2016 · Desserts · FOOD · INDIAN-NESS

Ras Malai – Recipe

Last Saturday, I had invited my eight months pregnant friend over for dinner. When inquired about her cravings, she replied that she desperately craves for sweets. I wanted to make some special dessert for her and decided to make ras-malai. Ras Malai is a Bengali sweet – primarily comprising of two main ingredients – where “ras” means juice, and “malai” means cream. It is a widely known dessert in India and Pakistan. She absolutely relished the ras-malai and went for second helping too! 🙂

Recipe is fairly simple. Here’s the recipe:


Ricotta Cheese – 15 oz or 1 box

Powdered Sugar – 3/4 cup

Cardamom – 4  pieces – powdered

Whole milk – 3 cups

Condensed milk – 1 cup

Saffron – a pinch

Almonds & Pistachio – chopped, grounded for granishing


Continue reading “Ras Malai – Recipe”

2016 · Cakes & Pastries · FOOD

Eggless Red Velvet Cake – Recipe

img_4224I have started a tradition to celebrate LO’s birthday every month when he turns a month older. Thanks to P for gifting me the new Kitchen Aid Mixer, my baking love continues and I am able to bake different variety of cakes for LO’s monthly birthdays. This time,I rummaged Pinterest for some ‘eggless red velvet cake’ recipes and found an easy one. Received raving reviews from everyone who tasted my final product.

Sharing the recipe:

Ingredients for baking Cake:

  • All purpose flour – 2.5 cups
  • Sugar – 1.5 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Melted Butter- 2/3 Cups
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Distilled white vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Red food coloring – 1.5 tsp

Continue reading “Eggless Red Velvet Cake – Recipe”

2016 · Festive Feast · INDIAN-NESS

Sakkare Acchu (Sugar Figures) – Recipe

Sankranthi is a traditional Indian harvest festival which marks the commencement of spring in India and Nepal. Known by different names in different parts of India, it is usually celebrated around January 13th to January 15th, every year. Some South Indian states like Andra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu celebrate Sankranthi for three days with each day carrying its own significance – like thanking sun god, cattle, farmers, family & friends for the harvest.

Ellu Beerodu
Ellu Beerodu

Being a Bangalorean since birth, I have grown up celebrating Sankranthi the way people of Karnataka celebrate every year. We wake up on this auspicious day, clean the house, apply rangoli (colored powder) at our doorstep, have oil bath, don new clothes, prepare delicacies and visit our friends and family to perform a ritual called “Ellu Beerodu” which involves bartering a plate laden with Ellu (white sesame seeds) mixed with finely cut jaggery, dry coconut and fried peanuts; along with sugar molded figurines known as Sakkare Acchu and a piece of sugar cane.

Being born to a traditional family, I remember my childhood days, when we cousins would sit cross-legged on the concrete floor with a piece of wooden mold in front of us. My grandmother used to prepare the sugar syrup on the kerosene stove and we all used to patiently wait until it reached the correct consistency. When the sugar syrup was ready, my grandmother used to lift the vessel containing hot sugar syrup from the stove, and carefully pour it into our wooden molds. Our job was to carefully and correctly tap the wooden mold to ensure that sugar syrup fills it completely. Despite burning our hands in this process, we thoroughly enjoyed being this part of ‘supply chain’ in creating sugar figures during this festival. I still reminisce those olden days. Somehow, this tradition of preparing homemade “sakkare achus” disappeared during my later part of childhood and teenage life. As years passed, we no longer sat around with our wooden mold waiting for sugar syrup to be poured into it. Our homemade sakkare acchus got replaced by store-bought ones which was less tastier and healthier.

When I moved to US after my wedding, I was enthusiastic to re-instate this tradition of preparing homemade sakkare acchus again. Having procured the recipe from my mother-in-law, I was enthralled to prepare it all by myself, for the first time in my life. She even was sweet enough to FedEx me the wooden molds to help me achieve my objective. Years have passed by and I still prepare these sakkare acchus every year, receiving accolades from my friends and family. This year too, I was overjoyed to prepare them last weekend for the upcoming festival on January 15th, 2016!

Sharing the recipe for interested folks! Enjoy 🙂


Powdered Sugar – 2.5 cups

Water – 1.5 cups

Milk – 1/2 cup

Lemon Juice – 2 Tbsp

Continue reading “Sakkare Acchu (Sugar Figures) – Recipe”

Cakes & Pastries · FOOD

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake
Black Forest Cake


2 Cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsps Baking Soda

3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Hot Coffee ( 1.25 Teaspoons Of Instant Coffee Powder With 1 Cup Of Hot Water)

1 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Silken Tofu Pureed

1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Grease and flour  two baking pans.

Sieve the flour and mix together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and sugar into a large mixing bowl.

Making a small well, add canola oil, followed by hot coffee decoction and then milk.

Blend the silken tofu and add it to the above mixture. 

Add few of drops of vanilla essence.

Beat it for 3-5 minutes and pour the batter evenly into the baking pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Test with  a tooth prick to ensure that the cake is completely baked.

Allow the cakes to cool completely, before removing them from pans.

Remove the cooled cakes from pans, wrap them with transparent food wrap and refrigerate it for 12 hours before frosting.

FOOD · International

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue
Cheese Fondue

Spinach Artichoke Fondue. (This is “Melting Pot’s” recipe)

4 oz. Vegetable Bouillon
1/2 tsp. Chopped Garlic
2 oz. Drained, Chopped Spinach
2 oz. Chopped Artichoke Hearts
2.5 oz of butterkase cheese, lightly floured
2.5 oz of fontina cheese, lightly floured
3 drop(s) Tabasco Sauce (to taste)
Chopped Vegetables : I used carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, green apples etc.
1) Heat the Fondue Pot. Then, add few drops of oil and and vegetable bouillon base to the liner.
2) Place fork into it.
3) Add chopped garlic, onion, spinach, and artichokes and stir the ingredients.
4) Add 1/3 of grated cheese and whip thoroughly.
5) Add the next 1/3 of grated cheese blend and continue whipping.
6) Add the last 1/3 of grated cheese blend and repeat whipping until cheese melts.
7) Add Tabasco sauce to the mixture.
8) Remove Fork from the pot.
9) Using fork, dip a vegetable piece into the cheese fondue and relish!
Flouring Procedure: 5.5oz flour per 5lb of cheese; 5oz portions.
FOOD · Indian Sweets


Pineapple Kesari Bath
Pineapple Kesari Bath

“Kesari Bath” is the authentic sweet of South India preferably Karnataka,Tamil Nadu,Andra Pradesh. It is known by many names like “Sajjigey”,”Kesari Bath” etc


1/2 cup rava
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp Ghee
1 cup of cut pineapple pieces
cashews,raisin as per taste


1>Add the milk,water and sugar to a frying pan and allow the milk to boil.
2>When the milk starts boiling, add rava and mix well immediately avoiding the formation of lumps
3>Keep it for 5 mins and just 30 secs before removing it from fire, add the pineapple pieces to it and then add 1 Tbsp of Ghee
4>Remove from fire and garnish with raisins and cashews

1>Rava should be added after milk boils in order to prevent formation of lumps
2>Ghee is added to give the “Authentic” Kesari Bath taste!!

FOOD · International

Home Made Pizza!!

Veggie Pizza
Veggie Pizza

Pizza Maniac?? Wish to prepare Pizza at home but did not know the recipe?
If you wish to prepare “Home Made Pizzas”, here is the recipe

Ingredients:3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour(maida),
2 cups warm water,
1 packet(2 teaspoons) of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar,
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 Tbsp Olive oil,
1 cup Pizza sauce,
1 cup shredded cheese(mozzarella)

Method for preparing dough:
1>Add sugar and dry yeast to warm water and set it aside for 5 mins to allow it to bubble.
2>Add flour,salt,oil and the mixture(prepared in step 1) to the Food Processor. Mix the ingredients and prepare a soft dough.
If you do not possess a Food Processor,use your hand to knead the dough for 15-20 minutes.
3>Smear olive oil in a bowl and place the dough in it.
4>Roll the dough in that bowl for oil to be spread evenly.
5>Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep aside for 1 hour 30 mins in a warm place such that the dough doubles itself
6>Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 2 balls.
7>Keep the dough balls seperate bowls for 10 minutes.
8>Place the Pizza Stone and preheat the oven for 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes

Continue reading “Home Made Pizza!!”

FOOD · Rotis & Parathas

Gobi(Cauliflower) Paratha

Ingredients:[Makes 6 parathas]
1 cup of cleaned and grated cauliflower
2 onions,finely chopped
3-4 green chillies,
4 cups of wheat flour/atta
1 tbsp of finely chopped coriender leaves
1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

A>Preparing Parathas-
Take 4 cups of wheat flour and add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of oil to it . Add 2 cups water to the mixture and prepare the dough.

B>Preparing the Filling-
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the frying pan.Toss the cumin seeds. Add chopped green chillies,onions,coriander/cilantro leaves to it.
Add grated cauliflower to it and stir until the raw smell goes away.Add salt to it and mix well and allow the mixture to form a paste. Remove from fire.

C>Preparing the Gobi (Cauliflower) Parathas-
Roll out the parathas about 5 inches diameter. Place one spoon of filling prepared in it and close the parathas.
Roll out again. Fry the parathas . Serve with curd.

FOOD · Soups & Salads

Green Peas Soup

1/2 Onion,finely chopped,
1 Cube,Vegetable Bouillion,
2 cups(or 500 ml) water,
1 cup Green Peas,
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Method for preparing Soup:
1>Heat the oil in a frying pan.
2>Add the chopped onions to the oil and fry till golden brown
3>Add 2 cups of water and the Bouillion to the frying pan and allow it to boil.
4>Add 1 cup of Green peas to the frying pan and cook for about a minute or two.
5>Add salt and pepper.
6>Remove from fire and blend it to a smooth paste in a blender.
7>Serve the soup garnished with Croutons (specified in the steps below).

Method for preparing Croutons:
1>Take 2 slices of bread and cut them into small cubes. Drizzle them with oil.
2>Pre heat oven at 300 deg F
3>Place the bread cubes for 25 mins on a baking tray inside the oven (or until they turn golden brown)

FOOD · International

Veg Chimichanga

Veg Chimichanga
Veg Chimichanga

Veg Chimichanga” is a cross between a Veg Puff and Veg Roll.

2 Flour tortilla – 12 inches atleast (can use store bought)
1 onion – sliced
1 bell pepper/capsicum – sliced
1 tomato – cubed
Any other vegetables you like
taco seasoning/ masala(powder)
salt as per taste
flour – 1 cups
warm water –  1/3 cup
baking powder 1 tsp
oil for frying
Cheese(Mozzarella) – 2 tbsp
1 Make a soft dough using flour, 1 tsp oil, salt ,baking powder and warm water.
2 Roll out 2 tortillas (12 inches diameter) .
3 Heat a tava and cook the tortilla ( with only a few brown spots/ do not cook as much as a chapati).
1 Grill all the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes on a hot tava.
2 Add salt and seasoning/masala.
– Put 3-4 spoonfulls of the filling on a tortilla and fold it like an envelope(fold four sides).
– With the folded side down fry the roll in about 1 inch of oil.(you could also smear some oil and bake it in an oven for 10-15 minutes at 400 F).
– Granish(while hot) it with 1 tbsp of shreaded cheese( microwave it for aout 30 seconds if you need to melt the cheese).


Cakes & Pastries · FOOD

Eggless Chocolate Cake

Eggless Cake:

Eggless Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar 1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup cocoa
3/8 cup oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. vinegar(This is used as a Substitute to Egg)
1 cup water


1>Mix the ingredients well. I beat it in the blender for 1 minute
2>Take a 9×11 inch pan, grease it and sprinkle some flour on it (to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan)
3>Pour the mixture into the 9X11-inch pan.
4> Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes.
5>Test with a toothpick to make sure it is done right.

I later cut the cake into two,placed the 1st half,put some icing on the 1st half and placed the 2nd half on it.
This is done to make the cake fluffy and soft.
Decorate the cake with icing and yippee!! Your ‘EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE’ is ready!!!

FOOD · Indian Sweets

Gulab Jamoon

Gulab Jamoon
Gulab Jamoon

Gulab Jamoon Powder(MTR mix, orkay mix, etc)
Cups of Water and Sugar in the ratio 1:2

a>For making dough:
1>Mix the gulab jamoon powder and water in the ratio 1:0.25 in blender to make a dough.
2>Make tiny balls of the dough(make TINY balls of dough only because,if you make Larger ones,it will start breaking when you fry in oil.. Also,the tiny balls of dough will become big when you fry in oil)
3>Fry the tiny balls of dough in oil till they turn golden brown. Remove from fire and keep aside.

b>Method for preparing Sugar Syrup:
1>Mix 1:2 cups of water and sugar in a frying pan until a thick sugary paste is formed.

c>Method for making Gulab Jamoons:1>Add the fried balls of dough to the sugar syrup prepared and fry till the dough absorbs sugar syrup.
2>Remove from fire and serve hot.

FOOD · Indian Sweets

Carrot Halwa

Carrot Halwa

2 cups of grated Carrot,
2 cups of sugar
1 cup milk,
Always remember,the ratio of carrot:sugar:milk=1:1:0.5
2 Tbsp Ghee,
Cashewnuts and Raisins as per taste


1>Add grated carrot,sugar and milk to the frying pan and mix well.
2>Allow the ingredients to become thick.
3>Add 1 Tbsp of ghee to the thick mixture,mix well and remove from fire.
4>Take a small frying pan,add 1 Tbsp of remaining ghee to it,add the cashewnuts and raisins and fry till cashews turn golden brown.
5>Mix the fried cashewnuts and raisins to the halwa prepared and serve hot

Desserts · FOOD

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

4 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 cup flour
3/4 – 1 cup milk
2 cups sugar(seperated)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 stick butter or 8 tbsp


1>Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in 9×9 inch baking tray.
2>Take flour,milk,1 cup sugar and baking powder and make a fine batter.
3>Mix peaches with 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon.
4>Pour the batter over the melted butter in the baking tray.
5>Drop in the prepared peaches into the batter in the tray.
6>Bake for 30-45 mins or until golden brown.
7>Remove from oven and serve.

Chaats · FOOD

Pav Bhaji


Pav Bhaji
Pav Bhaji

Ingredients:(Serves 4-5 people)
1 onion,finely chopped,
1 tomato finely chopped,
1 cooked potato,mashed,
1/2 carrot,cooked and cut,
5-6 big cauliflower florets,
1/2 capsicum/ green pepper deseeded and cut,
1/2 cup peas,
6 tbsps of Butter,
Salt as per taste,
3-4 tbsps of Pav bhaji masala,
1 tsp Red chilli powder,
finely chopped cilantro/coriender for garnish,
Pav buns

Method for making Bhaji:
1>Heat tawa,add about 3 tbsps of butter to it.
2>Add finely chopped onions and fry till onions are golden brown
3>Add tomato pieces,pav bhaji masala,chilli powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup water to it,make a paste and fry for a min
4>Add the remaining vegetables, add 2 cups water.
5>Mash the ingredients well and cook until well done.
6>Garnish with coriender and add 3 slices of butter.

Preparing the Pav /Bun/Bread
1>Take a seperate pan,toast pav with some butter
2>Serve pav and bhaji garnished with onions and little bit of lime juice.