Friday, April 2, 2010

Moong Dal Ladoo

Moong Dal ( known as the split green gram dal/lentil ) is high in nutritional value. Here is a quick and easy way to make this ladoo. This one is great for kids too!

Get This:
 -- 1 cup yellow moong dal ( split green gram)
-- 3/4 cup heaped sugar
-- 3 to 4 cardamons peeled and powdered
-- A pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
-- 8 to 10 broken cashews
-- 5-6 raisins
-- About 10 to 12 tsps of ghee / clarified butter

Try This:
  1. On low heat toast the moong dal until it is uniform reddish brown in color.
  2. Remove from heat and spread it on a plate to cool.
  3. Heat a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and saute the cashews and raisins till the cashews turn light brown in color and the raisins plump up a bit. Remove and keep it aside in a bowl.
  4. Grind the dal and sugar to a fine powder. Mix in the cashews,raisins,cardamom and nutmeg powder with this mixture.
  5. Heat 10 tsps of ghee/clarified butter in a wide saucepan. Mix this with the dal mixture until it is well combined.
  6. Remove from heat and shape into ladoo's when the mixture becomes warm enough to handle.
Note: Add tsps of hot ghee gradually if the mixture cannot be shaped into ladoo's. Makes about 22 to 24 ladoo's depending on the size you shape them into.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chocolate cake

I enjoy baking  & the real challenge for me was baking cakes. Yes I too had my share of disasters but I never gave up--- Try, Try & you will succeed.
My tip for beginners who want to succeed is to keep on trying. Never give up. Talk to people/friends who you consider is a pro in cake baking, ask them for tips. Do some reading on the net/library, I am sure you too can become a pro in no time!!. OK OK enough of preaching.... Let me walk you through with the cake making process.






Get This:
-- 1 cup all purpose flour (I used  50% maidha & 50 % whole wheat flour)
-- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps unsweetened natural cocoa powder ( I used Hershey's )
-- 1/2 tsp baking soda
-- 1/4 tsp salt
-- 1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) unsalted butter, melted & warm
-- 1.25 cups of sugar
-- 2 large eggs
-- 1 tsp vanilla extract
-- 1/2 cup hot water
-- I used a mix of berries for decoration ( strawberry,raspberry & blackberry)

Try This:
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter the bottom of an 8- inch square or 9 - inch round cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour,cocoa,baking soda & salt. Whisk to blend.Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the warm melted butter & sugar. Add in the eggs & vanilla and beat until the mixture is well blended.
  5. Add all the flour mixture at once. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, stir just until all the flour mixture is moistened.
  6. Pour the hot water over the batter all at once. Stir until the water is incorporated & the batter is smooth.
  7. Transfer the batter onto the prepared/buttered pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Transfer the pan onto a wire rack & let the cake cool for about 20 minutes.
  9. To unmould, slide a slim knife around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Invert the cake pan & it will easily slide down.
  10. Allow the cake to completely cool before frosting or decorate it with fruits & nuts of your choice.
-- This recipe makes one 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake. Serves 8-10.
-- To butter/grease the pan I used PAM baking spray.
-- Make sure the butter and the eggs are  at room temperature.
-- Also make sure you sift the flours & the cocoa powder.
-- This cake is perfect for a beginner -- gives you instant gratification & the confidence to bake more!