February 26, 2017

Old fashioned Banana Cream Pie

How to make an old fashioned banana cream pie

          This year, for my son's b'day; we decided to have home-made banana cream pie, instead of the usual birthday cake. It's not that weird, considering the fact that he has been asking us to pick up a banana cream pie every time we hit the grocery store for the last couple of months. So I figured, why not? Whatever makes him happy, is good enough for his birthday. This recipe is from my recipe dairy, probably noted down from a food network show. Top it with whipped cream or go all the way & drizzle some caramel sauce, and top it with shaved chocolate just for good measure.

         I made the pie crust from scratch with this recipe - Buttery & flaky pie crust and for my li'l one, who is a devoted chocolate lover I made some delicious Chocolate Brownies. If you ask him, there cannot be a celebration without something chocolatey :)

Ingredients for 8 to 10 servings:

3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour or 3 tbsp of corn starch
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium firm & ripe bananas, sliced
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
Sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip

Optional Toppings:

Caramel/Chocolate sauce
Chocolate shavings
Sliced bananas or berries


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour/corn starch, and salt; stir in milk and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil; then boil some more for 2 to 4 extra minutes until thickened.
  •  Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of cream mixture into egg yolks for tempering and pour the egg yolks slowly into the saucepan. 

  • Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly and remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla; mix well; allow to cool slightly. 
  • Place the sliced bananas evenly in pastry shell and pour cream/custard mixture over the bananas. 
  • Bake the pie for about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. 
  • Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two, before topping with whipped cream & serving in slices.
  • Cover loosely with foil/plastic wrap & use within 3-4 days under refrigeration.
Sharing this recipe with my friends at SriValli's CCC# 41: February -- Week 4.

February 12, 2017

Kalkandu (Rock Sugar) Pongal

How to make Kalkandu (Rock Sugar) Pongal

            The jaggery pongal is quite popular & well liked by everyone, but the kalkandu pongal is kind of like the shy cousin of the jaggery pongal. Many may not have tasted it and hence not know about this less known , but equally delicious pongal version. The recipe was duly noted in my recipe diary cos' my grandma & mom used to make this pongal occasionally. To make this pongal taste rich, I have used evaporated milk instead of regular. Sharing this divine recipe with my friends at Sri Valli's CCC# 41: February -- Week 2.

Ingredients for 6 to 8 servings:

uncooked rice - 1 cup
Pasiparuppu/Moong dal - 1 tbsp
Kalkandu/Rock sugar - 1.5 cups
Evaporated milk or regular milk - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Elakkai podi/Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/8 tsp
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Saffron - a pinch
Raisins - 1 tbsp or more
Cashewnut - 2 tbsp

Pressure cooker method:

  • In a pressure cooker, cook (until soft & mushy) the rice & dal together with 1 tbsp of ghee, and excess water. (ex: if you normally add 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice; add 3 cups of water instead).
  • Soak the saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk.
  • When the rice is cooked, add the kalkandu/rock sugar to it, stir to let it melt in the heat. Add the milk & stir on low heat, taking care not to burn it.
  • Add cardamom and nutmeg powder. Add the soaked saffron to the pongal.
  • In a separate pan, melt ghee & fry the cashewnuts & raisins. Toss them into the pongal & serve hot or cold.

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