Category Archives: homemaking

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).

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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.

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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!

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.

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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

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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

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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.

First 500 Likes!

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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!!

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
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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
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Crispy Cutlets Served Hot with Potato Chips and Tomato Ketchup

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

Photography Instincts: Melting Ice

This is the photograph of ‘frozen water’, which I captured almost three years back. This is ice in a metal container, just starting to melt at the sides. The melt down created arrays of air bubbles, a visual treat that urged me to capture this moment.

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Melting Ice

It felt as though the tiny air bubbles were waiting for the ice above them to melt away and be liberated to be a part of the fresh air all around.

Whenever I sit alone, trying to find some ‘me’ time, I find it relaxing to go through photos and albums, new and old. And this photograph of ‘Melting Ice’ always gathers my attention. It makes me stop and think. It brings two perspectives about life and relationships to my mind, and I must confess that my frame of thoughts and mood play a vital role in forming these perspectives.

After having gone through a difficult moment in life or in relationships, the ‘frozen’ water appears to me as hard feelings that the bitter moments leave behind and the bubbles appear as the daggers of regret, piercing through the hard of these feelings, making it even more painful to bear the moment.

Not at all positive, I know. This is just the first of the two perspectives though! 🙂

When I revisit this picture after a few hours or days, my mind and heart give way to the second perspective, an altogether new meaning to the pic.

This time I see the warmth of the air around the frozen water, helping the ice to melt and the bubbles to be freed , just like the warmth of strong relationships that flourish on the hope that the ice of hard feelings will melt away and the bubbles of bottled up emotions and regret will be freed.

Finally, we are just left with water, so transparent and moldable, a fine example and a wonderful basis for any healthy relationship.

Hope you like this.

Photography Instincts: Water Droplets Captured My Way

Mornings can get so monotonous and bore you out when you have to get down to doing household chores even before a refreshing cup of tea.

I captured this photograph on an early winter morning in my kitchen, at the time when I had just set cold milk to boil on the gas burner. Yes, that’s true and that’s why I call myself an instinctive photographer. 😉

I had an instinct to capture these tiny droplets in my lens before the heat of the flames made them vanish into nowhere, leaving me in the kitchen with the daily chores.

When the cold milk came in contact with the heat from the flame, tiny droplets of water appeared on the outside of the vessel. They trickled down and at some places formed a trail of water or left an array of tiny water droplets descending from the rim of the vessel to form bigger ones at the bottom, creating visually appealing patterns.

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Tiny Droplets Creating a Lovely Pattern

The beautiful picture that the droplets created, made me think of yet another beautiful morning.

As I observed the water droplets sliding and gliding down the milk vessel, my gaze fell through the kitchen window on the leaves and flowers in the garden area, on which similar dew drops rested, waiting for the warmth of the morning sun to make them evaporate into thin air.

The droplets of water on the vessel in my kitchen and the dew drops that lay on the leaves and flowers outside, made me wonder about the magic of science and nature, and how the greatest magician up there makes His presence felt every moment, even in the smallest of things, the dullest of chores. So idyllic and mesmerizing!

And no doubt some wise men always say, ‘enjoy the smallest pleasures of life’!