Iced Lemon Pound Cake

October has begun and so has fall. The avalanche of pumpkins, apples and cinnamon has already hit us. And here I am…still hanging onto my summer desserts.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I’m not ashamed of it. Not one bit. I would gladly eat a slice of this moist, buttery lemon cake any day of the year.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I love my monstrous frosted layered cake creations but sometimes, just sometimes, I crave the comfort of a simple, homely, fresh out of the oven cake. A cake that doesn’t ask for planning or fancy detailing. A cake that can be whipped up in minutes.

This lemon pound cake is just that.

Simple, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has a soft, fluffy, moist texture with a bright lemon kick from the tangy glaze on top. It’s buttery and lemony and it literally melts in your mouth. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

Here are some tips to remember:

  1. A pound cake gets its fine, dense (not heavy) texture from the all the mixing. The mixing incorporates air, creating volume, which then levels the loaf. So make sure you beat the sugar and butter well and again after the addition of each egg.

  2. Buttermilk gives you a moist, flavorful cake. The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking powder making the cake lighter in texture. To make homemade buttermilk; combine ½ cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

  3. The cake gets most of its flavor from the lemon zest so make sure you do not skimp on the zest. Only use the thin, yellow zest layer of the lemon, which contains the lemon oils, and avoid the white layer which tastes bitter.

  4. Grease your loaf pan very well. I like to oil the pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, and then coat the pan with flour. This ensures that the cake will pop right out of the pan in one piece.

Once the cake is slightly cooled, I like to top it off with a thick lemon glaze. The glaze gives the cake a burst of citrus flavor and takes on a beautiful almost matte finish once it hardens.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has become go-to lemon pound cake recipe. Maybe it will become yours too. 🙂

Lemon Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: one 9 inch loaf
Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Ingredients:
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon (around 1 teaspoon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (see notes below)
For the glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Dust with flour, shake off the excess.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add in the butter and beat with a hand mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before glazing.
Meanwhile make the glaze; combine all the glaze ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. The icing should be thick and smooth. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar if needed to get the correct pouring consistency. Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Let it dry before slicing the cake.
Notes
1.       Homemade buttermilk: ½ cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar
2.       This cake will keep about 4 days at room temperature or upto one week in the refrigerator.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

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Fudgy Nutella Brownies

I have found a new favorite brownies recipe and it involves lots and lots of Nutella.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

My love for Nutella is nothing new on this blog. (Remember these Nutella cinnamon rolls? Nutella swirl muffins?!)

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Nutella is one of man’s best gift to mankind.

Also, maybe the worst.

The eating straight-out-of-the jar habit has me looking like a beached whale. o.o

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

I’m obsessed, and this obsession resulted in me adding lots and lots of Nutella to my brownies.

Because why not?

 

There’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Am I right or am I right?

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

And these brownies… oh man.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Chewy around the edges, fudgy on the inside. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Thick? ✓

Fudgy? ✓

Crispy, crackly top? ✓

Swirls of Nutella? ✓

Brownies to end all brownies? ✓ ✓

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

If you’re looking for a rich indulgent treat, these are it. Make these today, tonight, right this moment! Trust me you won’t regret it.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and hashtag any of your creations to #spatulainmypocket. I would love to see your creations! Also like my Facebook and other social media so we can keep in touch.

Fudgy Nutella Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 20 squares
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
1 cup (200g) melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Nutella
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a 13×9 baking dish.
In the bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
Add flour mixture gradually to the wet mixture. Mix intil fully incorporated.
Microwave the 1 cup of Nutella for about 30-60 seconds to soften. Mix the melted Nutella into the batter, saving a couple of tablespoons for the top.
Pour it into the prepared baking dish.
Spoon the remaining Nutella on top of the brownie batter. Drag a knife back and forth across the batter to create swirls.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting.
Notes:
1.       The key to the fudginess: DO NOT OVER-BAKE. Bake until just firm. The toothpick test doesn’t work on this as the center will be gooey when they first come out of the oven but will set as they cool down which brings me to my second point…
2.      Let them cool completely before slicing them up!! I cannot emphasize enough how fudgy these are. You have to let them cool to room temperature to get proper squares. If you’re impatient like I first was, you’ll end up with a gooey, albeit delicious, mess on your hands :p Trust me, they are worth every single minute of the tortuous wait.

 

Recipe source: Genius Kitchen 

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I_ve ever made.

2nd BLOGIVERSAY + Favorites

Since I last posted over a month ago, Spatula in My Pocket’s 2nd blogiversary came and went– and with it, about a gazillion other things. I feel as if this year is just whizzing by. It’s been a summer of endings, pending beginnings and a whole lot of baking.

It’s still hard to believe this blog is two years old. When I first started out, I had no idea it would turn into a business, a career. With time, I feel I have deviated from why I first set out to blog.  With this post I hope to become regular again.

Here’s to a fresh comeback, sticking to promises and loads of love & happiness to everyone.

Below is a list of some cake trends and things that I have been obsessed with over the summer. Hope you enjoy!

Naked Cakes

The naked cake trend is by far my most favorite cake trend. I’ve always played for the more cake; less frosting team and when these cakes started trending last year, I was game!

 

 

The thin frosting layer with the slightly exposed cake underneath gives beautiful rustic look. Though I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the understated elegance of naked cakes. A simple naked cake adorned with fresh roses looks and tastes way better than the swirly ruffly over-frosted cakes people still opt for.

Tiered Cakes

Tiered cakes are another recent obsession. After the first disastrous attempt about a year ago I’d let go of all hope of ever stacking cakes and not having them look as if they are about to slide off. Fast forward to 10 months later and that fear has poofed away! Stacking cakes is so much fun!

 

I’ve made 4 (almost perfect) tiered cakes this past month alone. I wish every order is a tiered cake order from now on 😀

Russian Piping Tips

I’d seen Russian piping tips all over the internet, bought a set about a year ago, and promptly forgot about them. It wasn’t until I saw this tutorial by iambaker that I remembered I had a set lying forgotten in the kitchen drawer. They have become my newest favorite thing ever since!

Russian Piping Tips

Russian tips are piping tips with intricate cut outs resembling different flowers.

 

They result in beautiful delicate flowers that look like they might have taken you hours of work but instead take you just seconds. You do need a lot of practice and patience and gobs of frosting.

Wilton Burgundy Gel Food Color

This tiny bottle of food color yields the most exquisite shades of pink; bubblegum pink, to my favorite Barbie pink, to the hottest color of the year, ‘millennial pink’.

 

It is stronger and works way better than normal pink food color. I’ve been sneaking it onto cakes in the form of flowers, swirls, blobs..any way I can 😉

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

reeses-peanut-butter-cups-copycat-recipe

 

Picture credits: https://topsecretrecipes.com/reeses-peanut-butter-cups-copycat-recipe.html

 

I blame Always Hungry for this obsession -.-

She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens

A few months back, I stumbled upon an Instagram account featuring Princess Diana’s most iconic looks and that was it. I was hooked.

I have since then seen every video there is about her on Youtube, every documentary on Netflix. I’ve made my sisters sit through her funeral show twice, sobbing the entire way through.

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Credits: http://princessdiana-legacy.tumblr.com/

 

And when it seemed like I’d researched everything there is about Diana, I moved onto the other British Royals. First the Crown (second season come quick!) and now Helen Castor’s miniseries, She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens.

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I’m halfway through the second episode and, guys, I am seriously considering taking up British History as a major for Masters studies next year o.o

Jojo

This one here is a forever favorite of mine but gets a special mention because she is 6000 miles away and I MISS HER MORE THAN EVER.

Summer wasn’t summer without our Vigo rides, peach iced teas, stalking and Community sessions.

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Love you, Jojesmojes! 😥 ❤

And thats it!

What have you been loving this summer? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to know!

KULFA: The Cheat’s Version

This past week has been all about surviving the heat of summer.

Despite the short outbursts of rain here and there, it’s been SO hot.

The kind of hot where all you feel like doing is blasting on the air conditioner, putting Netflix on, and devouring mint chocolate chip ice cream (recipe coming soon!).

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It was on one particularly hot day that I was craving something cold, something creamy when I decided to hunt down a recipe that didn’t require much of my energy or time. Going through my huge recipe stash, I found this magical recipe. A Shireen Anwer classic I remember jotting down in my journal years ago.

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

 

Kulfa or kulfi is a popular street food here in Pakistan. Its a frozen milk based dessert, perfect for a hot summer day. The authentic recipe calls for cooking down milk and sugar for hours and hours till its reduced to half. It’s a slow and tiresome process. The cheat version, however, is so much quicker and so much better!

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It’s rich, creamy, and sweet…not to mention delicious. And it is SOOO Easy to make. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Try this cheats version, you won’t be disappointed.

Kulfa

Ingredients:
2 slices of white bread, soaked in some milk
1 teaspoon cardamom powder1, leveled
2 Tablespoon almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped
1 pack (200 ml) heavy cream, chilled
½ a tin (200 g) of condensed milk, chilled
1 small tin (210 g) evaporated milk, chilled
Directions:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till well combined. Pour the contents into an airtight container.2 Seal the top and place in the freezer overnight.
When ready to serve, wrap a warm kitchen towel around the container for a few seconds. Run a knife around the sides. Overturn the container onto your serving platter. Cut into slices. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios and almonds on top and enjoy.
Notes
1.       I made my own cardamom powder by grinding just the seeds of some cardamom pods. Wasn’t very fine, but I liked that it was a bit coarse.
2.      You can use ice cream or ‘kulfi’ molds.
Recipe source: Shireen Anwer

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Death by Chocolate Cake + World Chocolate Day!

4 years of college. Over and done with.
More on that later…

LET’S HAVE CAKE TO CELEBRATE.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

It is World Chocolate Day after all. And it’d be rude not to indulge in chocolate (not that I do it everyday? Those last 4 jars of Nutella. Nop. Not me.)

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

This is hands down the best chocolate cake you will ever taste.

It is super easy to make; no fancy equipment, no complicated ingredients needed. Just two bowls and a whisk (a mixer, if you’re me).

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

I went for the naked cake look because my family isn’t too big on frosting. Also, I think naked cakes look prettier.

I used my rusty 6-inch cake pan for a taller cake. And topped it all off with some of these beautiful flowers from the garden.

Some tips to make sure your cake turns out perfect every single time:

  • Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature. Makes a world of difference! Trust me

  • DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

  • Butter at room temperature for a smooth, cream frosting is a MUST. It should be soft but not too soft that’s its melting and has an oily sheen to it

  • No, sugar crushed in a grinder will not work for the frosting

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Try this cake for the next birthday party, anniversary, World Chocolate Day — it’s a show-stopper!

Death by Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake
·         1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 cup freshly made strong hot coffee2
 
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 250g butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3-5 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ganache for the drip
·         1/2 cup  cream
·         1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fresh flowers for the top

 

Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Grease & flour three 6 inch round cake pans3, and line them with parchment paper.
2.      For the cake: In a bowl, whisk together hot coffee and cocoa till a thick mix forms. Set aside to cool.
3.      Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
4.      In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar till a bit pale in color. Mix in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee cocoa mixture. Mix until combined.
5.      Divide the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
6.      For the frosting: In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
7.      In another bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and pale in color. With the speed on low, add in half of the sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat till combined. Then add in the rest of the sugar/cocoa mix. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla, cream and milk tablespoon by tablespoon. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add more icing sugar if too lose or add more milk if too thick.
8.     For the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer (or microwave till hot). Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.
9.      Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a palette knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, spread with frosting. Place the third layer on top, plain side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Scrape off the excess frosting for the ‘naked cake’ look I went for. Place cake in the fridge till cool to the touch. Then, pour over the top the chocolate ganache, let it drip round the edges. Top with fresh flowers, and enjoy!
Notes
1.       DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2.      I use 1 cup boiling water + 1 tsp instant coffee
3.      You can use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead too

 

 

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Baked Pasta

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy… the ultimate comfort food!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Stress is mounting high people. So much to do, so less time:

  • Looming college applications

  • Cursed personal statements

  • Corporate law stress

  • People problems

  • Diet fiascos

…amidst other stuff has me sleeping 8 hours straight, hoarding up on chocolate and peanuts, and procrastinating like it’s the end of the world!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

Times like these call for comfort food. And nothing can trump pasta when it comes to comfort food. Not in my house.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

Loaded with cheese and a rich sauce…this baked pasta is hearty and meaty and deliciously satisfying!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

It involves tossing pasta in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loading it up with béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topping the whole thing with loads of cheese.

Delicious, right?

I’ve made this pasta over a bazillion times now. At dinners and gatherings, whenever friends are over, or just on days like these…sad gloomy miserable days.

One pan makes about 8 servings, perfect for parties. You can prepare it ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to bake it.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

If you guys love this recipe as much as I do, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let me know. Take a picture and tag it #spatulainmypocket on Instagram. I’d love to see what you guys come up with!

 

Baked Pasta

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
Tomato-Meat Sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
1 carrot, chopped
½ kilo ground beef
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, leveled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, leveled
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup sliced mushrooms
White Sauce
2 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
The rest
1 packet of pasta, prepared according to package directions
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried Oregano

 

Directions:
1.       In a pan, heat oil. Fry the chopped onion till it changes color and becomes soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. Add in the carrot. Mix. Then add in the beef and mushrooms. Mix well on high heat for a few minutes. Then add in the; chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. Keep mixing till meat changes color. Then add in a cup of water along with tomato paste. Mix, cover, and leave to cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
2.      While sauce is simmering, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
3.      Add drained pasta to the meat sauce, mix and turn off heat. Put the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish and set aside.
4.      For the white sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Once melted, take the pan off the heat and add in the flour, salt, black pepper, and mustard powder. Mix well using a wooden spoon and bring back to heat. Cook for a minute before adding in the stock and milk. On low-medium heat, mix continuously till the sauce thickens. Remove off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese.
5.      Pour the entire sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and oregano on top.
6.      Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Sindhi Biryani

Biryani.

The mere name conjures up images of steaming piles of desi goodness, all yellow and white and heavenly. Your brain teases with memory of the spicy aroma and your heart leaps in anticipation.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Today I am going to share the recipe that’ll make you the master of biryani too.

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Over the years, I have tried more than 15 different biryani recipes with varying degrees of success.

This one is my baby. So read carefully and follow each step to the book.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

If it seems like too much work… Well then, you are simply not ready yet. You can start with the easy peasy chicken karahi :p

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

I’ve tried to explain each and every step in the recipe as clearly as I could but here are some extra tips that make all the difference:

  • Slice onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the onions, the crispier they’ll be. If your onions aren’t thin enough, they won’t brown evenly and will turn soggy. You want the onions to be nice and crunchy so that you crush them up easily and not have big onions bits in your biryani.

  • Don’t skimp on the whole spices. All the different spices that together make up what we call ‘garam masala’ are essential to the aroma and taste of agood biryani. It might be frustrating to collect and add all the bit (and you might hate biting onto a piece of illachi) but trust me when I tell that you it’ll be worth it!

  • The secret is in the masala. Use red, ripe tomatoes, ½ kilo of them which is around 4 large ones. The riper they are, the better the masala ends up being. Together with the green chilli paste and ginger garlic; MIX MIX MIX. Mix till oil appears on the surface

  • Have patience. Cook the chicken low and slow. Cook the rice till al-dente. This step is something which I always mess up and so get my mom to do it for me

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what mums are for

 

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So, one fine Sunday why not ditch the store-bought biryani masalas and make this delicious authentic Sindhi Biryani from scratch. Its rich and spicy and filled with herbs and succulent meat and potatoes. A family favorite at my house and will become your’s too InshaaAllah 💜

Sindhi Biryani

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                        Serves: 8
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ kg Basmati rice, soaked for 30-60 mins
6 +4 whole green chilies
4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves
½ cup cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp whole mix spices1
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, heaped
2 tsp chili powder, heaped
2 tsp salt, leveled
1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ tsp garam masala powder
10-12 dried plums soaked in warm water
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp yellow food color
Directions:
1.      Boil rice in water + 2 Tbsp salt + ½ tsp black cumin + a bay leaf. Cook till rice is 3/4th of the way done. Drain and set aside.
2.      Grind together 6 green chilies along with the fresh coriander. Add just a splash of water to help the grinder going. Set aside.
3.      In a pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, constantly mixing, till dark brown. Take out the fried onions and spread them on some paper towels. When dry, crush them coarsely with your hands.
4.      In the same pan used before, add the tomatoes, ginger garlic, the grinded chili coriander mix, the whole spices, red chili powder and salt. Constantly mix with a wooden spoon. When the tomatoes turn mushy and oil appears on the surface, add in the chicken pieces, potatoes, and half cup water. Mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on low heat.
5.      When the chicken is half done, add the yogurt, fried onions, garam masala powder, and the 4 whole green chilies. Mix well, cover and leave to cook till both chicken and potatoes are tender.
6.      Grease the bottom of a bigger pot with a spoon of oil. Transfer half of the boiled rice. Top with the entire chicken mix. Spread it. Sprinkle the fresh coriander and mint leaves + the dried plums. Top it off with the rest of the boiled rice. Spread it and press the rice with the back of your spoon.
7.      With the end of your wooden spoon, make holes in the rice, going ¾ of the way down. In these holes spoon in the yellow food color mixed in some water.2
8.      Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes to steam.
9.      Mix and serve immediately with mint raita and fresh cucumber salad.
10.  Enjoy!
Notes
1.      Whole spices include: 1 bay leaf (tayz pata), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6 black cloves, 4-6 black peppercorns, 3-5 green cardamom pods (hari illachi), 2 black cardamom pods (bhari illachi), 1 tsp cumin seeds (sabat zeera)
2.      This is optional, it’s the way I do it. Alternatively, you can just pour the food color mixed in little water, in just one go over the rice.
Recipe source: The amazing Shireen Anwer

 

sas

The Return of the Blog + BUTTERMILK PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

Hello world!

A lot has happened since I last talked to you.

For starters, I am well into the 3rd week of final year at college. Weeeeirddd. I know.

They aren’t joking when they say that your college years fly by, are they?  First year feels like just yesterday. Nothing has changed – except that a lot has changed.

Most of you might know that I’ve been gaga over donuts for the last three months or so. What started off as a class project has now turned into (dundundun) my life. Nuts about Donuts, a small homebased business selling artisan style donuts.

I’ve made over 500 donuts since I started Nuts about Donuts o.o (Check out its insta and Facebook and give it some love) 🙂

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My life has been pretty much donuts all day every day. I legit don’t have time for anything else. And that my lovelies is why I have been missing from Spatula for so long.

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I first started food blogging to share my love for food but over time it started to feel like a chore. The editing, the photography, the writing; all started to become too planned and systematic. It felt like too much for me to handle, what with the donuts and school work. This blog was all about doing and sharing something that I love.

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I took a self-proclaimed 5 day holiday from Nuts about Donuts just yesterday, announcing on the page ‘we’re closed for a bit’, just so I could do something else, like STUDY maybe!

And it’s during this so-called break that I decided that I shall return back to thy blog.

I MISS YOU GUYS. 😥

And what better way to make a grand return then on NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you might have noticed that there is a fair share of pancake recipes on this blog.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

These pancakes are made using the same recipe I shared a couple of posts ago.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Top those soft fluffy pancakes with a simple 3 ingredient strawberry compote and you have a killer combination.

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The homemade strawberry compote is super simple. Just three ingredients and a few minutes simmering on the stove-top. You can puree the compote for a smoother consistency or you can leave it chunkier as it is (like I did).

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream too.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Tomorrow I’ll be making biryani. Recipe to be posted veeeery soon, I know a lot of you have been waiting for it since ages.

See you in a month then. Just kidding. I’ll try and post a new recipe each week.

Love to you all. ❤

Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Yields: 13-15 pancakes
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted & cooled butter or vegetable oil
For the Strawberry Compote
250g strawberries, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
 
Directions:
To make the strawberry compote: combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6-10 minutes. Keep warm; set aside.
For the pancakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter, just until all mixed together (small lumps are fine, DO NOT OVERMIX).
Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-heat and lightly brush with oil or butter. Using an ice cream scoop (or any large spoon) add the batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom.
Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.
Serve pancakes immediately topped with strawberry compote. Enjoy!
Notes
1.  DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar. Mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix well and use.               
*To achieve smooth brown pancakes, don’t grease the pan after every single pancake. Grease it after every third pancake. Hope that makes sense.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.