Monthly Mingle: Winter Fruits and Vegetables

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Winter has already set in and the markets are flooded with the colorful fruits and vegetables from the December harvest. There is a plethora of the fresh vegetables and fruits that are available in the markets – avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, grape fruit, pears, spinach, beans, and so many others. So if you have any recipes having these fruits or vegetables as the main ingredients then go ahead and rush in your entries for this month’s edition of Monthly Mingle: Winter Fruits and Vegetables. Along with these winter harvest as the main ingredients the recipes may have other vegetables or non-vegetarian ingredients.

Meeta of  “What’s for Lunch, Honey?” fame organizes the Monthly Mingle event each month and was kind enough to allow us to host this event for the month of December-January. Please send in your entries to bengalicuisine@gmail.com

(bengalicuisine[at]gmail[dot]com) between 24th December 2009 and 11th January, 2010.

The rules are simple and easy:

1. Create any dish between now and 11th January, 2010 that fits the idea of Winter Fruits and Vegetables. There is no limit to the number of entries you can send for the event.

2. Your creation should be prepared for the current Monthly Mingle theme and cannot be shared with any other blog events.

3. You must provide a link to this post and the official Monthly Mingle page.

4. Please send in your recipes to bengalicuisine@gmail.com with “Monthly Mingle” as the subject line along with the following details:

  • Your preferred name.
  • Name of your blog and its url.
  • Name of the dish and url of the post.
  • Your location (Country)
  • A picture of the dish 300pixels wide.

We would appreciate if you can kindly use the logo of the event.

If you have any queries please drop a comment here or mail us at bengalicuisine@gmail.com.

Christmas Cake in Pressure Cooker

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Christmas is that time of the year when you make merry and go out shopping and traveling with friends and family. The chill and the dryness in the air make the whole environment to go around more to keep warm. My Christmas day this year, o I should be saying last year was a good now. The celebration started from Christmas Eve, just after I came out of my office.

Christmas Cake at Bangalore

Christmas Cake at Bangalore

I went to the St. Mary’s Basilica, the oldest Church in Bangalore. The Church was decked up with white flowers all around the alter. I presumed it was to show respect to all those who lost their lives in different terror attacks all over India in 2008. That night we had good dinner at one of the well known restaurants in Bangalore and then off to St. Patrick’s Church for the grand celebration. What I have never done before, this time I was there inside the Church and sang along with many others the Christmas carols. It reminded me of those days in school. I still do remember the songs well.


Christmas day without some different things from the kitchen makes it very dull. So, after the day long hovering about from one Church to the other, I thought of baking a cake to mark this grand occasion.


The problem with baking a cake at my home is I don’t have a convection microwave oven, for that matter not a simple oven. So my only resort was my faithful pressure cooker. This was the first time I baked a cake in the pressure cooker and was quite apprehensive about the outcome till I had a bite. The cake was absolutely soft and everyone really liked it.


For one pound cake

Ingredients:


Cake flour or Wheat Flour (Maida): 1 ¼ cup

Baking powder: 1 teaspoon

Castor sugar (Guro Chini): ¾ cup

Unsalted Butter (Sada Makhon): 50gms

Eggs (Dim): 3

Clarified Butter (Ghee): 1 tablespoon

Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon

Dry fruits like raisins and cashew nuts, etc

Cadbury Gems for frosting

Sand for heating in pressure cooker

Preparation:

  • Add half cup of sugar to the eggs with the vanilla essence and beat well with a blender until the eggs make small peaks the blender is lifted
  • In a large bowl put in the flour, baking powder and sift thrice
  • Drop in the butter to the sifted flour and mix well with a blender
  • As the mixture gets fluffy and soft pour in the egg and castor sugar mixture and blend
  • Take a steel bowl (of the shape you want your cake to be like ) and coat it with the clarified butter well
  • Pour in the cake mixture into the steel bowl
  • Cover the base of the pressure cooker with half inch of sand, sand helps in passing the heating evenly
  • Place the steel bowl with the cake mixture in the pressure cooker, and add some dry fruits to it
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker without the whistle
Baking in Progress - inside the pressure cooker

Baking in Progress - inside the pressure cooker

  • Let it be there on medium flame for at least 12 minutes
  • The smell of baked cake will come when it is properly baked
  • Insert a knife through the cake, it the knife comes out clean , the cake is properly baked then

Baked properly - time for frosting

Baked properly - time for frosting

  • With a knife scrap the sides of the steel bowl and invert it over a plate
  • Frost it in whatever way you like; I frosted it with castor sugar and gems.

x-mas-cake

Baking a cake without an oven was really a good experiment, and loved it more when the outcome was sweet and good looking. Check for more updates on this page till then Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging.

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