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.