Friday, November 30, 2012

Guest Hosting "Know Your Sweetness" - Brown Sugar

I am guest hosting an event after a long time. This time it is Jagruti's Know your Natural Sweetness event with the theme of Brown Sugar. I love Jagruti's themes and happy to be a part of this event. Sweetness is the most prominent and preferred taste among the five (sometimes six) tastes. Who doesn't like something sweet after dinner? This month being the cookies and cakes month for Christmas

Eggless Butterless Chocolate Cake

Last year around this time we were there in UK. My husband came home late from work and said the next day was his colleague's birthday. He tried to get a egg less birthday cake. But his efforts were futile as he didn't get anything from the outlets/shops. I wondered why shops don't sell egg less cake.

He asked me to to bake one egg less cake for his colleague. I was a bit hesitant as I am very new to baking and started baking cakes only few weeks before in that year. But I searched few egg less cake recipes on the web and found one beginner kind of recipe from Rak's Kitchen which she adapted from Chow Times. Baked it immediately and did a very simple and quick frosting. Packed it in box and sent it with the husband the next day.

Got a good feedback from his office colleagues. And today, I got this recipe and pictures when I was searching something from my PC. I never thought of posting this recipe in my blog but the pictures reminded me the memories and my wanted to record it. Now I present this recipe. Enjoy!!!

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 12


For Cake:

Plain flour / All purpose flour / Maida - 1 and 1/2 cups

Cocoa powder - 3 tablespoons

Sugar - 1 cup

Oil - 1/4 cup

Baking soda - 1 teaspoon

Lemon Juice / Vinegar - 1 tablespoon

Water - 1 cup

Salt - 1/4 teaspoon

Vanilla essence - 1/2 tablespoon

For Frosting:

Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup

Butter - 12 tablespoons

Icing sugar / confectionery sugar - 2 cups

Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon

Milk - 2 or 3 tablespoons

Chocolate vermicelli/chips and other decorative balls - for decoration


For Cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, get all the ingredients ready and grease the pan with butter and then dust it with flour. Keep aside.

2) Mix all purpose flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together and sift it for 2 times for even mixing. Set aside.

3) Take a mixing bowl and mix water, sugar and salt. Beat till the sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice/vinegar, oil and vanilla essence. Mix well.

4) Add the wet ingredients to the sifted dry ingredients. Mix well. You will get a watery batter as a result of this.

5) Pour this to the prepared baking pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Mine was done in 30 minutes itself. So Keep on eye after 30 minutes.

6) Insert a tooth pin in the centre of the cake. It should come out clean.

7) Remove from the oven and cool down for 10-15 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow it cool completely.

For Frosting:

1) Beat butter until it is creamy and foamy.

2) Add icing sugar slowly to the butter.

2) Add vanilla essence and cocoa powder. Beat well again. Add milk if you didn't get the desired consistency.

3) Keep it in the refrigerator along with cake at least for 15 minutes.

4) After 30 minutes, cut the cake into two horizontal slices and apply 1 and 1/2 cups of chocolate frosting and also on the outer surface. Level it using a long knife.

6) Stuff the remaining chocolate frosting to the icing bag and make your favourite design on top of it.

7) Cut into slices and enjoy.


1) Change frosting as per your taste. I prepared frosting with the ingredients available that time in my pantry and made a very simply frosting for the cake as I was very new for both baking and frosting.

2) Allow the cake to cool completely before applying the frosting.

3) It is not necessary to add the entire milk quantity mentioned here. Add 1 tablespoon at a time and check the consistency. If you don't get the desired consistency, then add the remaining milk. Sometimes, you don't require milk at all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tomato Broccoli and Carrot Soup with Cheese Bread

Winter days always makes me crave for warm and spicy food. When it comes to winter and lazy days, I always make soup, which really freshens up our minds and keeps us healthy and also make it a little different than a usual day.

So first I started thinking that I should make tomato soup and when I looked through my fridge, I saw one carrot and a small head of broccoli. So I decided to make it kind of a veggie soup, but keeping the base with lot of tomatoes.

This really tasted very good with the cheese bread which I bought it from sore and had baked it.

1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan add butter and when it starts melting add the garlic and the onions and saute it until the onions have become translucent.

2. Now add the carrots, cover and cook for about 3-4 mins.
3. Now add the broccoli florets and tomatoes and cook for more 2-3 mins covered.

4. Off the flame, let it come to room temperature and blend these vegetables in a mixer to a smooth paste, add water if necessary.
5. Add the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring it to a slow boil keeping the flame in medium low.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix it well and off the flame.

7. You can transfer the soup into soup bowls and garnish with heavy cream and fresh herbs like cilantro or mint.
8. I served this as a dinner with cheese bread that I had bought it from store, baked it and cut into thick slices to dip into the soup and eat.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kaju Katli / Cashew Burfi / Munthiri Paruppu Burfi

Yesterday was Karthigai Deepam (Festival of Lamps) here. It is celebrated for 3 continuous days from yesterday. Karthigai Deepam is one of the old Hindu festivals and mainly it is celebrated by people from Tamilnadu. It comes during the Tamil Calender Month of Karthigai (which comes in mid of November and mid of December as per English calender) and on the day of Pournami (Full moon day).

The story behind this festival is interesting. Once, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma started fighting each other to prove themselves who is big and they forget to do their job. At that time, Lord Shiva appeared in front of them as huge pillar of fire and asked them to find out his head and leg. Brahma took a form of Swan(Annam, a bird) and flew upwards to find of the head of Shiva. Lord Vishnu took a form of boar (Varaham, a giant pig) and started digging the ground to find out his leg. But both of them were not able to find head / leg. They realized their mistake and understood it was Lord Shiva who taught them a lesson.

From then, Lord Shiva is prayed as Agni Linga at a place know as Thiruvannamalai about 190 kms from Chennai. Every year, it is believed that during Karthigai, Lord Shiva appeared as 'Jothi' (Holy Fire called as Agni Shetram) in this place on top of a hill . As a symbolic worship, people of Tamilnadu started to light Deepams (Diyas, candles and other oil lamps) to decorate their houses. They also offer Appam, Aval, Pori to Lord Shiva and celebrate the day with joy & love. Some people even light Deepams during the entire month of Karthigai.

Ok, now I'll come to the recipe part. This time my celebration is simple and I haven't prepared anything special for this Karthigai due to my hectic work schedule. However, I have planned to post a sweet dish which I prepared for Diwali . Hope you all enjoy this Karthigai festival.

Basic Information:

Preparation and Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Makes: 15 nos (Approximately)


Cashew nuts / Kaju / Mundhiri Paruppu - 1 cup

Sugar - 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup, adjust as per your taste

Water - 1/4 cup

Ghee - as required to grease the plate (Optional)


1) Put Cashew nuts in a mixer/coffee maker and make a fine powder of it. Do it in a single stretch to avoid the cashews sticking with mixie jar. Also, take care not to grind too much as it releases oil most of the time while over grinding.

2) Transfer to a plate.

3) In a thick bottom pan/ Kadai/ Non-stick pan, heat sugar along with oil.

4) When it reaches the bubbling consistency (Just put a drop of sugar syrup in small bowl of water. It will not

immediately dissolve), reduce the flame and QUICKLY add the ground cashew powder.

5) Keep stirring to avoid lumps and until the dough comes out from the sides of the pan. You can also pinch and try making a small ball. If you are able to do so, then it is in correct consistency and ready to transfer to a ghee coated plate. My dough required little kneading. So, I kneaded it in a plate and rolled it in my cutting board.

6) Put cashew dough to the ghee greased plate/ cutting board/ butter paper and roll it using a rolling pin. I formed a shape after rolling using a knife to get uniform shapes of kaju katlis.

7) Leave aside for 5-10 minutes and cut them into desired shapes.

8) Enjoy.


1) Use good quality cashews for best results and use only thick bottom pan/kadai to avoid burning.

2) The consistency of sugar syrup is very important. So, be extra cautious when the sugar syrup starts bubbling. Add cashew powder at the correct time to get the perfect kaju katli.

3) If you get the silver wrap, you can coat the kaju katli with it. However, this is only for decorating purpose.

4) If the kaju dough is dry, you can add a teaspoon of milk/hot water when you knead the dough. Repeat this procedure until you get the correct consistency.

5) Greasing the plate with ghee is optional. The cashew dough itself  doesn't stick with your fingers and you can easily roll it without the help of ghee.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chocolate Mud Cake ( Yoppy, Kapuk )

Happy Birthday Yopppp...
Wishing all the best for you ya..

Thank u for ordering ya Yop..

Manga Cupcake ( SeL, Kelapa Gading )

Customer baru nya Lola's nih..
Mau pesen cupcake tema nya manga karena anaknya suka Manga.

Ini hasilnya ya..

Thank u ya

Mullu Murukku / Chakali

I stayed with my Pinni(Mom's younger sister) and grandma during my entire college days. Though I never entered into the kitchen those days, I used to help them whenever they make palakarams (sweets and snacks for festivals like Diwali). Also, My Grandma prepares them in a large quantity to send them to all her daughters. So each member in the family would be participating in someway for making murukku/ seedai/ thattai. Most of the time my job would be pressing murukku or making round shape of thattai or rolling round,tiny balls of seedai.

The joy that comes out of making perfect palakaram will never come by doing any other activities. I love to press murukku each time when she prepares it and till now the job is continuing. I always show interest in pressing the murukku rather than showing my interest in making a dough or frying.  But I know, for making perfect shape/murukku, the dough consistency is important. So, This time when I prepared it for Diwali, I followed my grandma's instructions carefully for making dough to get perfect murukku. Later, I pressed murukku using a single star nozzle as round shape and fried it. Go ahead to see how it came out for me.

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Makes: 30 murukkus (Approximately)


Rice flour - 2 cups

Roasted gram dal / Chatni dal / Porikadalai  - 1/2 cup

Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

White sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

Butter / Hot Oil - 1 tablespooon

Salt - to taste

Water - as required to make soft dough


1) Sift the rice flour. In a dry mixer/ blender, make a powder of roasted channa dal. Sift it and measure 1/2 cup which is required for this recipe.

2) In a wide mixing bowl, mix sifted flours and other ingredients except butter and water.

3) Heat water and when it is boiling, add it slowly to the flour mixture. Initially the dough will be in crumble in texture. At that time, add butter. Make a smooth, soft dough. Start mixing initially using a knife and when it comes to warm temperature use your hands to make smooth dough. Divide the dough into equal parts.

4) Heat oil in the thick bottom pan / Kadai.

5) Meanwhile, grease the Murukku maker. Use a single hole star pattern for perfect round shape or 3 hole star pattern for random shape murukku.

6) Fill the dough to the murukku maker.

7) Press it to a circular motion without taking your hand for perfect round shape on the back of the ladle or wet cloth or news paper. I feel comfortable with pressing it in the news paper.

8) After pressing, slide the murukkus to the hot oil and deep fry them in medium to high flame until the bubbles sound(shh sound) suppresses. At a time you can fry 3-4 or based on the frying pan size.

9) Remove from the oil and put them in a colander to drain the excess oil if any. You can either use kitchen tissue to absorb the excess oil.

10) Repeat the same procedure for making remaining murukkus.

11) Cool down the murukkus to room temperature and store it in a air tight container.

12) Serve them with hot tea or coffee.


1) I used home made rice four for making this murukku.

2) Add red chilli powder to it for the spicy version. Add more cumin seeds and sesame seeds if preferred.

3) After frying the first batch, if the murukkus are hard to bite, then add extra butter or hot oil to the dough for making the next batch.

Lola's Kitchen on Twitter @Lola_Kitchen

Haiiiii our lovely customer...

Sekarang Lola's Kitchen ada di twitter loh, jadi buat kalian yang pengen ngeliat langsung update cake nya Lola's bisa lebih cepet deh..

follow us on @Lola_Kitchen

Thank u


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thai Red Curry Paste

Hope you all are having very good weekend. My day went very fast in my way. Just before prepared and finished eating tomato cheese pizza. It came out perfectly for the 4th time and still I can sense the aroma of oregano in my entire house. I don't know the reason behind it but yeast baking always makes me happy and it doubles when I see outcome. This happy mood made me to sit and post some recipe in my blog even in this week end.

Searched few old recipes from my drafts and found a simple Thai red curry paste. I adapted this recipe  from US Masala. Also, I am tagging this post under how-to's or Basics since I haven't posted anything under that category for long time. Now you go ahead to see how to prepare Thai red curry paste.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: <10 minutes
Makes: 1/4 cup


Shallots / Small Onions - 2 nos

Garlic cloves - 4 nos, big in size
Lemon grass - 1 stack
Galangal / Ginger - 1 inch length
Cumin seeds  - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Black peppercorns- 1/4  teaspoon
Rinds of one lemon - 1 tablespoon

Dry red chilli - 7-8, adjust as per your taste or based on the spiciness of the chilli
Coriander roots - 3 nos


1) Remove the seeds from dry red chillies. Soak it in 1/4 cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes.
2) Drain the water and add the soaked chillies along with other ingredients in a mixer/blender and make a smooth paste of it by adding small quantity of water.
3) Keep refrigerated until you use it.

Kollu Podi / Horse Gram Spice Powder | Side Dish for Idli Dosa

I can start this post saying horse gram (aka kollu in tamil) has numerous health benefits and is good for you. It is rich in protein like any other bean and has good amount of fiber. Kollu rasam/horse gram soup is good for cold and sinuses. But mind that too much of anything good is bad. Though horse gram taken in moderation is good for you, too much of it causes increase in body heat.
But I had

Cupcake of Piggy on Tier ( Suci, Shangrila Hotel )

Taraaaaa...semangat banget ngerjain orderan ini.
Ini order nya Suci yang ke 3, waktunya ga beda-beda jauh pula.
My very lovely customer ever deh Suci ini..
Cantik, baik n pengertian banget..beneran deh.. i'm really thankful to having customer like her.

Dipercaya Suci untuk bikin cupcake on tier tema piggy untuk sweet seventeen adiknya Suci di Shangrila Hotel.

Thanks a lot, darla..muachh

Ini adiknya Suci yang ultah :

Testimonial :
( Thanks Suci uda ditanyain ke orang-orang..hihihi )

Princess Cake 2 tingkat ( Yuliani, Sunter )

Customer baru nya Lola's lagi nih. Di rekomen ama fifi. Thanks ya Fi.
Yuliani ini gampang bgt orangnya, ga banyak permintaan apa-apa
Jadi ngerjainnya juga semangat..hihihihi

Thanks ya Yul..

Hapyy Bday Venicia ( kali ini namanya bener kan, Yul...hihihi )
Sorry ya salah nulis namanya

Friday, November 23, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now a days, Nutella and peanut butter become few of the must ingredients in my kitchen pantry. We use both mostly for breakfast along with breads. (Look, How lazy I am!) But if it sits good for long time in my pantry, then I'll look and try some recipes using it simply for the sake of finishing it. In that way, the idea of preparing peanut butter chocolate chip cookies came to my mind which I bookmarked almost a year ago from here.

Both smooth as well as crunchy peanut butter worked out well for me in this recipe. These cookies have crunchy outside and chewy, gooey inside and as a whole, you never stop eating only one. I followed exactly what was given in the original recipe and I only reduced chocolate chip quantity to 3/4 cup as I had only that much quantity by the time of trying these cookies. Try them. The are very easy to prepare also.

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Makes: 24 cookies


Butter - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 1/2 cup

Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup (I used dark brown sugar)

Egg- 1 no

Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon

Peanut butter - 3/4 cup (I used Crunchy Peanut Butter)

All purpose flour / Maida / Plain flour - 1 cup

Baking powder - 1 teaspoon

Salt - a pinch

Chocolate chips - 3/4 cup or 1 cup


1) Preheat the oven to 375ºF or 175ºC.

2) Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

3) Take a mixing bowl. Mix together butter and sugar till it get creamy texture.

4) Add egg and vanilla extract till it incorporate well with the creamy butter and sugar mixture.

5) Add peanut butter and continue mixing.

6) Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt)  and mix well.

7) Finally add chocolate chips and mix again.

8) Scoop out a tablespoon full of batter from the bowl and drop it in the prepared parchment paper. I was able to make balls and arranged them as slightly flatten balls in parchment paper.

9) Bake it for 12 minutes or till you get slight golden colour outside for the cookies.

10) Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for few more minutes.Once they are cooled they become more crunchy.

11) Serve warm.


1) As I used dark brown sugar, I have dark coloured cookies.

2) I was able to bake cookies correctly with 12 minutes but I had slightly crumble texture for few of the cookies. So, keep on keep on eye to your oven after 10 minutes itself.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Getting the Most Out of Your Design Consultation

We're often asked how to best prepare for your first consultation with one of our on-site designers.  We've compiled some tips to help you get the most out of your visit!

-BRING IDEAS WITH YOU: collect magazine articles, photos and anything inspirational that you think suits your style.  There are lots of great resources on-line as well; try houzz!

-WISH LIST: write down a list of the most important items that you would like to see incorporated.  This can be anything from lots of counter-space to deep storage.  If you have images of these bring them too!  This gives us a great head start in knowing where your priorities lie.

-MATERIAL: Braam's is a completely custom company, so there are limitless combinations of materials.  We offer many different wood species, stain, paint and specialty finishes which you can combine to create a unique look.  There are also a variety of door styles to choose from > see our post here about the shaker profile (one of our most popular). 
Above all pay attention to the ideas that you've collected and think about what style you gravitate towards. 

-APPLIANCES: If you plan to keep your existing appliances, write down your current model numbers and their approximate dimensions.  If you plan on getting new ones, do a little research on the types of models out there.  The options are endless and all with different features.  The layout of your kitchen is dependent on what type and size you're looking for.

-MEASURE: Bring measurements of your current room you plan to re-model.  It's always helpful to note where windows, doors, stairs, vents, electrical outlets and light fixtures are.  

-BUDGET: This is one of the most important things to consider before coming in.  Braam's staff are willing to work within your budget and we can offer advice on how to achieve your dream kitchen relative to the things on your wish list. 

-MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: You are welcome to drop in to one of our showrooms at any time!  However, if you make an appointment in advance we can ensure that a designer is able to set aside the time needed to address all of your questions and give you their undivided attention.  

Don't get overwhelmed! The further into the process we go the more specific we need to be.  Call your local showroom to set up an appointment with one of our on-site designers:

London Showroom: 
P:             519-432-6404       
75 Wellington Street, London, ON, N6B 2K4 

Oakville Showroom: 
P:             905-845-8138       
136 Church Street, Suite #1, Oakville, ON, L6J 1M9 

Birmingham Showroom: 
P:             248-646-3395       
114 South Old Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI, 48009

content via kitchendesigns

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rava Idly / Steamed Semolina Cake

Truly speaking, I never tasted rava idly neither at any restaurant nor at my home. My Mom prepares only instant rava dosa and till now she haven't prepared rava idly at home. But I have tasted rava idly at few of my relative's and friend's marriage functions.

As a typical food blogger, I want to try this recipe too and post in my website. I have tried few methods many times from the Internet but all the time I ended up with getting only hard rava idlies. I was not able to figure out what went wrong each time.  After little frustration, I stopped trying it for a while.

Last month, When I was looking for idly batter to prepare breakfast, I found the batter was not sufficient for making idlies for both me and my husband. So, the idea of making rava idly came again to my mind and started instantly with the ingredients what my mom uses to make rava dosa. Additionally I have added seasoning with channa dal and reduced the water quantity to make the batter thick for preparing idly. It came out very well. It was soft and porous.  After that with the same measurement I tried and results were good each time. The husband who is not very fond of rava idly finished everything what I served him and asked for extra idlies. :-) What else I need than this?

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 13-15 idlies


Rava / Semolina - 1 and 1/2 cups

Sour Curd / Sour Yogurt - 1 cup

Water - 1 cup or more to make thick batter

Salt - to taste

Coriander leaves - 3 tablespoons, finely chopped

Oil - 3 teaspoons

Green chillies - 3 nos, finely chopped

Curry leaves - 2 string, finely chopped

Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

Channa dal - 1 tablespoon

Asafoetida - a big pinch

Eno Fruit Salt - 1 teaspoon (See notes below)

Cashew nuts - 10-15 nos

Ghee - 2 teaspoons


1) Heat ghee in a kadai/frying pan. Throw cashew nuts and fry till they become slight golden brown. Remove from pan.

2) Reduce the flame and add the rava in the same pan with the remaining ghee. Roast till the rava releases nice aroma and becomes slightly golden brown. Transfer the rava to a wide plate immediately and allow it to cool. Turn the flame off. Don't let the rava in the same kadai/ frying pan.

3) When the rava is cooled enough to room temperature, Transfer it to a bowl and add beaten curd and salt. Mix well. Now, slowly add water till you get slightly thick batter consistency.

4) Add coriander leaves and mix well. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds when it is hot.

6) Add channa dal and fry till it turns golden brown. Immediately add finely chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Add asafoetida and turn the flame off.

7) Now, check the prepared batter. If it is too thick, add more water and make idly batter consistency and then add seasoning. Otherwise, directly add the seasoning to the prepared batter and mix well.

8) Heat the idly mold pan in the stove with sufficient water. Grease oil in the idli molds and keep cashew nuts in center of it. It is just for decoration purpose. You can skip this if you don't have cashews at hand.

9) When everything is ready, add eno fruit salt and mix well. You can see the batter is frothing well.

10) Immediately adding the eno fruit salt, pour the batter into the prepared idly mold’s and keep inside the idly pan.

11) Steam it just for 7-10 minutes. You can also check it by inserting a tooth pin inside and see it comes out clean.

12) Transfer the idlies to the serving bowl and serve hot with your favourite chutney.

13) We enjoyed it with coconut chutney and tomato onion chutney.


1) You can either use sour or normal curd. It is based on your taste.

2) Add grated carrot or other vegetables for variations.

3) If you have more batter, divide them and add eno fruit salt just before steaming idlies. This is very important as the softness of the idlies purely depends on this.

4) You can also add an extra teaspoon of eno fruit salt. Based on it, the outcome will be very soft and porous.