Search Chitra's Food Book

September 9, 2015

Eggless Vanilla Cupcake Recipe-Moist,Spongy Vanilla Cupcake Using Oil

Eggless Vanilla cupcake recipe
Here is an Eggless vanilla cupcake recipe without butter (oil) and without condensed milk. It comes out super soft, spongy and moist in texture. Yesterday my daughter Raksha told me to bake a cake using Vanilla essence as its her favorite flavor. She told”Mummy,when I come back from the school,I should see a cake in your hand”. Yes,it been months since I baked a cake in my kitchen.For the past few months,I have been making only microwave mug cake recipes(refer side bar)  for her after school snacks very easily within minutes.I think she got bored of them.So she badly wanted me to bake a regular cake this time.As I had already bookmarked some good cake recipes,I quickly browsed through them and tried this eggless vanilla cupcake.This recipe uses simple ingredients.The cake raised beautifully and tasted great with moist, soft n spongy texture.I couldn’t feel its a no egg, no butter, no condensed milk cupcake.You can dare to try this recipe even if you are a beginner in baking.I have used choco chips in this cake to attract my daughter.You can add chopped nuts or even decorate the cake with simple chocolate frosting if you are interested.Lets see how to make this super moist cupcake from scratch.
Check out my eggless,butterless Chocolate cupcake recipe & Banana walnut muffin recipes too !
If you are eager to know the differences between a cupcake & muffin,here u go

  • Cupcakes tend to be sweeter than muffins; there are savory muffins such as cornbread.
  • Cupcakes are often iced or frosted, whereas muffins tend to have no topping, or a simple crumb topping.
  • Cupcakes usually have a head or top no larger than the body of the cupcake; muffins are often encouraged to overflow their baking cup, so that their top is larger in diameter, giving them somewhat of a mushroom shape.
  • Cupcakes are almost always, well, cupcake shaped; muffins can be made as just muffin tops.
  • Cupcakes are almost never crispy or crunchy; muffins are often encouraged to brown and develop texture, especially on the top.

Continue Reading...

September 8, 2015

Matar Paneer Recipe-Paneer Recipes

Matar paneer recipe
Matar paneer(in Hindi) / Green peas cottage cheese gravy(in English) is a classic Punjabi style masala gravy that is served as a side dish for Roti, Naan, Kulcha & Pulao varieties.I have been making it for years following the recipe of”My dhaba”. Recently I came across this low fat restaurant style recipe in “Saffron Trail” blog.I combined both the recipes & came up with this version.I prepared it for Sendhil & Raksha’s lunch box and packed with chapathi.It came out very well.As it is a low fat version,I have not fried the paneer pieces or used fresh cream here.I loved this gravy a lot.I am sure you will like it too.Do give a try.Lets see how to make this yummy Paneer recipe – Mutter Paneer Masala.
Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer Recipe

Matar Paneer Recipe Punjabi Matar paneer recipe - Side dish for roti,naan,kulcha & pulao
Cuisine: North Indian
Category: Side dish
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes


  • Paneer/Cottage cheese - 100 gms ( 1/2 cup)
  • Green peas - a handful
  • Big onion - 2 nos
  • Green chilli - 1 no ( slit)
  • Tomato - 3 nos
  • Cashews - 5 nos
  • Whole garam masala-(Cinnamon - 1 small,Cloves - 1 no,Cardamom - 1 small
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Garlic - 5 cloves
  • Red chilli powder - 1.5 to 2 tsp
  • Dhania powder - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt & water - as needed
  • Curd - 2 tbsp
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1/8 tsp
  • Kasoori methi - 1/2 tsp ( crushed)
  • Boil a cup of water and immerse the paneer pieces till use.Make sure the water is not too hot.Cook the peas in required water.If you are using dried peas,soak it overnight and then pressure cook it before adding to the gravy.Chop the onions & tomatoes.Peel garlic & chop ginger.
  • Heat 2 tsp of oil and saute the cashews,ginger,garlic,whole garam masala like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom ,onions & tomato pieces. Saute everything until tomato turns mushy.Cool & grind them to a smooth paste adding enough water.  ( If you wish, you can add red chilli powder, dhania powder and garam masala powder along with tomato while sauting. But make sure you don't burn the spice powders.) I added all the spice powders in the next step.
Matar paneer recipe

  • Now heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds, saute slit green chilli.Add the ground paste.Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, dhania powder & saute until the paste turns thick.Add the boiled peas.Add some water and let the gravy boil till it leaves oil.
Matar paneer recipe
Matar paneer recipe

  • Lastly add the paneer pieces,sugar , curd & crushed kasoori methi. Boil for a minute & switch off the flame. Do not make the gravy too thick because this gravy thickens over time.So make it semi thick.Serve with roti/naan/kulcha ! Enjoy !
Matar paneer recipe
  • You can skip the whole garam masala while sauting onion,tomato if you don’t want spices to be dominant.It tastes good in either ways.
  • Add more chilli powder to make a spicy gravy.I used medium spice here.
  • You can add fresh cream at the end to make this gravy more rich.You can also fry the paneer pieces in little oil till golden brown and add to the gravy.
Yummy & colorful Matar paneer is ready to serve with roti !Enjoy !
Matar Paneer masala recipe

Continue Reading...

September 7, 2015

Pot Biryani Recipe/Matka Biryani-Vegetarian Version

I think most of you would have heard about or tasted pot biryani @ Matka biryani in Restaurants.I came to know about this biryani from a friend recently.I browsed few recipes & watched you tube video to get some idea.Most of them were non-veg versions using marinated chicken.But as usual,I replaced chicken with paneer pieces,made few changes in the actual recipes and came up with this postTongue.I guess most of the people in India must be having a clay pot at home.Some people might be making gravies/Vatha kuzhambu/Sunda kulambu with it.Do try this layer biryani using earthen pot/Matka for a change.You will love its flavor.The layered rice & the gravy cooked in slow fire lends an awesome taste.This is my 29th biryani recipe in my Sunday Lunch Recipes series..I am planning to finish this series with 2 more posts & thinking to start some other useful series for beginners. Do leave your suggestions in the comment box if you expect/need anything to be shared in this blog.I will surely try to implement themHappy.Thanks for showing your continuous support & love across this series !Lets check out how to make Vegetarian Matka biryani/Pot biryani recipe with stepwise picturesHappy

Click HERE to see my other biryani recipes of this series !

Matka biryani/Pot biryani recipe

Matka biryani/Pot biryani recipe How to make flavorful biryani in mud pot/Matka
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch ideas
Serves: Serves 2-3
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 50 Minutes


  • Basmati rice - 1 cup
  • Water - 5 cups
  • Whole spices- 1 cinnamon,1 clove,i cardamom,1 black stone flower,1 bayleaf
  • Salt - as needed
For gravy
  • Cooking oil - 3-4 tbsp
  • Bayleaf - 1 no
  • Big onion - 1 no
  • G&G paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato - 2 nos
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Dhania powder - 1.5 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Curd - 1/4 cup
  • Salt & water - as needed
  • Paneer pieces or mixed vegetables - as needed
To garnish
  • Fried onion - a handful
  • Saffron milk - 2 tbsp
  • Mint + coriander leaves - few
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Wash & soak basmati rice for minimum 30 minutes.Boil 5 cups of water adding whole spices & the required salt.When the water comes to boil,add the rice.Cook the rice till its 75% done.Cooked Rice should break into two but not mashed.Drain the excess water & remove the rice in a plate.Let it cool.
  • Boil some water in a bowl. Add the chopped paneer pieces.Let it be in water till use.Chop the onions & tomatoes.Fry one sliced onion till its golden brown and remove in a plate.
  • Heat oil in a mud pot and saute bayleaf,onions. Saute well.Add G&G paste.Add chopped tomatoes & saute till mushy.Add turmeric powder,red chilli powder,dhania powder & garam masala powder.Saute well adding some salt.When it becomes thick,add 1/4 cup of curd & mix well.When it becomes a semi gravy,add the paneer pieces.Mix well.Remove  half of the gravy in a bowl.Make sure there is some water in the gravy.

  • Take the mud pot with some gravy and spread a layer of rice.Now layer the gravy with the remaining rice.Spread the mint+coriander leaves & fried onions on top.Sprinkle the saffron milk.Drizzle the ghee.Close it with a thermal foil and close it with a plate.Keep a bowl full of water over the plate.Put the mud pot in DUM under very low flame for 5-8 minutes.If you keep it for long time,there are chances for the bottom layer to be burnt.Suppose if you want to put this mixture in DUM for long time, heat a dosa tawa in high flame for 10 minutes & place the mud pot with thermal foil arrangements on top of the tawa.Let it heat in low flame for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy !
  • Adjust the quantity of spices as per your taste..
  • You can replace paneer with mixed vegetables.But pressure cook the veggies before you add them in gravy.
  • Make sure there is some water content in the gravy else biryani would burn.

Try this easy,flavorful pot biryani.Enjoy your Sunday Lunch !

Continue Reading...

September 4, 2015

Aval Ladoo / Poha Laddu Recipe - Easy Janmashtami Recipes

Poha ladoo/Aval laddu is one of the easiest laddu recipes that can be prepared in minutes.If you are looking for a simple , kids friendly sweet recipe for this Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami prasad, you must try this laddu. It is prepared with just 3 main ingredients and you can do many variations in this recipe. For healthier options, you can use Red poha/Red aval and Jaggery. You can also add roasted coconut, rava, fried gram dal along with poha to get a good yield and make this ladoo. When I gave this laddu to Sendhil, he told its tasting the same like Rava ladoo.Yes the method of preparation and its taste are very similar to Rava Laddu. Do try this easy recipe for tomorrow’s festival and share your feedback with meHappyWish u all a very happy Krishna Jayanthi celebration !! If possible I will share an interesting seedai recipe tomorrow as my last minute entryWinking
Lets see how to make this easy aval urundai  with simple steps.

If interested check out my other easy ladoo recipes.

Continue Reading...

September 3, 2015

Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi Celebration At Home-Pooja Procedures

Krishna janmashtami celebration at home

Yesterday I got a request from a reader to make a post on Krishna Janmashtami celebration / Gokulashtami celebration at home. So I have discussed how to celebrate Krishna Jayanthi/Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami at home by Indians especially South Indians in a very simple way. I have also shared a video on how to draw Krishna feet using rice flour paste. Pooja procedures I have given here is based on my family's tradition. It may vary from place to place. So take this as a reference and get the guidance from your family elders.
As you all know,  Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna.It’s a most important and sacred day for Hindus. People pray to Lord Krishna on this day and seek his blessings for a happy and good life.Krishna Janmashtami is observed on Ashtami – the eighth day of Krishna Paksha month/Shravana month i.e between mid August & early September. This year it falls on August 24, 2019 - Saturday evening. It is celebrated all over India. In Tamil nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and North Indian temples, Gokulashtami is celebrated in a grand manner. Festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishna’s appearance. Many people observe fasting on this day. But we don't have that practice.
At home, we do the pooja only in the evening i.e after 6 pm. On those days, my MIL used to do the pooja around 11 pm at night.So its better to do the pooja anytime after 6 pm till midnight. Midnight is the exact time that Krishna appeared on this planet, so it is the most auspicious and spiritually inspiring time to perform pooja. Temples prepare at least one hundred and eight different food dishes on Janmashtami. At home, Tamil people do the pooja by offering flowers, neivedyam recipes like seedai , murukku, laddu, appam, payasam/Kheer etc and  performing Mangala aarti to Lord Krishna Idol or photo. If you are not able to prepare all these dishes,don’t worry - Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “If you offer me with love a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” So offer whatever you can - it’s just your love and devotion that matters.

Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog ! I have also shared a No cook Aval panchamirtham recipe with fruits to make a simple neivedyam.

Visit my in-laws blog for kolam ideas.

Krishna janmashtami recipes


Please click here for the full collection of Krishna Janmashtami recipes of my blog.

Gokulashtami recipes

  • Krishna Idol or photo frame
  • Flowers/Garland for decoration
  • Fruits like apple, pomegranate,Orange,banana, guava etc
  • One coconut for neivedyam
  • Betel leaves and nuts (Vetrilai paaku)
  • Oil and ghee to light the lamp
  • Rice flour and colors for drawing Rangoli and Krishna feet.
To offer in front of GOD
  • A small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval mixed with jaggery or sugar.
These offerings are must and should even if you don’t prepare sweets and snacks.

Ingredients for making neivedyam recipes
  • Raw rice and Rice flour ( for making seedai , murukku and paal payasam )
  • Sesame seeds or cumin seeds
  • Coconut
  • Jaggery ( For vella seedai and appam)
  • Banana ( for appam)
  • Sugar ( for Milk payasam)
  • Milk ( for payasam/Kheer)
  • Urad dal and Roasted gram dal ( Pottukadalai ) ( For making seedai, murukku)
  • Butter/Ghee for snacks
  • Cooking oil ( to deep fry)
  • Do the shopping two days before the festival and finish making the deep fried neivedyam recipes like vella seedai , Uppu seedai , Kai murukku etc on the previous day of festival. Store them in an air tight box after everything cools down completely else they may turn soggy. DO NOT TASTE IT UNTIL YOU FINISH POOJA.
  • Wash the lamps and other pooja vessels on the previous day night and keep the turmeric, kumkum dots.Put the threads and oil the lamp. Suppose if  you don’t have enough time, you can do this job the next day morning or afternoon as we are going to do the pooja only in the evening after 6 pm. So its your choice.
On Gokulashtami afternoon, mix the ingredients for sweet appam and make payasam in cooker. Cook the appam around 5.30 pm. Around 4 pm in the evening, sweep the house and entrance. Draw Rangoli in the entrance and in front of the Pooja room. Draw the krishna feet from entrance till pooja room. Decorate the krishna idol by keeping flowers and garland. Make him ready for celebration :)


In many houses in South India, people draw footsteps of Lord Krishna from the entrance of the house to the Puja room. These footsteps are drawn with rice flour paste and drawing these footsteps is a sign of welcoming Lord Krishna to home. Women draw patterns of tiny footsteps like those of infant Krishna. I have given a video below on how to draw krishna feet using rice flour. Please watch it to draw easily.
how to draw krishna feet

How to draw Krishna Feet - Video

Take a broad plate such that your hands should fit in. Dilute the rice flour adding enough water and make the paste. Do not make it too thick or too thin. Its consistency should be like dosa batter. Now fold your hands as if you are punching someonešŸ˜‰. Dip your side of the hand in the rice paste. It will be coated with the paste. Now make the impression on the floor. Keep 5 dots for fingers. Draw the right leg first. Repeat the same procedure using your left hand for drawing left leg. Do this alternatively. Draw both the legs together near the entrance and pooja room. Refer the stepwise pictures for clear understanding. For drawing legs of baby Krishna, fold your hands tightly and make the impressions as shown in pics. If you want to draw slightly bigger legs, watch this video. Alternatively, u can ask your kids to make impressions on the floor. They would enjoy doing this and help you out .


After you finish the decoration and neivedyam preparations i.e after 6 pm, place the decorated Krishna on a plank/Peeta. Offer all the neivedyam recipes, fruits, curd, milk, butter in front of the God. Light the lamp and do the pooja, perform Mangala harathi. You can sing Krishna songs or read Bhagavad Gita/Sri Krishna Ashtakam OR simply chant “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya “means “Om, I bow to Lord Vasudeva or Lord Krishna’'in front of the GOD.

To perform a simple pooja without any special neivedyam recipes, just garland the Krishna idol, garland it. Light the lamp, Place a small cup of milk, curd, butter, Poha/Aval/rice flakes mixed with jaggery or sugar. Do the pooja and mangala harathi. Please check the picture below for reference.

Krishna jayanthi celebration at home

The next morning, do the pooja with a simple neivedyam like dry grapes or candy(kalkandu). Remove the idol at a good time of the day ( Avoid Rahu kalam and Yama kandam ).

DISCLAIMER : The details I have shared here is purely our family’s method of celebration.It may vary from place to place based on your traditions. So please take this as a reference, consult the elders of your family for more guidance.

Thanks for visiting this page. Wish you all a very happy Gokulashtami :)

Continue Reading...

September 2, 2015

Paal Payasam Recipe In Pressure Cooker - Milk Kheer Recipe Without Condensed Milk

Paal payasam recipe 
Paal payasam / milk kheer is a must and should neivedyam recipe for Krishna Jayanthi. Even if you don’t make seedai, murukku and appam , a glass of this simple & yummy milk kheer along with a small cup curd and butter is enough to please Lord Krishna & to get his blessings. It’s a very easy payasam recipe that can be made in pressure cooker. I have been making this payasam for years but I wonder how I missed this post in my blog. Few years back, I shared the most popular Kerala Paal payasamBengali Chaler payesh recipes. But this paal payasam recipe is of Tamil nadu style without using condensed milk(Milk maid). Paal payasam is prepared by the people all over India in various names. In North India,this is called as Chawal kheer/Rice ki kheer. There might be slight variations in the method of preparation. Some people add vermicelli or sago along with rice. However its made,the taste would be awesome and you can enjoy creamy,rich kheer. Lets see how to make this simple and easy dessert recipe – South Indian Paal Payasam. Do try this for Krishna Jayanthi and don’t forget to share your feedback here. I have added a video for beginner's reference.Do watch it :)

Click here for Gokulashtami recipes.

Paal payasam- Full video recipe

Krishna idol

Paal Payasam recipe

Paal Payasam recipe Paal Payasam recipe for Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami
Cuisine: South Indian
Category: Sweet
Serves: Serves 2-3
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes

1 cup =250ml
  • Milk - 2 cups ( 1/2 litre)
  • Basmati rice or raw rice - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1/3 cup ( 1/2 cup for more sweetness) 
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Cashews - to roast
  • Heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast the rice till it puffs up slightly.Grind it coarsely.Make sure you don’t powder the rice.It should be just broken into two.So pulse twice for short time.
Paal payasam recipe

  • Boil milk in a small pressure cooker. Add a small plate or spoon to avoid spilling & burning of milk.When the milk starts to boil,add the rice.
Paal payasam recipe
  • Pressure cook it in very low flame for 2-3 whistles.Open the cooker after the steam is released.Mix well and boil the milk.Remove the plate using a ladle. Add sugar,stir well and boil for sometime to thicken the payasam slightly.Add cardamom powder.Do not over boil because this payasam will thicken as time proceeds.So let it be watery.
Paal payasam recipe
Paal payasam recipe

  • Roast the cashews in 2 tsp of ghee and add to the payasam.Mix well and enjoy !
Paal payasam recipe
  • Adding more rice makes the payasam to become pongal.So add the mentioned quantity of rice.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar based on your taste.Add 1/4 cup for less sugar & 1/2 cup for more.
  • You can also add saffron threads soaked in warm milk.It will give a nice flavor & color to this payasam.

Try this creamy,rich paal payasam recipe for this Gokulashtami !
Paal payasam recipe in Pressure cooker

Continue Reading...

September 1, 2015

Butter Murukku Recipe - Benne Murukku - South Indian Vennai Murukku With Video

Butter murukku recipe / Vennai murukku in Tamil and Benne Murukku/ chakli in Kannada is one of the popular South Indian murukku varieties. 
butter murukku
Gokulashtami is around the corner. As I have already shared Vella seedai , Uppu seedai , Kai murukku , thattu vadai and Appam recipes , I wanted to try some other easy neivedyam recipe. Yesterday I came across this super crunchy butter murukku recipe/Benne murukku under easy Diwali snacks recipe.I bookmarked it immediately and tried it on account of Krishna jayanthi. The results were too good. We loved it a lot and the whole box got emptied in minutesWinking. Making kai murukku may be difficult to some of you in this festive season.It needs a lots of practice & patience. In that case,this butter murukku comes to rescue. As Lord Krishna is fond of butter,this recipe suits this festival very well. Its so easy to make and you don’t need to prepare soaked & ground processed rice flour or urad dal flour for murukku dough. Just store bought idiyappam flour, roasted gram flour and besan flour would do.I tried this recipe from 7aum suvai by making a small change in the ratio of flours to make white colored murukku.It came out well with crispy,melt in mouth texture. Friends,if you are looking for some easy murukku recipes for this Gokulashtami, Diwali and other festivals you can go ahead with this recipe. You can make it successfully even if you are a beginner.It’s a good tea time snack & for packing kids snacks box.Lets see how to prepare butter murukku recipe with step by step pictures.

Check out my collection of Gokulashtami Recipes HERE

butter murukku

Butter murukku recipe

Butter murukku recipe Crispy,easy butter murukku recipe - For gokulashtami & diwali festivals
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Snacks
Serves: -
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes
1 cup = 250 ml
  • Rice flour - 1 cup ( store bought flour/Idiyappam flour)
  • Besan flour/Kadalai maavu - 1.5 tbsp
  • Gram flour/Pottukadalai maavu - 1.5 tbsp
  • Soft Butter - 2 tsp ( at room temp, unmelted)
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafetida/Hing - a big pinch
  • Salt and water - as needed
  • Cooking oil - to deep fry
  • In a wide bowl,take the rice flour, gram flour, besan flour, butter, salt, hing and cumin seeds.Mix everything well. Add water little by little and make a non sticky dough. Cover the dough till you make murukku. Do not let it dry.
butter murukku

  • Now take the star mould and fill the murukku maker with a ball of dough. Heat oil to deep fry and check the oil temperature by dropping a pinch of dough.If it raises to the top immediately,oil temperature is right.Keep the flame low and press the murukku.
butter murukku

  • Cook in medium flame till the bubbles cease.Fry it patiently else murukku will turn brown with a burnt smell.Remove in a tissue paper using a slotted ladle.Store in an air tight box once its cool down completely.
butter murukku

Enjoy with tea/coffee.


  • As per the original recipe,2 tbsp of besan and 1.5 tbsp of gram flour is used.But I added them in equal ratio to get white colored murukku.
  • Do not replace butter with oil or ghee.As the name says,butter murukku should be made with butter.
  • You can replace cumin with sesame seeds or ajwain.But flavor would vary.

Try this easy murukku recipe and enjoy with tea/coffee !
Continue Reading...