Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stir Fried Red Amaranth Leaves with Caramelized Onions

Dear All,

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I was introduced to Red Amaranth leaves recently and to my surprise I absolutely loved it! Though I have seen them in the market but never had tasted them before. I was always intrigued by the gorgeous pinkish purplish color of these leaves and they always looked very attractive to me, to an extent that I had requested my mom to get me a T of the same color :D Oh well the good old childhood days of innocence :) 
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Amaranth leaves are also known as Chinese Spinach. These are highly nutritious in nature and loaded with vitamins like A, B1, B2 and C, calcium, iron and potassium. These leaves are low in fat and helps in prevention of various disorders like Respiratory disorders, Retarded growth etc. For more information on health benefits check here and to know the detailed nutrient facts check here.

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Just like all the other leafy vegetable these reduce to 1/4 when cooked. One bunch serves one to two persons.

Stir Fried Red Amaranth Leaves With Caramelized Onions
Ingredients:- Serves 2
2 bunches of fresh red amaranth leaves, washed and chopped finely
1 tsp oil
1 - 2 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 portion caramelized onion (recipe below)


  • In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil, add in dry red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida (hing).
  • Now stir in the chopped red amaranth leaves and mix well. Add in salt to taste and mix well.
  • Within few minutes the leaves will shrunk just like Spinach, cover and cook over low flame for 5 to 8 mins. Dont forget to stir in between.
  • Finally add freshly chopped coriander and caramelized onions and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for another 2 mins.
  • Serve hot with rotis or parathas.

For Caramelized Onions:-
1 big red onion , thinly sliced
1 tsp oil
2 tsp brown sugar


  • In heavy bottom pan heat the oil, add in finely sliced onions and saute for 2 mins.
  • Add in brown sugar and saute the onions over low flame for another 3 to 4 mins until they get lightly browned.
  • Your caramelized onions are ready!

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Verdict? This dish is simplicity at its best! Simple and easy to cook, gets ready in under 15 mins and jam packed with healthy nutrients! I have already prepared this dish 2 times in the last week and everyone just loves it! Make sure you wash the leaves properly under running water for atleast 10 mins. Enjoy this sweet and spicy stir fry veggie with ghee rice or with parathas, anyway you do I am sure you will ask for more!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celebrating 1st Anniversary with Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake

Dear All,
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I know a lot of you were expecting a cake from my side to celebrate my blog's first anniversary, finally the wait is over and with drum rolls please I present to you Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake!! My sister is crazy behind blueberry though she has never had them before and hence she really wanted to taste them, she even asked me if I could request my colleagues to get some fresh blueberries from Switzerland while they are coming back...can you believe it? This time to my visit to Alfa I got a tan of blueberry pie filling and I immediately thought of my sis, I am sure she would love to gobble down the entire tin with some fresh cream, she is crazy behind fresh cream too and her waist line permits her to do so :) 

Before my darling sis could empty the entire tin I planned to put them to good use. Quite sometime back I had bookmarked DK recipe for Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake which really looked too good to be true for an eggless one! I decided to use the blueberry pie filling in place of fresh ones, if nothing else it certainly increases the moistness of the cake though I would highly recommend using fresh ones, as in India we dont get fresh blueberries I had to substitute them. DK has also used applesauce, another ingredients not easily available here, so I substituted it with curd. To make the cake less in fat I have used oil in place of butter but I will recommend everyone to use butter as i think the cake wasnt as rich as it would be with some real butter!

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2 cups all purpose flour
1  cup vanilla sugar or normal
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup beaten curd
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries or blueberry pie filling

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Grease and flour a pound cake tin.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder and baking soda keep it aside.
  • In a bowl beat sugar and oil for 2 mins until well blended. Add in vanilla extract , again beat for a min.
  • Beat in flour mixture along with sour cream and curd alternatively in well blended.
  • Finally fold in the blueberry filling and mix gently, donot beat.
  • Pour the batter and bake at 190 degrees C for 45 to 50 mins until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped fresh cream.
  • Enjoy!!
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Verdict? My sister loved this cake and according to her its heavenly with a dollop of fresh cream :D I would highly recommend serving this cake warm with some fresh cream or vanilla ice cream, the combo is unbeatable! Hope you all enjoyed the cake and thank you once again for your wishes!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My First Blog Anniversary !!!

Dear All,

I am extremely happy to share with you all that today my blog completes one successful year in blogoshpere and I wish to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who have inspired and encouraged me. Without support from you all this would not have been possible. When last year i decided to start this blog I didnt know that it will become my passion one day and so very important part of my life. It has given me an identity, before when i typed "Parita" in Google I used to get Gulf of Parita or Parita a town in Panama but today Parita's World turns up within the first few entries which is really a fantastic feeling!!!

I cannot sign off before thanking few people who inspired me to start my own blog, a heartfelt thanks to Priya and Deeba whose blogs i used to visit regularly and my dear buddy Nithya who has constantly encouraged me and been a true friend.

Last but not the least my very close and dear friend Dev without whom I would have quit blogging a long time back. With all the work pressures and deadlines to meet it becomes next to impossible to feed your blog regularly. A very heartfelt thanks to D who supported me and inspired through the tough times, it really meant a lot to me and I really love you for that!

Hope you all had a very relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eggless Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

Dear All,

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First of all here's wishing all the wonderful women a very Happy Women's Day we rock girls!!
Starting with today's post, I made this Eggless Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting for my dear roommate V. She celebrates her birthday on Women's Day. Being pure vegetarian she doesnt eat eggs so with little googling I came across Sandhya's recipe for Eggless Chocolate Cake and it sounded perfect. I emailed her regarding a query and she was kind enough to reply back immediately. Thanks Sandhya for sharing such a wonderful recipe, I have used her recipe as a base and made some changes.

From the moment I saw homemade mascarpone cheese recipe on Deeba's blog I was itching to make it at home but due to some or the other reasons I really couldnt find time nor an occasion. I have used mascarpone cheese before in my Tiramisu but nothing can compare the homemade version. I was in for a surprise, mascarpone turned out to be incredibly rich and creamy! I just couldnt stop having it and I am sure I am going make this very often. It is so easy to make and so very cheap from the ones we get in the market. You can even use mascarpone cheese inplace of cream cheese in your dishes, use it in curries to make them rich and creamy or in your desserts or even while making some basic white pasta sauce or in dips and sauces...phew the list could go on and on possibilites are endless!! So what are you waiting for rush to your kitchen and make some homemade cheese!!

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2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tbsp Hersheys Dark coco powder (You can even use Cadbury's)
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup beaten curd (without water)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure for Cake:-
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Grease and line a 6 inch or 7 inch round cake tin.
  • Sieve flour, coco powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Form a well in between and add in the liquid ingredients one by one and beat well with each addition.
  • Add in vanilla essence in the end and give a quick mix.
  • Pour the batter in the tin and bake for 40 to 50 mins until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, cool is completely about 30 to 40 mins before slicing the cake horizontally into 3 slices.

Recipe for Mascarpone Cheese:-
500ml fresh cream 25% fat (I used Amul)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • Heat the cream over a double boiler until it reaches 82 degrees C or 180 F. This will take about 15 mins, dont forget to stir the cream often.
  • Stir in the fresh lime juice and stir it continuosly until it starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and let it get cooled down to room temperature.
  • Line a vessel with four layers of muslin cloth. Pour the mixture in the vessel layered with muslin cloth and refrigerate over night or upto 24 hours.
  • After refrigeration the cream will have thicken up further and will be soft to touch.
Recipe for Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting:-
1 cup mascarpone cheese (Half of the above recipe)
200 ml heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp coco powder
5 tbsp vanilla sugar

  • Chill the beater knives and the vessel in the freezer for 15 mins.
  • Make sure the whipping cream is also chilled but not frozen.
  • Beat all the ingredients together for about 5 mins until stiff peaks form. Donot overbeat it may lead the cream to curdle.
Soaking Solution:-
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp rum (optional)

Color chocolate sprinkles to decorate the cake
Let your imagination flow :-)

  • Place one of the three layers on the serving plate. Drizzle sugar syrup over the cake to moisten it.
  • Spread the chocolate mascarpone frosting evenly on all the sides.
  • Repeat this procedure for all the 3 layers. Cover the sides and top of the cake with frosting.
  • I have given an uneven look of frosting on the cake purposely.
  • Decorate the sides of the cake with colorful chocolate sprinkles or as you wish.
  • The icing is also perfect for piping.

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Verdict? I simply loved this cake, was moist and chocolaty to the core. The mascarpone frosting was very rich and light an absolute delight to work with and delicious in taste. V enjoyed her cake and even commented about this being the best cake she has ever had on her birthday :-) Now that certainly makes it a winner isnt it?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vanilla Beans and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dear All,
Wishing all my readers a very Happy and Safe Holi !!!

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I have been planning to use the bunch of Vanilla Beans I got from Switzerland from a very long time. Apart of making some Vanilla Sugar and Vanilla Essence I really wanted to bake something. Initially I thought of baking a pound cake but didnt have enough flour in hand so I turned them into mini muffins.
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What makes these mini muffins special is the fact that the I didnt follow any recipes, just mixed and matched ingredients i had on hand and BANG!! I got these wonderfully moist and sinfully delicious muffins. Oh i love the flavor of vanilla beans in them, it filled my kitchen with an aroma I have never experienced before. I am so gonna use vanilla beans in my all bakes! I wish we could get these here easily. Next on target is to make some homemade Vanilla Essence and Vanilla Sugar.

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Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

  • Grease and flour 12 muffin moulds.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder and baking soda in a seperate bowl.
  • Split the vanilla bean from middle and remove the seeds. Mix the seeds in the milk.
  • Beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffly
  • Add in the egg and beat for another 2 mins.
  • Now mix in the flour and milk alternatively until everything is combined well.
  • Add in the chocolate chips and mix well, donot beat.
  • Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and bake them for 15 to 20 mins until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Serve these warm with a glass of milk.
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Verdict?  Muffins were insanely flavorful and soft with melt in mouth texture. If you are a vanilla lover just like me you ve got to try these!

Have a wonderful week ahead!!