Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Almond Sour Cream Cake

Almonds are one of our favourite nut. They are high in unsaturated fat which is very good for our healthy arteries and heart. It is a rich source of magnesium, copper a d high quality protein. They are high in fiber which is extremely helpful to have a healthy digestive system. This cake is a cross between a cookie and a cake since it is not very sweet cake but very moist and use of sour cream makes it really light. A perfect match to a warm cup of coffee or tea.


Almond                         3/4 cup crushed coarsely
Almond meal                 3/4 cup
Eggs                              3
Flour                             1 cup
Sugar                            1 1/4 cup
Butter                            3/4 cup
Vanilla extract               1 tsp
Sour cream                   4 tbsp
Baking powder             1 tsp
Icing sugar                    for the top


Preheat the oven at 350.
Butter and flour a 9 inch pan. spread crushed almonds at the base of the pan.
Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one by one. Beat well before adding the next egg.
Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract and beat well. 
Sift the flour and baking powder.
Add the flour to the butter mixture, mix to incorporate but avoid over mixing.
Pour into the prepared pan and spread with light movements keeping the almond base even.
Bake for 35-45 mins.
Check after 35 mins and insert the skewer to check if the cake is done, if not give another five mins.
Invert the cake on cooling rack after taking out of the oven immediately. Cool and dust the icing sugar on top before serving.


You can toast the almonds before crushing for rich nuttier flavour.

Monday, 9 June 2014


Cinnamon is a spice found in most kitchens. Whether in a sweet or savoury recipe, it is equally loved. Cinnamon is the outer bark of a tree scientifically known as Cinnamomum, native to the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Cinnamon is categorized in two types:
Ceylon cinnamon which is most commonly used in the Western world. It is lighter in color and is cigar shaped. It is sweeter in taste and is more suitable for desserts.
Cassia cinnamon mostly comes from southern China and is less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon. It is mostly used in South Asian cooking in curries and savoury dishes. It is dark in color and also cigar shaped but has a spicier taste.

Cinnamon has been used by humans since 2000 BC. The first traces of cinnamon being used come from Ancient Egypt. It has been used to treat conditions such as cough, arthritis and sore throats.

Modern research also supports its myriad health benefits. It has been used for stomachaches, colds, runny nose, cough etc. Studies have shown that it helps to control blood sugar levels as well. Cinnamon is a powerful anti-bacterial so it helps to calm down the stomach flu bug. It can be used in powdered form as well steeped in teas.

A word of caution though, coumarin is a chemical substance found in both types of cinnamon. If consumed in high quantities, it can cause liver damage. It has been noted that Ceylon Cinnamon contains lower levels of coumarin as compared to cassia cinnamon. So people with weak livers should consult a doctor before consumption.
Herbal Remedy

Following is a herbal home remedy for cough and cold.

Cinnamon Powder       1 tsp
Honey                         1 tbsp
Ginger juice                 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder         1/4 tsp

Mix everything together and take 1/2 tsp after couple of hours to relieve severe cough.
You can also add a tsp of above mixture to hot water and drink as a tea to ease a sore throat.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Potato and Dill Cutlets

Potato cakes or as we call it potato cutlets comes in many flavour combinations. I is one of the famous snacks at tea time. It has just a few ingredients and very simple to make. Use waxy potatoes to get crispy outside.


Potatoes                          5 cups boiled and mashed
Dill leaves                        1 cup chopped
Salt                                  1-1.5 tsp or to taste
Red chili flakes                 1/2 tsp
Black pepper                   1/4 tsp
Onion                              1/2 cup chopped
Green onion                     3 sliced thinly
Butter                              2 tbsp
Egg                                  1 beaten
Oil                                    for frying


Boil the potatoes until fork tender.
Mash them using a potato masher or use a grater. Do not mash them like mash potatoes, they should have a bit of texture.
Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry chopped onion till translucent around 3-4 minutes. add red chili flakes, black pepper and salt to it and fry for another 30 seconds. Pour it on top of the potatoes.
Add sliced green onion and chopped dill to it and mix well to incorporate everything together.
Form 2 inches discs.
Heat an inch of oil in a frying pan on medium high.
Dip the disc in the beaten egg and fry on both sides until golden.


If you want to skip eggs, let the cutlets air dry for 15-30 minutes before frying.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Stir Fried Chicken and Shrimp with Vegetables in Garlic Sauce

 Every once in a while, all of us are left with a little bit of this a little bit of that. So thats when I need to figure out how to use everything to clear out the vegetable box in the fridge. You can add whatever you have in your fridge. I have used broccoli, red & orange pepper, onion, napa cabbage, chicken and shrimps. Its a simple stir fry with garlic sauce and I served it with steamed rice. Its a very easy recipe which you can put together in a jiffy. Here is how it goes:


Chicken                             2 cups cubes
Shrimp                               2 cups
Broccoli                             1 head cut into florets
Red bell pepper                  1 cut into strips
Yellow bell pepper             1/2 cut into strips
Napa Cabbage                   1/2 head  cut into cubes
Garlic                                 3 cloves grated
Corn Starch                        1 tbsp mixed in half cup of water
Soy Sauce                          1 tbsp
Salt                                     to taste
Black pepper                      1/4 tsp
Green chili                           2 chopped (optional)
Oil                                      4 tbsp


Marinate chicken with the grated garlic cloves for 10 mins.
Heat the wok till its smoking, pour the oil and swirl around quickly to coat.
Add in the chicken and fry until it changes colour around 3-4 mins.
Take out of the pan and add remaining ingredients one by one in the following sequence: broccoli, peppers, cabbage, shrimp. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Put the chicken back into the wok and add salt and pepper. Pour in 2/3-1 cup of water and soy sauce and bring to a boil.
Once it start boiling, add in the corn starch mix. Once its bubbling, let it cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and serve immediately.


You can add less or more corn starch to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Use any vegetables you have on hand.