Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Holi

~ Happy Holi ~

Hope your life is framed with the colors of 
love and happiness, today and always ....

Little Food Junction wishes all its readers a very Happy Holi !! 
Holi or the festival of colors , is the most fun filled and boisterous of 
Indian festivals . It is synonymous with aromatic colors, music,delicious
 treats, fun and play. The warm breeze , the colorful flowers, the fun and 
frolic  of kids , the smell of aromatic Holi pigment and freshly made sweet
 treats all beautiful symbolize the advent of spring.

The festivities begin with lighting a bonfire the previous evening 
and offering the new harvests, particularly wheat sheaves, gram pods,
sugarcane and natural pigments made of turmeric, marigold or flame of
 the forest flowers ( called tesu/palash in local dialect) to the fire God.
Soon after this ritual elders start distributing sweets while the lil ones 
 get busy smearing dry pigment on each other.  

Holi is incomplete without Thandai - a spiced traditional Indian beverage 
made by pounding together almonds,melon seeds, rose petals , fennel 
n cardamom. For my lil ones pre Diwali bash I prepared some Thandai choco
 cups. Filled with  bits of cake and chopped fruit and topped with thandai 
flavored whipped cream,  surely too quick to assemble.

Once the choco shells are made the rest of the recipe is truly a breeze.Fill
 it with some diced fruits and cream or with some chilled custard ,pudding
 or mousse - the crunch of chocolate makes everything heavenly !!

The shells can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
A tiny 'Fill your cup counter' at a kids party with loads of ice cream 
berries, nougats and colorful sprinkles is always a win win idea .Lil ones 
 love to fill their cups with tons of goodies and eat it inside out too !!

Choco Thandai Cups 

The thandai flavored cream is perfect to add a zing to the Holi
 party , the aroma of this traditional mix beautifully blends with the 
whipped cream. The heady fragrance of cardamom and saffron and a nutty   
 taste of finely pounded pistachios and melon seeds make it very Indian. 

Makes - 13-15 cups 
250 gms cooking chocolate ( I used Morde Dark compound), 1 cup 
 whipping  cream (Richs / Delecta / Tropolite work great) , 1 tbsp 
mild thandai powder ( reduce the quantity if using home pounded version)
few drops green food color (opt), 1 cup chopped mixed fruit , 1 small sponge cake 
( or pic up 2 packets of Brittania sponge cake ) few colorful sprinkles/nonpareils 
Gadgets - 13-15 silicon muffin molds , piping bag and a star/1M tip 

Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Brush the inside of
 the silicone cups with melted chocolate ( make sure to use a thick coat
or it will break while de molding). Refrigerate for 3-4 mins. Gently peel 
off the silicon case. Divide the sponge cake in small squares and place a  
piece of sponge cake in each cup, top with chopped fruits and  keep aside. 
Whip the cream till double ,mix in thandai mix and food color and pipe
 with a bag fitted with star/1M tip. Sprinkle colorful nonpareils.Serve . 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Banana Muffins

~ Banana Muffins  ~

With all the hustle bustle and fast pace  life of  a metro, I sometimes
 deeply crave for  simple country life - deep blue skies, the gentle 
warmth  of morning sun,deep earthy aroma of wet soil and dew 
drenched crisp blades of wild grass.The city life enriches us with
 super luxuries and comforts but slyly keeps us away from the little
 joys of nature ...Amongst this city life my little green area aka
 the balcony of  apartment  is my best little hideaway and a perfect
 place to spend the  Sunday mornings with family and enjoy 
a cup of piping hot tea with some warm buttery muffins. 

Most of the kids in  northern India are enjoying a spring break or a
 change of new academic session break to be more precise, owing to which 
my lil one is at home these days. This weekend she was adamant to bake a
 treat for her dad . With a couple of over ripened bananas  on the fruit tray
  it had to be some banana muffins .....

Bananas are a wonder fruit, they are a rich source of  potassium n magnesium 
that aid in maintaining normal blood pressure , healthy heart and strong
bones. Being rich in soluble fibre they help in healthy digestion and nutrient 
absorption. Bananas are perfect anytime snack for little ones too. 
The overripe ones are great to bake muffins and banana breads !! 

I'm a sucker for pretty colorful stuff , right from cupcake liners to funky 

molds , tableware and baking accessories. Picked up these cute polka ones
 at a throw away price from  the  local market . 

These easy to bake buttery delights are a perfect accompaniment to any hot

 beverage. Add some choco chips or nuts or keep them plain ; eat warm or pack 
them as treats in lunch boxes - they are absolutely indulging. With almost 
equal measurements of flour , butter and  sugar this recipe  based on 
traditional pound cake  is simple enough for lil ones to remember and try 
their hands on. With loads of butter it is better to term these as divine 
indulgence and treats ....I love the smell of vanilla and  banana
 together but you can omit vanilla for a stronger banana aroma. 

Banana Muffins 


100 gms flour , 100 gms butter ( I used Amul), 100 gms powdered 
sugar , 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 2 over ripe bananas mashed, 
1tsp baking powder, 50 gms walnuts /choco chips .


Preheat oven to 180C . Sift flour and baking powder twice and keep aside. 
In a large bowl cream( beat) butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Gradually add the eggs and vanilla .Mix well . Gently fold in the sifted flour .
Finally add the mashed bananas and walnuts/choco chips. Add  1-2 
tsp milk if required. Spoon the batter in lined muffin cups and bake in a 
preheated oven for 25-30 mins or till toothpick inserted in the centre
 comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and serve. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails