Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Velvet Cupcakes

I spotted this recipe in a magazine a while back and was mesmerized by the colour of the cake and wanted to try it out sometime. And Madhu wanted to try her hands on baking, so this looked like a perfect recipe to try.

Also baked goodies is associated with a certain guilt , this has beetroot juice in it, sounded like a healthy twist. :)

To our slight disappointment, the colour didn't turn out quite like the magazine pictures, but it tasted awesome and velvety, so decided to share it here. Its a definite must-try for moms, because it makes a great snack for little ones.

So here is the list of ingredients:
  • 125 grams  Unsalted Butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp fresh beet juice (thick concentrate)
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam
  • A pinch of salt.

1.Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
2.Sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda,salt and keep it aside.
3.In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites until they foam up.
4.With an electric beater, mix butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
5. Add the beet juice and beat well. Mix in the Strawberry jam.
6.Add the sieved dry ingredients and butter milk in small batches, alternating.
7.Fold in the beaten egg whites.
8. Pour in to cupcake moulds and bake for 20 to 25 mins.

The original recipe had just baking soda as a rising agent. But the cakes flattened out a bit. So substituting it with combination of baking powder and baking soda .

Divya Nair.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back to Blogging

 It's been more than 4 years since I last posted here. Moving from USA to INDIA and settling down in my new home, life got busy and blogging took a back seat. As much as I cooked,  I missed clicking and blogging.  I lost interest in blogging when I lost couple cameras within a short span of time. Now getting  back to the thing I like the most, cooking and sharing recipes.
Camera ready to roll

       This time it's going to be more fun cooking and clicking.  My friend Divya Nair will be joining me in my kitchen. She is a baker and also a very good  photographer. So together we will be baking more, cooking new recipes, explore authentic recipes from Karnataka, Kerala and many other states and countries.
       Since I am  learning to bake, my first post with my new guest on this blog will be of our baking adventure.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Moving Break

We are in the process of moving back home, so I'll be taking break from blogging until end of May.
Hopefully I'll be able to resume back to cooking and blogging in June, from my home town.

Until then, Good bye from USA...

Happy Blogging, everyone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Carrot Stir-Fry

I have had couple bunches of carrots, laying in my fridge for over a week now. So for tonights dinner I made a quick and simple stir-fry with carrots, using very few basic ingredients. This tastes good with Indian rotis or as a side dish with rice and Dal's.

Here is my recipe for simple carrot stir-fry.

Vegetables :
Carrots - 7 to 8 (medium size, skin peeled and washed)
Onion- 1 medium (thinly sliced)

For Tempering/Seasoning :
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin/Jeera - 1/2 tsp

Spices (Powders) :
Garam Masala - 1tsp (substitute with cumin-coriander powder)
Red chili powder - 1-2 tsp

Garnish (Sprinkle on top):
Lime : about 1tsp (Freshly squeezed)
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 1tbsp chopped.

Method :
  1. Peel the skin of carrots, wash and chop them like match sticks, Slice onions thinly to match the cut carrots.
  2. Heat oil, when hot add jeera seeds, when they start to pop add onions fry for  few minutes until its translucent. Now add carrots, salt mix well cover and cook till carrots are just tender not too soft.
  3. Add spices mix well, adjust salt if needed. Once the flavors are well combined, switch off the heat.
  4. Finally garnish with cilantro leaves and squeeze some fresh lime juice.
Ready to be served, Enjoy !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cabbage and Chickpeas Kurma

Kurma is a vegetable based gravy, made using different kinds for veggies. Along with vegetables, I like to pair them with some kind of beans or lentils to make the gravy wholesome with some Protein added to it. So today I have used Cabbage a veggie and Black Chickpeas a bean to make the gravy.

For making Kurma, a mixture of cooked onion and tomatoes is used along with khus-khus and cashews. This gives the gravy, a rich flavor and texture. So here is my recipe for it. 

Vegetables I have used :
Cabbage - about 2 cups (finely chopped)
Chickpeas - about 1 cup ( I have used Black variety,soaked and cooked).  

* Use any vegetables of your choice, and if in hurry, use quick cooking small kind lentils which doesn't require much soaking time

For Wet  Masala Paste :            
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato (s) - 1-2 medium
Hus-Khus(Gus-Guse) - 2 tsp
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts- 10-15
Cardamom(elakki) - seeds from 2 pods.
Dry red chillies - 2 or more for desired spiciness( if not using red chilies, use red chili powder instead).

Method :
  1. First cook the soaked Chickpea with enough water till soft and keep it ready.
  2. Cook onion and tomato till soft, let it cool. Mix with the other ingredients mentioned above and grind them to a smooth paste. Add little water if required, to help while grinding. Keep this paste ready as well.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil when hot add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to pop add cabbage and cook till soft, then add cooked chickpeas, add Masala paste. Add water and adjust salt accordingly.
  4. Let it cook for 15 -20 mins or until all the flavors combine well.
  5. Server warm as side with rice,idlies or doses.
Kurma tastes good with any rice based dishes. We had ours with Doses for our lunch today. Enjoy!

I am sending the Kurma to 2 events.
MLLA #22 hosted by Ruchikacooks .

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sago Murukku (Sagu Biyyam Muruku) - ICC

Sagu Biyyam Muruku or Sago Muruku is chosen as the Challenge for March edition of ICC by the creator of the event Srivalli. 

Muruku is a deep fried Savory snack,very familiar to us South-Indians. I have made and had Muruku countless times. I always made them with pre(Mom)- made Muruku Mixes. But the Challenge had Sago as the main ingredient, which I haven't had or seen in a Muruku before.
The very  important step in this recipe, is to soak the Sago in buttermilk, and then mix with other ingredients. Srivalli had cautioned as to do this step right, or else there will be a risk of Sago bursting into the oil. So to be on the safer side I did soak the Sago for 5+ hours, since the sago I have used didn't seem to have plumped up after 3hrs of soaking time. Except the soaking step, I followed the recipe and measurements as given by Valli.

Finally, it turned out very well than I expected it to be. The dough was right consistency,and got a crunchy and delicious Muruku without any Sago fireworks in the oil.

Recipe For Sago Muruku :
  • Rice Flour (Akki Hittu) - 2 cups
  • Besan Flour (Kadale Hittu) - 1/2 cup
  • Fried Gram Dal/Chutney Dal/Dalia Dal (Hurigadale Hittu) - 1/2 cup
  • Sago/Tapioca Pearla (Sabakki) - 1/2 cup
  • Curds/Buttermilk( Majjige) -1/2 to 1 cup Diluted
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chili powder - 1 tsb.
  • Oil for Deep Frying ( I used Groundnut/Peanut oil)
*Muruku Press - I used Star shaped disc to make Muruku.

Method :

*Soak Sago in Butter milk for 3 hrs, please ensure that you soak it enough else you may risk having the sago burst. ( I did Soak for 5 -6 hrs, until the sago soaks up buttermilk and plumped up).
  1. Refer above picture (no.1), I have just shown all the flours used.
  2. Mix all the flour together, heat 50 gms oil(1/4 cup of oil), mix to the flour along with salt and chili powder. Then add the buttermilk soaked sago slowly and knead to a chapati dough consistency.
  3. I have used, Star shaped disc. Shown in the Pic above (no.3).
  4. Heat oil for deep frying.In the Muruku achu, add the dough. When the oil is hot, press down directly on to the oil.
  5. Cook on medium flame to ensure the Muruku is cooked well.
  6. When Muruku are golden brown in color, take out . Let it cool.
Enjoy warm. Once cooled can be stored in air tight box for few days.

*Ensure sago soaks in buttermilk well and is soft or else it will burst when you press it down in hot oil.
Cook on medium to ensure even cooking.
Fried Gram flour is fried Channa dal that is available commercially. It is general sold as the dal, we have to powder it at home. This is also referred as chutney dal as it is used in making coconut chutney.

In the picture above(no.1) I have added Fried gram dal(hurigadale) along with its flour, just to show in the pics, that the flour is made from that dalia dal. For Making dough i have used only dalia dal powder.

Thanks Valli, for this New kind of Muruku Challenge, I throughly enjoyed making them.

This is going to ICC Event -March, hosted by Srivalli.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Apples,Almonds and Cardamom Shake.

We get quite a few Apples in our veggie box each week. None of us are big fan of eating apples, so once a week to finish of those apples off, I make milk shakes with it.
Today, I happened to have a few soaked Almonds(Badami), so added them along with the Apples. Almonds gives very rich, sweet and delicious taste to the milk shake.
Along with Apples and Almonds I added few Cardamom seeds, it compliments almonds and apples very much with its aromatic flavor and sweet taste. 

So here is a delicious and nutritious recipe with Apples.

Ingredients I have used :
  • Apples - 4
  • Cold Milk - 1 cup (Boiled and cooled)
  • Sugar - 4 tsp ( add more for more sweetness)
  • Almonds -  about 2 tbsp ( soaked and skin removed, this is optional)
  • Cardamom (Elakki)- Seeds lightly crushed from 2 pods

  1. Wash, peel the skin and remove seeds and chop apples to big bite size pieces.
  2. If using Almonds(soaked), peels the skin as well.
  3. Remove the outer skin, take the seed out of Cardamom and crush them lightly.
  4. Take all the ingredients mentioned above, add milk and sugar.
  5. Blend till smooth in a mixer/blender. Add more milk or water to make to desired consistency.Adjust sugar level.
 Enjoy !

* I keep Apples and milk  in Fridge for few hours before making shakes to make it cold.
For even more colder shake, use crushed ice cubes or ice-cream.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pinto Beans in Ancho Chili Sauce

Hi all, I am back after a good, long break. Today I am sharing with you all the recipe of Pinto beans in chili sauce (Mexican Ancho chili).

When I was looking at Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cook book, for some new recipes to cook with Pinto beans, I came across her Tex-Mex style Stew(thick sauce) with beans and  Ancho Chiles. The minute saw the title, I just knew this was going to be our side dish for our dinner tonight.

The recipe I am posting today is the adapted version for Madhur Jaffrey's recipe. I have just kept the Pinto beans and Chile sauce as main ingredient from her recipe and added North Indian Garam Masala powder to make it more like Indian Taste, to go with Chapthis.

Recipe Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Cook Book.

Ingredients :
Pinto Beans - 1 cup (cleaned, washed, soaked and cooked)
*Red beans, kidneys beans/Rajma can be used instead

Vegetables I have used :
  • Onion, Tomato - 1 medium size (chop/ cut finely)
  • Ginger - 1 tbsp (grated or finely chopped)
  • Few cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish
  • Few fresh slices for Lime and Red Onions for sides
Spices :
 Cumin/Jeera powder - 1tsp
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Red Chile powder - 1 tsp ( optional, use only if required)

For Ancho Chile Sauce :
 1 big  Chile - I used Mexican Ancho Chile (Substitute with any mild, dried chilies) .
Method :
 1. Ancho Chiles are very mild in their spice level, so add according to your desired spice level.
2.First soak the Chiles in hot water for 20 mis or until the Chiles are cool enough to handle.
3. Then blend/grind Chile with soaked water to smooth sauce.
4.This yields about a  cup of  Chile sauce. Keep the sauce ready and use as required.( I have used the whole batch for the dish).

Preparing the Dish.

  • Clean the beans, wash and soak in water for at least 6 hrs or overnight. When ready cook with just enough water ( i use pressure cooker) and cook till just soft, make sure not to make it mushy.
  • Make the Chile sauce and keep it ready .Please refer the method mentioned above for making Chile sauce.
  1. Heat oil, when hot add grated ginger, chopped onions and tomatoes and cook till soft about 5-7 Min's on medium high heat.
  2. The add the Chile sauce, spices mentioned above. Mix well let it all cook for 5 more minutes until the sauce is bit cooked through.
  3. Now add cooked beans, add more water if required. Now adjust salt and spices, taste and add more if required. Mix well and let it cook for 20-30 Min's on medium heat.
  4. Keep stirring in between. Mash few beans so it gives nice consistency to the sauce. When all the flavors have come together and the sauce has come to the desired thickness. Now switch off.
  5. Let it sit for few minutes before serving. Sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves. Serve warm with rice or rotis.

We had with some whole wheat Chapathis and few slice of  onions and lime. Enjoy !

I am sending this to MLLA # 22 hosted by Ruchikacooks which was created by Susan.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Short Break

Hello all,
I am on break from blogging, for a few weeks now and will be for few more weeks. I will not be able to take part in ICC-event as well. See you all in April.

Happy Cooking and Blogging !

Monday, February 15, 2010

Khasta Kachori (Moongdal Kachori) for ICC

I have eaten Kachoris a few times before, since it was very new type of snack for me to try, I was very happy to see the spicy snack as this months recipe. I have made Samosas(triangular shaped deep fried snacks with potato fillings) many times, so kachoris is like a close cousin to it, with lentil fillings and circular in shape.

Srivalli who have chosen, Khasta Katchoris a North India Snack/Chaat as the recipe for ICC (January) event. She has given 3 different recipes for fillings, I choose the moongdal filling and followed the recipe exactly as mentioned by her.

End result was very satisfying with crunchy outer layer,with warm and spicy filling inside. Since it was made in batches of 2-3 at a time, we just enjoyed them hot as it was out of the oil with some Maggie hot & sweet sauce by the side, and i just made sure to save a few, to click them.

Kachoris - Adapated from Medhaa's Aunty and Tarla Dalal.

Resting Time for the Dough is app 1/2 hr - 1 hr

Frying time for the Kachoris - 20 mins for each batch app.

Soaking Time for the Filling is app. 1 hr

Cooking Time for the Filling is app 15 mins

Yields - 15

For Filling

Khasta Kachori - Moong Dal Kachori

Ingredients Needed:

  • Split Moong Dal (yellow) - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Curry Leaves - 2 tsp chopped fine (opt)
  • Green Chilli - Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Sauf / Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tspRed
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Mango powder / Amchur - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste.


  1. Wash and Soak dal in water for atleast 1 hour. You can go upto 4 hours not more.
  2. Drain the water well.
  3. Grind the dal to a coarsely. (Will resemble Idli Rawa)
  4. Heat oil in a pan.
  5. Add the hing and cumin seeds.
  6. Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves.
  7. Add the dal.
  8. Lower the heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes till the dal stops sticking to the pan.
  9. Cook for another 10 minutes on low till the dal turns slightly brown.
  10. Add all the masalas.
  11. Cook for few minutes till the aroma of the spices hit you.
  12. Add Salt.
  13. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

Special Tips / Notes for the filling:
The fillings have to be really dry if not when rolling they will ooze out when rolling.
Adjust the masalas according to your taste. What is given in this recipe is spicy to the extent one can still enjoy.

For Dough and Stuffing

For the Dough

Ingredients Needed:

  • All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
  • Oil/ Ghee - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Water for kneading


  1. Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.
  2. Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
  3. Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.

Special Tips / Notes for the dough:
Keep the dough covered at all times, if not it will dry up and not puff up when frying. If the dough is made right wet cloth can be used if not just a towel.
The dough could spring back for many reasons:Dough is too cold (If wet cloth is used)
Dough is not soft enough.Not kneaded for enough time.Oil is less.Not rested enough

To Make Kachori's

  1. Make a small ball from the dough. Roll out into a 2 inch diameter circle. Or flatten the ball using your fingers having the center thick and sides little thin.
  2. Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.
  3. Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.
  4. Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it, as using the rolling pin will make the filling come out. (See notes below). Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough.

For Frying

  1. Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking hot. Test to see if the temperature is right by dropping a tiny ball of dough and see if it is rising slowly to the top.
  2. Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don't want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them. After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.
  3. Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the side down gets a golden brown color. Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color. Remove when done, cool and store in airtight container.
  4. Serve with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney.

Special Tips / Notes for making the Kachoris:

You can fry 3 kachori's at a time. The oil should be at a heat when you drop some dough it should come up slowly, if the dough comes up too fast the oil is too hot, if it does not come up then the oil is cold. It will not be crisp if the oil is too hot. Fry the kachori's on medium low to get a crisp outer layer, that is the key. For people using electric stove, the numbers can be going from 6 to 4.

I am sending this to Srivalli's ICC (January).