Marble Cake

Marble cake has always been my favorite, what's better than a combination of chocolate and vanilla. This recipe is from the book, Baked - New Frontiers in Baking, and what's interesting is that it uses dark chocolate along with cocoa powder. I had to try it and it makes such a difference in the cake. The chocolate flavor was really intense and just irresistible.

Shortbread Cookies

It's getting cooler by the day, the late sunrise and early sunset are just making me so lazy. Most of my days are spent curled with a book and I get up only when I have to. That's the only excuse for my long absences from blogging, plain laziness. Though I love winters, being from Mumbai since I'm not used to very cold weather and it sometimes gets a little unbearable. I'm so grateful for being in California where the weather is not so extreme and I thank God everyday, just thinking of a white winter gives me the creeps:).
I'm not cooking anything special nowadays, but I do miss baking a lot. Last week it was one of my friend's daughter's first birthday and I made these shortbread cookies by Ina Garten, that I had seen in Food Network a while back. The recipe is here.

Just cut them into different shapes...

Fresh out of the oven and of course I've already had a bite...

The cookies were incredibly buttery and delicious, just as she promised. Will surely be making this often.

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of my favorite dishes and the best I've had is at Grand Central restaurant in Chembur. I've never been satisfied with what we get at the restaurants out here, so I've just stopped ordering the dish. Last week we had dinner at a friends place and was I excited when I saw butter chicken on her table. It was really yumm, so of course I had to get the recipe. Noted it down and tried it today. It turned out great, was rich and delicious and was perfect with some parathas.

Taste n Create : Shrimp Fried Rice

For the past few days I have been browsing through Nicole's blog, For the Love of Food. Nicole has a beautiful blog with stunning pictures and a diverse collection of recipes. I was so glad to be partnered with her. Loved reading about her family and her travels. There were so many dishes to choose from, but after all the sweets and other heavy stuff I've been having for the last couple of weeks, I really wanted to make something simple. The shrimp fried rice looked delicious and was a perfect choice for lunch today.
I just had mine and the rice was so flavorful and steaming hot, it was just the perfect meal.

Check out the recipe here.
Have a great weekend guys!

Diwali Treats...

I had a wonderful time this Diwali. Thank God it was during the weekend. We spent the whole day in true Diwali spirit. Visited the temple in the morning and spent the rest of the day visiting friends and distributing sweets.
I wanted to make everything that mom usually makes at home, so here are the recipes for all the above treats...

Diwali Wishes to ALL!

Wishing you all A Very Happy and Prosperous Diwali. May all your dreams come true and the coming year be filled with happiness.

I have been quite busy for the past few days making some sweets. Here's a picture of all the goodies I made. Will post recipes later.

Off to the temple now....Have a wonderful day!

Easy Chocolate Fudge

We had our first rain this week. Lasted a whole day and reminded me so much of rains back home. Just lazed around for two days of cloudy weather.
I made these last week when I was really craving for some chocolate. It was really simple and done in no time at all. The recipe is from the book Chocolate, by Williams-Sonoma.

Easy Chocolate Fudge
1 1/2 cups (375 gms) sugar
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) evaporated milk
2 cups (315 gms) bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup (90 gms) walnuts

Grease an 8" square pan with butter.
Combine sugar, butter, salt and evaporated milk in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir constantly till the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat a little and simmer for 5 mins, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir till the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the walnuts.
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cool, cover and chill for 2 hours .
Cut into squares and store in an air tight container for upto a week.

Tried and Tasted : Madhuram's Eggless Cooking Round-up

Here's the round up of all the Tried and Tasted recipes from Madhuram's Eggless Cooking. A big thanks to all those who sent in their yummy creations....

Really sorry for missing out this entry by Lata Raja of Flavours and Tastes

Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes tried these...

Zucchini Dal by Graziana of Erbe in cucina (Cooking with Herbs)

White Bean Soup by Graziana of Erbe in cucina (Cooking with Herbs)

Last of all my entries...

Do check out Trupti's blog Recipe Center for the details of this months Tried and Tasted event.

ICC September : Murukku

Murukku is one of our favorite snacks and it's so addictive. I was so glad when it was chosen for Indian Cooking Challenge this month, a great excuse to make some. This was a great recipe, very similar to what I usually make.
I'm a day late in posting this, totally skipped my mind. So sorry for try this recipe....

4 cups raw rice
1 cup urad dal
approx 1/2 cup water or more

For the seasoning:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida/ hing
salt to taste
75 gms butter

Wash and drain the rice. Dry for 1/4 hour. Dry roast the urad dal till golden and allow to cool.
Grind the rice to a fine powder. Then grind the urad dal to a fine powder.
Mix together both the flours, salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and hing.
Add the butter and rub it in till it forms into a crumbled mixture.
Add water and form into a firm dough.
Heat oil to deep fry. Shape the murukku using the murukku maker on pieces of paper and deep fry on medium heat till light brown, turning a couple of times to ensure even browning on both sides.
Drain on paper towels and store in air tight containers for upto a week.

Chocolate Butter Cookies and Eggless Cumin Cookies

I made these cookies for one of my friends daughters birthday. As their name suggests these have lots of butter and just melt in your mouth. The cinnamon, nuts and chocolate give these a wonderful flavor and texture.

The recipe is from the book, Chocolate by Williams-Sonoma. It yields about 4 dozen cookies, perfect for parties.

Chocolate Butter Cookies
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups/ 180 gms plain flour
1 cup/ 250 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 tbs/ 90 gms granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 cup/ 90 gms chopped nuts
2/3 cup/ 100 gms semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F/180C. Line ungreased cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sieve together the cocoa, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the vanilla, nuts and chocolate chips. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, combining thoroughly.
Drop rounded teaspoons of the dough in the shape of large marbles about 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12 mins till done. Let cool in the pan for 2 mins. Dust with some confectioners sugar and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eggless Cumin Cookies for Tried and Tasted

I made these cumin cookies from Madhurams blog, Eggless Cooking. They were ready so quick and took no effort at all. They were crisp, had a wonderful savory taste from the cumin and is a perfect tea-time snack. I'm going to be making this so often. Check out the recipe here.

The chocolate cookies are going to 'CFK : Chocolate', hosted by Hema of Salt to Taste, event bySharmi of Neivedyam.

Cumin cookies are my entry to 'T and T : Madhurams Eggless Cooking' hosted right here by me.

Homemade Gulab Jamuns for Taste n Create

For this months Taste n Create I was paired with Parita of Parita's World. Parita has a beautiful blog and there were so many delectable dishes to choose from. In the end I decided to try these awesome Gulab Jamuns. It's my favorite sweet and I could have any number of them at a time. I make these often, but they are always from packaged mixes, so it was great making them from scratch. This is a wonderful recipe and the Jamuns were just perfect.
I made these in the afternoon, so they would be ready by the time Manoj got home but we also had some friends come over that same evening, so I had to literally hide some Jamuns so I could take a picture of them. The jamuns were gone in minutes and everyone was so surprised that I actually made them at home. Thanks Parita for this wonderful recipe.

Eggless Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

This was the first time I tried eggless baking and I'm really impressed. The muffins were really easy to prepare. The bananas, walnuts and the chocolate chips go so well together and the muffins were delicious. The recipe is from Madhuram's blog and my entry to Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted being hosted by me.

Check the recipe out here....


For as long as I can remember, mom has always made Unniappams for Janmashtami every year. I wanted to this year, but I was not keeping well. Both of us were really craving for some, so I decided to surprise Manoj last evening. Mom usually makes it with rava, but since I did not have any when we were discussing the recipe in the morning, she gave me one of my aunts recipes. Made the unniappams with rice and they were yumm....

1 1/2 cups rice
1 big ripe banana (120gms)
1 cup grated jaggery
6 cardamoms, seeds crushed

Soak the rice for about 8 hours.
Grind together bananas, jaggery, rice with just enough water to form a thick smooth batter (I used a little less than 1/4 cup water).
Stir in the crushed cardamom seeds and let the batter sit for 3-4 hours.
Heat oil in the unniappam pan and spoon the batter into each cavity. Fry on medium heat for about 2 mins till brown, then turn them over and cook the other side till done.
Drain well on paper towels.
The unniappams may absorb some oil, especially if the batter is too thin. Add oil as required to the pan and wait till it gets hot before adding the batter.

My entry to 'WYF:Festive Treat' event hosted by EC of Simple Indian Food.

Chicken Stew

I know its Tuesday and a little late to be talking about the weekend, but I had such a great time. We went to San Francisco for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival and had some fabulous chocolate treats. I especially loved the tarts, pies, gelato and the brownie samples were to die for. We had a chocolate overload and yet I'm craving for more:)...

I made this curry this weekend and had it with dosas. Its best with appams but any dosa will do. I even like to have it with chapatis.

4 chicken leg quarters, cut into small pieces

1 tbs oil
5 cloves
2 cardamoms
1 cinnamon
10 peppercorns

1 big onion, sliced
8 green chillies, slit
2 tbs ginger, finely chopped
10 curry leaves
2 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 cups thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut milk

Heat 2 tbs oil on medium heat and fry the cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and peppercorns till fragrant.
Add the onions and green chillies and fry till onions are soft and transparent. Add the ginger and fry for a min.
Next add the curry leaves, coriander powder and garam masala and fry for 30secs.
Add the chicken and fry on high heat for 2 -3 mins to brown a bit. Reduce the heat and add the thin coconut milk and salt. Mix well and cook covered on low heat till the chicken is done. Check the seasonings.
Remove from heat and stir in the thick coconut milk. Place the pan back on low heat for about 2-3 minutes. Just take care not to boil the gravy or the milk may split.
Enjoy with dosas, appam or any other bread.

Parippu Pradhaman

Onam was not very grand this year. I just made a simple lunch of parippu, sambhar and aviyal and papadums. Here's a picture, will post recipes later...

We had another sadya, an Onam potluck last Friday with friends and that was more fun. I madePulisseri and Parippu Pradhaman. I was making it for the first time. After elaborate instructions from mom, it turned out really well. So here's the recipe...

250 gms chana dal
450 gms jaggery
2 cups thin milk
1 cup thick milk
6 cardamoms, remove the shell and crush the seeds
2 tbs ghee
raisins n cashew nut pieces

Wash the dal and pressure cook till well done.
Drain the excess water and mash the dal. Do not mash it into a smooth paste, but into a coarse mixture with bits of dal.
Take the mashed dal in a heavy bottom pan and add the jaggery. Heat over medium high flame for about 10-15 mins till it forms into a thick paste.
Add the thin coconut milk and cook over medium flame for 5 mins.
Remove from heat and add the thick coconut milk and crushed cardamom. Place the pan back on very low heat and cook for a few mins. Do not let the mixture boil. Turn of the heat,
Fry the raisins and cashews in the ghee till golden and add to the payasam. Mix well and serve warm.
The payasam will thicken as it cools. You can thin it by adding some warm milk.

Announcing Tried and Tasted : Madhuram's Eggless Cooking

Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted is a wonderful event that features a different blog each month giving us foodies a great opportunity to explore the blog and try out the various dishes. I'm really excited to be hosting the event this month and on the spotlight this month is Madhuram's Eggless Cooking.
It feels great to come across a blog that showcases something that one is not very familiar with. Eggless cooking is something totally new to me. I've never baked anything eggless as I've always doubted the texture and taste, but Madhuram's posts and all the mouthwatering pictures have changed my mind and I'm all set to give it a try. She has an amazing and diverse collection of recipes and I have enjoyed reading her blog and found it to be so informative.
So join me in further exploring her blog and and trying and tasting all those spectacular dishes out there. Here are the rules for the event....

[This beautiful logo has been created for us by Ksenia of Tales of a Spoon and it features Madhuram's Savory Onion Crackers. Isn't it lovely? Thanks Ksenia!]

1. Cook any recipe(s) from Madhuram's Eggless Cooking and post about it. Stay as true to the original recipe(s) as possible. Therefore, there is no need for re-posting it, simply link to the original post.
2. Link your post to this post (feel free to use the logo), to Zlamushka's page and to the original post.
Please always link to both sites, so both blogs are given credit and you are avoiding copyright issues.
3. Deadline is the 30th of September 2009 and the round up will be posted during the following week.
4. Mail me the following details at
Your Name
Blog Name
Dish Name
Url of your dish
Original Url
Picture of the dish
Non-bloggers are more than welcome to participate . Just mail me all the details.

Looking forward to your support in making this event a success.

Pomfret Curry and Fry

It's so hot since last week, cooking is the last thing on my mind nowadays. Infact I've been having curd rice most of the days and sometimes cup noodles. Anything to avoid standing in the kitchen for too long. I made this dish sometime last week, it's one of my favorite curries. It's really simple and reminds me of mom, coz I just love it when she makes this.

2 pomfrets, cut or another similar white fish
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
80 gms fresh coconut
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 dry red chillies or to taste
4 small red pearl onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of ginger
2 pieces kudampuli (gamboge), washed and torn into pieces
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1 tsp coconut oil

Marinate the fish with the turmeric powder and salt for a couple of hours.
Grind together the coconut, coriander, chillies, onions, garlic and ginger to a fine paste with some water.
Take the mixture in a wide bottomed pan. Add the gamboge, curry leaves, some salt and enough water to make the gravy. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Slide in the fish pieces gently. When it returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook till the fish is done. Take of the heat and drizzle the coconut oil on top.
This dish tastes best if its allowed to sit for a few hours, it's even better if it's made the previous day.

For the fry I just marinated the fish in some red chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, lime juice and salt for a couple of hours and shallow fried it till crisp and done.

Tried and Tasted : Eggless Indian Custard

I really wanted something sweet last evening and thankfully I thought of this recipe that I had bookmarked for Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted that's being hosted by Yasmeen of Health Nut this month. An eggless custard that too with chickpea flour was totally new to me. The recipe is from Ganga's blog 'A Life(time) of Cooking'.

Find the recipe here. The custard was delicious and I just loved it. The only problem was that I used really low fat milk, so I didn't get the right consistency. Could have been a little thicker, so next time I'm gonna be making this with whole milk. A quick and easy dessert.

Baked Onion Rings for Taste and Create

The first time I had onion rings was when I was out for lunch with my Alliance Francaise gang at The Bombay Blues restaurant in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. Fell in love with the it and ever since its the first item I look for in a menu when ordering for snacks. I've never tried making it at home, coz I just avoid frying stuff at home as much as I can, the only way I can control how much I eat:).
I have been paired with Marthe Zwolle of Culinary Delights for this months Taste and Create and this was one of the first recipes I spotted in her blog.
I'm so glad I decided to make this, it was great and we couldn't stop eating. I'm definitely going to bake these rings more often. You can find the recipe here.

I was on an unannounced break for a while now. I've not been keeping well and have also been busy with some other work. I'm so sorry for not responding to all your comments and visiting all your blogs. Will try to be more regular now.
Well Manoj is taking me out to dinner today, so got to hurry....see u'll soon.

Sharkara/ Jaggery Dosa

This dosa was one of my favorite snacks as a kid. Mom used to make this often for us and she would make it in different shapes, flowers for me and animals for my brother, we used to gulp it down happily. I still make this once in a while, when I need to fix us a quick snack. Sending this to 'CFK:Evening Snacks' hosted by Divya of Dil Se, event started by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup grated jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Take the jaggery in a bowl, add some water and microwave on high for 30-40secs. Mix well till the jaggery dissolves.
Add the flour and cardamom powder and enough water to make a smooth batter. The batter should not be very thick.
Heat a griddle and smear with some ghee. Pour a ladle of batter and spread a little. Top with a few drops of ghee. Cook till golden on both sides.
Serve hot.

Rava Idli with Coconut Chutney

Manoj loves idli's and would have it for any meal, but I'm not very fond of it. I also find the whole process of making the batter a big headache and too much work, its just one of those things I don't like to do even if its so simple. That's why I love this recipe. Noted it a couple of months ago from the book, Curried Favors and I've made it every week since.
Completely hassle free and the idlis are soft and has great flavor.