Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Looks like I am becoming a hard core Ina Garten fan. This is another one of her recipes from the Barefoot Contessa book series "How easy is that?". Now what is the difference between banana cake and banana bread? The only thing I know of is that the banana bread is made in a loaf pan and the other one in a regular cake pan. If one of you has a better answer than that, let me know. This is a super moist 'n soft cake recipe and the taste reminds me of the unniyappams (a traditional fried snack made with rice flour, banana, etc). I have slightly altered the recipe to reduce the amount of sugar.

Makes a 9" Cake

Very Ripe Bananas - 3 (mashed)
Granulated Sugar- 1/2 cup
Light Brown Sugar- 1/2 cup (lightly packed)
Vegetable Oil- 1/2 cup
Eggs- 2
Sour Cream- 1/2 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
Grated Orange zest- from a small orange
All Purpose Flour- 2 cups
Baking Soda- 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Coarsely chopped walnuts- 1/2 cup

  1. Using an electric mixer or blender, mix the mashed bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar on a low speed until combined. The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup granulated sugar. So if you want it to be sweeter, you could add 3/4 cup.
  2. Add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla essence and orange zest to the banana-sugar mixture and mix at low speed until smooth. If you do not have orange zest, you could avoid them.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt to combine them well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients in a slow speed and combine well.
  5. Stir in the chopped walnuts to the cake batter.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 9" baking pan.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-55 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. The heating time varies by the oven, so keep checking towards the last 10-15 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and turn on to a cooling rack and cool completely.

You should also be able to bake it in a loaf pan or even make this into muffins.  This is a perfect snack which has the goodness of bananas and the crunchiness of the walnuts. You could also make this cake without the walnuts, if you do not like them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scrambled Eggs

Does this even call for a posting in this space? Scrambled Eggs are so simple to make, that I was confused as to whether I should do this as a post in here. But then, this is my life saver recipe and one of my family favorites. I make this when I do not have that much time to cook or when I am not in a mood to cook and still want to eat something tasty.

Serves 4-5 people

Oil-3 tbsp
Eggs- 4
Onion-1 big (around 1 lb)
Green Chilly -3
Chilly Powder-3/4 tsp
Grated Coconut -1/2 cup
Salt -to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the finely chopped onions and little salt and saute well.
  2. When the onion turns translucent, add the finely chopped green chilly and chilly powder and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the grated coconut and mix well for a minute or two.
  4. Beat the egg with enough salt.
  5. Add the beaten egg to onions and keep mixing. Add salt, if needed. Continue this until the egg is completely dry and scrambled. This could take up to 10 minutes.

This could be eaten like a thoran (stir fry) with rice, on its own or with rotis. My favorite combo with this is Chapathi. Also you could make sandwiches with this mixture. I am sure most of you make this in one form or the other. This is definitely a quick 'n easy recipe which is super yummy! Sending this to Any One Can Cook Series.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fish Molly

It's been a month since I posted something in this space! I am still very much here - alive and kicking! It's just that I have been so busy this last month with my move to my new home and my son's birthday. It is kind of tough to get out of the non-blogging mode now, but I am trying hard. The emails that I am getting from my friends out there are the main inspiration to get back! So here is my first attempt towards that with the Fish Molly/Fish Molee recipe. Don't ask me how this curry got its name - I have no clue! But sure it is an interesting name, as is the dish. Presenting another traditional Kerala Recipe!

Serves 6-7 people

For the Fish Fry
Fish- 1 lb (cut into cube pieces)
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly Powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Coconut Oil- 2 tbsp

For the Gravy
Coconut Oil- 1 tbsp
Onions- 1 big (around 0.9lbs - thinly sliced)
Garlic - 6-7 big pods (around 0.05lbs)
Ginger- 1 big piece (around 0.05lbs)
Green Chilly- 3
Tomato- 1 (around 0.25lbs)
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Thin Coconut Milk- 1/2 cup
Thick Coconut Milk- 1/2 cup
Water- 3/4 cup
Curry Leaves- 2-3 twigs
Salt- to taste

  1. Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt and keep it aside for a minimum of 10 minutes. I used Mahi Mahi fish for this preparation.
  2. Shallow fry the marinated fish pieces in coconut oil until slightly brown and keep aside after draining the oil. This is to just make the fish a little firm (and tasty, of course) so that it will not break when put into the gravy.
  3. Add a table spoon of coconut oil to the same pan which was used to fry the fish together with any remaining oil from frying.
  4. Crush the ginger and garlic coarsely using a mortar pestle or a mixer and add to the oil.
  5. Saute the ginger and garlic until the raw smell is gone.
  6. Add the sliced onions and saute until they are transparent.
  7. Add the green chilly and turmeric powder and saute for a minute.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for few seconds. Do not overcook it.
  9. Add water and thin coconut milk to the pan and let it boil.
  10. Add the fried fish pieces and salt to the gravy and slightly mix it and let it cook for 3-5 minutes.
  11. Add the thick coconut milk and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the curry leaves and turn off the stove.

The coconut oil and coconut milk in this curry makes it really flavorful and yummy. This Fish curry goes perfect with Appam, Rice, Idiyappam and bread as well. I love eating this even with Rotis.
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