Monday, October 27, 2014

Eggless water based Dates cake

Just as I had baked a eggless flax cake for my son's  15th birthday, i wanted to bake an unusual cake for my daughter's 18th birthday and like the flax cake, this non-fussy, fondant, cream and dairy free cake turned out moist and soft in texture and was gone in a trice. 


Maida - 1 cup
sugar - 1/2 cup
cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
Dates - chopped finely - 1/2 cup
water - 1 cup
any vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
baking soda - 1 tsp
salt - a pinch
Honey - 1 tbsp


Add baking soda to maida and sieve it twice and keep aside
In a pan, add the measured sugar, salt and mix well.
Follow it up with chopped dates and cinnamon powder
To the above mixture, add vegetable oil and water.
Blend them together and place the mixture on stove and boil it.
when it starts bubbling around the sides, lower the flame and simmer it for 15-20 minutes.
Switch off and wait till the mixture cools. i left it to cool overnight.

When the mixture  cooled, I added the sieved flour little by little and mixed well. One can use a hand blender, but I did it with my hand and wooden spatula. This should take some time to blend well. Ensure you have no lumps.

I then transferred it to my glass baking tray and baked it for 20 minutes. (mine is a bajaj oven with no temp control)

I inserted a skewer into my baking tray to ensure it was done. 

                                 The fist few steps of the cake are over the stove top

The blended maida and water oil sugar date mixture in the baking tray

                                                                       The baked cake

Toppled bottoms up and decorated only with a few rainbow sprinkles.


Some tips: For a more healthier version substitute maida with wheat. You can even substitute sugar with palm sugar. Substitute dates with any dry fruit or nut of your choice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Masala dosa

Yummm! My salivary glands overwork the moment the name of Masala dosa is mentioned. It is one of my favorite food, although a breakfast item, I can eat it for lunch, dinner or during any time of the day. Such is my love for Masala dosa especially the ones you get in a few hotels /darshinis and sagars of Bangalore. But at home, my dad also makes some of the yummiest masala dosas. Yes, you read it right, my dad is a super cook and my children and all my parents neighbours too love when my dad makes it. Of course, it is my mom who does the hard work of soaking and grinding batter, boiling and peeling potatoes, onions and other ground work for making masala dosa. She ably assists my dad.

During my younger days, we generally ate it at Kamat, gandhi bazaar, vidyarthi bhavan, new krishna bhavan, malleswaram or at the sajjan rao circle bandi hotel. Infact, the sajjan rao circle bandi's kemp chutney would be so awesome that many a times, I and my uncle would sprint to get the chutney when the dinner plates were laid. There are so many memories related to this dish and I have tasted it at many places but the tastes of only a few places linger like that of the above mentioned hotels and later at Janta hotel, Vijayanagar, MTR, Jayanagar 4th block Ganesh darshan etc. Even today, my family  especially my sis, my kids, my niece and myself order Masala dosa anytime we enter a hotel, we don't wait for the bearer/waiter to rattle out the choices.

But the taste of home is unbeatable. Luckily for me, all my paternal uncles and aunts are also good cooks, so they too dish out some best masala dosas. My children simply love the masala dosas which are coated with kemp chutney and topped with dollop of butter.

Now for the recipe:

Kemp chutney:

Red chillies: 6 no's
garlic : 3 cloves
grated coconut t: 2 tablespoons
fried grams : 2 tablespoons
tamarind : a small marble size

( grated coconut or fried grams is to give body to the chutney, my aunt prepared omitting these two)

Grind the above ingredients by adding salt to taste. The red chutney is ready.( i have  added  copra powder)

Alu masala curry


Boiled potatoes  - 6 no's
chopped onions from 2 no's
green chilly - 1 no
red chilli powder -  1 teaspoon
salt  --------------- 1 teaspoon
haldi    1/2 teaspoon
oil for tadka - 1 table spoon
mustard - 1/2 teaspoon
coriander for garnishing


Peel the potatoes, mash them and keep aside.
Take a wok, add the oil and heat it. When heated, add mustard seeds to splutter.
Fry the chillies and then add onions in the oil till transluscent.
Now add the mashed potatoes, haldi, red chilli powder and turn them in the wok till the masala and alu get mixed well. 
Cook them on slow heat for 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander 

For Dosa batter:

1/2 cup urad dal soaked for 1 hour to 3 hour
2 cup parboiled rice soaked for 6 hours

Grind them in a grinder, add salt and let it ferment overnight

The ingredients ready for making masala dosa: batter, alu curry, kemp chutney and a mix of ghee and gingelly oil

Method for making dosa:

Take a iron griddle or non-stick tava
Pour the batter on the heated tava in circular pattern till the dosa shape is formed
Keep the flame high, drizzle  a teaspoon of gingelly oil or ghee around it.

After some time, spread the red chutney on the surface of the dosa and let it cook for a few seconds.

Now place the alu curry on it and fold the dosa.

When folded and served with a dollop of butter, we in our family don't need accompaniment like coconut chutney or sambar. Just the  dosa, kemp chutney and alu suffice for us.

what marks the regular masala dosa from Mysore masala dosa is the kemp chutney.

* A tip to have a brown base- a table spoon of maida to the batter gives a brown dosa like in hotels. but i have avoided.