Monday, July 29, 2013

Moist Chocolate Banana Bread/Cake


I have had this recipe done and pictures taken for over a month now. But because I got the attack of the lazies, I never got down to sharing it. This was made during one of my so called "tea parties" - a few of my friends, we get together and meet for tea once every week. We take turns hosting the tea. And so it happened that I made this chocolate banana bread the last time I hosted it. I am happy to say that it was well liked by them. It is a very easy recipe to put together and makes for a great tea snack. It can also be had as a breakfast item coz it tastes great with butter! It is a really moist type of bread because of adding the bananas as well as sour cream!  If you have a couple of very ripe bananas that you would end up throwing, then dont! Make this or check out my other banana bread and banana muffins recipes, that can help in this scenario. 

6 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup sour cream
1.5 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (optional)
3 tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer/whisk/spoon until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat well. Add the egg, and beat that in.

Now add the bananas, sour cream, vanilla and the milk and mix well.

Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, and stir them in. You can use an electric mixer if you like -- just make sure not to overmix, or the banana bread will get tough.

Stir in the chocolate chips. and walnuts. (You could leave out either one or both, it does not affect the recipe)

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the bread for atleast 20 minutes before you slice (or else it may break). Preferably have it warm and enjoy the feeling of a good comfort food!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homemade Garlic Naan

Naan is a type of bread, which is very popular in India and other Asian countries. It is had along with spicy, thick gravies like paneer butter masala, ginger chicken, koftha curry etc. The dough is typically prepared using all purpose flour (maida) and yogurt. The dough has to ferment and acquire a natural sour taste. This will transform into fluffy, delicious Naan. We can either oven-bake these or like I prefer (and will detail below) cook on stove-top saucepan as well. So, without boring you with any further with unnecessary details, let me show you my recipe for this popular bread.

Below recipe can make about 12 medium sized Naans


3 1/2 cups of AP flour
1 1/4 cup of yogurt
1 1/4 Tsp of Active Rise Yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder (or even freshly minced garlic if you prefer)
Some warm water (for soaking yeast as well as kneading the dough)
Salt to taste


Kneading dough:
  • Soak the yeast in about 3 tbsp of lukewarm water for around 10 to 15 minutes (Stir the yeast lightly)
  • Put the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and garlic powder and stir to mix the dry ingredients. Now make a well in the centre. Add the yeast water and yogurt directly to the centre and gently start folding in the flour using clean hands
  • As required, add lukewarm water and knead into a loose and sort of sticky dough
  • Cover the bowl with a cling wrap or a lid that fully covers. Set aside preferably for 4 hours. It can be kept out for a maximum of 6 hours. The dough will rise to double the original size.
Making the Naans:
  • Take out a chunk of dough the size of a big lemon (yes, we need to roll it out thick unlike our usual rotis)
  • Roll it into an oval shape using ur rolling pin using dry flour as needed so that the dough does not stick to the rolling pin. The naan needs to be thick hence ensure at least a quarter inch thickness
  • Use a shallow wide saucepan with a lid. Lightly butter it and place the rolled out dough. 
  • Drop very little butter on the Naan's topside as well. We can also drop some chopped coriander or poppy seeds, whatever one wishes). Now close the lid and let the Naan cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. The top of the Naan will start developing bubbles. Flip the Naan and again close lid and let cook for another 2 minutes or till you see that side is done (with intermittent brown patches, if you know what I mean all you Roti makers!)

Naan is ready, now just serve with some good North-Indian style gravy like Daal Makhani, or Paneer butter Masala or Chole or what you wish really! Make a side of chopped onions and green chillies and you have your favourite Indian restaurant on your very own dinner table ! Bon Appetit!