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Aug 172017
 


When you see a new seasonal fruit in the market you get excited because you want to bake with it. eh? Does that happen to you or am I too peculiar? I have used Apricots, Cherries, Mangoes, Peaches, Plums, Apples, Papaya, Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas, Bay berries, Kiwis, Black Grapes, Pomegranate, Orange, Melon, Lychee, Coconut, Chestnut, Persimmon , Watermelon in some recipe or the other. Anyways! I saw mosambi or Sweet Lime in the market and I jumped with anticipation. I had been eyeing this sweet lime cake for a while now. And when the results cake out I knew it was worth all that wait and craving.


It was similar to my Lemon Pound Cake just that it was a little lighter because it used yogurt instead of cream. The zest of Sweet lime added that magic potion which made it from an average to a magnificent cake recipe. The lingering flavour of sweet lime was a bliss. I would love to make this again for my family and friends. What are you thinking?

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven temperatures and Conversions) and grease a large 9 inch cake pan with oil and dust with flour and set aside.




2. In a bowl add caster sugar and add zest of sweet lime. Mix it together and let the sugar get enriched with the sweet lime oils and become fragrant. Leave it for 5 minutes. You can juice the zested sweet limes and keep aside.





3. Then add butter at room temperature to the sugar and whisk everything till its all creamy and sugar has dissolved.




4.  Add eggs and whisk again for good 7-8 minutes till everything has become creamy and airy.


5. Add unsweetened yogurt or curd, vanilla essence, fresh sweet lime juice and whisk again. 





6. After whisking you will come across a airy cake mixture. Set aside.

7. In another bowl add the All purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Combine everything well.





8. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients little by little and keep whisking till everything is moistened. Do not over mix as it will result in a bread like cake which you don’t want.




9. Pour the cake batter in the greased pan and smoothen the top with a spatula. Give it a couple of taps . This will remove any trapped air bubbles. Bake it in the oven for 50-60 minutes on 180 degree Celsius or until the tooth pick comes out clean. If any time you feel the cake is getting over browned you can tent it with an aluminium foil.

10. In the meanwhile make the syrup for the topping. In a bowl add some icing sugar and add sweet lime juice.




11. When the cake has baked remove it out of the mould after 10 minutes of removing it from the oven. Then let it rest on the wire rack till it comes to room temperature. Pole holes i n the cake with the help of a toothpick.

12. Pour the syrup with the help of a spoon all over the cake surface. It will seep down and will be absorbed by the cake.  Sprinkle more icing sugar and zest of sweet lime if you fancy.


13. Slice and serve with your favourite cup of chai or coffee. You will be in dessert heaven.

If you are looking for other Cakes and desserts with fresh fruits you can try: Peach Upside Down Cake.  Fresh Apricot and Almond CakeApple CrispMango Vanilla CakeFestive Orange Blueberry Pound CakeSorghum and Wheat Flour Persimmon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingVanilla & Pomegranate CakeVegan Chocolate Banana CakeMascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake GlassesEggless Orange Cake with Candied Orange Peel FillingPersimmon Rum Cake,  Mango Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream .

Mosambi Cake | Citrusy Sweet Lime Cake
Serves 8
Sweet Lime Cake is made from Fresh Sweet Limes or Mosambi and is a soft, moist tea time cake. If you love citrus zesty cakes you must try this.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup or 150 grams butter at room temperature*
  2. 1 ¼ cup or 200 grams castor sugar
  3. Zest of 2 sweet limes
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1/2 cup unsweetened curd or yogurt
  6. 1/2 cup fresh sweet lime juice
  7. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  8. 2 ½ cups or 325 gms All purpose flour
  9. ½ tsp baking powder
  10. ½ tsp baking soda
  11. ½ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius and grease a large 9 inch cake pan with oil and dust with flour and set aside.
  2. In a bowl add caster sugar and add zest of sweet lime. Mix it together and let the sugar get enriched with the sweet lime oils and become fragrant. Leave it for 5 minutes. You can juice the zested sweet limes and keep aside.
  3. Then add butter at room temperature to the sugar and whisk everything till its all creamy and sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add eggs and whisk again for good 7-8 minutes till everything has become creamy and airy.
  5. Add unsweetened yogurt or curd, vanilla essence, fresh sweet lime juice and whisk again.
  6. After whisking you will come across an airy mixture. Set aside.
  7. In another bowl add the All purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Combine everything well.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients little by little and keep whisking till everything is moistened. Do not over mix as it will result in a bread like cake which you don’t want.
  9. Pour the cake batter in the greased pan and smoothen the top with a spatula. Give it a couple of taps . This will remove any trapped air bubbles. Bake it in the oven for 50-60 minutes on 180 degree Celsius or until the tooth pick comes out clean. If any time you feel the cake is getting over browned you can tent it with an aluminium foil.
  10. In the meanwhile make the syrup for the topping. In a bowl add some icing sugar and add sweet lime juice.
  11. When the cake has baked remove it out of the mould after 10 minutes of removing it from the oven. Then let it rest on the wire rack till it comes to room temperature. Pole holes i n the cake with the help of a toothpick.
  12. Pour the syrup with the help of a spoon all over the cake surface. It will seep down and will be absorbed by the cake. Sprinkle more icing sugar and zest of sweet lime if you fancy.
  13. Slice and serve with your favourite cup of chai or coffee. You will be in dessert heaven.
Notes
  1. *You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you chose unsalted butter than you add salt otherwise skip.
  2. *You can replace sweet limes or mosambi with oranges, keeonu, lemon and any citrusy fruit.
Adapted from Cafe Garima
Adapted from Cafe Garima
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Aug 062017
 

Festivals are a time of togetherness when you cherish spending quality time with your family and loved ones. In India the list of festivities is endless. If someone tries to maintain a countrywide list of festivals , every day of the year will be some rejoiced occasion or the other. More festivals means more food and desserts. And when you say more food I am sold out. I thing good food sparks up the festival. This Rakshabandhan I am making Dates Milk Pudding for my family. Its creamy, rich and decadent. 

Directions:
1. Take some dates and remove their stones. Chop them into small pieces and set aside.




2. In a thick bottom vessel add milk and bring it to a boil. Once it has come to a boil turn it on simmer and let it reduce to half. Keep stirring occasionally.


3, In the meanwhile in a wok add some ghee and add halved cashews and raisins.Saute them till they are lighted roasted in ghee. Set aside.





4. In the same wok add chopped dates and water.  Cook them on medium low flame for 8-10 minutes till they have become mush and soft.





5. Add reduced milk and bring everything to a boil. Also add little condensed milk to make  everything a bit more creamy.




6. Add roasted cashews and raisins and cardamom powder. Reserve a few cashews for garnish.




7. Garnish with saffron and more roasted cashews.

Other Desserts you can try are: Makhaney ki Kheer , Ragi and Khus Khus Ladoo, Besan Rava Ladoo, Sewiyan Kesari, Rasgulla,  Til ke Laddoo , Tilkoot, Mango Saffron Phirni, Paneer Ki Kheer

Khajoor Ki Kheer | Dates Milk Pudding | Dates Payasam
Serves 3
Khajoor ki kheer is a a delicious and creamy milk pudding made with dates and roasted cashews and raisins. It has an incredible texture and aroma.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Cup Dates
  2. 2 Cups Milk
  3. 1.5 Cups Water
  4. 1 tsp Ghee
  5. 10-12 Halved Cashews
  6. 1/2 tbsp Raisins
  7. 1/2 tsp Fresh Cardamom Powder
  8. 2 tbsp Condensed milk , or more to taste (optional) *
Instructions
  1. Take some dates and remove their stones. Chop them into small pieces and set aside.
  2. In a thick bottom vessel add milk and bring it to a boil. Once it has come to a boil turn it on simmer and let it reduce to half. Keep stirring occasionally.
  3. In the meanwhile in a wok add some ghee and add halved cashews and raisins.Saute them till they are lighted roasted in ghee. Set aside.
  4. In the same wok add chopped dates and water. Cook them on medium low flame for 8-10 minutes till they have become mush and soft.
  5. Add reduced milk and bring everything to a boil. Also add little condensed milk to make everything a bit more creamy. If you like you can skip condensed milk. *
  6. Add roasted cashews and raisins and cardamom powder. Reserve a few cashews for garnish.
  7. Garnish with saffron and more roasted cashews. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. For diabetes friendly recipe you can skip adding condensed milk.
Adapted from Indian Khana
Adapted from Indian Khana
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jul 232017
 


Rakshabandhan is right around the corner and traditional sweets are a quintessential part of every Indian festivity. This year I wanted to make something which is healthy but still festive. I tried my hands on Ragi Laddoos. These are gluten free and so easy to put together and taste is absolutely top notch. When I was taking pictures my kiddo asked me if these were chocolate balls and I said yes 😉 He gobbled down two instantly and gave me a thumbs up. Isn’t it how you call a recipe successful. These are perfect for people who are watching their weight, for people with celiac diseases, for little babies and even for pregnant woman.


Make for your beloved brother or dear sister these Ragi Khus Khus Laddoos. They are incredible and taste divine. I am sure they will make this festival more joyous! You can even try Besan Rava Laddoos is you want to stick to the traditional recipes.

 
Directions:
1. In a wok add ghee and melt it. Add Ragi flour and keep sauteing it till the aroma of roasted flour is felt. You will notice the mixture has separated from ghee. This should take good 10-12 minutes. Keep the flame low and keep stirring it.





2. Add almond meal or ground almonds and also powdered green cardamom powder. Mix well with the ragi slurry and continue to cook for a minute more.




3. Turn the flame off and add castor sugar or powdered sugar and mix well.

4.Let the mixture cool down little bit. Cool enough to make laddoos or round balls with it. 


5. Roll the laddoos in roasted poppy seeds and set them aside to set and firm. 


6. They also taste great when soft and warm. They stay good for about 20 days if kept at room temperature in an airtight jar.

Other Ragi of Finger Millet Recipes you can try are: Gluten Free Chocolate Ragi BrowniesRagi Masala TwistersRagi & Whole Wheat BiscuitsInstant Ragi Dosa. 

Other Traditional Indian Festive Food you can try are: Attey Ka Halwa Gurudwara StyleSwang Ke Chawal Ka HalwaApple LapsiKaddu ka HalwaSooji HalwaGajar Ka HalwaMango Saffron PhirniPaneer Ki KheerSabudana KheerMakhane Ki KheerGram Flour Semolina BallsGurr Gajar Ke Meethey ChawalKesari SeviyanRasgulla

Ragi & Khus Khus Laddoos Recipe | Healthy Finger Millet and Poppy Seeds Energy Bites
Yields 6
Ragi and Khus Khus Laddoos are nutritious energy bites rolled in Roasted Poppy seeds. They are perfect for festivities, for health conscious people and pregnant woman.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Ragi flour
  2. 6 tbsp Desi Ghee or Clarified butter
  3. 6 tbsp Powdered Sugar
  4. 1 tbsp Almond powder*
  5. 1/2 tsp Cardamom or Elaichi Powder
  6. 1 tbsp Roasted poppy seeds or Khus Khus
Instructions
  1. In a wok add ghee and melt it. Add Ragi flour and keep sauteing it till the aroma of roasted flour is felt. You will notice the mixture has separated from ghee. This should take good 10-12 minutes. Keep the flame low and keep stirring it.
  2. Add almond meal or ground almonds and also powdered green cardamom powder. Mix well with the ragi slurry and continue to cook for a minute more.
  3. Turn the flame off and add castor sugar or powdered sugar and mix well.
  4. Let the mixture cool down little bit. Cool enough to make laddoos or round balls with it.
  5. Roll the laddoos in roasted poppy seeds and set them aside to set and firm.
  6. They also taste great when soft and warm. They stay good for about 20 days if kept at room temperature in an airtight jar.
Adapted from Let's Cook Healthy Tonight
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jul 192017
 

So a couple of days back my blog’s following on FB touched a 12k milestone! It may be nothing to many but I know how this journey has been.. a lot of effort, bit of struggle, bucket full of patience but at the end I have received Heaps of Love from all of you and Immense Satisfaction. I want to thank each one of you for your support and motivation. I think this success is not just mine but also yours.  


To celebrate this I prepared Mughlai Shahi Paneer for my family. I have been making Shahi Paneer earlier also and that is one of the most tried recipes from my blog. But this is a Mughlai avatar of the Shahi Paneer. Delicate paneer cubes are cooked in white gravy with aromatic mughlai spices. Oh the occasion turned totally Shahi after this! Directions:
1. In a blender add chunks of onion and  green chilli. Make a smooth paste and set aside. Soak some cashews in 2 tablespoon milk for half an hour. Grind them along with 1/4 cup grated paneer and set aside. Also cut the paneer in cubes to be used later.




2.  Heat ghee in a kadai or deep sauce pan on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.


3.  Now, add Bay leaf along with  Onion Chili Paste and Ginger garlic paste in the ghee and let it become light brown in color. .It may take upto 5 minutes. The raw smell of ginger garlic will fade away.





4. Add Chopped Tomatoes and continue to sauté till the ghee separates the masala. Be patient, this can take upto 15-18 minutes and not to mention… keep stirring on regular intervals.




5. Add Coriander powder, Roasted Cumin Powder and Turmeric Powder.





6. Also add Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala and Salt to the masala. Mix everything thoroughly with the masala taste and continue to cook for a minute more. 





7. Now turn the flame off and add curd and keep whisking it with masala otherwise the curd will curdle. Also add 1/3 cup water to the masala and mix.





8. Now turn the flame on but it will continue to remain on simmer. Add  kasuri methi, fresh cream and combine with a ladle.  




9. Add cubed Paneer to the gravy and mix well .


10.  Also add Cashew Milk Paste and bring the gravy to the boil on low flame. It will take 3-4 minutes.


11. Add green cardamom powder. Finish the dish with fresh coriander leaves.




12. Serve it hot with roti, naan or paranthas.

Other Paneer dishes you can try are: Shahi Paneer,  Achari Paneer,  Vrat Wale Dahi-Paneer KebabsPaneer Ki Kheer,  Baked Paneer Corn Kababs , Stuffed Buns with Spicy Paneer Palak Paneer

Restaurant Style Mughlai Shahi Paneer | Cottage Cheese Cubes in White Aromatic Gravy
Serves 2
Mughlai Shahi Paneer is a delicate Indian dish which has soft paneer cubes in velvety white sauce made with yogurt, fresh cream. It’s flavorful and rich and leaves a lingering flavor on your taste buds.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 200 gms Paneer or Cottage cheese
  2. 1 small Tomato, finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp Coriander power
  4. 1/2 tsp roasted Cumin powder
  5. 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  6. 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  7. 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  8. 1/2 tsp Kasuri Methi
  9. 3-4 tbsp. fresh cream
  10. 2-3 tbsp. fresh Curd, whisked
  11. 1 Bay leaf
  12. 2 Cardamom pods, seeded and powdered
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 2-3 tbsp.Ghee
  15. 2 tsp Coriander leaves, to garnish
  16. 2 Onions, roughly chopped
  17. 2 Green chillies
  18. 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  19. 8-10 Cashew nuts
  20. 1/4 cup Warm milk
  21. 1/4 cup grated Paneer
Instructions
  1. In a blender add chunks of onion and green chilli. Make a smooth paste and set aside. Soak some cashews in 2 tablespoon milk for half an hour. Grind them along with 1/4 cup grated paneer and set aside. Also cut the paneer in cubes to be used later.
  2. Heat ghee in a kadai or deep sauce pan on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now, add Bay leaf along with Onion Chili Paste and Ginger garlic paste in the ghee and let it become light brown in color. .It may take upto 5 minutes. The raw smell of ginger garlic will fade away.
  4. Add Chopped Tomatoes and continue to sauté till the ghee separates the masala. Be patient, this can take upto 15-18 minutes and not to mention… keep stirring on regular intervals.
  5. Add Coriander powder, Roasted Cumin Powder and Turmeric Powder.
  6. Also add Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala and Salt to the masala. Mix everything thoroughly with the masala taste and continue to cook for a minute more.
  7. Now turn the flame off and add curd and keep whisking it with masala otherwise the curd will curdle. Also add 1/3 cup water to the masala and mix.
  8. Now turn the flame on but it will continue to remain on simmer. Add kasuri methi, fresh cream and combine with a ladle.
  9. Add cubed Paneer to the gravy and mix well.
  10. Also add Cashew Milk Paste and bring the gravy to the boil on low flame. It will take 3-4 minutes.
  11. Add green cardamom powder. Finish the dish with fresh coriander leaves.
  12. Serve it hot with roti, naan or paranthas.
Adapted from Chef and Her Kitchen
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jul 132017
 

I behave like a little puppy when summers arrive in hills. There is so much to look forward, the fresh bounty which includes fruits like, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, lychees, apples and pears. I cant seem to get over them. I just have to keep trying new recipes using these fruits. The summers are receding and monsoons is taking over us but then the excitement level hasn’t gone down. I am already through playing with peaches, plums and apricots. But when I spotted cherries my heart skipped a beat, I love them! – the taste, the shape, the colour. It’s like the best fruit for a food blogger. 

I had made Cherry Compote Cheesecake Glasses and Cherry Rosemary Focaccia Bread a while back and had also made lychee lemonade. This time I decided to make lychee icecream with cherry compote. The way they married each other was simply fabulous. You should try this recipe and the results will amaze you.

Directions:

1. Peel the outer skin of lychees and discard the pits. You will be left with lychee flesh.




2. Add the lychee flesh in a blender and churn it to make a smooth puree.




3. Whip together condensed Milk and Whipping Cream till you get airy light and soft cream.




4.  Add the lychee puree to the fluffy cream and whisk again till it blends well. 




5. Transfer the lychee cream to a icecream box with a lid. Smoothen the top with a spatula.


6. Cover the box with a lid and freeze it for about 1 and 1/2 hours.


7. For the cherry compote. Stone the cherries. You can use this easy hack to pit the stones without the use of pitter.  Add the cherries to a saucepan.


8. Also add sugar and water and cook on medium flame.




9. Cook till the cherries have lost their shape and become gooey, almost like a syrup.


10. Cook further till that syrup is thickened and its not liquid any more. Turn the flame off and bring this compote to room temperature.


11.  Spoon the icecream with cherry compote and then using a toothpick or fork create swirls randomly so that the compote mixes with the icecream and creates a swirl like pattern. Do not over mix for that effect will not come.





12. Freeze the icecream again with lid on for minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight. Scoop and serve and you will get the best creamy homemade Lychee and Cherry Ice cream!  

You can even try Instant Pista Badam Kulfi and Darsaan. 


Homemade Cherry and Lychee Ice Cream | Fresh Lychee and Cherry Compote Ice Cream
Serves 6
Lychee Cherry Ice Cream is a delicious summer treat which can be made at home and tastes much more better than store bought icecream.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 400 grams Whipping Cream
  2. 200 grams Condensed Milk Sweetened
  3. 1 cup Lychee Flesh
  4. 1 & 1/2 cups Cherries pitted
  5. 1/3 cup Sugar
  6. 1/4 cup Water
Instructions
  1. Peel the outer skin of lychees and discard the pits. You will be left with lychee flesh.
  2. Add the lychee flesh in a blender and churn it to make a smooth puree.
  3. Whip together condensed Milk and Whipping Cream till you get airy light and soft cream.
  4. Add the lychee puree to the fluffy cream and whisk again till it blends well.
  5. Transfer the lychee cream to a icecream box with a lid. Smoothen the top with a spatula.
  6. Cover the box with a lid and freeze it for about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  7. For the cherry compote. Stone the cherries. You can use this easy hack to pit the stones without the use of pitter. Add the cherries to a saucepan.
  8. Also add sugar and water and cook on medium flame.
  9. Cook till the cherries have lost their shape and become gooey, almost like a syrup.
  10. Cook further till that syrup is thickened and its not liquid any more. Turn the flame off and bring this compote to room temperature.
  11. Spoon the icecream with cherry compote and then using a toothpick or fork create swirls randomly so that the compote mixes with the icecream and creates a swirl like pattern. Do not over mix for that effect will not come.
  12. Freeze the icecream again with lid on for minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight. Scoop and serve and you will get the best creamy homemade Lychee and Cherry Ice cream!
Adapted from My Food Story
Adapted from My Food Story
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jul 062017
 

Living on the hills has its own advantages and disadvantages.  One of the most amazing part of the hills is that we get access to some fresh bounty in the form of fruit, vegetables and lentils. Everything is organically grown. Last week when I went to Mukteshwar, I saw people selling fresh plums , peaches and apricots on the road side, just outside their orchards. I bought them greedily and started weaving dreams of how I can utilize them. I made Peach upside down cake with peaches, Apricot Almond Cake  and Apricot coriander chutney with apricots and this Plum Ginger Jam with juicy ripe plums. 

This is by far the most amazing combination of jam I have made. The way plum marries ginger is outstanding.  It has an incredible out of the world taste and goes amazing with my Sourdough Bread, I made a small batch to really understand how ginger marries Plums but looks like I have to make a huge batch as the result was sincilating! Try this 4 Ingredient, Preservative free, Pectin free Plum Ginger Jam and you will surely like to thank me 🙂


Directions:
1. Wash some plums and pat them fry with a kitchen towel.


2. Chop them into small pieces and remove the stone. Place a ceramic plate inside the freezer. 




3. Put the chopped pieces of plums in a pan, preferably a non stick pan. 


4. Add grated ginger, lemon juice and sugar.





5. Mix everything well and turn the flame on. Keep cooking on medium high flame.


6. The plums would release its liquid and entire mixture will come to a boil. If you feel their is little liquid in the plums add 1 tbsp water and cook.


7. Keep stirring and cooking. As the plums cook the colour of the jam will become darker. After 10 minutes approximately when you notice it has achieved some what jam like consistency you can test by putting quarter of a spoon on the frozen ceramic plate and run a finger in between it. If the division remains clear your jam is ready but if the jam runs over, you need to cook a little longer and do the test again.




8. Turn the flame off and let it cool down before you transfer this to a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for couple of weeks. Please use a clean and dry spoon for spooning out the jam from the jar.

Other Plum recipes you can try are : Spiced Plum Chutney and Plum and Mango Smoothie  .

You can even try Red Bell Pepper and Chili Jam and  Strawberry Jam

Plum Ginger Jam | 4 Ingredient Plum Ginger Jam Recipe | Alubukhara Adrak Jam
Yields 250
This Plum Ginger jam is an incredible no preservative no pectin jam which has best of both the flavours.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 and 1/2 Cup Plums
  2. 1 Cup Sugar plus more if your plums are super tart
  3. 1 and 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  4. 1/2 tbsp Grated fresh Ginger
Instructions
  1. Wash some plums and pat them fry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Chop them into small pieces and remove the stone. Place a ceramic plate inside the freezer.
  3. Put the chopped pieces of plums in a pan, preferably a non stick pan.
  4. Add grated ginger, lemon juice and sugar.
  5. Mix everything well and turn the flame on. Keep cooking on medium high flame.
  6. The plums would release its liquid and entire mixture will come to a boil. If you feel their is little liquid in the plums add 1 tbsp water and cook.
  7. Keep stirring and cooking. As the plums cook the colour of the jam will become darker. After 10 minutes approximately when you notice it has achieved some what jam like consistency you can test by putting quarter of a spoon on the frozen ceramic plate and run a finger in between it. If the division remains clear your jam is ready but if the jam runs over, you need to cook a little longer and do the test again.
  8. Turn the flame off and let it cool down before you transfer this to a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for couple of weeks. Please use a clean and dry spoon for spooning out the jam from the jar.
Notes
  1. You can skip ginger if you find the flavour of ginger way too strong.
Adapted from Food Viva
Adapted from Food Viva
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jul 042017
 

I have to make an honest confession, last few months I have been addicted to Sourdough Breads. I have baked them almost every week and some time twice a week and the satisfaction which I get after baking them cannot be expressed in words. If you follow my instagram handle you will know how many sour dough boules I keep posting.  I have almost neglected making breads with commercial yeast 🙁 which of course was my first love. This gradual shift is all thanks to my baker friend, my sourdough guru Samrudhhi Nayak. Ever since she has shared her passion and knowledge with me I seem to be on an endless journey of baking these beautiful sourdough breads. Thankyou Sam for kindling that fire in me. Love you to the moon and back :*


This week I baked two 500gms boule of Sourdough Breads, which were a lot for the two of us to consume. I decided to use half of one bread for making this delicious Bread Pudding with Chocolate. This pudding can also be made with normal crusty bread. I like this recipe because it requires minimal effort and can be made in a big quantity in a casserole and tastes amazing. If you are looking forward to tomorrow’s 4th of July celebration then you must include this in your menu. You sure will make it again and again without hunting for an occasion.

Directions:
1. Slice a stale Sourdough Bread into 1 inch cube and set aside.




2. Grease a large baking pan or oven friendly casserole with butter.


3. Simply transfer the bread cubes to the baking pan and also put chopped chunks of chocolate along with raisins and almond flakes.  You can add any combination of nuts you fancy.


3. In a jar or bowl whisk the eggs and mix them thoroughly with castor sugar till it is dissolved.





4. Add milk, cinnamon powder and butter. Mix everything well.





5. Pour this milk mixture over the bread. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the bread. Let it sit for at least an hour for bread to absorb milk. After an hour preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven Temperature and Conversions).




6. Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it become easy to tough. Scoop out a serving and if you like you can drizzle with a caramel sauce and serve. You will love the crunchy flavour of the bread and nuts with melted chunks of chocolate. Its heaven!

Other Bread Recipes you can try : Peter Reinhart’s Potato Rosemary BreadStuffed Mushroom Cheesy Crack BreadStuffed Mushroom and Spinach Braided BreadWhite Sandwich BreadCherry Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia Bread,  Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe

sourdough Bread Pudding with Chocolate | Bread Pudding with Chocolate Raisins and Almonds
Serves 6
Sourdough Bread Pudding is a classic one casserole dish which has the ability to please and melt hearts
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups dry, cubed sourdough bread
  2. 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  3. 1/4 cup raisins
  4. 1/8 Cup Almond Flakes
  5. 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  6. 1/4 cup Brown sugar for the top
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 cup half and half
  9. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Instructions
  1. Slice a stale Sourdough Bread into 1 inch cube and set aside.
  2. Grease a large baking pan or oven friendly casserole with butter.
  3. Simply transfer the bread cubes to the baking pan and also put chopped chunks of chocolate along with raisins and almond flakes. You can add any combination of nuts you fancy.
  4. In a jar or bowl whisk the eggs and mix them thoroughly with castor sugar till it is dissolved.
  5. Add milk, cinnamon powder and butter. Mix everything well.
  6. Pour this milk mixture over the bread. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the bread. Let it sit for atleast an hour for bread to absorb milk. After an hour preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius
  7. Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it become easy to tough. Scoop out a serving and if you like you can drizzle with a caramel sauce and serve. You will love the crunchy flavour of the bread and nuts with melted chunks of chocolate. Its heaven!
Notes
  1. *Any crusty bread will work
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jun 242017
 

Summer food should be vibrant, fresh and soothing. I keep trying recipes which are refreshing like salads, yogurt dips, smoothies and less spicier. I had been eyeing this beet root raita from my fellow blogger and friend Priti’s blog Indian Khana for a very long time. Last week when I had my in laws home I wanted to make something different for lunch along with mint pulav I had made for them. When I tried this Beetroot or Chukandar raita, it was a perfect blend of spices and the taste was top notch. Its an easy peasy recipe but totally a game changer. Thank you Priti for this incredible raita recipe. This is a keeper.

You can add fennel seeds also as the original recipe said but I skipped it because I am allergic to fennel seeds. I am sure it will make the taste more interesting for people who like it. Leave me a feedback if you try this amazing raita. I am head over heels over its fascinating colour. It tastes as good as it looks. 

Directions:
1. Wash the beets thoroughly and peel its skin.




2. Grate them using a grater. Place the grated beets in a bowl.


3. Add Chopped coriander and and green chillies.




4. Add rock salt. Roasted Cumin Powder and salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The juices of beet will run out and will make it less bitter in taste. 



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5. Whisk Curd or plain yogurt and mix with the beets after 5 minutes. Add a little water if you think the yogurt is way too thick,




6. Mix this yogurt with the beetroot and spices. 

7. Garnish with more coriander leaves and serve with you favourite meal.

Other Raita or yogurt based dishes you can try are : Bathua ka Raita  Purslane Yogurt Dip, Aloo Anaar ka Raita, Baigan ka Raita.

Chukandar ka Raita | Beetroot Yogurt Dip for Summers
Serves 2
Summer Special Beetroot Yogurt Dip or Raita with refreshing flavour.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Whisked Curd/Yogurt
  2. 3/4 Cup Grated Beetroot
  3. 1 Green Chili, chopped
  4. 1/4 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  5. 1/2 tsp Rock Salt or Kala Namak
  6. 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt or to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash the beets thoroughly and peel its skin.
  2. Grate them using a grater. Place the grated beets in a bowl.
  3. Add Chopped coriander and and green chillies.
  4. Add rock salt. Roasted Cumin Powder and salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The juices of beet will run out and will make it less bitter in taste.
  5. Whisk Curd or plain yogurt and mix with the beets after 5 minutes. Add a little water if you think the yogurt is way too thick,
  6. Mix this yogurt with the beetroot and spices.
  7. Garnish with more coriander leaves and serve with you favourite meal.
Notes
  1. The original recipe recommended adding 1/4 tsp Fennel Powder for interesting taste. I dint add but you can try. Its optional.
Adapted from Indian Khana
Adapted from Indian Khana
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jun 212017
 


I have been a social science student and history has always fascinated me. I am good with dates and events which have occurred in the past. I always like to know how our society has evolved and what events have led to certain changes in it. The other day I was looking for Honey and Dates Cake recipe and by chance I stumbled on this recipe which said its a historic Recipe from 1940’s – the world War era when sugar was scarce and use of honey and maple syrup was the only thing used in bakes. There is a special charm to Historical Recipes. They not only make you understand the conditions and emotions of people but also invoke nostalgia. Therefore I was intrigued to try this recipe. More for the historic reason and less for the real recipe 🙂 


This recipe is oil free and butter free.  Now in the current scenario it has become a fashion or rather health awareness to go oil free and avoid using refined sugar.. This is a perfect tea time cake which can be made in 30 minutes. The result was spectacular with minimal efforts. Would you like to try this piece of history?

Directions:
1. Soak figs and dates in warm water for an hour and set aside till they become soft.


2. Deseed the dates and chop figs and dates into small bites.


3. Also chop a mix of nuts, I have used almonds, cashews and pistachios and set aside.


4. Lightly whisk eggs. You dont have to form stiff peaks.


5. Add chopped nuts, figs, dates and honey and mix with the eggs.


5. Stir in Gluten Free flour, you can even use Whole Wheat Flour All purpose flour if you like. I have used SOS organics Gluten Free Flour which you can order at our online store, The Gourmet Shop.


6. Also add Baking Powder and Salt and mix. Do not over mix just till everything is moist.




7. Line a 9×9 baking tin with some parchment paper that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. I have crushed the parchment paper and then opened and placed it, this trick will help it sit better. Isn’t it genius 😛 You can buy Parchment Paper at our online store, The Gourmet Shop. Also preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven Temperature and Conversion)





8. Pour the batter in the baking tin and smoothen the top with spatula.


9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.


10. Remove it from the tin along with parchment paper. When the cake cools down slice it into squares.


11. Serve with your favourite Cup of Coffee or Tea.

Other recipe with some history behind it were Anzac Cookies . If you are also tuned on by history you must read this post.

Other Gluten Free Recipes you can try : Amaranth Herbed CrackersGluten Free Chocolate Ragi BrowniesNo Bake Amaranth Granola BarsApple CrispBesan & Corn Flakes CookiesInstant Ragi Dosa

If you are looking for other Cakes and desserts with fresh fruits you can try: Peach Upside Down Cake.  Fresh Apricot and Almond CakeApple CrispMango Vanilla CakeFestive Orange Blueberry Pound CakeSorghum and Wheat Flour Persimmon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingVanilla & Pomegranate CakeVegan Chocolate Banana CakeMascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake GlassesEggless Orange Cake with Candied Orange Peel FillingPersimmon Rum Cake,  Mango Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream .

Honey Dates Square – Historic Recipe | Vintage Honey Figs and Date Cake Squares Recipe with Gluten Free Flour
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup nuts, chopped (I used almonds, cashews and pistachios)
  3. 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup Figs, chopped
  5. ⅔ cup honey
  6. ¾ cup gluten-free flour or whole wheat flour or even all purpose flour
  7. ½ tsp baking powder
  8. ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Soak figs and dates in warm water for an hour and set aside till they become soft.
  2. Deseed the dates and chop figs and dates into small bites.
  3. Also chop a mix of nuts, I have used almonds, cashews and pistachios and set aside.
  4. Lightly whisk eggs. You dont have to form stiff peaks.
  5. Add chopped nuts, figs, dates and honey and mix with the eggs.
  6. Stir in Gluten Free flour, you can even use Whole Wheat Flour , All purpose flour if you like.
  7. Also add Baking Powder and Salt and mix. Do not over mix just till everything is moist.
  8. Line a 9×9 baking tin with some parchment paper that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. I have crushed the parchment paper and then opened and placed it, this trick will help it sit better. Also preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  9. Pour the batter in the baking tin and smoothen the top with spatula.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove it from the tin along with parchment paper. When the cake cools down slice it into squares.
  12. Serve with your favourite Cup of Coffee or Tea.
Adapted from Melissa Knorris
Adapted from Melissa Knorris
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/
Jun 142017
 

I woke up one morning to find a mail in my mailbox saying that my blog has been listed under top 100 Indian Food Blogs by Feedspot. First I dint take it seriously because the link said I shared the space with Masterchefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and knwon faces like Nishamadhulika and Manjula’s Kitchen. But then by evening the word spread to Facebook and my friends started tagging me that my blog name is actually in top 100 Indian Blog list. I was numb for a moment but then I was jumping with joy. I want to thank you my readers , my family and my friends who have encouraged me and supported me in this food journey. What would I do without your love! 


My family wanted a cake to celebrate the occasion and I though of baking this Peach upside down cake. This cake was baked in a cast iron skillet and uses no refined flour or sugar! It was moist and held the peaches so well. The flavour of jaggery gave it that earthy feel. What a healthy way to celebrate the occasion. 

Directions:

1. Thoroughly wash ripe peaches and slice them into wedges and discard the stones.




2. Place a 8-9 inches cast iron skillet* on stove and add butter. You can buy a 6 inches Cast iron skillet from our online store The Gourmet Shop . Let the butter melt and spread crumbled jaggery all over the surface. Instead of jaggery you can also add brown sugar. Let the jaggery melt and form a caramel like syrup. Turn the flame off.




3. Place peach wedges all over the skillet. Set aside. In the meanwhile preheat the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven temperatures and conversions)


4.  In a vessel add milk and Apple Cider Vinegar**.




5. Stir to mix and also add oil. Heat the milk oil mix in a microwave for 2 minutes.




6. Add brown sugar or jaggery powder, salt and vanilla extract.





7. Also add cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder to the wet ingredients.




8. Give everything a good mix and set aside. 

9. In another bowl add whole wheat flour and All purpose flour.




7. Also add baking powder and baking soda. Combine all the dry ingredients.




11. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix everything till everything is moistened. Do not over mix for you do not want a tough cake.




12. Pour this batter over the peaches in the skillet. Level up with a spatula and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  




13. Bring the skillet outside the oven and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes and only after that invert it on a serving plate carefully. If you do it before ten minutes the cake will spread everywhere and if you wait too long the caramelized peaches will stick to the skillet and will refuse to move. Therefore, invert the plate right after 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Other recipes with fresh peach you can try are: Peach Lemonade and Eggless Fresh Peach Cobbler.

If you are looking for other Cakes and desserts with fresh fruits you can try: Fresh Apricot and Almond CakeApple CrispMango Vanilla CakeFestive Orange Blueberry Pound CakeSorghum and Wheat Flour Persimmon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingVanilla & Pomegranate CakeVegan Chocolate Banana CakeMascarpone Cherry Compote Cheesecake GlassesEggless Orange Cake with Candied Orange Peel FillingPersimmon Rum Cake,  Mango Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Peach Upside Down Cake | Eggless Part Wheat Peach Cake
Serves 6
Peaches Upside down cake is a delicious eggless and whole wheat Cake with healthier options.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
For the Bottom of the Pan
  1. 2 Tbsp Butter
  2. ¼ Cup Brown Sugar or Jaggery Powder
  3. 3 - 5 Peaches, pitted & thinly sliced in wedges
For the Cake
  1. ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  2. 1 Cup Milk
  3. 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Lime Juice
  4. ½ Cup Brown Sugar or Jaggery powder
  5. ¼ Tsp Salt
  6. 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. Pinch Each Cinnamon & Nutmeg
  8. 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  9. 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  10. 2 Tsp Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly wash ripe peaches and slice them into wedges and discard the stones.
  2. Place a 8-9 inches cast iron skillet* on stove and add butter. Let the butter melt and spread crumbled jaggery all over the surface. Instead of jaggery you can also add brown sugar. Let the jaggery melt and form a caramel like syrup. Turn the flame off.
  3. Place peach wedges all over the skillet. Set aside. In the meanwhile preheat the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degree Celsius
  4. In a vessel add milk and Apple Cider Vinegar**.
  5. Stir to mix and also add oil. Heat the milk oil mix in a microwave for 2 minutes.
  6. Add brown sugar or jaggery powder, salt and vanilla extract.
  7. Also add cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder to the wet ingredients.
  8. Give everything a good mix and set aside.
  9. In another bowl add whole wheat flour and All purpose flour.
  10. Also add baking powder and baking soda. Combine all the dry ingredients.
  11. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix everything till everything is moistened. Do not over mix for you do not want a tough cake.
  12. Pour this batter over the peaches in the skillet. Level up with a spatula and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  13. Bring the skillet outside the oven and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes and only after that invert it on a serving plate carefully. If you do it before ten minutes the cake will spread everywhere and if you wait too long the caramelized peaches will stick to the skillet and will refuse to move. Therefore, invert the plate right after 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can use White Vinegar or Lemon Juice instead of Apple Cider
  2. You can use Gurr Powder or Jaggery instead of Brown Sugar.
  3. You can also use Canned or Frozen and Thawed Peaches for this recipe.
  4. You can use a regular round baking tin in case you dont have cast iron skillet
Adapted from The Earth en Table
The Secret Ingredient http://www.thesecretingredient.in/