Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Easy Carrot Cake

A cake you can't go wrong with! Fabulous and easy recipe by Satya Sadasivan - thank you! Turns out well every single time, everyone loved it. You could innovate a lot with this one, especially with the topping. And a great way to eat carrots. :) :)

  • Eggs: 4
  • Carrots: 2 cups peeled and shredded [the red Delhi carrots that come in winter are perfect for this]
  • Sugar: 1 cup [I reduced this a bit and added more raisins for the sweetness]
  • Brown Sugar: 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil: 1 cup [I used my regular cooking oil]
  • Flour (maida): 2 cups
  • Baking powder: 1.5 teaspoons
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Nuts: 3/4 cup [I believe it is good to lightly roast nuts first - especially walnut, will take away that slight bitter taste. I add a lot of raisins]

  1. Heat the oven in advance for 10 mins at 180 degrees, while you are preparing the mix.
  2. Apply a bit of butter on the baking tray, and then sprinkle some flour on it and spread - this is to make sure the cake doesn't stick to the pan.
  3. Sieve flour, salt, and baking powder together, so that the baking powder is evenly distributed.
  4. Roast nuts a bit if needed. 
  5. Mix the oil and sugars well in a big cake-mixing bowl.
  6. Beat eggs thoroughly, scrape carrots.
  7. Add beaten eggs and carrots and nuts to the oil and sugar.
  8. Add the flour mix to it, mix everything really well.
  9. Now pour into the cake tray and bake for 45 mins at 180 degrees. 
  10. Check with a fork - if it's still sticky, keep for another 15 mins. 
  11. Leave the cake out to cool a bit and then cut. It will be a very soft cake, a bit moist. 
  12. If you are creative, you can make a cream/icing topping - lots of scope to innovate there. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fragrant Crispy Adai with Saunf and Green Leaves

The most successful recipe of late, learned from my colleague Priya - real crispy, fragrant, highly nutritious, protein and vitamin-filled breakfast.

To soak overnight/for a few hours
  • 1 glass tuvar dal
  • 1 heaped tablespoon urad dal, for texture
  • 1 heaped tablespoon uncooked rice, for crispiness
This measure comes for around 9-10 adais.


  • Soaked dals and rice
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 1 red chilly
  • 1 tablespoon saunf (fennel) (you can smell this once it grinds)


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilly
  • Some coriander leaves
  • Some drumstick (muringa) leaves, or any other green leafy vegetable, or spring onion leaves
  • Some scraped coconut, optional
  • Some grated carrot, optional
  1. Mix chopped stuff and coconut with the ground batter, add salt and water, make it smooth enough to pour on a hot pan and spread thin.
  2. The adai should come out really crisp and fragrant.
  3. Have with chutney of your choice.
The red chutney in the picture is the North Karnataka sweet and sour green mango chutney my husband makes every year - the easiest thing ever, no cooking needed. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Groundnut (Peanut) Chutney

Easy to make, and nutritious. No coconut needed. If you keep roasted groundnuts in an air-tight container, you don't need to roast them just before making the chutney, saves time. You need not remove the skin if you have no time.


  1. Roasted groundnuts, 2 handfuls
  2. Red chillies, 2 - or more if you need it spicy
  3. Tamarind, or green mango, or gooseberries, or lemon juice (green mango is nice and tangy, thothapuri is good)
  4. Ginger, a big piece
  5. Salt

  1.  Grind all 4 ingredients in the mixie with salt, add water as needed, taste and adjust.
  2. Add seasoning if needed, with mustard or jeera,and hing (asafoetida).
Am sure you can make variations of this,  I suspect sambar onions may be good with this.

Oats Rava Dosa

Most non-rice dosas will either break, stick on the pan, or are not crispy. Here's one that seems to come out fairly crispy, and holds together on the non-stick pan.

Ingredients (for 6 dosas)

  1. 1 cup oats
  2. 1 cup rava (any rava)
  1. Curds
  2. Green chillies
  3. Coriander/Curry leaves
  4. Onions

  1. Roast the oats for a few minutes, cool and grind to powder. If you keep this powder ready in advance in an air-tight container, you can save more time.
  2. Mix with the rava in a vessel and keep adding water until it is pouring consistency.
  3. Add salt. The dosa batter is ready.
  4. You can also add a bit of curd and keep for a few minutes, but that is optional. 
  5. You can  also add chopped green chillies, onions, coriander/curry leaves to the batter if you want. I have not tried adding onions, they may break the dosa if the pieces are big. 
  6. When the batter is flowing consistency, pour on a hot non-stick pan and spread carefully. You should be able to do this without it breaking, provided the pan is not too hot. 
  7. Turn and roast the other side too. 
  8. Add ghee or oil as required while roasting on the pan, though not necessary.
  9. The dosa will be whitish in colour, and fairly crispy, because of the rava.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Easy Chicken Biriyani!

A colleague makes this very tasty chicken biriyani, her mother-in-law's recipe. She says this works well for mutton and vegetable biriyani too. The rice is cooked with the chicken, so it blends very well. Tried it out, it works! And the best thing is, all you need is one vessel, everything is done in that! I used a small cooker.

Recipe from Sharmila

If you use Jeera rice, then add water in the ratio 1:1/2)

  1. Cinnamon (pattai) 2 to 3 sticks
  2. Cloves (Lavangam/Krambu) 5 to 6
  3. Cardamom (Yelakkai) 2
  4. Bay Leaf (Punnai ilai) 2
  5. Cashewnuts 8
  6. Big onions – 2 cut long and thin pieces
  7. Tomato -2 cut into pieces
  8. Green chilies – 5 (I used less, 3 big ones)
  9. Ginger garlic paste 3 tea spoons
  10. Coriander leaves little - remove stems and wash
  11. Mint leaves one small bunch – remove stems and wash
  12. Little turmeric powder
  13. garam masala powder one tea spoon
  14. Little Chilli powder to taste
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Oil and Ghee
  17. ½ kg chicken
  18. ½ kg basmati rice
  1. Keep the cooker or thick bottomed vessel on stove and add oil. 
  2. Once the oil is heated, add Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Bay Leaf, Cashewnuts and Big onions.
  3. Sauté well.
  4. To that, add Green chilies, tomato, Ginger garlic paste, Little turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala
  5. Saute well.
  6. Now wash the chicken and add to the mixture. Let it cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add water (1:2 portions - 1 glass basmati rice, 2 glasses water) and salt to taste.
  8. Close the cooker and allow one or 2 whistles, for the chicken to cook.
  9. In the mean time wash and soak the rice.
  10. When the gas is released from the cooker, add rice to the mixture and mix it well.
  11. Close the cooker with a plate. Note that the flame  must be kept high.
  12. The briyani is ready for Dum, once you find that there is no more water in the cooker. (Keep an eye here, don't forget about it, the bottom will burn!)
  1. Remove the plate from the cooker, and close the cooker and put weight.
  2. Keep the dosa tava, or any thick pan (in high flame) on the stove and place the cooker on the tava. 
  3. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove the cooker form the stove.
  4. Once the gas is released, remove the cooker and put ghee to the briyani and mix it without breaking the rice.
  5. Fry the mint leaves in ghee and add, for flavour. Also add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  6. Serve hot.