June 17, 2011

Blueberry Streusel Muffin Recipe

blueberry streusel muffins recipe

I love the blueberry muffins they have in Starbucks so I started looking for a similar recipe online a while back. Although there were a few hits and misses, nothing really looked compelling. Then the search turned to other things and I promptly forgot about the blueberries I had bought and frozen to make muffins.

blueberry streusel muffins recipe

But you can't really forget about blueberry muffins for long, can you? I resumed my search for a good blueberry muffin recipe a couple of weekends back and found a recipe for something better - blueberry streusel muffins! I have been wanting to make streusel something for a while now so here it goes!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins Recipe
Makes 8 large muffins
Adapted from All Recipes


For Muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or maida
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk, approx
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

How I Made It:

1. Preheat oven to 400F / 200C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners and set aside.

2. For muffin batter - combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl with a whisk or fork

3. Place vegetable oil in a 1 cup measuring cup, add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture gently until no traces of the flour mixture remain.

4. Fold in the blueberries without breaking them. Its helps to refrigerate or freeze them for a bit before this step. If the blueberries break, they will bleed all over the batter, making your cupcakes purple. Unless that's the colour you want to end up with, freeze the blueberries and harden them a bit. Either ways, taste is not affected.

5. Fill muffin cups almost to the top. This gives a more domed muffins as you get in malls and bakeries. The streusel topping will make sure the batter doesn't spill over while baking.

6. To Make Streusel Topping: Combine the ingredients with your fingertips until they resemble bread crumbs (the mixture will be more moist than bread crumbs though). Sprinkle over the muffin batter and cover as completely as possible.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the muffins pass the skewer test (insert skewer or toothpick into the muffin and if they come out with some dry crumbs at the end, you are done).

blueberry streusel muffins recipe

The muffins were airy, large, domed, and delicious. I also added some almond extract to the second batch but the ones without that were nicer so omit any flavouring that you feel tempted to add, like vanilla or almond.

blueberry streusel muffins recipe

I promised I will give an option to make these eggless so to make eggless blueberry streusel muffins, replace the egg with 1/2 cup yogurt or add 2 tbsp flax seed meal mixed in with 1/4 cup warm water. I haven't tried these egg substitutes for this recipe but have tried them in other muffin recipes and they work like a charm!

June 16, 2011

The beauty of a beet cake recipe {Video by Tiger in a Jar}

I watch cooking videos like kids watch their favourite cartoons - often back to back and in a loop and totally engrossed.

I also wanted to get my mind off the bombing and bad stuff going on around here. Part of me wishes I had just let it go but either ways, I can't thank you all enough for all the wonderful support. I don't want to flood my Facebook page with more updates and words of gratitude.

Moving on. This is by far the most gorgeous recipe video I have ever seen. I hope the husband-wife team behind Tiger in a Jar come up with more. I really wanted to bake the cake and post the video together but that would mean holding this back from you for that much longer. So here goes. Use headphones.

For the full beet cake recipe with measurements, visit this page in Tiger in a Jar.

Now I am going to go back and watch this one more time. Food porn, this is it. 

June 13, 2011

Banarasi Dum Aloo Recipe - Aloo Dum Recipe

Recipe for Banarasi Dum Aloo (Aloo Dum Recipe)

If I see a bag of baby potatoes when I head to the supermarket near my place, I pick it up. Always. Good things always come out of having a bag of baby potatoes in your kitchen. You will see. There are lots of good Indian recipes with potatoes and some of my favourites are a simple potato roast masala, aloo chana made in the pressure cooker, and these honey chilli potatoes

Dum Aloo Banarasi Recipe | Indian Potato Recipes

Earlier last week, I was telling myself how inefficient and wasteful I am being. I almost always turn online if I want a recipe but love to buy cookbooks and stack them up in the kitchen shelf. In my new kitchen, all the books are out and neatly arranged so I really have no excuse for not using them more.

June 12, 2011

Eggless Blueberry Pancakes | Eggless Pancakes Recipe (Fluffy and Soft)

I am married to a guy who doesn't like pancakes. At least, he thought so until I made these perfect pancakes and that kinda sorta turned him around, but not completely. But I knew for a fact that if I added a fruit to the pancakes, he is not going to touch them so I devised this recipe meant for one - just me! Its also an eggless pancake recipe because I didn't have any eggs at home. Sometimes, necessity creates masterpieces!

You may also like these ricotta pancakes from scratch.

Eggless Blueberry Pancakes | Eggless Pancakes Recipe (Fluffy and Soft)

Well, I know these pancakes are not really the Brad Pitt of pancakes but they come together in 10 mins, and are eggless. So, stop being shallow. After all, the rustic look is in these days. The more dilapidated-looking the plywood for for your food photo base, the better. Haven't you noticed?

Eggless Blueberry Pancakes | Eggless Pancakes Recipe (Fluffy and Soft)

Btw, you do need some maple syrup to serve these up because they aren't super sweet on their own. Of course, you can add more sugar to the batter but why would you. Pour on the maple syrup (or the ones that masquerade as maple syrup, your choice). I got the real deal in US this time and its worth every gram of the weight I had to lug back.

Eggless Blueberry Pancakes Recipe
Prep + Cooking : 10 mins
Serves: 1 (about 3 medium-sized pancakes)

1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
A pinch of baking soda
1 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
A pinch of salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp butter to spread on pancakes while cooking

How to Make Eggless Pancakes

1. Mix all ingredients together (except for the butter).

2. Heat a pan or griddle and spread some butter on it. Pour about 1/3rd of the batter into the centre of the pan and let it spread naturally. Keep the fire on low.

3. When small bubbles start to appear on the pancake surface, drop some blueberries on the pancake. I used about 5-6 per pancake. Flip over gently. Don't press down hard on the pancake, otherwise the blueberries will burst and create a mess. Handle very gently and always keep on low flame, otherwise the edges will burn like one of my pancakes did.

4. Cook for another minure or two and transfer to a plate.

Eggless Blueberry Pancakes | Eggless Pancakes Recipe (Fluffy and Soft)

Eat warm with a generous drizzle of maple syrup and be glad you don't need to share!

June 9, 2011

Ergo Chef Knives - A Review

ergo chef knife paring knife review

I love knives.

After cooking pots, they are my biggest kitchen obsession and I often try to pick up knives as varied as possible. I did get 2 knives from the US during my recent trip but that's for another post because today I am going to talk to you about Ergo Chef Knives.

Update: I would probably recommend Pure Komachi knives over these. They are cheaper and last equally as long.

ergo chef knife paring knife review


- They are gorgeous
- They are ergonomic and that's great for people who spend a lot of time chopping
- They are super sharp, as knives should be
- The cutting blade is very thin and this allows for very smooth and thin slicing. I don't think I have ever sliced onions this pretty before or minced up coriander leaves so fine before
- The knives are heavy at the front so it naturally lends more weight on whatever you are chopping up. That's clever.
- They don't cost a bomb. I have ogled at Wusthof knives for a long time but I just can't afford them at this time. I am not sure how these compare to that brand but honestly, I am happy with Ergo Knives.

ergo chef knife paring knife review


- If you like light knives that are easy to hold in hand for chopping (the Kerala way, will post pics soon) or peeling, then the chef knife is too heavy for that job
- They look serious and don't come in colours. May not be a con to you but is somewhat of a boo for me
- You only get them in the US at this time and shipping to your country if you live outside it may prove a bit expensive. But then again, now you know what you can ask your friends and family in Amrika can bring a food-lover like you next time they visit!

Here are the two knives I picked form the website and have been using for the past 2 weeks.

ergo chef knife paring knife review

The 6" Chef Knife and the 3.5" Paring Knife.

Leave a comment if you have any questions on best uses, or any other details.

**disclosure - I have received no monetary compensation for this post. I did, however, get to pick two knives from the website and got these for free but under no obligation to review or say nice things about. All opinions are honest and my own**

June 6, 2011

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe - Mango Cheesecake in a Glass

This is a recipe for an eggless mango cheesecake that needs no baking. I have used gelatine to set the mango layer but you can use agar gar or China grass, a vegetarian alternative used for the same purpose. This mango cheesecake is a great recipe to try during the summer mango season, fresh mangoes always work best but I have used canned mango pulp here for ease. I also suggest taking a look at my Eggless Oreo Cheesecake Recipe that uses no setting agents. Or maybe something like this Eggless Strawberry Mousse is more your type of dessert?

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

I have taken pictures at every stage of this mango cheesecake recipe and I am going to force you to look at them (scroll down to the bottom for the short version without pics). This does not mean this is not an easy recipe. I mean, this is cheesecake you don't need to bake. It really doesn't get easier than that. Round up your ingredients and let's get started.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

You are going to need graham crackers for the base. I got some from the US because I really really love graham crackers but if you don't have any handy, go with digestive biscuits, marie biscuits, or even Oreos.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Give them a whiz in your food processor to turn into crumbs. You can even put them into a ziplock and use a rolling pin to smash them into small pieces. I always take the easy way out, especially when the end result won't show much difference anyway.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Time to pour in some melted better.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Give the mixture another whiz so that the base becomes moist and crumbly, just the way we want it. At this time, I urge you to smell this mixture. I swear it already smells a bit like cheesecake!

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Now, you can go many routes. Use an 8" springform pan if you want one full cake which you can later slice up. I decided to set them in individual glasses and picked out whatever I had in hand. This will make serving much easier, especially if you are making this for a small party or something. Also looks infinitely prettier.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Spoon some into each glass and press firmly with the back of a spoon or fingertips. Leave this in the refrigerator while the rest of the cheesecake is prepared.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Mix well together the cream cheese, sugar, and cream. You can do this with a whisk by hand since you are not going to beat it much, just until it all comes together. I used my Kitchenaid for the job.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Time to bring out the gelatine. This is our setting agent, since this is a no-bake cheesecake recipe. See notes at the end of this recipe for vegetarians to use agar agar powder.

Dissolve 1 tbsp gelatine in hot water.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Mix this into the mango puree. I used canned mango puree but if you have fresh mangoes that you want to use up (lucky you!), then go for that, please. Make sure the mango puree is well combined with the gelatine mixture.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Reserve half and pour the rest into the cream cheese mixture. Incorporate well. This is our middle layer or the main part of the cheesecake. How easy was that?

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Bring out the glasses from the fridge and spoon the cheesecake mixture into each, until about 3/4th full. Return to fridge for atleast 10 mins. I took them out in about 15 mins or so.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Once the cheesecake has set a bit in the fridge, pour the reserved mango-gelatine mixture gently on top of the cheesecake. If you don't do the refrigerating bit after you pour in the cheesecake, that will blend into the top layer that you are pouring in now so its important to let the cheesecake mixture set for a bit.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

That's it! Refrigerate overnight or atleast 6-8 hours for a delicious dessert.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

Full credit for this recipe goes to my classmate from school, Swetha and her cousin. She emailed me this recipe long back and I had kept it starred for ages. Glad I got around to finally making it. This is an easy dessert that makes you look really good for making it, just the kind I love!

Here's the recipe, all in one place.

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe
Serves 6-8

Cream cheese - 1 block (250gm, Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
Cream - 170 gm (I used Nestle)
Sugar - Half a cup
Mango puree - 3/4 of a cup
Gelatine - 1 Tbsp (vegetarians see notes)
Hot Water - 1/4 cup
Graham cracker crumbs - 1.5 to 2 cups (Depending on how thick you want the base to be)
Unsalted butter, melted - 75 gm (about 1/3 of a cup)

How to Make Eggless Mango Cheesecake

1. Whiz the graham crackers in a food processor. Add melted butter and whiz again until the mixture comes together. Press into the bottom of an 8" springform pan that's lined with aluminium foil or use individual glasses. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the cheesecake.

2. Mix the cream cheese, cream, and sugar in a bowl until well combined. You can do it by hand or use low speed on your Kitchenaid. An electric beater is not needed.

3. Add the gelatine to the hot water and stir till it completely dissolves. Add the mango puree and stir well. Keep half of this mixture aside and add the rest to the cream cheese mixture. Stir gently until well combined.

4. Pour on top of the graham cracker base. Return to fridge for another 10-30 mins.

5. Pour the mango mixture as the third layer. Do this gently so that the layers don't combine. If you use a springform pan, the top layer will be much thinner, as it should be.

6. Refrigerate overnight and get ready to serve a yummy dessert at your party that can be prepared well in advance!

Eggless No-Bake Mango Cheesecake Recipe

If you are a vegetarian or don't want to use gelatin, you can use agar agar powder or China grass powder. It's a plant-based thickener that works the same way as gelatin. You can find it in Asian stores and most supermarkets in India sell these in powder form or in strips. If you are using strips, dissolve 5gm in 2 tbsp warm water and use in the above recipe.

June 3, 2011

Vegetable Kurma | Mixed Vegetable Korma Recipe

Vegetable Kurma or Vegetable Korma is my go-to recipe for a number of reasons. But, let me confess and say upfront that I made this very similar to the navratan kurma which The Husband really digs. Boys seem to like mixed vegetables disguised under some spicy gravy don't they? If I make TH a single-vegetable dish, he is okay with it. Add two vegetables, he is happy. Add three, he loves it! True story.

mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe

I love the Chettinad style of cooking with whole spices, coconuts and such. The flavours are bold and loud, the ingredients are in your face and every bite makes you feel vibrant and reminds you that you are eating this meal and loving it. While the general agreement is that Chettinad cooking is best done with meat, I tend to think that this vegetable kurma is a fairly good vegetarian version. While I won't claim this is a Chettinad style vegetable curry recipe, I do think it's largely inspired from that cuisine.

mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe

I love serving this kurma with spongy uttappam but chapatis or rotis are really the perfect and classic pairing. You can adjust the ingredients in all sorts of manners - from picking a different mix of vegetables to adding as little or as much spices and coconut as you'd like. You can even choose to heat up the spices in oil instead of grinding it with the coconut as I have done. I have tried both versions and they both create a fine kurma.

mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe

More side dish recipes for rotis:
Paneer korma
Soya chunks vegetable kurma
Navratan Kurma
Chettinad mixed vegetable curry
Mushroom korma


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

2 onions
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 cups mixed chopped vegetables (I used carrots, beans, potatoes, and tomatoes)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp yogurt (optional)
2 tsp coriander powder / malli podi
1/2 tsp cumin / jeera
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
A few curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
To Grind:
4 cloves
2" cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
5-6 cashew nuts
2 green chillies
1/4 cup grated coconut


Add the ingredients under the list "to grind" into a small mixie jar or spice grinder.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-3

Grind to a smooth paste with water. I added about 1/2 cup water while grinding but this depends on the size of your grinder and how smooth you want the paste to be. Set aside.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-4

Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel. Fry for a minute or until the mustard seeds start popping.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-5

Add the sliced onions, curry leaves, and green chillies. Saute until the onions turn a light brown.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-6

Add the ginger garlic paste along with the coriander powder and sauté again until fragrant - another minute or so.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-7

Now add the chopped vegetables and coconut paste. Top up with about 1 cup water and the milk for the vegetables to get cooked properly.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-8

Add some turmeric and simmer until the vegetables are cooked yet hold their shape.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-9

You can cook down the vegetables to your preferred consistency. Add yogurt at this stage, if using.
mixed vegetable kurma veg korma recipe-10

Finally add salt and remove from fire. Serve vegetable kurma hot with chapatis, rotis, nan, parotta, or even pulao.

Note: this recipe was updated with new and step by step pictures on 21st March, 2015.