Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Treats - Part I : Plum Cake

Its that time of the year, when you bake n bake until you drop, and that's exactly what I did :))

While in the US, I used to love the holiday season. Everywhere you go, you see christmas lights..switch on the radio, hear those wonderful chrismtas carols...switch on the tv (used to love watching food network shows during the holidays) - you see chefs baking cookies, cakes, pies, puddings and so on....I did miss that festive spirit here in bangalore.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Plum cake:


All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves powder - 1/4 tsp
Dry Ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Dates - 1/4 cup
Plum, Cherry, Cranberry, Tutti Frutti - 1/4 cup
Gold Rum - 1/4 cup(optional)
Cashewnuts(chopped) - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/4 pound/4 oz/1 stick
Sugar - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup (To make caramelized sugar)
Eggs - 3
Salt - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Almond extract - 1/4 tsp


Slice the dried fruits and coat them with 2 tbsp of flour. Mix the fruits with rum and keep this closed at room temperature for one day. Chop cashews and smear them with almond extract and keep them also closed for one day. Next day,sieve flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, cloves powder and dry ginger powder together. Add fruits, nuts to the flour and mix well.

Caramelizing sugar:

Use a heavy-bottom steel pot or saucepan with a handle. Place 1/4 cup sugar(distribute sugar in pan,not heaped) in the pot and add 2 tablespoon water. Turn the stove to high and place the pan on the stove and let it boil. Don’t stir the contents at all. As sugar melts and caramelizes, you may swirl the pan a bit once or twice. Within 7 -10 minutes, a cherry wood colored caramel forms. See that all sugar is melted completely.Remove the pan from the stove and very carefully add 1/4 cup HOT water to the caramel. Carefully hold the pan above the sink, and slowly add the water to avoid splashing. Stir the contents well . Keep aside to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar and until it is creamy. Add the egss, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and caramelized sugar to this and mix again. Add flour ,a little a time,to the batter and mix thoroughly.

Grease a pan and line with parchment paper. Pour batter till half the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 35-40 minutes. (please check after 30 minutes. Cooking time depends on the oven used and the depth of the pan)
Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. When cool, smear with 2 tsp of rum. Cover the cake completely with wax paper and then with aluminum foil. Keep in the refrigerator. Use after a week or two.

Serves 6

NOTE: The cake can be made without rum - it still tastes delicious with all the fruits and nuts.

Holiday Treats - Part II : Pistachio Almond Biscotti


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1 lemon zest
2 large eggs
2/3 cups slivered almonds
1/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1/4 tsp anise extract or 1 tbsp anise seeds


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and beat just until combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well. Add the anise extract and mix until combined. Add the nuts and mix with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a 12-inch-long log. Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until pale golden brown. Cool for about 30 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, cut the log on the diagonal into 1/2 -inch-thick slices. Place the biscotti cut side up on the lined baking sheet and bake for an additional 14 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store the biscotti in an airtight container.

Makes 30 cookies

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bread Pudding

This is a good recipe to make if you have lots of leftover bread at home. A good choice when entertaining a crowd as it can be prepared ahead of time.


8 bread slices with edges cut
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts(cashews,walnuts,raisins)

For custard:

1 tbsp custard powder dissolved in a tbsp of cold milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk


For the pudding:

Blend the sugar, milk, essence and egg in the blender to get a smooth liquid. Grease a rectangular deep pan with butter and place 4 slices of bread to cover the bottom. Sprinkle one tablespoon of the nuts on it. Now pour the blended egg/milk mixture on top of it. Place a second layer of the remaining 4 bread slices, sprinkle the remaining nuts and pour the remaining mixture on it. Bake it in a oven for about 35 minutes(approx,may vary depending on the oven) at 375 deg F till done.

When tested with a thin knife(toothpick), the knife(tothpick) should come out clean. Take it out and cool for 10 minutes.

For the custard:

Heat the sugar and milk. When sugar is dissolved completely, add the custard and keep stirring. When the mixture thickens, take it off the fire and let it cool for 10 minutes. Pour this custard mixture on top of the baked dish and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Cut it into slices and serve.

Serves 4

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Semolina Burfi (Rave Burfi)


1/4 cup semolina or fine rava(chiroti rava)
1/4 cup ghee
1/4 cup powdered cashews
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
saffron strands(optional)


Mix all the ingredients except cardamom powder, in a pan. Cook on medium high heat until the mixture comes together like a ball, without sticking to the pan. Swtich off the heat and add the cardamom powder. Spread on a greased plate and allow to cool. Cut into pieces and serve.

Makes 10-12 pieces

NOTE: Cashews can be substituted with almonds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deepavali Special - Paneer Burfi, Kaju Burfi & Paneer Pista Rolls

Deepavali was just around the corner. I was looking to make something new that was quick and tasty. Found two recipes - Paneer Burfi and Paneer Pista Rolls. Both the recipes have similar ingredients, and you can make them in a jiffy. Since my kids love kaju burfi, I decided to make some of those. I have posted the recipe for kaju burfi in my older posts.

Wishing you all a happy and fun filled deepavali!

Paneer Burfi:


200 gms(7 oz) crumbled paneer/cottage cheese
3 tbsp crumbled fresh khoya/mawa
5-6 tbsp powdered sugar
2-3 drops yellow food color(optional)
1-2 drops rose essence


Mix all the ingredients except the yellow color in a bowl, knead it till the mixture becomes smooth. Add a tbsp of water if required. Divide this mixture into 2 equal portions. Add yellow colour to one portion and mix well. Keep aside. Spread the white mixture on a greased plate. Spread the remaining yellow coloured mixture over the white coloured mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and just before serving cut into pieces.

Serves 4

NOTE: You can also add almond extract instead of rose essence and garnish with slivered almonds. Adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste. I prefer it not too sweet, so added 5 tbsp of sugar.

Paneer Pista Rolls:


7(200 gms)oz crumbled paneer/cottage cheese
3 tbsp fresh khoya/mawa
6 tbsp/3 oz powdered sugar
4 tbsp roasted ground pistachios
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1-2 drops of rose/kewra essence(optional)
finely chopped or powdered pistachios for garnish


Knead the paneer, khoya and sugar very well until smooth. Add the ground pistachios, cardamom powder and essence. Shape the paneer dough into small rolls. Roll into chopped nuts and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Serves 4

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bread Basundi

I saw this recipe on television and gave it a try. It uses very few ingredients and is a good way of using leftover bread.


~5-6 slices of bread(1 1/4 cup bread crumbs)
1 cup milk
1/2 tin condensed milk(14oz tin)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
sliced almonds (optional)for garnish
1 tbsp ghee

Blend the bread into a coarse powder and keep aside. Heat milk until warm. Heat ghee, add the bread powder and fry until golden brown. Add this to warm milk and mix well. Add the condensed milk. Turn off the heat, add the cardamom powder and allow to cool. Garnish with almonds.

Serves 4

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Banana Halwa

Hi all,

Greetings from Bangalore! Its been close to three months since we moved, these last couple of weeks has been crazy. My kids started school and we are slowly settling into the routine. I finally managed to find some time for myself and couldn't wait to get back to my blog world.

A few days ago, I heard about this recipe from my aunt, tasted it and loved it. It is very similar to banana sajjige (popularly known as satyanarayana prasada)that we make, but uses wheat flour instead of rava/sooji. Easy to prepare, tastes good and makes a great quick snack for the kids.


1 cup wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup ghee
2 ripened bananas
cashews and raisins for garnish


Cut the bananas into thin slices and keep aside. Roast the wheat flour on a low flame until light golden brown. Roast the cashews until golden brown and keep aside. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour and mix well. Cook until the mixture comes together in a halwa like consistency. This takes around 10 minutes. Switch off the flame and serve warm.

Serves 5

NOTE: Bananas can either be sliced, cut into small pieces or mashed. The wheat flour has to be dry roasted on a low flame until you get a good aroma.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strawberry Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are usually prepared with a special pan called springform pan. But if you dont have one, you can make them with a normal cake pan. Just line the pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper, with ends of foil extending over the sides so its easier to lift the cheesecake.

My son turned 3 last week. He loves cheesecakes so I made this for his birthday. It is a very rich, moist decadent cake with strawberry jam on top.


3/4 cup honey graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp butter
3 pkg(8 oz each)cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam


HEAT oven to 325°F. Cover the outside of a springform pan with foil. Mix cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar and butter, press onto the bottom of pan. Bake for 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, flour and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over the crust. Heat 2 tbsp of jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds and stir well. Gently drop small spoonfuls of jam over batter, swirl with a knife.

BAKE 45-60 mins or until center is almost set. Its done when the center is still a bit wobbly when you tap the pan. It will set once cooled. Cool completely. Refrigerate for atleast 8 hours.

To remove the springform pan ring, take a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry and run it around the edges of the pan once and slowly unlock the pan. Serve as is, or spread the rest of the strawberry jam on top with a spatula. Cut into slices and serve!

Serves 6-8

NOTE: Before removing the cheesecake from the pan, it has to be CHILLED for atleast 8 hours. If using a normal cake pan, line the pan first with parchment paper/aluminium foil and then grease the bottom and sides of the pan well. By using low fat ingredients(low fat cream cheese and sour cream), you can cut the calories by half!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

White Chocolate Strawberry Bars


1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
toasted almonds
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Grease and sugar a square baking pan. Melt butter in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stire and add 1/4 cup morsels, do not stir.

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar, beat until light colored. Stir in morsel-butter mixture. Add flour, salt and extract. Mix at low speed until combined well. Spread 1/2 of the batter onto the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Heat jam in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spread jam over warm crust. Stir the rest of the morsels into the remaining batter. Drop the batter over the jam. Swirl with a knife. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes around 8 bars

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brownie Sundae

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts! They taste good just as is or make a sundae out of it, which is what I did! A warm brownie topped with ice cream and nuts, is just heavenly!



1/4 cup butter(1/2 stick)softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz chocolate syrup(I used Hersheys)
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts(optional)


Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the vanilla and chocolate syrup and mix well. Fold in half of the chocolate chips with a spatula until mixed. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Pour into a baking pan, top with the rest of the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Its done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool and cut into pieces.

Serves 8

To assemble the sundae:

Place a piece of brownie on a plate. Add one scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle caramel syrup, chocolate syrup and top with chopped walnuts.

NOTE: If you prefer a dense fudge like brownie, reduce the amount of butter and chocolate syrup in the recipe. The sundae tastes better with a warm brownie. Can use any combination of syrup/sauce/nuts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eggless Cake


Unsalted butter - 1 stick (At room temperature)
Condensed milk - 1 tin (14 oz)
Water or orange juice - 3/4 cup
Orange zest - 1 tsp
Plain yogurt - 5 tsp
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Chopped mixed nuts and raisins - 3/4 cup (optional)


Take a mixing bowl and mix in the butter and condensed milk. Mix well until the butter is blended. Add all the other ingredients and beat well until there are no lumps. Pour the batter onto a greased baking pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Serves 8

NOTE: For chocolate cake, add 4 tbsp of cocoa powder to the above recipe.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat buter, sugars, vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add egg and beat again. Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Drop by a rounded tablespoon or an icecream scoop onto a baking sheet. Press down each cookie with a spoon to flatten it a little.

This is what it looks like before baking:

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Bake for 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

NOTE: You can use any kind of chocolate chips(bittersweet,white,butterscotch,milk etc..). If you like a nice crunch, you can add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

Makes around 30 cookies

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sauteed banana with honey and nuts

This is a quick and easy dessert you can prepare in minutes! When I feel like eating something sweet, and dont want to spend too much time preparing it, this is what I think of. It uses simple ingredients, quite healthy and satisfies your sweet tooth! Can be relished on a hot summer day with some ice cream or with whipped cream, on a cold night.


1 banana sliced
1 tsp honey
chopped walnuts
1 scoop lite whipped cream(optional)
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream(optional)
1 tsp butter


Heat the butter on medium high heat. Swirl it around so the entire pan is coated. Add the honey and swirl once more. Add the sliced bananas, nuts and raisins. Saute for a minute on each side, until golden brown. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream or ice cream!

Serves 1

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Microwave Doodh Peda

This is one of the easiest desserts that you can make. And believe me, it cannot go wrong in terms of taste!


2/3 cup milk powder
1/4 cup butter
1 tin condensed milk
cardamom powder
pistachios/slivered almonds for garnish
A few saffron strands(optional)


In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter for 30 seconds. Add the milk powder and condensed milk and mix well. Microwave uncovered for 2 mins. Stir well, microwave again for another 2 mins. Stir once more, microwave in 1 min interval until you see the mixture thicken. It should have a crumbled texture but not browned at the bottom. Add the cardamom powder and allow the mixture to cool for atleast 30 mins. Make small balls, flatten it with the palm of your hand. Decorate using a fork/toothpick. Garnish with chopped pistachios.

Note: The above time is based on a 900W power. Mine took about 6 mins(2+2+1+1 min intervals). Use a deep microwaveable bowl so it doesnt overflow. After 4 mins, check every minute to make sure it doesnt burn. I used a flower shaped cookie cutter to get this pattern. I bought the mawa/milk powder from the indian store. But you can try the Carnation whole milk powder which is just as good.

Makes around 10 Pedas

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cranberry and Walnut Crostata

'Crostata' is an italian baked dessert very similar to a pie. It is generally prepared by folding the edges of the dough over the filling. Its not too sweet, and the walnuts give it a nice crunch. The recipe looks a bit complicated at first, but believe me, it is much simpler than it looks.


Walnut Crust Dough:

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp sugar(to sprinkle on crostata)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 toasted walnuts, finely chopped
2 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
egg white (to brush on the crostata)
1 1/2 tbsp ice water

Cranberry Walnut Filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder


Making the crust:
Mix the flour, sugar and salt in an electric mixer on low speed for 15 seconds. Add 3/4 of the roasted walnuts and mix for 15 seconds. Add the chilled butter and mix on low for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until the mixture becomes coarse. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the ice water. Add to the flour mixture and blend for 1 minute until you get a loose dough. Form a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours.

Preparing the filling:
Heat the heavy cream, sugar over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 6 mins until slightly thickened. Switch off the heat, add the cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembling and baking the crostata:
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place the rolled dough on a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour the cranberry walnut filling onto the center of the dough. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center. Refrigerate for 10 mins.

This is what it looks like before baking

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white. Brush the top of the crostata with the whisked egg. Sprinkle the reserved chopped walnuts over it. Sprinkle the remaining sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the crostata from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature. Serve warm with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream!

Sorry about the poor quality of this picture:) I was so eager to taste it, I forgot to get a good picture of the slice.

Serves 3

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blueberry Coffee Cake

I was skeptical when I first saw this recipe on food network, but decided to try it anyway. And I am glad I did! This is a lighter version of the traditional coffee cake. It uses very little butter, swaps sour cream for yogurt and uses a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour.

I did not have whole wheat pastry flour so tried with regular whole wheat flour. It is a moist cake, has half the calories of a typical cake and tastes yummy!


1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour/whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp butter(room temperature)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup fresh/frozen and thawed blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Spray a cake pan with cooking spray. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, walnuts and sugar. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and oil until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add the vanilla and yogurt and beat again. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be a little sticky.

Spread half of the batter into the cake pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture and add the blueberries and press gently. Spoon the rest of the batter, sprinkle the rest of the nut mixture pressing down. Bake for 30-35 mins. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness. When it comes out clean, the cake is done. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.

Makes about 6 servings.

NOTE: Cream the butter and sugar until it turns light in color. Make sure its mixed well before adding the egg. Add the flour mixture gradually and do not overmix. Once it comes together, use a spatula to combine everything. This way, the batter retains its air and you get a moist fluffy cake.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Special - Sandwich Cookies and Cheesecake Flan

Sandwich Cookies


1 refrigerated sugar cookie dough (I used the store-bought one)
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
4 tbsp confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp milk
Red crystals for garnish
2 heart shaped cookie cutters(big and small)


Sprinkle some flour on the surface and roll the cookie dough to 1/8th inch thick. Using a big heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many as you can from the dough. Place on a baking sheet. Cut smaller hearts from the big hearts and place the small hearts on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the red crystals on the small hearts. Follow the instructions on the packet and bake as directed. Cool on a wire rack.

Whisk the cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. It shouldnt be too watery. Spread a teaspoon of the filling onto the cooled big hearts and top it with the cutout heart cookie. Sprinkle red crytals onto the center of the filling. Use the rest of the filling to sandwich the small heart cookies.

Makes around 12 sandwich cookies.

Cheesecake Flan

'Flan' is a baked caramel custard typically made with eggs, cream or milk and vanilla. It is usually prepared in ramekins or moulds. It has a layer of caramelized sugar on the bottom and when these ramekins are inverted, the caramelized sugar is on the top. It is quite popular in spain and mexico.

I saw this recipe on food network a few months ago, and had to make them! The cream cheese gives it a rich taste and it literally melts in your mouth! One of my all time favorites!


1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
6 ounces cream cheese(room temperature)
6 ounces evaporated milk
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk(1/2 tin)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk(room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


You will need 10 ramekins/moulds or if you dont have one, you can use oven safe dessert bowls like I did. Since it was valentine's day, I decided to use a heart shaped cake pan for one and pyrex bowls for the rest of the flans.

Place the sugar and water in a pan on medium high heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and swirl the pan every minute until it turns to a golden reddish brown color. This usually takes b/w 10-12 minutes. Switch off the heat and divide the caramel into 10 ramekins and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 deg F. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with egg on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat well. Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk and vanilla extract and beat until everything is mixed well. Ladle the custard over the caramel into the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a deep baking dish in 2 rows. Pour hot water over the baking dish so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until set, about 30-35 mins. When you tap the ramekins, the custard should still wobble in the center.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to cool for atleast 2 hours. When ready to serve, run a thin knife around the edges to loosen the flan, and then invert onto a plate. The flan can be refrigerated upto 3 days.

Here's another picture(side view) of the flan:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gulpavate (wheat tambittu)


1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup powdered/grated jaggery
1/4 cup kobri(dry coconut)
3-4 tbsp ghee
cardamom powder
cashews, raisins


Fry cashews and raisins and keep aside. Roast the wheat flour in a little ghee until the raw smell disappears and it turns to a golden brown. Keep aside. In a pan, melt the jaggery with little water and make a thin consistency sugar syrup. This takes about 4 mins. Switch off the heat. Add the wheat flour, cashews, raisins, ghee, coconut and cardamom powder and mix well. Allow to cool a bit, and then shape into balls. Serve warm!

Note: Roast the flour on medium heat and keep stirring so it doesnt burn. Dont let the sugar syrup get too thick or else the balls will get hard. Switch off the heat once you add the flour. It tastes great when served warm!

Hesarittu Unde (Moong Laddoo)


1 cup hesarubele(yellow moong dal)
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp hot ghee
cardamom powder
1/4 cup kobri(dry coconut)
cashews and raisins


Roast the hesarubele with a little ghee until you get a good aroma. This takes about 10-12 mins. Roast the cashews and raisins and keep aside. Once the hesarubele cools, make a fine powder. Add the powdered sugar, cardamom powder, kobri, cashews and raisins and mix well. Now add the hot ghee little by little, and make balls out of it.

Note: Roast the hesarubele on medium heat so it doesnt turn brown fast. The key is to roast on a low flame so the raw smell disappears and it gets to a golden brown color gradually. If you roast too much, its gonna get bitter. When making balls, dont press too hard or else they will become hard.

Makes around 10 laddoos.

Gasgase Payasa


1/4 cup gasgase(khus-khus/poppy seeds)
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/4 cup kobri(dry coconut)
2 tbsp milk
Saffron strands(optional)
Cardamom powder


Fry gasgase until the raw smell is gone(~3-4 mins). Grind fried gasgase, coconut, kobri and milk to a fine paste. Melt jaggery in a pan, add saffron strands and paste and boil for about 5 mins. Switch off the heat, add cardamom powder. When ready to serve, add milk.

Variation: You can also add 6-7(soaked and peeled)almonds along with gasgase,coconut and kobri and make a paste. The almonds give it a nice rich taste!

Sunday, February 8, 2009



2 cups 2% milk
3 cups Half and Half
1 cup sugar
saffron strands
cardamom powder
chopped nuts


Combine milk and half and half in a non stick pan. Boil until it reduces to half the quantity. When it starts to get thick, add sugar and mix well. Once the sugar dissolves, add the saffron and mix again. When the mixture becomes thick, switch off the heat and add cardamom powder. Garnish with chopped nuts. Serve warm or cold!

Note: The original recipe calls for whole milk, but I used a combination of 2% milk and Half and Half and it came out delicious! I noticed that by using half and half, the recipe comes together much faster and cuts the cooking time in half!

Kaju Barfi


2 cups cashews whole
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp ghee
cardamom powder
saffron strands(optional)
silver varq/foil(optional)


Dry grind cashews to a fine powder. Place the powdered cashews, sugar, saffron in a non stick pan on medium heat. Keep stirring until a soft ball is formed. Switch off the heat, add cardamom powder and pour onto a greased plate. Place the silver foil while still hot. Cut into pieces once cooled.

Note: It doesnt take long to get to a soft ball/dough like consistency. Mine took about 12 mins. Allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Makes around 20 barfis.

Mysore Pak


1 cup besan
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups ghee
cardamom powder


Dry roast besan with 1 tbsp ghee until you get a good aroma. Keep aside. Make a thin consistency sugar syrup by boiling sugar and water. Add the besan, stirring continuously so there are no lumps. After a while, it will start to leave the sides of the pan. When its no longer sticking to the pan, you know its done. Switch off the heat, pour onto a greased plate. Let cool before cutting into pieces.

Makes around 30 big barfis.

Tip: The barfis taste much better if you use fresh hot homemade ghee.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kobbari Mithayi (Coconut Barfi)


2 cups shredded coconut (frozen/fresh)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 tbsp ghee
cardamom powder


Mix all of the above in a pan on medium high heat. Keep stirring continously for about 15 mins. When the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, switch off the heat. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Pour onto a greased plate. Let cool for a while before cutting into pieces.

Makes around 20 barfis.

Friday, February 6, 2009



1/2 cup sooji (fine rava)
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tbsp ghee
1 1/2 cup water
saffron strands


Roast rava until you get a good aroma (takes about 4-5 mins). Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. When the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium/med-high. Add little ghee, saffron strands, fried rava and cook covered for 3-4 mins. Add sugar, rest of the ghee and cook until sugar is dissolved. Then add the nuts and cardamom and switch off the heat.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seven Cups Barfi

My kids are a huge fan of barfis/pedas. This is one of those barfis that I make often.


1 cup besan
1 cup coconut (frozen/fresh)
1 cup ghee
1 cup milk
3 cups sugar
Cardamom powder(optional)


Mix all of the above (except cardamom powder) in a pan and place it on medium high heat. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps, after about 15 minutes or so, the entire thing comes together without sticking to the sides of the pan. Add the cardamom powder, switch off the heat and immediately pour on to a greased plate. Let it cool a bit before cutting into pieces. Allow to cool completely before serving.

These barfis can be stored at room temperature for a week.