28 November 2013

3 min Sugar free Black Forest Mug cake


Windy weather, chilly nights,
Lips chapped, face blushing in frostbites,
Layers of clothes , only my eye in sight ,
A frozen snow-woman , That's my winter's plight............ :(

The winter season has kicked in full swing ... and I hate it simply ,I hate that I can't eat ice creams anymore ,I hate that I've to wear the same sets of sweaters/coats every other day to keep myself warm and going ,I hate that it covers my beautiful embroidered salwaar kameez or my beautiful tops,I hate that I can't wear sleeveless dress anymore,I hate that I can't wear my small or long skirts and feel free and light,I hate that I am stuck at home most of the time,I hate that I feel nothing less than a polar bear going to be in a hibernation mode ..Oh I loathe you winter !!


This is me ...in every winter ...but so much hate-ttitude..isn't it ??? This list can in fact go on and on .However, thankfully it's also a season of  gratitude so I better change my attitude as it's Thanksgiving eve here in the US. Well the name of the festival of this month speaks for itself. A day dedicated to express and celebrate your blessings with good food, fun and family togetherness . A day when women are the busiest here not at their office,party,or their kid's soccer game but exclusively in their kitchen striving hard to make the yummiest stuffed (12 pound) Turkey "especially" plus other desserts and side dishes and men either helping their spouse in kitchen or busy watching games or chit chatting without any fear of being nagged :P,kids happy to meet their aunts , uncles,cousins ,grand parents after a long time under one roof and everyone looking forward to say grace and enjoy the big birdie :).


I am also extremely happy to come across this festival here which I was totally unaware of in India and I must say I feel kinda nirvana. I love it...In fact , I also celebrate this festival not by preparing the big birdie but by regrouping my thoughts, counting my blessings , expressing my gratitude, accepting my problems , ignoring my pains, cherishing my happiness , wiping my tears, smiling more, sighing less, meditating more, understanding myself and others more, expecting less, giving more, glad to be alive , always thanking more.... to the almighty , family & dear ones...

This is exactly what festivals do to me- They make the philosopher and the foodie in me go par. You met the philo in me ,now I'll introduce you to the food I am extremely grateful to (though like it or not am thankful to all foods provided by God)...

So, my dear friends the food that I am extremely grateful to on this gratitude day is none other than ,"Black Forest MUG CAKE" , yepp !!,a classic chocolate-cherry cake (though alcohol free) made instantly in a microwave with unsweetened cocoa powder and though traditionally cherry brandy Kirschwasser is used for the true flavor, I substituted it with cherry & it's juice instead and decorated it with the usual whipped cream and of course red juicy cherries and let me tell you this is one of the best and easiest black forest cake I've ever made.
And the best part, it's made in a MUG/large cup within 2-3 MINUTES max.

Now, you know why I call it my grateful food !!;) I can't THANK enough the lady who invented this mini sinless version of black forest cake , you can have it anytime if you have a microwave ,microwaveable cup and then I can't thank enough , Dr. Percy Spencer for inventing the microwave in the first place : D.. aaah I am thankful for everything Lord.....


Black Forest Mug Cake 

                        Inspired by Leslie Bilderback 's cookbook (St. Martin's Griffin, 2013)


Self-rising flour - ¼ cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 2 tablespoons 
Chopped cherries,canned or fresh - ¼ cup 
Cherry juice - 2 tablespoons 
Egg,large - 1 no.
Vegetable oil- 3 tablespoons 
Sour cream - 3 tablespoons 
Pure vanilla extract - ¼ teaspoon 
Stevia/sugar free - 1/2-3/4 cup 
Salt a pinch
Vanilla pudding - 2 tablespoon (optional)
Sweetened Whipped Cream - ½ cup 
Shaved chocolate - 2 tablespoons 


  •  Take a microwaveable bowl or a cup ,combine the chopped cherries , it's juice and microwave it for 20 seconds and keep it aside.
  •  In a microwavable large mug/cup ,whisk nicely egg and oil .
  • Stir in the sour cream,vanilla,salt,sugar.Mix it well.
  • Add the flour and cocoa.Beat well the batter until smooth and mixed.
  • Add the warm chopped cheeries and juice into it and mix well.
  • Divide the batter between either two small greased (light oil spray) cups or 1 large cup/mug.
  • Microwave (if using two small cups) separately for 2-3 minutes each until risen and firm.
  • Insert a tooth pick and check for doneness,it should come out clean.
  • Top each cake with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream ,cherries and garnish with shaved chocolate.
Note :
  1.  If you don't have self-rising flour,use all purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda for more softness.
  3. Use a microwaveable cup/mug only.
  4. Always put 1/2-3/4 of batter in the cup/mug used .Otherwise it'll overflow.
  5. Usually distilled cherry brandy kirschwasser or any rum is used for the traditional BF cake but to make it alcohol free ,I used cherry juice .You can also use apple juice ,Black cherry, raspberry, black currant juice or syrups .
  6. If you are using sugar use only 1/4 cup as per the original recipe.
  7. I used pudding to make it little more soft which is not there in actual recipe.
  8. In microwave it'll initially rise and later on deflate that is expected .
  9. My microwave is of 1000 watt .So adjust the preparation as per yours.

“We only live once. We all have an expiration date after that we will never come again. I am not saying that to make you sad. I am saying that so you can cherish each moment in your life and be grateful that you are here and you are Special” ― Pablo

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

sending this to Sharanya's Let's cook for christmas

26 November 2013

Beetroot rice or an UEO in my kitchen ??


All you hear everywhere around is "Eat your greens !" A cliche of course and how boring !! But then there are thankfully a few of them, vegetables that are not only bursting with nutrients and multi-health benefits like greeny ones but also have vibrant eye catching colors . Some from outside and some from inside and Beetroot falls under the latter .


 In fact , they emphasize the saying ,"Beauty is skin deep ". Those deep pinkish hue says it all . That is exactly what makes me love this vegetable . Every time I come across these roots in the market ,I feel as if it's saying ,"Like me or hate me but you just can't ignore me". So true !!! No wonder why the Romans considered them as one of the aphrodisiac ;P.Shy Whistler

Roses made with beetroot skin....

So,today I've an UEO/Unidentified Eating Object in my kitchen . Says who ?? .. Not me but my life partner in crime or prime , Honey P .That's the name he coined after seeing those pictures of none other than my Beetroot rice .


After this meal preparation which is quite easy peasy and food styling which is ,I agree weird and not every can get it but at least my better smart half will I believed ...lo and behold !...The non-stop questions started gushing fast ,"OMG, is that an UFO/alien ship just landed or is that an alien, UAO/Unidentified Alien Object ???? Are those two antennas or something and I can see something triangular ???  Or is it something exclusive eaten just by the aliens ??? Can't believe my eyes I betcha , Ufologist would love to do research on that...you nailed it babes !! ...I was like Fainting....

HONEY P, THAT'S MY HUMBLE (yeah two horned which is my design actually) BEETROOT RICE .Angry Fist


He was like Laughing smiley face...anyways,I later on proudly took it as a compliment ,"I made something extra-ordinary out of the ordinary after all"....yayyy to me !!! I cook foods not only for humans but also for aliens you know ..That's me !!!! Winking Thumbs up...hehehe :P...

After eating it though he was super happy like :))....and as they say,"All is well that ends well".

So,here goes my UEO a.k.a Beetroot rice recipe which is yet another easy ,simple and quick to make . The subtle sweetness of beets , flavorful spices and a tad of coconut milk makes it one colorful ,one of a kind pot meal of the day. It can also be a quick fix meal if you have some left over rice especially.

Beetroot rice


Beetroot,grated - 1 no.
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Onions,chopped - 1 cup
Green chillies,chopped - 2 no.(optional)
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Tomato - 1/2 cup
Garam Masala /Shan Biryani masala powder- 1 teaspoon
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 1 teaspoon
Cardamom - 2 no.
Cinnamon - 1"
Cloves - 2 no.
Bay leaf - 1 no.
 Oil/Ghee/Butter - 1-2 tablespoon
Rice - 2 cup
Water - 3 1/2 cup
Salt to taste



  •  Heat Oil/ghee/butter in a pressure cooker ,add cumin seeds,peppercorns,cardamom,cinnamon ,cloves and bay leaf .Saute for a minute until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add chopped onions and green chillies.Saute until onion becomes translucent.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste.Keep sauteing on low flame until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add tomato and saute until they become soft and mushy.
  • Add garam masala powder /Shan's Biryani masala and saute for a minute or two on low flame.
  • Add the grated beetroots and peas and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and saute for a minute.
  • Add the rice,salt to it and stir everything together.
  • Pressure cook it for 2-3 whistles or until cooked (adjust as per your cooker's manufacturer's instructions) from high-medium-low flame.
  • Once the steam subsides in the cooker, leave it to cool.
  • After 5-10 minutes open the cooker carefully and with a fork ,fluff the rice slowly without breaking it.
  • Tadaaa,UEO is ready to go..I mean Beetroot rice is ready to eat .
  • Serve it hot with raita/yogurt sauce/dip.
  1. To balance the sweetness of the beets,I've added peppercorns ,green chillies ,peas and coconut milk.
  2. Instead of garam masala even sambar powder ,rasam powder can also be used but the taste will vary then.


Does it really look like an UFO/UAO/UEO???

23 November 2013

My first award - Best innovation recipe award ..Yayyyy!!!

Happy Dancing Elephant

Yuhooo ,I got this award from the kind and talented girl ,Sharanya/Shey Divine blogging with exquisite recipes at http://justnotthecakes.blogspot.com . The event was "Let's celebrate Halloween" and my super simple entry was Pecan Freaks. My hearty thanks to Sharanya for this fun opportunity and consideration :)..Appreciate it !! I feel like a kid ...super happy as it's my first one too within 3 months of blogging and You ,Sharanya ,made the child in me go wild :D......Thank U!!

Running around

Wheat Namkeen cuts |Wheat diamond cuts

So,what do you do when a guest stops by your home at an unexpected time ???

You : I pretend I am not at home . Embarrassed smiley face
You:Stupiiiid."Athithi devo bhava " right ?? So,obviously ,I heartily welcome them,make them comfortable ,have gup-shups/chit-chats and gossips :P  and serve them drinks and eateries.
Me:Ohh thanks for the compliment !! :D ..so sweet of u !! and yes I know "Athithi devo bhava/"Guest becomes God" but what happens if a guest drops in without any notice and they are gonna leave soon and then what do you serve them ,"your quick yet tasty food you make exclusively for them right on" ????
You: Aaaaah !! I seee ...ufff ..when are you gonna learn to say something simple and straight without making it a roundabout ???
Me: I've a twisted tongue I guess :O..well,that's me !! Answer my question ??
You : Well,.............
 Me: hmmm...looks like either you don't wanna tell me or your mind is doing a roundabout now 8) or you  really pretend to be not at home then :D ..anyways,time is up pal !!!

Whooops ..excuse me guys..that was just a scenario I had once with one of my friend  and I was just imagining what would have happened if I would have had the same conversation with "You" my reader ...Something similar right ..before you would say I would have even slapped you or going to ...let me certainly cut the crap and come to the point.:D


So,whenever I've an impromptu guest and when I don't have anything ready made snacks at home to serve them (which is kinda must for me) ,my quickest "Go to" snack is my namkeen cuts ,something you can quickly make and even bite at one side and on another side you can gossip about anything and anyone simultaneously ,without wasting anytime :P .How interesting multi-tasking is that ?:P.

So,Namkeen cuts are light and quick crunchy snacks made with just wheat flour,salt and fried in oil . It can be made in no time in lots and can be stored in an air tight container for many days . It is a snack anyone would love to munch.


Usually it's called diamond cuts and made especially with maida/all purpose flour .However ,I used the wheat flour as an healthy alternative .

Wheat namkeen cuts


Whole Wheat flour - 1 cup
salt -1 teaspoon
Warm water - 3/4 cup
Baking Soda -1/4 teaspoon
Black salt -as needed
Oil as needed for frying


  •  In a bowl,mix wheat flour,salt and baking soda .
  • Add water little by little and knead it until it forms a non-sticky smooth dough.Keep it aside for an hour.
  • Make big balls out of it (as needed bigger than golf ball) and keep it aside.
  • Cover them with flour so that they don't stick and using roll pin,them into a big chappati shape or a big circle shape.
  • Using a knife make vertical stripes and then horizontal stripes  in a way that they become more or less diamond shaped.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan/Kadai on high flame.Put a bit of  above diamond cut into the oil.If they bubble up and resurface above the oil.It's ready to fry.
  • Reduce the flame to medium and fry the cuts one by one on both sides (flipping other side in between) until they get a golden color and firm .(initially they will fluff up and look like mini pooris ,keep them on medium flame for a few more minutes until they become firm and slight dark brown).
  • Using a slotted ladle transfer the fried cuts onto the tissue papers and let them cool and then transfer them to an air tight container later.
  • Sprinkle (carefully) black salt onto the fried cuts.
  • Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.
  1. You can even add either cumin seeds,ajwain/carrom seeds or sesame seeds in the first step with the wheat flour.
  2. You can use all purpose flour/maida instead of wheat flour .
  3. For making a spicy version,add chilly powder with the flour. 
  4. Instead of salt you can even replace it with sugar to make it sweet.
  5. I had no intention to make it diamond shape exactly .So,you can see all kinds of geometric shapes ;D.
Eat,Love,Live well

Sending this to  Priya’s Virundhu 's CWS event announcement

21 November 2013

Wonder Tip#6 To cook dals/lentils fast

A pinch of turmeric powder and salt added to any kinds of dals\lentils while cooking makes them cook fast.

20 November 2013

Vurgers - Quick mini vegetable sandwich

What do you love  most about the cutlets ?? Yes,it's a great appetizer,a perfect tea time snack ,crowd pleaser or moms out there will be gleeing and proudly mumbling, one of the best way to make their kids eat those resistible vegetables like mine ;) ...Yeah yeah I hear you friends !!! Can't agree more !!

However,ask me why I love those cutlets ?? Any idea ??Impatient

Well, I love them because I keep half of the patties/cutlets either frozen or refrigerated for the next day or so as my yummy quick BREAKFAST!!! :D
Balle balle ..say shava shavaaaa Crazy Happy


Oh yeah..well make those patties from the mixture (of boiled,mashed potato,any mix of vegetables,spices) and keep them in a box and either freeze it or refrigerate it and fry it and use it later either as a snack or as a kind of healthy breakfast for next day or any day of the week.Aaah that's kinda life saver for me ...boon to the hustle bustle crazy morning time ..

It just becomes more interesting and tasty when you eat it as a sandwich where you can add more fresh raw crunchy vegetable slices like onions,tomatoes,lettuce,cucumber ..as you wish with ketchup on one side of sandwich and like mustard sauce or any chutney on another side of the sandwich and I then call them,"VURGERS" ,the Veg bURGER !!! Cool eh??


Loads of vegetables ??? that sounds SUPER cool ,my mom will say and so will rest of the mommies out there and rest assured kids are gonna go gaga over it too because just like them these are mini cute looking tasty food they can have it anytime, anywhere in many ways....and moreover,once you are done making cutlets nothing much is left to do but you can make loads of them at a stretch like for parties ,picnics,get together ...Teeny weeny easy peasy cutie yum yum food !!

 VURGERS/Vegetable sandwiches


Dinner rolls/Mini buns - 5 or more as you wish
Cutlets/Patties - 5 nos.
Onion,sliced round - 1 no.
Cucumber,sliced round - 4-5 nos.
Ketchup - 1 teaspoon
Mustard sauce - 1 teaspoon


  • Take a dinner roll and apply ketchup on one side and mustard sauce on another side .

  • Put a cutlet in between .
  • Add preferred vegetable slices.
  • That's eat quick mini vurgers are ready to go.
  1. You can even lightly toast the rolls or buns with butter or spread on both sides.
  2. Use any vegetable slices of your choice and any sauce ...

4 U ..Bite it!!
Eat,Love,Live well,

19 November 2013

Vegetable cutlets/Patties


"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Manjusha...errrrr...originally quoted by none other than  ~ Mark Twain but secondarily quoted and exclusively dedicated to my childhood days!

  Crying girl <- Picture this cry babe .That's ,yours truly,"ME". That's how I was when I was little,the pickiest eater ,the princess of tantrums , daadi/granny of troublemaker , the spoiled little don/brat of my parents especially my mother and not to mention a challenge to my momma which she accepted it wholeheartedly and enjoyed it thoroughly too.Because of all these extraordinary qualities I possessed, I was also the reason that my parents went ahead with their family planning decision eventually lol ..According to them I was equivalent to 10 kids they said :D. Awwwww !!! I always took it as a compliment mom (winkie,winkie).Yayyy!! Taaaliyaan..Give'em a huge roud of applause Happy smiley face.

Jokes apart,what can I say about my mom -Just perfect she is (including the way she use to scold me n my bro)!!!  The way she prepared food everyday for me,my brother,dad as per our respective preference is something I wonder if I'll be doing the same in future for my kids .I wonder if I'll have enough patience,thoughtfulness and discipline to cook something different everyday making sure family are eating and enjoying nutritious foods and most importantly on time . That's something time will say !! However ,my mom says,"Afterall you are my daughter and where there is a will,there is always a way,you'll figure it out by yourself for sure at the right time in the right way ."!! :)...Hope so mom !!

My parents would never like to see my face down and frown and when it came to eating vegetables that's exactly what happened but moms know quite well the tips and tricks to lure their kids to have those vegetables by hook or by crook :D and making a vegetable cutlet was one of the way my mom made sure I would frown less ,smile and eat more.For these cutlets were the best foods that could hide any vegetables of your choice,little spices that gave flavour,covered with crunchy bread coating and fried to make sure everything is properly hidden and covered and finally served as a snack with loads of ketchup alongside.Now who can dare to complain ??? Nope I didn't:). There...my mom's eureka moment !!


So,today I've amma's vegetable cutlet recipe.Vegetable cutlets (If you didn't get it yet,a tubelight like me:P) are patties made up of mix of different vegetables especially boiled potato,carrots,peas,beans etc ,mildly spiced,coated in bread crumbs or flour and shallow or deep fried in oil .They are served as a tea time snack or even as a breakfast with buns /rolls as a vegetable burger or a light snack anytime.

Here is how I make Vegetable cutlet :

Vegetable cutlet


Potato,Big,boiled & mashed - 1-2 nos.
Onion,sliced lengthwise,big - 1no.
Green chilly,chopped - 1-2 nos.
Carrots,peas ,any other vegetable you like,chopped & boiled - 1 cup
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala - 1/4-1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
salt to taste
Bread crumbs - 1-2 cups
 Egg - 1 no.
Oil for frying


  • Heat 2 teaspoon of oil in a pan and saute sliced onion and green chilly until the onions become translucent.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell disappears on low flame.
  • Add garam masala,chilli powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder and saute for a minute or two.
  • Add the boiled potato and saute until everything is mixed well.
  • Add salt to taste and put the stove off.
  • Allow it to cool a bit .
  • Now make small balls out of the mixture and flatten it between your hands (round,oblong or any desired shape) and keep them aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan .
  • Beat an egg .Keep it side.
  • Take each ball and dip them into the beaten egg and cover them nicely with bread crumbs.
  • Deep or shallow fry them one by one without crowding into the hot oil on medium heat until both the sides are light-dark brown.
  • Serve them hot with ketchup or mint chutney.

  1. Adjust green chilli,red chilly powder and garam masala as per your desired spiciness.
  2. Instead of egg ,use a batter of all purpose flour to dip and coat bread crumbs.
  3. Instead of bread crumbs use all purpose flour directly but the taste will differ.
Eat,Love,live well,


17 November 2013

Nadan Vella Kadala curry|Kabuli chana curry - Kerala style Garbanzo curry


 Ask any Mallu (cute form of Keralite) ,what's their fave breakfast item and they will scream @ the top of their lungs, "Puttum Kadala chetta or chettathiii" :O)).

Likewise ask my hubby (though he is more Hyderabadi than a Mallu )what's his all time fave breakfast,even lunch or dinner is ,he'll scream @ the top of every organ in his body :P ,"Puttum kadalem anneyyy" but then there is a catch ! He doesn't like the well known traditional consort of Puttu,black chickpea or chana he loves the white version instead,the kabuli chana/garbanzo curry .So,I hardly make the black chickpea curry and usually make the white one,in a very simple yet Kerala way.This goes undoubtedly well with the puttu ,also with Appam,bhatura,poori,roti,naan ,rice etc as well.


So,my kadala curry is a spicy curry made with Garbanzo chickpeas ,Kerala spices and coconut milk exclusively.

This is how I make nadan Kadla curry with black/brown chickpeas 

Here is how I make vella Kadala curry :

Vella Kadala curry


Vella Kadala/Kabuli chana/Garbanzo chickpeas - 1 cup
Onion ,Big (sliced lengthwise) - 1 no.
Green chillies,(sliced into two lengthwise) - 2-3 nos.
Tomato ,medium,chopped - 1 no.
Ginger-garlic paste- 1-2 teaspoon
Kerala Garam Masala/Meat Masala - 1/2-1 teaspoon
Chilly powder - 2-3 teaspoons
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Fennel powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut milk - 1/4-1/2 cup(optional)
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chilly - 1 -2 nos.(optional)
Curry leaves - a few
Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
Water as needed

Method :

Watch the video below with English subtitles to learn (in 4 min)along with me.It's simple !



  • Soak the chickpeas overnight/ 8 hours approx .
  • After that,wash them properly and pressure cook the chickpeas,turmeric powder and about 2 1/2 cups of water (covering the chickpeas) for 2-3 whistles (High flame to medium) or until cooked.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds,dry chilly,few curry leaves.
  • Sprinkle little salt (to brown the onion faster),add the sliced onions,green chillies and saute until the onions are transparent.
  • Saute ginger-garlic paste into it until their raw smell disappears.
  • Add tomato and saute until they get soft and mushy .
  • Add garam masala/meat masala ,coriander powder,chilli powder,fennel powder and saute for a few minutes until the oil oozes out.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas into it.Saute for few minutes.Add enough water.
  • Boil it,once it reaches the boiling point,let it simmer for 5-10 minutes on low flame.
  • Add coconut milk and  remaining curry leaves.
  • Simmer for a minute and put off the stove.
  • Yummy spicy kadala curry is ready.
  • Add more coconut milk to make it more flavorful ,less spicy and for more gravy as it thickens up gradually or little water would do.
  • Kerala meat masala is highly recommended .The taste may vary according to the garam masala used.Use coconut oil for authentic Kerala taste.

Eat,love,live well,