December 31, 2012

Eggless Plum Cake | Eggless Fruit Cake Recipe

I know it's really really lame to post a plum cake recipe right after Christmas and I wasn't really meaning to do it. But then I realised I will have to wait a whole year and I was positive I would forget the recipe and my notes if I postponed this recipe that long so here goes.

I shared Omana Paul's Plum Cake Recipe last year and quite a few people have tried it and shared feedback. However, as with any other cake recipe, I also got a ton of requests for an eggless plum cake recipe.

Eggless Plum Cake-Kerala Fruit Cake Recipe

December 28, 2012

Mushroom Korma Recipe, How to Make Mushroom Korma Recipe

Learn how to make mushroom korma, an easy and simple mushroom side dish for appam, dosa, rotis. 
My niece was visiting Kottayam with me last week for Christmas holidays and while browsing through Vanitha (a Malayalam magazine), we saw a great-looking recipe for Kadai Mushroom. I promised her I'll make try a mushroom recipe before I leave and even bought and kept some fresh button mushrooms in the fridge.

Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

The Kadai Mushroom didn't happen finally but instead, I made this easy and delicious Mushroom Korma instead. Amma wanted me to make a mushroom recipe that would go with rice and preferably with coconut in it and this Mushroom Korma was the perfect answer.

For mushroom recipes, check out mushroom paneer masala, mushroom peas curry, mushroom quiche (a very easy and tasty baked recipe) and one of my favourites, fried rice with mushroom.

Mushroom Korma Recipe

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 6
Recipe adapted from: Bawarchi

5 cups of quartered button mushrooms
1/2 cup of green peas, cooked until soft in some boiling water
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 cloves
1 small piece of cinammon
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

Grind Together:
1 large onion, cut into chunks
1 tomato, sliced
1" piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of grated coconut
1.5 tsp of coriander powder
5 dry red chillies

How to Make Mushroom Korma:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Fry for 10-15 seconds until they turn fragrant and add the minced onion.

Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

2. When the onions turn golden brown - about 4 mins later, add the chopped mushroom and turmeric powder. MIx well and cook for 2-3 mins until the mushrooms start to release water.
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

3. Add the boiled peas and some salt.
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

4. Top off with the ground mushroom masala paste along with about 3/4 cup water (I add it to the mixie jar, twirl it well to clean up the masala, and then add that water in).
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

5. Mix well to combine,
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

and cook closed for about 10 mins until the mushrooms are soft and the gravy has reached the right consistency. If it's too watery, cook in an open pan until the gravy thickens.
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

6. Once done, adjust salt and add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

This mushroom korma works great as a side dish for rice or chapati / roti. We had it with rice in the afternoon and then with dosa for dinner.

Mushroom Korma-Mushroom Korma Recipe-Mushroom Masala

Note: You can omit the green peas in this mushroom korma recipe but I would recommend adding it for the extra texture and colour. We used dried peas which is why there is pre-cooking required. If using fresh green peas, add directly to the gravy along with the mushrooms before you cook it covered. 

December 26, 2012

Kerala Chicken Roast Recipe | Spicy Indian Chicken Roast Recipe

This Kerala-Style Chicken Roast Recipe is a family favourite which amma's friend makes and sends over when we visit Kottayam. The fiery red colour and the delicious gravy of the chicken curry is sure to impress you as well. 
Visits to Kottayam always involve a lot of great food. Like I was telling TH the other day, I have come to realise that my family expresses affection through food - and lots of it! Amma goes into overdrive preparing for our visits days before we actually get there and as soon as we do, the extended family starts calling with plans of days and meals and meet ups.

Kerala Spicy Chicken Roast Recipe

December 25, 2012

Eggless Cake Recipes~Eggless Cupcake Recipes~Eggless Baking Recipes

I get a lot of comments and emails asking for specific eggless cakes and cupcake recipes. I have quite a few eggless cake recipes posted in the past but realised there's no one place that I have compiled everything. So here it is.

I will keep updating this page as I post more eggless cakes and eggless cupcakes. Note that most eggless cakes can be baked as eggless cupcakes (and vice-versa), it's really up to you.

Eggless Cakes | Eggless Cupcakes

Eggless Cake Recipes | Eggless Cupcake Recipes

December 21, 2012

12 Easy Christmas Cakes & Christmas Cookie Recipes

List of easy and delicious Indian recipes for Christmas cakes and cookies. 

Living in a place like Kottayam, it's tough not to join in the occasion of Christmas and celebrating with our own food, cakes, and bakes. Amma used to bake plum cake when I was a kid but since we get a ton of cakes from friends and family anyway, she stopped doing that. We would still bake an occasional ginger cookie or snowball cookies to have the oven going and serve guests homemade goodies during Christmas.

For the past two years, I have been in Kottayam for Christmas and joining in on the fun. I bet Christmas baking is being planned and done in your homes too and I hope this quick short list of 12 Christmas cakes and cookies will help you out.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 18, 2012

Crinkle Cookies Recipe | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipes

Crinkle cookies or crackle cookies are pretty unique in that they have a slightly raised, cracked top and a crispy outer "crust" and yet a soft almost cake-like interior. The cracks on top are highlighted by the icing sugar we roll the cookie dough in before baking.

My interest in Crinkle Cookies was aroused when I read Confessions of a Closet Baker which has a similar cookie and a story surrounding it, which the author refers to as Starry Starry Nights. What a lovely name compared to Crackle Cookies or Crinkle Cookies, eh?

Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Anyway, I decided to bake up some Crinkle Cookies this Christmas season when everyone has cookies and cakes on their minds.

The recipe is adapted from a recent favourite baking book - The Baker by Leanne Kitchen. There are some great recipes in there, most of which are easy and look fantastic. The photography in the book just sings to me because if I ever did a cookbook, that's how the pictures would look. It's totally my style.

Other cookie recipes you may enjoy - 1 minute mug cookie, eggless chocolate chip cookies, snowball cookies

Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes ~ 60 cookies
Recipe adapted from: The Baker by Leanne Kitchen

2.5 cups of flour
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, left out and softened to room temperature
1.75 cups of brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of milk
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of ground allspice or cinnamon (optional)
2.5 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of chopped nuts (I used pecan)
1/3 cup of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces
70 gm of dark chocolate (cooking chocolate)
1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup of icing sugar or powdered sugar for coating

How to Make Crinkle or Crackle Cookies:

1. In another bowl. cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one by one and beat again until well incorporated. Melt the chocolate (I used the microwave). Add the melted chocolate, vanilla, and milk to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Mix well until combined.
Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the allspice or cinnamon to this, if using and whisk it well. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk gently to combine.
Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

3. Fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips taking care not to overmix. You will have a thick-ish batter. Refrigerate this for atleast 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

4. When you are ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C. Take the cookie dough one small scoopful at a time, make a ball, and drop into the icing sugar. Coat generously and place on a lined baking tray about 2" apart. I pressed the top of the dough ball down gently because my first batch of cookies domed too much.
Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

5. Bake for around 25 mins until the cookie top cracks and it's soft to touch but the edges are done. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack after 5 mins.

Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Gorgeous Crinkle Cookies (Crackle Cookies) are now ready to be enjoyed! I did feel that the cookies were a tad too sweet but that works fabulously with a glass of cold milk. You can also omit the chocolate chips in the dough if you'd like, that's my addition to this cookie recipe.

Crinkle Cookies | Crackle Cookies | Christmas Cookie Recipe

What's baking in your kitchens this Christmas?

December 14, 2012

Bok Choy Dal Curry | Bok Choy & Lentils | Bok Choy Recipes

There are so many different dal recipes in my life, coming to think of it. There's the generic dal tadka which is my go-to recipe with roti or chapatt. There's the dal makhani which I rarely make unless we have company. Then there's the Kerala-style dal curry with moong dal that's a favourite because we add coconut to it and it goes with roti / chapati and rice equally well.

Bok Choy Dal Curry-Bok Choy with Lentils

When amma was visiting me in May this year, she was very smitten with all the green in the wet market here, particularly bok choy. Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage, is generally steamed or lightly sauteed and eaten with rice. I haven't cooked with it after making a stir fry with it - Stir Fried Bok Choy Recipe.

December 12, 2012

Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Biscottis have been on my mind for a while and I had bookmarked quite a few biscotti recipes over the past few months, looked up the technique, figured out if I wanted to add nuts to my biscotti, leave it plain, add fruit zest, and a million other things.

Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

The final kick came in when I got some lovely almond orange biscotti from a friend on Diwali. They were beautifully baked and immediately sent me to the kitchen to bake up my own batch of Double Chocolate Biscotti!

TH's first reaction on biting into these was "is this chocolate rusk?". I took that as a good sign that the biscotti has indeed come out crisp, much like rusk, the way it should! Biscotti are Italian biscuits or cookies that are twice-baked, giving them a lovely crispy edge and a porous texture which is great for dipping in coffee or tea. They are great on their own too, but I love it with milk, especially chocolate biscotti.

Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Once again, I must say that the deep colour of my chocolate biscotti is due to the gorgeous cocoa I use - Valrhona Cocoa Powder - which I buy in small batches from Whole Foods whenever I visit the US. They store really well in the refrigerator and have a lovely deep brown-purple colour.

Other cookie recipes you may enjoy - Sweetheart sugar cookies, banana oatmeal cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies.

Double Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 10-12 long biscotti
Recipe adapted from: Dorie's Baking: From my Home to Yours (A book I'd highly recommend, btw)

1 cup of all-purpose flour (maida)
¼ cup of cocoa powder
1.5 tsp of instant coffee powder
⅓ tsp of baking soda
¼ tsp of baking powder
3 tbsp of butter, at room temperature
½ cup of sugar
1 egg
½ tsp of vanilla extract
½ cup of chopped nuts (I used Pecan)
½ cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
A pinch of salt

How to make Chocolate Biscotti:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a baking mat.

2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Mix well until it’s combined.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

3. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. You can use a stand mixer, hand mixer or a hand-held whisk for this but obviously the time taken will vary. I beat it for 3 mins on my stand mixer.

4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again on medium speed, scraping down the sides as you go. The mixture may look curdled, that’s totally fine.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

5. Reduce speed to low and add the dry mixture in three additions. Gently mix until a dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon until you get a semi-sticky dough.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

6. Chop up the nuts and chocolate chunks (if not using chocolate chips).
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

7. Fold into the dough until it's well distributed throughout.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

8. Shape into a 1” thick log with wet fingertips onto the lined baking sheet. Mine was more of an oval, oblong log, just make sure it's not too wide because then your biscottis will be super extra long and hard to handle. Use wet fingertips, the extra moisture helps crisp up the biscotti as they bake.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

9. Bake in the pre-heated oven at the same temperature for 20-25 mins. The top may crack a bit and you will get a lovely chocolate smell. Touch the top and it should still be soft and form a dent. Remove from oven (but leave the oven on).
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

10. Let it cool down a bit but when still warm, cut into 1” wide pieces using a serrated knife or bread knife using a gentle sawing motion. Don’t worry if the pieces crumble a bit.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

11. Bake the pieces again by placing them upright or one side down. You need to give them another 10 mins in the oven to crisp up. If you are placing them one side down, it’s advisable to turn them over after 5 mins.
Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

12. Once crispy, remove from the oven and let cool completely. They will crisp up further on cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Double Chocolate Biscotti | Christmas Cookie Recipe

Biscottis made great Edible Gifts for Christmas since they store and transport well. You can wrap them up in some pretty plastic bags, throw them into brown paper bags tied with ribbon, or even pack them in long wide glass bottles.

Other Christmas Recipes you may like:

Fruit Cake

Snowball Cookies

Ginger Cookies

Spiral Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Orange Cake

Choc Chunk Cookies

Lemon Cake

Cake Pops

Carrot Cake

Choc Fudge Cake

Melting Moments