Wednesday, February 27, 2019

100% Whole Wheat Bread - Vegan Whole Wheat loaf bread

A simple, no fuss bread recipe. A bread which i usually bake at home. When i shared this bake 2 weeks before in my insta stories, it was much welcomed and i got so many messages asking for the recipe. For the first time ever, i too remembered to measure and note it down too. 
And sorry all the pictures are from my mobile and i dont have time to click the loaf again, though i made one today. Will update with new set of pictures once i click. 
As i said in my Cookie butter muffins post, i love to carry a bake along with me whenever we plan a trip a little away from home.  This bread is something which i take to such trips. A pack of labneh or nutella spread is all we need to compliment this soft bread. If you are camping and have a barbeque then you can also enjoy a crispy sandwich with all your favorite stuffing inside. All i can imagine is a some cheesy sandwich with it. My hubby makes a perfect sandwich, he actually is the official toast master at home. Kids prefer their daddo's toast more than mine. So, i m the baker and he is the toaster, what a perfect match!!!
I bet once you try this bread and home, you would never go back to the store-bought bread again. 
 I m packing them for the Kids delight - Travel food happening @ Cooking with Renu, an event by Srivalli
3 cups/450 grams of whole wheat flour 
300 ml warm water
1.5 tsp instant yeast
2.5 tbsp - 3 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt 
2 tbsp oil

  • In a large bowl, take together flour, yeast, gluten, and salt. Whisk well to combine. Make a well in the center and add warm water to this. Mix it roughly with a wooden ladle. When all the flour is wet, dump the entire flour mix on your kitchen counter or worktop, add oil to this and knead to a smooth and soft dough. Do not add extra flour. The dough will come together well. Knead around 4-5 minutes. 
  • Once kneaded to smooth dough, grease a bowl with oil and rest the dough for an hour or until it doubles up size. 
  • Once it doubles, punch out the extra air, and knead for a couple of minutes and shape it into a loaf.
  • I usually measure the length of my loaf pan (20cm x 10 cm)and shape my loaf length to the pan length. Then i roughly stretch it to a rectangle and fold it like an envelope and shift it into the loaf pan. Let it rest in the loaf pan for another 45 - 60 minutes.
  • Towards the last 10 minutes of the rising,  preheat the oven to 200C and brush the top of the loaf with oil or mix of oil and milk bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Once done, take it off the oven, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes and remove the bread to a wire rack and let it cool completely. The bread should be well rested before you try to slice it. 
  • Use a long sharp serrated knife to make slices. This bread makes a delicous sandwich, hearty and crusty!

Vegan Banana and Cookie Butter Muffins/Vegan Banana and Biscoff muffins

For people here in UAE, the best climate for us to venture out is from November-March. The climate is too good to miss. You can see almost all parks brimming with people, kids and adults playing, barbeques, and lot of activities.So,this is the time we too plan outing with our friends to some open parks or areas where children can run and play. 
Though we prefer to eat out while returning from such trips, but usually by the time we get to a restaurant, most of our kids would be asleep bcoz of all that running and playing and not in a mood to eat. So i always pack some filling snack so even if they miss dinner it won't be bothering. Cakes and muffins always come handy while planning such eatables. I usually carry either a chocolate cake or a banana bread. 
Ever since i saw rafeeda's post on cookie butter, i was on a hunt to get it. I couldnt find it in my local grocery stores, last week when we went for our monthly groceries to carrefour, i found them and immediately bought 2 small bottles. 
The same day, i made some sandwiches with it and kids loved the taste. But the original purpose was to use them in bakes. So, here is my vegan banana muffins inspired by rafeeda. I have used my usual banana muffins recipe and replaced the oil/fat with cookie butter. 
The spread is already sweet, and since i m also using banana in the recipe, i have reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup. We don't prefer sweeeet bakes. Incase you have a sweeeet tooth, do increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. The texture of the bake is amazing, soft and fluffy, enjoy it warm, i bet you would love the taste.
 I m packing them for the Kids delight - Travel food happening @ Cooking with Renu, an event by Srivalli
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour ( i used aashirwadh brand)
1 large ripened banana (weighed 206 grams)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp biscoff cookie butter
1/4 cup warm water.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C, Lay a 12 hole muffin pan with liners. I used my 6-hole pan and 3 big ramekins to make around 8 muffins. The 
  • In a wide bowl, add chopped bananas, cookie butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon powder and water. Using a stick blender blend the contents together. If you dont have a stick blender, then first mash the banana with a fork,add the rest of the ingredients mentioned, then whisk it well.
  • To the same bowl, add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Using a whisk, whisk the contents on top and then using a spatuala fold in together. Do not mix vigorously, be gentle and mix in one direction.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, fill 3/4 of each hole. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until done. If baking in a bigger ramekin it might take another 5-8 minutes extra. My heart shaped ramekin took another 8 minutes to get done.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven, let it
    sit in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove them on to a wire rack. Serve them warm as snack. Cold muffins can be reheated for 10-15 seconds, i usually prefer them warm. 
  • While packing for trips, i  bake them the previous night or the morning and pack them in airtight containers. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Roasted Phool Makhana, Roasted Foxnuts, A Vegan, Gluten-free Snack

Foxnuts aka Phool makhana aka lotus seeds, i came across this wonderful ingredient maybe 2 years ago. Yes, you call me a being living under the rock. Though i have seen this in all the indian stores, but i was never curious to know about it. 
Then one day i came across this crunchy roasted foxnuts in one of my friends house and we all loved it. It became my lil ones favorite snack. I never expected him to like it. So, from that time i always keep a pack of makhana for him. 
I usually roast a small amount just for him with minimal spices just pepper and salt. Last navrathri, i tried making a bigger batch for my friends who were fasting, i tried using the microwave and found it much more easier and quicker than stove-top. This is just a personal opinion, i m lazy, i can't stand there and keep stirring the makhanas as they try to pop, enjoying the warmth of hot stove. 
It took me just 10 minutes to make this delicious makhanas in the microwave, i divided the 100 grams foxnuts into 3 batches while roasting in the microwave and 1 minute for the tadka to mix in all the spices. 
This makes a wonderful travel food, as they are very easy to make and pack. Just take some paper cups or muffin cups with you, to serve them while you are on the go. I m packing them for the Kids delight - Travel food happening @ Cooking with Renu, an event by Srivalli
100 grams fox nuts, phool makhana
1-2 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly pounded pepper

  • I used my microwave to roast the foxnuts. It took just 2 minutes for roasting and since i did it in 3 batches because of the quantity, it took 6 minutes exactly and 1 minute for tadka. So this dish gets done in flat 7-8 minutes.
  • Take all of the foxnuts in a large bowl or plate, whichever is comfortable to mix in the oil. Take 1-2 tsp of oil and pour it over the foxnuts, mix it well with your hands.
  • Divide the foxnuts into 3 batches. Spread one batch on to a baking tray, do not overcrowd. Microwave at high for 2 minutes. Stop at 1 minute, shake the tray once, spreading the foxnuts and again microwave it for another 1 minute. 
  • Remove the tray, spread it on a flat plate and continue with the rest of the batches. Once all are done, heat a pan with another 1-2 tsp of oil, once it is hot, take it off the stove, add cayenne pepper, freshly pounded black pepper, turmeric powder and salt to it. immediately add the roasted foxnuts and mix it well. 
  • Let it sit in the hot pan for 2 minutes. Take it off, let it cool. Store it in an air-tight container. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Vegan Orange and Pineapple Cake with (non-diary) Cream frosting

The final post under the theme Vegan/Gluten-free/Paleo genre is this pretty pineapple and orange cake. This cake was originally made for the Bake-a-thon, the baking marathon we did in December 2018. But unfortunately i couldnt do the last day post and it was this cake. Though i baked the cake 2 days earlier, i couldn't take proper pictures of the cake that time. Thankfully, since i had them in the drafts, i m posting it today. Actually all of my posts this week are from my drafts. 
Today's cake is full of flavors, every bite bursting with pineapples and sweet oranges. This was one of most appreciated flavors at home. My hubby always  love my bakes, so, it is my kids feedback, i take seriously. My elder one loved the flavor combination, the younger one as usual didnt want pineapple pieces in his cake. So he left them all out and enjoyed the sponge and the cream.  I wanted to frosting to look like a tropical themed cake with yellow and spots of green here and there, I tried my best to present that theme. 
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
300 ml orange juice
1 tinned pineapple chunks (i used libby's 570grams tin)
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp orange zest

  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease two 5 inch pans and lay them with parchment.
  • In a wide bowl, sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar to this and whisk well.
  • Drain the pineapple chunks and reserve the sugar syrup, we can use it to soak the sponge if you are frosting this cake.
  • Add 3/4 of the pineapple chunks into the flour-sugar mix and mix well. By adding the chunks to flour mix, we evenly distribute the fruit in the cake.
  • In another large bowl, take orange juice, add oil and zest to this and whisk well into a smooth liquid. I used to my electric whisk to do this.
  • To this liquid add the flour-mix in three batches and mix using a spatuala. Take care not mix vigorouosly. See to that you don't leave any white flour traces. 
  • Divide the batter amongst the two cake pans. Tap the cake pans twice or thrice on the counter to release air bubbles. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes, then slowly remove the cake from pan and let it sit on the wire rack and cool completely.
  • Now if you are not planning to frost the cake, slice when it is warm and serve. Since i was planning to frost the cake, i let it cool completely on the wire rack, wrapped in plastic wrap and returned it to the refrigerator.
For the Frosting200ml non-diary whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 drops of Gel food colors Forest green and lemon yellow

  • Take the whipping cream in a large bowl, add icing sugar and anilla extract and using a electric beater, beat for 6-8 minutes until stiff peaks forms. I usually make my cream at the last minute, just before frosting my cake. 
  • Once done, keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you get your cakes ready on the table for frosting.
Filling and Frosting the cake
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator. If the top is uneven or crusty, torte the top. Remember we reserved the syrup from the pineapple tin, keep it ready by the side.
  • In a cake board or a flat plate, put a blob of cream in the center, this will hold the cake in place while we fill and frost them.
  • Spread half of the sugar solution on top of the sponge, this keeps the cake soft. Add a thick layer of frosting on top. Spread it to cover the entire cake surface, do not forget the edges.
  • Now stack the second cake on top of this with its bottom facing the top. Spread the sugar solution on top of the cake.
  • Now add a thick layer of frosting on top and crumb coat the sides. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for the crumb coat to set.
  • Now divide the rest of the cream into two portions, add green color to one and yellow to another. Fill the cream in two separate piping bags and keep in the fridge until you use them.
  • After 10 minutes remove the cake and the piping bags from the fridge, Snipe the end of the piping bag,  pipe the yellow first, then pipe the green here and there around the cake. Once you finish the sides, smoothen it with a offset spatula dipped in warm water. Once you are done with the sides, Pipe the cream on the top, alternating green and yellow and smoothen using the offset spatuala.
  • Let the cake sit in the refrigerator for atleast 10 minutes for the frosting to set. If the cake is refrigerated for more time, remember to take it out atleast an hour or two before you slice and enjoy.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Capsicum and potato Cashew masala

The beets paratha which i posted yesterday where paired with this yumm capsicum and potato cashew masala. We at home love potatoes, i bet most of the human kind love potatoes, the rest who hate them should be classified as aliens living amongst us. 
Seriously, if you hate potatoes then you must have never tasted anything delicious with them, that is why the hate. At home, we eat potatoes in every form, as curry, as bread, in breads, boiled, fried, smashed, smeared, with chili, with pepper, with jeera, as jhol, as a dry curry, with ras, without ras but crisp and crunch, this list can go endless. 
Potato Gravy, Aloo capsicum,Potato  side dish
This curry with capsicum and cashewnut is another delicious way we enjoy our potatoes. The midly spiced, semi gravy with tender potatoes, and perfectly sauteed capsicums tastes out of the world. Pair it with rotis or with rice, you are going to make them again and again in your kitchen.
1 Large Potato or 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled, chopped into cubes and parboiled
2 now capsicums, medium sized, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp freshly pouded coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp salt

To be Sauteed  and Ground to a paste
1 tsp oil (These days i use coconut oil to my cooking, feel free to use any oil of your choice)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes ( medium sized tomatoes), roughly chopped
1 green chili
2 cloves of garlic
5-8 nos cashews ( i added 6)
1/4-1/2 cup of water

  • Prepare all the veggies, wash them and chop accordigly. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes and parboil them. This step is absolutely optional, i have tried both ways of parboiling prior and cooking directly in the liquid. The former might reduce the time a bit, but taste-wise it is the same.Go ahead and use the method that suits you best. 
  • In a pan, add oil, when it is hot add roughly chopped onions, garlic and green chili. Saute until onions are translucent. Next add chopped tomates and saute. Let the tomtoes lose their shape, it might take around 2-3 minutes, add the cashewnuts to this, add 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the stove and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • I usually use my stick blender for blending masala paste for my curries. So i dont mind when it is hot. If you are using your normal blender, kindly let the ingredients cool well or else you might end splattering hot liquid all over you.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the onion-tomato mix and blend it to soupy consistency. Once done, keep aside.
  • Now in the same pan, add another tsp of oil, add cumin and chopped capsicums to it and saute for 2-3 minutes. Next add the parboiled/raw potatoes to this and saute for a minute. Add turmeric to this and mix well. 
  • Now add the blended onion & tomato cashew liquid to this. Add red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. 
  • If potatoes are parboiled :let the curry cook without covering for 8-10 minutes. Once done, finally add the garam masala and let it sit for 2 more minutes in heat. 
  • If the potatoes are not parboiled : Cover and cook for 8 minutes and let the potatoes cook well, then uncover and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  • I served them with beets paratha for my kids lunch.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Beetroot Paratha/Beets Chapathi/Beets Roti

After a break i m back with our Blogging marathon group and i chose to post Vegan/GF/Paleo recipes for this week. In this genre, i m posting a vegan recipe today, a simple paratha made with colorful beets. Beets is our vegetable. Beets rasam and beets chutney being our favorite. 
Now this beets paratha too joined that favorite list. I was a little skeptical whether my little one would like it, but to my surprise he loved the mildly spiced paratha, his favorite side for this is plain curd, whereas my elder one enjoys with a spicy side too. 

1&1/4 cup - 1&1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp of oil
1/3 cup - 1/2 cup warm water
To grind to a coarse paste
80 grams of beets. peeled and cooked until soft.
1/2 a green chili
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 or 2 tbsp of water to ease grinding
  • In a food processor or a chopped, take cooked beets,add green chili and cumin seeds to it and blitz away. I prefer almost smooth mix.
  • If you are doing in a food processor then you can add wheat flour to the processor and continue kneading the dough.
  • If not, remove the ground beets to a bowl, add flour and salt to it and mix. To this slowly add 1/4 cup of water first and knead and add extra water when you need.
  • When the dough is almost done, add oil to it and knead to a smooth dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Once rested, divide the dough to 4-6 portions, depending on the size you roll. Dust each dough ball with flour, roll out into thin discs, cook on a hot tava on both sides until done. I usually smear ghee once the roti is cooked. 
  • Keep the roti covered in a kitchen cloth until served. I packed these colorful roti's for my kids breakfast box along with Potato and capsicum masala.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Gulkand Coconut Ladoos - Quick bites made with Coconut,Condensed milk and Gulkand/Rose petal jam

Hello dearies, long time no see! yeah, i took relaxed break from my blogging, but i was active in insta and FB. More on insta actually. I read somewhere in FB that goes 
"I have decided to start my 2019 from February 1st, January is my trial month!"
With regard to blogging, i followed the above quote. Anyways, can't keep the place silent too long, isn't?  Thank you for all those who visited, even though there was not much happening in this space. Now, let us go today's recipe.
With Valentine's day around the corner, i thought why not posts some simple dishes that can be made in a jiffy to impress your loved ones. This coconut ladoos, flavored with gulkand and roohafza syrup is a hit amongst my friends. I made around 2-3 dozen of this and the Mango Ladoos for Diwali. The mango ladoos were quite famous with kids and the gulkand with the adults. 
I made these again for our Christmas get together along with the fruit cake. These Gulkand ladoos are quite a treat for ourselves and a great edible gift. If you are someone like me, who always feel that edible gifts hold that personal touch, then this ladoo should definitely be in your list. It hardly takes anytime, quick to make, a treat to look and as well as taste. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

Check out the video on how to make Gulkand Ladoos

2 cups dessicated coconut + 2 tbsp for rolling the ladoos
1 tin condensed milk
3 tbsp gulkand/Rose petal jam
1-2 tsp roofafza syrup
2-3 pod of cardaom, crushed 

  • Heat a wide pan, measure 1 tbsp ghee, add the coconut to it and roast until the raw smell dissappears. You dont have to roast it until golden brown. Toast it for 2-3 minutes in a medium flame.
  • To this now condensed milk and pounded cardamom. Keep the flame medium and stir the mixture frequently.
  • Once the mixture comes together as a mass, add gulkand and roohafza syrup and stir well. Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once it comes down and is warm to touch, divide the mixture into small balls and roll it in your palms. 
  • Roll the ladoos, on dessicated coconut and set aside. Rolling in dessicated coconut is optional, but gives a nice look to the ladoos.
  • Store them in an air-tight box in the refrigerator, i didnt want to keep them outside as it is made of coconut.
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