Besan Ladoos

Happy Diwali, folks! Hope you’ve got a super brightly lit house and a lot of sugar into your system by now :)

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This Diwali has been a bit of a last-minute dash to get lights and diyas, before we realised there’s not a single matchstick at home either. I was well-prepared, as you can tell.

These ladoos were just as much of a “oh ok, let’s do this” sort of thing. I set out to make karanjis (like Maharashtrian versions of the North Indian ‘ghujiya’), then realised we have no coconut, then realised we have besan and here’s what happened :)

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread (sugar-free)

I’m finally over my fear of whole wheat flour. As long as there’s a banana in the fruit basket.

Because OH MY GOD.

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I was not expecting this beautiful, dark, rich, dense-but-not-in-a-gross-way, moist, soft, banana-y bread. With just a smidgen of olive oil and no sugar. No kidding.

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I was expecting a tough, leathery bread. So wrong. And I’m going to call this bread, not just cake baked in a loaf tin, just because it really is healthy and you could eat it for breakfast and go on your merry way.

Thanks to the lovely Kate at Cookie and Kate, I officially believe in magic :)

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The oats scattered on top were an afterthought to recreate the honey-oat bread I occasionally enjoy a slice of. The chocolate chips were just…because. And the cream cheese was also just…because. The bananas are honestly the hero in this bread, because they play the role of moistening and softening an otherwise heavy flour. Woohoo!

I halved the recipe and made a mini loaf and it was gone in just a few hours on Saturday. We had it for dessert, with tea and then for dessert again. Addictive but guilt-free :)

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Kate even suggests toasting a slice of this in your regular toaster. Unfortunately it didn’t last long enough for me to find out how that tastes (amazing, I’m sure). If you give it a shot, let me know!

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It’s beautiful just out of the oven. And pretty much beautiful all the time. Pardon the very large number of pictures, I was a bit obsessed.

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Make this. You should need no further persuasion :)

The proportions here for a mini loaf, just a reminder. Please double them for a regular sized loaf.

 

What you’ll need:

1/6 cup olive oil (1/2 of your 1/3rd cup measure)

1/4 cup honey (you could add more in the end too, I accidentally forgot to halve the original 1/2 cup but it tasted great!)

1 egg

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used regular Pillsbury atta)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 cup hot water (1/2 of your 1/4th cup measure)

A handful of chocolate chips (optional)

A handful of oats (optional)

 

 What to do:

1. Sift the flour and set aside. Preheat the oven to 165 C and grease a mini loaf tin.

2. Mix the honey and oil together till combined. Add the egg and beat well.

3. To the above mixture, add the mashed banana and vanilla and combine. Stir in the salt and cinnamon.

4. Fold in the flour. Mix the baking soda and hot water*, and add it to the batter.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips if using (I hope you do!).

6. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and sprinkle with oats if you like. They add a nice crunch!

7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, till a toothpick comes out clean and the loaf is risen and golden brown.

Slice and eat warm with a pat of butter, cream cheese, more honey or as is.

 *The baking soda and cinnamon can also be sifted in with the flour and the water can be added before the eggs to the liquid mixture.

More banana awesomeness here, here, here, here.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

It was a weeknight. There was one lonely apple. And there was me. It isn’t the fruit of temptation for nothing.

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I present to you, the best apple anything you will ever eat. These muffins are better than apple pie. Yes, I said it. Your kitchen will smell unbelievable, your taste buds will thank you for now and forever.

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There’s some whole wheat flour, brown sugar, a bit of butter, fresh apple and as much cinnamon as you can handle. There is nothing to not like. Make these!

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Last weekend, I made the most embarrassing batch of cookies. Seriously, they just turned into these thin, weird, non-cookie things. I didn’t have the time to do any damage control (the week was pretty insane) so I shut the dustbin lid on them and pretended nothing happened.

Never over-experimenting again. Ever.

So then these happened, because the blog was just too silent and I needed an ego-boost. And a chocolate filled ego-boost it was.

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The idea of zucchini in anything sweet, let alone with chocolate, always sounded bizarre. But so many great bloggers were doing stuff with it, I got curious. An adapted mash-up of this and this created these ultra moist, deliciously soft, absolutely bursting with chocolate muffins.

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Zucchini, my friends, is in Ross’s words, the moist-maker.

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PB Milk Chocolate Scones

It’s sad that certain things get a reputation they really don’t deserve. Like scones, for instance. Always thought to become easily dry and tasteless. These guys were far from it and these ones, even further.

Moist, tender, full of peanut butter, bursting with chocolate. I mean, there’s no way these could be bad. They amazed me!

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One of these with a cup of hot coffee and you’ll know what perfection tastes like.

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Flourless Butterscotch Chip Brownies

I spent Friday night with some deadly cough-causing germs, a mug of hot water, an entire 9″ pizza and Julie & Julia. It is amazing what good food, and a movie about good food can do for the spirit. I’ve watched it before, but had forgotten just how badly Julie & Julia makes you want to race into the kitchen and churn out miracle after miracle.

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So. I made these they-are-so-good-they-should-be-illegal brownies, some incredible peanut butter scones (coming soon) and mushroom sandwiches with homemade pesto for a lazy Saturday breakfast. Couple that with some great ravioli and pizza outside home, and the cough-germs, while still there, suddenly didn’t seem so evil.

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Julia Child said “I like to eat!” when her husband asked her what she really likes to do. And just like Mrs Child, I do it well.

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Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

I have waited ridiculously long to make these. And put in way too much energy looking for something as tiny as a poppy seed. I think every grocer around my home and office must recognize me as the girl who rushes in and out going “No? No black poppy seeds? They are used in baking…? No, those are white.”

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Apparently, the black version isn’t sold here because Indian cooking requires only white poppy seeds. If, by some miracle one of you does know where to get them, please spill :)

This little bottle (and the muffin liners) came to me from my sister-in-law, along with these very awesome white chocolate chips. Thank you :)

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There was no doubt I’d turn these into muffins, at last! Sweet, lemony satisfaction :)

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