Orange and Carrot Cake

The carrots are grated and they will be the basis of all the other measurements. Pack the grated carrots into a cup. You will mostly need about a cup of approximately 400 ml. We will call this volume as 2x.

You need:

  • Grated carrots: 2x
  • The grated rind of an Orange.
  • Juice of half an orange.
  • Maida: 1.5x
  • Softened Butter: 0.75x
  • Sugar: 0.75x
  • Eggs: 3
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon.
  • Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon.

Cream butter and sugar. When it’s beautifully creamy and the sugar has almost fully dissolved add the eggs one by one. Mix well.

Add orange rind and juice. Mix well.

Seive the maida with baking soda and powder.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients. Work fast. Your oven should be already preheated by this time to 180C.

Fold in the grated carrots. They must be fully coated in the cake batter.

Into the oven using a buttered pan.

30-40 mins later check using a toothpick.

Let it cool before slicing.

It’s the toughest part as it smells super awesome. We did not wait…..

Enjoy the softest carrot cake ever.

Mutton with Vegetables

A simple recipe to explain how to cook meat with vegetables.

Select vegetables that are sturdy and have an inherent sweetness in them. So carrots and capsicum are a natural choice. You can also use turnips, radishes or just onions.

You Need:

  • Mutton about 300 gms.
  • Carrots 3 or 4, chopped up.
  • Capsicum 3 or 4, chopped up.
  • Sorrel Leaves, a couple of bunches.
  • Onions 2, sliced thin.
  • Red chilly powder.
  • Turmeric.
  • Coriander powder.

Heat oil. When its shimmering hot add the onions and then sprinkle some salt on them. When the onions are just about beginning to cross the barrier between pink and brown, add the meat and ginger garlic paste. Let them both sizzle and fry in the hot oil. After some 5 mins add the red chilly powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Continue cooking by alternating between high and medium heat. When it high, there will be a lot of sticky fond forming in the base of the pan. When you switch to medium, you can easily scrape it off as the meat will give continue giving out its juices.

Add the carrots and capsicum. Mix them well and check for salt. If needed adjust. Be conservative in the amount of salt you add. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of water.

When the carrots get a glaze all over them, close the cooker and pressure cook at high for one whistle. Then simmer for at least 20-30 mins. Open. There may be a little water. Start drying it up on high heat. Switch off the stove when the consistency is what you prefer. Add the sorrel leaves and use the latent heat in the pan to cook them while mixing thoroughly.

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Enjoy with rotis or as I did, with cooked millet.

Veggies and Green’s

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If your knife skills are good and cutting into thin sticks is your game, the total time this recipe needs is less than 15 minutes. From start to finish.

You need:

  • Sturdy vegetables like beets, carrots and radish cut into thin sticks.
  • Fresh green like Spinach, Dill and the radish leaves. Chopped roughly. Stems and all.
  • A heaped tablespoon of mayonnaise. But preferably Tartar sauce.
  • Toasted seeds like flax, sesame and pumpkin.

Heat oil till its shimmering but not yet smoking. Add the vegetables and saute for about 3-4 mins on high heat. Move them to a corner and add the greens. add in batches if the pan is small. The greens will quickly wilt and make room for more.

Saute on medium heat till the greens are bright green. Move on to high heat, tilt the pan. Push everything to the top, waiting for the water to collect at the base and the high heat dries it up.

Switch off the stove. Notice that while everything is in the pan, they are not very stuck to eachother. A little grease like mayonnaise will quickly fix that. Use flavored mayonnaise like tartar sauce for much better results.

Sprinkle toasted seeds for an increased Omega kick and texture.

Eat as is or as a topping on breads.

Vegan Rolls with Fresh Vegetables

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This recipe does not involve any cooking. Its simply about cutting everything and then assembling into a amazing treat. Always use fresh produce and preferably buy from the farmers markets. Vegetables stored in a supermarket can very rarely match the farmers markets in terms of freshness.

There is no dipping sauce. Fresh vegetables don’t need any boosters. Keep it simple, keep it healthy.

You Need:

  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Cucumber
  • Tofu or Paneer or Grilled Chicken
  • Lots of chopped coriander
  • Rice Paper

Cut all vegetables into thin sticks. Rice paper needs to be soaked in cold water for a minute. It will become pliable and easy to bend. Lay it on a damp towel. Place the vegetables and protein. Cover with coriander. Wrap it into a roll.

Kids will thoroughly enjoy making these wraps. Its a great way to introduce them to cooking.

Roasted Chicken and Aubergine

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You Need:

  • A couple of pieces of chicken preferably with skin on.
  • A large aubergine, cut into large pieces.
  • A carrot. Skip this if you are into the Keto Diet.
  • A spring onion. The bulbs kept whole, the leaf chopped into 1 cm pieces.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Pepper and any dry seasoning powders or herbs.

Layer the baking dish with olive oil, aubergine, carrot, spring onions bulbs. Cover with the chopped spring onion leaves. Place chicken on top of this green bed.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and seasoning.

Preheated oven at 210 C. Roast at 210C for 20 mins. Then continue baking at 190C for 40 mins. Remove chicken from the pan. Mix vegetables and you will find there is a lot of water collected. Broil with only top heat set at a good 250C for about 5 mins or so.

Enjoy with a cucumber-pomegranate-greek yogurt salad.

Hostel Chicken

A young student on a group I follow in Facebook had a very interesting dilemma. He likes to eat chicken but cooking in the hostel, where he stays is frowned upon. So he boils the chicken. That is a good but very boring thing to do day after day.

So I decided to help him break the rules and enjoy breaking them as well.

You Need:

  • One boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces.
  • Two small carrots, cut into small pieces.
  • Three large green chilies (Mirchi Bajji), finely diced.
  • One medium potato, cut into half a centimeter thick rings.
  • Butter
  • Pepper powder
  • Two medium¬† sized Ramekins

Combine butter, chicken, carrots, chilies, salt and pepper. Butter the Ramekin. Create a base with potatoes. Pack in the chicken mix. Cover with potatoes. Use cling film to close the top. Note cling film should only over cover the top and under no circumstance touch the base of the ramekin.

Place ramekins in a large pan. Fill water till 1/2 cm less than the top of the ramekin. Cook covered. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer for about 20 mins. Switch off and let the ramekins cool before removing.

Enjoy the flavor packed chicken dish with your neighbors none the wiser.

Constructing a Quick and Simple Salad

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Bring together these elements and make it a part of your lunch.

You Need:

  • Base: Shredded cabbage. Cheap and easy to use.
  • Sweetness: Pomegranate seeds. Loaded with goodness.
  • Color and Crunch: Diced Carrots.
  • Spice: Diced red onion.
  • Glue: Any mayonnaise or spread. Used here is 2 tablespoons of Spicy Harissa.
  • Freshness: Basil leaves.
  • Omega 3: Add in some toasted seeds.

That is all we need. Add the ingredients in any quantity you want.