Friday, December 23, 2011

Apple Raisin Walnut Muffins (Eggless)

The Holiday Season......This is the time of the year when baking is at an all-time high. It is not surprising because baked goodies taste delectable. Homemade baked treats are a good gift idea. Baking gets you being creative. It's fun and it is such a good hobby for a number of reasons. So, last week the baking bug bit me too. But, I did some low profile baking. Made some Apple Raisin Walnut Muffins. The highlight of this trial was that it was an eggless muffin recipe. I have never tried baking cakes or muffins without eggs, so, I was a little sceptical about the outcome. But, it was a big success story and the muffins were so moist too. And so, if you ask me if I would bake this eggless muffin again.......................Yes, definitely. It is a very easy recipe and I would recommend it to a beginner as well. Prep time - 10 mins.

The recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's Apple Raisin Muffin recipe.

I spiked the recipe by adding walnuts and a dash of rum. My recipe is provided below.
Ingredients (makes 10 muffins)

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup grated apple

  • 1/4 cup raisin

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/ 115 gms) butter

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/8 tspn salt

  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

  • 1 tspn rum


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) .

  • Combine the water, sugar, apples, raisins, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

  • Add vanilla extract and rum.

  • In a large bowl, stir the nuts, salt and baking soda into the flour.

  • Add the cooled mixture to the bowl, and stir until blended.

  • Fill greased or parchment lined miniature muffin tins with batter to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Luv 'n' luc'


Monday, November 28, 2011

Nadan Chicken Curry

In Bangalore, or should I say "Bengaluru", for the past few days the stubborn clouds have been refusing to give way to the Sun. Gloomy days with chill winds..........boring, boring, boring.On one such afternoon last week, I was browsing channels when I came across a show with the recipe for nadan kozhi curry or country style chicken curry. Basically, a recipe from Kerala. It sounded and looked appealing. So, I tried the recipe. Verdict- I should say that it tasted very, very nadan and the recipe was very simple to follow. This is a nice gravy which will go well with pathiri, parotta, roti or dosa. With rice.......not so much. Cooking time was considerably less as the pressure cooker cooked the chicken in a jiffy. A quick curry.

  • Chicken- 1.2 kg

  • Onions- sliced - 5 large

  • Ginger - 1 inch piece (sliced)

  • Garlic - 10 large cloves (chopped)

  • Coriander powder - 2 tspns

  • Chilli pwder - 1 tspn

  • Eastern chicken masla - 1 tspn

  • Turmeric - 1/2 tspn

  • Garam masala - 2 tspns

  • Ripe tomatoes(medium sized) - 5 (diced)

  • Mustard – 1 tspn

  • Curry leaves - one fist full

  • Coconut oil- 8 tbspns

  • Salt - to taste

  • Water – 1-1/2 cup

For marination:

  • Coriander powder - 6 tspns

  • Chilli powder - 2 tspns

  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

  • Garam masala powder- 2 tspns

  • Chicken curry masala - 2 tspns ( I used Eastern brand)

  • Salt - 1 tspns

Directions :

  • Marinate the chicken without adding any water and keep aside for 30 mins.

  • Take 7 tbspns oil in a pan and fry onions till golden.

  • Add ginger and garlic. Saute well.

  • Add chicken and tomatoes and the rest of the masala mentioned in the ingredients.

  • Add salt to taste.

  • Add half the amount of curry leaves

  • Let in cook for 5 mins

  • Transfer the chicken to a pressure cooker.

  • Add water ( For a thick gravy add just ½ cup of water).

  • Add the rest of the curry leaves.

  • Cover and let it cook for one whistle.

  • Take 1 tbspn. oil in a tempering ladle and temper mustard and curry leaves and add to the chicken.

  • Serve hot.

Luv 'n' luc'


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade vanilla extract and have been wanting to try my hand at it for a while. Atlast, sometime last week, it's time had come. So, here's how I made my homemade vanilla extract.
I bought a small bottle of vodka( 180 ml) and used that bottle itself to make the extract.


  • Vanilla beans - 4 nos.

  • Bean skins(optional) - few

  • Vodka - 180 ml


  • Cut the vanilla beans into halves. I did this because my vodka bottle was not tall enough to hold a full bean.

  • Then cut them lengthwise, splitting them in half, leaving the end connected.

  • Put vanilla beans into vodka bottle. Add vanilla skins also if you have any.Cover tightly. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while.

  • Store in a dark, cool place for 3 weeks or longer. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.

  • Vanilla extract is like wine, the longer it is stored, the better the flavor.

My Vanilla extract is just over 5 days old and look at it's intense color. It has also become so fragrant. Can't wait to use it. Will have to wait another 2-3 weeks though.


  • Avoid discarding vanilla bean skins after using the vanilla seeds. Save them for making extract.

  • The skins and a split bean can also be put into a jar of white sugar and left for a few weeks to make vanilla sugar.Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.

Luv 'n' luc'

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I made chocolate brownies last week. They came out sooooooooo good. This really gave me that push to start blogging again because I just had to share the recipe.
I've used dark cooking chocolate and very little cocoa powder. The outcome was a chocoholic's dream. A fudge like brownie, with the richness of dark cocoa, warm, moist, not too gooey and that thin crisp crust on top was a delight. Not to forget that occasional crunch of toasted walnuts and chocolate chips.Yummo!

These are best served warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or for an overdose in chocolate, chocolate ice cream. Custard too will be a great combination.
I wanted to jazz up the recipe a little by adding a dash of rum and orange peels. But, since I was making the brownies for take away, i didn't dare try something like that and played safe. But the next time I make brownies, I'm gonna add some crushed peppermints to the above recipe and see what it tastes like. I love chocolate mint . So, I'm guessing I'll love these too.


  • Flour – 1- 1/3 cup

  • Cocoa powder – 5 tbspns

  • Baking Powder – 1/3 tspn

  • Salt – ½ tspn

  • Dark cooking chocolate – 250 grms

  • Butter – 225 gms

  • Sugar - 1-2/3 cups

  • Eggs- 5

  • Vanilla extract – 1 tspn

  • Instant coffee powder – 1 tbspn (optional)

  • Chocolate chips and walnuts – ½ cup each (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Toast walnuts for 5-8 mins while oven is in initial stages of preheating. Remove walnuts from oven. Let cool. Chop it and set aside.
  • Line a brownie tin with parchment paper.
  • Mix flour, Cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Chop cooking chocolate
  • Over a water-bath, melt butter and cocoa till smooth and shiny. Add coffee powder to this and stir. Let cool for 6-7 mins.
  • In the mean time, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla for abt 7-8 mins till thick.
  • Add this mixture to the butter-chocolate mixture and add the flour mixture and mix well with a whisk.
  • Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and mix well and pour into the tin and bake for 15 mins.
  • Reduce temp to 170 degrees C and bake for another 10-15 mins.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for a while. Serve warm with ice cream or custard.
Luv 'n' luc'



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