Friday, January 25, 2013

Vanilla Pound Cake

Had been thinking of doing a sweet post for a while now.Last month was very hectic because of which I was not being able to do too much of baking.But now I have decided to do a lot more baking and treat my boys.So what better way to start the baking season with a easy Vanilla Pound cake. This can be stored for almost a week and is really helpful when you have sudden guests over for tea! The thing with pound cakes is that it doesn't use too many ingredients so its very essential to use butter and good quality vanilla essence.


Flour - 2 cups

Baking powder - 1tsp

Salt - a pinch

Vanilla essence - 1 tbsp

Sugar - 1 cup

Butter - 1 cup

Eggs - 4 nos

Milk - 2 tbsp


Grease a baking pan. It is advisable to use a loaf tin but you can use any other. Pre heat oven to 250 deg C.

Sift the flour along with the baking powder and salt and keep aside.

In a bowl , add the butter and sugar and mix well. Its easier if you use an electric mixer.

Next add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence.

Once you have a creamy mixture start adding the flour gradually. Mix it gently taking care that no lumps are formed.

Lastly add the milk and fold it in to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into your baking tin and bake for 35 - 40 mins. Once the cake turns brown in colour insert a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean , take it off the oven and let it cool for a while.

Slice it up  and serve !

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yum treats - Prawns in lemon butter sauce

Prawns are ever so popular in our household. Husband loves it in any which way I cook it.Todays recipe is super easy and so tasty to say the least. Just a few simple ingredients and a yummy dish ready to be served.The trick however is never to overcook prawns. While cooking it in indian recipes we do tend to overcook them but not in this one.I have here used medium sized fresh prawns and as it is living in Kolkata there is never the dearth of fresh prawns!


Fresh prawns - 10-12 nos medium sized, shelled and deveined

Butter - 2 tbsp

Olive oil - 1 tbsp

Garlic - 4 pods - finely sliced

Red chillies - 2 nos - finely sliced

Lemon juice - juice of one lime

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Spring onion - chopped for garnish


Clean the prawns and marinate with salt and pepper. Keep aside for 5 mins.

In a pan add the butter and olive oil. Its important to add the oil so that it prevents the butter from burning.

Next tip in the sliced garlic and chillies.Fry till light brown in colour.

Add the marinated prawns. ( keep the heat low of your burner)

Fry on both sides for 2-3 mins or till the prawns turn opaque in color.

Add the lime juice and remove from heat.

Garnish with chopped onions.

It has been my attempt to share with everyone easy recipes that dont require too much preparation and can be made on an everyday basis. This is one of them..hope you try this and let me know.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Simple food - Palak Dal ( spinach with lentils)

Today's post is all about simple tasty food. Bored of eating dal the same way ,Dal Palak is something so easy  to make and full of nutrition.I have to constantly find new ways to make my 5 year old day some veggies and this is yet another attempt. There are many ways to make this dish. You could boil the Palak and dal together or make it the way I made it.


Spinach  - 1 bunch ( blanched in hot water )

Masur dal - 1 cup

Turmeric - 1 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Garlic  - 3 pods chopped

Salt - to taste

Refined oil - 1 tbsp

Green chiilies - 2-3 nos ( I used garden fresh red chillies)


Boil the dal in a pressure cooker with some salt and turmeric.

In a pan heat the oil ,splutter the cumin seeds.

Next add the chopped garlic and blanched spinach.

Fry the spinach for 5 mins and then add the boiled dal.

Add the chillies and let the dal simmer for a while.

Yummy delicious dal palak ready in minutes.

Tasty twists - Raw banana fritters

Raw bananas ( kaccha kela ) are definitely not the most flattering veggie that one would eat. But we Bengalis love our "kanch kola"..from having it for upset tummies to spicing it up into a tasty dish..we do it all! Personally I love raw bananas, i can also eat them boiled with a dash of mustard oil, chopped onion and chillies mixed with steamed rice. But that's not something I can feed my family ever. So I am sharing a easy fun recipe with raw bananas which can be served as a starter or can also be made into a curry dish. Here's my recipe of raw banana fritters.

Ingredients :

Raw banana - 2 nos ( boiled and mashed)

Potato - 1 medium (boiled and mashed )

Chopped onions - 2 tbsp

Chopped ginger - 1 tsp

Chopped green chillies - 2 nos

Salt  - to taste

Roasted jeera powder - 1 tsp

Elaichi and dalchini - 2 each ( grounded into a coarse powder )

Refined oil - for shallow frying

Method :

In a bowl , mix the mashed banana and potato into a fine paste.

Next add the chopped onion, ginger, chillies, jeera powder ,garam masala powder and salt.

Mix well and roll into small balls and then flatten them  into the shape of tikkis.

Shallow fry in refined oil.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A maiden attempt - Dal Makhni

Dal makhni holds a very special place in our ( read husband and me) hearts! It takes me back to my college days in Delhi. I remember the first time I tasted it at THE BUKHARA at Maurya Sheraton Hotel i just couldn't fathom the dish or its taste.Well that was long,long time ago. Then gradually through my 5 yrs of academic life in Delhi i discovered and rediscovered the Dal makhni!When I moved to North campus from South Delhi ..there was this restaurant just outside the colony gate and it became our fav dinner spot over the 2 years that we spent there. And what amazing Dal makhni they made...absolutely yummy.Remember spending many many evenings sitting under the stars in cold Delhi winters and devouring hot naans and kababs and a bucket full of Dal makhni. Then i got married and the love for this continued with husband giving me company. In 2005 when we moved to Kolkata , the one thing that we truly missed was this dish because the way they make it here is more the dal tadka. Now of course there are places where we do get our fav dish. Few days back I decided to give the Dal makhni a shot at home. After browsing through a few recipes on the net I decided to actually try making it at home and happy we were with the results!


Black urad dal- 1 cup soaked over nite
Chopped onion - 1 large
Chopped garlic - 6 -7 pods
Chopped ginger - 1 tbsp
Tomato puree - 4 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cream - 4 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Refined oil - 2 tsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp


Boil the soaked urad dal in a pressure cooker along with chopped ginger, garlic and salt for 45 mins or till the dal is completely cooked.

In a pan, heat the oil and ghee. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.

Add the chopped onions and fry till light brown. Next add the tomato puree and coriander powder. Fry till done.

Next tip in the boiled and mashed dal.let it simmer for 10 mins. You could add half a cup of warm water to adjust the consistency.

Finish with cream and butter.

Serve hot with naan /roti.