I have been making batches and batches of Banana Bread and it disappears in a day or two. Both my kids love banana bread and actually make it while I stand and watch and jump in just when needed.
They have the recipe down to the T now. The key to a successful banana bread is hugely the bananas that go into it. I really like to use the ones that are very ripe and have black spots on them, the ones ready to be tossed. This is such good use of those overripe bananas. Banana bread is so versatile that you may anything to it and improvise. We personally love chocolate chips so we add them in our banana bread but you could add nuts like pecans or walnuts or almonds for crunch, add cocoa powder maybe nutella:) so get creative guys!
A lot of you sent me several messages and requested for a recipe and so by popular demand here goes:
2 Ripe Bananas blended in a bowl – we like ours smooth so we blend it but if you like chunky banana bread you may just mash with a fork and leave the chunks in there.
1 cup of sugar- any sugar but we use brown sugar
2 cups of AP Flour
2 Eggs beaten well
1 tsp baking soda- rising agent
Few drops of Vanilla syrup
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup Milk
A stick of butter
Chocolate Chips -optional
Take a baking pan, and grease all sides well. We use butter to grease the pan as I am not a big fan of any sprays and am old school – good old butter does the trick! You may use one of those non stick spray if you like.
Preheat the oven to 350 F for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven capacity. I usually check in at 30 minutes into baking. Secret tip—- I use a fork or something sharp to stick it through the banana bread at 30 minutes into baking and when you pull it out, if it still comes out with dough sticking on , I would leave it in an extra 15 minutes for baking.
Take a bowl- measure 2 cups of AP flour, add in 1/2 tsp of baking soda, pinch of salt and mix well.—–DRY INGREDIENTS
Take another bowl, melt a stick of butter in microwave and add 1 cup of sugar-whisk well to mix. Add 2 beaten eggs and whisk again. To this add the mashed up/ blended bananas and whisk well for about 5 mins. You may use an electric blender too but I prefer a hand whisk. I get some workout done during quarantine 🙂 Add few drops of vanilla syrup and milk and whisk well again till all the ingredients are mixed well and smooth——-WET INGREDIENTS.
Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually and whisk as this transfer is done to get a smooth even dough.
The key to adding the chocolate chips or nuts to make sure it goes evenly in the dough is a FOLDING TECHNIQUE. So as you add a handful of chocolate chips, you immediately fold in the chips using a flat spatula into the dough. Repeat this till you add in all the chocolate chips/ nuts.
Now bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes.
Enjoy warm banana bread with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate! Yum!
Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer is a staple in every Indian’s refrigerator. It is hard and so deceptive as you cook them, as you see it melt in the dishes and creamy and so delicious. Here I have a very easy dish made of Paneer for people out there who want to start cooking Indian food!
Onions- 3 medium diced fine
Tomatoes- 4 diced
Bell Pepper- 1- diced small
Grated Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer-1/2 cup
Garlic- 5 cloves minced
1/2 inch of fresh ginger
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
1 Clove, 1 Cardamom, a small piece of Cinnamon
Salt to taste
Cayenne powder- 1 teaspoon
Curry powder or Garam Masala- 1 teaspoon
Cilantro for garnish
To a pan under medium flame, add a tablespoon oil, add clove, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric powder and toast for a minute. Now add tomatoes and cook covered for about 3/4 min s.
Blend this separately
Take another pan placed under medium flame and add a teaspoon of oil, add ginger, garlic, onions, bell pepper and saute with salt, cayenne powder, curry powder and saute’ for about 5 minutes.
Toss in the blended tomato and mix well.
Add the grated Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer slowly while mixing in.
I love indulging in a bowl of Singapore noodles. All the goodness of rice vermicelli, julienned vegetables and optional to add some eggs all immersed in turmeric and curry powder in a wok and stir fried, Yum!
Quick pictorial steps of how I made Singapore noodles:
I have always looked at meat balls in a sauce and wanted to create the same exact vegetarian or vegan version of it. So here goes:
Ingredients for the spinach balls:
1 cup of spinach finely chopped
1/2 cup potato cooked really well
Spices- turmeric, salt, cayenne, garam masala or curry powder, coriander and cumin seeds crushed-all 1/2 teaspoon
Rice flour- 1tablespoon
Oil for frying- any
Take a big bowl, add all your spices and mix well, add chopped up spinach and toss then throw in the well cooked potatoes and mix with your hands to make a dough. Let it rest in the fridge for a half hour. Once you take it out prior to frying them add 1 tablespoon of rice flour and mix well again. Rice flour gives you that golden brown surface.
Take a frying pan, add oil and you could either deep fry if you like it really golden brown or you could shallow fry and it still tastes delicious.
Ingredients for the Sauce:
Onions- 2 large chopped
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste or 1/2 inch of fresh ginger and 5 cloves of garlic
Green Chili- 2
Tomatoes- 4 diced
Salt to taste and 1 tsp of turmeric powder and curry powder
Place a pan under medium flame and saute ginger garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil and as soon as garlic starts to turn golden, throw in chopped onions, green chili’s and diced tomatoes along with the spices and salt and let it cook down with a lid to a pasty consistency. Blend this to a sauce with 1/4 cup water and cook for another 5 minutes until simmer and then transfer the spinach balls.
I belong to the Southern part of India and we make a lot of traditional dips otherwise popularly known as “Chutneys”
in the Indian food culture. One can play with this idea and make so many variations of chutneys once you have a basic understanding of making a chutney.
I have picked 3 of my best Chutneys for you—-
1) Coconut Chutney
Toast 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen but thawed coconut in a pan under medium flame with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with chopped green chili, 2 teaspoon of roasted Bengal gram lentils and salt to taste. Blend in a food processor or blender to turn into a semi smooth paste.
Garnish with Cilantro, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
2) Tomato Chutney
Take a pan under medium flame and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
1 teaspoon of red cayenne/ chili powder, 1/2 inch of grated fresh ginger or paste, 3 garlic cloves finely chopped and sauté with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste and blend to a fine paste. Garnish with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
3) TRADITIONAL “THOGAYAL” OR LENTIL CHUTNEY WITH COCONUT
For this chutney, you need 2 teaspoons of Black gram lentils or Black Lentils – although its called black gram these lentils are white on the outside with black seed inside -its called ” Urad dal” in the Indian food culture. You also need 1 teaspoon of Split chickpeas which is yellow in color. Toast both these in a pan under low flame with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add 1/2 cup of coconut- fresh or frozen grated thawed- and toast with salt and 2/3 fresh red chilis. If you don’t have fresh red chili substitute using cayenne powder. Throw all of this in a blender and grind with as little water as possible. I also add a small piece of fresh tamarind. If not available you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice for acidity. In my household growing up this was one chutney that was never garnished and was gobbled up before it got to the table:)