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July 31, 2012


Recently I started my experiments in baking and I have tried some cakes ( Yet to be posted) n cookies ..I am a big fan of rusk. I love its mild sweetness, flavour and crispness.When i was having my tea with a rusk, my husband told me about the cake rusk he had in a bakery.He told it was very nice and he loved its taste. From then my search started and it ended up here and here. I got attracted by the pictures and  tried it. I referred both the recipes and made some changes as per our taste.I was searching for an eggless recipe but i dint get it. So i used eggs in my kitchen for the first time to try out this yummy stuff. YES, it was a big success. Being a beginner in baking , i felt proud and happy after seeing the result.. Thanks a lot !!  Beginners like me can dare to give this a try. !! This recipe yields nearly 15-20 pieces of cake rusk. But i used half of the cake to make the rusk . So i got only 10 pieces. By the time i clicked , i had only 3 pieces left over in my hand . So the shapes may not look good but believe me it tasted gr8.
A small intro to cake rusk for those who are not aware of: Cake rusk is an asian dessert  and is a kind of double baked cake which goes well with chai/ tea.It is light brown in color & crispy in texture and taste.These crispy browned cake rusks are quite popular in Pakistan.

1cup - 200ml
  • All purpose flour / Maida – 1.25 cups (1 + 1/4 cup)
  • Sugar –  3/4 cup ( 1 cup minus 3 tbsp)
  • Cooking oil – 1/2 cup
  • Eggs – 3 nos
  • Vanilla essence – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Yellow food color – A pinch ( i used yellow powder. If u have the liquid add few drops in egg mixture)
  • Cardamom powder – A pinch  ( Optional) ( I dint use)

Sift maida , baking powder, salt and food color together.Set aside.
In a wide bowl take the sugar and cooking oil. Mix well till sugar dissolves.Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
Then add the eggs one by one and beat well till u get a fluffy mixture. ( I used hand whisk.But i felt electric whisk would do well)
After adding all the eggs beat for another 8-10 mins.Now add the sifted maida slowly and keep stirring the mixture.
No need to add water or milk. U’ll get the correct consistency if u follow the same quantity of ingredients as i mentioned.Now transfer the dough into a greased  square shaped cake pan.Pat on all the sides of cake pan for even spreading.
Pre heat the oven to 180c for 10 mins in convection mode.Then place the cake tray and bake the cake for 30-35 mins . Mine exactly took 35 mins. But it depends on the power of ur MW. So keep an eye after 20 mins. Check whether the cake is done by inserting a knife or spoon .If it comes out clean , ur cake is done.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack or a plate and keep as such for 15-20 mins.Then invert the tray , the cake will come out easily.Remove the extra upper crust part and make a square shape cake.
After it completely cools down , cut the cake into the desired rusk shape. (ie, Lengthy 1 inch thick slices)
Again transfer the slices into a greased cookie tray . Arrange and bake them again in a pre-heated oven in 180c.
Bake in convection mode at 180c for 10 mins. Turn it once and bake for another 10 mins.Please keep an eye after 5 mins. If u get the desired brown color , please remove and let it cool.I baked it in two batches.

  • If u want to make a eggless version  try replacing the eggs by egg substitute powder or follow the eggless sponge cake recipe . Hope it will work. As i tried for the first time i dint want to take risk. So i halved the original recipe and followed as such. Soon i’ll make an eggless version and update it.
  • While baking the cake , keep checking after 20 – 25 mins whether the cake is done.
  • While baking the rusk, keep an eye as it tends to brown faster and it gets burnt. Make sure the center portion should be slightly browned not much like the sides..
  • First keep the rusk for 10 mins and then change the other side. Set another 10 mins.
  • After 10 mins , remove the plate and touch the center portion, If it is too soft , switch off the oven and allow the plate inside the hot oven.
  • It gets roasted by the heat inside the oven . I did the same. If u feel it has to be roasted , again bake it for 5 more minutes.
  • I used half portion of cake as such for my doter and we enjoyed eating it. It was very soft and spongy. Here is a picture of cake. So if u wanna make a sponge cake , u can surely try this recipe


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July 25, 2012


Its been my long time wish to try other state foods. I really got bored of making my usual sambar, vathakulambu etc..So with my hubby’s acceptance and guidance, I tried Andhra meals / Andhra lunch menu as a first step. He had tasted andhra food in some restaurants like Nandini , Nagarjuna. So he told me the names of dishes they serve in the platter. I googled and found good recipes from some of the blogs. They came out very well. My hubby thoroughly enjoyed all the dishes I made. I too loved it. My daughter who is a fussy eater loved the food. I was very happy that my first attempt in andhra food was a big success at home. While cooking I found some ingredients, they use commonly in almost all the recipes.They use Red chillies , Ginger & Garlic paste , Hing and ajwain. I think these ingredients gives the aroma and spiciness in their food. My house was filled with nice aroma when I prepare all these dishes. People who love spicy foods must try Andhra food. Ok,coming to the platter.

In the above picture you can see Andhra Sambar , Tomato Rasam , Mamdikaya cauliflower pachadi , Ivygourd poriyal  ( Tindora curry) , Palakura pappu ..


My hubby told this recipe tasted exactly like the one he had in restaurants. Thanks a lot sailu’s food .

1 cup - 200ml
  1. Toor dal/red gram dal/kandi pappu – 2 handfuls or 1/4 cup
  2. Palakura/palak/spinach leaves –2 small bunches ( washed and finely chopped)
  3. Big onion – 1 no ( chopped)
  4. Turmeric powder -  a pinch
  5. Green chillies – 2-3 nos ( slit lengthwise)
  6. Ginger – 1/2 inch piece ( chopped)
  7. Thick Tamarind extract – a tsp ( soak berry sized tamarind and add the extract)
  8. Salt & water – as needed
For seasoning (Use a tsp of ghee)
  1. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  2. Cumin seeds/jeera – 1/2 tsp
  3. Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
  4. Garlic cloves, crushed – 3-4
  5. Red chillies – 2 nos (pinched )
  6. Curry leaves – few

  1. In a pressure cooker, place dal, washed and finely chopped palak leaves, onions, green chillies, ginger and turmeric powder. Add 1 to 2 cups of water and pressure cook upto 2 whistles.
  2. Heat ghee in a kadai, add mustards seeds and after they start to dance , add cumin seeds, urad dal,  crushed garlic, pinched red chillies and curry leaves and fry for half a minute.
  3. Add this to the pressure cooked dal along with salt and combine. Add the tamarind extract and cook on slow to medium flame for 5-7 mts without lid or till you get the consistency of your choice.Add water if necessary
Enjoy mixing with plain white rice and ghee !!
  1. For variations u can try sauting the onions , green chilles , palak leaves in little oil before pressure cooking with dal.
  2. Always do the seasoning in the end.
  3. If u want u can do the seasoning using oil and add little ghee on top of the dal.
  4. Give a standing time of at least half an hour before serving for all the tastes to blend.


I got the following recipes from here. If you want to try varieties of Andhra thali, you must visit this blog to get a good idea. She has given a nice collection of recipes.Thanks Srinithya.

  1. Carrot,potato – 1 no each
  2. Drumstick- 1 no
  3. Tomato  - 1 no (chopped)
  4. Big onion –1 no ( chopped)
  5. Toordal- 1/2 cup
  6. Gooseberry sized tamarind – soak in warm water.
  7. Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Madras sambar masala / any sambhar powder – 1 tsp
  9. Poppy seeds/gasalu-1 tsp
  10. Coconut dry / kobbari –2tsp
  11. Ginger garlic paste- 3/4 tsp
  12. Oil-2 tbsp

To temper

  1. Mustard seeds -1 tsp
  2. Jeera / cumin seeds –1 tsp
  3. Hing -2 pinches
  4. Red chillies – 1 no ( pinched to two)

coriander leaves – to garnish.
  1. Pressure cook toor dal and the vegetables . Set aside.
  2. Dry roast poppy seeds, grated coconut and grind it to make a paste along with sambhar powder. keep aside.
  3. In a wide mouthed kadai , add oil and temper the mustard seeds , jeera , hing and turmeric.
  4. Add the G&G paste and saute well. Add the chopped onion and tomato pieces.
  5. Saute till tomato turns mushy.Add the tamarind extract and salt , few curry leaves.Allow it to boil for few mins.
  6. Now add the cooked dal and veggies along with ground poppy seeds paste.
  7. Boil for 10 mins in medium flame. Remove and add coriander leaves.
Serve with hot , plain white rice adding little ghee !!
  1. The vegetables should not be over cooked.
  2. As per the original recipe , madras sambar masala is used . But i used my home made sambar powder.
  3. I also used red chillies while tempering and i tempered at the end.


Thought she has given varieties of pachadi in her blog, I chose this one just becoz of this  combination. I wanted to try this combo and as it sounded unique and different. I’ve got an yummy raw mango dish to add in my mango recipes list. Smile
  1. Green Raw mango pieces  - 1 no ( medium sized)
  2. Grated cauliflower florets -1/2 cup
  3. Garlic cloves – 5-6 nos ( chopped)
  4. Red chilli powder –2  tsp
  5. Roasted cumin fenugreek powder-1/8 tsp
  6. Turmeric-1/8 tsp
  7. Chopped garlic pods-3 tbsp
  8. Salt-to taste
  9. Water – As needed.
To temper
  1. Oil-1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  3. Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  4. Curry leaves chopped – few
  5. Hing-2 pinches

  1. Peel the skin of raw mango and chop it finely.(Its better if u grate it )
  2. Remove the cauliflower florets and add in boiling water along with little turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Remove and grate it. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan add mustard  , jeera , curry leaves and hing
  5. Add garlic and fry till brown.Now add veggies and fry for 2 seconds
    and close lid and cook till soft,stir in middle to avoid burning. Add little water if necessary.
  6. Add chilli  powder , turmeric powder and salt.
  7. Mix and cook for sometime.
Serve with rice as a side dish !!


I have never used tindora in my cooking . So for a challenge I tried this curry . My husband who hates tindora  loved this a lot. 
  1. Dondakaya/ivy guard chopped length wise-1 cup
  2. Chopped tomato –1 no
  3. Chopped big onion – 1no
  4. G&G paste – 1/2 tsp
  5. Red chilli powder- 2 tsp
  6. Salt-to taste
  7. Curry powder-2 tsp ( i used garam masala powder)
  8. Dry coconut powder-1tsp ( i used grated coconut)
  9. Turmeric-1/8 tsp
  10. Oil-3 tbsp
To temper
  1. Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  2. Jeera  - 1/2 tsp
  3. Curry leaves- few
  4. Coriander leaves- few to garnish

  1. Pressure cook ivy guard pieces till done ,drain excess water and set aside.
  2. Fry the pieces in 1 tbsp of oil until crisp and set a side
  3. Heat oil in a pan and  temper all the above ingredients.Add onion  , ginger garlic paste and fry for 5 minutes till raw smell emanates.
  4. Then add tomatoes  and cook till soft.
  5. Add all the powders ,  salt and ivy guard pieces.Fry for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add coriander leaves and serve.
It smells and tastes gr8 with rice as well as roti. !!
  1. I dint deep fry the tindora pieces instead  i shallow fried it for sometime and proceeded the recipe.
  2. Make sure the tindora is not overcooked while pressure cooking.


I made slight changes in the actual recipe to suit my hubby’s taste. It tasted excellent and flavourful the next day. I reheated the rasam and used the same for two days.

  1. Finely chopped tomatoes-3 nos
  2. Berry sized Tamarind
  3. Cooked tuvar dal -1/4 cup
  4. Ajwain/vamu /carom seeds/omam-1/2 tsp
  5. Hing-2 pinches
  6. Crushed garlic- 4 cloves
  7. salt-to taste
  8. Red chillies-2 nos
  9. Turmeric powder -2 pinches
  10. Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
To temper
  1. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  2. Jeera – 1 tsp
  3. Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves – to garnish.

  1. Pressure cook toor dal with little turmeric powder till mushy and set aside.
  2. In a cooking bowl,  add water , tomatoes and tamarind.
  3. Cook till soft and reserve the boiled water .
  4. Grind the tomatoes and tamarind to make a paste.
  5. Crush ajwain with hands and set a side.
  6. Heat oil in a pan add cumin,mustard,hing,ajwain and dry chillies.
  7. Fry well and add garlic pieces.saute till golden brown.
  8. Now add mashed dal,tomato paste, water, crushed ajwain , pinched red chillies , salt and pepper powder.
  9. Boil for sometime . I added little sugar while boiling.
  10. Garnish with coriander
Serve hot !!

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July 17, 2012


hara bhara kebab
As i had mentioned in my previous baking posts , i recently started experimenting recipes in my microwave oven . I had tried recipes using convection and microwave modes. But one mode which i want to try for a long time is GRILL mode. When i was searching for recipes that use grill mode , i got this one. Though i got the actual recipe from net , i had the same in the microwave manual too. So i just went thro both the recipes , tweaked a bit and made my own.My hubby dear liked it a lot. He said its better than the ones served in restaurants Winking smile What else i need Smile.
I was also very happy with the outcome.We enjoyed as a evening snack. Its a zero oil crispy kebab. I am sure most of u make it. Try my version , u’ll love it..

1 cup - 200ml
  • Boiled green peas – 1/4 cup
  • Palak / spinach– 1/2 cup
  • Boiled potato – 1 no
  • Boiled carrot – 1 no
  • Corn flour – 1/8 – 1/4 cup ( adjust)
  • Maida – 1 tbsp(optional)
  • Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder -  1/2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – As needed
  • Bread crumbs – 1/4 cup
  • Oil – 1tsp
  • Pressure cook peas , potato , carrot and set aside.
  • In a kadai , add a tsp of oil and saute the washed , cut palak leaves till it shrinks and reduces to half in quantity.
  • Now take the cooked vegetable and sautéed palak leaves in a mixie and grind smoothly without adding much water. ( No need to add water . If necessary add very little.)
  • Take the paste in a mixing bowl and add corn flour , red chilly , coriander powders , GG paste, salt and garam masala powder.
  • Make a dough. If the dough is sticky add more corn flour or little maida to get a whole mass.Apply little oil if needed.
  • Take a small ball shaped dough and pat it to make a round shape.
  • Roll this in bread crumbs and arrange everything in a metal plate .Sprinkle little oil on top of kebab.
  • Now set the grill mode and bake it for 10 mins.
  • Remove the metal plate and turn the kebabs upside down for the other side to cook.
  • Again bake in grill mode for 9 mins.
  • So the total time would be 19 mins. Please adjust this time according to ur microwave.
Tasty , hot kebab is ready to eat !
  1. The actual recipe called for deep frying the kebab. But i  tried in grill mode as suggested in my manual.Deep fry if u make it for kids.
  2. The outer layer was very crispy and inside it was very soft.
  3. If u don’t want to make it in microwave, just toast this kabab in dosa tawa by drizzling little oil.
  4. U can also try coarse grinding the vegetables and palak leaves if u wish.
  5. Try adding the finely chopped palak leaves as it is instead of grinding with vegetables.
  6. Kids will enjoy this snack with tomato sauce..
  7. Instead of garam masala powder ,  u can add chat masala  & amchur powder.
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July 12, 2012


bhindi masala

I usually make Bhindi curry/ vendakkai curry with sambar powder .. For a change I tried this method for our lunch . I got this vendakkai masala recipe from a book. I think most of you make this for roti. This masala goes well for roti as well as dal rice & mild pulao varieties. It tastes and smells great.

  • Ladies finger / okra – 12 nos
  • Big onion – 1 no
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp (adjust)
  • Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – As required.
  • Water – just to sprinkle.
To temper
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – to garnish
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add the cumin seeds. Then put the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste.
  • Saute till the raw smell emanates.
  • Then add the cut okra pieces and saute well for few mins.
  • Now add the tomato pieces and saute till it turns mushy.
  • Finally add all the dry powders.Toss well for few mins.
  • Sprinkle or add little water and close the kadai with a lid.
  • Keep the flame low and allow the okra to cook well.
  • Toss in between to avoid charring.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
Enjoy with roti, dal rice or pulao !!

vendakkai masala
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July 3, 2012


I love to try varieties of tea. Ginger tea is my favourite among all.I came across this Assam tea recipe in “Aval vikatan “ magazine.The original recipe is shared by Mrs.Revathi shanmugam.This title attracted me &I tried on the same day .I loved its flavor. The addition of cloves gives a nice aroma. Do try this. U’ll love it.

1 cup - 200ml
  • Fresh milk – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Tea powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp ( based on the color & strength u need)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece( 1 tbsp)
  • Cardamom – 2 no
  • Cloves – 2 nos
  • Sugar – 1.5 tsp or as needed.

  • Crush ginger , cardamom and cloves together.
  • Boil the milk along with water , tea powder, sugar and crushed spices for 5 mins in low flame.
  • U’ll get a nice color. Strain it and serve !!
  • Method :2 Boil cardamom, cloves and tea powder in 1/2 cup of water till it reduces to 1/4 cup. Then add 1/2 cup of milk, boil for 2 minutes and strain it.

  • For variations, try adding  a piece of cinnamon along with spices.
  • For spiced chai or masala chai , add 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper corns.

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