Banana Bread

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Made Banana Bread this weekend. The recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s recipe book, super easy to prepare as long as you have the right ingredients, utensils and most importantly -a friend like I do 🙂

If you are thinking of giving this cake to children, don’t worry, the alcohol doesn’t pervade, you just end up with aromatically swollen fruit.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Here is how the recipe goes-

Ingredients :

  • Scant Half cup golden raisins
  • 3 ounces rum (enough to soak raisins)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted) 175 gms
  • 1/2 cup sugar – 150 gms
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small very ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a (~9*5 inch loaf pan, buttered and floured or with paper indent)

Method :

Put the raisins in a small/medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC or 325ºF  and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained raisins and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin  and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes . When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer . Enjoy the yummylicious banana bread 🙂








After the Break! Here is a Coconut Cake!

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Don’t know  why it took me so long to start updating my blog again…it gives me so much joy to learn how to make a new dish, TAKE PICTURES and finally post the recipe!  It is always a delight when your family and friends love what you made for them.

Baking is not my forte….I hate to measure and go by the book…….but of late everyone around me seems to be baking such lovely cakes and I was tempted to try my hand at baking. I am very lucky to have a friend who is expert at this and showed me how to prepare this, thanks Sharmila, you are the BEST and you know I will keep troubling you 🙂


Coconut Cake 🙂

Here is how the recipe goes…


  • 225 gms all purpose flour
  • 2.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 225 gms butter softened (keep it out of the refrigerator an hour before you start preparing)
  • 225 gms sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225 gms finely grated coconut(fresh or frozen)

Method :

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees or 325 F. Grease the tin then dust with flour.

Ideally we must sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, I just mixed them softly. Keep this aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and lightened in colour. Lightly beat the eggs with vanilla essence and then add to this mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour three batches and then fold in the coconut as well to distribute the coconut throughout the cake batter.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy the cake, it is delicious when it is fresh and warm.













Delicious Aate ka Halwa

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Aate ka Halwa

The quickest Halwa to make and I will add delicious too 😉  This was the first sweet I made after marriage and everybody liked it. This one never fails! You will almost always have the ingredients handy and it hardly takes any time to prepare!

My Mom as always makes it the best and here at my husband’s place I am told his Grandma made the most heavenly Aate ka Halwa

Aate Ka Halwa

Aate Ka Halwa

Here is how it goes-

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)-

½ cup Wheat Flour

½ Cup Sugar

Almost Half Cup Ghee (clarified butter)

1 Cup water

Sliced Cashewnuts, almonds, raisins.

  • Keep the ingredients ready as this one is a “quick steps” dish!


Take the Ghee in sauce pan and let it get warm on medium flame. Now add the wheat flour to the ghee, and stir. Keep stirring till the flour turns brown. Now add the sugar and immediately the water and stir continuously or lumps will form. Add the nuts and stir for 3-4 minutes.

The Halwa is ready. Serve it hot.

Bake a Cake!


Baking a cake is a pleasure….as the aroma spreads, you know you are making something sugary, soft……..that everyone will love… and love you for!

My Mom makes the most mouth-watering egg less cakes. Growing up, I and Bro, feasted on these cakes. And, we had somebody else who shared the joy with us…Cheeku our little pet. He’d the first one to fall for the aroma of the cake being baked and then he’d just sit in the kitchen….waiting for his share.

Some of my most treasured memories as a kid are dipping my fingers into the melted chocolate icing or the cake batter and tasting the smooth batter;  Not to forget, collecting the leftover batter on to a spoon and relishing it ;-).

Last week saw couple of Arnav’s best friends celebrating their birthdays and a friend of mine also celebrated his birthday his birthday cake was one of the best cakes I have seen and eaten.

Coming to Arnav, he just needed a reason to cut a cake….he turned exactly 6.5 years on 28 January! And this was a reason enough for me to bake a simple & quick cake for my little sweetheart….who waited patiently as I prepared it. I usually make an eggless cake this time tried with eggs and it turned out super! Sure it wasn’t as nice as Mom’s but everybody still wanted a slice!

Now, the recipe

Bake a Cake

Bake a Cake


1 + 1/2 cup (170 g) all-purpose flour (Maida)

1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (dutched/dark)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup (220 g) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup (170 g) melted butter

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C). Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) cake tin with ghee/oil or melted butter. Sprinkle some flour on to this.

Now Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Melt the butter at low heat and add to the dry ingredients. Also add milk and eggs.

Mix everything together until smooth, either by hand if you have the energy or by using an electric mixer at slow speed.

Transfer most of this to the baking tin. Leave a small part. Add the cocoa powder to it. Spread this over rest of the mixture in the baking tin in a pattern you desire. Now bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick/or a cake knife inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Wait for the cake to cool for at least ten minutes, before you gently invert it on to another plate/container. The cake is very soft when it is hot…avoid excessive handling.

And now, slice the cake, serve it to everyone, get yourself a cup of tea and enjoy your creation ;-)!

Cake for Arnavi!

Cake for Arnavi!

Welcoming 2011 with Kaju Katli!

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The Ever Pleasing Kaju (Cashew) Katli- Super Quick to Make, Divine to Eat!

Kaju Katli

Kaju Katli

And here I am all set to welcome 2011 with Kaju Barfi- something that everyone around me loves- Kaju Barfi! Mom taught it and it took not more than twenty minutes to prepare it- awesome! And my little baby loves it!


Cashew nuts (kaju) – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 Cup (Half the amount of Cashews)
Silver sheets for decoration


Take 2 Bowls Cashews and dry grind them- you can sieve them too (to avoid any big pieces). Don’t add any water while grinding- just dry grind them.
Spread a plastic sheet and apply slight ghee/oil over it- a thin film covering it. Keep aside.
Take One Bowl Sugar in a sauce pan and put equal amount of water in it- heat it to make sugar syrup (two thread consistency) Check for consistency upon boiling- this would roughly take 6-8 minutes. Lower the heat, add the cashew powder and stir continuously to avoid any lumps. Stir well for two minutes and immediately take it out on the plastic sheet.
Spread the cashew syrup mixture on the plastic sheet and since it is hot wrap it lightly with the plastic sheet and knead it like we knead the flour.
Now transfer this to a greased flat surface (we took and aluminum tray) spread it evenly with a rolling pin to about 1/8” inch of thickness. Let it cool and apply the silver foil. After half an hour, cut it diagonally in diamond shape pieces.

Eat on and Welcome the New Year with a smile! Here is wishing you all a very Happy New Year, Cheers!

Phool Makhana ki Kheer- Simple and Quick to make


Makhane ki Kheer- A Perfect treat for Navratras

Makhane ki Kheer

Makhane ki Kheer

Makhanas are puffed lotus seeds, just like pop corns are puffed corn kernels.  Today is the second day of my Navratras and I decided to treat myself with Makhana Kheer today.  My Mom usually roasted them in a couple of teaspoons of ghee and added salt and pepper – it made a nice munch. I believe makhanas are also added to a variety of curries but I have never tried it.

Simple and quick to make- this is how I went about it-


Phool Makhanas- 1 Cup

Milk- 500 ml

Sugar as per taste

Kesar – a few strands (optional)

Dry fruits and raisins (vertically cut almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts)

Ghee – 2 tsp (optional)

Cardamom Powder- 1/2 tsp (optional)


Boil the milk on medium flame and let it reduce to half or two third the quantity- as desired.  You must keep stirring milk as it should not get burnt. As the milk is boiling, clean the makhanas (remove if there are any black shells- brown spots are fine).  Cut them half.  You can either fry them in a tsp ghee or simply roast them in a microwave or a saucepan.

Once they cool down they will become crisp.  Take half of the makahanas and grind them coarsely in a food processor.  Now add the powdered Makhanas and the whole ones to the milk and stir.  After about ten minutes, add sugar, cardamom powder, dry fruits and kesar.  Let the Kheer cook for another 10-15 minutes then take it off from the heat.

If you wish to- fry the makahanas and dry fruits in a couple of teaspoon ghee and then add them to the boiling milk.

Garnish with some dry fruits and serve chilled or warm as desired.

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)

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Happy Holi- With Savory Kheer!


Kheer- Indian Rice Pudding

 I love to make Kheer- as long as I am around to stir it at intervals; the aroma and richness of Kheer never fail me.  Moreover the main ingredients are always handy- milk, rice and sugar.

Yesterday was Holi and we invited some guests over- I always miss the grand Holi celebrations that we had back home when we were growing up.  I try to create the same magic, however I do miss my family and friends…….but for Arnav it is just beginning and he loves it.  Mom would have made Gujiyas and Kanji, I have never tried making those and so I settled for the pleasing and satisfying – Kheer.  It was super yummy and we all enjoyed it.


Whole Milk- 1.5 Lt

Rice- 1.5 Tbsp (Wash and soak for half an hour)

Cardamom (elaichi powder) – 1/2 tsp

Pinch of Saffron

Raisins & Cashew nuts

Almonds and Pistachio Nuts (Cut vertically)

3 Tbsp Sugar (You can change as per taste)


Take milk in a saucepan.  On medium heat bring it to boil.  Add the rice and keep stirring on medium heat. It is always good to make this in a non stick pan- the kheer should not stick to bottom of the pan- stirring it is integral- if the milk burns slightly too it will spoil the entire taste.  Keep stirring for about half an hour- the milk quantity will reduce to half and the rice will cook and become soft.  Add sugar and saffron strands.  Let the sugar dissolve.  Now add the cashew nuts and raisins, keep some for garnishing.  Add the cardamom powder and stir.  Bring it off the heat and garnish with nuts.  Serve hot or cold and enjoy.

 Some people like to fry the nuts and rice in little ghee. I don’t do that.  If you wish to you can just take tsp ghee in a small saucepan and fry them for a minute before adding to the kheer.  Same goes for the rice too- that can also be shallow fired in a couple of tsp ghee in a sauce pan and then added to the boiling milk.

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