Mutton curries need spices. Not necessarily a lot of chillies and heat, but whole spices. Or maybe it’s the south Indian in me who likes it like that. I’ve had mild curries as well and they’ve tasted fantastic. But cooking meat with a robust spice mix is glorious by itself. To balance the spices I mixed in some fresh coriander and mint. It’s pretty much how I make the masala for biryani but turned into curry, of course. If you want to lighten it, add some coconut milk or whipped yoghurt.
As an adult (at least some think so), I still love the patterns in a marble cake. The anticipation of cutting the first slice to see how the marbling has turned out is joy that makes me feel like a little girl again. A good marble cake for me has to be moist, with lovely chocolate and vanilla swirls where you can taste their flavours separetely and not excruciatingly sweet. With this one however, I had a coffee swirl too. The flavour cushions of vanilla and chocolate ensures the coffee one is quite safe. As with any marble cake you simple divide the batter into two and mix cocoa into one half and then pour them into a baking tin before you swirl it with a knife or as in my case, a chopstick.
Growing up, summer holidays were spent in Mangalore. That also meant indulging in a whole lot of treats which included ginger biscuits from the local bakery. Among all the other sweet baked goodies like nan khatai, butter cookies, chocolate cream biscuits, cream puffs and others, ginger biscuits stood out. Sharp, spicy and they smelled divine. They were the grown up’s choice of biscuits. Us kids mostly went for the sweeter cookies. With time, the ginger biscuits grew on me and will always be a part of my childhood. At least, what it smells like.
Egg dosae because I’ve moved on from sweet breakfasts every Sunday like waffles, French toast and the likes. I wouldn’t mind the sugar rush occasionally but I sure don’t want it every Sunday. That’s why I’ve been on a dosae streak of late. Every Sunday we have dosae with chutney or leftover curry. I for one go on to have dosae for lunch as well. Why wouldn’t I, when it goes perfectly well with any kind of chicken or mutton curry? But I must admit, I don’t make the batter at home from scratch. There are plenty recipes online and you don’t need one more repeating the same thing, trust me. But no, I don’t use ready to use powders. Instead, I get my batter from the local shops. They’re nothing short of what we make at home.
I’ve recently warmed up to pears and what I usually do is cut them up, squeeze a lemon and chill them in the fridge before eating. There was one large pear sitting in my fridge and I figured I’d bake with it. I’ve always loved how sliced fruit is arranged on top of the cake in absolute symmetry looking nothing short of perfect. No, mine didn’t look like that. But it sure tasted pretty prefect. I have also realized how cream cheese can keep a dry cake moist and not add any of its strong flavour into it. I’ve only used yoghurt previously for the same purpose.
The first time I had banoffee pie was in Bangalore at a restaurant. Sweet, rich and decadent was what it was. Most restaurants and cafes make it so sweet, you don’t know what you’re eating. Before you know it you’re slapped with a sugar rush. I’ve this at home a few times and I remember this one time my colleagues in Bangalore demolishing an entire big batch of the stuff in under two minutes. You do not want to be there to clean up after a banoffee pie massacre. So this time I made them in cute little jars. The best thing is there’s no baking involved and it’s just assembling a few things together. I had the toffee/dulce de leche already from last week, so I saved time here as well.
I love banana bread. Pure and unadulterated love. I’ve made it multiple times with variations (recipes). It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Legend has it that my banana hating friend also loved a slice of the good stuff. I rarely bake it the same way more than once. Mostly because there’s no limit to how you can alter the banana bread and give it a makeover every time. This time around I swirled some dulce de leche into the batter, didn’t use brown sugar, reduced the flour and omitted nuts. As always, it turned out great. It was more cake like than bread or muffin like in texture. I’m not complaining, though. The dulce de leche was the result of using them in my dulce de leche brownies. Leftovers are being used in various recipes and it’s pretty damn good.
Back home in Bangalore paneer isn’t as popular as it is up here in the north. And with the stuff you get there, you might as well avoid it. At restaurants you’d find all kinds of paneer dishes but the paneer itself was rubbery and lacked any taste of dairy. When I moved to Gurgaon, I began eating paneer regularly since it was made at least once a week in office. Even the store bought paneer is so much better than what we’d get in Bangalore. I’ve slowly warmed up to paneer with dishes like pan roasted paneer and beet salad with paneer and will be including it in my meals at home regularly (hopefully).
Sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? It’s just brownies with thick luscious caramel swirled into it and drizzled on top. Dulce de leche is basically caramel made from condensed milk. Traditionally, condensed milk is cooked slowly till it becomes thick and brown in colour. It usually takes 8 hours to do this. Who has that kind of time today? Anyway, there’s a hack I learned years ago. Just pressure cook the can of condensed milk for 30-45 mins and ta-da! That’s about it. You can use this to make so many things. I just used a couple of table spoons of the stuff for these brownies. I’m going to be using the rest in a few other recipes, so watch this space in the coming days.
I did tweak the brownie recipe, too. I wanted a more gooey brownie. So gooey, it sticks to your fingers and the roof of your mouth. This recipe has chocolate as well as cocoa mixed with some coffee. You can omit the extras and stick to the basics.
I always thought oatmeal cookies needed old fashioned oats and that quick cooking oats were used only to make porridge. But I was glad to learn from Betty Crocker’s recipe that I was wrong. I halved the recipe and still had around 12 medium sized cookies. They were chewy on the inside and crisp on the out. Exactly how I love my cookies. I’ve also added some walnuts here along with chocolate chips. Makes for a perfect cookie to go with your cup of coffee.