banana trifle puddingSo this Banana Trifle Pudding is like my go-to, easy, no-fail recipe for a dessert that is a sure shot way to impress company or just yourself. You know, because sometimes you need that reinforcement that you are just awesome.

Its basically a vanilla cake, slathered with a generous serving of spiked up custard, a little jam, toasted walnuts and a layer of bananas, followed by the layers being repeated and then the whole thing topped with whipped cream. Delicious and no frills whipped cream.

The beauty of this dessert is the variations that could follow. You could play with the jam used. Raspberry pairs well with banana, but I have used blueberry crush as well and had amazing results. I have also used the cheap, ration brand of jam which is overtly sweet with an awful texture and I would otherwise not go near but mix it with some orange juice to add a little tang to the jam and its sweetness is reduced and the taste very much acceptable. And in the dessert a welcome ingredient.

banana trifle pudding | The Novice Housewife

 

Custard is a must, but you could make the pudding more of a banoffee by also using a little dulce de leche or a butterscotch sauce (the dulce de leche, I speak from experience, tastes heavenly). I used the powdered custard, since thats easy and less complicated. In India, there’s a brand Brown & Polson that makes it. I used the package instructions to make a free flowing custard. It was a vanilla flavored custard powder but I added some banana flavoring to it as well, for good measure. But, for true gastro-geeks go ahead make the real thing. But do add some cognac, or rum, or brandy. Because, spiked up is always better. You could also use Baileys. I have done that too. And I have not been disappointed. But then its Baileys, how can anybody be disappointed??

You could add caramelized walnuts, or just plain toasted walnuts, or just plain walnuts for an extra crunch to the dessert. Or if walnuts are not your thing, then I suggest chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings, or forget putting the chocolate in the dessert and eat it instead. I know the last option speaks to you the most. It speaks to me too.

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Super fudgey, super chocolatey, super easy brownie recipe.Super fudgey, super chocolatey, super easy brownie recipe.

I am always in search of a good brownie recipe. I have been pretty happy with the Dorie Greenspan Brownie recipe I have posted eons back (excuse the photography in that post), and generally that’s the recipe I make when I crave for brownies.  But when I come across a new brownie recipe, I have to pin or bookmark it, just so that I can compare it with the one I already use. Or maybe because I get an excuse to bake a brownie. Maybe.

I have tried a few recipes along the way- some were really good like An Edible Mosaic’s brownie recipe- fudgy and chewy, while some were super duper fudgey – still delicious but they leaned more towards a fudge than a brownie. Some I had yet to try and were lying in my boomkark folders or as pins on pinterest, waiting to be compared.

Super fudgey, super chocolatey, super easy brownie recipe.

One of the brownie recipes I have had bookmarked for a while was Nick Malgieri’s Supernatural Brownies and the other day while I was trying out something else that needed a brownie in it, I decided to give the supernatural brownie recipe a go.

Four years back my mom had some brownies and every brownie that anybody ever bakes and she gets to eat, is for sure compared to those brownies she had four years back. And none have ever reached to that level of greatness. When I asked her how did this fare against those, she said these were as good if not better. Score!

Since she is my taste expert these days and getting a thumbs up from her (believe me she can be very critical of my baking and cooking), meant that this recipe had to be shared with you all today.

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A light and easy to prepare vegan Indian dish (varan) made of split pigeon peas/toovar dal from the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Maharsahtrian varan/Dal | The Novice Housewife #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree

The days leading up to my dad’s retirement were full of farewell dinners hosted by many of my dad’s friends and colleagues. Each day my parents had a dinner engagement either at somebody’s house or the Mess and to a few of these dinners I, too, was invited. In that one month of dining out almost everyday, we tasted a variety of menus, ranging from a cheese and wine dinner to Kashmiri food to traditional Maharashtrian fare. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much, and of course the weighing scale made sure I never forgot it either. But then, I got to taste so many different things- some new, some old, some good, some very good. In the end it was all worth it.

Maharsahtrian varan/Dal | The Novice Housewife #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree

As mentioned before, at one of the dinners we were served traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. It was all beautifully served, pre-plated in a Thali, a total of close to 15 dishes, each prepared by our very gracious hostess. My mom particularly loved the dal and the kadhi and asked for both the recipes, which the hostess was kind enough to share. While certain Indian dishes have been made more popular worldwide, there are a lot of Indian dishes that are unknown to most people and what you see being served in restaurants abroad are mostly North indian favorites. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe that I am sharing with you today, which comes from the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and to the famous Bollywood industry. Read More →