Extra Chocolaty Eggless Chocolate Cake

May has been the month to discover more about my new family. I had a lot of relatives coming and going and to celebrate the togetherness, I thought of baking a cake. Now plain vanilla is passé so chocolate sounded like a good deal. The only problem I faced was that there was no “great” recipe for chocolate cake on the net. I couldn’t very well go ahead and try any recipe. My reputation as the baker in the family would go bust along with the recipe. So I chose the recipe which I could relate to the most and then modified it according to my requirements. It was best to stick to the eggless vanilla cake recipe and somehow convert it to an eggless chocolate cake recipe.

I manufactured the recipe finally. My sister-in-law wanted to bake the cake along with me. So I had to be doubly sure that the cake would turn out well. So I just dumped all the contents in the bowl, made sure the consistency was right and then put it on the stove. After much waiting and peeping into the cooker, I finally got it out….and it got stuck to the cake pan. My heart started beating wildly. I was in a state of panic. No matter of beating the pan, shaking the pan or leaving it out would get it out. Finally my sis got it out and a small piece broke off from the side. We left it to cool. Then I made some icing to cover it up.

I mixed some cocoa, sugar and butter and gave it a good whipping. Problem was that the sugar had been ground at home so was not fine enough and obviously, did not dissolve in the butter and gave the whole thing a gritty feeling. To make it dissolve, I heated the icing. The sugar got caramelized instantly and what icing I had turned into small scattered solid masses. Scared as to what to do now, I added some cold milk to it. Thankfully, the icing relented its solid form and formed a smooth solid. But the sugar still did not dissolve. I had no choice now to to vow never to use homemade ground sugar for icing. I just coated the cake with icing and grated some chocolate on it.

This was not the end of my cake woes. I had read somewhere that one should turn the cake upside down and then apply icing. Anyways my cake was a little dented from the top so I did as advised. What I did not realize was the crust had become overdone as I had left the cake in for too long and was extremely hard. So when the cake was finally presented to the party and the kids lifted the knives to cut it, it would not! I was completely shaken. The kids started crying cos the cake was not getting cut. The attention was shifted from the cake problem thankfully and the cake was left to be tackled the next day. By then the crust had softened and the cake tasted like the most wonderful chocolate concoction ever made by me.

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour (maida)

200 gms condensed milk (1/2 tin Nestle Milkmaid)

½ cup ground sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter (ghee)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp chocolate syrup for the extra zing (I used Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup)

1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Add chocolate syrup, condensed milk, sugar and ghee and mix. Add vanilla essence. Keep adding water spoonful-by-spoonful till a pouring consistency is achieved. Grease and dust the baking pan. Pour the batter in it and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Extra Chocolaty Chocolate Cake

Extra Chocolaty Chocolate Cake

Icing

¼ cup cocoa

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix all the ingredients and beat till light and fluffy.  Spread evenly on the cake immediately.

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Ravishing Rice Recipe – Pohe

If you want to prepare a filling meal in 15 mins, the best and easiest one is Pohe. Poha is flattened rice or beaten rice which is made when rice is dehusked and flattened into light and dry flat dry flakes. They swell when added to milk or water thus making a very filling dish. The thickness of this rice tpe varies making it suitable for the preparation of a number of dishes.

Poha - flattened rice

Pohe is a popular Indian recipe. Poha is the raw form and the dish is called pohe. It makes a meal in its own right and is extremely filling.

This recipe has been submitted to Monthly Mingle # 33 hosted by Edible Garden.

This recipe has also been submitted to 15 minute cookinglogo

This recipes has also been posted to WCF:Quick Meal Event.

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Pohe can be served as is or with tomato ketchup or pudina chutney. They can also be served with aloo bhujia/sev and dahi as per Marwari tradition. Pohe can also be served with pickle as per Telugu tradition.

Ingredients

250 gms pohe

1 large potato

½ cup groundnuts

1 large onion

2 tblsp oil

1 green chilli

1 tblsp turmeric powder (haldi)

2 tblsp salt

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp Mustard seeds (rai)Sugar 1 tblsp

1 large lemon

1/4 cup green peas (optional)

 

Yummy Pohe

Yummy Pohe

Wash pohe in a sieve under flowing water and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Roast peanuts in it and keep aside. Dice potato to form 1 cm pieces. Fry in the oil and keep aside. Chop onion and fry it till light pink. Add mustard seeds and green chilli along with potato and peanuts. Add all the masala along with sugar and pohe. Let the pohe cook for 5 mins till the rawness is gone. Take off the gas and add lemon. Serve hot.

Tip: Do not add lemon to any dish while it is cooking. The dish will become sour.

Summer Blaster Challenge

Summer means the onset of mangoes and air conditioners. Summer paints the streets with the red flower of Gulmohar. Summer means holidays and trips to hill stations. Summer means hot prickly heat and continuous sweating, insatiable thirst and no desire to eat. What does summer mean to you and how do you combat the heat? Tell me your favorite summer recipe to win a surprise package.

How to enter in the Summer Blaster Challenge

  1. Post your entry on your blog from today to 30th May with the title as Summer Blaster Challenge with a link back to https://recipesbysam.wordpress.com mentioning your recipe has been submitted to this contest.
  2. Mail the recipe to samahita.kabra@gmail.com with a link back to your blog (Please provide a photo along with the recipe)
  3. Leave a comment with the name of your recipe so that it is not missed in the mail.
  4. All the recipes will be mentioned in the final round up on 31st May.
  5. Get your friends to vote for your entry by leaving a comment after 31st May on Sam’s Recipes. (Only one vote per person will be counted).
  6. The voting will close on 15th June so you have two week’s time to get as many votes as possible.
  7. Needless to say, the winner gets an awesome prize.

Please feel free to use the following logo in your blog.

SummerBlasterChallenge

Disclaimer: The prize has not been disclosed to keep up the spirit of the competition in the name of the love of food and not any incentive. Your entry can be submitted to other contests also. The contest is open to all food enthusiasts around the globe.

Matka Kulfi

Kulfi can be called the Indian Summer sweet. Every one relishes it specially with falooda (sweet noodles) and Khus or Rooh-Afza. There is another type of kulfi I came across, the matka kulfi. As a lot of relatives are coming over to visit me, I decided to give Matka Kulfi a try to ease the Chennai May heat. All you need are small matka which are clay pots. They are easily available at any pot maker. Just make sure the mouth of the pots is big enough to scoop out the ice-cream.

Preparation Time – 30 mins (4-5 hours for freezing)

Servings – 20

Ingredients

1 liter milk

3-4 Alphonso mangoes

4-5 tbsp sugar

½ can condensed milk

¼ cup milk powder

¼ cup almonds, chopped

¼ cup pistachios, chopped

Matka Kulfi

Matka Kulfi

Boil the milk and let it simmer at low flame. Add sugar, milk powder and condensed milk and let the milk cook till it becomes thick (approximately 15-20 mins) while stirring continuously. Turn off the heat and let the milk cool.

Peel the mangoes and separate the pulp. Blend in a mixer. Add the almonds, pistachios and mango puree to the milk. Pour in the matkas. Cover with aluminium foil and tie with a rubber band or a thread.

Chill for 4-5 hours till kulfi is set. Serve chilled.

The best ever Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread with walnuts and cardamom sprinkled with sesame seeds on top – Baked in Cooker

It has always been my heart’s desire to bake bread at home. Bread is the daily staple and when one can prepare it at home, why get it from outside, right? So I opted for the simplest and the most delicious of all, the banana bread and gave it a twist. First of all, I added cardamom powder to it along with vanilla essence. That gave a truly unique flavor to the bread and make it really fragrant too. The taste lingers on in your mouth tickling your palate for a long time after eating the bread. The inside of the bread is taken care of. Now to improve the looks of the bread, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on the bread before baking it. The bread got a professional look and an extra crunch.

There is actually quite a debate on whether banana bread is not actually a cake. There is hardly much difference actually except that the cake is sweeter and you don’t have it with butter.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun-ka-atta)

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup oil

2 ripe bananas

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

1 pinch cardamom powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup milk

The best ever Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread with walnuts and cardamom sprinkled with sesame seeds on top

The best ever Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread with walnuts and cardamom sprinkled with sesame seeds on top

Cream the sugar and oil together. Sift the flour with baking powder and soda. Mix with the sugar and oil, cardamom powder and vanilla essence. Mash the bananas properly to form a puree and add to the batter. Add milk to achieve pouring consistency. Do not make the batter too thin. Add walnuts. Grease the cake pan and dust it. Pour the batter in it. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Pre-heat the cooker. Place the cake pan in it and bake on a low flame for about an hour till a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack and serve with milk.

Stuffed Karela (Stuffed Bitter Gourd)

Karela is a vegetable which either a person loves or hates. There is no middle path to karela. The key to making a person like this vegetable is to prepare it right. The right blend of spices and the art of cooking always produce a dish which even the most averse person likes. Now I absolutely love karela and I love to make loads of it and store it in the fridge to eat with every meal.

Karela tastes best when made with raw mango. However, even dry mango powder or lemon juice can be used as a substitute. There is a saying in Hindi – Karela wo bhi neem chada. This implies a person who has an extremely sour and bitter personality on top of being ugly like the vegetable. But once prepared, karela is does not taste bitter at all. In fact, it has a delicate flavor that plays with the palate. It has a lot of medicinal uses also. Karela not only aids digestion but is also used in controlling diabetes. So do give this ugly looking vegetable a try before rejecting it for its looks.

Ingredients
250 gms karela
3-4 tbsp salt
Masala Stuffing
1 raw mango (kairi)
2 tbsp dhaniya powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp sauf
2 tsp haldi
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt

Karela with raw mango stuffing

Karela with raw mango stuffing

Scrape all the karela lightly to remove the uneven covering just so. Some people prepare it without removing the covering also. Do not scrape off too much. Make a long cut along the length of karela. Apply salt inside out properly. Remove any hard seeds with your fingers. Leave it for 2-3 hours. Some people out it out in the sun but this makes karela shrivel. Best would be to leave it open in shade at room temperature. Wash the karela properly with water inside out to remove salt.

Steam the karela in cooker for one whistle to make them slightly tender. This will reduce the overall time of cooking and conserve energy too. Squeeze karela gently to drain out excess water without breaking it. Now the karela is ready to be stuffed.

For the stuffing, peel the raw mango. Grate it. Add dhaniya powder, red chilli powder, salt, haldi and sugar. Roast sauf and grind it. The salt added is less as the karela would already be salty. Add it to the mixture. Mix properly. The masala should taste a little strong for the stuffing and should not be too wet. Do not add oil to the masala as the water from grated mango is enough to hold it. You might add a little oil when using dry mango powder.
Stuff the karela. Bind the karela with a thread. Heat mustard oil and make sure to add a good quantity of it. When the oil starts smoking, put the karela in and cover the pot. Keep turning the karela at regular intervals till it is cooked. Turn off the gas and leave the karela in the leftover oil in the pot. The oil will be absorbed making karela soft.
Karela can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days without going bad.

Tip: Get small sized karela for this recipe. Usually karela of not more than 5-7 inch size is best suited. The larger sized karela can be diced instead of stuffed and made using the same spices.