May 17, 2017

Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake

I was thrilled to make 'Thomas the Tank Engine' cake for my son's birthday. As he is a big fan of 'Thomas & friends' show, I thought of giving it a try. It was quite challenging with a hyperactive toddler around and the birthday lunch preparations. Still, I enjoyed making the cute little blue engine. Cocoa cake slices with whipped cream frosting and marshmallow fondant is used.
My son was extremely happy and excited to see his favorite tank engine as a cake and it made his day 😊 HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dearest!!!🎂🎉 Prayers for blessed & happy days ahead!

Apr 27, 2014

Tomato Rice & Chicken Curry

Tomato flavoured rice & coconut milk based chicken curry cooked in Indian spices     

Total Time..... 1 hr (Prep - 15 min, Cook-30 min, Idle-15 min)    
Yield..............4 to 5 servings

Ingredients for Tomato Rice

  • 1 1/2 cup Basmati Rice 
  • 1 big Onion
  • 5 Tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 small Green chilly
  • 2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • Salt as required
  • Cilantro(if needed)
  1. Cook rice & keep aside.
  2. Take a shallow pan and pour oil. Add chopped green chillies & ginger garlic paste. 
  3. Add chopped onion & salt. Saute till it is soft. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric powder & garam masala.
  4. Saute for sometime and add diced tomatoes. Pour little water and let it cook for 2 min. 
  5. Mix in cooked rice and garnish with cilantro (if needed). 
Ingredients for Chicken Curry
  • 4 Chicken breast pieces
  • 2 medium sized Onions
  • 3/4 cup Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1 small Green chilly
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 4 tbsp Oil 
  • Salt as required
  1. Marinate chicken pieces with chilly powder, cloves, cinnamon, ginger-garlic paste, coriander, cumin and lemon juice, Keep aside for 15 min.
  2. Take a pan, heat oil & saute onions until golden brown. Add green chilly, ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Saute.
  3. Mix in marinated chicken. Close and cook for 10 min. Stir in between.
  4. Open the lid and saute for 5 more min. Add tomatoes, garam masala, tomato paste (mixed in 1 cup water) and let it cook for sometime. 
  5. Mix in coconut milk and switch off the flame after 2 min.
  6. Serve hot with tomato rice & dates pickle. 
Note: Garnish rice & curry with mint leaves & cilantro (if needed)

Dates Pickle

Fresh Dates cooked in Indian spices and vinegar. 
Total Time.....15 min (Prep - 5 min, Cook-10 min)    
Yield..............32 oz bottle


  • 3 cups pitted fresh Dates
  • 3 green Chillies 
  • 2 tsp chopped Ginger
  • 3 tsp chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp black Pepper powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder
  • 2 strands Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 cup distilled white Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • Salt as required
  1. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Add chopped green chilly, ginger and curry leaves. Saute for 1 min.
  2. Then add garlic, chilly powder, pepper, asafoetida and fenugreek. Saute for sometime. (Make sure it doesn't get burned)
  3. Mix in dates, vinegar and salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 min.
  4. Combine well and allow it to cool. Then refrigerate in an airtight glass container. It goes well with ghee rice, tomato rice, biryani etc. 

Mar 8, 2014

Gulab Jamun (with milk powder)

Milk based dessert, fried and soaked in rose scented sugar syrup.

Total Time......30 min (Prep - 15 min, Cook-15 min)    
Yield...............10 to 12 gulab jamuns

Ingredients for the sugar syrup
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Rose water/essence
  • Pinch of Saffron strands
  • Few Pistachios/almonds
  1. Take a wide and shallow pan. Add sugar, water, cardamom, saffron, rose water & lemon juice. Boil for 5-7 min. (Please note that the container should be wide enough for the gulab jamuns to get fully soaked & double in size.
  2. Stir in between and turn off the flame. Take off the cardamom pods.
 Ingredients for the gulab jamun
  • 1 cup Whole milk Powder
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
  • 2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • Pinch of Baking soda
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

  1. Mix milk powder, flour & baking soda. Add butter and milk. Knead well and make very small balls.
  2. When the oil is medium hot, fry all the dough balls carefully until golden brown. (Keep moving the balls so that it'll get fried evenly). Place on a paper towel for the excess oil to get absorbed.
  3. Transfer into the warm sugar syrup pan. Add in pistachios/almonds. Close and keep aside for at-least 1 hour. Serve with the syrup. Some people like to have it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream also. Enjoy!

Feb 22, 2014

Kerala Fish Curry

Traditional fish recipe of Kerala prepared in very spicy & tangy gravy.

Total Time......30 min (Prep - 15 min, Cook-15 min)    
Yield...............3 to 4 servings

  • Fish pieces (3 Tilapia fillets used in this recipe)
  • 3 or 4 Gambooge (Kudampuli) pieces
  • 8 to 10 Shallots (small onion)
  • 4 tsp finely chopped Ginger and Garlic 
  • 2 1/2 tsp Red Chilly powder **
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 strands Curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  1. Soak gambooge pieces in 1/2 cup of warm water. 
  2. Clean fish thoroughly, cut into pieces and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan and pour oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. After it splutters, add fenugreek seeds.
  4. Then add chopped shallots, ginger, garlic and few curry leaves. Saute till the shallots turn golden brown.
  5. Make a paste of chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder using oil.  Reduce flame and saute for 3 to 4 min. (Make sure it doesn't burn)
  6. Add 2 cups water, fish pieces, soaked gambooge with the filtered water(to avoid the sediments), remaining curry leaves and salt. 
  7. Close with a lid and cook for 10 min to 15 min or until the fish is cooked & gravy slightly thickens. Serve with cooked tapioca, rice etc.
**Note: Reduce the quantity of chilly powder if needed. This dish is very spicy. Also, use kashmiri chilly powder for more colour.

Nov 10, 2013

Fried Rice and Chilly Chicken

 Spicy & saucy chicken served with flavourful & colourful fried rice.
Total Time......45 min (Prep - 15 min, Cook-30 min)    
Yield...............3 to 4 servings

Ingredients for Chilly chicken
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1 Green bell pepper(Capsicum)
  • 1 medium sized Onion
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Green chilly sauce
  • 3 tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Green chilly paste
  • 1tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chilly-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • 5tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Salt as required
  1. Take a shallow pan, pour oil and saute green and ginger-garlic chilly paste.
  2. Add chicken pieces, salt, soya sauce and slightly fry till light brown.
  3. Add diced onion, bell pepper, soy sauce, green chilly sauce and tomato sauce. Saute for sometime.
  4. Mix cornflour in 1/2 cup water and add to the above with chicken stock.
  5. Close and cook for 10 min. Keep mixing in between and keep aside when the gravy thickens and the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Ingredients for Fried rice
  • 2 cups cooked Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup sliced Onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Green bell pepper (Capsicum)
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • Salt as required
  1. Take a large pan and pour oil. Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot, corn and salt. Close with lid and cook for 5 min.
  2. Add soy sauce and rice. Saute for sometime. Mix in cooked broccoli and serve hot with chicken.

Jul 14, 2013

Fried Chicken Burger

Burger made with sesame bun, fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.
  • Sesame buns
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese slices
  • Fried Chicken  
  • Mayonnaise
  1. Prepare Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
  2. Cut the buns and spread mayonnaise on both sides. Place all your desired ingredients in-between and serve with ketchup and fries. 

Jul 6, 2013

Mixed Fruit Smoothie

Healthy smoothie made by blending different variety of Berries & Yogurt.

Total Time......10 min (Prep - 10 min)    
Yield...............2 to 3 servings

  • 1 cup chopped Berries (Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Kiwi
  • 1 cup Yogurt (Curd)
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice
  1. Blend yogurt & sugar thoroughly.
  2. Add fruits, honey & ice cubes into the above. Blend for some more time.
  3. If  the smoothie is too thick, add little more milk & enjoy the chilled delight. 

Jun 1, 2013

YD's special Brunch :)

Buttermilk battered, and fried Chicken smothered in creamy gravy, served with scrambled Eggs, Croissant and fresh Fruits!
Ingredients for the batter
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 12 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried Herbs
  • Salt as required
Ingredients for coating the battered Chicken
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour(Maida)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried Herbs
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • Salt as required
Ingredients for the Gravy
  • Left over coating mix
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Salt
Other Ingredients
  • 3 Chicken breasts 
  • Oil for frying
  • Croissants
  • Scrambled eggs 
  • Fruits
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the batter in a bowl. Clean the chicken breast pieces and dip in the batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Mix all the 'ingredients for coating'. Coat the battered chicken completely.
  3. Heat oil thoroughly. Fry chicken till cooked thoroughly.
  4. In the mean time, take  a sauce pan, melt butter, saute left over mix for 2 min. Add milk, chicken broth & salt. Keep stirring till you obtain a thick gravy.
  5. Drain the fried chicken on paper towel. Serve with gravy, croissant, eggs and fruits.

May 2, 2013

Mango Milkshake

Refreshing, tasty & chilled delight for a hot day!
Total Time......1 hr 10min (Prep - 10 min, Inactive-1 hr)     
Yield...............3 to 4 servings

  • 2 Mangoes
  • 2 1/2 cups Milk
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 6 scoops Mango Ice-cream
  1. Keep milk to chill in the freezer for 1 hour. 
  2. Peel mangoes & slice. Blend with sugar.
  3. Add chilled milk & 3 scoops of ice-cream. Blend till everything combine thoroughly.
  4. Serve in a pretty glass with a scoop of ice-cream & sliced mango on top.


Salsa is the Spanish term for 'sauce'. It is mostly used in Mexican cuisines and is served with chips, tacos, burritos, enchiladas etc
Total Time.....4 hrs 10 min (Prep - 10 min, Inactive-4 hrs)    
Yield...............24oz (680.4gms)

  • 14.5 oz (411gms) diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 small Jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onions
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt as required
  1. Mix tomato paste in 1/2 cup water to obtain a tomato puree.
  2. Take a pan, saute onions slightly to loose its raw taste.
  3. Take a mixing bowl and add diced tomatoes, tomato puree(1). Mix well
  4. Stir in jalapeno peppers, sauteed onion, vinegar, salt and garlic powder.
  5. Refrigerate for 4 hours to blend flavours and use when desired.
Inspiration: Tostitos Chunky Salsa ingredients:Tomato Puree(water and tomato paste), diced tomatoes in tomato juice, Jalapeno Peppers, Onions, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic powder and Natural flavours.

Note: Stir Salsa into mashed Avocado for a quick Guacamole :)

Apr 30, 2013

Beef Nachos

Ground Beef and refried Beans layered on Tortilla chips with spicy Jalapeno, gooey Cheese, crunchy Onion, tangy Salsa, tasty Guacamole & creamy Sour cream!

Total Time.....22 min (Prep - 10 min, Bake-12 min)    
Yield...............3 to 4 servings

  • 1 cup Ground Beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 tsp Paprika powder
  • 1 tsp Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  •  1/2 cup Spring Onion
  • 1/4 cup pickled Jalapeno slices
  • 1/2 cup Guacamole
  • 1 cup Salsa(Store bought or homemade)
  • 4 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup refried Beans
  • Salt as required
  • 2 tbsp Oil 
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.
  2. Take a pan, pour oil and saute onion. Add ground beef and cook for sometime.
  3. Mix in paprika, chilly, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion powders, pepper flakes and salt.
  4. Saute for sometime. Once the beef is cooked thoroughly, add 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 cup spring onion.
  5. Take an oven safe plate and layer the chips. Spread refried beans and cooked beef on top. Sprinkle cheese and little salsa. Repeat the process for the second layer (except salsa)
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 min. Then top with remaining 1/2 cup salsa, jalapeno pepper, spring onion, guacamole & a dollop of sour cream. 

Apr 24, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

Flattened dough sprinkled with sugar-cinnamon mix, then rolled, cut into individual pieces, baked and lightly glazed to form an aromatic cinnamon swirl! This sweet delight is served mainly in North America and Northern Europe.

Total Time......3 hrs 20 min (Prep - 15 min, Bake-25 min, Inactive-2 hrs 40 min)    
Yield...............8 big rolls

Ingredients for the dough
  • 2 1/2 cups All purpose flour(Maida)
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sour cream
  • 3 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup Warm water
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Mix yeast in warm water. Keep aside for 10 min.
  2. Take a bowl & whisk egg and sugar. 
  3. Then add butter, sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat thoroughly.
  4. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt and yeast solution.
  5. Knead well, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Keep aside in a warm place for 1 hour.
Ingredients for the filling
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a separate bowl.
  3. Flatten the dough into a 15 X 11 inch rectangular shape. Brush melted butter and sprinkle the 'sugar & cinnamon' mix.
  4. Start rolling from the 15 inch side & cut into 1 1/2 inch thick rolls. 
  5. Grease a baking tray with butter and arrange the rolls with enough space in between.
  6. Cover & keep aside for 30 min. Then bake for 25 to 30 min.

Ingredients for the glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1.  Mix all the 3 ingredients together.
  2. Take out the baking tray when the rolls are done & pour the liquid on top.
  3. Allow it to cool for sometime & then serve.

Apr 11, 2013

Braided Bread stuffed with Chicken & Veggies

Bread filled with fried Chicken, green Bell pepper, Broccoli, Tomato, Onion, 
White sauce, Sriracha hot sauce and Ketchup.

Total Time......2 hrs (Prep-15 min, Cook-10 min, Bake-25 min, Inactive-1 hr 10 min)  
Yield...............4 to 5 servings

(I) Ingredients for the dough
  • 1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
  • 1 tbsp Active dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm Water
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  1. Mix yeast and sugar in warm water. Keep aside for 10 min.
  2. In a food processor, add both flours, salt & fermented yeast solution.
  3. Prepare dough and keep in a bowl wrapped in cling wrap. Keep aside for 1 hour.
  4. Knead with hands and make 2 equal balls.
(II) Ingredients for the white sauce
  • 2 tbsp All purpose flour(Maida)
  • 3/4 cup Chicken stock 
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Salt as required
  1. Take a sauce pan and melt butter. Mix in four and stir.
  2. Add chicken stock and 1/4 cup water. Stir till the solution is slightly thick.
  3. Remove from flame & keep aside.
 (III) Ingredients for the filling
  • 1 cup cooked & pulled Chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1/2 cup Green Bell pepper(Capsicum)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped Tomato
  • 3/4 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt as required

  1. Take a pan and lightly fry in oil, the cooked chicken pieces with 1/4 tsp black pepper and salt. 
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic powder, remaining black pepper. Saute for 5 min.
  3. Mix in tomato and broccoli. Cook for 1 min.
  4. Pour the prepared white sauce, sriracha sauce and ketchup. Turn off the flame and combine well.
  5. Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
  6. Flatten dough & cut on both sides with a knife, leaving space in the middle for the filling 
  7. Place the filling in the middle of flattened dough and start braiding.
  8. Beat egg well & brush on the fully braided bread.  
  9. Carefully transfer onto a greased cookie pan and bake for 25min.   

Apr 8, 2013

Orange Strawberry Lemonade

A refreshing drink prepared by extracting  fresh juice from  strawberries, oranges & lemon to quench your thirst on a hot day!

Total Time......7 min (Prep - 5min, Blend-2min)
Yield...............4 glasses

  • 2 cups(20) strawberries
  • 2 small oranges
  • 2 small lemons
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups cold water
  • Ice cubes
  1. Take a blender. Add hulled strawberries, peeled oranges, sugar, lemon juice and water. 
  2. Blend till everything mixes thoroughly. Strain into a glass and add ice cubes. 
  3. Serve into a decorated glass & enjoy the chilled & refreshing drink!

Apr 3, 2013

Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

Pizza made with whole wheat flour crust and topped with pepperoni slices, smoked beef sausage, jalapenos, onions and sun-dried tomatoes.

Total Time....1 hr 32 min (Prep-10 min, Bake-17 min, Inactive-1 hr 5 min)    
Yield.............1 pizza (12 inch)
Ingredients for the dough
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp oregano powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Mix yeast and sugar in warm water. Keep aside for 5 min.
  2. Knead together wheat flour, oil, salt, parsley, garlic powder, oregano, basil and the above yeast solution.
  3. Place the dough in a big bowl and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Keep aside for 1hr.
  4. Roll out the dough in round shape and place on a slightly greased pizza pan.
Ingredients for the topping
  • 15 Pepperoni slices
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Sausage
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Chopped Jalapeno
  • 3 tbsp chopped Sun dried Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Pizza sauce (or Tomato Ketchup)
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
  • Salt as required
  1. Preheat the oven at 425 degrees F.
  2. Spread pizza sauce on the rolled out dough.
  3. Top with sausage, onion, jalapeno and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle black pepper and salt.
  4. Top it with cheese and then arrange the pepperoni slices.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 min. take out from the oven & add pepper flakes .
  6. Slice and serve hot with spicy chicken wings! :)


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