Monday 29 November 2010

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podichathu / Dry Prawns Chutney Powder :)....

My dad loves fish and he insisted on having fish every day. So when fresh fish was not available mom used to make curries like chemmenum mangayum, unakka meenum vazhakkayum,unakka meenum murigakkayum or dry side dishes like unakkameen varuthathu, unakkameen chamanthi or this chammanthi podi. Recently I grabbed a packet of dry prawns and I phoned my mom’s sister for the recipe ;) This easy to make quick side dish goes very well with boiled rice and is best served with Kanji (rice gruel) :)...…Yummy….:)

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podichathu (Dry Prawns Chutney Powder)

Clean Dry Prawns-150gm
Chumannulli / Shallots-10
Grated Coconut- 1 ½ cups
Green Chillies-3-4
Curry Leaves-1 stalk

Grind coarsely all the ingredients together in a mixy. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and sauté the ground mixture stirring well, add salt if necessary. Serve hot as a side dish with Kanji (rice gruel) or with rice, curd and a mezhukkupuratti or thoran.

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Thursday 25 November 2010

White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

By now all of you must have understood that I love to make different varieties of truffles at home….. So when I was searching for ideas on what to do with the Pumpkin Puree left over from my Pumpkin Coffee Mousse, I ended up with the idea of making Pumpkin Truffles….. Saw this White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles at Jenn Cuisine….. White chocolate pumpkin ganache came out perfect for me and of course handling this extremely soft ganache is a little difficult but proper chilling makes the job easier! We all loved this melt in the mouth Pumpkin Truffles. Try it…… It’s also a great Christmas or Thanksgiving gift for family and friends :)

White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles
(Adapted from Jenn Cuisine)

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream (that's a total of 3/8 c.)
1/2 vanilla bean (I used 1 tsp Vanilla essence)
340gm (12 oz) white chocolate
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 cup confectioner's sugar
340gm (12 oz.) dark chocolate
1 cup gingersnap cookies

  • Pour 340gm (12 oz) white chocolate into a medium mixing bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, measure out pumpkin puree and add seasonings. Set aside.
  • Add cream to a medium sauce pan, and scrape in vanilla.
  • Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until cream just comes to a boil.
  • Pour cream over chocolate, and whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Then, while still stirring constantly, whisk in your pumpkin & seasonings.
  • Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  • Chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Scoop small mounds onto parchment lined baking sheets. Freeze 30 minutes.
  • Rub confectioner's sugar on your hands and pour the rest into a bowl. Take a mound of ganache off of the parchment paper and drop in the bowl of powdered sugar.
  • Roll it around a bit and then shape into balls and lay them on a baking sheet lined with more parchment paper. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 min.
  • Pulse gingersnap cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs.
  • Heat up dark chocolate over a double boiler. (Make sure chocolate isn't too hot or runny or your ganache won't hold together when you dip it. Make sure chocolate doesn't cool down too much either. The chocolate should be completely smooth and velvety).
  • Take out a few truffles at a time (1/3 to 1/4 of the entire batch), and dip in the chocolate and place on another sheet of parchment paper. (To dip, since these were so fragile, you can plopped them in the melted chocolate, spooned chocolate over it to cover it, scooped it up with a spoon, transferred it to a fork to let the excess chocolate run off, then transferred it back to the spoon so that I could lay it nicely on the parchment paper).
  • Sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs.
  • Refrigerate for a good 3 hours.
  • Enjoy!

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Monday 22 November 2010

Melon Fruit Bowl

When I saw the Melon Fruit Bowl at Soma of e-curry blog, I thought of impressing my little one with the Honeydew Bowl …. Though I am no where close to Soma’s styling and photography skills, I thoroughly enjoyed making the melon basket… I added some strawberries to the melon… as I didn’t have any blueberries, blackberries or even mint leaves :D…visit Soma’s place to see her beautiful melon basket and recipe :) ......

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Wednesday 17 November 2010

Dark Cherry Crumble Cake With Cinnamon

This is one of the long pending posts that I had in my drafts…saw this cake at Mowie’s beautiful blog and I immediately fell in love with it; I baked this cake that week itself…but somehow wasn’t able to post it at that time… I know now the cherry season is over, but still you can make these delicious cakes using frozen cherries…I halved the recipe and it came out really nice and was enough for three of us…we loved each and every bite of this cake…it is best served warm….Please visit Mowielicious blog to see the stunning pictures and recipes….

Dark Cherry Crumble Cake With Cinnamon
For the cake:
200g butter, at room temperature
325g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs
325g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
300g pitted dark cherries (any cherries will do)
Extra sugar for sprinkling

For the crumble:100g cold butter
70g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
150g plain flour

  • Preheat the oven to 175˚C. Grease a 30cm(12") x 22cm(9") tray and line with baking paper.
  • Whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs, one by one, and mix well until fully incorporated.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the mixture. Do not over-mix.
  • Add the milk and stir until just combined.
  • Pour into your tray, top with cherries and sprinkle with some sugar until evenly covered.
  • For the crumble, combine butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour in a bowl with your hands and sprinkle on top of the cherries.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve either hot or cold, topped with fresh cherries and/or custard, vanilla yoghurt or ice cream.
Sending this to:
  1. Deeba for her event Fruit in Baking, originally started by Meeta.
  2. Champa's Bake-off event.

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Monday 15 November 2010

Liliko’i Bars / Passion Fruit Bars

Passion Fruit is known as Liliko'i in Hawaiian.

Liliko’i Bars / Passion Fruit Bars
(Adapted from Dana Zia)

The crust
All purpose flour - 1cup
Powdered sugar - 1/3 cups
Butter ` 1/3 cups

The filling
Eggs- 2
Sugar - 1 cup
All Purpose flour – 3 tbsp
Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
Liliko’i puree or Passion fruit puree - 1/3 cup
Powdered sugar for dusting


  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  • To prepare the crust, whisk the flour and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl.
  • Cut the butter into the flour mixture and mix with your finger tips until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  • Pat the crust mixture into a 6.5 x 4.5 inch baking pan, making sure to press the crust up the sides of the pan at least halfway.
  • Pop it into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges just barely start to brown.
  • While the crust is baking, whisk the 2 eggs nicely.
  • Then whisk in the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Mix well, add the flour and baking powder by sprinkling it over the egg mixture while whisking.
  • Finally mix in the liliko’i/ passion fruit puree and mixing well.
  • Pour this luminous filling into the crust and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes till the top is golden brown and when you touch the center it is firm.
  • Allow it to cool completely then set in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.
  • Cut into 1 inch squares or so, and dust with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy!

Sending these bars to Deeba for her event Fruit in Baking, originally started by Meeta.
Also to Champa's Bake-off event.

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Saturday 13 November 2010

Tomato Soufflé

Sweet Punch’s November challenge was hosted by Ria and this time she choose the topic Mousse and Soufflé… she gave 3 recipes to choose from:
1- Tomato Soufflé
2- Eggless Instant Chocolate Mousse (this I made a couple of months back and have already posted it here).
3- Chocolate Mousse (with eggs)
I wanted to try this soufflé after I saw the recipe at Maria’s place… somehow I couldn’t meet the posting date but I didn’t want to miss this challenge … so I made it today and we loved it…better late than never right? ;) … So here I am with Tomato Soufflé….

Tomato Soufflé
(Recipe source : Australian Woman's Weekely via Maria's Menu)
Fresh Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup, firmly packed
Butter – 45 gm (I only used 1 tbsp)
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Plain flour (maida) – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp (I used 1 medium tomato pureed)
Basil – 1 tbsp, finely chopped (I didn't have fresh basil, so I added 1tsp dry basil)
Eggs – 3, separated (I used 2 eggs & white of 3 eggs)
Grated Cheese – a handful ( I used mozzarella)
Extra hot chilly sauce-1tsp
Corriander Leaves-1 tbsp
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Sugar-1/2 tsp

  • Grease 4 souffle dishes (1/2 cup capacity), sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Melt butter in small saucepan, add finely chopped onion. Stir over low heat for 2 mins ( or MW on HIGH for about 2 mins).
  • Cook until onion is soft, it doesn’t have to become brown.
  • Stir in flour and stir over medium heat for a minute. (or MW on HIGH for a min).
  • Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, bring back to heat and stir over high heat until mixture boils & thickens & reaches a thick sauce like consistency. (or MW on HIGH for about 3 mins).
  • Transfer to large bowl, stir in tomato paste & basil leaves, corriander leaves, pepper powder, hot cholly sauce and sugar.
  • Cover the dish & let it stand for 5 mins.
  • Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks from.
  • Add egg yolks to the onion & milk mixture & mix well.
  • Fold the egg whites into the mixture in 2 batches.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared dishes.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20- 25 mins or until lightly browned.
  • Serves 4.

Refer Maria's Menu for the original recipe.

Healthier version: use brown bread crumbs & low fat milk. Also use yolks of only 2 eggs & white of 3 eggs. Use only lesser qty of butter,

Notes: The above qty serves 2 adults served with garlic bread or soup and Salad. You can use any oven safe dish to prepare this. The original recipe calls for no spices, but you can add crushed pepper while cooking onion, if you wish.
Substitute for tomato paste:

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Friday 12 November 2010

Chundum Payarum Thoran (Vazha chundu/ Vazhakoobu) / Banana Flower & Red Gram Stir fried with Coconut

After an array of sweet indulgence posts here is a simple nutritious side dish from God’s own country :) …

Vazha chundu (Banana Flower)-1 small
Van payar (Red Gram)-1/2 cup
Freshly grated coconut-1/2 cup
Chumannulli (Shallots)-6-8
Dry red chillies-2-3 nos
Jeerakom (Cumin seeds)-1/2 tsp
Garlic cloves-2
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- few
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp

  • Clean and remove the outer layer of vazha chundu and chop finely.
  • To prevent discoloration of vazha chundu rub the chopped vazha chundu with a table spoon of oil and little salt and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook van payar with enough water and salt and keep aside.
  • Ground coarsely, coconut, shallots, dry red chilies, garlic, cumin seeds and turmeric powder.
  • Heat 2 tsp oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add coarsely ground coconut mixture and sauté it for a minute.
  • Add chopped vazha chundu and cooked van payar, mix well and cover with a lid and cook in slow flame for few minutes or until all the water evaporates.
  • Serve hot with rice!

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Tuesday 9 November 2010

Red Velvet Cake Pops :)...

Bakerella introduced Cake Pops in the blog sphere and I was waiting for an occasion to try it. My little one always wants to cut a cake not only for his b’day but also for his mom and dad’s …So on my birthday I tried these cake pops instead of my usual birthday cake with butter icing which is my son’s favorite (my husband and I are really fed up of eating the same ;)...… I thought I could impress my little one with these cake pops…. He loved the pops but still prefers a theme cake on birthdays so he can blow out the candles and cut the cake ;)….. These moist red velvet cake covered with chocolate is really delicious and we all loved it…. It will be a big hit at kid parties… even adults will enjoy eating them ;)… can even use store bought cake, if you are not in a mood to make the cake and crumble it ;) …... Bakerella used candy melts and lollipop sticks which I couldn’t find ….instead I used baking chocolate and bamboo skewers… I cut each skewer into 3 and used it….. Also Bakerella used a styrofoam block to dry the cake pops… I used my colander :).... here is how I made these Cake Pops…

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Half portion of Red Velvet Cake
5-6 tbsp Homemade Mascarpone cheese
150-200 gm Dark or Semi sweet chocolates
1tbsp Rum (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

  • After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl.
  • Mix thoroughly with mascarpone cheese and rum…. (I used a food processer for crumbling and mixing…. You can use the back of a large spoon or use your finger tips to mix together).
  • Roll mixture into small balls (I got 35 cake balls) and place on a tray lined with wax paper.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or you can even freeze it to 15-20 mints to speed up the process.
  • Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water or in the microwave as per directions on package.( I used baby bottle warmer to melt chocolate ~ grate the chocolate and put in to a clean dry glass and keep the glass in the bottle warmer ..…I found it is easier to dip the cake pops into a glass of melted chocolates :)...
  • Dip the tip of your skewer or lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and insert in the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
  • Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  • Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the melted chocolate by holding the stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
  • Immediately sprinkle the pops with the sprinkles before the chocolate has a chance to set.
  • Once the sprinkles are on, put the lollipop stick on the colander or into the styrofoam block to dry.
  • Repeat until all the cake pops are complete.
  • Enjoy your Cake Pops!


  1. We like it without sprinkles…but kids will love the look with the sprinkles on top.
  2. You can even paint the Cake pops like Bakerella did with edible ink pen.
  3. Be very careful while melting the chocolates…. It will curdle even with a drop of water. Made that mistake twice and wasted two sets of chocolate:(

Sending these Cake Pops to:

The Chocolate Fest over at Cook Curry Nook.

Champa's Bake-off event.

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Thursday 4 November 2010

Qubani Ka Meetha / Sweetened Apricot

Qubani ka Meetha is a very popular dessert in Hyderabadi cuisine. It is a common feature at Hyderabadi weddings. My hubby loves this dessert and I often make this simple and delicious delicacy at home. Try this; I am sure you will love it.

Qubani Ka Meetha / Sweetened Apricot

Qubani (Dried Apricots)-250gm
Sugar-150gm or to taste
Warm water
Blanched almonds (Badam) to garnish (optional only if using pitted Apricots)
Whipped cream/ Vanilla Ice Cream / Custard for serving

  • Wash and soak apricots in hot water for 20 minutes.
  • Deseed the apricots and crack open the kernels using a nut cracker and soak the nuts in a cup of water to loosen their skin. (If using pitted apricots, completely omit this process and proceed to next step).
  • Pressure cook the apricot with the soaking liquid to make them soft and tender.
  • Once the apricots are cool blend to a smooth puree and strain.
  • Add sugar to the pureed apricots and cook stirring continuously till you get a thick paste (jam consistency).
  • Garnish with the peeled apricot nuts or blanched almonds.
  • Served chilled with whipped cream or custard or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Enjoy!

Wishing you all and your family a Very Happy Diwali & Prosperous New Year!!! May this year brings you lots and lots of happiness in life and fulfill all your dreams! :)

On another note I am so happy to see 100+ likes for Swapna's Cuisine FB page in less than a month!!!! Thanks to all who had supported the little space of mine!!! :)

Qubani ka meetha

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