Banana Bread


banana bread

              Sometimes we buy bananas and they all ripen at the same time and would go waste before we eat them. So whenever I have over ripen bananas I would use them to make this banana bread. This is one easy fail proof recipe and the result is a delicious banana bread. So whenever you buy some excess bananas make this yummy bread and you will start buying bananas just to make this bread.

Ingredients:

  • Ripen bananas – 2
  • All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup 
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Egg – 2 large
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup 
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Method :

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter or oil.

1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. If you are using nuts , mix them also.

step1

2. In another bowl, mash the ripen bananas well without any lumps.

step2

3. Also beat melt the butter and let it cool down.

step3

4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs well.

step4

5. Mix the mashed banana, melted butter , beaten eggs and vanilla extract.

step5

6. Add the sifted flour to this mixture and fold it well till everything is combined well.

step6

7. Pour this mixture in the greased pan and bake it in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

step7

To see if the cake is done, insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake to see if it comes out clean.

step8

This bread can be frozen for upto 2 months.

banana bread

Basic Chocolate Cake with vanilla buttercream


cake2

This is a very special post. My little one just turned 3. I just could not believe how fast time flies. My prince is so obsessed with the cars. And even when he has a huge tantrum, show him a car toy and he suddenly calms down. Trust me.. I am not exaggerating. So I wanted to make him a cars cake for his third birthday and searched pinterest for ideas and came across The Domestic Project. She had the simple step by step instructions to make this cake and immediately decided that I am going to make this cake. I used a basic chocolate cake recipe and vanilla buttercream recipe.

Ingredients:

For the cake :

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Eggs – 4, large
  • Unsalted butter – 1 cup (at room temperature)
  • Water – 2 cups
  • All purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 2 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

For the Frosting :

  • Unsalted Butter – 2 cups
  • Powdered Sugar – 4 cups
  • Heavy cream – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons

Method :

1. In a mixing bowl, sift the cocoa powder and add boiling water to it and mix well without any lumps. Keep it aside and let it cool.

step1

2.In another bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep this also aside.

step4

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is creamy and pale.

step2

4.To this, add the sugar in batches and beat thoroughly after each addition. Beat it well till the mixture becomes fluffy and creamy.

step3

5.To this add the eggs, one at a time and beat it thoroughly. Then add the vanilla extract and mix it well.

step5

6. Now using a rubber spatula, mix the flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternatively in small batches and mix them well till it is combined and becomes a smooth batter.

step6

7. Now pour this smooth batter in the greased pan and bake it for 25 to 30 mins or until the tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

step7

8. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove it from the pan and let it cool for 3 to 4 hrs before frosting. I left it cool overnight.

To make the frosting:

1.In a clean mixing bowl, add the butter and beat it using a hand mixer or stand mixture until the butter is pale and creamy.

2. Now add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time and mix it thoroughly.

3. Then add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. If you want to add any color, you can add it now and mix it well using a spatula.

Sorry I was in a hurry and tension to make this cake on time so I didnt have step by step pictures for the frosting and decorating the cake.

But this cake was very scrumptious and everyone loved it.

cake1

Beans Paruppu Usili


usili

Beans paruppu usili is one healthy and rich accompaniment for a south Indian lunch. Packed with proteins , this usili is definitely a heart winning dish. I usually steam the dal mixture but I heard from my friend that stir frying them in oil gives a beautiful grainy texture and tried it that way and we liked it very much. So it is your preference either to steam the dal mixture or stir fry them but the usili will definitely impress you that you will make them again and again.

Ingredients:

  • Beans – 2 cups , (finely chopped)
  • Tur Dal – 1 cup
  • Bengal gram – 1 cup
  • Dry red chilli – 3 or 4 (Depending on the spice level preferred)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Method:

1. Soak the dals in water for 2 hours.

step1

2. Finely chop the beans and steam cook them.

step2

3. Once the dal is soaked for 2 hrs, grind them in a mixie along with red chilli and salt. No need to add water and the mixture should be ground coarsely.

step3

4. Now in a pan, heat the oil and then add in the ground dal mixture. And fry it till the dal mixture is cooked well and turns grainy.

step4

Or you can steam cook the dal mixture in an idli pan like we do the kolukattais and once it is cooked and cooled down it can be crumbled and added to the steamed beans.

5.Once the dal mixture is cooked well, add in the cooked beans.

step5

6. Stir it well till everything is combined well. This may take 2 or 3 minutes.

step6

Switch off the stove and serve this paruppu usili as an accompaniment with sambar, rasam and rice.

usili

Mushroom Kuruma


mushroom kuruma

I have never eaten mushrooms in my childhood as mushrooms were considered non veg and was never cooked in our house. Only in recent times, mushrooms are cooked in our house and we eat them. While in Chennai, once I bought mushrooms and when I cleaned them , i got severe itch and hives all over my hands. So I just threw all the mushrooms in trash but the hives lasted for a week. From then , I avoided mushrooms. But after coming to USA, I gathered some courage and started cooking mushrooms again. I don’t know any authentic mushroom recipes but I slightly modify some of our original recipes to adapt mushrooms in it. Here this mushroom kuruma is a slight adaptation from my vegetable kuruma and this goes well with the pooris and chapathis.

Ingredients:

  • Mushroom – 200 gms
  • Onion – 1, finely chopped
  • Tomato- 1, finely chopped
  • Chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon

To Grind:

  • Coconut, shredded – 1/4 cup
  • Cashew nuts – 5 to 6
  • Roasted gram – 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon – 1 piece
  • poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato – 1
  • Cloves – 2

To temper :

  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Star anise – 1

Method:

1. Clean and chop the mushrooms.

step0

2. Take everything given under To grind column in a mixer grinder and grind it to a smooth paste.

step1

3.In a pan, add oil and then throw in the cardamom, star anise and bay leaf. Then add chopped onion and ginger garlic paste.

step2

4.When the onion and ginger garlic paste are cooked well and the raw smell leaves , add in the chopped tomatoes and stir well.

step3

5.When the tomatoes turn mushy, add in the chopped mushrooms and give it a stir for 2 minutes.

step4

6.Then add in the ground paste, add some water and the salt and chilly powder. The amount of water is based on the consistency of the kuruma needed. I added half a cup of water.

step5

7. Mix it well and let it come to a boil.

step6

Switch the flame off and garnish the kuruma with cilantro leaves. Serve it with hot pooris or chapathis.

mushroom kuruma

Pineapple Cake


pineapple cake

Happy Mother’s Day !!!

Today I want to dedicate my post to two special persons in my life. One is my Amma. She is an awesome cook and a wonderful lady. Whatever I am today, I should thank my Mom. She is the backbone of our family. She is my hero and will always be. She is the inspiration for everything I cook and whatever heights I fly , she is my wings.

The second person I wanted to dedicate this post is to my friend Gayathri. I know her for just 3 years but she occupies an important place in my life. Whenever I feel low, she was always there to lift me up and I know she will always be there for me. She is the inspiration for my baking. She bakes well and she is the one who introduced me the world of baking. Today is her birthday. Wishing you a very happy birthday Gayathri..

pineapplecake

Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour – 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Eggs – 3
  • Egg yolks – 3
  • Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Whole milk – 1/4 cup
  • Butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Pineapple chunks in syrup – 1 tin
  • Heavy whipping cream – 2 cups
  • Powdered sugar – 1 cup
  • Pineapple essence – 2 tsp

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 inch round pan and keep it ready.

2. In a bowl, sieve together the all purpose flour, baking powder and table salt. Mix it well and keep it side.

step2

3. In a sauce pan, heat the milk and butter together. Let it be heated in a low flame till it is hot but not boiling.

step4

4. In a large mixing bowl, take the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract and beat them in high speed .

step5

5. Beat it till a point when you raise the stopped beater gives a ribbon that dissolves slowly.

step6

I used my handheld electric mixture and it took me almost 6 minutes to reach this consistency. The egg mixture turns pale in color and is doubled in the volume.

5.At this stage, add the mixed flour mixture in small batches and fold it gently without disturbing the volume of the egg mixture.

step7

6.Once all the flour mixture is added and incorporated with the egg mixture, now add in the hot milk+butter mixture and using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold it gently until everything is mixed thoroughly.

step8

7.Now scrap this mixture into the greased pan and let it bake for 20 to 23 minutes.

step9

8.After 20 minutes check if the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. To me it took 22 minutes but the baking time varies with the oven.

step10

9.Let it cool completely. Better if it is left to cool overnight. Once it is cooled completely, using a sharp knife, gently cut the cake into two layers. Also separate the pineapple chunks and the syrup.

step11

10. Now using the pastry brush, gently sprinkle the syrup on the base layer of the cake.

step12

If you are using fresh pineapples, for making the syrup, finely chop the pineapples , say 1/2 cup. Boil 1 cup water and add the pineapple chunks and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add 1/4 cup sugar and let it boil till the sugar dissolves.Switch off the stove and let it cool and strain the syrup and use it.

11. Meanwhile, In a mixing bowl,add heavy whipping cream ,powdered sugar and pineapple essence and beat it till stiff peaks are formed.

step13

12.In the base layer of cake, spread a little cream evenly.

step14

13. Spread the finely chopped pineapple chunks.

step15

14. Now place the other layer of the cake, sprinkle the pineapple syrup and cover it with the whipped cream.

step16 step17

Decorate the cake as you like it and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Letting it sit for few hours before serving helps the cake absorb the flavor of pineapple well.

pineapple cake

cake slice

%d bloggers like this: