Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Banana Mango Rawa Kesari/Kesaribhath/Sheera/Halwa

This is one exotic, yum, sinfully tasty halwa which is a must try during mango season.
To be honest my family and me are not sweet tooth people..in fact my kids hate sweets loaded with sugar and ghee....but I have extended family and friends who are extremely sweet tooth and love Indian traditional sweets.
This combination of banana and mango happened accidentally to me..not that I haven't tried fruits kesari before, but this time when I invited few friends for dinner for a pooja, I was making a seven course meal, and people I had invited half of them were sweet tooth and half not at all.
So wanted to make something simple and exotic, loved by both.
So thought of making making basic rawa kesari, but with a twist or different.
Mangoes on the table caught my eye.
So decided to make mango rawa kesari.
Then again thought of adding pineapple  to add a bit of sourness to beat the sweet.
But I had run out of pineapple,  but saw too ripened bananas.
They were good for kesari but not for consuming as a fruit.
So thought of matching both in kesari.
But my combination was hit that day, people who hate sweets also loved it and enjoyed.
So sharing the recipe with you.

Ghee - 1/2 to 3/4th cup,
Broken cashew - 1 tablespoon,
Fine Rawa/Sooji/Semolina - 1 cup,
Mango Puree - 1 cup,
Bananas - 3 medium ripened and chopped finely,
Saffron - few strands,
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Sugar - 2 cups/reduce to 1 and 1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet,
Water - 2 cups.

In a vessel add water, mango puree, sugar and banana and keep it on medium flame to boil.
At the same time in a thick kadai, add ghee and heat.
Once ghee is medium hot add cashew and rawa together and start frying in low medium heat.
Roast it evenly until light brown and by this time cashew would also have been roasted in the heat evenly.
This is a important step in making a perfect kesari, by the time you roast semolina, the water also should start to boil, the timing to be perfect.
Add saffron to water mixture and boil for a minute.
Pour the water, banana and mango mixture to roasted rawa and lower the heat completely.
Cover the kadai and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Stir once in between.
After almost all the water is observed switch off the heat and keep it covered for few more minutes.
Finally add cardamom powder and serve warm.

You can omit saffron if you don't have.
You can increase or decrease the quantity of sugar and ghee according to your taste.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Basic Eggless Sponge Cake

I have always loved basic sponge cake since my childhood...It has lot of nice memories from my childhood days with friends.
During our summer break, friends used to give a surprise visit to my place in the evenings, it was something like a written agreement, that we would spend our evenings chatting and laughing loud with these sponge cake, sev, crisps and fruit juices.  Those were the days, I still miss.
Those evenings I can never forget, there was something soo special, even today I cherish and relish.
So whenever I thought of baking a sponge cake, I was looking for a perfect sponge cake, which would take me to those lovely nostalgic days.
Tried a lot of recipes, but never happy, I wanted a stronger real vanilla flavour in my cake.
So tried this recipe from a blog,which I was really happy about and took me to those  days.
I have made some changes to the original recipe, but you can click here for the original recipe.
I have replaced butter with oil to get lighter and fluffier cakes, but you can add same quantity of melted butter.
Adding butter makes cake denser.
I haven't added any sugar to the cake, but you can reduce the condensed milk to 300 grams and add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.

Cake Flour  - 2 and 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Bi Carbonate  of Soda - 1 teaspoon,
Salt - a pinch,
Sweetened Condensed milk - 1 tin(397 grams),
Water - 1 cup,
Vinegar - 2 tablespoons,
Pure Vanilla extract - 2 tablespoons,
Odourless Oil - 1/2 cup.

Pre-heat oven at 175 degree celcius.
Grease a nine inch cake tin with butter and line with a parchment paper and keep aside.
In a bowl sieve cake flour, baking powder, bi carbonate of soda and salt together and keep aside.
In a another bowl, add water and condensed milk and mix well.
Add vanilla essence and oil and mix well.
To this wet ingredients, add sieved flour mix in parts and mix gently.
Take care not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for 35- 40 minutes.
Again each oven differs, so keep an eye and check after 25 minutes.
Until a skewer comes clean when inserted.
Remove from oven, and let the cake be in tin for 10 more minutes.
Remove the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Slice it and enjoy with your tea or coffee!!!!

To make cake flour, take a cup of plain flour, take two tablespoons of plain flour from the cup and replace it with 2 tablespoons of corn starch and sieve.
This  is  the cake flour.
Cake Flour will make cakes fluffier and lighter than just plain flour cakes.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Fresh Green Peas Rawa Idly

I have already posted rawa idly/semolina steamed cakes..but a simple and humble addition of a sweet ingredient called fresh shelled green peas...makes the rawa idly more enjoyable.
I always try to include fresh green vegetable in our food..I personally love all fresh green vegetables including bitter gourd but you know kids not very fond of vegetables in their food except for few.
So we moms always try novel ways to include veggies in their diet to make it interesting and colorful, entice them to eat their food and enjoy it with vegetables.
My son does'nt eat semolina in any form, but green peas is one of his favourite vegetable.
Tried rawa idlies with fresh green peas, it tasted yum and my family enjoyed it with mint coconut chutney and fresh home made ghee.
Now coming to the reciepe, its very simple with the same ingredients but with an addition of fresh green peas.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard Seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon,
Chana Dal  - 2 teaspoons,
Broken Cashew - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies finely choppped - 1 teaspoon,
White medium rawa/Semolina - 1 cup,
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons finely chopped,
Fresh Green Peas - 3/4 cup, shelled,
Sour yogurt - 1 and 1/4 cups,
Hot Water - 2 tablespoons,
Bi carbonate of soda - 1/2 teaspoon.

Shelve the peas, and grind it to coarse paste in food processor/mixer without water and keep aside.
In a thick bottom kadai/pan heat oil.
Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard crackles add broken cashews and fry for a minute and then add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
Add semolina and fry in medium low flame, until the rawa is fried well and emits nice roasted aroma.
Take care rawa should not be browned.
It should be white but roasted well.
Switch off the flame and remove from heat.
Add salt and chopped coriander and mix well.
Allow to cool.
When it is warm mix the ground pea mixture and mix well.
Grease the idly plate with oil and steamer to boil with water.
When you keep plates, the steamer should be steaming hot for perfect rawa idlis.
Once completely cooled, add yogurt and hot water and mix well.
The batter should be like normal idly batter consistency.
Just before pouring the batter to plate, add soda and a teaspoon of hot water on the soda and mix well in the batter.
In a minute you see the batter rising to almost double.
Now pour this batter to idly plate and place in the hot steamer.
Allow to steam cook for 12-15 minutes.
When it is completely cooked, if a skewer poked, comes out clean.
Then remove from heat and rest for couple of minutes and demould the idlies.
Serve with your choice of chutney and enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Eggless Tutti Fruitti Cake

To be honest I am not a big fan of tutti frutti cake..I like tutti frutti only in Bangalore-Mysore bakery style dil pasand.  But when, one of my friend invited for unplanned ladies lunch, then I wanted to take something with me to her lunch party.
Whenever I go for lunch or dinner to a friends place, I love to carry an eggless home baked cake for them.
All my friends love my bakes.
So when I searched my pantry I found this tutti frutti lying in the fridge for very long now. This turri frutti I got from one of the Indian stores here in London..they are not big pieces like what we get in India..but very tiny pieces..I am not very happy about, as you don't feel that big bite in your mouth..but I have to make do with these, when I run out my stock brought from India..Again even turri fruitti were not generous enough...so thought of adding other nuts like cashew and almond.
Then I thought of adding only tutti frutti  and broken cashew in the cake and to sprinkle generously sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Didn't add any raisins or other dry fruits.
Now again I wanted a dense cake so adding butter instead of oil.
Interestingly I had read somewhere, while surfing the blogs, that frothing up the yogurt with bi carbonate of soda and baking powder and then mixing the flour, makes the cake fluffier and gives nice texture to the cake.
So tried that method this time and was very happy with the results.
So lets bake a tutti fruitti cake!!!!!!

Plain Flour/Maida - 1 and 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon,
Granulated Sugar - 1 cup,
Sour Yogurt - 1 cup,
Baking Powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon,
Bi Carbonate Soda - 1/2 teaspoon,
Melted butter - 1/2 cup,
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon,
Salt a pinch.
Tutti frutti - 3/4 cup(but I had a little less than 1/2 cup)
Broken Cashew - 1/2 cup,
Chopped Almonds - 3/4 cup.

Mix tutti frutti and broken cashew and add 1 teaspoon of plain flour to this mix and mix it well.
This is to ensure that the nuts don't sink to bottom while baking.
Separately dust chopped almonds with plain flour and keep aside.
Grease baking tray with butter or oil and line with parchment paper and keep aside.
Mean while preheat the oven at 170 degree celcius.
First mix yogurt and sugar and whisk well to make a smooth consistency.
Then add bi carbonate of soda and baking powder, whisk well and set aside for few minutes to froth'n up.
Meanwhile sieve plain flour to avoid  lumps.
Once the yogurt froths up to double quantity, add salt, vanilla essence and butter.
Gently mix, so the air bubbles formed, will not break.
Add the plain flour and gently fold.
Take care not to over mix otherwise the cake will sink and very become very dense,
Gently fold tutti frutti mix to the batter.
Pour the batter to the greased baking tin.
Generously sprinkle chopped almond on top and place it in the preheated oven to bake for 30-40 minutes..depending on your oven, mine took 45 minutes.
So keep an eye and check after 30 minutes.
A Skewer inserted should come out clean.
Take it out of the oven and keep in the pan for ten minutes.
Invert it on a wire rack and cool it completely.
Cut into desired  shapes.
Enjoy with tea or coffee!!!!!!!

If you dont want denser cake or  dont want to add butter, then you can add oil for lighter cake.
It would be 1/2 cup of odourless/flavourless oil.