Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poha Halwa

I am finally back to blogging after a long break! I hope to post recipes more frequently. Poha halwa is my own creation. It is very yummy and tastes close to chakkarai pongal (sweet rice pudding). It takes only 10 minutes to prepare this dessert. Let's move on to the recipe.


200 grams MTR Badam Halwa Mix
1.5 cups thin poha (aval/beaten rice flakes)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup ghee
Handful of cashews and raisins
A pinch of orange food color


Roast cashews and raisins in 2 tsp ghee till they turn golden brown.
Set aside.
Wash poha in water and squeeze excess water and set aside. It's ok if it turns mushy. Use only thin variety poha.
In the same pan, add MTR badam halwa mix, washed poha, milk and stir everything together till mixture turns thick. Keep adding remaining ghee while stirring. Add food color and mix well.
Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins.
Serve hot.

Broccoli Roti

Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable which I started eating after I got pregnant with Anush. I really started experimenting more when I came to know that Anush likes to eat it sometimes, but not always though. So I wanted to try new things and introduce it to him. So this is one of them ....

1 whole Broccoli bunch (usually it comes with 3 broccoli heads)
2 cups of Atta or Wheat Flour
1 tbsp Butter (optional)
Salt if needed
Water as needed

1. Grate broccoli with the help of a box grater and keep it aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, butter and the grated broccoli and mix it well.

3. Now add enough water to make a dough similar to the regular chapati/roti dough.
4. Cover the dough with a little bit of oil over it let it sit for about 15 mins.
5. Now heat a non-stick pan.
6. Now make lemon size balls and roll each ball to a roti shape.

7. Now place each roti on the hot pan and cook it until small light brown spots appear on the lower side of the roti.
8. Now flip it once and cook it again until the roti is done.
9. Make all the rotis as above and enjoy it with any side dish or just yogurt and pickle.

You Might Also Like:
Broccoli Carrot Upma
Broccoli Paratha
Broccoli Carrot Corn Meal Idli

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Pressure Cooked/Slow Cooked

The theme(s) we selected for the April Edition of 'Serve it' is Pressure cooked / Slow cooked. These are two different or rather contrasting methods of cooking, one designed for quick cooking and the other quite opposite. But, both these cooking methods make the life of the cook more peaceful and makes putting a delicious meal on the table - hassle free. Also come summer we would all want to

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Shri Rama Navami

Ram Navami is festival celebrated by the Hindus. This festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was the son of King Dasharath. Lord Rama restored peace and Dharma by defeating the demon king Ravana.

On this auspicious day of Ram Navami, which is the ninth day of the Vasantha Navaratri (Navaratri of the Spring Season) we serve Kosambari which is a snack dish made out of soaked lentils cucumber and coconut, Neer Mor which is watery buttermilk with herbs and spices and Panagam which is a sweet drink made of jaggery and cardamom.

I am posting the above mentioned recipes and hope you all have a blessed year ahead with the grace of Lord Shri Rama.

आपदम्-अपहर्तारम् दातारं सर्व संपदां
Apadam-apahartAram dAtAram sarva sampadAm
लोकाभिरामं श्रीरामम्  भूयो भूयो नमाम्यहम् ॥
lokAbhirAmam shrIramAm bhooyo bhooyo namAmyaham
आर्तानामार्तिहन्तारम् भीतानां भीतिनाशनं
ArtAnAmArtihantAram bheetAnAm bheeti-nAshanam
द्विषतां कालदण्डं तं रामचन्द्रं नमाम्यहम्  ॥
dvishatAm kAladanDam tam rAmchandram namAmyaham
सन्नद्धःकवची खड्गी चापबाणधरो युवा
sannaddhah kavachI khaDgI chApabANadharo yuvA
गच्छन् ममाग्रतो नित्यं रामः पातु सलक्ष्मणः ॥
gachchan mamagrato nityam rAmah pAtu salakshmaNah 
नमः कोदण्डहस्ताय संधीकृत-शराय च 
namah kodanDa-hastAya sandhIkruta-sharAya cha
खण्डीताखिल-दैत्याय रामापायन्-निवारिणे  ॥
khaNDItAkhila-daityAya rAmApAyan-nivAriNe
रामाय रामभद्राय रामचन्द्राय वेधसे 
rAmAya rAmabhadrAya ramachandrAya vedhase
रघुनाथाय नाथाय सीतायाः पतये नमः ॥
raghunAthAya nAthAya seetAyah pataye namah
अग्रतः पृष्ठतश्र्चैव पार्श्र्वतश्र्च महाबलौ 
agratah prushThataschaiva pArsvatascha mahAbalau
आकर्णपूर्ण-धन्वानौ रक्षेतां रामलक्षमणौ ॥ 
AkarNapoorNa-dhanvAnou rakshetAm rAmalakshmaNau

Source: Nandini


Kosambari is a snack dish made out of soaked lentils, cucumber and coconut along with some seasoning and tempering.


Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Chana Dal - 2 tbsp
Freshly grated coconut - 1/3rd cup
Mini seedless cucumbers - 2 (Finely Chopped)

For Seasoning:

Ghee - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - A few
Asafoetida - A pinch
Salt - To taste
Curry leaves - A few
Cilantro - Finely Chopped - 1 tbsp

  • Soak the chana dal and Moong dal for 2 hours and drain off the water completely.

  • In a big bowl, combine the 2 dals, add finely chopped cucumber and the grated coconut and salt.

  • Prepare the tempering with the ghee, mustard seeds, asafoetida and the curry leaves. Allow the tempering to cool and then add it in the bowl.
  • Combine all the ingredients well and Kosambari is ready for Neivedyam.

             Neer Mor

Neer Mor is watery buttermilk with herbs and spices.


Curd - 1 cups
Water - 2 cups
Salt - To taste
Ginger - Grated - 1 tbsp (You can even use powdered ginger)
Curry Leaves - A few
Asafoetida / Hing - 2 pinches
Cilantro - Finely chopped - 2 tbsp
Tempering of mustard in 2 tsp ghee (optional)

  • Whisk together the curd and the water well so that it gets frothy.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk it in really well.
  • Add the tempering only after it has cooled down completely.
  • Neer Mor is Ready For Neivedyam.


Panagam is a sweet drink made of water, lime/lemon juice, jaggery and cardamom.


Juice of lemon - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 cups
Grated / Powdered Jaggery - 1/4th cup
Grated Ginger / Powdered Ginger - 2 tsp
Powdered Cardamom - 1/4th tsp

  • Dissolve the jaggery in the water.

  • To this add the ginger, cardamom and lemon juice.
  • Panagam is ready to be served.

  • Always add the tempering once it has cooled down completely as none of these dishes involve cooking with heat.
  • Make sure you have fresh ingredients for an authentic taste. Even if you do not have you can improvise with the things available in your pantry.
  • You can substitute brown sugar for jaggery.

Ramaya Ramabhadraya Ramachandraya Vedase !

Raghunathaya Nadhaya Sithayaha pathaye namaha !!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cardamom Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

I grew up with guinea pigs and remember each of them with great affection. Benji arrived when I was three and I confided in him whenever I had a rift with my parents. Ginger and Pepper came next. Ginger was a mild mannered calico; Pepper, a jumpy red head. Over the course of their courtship, Ginger gave birth to 34 offspring. Every few months, we found the couple curled up with a new batch of babies. Our last guinea pig, Lola, had pink eyes. Her long white fur arched in the air and then descended over her body like water springing out of a fountain.
After living with guinea pigs (a dog, and other animals), I've come to believe that life is lived the fullest with a pet. When I started to look for a condo, I wrote off buildings that prohibited animals. Several months after getting the keys to my new place, I decided to buy a guinea pig. Part of me longed for a dog. But I traveled off and on for work at the time and felt a dog would be lonely.
I spent the week before Easter in my hometown. Before running errands one day, I stopped by the pet store to see if it sold guinea pigs. I found a dozen or so eating pellets in open cages. When I peered in to select one among them, they ricocheted to the corners of their pen like stray pool balls. The closer I got, the more the poor critters wanted to flee. I felt unnerved and rejected.
Just to the right of their cage was a tiny, very blond bunny. Its posture was straight and its eyes steady. When I walked up to its cage, it seemed totally unaffected. It had things to do and wasn’t going to be distracted by a gawking human. I was mesmerized by its confident, content attitude. I handed over $15 to take her home. When I asked the clerks if the bunny was a girl or a boy, they flipped it over, examined its crotch, and said, “Hmmm. We think she’s a girl.” That’s how my adventure with Honey began.
After six plus years, I've learned that living with a bunny is wonder and a commitment. Over the years, Honey has grown into a strawberry blonde boo with cream colored stenciling around her eyes and noise. She has a white beaver-shaped tail and tummy that she keeps impeccably clean. Her fur is softer than silk and there is nothing more therapeutic than petting her at the end of a long day. Like a dog, she comes running when I call her name (unless she's cross with me or  has other plans). She loves children. She loves family. She loves life.Like Peter Rabbit, Honey gets into all kinds of scrapes. She loves bananas and managed to jump into a plate of honey I had resting in my lap because she smelled a banana I had in my other hand. For a split second, her feet were mired in the sticky substance. Then she jumped off the plate, sat on her hind legs behind the couch, and flung her paws in the air hoping that she could flick off the honey. When I tried to whip her paws with a moisten towel, she hid behind an arm chair.

Living with Honey is like living with an animate saw. She chews on everything - furniture, plaster, my favorite books, wires - except her chew toys. It took me a while to realize that she was nestling between the wall and the bedspread (pictured above) because it allowed her to gnaw on the elegant cloth. Despite the fact that I give her three meals a day, plenty of hay, and snacks. And provide her with chew toys?

When I see depictions of rabbits this time of year, I just shake my head. They're shown as mild-mannered, sometimes even docile, and eager to deliver treats to children. If I handed Honey Bear a basket with candy to distribute, she would rustle through the contents, chew a hole in the bottom, and then leave the scene to take a nap.

CARDAMOM CUPCAKES WITH DULCE DE LECHE FROSTINGPayasm (mung dhal pudding) is my favorite South Indian dessert. It combines jaggery, cardamom, coconut milk, and cashew nuts. These cupcake reflect many of its flavors. Try tucking a few in your Easter basket this year.


For cake:Dede Wilson's recipe for yellow cake
2 teaspoons ground cardamom

For frosting and garnish:

1/4 cup raw cashew nuts
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


Heat the oven to 300. Roast cashew nuts for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and chop very finely.

Increase oven heat to 350.

Prepare the cake batter as directed. Add the ground cardamom to the creamed butter (with the vanilla). Bake as 24 cupcakes.

Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the dulce de leche and coconut milk. Beat until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until just incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until creamy.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with chopped cashew nuts.

glass candelier; mirror tile fireplace

dining room 034dining room 028

Here are a couple of DIY projects we have in our dining room.  A side note, the dining room is the first room you walk in when you enter our rowhouse.  This works quite well for us - not because our dining room has a front door, but because the living room / kitchen creates a great space for both entertaining and living.

First, the fireplace surround now doubles as a mirror-ball.  I like the way the aged and worn, glossy-white-painted mantel looks with the bright, square tiles.  By the way - they do not actually create a mirror-ball effect.  They do, however, bounce natural light around in a place that is normally pretty dark. Take a look:

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I got these at Kit Kraft and installed them with a tile-mastic for fireplace surrounds.  This is not a working fireplace and I'm not vouching for their ability to withstand heat - but I will vouch for their ability to prompt a random, "Girl, that fireplace is fabulous!"

Now onto one of my favorite projects - this glass candelier that hangs over the table.  The tealight holders came from Crate & Barrel.  The different heights and shapes are interesting from just about every angle.  The glass base came from a trusty glass shop called Caplan that we've used for a few projects.  They cut the piece to specification with three holes evenly distributed around the edge.

From there I added the hardware that you can see in detail in the pictures.  The biggest tip of advice (courtesy the glass cutter man) is to have non-metallic washers.  There should be no metal touching the glass at any time.  The glass is fairly heavy and sometimes covered in a small fire.  I heeded the man's advice and have been eating worry-free ever since.  While you can't see it in the picture, I used vinyl washers to keep everything properly protected.

A special thanks goes to our wonderful friend, Kim, who made the table runner with her own little hands.

dining room 033

dining room 030

dining room 027

I know, I know - you want to see what that thing looks like when it's lit.  I'll get around to that...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Egg Bhurji / Scrambled Eggs

Whenever I am not well or feel lazy, TH becomes the cook of my kitchen. And, I know by default what he cooks. Egg, egg and only egg.

I had never seen preparing recipes other than egg when I am not available. He usually says that the egg makes his job easier and reduces the time to stay in the kitchen.

I find it correct anyway. It is always easy to prepare and helps when nothing available at home.

Here is the recipe from TH, the simple, easy, colourful egg bhurji. Enjoy!!!

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: < 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3-4


Oil - 3 teaspoons

Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon

Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

Green chilli - 2 nos, slit or finely chopped

Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped

Capsicum/Bell pepper - 1/4 cup, any colour, finely chopped, optional

Eggs - 4 nos

Salt - to taste

Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon


1) Take a wok and heat oil in it.

2) When it is hot and not smoking, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.

3) When crackle sound of mustard seeds reduces, add green chillies.

4) Add onion and saute till it turns soft.

 5) Add capsicum and saute without changing colour.

6) Break eggs one by one and leave it for a minute.

7) Start stirring continuously to form lumps. Initially it would look like messy as shown in the picture.

8) Stir it continuously till the eggs are not sticking with the pan.

9) Now, add salt and pepper as per the egg quantity and stir well.

10) Serve hot with steamed rice or chapati.


1) Roast and make a powder of cumin seeds and black pepper corns. Add this at the end of the preparation of egg bhurji. If you are doing this, skip adding the cumin seeds for the seasoning.

2) Addition of capsicum is completely optional. As TH and I like capsicum a lot, we added to this bhurji.

3) Avoid green chillies and increase the pepper quantity, if you are going to serve for kids.

Cake Keju Parut ( Ci Yulia, Cengkareng )

Repeat order dari Ci Yulia, kali ini pesen cake keju parut. Katanya liat keju nya bikin kepengen..Hahahaha. Sekalian buat kue potong anaknya ultah.

Biasanya cake keju ini 2 lapis tapi ini spesial buat Ci Yulia bikin 3 lapis.Hehehehhe

Happy Bday, Giorgio
Panjang umur, tambah pintar dan selalu diberkati Tuhan. Amin

Plum Bread

Plum Bread is a  traditional  Lincolnshire  recipe. It can be cake like or bread like, but most importantly it's full of lovely plump raisins and sultans. Enjoy it sliced and spread with butter, even better add a good piece of cheese. Try it lightly toasted, it's divine, or make a luxury bread and butter pudding. It keeps really, really well, in fact it is better for keeping as the flavours have chance to develop. Give it a try.



1 lb Self Raising Flour
8 ozs Sugar
4 ozs Butter
8 ozs Currants
4 ozs Raisins
4 ozs Sultanas
2 ozs Mixed Peel
4 ozs Chopped Cherries
Pinch Salt
1 Egg
½ pint Milk


1. Rub flour and margarine together

2. Add rest of dry ingredients.

3. Mix together with beaten egg and milk

4. Put mixture into two greased and lined 2 lb loaf tin

4. Bake at 180º for 1 hour 15 minutes.