Tips and Resources

Baking for Beginners-Bake your first Cake

Baking tips for Beginners

With this  post I aim to help those of you guys who are baking for the first time and also whose of you who have had bitter experiences while baking.First of, Baking is very different from cooking and can get daunting at first and that’s the reason I have written this post. I have also shared a saveable infographic which will help you bake your first cake.Do write to me if you have any other queries or challenges and I will try to help you out to the best of my ability. What kind of oven should I buy? if you already have an oven Skip ahead. I always suggest the first time bakers that the oven you buy should have …

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Everyday Whole Wheat Italian Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

What could be more satisfying than breaking bread with friends and family?For someone who loves bread as much as I do, being able to make it well myself is a giant..no dianasorous gigantic feat!This post is about my humble attempt at making Whole Wheat Italian Bread from scratch.I have used 1:2 ratio of Whole wheat flour to All purpose or bread flour. I have tried baking several types of bread before..You can read about my experiment with baking a sour dough bread a few months back on this post here, but this is THE recipe that has been a real success at my home.I say this because my husband is a staunch non believer of all bread-be it pizza, rotis ,naans …

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How to Make Ricotta Cheese at Home

How to make Fresh and Creamy Ricotta Cheese

Lets talk about How to Make Ricotta Cheese at Home with just a few handy ingredients. There are times when I need some fresh cheese stat but I can’t be bothered to step out in the crazy Bangalore Heat.(I can’t even begin to sympathise with you Chennai and Delhi folks!)For those times this recipe is a life saver.Also anything made at home is a thousand times more nutritious and free of dubious ingredients than something store bought. The ricotta cheese made using this recipe is creamy, soft and not overly salty like the packaged variety available in the market.It is as easy as making Paneer at home.Infact,you can press the ricotta for longer and make a very paneer like firm cheese. …

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My Famous 5 minute Yogurt Dip

Easy healthy Yogurt dip

One dip for all my parties. Since I started making this ,there hasn’t been a single gathering or a party where I have not made this.Whether I am serving Indian food or Italian or desi Chinese this is one dip that will always be on my party table. I have mopped this dip up with breads, nachos, chips, chicken wings, french fries, indian chicken keema sliders,naans with equal gusto.While planning my party menu, this is the first thing on my list-Every single time,and I am not exaggerating here, people have asked me for the recipe and I gladly tell them.Though I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to penning here it sooner. Maybe cause it’s so simple that it’s …

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Healing Turmeric Soup

Healing Turmeric Soup

My eyes are watering while I write this..Not because of some emotion, though rage is definitely flowing through me because of this stupid weather bug that’s got us all over the sink,blowing with all our mights trying to clear our airways and somehow earning back our fundamentalest of the most fundamental right to breathe!That’s why we made a giant pot of Healing Turmeric Soup. Yes..All of us are sick…under the weather..One by one like dominos we caught the bug..Just when the person before is getting better the one after starts to feel the symptoms..We did the whole hoopla of going to the doctors(yes plural for the 3 of us)..getting paracetamols and the other paraphernalia but those things take time to kick …

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Microwave Vs Oven for an Indian Kitchen

This is a very common conundrum…To buy a microwave or an Oven…It is a big investment especially if you consider the limited space we have in our kitchens.I am writing this cause I get a lot of queries on whether they should invest in an oven or a microwave. I am especially writing this cause my mother was standing exactly at this point wondering what to buy -a microwave or an oven and she ended up buying a microwave cause it was so hip! So I want to do my bit in educating as many as I can so that they don’t end up wasting money and kitchen real estate in this worthless piece of machinery. Let’s start with what …

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Homemade Sugarless Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

Is peanut butter an acquired taste?I remember trying it as a child and not liking it at all.Maybe it was too new a texture and taste back then but now I am obsessed with it.I love my homemade sugarless peanut butter with apples and bananas, adding it to my oat bowl and baking with it. Have you tried homemade peanut butter with chocolate?Though I am a recent fan of strawberries dipped in chocolate but there is no comparison(in my book) with the awesome combination that is peanut butter and chocolate. I feel miffed at myself for missing out on this amazing creation for 25 years of my life though if I hadn’t ,I cant imagine the number of jars of …

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Green Thai Curry Paste

Green Thai Curry Paste recipe with substitutes in case you don't get fresh Thai ingredients

There is something about Green Thai curry which just warmes up your soul.The steam wafting from a warm bowl of some Thai curry with well cooked soft white rice is just what I need at the end of long day to make me feel special.The magic that hugs the house when you make one can’t be explained in words.But making the Thai curry from homemade Green Thai Curry Paste is beyond explainable in mere words! Thai ingredients are seldom available locally but when they are, I end up acting like a child in a candy shop.Though thats probably me all the time when grocery shopping.Rarely do I get as much pleasure from anything else than shopping for food.I think all the …

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Homemade Natural Protein Powder

Vegan Homemade Protein Powder

Most store bought protein powders have isolated proteins which helps you gain muscle mass and complete your daily protein requirement.But have you ever wondered how are these powders so high on protein but extremely low on the other macros?A little research will tell you that these protein powders are highly processed to remove the other ingredients such as fats, fibre and carbs so that a small amount of powder provides large amount of protein.That’s one of the reasons I decided to make my own Vegan Homemade Protein Powder. Do you remember the whole wheat movement?There are so many documentaries made on how whole of America was suffering from lack of nutrients and basic macros which were removed while processing the …

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Traditional Pizza Dough

Traditional Sicilian Olives and Onion Pizza

This love affair has been going on for a long long time! Even Before I started cooking seriously!! I have said this before and I am saying it again.I can have any pizza you put in front of me! Whether its from a small little bakery in a tucked away in an unknown corner of india or Naples! I plan my trips around this Pizza! So it’s a given that you will see more than one recipe of this particular food. I am not ashamed to say that when we were kids we used to make pizza out of cheese spread and tomato ketchup. In fact I love a nice pizza made out of our regular roti dough. But enough …

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My First Sourdough Bread

Sour Dough Bread

I won’t presume to act all knowing about bread baking. In fact this was my first attempt and rather than tell you how to bake a sour dough bread I am just recording my experience in this post. I followed theperfectloaf blog almost entirely for making this sour dough bread. This is my first successful attempt at bread baking with natural or commercial yeast. I have tried to bake bread a few times with the commercial yeast which has been a disappointment almost everytime and ended up in the dumpster but this time using natural yeast I was able to make a bread with a great crust & caramalization, crunchy exterior,soft & fluffly interior and a subtle sweet yeast flavor. …

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Herb Infused Dipping Oil

Herb Infused Dipping Oil

Ever tasted those fancy dipping oils at the supermarket and go wohoooo! Well that happened to me but they were so darn overpriced that I just finished the samples and skedaddled as fast as I could. On my morning jaunt to namdhari(our neighbourhood organic store) I found all kinds of fresh herbs and I bought them all on a whim. I got several bunches of fresh basil, thyme, rosemary & oregano ,with no idea of what I was going to do with them. I did make a litre of my versatile Italian roast tomato sauce but I still had a lot of fresh herbs leftover.I was still exuberant on my afternoon coffee and energized like a little bunny so I decided …

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Whole Grain Thin Crust Pizza

Homemade whole wheat pizza

This has been in the “draft” stage since I stumbled upon the novice housewife blog.I have made a pizza with this recipe about 5 times now and  it’s been a winner every single time.I love the fact that it’s a whole wheat recipe so I use the regular roti aata or flour.I had aashirwaad multigrain aata at home and that’s what I used in this recipe.You could use all purpose flour or maida or the refined flour. The pizza sauce is my now goto  and ever easy to make-roasted tomato sauce on this pizza.If you think making homemade sauce is a hassle give this recipe a try.It’s super duper easy and you can make a large batch and freeze.I have also used wingreen’s pesto …

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Versatile Vanilla Cake Three Ways!

Versatile vanilla cake three ways

If you get your basic vanilla cake recipe right then you can make just about a zillion cakes with it.All you need to master is that one recipe. In this post I want to show you how you can tweak one recipe to create multiple cakes. This is my go to recipe for any celebration cakes now.I made two cakes and sandwiched them with an easy peasy fresh strawberry compote(strawberry+sugar+water-boil=Strawberry compote!!!) and decorated with buttercream frosting and voilà a beautiful delicate celebration cake.The buttercream recipe is here Add a fruit to this recipe and make the best tea time accompaniment.I made blueberry baked donuts and a strawberry upside cake using this same recipe.Both disappeared as soon as they came out of the oven. …

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How to Start Baking

How to start baking

Baking is a joy.It’s a stress buster and almost an art form.It’s such a joy to see simple ingredients turn into something spectacular inside an oven.It’s a shame that baking as a cooking method hasn’t really caught on in india.The sole purpose of me writing this blog is to educate and initiate more people into baking. Once you get the mechanics of it you will realise how convenient it is.In my opinion,baking is easier than cooking on a stove top and definitely more useful than microwaving food(microwave just zaps the food and strips it of all its nutrients-read my post on it here).Baking mimics a traditional clay oven or a tandoor in the way it cooks food.You can set the …

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How To Make Almond Milk At Home

How to make Almond Milk at Home

I went out to buy some grocerie today..First of all , how is it that I am always out of staples in phases because of which I am forced to go to the supermarket multiple times in a week.Today I had to buy onions and I somehow spent Rs 3400! I am burning a hole in my wallet just buying groceries! While strolling along the aisle I came across a 200 ml packaged almond milk catron.I was so excited seeing it, it was green in color and said “Natural” in big bold black and then I turned it to read the ingredients.Except almonds and salt everything else was at least 8 syllables long and totally unpronounceable! My uncle, who is …

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Where to buy Groceries and Fresh Produce in Bangalore

I am making an ongoing list of physical and online stores in Bangalore which should cater to all your provisional needs whether special or everyday. It’s been five years in Bangalore and i still struggle at times to find the produce that i am looking for.I have now adopted a better technique of buying the produce first and then settling on what i can cook with it.I have listed the stores as per my preference for each food category. Everyday Vegetables Vegetable Cart/Market-I prefer catching a vegetable cart as they have the freshest produce but living in an apartment does not help Hopcom Namdhari Spar/Nilgiris/Star Bazaar Speciality Vegetables and Fresh Herbs Namdhari Spar/Star Bazaar Godrej Nature’s Basket Westside food Nilgiris Dried Herbs,Sauces …

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Frozen Grapes

Black Seedless grapes cleaned and frozen

I have been a total nuisance lately.I have tried(somewhat successfully) to introduce as many people to this phenomena called FROZEN GRAPES.I have bugged all my whatsapp groups,called my mom and rambled non stop about the goodness of frozen grapes and I also exaggerated a little about it being better than chocolate. The last attempt got me a virtual kick all the way from Canada where my friend categorically told me I had lost my mind and was clearly hallucinating if I can even think of comparing them to chocolate. The first time I froze them I couldn’t even photograph them because an army of friends descended home after my 30th birthday celebrations.I have served them as beer snacks and used …

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