December 24, 2009

Eggless Orange Cake

I had too much of oranges at home, to be used up. Making juice is one good way to finish up more number of oranges at one go. I thought of cakes and did a search for orange cakes. I wanted a recipe where in orange juice is used and majority of the recipes I found had only the zest in it. Finally I found Shammi's Orange Cake. The feedback by those who have tried was encouraging. Hop over to her blog for more eggless baking recipes. I have changed some ingredients else its almost her recipe. I didn't do the filling. But decided to try my hand in icing the cake, which is a first for me. The amount of sugar and butter in the icing, puts me off, usually. Also me and my husband prefers cake with no frosting. My dad was here when I baked and he pushed me to do the icing. My dad really enjoyed the cake very much. While slicing the cake, I did in a hurried manner and the top slice cracked but managed to keep it whole. I know I have much more to go on the icing part. But for a first timer, I think it will get a pass.


Whole wheat flour - 1 cup

All pupose flour/Maida - 1/2 cup

Cornflour - 2 tspn

Baking powder - 2 tspn

Salt -1/4 tspn

Oil - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Yogurt -1/4 cup

Orange zest - 1 tspn

Fresh orange juice - 3/4 cup ( from 3 ornages)

Orange color a pinch


Sift the dry ingredients - wheat flour, maida, cornflour, baking powder and salt.

Cream sugar and oil. Add yogurt. Beat well. Add a pinch of orange color.

Add the flour mix and orange juice alternatively to the wet mix. Mix well after each addition.

Finally stir in the orange zest.

Transfer the batter to a greased and dusted cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 minutes.

The cake on its own also tastes very nice. You can just dust it with some powdered sugar and serve.


Butter - 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar - 1 1/2 cup

Corn flour - 2 tblspn

Beat all the ingredients together till creamy. Cool the cake well and slice it horizontally.  Spread the frosting on the base slice. Carefully place the top slice over it. In the remaining  frosting, add a pinch of orange color. Cover the cake fully with the frosting. Leave it to set and slice.

Wishing all my readers A Merry Christmas.

December 23, 2009

Dal Kachori

Kachori is a popular snack in the North India similar to what is bajji/vada to South India. This deep fried snack is a round ball which has a flaky covering made of maida flour with a spicy, dry filling of urad dal/moong dal. There are many variations to the fillings. Fillings can be made according to one's choice and taste. I first tasted kachori at Janpath market during first visit to Delhi. We were feeling hungry and I told my sister that I need to eat first before I can shop any more. It was then my brother-in-law suggested Kachoris and a vendor was just near us in his bicyle. Kachoris was served in the leaf bowls along with a potato gravy. First bite, I just loved it. Seeing the size of the kachori, I thought I can have only one but finished with 3. It was absolutely tasty. After that, my husband used to get this from a North Indian bakery near his office.  Once I decided to give it a try. I used half and half of maida and wheat flour instead of using only maida. Inspite of using atta, the outer cover was flaky.  I got decent kachoris if not the best. 

For outer cover

All pupose flour/Maida - 1 cup
Wheat flour/Atta - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tblspn ( Don't melt the ghee)
Cold water - 3 tblspn
Ajwain - 1 tpsn

Mix flour,ghee, salt and ajwain till the flour resembles bread crumbs. Slowly add water to make a dry dough. Don't knead it. Just bring together the flour and make a dough. This is essential to get the flaky crust. Cover and keep it aside for 30 minutes.


Urad dal - 4 tblspn
Cumin - 1 tspn
Fennel seeds - 1 tblspn
Green chilly - 2 nos
Red chilli powder -1/2 tspn
Coriander + mint - a handful
amchur powder - 1/2 tspn

Oil for deep frying


Soak urad dal in hot water for half an hour. Else you can soak it in cold water for 2 hours.
Drain the urad dal and grind it coarsely with out adding water.

Roast cumin, fennel seeds for a minute. Roast green chilly , coriander and mint in a teaspoon of oil till the leaves wilt.

Grind the roasted ingredients along with salt, red chilli powder with out water. Mix the ground masala to the urad dal paste. Heat a tablespoon of oil and saute the filling. Don't make it dry, it should be moist.

Preparing the kachori

Pinch off a lime sized dough. Press the dough with your fingers to the shape of a poori. Let theedge of the poori be thin compared to the centre.  Place a tablespoon of the filling. Gather the edges and shape into kachoris. Heat oil in a kadai till hot. Lower the heat to medium and deep fry the kachoris till golden brown. Serve with mint chutney or sweet tamarind chutney.

This is off to WYF:Tea Time Snacks hosted by EC.

December 18, 2009

Eggless Banana Chocolate Cake

In baking, I am trying to  do away with all purpose flour completely. I decided to try a whole wheat cake. I used half cup of wheat flour and 1/2 cup of multigrain flour. The pillsbury brand has come out with a mutligrain flour that has 80 % of atta and 20% of soy, oats, maize, ragi, chana dal and barley together. Since I had that flour in hand, I decided to try that in baking, again thanks to Madhuram's whole grain baking series. And in my attempt to make it healthy, I omitted white sugar and used  brown sugar and  honey. Considering the less amount of oil, the cake was very moist. All in all this is a keeper recipe. I will be trying with coffee flavor soon.

You need

Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup

Multigrain flour - 1/2 cup

Arrowroot powder - 4 tblspn ( you can use corn flour)

Cocoa powder - 4 tblspn

Baking powder ,baking soda - 1 tspn each

Mashed banana - 1 cup

Brown sugar - 4 tblspn

Honey - 3 tblspn

Oil - 1/3 cup

Milk - 1/2 cup + 2 tblspn

Yogurt - 2 tblspn

Vanilla essence - 1/2 tspn

Cashew nuts to garnish - optional


Sift the fry ingredients together - Atta, multigrain flour, arrow root powder, coco powder, baking powder and cooking soda.

Mix banana, brown sugar and honey well. It smells like Panchamritam. Add milk and whisk till blended, followed by yogurt. Finally add oil and vanilla essence. Beat till everything is blended nicely.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet mix, mixing after each addition. Transfer to a greased baking tin. I usually dust the greased with some flour before transferring the batter.  Garnish with few cashews on top. If you wish you can add some to the batter too.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 35 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean. I baked at 200 C. The top cracked.

The cake was very moist and spongy. Perfect sponge cake with chocolate flavor and no hint of banana. For those who you like the cake to be sweet, you can increase the sugar by 2 tablespoon.

This is off to Divya's Show Me Your Cake and  Sara's Cakes n Cookies event.

December 15, 2009

Chegodilu /Ring Murkku for ICC

Srivalli challenged the bloggers with the chegodilu/ ring murkku as part of the Indian Cooking Challenge. I have tasted the ring murkku from TamilNadu. I haven't tried this nor do I have a recipe for the same. So when Srivalli announced the challenge, I was happy to try a new savory. My dad loves to help me in the kitchen expecially when making sweets/savories. Appa knows the paakam of sweeets very well. But he cannot make any dish on his own, that is another thing. His judgement will always be right with respect to paakam. Also he will help in deep frying the savories. This time, he helped me in making the rings.

Srivalli gave two recipes to choose from. I opted to try the first one. The preparation of the dough was new to me in a savory recipe. I have never cooked the flour for a savory dish. The mrukku came out very crisp and crunchy. I used 1 1/2 cups of fresh rice flour. 

Ingredients Needed:

Rice Flour - 1 cup

Water - 1 cup

Split Yellow Moong dal /  Pasiparuppu - 1 1/2 - 2 tblsp

Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp

Sesame Seeds - 1 tsp

Chili powder - 1 tsp

Ghee or oil - 1 tblsp

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

Method to prepare:

Making the dough:

Soak moong dal in water for half hour to 1 hour.

In a deep bottom pan, boil water, then add salt, ghee and moong dal. Bring it to boil, simmer and slowly add the rice flour. Using a ladle, mix the flour with water by stirring it well. When the flour is mixed and done, turn off the heat immediately. Cover with lid and keep aside for 10 to 15 mins.

Once the dough is cool, add chilli powder, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and mix well. Knead till you get a smooth dough. Adjust the salt and spice depending on your preference. When using fresh flour, you will have to knead more to break the lumps. Though I kneaded well, I could find some after deep frying. But it didnot affect the texture since those lumps were very small and got fried well.

Frying the Chokodi:

Heat a pan with oil, enough to fry 3 -4 at time, if you conscious of not using too much oil. Simmer once it gets hot. The temperature should not be smoking hot.

Grease your fingers with oil and pinch out a small lemon size ball and roll between your palms to form a thick rope. Bring the two ends to together and press to form a rope. Ensure the ends are firmed pressed as not to give out during frying.

Continue with the rest of the dough until you are done with the entire batch. You can either cover it with a plate or a cloth to prevent the dough from getting dried.

December 14, 2009

Eggless Plain Vanilla Cupcakes

About an year back,I had bookmarked the recipe for Basic Yellow Cupcakes at Wilton's. I was new to baking then and tried only eggless recipes. Things have changed much now that I have adapted many recipes to make it eggless, thanks to blogging that I know about various egg substitutes and a special thanks to Madhuram and her many eggless events. I thought of increasing the milk quantity in the above said recipe to make it eggless. But as I said, I wasn't very sure of the outcome. At the same time around, Aparna, posted an eggless version of the same recipe. Her post gave me the confidence to go ahead and I followed her recipe to T. It was absolutely delicious and very easy to put together. As the recipe says, its a basic version. You can jazz it up to any kind of flavor you wish to. I have baked it many times with chocolate and coffee flavors.  Its a keeper recipe.


All purpose flour/maida - 3 cups

Cornflour - 3 tspn (I used arrowroot powder)

Salt - 1/2 tspn

Baking powder - 2 1/2 tspn

Butter - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 1 1/2 cups

Milk - 1 1/2 cups

Vanilla essence - 11/2 tspn

Mini chocolate chips for topping.


Cream together sugar and butter till fluffy and light. Sift both flour, baking powder and salt. Add vanilla essence to milk.

Add milk and flour mix alternatively to the creamed butter-sugar combo. Beat well after each addition. Once you have done with both milk and flour, beat well for over a minute.

Grease the muffin tray and spoon the batter to 2/3 of the depressions. Add the topping.  Sliced cherries or tuty fruity can also be used as topping. Bake at 180 C for 30 minutes.

I got 18 muffins when I made the first time. Later on I  make only half the recipe. Last time when I made, I filled the muffin pan to half and had some batter left. I baked it in a jelly mould. Here is it

Here is the picture of  coffee flavored cupcakes. I used 1 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of coffee decotion in place of 1 1/2 cups of milk in the orginal recipe.


December 9, 2009

Poha BisiBeleBath

During our last trip to Mumbai, we made it to Shirdi too. On our return trip to Mumbai from Shirdi, we travelled by the day bus and reached my uncle's house at 10 p.m. We were all tired by the journey and just wanted to have some curd rice (That's the comfort meal especially after a tiresome journey) and hit the bed right away. Our bus was expected to reach by 8:30 p.m. Lalitha mami had made bisibele bath (BBB) and curd rice for dinner. As I said we were in no mood to relish BBB. On first look, the texture of BBB was different and with the taste of the first morsel, I asked what went in the BBB. It was made of poha. Poha has blended in well. I felt BBB with poha was light on stomach too. Here is my version of it with poha. I have followed the same method as I did with broken wheat before.

I washed and pressure cooked poha for 2 whistle. Just add enough water to moisten the poha. Take care to use the thick variety of poha.  Else it will get dissolved on cooking. I used the thick brown variety which is more nutritious too.

I used two cups of poha. Rest of the ingredients are same. The quantity was enough to serve 4. On my first attempt I didnot pressure cook the poha. I soaked it for 15 minutes and drained it. I mixed it along with the veggies and cooked. I felt the poha was dry and not soft and the pressure cooked method gives soft poha and it blends well. You can choose to MW also.

December 5, 2009

Pineapple Kesari

I can't remember how many times I have made kesari at home. Everytime, when my hsuband has the sweet craving (that craving is there almost daily) and there isn't anything near to sweet to munch on, he will ask me to make kesari. Then the quantity I make will be very less. that is just one serving for two. When the whole of my neigborhood must be getting ready to hit the bed, I will be busy in the kitchen making kesari. When you are making in small quantities, its very easy, much easier than making upma, since no chopping involved here. On one such night, when I set out to make kesari, the pineapple on my kitchen caught my attention. I have heard of pineapple kesari a lot but never tried it. Decided it was pineapple kesari that day. Chopped the pineapple into bite sized pieces and used a cup of it for the kesari. I have heard many people cribbing at the thought of cutting a pineapple. I have never found it difficult. The remaining pineapple was used for making jam. I followed my usual way of making kesari with the addition of the pineapple chunks in it. I just increased the water and sugar quantity to make up for the addition of the pineapple.

You need

Roasted rava/semolina - 1 cup

Sugar -2 1/4 cups ( increase 1/4 cup more depending on the sweetness of pineapple)

Water - 2 1/2 cups

Yellow food color -a pinch. ( Can use turmeric powder too)

Ghee - 1/2- 1 cup

Cardamom powder - 1 tspn

I usually roast rava as soon as I buy them from store. If not roasted, dry roast rava till light pink. You get roasted rava too from the stores.

Heat a kadai, add measured water with a pinch of food color. When water starts boiling, add the pienapple pieces. After a minute or so, add rava and mix well. Let the rava cook and by then the water will be fully absorbed. Add sugar. The sugar will melt and the mixture will turn runny. Mix well and take care to break the lumps if any. Slowly add ghee at intervals. The kesari will take a glossy sheen and will leave the sides of the pan. It tastes beest when served cold. You can press it down on a greased plate and cut into desired shape while warm.  Loved the hint of pineapple in the kesari.

Note: If you don't want to bite into the pineapple pieces, you can give a run in the food processor or mixer and then add for a smooth texture. You can add roasted cashews too.

I am sending this to Sanghi's FIL event which features Fruits for the current month

December 2, 2009

Karthikai Deepam


Hope all of you who celebrates Karthigai Deepam had a lovely celebration.  Karthikai, is the festival of lights can be explained as a combination of Raksha Bandan and Diwali, for the uninitiated. The lamps are lit for the well being of one's brothers. Small earthen lamps/brass lamps are lit in the front yard and placed on rangoli/kolam. The brass lamps are usually given to a girl as part of the wedding trousseau. In Kerala, only  the iyers celebrate the festival. In my neighborhood, others also join the celebration by lighting the lamps in their front yard, though they don't prepare any festive goodies as we do. So the whole street is a sight to behold. Neiappam, pori and Adai with vennai is the usual neivadyam. I made all the three.

Diced coconut is a common ingredient for all the three dishes. Fresh coconut is sliced as thin strips. The strips are then cut into bite sized pieces. I used half of a fresh coconut. The credit for equal sized pieces goes to my Dad.


As the name suggests, Nei is ghee. These sweetened rice balls are fried in ghee in a special pan which has depressions. I have used half and half of ghee and oil. There are many ways to prepare the batter. I have been following this way. 


Raw rice /pacharisi - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
cardamom powder - 1 tblspn
Half of a banana
Diced coconut pieces - 2 tblspn

Ghee/oil to fry

Wash and soak raw rice for 8 hours. More soaking helps in getting softer appams.  Drain the water. Powder the jaggery. Grind together jaggery and rice to a smooth paste. Add the banana too. Don't add water while grinding. If you are using more rice quantity, then you can use the wet grinder instead of the mixer grinder. Since we are grinding without water, your mixer grinder will get heated up fast and it will take more time to prepare the batter. Stir in the coconut pieces and cardamom powder. The batter consistency should be that of  idli batter. If it is too thick, adjust by adding water. Give a good stir everytime you scoop the batter into the pan.

Heat the appam pan. Fill ghee/oil to 1/2 the level of the depressions. When it is hot, drop spoonfuls of batter into the depression. Cook in moderate heat, so that the inside also gets cooked and you get a lovely golden color. After a minute, gently turn them upside down. Don't wait for the downside to get cooked well. When you do  like this, the uncooked batter flows outside on turning and a similar appam is formed on the flip side. So you will get an appam which looks like one is placed on top of the other. This is not easy as it is written.

Everytime I start making, I try to get this effect. But by the time, my appam pan is set and I get the drift, the batter will be over. I must confess I usually make appam only as part of any festive fare. I always think of making it on other days for the sake of practise. It never seems to happen. Don't bother too much if you are not getting it, this has nothing to do with the taste of the appam. It only contributes to the looks factor.

After a batch, check the oil in the depressions and add if required. If you add oil, wait for it to get hot before starting with the next batch.

Aval pori in jaggery syrup

My mom used to make nel pori  for Kathikai. My MIL makes aval pori (fried beaten rice flakes). In the place where I stay, everyone seems to make aval pori only since the vendors bring that and less quantity of nel pori. And personally I favor aval pori. My amma's measurement is in terms of edangazhi (measuring vessel) and achu ( jaggery blocks). Her version is for 1 edangazhi (approx 1 litre)  pori, 10-12 achu vellam (jaggery block) depending on the size of the block. Based on her measurement, I have a an easier measurement, ie for 5 measures of pori, 1 measure of powdered jaggery. That works fine for me. Measure the pori with a cup or bowl. With the same bowl measure out the jaggery also. The  jaggery syrup consistency is very important, since it helps to retain the crispness of the pori after coating in the syrup.


Pori - 5 measures
Jaggery - 1 measure
cardamom powder - 1 tblpsn
diced coconut pieces - handful

Melt the jaggery with just enough water for it to melt. Strain and heat the melted jaggery. The syrup consistecy is 'kallu pakam'. Its the next stage of soft ball consistency. You drop a teaspoon of the syrup in half cup water and roll it into a ball. When you drop the ball, you should be able to hear the sound of it hitting the surface. If the syrup has attained the consistency, switch off the heat. Stir in the cardamom powder and coconut pieces. Slowly stir in the pori, gently giving a mix while adding. turn the pori well so that it gets coated in the syrup. While warm, you can roll into balls. When you are making in small quantity, its easy to roll. I made nearly half a kilogram of pori. So i made just few balls and left the rest as it is.


The recipe of karthikai adai is slightly different than the one prepared usually at home. Since it is offered as neivedyam only raw rice is used. That is boiled rice is avoided completely thought its used only in minimal quantity otherwise too. Pepper corns and jeera/cumin is added while preparing the batter. It surely gives a nice flavor. Also the diced coconuts are added too. It is offered along with home made butter.