Blueberry coffee cake with streusel topping

Weekends are usually filled with hiking, reading, watching movies and cooking together as a family.  On such days I make sweet treats and let my boys indulge as opposed to weekdays where we make more healthy and simple choices. This weekend was extra special since my husband was returning from his work travels, so I decided to make something he would relish with a cup of  coffee. Before I started to make this special treat, I noticed looks from baby Freyja, our 4 year old labrador looking at me as if she’s saying “Mom I think you need to walk me first!” So of course I took her for her morning stroll on this beautiful foggy morning  and got myself some invigorating energy as well. Now that I am back would love to get started on this very delicious blueberry coffee cake.





For the Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 cup milk

2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Streusel Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons packed  brown sugar

11/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

To Make the streusel mix – In a small mixing bowl Combine the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt. Mix well until no lumps of flour and sugar. Rub in the cold butter with your fingertips until it reaches a crumbly state. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and set the oven rack in the middle position.  Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with butter.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer or using a electric hand beater ,beat the butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange zest.

Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beating on low speed until well combined. Add the blueberries to the batter and gently fold with a flat spatula

Pour the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the streusel mix evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool  in the pan on a rack for about 25 minutes and enjoy this fresh out of the oven with a cup of tea, coffee or just as a dessert .

This cake will keep for a few days just wrap with foil or cut slices and keep in an air tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!



Bhaja Moong Dal Shobji diye

Bengali moong dal with vegetables

One of the things that makes a cold day comforting is a bowl of piping  hot dal, steamed rice and a small dollop of ghee. This combination does not need anything else to complete the meal, though often people add sides like fried potatoes, spicy pickle or fried papadum. There are many dal recipes accounted for many years in every part of India and you can never pick just one favorite.

Bhaja Moong Dal is a Bengali recipe, a dal rich in flavors and nutrients but at the same time not overwhelming. It has a nice toasty and kind of a smoky taste that comes from dry roasting the lentils before rinsing and cooking it.

I have just finished a good walk and it is quite a cold day , i am certain my family will love  my take on this warm dish!  Today I am cooking it with some fresh vegetables and simple seasonings.





1 Cup -Moong dal (split gram)

2 tbs – vegetable or canola oil ( mustard oil used traditionally )

1 -whole dried red  chili

1 – green whole cardamom

1- cinnamon stick

1- bay leaf

1 –  whole clove

1/2 tsp – cumin seeds

1 to 2 – green chilly slit

1 – medium carrot washed peeled and chopped ( not to big not to small pieces )

1/2 Head -cauliflower washed and cut in to small florets .

1/2 cup – Frozen peas

1/2 tsp – sugar

1/4 tsp – turmeric

1/4 tsp – garam masala (optional)

1 tsp – ghee

Salt to taste

Take a wok or a pan and dry-roast the dal, on a medium flame stirring continuously, until it changes color from yellow to a pinkish brown. it is important to keep stirring the dal so that it gets toasted evenly. Pay careful attention to the dal once it has taken on a light, brown color, as at this stage dal could to burn easily.

Once roasted transfer the dal to a pot immediately. Wash and rinse the dal well.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the washed dal. Boil it on medium heat for about 18 to 20 minutes. While we want the dal to be tender and cooked, we still want the  grains to hold shape and not be very mushy. So, check it often to make sure dal does not  lose its texture.

Chop the cauliflower into small florets, the carrot into small cubes, slit the chillies, keep 1/2 cup peas ready no need to rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat up a wok on medium flame and add oil. Once oil is hot temper it with the dried red chilli, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and cumin seeds.

Add the cauliflower and carrots,  stir-frying them for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes,  fry them for 30 seconds and add the peas. Again fry for 30 seconds, pour in the roasted, boiled dal with its water.

Stir in the salt, sugar and turmeric.

Allow the dal to simmer for about 8  minutes on low heat. If you feel the dal is drying out add 1/2 cup of water. Add the slit green chili, garam masala powder (optional).  Add ghee and cover the pan for 2 minutes before serving so that all the flavors blend in.  Serve with hot rice and enjoy!