Category Archives: Desserts

Hummingbird Cake

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Hummingbird is a banana-pineapple -spice cake which tastes a cross between banana and carrot cake !!! And It is a typicall Southern recipe . The recipe was first published in the magazine Southern Living by Mrs. L.H. Wiggin in 1978 February issue and became the most requested recipe ever since !!!

The cake is believed to name Hummingbird being it a very sweet cake just like to attract sweetlovers like the Hummingbirds !!!

Well I did a little modification from the original recipe and made it in a bundt pan . Instead of cream cheese frosting I used my favorite cream cheese glaze . Yum !!!

Ingredients :

2 eggs , room temperature
1 and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 rd cup oil + 1/4th cup melted and cooled softened butter ( melt the butter then cool it again until forms softened butter)
3/4 th cup sugar
3/4 th tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon powder
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
1 large banana , mashed
1/3 rd cup canned crushed pineapple
1/2 cup chopped walnut/ pecan
1/4 th cup syrup from the canned pineapple

For Cream cheese glaze :

4 oz or half package of cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
3- 4 tbl spoon milk or evaporated milk

Procedure :

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 FH .

2.Blend mashed banana and crushed piapple together . Set aside . Now Blend the oil . butter , sugar , egg together . Add the blended banana and pieapple , Add the vanilla essence and syurp , mix .

3. Sieve flour , baking soda together . Mix the nutmeg and cinnamon powder . Now fold in with the wet mixture in three batches . Lastly fold in the chopped pecans .

4. Pour on a bundt pan, tap for few minutes and bake immediately for about 30 minutes or until if toothpick inserted comes out clean .

5. Cool down the cake completele before you pour the glaze on it . Now beat the softened cream cheese and sugar together until creamy add the milk . beat in .
Pour over the cake .

Enjoy !!!

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Honey Pound Cake !!

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I don’t find any specific adjective to describe my hubby’s unintelligent way of doing grocery !! Every time he goes alone , I know I’ll be pissed off looking at the shopped items !! Few days back he bought 4 bottle of honey at the same time !!! C’on , are we the bear family from my son’s animation book , who only lives on honey !!!!
I was thinking of making the best use of it . The first thing came to my mind to do with it is to make a pound cake !! Honey pound cake !! Because of the honey , the cake is super moist . Just loved it !!!

Ingredients :

2 eggs ( room temperature)
1 and 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 th cup softened butter+ 1/4 th cup oil
1/3 rd cup sugar
1/4 th cup honey
1/3 rd cup milk
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon vanilla essence

Procedure :

1. Pre heat the oven to 350 FH and line and grease a 9x 5 loaf pan .

2. Sieve the flour and baking powder . Add the lemon zest into it .

3. In a large bowl with an electric hand beater , beat the sugar , butter and oil until fluffy . Add the honey . Beat . Add eggs , one at a time . Add the milk and stir .

4. Fold in the flour with the egg mixture in three batches .

5. Pour it into prepared loaf pan and tap for few times to release air bubble . Bake immediately in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until if toothpick inserted comes out clean .

Notes :

1.The surface of the cake gets colored soon than the bottom . So you can cover the cake with aluminium foil like a tent until the cake has risen, for about 20 minutes later you put the cake pan into the oven . Then remove the foil and let it bake uncovered for the rest of the time . You will get nice golden brown color on the top.

2. The baking time may vary depending on each oven .

3. Always cut the cake after it cooled down . The cakes taste better with time too . 🙂

Bread and Butter Pudding with Brown Sugar Crumble and Caramel sauce

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I have never been a “bread pudding” lover !! I don’t hate it either !! But it’s nice to have some of your friends at your place, to have brunch together and who are absolutely in love with the bread pudding you make !! 😀

Ingredients :

2 cups or 6 slices of white bread cut in small cubes ( per bread , 4 cubes )

1 large egg

1 and 1/2 cup of milk ( You can use evaporated and regular milk together, or even heavy cream)

2 tbl spoon melted butter

Extra butter to spread on the bread

1/4 th tea spoon cinnamon

1/4 th tea spoon of nutmeg

1/2 cup- 3/4 th cup sugar ( according to your taste)

Dried fruits

2 teaspoon Vanilla essence

For the Crumble :

1/4 th cup all purpose flour

2 tbl spoon butter

2 tbl spoon broun sugar

Procedure :

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 FH

2.Cut the brown edges of bread ( not necessary ). Spread butter on each slice . Now cut in cubes .

3. Arrange the bread slices on the vaking ware .

4. In another bowl beat egg , milk and sugar with a fork . You can use the blender too . Now add cinnamon and nutmeg powder and vanilla essence . Add the melted butter .

5. Pour over bread until they are covered . Lightly press down with the back of the spoon to make sure the mixture is well absorved . You can add some dry fruits over it at this point . Let it rest for 15 -30 minutes until the milk is almost absorbed .

6. Now make the crumble . Cut the butter in small cubes . Mix flour and sugar . Now add the butter and mix with your hand until crumbly . Now spred it over the bread .

7. Bake the pudding for about 40 minutes or until if toothpick inserted comes out clean . 🙂

Serve with caramel sauce !!!

Caramel sauce:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

2/3 rd cup heavy cream or milk ( cream is better)

1 tbl spoon vanilla

In a pot add butter and sugar . Heat until the butter melts and the sugar is incorpared in the butter . Add the heavy cream and vanilla and allow to thicken a bit . Ready !!

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Bread GulabJamun

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My mom and aunts are truly genius , no doubt !!! They have so many unusual recipes !! Today’s post is one of them ” Bread Gulabjamun” – they call ” Paurutir mishti” !!! Well may be the term “Gulabjamun” is misnomer , but the look of the mishti does resemble to that of the gulab jamun , undoubtedly !!! I have improvised the mishti a little from my Mom’s original recipe . 🙂 They used to do it in two different ways . Sometimes with egg and sometimes without egg . I did it without egg . But will surely mention the process with egg too .

Ingredients :

6 pieces of white bread
1/4 th cup of milk or more to soak the bread
2 tbl spoon powder milk
1/2 tbl spoon flour ( if needed)
1 tea spoon ghee
1 tea spoon condensed milk
1/4 th tea spoon cardamom powder
Oil for frying

For syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Cardamom, cinnamon , bay leaf

Make a thin syrup with the ingredients . The consistency should be thin but not thin like roshogolla syrup . If the syrup is too thick , the gulabjamun won’t soak the syrup at all .

Procedure :

1. Cut the edges of the breads and soak into the milk for few seconds , just to soften the bread . Squeeze the milk from the bread very well , there should be no drop of milk in the bread .

2. Now add the powder milk , ghee , condensed milk , cardamom powder . Mix well . The dough would seem sticky . If seems too sticky you may add 1/2 tbl spoon flour . Put it in the refrigerator for half n hour to be able to shape properly .

3. Oil your palm with little ghee , now shape them into the size of balls . Deep fry in the hot oil at low flame just like gulabjamun until the color comes and is fried well . If the oil is too hot , the balls will get the color , without being fried well and the mishti won’t soak the syrup . And if the oil is not hot enough the mishti will soak too much oil and will fail too . Right temperature is very important . It took me more than 10 minutes to fry the balls .

4. Transfer the fried balls immediately to warm syrup . If the balls are fried well it will soak the syrup within few minutes .
Always remember , the balls should be hot and the syrup should be warm , but not boiling hot . That would destroy the texture of the mishti . and the stove should be turned off . Hot jamuns ( just fried ) + warm syrup = Perfect soaking of syrup .

Enjoy !!!

Notes :

1. My mom sometimes used to egg . In this case , you don’t need to soak the bread into milk . What you have to do , cut the edges of bread and crush them into crumbs . Now add one beaten egg and other ingredients until forms a dough . You may need more breads to form a dough . 🙂

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Soojir mohonbhog

Soojir mohonbhog

Soojir mohonbhog

I love semolina !!! I love each and every preparation made with semolina . I don’t think there is any Bengali who doesn’t like mohonbhog- the Bengali delicacy . The difference between mohonbhog and regular sooji halwa is , mohonbhog is drier than halwas . Ghee needs to be separated before you stop cooking it . Texture though dry but should be moist with ghee and should not be mushy .. If you squeeze a little with your finger, you will feel them grainy – “Dana dana jhorjhore ” .. 🙂 sorry couldn’t get any proper English term to describe . 🙂
Many use milk in mohonbhog , but I at my home my mom never used milk making mohonbhog . because milk makes the semolina mushy. I still remember the taste of Mohonbhog of Old Dhaka’s Moronchand sweets . Oh!!! How flavorful mohonbhog can be . Many a time we used to go to Moronchand early in the morning to grab some luchi and mohonbhog . The earlier the better , lest you don’t get any mohonbhog left for you !!! Miss those days !!! Miss Moronchand Sweetmeat , miss mohonbhog !!!!!
For mohonbhog coarse semolina is perfect . But now in New York , the semolina is too fine , even the coarse one looks like powdered !!! Please use coarse semolina to get the correct texture and again the ratio of sugar , semolina and water is very important .

Ingredients :

1 cup coarse semolina/ shooji
1 – 1 and 1/4 th cup sugar ( according to the taste)
1 cup ghee ( If you are using nonstick use 3/4 th cup)
1 and 1/4 th cup water
3 green cardamoms , 1 small stick of cinnamon and 1 bay leaf
Kishmish and dried fruits to garnish

Procedure :

1. Heat the ghee and add cinnamon , cardamom and bay leaf . Add the sooji and fry until light brown and fragrant . The flavor of sooji never comes without frying .

2. Now add the sugar , then add all the water . Stir continuously until ghee separates . And all the water evaporates .

3. Garnish with dried fruits .

Great with luchi , porota or even ruti .. 🙂

Tips :

1. Mohonbhog is great for its flavor of good quality ghee . If anyone doesn’t want to use that much of ghee , then you can cook with oil . But add 2 tbl spoon of ghee at the end of the cooking .. 🙂

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Egg-Semolina Halwa ( Dim-soojir halwa)

Egg-Semolina Halwa ( Dim-soohir halwa)

Ingredients :

3 eggs
1/3 rd cup semolina or sooji
1/2 cup sugar ( according to taste)
1 cup regular milk
1/4 th cup powder milk
1/2 cup ghee
2 cardamoms , 1 small stick of cinnamon
Chopped nuts and dry fruits ( optional)
Keora or rose water
Pinch of food color

Procedure :

1. Fry the semolina or sooji until light brown and fragrant . Cool down . Now Blend sooji , egg , milk , powder milk, sugar, food color together until all are incorporated .

2. Heat ghee and fry the cardamoms , cinnamon for a while . Add the mixture and stir continuously . Keep stirring until the halwa comes together , or it comes from the coming pan . Sprinkle little rose or keora water . If you wish , you can add some chopped and dried fruits . Take out the garam masalas before serving !!

Garnish and enjoy !! 🙂

Tips:

1. Don’t forget to fry the sooji without ghee or oil before you blend it with egg , milk and sugar . Don’t make it to brown , just light brown and fragrant . It helps to enhance the taste of semolina or sooji .

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Raw Papaya Halwa Laddu

Raw Papaya Halwa Laddu

Allah (SWT) has blessed me with a cute, sweetie niece on 31 st of May . Made some papaya halwa laddu to celebrate !!! Well , this is completely my recipe , as I said earlier , my brain is like a factory of ideas !!! :O So this idea was pinching my brain for couple of days , as I got the good news , I didn’t have to wait any longer to experiment . Result is not that bad !! I’m not fond of raw papaya halwa , but this one , I really couldn’t dislike !! Next time I’m gonna definitely apply the idea with bottle gourd or lau/ lauki !! I believe that would taste even better in sha Allah !!

2 cup finely grated Papaya
Condensed milk ( around 3/4 th of the can or according to taste)
1/4 th cup Ghee
1/2 a tea spoon cardamom powder
Glazed papaya/ morobba / tutti frutti

Procedure:

1. Grate the papaya with the finer side of the grater . Now steam the papaya . Squeeze out the excess water .

2. Heat ghee and fry the papaya for couple of minutes . Add the cardamom powder . Now add the condensed milk and cook until everything comes together . Add the trutti frutti / colored morobba . Mix well .

3. When cooled down shape into laddus and roll over some tutti fruttis too .

Ready !!!

Tips:

1. After steamimg the grated papaya , don’t throw out the water . It’s all the nutrients in the papaya . Use it in any vegetable , fish or meat preparation later on .

2. If you don’t have colored morobba or tutti frutti , soak the regular morobba in different colored water for half n hour . That would work too . But don’t forget to rub them with tissue paper after taking them out from the food color mixed water .

3. You may add little green food color in the halwa to get a greenish color . But I think the natural light green looks better . Mine halwa looked better before adding the food color . So won’t recommend to use green food color in the halwa .

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Quick , easy , yummy carrot halwa

Quick , easy , yummy carrot halwa

Quick , easy , yummy carrot halwa

Yayyyyyyyyyy!! We have crossed 3, 00, 000 hits in less than 1 and half year !!!! Alhamdulillah!!! Thank you so much all my readers !! You always being my strength and inspiration!!! Let’s celebrate with something sweet but luscious !!! What can be the best choice other than gorgeous looking carrot halwa !!! Though I’m not a great fan of carrots , but this halwa , I really adore . So easy to make , nutritious and comparatively less calorie than other halwas .
Before we proceed to the recipe , let’s focus on a very important matter. Have you ever noticed , following the same recipe , not each carrot halwa is same in color . The reason behind , two different colors of carrots . There are orange colored carrots and red-orange colored carrots . The best color comes from the darker colored carrots .

The left one is the orange colored carrot , while the right one is little darker , red-orange colored carrots . The best halwas are made of this red-orange colored carrots .

And another important thing is adding milk or water to boil carrot ruins the color a lot . I’ll share some more tips at the end of the recipe . 🙂

Ingredients :

2 cups of grated carrot
1/2 ( half) cup sugar
2-3 tbl spoon ghee
Maowa/ khoya
Nuts for garnishing

For home made maowa , take 1/2 cup ( half) powder milk with 3/4 th cup of heavy cream or regular milk and 1 tea spoon ghee. Microwave for 1 minute or longer until the liquid dries . Check every 30 seconds . But careful , maowa gets dry after it cools down . So don’t dry up too much .

Procedure:

1. Peel and finely grate the carrots . Now mix with sugar . Put them in a pan , preferably non-stick one , cover with the lid tightly and cook on low flame until the water from sugar and carrots dries out . As the pan is covered by the lid , the steam created inside will cook the carrot soon . Check after five minutes . Stir so that the carrot must not get burnt . Keep it like this another 2 minutes . This method helps to retain the color of the carrot and sugar enhances the color a lot . Make sure the stove is on low flame . If you find your carrots need some little more time to get done , take your time but stir occasionally .

2. Add ghee and mix well . Cook another 1 minute .

3. When cooled down add the maowa and mix well . Garnish with chopped nuts and raisins . 🙂

Tips:

1. Don’t use any milk or water to boil the grated carrot . That ruins the color a lot .

2. Don’t use any cardamom , cinnamon or any spice . The flavor of good quality ghee is enough !! Try this and you will find the difference . 🙂

3. Try to grate the carrots as fine as you can . Use the fine side of the grater to grate the carrots .

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Zafraani Sooji Halwa

Zafraani Sooji Halwa

Zafraani Sooji Halwa

This Zafraani sooji halwa is one of my favorite halwa . Great with ruti , paratha , luchi , puri . So simple to make but it always tastes divine !!! Unlike Semolina barfi , this halwa is soft , so gracefully smeared with ghee , aromatic with keora and ghee !!! In order to get the right consistency , you need to follow some simple direction , that’s all . 🙂

Ingredients :

1 cup sooji/ semolina
1 cup -1 and 1/4 cup of sugar , according to taste ( For me 1  cup+ 2 tbl spoon is perfect)
1 cup ghee ( if using non-stick utensil , reduce the ghee to 3/4 th cup)
3 cups of water
1/2 ( half) – 1 tea spoon zafraan/ saffron ( depending on the quality)
3 cardamoms , 1 small stick of cinnamon , 1 bay leaf
Keora water
Pista, almond to garnish
Pinch of zafrani food color

Procedure:

1. Make a sugar syrup with 3 cups of water , 1 – 1 1/2 cup sugar ( I took 1 and 1/4 th cup of sugar) , 1 tea spoon zafran , zafrani food color , 3 cardamoms , 1 small cinnamon and 1 bay leaf . Just enough to melt the sugar . Not more than that . The syrup should be very thin . You have to boil it just to melt the sugar . Take out the cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaf .

2. Heat ghee and fry the sooji at medium low heat until fragrant and light brown . Don’t color it too much . Must be light brown . Should not be too dark .

3. Add the syrup in the sooji . Stir .The heat must be medium . Cook just few minutes , not more than 3 minutes . The sooji will look runny at this point . It should look like this ;

4. Add the keora water and immediately remove the pan from the stove and keep covered for few minutes . If you keep anything on the stove after being cooked , even if the stove is turned off , the heat of the hot stove keep cooking the food . In order to get correct consistency , remove the halwa pan from the stove , after you turn off the stove . Pour in the serving dish and garnish with pista , almond and raisins .

Tips:

1. Sooji gets thicker , when cool down . So don’t dry out the water . Cook only 2 or 3 minutes , not more than that .

2. Immediately remove the halwa pot from the stove , the moment you turned off the stove . Don’t keep the pot over turned off but hot stove top , it will dry out the halwa . Keep it somewhere else . 🙂

3. If you don’t want to use that amount of ghee , then use oil and ghee half n half . 🙂

Basbousa

Basbousa

Basbousa

Basbousa !!!! Arabian and Eastern Mediterranean sweet semolina cake soaked in orange blossom water or rose water flavored sugar syrup .. In Arab countries it is known as Basbousa or Harissa , while in Turkey and Greece , known as Revani or Ravani , in Armenia it is Shamali. Like the various names , this sweet dish has many variations in ingredients too . Sometimes coconut is used for additional flavor . Some uses yogurt , some uses milk instead of yogurt , like Libyan basbousa . Some uses Only Farina or semolina , whereas some uses semolina and flour both . Condensed milk is seen in many recipes , it gives a fudge like taste . basbousa made with yogurt is denser than the basbousa made with milk .
Here you go with Arabic Basbousa !!! Just tried to keep the authentic flavor !!!

Ingredients :

For cake :

1 and 3/4 th cup of sooji/ semolina
1/4 th cup flour
2 eggs
3/4 th cup melted butter
3/4 th cup sugar
1 cup of yogurt
1 tea spoon baking powder
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut ( optional)
Few drops of vanilla essence ( optional)
Blanched almond

For the sugar syrup:

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 tea spoon lemon juice
2 tea spoon rose water

Procedure :

1. Pre-heat the oven to 360 FH .

2. Combine all the ingredients for cake and beat with the electric hand beater until incorporated . You can mix all the ingredients wth a whisk too.

3. Grease a pan and pour the batter . Give the cut mark in the shape of square or diamond and place one almond on each square or diamond .

4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30- 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean .

5. While the cake is in the oven , make the sugar syrup with 1 cup of sugar , 1 cup of water , 1 tea spoon lemon juice and 2 tsp of rose water . Boil for 10-12 minutes on medium flame . It will thicken a bit but not too thick . Must have the pouring consistency .

6. After taking out the cake from the oven , pour half of the warm syrup all over the hot cake and save the remaining half . Put the cake back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes . Now after taking out from the oven , pour the remaining syrup all over the cake .

Enjoy hot or room temperature . I found it yummier when cooled down . 🙂

Tips :

1. Sometimes it happens , you will not get the golden color on the top , even when your cake is ready . So To get that golden color on the top , I broiled at the same temperature for 5 minutes . And every 2 minutes , I rotated the pan , so that the color is even . Varying on the oven and power distribution the time may vary , even you may not need to broil it for the color . 🙂 But be careful , don’t burn the cake . It should be done before you pour the syrup and re-bake for 5 minutes .I got a very nice golden color and little crisp crust with soft , spongy inside . 🙂