Thursday, May 31, 2012

Banana Walnut bread

I made this Banana Walnut bread one day for an evening snack. Sapna was home early and she saw the banana bread cooling on the table. She yelped with joy. After brewing the tea and filling up the cups for everyone she perched herself on the swing, a teacup in one hand and a stick of the still warm banana walnut bread, nibbling slowly and lost in her own world. She made such a pretty picture. Touch wood.

Back from her reverie she thanked me for this bake. In my mind I thanked God for family and allowing me to make them happy. Then followed her usual remark, "Pranav pahije hota" she obviously misses my foodie nephew whenever I bake.


  • 2 large bananas 
  • 3/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour/ maida
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
Peel the bananas. Mash them in a bowl. Mix oil and sugar along with banana and beat till creamy and the sugar is dissolved. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the batter with a spatula.

Prepare the baking tin. Grease and dust with flour. Tap off the excess flour over the basin. Now crush the walnuts with the hand and sprinkle at the bottom of the baking tin. Pour the batter over it. Level it out evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg centigrade for 15-20 mins till the knife inserted comes out clean or its golden on the top and leaves the sides of the tin.

Remove from the oven, let it cool completely, then turn it out on a serving plate. I used a laminated paper banana leaf to serve it on.

This Banana walnut bread is spongy and the oval shape lent itself well to cut out sticks, best for a delicate nibble.

A cashew version of the Banana bread.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Corn N Peas Majjige Huli

The buttermilk had gone sour and I had more than a litre of it. The family was complaining that we were eating too many dal-rice meals. Sumeet found wonderful corn and got them home. I thought of this non traditional majjige huli idea, here in Mumbai not everyone loves their gourds so this corn made succulent in the curry was a safe bet. To add more color I included peas too but those sat at the bottom and didn't really help to make it colorful unless they were scooped up with a spoon. Yeah but it did surprise the diners, when they did.

Follow exactly the traditional recipe of Majjige HuLi With Mangalore Southekayi but instead of the cooking cucumber use corn on the cob, chopped into large chunks and add a cup of peas to the recipe.

It's so much fun to suck on to the corn and if it is as sweet as we had it was a perfect match for the sour curd curry.

Tip: In this curry I added the cilantro to the seasonings and it made a big difference to the flavors.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Orange Marmalade

I made this Orange marmalade in Jan while we were still in Blr. when oranges were in Season. I love the thick skinned oranges. In this recipe I have used Seville oranges which lend themselves wonderfully for a marmalade. I make marmalade without any gelatin so this is slightly runnier than store bought. It helps me achieve the home made feel that instantly family and friends spot. It is therefore more spreadable unlike the marmalade you get in the factory manufactured ones.

Also my proportions of sugar are 3/4 cup of sugar for 1 orange plus juice of 1 orange. You get the most wonderful looking marmalade and the smell is divine on a hot toast or even a warm paratha like you see in the pictures. No spices for me in my orange marmalade please.


2 Seville Oranges
Juice of 2 Oranges
2 cups water
1.5 cup sugar

To begin cut into half horizontally, slice the oranges with skins on a V-slicer.

In a deep pot put the orange slices and add water. It should cover the slices completely. Boil till the oranges are cooked and soft. 

Add sugar when you can press the orange skins and they easily crumble. Once you add sugar the cooking will stop. This is very important, if you have uncooked skins in a marmalade, it is a failure. No one likes chewy skins. So doubly make sure the orange slices are cooked only then add the sugar. 

Boil till the sugar syrup is thick. Add orange juice at this point. Keep stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon. Be careful while stirring, the sugar syrup splutters a lot. Once it starts coating the wooden spoon the marmalade is ready to be removed from heat. It will set as it cools.

Once it is cool enough to handle, can the marmalade in glass jars. Keep a pretty jar on your table for your breakfast cravings of Orange Marmalade on toast or a methi paratha at dinner time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bhoplyache Dhapate

Most of the pumpkin was made into a huge pot of Bakar bhaaji when friends and cousins visited. I  had kept a wedge of pumpkin for raita but then on one Sunday morning hungry stomachs demanded a scrumptious breakfast. There was pumpkin and wheat flour and I thought a thalipith would sound music to the hungry ears. Then my Dad said but with just wheat flour you can't call it Thalipith, the purist that he is! He said make Dhapate.

Now Dhapate are nothing but thick rotis made with veggies grated into it, mostly gourds like pumpkins, cucumbers and others. They are not Thalipith because they are made only with wheat flour instead of the toasted and coarse ground multi grain-multi lentil flour. Some people do mix flours of untoasted grains for some body.

They get their name from the method of spreading them out. On a counter dusted with flour, the mix of veggies and flour is patted down into a thick roti. This sound and action of patting into shape is called Dhap-dhap and so these Marathi breads are called Dhapate - made with the Dhap dhap sound. For a neat non messy Dhapate do like I did below.

Dhapate are always served with dry chutney powders like lasun chutney or peanut chutney and at times pickles are yummy accompaniments too.

Pumpkin or Bhopla makes these Dhapate delicious. They can be made plain too for a quick one with just the masalas and no veggies at all. But take my word, the veggies make all the difference.


1 cup pumpkin
1.5 cups Wheat flour
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon goda masala
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 green chili chopped.
salt to taste
Oil to shallow fry

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead the dough. Never mind if it is sticky. Pinch off a small ball from the dough. Take a plastic sheet and spread it on it with your fingers. Now pick up the plastic sheet and turn it over into the non-stick fry pan, peel of the plastic sheet while you do that. From the sides add very little oil and roast.

This is a pancake style recipe which should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve piping hot with your favorite chutney or pickle with or without curd on the side.

A steaming cup of tea to wash down is superb.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Growing Pudina

We have this beautiful pot of Mint or Pudina in Indian languages in one of our balconies. This one receives decent sunlight. Here is how my bro Sumeet planted it. He had got a big bunch of mint from the APMC market. Now note that the veggies and herbs that are sold in the APMC market travel atleast 100 kms before they reach the consumer, inspite  of that we got lucky and it grew beautifully.

Here is the 1, 2 3...

  1. Take a pot, we used a 4 litre one. 
  2. Ensure there is a small hole in the bottom of the pot for draining excess water.
  3. Fill with planting soil upto 1 inch below the brim.
  4. Create holes in the soil at the top.
  5. Take cuttings of Pudina/ Mint, we used about just 4 or 5 cuttings which will stand on its own when stuck into the soil. Keep 3-4 leaves at the top for it to survive while it grows new roots on planting.
  6. Sprinkle water to moisten the soil. Do this every day.
  7. Ensure enough sunlight, but not direct. You can keep it under a larger plant for some shade.
  8. End of the month you will find more sprigs have come up and your pot is lush green.

Mint propagates with the help of rhizomes, it is a sterile plant so bears no seeds though you will see flowers. So to grow more Mint best is to provide it more space to grow.  

Harvest : 
Pluck sprigs when you require for garnishing. When you have a lot of mint snip off just the big leaves with a small scissor. Leave the stems in the pot. They will grow roots and leaves at the nodes.

Some uses:

  • Use for garnishing
  • Make a chutney when you have a enough harvest.
  • Brew Mint tea.
  • Chew a few Mint leaves as medicine for getting rid of indigestion.
  • Make MaTha.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Composting The Daily Dump Way

What is that in my balcony?

Guess what? my balcony is A Green Balcony, and that is a new label on this blog. My bro S loves growing stuff. He has nurtured a few plants, we have a Brahma kamal, Peace Lilies, Hibiscus and Tulsi in the decorative category and for the kitchen he grows Lemon Grass and Mint. I am helping him expand the green  in our home but I will focus on growing something for the kitchen. In the upcoming posts I will share both my bro's and my experience on growing our greens in our balcony in this Metro.

This post inaugurates the new category on this blog. As our little balconies become green, we need to sustain them with compost and other care. We are also committing ourselves to Upcycling the waste generated by our busy Kitchen.

What you see in the picture above is called a Khamba, I purchased it from the Daily Dump clone in Sion, Mumbai just today. I am so happy to have this composting unit in my home. It consists of 3 large Terracotta pots of about 15 liters capacity each. The pot that sits on the floor is the one with a bottom. The other 2 pots are bottomless. They just have a rope grid in the bottom, as you see in the pics below. The middle and top pots are used for dumping the daily waste from the kitchen.

It's set up in my balcony at the further most end leaning against the wall for good support. Here is how I started it up. 

Step 1: Filled half of the bottom pot with dried leaves.

Step 2: Put the empty middle pot above it. Notice the rope grid on the inside.

Step 3: Placed the 3rd pot on the top. It has the same rope grid, as the second on the inside. Covered it with a sheet of news paper.

Step 4: Added some dry leaves, to form a bed for the wet waste from the kitchen.

Step 5: Then added the wet waste from the kitchen, peels, used tea leaves, wasted food etc. Plastic should not be added, not even in traces. In my home we have separate bins for wet waste and dry waste (papers, plastic, glass etc.)

Step 6: Sprinkled 2 tablespoons of the Compost Accelerator. Sprinkled some water.

Step 7: Sprinkled 2 handfuls of sawdust on the pile. Covering the waste with saw dust avoids growth of maggots.

Step 8: Need to sprinkle 3 tablespoons of Neem after 3 days, to keep the pile fit and free from harmful microbes and fungi.

Step 9: Covered the pot with a lid.

Now every day till the pot is full, we will repeat the step 5 and 7. 

I will share with you the happenings in our Khamba as we go along on this journey of composting at home the Daily Dump way.

These are the other accessories we got with the Khamba unit, a compost sieve (the pink basket), a short rake and a pair of gloves.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dulce de leche and Remembering Jagan Baba

My Ajoba that's my grand dad was a tyrant and that too with the entire village. Any woman passing our house and found not wearing kunku/ tikka would be stopped and questioned, did you eat? If the answer was in the affirmative he would ask, when you remember to eat why did you not remember to put a bindi? The era has gone by...

There was yet another pet question he would ask young women just engaged for marriage, do you know how to boil a coconut? If the woman exposed her ignorance by saying never heard of such a thing, he would  smash the women with the most vicious words but if it was a smart woman and mocked him for asking that question then he would pat the woman's back and bless her.

I remembered my grandpa today as I made this Dulce de leche. It is a dummy's recipe. As easy as boiling a coconut! 

How to make 

Just dump a sealed can of condensed milk in a pressure cooker with water up to 3/4 level of the can, close the lid and put the weight. Simmer. Time is what you watch here, ignore the whistles. I boiled it for 30 mins and got what you see, an almost toffee consistency. 

Next time for a more pourable consistency and lighter shade will boil for just 15 mins.

I used Amul Mithai Mate because it is easy to open by just tugging at the opener ring on the lid unlike Nestle's Milkmaid can which needs a can opener and if you don't have one then you will struggle to cut open the seal. Plus I prefer local products any day.

Now I am looking for suggestion as to what I can make with it. Tarts are playing on my mind.

Ajoba, narol ukadtan kinai mahit nai, pun condensed milk cha dabba mana ukadita yete :)
Jagan baba where ever you are hope you found peace. (Death: 17th Dec 1985)

(It's a message for my grand dad, "Not sure if coconuts can be boiled but I can boil a can of condensed milk)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Going Social

I started this blog 5.5 yrs ago in Bangalore and moved  back to Mumbai couple of months ago. Gosh I was in Bangalore for a good 7yrs! Time just flew, I lived life on my own terms, pursued many things with passion, like my work, travel, blogging. My life is enriched by so many people I met in this journey.

And as we mark this milestone take a look at what the sitemeter shows...

  Average Per Day233  
  Average Visit Length1:45  
  Last Hour8  
  This Week1,628  
  Average Per Day477  
  Average Per Visit2.1  
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  This Week3,341  

I owe a lot to this blog. I started writing it as a way of staying in touch with family and friends, while I was away. Soon at work too it got me the adoration that people struggle to get. My boss, Ved and my friend and supervisor, Shrinidhi encouraged me to explore and be part of the implementation of a whole new world of Web 2.0. I also got the opportunity to influence the Organization's policy on social media because I was a blogger. I won a lot of friends in real life and then moving back to Mumbai became all the more memorable as I met my blogger buddies for the first time here, just after I returned from Bangalore.

With so much that I got from this blog, ek Thank you! toh banta hai :)

I request you to continue your support, it means so much to me. I promise to tell you more stories, share recipes and bring you some warmth straight from the heart.

What better way to celebrate the homecoming than by going social. What do you think about it let me know?

Come over lets share some interesting conversations, I missed them till now but not anymore. Annaparabrahma is now on Facebook and Twitter as well.

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