Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Wrap-Up

Another year comes to an end and it’s time to look back and see how the year was.... 2011 was a fantastic year for my little blog as It got its own domain, a year I blogged the maximum; 100 posts this year from me!, featured four times on the Foodbuzz Top9, a year many of you tried my recipes in your kitchen and send me feedback via comments, messages and e-mails about how you and your family enjoyed those dishes; I got maximum messages for my Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake and Wines...... I am thankful to all of you for trying these recipes and also to all who have suggested my recipes to your friends, readers and family members.... This year I tried out a lot of new recipes and techniques, and took a major step by joining Daring Bakers which opens a window to try out completely new and intricate recipes. I hope next year also I will continue this spirit of blogging...... I am thankful to all my readers, friends and family for having faith in me and encouraging me to come up with more recipes..... This year I thought as a wrap up I will post some of your favorites based on comments I received and some of my personal favorites......
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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sourdough, Letting Nature Do the Work ~ December 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge


Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Fondant Icing Recipe (Eggless)

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love."

Merry Christmas to all.....


As a tradition every year, I make Christmas Fruit Cake and decorate it with icing. Earlier I have posted another fondant icing recipe and in the last couple of years I was using the same icing for my Christmas cake. But a lot of my readers expressed concern about using raw egg white and so this year I thought of using another recipe I found in Vanitha magazine, which has no egg in it. It came out very well …. Also please note that I am not a trained cake decorator and have not taken any cake decorating courses ….. So my cake decorations are not perfect … :D

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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Banoffee Slice Recipe


Recently on a visit to a book shop, I grabbed a copy of Australian Women’s Weekly… I am a huge fan of AWW and I couldn’t resist this "Little Squares and Slices" book which has a collection of heavenly indulgences, some are very rich and some are very healthy ....  All are completely irresistible recipes.... and as you know, naturally, I will go for the rich desserts first... So I made this Banoffee Slice, as I love Banoffee Pie which I have posted earlier.... both these two recipes are almost same, the only difference is in the method of making Dulce the Leche .... If you have not yet decided on what dessert to make on Christmas, this will be a perfect dessert to include in your menu .... after all it’s Christmas and you can overload yourself with this rich, luscious and decadent little slices without any guilt ;) ;).....
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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Diamond Cuts Vilayichathu / Diamond Cuts coated with Sugar Syrup


This is another snack Kerala Christians make during Christmas time. It is a diamond shaped deep fried snack coated with cardamom flavored sugar syrup. It was a regular snack at home when we were kids; and I always used to pick up and eat the ones that are fully drenched in the sugar syrup :)..... Even without coating in sugar syrup it is a great snack especially with drinks....
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Friday, 16 December 2011

Tips for making Homemade Kerala Wine

Homemade Kerala Wine

Since I get a lot of messages and e-mails expressing doubts and seeking clarifications on wine making, I thought of sharing these tips that should help while making wine at home. I am not a trained wine maker or chemist...... These are tips learned from books and several years of wine making......
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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Homemade Nellikka Wine Recipe / Amla Wine / Indian Gooseberry Wine Recipe (with out yeast)


How are your Christmas preparations coming up? Have you made any wine or baked your Christmas cake yet? I plan to bake my fruitcake tomorrow... Today’s recipe Nellikka / Gooseberry wine is very familiar to most Keralites.... It is a very common wine like Grape wine back home.... Like my earlier Grape Wine, this is also a “No Yeast” wine.... so it is very mild.... if you desire you can add 1 teaspoon of yeast to make it strong..... However since gooseberry has a lot of medicinal value I prefer to avoid using yeast...  I made this just before Christmas last year.... so it’s got a really nice colour with age.... Do try it if you get hold of gooseberries.....
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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Erachi Unakkiyathu / Sundried Beef with spices & Unakka Erachi Chammanthi Podichathu (Thoran)/ Dry Beef Chutney Powder


Unakka Erachi or Sun dried beef is a specialty of Kerala cuisine especially among Kerala Christians but not as popular as unakka meen / sundried fish that is easily available in shops. My grandmother and aunt used to sun dry beef and we used to always get a share of it. With that mom used to make these awesome side dishes that goes very well with boiled rice and kanji (rice gruel) which is undoubtedly an ultimate comfort food. Also these Unakka Erachi side dishes are excellent as short eats with alcohol and Kallu (Toddy)..... I am sure if I have any male readers, they will totally agree with me on this :).....
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bakery-Style Cinnamon Bursts Recipe


Whenever I ask my son what would he like to have when he gets back from school, I always get an answer like cinnamon rolls or doughnuts! He loves cinnamon flavored buns/ rolls..... So I am always on the look-out for similar recipes..... When I saw these cute Cinnamon Bursts at Betty Crocker’s site I knew he would love them.... it’s tastes very similar to the Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread I posted earlier..... Kids will love this cute flowery shaped buns..... Ideal for a kid’s birthday party..... If you plan on trying these for a birthday party I would suggest making them in 24 muffin cups instead of 12 in the original recipe.....
I was not able to participate in the Sweet Punch challenge for the last couple of months. This month’s Sweet Punch challenge was to bake your choice and I selected this Bakery-Style Cinnamon Bursts as my entry :).... 
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Monday, 5 December 2011

Mutton Biriyani Recipe / Atterachi Biryani Recipe

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There are plenty of ways to make biriyani and every household has their own unique recipe for the same. This recipe was used by my mom and I have always followed it for mutton or beef biriyani. It’s easy, can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving. It’s a great dish especially when hosting a party or if you are cooking for the weekend ahead of time like me…

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce & Fresh Mozzarella


I first tried Gnocchi during our recent visit to Italy and fell in love with it … after coming back I searched for the recipe and tried a couple …. but nothing came close to the taste we enjoyed in Rome & Venice… finally I found this recipe in Lucy’s Hungry Carvings which tastes exactly like what we ate in Italy! In the last 4 months I have tried this recipe several times and every time I got soft pillow like gnocchi… Uncooked Potato Gnocchi’s can be make ahead of time and frozen…
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Monday, 28 November 2011

Sweet Cheeda / Maduramulla Cheeda


I took a picture of cheeda for changing a picture from an old post. Then I realized I had made sweet cheeda this time; so I thought of posting the recipe …. Aamma used to make both the sweet and unsweetened versions while we were small….. This is one of the snacks Kerala Christians make during Christmas time and can be stored for almost a month.
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sans Rival – Daring Bakers Challenge November 2011


Catherine of Munchie Musings was the November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged to make a traditional Filipino dessert Sans Rival cake. And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.

I chose to make Chocolate Sans Rival and I only made quarter batch of the recipe. My daquoise and buttercream came out really nice, though the butter cream quantity was a little less. I suppose it really depends on individual taste; but this particular dessert did not find favour with my family; may be due to the overpowering taste of egg.
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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

White Chocolate Terrine



I made this White chocolate terrine recently for our guests..... It’s an easy dessert that can be made and frozen ahead of time and you only need to remove it from the freezer 15 minutes before serving...  You can cut this into neat slices and can serve with fruit coulis of your choice......
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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Homemade Rice Wine / Ari Wine


Have you all started your Christmas preparations? Making wines, soaking fruits for Christmas cake etc.... to be frank this year I have not even soaked the fruits for my Fruit Cake which I used to do in Sept/Oct every year.... now I have just started chopping fruits and will have to finish it in a couple of days.... but I am happy that my wine stock is ready..... I have five different types of wine in stock; most of them are only a bottle each and are left over’s from last year.... I experiment making different types of wine in small amounts and this Rice wine was one such trial.... It has a very unique taste and aroma..... just after making, this wine looks white in color and after a couple of months it will attain this clear light golden color like in the picture.... so kick start your holiday season by making this wine at home.... I will be posting my other wine experiments soon....So stay tuned :)....

One more thing before we proceed to the wine recipe; if you are looking for a nice Christmas Fruit Cake do try the cake I posted last year ....I use that recipe every year and I can guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy it :) ......
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Black and White Wednesday ~ Rice Wine


My first ever entry to Susan’s Black and White Wednesday - A weekly culinary photo event.
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Monday, 14 November 2011

Chicken Seekh Kebab


Kebab (or kaabaaab, kabob, kebap) is a wide variety of meat dishes. Kebab includes grilled, roasted, and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork; fish and seafood; or even vegetarian foods like falafel or tofu. (wiki)
These kebabs can be served as an appetizer along with a dip / Chutney or as a side dish with Indian breads. It can be served as a wrap too…. You can either grill or bake these kebabs; I grilled using a toaster grill ……
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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Checkerboard Cake







It’s been a week since I updated this little space of mine…. Even though I have several recipes ready, I was not getting enough time to type and post…. It’s been a very busy week as we are in the middle of a 9 day Eid break which we are enjoying to the maximum in this lovely weather. Two days ago it was my birthday and I made this checkerboard cake. I didn’t have any checkerboard pans with me, so I made 4 different cakes from the batter and assembled it…. Cake recipe was adapted from Joy of Baking…. it’s an easy one bowl cake….

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pork Veenjaali


This is a delicious Pork curry that goes very well with Sanna, Palappam, Vellaappam, Indian flat breads or Indian spiced rice… It’s similar to the famous Pork Vindaloo….and in our view it tastes better…
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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Povitica ~ A Swirly Deliciousness! ( My First Daring Bakers Challenge)


I always wanted to join Daring Bakers.... but somehow never did till finally last month I signed up. My first challenge Povitica, which I had never heard of nor eaten in my life.... Daring Bakers October 2011 challenge was hosted by Jenni, of The Gingered Whisk.

Povitica (pronounced po-va-teet-sa) is a traditional Eastern European dessert bread that is traditionally served during the holiday season. It is also known as Nutroll, Potica, Kalachi, Strudia, just to name a few. Family recipes, and the secrets on how to roll the bread so thin, were passed down through generations of families. The traditional filling for this bread is an English walnut filling, but other typical fillings also include apple/cinnamon, apricot preserves, and a sweet cheese (like cream cheese).
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Rasgulla / Roshogolla ~ Cottage Cheese Dumplings in Sugar Syrup for Diwali


Rasgulla / Roshogolla is a famous traditional Bengali sweet dish. I first tasted Rasgulla in Calcutta soon after my wedding and that time I was more fascinated with other Bengali sweets like Chum Chums, Sandesh (Shondesh) and Mishti Doi. Those days I used to buy Rasgullas only to take back home in Kerala to distribute it to relatives. I once tried to makes this and failed terribly. Recently after so many years when I craved to have some Rasgullas, I tried it out again and this time it came out really well. Kneading of paneer / cottage cheese to a smooth dough is very important. I used my food processer to knead the paneer. So here is how I made this soft and spongy delicacy.....
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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Orange Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce



Panna Cotta, a creamy and delicious Italian dessert which can be whipped up very easily and served with fruit coulis / sauce of your choice..... A dessert you will get addicted to and with which you can wow your guests....... Recently when we had guests for dinner I made this Orange Buttermilk Panna Cotta adapted from Jungle Frog ...... original recipe was with lemon instead of orange and I just served this with some thick alphonso mango pulp...... We all loved the orange flavor......
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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Oatmeal, Coconut and Almond Cookies


On a recent hunt for some healthy cookies I come across Miryam’s Oatmeal, Coconut and Almond Cookies... I loved the recipe as it has all the healthy ingredients.... oatmeal, whole wheat, almonds and no egg.... We really loved the coconut, almond and oatmeal combination and will be baking it regularly..... Do try these eggless, healthy and tasty cookies.....

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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Lasagna


I had posted this Lasagna recipe during my early  blogging days. We had guests over this weekend and this was one of the dishes I made for them. While clicking pictures of other dishes, I thought of taking some pictures of Lasagna as my earlier pictures were really terrible ;)
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Saturday, 15 October 2011

"100 Yummy Diwali Recipes" E-Book is available for download

IndusLadies has compiled an eBook for this Diwali consisting of "100 Yummy Sweets & Desserts recipes", contributed by various Food Bloggers! Go ahead and download it. Feel free to share it with your family & friends. You can find my Rasmalai recipe too:)
Click on the picture to download the e-bbok....



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Monday, 10 October 2011

Lemon Truffles


We are a huge fan of truffles and it’s been quite some time since I made any…. We had a guest for dinner last weekend and I made Lemon Truffles … These truffles are very easy to make and not difficult to handle or roll… I halved the recipe and got almost 30- 35 small truffles… also I used powdered sugar to roll the truffles not cocoa powder like in the original recipe….

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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Chakkakuru Mezhukkupuratti / Stir- fried Jackfruit seeds


Like I mentioned in a previous post I brought a packet of chakkakuru /jackfruit seeds back from Kerala and this is another popular dish with chakkakuru/ Jackfruit seeds. It is one of my favorites and the most difficult part of making this dish is cleaning the jackfruit seeds. When I was young my grandmother used to prepare this dish for us and Amma only had to stir-fry it in coconut oil. It’s been ages I had this dish and my maid very patiently cleaned the jackfruit seeds for me with a warning not to bring it from Kerala anymore :D
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Friday, 30 September 2011

Indus Ladies recipe E-book

Indus Ladies is the largest online community for Indian Women. Indian Women from around the world visit Indusladies to ask questions, get help, read and write blogs, engage in a dialogue and along the way build authentic and enduring friendships. Now they are compiling a Diwali E-book featuring 100 lip-smacking desserts by bloggers. I have contributed my Rasmalai recipe for the E-book. If you have a great dessert recipe and would like it to be part of the E-book please send in your entry to IndusLadies asap.  


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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Kuzhalappam Vilayichathu~ A traditional deep fried snack of Kerala


Kuzhalappam, another famous Kerala delicacy my aunt made for me when I was in Kerala. It is a traditional snack of Kerala which can be made in bulk and can be stored for a couple of months. Nowadays it’s common to get Kuzhalappam in bakeries and my home town Kottayam is very famous for Mammi Cheduthi’s Kuzhalappam and Churuttu (another Kerala snack). Usually the store bought ones are made of maida / all purpose flour and are whiter in colour and homemade ones are made of rice flour and are of brown in colour. The kuzhalappams can also be coated with a light sugar or jaggery syrup.
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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Setting Sun!

An unusually colorful sunset in Kuwait…..


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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Chakkakuru Manga Curry / Jackfruit Seed and Mango Curry


I brought a big packet of chakkakuru from Kerala this year. Side dishes with chakkakuru are my favorite and I have already made Chakkakuru Manga Curry and Chakkakuru Mezhukkupuratti out of it….. This Chakkakuru manga curry is a traditional vegetarian side dish of Kerala….. A plate of boiled rice with this charu curry, a piece of fish fry and some mezhukkupuratti / stir fried vegetable or thoran is a bliss for lunch!
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Monday, 19 September 2011

Rasmalai ~ A sweet treat to celebrate a new beginning :)



Hope all of you have noticed the new address of Swapna’s Cuisine J…. Yes we have moved to our own domain and I am thankful to all my readers, friends and family for the love and support you gave me all this time and I hope to get the same in future too…. This Rasmalai recipe I had posted during my early days of blogging and last week when I made it, I thought of taking a decent picture and reposting it… I also wanted the first post on my own domain to be a sweet dish……… It’s one of the easiest Rasmalai recipes to make….
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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Chakka Upperi / Jackfruit Chips


Either my grandmother or my mom’s sister would keep a packet of chakka upperi for me whenever they make it at home. This time also I got a big zip-lock packet of upperi when I went to Kerala…. So the credit to the hard work behind this upperi goes to my aunt and not me ;)… only credit that comes to me is munching it while typing and clicking photos… here is how she makes this Chakka Upperi/ Jackfruit chips…
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Friday, 9 September 2011

Gothambu Payasam / Broken Wheat Payasam

Wishing all my readers a Very Happy Onam!

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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I am back after my summer holidays…..

Hi everybody…. I am back home after a hectic three weeks in Kerala. After our Europe trip we went to Kerala and it’s been almost 2months since I am away from my blog. Even though I had scheduled some posts, I was not able to respond to your comments or queries on time or to visit your blogs ... School re- opened for my son yesterday and I am trying to settle down slowly…. Since I have not really started cooking new recipe posts have to wait for a little while… I have collected some traditional recipes while I was in Kerala… will make all of them as soon as I settle here…. mean while I will post some pictures from our trip…

While I was in Kerala our little Aaryan celebrated his 7th birthday and as usual I made a cake for him and this time he wanted a Mickey Mouse birthday cake… He loved the cake even though I am not too happy with the look of the final product…. It could have made much better if I had some more time and icing tools with me :( … By the time I finished icing the cake it was already evening and no natural light was available to take a decent photo…. Anyways better luck next time right? ;)


On another note after waiting for a couple of months I finally got the "The Big Book of Baking” that I won on Divya’s blog… thank you Divya for sending such a lovely book! It was lovely to talk to some of my close blogger friends like Ria, Maria, Bindu, Mini and of course my college friend cum blogger Bharathy! Even though we couldn’t meet each other it was lovely talking to you all girls :)
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Monday, 29 August 2011

Spinach and Avocado Salad


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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

This is one of the best baked doughnuts I have had till date.

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Vegan Popcorn Chicken

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Sausage Rolls

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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Muglai Potatoes

If I remember correctly I got this recipe from Sanjeeve Kapoor’s Khana Khazana TV show long back. Ever since then this is a frequent dish in my kitchen. This goes very well with Indian flat bread or with poori or Batura.


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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Back after a wonderful vacation.......

We are back in Kuwait after an awesome trip to Europe starting with historic Rome, romantic and enchanting Venice, a fairytale cruise on Costa’s brand new flagship “Favolosa” with port calls at Bari (Italy), picturesque Katakolan / Olympia (Greece), ancient port of Izmir, captivating Istanbul and the amazingly photogenic town of Dubrovnik (Croatia); and finally a 3 day stay at Disneyland Paris which was definitely my little one’s favorite :)… We enjoyed every moment of this long awaited holiday and now I am busy packing for our next trip to Kerala this Friday… Here are a few pictures of Rome from our trip and I will post some more pictures from the trip in future :)…

Thank you for all the lovely comments for the posts I had scheduled before I went on vacation… I will be away from my blog for one more month but I have scheduled some more posts to keep this space alive… I hope I will find at least some time to reply your questions and doubts while I am in Kerala….. please bear with me if I fail to do so……

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Dates Pickle

Even though we don’t eat pickle on a daily basis I love to make and store pickles. I always have a stock of dates pickle and Lime pickle in my pantry. Dates pickle goes very well with Biriyani and also with Aloo Parathas.

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Monday, 25 July 2011

Baked Potato and Corn

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sprouts and Cereal Bread


This is one of the healthiest breads I have ever made.... off course being a health food it is not all that tasty but definitely good once in awhile..... For all those of you who dig health food.... here you go.....
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Friday, 15 July 2011

Moroccan Carrot and Orange Salad


Found this very refreshing and colorful salad at Soma’s e-curry blog. This slightly sweet and tangy salad can be served as it is or as a side dish with grilled dishes. This can be made ahead of time.
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Monday, 11 July 2011

Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake


I am taking a break for two months. We are leaving for our much awaited holiday in Rome, Venice, Paris and a 7 day Mediterranean cruise and after that I will be away in Kerala for a month. I will be back in Kuwait only by September. I won’t be able to visit your blogs or answer any of your comments or queries on time, but will do so as soon as I am back. I have tried to schedule some posts to keep this space alive. Wishing you all a wonderful summer vacation!
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