Monday, October 29, 2012

Double Chocolate Brownies | One-bowl Baking Recipes

Double Chocolate Brownies

It's been a while since I baked anything.Few days back,when in-laws were here,I baked a batch of Brownies for my li'l niece and after that it was Navrathri and I didn't bake anything at all.A super short trip to my hometown, to meet friends,later,I am back home with an itch to bake like never before!

Whenever I am craving for something rich and chocolaty,I turn to baking brownies.Though I never can zero down on one recipe for a brownie,off late,this one has been a keeper.I dilly dally a lot when it comes to how I want my brownie to be,sometimes I want chewy and fudgy brownies and sometimes I crave for those gooey brownies which are crusty on top and gooey in the middle.

Double Chocolate Brownies

I think this one fits the bill perfectly.It forms a beautiful crust after baking and is rich and fudgy.Perfect to pair with some ice-cream.

Double Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from Joy of Baking


Butter - 1/2 cup/100gms
Dark chocolate - 150 gms,chopped
Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Caster sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 3,room temperature
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Flour - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/4 cup,chopped


Grease and line an 8′ square baking tin.Preheat oven to 190C. 
Double Chocolate Brownies-step1 
In a Micro-proof bowl add butter and chocolate and microwave on full power for 1 minute.Stir the mix till the chocolate is melted.If any chocolate chunks remain,microwave for another 30 seconds.(you can do this on stove top too by double boiling the bowl of chocolate and butter).
Double Chocolate Brownies-step2 
Mix in the instant coffee powder,cocoa powder and caster sugar and beat.
Double Chocolate Brownies-step3 
Add in the eggs one by one,beating well after each addition.Stir in the vanilla. Add flour,salt and beat well. Double Chocolate Brownies-step4 
Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts and give a final mix.
Double Chocolate Brownies-step5 
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean(a few moist crumbs here and there is fine as the brownie continues cooking as it cools down). Let the brownie cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove from the tin and continue cooling on the wire rack. When completely cool,cut the brownie into 16 pieces,a dough scraper works best here.
Serve warm with some ice-cream or with coffee.
Double Chocolate Brownies

  • You can skip the nuts if you like,but personally I feel walnuts add an extra zing to the brownies.Cinnamon(powdered)too is a wonderful addition,add it along with the flour.
  • Wait for the brownies to cool down completely to get neat squares.I couldn’t wait(as usual) and cut them when they were still warm. Every oven is different so baking time may differ.However when it comes to baking brownies,under baking is fine as over baking would result in hard brownies and you wouldn’t want that!   

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cheera Thoran

Cheera Thoran

There are were a few dishes I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.Greens/cheera was one of them.However good the dish is,I had only one thing to say,how can cooked leaves taste good.No amount of coaxing or cajoling from family got me into tasting it.

Don't get me started on the cleaning part.I wouldn't know what to discard and what to keep,seriously.Few days back,when in-laws were here,ma-in-law got excited with the fresh vegetable market downstairs and got home a bunch of greens.I got excited,no,I am not in love with cheera as yet,but hey,I'll get to post this on the blog!

Cheera Thoran Cheera Thoran | Greens Stir fry


Cheera/Fresh greens - 1 bunch,cleaned and chopped
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly - 2-3,broken into two
Small onions - 3-4,sliced
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Haldi/turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste


Cheera Thoran 
In a kadai add oil and splutter mustard seeds and red chillies.Mix in the small onions and saute till light brown.
Add the cleaned and chopped greens and give a good stir.
Cheera Thoran 
Mix together grated coconut,haldi,jeera and salt and add it in.
Close with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Open the lid,stir well and cook for another 5 minutes or till the greens are cooked and wilted.
Cheera Thoran Serve with rice.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I love your Blog - The Novice Housewife

Pinterest takes you places,really.I chanced upon this super delicious looking blog by Shumaila by trailing this picture on Pinterest.I mean,there was a blog,so full of wonderful pictures and great recipes,how could I have missed it?

Shumaila,who blogs at The Novice Housewife,is a 'housewife/homemaker' who blogs about her daily experiments in the kitchen.After following her blog for a while now,I think she's anything but a novice:)

Garam Masala Tuesdays is a weekly feature on her blog where she blogs about Authentic Indian cuisines and tries to clear the misconception people have about Indian food that not everything which has Garam Masala is Indian.Here,she's made Vada Pav from scratch and how!The pictures look gorgeous and if homemade food looks so simple and tasty,who'd want to eat out anyway!

Whenever someone mentions Cinnamon rolls,I am all attentive.I haven't tried baking a batch myself but looking at these gorgeous Cinnamon rolls,slathered with Cream Cheese frosting,I am seriously thinking of making a batch.Cravings kicking in fast:)

If you've had fruit based ice-cream from Naturals,it is tough to like any other ice-cream.My favorite among the lot is Custard apple and Chikoo ice-cream.It is difficult to replicate the same taste at home,but looks like she's nailed it.I think her ice-cream looks as delicious as the original!

Samosa is a very popular street food in India.Every nook and corner,you'll find at least one Chaat corner with a tray full of ready to fry Samosas.Shumaila has made Samosas from scratch after perfecting the recipe over a period of time.Don't forget to check out some important tips at the end of the post.

Layer cakes makes me panic,ie whenever I am baking one:)Not a big fan of Oreo cookies available here,but I think when slathered with cream and filled in a delicious chocolate cake,I wouldn't mind the crunch at all!Four Layer Chocolate Cake with Oreo Cream filling - Pure Joy!

Making Puff Pastry from scratch is no easy deal.Check out the Puff Pastry 101 which has lots of tips and tricks along with beautiful step by step pictures of the procedure.I so want to try making this!

How can I mention TNH without a mention of this dangerous cake.Yes,I am talking about the 5 minute Nutella Cake which looks drool worthy and dangerous too since you are just 5 minutes away from this cake,how cool is that!

Disclaimer - All pictures published with the bloggers permission.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram

Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram

I am not too fond of Bananas but there are a few exceptions.Like a Sharjah shake perhaps(recipe coming soon)or maybe a Chocolate Banana Cake.You wouldn't catch me eating a ripe banana off the fruit counter,that's for sure.So how about Banana which has crossed its prime,that's only good for a cake I believed.

Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram

Last week,when in-laws were here my ma-in-law decided to make this as she felt the weather here was perfect for a chilled milk-fruit based dessert.I was surprised at how easy it was made and how delicious it tasted chilled.I have made a similar version many moons ago.A friend of ours tasted this and said it was Pazha madhuram,something which was made by his grandma during his childhood days.So there.

Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram

Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram


Ripe Banana - 3-4(we used Yelakki)
Milk - 3/4 cup
Milkmaid - 1/4 cup 
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp


Banana Harshaale | Pazha Madhuram 
Cut the bananas into small bite size pieces.
Mix in the milk and the condensed milk(or sugar) and add cardamom powder.
Chill for 3-4 hours.

  • Add either sugar or condensed milk(not both as we have done) as that would result in super sweet harshaale.We added more banana and milk to balance the taste.
  • Make sure you chill it for at least 2 hours only then the flavors would set in.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review

Among the very many cooking shows on television I follow,Chakh le India occupies a prime position.Not only because of eye-candy,the show is interesting as the format is quite easy going,and I mean that in a good way.I was introduced to CLI by my co-sis Roopavanni who insisted I watch the show as Aditya Bal's recipes were easy,delicious and quick.
Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review She had tried out his recipe for Khandvi and it came out perfect each and every time.Considering Khandvi is not a very easy recipe to follow,I believed the show had some credibility after all.

Aditya Bal is the host of the food based travel show Chakh le India on NDTV Good times.I received Aditya Bal's The Chak le India Cookbook as part of BlogAdda's book review program.The first thing I noticed(quite predictably)was the lack of vegetarian dishes.More than 70 recipes and hardly 15 vegetarian recipes!Some solace is the snack and dessert section which again has a few more vegetarian dishes.

Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review The section on India Pantry is quite informative and so is the detailed section on cooking techniques.Pictures though less are good but I thought excess Macro shots made some of the dishes quite unrecognizable.

The recipes are from varied cuisines,ranging from Punjabi dishes like Dhabe ka Kheema to Bengali dishes like Aloo Posto and then heads South with Beetroot Pachadi,Moru Sambhar and Vendakkai Gojju.
Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review
I chose to try out the recipe for Shahi Tukda as that is something I've been wanting to cook for sometime now.The recipe is quite simple to begin with and Aditya suggests not to deep fry but toast the bread in a shallow pan,which works out wonderfully I must say.I have not tasted the fried-in-ghee version anyway,so wouldn't be able to compare both.
Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review
The process is very similar to making Rasmalai or Rabdi but is done in a very quick and easy method.Here's how I made it.

Shahi Tukda
Recipe source - Aditya Bal,The Chakh le India Cookbook


Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Saffron - a few strands
Bread slices - 4
Ghee - to shallow fry the bread
Almonds - 3-4,sliced


Making the Rabdi/Milk syrup

Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review 
In a thick bottomed pan add the milk along with the sugar and let it boil.Once it comes to a rolling boil,remove 1-2 tbsp milk into a bowl and add the saffron strands and let it soak for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile simmer the milk and keep stirring every now and then.
Mix in the soaked saffron strands along with the milk and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or till the milk turns thick and creamy.
Switch off and keep aside.

Preparing the Bread

Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review 
Cut the crusts off the bread and cut into two triangles.
In a tawa add the ghee(just enough to coat the pan)and toast the bread.Apply some ghee on the bread too.
Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review 
Toast both sides till brown and crisp and keep aside.

Serving the Shahi Tukda

Shahi Tukda | Chakh le India Cookbook Review 
In a serving dish arrange the bread slices and pour the warm milk syrup on top.Garnish with chopped nuts and few saffron strands.
Let it stands for a while till the bread soaks up the milk syrup and serve.

Verdict - I had to go out on some errands immediately after taking the pictures,so I stashed away the warm Shahi Tukda inside the fridge.When I came back to it after 6 hours,the milk was all soaked up by the bread but at the same time,the bread held on to its shape not becoming soggy.A wonderful sweet dish made really quickly and tastes delicious.

I would recommend the book to non-vegetarians as there is ample choice of meat,chicken and seafood dishes.The recipe may look complicated as most of the recipes fill up 2 pages but in fact the detailed method actually walks you through it all.If you are a vegetarian you may find the number of choices not very satisfactory.

Chakh Le India Cookbook was sent to me by BlogAdda for the Book review Program,if you want to be a part of it too,join here!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Phanna Pathrodo - The Quick version

After posting the authentic version,it is time for an instant one.Pathrode leaves/Taro leaves are an itchy lot and if not handled well and cooked well,you may end up with an itching feeling in your throat all day.Though I've been known to hog pathrode itching or not,these days I prefer to play it safe.
Ma-in-law makes this instant version in a pressure cooker which gets done in less than an hour from prep to the dining table.The first time I had it,I couldn't believe it was cooked for as less time as mentioned because it was perfectly cooked,soft and tasty.Since I do not cook pathrode much here on my own due to scarcity of pathrode leaves in Chennai,I didn't pay much attention to how it was cooked.

Phanna pathrode literally means seasoned pathrode.A simple tadka is prepared in a pressure cooker and pathrode loaves are cut and placed along with the correct amount of water.Cooked for 15-20 minutes and rested till the cooker reaches room temperature.Served hot with a drizzle of coconut oil-YUM!

Phanna Pathrode


Pathrode paan/Taro leaves - 20-22
Raw rice - 1 cup(soaked for 1 hour)
Toor dal - 1/4 cup(soaked for 1 hour)
Grated coconut - 2/3 cup
Roasted red chillies - 5-6
Bimbul/Carambola - 5-6
Hing/Asafoetida - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

For Seasoning

Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Methi/Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 1 tsp


Wash and clean the taro leaves and let it dry.
Soak the rice along with toor dal for 2-3 hours.Grind a masala paste using coconut,red chillies,bimbul.Mix in the soaked rice,salt and hing and grind till you get a thick paste.(add water into the mixer jar and make about 2 cups of masala water)
Keep the leaves and masala paste ready.
Make the stuffing - Place a big sized leaf on your work surface,smear the masala paste.Repeat with another small sized leaf and continue the process with smaller leaves till you use about 6-7 leaves. 
Roll the loaf tightly(as you would a swiss roll)and keep the seam side down.
Cut each loaf into 4-5 slices.
Prepare seasoning in a pressure cooker using oil,splutter urad dal,mustard seeds and methi.Add the hing and then the prepared masala water.
Place the sliced pathrode evenly inside the pan,not overlapping each other.
Close the cooker with the lid and keep the flame on high till the first whistle.Simmer for 15 minutes after that and switch off the flame.
Remove the weight when the cooker is cool and open the lid.
Serve hot with a drizzle of coconut oil.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pathrodo - A Konkani Delicacy

Sometime back a cousin of mine made a passing comment about the absence of Pathrodo/pathrode recipe here in my blog.She said a Konkani blog is incomplete without a recipe for the same.Though I didn't like the way the comment was put forth,I had to agree with her.Along with Daali thoy,Pathrodo is regarded as one of the most popular and loved dishes in Konkani cuisine.With over 100 recipes from our cuisine in the blog and no place for pathrodo is indeed a pity!
It is not that I do not like/cook pathrodo,far from it.As any other amchi,I can eat pathrodo on a full stomach and still enjoy it fully.I have at least a hundred pictures taken of the various steps involved in cooking the same,but when it comes to the final dish,I do not even have one single good shot.No prizes for guessing why.No one is patient enough to take pictures when there is piping hot pathrode,straight from the steamer right in front of you waiting to be devoured.

Sometime back,I made it specifically for the blog(wow,that makes me feel good!)and struggled to take pictures as usual.Being home alone didn't help either as I just couldn't wait to plonk myself on the table and attack it.I managed somehow.
                                          Phanna Pathrodo
How would it sound if I posted here not one but two kinds of pathrodo,that would be double the fun right?The second recipe is a quick version which gets you the pathrode in under 1 hour from the kitchen to the table,which of course without doubt is my ma-in-law's recipe.So get a cup of coffee and relax yourself because you need some time to go through the slightly long(but not complicated!)recipe.
taro leaves/pathrodya paan Preparation - Pathrodo/Pathrode is a Konkani delicacy made with Colocasia leaves stuffed with a rice,coconut and spice paste and then steamed or pressure cooked or even fried.The leaves used for making the pathrode are usually known as taro leaves,pathrodya paan or terya paan.The leaves should be stored in a plastic cover(preferably in the refrigerator)as using them immediately could cause itching.Using a thin knife,remove the thick veins as otherwise it wouldn't be possible to roll the loaves.bimbul
Star fruit/Bimbul/Carambola is usually used as the souring agent for the stuffing.It is also known to reduce the itching of the leaves.However,if you do not have the same,go ahead and use tamarind.
For steaming the pathrode,a traditional utensil named as the Pedavan is used.However it can be substituted with a steamer or an idli cooker.

Palak Pathrodo - A twist to the original

Pathrodo - Traditional Steaming method


Pathrode paan/Taro leaves - 20-22,cleaned
Raw Rice - 1 cup
Grated coconut - 2/3 cup
Red chillies - 5-6
Haldi/turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Bimbul - 5-6
Hing/Asafoetida - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Soak the rice for 2-3 hours.Grind a masala paste using coconut,red chillies,haldi and bimbul.Mix in the soaked rice,salt and hing and grind till you get a thick paste.
Keep the leaves and masala paste ready.Fill the pedavan/steamer with enough water and switch on the flame.
Make the stuffing - Place a big sized leaf on your work surface,smear the masala paste.Repeat with another small sized leaf and continue the process with smaller leaves till you use about 6-7 leaves. 
Roll the loaf tightly(as you would a swiss roll)and keep the seam side down.Place the prepared loaf in the pedavan/steamer.Repeat the process till you finish the leaves and the batter.Pathrodo-step4
Cook the pathrodo loaves for about 45 minutes to an hour on simmer.Check for doneness using a thin knife or a ladle,if it goes in smoothly and comes out clean,the pathrode is cooked.Do not cut down the cooking time as this would not cook the leaves and will cause itching.
Serve hot with a drizzle of coconut oil.

Phanna Pathrodo - coming up next.

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