July 26, 2012

Moistest Banana Bread Ever

Banana Bread

It has been so hot lately that every week for the last couple of months I inevitably have some bananas that become over ripe and squishy. We either end up with either a smoothie for the next day, or they go in the fridge for making banana bread over the weekend. I have experimented with a few different proportions and now I think I have a keeper.

Just simple ingredients, whatever I had at home and you can choose what you want to put in this too - maybe some raisins or nuts, or some chocolate bits.

Getting little pieces of bananas is an added surprise. I am sure you will also love it as much as I did.

1 1/2 cups multi-grain flour (this is what I had at home, you can use plain flour or even whole wheat flour)
2 ripe bananas roughly mushed
1/3 cup super soft butter
3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar and ended up with a darker bread)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tbspoon heaped whipped cream
1 tspoon vanilla
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tspoon baking soda
1/4 tspoon salt

Banana Bread
Lil A was taking his afternoon nap when I made this, so no mixer was used. Instead I roughly mixed it all together (not even stirring very much) and it turned out great.

Preheat the over to 350deg F and butter and flour the bread pan and keep it aside.

In the roughly mushed bananas, mix in the super soft butter. Then add in the egg and vanilla. Now add the sugar and mix it nicely but gently.

In another plate, sieve the flour and add the salt and baking soda. Add the flour in the banana mixture slowly, little bit at a time. Now add the whipped cream, walnuts and blueberries to the mixture. Mix it all gently and then pour it in the bread pan.

Thump the bread pan down a couple of time to get rid of the extra bubbles and put it in the oven for 45-50 min till the toothpick comes out clean.

Banana Bread
Slice and serve. Enjoy.

July 19, 2012

Kale parathas (Kale stuffed flatbread)

Kale parathas

My sister-in-law in Naperville is an avid gardener. For the last several years, she rents a community plot every summer and grows all kinds of vegetables and fruits that last her well into the winter. I've blogged about her garden before. 

When we visited her a couple of weeks ago, she was having a bounty of Kale and gave us a bunch as well. I made some into Kale Chips and still had a small batch left over. After debating about what to try next with the leftover Kale, I decided to try some Kale parathas as a way to get Lil A to eat some of it. And guess what? It worked. He ate almost an entire parantha with some yogurt. You can easily substitute kale with any other greens like spinach, or methi (fenugreek).

I chopped the Kale thinly, spiced it lightly and then mixed it with the entire dough instead of stuffing. It made rolling it out easier.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
2-3 cups flour
1/2 tspoon salt
1/2 tspoon oil
water to knead the dough

For Kale:
1 bunch Kale
1/4 tspoon grated garlic
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tspoon cumin seeds
salt to taste
2 tbspoon oil

Wash Kale thoroughly and remove the stem or rib of kale. Chop it into thin and small pieces. Heat a pan and then add the cumin seeds. Once they start sputtering, add the grated garlic and turmeric powder. Then add the kale leaves and let it cook on closed lid for 3-4 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir the Kale and add salt. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes till the water disappears. Lay it on a plate and let it cool.

Now add it to the flour and mix it well. Then make a well in the center of the flour, add water and knead it to a soft dough. Keep it aside for 30-40 minutes.

Now divide the dough in equal parts and make small balls with your palm. Roll them out in to small, circular parathas, use some flour dusting if it sticks, but not too much.
Kale parathas

Heat a hot griddle or pan, cook both sides with about 1/2 tspoon of oil till the brown spots appear and the paratha looks cooked.

Serve hot with yogurt, pickle or even a side dish.

July 02, 2012

Celebrating 6 years of blogging with Mango Sandesh

Mango Sandesh

That's right, it's been six years! And I am still here. I wouldn't be if it weren't for you and your support, encouragement and love. I've found friend, a community and have learned and grown is so many ways. Here's hoping for more in the coming days. In the meantime, for this special occasion,  I present Mango Sandesh or aamer shondesh!

We just sort of came up with the recipe one evening as an experiment and then recruited family members and friends to try it out for us. The result was surprisingly good and a big thumbs up! So the recipe finds it's way to the blog.

My parents are packing their bags to return to India, so things are going to be quieter for a few days. I still have their recipes in the drafts so hopefully will post them in the next coming days. While you savor this recipe, I will go and enjoy the "ilish mach bhapano" one more time.

Mango Sandesh

1/4 gallon whole milk
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups mango pulp
1/2 cup brown sugar
10-12 almonds soaked in hot water and slivered

Boil the milk and when it's boiling add the lemon till the milk curdles properly. Take it off the heat and sieve it through a cheesecloth. Tie the cloth tightly and let it hang for a couple of hours till the water is gone. Leave the chana/paneer in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge for another couple of hours.

Then crumble and mash the chana/paneer till it is smooth and without lumps. From the milk I got about 1 3/4 cups of tightly packed chana/paneer.

Now heat a heavy bottomed pan and put the chana/paneer in there. Then add the mango pulp. It will become a soupy mixture. Add sugar and now let it cook with constant stirring on low heat.

The pulpy mix will lose all its water/liquid and come together and leave sides. Take it off the heat and give it a quick whir in a mixie.

Mango Sandesh

Take it out, make small round balls and add the slivered almond on top.

Here are my other sandesh recipes.
Saffron sandesh
And here is eCurry's recipe for sandesh.


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