Monday, August 30, 2010

Chocolate Cake for a Birthday Girl !!

Every birthday girl ought to get her share of Chocolate Cake,don't you think??My little niece Raksha is celebrating her eighth birthday today and what's a more precious gift than a cake full of chocolate?As most chocoholics,I am always looking for a Chocolate cake recipe different from the last one I tried and end up wanting to try each one of them when special occasions like these arise.

Last time,when we all met in Bangalore,I had baked Celebration Chocolate Cake for my two candies,Raksha and Meghna and did the final frosting and decorating part there.I knew I had my sous chef's ready when they stood in attention waiting to hear my command and follow it!!My dear Vanni had bought some lovely sprinkles,pink hearts and all and these two went berserk doing their share of decorating.More than the eating part,they were excited about the decorating!!

So while looking to bake a Chocolate cake for her,I ended up at Ria's place,my ready reckoner for fool-proof baked goodies.I particularly liked this recipe because,it belongs to her grand aunt.I love such rustic,old recipes.I crib about unavailability of baking ingredients even today and I thought how it would have been at that time when even an electric hand mixer was a luxury!!I gave my mixer a break too and decided to whip up the cake using a whisk and a spatula.

I should say this has been one of the best chocolate cakes that I have baked so far.The texture,the chocolatey flavor is  simply out of this world.I got two cakes of the said measure,one 8' cake and a 6' one.I packed off the big cake to Ajay's colleagues lest I finish it all by myself.I am definitely baking this again!!Thanks Ria!!

Moist Chocolate Cake
Recipe source - Ria's Collection


Butter - 200 gms
Sugar-1 3/4 cup + 3/4 cup ,powdered
Flour-2 cups
Baking Powder-1 3/4 tsp
Cocoa powder-8 tbsp diluted in 1 cup milk
Vanilla -1 tsp


Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 3/4 cup of sugar and beat it.
Add egg yolks and vanilla.
Beat egg whites + 3/4 cup sugar to stiff peaks.
Fold into the batter. Add cocoa dissolved in milk to it.
Fold in the flour and pour the batter into a prepared tin.
Bake at 180 deg. for 45-50 mins or till done.

Happy birthday Raksha..we love you lots!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pesarattu ~ Moong Bean dosa / Crepes & the winner!!

New Woodlands Hotel in Chennai is one of our regular hangouts.Nine out of ten times,we'll be there on Saturday evenings to have our usual Goli Bajo/Mangalore Bonda and strong filter coffee.We hardly order anything else to the extent that sometimes if we are late,the first thing the waiters would tell us is that the Goli bajo is over without us even asking them.It was during one such late evening that we had to check the menu and order something else.Ajay was very hungry and he ordered Pesarattu,which was available only during weekends.I hadn't even heard the name,so I played safe and ordered a plate of cutlets for myself.

I was happily chomping down the cutlets when Ajay's big plate of dosa came with roasted onions on top and thick white chutney as accompaniment.I hated to admit but I really wanted a taste of it.My resistance jumped out of the window when I heard oohs and aahs from him.I attacked his plate with a vengeance and to my own surprise,I liked it a lot.I absolutely couldn't make out that the main ingredient was whole moong dal.

While going through Aparna's blog for the Tried and Tasted event going on at Srivalli's space,the recipe for Pesarattu caught my eye.Memories of the dosa came flooding back and I decided I had to recreate the dosa at home.What I loved most about this dosa is that,very little preparation is required to make it.We loved it and I am planning to try it with Upma as I came to know that Upma-Pesarattu is a deadly combo!!

Pesarattu ~ Moong Bean Dosa
Recipe source - Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen


Whole moong dal - 1 cup
Raw Rice - little more than 1/4 cup
Onion - 1 small
Green chilly - 1
Hing/asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - as required to make dosas


Soak the Moong bean and rice together for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Drain and grind in a mixie/blender to a slightly thick and coarse paste along with onions,green chilly and asafoetida using water as required.
The batter is ready to use[if not using immediately,refrigerate the batter till required].
On a hot dosa tawa,pour the batter and prepare dosa,adding about 1/2 a tsp of oil on the sides and cook on both sides till brown and cooked well.
You could also sprinkle some roasted onions on top[optional] before serving with some thick coconut chutney.[or as Aparna says,some powdered Jaggery,which is what I served the dosa with!!]

As I posted here,I chose the winner for the Giveaway through and the winner is Neena!!!Please e-mail me your address so that I can send it to!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Apple Crumble with Custard Sauce & a Giveaway!!

Apple and Cinnamon are a match made in heaven,isn't it? The smell of cooked Apple with a hint of Cinnamon is really to-die-for.The only time I disagreed with this was when I had Apple-Pie.I had read so much about Apple-Pie and the lattice design on top seemed to sing to me whenever I passed by it.I had no clue as to how it would taste[this was some 6-7 years back].We were in Spenser Plaza,tired and hungry after all the shopping and I though it was the right time to try this one out.

We bought a slice of Apple-Pie and a huge glass of Cold Coffee and dreamed us going into heaven once we had a bite of it.But was [in one word] yuck!The crust was soggy and the apple smelled funny,we swore never to touch "that pie" ever again.

Well,this post is not about Apple-Pie,but something more delicious and something which is easier to whip up.This one was also new to me,I had never had it before and the combination with Custard sauce pulled me to it.The aroma coming out of the oven when it was baking assured me of its taste.It was gone in no time as we had some friends over for lunch.They were a bit sad faced when I told them there was no cake this time,but seeing the expression on their faces after they had a spoon of it assured me that "aaal eez well"!!!

Apple Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce
Recipe source - Nags of Edible Garden,Original recipe by Mallika Badrinath


Apples - 500gm (about 2-3 medium-sized apples)
Wheat flour / atta - 1 cup
Salted butter - 100gm + a bit for greasing
Sugar - 2tbsp + 2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Lemon juice - a few drops (optional)[I did not use]
Cinnamom stick - 1 (optional)[I used grated cinnamon]

Wash peel and chop the apples. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning. Mix in 2 tbsp sugar,grated cinnamon and cook on a low fire until soft and mushy. Set aside to cool.
Mix salt and 2 tbsp sugar with the flour. Lightly mix in the butter without kneading until you get a mixture that resembles bread crumbs. 
Grease a pie dish/cake tray with butter. Lay the cooked apples evenly. Add the flour mixture evenly on top and press down gently. Sprinkle sugar on top. 
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 25-30 mins.

Vanilla Custard Sauce (eggless)

Blend vanilla flavoured custard powder with 1.5 cups of milk and 4 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste). Cook on a low fire until pouring consistency. Cool, chill and serve with warm apple crumble.

Verdict - As Nags says,the combination of Apple Crumble with Custard sauce will make you crave for it.The only thing I found amiss was,the recipe calls for using butter at room temperature whereas I felt butter straight out of the fridge would make better,even bread crumbs like texture when mixed with the flour.And also,I thought that the butter was a bit much,75gms for 1 cup of flour would have been ideal.Not that it affected the taste in anyway,hell I don't even have leftovers so that I could warm it up and eat!!!
Sending this to Ruchika who is hosting an event on her blog called Baking from a Book,an event originally started by Champa. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Semiya Payasam ~ Happy Onam!!

 "Maveli nadu vanidum kalam manusharellarum onnupole
amodathode vassikkum kalam apathangarkkumottilla thanum
adhikal vyadhikal onnumilla bala maranangal kelkkanilla
kallavumilla chathiyumilla ellolamilla poli vachanam
kallapparayum cheru naziyum kallatharangal mattonumilla "[translation]

Image source

Onam is one of the most important festivals in Kerala and is celebrated every year with lots of grandeur.The celebrations of Onam start on Atham day, 10 days before Thiruvonam. The 10 days are part of the traditional Onam celebrations and each day has its own importance in various rituals and traditions. Earthen mounds, which look somewhat like square pyramids, representing Mahabali and Vamanan(an Avatar of Vishnu) are placed in the dung-plastered courtyards in front of the house and beautifully decorated with flowers. Known as ‘Onapookkalam’, it is a carpet made out of the gathered blossoms with one or two varieties of foliage of differing tints pinched up into little pieces to serve the decorator's purpose.[Source]

I have grown up singing the song or memorizing rather,since the song was part of our curriculum.Somehow,just listening to that song transports me back to my schooldays where we celebrated Onam with such enthusiasm.Choosing the flowers for the Pookkalam and bargaining with the flower vendor and eagerly looking forward to the payasam being served after the celebration,it was such a great time.

After coming to Chennai,Onam has reduced [sadly] to sms wishes and ready made Onam sadya,the latter not so sad,hehe.Traditional Onam sadya is truly a feast with more than 20-25 dishes each unique and delicious.Preparations starts the day before,on Uthradam Naal,or more popularly known as Onnam Onam.Of course,to prepare the whole sadya,one would need more than two days!!

This Onam is extra special because we have three celebrations in one.Onam,SuthanPunav[Avani Avittam] and Raksha Bandhan.I have here today,one of the first payasams I ever learnt to make.The very simple and delicious Semiya Payasam.

Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer


Semiya - 100 gms [1/2 cup]
Milk - 1 ltr
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts - a handful
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp


In a kadai,add ghee and roast the cashewnuts till golden brown.Drain and keep aside.
In the same pan,roast the semiya till golden brown.
In another pan,boil the milk.
When the semiya becomes sufficiently brown,mix in the milk and cook till the semiya becomes soft.
Mix in the sugar and let it come to boil.
Simmer and cook the payasam for 20-25 minutes.
Add the cardamom powder and roasted cashewnuts.
Serve hot or cold.

Once again,wishing all my readers a very Happy Onam!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Muringa Ila Erissery ~ Drumstick leaves in Dal-Coconut Masala

I had bookmarked this recipe long back from my collection of recipes from Vanitha magazine.The accompanying picture looked so tempting that I really wanted to try it out immediately.But since procuring drumstick leaves is not so easy,I kept postponing it.Some time back,when amma was here,we almost stole[yes!] drumstick leaves from a nearby compound ignoring the threatening looks of the security guard,yeah we are that crazy about this leaf..hehe.

So it was a big surprise for me when I found this roadside vendor selling drumstick leaves.I was trying hard to contain my excitement and bought 2 bunches for myself.I came back home happy and content and with a note to myself to make this curry without further ado.

I usually make dosa whenever I get hold of drumstick leaves[which is rare,btw],so it was a nice change to have this curry.I love Erissery of any kind,with Pumpkin,with Chena[Elephant yam] and Kaya[Raw banana] and I liked this one too.

Muringa Ila Erissery ~ Drumstick leaves in Dal-Coconut Masala
Recipe source - Vanitha*


Muringa Ila[Drumstick leaves - 3 cups,tightly packed[washed and drained]
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Haldi powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Small onions/shallots - 3-4,sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Red chilly - 2,broken into two
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste


Cook the toor dal in enough water till soft and mushy.
Grind together grated coconut,jeera,red chilly powder and haldi to a coarse paste.
Mash the toor dal well using the back of a spoon,add enough salt to taste and then add the ground masala.
Mix well and let it come to a rolling boil.
Add the muringa ila and mix well,close with a lid and cook for 5-10 minutes.
In a kadai,prepare seasoning with oil and splutter mustard seeds followed by shallots,curry leaves and red chilly pieces. 
Add the grated coconut and roast till it gets golden brown.
To the cooked dal-muringa ila mix,add the seasoning.
Serve as an accompaniment with rice. 

*Erissery is usually a curry with a thick gravy,but with the measure provided in the recipe,I got a thoran[dry] like curry.No complaints though,it tasted excellent.but next time I am increasing the dal and the ground paste measures. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pudina Pulao / Mint Rice

It was at my friend Mary's place that I first had Pudina pulao/Mint rice.I was there way past lunch time and Mary had 'conveniently' forgotten to tell her mother-in-law that I would be there after finishing my lunch.Her mother-in-law had especially prepared this for me knowing that I was a vegetarian and I didn't have the heart to say no when she offered lunch.

As my regular readers would know,I do not touch greens-based dishes with a barge pole[of course,it has changed to an extent now,after this and this].Mint was something I wasn't too fond of but the pulao was so good that I took a second helping[this after I had had my regular lunch!].I loved the fact that the mint taste was not too overpowering and it was very light compared to other pulaos.

I had this again at a lunch buffet at "Veg Nation",an upcoming vegetarian restaurant in Chennai where you literally have to queue up outside for their buffet.It was named Kaju Pudina Pulao in which we got a taste of crunchy toasted cashews in each bite.Now I HAD to try this.Pudina Pulao is a favorite of ours now,so flavorful and light.Try it and you'll know what I mean!!

Pudina Pulao/Mint Rice
Adapted minimally from  Nags of Edible Garden


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Fresh mint leaves / pudina, lightly packed - 1 cup
Onion - 1,chopped fine
Green chillies -2-3
Grated coconut - 3-4 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 2 tsp[I used homemade]
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Roasted cashews - a handful[optional]
Salt to taste


Soak the basmati rice in 2-3 cups of water for 1/2 an hour.Drain and keep aside.
Grind the mint leaves with the coconut and green chillies to a paste.
Heat ghee in a pressure pan/cooker and roast the cashews until golden brown (if using) and drain.
Add the garam masala and saute for a minute taking care not to burn.
Then add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste and saute until it turns transparent.
Add the ground paste to the pan and fry for about 2 to 3 mins until it turns fragrant. Again, take care not to burn. Add salt.
Now add the soaked and drained basmati rice and give a good stir.
Add 2 cups of water and let it come to a rolling boil.
Close the pressure pan and cook for 1-2 whistles.
Let it cool to room temperature and then open the pressure pan and fluff with a fork.
Mix in the roasted cashewnuts and serve.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baking in Microwave Mode

Image source

After my last post on DK's blog about Baking in Microwave Convection mode,many people commented asking queries about Microwave baking.So me and DK decided we need a sequel for the same.As I have mentioned before,I started my Baking lessons by cooking in the Microwave.Many hard cakes and soggy pizzas and uncooked cookies later,I tamed the beast,lol.

Hop on over to DK's blog where we have done a post exclusively on Microwave baking.Hope you find the post useful.

Baking in Microwave Mode.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sanna Khotto - Cabbage dumplings

As is the case with potatoes,the most-disliked vegetable Cabbage is also one of our favorites.Be a simple upkari or a thoran,or even a spiced up cabbage vada or dosa,we love it in any form.I have come across many people who twist their noses when I say I have cooked Cabbage,and the same people have quietly gobbled up the ambados and these khottos without uttering a word.

Sanna Khotto,is usually cooked in a similar manner like this,where a mold of sorts is made with the jackfruit leaves and the batter is poured into it and steamed.I cannot procure jackfruit leaves here,so I make do with a similar shaped stainless steel mold[which serves the purpose anyway!].

This is a very versatile recipe where you can add any greens of your choice too.Substitute the cabbage with methi leaves or drumstick leaves and you get a greens Sanna Khotto.

Sanna Khotto
Recipe courtesy - Dakshin Bharat dishes by Jaya V Shenoy


Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Raw rice - 3/4 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Red chillies - 5-8,roasted in 1 tsp oil
Tamarind lump - 1 bean size
Hing - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Cabbage - 1/2 of one medium sized cabbage
Onions - 2,chopped


Soak the rice and toor dal together for 2-3 hours.
Grind grated coconut,red chillies,tamarind and hing to a smooth paste.
Add salt and the soaked rice-dal and grind again.
Mix in the chopped cabbage and onion.
Steam in small stainless steel cups for about 20-30 minutes.
Serve hot with rice and dal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Potato Capsicum Upkari / Stir Fry

Whenever I am in doubt about cooking something,the humble Potato always comes to rescue.It can almost always pep up my meal.I can have rice,chapathi with this alone,with some curd on the side and be content just like I had the happiest meal ever.But of late,I am trying to restrict the intake of Potato,for obvious reasons of course.

So when amma told me about this yummilicious combo of Potato and Capsicum,I was tempted.It was part of a meal they were served when they went to Karkala,my elder bro's wife house.Now,nothing can go wrong if paired with potato,so I let go off my restrictions for a while and tried this out.No prizes for guessing it turned out to be a "jhakaas" combination,great with rice as well as rotis.

Potato Capsicum Upkari


Potato - 2,medium-cubed
Capsicum - 1,big-cubed
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 2,broken into bits
Salt to taste


In a kadai,add the oil and roast the capsicum till they start browning.
Remove from the kadai with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
In the same kadai,pop mustard seeds and urad dal.
Mix in the red chillies and saute for a minute.
Add the cubed potatoes and salt to taste.
Add enough water for the potatoes to cook and close with a lid.
When the potatoes are done,mix in the roasted capsicum and give a good mix. 
Serve hot with Rice or Roti.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Palak Paneer with Butter Naan

Few months back if someone had told me I would be relishing Butter Naans with Palak Paneer,I would have smiled and disagreed with them.I mean,is there any other combo which works well with naan other than Paneer Butter Masala??I doubt.I wasn't much of a Greens fan too,remember.But boy,I was wrong.Ever since I made Palak Pathrodo,I've become an instant convert and I am looking for Palak recipes like never before.

While we were in Bangalore,my Vanni made an awesome soup with Spinach and I realized one thing.If the taste was masked with other flavors,I had absolutely no problems in consuming greens.I dislike greens stir-fry/thoran etc because it so much feels like I am eating some kind of uncooked leaf!!But with Spinach based dishes,it isn't so.I had cleaned and frozen a bunch of Spinach and was looking for a good [and easy!]Palak paneer recipe.I found one at delicious and a perfect combo with Naan[after PBM,of course!]

For the Butter Naan,I followed Rak's recipe from Rak's kitchen,as I was looking for a recipe without yeast and which didn't require cooking in the oven/grill.I loved the ease of the recipe.The resulting naans were super soft and perfect.I did not make any changes,just halved the recipe and got around 6 naans of medium size.

Palak Paneer 
Recipe source - Hetal & Anuja at

Spinach - 1, 16oz pkt chopped, frozen (about 1/2 kg)
Paneer- 7 oz or 200 g
Oil – 3 tbsp
Onions – 2 med, minced
Ginger – 1″ pc, minced
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Water – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 2 large or 1, 14oz can diced (pureed)
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt - to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Heavy Whipping Cream – 8 tbsp or to taste [ I used Milk]
Milk – to taste (optional)


Cook frozen Spinach with 1/2 cup Water in a microwave safe dish for 7-8 minutes stirring in between.
Blend cooked Spinach to desired texture (avoid over-blending).
Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a medium non-stick pan on high heat.
Once Oil is hot, add in the minced Onions, stir, cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in the Ginger and Garlic and mix. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Add in the Tomates, cover and cook till the oil seperates from the mixture.
Keep stirring frequently as the Masala (Onion, Tomato, Ginger & Garlic mixture) tends to burn very fast.
While the Masala is cooking, cube the paneer to desired size…1/2″ cubes work well.
In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp Oil.
Once Oil is hot, add in the paneer cubes and let them cook till they are golden brown on all sides.
Remove from the pan into a plate with paper towel to soak the excess oil.
In a couple of minutes, pour the Paneer into a bowl of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, once the Masala is prepared, add in the mashed Spinach.
Mix and add the Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chili Powder & Turmeric Powder.
Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add in the desired amount of Cream and /or Milk. Mix and cook for another few minutes.
Gently squeeze the water out of the Paneer and put the Paneer in the Spinach.
Mix gently and serve hot.

Butter Naan [On the Tawa,without Yeast]
Recipe source - Raks of Raks Kitchen]


Maida - 1 cup
Thick curds - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Sugar -1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Melted Ghee - 2 tsp


Sift together maida,baking powder and baking soda thrice.
In a mixing bowl,add the sifted flour mix and make a small well.
Pour in the milk,curds,salt and sugar and knead gently to make a smooth dough.
Keep aside covered for 2-3 hours.
Make even sized balls of the dough and start rolling to make an oblong shape or a tear drop shape[this is optional].
Apply few drops of water on one side of the naan and flip over to a hot tawa[so that the portion to which water was applied sticks to the tava].
Cover and cook for a minute and then flip the naan to cook/brown the other side too.
Apply butter/ghee to both sides and serve hot with a curry of your choice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Condensed Milk Pound Cake

I must have entered my comments on Giveaway posts a thousand times till now,no-make it a hundred,at least.Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever win any coz there have been times when even assured winning lucky draws saw me come back empty handed,yeah I am very lucky that way[not!].

Remember this post?I won a Giveaway hosted at Nags' blog and I even celebrated the occasion with a sweet,lol.As I sat wondering what I would do with the Waffle-maker and more importantly,when would I get it from US,pat came two mails.One was from Nags,who offered me a gift certificate and the other was from Neena,a very dear reader who keeps sending her recipe requests and feedback to me ever so often,who offered to bring along the prize when she came down to India.I was one happy girl!!

I had absolutely no doubts as to what I would choose and straightaway opted for a Bundt pan set and a Microplaner.Suja,another dear friend who did the necessary help and now I can happily look for Bundt Cake recipes without worrying to substitute it for a ring mould!!

Without doubt I chose my first recipe--The Pound Cake,yes it was almost like a sweet revenge..ha,to whom you must be wondering..,to the recipe itself which always seemed to say it would be best baked in a Bundt pan!!But since this is a Thank you note to Nags,what better way than to choose a recipe from her blog??I am sure you have drooled over her Condensed Milk Pound Cake,I did too!!

Condensed Milk Pound Cake
Recipe source - Edible Garden


All purpose flour or maida - 1 1/3 cups
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 cup [ I used Amul Mithai Mate]
Powdered sugar - 1 Scant cup
Unsalted butter at room temperature - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
A pinch of salt


Sieve the flour and baking powder until well combined. You can also whisk it well in a bowl until combined, if you don't have a sieve.
Beat butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy - 5 mins by hand, 2 mins by electric beater. Then add the condensed milk and repeat for the same time, until well combined.
Whisk eggs in a bowl for 2 mins with a fork and set aside.
Add the flour to the butter-sugar-condensed milk mixture and mix until just combined without beating too hard.
Add the eggs, vanilla essence and salt and combine well again.
Transfer to a greased cake tin or loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C/325F for 30-35 mins. Insert a toothpick at the center to test if the cake is done.
Cool, slice and serve.

Verdict-The cake was a super duper hit.I liked the way it sliced oh-so-beautifully,I would say that this is one of my perfect looking bakes so far.Thank you Nags!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Coconut Cookies

Ever since I started baking Cookies,I've been looking for that perfect Coconut cookie recipe,which tastes like real coconut and not the coconut flavoured types.I have tried incorporating dessicated coconut in my basic cookie recipe but the flavour got lost somewhere in between.It never ever struck me that I should add real coconut if I need the real flavour..duh!!

I had some grated coconut in abundance sitting pretty in the refrigerator for some time and I was looking for recipes with which I could finish the whole batch.Initially thought of making Coconut Barfi,something which I learnt to make at a very young age and for the same reason,a very fool proof recipe.But then I remembered this recipe which I had seen at Anushruti's blog.Had bookmarked this ages ago.

Kept out the butter and measured out rest of the ingredients and since I had the coconut grated and ready,it got done in a jiffy and was a breeze to make.I wanted it to be fat and round,since didn't flatten it.The resulting cookie was a mix between looks of a Nankhatai and tastes of Coconut barfi,yes-surprisingly!!

Loved the coconut burst in each and every bite!!

Coconut Cookies
Recipe adapted from Divine Taste


Flour - 100 gms
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 50 gms
Sugar - 50 gms [I used powdered sugar]
Grated Coconut - 50 gms
Cardamom Powder - a pinch
[The original recipe uses Vanilla essence but I think Coconut and Cardamom are a match made in!!]
Milk - 2 tbsp
[I had some condensed milk left over,so I used 1 tbsp of that]


Preheat oven to 150C.
Sift together flour and baking powder-set aside.
Cream the butter and powdered sugar till smooth and creamy.
Mix in the grated coconut,cardamom powder and condensed milk[or milk],beat well.
Now add the flour mix little by little till you get a firm dough.
Make small balls of the dough and place 1' inch apart on a greased baking tray.
Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Makes 15 cookies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vegetable Jalfraizee

During my initial cooking days,all I wanted to cook and eat was restaurant-style North Indian food.All those Paneer Butter Masalas,Choleys,Dal Tadkas and Malai name it,I've cooked it.Though initially Ajay did not say anything,I knew he wasn't enjoying it much.For starters,he was fond of North Indian food only if was non-vegetarian and Paneer is not one of his favorite things.So I stick to Dal and stuff which he likes and enjoys too.

Hence,it was very surprising when he asked me to cook Do Pyaaza.It seems,he went out to Dhaba Express with his friend while I was in Ekm and they had this yummy vegetarian dish with lots of vegetables and lots of onions.Now,I am not much of an experimental eater and always stick to PBM,so I had abolutely no idea what he was referring to.

I did the next best thing,a Google search.But sadly,I did not find anything which was even remotely close to what he was saying.Then I remembered this video from where they had done something similar with a medley of vegetables and I thought it just might be the thing he wanted.And I was right[I always am,heheh].

Ajay loved this one,finished off the whole bowl..can you believe it??Thank you Hetal and Anuja for this yummilicious dish!!!

Vegetable Jalfraizee


Medium pot of water
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Cauliflower – 3 cups, cut into bite size florets
Carrots – 1/2 cup, chopped

Oil – 1 Tbsp
Onion – 1/2 medium, chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Garlic – 2 tsp, minced
Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup (4 oz)
Bell Pepper – 1/2, chopped into bite size pieces
Frozen Green Peas – 1/2 cup, thawed
Salt – to taste
Whole Coriander Seeds – 2 Tbsp, dry roasted and powdered
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder – optional and to taste
Tomato – 1 small, deseeded and chopped
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste


Bring pot of water to a boil and add Salt and Turmeric Powder.
Add Cauliflower and Carrots and boil for 3 minutes.
Strain the Cauliflower and Carrots and drop them into a bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking.
Drain and keep aside after 1-2 minutes.
In a non-stick skillet or pan, heat 1 Tbsp Oil.
Add Onions and cook 2-3 minutes until light golden.
Add Ginger and Garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add Tomato Sauce and cook until the oil separates.
Add Bell Pepper and Green Peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add Cauliflower and Carrots, Salt, Powdered Coriander, Garam Masala and optional Red Chili Powder. Mix well and cook until veggies are tender but not mushy.
Sprinkle a little water over the veggies occasionally to provide moisture so that the dry spices do not burn.
Add Tomato and mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes.[I forgot to add the tomatoes!!]
Sprinkle Lemon/Lime Juice and mix.
Serve hot with roti, chapati or naan.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hot Milk Sponge Cake..for Friendship Day!!!

It was 4pm,few minutes after the last period in class which was a boring lesson on Poetry which they couldn't concentrate because of big time hunger pangs.They looked at each other and then into the wallets.Both of them had almost no money on them and they wanted so badly to have THAT decadent Black Forest pastry from Hot Breads.After checking the wallets,pen pouches,jeans pockets and books they got 50 bucks in hand which meant they could each buy a pastry which cost 20 bucks..ah what joy!!

After ogling at almost every other pastry in the shelves,they ordered 2 Black Forest each[which was the initial choice,anyway] and paid the money.After getting the plates,they went to the counter to collect the balance.Either it was because of the rush-hour or the man in the counter was half blind or else he was particularly fond of the pretty girls,he gave them back 60 bucks,which ideally should have been 10!!They looked at each other trying hard to hide the grin which had already formed at the end of their lips and....RAN,yes run they did,from the shop,as fast as they could before the counter guy realized his mistake.

Laughing and panting and out of breath,they enjoyed the pastry from the first spoon till the last like never before!!

I have shared this before on the blog here,but it was fun to write it down like a story.The two girls were me and my friend Mary and what better way to celebrate Friendship Day than to reminisce about the good ol' times we spent in school and college..full of life and carefree!!

Happy Friendship Day Mary..cheers to our friendship!!

Hot Milk Sponge Cake
Recipe source - The Hindu


All purpose flour - 1 cup,sifted
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp


Heat milk in a small sauce pan until bubbles form around the edge of pan-set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 C.Line an 8' round cake tin.
Sift together flour,baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl,beat eggs at high speed until thick,creamy and pale in colour.
Gradually add sugar until well blended,about 5 minutes.
Fold in flour mix gradually but thoroughly using a spatula taking care not to overbeat,until smooth and no traces of flour remain.
Add warm milk and vanilla,beating until just combined.
Pour batter into ungreased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes,then remove from pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

This cake tastes good on its own,but what fun without dressing it up a little bit??

I sliced the cake into half horizontally and applied a thin layer of Buttercream icing and covered the top of the cake with the rest.Garnish with chocolate curls and you are all set!!

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