Love letters.


DSC_0923How could you ever go wrong eating something so melodiously lyrical and so dramatically picturesque? These bountiful babies are rather romantically called love letters, and why not! Gracefully golden and poetically charged as they are, these fattened cigars are also tastefully sublime.

These happen to be a very popular Keralan tea time snack, of which rather embarrassingly though, I got to know of very recently through a dear friend I met on twitter called Febin Mathew, who also happens to be a fantastic writer and runs a wonderfully whimsical blog called (epicfaildotcom.wordpress.com) or you can check out his writings here

Love letters, as gorgeous as they sound are really just thin crepes that are filled in with coconuts and sugar.

DSC_0879m copythe ingredients are simple enough. Sugar, desiccated coconut. flour, egg and cardamom pods.

DSC_0881this recipe requires cardamom powder and its a good practice to make some from scratch rather than buying the dried up bottled stuff. All you really need is a mortar and pestle.

DSC_0882to make a somewhat fine powder.

DSC_0883into a bowl, dump in your flour

DSC_0884crack in the egg and get mixing.

DSC_0885somewhere here I realized I should have used a bigger bowl, but a bit of mess never hurt anyone. we need a thin batter and an egg alone won’t thin it.

DSC_0886add in water, a little at a time to make a thin consistency. I ended up adding about 100mls of water, that is about 6-7 tablespoons

DSC_0889this is the consistency we are looking for. It should be thin and pourable, with no visible lumps.

DSC_0894add in about 3/4ths of the cardamom powder. Mix well and keep aside.

DSC_0895now this step is entirely optional and not a part of the authentic recipe, but I like to do it. Take a good heaping tablepsoon of vanilla sugar.

DSC_0896and half the sugar of this recipe and put it in a pot over slow flame.

DSC_0899until it very lightly caramelizes and just starts turning golden.

DSC_0900at which point we add in the remaining cardamom powder.

DSC_0901and all the desiccated coconut

DSC_0902turn off the flame and stir it all in. Put this mixture in a grinder and grind it for a couple of seconds.

DSC_0905and you’ll get this. It’ll have faint whiffs of caramel, vanilla and cardamom.

DSC_0906mix in the remaining sugar and reserve for stuffing.

DSC_0907put your pan on a low medium flame and add a dollop of butter/ghee. I’ve added ghee as per the recipe.

DSC_0908tilt it well to coat evenly.

DSC_0909take a ladle full of your batter.

DSC_0910gently on to the pan

DSC_0911spread as thinly as possible.

DSC_0912it will start cooking the moment it touches the surface

DSC_0913flip to cook the other side.

DSC_0916filling these crepes is fairly simple.

DSC_0917put a good heaping mound in the middle

DSC_0918fold over from the top and from the sides, like so

DSC_0919and like so.

DSC_0920and finally fold over to make neat little packages.

DSC_0922arrange on platter of choice.

DSC_0924sprinkle on some castor sugar and sigh a little, because this might be your only chance at receiving any love letters, and devour them with milk, coffee, tea or just plain.

DSC_0929this is what the insides look like.

Ingredients

all purpose flour : 100g or 3/4 cup

cardamom powder: 2 teaspoons

sugar: 80g or 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

desiccated coconut: 100g

water: 100mls about 1/2 cup

butter/ghee: 1 tablespoon

Preparation instructions:  make a thin batter from flour, egg and milk. Add in 3/4ths the cardamom powder and reserve.

In a saucepan, lightly caramelize the vanilla sugar and half of the sugar from the recipe. Just as it starts melting and turns light golden, turn off the flame and in remaining cardamom powder, and the desiccated coconut and mix. Grind this mixture and reserve.

In a non stick pan, melt the butter/ghee over a low medium flame and pour a ladle full of the prepared batter. Spread evenly to form a thin crepe and flip to cook the other side.

For filling, lay out the crepe and put a heaping mound in the middle. Fold over 1/4 of the top, then fold from both sides to pack and finally fold over from the top again to make a roll.

Sprinkle with castor sugar and serve warm.

DSC_0923enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Chocolate chip cookie bars


DSC_0878So here it is, the most luscious enemy you’d want to feast on. Chocolate chip cookie turned into bars; so now not only do you get to eat a cookie, you get to eat it in a crispy thick slab of voluptuous bar. It’s rich, moist and crunchy, loaded with chocolate.. in all it’s an orgy of scrumptious exquisiteness. You might die eating it, but oh! what a happy death will it be. I do not recommend making a lot of these, because sweet and rich as they are, they’re also too easy to eat, and while your mouth might say no, your soul will want it all. I promise!

What’s more, it’s tinted ever so lightly with salted peanuts, and this sinful pairing of sweet and salt will definitely bring all the boys to the yard. So let’s get cracking!

DSC_0828nbasic chocolate chip cookie ingredients: butter, flour, vanilla, chocolate chips, salted peanuts, egg, salt ,baking soda,light brown sugar, regular white sugar.

DSC_0830no heavy machinery needed. A friendly steel bowl and wooden spoon will do the trick.

DSC_0831cream the butter for about a minute. it’d help a lot if your butter is at room temperature.

DSC_0832in with the sugars..the white

DSC_0833and the brown.

DSC_0834beat it again till it takes on a fluffy appearance or looks something likes this. You needn’t worry about going wrong. it’s a forgiving recipe.

DSC_0835pour in the vanilla.

DSC_0836crack in the egg

DSC_0837and beat again.

DSC_0838dump in the dry ingredients. This is flour, salt and baking soda.

DSC_0839mix it all in till it just comes together.

DSC_0840finally the salted peanuts

DSC_0841….and the chocolate chunks.

DSC_0842mix until well combined and keep aside for a minute.

DSC_0844prepare your cake tin. I lined it with aluminium foil and buttered it generously.

DSC_0846pour it in, or rather gloop it in and level the top using back of a spoon and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes, or until the top is crisp and burnished and cracking brown.

DSC_0851like so! beautifully brown and crunchy looking. Let it rest and cool completely.

DSC_0859cut into bars and apply to face.

Ingredients:

flour: 130 g (1 cup)

salt: 1/2 teaspoon

baking soda: 3/4 teaspoon

butter: 110 g

white granulated sugar: 100 g (1/2 cup)

light brown sugar: 70 g (1/3 cup)

vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon

egg: 1 large

bittersweet chocolate: 60 g

dark chocolate : 60 g (or use any combination you want)

salted peanuts: 20 g (3 tablespoons)

Preparation instructions: cream room temperature butter until light and airy. add in the sugars and beat again until fluffy. add the vanilla extract and egg and beat again for about a minute.

Add in the dry ingredients except chocolates and peanuts and mix well together. Finally ad in the peanuts and chocolates and mix until just combined.

Prepare a cake tin of choice preferably square and line with a buttered aluminium foil. scoop in the cookie dough and even out the top to make it flat. Bake at  180°C for 35 minutes or until the top looks crisp and the batter has risen a bit.

Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

This recipe is not only easy to put together but also all too easy to devour as I already mentioned. So instead of making some mere cookies, glitz it a bit and turn into bars.

DSC_0865enjoy!!

Breakfast quesadilla


feat picThese beautiful mounded beauties that you feast your eyes on, are my put together in a jiffy breakfast quesadillas. There’s a certain delicious hum to the word ‘Quesadilla’, like uttering an exotic mantra for a cheesy sandwich. Well, that’s what it really is..it’s cheese in a tortilla and while I confess these are not completely authentic or remotely Mexican, I assure you that these are delightfully tasty to eat and offensively easy to put together. This is the kind of dish that requires minimum efforts with maximum rewards.

This dish belongs to the ‘lazy day special archives’. It happened simply becauseI was in no mood for chopping, cutting, baking, cooking or even lingering around the stove. I just wanted to settle with a bag of chips when I saw some leftovers, cheese, and ham in the fridge and it was nothing short of a divine revelation when I decided to myself that this is SPARTAAA!! no not really though! I just decided that I’d make meself some quesadilla. This is how it began..

DSC_0678pwholewheat tortilla, pepper, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, ham, leftover sauteed mushrooms and some leftover chopped onions and dijon mustard.

Before I begin, let me tell you that you can substitute these ingredients with whatever you fancy, or whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. Fried eggs, baked potatoes, leftover chicken, crispy bacon are all good. Anything that suits your mood or your appetite can be turned into this quesadilla. Just raid your fridge and go nuts.

DSC_0679a good heap of dijon mustard, for what would be life without this goodness?

DSC_0680spread it liberally. I might have gone overboard but you know how you like it.

DSC_0681Mozarella

DSC_0682leftover sauteed mushrooms and onions and a sprinkling of pepper.

DSC_0683cover with some more cheese, in this case parmesan.

DSC_0686fold over the plain side on the fillings to form a half moon.

DSC_0687on a hot dry pan (you don’t need any oil) let it cook for a couple of minutes and flip once it’s browned a bit.

DSC_0689In the meantime lets build another quesadilla..Again with some cheese

DSC_0691hap hazard placement of ham

DSC_0692leftovers of leftovers

DSC_0693finally some cheese, form into half moon and on a hot pan.

DSC_0694let brown on both sides and this is pretty much done.

DSC_0703I like to slice them into three wedges

DSC_0704like so

DSC_0696to form something like this

DSC_0698oooh this melting hot cheese. This is sandwich heaven right here.

DSC_0697this cheese!! can you see all the melting richness?

DSC_0695these are so unbelievably gorgeous. It’s the breakfast to end all breakfasts. The quesadillas of oomph!! This took me about 10 minutes to make. Couched with a flask of hot tea, this breakfast made in moments was also one of the most satisfying ever.

Ingredients: this doesn’t have any set of ingredients or measures, since it’s something you just put together according to your own tastes and what you have available in the fridge..however,

Tortilla : 2 wholewheat (or use any you have handy)

pepper: 1 teaspoon

Mozarella: 50 g (3-4 tablespoons)

parmesan: 30g(2 tablespoon)

ham: 2 slices

sauteed mushrooms: 50 g (3-4 tablespoons)

chopped onions: 2 tablespoons

dijon mustard: 1 tablespoon

How to: Lay out the tortilla and spread some mustard. On one side layer the cheese, the vegetables, sprinkle some pepper and add some more cheese. Fold to form half moon and transfer on a hot pan to brown and melt the cheese. Cut into 3 wedges and serve.

Repeat the same steps and add ham either cut into thinner strips or just as whole slices. If you wish you can add the remaining vegetables and transfer on a hot pan to let cheese melt and tortillas brown and crisp.

This is just an interesting idea to prepare a feast like breakfast without any effort. Of course by all means, eat it any time of the day and it’d still taste as delicious.

DSC_0705Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange torte (gluten free)


DSC_0660I was dying to make something citrusy, something with a bright yellow colour, something that would remind me of sunshine and fill the house with summer smells of freshness.

I love desserts that have a citrus note to them and this torte was no exception. This sunny disc of luscious flavours is a gluten-free torte which I adapted from Stephanie Jaworski of joyofbaking.com . she has such a wonderful collection of fabulous recipes and it’s all explained in such perfect details that it’d be impossible to go wrong, and this torte was no exception. I came across her clemetine torte and knew that I had to make it.

I just want to emphasize on the luxuriousness of this cake and that it’s one of the best things to come out of my kitchen. It’s pure tasteporn..I mean it.

DSC_0622cSince this is an orange torte you need oranges, almond flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract (I used a vanilla bean), sugar and eggs.

Before I start, I’d like to mention that these oranges need a good boiling because you want these golden beauties soft, soft, soft. I boiled these oranges a day in advance, and boiled them for about 1 hour until they were soft. Let them cool and store in fridge to use next day.

Also a word on almond flour/meal- please don’t get put off or think ‘meh this needs almond meal, who’s got that’? well I didn’t. I simply made it at home by blitzing almonds in a grinder until it resembled flour. It took me about 2 minutes. You can do it and you should, because this cake is extraordinarily delicious and moist and dense and orangey and you’d probably go to hell if you didn’t try this recipe.

ok moving on..

DSC_0623take a clean blender or food processor

DSC_0624throw in your oranges

DSC_0625crack in the eggs in the most clumsy fashion

DSC_0626add in the vanilla (I’m using a vanilla bean, but please use good vanilla extract if you want, I just happen to have a truckloads of these beans)

DSC_0627Once it’s all in

DSC_0628blitz to mix. It will turn into a golden pond of citrus love in a matter of seconds.

DSC_0629admire your handiwork and realize it resembles a milkshake and that you’re lactose intolerant..shed a few tears and get back to work.

DSC_0630in a separate large clean bowl.

DSC_0631dump in your almond flour/meal (whatever you call it)

DSC_0632add the sugar

DSC_0634in with the baking powder

DSC_0635don’t forget the salt

DSC_0638it’s all heaped in. good!

DSC_0639mix using a wire whisk. It’s just easier

DSC_0640mix well like so. I put a spoonful in my mouth and it tasted great already.

DSC_0641Now tip in your orange+egg+vanilla mixture

DSC_0643mix until it all comes together. Don’t be too vigorous.

DSC_0644let that rest a bit and prep the pan. Take a springfoam pan and using its base as guide, cut out a round piece of parchment paper. It’s not geometry, you needn’t be precise. (Again, don’t be put off by this step. It takes a mere minute and it’s important for the cake)

DSC_0645take a bit of melted butter and spread on the base of the tin.

DSC_0646like so.

DSC_0647this enables the parchment to stick better. Flatten it out well so that there are no air bubbles.

DSC_0649Brush the sides as well. I took an extra precaution and lined the base with aluminum foil to prevent any leakages. I have trust issues with this pan, and in return it doesn’t love me back.

DSC_0650Tip in your batter. Tap it a bit and bake @ 190℃

DSC_0652take it out after and hour. Check with toothpick in case it comes out clean and LET IT COOL COMPLETELY! I’m sorry for yelling but this how I yelled at the man who kept trying to eat it.

DSC_0660once completely cooled, very carefully and gently remove the base pan and peel off the parchment paper. Just be a little cautious. It’s a wonderfully moist cake so don’t be too heavy-handed with it.

DSC_0674cut yourself a piece and fall in love.

Note: this cake tastes best after a couple of days of making, and for best results you have to let it be undisturbed overnight.

Ingredients

Oranges : 450g (boiled until soft, best to do a day in advance)

Eggs: 6

vanilla extract : 1 teaspoon or vanilla bean.

Almond flour/meal : 250 g (if you can’t buy it, then grind the same wight of almonds until it resembles flour)

Sugar: 230 g

baking powder: 1 teaspoon

salt: a small pinch

How to: In a blender or food processor, blend in the oranges, eggs and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl mix in the almond flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Pour in the batter and mix well.

Line your springfoam tin with parchment paper after greasing the base and sides. To prevent leakages line the outside base with aluminium foil.

Pour in the batter and bake at 190℃ for 45-60 minutes. Check with toothpick to see if it’s baked. Mine took one whole hour.

Note: Around the 40 minute mark I covered the top with aluminum foil as it was getting a little brown.

DSC_0672Here’s another delicious picture. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Stoners grub: Sausage, mushroom & cheese sandwich


DSC_0935When thoughts are dull, days are cold and pleasures scarce, it’s always the food we turn to for comfort. There are days when even the idea of having something virtuous like smoothies, salads and fruits makes you want to launch a crusade against health food, you turn to sustenance. Hearty, innocent, full-bodied food that’d make you tuck in like a tapeworm, food that’d make you cry with joyous tears.

This sandwich is the stuff that voluptuous dreams are made of. It’s the kind of food you’d want to have after a night of crazy drinking or a joint too many. For days when you want to carelessly binge, for moments when you want to feel fueled and for times when you have the munchies for planet portions of feel good food, this sandwich is a life saver.. and it’s easy enough to throw in a matter of moments.

DSC_08922This is a pretty versatile affair. You can stuff it with whatever you want, but I did mine like so… butter, cheese (emmental & cheddar), cured sausage, onion, mushrooms & bread.

Now before I start this, I’d like to mention that  this is just my version. You can make this anyhow you want, using whatever cheese, whatever meat, whatever mushrooms, in fact whatever whatever. Just make sure its got plenty of meat and cheese and butter.

DSC_0893I started with the sausages and sliced them like so.

DSC_0894into a hot pan for a few seconds just to let them warm through. These are cured so they don’t really need any cooking. That makes this recipe so much easier.

DSC_0895Now very carefully because this step call for being an incompetent chopper, chop your mushrooms. Be very casual about it, because it’s not a gourmet sandwich meant for a Michelin table.

DSC_0897In a pan or skillet, heat a tablespoon of butter along with some oil.

DSC_0898add  in the mushrooms because we want to cook them and turn them brown and get rid of their water. We don’t want a soggy sammy!

DSC_0899while that’s cooking away, in a similar incompetent fashion chop the onion. Make sure there’s nothing pretty about it.

DSC_0900check your mushrooms. add some crushed black pepper (entirely optional) but oh so good!

DSC_0902

DSC_0907while the mushrooms are cooking up, grate your cheeses. In hindsight I realized I should have used a box grater because it took me forever to grate this but it doesn’t matter, the important thing is grated cheese.

DSC_0903checking the mushrooms they looked good and almost done.

DSC_0905add in the onion and just stir it in the mushrooms. We don’t really want to cook the onions just slightly soften them. This step is done.

DSC_0909This step is essentially building up your sandwich. I have here some hearty brown bread ( I don’t know why though), but use any bread you prefer.

DSC_0910Layer on the cheese

DSC_0911Pat it down so that it doesn’t bulge up and form a hump. then layer with your mushroom onion mixture.

DSC_0912like so.. and sort of flatten it a bit to prevent a dome formation.

DSC_0915layer your sausages and while layering I realized that the sausages were a lot more than the rest of the ingredients but you shouldn’t let trivial things like these matter, so build away. Finally top it with the remaining cheese.

DSC_0916Gently place the other half of your bread on top if this structure. Press down a bit, but honestly if you stuff your sandwich to this point some meat or cheese is bound to ooze out in the most gratifying way.

DSC_0917If you have softened room temperature butter then please violently slather it on your bread, I however had very cold butter which I simply dotted all over the top.

DSC_0919Melt a generous amount of butter in a pan

DSC_0920place your bread on it and move it around a bit to let it absorb all the butter. Once you feel it’s done from the bottom, carefully flip it and cook the top side. There might be some spillage in the process but i don’t think it matters.

DSC_0938There you have it, a meal fit for the gods of carnal pleasure. Get your munchies on, get rid of your hangover, binge eat and give up yourself to some sin. This is seriously good. Eat these with some delightful baked potato fries

Ingredients

  • cured sausage or meat of your choice diced into small pieces (crisped bacon, yesterdays chicken, can of tuna, anything you love) – 100-150g (mine was 1/2 cup)
  • sandwich bread slices
  • Emmental and cheddar cheese (or any cheese you love and have readily available) – 1/2 cup
  • mushrooms – 5-6 medium size
  • onion -1/2 of a big one or 1 small
  • butter – 4 tablespoons or more
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe: dice the sausages into pieces and let them warm through on a hot skillet. Keep aside.

Melt one tablespoon of butter with some oil and add in the chopped mushrooms till they are cooked and their water has evaporated. Add in the chopped onions and pepper and salt and cook for another minute. You don’t have to cook the onions completely.

For the assembly, start with layering the cheese, followed by the mushroom onion mixture and then the sausages. Press down a bit after every layer to prevent the formation of any bulges.

Heat some butter in a skillet and place your sandwich on it and move around to help it absorb all the butter. Also butter the top part of your sandwich and once the bottom is nicely browned flip it over carefully.

If there is any spillage, you can always push them back into your sandwich.

Make this!!!

DSC_0937Enjoy.

 

 

Baked potato fries


DSC_0929

Potatoes!! Is there anything as comforting, as loving, as selfless, as versatile, as sexy, as sensuous as potatoes?? No, the answer is no!! Potatoes love you back they understand your feelings, they believe in giving and they care.

Sadly with modern times now, these beautiful spuds of love have been maligned as fattening food.. gasp! people are told to steer clear of them if they want to lose weight.. I say, what rot?? It’s not true. Potatoes aren’t bad for you, you’re bad for potatoes. Who thought of loading them with MSG and packing them into airy bags? you did! who thought of over salting them to the point of oblivion?? you did!! So please do not blame these humble vegetables for making you fat. Blame yourselves. Fried food WILL fatten you, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that, but when you bake these beauteous vegetables with the right amount of love, they love you back.

Case in point are these baked fries. They require no effort but give you all the love you need these winter months. Not only do they satisfy your spud cravings but they also don’t make you feel bad about it.

So for those moments of anguish when only a potato will do, bake these fries and get caught in the rapturous greed of smug satisfaction.

DSC_08521Just potatoes, garlic, olive oil (any oil really), mixed italian seasoning, paprika and sea salt.

DSC_0854before you start, line your baking sheet with foil.

DSC_0855wash and peel your potatoes. Remove any eyes and anything weird you don’t like seeing on your fries. You can keep the skin on the potatoes if you wish, just wash and scrub them really well.

DSC_0858Since my potatoes were not exactly equal in size, I cut mine to make three roughly equal sized potatoes. You don’t have to do this if your vegetables are symmetrically proportional.

DSC_0861I cut each potato segment into three, because I don’t exactly like very skinny fries, but if you do, please go ahead and make them as thin as you like.

DSC_0862So many potatoes.

DSC_0866I cut each segment in three’s.

DSC_0869I had almost equal sized fries, those which were a bit thick I cut them to size. Nobody messes with the size okay!

DSC_0870Into a pot of cold water to rinse away the starch. Let these be for a while now.

DSC_0871Now about their massage oil. Peel your cloves of garlic and mince them fairly well or chop, whatever you prefer.

DSC_0872add the seasoning mix. I’m using dry simply because It’s too cold and I have no fresh herbs left, but if you wish you could as easily use them fresh. Dried is just easier. These mixed Italian seasonings are pretty nifty.

DSC_0875in with the paprika. As little or as much as you like.

DSC_0876a glug of oil. This is about a tablespoon, but you could use more, you could use less.

DSC_0879stir with a spoon of choice until all is well combined.

DSC_0880Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or cloth of your choice.

DSC_0882give them a good pat. You want them completely dry.

DSC_0883tumble onto your lined baking sheet

DSC_0885make sure there isn’t a single wet spot. (snigger)

DSC_0887pour over the massage oil and this gets a little messy because you need to use your hands to evenly coat them

DSC_0888like so. Make sure the oil is distributed evenly and that every piece is well bathed.

DSC_0889sprinkle on the salt and into the oven at 200℃ for 35-40 minutes.

DSC_0906this is what they looked after 30 minutes of baking and the kitchen was smelling so divine. Garlic infused herbal incense. I was mesmerized and hungry.

DSC_0914

like this at 38 minutes of baking, and I turned on the broiler for about 2 minutes because I was getting impatient and I love it when they turn golden and crisp on the top.

DSC_0924like so!!

How were they? what can I say? see for yourself. They were beautiful, they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I gave them a final sprinkling of salt before I served them.

DSC_0929A flask of masala tea and potato fries.. what more can I ask this winter?

Ingredients

Potatoes (as many as you want)

Garlic- 2 to 3 cloves

Italian seasoning – 1 teaspoon

Paprika – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste ( I used 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt)

Olive oil/any vegetable oil – 1 to 2 tablespoon

RECIPE: Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Wash and peel your potatoes and cut each into 3 segments and each segment into two or three fries, depending on how thick or thin you want them. Soak them into a bowl of cold water to remove excess starch.

Into a separate bowl, mince your garlic, add in the Italian seasoning, paprika and oil and mix well.

Drain the potatoes and dry thoroughly.

Tip them on your aluminium lined baking tray and pour over the prepared oil mixture and coat every fry with the mixture, making sure they’re all evenly coated.

bake at 200℃ for 35-40 minutes until deeply golden. Depending on your oven the baking time will vary. In some ovens it might take longer in some lesser, so keep an eye.

Enjoy!!

 

Lemon bars


DSC_0472These winters when the sun is scarce and sky seems frozen, these lemon bars will inject that bit of sunshine and tang to your day. I had earlier been of the view that chocolate heals all ills, chocolate is the universal answer and that chocolate gives meaning to your life… however once I made these bars I realized It’s actually these sweet lemon bars that can actually bring about world peace. No seriously, its true!! These lemon bars aren’t just good they are dazzling with sexy oomph!

They are super chic, exquisite and the taste is like a mouthful of magnificent citrus love. It makes no sense because these bars make no sense. They are so ridiculously good, very zippy, tart, sweet and rich all at the same time. You have to MAKE THESE to believe it, and you’d say, that crazy internet girl was right about this one.

The best part about these is that they are easy to make. Not fussy like a lemon meringue pie. Easy to put together and easier still to eat. But careful, these yellow babies are rich!!

These bars are made of a shortbread base and a mouth-watering lemon filling. Here is how its done.

For the shortbread base

DSC_0402very easy. Just three ingredients. Butter, sugar and flour.

DSC_0403In a clean bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, until it’s umm creamed. It should resemble something like this or better.

DSC_0405Add in the flour and beat again

DSC_0406until it just starts clumping together. Once it starts coming together we stop.

DSC_0407Tip this shortbread mixture into a baking vessel of choice. Mine happened to be a square silicon mould (7 x 7 inches).

DSC_0409spread it around as well as you can and bake at 180℃ for 15-18 minutes or until the sides just start turning a shade brown.

DSC_0417like so. Leave this to cool and prepare the filling.

DSC_0414The filling is fairly straightforward. Just eggs, lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and flour.

DSC_0420we start with eggs

DSC_0421followed by sugar

DSC_0423then light mixing.

DSC_0424and some lemon zest

DSC_0427add in the lemon juice

DSC_0428finally in with the flour and a good beat up.

DSC_0431Mix it until it looks something like this, which means stir without caution for a couple of minutes and you’re there.

DSC_0433tip this batter in the now cooled shortbread base

DSC_0435making sure it’s evenly spread and bake at 175℃ for 18-20 minutes

DSC_0439My oven got a little too hot, hence the tan, but if you think the top of the bars is getting browned too quickly then just tent it with silver foil. This tan is not going to affect the final outcome because it’s just pleasantly golden not overly burnished, so don’t worry. You will know the top is done when it’s just set and there’s a slight jiggle to it.

You have to let it cool complete before you do anything to it. Mine took about 45 minutes.

DSC_0441pass some powdered sugar through a sieve.

DSC_0444blanketing completely

DSC_0446cut into squares and thank Ma nature for creating lemons.

DSC_0448I cut mine into fairly small bars, simply because these are so rich and so sweet and citrusy that it’s all too easy to eat them.

You wouldn’t believe the smugness you’d feel after making these, because they come out perfect every single time, even if you’re making these for the first time. They work great as desserts and taste unexpectedly delicious. Make these Now!!

 

Recipe

For the shortbread

butter 110 g ( a little less than 1/2 cup)

powdered sugar 30 g (about 2 tablespoons)

flour 125 g (about a cup)

– In a clean bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer.

add in the flour and beat until it just starts to come together.

Tip into a baking dish and evenly spread to form a base.

Bake at 180℃ for 18-20 minutes or just until the sides lightly brown

allow to cool.

For the lemon filling

Eggs 2

sugar 170 g (a little less than a cup)

lemon juice 70 mls (2.5 tablespoons)

lemon zest 1 tablespoon

flour 30 g (about 2 tablespoons)

– In a clean bowl beat the sugar and eggs until smooth.

add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour over the now cooled shortbread base making sure it’s evenly spread out.

Bake at 175℃ for 18-20 until just set with a bit of jiggle. If the top starts getting too brown, tint with a foil.

Allow to cool completely and sift some powdered sugar on top before cutting into bars.

DSC_0454You do not want to miss this.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Bread Pudding


DSC_0704Feast yer eyes, for this is the easiest, most heavenly addictive dessert you’d make. Bread Pudding evokes everything that is homely, classic & decadent.

Put together in a matter moments, nothing gets easier than this dessert.

I haven’t got any step by step pictures for this recipe since there really weren’t too many steps and because I was making it to satisfy my man’s cravings for something outrageously weekend.

Did I eat this? Not a lot, since I’m 50 shades of Lactose Intolerant, but really I did sneak in a few bites here and there, and they were so gorgeous I could have kicked my system for hating on milk.

Also the bread pieces are slathered and sandwiched with orange marmalade and this is what gives it a different flavour with every bite, but of course you could as easily change that to any jelly or jam of your choice. From blueberry to ginger jam to pineapple to mixed fruit.. Suit yourself. It’s a very forgiving recipe

Ingredients

Milk 500 mls (2 cups)

Eggs 2 and 1 egg yolk

Sugar 50 g (3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon) + extra for topping

vanilla extract 1 teaspoon

Bread preferably stale (baguette would work great) or 6-8 slices of bread

Orange marmalade or jam/marmalade of your choice

Butter 20 g (1 tablespoon)

Recipe: Make sandwiches out of your bread pieces with jam of your choice. The bread amount can be varied. It could be 6 or 8 slices of regular bread or half a baguette as I used here. If your bread is too big you can make triangles out of them, if it’s the same size as the baguette here, then just cut about 1/2 inch thick pieces and slather them generously with the marmalade.

Fit them snugly in the oven dish of your choice, making sure it’s buttered well.

In a separate bowl, mix in the milk, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla. Mix well making sure the egg is incorporated.

This batter now resembling the summer outside needs to be poured over the bread pieces in the dish. Pour it evenly so that no bread remains dry. Gently coax them into the eggy custard, do not mush them. Sprinkle some more sugar on top so that it caramelizes in the heat of the oven, bronzing the top and adding crunch.

Awesome, now let the dish stand this way for about 10-15 minutes and finally dot the top with some butter to make it golden and sunny and crunchy, after which bake it in a 190℃ oven for 15-20 minutes.

DSC_0704

The results are fabulous, every bite is a song and you’ll fall in love with how easy this recipe is.

Enjoy!!

Spicy masala cookies


CSC_4925

 

For some reason these harsh winters have put me in a cookie mode. I’ve been buying, eating and baking cookies. But aha.. these are not sweet cookies but salty spicy ones.. well not spiky salty like chips or crisps but very mildly saltish to the taste with a twang of spice. The spices being rather mellow, subtly biting and very addictive.

I had no recipe to start these cookies with so I was just trying and testing in the kitchen but accidentally or rather Fortunately these cookies turned out excellent. They tasted exactly how I wanted them to and I penned down the recipe and I’m sticking to it. I am !!!

Since these were just testing I didn’t bother with making a huge batch. You can easily double or triple the amount. These cookies are not thick and big, but dainty and petite which makes them all too easy to eat.

CSC_4917

 

see !! not fat at all..

Ingredients 

70 gms butter (you can also use salted butter for these cookies)

1 egg

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

125 gms flour

SPICES

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

4-5 curry leaves

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp chilly flakes

RECIPE

In a dry pan fry the spices (except pepper and chili flakes) for a couple of minutes until browned. The mustard seeds will starts spluttering and you will get the most heavenly spiced aroma. Make sure the pan is dry. You don’t need to add any oil.

Once the spices are browned and giving off their aromatics take the pan off the heat and crush the spices. You can do these win a mortar & pestle. I used my rolling-pin. Keep these aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar and salt for a minute or so. add in the egg and beat again.

Now add the crushed spices along with the pepper and chili flakes and beat until the spices have turned your beautiful yellow butter to tarnished brackish spiced goodness.  Add in the flour, and at this moment its best to use your spatula or wooden spoon to incorporate everything together.

Once it has formed a sort of dough and you can see the flecks of spices dotting your mixture, believe me it only gets better now.

Roll this cookie dough on a lightly floured surface. You can make these cookies fat or thin, depends how you like them. I roll them out quite thin perhaps 1 cm or less (you can see in the picture above)

Once they’re rolled out you can use any shaped cookie cutter and stamp out shapes. You can make them round or just basic square.

Place them on a sheet. These cookies don’t spread, so you can space them close.

bake in a pre heated oven at 180℃ for about 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have browned slightly. It also helps me to rotate the cookie sheet after 8 minutes or so.

Let them cool slightly and they are ready to eat.

You can either eat them on their on as they are or even use some dip or salsa or even this hummus

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Another picture to inspire you to make these immediately..

Enjoy !!!

Hummus


CSC_4927Yes!!! I love ze hummus. I love hummus on bread, on crackers, on everything that can be dipped. I love absolutely love hummus. Thank you Middle East for giving us the gift of hummus.

What I don’t love is the hummus you find in jars. Ewww.. its everything thats hummus shouldn’t be. Making your own hummus will give you an air of smugness and a feeling most satisfying.. You’re creating hummus.. at home.!!!!

After many try outs, recipes, and taste tests, I finally figured a hummus recipe which is loved in my house. Easily devoured and makes a decent quantity. It’s just a bread away from being a supper in it’s entirety. Works fabulously as a crowd pleaser and a party piece. Just put this on a table with torn pieces of  breads, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic appetizer..

CSC_4933

 

Chickpeas, garlic cloves. tahini paste,Extra virgin olive oil, salt and coriander powder.

I don’t use canned chickpeas, though if you wish you can use those. I soak the chickpeas for 6-10 hours. Overnight works best and boil them till they are tender.

CSC_4931

 

Dump everything together in a food processer, you can use a blender of you wish. for me this ferocious little chopper works best.

DSC_4832

 

Add in the extra virgin olive oil and whizz to a paste. If you feel it’s too dry you can add a bit of water, though this won’t happen if you dont go too easy on the oil.

Garnish with some more lovely green olive oil and paprika..

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such miraculous, gratifying results.. This is the kind of hummus you just can’t go wrong with. Of course there isn’t a set recipe for anything. It’s always to your taste, so play with it. Adjust quantities and seasonings to your liking and the results are highly rewarding…….. Enjoy !!

Ingredients

150 gms chickpeas (cooked and drained)

4 garlic cloves

25 gms tahini paste

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

75 mls extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling before serving

1/2 tsp paprika (optional) for sprinkling before serving.

additionally you can also use some lemon juice about 1 tsp if you wish

Recipe:- In a food processer or a blender process together the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt and coriander powder with the olive oil. If it’s too dry or thick add in 1 tsp water or olive oil until you get the consistency you want. Keep tasting for salt. It should be according to your taste.

To serve drizzle some olive oil and some paprika for a burst of colours. Serve with pita, baguette or even crackers..