Friday, August 28, 2015

Beer Bread

There is something about baking bread that scares even the most seasoned baker. Well, most breads are quite unforgiving. You have to get the quantities just right, proof the yeast, allow it to rise just so..too much and it will be just air pockets, too little and it will be stone... you have to punch, proof, punch again. A rather long and tedious process that may still leave you with results, well, deflated!

This is where Beer Bread comes in. It is a simple, no fuss bread. Like having drinks with your bumchum in pajamas. Effortless! No complicated ingredients or steps, and with a guarantee of success. Don't take my word for it. Just chuck it all in and surprise your folks with some freshly baked bread this weekend. 

Flour                        3 cups
Baking Powder        4 1/2 teaspooons
Brown Sugar           3 tablespoons
Salt                          1/2 teaspoon
Beer                         1 and 1/2 cup
Butter                       1/4 cup, melted

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Thrice. Now that the tough part is over, mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased 9x5 inch loaf tin. Top up with some grated cheese if you like. Bake for 50 minutes. Rest for another 15 minutes or so. Turn it out and dazzle!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Sheera is semolina based dessert that is also known as Sooji ka halwa in the northern parts of India, and is  a close cousin of the southern Kesari. This recipe originates from Maharashtra and differs from the others by its use of milk instead of water. 

Sheera is quite a filling and healthy dish so its often eaten for breakfast or as a weaning meal for babies. As for me, I can eat Sheera anytime, especially when I see the raindrops batter my window and fill the room with the scent of the earth.
This recipe is my granny’s who definitely makes the best Sheera in the world!


Semolina     1 cup
Ghee           ½ cup
Milk            1 cup, warmed
Sugar           ¾ cup
Banana        1

Heat the ghee in a wok. Add the semolina and roast till golden. Stirring continuously, add the milk in a slow and steady stream. Cook for a minute and lower the flame. Add the sugar and mashed banana. Mix thoroughly and cover with a lid. Let it cook for another minute. Uncover, mix and cover again. Cook for another minute and switch off the gas. The grains should have separated and lost their stickiness. If not, cook covered on a low flame for another minute. And your sheera is ready to be devoured!
For additional flavour and nutrition, you could add green cardamom powder and garnish with chopped nuts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Coffee Praline Mousse

This recipe has been gleaned from a very dear friend, Priyanjana. This easy breezy dessert is a family favourite at hers, and very quickly became one at mine as well. it looks gorgeous, tastes sinful and is simple enough for even the most kitchen phobe. So, what's not to like?!

Milk  1/2 ltr
Sugar  8 tablespoon
Custard powder  6 tablespoon
Coffee powder  4 1/2 teaspoon
Butter  25 gm
Cream  200 gm

Praline:  Sugar 1 1/2 cup
                Walnuts  1/2 cup


For the Praline: Heat the sugar in a saucepan over low heat, till the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Turn off the heat. Add the walnuts and spread on a greased tray. Once cool and hardened, place between two sheets of butter paper or in a polybag and crush to shards with a rolling pin.

For the Mousse:
Mix the custard powder with a little milk in a cup. Add it to to the rest of the milk and place on low flame. Mix in the coffee powder and sugar and continue to cook on low flame. Stir frequently to prevent lumps and from the mixture sticking to the bottom. Once it thickens considerably, enough to coat the back of your spoon, take it off the heat. Mix in the butter and leave awhile. Once the mixture cools, run it in the mixie or food processor for about a minute. tip in the cream and churn a couple of times more. Take care to not churn the cream for too long or the mixture will curdle. Transfer to a serving dish. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably overnight. Top with the shards of praline just before serving. Take a deep breath and sit back to enjoy the dessert and the compliments :)

Handy Hint: If you don't have patience for praline, simply substitute with crushed chikki !