December 31, 2010

Kerala Style Eggless Plum/Fruit Cake

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead. Come December, all the bakeries in Kerala will have piled up the plum cakes. Though those plum cakes are available through out the year, the ones that arrive during the Christmas, is something special. We never miss to buy them during the season. I have been on the look out for the recipe and Aparna posted a Kerala style fruit cake. Now she did quite a research on the variants of the fruit cake and finally zeroed in on Ammini Ramachandran's recipe.

I decided to follow Aparna's since she said that recipe is close to what she had in mind and  her recipe has only two egg whites. As per her recipe, it was for two cakes. I wanted only one cake. So scaling down the recipe will mean only one egg white, which I decided to replace with milk. I agree the texture is not the same, but I got a decent cake and taste was close to what we got back in Kerala. 

Here is my version

You need

Dry fruits for soaking

  • Raisins - 1/2 cup (I used a mix of black and brown ones)
  • Dates - 1/2 cup
  • Tutti fruity - 1/4 cup
  • Candied orange peel - 2 tblspn
  • Candied ginger - 2 tblspn
  • Nuts - 1/2 cup
  • Orange juice - 1/4 cup

For Caramel Sauce

  • Sugar - 3 tblspn
  • Boiling water - 1/4 cup

For the cake

  • Maida - 1 cup
  • Butter - 100 gms/ 1/2 cup
  • Powdered brown sugar - 3/4 cup

  • Baking powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tspn
  • Milk - 2 tblspn

  • Spice powder - 1/2 tspn (Combo of clove+cinnamon+nutmeg powdered together)
  • Ginger powder - 1/4 tspn
  • Shahjeera- 1/2 tspn
  • Vanilla essence - 1/2 tspn


Take the dry fruit mix in a bowl. Add orange juice. The more it is soaked, better it tastes. I soaked for two days under refrigeration. On the day of baking, bring it to room temperature. Microwave it for 2 minutes or cook it on stove top till the fruits soften and the liquid dries up. Leave it to cool

To prepare the caramel, take sugar in a kadai and heat it. Let the sugar melt. Let the melted sugar take a dark brown color. Keep stirring it. Keep 1/4 cup of boiling water ready. When it reaches the brown color, slowly add the boiling water. Take care not to splash the hot liquid on your hand. Mix well. Remove from fire. Let it cool.

Bring butter to room temperature. Cream butter until cream and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar to the butter and mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of maida. Sieve the dry ingredients- maida, baking powder, baking soda together.

Stir in the dry ingredients along with the spice powders to the butter-sugar mix. Fold in gently. Don't over mix. Add the caramel sauce and milk too. Dust the soaked fruits with the reserved maida and fold into the batter. 
Grease the cake tin and  transfer the batter. I lined the tin with a butter paper.  Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 1 hour 30 minutes. Please check after 1 hour and 15 minutes. My oven tends to take more time than the suggested time.

Its always said, fruit cakes taste better as it matures. So decided to leave it for two days. But I was very impatient and couldn't control myself for more than a day and had to slice it to see, how it turned out. 

I felt the cake was very sweet. Probably the dates and the candied fruits added to the sweetness. So may be next time, I will reduce 1/4 cup of sugar considering the dry fruits added to it.

Here is wishing all my readers, friends and fellow bloggers a very happy and sparkling 2011.  As a blogger, I wish we see less of  Plagiarism in the coming year.

December 29, 2010

Corn Kurma

As soon as you hear the word - corn, I am sure this is the image that comes to most of your minds. Its hard to resist for me not to buy the corn when I see it roasted on the street side carts. Okay, this post is not about the roasted corn. Its a kurma using the fresh corn kernels.

I have noted down the recipe from a TV show, many years ago. Those days, the sweet corn was not very common. I had tried using the dried corn, which has to be soaked overnight. Still, the kernels were not cooked soft.  And with the sweet corn, flooded in the markets, things got easy.  Its an easy to make kurma and goes well with rotis,aappam or dosa too.

You need
Fresh corn kernels - 2 cup
Onion - 1 no
Chilli powder - 1 tspn
Turmeric - a pinch
Kitchen king masala - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 tblspn
Salt to taste

To grind
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Curd/Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Poppy seeds/Khus Khus - 1 tspn
Green chilly - 2 nos
Tomato - 1 no, chopped

Cook the corn kernels till soft in a pressure cooker for two whistles. I microwave it for 5 minutes. Chop onions.
Heat oil in a kadai. Saute onions till pink. Add chilli powder and turmeric. Then add cooked corn and salt. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile grind coconut, green chilly, khus khus and chopped tomato to a smooth paste. If you need to add water, add the curd. After grinding, mix in the remaining curd to the paste. Stir in the paste to the cooked corn. Adjust the consistency by adding water if needed. Bring it to a boil. Let it not simmer too much once it starts boiling since it curd and coconut is added, it will thin the gravy. Finally add kitchen king masala and remove from fire. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

December 24, 2010

Spicy Wheat Sesame Sticks

The evenings are very cold in my place. And a bowl of hot soup is very much welcome. I love bread sticks to go with the soup, which reminds me the train journeys where food is served. When I saw the sesame sticks recipe at Redchillies, it looked a quick recipe that could complement a bowl of soup. So those who have the yeast phobia, can surely give this a try.  This low fat,healthy sesame sticks are great to go with a bowl of soup or a cup of tea/coffee.

You need

Quick cooking oats - 1/2 cup

Wheat flour - 1 cup

Butter - 2 tblspn

Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup

Green chillies - 3 nos, ground to paste

Sugar - 1 tspn

Salt - 1/2 tspn

Baking powder - 1/2 tspn

Water - less than 1/2 cup

Melt the butter. Coarsely powder oats. Reserve a tablespoon of sesame seeds.

Take powdered oats, wheat flour, melted butter, sesame seeds, chilli paste, salt ,sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Mix well until the mix resembles bread crumbs.

Sprinkle water little by little to get a stiff dough. Don't add all the water at once.

Leave the dough for 30 minutes. Divide into 4 balls. Roll out each dough ball between two greased plastic sheets or cling film. Roll thin to get crispy crackers.

Slice into rectangle strips. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20 minutes until it is slightly brown. Flip the tray halfway through for even baking. I baked it in two batches. Got around 40 nos of 2 inch long strips.

The sticks were very tasty and can make a great snack to munch with out any guilt. I felt it tasted less spicy the next day.  To get more flakier and crispy sticks, you can increase the butter by another 2 tblspn.

Wishing all my readers, friends, fellow bloggers and their family a  very
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

December 18, 2010

Eggless Multigrain Brownies

Christmas is round the corner and am sure ovens at most of your homes must be overworking. So thought will share a brownies to celebrate the holidays ahead. I have adapted the recipe from Diana Desserts. I halved the recipe. I have made these brownies quite a number of times. Initially, I used only all purpose flour. Later when I was comfortable baking with wheat flour, I have tried with wheat flour and then using the multigrain atta too. I would rate the one with mutligrain as the best. So here it is.



You need

  • Multigrain Flour - 1 cup (Pillsburry brand)
  • All purpose flour - 3 tblspn
  • Water - 1/2 cup + 2 tspn
  • Butter - 1/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder - 5 tblspn
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Salt - 1/4 tspn
  • Vanilla essence - 1/2 tspn
  • Baking powder - 1 1/4 tspn





Combine 3 tblspn of all purpose flour with the water to form a smooth paste. Cook till it turns thick. Keep stirring so as not to form any lumps. Keep this aside to cool.


Melt butter in a pan and stir in cocoa. Sift flour and baking powder.  Beat sugar, salt and vanilla essence into the cooked maida mixture. Add butter-cocoa mixture too.


Stir the wet mix to the dry ingredients. Batter consistency will be slightly thick, similar to muffins.

Grease a 6 x 6 baking tin. Pour the mix and spread even the mix. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

It might look too much of work like making the paste, melting butter etc. But I assure its worth all the effort especially if you are looking for an eggless brownie.


December 17, 2010

Eggless Fig cookies- using fresh figs

I think it gets little difficult to get back to blogging after a break, however short it is. I was out of station for the
first half of December. And before I realise, the New Year will be here. Time surely flies. Few days with my family was very relaxing. Enjoyed to the hilt, especially the shopping with my sister. Only two of us went and shopped till both of us could not carry any more.

I wanted to make this post just before I left, but couldn't. After the jam with fresh figs, my next was to bake with them. On searching the net, I came across various baking recipes and decided to go for the Italian fig cookies recipe. Do drop by the site to see the orginal recipe and the ingredient substitutions given. I have made few changes to the recipe. Here it is

You need
  • All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
  • Wheat flour/Atta - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Oil - 1/2 cup
  • Milk- 1/3 cup
  • Baking soda - 1 tspn
  • Baking powder - 1 tspn
  • Salt - 1/2 tspn
  • Powdered cloves - 1/2 tspn
  • Fresh figs, chopped - 1 cup
  • Almonds, chopped - 1/2 cup


Cream oil and sugar. Add milk to it.

Sieve both flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder into a bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet mix.  Mix in the figs and nuts.  

Drop tablespoonfuls to a greased cookie sheet. Don't get tempted to spread the dough. It spread on its own. Leave enough space for it to spread.

Bake at 175 C for 25 minutes, till the top turns golden brown. This measurement yields 24 nos. The cookies with fresh figs had a crisp crust with a moist inside.   I cannot say about the shelf life beyond three days, since it was all gone by then.