Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

As a child I always used to love this cake that was specially baked around Christmas. So this time around I tried to bake this cake. A word of precaution as this cake is not for people who want to bake a cake in a jiffy.

So if you have the time in the world this is a perfect cake that can be baked. Your little ones are definitely going to appreciate the effort.

Though I call this cake Authentic I have tweaked the original recipe for healthier ingredients. So here goes the Recipe.

You will need:

2 Cups of Whole-wheat Atta
2 Cups of Dry Fuits – Raisin soaked, Cashew, Tutty Fruity, Almonds sliced
1 Cup of Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
3 Large Eggs separated
1 tsp of Cinnamon Powder
½ Tsp of Nutmeg Powder
½ Tsp of Clove Powder
½ Tsp of Ginger Powder
1 Tsp of Cardomom Powder
A pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder
¾ cup Powdered Sugar
6 tbsp of Sugar
3 Tbsp of Water
½ Cup Boiling Water
2-3 Tbsp of Milk
2-3 drops of Vanilla Essence


Soak the Dry Fuits in some milk for a few hours. Set aside

Simmer 3 tbsp of Water in a pan. Now add the 6 tbsp of Sugar. Keep swirling till the sugar is dissolved. Ensure that you do not stir with any spatula and keep swirling for the next 7-8 minutes till the sugar is caramelized. Now add the boiling water slowly to the pan till all the water is completely mixed with the caramelized sugar. Keep aside to cool.

Preheat the Oven to 160-170 Deg Centigrade. Grease a baking pan with non-stick spray.

Now take a bowl and whip the oil and the powdered sugar till they are well mixed. Add the vanilla essence and whip in egg yolks one by one into the mixture.

Now sieve the flour along with the spices and baking powder.

Mix the flour little at a time to the mixture and whip it well.

Now add the caramelized sugar water to this mixture and whip for one last time.

Sprinkle some Atta onto the Dry fruits and then fold in all the dry fruits into the mixture carefully. The sprinkling of the Atta is to ensure that the dry fruits do not sink into the batter.

Now whip the egg whites till soft peaks are formed and this to the mixture. Check the consistency of the batter and if too thick you can add a few drops of milk.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake it for 45 minutes to an hour's time till a tooth pick comes out clean.

Take the cake out and after it cools completely cut it into pieces and store it in an airtight container.

You can substitute the oil for butter or margarine and use maida instead of atta for the originial recipe.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jhatpat Pulao with Palak Raitha

This is one tried and tested recipe in my list of "easy-to-cook" recipes. Especially when you have unexpected guests and you do not have enough time to turn out something nice.

All you need is some cooked rice, a few vegetables from your refrigerator and some curd to turn this dish in less then an hour's time.

Ingredients for the Jhatpat Pulao:

3-4 Carrots
1 Bowl of Green Peas
2 Medium sized Onions
6-8 button Mushrooms
1 Capsicum
A few pieces of Paneer
Salt to taste
1 Tsp of Crushed black pepper

2 Katori (Medium) of Rice


If you have cooked rice you can readily use it. Otherwise take the rice and wash it. Now boil 5-6 cups of water and put some Pudina (mint) leaves into it along with salt and some all spice leaves(If you dont have this you can put whole spices).

When the water starts to boil put the washed rice and cook till the rice is 90% complete.
Drain the water and keep the rice aside.

Now take some oil in a pan, throw in some whole spices like BayLeaf, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, Star Anise along with some thinly sliced onion and saute for a while.

Now add the chopped carrots, capsicum, Mushrooms and green Peas into the pan and saute till almost done.

Add salt and crushed black pepper after a while. Now finally put the paneer and fry till well browned.

Once this is done take a serving platter and pour the cooked rice on it. Now pour the vegetable mixture and and mix it lightly.

Garnish with fried onions and cashew before serving hot along with the palak raitha.

For the Raitha:
Palak (a bunch)
1/4 tsp methi
pinch of hing
4-5 red chilles
1 tsp of jeera
1 Nestle Dahi (big)
Black Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Throw in the Jeera, Methi, Hing and Red chillies and saute till well browned. Now pour the cleaned and chopped palak leaves and fry till the leaves are wilted.

Now take some dahi in a mixie container and pour the fried ingredients and blend it together. Take it out into a container, pour in the rest of curd, black salt. Garnish with thinly sliced onions and serve along with the Pulao.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Basic Cake Recipe

I never knew how to bake a cake until a few years ago when I happened to watch Sanjeev Kapoor's "Khana Khazana" in which he was teaching a cake that could be baked in a microwave in within 10 minutes.

That was when I first started baking cakes. In a microwave. Since then its been many years now since i have been baking different types of cakes and have tried to come up with a healthier version for everyone to enjoy. This recipe is one recipe that I have shared with many of my friends.

You can bake a cake using in a convection oven or in a microwave. The setting will be different. The taste varies. I personally like the cake baked in a convection oven over the microwave. It comes out more crispy an well browned.

In a microwave the cake come out real soft but without the browning effect.

But I make both depending upon the time that I have.If I need to make it in a jiffy I use the microwave.

If I have ample time I use the convection oven. So here goes the recipe.



1. Wholewheat Flour (2 Cups)
2. Sugar (1 1/2 Cups)
3. Salt (a pinch)
4. Baking Soda (1/2 tsp)
5. Baking Powder (3/4 tsp)

1. Eggs (3)
2. Vegetable Oil(3/4 cup)
3. Milk (3/4 Cup)
4. Vanilla Essence(a few drops)
5. Water (1/4 Cup - 1/2 Cup)

Combine the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients and whisk it in one direction for the next 10 minutes.

If the batter is a little too thick you can add some more water. It should be at a thicker consistency then pancake batter.


Grease a baking tray and pour the batter into the tray. Microwave it on high for 8 minutes. Use a skewer in the center of the cake and check if the cake is completely baked. If it comes out clean the cake is baked completely and ready to be cooled.

Convection Oven:

Pre-heat the oven for 150 deg c for about 5 minutes. Now grease a baking tray and pour the batter into the tray. Heat it in the oven for the next 35-45 minutes. Check with skewer if it comes out clean. The cake if done will have look dark brown on the surface.

The cake given above was baked in a convection oven.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Diwali is a time when I usually make (try to make :) ) some kinds of indian sweets for my family. Every year I think of different types of sweets that can be made from scratch. I remember a couple of years back when I asked my cook (who used to work in a restaurant earlier) to teach me how to make rasgullas. He told that he could make it easily. I got all the ingredients and he started making them. A couple of hours later I realised that I made a mistake by asking him. It was disastrous. All the curdeled Paneer was totally wasted in his effort to make rasgullas since he tried to put baking soda to make it fluffier. forget the fluff all the paneer balls disintegrated into the sugar syrup in no time and the whole thing was unrecognizable. I thought my dream of making rasgullas from scratch will remain a dream. Till the day one of my sis-in-law told me this "easy to do" recipe that can never go wrong. So hear it goes.


  • 1 ltr Toned Milk

  • 2 cups Sugar

  • 6 cups Water

  • 1 tbsp Maida

  • 1 Lemon

  • Few drops of Rose Water

  • Few strips of saffron

Boil the milk and remove the first layer of cream that forms after the milk is boiled and cooled for 5-10 minutes.

Now switch on the gas simmer the milk. Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir the milk till the milk starts to curdle.

If the milk does not curdle add some more lemon juice.

After the milk is curdled completely strain the milk onto a muslin cloth and tie it on the water pipe of your kitchen sink for the next two hours.

After 2hrs take the muslin cloth with the paneer and keep it on a flat base like the kitchen countertop. Now keep a 5 ltr cooker filled with water on top of this for the next 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes take the paneer out and start kneading it well till the ghee starts seperating. Now take 1 tbsp (not heaped but flat) of maida and add it to this paneer and knead it for some more time.

Make small lemon sized balls of paneer. Now take a cooker and pour 6 glasses of water into it. Switch on the gas and put the cooker with water on boil. Add two cups of sugar to this mixture.

When the water is boiled and the sugar is all l=melted add a few drops of Rose water and some kesar water into the mixture.

Now simmer the flame and drop all the paneer balls carefully into the sugar syrup.
Close the lid (with the whistel) and allow it to simmer for the nexxt 7 minutes. Ensure that the pressure within the cooker is not so much that it starts whistling when you close the lid.

After 7 minutes have passed switch off the flame and allow the rasgullas to remain in the cooker till all the pressure is down.

Once cooled remove the rasgullas onto a bowl along with the sugar syrup and refrigerate it immediately.

P.S: Use the cooker which has the lid that closes from inside for better results.