Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Three tier Cake for My Little Princess Birthday/Juvan's Rainbow cake/Salt and Pepper Movie Cake

Two years back on a foggy and chilly morning we were blessed with a cute little princess. We were all excited and  happy and my little boy who was hardly two then was overjoyed to find a cute little dolly all wrapped and sleeping in the crib. His expressions on seeing his little sister for the first time still reflects in front of my eyes and we were so relieved from the tension seeing him not being possessive on me or my hubby. 



Guys, that was just a start n nothing was Ezee from then ;) . It was a marathon, struggling and juggling between two little ones of almost same age(yea, it was then I almost stopped blogging for may be more than a year). Their sweet little plays n games, tantrums, sibling competition(oh ya, all started now itself), big n small fight on even a piece of chocolate wrapper - these are all fun to watch, scary at times and the best-est motherhood experience.  I see them being the best siblings for 10 minutes and vice verse in just couple of seconds. Their love for each other have no boundaries for sometime, your attention is diverted for a minute and you get to hear the scream of one then.  ufff my sweet little kids, never knew when did they grow up so fast. My son will 4 soon and by little girl is already 2 years. It is hard to believe them growing so fast and each year leaves behind so much of precious memories. Time just flies, I wish could stop the pace in which the seconds and minutes needle of the clock rotates.

So then, it was my cutie's birthday on 28th Nov and planned to make a cake for her dinner party. I wanted to make this cake from so long since I watched the Malayalam movie 'Salt n Pepper'. So friends lemme tell the story of the movie in brief and inspiration in making this cake. Please bear with me for this is gonna be long post for sure I guess.
Inside View of the cake
Salt n Pepper is a simple and beautiful movie which narrates the story of Kalidasan (Lal) an archaeologist who is equally obsessed with food, and the smell and feel of anything related to food  and Maya (Swetha Menon) who lives in another corner of the town, who enjoys her work as a dubbing artist. Both strike up a conversation that doesn't go too well, after one of Maya's calls to the local Dosa guy ends up on Kalidasan's mobile. Hate slowly gives way to affection, but when they decide to finally meet however, Kalidasan on the spur of the moment sends over his nephew Manu (Asif Ali) instead. And, Meenakshi (Mythili), Maya's roommate, volunteers to make an appearance on her behalf.

Having struck up an affinity over the telephone, Kalidasan proceeds to let Maya into the secrets of baking a Juvan's Rainbow Cake made by a French soldier's wife as the Second World War raged on, and as she anxiously waited for her husband's return home, the sumptuous cake with strawberry, pistachio and orange layers placed one over the other, is topped all over with delicious chocolate sauce. Kalidasan and Maya bake their own versions, and the world around them turns a tad sweeter.(Source Courtesy: NowRunning.com)

Now now now, the making of the cake was just breifly told in the story where they baked each cake one day at a time . While the process of making the cake was shown they showed it as strawberry being mashed in the milk, pista being soaked in the rum for  four hours with dates and orange juice being extracted. Even though nothing was mentioned about whipping the cream and layering, picturization shows the cream being whipped and each cake topped and layered with whipped cream. Then the cake seemed going to the freezer to get set may be :)  and the happy ending was when Juvan brings the chocolate and his wife make the chocolate sauce by melting it and the poured it all over the cake. Sounds so delicious right??

And now fantasy apart,  let me come to my version where I planned to make this all on one day ;) Was a lot more labor but was really loads of fun too as I was really excited to see the result. I did not use any rum to soak the pistachios and dates. Instead I grinded the pistachios with milk and add to the cake batter. Also I didn't use whipped cream instead I used a can of cream cheese frosting and dear lord that saved a lot of time for me while making it as I was planning for a small friend's gathering too for dinner. So guys that was all about this cake and bake story. I hope I haven't bored you all. So enjoy making this 'Juvan's Rainbow Cake' bake recipe :)


All purpose Flour - 3 Cups
Baking Powder - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 Cups
salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3
Oil - 1/2 cup(or 1 stick butter)
Milk - 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
Fresh Orange Juice - 1 cup(squeezed out of 2-3 oranges)
Orange Zest - 1 tsp
Strawberry - 10(hulled)
Pistachios - 3/4 to 1 cup
Cream Cheese Frosting - 1 can(16 oz)
Nestle Chocolate Morsels - 2 cups
Heavy Whipping cream - 1/2 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp

Preparation Method:-
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degree Fahrenheit.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside till the rest  of the process is completed.
  • Wash and pat dry the strawberries. Pour 1/2 cup milk to a bowl, add strawberries and mash very well with your clean hands(or give it a a stir or two in a food processor and add it to the milk, don't get it pureed in the mixer or blender). Set aside.
  • Soak the pistachios in water for at-least 30 minutes and peel off the skin completely. Grind it with 1/2 cup of milk and set aside.
  • Squeeze out the fresh juice from the oranges and set aside(cut the oranges horizontally to easily squeeze out the juice, don't puree the orange)

  • Now in a bowl beat the egg well till lemon yellow, add the sugar and beat well. Pour in the oil(butter) and beat well till everything is incorporated well. 
  • Add the sifted flour mix to this and beat well till everything is blended properly.
  • Take out 1 1/4 cup of the flour batter and pour to the strawberry mix bowl and mix well with the whisk(I added a drop of red color to the mix as I knew strawberry never gives you color when it is baked)
  • Now pour 1 1/4 cup of the batter to the pistachio and mix well( u might need to add a bit more milk to this as pistachio mix might seem more thicker)
  • To the rest of the batter add the orange juice and orange zest and mix well with the whisk and set aide.
  • Use a cooking spray to grease three round cake pans and pour the three cake mix to the pans.

  • Bake it for approximately 50 mins or a cake tester comes out clean when inserted.
  • Take out of the oven and let it cool completely.
  • Place the strawberry cake at the bottom and top it with the frosting. Spread it nice and evenly. Top it with Pistachio cake and spread the cream cheese on top. Place the Orange cake on top and spread the  cream cheese topping on the top and sides and Put it in the freezer for an hour.
  • Mean while heat up a pan and pour the whipping cream and get it to boil stirring in between. Switch off the flame .
  • Add the chocolate morsels and butter to this and stir well till all the chocolates and butter are melted completely. Let it cool for a while. Chocolate Ganache is ready
  • Take out the cake and pour the ganche on top and let it pour down from the sides of the cake. I just spread it smooth and evenly so that I can do a bit decoration and write Birthday wishes on top of the cake.
  •  This awesome 'Juvan's Rainbow Cake' is ready to Serve. Yumm Yuum with loads of fun.

I have been honored with a couple of awards by my dear blogger friends and wanted to post it but this being a longer post I thought of posting it my next blog post. I thank all my blogger friends who have been really supportive and honoring me with the awards too. Thanks a lot friends :)

Sending this to CHRISTMAS DELICACY event hosted by Julie @ Erivum Puliyum

Also sending this to ABC Series : Cakes for Christmas Event  hosted by Ramya @ Ramya's Recipe

Also to Bake Fest #2 event hosted by Sangeetha Vijay @ Spicy Treats

Chocolate chip cupcakes - Eggless and Butterless

Sometimes my son gets too high on cupcakes, especially when he comes back from school. He put words into action in his cute little ways about which cupcake he is craving for and I could easily make out he had cupcake at school - maybe as a snack or gotta eat classmates birthday cupcake. Nothing could stop me from making cupcake this time on my little one's demand and I was sure once I bake them, Me n My hubby will be eating it in full swing too. So for low cal cupcakes I tried making this Egg-less n butter-less and yea it came too good. I made around two trays and everything vanished in couple of hours. Try this out friends and enjoy guilt free cupcakes the ezee breezy way. Enjoy!!!!

  1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup(can use white sugar, can add/reduce sugar)
  3. Baking powder - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  4. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  5. Chocolate Morsels - 1/2 cup
  6. Salt a pinch
  7. Oil - 1/2 cup
  8. Fat free milk - 1/2 cup(can use normal milk as well)
  9. Water - 1 cup(approx)

Preparation Method:- 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degree F.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a wide bowl.(no sieve, no problem. put the dry ingredients  in a wide bowl and use a whisk and mix well in circular motion to blend everything well)
  • Add sugar to it and mix well with a whisk
  • Add milk, vanilla essence and oil, keeping whisking in circular motion to blend everything well.
  • Pour water little by little stirring to get the required consistency.
  • Insert the muffin tray with cupcake liners. Pour the batter into each cup little more than half the cup size.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!!!!

Off this go to CHRISTMAS DELICACY Event hosted by Julie @Erivum Puliyum

Also sending this to ABC Series: Cakes for Christmas event hosted by Ramya at Ramya's Recipe

and also to the Bake Fest Event hosted by Sangeetha Vijay @ Spicy Treats

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cabbage Shrimp Stir fry

Cabbage Shrimp Stir Fry is a side that I make with Rice/Roti especially when I have less cabbage which I wanted finish off but is not really enough to make a stand alone sabzi/side dish. Of course I do use cabbage with mix veggies with lot of variation but this is my family's favorite. This is really a very ezee recipe hardly takes 10 mins cooking time. Cabbage and Shrimp is such a wonderful combination, I bet you cannot resist eating it. Try it out friends, Enjoy!!!

  1. Cabbage Finely Chopped lengthwise - 2 cups
  2. Medium Size Shrimp - 15 numbers(you can use as much/less as you want)
  3. Onion chopped - 1 
  4. Ginger finely chopped - 1 small piece(2 tsp)
  5. Curry leaves a sprig or more :)
  6. Chopped Green chilly - 2 
  7. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
  8. Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
  9. Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Oil - 2tsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Chop the Cabbage, wash it in flowing water in a colander and set aside to drain the water completely.
  • Clean the shrimp, marinate with turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt and set aside.
  • Heat up a kadai/pan, pour oil, add onion, ginger, green chilly, curry leaves and saute well till onion is translucent.
  • Add the Shrimp and Garam masala and stir well to mix.
  • Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or till shrimp becomes nice pink color(don't overcook shrimp to dark and rubbery)
  • Open the lid and add the chopped cabbage and keep stirring for few minutes until cabbage become crunchy, leaves the raw smell and blend well with shrimp masala.
  • Add more curry leaves if desired. Move to a serving dish. Serve warm with Roti/Rice/Naan or anthing of your choice. Enjoy!!!


Walnut Chicken/Akhrot Murgh

Akhrot Murgh/Walnut Chicken is an ezee to cook chicken recipe which has a great taste with very less cooking time. I tried this recipe quite sometime back  from my favorite Chef  'Sanjeev Kapoor's' recipe collection and have been making it more often when ever I need to make some quick chicken curry. I have this in my draft from a long time, but never got a chance to blog. It was my sister you noticed that I've very less chicken recipes here. The reason being nothing but with my hubby n kids any chicken dish is always 'directly from the pan to the tummy'  ;)
Try this and I'm sure you'll make it more often because of its great taste and ezee cooking. Enjoy!!!

  1. Boneless chicken - 4 halves(cut into bite size squares)
  2. Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  5. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  6. Garam masala - 1 tsp(add/reduce according to your taste)
  7. Fresh Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 tsp
  8. Medium Size Onion - 1 very finely chopped
  9. Tomato - 1(pureed)
  10. Green chilly -4(finely chopped)
  11. Curry leaves few(optional, was not there in the original recipe)
  12. Walnuts - 1/2 cup(Blanched and powdered)
  13. Fresh cream - 1/4 cup(optional)
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Oil - 2 tsp
Preparation Method:-

  • Wash and clean the chicken and cut into bite sized square pieces. Marinate with turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, salt and set aside for at-least 30 minutes.                    


  • Heat up a kadai, pour some oil add onion and saute well till golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree, saute till oil separates.  Add green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder and  marinated chicken and saute well and mix everything.

  • Cover and cook till done(till chicken is cooked properly). It took me around 20 mins to cook the chicken.
  • Add powdered walnuts and garam masala and cook for another 3-5 mins.
  • Add Fresh cream and cook for another three mins in reduced heat. 

  • Serve hot with Roti/Naan/Rice/Bread or anything of your choice. Enjoy!!!


1. This is not a spicy chicken recipe, you can add/reduce Garam Masala/Green Chilly according to your spice level.
2. If you want more gravy you can add one or more cup of water before you cover and cook the chicken. Because of the walnut the gravy still remains thick even after adding water.

Sending this to Christmas Delicacy Event hosted by Julie @Erivum Puliyum

Friday, November 18, 2011

Simple Onion Roast/Onion Roast Masala

Onion Roast or Onion Roast masala  is a very simple recipe with very less ingredients. I'm really not sure if the title I have given is right because I just make it as side dish/dry curry for Roti/Appam/Dosa etc. One of my dearest friend used to bring this as a regular side dish for lunch when we were doing our PG. I got a request for this recipe from an 'unknown' friend and thought of posting it for him/her and of course for all of you :)


  1. Onion Med Size - 4(very finely sliced)
  2. Ginger a small piece finely chopped(or 1 tsp)
  3. Small Green chilly - 1(slit into halves)
  4. Curry leaves few
  5. Coriander leaves finely chopped - 2 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. Garam masala - 1 tsp
  10. Oil of your choice - 2 tsp(I use coconut oil)
  11. Salt to taste

Preparation Method:-
  • Heat up a kadai/Non-stick pan in medium heat, pour oil. Add curry leaves, ginger and saute for few seconds.
  • Add Onion, salt and saute well till onion turns light brown color and becomes soft. This will take some time, keep the flame in medium heat and keep stirring in between.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala and stir well to mix everything.
  • Add few chopped coriander leaves and stir again. Let it cook again with masalas for say 3-4 mins.
  • Switch off the flame and move to a serving dish. Garnish with few more chopped coriander leaves curry leaves. Serve warm with Chappathi/Dosa/Appam..
1. Add/Reduce spices to adjust to your spice level(you can also opt out chilly powder if the garam masala you use is very spicy)
2. You can add one finely sliced tomato as well and saute till it becomes soft if you need to add bit sourness to the onion roast.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oats Poha and a Liebstar Award

Oats and Poha?? I know I had the same feeling when my husband asked me to make Oats Poha couple of months back. One of his colleague brings oats Poha at work and that is when he asked me to try making Poha. Men are men, I was sure he will not check with his colleague for the recipe and yea I was right when he gave me a weird look when I asked him to do so ha ha ha :) But at the end when I started making it this way and it was well enjoyed by all my husband said he is gonna patent it in his name since the great idea was him. wow, what an idea sirji, dimaakh jiska patent uska? he he..

We are so familiar with Oats Porridge, dosa, Oats mixed roti's, cookies etc and oats freaks like me and my husband can eat anything with oats. I was so confused about making Oats Poha as you know normally Poha is dry and non-sticky where as when oats combines with even little bit of water becomes very sticky and mushy. I gave it a lot of try and at the end I started making it with out adding any water and sautéing it by sprinkling water little by little till Oats leave its raw flavour. I must say this recipe comes with a lot of trial and errors but all the trials were worth trying it. This has become our family favorite dinner from quite a while especially on those days when we do not want to have any heavy dinner. So try it friends especially those who like oats or try this for the elderly people at home who are regular in having oats at night. Lets give them a break from the same porridge, I'm sure all will enjoy this.


  • Old fashioned Quaker Oats - 2 cups
  • Onion finely chopped - 1
  • Tomato finely chopped - 1(optional)
  • Green chillies finely chopped - 3(or more as per your spice level)
  • Ginger finely chopped - a small piece or say 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tp
  • Chana dal - 1 tsp
  • Raisins few(optional)
  • Cashews few(optional, adding dals and nuts r optional they give a great taste though)
  • Coriander leaves finely chopped - 2 tsp(optional)
  • Lemon juice - 2tsp
  • Water - 1/4 cup(use more/less as needed)
Preparation Method:-
  • Heat a non-stick pan and pour the oil to oil. Add mustard, when they start crackle reduce the heat to medium and add urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves and stir. Add cashews and rasins ad saute for few more secs.
  • Add chopped onion, ginger, green chilly and saute well till golden color(light brown color only).
  • Add finely chopped tomato as well and saute well till tomato's blend well with onion.
  • Add turmeric powder and stir for few secs. Add oats and stir well and mix with onion-tomato mix. 
  • When the mix becomes very dry sprinkle a handful of water and stir well again. 
  • Check for the salt and sprinkle little more salt if the oats have not absorbed salt taste .
  • Keep stirring and sprinkling water 3-4 times till oats leaves it raw smell and absorbs the taste of the seasoning.
  • At the end add lemon juice and stir well to mix. Switch off the flame and move to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm.

Liebster Blog Award

I received this Liebster Blog award from Julie @ Erivum Puliyum. Thank you so much Julie for this wonderful Award!!

'Liebster' means favourite or dearest in German. So this award is to honor your dear blogger friends.
The simple rules of this awards are: -

1. Thank the person that gave the award and link back to their blog.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
3. Reveal the 5 blogs you have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog.
4. Hope they pass it forward by accepting and awarding it to blogger they would like to honour.
5. Thank all those you read your blog and follow you.
 I would like to pass it over to the following wonderful blogger friends of mine. Please visit their site too and appreciate them in their venture of cooking.. 

1. Nalini at Nalini's Kitchen
2. Priya at Priya's Feast
3. Christy Gerald at My Kitchen Flavors-Bon Appetit
4. Ramya at Ramya's Recipe
5. Vineetha at Ruchi

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Idiyappam and Shrimp masala Idiyappam

'Idiyappam' or String hoppers is a speciality breakfast of Kerala and I believe in most of the Southern states of India. 'Idiyappam' is also known as 'Nool Puttu' in Malabar, 'Nool' meaning String and 'Puttu' - A steamed cake made with rice flour. For making 'Idiyappams' - rice flour, hot water and salt is mixed and kneaded into a smooth dough. This dough is filled into an Idiyappam presser/sieve and pressed into any plate/banana leaves/Idli maker and steamed for just 5-10 mins. This can be served with potato stew, chana masala, fish, egg or any meat curry of your choice. Back home in Kerala(Malabar-Thalassery) this is even served with sweetened coconut milk and especially kids love this combo a lot.

Now as I mentioned this is a breakfast dish and you can even serve this for dinner with any curry of your choice. I make it as a snack as well by stuffing shrimp masala and this 'Shrimp masala stuffed Idiyappam' has a topmost place in my son menu list especially to have when he comes back from pre-school. You do not need any curry with these masala Idiyappams and is a perfect snack/appetizer for parties as well. This was my snack for this year's Halloween party and friends gathering and all my friends loved it. So friends I'm sharing with you the recipe for 'Idiyappam' and 'Shrimp masala Idiyappam'. Enjoy!!!!

Ingredients for Idiyappam:-
  • Rice flour- 2 cups(Idiyappam flour or Puttu podi)
  • Water needed to knead the dough
  • salt to taste(1 1/2 tsp)
  • Grated coconut - 1/2 cup(optional)
Preparation Method:-
  • Take rice flour in a mixing bowl or vessel.
  • Bring the water to boil, take off the flame. Add salt to taste
  • Pour the hot water to the flour little by little and mix well with a spatula or spoon. Water should be just enough to reach all the rice flour. The rice flour mix should not become sticky by excess water.
  • When the rice flour mix cools down knead it well with your clean hands to get a smooth dough.
  • Take the idiyappam presser and fill it with dough. Close it, use the smallest sieve disc to make the Idiyappam
  • Press it into the Idli moulds by slowly moving your hands in circular motion. Top with a tsp of grated coconut. Steam for about 5-10 mins.        
  • Move into a serving dish when they cool down a little. Serve warm with any curry of your choice.

Shrimp Masala Idiyappams:-

Shrimp masala:

Medium size Shrimp - 15 to 20 numbers.
Onion finely sliced - 2 small
Tomato paste - 1 tsp(optional)
Ginger finely chopped - 1 tsp
Green chilly  finely chopped - 2
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
salt to taste
Curry leaves few
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

Preparing Shrimp masala:-
  • Wash and clean the shrimp. Chop them into small bite size pieces(I chopped each shrimp into 4-5  pieces)
  • Marinate it with turmeric, chilly powder and salt. Set aside for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Heat up a Kadai/Frying pan/Wok pour oil. Add onion, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, salt and saute till onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste saute for another two mins(u can use finely chopped tomato instead or opt out of using both)
  • Add the shrimp pieces and stir well to mix. Close the pan with a lid and let it cook for another 5 mins till the raw smell of shrimp ends.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves and stir well to mix. Switch off the flame and move to a bowl.(Shrimp masala should not be runny/watery)

Making Masala Idiyappams:
  • Fill the presser with rice flour dough and press the mix into the Idli moulds not filling them up fully.
  • Top up with a tsp of shrimp masala. Press the Idiyappam siever again on top of the Shrimp masala to fill the moulds.
  • Repaeat the process with rest of the dough. Steam it for 5-10 mins and take off the flame.
  • Move to a serving dish and serve warm


1. Chicken or any meat o your choice can be used instead of shrimp
2. Vegetarians can make soya, paneer, tofu or any veggeie of your choice.
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