May 17, 2017

Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake

I was thrilled to make 'Thomas the Tank Engine' cake for my son's second birthday. As he is a big fan of 'Thomas & friends', I thought of giving it a try. It was quite challenging with a hyperactive toddler around and the birthday lunch preparations. Even though it was tiring, I enjoyed making the cute little blue engine 😁
Cocoa cake slices of rectangle, circle and semi-circle shapes are used here which is coated with whipped cream frosting. The whole cake is covered in marshmallow fondant which makes it more yummy. Even the wheels and face has cake inside 😋 In-spite of the imperfections on the cake due to lack of time, my son was extremely happy and excited to see his favorite tank engine as a cake 😊 That made me happy with what I did & it was a memorable day indeed. 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 Red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 small Green chilly
  • 2 Red chillies
  • 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 red chillies, 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
  • 2 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 Red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves powder
  • 1/2 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 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......25 min (Prep - 10 min, Cook-15 min)    
Yield...............12 to 15 gulab jamuns

 Ingredients for the gulab jamun
  • 1 cup Milk Powder
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour (Maida)
  • 2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • A pinch of Baking soda
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients well. Add butter and milk. Knead well and make very small balls.
  2. When the oil is low-medium hot, fry all the gulab jamuns till golden brown. Keep aside.
Ingredients for the sugar syrup
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Rose water/essence
  • Pinch of Saffron strands
  • Few Pistachios
  1. In a wide and shallow pan, add all the ingredients and boil on a medium-high  flame for 5 to 7 min. (Container should be wide enough for the gulab jamuns to expand in double size & to get fully soaked)
  2. Keep stirring in between and turn off  flame when the syrup is slightly thick. Take off the cardamom pods.
  3. Transfer all the fried gulab jamuns into the syrup. Decorate with Pistachios and keep aside for at-least 2 hours.
  4. Serve hot or cold. It goes well with vanilla ice-cream too!

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.


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