Homemade Badam Powder

I love to shop home products online and one such website that I had stubble upon couple of months ago was The Home Label by Sussanne Khan. I find their products unique and well curated. Last week the home label team sent me some lovely products for this festive season.  I used the cake stands to display my desi cardamom style cupcakes and the Moscow mule mug for my badam milk. The gorgeous copper body and brass handle mule mug is usually used to serve alcoholic beverages. This mug  tends to keep the beverage chilled for a longer period of time and I think they can work great as beer mugs. This mug holds about 500ml. I also use this mug to drink water as copper is know to have great health benefits.
Mule mug 1
I’m a firm supporter of DYI. Most of my mayo, sauces or jams are all homemade by me or my friends. This festive season, I’m planning to serve some traditional drink and I thought of serving my guests some chilled badam milk. I detest store bought badam powder as they lack the pureness and are overly sweet. I recently checked  the ingredients of one of the well known brands in India and it contained about 80% sugar only.  It is the most easiest thing to make at home and I recommend you try this once. You can refrigerate badam  powder in fridge for about two months or freeze it for 6 months. I tend to add a little turmeric powder (haldi) in my badam milk to give that nice appealing colour and like our grandma said  “haldi is good for you”.
Ingredients:
200 gms blanched almonds & lightly roasted
3 tbs raw sugar (you can add more if you like yours sweeter)
2tsp cardamom powder
few strands of saffron
1 tbs chopped pistachio (optional)
Preparation:
  • Grind almonds, sugar and cardamom until fine powder. Over grinding may turn into a paste.
  • Pour in a dish & mix some saffron and pistachio.
  • Pour the powder in an air tight container and store it refrigerated.
For making badam milk
Add a teaspoon or two of the badam powder to a glass of milk. Add some sugar if required. Add a pinch or two of turmeric powder for a soothing effect.
I’m already in my high spirits after a sip of  badam milk in my mule mug this festive season!
DSC_0509

Desi style cardamom cupcakes

 

Cake stand 1

 

Introducing my  Desi style cupcakes, aka cardamom cupcakes with kesar & pista frosting. These eggless cupcakes are a  great way  to indulge and without the frosting can also be guilt-free ;). I know I have your attention now!

These cupcakes are made with whole wheat flour (stone ground organic atta) and organic olive oil. These butter less cupcake are not only organic & healthy but also gives a new dimension to your dessert table for this Dussehra/Diwali.

Using local ingredients as much as possible is the best way to support honorable Prime Minister Mr Modi’s “Make in India” campaign. I used an Indian brand for cream cheese and was happy with its texture and taste. After making the frosting right from scratch, I realized that you can also frost these cupcakes with shrikhand, either homemade or store bought.

And also my company was featured in Mint this month. Yay!

 Ms Sussanne Khan’s The Home Label team sent me this gorgeous two-tiered cake stand & cake stand for my cupcakes.
 2 tier stand 4
Ingredients
187 gm whole wheat flour
150 gm raw sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp baking soda
84 gm olive oil
 a pinch of salt
1 tbs vinegar
245 ml buttermilk or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp of vinegar
Ingredients for frosting 
1 tub or 180 gms cream cheese (I used Britannia)
25 ml of cream
2 tbs of raw sugar
few strands of saffron (kesar) soaked in warm milk for that lovely yellow colour
pistachio for some garnish
Preparation
  • Measure and mix all the dry ingredients like flour, soda, salt, cardamom, sugar in a bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients one by one  to the dry mixture and mix well.
  • Pour the cake mixture in the cupcake molds and bake at 160 degree centigrade for about 15-18 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack once done. Makes 20 medium sized cupcakes.
  • Beat all the ingredients for frosting until smooth in texture. Frost your cupcake garnished with some pistachio. You can also use some thick shrikhand as mentioned above in this post.

 

 

2 tier stand 1

 

DSC_05802 tier stand 3

 

 

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Eggless chocolate cupcake


Peanut Butter & Some Gluten Free Cookies

PB

Today, I’m here to discuss “why peanut butter is good for you?”

Helps you lose weight

Yes. It may seem a bit counter-intuitive. It is the combination of fiber  and protein that fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, so you eat less overall.

Packed with nutrition

Research shows that eating peanuts can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

Good fat

It is a full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. A recent study found that insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet high in mono had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat. An excellent source for all body builders.

How do you choose your jar of peanut butter?

Peanut butter is relatively unprocessed food. It is peanuts, roasted and ground to make peanut butter.The fat content seem to be more or less same in all the brands.  However, commercially made peanut butter are not only made with whole peanuts but other nasty things and can be high on sodium (also the higher sodium content tends to mask the taste of peanut butter).

Sugar is not a very big concern if your using it plain. But if your combining your sandwich with honey or jelly, look for  less sugar. Raw sugar is better than refined sugar.

The main problem with peanut butter is that it’s so incredibly hard to resist. If you eat only small amounts at a time, then it probably won’t cause any sort of harm. However, it can be almost impossible to stop after eating just a little bit 😉

Pb cookie 1

I always like to stock my pantry with some cookies. They come handy when you need a quick bite and not feel messy or too full at the same time. I’ve started doing a lot of gluten free baking since one of the major ingredients are nuts and I like to incorporate these in my baking (peanuts belong to the legume family).

These soft, chewy cookies are so easy to make and with just 4 ingredients. The addition of sea salt takes these cookies to a different level!

PB cookie 2

Ingredients for sea salt & peanut butter cookies

(makes 18-20 cookies)

250 gms peanut butter, smooth or crunchy ( I used i2cook’s peanut butter)

100-120 gms raw sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cookies)

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 tsp baking soda

some sea salt to sprinkle

Procedure

  1. Weigh all the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Scoop some dough on the baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Press them down with the help of a fork. Sprinkle some sea salt on each cookie.
  3. Bake them at 160 degree centigrade, in a pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes or depending on your oven settings.
  4. Once baked, allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring on to a wire rack.
  5.  Once completely cooled, store them in an air tight container.

Pack these cookies in fancy jars and they make a great gifting option. 

PB cookie 3

More Peanut Butter Recipes

Grilled chicken with warm peanut butter sauce

Banana and PB smoothie

No bake PB and oat cookies

Chocolate covered peanut butter balls

Source of information


Food Gifts for this Diwali

Diwali is all about food, food & only food  for me!  It is the time of the year to let go of your calorie count and indulge 🙂

Every Diwali I receive   3 very common gifts – mithai (Indian sweets), assorted chocolates or just plain dry fruits. It’s not that I don’t like any of the above. But Diwali is special and requires some thought while gifting your close friends and family members. Don’t you agree?

I’ve divided the gifting options into two categories:

  • Homemade/Handmade by you
  • Create your own Food Baskets – assortment of some hand made and some store bought

Homemade/Handmade

I love the idea of doing it yourself for simple reasons –  it’s different, made by you with love and your gift becomes the talk of the town 😉

Orangettescandied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate

It’s the most delicious thing to be nibbling on. I’ve made these and they are really easy and you really can’t go wrong with them even if you are an amateur cook. You can negate the chocolate  and gift them as plain ones too. They go great as a topping in salads or even on some of our Indian sweets – try using just the candied orange as a topping on gulab jamuns…..sounds yum right :).

Sesame Balls in Chocolate  – til ke laddoo dipped in chocolate

These will really surprise anybody. The combination is different and sure is a hit – don’t worry I’ve tried and tested this recipe at the Farmer’s Market and it was a hit!

Herb or Spice Infused  oilsuse your favorite spice or herb to flavor your oils

Recently I spotted them at a dinner during the Food Bloggers Meet. I love, love and love them!

Pickles – every house has it’s own special variety

We Indians love our spicy, tangy pickle with our food. You can bottle  them up in fancy bottles and proudly gift your in-house specialty, North – South doesn’t matter just add some spice this Diwali!

You can explore a wide ranging of gifting ideas depending on your personality. But remember whatever you gift, it sure does reflect your personality…….. So go ahead and put on your creative hats!


Few points to consider for your gifts:

  • If using glass jars, make sure you wash them properly and sterilize them.
  • You might want to include a card with instructions or ideas about how to use your fabulous gift. It might be completely new to the person whom you are gifting.
  • If using plastic bags, it’s advisable to use the food grade ones.
  • It’s always better to use biodegradable material for a safe and sound environment.

Create your own food baskets:

There are hundreds of combination that you can try while creating your own baskets. All you need is a good cane basket and  some attractive colored papers. Again put on your creative hats and lets begin to create some interesting combos 🙂

 


This was a basket created by me (all Organic) – a vanilla pod, homemade cinnamon salad dressing, homemade Indian fudge along with a recipe card for the dressing.

 

This is what I’m gifting this Diwali – i2cook’s Natural Peanut Butter & Mustard with colorful coasters from Freedom Tree.

Hope this post has given you  ideas/inspirations to start with your own food gifts. I’m sure you will do a good job!

I would love to hear your gifting ideas too 🙂


Happy Diwali with Tri-Flavoured Kheer

  (Image Source: Livetoeat!!!)
Everyone I know is busy cleaning their house and shopping for new artifacts. Wondering  how you are going to celebrate this Diwali…….here are some simple suggestions without being heavy on your pockets.
I like the simplest things of using just clay or ceramic diyas; they light up the house beautifully and dramatically or welcome your guests with  simple rangoli and a diya at the entrance.
 (Image Source: Livetoeat!!!)
 (Image Source: Internet)

I also used some lights (mirchi lights) from the previous Diwali and managed to create a romantic atmosphere in my living room (I made used of the throw-away wine bottle). These lights are commonly seen in Mumbai for decorating balconies. One more item commonly seen are the colourful lanterns used outside everybody’s balconies. There are all kinds of Indian and Chinese lanterns widely available during this season.

(Image Source: Nature’s Basket)

It is also the time when you gift your special ones. One best thing would be to gift some really good gift hampers – an assortment of various products. Nature’s Basket has some really cool gift hampers this Diwali. You might want to check them out and get some ideas. You can also go to Crawford Market and buy your own assorted products and create you own basket. That sounds like really good fun and it’s a  personalised way of gifting.

And of course a time to eat and share some good food. Every festival is celebrated with sweets and what a better way to start Diwali with Kheer.Kheer is everybody’s favourite and easy to make. It is a rice pudding which requires the right consistency. Kheer is not complete without cardamom and Kesar again is optional. Tri-flavoured kheer has a vanilla twist to it. Thats right..a vanilla, cardamom and kesar flavoured kheer. A beautiful blend of these flavours keeps you guessing on every bite, whether it’s vanilla or kesar or cardamon…..Enjoy the fun- filled flavours and Happy Diwali!!!

The Recipe:

1 litre milk
1/2 cup Basamti rice
2tsp vanilla extract
2stp cardamon powder
2tsp kesar soaked in warm milk
1cup sugar ( you can add more for your liking)
Almonds for decoration

Wash and soak the rice for about an hour. Heat milk in a pot. Add vanilla extract before the milk comes to a boil and enjoy the vanilla fragrance taking over your kitchen. Add soaked rice (without any water) to the boiling milk. Let the milk and the rice cook on medium flame for about 20minutes. Add sugar and let it cook for 15minutes.You will see that the whole grain rice would have become half it’s size. It kheer is almost done and you will also notice the thick consistency. Add cardamon and turn off the gas.
Let it cool. Serve cold or at room temperature, garnished with kesar and chopped almonds.

This is my submission to this month’s event Celebrate Sweets – Kheer, hosted by Taste of Pearl City and Nivedita’s Kitchen, to Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen and to this week’s Blogadda Diwali Moments. 

Go to http://www.myntra.com/ and check out Myntra Diwali Offer. Shop for Rs 500 and get Rs 500 off on your travel with Cleartrip! Also visit the largest community of Indian Bloggers at BlogAdda.com