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January 29, 2016

Fruit Rock Cakes

Baking with kids is always fun & my son enjoyed making this delicious rock cakes.  This are in big demand at children's birthday parties, thanks to Harry Porter being a fan of them.  And now it transpires that the 'Rock' of the tittle doesn't refer to the inedible hardness of the cakes, but the fact that they look like rocks.  They're lovely, sweet and crumbly. The key, according to me, is to eat them pretty much as soon as they're baked.

Ingredients :
  1. Self raising flour - 225 g
  2. A pinch of salt
  3. Mixed spice  -1/2 tsp
  4. Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
  5. Butter - 125 g
  6. Sugar - 80 g
  7. Currants - 55 g
  8. Chopped mixed peel - 30 g
  9. Egg - 1 no
  10. Little milk if necessary
  11. Vegetable oil
Method :

1.   Preheat the oven at 200 C and grease & line up the cookie pan with parchment paper.  Pour a tiny drop of oil onto a baking sheet and spread it all over the surface.  Set aside.

2.   Sieve the flour, salt, spice and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into small pieces and drop them into the flour.  Using the tips of  your fingers, pick up a little of the flour and a couple of pieces of butter and rub them together to make the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  

3.   Add the sugar, currants and peel to the flour, mixing them well together.  Add the beaten egg to the flour and mix well.  This mixture should be fairly firm but add a little milk if too dry.

4.   Spoon the mixture into small heaps on the baking sheet and bake for 15 - 20 mins.  Cool them completely.

Happy baking :)

January 25, 2016


Suryakala, a sun shaped sweet stuffed with sweet khova & desiccated coconut is served during special occasions.    Though it is time consuming, it is very delicious and mouth watering sweet.  I like to use homemade khova.  Perfect celebration sweet !!!!

Ingredients :

For the dough :

  1. All purpose flour /Maida - 1 cup
  2. Ghee - 1 tbsp
  3. Salt - a pinch
  4. Cold water for kneading
  5. Nuts for garnishing
  6. Oil for deep frying
For the stuffing :
  1. Sugarless Khova - 1/2 cup
  2. Sugar, powdered - 1/4 cup (as per your taste)
  3. Desiccated coconut - 1/4 cup
  4. Nuts (Cashewnuts, badam & pista) - 2 tbsp
  5. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
For sugar syrup :
  1. Sugar - 1 cup
  2. Water - 1/4 cup
  3. Saffron strands - 3 nos (optional)

Method :

1.   Sieve flour and salt together.  Add ghee & rub the flour using your fingers which resembles like a breadcrumbs.  Add enough cold water & knead the dough.  Keep aside for 30 mins.

2.   Prepare the sugar syrup to single thread consistency.  Add saffron strands for additional flavour.

3.  For the stuffing, mix together khova, sugar, desiccated coconut, nuts & cardamom powder.  Keep aside.

4.   Divide & roll the dough into small sized pooris.  Fill the first poori with the stuffing in the middle & cover the next poori on the top & seal the edges with water.  Once sealed, make spirals around the corner.   

5.   Heat oil over the medium heat & fry them till golden brown on either sides.  Drain the excess oil in the tissue.

6.   Dip & soak the suryakala's in the sugar syrup for 5 mins.  Remove them from the sugar syrup & garnish it with chopped nuts on top.

Store & enjoy!!

January 23, 2016

Samba wheat (Broken wheat) Upma

Upma is one of my comfort & healthy dish prepared during my hectic day out.  Semolina, rice, aval & vermicelli are often used in preparing Upma's.  Samba wheat upma is most healthy & very nutritious too.  I cook them with vegetables & serve with spicy chutneys.  We can keep it very simple without any vegetables & cook them in pressure cooker too.  

Ingredients :

  1. Broken wheat - 3/4 cup
  2. Oil - 1 tbsp
  3. Ghee - 1 tsp
  4. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Ural dal - 1 tsp
  6. Green chillies - 2 to 3 nos
  7. Ginger, minced - 1/4 tsp
  8. A pinch of hing
  9. Curry leaves 
  10. Onion - 1 no
  11. Tomato - 1 no (optional)
  12. Vegetables - 1 cup (Carrot, beans, peas)
  13. Water - 2 cups
  14. Coriander leaves for garnishing
  15. Salt to taste

Method :

1.   Heat ghee in the heavy bottomed pan, fry broken wheat for few mins.  Keep it aside.

2.  Heat oil in the pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal, green chillies, ginger, hing, curry leaves and sliced onions.  Salute till tender.

3.   Add chopped vegetables, tomatoes, water & salt.  Cook till done.

4.   Add broken wheat & cook till done.

5.  Garnish it with coriander leaves & ghee (optional).

Serve warm with spicy chutneys.

January 20, 2016

Rage Kali / Ragi Mudde / Kezhvaragu kali

Ragi kali is most popular & traditional rural SouthIndian dish.  This is called as poor man food.  Very healthy food, rich in calcium, fibre and minerals.  I like to have this with spinach dal curry or fish curry.  I taste good when mixed with curd and served with onion and green chilly.

Ingredients :
  1. Ragi flour - 1 cup
  2. Cooked rice - 1/4 cup
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Water - 2 cups
  5. Oil / Ghee - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1.   Boil the water in a pan.  Add some salt & cooked rice to it.

2.   Once the water is boiled, add the ragi flour.  Cover the lid for 3 mins.

3.   Using wooden spoon, stir the mixture without any lumps.  

4.   When the mixture comes together, turn off the heat.

5.   Take a bowl and grease it with water.  Drop the cooked mixture  and swirl the bowl to form a ball.  Transfer it to the serving plate.  Add some ghee / oil before serving.

Serve warm.

January 17, 2016

Sweet Ragi Vermicelli / Upma

Sweet ragi sev is one of my favourite breakfast menu which is very easy to make, taste yum & takes less time to cook.  I like to soak ragi sev in little salted water and then steam cook them.This can be served to kids as a snack after school, they will just love it :)

Ingredients :

  1. Ragi vermicelli - 100 gms
  2. Sugar 
  3. Grated fresh coconut - 2 tbsp
  4. Cardamom powder 
Method :

1.  Soak the ragi vermicelli / semiya in the water for 2 mins.  Drain the water completely.

2.   Steam cook the vermicelli for 5 mins.

3.   Mix together steamed vermicelli, fresh coconut, cardamom powder & enough sugar. 

Serve immediately.

January 14, 2016

Raw Nendran banana porridge for babies - For weight gain !!!

This is one of the best baby porridge powder shared by my friend from kerala.  They serve this porridge to the babies above 6 months.  We need raw nendran banana for this preparation.  Generally, the bananas are sun dried first and then grounded to fine powder.  

Ingredients :
  1. Nendran banana (raw) - 2 nos
  2. Breast milk / Milk powder
  3. Water

Method :

1.   Peel the skin of banana.  Slice them into thin strips.  

2.  Sun dry them till crispy.  Grind them to fine powder.

Note :

For those who can't sun dry the banana's can roast them in oven till crispy.  (Around 30 - 45 mins at 200 C)

For the porridge :

3.   Take a spoon of banana powder & cook them with water.  Add breast milk or milk powder before serving.

Store them in airtight container to retain its freshness.

January 12, 2016

Frankfurt Crown Cake !!!

Frankfurt crown cake is very rich & most popular German cake.  It symbolises a crown, with golden praline coated around the cake and jewel like cherries on top.  Perfect celebration cake for all occasion !!!

Ingredients :
For the cake :
  1. Butter - 100 g
  2. Sugar - 150 g
  3. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  4. 1 lemon rind
  5. Egg - 3 nos
  6. All purpose flour - 150 g
  7. Cornflour - 50 g
  8. Baking powder - 2 tsp

 Praline topping :
  1. Butter - 1 tbsp
  2. Sugar - 60 g
  3. Blanched almond, sliced - 125 g
Buttercream filling :
  1. 3 tsp cherry jam
  2. 1 packet vanilla pudding
  3. 300 ml Cold milk
  4. Butter - 200 g 
  5. Cherries for decoration
Method :

For the cake :

1.  Sieve together the flour, cornflour and baking powder.  Keep aside.

2.   Grease and line up the baking pan with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven at 160 C.

3.   Cream the butter and sugar.  Add vanilla essence and lemon rind.  Continue whipping.  

4.   Add in eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until thick.  Gently fold the dry ingredients.  Bake them for 25 - 30 mins or until done.  Allow it to cool completely & slice them 2 or 3 layers.

For the buttercream filling :

5.   Prepare the vanilla pudding as instructed and allow them to cool completely in refrigerator.  

6.   Beat the butter until soft and light.  Slowly incorporate the vanilla pudding into the butter mixture and keep beating by adding milk until thick & spreadable consistency.

For the praline topping :

7.   Heat butter in the pan, add sliced almonds & sugar.  Roast them for few mins until they are done.
Assembling :

8.   Place the first layer of cake and spread cherry jam & spread the butter cream icing.  Keep spreading the buttercream icing between the layers and over the cake.

9.   Finally sprinkle the almond praline over the cake.  Decorate it with cherries and refrigerate.

Happy baking :)

January 7, 2016

Mushroom pepper masala

Mushroom pepper masala is the perfect side dish for rotis, parathas & poori.  Mushroom and pepper are cooked in onion & tomato masala with a blend of Indian spices.   

Ingredients :

  1. Oil - 1 tsp
  2. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  5. Onion - 1 no, finely chopped
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Chilly powder - 1 tsp (to taste)
  8. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  9. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  10. Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  11. Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Capsicum - 1 small sized
  14. Mushrooms - 500 gas
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Coriander leaves
  17. Curry leaves
  18. Butter - 1 tsp
  19. Green chilly - 1 no
  20. Garlic - 1 no, finely chopped (optional)

Method :

1.   Heat oil in the pan, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds.  Add finely chopped onions and saute.

2.   Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala and saute.

3.   Add tomato puree and cook for few mins.  Add capsicum and mushrooms.  Add enough salt.  Cover and cook till done.

4.  In a separate pan, add butter, garlic pieces, curry leaves and slit green chilly.  Pour this tadka in the mushroom masala.  Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Serve with rotis.  

January 5, 2016

Cumin Khakhra - Very crispy !!!

Khakhra is most popular Gujarati snack served in different variations.  Make these whole wheat cumin khakhras and eat them fresh or store them for later.

Ingredients :
  1. Wheat flour - 1 cup
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Ghee
Method :

1.   Mix together wheat flour, salt, pepper powder, cumin seeds and cumin powder.  Knead the dough using water and set aside for half an hour.

2.   Make small ball of dough to make rotis.  Roll out the rotis as thin as possible.

3.   Cook the rotis over medium slow flame.  Keep pressing the rotis with some cloth while cooking on either side.

4.   Roast until they become crispy and brown in colour.  Brush some ghee on each khakhra and cool it.

Store it in air-tight container.

January 2, 2016

Peanut chaat - Beach style !!!

Indian street food is full of flavours.  There are different ways to make this dish.  Addition of vegetables like grated carrots and cucumber makes it more healthier.  Perfect snack & it taste heavenly.  

Ingredients :
  1. Peanut - 1 cup
  2. Onion - 1 no
  3. Tomato - 1 no
  4. Green chillies - 1 no
  5. Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Lime juice - 1 tbsp
  8. Cumin powder -1/4 tsp
  9. Chaat masala - 1 tsp
  10. Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
  11. Sev (for garnishing)

Method :

1.  Soak the peanut for few hours and pressure cook them in salted water.

2.   Mix together peanut and other ingredients in a large bowl.

3.   Garnish it with sev.

Serve with sev.
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