Saturday, February 9, 2013

One pan Eggless Chocolate Cake.

I had made plans for this weekend. Since the kids were to have an entire week's holiday thanks to the German carnival, I wanted to make the best of it. Attend a carnival parade, a visit to a museum, maybe squeeze in a german town too. Our girl had different plans though. Wednesday she returned home from a two night choir trip from school. She looked happy and content with the good time she spent with her friends. Towards evening I recognised the nagging cough of hers and something told me that a fever was on its way. True to my thoughts, she woke up with a burning forehead and body too. Today is day 3 and we are nowhere close to respite. Since the doc has recognised it as a viral fever we are to expect it to last for a total of 5 days. 

Today being day 3 of playing nurse, I am close to wanting to run away somewhere. But that, I cannot do. In between preparing meals for the healthy us and sick man's food for her, I also desired to have a sweet treat. Only that I wasn't prepared to slog myself away in the kitchen for a few more hours. Call it good luck or what, I bumped into this recipe last night during my time spending next to her. It's a no fuss, no frill cake. The best part being that you dump all the ingredients in the pan you will be baking in, mix it all together with a spatula, bake and voila, you are done!!
The perfect recipe for today!! While I did have my doubts about the end result, it has turned out to be a super soft and moist cake. Also got the thumbs up from sonny boy.  So when you are tired and wanting a sweet treat with zero effort, I suggest you to bake this cake. You won't be disappointed.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and a quarter cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and a quarter cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Take an un greased 12" round baking pan.
  3. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in the pan.(see above pic)
  4. Stir till the mixture is well combined.(see above pic)
  5. Pour water, oil, vinegar and vanilla to the above and stir well till you have a smooth batter.(see pic above)
  6. Place the pan in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy the no frill, no fuss cake..:D


  • The original recipe has measures for an eight inch square pan. I wanted a slightly larger cake, hence increased the proportions accordingly.
  • I sieved the flour and baking powder together though it was not mentioned in the original recipe.
  • I had a doubt whether the cake would be stuck to the pan as it was not greased. It comes out perfectly. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mirchi ka Salan

We have a Turkish shop in Lohr which I frequent as it's my main source of coriander leaves. While packed frail leaves are available at times in the local supermarkets, I am able to get the freshest bunch from this place. Yesterday, along with the leaves, I caught a glimpse of these fresh big green chilies calling out to me. With the weather being cold and the incessant rains providing misery, I imagined us relishing piping hot mirchi bajjis. 
Well, this morning turned out with a different plan. Breaking my head for a while about dinner, this particular dish popped to my mind. Since I already had the chillies along with the required ingredients, bajjis were soon replaced with Mirchi Ka Salan.
Mirchi ka Salan is a popular curry of Hyderabad. The chillies are deep fried briefly and then simmered gently in a paste made of spices and peanuts together. The nuts provide a nutty texture to the dish. While traditionally it is served along with Hyderabadi Biryani, it also makes for a great accompaniment with plain rice or rotis.

Source: adapted to suit our taste)


  • 12 big green chillies
  • Oil to deep fry
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3 dry red chillies(long)
  • 1" ginger chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • marble sized tamarind
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1medium onion chopped very fine
  • salt to taste


  1. Wash and wipe the green chillies. Slit them lengthwise gently, taking care as to not break them into two. 
  2. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai, deep fry the chillies for a minute. Drain, place them on an absorbent paper and set aside.
  3. Dry roast sesame, coriander and cumin seeds.
  4. Grind them to a paste along with the roasted peanuts, ginger, garlic, dry red chillies, turmeric powder, tamarind and a little water.
  5. Heat two tablespoons oil in a vessel. When hot add the mustard seeds. When they splutter drop in the curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
  6. Add the ground paste and fry for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Take care to not burn.
  7. Rinse the mixer with a cup of water and add this to the fried paste. Mix well and bring it to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat and cook it for 10 minutes.
  9. Add the fried green chillies and salt to taste. Cook on low heat for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Take off the heat and serve with hot rice or rotis.