Love Served Daily

Cooking up Smiles..Across the Miles


94 Comments

Carrot Cake..A special celebration

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A big hello to all of you. Just in case you were wondering where have I vanished..here is something special to share with you. God has been really kind and has blessed us with a beautiful angel. My second daughter was born on June 9th, 2016. Our lives just got a lot happier, the big sister being the happiest of all. 🙂

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This carrot cake was made to celebrate her “1 month” completion and is therefore a very special one. Just in case you have never had a carrot cake before, let me warn you that it won’t taste like carrot. That’s the primary difference between baking with fruits and vegetables, A banana bread has an amazing flavor of the fruit but hide some zucchini in a bread and no one will ever know. Shredded carrots lend a beautiful color and texture to this cake and makes the cake very moist and delicious. A full serving of vegetables in a dessert..How awesome is that 🙂

 

So without wasting any more time, lets make this delicious carrot cake

Ingredients:

All purpose flour – 2 cups

Grated carrots – 2 1/2 cups

Eggs – 4

Sugar – 1 1/2 cups

Oil – 1 cup

Raisins – 1/2 cup

Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp

Baking Soda – 1 tsp

Cinnamon powder – 1 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/4 tsp

Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Cream Cheese – 8 oz

Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup

Powdered Sugar – 2 cups

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lighty grease a 9 inch cake pan. Finely grate the carrots and keep aside.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder.
  3. Using an electric or hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy and then add in the sugar and beat till the batter is thick and creamy. Slowly add in the oil and vanilla extract and continue mixing.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots and raisins.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. You can enjoy the cake as is or frost it if you like.
  6. Use an electric or hand mixer and blend together the ingredients listed under cream cheese frosting until smooth and well combined.
  7. Spread the frosting as desired and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Enjoy.

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So that is how I made this carrot cake to celebrate my daughter’s one month in our lives.

You never really know how happy someone can make you..until they come along. 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by. Do let me know if you try this cake.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43 Comments

Eggless Chocolate Pudding Cake

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A big hello to all of you. Today I am making a skinny (healthy) chocolate dessert. It has no butter, cream and just 2 tbsp. of oil. Its super easy to make and you will end up with a delicious cake topped with chocolate syrup, all in one bowl. That is why its called a pudding cake. You have to try it to believe it, a truly chocolate lover’s delight. 😛

Without wasting any time, lets make this yummy pudding cake. 🙂

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Recipe inspired from here.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

All purpose flour – 1 cup

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 1/4 cup

Milk – 1/2 cup

Oil – 2 tbsp

Baking powder – 2 tsp

Salt – 1/4 tsp

Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp

For the Chocolate Topping:

Water – 1 3/4 cups

Brown Sugar – 3/4 cup

Unsweetened Cocoa powder – 1/4 cup

Procedure:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and lightly spray an 8 inch square dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add in the milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix everything till well combined. Pour this mixture in your baking dish.
  3. Now to make the sauce, take a sauce pan and add the water, sugar and cocoa powder. Mix well to make sure there are no lumps. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off the gas. Pour this sauce mixture over the cake batter. Don’t stir the mix after this.
  4. Bake this for 30 – 35 minutes till a toothpick inserted at the center of the oven comes out clean. Allow it to rest 30 minutes before serving.
  5. When the cake bakes, the liquid will settle at the bottom and form a thick sauce.
  6. To serve, cut a slice of the cake, pour the sauce on top and serve with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream topping, if desired. Enjoy.

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So that is how I made this delicious chocolate pudding cake. Do let me know if you give this a try.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


42 Comments

Malai Chum Chum..A delicious Bengali dessert

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Hello everyone. Today I am sharing my husband’s favorite dessert. I had made it for Diwali (Yeah, in Novemeber, 2015) and this was sitting in my draft for ages. It was high time I published it. It is a popular Bengali dessert that is made with Paneer or Indian cottage cheese. I was happy to finally get it right after a lot of failed attempts. I would like to give the credit for this success to my blogger friend Garima at Cafe Garima. Her no fail Rasgulla recipe is the best one around. Her tips and tricks have helped me make some delicous rasgullas, ras malali and of course this amazing chum chum. Thank you Garima. Do check out her blog..she is truely a dessert queen. 🙂

Without wasting any time, let’s make some Malai Chum Chum

Ingredients:

2% milk – 4 cups (You can use whole milk if you like)

Lemon Juice or Vinegar – 2 tbsp

Sugar – 1.5 cups

Water – 4 cups

Orange food color – a few drops, optional

Mawa (khoya) – 1/4 cup, grated (You can also use sweetend condensed milk for stuffing, skip the sugar)

Sugar – 1 tsp

Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp

Sliced pistachio and dessicated coconut for garnish

Method:

  1. Boil 4 cups of milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Once it comes to boil, remove it from the flame. Wait for 2 minutes and then add the lemon juice. Keep stirring continously. The milk will start to curdle and you will notice a green whey. Add some ice cubes and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Place a muslin cloth in a strainer over another bowl and pour over this curdled milk to separate the whey and paneer or chenna. Rinse it well with a few glasses of cold water. This is important to remove the lemony flavor and smell from the paneer.
  3. Tie the chenna in the muslin cloth and squeeze it gently to remove all the excess water. Hang this tied Chenna for about 20 minutes to get rid of all the excess water. This step is very important as any water residue in cheena will cause the chenna balls to break when they are boiled in sugar syrup.
  4. Once the chenna is dry and crumbly, take it out in a plate. To know your chenna is ready for use, take a small portion of this and knead it well for a minute. If you are able to make a ball of it, its ready to use.
  5. Add few drops of orange color to the chenna and knead it well with your palm till you get a good dough. Stop when it starts to leave out some fat or grease on your hands. Thats when you know its done. 10 minutes is a good estimate.
  6. Divide this doough into 10 equal parts or more if you want smaller pieces. Take a portion and make an oval shaped patty with it. Make sure not to make them quite big as they will increase in size when boiled.
  7. Now take a heavy bottomed pan and bring 4 cups of water and the sugar to boil. Once the sugar syrup has come to a boil, drop in the chenna balls, reduce the flame to a medium, cover and cook it for 7 – 8 minutes.
  8. Flip the balls after 8 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes. They are usually done in a total cooking time of 12 – 15 minutes.
  9. Once they are done, transfer them to another bowl and let them cool down to room tempearture. We will stuff them only after they are cold to touch.
  10. To make the stuffing, mix together the grated mawa, sugar and the cardamom powder. You can also stuff these with some sweetened condensed milk if you don’t have mawa.
  11. Once the chum chum have cooled down, cut it horizontaly, very gently so that it opens up like a burger and add a layer of the mawa stuffing. Close it back and do the same with all the pieces. Make sure to handle the chum chum pieces very carefully here.
  12. Finally, roll these chum chum in dessicated coconut and sprinkle some sliced pistachios. Let them chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy.

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So here is how i made this delicious and beautiful dessert. Do let me know if you try this out.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


45 Comments

Microwave Pedas (or Milk Fudge)..Quick & Easy..Ready in 15 Minutes

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I cannot believe I am writing my 50th blog post. When I started this blog a few months ago, (First Post) I did not think I would go past 15 posts, but thanks to all the encouragement from friends and family, here I am still sharing some thoughts and some recipes 🙂 I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers and friends from the blogging world that I have met and connected through my blogging journey. I owe this to you. Thanks for sticking out with me. I really appreciate and value each one of you. 🙂

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For today’s post I am sharing a very easy Indian dessert – Pedas. The traditional method of making Peda is a lengthy process but this is a super easy recipe that’s done in the microwave and is ready to gobble in flat 15 minutes. I recently had to take some Indian dessert to my daughter’s school and this is what I made for her class. It pretty much resembled a milk fudge and was well liked by her non-Indian friends. But my favorite part is how quickly they get ready. So next time you need a quick dessert, try them out. Diwali is almost here and if you are still haven’t made anything, these last minute Pedas are here to your rescue.

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Lets make them together 😀

Ingredients:

Instant Dry Milk Powder – 2 cups

Sweetened Condensed Milk (Milkmaid) – 14 0z can or 395 ml

Unsalted butter or ghee – 8 tbsp. or 1/2 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp

Garnish – Colored Powdered Sugar and Cranberries (Feel free to use raisins, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Procedure:

  1. Take a microwave safe bowl and melt the butter or ghee.
  2. Next add in the milk powder and condensed milk and mix really well.
  3. My microwave power is 1100 watts. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, uncovered. Take it out, stir and microwave it for another minute.
  4. After the second minute of cooking, take it out and mix everything well, add in the cardamom powder and put this back in the microwave but this time just for 30 seconds. We need to closely monitor the texture of the Pedas. You do not want them to dry out and at the same out they need to reach a consistency where you can form balls.
  5. After 2.30 minutes of total cooking, take a small portion in your hand and see if you can roll it like a ball. If not, microwave it for another 30 seconds. Since all microwave ovens work differently, you need to check it accordingly.
  6. Finally, mix it really well and let it cool down for a few minutes till they are still warm but being able to form into balls.
  7. Lightly grease your hands and take a small pinch of this mixture and try to form a crack free ball. Flatten it a little to give it the Peda shape and keep aside.
  8. Similarly shape all the Pedas, acting quickly before the mixture cools down. You should be able to get at least 25 Pedas from this recipe, depending on the size.
  9. Dip each of the Pedas in colored powdered sugar and place a cranberry on top. Or use your choice of garnish. 
  10. Let them cool down completely before storing them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They are best enjoyed at room temperature.

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So that is how easy these are. I hope you will give them a try and let me know if you like them.

I wish everyone celebrating a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Indulge and Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


28 Comments

Slow Cooker Kheer..Indian Rice Pudding

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Hello guys. Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather and gearing up for the winters. I am of course looking forward to the first snow….but just the first one 😉 Hope the winters this year won’t be as bad as 2015.

Today I am making some delicious kheer or Indian rice pudding in my slow cooker. I am officially in love with my slow cooker. <3. From chicken curry, rajma, soups to this kheer, I have loved everything that I have tried in it. The joy of throwing everything together in the morning and getting a delicious meal in the evening is so rewarding. I plan to share more slow cooker recipes soon, but lets make some delicious and creamy rice pudding today.

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Rice pudding is made by slow cooking the rice and milk together till the rice is well cooked and the pudding is all creamy. The stove top method is quicker but it needs a lot of baby sitting where you need to continuously stir the milk and rice to prevent it from burning. The slow cooker method is my new favorite version. The slow cooking makes the pudding very rich and creamy, minus the effort. 🙂

Let’s make some delicious kheer now

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 1/2 cup

Whole Milk – 5 cups

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp

Chopped Almonds or pistachios – for garnish

Method:

  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non sticky spray. It makes for easy clean up.
  2. Dump the rice, milk, sugar and cardamom powder in the slow cooker. Mix everything well and let it cook on low for 6 hours. You can stir it once or twice in between if you like, scrapping the sides in the process.
  3. After 6 hours, the rice would have cooked completely and the pudding will be nice and creamy. Check to make sure the consistency of the pudding is as per your preference.
  4. Garnish it with chopped almonds or pistachios and serve hot or cold. It tastes delicious either way.
  5. The pudding gets a little thicker when it cools down, just add some cold milk to adjust the consistency. Enjoy

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So that is how I made this super easy and super delicious rice pudding in my slow cooker and loved every bite of it. It had a beautiful pink color to it. I served this with some warm and soft gulab jamun and it was absolutely heavenly. 🙂

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Do give this a try and I am sure you will love it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


31 Comments

Mango Coconut Ladoo

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How is everyone doing..? My daughter turned three today. Still feels like yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. Its amazing how time flies. We celebrated her birthday today with all her favorite foods – black forest cake, pizza, noodles and of course jalebis. She was all smiles and that is all that mattered. Mommy its my birthday, I am a big girl now…That is all I heard all day today. I wish her all the happiness in the world. My little princess is growing up so fast. 🙂

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Mango is a family favorite fruit and we thoroughly enjoy its short lived presence in our part of the world. I make a lot of dishes with mango as both my husband and daughter loves it. These mango coconut ladoos were born as a result of an experiment and I am so glad I made them cause they turned out delicious. I have used ready made mango pulp here but fresh mangoes are best, when available.

If you are currently celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi and need a quick and delicious treat, this is for you.

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Recipe inspired from here

Lets make some yummy ladoos

Ingredients:

Desiccated or dry coconut – 2 cups

Mango Pulp – 1 cup

Clarified Butter or Ghee – 1 tbsp.

Condensed Milk – 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Dry coconut – 1/4 cup, for rolling

Method:

  1. Take a non stick pan and heat up the ghee. Now add the 2 cups of dry coconut and roast it well for 2 minutes, on low flame, stirring continuously. You can also use fresh grated coconut in this recipe. Just make sure to cook it till it gets fairly dry.
  2. Now add mango pulp and mix well. Keep stirring it until the mixture has dried up to a great extent.
  3. Its time to add in the condensed milk. Make sure the flame is low throughout. Keep cooking till the mixture dries up completely. It should not be sticky. To test if its done, take a small piece of the mixture and let it rest for a few minutes. Try to roll it into a ball. If you are able to form a ladoo, its ready. It took me about 10 minutes to reach that stage. You are looking for a dough like consistency.
  4. Finally, add in the cardamom powder, mix well and turn off the flame.
  5. Let the whole mixture cool down a bit to make sure you can make balls out of this.
  6. Make small round balls and roll it in dry coconut powder. That’s it. Your delicious mango coconut ladoos are ready.
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Do let me know if you try them out.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Love,
Ritu. 🙂


17 Comments

Kesar Pista Kulfi..An Indian Ice cream flavored with saffron and pistachios

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Summer is currently at its full swing in India and I have been flooded with kulfi pictures all over my social media stream. However, where we live, even though summer is still a few weeks away, I gave in the temptation to make some delicious kulfi this week. One bite and I was transported back in time. It brought back fond memories of how I loved eating Kulfi back home in India. Running outside at the first voice of the Kulfi walas (Vendors) to enjoy this delicacy. Kulfi is different than regular ice cream as its more creamier and denser. Its often served with some falooda and garnished with nuts.

We get all kinds of ice cream here in USA, but nothing compares to the joy of having a fresh kulfi right out of the Matka (Earthen pot). I am so glad I made this because it turned out delicious. 😛

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Here is how I made it.

Ingredients:

Evaporated Milk – 1 can, 12 Oz (See Notes)

Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can, 14 Oz

Heavy Cream – 2 cups, chilled

Milk Powder – 1 cup

Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp

Crushed Saffron strings – 1/2 tsp

Finely Chopped Pistachios – 1/2 cup (use your choice of mixed nuts)

Method:

  1. Warm the evaporated milk for 30 seconds in your microwave and soak the crushed saffron to release color. Leave it for about 10 minutes.
  2. Take out the chilled cream from the fridge and whisk it well till swift peaks appear. Make sure not to over mix as it will form butter.
  3. Now its time to mix all the ingredients – evaporated milk, milk powder, condensed milk, whipped cream, cardamom powder and chopped nuts.
  4. Cool this mixture in fridge for at least an hour before putting it in your freezer. This step is very important to prevent ice crystals in your kulfi. The ice crystals form when it takes longer time to set the kulfi. Cooling your mix in the fridge speeds up the process and thus prevents ice crystals.
  5. Pour this mix in your kulfi or popsicle moulds or you can also set this in an air tight container.
  6. Leave it to set for about 6 – 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
  7. To unmold it, dip your kulfi moulds in warm water for about 50 seconds and the kulfi will slide right through.
  8. Garnish it with some saffron strings or chopped pistachios, if you like it and enjoy this Indian delight.

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Notes:

  • If you cannot find evaporated milk, use 1 liter of whole milk for this recipe. Bring it to a boil, and let it cook till it is reduced to less than half. Soak your saffron strings, let it cool and use as in the recipe.
  • Just in case you end up with ice crystals in your kulfi, blend the whole mixture in a blender and set it to freeze again. That should take care of the ice crystals.

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You can also enjoy this kufi with some falooda, sabja seeds and rose / mango syrup. Its as good as a trip to the heaven.

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So here is how I made my Kulfi and relished those wonderful days back home. Why don’t you try it too and let me know if you like it.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hope to see you again soon.

Love,

Ritu.  🙂