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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Orange Fruit Cake

Oranges are in season and mostly during this time, I try baking a cake with the fresh oranges. This time kinnow were in good sale and so grabbed a few of them. I personally don't tolerate these citrus fruits, but kids love them. Kinnow are good for baking as they impart a beautiful colour and are juicier compared to the regular oranges. What do you say about the colour of this cake? I am in love with this colour, looks and tastes exactly like the Britannia fruit cake.

The ingredients are all natural and no added colours and preservatives. Isn't it good to bake this soft, moist cake ? The amount of sugar can be adjusted as per the sweetness of the oranges. I have used kinnow oranges which are more on the sour side so added 1 & 1/4 cup sugar which was correct. Though this cake can be made with regular oranges, I prefer to use the sour kind or kinnow variety as it helps to soften the cake than the regular orange cake. I have already posted an Orange Cake (Eggless) long back, check that out if interested. Do give this a try and enjoy the slice with a cup of black coffee !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Baking time ~ 1 hour
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ a big loaf (9*5*3)
all-purpose flour (maida) 1 & 3/4 cup
baking powder 2 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
eggs 3
granulated sugar 1 & 1/4 cup
orange juice 1/2 cup
veg oil 1/4 cup
unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup
vanilla extract 1 tsp
orange zest 1 tbsp
tutti frutti 1/4 cup
milk 1/4- 1/2 cup

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash and cut the oranges, squeeze out the juices. Strain the juice and keep aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt twice. Keep aside.
  • Add the eggs one by one in a bowl. Add the granulated sugar and beat the egg with sugar. Beat the mix for 3–4 minutes, or until the eggs turn pale and fluffy.
  • Pour the orange juice followed by veg oil and melted butter along with vanilla extract.
  • To this, add the dry ingredients mix in batches. Mix and fold without deflating the air much.
  • Finally, add the orange zest. Mix a tsp of flour to the tutti frutti (prevents sinking of tutti frutti) and add to the batter.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Line a tray 9*5*3 with parchment paper at the bottom and brush oil on the sides. Dust with flour and shake off excess.
  • Add milk to the batter to adjust the consistency (I added 1/4 cup milk, add more or less to get the ribbon consistency). 
  • Pour in the prepared tray and pop the air bubbles using a skewer. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 50–60 minutes (Mine was baked in 60 minutes). I gave the top rod heat in the oven for the last 3 minutes to get the golden shade which can be reduced to 1.5 minutes as this cake, the top changed colour and so removed immediately. Keep a close watch when you give the top rod.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the tray. Cool completely and then cut in slices. Store in sir tight containers at room temperature for 4–5 days, refrigerate thereafter. 

* The amount of sugar can be adjusted as per the sweetness of the oranges. I have used kinnow oranges which are more on the sour side so added 1 & 1/4 cup sugar which was correct.
* Though this cake can be made with regular oranges, it's better to use sour kind as it helps to soften the cake.
* I used 2 kinnow oranges to extract 1/2 cup orange juice. Adjust the number of oranges to get 1/2 cup juice.
* The poured batter reaches almost to the full of the tray but don't worry. The batter doesn't flow out when baking.
* The slices taste best the next day. Check that and let me know too.
* You can add chopped nuts or dry fruits intead of tutti frutti. Or you can bake the cake plain too.
* This cake can be baked in a square tray 8' size too.


Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Edichakka Cutlet | Raw Tender Jackfruit Cutlets

Tender jackfruit is in season and have you started trying out recipes. Mom used to try out stir-fry and cutlets in this season. Fresh raw tender jackfruit should be used for optimal results. Do you love the raw tender jackfruit thoran (stir-fry)? I just love it and love to have the stir-fry just like a snack rather than with steamed rice. The cutlets are a tastier version than stir-fry but as these are fried, may not be good healthwise. However, these cutlets taste similar to chicken cutlets, and you must ensure that the cooked jackfruit is only crushed in the mixer and not made in a paste for optimal results.  For the stir-fry, I even use cooker for cooking the tender jackfruit but for making cutlets steamer is the best to cook the cut jackfruit pieces so that the pieces are shredded and not made in a paste. Do give these a try this season and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 15–18 cutlets
raw tender jackfruit 3 cups
potato boiled & mashed, 3 medium-sized
onion 2 medium-sized, fine chopped
ginger-garlic paste 1tbsp
green chilli 3
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
chilli powder 1tbsp
garam masala 3/4 tsp
curry leaves, a few sprigs

bread crumbs 1 cup
egg 1, beaten

Watch on YouTube -

Raw Tender jackfruit is one which has no mature seeds or fruit bulbs. The seeds are just evolving or very soft, small ones. Select the right one for the best taste.
  • The raw tender jackfruit was a small one that I used, the cooked total shredded jackfruit 4.5 cups but used only 3 cups for making cutlets.
  • Clean the jackfruit by sniping off the head end and peel the hard skin. Wash under running water and then cut in small cubes. 
  • Place water in a steamer and transfer the cut jackfruit pieces to the steamer and steam, cook for 10–15 minutes until soft.
  • Finally, cool the pieces and add to a blender jar. Pulse twice to just shred the pieces. I did it i two batches. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When it is hot, slide the chopped onions and add the ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté until onions are lightly browned.
  • Add the spice powders on low flame and sauté. Finally, add in the shredded edichakka or cooked jackfruit.
  • Add salt and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes. Finally, add the mashed potatoes. Give a quick mix until well combined.
  • Switch off the flame and leave to cool.
  • Pinch out lemon size balls and shape the cutlets, place on a plate.
  • Beat an egg lightly. Place the bread crumbs in a plate. Dip the cutlets in the egg mix and roll in bread crumbs. Repeat this step till you finish rolling all the cutlets in bread crumbs.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Slide in the cutlets and fry them till evenly browned.
  • Drain with a slotted spoon and place on layers of paper towels. Serve warm with ketchup. Enjoy !!!

* Measure the cooked edichakka and then proceed making the cutlets.
* Add more chillies, if you like it spicy. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cheera Choru | Red Amaranthus Rice

Red amaranthus rice or cheera choru is a healthy one pot meal that you can prepare for all. The leaves cook in no time and so it is a quick meal preparation too. My kids love simple one pot meals for lunch box. And so I plan a wide variety of one pot meals, each of which should be healthy and nutritious. I think most of the moms would love their child to eat a nutritious meal rather than relying on junk foods. 
Red amaranthus or chuvanna cheera is usually made cheera thoran at home, or prepare dal with spinach or this red amaranthus. I had also posted a sprouts cutlet that has red amaranthus which is another healthy alternative for kids. Try this simple quick lunch box meal and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4-5
basmati rice 2 cups
water 5.5 cups
salt 1/2 tsp

cheera (red amaranthus) chopped 2.5 cups
onion 1, small chopped
ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1 tbsp
coriander powder, 1 tsp
tamarind extract 1 tbsp
peanuts soaked 1/4 cup
salt 1/2 tsp
oil 3tbsp
ghee 2tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp (chopped, optional)

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash & soak the peanuts for 30 minutes.
  • Snip off the roots if present and wash the cheera under running water to remove mud/ dirt 3–4 times. Check all the leaves for insects, discard any rotten ones. Cut the stems thin and chop all the leaves evenly. Keep aside.
  • Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 20 minutes. You can use leftover regular cooked rice too. In that case, use approx 5 cups of cooked rice for this measure. If you have lesser cooked rice left, modify all the listed ingredients accordingly.
  • If you are using fresh basmati rice, then start by cooking the rice first. In that case, add water(4.5 cups) to a pan and add salt(1/2 tsp). Boil the water and add the soaked rice. Cook till done, or cook for 10–12 minutes. Fluff with a fork, switch off the flame and keep aside till use.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When oil is hot, slide the onions followed by ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add the soaked peanuts and sauté on high for 2–3 minutes. Add in the spice powders on low flame. Add the tamarind extract, give a quick mix.
  • Add the chopped cheera and mix with the spices. Don't add salt now, add the salt as the cheera leaves are wilted and half cooked. Else, you may end up adding more salt. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Once the leaves are wilted, add salt and cook covered again for 3–4 minutes. The leaves will leave out water once salt is added.
  • Finally, toss in the cooked rice. Adjust salt if needed (I haven't added any). Mix well, add the ghee and chopped coriander leaves. Simmer on low flame for another 2 minutes. 
  •  Then the rice is ready to serve with cut cucumbers and raitha/salad.

* I used a mix of both chilly powders (1 tsp of hot chilli powder and 2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder).
* You can use cashews instead of peanuts if your kid has peanut allergy. But this definitely adds a nice crunch to the rice.
* Tamarind adds a mild tangy flavour to the rice, omit if you don't like.
* You can use green amaranth also to prepare this rice, but you may not get this colour to the rice.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Cheese Corn Dosa | After School Snacks under 30 minutes

Cheese Corn dosa is a simple to make dosa that kids love a lot. The sweetness of corn along with the melted cheese tastes delicious as a filling. I have added the mixed herbs of pizza seasoning, but you may always add the Indian spices. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Here is a YouTube #shorts to the recipe.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 dosas
Author ~ Julie
corn kernels 1/4 cup
onion 1 small or 1/4 cup
mixed herbs 1/3 tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp (chopped)
salt to taste
oil 1 tbsp
cheese 5–6 cubes or 6 tbsp grated

  • Heat a pan and add oil. Add the chopped onions and sauté. To this, add the corn kernels and add salt lightly as cheese has salt too, cook covered for 4–5 minutes. Add in the coriander leaves. Add mixed herbs and switch off the flame.
  • Heat a dosa griddle, pour a ladleful of batter. Spread the batter and add a tbsp of filling. Grate the cheese and add on top. Fold in half and cook till the cheese is melted and dosa is crisp.
  • Enjoy !!
* You can add grated carrots too in the filling.


Friday, January 12, 2024

Bread Moong Dal Balls

Bread moong dals are quick snacks that you can prepare at home, and the protein packed filling of green moong dal with jaggery tastes delicious. If you are looking out ways to finish off left over bread slices, then this is a great option. The filling is similar to sukhiyan, but the cover is crispier than sukhiyan. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 12
Author ~ Julie
bread 12 slices
for filling
cherupayaru /whole moong /green gram 1 cup
grated coconut 3/4 cup
jaggery 1/3-1/2 cup
cardamom powder/elakka podi 1 tsp
dry ginger powder/chukku podi a pinch (optional)
salt a pinch

Watch on YouTube -

  • Melt the jaggery with 1/ cup water and strain the impurities.
  • Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker. Add a pinch of salt and pressure-cook on high for 2–3 whistles, depending on the quality of the dal.
  • After the pressure is released, add grated coconut, melted strained jaggery syrup. Cook again till the moisture is absorbed. Add in the cardamom powder, dry ginger powder (if using). Switch off flame and leave to cool lightly.
  • Make lemon size balls of the filling when warm and keep aside.
  • Trim the edges of the bread, dip the slice in water, and immediately remove the bread. Squeeze out all the excess water and place one ball of the filling, seal the edges of the bread making a ball shape.
  • Similarly, make all the balls and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok and check if oil is hot enough to deep-fry the balls.
  • Drop in each of the balls and fry on medium flame till it's evenly browned on all sides.
  • Drain from the oil and place on paper towels. Similarly, fry all the balls and serve warm with black tea.

* You can even make a thick batter with rice flour and water. Dip each of the balls and fry.
* Adding a pinch of salt to the dal enhances the sweetness.
* Don't overcook the dal else the balls may absorb more oil and the filling may not taste good.

For all evening snacks from this space, click here.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake ~ Happy New Year wishes !!

Wishing all my readers and friends a very Happy & Prosperous New Year !!
Hope everyone had a great start. May the day start with new hopes, new beginnings and newer opportunities knocking at your door. May all your wishes come true and 2024 be a great milestone in your lives.

Frosting cakes are rarely made at home except for kids birthdays, and I go for very simple when frosting cakes as am naive in frosting skills and I lack patience to learn that too. However, this mirror glaze cake looked stunning when I saw many posting this up, so was the wish to try this cake sooner.  This cake is a similar easy to go one for people like me to quick fix a frosting cake. 

Baking has always improved for me over a period of time, from pre packed cake mixes to trying out new trial and error cakes. But frosting has always taken the back seat. As the number of frosting cakes made in a year are less, and so I don't try improving the learning too. 

This was made for my son's birthday, who is an avid chocolate lover, and so he totally loved the cake and frosting. The chocolate mirror glaze, when poured over the cake, gives an elegant smooth finish. Don't you feel so ? I was quite happy with the outcome. This can be prepared with all basic cake ingredients and frosting also needs fewer ingredients compared to other frosting cakes. Give this a try this holiday season and enjoy.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Baking time ~ 40 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6' cake
for chocolate sponge 
all-purpose flour (maida) 3/4 cup
baking powder 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp
salt 1/8 tsp
cocoa powder 6 tbsp
sugar 3/4 cup (6 tbsp)
veg oil 6 tbsp or 1/3 cup + 2 tsp
yogurt or curd 1/2 cup
milk 1/4 cup
vinegar 1/2 tsp
vanilla essence 1/4 tsp

for chocolate ganache 
fresh cream 3/4 cup
dark chocolate compound 300 g

for sugar syrup 
granulated sugar 1/3 cup
water 3/4 cup

for mirror glaze 
water 3/4 cup
granulated sugar 3/4 cup
cocoa powder 1/3 cup
dark chocolate compound 60g (1/3 cup chopped)
unsalted butter 1 tbsp 

Watch on YouTube -

  • Sift the dry ingredients twice, keep aside.
  • Mix the milk with vinegar and keep aside for 10 minutes until curdled.
  • Add the granulated sugar and oil in a bowl and mix. Add the curd and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  • To this add the milk-vinegar mixture. Also, add the dry ingredients in batches & mix. Add in vanilla extract.
  • Prepare a 6' pan with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the batter in the tray and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes. Remove from oven and check with a tooth pick if done. Cool on a wire rack for 10–15 minutes by covering with a towel and remove the cake from the tray, cool completely and store by wrapping in a cling wrap till use.
  • Heat the cream and chopped chocolate using a double boil method until the chocolate melts and is smooth.
  • Cool and refrigerate by covering with a cling wrap till use.
  • Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Switch off flame and leave to cool.
  • Mix the cocoa powder, water and sugar in a pan without lumps. Put this on flame and let the mix thicken till it coats the spoon. Then add grated chocolate and give a quick mix. Finally add in the butter, mix.

  • Cut the dome and then level cut the cake in three rounds. Keep aside.
  • Thaw the chocolate ganache before use. Apply a small layer on the cake board. Place the first layer of cake.
  • Pour the sugar syrup to soak the layer. Apply the chocolate ganache and spread as a single layer.
  • Place the second layer cake and pour sugar syrup followed by chocolate ganache layer.
  • Finally, add the final layer of the cake and add sugar syrup & chocolate ganache.
  • Apply ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Level the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes -2 hours.
  • Finally, pour the chocolate mirror glaze all over the cake. Add decorations and cover the border using chocolate sprinkles if using, or leave just like that. Refrigerate another 30 minutes, cut and serve.

* You can make the base cake as chocolate cake with eggs too. I did an eggless base.
* Adding sugar syrup to soak the cake is to be used as needed. You can even omit that step if you don't want so much sugar in the cake.
* The chocolate ganache after applying needs refrigeration for the ganache to set. It becomes easy to level the cake after refrigeration.
* Adding chocolate sprinkles to the border is strictly optional in this cake, as the cake looks beautiful without borders.