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Apricot Cranberry Walnut Quick Bread #BreadBakers

It's time for yet another Bread Bakers challenge. This month's host is Mireille of The Schizo Chef and she suggested stone fruits as the theme. Stone fruits are not in season now as winter has started in this part of the world. So the only option left was to use dried stone fruits. If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.

I decided to bake a bread with apricots, but none of the recipes appealed to me much. Finally I settled on this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I was bit apprehensive about the recipe because of the amount of sugar, butter and number of eggs but nevertheless decided to give a try because the reviews for the bread were good.  I'm so glad I tried it because this is definitely one of the best quick breads. Soaking the dried fruits kept the bread moist and the bread was not overly sweet with a nice hint of orange. If you love fruits breads then give this apricot cranberry walnut quick bread a try.


{ Quick bread with dried apricot, dried cranberries and walnuts }
Yields 9 x 5 loaf


1 cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup dried cranberry
113 grams / ½ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
½ cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 180 C | 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

2. Soak the apricots and cranberry in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy after each addition.

4. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest and beat until well blended.

5. Stir in the flour and then add the milk ¼ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Fold in the apricots, cranberries and nuts.

6. Pour the batter into loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Notes and Tips
  • Soaking the dried fruits plumps them and keeps the bread moist. Do not soak for more than 15-20 minutes.
  • You can use pecans or any other nuts instead of walnuts.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

#BreadBakers - Stone Fruit

Ennai Kathirikai Poriyal | Stuffed Brinjal Fry

Eggplants / brinjals is one of our favorite vegetables. The aubergine or the bharta baingan is available all year around here and occasionally I can find the Japanese eggplant as well. Back in India, we get the round purple and green brinjals, but sadly I get those varieties not often here. I was so excited when I spotted these purple beauties in the market last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them.

I had bookmarked this ennai kathirikai fry recipe from Chitra's Food Book. Chitra has got a lovely blog with a great variety of recipes from different cuisines. Thanks Chitra for the recipe, we loved it so much. The poriyal was packed with flavors and we actually didn't need any side dish. We had it some plain rice and ghee - yum! If you get smaller brinjals, it will be more tasty. Off to the recipe now!


{ Stuffed brinjal fry with Indian spices, onion and tomato }
Serves 2-3


3-4 tbsp sesame oil / nallennai
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
1 sprig curry leaves
4-5 big garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomato, finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
4 purple brinjals
Salt to taste

To roast and grind:
1 tbsp chana dal / kadalai paruppu
1 tbsp peanuts
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 dry red chillies
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds / methi
1 tbsp grated coconut


1. Lightly roast all the ingrdients 'to grind' except coconut. At the end add coconut and remove from heat. Cool and grind to a smooth paste adding 1-2 tbsp of water.

2. Slit the brinjals into 4 without removing the stalk. Stuff with the ground masala and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add split urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and fry till dal turn golden.

4. Add garlic, onion and fry till it's translucent and raw smell of garlic goes. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.

5. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, remaining masala if any salt and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the brinjal and toss to coat them with masala, 

6. Turn the heat to low and cover and cook till the brinjals are soft, turning them every 2-3 minutes.

7. Once the brinjals are tender, cook uncovered till the masala becomes dry. Adjust the salt as required.

Notes and Tips
  • If you prefer less spice, add 2 or 3 chillies only.