December 31, 2006


I have been making these buns since the last 7 months now.I actually made it up in order to use up some dry coconut that I had,which was not enough to make anything else,plus I had some dough leftover from making buns.Anyway,these turned out great and so here it is:My entry for JFI Coconut:


For Bread Dough:
200 gms All purpose flour or maida

50 gms soya flour

2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup Milk,warmed

1/2 cup water,warmed

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp ghee

Some more flour to knead the dough

For the Filling:

12 teaspoons Dry Coconut/fresh coconut(Grated)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp Red chilli powder/2-3 fresh green chillies chopped finely

1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder

2 tbsp lemon juice/Juice of half a big lime(US)/juice of 3/4 indian lemon

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

A few curry leaves or 2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

Method: Prepare the bread dough: Warm both the milk and water , and sprinkle yeast on the milk.Add 2 tsp sugar .Sugar helps yeast to grow.Set it in a warm place until the mixture starts frothing.This will take about 15 mins.

Put both the flours into a mixing bowl,add salt and mix well.Make a well in the centre , and pour the yeast mixture into it,along with 2 tbsp ghee.

Mix with a fork until all the flour is incorporated.You may need to add upto 1/2 cup more of flour in order to knead it .Now dust your countertop with some flour and invert the bowl onto it.Once the flour is on the countertop,dust your hand with flour and knead the dough until it feels elastic.If the dough is too sticky,add some more flour.But take care not to add too much or else the rolls will be dense.

Coat a large bowl with oil and put the dough into it.Cover with a soft kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place to rise.It will take about 1 hour in a really warm place.

Meanwhile,prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients.

Once the dough has risen,punch it down gently to release all the air,and divide it into 12 portions.

Oil your hands a bit and then knead each ball gently and flatten it on your palm.Now place 1 tsp of the filling on the flattened ball and close it completely.Prepare all the balls in a similar way and then place them on an oiled bun tray or a baking sheet.

Cover with a tea towel and let rise again in a warm place.This takes about 20 mins.

Meanwhile,preheat the oven to 400F/200c.Once the buns are risen,bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 mins.As soon as they come out,brush the tops with some butter or ghee(Clarified butter).Let cool.

These taste great with a hot cup of tea.I have taken these buns on our trip to the zoo,museums, and what not.

My Notes:I made these without the soya flour this time as I ran out of soya flour.They came out great and we finished off atleast 6 soon as it came out of the oven!

December 30, 2006

Tagged By Trupti

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are having a nice time with the holidays and celebrations and lots of cooking and dining!We are just enjoying our little princess's antics these holidays as the weather is a little too erratic here in London.She has learnt rhymes,and songs from all the programmes she watches on BBC.They have excellent programmes for pre-schoolers,for which I am sooo thankful(I would not have known what I would have done without all those interesting songs,rhymes and crafts that they show to keep the kids engrossed).

Well friends,I got tagged bythe wonderful mom of Siddharth and Sahil, Trupti for a Meme,so here is My Meme:

3 Things that scare me:

1.Scorpions and all eight/more legged creatures.

2.The flowerpots burst on diwali(for those who donot know:These are cone shaped filled crackers with a wick on the pointed top part which is lit and it bursts into a thousand bright stars):(I once burnt my hand on diwali with this).

3.The thought that I cannot have a routine for myself.

3 people who make me laugh:

1.My younger sister Prashanti(She always has the right joke to narrate at the right time)

2.My daughter Ananya who imitates everything I do,including the way I dry my long hair.

3.Veteran Hindi actor Mehmood.

3 Things I love:


2.Reading(I am now forbidden to read Anything as long as my daughter is awake:She wants to read,that's why!!).


3 Things I hate:

1.Double standards.



3 Things I don't understand:

1.The first one has to be MATHS,of course.

2.All things technical in nature.

3.Why God takes away good natured people when this world needs so much of them now?

3 Things on my desk:

1.My daughter's favourite DVDs so I can pop one into the DVD player when the demand arises:)).

2.My little diary in which I jot down my notes.

3.My Laptop(indispensable esp when blogging:))

3 Things I am doing right now:

1.Well,writing this meme.

2.Thinking of where to take my daughter out for the weekend.

3.Thinking,OMG,it is already 12.45 pm ,what am I going to do for lunch?

3 Things I want to do before I die:

1.Accomplish my dream of acquiring a Ph.D degree.

2.Learn Hindustani and Carnatic classical music.

3.See my daughter when she is all grown up and tell her about all the places she visited when she was a baby.

3 Things I can do:

1.Understand a little bit of computers(Hurray!Never thought I could make it this far!)

2.Make my way searching for exactly what I want,be it some information I want,or some place I want to visit.

3.I can cook, and bake and now,decorate too(without any formal training!)

3 Things one should listen to:

1.Your inner self.

2.Announcements in railway stations.

3.Kumar Gandharva's excellent vocal Hindustani music.

3 Things I would never want to listen to:

1.My daughter saying "NO" to every thing that I offer for her lunch/dinner.

2.Gossip:Telling one friend on another.

3.Always complaining that one doesn't have enough.

3 Favourite foods:

1.Mysorepak(My grandma makes excellent mysorepak)

2.Dahi wada(Lentil dumplings soaked in seasoned yogurt)

3.Anything made with Chocolate

3 beverages I drink regularly:


2.Soy Milk


3 TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:

1.Enid Blyton's Fairy tales(Still love it)

2.The wonderful "Lucy Show" that aired on Doordarshan on wednesdays at 9.00pm,I think....(In the early 80's)

3.Mahabharat(My dad gave us excercise books in which to write what we thought of the weekend episode of Mahabharat)

3 of my dearest friends whom I would like to tag for this meme:




Meme was fun,but so many things to say and such little space.Well,that's how life always is,isn't it?So much to accomplish and so little time to do that.

I hope you all have fun writing this too.Wish you all a Very Happy New Year!

Added:I tagged Asha but found later that she had tagged me too and she has written her meme already.So I would like to tag another great blogger friend,our very own Dilipji of Garam masala.

December 25, 2006

Merry Chirstmas To You All!!

Wish you all a very very Merry Chirstmas,Dear Friends!I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support in the form of nice feedbacks..I Hope to continue gaining more friends in the next year.

Have a wonderful New year and let the year bring you all the wishes you hoped for.

Cheers and good wishes from

Me and My family.

December 20, 2006


This is the recipe I used to make our anniversary cake.

Ingredients:4 Eggs

1 cup Castor sugar

1 1/2 tbsp Butter/Margarine

2 1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder

4 tbsp Boiling water

1 1/4 cups Self rising flour(See note below for substitution)

Filling and topping:250 ml heavy cream/double cream/whipping cream

4 teaspoons Confectioners sugar/Icing sugar

Grated dark chocolate for decorating

Milk chocolate kisses or any other small chocolates to decorate

Method:Heat the oven to 350F/180 c.

Grease two 9 inch round pans with butter and line the bases.

Beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are combined well.

Add the sugar in 1/3rd portions and beat till the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes lemon coloured and thick.This will take about 15 mins.

Now add the butter and cocoa powder to 4 tbsp of boiling water and stir well to dissolve.The mixture should be smooth and lump-free.

Add to the egg and sugar mixture and beat well to combine.Add the flour by the tablespoon,just sprinkle on top and fold gently,but smoothly.

Divide the mixture into the two tins and bake for about 20-25 mins.

Let cool in the pans for 5 mins ,then invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Filling:Mix the confectioners/icing sugar into the heavy cream/double cream and put in the refrigerator along with your beaters for atleast 3-4 hours.The colder the cream is,the faster it will whip.

Whip until stiff peaks form.

Place one layer of the cake on the serving plate.Brush the top lightly with simple sugar syrup(See note).Then put a 1/3rd of the whipped cream on the first layer,spread with a spatula or knife until evenly spread.Place the second layer on it,and repeat the icing.

With the remaining cream,frost the top and sides.Smooth the surfaces. Sprinkle grated chocolate on top.Take some of the grated chocolate in your hand and stick to the sides.I suggest that you place 3 inch wide wax paper strips under the base of the cake just to catch these chocolate gratings so that you can reuse them.

Now put the remaining cream into an icing bag fitted with a star tip.(I used my icing gun to do this).Pile swirls on top and little shells or whatever other design you prefer on the sides of the cake at the base.Decorate the swirls with chocolate kisses.I used star shaped chocolate that I had on hand.

My Notes:Self rising flour is all purpose flour mixed with salt and raising agents.If you cannot find this,make your own at home:Take one cup of sifted all purpose flour(Sift first,then measure by putting the flour into the cup loosely and levelling off with a knife),remove 2 teaspoons of the flour, and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.This makes 1 cup,you can make your own and store it for atleast a few months(depending on when the baking powder expires).

Instead of castor sugar,just grind granulated sugar in the food processor.That is what I did.Castor sugar is just finer grained that granulated sugar.

For making simple sugar syrup,just heat equal quantities of sugar and water(by volume,not weight) until it reaches boiling point.

I like the texture of this cake.The mixture will be thinner than normal cake batters and this makes fairly thin layers of cake.But the texture is really spongy and goes very well with the whipped cream.I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family did.

December 16, 2006

Marriage Anniversary

This is the cake that I made for our 6th marriage anniversary today,16th of december.I shall be posting the recipe and other details on Monday.I just wanted to share my joy with everyone,especially Swapna who put up beautiful flowers on her blog along with her wishes to us.
I thought this would be a good occasion to present to you all my daughter,who is turning 3 in Jan 2007.She is Ananya:(Her friend Vaishnavi calls her Aneena:))

Added on 20th Dec:Dear friends,Thank you all for the best wishes you have sent for us and our daughter.I have removed my daughter's photograph from this post for security reasons.I hope you will understand.

December 14, 2006


I got this recipe from a telugu weekly.I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this pulusu.I must say though, that this is for someone who truly enjoys curry leaves in all its forms.I am one of those .I love any dish made with curry leaves.Curry leaves also provide good nutrients for hair growth.So all of you who are looking to improve your hair,this is a good way to get curry leaves into your diet.

Ingredients:2 1/2 cups of loosely packed curry leaves(about 20 sprigs)

2 tsp sambar powder

2 lime sized balls of tamarind/3 tsp tamarind paste

2 tsp rice flour/chickpea(besan)flour

2 medium sized onions,chopped fine

3 green chillies

2 tsp Jaggery(Optional)

For Tempering/Tadka/Popu

1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida/Hing

Method:Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the curry leaves for a few mins.Grind this paste in a blender to a smooth paste,adding very little water.

Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the thick paste.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep pan,add the cumin,mustard and asafoetida/hing along with slit green chillies.

As soon as these splutter,add the ground curry leaf paste.Fry until the paste leaves its raw smell,about 5 mins.

Now add 3 cups of water to this along with the tamarind pulp/paste.
Add the sambar powder,salt,and 1/2 tsp turmeric to it.Let this boil and cook for 10 mins.

Add the chickpea/besan flour or the rice flour mixed with 3-4 tbsp of water and the jaggery at this stage.Let cook until a bit thick.

Serve hot with rice.

My Notes:I did not have onions and jaggery on hand when I prepared this pulusu.It still turned out very good.I am sure anyone who loves the flavour of curry leaves will like this one.

Added on 18 Dec 2006:I have decided to send in this recipe for VKN's FAHC campaign.

December 08, 2006


Since I started blogging,thanks to all the inspiration I got from friends in the blog world,my penchant for trying out new recipes is on the rise.So I fished out a recipe for an eggless sooji cake from Recipezaar.I was sceptical at first,but you can see the result for yourselves!

Ingredients:1/2 cup Sooji(Semolina)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup yogurt/curd

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp green cardamom/elaichi powder

6-8 pistachios,sliced(Other nuts like cashews,almonds,and even raisins can be used)

Method: Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line a 7 inch sandwich tin with greaseproof paper.This is important as the cake tends to stick to the pan.

Now mix the semolina,sugar,yougurt and oil.Mix well so that the batter is lump-free.Now add in the elaichi/cardamom powder and the baking soda.Add in the sliced pistachios,reserving some for garnishing.It helps to toss the nuts in a little plain flour/maida before mixing into the batter:It prevents the nuts from sinking to the botton.Mix well,pour into the prepared tin and bake immediately for 35-40 mins.

My Notes:I took the cake out after 35 mins and it was done.It was more like a baked sooji halwa,Best eaten warm.I suppose you could even out saffron in this to jazz it up a bit.I will do that the next time.

Also,this cake does not rise really high as it uses semolina and semolina results in a denser structure than flour.As you can see from the picture,it is about 3/4 inch high.

December 07, 2006


There are some things we can never forget.In my list of unforgettable things is this simple sweet which we used to buy in shops near temples in Andhra when we were very young. I can never forget the taste of the roasted coconut chips coated with jaggery.

Thanks to JFI-Jaggery,I managed to re-create this simple but classic sweet at home today.So here is how I made it:

Ingredients:1 big coconut

2 cups of grated jaggery

1 tsp green cardamom/elaichi powder

Method:Break open the coconut,and then carefully take it out of the shell.Now peel off the brown layer on the coconut and slice it into very thin chips,about 1 mm thin and 1 inch long.If you cannot take the coconut out of the shell intact then don't bother too much as the taste of this sweet lies in toasting it.

Preheat the oven to 325F and spread the chips on baking trays.I used trays lined with parchment paper.Put these chips in the oven for about 30 mins,until they turn a nice light brown and smell toasted.

Melt the Jaggery with 1/4 cup of water.Pass it through a strainer once to remove any impurities.Then put it back on heat again and keep boiling until it crosses the soft ball stage.

Now,I don't have a sugar thermometer and here is what I did:I took a bowl of cold water, and then put a small amount(maybe some drops) of the melted jaggery into the cold water.Then I tried to scoop it up with my fingers.The jaggery held shape and was soft and could be moulded.This is when I took it off the heat.

Now add the toasted and cooled coconut chips into the jaggery and mix well.Immediately,put it into a greased tray or tin and let cool.

Break into pieces when cooled and store.

My Notes: The yeild of the coconut chips will be dependant on the size of the coconut and this will in turn decide how much jaggery is enough for it.I measured the amount of coconut chips I got ,which was 2.5 cups(standard measuring cups).The jaggery used was according to that.If you have less than this amount,reduce the jaggery a little.
Bottomline:Make sure you have enough jaggery to coat all the pieces and hold them together once you pour them into a greased plate or tray.Too much jaggery will not be good as you want to taste the toasted coconut chips with just a little sweetness.

This is a good sweet to nibble upon when you crave that odd mid-morning snack or even a mid-afternoon snack.

I originally wanted to send this one for JFI Jaggery but could not,due to problems with uploading photos to blogger.Anyway,I hope you all enjoy this one too as much as you enjoy the other ,wonderful and diverse entries sent in.

UPDATE:Well friends,the gracious Kay agreed to accept my second entry for JFI Jaggery,so this is going to be my second entry to JFI.Thanks a lot,Kay!

Added on 18 Dec 2006:I have decided to send this to VKN,who is inviting recipes for the FAHC Campaign.

December 04, 2006


This is a curry that I often make, and my husband likes it too.I thought it would be good to share it with you all.So here goes:

Ingredients:2 green peppers,chopped into medium sized pieces(1 1/2 cups)

2 medium sized carrots chopped into small pieces( 1 cup)

1 medium onion,finely chopped(1/2 cup)

2 green chillies ,slit lengthwise

1 tsp fresh grated /minced ginger

1 tsp fresh grated/minced garlic

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tsp chana masala/Chole masala

1/2 tsp of cumin/jeera seeds

1/2 tsp mustard/rai seeds

Method:Heat two tbsp oil in a thick based pan.Add the mustard and cumin seeds.When they crackle,add the ginger,garlic ,onions and chillies.Let them fry for a while.

Now add the chopped vegetables,and let saute for 2 mins.Now add 1 cup water to the curry and let it cook until the vegetables are soft and cooked.Now add the chana masala,turmeric and salt.Mix well.Make a paste of one teaspoon of cornflour with 3-4 tsp of water.Add this to the curry and it will thicken in seconds.Take off heat.Sprinkle with lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander.Serve hot with chapathis.Goew well with fried rice or jeera rice too.

November 30, 2006


Ginger is a very good digestive.Ayurveda prescribes ginger to fire up a sluggish digestive system.It is soothing for colds and sore throat as well.It is the most commonly used spice in most Indian as well as south asian households.

My post for today is the ubiquitous Allam Pachchadi.It is a common condiment in most Andhra households.It goes very well with dosa,idli,even upma, and is best when mixed with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.I learnt this from my friend's mother when she had come over to visit her .This is also my entry for JFI-Jaggery which is being hosted by Kay of Towards a better tomorrow.So,without further ado,here is the recipe as I learnt from Aunty:

Ingredients:200 gms(about 1 cup)tamarind

Boiling water,to soak the tamarind

For Popu/Tadka/Tempering:

2 Tbsp split Urad dal

2 Tbsp Chanadal

5 gms block hing/asafoetida(Or,4-6 pinches asafoetida powder)

1 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds

1 tsp Mustards seeds

6-8 dry red chillies

75 gms(about 1/3 cup) Ginger,peeled and grated/chopped into small pieces

3/4 cup grated jaggery(about 100 gms)

Salt to taste

Method: Soak the tamarind in boiling water for 30 mins.

Extract the juice by squeezing the pulp with your hands.This method helps the chutney stay longer outside the fridge.Take out the pips from the pulp.Keep aside.Grate the jaggery now.

Heat 5 Tbsp oil in a pan.Add the urad dal,chanadal,muustard seeds and methi.Let it fry until the seeds turn brown and the mustard has popped.This needs to be done on a medium heat.

Take it out into a plate and let cool.Now,fry the red chillies and hing in oil.Once the chillies puff up,take them out and add to the urad-chana mix.

Once the mix is warm,put it into a grinder(I sed my coffee grinder attachment that came with my blender) and grind till coarse.If you like the chutney fine,then you can also grind the seeds till they are almost a fine powder consistency.

Now,add the ginger,tamarind and salt.Grind once more,till all the ingredients are mixed and ginger is minced thoroughly.

Add the grated jaggery and run the mixer once more,till the jaggery is all blended and the chutney is a homogenous mixture.Take out into a dry bowl and keep it covered.Serve with idli,dosa,or hot rice.

This stores well for atleast 1 week outside the fridge in good conditions.In the refigerator,it will keep atleast 15-20 days,though mine is always over long before that.

Note:I used ready made tamarind paste as I find that the tamarind available in London has a sweet after taste,and does not really go well with chutneys.

November 29, 2006


The dish I am going to present today is a type of sambar made in andhra.Pulusu is neither sambar nor rasam,it lies somewhere in between.Both sambar and rasam rely on a mix of spices to give them the characteristic taste.Pulusu is made without using any spice powder whatsoever.The speciality of this dish is that mustard paste is used to give it that extra dimension.So,here is the recipe:

Ingredients:For Pulusu-

3 cups of chopped spinach(1 big bunch)

1 medium potato,chopped into chunks

1 medium onion,chopped into chunks

3-4 ladiesfingers cut into 1 inch pieces(Bhindi)

200 gms Anapakaya/sorakaya/dudhi/bottlegourd,chopped into chunks

1 whole drumstick cut into 3 inch pieces

3-4 green chillies

1 lime size ball of tamarind/2 tbsp tamarind paste

1/2 cup of cooked Tuvar dal/Arhar dal/Split pigeon peas

For Mustard paste-

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp Raw rice

For Tadka/Popu/Tempering

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1/4 tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds

curry leaves


Method:First thing,soak the mustard seeds along with the raw rice in 3-4 tbsp water for about 3 hours.

Meanwhile,prepare the vegetables.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a deep and thick bottmed pan,and add the mustard,methi/fenugreek, and curry leaves.As soon as they splutter,add the chopped onions and chillies and saute for 3-4 mins.Now add the other vegetables and saute for 5 mins.Now add the chopped spinach and let fry for 1 min,just till spinach starts wilting.Then,add 3-4 cups(750 ml to 1 litre) water ,add salt to taste, and turmeric to it.Add the tamarind to this.

Put the lid on and let it boil until the vegetables are cooked.This takes about 20-30 mins on medium flame.

Drain the water from the soaked mustard-rice.Make a fine paste using a mortar and pestle.The mix should be very fine ground.

Once the vegetables in the pulusu are cooked and soft,add the mustard paste and the cooked tuvar dal.

Donot keep on heat for longer than 2 mins, as the mustard will give the pulusu a botter aftertaste if it is heated for long.

Serve hot with rice and papad.

Note:I did not have anapakaya and bhindi,so I omitted them.Vegetables like carrot and pumpkin can also be added.

This is my contribution to Pooja's Veggie of the week.

November 27, 2006


I first tasted this dish at one of our potluck parties here.It was made by my friend Ramya.This has become one of our favourites,as it is very easy to prepare too.I use my measuring cups for all my recipes as it is easy for me.

Ingredients:1 cup raw rice

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes(about 3 medium sized tomatoes)

2 tbsp coconut powder or grated fresh coconut

2-3 green chillies,slit lenghwise

1 tsp fresh minced/grated ginger

1 tsp fresh minced/grated garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion(one medium sized onion)

1 tbsp garam masala

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

1/2 tsp mustard seeds/rai

a few curry leaves

Method: Cook the rice seperately in a cooker.A soon as the pressure is released,take it out and fluff up the rice with a fork.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thich bottomed pan.Add the mustard and cumin seeds.Let them splutter,then add the ginger and garlic .once they lose their raw smell,add the chillies,and the onions.Fry the onions till they turn transparent.Now add the chopped tomatoes.I like to use a combination of cherry tomatoes and salad or plum tomatoes as the cherry tomatoes impart a slight tanginess to the dish.

Let them cook with a lid on until the tomatoes are cooked and soft.Add salt and the garam masala.Cook for i more minute, then add the coconut and curry leaves.Mix well and pour over the cooked rice.Mix well and serve hot with raitha.

November 23, 2006


Today is also the birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba,apart from being Thanksgiving day.I wanted to prepare some sweet for naivedyam as well as for thanksgiving day.I came across Chandrika's Aval Laddoo, which looked very easy to make.

I did not add the coconut(forgot to add!!) .I also decided to make it low calorie by using artificial sweetener in place of sugar.The result is an extremely light and crunchy Laddoo.Thanks for sharing the recipe,Chandrika.


Changing to Beta Version and template changes

Hello Friends,

I just switched over to beta blogger.I am now thinking of changing my template.I am still adding you all to my blogroll,so please don't think I have forgotten to add you:-)Hope to see you all soon with more recipes.Please keep your comments coming.:-)

November 22, 2006


Me and my husband love visiting botanical gardens.After we moved to London,we heard of the Royal Botanic Gardens,Kew.We were told it is an excellent place to visit.We decided to take home made food with us and I started thinking what I could make.I had some bread dough left,so I made up these rolls,inspired by the famous cinnamon rolls.So without further ado,here is the recipe:

Ingredients:For the rolls:
200 gms All purpose flour or maida

50 gms soya flour

2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup Milk,warmed

1/2 cup water,warmed

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp ghee

Some more flour to knead the dough

For the filling:
3 big potatoes,boiled

1 big carrot grated

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp amchur/lemon juice

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp fresh grated garlic

Warm boththe milk and water , and sprinkle yeast on the milk.Add 2 tsp sugar .Sugar helps yeast to grow.Set it in a warm place until the mixture starts frothing.This will take about 15 mins.

Put both the flours into a mixing bowl,add salt and mix well.Make a well in the centre , and pour the yeast mixture into it,along with 2 tbsp ghee.

Mix with a fork until all the flour is incorporated.You may need to add upto 1/2 cup more of flour in order to knead it .Now dust your countertop with some flour and invert the bowl onto it.Once the flour is on the countertop,dust your hand with flour and keand the dough until it feels elastic.If the dough is too sticky,add some more flour.But take care not to add too much or else the rolls will be dense.

Coat a large bowl with oil and put the dough into it.Cover with a soft kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place to rise.It will take about 1 hour in a really warm place.

Meanwhile,prepare your filling.Boil and mash the potatoes completely.Grate the carrots and mox into the potatoes,along with salt,turmeric and chilli powder.In a small pan,heat 2 tbsp oil, add ginger and garlic until brown,add the garam masala and the amchur,if using.Immediately pour it onto the potato mixture and mix well.If you use lemon juice,add it at this stage.

Prepare your baking tin now.I used a 9" square,but an 8" square or round will work beautifully too.Just coat it generously with some butter or line it with parchment/greaseproof paper.

The dough should have doubled in size after about 1 hour.If not,let it rise some more.Now gently punch down the dough and then divide it into two balls. Roll out each ball into a square, about 1/4 inch thick and 9 inches by 6 inches .

Now brush the surface with a little milk(you can leave this step out too as the potato mixture is moist enough to hold on to the dough.).Divide the potato mixture into two portions .Spread the potato mixture on it with your hands on each portion.Roll up the square tightly.Using a table knife or a plain edged knife,cut it into 2 inch long rolls.Lift carefully and put it into a prepared tin.Repeat with the other ball of dough and the filling.Cover with a tea towel and let it rise again in a warm place.This will take about 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.Put the risen rolls into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.It may take a little longer too,around 20 mins.So check after 15 mins and if needed,bake it for a little longer.

Let the rolls cool in the pan for about 10 mins,then take them out and serve with any sauce of your choice.These are great eaten fresh.But you can also make them ahead of time and just reheat in the microwave oven for a few seconds.

This makes 12 medium sized rolls.
This is my entry to Nandita's WBB#7.

November 21, 2006


I love Dates.They are so full of nutrition that often I pop a few into my mouth when I crave a snack without a lot of fat in it and which also satisfies my sweet tooth.I remember having baked a date cake long ago(almost 8 yrs ago,to be frank!) and my sister always asks for that recipe.Unfortunately,I don't have that recipe anymore.And thus began my search for a date cake that would be only mildly sweet .I was surprised to find a recipe by Delia Smith which is low in saturated fat as well.I made a few changes to the recipe,so here is the recipe with the changes.You can find the original recipe at Deliaonline.So,here is the recipe with the changes I made:

Indgredients:175 gms stoned dates(About 3/4 cup)

225 gms All purpose flour/Maida(2 cups)

50 gms White sugar(1/3 cup)

25 gms Margarine-I used "I can't believe its not butter(1 tablespoon)

75 gms Walnuts

75 gms Cashews

1 tsp Baking soda

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 Clove(I crushed it in the mortar with 1/2 tsp of sugar)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tbsp Ground flax seeds

4-5 tbsps Water

Icing:110 gms Icing/Confectioners Sugar

1 tablespoon margarine

4-5 tablespoons warm milk

Method: Put the ground flax seeds along with the water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on high for 1 min.The flax meal will have absorbed some water and become thick.Set it aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 400F/200C and roast the nuts until they turn light brown,this takes about 8-10 mins.Let them cool,then chop coarsely.

Reduce the heat to 350F/175C.Line a 7 inch square cake pan with 4 inch high sides,with parchment or wax paperMy favourite trick to making wax paper is to spray a normal white sheet with oil and then use it to like my cake pans.We were living in a small town where parchment or wax paper was not really available,so I came up with this trick to reduce the mess a date cake can make.You can also grease your tin but if you do,grease it well with some shortening/ghee.This cake rises high and is moist too,so making it in sandwich type pans would make the cake too thin and dry.

Chop the dates and soak it in 1 cup(250 ml) of boiling water.Add baking soda and the margarine .Set aside.

Sift the flour with cinnamon powder,clove powder,salt and the baking soda.I generally measure it all, and them put it into a bowl and aerate it well with my wire whisk.

Once the flax meal has cooled,the consistency will be exacly like an egg,very slimy and gooey and almost mud coloured.Now take this into a mixing bowl and beat it with spoon.I like to use a flat melamine rice server to beat my cake batters with, as melamine does not absorb water.Add the sugar and beat well till the mixture is a little lighter in colour.

Crush the dates by hand to make a coarse paste.You can leave it like that if you like date chunks in your cake.

Add this to the mixing bowl and beat well.Now add the flour to this in two parts,mixing well to incorporate it fully.Lastly,add the chopped nuts.Coat the nuts with a little flour that you have measured for the cake.This prevents the nuts from sinking to the bottom after the cake has baked.

If the batter is a little too thick,you can add some milk,about 5-6 tbsps.I did have to add the milk to bring the batter to a pouring consistency.

Pour it into the prepared cake pan.Bake for 1 1/4 hours.The cake will smell done, and the top will spring back when touched lightly.I baked in in my anodised Silverwood pan and the cake was done in 55 minutes.

Mix the ingredients for the icing and pour over the cake.

November 08, 2006


This is my version of the very popular Aloo Palak.I made this once when I had nothing except some spinach and a few baby potatoes at home.I have used frozen spinach just because that is what I have on hand.You can use fresh spinach.

Ingredients:250 grams of frozen spinach/1 big bunch fresh spinach.

8 baby potatoes

1 tsp Garam masala

1 tsp Amchur powder

2 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp dhaniya/jeera powder(equal proportions)

For paste: 1 medium onion

1 big clove garlic

1 inch piece ginger

Method: Chop the onion,ginger and garlic coarsely and fry in a few teaspoons of oil until brown and cooked.Cool,grind into paste and keep aside.

Boil the baby potatoes until soft and peel them.

In a thick bottomed,wide-based pan,heat 2 teaspoons oil and put the peeled baby potatoes in it.Fry on medium heat until the potatoes are lightly browned.Now,add the amchur,garam masala,and dhaniya jeera powder to the potatoes.Let it saute for 2 mins,then add the frozen spinach.You need not thaw it before using.I added frozen spinach directly to the pan.If you are using fresh spinach,just wash and chop it finely.Then add it to the potatoes.

Now put a lid on the pan and let cook until the spinach has cooked.This will take about 5 mins.

Now take off the lid and add salt and chilli powder.Let it cook for sometime.Add the onion paste,mix well.Add 1/2 cup water if the curry becomes too dry.

Garnish with chopped coriander and slices of lemon, and serve hot with parathas.

Yield:This makes enough curry for two persons.

November 03, 2006


I wanted to make something for Diwali this time.But my electric coil stove does not allow me to really do deep fried stuff easily.It takes very long for food to cook properly as well as brown at the same time.Finally,I borrowed a flat based,wide mouthed deep pan from my friend to make some murukkus.

Ingredients:1 cup Roasted Urad dal flour(Deskinned black gram dal)

3 cups rice flour

2 tbsp butter

1 teaspoon whole jeera(Cumin)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

3 teaspoons chilli powder(more if you like )

2 tsp salt

Oil to deep fry the murukku

Method: You need a murukku maker for this.If you have a cookie press,that works fine too.Infact,before I bought my murukku maker,I used my icing gun to make murukkus,although I must admit that was a tough task.

Roast the urad dal until pinkish in colour.Then,cool and grind to a fine powder.Mix this with the rice flour,salt,chilli powder,sesame seeds,jeera seeds.

Now add in the butter.This is important.Butter makes the murukku really light.Next,add enough water to make a tight dough.You may need about 3/4th cup.I did not measure the water-just eyeballed it guided by the consistency of the dough.

Keep the dough covered with a damp tea towel or paper towel.This is important as the dough tends to dry up otherwise.Heat oil in a deep pan.To test,drop a small piece of dough-it should come up immediately but not brown very quickly.

You will need a Murukku press for this.You can use a Cookie press too.

Fill a lime sized ball of the dough into the press.You need to use the disc with the single star for this.

Press out the murukkus into hot oil.Fry until golden brown.Take it out using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

When cool,store in air tight tins.This stays fresh for 15 days.

This dough is not pliable enough to make the round spiral shaped murukkus.It tends to break apart because it is made using flours.

I shall post another recipe which I use to make the spiral shaped murukku very soon.Until then enjoy this!

October 31, 2006


My Husband is a great fan of burgers.He asked me once ,why,when I bake so many cakes and cookies,I cannot bake a burger bun.So I grabbed this opportunity to learn bread making.I have experimented in the past,with bread making.I used recipes that came at the back of flour packs.Finally,I found this recipe which makes excellent burger buns.

Ingredients:1/2 cup warm water

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar+1/2 tsp for proofing yeast

90 ml warm milk

1 tsp salt

1/8th cup melted ghee(can also use shortening)

1 tsp Horlicks

1 1/2 +2/3 cups bread flour(can use normal all purpose flour)

Butter/milk to brush the buns

Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

Method: Add the sugar and yeast to 1/2 cup warm water and let it sit in a warm place for 15 mins till it froths.

Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with 1 tbsp sugar,melted ghee,warm milk,horlicks and salt.Add in the frothing yeast liquid.Mix with a large fork.Now add some more of the extra flour and mix till you get a ball that comes together.

Now,put the dough on your kitchen counter and knead till you get a semi - sticky,soft dough.You may need to add more flour as required.But take care not to add too much flour as the buns may become dense.You may need to smear your hands with some butter/ghee to knead the dough so that it will not stick to your hands.

Let the dough rest on your counter (You can also use a clean large bowl) covered with a kitchen towel or paper towels so as not to dry out the dough.After 10 mins,knead the dough gently 8-10 times,not more.Now coat a large bowl with oil and put the dough in it.Cover with a clean tea towel and put it in a warm place.Let it sit for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.The dough will have risen and doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Gently punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal sized balls.Roll withthe hand to make smooth buns and flatten a little.Put them on a greased baking tray and cover again with a tea towel.Let it rise.This will take about 30-40 mins.

Brush the tops and sides of buns with butter or whole milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bake the buns for about 20 mins.Keep checking after 15 mins.

I used skimmed milk and a little ghee to knead the dough smooth.The dough will get sticky,so smear your hands with a little oil/ghee/butter before kneading.

October 20, 2006


Hello everyone,

I made cupcakes today with the victora sponge cake batter.I have made this cake many times before, and I can tell you it is a no-fail recipe.Use it to make gateaus,sandwich cakes, or even trifle.So,without further ado,here is the recipe:



150 gms butter

150 gms self rising flour

150 gms sugar`

3 eggs

2 tsp Vanilla essence

Method:Preheat oven to 375 F/180C.

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and creamy.Add the eggs one by one and beat well after each addition.

Add vanilla essence at this point.

Now add flour,mix until incorporated.Pour into two 8 inch round pans which have been greased and floured.Bake for 30 mins.Keep checking and cake is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean.Cool .

October 03, 2006


Some months ago,I bought a new heart shaped heavy aluminium bundt pan.A bundt pan has a tube in the centre, and high sides.Mine is about 3 inches in height.I so wanted to bake something in it, and this cake,that I got from joyofbaking seemed the perfect recipe for it:

Ingredients: 2 oz(55 grams semi-sweet chocolate

1 Tablespoon brewed coffee

2 ¼ cups (290 gms)cake flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup(113 grams)unsalted butter

1 ¼ cups white sugar(granulated)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essence/extract

¾ cup(185 ml)sour cream

1/3 cup(80 ml)milk

Method: Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Grease a 10 inch tube pan.A tube pan is one which has a central tube to facilitale even baking.The capacity of the pan must be around 12 cups.In order to check the capacity,pour water into it upto the rim and measure how much water it takes.

Boil water in a saucepan.Over the boiling water,place another bowl and melt the chocolate with coffee in this.Make sure the water does not touch the chocolate.

Sift together flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.

Cream butter until soft, and then add sugar.Keep beating until light and fluffy.I like to powder the sugar as it dissolves much easier and the creamed mixture becomes much fluffier.

Beat each egg and add to the creamed butter.Beat well after each addition.Add vanilla essence to this.

Mix milk and sour cream.I used normal home made yogurt/curd.Incorporate flour into the butter mixture in three additions alternating with the milk and sour cream mix.

Remember to start with the flour and end with it as this makes for a much smoother mixture.

Pour half the batter into a separate bowl and add the melted chocolate to it.Stir well.

Place alternate spoons of white and chocolate batter in the pan.Pour the whole batter into it.Using a blunt knife or the handle of a long spoon,swirl the mixture once or twice.Don’t over do it,or the marble effect will be lost.

Bake for about 1 hour.Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing the cake from it to cool completely.

This cake has a nice texture.I used normal All Purpose Flour/Maida as I could not find cake flour.Cake flour is a finer flour which is low in protein than normal all purpose flour.To substitute with all purpose flour,use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of maida for 1 cup cake flour.

I served this cake as it is.This would go well with ice-cream too.

October 02, 2006



Ingredients:1 ½ cups all purpose flour,

1/2 tsp salt,

2 tsp baking powder,

1/2 cup butter,

1 cup sugar,

2 eggs,

1 tsp vanilla essence,

3/4 cup milk

Method:Preheat oven to 350 F/175C.

Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy.Add eggs abd beat till light and fluffy.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt.Add vanilla essence to the butter mix

.Now add flour,alternately with milk.Start with flour and end with flour.Batter will be smoother.

Pour batter into an 8 inch round pan (which has sides of atleast 2 inches) which has been greased and floured.Bake for 50-55 mins.Remove from pan,and cool completely.

You can add nuts,candied cherries,raisins, even fresh blueberries.Just remember to coat them with flour before adding to the batter.Otherwise,they sink to the bottom.

I I baked this cake in a pan measuring 6 inches by 9.5 inches,and I also used fresh blueberries in the cake instead of nuts. It was fabulous.

September 29, 2006


I have a small group of friends here in London,and we regularly have potlucks.It is a nice time for us as well as the kids.They get to see other people too(only Mummy is tooo boring,right kids?).So anyway,who can forget 15th of August?That is the day we gained independance from British rule.We decided to celebrate our independance day in our own way.We all prepared foods and decorated it as close as possible to our flag.We also sang the National Anthem.

I baked a chocolate cake, and an eggless one at that.So here is the recipe:



1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar(powdered)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/3 cup oil

1 tbsp vinegar(substitute with equal quantity of lemon juice if vinegar is not available)

1 cup cold water


Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Mix liquid ingredients separately and mix into the dry.

Mix just to combine and pour immediately into a 8 by 5 inch pan.bake immediately for 30 mins.

Donot delay as soda starts to react as soon as the liquid ings come in contact with the solid.

I made this in a rectangular non-stick dark finish pan.But in light coloured aluminium pans,it may cook a little longer.Check after 25 mins.

100 ml heavy cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
A few drops each of red,green and blue food colours.

Chill the cream overnight.Also chill the whisk with which you are going to whip the cream.This makes the job easier and faster too.
Divide the cream into 3 portions,add red food colour to one portion,green food colour to another portion, and let the third portion remain white.

Now whip each portion until firm peaks form.You should do this in a cool place(Not near the stove )or else,the cream will not whip well.

Put the cream into the icing gun/bag(I find it easier to work with an icing gun) and pipe small whirls over the cake.Repeat with the three colours.For the Chakra,reserve a small portion of the white icing,add a few drops of blue food colour into it and gently fold it.Be careful not to deflate the cream.Pipe on the white potion in the shape of a chakra.

If your cream does deflate,put in back in the refrigerator and let it get cooler.Whip lightly again.

I chose to serve this cake directly from the pan.You can take it out,cool it completely, and then frost even the sides.In that case,you will need double the amount of heavy cream/double cream.


Well,as a beginning,I thought I should tell you all about how this passion for baking stirred in me.

I was about 8 yrs old then.There was a fair in our school and in one of the games,the prize was an exquisitely baked and decorated cake.

Now,this cake was made my Mrs.Prasanna Chandran,my biology teacher in class Tenth.She was known for her cakes in our school as well as the local community.

I was really impressed by that cake.It was decorated with white icing,with ribbons, sugar flowrers and small silver balls.How unfortunate that I donot have a picture of the cake that inspired me!But that day,my mother won the game and the prize cake came home with us.

Since then,I have always wanted to bake.I remember we used to have a round glass top oven sold by Paramount.It was electric,but in those days,with the frequent power cuts and low voltage problems,our cakes were not really perfect,but we liked them anyway!

When I was studying in secondary school,I started helping my sister make birthday cakes for us.We were three girls,so three cakes a year were a must.

In class 9th,I graduated to making the whole cake myself.It was a thrilling experience to see the cake rise and brown to a perfect golden colour.I baked biscuits too later on as the years passed by.

I would collect recipes wherever I could find them.Most were from the newspaper The Telegraph which would publish simple recipes in their sunday edtions.I wonder if they still do that,these days.

After I got married,I went to the US to join my husband.There I got a good opprtunity to try out new recipes.My husband was, (and still is)very forgiving,and never uttered a rude comment even if the recipes did not turn out perfect.I did have my share of failures and frustrations,but there you go,unless you experiment,how can you learn?

And as they say,experience is the best teacher.So,here I am today, having mastered a few recipes,still trying out new ones, and looking for more information on baking.

I do hope I have not saddled you down with my childhood memories.

I will be posting recipes soon,so don't forget to come back.