Thursday, June 20, 2013

Orange Cake with Blueberry Cream

After a very long time!

I made this eggless cake for a Dessert Making Competition. This is nutritious, fiber rich and absolutely scrumptious!

Orange Cake

You Need:

Self raising/all purpose flour – ¾ Cup
Whole Wheat flour – ¾ Cup
Butter – 30 gm (@ room temp)
Olive Oil - 70 ml 
Light Brown Sugar – ¾ cup
Warm Water – 120 ml
Ground Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Juice of Whole Sweet Orange - 1 (Big) 

What to do...

1. Pre heat the oven to 200 C for 10 minutes
2. Grease a round cake pan line base with Parchment paper
3. Beat the wet and dry ingredients separately
4. Then fold them gently together and mix them
5. Now, transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pan
6. Bake it for 10 minutes @ 200 C
7. Then reduce the temperature to 180 C and bake it for 5 - 10 more minutes (or till done)
8. Allow it to cool (I let it to cool for 3 hours).

Blueberry Cream

You Need:

Unsalted Butter Softened - 170 gm  
Sifted Icing Sugar - 3 cups 
Fresh Blueberry Puree - 1/4 Cup 
Blueberry Juice - 4 Tbsp 
Orange zest - 1/2 Tbsp 
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp 
Kosher Salt - 1/8 tsp 
Whipping Cream - 4-6 tbsp 

What to do...

1. Puree blueberries and strain through a fine mesh sieve
2. Set aside berries and juice in separate small bowls
3. In an electric mixer, on medium speed, fold the cream, butter and salt until smooth
4. Now lower the mixer speed to medium-low and slowly add (in order) icing sugar, vanilla extract, blueberry puree, blueberry juice and orange zest
5. Now, adjust the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy
6. Finally, if needed, add 1 tbsp cream at a time until the frosting is in a spreadable consistency

Dress the cake, and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Omani-Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani

My first attempt to make biriyani (5 years back), was a complete disaster! I had even thought i can never make it in my life time and i gaveup.

After marriage, like all indian girls, came my turn to make was then i browsed, collected recipes from Omani friends and ended up with this simplified, easier and fusioned version. The blend of Omani richness and Desi spices, makes it a truely international recipe!


2 Medium Onions, sliced lengthwise
1-2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
Saffron Powder diluted in 2-3 tbsp water
1 tbsp - Lime Juice

1 tbsp Rosewater
Ghee/Oil generous amount

For Chicken Marination:

1/2 kg chicken, cut into medium pieces
3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 1/2 tsp Corriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 Cup Curd
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder / Omani Masala
4 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Crushed
3-4 - Slitted Green Chillies
1 Sprig Curry Leaves
A Hand Few of Raisins, Cashew and Almond
Spices - 5 Cloves, 2" Cinnamon Stick, 2 Bay Leaves, 1 tsp Fennel Seeds, 1 Star Anise, 4 Cardamoms and 2 Black Cardamoms
Add salt keeping in mind the rice and chicken

Mix all of the above, marinade the chicken overnight in the mixture (always keep the chicken in the refrigerator during marination)

For Cooking the Rice:

1/2 kg Basmati Rice
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Carraway Seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Cidar Vinegar/Lemon Juice
2 tsp Oil

For Garnishing:

2-3 tsp ghee
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1/4 bunch mint leaves, chopped
Onion Chips (finely chopped onions deep fried in oil)
(Omani style of garnishing will include deep fried egg plant pieces, fried eggs and/or french fries)


Step 1: Heat oil in a wide aluminum dish, fry onions, followed by tomatoes, and when done, add the marinated chicken and keep stirring

Step 2: (2nd step should be started simultaneously along with the 1st step) Wash, drain and cook the rice separately along with the above mentioned items and double quantity of water. Remove and drain the rice when it is 1/2 cooked

Step 3: Now, when the rice is done, it can be layered completely over the chicken masala

Step 4: Over the rice, pour saffron water in circular motion, then followed by rosewater and 1 tbsp lime juice (also in circular motion)

Step 5: Now dum the biriyani using a flour dough, or a heavy/tight lid for 10 minutes on medium flame (For the Dum, i usually cover the aluminum dish using a wet white cloth, place a pan filled with water over the cloth, and a huge/heavy stone on top of the pan to make it completely sealed and uniform distribution of heat)

Step 6: End of ten minutes, open the coverings and pour the ghee and all the garnishing items, and without stirring or mixing leave the lid semi closed (do not mix or stir for 10-15 minutes after opening, this will allow proper setting of the rice and chicken masala)

Serve hot with raitha, brinjal chops/chicken saloona and pickle.

(Picture shows Biriyani, Raitha and Pudhina Pepper Chicken)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aalu-Baingan Bartha (Potato & Egg Plant Curry)

Bhartha in Hindi means "mash". Bhartha Recipes are largely North-Indian origin and can be made from all types of vegetables. As the name suggests, this recipe is a combination of mashed potatoes and eggplant.

First time when I made this dish, i was a bit skeptical about the taste, the smoky flavor, and the mushy consistency. Believe me, it was just awesome! Hubby and i enjoyed it with countless ghee-phulkas. From then it has become an often-recipe at home. Hope you all will like it too.


1 - Big Baingan (Egg Plant)
1 - Big Potato, boiled and cut to medium pieces
1 - Big Onion, finely chopped
2 - Tomatoes, finely chopped
2 - Green chillies, slitted
1 tsp - Ginger-Garlic Paste 
1/2 tsp - Cumin Seeds
3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp - Garam Masala Powder
1 1/2 tsp - Corriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp - Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp - Aamchur Powder (Dry Mango Powder)
3 tbsp - Oil
1/2 Lemon
A Bunch of Finely Chopped Corriander Leaves
A Sprig Curry Leaves (*optional)
Salt to Taste


Egg Plant Mash

1. Wash, brush oil over the whole eggplant and place it directly on the gas burner on medium flame (Keep turning it every minute or two). Eggplant can be taken off the flame when the skin turns black and starts peeling

2. Allow it to cool to room temperature (approx. 15 minutes). Once cooled gently peel off the burnt skin, mash it and keep aside

Sauteing & Frying

3. In a frying pan, pour the oil, add the cumin seeds and onions

4. When onions are done, add the tomatoes followed by ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor is gone

5. Now, add all the powders and keep mixing for 2 minutes

6. Then add the potatoes, mashed baingan, salt and curry leaves

8. Gently mix it and cook (covered cooking on low flame) for 10 minutes


9. End of 10 minutes, put off the flame, sqeeze lemon juice and sprinkle the slitted chillies and corriander leaves

10. Aalu-Baingan Bartha is ready to be served with phulkas and rotis

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Oats-Rava Express Payasam/Kheer

A quick n yummy dessert to serve your guests, especially when you are in short of time, or do not have enough items handy to go for a complicated one.

Just a grab of the regular stuff availabe in your kitchen...the Payasam is ready!

You Need:

Full Fat Milk - 1 1/2 Cups
Water - 1 Cup
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Honey - 4 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp
Nuts (Cashew/Almond) & Raisins - Hand Few
Saffron - a Pinch
2-3 drops of essence of your choice (i used almond essence)
Sooji (Rava)/Burgol (Broken Wheat/Gothumai Rava) - 4 tbsp
Quick Oats - 4 tbsp


1. Bring all the above ingredients together

2. Cook for 15 minutes on low flame

3. Rava-Oats Express Payasam is ready


Cooking time can me extended, based on preferred thickness. The more you cook, all the more thick the payasam becomes.

Tastes good when chilled.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wheat Germ Muffins

One more healthy, nutritious edition to my Muffins Basket.

This tastes different and absolutely scrumptious!


Self raising/all purpose flour – 1/2 Cup
Wheat Germ – 1 1/2 Cups
Light Brown Sugar – 1/4 Cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
2 to 3 ripe, mashed bananas
Milk - 1/2 cup
Crushed wall nuts - little (or as you wish)
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Melted Butter – 1/4 Cup
Almond or Vanilla Essence - 3/4 tsp
Egg - 1
Cream Cheese - 1 Cup


1. Pre heat the oven to 180 C for 10 minutes

2. Line the muffins tray with muffins paper (I made 6 large muffins)

3. Mixing - Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and set aside

4. Beat together mashed bananas and egg. Then add milk, butter, sugar, wheat germ, wall nuts and the essence

5. Now, add the the flour mixture and mix well

6. Filling the cups - Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin tray by placing one small amount of batter at the bottom of each muffin cup, followed by 1-2 teaspoon of cream cheese and topping each cup again with enough batter

7. Baking - Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C

8. Cool for few minutes, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Egg Curry

Of the many egg recipes I have tried, this one is the best! Just one slurp with appam or dosai, (like me) you too will fall in love with this curry.

(This recipe is from the down south of Tamil Nadu)


6 Eggs (Boiled & slightly slitted around)
2 onions sliced
2 big tomatoes finely chopped
1 large potato (chopped in big pieces)
2 Inch piece of ginger crushed
5-6 cloves of garlic 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilly powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 inch piece of cinnamon
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 sprig curry leaves

To roast and grind:

1 cup grated coconut
3-4 shallots
1 tsp fennel seeds

Fry the coconut along with shallots and fennel seeds till the coconut turns brown in color. Then, cool and grind this well, adding as little water as you can.

For the Tempering:

2 tsp coconut oil
3 shallots sliced round wise
2 green chillies slitted lengthwise
2 sprig curry leaves


1. Heat coconut oil in a pressure cooker, throw the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf) and allow them to splutter

2. Now, add the sliced onions and reduce the flame. Sauté well for a minute

3. Now, add the crushed ginger and garlic. Fry till the raw smell leaves and the onions turn light brown

4. Now add all the powders and mix well. Drop-in the curry leaves and fry till the powders are well roasted and raw smell disappears

5. Then add the potato pieces, salt and mix well till the masala covers the potato properly

6. After 5 minutes, add the eggs, tomatoes and mix well again and add 1/4 cup water

7. Cook for 5 minutes and add the ground coconut mixture

8. Now, add water if you want your curry to be less thick, or adjust as you require

9. Close the cooker lid and cook (on medium flame) for 1 whistle

10. Meantime, for the tempering, heat coconut oil in a small skillet and fry the shallot pieces, green chillies and curry leaves, keep aside

11. Wait for the pressure to be released, then open the lid, and pour-in the tempering

12. Switch-off the flame, cover the cooker with the lid and let it stand for sometime (this will allow the flavours to merge for a better taste).

The fried coconut gives a dominating flavor, while the drizzled coconut oil makes the curry all the more rich and aromatic!

Enjoy with Idly, Dosai or Appam (like me).

Note: You can even substitute chicken instead of egg.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Malabari Chicken Biryani

Biryani is by far the most popular and preferred rice recipe around the globe. Chicken Biryani is the king of all, and a favorite of many.  Among the umteen versions of biryani, my specialisation is a fusioned-version of Omani-Hyderabadi Dum Biryani.

Recently, i wanted to try something new apart from my regular style, so ended up with the 'Malabari Chicken Biryani'. The Malabari Chicken Biryani, as the name suggests, is a form of biryani cooked in the Malabar region of India. It has a lengthy, laborious preparation, but the work is definitely worth it! This royal dish is sure to draw you in with its lingering aroma and lip-smacking taste.


1/2 kg chicken, cut into medium pieces
1/2 kg basmati rice
250 gm onion, sliced finely
2 big tomatoes,finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Malabari biryani Masala
1/2 tsp Corriander Powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 cup curd
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1 small bunch mint leaves, chopped
Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
ghee/oil as needed
salt to taste

Chicken Marination

1 tsp kashmiri chilly powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
(Note: Marination should be done for 2-3 hours. Marinating overnight will enhance the taste)

To grind to a fine paste

25 gm ginger
25 gm garlic
1-3 green chillies
1/2 tsp poppy seeds, soaked in hot water for half an hour

For Garnishing

Finely chopped Onion (fry a handful of onions)

(I used some fresh green peas too)


1. Shallow fry the chicken pieces till light brown (this will keep the chicken pieces intact in Biriyani)

2. Heat oil/ghee in a kadai and fry the cashews, almonds, raisins and onion, keep aside

3. Heat oil/ghee in a deep vessel and fry the remaining onion till light brown, then add tomatoes and ginger paste to this and fry till the raw smell disappears

4. Now, add curd and salt, followed by the chicken pieces and mix well

5. Cover and cook on medium flame

6. When it is half cooked, add the lime juice, corriander powder and chilli powder

7. Now, add the malabari chicken masala, mix well and cook till the water is absorbed

8. Now, Wash and drain the rice. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed deep vessel and roast the rice till soft and water is dried

9. Now, cook the rice separately, with salt and double quantity of water. Remove and drain the rice when it is 3/4th cooked

10. Now the layer assembling can be started

11. Take a wide aluminum dish, spread a layer of the cooked chicken masala, then spread the rice over the first layer of chicken and sprinkle little biryani masala, fried cashews, raisins and onion over this and layer again with chicken and continue the whole process

12. The final layer should be rice with garnish

13. Now dum the biryani using a flour dough, or a heavy lid for 10-15 minutes (depends upon your rice texture and chicken tenderness)

14. Open the lid and allow to set (without mixing), then serve hot with raita and brinjal chops.

Go handy with Masalas!

Dear visitors, Iam back! The long gap was not just because i was busy with my work at home and office, but the truth is (must confess) that i have become the laziest person on Earth!

Now, Iam here after my dear ones request on not to bring my blog to Extinction.

To make this re-entry an interesting one, iam gona share recipes of magic creators that would make your dish mesmerising. Yes, this come-back post is for Masalas!

Though iam a contemporary cook, i would love to go the traditional way by making & using my own masalas. Blending the spices and making masalas at home is not only economical and presevative-free, at the same time it is a best way to carry your tradition.

Presenting you a variety of selective, tried and in-use Masalas and Spice Pastes that will make your recipes delightful and would remain close to your heart forever!

Madras Masala


1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dried chillies
3cm length ginger, grated


1. Add a little oil to a large pan or wok and fry the mustard seeds until they begin to splutter and crack then stir-in the curry leaves, ginger and the chillies. Allow to cool for few minutes then tip into a spice blender

2. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds until they become aromatic then combine with the spices already in the blender

3. Blend the spices to a fine powder then add all the remaining spices

4. Store in an air-tight container

Madras Curry Paste


8 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
11 tablespoons ground turmeric
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
8 garlic cloves, crushed
3 inches piece fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
cider vinegar for mixing
3/4 cup oil (sunflower/mustard)


1. Heat up wok and dry stir-fry the coriander, cumin, and peppercorns for 1-2 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly

2. Add the black mustard seeds and toss constantly until they start to pop (Do not allow the spices get too dark or burnt)

3. Transfer the spices to cool on a plate

4. Grind the cooled spices into a fine powder

5. Add the turmeric, chili powder, crushed garlic, shredded ginger and salt

6. Stir in enough vinegar to make a paste

7. Heat the oil in a frying pan at medium heat, fry the paste, stirring constantly until the oil begins to separate

8. Remove the pan from heat and allow the paste to cool completely

9. Store the paste in a clean airtight container, in refrigerator and use it within 3 weeks

(Note: Vinegar is not part of any authentic Madras recipes. Traditionaly tamarind juice was used for the sour taste or tanginess, and the usage of vinegar is just a contemporary version.

This paste is very aromatic and spicy. Use about a tablespoon of this paste for each 500 g (1 lb) of meat, fish or poultry.)

Andhra - Kobbari Karam Podi


1 tsp oil/ghee
1/2 cup black gram dal
1/2 cup bengal gram dal
8-10 dried red chillies, tear into two and de-seed (adjust as per your spice level)
half coconut (dried)
8-10 garlic cloves
Salt to taste


1. Grate or slice the dried coconut into thin pieces

2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel and roast the dals  and fry till light brown

3. Now, add the red chillis and fry till done

4. Remove from flame and allow to cool

5. In the same vessel add the grated coconut and roast (on low flame) for 3-4 minutes (Do not add any more oil to roast the coconut pieces)

6. Now, when all items are cooled, grind them along with garlic cloves and salt (Grind to crumbly consistency)

7. Store in an air tight containerThis will be a great option for flavoring your brinjal fry, potato fry, Okra (Bendi) fry, Karela fry and more! Or, simply serve with idlis, dosas with generous ghee or oil.

Simple Garam Masala


Cummin seeds – 5 teaspoon
Fennel seeds – 3 teaspoon
Black peppercorns – 3 teaspoon
Cloves - 15
Cardomom pods – 6, deseeded
Cinnamon sticks – 4 inch piece, made into smaller pieces
Oil – 1 teaspoon


1. Fry spices in oil on low heat

2. Do not let them turn brown

3. When cooled, grind at high speed to a fine powder

4. Store in an air-tight container

Punjabi Garam Masala


15 gms cinnamon
20 gms cloves
75 gms cardamom
100 gms cumin seeds/jeera
65 gms peppercorn
35 gms coriander seeds/dhania
35 gms fennel seeds
20 gms mace
20 gms shahjeera/caraway seeds
15 gms bay leaves
3 nutmeg
15 gms ginger powder


1. Dry roast all the spices except ginger powder

2. Grind them to powder in a mixer grinder

3. Now you can add the ginger powder to this and mix well

4. Store in an air-tight container

Enjoy for your Punjabi recipes!

Malabari Biriyani Masala


2gm cinnamon
1 gm cardamom
1 gm cloves
1/4 nutmeg
half tsp fennel seed
half tsp cumin seed
half tsp shah jeera/cake seed
2 gm mace


1. Fry spices in oil on low heat

2. Do not let them turn brown

3. When cooled, grind at high speed to a fine powder

4. Store in an air-tight container

Omani spice paste


2 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon of cumin seeds (15 ml)
1 Tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon of cardamom
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2 Tablespoons of vinegar


1. Place all the spices in a blender and process until a thick paste is formed, adding more vinegar if needed

2. Store in a air-tight container in the fridge for two weeks