Eggless Christmas Fruit cake
In my childhood, we used to share Diwali sweets and snacks with our neighbors, who reciprocated the favor during Christmas. Oh, I absolutely love those awesome fruitcakes they make for Christmas! With great hesitation, I tried the eggless version of the fruit cake,  but it came out pretty good. Wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!


Ingredients:

all-purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
butter - 2 sticks
raisins - 1 cup
dried cherries - 1/4 cup
dried cranberries - 1/3 cups
dried blueberries - 1/4 cup
apple juice - 3/4 cup
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
vinegar - 1 tbsp
sugar (light brown) - 1/2 cup
milk - 3 tbsp

Method:

Soak dried fruit in apple juice overnight.
Mix 1/2 tsp baking soda in vinegar and keep aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and the remaining half teaspoon baking soda (I repeat this process a few times).

Blend butter, sugar and vinegar together with a hand-blender. Add flour mixture slowly, along with milk. Drain the soaked dry-fruits and use the liquid little by little to prepare the cake batter. Mix in the soaked dry-fruits. Pour into a buttered cake pan and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about 90 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.

Notes:
1. The batter is usually thicker for fruitcake than regular cake.
2. Any combination of dry fruits can be used, but sugar needs to be adjusted according to the sweetness of the dry fruits.
Creamy Dum Aloo
Who doesn't love baby potatoes? Carefully selected, golden fried baby potatoes in rich and creamy gravy, this item is sure to be a hit in any party! Just put calorie-counting on hold while gorging on this though :)


Ingredients:

baby potatoes - 8
tomatoes - 2 (medium)
green chillies - 4 (adjust according to taste)
ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece, peeled (or ginger paste - 1 tsp)
red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
garam masala - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
cashewnuts - 2 tbsp (chopped)
milk - 1/4 cup
whipped cream - 2 tbsp
yogurt - 1/2 cup, beaten
oil - 2 tbsp
salt - 3/4 tsp (adjust according to taste)
fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (chopped)

Method:

Boil baby potatoes (or microwave them for five minutes), cool, peel them and keep aside.

Soak cashewnuts in warm milk for 10 minutes.

Grind chopped tomatoes, green chillies and ginger in a food processor. Keep aside.

Grind soaked cashwenuts and blend in the whipped cream. Keep aside.

Heat a tablespoon of oil and lightly fry the cooked baby potatoes. when it starts turning golden brown, remove from fire, prick all over with a fork and keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and add the blended tomato mixture. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add beaten yogurt and cook for another 3 minutes. Drop the baby potatoes into the mixture and pour the cashew-cream mixture over it. Add about a cup of water and garam masala. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture reaches the required gravy consistency. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with flat breads or rice.
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