Orange Cake (wholewheat and eggless)

Baking is on my mind these days. I have done a lot of baking in the last two months especially cakes. I bake almost every weekend and sometimes on weekdays too. My husband is a little moody when it comes to food. Though he doesn’t have a sweet tooth but sometimes out of nowhere he will say ‘kuch meetha khane ka mann kar raha hai’. 😂 And thankfully just like me, he is really fond of simple tea time cakes. And if you have been following my blog, you will notice that I prefer baking with wholewheat flour . And if you also love baking cakes with wholewheat flour than I would highly recommend you to bake this orange cake too. The best part of baking at home is that you can adjust each and every ingredient as per your own preference.

This orange cake is vegan, eggless and butter free yet very soft and moist. Its full of orange flavor and is very light as well. I refrigerate it after baking as it tastes best when cold and I would recommend you to do the same. There is no change in the texture of the cake even after refrigeration. This cake is also fuss free and can be made with ingredients easily available. No rushing to the supermarket before baking this cake provided you have oranges or orange juice available in your pantry. The recipe is very easy to follow so even beginners can bake it.

I bake this cake with tetra pack juices as well when oranges are not in season. They work equally well. Use orange essence instead of orange zest and you are good to go. Orange essence is just optional though. Orange zest itself gives a very good color to the cake but I still replaced 1 tbsp of flour with custard powder (purely optional).

Ingredients:

1 Cup Wholewheat flour
1 Tbsp Custard powder (optional)
1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Baking soda
A pinch of salt
1/3 Cup Sugar (powder it in a mixer)
3/4 Cup to 1 cup fresh orange juice
Orange zest from 2 or 3 oranges
1/4 Cup oil

Method:

* Replace 1 tbsp of flour with 1 tbsp of vanilla custard powder (optional).


In a mixing bowl, take powdered sugar and oil. Mix it well (I used my hand blender, the same can be done in a mixer grinder). Add juice to it, blend. Add orange zest, give it a mix. Now add sifted flour, custard powder (see notes) , baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until the batter is well combined. Make sure not to over mix or else you get a dense cake. Pour the batter in a greased baking pan (I used a 6″ round tin) and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean.


Notes:

* 1/3 cup sugar is perfectly fine for us. Increase a tablespoon or two if you wish to make the cake a little more sweet.

 I would love to hear from you. Please do share your feedback along with a picture if you try this recipe or any suggestions on my Facebook page PicUrFood.


Recipe adapted from VegRecipesOfIndia.

Eggless wholewheat marble cake 

cakw1

I am sure you guys have known by now that I love baking. We are cake lovers especially plain tea time cakes. And since I bake very often, I prefer using wholewheat flour and bake without eggs. My in laws are vegetarians and they expect me not to cook any meat or eggs. Since my husband is an eggetarian, we do have eggs on a regular basis but have seperate utensils to cook eggs. Those utensils are kept and washed seperately. I know this sounds weird but this is what my in laws asked me to do. It is quite painful but I have been managing it well from past three years. By the way, I used to cook awesome chicken before I got married. Every sunday was a chicken day. Things are so so different now, na khana aur na banana.

So about this cake now. Marble cake basically is a combination of vanilla and chocolate flavor. I have baked this one a lot of time using all purpose flour and sometimes with wheat flour. The recipe calls for milkmaid or milk powder. I personally prefer using milk powder over milkmaid. The cake is very delicate so slice it only after it cools down completely. The final batter turns out to be a little thick if using wholewheat flour. You can increase the quantity of milk to get the desired consistency.  I have explained the recipe step wise. Follow it, you will get a perfect cake. Sharing an old picture of marble cake below which was baked using all purpose flour.

5

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
3 tbsp milk powder/condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Step 1: Mix together hot water and cocoa powder. Keep it aside and let it cool. By the time the final batter gets ready, the mixture will cool down.

Step 2: Sieve together flour, baking soda, baking powder and milk powder (if using) and keep aside.

Step 3: Beat together butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy. If using condensed milk, add it now and beat it.

Step 4: Now the mixing part. To the butter sugar, start adding milk and flour. 1st add milk, mix and than add flour. For a lump free batter, add little batter at a time and mix. Remember not to OVER MIX the batter or you will have a very very dense cake.

Step 5: Once the batter is ready, take out 1/4 cup batter and add it to the cocoa powder mixture. Combine it nicely.

Step 6: To the plain batter, add a tsp of vanilla essence and fold nicely.

Step 7: At last, pour all the vanilla batter to a greased baking tray. On the top, pour the cocoa batter. Insert a toothpick or a folk into the batter (it should touch the bottom of the pan) and move it round and round from one side of the pan to the other so that the chocolate batter spreads nicely. For a better understanding, refer to the picture below. Don’t over do the swirls or all the chocolate batter will move to the bottom.

Step 8: At last bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean.

** All the ovens are different so time and temperature may vary **

img_20160828_210728.jpg

Recipe source: CookWithSmile.
Feel free to ask any questions. Go ahead and bake this cake. Share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood
. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Tawa paneer masala

02

We have been eating mithai and kheer quite a lot from last one month. This is when you know the festive season has begun. It was Janmashtami yesterday, and we both were on fast. I made chenar payesh (kheer made up of paneer) as bhog and had only fruits and some sweets the whole day. For obvious reasons, we felt like having some good spicy masaledar khana. So ended up making some tawa paneer which is really so delicious and absolutely perfect for our craving.

Tawa paneer masala is a very simple and easy to put together dish. This gets ready under 30 minutes if you have some paneer in ur fridge. As the name says, this is made in a tawa. Tawa is generally used in indian homes to make phulkas or parathas. I have used my iron tawa to make this, a non stick pan can be used too. All the tawa dishes are quite famous in Mumbai and pav bhaji masala is the common ingredient that goes in all the dishes. I got to know about all these stuff only after I started cooking. My recipe for tawa paneer masala is almost similar to the masala pav recipe that I shared sometime back. One of my blogger friends Rhydhm tried my masala pav, she mentioned that she added kasuri methi to it and she quite liked it. So I have used that in this dish too and it is such a lovely addition. Thanks Rhydhm! You can check her blog and all the delicious recipes she shares here.

I have made this dish quite a lot of time and I personally like to chop the onions and tomatoes. I don’t prefer using puree or even grated tomatoes or onions for this dish. Though I have used raw paneer, you can fry them too in the same tawa. Do that before you start making the masala. You can chop/grate/puree the onions and tomatoes, refrigerate and make it just before you plan to have it. We are using good amount of tomatoes but if you want the gravy to be a little more tangy, thn add some amchoor powder or lemon juice. The dish goes really well with phulkas or even parathas.

06

Ingredients:

200 gms paneer
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium green capsicum, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh garlic paste (reduce the quantity if you don’t prefer strong garlic flavor)
1 tsp fresh ginger paste
1 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp kasuri methi (slightly roasted)
2 tbsp ghee/butter/oil
salt to taste

Method: 

Heat the tawa and than add oil or ghee. Let it get heated too nicely and add onions.Keep the flame low. Saute for a few seconds and add ginger garlic paste. Saute till raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away. Add tomatoes, mix, add red chilly powder, haldi and pav bhaji masala. Cook nicely till tomatoes turn soft and oil separates. You will get an amazing aroma and that is when you know your masala is cooked. Add slightly roasted and crushed kasuri methi, combine well.
At this time, add some water (start with a tbsp) as per the consistency you want. This dish is basically semi dry but a dry version can be made too. Just add water as per your requirement and add salt to taste. Mix and let it come to a boil. At last, add paneer cubes to the prepared masala and cook for 2 minutes. Mix very gently or else paneer cubes might break, make sure paneer gets coated well. Garnish with some coriander leaves, mix and done. Serve along with phulkas.


Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. I would love to hear from you. Happy weekend 🙂

Jeera Aloo

aloo5

Me and my husband, we both love potatoes but somehow I do not make many dishes using just potatoes. A few days ago, I shared the recipe of honey chilly baby potatoes which is quite a hit at my place. After that I don’t think I prepared anything using potatoes. Potatoes comes to rescue when you are too tired or just not in a mood to cook anything. Make parathas or ras wali aloo ki sabzi or just use them as a binding agent. Refrigerated potatoes works really well. Since its weekend, I prefer making all the chutneys or keep a few things ready on Friday itself like making some curd, sprout some moong, chopping a few veggies or making some boiled rice in advance. Weekends are pretty busy or lazy for us and its not possible to have all the three meals outside. Keeping a few things handy makes life easy. So I boiled some baby potatoes a day before which was kept in the kitchen shelf for more than a week and made jeera aloo today, a potato lovers delight, which is so freaking easy to make and goes well with phulka or some dal chawal.

Jeera aloo, as the name suggests, jeera is the prominent ingredient here. I am sure everyone loves jeera aloo and has their own way of making them. I like my jeera aloo a little tangy and a lot spicy. One can never go wrong with this. I have used baby potatoes here, you can use normal potatoes too, just cut them into 4 or 6 pieces and follow the same procedure. I have used refrigerated potatoes so it didn’t break while cooking but if preparing using hot potatoes, the potatoes might break. So let the potatoes cool a little before making this. The recipe requires a lot of oil, so please don’t hesitate while adding some oil or the masalas will remain uncooked and potatoes may taste bland. If using baby potatoes, prick them a little using a fork before adding it to the masala. I have shared a few tips and tricks below as well. Do read on.

ALOO2

Ingredients:

250 gm potatoes, boiled and peeled.
1/2 tbsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp dhania/coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp roasted jeera powder
1 tsp or to taste red chilly powder
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp of mustard oil (you can use ghee or refined oil too)
A tbsp of lemon juice (can be replaced by amchoor powder)
salt to taste
1 or 2 green chillies (dry red chillies can be used too)

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, make sure you heat the pan really nicely, than add oil and let the oil get heated nicely (smoking hot) too. Once the oil is hot, switch off the flame. I used mustard oil and it needs to be heated really well as it tends to leave a raw taste to the prepared dish. Let the oil cool down a little. Since we will be adding all the masalas directly to the oil, its important to reduce the heat of the oil or the masalas will burn. Also keep all the masalas handy before you start making this.

Once the oil cools down, add jeera, let the seeds crackle, add green chillies and saute. Be careful while adding chillies as the seeds crackle. Add jeera powder, dhania powder, red chilly powder and haldi to it, mix. Add salt and baby potatoes. Mix and switch on the gas. Using a spatula, mix everything together so that the potatoes gets coated well. Be careful while mixing or else they might break. Once mixed well, let it cook for a 2-3 minutes in low flame. Add garam masala and roasted jeera powder, toss it and let it cook for a minute. Lastly add lemon juice (to taste), toss and add some coriander leaves. Done! Serve it along with some parathas or phulkas.

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook pagePicUrFood. I would love to hear from you 🙂 :)

Sooji Apple Halwa

rakhi5

Happy Rakhsha bandhan folks. Hope everyone had a great day 🙂

This year it would be four times in a row that I haven’t tied rakhi to any of my brothers because nobody is in Hyderabad. The fact is we have no relatives in Hyderabad which sometime is a blessing and sometime its not. Anyway, my husband too misses his family a lot during any festive occasion so I make sure we celebrate every occasion as nicely as we can. Its raksha bandhan today so I made his favorite sooji halwa. I also had some apples so just added them to my normal sooji halwa. Taste and health both.

Its not easy to make any halwa. I had a great deal learning the art of making halwa. In fact, I have learnt making sooji halwa from my husband and now I proudly make some for him 😀 Patience ki dukaan hai wo and I have zero patience. He used to bhuno the sooji so nicely and that step is pretty important while making any halwa. I have used 2 tbsp of ghee in this halwa. Its completely your wish to increase the quantity. I have used some chopped apples and apple puree. You can completely skip using apples here to make only sooji halwa. A few almonds, cashews or raisins can be added as well.

There are two things you need to remember when you make halwa. 1st, roasting the sooji is really important and that too in low flame. Its quite a painful task but if you go wrong here, the texture of the halwa will turn bad. 2nd, the ratio of sooji and water is 1:2. Say if you are using 1/2 cup of sooji, you need to add only 1 cup water (not less or more than that). And the water needs to be hot and not cold.
Lets see how I make it. This recipe below serves two persons only.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup coarse sooji/bombay rava (thin variety of sooji won’t work)
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp ghee
1/3 cup chopped apples
1/3 cup apple puree ( I grated the apples)
3 tbsp sugar or as per the sweetness you desire
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method:
In a pot, take water and chopped apples. Keep the flame low or medium and let it come to a boil.
In a non stick pan, heat the ghee, keep the flame low and add sooji. Roast the sooji till it starts to change the color to brown. It will take atleast 5 to 7 minutes to get the right color but ONLY in low flame. By this time, the water will be hot. Add this water and apple puree to the roasted sooji. Be careful here. Stir, making sure no lumps are formed. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar, mix and cook till sugar melts. Add cardamom powder and mix. Switch off the flame. Garnish with some dry fruits if you wish to and serve.

Please do try this out and share your feedback along with a picture on my Facebook page PicUrFood. I would love to hear from you:)