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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Pull Me Up Cake | Eggless Devil's Food Cake (Step by Step Pics)

Baking has been my favourite piece of cooking, but I was always a little apprehensive on my frosting skills. However, when all were confined at home due to covid lockdown, many new home bakers popped up in Kerala and this gave me a confidence to try out my hands in frosting too. My kids gave me the extra boost to prepare their birthday cakes, and so I started to bake for our birthdays and am really enjoying the baking and frosting melas. And believe me, the cake tastes super yummy 😋 than store brought. The other advantages that I noticed is that we can always alter the amount of sugar that goes in a cake, and you definitely get to know the amount of sugar that adds up in each cake. I have baked the White Forest Cake,  Spanish Delight Cake(San Marcos Cake) and Vancho cake (recipe coming soon). 

My younger son's birthday was two weeks back and my H's was a week before that (both in September). I made the Vancho cake for H's birthday and pull me up cake for son's birthday. Both cakes came out perfect. Pull me up cake is a trending cake these days. The cake is layered with whipped cream and is covered snugly with a OHP sheet. Chocolate ganache is poured on top over the cake and this plastic sheet is pulled up to get a chocolate explosion all over. It's a very nice experience to enjoy the melted ganache flowing out through the sides and getting covered on the sides of the half frosted cake. My son totally loved the experience and was very happy, but at the same time was a little nervous before pulling up. Pull me up cake can be tried out for rasmalai cake or any other chocolate ganache type cake. I have made an eggless devil's food cake to layer with whipped cream but you can use any chocolate cake.This is a perfect chocolate bomb for all chocolate lovers and do give this a try for any specific occasions , enjoy !!!

 Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Baking time ~ 35 mins
Assembling ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 700 gms cake
for cake 
dry ingredients
maida /all-purpose flour 3/4 cup
cocoa powder 1/3 cup
baking powder 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp

wet ingredients
granulated white sugar 3/4 cup
milk 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
vinegar 1/2 tsp
curd 1/4 cup
oil 1/3 cup
vanilla 1/2 tsp

for sugar syrup
water 1 cup
granulated sugar 1/2 cup

for frosting
whipping cream 3/4 cup

for chocolate ganache
dark chocolate compound 200 gms
fresh cream 1 cup(240 ml)

for assembling
OHP sheet 2
cake board 1
dark chocolate chips 2 tbsp
white chocolate chips 2 tbsp 

  • Sift all the dry ingredients twice and keep aside. Mix milk and vinegar first, keep aside for 10 mins.
  • Mix oil and granulated sugar in a bowl, beat well. Add the yogurt, milk mixed with vinegar. Add vanilla essence and combine.


  • Line a 6’ cake pan with parchment paper and line the sides with oil and flour. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
  • Add the dry ingredient mix in three batches and combine well. The batter is of ribbon consistency and then pour this in the prepared cake tin.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes(mine took 35 mins to be precise). Remove cake from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert on a wire rack from pan to cool completely.
  • Pour the cream in a glass bowl and beat with a beater for 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks. Invert the bowl gently, and see if cream flows. If it stays, it's ready. Refrigerate by covering with a cling wrap or lid until use.

  • Heat the sugar and water in a pan. Boil till the sugar is dissolved completely.
  • Cut the cake in three equal layers using serrated knife. 
  • Place a dab of whipped cream on the cake board and place the first layer of the cake. Apply sugar syrup on the cake.
  • Then add the whipped cream frosting, add the dark chocolate chips. Place the second layer of cake, add sugar syrup.
  • Then place another layer of whipped cream frosting. Add in chocolate chips and finally place the top layer cake. Soak the syrup and place the frosting and chocolate chips. Refrigerate the cake till cutting.

  • Prepare the ganache half an hour before pouring in the cake.
  • Chop the dark chocolate compound in bite size pieces. 
  • Heat the cream in a bowl on medium heat. Don't wait to boil the cream, when 2 or 3 bubbles start appearing on the surface, remove from flame and pour over the chopped chocolate.
  • Wait for 5 minutes and then gently mix to get a smooth ganache. Keep mixing until all the chocolate is melted. Cool completely before pouring on top of the cake.
  • Stick two OHP sheets together and place around the cake. Place a cello tape and stick the ends.
  • Place the cake on a deep bowl or deep plate to collect the excess ganache if any flowing out once you pull the OHP sheet. Now pour the chocolate ganache on top of the frosted cake and add the decorations if using any. I added white chocolate chips, wafer sticks, silver pearls and cake topper. Wait till the cake is  pulled up to enjoy the magic of flowing ganache. Don't wait too long to pull the cake after pouring ganache as ganache may stick to the OHP sheet and may not pull well. Also, don't refrigerate after pouring the ganache. My kid loved to pull, and it did properly dribble all around the cake. Cut and enjoy the cake. Remaining can  be refrigerated in airtight bowls; and believe me, the cake tastes best the next day.
Here is a glimpse of the birthday boy with the pull me up cake experience 😊

* You can make any frosting cake this way, whichever uses ganache or rabdi in case of rasmalai cakes.
* Don't make the cake much in advance, as the cake gets moist as it sits in cling wrap and the top gets sticky. One day before is good enough.
* Please don't refrigerate after pouring the ganache. 

Enjoy the slice 😉

Few of my frosting creations that may be helpful for any occasions. Am not a pro in frosting, but you'll definitely get ideas -
* Fondant Cake




Monday, September 27, 2021

Chena Asthram | Yam Curry (Step by Step Pics)

Healthy foods and dishes are a comfort meal when served on a daily basis, that is what my family prefer mostly, though we cheat ourselves once in a while to enjoy the other way round too. There is no dearth of these underground roots, tubers, corms or rhizomes in Kerala which are mostly edible and most of the other parts like leaves, stem is also used of these veggies. Colocasia, yam, cassava(tapioca), cheru kizhangu(lesser yam), kachil(violet yam), arrowroot are to name a few. I love chembu astram and chembu mezhukuparetti that I prepare using colocasia. This yam curry is similar to chembu astram but here I have used tamarind extract instead of yogurt. You may even add yogurt, but I feel tamarind adds flavour in this curry. This curry is a delicious combo when served with steamed rice. This is quite simple to prepare as well, enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 6
Author ~ Julie
chena/ yam cubed pieces 2 1/4 cups
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

tamarind 1 lemon size 
grated coconut 1/2 cup
shallots 4
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

to temper
coconut oil 1 tbsp 
red dry chilly
curry leaves 2 sprigs
shallot sliced 2

  • Peel the skin of yam and cut in cube size pieces. Then wash the pieces under running water, please use a strainer to remove the pieces from water, else gives a bad irritation to sensitive hands and causes itching. I get it, so I always use a colander to drain the water or use a strainer to remove the pieces and put in a pan.
  • Add the pieces in enough water, add salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder. Cook covered on medium flame till the pieces looks nicely cooked but not to the level that pieces gets mashed. The pieces should be cooked enough such that when you squeeze a piece in your fingers it should be soft.

  • In the meantime, grind the coconut, cumin seeds and shallots to a smooth paste(see first pic). Soak the tamarind in enough water to squeeze out the pulp.
  • Add the ground mix with enough water, adjust salt if needed. Add the tamarind juice after extracting. Simmer over low flame for another 2 minutes and then enjoy.

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Splutter mustard, then add the red dry chillies and curry leaves. Add the sliced shallots and sauté until lightly browned. Pour this mix over the curry. Keep covered for 10 minutes and then mix, serve warm with steamed rice.
* You can add yogurt instead of tamarind extract too.

* Chembu Astram

Monday, September 20, 2021

Chakka Podi Puttu | Steamed Raw Jackfruit Powder Puttu

When you wish to reduce your carb load, yet would like to enjoy the traditional Kerala breakfast, then try these low-carb options. I have already shared the recipes of preserving raw jackfruit by sun drying the pieces and storing to powder, use this Raw Jackfruit powder in different recipes. It's good for diabetics to reduce the glycaemic load, and it also has more soluble fibres, thereby reducing the cholesterol. Raw jackfruit has many other benefits too, as it prevents colon cancer says research, and is a low acid veggie.

I have already shared a few recipes that I gave a try using this podi and today's recipe is yet another healthy alternative to malayalis favourite breakfast. I tried making puttu with the raw jackfruit powder and came out really soft and yum. These days I have been making frequently as I have a good pack of raw jackfruit well-preserved at home. The preserve should get over before the next season to make a new batch. You can prepare this puttu using raw jackfruit powder alone, but adding a little puttu podi gives a lighter feel as puttu podi is a little coarsely powdered than the raw jackfruit powder. If you don't have homemade raw jackfruit preserve or powder, we do get raw jackfruit powder in supermarkets under different brand names. You can even try using that and make puttu. Enjoy this puttu with kadala curry or ripe bananas.

Check out more jackfruit powder recipes
1. Chakka Podi Idli 

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Serves ~ 1 kutti puttu
Author ~ Julie
chakka podi 1 cup
rice flour or puttu podi 1/3 cup
salt to taste
grated coconut 1/2 cup

  • Mix both the flours and add salt. Pour water little by little to wet the flour like coarse bread crumbs. When you press the dough in your palms, it should hold shape.
  • Add enough water in a cooker and cover the lid. Place on flame without weight.
  • Then in a mould, add the grated coconut then add the flour mix alternating till you reach the top. Finally, add grated coconut to finish filling the mould.
  • Place the mould over the cooker without weight. Steam cook for 4-5 minutes or till the steam seeps up in the puttu maker for a few minutes and is ready.
  • Remove from the mould to a plate and serve warm with bananas or kadala curry or fish molly.


Friday, September 17, 2021

Karachi Fruit Biscuits (Step by Step Pics)

Karachi bakery biscuits is a famous India cookies from Hyderabad's Karachi Bakery. Years ago, when dad visited Hyderabad on an official tour had brought a pack of Karachi biscuits as that was the famous item then. That's the first time I remember munching these addictive, famous cookies. Those days edibles famous in a place is only sold at that particular region and so had to be procured from that place to enjoy.  But now, all these edibles are sold at every place and can be enjoyed anytime, unlike earlier. Then, when we used to get these cookies from the Indian stores in US. Gradually I started making these simple biscuits at home as tutty fruity and custard powder is easily available here. Kids love these biscuits a lot and I have already posted a similar version -Eggless Tutty Fruity Cookies too. The vanilla custard powder adds a nice yellow colour to these biscuits which can be replaced with corn starch too, but the colour will be missing. Rose essence/ cardamom powder / pineapple essence can be added to give that fruity flavour. Adding baking powder is truly optional in this recipe, but make sure the butter and sugar is creamed together until light and fluffy. Don't over do this process else the cookies will be chewy kind and not crunchy. Baking powder gives the stability to make the cookies light and crunchy. Do give this a try and enjoy with chai(tea).

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Refrigeration time ~ 30 minutes- 1 hour
Baking time ~ 13-18 minutes
Author ~ Julie
all-purpose flour / maida 1.5 cups
vanilla custard powder 8 tbsp or 1/2 cup
baking powder 1/2 tsp
salt a pitch 
soft unsalted butter 100 gms or 1/2 cup
powdered sugar 1 cup
pineapple essence / rose essence 1 tsp
tutty fruity 1/2 cup
cashews chopped 1/4 cup 
milk 3-4 tbsp


  • The  butter should be at room temperature but not over soft or very cold. If using salted butter, omit adding salt in the flour mix.
  • Sift the flour, custard powder, baking powder and salt twice. Keep aside.

  • Add the powdered sugar to the soft butter and cream together with a whisk until pale and light(don't over beat, else the cookies turn soft and not crunchy). To this add the pineapple essence or rose essence. Add the chopped cashews and tutty fruity. Mix well.
  • Finally, add in the flour mix in three batches and add the milk in between. Don't knead the dough long, and just bring the dough together. You may need 3-4 tbsp of milk or less, so add little by little and use till the dough comes together.
  • Divide the dough in two and shape the dough in log form. Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for a period of minimum 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degreees F or 180 degrees C.
  • Remove room fridge and cut the log in 1/4' thick pieces. Place on a parchment sheet lined tray. Space and keep as the cookies expand as it bakes. Leave atleast 1' space, I left a little less and so the cookies started touching each other once baked.

  • Place and bake in preheated oven for 13-18 minutes. Keep checking after 13 minutes as the bottom of the cookies turn brown faster.
  • The center of the cookies are soft when touched immediately after bake. Leave to cool completely to enjoy the crunchy cookies. Enjoy with a cup of black tea.

* You may leave out the addition of baking powder but adding gives that crunchy effect as the air pockets are nicely puffed up and stays firm
*These cookies are soft immediately after bake. Let it cool completely on a wire rack and then becomes crunchy.
* You can reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup, as the cookies in this measure are moderately sweet, just like the store brought.
* You can use corn starch instead of custard powder, but then the yellow colour goes missing. In that case, you may have to add a pinch of yellow food colour too.


Monday, September 13, 2021

Mushroom Tikka (Step by Step Pics)

Mushrooms are a rich source of B vitamins and are a powerful antioxidants like selenium, which help the body cells from damage. They are very low in calories and is a source of protein. The button mushrooms are mildly flavoured. We love mushrooms and so keep trying variations in recipes too. This time I tried out the tikka recipe with mushrooms. Came out superb and this can be served as a perfect appetizer. Tikka is nothing but small pieces of marinated meat, paneer or fish skewered to a skewer and baked in a tandoor. But these days people have started trying these out in oven as well and so it's kinda easy to prepare anytime. The marination ingredients include spices and yogurt. I have already posted chicken tikka and Special Fish Tikka, do check that out too if interested. Mushroom tikka is so easy to put together but the only care to be taken is when skewering as the stem tends to break easily as it's soft and delicate. Give this a try if you are looking for some good appetizer recipes and do let me know too.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Marination time ~ 30 minutes -8 hours
Baking time ~ 25 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 12-15 mushroom tikka or 4 sticks 
button Mushroom 200g
kashmiri chilly powder 1 tbsp
hot chilli powder 1 tsp
coriander powder 1 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
cumin powder 1/2 tsp
thick yogurt 1/2 cup
ginger- garlic paste 1 tsp
oil 1 tbsp +1 tbsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp
kasuri methi 1 tsp
salt to taste

for garnish
lemon wedges
chat masala 

  • Clean the button mushrooms and wipe dry. Strain the yogurt and leave for half an hour, to get thick yogurt.
  • Make a marinade using the ingredients listed, marinate the button mushrooms using all the ingredients and refrigerate covered for half an hour till overnight. 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F for 10 minutes and in the man time, skewer the marinated mushrooms, evenly divided in 4-5 skewers. (I have used steel skewers, but you can use wooden skewers as well. Be careful when attaching the mushrooms as it's very delicate and the stem tends to break if you put force). Place the skewers on a tray and keep ready.
  • Place in oven and bake in oven 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, turn halfway through and give a 2-min on top rod alone or broil mode.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle a dash of chat masala and squeeze lemon on top and serve.
*If you are using wooden skewers, dip in water for half an hour before use. 
* Use Greek yogurt if you get it available at your place.
* Brush oil on top halfway through on the mushrooms to prevent drying out and at the end too.
* Water oozes out of the mushrooms as it gets cooked when we turn halfway through.


Thursday, September 09, 2021

Shapille Meen Curry | Toddy Shop(Kallu Shappu) Meen Curry ~ Step by Step Pics

Toddy shops were a common entity in many parts of Kerala, where a mildly alcoholic beverage made from the sap of coconut palm trees were served along with food like kappa vevichathu with meen curry (tapioca with fish curry). Mostly the sides are spicy non- veg dishes like chicken curry, duck curry, fish curry, fish fry. But these days many of the toddy shops are shut, but still people prefer to taste the food that is served along with toddy. There are many famous toddy shops that have their own signature dishes as well. 

Shappile meen curry(Toddy Shop Fish curry) is one such dish that everyone longs to have, and I have tried recreating the same at home after watching a YouTube video where the making happens in a toddy shop in Kerala which I feel is authentic and there may be slight variations in the recipe as per the areas or district but more or less the curry is the same. Everyone at home loved this curry because the gravy is thick, spicy and delicious. I have used Kashmiri Chilli powder for this recipe, but you can always use hot chilli powder as well, then you need to reduce the amount of chilly powder as per tolerance levels. The recipe is almost similar to Kottayam style fish curry except that this curry uses tomato and shallots in this recipe which adds to the thickness of the gravy too. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

Few sides that you can enjoy with this meen curry(fish curry)

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6
kera or any firm fish 1/2 kg
shallots 10-12 sliced
ginger 2' piece
garlic cloves 10-12 
green chillies 2-3 vertical slit
tomato(thakkali) 1 medium sized, round cut
kashmiri chilly powder(piriyan mulaku) 2 tbsp
hot chilli powder(mulaku podi) 1/2 tsp
coriander powder (malli podi)1 tbsp
turmeric powder(manjal podi) 1/2 tsp
uluva podi (fenugreek powder) 1/2 tsp
coconut oil 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
gambooge (kudampuli) 4-5 pieces
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
curry leaves 3-4 sprigs
salt to taste

  • Wash the kera or fish pieces by rubbing coarse salt. Then rinse under running water couple of times and  drain water, keep aside.

  • Crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Slice the shallots, slit the green chillies and keep curry leave ready. Soak the kudampuli in half cup water and leave aside.
  • In a wok, add the coconut oil(2tbsp). Splutter mustard seeds, then add sliced shallots along with green chillies and curry leaves. Keep sauteeing till light brown and then add the crushed ginger- garlic. Sauté until this mix becomes lightly browned and crisp. 

  • Add turmeric powder on low flame, mix and then add coriander powder. Sautee till raw smell disappears. To this finally add both chilli powders and mix well. Add 2 tbsp of water and switch off the flame of the wok so that the spice powders don't get burnt.
  • Transfer this mixture to the mann chatti(clay pot) and add a cup of water. Add the soaked kudampuli(gambooge) and add salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Slide in the fish pieces then and just swirl the mann chatti(clay pot) to dip the pieces in the gravy. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low medium flame, add more water if you need a thinner gravy. Add salt accordingly and cook open till the gravy thickens as per your need. If you are using mann chatti(clay pot)
  • Add the fenugreek powder(uluva podi). Mix well and add the sliced tomato and garnish  with curry leaves, pour a tbsp of fresh coconut oil on top. Switch off flame and leave covered for 30 minutes till the tomatoes get cooked in the residual heat and flavours of coconut oil seeps in. 

* You can use mann chatti(clay pot) to sauté too but the mann chatti(clay pot) tends to get very hot when spluttering mustard seeds. I have had bad expeience in heating the mann chatti that's available in markets these days, those tend to break if heated strongly (not all but a few) and so I prefer sauteeing in  wok and then adding to mannchatti(clay pot). You can use whichever suits you.
* Use kashmiri chilly powder for best results to get thick gravy. Also, if you use hot chilli powder, then reduce the amount of chilli powder. The colour of the curry comes only with kashmiri chilly powder.
* Some toddy shops add 2 tsp of corn flour mixed with water to the gravy too to get the required consistency to the gravy. I haven't added as the gravy is quite thick with the shallots, use of coriander powder and tomato.


Monday, September 06, 2021

Sweetna (Kerala Bakery Style) | Sweet Parotta (Step by Step Pics)

How many of you love sweetna aka sweet parotta of Kerala bakeries? As the name suggests it's a sweet  flaky layered parotta with caramelized sugar, tutty fruity and raisins as filling. Over a casual talk with my sis did I feel to recreate this recipe at home. I did browse a few recipes and did try too. I wasn't satisfied with the outcome as most of the recipes used yeast in the dough like for dilkush or coconut stuffed buns which I felt wasn't the exact dough for sweetna. Sweetna that I tasted from our bakeries had a flaky layered parotta feel absent the yeast like puffed dough. Then I happened to watch the Malayalam film 'Sajan Bakery' where the actress and her brother run a bakery and sweetna is prepared along with many other Kerala snacks which left a nostalgic feel and soon did I decide to give sweetna a try again.

Then did I decide to recreate it the same way as Homemade puff pastry sheet, but I didn't wish to use two sticks of butter for the dough making as it was way too much fat. So reduced it to one stick or 100 gms and prepared it. I know most of the Kerala bakeries use dalda or margarine and not butter to give the flaky sheet. However, I personally don't like the dalda or margarine, as it's not very healthy. Butter is also not very healthy but compared to margarine / dalda, butter is better off. The only thing I would like to tell you when preparing this sweetna is you need to have a lot of patience to roll and refrigerate, wait for the next fold. This process needs at least 4 times turn and fold and a maximum of 6 times before you actually prepare so that there are enough layers and puffs up nice and good. If you don't like doing this tedious task, just use a roll of store brought puff pastry sheets and prepare the filling just like listed below. You may find the word 'fold' and 'turn' frequently used in making these sheets.' Fold' refers to folding the dough in third like a letter, and 'turn' refers to turning the dough so that it face you like a book (see pictures to understand better). To my surprise, sweetna tasted just like the bakery ones with flaky layers, remember not to overbake the dough as the crust and bottom may turn very crisp. Apply egg wash for the golden touch and the sweetna tastes best the second day or after complete cooling which tasted just like the bakery ones. Everyone loved it at home and the buttery tastes adds that extra punch to sweetna, you can't just have one. Remember not to roll out the dough very thin else the layers will be reduced, read the full post for more details. Bookmark it up and try this on your leisure time, surprise ur family and am sure all will love the sweet parotta !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Waiting time ~ 3 hours
Baking time ~ 15-17 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 7-8 sweetna
maida / all-purpose flour 2 cups(250gms)
unsalted butter 25 gms,2 tbsp (chilled and cut in cubes)
vinegar /lemon juice 1 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
water(ice-cold water) 3/4 cup

cold unsalted butter  100gms or 1 stick
unsalted butter softened 2 tbsp
tutty fruity 1/2 cup
black raisins 2 tbsp
cardamom powder 1tsp
sugar granulated 6 tbsp
egg wash or egg white 1 


  • Sift the flours and salt together. Add the chilled, cubed pieces of butter in it. Gently rub the butter along with flour to get a coarse mixture or grainy with your hand or food processor. Add vinegar and ice-cold water. Knead into a smooth, pliable dough. Refrigerate immediately by wrapping in a cling wrap until next use.

  • Put the other unsalted butter(cold) 100g mentioned in the list in between two layers of cling wrap or Ziploc bags and whack using the rolling pin into a mashed form or shape it in the form of a rectangle 5"* 8"(approx). Reserve the softened butter 2 TBS mentioned in the ingredients until use.
  • Flour a rolling surface(refer to notes) and roll out the refrigerated cold dough into a rectangle of 8"*12". Roll out in such a way that each side has a protruding dog ear. Brush off the excess flour using pastry brush. Place the whacked butter slab in between the rolled dough and fold the four edges of the dough to cover the dough & seal it completely such that the butter should not be visible.


  • Gently press and rock the rolling pin back & forth over the dough, slowly stretching the butter and the dough to form a rectangle. Rock in between to stretch the butter, but make sure the butter doesn't seep out the dough. Brush excess of any flour. Fold in third like a business letter(as in pic), make sure to brush excess flour and this completes the first fold. Wrap it in a cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn to place in such a way that it faces you like a book. Lightly dust with flour and placing it facing you like a book, roll using a rolling pin and stretch again to form a rectangle with rocking and pressing motion. And then brush the excess flour and turn it by 90 degrees to face you like a book and fold in third like a business letter as shown before. This completes the 2nd fold. Refrigerate again half an hour and repeat the same step until you complete the 6th fold -7th fold. I completed in 6 folds.
  • After the final turn, roll it out as a thick rectangle and the thickness of the sheet should be 1/3' thick(don't roll out the sheet very thin as the layers will go missing in this case). Apply the softened butter 2 TBS mentioned  over the rectangular sheet. Then add the 6 TBS of granulated sugar to spread evenly. Over this add the tutty fruity (reserve a TBS of tutty fruity) and black raisins. Starting to roll from your side tightly to secure the last end under the rolls. Then cut 1/2' thick pieces of roll.


  • Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or silicon mat. Press the cut pieces with your palm to flatten slightly. Apply the egg wash on top and add the reserved tutty fruity on top, press gently to place the tutty fruity in place. Refrigerate again for half an hour before baking.                              


  • In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F and 200 degrees C. Place in oven and bake for 15-17 minutes until the top looks golden brown and the sweetna looks puffed up (mine was done at 17 minutes)
  • Cool completely on wire rack and enjoy with a cup of black tea !!

* Butter should be kept cold at all times. If you feel butter is melting or oozing at any point of time when rolling, refrigerate immediately.
* Winters or an air-conditioned room works best to prepare the dough. Use only your fingertips to handle the dough, or minimal handling when folding and turning. Our body temperature too transfers into the dough and the butter melts. The best temperature of the dough prepared is 16 degrees C or 60degrees F.
* Use a cold surface to roll out the dough. I usually use the back of a large tray so that I can leave it on top f it each time after rolling. Refrigerate both the rolling pin and the tray for best results.*The dough must be refrigerated after every fold for a minimum of half an hour to allow gluten in the flour to link up and retain layering.
* The vinegar or lime juice is used to make the dough more elastic and pliable so that it doesn't break while rolling & folding. I used vinegar.
* Keep an account of number of folds and turns so that you don't miss the number.
* For ideal results when baking, refrigerate the made sweetna for 15-30 minutes before placing in the oven so that the cold butter puffs up nicely when baked to give good layers.
* The number of sweetna depends on how thin you roll out the rectangular sheet. Don't roll it very thin else there will be no good flaky layers. The dough should be 1/2' thick when rolled.
* Use colourful mixed tutty fruity to make it very appealing.
* You can use store brought puff pastry sheets for a shortcut method to make sweetna, but here it's hard to get them, and so I made these at home.

Check out more puff pastry sheet recipes 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

White Sauce Pasta | Creamy Cheese Pasta

Creamy cheese pasta in white sauce is my kids favorite and have been making quite often for dinner. And so the post took so long to appear here as I kept postponing to click pics as I frequently prepare and so could be taken anytime. Farfalle, Penne, Macaroni, Sphagetti, Linguine and Fusilli are all tested at home to make different pasta recipes and in fact I even prepared two payasams, Farfalle- Moong Dal (Parippu) Payasam and Plantain(Pazham) - Macaroni Pradhaman. Do check and try out if interested to try out something different with pasta. However, my kids love the fusilli pasta the most and now I buy this spiral type most of the time. This is a quick whip pasta recipe that kids love the most and they don't like the white sauce much in this pasta except that the sauce should look coated. You can add more milk and maida to get a thicker coating to pasta if you love that way. Kids love carrot and corn in this pasta and so I generally add only these two veggies as it gives a sweet tinge to the pasta. But you can always add more veggies or change veggies as per likes/ availability. Give this a try if you haven't and am sure you will love it!!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3 
fusilli pasta 1/2 pkt
oil 2 tbsp +1 tsp
salt to taste 
cheese cubes 3 or 1/2 cup
carrot 2 medium chopped 3/4 cup
corn kernels 1/2 cup
garlic 1 tbsp fine chopped
maida 2 tbsp
milk 3/4 cup
pizza oregano mix 1 tbsp
pepper powder 2 tsp
butter unsalted 1 tbsp

  • Boil fusilli pasta in enough water with a TSP of oil and salt, as per packet instructions. Drain water once cooked and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Sauté garlic till crisp then add chopped carrot & corn kernels(I have used thawed corn kernels, you can use fresh as well), sauté for 2-3 mins until lightly wilted, we don't like it cooked and love the slight crunch, but you can always cook as desired. Remove this to a plate and to the same pan add butter.

  • When butter looks melted, add the maida and fry lightly on low flame. Add milk to this and mix well without lumps, add grated cheese to make a smooth paste. Then, add spice powders -pepper powder and oregano, add the sautéed vegetables. Mix well and add cooked pasta, combine well and switch off flame. Garnish with grated cheese and serve warm.

* If you like less cheese, then omit adding in the sauce and add only when garnishing.
* Add more veggies as per likes or change as per availability.
* Usually white sauce is flowy in consistency, but here kids like this, and so I prefer making this way. Add more milk and maida to make a flowing consistency white sauce.