February 24, 2010

Aapam - A Kerala Delicacy

The soft,spongy dosa which is slightly thick in the centre and lacy edges is truly an irresistable breakfast dish. Yes, I am talking about aapam, which is a very common breakfast of Keralites apart from puttu. The popular combo is Aapam and Potato stew or Kadala curry. Both the sides tastes awesome with aapam. In Tamilnadu, coconutmilk is usually served as a side which is also a good match for the soft aapam. There are umpteen recipes which guarantee you the best aapam. My recipe is a simple straight forward one, which I have adapted from my Amma. I have eliminated an additional step which Amma follows. Amma uses only raw rice and coconut for grinding. Then she will prepare a thick , but free flowing paste out of a tablespoon of batter mixed with 1 cup of water. The cooked batter paste is then mixed to the batter and left to ferment.  This is to get soft aapam. I omit that step and instead add a handful of urad dal while grinding.

To prepare aapam, you need that special pan to get the perfect shape for aapam - with a dome in the centre and lacy edges.  Now a days you get the non-stick aapam pans which makes aapam preparation a breeze. Earlier, amma used to use the deep kadai for this and had to struggle lifting the appam from kadai. If you don't have an appam pan, you make it on regular dosa tawa. You don't get the shape. But cover and cook only one side.

You need

Raw rice - 2 cups
Split urad dal  - handful
Grated coconut - from half of a coconut
Salt to taste
Cooking soda - 1/4 tspn


Wash and soak rice and urad dal together for 5 hours or overnight. Grind together rice, urad dal and grated coconut till smooth. Add salt and leave to ferment for 6 hours. The batter consistency should be thinner than dosa batter. Add cooking soda and leave it for 10 minutes for the soda to act.  If you are not using the whole batch, divide the batter before you add soda. This way you will have fresh batter to start with the next day. With soda added batter, I feel you don't get the same result the next day.

Keep the aapam pan on the stove and smear little oil on the pan. Take a ladle of the batter and pour, starting from the outer edge to the centre of the pan. Hold the handles of the pan and give a gentle swirl so that some batter from the edges will flow down to the centre. This method will leave only a thin layer of the batter at the edge which will turn crisp on cooking. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes on moderate heat. If you like a crisp exterior, you can conitnue to cook for few more seconds for it turn brown else remove.

I served with the chettinad tomato chutney which went very well with aapam.

Aapam is regular for breakfast at home and I have been thinking of posting this for a while. But will forget to click the picture everytime. My R.Manni (co-sister) has been asking for this recipe, for quite a long time and fianlly a mail from my reader prompted me to do the post at the earliest.

February 22, 2010

Chettinad Onion Tomato Chutney ~ SpotlightBlog Recipe

Here comes the last recipe from this month's spotlightblog, Shoba's Anubhavti. The  fourth recipe I tried is a creamy, delicious chettinad chutney. I could eat spoonfuls of the chutney all by itself. It was that tempting.With out many ingredients in the list, with just few tomatoes and onions, and urad dal for the texture and red chilly for heat, you get a simple chutney. Don't forget to add the coconut milk which is the star ingredient, that takes this otherwise ordinary chutney to the next level.


You need

Onion - 1 no

Ripe tomatoes - 3 nos

Red chillies - 3 nos

Light coconut milk. - 3 tblspn


Curry Leaves.


Oil - 2 tspn
Mustard - 1/2 tspn
Urad Dhal - 1 tspn
Curry Leaves.


Chop onions and tomatoes and keep it aside. Heat a kadai with the 2 teaspoons of  oil.  When hot add mustard seeds and wait for it to crackle. Add urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and add onion and suate till they turn pink. Add chopped tomatoes and salt and continue till the tomatoes are well cooked and left with less moisture.  Grind all the ingredients together till smooth. Add coconut milk and blend well.  I mixed half a tablespoon of coconut milk powder in 2 tblspoon of warm water.

The creamy chuntey with a slight hint of sweetness from the coconut milk is an excellent side for dosa/idli. It makes good sandwich spread too.


Shoba, I enjoyed the virtual tour of your kitchen, selecting recipes. And from next Monday, its another blog  on the spotlight.

February 20, 2010

Cauliflower Ashgourd Soup And Diet Chart Week #1, Day ~ 3 & 4

The diet plan is going well. I don't get tempted easily and sticking to a plan is not that difficult.  Since I started on a diet plan, I make it a point to make soup daily. Though soups are considered to be appetizers, a bowl of soup is filling for dinner. Ash gourd is very good for weight reduction. Or you can use lauki or bottle gourd too. Since I use ash gourd, I have used that in the soup. You could make it with only cauliflower too for a more creamier soup. 

Ash gourd /Elavan , cubed - 1/2 cup

cauliflower florets- 1/2 cup

star anise -1

cinnamon - 1 stick

Milk -1/2 cup

salt & pepper to taste

Pressure cook ash gourd and cauliflower in 2 cups of water with whole star anise and cinnamon stick, for 2 whistles. Once cooked, remove the spices and puree till smooth. Add 1/2 cup of milk and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper and serve hot.

Add less of pepper to bring out the flavor of cinnamon and star anise. The aroma of the soup is too good with a creamy texture. Without milk also, the soup will taste good.

Week#1, Day ~ 3

5:45 am - Ajwain + 1 glass warm water

7:15 am - 3/4 cup coffee without sugar

10:00 a.m - A bowl of savory oats porridge (Adapted Aparna's recipe) with radish chutney  (I added  carrot and cauliflower to oats )

1:15 p.m - Remaining oats porridge with molagootal and pachadi, 1 glass buttermilk

3:45 pm - Watermelon

5:15 pm - small cup of pappaya and 1 phulka

9:00 pm Drumstick soup + 1 phulka with avarakkai/broad beans thoran + 1 glass buttermilk

Sipped 2 glasses of salted lemon juice in between

Week#1 Day #4

5:45 am - ajwain + 1 glass warm water

7:00 am - 1/2 Cup coffee (No sugar)

9:15 am - wheat rava upma +steamed sprouts

1:15 pm - 2 pesarattu, tender jackfruit gravy + drumstick blossom kootu + 1 g buttermilk

3:30 pm - watermelon

6:30 pm - cucumber

8:30 pm - cabbage+moong sprouts soup + 2 wheat bread slices

Had 2 glass of lemon juice and 3 glass of buttermilk. But only 6 glass of water.

February 17, 2010

Diet Chart Week#1, Day ~2

Dieting doesn't mean starving, its just eating healthy food in the right way. You can still enjoy your meal even
when you are on a diet. Basically it all depends on our thoughts. When you are on a no-rice diet and with dry phulkas on your plate for lunch, you should no crib about pulav or simple rasam rice. When on a diet, the best thing is to not to think of that word at all. Just go about the normal way and your body will respond the same way.Its only when you think of diet, that you have more of hunger pangs and craving for those foods, which, otherwise, you would not have thought of at all.

The second day of the plan was a breeze for me. Srivalli had suggested eating ajwain/methi seeds in the morning. I used to soak methi in buttermilk the previous night and eat the seeds next morning. This way the seeds will not taste bitter too. I had some sprouted methi seeds. So I used that.

6:00 a.m - sprouted methi seeds soaked overnight in buttermilk and 1 glass of warm water

7:00 a.m - 3/4 cup coffee with 1/2 tspn sugar

9:15 a.m - 1 pesarattu (whole moong dal dosa), gobhi methi subzi

2:30 p.m - 2 phulkas, tender jackfruit stir fry, gobhi methi subzi + buttermilk

5:30 p.m - tea + 2 slices of wheat bread

8:30 p.m - 2 phulkas + carrot salad + raw plantain stir fry

10:00 p.m - Watermelon

In the long gap between breakfast and lunch, I sipped 3 glasses of lemon juice with some salt in it. I was out on a customer support call. But I didnot feel hungry and lemon juice was enough for me.

Through the day, I had 9 glasses of water and 2 glass of lemon juice.

February 16, 2010

Paruppu Kanji ~ Shivarathri Special and Diet Chart Week#1, Day~1

Paruppu kanji is synonymous with Sivarathri. I remember its made only on the Sivarathri day at home and I too continue that tradition, inpsite of it being a simple, no fuss recipe. I guess, this simple, lighter version of payasam/kheer is more special since its made only once in a year. That special appearance in the menu helps to retain the charm. The paruppu referred in the name is moong dal and kanji means porridge. Paruppu kanji is usually prepared in the evening of Sivarathri day. Usually, for Sivarathri, a dawn to dusk fast is observed. May be to break the fast, this kanji is made.

Its not a complicated recipe. Jaggery is added to cooked moong dal and cooked again to blend and finally boiled milk is added to dal-jaggery mix.  If you have cooked dal ready, then it is very simple to put together.  Its a healthy drink to keep yourself warm during winter.

You need

Lightly roasted moong dal - 1/2 cup

Jaggery -1/2 cup.

Boiled Milk - 1 cup

Cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn


I usually roast moong dal before storing. Lightly roast the dal till you can smell the aroma. Wash and pressure cook in two cups of water. Lightly mash the cooked dal for a creamier consistency of the kanji. Add jaggery to the cooked dal along with the water its cooked with. Give a stir once in a while. The jaggery will melt and blend with the dal. Finally add a cup of milk and bring to a boil. Don't boil too much after adding the milk. Add cardamom powder and serve hot. You can bite into bits of the dal, though its almost liquid in consistency. Amount of jaggery and milk can vary according to your  preference.

Diet Chart Week #1 Day~1

For a long time, I wanted to go on an healthy diet atleast for few days in a month. But I was undecided as to
where to start with. Also could not come up with a healthy menu to follow. Then I decided to go off on sweet/deep fried on 2 days in a week. My husband was also ready to join in. We did that successfully for 3 months. Then the month of December saw many relatives visiting and various festivals. We fell back to our
old days. I was thinking of restarting that again and I saw Srivalli's diet program. Srivalli had charted the menu with help of her doctor father. And that was the kind of pointer I was looking for. It was easier to follow hers, since she too is a South Indian vegetarian. For the time being, I have planned to follow alternative weeks for a month and then later for two consecutive weeks. As for the first day, it went fine with out much trouble.  Though I did feel slight discomfort in the form of headache. But it was manageable. Thanks Srivalli for the inspire. Here is my chart for Day1.  My day starts at 5:15 a.m

6:00 a.m - 1 tspn ajwain/omam + 1 glass warm water

7:00 a.m - 3/4 cup coffee + 1/2 tspn sugar

9:15 a.m - 2 slices of wheat bread, toasted + 1 cup of moong sprouts+ cabbage salad

(MW sprouts and shredded cabbage for 4 minutes and added a dash of lime and pinch of salt)

11:15 a.m - half cucumber

1:00 p.m - 2 phulkas, Yard long beans/payar thoran/stir fry,radish sambhar and a glass of buttermilk

3:45 p.m - half cucumber and a glass of buttermilk

4:15 p.m - 3 slices of pineapple

5:45 p.m - 1 cup of tea with half tspn of sugar

7:15 p.m - cauliflower +ashgourd soup

8:30 p.m - 2 phulkas +snake gourd stir fry , tomato+onion salad, buttermilk

9:45 p.m - watermelon

Through the day, I have had 9 glasses of water (update - 2 glasses of lemon juice with honey) and 3 glasses of buttermilk.

I decided to blog the diet plan for future reference and also if it might be a motiviation for any of my readers to begin with. And since I have announced it here, that will be another reason for me to stick with the plan.

February 15, 2010

Pyaz Ki Kachori ~For Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian cooking challengers were given Kachori as part of the Jan challenge. I have made kachoris before using urad dal filling. So decided to go for the easier onion filling. This time I made the outer covering using only maida. It sure resulted in more flaky crust. Medhaa of Cook with love has given the tried and tested recipe. I halved the orginal recipe and got 6 kachoris. Thanks Srivalli and Medhaa for coming up with this challenge.

For the Dough

You need
All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup

 Ghee - 2 tblspn
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Water for kneading


Mix the flour and salt, Add the ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture. Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes. Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.

Special Tips / Notes for the dough:

Keep the dough covered at all times, if not it will dry up and not puff up when frying. If the dough is made right wet cloth can be used if not just a towel.

The dough could spring back for many reasons:

Dough is too cold (If wet cloth is used)

Dough is not soft enough.

Not kneaded for enough time.

Oil is less.

Not rested enough.

For the onion filling

Finely chopped onions - 1  cup

Nigella/Kalonj seeds - 1/2 tspn
fennel seeds/saunf - 1 tpsn

Green chilly - 1, finely chopped

Besan - 1 tblspn

Coriander powder - 1 tspn

Chilly powder - 1/2 tspn

Kitchen king masala -1/2 tspn
Chopped coriander
Oil - 1 tblspn

salt to taste

To make the onion filling

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the nigella seeds, fennel seeds,  green chillies and onions and sauté till the onions turn light brown in colour.

Add the gram flour, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander and mix well.  Allow the mixture to cool completely.

Divide into 6 equal portions and keep aside.

To Make Kachori's

Make a small ball from the dough. Flatten the ball using your fingers into 2inch diameter circle, having the center thick and sides little thin.

Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.

Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.

Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it, as using the rolling pin will make the filling come out.  Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking hot. Test to see if the temperature is right by dropping a tiny ball of dough and see if it is rising slowly to the top.

Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don't want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them. After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.
Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the side down gets a golden brown color. Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color.
Making onion filling is quite easy and gets down in less time.

Remove when done, cool and store in airtight container.


ArachuVitta Sundal ~ SpotLightBlog Recipe

Its Monday and time for my spotlightblog recipe. During Navarathri, many blogs had recipes for variety of Chundals, made as prasadom.. At that time, I had then recently bought a copy of Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithupar Part II. I had noticed the varutharacha chundal recipe. Reading through the recipe, I thought the ground mix is similar to what I make for Sambhar and was skeptical of its taste and dropped the idea of trying it. Shoba posted a similar one as Navarathri prasadom. While chatting with Shoba, she cleared my doubts of tasting like Sambhar, and nudged me to give it a try. And when I started this series, I knew this is going to be one of the recipes and here it is. The taste was different from the usual sundal, though it takes some extra work in form roasting the spices and grinding. But its worth all the effort.  White chana can be replaced with any legume of your choice.

You need
2 cups of cooked white chana

Roast & grind

Chana Dal/Kadala paruppu - 2 tblspn

Dhania/Coriander seeds - 2 tblspn.

Red chillies - 4 nos

Urad dhal. - 1 tblspn

Grated Coconut- 1/3 cup




curry leaves



Wash and soak  1 cup of  white chana overnight or for 6 hours. Pressure cook chana  with a pinch of turneric , till soft. It should not turn mushy. Drain and keep it aside. Roast the spices in little oil, till the dals turn light brown. Cool and grind it along with coconut to a thick paste. Sprinkle little water. Let the paste not be runny.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add the seasoning ingredients.Add the cooked chana and salt. Stir in the ground paste. Mix well so that the ground spice coats the chana well. Cook under low flame for 5 minutes. Garnish with curry leaves and serve as tea time snack or as a side dish with rice and gravy.


February 12, 2010

Aval/Poha Kesari and Friday Kolam

The sweet, kesari is synonymous with rava kesari. If there is a change in the ingredient or addition of another, it gets added to the name like Pineapple kesari or semiya kesari. As with halwas, there are varieties of kesari. The most common at home is rava kesari. Two years back, during our visit to my BIL at Bangalore, we were invited by J akka, sister of my co-sister (manni in Tamil). J akka is like a sister to me too and incidentally she shares my sister's name. J akka cooks well. One of her signature dish is Bisi Bele Bath. She had made that for lunch and for dessert, it was kesari. When I tasted kesari, the texture and color was similar to rava kesari but the taste was slightly different. It was then she told me it was made of aval/poha.

From then on, I wanted to try it at home. But it never happened until two weeks back when my uncle and family came for breakfast on a Sunday. I decided Sevai with potato masala and coconut chutney. I could not decide on the sweet. I wanted to make something light and quick and kesari fits the bill. But then wanted something different to offer to the guests and I was running short of time. My uncle and family was expected anytime. Then luckily the bulb flashed and was reminded of aval kesari. I could make it in flat 15 minutes from start to finish.

I used matta aval (thick, brown variety). if you are using the white variety, the color will be yellow. Since I used brown, the color was brown too. The flavor of poha was more prominent that what I had in J akka's house.

You need

Coarsely powdered Aval - 1/2 cup

Water - 1 cup

Sugar - less than 1 cup (Take 1 cup if you like it very sweet)

Ghee - 1 1/2 tblspn

cashew/raisins - few

cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn

Yellow color - a pinch


Pulse aval in the mixie coarsely. The texture should be grainy and not too fine. This will help in getting a fluffy kesari rather than a gummy kind.  Heat a kadai. Add half  tablespoon of ghee. Roast cashews and raisins and remove them. Add a cup of water and and a pinch of yellow color. When water starts boiling, stir in the powdered aval. Mix well. When the water is fully abosrbed, add sugar. Aval doesn't turn lumpy like rava. Its lot more easier. Stir in a tablespoon of ghee. Keep mixing and it  gets done in 5 minutes. You can see the ghee floating on top. Add cardamom powder and the roasted cashews. The amount of ghee required is also less than in the usual kesari. It remained soft even the next day.

Friday Kolam and this is the last friday of the month in the regional calendar (Thai/Makaram)

MahaShivarathri wishes to all my readers who celebrate.

February 11, 2010

Vazhakkai Podimas ~ Cooked and grated plantain stir fry

Vazhakkai /raw plantain is a regular vegetable at home. It is usually made into a thoran (stir fry seasoned with coconut and green chilly)or a mezhukuperatti ( a medley of veggies cooked and sauted in oil). Its after marriage, I was introduced to this podimas. I guess this is a tamil way of cooking. I learnt this from my MIL. According to MIL, the ponthan variety of vazhakkai is usually used for this and it gives the best results. And I have not tried with any other kind. May be other varieties might also give good results. The ponthan variety is generally used for making bajjis. Though the preparation of podimas is simple, the taste is marvellous. This is a favorite of my husband and I make it often. It goes very well with sambhar/ vethakozhambu or any tangy gravy.

You need

Vazhakkai/Raw plantain - 2 nos


To season

Oil - a tblspn

mustard seeds - 1 tspn

chana dal - 1 tblspn

red chilly- 1 nos

green chilly - 3 nos

curry leaves

hing - 1/2 tspn

To garnish

Grated coconut - 2 tblspn


Chop both the ends of the bananas. Cut them into two or three pieces depending on the size with the skin on. Cook them in enough water with salt in it. Its done when you can see cracks on the skin. Drain the water. Cool. Remove the skin. Grate the cooked bananas. Be gentle when u grate so that it doesn't turn mushy.

Matured bananas are used for this so that it retains shape when grated.

Heat a kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds. When seeds crackle, add chana dal, broken red chilly, slit green chillies, curry leaves and hing. slowly add the grated banana and give a gentle stir to mix everything. Check the salt and cook for a minute or two for the flavors to steep in. Garnish with grated coconut.

Some prefer to add turmeric to get a yellow color and also a tablespoon for lemon juice for a tangy taste.


February 8, 2010

Milagu Kuzhambu with Baby Brinjals ~ SpotLightBlog Recipe

Thanks for the support to the SpotLightBlog series. The second recipe from Shoba's virtual kitchen is milagukuzhambu with baby brinjals in it. Unlike in ennai kathrikkai kuzhambu, here the brinjals are not deep fried, they are just cooked in the tangy, spicy gravy.  I too make milagukuzhambu. But Shoba's recipe was different and addition of brinjals interested me. With hot rice and roasted pappad, its pure bliss.


Black Pepper – 1 tspn

Bengal Gram/kadala paruppu – 1 tspn
Red Chilli – 3 nos
Coriander seeds – 3/4 tspn
Grated Coconut – 3 tspn
Hing - few shakes

Tamarind – lemon sized
Brinjals - 5 small ones
Tuermeric - 1/4 tspn
Curry Leaves, Salt.


Roast pepper in a teaspoon of ghee. Remove the roasted pepper and  add a tablespoon of oil. Roast chana dal, coriander seeds, red chilli. When you are about to remove, add the coconut and roast for few seconds. Cool and grind all the roasted ingredients along with pepper to a smooth paste by adding little water.

Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 10 minutes.  Wash and wipe the brinjals clean. Slit each brinjal into four keep the stalk intact. Extract the tamarind pulp in a cooking vessel. Stir in ground masala, salt, turmeric, hing and curry leaves and boil the mix. When it starts boiling, add the whole brinjals with the stalk, one by one to the boiling liquid. Continue cooking on low flame and allow the kuzhambu to simmer and let it reduce to one third. The brinjals would have been cooked well and absorbed the flavors.

February 6, 2010

Methi kofta in kadhi & Friday Kolam

Kadi is to North Indians  what morkootan/morkuzhambu is to South Indians. Morkuzhambu has liberal use of coconut in it and the choice of veggies determine the taste. And what I like about Kadi is that its very light, no coconut and can be made in a jiffy, though some kadis take the elaborate route too. Next is green, which I try to make atleast thrice in a week. When ever I buy a bunch of methi, it sure gets its way into various dishes in handfuls. This is a Tarla Dalal's recipe where the koftas are not deep fried but steamed. When I saw the reecipe for Kadi and steamed kofta with one of my favorite green, I could not wait to try it out. Kadi was delicious. The koftas didnot breakup and stayed in shape even when I served for dinner. Koftas were not bitter too.

If you feel its too much of time involved, then you can shape the koftas ready the previous day and refrigerate them. Before preparing the kadi, all you will have to do is to just steam the koftas and kadi making will not take more than 10 minutes including the preparation and cooking time.

For Methi Koftas

Finely chopped methi leaves - 1 cup

Whole wheat flour - 1 tbspn

Rava/Semolina- 1 tbspn

Ginger-green chilli paste- 1/2 tspn

Tamarind juice - 1/2 tspn (or lemon juice)

Sugar - 1/2 tsp

Cooking soda- a pinch

Preparing Kofta

Add salt to methi and leave it aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water and plce in a bowl. Add all the ingredients for kofta along with little salt and knead to a soft dough. Add little water if required.

Moisten your hands with water and shape the dough into small koftas. I got 12 out of it. Steam in a steamer of your choice and keep it aside. I microwaved it for 2 minutes.


For Kadhi

1 cup fresh curds whisked with 1 1/2 cups of water

Besan/Chana dal flour - 2 tblspn
Onion - 1
Turmeric  a pinch
Salt to taste

To Temper

Oil - 1 tblspn

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - few

Preparing Kadhi

Combine whipped curd and besan in a bowl. Whisk well and there should not be any lumps.

Heat oil in a pan add cumin. when the seeds crackle, add hing , curry leaves, onion and saute for 5 minutes or so. Add the whisked curd-besan mixture, turmeric powder, salt and bring to a boil over low flame.

Combine Kadhi and Kofta
If you are serving immediately, slowly drop the koftas. Else just before serving, add the koftas to kadhi and bring to a boil to serve hot.

I am sending this to Yasmeen's Bitter Better Health event

Friday Kolam/Thai Velli kolam

Since I was not keeping on good health, I could not do the podi kolam. So only one for this week.

February 1, 2010

SpotLightBlog - Shoba's Anubavathi ~ Eggless Zebra Cake

Beginning the month of February, I am starting a new series called SpotLightBlog. My bookmark folder is overflowing and I wanted to do some justice to the bookmarked recipes. My first idea was to try one recipe each week and post it subsequently. But choosing one recipe was not easy as I thought to be. Instead, I thought of selecting a blog and trying four recipes and post one every week. I felt that to be a better option and in a way I can show my appreciation to my fellow blogger too. So from this month onwards, one blog will be chosen as SpotLightBlog and I shall showcase once recipe per week and will be posting it every Monday. I had this project in mind for sometime now and wanted to start from January. But the month of January had something else in store fro me in the form of relatives, festivals etc. So it starts from February.


The first blog I have chosen is my dear friend Shoba's Anubavathi, which has lot of traditional recipes and eggless bakes. Recipe for this week is a Zebra cake following Shoba's recipe. I know this is a signature cake of Shoba among her friends and she is quite an expert in baking this cake in various flavors. I didnot make any changes to the recipe. It came out very well. The cake was very spongy and moist and was a winner for an eggless cake. To make Zebra cake, any recipe can be followed. Is the pattern that matters. It comes in practise. First time when I made, the lines were very thin and hardly the pattern could be made out. The second time I made, the patterns were visible, though I felt I could improve better in terms of pattern, since taste wise, the cake was very good.


All Purpose Flour / Maida - 2cups
Baking Soda. - 1 tspn

Baking Powder -1 tspn

Oil - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Whole Milk - 1 3/4

Vanilla essence - 1 tspn

Cocoa Powder - 4 tblspn

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients - Maida, Baking soda and baking power. Mix well.

In another bowl, mix oil and sugar. Wisk well to dissolve the sugar. Add milk and whisk everything together. Slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet mix little by little. Mix well after each addition with out forming any lumps.

Remove half of the batter to another bowl. To one half add vanilla essence and to the other, add cocoa powder and mix well.

Take a greased and flour dusted pan. Take a ladle which can contain around 4 tblspn of the batter. Add a ladle of chocolate batter on to the centre of the pan. Next add a ladle of the vanilla batter onto the centre of the chocolate batter. Don't try to spread or shake the pan. The batter gets spread on its own. You keep adding both the batter alternatively until you finish all the batter.

The amount of batter added to form a ring is important to get nice and clear pattern. If too little batter is added the lines formed will be very thin and the patter doesn't show well.

Bake the cake in preaheated oven at 170 C for 35 minutes or it passes a toothpick test.
My eldest co-sister had sent me mini cake moulds and I wanted to use that too. So I made 3 mini cakes and used the rest of the batter for the bigger one.

The patterns have come out better in the mini cake mould. The amount of batter added for each ring was little more here.