Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Mini Muffins

There was a time when i used to bake practically every week. That was a year back. And i totally regret how i failed to capture all the yumminess in pictures. From brownies to banana walnut bread, chocolate cakes to biscotti's, i had tried them all and i am happy to say i was successful too. Me and hubby were hence high on sugar for almost half of the year :P. And i need not mention what happens with excess intake of sugar. No you don't turn out to be a sweeter person (like some studies claim....yup there are) but FAT (duh!!!)........

So did i stop baking? Absolutely not....... that did not and will not stop me from baking. So instead of every week, now i have decided to bake maybe once a month or once in every 2 months and on special occasions.

Anyway........i am always on the lookout for new cooking and baking recipes every now and then. The last awesome recipe that i stumbled upon was flour less chocolate cake (to which i put my own spin and made cup cakes). This time around i was looking to bake something with banana. 

Why banana? Well i had this very ripe banana sitting on my fruit basket for a couple of days now. With all the reading and eating, by now i was familiar that banana and peanut butter complimented very well with each other. So thats that.... i had a very ripe banana and crunchy peanut butter. 

I started searching for recipes and found many but there was this one recipe that i just couldn't resist trying out, Flourless banana and peanut butter muffin. Soft, fluffy, airy, yummy and i can safely say it is healthy. These muffins would be perfect for breakfast or evening snack with tea/coffee.




This recipe is adapted and inspired from detoxinista. com.

Prep Time: 10 - 15 mins
Bake time - 15 mins
Total time: 25 - 30 mins

Ingredients:

(Makes around 18 mini muffins)

1 very ripe banana (mashed)
1/2 cup of organic unsalted crunchy peanut butter
1/8 cup pf honey (you can add more if you want your muffins to be very sweet)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F (approx. 180 degree celsius).

This a super easy one pot recipe. Just add all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix mix mix until the batter looks smooth.




Next up, line a mini muffin tray with paper liners. If you don't have paper liners i am sure you can just coat the tray with vegetable oil or butter.




Scoop about a tablespoon of the batter into the paper liners. Bake for 15 mins at 350F (approx. 180 degree celsius) until the muffins are golden brown in color.






Serve warm with tea or coffee.




Hubby happily obliged to pose with the muffin :D



So until next time, happy healthy baking :)


Monday, 17 March 2014

Masoor Pulav / Brown Lentil Rice

Easy breezy and yummy masoor pulav. To tell you the truth i wasn't familiar with this dish even when i was in india (yeahh). I started preparing it only when i moved to US. It happened one saturday afternoon, when i was feeling super lazy and wanted to cook something that took no more than 30 mins. After a lot of pondering i decided to cook veg pulav (rice with veggies) and told hubby my plan. He just about agrees to everything and eats whatever i put in front of him :P ......however on this particular day he said...why don't you cook masoor pulav?.....whaaat? Masoor pulav? Whats that?.....Was my reaction. He simply said just prepare the masoor bhaji like you do and add rice to it. Simple. OHH interesting... Apparently he knows it because my MIL cooks it often. So i came up with my very own version of masoor pulav. 

So people,  this is a quick delicious lunch or dinner dish which can be prepared in 30 - 35 mins. So whenever you are super lazy like me on a saturday or sunday afternoon go ahead and give this a try, unless you don't wanna cook at all. 



Prep time: 10 - 15 mins 
Cook time: 15 mins 
Total time - 30 mins 

This recipe will serve up to 2- 3 person

Ingredients:
1 cup of good quality basmati rice (washed and soaked in water for 15-20mins)
1/4 - 1/3 cup of masoor dal/ red lentil (par cooked/partially cooked) - you can adjust the quantity as per your requirement
1 medium onion chopped 
1 tomato chopped 
2 green chillies chopped 
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 cups of water

Garam Masala 
1 tsp of cumin seeds or you can also use shahi jeera 
4 - 5 cloves
4 - 5 whole pepper 
1 bay leaf
2  cardamom (elichi)
1 - 2 star anise 
1 - 2 cinnamon sticks 

Dry Masala
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder 
1/2 tsp of cumin powder 
3 - 4 tablespoon of vegetable oil 
Salt as required
Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnishing

You can adjust the spice level of the pulav by increasing or decreasing the garam masala / dry masala as per you requirement.

Method:

1) Wash the basmati rice thoroughly 2 - 3 times in cold water. Add water and keep it aside. Before you start with the prep work par cook the lentils in a pressure cooker (its a lot quicker) or in a pan with water and little salt.

Note:
1) Soaking the rice for few mins helps the rice cook faster also generally the rule of thumb for preparing pulav is 2 cups water for 1 cup rice. Here since the rice was already soaked in water for 15 mins, i only added 1 and 1/2 cups of water to it. 
2) If you don't par cook the lentil and add it as is, the rice will cook faster and the lentil will remain uncooked (yes that happened to me once :( ). 

2) In a heavy bottomed saucepan (kadhai) heat the oil. Add the garam masala and saute for about 1 or 2 minute. Add the ginger garlic paste, onions and green chillies and cook until the onions become translucent. 

3) Now add the dry masala and the tomatoes and cook until the oil starts to separate. 

4) Add the par cooked lentil and mix. Drain the basmati rice and add it along with the lentils. Mix gently, careful enough to not break the rice. Add water, salt to taste and cover the pan with a lid. The rice and lentil will be cooked in about 15 - 20mins. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with pickle or yogurt.









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