Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vegetable Samosa

After trying umpteen number of frozen samosas and fresh samosas from super market and restaurants I nearly lost the interest in eating samosas and least did I think of making it at home, can blame my laziness and hot oil phobias for that !

Since the weather here has been too chilly for kids for outdoor play ,we have a playdate arrangement going on every week and this time when friends came over to our place , I made some chocolate doughnuts and this samosas and they went down really well :) After all, on a chilly day who can say no to samosas with a hot cup of tea even if its a bit distorted ...bliss ! Earlier I only used to make my hubby and lil one wait for food till my photo session finishes but this time I didnt get time for clicking it before friends came, so I made them wait !

Ingredients ( makes 12 samosas )
For dough
Flour/Maida - 1 cup
Rice flour - 2 tbs
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp

For filling
Potatoes - 2 large
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves ( finely chopped) - few
Redchilly powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbs
oil for deep frying

1.In a bowl add all the ingredients for dough , add water and knead until u get a smooth dough.Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.
1.Meanwhile boil poatoes , mash and keep it aside.
2.In a sucepan add some oil,sputter fennel seeds.
3.Add green peas ,throw in all the masalas and cook for 3-5 minutes until green peas is cooked.
4.Add the mashed potatoes,chopped corainder leaves,limejuice and mix well.
5.Make 8 small balls from it.
6.Divide the dough into 6 balls and roll into a fairly round shape.

 7.Cut into half and fold it like like a triangle .Stick the edges with little water and fill the pocket with potato-peas fillings and stick the edges with little water again.
8.Deep fry the samosas in hot oil until golden brown.

Monday, March 25, 2013

White chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream

When weather around is so crazy and chilly, baking is a kind of relief to uplift our mood and also for keeping our kitchen warm and thats what exactly I have been doing these days.The weather is unbelievable here, its officially spring  but its freezing outside and  snowing on and off too, my heaters are struggling to keep my home warm ! So till the weather gets better we are catching up with  our friends which involves  lot of cooking  and also past few days I have been volunteering in my lil one nursery which is kind of keeping me busy and tired by the end of the day , so I dont find enough time to complain about the horrible weather :)
Coming to todays post, white chocolate cupcake and strawberry buttercream is a great comination, but always remember to use a good quality white chocolate when making this. Its a soft, fluffy cupcake and perfect with strawberry buttercream !
Recipe source - Lulus sweet secrets
Ingredients ( makes 10  medium cupcakes )
Flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Baking powder - 1tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
White chocolate - 160 gm
Salt - pinch
1.Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow for about 5 minutes.
2.In a saucepan warm milk and when its about to boil add white chocolate and turn of the flame.Whisk until chocolate is melted
3.Add the chocolate mixture to egg - sugar mixture and beat.
4.Add vanilla extract and beat too.
5.Add the sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients and fold in.
6.Melt butter and add a spoonful of the batter to melted butter and mix.
7.Gradually add the melted butter mixture to the rest of batter and fold in .
8.Pour the batter into a cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
9.Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before you frost them.
You can find the recipe for strawberry buttercream here

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Power Ranger's Cake , A Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream and Homemade Marshmallow fondant and few step by step Clicks


When I was looking for Strawberry  cake recipe few months back ,most of the online recipes called for strawberry jelly crystals  and I was put off by the artificial flavour and that's how started experimenting with strawberry puree and eventhough all the cake I tired came out well , none of those  cakes had strawberry flavour, so after few attempts I have now settled down  with this recipe which gives a  cake which is that is soft , fluffy and moist with a lovely strawberry flavour  :) I made this cake for a birthday party and they all loved the cake so much and birthday boy's dad gave me the biggest compliment ever saying that it was the best cake he  ever had, what could I ask more ?? And to make me even more happy , birthday boy and his friends were so happy  when they got  to eat their favoutite power rangers figurine which was made with fondant :) So I was a happy girl that day !!

Strawberry Cake 

Ingredients ( for a 2 tier cake )

Flour - 4 1/2 cup ( 525 gm )

Eggs - 6 large

Sugar - 3 cup ( 600 gm )

Butter  - 1 1/2 cup ( 350 gm )

Cooked and strained strawberry puree - 1 cup

Milk - 1/2 cup

Vanilla extract - 3 tsp

Baking powder - 5 tsp

Salt - 1 tsp


1.Sieve flour,baking powder,salt and keep it aside.

2.Cook the strawberries in a saucepan adding a tbs of water until its soft ,let it cool for sometime and then puree them with milk and strain the seeds through a sieve.

 3.In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

4.Break 6 eggs into a bowl and beat them lighlty with a spoon and gradually add the egg mixture to butter sugar mixture beating them well after each addition.

5.Add strawberry extract  / vanilla extract and beat .

 6. Add  1/4 of the dry ingredients and fold in,  add half of strawberry -milk mixture and fold in.

 7.Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately and fold in .

 8.Pour the batter into two  9 inch greased cake tin and two 6 inch cake tin and bake for 25- 30 minutes until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Strawberry Buttercream Icing  ( recipe partly adapted from here)


Butter - 350 gm

Icing sugar - 700 gm

Double cream - 150 ml

Meringue powder - 1 1/2 tbp

Strawberry extract /Vanilla extract - 1tsp

Cooked and strained strawberry puree - 1/4 cup

Salt - pinch


1.In a mixing bowl add 1/3 of the sugar ,salt and meringue powder and mix.

2.Add cream to it and beat it for 5 minutes in an electric mixer with paddle attachment .

3.Add remaining sugar and beat for 3 minutes.

4.Add butter little by little and beat for 5-7 minutes.

5.Add strawberry /vanilla extarct and beat for 1 minute

6.Finally add strawberry puree and beat on a very slow speed until its all mixed.

Marshmallow Fondant


Mini marshmallows - 2 packages( 350 gm)

water - 3 tbs

 Fondant sugar - 600 gm

Butter - 4 tbs or as required


1.Place marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl, add 3 tbs of water, mix it and keep on high power for about 30 seconds.Take it out give it a stir and repeat the process until all marshamallows are melted.

 2.Add  fondant sugar little by little , butter as required and knead it until u get a smooth dough. 

3.Wrap it in tightly in few layers of cling film and leave it overnight.

 Note : can add flavourings and colourings to the fondant while you knead.

 Please find below few step by step progress of a red power rangers figurine which I made as a trial attempt, I didn't put this on cake as the birthday boy wanted a blue power rangers. I made the blue one almost the same way .

Also find below how I made the stars on floral wire. I rolled fondant fairly thick and cut a star out with star cutter, then I inserted the floral wire into star and allowed it to dry.

The borders on the cake were made with fondant ropes.Please find the pictures below to see how I made it.

So one power rangers cake is ready !

Monday, March 18, 2013

Onion Vada / Ulli vada

It may sound childish but believe it or not I was a person who was scared of deep frying things just because I was simply scared of hot oils :) But  gradually I am overcoming that fear and has started deep frying things on my own  but with all precautions ! I always use a spoon to put things in hot oil and also while taking things out from hot oil, I use 2 spoons ,one for taking it out  and other one  to protect the thing from falling back in :) Sounds crazy right ?

Anyway coming to today's post, its a precious deep fried onion vada which I made few days before when a blogger friend of mine visited my place with her hubby.Perfect to munch on a rainy day with hot cup of masala tea !


Onions - 2 medium
Green chillies -1(chopped)
Curry leaves - few( torn into small pieces)
Besan/ Chick pea flour - 3/4 cup
Rice flour - 2 tbs
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Water - as required


1.Slice onion  as thinly as possible and keep it aside.
2.Add all the other ingredients to it and add little water and shape them into circles.
3.Deep fry them in hot oil until golden brown.

Friday, March 15, 2013

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Stuffed Bread for Baking partners challenge


When Swathi of Zesty South Indian kitchen first came up with this baking group eventhough I quickly responded to her with my interest to  join the group ,I couldnt keep the word or take up the first challenge as  I was going away for vacation.

Vacation, mum in law's visit, lil ones birthday,birthday cakes so many thing kept me preoccupied so me joining the group  always had some obstacles. Nothing has changed now as well, as usual busy with life, but still  I  made up my mind to join the group  and   I should thank the bloggers Buzz event which happened here in London few weeks before for the change in  my attitude toward blogging. I am pampering my once  ignored  blog with frequent posts these days and I am loving it !

Coming to today's challenge.We were given 3 recipes and I choose the Whole meal bread recipe by Tangzhong  method .To jazz it up, I stuffed the bread with chicken filling .The bread was really great and stuffing made it even more delicious.We enjoyed it us with our evening tea and rest of it for our brekfast too :)



(Adapted from Christine's recipes)

Ingredients for  tangzhong

Bread Flour -50 gm
Water - 250 ml

 Ingredients for bread

Milk- 110 gm ( approximately  3/4 cup)
Egg(whisked ) - 45 gm or 1 egg

Tangzhong (refer to above recipe of tangzhong) - 100gm
 Sugar- 40 gm
Salt - 5gm
Bread flour - 200 gm
Whole wheat flour - 150 gm
Instant dry yeast - 6gm
Unsalted butter, softened at room temperature - 40 gm

Method of making tangzhong:
1.Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
2.The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. If you want to check the temperature of tangzhong it is 65 C/149 F.Remove from heat.
3.Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. 

Method for Bread
1. Whisk the dry ingredients  in the bowl of a stand mixer.

 2. Add the milk, egg, and the tangzhong.

 3. Mix until the ingredients come together, and then knead until it forms dough. Add the butter and continue to knead and medium/high speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. To test the dough, pull it until it forms sort of a thin membrane. This could take up to 20 minutes.
4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled. The original recipe said 40 minutes, but my first rise took 2 hours. 
5. On a floured surface, deflate and divide the dough into two equal parts and form into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rest for 15 minutes.

6.  Divide dough into two half, one  slightly larger  than the other, with the larger half make a  9 inch round with  thick of ½ inch and place it in your cake tin, evenly spread your filling on the top. Then make the second half which is less than the first. Make another 9 inch round and cover the filling
7. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F /180 C for 30 to 35 minutes. If the top gets too brown, tent the loaf with foil while baking.
Remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely

Ingredients for filling

Onion - 1 large
Potatoes - 2 medium
Chicken (cooked and shredded) - 100 gm
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Ginger - minced ( 1 1/2 tsp)
Garlic - minced ( 1 1/2 tsp

  Redchilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Chicken masala - 1 tsp


1. Boil poatoes ,mash and keep it aside.
2. In a saucpan add oil, throw in fennel,fry for a minute.
3.Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves,finely chopped onions and saute until they are soft and brown.
4.Add all the masala powders and saute for a minute.
5.Add shredded chicken, mashed poatoes and mix well until the masalas are coated into the mixture.
6.Use this to fill the bread !

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Welcoming the first Guest with her Pinwheel Cookies !

Today I am so happy to introduce a special friend of mine  to you all, Its none other than Priya Ranjit who blogs at Cook Like Priya, also the first guest ever in my blog !

 Blogging has gifted with quite a lot of virtual friends but I  was lucky to meet Priya and a group of blogger friends  in person during the bloggers meet last month. Priya is the  most  friendliest blogger ever, I m sure bloggers who know her will nod along in agreement with me ! People like her are quite rare to find these days. She has helped me and teached me about  few  things in blogging which has helped me to become a better blogger :) Thanks my dear friend for all your help and also for comforting me when I needed a friend !

Before having a little chat with her let me tell you all a little about Priya's beautiful blog, She has  a beautiful blog with lot of South Indian recipes, Cakes and Bakes , Appetizers and many more.Her chicken recipes had always made me drool and each picture make me want to try it too. Few  recipes which I would like to try from her space is Hydrebadi chicken curry, Lemon Pepper chicken, Chinese grilled chicken  and Tandoori chicken. So friends do check out her space and also while you are there , dont forget to check her Rose cake which she made for her Wedding Anniversery !

Lets chitchat with Priya for some time...

1.Tell us a little about yourself in few words
Out spoken~ never shy to express my views/ thoughts
Empathetic ~ go out my way to help others
Confused ~can be too lazy and too enthusiastic on any given day
Friendly ~ easy to get along with
Positive ~ see the best in everyone / situation
2.Apart from blogging do u have any other hobbies ?
Vinee I do have hobbies like embroidery, sketching, glass painting, singing. But all this is so seasonal, I am not too excited about more than one thing at a time.

3.Suppose you are in a Masterchef audition round what would be the recipe u will be cooking from your blog to get through
This is one toughie I think I will do my Red velvet Roses cake
4.Did u had any cooking disasters till now ? If yes would u mind telling us about it.:)
I have had many but the only recipe that failed big time was a Christmas Plum cake which I did in 2011 that turned out to be like rock I wasted all the dry fruit and nuts, rum, candy peel. I was new to baking and had challenged my husband that I will make a fruit cake and ruined it.
Thank u Priya for taking some time to chat with us. U can read more about   Priya from her guest post at Priya's Versatile Recipes :)

So over to Priya's recipe now ...


(refer notes below before doing the cookies)
Makes ~ 25 cookies

Prep time ~ 30 mins

Freeze time ~ 6 hrs or overnight



1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large egg, separated 

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used green & black cocoa powder)

  • Several hours ahead or the day before baking, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again until blended. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating just until combined. The dough would be crumbly
  • Remove half the dough and set aside. Whisk the cocoa and only 1 egg yolk beat briefly to blend.
  • Wrap both dough separately with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm,ths took me around 20 mins.Once firm take the dough on top of a parchment paper and using a rolling pin ,roll  it into a reactangle,do this for both dough separately.Refrigerate again both rolled dough fr 10 more mins to become firm. 
  • Take the chocolate dough first and spread it with the egg white (remaining) and top it with the vanilla dough, flatten it gently with a rolling pin to avoid air pockets. Start rolling the dough starting from the logger/ horizontal side

  • Roll the dough carefully with the help of the parchment/butter paper and making sure you roll it firmly so that there are no gaps (this is very important). Roll the log carefully such that both dough stick properly. Roll the log  with the parchment/ butter paper and freeze for several hours (minimum 8 hrs or overnight)

  • When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 350 F/ 170 C and start slicing the dough using a sharp knife to inch inch thick slices, line on prepared tray leaving 1 cms gap since the dough      does expand a little. Bake for 9-11 mins until slightly golden on the side
  • Once done cool them on a tray for 10 mins and then transfer to a wire wrack to come to room temparature.

Enjoy the cookies with some milk :-)
Cooks Wisdom
- I have rolled the chocolate dough on top, you can also alternate the dough depending on what color you want on the outer ring.
- You can add almond meal/ powdered cashew for additional flavor
- Don't worry if your cut dough is not perfect, there will be some gaps here and there but when baked it will close
- Do not roll the cookie dough too thin else while rolling they will not hold properly and tend to break/ fall apart
- You can also color the dough with food color for more colorful cookies
- The cookies store well in an airtight container for more than 10 days
- You can also freeze the cookie dough for upto 2 months and bake as and when you want
I used green & black cocoa powder for the gorgeous chocolate color
Thank u Priya for doing a wonderful guest post for me  and for sharing this beautiful Cookies with us :)