17.2.15

Wholegrain Caramelized-Banana Bread


Banana bread is probably one those things which everyone bakes all the time. Each one following a time-tested recipe of her own which yields a lovely loaf every time. My favorite recipe is an adaption of Tarla Dalal's Banana Pecan Walnut Muffin Cake, an eggless whole wheat banana muffin recipe with layers of flavors added by the addition of nuts and raisins. Adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the basic batter always takes the bread up a notch so I unfailingly do it every time.


But the other day when I set off to bake my regular banana bread, I realized that our stock of chocolate as well as that of dry fruits needed a refill. A search for an alternate recipe led me to a series in The Kitchn on the hows and don'ts about banana bread. And thus was born this new wholegrain caramelized banana bread recipe.


At first I was a little apprehensive about the outcome. I had never baked anything with finger millet flour(ragi) before and wasn't sure if my three and a half year old son would like the nutty flavor it rendered. But all my apprehensions vanished next day when he too gave the bread a thumbs up. Without any fuss, he swept clean his breakfast of banana bread and jam and even asked for a slice in the evening. That is when  I knew that I had to share the recipe with you right away...


So here's my recipe of a healthy and wholesome banana bread made without eggs or butter... 


Wholegrain Caramelized Banana Bread

Prep time: 1 hour                                 Cook time: 1 hour                              Total time: 2 hours
Yield: 9×5 inch loaf



Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup caramelized banana (I used 4 medium sized over-ripened bananas + 2 tablespoons of honey)
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used homemade yogurt)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
   Dry ingredients
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup oats
  • ⅓ cup finger millet(ragi)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed
Cooking Directions
  1. First caramelize the over-ripened bananas. For this, preheat the oven to 325° F. Coat the peeled bananas with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of honey and put them in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake the honey-coated bananas in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until they look caramelized.
  2. Transfer the caramelized bananas into the mixing bowl. Mash them with a fork.
  3. Add honey, ⅓ cup yogurt and sugar to the mashed bananas. Mix well. Then add the peanut butter to the mixture.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Now gently incorporate the dry ingredient mixture into the mashed banana mixture taking care  not to over-mix the batter. 
  6. Fold in the remaining 2 tablespoons of yogurt and spoon the batter into a well greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Let the batter rest on the counter top for 10 minutes or so. (With experience I have learnt that, when baking with whole grain flours, resting the batter always ensures a softer and tastier bread. So if you have the time let the batter rest for a few minutes before baking it. )
  7. Meanwhile preheat oven to 360°F
  8. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes until the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan and comes out easily on tilting the pan.
  9. Cool completely before slicing.
Like all banana breads, this loaf is freezer friendly. You can slice and freeze the loaf and simply toast the slices before serving....

here are few other recipes that call for over-ripened bananas..


  
I shall be sharing the recipe at the following parties...

9.2.15

Roasted Beet, Cherry and Apple Smoothie

Busy or not, come February 
                                   and I feel the urge to mix and blend 
create something red... 
something ....      perfect for fourteenth Feb.....


Last year the urge stretched a little beyond.. so sometime in March toddler and I blended this lovely red smoothie and I, charmed by its hue, decided to call it the V-day smoothie... just because it was red and looked so valentine-y ;-)   since February was long gone, I saved the recipe only to share it with you in good time... 


So here's a lovely red smoothie that we created and loved. Hope you will try and love it too...

Roasted Beet, Cherry and Apple Smoothie 

Recipe by Khandai


Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 apple
  • 15 dark sweet cherries, frozen
  • 1/2 cup beet root (preferably oven-roasted)
  • 1/4 cup celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
 Directions
  1. Put all the ingredients into the jar of a blender and blend till a smooth mixture is obtained.
  2. Pour into the glasses straight away or strain it and serve.
P.S: I do not remember exactly how much smoothie we had blended but guessing from the picture I think it was around 2- 2 1/2 cups.


Few other recipes that would be perfect for breakfast on 14th feb....

24.1.15

Penne with Eggplant Sauce


Penne with eggplant sauce... Well a friend had recommended this combination a few months ago. I wasn't sure whether to appreciate it or dismiss the thought of trying it,  until the other day eggplants, green pepper and tomatoes were the only vegetables I had at hand to prepare dinner with. A little search on the net showed that the combo is Mediterranean... so I tried since I love everything from that part of the world.... and wow... what a flavorful dish it turned out to be.

Husband however was not overly excited about it. He thought Chinese eggplants would have made the sauce tastier. Perhaps it would. But after fretting for months about the lack of variety, I have finally learnt to live and be happy with the local and seasonal produce. So the sauce as it was tasted lovely to me.....

18.11.14

Koncha Kodoli Boda (Plantain Cakes Odiya style)


In Odiya, plantains are called Koncha Kodoli, which literally means raw banana. Probably they are so called because of the semblance in their shape and color. Whatever it be, this vegetable is widely grown in Odisha and plantain cakes or Koncha Kodoli Bodas are quite popular with the people here.


While rice-daal and kodoli boda is a standard combination at my in-laws, at home, I sometimes stray from convention and serve them with tea. They are incredibly easy to prepare and more importantly cupboard friendly.... that is, if you have a couple of plantains in hand, you can actually prepare these out of items in your pantry. Also the toddler approves of them. So these days when I am busy, I cook these, make a pot of rice, a pot of lentils with lots of vegetables and call it a meal.


The recipe is my mother-in-laws and I usually stick to it. However from time to time I substitute the potato with sweet potato and throw in a teaspoon of chives into the dough. My husband finds such healthy variations sacrilegious, but I quite enjoy the slightly sweetish plantain cakes, specially with a dab of mango pickle on top....


13.11.14

Kheer Komla (Milk Pudding with Orange)

Happy Friday and a very happy Children's day !!


After procrastinating for days I am finally here....

A lot has happened in the last few months... the toddler has started school, I joined work and...... aah.. yup. and thats about it. Actually, though a lot hasn't really happened, life suddenly seems to have picked up pace and toddler and I are gradually settling down to our new routine. Naturally the time spent on doing things that are not of mutual interest has minimized... but I guess that is alright. after all they stay little for only so long and I should know better than to spend this time doing things that can wait.....  

...thus dinner these days is usually quick and simple.. wrapped up almost always with a helping of yogurt for dessert. Weekends are however different. We are all relaxed and while the boys hang out doing boy-stuff... I take my time and prepare something special for them. 


Last weekend I cooked Kheer Komla, one of my favorite desserts from childhood...

Literally, Kheer Komla means milk pudding with orange. In winter when the local markets flood with oranges almost every Bengali I know picks up a bunch and prepares bowls of Kheer Komla. Of course those who have the luxury of time, patiently watch over a kadai of whole milk while it simmers and reduces to kheer, then sweeten the reduced milk, flavor it with elaichi(green cardamom) and sometimes saffron, chill the kheer, then dot it with segments of oranges... While others like me take the short route and prepare the kheer with a mix of whole milk and condensed milk and then flavor it and adorn it the usual way. 


However if you are like me and find condensed milk a little too sweet for your taste, you might want to consider the way I prepare kheer these days. The recipe is a medley of  Cajeta and traditional Kheer. It is relatively quick, gives you a handle on how sweet you want your dessert to be and works like a charm every time....  


Kheer Komla (Milk Pudding with Orange)
Oranges in milk pudding flavored with green cardamom and saffron

Recipe by Tanusree
Cook time: 45 minutes                                                               Total time: 45 minutes + chilling time
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 + ½ cup milk
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • ¼tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 5-6 strands of saffron
  • 1 orange
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saucepan or kadai, combine 2 cups of milk with the sugar and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture and stirring vigorously pour it into the saucepan of milk mixture. (The milk swells at this point so keep a close watch and stir continuously. )
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low,split open the green cardamom, add it to the milk and stirring occasionally simmer the milk for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile stir the saffron into the remaining milk and keep it aside.
  5. Once the milk in the saucepan thickens and becomes a light shade of orange , add the remaining milk to it and stir occasionally simmer over medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes until the flavored milk  thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon.
  6. Now switching off the heat, pour the flavored milk into 2 or 3 serving bowls and chill for 1 hour.
  7. Add the orange segments to the bowl and chill the dessert for another hour or until you are ready to serve.
Serve and enjoy !!

Until next time,
Tanusree

I shall be sharing this dessert at the following parties..



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