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Friday, December 31, 2010

Aloo Shimla Mirch - Potato and Bell pepper Subzi and my 100th post

 Wishing all my readers a very happy, prosperous, healthy and peaceful NEW Year...
I'm a little excited too as this is my 100th post.I did not think I was going to survive so long.Its all due to the love and support of my readers and my dear blog pals. Thank you.
Sharing with you all one of my favorite subzi.. Aloo Aur Shimla Mirch.

  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 bell peppers/Capsicum/Shimla Mirch cubed
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1" piece of ginger grated
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • oil
Preparation : Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds ,when they splutter add onion and saute till golden brown, Now add minced garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes , green chiilies and ginger. Mix well. Fry for about 2 minutes. Next add all the dry spices (tumeric powder, red chili powder, cumin-cilantro powder, salt). Mix well. Add the potatoes and about 1/4 cup water. Cook on medium heat covered for about 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring from time to time. Now when the potatoes are halfway done/cooked, add the bell pepper. Mix well. Cook covered for about 5-8 minutes. Add fresh cilantro and mix well. Your Aloo-Shimla Mirch is ready to serve. Goes well with Phulkas and Parathas.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gobi Ka Paratha - Flat bread with Cauliflower stuffing

Parathas...I just love them . There are so many variations you could have. Its a complete meal by itself. Parathas could be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients :

For the paratha dough
  • 2 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
For the Stuffing
  • 2 cups grated cauliflower/Gobi
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1" piece ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor powder/dry mango powder
  • salt to taste
Preparation :
  • Mix all the Paratha dough ingredients mentioned above and knead the dough for the parathas. Keep it aside.
  • Make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients mentioned for the stuffing.
  • Now divide the stuffing into 8 equal parts to make 8 parathas. Also divide the dough into 8 balls.
  • Now roll each ball into a disc. Place the stuffing in the center and very gently bring the edges together and seal it on top. Now roll it again into a disc about 1/4 " thick. Cook the paratha on a hot griddle/Tawa using oil, butter or ghee. Cook on both sides applying oil/butter.
  • Your Gobi Da Paratha is ready to serve with some yoghurt and pickle.
Helpful tips :
  1. I use the food processor to finely grate the Cauliflower. Its a great time saver.
  2. Make sure you squeeze all the water/juice from the cauliflower or it will be hard to roll the parathas.
  3. If you find hard to roll parathas this way you could do it the layering way. Roll one disc. Place the filling and then place another disc on top and roll it just a bit.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lauki with Moong Dal - Bottle Gourd and Lentil

This is a quick recipe and goes well with any Indian bread or even rice. Lauki /Bottle gourd is one vegetable that is not really popular at our house..except that I'm the only one who likes it. So have to find ways to make it more suitable to the palate of my kids and DH. So here is one more way of preparing Lauki.
  • 1 small lauki / 3 cups lauki peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow moong dal washed and kept aside
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil
Preparation : This was cooked in the pressure cooker , hence quick recipe. Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle add onion. Saute till golden brown. Add garlic paste. Fry for a minute. Add the ginger paste, tomato, green chillies. Stir fry for about a minute or two. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt. Mix well. Now add the lauki/bottle gourd. Mix well. Add the moong dal. Add 1 cup water. Pressure cook until cooked. (1-2 whistles). Your Lauki with Moong dal is ready to serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.This recipe serves 4.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gobi Manchurian- Cauliflower Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian 
Gobi Manchurian 
Gobi Manchurian is a very popular Indo-chinese dish. It could be served as a starter or a side dish. I prefer mine with vegetable fried rice.
For the Manchurian/Cauliflower fritters
  • 1/2 lb cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • oil for deep frying
For the Manchurian Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 -3 green chillies chopped
  • 1/4 cup spring onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp red chili sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
Preparation :
  • Mix flour, Corn starch, salt, red chili powder and make a batter with water. Add the Gobi/Cauliflower florets and mix well. Deep fry. Keep aside.
  • For the Sauce- Heat oil in a pan. Stir fry the garlic paste and the whites of the spring onions(the green is reserved for the garnish) for about a minute. Add the green chillies, soy sauce, red chili sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup on low flame. Stir. Add water and bring to boil. Add the corn starch paste and stir continuously. Adjust the salt. Just when the sauce thickens, add the greens of the spring onions and the Manchurian/fritters. Mix it well.
  • Your Gobi Manchurian is ready to serve.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Can it get any healthier than this... This is another one of my quick , easy and healthy recipes. Not to mention huge on flavor too.. I'm sure you must be enjoying yourselves with kids being home for the holidays. As a mother of 2 boys I'm constantly thinking about making quick and easy meals as many can relate to me they get hungry all the time. I guess the wintry cold makes us hungry too..and many a times I get too lazy , I just want to sit by the fire place enjoying a good movie or read a book. So this recipe comes to the rescue on those lazzyyyyyyyyy days...

Ingredients :
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 avocado peeled,pitted and diced
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preparation :
  • In a bowl mix all the ingredients in the order mentioned above and serve.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Wishing You all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays...
Baked this cake today on Christmas eve and the kids loved it. They are eagerly waiting for the magic of Christmas to unfold when they wake up tomorrow . They can't wait for morning when their dear Santa would have left them presents...The excitement of it all..My 7 year old has been asking me a whole bunch of questions..about Santa and his reindeer and kids have such vivid imagination..My 3 year old is just Beginning to know about Santa and has been singing ' Santa Claus is coming to Town...' and 'Jingle Bells..Jingle Bells'...
So how about You.. Have you been Naughty Or Nice !!!!

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup raspberry juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp raspberry preserve for the filling
  • 2 eggs

For the Chocolate Icing/Frosting

  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation :

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" round cake pan.
  • In a large bowl sieve together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add sugar and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  • Add the oil, raspberry juice and eggs. Mix until all the ingredients are blended, either by hand or an electric mixer at low speed.
  • Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the Icing/Frosting: In a bowl sieve together sugar and cocoa and keep aside. In another bowl cream butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk . Add the vanilla. Whisk till light and fluffy.
  • Now allow your chocolate cake to cool before you apply the frosting or the filling.
  • Once its cooled slice the cake through the middle to make 2 layers. Add the raspberry preserve as a filling between the 2 layers.
  • Apply the chocolate frosting and decorate with fresh raspberries.

Icing/Frosting Recipe from here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are a huge favorite in our house. They are easy to make and make great after school snack, breakfast or even dessert. With the holidays and the kids being home, this is an excellent baking project with kids.

Recipe adapted from here. What I like about this recipe is that the muffins have a beautiful crumb topping which makes them irresistible.

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For the crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature

Preparation :

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line your muffin pan with muffin liners.
  • In a bowl sieve together flour and baking powder. Now add sugar. Mix well.
  • In another bowl add the egg(beaten), oil, milk, orange juice. Whisk it well.
  • Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries.

  • Now time to prepare the crumb topping-Mix together the topping ingredients until they have a crumb like consistency.

  • Fill the muffin cups with the muffin batter almost to the top.

  • Sprinkle them with the crumb topping. Ue liberal amounts.

  • Bake for about 20 -22 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Voila you have your blueberry muffins.
  • This recipe makes 10 big muffins.
My kids could'nt even wait for the muffins to cool down and wanted to have it right away it. But they did wait and they absolutely loved these muffins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Moong Dal Ka Halwa

Moong dal ka Halwa is a winter dessert. Its a Rajasthani dessert and its prepared during winter as it keeps you warm from the bitter cold. Since we are already experiencing the bitter cold here in the East Coast ..what better time to make this dessert.

  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup ghee/clarified butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • cashews fried in ghee

* You could add 1 cup sugar instead of 3/4 cup. Adjust the sugar to your liking.

Preparation :

  • Soak moong dal in about 3 cups water for 4 hours.
  • Drain the dal and grind it. (It does grind well without any water, if you really have to and find it difficult to grind , add very little water).
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and saute this dal paste till its golden brown. This should be done on medium to low heat and keep on stirring continuously or it will get burnt. This step took me almost 40 minutes.
  • In another pan warm the milk and add sugar. Heat till the sugar melts.
  • Now add this milk/sugar to the dal and stir it well. Keep it on low heat till the liquid is all absorbed and it has the consistency of halwa.
  • Add the fried cashews. Stir well. Cook for another minute.
  • Your Delicious Moong Dal Halwa is ready to serve.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gajar Ka Halwa - Carrot Pudding

Gajar ka Halwa/Carrot Pudding is my favorite dessert. I must say Gajar ka Halwa is quite popular and needs no introduction. I was kind of suprised to see I don't have this recipe on my blog. I have made this dessert several times..and when I look back the reason being each time its made there's not even time to click pictures. The aroma of this delicious dessert is irresistible and its devoured in minutes.
  • 4 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup mava powder
  • 3 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2/3 cup cashews, almonds, raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder


  • Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan/Kadai. Fry the nuts. Add the grated carrot and fry for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add sugar and mix well. Now add milk and mix it well. Keep on low-medium heat and let it cook unil the milk has almost been absorbed. Keep on stirring from time to time.( This step takes the most time,but its all worth it when you see the results...)
  • Now add the mava powder and mix it well. Cook on slow flame until the halwa starts to leave the sides of the pan.
  • Now add the cardamom powder and take it off the heat.
  • Your Gajar ka Halwa is ready to serve. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Could also be served with ice-cream.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spinach and Cranberry Dal - Palak Wali Dal

I'm sure after thanksgiving people kind of get a bit health conscious and try to get back to healthy eating. Not that there's anything wrong about enjoying a thanksgiving feast with all the pies and all the good stuff. We did too. So in case you are in your health conscious mindset this recipe is for you and for all of you as well who enjoy quick , healthy and easy recipes.

Also for the very first time went out shopping on Black Friday. Took my 7 year old son with me..We kind of made a list of things to buy and set the alarm for 2:00 in the morning as some of the stores were opening at 3:00 in the morning. I must say it was FUN and a must have experience at least once in your lifetime. Got some pretty good deals. Most of all we went as I really wanted to check out what it was all about..And mind you even at 2:30 in the morning there were thousands of people standing in queues. My DH and 3 year old stayed home. I'm not sure though I want to do this again next year...

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup moong dal/moong lentil
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies slit
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of hing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin - cilantro powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil
Preparation :
  • Wash moong dal and pressure cook in about 3-4 cups of water with ginger, salt and turmeric till cooked.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. When they splutter add hing. Now add the finely chopped garlic. Fry for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and green chillies. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cranberries. Fry for about a minute. Add the red chili powder and cumin-cilantro powder. Mix it well.
  • Now add the washed and chopped spinach. Mix it well. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. The spinach will reduce in volume.
  • Next add the cooked dal. Mix well. Adjust the salt. If you think the dal is too thick add a cup of water. Bring it to boil. Thats it. Your Spinach and Cranberry Dal is ready to serve.
  • This dal can be served with rice or any Indian bread of your choice. Can also be served as soup with some garlic bread. Thats how my 3 year old likes it.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ney Payasam/ Rice pudding with Jaggery and Ghee

Ney Payasam is a very delicious dessert. This is my MIL's recipe. 'Ney' means ghee/clarified butter..so this dish does have lots of it. But once you taste it its divine and you would want t o forget counting your calories just for that day...lol. Mostly at our in-laws place its prepared on auspicious days and on birthdays.

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups jaggery
  • 1/2 cup ghee/clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup cashews and green raisins
  • 1 -2 tbsp thinly sliced coconut pieces
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Preparation :

  • Wash rice and pressure cook with 1 cup of water about 2 -3 whistles till its soft.
  • Now take a thick bottomed pan and melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water on medium heat. When the jaggery has all melted and comes to a boil, add the cooked rice and keep on stirring for about a minute. Now you have to keep adding the ghee 1-2 tsp at a time and stir it well. Keep doing until you have used all the ghee and soon the payasam will start leaving the side of the pan. This is the indication its done and time to remove from the heat.
  • Now heat 1 tsp ghee and fry the cashews till golden, next fry the raisins till they puff up and last fry the bits of coconut till golden brown.
  • Add to the Payasam. Next add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Your Ney Payasam is ready to serve.
  • This recipe serves 4. Its best enjoyed when its warm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brussels Sprouts in Tomato Gravy

Brussels Sprouts look like miniature cabbages and taste a lot like cabbage too. So if you like cabbage I'm sure you would love Brussels Sprouts. For the rest it would be an acquired taste. Its a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fibre as well as known to have anti-cancer properties.
  • 20 brussels Sprouts cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large tomato (puree)
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1" ginger grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder(dry mango powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • oil

Preparation : Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the grated ginger. Fry for about a minute. Add the tomato puree. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin -cilantro powder, amchur powder , green chillies and salt. Fry for another minute or so until oil leaves the masala. Now add the Brussels Sprouts and mix well. Cook covered on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Check it from time to time and if it gets too dry add some water. I cooked mine in the tomato gravy itself as the tomato was quite juicy. Serve it with rice or Phulkas/Roti.

Serves : 4

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients :
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • sugar for rolling

Preparation : Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Now cream the shortening and sugar until mixed well either by hand or by using the electric mixer on a low speed. Add the egg and molasses and beat till completely incorporated. Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon , salt , cloves and add to the mixture. Mix well and it forms a dough. Now roll the dough into balls of about 1" in diameter. Roll the balls into sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheet atleast 1/2" apart. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips and bake for 12 minutes. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Recipe Source : Paula Deen

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Besan ladoos

Wishing all my readers a happy Diwali . I love this festival of lights. I have to admit though being far away from home(India) its very hard to feel the spirit of Diwali here. We still try to do the best we can as we want our kids to know our culture, our festivals and the significance of it. 

So in keeping with the festivities made besan ladoos for Diwali. For me personally Diwali is not complete without ladoos. Maybe because my mom always made these and I love them. So making these ladoos brings India(and all my childhood memories) right into my kitchen.

  • 1  1/2 cups besan (gram/chickpea )flour
  • 1  1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3/4 cup ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 1/4 cup raisins and broken cashews (fried in ghee)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder( freshly ground)
  • crushed pistachios (optional)

  • Heat ghee in a pan (thick bottom preferred). When the ghee is melted and you see tiny bubbles add the besan and keep roasting on a slow flame. The intention is to keep roasting till you no longer get the raw smell of besan. (takes about 15 minutes). Also it will be a little pasty in appearance and your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of the roasted besan/chickpea flour.
  • Now take it to a big bowl and add the sugar, fried nuts and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  • Wait for a few minutes till the mixture cools down a little just enough so that you can make them into ladoos. Take a little of the mixture into your hands and form them into small balls.
  • This recipe makes 15 Besan ladoos.
* This recipe requires ground sugar. If you do not have confectioner's sugar feel free to grind regular sugar to a fine powder.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dal Kabila

I was really impressed by the name..Dal Kabila. Really had to try out this recipe from the cook book, Prashad - Cooking with Indian Masters. Many a times don't you get impressed when you see a dish with an exotic name... I do..and it gives me great pleasure to see how a great chef cooks a dish and presents it...So I'm playing a chef(real) for a day...presenting this dish from my kitchen to yours. Also my critics(kids & hubby) loved it.....

I'm also really curious about the origin of this name. Did try to look it up with no luck... If anyone out there has some information please enlighten Moi... As far as I know the word 'Kabila" means Tribe in Hindi...So maybe cooking for a tribe...Well cooking for a tribe or not..It did turn out good..try it for yourself !!!

  • 1 1/4 cups Urad Dal
  • 5 tsp Garlic paste
  • 7 tsp Ginger paste
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 4 green chillies(optional)
  • 8 whole red chillies
  • 5 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup ghee/oil
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 1/4 tsp Fenugreek/Kasoori methi (optional)
  • salt
  • 7 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

**I substituted oil intead of ghee and used a little of Amul butter...So feel free to make changes as per your taste and calorie intake...

Preparation :

  • Wash and soak the urad dal for about 2 hours. Drain and boil dal with about 4 cups of water and salt and cook until tender.
  • While the dal is cooking dry roast the red chillies and coriander/cilantro seeds and grind it or pound with a pestle.
  • Heat oil in a Kadhai/thick bottomed pan. Add the garlic paste. Saute till golden brown. Add the fresh pounded spices and stir for about 15-20 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Saute for about 2-3 minutes and now add 2/3 of the chopped cilantro, ginger paste and saute till the oil leaves the masala. Now Add the boiled urad dal and let it simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Next add the butter, Garam Masala, lemon juice and the rest of the chopped cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Your delicious Dal Kabila is ready to be served with any Indian bread of your choice.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 101- How to carve a pumpkin

Halloween has become a favorite holiday for us after we moved to the US. Its celebrated on october 31st. Its such a colorful holiday. The main attractions would have to be getting all dressed up and going 'Trick -or-treating". Also pumpkin carving is a big part of Halloween too.. My kids love going pumpkin picking and then obviously we have to help them carve as well. This year we carved a haunted house on a hill onto our pumpkin.

You would need :
  • A Pumpkin
  • A pumpkin carving kit is preferable. I bought one from Kmart. You could also use a large spoon and a thin bladed knife.
  • template/design. Mine came with the kit. Many designs are available online as well.
  • Lots and lots of patience !!!!
Now the magic begins :
Cut out a circle at the top of the pumpkin around the stem using a knife.

Now clean the inside of the pumpkin and scoop all the seeds and the flesh etc by hand or with a large spoon. Also scrape the inside walls of the pumpkin clean as shown using a spoon.

Now place the template onto the pumpkin and transfer the design using a transfering tool or a toothpick.
Now you could begin carving , just follow the design. I have used a carving saw provided in the kit. You could use a knife(thin-bladed) for this step.
Also you really will have to take your time for this step...This will really test your patience...

There you go..all carved and ready for the test...
Place a votive candle inside the pumpkin and see your haunted house on a hill come to life....Boo !!!!!!!

Happy Halloween...and I'm sure you are all ready with your costumes....If not you still have some time. Also would love to hear about your pumpkin carving experiences.. As for us we had a blast.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kala Chana Curry- Black chick peas curry

Happy Dussehra to all my readers...
Also taking this opportunity to wish my dear brothers a Happy birthday... Both my brothers have their birthdays in October..R's was on October 13th and V's birthday is today October 18th.. I love both of them dearly and miss them. May God bless them both and I'm so thankful to God for this awesome Gift !!!
Without further ado let me get on with the recipe...

  • 1 cup black chana/ Black chick peas
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • 1" piece ginger
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 4-5 black peppercorns
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1" piece of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder(mango powder)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • oil

* I made a paste of ginger and green chillies.

Preparation :

  • Soak the black chana in enough water and keep it overnight.
  • Pressure cook the black chana with about 4 cups of water, salt, turmeric, cloves, black peppercorns and cinnamon, until cooked.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add Bay leaves. Add the onions and saute till golden brown.
  • Next add the ginger/green chilli paste. Fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree. Fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next add the red chili powder, cumin-cilantro powder, amchoor powder, garam masala. Fry till oil leaves the masala, about 5 minutes.
    Now add the cooked black chana along with the liquid. Bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on slow flame for about 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve it with hot puris with a side of sliced onion , sliced tomatoes and a wedge of lemon ...Enjoy... !!!!
  • This recipe serves 4.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spongebob Cake - Eggless chocolate cake

Baked this Spongebob cake for my younger son's 3rd birthday.. Spongebob is a favorite TV show in our household. In fact I was introduced to Spongebob even before I had kids..thanks to my hubby..So it was only obvious I had to attempt this cake and got a wonderful opportunity when we were deciding what cake to bake for RiShawn...His birthday was September 25th..a bit late in posting this recipe...

Happy 3rd Birthday RiShawn....

A Special thanks to my little baking buddy , Jay for all the help in making this cake.. Its an eggless chocolate cake and have used buttercream icing.
Ingredients :
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preparation :

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9 X 13 inch pan.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add oil, water and orange juice and mix well.
  • Pour into the prepared 9 X 13 pan and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing it. I baked the cake the previous night and let it cool overnight. Did the icing the next morning.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nascar Cake- Jeff Gordon #24 Cake

Wishing all my readers Happy Independence Day !!!!. Today is India's 64th Independence day.

My son is a huge fan of Nascar racing. His favorite is the #24 car -Jeff Gordon. I guess he's been following Nascar since he was 3 yrs old.. My husband is into Nascar too..He follows Jimmie Johnson #48 car...So for his 7th birthday , my son (Jay) wanted me to bake him his Nascar #24 car cake... I baked an eggless chocolate cake and used buttercream frosting. Let the icing set for couple hours and then covered it with fondant. The recipe for the eggless chocolate cake will follow soon...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eggless Banana & Walnut Muffins

I stumbled across this recipe at "Saffron hut" and looking at the awesome results wanted to really test this recipe. This blog has so many amazing recipes with such beautiful clicks. So it was a no brainer when I decided to follow this recipe. I have also seen that there are no posts/updates for a long time now and going through her beautiful blog makes me feel and hope she begins blogging again. She is an asset to the blogging world. On that note I feel very guilty and really miss my blog and all my readers and do really wish I can keep posting regularly and visit you all more and be updated about all of you my blogger friends.
Why did I choose an Eggless recipe you might ask. I thought It would be a challenge to bake without eggs. People have been doing it for various reasons. Some by choice and some not by choice (for instance some are allergic to eggs). Also I had a few overripe bananas and since my son's home enjoying his summer break and he's always eager to try new baking recipes. So I got the ingredients ready and in fact he did the entire mixing and made the muffin preparation. I just helped him spoon them into the muffin cups and put it in the oven. So another great project to get the kids involved. I was really happy with the muffins and so proud to have my son as my baking buddy...

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts for sprinkling on the top

Preparation :
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line the muffin pan with muffin paper cups/liners.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and keep it separate.
  • In another bowl mash the bananas. Add sugar and butter and mix it well.
  • Now gently add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix it well. Do not over mix it. Add the chopped walnuts. Mix it.
  • Fill the muffin cups upto 3/4 to the top with the muffin mix and sprinkle some chopped nuts on the top.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or till the muffins turn golden brown.
  • This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fondant Cake

My very first fondant cake. Its a vanilla cake covered with fondant and decorated with gumpaste daisies... I'm getting super duper busy these days. Its my son's summer vacation and my in-laws are visiting us this summer. Hopefully can make some time for my blog, which I miss so much and catch up with all of you as and when time permits...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar/jaggery
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

You could use milk instead of buttermilk.

Preparation :

  • Sift together flour and baking powder and keep aside.In a bowl beat together egg , buttermilk, salt and sugar. Add the flour and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick skillet. Let it cook until bubbly for about 2 minutes and then turn. Continue to cook until golden brown.
  • Serve with Maple syrup or butter with some fresh blueberries on the side.
  • This recipe makes 5 pancakes.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wilton Course 2 - Finale Cake.

I'm really enjoying myself at my cake decorating class. This was our course 2 finale cake. I baked a chocolate cake and have used chocolate buttercream icing. I have decorated it with royal icing flowers. This was my first time trying out the basket weave(on the side of the cake) and it really was fun..a bit time consuming though. Presenting you all my wonderful readers this basket of flowers and I hope you enjoy it... (Also trying to make up for not being able to visit you all...Its almost the end of my son's school year so was busy in a lot of year end school activities...Will soon be able to get some time Hopefully...)