Oven Roasted Chili Honey Cashews

What do you do with loads of plain cashewnuts lying around in the pantry ( that you received as diwali gifts!), make some oven roasted  Chili Honey Cashews. They would go perfect as the munchies with a drink or even my 9yr olds mini snack box. The idea of course has been borrowed from my dear friend Sarani, who now lives in Mason, USA and authors the lovely blog Cocoawind.

chili honey cashewsI kept the flavours very simple, honey for sweetness, pepper and chili flakes for the punch and loads of himalayan pink salt ( yes, my current obsession). In the oven for 15 mins and the outcome, simply gorgeous!

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Oven Roasted Chili Honey Cashews
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: World - Easy
 
Easy snack - roasted goodness
Ingredients
  • Plain Cashews - 2 cups
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Honey - 2 tbsp
  • Freshly cracked black pepper - as per taste
  • Chili flakes - as per taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Egg white - 1 egg
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, beat the egg whites till fluffy.
  2. Add olive oi, honey and the spices and mix well.
  3. Add the cashews and coat them well.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Put the coated cashews and bake for 15 mins at 200 deg C
  6. Let the cashews cool down before storing in air tight containers.
 

Methi Thepla

This time of the year is perfect to savour the varied winter greens available in the market. My absolutely favourite being fresh Methi saag( fenugreek leaves) and Sarson Saag ( mustard greens). I dont leave an opportunity to use fresh methi leaves as often as I can. While i would always make Aloo methi or simple methi parathas , Theplas , essentially a Gujrati flatbread is something I made for the first time. Perfect as a breakfast dish, I absolutely loved eating them.

methi theplaThe addition of a variety of spices and some gram flour to the dough gives the parathas if we may call them, even thogh they are to be rolled thinner than a paratha, a lovely soft texture. My boys are not much into parathas and would stick to their usual English breakfast, I love my desi breakfast and more so on weekends. Served with some homemade green chili pickle and yogurt, it made for a delicious treat.

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Methi Thepla
Author: 
Recipe type: Breads
Cuisine: Gujrati - Indian
 
A soft spiced flatbread that is perfect as a breakfast dish served with pickle and yogurt.
Ingredients
  • Whole wheat flour? Aata - 1½ cups
  • Gram flour / Besan- ½ cup
  • Chopped onion - 1 tbsp
  • Chopped green chili - 1 tsp
  • Chopped fresh fenugreek leaves/methi leaves - 1 cup
  • Caraway/Ajwain seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera seeds - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1tsp
  • Ghee - 1 tsp + spme more to cook the theplas
  • Warm water - a cup approx to knead the dough
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed aboved and knead into a soft using some warm water.
  2. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
  3. Make small balls, dust in some flour and roll out very thin into round discs.
  4. They should be rolled thinner than a paratha.
  5. On a flat gridle, cook the theplas by applying ghee on both sides.
  6. Serve warm with pickle and fresh yogurt.
 

Banana Caramel Cake

The new year did not start on a very smooth note but it is on us to make it better. My resolution, rather effort from the start of the year has been to adopt a more healthy approach towards food habits and making a form of exercise a part of life. However once a while, little indulgences are allowed and hence this beautiful Banana Caramel Cake. Also needed a push to get back to blogging, hence the cake!

Fotor_148542381841150Also a great way to use up left over bananas or use them a bit differently. Served warm with some icecream or whipped cream, this could turn into a gourmet dessert.

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Banana Caramel Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: English
 
A decadent Cake with bananas and caramel sauce
Ingredients
  • Banana - 1 large - cut into thin slices
  • Butter - 1 cup + 2 tbps - melted
  • Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 2 nos
  • Castor sugar - ¾th cup
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Warm milk - 2 tbsp
Instructions
  1. First of all , line a round baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Line the sliced bananas evenly. Keep side.
  3. In a bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and the castor sugar.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  6. Add it to the egg butter mixtire.
  7. Mix in gently. Add 2 tbsp warm milk to thin the batter.
  8. Keep aside.
  9. In a pan , heat the 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar together.
  10. Keep on low flame, the sugar will melt and turn into a rich caramel sauce.
  11. Pour this caramel sauce over the banana lined baking dish.
  12. Let it set for 2 mins.
  13. Now pour the cake batter on top.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Deg C for 35-40 mins.
  15. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean it is done.
  16. Demould and serve warm.
 

Festive Christmas Fruit Cake – My easy version

This dear blog of mine has been royally ignored in the past few months as I was busy setting up another baby – The Goody Box – a venture very close to my heart that my friend A and myself have started. Its an endeavor on our part to take this love for food that we have to the next level and share it with the world. You can know all about it The Goody Box here!

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But My Food My Life is my first love and theres always coming back to it. I remembered to soak some fruits in rum few weeks back and last evening was just perfect to bake a boozy  Christmas cake to mark the beginning of the festive season. Everyone has their own version and mine turned out to be easy and fun to make. Here’s hoping that the coming year brings in loads of positivity and good cheer for my loved ones and yes many many more recipes and food stories! You go note the recipe.

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christmas-cake

Festive Christmas Fruit Cake - My easy version
Author: 
Recipe type: Festive Dessert
Cuisine: Cakes
 
A rich boozy fruit cake
Ingredients
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Butter - 100 gms
  • Castor sugar - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 3 nos
  • Soaked fruits - 1 cup - Mix together chopped candied peel, tutti fruti, dates, raisins , almonds in some dark rum along with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the mixture in a glass jar and refrigerate for a week atleast.
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Sift together flour and baking powder.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla essence.
  5. Fold in the flour gently into a smooth mixture.
  6. Add the soaked fruit along with the liquid.
  7. Give it a mix.
  8. Bake in a pre heated oven for 35-40 mins at 175 deg C
  9. Dust with some icing sugar before serving.
 

Diwali Cheers with some Moong Dal Halwa

Diwali is here with  so much light and sparkle all around as. I had a super busy week cleaning and prepping my home for the festival. My single point focus becomes putting up lights all over my house, changing up the décor and prettying up every nook and corner. So much so that I completely ignored the food front. Now whats Diwali without some homemade sweets and finally got the time to whip up some sweet deliciousness in my kitchen. Moong Dal Halwa is something I totally love and the nip in the air calls for a bowl of hot hot halwa.

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The best part about hoeme made sweets is that you can control the sweetness and know what exactly has gone into it so that your little ones can enjoy it without any fear. I used condensed milk instead of sugar syrup and that kind of makes it so very easy to make this dish. So don’t wait just head into the kitchen!

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I also take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Diwali filled with love and light. Spread joy all around you, dress up and indulge in the festivities with your friends and family coz that exactly I love to do.

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Diwali Cheers with some Moong Dal Halwa
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
 
A sweet dish made with pulses that is so festive !
Ingredients
  • Moong Dal - 1 cup - washed and soaked in water for 2 hrs.
  • Ghee - 100 gms
  • Condensed milk - 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  • Almonds - a handful - chopped finely
  • Raisins - a handful - optional
Instructions
  1. Drain the moong dal and grind into a fine paste using the mixer grinder. Make sure to use very little water while grinding.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat the ghee.
  3. Add the moong dal paste and start stirring it into the ghee.
  4. Continue to stir the mixture on low heat for atleast 15 mins till the mixture smells fragrant and the raw taste of the dal is cooked through.
  5. Keep the flame low at all times. Keep stirring once a while.
  6. The mixture with turn a nice golden colour .
  7. Add the chopped almond, raisins(if using) and cardamom powder.
  8. Now add a cup of condensed milk and stir in well.
  9. Conitnue to stir for another 5to 7 mins, till you reach the desired consistency.
  10. Don't overcook or else the halwa will go dry.
  11. Remove from heat and serve hot in little bowls.
  12. Can be reheated in the micro as and when served.
 

Paneer Qalia – A rich cottage cheese curry

Hello all! How is Diwali prep coming along folks? I am just back from my  2 weeks long puja holidays at my hometown and still recuperating and thinking of ways to shed off those piled on calories. But sadly I see no light of hope on that front coz Diwali – undoubtedly my most favourite festival is just around the corner and like everyone I am also fully gearing up for it. 

The recipe I am sharing today is a feasty dish but requires very little effort. Qalia has its roots in Mughali cuisine where mutton was cooked in large cauldrons with a concoction of spices, essentially in a yogury based gravy. We Bengalis also have a version called the Kalia – essentially Rohu Kalia( fish kalia) mostly made as a part of wedding menu. I made it with Paneer as every Tuesday I need to roll something delicious out of my kitchen for the man who sticks to veg food – that one day! The use of mace (javitri) is essential as it lends a royal taste to the gravy. This curry dish goes very well with rotis as well as rice.

paneer qalia

Paneer Qalia - A rich cottage cheese curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mughlai
 
A rich youghurt based cottage cheese curry dish
Ingredients
  • Paneer/ cottage cheese - 250 gms - cut into cubes
  • Onion Paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp each
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp
  • White pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Mace / javitri powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Green chilies - 3-4 whole
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In a pan lightly fry the paneer cubes in 1 tbsp. refined oil. Keep them dipped in a bowl of warm water till used in the gravy. This keeps the paneer super soft.
  2. In the same pan, add the ghee.
  3. Saute the onion, ginger/garlic paste till fragrant and golden brown.
  4. Now add the dry spices - chili powder, coriander powder, mace and the garam masala.
  5. Next tip in the yougurt. Mix well and let the gravy simmer for 5-7 mins. Keep the flame low.
  6. Put in the paneer pieces, add the green chillies. Check seasoning.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve with rice/roti
 

This Durga Puja is sweeter with Mother Dairy Nolen Gur Icecream

For as long as I can remember, Durga Puja meant visiting our ancestral home in Silchar, getting together with the entire family and celebrating Pujo at home. That was when my grandparents were around, the tradition however continues in my parents ‘ house and we continue to celebrate Durga puja with age old traditions. Getting up early morning, dressed up in new clothes helping in the ‘Thakur ghor’ (puja room)

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Another very important aspect of Durga Puja for us Bengalis is food! Planning menu for each day and community dining is what pujo is all about. Pandal hopping is incomplete unless we gorge into the unlimited delicacies on offer. And then there is icecream gorging too. It’s the same for kids and adults alike, there’s no stopping anyone.  Who cares about calories, these 4 days of pujo!

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Mother Dairy – an age old institution has been treating us with delicious goodness for years and this year they take it up a notch higher with the introduction of Nolen Gurer icecream. Nolen Gur or Date Palm jaggery is a seasonal delicacy that is a quintessential part of Bengalis food scene. While we would otherwise wait for the winters to savour it but not anymore.

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The luscious icecream is now on offer year long, a big thank you to Mother Dairy. It is available in a take home tub or as single serve packs. This year pujo is a whole lot sweeter for me.

Nolen Gurer icecream is easily available in the market in 750ml & 90ml and priced at Rs 150/- & Rs 20/- respectively. 
This post is a part of a campaign for Mother Dairy

 

Spiced Carrot Tealoaf – 100% wholewheat

Whenever I get down to baking a cake, my first instinct is to make those healthy robust warm cakes that we can enjoy with our cuppa and my boy can team them up with his glass of milk. As a mother and (also a wife)  to  very fussy eaters who squirm at the sight of vegetables, I also like camouflaging as much as I can in cakes and curries and soups and everything possible! Hence the idea to do this Spiced Carrot Tea Loaf. And the fact that its 100 % wholewheat adds to the value.

carrot tea loaf 1

While making these cakes, I usually stick to my 1 cup each measurement and that works in most cases. This one here is made with aata and brown sugar, spiced with cinnamon and raisins. Served with a dollop of icecream this can turn into a very wholesome dessert for kids and adults alike.

carrot tea loaf

Spiced Carrot Tealoaf - 100% wholewheat
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes - Dessert
Cuisine: Continetal
 
A rich wholesome cake made with carrots and raisins.
Ingredients
  • Whole wheat flour / atta - 1 cup - I used the fine ashirwaad variety
  • Brown Sugar - almost 1 cup - a little less
  • Carrots - 2 small - grated
  • Eggs - 2 nos
  • Olive oil - half a cup
  • Raisins - a handful
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Sift together, the flour, baking powder and cinnamon pwder. Keep aside.
  2. In a bowl , mix together the brown sugar and olive oil with 1 tsp vanilla.
  3. Add one eggs at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the grated carrot and raisins and mix well.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture gently.
  6. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 35-40 mins at 175 deg C
  7. Check for doneness after 25-30 mins and bake according depending on your oven.
 

Kuku Paaka – Omani Chicken Coconut Curry

My love for cookbooks is no new news! I own a lot of them and its not restricted to any particular cuisine. However sometimes I do miss out on trying something that would be earmarked for months, till I stumble upon them again. So ,its now a conscious decision to cook atleast two or three dishes from each of these books. With this motive , I started reading this beautiful book The Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell. Its a memoir of her exploration of the Omani cuisine, that is still very unknown to the world. She talks about the people, their lives and their delicious food.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the similarity in spices, a huge influence of Indian spices in their cuisine. As its rightly said, food binds the hearts and the world! I could go on and on about the book , but I rather share a lovely recipe with you all. Very  similar to the Kerala Chicken stew yet so different.  The warmth of this curry dish – Kuku Paaka will nourish your tastebuds. As the book suggested I made some Maldouf – Date Chapati or Flatbreads with pureed dates to go with the curry and it was a match made in heaven.

kuku paaka main

The addition of vegetables like potato, carrots and beans add to the flavour and makes it a complete meal. The original recipe is a little on the drier side, but I preffered leaving some gravy on to be mopped up with the Maldouf. Btw, Omani cuisine is a treasure trove of flatbreads and to know more I suggest you invest in the book, its truly a collectors item.

kuku paka

Kuku Paaka - Omani Chicken Coconut Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Omani - Arabian Gulf
 
A subtle curry dish with vegetables in a toasted coconut gravy as adapted from the Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell
Ingredients
  • Chicken - 500 gms - on the bone, cut into pieces
  • Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
  • Garlic - few cloves - minced
  • Ginger - a small piece - minced
  • Green chillies/Fresh red chilies - 2-3 - finely chopped
  • Coconut powder - half a cup
  • Ground cumin - 1 tsp
  • Ground coriander - 1 tsp
  • Ground turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Carrots, Potato and green beans - a handful, cut into cubes
  • Ghee - 2 tbsp.
  • Warm water - 1 cup
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place half the coconut milk powder in a non stick pan and roast for 2 mins till fragrant.Remove and keep aside.
  2. In another pan, heat the ghee and sauté the onion, ginger and garlic.
  3. Next add the chicken pieces and the vegetables and sauté for 2 mins.
  4. Put in the dry spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and the roasted coconut milk powder till fragrant.
  5. Add half a cup of water, cover and let the curry simmer till the water dries up.
  6. In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining coconut powder in some warm water and add to the pan. Add the chopped chilies. Cover and let it simmer for another 5 mins or till the chicken and vegetables are cooked through.
  7. Serve hot with flatbread of your choice.
 

Dimer Korma

A conversation with a dear friend made me realise that this blog is something that means a lot, a lot of hard work and sweat and passion has gone into making it, so no matter how many “sabbaticals” I take, I have to get back to it. So on that very positive note, I present a new recipe to you all! I made Dimer Korma few days ago after I saw a video on FB by Banglar Rannaghar, a very popular website of great recipes. I made some minor changes and the result was a great dish.

dimer kormaEggs are a constant favourite in my household and is well accepted by both my boys, whichever way it is served. This Korma went particularly well with tawa rotis and made for a lovely treat. It is a great party dish and requires very little ingredients.

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Dimer Korma
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Bengali - Bangladeshi
 
Eggs in a rich yogurt based gravy
Ingredients
  • Boiled eggs - 4 nos
  • Cardamon - 3-4
  • Cinnamon - 1 small stick
  • Cloves - 3-4
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Brown Onion paste - 2 tbsp
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp. + 1 tbsp.
  • Green chilies - 3-4 - slit
  • Brown onion for garnish
Instructions
  1. Shell the boiled eggs, make slits , marinate with some salt and keep aside.
  2. In a pan , heat 1 tbsp. ghee. Fry the eggs lightly and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp. ghee.
  4. Splutter the whole garam masala - cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
  5. Next add the brown onion paste and ginger garlic paste.
  6. Fry for 2 mins and then add the yogurt.
  7. Mix well and keep the flame low.
  8. Add the salt and sugar.
  9. Add half a cup of warm water.
  10. Add the fried eggs and let the gravy simmer for 5 mins.
  11. Garnish with some fried onions and green chiilies.
  12. Serve with rotis.