Homemade Churros

churros

Just like the Deep Fried Oreos, I learnt about Churros on my favourite food show Carnival Eats. Since then I have been itching to try some.

My brother is currently in Spain and I have been coaxing him daily to try Churros. I don’t know if he tried them yet but the very thought of Churros made me make some in my kitchen.

Churros are essentially a Spanish – Mexican dessert popularly sold as street food. Outside these countries they are treated as a dessert and served with lip smacking dips or accompaniments. But the chocolate sauce happens to be its best pal.

mexican churros

Churros is made using Choux Paste – a flour dough consisting of eggs which is extremely difficult to get right. When I found this eggless easy recipe of Churros here, I got excited and tried it the very next day.

The Churros originated in Spain and then brought to Mexico by the colonists. There is a slight difference between the 2 versions (not sharing here due to ambiguity in reasons I found) but both are deep fried and look and taste the same. These are thick, 3 to 4 inch long strips of fried dough, coated with sugar and served with a sweet dip. They are always served warm and fresh; never fried and kept beforehand.

homemade churros

⇒Churros work great as a party snack or when friends get-together.

⇒The dough can be made in large quantity and frozen to be used as and when required.

⇒Try serving Churros with variety of sweet dips or sauce.

⇒You can also try flavouring the dough to have a burst of flavours in your mouth when you bite into this flaky goodness!

 

Homemade Churros Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1.5 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
Oil for frying
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Chocolate Sauce to serve

Method
Step 1 – Take water, sugar, salt and oil in a thick bottomed pan. Place over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Step 2 – Take off flame and add flour to the pan. Mix vigorously using a whisk, till everything comes together to form a ball.
Step 3 – Take a piping bag and attach a star shaped nozzle to it.
Step 4 – Put half of the flour mixture into the bag and test by piping some of the dough onto a plate.
Step 5 – Heat oil, about 3 to 4 inches deep, in a wok / kadhai. Pipe out 3 inch long churros and fry over medium heat till they are crisp and light brown on the outside.
Step 6 – Remove on an absorbent paper and slightly cool.
Step 7 – In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and cinnamon powder well. Toss the churros lightly in the sugar- cinnamon mix. Pick each Churro, tap off extra coating and place on a serving plate. Serve immediately along with Chocolate Sauce.

This recipe makes makes approx 20 to 25 Churros

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Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

homemade strawberry icecream

I don’t know why I have always shied away from making ice-cream at home..especially, when it’s one of the preferred dessert of the family. I guess it’s always about getting the perfect texture – only creaminess and no ice crystals that made me run away from the thought of making ice-cream at home.

I always knew whenever I plan to make ice-cream at home it will definitely be using the below given easy-peasy recipe which many ladies of one of my recipe communities swear by. It is a no-cook, 10 minute recipe calling for just 3 ingredients; fresh cream, milkmaid and fruit puree/pulp.

strawberry icecream

Husband is an ice-cream lover and that’s how I got hooked to it. Obviously, Nabeel followed suit and now, it’s a fortnightly ritual post dinner to walk down to the nearby ice-cream parlour, known for its fresh hand churned ice-creams, for a quick treat.

We usually like eating Strawberries on their own or once in a while I whip up a Strawberry milkshake but this year the berries are not in their best form – very tart and sour, making it impossible to eat them raw. That’s how I decided to use them to make an ice-cream.

Did you know Strawberry is one of the top 3 flavours of ice-cream along with Vanilla and Chocolate?

The Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe shared is jhat-pat (jiffy) kind and I love the fact that it’s so convenient –  you just decided to make ice-cream and within 30minutes the mixture is ready and sitting in your freezer. I must admit this was not a 100% crystal free ice-cream I mainly suspect that’s because of the sugar and water that goes into making the sauce. If you use natural pulp then the ice crystals are nil. However, we enjoyed the luscious ice-cream which was creamy and full of flavour.

easy strawberry icecream

Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe
Makes 400ml

200ml / 1 cup milkmaid
250ml fresh cream
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 tbsp sugar (this may vary as per the tartness of the strawberries)
Red food colour, only if you desire

Step 1 – Start by preparing the Strawberry sauce. Mix strawberries with sugar in a thick bottomed pan, add about 1/4th cup water and cook till the berries are soft and sugar has melted to a sauce consistency. This may take about 10 minutes or so. Once done, keep aside and cool. The batch of strawberries I used to make the ice cream was very sour so I had to cook them with sugar. If your berries are sweet you may omit this step and roughly mash the strawberries.

Step 2 – In a big bowl, whip cream till frothy.

Step 3 – Pour in the milkmaid and mix well.

Step 4 – Add in the Strawberry sauce and whip for a minute to mix well. Do not over whip, as all the berries will liquidize. An ice-cream with fruit chunks tastes much better than a smooth one in my opinion.

Step 5 – Pour the ice-cream mixture in a container. Add few drops of food colour, if using. Mix well.

Step 6 – Cover the container with a tight fitting lid and keep in freezer for 4 hours.

Step 7 – Remove the ice-cream and mix using a fork. Place the ice-cream back in freezer till frozen completely.

Step 8 – Scoop and serve as desired.

fresh strawberry icecream

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Other Strawberry Recipes you should try

Berry Lollies

Strawberry & Guava Juice

Real Strawberry Pops

 

Kaju Katli

kaju katli

Kaju Katli the much loved cashewnut based Indian sweet needs no introduction!

Every month Nabeel has a show n tell activity in school. As per the given theme, children are asked to get objects / images and talk about them in class. This month’s theme was Diwali. Kaju Katli was the first thing that came to my mind for Nabeel has this undying love for the sweet he relishes year round. And, instead of buying the sweet I decided to make it at home.

Now, Kaju Katli is also known for how difficult it is to make, atleast that is what I have heard. So, after a lot of mental debate I decided to give it a try. Trust me this sweet is as simple as it can get. With just 3 ingredeints required I can say it is instant in comparison to any other Indian sweet. I have already made a couple of batches and the product keeps getting better. If you are holding back because of all the myth surrounding kaju katli then please don’t. This Diwali treat your family and friends with some Homemade Kaju Katli.

indian sweet

 ***********************Happy Diwali*****************************

Homemade Kaju Katli

Ingredients
Cashewnuts / Kaju – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/3rd cup
Water – 1/4th cup
Cardamon (elaichi) powder – ½ teaspoon
Ghee / Clarified Butter – ½ teaspoon
Powdered or slivered nuts for decoration

Method
Step 1 – Grind the cashew nuts to a fine powder. As you grind them they tend to release oil and get lumpy, which is ok as long as the powder is spread out to dry, after grinding. You can spread over a tray for few hours before using. Spreading is not a vital step but in order to have a smoother and softer product this is advisable.

IMG_20171010_111832
Step 2 – Put water and sugar in a non stick pan and let the mixture boil on medium flame till it converts to 1 string sugar syrup.

IMG_20171010_112340
Step 3 – Immediately add in the cashew nuts powder and mix continuously till all the ingredients come together.

IMG_20171010_112558
Step 4 – Add the cardamom powder and ghee, mix vigorously.

IMG_20171010_112842
Step 5 – Remove the mixture on a greased surface and cool by spreading it with a spoon. Keep mixing and spreading till the mixture comes together like dough.

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Step 6 – Take a greased tray / thali and spread out the kaju katli mixture, keeping a thickness of ½ cm. Using a greased knife cut into diamond shape, sprinkle nuts and refrigerate till set.
Step 7 – Remove Kaju Katli pieces from tray and serve or store.

kaju barfi

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Deep Fried Oreos

I have been guilty of posting many back to back non- recipe posts lately. So, let me make it up with this utterly indulgent and hassle free recipe of Deep Fried Oreos.

deep fried oreos

I first learnt about them in one of the episodes of “Carnival Eats”. I am a big fan of the show, every episode makes me go “ooh and aah”, if nothing else entices me to visit America, the drool worthy treats at its many state fairs surely will 😉
Deep Fried Oreos were whipped yesterday to celebrate Nabeel’s 5th birthday; he baked himself a brownie (yes, he did…so proud 🙂 ) and I made him something using his favourite biscuits.

I love how everyday kitchen ingredients can easily be transformed into something so delicious within no time.

It was a last minute decision to make them. I quickly whisked the batter while the Oreos chilled in the freezer, heated the oil and, voila! the deep fried goodness was ready in flat 15 minutes. I love how everyday kitchen ingredients can easily be transformed into something so delicious within no time.
I tried both variants of Oreo; original and chocolate but the original was the best for its sweet icing perfectly complimented the mildly sweet batter. I prepared the batter from scratch using eggs but for a much quicker process you can directly use pancake mix. Also, omit eggs and add 1 tsp baking powder to the batter, if you wish.

batter fried oreo

The batter fried Oreos added to the celebrations and were thoroughly enjoyed by Nabeel. He fondly called them “Oreo Pakoras” 🙂 

 

Deep Fried Oreos Recipe

Oreo biscuits, about 15 to 20
Oil for deep frying

For the batter
1 cup refined wheat flour / maida
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 egg
½ cup to ¾ cup milk (this depends on the consistency)
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt

Step 1 – Place the Oreo biscuit packs in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Whisk egg, till frothy and thick, in a big bowl.
Step 3 – Fold in the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
Step 4 – Pour in the milk and lightly mix using a whisk.
Step 5 – Let the batter rest for 10 minutes, meanwhile heat good amount of oil to deep fry Oreos.
Step 6 – Dip 4 to 5 Oreo biscuits in the batter , ensure its coated well from all sides and place in heated oil.
Step 7 – Fry them till golden brown and remove on an absorbent paper.
Step 8 – Let it cool a bit before serving. Dust with powdered sugar and serve a dipping chocolate sauce along, if desired.

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Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes

peanut butter cupcakesThe cupcakes are basic and light with chocolate beautifully complimenting the peanut butter flavour. 

And so, Nabeel is currently enjoying his summer break in full swing, ensuring I am on my toes 24 hours, or at least till he is awake. His constant needs to play, eat, read, and have fun sucks out all my energy and time. I am enjoying no doubt, but the everyday dilemma of “how to keep him busy? is tiring me completely. This year am adopting “no summer class” policy (hope to stick to it till the end) which means all me time will be converted to only mommy time..phew!

peanut butter cake

So, yesterday, we spent time in the kitchen baking cupcakes…something both of us thoroughly enjoy. We baked these cutsie mini cupcakes flavored with Peanut Butter and slathered with chocolate. Peanut butter gained entry into my kitchen for the first time and soon it was used in a baking recipe…something I generally do with all my new found ingredients :-).

We spent our evening snacking on these beauties while watching our 100th session (no exaggeration, really) of Kung Fu Panda.

cupcakes

Heading to the park now, please find this simple recipe of Mini Peanut Cupcakes, below. I adapted it from here.

Do try them with your kid..super fun and messy too 😉

chocolate frosting

Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 24 mini OR 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients
Refined wheat flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Creamy Peanut Butter – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1/3 cup
Castor Sugar – ½ cup
Eggs – 2 nos
Vanilla Essence – 2 drops
Milk – 3 tablespoons
Melted Dark Chocolate – ½ cup , for the frosting

Method
Step 1 – Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep it aside.
Step 2 – In a bowl, put peanut butter, butter and sugar together using an electric beater till fluffy and white in colour.
Step 3 – Lightly mix in eggs, one by one. Add Vanilla essence.
Step 4 – Fold in the dry ingredients with a light hand.
Step 5 – Mix in milk to adjust the batter consistency.
Step 6 – Pour the cupcake batter in moulds and place in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes, to bake.
Step 7 – Once the cupcakes have risen, remove and cool before serving.
Step 8 – Top the cupcakes with melted dark chocolate.

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Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies

dual berry n yoghurt lollies

Lollies are the perfect summer treat for kids. Delicious, healthy, easy to make using handful of ingredients they are a great way to give kids fresh fruit and yoghurt.

fruit lollies

Lollies are definitely better than giving readymade ice-creams to kids plus children can prepare lollies on their own making them forget the store bought ones.
I have used 2 berry flavours; Strawberry & Blueberry but any combination is possible.

Dual Berry and Yoghurt Lollies
Makes 8 lollies (as seen in image)

Ingredients
2 packs Danone Blueberry flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
1 pack Danone Vanilla flavoured yoghurt (80gms pack)
½ cup chopped Strawberries
1 tbsp honey (might need more in case the fruit is sour)
A pinch of salt

strawberry lollies

Method

mashed strawberryStep 1 – Mix strawberry, salt and honey in a bowl. Lightly mash to make pulp yet retaining few fruit chunks.

Step 2 – In another bowl, empty the yoghurt packs and whisk them well.

strawberry swirlStep 3 – Mix the strawberry pulp with the whisked yoghurt.

ice pops trayStep 4 – Pour the mixture into lolly / kulfi moulds and freeze overnight or for minimum 6 to 8 hours. If you don’t have moulds you can make lollies in paper or plastic cups, insert wooden candy sticks and then tear the outer covering once the lollies have frozen.

Here’s another fresh fruit summer treat for kids that you could try Real Strawberry Pops 

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HOLI SPECIAL – SHAHI TUKDA WITH CARROT AND MALAI RABDI

It’s time to bid goodbye to carrots with this scrumptious creamy dessert that is apt for the upcoming festival. Here’s a quick pictorial recipe of the easy dessert which will complete your Holi celebrations. 

Carrot Rabdi

SHAHI TUKDA WITH CARROT AND MALAI RABDI
Makes 4 portions

4 cups Milk (I used cow’s milk)
6 tablespoon sugar
1.5 cups grated carrots
1 tablespoon ghee
½ cup fresh milk cream (malai)
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon ghee + ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 8’ inch pizza bread (cut into 8 triangles) (can use 1.5 to 2 pizza breads i.e total of 12 to 16 pieces to make 4 portions of the dessert)
Pistachio powder

Carrot Rabdi - step 1Step 1 – Heat milk with sugar and simmer till it reduces to 3/4th.

Carrot Rabdi - step 2Step 2 – Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and sauté carrots till tender.

Step 3 – Cool the carrots and whiz them 2 times for 5 seconds each. We don’t need a puree.

Carrot Rabdi - step 4Step 4 – Add the carrot, malai and cardamom powder to the milk and simmer for another 10 minutes till thick Rabdi consistency is achieved.

Carrot Rabdi - step 5Step 5 – Heat 1 tsp ghee and sauté almonds in it.

Carrot Rabdi - step 6Step 6 – Fry the pizza bread triangles in hot oil till golden brown on the outside but still soft inside.

Shahi Tukda with carrot & malai rabdiStep 7 – To serve, place few bread triangles in a wide deep dish and pour the Rabdi over it. You can choose to keep it hot or cold. Top with slivered almonds and pistachio powder.

***HAPPY HOLI***

You might want to try this other Holi Special Recipe

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