About Me

Hello. I started this blog to write about what I do in my chosen profession : a housewife. Some day I might cook or bake something interesting and enlist my 2 year old to help, on another day I make something from scratch instead of buying it from the store and sometimes I craft with my daughter. Once in a while, we travel or have a fun day outside. I am also doing what I can to recycle and reduce waste. I am still learning all of this and documenting my journey through this blog

Chocolate Walnut Pie

I made this pie for a party last year when I was not blogging. In those days, I just clicked pictures and uploaded them to web albums along with recipe notes. It was my way of having a recipe book.
In my usual habit, I made a lot of food for the party and everyone was stuffed when I said there is dessert to come. But this pie was so decadent, no one could say no to it. Some even asked if they could take a slice home to savour on a more relaxed stomach :)
The husband said this pie is better than any restaurant pie I have had. I have to agree. The pie was so good beyond my expectations. I was glad there were other people to share the pie otherwise I could definitely have finished it on my own.
I mostly followed this recipe exactly except I used a different and very easy method of "cutting" butter into the flour which I found here. I did not use bourbon because I didn't want to buy a bottle just for this (we dont drink) but I am sure it will taste even better with the bourbon. I did not top my pie with ganache. I am not that big on chocolate but I do think serving that warm slice of pie with vanilla ice cream definitely is the best way to enjoy this pie.
Chocolate Walnut Pie with Vanilla Icecream
Next day slice heated in the oven and topped with vanilla icecream
This really is the kind of dessert where you want to close all your other senses and really savour every bite without interruptions.

Chocolate Walnut Pie
recipe source : Classicalkitchen.com
A rich decadent dessert fit for any special occasion.

Chocolate Walnut Pie

For Crust:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup frozen butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp ice cold water
For Filling:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
    For Crust:
  • Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Grate the frozen butter using large grater holes. Mix grated butter into the flour mix with a spatula.
  • Put the bowl in the freezer for 10 mins to get the butter cold again.
  • Mix vanilla and ice cold water.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla over the flour and mix gently with a spatula. The dough should just come together.
  • Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Handle gently and do not allow the butter gratings to melt a lot. The butter pieces should be visible in the dough.
  • Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Remove the dough and sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle with 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Roll the dough circle gently around the rolling pin to help lift the dough. Gently unroll onto the pie dish and press lightly into place. Cut any overhanging dough. I used a fork around the edge for a little decorative design.
  • I used to left over dough from cutting to form flower petals.
  • Put the pie plate in the freezer while preparing the filling.
  • For Filling:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Using a hand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla till fluffy.
  • Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and fold them in.
  • The pie:
  • Pour the filling into the pie dish removed from the freezer.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • Pie is set when you shake it gently and the center is slightly soft. The pie will continue to set while it cools.
  • Let the pie cool down completely before trying to slice it.
  • Bake the flower petals on a separate baking tray or aluminium foil for 10 minutes and then arrange on the pie when it comes out of the oven.

  • It is very important to keep the pie crust very cold. So the use of frozen butter and ice cold water is very important. So are the cooling times in the freezer and the fridge. Only a cold crust will become flaky, crisp and melt your mouth.
  • Be gentle with the dough. If you press it down too much into the pie dish or overwork it, the crust can shrink.

  • Lauki ke gatte ki sabzi - Steamed bottlegourd besan dumplings in yogurt gravy

    I am always looking for new ways to make the humble and healthy lauki (bottlegourd). It is not a vegetable most people look forward to eating. Lauki chane ki dal is the usual way it is made in our house, which is an acceptable way for the picky eaters in the house. I was looking for something more exciting to add variety to our lauki eating habits. I came across this member contributed recipe on tarla dalal website.
    This recipe completely disguises the lauki and makes a pretty looking and pretty tasting dish. It will not evoke any of the boring expressions which usually accompany a regular lauki ki sabzi.

    Bottlegourd gatte in yogurt gravy

    Grated bottlegourd is kneaded into a dough and steamed to make the gatte which are then lightly toasted on a pan before adding to a light yogurt gravy. These go perfectly with some rotis. I used this recipe from tarla dalal website with a few changes.

    Lauki Bottlegourd Gatte ki sabzi

    For Gatte:
    1 medium bottlegourd
    1 cup besan
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    1 heaping tsp coriander-cumin powder
    1/4 tsp chilli powder
    For Gravy:
    1 1/2 cups yogurt
    1 tsp oil
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    2 cloves
    1 inch piece cinnamon
    1 heaping tsp ginger-garlic paste
    1/2 medium onion
    1/8 tsp asafoetida
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    1 dry red chilli
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp sugar
    • Grate the bottlegourd and squeeze excess water from it. Add the spices and besan and mix till a dough forms. There is no need to knead like a chapati dough. The dough will be slightly sticky. Apply some oil to your hands if you find it difficult to work with the dough.
    • Divide into 3 or 4 portions. Roll each portion between your hands to make a thick rope.
    • Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan over which a colander will fit properly. The water should not touch the bottom of the colander. If you have a steamer, this is the time to use it instead of this make-shift steamer.
    • Once the water boils, grease the colander well with oil and place the ropes in it. Cover and cook over medium flame for about 12 mins. The gatte would have changed color and look dry.
    • Remove the gatte ropes from the colander and let cool. The bottom of the ropes might look wet if the water was boiling too wildly but it will dry out once the ropes cool down.
    • Once cool, cut into 1/2 inch wide circles. Heat a pan/tawa and spray lightly with oil. Once hot, sear the circles lightly on both sides and keep aside.
    • For the gravy, heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, asafoetida, cloves, cinnamon and dry red chilli.
    • Add the ginger-garlic paste and finely chopped onion. Saute till the onion gets soft and ginger-garlic paste is cooked.
    • Add the turmeric and mix.
    • Add the yogurt, salt and sugar. Add enough water to make a gravy consistency to your liking. Mine wasn't too thick but not too thin either.
    • Heat on medium flame till it almost come to a boil. Add the gatte in the last 5 minutes of cooking the gravy.
    • Add chopped coriander leaves on top (really adds to the flavor) and serve with chapatis/rotis.
    Dont worry too much about making a smooth dough for the gatte. The dough is slightly sticky and the gatte will be softer and better with this dough consistency.

    Cardboard play kitchen

    During the summer I worked on a few craft projects; one of which was a cardboard play kitchen. It is made completely from recycled materials which would otherwise have ended up in trash. I had seen the idea on Spoonful and immediately loved it. It took me a few months to really get working on the idea because it seemed kind of daunting; but once I got to it, it was fun. I am so glad this went from bookmark to reality because my daughter was so excited about it while we were building it and it is still her favourite "toy".
    Cardboard Play Kitchen
    finished kitchen
    First I started collecting cardboard boxes. 2 equal sized boxes for the base, a pizza box for the window, 2 smaller boxes for the shelves. I fixed them all together using duck tape (big duck tape fan).
    DIY play kitchen

    Then I added the details. For the window, I looked for a nice picture from my stack of magazines and glued it on to the pizza box lid. Then I cut up one of my daughter's old dress to make curtains and glued them on.
    For the sink, I cut a hole in the base box, the size of a takeout container and just pushed the container into the hole. Then I made two holes and used the top of an empty spray bottle and the top of a soap dispenser as faucets.
    On the other side, I made coil burners by using permanent marker to draw rings on disposable plates and glued them in place.

    Then I added more details like a small piece of kitchen sponge, a spray bottle for the kitchen sink. My daughter made a coffee grinder type mixie using a plastic cups. We added her play utensils and a few empty containers to her kitchen shelves. I also added a small can to hold all her spoons. I used duck tape around the top edge of the can to take care of any sharp edges.
    The final additions were the cabinet and oven. For the cabinet, draw a rectangle the size of the desired cabinet on the box. Draw a vertical line through the center of the rectangle to mark the doors. Using an xacto knife, cut along the vertical door marker line. Then cut the two horizontal lines of the rectangle. You will have your cabinet doors. Use duck tape along the hinges to make them stronger. I also used duck tape over the cut sides to make them softer.
    For the oven, I drew a square in the middle of the box and cut three sides. I again used duck tape along the hinges and cut sides. I glued on bottle caps for door knobs on the cabinets and oven. I used goop glue but any strong glue or hot glue can be used.

    We have added some more kitchen utensils and play food like pistachio shells to the kitchen since then. My daughter loves to cook in her kitchen. She makes tea, milkshake, pasta and "food". It has provided several hours of fun. If you do plan this project, check out the original instructions on Spoonful.