31 August 2014

Piece of cake


Welcome sunglasses TO CookingDivaManjusha.com !!

Shri Vigneshwaraya Namah !!

Well,this is my first post in my new blog ,CookingDivaManjusha.com aka CDM ;) and obviously a good bye to my old bloggie,my launchpad (mywonderkitchen.blogspot.com). Crying and blowing nose

Mywonderkitchen blog was my experiment plus exploration spot ,which gave me a heads up to the  blogging world,with lots of lessons,ups and downs ,gave me the confidence to go on nevertheless.


To take it to the next level--more seriously and professionally,we are virtually upgrading & I always wanted to have a website with my name and so here it is ,my new virtual home,"CookingDivaManjusha.com". :)


Lemme start with my blog anthem/motto :-

Img credit:lyndsayjohnsoncreates.com


Though blogging is certainly not a piece of cake,my recipe is ;)...yep it is indeed pieces of a cake stacked with icing and decorated with colorful sprinkles  ,I prepared for a get together long time back using a ready made cake mix ,icing/frosting and round cookie cutter to create mini cakes like these ...

Piece of cake


Any baked cake
Round Cookie cutter
Cherries and sprinkles for decoration


  • Bake the cake (here made with a readymade cake mix)( I do have some cake recipes in my blog for your reference)
  • Once cool,using cookie cutter create round shapes and keep on stacking together with icing in between each layers -first the mini round cake piece followed by icing and keep on repeating until you get the desired shape like this and should end with the round piece of cake.
  • Decorate with sprinkles and cherries.

I am not sure when I will recreate them again but would love to share the pics for the start. But I do have more interesting recipes coming up  ..watch out my space !! Giving Thumbs Up Winking

CheersSo,here's to a new start,a new beginning .....May God bless YOU,my new blog and us(PraMan)!!Amen!

So guys,once again welcome to my new blog.How is my new blog ? What did you like and what should be improved ?? Do let me know every now and then:))...Hoping for a lot of love and support always!!:) Your company and your feedback means world to me ! Alert me if I am doing something wrong (just don't walk away :P)and pat me when I am doing good,just be there for me always ,I would really appreciate that and it'll fuel me to go further- more positively.Hope to see you all around!!

And I'll keep in mind always -

Dil se,

25 August 2014

Wonder tip #7 How to keep curry leaves or cilantro fresh for long ?

  1. Keep cilantro covered in cheese cloth in refrigerator. Or
  2. Wrap them in a newspaper and keep it in a plastic bag and refrigerate.Or
  3. Clean the curry leaves in water, strain and allow it to dry,put a piece of paper in an air tight box ,followed by another piece of paper on top of the curry leaves and store it in the refrigerator .Or
  4. Wash the curry leaves in water well,strain and dry it,store it in a bottle.

Pico de Gallo|Salsa Fresca|Salsa Picada|Salsa Bandera|Mexican Tomato salsa


Do you love Mexican cuisine ? How about a salad so simple and tasty in itself that when added to any other recipes and not predominantly Mexican, that it can just make that particular recipe a tad more healthier if not take it to a totally next level ? It is not only tummy friendly but also simply visually appealing provided you love colors .Moreover,this salad can be made in quickie with a few staple ingredients easily available at home and even can be refrigerated for a couple of days and guess what the taste just becomes more flavorful.

And that my dear friend is quite famously called "Pico de gallo " , A popular Mexican salad made with chopped fresh tomato,onion and chillies (Jalapeno/Serrano/Habenaro) especially and to give it an extra zing even lime/lemon juice,fresh cilantro are added and to make it real special,seafoods or tropical fruits are also added at times (As per Wikipedia).


Wikipedia says,it is also called Salsa Picada as it is considered to be a minced form of sauce and Salsa Bandera as it also has all the colors of the Mexican Flag,red (Tomato),white (White onion),Green(Chillies).

Do you know,what is the meaning of "Pico de Gallo" in English ?....Well, it means " Rooster's beak" as it is believed that originally people used to eat this salad pinching them between their thumb and forefinger (imagine a rooster's beak) (Source:Wikipedia) . No offense but what a funny correlation isn't it ?:D ....Interesting !!

I like Mexican dishes and my hubby loves it.If he is away from home on some official trip he would be the most loyal customer of the famous Mexican restaurants of US like "Chipotle" or "Qudoba" especially than Indian foods (as they are heavy and oily comparatively ) .The reason being if chosen properly Mexican foods can be quite healthy ((as they are full of fresh raw vegetables) yet spicy ...just what we love to eat !! And that is the reason I am trying my hands on Mexican dishes too and when it can be made quickly ,I am all in .What do you say ? Want to know how to make this quick Mexican salad ...Well,Here's how...........

Pico De Gallo
Serving: 4


Tomatoes,Large,chopped - 1and 1/2 nos.
White Onion, chopped -1/2 no.
Fresh Cilantro,chopped - 1-2 tablespoons
Jalapeno,chopped - 1 no.
Lime/Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste


  • Combine chopped tomatoes,onion ,Jalapeno and fresh cilantro mix well.Pour lemon juice as desired and finally sprinkle salt to taste. Toss everything well.Adjust everything as you wish.
  • Pico de Gallo is ready to be served.
  1. If you don't want the spicy version,omit the jalapeno or any other chili.
  2. Use lime/lemon juice fresh not the concentrated one.Taste will differ.
  3. There are many variations but this recipe was shared by a local chef when I visited Cancun last year.
  4. If this is allowed to sit for a while/refrigerated ,the flavor will enhance .
  5. Enjoy it as it is with chips or add to tacos,burritos,or any main course as a side side dish. 
 Did you try my other Mexican flavors -Egg Quesadilla and Guacamole
Hope you'll like it.

Eat,love,live deliciously,

20 August 2014

Masaledaar Bhindi (Okra) Fry |Ladysfinger stir fry in Andhra style


Every summer the only vegetable that grows bountiful at my backyard are "Ladysfinger".So,I am always hunting for varieties of Okra recipes.Here is a one I came across that is spicy(masaledaar) and very delicious,purely Andhra style.Awesome as a side dish with simple boiled rice or chapathis.

Masaledaar Bhindi (Okra) Fry 


 Ladysfinger trimmed,halved - 6-7 nos
 Onion,sliced lengthwise - 1 no.

Ground paste :

Coriander seed - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1teaspoon
Dry red chilli - 5-6 nos
Roasted peanuts,peeled -1/4 cup
Garlic - 2-3 cloves
Salt as needed

  • Dry roast coriander seeds,cumin seeds,dry red chillies,roasted peanuts and garlic and keep it aside to cool and later put it in a blender and crush it coarsely.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions until transparent.
  • Add the ladysfinger and salt and  saute until it gets cooked and little crispy.
  • Add the coarse ground paste to it ,saute for a minute.
  • Serve it hot with rice or roti or puri.

15 August 2014

Tri-color Popsicle (super healthy) - Happy 68th Independence day !


"How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. "
          Those were a few golden powerful words said none other than by "The father of our nation",hamaarein pyare baapu,Gandhi ji.....and those few words says it all ...and as they say ," Action speaks louder than words " and it certainly did, when our Bappu ji took the extreme initiative with an unflinching attitude to fight against and END the British rule by hook or crook and make our precious motherland ,free and independent.

So,here we are today,free,independent ,glorious and imperfectly perfect proudly celebrating our 68th Independence day with full zeal and vigor through out the world!!

 Here's wishing a very happy,warm independence day to all the proud Indians !!

A big salute to all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives so that we can live freely and proudly today !!

Aye mere watan ke logon
Tum khoob laga lo naara
Ye shubh din hai hum sab ka
Lehraa lo tirangaa pyara
Par mat bhoolo seemaa par
Veeron ne hai praan ganwaaye

Kuchh yaad unhe bhi kar lo
Jo laut ke ghar na aaye .........................

On this proud and nostalgic occasion, I am dedicating a very super healthy and easy frozen treat ,"The Tri color popsicle " reminiscing India .......


Tri color Popsicles

 Carrot juice - 1 cup
Almond milk (sweetened) - 1 cup
 Spirulina juice - 1 cup
Popsicle mold as desired-4
Popsicle sticks -4
  1. Fill each mold with a layer (1-2 inch approx) of Carrot juice .
  2. Keep it in the freezer for an hour or until completely frozen.
  3. Now on top of that put the second layer of Almond milk (1-2 inch).
  4. Keep it in the freezer until full frozen .
  5. Now add the final layer with the green spirulina juice,keep it in the freezer until partially frozen enough to put the sticks into it and the sticks should stand firm.Keep it in the freezer until full frozen.
  6. Freeze it for an hour or more until completely frozen.
  7. Remove the frozen popsicles from the freezer and dip them slowly in a pan of warm water for about 10-20 seconds until it is loosened or splash some warm water to the sides of the pops until it loosens.
  1.  Mine is not that sweetened Popsicle instead it is healthy one or say my way to eat the super food,the spirulina or if your have spirulina powder,mix a tablespoon in a cup of water and use it.
  2. You can use Spinach juice or kale juice as well for the green color instead.
  3. You can use just milk (pasteurized)instead of almond milk here.You can add sugar if you wish.
  4. You can use orange juice instead of carrot juice. 
  5. Make sure that the first layer before adding the second layer is completely frozen  ,similarly while adding the third layer ,the second layer should be firm and full frozen ,otherwise they all will bleed and get mixed and third one should be partially frozen first so that stick can be inserted into it and then full frozen  .

Hope you will like it.


Tum bhool naa jaao unko
Iss liye kahi ye kahaani
Jo shahid huey hain unki
Zaraa yaad karo qurbaani
Jay Hind........

Vande maatram,
Dil se,

P.S. My other tributes for our country - Tri color panna cota , Tri color custard , Remembering Gandhiji

Submitting it to Shruti's Independent day event.

13 August 2014

Marble cake

FIFA SPECIAL!!..btw,I took this pic jst like that ..so it's not that good anyways thanx to my fav model-my dad....

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger would always say in his movies ,"I AM BACK" :D.

Ouuuuch ! ,I just got a kick on my BACK by none other than my blog (warm welcome see) and she is apparently yelling at me ,"Where the hell I was ?" ....Just like a few readers asked me ....I know it's been like 3+ months my blog was left abandoned I believe ..wow that's a huge gap I know :(!....However,no regrets at all as I was spending quality time with my dear parents who came from India to visit me,to take care of me,to pamper me and I am so thankful to almighty for I relived my childhood days...waking upto dad's black coffee,followed by amma/mother's chai/Tea,then yummy hot breakfast ,then movies,evening walks,gossiping ,then wrapping the day with mom made dinner and then mom's never ending chit-chats and me sleeping like a baby ...."True definition of a beautiful life for me! "....I guess God knows that one of my favorite song is from the Hindi movie,3 Idiots ....and so he made those lines come true...including sunshine and rains :D

"Saari umar hum marr marr ke jee liye
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do
Na na na ..
Give me some sunshine
Give me some rain
Give me another chance i wanna grow up once again

na na naaaaa......"

God and his mysterious ways I guess :D .... Yes I grew up once again ....And so I don't regret my absence here infact I am so content this time .....One of my bucket list wish - DONE happily :)....and what was that ?....well ,to do something for my parents ..I wanted to take them to see places ...I wanted them to eat as much different cuisines they can try here...I wanted to buy them or make them the edible goodies found especially in US ...and most importantly,I wanted them to simply relax here,enjoy every minute and take care of them as much as possible....because otherwise since we are so far away from each other or even when I visit them in India I hardly get an opportunity to do something for them...and not merely by cash but by kind, for me matters the most !.....

Well, this is not their first visit to US,infact they came here 4 years ago but their both visit was for the more or less same reason - my health issues (you see,bad phases of life) ....Last time when they came, I was recovering from an illness and I couldn't do anything for them other than lying on my bed and staring at my mom just cooking all day (which I hate to see...not atleast here) ,dad reading some books and watching TV and literally getting super bored with barely any human contact unlike in India where home would be buzzing with relatives and neighbors ...The meds made me sleepy ,groggy and moody, I was minding my own business ...so they came ,they took care of me and they went and I got well....but there was this uneasiness in my heart that it's high time now it should be me who should take care of them not vice versa and sadly wondered, what if they won't be there for the next trip to US...

Being born and brought up in a middle class family,we were and are a very close knitted family ...though my dad took V.R.S as a Financial Officer,it took a while for him to get there ,I saw my parents little struggles and sacrifices to raise me and my brother ..Infact, I never ever saw them doing something just for themselves ,it was just us -me and my brother, the topmost and the only priority...and I am so proud to say that they did their best,the best parents anyone could have ...I owe them always !...however I am not sure if I did good enough anything for them yet...

Not a clear pic...my bad ..was not for blogging but still..it's special !!
 Usually,here all my friend's or Indian's parents from India visit them especially when the daughter/Daughter in law is carrying and I was expecting the same in my case this time atleast but I guess my time has not come yet ...you know as they say,"There's a right time for everything and everyone"...and I believe "Whatever God does,does for our good". It's a matter of utmost faith and patience I believe:|....Meanwhile, he will provide us other opportunities, like in my case, I believe I got not only one more chance to relive my childhood days but also one more chance to do something for them ,this time unfailingly which actually would not have been possible if they would have come otherwise you know and it would have become more responsibility for them.....

So ,though I was completely bed ridden for a month ,by second I couldn't tolerate to continue I slowly started helping amma (actually more gossiping ) ,watching evergreen & devotional movies with dad ,FIFA world cup (my dad is a great soccer fan ) , I bought different kinds of ice creams :P - the sandwich shape,the cones,cups,bars etc and other eateries for my parents every week (pampering time :D)...gave them beautiful dress for mother's day and father's day ,took them to restaurants to try multi-cuisines of US and by third month, I started traveling - took them to see places ,though didn't cover all the places I wanted to show them because after every travel I would be exhausted and sick and on bed for two days...though they would scold me and refuse any further trips,I would somehow convince in my innocent way ....and just before they left ,I prepared different foods for them ,which was infact my amma's biggest wish it seems as she was never convinced that I can cook...GOOD!!..

You know ,as they say,"Old age is afterall like the second childhood and it's our,the children's turn to pamper them back." So I did my bit ,loads of heart to heart talks,laughs,jokes ..we all relished every second, in a nutshell...I felt ,me feeling not well then was nothing less than a boon to me....I literally felt almighty wanted me to be utterly pampered by my loved ones  and one of my biggest wish in my bucket list - CLICK !! 

When I asked my parents if they have any wish left that I can fulfill for them ...my parents said ," We can hardly think of any (except grandchild which ofcourse is in God's hand ) -We are happy ,we are so content not that we were expecting but that not every parent in this era are lucky enough to enjoy memorable time with their kids especially after their marriage.......As always blessings !!"

 "I am not saying that I did something great " or  I did my best or I am done but yes I TRIED this time in my lil ways and I will always be willing to do more for my parents and similarly for my in-laws who also had to say the same thing when they visited us last year...but then as life is not a bed of roses so I had my days when I was a total party pooper too :P..well, due to mood swings ,the after effect of the meds I was on ...anyways ,"All's well that ends well" :D..now I am fit and fat.. yes literally FAT :((..(having mom beside me side-effect)...hale,hearty and healthy (touchwood) ..back to square one.....but this time more content !:)...

Like every other sports enthusiast ,we also caught the world cup fever not badly but I would say sweetly ...because I baked a marble cake for my parents ,the first cake I ever baked for them and decorated which my mom watched like a curious child staring at a bakery shop ....Well , what can I say ,"I simply irresistibly impressed them ".....;) because mom doesn't know how to decorate a cake - my pulling-her-leg moment !!:D...

Here's how I made a marble cake decorated with buttercream icing in green and yellow......



Butter,softened at room temperature -  3/4 cup
Sugar - 1-1 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3 nos.
All purpose four,sifted - 2 cups
Milk,room temperature - 1 1/4 cup
Sour cream - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder -2 teaspoons
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 2 tablespoons

For icing -

Readymade Buttercream icing as needed
Green color and Yellow color
Star tip for decorating

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 degree celsius .
  2. Grease and flour the pan (9 inch preferably).
  3. Take a big bowl and mix all the dry ingredients together and keep it aside .
  4. Using an electric or hand mixer cream butter until fluffy.
  5. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6-8 minutes approx.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  7. Now , add the dry ingredients mixed above and milk alternately to the creamed mixture (starting and completing with flour/dry mix ).
  8. Add vanilla,sour cream and just mix well everything.
  9. Keep about 3/4th portion of batter aside.
  10. Now pour the rest onto the baking pan.
  11. Mix the cocoa powder into the 3/4th batter kept aside.
  12. Pour spoonfulS of cocoa batter on to the white batter in the pan slowly.
  13. Then using a knife ,swirl the cocoa batter into the white batter giving it a marble effect.
  14. Now slowly pat the baking pan with ready-to-bake batter on the counter to level it and release the air bubbles which will infact give a smooth levelled cake.
  15. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the knife or skewer would come out clean.

For icing the cake I merely crumb coated the cake use this tutorial  and decorated it with the star tip like this in green and yellow color...

 Now that was a real long post /updates after a long break ...it's time for you to breathe ....

Keep smiling,