Welcome Baby -- Baby Cake

I made this Welcome Baby Cake for a friend who delivered a baby girl last month.

It's a Vanilla cake covered and decorated in Fondant.

Baby Face
Baby Feet, Diaper and Belly Button :-D
The baby accents are edible and made in fondant too.
Baby toy

Baby Blocks

Before I showed this cake to my friend I told her she would have to cut it after seeing the cake, because I had a feeling she would say this is too cute to cut. Well I don't blamer her for saying that, coz after this cake was done, I felt the same! :)

I'm glad I did this one, with every cake I just learn a little bit more.

Chickpea Burgers

This recipe came into being when I was all set to make Black bean burgers, and later realized I was out of black beans!! I decided to make the burgers with Chickpeas and see how they turn out. And the result was lip smacking good.

You will need:

2 (16 oz) cans Chickpeas, drained
½ cup Green Bell pepper diced
½ cup Yellow onion diced
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 Egg (optional)
½ cup Bread crumbs (plain)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp Olive oil

Non-stick spray
8 Burger buns
Slices of Tomato
Slices of Cucumber
Slices of Sharp Cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, mash the chickpeas. To this add the bell pepper, onions, chilli powder, salt, pepper, egg, bread crumbs and the olive oil. Combine and shape into eight ½ inch thick patties.

Heat a grill pan. If you don't have one use a regular flat non-stick pan. Spray oil. Place two patties at a time and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. When both the sides are done, place a slice of cheddar on top, while the burgers are on the grill. Remove just before the cheese melts completely. Place on toasted bun halves, top with a few slices each of tomato and cucumber. Place other bun half on top and serve alongside fries or potato chips. You can use a toothpick to keep all the layers in place between the bun.

Note: If you are not using the egg, then use more of the breadcrumbs to make sure the mixture holds and doesn't break apart in the pan.

You can also use mayo or any spread on the toasted bun halves before assembling to add more flavour. I have used garlic mayo.

Dig in! :D


I've received a few awards and have been unable to acknowledge them on my blog all this while, apologies to all the award givers!

Thanks to each of you for considering my blog as well as me, worthy of these awards:

Rockin' Girl Award:

Thanks to dear Kalai and Meera for this award.

You Make My Day Award:

Thanks Madhavi for this one!

Yummy Blog Award:
Thanks Amrutha for this award. I'm glad you think my blog is Yummy :)

Beautiful Site Award & 2008 Best Blog Darts Thinker:

Thanks Bhawana!

Brillante Blog Award:

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.

I pass this to every blogger out there, who blogs to make their blog brilliant in their own unique way :)

Thanks Easy Crafts :)

Aloo Parathas

Aloo Parathas need no introduction. They are tasty and not all that hard to make. Well, yes the stuffing and rolling takes time and a little deftness, but its something anyone can learn to do.

There are different versions of this Paratha. The filling is made to suit taste and there are hundreds ways to make the same filling. This is one version.

You will need:
For the outer layer:

2 Cups Wheat Flour
2 Tsp Oil
Warm water as required
½ tsp Salt

For the filling:

3 Potatoes, boiled and grated
½ tsp Lemon juice
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Carrot, grated
1 tsp Red chilli powder
¼ tsp Garam masala powder
½ tsp Cumin powder
¼ tsp Tumeric powder
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
3 tbsp Oil

Take wheat flour in a medium bowl. Add salt and oil. Stir to combine. Now slowly add warm water to make a soft smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky, so add water only as needed. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till fragrant. Now add the turmeric, garam masala powder, chilli powder and cumin powder. Saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the grated carrot and season with salt. Cook till the carrot is done. Add the grated potato, lemon juice and chopped coriander and stir to combine. Turn off heat and let mixture cool.

Knead the dough and divide into golf sized balls. Roll out each ball into a 3 inch round. Place 2 tbsps of the filling, in the centre of the rolled dough. Bring up sides of the round over the filling to make a closed bag. Dredge in wheat flour and roll out gently into a 6-inch round.

Heat a pan and toast the paratha on both sides, on medium heat. Use ghee to roast if required. Serve hot with choice of pickle and yoghurt.

Chayote Squash Kooru (Sambar)

I'm back after what seemed like a never ending break from blogging. The past weeks have been crazy with guests at home, attending a wedding in Cleveland and then more guests. Every time I logged into my reader and looked at other blog posts I would feel guilty for being unable to update my blog. Well finally the jinx has broken and I am back!

Chayote Squash (Seemebadnekai) also known as Chow-Chow is a vegetable that belongs to the Gourd family. As a kid I detested this vegetable as much as I possibly could much to the dismay of my grandmother who insisted we eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. I soon grew to like it, and as far as I can remember, my granny was the one who used this veggie more often than my mom. So there was no escaping this veggie esp in summers when we were over at granny's.

I learned to cook with this vegetable after I got married and discovered that one of hubby's fav sambars was the one with Chayote Squash. This is my mother in law's recipe.

Chayote Squash Kooru

You will need:

1 Cup Chayote squash, skinned and cubed
½ Cup Tuar Dal
1 tomato chopped
4 Cloves of garlic chopped (vary to suit taste)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
4 Green chillies slit
2 tsp Ghee
¼ tsp Asafoetida
½ Cup fresh coconut
2 tsp Poppy seeds (Khuskhus)

Soak the poppy seeds in hot water for 2 hours. Grind to a fine paste along with the fresh coconut.

Pressure cook the tuar dal, cubed squash, garlic and tomatoes with sufficient water. To this add the ground coconut paste and bring to a boil.

In a small pan heat ghee. Add the cumin seeds and when it begins to splutter add the green chillies and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds. Add to this boiling dal. Season with salt and serve hot with rice.

A weeknight meal in minutes!

Herbed Veggie Purses

Last Sunday we had friends over for dinner. Whenever we have people over, I make sure they have a dinner to remember. So every time I make a list of things to make, starting with appetizers and ending with Dessert. I wanted to make a new kind of appetizer, something tasty yet different I decided to make use of the puff pastry sheets lying in my freezer.

It was one of those days when I felt like eating something ‘herby’ (if that’s a word) definitely not Indian but something with different flavours. I couldn’t think of anything better than Italian herbs, but I couldn’t obviously feast on herbs alone (duh!), I had to put them in a dish. So I set about making these Herbed Veggie Purses.

You will need:

1 box Frozen Puff Pastry (2 sheets)
1 Green bell pepper, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Thyme
2 tsp Dried Red chilli flakes (vary to suit taste)
½ Cup Marinara sauce
Salt and pepper
2 tsp Oil

Thaw frozen puff pastry sheets. Preheat oven to 400F.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and sauté till half done. Now add the sliced bell pepper and sauté till the onions and peppers are cooked through. Now stir in the dried herbs and the red chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute more and turn off heat. Let mixture cool.

Once the sheets are thawed, remove them from packaging and spread out on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the sheet a little bit. Cut the entire sheet into 9 pieces. You should have 18 pieces from 2 sheets. Spread a tablespoon of marinara sauce on the sheet. Place a little of the filling in the centre of the pastry piece, and then scrunch the sheet to make a small bag. Seal any open sides with water.

Prepare the remaining pastry pieces and place on an ungreased baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve while still warm.

These purses were gone in minutes!!

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