Monday, January 30, 2023

Persian Love Cake Muffins

These eggless muffins based on the flavors of the Persian Love Cake are ultimate in flavors and make a great breakfast for special occasions. The flavors and aroma of almond, rose, cardamom, and saffron in these muffins make it addictive.

I received samples of Taylor and Colledge  Almond Extract Paste and Dixie Crystals Sugar to aid the process of developing delicious recipes. Trust me, Taylor and Colledge pastes are amazing in giving the perfect top notch flavors to your baked goods. I personally love the almond extract paste as it gives the exact flavor of almonds. Just like these muffins, the almond extract paste gives the best flavors in Almond Cranberry Orange Muffins, Sweet Coconut and Almond Rolls, and Eggless Pear Almond mini Loaves. I highly recommend Dixie Crystals sugar for its quality. The best!

What is so special about these muffins?

Everything!! The flavor, aroma, texture….These muffins are perfect for anyone to fall in love. These muffins are inspired by the Persian Love Cake. The flavors in these cakes are more similar to a couple of desserts from our cuisine. The muffin flavors will remind you of the flavors of Badam Halwa, Kesari, Maida Burfi. These muffins are like having three sweets in a muffin form. The flavors of almond, rose, cardamom, and saffron are well balanced without one overpowering the other. Having said these,  I do not think there is any need for further reasoning as to why these muffins are special.

The ingredients required to make these muffins are

All purpose flour - This forms the base for the muffins.

Almond flour - Adds flavor and texture

Semolina - Gives the texture

Saffron - Gives characteristic aroma and flavor.

Milk - Whole milk is used in this recipe.

Rose essence - This gives the rose flavor to these muffins. This is stronger than the rose water. If using rose water, add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons.

Ghee - This adds flavor, aroma, and gives the fat content holding the muffins.

Baking powder and baking soda - These are the leaveners used in these muffins.

Taylor and Colledge Almond extract paste - A little of this paste yields perfect flavors in these muffins.

Dixie Crystals sugar - Sweetens the muffins. If you do not have this brand, any sugar can be used.

Pistachios - These nuts add a characteristic touch. In addition to topping, a few of these can be added to the batter too.

Cardamom - The aromatic spice that adds aroma and flavor.

Do you need special baking containers for making these heart shaped muffins?

Not really. Though heart shaped silicone baking cups are available, heart shape can be made using cupcake liners, aluminum foil, and regular muffin tin, if you do not want to spend on the baking cups. For a long time, I wanted to try the hack that I saw in social media and share with my readers. It worked great. Plus, these Persian Love Cake inspired muffins are perfect to be baked in a heart shaped cup for special celebrations. If you are in a hurry, just make it in regular shape. The taste will still be amazing!

When can you serve these muffins?

These muffins taste outrageously delicious when served warm and are perfect to serve any day, special occasions, and for Valentine’s Day. Since these are inspired by the popular Persian cake, these heart shaped muffins are a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day menu. Since it is around the corner, make a note to surprise your love and family with these eggless muffins.

These delicious muffins can be made in about 30 -35 minutes from start to finish. Once you prep all the ingredients, it is all a quick mix, pour, and bake. In about 16-17 minutes these muffins are done baking. Different ovens work differently, so always check with a toothpick for doneness. A clear toothpick after inserting inside the muffins shows that they are baked completely. Kids can even make this easy recipe.

These muffins can be stored for 1-2 days at room temperature and for about a week in the refrigerator. I have not tried that beyond that period of time, as it is gobbled up real quick. The flavors of these muffins make this a crowd pleaser and is a great idea to bake and share with friends and families too. These not too overly sweet muffins are perfect for a light dessert too.

This is the first edition of #muffinMonday for 2023. Since, Valentine's Day is coming real quick, I wanted to share one of our favorite muffins with you all to bake for this Valentine's Day as well as in the future years too. #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

While you are at it, here are a few Valentine's Day food ideas from the blog from appetizer to dessert. 

Makes 13 muffins
Prep time - 10 minutes 
Bake time - 16 minutes
Cool time - 5 minutes

All purpose flour - 1 and 1/3 cups
Almond flour - 1/2 cup 
Semolina - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1/3 cup, melted
Saffron - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1cup
Dixie Crystals Sugar - 2/3 cup plus a tbsp
Rose essence - 3/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom - 1/8 tsp
Aquafaba - 3 tbsp
Taylor and Colledge Almond extract paste - 1/4 tsp


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Warm the milk and add the saffron to infuse flavor and color. 
To a bowl add the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, semolina, and almond flour. Mix and set aside.

To the saffron milk, add sugar, almond extract paste, rose essence, and melted ghee. Whisk quickly.

Add it to the dry ingredients.

Whisk quickly to form a lump free batter.

Fill about two-thirds in each lined cavity in a regular muffin tin. Top with pistachios.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-17 min, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven. Cool. Serve warm. Store the remaining in airtight container.

January 2023Muffin Monday Recipes

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Rasmalai Oat Pancakes

This blender oatmeal pancakes are just out of the world in flavors! These eggless pancakes are loaded with the flavors of traditional dessert , Rasmalai. Drench these pancakes with syrup or with a delicious flavored milk/rabdi sauce with cardamom and saffron for a special breakfast for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day! These pancakes are like having rabdi malpua.

These pancakes are my take on the trending blended oatmeal pancakes. This is an easy recipe where you blend the oats with other ingredients that add to the flavors, reminding the flavors of the addictive dessert , rasmalai. This even makes you wonder whether it is breakfast or dessert. This is a delicious way to start your day!

Why should you make these rasmalai blender oatmeal pancakes ?

These are delicious!

Addictive flavors!

Makes everything special.

Easy and quick recipe to make.

A wonderful way to have oatmeal.

This way of serving with milk as sauce makes a complete meal

Loved by everyone across all age groups.

What are the ingredients needed to make these pancakes?

To make the pancakes the following are required:

Oats - rolled oats are used in this recipe.

Banana - adds sweetness and makes the pancakes soft.

Milk - regular milk is used. Plant based milk can also be used, but the flavors may be altered.

Sugar - 1 to 2 tablespoons, for a low sugar version, this can be skipped.

Baking powder - this is the leavening agent used. 

Cardamom - adds to the aroma and flavor

Saffron - adds color, flavor and aroma.

Aquafaba - acts as egg replacer. If you do not have, then too the pancakes may work as the bananas and baking powder are used in the recipe.

Pistachios - adds flavor and nutrition.

I highly recommend the addition of cardamom, saffron, and pistachios along with regular milk as it gives the classic touch to the traditional rasmalai in these pancakes.

Butter - make these with butter as it adds tons of flavor. 

For the milk rabdi sauce:

These pancakes taste great with syrup, but they are amazing in flavor, giving the exact experience of having rasmalai, when you serve it with flavored milk. This is a quick recipe for the flavored milk without spending longer time reducing the milk.

Evaporated milk - this is the key make quick milk sauce to pour into these pancakes

Sugar - a little sugar adds sweetness to the sauce. Since the evaporated milk has sweetness because of milk being reduced, a little sugar goes a long way.

Cardamom, saffron - adds to classic aroma and flavor. Do not skip these.

What toppings can be added?

Butter and a few pistachios are great to have as toppings. Cardamom scented cream also works wonderfully well. Almonds or cashews can also be used.

Are these vegan?

No. This recipe is not vegan. Butter and cow milk are used. Using a plant based milk will work for the recipe but the flavors of rasmalai would be missing.

January is #nationaloatmealmonth. Christie is hosting an event, "Outstanding Oatmeal" in #ourfamilytable to celebrate the humble and mighty oats. This is my share for the theme. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Oats are my favorite grain and my day starts with a bowl of oats. Many a times this savory Masala Oats is my preference to have as breakfast. During fall, I opt for Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats too! And in winter, I love this Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oats. Oats are versatile and check the links below for a few outstanding oat recipes from the blog.

These blended oatmeal pancakes are great to serve any day. This makes your day extra special and this can be served for special occasions and Valentine’s Day. Here are more Valentine's Day food options from the blog.



Makes 6 pancakes
Serves 2

Rolled oats - 1 cup 
Banana - 1
Milk - 1/2 cup
Aquafaba - 3 tbsp
Cardamom - 1/8 tsp
Saffron - 1:/4 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Rose essence - 3-4 drops 
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp

For the Rabdi sauce

Evaporated milk - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Saffron - a pinch
Sugar - 1 tbsp 


Add the evaporated milk, saffron, cardamom powder, and sugar to a sauce pot. Gently simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove from the flame. Set aside to cool.

Add all the ingredients except butter and pistachios to the blender and blend.

Transfer to a bowl.

Heat a pan on medium flame. Add butter followed by a scoop of the pancake batter. Cook for 2 minutes until the top side is filled with bubbles. The pancakes may be topped with extra pistachios if preferred at this stage.

Flip and cook for a minute. Transfer to a plate. Repeat making the pancakes with the remaining batter.

To serve: Place three to four pancakes on a plate. Top with butter and pistachios.

Pour half the rabdi milk sauce. Serve immediately.

Outstanding Oatmeal

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Vegan Jackfruit Kofta Curry

This is a delicious and comforting vegan kofta curry made with jackfruit and is a perfect replacement to your traditional malai kofta. This is also a soy-free recipe and is a great side to serve with naans and kulchas.

Jackfruit kofta curry is as delicious as paneer curry. In this vegan curry, you’ll not miss the sweetness or creaminess in any way. This recipe uses a couple of veggies that adds to the nutrition profile of this curry and is also a great way to sneak some veggies to your kids. Along with jackfruit sweet potatoes and black eyed peas are added. The black eyed peas add to the proteins, while sweet potatoes in addition to the nutrition it adds, it also helps in shaping the koftas. 

Jackfruit, when it is ripe, is the ultimate fruit to me just like mangoes. The unripe ones are great to use in curries or rice. When I was young, our backyard had a jackfruit tree and enjoyed amazing ripe ones and unripe jackfruit in delicious recipes. Vegan Tender Jackfruit Curry is one of my childhood favorites, and try these Vegan Tender Jackfruit Cutlets for a delicious appetizer or snack. Here, we do not get fresh tender jackfruit all the time, but frozen ones are available all the time in Indian groceries. This recipe too uses frozen unripe jackfruit. The fresh ones look spiky and may look hard to process but here is a guide to do it easily. The jackfruit seed is also edible and try this creamy curry or Vegan Jackfruit Seed Pulao with jackfruit seeds. 

What makes this vegan curry creamy?

This is a very creamy curry just like its dairy based counterpart. Vegan cream or coconut is not used in the recipe. The added cashew yogurt and cashews (and one more ingredient which we will see next) in this curry base makes it so creamy and divine. In  this way some beneficial vitamins are added to the diet. Cashew yogurt is available in many grocery chains and it is a great one to use in vegan recipes. Try these Cashew Yogurt and Potato Muffins. The base is made with simple spices, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. This curry is very much similar to the curry base in Labne and Roasted Corn Masala, labne is replaced with cashew yogurt.


The final fortification of nutrients in this curry is the addition of date sugar. Most of the dairy based creamy curries use a little sugar to sweeten the curry. Date sugar is nothing but powdered dry dates. Since dates are a great source of iron, adding this to foods results in a fortified version. This also adds to the creaminess of the curry. If you are wondering what else you could add date sugar to, try these Date Sugar Walnut Cookies and Chocolatey Whole Wheat Date Sugar Banana Bread for  wonderful snacks.

Can this be made ahead?

The curry base can be made ahead, and the kofta can be prepped ahead. Just fry them and add to the curry if you are planning to make for a crowd as the recipe can be easily doubled. The koftas can also be fried and refrigerated. Warm the koftas as well as the curry and add the koftas to the curry just before serving.4

What to serve with this curry?

If you are wondering what to serve this curry with, naan breads, kulchas, stuffed kulchas or parathas are perfect pairs. Simple everyday flatbread pairs well and I serve it that way more often. It can be served with a simple Jeera Rice too!

Vegan food doesn’t mean boring food. There are tons of interesting soups and main course foods that are vegan and delicious. Check for some vegan noodle recipes around the world, and for rasam recipes. Here are a few more addictive vegan recipes from the blog.

Lumina Pumpkin Olan

Vegan Pumpkin Halwa

Vegan Butternut Squash and Chipotle Chili

Medhu Vada

Curried Carrot and Red Pepper Soup

Vegan Coconut Gingerbread Muffins

This month in our Shhhh Cooking Secretly  group, we are sharing vegan recipes that could be appetizer, main, side, snack, or dessert. In this group, we partner up with a fellow buddy and give secret ingredients to each other. Jayashree of Evergreendishes is my partner and the Tuvar Capsicum Masala is a great vegan side to make. I gave her fresh lilva or pigeon peas and salt as the secret ingredients and she made these delicious kachoris. She gave me bay leaf and garam masala and I made this curry. When I grew up, most of the everyday food we had were vegan. Occasional ghee and butter based dishes were also there for festive meals. It is possible to have interesting vegan version of regular recipes that are equally tasty. This jackfruit kofta curry is an excellent replacement to the malai kofta curry. 

I am also linking this to Sundays on Silverado, Happiness is Homemade, and What’s For Dinner.

Serves 7-12

Jackfruit - 1.5 cups
Black eyed peas - 1/4 cup
Sweet potatoes - 1 cup steamed and mashed
Cashew flour - 2 tbsp
Thai chili - 1
Ginger - 1 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove
Onions - 2 tbsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Oil to deep fry

Curry Base

Onions - 1 cup, chopped
Tomatoes - 1.5 cups, chopped
Ginger - 1.5-in piece
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cashews - 10
Cashew yogurt - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 4 cloves
Kashmiri red chili - 4 to 5
Cinnamon - 1-in piece 
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1
Bay leaves - 1
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Green chili - 1


Oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Date sugar - 5 tbsp


Add the frozen jackfruit to a bowl and add water until it immerses. Cook on a medium flame for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and set the cooked jackfruit chunks aside.

Add the drained jackfruit, green chili, cayenne, turmeric, onions, black eyed peas, garlic, salt, and ginger. Pulse to a coarse texture. 

Transfer this to a bowl. Add the sweet potatoes, kasoori methi, cilantro, cashew flour, and combine well. Take about one and a half to two tablespoons of this mixture and shape into 14 balls.

Heat oil over medium flame. Add the koftas carefully and deep fry flipping the sides for about 3-4 minutes. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the koftas. Set aside.

For the Curry Base: In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves, cumin, bay leaves and let it bloom for 30 seconds.

Add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chili and the Kashmiri red chilies. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions turn translucent.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and cashews. Mix and cover, cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the flame and cool.

When the mixture is cool, add the cashew yogurt and blend to a smooth puree.

For the Curry: Heat oil in a pan, add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Add the blended curry base, followed by turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, salt, fennel powder. Mix thoroughly.

Rinse the blender with a cup of water (no wasting), and add it to the curry. Add the remaining one and a half cup water and date sugar. Mix thoroughly and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl. Add the koftas. Garnish with some kasoori methi. Serve with naan or any flatbread.