Thursday, May 29, 2014

Carrot Halwa/ Gajar halwa

Its half term break again here and this time it’s a wet one. It has been raining pretty much all day since last few days. Our outdoor plans are all shattered and we are stuck at home. I am not complaining though as I am loving staying at home watching tele and doing activities with my little boy J All the empty  cereals boxes and tissue rolls have been put into good use making cardboard robot, house etc.

 Living in London has a great benefit when it comes to eating out options. There are many Indian restaurants and sweet shops here. It’s surprising that I never ate this from India and tasted it for the first time from an Indian restaurant here!! I loved it to core and after that first time I ate it lot of times from many restaurants and also from  friends place. The whole process of making this at home is a bit time consuming but I guess it’s totally worth it!

 Recipe source - vahrehvah
Carrots - 4 cup (grated)
Milk – 3 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Crumbled paneer – 1 /2 cup (recipe for paneer here)
Ghee – 2 tbs
Sultanas – 1 tbs
Cashewnuts – 1 tbs

  • In a wide non- stick pan add 1 tbs ghee and add the grated carrots and milk and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally until the milk has been absorbed and carrots are cooked and soft.
  • Add sugar and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder, crumbled paneer and cook for a minute or so and turn off the flame.
  • Finally in a small pan add 1 tbs of ghee and fry cashewnuts until brown and sultanas until they are plum. Pour this to the halwa and mix.
  • Serve hot or cold !

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vanilla Ice cream with step by step pictures

Finally the much awaited summer is near our doorsteps, we have been blessed with warm weather with descent average of 18- 20 temperatures during the days. Summer clothes, flip flops, sunglasses and sun hats are out and so are the people!

I have been gifted an ice cream maker by my hubsters good friend recently and I was waiting for the weather to get warmer to make ice creams. Ice cream maker makes the whole process much easier and I love it. I decided to go for a simple vanilla flavour for the first time.  This is a rich ice cream and it is custard based and calls for egg yolks. I saved all the left over egg whites from the eggs and it was put into good use by making egg white omelette which I liked better than usual egg omelette. I will share that recipe soon but till then enjoy the creamy and delicious vanilla ice cream!!

Recipe source- here
Milk – 1 ½ cup
Double cream – 1 ½ cup
Sugar – ¾ cup
Vanilla bean – 1(split lengthwise)
Egg yolks – 6
Salt – pinch
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

  •  Place the ice cream maker in the freezer 24 hours before you make the ice cream  
  • Place sugar, milk,salt  and cream in saucepan and heat it on a low flame until sugar is dissolved.                                                                                                        
  • Scrape the seeds from vanilla bean and add it to the milk mixture and turn off the flame. Let the flavour of the vanilla seep into the mixture for 30 minutes.                          
  • Whisk 6 egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add the milk mixture to it stirring continuously.                                                                                                     

  • Place everything back into the bowl and heat it on a low flame stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until it custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon, might take up to 15 minutes.                                 

  • Sieve the custard if necessary and stir in vanilla extract. Cover and transfer the mixture into refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight.                                         

  • Transfer everything into frozen ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until you get the desired consistency.

  • Transfer it into a freezer safe container and freeze for few hours. Before serving take it out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before and scoop out the delicious ice cream and enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bharwa Baingan/ Stuffed Brinjal

I was never a brinjal fan. In fact till few years back , I used fish them out from  curries and keep it aside !! On the other hand, when it comes to certain things I just love baingan. Baingan bhartha, brinjal fry and then this bharva baigan are few of my favourites. I guess roasting and frying takes this veggie to a new level and it might be hard to dislike it even for someone who hates this veggie as such.

Usually the English brinjal variety is quite big and is called aubergine and doesn’t taste good like the brinjal but me being sluggish still pick those to make my chopping easier. Few weeks back when I saw this super fresh brinjals in our local Indian shop I couldn’t resist picking it up and they looked perfect for stuffing. I rang up my friend  A who makes super yummy bharwa baingan for her recipe and with few modifications of my own I made her bharwa baingan for our dinner and one super easy bharwa baingan was ready in about 30-40 minutes !!

Small brinjals -6

For masala
Shallots/ cheriya ulli – 4-5  or 1 medium sized onion( finely chopped)
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Coriander powder/ malli podi – 1 ½ tsp
Garlic cloves – 2 (crushed)
Besan powder / kadala mavu – 1 tbs

  • In a small pan/ kadai add little oil and sauté the chopped onions until soft and translucent
  • Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and fry for a minute and switch off the flame.
  • Grind it in a blender to a paste.
  • Add crushed garlic, salt, besan to the paste and mix well.
  • Make two deep slits on brinjal (like a cross) from bottom keeping the stalk intact.
  • Take each brinjal and stuff it with the masala paste through the slits.
  • In a non -stick  frying  pan or thick bottomed pan add oil and shallow fry the stuffed brinjal on a very low flame by covering it for 20-25 minutes by  flipping the sides in between.
Serve hot with rice/ roti !

Monday, May 5, 2014

Baguette and Garlic bread from scratch with step by step pictures

Garlic bread is something which we all love at home.Usually when  we go for a pizza night, we order  garlic bread and some chicken wings  to go with it and  more than the pizza I enjoy the garlic bread and chicken wings .Supermarkets here sell descent garlic bread  so I never bothered to make it from scratch..Couple of weeks back, me and my blogger buddy MJ did a baking workshop for a couple for some lovely ladies at my place. I was in charge of cake and MJ  did  a bread, and the taste and  smell of freshly baked home -made bread totally inspired me to get into bread baking.

When I first moved to UK  it really amazed me when I saw breads in all size and shapes with all fancy names..till then I have only tasted the soft white everyday  bread from bakeries and they were simply the best. My first impression after I ate the bread from here was “ eww its not sweet and its not soft "  I didn’t like the breads here at all , after all  it’s not easy to adjust to an acquired taste is it ?? Can’t remember when I started enjoying the breads here  and developed a liking for brown bread over the white ones and then later on I  explored the fancy breads in all shapes...crunchy outside soft inside ones became  my favourite  ….now I am converted.I like my bread the way we get here and if u can make them at home it tastes even better!!

Coming to todays bread, its Baguette.. a long french bread which is crunchy outside and soft inside and its so easy to bake too !

Recipe source from here
Ingredients for baguette
All purpose flour/ Maida – 2 ½ cup
Instant yeast -  1 ½ tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Warm water – 1 cup
Egg yolk – 1(dilute the  egg yolk with  1 tbs of water)


  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 cup of warm water and let it froth for 5 minutes
  • Measure flour and salt into a bowl.
  • Add the yeast solution to it and knead it well for 5 minutes into smooth dough.
  • Cover the dough with a cling film or a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour or until double.
  • Divide the dough into two halves.

  • Roll the dough into rectangles of  8 inch * 12 inch 

  • Roll the sheet from the 12 inch side tightly to a log. Repeat the same with other half of the dough.

  • With a knife score a line (2 inches apart) on both  logs.

  • Cover it with cling wrap and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.

  • Give it an egg wash and bake it in a preheated oven at 190 degree C for 25 minutes.

For garlic bread (recipe adapted from here)
Baguette – 2 ( sliced )
For spread
Softened Butter – ½ ( unsalted)
Garlic cloves – 3 ( crushed)
Parsley leaves- finely chopped – 1 tbs
Salt ( optional)  If u like ur bread with salt ,use either salted butter or add little salt.

Mix all the ingredients for the spread and spread it lavishly onto both sides of the sliced bread.
Arrange them in a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 5-8 minutes.
Serve hot   and enjoy!