March 8, 2011

Chocolate Carrot Cake for the Celebrations

Finally, I have reached a milestone…my 100th post! So to celebrate this occasion I made a chocolate carrot cake. The cake was super moist and super chocolate and a dont tell your has carrot!! This recipe is adapted from Taste of home annual recipe cookbook. For chocolate lovers it’s a dream come true. A rich chocolate cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting and crunch from the walnuts

Today my one and only brother is celebrating his birthday so here is to him…”
Happy birthday, Shanu”



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 4 eggs (I used 6 large egg whites) 
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots 
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inches round baking pans with baking spray, line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and grease parchment. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and oil, beat until combined. Mix in carrots and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pans. 
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting.  

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla until smooth.  
  • Level cake layers with a serrated knife. Place one layer on a serving plate; top with half the frosting. Repeat with remaining cake layer and frosting. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

February 28, 2011

Mom's special Beef vindaloo


  • Beef, cut into cubes: 1 kg 
  • Onion: 2 big ones thinly sliced 
  • Ginger: 1 tsp thinly sliced 
  • Garlic: 1 ½ tsp thinly sliced 
  • Chilly powder: ½ - 1 tsp 
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp 
  • Coriander leaves – ¾ cup chopped reserve a little for garnishing 
  • Salt: to taste 
  • Vinegar: 1 1/2 tbsp or depending on your taste 
  • Water ¾ cup

To Grind:  
  • Fennel seeds: 1 tsp 
  • Peppercorns: 2 tsp (depending on your taste) 
  • Cardamom: 4 
  • Cloves 4 
  • Cinnamon sticks 2 small pieces 
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp 


  • Grind the ingredients for under the grind list into fine powder and add vinegar and keep aside. 
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker; add the sliced ginger and garlic and sauté till its light brown in color. 
  • Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté till they are soft and light brown. 
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt, coriander leaves and masala paste and sauté for a minute. 
  • Add the beef and fry for 5 minutes. 
  • Add enough water to cover the beef and cook till the beef is done. 
  • Open the cooker after all the pressure is gone .The gravy should be thick. If there is more water just simmer for few more minutes till you get thick gravy. 






February 17, 2011

Sunnundalu (urad dal Laddoo)

"What’s for dessert dear?” That’s my husband’s question as soon as he steps into the house from work. Yes, not what’s for dinner or lunch but Dessert .A complete and satisfying meal is only with a perfect dessert or sweet. And look who inherited that sweet genes. Yes my son (Can’t say much about the little one...yet!).Right now where we stay its very difficult to get traditional Indian sweets. So I just try out new recipes, hoping it comes out perfect to their tastes.

SUNNUNDALU  is a very traditional sweet of Andhra. I had this for the first time from one of my friend’s house. She said it is prepared during baby showers as it has lot of health benefits during pregnancy and also given to kids. Must be the protein and fat which are beneficial for a pregnant lady very simple and easy to make and doesn’t take much time.


  •  1 cup Urad dal 
  • 11/4 cup sugar ( more or less depending on your taste) 
  • 1 tbsp rice 
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee ( use as needed) 
  • 2 Cardamom seeds  


  •  Take a pan Dry roast Urad dal till golden brown color, and then add rice and roast for 3min and blend in a blender make a fine powder. 
  • Blend Sugar with the cardamom seeds and keep a side. 
  • Mix the powdered sugar and Urad dal and mix well 
  • Little by little add the melted ghee till you get a consistency where you can mold them in the form of laddoo

  • you can also add raisins and cashews into this.  
  • For this just fry the raisins and cashews in a little ghee and add it to the mixed powders.

I am sending this to ANY ONE CAN COOK series hosted by Umm Mymoonah of Taste of pearl city

February 14, 2011

Sweet treat for my Sweet Hearts~ Mysore Paks

Happy Valentines Day !!!

There is always one discussion (hubby calls it argument) that come into our midst every year on Valentines Day.

My husband : “why do you need valentines day? You can tell someone that you love them everyday, why do u need a special day for that. This is just to boost the profits of the card companies”
ME:”There is nothing wrong in having a special day to say someone you love them. Telling someone how much they mean to you on a valentines day is just romantic”
Hubby: so telling that I love you every other day has no importance…is not’s not special?
ME: Yes, of course that is important but on a day when its made for love, why not say it...and maybe say it a little more differently…maybe with some flowers or gifts…a surprise?
Hubby: “then where is the spontaneity in that. You know its valentines day and you are expecting that is not special…I am not going to get you anything today.

Yes, it’s always the same…oh don’t worry he doesn’t win. He always comes back with a bunch of roses and a box of chocolate or at least a “Happy valentine’s day .I love you” call from work.

Isn’t that what love is all about…Taking time to show that you care for the things that I care. Love you dear!

So for my Sweet Heart… your favorite sweet.

  • 1 cup Gram (Besan) flour, sift to remove any lumps 
  • 11/4 cup ghee, melted & at room temperature  
  • 1 cup sugar or more depending on your taste 
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds powdered 
  • In a heavy bottom pot, take ½ cup of water, add sugar and bring them to boil till the sugar syrup reaches one string consistency. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Now pour the ghee and then add gram flour into the sugar syrup while stirring. Make sure there are no lumps. 
  • Continuously stir and cook until the ghee starts to leave the sides of the pan and the mixture starts to thicken and turns to become porous and light gold in color. Stir in the cardamom powder 
  • Immediately pour onto a greased tray & evenly level it out with a spatula. When it is still hot, cut into square shapes.
This method will give you the soft and melt in your mouth mysore pak like the ones from sree krishna sweets.

  • I use half ghee and half oil, or at times full oil, just to get rid of the guilt that I am feeding my hubby and son a fat loaded sweet. 
  • One string consistency is when the sugar froms a single string when tested between your thumb and forefinger 
  • Remove the mixture one minute after it starts leaving the pan else you will get just crumbled up mysore pak.
  • Make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking.

February 10, 2011

Naadan chicken fry ~ Kerala style


It has been so long since I turned this way. Life has been busy with the new baby and moving and all things like that. Hopefully I am getting back to the normal routines and will be able to blog more often. Thank you for all your kind support.
This is a recipe that I found in a magazine that my mom sent me. It was a big hit in my family from the first time I made it. for a helathier version you can omit the last part of frying with coconut oil, but it tastes so wonderful when you fry it.

1. Chicken                 1 kg, cleaned and cut into small pieces

2. Coriander powder           3 tablespoon

   Turmeric powder                 1 teaspoon

   Garam masala powder         1 teaspoon

   Chilly powder                      1 teaspoon

   Pepper Powder                  1 ½ teaspoon

   Ginger-Garlic paste              1 teaspoon

   Curry leaves                         1 handful

3. Coconut oil                           3 tablespoon

    Green chilly                          2 , slit (optional)


• Marinate the chicken pieces with at he ingredients under 2 for half an hour or more.

• Heat a saucepan, add chicken along with enough water; cover and cook until the meat is tender. Open the lid, and increase the flame and dry up the water to coat the chicken with masala.
  • If you dont want to fry it in coconut oil just continue sautéing till it gets a brown color. 
• In another Pan, Heat the coconut oil, add the chicken pieces and sauté till you get the golden brown color.

Serve with rotti’s and biryani

Source: Pachakam magazine