Chai Mug Cake

This mug cake is like eating chai in a cake form. Each bite is soft and is aromatic with chai spices like green cardamom and cinnamon.It is an eggless cake that comes together with basic pantry ingredients. Mug cakes are hugely popular with my kids and every time I made them, I always wondered how to make them a bit more unique and adult friendly. If you are a fan of milky chai, this cake is for you. The inspiration for this mug cake came from this recipe on Maria’s blog, I used her amazing idea, but developed my own recipe measurements.

This cake is so fluffy and it tastes of chai. It is quick to make and definitely a keeper recipe. I like my chai on the less sweet side so this cake isn’t very sweet.

What are mug cakes? Mug cakes are simple cakes baked in the mug in a microwave. All the ingredients are added to the mug, mixed and cooked in the microwave. They are quick, small portion and satisfy the cake cravings.

What kind of tea to use? I simply use plain orange pekoe tea bags from the indian grocery stores. You can use english black tea bags as well. Just make sure to use the unflavored ones.

Can it be made nut free? Yes. I add fine ground almond meal to this cake for a nutty bite and also because I love almonds, but I have tested the recipe with just flour as well and you can skip the almond and replace with equivalent flour.

What kind of milk? Can I use Mylk? I use regular 2 percent milk here but you can use whole milk as well. Avoid using fat free milk since the fat in the milk does add to taste and moistness of cake. I haven’t tested this recipe with non dairy milk so I cannot say how the taste or texture will be.

Can I use oil in place of ghee? Yes. Absolutely. But ghee does add to the taste and aroma of the cake. You can use unsalted butter or any neutral oil as well.

Can I add ginger since I like adrak chai? I tried adding ground ginger to the recipe and I found it a bit overpowering. You can add a few thin slices of ginger to hot milk while you steep the tea bags and a mild ginger flavor does come through.

How to serve? I simply dust it with powdered sugar but my kids loved it with whipped cream. You can also add a dollop of spiced buttercream as well. You decide 🙂

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Chai Mug Cake

Chai in a cake form. A simple cake made with steeped tea bags and flavored with chai spices.
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 1 mug cake

Equipment

  • 1 mug tall enough to not overflow when cake rises in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup boiling hot milk
  • 2 plain black tea bags, I use wagh bakri
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp fine ground almond meal see notes if you want to just use flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee or unslated butter or neutral oil
  • pinch of ground cinnamon & green cardamom

Instructions

  • Add the tea bags to the mug. Pour over boiling hot milk over the tea bags. Alternatively you can first warm up the milk in the mug in the microwave and then add the tea bags to it. Set aside to let the tea bags steep for 8-10 minutes for a strong flavor of tea.
  • Once the tea bags have steeped, squeeze them very well using a spatula or back of spoon to strain all the milk. Discard the tea bags. Do not skip this part else the quantity of milk will be less in the recipe.
  • To the tea flavored milk, add the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, melted ghee and ground spices. Using a spoon mix very well until the batter is not lumpy. After adding all the ingredients, your mug should be half full, this will ensure that the cake will not overflow when it rises in the microwave.
  • Microwave for 1 minute + 25-30 seconds in a full power mode (My microwave is 1000 watts) Every microwave is different, so you might need to tweak the time a bit. Use a long skewer inserted in the center of the cake to check for doneness if you arent sure if the cake is cooked.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy while still warm.

Notes

  1. If you don’t want to use almonds, simply used 1/4 cup of flour.
  2. Measure the ghee when its melted. Use any neutral oil like canola or vegetable if you don’t want to use ghee.

Dilli Aloo Ki Chaat

Aloo chaat from streets of Delhi is one of the best things. Shallow fried potatoes in ghee tossed with powdered spices, drizzled with chutney and served warm with a little bit of grated mooli (daikon)or onions. The chaat stalls selling this chaat can be spotted from a mile away thanks to the aroma of frying potatoes. If you take a stroll in neighborhoods of Delhi particularly in the evening, you will find a chaat corner frying this chaat on every other block.

Traditionally, they fry the potatoes in ghee and hence the aroma is so amazing. Sweet, spicy, sour and deep fried- this is one amazing chaat recipe which can be quickly whipped to satiate your cravings. It can be a quick snack for any time. Just cut up the potatoes, mix the spices and go for it.

I used a mixture of different potato varieties I could find in store. Sweet potatoes(orange & purple) and regular russet/gold and red potatoes. The naturally sweet potatoes really added so much taste to this chaat, they were my favorite, to to forget the beautiful natural colors they added.

A few things to be kept in mind when making this Chaat:-

Soaking the Potatoes:- Even though I say that this is a quick snack for anytime and really you can cut up potato chunks and make this any time, I suggest planning a bit and soaking the potatoes for at least 3-4 hours. Slice or cut potatoes in chunks , I leave the skin on because it adds a nice flavor, and soak the potatoes in sharp salty water for good 3-4 hours. The water will pull out the starches since starches are water soluble and the salt will season the potatoes in the process leading to a super flavorful potato for frying. Soaking also helps in making the potatoes crispy as the quantity of starches goes down.

Fried potatoes are the key. Shallow fried potatoes usually fried to order in the center of a large heavy tawa(griddle) in ghee give the best flavor. However, if you don’t want to use just ghee, 100% ghee, use a neutral oil like grape seed or sunflower and add a tablespoon of ghee for that particular aroma. Shallow fry on both sides with golden crispy edges for the best taste.

Kind of potatoes. Avoid using a high starch content potato like Russet. In India, usually the winter crop potatoes are the best choice since they are waxy and have a good starch to moisture ratio. Here I used a mix of potatoes- sweet potatoes, purple yams, red potatoes, idaho yellow potatoes and a few slices of russet for a great balance of flavors and textures. Bonus point being that it made the chaat super colorful with multitude of natural colors.

Spices and Chutneys– The best time of add the spices is right after the potatoes come out of the oil.The oil helps in sticking the spices to the potatoes and makes them super flavorful. As for the chutneys, you can add any kind but on the streets, they add tamarind chutney. I add the tamarind chutney, lot of it and instead of green chutney, I add a lot of fresh herbs like cilantro & mint and green chilli slices. Biting into leafy herbs gives the chaat another layer of taste.

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Dilli Wali Aloo Chaat

A spicy sweet sour potato chaat from streets of Delhi. Made with multi color potatoes.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Griddel, Cutting board, knifes, bowls and spoons

Ingredients

  • 3 large size potatoes (1 russet + 1 gold potato+ 1 red potato)
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium purple yam
  • Ghee for frying ,substitute with oil+ghee
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp crushed anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) ,optional
  • 1.5 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black salt
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp Tamarind Chutney
  • 2 tbsp nylon sev
  • Grated Daikon, Sliced Onions,Green Chillies, Cilantro & Mint leaves, Pomegranate Arils

Instructions

  • Thoroughly wash the poatoes. You can peel off the skin if you wish, I dont. Cut into slices (about 1/4th inch). You can cut in chunks as well.
  • Take a large bowl. Place the potatoes and sprinke 1/2 tbsp of salt. Add enough water to the bowl to cover the poatoes. Soak the potatoes for 3 hours.
  • Drain and discard the water and using a kitchen towl dry out the potatoes thorougly.
  • In a cast iron skillet heat up 2 inches of oil. I recommend taking a wide pan instead of a kadai/wok for frying. Heat on medium heat till you see ripples on the surface.
  • Add the poatoes in a single layer in the ghee. Dont overcrowd the pan, fry in 2 or more batches if needed. Fry on medium high heat till you see that potatoes are nicley browned and are crispy. Use a fork to make sure that they are tender and cooked. Dont overfry, The poatatoes should have a soft inside and crispy outside.
  • Take out the potatoes, dont drain the extra oil. Add the spices powders and chutney immediately. Or you can arranged the potatoes on a plate and sprinkle the spices and chutney.
  • Add herbs, cut up chillies, onions and daikon. Scatter some pomergrante arils and serve warm.

Notes

  1. You cam make this chaat with regular potatoes. 
  2. Feel free to add yogurt and green chutneys if you wish. 

Indian Spiced Peas(Chuki Matar)& Masala Chai

 

 

 

 

Spiced Peas/Chuki Matar

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh/frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup sliced onions
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger julians
  • 2 green chillies. thinly cut (adjust to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3-4tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice [adjust to taste ]

How I did it:

  • In a pan, heat up the oil on medium heat.
  • Once heated, temper the oil with cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle.
  • Add the sliced onions to the pan and let the onions saute till transculent.Dont brown them.
  • Next, add the chopped green chilies and ginger julians and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the peas, red chilli powder, cover the lid and let the peas steam till they are cooked but not mushy.
  • Once tender, open the lid,add salt and garam masala and stir fry on high heat for 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the fresh lime juice and serve warm with masala chai

Masala Chai

Ingredients

  • 1 tea bag per cup (or 1 tsp of black tea leaves/cup)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1-2 fresh tulsi leaves [holy basil leaves if available] NOTE:Holy basil is totally different from Thai or Italian basil.
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of warm milk
  • ¼ tsp chai masala powder
  • sugar to taste

Masala/Spice Mix  [Makes 1 cup masala]

  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp cloves
  • 1/4 cups whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cups green cardamom
  • 4 twig mace, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 piece nutmeg, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

How I did it

  • Fine grind all the ingredients under the head “Masala/Spice Mix”.Store this spice mix in an air tight container in a dry place.This lasts for 2-3 years.
  • To make the masala chai:In a saucepan, add the water along with ginger and tulsi leaves[if using] and let come to a boil.After 2-3 minutes, add tea bag or tea leaves. Let  brew for 2-3 minutes.Next, add “masala” and milk and let it again come to a boil.Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.Strain and serve with sugar (or sweetener).

Enjoy!