Friday 31 December 2010

My Best of 2010 :)

2010, a year I blogged the most, a year I tried out lot of new recipes from other blogs, a year I received much appreciation including the Foodbuzz top 9, the year my hubby started contributing to my blog by clicking some beautiful photos and a year many of you paid me the ultimate compliment by trying my recipes in your kitchen and providing feedback with those lovely comments, messages and e-mails about how much you and your family enjoyed it J I am thankful to all my readers, friends and family for having faith in me and encouraging me to come up with more recipes… So here are some of my favorite recipes of this yearJ

Yogurt, Mascarpone & Strawberry Verrines

Christmas Fruit Cake / Kerala Plum Cake

The Classic Pineapple Pudding / China grass pudding / Moss pudding

Chicken Balls

Milk Liqueur

Banoffee Pie

Homemade Tandoori Roti using a Toaster

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Mixed Fruit Wine

Milk chocolate and Passion Fruit Truffles

Szechuan Style Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Liliko’i Bars / Passion Fruit Bars

Spicy Orange Chicken Salad

You must have come to know by now that dessert is my favorite and out of 70 posts this year majority were dessertsJSo Wishing you all A Very Sweet 2011!!!

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Wednesday 29 December 2010

Sugar Cookies

I made these cookies for my little one’s school Christmas party. Sugar cookies recipe adapted from Joy of Baking, I was a little skeptical of making Royal icing for these small kids because of the raw egg white it contains. Looked for an eggless cookie frosting and ended up in this beautiful blog with stunning cookie decorations. I made these cookies and decorations in a hurry, so I am not too pleased with the decoration. But the cookies and the icing are delicious and my little one loved it.

Sugar Cookies
(Recipe adapted from here)
Makes about 36 - 4 inch (10 cm) cookies
3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)
  • Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
  • Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Frost with icing / , if desired. Be sure to let the icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.)
  • Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe

(Adapted from here)

1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar (powder sugar)
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 drop Lemon Juice (fresh or processed)
1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

  • Combine powder sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • If you need a thicker frosting, say for outlining your cookies, add LESS milk. Just a drop at a time.
  • If you have already outlined your cookies and need to fill in or ’spill’ your cookies, you can add more milk (as much as you would need) to make your frosting very runny.
  • If you are using food coloring, be sure to use LESS milk. Most food colorings are liquid and can make your frosting more runny. If you are using a gel food coloring, your milk quantity can remain the same.
  • If you want to add different flavors, you can add drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon, etc. to flavor your frosting.
  • If you want more SHINE, use more corn syrup and less milk.
  • This frosting will stay good for days in the fridge.

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Sunday 26 December 2010

Christmas Fruit Cake / Kerala Plum Cake Recipe (With Video)

H  ope everybody had a joyous Christmas with lots of fun and food with family and friends. We also had a great time and the last one week I was so busy baking cakes and cookies. It was a baking marathon for me. Made some Sugar cookies for my little one’s school party (recipe coming soon:)) and also 12 Fruit cakes in 2 batches and shared with family and friends….We never buy Kerala fruit cake from shops, as they always have a taste of essence and shajeera, which we hate… I am not someone who tries different fruit cake recipes every year, in fact I stick to either this recipe or the one I posted earlier … both were regularly used by my mom … if I had to choose I would pick this one over the other…. The difference in this cake is the steaming of fruits that makes the cake extra moist and melt in the mouth kind ….So here is my tried and tested Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake recipe, which was published in Malayala Manorama years back by Mrs. K.M. Mathew!

Christmas Fruit Cake / Kerala Plum Cake


*Butter - 100gms
 Ghee - 125gm

*Powdered Sugar - 300gms
 Egg yolks - 4nos.
 Vanilla essence - 1tsp.
 Ground orange peel -1/4tsp.
 Sugar - 4tblsp (to caramelize)

*Mixed dry fruits – 600gms (I used dates, raisins, currents, cherries, mixed fruits, orange peels, apricot, prunes, cranberries etc)
 Cashew nuts - 100gm
 Brandy/Rum - 1/2cup

*All purpose flour/ Maida - 250gms.
 Baking powder - 1/2tsp
 Baking soda  - 1/4tsp
 Cinnamon power - 1/4tsp
 Clove power - 1/4tsp
 Nutmeg power - 1/4tsp

*Milk - 1/4cup

*Egg white - 4nos.
 Limejuice - 3tblsp
 Sugar - 4 tbsp


  • To Prepare the fruits~ Chop all dry fruits and cashew nuts finely and soak them in Rum/Brandy in a clean dry bottle for minimum one week. Stir the fruits at least once a day. (I recommend soaking the fruits months or a year in advance, the more the tastier).
  • On the day of baking the cake, transfer these fruits in to a heatproof container with lid and steam this in a appa chemu/pressure cooker/steamer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the fruits to cool completely.
  • To Caramelize Sugar~ Heat 4tblsp sugar in a pan stirring continuously. When it becomes dark brown add 1cup hot water and stir until it becomes thick.(this can be done a day ahead)
  • Preparing the flour mix~ Sieve together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, clove powder and nutmeg power. Toss the steamed cooled mixed fruits in the flour-mix well in a large bowl, so that the fruit is completely coated. Keep aside. (Tossing fruits in flour is to avoid fruits falling to the bottom of the cake during baking time)
  • For the cake batter~ Cream butter, ghee and sugar; add egg yolks one by one and beat in. Then add vanilla essence, ground orange peels, caramel syrup and beat well. Add flour-fruits mix slowly alternating with milk to the cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour-fruit mixture. Stir well with spatula to blend uniformly.
  • Beat egg whites till stiff add 4 tbsp sugar and limejuice and beat again. Fold in egg whites in to the cake mixture.
  • Baking ~ Pre heat oven to 170C/340F. Line the bottom and sides of cake pans with lightly greased parchment / butter paper. Pour cake batter in to prepared pan. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4hours or till a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. (Start checking after 1hr) Cool in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Storing the Cake~ Prick holes on top of the cake with a skewer then sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Rum / brandy over cake, let it sink in for a few minutes. (Instead you can use a syringe to inject Rum/Brandy inside too; I do that sometimes;). Wrap well with parchment paper and then in aluminum foil for storage. Every week, drizzle / brush another teaspoon or two of Rum/brandy over the cake. Aim to keep it nicely moist but *not* soggy!

I have decorated one of my Cake with Sugar Paste Icing/ Fondant Icing, that I blogged earlier. I am re-posting the same recipe again.

Sugarpaste Icing / Fondant Icing
(Original Post here)
1 egg white
15 ml/ 1tbsp liquid glucose, warmed
350g/ 12 oz/ 3 cups icing (confectioners') sugar

  • Put the egg white and glucose in a mixing bowl. Stir them together to break up the egg white.
  • Add the icing sugar and mix together with a metal spatula, using a chopping action, until well blended and the icing begins to bind together.
  • Knead the mixture with your fingers until it forms a ball.
  • Knead the sugar paste on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with icing sugar for several minutes until it is smooth, soft and pliable.If the icing is too soft, knead in some more sifted sugar until it reaches the right consistency.

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Saturday 25 December 2010

Wish you all A Very Merry Christmas!

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another
The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.
~ Emily Matthews

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

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Monday 20 December 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies

I tried these cookies from Pam’s For the Love of Cooking blog, and they turned out to be one of the most delicious Peanut Butter cookies I have tried so far! Main attraction of these cookies is the chocolate kisses on top that kids simply love! Try these easy to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies
(Adapted frm For the Love of Cooking Originally from Table Talk - Star Tribune)

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar, plus more for coating
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
Chocolate kisses

  • Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Using a mixer on medium high, beat together butter and peanut butter together until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture until just incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. If you are in a hurry you can place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.
  • Roll the dough into small balls then coat in white sugar.
  • Place on the baking sheet.
  • Lightly flatten the cookies down with a spatula.
  • Cook for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven then place a chocolate kiss into the center of the cookie.
  • Place back in the oven and bake for 1 minute.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on racks.
  • Enjoy.

I am sending these cookies to:
One day of Fame :)

On another note, it was like a dream come true when Foodbuzz community selected my previous post Yogurt Mascarpone & Strawberry Verrine as one of the Top 9 on Dec 15th. The Foodbuzz Top 9 is a photo-driven collection of top-buzzed posts within the Foodbuzz community. And my photo was selected one of the best out of 734 posts! One simple dessert that I whipped up with some left over mascarpone cheese and yogurt not only loved by all three of us but a lot of others too…. A big thank you to Foodbuzz and also all those who visited my blog and took time to leave a comment… I am over whelmed :)
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Monday 13 December 2010

Yogurt, Mascarpone & Strawberry Verrines

Yogurt, Mascarpone & Strawberry Verrines


For the Yogurt & Mascarpone Gelee
Hung yogurt -2 cups
Homemade Mascarpone cheese -1 cup
Sugar-2 tbsp
Vanilla essence-1 tsp
Gelatin-1 tsp
Water-2 tbsp

For the Strawberry Gelee:
Strawberry puree-1 cup
Sugar-2tbsp (optional)
Gelatin-1 tsp
Water-1 tbsp
Mint leaves and chocolate to decorate

  • Yogurt & Mascarpone Gelee: Sprinkle the gelatin over water and set aside. In a bowl beat yogurt, mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla essence until the sugar has completely dissolved. Microwave the gelatin for 10 seconds and mix with yogurt mixture and keep aside.
  • Strawberry Gelee: Sprinkle the gelatin over water and microwave for 10 minutes. Mix strawberry puree, sugar and melted gelatin and mix well.
  • Assembling the Verrines: In small glass or bowl layer yogurt mascarpone gelee and strawberry gelee alternatively and chill until set. Decorate with mint leaves and chocolates.

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Saturday 11 December 2010

Grilled Fish Fillets

Grilled Fish Fillets

White-fleshed fish fillets - 3-4 pieces (I used Crème Dori)

For the marinade:
Thick curd-4 tbsp
Lemon juice-1 tbsp
Chilly powder-1 ¼ tsp
Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Tandoori masala-1/2 tsp
Ginger powder-1/4tsp
Garlic powder-1/4 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste

  • Clean fish and pat dry on a kitchen towel.
  • Mix all the ingredients given under marinade.
  • Rub the marinade well all over the fish pieces and let it marinate for 2-3 hours.
  • When your oven/ grill/barbecue is hot, place the fish fillets on a greased wire rack and let it grill for10-15 minutes turning in between.(The time of grilling will depend on the thickness of the fish and may vary a little).
  • Serve hot with some sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes and salad of your choice.

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Tuesday 7 December 2010

Snowballs / Meringue Cookies

Snowballs / Meringue Cookies

(Recipe from 180 Every Day Cakes & Bakes)
Makes about 20

2 egg whites
115g/4 oz/1/2 cup caster sugar
15 ml/ 1 tbsp corn flour (cornstarch), sifted
5 ml/ 1 tsp white wine vinegar
1.5 ml/ ¼ tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300F and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl, using an electric whisk, until very stiff.
  • Add caster sugar, a little at a time, whisking after each addition until the meringue is very stiff and glossy. Whisk in the corn flour, vinegar and vanilla extract.
  • Using a teaspoon, mound the mixture into snowballs on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Cool on the baking sheets, and then remove the snowballs from the paper with a metal spatula.

These meringues contain the magic ingredients that gave them a chewy centre than being crisp throughout. You can mix the cornflour, white wine vinegar and vanilla extract together in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the mixture before finally folding it in if you like.

I am sending these goodies to:
2- Champa's Bake off event.
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Monday 6 December 2010

Picture Galleria

Mixed Fruit Smoothie LassiFresh Juice Melody Date WineCarrot Whisky Ginger WineMixed Fruit WineMilk LiqueurHomemade Grape Wine without Yeast Jaathikka Wine / Nutmeg Fruit Wine Passion Fruit Wine

Soups and Salads
Brinjal Salad / Batinjan Bil Laban (Aubergine With Yoghurt) Tabbouleh / Cracked Wheat & Herb Salad Purple Cabbage Salad Parmesan and Macaroni Chicken Salad with Roasted Bell Pepper Spicy Orange Chicken Salad Oriental Noodle Salad Melon Fruit Bowl Greek Salad Green Papaya Salad / Kappalanga (Omakka) Salad Moroccan Carrot and Orange Salad

Chutneys / Dips / Powders

Dill Chutney Poodina / Mint Chutney
Brinjal Dip/ Baba Ghannouj/ Moutabal Pachadi Pink Strawberry Dip Hummus

Pickles / Sauces / Jams

Naaranga Achaar / Lime Pickle Kappalanga (Omakka) Achaar/Raw Papaya Pickle Manga Achaar / Minced Mango Pickle (Sweet) Dates Pickle Mixed Fruit Jam

Round The Clock

Cheeda Microwave KhandviEthakka Vazhattiyathu Banana FrittersMeat Cutlet Crustless QuicheBadaami Tangri AllipidiPaningil(Meen Mutta)Varuthathu Avalose PodiAvalose Unda Fish Crumb FryGolden Onion Chicken QuicheChicken Balls Tuna Cutlets Chicken Fatayer Spicy Chicken Skewers Falafel with Hummus Sausage Rolls Chakka Upperi / Jackfruit Chips Kuzhalappam Vilayichathu

Breakfast / Brunch

SannasIdiyappamMixed Dal DosaWafflesSooji Pancake / Semolina PancakeApple PancakePalappam Mixed Fruit Jam Vellayappam

Lunch / Dinner

Kappa VevichathuKeema ParathaFish n' Chips LasagnaRising PhulksCrusty Chicken GoulashDinner Roll KnotsIndari Appam / Pesaha (Passover) AppamTawa Nan ~ Indian Leavened BreadFlank Steak, Roasted Pasilla Pepper and Sharp Cheddar Cheese PaniniSzechuan Style Vegetable Hakka NoodlesHomemade Tandoori Roti using a Toaster!Tomato SouffléGrilled Fish Fillets Homemade Pizza with Beef Indari Appam / Pesaha (Passover) Appam Kanjiyum Payarum / Rice Gruel and Lentils Stir Fried with Coconut BBQ Chicken Burgers Chole Bhatura / Deep Fried Indian Puffed Bread with Chickpeas Curry Mathi Kappa Puzhukku / Mashed Tapioca and Sardines with Coconut and Spices Rumali Roti / Roomali Roti

Non-Veg Delights

Fried Meat balls in Sweet and Sour SauceKofta CurryMeat LoafStir Fried Chicken in Chilli-OilKerala Fish CurryFish MoleeSmoked ChickenHoney Chilly ChickenFinnish PieUnakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podichathu (Dry Prawns Chutney Powder) Varutha Meen Podichathu ~ A side dish made out of Leftover Kerala Fried Fish seasoned with coconut and spices Murgh Methi Malai / Chicken in Creamy Fenugreek Sauce Spicy Chicken Skewers Meatball Curry / Meat Kofta Curry

Veggie Delights

Cabbage&Carrot ThoranCoriander Leaves ThoranPalak ThoranEggplant Szechwan StylePachadiChundum Payarum ThoranKappalanga /Omakka Thoran (Stir Fried Raw Papaya with Coconut) Broccoli Mappas / Broccoli in Creamy Coconut Sauce Kappalangaum (Omakkaum) Payarum Thoran (Stir Fried Raw Papaya & Red Gram with Coconut) Badami Mushrooms (Mushrooms in Almond Gravy) Khumb Masala / Mushroom Masala Vanpayar Thoran/ Red Gram stir fried with Coconut Cherupayar Thoran / Green Gram Stir fried with Coconut Vegetable Stew Falafel with Hummus Chole (Channa) Masala / Kadala Curry / Chickpeas Curry Dal Makhani

Breads / Cookies

Glazed Banana Spiced LoafChocolate Coconut FrostiesCinnamon RollsDoughnutsNight Sky CookiesBasic Biscuit with Vanilla IcingSavoury MuffinsSticky Nut BunsSweet Cream PuffsChocolate, Cranberry & Oat BarsWhite BreadLiliko’i Bars / Passion Fruit BarsSnowballs / Meringue CookiesPeanut Butter Chocolate Kiss CookiesSugar CookiesMeringue Mushrooms Whole Wheat Almond Eggless Cookies Whole Wheat & Oat Raisin Cookies Peynirli Poğaça (Turkish Feta And Herb Filled Savoury Buns) Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread Chocolate Chip Cranberry Flax Cookies Soft Garlic Knots Zebra Biscuits


Race Car CakeDoll CakeSchool Bus CakeHat CakeChocolate Fudge CakeChristmas CakeButterfly CakeGiraffe CakeMickey Mouse CakeToy Telephone CakeDark Chocolate CakeRed Velvet Cake with White Velvet IcingSponge Cake Moist Chocolate CupcakesRich Fruit Christmas CakeRich Fruit Christmas Cake with Sugar paste IcingDried Cherry BunsOne Bowl Chocolate Buttermilk-cakeSugarpaste Icing/ Fondant IcingStrawberry and Banana MuffinsChocolate Mocha CakeSun CakeMini Strawberry Bundt CakeTiramisu CakeBanana Cake with Penuche FrostingDevil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream fillingChocolate Raspberry Cake!Spaceship Cake Molten Lava CakeRed Velvet Cake Pops Dark Cherry Crumble Cake With Cinnamon Chocolate Chip MuffinsChristmas Fruit Cake / Kerala Plum Cake Passion Fruit Brownies Chocolate Orange Mascarpone Gateau Cocoa Orange Marble Cake Passion Fruit Buttermilk Pound Cake


Eggless Chocolate MousseChocolate Soufflé Rasmallai Lemon Meringue Pie Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles Mango Yogurt Panna Cotta Chocolate Truffles Classic Pineapple Pudding Fruitcake Truffles Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit TrufflesBanoffee Pie
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