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NAVRATRI FASTING (VRAT) RECIPES | NAVRATRI SOUTH INDIAN RECIPES
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Top 10 Favorite Recipes of 2012

I am back from an unexpected break with top recipes of Indian Khana from 2012.   This year has been the most challenging from the year starting to the end now it's just getting painful but these things make us strong and realize everything that which we take for granted.  So I am hanging out there, I know things will change.   In blogging I took couples of unexpected break but other than that I did quite decent I guess.  With hope and wish next year to be a better one here comes top 10 your favorite recipes of this year.

Wish you all a Happy Year End and Great Start of 2013.

Most popular recipe of 2012 is Black Forest Cake, it’s easy to prepare and taste too delicious.



Next up is a simple DIY recipe of garlic powder


Next comes Eggless Butterless ie Vegan Chocolate Cupcake

One of my favorite, the authentic Gathiya recipe made it next in the list.


 Another favorite tea time and festive snack Namak Para


To satisfy sweet cravings in less guilty way is Sweet Potato Halwa


Go royal with rich and delicious Mughlai Mutton Masala



And easy, quick and no cooking sweet for any occasion is Coconut Laddoo



Popular during fasting (vrat) but it’s good for just any day and simple too Singhara Burfi


Ending the top 10 with most unexpected Kutchi Dabeli


Have a great year end.

Eggplant Tomato Curry Recipe


After all the cakes and cookies recipes taking a break with this is a simple eggplant curry with lots of tomato,  it’s tangy and addition of peanuts and sesame seeds adds wonderful flavorful to this simple dish, this curry goes well with rice or roti.  If you are looking for change from your usual brinjal/eggplant curry then you should try this it's delicious and different.  Stay tune to know what I did with leftover of this curry.

Ingredients for Eggplant Tomato Curry [Servers 3-4 people]

Eggplant/Brinjal – 400 gms
Onion – 3 [1 cup chopped]
Tomato – 4 large [2 cup chopped]
Green Chilies – 6
Minced Ginger-Garlic – 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chilli – 2
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds Powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Kasoori Methi – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil -  4 tbsp
Water – 1/2 Cup
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp



Method:

1. Chop onion, tomato and green chilies.
2.  Heat 1 tsp oil in pan or wok and sauté peanuts until light brown, add sesame seeds and sauté for 2 minutes, keep aside until cool and grind into powder.
3. In same wok add 1-2 tbsp oil and sauté eggplant until light brown, keep aside.

4. In the same wok add remaining oil, add mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chili and allow to splutter.  Add minced ginger-garlic and sauté until light brown.
4. Add onion and sauté until translucent.

5. Add turmeric, coriander seeds and red chili powders and mix well, cook for a minute.

6. Add tomato and cook until mashed.  Add crushed kasoori methi and cook for a minute.

7. Now add salt, cover and cook until tomatoes get mash fully. 

8. Add sautéed brinjal pieces and mix gently, add water and bring it a boil.

9. Add powdered peanuts and sesame and mix well, simmer for 2 minutes and off flame. 

Serve with rice or roti/paratha, it taste great with anything.


Have a nice day ~~

Spiced Apple Cake Recipe


I love baking with fruits, most of my baked recipes are with different fruits and here again I baked a cake with my favorite bake fruit – Apple.   This cake I baked together with gingerbread man cookies and packed along fruit cake, all these goodies for cuties nibbling.  

Coming back to this cake, it’s very simple cake with minimal ingredients, all the spices makes it very interesting and flavorful plus the aroma is so good, it’s soft, moist and crumbles just a perfect cake packed with apple goodness.   If you like spices then you going to absolutely love this cake and if you don’t like spices then reduce the quantity to get just touch of spices, adjust according to your taste. 

 Ingredients for Spiced Apple Cake

Apples - 4-5 [I used different varieties]
Cinnamon Powder - 1 tsp
Sugar – 5 tbsp
Plain Flour/Maida – 2 Cups
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
All Spice Powder - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Vegetable Oil – 3/4 Cup
Milk - 1/4 cup



Method:

1. Wash, core and dice apples, we don’t have to peel apples.

2. Toss with 5 tbsp sugar and cinnamon powder and set aside.
~ If you leave aside this for long time or a hour sugar will release water, which happened with me as I got busy with cooking lunch.  But it’s not really a issue, we can use the water.

3.  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, all spice, nutmeg powder.

4. In a bowl beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy and sugar dissolves.

5. Add vanilla extract, milk and oil mix well.  Now add flour mixture in batches, stir well to incorporated all ingredients.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degree or 180C.  Prepare a 8 inch pan grease and dust with flour or line with parchment paper.

7. Pour half of cake batter into pan, spread half of apple over it. 

8. Pour remaining batter over apples and again arrange remaining apples on top. 
9. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool cake completely on a wire rack before slicing.
~ Check if the cake is baked after an hour. 

Our cake is ready.



Have a nice day ~~

Christmas Cakes & Bakes Recipes 2012

 
Diwali-Sweets-recipes
Christmas is here and this festive season means baking cakes, cookies, muffins etc for family, friends and enjoy the joy the giving. I am posting collection of cakes, cookies, muffin, cupcakes that I have already in blog here so you can plan your Christmas baking and enjoy with family. Do try the eggless, alocohol-free Christmas Fruit Cake it doesn't require days of soaking fruits too and taste too good.

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake


December is month of celebration and it’s goes so true for me with my birthday, anniversary, my sis, bro, sil, close friend birthdays, it’s a month long celebration time.  And if your friend bakes a cake for your anniversary and travel all the way to give the cake it’s makes your day super special like we say in hindi sone pe suhaga.


The cake was just so perfect it was dense, soft, moist, crumbly with loads of fruits and nuts making it way too good and I actually didn't believe it’s a eggless cake.  So thank you Prema for the wonderful cake recipe :)


If you planning to try fruit cake/kerala plum cake during this festive season then try this recipe you going to love it, there’s no two away about it.  It's eggless, alcohol free, easy and the best part is just too delicious.  In case you use rum or brandy then just replace fruit juice with that and enjoy your cake.  I packed this cake along with gingerbread man cookies for DH to take India and every one just loved this cake.  Frankly speaking I can go ga-ga over this delicious cake but let me not do this here and check out the recipe.



Ingredients for Christmas Fruit Cake | Kerala Plum Cake

Brown Sugar - 120g
Butter  (Salt-less)- 120g
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Plain Flour - 125g
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
All Spice Powder - 1/4 tsp
Fruit Juice - 1/3 cup  OR 30 ml Brandy (Used here is apple juice)
Mixed Fruits - 120g (sultanas, raisins, cherries, prunes, dates, mixed peels) roughly chopped
Mixed Nuts - 120g (macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, almonds) roughly chopped


Method

1. Add roughly chopped mixed fruits, fruit juice (or rum/brandy if using) in a bowl and mix well.  Leave to stand for overnight or at least 3 hours.  If you have time soak fruits for 2-3 days for better results. 
2. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar and keep aside.
3. Preheat oven to 180C, meanwhile in a mixing bowl, beat butter till light and fluffy.  Add brown sugar and mix well.
5. Sieve baking powder, plain flour, salt.  Add flour in batches with butter & sugar mix, beat the mixture just for 1 minute at low to medium speed.
6. Add soaked fruits along with juice, chopped nuts, spice powder, baking soda & vinegar mix and blend well.
7. Grease a 9 inch tin and transfer the cake batter in it.
8. Bake it for 35-40 minutes at 180 degree Celsius or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
9. Once the cake is done, cool on a wire cake.

Our cake is ready, you can dust it with icing sugar.  I didn't do that because I was not in that mood!   Share with your family, friends to double your joy.


Variations
~ You can use orange juice instead of apple juice for soaking.
~ If you don’t have spice powder, use 1/2 tsp mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove powders.
~ Mixed candied peels comes in bottle, you can just add candied orange peel. If you don't have both add 1 tsp heaped orange or lemon zest.
~ Slice cake when it’s completely cooled.  If you find cake getting crumbs, keep it in fridge for 30 minutes and then slice it.

Have a nice day ~~

Eggless Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies Recipes


I wanted to make gingerbread man cookies for long time but it was not happening, this time I got very good excuse to bake these & sent these cookies along with other goodies to India for DH nibbling, they are happy, am happy and that’s makes one big happy family ;)


Gingerbread  man cookies are epitome of Christmas baking and it does looks very festive.n  If you are thinking baking ginger man cookies are difficult tasks then leave your worries behind it actually very easy and quick, I only find the icing part time consuming but that because my patience level was running out that day due to baking so much.   I like to make all cookies eggless and there’s no difference in this recipe too, it still makes a soft, crunchy and tasty cookie without egg.  Try this and wow your family & friend this festive season.   Check out other cookies recipes here.


Ingredients: [Makes 25-28 Cookies]
Plain Flour – 3 Cups
Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
Ginger Powder – 2 tsp
All Spice Powder – 1/2 tsp [or cloves powder 1/2 tsp]
Nutmeg Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
Dark Brown Sugar – 3/4 Cup
Soften Butter – 3/4 Cup
Molasses – 3/4 Cup [or honey or maple syrup 3/4 cup]
Milk – 2 tbsp

For Royal Icing
Icing Sugar – 1 Cup
Corn Flour – 1 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice/Vinegar – 1 tsp
Milk – 2-3 tsp
Food Color [optional]
Sprinkles [optional]



Method:

1. Sieve together plain flour, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, nutmeg, salt and baking soda, keep aside.

2. In a bowl take butter, sugar & milk and beat until smooth. 
3. Add molasses and mix well.  I used maple syrup.

4. Mix flour in batches and mix until smooth dough is formed.

5. Pinch a big lemon size bowl and roll into 1/8 inch thick on parchment sheet.  Use ginger man cookie cutter or any other cookie cutter of your choice and cut, gently lift cookie.  Collect scraps, add little more dough and repeat rolling, cutting until all dough is used.  I also used star shape cookie cutter.


~ If you are unable to lift cookie or dough as it’s soft add little flour and mix well.  If dough is hard then add 1 tbsp of milk to soften, adjust until you can roll dough, cut and lift pieces.
~ After doing above step if you think dough is still soft, wrap it in a cling and keep in fridge for 15 minutes or more if you have time. You can keep dough over night too in fridge.
6. Preheat oven at 350F and line baking tray with parchment sheet.
7. Place cookie in tray and bake for 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of cookie or until they are slightly darken, keep eye after 8-9 minutes.  Don’t over bake cookie.  During my 1st batch of baking I was busy rolling next batch and few of cookies were over baked.  So do keep a eye after 9 minutes.
 
8. Once cookies are baked, cool on a wire lack completely before doing icing.

For Royal Icing
9. In a bowl take 1/2 cup icing sugar, corn flour, lemon juice and beat until smooth.

10. Add remaining 1/2 cup icing sugar and beat again to mix well.

11. Divide icing into 3 portions (or as many you want), in one portion mix green and another mix red color (or any color of your choice), mix well & fill icing in piping bags.

12. Decorate cookies as your desire or simply just make dotted lines or outer line. Add sprinkles if you wish.

~ The truth is this requires lot of patience's at least for me, so if you have give this decoration tasks to your kid, they will not only enjoy this process but also will love the fact that it’s done by them and it saves your time, win-win situation for all I say. 
13. Let icing get dry completely and enjoy.


Have a nice day ~~