Carrot Cardamom Cake (aka Gajar Ka Halwa Cake!)

I love having some type of loaf cake (or quick bread) on hand at home. It’s nice having something to munch alongside a cup of tea, and it seems as if my son has inherited his momma’s love for these types of baked goods as well 🙂

I have made this cake (recipe from Playful Cooking) several times, and it is always well received. It is a carrot loaf, infused with cardamom flavor. I like to think that it is the cake version of Gajar Ka Halwa (carrot halwa)!

 

 

Carrot Cardamom Cake

(Gajar Ka Halwa Cake)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Add oil and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until it just comes together. Fold in shredded carrots.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, between 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

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Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

So these cookies have kind of become famous.

We made them for Eid, and literally everyone raved about them! It’s so funny how the most successful things we made come from hilarious circumstances. The reason I made this particular cookie (Recipe from Hungry Girl Por Vida) was because I had 2 jars of almond butter just hanging out in my pantry, and this was my attempt at putting some of it to use.

I’ve still got a bunch leftover, so it looks like almond butter chocolate chip cookies are in our near future 😉

 

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Approximately 30 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside two parchment lined baking sheets.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and almond butter and beat just until combined. Add eggs, one at time, whisking until thoroughly combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Whisk in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the cookie dough out using a cookie scoop or about 2 tablespoons worth of dough onto the baking sheet, placed 2-inches apart. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Karachi Bun Kabab

It’s reveal day for the Muslim Food Blogger Challenges! This month’s challenge was to share a recipe for Pakistani food (and to say I was thrilled would be an understatement). I was especially excited because although at first I didn’t know exactly what recipe I wanted to share, I knew that I wanted to share something that would be special to not only Pakistan, but to the city of Karachi (my family hails from this part of Pakistan).

I took an informal survey in an online group that I am a part of, and asked what food was considered special to Karachi. I got a variety of answers, but one that stood out to me was Bun Kabab. Bun Kabab is a Karachi street side staple. It’s basically a burger bun stuffed with a kabab, and topped with a slightly sweet and spicy chutney, sliced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage.

My husband is especially fond of Bun Kababs, and lovingly recalls his favorite street-side vendor from when he was growing up (Tippu’s). Our trip to Pakistan this past March left him speechless, because his beloved street-vendor was now the proud owner of a brick-and-mortar storefront! Clearly his Bun Kababs were the real deal, because owning property in Karachi is no joke.

Generally speaking, when someone mentions Pakistani food, the first thing that comes to mind is meat. Pakistanis love their meat, as can be seen by the vast variety of dishes specific to the cuisine of the country. However, let me blow your mind by telling you that everyone’s beloved Bun Kabab is entirely vegetarian (and can be vegan if leaving out the eggs and yogurt)! Say what?! Yes, you read that correctly. A completely vegetarian meal that nearly every Pakistani loves.

POOF!

Mind. Blown.

(Recipe from Food Fusion.)

Click below to check out the yummies everyone is sharing:

 

 

Karachi Bun Kabab

Yield: 12 – 15 Bun Kababs

Ingredients:

For Kababs:

  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ cup split bengal gram / channa daal
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½- inch piece ginger, peeled
  • ½-inch piece cinnamon
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 whole black peppers
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala
  • Salt, to taste

For Bun Kabab Chutney:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sweet tamarind chutney
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Handful cilantro
  • Handful mint leaves

To Assemble:

  • Oil, to shallow fry
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Slider buns or small burger buns
  • Onions, sliced
  • Cucumbers, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cabbage, shredded

Directions:

Make Kababs:

In a medium sized vessel, combine water, bengal gram, turmeric, cumin seeds, ginger, cinnamon, red chillies, cloves, and black peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and the water has evaporated, 60 to 90 minutes. Cool slightly.

Transfer cooked mixture to a food processor and grind until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add mashed potatoes, onion, cilantro, chaat masala, and salt. Mix well. Using about ¼-cup of mixture (or a little less), form patties and refrigerate.

Make Bun Kabab Chutney:

Combine all ingredients in the blender jar and blitz until smooth. Set aside.

Assemble Bun Kababs:

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a fry pan over medium heat.

Dip kabab patties into the egg, making sure both sides of the kabab are coated. Place kabab in frying pan and cook until the bottom is golden brown, flip, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove kababs from the pan and set aside.

On the same pan, lightly toast the buns on both sides. Remove from heat.

To assemble, spread a spoonful of chutney on both sides of the bun. Place sliced onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes on the bottom bun. Top with fried kabab, shredded cabbage, and top bun.

 

Note: Kababs can be frozen once shaped. To use, simply microwave frozen patties for 30-seconds, then proceed as written. Leftover Bun Kabab Chutney must be refrigerated.

Pico De Gallo

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and with that I’m in make-the-most-of-it-mode.  Before you know it, we’ll be pumpkin spicing everything, and we’ll be longing for the days of backyard barbecues and gorgeous summer produce.

This recipe for Pico De Gallo, a tomato heavy side to eat alongside almost anything (chips, tacos, burgers, etc.) is an ode to the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables.  Tomatoes are being harvested in loads, and these beautiful gems are at the peak of their freshness.  Speaking of tomatoes, I planted 9 tomato plants in my yard this year, and although they’ve grown tremendous and look lush (they even have gorgeous yellow blooms!), I’ve had zero harvest.  Not a single tomato. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

😐 😐 😐

In any case, the grocery stores and farmers markets are packed to the brim with these beauties, so I’ve been filling the hole in my heart (from this year’s lackluster garden) with them.

(Recipe adapted from Serious Eats)

 

 

Pico De Gallo

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes and salt. Transfer to a colander and drain for 30 minutes. Discard liquid.

Return tomatoes to bowl and combine remaining ingredients. Mix and taste. Season with additional salt if necessary.

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

I’m sure many of you have the same banana problem as me- that there’s always a few left towards the end that are too brown and spotty to be eaten as is. I always have 2 or 3 left, and more often than not, they’re used up in my favorite banana bread (I still need to share that recipe!).

This time around, I wanted to switch things up and create something that I could add to my son’s lunchbox. I decided to go the muffin route, after seeing my friend post a picture of her take on Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins, recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction.

These muffins are great not only to snack on, but also for breakfast! The muffin itself is not too sweet, and the streusel topping adds the right amount of sweetness and crunch.

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

Ingredients:

For Streusel:

  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt

Directions:

Make Streusel:

In a small bowl, combine and mix all ingredients for streusel. Set aside.

Make Muffins:

Preheat oven to 425°F and set aside a greased or lined muffin pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, and egg. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add bananas and yogurt, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, take care not to overmix.

Divide the batter into the muffin cavities, filling at least ¾ full. Place a spoonful of streusel on top of each muffin, and lightly press down.

Bake the muffins for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Muffins can be kept at room temperature for up to one week.