Wednesday 31 October 2012

Event Announcement- Favorite Rice Recipes


Dear friends this month I have got the opportunity to guest host a very famous event in the food blog world named ‘Favorite Recipes’ brainchild of an immensely talented blogger and an even more amazing person Swathi Iyer who blogs from  Zesty South Indian Kitchen
After quite some brainstorming I chose this months theme for the event as Favorite Rice dishes
Rice as you all know is the staple food of over half the world's population and is the grain with the second highest wordwide production. It is an excellent source of fuel for our body being easily digested. So the energy it supplies becomes quickly available to our body.
Rice is such a versatile grain of all and is found in almost all types of cuisines. Cooked in a variety of ways it is used in soups, salads, appetizers, main course and even in deserts. It is a grain that merrily blends in the flavor of  any dish.

So sharpen your culinary mind and don you aprons to show me some amazing Rice recipes from your kitchen. Recipes can be of any cuisine and can be either Sweet or Savoury.

Kindly read and follow these simple rules

  • Remember that this is a favorite recipes event and so I would like to know your reason
  • Only new posts from 1st November till month end are allowed, so no archived post please.
  • Recipes can be vegetarian as well as non vegetarian, sweet as well as savoury.
  • Please link this announcement page in you blog post. Usage of logo is highly appreciated.
  • Yo may send in as many recipes but remember the star ingredient has to be rice.
  • Non-bloggers are welcome to share their recipes with a picture to this email

Send in your contribution with your name, your blog name and URL of the contributed recipe to

Looking forward to you support and amazing recipes.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Mummy Cupcakes

Happy Halloween.
Its time of the year to don spooky costumes, carve pumpkins and go ‘Trick or Treating’ from door to door.
What started as a day dressing up in scary costumes to ward away evil spirits wanting to enter a soul has now become a hugely popular holiday.
A major part of the celebration is the food which is very creatively made in the spirit of the day. You will find food decorated to look like spiders, ghosts, witches, monsters, body parts etc.

While browsing through my favorite website on bakes Joy of Baking I came across their section on Halloween. Now in India we do not celebrate this day with as much zest and so Halloween food is still a new territory for me. But these cupcakes looked pretty okay to try my hands on and make some adaptations.
Instead of using marshmallow cream frosting, I opted for cream cheese frosting. I made my own frosting by mashing paneer/cottage cheese with my fingers and mixing some powdered sugar in it.
For the eyeballs I used melted and cooled white chocolate and gave the round shape with my fingers. 
The eyes were then made with a toothpick tip using chocolate sauce.

Ingredients: Makes 8 cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup refined flour(All purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar, powdered
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 190 degree Celcius. Line 8 muffin cups with white cupcake liners or just grease 8 muffin cups.
In a stainless steel or heatproof bowl, place cocoa powder and pour boiling water. Stir to get a smooth consistency. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
Take butter and sugar in a bowl and beat till it becomes fluffy and light. 
Add egg and beat.
Add the flour mixture and beat till incorporated. 
Add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir well.
Pour the batter in the prepared muffin cups till 2/3.
Bake for 16-20 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it cool.

Ingredients: For the icing
  • 50 gms cream cheese/mashed paneer(cottage cheese)- I used mashed paneer
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese/mashed paneer with sugar and knead with your fingers till you get a soft dough.
Put this mixture in a zip lock bag or a thick plastic bag and snip off the end.

Pipe straight lines in haphazard direction on top of the cupcake. 
Make round eyeballs with melted white chocolate and draw eyes with a toothpick using chocolate sauce.

Sending this recipe to Bake Fest # 12 and Vardhini

Happy Mummy cupcake eating

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Double Chocolate Muffins

Today my little angel has grown a month older. 
When we look back and remember of time she was born, we are amazed by the way time flies. Just a couple of months back she was this little baby learning how to sit stand and walk and today she is learning how to speak and says the most sweetest of words in her beautiful voice. We get so thrilled to hear her say new words everyday and love to hear her non stop babble. Its so amazing to see how we learn to talk and understand the meaning of words and how we learn to connect them. The wonders of nature!!

These double chocolate muffins have been waiting on my 'to-bake' list for quite some time. I used a very basic cake recipe and added some melted dark chocolate in the batter and topped with loads of chocolate chips for this sinful delight. A perfect recipe for my 'Sweet day' on the blog which is extra special today being coupled with Dusshera/Bijoya Dashami. 

Ingredients: For 6 muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup refined flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar, powdered
  • 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line muffin cups with liners or grease and line muffin cups with butter paper. If using silicone ones, grease lightly.
Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler or microwave for a minute. Let it cool.
In a bowl add butter and sugar and whisk till it becomes fluffy and creamy.
Sift flour and baking powder and add to the butter mixture. Add egg and mix well. Now add the melted chocolate and mix. 
Sprinkle some chocolate chips in the batter and leave a few to sprinkle on the top.
Pour the batter in the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle few chocolate chips on top and press them gently with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

There is something about freshly baked muffins that is so difficult to explain in words. The aroma that comes out from the hot oven can only be experienced in real. Coupled with the oozing chocolate chips, these muffins are truly a sinful delight. Enjoy them freshly out of the oven.

Sending this recipe to Bake Fest #12 and Vardhini
and to What's with my Cuppa

Happy Sinful Indulgence

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate chip muffins

The theme for this months Baking Partners Challenge was cupcakes/muffins and the star ingredient was ‘Pumpkin’. Yes, what we locally call 'kaddu'. Three amazing recipes were shared and given to choose from by three of our Baking partners. The main ingredient was chosen to celebrate the spirit of a festival famously celebrated mainly in the western countries called Halloween.

Halloween (or All Hallows Eve, Summers end, Witches night) is celebrated worldwide on the night of 31st October. It is celebrated by trick-or-treating, costume parties and carving pumpkins (Jack-O-Lanterns)

The history of the celebration of this day is that the date of Halloween, 31st October, marked the end of the Celtic year and was believed to be the day when the spirits of those who died in the previous year would come back and possess a body of the living to allow themselves to pass into the afterlife. So people would dress up in scary costumes to try and frighten away spirits which has now become an integral part of the celebration. 

If you are someone like me , I can totally read your facial expression right now. Muffins with Pumpkin!!
I mean isn’t pumpkin such a savoury thing!! And that too not really a loved one esp at my home. I understand Halloween is quite a lot about pumpkins but this was stretching it a bit too far!!
All said and done, I had no choice but to jump in this bandwagon being a member of the Baking partners. So, a tiny slice of this new devil was chosen, boiled and pureed to attempt half  the recipe. I wasn’t sure who will want to be my Guinea pig this time.
To my utter surprise the muffins rose beautifully and looked pretty okay. I had put some extra choco-chips on top to attract my guinea pigs!! And would you believe, after tasting my guinea pigs were actually asking for more!! They loved it !! My Pumpkin muffins was such a huge hit esp with the mild cinnamon flavour and the oozing choco chips. My little one loved it the most biting away the muffins with her most sweetest set of little teeth. Such a delight to a mother.

Lesson learnt- Do not be afraid of the Pumpkin !! 

The recipe was shared by Reshmi of Easycook

Ingredients: I halved the recipe to get 6 muffins
  • 3/4 cup refined flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • a pinch of ginger powder(or ground ginger)
  • a pinch of ground clove
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar, powdered
  • egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree(I made my own by boiling  the pumpkin pieces in water and then making a puree) 
  • a handful semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with some vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ground spices, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and pumpkin puree, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour
mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill the muffin cups evenly till 3/4. Add a few choco-chips on top.

Place in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

The muffins were amazingly soft and surprisingly yummy with the slight hint of aromatic spices. And the pumpkin puree wasn't overpowering at all as initially thought by me. A total surprise package.
As said earlier, enjoyed a lot by family and especially bymy darling little angel, Vaanya. She demolished my muffins in no time !!

Happy Pumpkin experimenting!

Friday 12 October 2012

Doodhiya Karela-Guest post for JCO

 To food bloggers Jagruti of Jagruti cooking odyssey is such a famous name. She is such a veteran in the field of food blogging and is very active in holding various events. 
To be a part of her blog is such an honour and I am very thankful to her to give me an opportunity to share one of our family favourite recipe. She has an amazing venture where food bloggers are invited to share their vegetarian recipes and become a part of her wonderful space called ''You're Invited''. Needless to mention that I am overjoyed to be invited by her. 

To check out this recipe visit JCO

Happy Cooking

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Checkerboard Cake

Birthdays in the family are always a perfect occasion for a crazy baker like me to jump onto a recipe that has been waiting to be tried for a long time. And this birthday was indeed a very special one for various reasons. To begin with, it was my mothers birthday on the 6th of october who herself had forgotten about the date. This was very much expected as it is now an annual affair!
Being a Saturday, she had very casually invited us for lunch and dinner. I decided to surprise her by baking this checkerboard cake that I saw on Cook-Eat-Burrrp, an amazing blogsite by Pallavi. I decided to do a dark and a white chocolate cake. 
I managed to bake the dark chocolate cake a night before the D day. And then disaster struck right on the D day. I got up feeling uneasy and threw up previous nights awesome mutton curry made by hubby dear. 

Where there is a will, there definitely is a way!!
In spite of my illness I was determined to finish the good work(cake) I had started. And the biggest help came from my companion in all times, Vishal. He helped me a lot to get this cake assembled while I was all dazed in my illness. By the end of it, I was feeling so sick I could'nt even write a 'Happy birthday Mummy' on the cake and had to just childishly sprinkle some chocolate chips. 
We managed to keep the surprise hidden from mummy  as she was away with friends by the time we reached. After lunch we went merrily in our afternoon slumber. When I woke up, I was greeted by some of my mothers friends who could'nt stop appreciating my cake. 
MY CAKE!!! A voice inside me screamt-''Did you just have my cake?? The cake I have been painfully preparing since morning and the one that I have been wanting mummy to cut and get surprised!!"
I looked at my poor cake, half demolished! Sigh!! 
My mother still could not understand why I made such a big ruckus(once her friends had gone) !! She had no idea it was her birthday cake!
Lesson learnt- Always write a birthday note on your cake!!
Well, in the end I was glad my cake got over in no time !! Everybody loved it. Baker's delight!!

Ingredients : 
For the dark chocolate layer:
I have halved the recipe from Hershey's site
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp refined flour
  • 1 cup sugar (powdered)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line a 9" round baking tin.

Take a bowl and mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Mix well so all the ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in boiling water (do not worry about lumps).The batter will be quite thin.

Pour the batter in the prepared tin.

Bake for 40-45 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake on a rack.

For the white chocolate layer :

Follow the same recipe with these modifications
  • Use 1/2 cup sugar
  • Instead of cocoa powder use 1/4 cup grated white chocolate and melt it on a double boiler or microwave for 1 min.
Follow all the other ingredients as in the dark chocolate cake and follow the same procedure.

Chocolate Whipping cream:
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
Boil cream in a heavy bottomed pan. Grate dark chocolate in a bowl. Pour boiled cream in the bowl and whisk till the chocolate melts. Cool till room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. 
Whip the cream on an ice bath(a bowl of ice) till you get soft peaks. 

You will need
  • 3 different sized round shaped cutters
  • Chocolate Whipped cream

You will have two cakes- dark chocolate and white chocolate to begin with. 
You will need 3 different sized round cutters-I used a 7 inch round cake tin, a 4 inch round steel bowl and a 2 inch round cookie cutter. 
Cut each cake with these cutters. You will have 3 dark chocolate cake rings and 3 white chocolate cake rings and 2 small cake circles. 
Now alternate the cake rings by applying a coat of whipped cream to the insides.This is the first tier.
Make another tier with the same method and place it on the first tier by applying whipped cream (to bind)
A rough diagram to understand the assembling as I failed to take the pics
The final assembly

Cover the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream and put in the refrigerator to set for 5 mins. Take out and with the help of the back side of a spoon, make soft peaks on the cream. Sprinkle dark and white chocolate chips(As I didn't have white chocolate chips, I used small chunks of white chocolate) Put in the refrigerator again to set till required.

Happy Cake eating

Thursday 4 October 2012

Shotglass Kebabs

Last month has been super hectic for me, shifting to a new place and settling in new surroundings. Things have been even more hectic and impossible for the blogger in me who has been trying her best to keep posting recipes. With a super supportive husband and an extra sweet daughter, I have been able to do what I love doing. 
These kebabs were made on one crazy day where I was all alone looking after Vaanya (On weekends and in evenings Vishal takes care of her to give me some time to myself). It took me the whole day doing bits of the recipe as and when I found time. I kept the pulses boiled and ready and when Vaanya took her afternoon nap, I jumped onto making them. Wonder where does sleep evade on such times! Normally I like to rest when she is sleeping. But not today. I had an interesting mission.

This recipe was supposed to be my last entry for an amazing event-Cook like a star Masterchef series where all I did was bake. I wanted to make a no bake recipe from the Masterchef India series, but time got the better of me as the event was over by the time I made them. 
Nevertheless, these vegetarian kebabs were a big hit at home. Served in little shot glasses these kebabs sounded and tasted like non-veg kebabs to my family. 

Ingredients: For kebabs (Yields 10 such kebabs)

  • 100 gm (1/3 cup) Rajma/Red kidney beans
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) Chana dal/Split Bengal gram
  • 50 gm (a little less than 1/3 cup) Dhuli Moong dal/Split Green gram
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilly paste
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp amchoor powder/dried mango powder
  • 1 tbsp refined flour
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup sooji/semolina

Soak rajma overnight and soak chana dal for atleast 2 hours.
Put Rajma in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup of water and salt to taste. Cook on  high flame till the first whistle blows, then reduce flame and cook for 20-25 mins.
Strain and keep aside to cool.
Now put chana dal and moong dal in the pressure cooker with salt and 2 cups of water. Cook till 3 whistles blow. Remove from heat and strain to cool.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add ginger garlic green chilly paste. As it begins to brown add chopped onions and sauté till they become transparent.
Mix cumin powder, kasuri methi, amchoor powder, red chilly powder and pepper powder. Mix well.
Mix the boiled pulses and cook till they are mashed well (If required mash with a masher). Cook till the mixture dries. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Heat oil in a pan to shallow fry the kebabs.
In a bowl, make a thick batter with refined flour and water. Mix semolina and breadcrumbs in a plate and keep aside.
Make cylindrical shaped kebabs with the pulse mixture.
Dip each first in the flour batter and then in the breadcrumb semolina mixture. Coat well on all sides.
Shallow fry each kebab till they get a nice golden colour.
Drain on absorbent paper.

Ingredients: For Cheese sauce
  • 50 ml fresh cream
  • 4 tbsp processed cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat cream in a pan, mix grated cheese, salt and pepper and cook till cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
Remove from flame and keep aside.

Ingredients: For Tomato chutney
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp panchphoron (fenugreek seed/methidananigella seed/kalonjicumin seed/jeera, mustard seed/rai and fennel seed/saunf in equal parts)

Take oil in a pan and add panchphoron. As it splutters add the chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes gets mashed and the juice reduces, add salt ,red chilly powder and sugar. Let it cook till it thickens. Check the chutney for sweetness and if required add some more sugar.

Spoon a tablespoon of the cheese sauce in a shot glass. Spoon some tomato chutney over it. Insert a toothpick in a kebab and place it on top of the sauces in the shot glass.

Sending this recipe to a super event Favorite recipes event-Vegetarian recipes

 Kids delight@Spice your life

Happy Eating


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