It is winter time in the northern hemisphere,the time when one often craves for comfort food.With an abundance of wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables available at this time of the year, why not cook up something that is tasty, flavorful as well as healthy? A carrot cake? A carrot cake with a twist– rich moist and upside down!
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar ( take about 2 tbsp lesser)
1/4 cup sugar for topping
2 tbsp butter for topping
3 or 4 carrots
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cup refined oil or butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
A handful of mixed dry fruits like almonds, walnuts and raisins
Peel 2 of the carrots and cut into medium thickness round slices. In a saucepan heat the 1/4 cup sugar along with 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp water till it melts and is bubbling. Do not stir. Pour into baking pan and arrange the carrot pieces so as to cover the whole base of the pan.Grease and flour the sides of the pan and keep aside.Sieve together all the dry ingredients except the dry fruits. Peel and grate the other two carrots. Meanwhile beat the sugar and the butter/refined oil till fluffy. Add the eggs one by one as you continue beating. Now add the flour mixture in small batches and continue to beat. You can add some milk between each addition of flour if the mixture becomes too thick. Finally fold in the grated carrots and dry fruits. Beat a little bit more till combined.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake immediately in preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 45 minutes or till done. Let the cake cool in the pan for a while, but not too cool. When still slightly warm, run a knife along the edges of the pan and carefully invert onto a plate. Fingers crossed – your beautiful ,succulent , colourful carrot cake is ready to serve! It makes an excellent tea time accompaniment and can also be used as a dessert along with some ice-cream
Use of whole wheat flour along with some all purpose flour makes the cake healthier. To enhance the health quotient , the white sugar can be replaced with brown sugar.
Come November and winter is just round the corner.
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Well, the winter is not so harsh in the Indian subcontinent,but yes, it has started to become slightly cold in the northern parts of India.and we are rather enjoying this weather. With the slight chill comes the desire for warm and comforting food as evening descends. What could be better than a simmering bowl of tomato soup?
1 kg ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
3 medium size onions sliced
4 to 5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
2 pieces of cloves (optional)
1 tbs butter (optional)
1 tbs cornflour
Salt to taste
Boil all the ingredients in 5 cups water (pressure cook if possible for up to 4 whistles), till the tomatoes are soft and the skins begin to peel off.Decant the liquid in another container with the help of a large sieve with medium sized perforations.Mash the tomatoes now trapped within the sieve so that the pulp and juice passes into the rest of the liquid, leaving the seeds and skins behind. Discard them. Put the soup back on the flame to cook for a few more minutes.To thicken the soup, 1 tbs of cornflour dissolved in a little water can be added. Alternatively,a trick is to add 2 tbs of thick Knorr or Maggi tomato soup powder .It adds to the flavour and makes it more delicious! Lastly add a knob of butter and voila, soup is ready to serve! Garnish with fresh celery or coriander.Cottage cheese pieces added to the soup taste great too! Serve with bread sticks.
Delicious, soft ,fluffy pancakes always make my mouth water. In the recipe that i share below i have replaced all purpose flour with wheat flour as it is comparatively a healthier option. Adding a spoonful of oats could further enhance the nutritive value.The recipe inspiration is from BBC food which always has foolproof recipes, but I have tweaked it to my suitability and added the honey cinnamon sauce.The dish is wholesome and healthy. Ideally a breakfast food, but honestly I don’t mind eating pancakes as dessert too!
- Whole wheat flour —- 1/2 cup
- Milk —- 1/2 cup
- Egg —- 1 large
- Castor sugar —- 2 tbs
- Salt —- 1/2 tsp
- Baking powder —- 1 tsp
- Melted butter —- 2 tbs
Sift all the dry ingredients together and keep aside. Whisk together the milk ,egg and gradually add the melted butter.Finally mix the dry and the wet ingredients while beating lightly with a fork. Leave the mixture to rest for 2 minutes. Now heat a nonstick pan and smear a knob of butter over it. Pour a ladle full of the mixture on the pan and let cook. Holes will appear on its surface. Flip the side and cook till lightly brown.Make a stack of the pancakes.
Honey Cinnamon Syrup:
- Honey —-3/4 cup
- butter —- 1/2 cup
- Ground cinnamon —- 1/2 tsp
Heat all the above ingredients over a low flame till warm and the butter gets melted.Don’t overheat but keep it warm.
Serve the pancakes with the dripping honey cinnamon syrup and slices of caramelized apples or fresh cut strawberries.
There are so many variations that can be made to the basic recipe. As an Indian twist try addind some aniseed (saunf) to the pancake batter.It has an amazing flavour and the pancakes taste almost like ‘Meetha Pura’- a local Indian dish. Meetha means sweet and pura is anything of batter consistency that is pan fried. Follow my blog for more — if you like this post. See you 🙂
When I got a call from my sister, asking if I wanted some more pumpkins from her farm, I flatly refused, saying I had cooked enough savoury dishes already from the vegetable. But then she gave me the idea of making ‘pumpkin halwa’! It sound quite interesting, and I decided to make the pudding as it was the festive season in India . Moreover, Halloween was also just round the corner.It is a popular Halloween tradition to make soups and desserts from pumpkins. So, I thought that I must give this dish a try and believe me the result was a mouth watering dish worth blogging about! I used a medium sized green pumpkin for the dish, but you can also experiment with yellow pumpkin.So here goes the recipe.
- Pumpkin (about 1 kg ) – peeled and cut into medium sized pieces
- Pure desi ghee (clarified butter)–1 cup
- Suji (semolina) — 1 cup
- Sugar — 1 cup or more as per taste
- Green cardamom — seeds of 4 cardamoms ground
- Almonds and raisins — a handful
- Saffron (kesar) — 1/4 tsp
Method: Boil the chopped pieces of pumpkin preferably in a pressure cooker for about ten minutes (2 whistles ) after the steam starts to issue out of the nozzle. Don’t put any water as the pumpkin has enough water of its own. If you do not have a pressure cooker then boil the pumpkin in very little water in a saucepan till it becomes soft. Drain all excess water and mash it with the help of an electric mixer-blender. Mix the saffron and keep aside. Meanwhile heat the ghee in a wok, add the semolina and keep on roasting it till it becomes a light golden brown and the fragrance fills the room. You must keep stirring so that it does not get burnt.Now add the pumpkin puree, raisins and the sugar. The mixture will start to thicken. add cardamom powder.This could take only about 5 minutes or lesser. Mix well and remove from gas. Garnish with almond slivers and serve hot.
This post is in response to NaBloPoMo