Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mishti Doi (Caramalized Baked Yogurt)

This is a no fail recipe which is absolutely delicious! It almost tasted like a cheesecake. The traditional Bengali sweet dish...mishti doi is made of caramelized sugar and thick yogurt. I wanted to try a baked version and found a collection of mishti doi recipes here and tried out one of them with a little twist. I used caramelized condensed milk following the directions found of Nestle's recipe page here. Instead of boiling the can in a double boiler as suggested I used a pressure cooker and boiled the can for about 40 minutes on low heat. The caramelized condensed milk can be eaten as a dessert just by the spoonful! Here it made the mishi doi special by giving it the rich flavor, sweetness and color.


1 can condensed milk
1 can [12 oz.] evaporated milk (plain full fat milk can also be used)
Use condensed milk can to measure yogurt and use 1 and 1/2 can non fat Greek yogurt
(any other yogurt would work as well)
Cardamom seeds, crushed 
1/4 cup chopped pistachios and sliced almonds


First caramelized the condensed milk by boiling the unopened can in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes. Let it come to room temperature before opening the can or it might burst.
Pour all the ingredients (except the nuts) in a large mixing bowl. Mix  well with  hand blender until froth forms on top. Pour the mixture into baking dish. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and place the baking dish uncovered for about 50 minutes. Check to see it is set.Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the chopped nuts and let it cool. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours to chill before serving.

Recipe source: http://www.harekrsna.com/practice/prasadam/recipes/sweets8a.htm

Monday, February 25, 2013

Eggless Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butterchips

I have recently been practicing my hand at baking....something that I have never been very successful at! After a couple of attempts at baking simple cakes and cookies I have begun to gather a little confidence and even enjoyed experimenting with baking. This is one simple recipe using over ripe bananas to make this delicious bread.I found an easy and simple recipe to make this eggless banana bread and adapted it just a little bit.
Here it is.


4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups spelt flour or all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk/soy milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 pinch salt
(Optional ingredients)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas with butter.  Add in milk, vanilla, and mix.  Add in sugar, baking soda, salt, and mix.  Add flour gradually and mix well. Add the chocolate and peanut butter chips (if using). Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds and a few chocolate and peanut  butter chips. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from here: http://australian.food.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-eggless-banana-bread-447487

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spicy Kung Pao Style Chinese Noodles and Tofu Stir Fry

 The smell of good food always make me hungry, especially of something like a stir fry from an Asian restaurant or the Indian-Chinese street food.  It is not easy to get that unique flavor of a restaurant style stir fry at home unless you have the professional tools for it like a large wok and gas stove with high flame. I recently tried a Black pepper tofu recipe from the wonderful cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. It was so good that I wanted to have more of those flavors. So I decided to make this noodle and vegetable dish by incorporating some of the flavors from that. I made it Kung Pao style which is usually a spicy stir fry with chilies and peanuts and bit of sweetness in it. Stir fry does need a little preparation and the cooking has to be done fast. The vegetables have to be chopped and kept ready, the noodles boiled and the spices and different sauces mixed and kept ready. I enjoyed making and eating this delicious and healthier Chinese take out at home.


4 blocks of medium firm tofu (19oz box)
1 fistful spaghetti
4 tablespoons stir fry sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 -2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
sesame oil for cooking
cornflour for coating the tofu
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4-5 green onion
1 small red onion
black pepper
crushed red pepper
dry red chillies
10 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
2"ginger finely chopped
handful of broken cashews or roasted peanuts
salt to taste


  1. Break the broccoli florets and wash them
  2. Drop the florets in boiling water for about a minute and transfer to ice cold water to retain the color. Drain and keep aside
  3. Boil the noodles. Drain and add a little sesame oil.
  4. Dice the red and green bell peppers
  5. Drain the tofu blocks
  6. Cube the tofu and toss in cornflour
  7. Finely chop the garlic and ginger
  8. Mix the stir fry sauce, sriracha, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and salt in a bowl 

Heat sesame oil in a non stick pan and slide the cornflour coated tofu cubes in it. Shallow fry till the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Drain on a paper towel. Add more oil if needed in the same pan and add thinly sliced red onions or shallots and cook till light brown. Now add the chopped ginger, garlic, cashews and dry red chilies. Cook for a minute and add sauce mix. Let it come to a boil and add the water and mix it well. Now mix in the fried tofu and the noodles. Finally add  the steamed broccoli and the diced peppers. Remove from heat and season with a lot of black pepper  and chopped spring onions. Serve hot.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Gujarati kadhi

Gujarati kadhi is much lighter and sweeter than the other type which is thicker in consistency and usually has pakode soaked in it (fried dumplings). Both are delicious! I like to sometimes just drink up the Gujarati kadhi like buttermilk. It is traditionally served with khichdi. But a dry vegetable like bhindi/okra or the traditional oondhiyu which is delicious mix of special vegetables and spices cooked together goes well with a bowl of piping hot kadhi.I made a dry cauliflower and potato vegetable to go along with plain boiled rice.


2 cups slightly sour yogurt
2  tablespoon gram flour (besan)
1"ginger, 2 small green chilies and 5-6curry leaves (made into a fine paste)
2 tablespoons sugar or powdered jaggery
3-4 cloves
1 teaspoon each mustard and cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds 
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
a pinch of turmeric powder
1 small stick of cinnamon (optional)
a few curry leaves
1-2 dry red chilies (optional)
salt to taste
few sprigs finely chopped cilantro


Whisk the yogurt along with, gram flour, salt and sugar till it has no lumps and is completely smooth. I like to use a hand blender to make it smooth. Add the ginger, green chili and curry leaves paste and mix well. Heat oil and drop the mustard seeds, cumin, methi, cloves, curry leaves and cinnamon. Once the seeds sputter throw in the red chilies, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Keep the heat on low to medium and quickly pour the yogurt mix. Keep stirring continuously otherwise the yogurt might curdle. Bring it to a boil and add two and half cups of water. Boil on low heat for another 5-10 minutes.
PS: The kadhi can also be make by boiling the whisked yogurt with besan and the ginger paste first and tempering can be done later just before eating.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pav bhaji burger

After I made these I was wondering why did I not think about this earlier? Pav bhaji is a delicious and popular street food in India made with potatoes, onions and spices. It is kind of a vegetarian sloppy joe...spicy and a little sloppy. It is served with a bun called pav which is slathered with butter. I came up with the idea of making a pav bhaji burger when I was left with a bag of mini hamburger buns. I had to use them so I decided to try out making vegetarian burger using the same spices and vegetables that are used in pav bhaji. I loved how delicious they turned out to be. Usually pav bhaji is eaten with raw onion with fresh lemon wedges and green chilies  To substitute that I made a crunchy salad with onions, red cabbage and roasted corn.


3 potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 heaped tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 cup mixed boiled or frozen vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrots)
1/4 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped bell peppers
2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mango powder (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil (as required for cooking)
Corn flour (for dredging)

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and saute for a few minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic paste and cook till the raw smell goes away (about 2-3 minutes). Add the pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Meanwhile roughly grind the mixed boiled or frozen vegetables and add it to the pan. Mash the boiled potatoes and mix it in. Add salt according to taste and adjust seasonings. Finally add the finely chopped bell peppers and tomatoes. Sprinkle pepper and dry mango powder. 
Once the potato mix cools a little make small balls with the potatoes. Take some corn flour in a plate and dredge the potato balls in cornflour. Heat a skillet with oil and butter and shallow fry the potato balls on both sides till crispy and golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and place it in a burger bun with your favorite fixings. I made mine with some crispy fried onions seasoned with salt and pepper, spicy mango chutney and a side salad.