Nov 28, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This one has been on my list for some time, baked it on our anniversary and then again got lasy with posting it over here. 

But here we are, better to be late than never !

DH loved it, actually he loves everything that has to do with pineapple ! :o)

By the way on the side note I found this article handy for the conversion, whenever i get confused following a recipe with different measurements :-)

Ok so... 
Let's collect Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 Tbsp cake flour
6 Tbsp of ground almonds (Optional)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Let's start Baking:

Caramel topping:

1. Take brown sugar and butter. Combine them and melt in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture looks bubbly. (After sugar melts, don't stir) 

2. Pour mixture into stick-free cake pan. 

3.Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer ontop of the caramel mixture.


1. Preheat oven to 325 F / 170 C. 

2. Whisk the flours, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. 

3. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until light. 

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. 

5. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition. 

6. Pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pan.

7. Bake cake until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. 

8. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy !!!

Nov 15, 2012

Muhammara Dip

Muhammara - Spicy Red Pepper Dip

This recipe is in the draft since my last post.
I used this Dip with Vegetarian Berber Pizza - Medfouna, it went together fantastic !

Muhammara is a slightly spicy red pepper dip. It is easy to make and can be served with toasted pita bread or fresh veggies.

Original recipe calls for more Olive oil, but i just can't bring myself to use too much oil in any recipe whether it's olive oil or normal cooking oil / butter !

Let's collect ingredients:

2 Red Capsicum / Bell Peppers
1 Yellow Onion
3 tbsp Olive Oil
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
3/4 cup walnuts, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp cumin

Let's make Muhammara Dip: 

1. Preheat the oven at 175 degree C. Place whole red peppers on greased baking sheet, roast then for about 10-12 minutes turning approx every 4 mins.

2. Mix breadcrumbs in food processor with 2-3 tbsp cold water and blend them to make a puree. 

3. In a small pan, saute onion until lightly browned and add this sauted onions and olive oil to food processor with puree.

4. Remove capsicum from oven and peel off skin. Cut them into pieces, removing the seeds. Add them to breadcrumb mixture in food processor.

5. Blend the mixture to a dip consistency.

6. Add remaining ingredients and blend, adding olive oil as needed.

Serve as a dip with Pita bread wedges, kebabs or veggies ! 

Enjoy !!

Sep 27, 2012

Vegetarian Berber Pizza - Medfouna

I am back with my "let’s try something different in dinner" bug. With a new kid, I hardly get time for an elaborate dinner anymore but this one day he decided to just sleep and sleep. Surprisingly he slept from evening 5:30 and didn’t wake up his normal one hour later (I had to wake him up at 10:00 pm to feed and then he decided to sleep back till next morning.  So I got a chance and time to dig up my notes and look for something new to try.

I had already planned couscous with vegetables in dinner, but ofcourse needed some other things to go along with. While going through some Middle East / Moroccan recipes, this is what i came through “Vegetarian Berber Pizza - Medfouna". ( Medfouna means 'buried', so it is basically stuffed bread!)

And Ofcourse as one can imagine with me being me, i had to customize it. I adjusted the ingredient and their measurements to suit our taste more. I thought that original recipe called for too much of onions (we love onions but not with its cooked texture and on its own) so i decided to replace a portion with other vegetables. Original recipe doesn't call for any dip or sauce to put on, but i had a feeling what if only with sauté vegetables it feels a bit dry! 
I became a bit innovative and decided to add a dash of Middle Eastern dip Muhammara as a very subtle thin layer. (Decided against normal pizza sauce to trying to maintain Middle Eastern flavor, if there was left any!)

Here is the recipe what i ended up with, and by the way it tasted amazing! It received a “Thumbs up” from my “hard-to-please-when-it-comes-to-food” hubby, and that is all I need to give a recipe "success" rating.

So here we go…

Let’s collect ingredients:

For the Dough

4 cups flour (i mixed all purpose flour with wheat flour 50-50%)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water

For the Filling

2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped (I mixed green and yellow)
1/2 cup sweet corn (i used tin ones)
1/2 cup tofu cut in squares (just as i wanted to get rid of it from my fridge!)
1/4 cup carrots, cut in squares
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh (or 2 teaspoons dry) za’atar or thyme (i used dry thyme)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (or to taste)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Other (Optional)
Muhammara dip (optional) 
Olive oil, salt, herbs for garnish (optional)

Let’s start preparing Vegetarian Berber Pizza:

Make the Dough

Mix warm water, sugar and yeast together and leave aside for 5 minutes till it looks a little frothy. That's when the yeast has been activated and is ready to use.

Mix the flour, salt and half of oil in a bowl. Make a large well in the center of the flour mixture, and add yeast mixture.

Mix everything and knead lightly till everything comes together as dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and begin kneading the dough. If necessary, add flour or water in very small amounts to make the dough soft and pliable, but not too sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough into two portions and shape each into a smooth circular mound. Lightly oil the dough with olive oil, cover with a towel, and leave to rise for about 40-45 minutes.

Make the Filling:

In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell pepper in the olive oil about 2 minutes, add all other vegetables (i had added sweet corn, carrots, tofu). Keep it on flame until vegetables look crisp-tender and slightly reduced in volume.

Remove it from the heat. Stir in the olives, herbs and spices. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired, adding the sugar if the onions are slightly bitter. Set the filling aside.

Stuff the Berber Pizza:

Preheat an oven to 435°F (225°C).

Roll out a portion of the risen dough into a large circle about 14" in diameter. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. (i used pie plate, shhhh).

I spread a very thin layer of Muhammara spread on that. (Optional)

Spread the prepared filling in the center, leaving at least 1/2" of dough exposed all around. Brush the exposed edge of dough with a little water.

Roll out the remaining portion of dough into another circle. Place it over the filling, and press the edges of the dough together to seal.

Gently turn under the edges all around to complete the seal and give a nice look to the edge.

If desired, brush a little olive oil on the dough and sprinkle with dried herbs (i sprinkled dried thyme + basil) and a little coarse salt. 

Bake in the preheated oven until well colored, about 20-25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Sep 20, 2012

Ringan no Oro / Oloh ( Smoked Eggplant with spices )

This is one of the all time favorite dish whenever we think about comfort food, however it wasn't when i was a kid. After we moved to Netherlands and i started cooking everyday, then started the search for different and new items to cook everyday. And when no new ideas came to mind then it went back to old traditional Indian food, our own desi food.  

Good thing about it is Ashu loves it too, with rotlo, lasan (garlic) chutney and piece of jaggery... yumm. Typical of the province he comes from, so his childhood comfort food i think :)

Let’s collect Ingredients:

2 large Eggplants
1 small bunch Spring Onions, finely cut
1 large Tomato, finely cut
1 Large clove of Garlic, grated
1 tsp Ginger- green chili paste (to taste)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
A pinch Asafetida (hing)
¼ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Coriander- cumin powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
Salt (to taste)
A pinch of sugar (to taste)

Let’s Cook Ringan no Ohroh:

1. Wash the eggplant, coat it with a thin layer of oil. 

2. Place in the oven at 200 C for around 35-40 minutes or until soft.

3. Peel the skin off and then mash it. Preferably do it manually, that will give the Eggplants a smoky traditional flavor. Me being a lazy person, I do use blender at times, but be very careful to keep it a bit course and not to blend it like a paste! Keep it aside.

4. In a pan, heat oil. Add the asafetida and the turmeric.  

5. When it sizzles, add cumin seeds and spring onions. Sauté for a minute and then add ginger-chili paste. 

6. Add finely cut tomatoes and cook until the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

7. Add mashed eggplants now and mix well.

8. Add grated garlic and rest of the seasonings and Cook on low heat for another 10-12 minutes.
Serve hot with Rotlo. (Recipe, will post soon if i manage not being lazy with internet)

Mar 19, 2012

Vegetable Frankie

Vegetable Frankie, the name may sound continental but it is a very "desi" Indian road side food. This is more known in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

What i made here is not totally Mumbai style Frankie but my own Gujarati version, they way i used to get it at my hometown. This time when we visited India, i made Ashu taste it and he immediately loved it so then i decided to try it at home as well to satisfy our taste buds.

Let's collect Ingredients:

For Wrap / Rotis:

1/2 cup Plain/ all purpose flour

1/2 cup self-rising flours

(i took all purpose and self-rising flour both but you can replace self-rising flour quantity with all purpose flour)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp oil

Salt to taste

Oil for kneading as needed.

Butter for cooking

For stuffing:

2 tbsp oil/ butter

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 cups boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes

1/2 cup boiled, mashed carrots (optional)

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chaat masala

Salt to taste

Bread crumbs (optional)

For Garlic-tomato Sauce: (optional)

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 tbsp hot tomato ketch-up

1/2 tsp oil

2 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp red chili powder

Salt to taste

For Masala Water:

1/3 cup of water

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)

1/4 tsp garam masala

Salt to taste

Other Ingredients:

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped capsicum

(Any vegetables / salad of your choice)

4 tsp Frankie masala or Chaat masala

Let's prepare Veg. Frankies:

For Wraps / Rotis:

- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into soft and pliable dough using enough water. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside for 10 minutes.

- Knead again using some oil till it is smooth and elastic.

- Divide the dough into 6/8 equal portions in and roll out each into approx. 8"/ 10" diameter thin circle.

- Heat a tava (griddle) and cook each roti lightly on a medium flame and keep aside.

Let's prepare the stuffing:

- Heat the oil/butter in a pan; add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.

- Add the potatoes, carrot (and any other vegetable of your choice as per your wish), chili powder, garam masala, chaat masala, coriander and salt, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for another minute. Keep aside.

- This stuffing can be used as it is but i prefer making patty from it. For the patty, divide the mixture in equal 6/8 portions. Shape them in to patty and shallow / deep fry them. If they don't hold together, add some bread-crumbs.

Let's prepare Garlic-tomato Sauce:

- Heat the oil and sauté the garlic for a few seconds.

- Add all the other ingredients to it and bring to boil.

- Let it cool down.

Let's prepare Masala Water:

- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.

Let's assemble Frankies:

1. Place a wrap/ roti on the tava (griddle) and cook on a medium flame using ½ tsp butter till both sides turn light brown in color.

2. Place it on a clean, dry surface; apply Garlic-tomato sauce on one end of the wrap / roti. Place the stuffing/ patty on it and top with ¼ cup of onions, capsicums (and salad of your choice).

3. Sprinkle 1½ tsp of masala water and ½ tsp of Frankie / chaat masala evenly over it and roll it up tightly. (Optional: you can also apply some tomato ketch-up on it)

4. Fold the edges at one end and wrap in an aluminum foil/tissue paper and serve immediately.

5. Repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients.


Cheese Frankie: sprinkle 1/3 cup of grated cooking cheese over the stuffing patty (at step 3) and proceed as per the recipe.

Schezuan Frankie: smear 1½ tbsp of schezuan sauce in stead of garlic - tomato sauce (or can add both) evenly on the roti (at step 2) and proceed as per the recipe.

Paneer Frankie: for the stuffing, half the quantity of boiled potatoes and add same quantity of chopped paneer in stead (no other veggies in patty) and proceed as per the recipe.

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