Monday, 19 November 2012

Eggless Chocolate Cake with Orange buttercream icing

If you are from Kerala, or live in Kerala rather, you would know, eggs and anything related to poultry were a complete no-no, thanks to a 'bird flu' outbreak. So, my lil' K asked for a chocolate cake one of those days and I started hunting for good eggless chocolate cake recipe, and as usual was finding it difficult to settle on one.
It was then that coincidentally, the 'Vanitha' magazine, carried in it's latest edition an eggless chocolate cake recipe. This was an easy decision as the other couple of recipes I looked at required condensed milk, and I didn't have any.
This is a very simple recipe. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients together in another bowl, then mix and off to the oven. Couldn't get simpler right? The original recipe uses an accentuation of an orange butter cream icing. I wasn't sure if K would like it, so I omitted the oranges in the recipe.

The case was dark and moist and had good flavour. I would definitely recommend this. 


What you need
1. All-Purpose Flour - 200 gms 
    Powdered Sugar - 200 gms
    Cocoa Powder - 4 tbsp
    Soda Bi-Card - 1 tsp
    Salt - 1/2 tsp
2. Vegetable Oil  - 5 tbsp
    Vanilla Essence - 1 tspake tin 
    White Vinegar - 1 tsp
    Water - 250 ml

Here's How
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg Cel
2. Grease and Line a 13x 23 cm loaf tin or a 20 cm diameter round cake tin
3. Sift all the dry ingredients together (1)
4. Make a small hole in the middle of the dry ingredients; Add the wet ingredients (2) here and mix till well-combined.
5. Transfer this to your cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean

Orange Butter Icing
What you need
 Unsalted Butter - 125gms
 Icing Sugar - 250 gms
Orange Juice - 2 tbsp
Orange Zest - 1 orange

Here's How
1. Beat the butter and half of the icing sugar well
2. Now add the remaining Icing Sugar along with the orange juice and beat well
3. Now add the orange zest and mix with a light hand
4. Slice your cake into 2,  horizontally, and add your icing; spread it well.
5. Sandwich the layers and apply icing on the outside as well

Recipe Source: Vanitha Magazine

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Yummy Murukkus!! Fresh and homemade...'amma-made' actually. It has been a while since amma  made thse lovelies at home. This one is a wonderful recipe. 'Tried and Tested', of course! and the best of all recipes Amma has tried so far; good enough to be the only one to be repeated.
Amma pressing out the murukkus with the idiappam presser onto banana leaves

Amma finally made a batch to send to my nephew, who, needless to say, savours every bite. Amma makes it less often these days as most of us are favourites of LDL - C; only meaning to say we are on the higher end of the cholestrol spectrum; including yours truly...sigh!! 

That doesn't stop me from enjoying these though! tee hee! They taste as fresh and crsip and melt in your mouth with ease, something store-bought murukkus, rarely do.

Murukku dough

Murukkus pressed out on banana leaves to be slid into oil, in the background.

amma's murukkus, in my most favorite pair of tiny hands!


What you need
Raw Rice Powder (Unroasted) - 3 glasses
Besan powder - 1 glass
Kayam - 1 to 2 tsp
Butter - 2 - 3 balls of lime
Salt - To taste
Jeera powder - 2 tsp

Here's How
Make a dough with all of the above mentioned ingredients, using enough water (there's a photograph of the dough, if you scroll up)

Using an 'Idiappam Press' (String Hoppers), shape out murukkus onto Small oiled banana leaves/ parchment paper

Heat oil and deep fry

you can see the idiappam press in photo no 1, pressed-out dough on banana leaves; with amma pressing out dough in the background in the others

                                                                Recipe Source: Amma


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Karkidaka kanji - a healthy porridge for a rainy month

It's still raining here. (Not even nearly as much as it  for should though! The main dam here apparently has just enough water to produce electricity for the next 72 days! eeks! I can hear the rain gods say; you burn a hole in the ozone, you cut the trees down, you reclaim land from the sea, you fill out rivers and lakes, you dig away the sand on the river bed -  and you the say the climate has changed! I say you have changed, so we can't but change with you!!).
So this is the official month of 'Karkidakam' (We Malayalis, like many others, have our own calendar). This was in the 'the good ol' days', when man respected nature more, a dark and cold month, literally. The skies would be perpetually overcast, bringing down the heavens. It would rain day and night, and night and day. It was difficult for the people to get fresh produce to cook with. Harvest would happen only after this month. It was also a season of illnesses and epidemics. In order to nourish themselves to gain immunity against diseases, during a time when preventive vaccinations were non-existent, and also for nourishment when good food wasn't available, this kanji was prepared daily in homes, during this month; a tradition carried on to this date. 
There are many variations to this kanji. Ayurveda suggests adding a lot of medicinal herbs and spices for gained value. I have posted a couple of other links at the end of this post if you want to take a look or know more about the tradition. This recipe is a simple home-made one. You could add more herbs or spices into this. You can imagine this will not taste like a french onion soup. tee hee. I haven't tasted too many varieties, so maybe there is one, which does taste really nice, depending on what you add. We usually add freshly grated coconut as garnish, which does add to the taste.

Karkkidaka Kanji

What you need
1. Uluva (Fenugreek) - 1 cup
2. Cherupayar (Green gram) - 1 cup
3. Navara rice - 1 cupeat - 1
4. Cracked Wheat - 1 cup

Here's how
Soak ingredients  1 - 3 in water overnight. Next morning, add the cracked wheat to this, and pressure cook this with enough water. Now leave to simmer for 20 minutes; and there you have. You could add a very generous pinch of freshly grated coconut before serving. You could add more or less water, when serving depending on your preference.

You  could read more about Karkkidaka Kanji here and here