Cakes n bakes

Date cake

I had a tin of dates and was debating on doing a sweet or date cake. Most votes was for the cake and ended up doing one. It turned out really soft and beautiful and at the end of the day, there were just few pieces left. My brother-in-law who visits us every weekend came and finished those last few pieces too. No one was actually satisfied having the cake so thought of baking it again. It turned out really well this time too. (We were actually fighting for the last piece) 🙂 The date cake story continues….

I called my brother-in-law on Wednesday and here how the conversation goes….

Me: What do you want me to bake this time?

BIL: Anything

Me: Anything? Date cake/ banana walnut muffins/ upside down cake.

BIL: hmmmm…. Date cake please…..

Me:  🙂 ok done.

So, within a span of 10 days, I ended up baking 3 date cakes 🙂

Ingredients:

Pitted dates- 18 to 20

All purpose flour– 1 cup

Milk-3/4 cup

oil- 1/2 cup  (vegetable oil or olive oil)

Baking soda– 1 tsp

Walnut– 1/4 cup (optional)

Sugar-3/4 cup (powdered)

Preparation:

Soak dates in milk for 2-3 hours.(If using dry dates, you might have to soak it overnight) Blend dates and sugar until smooth. In a bowl add oil and blended mixture and mix well. Now add (sifted) all purpose flour, baking soda and walnuts (optional) slowly and mix well.(I used a hand blender and mixed for 3-5 minutes, scraping the sides often.)

Put the mixture into a 9 inch pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick comes out clear when inserted into the cake.

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Desserts/Sweets

Amarkhand/ Mango shrikhand

This is completely dedicated to my mother-in-law. She loves Shrikhand of any kind, unfortunately my father-in-law has total aversion towards it. So she never felt like making it nor eating it all these years. When I got to know this fact, next minute I went to the stores, got all the ingredients and made her this dessert. She was completely satisfied and happy:)

Ingredients:

Full fat yogurt-4 cups

Sugar– 1/2 cup

Mango pulp-1 cup

Cardamom powder-1 tsp

Coarsely ground pistachios– 3 Tbsp

Preparation:

Take 4 cups of yogurt in a muslin cloth. Tie a knot and hang it overnight. This is a very crucial step in making good Shrikhand. Make sure to remove as much as water as possible. 

Add sugar and mango pulp. Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of mango. Beat the mixture very well. (I used hand blender and blended for 12-15 minutes).

The consistency should be thick and creamy. Add cardamom powder and garnish with pistachios. Serve chill.

Linking the post to Fruit Feista, Holi fest colorful palette, Cakes, Cookies and Desserts

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Desserts/Sweets

Re-posting ABC halwa

Wondering what this ABC halwa is :). It stands for apple, banana and carrot halwa and can be prepared very quickly. Its a favorite sweet for kids.

My mother-in-law has come to visit us.  We both are very enthusiastic about preparing sweets because, sweet is all time favorite at our place. We have prepared many sweets in the last few months and did not want to repeat any and were wondering what do we prepare next. Fortunately she had brought her recipe book where, she found the recipe for this sweet . I prepped everything quickly and the sweet was ready in minutes.

Ingredients:

carrot- 2(grated)

Apple-2(grated)

Banana-2(mashed)

Whipping cream-1/4 tin

Shredded Coconut-4 tbsp

Ghee-3 tbsp

Sugar-4 tbsp (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)

Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp

Cashew and raisins for garnishing

Preparation:

In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee, add cashews ( I added around 10-12 cashews, and 10-15 raisins) fry until golden brown. Add raisins, remove quickly and keep aside.

Next add grated carrot and apple into the ghee,cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add banana and whipping cream (can use milk too) and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add sugar( if the fruits are sweet enough, add less sugar. Sugar can be added at any point) and mix shredded coconut. Do not cook too much after adding the coconut. You would want to leave it a bit crunchy. Turn off the heat, Mix cardamom powder and garnish with cashews and raisins.

Linking this post to Fruit FeistaHITS~Fiber Rich Foods

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Appetizers/Snacks

Goli Bajji

 

Goli bajji also called as mangalore bajji or baje,  a delightful evening snack which is very famous in Dakshina kannada. It is very simple to prepare and requires less ingredients. Goli bajji reminds me of Malleshwaram CTR hotel. They make the tastiest goli bajji’s I have ever eaten, next comes my mother-in-law with whom, I learnt this recipe.  The only main technique to get crunchy, fluffy bajjis is mixing all purpose flour or maida with sour curd/yogurt.

Ingredients:

All purpose flour/maida- 1 cup

Sour yogurt/curds- 1/2 cup

Green chillies- 2-3 chopped

Thinly sliced, small cut coconut pieces- 2 tsp (optional)

Curry leaves– few

Cumin seeds– 1/2 tsp

Sugar- A pinch

Salt- To taste

Oil- For frying

Preparation:

Mix all the above listed ingredients in a bowl until the batter is really smooth. Mix well for at least 5 minutes. Allow the batter to ferment for 2-3 hours. If you do not wish to wait for 2-3 hours, you can use cooking soda too.  If using so, mix the batter with 1/2 tsp soda and rest the batter for half an hour. The consistency of the batter should not be very thick, it should be of dropping consistency.

Heat Oil in a frying pan. Wet your hand in water, so that the batter do not stick to your palm. Make small dumplings and drop them in oil and fry it in medium low flame.  Bajjis will be ready when they turn golden brown. Serve the bajji’s with coconut chutney which is the ultimate combination according to me :).

Note:  Keep yogurt/curds in room temperature for 1-2 days to make it really sour.

We can also make bajjis, just by mixing maida, curds and salt.

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Desserts/Sweets

Rasgulla

I am sending this Bengali sweet to PJ http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2010/11/announcing-celebrate-sweets.html who is hosting this event  which was started by Nivedita from Nivedita’s kitchen http://niveditaskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/details-of-event-celebrate-sweets.html

 

 

Ingredients:

Whole milk or 2% reduced fat milk -8cups

Lemon Juice– ¼ cup

Sugar-2½ cups

Cheese cloth/muslin cloth

Water-61/2 cups

*Sugar needs to be adjusted according to individuals taste.

To make Paneer:

Bring 8 cups of milk to boil.  Use a heavy bottom pan so as to avoid burning of the milk. Cook on medium heat.

Stir occasionally, once the milk comes to boil dilute ¼ cup of  lemon juice in little water and add slowly into the milk and stir the content.

Milk starts curdling. Turn off the heat when paneer gets separated from the whey and strain the whey from paneer using a cheese cloth or muslin cloth.

Run cold water under paneer for few minutes and remove excess of water by squeezing gently.

Tie the muslin cloth/ cheese cloth tightly so as to remove all the water content and hang it for an hour for the moisture to drain.

Make sure to remove as much as water as you can. To check if the paneer is ready, take a small piece and rub it with your palm, it should not stick to your palm and you should be able to make a smooth ball. This is the most critical step in making rasgullas or rasmalais. Remove the paneer from the cloth and knead softly, make it into round balls.

To make Rasgullas:

Add 61/2 cups  of water into the pressure cooker and 2½ cups of sugar. Heat it until all sugar dissolves and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the paneer and pressure cook for 9-10 minutes.

Make sure there is enough space for the paneer to bloat. Once cooked, the paneer doubles in size.

Cool them down and refrigerate for few hours before serving.

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