Monday, July 18, 2016

Coconut Macaroons - Easy, Delicious, So Good

Ingredients:
  • 5 cups of shredded sweetened coconut (2 bags)
  • 2/3 cup of flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
  • ¼ tsp of salt
Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven 350 Fahrenheit. Prepare your baking sheet with permanent paper
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the condensed milk and vanilla extract. Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract; mix well. The batter will be stiff. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, so the batter is easier to work with.
  3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet 1 in. apart. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Immediately remove from baking sheets and let it cool on a wire rack. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Half Batch Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup and ¼ cup of oat flour or all-purpose flour
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ⅓ cup of chocolate chips or less, if wanted
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1-3 tbsp milk of choices
  • Few chopped walnuts, if wanted
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 380 Fahrenheit degrees. Prepare your baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix very well. Add the wet ingredients, chocolate chips, walnuts, etc. and then form it into a ball. If you want soft cookies, refrigerate until cold (otherwise, just bake right way). Spoon cookie dough into the prepared baking tray and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they spread out and look just a little undercooked. Remove from baking tray and place on a wire rack to cool.
***NOTES***
  • If you want soft cookies, store in lidded plastic container. If you want crispy cookies, store in a lidded glass container.





Heathy Banana Bread with Indian Twist ~ Cardamom Flavored Banana Bread

Ingredients:
  • ⅓  cup of oil, such as coconut oil (melted) or vegetable oil
  • ½  cup honey or any other liquid sweetener
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed ( approx. 1 cup mashed)
  • ¼  cup of milk of choice
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon or 1 tsp of vanilla extract ( I used 1 tsp)
  • 1 ¾  cups whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder (replace replace with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, if wanted.)
  • Optional mix ins: ½  cup of anything like walnuts, pecans, dried fruits, raisins, etc.
Directions:
  1. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat/whisk the oil and honey well. Add the eggs and beat well. Then add the mashed bananas, milk, and vanilla. Whisk gently the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in additional mix ins, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. It would take longer if you added additional mix ins. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then to a wire rack to cool before slicing.  
***NOTES***
  1. You can use jaggery in the place of the honey. Simply heat 1 cup jaggery (grated) and oil over very low heat. Stir until it is like the consistency of melted chocolate and then remove it from the heat. Set aside to cool.
*Adapted from Cookie and Kate







Friday, July 15, 2016

Homemade Mango Fruit Leather in the Oven - Aamshotto in the Oven

Ingredients:
  • 3 large ripe mangoes, diced
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 175°F. Line your baking trays with parchment papers.
  2. Add the diced mangoes to a food processor or blender. Puree the mangoes until smooth. Spread and divide the mangoes puree evenly between the prepared baking trays. It should be about 1/8 inch thick. Place the baking tray in the oven. Bake the puree in the oven for around 3 to 4 hours or until fully dried.
  3. Remove from the oven and cut it into strips. Roll in parchment papers, if wanted. You will know it is done when you can peel the puree (leather) of the parchment papers and the puree feels dry to the touch and pliable. If the bottom side of the puree (leather) is still wet, flip the puree over and continue drying them in the oven until the are dried.
  4. Store the leather in an airtight container. It would keep good at room temperature for a few days. This can also be kept in the refrigerator for few weeks to a month, if not eaten quickly.
***TIPS***
  • The time will depend on the consistency of the puree. Thinner consistency will take less time to dry, thicker consistency will take more time.
  • Use very ripe mangoes, so you don't have to add extra sugar. As the puree dries, it would become sweeter.
  • You can use store bought mango pulp/puree instead of fresh mangoes.






Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bengali Salad ~ Bengali Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
  • Cucumbers (peeled) - 1 medium, finely julienned 
  • Yellow onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes - 2, finely chopped
  • Green Chillies - 2-3, finely chopped
  • Cilantro or coriander - 1/3 cup or less if wanted, finely chopped
  • Black Pepper - to taste
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Lime juice - 1 tbs
  • Peanuts (if wanted) - 1 tbs
  • Apples (if wanted) - 1 small, finely chopped
  • Mangoes (if wanted) - 1 small, finely chopped
Directions:
  • Chop all of the ingredients. In a bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature or immediately. 

Bengali Boris - How To Make Lentil Dumplings or Dal Boris in the Oven

Ingredients:
  • Ural Dal - 2 Cup
  • Salt - A pinch
  • Nigella seeds (if wanted) - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - as needed (use little as possible)
Directions:
  1. Wash the dal and soak it overnight or for 5-6 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible. Grind the dal with little water as possible. Add salt. You will probably need around 1-2 tablespoons of water. Don't add too much water or you will end up with a thin batter that will cause flat boris. It would not hold it trademark shape.
  3. Line your baking tray with parchment paper or spray your baking tray with oil. Using your hands, scoop out very small ball of the dal batter and place on the baking tray. Repeat till you use up all of the batter and there is no more room left in the baking tray for any more. Remember to leave a little bit of a space between the boris.
  4. Place the baking tray in the oven. Bake the boris in the oven for around 4 to 5 hours. The time will depended on the consistency of the batter and your oven's temperature. Keep checking on the boris regularly
  5. You will know it is done when you shake the tray and its comes out loose. It will come out on its own.
***TIPS***
  • You can use a ziploc bag or a pastry/piping bag to make the shape of boris. Cut one corner of the ziploc bag to pipe small drops/shapes. If using piping/pastry bag, use a round piping tip.
  • Store the boris in an airtight container. It would keep good for a year or so.
  • Choose your boris size wisely. Bigger size boris will take longer time to dry. Make sure that the boris size are even.
  • Use the lowest temperature possible or otherwise the boris would burn. It would not taste good. The lowest temperature provides the tastiest result and would not burn the boris.

Mini Gulab Jamun Cake

Ingredients:

Cake
  • 3 Tablespoons of buttermilk 
  • 1/8 Teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 large egg, divided
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp rosewater
Frosting
  • 3 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbs of butter, softened
  • 6 tbs of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
  • Rose water to taste
Additional/Opitonal Items
  • 6 medium size Gulab Jamuns, mini Gulab Jamuns for decorations
  • Dried rose petals for decorations
  • 1 4" pans or 2 aluminum cans 
Directions:

Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Grease your pans with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly flour each pans or aluminum cans.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, cardamon powder, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In an another bowl or cup, mix the rose water and buttermilk together. Keep aside.
  4. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat it well to a creamy consistency. It should be fluffy. Slowly add in the oil until incorporated. Then add the egg yolk until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in small intervals, mix. Add the buttermilk, one tablespoons at a time, mix. Repeat until done and set this aside.
  5. In a medium bowl with scrupulously clean beaters, add the egg white and beat it on medium till stiff peaks forms. Now, turn off the beaters and switch to a rubber spatula. Gently fold the peaks into the cake batter. 
  6. Divide the mix between the cake pans or cans, evenly. Place into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes, take it out and rest on a wire/cooling rack until completely cooled. 
Cream Cheese Frosting with Rose Water and Cardamom
  1. Ensure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature, or else you will end up with lumps. Beat the cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Add the cardamom powder and mix. Add the rose water to taste.  
To Assemble
  1. Slice the cake in half horizontally. You should end up with 2 layers. 
  2. Crumble 6 gulab jamuns. Set this aside. Don't crumble the other gulab jamuns. 
  3. Place one cake onto a cake plate, bottom side up. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting over the layer. Sprinkle the crumbled gulab jamuns. Repeat for the second layer. Frost the top with the remaining frosting. Place the remaining gulab jamuns around the edges of the cake. You can decorate the top of the cake with the rose petals, if you want.
***NOTE***
  • The icing that spills from the sides can be used to spread around the cake. If you want to frost the entire cake, simply double the frosting. 
*Adapted from Whitbit's Kitchen 
*I didn't want to make a huge 9" cake, so I adapted to my needs. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sorshe Ilish ~ Hilsa In Hot Mustard Sauce/Gravy

Ingredients:
  • Hilsa fish or ilish fish (cleaned) - 4 pieces
  • Green chilies slitted - 3 or 4
  • Mustard oil or flavorless oil - 3~4 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Nigella seeds - 1/3 tsp
  • Mustard paste - 2~3 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Directions:
  1. Clean the fish pieces. Rub the salt and turmeric generously on the fish pieces. Let the fish marinate for 5 minutes or more.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the mustard paste with 3/4 cup of water. Set this aside.
  3. Heat oil on medium high. Fry the fish pieces lightly. Don't fry it too much. Keep aside.
  4. In the same oil, add the nigella seeds and green chiles. When it start to splutter and also when it starts to release an aroma, add the mustard mix carefully. Add turmeric powder and salt and stir well.
  5. Carefully put the lightly fried fish pieces in the pan. Make sure that the sauce/gravy covers the fish pieces. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer on medium high.
  6. When the gravy/sauce becomes thick and the water is absorbed, add 1 tsp of raw mustard oil over it. Take it out from the heat. Serve it with plain white rice. Enjoy.
***NOTES***
  1. You can skip the frying process if you want. Just add the raw ilish fish to the mustard sauce.
  2. Mustard paste is made with a desired amount of seeds and a little bit of water. Put it in the blender and mix. If you over mix, it would turn bitter. Make this in bigger quantity and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It would last up approximately two weeks.
  3. This recipe is versatile. You can make this with different type of fishes such as rohu, sardines, etc. Just fry those fish pieces till brown and then add it to the mustard sauce/gravy.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hilsa/Ilish Bhaja Recipe

Ingredients:
  • Hilsa fish or ilish fish (cleaned) - 4 pieces
  • Green chilies slitted (if wanted) - 3 or 4
  • Mustard oil or flavorless oil - for frying
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tbs
  • Red chili powder - 1 tbsp or less to taste
  • Salt - to taste
Directions:
  1. Clean the fish pieces. Rub the salt, turmeric, and chili powder generously on the fish pieces. Let the fish marinate for 5 minutes or more.
  2. Heat oil on medium high. Fry the fish pieces until golden and crispy. Optionally, you may add the slitted green chilies to the frying oil at this time. Use the oil remaining after frying to put in the warm boiled rice. Take out the green chiles and serve it along with the rice and fish. Enjoy.

Ingredients:
  • Hilsa fish or ilish fish (cleaned) - 4 pieces
  • Green chilies slitted (if wanted) - 3 or 4
  • Mustard oil or flavorless oil - for frying
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tbs
  • Red chili powder - 1 tbsp or less to taste
  • Salt - to taste
Directions:
  1. Clean the fish pieces. Rub the salt, turmeric, and chili powder generously on the fish pieces. Let the fish marinate for 5 minutes or more.
  2. Heat oil on medium high. Fry the fish pieces until golden and crispy. Optionally, you may add the slitted green chilies to the frying oil at this time. Use the oil remaining after frying to put in the warm boiled rice. Take out the green chiles and serve it along with the rice and fish. Enjoy.