Friday, July 30, 2010

Eggless Oats Brownies

Very rarely do we come across recipes which sound sinful but are super healthy.Quite an oxymoron I know,but I am sure you'll agree with me after seeing the ingredients which go into this delicious,decadent and fudgy Brownies.I have a weak spot for Brownies and I keep collecting Brownie recipes like there's no tomorrow.So when I saw Sunita's post of Eggless Oaty Brownies,I was jumping in joy.Here was a Brownie recipe which was Eggless,low-fat and low-sugar too.And like Sunita's other baking recipes,this one was made with Atta/whole wheat flour and with oats.Can it get better than this??

I set about making it last Sunday while I was making dosas,oh didn't I tell you the making of these beauties were a breeze too??No excess beating of ingredients,no waiting for butter to come to room temperature because..well,there's no butter in this recipe!!Only effort for me[if there's one at all] was to melt the chocolate[since I freeze the chocolate,it was hard for me to wait for it to come down to room temperature and then melt it].

It smelled divine while it was baking and I found it so hard to wait for it to cool down so that I could cut it and EAT it!!

It had the perfect crust,oh the crust!!I couldn't tell it was made with atta and more important,I kept telling myself that they were low-fat while chomping down pieces after pieces!!

Eggless Oats Brownies
Recipe courtesy - Sunita of Sunita's world


Whole wheat flour/Atta - 1 1/2 cups
Oats - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Dark Chocolate - 150 gms,melted and cooled
Dark Brown Sugar - 4 tbsp[I used white sugar]
Milk - 2 cups
Sunflower Oil - 5 tbsp


Preheat oven to 180C--Grease/line an 8' square cake pan.
In a mixing bowl,mix together flour,oats,cocoa powder and baking powder.
In another bowl,mix together milk,sugar and oil.
Mix the liquid ingredients into the flour mix slowly.
Fold in the melted chocolate.
Transfer the batter into the pan and smooth the tops with a spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes,the centre will still be soft at this stage.
Place the pan on a rack and cool completely in the pan[believe me,this is the hardest part!!]
When completely cool,cut into 16 squares.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Roasted Brinjal in Tomato Ketchup

One more vegetable added to my list of never-liked-before but I like it now veggies list.I've not been very fond of Brinjal based dishes mainly because of the texture the vegetable provides--soggy and slimy and many more such unprintable words!!I started getting interested in Brinjal only after I found out that it tastes very much similar to Gulla/Matti Gulla and I could use it for any preparation as a substitute for the same.Since this one is one of our favorites,Brinjals invariably make their way into our fridge.

I initially wanted to prepare the famous Ennai Kathrikai as I have heard so many rave reviews about it.But I did not want to be over enthusiastic.Now here I was with a vegetable I barely noticed before and the next instant I decide to cook one of the best-ever Brinjal preparations??I wanted to take the easier route and I did!!

Nags has many Brinjal recipes in her blog and it wasn't hard for me to choose a recipe.I chose the different yet delicious looking Brinjals in tomato ketchup.We had it with Rotis and surprisingly,finished off the whole bowl!! Thank you Nags,let me try your Ennai Kathrikai..someday!!

Roasted Brinjal in Tomato Ketchup
Recipe verbatim from Nags' Blog


Brinjal -2 cups,sliced into slightly thin pieces
Onion- 1 medium size, sliced long
Garlic -2 cloves,sliced long
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
A pinch of turmeric powder
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves (optional)
1 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup
Salt to taste


Slice the brinjal and add the pieces to a bowl of water to prevent browning. Set aside. 
Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the chopped onion and garlic. Fry until golden brown. 
Add the masala - turmeric, coriander, chilly, curry leaves if using - and fry for another minute. 
Now add the brinjal pieces, reduce flame to low and mix well. Cook covered for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice in the middle to prevent the vegetable sticking to the pan. 
Once the brinjal is cooked almost mushy, add the ketchup or sauce and mix well. Add salt.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Maida Dosa/Crepes with seasoning

It is amazing how there are so many varieties of dosas in our repertoire but still we always settle for the regular dosas.Ajay for one,dislikes any dosa other than the usual Ghee roast or Masala dosa and is very particular about it too.However much I coax him into eating any other dosa,like Wheat flour dosa or Maida-urad dal dosa and he says he'll settle for Cornflakes instead.[note how many dosas made their appearance here,lol]

I am game for any dosas though,precisely the reason I enjoy the different varieties at Pai's Thattukada[street side shop] in Ernakulam.

So it wasn't surprising that I made this one after a five minute call to amma to ask something else.As with friends/fellow bloggers,the same situation is with amma too.The call isn't complete unless we ask each other what we ate and what food is being cooked.Now even more since I have two sis-in-laws who have almost taken over the kitchen and there is more variety than ever on the dining table!!

Phanna Polo or dosas with seasoning is a very simple one which gets done in less than 10 minutes from start to finish.Perfect for those days when there is no batter in the fridge and you are left wondering what to cook for breakfast!!

Maida Dosa with seasoning


Maida/Flour - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 2
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
Water,as required to make the batter

Updated - Such an irony,I post a recipe which calls for a dosa with seasoning,and I precisely forget to add the seasoning part in the recipe!!Thanks Prema for pointing out!! 

For the seasoning

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Grind together the grated coconut,green chillies,salt and sugar to a coarse paste-without adding water.
Mix this with maida and add enough water to make a smooth batter.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with oil and splutter mustard seeds.Add curry leaves and pour this seasoning into the batter.
In a hot dosa tava prepare dosas.
This dosa tastes well on its own without any accompaniments.I had it with some leftover Mushroom Saung.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Masala Biscuits

A very simple gtalk conversation with Aparna led me into making these cookies.As I've mentioned before,many a times the chat is about food and more food than anything else.Probably the second or max the third query to each other would be -"so what's cooking"? 

So while chatting she told me she was baking masala cookies and I was intrigued.I've been meaning to make these since so long and it looked like the perfect time to try.I was leaving to Ekm on a short trip and was already baking this cake,so thought of making this too.I had written down this recipe long back from this blog and it looked simple enough to try.I did and as I was flattening the cookies,I had an idea.I wanted these to look like biscuits not cookies but the dough was a li'l bit,teeny bit sticky.

I remember seeing this method somewhere[can't remember where] of refrigerating the dough in a ziplock bag and then rolling the dough inside it.That gives the biscuits a very even shape and you could easily cut them into squares or any other shape of your choice without the necessity to add more flour lest the dough starts getting sticky. 

First time I made these,they were gone in no time and I really did not get a chance to have it myself.So the first thing I baked after coming back to Chennai was this.I should say I am in love with savory cookies.Perfect snack to have with a cup of tea.I can see myself baking this again and again!!

Masala Biscuits - Recipe source Namratha of Finger-licking Food


Maida - 1 cup
Butter - 75 gms[original recipe uses margarine],softened
Powdered sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Green chillies - 6-8,adjust to your spice level[I used 4]
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs[I skipped this]
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp,chopped
Ginger - 1/2' piece grated


Preheat oven to 150C.Grease/line a cookie tray.
Sift together flour,powdered sugar,baking powder and salt and keep aside.
In a mixing bowl,beat butter till smooth[about3-4 minutes.Mix in the cut chillies,chopped curry leaves,coriander leaves,ginger and yogurt.
Slowly mix in the flour little at a time and knead into a smooth dough.
Keep the dough inside a ziplock and seal it closed.

Start rolling-first to all four corners and then roll evenly till the dough stretches to all sides.
It might be sticky at this stage-so refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes or so.
Cut open the ziplock and cut the biscuits into shapes of your choice
Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake for 20-23 minutes.
Cool on a cooling rack and store in airtight containers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Alambe Saung ~ Mushrooms in Tangy Chilly sauce

It is strange how my taste buds change over a period of time.Nope,I still dislike Okra and I haven't started eating non-veg,heheh.I am talking about Mushrooms here.I have described here how I felt about eating the so-called fungus and how I particularly ate only a few dishes made with these.But you know,I've suddenly developed a liking for it now,maybe it has got to do with the preparation,but still.

It was on our train journey back from Karkala,after attending my elder bro's wedding I had this.But of course,that was made with something called gud-gud alambe,meaning mushrooms which sprout during thunderstorms and are hailed a delicacy for the same reason that they appear rarely and taste awesome.I badly wanted to recreate the taste at home but had to do with fresh button mushrooms.

Nevertheless,it tasted great and I am a mushroom convert[for the time-being!]

Alambe Saung - Mushrooms in Tangy Chilly sauce


Button Mushrooms - 200 gms
Onions - 2 small,chopped fine
Tomato - 1,chopped fine
Roasted red chillies - 3-4
Tamarind lump - 1 small channa size
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste


Wash,clean and chop the mushrooms and keep aside.
Grind the red chillies,tamarind and coriander seeds to a smooth paste adding just enough water.
In a kadai add oil and saute onions.
When the onions start browning add tomatoes and stir till the tomatoes turn soft.
Now add the grounded masala,salt to taste and let it boil.
Add the chopped mushrooms,mix well and let it cook on a low flame for about ten minutes,close with a lid.
[Mushrooms release water as they cook so it is not necessary to add more water] 
The curry thickens as it cools,so check the consistency before switching off the flame according to your liking.
Serve hot with rice,roti or dosa.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Banana Halwa ~ For someone special !!

I am never in doubt when I have to bake something for someone's birthday.In fact,I am willing to bake a Birthday Cake for my cousin's friends' wives' sisters' daughter too.Yeah,for someone who is always looking for a reason to bake,anyone's birthday is an occasion.No offense,I am just trying to put my point across here.

Then why not a cake today,for my pretty and sweet ma-in-law as she celebrates her birthday?Well,you have a question there.To be very,very honest I am having a starting trouble.Even the easiest cake recipe is looking kind of hard work to me.I hope I haven't forgotten to bake,oh what a terrible thought!!

I almost zeroed in on this cake from her wonderful blog.Then thought,here I am trying to reduce all the piled up weight from the wedding feasts and surely,the cake is not going to help me one bit.Not that this halwa is fat-free,far from it.But I had so much of this halwa back home that I can pretty much refrain from eating it[I hope].

So here it is,an instant[almost] Banana Halwa that you could whip in less than 10 minutes.

Banana Halwa


Ripe Banana [nendrapazham] - 2
Sugar - 3-4 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - for deep frying


Chop the banana into small pieces.
In a kadai,add oil and when it is hot deep fry the banana pieces till golden brown.
Remove and drain on a tissue paper.
Transfer to a bowl and add the ghee,sugar and cardamom powder and give a good shake.
Serve hot.
[the sugar oozes out of the halwa as it cools down and I like to have it cold too]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Biscuit Roti

It is HARD,hard indeed to come back from a fun-filled and joyous wedding celebration,and more difficult when you just enjoyed all the fun in double.Yes,I am talking about my brothers' wedding celebration and all the to be honest,I am coping up well.Except if you count the pending works to be done for me to function fully well in the kitchen and otherwise.Browsing the net and blogging must be something I have no qualms to be doing now despite the halo of laziness surrounding me,heheh.

I've been doing zero amount of cooking back home,so to resume blogging I am taking someone's help,just like this one.

If last time it was her,this time it is my Sis-in-law Radhika,who is an amazing cook.The way she goes about cooking delicious dishes back to back,I am sure my amma is going to get a much needed break from the kitchen!!

Biscuit Roti is quite similar to Kachori,or stuffed poori which she made for me on the day I travelled back here.Thanks so much vanni,I got one more dish on my request list[to be cooked for me,of course]

Biscuit Roti


Wheat flour/Atta - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp - heated to smoking point
Water - to knead the dough

For the stuffing

Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 3-4
Ginger - 1' piece
Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying the Rotis


For the outer crust-
Mix together atta,salt and hot oil till the mixture resembles bread crumb like consistency.Add enough water to make a stiff dough[like for poori].

For the filling - 
Soak urad dal for 20 minutes.
Grind together the soaked[and drained]dal,grated coconut,green chillies,ginger and salt to a coarse mixture without adding water.

To make the roti-
Make small balls of the dough and the filling and keep aside.
Using a rolling stone,flatten the roti dough a little and place the filling inside.
Close the sides carefully and loosely shape into round discs.
Flatten the balls into thin rotis without giving much pressure using enough flour to dust.

Deep fry in hot oil till it bubbles up and browns evenly on both sides.
Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream filling - Sweet Punch for July!!

I had not realized how busy I would be,while signing up to host the Sweet Punch challenge for July!I had major plans in my head as to how to finish all my pending chores before leaving to my hometown for my brothers' weddings.The few days before I came here just whizzed past and all my plans of baking the challenge much ahead of time vanished in thin air.I did not give up hope,still.I had better plans,thought of baking it from here,in midst of all wedding drama while I didn't foresee that entering into the kitchen to get a glass of water too would be a big task!!

I am sure resuming blogging is going to be a tough task as I am sure I'll have trouble going back to my kitchen and cooking after one whole month of staying away from it!!

Coming back to Sweet Punch.I smelt trouble a few days back when I thought about how it would look if the host herself skipped the challenge.As always,my vanni came to my rescue and she has done the challenge on my behalf in such a short notice.I can't thank you enough for this vanni,you are a sweet♥!!

Introducing Lakshmi Kudua-

Many of you already know her through my blog posts and some through the wonderful cakes she makes,I got so many comments when her cake was included in this round-up.I am pestering her to start a blog of her own!!Over to her..

This is my first ever guest post and what a lovely way to start it with A Sweet punch. I've been baking cakes for a long time now and have been asked to start a blog by many a friends but I have been hesitant all the while...a request from Divya to feed her blog was something I couldn't say No to.So I went ahead and baked the cupcakes and hence this guest post in her absence. These cupcakes are dedicated to the loving sweet bond that we have between us and hope it continues the same way!!

I halved the recipe and got around 14 cupcakes.The cupcakes were supermoist which made it a tad difficult to fill them.I included some roasted hazelnuts in the filling which made it extra delicious!!Topped the cupcakes with Ganache and some sprinkles.

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Filling
Recipe source - Baking Bites

Ingredients [for the Cupcakes]

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat or full)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-oz dark chocolate
1 cup water, boiling


Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by sour cream and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the addition of the rest of the flour mix. Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
Stir the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate into the boiling water (easiest in a large measuring cup). Pour chocolate water into the rest of the batter and stir until uniform.
Evenly distribute batter into prepared baking cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. (It’s fine if you can’t fit both trays into the oven at the same time, just wait until one batch finishes before putting in the second pan)
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling

3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1/2 cup butter (or trans fat-free shortening)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes. Sir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil. When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.

When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until lightl. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electrick mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and set aside until ready to fill your cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat, with an electric mixer, until frosting is creamy, 3-5 minutes. Add additional powdered sugar as needed to achieve a thick, but not stiff, frosting that is easy to spread. Add additional milk, if necessary, to thin the frosting if it gets too thick.


Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.

Take the cream filling and squeeze a tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling the hole up to the top with filling. Top off with a flat circle of cake to plug the hole and keep the filling in place.

Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting. Place a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spread from the center to the sides of the cupcake.

If you have leftover filling, transfer it to a fresh ziploc bag and cut a very small opening in one corner. Pipe a swirly line down the center of each cupcake.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Makes 2-dozen.
Thank you so much Vanni.

Now it is my turn to apologise.I am sorry if I was not available to answer your queries[if any] regarding this month's challenge.I was held up with something so important and I promise it wouldn't be the same next time when I host the challenge:).Hope all of you enjoyed making Cream filled cupcakes and are gearing up for the next challenge!!

The Baking Bites Cookbook
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