Saturday, March 23, 2019

Grapefruit Cake

Grapefruit Cake

I had been wanting to try out this recipe for a while now but was sceptical about the result. Besides, the orange season was in its full bloom and I ended up baking my favourite tried-and-tested all the time. Finally the turn of the grapefruit came. And I loved the result. I used the segments and cut them up fine. 
Next time, I will use a bit of the peel too. Watch this space. But in the mean time go ahead and bake this superb tea or coffee cake. 

Whole-wheat flour – 1 cup
Custard powder (vanilla) – 1 tbsp
Eggs – 2
Curd – ¼ cup
Jaggery powder – ¾ or 1 cup
Baking powder - 1tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Coconut oil – ¼ cup
Grapefruit (segments) – 4 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Lime juice or vinegar - 1/2 tsp

Chop the grapefruit fine
Separate the yolks and whites of eggs
Beat yolks with jaggery and oil till well blended
Sieve flour twice with baking powder and soda
Add to the egg and oil mixture and mix well        
Beat the white with salt, vinegar or lime juice till stiff
Add slowly to the flour mix little at a time and mix using cut and fold method
Add the grapefruit and mix slowly
Add curd to adjust consistency of batter
Keep the batter a little thick
Bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees C for about 20 to 25 mins
Let cool
Enjoy warm with hot tea or coffee

Health Benefits of Grapefruit
Contains vitamins C, A, B, zinc, copper and iron - Immune system booster
Fibre rich - Appetite control
Aids weight loss
Prevents insulin resistance and diabetes
High potassium levels – boosts heart health
Reduce risk of high BP
Antioxidant rich – Vitamin C, Betacarotene, Lycopene, Flavanones
Reduces risk of kidney stones  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Weed With Benefits

Weed With Benefits

It's officially called Purslane and is a superfood. It has always been regarded as an unwelcome guest in the gardening world, but it actually has numerous health benefits that one shouldn’t ignore. It’s actually a superfood because of the vast assortment of vitamins and minerals that can be extracted from this herb. It is unique with a tangy taste and can be cooked just like other leafy vegetables.

Quick Stir Fry with Chickpea Flour (Besan)

Ghol leaves with tender stems - 250 gms
Coriander-Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Red Chili powder – 1 or 2 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (hing) – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) – ½ tsp
Roasted gram flour – 3 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Heat 1 tbsp oil
Add the veggie, salt and stirfry
Cover and cook for 5 mins
Add the rest of the masalas and stirfry for 2 mins
Add the flour and mix well
Add the rest of the oil and stir fry for 5 mins
Serve with bhakri or roti


Mixed dal (cooked) – 2 cups
Ghol leaves with tender stems – 1 cup
Asafoetida (hing) – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chilies – 3 or 4 (adjust according to taste)
Coriander-Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red Chili powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Peanuts (raw) – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Heat oil
Add mustard seeds
Let it splutter
Add cumin seeds
When they splutter, add curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste
Fry for a minute
Add the veggie and stirfry with all the masalas
Add ¼ cup water and salt, cover and let it cook
 Add the mixed dal and peanuts
Cover and let it cook for 5 mins more

Serve hot with steamed brown rice

Ghol Dumplings with Flat Green Beans

Onion (medium) – 1
Ghol  leaves with stems – 150 gms
Garlic-Green Chili paste – 2 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 2 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Chickpea flour – ¼ cup
Jowar flour ¼ cup
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mix all the ingredients well except the flours and oil
Add the flours and mix well
Add water If required
Add oil to form smooth dough
With oiled palms, make dumplings and steam

Beans – 250 gms
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ajwain (bishops weed) – ½ tsp
Asafoetida (hing) – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Heat oil
Add mustard seed
Let it splutter
Add cumin seeds
When it splutters, add ajawain seeds and asafetida
Add the bean and mix well
Cover and cook
Add the rest of the spices and dumplings
Cover and cook for 10 mins till well blended
Serve hot with phulkas

Health Benefits
  • It has antibacterial, antiscorbutic (combats scurvy), depurative (detoxifying and purifying), diuretic (increases amount of water in the body), and febrifuge (reduces fever) properties.
  • Its leaves contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for helping to prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Omega-3 fats also play a role in lowering the risk for the development of heart disease by combatting inflammation.
  • Contains zinc, phosphorus, manganese, copper and calcium.6 Zinc is responsible for maintaining and improving immune system function. It is also responsible for fighting off free radicals that may cause cancer.
  • Phosphorus and calcium are responsible for bone and dental health. The latter is also essential for nerve, muscle, and blood function
  • An excellent source of vitamin A

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Pineapple Orange Layer Cake

Pineapple Orange Layer Cake
My love affair with fresh seasonal fruits continues. It's nearing end of the pineapple and orange season and I just had to try out this recipe I had stumbled upon last week. I have modified and simplified it and the result is just amazing. You can enjoy a yummy, super healthy, tangy-sweet, low-fat, nutritious cake. I baked two cakes. I left one as an orange coffee cake and used the frosting on the second one. You can see orange chunks in it. With the frosted one you will bite into chunks of fresh orange and pineapple. This cake is best had fresh. It's overflowing with the fresh juices of the fruits

Whole-wheat flour - 2 cups
Custard Powder – 1 tbsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Orange juice – ½ cup
Orange zest - 5 tbsp
Eggs - 3
Oil - 1 cup
Curd (strained) – ¼ cup
Jaggery – 1 ½ cups
Oranges (peeled) – 2

Blend jaggery and oil together till smooth
Juice the oranges and keep aside the pulp
Add orange juice and the thick curd to the jaggery-oil mix
Beat eggs
Add to the jaggery-oil mixture
Sieve the dry ingredients and add gradually to the wet mix using cut and fold method
Chop the leftover orange pulp and add to the mix along with the orange zest
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 20 mins

Filling and Frosting
Fresh Pineapple pieces (finely cut and crushed) – ½ cup

Cream Cheese
Low-fat paneer (from toned cow milk) - 100 gms (from 500 ml milk)
Milkmaid - 2 tbsp

Whip together low-fat paneer and milkmaid to form cream cheese. Add pineapple pieces and mix slowly
Cut the cake horizontally into two parts
Spread the filling evenly
Place pineapple slices over it
Cover with the other piece
Spread the frosting evenly on top
Refrigerate it for about an hour
Refrigerate the remaining (if any)

Health Benefits of Pineapple
Bone strength
Contains nearly 75 percent of the daily-recommended value of the mineral manganese, which is essential in developing strong bones and connective tissue
Eye health
Can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a disease that affects the eyes as people age, due in part to its high amount of vitamin C and the antioxidants
Contains dietary fiber, essential in improving bowel movements and keeping your intestines healthy
Contains significant amounts of bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein and helping digestion
Bromelain levels in pineapple help reduce excessive coagulation of the blood
Heart Health

Contains anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that helps reduce the risk of many diseases, like heart disease

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Crunchy Orange Cookies With Chocolate Topping

Crunchy Orange Cookies With Chocolate Topping

You will find it extremely difficult to resist these scrumptious and crunchy biscuits especially with oranges slowly disappearing from the market. Add more zest for that extra punch. Extremely healthy with wholewheat flour, jaggery, fresh orange juice and the antioxidant loaded orange zest, go for it!

Whole wheat flour – 250 gm
Custard powder – 2 tbsp
Cornflour – 1 tbsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Sesame seeds – 3 tbsp
Freshly squeezed orange juice – ½ cup
Zest of 2 oranges (can add 3 also)
Jaggery (powdered) – 100 gm
Butter (melted) – 100 gm
Coconut or any vegetable oil – ¼ cup

Sift the dry ingredients twice
WhIsk together orange juice, oil and butter
Add jaggery and whisk it well till it is completely dissolved
Add orange zest and sesame seeds and mix well
Add half of the dry ingredients to this and whisk till the mixture starts to thicken
Add the rest and knead gently
Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins
Take portions of the dough and roll it out and cut it out in desired shapes
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for about 15 or 20 mins
Let it cool in the oven

Melt dark chocolate
Dip each cookie in it or make your own designs on it
Enjoy for breakfast or as a teatime snack guilt free

Health Benefits Of Orange Peels (zest)

Orange peels are rich in flavonoids, like hesperidin and polymethoxyflavones (PMFs), and other phytochemicals, which have many health benefits
Compounds in oranges may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy and heart-healthy effects
Orange peel contains higher amounts of certain nutrients, like vitamin C, than its flesh
Orange peel also contains considerable amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins and dietary fiber
Orange peels have an intense orange and bitter flavor; the bitter taste is the result of the many flavonoids that it contains


Friday, February 22, 2019

Orange Sesame Cake with Low fat Cream Cheese Filling

Orange Sesame Cake with Low fat Cream Cheese Filling

My fascination for fruit based desserts and cakes continues. It's so easy to make a simple orange sponge cake. I wanted to try out something more intense; and was thrilled when I came across this recipe. The draw was the toasted sesame seeds on top. Not only is it nutritious but also adds a healthy crunch to the cake. This cake is a little tedious to put together. but it's totally worth it. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Flour - 1 ½ cups
Custard Powder – 1 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 ½ tsp
Baking Soda - ½ tsp
Orange zest - 3 tbsp
Eggs - 2
Oil - ½ cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Orange juice - ½ cup
Sesame seeds (toasted) - 3 to 4 tbsp

Beat jaggery and oil together till smooth
Add orange juice
Beat eggs
Add to the oil mixture
Sieve the dry ingredients and add to the egg mix
Mix the orange zest
Top the batter with the sesame seeds. Keep 1 tbsp aside
Bake. Cool

Oranges (medium sized) – 2 or 3
Jaggery – ½ cup
Water – ½ cup
Slit the oranges horizontally and keep aside
Heat water, add jaggery. Let it mix well and form slightly syrupy
Add the orange slices and cook till translucent

Cream Cheese Filling
Low-fat paneer (from toned cow milk) - 100 gms from 500 ml milk
Milkmaid - 2 tbsp
Blend together to form cream cheese. Add a bit of orange flesh and mix

Assemble The Cake
Cut the cake horizontally into two
Spread the cream cheese layer generously
Place the orange slices over it
Cover with the other slice
Place orange slices on it
Pour a bit of the syrup on it
Top with the remaining sesame seeds
Serve warm

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Boosts Digestion
Stabilizes blood pressure
Boosts bone health
Helps Fight Stress and Depression
High Source of Unsaturated Fats
Good Source of Energy
Boosts Dental Health
Boosts Skin Health
Anti-ageing properties
Triggers Hair Growth

Monday, February 11, 2019

Spicy Clams In A Claypot (Mangalorean style)

Clams Masala (Mangalorean style)

Clams – 500 gms

To Roast
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds (dhania) – 3  tsp
Peppercorns (kala miri) – 1 tsp
Dried Red chilies (Byedgi variety) – 18 (adjust according to spice level)

To add to masala
Coconut – ¼ o ½
Garlic – 12 cloves
Tamarind – 2 tbsp

For tempering                        
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves (kadi patta – ¼ cup
Coconut oil – 30 to 40 ml

Other ingredients
Onions (finely chopped)  - 2
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp


Step 1
Dry roast the spices in little coconut oil
Powder it
Add tamarind and blend it well
Step 2
Crush coconut and garlic flakes
Add to the spice mix in a bowl
Step 3
Heat oil
Add mustard seeds
Let it splutter
Add curry leaves
Add onions and little salt
When onions turn translucent, add turmeric powder and clams
Add little water and cook it
Add the coconut-spice mix
Adjust salt and mix it well
Serve with Manglorean brown rice, dal and a green vegetable or salad

Health Benefits Of Clams

Contains high levels of vitamin B12
Best Lean Protein Option
Boosts Immunity
Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Rich in iron

Natural Multivitamin dose - Vitamin C, B 12, copper, phosphorus,riboflavin and iron  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Bikini Bread

Bikini Bread

I am a die-hard fan of fresh fruits and veggies and like to bake with them whenever possible. It's a good idea to include their natural goodness in food. So my paranthas and cakes will always be loaded with these naturals. The flavour of the week is zucchini, one of my favourites. This one has spices and jaggery to to give it a natural spice n sweet flavour with walnuts to add that crunch. This bread can be a 5 pm hunger snack or perfect breakfast on the go! Teamed with eggs it's your balanced morning meal. And it's quick to make. You have to beat the eggs lightly, unlike a cake where you have to beat the whites separately till light and fluffy. This loaf is a happy cross between a bread and cake. It's called Zucchini Bikini Bread. Bikini rhymes with zucchini and is added just for effect. So happy baking! 

Whole wheat flour – 1 ½ cup
Jaggery (powder) – 1 cup
Salt – ½ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder – ½ tsp
Cloves powder – ½ tsp
Ginger powder – ½ tsp
Eggs – 2
Coconut oil – ½ cup
Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
Walnut pieces – ¼ cup (optional)
Zucchini (grated) – 1 cup (heaped
Banana (elaichi) – 1 (overripe)

Beat oil and eggs together
Mix all the dry ingredients
Add slowly to the egg mix and mix
Add the zucchini and walnuts and mix
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 25 mins
Cool slightly and serve warm with a hot cup of tea or coffee 

Health Benefits of Zucchini
Loaded with antioxidants
Improves digestion
Slows down aging
Lowers blood sugar levels
Supports healthy circulation and a healthy heart
Improves eye health
Boosts energy
Weight loss
Improves thyroid and adrenal functions