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Cherry Marshmallow Chocolate Fudge

A traditional fudge is made with sugar, butter and milk or cream. Though the process may sound simple, getting the right texture can be quite difficult. Making fudge using condensed milk is a much easier shortcut and gives you creamy and smooth textured fudge. Today I'm sharing such a quick and easy chocolate fudge with cherries and marshmallows.

This chocolate fudge just need 10-15 minutes of preparation and about 2-3 hours of cooling. The condensed milk and dark chocolate gives this fudge a rich and creamy texture and I added some nuts for crunch. I have used glacé cherries, but you could fresh cherries or maraschino cherries. Make this delicious chocolate fudge for this Christmas holidays and enjoy.

Wishing all readers and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016!!!


{ Chocolate fudge with condensed milk, glacé cherries and nuts }
Makes 50-60 pieces


360 g / 3 cups dark chocolate chunks
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 heaped cup red cherries
1 cup mini marshmallows
25 g unsalted butter
½ tsp sea salt / regular salt
¼ cup mixed chopped nuts


1. Grease a pan and line with parchment paper.

2. In a saucepan, add the condensed milk, chocolate, butter and stir on low heat until the chocolate is melted.

3. Add the cherries, nuts, salt and mix well until combined. Remove from heat and add the marshmallows and combine. 

4. Immediately pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares using a sharp knife.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use fresh cherries or maraschino cherries instead of glacé cherries.
  • I used pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds and cashews. You can use nuts of your choice.

Eggless Tutti Frutti Cookies | Candied Fruit Cookies

Christmas is around the corner and these colorful tutti frutti cookies are just apt for the season. Tutti frutti is nothing but candied fruit cubes made from papaya. Food color is added to get different colors. These cookies are also known as Karachi biscuits and Arlecchini.

These tutti frutti cookies are just like shortbread cookies - buttery and flaky. You just need very few ingredients for these cookies. These are make ahead kind of cookies -  you can freeze the dough and bake whenever you like. If you are planning some holiday baking, add this easy cookie recipe to your list. These cookies are great to gift your loved one for Christmas. Let's see how to bake these delicious tutti frutti cookies.


{ Eggless shortbread cookies with tutti frutti / candied papaya }
Recipe Source ~ Cakes in the City
Yields 15-16 cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup icing sugar / powdered sugar
90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ cup tutti frutti
½ - 1 tbsp milk


1. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and butter. Using a hand mixer, beat for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

2. Add the all-purpose flour, salt, vanilla essence and beat until the mixture turns crumbly. Add the tutti frutti and combine well.

3. Add ½ tbsp milk and bring everything together. Add the remaining ½ tbsp milk if required and form a soft dough.

4. Shape the dough into a log and cover tightly with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the log into ½-inch thick slices. Place in the baking tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 160°C | 320°F. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Notes and Tips
  • The dough will be sticky. Lightly dust with flour and shape into a log.
  • The cookies will be soft after baking but after cooling will become crisp.

Tomato Dosa | Thakkali Dosai

For a South Indian, idli and dosa are the staple food for breakfast and dinner, so idli-dosa batter is always stocked up. But there are times when we forgot to soak the rice and lentils and then we break our heads thinking what to cook for breakfast and dinner. Instant and no-ferment dosa and idli comes as a saviour during those times. 

Today's recipe is one such dosa which does not require any fermentation. I can't call this is an instant dosa as it need few hours of soaking rice and lentils. This tomato dosa is a nice variation to the regular dosa and kids would love the pretty color of the dosa. Tomato adds a tanginess that we get in our regular dosa. The dosa does not turn hard even after it gets cold. Serve with sambar and chutney of your choice. I served with mint coconut chutney which paired well these tomato dosa. Check out other dosa recipes too.


{ South Indian crepe (dosa) with tomatoes, rice and spices }
Makes 10-12 dosa


1 cup raw rice
¼ cup whole urad dal
3 - 4 dry red chillies
¼ cup poha / aval
4 large tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
Salt to taste


1. Wash the rice and urad dal together. Soak along with the red chillies for 4 hours.

2. Soak the poha in little water until soft just before grinding.

3. Drain the water from rice and urad dal. Add to a mixie jar along with red chillies, tomato, poha, cumin seeds, pepper, asafoetida and salt.

4. Grind to a smooth batter, adding little water only if required.

5. Heat a dosa tawa and take a ladle full of batter. Spread into a thin dosa and drizzle some oil.

6. Once the dosa is cooked and turned brown and crisp, flip the dosa and cook the other side.

Notes and Tips
  • I prefer the dosa to be little spicy, if you prefer less spice, reduce the red chillies.
  • Use ripe red tomatoes that are slightly tangy.

Trevti Dal | Gujarati Three Lentil Dal

Trevti dal is a simple and quick Gujarati dal made with a combination of 3 lentils - chana dal (split bengal gram), toor dal (split pigeon peas) and moong dal (split yellow gram). It's very mildly spiced dal and is a no-onion no garlic dal. You can serve this dal along with roti/phulka or rice/jeera rice and any sabzi. 

Usually when I make dal, I add lots of garlic and make a onion-tomato base with little spices. When I saw this dal in Tarla Dalal's space, I was intrigued by the recipe, as it had no garlic, onion or any other masala. I thought the dal will be bland, but the tempering added a nice flavor to the dal. I served the trevti dal with jeera rice, roti and potato cluster beans fry. Off to the recipe now.


{ Mildly spiced Gujarati three lentil dal }
Serves 3


¼ cup chana dal / split bengal gram
¼ cup toor dal
¼ cup yellow moong dal / split yellow gram
½ tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
1 bayleaf
2 cloves
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
2 dry red chillies, broken into pieces
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
1-inch ginger, grated
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves


1.Wash the dals, add 1½ cups of water, turmeric powder and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once pressure subsides, open and mash the dals.

2. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a kadai. Add ginger, green chillies and tomato. Fry till the tomato is soft and mushy.

3. Add the mashed dal, salt and water as required. Bring to boil and simmer for 5-8 minutes.

4. In a small pan, heat ghee and remaining oil. Add bayleaf, cloves, cumin seeds, red chillies and asafoetida.

5. When cumin crackles, pour the tempering into the dal. Add lemon juice, coriander leaves and mix.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust green chillies according to your spice preference.
  • My chillies were mild, so I added red chilly powder in the tempering.

Nei Appam | Neyyappam

Nei appams are small sweet fritters made of rice, jaggery, banana and cardamom, which are fried in ghee in a special pan called Æbleskiver or paniyaram pan or appa karal. Nei appam is one of the most important neivedhyam (offering) made during festivals like Krishna Jayanthi and Karthigai Deepam and on auspicious occasions in our home.

Karthigai deepam falls on 25th November this year. Nei appam and pori urundai are the offerings made during this festival. The nei appam batter generally does not need fermentation, but if you have time, set aside the batter for few hours and this will give you soft appams. Nei appams are so addictive, you just can't stop eating them. Try this delicious nei appams for this Karthigai and enjoy with family.

Also see other Karthigai Deepam recipes:


{ South Indian fritters with rice, jaggery, banana and ghee }
Yields 21 


1 cup raw rice
1 cup grated jaggery
1 small banana, chopped
3 - 4 cardamom
2 tbsp coconut bits / thenga kothu
Ghee as needed


1. Wash and soak the rice for 3 hours. Spread on a cloth for 15-20 minutes. Or leave in a strainer / colander for 30 minutes.

2. In a saucepan, add the jaggery, 3 tbsp water and melt the jaggery. Remove and strain for any impurities. Set aside to cool.

3. Add the rice, cardamom to a mixie jar and grind it to a powder. Then add banana, half of the jaggery syrup and grind to a smooth batter.

4. Transfer to a vessel and add remaining jaggery. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour.

5. Heat a paniyaram pan and add 1 tsp ghee in each hole. Pour batter in each hole and cook in medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes.

6. Once the bottom side is golden, turn the appam gently with a skewer. Cook till the other side also turns golden brown.

7. Using a skewer, remove the appams and drain on a paper towel. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not heat the jaggery syrup too much. Once the jaggery melts, immediately remove it.
  • Do not add more water to melt jaggery.
  • You can also use half oil and half ghee instead of  adding full ghee.
  • The batter should be thick and flowing, similar to dosa batter consistency.
  • This batter does not require any fermentation. But if you have time, set the batter aside for few hours and it will give soft appams.

Chammanthi Podi | Coconut Chutney Powder | Thengai Podi

Chammanthi podi is a condiment from Kerala which is prepared from shredded coconut, urad dal (black gram), red chillies and other spices. In olden times, this was made by pounding the ingredients in a traditional stone mortar and pestle. This definitely tastes better than the ones ground in our regular mixer. This is usually served with rice and kanji (porridge) but also goes with idli and dosa.

The ingredients varies from house to house and today I'm sharing the way how we make at home. This is a no-onion no-garlic recipe. This spicy powder comes really handy when you are lazy to cook up a meal. Just mix with rice and add ghee or sesame oil or mix with curd rice - whatever way it's tastes delicious. Even if you can't get fresh grated coconut, you can try this one with dry shredded coconut. You can make this in bulk and store in airtight container for months.


{ Kerala style spicy condiment with coconut, urad dal and spices }
Makes 250 grams


2 cup grated coconut
½ cup whole urad dal / black gram
10-12 dry red chillies
Gooseberry-size tamarind
1 tsp asafoetida / hing / perugayam
2 sprigs curry leaves
Salt to taste


1. In a pan, add the urad dal and dry roast in medium heat until the dal turns golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.

2. Add the red chillies and fry till they are crisp. Transfer to the plate.

3. Add the asafoetida, tamarind and curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Transfer to the plate.

4. Add the coconut and fry till the coconut turns light golden brown. Transfer to another plate to cool.

5. Now in a mixie jar, add urad dal, red chillies, asafoetida, tamarind, curry leaves, salt and grind till it is powdered well.

6. Then add coconut and pulse 2-3 times of grind for few seconds to a coarse powder. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust red chillies according to your spice preference.
  • You can also add a small piece of jaggery while grinding to add a hint of sweetness.

Thai Basil Fried Rice

Thai food is one of our favorite cuisines. Of course, after Indian food! I love the flavors in Thai cuisine - the coconut milk, fresh herbs and spices. Whenever we go to Thai restaurants, fried rice is one thing I love to order. Unlike the Chinese fried rice, Thai fried rice is packed full of lovely flavors and doesn't really need any side dish to go with it.

Today's recipe is a Thai style spicy fried rice with loads of veggies and basil leaves. I adapted the recipe from here and tweaked a bit to suit our taste buds. I prefer to use cold rice for fried rice always, otherwise freshly cooked rice can sometimes turn bit mushy. You can add any vegetables you got in your hand. If you have leftover rice and prepped all your veggies, this fried rice can be prepared in 15-20 minutes. I love to serve with fresh cucumber slices to balance out all the spice. Off to the recipe!


{ Thai style fried rice with vegetables and basil leaves }
Serves 3-4


1 cup jasmine rice / short grain rice
2 tbsp oil
2 garlic, finely chopped
½ inch ginger, grated
1 red chilly, finely chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
½ red capsicum (bell pepper)
½ yellow capsicum (bell pepper)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
8-10 green beans, cut into 1 ½ long pieces
10-12 mushrooms, sliced
3 tsp sambal paste / red chilly paste
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
½ cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt to taste


1. Wash the rice well and cook the rice until soft and grains are separated. Spread on a plate and let it cool completely.

2. In a large wok, heat oil and add garlic, ginger and red chilly. Fry for 30 seconds. Then add onion and fry for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add all the vegetables and fry in medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the sambal paste, soy sauce, sugar and fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the cooked rice, salt and toss everything well until combined. Add basil leaves and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Notes and Tips
  • If you prefer less spice, add only 1 tsp of chilly paste or sambal.
  • You can add other vegetables like zucchini, baby corn, sugar snap peas etc.
  • To get non sticky rice, once the rice is cooked, cool it and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • You can scramble eggs and add to the rice at the end.

Mullu Murukku | Muthusaram | Dal Chakli

For this year's Diwali, murukku was one thing on my to-do list. There are different variety of murukku and I wanted to try something that is pretty much simple. Mullu murukku or also known as muthusaram in Brahmin households, is an easy murukku recipe made with rice flour, moong dal and chana dal. This murukku is usually made for auspicious occasions and festivals like Krishna Jayanthi and Diwali.

I always thought making murukku at home was a difficult process. But making this mullu murukku was really a breeze. The main key point in making this mullu murukku is the dough consistency. Make sure you sieve all the flours well and add just enough water to make a soft dough. Add this easy mullu murukku to your list of Diwali snacks and enjoy a safe Diwali with family.


{ Indian deep fried snack made with rice flour, lentils and spices }
Makes 35-40


3 cup rice flour
½ cup yellow moong dal / paasi paruppu
¼ cup chana dal / kadalai paruppu
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 tsp black sesame seeds / karutha ellu
½ tsp asafoetida / hing
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp hot oil
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


1. Dry roast the moong dal and chana dal separately until nice aroma comes. Cool and grind to a fine powder.

2. In a large bowl, sieve rice flour and moong and chana dal powder. Add cumin seeds, sesame seeds, asafoetida, salt, butter and hot oil.

3. Mix well with hands till butter is incorporated well. Add water little by little and make a smooth and soft dough.

4. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and cover with a wet cloth to prevent drying.

5. Heat oil for deep frying. Take the murukku press and insert the star disc. Fill the murukku press with one portion of the dough.

6. Grease two (or three) ladles. Squeeze murukku in circles on the greased ladles. You can also directly squeeze into hot oil.

7. Gently slide into the oil and cook in medium heat. Fry both sides till murukku turns golden brown and the bubbles cease. Drain on a paper towel.

Notes and Tips
  • The dough should be soft enough to squeeze through the hole. If the dough is hard and tight, sprinkle few drops of water and make the dough soft.
  • If the dough is too soft, it will be difficult to squeeze and will break. Add 1 tsp of rice flour and knead the dough again.
  • Keep the dough covered with a wet cloth all the time, otherwise it will dry up and become hard.
  • The oil should be hot when you squeeze in. Turn down the heat to medium while cooking the murukku.

Thengai Burfi | Coconut Burfi

Thengai / coconut burfi is one sweet that we make every year for Diwali at home. Thengai burfi is a very quick and simple sweet with coconut, sugar and cardamom. Unlike other Indian traditional sweets which require lots of ghee, this coconut burfi needs just a tablespoon of ghee.

Making thengai burfi is so easy that even beginners can try this sweet. The burfi tastes best when made with fresh coconut but it comes out well with frozen shredded coconut too. Check out the notes and tips section if you using frozen coconut. So try this delicious coconut burfi for this Diwali and enjoy with family.


{ Indian fudge with coconut, sugar and cardamom }
Yields 6-8 pieces


1 cup fresh grated coconut
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp ghee


1. Pulse the coconut in the mixie jar until coarse. Do not make into a paste. Grease a plate or tray with ghee and set aside.

2. Take a wide bottomed non-stick pan and add sugar, 14/ cup water. Mix well till sugar dissolves completely. Keep stirring and cook till one string consistency is reached.

3. Add coconut and mix well. Keep stirring till the mixture starts to thicken. At this stage, add ghee and cardamom powder.

4. Keep stirring until it thickens and forms a mass. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the greased tray.  When it becomes slightly warm, cut into squares.

Notes and Tips
  • To check one string consistency, wet your fingers and take a drop of syrup in between your thumb and index finger. If a single string is formed between the fingers, it means syrup has reached one string consistency.
  • To get white coconut burfi, while scraping the coconut do not grate the brown portions.
  • If using frozen coconut or dry shredded coconut, add ¼ cup water and microwave for 30 seconds. Drain excess water and use this water to dissolve sugar. 

Karasev | Easy Diwali Snacks

Diwali is fast approaching and many of you must have started planning the list of sweets and snacks to prepare for Diwali. This year I wanted to try my hands on some easy Diwali snacks. My first attempt is the karasev, a popular and quite easy snack made during Diwali.

Karasev is a spicy deep fried snack made with gram flour and rice flour, made with different flavorings like pepper, garlic etc. Traditionally karasev is made by rubbing the dough through a ladle with perforated holes. This method needs lot of practice, so using the murukku press is much easier and less messier too!!! Karasev can be made in bulk and stored in an airtight container for a month.

I tried the pepper flavored karasev and was so happy that it came out really well in my first attempt itself. The roasted gram flour gives the karasev a soft texture, making it not too hard. Even beginners can try this karasev. Enjoy this crispy additive snack with a cup of tea or coffee.


{ Deep fried savory snack with bengal gram, rice flour and spices }
Yields 250 grams


2 cup kadalai maavu / besan / gram flour
½ cup rice flour / idiyappam flour
¼ cup pottukadalai / roasted gram
2 tsp butter, at room temperature
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


1. Coarsely powder the pepper using a mortar and pestle or in the mixie jar. Grind the roasted gram to a fine powder.

2. In a large bowl, sieve the besan, rice flour and roasted gram powder. Add butter, red chilly powder, pepper powder, salt and mix well until butter is well incorporated.

3. Add water little by little and make a smooth and soft dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and keep it covered with a wet cloth.

4. Take the murukku press with the disc having 3 (or 5) holes. Fill the murukku press with 1 portion of the dough.

5. Heat oil for deep frying. Squeeze into hot oil in big circles. Do not overcrowd or make layers. Cook in medium heat, turning over to cook both sides.

6. Once the bubbles reduces, the 'shhh' sounds ceases and the sev turns golden brown, remove and drain on a paper towel. 

7. Break into pieces and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • The dough should be soft enough to squeeze through the holes. If the dough is hard and tight, sprinkle few drops of water and make the dough soft.
  • Keep the dough covered with a wet cloth all the time, otherwise it will dry up and become hard.
  • Add red chilly powder and pepper powder according to your spice preference.
  • The oil should be hot when you squeeze in. Turn down the heat to medium while cooking the sev.
  • If the dough becomes dry or hard for the last batch, sprinkle few drops of water and make the dough smooth. 

Banana Oat Pecan Snack Cake

Home Baker's Challenge is back, thanks to Priya and this month's host Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth, To kick start the challenge. Rafeeda suggested healthy baking recipes with oats as one of the main ingredients. The recipes chosen by Rafeeda were all so good, but my heart and mind was on the banana oat snack cake. I was in no mood to try out an eggless version, so was eagerly waiting for Navratri to get over to bake this cake. For an eggless version, I think flaxseed would be a great substitute. 

The whole house was filled with a lovely aroma, equivalent to nendrapazham (ripe plaintain) being fried in ghee!!! This cake is loaded with oats and with a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. I reduced the butter yet the cake turned out soft and moist.  The cake was not so sweet, so I topped with some warm nutella. You can leave out the nutella and add 1 cup of sugar for a sweeter cake or go for your favorite frosting. This cake is aptly called a snack cake as one small piece itself makes you feel full, perfect for kids as a after school snack or with your evening tea or coffee.


{ Banana, oats and pecan cake topped with nutella }
Recipe Source ~ Five Heart Home
Makes a 8 x 8 inch cake


¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup / 113 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
⅓ cup buttermilk
¼ cup yogurt
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp nutella


1. Preheat oven to 180°C | 350°F. Grease and flour a 8 x 8 inch square baking dish.

2. In a medium bowl, add wheat flour, all-pupose flour, oats, baking soda, salt and mix until well combined.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and beat well.

4. Add the buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla essence, mashed bananas and blend until well combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients, pecans and fold until just incorporated. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

7. Microwave the nutella for 10-15 seconds and spread on the cake.

Notes and Tips
  • The nutella topping is optional. You can try a peanut butter topping or any frosting.
  • The cake is not so sweet. For a sweeter cake, add 1 cup of brown sugar.
  • You can substitute pecans with walnuts.

Sweet Corn Sundal

Navratri is celebrated for nine days and each day we prepare different variety of sundals along with other offerings. Sweet corn sundal is the most easiest sundal recipes. It does not require any soaking like sundals using lentils and beans. If you are working women, this sundal is apt for you as it takes very less time to make.

You can make using fresh corn cob or frozen corn kernels. This sundal is sweet, slightly spicy and tangy. Not just for the festival season, this sundal can be made anytime and enjoyed as a snack or salad. Kids love swet corn and they will surely love this sundal too. Try this simple and quick sundal recipe for this Navratri festival. Check out other sundal recipes too.


{ South Indian style sweet corn salad with coconut and spices }
Serves 2-3


1 cup sweet corn kernels
1-2 green chillies
2 tbsp grated coconut
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice

To temper:
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
1 dry red chilly
Few curry leaves


1. Boil the sweet corn with little water, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till its soft. Drain the water and keep aside.

2. Pulse the green chillies and coconut together just 1-2 times.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal, asafoetifa, red chilly, curry leaves and fry till dal turns golden.

4. Add the sweet corn and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add green chilly-coconut mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

Notes and Tips
  • Instead of grinding green chillies and coconut, you can add green chilly while tempering and coconut at the end.
  • If using corn cob, pressure cook for 2 whistles or until soft and remove the kernels.

Eggless Apple Sage Cheddar Scones #BreadBakers

For this month's Bread Bakers, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm suggested fall breads as the theme. We have to bake any hearty bread that reminds us of the fall. Pumpkins were the first thing that came to mind and I decided to make a quick bread with pumpkin. Unfortunately it did not come well, so that at the last minute I decided to make these savory scones.

The combination of apple with sage and cheddar was lovely. You really don't need anything extra to serve along these scones. Store them in an airtight container and warm them before serving. If you love bread baking and want to be part of this wonderful group, go through the details at the end of the post.


{ Eggless scones with apple, sage and cheddar cheese }
Recipe Source ~ Spoon Fork Bacon
Makes 12 medium scones


2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 apple
1 tbsp sage, finely chopped
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ cup buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C | 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl,  sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar and mix.

3. Using a grater with large holes, grate the butter into the flour. Using your fingers, rub butter into flour until the mixture becomes coarse.

4. Add apple, sage, cheese and black pepper and mix together until well combined.

5. Add the buttermilk and mix together until just combined and the mixture has formed into dough.

6. Gently press to make the dough to make a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll to a rectangle of 1-inch thickness.

7. Cut them into rounds using a cutter or cut into your desired shape. Place the scones in the baking sheet.

8. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the scones puff up and the tops just start to brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Notes and Tips
  • Make sure the butter is cold, otherwise it will be difficult to grate. You can also chop them into small pieces instead of grating.
  • The dough will be slightly sticky, but do not add more flour. Also do not overwork the dough which will make the scones hard.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Let's take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today

Rajma Masala Sundal | Kidney Beans Sundal

Navratri is starting on 13th October this year. Sundal is one of the important neivedhyam (offering) prepared during this festival. Sundal is nothing but a healthy salad made with legumes or lentils and coconut, tempered with mustard seeds, split black gram, red chillies and curry leaves. On each day, different variety of sundals are made and offered to God. 

Usually beans like green gram, cow peas, chickpeas are used to make sundal but now a days we make sundal with whatever pulses or beans are available. Today I'm sharing a spicy red kidney bean sundal with a special ground masala. You can make this sundal plain just by adding coconut, green chillies and the tempering. Do try this healthy sundal for this Navratri for a change! Check out other sundal recipes too.


{ Spicy masala salad with kidney beans, coconut and spices }
Serves 3


½ cup rajma / red kidney beans
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste

For the masala:
2 tsp chana dal / kadalai paruppu
1 tsp coriander seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
¼ cup grated coconut

To temper:
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
Few curry leaves


1. Soak the kidney beans overnight or for atleast 8 hours. Drain the water and add fresh water. Pressure cook until soft. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small pan, roast chana dal, coriander seeds, red chillies, black pepper and cumin seeds until light golden color.

3. Cool and grind to a coarse powder. Add the coconut and pulse it 2 -3 times.

4. In a pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves.

5. Add the rajma, turmeric powder, salt and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add the ground masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Notes and Tips
  • You can add the coconut at the end instead of grinding along with the masala.
  • Adjust chillies according to your spice preference.
  • If using canned beans, drain the water and wash well. Add less salt as canned beans already have salt.

Gulab Jamun | Khoya Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamuns are one of the most popular desserts of India. Take any important festivals like Diwali, Holi, Navratri, gulab jamun is must for the occasion. Gulab jamuns are made of either khoya / mawa (milk solids) or milk powder and traditionally they are fried in ghee, though oil can also be used for frying. 

Most of the time, we get the instant ready made packets but making gulab jamuns from scratch is not so difficult. Getting the right dough consistency and temperature to fry is the key to perfect jamuns. The gulab jamuns made with khoya are my favorite. The jamuns soaked in rose scented sugar syrup just melt in mouth. You can make khoya from scratch or use store brought khoya like I did. For the coming festival season, do try this easy gulab jamun with khoya.

On this same day, 4 years back, I started this blog and today I feel extremely happy that I am still able to continue my passion. This would not have happened without the support of my loving hubby, my family and of course my friends and readers. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart for the love and constant support. 


{ Gulab jamun with khoya / mawa (milk solids) }
Makes 20-25


1 cup crumbled khoya / mawa (unsweetened)
5 tbsp maida / all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda / cooking soda
Oil / ghee for deep frying

For the sugar syrup:
2 cup sugar
2 cup water
2-3 cardamoms
1/8 tsp rose water
Few saffron strands (optional)


1. Bring khoya to room temperature. Crumble with hands and add to a large bowl. Add maida, cooking soda and mix well.

2. Add water, a teaspoon at a time and make a smooth dough without cracks. Don't knead the dough too much.

3. Make small equal sized balls. Make sure its smooth and does not have any cracks. Keep  the balls covered.

4. To make sugar syrup, add sugar, water, cardamom, rose essence, saffron in  a sauce pan and mix well.

5. Once the sugar dissolves completely, bring to boil and then simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

6. Heat oil for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, turn down the heat to low. Add the jamuns and keep turning them to ensure even cooking.

7. Fry until they turn dark golden brown. Drain on a kitchen towel and immediately add them to the warm syrup. Let it sit for 3-4 hours.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not knead the dough too much. Just bring everything together to form a smooth dough.
  • Roll the balls smoothly making sure there are no cracks. If there are cracks, sprinkle little water to make the dough smooth.
  • Always fry in low-medium heat otherwise the jamuns will not get cooked inside.
  • If the syrup has cooled down, warm the syrup before adding the jamuns.

Poosanikai Moru Kootan | White Pumpkin Buttermilk Curry

Moru kootan is a typical Tamil Brahmin recipe. Its a yogurt based dish with vegetables, buttermilk and ground coconut, chillies and spices. This is different from mor kuzhambu and moru curry in terms of the spices used for grinding. Moru kootan is typically prepared with ashgourd / white pumpkin (elavan), but chow chow (chayote) or bottlegourd can also be used instead. Other vegetables that can be used  are colocasia (chembu), tomato and ladies finger (okra)

Moru kootan is my favorite South Indian curry and one of the most easiest and quickest curry for rice. Paruppu usili or a spicy potato fry is the best combination for this buttermilk curry. But any mezhukkupurati or thoran/poriyal also goes well this. Moru kootan should be prepared only with sour curd. In case if your curd isn't that sour, my mom's tip is to add a marble sized tamarind while grinding the coconut paste. 


{ Ashgourd in a sour buttermilk gravy with ground coconut and spices }
Serves 2-3


1 cup heaped poosanikai / ashgourd / white pumpkin
1 cup thick sour curd
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste

To grind:
½ cup grated coconut
3-4 green chillies
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
¼ tsp vendhayam / methi seeds / fenugreek seeds


1. Grind coconut, green chillies and jeera to a smooth paste addling little water. Set aside.

2. Remove the pumpkin skin and cut them into cubes. Add 1 cup water to the curd and whisk to a buttermilk consistency.

3. Heat a kadai and add the pumpkin, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, salt and little water.

4. Once the pumpkin is cooked, add the curd and keep stirring in medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add the coconut paste, salt and cook for another 3-4 minutes in low-medium heat, stirring in between. Do not boil.

6. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chillies, methi seeds and pour into the curry.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not boil the curd. It should be cooked in a low to medium heat. 
  • Instead of thick curd, you can use 2 cups of buttermilk. Make sure its sour.
  • If your curd or buttermilk is not sour, grind ¼ tsp of tamarind paste with the coconut.

Blueberry Almond Streusel Galette

Though I love baking, I don't bake much. There are so many things on my list to bake, but I always need some kind of push to bake. Tempted by all the wonderful things my fellow bloggers baked, I joined a baking group called Baking Partners. Last month's challenge was bagels and I really wanted to try them. But due to some personal things, I couldn't make them and I didn't want this month's challenge at any cost. For this month, Suja of Kitchen Corner Try It suggested to make a sweet or savory galette.

A galette is a French term that refers to a flat round cakes with a flaky pastry. I wanted to try a savory galette, but when I saw this blueberry galette recipe, I fixed my mind. The galette turned out really good, it was not overly sweet and the combination of blueberry and almonds was just amazing. This dessert has lot of butter and sugar, but it's fine to indulge once in a while, so do try it for some special occasion. Enjoy the gaette by itself or serve with icecream or whipped cream.


{ Blueberry galette with a almond streusel topping }
Recipe Source ~ Two Peas and Their Pod
Serves 6-8


For the galette dough:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup coarse semolina
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup / 113g cold butter
⅓ cup buttermilk

For the filling:
2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp corn flour

For the streusel topping:
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp almond meal
¼ tsp almond extract
1 tablespoon butter
2 tbsp sliced almonds

1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp turbinado sugar


To make the dough:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, semolina, sugar and salt. Grate the butter and mix with hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Add the buttermilk slowly and bring everything together to form a ball. Wrap with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

To make filling:

Combine blueberries, sugar and corn flour in a bowl and set aside.

To make the streusel:

In a bowl combine flour, brown sugar, almond meal, almond extract and sliced almonds. Grate the butter and mix with hands until well combined.

To assemble galatte:

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C | 350 °F.

2. Remove the dough from fridge and place on a parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 14-15 inch circle.

3. Place the blueberries in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle the almond streusel over the blueberries.

4. Fold the border over the blueberries, pleating where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds. Lightly brush the dough with the egg and sprinkle turbinado sugar.

5. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

Notes and Tips
  • You can make the galette dough in advance. Keep for 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling.
  • For the srreusel topping, almond meal and essence is optional. 
  • You can use coarse cornmeal instead of semolina.
baking partners 

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will know how much I love to try different combinations of smoothies. Today I have come up with a delicious and nutrient packed smoothie with strawberry, kiwi, banana and almonds, which is perfect to have after your workouts or as breakfast. You can make this smoothie more healthy by adding chia seeds or flax seeds. If you are interested, look through other smoothie recipes here.

Strawberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help to reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. Kiwis contain more vitamin C than oranges, and is an excellent source of other vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Bananas add a natural sweetness and thickness to the smoothie, and aids in digestion along with many other health benefits. You can enjoy this smoothie any time of the day! Now let's see how to make this healthy and yummy smoothie.


{ Smoothie with strawberry, kiwi, banana and yogurt }
Serves 2-3


10-12 strawberries, chopped
2 kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 small banana, chopped
¾ cup yogurt
¼ milk
5-6 almonds


1. Add banana, yogurt, almonds to a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Then add strawberries, kiwi, milk and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve immediately.

Notes and Tips
  • If the smoothie is too thick, thin out the smoothie adding more milk.
  • You can add honey or any natural sweeteners if you want some extra sweetness.