Saturday, May 29, 2010

Institute Of Baking and Cake Art - A Discovery!!

A board which I have seen a score times near the Double Road flyover. Always wanted to make a visit to the place and explore. But the almost obscure entrance on the side road and the old building that houses the Institute of Baking and Cake Art made me wonder if the place was still operational. The numbers listed on the  website were not of much use.

And then Vani dropped a comment on my blog about this 'one stop shop' and tempted me to make a visit t the place ASAP. Thanks so very much Vani!! All baking enthusiasts in Bangalore rejoice!! Of all the places, I have hunted so far in Bangalore, this one takes the cake:-)). I had been to the Institute yesterday and came back as pleased as punch. If you are interested in baking and cake decoration, you must, must visit the place.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seriously Low Fat Brownies!!!!

Its been a hectic summer with kids at home and having a busy time at work too. I had in fact looked forward to more free time for cooking, baking and blogging as I would have not homework and school assignments to deal with. Boy!! How wrong I was!! All I have been talking about to anybody and everybody who cares to listen is how much I am looking forward to the school reopening. My days would then start early, but would be so much more sane:-)) The joys of being a work from- home-Mom!!

I have been cooking and baking as always but have not really been able to sit down and post them as often as I like to. I have put in a few hurried posts, pics taken in a hurry before the food in question gets polished off by kids. This is one of the recipes from Sanjeev kapoor I have tried form the same book, "Simply Stylish Entertaining at Home'. The name of the recipe actually is "Very Low Fat Brownies' and I was so tempted to try this out as it is really, seriously low fat and super quick and easy to put together.

I made this on the spur of the moment when I had to go to my parents place. The picture was taken in a hurry(isn't that obvious??) before they went into the box. The brownies were tasty and loved by all. A fab treat for the sweet tooth sans the sinful calories, particularly so when teamed with low fat ice cream or low fat chocolate sauce. The recipe for the sauce soon follows...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dal Lucknowi

What happens when I get a chance to watch a live cookery show of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor?? The legend of Indian cookery shows who with his charm, mouth watering recipes and friendly smile has had us addicted to Khana Khazana since ages??  The show makes me finish cooking my break fast on Sunday mornings by 9.30 or defer it till 10 am :-). I have been a huge fan of Sanjeev Kapoor since my college days and love the way he makes every recipe seem so simple, easy and do able.

I got a chance to watch this live cookery show at Kitchen Yatra show thanks to Madhuri. It was on a weekday and I somehow manged to get hubby to baby sit the kids(anything to grab the opportunity of a lifetime!!) It was great to watch him cook and also get to taste the same. And of course also ask him endless questions which were answered in his true witty style. It was a show to remember.

Well, it brings me back to the question, what happens when I get a chance to watch a live cookery show of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor?? I read more of the Chef's books and of course tried some of the recipes. I tried  Lucknowi Dal from his fantastic new collection, "Simply Stylish Entertaining at Home'. Do absolutely check this book out, I simply loved the recipes, more coming here.

This creamy Dal is subtle in flavor, is extremely easy to make and is a wonderful, elegant accompaniment to rotis or rice. Perfect for entertaining when you are pressed for time or have unexpected guests.

This recipe is also my entry to Sara's 'Cooking with Cumin Seeds' event

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chickpea & Black Eyed Bean Salad

A foodie on a diet!! Isn't that a tough, tough life??  Yeah, yeah,  I know I am exaggerating:-)) But it isn't easy either when you have food on your mind but not on your plate. Naw, am not starving, far from it - eating small meals and snacks all day. Healthy snacks of course. I am on the look out for the health bhi, taste bhi recipes, now more than ever. At the cost of repeating myself, like a lot of us, good, tasty food is very important to me  If I am on a diet, then it had better be low calorie tasty grub. Like this Chickpea and Black Eyed Bean Salad.

This Sanjeev Kapoor recipe was in my recipe diary since ages, but I had not made it as I was just plain lazy to take the trouble of cooking the beans separately. Its sometimes so strange that some ridiculously simple things like having 3 or 4 variety of beans at the same time in your pantry just takes ages to happen!!! Well, at last, I got the beans, soaked them and cooked them separately. Well,  it was 4 beans actually, but the third bean, the kidney beans, refused to cook well in spite of repeated attempts. I gave up!!! I forgot to get the green gram:-(. It became a Two Bean Salad instead of the original Four Bean Salad.

Again, there are no rules for making salads. Add or skip ingredients and vary the proportions of the same according to your taste and preference. A chilled salad is such a pleasure in summers, more so if its protein laden, low in fat, can be made ahead and stored. Indulge in this tongue tickling, chaat like preparation without any guilt whatsoever.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Broken Wheat Bisi Bele Bhat

One of South India's most loved dishes in its healthiest form!! Bisi Bele Bhat (BBB for ease)is usually made with rice and lentils, mostly Toor Dal, vegetables and spices. BBB can also be made with thick beaten rice flakes and Moong Dal- this one is reserved for the no-rice day, Ekadashi. Of late, my mother and sister both have been making the BBB with broken wheat and moong dal and it tastes just great. Replacing rice with broken wheat makes it a low GI meal making this delicious dish your dietitian's delight. You can whip up this dish in a hurry on a weekday morning taking the 'shortcut' method,using your sambhar powder or ready-made Bisi Bele Bhat powder. Or opt to make the masala from scratch on the day you make the dish or a day before.

There are of course a number of variations to making the BBB. North Karnataka Folks generally make this masala powder and store it like rasam or sambar powder.  Folks in Bangalore and around the area specially  make this powder fresh on the day the dish is made. Try serving a 'ready masala mix / Sambar powder' BBB to a hard core Bangalorean and see the reaction:-))

Psst.. a secret.. though I can spend hours baking or making desserts, snacks etc, I don't really love to spend time making rasam or sambar powders. Yeah, Mom and Mom-in-law are my lifelines for these quintessential masalas. I prefer to use home made sambar powder or MTR  Bisi Bele Bhat powder to make this scrumptious dish. Serve this spicy dish with potato chips or papad and raitha and there won't be anybody who will not over eat!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strawberry Cake Ice cream (Reposted)

There is something so wonderful about being all wrapped up in a cozy blanket, eating cold ice cream in winter. Having an elephantine sweet tooth, I go ga ga over cakes. And when its Cake with Ice cream, I admit I am absolutely shameless. The best thing about this dessert is it can be made and frozen well in advance. (Not that it will  remain uneaten for a long time:-)). Imagine, just removing a dessert from your freezer and serving it to an unexpected guest. Or just feeding your sweet tooth when  the dessert craving hits on a lazy day. I would make this and stove it into the freezer just to have the comfort of having a dessert ready at hand anytime. Uuummmmm....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Golden Cake

Isn't this an amazing and intriguing name for a cake?? I saw this on Sheeba's blog and it instantly went on to my growing, 'must try' serpentine list of cake recipes. The slice of cake looked so, so soft and golden gorgeous and had me sighing.  I have visited and revisited Sheeba's blog for this and so many more drool-worthy cakes she has on her blog. In case you haven't been there yet, you must, must visit Art, Food and Travel Chronicles.

I had half a cup of butter sitting in my fridge since days and it started featuring in my dreams too. I normally bake with oil, so having butter at home is a rarity and kind of pushes me into baking something, before the best before date. Not that I need much of pushing when it comes to baking, I just needed to find a good recipe with half a cup of butter and of course a reasonably good excuse to bake:-))

I work from home, which is luxury and allows me to pop a cake into the oven and plonk myself back in front of my computer. I had a particularly productive, though busy month at work, and took a baking break( I take these breaks too often I know) to sort of celebrate.

The cake turned out so..offt and delicious just as Sheeba promised it would. Thanks a lot for sharing this Sheeba!!