Category Archives: homemaker

Dessert Desires: Mango Fudge

What to do when you have some ripening mangoes. I decided to try something new this time and started to look out for a recipe. I crossed my fingers that hopefully my search leads me to a recipe that goes straight into my recipe book as one of the all time favourites.

Also, while trying out a new recipe, Mom’s instructions on how to be careful with food and how not to waste food keep doing rounds in my mind. These instructions are very valid and I make sure to take them really seriously. I don’t know why I mention this amid the excitement of trying to cook something new, but probably the jitters of a new dessert making experiment and the thought that I might fail at it, lead me to keep revising this in my mind. 🙂

Okay, so I finally found and successfully made a dessert out of the over ripe mangoes. This actually turned out to be an extremely easy and interesting Indian sweet, the Mango Fudge (Read: Aam ka Kalakand).

Mango Kalakand 1.png

Mango Fudge Set for Cutting into Desired Shape After Cooling

Time to confess, I am a big fan of Kalakands and milk cakes. And for me to have made some myself, with complete justice done to those ripening mangoes was like icing on the cake.

Mango Kalakand 2.png

Aam ka Kalakand aka Mango Fudge

Here’s the recipe if you wish to try making this as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ltr Milk
  • 2 Cups Mango Pulp (without threads, so prefer to sieve the pulp before adding to the milk)
  • 2 tbsps of Yoghurt
  • 1 Cup Sugar (Alter quantity as per taste)
  • ½ tsp Cardamon Powder
  • Some Saffron Strands

For setting:

  • Lightly greased deep plate/aluminium tin

For Garnish:

  • Roasted/Unroasted Nuts (Almonds/Cashew/Pistachios)

Method:

  • Boil milk in a thick based pan
  • Add mango pulp and yoghurt
  • Keep stirring gently and allow the milk to curdle
  • Continue to stir and allow the liquid to evaporate and to avoid sticking at the base
  • Once the liquid evaporates, add sugar and mix gently to allow the sugar to melt
  • After the sugar has melted completely, you can see the dessert starts looking granular
  • Add the cardamom powder and saffron strands for flavour
  • Allow the mix to cool and transfer it in a slightly deep plate or tin
  • Garnish with nuts. I used almonds
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the fudge to set completely
  • Once set, cut the fudge into the desired shapes and serve

Handy Tips:

  • If the milk doesn’t curdle even after adding the mentioned quantity of curd and mango, add 2 tbsp more of curd to facilitate curdling
  • The step of making the liquid after curdling to evaporate completely takes the maximum amount of time (about 30-40 minutes), so be patient 🙂
  • The granular look of the thickened milk after adding sugar is exactly what is desired for that perfect kalakand, ready to be taken off flame and set to cool

The sweet-tangy taste of the mango and the chewiness of the fudge makes it a drool worthy sweet/dessert.

Do try making this for your loved ones!

Advertisements

Baking Delight – Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate lovers, here is a super delish vegan version of your favourite chocolate cupcakes. I call these the ‘Crazy Chocolate Cupcakes’ for the reason that these rise without any effort of beating/folding the batter. The secret behind this is the use of white vinegar, which reacts with the baking powder to give it the desired fluffiness and sponginess.

I made these for my family and everyone loved the spongy, melt-in-the-mouth cupcakes. Since these turned out to be perfect for me, I decided to share the recipe with you all, with some handy tips and suggestions from my experience of baking these.

Cupcakes1.png

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups of All Purpose Flour (Maida)
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water (at room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 4-6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1-2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ – 1 tbsp White Vinegar
  • Pinch of salt

For Baking:

  • Oven Preheated at 180⁰C or 350⁰F
  • Greased cupcake moulds /moulds with cupcake liners

For Decorating:

  • Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread* (Nothing beats Nutella…yummy)
    • I tried using Rostaa** Chocolate Hazelnut Spread this time
  • Crushed Roasted Almonds/Cashew Nuts
  • Cadbury Gems/Nestle Smarties

Method:

  • Sift all dry ingredients, i.e., flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a bowl
  • Add sugar to the dry ingredient mix
  • Add vinegar, oil and vanilla extract to the dry mix
  • Pour a cup of water to the bowl and mix all the ingredients well to form a smooth batter
  • Fill the greased/lined cupcake moulds up to ¾ of their depth/height and place them in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Check after 15minutes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean the cupcakes are baked. If not, bake for 5-10 more minutes
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter to make more cupcakes
  • Let the cupcakes completely cool down
  • Decorate with chocolate spread, nuts and gems

Cupcakes2

Cupcakes3.png

Tips:

  • This recipe makes around 15 cupcakes with the entire batter, but the numbers may vary depending on the size of your cupcake moulds
  • In case you do not wish to make an entire batch of 15-20 cupcakes, reduce the quantity of ingredients provided in the recipe to half each
  • Try using lesser chocolate powder if you don’t like a slight bitter taste in the cupcakes
  • Some recipes suggest using baking soda instead of banking powder for extra rise after getting mixed with vinegar. But believe me it will make the cupcakes bitter. So stick to using baking powder
  • Let the cupcakes completely cool down before frosting or serving for best taste
  • These cupcakes are very spongy in themselves. However, to make them more chocolaty, sweeter and gooier, before putting the frosting make perforations with a toothpick and pour some Hershey’s chocolate syrup and then layer with chocolate spread

* The chocolate spread frosting is a super quick and healthier substitute for the buttercream frosting, primarily for the time challenged and health conscious, respectively :).

**Rostaa is an Indian brand and more economical than Nutella. It uses Belgian chocolate with a dash of Hazelnut flavour. I liked the taste and would not mind trying it the next time, but surely nothing beats the taste of Nutella.

Do try and let me know if you relished these!

Hi, I am Rose

I am Rose.png

Meet ‘Rose’….

‘Rose’ here is a woman and her love for family and dear ones….

Beautiful, tender and fragrant; pure, unbiased and selfless ….

The layers of the velvety petals are symbolic of the depth of her seemingly never ending love….

The love that withers when the petals of hope, support and acknowledgement begin to fall off….

But this love ends only with the very existence of ‘Rose’.

Hope you like it.

Art and Emotions in One Frame

A few days back, when I was busy completing yet another craft project, my mom came up to me and stretched out her hand to give me something and said, ‘Can you make something for this?’ On realizing what she was handing over to me, my eyes welled up with tears. It was mom and dad’s first photograph after marriage.

They had kept it preserved since 1965 and gleefully narrated the day they had gone to get the picture clicked at a famous studio in Connaught Place, Delhi (India). A few days after their wedding mom and dad went to get their first professionally clicked photograph as a couple. On that day, dad adorned his favorite black suit and mom wore a pretty orange sari, along with her wedding jewelry. I love this photograph of mom and dad and till date we tell mom that they made for the most charming couple we have ever seen.

After we had refurnished the house some years back, the photograph had been taken off the photo frame and kept safely in a plastic wrap to make space for new show pieces and other family photos.

Ever since we lost dad a few years back, mom had very rarely mentioned to us about dad and how much she missed her life partner. That day when mom handed me the photograph felt as if she was asking me to help her revive and relive her long forgotten moments and feel dad’s presence in her life.

I could not have let go of a chance to get some positive vibes to mom’s life and especially when she was the one keen on that. That’s when I decided to make a photo frame for the picture, rather than purchasing one.

Some online tutorials and my creativity helped me create a lovely cardboard photo frame to fit my favorite photograph. I added to its beauty by using quilling art and some Fevicryl Golden Glitter Glue to decorate it.

PhotoFrame.png

I was the most satisfied when the best feedback for the picture frame came from mom when she said, ‘tune to char chand laga diye humari photo par’ (An idiom used in Hindi to tell that a thing looks prettier that before).

The Photo in its frame sits beautifully on a showcase in the living room of my house and usually gets an appreciative notice from the guests.

PhotoFramewithpic.png

Hope you like this.

First 500 Likes!

Screenshot_2016-07-18-17-50-29-1

Its just been a little under two months when I published my first post on ‘A Homemaker’s World’ and I proudly mention the first 500 likes on my blog.

Thank you all for appreciating and encouraging me with your compliments every time I post on the blog.

This means a lot to me and will definitely take my zest for writing more interesting posts and articles one step ahead.

Hugs!!

Finding Art and Beauty in Home and Kitchen Chores

This post may appear to be a bit weird and rather funny to some, but I love being weird at times. Don’t you think it’s always a good idea to see beauty in everything?

The title reminds me of two of my previous photography posts called ‘Water Droplets Captured My Way’ and ‘Melting Ice’, which also befit the art and beauty in home and kitchen category. Though these captures had made me think and write about life and its deeper meanings, the following photographs make me laugh at my own sense of photography and admiring beauty.

These photographs will make it clear of what my idea of instinctive photography is and how my craving for seeking beauty even within the confines of my home makes me the person I am. Weird for some and beautiful for others! I guess each one of has that child in us, some people just keep that weirdo, that child, up and awake in their hearts. 😉

The first photograph is of a bottle gourd that I started chopping, but forgot amidst focusing on some other work. On returning after some 15-20 minutes I saw water droplets appear at the periphery of the cut bottle gourd. It looked so appealing to my eyes that I couldn’t help but photograph it against the backdrop of sunlight shining through the window. The resulting capture looked so beautiful to me that I wished to share it with all of you. 🙂

Bottlegourd

The second photograph proves that I can be an absolute manic when it comes to being imaginative and creating patterns out of nothing. Below is a pattern that got created while I was scouring the griddle with a dish washing powder. :p The design looked similar to a peacock’s feathers when opened completely (absolutely my imagination). I was intrigued by the formation, liked it and clicked it.

Griddle art

The only words that come to my mind after writing this post are ‘always keep your childlike nature alive, it keeps you going during the toughest of times and most humdrum of tasks.’ I have kept the child in me alive and I am absolutely proud of it.

Hope you like this.

Refurbishing Food: Crispy Cutlets

How many times do we come across a situation when there was a party the previous night and we cooked for 10 people when there were only 7- 8 or the kids ordered their favourite pizza and the dishes for dinner went straight into the refrigerator.

Food wastage is so not acceptable to me and therefore I keep experimenting with leftover food, to convert it into something different from what it originally was.

One such refurbished snack I make is cutlets from leftover dals (cooked lentils/pulses), especially the red lentil whole (Masoor Sabut dal). These cutlets are made with dal and bread as the base, along with a whole lot of spices to not just enhance the flavour, but to make sure the leftover dal from last night does not wreak havoc on the stomach. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pre-cooked dal (preferable red lentil whole)
  • 1 pack of white bread (whole wheat bread works well too)
  • 1-2 tsp of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of ginger paste
  • 4-5 chopped green chillies
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp Carom seeds (Ajwain)
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Dried Mango Powder (Amchoor)
  • ¼ tsp crushed pomegranate seeds (Anardana)
  • ½ tsp of Garam Masala (Mix of various Indian spices)
  • Salt to taste
  • Bread crumbs for coating the cutlets
  • Oil for deep frying (can be shallow fried as per requirement)

Method:

  • Combine the precooked dal and bread to make a dough like mixture and let the bread soak for 30 minutes. If the mixture appears soggy/watery, add a few more slices of bread
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes, spices and salt to taste. Remember that this is a precooked dal, therefore it already has good amounts of salt in it.
  • Take small portions of the mix to form round or oval shaped cutlets
  • Roll the cutlet in bread crumbs and make sure that it is covered with crumbs on all sides
  • Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the cutlets
  • Keep the cutlets in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow the cutlets to bind better and crumbs to get moistened
20160608_115814

Bread and Cooked Lentil Cutlets Ready for Frying

  • Heat oil in a wok and put 5-6 cutlets at a time for deep frying on a low-medium flame
  • Once the cutlets turn golden brown, remove from the wok and drain excess oil on an absorbent paper
  • Repeat the same for the rest of the cutlets
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup and mint chutney. You can also sprinkle chaat masala (mix of black salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds and dry mango powder) for extra tangy taste
Cutlets

Crispy Cutlets Served Hot with Potato Chips and Tomato Ketchup

Hope you like this. Do share your views on the same.