Full of Awesome Banana Muffins


That’s right, these muffins are full of awesome.  And full of other stuff too.  Whatever I had in the pantry, to be precise.  They’re based on my favorite banana bread recipe.  I was reading through the comments and so many of the suggestions sounded great, I used a couple of them, and added my own touch as well.  I added a streusel topping because I love that little bit of sugary crunchy goodness.   The original recipe is for bread, and this recipe can also be baked in a 4×8 loaf pan or an 8″ round pan, if you’d prefer a cake.  I like muffins because they’re exactly one serving size and they’re portable.  We take them as snacks when we’re travelling.
Full of awesome” is a catchy phrase I picked up from my favorite girl-power blog and entrepreneur- Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly.   It’s all about how kids so easily choose to be full of awesome, letting their light shine.  And about how we sometimes lose it when we grow up.  And so I’ve decided to take back my awesome, in every little way possible.  As a woman, as a mom, as a cook, as a singhnee.  I’m taking back my awesome, and I’m sharing it with you.

Recommended keertan:  Bhai Ranjit Singh (Jammu)- Delhi Samagam 2009

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (elaichee)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped nuts (I used cashews here)
For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 Tbs cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  With a wooden spoon, mix melted butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, yogurt, and vanilla.  Sprinkle the baking soda, salt, and cardamom over the mixture and mix in.  Add the flour, stir well, but don’t over mix. Stir in the coconut, raisins, and nuts last.  Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin pan (use paper liners for less mess).  To make the topping, mix all the ingredients in a food processor until it’s crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of the muffin batter.  Bake for 30 minutes. If you’re making bread, bake for one hour. Cake will be about 45 minutes (but keep an eye on it). Cool on a rack.

Red Curry Asparagus with Coconut Rice


My niece was visiting recently and wanted to try coconut rice.  I went through the fridge to figure out what to serve with it, and came across this beautiful asparagus.  I’d normally  make this dish with green beans, but the asparagus was so young and tender that I thought it would work well with the creamy coconut curry.  This combination involves a lot of coconut milk, and has the added benefit of being vegan.   If you could throw in some tofu when you add the asparagus and make it a complete meal.

Keertan (something a little different today):  Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- Aval Allah Noor Upaya 

For the curry:

  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 3-4 Tbs red curry paste (Check the ingredients, some have fish or shrimp in them.  Or, make your own)
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tsp brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2-4 Thai chilies
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch young asparagus, ends removed, cut in 2″ pieces (approx 1 pound)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Cilantro leaves to garnish
Heat one cup of coconut milk in a large pan or wok.  When it starts to separate, add curry paste, soy sauce, chilies, and sugar and mix well.  Add the mushrooms and cook for one minute.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Add the asparagus, reduce heat, and simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is just tender.   Remove from heat and squeeze lime juice over it.  Mix well then sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with coconut rice (below).
Thai style coconut rice:
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil (use canola or some other unflavored oil if you don’t have coconut)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar or palm sugar

In a large pot with a lid, melt the coconut oil  and cook the rice over medium heat for about two minutes.  This gives the rice some flavor and keeps it from being too clumpy when it’s cooked.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  This rice also makes a lovely desert, just double the sugar and served with sliced mango on top.