Monday, April 23, 2012

Avocado Milkshake

Hi all, Hope you Monday has been good. This weekend I came across some lovely avocados in the market and thought of making some milkshake. I have tried avocado milkshakes at restaurants but I have never made it at home. So when I saw these avocados I immediately picked them up.

When choosing an avocado to buy, you have to place the avocado in the palm of your hand.  Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it's ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still "firm" and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe. 

The recipe is a basic milkshake recipe. You can add any fruits that you have on hand, to make the milkshake. Just add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to make yummy chocolate avocado milkshakes!

Avocado Milkshake:
1 – Ripe Avocado
1 Cup – Milk (I used low-fat milk)
3 teaspoons – Sugar or Honey (I used un-refined cane sugar)
1 cup – ice cubes
1 teaspoon – Vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons – Cocoa powder (optional)

  • Cut the avocado in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
  • Add the scooped avocado, sugar, milk,Vanilla extract and the ice cubes together.
  • Blend in the blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve immediately. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Banana Crumb Muffins

Happy Tamil New Year to all of you. I dint do anything special for new year because I am not feeling very well. But I had a couple of ripe bananas sitting on my counter-top, and I wanted to bake something to use up these bananas. Also had some cut mangoes in the fridge.

As I was browsing my recipe collection, I came across these bananan crumb muffin recipe. I love crumb topppings on my muffins! But I have never tried it out. Last week, Hubby and I were having high tea at a bakery in Clementi and he asked me what a ‘crumb’ topping was. So I thought this recipe would be a good idea to use up the bananas and show hubby what crumb topping was. The recipe was straight forward, the technique for the crumb topping was also easy. So I got out my new muffin cases :) and made these delicious muffins. 

Warm out of the oven…. They were moist and so full of banana flavour. The crumb topping was sweet and crunchy! The recipe called for 3 ripe bananas, but I only had 2. So I added about half a medium mango, and mashed them together. When I tasted the muffins, the mangoes were not very prominent. And the 2 bananas were more than enough.  Recipe adapted from Annie’sEats.

Banana Crumb Muffins
Yields 14 muffins.

For the muffins:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Unbleached Plain Flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, mashed 
3/4 cup white sugar (I used unrefined raw sugar)
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted 

For the topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Unbleached Plain Flour)
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter   

  •      Preheat oven to 375°.    
  •      In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  •      In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter.
  •      Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
  •      Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  
  •      In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and vanilla extract.
  •      Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  •      Sprinkle topping over muffins.   
  •      Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Tamil New Year

Happy Tamil New Year to all !! Hope this new year brings happiness and goodness into your lives!

I created this image special for Tamil New Year. To Download the mango design from the above image, please click here Mango Design.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes

Hi all, Hope all of you enjoyed the long Easter weekend. I had fun. We went to the beach on Good Friday with a couple of Hubby’s colleagues.

I was itching to bake something, but I didn’t have time to go shopping. So I wanted to baked something with ingredients in my fridge. Turns out all I had were some carrots. So I browsed through my recipes and found one from Annie’s Eats. It was a simple carrot cupcake recipe. And I thought it went along perfectly with the Easter weekend situation. So off I went to go grate my carrots!

The recipe called for 4 eggs. But the friends that we were going to meet were vegitarians. I knew that they don’t mind cakes with eggs. But since I have lots of leftover flaxseeds from my Eggless Chocolate Cookies. So I thought this would be a good excuse to try out those flaxseeds as egg replacement in these cupcakes.

I halved the recipe and made the cupcakes with 2 large carrots. I grated them with my normal kitchen grater. And reduced the amount of cinnamon in the recipe, cause hubby doesn’t like cinnamon in baked goods. Good thing I did this, otherwise it would have over whelmed then cupcakes. The cake itself doesn’t have any flavouring except the carrots and the little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg added.

I had some creame cheese left over from my previous cupcakes experiment. And I used that up for the frosting. The cupcakes with the frosting was so moist and lovely. It was a different track from the regular vanilla and chocolate cupcakes that I bake. I like the idea of adding half flour and half carrots to my cupcakes making them somewhat healthy in a way ;)

Carrot Cupcakes
Yield: about 20-22 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
  •          2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  •          1¼ tsp. baking powder
  •          1 tsp. baking soda
  •          ½  tsp. ground cinnamon
  •          ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
  •          ½ tsp. salt
  •          1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
  •          1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
  •          ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  •          4 large eggs 
  •         (Replacement for 2 eggs - I used 3 tbsp flaxseeds mixed with 6 tbsp of  warm water)
  •          1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil
For the frosting:
  •          12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
  •          7½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •          1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  •          3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; and set aside.
  • With a grater, grate the carrots.
  • Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Beat the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds.  
  • With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream until well blended.
  • Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  
  • Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
  • Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.
  • Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
  • Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This first time I made Naan at home was a few years back. But since we don’t eat white flour at home, I have stopped making them. But a couple of weeks back we had guests over, and I wanted to make something special for dinner. And hence the Naan!

It turned out so well. They were so fluffy, and so soft. Please remember naans have to be served hot. And also, for me it takes two persons to make Naan, one at the stove and the other rolling out the dough. This time I had help from my guests and they were so thrilled that I was making homemade naans.

You don’t have to be afraid to make naan at home. All you have to do is buy good yeast, and follow the instructions. Once you get it right, then it will be a breeze. Of course it has some complex steps, but I am sure when you serve it, it will be a treat for your family and guests!!!
This is a recipe from 100 Tiffin Varieties from Mrs.S.Mallika Badrinath. I love her books, her recipes are so good, and she has so many books out now. My mom got these for me when I got married and moved to Singapore, and I have to admit that these books where a life saver during dinner parties!! So thank you Mrs.Mallika for all your lovely recipes!

Naan Recipe:
Makes 10 Naans
·         Plain Flour(Maida) – 500 Gms
·         Thick Curd – ½ cup
·         Lukewarm Milk – ½ Cup
·         Instant Yeast – ¾ teaspoon
·         Sugar – ½ teaspoon
·         Salt – 1 ¼ teaspoon
·         Baking Powder- ¾ teaspoon
·         Baking Soda – ¾ teaspoon
·         Ghee/Butter(room temp.) – 4 teaspoon

  • Mix the yeast with the lukewarm milk, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the salt, plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sift it in a big bowl.
  • Make a well in the middles of the plain flour mixture.
  • Add the milk with yeast, curd and sugar to the well made in the plain flour mixture.
  • After 1 minute, add the ghee/butter to the mixture and knead well.
  • If needed add little warm water and make into a soft dough.
  • Coat a big bowl with oil or butter and place the dough inside.
  • Cover this bowl with a thin wet cloth and place a plate over the cloth.
  • Let the dough sit for 5-6 hours, until it has double in size.
  • Now make small balls of the dough, and roll it out with ¼ inch thickness.
  • Brush some plain water on top of the rolled dough.
  • Place the water brushed side on to a hot flat pan.
  • Cook covered on medium heat.
  • After a few seconds, the face down side of the naan would have turned golden brown.
  • Place a grill on top of one of the burners of the stove, keep the flame at medium.
  • Remove the naan from the pan, and flip ot onto the grill over the open flame.
  • Move the naan around the grill with a pair of tongs, until that side is cooked.
  • Brush with butter and serve hot.