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Showing posts with label DESSERTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DESSERTS. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I would like to send this to Pritis Festive Food Event – Diwali, EC’s WYF- Party Food event and Srivalli’s JFI – Festivals – Diwali Event


Since my first attempt last Diwali I have made these 3 times, this being my third attempt. It is such a hit in my house, that it gets difficult for me to save it for the guests. The best part is I can make it in a jiffy, It takes all of 15 minutes to make this exotic sweet. What can beat it!!!!!!!

Minimum ingredients, minimum time and minimum labor….only maximum love.

The guests are impressed, the hubby is impressed and my kid is drooling over it. The disappearing cakes are proof for it. So why not make it again, so I made it again with a twist. This time I added 6 squares of Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate, this not only gave my chocolate layer a deep chocolate color but also gave the chocolate layer a more chocolatey taste….see how…..below
Milk powder - 2 cups
Almond meal (Powdered almond (skinless))- 1 cup (You can get it in the “baking needs” section of most shops)
Thickened cream - 300 ml
Castor Sugar (powdered sugar) - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp

6 squares of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate

Cadbury’s dairy milk comes in a big block of small squares. Break exactly 6 squares and melt on high for a second. Keep aside
Mix all the ingredients except cocoa powder in a large microwavable bowl.
Mix well and place bowl in a microwave oven for 4 minutes on high cook.
Remove bowl and stir mixture. Place again for another 4 minutes.
Transfer half the mix in a greased plate.

Quickly blend in the cocoa and the melted cadbury’s dairy milk into the remaining mix and pour over the barfi in the plate and spread evenly. After that for half a minute keep in the microwave again so that it is set. Cool and cut into the shape of your desire.
Blanched nuts can be sprinkled on top along with silver varq (foil).

Your exotic Chocolate Malai Barfi is ready to serve.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I would like to send this recipe for Priyanka’s Festive Food Event –“Onam”. I would like to send one of the best and most liked desserts of Kerala “Pal Payasam”


Kerala’s “most” famous sweet dish (dessert) can easily be the traditional Pal Payasam. If you go for a traditional Kerala-Iyer wedding, you won’t fail to notice that the Pal payasam is not only served at the beginning of the meal on the plantain leaf but also during the course of the meal in massive quantities. It is served in the beginning, as we believe that every meal must start with a sweet marking sweet beginnings, It will be served again during the course by friendly “massive serving” (they always serve a lot of payasam and keep coming back to serve you more) traditional waiters clad in their white veshtis(mundus) (The veshti is a long white/off-white(cream) cloth worn around the waist and reaching below the ankles, but in Kerala, it is usually folded half way up and tucked into the waist belt fold revealing the knees to aid in easy movements while serving) and Angavastrams(a white shawl on the shoulder) serving the Pal Payasam after the rasam course and before the yogurt course which usually marks the last course of the meal, normally the payasam is served. The waiters(or sometimes relatives) who wait upon the guests to ensure that everything is served liberally and the guests are happy and satisfied usually pour the payasam from huge ladles onto the banana leaf. The guests usually relish this delicacy by trying their best not to allow it to cascade out of the banana leaf, it would be a scoop (pushing it with your palm) and a lick action….first the payasam must be deftly scooped with the hand and then licked or slurped out of it….and I have seen people enjoying it so much, although I prefer mine in a kinnam (a small bowl) as I don’t like the sweet to mix with the salted remnants of the sambhar or rasam after which course the payasam is usually served. Nor do I like the sweet remnants of the payasam stuck to my elai (plantain leaf) which will spoil the taste of my thair chadam (curd rice / yogurt rice). But I know people who would swear by how it tastes when eaten right out of a banana leaf….so slurpy and so yummy, tickling and tantalizing your taste buds.
All payasams are generally made in the Urali (a traditionally used wide mouthed flat & thick bottomed pan) and they are stirred and stirred until they get a faint pink color.

Milk – 1 and ½ litre
Rice - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom Powder – a teaspoon

Cashewnuts - 1 tbsp broken into slivers
Raisins – 1 tbs
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Boil the one litre milk in a vessel and once boiled remove from fire.
Take the half litre milk in separate vessel. Add washed rice to the boiling milk and cook for 5 to 10 minutes stirring once in a while. If the rice gets cooked in the milk slowly, the payasam tastes better , you must cook the rice till it is soft and mashed well,
but if you want to quicken your cooking time,
Add your washed rice and half litre milk in the cooker and cook upto 2 whistles(or as per your normal rice cooking time). Once this rice is cooked.
Take an Urali, add the rest of the milk i.e the boiled one litre milk and the cooked rice and milk and keep stirring constantly.
Add sugar and stir till it is dissolved. Keep stirring on a low flame till the Payasam gets a faint pink colour. Once done, remove from fire
In a small pan. take some ghee, fry the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and pour on top of the Payasam.
Your Pal Payasam is ready.

This is a Quick recipe, as using condensed milk reduces the cooking time of the Payasam.
Milk -1
Litre (since we are using condensed milk, we can reduce the quantity of milk)
Condensed Milk ½ Cup

Rice -1 Cup
Sugar - 1 Cup
Cardamom Powder – a teaspoon
Cashew nuts 1 tbsp broken into slivers
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Cook rice in pressure cooker till 1 whistle. In an Urali, Take the milk, add the cooked rice and sugar and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Add the condensed milk. Keep stirring on a low flame till the Paysam gets a faint pink colour. Once done remove from fire.
In a small pan take som
e ghee, fry the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and pour on top of the Payasam.
Your Pal Payasam is ready.

Tip : Since condensed Milk is already sweet, the sugar can be reduced to ½ a cup, as many people don’t like very sweet Payasam. Also after adding the condensed milk, if you feel more sweet is required u can always add sugar and stir till it dissolves. I always recommend the taste and cook method.


Priti of Indian Khanna has tagged me '7 Facts about me'. Thanks dear for tagging me. We come to know a lot about our fellow bloggers through these tags.

Here are the rules
(a) List these rules on your blog.
(b) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
(c) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

I am a people’s person. I love to have a lot of people around me always.

I love my family.

I am traditional as well as modern. I love to wear a saree and adorn jewelry and at the same time love to wear western clothes.

I will rush to help people no matter what

I am addicted to 2 cups of tea a day and badly addicted to the internet.

I love reading romance, Enid Blyton fairy tales until now and comics(there’s a kid in me still).

I like listening to music whether it be Kenny G, The Cure or Fusion Bhajans or M.S. Subbulakshmi.

I would love pass along this tag to Usha, EC, Sireesha, Sagari, Raaji, Sowmya and Kitchen Flavours

Usha , EC , Sireesha , Sagari, Raaji , Sowmya And Kitchen Flavours

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I am packing some of my birthday cake for Hima who is hosting a Sunday Snacks Event on her blog with the theme “Bake It”


September 6th was my birthday and since we have turned partial vegans recently and would like to avoid eggs, I thought why not bake an eggless cake at home. Iam not too fond of chocolate cakes so I thought I will bake a vanilla cake but I wanted it to be rich, I didn’t want nuts also….heck, why not its my birthday cake and I will add in the ingredients I like whether or not traditionally it is part of the recipe or not. I guess I must be part of the Daring Bakers. The best part is I don’t even have a conventional oven used for baking. I do all my baking in the microwave oven. I truly am a daring baker aren’t I? But the cake turned out to be a dream. Just perfect….ofcourse as everyone knows you wont get the brown crust when you bake a cake in the microwave oven. Here’s a picture of my spongy, soft rich Tutti Fruity Cake. I decided to name it so because I have added Tutti Fruity the red, orange and green raisin like things that you see in the fruit cakes available in the market. I love these, they add a wonderful array of colors to the cake. I have decided Iam going to call this Tutti Fruity Cake. Here is an Original recipe.

Self raising flour- 1 ½ cup

Tutti Fruiti – 2 tbsps
Ripe Bananas- 2 Mashed
Granulated sugar-1/2cup
Oil- 1/2 cup
Milk- 1/2 cup

Vanilla Powder – 1 tsp or Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Baking powder – 1 tsp
Little Maragarine or Butter for greasing the glass container
In a bowl, mix together sugar and butter till it is creamy. Add in the Tutti Fruiti and 2 mashed bananas, mix well, Add oil and milk and mix well. Add the Baking powder, Vanilla powder or essence and the self raising flour

Mix well. Ensure that there are no lumps. It should be a uniform mixture. It will become like a batter. Remember use the same bowl or cup for all the measurements else the recipe won’t work. Don’t mix the cake batter too much else the cake will become hard, just a light mix till it comes to the batter consistency is okay.

Now take a round/ square/ oval glass container in which you can bake the cake. Grease this container well. Pour the batter into this container and keep on medium-high in the microwave for 10-12 minutes. Put a knife into the cake and check….If the knife comes out clean, the cake is done, but if it comes out sticky you need to cook it for some more time. Once the cake is done. Remove it from the microwave oven and allow it to cool and then cut it into pieces and serve.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008



Starting from today is Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in the south. Its the birthday of our darling God Ganapati. Elephants are one of the most loved animals in India and all over the world. And our Lord Ganesha is half elephant and half human, so you can imagine how loved he is. Kids love this God. Lord Ganesha loves Bananas, coconuts and sweets. I was surprised to see a very big idol of Lord Ganesha at the World Trade Centre in Bangkok in Thailand and he was worshipped by the Thais with equal fervor, so is the charm of our darling Lord Ganesha.

Story of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati. This is a very interesting story.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away at a war. His wife Parvati, wanted to bathe and having no-one to guard the door to her house, conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.

In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as Ganesha did not know him, he stopped Shiva from entering Parvati's chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, drew his sword and cut off Ganesha's head. Pavarti emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and the subterranean earth.

Seeing her in this mood, the other Gods were afraid and Shiva, in an attempt to pacify Parvati, sent out his ganas, or hordes, to bring the head of the first living being with his head towards the north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). The first living thing they came across was an elephant. So they brought the head of this elephant and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati's son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy whom Shiva named Ganesha, the lord of his ganas. (Info courtesy – Wikipedia)

Although Lord Ganesha has been worshipped from time immemorial it was Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who was responsible for making Ganesh utsav into a public celebration in Maharashtra for the unity of the people.

Lord Ganesha loves sweets. In South India, the main sweet-dish during the festival is modakam which is Ganesha's favorite sweet. Modakam is a steam cooked dumpling made from rice flour, stuffed with coconut and jaggery. In Maharashtra also they make the modakam the same way and it is called “Ukdiche Modak”, it is either steam cooked or deep fried.

I made Puran Poli today. Puran Poli is one of the most liked dishes of Maharashtra. I find this one of the most tedious and laborious sweet to make. Puran Poli is Yo’s favorite sweet, Yo’s mami (Mother’s brother’s wife) dishes out one of the most fantastic Puran Poli’s in this world, the Puran poli literally melts in your mouth and so does Yo’s Kaku (Father’s brother’s wife). Puran poli is such an elaborate affair in Yo’s home that I probably got a phobia to try making it. I attempted it twice after my marriage and both times it failed, so I had totally given up on it. Yo told me, “Its such a waste of money, materials and efforts and don’t try it at home… typically male…..ha ha ha….This time I said I will patiently follow the recipe and see if it works…..and yipppeeeeeeeeeee it did….I was so proud that I asked Yogesh to call his home at Pune and tell my in-laws that finally I made the elusive Puran Polis.


Bengal gram (chana dal) - 2 cups,

Jaggery - 2 cups

Refined flour (Maida) -2 cups

Oil - 3 tbsp

Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Cardamom powder -1 tsp

Nutmeg powder 1/4th tsp

Dry ginger powder(soonth) -1/4th tsp

Ghee as required


Grate the jaggery, keep aside. Soak the Bengal gram for about 2-3 hours. Then add water enough to immerse the dal completely and a bit on top. Cook chana dal in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles till it turns soft. Drain out excess water until the dal is absolutely dry. You can retain this water to make Katachi Amti (I will blog this recipe later). Mash the chana dal into a paste. In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and dry ginger powder(soonth), Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the chana dal paste and blend both well, and cook further. You will notice that the mix has become watery, which scared me out of my wits, thinking that this attempt is going to fail too. So I urgently called my mother-in-law in Pune and asked her what to do, she said don’t worry, it is like that, “ Don’t cook for too long in the wok, the chana dal paste will harden and you don’t want it to get hard. She said, immediately switch off the gas and wait for the mix to cool down, then put it in the mixie /blender and blend twice till you see it is completely mixed up, this mix, we must add in the wok and cook it on a low flame till it comes to a dough like consistency, which happens very soon, like in 2-3 minutes time. Once you see it has come to a dough like consistency put off the gas and Allow the mix to cool so you can make balls out of the mixture. Make 20 balls out of it and keep aside

Mix refined flour, turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough.

The dough will be very soft and sticky dough. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets. Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. You can remove all your frustrations on the dough…Imagine the joys of cooking….

Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.

With greased palms, take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "chana jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.

On a well-floured board, gently roll out each poli with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. This can get tricky as the paste does try to slide out. Use a little flour if that happens.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle.Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Puran polis puff up. Once done, Remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee or a bowl of warm milk.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


This is one of the most favorite sweets of Indians no matter which part of India people belong to.
Carrot Pudding or (Gajar ka Halwa) has also been epitomized by our Bollywood film stars.
The hero will tell his mother, “Maa, mujhe tum apne haathon se banaya hua gajar ka halwa khilao na”.
The melodramatic Maa(mother) with tears in her eyes will say, “ Beta aaj maine tumhare liye gajar ka halwa banaya hai”.
So many movies have Nirupa Roy telling her reel sons, “beta gajar ka halwa tumhe pasand hai na? aaj maine tumhare liye gajar ka halwa banaya hai”
I used to wonder how come Dharamendra, Amitabh, Shatrughan and all the bollywood heroes like only Gajar ka halwa, when there are 1000’s of sweets to choose from….
I don’t know what’s the relation between mother’s and son’s and gajar ka halwa, but I guess gajar ka halwa or any dish made by your mother with love holds memories for every child.
Gajar ka halwa is not so easy to make as it involves a lot of back and shoulder breaking stirring until you see the moisture disappear. So every time we dunk into that bowl of homemade gajar ka halwa, we know that there is the biggest X-factor in it “LOVE”.
I will share with you 2 versions of the gajar ka halwa one made the traditional way and one much easier made in the microwave. The traditional version doesn’t have khoya but I have used khoya in the microwave version. My mom makes fantastic gajar ka halwa without using condensed milk or milk, only carrots in sugar syrup and that tastes awesome too, that could be considered as a third version.
I made a lot of gajar ka halwa as I was expecting guests at home. But you can reduce the quantity to ½ of the proportion that I have mentioned in my recipe.
Carrot -2 kgs grated
Milk -2 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Condensed milk -1 tin
Cardamom powder - 1tsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cashews – 1 tbsp
Pistachios cut into thin slivers - 1tbsp
Silver leaves(Chandi ka warq)(optional)
Peel, wash and grate the carrots. In a wok add the grated carrots, milk, sugar and cardamom powder and cook until the carrots are soft. Then add one tin of the condensed milk, mix well. Check for sweet, if less, then at this point you can add some more sugar. As Condensed milk is also sweet I added only 1 cup of coarse sugar, but if you are using Fine sugar or Castor sugar you may require more. Add sweet as per your choice, some like it very sweet, some like it just right and yet others like it less sweet.
In a small pan, melt 1tbsp of ghee and add the cashew nuts, fry until golden and pour into the halwa. Mix well. Keep stirring and stirring and stirring till you see that all the milk has been absorbed by the carrots.Be careful don’t let it catch the pan as it will become black and not taste good. So, there is no choice left but keep stirring. Once you see the mixture has become totally dry and left the sides of the pan, you know the gajar ka halwa is done.
Serve hot or cold garnished with Toasted pistachio cut into thin slivers and silver leaves.
GAJAR KA HALWA (Microwave version)
This is the easier version as it doesn’t involve too much of stirring. I have added almonds in this recipe instead of cashewnuts. You can add raisins, almonds, cashews and pistachios or all in gajar ka halwa . It is your choice.
Carrot -1 kg grated
Condensed milk -1 tin
Milk -1 cup
Almonds (peeled and cut into thin slivers)- 1tsp
Cardamom powder - 1tsp
Khoya grated - 1 cup
Add the grated carrot, condensed milk and milk in a bowl and keep on high for 12–15 minutes.
Then add almonds (peeled and cut into thin slivers), Add cardamom powder and grated khoya. Put in the microwave for another 7 minutes. See if done else can keep for some more time.(depending on individual microwave). Your Gajar ka Halwa is done without much of back breaking and shoulder breaking stirring. Remove and Garnish with grated khoya and nuts.

I would like to send this for EC’s Colour in Food Event
For the orange color of the carrot halwa

I would like to send the Gajar ka Halwa also to Purva’s Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi Festive Food event as the halwa has milk and milk products

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I had done the Neivedhyam of the Appams on Gokulastami day. In south India Appams are specially made for Lord Krishna. I would like to send the Appams to Purva’s Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi Festive Food event


Gokulashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival is called in different names as "Krishna Jayanti", "Janma Ashtami", "Krishnaashtami" , "Gokulashtami", and as "Sri Jayanti".

Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the eighth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Shraavana in the Hindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatram is ascendent. The Hindu calendar being lunar, these two events the day being the eighth of the waning moon (Krishna-paksha Ashtami) and the Rohini Nakshatram being ascendent may overlap for only a few hours.

In such an event, the festival may be celebrated on different (but successive) days by different people, depending on their local or family traditions.The festival falls sometime in the months of August/September of the Gregorian calendar.

(This info courtesy Wikipedia)

Read more about the story of the birth of Lord Krishna by clicking on the below link

Lord Krishna was born at midnight. So we celebrate on the both days, i.e the day prior (in anticipation of his arrival) and the next day(celebration of his arrival). Since this year Gokulashtami was celebrated on 24th Sunday so preparations started in my house on the 23rd Saturday itself. Krishna is my little one’s most favorite diety, as I keep telling her of our little Krishna’s leela’s(You can read some of the Krishna Leela’s under the Mythology section in my blog.)

On Saturday evening, I drew Maa-kolam outside the house (picture on the left) and in front of the altar at home(picture on your right) and all over the house I drew tiny feet of little Lord Krishna entering all the rooms from the entrance to my home. This This symbolizes the entry of the infant Krishna into his foster-home and also amma says at 12.00 am the lord will walk into our house. I also made sweet appams.

The appam is made without tasting, I chant Lord Krishna’s name while making. Only after I do Neivedhyam(offer the lord) can we taste it. Here is the recipe of Appam;



Wheat flour – 1 cup

Rice flour - 1 cup

Grated jaggery – 2 cups

Cardamom – 4-5 pods

Ripe Banana –


Oil for frying


Mix the wheat flour, rice flour and jaggery well, ensuring that there are no lumps. The jaggery must be completely dissolved. Mash

one banana and add to the mixture. Pound the cardamom pods, remove the skin and powder the seeds a bit coarsely and add to the mixture. It will be in the consistency of the dosai batter. Now use the Appakarai/ Paniyaaram moulds. Pour oil and once the oil is hot, pour the batter with a spoon into the hot oil.Once the side is done, turn over and fry on the other side, then with a

chopstick(picture on your left), poke into the appams and remove them from the oil, Place on kitchen towel to remove excess oil and serve hot. I usually make a lot and keep in the refrigerator and enjoy it the next day also. Cold appams also taste great.

I bought the Cheedai, Murukku and Thattai from outside (since I could’nt make so much at home). Traditionally all this is made at home down south. Luckily since my ghee was over, I made fresh ghee at home. I also made fresh butter with some cream for my little Krishna(as you can see in the picture on your right). I served it all on a mini platter in little stainless steel utensils borrowed from my daughters playthings. I kept a grand feast for the lord, appam, cheedai, murkku, thattai, Aval(poha, beaten rice), vellam(jaggery), yogurt, milk and freshly churned white butter.

On Sunday we celebrated Gokulashtami by joining the ISKCON group at the Sivan temple at Sungei

Kadut.The altar was decorated very beautifully with flowers and fabric and other decoration items. On your right is a picture of the altar.

It was beautiful, the priests chanted the holy mantras and bathed the idol with Panchamrit which comprises of Gangajal (water from the holy Ganges River), milk, ghee (clarified butter), curd, and honey

pouring all these from a conch shell. After this bath the idol of the infant Krishna was placed in a cradle. We chanted the Lords name, sang and danced and swung the lord in his cradle and ate divine prasada alongwith Panchamrut.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Today is Rakshabandhan(Rakhi Poornima) and today is also Avniavittam(for the Yajurvedis) celebrated in South India by the Brahmins. On this day, the male members who wear the sacred thread change into a new one. This ritual is known as Upakarma which means Beginning. The sacred thread is known as Poonal, Jahnva, Janeyu, Yagnopaveetam. Offerings of water using a Pancha patra udrani (A special vessel with a special spoon, usually found in all brahmin houses) are made to the ancient Rishis, there are prescribed procedures and mantras to be chanted, this ritual is usually conducted by the family priest or the head of the family who has immense knowledge of the Vedas.
Yagnopaveetam has three threads, each consisting of three strands. These threads represent: Goddess Gayatri (Goddess of mind), Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of word) and Goddess Savitri (Goddess of deed).

One of the important features if this festival is chanting of the “Gayatri Mantras”.
It is said that, chanting Gayatri Mantra can make you feel warm in the coldest of winters.
This mantra contains the spirit and energy of all the mantras.
There is a traditional saying in Sanskrit;
“Gayantam traayate yasmaat Gayatri'tyadhiyate. (This means Whoever sings 'Gayatri' is protected”)

Usually on the Avniavittam day the Gayatri japam is recited 108 times by the Male members of the family.
Below is the Gayatri mantra;

Which means : (meaning explained below),
We meditate (Dhimahi) on the Spiritual Effulgence (Bhargas) of that Adorable Supreme Divine Reality (Varenyam Devasya), the Source or Projector (Savitur) of the three phenomenal world planes, the gross or physical (Bhuh), the subtle or psychical (Bhuvah), and the potential or causal (Suvah), both macrocosmically (externally) and microcosmically (internally). May that Supreme Divine Being (Tat) stimulate (Prachodayat) our (Nah) intelligence (Dhiyah), so that we may realize the Supreme Truth.

Festival At home.........
The Female members have to wake up early, take bath, sanctify the house and the courtyard, draw Kolam inside and outside the house and start cooking for the lord without tasting the food. The food is offered to the Lord, this procedure is called “Neivedhyam” after which the food is served to the male members after they complete the rituals.

There is a comic line for this festival that goes “Avniavittam Komanam, Pullai Porandhal Shobhanam” which means that this festival has more relevance to the male and the family that has a son (heir to the family), is considered lucky. This festival holds relevance to the males and implicates that a son is a heir to the family.

The food cooked for Avniavittam is special (No onions or garlic are used in the cooking) and it is served on a fresh green banana leaf.
It consists of ;
Rice, Paruppu, Ghee, Sambhar, Rasam, Beans or Cabbage Poriyal(Curry/Podutuval), Kootu, Avial(Mixed vegetables), Pachadi, Chakara Pongal/ Payasam, Paruppu vadai, Pappadams, Banana chips(salted and sweet).Of course no Brahmin meal is complete without the yogurt and there are yet a lot of things that are part of the menu, but these days with single unit families, a lot of things have disappeared but I have tried to retain the staple things onto my menu and strive hard to celebrate every festival as these are the memories that we give our I cooked up a storm......Saddhi chapadu(as they say) and served it all on a Banana Leaf......for that wave of nostalgia....

Here is a recipe of the Chakara Pongal
CHAKARA PONGAL (SWEET PONGAL) There are many ways to make this dish, some use yellow split lentil(moong dal) also in the recipe. But this is a quick and easy recipe, which my mom makes and always a hit at my home.
Raw rice – 1 ½ cup
Jaggery – 1cup
Ghee- 2-3 tbsps
Cashewnuts – 2 tbsps
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Cardamoms – 5
First cook the raw rice as usual. Keep aside. Now in a wok, add 2 tbsps ghee, add in the cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom powder and fry until slightly pink. Now add in the jaggery and about 1 cup water. Wait till the jaggery melts, if there are any lumps crush it with the back of a spatula. When the liquid starts to froth, Add in the cooked rice and stir well with the jaggery syrup. Keep on a low flame. Keep stirring once every 2 mins. As the jaggery starts to thicken, the mixture will become uniform. Add one tbsp of ghee and stir. You will notice that the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pain. This indicates that it is done. If you cook more than this, the rice will become crispy. Mix well, transfer to a silver vessel. Keep a basil leaf (Basil leaf is also known as “Haripriya”(liked by the Lord), read about Tulsi in my blog) on top and offer as Neivedhyam to God. After that serve hot. Enjoy this South Indian delicacy.

We call it Beans podutuval at home and some call it beans curry or beans poriyal.
French Beans – ½ kilo
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Udad dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies – 1-2
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Turemric powder – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Chop the Beans into small pieces, rinse in a colander and keep aside. Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add the udad dal, when they are slightly pink add in the chillies broken into 2 pieces and fry for a minute. Now add the chopped French beans, turmeric powder, salt to taste and asafetida and mix well, Cook closed with a lid on a low flame and let it cook in its own juices. Open after about 3-4 minutes. Add some water if required. Cook till it is done. Once the beans are dry, add the grated coconut and mix well and cook for another 2 minutes till you get the faint aroma of the coconut. Serve hot with, rice and Sambhar / Rasam (Click on this link for the recipe in my blog)

and Cucumber – Tomato Pachadi for you;


Cucumber - 1
Ripe red & juicy tomatoes – 2
Curry leaves – A sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Fresh Thick Yogurt – 5-6 big heaped tbsps
Salt as per taste
Vegetable cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Peel and chop the cucumber into small pieces, Chop the Tomatoes into small pieces also.
Put the chopped vegetables in a bowl, Add thick yogurt and salt as per taste and mix well.
Now in a small pan, take one tablespoon of cooking oil, Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, when the mustard seeds start to splutter, add a pinch of asafetida and the curry leaves, just fry a bit and pour this into the bowl. Mix well and serve with rice and curries.
You can find the recipe for Cabbage Poriyal and Avial here. (Click on the name which is a link to the recipe in my blog)

Friday, August 15, 2008


“HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY”. Today is 15th August, India’s Independence Day and Jalebi is the National Sweet of India, so here is Jalebi served on Independence day in my blog.
Jalebi is a sweet commonly sold in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Jalebi is thought to have originated in the North of India, probably in the state of Punjab. The Persian word for Jalebi is "Zoolbiah". It is made from deep-fried, syrup-soaked batter and shaped into a large, chaotic pretzel shape, rather like the American funnel cake. Jalebis are mostly bright orange in colour but are also available in white. It can be served dripping warm or cold. It has a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallised sugary crunch. The sugars get partly fermented which is thought to add flavour to the dish. Jalebi is sold at Halwai shops and at traditional sub continental sweet shops. The southern Indian look alike is jangiri. Along with Jalebi Another version of it, "Emarti" is red-orange in colour and sweeter in taste from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Jalebi is one of the most popular sweets in India and is served as the " National Sweet of India " especially during the National holidays like Independence Day and Republic Day in the government offices and defence installations. (Info: courtesy, Wikipedia)
Refined flour - 300 gms.
Green cardamom powder - ½ tsp.
Curd (yogurt) optional – 2 tbsps
Sugar - 500 gms.
Color (optional) a few drops
Saffron – a few strands
Soda bicarbonate - 1 tsp.
Ghee for deep frying
Pistachios for garnish (optional)
Jalebi cloth or Sauce dispenser
For the Jalebi batter
To enjoy this sweet we need to make the preparations earlier on (one day before). Mix the flour, soda and Yogurt in a bowl ensuring that there are no lumps. Add some water and make a batter. Leave it overnight to ferment.
In the morning, mix the batter well, add a little water if required and make it into a pouring consistency.
For Sugar Syrup
Make the sugar syrup by boiling equal amounts of sugar and water, here I have taken 1½ cups sugar in 1½ cups of water
(The ratio of ratio of sugar and water should be1:1).
Add few strands of saffron to the syrup. (Saffron gives color to the syrup)
Once the sugar gets dissolved and the syrup starts to boil. Keep stirring and check until it comes to single thread consistency, remove from the fire.
Add yellow food color or a pinch of kesari powder to this syrup. This gives the shop like color to the jalebis (If you want to avoid food color, just saffron is enough, as saffron gives a faint yellow color to the syrup, but remember to give a stronger color the saffron must boil in the sugar syrup for a while so add the saffron in the beginning itself). Add green cardamom powder. Keep the sugar syrup aside.
For the Jalebis
Heat Ghee in a (Wok) Kadhai. When the ghee is hot, reduce the flame of the gas and pour batter into a jalebi cloth, catch the cloth in your hand in the form of a money pouch and squeeze lightly in small circles into medium hot Ghee giving jalebi shapes. The jalebis should get cooked in a slow flame only then will it be crispy. Cook both sides. Remove and keep on a kitchen cloth to absorb the excess ghee.

Make as many as you want and dip into warm sugar syrup just before serving.

Garnish with sliced and toasted pistachios for the exotic touch.

Don’t let it be in the syrup for too long like Gulab Jamun then it will be soggy. We want sweet crispy Jalebis.

One more important thing is the sugar syrup should be just warm, not steaming hot else the jalebis will be soggy.

If you want to keep for more than 2 days then dip into sugar syrup and remove and then keep in a box. Don’t keep it dipped inside the syrup and store(this is different from Gulab jamun)
Tip: For jalebi cloth, take some stiff cloth and make a 3 mm hole in the center.
Serve warm and enjoy this sweet crispy delight.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Kitchen Connect is a modest effort of the Indian foodie bloggers at Singapore to come together and share their ideas, host events and take blogging @ Singapore to a whole new level on blogosphere. It was initiated by Lakshmi who was inspired by other chains on blogosphere. Kudos to her to come up with such brainwaves and take the efforts to bring together all the busy talented women on a common platform. This was the first time I attended the Kitchen Connect Meet, although it is the second meet. It was mind boggling and absolutely great to see the faces behind those blogs. We all queued up at the Toast Box to order for our own coffee or tea, we did need something hot to to break the ice, for the ideas to start flowing, to boost our spirits and drinks always keep the conversation going on don’t they.
Priyanka got us some home made samosas, spicy and good to go with our Toastbox tea(tea which cannot make us happy as we are so used to having masaledaar tea made with boiling hot milk, nothing can beat the Indian tea or so I think).
Vani was tied up with something so she came after the ice-breaker session was over. I did want all of us to play a guessing game with her and make her recognize us if she could, but Lakshmi couldn’t resist cueing her, it was fun.
Vani got some crunchy munchy Tengozhal (known as Murukku in this part of the world). Lakshmi treated us with the finest biscuit baked by her with a hint of ginger, the best part was; it was eggless(much to my pleasure), she also treated us to Dry fruit Halwa. So I can say we started with a sweet and ended with a sweet and hope to have sweet beginnings all the way for us Singapore Indian bloggers.
Now this meet was special, as there was a blogging event associated with it. Each blogger would bring in a secret ingredient and a tip on how to cook it. Chits were made with names of the attendees and each person was asked to pick up one chit. I picked up the chit with Priyanka’s name on it and Priyanka had lovingly packed for me ingredients to make Gulabi Firni (Firni with dried Rose petals, the recipe is available on her site Asankhana. She had also packed in loads of gifts, a beautiful hand painted T-shirt, a very cute stenciled painting of Lord Ganesha and instructions written down on a scroll hanging with wooden beads prepared by her. This event is like a relay race, the person who gets the ingredient blogs the recipe on her blog with a reference to the blog of the person who gave her the ingredient and this happens with all the KC attendees. Isn’t that exciting. So many new recipes and so many ideas. After all the brainstorming session we decided to disburse after discussing about the next KC meet. So we all parted ways hoping for a better future for the blogging scene @ Singapore.

So here’s my secret recipe;

Since Priyanka had already made the Gulabi Firni and blogged it in her blog Asankhana, I thought why not give it a twist. So the twist is……I made Gulabi Firni with Apple. So it’s a fruity-flowery twist to this delightful sweet.
Priyanka had given me the exact measurements, which Iam going to copy paste from her blog for everyone’s benefit.
Milk - 300ml
Apple – 1 medium sized
Freshly grounded rice powder - 4 tbsps
Sugar – 5-6 tbsps
Milkmaid - 1 tbsp
Crushed French rose petals of 6 roses
Some rose petals for garnish
Peel the apple, chop it into very small pieces, In a pan add the apples and ½ a cup water and 2tbsps sugar and boil, the apples will become soft. Keep aside.Boil the milk in a pan, when the milk starts boiling, reduce the flame and add in the remaining sugar followed by the rice powder, Now add in the boiled apples in the milk, boil for about 2 minutes on a low flame, keep stirring. Now add the crushed rose petals and milk maid and simmer for 2 minutes and remove from flame. Once cool, refrigerate it. Serve chilled garnished with rose petals.
Hope you enjoy this delicious and exotic fruit and flower concoction, the way I enjoyed making and eating it.
Could I patent this too………………..

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strawberry Kesari/ Sheera

Strawberry Kesari/ Sheera
Kesari is the sweet that is usually served when the boy comes to see a girl or select his bride in Iyer households. The menu usually is Bhajji / Bonda and kesari. Even the Visu movies (Tamil Cinema) which show Brahmin families will show this menu for bride viewing. It’s usually not considered as a very exotic sweet as it is made with semolina and can be rustled up in a jiffy. The North Indians call it sooji ka halwa. As culinary evolution took place, the kesari started to get more and more exotic with its variations and we now have the pineapple kesari which is quite popular. Hearing of the Pineapple Kesari the great cook in me wanted to try another variation. So here comes my discovery, since I am a die-hard strawberry fan, I would love to present to one and all my very own creation, The Strawberry Kesari. There isn’t a recipe on the net for this and mine is the first so I better patent this recipe and call this Sukanya’s berry berry “tasty” strawberry sheera/kesari. My daughter loves kesari so I thought whatever the outcome, she would still try it.….ha ha ha ha.
Make this during the strawberry season with fresh strawberries. Take about 3-4 ripe strawberries, destalk them, wash them well and run it in the blender, Use this pulp to make your strawberry kesari.
Semolina (Rava) – 1 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1 cup
Strawberry pulp - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Cardamom crushed - 1/4 tsp
Raisins – a tablespoonful
In a nonstick pan, add the ghee, and when it melts. Add in your raisins and crushed cardamoms, when u see that it starts to froth and the raisins are getting plump, add the Semolina (rava). Roast the semolina in Ghee. After about 5-6 minutes of roasting you will get the roasted aroma, don’t make it pink or else you will burn it. Remove and keep aside on a plate. Now in the same pan, add 1 ½ cups of water, add in the sugar and the strawberry pulp, Allow the sugar to melt and when the liquid starts to froth, Add in the roasted rava. Stir well. Keep the gas on a low flame and cover with a lid. After 2 mins stir again and keep covered. Put off the flame, Let it rest for a while with the lid on. After about 5-7 minutes, you can open the lid, stir well and serve hot.
By the way, the strawberry Kesari was a hit with my daughter. Do try it and let me know

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


This is definitely my comfort food. I think Aamras and Puri works as an anti depressant. Dunk your fluffy puffed up puris into the cool heavenly Aamras and you can kiss your worries goodbye.
Growing up in Mumbai introduced me to this heavenly sweet dish, known as Amba- puri in
Maharashtra and Aamras in Gujrat and is now called Aamras by all in Mumbai. I still reminisce those lovely summer days when we used to wait for my dear appa to bring the basket of mango when he is back from work. Lovely yellow-orange alphonso mangoes filled with layers of yellow hay. Just watching the king of fruits come home would fill me and my brother with such joy and excitement. I think eating a sweet alphonso mango can de-stress anyone in this world, its no wonder that this year’s alphonso mango produce was exported to USA and for a high price at that. We didn’t see much of good mangoes in Singapore also this year, we were told that, “This time the mangoes have been exported to the US and there are hardly any mangoes left in India”. We had to settle down to buying other varieties of Mangoes other than the alphonso mango, which were just okay-okay in taste.
Thank heavens that you get canned Alphonso Mango pulp from Mothers recipe and Ashoka in Singapore, so we can have this wonderful sweet dish all round the year and not only during the mango season. I could call it, “Dessert of the Gods”. I am sure Lord Indra (King of heavens) and the devas must be eating Aamras with silver spoons from silver bowls for dessert. Here is the recipe of Aamras, for all of you guys there to enjoy and indulge in. Here is a
slice of heaven.

Ripe Alphonso/ Kesar Mangoes – 5-6
Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar -1/2 cup
Cardamom powder – 1tsp
Saffron – a few strands

Peel the mangoes, Discard the skin, Squeeze out the pulp and discard the seed. Blend the pulp in a mixie with the milk, sugar and cardamom powder. Blend until the mixture becomes uniform. The sugar must get crushed completely and the pulp must jump in blobs, this indicates that it is done. Decorate it with a few strands of saffron. Refrigerate and Serve chilled.


  • If you want to serve chilled immediately, add some ice cubes into the blender.
  • You can avoid saffron, as saffron is heaty and mangoes are heaty too. Maybe if you are using the canned mango pulp during winters, you can add saffron in the dish.
  • The mango pulp available in cans is slightly sweet, check the sweet first and add sugar accordingly, don’t follow sugar as per the above recipe in that case.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Wishing all my fellow bloggers a Merry Christmas!!!!!!! It’s Christmas time, time to make chocolates.
Jingle Bells!! Jingle Bells!! Jingle on his way,
Santa Claus is coming along with Chocolates on his tray…..howzattt!!!!!!

Making chocolates at home is a stress busting activity and you can include your kids as well, since this recipe doesn’t involve cooking on gas. My little one helped me in crushing the biscuits and adding the ingredients with much enthusiasm and even helped me in rolling the éclairs. The best part of making chocolates at home is they don’t need to look perfect. If they look perfect you don’t get a homemade feel to it. It looks like you have bought it from a shop.

Glucose biscuits - 20
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp
Milk Powder – 1 cup
Corn flour - 1 tsp
Condensed milk - 1/2 tin
Butter - 1 tbsp
Vanilla powder – 1 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Walnuts or Cashews - 1 tbsp.
M&M Chocolates for decoration – 1 small packet.

Toast the walnuts or cashews whichever u are using and break them into pieces, it should be like half crushed, half broken. (For those who are allergic to nuts can avoid the nuts in this recipe)
Put glucose biscuits in a zip lock bag and zip it. Now crush it coarsely with a rolling pin. Make a paste of the corn flour, cocoa and half the milk. This is done to ensure that there are no lumps. The paste should be thick, so add milk just enough to make a thick paste and no more. Heat remaining milk to a boil, pour into cocoa paste, mix till well blended.

In a bowl, Empty condensed milk, butter and vanilla powder (if you don’t have vanilla powder you can use vanilla essence about 4-5 drops). Beat till light and blended. Add cocoa milk mixture, blend well. Add crushed biscuits and walnuts, mix well. Apply some butter to your hands and make balls, you can make oval or round shaped balls or peda shaped. Place in a tray on greaseproof paper. If you are not able to roll it well, put in the deep freezer for about 5-7 minutes and the mixture will become thicker for you to be able to make balls of it.
Applying butter gives a glaze to the chocolates.
In some of the rolled chocolates you can place colorful M&M chocolates (which are actually the cadbury Gems of India), this makes it look colorful and appealing to kids.
Now keep in the deep freezer for about half an hour Allow to cool completely. Chill till well set. Serve chilled. Store in refrigerator till required.


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