Kaju Katali.

Hi everybody!

Greetings from ‘A pinch of lyfe’!!

In this blog mostly I have been sharing some tried and tested baking recipes with simple handy ingredients. Since last week, I was thinking to share some Indian traditional recipes too with all of you. Obviously, I would love to start with some of my tried and celebrated no fail recipes which I regularly make with utmost satisfaction. Kaju katali is one of those recipes which never fails me. Rich and festive yet very easy to make with quite a few easily available ingredients from your pantry.

Sharing here very easy method of making Kaju Katali. Do try it. I will be eagerly waiting for your feedback.

Category – Dessert.
Preparation time – 10 minutes.
Cooking time – 10 to 12 minutes.

Ingredients :

  • Kaju ( cashew nuts) – 1cup.
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup.
  • Cardamom powder – pinch of.
  • saffron strands – 5/7. (Optional).
    -Silver paper to decorate (optional).

Directions :

  • Take 1 cup of cashew nuts, grind them and make fine powder. The tip is not to grind continuosly for more than 1 minutes. Keep checking while grinding your cashews. They must not grind to the extent when they start leaving oil. After grinding it to powder, sieve it to get even texture.
  • In a thick bottom or nonstick pan, add 1/2 sugar, 1/4 cup water and boil it till it gets one string consistency.
  • Now add cashew powder, pinch of cardamom powder and saffron strands. Mix it well.
  • keep stirring till it gets thick – a dough like consistency.
  • Grease a butter paper with ghee and place your cashew dough on it.
  • Cover it with one more greased butter paper keeping the greased side inside and roll it till it gets your desired thickness.
  • Put off the butter paper and cut your kaju katli in diamond shaped pieces.
  • Decorate with silver paper. The rich festive delicacy is ready to serve.

Milk Rusk

Dear all!

Greetings from ‘A Pinch of lyfe’!!

After many days, sharing here a recipe post! I reay love baking. Baking is a therapy for me. But then so is music! Or cooking! Or movies! Or reading something nice! Or a long chat with a friend! Or driving far away without planning where to go! Or sometimes doing nothing and sitting calmly on terrace for hours gazing at sky..
What to choose and what to leave?! World around is full of beautiful things. Options are many and hours in hands are too short. That’s why – a pinch of this and a pinch of that..😊

Well, tell me how do you like take your tea coffee?! Well, I prefer both, my tea and cooffe pretty hottt and strong. And what else in the world you need if you have something to dip in your coffee. Be it rusks or cookies, if coffee – soaked, then it’s heaven to me all least. Not just in breakfast, but it actually compensates sometimes my dinner too during odd working hours.

For me, cookies are favourite most and easiest thing to bake. But when I tried my hands on rusks, I found it equally easy!! If you bake breads and cakes, you can definitely bake rusks too! Just go through the recipe following below and try it out. I will be waiting for your feedback.

Category – Breakfast.
Preparation time – 20 minutes total.
Baking time – 45 + 25 minutes.

Ingredients :

  • All purpose flour – 2 cups.
  • Milk – approx 3/4 cup.
  • Milk powder. – 2 tbsp
  • Active dry yeast – 2 tsp.
  • Sugar – 4 tsp.
  • Butter – 2 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste.

Directions :

-Take 4 tsp sugar in a bowl. Pour hot milk in it. Your milk shouldn’t be just luke warm as well as not so burning hot. Add 2 tsp yeast in it and Now cover the bowl. Keep it in same way for 10 minutes.
-Your yeast mixture will become frothy.

-Now in a big sized bowl, take all purpose flour and milk powder in it. Add 2 tbsp butter in it. You can use melted butter or any vegetable oil instead. Add salt to taste and now pour your yeast mixture in flour. Start kneading the dough. Knead it very well at least for 12/15 minutes. Consistency of your dough should be much softer than our regular roti/chapati dough.

-Now place your dough in a big sized greased bowl and cover it completely. Place this bowl in a warm place.. like near your gas or in oven.

-It will take 45 to 60 minutes for proofng. Depends on temperature. Within 1 hour, your dough will raise and get almost doubled in size.

-Now punch your dough with knuckles and reduce again.

-At this stage you can add cardamom, cumin seeds, chilly flakes or anything you want to add for flavour. Or you can keep it plain like I did.

-Make a log out of this dough and place it into a greased bread tin. Cover and keep it for second proofing for 45 minutes approx. Again it will raise to double volume.

Gently give it a milk wash with help of brush. Be careful that you are not pressing it anyway.

Time to bake now. Place your mould in a preheated oven on 200 degree. Bake it for approx 30/40 minutes (depends on oven) until its top changes its colour to moderate brown.
-Take it out of oven. Apply Olive oil/ butter on it. Unmould after 4/5 minutes.

Cut the slices with bread knife only after it cools down completely.

Place the slices in a baking tray and again bake them for 20/25 minutes on 180 degree. Though baking time depends on your oven. It can be lesser or more. As soon as your rusk changes its colour to golden brown, take it out of oven.

Let it cool down complete and than serve or store.

Coffee & roasted almond cake.

Hello everybody..!!

Greetings from ‘A pinch of lyfe’.

It’s Sunday – funday. Day of doing things of your choice. Getting up late or going out early in morning. Skip making even routine breakfast or making a lavish treat for the same! Leaving the routine and living the leisure time. You know, since yesterday I was planning to make this weekend worthwhile unlike my last 2/3 weekends. For that, did preparation for today’s breakfast last night, woke up early, got the daily routine done in faster mode and attended a lovely web-sassion on Hindi film music. Lovely it was!! Mind is fully charged now and I’m writing the recipe of the delicious tea cake I have made last night for today’s breakfast along with simple bread toasts.

That’s coffee again. πŸ˜„ Ask me the flavours I would love to bake (or have) and first names come to mind always are coffee and chocolate. Coffee is bae – like my lovely friend Binali says always. I have combined it this time with on more favourite flavour – roasted almonds. I love love love that slightly bitter taste of it. And when it gets combined with coffee… heaven..!!! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

I actually loved the taste of my Coffee and roasted almond cake. If you too wanna try, please check the recipe following below. I am sure, you would love to try it again and again if you too are a coffee lover and slightly bitter and mildly sweeter is your type of taste.

Category – Dessert.
Preparation time – 30 minutes.
Baking time – 30 minutes.


All purpose flour – 1 + 1/4 cup. (1 Cup = 200ml).
Condensed milk – 200 grams. (1 small tin).
Butter – 50 grams.
Instant coffee powder – 1 to 1.5 TBSP.
Baking powder – 1 TSP.
Baking soda – 1/2 TSP.
Vanilla extract- 1 TSP.
Olive oil – 1 TBSP.
Chopped roasted almonds – 1/3 cup.
Salt – a pinch of.

Detections :

Take 1/3 cup Almonds in a tray and roast them on the lowest temperature your microwave offers. I have roasted on 100 degree Celsius for 15 minutes approx to get it done. Let them cool down completely and then chop nicely.

In a cup, take 1 to 1.5 TBSP instant coffee powder. It depends on how strong taste of coffee you would like to have. I have added little more than 1 TBSP as I love that prominent bitter taste of coffee. Pour 2 to 3 TBSP boiling water over it. Give it a nice stir. Your coffee decoction is ready.

Take a tin full of condensed milk and butter in a big size bawl. Both should be having room temperature. Mix both of them with the help of electric beater or a wire whisk. Whisk it till it gets light and fluffy.

In another bawl, mix all the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you have used slated butter like me, then skip adding salt here. Sift everything 3/4 times.

Now get back to your wet mixture and add vanilla extract, coffee decoction and 1 TBSP olive oil in it. Adding olive oil is optional though, but I always feel that it gives a nice glaze to your cake. So specially in tea cakes, I always add one TBSP.

It’s time to set your oven for preheating. Set the temperature on 180 degree. Then grease your cake tin with butter or oil and line with a parchment paper. Lemme show you the easiest method to cut your parchment paper exactly according to your cake tin. Just see the picture below and you will get the Idea. Fold, keep on the centre, mark and cut. Isn’t it easy? 😊

Okay! Now? Start adding flour mixture in wet mixture in parts. Gradually…. Fold it nicely to make batter. If you feel that the consistency of your batter is thick, you can add 2/3 TBSP hot milk in it.

Add half of chopped roasted almonds into the batter. Mix it nicely but don’t overdo.

Now transfer your batter in the lined cake tin and sprinkle rest of chopped almonds all over the top.

Place your cake tin in preheated oven. It will take approx 30 minutes to be baked. Baking time may vary according the thickness of your cake and also the size of your oven. Check it with the help of tooth pic. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
Take it out of oven. Let it cool down.

Unmould. Let it cool down completely until it gets room temperature.

Cut the pieces of your desired size. Dig in..πŸ’•πŸ˜„

Salted cookies made with whole wheat flour and added flavour of dry fenugreek leaves.

Dear all..!!

A warm welcome on ‘A pinch of lyfe’ on this breezy freezy day!! 😊

Yes! Mornings nowadays are very cold at my town compared to rest of the times of day. Still, today it feels better that it isn’t much foggy at least. Cool yet clear. Chillingly pleasant. And I am making it even more pleasant by doing some of my most favourite things. Coffee, music and munching. That too in a little different way – reading music, baking munching – cookies and sipping coffee in between. πŸ˜„ Just done with the first batch of my cookies.
‘Chhoti si kahani se’. An awesome collection of articles on the songs composed by the one and only R. D. Burman. Par excellence! A book in hands, coffee in your mug and freshly baked flavourful cookies in a tray just besides you. What else would you need to start a lovely leisurely day!!πŸ˜‡

Recipe is inspired from my very talented baker friend Deekaha Pathak’s ( Dee’s platter) cookie recipe. I have made some changes as per our taste and availability of ingredients here at my place. Posting here the same – Wheat flour cookies with kasoori methi ( fenugreek leaves) flavour.

Category – Snack.
Preparation time – 10 minutes.
Resting time – 2 hours.
Baking time – 25 minutes.

Ingredients :

Wheat Flour – 1 cup
Rice Flour – 1 TBSP.
Semolina – 1 TBSP.
Corn flour – 1TBSP.
Baking powder – 1/2 TSP.
Red chilly powder – 1/2 TSP.
Cumin seeds – 1/2 TSP.
Carom seeds – 1/2 TSP.
Dry fenugreek leaves – 1 to 1.5 TBSP.
Salt to taste.
Butter – 1/3 cup.
Milk – 2 TSP approx.

Directions :

  • In a bowl take wheat flour, rice flour, semolina, corn flour, salt, red chilli powder, dry fenugreek leaves, cumin seeds, carom seeds and baking powder. Mix everything very well.
  • Take chilled butter, cut it into small cubes, add it into the flour mixture and mix it well with your finger tips until the whole mixture gets crumbly.
  • Now add approx 2 TSP milk and bind a dough. You can add one more TSP milk if you’re unable to bind the flour mixture together. All we need is a hard yet workable dough.
  • Put your dough on a plastic wrap and cover it completely. Place your dough in fridge at least for two hours so that all the flavours get infused in it quite nicely.
  • After two hours take the dough out and let it come to room temperature to make it workable.
  • Place your dough between two sheets of butter paper start rolling it.
  • Keep it’s thickness as per your wish, cut the cookies of your desired shape and size and prick them with help of a fork or a toothpick.
  • Transfer your cookies on a baking tray and bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes approx on 160 degree.
  • Take the tray out of oven. Let your cookies cool down completely.. Fill your breakfast tray or cookie jar with this refreshing baked goodies..😊😊

Crunchy Coffee cookies.

Hi all!

Greetings of the day!

It’s pretty cold morning here at my town. Tender rays of adolescent sun are struggling to win the game against mighty fog but I guess it will take an hour or two to take over. Chilling cool breeze is blowing through the half opened window and I am taking my double dose of coffee.πŸ˜‡ Thought to share one more favourite recipe of mine with all of you. Cookies again.. πŸ˜„ yeah.. A recipe for eternal coffee lovers like me. And that too made with whole wheat flour and very few handy ingredients as always.

Double chocolate cake, double chocolate chip cookies, double cheese pizzas, double cream milkshake… Why everything double?!
Because we love it so much that just single would not be enough for us. We can’t get over whatever we love immensely. Most of us have at least that one thing in life that we love love love and can never say no to that. Many like myself would have a big list of such things. And one the toppers in my favourite list is coffee..πŸ˜‡β™₯️. I never say no to coffee. I can live on just coffee for hours or days. I can have coffee at any time of the day/night. Also I can have the double dose of coffee anytime. What about you?! You too?πŸ˜„

Posting one method of having such double coffee treat. Nah! Not to add double coffee powder and make it beaterer. Nope! You can take a sip of coffee and you can take a bite of coffee. Heaven..
Just try these crunchy coffee cookies. Very simple method and least ingredients to make with. Mostly handy. But outcome is just awesome! Do try and give me your feedback here. I will be waiting. 😊

Category – Snack.
Preparation time – 15 minutes.
Baking time – 25 minutes.

Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup.
Salted butter – 1/2 cup.
Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup.
Instant coffee powder – 2 tsp.
Corn flakes – 3 to 4 tbsp.

Directions :

  • In a bowl, take 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  • Add instant coffee powder in it. I generally add coffee powder while grinding sugar so that it mixes well.
  • I have added 2 tsp coffee powder because I just love that prominent, bitter aroma and taste of coffee. You can lessen it if you are not a coffee addict like me. 😁
  • Start whisking them with an electric beater/ wire whisk/ spatula. Keep whisking it until it gets light and fluffy.
  • Now add 1 cup whole wheat flour and whisk it nicely to mix everything well. Your dough is ready.
  • From that dough, make cookies of your desired size and shape.
  • In a plate, take cornflakes and crumble them a little. Didn’t grind them as we don’t want powder like texture.
  • Roll your cookies in crumbled cornflakes. It will give a nice crunch to your cookies.
  • Place them in baking tray and bake in a preheated oven on 160 degree for approx 25 minutes.
  • After taking out your cookies from oven, let them cool down completely. And then store in an airtight container.
  • Enjoy with tea or have a coffee double dose.πŸ˜„
  • Happy baking.. ❀

Kesar Naankhatai.

Hello lovely folks!

Greetings from A pinch of lyfe! πŸ’•

Welcoming you all with my new blog post – Kesar Naankhatai. 😊

Naankhatai is a perfect blend of imported method and our traditional flavours. The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word Naan meaning bread and an Afghan word khatai which means biscuits. In Afghanistan and Northeast Iran, these biscuits are called Kulcha-e-Khataye. Kulcha is a type of Indian bread similar to Naan.

Origin of Naan khatai is found in India only. In Surat. A city currently in Gujarat state. In 16th century, Indians and Dutches were important spice dealers worldwide. A Dutch couple had started a bakery in Surat for local Dutch residents. When the Dutches left India, they handed over the bakery to an Iranian. But the bakery biscuits were not popular among local Indian residents. To save his business, he staeted selling dried breads at very low prices. It became so popular that he started drying breads before selling. And with passing time, this experimentation resulted into Naan khatai.

If you ask me, I would say Naankhatai is one of the easiest cookies to bake. Best thing to start with if you are a beginner. You know, I reside at quite a small town where getting some fancy ingredients for baking is next to impossible. So I mostly try and post the recipes which needs least and quite simple handy ingredients. Kesar Naan khataai is one of them. I have made it with very few and handy ingredients from my panrty. Still, outcome is awesome as you can see in the pics. Also the taste.
This one is my fullproof recipe which never fails me. Sharing with all of you. Give it a try.

Okay! “Can I make it with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour/ maida?”
Yes, you can! But then that will be a different recipe with a different outcome.

Happy baking..❀️😊

Category – Dessert.
Preparation time – 10 minutes.
Baking time – 25 minutes.

Ingredients :

All purpose flour – 1 cup. ( 1 cup = 200ml).

Melted pure Ghee ( clarified butter) – 1/2 cup.

Powdered sugar – 1/ 2 cup. ( or a little less).

Powdered Cardamom / Milk Masala – 1 to 1.5 TSP.

Saffron strands – 1/ 8 TSP.

Milk – 1/4 TSP. ( or less to dissolve saffron).

Finally chopped nuts – 1.5 to 2 tbsp.

Directions :

Take approx 1/4 TSP warm milk in a cup and add saffron strands into it. Stir a little and let the saffron dissolve in it.

In bowl, take melted ghee (clarified butter). It must be melted and should have a liquid consistency beacuse if you take a thickened one its quantity will be increased when it will melt and your dough will get much softer.

Add powdered sugar and bit them together with help of a wire whisk or a spatula till the mixture gets light and fluffy.

You can now add powdered cardamom or milk Masala in it. I generally grind green cardamom or milk Masala with sugar only. So that its flavour perfectly blends with it. I prefer adding milk Masala as it contains saffron, mace and other dryfruits also besides cardamom. And that gives quite a rich aroma. Add saffron strands which we have kept in the cup for dissolving. Give it a good whisk and mix everything very nicely.

Add all purpose flour, mix everything again and make a dough. You can use your hands at this stage.

This dough doesn’t need to rest. Make Naankhatai of your desired size at once. I generally get 16 naankhataai out of this dough. The size you can see in these pics.

Sprinkle chopped nuts or readymade milk Masala over it. Press it properly on your Naankhataai so that will stick to it.

Bake your Naankhataai in a preheated oven on 160 degree for 20/25 minutes appox. Time may vary according to the size of your oven.

Take your baking tray out let it cool down completely. When it gets room temperature, serve or store it. 😊

Stuffed Cheese Kulcha.

Hello lovely folks! 😊

Warm greetings!

Glad to meet you here again with one more beautiful delicacy – Stuffed Cheese Kulcha. β™₯️

Kulcha is one of the most popular Indian bread. Mostly it is considered as a Punjabi delicacy. Who won’t love those mouthwatering Amritsari Kulchas with a dollop of fresh butter on the top. Stuffed punjabi Kulchas have wide varieties like Aalu (potato) Kulcha, Paneer ( cottage cheese) Kulcha etc. Kulcha is very popular dish in Avadhi cuisine also. Kulcha Naahari and Gilaami Kulche are quite popular sorts of Avadhi Kulchas. The origin of Kulchas is found in Iranian cuisine though.

Kulcha is one of the most cherished Indian breads at my home too. Specially whenever I make Stuffed cheese Kulcha for family, friends or guests, it remains a big hit. My big thanks to a brilliant baker and blogger Mukulika Sengupta whose recipe I have seen and followed first for making Chesse Kulcha. The base idea of this recipe is adoped from her post only and then I have made several changes in ingredients and method. Kulcha are traditionally made in tandoor but I mostly bake them in oven.

Sharing my method of making Stiffed Cheese Kulcha. This is a no fail recipe. Give it a try and more than sure, you gonna love it forever.

Category – Main course.
Preparation time – 30 minute.
Proofing time – 1.5 to 2 hours.
Baking time – 8 to 10 minutes.

Ingredients :

All purpose flour – 2 cups.
Milk – approx 1 cup.
Milk powder – 2 TBSP
Active yeast – 1/2 TSP.
Sugar – 2 TSP.
Butter – 2 TBSP ( + for applying over top).
Corinder leaves – 1 TSP ( finely chopped).
Sesame seeds – 1TSP .
Nigella seeds – 1 TSP.
Salt to taste

For filling :

Mozzarella Cheese – 1 cup ( grated).
Green chillies – 1 TSP ( finely chopped).
Coriander leaves – 1 TSP ( finely chopped).
Chaat Masala – 1 to 2 TSP ( or as per taste).

Directions :

Take one cup milk and boil it till gets warm. Add 2 TSP sugar in it and give it a stir.

Now in a big sized bowl, take all purpose flour. Add salt to taste and 2 TBSP milk powder. Mix everything well.

Sprinkle 1/2 TSP active yeast over it and now pour warm milk into the flour. Start kneading the dough. Knead for 2/4 minutes and then add melted butter into it. You can add olive oil or any vegetable oil instead. But for making kuchla, I would suggest to add butter for better taste. Knead it very well for at least 12/15 minutes. The consistency of your dough should be softer than our regular roti/chapati dough. You can add warm water to adjust the consistency.

Place your dough in a big sized greased bowl and turn it to cote. Cover it completely with a damp cloth. Place this bowl in a warm place.. like near your gas or in the oven.

It will take 1.5 to 2 hours for proofing. Depends on temperature. Within 1.5 to 2 hours, your dough will rise and get almost doubled in size.

Meanwhile grate mozzarella cheese and transfer it in a bowl. Add finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped coriander leaves and chat masala and mix everything nicely using a fork very gently.

Now come back to your risen dough. Punch it out with your knuckles and reduce again.

From this dough you can make 4 to 6 Kulchas. Divide your dough in 4 to 6 parts as per the size you want to have. Make rould balls out of them.

Take one ball, place it on a flat surface, dust it with all purpose flour and start rolling it with help of rolling pin.

Devide the stuffing too according to number of the kulchas you are planning to get. Make a little circle by rolling your dough-ball and put 1/6 portion ( as I have made 6 balls ) of cheese stuffing in the centre. Combine the edges and seal the stuffing completely in the dough.

Dust the stuffed dough again and roll it as thin as you can. Make sure your stuffing is not peeping out of your rolled kulcha.

Apply water nicely all over the top. Sprinkle sesame seeds, nigella seeds and finely chopped coriander over it and pat them a little so that they get sticked to the kulcha nicely.

Transfer your kulcha in your baking tray. Repeat the same process with rest of the dough. I could bake two kulchas together at a time in one batch. It depends on the size of your kulcha and your baking tray.

Bake your kulcha on 200 degree temperature for approx 8 to 10 minutes or until its top gets golden brown colour. Again, baking time and temperature may very according to the size of your oven.

Take your baked Kulcha out of oven. Apply butter over it generously. Serve hot.