Keep it on fire till 1-2 whistles come. No need to add more water as the vegetable will release its own.
i. Switch off the flame and let it cool before opening.

Serve it with chapati (Indian flatbread) and rice.
Note: Please check the Lauki(bottlegourd) before using it for the recipe. Bitter ones will spoil the preparation completely.