Sunday, August 31, 2014


Energy is something we all look forward to begin our day with.  In this fast paced life, where we are all short of time, and are always on the run, and unhealthy cravings and food are readily available , it is very important that we pay a little attention which will help us in the longer run.

“Health is Wealth” goes a very old saying – and it is true.  If we are healthy, we can push ourselves,  strain a little more, work towards that goal and yet be there for our families spending time with them and making them smile.   But for all this we need to be healthy mentally and physically.  Good food and exercise is what counts.  We should not ignore these two aspects at any cost.  It is not always possible that you eat the most healthy food, but what I am stressing here is try and maintain a balance.  If you are gorging on heavy hotel  food at one meal, try and keep the others light  and healthy.  Or even if you are travelling and are eating all your meals in a hotel, try and include more salads, fruits and grilled. Avoid the salad dressings though.  However much those fried potatoes and the dessert bar calls you  to look their way – avoid the temptation.   You might be sad momentarily, but you will be happy in the times to come.  

If you are someone like I was, just a month or so before, without a trace of guilt on eating calorie laden, sinful food, and could go on and on without winking an eyelid, then stop it immediately.  Awaken yourself and start to think what it could do to your arteries and other important body functions just a few years from now. 

Eat sensibly and small quantities of food you love, to be able to eat them till you are alive.  And exercise is imperative to keep your body fit. 

I am sharing with you a easy to do yet very healthy bake, which you can make ahead and keep in the fridge or outside (if the weathers cool) and have whenever the craving strikes. 


Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time –  30-40 minutes (if you are baking a cake) and 15-20 minutes (if its muffins)
Makes – 1 big loaf of cake or about 10- 12 muffins

2 cups wholewheat flour (I used Azam Whole Wheat Atta)
1 tspn baking powder
¼ tspn – baking soda
1 egg (room temperature) or substitute with ½ cup plain yoghurt
¾ cup – light brown sugar
2 ripe bananas
½ cup – refined vegetable oil
¼ tspn  - cinnamon powder
¼ cup – chopped walnuts
1 tspn  - vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 160 deg
In a pan add the wheatflour, cinnamon powder,  baking soda and powder and mix well.  If you wish, you can sieve these together
In a separate pan beat the oil and the egg. If you are using yoghurt – beat the oil and sugar and add into the dry flour and add the whisked yoghurt and mix everything together.
Now add the sugar and and mix well.  You don’t have to beat it to melt
Add the vanilla essence and mix
Now pour this into the flour and combine properly. 
Mash the bananas and mix them and the walnuts into the batter and fold in well.  If the batter is too thick add in some milk and combine well.  The batter should not be very runny
Pour into greased and dusted cake tin or muffin cups and bake as suggested in the beginning of the recipe.
Check with a toothpick to see if baked entirely.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


All bakeries in Delhi have stocks of Cake Rusk.  It is something that my family, especially R has been in love with. I remember picking up half a kg of fresh cake rusk every week and it vanishing even before the week ended.  Some would have tutti-fruiti in it, but we always liked the plain ones, coz the fruit in the cake rusk was always very hard, spoiling the texture.

I too am very fond of this particular preparation, but I never realized it would be so easy to do it at home.  Till I actually did it myself.  This recipe is my second attempt at the cake rusk or biscotti in the international language.  The first one I did was Almond and Orange which required some improvement.  And the second one came out perfectly.  After this I think I will be making more biscotti than cookies or muffins or cakes.  They are soooo good, and healthy too.

This is my own recipe.  After I got the hang of the whole concept of getting the texture right, I made my own stuff.  

Prep Time - 10 minutes
Cooking Time - 20-30 minutes (Logs)
Cooling time - 30 minutes
Cooking Time - 8-10 minutes (Biscotti)
Cooling Time - 20 minutes
Makes about - 2 dozen biscotti of medium size

 2 cups atta
1 tspn baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dates n figs chopped
1/4 cup cinnamon honey (I don't think it's available in India so use honey mixed with 1/2 spoon of cinnamon or put the powder in the flour)
5 tbspn salted butter
2 tbspn rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 150 deg
In a dish mix the flours n baking powder
Add the dates n figs n give it a good mix
Separately beat the butter n eggs
Add the sugar n mix
Pour in the rum
Now mix the wet into the dry
Add the honey
Combine into a dough
Don't knead too much
Pat into 2 logs by dividing them into two balls
Try and keep the logs rectangular
Lay them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Now bake for 30 minutes
Remove from oven n cool for 30 minutes
Meanwhile before 30 minutes are over start preheating once again
Once the logs are fairly cool use a serrated knife to slice them into 1/2 inch slices and lay them cut side down on the baking sheet with the baking paper and bake again for about 8-10 minutes. Just until they start browning.
Take the sheet out and leave to cool.

Believe me you will love the crumbs as much as the biscotti itself.