Friday, 7 December 2012

Real Mango Cake (Eggless) with Cream Cheese Frosting

"Tumko dekh ke, yunh lagta hai,
Koi bichda khaab aaya hai.
Barso lambi, raat se guzre,
Subh ka jhonka, laut aaya hai.

Bohot der jaagi, bohot door aayi,
Khaab ne choori, na meri kalaayiin.

Kab se meri, saans ruki thi,
Mujhe saans aayi, mujhe saans aayi, mujhe saans aayi.
Saans mein tere, saans ruki thi, 
Mujhe saans aayi, mujhe saans aayi, mujhe saans aayi..."

Gulzar created a beautiful masterpiece with this song, and it has been tattooed into my heart since the first time I heard it. Every time I think to myself that love could not possibly be expressed in any more ways than music has already done so far, I am yet again surprised by such beautiful lyrics.

When I hear such beautiful music composed by my one and only Rahman, it makes me happy. When I'm happy, I cook. And lately, my happiest form of cooking has been baking. I'm a complete novice at baking, and I've come to realise that baking is such an incredible art, that I am completely overwhelmed by the possibilities and types! There's so much to learn, and there are some really amazing bakers out there; I hope to be even 1/4 as good as them some day.

The biggest hurdle I face when I am baking, is that I cannot, or rather, will not, use eggs and gelatine. But as I've delved into the process a lot more these days, I have found many ways of substituting eggs with other products such as No Egg (a powdered substitute product), Yoghurt, Condensed Milk, Flaxmeal, and Bananas, and these have worked out quite well in different situations.

I really felt like baking something yesterday, and with a few really large and soft mangoes lying around at home, waiting to be gobbled up, I wanted to try something new. I used a very simple recipe to create this amazing delight, that everyone at work went absolutely crazy for! This recipe is pure vegetarian (eggless) and can also be made vegan! I've never had Mango Cake before, so this was a pleasant dish to have that wasn't too sweet, or too heavy; just perfect.

I adapted this recipe from a blogger that I have admired for quite sometime: Nithya from 4th Sense Cooking. She has a highly comprehensive set of recipes on her blog, and is a very talented photographer too. She really inspires me with her mouth-watering dishes and eye-candy photography, and I've tried many of her recipes to date. Thank you Nithya, for this delicious recipe :)


Good food doesn't need to be difficult. Have a go at this simple one:

Ingredients
2 large ripe mangoes
2 cups of self-raising flour (you can use plain flour if you don't have self-raising flour)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup of milk (use soy milk if you are vegan)1/2 cup of melted butter (use oil if you are vegan)
1.5 cups of very fine sugar (castor sugar, icing sugar or white sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of cardamom powder (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Peel off the skin from the mangoes, take out the flesh and mash it up in a bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter and fluff it well.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt into the bowl that has the mashed mangoes. You need to sieve it if you want the cake to come out a little fluffy. 
  5. Mix the contents well with a spoon.
  6. Add the vanilla essence, cardamom powder, and milk. Use an electric blender and blend it for a minimum of 5 minutes to make the batter smooth and fluffy. If the batter is too runny, add 1/2 cup of flour. If it is too runny, add some more milk.
  7. Grease the cake pan lightly with a brush of a little oil. Pour in all the batter and spread evenly.
  8. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack, and spread some sweet cream cheese on top. 
  10. Enjoy! (This is the most important step)

I was surprised by how soft this cake came out. It wasn't crumbly, but it was really soft and heavenly.

I hope you all enjoy this cake as much as I did :)



Nitya.





Monday, 3 December 2012

Hariyali Channa Masala

"Teri aankhon ki namkeen mastiyaan,
Teri hansi ki beparwaah gustakhiyaan,
Teri zulfon ki lehrati angdaiyaan,
Nahi bhoolunga main,
Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan..."

We went to see Jab Tak Hai Jaan last night, and I must say that I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. I admire Shahrukh, no doubt, but the trailer did not particularly impress me. In short, the cinematography was brilliant, the music was fantastic (especially the theme music), the story was interesting and captivating, and the film overall carried very well. Much to my dismay though, I tried searching for some acting talent in Katrina, to no avail. Anushka, on the other hand, made a commendable effort.

Rahman's music has always been one that I have adored to the last note, but one that has taken time to grow on to me. I hear it for the first time, and I don't love it immediately. But as the tune plays repeatedly in my heart, and beats at it with its charm, I realise what a masterpiece it is. The theme music really seeped into my bloodstream yesterday, and I've found myself repeating Adi Chopra's poetry and humming the theme music.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Yash Chopra for a lifetime of amazing films, memories and melodies. No matter what anyone says, you will always be the one that gave us the gem that is DDLJ. 

--

On another note, I'd like to share with you a recipe I tried out yesterday, that was a smashing success. 

I read a lot of blogs, and follow many religiously, and one such blog I follow is Foodelicious. This highly talented blogger has taught me a lot on cooking, and allowed me to experience some truly lip-smacking dishes! I tried one of her dishes yesterday - Hariyali Channa Masala, and absolutely loved it.

Please head to her site to view this original creation of hers: Hariyali Chana Masala


 

One of the many reasons I love this dish, is for the natural flavours it brings out with the unnecessary addition of masala powders or processed food. The best part about this dish is the hint of mint you get from the spinach and chana combination. I was blown away by how good and simple this dish is, and it took me not more than half an hour to have it ready on a plate to gobble up.

 

Thanks Pari, for introducing me to this fantastic dish. I will definitely be making this often!



Nitya