Baking | Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … #comfortfood #cookies #eggless #wholegrain

“You’ll never convince me that there’s more to life than chocolate chip cookies”
Charles M. Shultz

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain CookiesEggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … cookies that are meant to be shared! I haven’t posted a cookie recipe for a while on PAB. Possibly since I don’t make new variations very often, or when I do, I forget to jot the recipe down. Ones that I regularly make are all time favourites like Wholewheat & Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies & these Not Quite Anzac cookies.

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies That morning I was due to meet a sweet girl who was coming in to meet me from halfway across India. I knew she was a vegetarian and I wanted to bake something eggless for her. Cookies seemed a good idea for the coffee morning. I had some Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse chilling in the fridge for her too.

Spring Spring has all but given way to summer. Mornings and evenings are beautifully pleasant; the season inspires like no other. Flowers bloom, fruits spill off bazaar shelves, birds chirp, butterflies zip around. Baking is fun in this weather though baking cookies is fun any time!!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies The cookies came out delicious, even better since they were packed with nutrition and whole grains. I love the idea of adding nut meal to cookies. In my case I have to since the daughter dislikes nuts with a vengeance. She loves cookies with nut meal though!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies I baked another batch soon after as we flew into breathtakingly beautiful Srinagar for a short vacation. It’s always nice to carry a ‘taste of home’ with us. Though Srinagar is known for its little bakeries that dot the length and breadth of the city, my humble cookies were much in demand with the kids too! Srinagar, India ... paradise on earthOne look at the ingredients in the recipe and you’ll see the cookie goodness I am talking about. Almonds, whole wheat, amaranth {my latest obsession}, oats, and honey instead of  corn syrup!  Told you … these are deliciously healthy cookies. Indulgent too!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies Try them. Cookies don’t get simpler than these. One bowl goodness, fun to make, get the kids involved. Do watch them towards the end of baking. Honey in baked goods tends to lead to faster browning. So do keep an eye!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies Healthy, fun recipes with amaranth, whole grains, oats {read lots of oats}, unrefined sugars, honey etc have kept me busy of late. I’ve been involved in doing a project for Saffola Oats here in India.

Whole foodShot two recipe videos with the very sweet Michelin Starred Chef Vikas Khanna for Food Food Channel, India as part of the engagement. You can catch the first episode for a Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Gateau {Gluten free} which has been uploaded onto You-tube.

Food & Property Review | High Ultra Lounge, Bangalore … on top of the world!

‘Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Dr. Seuss

HIGH Ultra Lounge, BangaloreJust last week I flew down south to Bangalore invited to review High Ultra Lounge, a Brigade hospitality property perched ‘above the world’  at 421 ft at the World Trade Centre. Keeping me good company was Pawan Soni of Indian Food Freak, a thorough gentleman and a man full of food tales! The visit to the property was literally one of being on ‘top of the world‘, fascinating and intriguing!
Bangalore City It was certainly wonderful to be back to the garden city, a city I spent several years of my childhood in, one I visited last in the 1990′s! Bangalore is beautiful. A feeling of nostalgia hit me when I landed at the swanky new airport, gulping in breaths of fresh, cool air. It was good to be back!
Bangalore City The launch of High Ultra Lounge made a visit possible when the hosts generously flew me down for an evening to review their property in the heart of Old Bangalore. What added to the magic was the prospect of meeting the fab bunch of Bangalore food bloggers. I’ve been fortunate to interact with them virtually over the years; a real interaction was full of promise!
Bangalore City From HIGH Ultra LoungeHigh Ultra holds loads of promise. Prime property soaring high above beautiful Bangalore,one of the highest in India {possibly after one in Mumbai}, the concept is dynamic, fun and energetic. If the aim is to get people to sit up and notice this happening place, it isn’t going to be difficult. We had the pleasure of getting a first-hand sneak preview and guided tour of 10,000ft of creativity, the brain child of Nirupa Shankar, Director, Brigade Hospitality, executed under the direction of Vineet Verma, the Executive Director.
HIGH Ultra Lounge Divided into 4 neat areas, well thought out, aesthetically planned, youthful, light, fun, energetic, ‘TIMELESS’ is the word they concur with. Timeless was the thought behind the planning and layout, and it’s been done beautifully. Each area has it’s own character, whether the High View,  High Mix, High Edge {my personal favourite} or the High Dine.
HIGH Ultra Lounge I love the attention to detail, the colour coding, the lighting that can change according to mood and occasion, the avante garde feel that flows through almost effortlessly. What strikes you is the way they’ve been able to seamlessly weave the feel through the entire space. Clever planning ensures that any one area or lounge can be completely secluded or cut off from another. Little things like sound proofing, camouflaged entrances, personalised spaces and relaxed touches are spot on.
HIGH Ultra Lounge Head for High Mix and Guru, the man in charge, charms you no end. Swiftly mixing innovative mocktails and cocktails, he pleases men and women alike. From Guru’s Love Potion to an outstanding Guava Worcestershire sauce concoction, he soon had the crowd eating drinking out of his hands.
High Edge, High Ultra Lounge, BangaloreFrom High Mix we went on to High Edge which was my favourite of the four spaces. With an almost Titanic like appeal, the edge juts out over the city. Done in warm yet searing bright orange upholstery, it is an exclusive lounge with a cover to seat 50 … yet an expandable capacity for many more. I loved the functional seating, the creative use of space the colours, the lighting, the ambiance which makes each area special.
HIGH Ultra Lounge 6Then came the highlight of the evening and we were led to the helipad. Voila! A Valentine Day special, a table for two set out under the stars. Going at Rs1 lakh for the evening, it’s as special as can get, the bright lights of the city 400ft+ below! Here’s the lot of us clicked by the very talented High photographer who shot in pitch dark {but for the candlelight and 1 lamp!}

Ultra High BangaloreIt was finally time for a sit down dinner at High Dine, open air, whimsical,   beautiful surroundings, heady music, wonderful cool nip in the air.  Pan Asian cuisine is  what flavours the menu here. The kitchen is headed by executive Chef Zhang Hao who was a pleasure to interact with, energetic, affable and with infectious energy!

HIGH Ultra LoungeWe were treated to an extensive menu of modern Pan Asian cuisine, delicious in every bite. My favourites included the sweet corn with coriander butter, sweet potato with teriyaki reduction and the grilled tofu with the Korean chili sauce {it was outstanding} as was the crab stick tempura.

HIGH Ultra Lounge

Fresh crabs, melt in the mouth texture and light as air, boy were they good! The fried snapper with thai sauce, and fried chicken with mint and thai basil added to the variety.
HIGH Ultra Lounge The camera was soon abandoned. We chomped our way into the mains. and were treated to a Thai green curry {finger licking good}, massaman lamb curry, fish in laksa sauce over steamed rice or soba noodles. There were generous, well seasoned sides of stir fried veggies, veggies with sambal oelek etc.
HIGH Ultra LoungeDessert was plenty of fresh fruit and a tender coconut ice cream {though I am still quite sure there was litchi in there somewhere}…the texture leaning more towards a sorbet though, yet delicious as can be. There was also Banoffee Pie which was well made and indulgent!

HIGH Ultra Lounge Thank you High Ultra Lounge for the fabulous pre-launch experience. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the concept. Before long, this is going to be a must visit destination for anyone headed for Bangalore and Bangaloreans alike. Bravo!!

HIGH ULTRA LOUNGE
World Trade Center,
Brigade Gateway Campus,
26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road,
Malleswaram West,
Bangalore – 560 055
+91 80 4567 4567
www.highultralounge.com

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Baking | Smoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … giveaway to end 2013

“People close to me called me ‘Curry in a Hurry.’
I was moving through life at 100 miles an hour trying to further my career and be a great mom and make everyone happy.”
Ann Curry

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka MurghSmoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … a simple slow cooked baked Indian chicken curry that makes life on the table seem somewhat easier. I normally cook curries on the stove top. This time was different, and it worked out quite well. Smoking it added a delicious dimension!

Chicken KormacurryI haven’t posted a curry for ages even though I cook them often, including chicken and lamb korma. I’ve recently done a ‘butterless‘ butter chicken and the feedback was great. Mr PAB even commented saying it was better than buttery butter chicken!! At the time I took no pictures as it was still ‘work in progress‘…

Nirlep Anodized CookwareNirlep contacted me and asked if I would like to review any of their products. With a range as varied as Premium Steel Casseroles to a simple sandwich pan, I left it to them. All I asked for was something I could maybe pop into the oven, since I know they do a stove top range. Not that I don’t cook stove top {read I DO ALL THE TIME}, but the baking blog needed a connect!

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh They sent me a beautiful hard anodized handi, so I grabbed a chicken and set to work. The curry is simple as can be. It’s a simple overnight marination which tenderises the chicken. I cook it on the bone, but you can go boneless too if you like. This time I added green chutney to the marinade, some caramelised onions too. Experiment as you like because you never know what will hit the sweet spot!

Caramelised onionsAs all Indian cooking, this curry works on beautiful ‘andaaz‘, eye balling as it is better known. A bit of this, a dash of that, a few green chillies for flavour, maybe a couple of beautiful red ones too. Mix it all in and marinade straight in the pot, and then throw into a low oven the next day. An hour and a half later, you have CURRY, a nice thick wrapped one!!

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh OR … heat a little clarified butter in the handi / pan {OK you can use oil}, caramelise some finely sliced onions, pick out the chicken pieces from the marinade and cook over high heat to seal the juices and get the pieces beautifully browned. Add the rest of the marinade, give it a quick gentle stir, seal tightly … into the oven again! Of course you could also cook over a very gentle stove top.

Passionate About BakingI have a few idea for the handi. A Basque Lamb Stew, kaali dal, stir fried veggies, Thai green curry, kadhi … all in the pipeline. Maybe a little ambitious but pot bread too. It’s quite cold {read freezing} here these days, so as soon as the weather lets up, it’ll be time to bake bread. Have to keep the yeast monsters happy!

What I love about the Nirlep Ebony Handi / anodized pot…

  • Good quality, feel good pot with a snug lid
  • The handles don’t get hot
  • Heavy duty
  • Convenient ergonomic design which is ideal for sauteing, cooking, heat distribution
  • That it goes from the stove into the oven, and back with ease
  • That you can serve right out of it, fuss free!
  • Easy clean up

So tell me dear readers, what would you make if you had a pot / handi like this? Nirlep will be happy to giveaway a similar pot to a reader of my blog. Additionally, I will add a cookbook from one of my favourite Indian authors and chef Vikas Khanna. He’s a large-hearted, fun, talented guy who is passionate about what he does. I love ‘My Great India Cookbook‘ {one of his 3 cookbooks ranked #1 in India by Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2013}. I figured you might love it too, so I am including it in the giveaway. The giveaway is open to anyone who has an Indian postal address and loves to cook/bake of course!! {Entries close on the 15th Jan 2014}


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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