Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hello!

Anybody out there? :)

[Hearing echoes of my voice in this poor neglected empty space]

What can I say? Time sure flies! Do people remember how to write rudimentary HTML after months of not writing any, I wonder? Is it like riding a bike?

Over the past several months, I have been writing SAS code instead of blog posts, studying and working as best as I can, and spending quality time with the needles and hooks. Somewhere along the way, I found the time to reach a milestone birthday- the big three-oh (YAY! I think.) For all those who left loving e-mails and comments asking how I am- thank you! I am doing well, busy but happy :) And for all those who could care less about me but want to know how Dale is doing- he is well. A little older and grayer around the muzzle, but much wiser, he says.

Am I "back to blogging"? Yes and no. I'm off to India soon for a vacation, and my schedule is still awry. The plan is to indulge in some guilt-free blogging, writing whenever I can about whatever strikes my fancy food-wise. Visits to India are always sensational in terms of food, and I hope to come back with some tales of meals shared with friends and family. I also intend to barge into the kitchens of homes I visit to learn some new tips and recipes from my favorite home cooks and share them with you.

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I made a quick bread this morning- an eggless carrot cake inspired by Shammi's recipe. I don't do much eggless baking, I realize, but I wanted to bake a sweet treat to take along on a visit to friends, and the family avoids eggs so it was a good excuse to give egg-free baking a try.

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We hear so much about baking being an exact science and how you can't really get away with tossing in a bit of this and a little of that. All true- but this recipe is certainly an exception to the rule. I tweaked it merrily and got excellent results. Here's how I made it. Feel free to walk on the wild side and use "proper" buttermilk, yogurt, a vegan substitute or whatever you have on hand. My feeling is that this is a very robust recipe and will turn out fine.

The short-hand I use is: C refers to cup (8 oz), t refers to teaspoon while T refers to tablespoon.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1¼ C all-purpose flour, 2 T powdered buttermilk, 1 t baking soda, 1 t baking powder, ½ t salt, 1 t ginger powder, 1 t cardamom powder, 1 t nutmeg powder.

3. Stir in 2 T ghee, 2 T canola oil and ½ C water.

4. Use a spatula to gently fold in ½ C sugar, 4 small to medium grated carrots, handful of chopped pecans and handful of mixed dried berries.

5. At this point, the batter was too thick and to be able to fold in everything, I added a splash of milk.

6. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes clean.

To my delight, the loaf rose beautifully and I got the prized crease on top of the loaf. Oh, the little things that make my day!

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I barely waited 10 minutes before lopping off a slice to taste. This tastes like a cakey version of gajar halwa- simply delicious, and, dare I say it, less laborious to make. That's one more awesome recipe from Shammi.

Have a sweet weekend!

87 comments:

  1. Yeah we hear you and missed you too.
    Beautiful cake.
    Enjoy your trip to India.

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  2. Yay! You are back even if it is sort of. Although I haven't left comments a lot before, this blog was always my go-to for my cooking adventures. So I'm glad you are back. Enjoy your vacation! I'll be looking forward to new recipes to try.

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  3. Nupur! Great to hear what you have been up to. Have a wonderful trip to India. The Carrot Cake looks delicious :)

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  4. Congrats on graduation and have a great trip! And hi to V and Dale :)

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  5. Great to have you back! Been a regular follower of your blog :) Had to delurk

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  6. The carrot cake is looks tempting! You have fun on your trip home Nupur. Looking fwd to hear about all the stories.

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  7. Yes, yes, you were missed :)
    and so was Dale. :)

    Any chances of visiting Delhi on this trip?

    Have bookmarked a lot of Shyam's eggless cakes :) this looks great.

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  8. Hi Nupur, WElcome back....How are you doing? Nice to see you blogging again.....I have missed your blogs:)

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  9. oh boy!! you were sorely missed!! take a detour to hyd wont you? have a lovely trip.... great looking bread.

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  10. Yes, HTML is like riding a bike, or baking a carrot cake. Once you learn, you never forget!

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  11. Nupur! It's so nice to have you back (for a bit at least). You have been missed! Belated birthday wishes to you.:)

    The cake looks very nice. It has risen so well. You introduced me to something new today- powdered buttermilk.

    Have a wonderful time in India with your family and friends.

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  12. I'm here! I'm here! :) Good to have you back Nupur, belated birthday wishes and have a fantastic trip to India :) Will be looking forward to your stories.

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  13. Hey Nupur,

    Welcome back... So happy to hear you !! :)

    Have a wonderful trip to India and I will definitely wait for your India musings....

    Take care Nupur...

    Warm regards (and hugs)

    Mala

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  14. Belated Happy Birthday Nupur and have a great time in India!

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  15. Hi again !!!

    Forgot that I had a question...

    Can I use whole wheat pastry flour instead of All purpose flour ? And can I use Maple syrup or Agave nectar ?

    Thanks for a great recipe.. am definitely going to try this !!

    Mala

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  16. :-) Welcome back!! Have a wonderful holiday in India.

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  17. Hello Nupur! It is good to hear from you. The cake looks delicious alright. I do the same, tweak measurements in baking recipes and pray it turns out good.

    Have a great India trip and looking forward to the goodies you are going to dish up.

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  18. Yaay, nice to see you back. Looking forward to hearing about the trip to India.

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  19. Have a wonderful trip and congrats on ur milestone!

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  20. hi, i am a regular follower of ur blog, i have started my own blog now, i was wondering why there were any posts at all , now i know, have a happy holiday... and have a wonderful time...

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  21. hey sorry, forgot to write about the carrot loaf, looks very yummy...., i have just started to learn baking...., I would love to try it as it doesn't require egg !!, & that is really very interesting....

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  22. Yay! I'm so happy to know you'll be blogging again. Did you say it tastes like Gajar-Halwa? Then I've got to try it.

    Mamatha

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  23. Welcome back Nupur ! Its wonderful to have you back . I am looking foward for a new set of recipies!!
    Regards
    Shivangi

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  24. LOl! Oh we hear your voice! Good to hear from you. The carrot cake looks great, and yes, as an egg-less baker, I feel like it isn't as scientific as people think. Have fun on your trip.

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  25. Nupur!! You are back :D Lovely loaf too. I look forward to your posts from India. Have a great trip.

    And oh, belated b'day wishes :)

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  26. I'm very happy that we'll be hearing from you while you're in India! Have a fantastic visit Nupur!!!

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  27. Very nice to see you back. Congrats on the milestone. Have a nice stay in India.

    Cake looks moist.

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  28. Missed your posts and knew you would be back soon:-) great to know things are well with you!

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  29. Nupur!

    Glad to know Dale is doing well, and good to (finally)see a post from you too! Belated wishes to you on your milestone birthday. The carrot cake looks yummy and is on my schedule for this weekend. Enjoy your trip to India, spend a lot of time with your loved ones, get plenty of R & R and enjoy home cooked food, mangoes too! Do stop by once in a while we still love to hear from you. And of course, I belly rub for our dear Dale.

    Namita.

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  30. It was nice to see your post pop up in my list of interesting reads. Carrot cake looks great. Enjoii your India trip.

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  31. Bookmarked will try it for sure, Looks soo so yummy!

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  32. Hello Nupur- Welcome back! Missed reading your blog. I also hope to see some of your crochet and knitting projects:-)

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  33. Wow thats so beautiful and lovely looking..I have to try it soon

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  34. Definitely still out here, Nupur (and especially since I had a chance to meet you last year :))
    Enjoy India and looking forward to your blog posts!

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  35. SO happy to read from you, you n Dale-Tales were equally missed, so were ur uniquely-handled-recipes too! Hv a lovely n safe trip to India. Keep posting! :D

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  36. Thank you so much, everyone, for the hellos and wishes and stopping by to let me know that you are still around :)

    To address some specific things-

    TBC- yes, the powdered buttermilk (plus water) is a great substitute in baking recipes for regular buttermilk which I never stock.

    Mala Venkatesh- I have not tried any of those tweaks, but my feeling is that this recipe is a good one for experimenting with, so you could go ahead and try if you wish to.

    Mamatha- It is loaded with carrots, and with the ghee, cardamom, nuts and raisins, it has so many ingredients with gajar halwa that for me, it tasted very much like the "real thing".

    Namita- Dale promptly went on his back, paws in the air, when he heard you say "belly rub" :D

    Mika- click on the "needles" and "hooks" link (beginning of post) to see the crochet and knitting projects :)

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  37. Welcome back! It's so nice to hear your gentle voice again, and to know there will be more "lessons" in my Indian food tutorial (for that is how I've always thought of your blog). Have a wonderful trip to India.

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  38. Nupur, so good to see you back again. I missed you.

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  39. Nupur, Good to see you back, even if it is just "may be or may be not"! Missed you.

    Shilpa

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  40. To add my bit to everybody else, yayyyy to see you back, Nupur! :) And I'm also honoured that your comeback post featured a (tweaked) recipe from my blog :)

    Have a great time in India!

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  41. wow! It's great to see u back..yaaaaayyy..:)

    Have fun in India!

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  42. So glad to have you back. I love your recipes! Dee

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  43. Yahoo !! You are back !!
    and with an eggless carrot cake, too !!

    cheers N

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  44. So nice to see you back here!! Will try this recipe for sure :)

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  45. It's good to have you back - and the carrot cake is a delicious treat, too! Enjoy your travels!

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  46. Hi Nupur, glad to see a post on your blog ! Its been quite a while :) Very glad to know that you are busy and happy ...what more can we expect from life ! Birthday wishes galore and have a great time in India ! Hope to see more posts soon.

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  47. Oh, you have been missed Nupur! Your recipes are always an inspiration. Glad you are well and enjoy your trip.

    Lovely recipe too!

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  48. Good to see you back, Nupur!! Missed you much!

    Happy B'day, girl! and have a great trip abck home.

    Hugs,
    musical.

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  49. WELCOME BACK NUPUR!!!
    Missed u (& Dale!)!! Belated Birthday wishes! and hope u have awonderful trip to India!
    Looking forward t ur post once u are back!

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  50. Welcome Back..., n have a nice holiday in India....

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  51. hey hi Nupur, Great to see u blogging again, you and your blog are special to me as i stumbled upon ur blog accidently and discovered the food blog community, even today morning i was wishing Nupur starts blogging again. Welcome back n ve a great india trip.

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  52. Nupur, I missed you! Happy to see you again, happy birthday (late) and enjoy your trip to India. I look forward to many more blogs when you return and your wonderful recipes!

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  53. Good to see you blogging again!! (I usually lurk)..Belated Happy Birthday and have a great trip!
    The recipe looks great.Will try it sometime soon..:)

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  54. Yay!!
    Good to see you again Nupur!Love the gajar 'calwa'
    Have a super fun trip:)

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  55. welcomeback,,,,, bon voyage

    be back soon again!

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  56. So good to see you back, Nupur! Belated birthday wishes and hope you have a smashing trip back home!

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  57. Hey Nupur!!!
    Welcome back... you may not know me... but i am a regular visitor at your blog and sure did miss you... eggless carrot cake looks yummy...

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  58. Good to have you back.You have been gone a long time now.

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  59. Glad you're back, Nupur! I am looking so forward to posts about your trip, your kitchen visits, etc. Will you post dispatches from India or wait till you get back? In any case, this is great news.

    Your carrot cake looks really wonderful, by the way. Thanks, and all the best for a safe and fun trip.

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  60. Welcome back!!Cake looks beautiful!!

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  61. Good to see your post after such a long time :) - I do check in now and then to know if you're back to writing. If Baroda figures on your India itinerary, it would be great to meet - I am here these days!

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  62. I am so glad you are back and doing well. I am excited to find out all of the delicous culinary experiences you will bring back to us from your trip to India.
    I love your crochet foods. How cute and original!! Have a great vacation and looking forward to hearing all about it on the blog!!

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  63. Hi! Have been following your blog since more than a year. Im so happy that you are back!

    Have fun in India and keep on posting new recipes. And yes, new pics of Dale as well!

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  64. Hi Nupur,
    I surely missed reading your blog...glad to know you are back and look forward to reading more posts about your india trip and more.
    roshni

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  65. Yehhhhh good to see you Nupur. Looking forward to your culinary adventure in India

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  66. See? This space is not neglected nor poor! The sheer volume of delighted responses to your return says it all! A belated happy birthday to you, and we'll take you in any shape or form or frequency. I big hug and kiss for dear Dale.

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  67. good to see this space back to life. been missing you! i've already wished you a happy birthday but once again hope the big 3-0 brings a lot of fun and inspiration ;-) hugs!

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  68. Hey, welcome back Nupur!! It's so good to see you posting again. I hope you have a wonderful trip to India.

    Bruno

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  69. Welcome back Nupur! Great to see you here again! And the carrot cake looks delicious. : )

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  70. i have made this twice and vouch for how good it is. welcome back to blogging.

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  71. Yay!!!! So glad to have u back Nupur. We've all missed ur lovely posts, about u, about dale and about food. I love ur writing style. This carrot cake looks yummy. Can't wait to hear about ur adventures in India. Have a wonderful vacation!!

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  72. Glad to know you are back Nupur. I am a regular reader of your blog and I missed reading your recipes and Dale's stories. Hope he is doing well. I have a dog of my own, he is Peppy :).

    Looking forward to a lot of new posts from you. :)

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  73. Hi Nupur,
    So nice to see you blogging again....I really missed your posts. Carrot cake looks yummy, will definately try it. Waiting to read about your trip back home; have fun.

    Keep writing!

    love,
    Swarupa

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  74. So you are back! Wow...gr8 to see you again.....cake looks just yum

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  75. Hi Nupur,

    I missed your blogging, every few days I would look for your new post! Phew! finally, so good to see you blogging again :-)

    Where do you buy the dry buttermilk powder? I looked in the baking section of albertsons and could not find it.

    Meghana

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  76. hi
    glad to have you back
    I was always keeping an eye on your space... WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  77. Hey Nupur!!

    Welcome back!! Gr8 to hear from you after a long time. Nice to know that Dale is also doing well. I am sure your India trip will be awesome and plenty of food stories to gather from there..:)

    Look forward to some nice posts.

    Cheerz!
    Ashwini.

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  78. I'm so happy to see you back - yeah!!!!!
    :)

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  79. Hi Nupur, i have been a regular reader for quite sometime, and sure have missed your posts. Welcome back and belated wishes. Waiting to read about your culinary adventures.
    Pallavi.

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  80. Great see this space alive again!
    Have a great trip :-)

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  81. Awww... how did I miss ur comeback???!!! ;)
    Welcome back Nupur and u were missed (and Dale too :) Belated blog burrrday wishes too.
    Enjoy ur time in India.

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  82. I'm so very glad your back (kind of). I check your blog occasionally looking to see if you've posted and to my delight today, two new posts.

    Thanks. Enjoy your visit to India. My friend Bharat and his wife just moved back to India.

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  83. Welcome back Nupur and belated bday wishes!

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  84. Oh Nupur this is the season of coming back ? I am so happy to see u back...recenlty found Archana of Spyciana too back again! And your black forest cake is a regular one at my father's b'day! I had matured enough in baking and this year (April 12) it turned to more delicious than last year! Happy coming back! The carrot cakes looks lovely and yeah need to experiment the eggless versions soon :)

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  85. Hey those eggless carrot cake look yummi, I love eating breakfast and always try new fast food recipes. I would love to try the carrot cake for breakfast. that looks tasty. carrot cake is also a snacks food option and can make a satisfying breakfast. The Photos are amazing... I am already feeling hungry. thank you for shearing your post.

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  86. Hey Nupur,
    Was just going through your Archives, so when I read that you into SAS Coding, just dropped in to say ME TOO !!
    :)
    Had a Wonderful Day going through your blog, not completed yet :)

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello!