Soup's On....

I have been a fan of soups ever since i was a little kid. i would wait to go to restaurants with my parents and sis and order tomato soup.i used to love the crunchy bread pcs, my amma and appa would give their bread pcs to my sis and me... and we would just gobble them up. actually looking back i think the bread chunks were the main reason for the tomato soup order ;) then in my teens i was in love with veg. sweet corn soup and i think i am still hooked to it. I have not been able to make it here, as the corn is a tad too sweet here in the US.

Split pea soup was something i was introduced here. I think the first time i had one was in Zoup...a soup chain in mi. It was really delicious, but i thought it was a tad too heavy for me, but i knew something delicious can be made of this. So, i came upon this recipe i think from the website called, that recipe is no longer available.
This recipe has now been modified by me quite a lot to add my preferences that the only thing this soup has from the original recipe is the split-pea,barley and carrots.

Now to the soup, i really love this, it is light but fills you up and is healthy here it comes


Split pea- 1 cup
Barley - 1 cup
Onions- 1 medium
Carrots - 2 medium
Rosemary - few stalks
Garlic - 4 pods (love garlic)
Tomato paste - 1 tbls
Red chilly flakes - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 11/2 tsp (optional)
Olive oil - 2 tsp
salt -to taste
6 cups water or veg.stock (if using water, try using a salt-free veggie bullion)


1. Soak the split pea in water for about 4 hours, it cooks faster this way.

2. Cook barley and split pea seperately in lots of water. keep a lookout for the barley as it really plumps up quite a bit.Cook till both are done. The barley tastes chewy and the pea should be smooth to taste.

3. Dice the onions as finely as possible and chop the carrots finely too.

4. In a soup pot, add the oil, then smash the garlic and add the rosemary leaves. Add the onions, carrots and red-chilly flakes cook till they are soft.Add the salt and at this time,add the bullion,if using one. Keep the gas on med-low and there is really no need to add any water to cook the carrots as you have chopped them finely

5. Meanwhile, add the split pea in the blender and puree it to a smooth paste.

6. When the carrots are cooked, add the red-chilly powder,tomato paste and fry for a couple of min. Then add the split pea puree,barley and six cups of water/stock,salt as needed (remem you have added some salt to cook carrots) and cook on medium flame till it comes to a boil. Then let the soup simmer for 10 mts more to get really creamy and quite to the consistency you like.

7. Now ladle these on to big bowls and watch re-runs of what you love, for me it is All in the Family....( i tvo it)

notes: if you like the soup more fluid in consistency, add more water.

you need not pre-soak the peas, it will just take longer to cook.

when you puree the soup, if using stock, puree the split pea using the stock.

You can put cilantro instead of rosemary for an indian touch, but that has to be added at the end.



When I was tagged by Sirisha of Ambrosia ..of Indian Indulgences and Saju of
Chachi’s kitchen for a meme.. I thought why not. Let me expose my inner thoughts for the fellow bloggers to see and realize that they are reading the blog of one serious chick ( I know… I called myself a chick, isn’t that for 20 or less … so what I say…I’ll do as I please ;)

This meme is not some random things about urself.. I gotta synchronize my thoughts with my middle name which is…. I do not have one! But planning to get soon …when I become a citizen.The middle name I am going to have is kamala,that is my mom’s name. I have always felt that mom’s are not acknowledged in our names… tamilians take in their dad’s name.. so i am going to add my amma's name as my middle.

First with the rules: this is lifted of Sirisha's blog.. that is how we are s'posed to do
You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
* Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
* When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
* At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So let us begin:

K- kidness. This emotion is so under-rated. I think all of us look at unexpected kidness with a wary eye.. can u believe what the world has come too… I really hope we can change our mindset and accept things at face is hard, but worth a try.

A- anxious. Why are so many of us anxious? Oh! M has bought a $700 K home… we have a $300 K home maybe we will no longer be friends. X thinks if I do not starve myself silly, I may never get a boyfriend. Many people are thinking (it is a fact) if i do not get up at 1:00 am on thanksgiving I will miss that deal in best-buy… really people stop it. Stop making things to a bigger deal that what they are…learn to enjoy life.

M –mediocre. Yes, I said it.. what is wrong in being just normal and not some super achiever? Is reaching the top so important that we squish everyone below us? All of us have been to school, there has to be a second for someone to get first. But, does that mean the second rank, 10th rank ,even 50th rank person is a no good loser…how can everyone be an Indira Nooyi there is nothing wrong in being Rajitha Mani.. who is Rajitha Mani …you get the point right! it is ok.. be a kind, loving person. It is important.

A-annoyed. Nothing wrong in getting annoyed. Why is showing of any displeasure looked down upon society? You need not have a B*&*h fit, but what is wrong in telling.. hey! I don’t like the way you are behaving with me.. or stop! That hurt my feeling.. Don’t you think it is better to say it out and get some irritation out than make a doll at home and stick needles to it in all places…( promise, I have not done this!- inspired by kashmora- telugu movie!)

L- love. Why trivialize this word. People are embarrassed to express love. I do not mean a full on French in the middle of the road, but remem when we were kids, if we loved somebody, we would go up to them and tell them straight away, no shyness or maybe they don’t love me discussion in the head. I think at-least we girls are much better, I have seen guys getting embarrassed to give a hug to their buds.. it is like woah! They may think I am gay.. what a load of crap really.

A-appreciate. Appreciate what you have in life. Be happy that you have all your senses in good working condition and you are healthy and an able human being. Stop cribbing that you are a size 14, I am too dark, I am short.. get over it. Accept yourself. Another thing, appreciate people around you, your spouse, your parents, siblings, friends… everyone whom you love and let them know. Life is too short and sometimes people go away to a place where you can never meet them but only remember and there should never be a I wish I had told him/her how much I appreciate them….

So, after this long sentimental post u think.. hmm so what is the relevence to my life?? everything, and honestly after this loong post i have no energy to explain so I am off to eat soup… and whom do I tag.. anyone who reads this and wants to do it, please go ahead .. I believe in equal opportunity ;)

Tomato Cheese Salad

It was crazy hot here and our a.c has stopped working... i really have to call the repair guy today. If it was India i would have had a big fit and cribbed and cried to my mom.. now since i am the adult here.. i have to suck it up and call the guy without a meltdown ( lit and fig!)
I was in the mood for a quick for substancial snack.. and i thought of the classic tomato mozerella and basil salad . But here i had a different set of ingredients, i of-course had tomatoes.. but sub the other stuff.

For the salad....


Heirloom tomato -1, try if you can buy the funky shaped or rich color ones
Halloumi Cheese - 1/2 a block (again if u are a veg, make sure of vegetarian rennet)
Rosemary - few sprigs
Chilly olive oil - 1 tsp. (just infused chilly flakes with the oil- made a huge jar!)
Pepper - few twists


1. Slice the tomato into 1/2 inch disks. ( serrated kinife works best)

2. Slice the halloumi into 1/2 inch slices if possible (any thinner, they break apart)

3. Heat a skillet to med-high and brown the halloumi on both sides ( no need to add oil.. please) people! we are browning cheese!

4. Take a plate and arrange the tomato slices in single layer, top each slice of tomato with a slice of the cheese. Now sprinkle rosemary of top of each, a twist of pepper on each tomato and drizzle the olive oil on top. Pick up each tomato slice and enjoy.... and no, you do not have to share ;)

i did not add any salt, as halloumi is pretty salty, to read more about halloumi go

the olive oil is optional, really not needed to be honest.


Lychee I Scream

the icecream started to melt big time with all those lights i switched to take out the photo....maybe i should rename it as lychee smoothie??

i love ice-cream and i can keep eating it even when i know i gotta stop or my clothes are going to get too tight... but i am adult na, so no more.. 'i think you have had enough' bakwass from my sis!!(older sisters are too bossy, i tell ya).
When Sig of Live to Eat announced the AFAM as lychee.. my mind went to the lychee ice-cream i had in india. It was delicious and the fragrance.. yes fragrance not aroma, the ice-cream gave was a treat for my mouth and my nose... i think i did smell the ice-cream a lil too many times, coz i got the 'look' from my sis... had to stop then :(

Here is my always i try to make it low that i can eat more without the guilt...he he he


3 cups low fat milk (i used 2% organic)
1 cup fat free condensed milk
1 cup sugar
12 lychees- sliced (pitted of-course!)
1/2 tsp. cardamom (love cardamom)
2 lychees cut in cubes - for decoration


Combine the milk and the 1/2 the condensed milk on medium-low flame and cook till reduced in half. It should be much thicker than what you have started with.

In the blender add the 12 lychees,remaining condensed milk and sugar. Puree this well and add to the thickened milk mixture.

Add the cardamom powder to the above, cook the milk mixture for a few more minutes. Take this away from heat and let it cool.

Now pour this into individual ramekins or a big bowl and freeze till the ice-cream is set.

Before serving, chop up remaining lychees and add on top of the ice-cream and in the bowl you are serving this yummy thing.

Note: this is not too smooth like the ones we get in stores or i guess even with an ice-cream maker.
another point, to make it creamier, you should probably take out the ice-cream when it is partially set and churn it well in the blender and allow it to reset. this gives a creamier version.... but i am lazy and decided to deal with any ice-crystals that would come my way (surprisingly- they were none!)

Sour Cherry Cobbler

I live in Michigan and we have sour cherry grown in abundance. I went to whole foods the other day and i saw mounds of these grown by local farmers.. so i went ahead and got lots of them to snack on and make this cobbler. To be honest i was not a great fan of pitting them tho.. that was a royal pain..

For the cobbler you need:


Cherry Part:

Cherry - 2 cups
Sugar - 3/4 cup
All purpose flour - 1 tbls
Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp. (optional..i love cardamom)

Cobbler Part? :

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted butter - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup (this event is sugar high fridays right ;)
Milk - 8 oz (i used 1% organic milk)- can sub with soy too


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Melt the butter in a pan. Add in flour,baking powder,sugar, milk and whisk to a smooth batter.

3. Mix the cherries,sugar,flour and cardamom powder lightly.

4. Pour the batter in 4 individual serving dishes (i used mini loaf pans - actually they were not too mini!), and spooned the cherries on top.

5. Bake for 50 minutes and when it cools down serve it with ice-cream if you want to go nuts!

This is my entry to Sugar High Fridays hosted by
Johanna who blogs at the passionate cook.


Peanutty Noodles

One more view...

Noodles.. my go to dish when i am lazy to make anything. It is so easy to make .. a lil bit of this.. a dash of that.. tons of this.. and it is ready..
I think me wanting to make this dish came in after i saw ina garten showing some cold noodle dish in her show. Of-course her being the contessa of all things fatty.. she just went about her dish with just this and that.. translate as lots of fat and lots of fat.. i like her tho.. she seems friendly

Here is the recipe, as usual can be modified and u can add or take out stuff u don't like.. but the way i make is the best ;) he he


2 fistfuls of fettucine (actually udon would be better)
salt- 1 tsp
2 cups of veggies combined (i put carrots,snow peas,edamame)
1/2 onion - thinly sliced
4 pods garlic - crushed
1/2 inch ginger- cut in small pcs
2 green chillied - cut in small pcs
sesame oil - 1 tsp
vegan bullion - 1 (i used the salt free-organic)
4 tbls of water

Peanut butter - 2 tbls (i used natural-chunky)
Tamari -2 tbls (can sub with soy sauce)
Red Chilly sauce - 1 tbls
Green Chilly Sauce -1 tbls
Rice wine vinegar - 1 tbls ( use any vinegar on hand)
2 tbls of water


1. Cook the fettucine on lots of water and salt,drain and keep aside.

2. In a huge saucepan/wok heat the oil, when it starts to smoke ( u see some wisps of smoke), add in the garlic,ginger,g.chilly and the onions and fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the veggies, and the bullion cube (crush it between ur fingers). Saute this in med-high heat and keep adding tbls of water as needed, do not add oil as the peanut-butter has enough already!

3. In a bowl whisk all the ingredients for the sauce and keep aside.

4. When the veggies are cooked to crisp tender, add in the fettucine and give it a good mix. Whisk the dressing once more in the bowl and add to the fetuccine and toss it well.

5. Serve this hot.. if it cools down, the fettucine keeps absorbing the sauce.


Varum Arashi Adhai....Plain Rice Pancakes

When i found that the next JFI event was rice and hosted by Sharmi of
Neivedyam i said..correction yelled YES! and what did i do for a month coming up to the event.. make different types of rice.. did i take any! i just felt, this was not enough for my entry.. maybe i will make this or maybe that thing i had in india. I was into this huge drama.. as rice is my favorite. I love rice and cannot live without it.. it is dramatic but i am sticking to it :)

In the end i decided to make a dish that truely shows the beauty of rice and my mind went to varum arashi adhai. i love this breakfast and it really sticks and i mean sticks to your stomach.. i do not know why! as they say carbs make you hungry really fast..this dish is only carbs!!

For the adhai you need

boiled raw rice (i used ponni)- 3 cups
salt - as needed
oil- for making adhai


1. Soak the raw rice for 24 hours with sufficient water

2. Grind this to a smooth batter. It must be smooth. I have an american mixie and was able to do this, it just takes longer that a summet or grinder. The batter must be a little thick and not thin like a dosa batter.

3. Heat a griddle and pour the batter like you would do for dosa.. the difference is you need not spread it out too much, as this is a adhai. Honestly, the batter moves out on its own.. do not do it further.

4. Drizzle oil on sides and flip over when one side it done and cook the other side too.

5. These will not brown up like dosa. They will get shiny.. so you know these are done.

6. Serve with chutney ( i did with peanut) and keep eating..that is for u kids.. ladies or gents, please keep making!


Masaledar Paneer

Paneer marinating in spices

I love paneer and i think yogurt and paneer are the only things that keep me away from becoming a vegan tomorrow! This is a easy and quick recipe and can be had straight-up as a snack or even in the evening after a long day of doing nothing ;) with some beer or my favorite margaritas (yummy!). I actually decided to make this when i was hungry one evening and wanted something substantial but high in protein. I chanced upon the half block of paneer in my fridge and just went ahead with it.It was really good with a good squirt of lime on top.

I am submitting this to 'Think Spice' monthly event which is started by Sunita of
Sunita's World

So without any more delay... here is the recipe.


Paneer - 200 gms ( 1/2 a big block)
Garlic- 1 pod, crushed
Olive oil - 1 tsp (yes... just 1:)
Red Chilli Powder -1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder -1/2 tsp
Chat Masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp ( as chat masala has quite a lot)
Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp
Cumin (whole) - 1 tsp


1. Cut paneer in chunky cubes and keep aside.

2. Crush or finely chop the garlic.

3. Take a ziplock, put in all the ingredients except the paneer and shake well.

4. Add the paneer blocks to the above marinade, jiggle the packet well so that the spices coat, you have to work on the coating as there is very little oil. Let the marinated panner rest for 15-20 mts.

5. Heat a griddle pan in medium high heat and add the paneer to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on both sides, till lightly brown.

6. Done! now sprinkle the juice of half a lime to this and you have a snack ready!

In hindsight, i would also add slivered onions with the lemons at the end, i think it would taste really good.


Tofu Scramble

I hate eggs and have never eaten them in anything other than cakes and other such goodies. Then on my last birthday, i felt instead of buying things for myself ( as i keep doing that all the time), i will try to better myself and do things i feel strongly about. So, i decided to quit being a hypocrite and give up on eggs alltogether.

This tofu scramble is really delicious and keeps you full for a long time.

Here is the recipe:

serves -2

Tofu -1/2 block (i use the extra firm ones)
Olive Oil - 1tbls
Jeera - 1 tsp.
Green Chilli - 1
Garlic- 1 pod
Onions - 1/2 small
Red and Bell Pepper - 1/4 each
Carrots - 6 baby ones
Cilantro - a few sprigs
Salt- to taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Flax Seeds - 1 tsp.
Nutritional Yeast - 1 tbls (i got this in whole foods, you will get this in any health store)


1.Squeeze the tofu gently and extract as much water as you can. Now scramble this and keep aside.

2. Thinly dice the green chillies and onions. Chop the carrots and peppers into bite size pcs and keep aside.

3.In a pan, add the oil, then jeera. Now add the green chilly and onions and fry till soft.

4. Add the peppers and carrots and cook on medium heat till done.

5. Now add the flax seeds, salt, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, mix it well and add the scrambled tofu.

6. Cook this for 5 minuted in mnedium heat stirring occasionally. Now chop cilantro and incorporate it in the tofu.

7. In the end, add the nutritional yeast, mix it well, switch off the gas and serve.

The tofu taste best when hot. I served it with some tamarind chutney.

To know more about nutritional yeast, you can look


Edamame Salad - Quick and Easy

This is a quick and easy salad that comes together in 10 mts, max. It is super filling, so is great as a snack between meals and has a balance of protein, carbs and fat to it. I make this nearly everyday with different variations and i still love it.
To know more about edamame you can read it here

This recipe is for 2 people, but I usually eat the whole thing spreading it to twice a day or for lunch. It tastes great when kept in the fridge for a couple of hours.


1 cup edamame
1/2 red onion - diced thin
1 cup baby tomatoes - halved
Parsely - handful,chopped

juice of 1 lime
1 tsp of dijon mustard
1 tsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1.Boil the edamame in 2 cups of water for 2-3 mts. Drain, and keep aside.
2.Cut the tomatoes in 2 ( you can use regular tomatoes too, i love the small ones) and dice the onions and keep aside.Chop the parsely finely,but make sure you can see some of the pretty green leaves.
3.In a bowl, squeeze the lime, add the dijon,salt and few twists of pepper and whisk well. Now slowly incorporate the tsp. of olive oil. The dressing is ready.
4.Add the edamame, tomatoes,onion and parsely. Mix lightly and keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours before you eat.(i start on it rightaway!)

The dressing is low fat, but you can go ahead and drizzle in more oil when making the salad to make it more richer and perhaps more yummier.But, for me this level of acidity to oil works just fine.
For the salad, you can add cucumbers, capers, peppers cut in small pcs.... the addition to this is pretty endless. make it with the veggies you love,but take care not to overwhelm the salad as simplicity is the best mantra.


I scream, You scream, we all scream for .... pasta!!! huh??

He he ... gotcha guys, i hope many of you are smiling in appreciation for that dish... c'mon, who does not like pasta...
Anyway, i am so happy that mallu girl of
Malabar Spices decided to extend the deadline of the Summer Express Cooking Event to Aug.20th, so busy folks like me (read lazy) can catch up.

I made this yesterday night for dinner and seriously when i finished cooking i realised it took me about 20-25 minutes, so i was kicking myself real hard to miss this event. But, after knowing today that the deadline has been extended.... i feel all that emotion i had yesterday seems such a waste..

Anyway enough of my rambling... here is the easy recipe.


Spagetti - 2 servings (as per the box)
Tomatoes: 4, diced
Red Bell Pepper : 1, diced (use any color you want)
Green Pepper : 1/2 thinly sliced
Onions - 1 small, thinly sliced
Garlic - 3 cloves, roughtly chopped
Capers - 2 tbls, drained
Rosemary - 1 woody stalk (you can sub with 1/2 tsp. of dry resemary)
Olive Oil - 3tbls
Brown Sugar/Cane Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt and Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly Flakes -1 tsp ( i like it spicceey)
Feta Cheese - 1/2 a small roll (if you are a vegetarian, make sure it is made of vegetarian rennet)


1. In a pot, bring water to a boil, add salt and spagetti and cook as per package directions. Cook till al-dente, drain and keep aside.

2. Slice, Dice all the veggies on a large cutting board and keep ready ( this will not take more that 5 minutes maximum, as there are not too many veggies.(you can use frozen too).

3. While the pasta is cooking, add 2 tbls of oil to a large pan (speeds up cooking), add the garlic and onions and cook on medium flame for 5 mts for good carmalization. Add 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar to speed up the process.

4. Then add the rosemary,tomatoes and the pepper with 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper,1 tsp red chilly flakes and cook for 5 mts, till the tomatoes release the juices and the peppers are cooked, but have a bite.

5. Now add the capers, drained pasta and the remaining 1 tbls. of olive oil.

6. Toss the pasta well in the sauce and transfer to a big bowl. Break up the feta cheese on top and ....what! eat sweetheart.. eat!!

The feta melts slowly in the pasta making it really creamy as you eat.


Bread... Glorious Herb Bread!

A close-up view

I kind of feel sheepish to make this when i have been thinking of seriously going on a diet. I guess it is really hard when one loves food the way i do and have absolutely no self-restrain! But, i wanted to bake bread from a really long time and when i saw this book in the library called 'Bread' by Eric Treuille and Ursulla Ferrigno, i had to borrow it to look at the amazing photos inside.

Keeping with inspirations as my theme ;) i decided to make the herb bread as per the book, but decided to add cilantro,mint and green chillies instead of the parsely or rosemary that was mentioned. This herb combo was inspired by the masala bread that was sold in bangalore and my best pal would get a loaf for me each time she went to bangalore to visit her cousins.

I unfortunately followed the recipe 95%, as i have never baked a bread before, perhaps next time, i will play with the ingredients a little.

Here is the write-up:

2 tsp dry yeast
11/2 cup water
31/4 cup bread flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbls melted butter (i used 1 tbls olive oil)
handful of finely chopped herbs (i added green chillies with the hersbs)


1.Sprinkle the yeast in 1/2 cup of water and let is stay for 5 minutes and then dissolve. ( tip: to know if the yeast is avlive, the yeast will increase in qty, so if you put it in 1/2 cup of water, the water will increase in volume in 5-10 mts)

2.Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour the yeast, olive oil and add in the herbs.Stir in remaining water as needed. Mix well and then take this mix on a floured board and knead for 5 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. ( mine was really really sticky, as i used the remaining 1 cup of water, i think i should have used only 3/4. So, please add in a little at a time!)

3 Put this dough in a clean glass or plastic bowl,cover it and keep aside in a warm place to rise for about 11/2 hours. (timer time)

4.When the time is up, take the dough and punch it well( thinking of a pesky co-worker, usually does the trick, the problem is i do not know when to stop ;)

5. Let the dought rest for 10 mts, then shape it as a round loaf, place it is a floured baking sheet,cover it and let it rest for 45 mts.( i was unable to make a round, as mine was sticky, so let it free form)

6. Bake it in 400 F for 45 minutes, till golden and hollow. When you tap underneath it should sound hollow. ( mine came out really nice, i was pretty sure, it would be horrible, as my dough was sticky, but it came out just great!)

7.Cool in on a wire rack and the cut in slices and gobble up plain, with pasta, sandwiches....yadda yadda yadda.....(seinfeld fan ;)


Cho-Chip Cake

An easy fix when you want a cake and a cookie

The cake with the ricotta icing

want a bite.....

I love baking...but i really do not think it is that hard. I am tired of hearing from all the chefs, it is an exact science , you have to have to have to...... measure everything right. I say, poooh! of-course you have to measure but really is not that exact. You have to use ur discretion as you go. I personally never cook as per directions, i only get inspired. After that, i do as i please, sometimes the only thing i really stick on with the recipe would be an ingredient or so!! It was the same thing in here. I had gone to Barnes and Nobles to pick up some coffee ( they have Starbucks in there) and while i was coming out i saw the cutest cupcake book on sale and of-course, never to miss on books with yummylicious photos, i grabbed this one.
I looked at the photos for a few days, dreamed on making and devouring them and basically did nothing. Then, this Saturday (Aug.4th) when i was watching food tv, and seeing Paula shove another piece of cake in her mouth with whipped cream y'all , i thought cupcakes! (i know...sheesh, to be inspired by paula of all people!).
There was a recipe for chocolate chip cupcake, which i converted to a regular cake and modified the whole recipe to an extent that the only thing that i followed the recipe was 3/4 cup self rising white flour ( i think i used unbleached white flour). So, i think i will put this as my own concoction, with just borrowed inspiration for the title!!

Here is the recipe.

3/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1tbls cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder and baking soda each
1 tsp. orange zest ( optional)

To replace eggs:
1 tbls flax powder
1/2 cup soy milk

Liquids other than above:
1/4 cup oil ( i used sunflower oil)
1 tsp. orange extract
2 tbls orange juice

1/2 cup chocolate chip


Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line a 6" round pan with parchment paper( go ahead use the square one... be different!)
Mix the flax powder with the milk using a whisk, till it gets frothy. This acts in place of eggs.
Now, add the dry to the wet ingredients including the flax-milk mix, add 1/2 cup of choco chips, mix well and pour it in the lined pan.
Bake for 25 minutes and transfer to cool in a wire rack.

Now for icing. I did not want to use shortning or butter and i had ricotta cheese left in the fridge. So, i decide on the ricotta icing. For this you need, again, i just made this up on the fly, so go ahead and play with it.

1/2 cup skim ricotta
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbls honey
1 tsp orange extract
peach color ( it looks pink tho :(

Mix the icing well and ice the cake roughly when cooled. It will not come out professional as you can do with butter or shortening, but is really light and different.


Delicious Vegan Burgers

Getting the ingredients ready

A close view of the patty

A close view of the dressed up baby

So, i was looking at my copy of the vegetarian times and saw some really yummy looking burgers and got inspired to make one. But, i wanted an indian burger with the taste of india and a total carb laden one, so no nutrella grains or some protein source which i usually add in to make it a balanced ?! meal ( i know burgers... balanced, what is wrong with me :)

The burger was so easy to make. Actually i was tempted to ignore the burger buns and head on the patty with some tomato ketchup, but again leaving out the bread would make the bread feel sad. So, i hardened my heart and let the bread in and join the fun!

Ingredients ( for 3 HUGE bugers)

Potatoes -4 cut in cubes
Carrots -2 cut in rounds
Peas -1/2 cup
Red Onion -1/2 diced
G.Chilly -4,diced
Garlic -2 pods,diced
Ginger - 4 thin slices, diced
Cilantro - 4tbls chopped
Bread Crumbs -1/4 cup ( optional)
Red Chilly Powder - 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder -1tsp
Turmeric Powder -1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds -1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil -1 tbls plus more for the burgers (i used 1 tbls per burger)

Tomatoes -1 cut in thick slices
Onion - 1/2 cut in thick slices
Pickled Cukes - 6 slices
Burger Buns -3
Napa Cabbage - 3leaves ( actually, i was out of romaine! lettuce, this was ok)
Ketchup and Green Chutney - as per taste


Presure cook the potatoes,carrots and peas with a little salt for 3 whistles.
When cooled, mash them really well and keep aside.

In a pan, add 1 tbls of oil, then add jeera, the garlic,green chilly and ginger. Fry this for a couple of minutes, then add the onions and fry well till light pink and translucent. Then add the red chilly powder,garam masala, turmeric powder and salt to taste, mix well, then add in the cilantro and the mashed potatoes. Switch the gas off, pour this on to a plate, add the bread crumbs ( if you are using them) and mix this mixture well.

Now, heat a sauce pan, and make big burgers of this mixture,add some oil and cook it on a medium flame till they are really well done. I like mine blackened a little, it is up to you, on the amount of doneness you prefer.
Now toast the burger buns, spread the green chutney on the bottom, lay the cabbage/lettuce leaf on then, place the burger on top, arrange on the tomato,onion and cuke then spread the ketchup generously on the top bun and place it on the burger.

Now carry this burger on to the family room,switch on your favorite TV show and eat up with your favorite beverage, in my case ice-cold water! ( i know... what a health freak ;)


Potato Salad

I love Potatoes and i feel that they are given a bad rap and termed as unhealthy and bad for you. In my opinion, the way it is cooked makes a difference on it being healthy and a good source of carb or a phenominal source of fat ;). This potato salad though american in name is full of mediterranean flavors. I love mediterranean food esp. middle eastern food and i think this salad really packs in a punch for me. This is my submission to the Picnic Food Recipe event hosted by Anupama


Potatoes - 6 medium (remove skin)
Red Onion - 1 small
Cucumber - 1 meduim
Corn -1 cup or 2 ears of corn
Peppers -1 ( i used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange for color)
Capers - 1 tsp. liquid drained (optional)


Fresh Lime Juice - 2tbls
Garlic - 1 clove
Dijon Mustard - 1tbls
Salt and Pepper - 1/2 tsp each
Olive Oil - 3 tbls
Rosemary -1/2 a stalk if using fresh, or 1 tsp. of dried herb


Combine all the ingrediets for the dressing except olive oil and whisk well. Stream in the olive oil to the dressing while whisking it continuously. The dressing will be well combined. Make this dressing in the bowl in which you are planning to assemble the salad.
Boil the potatoes in salted water and cook till they are done and a little firm, not mushy. This is important, as the potatoes are the base of the salad. Drain the potatoes and let them cool.

When the potato is being boiled, assemble the rest. Dice the bell peppers, slice the onions thinly, cut the cucumber lengthwise then remove all the seeds using the help of a spoon to scoop it out and dice them too.Drop all these into the dressing.Now add the corn and the capers and mix it well into the dressing. Add the cooled potatoes to the dressing and serve rightaway or you can refrigerate this and eat it when you feel like having a snack. Keeping the picnic theme in mind, you can pack these in individual tupperwares and carry them to where you are off to relax and have fun. The salad improves in taste the longer it sits in the dressing, so can be prepared a day ahead!