Wednesday, April 30, 2014

       Zunka is a Maharashtra Dish prepared with Besan Flour (Chickpea flour) and a similar version is available in Karnataka also. It is generally prepared using veggies such as Capsicum, Methi or Cabbage. It is a kind of Easy to make Dry Subzi. As broccoli also comes under Crucifers family (Cabbage's family), I had hoped this dish would turn out well and came out neat, really worth the trial. Got a New tasty side dish recipe in my Broccoli recipe Trials.

      Easy to prepare healthy side dish for rotis and parathas. Extra healthy with the addition of broccoli. The crunchy capsicum and the broccoli in the roasted besan masala are really easy to make and are a delight. Try this dish for dinner and make your family members happy and also healthy. A must try super easy healthy dish.

Broccoli Capsicum Zunka

Broccoli, chopped- 1/2 big head (or) small- 1 head
Capsicum, cubed- 1
Besan/ Chickpea flour/ Kadalai Maavu- 1/2 cup
Green chillies-2
Ginger Garlic paste- 1 tablespoon
Asafetida- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt-to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder- 1 teaspon
Coriander powder- 1 teaspooon
Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Oil- 3-4 tablespoons

  • Dry roast the chickpea flour till the slight aroma arises on low flame; Set aside. Do not burn the flour.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the Onion and salt cook till it becomes soft.
  • Add the green chillies and ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell leaves.
  • Now add the broccoli and capsicum with salt; roast in the same oil on medium high flame.
  • Water should not ooze out as we have got to roast the veggies in the same oil. Capsicum starts to get light white blisters on the skin.
  • Now add the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powders.
  • Mix the masalas with the veggies and cook for a minute. Add the chickpea flour 1 tablespoon at a time and mix well and cook till you finish the whole gram flour.
  • If the zunka looks like flour colour sprinkle some water and cook  until combined.
  • Note: I have used here 1/2 cup of gram flour. You can increase the volume up to 3/4 cup.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

       This sandwich is packed with full nutrition. It's absolutely filling and nutritious; Also a mild spicy sandwich. Kids loves the Beansprouts Egg Sandwich and adults would also love this sandwich. Easy to make in minutes. The taste is just amazing. A must try sandwich with crunchy outside the inner spicy chutney and the beansprouts potato filling is delicious with a nice textural combination too.

       Here I have grilled the sandwich, but you can eat it without grilling the sandwich too. If you are not planning to eat after making the sandwich do not add Lettuce leaves in your sandwich. It may gives a light bitter and wilted taste after grilling and if kept for long time. Just apply the chutney, keep the filling inside and grill it.

Grilled Beansprouts Sandwich


Beansprouts- 1 cup
Potato- 2 medium sized
Bread slices- 10 (I used whole wheat bread)
Onion, chopped- 1 medium
Chaat masala- 1/4 teaspoon (or) Garam masala powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Pepper powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt- to taste
Lettuce- 2-3 leaves
Oil- 1 teaspoon

For Green Chutney:
Coriander leaves- 5 tablespoons
Mint leaves- 3 table spoons
Green chillies- 2
Sugar- pinch
Salt- to taste
Beansprouts Potato Sandwich


  • Pressure cook or Boil potatoes till soft for about 3-4 whistles on medium flame. After the steam releases allow them to cool and peel them.
  • Grind coriander, mint leaves, green chillies, sugar, salt together as a fine paste to make green chutney. Pulse two to three times then add 1/4 cup of water and grind as a smooth paste.
  • In a pan heat a teaspoon of oil and cook the onion for a minute. Now add the beansprouts and little salt and cook for a minute more. Now add the Chaat masala/ Garam masala, pepper powder and cook for further a minute.
  • Switch off the gas and allow to cool the mixture.
  • Mash cooked potatoes well in a bowl and add the beansprouts mixture.
  • Mix together and season with pepper and salt.
  • Take the bread slices and apply green chutney on both the sides.
  • Keep a lettuce leaf and spread the filling on top evenly with a spoon or palate knife.
  • Cover the filling with another lettuce leaf and with another bread slice. Preheat the sandwich maker and grill/ toast for 2 minutes till the bread slices gets light brown toasted colour.
  • Note: You can add roasted channa dhal/ chick peas while making green chutney to give little thickness and volume.

Monday, April 28, 2014

     Doll Cake is an easy to make pretty cake. Loved by all kids especially girls. Make this cake for your princess. It is sure to be a hit on her Birthday Party. Delight your princess with a magical princess doll cake for her birthday party that's easier to make than you think …

      I have followed a very simple method to make the cake as well as frosting/ Icing too. You can used Whipped cream frosting, Butter cream frosting or Fondant works to decorate the doll. Here i have used a single petal nozzle to decorate the whole cake. You can decorate with the colours and patterns of dress for the dress as you or your kids wish. I have used Pink colour and Strawberry flavour to match the colour. Also the flavour is the most liked by Kids.

Doll Cake

Butter/ Oil- 200gms (1 cup)
Sugar- 2 cups
Milk- ½ to ¾ cup
*All purpose flour/ Self-rising flour- 2 ½ cup
Baking powder- pinch
*Baking Soda- ½ teaspoon 
Strawberry essence- 2 teaspoons
Red food color- 2 drops
*Do not add Baking Soda if you are using Self rising Flour

Whipping cream- 500 ml (2 cups)
Icing sugar- 3-4 teaspoons
Strawberry essence- 1 teaspoons
Red food color- 1 drop

Barbie Cake

  • Take three 18 or 20 cm pan and line with baking parchment or grease the pan with butter. Dust with flour to cover all over the pan by shaking the pan. Tap out the excess flour by inverting and tapping the pan.
  • Preheat the oven 180oC.
  • Beat the oil/butter well (in a bowl) then add the sugar and eggs mix well using a electric mixer until creamily mixed together.
  • Whisk well till frothy stage. Add the milk, salt, food colour, strawberry essence and beat well. Then add the flour half cup at a time and fold well till combined.
  • Scrap the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth the surface with a spatula.
  • Bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean.Cool the cake and cut the cake if your cakes top are not level, to get a leveled top.

  • Whip the whipping cream well in between adding the icing sugar. At last add food color and strawberry essence and keep inside fridge till you use.
  • Take a hard board and draw 20 cm diameter line, cut the board and cover with aluminium foil and cut the foil to approximately to 22cm diameter. Fold the excess 2cm on the opposite side and stick with a tape. Keep a teaspoon of icing on the board and keep the first cake.
  • Apply 2 -3 tablespoon full icing and spread evenly over the cake leaving 1cm border. Keep the second cake slightly press with hand to stick the cakes together. Apply icing on ton top of second cake and keep third cake on top of that.
  • Using a serrated knife carve the cake to a dome shape. Remove the legs of the doll (if it is so long) and Insert the doll on top of the cake. Using a pastry brush remove the crumbs sticking to the cake.
  • Crumb coat (applying a thin layer of icing to seals the crumbs) the cake using a palate knife or icing spatula and allow to set the icing on fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Then spread a thick layer of icing over the cake. 
  • Insert the rose making nozzle and fill the icing on the piping bag. Hold the piping bag 900 angle and keep the icing on circular motion to form the frills on the dolls frock.
  • Insert the doll on top and finish the dolls full dress by same nozzle or different nozzle of your choice. 
  • Note: I have used single nozzle to decorate this doll.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

       Garam masala is a 'Spice Powder Mix' generally used in Indian Cuisine. It is generally used in most of the Indian Veg or Non-veg preparations such as Curries, Biryanis, etc., to give the strong Flavor and Aroma to the dish. This Garam Masala makes the dishes prepared Delicious and more flavorful.

       Making this at home so that it could be prepared freshly depends on our taste and spice level. Easy to make in 15 minutes. Can last its flavor for months if stored in air tight container/jar. If you do not get some spices like Black cardamom, Mace, Nutmeg.,etc you can avoid those and prepare the powder. I once bought the store bought garam masala and i have not used it since and threw it out after keeping for a long period since i did not like the taste of it. Once i started making at home, i have never bought ready mix powder from shops. You can realize the aroma while grinding the masala itself.

Garama Masala Powder

Garam Masala


Cinnamon barks- 1/2 cup
Green Cardamom- 1/4 cup
Black Cardamom- 5-6 nos
Cloves- 3 tablespoon
Star anise- 15 nos
Nutmeg- 1
Mace- 4-5 nos
Peppercorns- 1 tablespoon
Fennel seeds- 3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 3 tablespoons
Bay leaves- 5


  • Lightly dry roast (heat) all the spices together in a pan till it get heated. You can check this by touching the spices. (To lift up the flavour and also to powder the spices easily) Cinnamon bark also will be easy to break after heating to accomodate in the blender.
  • If you are planning to powder this in mill you can give it together. If you are planning to powder in home follow this procedure.
  • Separate roughly the coarse textured spices in one lot and smaller spices in another lot.
  • Cinnamon bark and Fennel seeds takes time to powder.
  • Suppose your blender will not powder as fine powder sieve them and grind again the coarse pieces again. I have not done this.
  • Tip in both the powder on a news paper and mix thoroughly with spoon and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer this in a air tight jar and use  the masala powder for your desired preparations.
  • After powdering you will get around 1 1/2 cup of Garam masala power for the above said measurements.
  • Note:
  • You can also include Marathi Moggu (Kapok/ Silk cotton Buds), Black stone flower, poppy seeds also in this garam masala powder.
  • I do not use Dried Red Chillies or Coriander seeds in garam masala as we include separately both almost in all preparations.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

       Jigarthanda is a famous summer cooler served with ice cream. Very popular in Madurai. This recipe is originally made with 4 basic Ingredients Badam Gum/ pisin, Nannari Syrup, Chilled thick milk/ condensed milk and Ice cream. Badam Gum is not available in all places you can replace it with china grass or Gelatin gel to get same consistency. Milk you can boil and reduce at home or can use ready made condensed milk and if you want mix some milk for volume with this by chilling it and using. Vanilla ice cream is generally used or you can use flavoured ones also to get different taste.

       This dessert is mainly sweetened and flavoured with Nannari syrup. The jelly also absorbs the colour, flavour and taste of the sharbath. If you do not get this at your place you can replace this with Rose syrup.We all love this drink. So tasty and yummy. Feels like to drink more and more and more. Like a dessert & drink. You can add chopped nuts or cherries if you like for garnishing.


INGREDIENTS: (For 1 tall glass shown in photograph. Enough for 2 normal glass servings)

China grass/ Agar agar/ Seaweed- 2 inch piece (or) 1/2 teaspoon if it is in powder form (or) Gelatin -1/2 teaspoon (or) Badam gum/ pisin- 1 tablespoon
Water- 1 cup
Nannari Syrup- 4 tablespoons
Milk- 3 cups (or) condensed milk- 1 cup
Vanilla Ice cream - 2 scoops


  • Prepare Nannari Syrup as mentioned in the recipe or you can use store bought ones.
  • Heat a cup of water once it comes to boil, add the china grass and stir well till it dissolved completely with out and small pieces on medium flame. 
  • Once its done switch off the gas and transfer the contents to a heat proof bowl and keep inside the fridge to set for about half an hour in chiller or if you are running out of time you can keep inside the freezer for 10 minutes.(If you use gelatin sprinkle the gelatin in cold water once it absorbs water and blooms, heat a cup of water and once it comes to boil add the gelatin and cook till it dissolves; follow the steps as mentioned above to set the gel)
  • Boil the milk in a pan and bring it to boil and reduce the milk to half by constant stirring on medium flame for about 10-15 minutes. Now it tastes like condensed milk and light yellow in colour. That is 3 cups should be reduced to 1½ cup. Allow the milk to cool under the  fan and transfer it into a glass and allow to chill inside fridge for 1 hour or freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Make ready all the 4 ingredients Jelly, Nanari Sharbath, Chilled milk and Ice cream.
  • To assemble take a tall glass and add the scraped pieces of jelly followed by Nanari Sharbath, Chilled thick milk then Ice cream. Garnish with nuts and cherries if you like.

Friday, April 25, 2014

       "Imagine our backyard wells filled with Sharbath" was my sisters Childhood dream. So that whenever we needed a drink of sharbath we could instantly draw it from the well. That much we had grown to love this nanari sharbath during our childhood. Nannari surup is prepared from a root called Nannari in Tamil, Naruneendi in Malayalam and Sarasaparilla roots in English. You could get this roots in Siddha shops (Naatu marunthu Kadai/ Vaidya Shala).

       Whenever we visit India my hubbys grand father gifts sharbath bottles to his grandson as he liked it in his childhood. I also get my share from my in-laws house too. The place where i stay here i have never seen these sharbath bottles still. So i have planned to make it here by myself from scratch. My mom sent some roots from my native place and here comes the recipe. We loved it. The amber colour of the syrup is just amazing.

Nannari Syrup


Nannari Syrup:
Nannari/ Naruneenthi/ Sarasaparilla roots - 1/2 cup (50 grams)
Sugar- 2 cups
water- 3 cups
Lemon juice- 1/2 small

Nannari Sharbath:
Nannari syrup- 2 tablespoon
Lemon juice- 1/2
Ice cubes- 3
Water- 1 glass


Nannari Syrup:
  • Clean the roots if any clay particles sticking to it and dry them properly.
  • Crush the roots with pestle and motor or an end of a rolling pin to remove the pith(white) inside the roots. It should be removed before preparation.
  • Powder finely the outer skin (dark brown) of the roots in a blender.
  • Boil water in a vessel, once it starts to become rolling hot (bubbles pops on top) switch off the gas.
  • Immediately add the nannari powder into the boiled water it starts to sink immediately then tightly close with a lid and keep it undisturbed for 6-8 hours or overnight. I kept it over night.
  • Strain the nannari water by passing through a clean cloth cotton/ banian/ muslin cloth to collect all the debris and to get a clear amber coloured nanari water. Nannari water shall seem lightly sandy & not clear at first but shall eventually turn clear while cooking.
  • Add 2 cups of sugar in to the nannari water and bring it to boil.
  • Cook till you get a light sticky consistency on low to medium flame by constant stirring.
  • Do not make it as a thick syrup. when you stir with a laddle you can feel the syrup is starts to getting thick. Beginning stage itself you have to stop the cooking. Because once it cools down it gets more thicker consistency.
  • Allow the syrup to cool. Once it reaches room temperature add the lemon juice.
  • Transfer this syrup into a clean bottle and store it in room temperature for a week or refrigerate for a month. 

Nannari Sharbath:

Nannari Sarbath

  • In a clean glass add the nannari syrup, lemon juice, ice cubes and water and mix with a spoon and serve the sharbath.

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