Jan 6, 2013

Cardamom Coffee Cake with Cyrstallized Ginger

As a child I used to wonder so much as to why these adults keep having so much coffee and tea through the day. Now I know that's because there is nothing much to look forward to on a normal day at work! :( There are some days when as soon as I get up in the morning, I think today I will make myself a nice cup of tea/coffee at work and have, and very much look forward to that part of the day! Yes, Really! Do you guys do that too?

And then, there is that best part of starting the week ends, Saturday mornings, when it is very quiet and you feel like you have all the time in the world, when you can sit and enjoy that steaming hot cup of tea!

How nice would  it be to have that steaming hot cup of coffee with a nice moist cake? I keep looking for nice coffee cake recipes, sponge, crumb etc., So far I have liked my Orange cake the best, and I found this Mollie ketzen's cardamom coffee cake recipe. As soon as I saw that, I knew I had to try it, I did this week end, although I altered the recipe a little bit according to my taste buds and the cake turned out really moist and tasty. And as the original recipe says, it did taste much much better after it was completely cooled down.

Here is my recipe for you guys to try:

1/2 lbs unsalted butter, softened.
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups standard white flour
2 tst baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
1 cup full fat yogurt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

And to make a nut mixture, you will need:
less than 1/4 cup brown sugar
few finely chopped walnuts
little less than 1/4 cup finely chopped sweetened crystallized ginger.
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder

I used Masti crystallized ginger for this, as is it tasted yum! :) The addition of ginger gave a very nice flavor to the cake, along with the heavenly cinnamon, cardamom combination, Yes, HEAVENLY!

Preheat oven to 350 degree fh. Grease an 8 inch loaf pan (This is what I used and it gave me a HUGE cake!) In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar well and add eggs, beating well after the addition of each egg. I loved the color of the mixture at this stage, a nice blush color and I couldn't help myself from clicking a picture. 

Mix the vanilla essence to it, Then in a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder.

Add the flour mixture to the egg butter mixture, part by part, alternation with sour cream and mixing well after each addition. Mix well.

Mix the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and walnuts for the nut mixture in a separate bowl.

Now transfer approximately 1/3 of the batter to the greased loaf pan and cover it with half of the nut mixture, Add another 1/3 of the batter to it and cover again with the rest of the nut mixture, Cover with the rest of the batter, smooth it and bake for 60-65 mins or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Now this is a little bit longer than some other cakes, so I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, but it was alright.

It tasted the best next day with a cup of my favorite apple lemon tea!

So which cake do you like to have best with coffee? Please share.

Sending this recipe to Bake Fest event hosted by Sumee and Vardhini.


Jan 3, 2013

Mushroom Kurma


Hello Guys

How are you all doing? Over the week end, I was looking for a one pot meal recipe for brunch and I remembered bookmarking this delicious looking Mushroom korma recipe by Nags from Edible Garden, sometime ago. I finally made it,  although I did not follow the exact measurements. Without further talking, here is how I did it.

To  fry and make a paste:

Onion – 1 large, chopped.
Tomato – Just ½ of a medium sized tomato, roughly chopped
Coconut - 1/2 cup chopped
Garlic Cloves – abt 8-9
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
3 Green chilles and 1 dry red chilli
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, star anise

Other ingredients:

Mushroom - 400 gms
Peas - 1/2 cup
Some curry leaves,

Heat a tbsp of oil and add the dry red chilli, some cloves, ¼ cinnamon stick and little bit star anise. Then add some coriander seeds and cumin seeds and fry till it leaves a nice aroma. Then add 3/4th of the chopped onions, fry for a few  minutes, add ginger paste, garlic paste, green chillies, and fry for few more minutes. Once onion turns translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. The add some salt, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder and keep frying in medium flame till it completely cooks and the oil separates . Then remove it from heat, let it cool for some time, Then add ¼ cup chopped coconut to this and make a paste of everything together. You can add ¼ cup of water to this while blending it. Keep this separate.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, once it heats, add some  mustard seeds and cumin seeds, once it splutters, then add some curry leaves, once that cooks, add the remaining chopped onions, some turmeric and remaining garlic cloves and fry till its cooked. Now add the chopped mushrooms and peas to it and fry it till mushroom leaves all the water.

Then add the paste to this and let it cook for some more time. And add ¾ cup water to it, adjust salt  and let it simmer and cook till the oil separates.


I served it with some rice and as Nags has mentioned this will make a tasty accompaniment for dosa/idli/roti etc.  Besides if you are anything like me, this can be eaten on its own as well :)

Kurma tasted so yummy and DH scored it 9 out of ten! :) Thanks Nags for the wonderful recipe!


Jan 2, 2013

Nankhatai/Indian Tea Biscuits

Those of you from my hometown Coimbatore must have definitely relished Soospari biscuits from the bakeries in Coimbatore. I am not even sure if I have got the spelling right. For those of you who have never heard about it, they are Indian tea biscuits that we find commonly in bakeries in Coimbatore. 

For me, there was nothing particularly special about these biscuits, that is until I left Coimbatore for work. Although I have never visited a bakery just to buy these biscuits, I remember always picking up a few, whenever I went to buy something else, now I guess that makes it quite special. :) 

So many times I have searched in Google looking for the correct name and recipe for these maida biscuits and have never found them, the closest was a kind of Italian cookie called "Sospari". May be that is it? I have no clue!, that is until I came across the recipes for Nan Khatai from Divya Kudua's Easy Cooking blog.   It was too familiar so I had to try that and feed my nostalgia!

When I mentioned about making soosparis to my mom, she instantly said the recipe would call for maida flour and sugar, so may be Nankhatai is Soospari? I don't know, But if any of you know or remember something, please leave a comment :)

I adopted the fourth Nankhatai recipe by Divya, the recipe can be found here, I have not modified anything from the original recipe. Just baked it for an extra 3 minutes which gave the biscuits a nice golden tint. 

And the verdict, I guess Divya can now stop looking for more recipes for Nankhatai, they were just so perfect, crispy, sugary and just melted in my mouth. All my friends liked it too and they were more than happy to pack up the left over cookies home.

Hope you guys enjoy making and eating this sometime too.