Wednesday 31 July 2013

Rustic Carrot Cake

This is my first attempt at carrot cake and I wanted to make a good one rather than going on a trial with many recipes. I was looking for one that must definitely be moist, without pineapples or raisins (my husband's not into raisins), does not require a weighing scale (as I was making it after work on a Monday and I like cakes which doesn't require long prep time), not layered (as it requires more baking time and lots of frosting) yet tastes awesome....well, there's a lot of criteria to meet, isn't it...
After going through endless carrot cake recipes online, I saved a few and decided to modify and make my own version using these as the basics....and the end result : moist, flavourful, totally yummilicious carrot cake...just like I wanted it to be and I know this recipe will be a keeper ;)
So, here Rustic Carrot Cake.
The frosting wasn't setting..maybe due to less amount of icing sugar or a softer cream cheese that I used. So, I'll give you the carrot cake recipe...feel free to make ur own frosting as I'm yet to find a perfect frosting recipe.

Ingredients :

3 carrots (grated finely)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar (brown castor sugar mixed with dark brown sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4  cup canola oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain fat free yogurt
3 eggs
chopped walnuts / raisins (optional)

Method :

Preheat oven 180 degrees celcius. Prepare an 8 or 9 inch round pan. Grease the sides and place baking paper at the bottom of pan. (I used a 9 inch non-stick springform pan)
Beat eggs and sugar using a hand held mixer. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and keep aside.
Add in the oil and yogurt slowly to the egg mixture. Once well mixed, fold in the flour mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches (u do not need the hand mixer for this).
Then add in the grated carrot and vanilla extract. Mix only till well combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-32 minutes or till skewer inserted comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Remove cake, frost with cream cheese frosting, sprinkle toasted pecans or walnuts and serve.
(I baked the cake a day earlier and once it was cool, refrigerated it. I frosted the cake the next day before serving).

And the expression on my friends' faces...priceless ;)

Linked this to : and Whats With My Cuppa

Sunday 28 July 2013

Chicken in Soy Sauce

This is an easy dish to make....does not require a whole lot of ingredients yet it's tasty and goes well with white rice or tomato rice.

Ingredients :

1/2 chicken (cut into small pieces, skinless)
3 green chillies, slit
star anise, clove and cinnamon stick
2 big onions, sliced thinly
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 inch ginger, sliced thinly
salt to taste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp or more thick soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Method :

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Fry onions, cinnamon, clove and star anise. Once onion becomes soft, add in garlic and ginger. Stir till it's fragrant and add in chicken pieces. Pour thick soy sauce (desired amount depending on the thickness and colour of your soy sauce) and light soy sauce. Coat well. Add in some water and close pan. Let the chicken cook. Open lid and stir on and off to coat chicken with the sauce. Add water in between if needed. Add in salt and coat well.  Once chicken is well cooked, add in sesame oil. Mix well. Serve with rice.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Pan Fried Salmon with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

This wholesome meal makes the perfect dinner especially on a weekend where you wanna make something special for your loved ones. It will definitely earn you praises. Well, it did for me ;)


Ingredients :

2-3 salmon fillets
4 medium sized potatoes
asparagus (cut off the stems)
ground black pepper
dried oregano
butter (soft)
cream cheese (soft)
olive oil for frying

Method :

1. Get 2-3 slices of salmon, clean it and season with salt, ground black pepper and dried oregano. Make sure you rub it all well. Keep aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the other side dishes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes. Peel about 4 of em, cut into cubes and boil in a pot of water with some salt. Once it is soft, turn off heat, drain the water and mash the potatoes till there are no clumps (it has to be boiled till soft to get this texture). Then add some salt, ground black pepper and 3 tbsp of soft butter. Mix well. Now add 2-3 tbsp of soft cream cheese and mix till well blended. You may taste and adjust accordingly. The texture will be creamy and melts in your mouth ;).

3. Now remove salmon fillets from the refrigerator and keep aside. Add some olive oil to a non stick pan and add in the asparagus. Season with salt and coat well. Cook just till asparagus are cooked but still looking green n crunchy. Remove from pan and arrange them on your serving plates.

4. Add a little more oil to the same pan and pan fry the salmon fillets. Remove from pan.

5. Spoon some mashed potatoes onto the serving plates and arrange the salmon fillets. Serve hot.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Chicken Pepper Fry (Kozhi Milagu Varuval)


This is one flavourful, aromatic, mouthwatering dish..this recipe is from my new addition to my cookbooks collection 'Mastering The Art Of Indian Cooking by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor'.


2 skinless chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
20 black peppercorn (crushed)
oil for cooking
1 inch ginger (sliced thinly)
10 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 medium onions (sliced)
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 large tomato (sliced)

Method :

1. Put the chicken in a large bowl, add the chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, salt, peppercorns and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator to marinate about 30 mins.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Saute ginger, garlic and onions till onions turn golden. Add curry leaves, marinated chicken and saute for 10-15 mins.
3. Add the tomato and more salt to taste and saute till tomatoes are soft and cook till mixture is almost dry. Serve hot.

Monday 1 July 2013

Stir Fry Bread

This is something my grandma used to do for breakfast when we were kids and I'll help her cut up the bread slices. It's so easy to make and will be a definite hit with kids ;)

6-8 slices of white bread (cut into cubes)
1 large onion (sliced)
1/3 cabbage (sliced thinly)
1/2 carrot (shredded)
2-3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp or more chilli powder
salt to taste

Method :
Heat 1 tbsp of butter lightly on a nonstick pan..Saute the onion till soft. Add in chilli powder and mix well. Add in the cabbage and shredded carrot. Once cabbage and carrot are half cooked, add in bread pieces, the remaining butter and salt. Mix well to coat bread. Cook for a few minutes and remove from heat.