Sponge cake

Sponge cake

This easy sponge cake recipe is delicious and quick to make. This is the base cake for all the layered cream cakes you use for birthdays and other occasions. You can cut this cake and fill with butter frosting, whipping cream, fruits, etc. Soaking with sugar syrup makes the cake extra moist.

What I love most of this cake is that we can readily prepare with the staple ingredients found in our kitchen. Also, there is no too much of effort or task in this other than the proper whisking. It usually takes less than 1 hour to prepare the whole cake.

The secret to a spongy cake is in the beating of powdered sugar and butter. I had added 1/4 teaspoon pineapple essence additionally which provides a good smell and taste to this cake. Sift all the dry ingredients properly to make the cake light and airy.

This is an excellent recipe of cake for all the beginners who are getting ready to bake. This is a no fail recipe of cake, if you follow each steps correctly. The temperature of each oven differs. So you can confirm it by inserting a toothpick at the centre and check if it comes out clean.

Try out this soft and fluffy recipe of sponge cake at home using all the below mentioned ingredients and tantalize your taste buds !

Ingredients :

  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Powdered sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Eggs – 3
  • Butter or Refined oil – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
  • Pineapple essence – 1/4 teaspoon

Method of preparation :

  • Take 3 eggs and separate the egg yolk and egg whites into 2 separate mixing bowls
  • Sieve together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and keep it aside (dry ingredients)
  • Whisk the egg white, using a hand mixer or egg beater until foamy
  • Once the egg white changes the colour to milky white, add 3 tablespoon of powdered sugar and whisk till it becomes stiff and forms a glossy peak
  • Now take the egg yolk and whisk it
  • Add vanilla essence to the egg yolk
  • Then add remaining powdered sugar and whisk properly
  • Now add oil (or butter) followed by milk and pineapple essence
  • Whisk until smooth and then add all purpose flour to this batter
  • Mix this dry ingredients using a spatula
  • Finally add the egg white and mix evenly
  • Cake batter is ready
  • You can transfer the batter to a 7″ mould pan
  • Preheat the oven and bake the cake for 35 minutes at 175°c or until a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean
  • Allow the cake to cool, then cut into desired shapes and serve.
Soft sponge cake

Pumpkin pachadi

Pumpkin pachadi

Pumpkin is incredibly a healthy vegetable which is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Since the calorie content in this vegetable is too low, it can be used as a weight loss supporting vegetable. Pumpkin promotes skin and heart health.

Pumpkin flesh and seeds consists of powerful nutrients which helps in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and benign prostatic hyperplasia(BPH). Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports immune defenses and is a powerful antioxidant

There are lots of recipes using pumpkin. pumpkin halwa, pumpkin erissery, pumpkin chutney, pumpkin pachadi, etc. As onam is approaching, I would like to share the recipe of pachadi using pumpkin which plays a major role in traditional Kerala sadhya. Pumpkin pachadi is simple yet delicious recipe which can be prepared easily under 30 minutes.

Here the pumpkins are boiled first and then mixed with coconut paste and curd. Finally it is tempered with hot oil and mustard seeds, which provides additional flavour to our pachadi. Pachadis are a great accompaniment to hot boiled rice.

Ingredients :

  • Pumpkin, cut into small cubes – 250 g
  • Green chilli – 3
  • Chopped onion – 1
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Shallots – 3
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curd – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon

For seasoning :

  • Coconut oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Shallots, finely chopped – 3
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Dry red chillies – 4

Method of preparation :

  • Take a pan and add pumpkin pieces, green chilli, chopped onion, salt and water
  • Cover with a lid and cook the pumpkin for 8 to 10 minutes in medium flame
  • Mash the cooked pumpkin with a spoon
  • Grind grated coconut, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and shallots to a fine paste by adding some water to it
  • Add the coconut paste to the mashed pumpkin and allow it to boil
  • Crush 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds and add to the curry
  • When the curry gets boiled completely, switch off the flame and allow it to cool
  • Then add curd, followed by sugar and mix well the pachadi
  • Heat a pan or tadka and add 2 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Add mustard seeds to the oil
  • When mustard seeds starts to splutter, add shallots, dry red chillies and curry leaves
  • Pour this over the mathanga pachadi
  • Tasty mathanga pachadi is ready to be served with hot rice.

Beef stew

Beef stew

Whenever the word stew comes to my mind, it remembers me of christmas and easter breakfasts. Stew has occupied a special place in my breakfast table since childhood. Stew was a mandatory breakfast dish on all our special occasions at home.

You can prepare stew using beef, chicken, mutton, and vegetables.The recipe I am sharing here is of beef stew. It is a one pot beef recipe. I had used pressure cooker to prepare this delicious recipe of stew.

This is a coconut milk curry in which beef is stewed along with potatoes and carrot. The addition of spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves enhances the flavour of this curry. They are best served with appam, kallappam ( link given at end) and idiyappam.

This is a healthy and wholesome recipe of beef with the goodness of fresh coconut milk. Coconut milk makes the stew thicker and tastier. The beef is pressure cooked in the second milk of coconut. If you want to make this dish more spicier, you can add pepper powder as per your taste. Let us move to the recipe now and learn how to prepare this easy and simple beef stew.

Ingredients :

  • Beef, cut into small pieces – 1 kg
  • Garlic crushed – 6 pods
  • Potatoes, cut into medium sized cubes – 2
  • Carrots, cut into cubes – 1
  • Oil – 3 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cashewnuts – 8
  • Raisins – 10
  • Coconut milk – 2 cups

Take out the first thick milk by squeezing the coconut with 1/4 cup warm water. Add 1.5 cup water more to the coconut and take out the second lot of milk.

1.) To grind :

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pepper – 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Cardamoms – 3
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cinnamon – 1″ sized 3 pieces

2.) To fry :

  • Shallots, medium sized – 3
  • Ginger, sliced – 2″ piece
  • Green chillies slit – 2
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprig

Method of preparation :

  • Grind the ingredients mentioned under bracket (1) and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry cashewnuts, raisins and ingredients mentioned under bracket (2) to a light golden colour one by one
  • Add the ground masala and fry it on a low flame, till the oil starts floating
  • Mix the crushed garlic, salt and meat together
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes
  • Now add the potatoes, carrot and second milk of coconut
  • Mix well and pressure cook till the meat gets cooked well
  • Lastly add the first thick coconut milk
  • Leave it on low flame for 5 minutes stirring well
  • Take off from the flame and serve hot.

Do you prefer slow cooking?

Cooking at low temperature over a long time will change a tough cut of meat into a tender soft meat.

Slow cooked meat curry

Slow cooking was trending since the beginning of time. Ancient people prepared their food using plants, herbs, etc. Recent studies reveals that cooking of food increases the bio availability of some nutrients. So, this will become a contradiction to the mindsets of “eating fresh and raw is the best”.

In this method of cooking, the heat is kept low. Muscle fibres cooks from 60°C. As the temperature rises more, moisture is lost. Food is generally cooked for a long period of time, immersed in liquid. Slow cooking is mostly used in tough cuts of meat, root vegetables and pulses.

Long and low temperature cooking converts the chewy collagen in tough meat to velvety gelatine. This reaction takes place between 65°C and 70°C. In the cooking liquid, gelatine breaks down and creates a rich and flavourful gravy. After the meat gets completely cooled in its liquid, you can see that it has become extra soft.

White, chewy connective tissue is made of collagen and elastira proteins. Collagen begins to denature at 52°C (126°F), then
contracts and shrinks at 58°C (136°F), squeezing moisture out. At around 68°C (154°F), the collagen breaks apart and reforms into soft gelatine, giving succulence to the dehydrating meat. However, elastin does not break down at normal cooking temperatures, so remains as inedible gristle.

Slow cookers are heated from the bottom, so can burn if the pot is dry. Add enough liquid just to cover the food, but not too much as the sauce will be too thin and lack flavour. Also, put the lid on to stop the heat and steam escaping. Thus the inside temperature becomes steady and prevents the liquid evaporating away. Heat spreads across the bottom and sides of the inner pot. Heat then passes into the cooking liquid and directly into food resting on the base. Do not open the lid in between, as it may cause steam and heat to escape.

Cooking meat in a liquid at lower heat, reduces the number of cell-damaging compounds known as AGEs ( Advanced glycation end products) that are produced in the meats. That is why slow cooking has become the safest means of cooking.

So, next time when you go for cooking a meat, turn up the flame and slow cook your dish.

Passion fruit chutney

Passion fruit chutney

This beautifully flavoured chutney of passion fruit is an exceptional accompaniment to savoury dishes. It is a quick and easy recipe of chutney which goes well with hot rice for lunch. It goes excellent with boiled tapiocas as well.

Passion fruit is a very common backyard fruit, which is found in kerala as creepers. Luckily, my house has also got this amazing fruit. Passion fruit chutney is not a very common dish. Most of us prefer juice and ice creams using passion fruit. But this chutney is very tasty as well as nutritious. This chutney has both sweet and sour taste.

It is the season of passion fruit and we are busy preparing passion fruit squashes and jams. Passion fruit reduces the sugar levels in blood. Actually, passion fruit tastes tangy. Checkout this homely recipe of chutney using passion fruit and make your diet a healthy one.

Ingredients :

  • Grated coconut – Half cup
  • Pulp of 1 passion fruit
  • Dry red chilli – 1
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 1 small sprig
  • Ginger – 1/2 ” piece
  • Shallots – 5
  • Sugar – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – as required

Method of preparation :

  • Take all the ingredients mentioned above in a plate
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender
  • Blend it to smooth mixture
  • Passion fruit chutney is ready to serve
  • You can serve it with rice, boiled tapiocas, etc.

Crab Roast

Crab Roast

This is an aromatic and flavorful recipe of crab which is very easy to prepare and incredibly delicious in taste. Crab roast is one of my favourite recipe among sea foods. Cleaning of crab is a bit difficult process. But this tedious process turns worth when you taste this scrumptious crab roast. Nowadays, cleaned and processed crabs are available in markets.

The love for crab curry was accompanying me since childhood. My grandmother used to prepare this dish more often as her house was in Ernakulam, where they get lot of fresh and fleshy crabs. She also taught me how to eat the crab without wasting a single piece of meat inside.

This recipe of crab can be easily made with the ingredients available in your kitchen itself. There are many recipes for crab using coconut, coconut milk, etc. which will be shared later to you. So, today I have adapted this recipe from my mom and I am sure that it will suite everyone’s taste and make your tastebuds happy.

I had used kudampuli ( also known as kerala tamarind) in this recipe. Kudampuli is commonly used in the kerala and karnataka recipes. If you find difficult to spot kudampuli in your place, you can go with normal tamarind or kokum.

This is a mildly spicy recipe and if you want to make it more spicier, you may adjust the pepper powder accordingly. Checkout this absolutely delicious and unbeatable recipe of crab roast at your home also.

Ingredients :

1. ) Cooking of crab :

  • Crab, cleaned and chopped – 500 g
  • 1″ piece ginger crushed
  • Kudampuli ( Kerala tamarind ) – 2
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water – 1 glass

2. ) Preparation of masala :

  • Chopped onions – 3
  • Tomato, chopped – 1
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Garlic, crushed – 6 pods
  • Shallots, crushed – 8 to 10
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Coconut oil – 3 tablespoon

Method of preparation :

  • Pressure cook the crab by adding crushed ginger, kudampuli, salt and turmeric powder with 1 glass of water
  • Adjust the flame to low, cook the crab for 5 minutes and then switch of the flame
  • Wait for the pressure to release naturally
  • By that time, heat oil in a kadai and add coconut oil
  • Add chopped onions and saute till the onion becomes translucent in colour
  • Now add crushed garlic and shallots to the onion
  • Then add tomato and green chillies
  • When the raw smell is gone, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder and pepper powder to it and saute properly
  • Next add the cooked crab pieces to the prepared masala
  • Mix well and make sure that the crab pieces gets completely coated with the masala
  • Close the lid and cook in low flame for 5 to 6 minutes
  • Adjust the seasonings as per your taste
  • Switch off the flame and garnish the crab roast with curry leaves
  • Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot with rice, chapatis or appam.