Go nuts over Nutella Brownies!

Nutella, a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa is everyone’s favourite, be it any age. It’s a versatile ingredient, isn’t it? Use it as a spread for toasts, filling for cupcakes, spoonful as it is.. or even Nutella Brownies.

I’m not here to promote it but it’s easier to call a Nutella Brownie a Nutella Brownie and not a Sweetened Hazelnut Cocoa Brownie, right!!! Going nuts over the name.. don’t. Instead, try your hand on these decadent brownies, they are so so so so so delicious that it’s not even funny!

Don’t believe me? Then give it a try now. It’s as easy as i don’t know what..

  • 1 1/2 Cup Nutella
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Paste/Extract (use a pure extract pls)
  • 3/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

That’s about it. Now, let’s get on with making the Nutella Brownies.

  1. Line a rectangular pan (usually used for brownies) with parchment
  2. Pre heat your oven to 180 degree celsius for 15 mins.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt and keep it aside
  4. Melt 1 cup of Nutella over a double boiler or in a microwave (for a 1 min) and add in the butter and mix well
  5. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla for about 2 mins – no point using fancy hand blenders and all. A traditional whisk is just fine.
  6. Pour in the Nutella and butter mixture to the eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add in the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined
  8. Pour in the batter in the lined tin and scoop in few tbsp of Nutella here and there.
  9. Bake this in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 40 mins.
  10. Cool completely before slicing. Whenever you want to serve, just warm it up and drizzle some more Nutella goodness on top… may be with a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

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Isn’t this a piece of heaven? Or rather pieces of heaven. Pls pls pls try this else you will regret it.. Then do not blame me 😉

Will be back with another recipe soon. Till then, keep cooking, keep loving!

Freshly Baked Whole Wheat Bread!

I am a bread fan and I am a working woman. So, when I’m running late, all i need to do is grab two slices, add peanut butter jam or butter and veggies and leave. But, i just can’t ignore the fact that the industry breads (available in the markets) are whole wheat only for the namesake. They use preservation chemicals and loads of color… Plus it’s not whole wheat.

Anyways, I love eating bread. Period. I need no reason to make a freshly baked whole wheat bread for my family and myself. So, here’s the recipe. All you need is –

  1. Whole Wheat Flour – 200 gms
  2. All Purpose Flour – 50 gms
  3. Salt – 7 gms
  4. Water – 130 ml
  5. Milk – 60 ml
  6. Castor Sugar/Regular Sugar – 14 gms
  7. Active Dry Yeast – 14 gms
  8. Oil – 10 ml
  9. Extra Flour for dusting
  • Sieve the dry ingredients and keep aside.
  • Warm some of the water (lukewarm) and add the sugar and yeast.. Let this rest for 10-12 mins until it starts smelling and foams up
  • Add the yeast water, milk and remaining water to the dry ingredients and need a soft dough.
  • While making the dough, if you feel the dough is tight.. Add little more water.
  • Once the dough comes together, topple the dough onto your kitchen surface $dusted with some flour) and knead for a good 10 – 15 mins (use the heel of your hands to knead and pull back the dough with your fingers – this basically releases the gluten in the flour thereby making your bread soft).
  • Ball it up and leave to rise in an greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling film. Let the dough rest for 45 mins in a warm area.
  • Uncover the dough and knock back to release the air inside. Add the oil and knead again.
  • Grease your bread mould and dust it. Tap outwards and remove extra flour. Roll the dough into a nice ball (close to the shape of the mould) and place it in the bread mould so it fits rights in.
  • Brush the top with oil and cover with a cling film and leave the dough to rise for 45 mins in a warm area.
  • Just before baking, brush some milk on the dough and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 20-30 mins or until the surface is golden (I used middle rack)
  • When you take out the bread from the oven, brush some butter on top.
  • Leave for 10 mins and then take it out of the mould and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Use a serrated knife to slice the bread.

It’s comforting, homely and undeniably delicious. Ohh.. and the smell of freshly baked bread is a trip to heaven !

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PS: you can even add sauted onion + spices/ fried garlic pieces + Italian season etc to make a flavoured bread.

The recipe might seem tedious but it’s not. Trust me and give it a shot. Happy Baking guys!

Eid Mubarak’16

Morning people!

Its been long that I’ve written something and no better come back than today’s recipe. Its Eid-Al-Adah today, a festival celebrated by all my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. This is the 2nd Eid of the year and the most important one. Eid-Al-Adah is a sacrifice feast where in it is believed that if you make any kind of offering, you are brought closer to Allah (as per Wikipedia).

It was indeed a great start to the day when my neighbour rang the door bell at 9 am and gifted me a bowl of Sheer Khurma. Here’s a picture of it!

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Sheer Khurma is mughlai dessert specially made during Eid. And believe me, there is no sugar in this delicacy. It is made rich with nuts, milk and it gets all its sweetness from dates.  I’ve made it a couple of times and here’s my recipe. Do try.

  • 1 Litre Full Cream Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Cup Vermicelli
  • 10 Cashews (chopped)
  • 10 Almonds (slivers)
  • 1 Tbsp Chironji Seeds (Buchanania Lanzan is the name of the tree that produces this wonderful seed)
  • 15 Dates (soaked and made into a paste)
  • 10 Dates (deseeded and chopped)
  • 10 Raisins (Chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Kewara Water
  1. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add 2 Tbsp of ghee to the pan. Roast the seviyan , dry fruits and chironji till golden and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat the remaining ghee and add the date paste. Saute for a a minute or two.
  3. Add milk to the date paste and allow let it come to a boil. Let the milk simmer for 5-10 mins.
  4. Add the roasted vermicelli and dry fruit mixture to the milk and allow it to simmer till the vermicelli is cooked – another 8-10 mins. The milk will eventually thicken a bit.
  5. Add the cardamom powder for the amazing aroma and flavour.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and cool for 15 mins. Add the rose water and kewara water.
  7. Garnish with silver leaf and few roasted chironji seeds. Serve the Sheer Khurma hot, warm or chilled.

May Allah bless you all with happiness and good health, always! Eid Mubarak!

A breakfast to die for! I’m seriously serious!

Sabzi Kachori with Green Chillies and Tamarind Chutney.

If you happen to be in Kolkata (India), wake up early morning and head to Sharma’s for a Sabzi Kachori breakfast! It is hands down, the best breakfast in the world!

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Sweet Love!

Something’s are best when unchanged. Just like Calcutta’s good old Mishti Doi.

Mishti Doi is synonymous with Bengal and the Bengali’s are renowned world over for this sweet fermented yogurt.

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Fro Yo Love!

It’s been 18 years and i am still hoping to shed off the extra kilos from my body! My weight loss pattern has been a yo yo one. There have been times when I’ve lost 15 Kgs over 3 months and then, I’ve not even lost an ounce.

Over the time, I’ve realized that every individual is different and so is his/her body pattern. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. It is important to keep trying. It is more important to never ever give up! Some people might encourage but mostly, you will come across people who will look down upon you. Ignore all and keep walking.

And to keep myself going, i need to treat myself once in a week. Trust me guys, whether you are on a diet or no diet, a tad bit of indulgence is essential. So, i made some delicious Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt. And this recipe is a healthy one and packed full goodness.

The below recipe will serve 4 portions.

  • Bananas – 2 (sliced and frozen)
  • Honey – 3 Tbsp
  • Yogurt – 3 Tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 Tsp
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 Tbsp

The ingredients are not very many but they are just the right ones.

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it all for 3-4 mins.
  2. Pour it in an airtight container and freeze for about 6 hours. Preferably, overnight… That way, you need not wait for the froyo to set.
  3. I garnished my portion with some walnut caramel crumble but you can enjoy it just like that. I somehow feel that one can never go wrong with Bananas, Chocolate and Walnuts.. it is after all, a classic combination.

Can this recipe get any simpler or what!

As quoted by someone “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” And if it is your favorite fruit whipped up with some yogurt, it wouldn’t hurt at all.

Mango-ey Memories.

Summers are here… And with summers, comes the season of mangoes!  Yes, mango itself can be considered  a season. It is at the onset on spring that the raw mangoes hit the markets and we are all geared up to make pickles, sherbet, chutneys etc.

You will be amazed to know the variety of mangoes available in the market. I don’t know all but I can definitely  name a few – Alphonso, Banganapalli,  Chausa, Dussehri, Totapuri, Langra (my favourite), Kesar, Himsagar, Kishan Bhog..  It’s a long list.

Mangoes are an integral part of our meals – could be a mango shake to beat the heat or in the form of Aamras, that is eaten with chapati/rice in India. I have very fond memories with this fruit – just after dinner,  my dad used to sit with a platter of mangoes and a knife.  He used to cut the mangoes into chunks and feed us with his hands. And whenever he used to feed my mum,  all she said was “no darling,  I’m full.. I don’t want mangoes” and then after a pause, she used to take the piece and relish it! My sister, my dad and I had a great laugh over it..  This still is a ritual in my house.

Now that I live in Mumbai, I miss home. I miss eating mangoes with my family. So,  I cooked a delicious Mango Rice Pudding..

 

Here’s the recipe. This will make for 2-4 servings.

  • Rice – ½ Cup
  • Milk – 750 Ml
  • Cardamom – 2 Pods
  • Mango Puree – 1 Cup
  • Mango Extract – 1 Tsp
  • Sugar – ½ Cup or as per taste
  • Mango Pieces – 2 Tbsp for garnishing
  • Saffron and Almonds for garnishing
  1. Wash the rice and soak it for 30 mins. I used a particular kind of rice available  in East India – these are small grained. You could even use Basmati or any long grained rice.
  2. Pour milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil.  
  3. Add in the rice along with a pod or two of cardamom and cook till it is 3/4th done.
  4. Add in half cup sugar and stir.. Be careful with the sugar as the mango puree will also lend it’s sweetness. ++ when you cook with love,  the food is always sweet. Cheesy, but true!
  5. Cook till the rice is soft but not mushy.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the pudding cool for a bit..
  7. Add in the mango puree along with few drops of mango extract. Stir well.
  8. Let the pudding come to a room temperature and then, refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.
  9. Serve in little ramekin like bowls and garnish with saffron and almond flakes.

 

Now, I’ve  found another Mango fan in my family – my mum in law.  She just loves mangoes.. So much, that she can live on them all summer and if given the option, all her life. 

I hope you will give the recipe a try and create sweet memories  with your loved ones.