Tag Archives: treats

Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Cardamon is one of those intensely aromatic and flavorful spices. The moment I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it soon! Considering it has orange as well meant there was no doubt about it that I would make it. Here is my adapted version.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Amaranth flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp cardamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp orange zest
1-2 tbsp orange juice

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cardamon in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix sugar and orange zest with your hands. Add oil, eggs, yogurt and orange juice and whisk until all the ingredients combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Grease a baking pan and dust lightly with flour. Pour the batter and smooth out the top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm with a hot cup of cardamon or orange pekoe tea.

Try this, you will just love the fragrance and aromas floating in your kitchen as you bake this!

Chole Chaat

Chaat is a savory snack made by combining various ingredients such as cooked potato, chickpeas, sweet and sour sauces, yogurt, crunchy sev, topped with chopped tomato, onion and cilantro or any other combination based on the specific kind  of chaat.

This is very popular all across India where chaat is sold on most street corners (see Pani Puri).

1 cup chole
2-3 tbsp sev or other crunchies
1-2 tbsp chopped onion
1-2 tbsp chopped tomato
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 tbsp smooth yogurt
1 tbsp mint chutney
1 tbsp tamarind-date chutney

Take some warm chole in a bowl. Start layering your favorites toppings. I usually like to add the following:

First sprinkle some sev or crunchies on the chole. Then add some chopped onion and tomato. Next add some mint and date tamarind chutney. Layer some smooth yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with a hot cuppa tea!

Chaat can be served in different ways in Indian fast food restaurants: samosa chaat, allo tiki chaat, ragda chaat and many more kind.

Go try it! You’ll love it!

See Also:
Pani Puri
Curry Puff
Pav Bhaji

Pani Puri

I had this strong urge to have pani puri the other day. On impulse I bought some puri’s home. I already had some ready made tamarind date chutney and mint chutney. All that was needed was the pani masala. For a change I wanted to make this fresh.

Pani puri is a fast food found on a road side stand in busy street corners in India. Usually a plate would comprise of 6 – 10 pani puri’s and each is assembled  as you eat it. An incision is made to perfect puffed puri and filled with a little potato stuffing, cooked chickpeas, mint and tamarind date chutney. This is then dunked into a large bowl of masala flavored cold water and eaten.

My friend was in town visiting and it was fun to sip some spicy cardamon tea, assembling and dunking puri’s and relishing them as we exchanged news and reminisced.

1 box of pani puri’s
1 medium potato
1/2 can garbanzo beans or cooked beans

Masala Ingredients:
1 tsp corainder seeds
3-4 dry red whole chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1 tsp whole black pepper
salt to taste
pinch of asafoetida

Boil the potato with the skin. Peel the boiled potato, and mash with a spoon. Add some cumin, and mango powder, salt and cayenne pepper and mix. Set aside.

If using raw chickpeas, soak overnight and cook. If using canned, drain the liquid and transfer to a bowl.

Optionally can also use chopped onion and tomato. Place each ingredient in a separate bowl.

To make the masala, dry roast cumin, coriander, black pepper, and red chili. Grind into a smooth powder. Mix in black salt, salt, mango powder, and asafoetida.

When ready to eat, set up the assembly line of all ingredients in individual bowls. Take a large bowl of cold water and add 1-2 tbsp of masala and mix well. Can also add some ice to chill the masala water. Let each person assemble their puri’s with the ingredients of preference. Finally dip into the masala water and transfer the complete puri into the mouth before biting in to relish all the various flavors and refreshing aroma of the spices.

Mouth watering! Try it!

Celebrate fall with Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

If it’s fall, it’s gotta be pumpkin!

I have been itching to make this since I saw it. And as can be expected I made minor changes. Key one being to substitute 25% of white flour with amaranth flour. The final product ended up being moist and tasty. I took it in to work and it was gone in a couple of hours 🙂 Here’s how I made my pumpkin loaf.

1 1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1.5 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
some pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together flour, amaranth flour, salt,baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, salt and ginger.

In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, oil, sugar and water.

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Add chopped walnuts and mix well.

Grease a loaf pan and add the batter. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds and bake for 60-80 minutes.

Orange Cranberry Scone!


I got to make my favorite scone! For a while this used to be my favorite breakfast. Each day as I headed to work I made a stop at the local Starbucks and picked a coffee and scone (typically orange cranberry if they had one). Yummy!

I still had fresh cranberries and oranges left over after the Cranberry Orange Bread I baked last week. The weather was gloomy with overcast skies and periods of rain. After the beautiful, warm fall weather we’ve been having, it was a sharp contrast to have the temperature dip into the 50’s. Time to turn off the air condition and turn on the heater!

It was definitely the perfect day to turn on the oven and do some baking…

As usual I scoured the web for the perfect recipe with the condition that I would try one if I had all the ingredients already in my pantry. So here is my final adapted version:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1 cup fresh cranberries
Orange rind from 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Take cold butter and cut into cubes and add to the flour. Put the bowl in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl whisk egg, buttermilk and orange rind. Place the bowl in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare parchment paper or baking dish to bake the scones.

Remove the dry ingredients. Either chop the cranberries or use whole (I used them whole) and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well with a spatula or hand. Add the egg buttermilk mix and mix thoroughly. Prepare the counter top table with some flour. Roll out the mixed dough into a 1 in thick circle. Cut the circle into 8 or 10 wedges. Or use a cookie cutter for more fancy shapes.

Bake on a parchment or baking dish for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Serve warm scones with either orange marmalade or raspberry jam. Or glaze scones with some orange glaze and serve warm with tea or coffee.


What’s in my kitchen series #1

Over the last few years, each time my mom came for a visit, she would bring one or more of her nifty kitchen gadgets and stick them in my cupboard. When I protested that it was wasted on me: that I had neither the patience nor the desire to try elaborate procedures to make something that was not only rich and heavy in calories but too time consuming, she started to do it silently. Sometimes it was months, even years, after she left, that  I did not discover some strange gadget in my kitchen cupboard and wondered where it had come from. Sometimes it was not until I was packing my kitchen items for a move to another residence or city, that I discovered something and felt myself smiling, thinking of my mother and her devious ways!

Rather than offend her, I learned to let it slide. After all she made delicious stuff with them while she visited. Who am I to complain?

In memory of her, over the next year I hope to recollect (recipes), learn (how to use) and utilize these nifty kitchen gadgets that she has used since my childhood to make delightful, and delicious snacks and food items so patiently and so carefully with love.

The first gadget in this series is an Aebleskiver. I even had to scour the web to figure out what it was called :-). The recipe to use this was an easy one. Remember my Chicago trip and the whole cabbage Uttapam? Well my friend Anu used this cool gadget to make something exciting for her kids.

Vaguely I remember my mom using it. But yeah, if you have some idli batter sitting around and wondering what else you can do with it, here is a fun new way to use it! Bite size, it is a fun alternative to making something for kids as well as adults to enjoy!

Lightly drizzle oil into each of the cups of the Ableskiver. Add one tbsp of idli/uttapam batter and cook on the stove till lightly brown. Use a spoon to rotate the balls to cook evenly on the other side. Remove and serve hot with chutney.

Orange Blackberry Muffins

So… I still had the oranges I bought last week for the Cranberry Orange Bread  (which by the way was delicious… I took it in for an office party and it was all gone save a slice for me!)  And some fresh blackberries that were on sale. This was a perfect recipe to try.

Although this time rather than use orange rind, I decided to use the real thing.

Turned out pretty good….

1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup fresh orange pulp
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tbsp  baking powder
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Blend butter and sugar, add egg and milk blend until smooth.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add orange and black berries and mix.

Grease muffin tin and add batter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy with a cuppa of fresh cardamon tea. Yummy!

Makes 6 muffins.

Adapted from ELR.

Note: If you like your muffins sweet, you might want to add more sugar.

Cranberry Orange Bread

I love just about anything that has orange in it: fresh or flavored. Dried cranberries is another of my favorite fruit . Mix the two of them and I just can’t get enough of it. I have a particular weakness for orange cranberry scones. I see one in a coffee shop, I just have to  try it. So when I came across this recipe I just had to make it, right away.

With perfect timing, fresh cranberries are already available in abundance in grocery stories. I have never used fresh cranberries before so this was a fun recipe to bake. This is adapted from the recipe posted on Eat, Live, Run .

The orange flavor in  a lot of baked items is too subdued for me. So I ramped up the orange in this recipe. I added more rind than the original recipe recommended and I also added some orange juice. I quite liked the result.

Other change I made is of course add some super food grains: flax meal and hemp. Next time I think I will try to substitute amaranth flour for some of the white flour.

The final bread turned out more crumbly that I was expecting. It looked like a perfect cranberry crumble coffee cake. And the taste was delicious.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 stick butter (4 oz)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
zest of 1-2 oranges
1 tbsp flax meal (optional)
1 tbsp hemp (optional)
1-2 tbsp orange juice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl whisk egg, melted butter and sugar. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Fold in cranberries, orange rind and walnuts. Mix well. Transfer to a greased 9in bread pan. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until the tooth pick rule passes.

Cool and Enjoy!

Celebrate end of summer with Mango

Anything with mango always attracts me. Coming from a tropical country where mango is a native fruit and vegetable, I crave to eat mango especially raw, green, and sour mango.

Mango season usually starts in early spring or the start of summer in  March in tropical climates. Or maybe even earlier. In tropical climates, mango trees start to flower in January-February and are in full bloom. Baby mangoes can start appearing as early as February and start to mature in early spring. It is a hectic time when people buy or harvest raw green mango and transform it to the different pickles while relishing the raw vegetable in dal, chutney and other forms.

Summer is also the time the fruit is found in abundance: juicy fruit enjoyed after a meal, best eaten by sucking the juice directly from the fruit or sturdier variety sliced into pieces and enjoyed with curd rice.

Mango has many uses:

  • baby mangoes are sliced and used in pickles
  • in vegetable form, raw green mango is used in pickles, in dal, in rice and other recipies.
  • dried mango powder is used as spice in cooking
  • dried sliced mango is preserved to be used in dal during off season
  • as a fruit it is available as different varieties
    • juicy and soft and enjoyed by sucking the jucies
    • sturdy varieties peeled and sliced and enjoyed usually with curd rice or stand alone

Mango Preserves

Mango is also preserved in different forms for use during the rest of the year. Raw green mango is sliced and dried in the sun so it can be used in dal in the off season or is also dried and powdered  (Amchur) is available for use as a spice in recipes that need a tangy flavor. Dried mango pulp is sweetened and dried to be relished as a snack, or made into jam or used in mango ice cream or simply sliced and preserved in it’s own juices that can be used in smoothies, lassies or fruit salads.

Mango is versatile and delicious in its numerous forms. Enjoy the end of summer with one of these recipes!

Fresh Mango recipes:

Mango Vermicelli
Mango Dal
Mango Pickle
Mango Gazpacho
Mango Salsa
Mango Banana Muffin
Mango Tea Bread
Mango Pie or Mango Ice Cream Pie
Mango Lassi
Mango Salad

Mango Banana Muffins

1 ripe banana
1 ripe mango
3/4 cup whole wheat or white flour
1/4 cup chopped dry mango
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup walnuts
1 egg
1/8 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Blend chopped mango and banana in a mixer. Transfer to a bowl. Add egg and canola oil and whisk. Combine with dry ingredients. Add the nuts and dried mango and mix well.

Meanwhile grease a muffin pan. Scoop batter to 3/4 of the way in the greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Makes 6 muffins. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

This recipe is adapted from Banana Mango Muffin recipe on Eat, Live, Run

See also:
Celebrate end of summer with Mango