Choclate banana walnut cake

IMG_9498Hello everyone! its been a while since I updated the blog, infact a long while, few months maybe and a sea of water has flown ever since. Firstly I type this on my new laptop, secondly I am in a new assignment at work (that explains the long absence) and thirdly its that time of the year again when we prepare a group dance to perform on women’s day. So my updates on times gone by will follow in bits and pieces but let me start with this chocolate walnut banana cake recipe which I have made three times till now and every time its been a great hit! Make sure to use overripe bananas and the flavours will tickle your senses and make you wanting for more!

 Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose self raising flour
1 cup raagi
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp corn starch
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts chopped

Method:
Take two banana and run in the mixie with raw sugar for a good 2-3 min.
Add vanilla essence, oil and mix
Add all the dry ingredients together and add in the mixie.
Lastly, press the remaining two bananas with fork and incorporate them along with walnuts in the batter
Grease a baking dish and pour. Bake at 180C for 45 min

 

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Lemon Cheesecake

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I came back from an awesome trek to Lohagad and was looking for some comfort food. I had this opened pack of Silken Tofu and wanted to finish it off before it got spoilt, so I thought of making either cheesecake or tiramisu and found cheesecake to be easier and something that I had tried earlier successfuly. Last time it was strawberry cheesecake, this time I decided to do a refreshing lemon cheesecake for tea time. Last time I had used egg replacer as a thickener, this time I used corn starch and effect was the same! So here is the recipe-

Ingredients:

Crust-
Whole wheat flour/oats flour/ coconut flour : 1/2cup
Flaxseed : 1tbsp
Brown sugar : 1 tsp
Cinnamon : 1/2 tsp
Margarine/ coconut oil : 2 tsp

Filling-
Silken tofu (mori nu) : 1 pack
Cashew : 1/2 cup
Cornstarch : 2 tsp
Sugar/date syrup/maple syrup : 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence : few drops
Lemon zest : 2 tsp
Lemon juice : 1 lemon

Method :

– Soak the cashews in water and pre heat the oven.

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– To prepare crust, mix all the ingredients together. Margarine or coconut oil shd be cold from the fridge and rub it in the flour.

– Take a greased baking tray and spread the crust flour, pushing it down lightly and evenly. Bake the crust at high for 5 min.

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– Meanwhile grind the cashews in a mixie, instead of water add lemon juice and grind further. When smooth, add the remaining ingredients and mix again.

– Take the crust out and pour the filling over it.

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– Bake for 15-20 min depending on thickness of the pan and let it cool. Serve chilled.

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Kale chips

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So finally I ended up going for the flamingo watching at Sewri. There was a conducted tour by BNHS, they had set up thier telescopes and explained everything about these beautiful birds. I need to read up more as they seem to be really interesting birds. They come all the way from Kutch to feed. They pair up here and then fly back and breed.

imageAs I had some time between the bird watch and office, I decided to goto Crawford and purchased some exotics like kale, apple mint, avocado. There were orange mint and other mint flavours. Stalls were full of alphanso mangoes too. I also bought a packet of homemade fresh tofu and they turned out to be the tastiest unbeaniest ever, even better than the Silken tofu! I also purchased a lot of different sauces for stir fry and grilling purposes.

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In the evening I made some kale chips to be had with tea and later went to my favourite joint ‘wtf’ with a friend.image

Kale chips are easiest chips to make. Just shred them into small pices, toss them in some oil and bake them for 20 minutes. They come out crisp with an intense nutty flavour. Sprinkle some salt and sesame seeds and serve immediately!

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Carrot garlic chutney

imageThis week just flew by because firstly it started on Tuesday after the long weekend and then it was packed with activity. I gave belated birthday treat to my friends at work and was to go for this play at Prithvi with my vegan girlfriends. We did manage to catch a quick dinner of minestrone soup and tofu hummus sandwitches just before the show. I was to go for this kitchen gardening workshop on Saturday but unfortunately it got cancelled and there is a Flamingo watch at Sewri which I am still contemplating whether to go or not. There is some sky watching on Sunday and telescopes have been setup at various spots all over the city. I am tempted to go for that.image

Mornings have been busy because this week was my turn to give market view at the meeting and I have been making dosas everyday for breakfast. Usually some pickle or chilli garlic dry chutney is sufficient as a dip but once in a while I do like to make a chutney. The following recipe is a variant of the tomato garlic chutney only I have replaced tomato with carrot. This makes it a little sweet instead of sour and also adds up the good nutrients like beta carotene because of the carrots.imageimage

Ingredients:

Carrot – 1

Garlic cloves – 4-5

Coconut – 1 inch

Chickpea gram – ½ cup

Salt , green chilli – to taste

Method:

– Fry the garlic and then add chickpea gram and roast it a little more

– Add cut pieces of carrot and coconut

– Grind it all together with little water and add salt, chilli to taste

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Puran Poli

imageWishing everyone a very happy GudiPadwa. Most Indian desserts are heavily milk based but interestingly, few Maharashtrian desserts are vegan minus the ghee for flavouring like Puran Poli and Modak. So I set out to make puranpoli to feel the festive spirit of gudi padwa. But before that a quick recap of last week. The good news I have been dying to tell is that I bought a new I phone 5C! Besides that I have been fostering a small pup which I rescued from my backyard and will be adopted by my maid. Also, I joined a book club in my area and it opened my eyes to a whole new world of books! We discussed ‘Runaway’ by Alice Munroe and also many other good reads. I have some 7-8 new books on my kindle now waiting to be read which I collected asfter getting inspired from the meetup. Now the recipe for puran poli:imageimageimageimage

Ingredients:

Chana daal– ½ cup

Jaggery – ½ cup

Whole wheat flour dough – 2 cups (for 4 polis)

Salt , oil (optional)

Method:

–          Soak and boil the chanadaal. Separate the boiled daal and water through a sieve

–          Now crush the boiled daal and add jaggery. Cook this in a pan with little or no oil. The mixture will leave water and keep cooking till the mixture dries up. This will take 7-8 minutes

–          Make roti dough, you may add a little salt in this to bring out the flavor of jaggery even more.

–          Roll the dough with puran mixture filled inside and cook on a hot girdle on both sides. This can be rolled and cooked without oil though traditionally lot of ghee is used.

–          Serve with srikhand or spicy syrup made with the daal water!

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Soy Cutlet

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Isn’t that a beautiful burger with carrots on the side instead of fries! The cutlet inside this one is actually a potato cutlet, so I thought why not make this burger even healthier by making soya cutlets. Now soya is sold in two forms in the market graules and chunks. I love both for the variety they provide, they meaty , tasty and can take on any flavour with ease. So another day I made soy cutlet and had it with sandwitches, and it tasted as yum as the potato ones but much healthier!imageimageimageimage

Ingredients:

Boiled soya granules – 1 cup

Boiled potato – 1

Onion, green chilli, Green coriander – to taste

Salt, ginger paste, chilli powder, dhaniya powder, chaat masala, lemon juice – to taste

Bread – to prepare bread crumbs (makes cutlets crispy)

Method:

– Cut into small pieces the third ingredient and mix with mashed potato and soya granules mixed together

– Add all spices and make bread crumbs by toasting and crumbling the bread

– Make patties with your palms, cover with bread crumbs on both sides and fry

– Serve with your favorite chutney or with bread as a sandwitch. Can even freeze these for a month!

(Last pic is my baby choco with the new pup in the house. They get along like fire!)

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Fermented beetroot carrot juice (kanji)

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I know the above picture doesn’t look like the juice which the topic mentions. The thing is I am going to share the recipe for the juice but have no picture of it as of now. So I put up the picture of palm sugar which my parents had bought in south India and is much healthier and natural than the usual white sugar. Its only found in coastal regions.

This year the festival of Holi and my birthday both fall on the same day! So I had double reason to go visit my parents. I even had a small get together of my schoold friends on this day. The menu was luckhnavi chaat. Since I did not want to put any pressure of cooking on my mom I decided to order everything from a famous chaat shop near Gol Market. The chaat was accompanied with the usual holi treats of chips, gujiya (spl vegan gujiya for me), mathri, dahi bada (cashew curd for me), namkeen. All this heavy food needs to be washed down with the digestive fermented carrot juice.image

Ingredients:

Carrot, Beetroot – 1 each

Yello mustard – 1 tsp

Water – 1 litre

Salt – to taste

Method:

– Cut into small pieces carrot and beetroot (for color) and soak in 1 litre jar of water

– Crush the yellow mustard and add in the water

– Keep this jar in sunlight for 2-3 days, soon the water will become colored and sour

– You can drink this juice with pieces (thats how I like it) or you can sieve it through to remove all crushed mustard and carrot beetroot pieces. Serve chilled with little salt!image

Happy holi to Bobo Choco!

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Gluten free frankie

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Days have been quite crazy preparing for the Women’s Day function.We have been practicing our two dance items for almost two and a half months now and the final day is almost here. Apart from song selection, dancer selection and choreographing, I am also involved in costume design, stage design; basically everything. It is sapping me of all energies : physical and mental and so I am unable to think of anything new to cook.

Anyways, the other day I managed to make some frankies as it was friday and I wanted to eat something different. I did not have any maida flour so decided to try rice flour instead and make these gluten free rolls. I used minimum oil so they may not be as tasty as the roadside yummy ones dripping in oil but still a decent substitute. Below are pics of our two dances:

imageimageimageIngredients

Rice flour – 1 cup

Boiled potatoes – 2

Onion – 1

Green chillies, green coriander, salt, chilli powder, lemon juice

Method

– Make dough out of rice flour and cook chapatis out of them.

– Mash the potatoes and add all spices

– To assemble, put some mashed potato mix in the centre and top it up with onions, squeeze more lime juice and cover the roll.

– Serve with more onions and cut them into two. You may fry the chapatis and the mashed potatoes to bring more flavour but I prefer this oil free healthier version.

 

 

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Choclate oats cookies

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Cookies are the easiest desserts to make though not so common in India. Just a few simple ingredients and then bake them. I believe no matter what the other ingredients, choclate makes any cookie yummilicious effortlessly. Usually cookies need a lot of butter but here I have not even used margarine but raw whole almonds instead of any processed nut butter. Also I have used dates instead of sugar for sweetness and binding.

This is truly one of the healthiest choclate cookies which you can eat guilt free and its gluten free too! It can be eaten as a snack, dessert or even breakfast. I have paired it with some caramel sauce which I received as a gift in a cooking workshop at Kalaghoda festival. Some day I will try making it too at home. Caramel should taste awesome with cakes too just as it does with my cookies.

imageimageIngredients :

Oats – 1/2 cup

Almonds – 1/2 cup

Dates – 1/2 cup

Choclates – 1/2 cup

Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp

Method:

– Mix everything together in a mixer. If too dry add a little soya or coconut milk

– Take the batter in your palm and shape like cookies

– Bake them for 20-25 minutes and serve when cooled

 

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Rice kheer in coconut milk with fresh fruits

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This is a quick weekday dessert which can be assembled in a ziffy whenever you feel like having something sweet after dinner. Especially days such as these when my favouriteKalaghoda festival is going on in town. Luckily my office is walking distance from Kalaghoda and  so I ended up there on some days for lunch, some days in the evening during the 10 day fest. Here are some colourful, vibrant pics from the fest to give you a brief glimpse.

imageimageIt’s the awesomestart, theatre, music festival in Mumbai. I purchased few appliqué work curtains just look how beautiful they are !!

image I also got some board games for my bro and sis in law and some handbags for my mom.

imageVegan dishes that I have tried till now are Undhiyu-Puri, Khowseuy and Tepanyaki. After all that yummy heavy food, sometimes I come back home and all I want is a quick dessert. And here is one such:

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imageIngredients:

–          Leftover rice – 1 cup

–          Coconut milk condensed – 1/2 cup

–          Sugar – ½ tsp (optional)

–          Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp

–          Fresh cut fruits like grapes, banana, strawberry

Method:

–          Tke the left over cooked rice and moisten it with a little water and mix it together with a spoon, breaking the grains

–          Now add coconut milk and cook for 5 min, stirring continuosly

–          Add sugar, cardamom powder and let it cool a bit, Sugar is optional as coconut milk and fruits provide natural sweetness

–          Add fresh cut fruits and garnish with crushed nuts

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