Carrot Pudding ~ Gajar ka Halwa

“Gajar ka Halwal” or the carrot pudding is the one of those most popular Indian dessert infused with clarified butter, pistachios, cashews, raisins and cardamom soaked and cooked in milk that hardly any Indian I know of, would choose to deny a second helping.

Prepared mostly during the winter months, when the long & slender carrots flood the vegetable markets in India, almost every second household has this dessert on their ‘to-prepare’ menu. Not only is it a great way to make use of the abundance produce of the long carrots this season, but the clarified butter and the rich nuts would also help keep the body warm.

I have so many fond memories of nibbling on this dessert that my school time best friend’s mother used to prepare and never forget to pack and send me an extra box of this finger licking dessert. I don’t remember one single winter holiday that spent without having it or fighting with my elder brother as to who gets to have more.

Well, years have flown but my fondness for this dessert hasn’t and now that I am so far away from India, I pledged to prepare it for myself. Undoubtedly this is in no comparison to the rich taste my friend’s mom easily churned the carrots into, but it is a worthy attempt with a vegan twist, not making me craving anymore till the time I reach home by the winters next year. Yay! 🙂

Ingredients for 2 of us:

  • 3-4 long slender carrots grated.
  • 2-3 tbsp of vegan butter
  • 1 cup soy or non-dairy milk
  • 1/2cup of Silk non dairy creamer (instead of condensed milk)
  • 5-6 tbsp of sugar & as per taste
  • some chopped cashews, pistachios & raisins
  • 1/2 tsp of green cardamom powder

To prepare:

  • Heat a deep vessel & add the butter.
  • Once it melts, to it add the grated carrots and mix them well and cover the lid and keep it on medium to low flame. This will help moisten the carrots and release its juices.
  • Now gradually keep adding the milk and the creamer and stir well. Cover for 5 mins and keep stirring intermittently for another 15-20 minutes till the carrots are properly cooked.
  • Add sugar and the cardamom powder and mix well. This pudding needs to be very soft and well cooked in the milk. The process of covering and stirring in between will help you ensure that neither is it overcooked or under-cooked.
  • This will take at least a total time of 35-40 minutes when on low to medium heat.
  • Check the sweetness, and add the chopped nuts and raisins. Mix well and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn the flame off and let it stay covered for a while till its piping hot.

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And the dessert is ready to be served warm or cold however you like it. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love Pancakes. They make weekend breakfasts exciting and when it’s some of those evenings, when I do not wish to put much labor for snack cravings, I choose to whip up some quick easy fluffy pancakes. Out of the few things I had tried earlier, I realized I hadn’t tried one with some chocolate chips and I was not wrong about these pancakes turning out to be even more tempting. ♥

All you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cup of buttermilk ( soy yogurt from Silk is excellent) and if you do not have soy yogurt no worries,  use water to make a smooth batter and it works just fine.
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

To make:

  1. Heat a non stick pan with some oil on low to medium heat.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients with the chocolate chip going in at the end making a smooth batter.
  3. Use a measurement spoon like an ice cream scoop or a medium sized ladle for the right proportion to get the perfect size each time.
  4. Take a scoop of this and pour it on to the hot pan. In a few seconds you will see bubbles in the pancake and notice it rise. 🙂
  5. Carefully flip the side when the bottom turns golden brown and cook for a few more minutes. Repeat the same for the rest of the batter.
  6. Stack your moist easy-peasy chocolate chip pancakes and drizzle it with some Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup instead of the routine maple syrup.You may also add some whipped vegan butter if you want to. 😀

Serve hot with a freshly cup of brewed coffee and win hearts over this simple easy dish.

I love anything and everything about chocolates. How about you ? 🙂

Walnut & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

There are those many days in my life when I have a ‘cake calling’. But you know how hard it is to resist the temptation when the craving of sweet tooth attacks. 🙂

I honestly, resist eating too much cake. In fact, my sister and my sister-in-law both have taken up this job of repeatedly reminding me  by saying “no cakes”. But what when the cake/cupcake is vegan, sort of comparatively very healthy, delicious, easy to make and has lots of chocolate? For the sake of my heart, I can’t deny it any further. 

So looking up into my pantry, I decided to whip up a little something that would make my heart smile and fill my house with some much need aroma of a cake baking in the oven.

This is not my inventive recipe, but it’s the first time I tried this vegan one after resisting my urge over the thousands of non-vegan ones piled at the bakery section of the store.

To make these little cups of happiness you would be needing:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups of baking cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, ( I used the brown sugar here)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of soy milk (in case you have run out of stock, use room temperature water. It works equally well.)
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts for the cupcake and some to sprinkle on top.

To prepare:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C or 350 F
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together and mix the wet ingredients separately in a bowl.
  • Keep the chocolate chips and the chopped walnuts aside for the time being.
  • Now mix well together the dry and the wet ingredients of the cake to form a smooth consistency.
  • Add the chocolate chips and part of the walnuts and give it a nice final mix. Remember not to over beat the batter.
  • Grease your cupcake tin and dust them with flour. Sorry I dint have my paper liners however, I baked them right away. 🙂
  • Now pour the batter into the tray filling 1/3 of each cup. They will rise to fill the remaining space. 🙂
  • Once done..shower some chopped walnut bits on top and set the trays to bake for 15-20 mins, unless your toothpick /knife comes out neat and clean.
  • Enjoy the aroma escaping out of your oven and see them rise. This is the best part prior to the tasting bit, for me. 🙂
  • Patiently allow the cupcakes to cool for atleast 15 mins and you may loosen its sides with the help of a knife and quickly pop them out.

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Moist and Delicious. 😀

YAY! we are done. What about a cup of hot coffee and some nice chocolate chip walnut cupcakes to uplift the mood? ♥

 

 

Hope you enjoyed reading this one as much as the others so far. Would love to know how you found these walnut chocolate chip cupcakes. Happy Baking until then. 🙂

My ‘Ca’fertiti- a cake loaded with the richness of mixed berries and nuts

That is indeed an unusual name but this name is delightful to me, thanks to my husband. I guess him being lactose intolerant is not only a blessing to his own health and the cows who are exempted from his demand of ‘the milk’ , but so am I. I love and love it so much more to bake a vegan dessert that is non guilty, healthy, fair to calories and makes my family smile.

So, since today is Friday, my happy day owing to the weekend that follows, it is also my ‘bake day’ and that makes it doubly happy. Today is one day of the week that I feel to dedicate to the majesty of my oven and what more can I ask for, if Som (my blessed lactose intolerant husband 🙂 ) gives my cake the prestige of the beautiful Egyptian queen Nefertiti and so it gets modified and inspired to be the name of my rich mixed berry and walnut cake- ‘Ca’fertiti  😀

This cake is simple and perfect to have with coffee or I might gladly say anytime, whenever you crave for it.

For the recipe, I really do not enjoy scrolling down too much and waste time.

Basic Ingredients:

  •  2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

Signature Ingredients 😉

  • mixed dried berries ( easily available, you might want to think of the mixed berries that you throw in your cereal each morning)
  • chopped walnuts – my favorite
  • 1 Flax egg to add health and softness to this cake ( 1 tbsp of ground/powdered flax seed with 3 tbsp of water)
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Ready & Steady to Bake

To Produce this Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degree C or 360 degree F.
  • In a bowl, sift and mix all the dry ingredients and in another one all the wet ones.
  • You would need to add them together and mix with all your passion and energy to make the right consistency of the cake batter.
  • When you are almost done, add the mixed berries and the chopped walnuts to the batter. Remember not to mix them right at the start or else the berries shall start to loose their colour.
  • Pour the batter in a greased and floured tin, I used my loaf pan here and place it in the oven for the next 30 minutes.
  • You will know when your cake is ready as the aroma seeps out and the inserted tooth pick comes out neat and clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool and patiently wait till your time comes to flip it over. Slice this loaf gently and do not wait to take the bite and SMILE. 🙂
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Right out of the Oven 🙂

 

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I hope you enjoyed this post,as much as I enjoyed making it. If yes, please like, comment and share. 🙂 Cheers to the cake lovers!