Quick Yellow Cake

20 Aug

Hello world!

Its been a while since we posted anything, and I’m going to attempt to break that lull with this simple recipe. The goal of this blog is to serve as a chronicle of recipes we have tried and liked or modified, and this evening I was looking for the recipe of a Lemon Cake I baked a few weeks ago. The cake turned out really well, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t find the recipe. I tried looking through all my recipe books and finally gave up assuming it was something I found online. I was quite mad at myself for not recording the recipe here, and vowed to do a better job of taking notes.

I decided to bake a cake this evening (I had a little more time on my hands than I usually do), and I made a simple and quick yellow cake. its a recipe which I have pulled from one of my recipe books (The KitchenAid baking companion). This book has some really great recipes and has served me very well when the little nieces and nephews come calling, and the there’s a quick baking need.

This is a simple recipe, and I just put the cake in the oven. I’ll update this post with pictures of the cake and reviews of how it turned out.

Ingredients

2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 & 1/2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening (which I substituted with 1/2 cup butter)

1 cup (lowfat 1%) milk (I used 2%)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. I used the bowl for the electric mixer, since this is a one pot meal (my favorite kind!)

Add the shortening, milk and vanilla. Attach the flat beater to the mixer and beat for about 1 minute on Low.

Add eggs. Continue on low speed for about 30 more seconds.

Turn to Medium and beat for 1 minute

Pour the batter into two greased and floured 8 or 9 inch round baking pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes

While i’m waiting for the cakes to bake, I decided to write down the recipe, and I’ll put up a review soon after its done.

P.S. In the mean time, I’m so proud of my ‘baking pan greasing and flouring’ abilities :). I greased and floured my pan, and then looked at it with immense pride. Then I immediately thought of my mom and how particular she was about getting the little things right. There is a sense of accomplishment in looking at that pan, and knowing that you got it right (or almost right anyways….Right mom? 😉 )

A well greased and floured plan

P.P.S.

The cake came out real good. For a simple recipe like this, it actually came out surprisingly well. It was very soft and the perfect texture and sweetness. The crust was also a slightly crisp like I like it. The cake was mostly even all around, and would be a great cake to use when baking for decorative purposes.

Here are some images…

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Updated: Dry Masala Bhindi / Okra / Lady finger

23 Jul

Bhindi is the first vegetable i learnt to make and here’s how I like to make it 🙂 Chachiji taught me this one and now I’m passing it along !! 🙂

Update (from Leena)

Updating Massi’s recipe with pictures I took while making Bhindi today. It is one of my most favorite vegetables, and don’t get nearly enough here in the US. So when I saw it at the farmer’s market this weekend, I jumped for joy, and hand picked some to try my hand at this recipe. I have to say, that it came out great!!! And the good news is that we have left overs! 🙂

Ingredients-          

Okra/Bhindi – 1pound
Cooking oil – 4 tbsp
Asafoetida powder – 1/4 tsp
Ajwain seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic sliced/chopped – 2tbsp
Onions chopped – 1 small
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Mango powder – 1 tsp
Salt  – to taste

Method:
Wash the okra and leave out to drain for some time and then wipe with a paper towel to dry completely.
I washed the Okra as soon as I got home from the farmer’s market. Then I put it in the fridge in a colander. This way it was completely dry to chop and cook with a day later. Cooking with even slightly wet Okra is an absolute disaster!!
Chop and discard the heads and tails.Chop the okra into half inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai and add the asafoetida powder, after a minute add the ajwain seeds and stir for a min.
Then add the garlic and onions…
…and stir till the onions turn pink taking care that none of it burns.
I was using white onions, so I cooked them till they were translucent.
Then add the okra and the chili and turmeric powder and stir.
It will have some stringiness which will tend to disappear as you keep stirring (depending on how well you dried it or how fresh it is).
When the okra starts changing color (after about 5 -8 min of stirring) add salt and the mango powder and stir for another 3-5 min till it is well done.
Serve with chapatis/tandoori roti/naan and enjoy 🙂  😀
Bhindi goes especially well with a simple Yellow Daal. Today I made some Moong Daal with a tadka of Kalaunji (onion seeds)

Fresh this week…

6 Jun

So the Farm Fresh box of fresh fruits and veggies arrived bright and early this morning, and here is what we have this week.

1 Avocado – This will probably get used in a salad

2 Pluots – I had not heard of this fruit before, but they look a lot like plums

1 Honeydew Melon – YAY! Considering that I am in a melony phase. I’m thoroughly enjoying all melons this summer!

1 lb Baby Bok Choy – I’m excited about this ingredient, since I have never cooked with it before.

1 bunch of carrots

1 lb yams

1 bunch of Rapini – Another ingredient I have never cooked with before. A preliminary google search brings up some fun recipes.

2 Romaine Hearts – Again, will get used in salad before you know it.

…so there it is. We are certainly going to learn at least a couple of new recipes this week! 🙂

We are quite the Khao Suey fans!!

3 Jun

Here is an image from Choti Nani’s version of Khao Suey

The rest of us that are not enjoying it right now, are totally jealous….and not happy facebookers right now! 🙂

Fresh Organic Groceries

3 May

As if life was not exciting enough, with a full time traveling job, and overflowing weekends, and oh-so-many projects to get done, I decided to add a little bit more spice, and excitement. Luckily this is not really the stressful kind, but instead should turn out to (hopefully) be a real pleasure.

I have been meaning to ‘subscribe’ to a organic home delivery service for fresh fruit and vegetables, since quite a while. I wanted to do so, for a couple of reasons. The obvious one of course would be to eat healthier. Having fresh ingredients delivered straight from the farm is about as good as it gets. And it also definitely saves on time at the grocery store. My second reason was that I wanted to shake up my grocery buying routine. I wanted to learn to cook with ingredients that I would never buy at the store, and I wanted to be forced to learn new recipes. I wanted to spice up my life in the kitchen. 😉

I finally got a chance to research some providers in the Bay Area, and bought the service from “Farm Fresh to You“. My first box arrived just last week, and I could not been more excited to open it!!

Here is what my first delivery contained,
Red radishes
Baby potatoes
Spring onions
Apples
Oranges
Lemons
Trumpet mushrooms
Lettuce

So I got right to work, finding recipes for Trumpet Mushrooms which I have never cooked before.

I also learnt to make a roasted potato and radish salad, which also asked for spring onions. It was the perfect dish to use three ingredients from the delivery!! I was beyond excited.

We added one apple, and one orange to some champagne, juice the other two oranges and added the juice and WALLAH – Cava Sangria!!

So far it’s been an exciting experience and I have to say that the veggies and fruit taste great! There’s certainly something to be said of fresh, organic ingredients. You want to try it as well…..your food will taste so much more flavorful.

Recipes coming soon…

Can you wait for my next box to arrive? I certainly can’t!!

Chocolate Dessert Cake – This one’s a keeper!!!!

16 Feb

I think this is most definitely the best, most delectable chocolate cake we have had at home!! And its not just me, I have at least 10 people to vouch for that 🙂 As a kid and even now, nothing beat Mom’s home made chocolate cakes. While those are special in their own way, I did want to try out a different kind of chocolate cake. Something that was more sinfully fulfilling!! Something more fudgy on the inside and yet a crunchy crusty brownie on the outside. Looks like I have found the ONE!

I must confess that I love baking desserts and cakes or anything sweet more than eating it. But like someone rightly pointed out (Gurpal Massarji i think) that what worked for this cake was that the “sweet wasn’t killing you”. And yet, even the ones with the sweet tooth enjoyed it to the core. I think this one goes right up there for being my best cake bake ever so far. OK so obviously I didn’t come up with this recipe myself (now you’re just asking for too much :-/) but I think its still a discovery out of the kazillion chocolate cake recipes online and all claiming to be the ultimate one. So very rightly the credit goes to Donna Hay for this one – totally worth passing on to everyone 🙂 and so here goes……

Following this recipe to the “e” is what I think made all the difference – so stick to it for the most amazing chocolate experience !

What you will need:

White butter – 125 gm

Dark cooking chocolate – 375 gm (psst..thats the secret ingredient ;-))

Brown sugar – 175 gm

All purpose flour (maida) – 35 gm (yeah thats all!!)

Milk – 2 tbsp

Almond meal (ground almonds) – 120 gm

Eggs  – 5 regular ones

Cocoa – for dusting

Lets begin:

1. Preheat the oven at 170 degree celcius or 375 F.

2. Taking the butter and the chocolate (make sure you have coarsely cut up the chocolate, else it will take ages to melt) in a bowl – melt in a double boiler, or melt and blend by microwaving in bursts. We used the double boiler on the gas and it worked very well.

3. Once the butter and chocolate have melted to make a smooth sauce, add the sugar, flour, milk and almond meal and mix to evenly combine.

4. Then add the eggs in and mix well – this takes a good bit of turning the batter over to make the egg blend in evenly.

5. Keep your baking tin ready (grease it and powder it). And pour in the mixture. We finally bought the ring mould tin – or the bundt cake tin – I love it!!

6. Here’s the key to keeping this cake divinely moist – cover it with a tin foil and bake for 40 minutes.

7. After 40 minutes, our cake was still quite runny – so we baked for another 20 minutes without the foil.

And walla!!! it was the perfect move to give this cake the brownie crust top and just the right consistency and moisture on the inside!

We couldn’t wait to get our hands on this one after dinner – it is best eaten with vanilla ice cream while the cake is still warm……And oh yes – before you cut it – dust it with a bit of cocoa for the final touch – it just looks so much prettier!!

Dust the ice cream scoop with some cocoa too and it really does make you fee like you’re in heaven…….Sigh…..!!!! 😀

So try it out folks – its very hard to get this one wrong and it only leaves you asking for more – like it did all of us!! 🙂

Celebrations all day all the way….14 Feb 2012!

16 Feb

Hi Folks,

14 Dec 2012 started with a bang!

Its was Param and Kamal’s 30th Wedding Anniversary and a memorable one at that 🙂

One thing I can say for sure is that it was truly a “sadde tadke” day – right from breakfast to dinner. Two new recipes on the menu and two dishes that I picked up from here for lunch!! Exactly why we started Sadde Tadke in the first place!

So the whole idea of coming home this time was to take over the kitchen on Mom and Dad’s anniversary and cook up some specials for them. Though I did have some major parts to play in this scheme of things – I couldn’t completely avoid Mom from being in the kitchen either – – which was good in a way coz I got to learn something new too. We had family coming in right from breakfast and upto dinner and so there was much cooking happening all day among other running arounds.

So what did I cook from the recipes here? I cooked  Gurkiran’s World Famous Methi Paneer and Dolly massi’s Mirch Masala .

Well the paneer turned out pretty good, but I think I can do the mirchis better next time – though everyone did enjoy them 🙂 (at least they told me so ;-))

The other two new additions were:

our version of  Frittata for breakfast

and this absolutely scrumptious Chocolate Dessert Cake for after dinner!

Recipes for both comin up shortly – you absolutely do not want to miss the one for the chocolate cake!

Until then, Ciao!

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