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Friday, December 21, 2018

Carrot Dates Pudding Cake

Christmas is just around the corner and how are your preparations going, friends ?
Wishing all a Merry Christmas in advance !!!

Here Christmas vacations are starting from today for kids and they are super excited. We are leaving tomorrow to our native place and so will be away from this space for a week. I know many might be visiting parents and relatives from far and near and it's a great time of the year to get together followed by New year celebrations. How quick is the clock moving, ryt ? Its just like a blink of an eye and a school year comes to an end and that's life. And before the last minute preparations, if you haven't soaked dry fruits and nuts for making Kerala plum cake then this cake is a great alternative.

We aren't celebrating Christmas this year as H's dad passed away early this year. Time heals everything but the very feeling of a dearest does make a difference when it comes to esp celebrations. Last year he was with us for Christmas and that very feeling doesn't invite a celebration mood. Kids don't understand these feelings much and for them Christmas is cake time, Santa gifts and much more. For their sake, I  made plum cake to enjoy. However, wine preparations took a back seat this year and so do the other preparations other than cake.Coming back to today's post this cake is a pudding type cake that is sticky at the top and moist inside. I have already posted a carrot cake recipe earlier but this cake is entirely different from that cake in tastes and texture. These days this pudding cakes are on sale just like plum cakes during this season. Last year I tried one of those carrot dates in the market and loved it. That's how I ended up baking this cake and am happy that I tried. I have already made this cake 3-4 times and last time I happened to take it home too. My cousins and parents just loved the cake. I thought to share this cake recipe before I move out on vacations and am glad I could make it.So if you are trying to bake something special this Christmas or wanna try a different cake other than Kerala plum cake(Christmas Fruit Cake) then this is a right choice. This is a butterless cake, so calorie conscious can also give this a try !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 35 minutes
Serves ~ 8*8 cake
Author ~ Julie

all purpose flour (maida) 1 cup
baking soda 3/4 tsp
salt a pinch
sugar 2/3 - 3/4 cup(10-12 tbsp)

wet ingredients
eggs 2
oil (any neutral oil like sunflower,vegetable ) 1/2 cup
milk 2 tbsp
carrots grated 1 cup
dates chopped 1 cup
cashews chopped 2 tbsp
almonds chopped 2 tbsp
vanilla essence 1 tsp

to prepare caramel
sugar 1/2 cup
water 1/4 cup


  • Sift the flour with baking soda and salt twice. Keep aside. Peel and grate the carrots, chop the dates after de seed, cashews and almonds chopped, leave aside.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
  • Prepare the caramel by heating sugar in a pan. Wait till the sugar dissolves and starts to caramel. Switch off flame when sugar is dissolved completely and turns golden brown. Add 2tbsp (1/4 cup)water to this and mix well( the caramel will be very hot,so be careful not to get burns).
  • Beat the eggs with sugar using a beater or blender. The sugar should dissolve completely or powder the sugar and use( I have used 2/3 cup sugar only but you can go up to 3/4 cup). 

  • Add the oil to the egg- sugar mixture. The mix may look creamy now. Add in the vanilla essence and milk.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mix in three batches until incorporated well. Add in the grated carrots, chopped dates. Mix well( the batter may look watery unlike the other cakes but don't worry, the cake sets as it bakes). Add in the caramel and mix well.

  • Pour the mixture in a 8*8 prepared tray and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes(mine got done at 35 minutes).

  • Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. Cut and serve once its cooled (the top of the cake is sticky and the inside is moist so the cake can't be cut in clean slices).

* The amount of sugar in the recipe was 3/4 th cup but I have reduced to 2/3 rd cup and that went perfect for my family as it has carrots and dates(both have sugar in it).
* I have adapted the recipe from here and the recipe uses cashews alone. I have used both cashews and almonds. You can use cashews or almonds alone.
* The cake batter may look watery but don't worry the cake sets in as it bakes.

* Dates Cake (Eggless)
* Banana Dates Walnut Cake
* Carrot Cake

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Mulaku Bajji Nirachathu | Stuffed Mirchi Bajji (Step by Step Pics)

Nalumani palaharam (Tea time snacks) is a must especially on weekends when all are at home. These days acchappam or kuzhalappammadura seva / murukku like fried goodies don't incite much interest in my family and their demand is for some filling snack like kozhukatta or ada or chats. But every other day the same things don't work good and am in search of more interesting snacks along with the regular ones. Then one day, H saw the bajji chilli in the super market and brought home. Here we don't generally find these chillies always and so hardly I prepare these at home. Long back, I had posted the plain mirchi (mulaku) bajji which doesn't have a filling. This time I prepared these with a filling which I liked more than the plain ones. My mom always remember the filled mulaku bajji she used to devour during her stay at Jodhpur. She misses having these north Indian snacks at times so do I. These are quite simple to make like pakoras and can be enjoyed with a dash of ketch up. Do try these ones !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 7 bajji
Author ~ Julie
banana pepper / bajji pepper 6-7
curd / tamarind pulp 2 tbsp
oil to deep fry

for stuffing
potato / urulakizhangu 4 medium sized,boiled and mashed
onion a small size, fine chopped
chilly powder/ mulaku podi 1/2 tsp
coriander powder / malli podi 1/4 tsp
amchur powder /dry mango powder 1/2 tsp
roasted cumin powder / jeerakam podi 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
cilantro /coriander leaves chopped 1 tbsp

for covering
besan / kadalamavu 3/4 cup
rice flour / ari podi 1/4 cup
chilly powder / mulaku podi 1/2 tsp
ajwain / carom seeds/ ayamodakam 1/2 tsp
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
baking soda a pinch (optional)


  • Wash the banana pepper or bajji mulaku under running water. Then slit open the chilly(retain the stalk) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (don't use hands as it may irritate the skin and feel burning sensation). Drop the chillies in a bowl of water with added curd/yogurt /tamarind pulp and leave soaked for 15 minutes( this is an optional step but it reduces the spices considerably).

  • Heat a pressure cooker and add the potatoes,salt and turmeric powder for three whistles. Once the pressure is released, remove and mash the potatoes well. To this add the chopped onions, chilly powder, amchur powder, roasted cumin powder, cilantro chopped and salt. Combine this mixture well and keep aside.

  • In another bowl, mix the besan(kadalamavu), ajwain seeds,chilly powder, kayam podi(asafoetida) and salt. Make a thick paste by adding water little by little(don't make the paste very watery else the chillies may not coat properly.
  • Now, carefully remove the soaked chillies,wash under running water(drain the water completely else the filling may become watery when filled). Spoon each chilly with the potato mixture to fill completely. Keep aside.

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai and wait till its hot enough to slide in the chillies. In the meantime, add the pinch of baking soda to the kadalamavu(besan ) batter. Mix well. Drop each filled chilly in the batter. Coat all the surfaces nicely and then drop the chillies one by one to the hot oil. Lower flame to medium so that the chillies get cooked properly on all sides. Drain using a slotted spoon once the chillies turn golden brown. Place on a paper towel for 3  minutes and gently move to a serving plate. Serve hot with tomato ketchup and with a cup of garam chai(tea).
  • Repeat the above step till you finish frying all chillies. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot.

* Besan tends to form gas and cause acidity. Adding ajwain or ayamodkam reduces the chance of acidity, you may or may not add depending on personal preference.
* I have gone low on chilly powder as kids don't eat very spicy but you may add more if you like it spicy.
* You can skip ading the chillies in tamarind or curd if you don't wish to lose the spiciness.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Baby Corn Stir Fry ~ Side Dish

When you have two contrasting foodies (esp kids) at home and each having a unique taste then the real hard work of mom is to please each one in her own way. My elder one loves 'erivum puliyum' or rather chatpata flavors at the most and younger one loves sweet flavors the most. However the younger chap also loves bitter gourd which is all the way contradicting(still cracking heads to understand his tastebuds). When it comes to packing food for lunch,each has a new menu ready satisfying to their tastes. However, I do make a balance in their menu and wrap up my own variations to please both. They both unanimously nod a 'yes' to very few recipes and this baby corn stir fry is one such healthy recipe. Now, that its lent time for Kerala Christians and I think many may be in a hunt for vegetarian recipes. So,this may be a yummy side dish for one of these nombu (lent) days.

Baby corns are easy to cook and there are a number of dishes that can be prepared in no time with this versatile vegetable. I had earlier posted baby corn butter masala which pairs perfectly with chapathis/rotis / naan. Baby corn 65 is another simple appetizer and tastes yumm when served hot. This is yet another simple and healthy stir fry that can be prepared in a jiffy. Do check this out !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 2-3
Author ~ Julie
baby corn 15
onion 1 medium sized; chopped fine
tomato 1 small
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
perinjeerakam / fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
coconut oil 1tbsp + 1 tsp

  • Wash the baby corn under running water ,drain and keep aside (don't leave the baby corns in water as they tend to soak up water).
  • Cut in small roundels after snipping off the top and bottom portions lightly. Add the chopped tomato in a blender and blend till smooth.Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot add perinjeerakam(fennel seeds), let it sizzle. Add in ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell disappears. Transfer the fine chopped onions and saute lightly browned(add a pinch of salt to speed up the process). Then add the spice powders on low flame and then add tomato pureed. 

  • Give a quick mix and saute till the tomato paste is well cooked and the gravy is thickened. Add in the cut baby corn and salt, give a quick mix. 

  • Lower flame on low and cook covered for 7-8 mins, in between give a stir just to ensure there is even cooking. Open the lid and add in a tsp of oil. Increase flame to high and dry up the moisture left behind and the masala is well coated with the baby corns.
  • Switch off flame and serve warm with rice.

Baby Corn Butter Masala
Baby Corn 65

If you're looking for more vegetarian curry type dishes esp Kerala style,then here is the link-
Kerala Veg Curry(Ozhichu Curry)

Passion Fruit Lemonade

How do you quench the thirst on a hot summer day? I prefer to sip a lemonade to calm down the heat or sip a sambaram/ pachamoru (spiced butter milk) which perfectly eases the thirst. These are natural cooling foods that you can easily give a try and you regain the energy instantly. Watermelon and cucumbers also can be added to cool your body. Kids love lemonade better than sambaram but H likes sambaram over lemonade. Lemonades can be made by adding a variety of fruits or with simple lemon alone. I try out with different flavors of lemonade at home as kids also prefer to try out varied tastes and flavours.Passion fruit lemonade is one such experimentation which all liked because of the vitamin C packed tangy flavors at te first instance and the added crunch of the seeds too. If you are a person who don't prefer that added crunch of seeds in the lemonade then you can blender the pulp in a blender,strain and discard the seeds. This is a simple lemonade but I truly love the color of this lemonade.

Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Serves ~ 4 glasses
Author ~ Julie

passion fruit 6 or pulp 1/2 cup
lemon juice 1/4 cup or 3 lemon squeezed
sugar syrup 4 tbsp or more as per taste
water 2 glasses


  • To make sugar syrup: Dissolve (1 cup)sugar with (1 cup) water. Boil this mixture over low heat until the sugar is dissolved completely, Switch off flame and leave to cool. Refrigerate to cool or preserve for later.
  • Wash and cut the passion fruit in halves. Scoop out the pulp using a fork keeping in mind not to remove the white thread like strings attached to the pulp. Remove in a glass or jar and beat/mash lightly using a fork(Its better not to use the mixer to mash the passion fruit pulp as the seeds gets ground or incase if you wish to use the blender,then just pulse once or twice).
  • Mix the sugar syrup with the passion fruit pulp well and enjoy with ice cubes or just like that or chilled.

* You can use make bigger batches of sugar syrup to make more lemonade in the ratio of sugar and water 1:1.

Related Posts
* Passion Fruit Juice
* Mango Lemonade

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Mysore Masala Dosa (Step by Step Pics)

Masala dosa in itself is a delicacy,right ? How about trying a special type of masala dosa made with a special chutney which adds flavor. Yes, that's Mysore Masala Dosa and I was long waiting to try this out at home. Masala dosas are easy to prepare at home when you have the filling and batte ready at hand otherwise it looks a lengthy process to make. H is a big fan of masala dosas. But when it comes to make masala dosa at home, H says its easily available in restaurants and he names quite a few which serves the best masala dosas in town. I too think for a while whether to put an extra effort to make masala dosa. However, these days H hardly talks about any good restaurants that serves good masala dosas. And so one in a while, I make them at home during weekends. I hardly find time for a masala dosa breakfast on weekdays and am sure many of my readers would agree to that too.

Watch the YouTube #shorts on the mysore masala dosa.

Mysore masala dosas are made thick spread unlike regular masala dosas but the cover turns crisp as it gets cooked and soft inside. The chutney made with red dry chilies,shallots, garlic, tamarind and coconut adds the special flavor to the dosas along with the potato filling. I usually don't add broken cashews to regular masala dosas but whereas in the Mysore masala dosas they add that extra crunch.Do try this out if you are a vivid fan of masala dosas. Also check out the links below if you love any of the dosa varieties.

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 10 dosa
Author ~ Julie

*dosa batter 2 cups
salt a pinch

for filling
potato 4 boiled,mashed
onion 2 medium sized,chopped
mustard 1/2 tsp
jeera 1/4 tsp
green chillies 2-3
ginger chopped 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
chana dal 1tsp
cashews 10
curry leaves a sprig
oil 2 tbsp
salt to taste
cilantro /coriander leaves 2 tbsp

for red chutney
chana dal 2 tbsp
red chillies 2-3
shallots 8-10
garlic cloves 4-5
grated coconut 2 tbsp
tamarind small piece


  • Follow the recipe link here to prepare the dosa batter. Ferment the batter and keep ready by adding salt.


  • Wash and boil the potatoes in a cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt  till 3 whistles. Open the lid of cooker once pressure releases, peel the skin of potatoes and mash the potatoes nicely.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add the jeera,cashews and chana dal. Fry the cashews lightly and slide in the onions,curry leaves. Saute lightly till onions turn soft.

  • Add in the turmeric powder and asafoetida powder (kayam podi).
  • Toss in the mashed potatoes,give a quick mix. Adjust salt and combine well.
  • Finally add in chopped coriander leaves.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add red dry chillies and chana dal. Fry them lightly and add in the shallots,garlic, saute for a while. Switch off flame and cool.

  • Once cooled,add to a blender jar and add in the grated coconut and tamarind. Add very little water if needed,the chutney should be thick and spreadable.
  • Heat a non stick pan or iron griddle(I use iron griddle) . When it is hot, pour a ladleful of batter  and spread the batter( the mysore masala dosa is crisp outside and thick soft inside). So don't spread the batter very thin like regular masala dosa. Add in oil/ ghee on top (optional step), once the top looks cooked. Add in the red chutney and spread generously.

* You can prepare the red chutney earlier and keep ready.
*  This same filling can be used to prepare regular masala dosa too without the addition of red chutney.
* This recipe for filling and chutney is adapted from here and modified slightly as per tastes.

If you are interested in trying few other recipes with dosa batter,check out below -
* Masala Dosa
Chicken Masala Dosa
Sweet Berry Dosa
Crimson Dosa
Ghee Roast Dosa
Dosa Waffles
* Dosizza
Potato Stuffed Paniyaram
Omelette Dosa

 More varieties of dosa with different millets and pulses-
Ragi Dosa
Whole green Gram Dosa (Pesarattu)
Barley Dosa

Monday, December 03, 2018

Tutty Fruity Cookies (Eggless) | Christmas Cookies (Step by Step Pics)

Its already December, the last month of 2018. I know have been away from this space for quite sometime and have some usual excuses of not making it here too. Frankly speaking, I was busy with so many things  that the only space that I could attend later was my little blog and so decided to stay away. Hope I try posting regularly now and I just can't believe how time flew so fast,its like a few months back I wished all Happy New Year and now its time for another new year very soon. I only sense this or do you also feel that this year is wrapping up so soon?
December marks the most important festivity for us and that's Christmas. Christmas marks the red and green colors predominantly. How about making a cookie with tutty fruity? Good idea,right.. I made these eggless tutty fruity cookies.We observe a 25 day lent till Christmas and I feel these eggless cookies are best during this time.They are very crunchy and quite addictive. No one can munch just one,he loved every bit of this cookie and were insisting on making them again.  They have even made up a list of snacks to be prepared for this Christmas.

 The Christmas tree,Santa Claus and the ornaments,gifts are mostly dressed up in red and green and looks vibrant too. I love the red festive color, really creates a unique vibe of Christmas. Tutty fruity cookies are crunchy with tiny bites of tutty fruity in them.Love them with a cup of tea. Enjoy making them this Christmas and am sure kids will go mad over them.

Preparation time:  40 minutes
Baking time :20 minutes
Serves :30 cookies
Author : Julie
wheat flour 2 cups (250 gm)
corn flour 3 tbsp(45 gm)
baking powder 1 tsp(4 gms)
unsalted butter  10 tbsp(142 gms)
powdered sugar 2/3 cup
tutty fruity 1 cup
almonds,roughly chopped 2 tbsp
pineapple essence 1/3 tsp
cardamom powder 3/4 tsp
milk 5 tbsp

  • Powder the granulated sugar in a blender,measure and scoop out required quantity.Add this to the softened butter.Cream the butter and sugar until mixed well.
  • Sift the wheat flour,corn flour,baking powder,cardamom powder.Mix well.
  • Add the flours in the butter sugar mixture and mix until crumbled.Add a tbsp of milk each time and bring the dough together.Knead to a smooth dough.

  • Now divide the dough in two equal parts.Shape each part in a log(square shape of 6"* 1.5"*1.5") or make cylindrical shape.Refrigerate the two shaped logs tightly wrapped in cling wraps for half an hour.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F /180 degrees C and line two trays with parchment paper.
  • Open the cling wrap and cut each cookie in 1/4" thickness.Arrange them on trays.
  • Place in oven and bake for 18-20 mins or until sides are lightly browned and the under surface is light brown.
  • Cool on wire rack completely for 15-20 mins.Serve or store in air tight containers.

* Powdered sugar is not icing sugar.Just grind the granulated white sugar in a mixer to get powdered sugar.
* You can use roughly chopped cashews too.I just blend the blanched almonds to get the roughly chopped ones with some powdered sugar.
* You can use orange extract or vanilla extract too instead of pineapple essence.Pineapple adds a unique flavor to the cookies.
*Add milk as per required to bring the dough together.I used 5tbsp but you may require slightly less or more.

You may also like these-
Christmas Wreath Cookies
Eggless Almond Cookies
Coconut Cookies